Listing Courtesy of LONG AND FOSTER-REHOBOTH
Rehoboth Beach's economy, like all others, is largely dependent upon consumers doing what consumers are supposed to do: buy! Why they make their decision to behave or not is every bit as complicated as you would suppose. It’s the product of how their own careers are faring; how the greater economy (and the economy in Rehoboth Beach) are doing; even how the world economy is behaving—or seems likely to behave anytime soon.
In all of this, the hard facts about how the economy is actually doing are not just backward-looking, they’re also slow to arrive. Worse yet to those who think numbers should mean something definite, the numbers are frequently recalculated later. The latest ‘jobs’ numbers or the ‘housing starts’ numbers, when they are announced, are often accompanied by a statement that the previous quarters number has been "revised to" x. If you are a local business person who makes projections based on the best information available, that wouldn’t be the new number—it would be the previous, now revised number: very old information.
There is one way around this, though, and that’s fortunate. Everybody has the same reliability and timeliness problems, yet have to have some basis for making discretionary spending decisions. The usual solution is to rely upon measurements not of the actual economy’s activity now or in the past, but of what most people expect that activity to be in the future.
Yes, that kind of measurement is ‘soft’—opinion, rather than hard data. But if those expectations are widely publicized, they affect what actually comes to pass. If consumers are bullish on the future, well, that’s reassuring news! Rehoboth Beach businesses are encouraged to stock their shelves. People are more likely to list their Rehoboth Beach homes for sale. The local economy looks better and better! On the other hand, if consumers are depressed about the future, caution will prevail. Businesses will hold off on new hires and trim their inventories. You can’t be too careful, after all. To some degree, consumer expectations often become self-fulfilling prophesies.
That’s why latest consumer confidence reports are the best news for the future of the economy we’ve heard for some time. Last week, Reuters ran the headline, "U.S. Consumer Sentiment at Eight-Year High"; the Business Insider, "Consumer Confidence Crushes Expectations." Reuters attributed the burst of citizen optimism to "improved prospects for jobs and wages, and on lower gasoline prices…"
The University of Michigan co-sponsors the index upon which the numbers are based, which showed December’s reading of consumer sentiment at 93.8, "the highest reading since January 2007." That was a full 4 points above the median that had been previously forecast by 70 economists. It was also 5 points higher than the final reading for November.
If the Rehoboth Beach economy perks up as anticipated, area real estate watchers should expect a noticeable uptick in activity—particularly if mortgage interest rates stay low, and inflation remains a non-factor (the same survey pegged consumer inflation expectations at 2.9%). If you are an Rehoboth Beach homeowner or prospective buyer with an equally upbeat outlook, it’s good reason to give me a call to discuss how your plans dovetail with a rebounding market!
This year, all signs point to Sussex County real estate market being a sizzling hot one. For anyone who will be selling a property soon, it’s time to take stock of the factors that will influence how attractive (and competitive) their offering will turn out to be,
Always near the top of the list is, of course, location: location as geography (how close it is to Sussex County’s key shopping, parks and recreation areas) and location as setting (how desirable is the surrounding neighborhood).
And when it comes to location, a stubborn fact of life is that selling a property in a rundown neighborhood can be a real challenge. Sometimes, neglectful neighbors can be the problem. According to the President of the Appraisal Institute, a property with an overgrown yard or peeling paint can readily reduce a neighbor’s sale price by 5%-10%. In run-down neighborhoods where foreclosures are common or crime levels are high, selling a local property for what would be an otherwise reasonable price can be all but impossible. Even so, there are some steps that can be taken.
Establish a preferred route…
Most marginal neighborhoods are a mix of unsightly and good areas. To insure that potential buyers are first aware of the positive elements in your neighborhood, be sure you and your agent are on the same page for providing the most attractive route to reach your property. Sooner or later any future buyer will certainly be exposed to the less desirable blocks—but that first impression should be the best it can be.
…avoid overspending on improvements…
When selling a property in a bad neighborhood, it’s always tempting to compensate by spending on renovations. But perspective should come into play: there is likely to be an upward limit that any house in a challenging neighborhood can sell for. By not overspending on improvements, wise sellers maximize their flexibility when it comes to negotiating price.
…even tidy up a neighboring property!
The thought of taking responsibility for a neighboring property is hardly appealing. It’s not your fault that they have let their yard become overgrown or allowed their front fence to be peeling paint. But if you judge that a relatively simple amount of effort will greatly improve a neighboring property’s appearance, consider telling the neighbor that you will be selling a property and wonder if you could give them a hand with their yard. If you are tactful enough, some neighbors will even volunteer to solve the problem themselves.
Selling a Sussex County property in a less-than-stellar neighborhood is undeniably a challenge. The key is to fix the things that you can while avoiding overspending on improvements. Often selling a property in a run-down neighborhood comes down to a question of price: determining that in advance can make the best outcome most likely.
Thinking of buying or selling soon? Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.