Delaware's loveliest neighborhood

Mastering the Midtown Brandywine Market: A Deep Dive with Real Estate Expert Scott Deputy

by | Dec 6, 2023 | Uncategorized, Public Relations Committee

Nestled in the heart of Wilmington, Delaware, the Midtown Brandywine neighborhood has developed and grown as a beacon of urban charm and community resilience. Understanding the intricacies of its real estate landscape is an art mastered by few. Scott Deputy, a seasoned realtor with over 27 years of experience and a lifelong resident of Wilmington, offers a treasure trove of insights into this unique market in an exclusive interview with Midtown Brandywine News.

Scott Deputy: A Wilmington Story

Scott’s journey in the world of real estate and his personal life story intertwines seamlessly with the narrative of Wilmington itself. “I started in real estate back in 1996. It’s been a fascinating journey, not just professionally but personally as well,” he reflects. “I live here in the city with my wife and seven-year-old daughter. And we are active in our community where we live and active outdoors, enjoying the park systems and green spaces that the city of Wilmington and the park system has created for us.”

A martial arts enthusiast and a safety advocate for fellow Realtors, Scott’s multifaceted life adds layers to his understanding of the community he serves. “In my spare time, I stay active outdoors and I am a practicing martial artist and martial arts instructor.  Something that was sort of an unexpected development because of my two passions, real estate and martial arts, I’ve also become a Realtor safety and self-defense expert.  In 2016, I created the first of its kind Realtor safety and self-defense course that was subsequently approved for continuing education credits for licensed salespeople in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Midtown Brandywine: More Than Just a Neighborhood

Scott describes Midtown Brandywine as a neighborhood that stands out for its artistic flair and active community involvement, setting it apart from other city areas. “What makes Midtown Brandywine unique is its soul, the people, and the community spirit you find here,” he says.

Asked about his experience brokering homes in the neighborhood, he says, “It’s been about a half dozen or so in the last five years, maybe a little more than that on the buying and selling side, of course, properties on Tatnall Street, West Street and in between.”

Scott paints a picture of a neighborhood that’s not just a place to live but a neighborhood with a true sense of local community.

“I’m a huge fan, quite frankly, of the Midtown Brandywine neighborhood. Historically, the Trolley Square neighborhood had been the hip, walkable neighborhood. But as it became less and less affordable, I started educating my buyers about the Midtown Brandywine community because it did still provide a wonderful, walkable community with a very active neighborhood and neighbors’ association that provides a great value proposition. And now, with all the development downtown and the improvement of the nightlife and restaurant scene there, it’s become a really great choice for folks that want walkable, urban style living and have access to all those fantastic places that are thriving downtown.”

The development of Midtown Brandywine’s property market

Scott says, “As Midtown Brandywine continues to become more and more walkable, it’s attracting a lot of interest. What I’m seeing over the last couple of months is a median home value that’s coming out somewhere in the range around $350,000 to $355,000, which is great is great to see. And you know, what’s important to keep in mind, especially with a community like Midtown, is that you have such a range of sizes and finishes in your properties. So, you end up with a wide range of value because on the small side you might find a slim two bedroom row home that’s maybe 1300 square feet, which of course would trade for a good bit less than one of those grander three story houses that are more in the 3000 square foot range.”

Asked about 2023 property transaction results, Scott said, “The high-water mark in 2023 was in the $450,000 range. I noticed in the last 12 months there’s been about 11 transfers, so about one a month, which is not a lot of turnovers of course. And historically there have not been a lot of turnovers in Midtown for a lot of different reasons.”

“Average days on market over 2023 was about 17. And quite frankly, while that’s not a high number and historically speaking, it’s pulled up slightly by just a couple of outliers that perhaps weren’t correctly priced for what they had to offer. But most properties that sold and settled were more in the seven days on-market range.”

Strategies for Success: Advice for Sellers in 2024

As he looks to the year ahead, Scott offers strategic advice for potential sellers in 2024. “The key is to understand market dynamics,” he emphasizes. “Be aware of how mortgage interest rates could impact demand. Plan strategically to avoid an oversupply in the micro market.”

“Most indicators and economists are predicting that mortgage interest rates will continue to calm and reduce. So as rates come back down, let’s say into the 6% or even sub-6% range, that’s going to drive demand and further spur the demand that we’ve been seeing, which is good news.”

“The other good news is that demand is still going to continue to outpace supply, which means continued increases in values over time.”

Asked about any seasonal opportunities for would-be sellers, Scott said that while seasonality can be an influence, in Midtown Brandywine’s current market, it is less of a concern.

“From a timing standpoint for sellers, remember that buyers that are ready, willing, and able to purchase may have been in the market for six months already. They’re not stopping their search just because it’s now the holidays or it’s January. What I would caution against is trying to time your sale specifically for, say, a “spring market”, especially for a community that is as well defined as Midtown Brandywine is. What you don’t want is to have a sudden seasonal oversupply in your micro market.”

“As long as the weather is not bad, then you don’t need to wait for a particular season, because the demand is already here right now.”

To refresh or renovate?

