Sign Up to Receive Our Most Recent Homes Available!

Featured Listings!!

Delaware Real Estate and Tax Refund Season Observations

Apr 22, 2017

This Tuesday’s tax filing deadline doesn’t pass without standing as the annual reminder to all of Delaware’s taxpayers that time seems to pass ever more quickly—as do the comings and goings of our earnings. The best estimate is that this year 70% of Americans will have overpaid by close to $3,000—making their tax refund checks the only smile-producing part of the annual ritual.

The Motley Fool financial site offered its insight into how most people plan to spend their refunds—but at least one real estate mogul counseled for a definite ultimate destination for those dollars. Delaware real estate could play an important role.

According to the Fool, 38% of respondents will use their refunds to pay off existing debts. Only 11% will direct the cash toward vacations; 5% will splurge on some kind of purchase; an equal number will put the cash toward a major purchase. The largest percentage— 41%— will sock their refund dollars into savings accounts. That’s where the real estate mogul agrees.

The gentleman in question is Sean Conlon, himself a multi-millionaire and host of his own TV show. This time of year, with income tax refund dollars rolling into more than 100 million households, he makes it a point to recall his own point of departure from day work as a janitor into being the owner of his own real estate mortgage company.

He saved. Stuffed every spare dollar into a shoebox until he’d scraped together enough to buy his first house. CNBC quoted Conlon’s dictum last week: “I’m a true believer that you should save every penny…until you buy your first house.” Delaware tax refund checks would more than qualify as major stepping stones toward what Conlon assesses as being “still the fastest path to wealth in this country.”

Another pointed tax refund observation came from a website called Financial Samurai. “Sam” points out that with tax refunds nearing the $3,000 mark, that amounts to nearly 6-7% of typical after-tax income: “a pretty meaningful number.” Since saving (that is, not spending!) $250 a month in that income bracket is difficult for most, the tax refund checks provide a one-shot opportunity to make saving a done deal. The same applies to those in higher brackets. In short, since out of sight is out of mind, Samurai recommends the best course of action for any tax refund check is “to make it disappear.” Into a savings account. Then there’s at least one other relevant tax consideration—one that fattens many a refund check: that whopping mortgage interest tax deduction! 

The mogul and the Samurai both have valid points—and Delaware real estate opportunities (there are plenty on hand at the moment) certainly fit into that picture. Good reason to give me a call today! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Home Design Trends Reflect Changing Environment

Apr 22, 2017

Delaware real estate—like all real estate—is a supremely local activity. Area homeowners who like to keep an eye on Delaware and national trends do so because some of them may surface in future buyer preferences. For Delaware homeowners in a remodeling frame of mind, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of “what’s hot.”

When it comes to nailing down the latest home design trends, there’s no shortage of commercial firms whose publicity departments are determined to make convincing arguments that their products are in the vanguard. Since the National Association of Realtors® isn’t selling anything, that’s one good reason to give special attention when Realtor Magazine puts out its annual “Home Design Trends” roundup.

This year, though, much of what they reported had more to do with American community and social environments than with the kind of details Delaware homeowners will find very useful. Those wider trends included a continuation of consumer preferences for “walkability”—in suburbs as well as in urban areas. Homes “far from everything” lose out in the “walk scoring” calculation. In a similar vein, as more and more people spend more and more time on social media and in front of computer screens at work, there is growing awareness that typical Americans crave more actual live human interaction: hence, proximity to social gathering places (clubs and clubhouses; community centers) is being newly emphasized in real estate sales materials.

But some more traditional kinds of home design trends were mentioned, as well, such as the finding that “taupe is the new gray” and a movement toward “naturally renewable, warmer surfaces.” Taupe’s slightly rosier tone conveys a friendlier feel than plain gray, which fits in with the turn away from colder black, white, and metallic palettes. Natural cork is one low-maintenance material offered as an example: it adds aesthetic appeal to walls and flooring. (Besides, it bounces back when dented)!

Other specifics include a shift toward away from traditional log-burning hearths to natural gas and even alcohol-burning fireplaces. Delaware homeowners who have done without fireplaces entirely may take note: since they don’t require vents, alcohol burning hearths can be installed just about anywhere with minimal construction expense.

One home design trend that is definitely applicable in Delaware is a consequence of the ever-diminishing size of today’s electronic technology tools. For those whose careers make working from home at least part of their professional work week, it means that the necessity for a full-room home office is gradually waning. Now almost any corner of the home can suffice. When designers speak of “dual-purpose areas” with “dual-purpose furnishings,” they probably have this trend in mind. A further step into the future is the “movable wall concept.” That’s not here yet: it’s projected for the futuristic Home of 2050. (I, for one, am willing to wait).

One trend that’s unlikely to change is the advantage to both buyers and sellers of being able to count on the services of an experienced Delaware Realtor. I’m always just a phone call away! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Delaware Appraisal Prep: 5 Simple Ideas

Apr 22, 2017

You’ve probably heard the wry old saying: “Nothing clears the mind like the prospect of being hanged at dawn.” For some homeowners, you could add an equally wry modern Delaware real estate version: “Nothing clears the mind like having a real estate appraiser drop by for a look-see.”

I’d like to counter that notion—there’s really not much to worry over when the Delaware real estate appraiser is scheduled to make an appearance. The stress level can be lowered by keeping a few simple ideas in mind:

  1. Appraisals aren’t showings. Sure, you want to have the house as spruced up and orderly as you would for any visitor. But your Delaware property doesn’t have to present the kind of perfection it will for an open house or prospective buyer showing. Experienced Delaware appraisers aren’t looking for a 100% clutter-free, immaculate show-stopper of a home: they will be concentrating on physical details like square footage and structural and mechanical features. They are more like backstage workers than audience members—but neatness can’t hurt!
  2. Paperwork is a plus. If they are available, dig out any floor plans or location plats you may have filed away. Also, the age of your home is one thing, but updated features can boost the end appraisal value. If you prepare a list of improvements and the years in which they were completed, it will make the appraiser’s job that much easier—and your Delaware home’s appraisal that much better.
  3. Curb appeal is the exception. Appraisals aren’t showings, but no one—even the professional who prepares your Delaware appraisal—is immune to the “first impression” effect. Condition is a factor in any appraisal, so it will be worthwhile to be sure the front lawn is mowed and plantings trimmed. If the front doorway is in need of a paint refresher, it will be effort worth making.
  4. Consideration helps. The appraiser’s job is part physical, so being considerate of that part of the appraisal process will be appreciated. Be sure that obstructions are cleared, that rooms are appropriately heated and cooled—and that Lassie and Garfield aren’t allowed to pester.
  5. New good news is good news. If there have been positive changes in the neighborhood, it can’t hurt to let the appraiser know about them. Delaware may be part of a rising market, but appraisers don’t speculate on future values. Supplying some positive neighborhood developments can be persuasive.  

There is another “nothing clears the mind” quote, too: Nothing clears the mind like buying property. That saying isn’t wry at all: it’s absolutely true! If you are setting out on your own Delaware house hunt, I hope you’ll give me a call to help focus your search. And if you’re readying to sell your own Delaware property (which puts you in the soon-to-be-visited-by-the-appraiser category) the same applies. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com