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Imagining the Unimaginable Rebound in Home Equity

Jan 16, 2018

We’ve all witnessed the remarkable rebound in real estate values—and last week, the scale of that recovery was the subject of a CNBC commentary. “A growing number of homeowners are in the money,” it found; then, “Homeowners are sitting on trillions in tappable home equity.

Trillions? That’s a number that sounds quite impressive—but also hard to grasp.

To get a handle on the scale of the nation’s real estate recovery in terms that are more meaningful to Delaware readers, it calls for some imagination. Here’s a try:

If you think of a $345,000 home (today’s U.S. average)—and then of a neighborhood with 30 of those homes per block—a billion dollars’ worth of home equity would consist of 100 blocks of such homes. For Delaware, that’s would be a pretty large neighborhood, all right; but if you close your eyes and picture such an imaginary hundred-block neighborhood, you’ll have an approximation of what a billion dollars’ worth of real estate looks like.

It’s much harder to get a grip on a trillion dollars’ worth of home equity.

One way is to start out by imagining a magnificent estate owned by a titan of industry. This place has 50 acres of magnificently manicured landscaping; several guest houses; a subterranean garage capable of housing 20 antique autos in an appropriately climate-controlled environment; and an infinity pool overlooking an acre-size manmade pond (there are probably a couple of swans in the pond). Its nine bedrooms (they are actually suites) are part of the 50-room main house. Since it’s in a fabulously exclusive neighborhood, the estate’s value is reasonably pegged at $50,000,000 (fifty million dollars).

So all you have to do is to close your eyes and picture a neighborhood with 20 of those per block—and then, a thousand of those blocks.

There’s your trillion dollars in home equity!

The reason this has anything to do with reality—or with home equity in Delaware—is that Delaware homeowners are part of CNBC’s original headline calculation from last week. Between 2012—the bottom of the financial crisis—and today, homeowners across the country are the recipients of a trillion dollars’ rise in home equity.

To be precise, the rebound in home equity actually comes to three trillion dollars! That’s “tappable equity”—dollar values potentially available via refinancing or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). With mortgage rates currently lower than they were a year ago, it’s not surprising that cash-out refinances have been growing in popularity.


Delaware may not have any 1,000-block neighborhoods full of 50-acre estates, but we do have a lot of homes whose equity has burgeoned since the low point of the financial crisis. I’m proud that I’ve been able to help many of my clients participate in a share of that good news story. For your next Delaware real estate venture, I hope you’ll give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at

Selling Your Delaware House: One Unlikely Stress Reducer

Jan 16, 2018

If a National Association of Realtors® expert is to be taken literally, there is one unlikely factor that could lessen the stress level associated with selling your Delaware house.

Just have some kids around.

That may not sound logical—but weirdly enough, it really could make sense. The expert whose thoughts spawn this deduction is the home improvement specialist writing for the NAR’s magazine. Last week, Stephanie Booth observed that sometimes “raising kids actually makes your house cleaner” (Ms. Booth’s italics). I have to agree.

If you have small kids, you’re already thoroughly familiar with the accompanying housekeeping side effects. Ms. Booth recalls her own memories—like the sound of “the slow wheezing death of a vacuum cleaner” after ingesting one too many lego blocks, or the omnipresence of the crumbs, smears, and smudges that need corralling at regular intervals. But those facts of parental life give truth to some other logical consequences:

·         Nothing grosses you out anymore

·         You dare not stop vacuuming

·         You stay organized because you must

·         You’ve read every cleaning hack on the web  

Since one of the requirements for the speedy selling of your Delaware house involves presenting house hunters with a spick-and-span interior, having dealt with kids’ messes on a daily (or hourly, depending on their ages) basis can put you at the head of the pack. Since “staying organized becomes a survival skill,” as the author points out, you are forced to “become a pro at speed-cleaning.” And that’s a skill that owners who don’t have kids at home (or who have forgotten what it was like) would have trouble matching.

All kidding aside, when you enlist me to help with selling your own Delaware house, we’ll sit down to agree on an advance warning timetable—one that ensures that even if you don’t have the “advantage” of having small kids to keep you at the top of your speed-cleaning game, you’ll have ample time to prepare for showings with a minimum of stress. Experience confirms that after we have created a smoothly running system for managing showings, good results are bound to follow.


To discuss other ways to get ahead of the curve for selling your Delaware house, give me a call!  Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at

More Future Delaware Real Estate Features Include Electronics

Jan 16, 2018

In Delaware real estate, it’s the steak—not the sizzle—that draws serious offers.

Even so, every year about this time it can be useful (and great fun!) to watch what comes out of Las Vegas’ CES gathering. This year’s edition of the Consumer Electronics Show—the annual trade extravaganza that grabs headlines for its bounty of new electronic product unveilings—unveiled a number of smart home tech debuts. Some were, as commentators noted, “weird and wonderful”—while others were potentially important incremental steps toward what will eventually become everyday household necessities. Among those that caught my eye:

·         Echo Plus-connected gadgetry: Amazon’s ubiquitous wifi-connected digital assistant (aka “Alexa”) is getting its/her artificially intelligent mitts into a vast number of home devices, from TVs to toasters. Disneyland-style homes of the future seem ever closer at hand as more and more household appliances and devices become controllable with just a word to your closest Alexa or Google Assistant outlet.

·         5G: Get familiar with this term, which denotes the technology which soon will enable home wireless speeds 100 times faster than the current technology Delaware homes use today. In the unlikely event that your own home still lacks wireless connectivity—we should talk!

·         Smart Rooms: too many to detail, smart bathroom appliances include intelligent showers that save water even as they direct temperature-controlled streams your way; smart kitchens featuring ovens clever enough to shut themselves off when dinner’s ready; and smart driveways that clear themselves of debris.

·         Furbo: a treat-tossing camera/speaker that lets owners remotely spoil pets from anywhere in the world.

·         Robots and More Robots: on hand were a laundry-folding robot; a pair of dancing robots; an owl-like children’s companion robot; and LG’s kitchen helper, a recipe-fetching robot (“Cloi”) that repeatedly stalled (possibly from over-excitement).

The consumer show also demonstrated what looks like an iPad perched on a roller-mounted monopod: a real estate agent robot! Said to be capable of leading prospective renters or buyers on home tours, it answered prospects’ questions via long-distance connection with an actual agent who managed the tour via remote control.


For the foreseeable future, I think I’ll be sticking with less creepy, in-person showings. For those or any other of your own Delaware real estate initiatives, please give me a call! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at, visit more listings at