Scott is very supportive of houses being reconditioned and brought up to modern standards. “Price and condition are related. The marketplace does have expectations around amenities on the interior, and the property. So there must be some really careful consideration for would-be sellers. Is this going to be an “as is” type of sale, and what’s the impact of that to the potential sold price, versus marking some investment to modernize or prepare for sale?”

“An experienced real estate agent can give good guidance. I will add, regarding refreshment of properties, it’s interesting that as the real estate business evolves, we’re seeing innovative new services for property owners. There’s one that my company partners with, which will perform your pre-listing improvements for a quoted price that is paid for at closing time, and not out of pocket. It is a very interesting solution, especially for folks who can’t invest, say, $10,000 in the bathroom or the kitchen, but can see the value such upgrades for a top-dollar sale.”

“We’re in the HGTV generation of real estate. Buyers have developed certain tastes because they’ve been watching these grand turnarounds on properties. There’s going to be a return on investment, especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Those are the items that sell homes most of the time. That said, a fresh coat of paint and refurbished flooring will also help a lot.”

Navigating the Buyer’s Journey

For buyers, Scott outlines a roadmap to success in Midtown Brandywine’s competitive landscape. “Preparedness is your best tool,” he advises. “Understand your budget and financing options. Be ready to make quick decisions.” He stresses the importance of competitive strategies, including waiving contingencies and covering appraisal gaps, essential in today’s market.

“The first thing to understand is that it’s not easy out there. So, for someone who’s not really sure if this is their time to buy, it may not be the best time for them because it is a highly competitive, contested marketplace.”

“First and foremost is budgeting. You must be clear on the financing side. If you are seeking mortgage financing, you’re going to want to go ahead and take those steps with a trusted lender partner as early as you can. Get clear on what mortgage product makes sense to you.”

“What are your down payment and closing costs options? Are there any assistance programs that might be available depending on your situation? Getting really clear on your numbers is a huge advantage, because it helps you to be confident as you move into this competitive landscape to know exactly where you can compete.”

“The second step would be to get with an experienced real estate agent who can then take you through the process. And that could mean not only pricing but also effectively navigating contingencies.”

Midtown Brandywine: A Community of Distinction

Scott’s affection for Midtown Brandywine shines through as he discusses the neighborhood’s appeal. “It’s the walkability, the proximity to amenities, and above all, the strong sense of community that makes Midtown Brandywine stand out,” he says. His description paints a vivid picture of a neighborhood that offers more than just homes; it offers a lifestyle.

This article originally appeared in Midtown Brandywine News, December 2023.

Do you have a story idea, or a story to contribute?
Please contact us!

Recent Posts

Share The Joy of the Season Dec 12, 2023

Share The Joy of the Season Dec 12, 2023

Lights, holiday song, snacks, cookies and drinks -- Midtown’s annual holiday party returns to the Pocket Park for 2023! Special holiday lights and decor will grace the park courtesy of City Council funds from James Spadola and Michelle Harlee. Rather than traveling to...

President’s Update, December 2023

President’s Update, December 2023

The holiday season in Midtown Brandywine is such a special time and I wanted to take a moment to extend warm wishes to each and every one of you. It’s a time of joy, fellowship and gratitude. Neighbors come together and share their traditions, food, decorations and...

A New Record for Holiday Food Drive!

A New Record for Holiday Food Drive!

YOU DID IT! Starting on November 1, Midtown Brandywine held its traditional Holiday Food Drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware. Little did we know that Midtowners would respond in such an amazing fashion. As of 11/30 at 11am (drive ends at midnight), our amazing...

Porch Pirates on the Prowl

Porch Pirates on the Prowl

It’s the time of year when porch pirates make their presence known by carting away those special gifts you looked high & low for. A recent article in AAA News made some suggestions that may prove helpful in preventing your special Santa Something from being...

Michael Anderson: Diving Deep to Save Coral Reefs

Michael Anderson: Diving Deep to Save Coral Reefs

In the heart of Midtown Brandywine lives a man whose passion for the ocean has led to a global initiative. Michael "Mike" Anderson, a longtime resident of Midtown Brandywine and retired educator, has made it his life's work to preserve and restore one of the planet's...

Natasha Poppe: Crafting Votes, One Postcard at a Time

Natasha Poppe: Crafting Votes, One Postcard at a Time

In the world of digital bombardment, Natasha Poppe, a local artist and volunteer member of the Midtown Brandywine Neighbors' Association, is bringing a unique, personal touch to civic participation through voter postcarding. Her initiative is not just about sending...

Midtown Brandywine News, November 2023

Midtown Brandywine News, November 2023

The November 2023 edition of the Midtown Brandywine News was distributed to every home in the neighborhood on Friday, 3rd November. The digital version may be read from the following link: Midtown Brandywine News, November 2023 (PDF, 11.5MB) Stories in this month's...

Midtown Monarch butterfly program founder Jason Hoover

Midtown Monarch butterfly program founder Jason Hoover

Midtown Brandywine resident, Jason Hoover, has passionately spearheaded the Midtown Monarch Monitors butterfly program, establishing an enthusiastic community around these beautiful creatures in a single season. Aside from his butterfly endeavors, Jason is the...