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Delaware Investment Property Owners Eye Top Repair Calls

Oct 18, 2017

When you first look into whether an investment property in Delaware would be a suitable addition to your own portfolio, the positives leap out. Delaware investment properties can throw off positive cash flow even as they appreciate in long-term value. What’s not to like? But there is one area that may hover as a wildcard: the maintenance issue.

Because tenants are part of the picture, Delaware investment properties undergo varying amounts of wear and tear, so keeping them in top shape does require at least some degree of attention. Veteran landlords learn how to handle maintenance and repairs with a minimum of turmoil—sometimes by simply farming them out to professional property managers. In that, we are fortunate—Delaware has some great ones!

However you choose to address the issue, it’s useful to know which repairs investment property owners say are most frequently needed. Here are six leaders:

1.      Leaks. Under sinks, under windows and in the ceiling, leaks require the swiftest action to forestall expensive repercussions. Even the smallest leaks can result in mold growth, so any hint of water where it doesn’t belong rates immediate attention.

2.      Appliances. They have the greatest number of working parts, so it’s no surprise that they wind up having the greatest number of non-working parts. Repairmen are whispering that current models in almost all brands are not holding up as well as they used to…so when replacements are necessary, consider that higher-quality models may be worth the initial expense.

3.      Water heater. Tenants deserve hot water, so when it peters out, having the attention of a veteran plumber can be the difference between a repair (often all that’s needed) or a more expensive replacement.

4.      Rodents and bugs. Sealing up holes is the first line of defense for discouraging all manner of creepy-crawlies. If they show up anyway, Delaware pest control experts can usually rid infestations for at most a few hundred dollars.

5.      Furnace. If the heat goes out during cold spells, unless it’s only a pilot light going out, it can quickly become an emergency situation. You’ll want to have the emergency phone number for one of Delaware’s experienced furnace repairmen at the ready.

6.      Running toilet. We’re all familiar with the sound of a toilet that won’t shut up. It’s usually (in fact, virtually always) due to a “flapper” that doesn’t quite seat properly.  These are inexpensive parts that are easily replaced—but there are also a hundred different varieties. All the expertise that’s required to fix this common tenant complaint can be found in YouTube videos demonstrating the various 10-minutes solutions.  


Some terrific Delaware investment property possibilities are among this fall’s listings. Call me to explore them! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at

Delaware Refi Warriors Take the Initiative

Oct 18, 2017

Back when Delaware mortgage interest rates plummeted by 46% in less than four years, it precipitated a sort of refi tsunami. The volume of Delaware refinancings was nothing short of enormous. For the first time in a long time, the benefit for homeowners who could lower their Delaware mortgage interest payments had become all but irresistible to everyone whose home loan predated the plunge. Lenders were swamped—and they loved it!

The current climate for Delaware refi’s is much calmer and considerably less well publicized. Nonetheless, it still holds out the prospect of real savings for homeowners whose current Delaware home loan terms are less favorable than those offered on today’s market. If you fall into that category, it will be worthwhile to do some investigating. In fact, if you follow what industry experts recommend, you’ll take the bit in your teeth and became a Refi Warrior!

Most busy homeowners expect that applying for a refi will consist of gathering answers to the expected questions, filling out the forms, and awaiting an offer. Refi Warriors have a different mindset: they don’t just passively apply to the first lender who advertises a low rate. Instead, they go after offers from multiple lenders.

The inventors of the FICO credit risk score that lenders use agree wholeheartedly. On their web site you can find what might be called the Refi Warrior’s Rules of Combat:

·         Shop Around.   That is, get offers from multiple lenders.

·         Compare details. Interest rates aren’t the only consideration; take all the details into account.

·         Let ‘em compete! Don’t be shy about sharing what you’ve been offered by others. As FICO puts it, “In most cases, the lender will be willing to work with you— especially in areas that other lenders are already offering you.”  

This aggressive consumer attitude may not come naturally, but since even the guiding lights at FICO recommend adopting it, there is no reason why it’s not worth a try. The object is to get the best offer from every candidate—and the first offer is not necessarily that!


Your home is more than just the family’s operational headquarters—and a timely refinancing can be an excellent way to maximize its value as an investment. For help and advice whenever Delaware real estate matters arise, I’m standing by to offer help and advice! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at

Delaware Real Estate’s Unlikely New Player:

Oct 18, 2017

Amazon has invaded the realm of real estate—but you couldn’t say it’s happening in a big way.

It’s happening in a tiny way.

Last week the improbable news arrived that the web’s 400-pound gorilla had made its first foray into the realm of real estate. Since Delaware real estate (like all real estate) is by definition local, its very nature would seem to preclude the buying and selling of homes as a mail order enterprise. But since has succeeded in other industries where failure had been assumed (high-end fashion, for instance), could local Delaware real estate soon be monopolized by a tsunami of Amazon Prime home sales? At least it warranted some looking into!

It turned out that Delaware real estate was not likely to be overcome anytime soon. The Amazon listings that showed up are hard to find, and not likely to tempt many Delaware home shoppers. The few listings were only searchable when you entered “tiny homes”—and the few homes being offered were sandwiched in between how-to books about designing and building very small cabins.

(Here, a note for Delaware residents who aren’t familiar with the “tiny homes” phenomenon…they are what the name says: structures smaller than 400 square feet…although some can be as microscopic as 80 square feet, most are in the 300-350 range).

You may not find too many tiny homes in Delaware, but the movement is nation-wide. And the concept is not as far-fetched as it might seem. Anyone who has taken weeks-long vacations in campers or lived for any stretch of time on a pleasure boat knows that you can reduce your living space to a slender minimum if you plan carefully.

Back to Amazon. The lead-off listing was a pre-fab tiny home converted from a shipping container. Like any good Delaware real estate listing, the details pointed out key selling points (in this case, the shipping container was new). Price was a thrifty $36,000, which would be even more thrifty if the “$0.00 estimated tax” turns out to be accurate. The customer reviews were mixed, with one in particular naming a possible sticking point: meeting Delaware and Delaware building codes. Additionally, Amazon Prime members who revel in their free delivery perk were bound to be disappointed: the tiny home wasn’t eligible (they’d have to pony up another $3,754 in shipping fees).

If your own Delaware home buying or selling requirements are greater than the tiny home square footage limit, I’m here to lend a hand. Call me!  Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at