Listing Courtesy of CONTINENTAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
Last week, those of us who were out and about during the increasingly short daylight hours could take in what looked like the regular number of Rehoboth Beachhomes decked out with the familiar Christmastime paraphernalia. When the weather cooperates, it can’t help but bring a smile to your face to spot the reindeer, Santas, giant candles, elves, menorahs—all the elements that help bring home the familiar feelings the season seldom fails to muster.
I bet it’s just that—the sheer familiarity—that explains a large part of why the magic of Christmas is no exaggeration. Sooner or later we feel it. It grabs us. It’s Christmastime again!
This usually starts (for me at least) with a valiant attempt to reject reality. Sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving, with the first department store ad or the first notes of a carol playing somewhere in the distance, we think “OH NO! – NOT ALREADY!!!” This is the part when the ‘magic’ part of Christmas is nowhere in prospect. The whole concept is at its most materialistic (the ‘material’ being that we haven’t started serious Christmas shopping, are too busy to even think about it, can’t recall whether the turkey pan was wrecked when last year’s gravy got burnt, etc. etc. etc.).
Immediately thereafter, in a truly magical disappearing-of-time act, it’s suddenly a couple of weeks before the big day, when all the preparations had better have been set into motion. It’s already holiday running-around time. This is when we are out and about, and can take in all the Sussex County homes belonging to Rehoboth Beachhomeowners who have the organizational skills that allowed them to erect the reindeer, Santas, giant candles, elves, menorahs, etc. It’s also the time of year when we may begin to experience some of the true magic of Christmas…especially if our running-around to get ready happens at night, when the Christmas lights are ablaze…
For some of us, there is something about those area homes decked out in lights, and the ornaments, and the carols, eggnog, cookies, turkey. Even the fruitcake. It’s the familiarity of the way all the trappings combine to bring back memories: images of our kids’ Christmases, or our parents, or dearest friends…and finally, of our own childhood.
In spite of all the running around, sooner or later, this most special, set-aside top of the year puts us in mind of how very much we treasure the ones who are dearest to us. If we’re lucky enough to have them gathered close, it’s pretty wonderful. If this year, that can’t happen—the memories will have to provide the magic. Sooner or later they usually do.
Whether this Yuletide brings you Christmas or Hanukkah gatherings (or both!), here’s wishing you and yours the happiest, most joyful of holiday celebrations—the kind that create future Christmas magic! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
If anyone involved in Sussex County real estate were to try to pick a word to characterize the mortgage industry as a whole, “sentimental” wouldn’t be among them. Especially over the past several years, “frustrated” might be apt, or “hog-tied.” Mortgage issuers been hampered by tough rules developed in reaction to the sub-prime mortgage mess. They certainly wanted to issue more mortgages, if only for their own profitability, but until recently, the lending guidelines made that difficult.
In any case, this is an industry that relies on hard facts and statistics to govern lending decisions. Mortgage industry leaders are therefore not inclined to be overly optimistic, overly pessimistic—nor are they prone to exaggeration in their public pronouncements.
So when the powers-that-be at Fannie Mae come out each quarter with their Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey, the “sentiment” is not the Cry Me a River or You Are the Sunshine of My Life variety. This “sentiment” describes how real estate lenders (presumably including some Sussex County mortgage companies) feel about mortgage business prospects in the coming months. The actual report has a remarkable record of a lack of sentiment: it’s usually pretty much on target.
So it is that when the 2015 first quarter Survey appeared last month (this is one real estate report whose ‘first quarter’ paper actually appears in the first quarter), it sounded another positive note in the assemblage of springtime real estate projections. The summary talked about “an improving outlook among mortgage lenders” because those surveyed “expect mortgage demand…to grow over the next three months.” The hard number was 71% having that expectation, which wouldn’t be surprising, given our entry into the busy spring selling season. The optimism drew more from the fact that this is a substantial improvement compared with the same quarter 2014 (71% vs. the previous 59%).
If the growth they anticipate holds true for our own market, it wouldn’t just indicate improving activity for Sussex County home buyers and sellers. After what they viewed as an “uneven” 2014, Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan said the results were “consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment, and increasing consumer confidence” pointed to the more cheerful outlook.
Also cheerful was the picture mortgage issuers expected for their own well-being. A year ago, lenders who thought their profitability would increase were in the extreme minority: 21%. This year, the size of the optimistic group doubled.
Local mortgage applicants could find good news in one more of the reasons for the expectation for mortgage demand to grow over the next three months. The report talked about how last year’s credit tightening was continuing to “trend down.” And there at the top was the headline which mentioned “Gradual Credit Easing.” For anyone who had found it hard to qualify under last year’s rules, that’s very welcome news.
If you will be buying or selling anytime soon, I hope you’ll give me a call: the sentiment here is also the green light kind!