Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

3 Steps to Set You Up for a Successful Home Purchase

 

There are three critical steps every home buyer should take in order to have a successful transaction. We will go over those steps today.

Buying a home is a big financial decision, whether it’s your first, second, or 10th home. Buying a home is not like buying a car. When you buy a car, you walk around the dealership, pick a car, and go for a test drive. Then you talk to the finance manager to purchase the car, sign some papers, and drive off the lot within a couple of hours.

Buying a home is an entirely different process that definitely takes longer than a couple of hours. We talk to buyers every week who want us to show them houses before they even meet with us face to face! Then, after they find the home they want to purchase, they get frustrated because they were not set up for success.

TALK TO A REALTOR ABOUT YOUR GOALS AND TIMELINE BEFORE ENTERING THE MARKET.

Our team wants to make your real estate dreams a reality. In order to do that effectively, there are three important steps that you need to take. The good news is that, as a buyer, you can work with a Realtor at no cost to you.

So, what are the first three steps you should take in order to have a successful home purchase? Here they are:

1. Make the call. Give us a call and we’ll talk about your motivation and current situation. You may want to buy something this month or in 12 months. However, don’t wait 12 months to start planning your home purchase. Start now so that you are ready when the time comes to make your move.

2. Speak with a mortgage lender. We have a deep network of lenders that we trust who can help you determine how much home you can afford. They will help you find a loan that fits your budget and your timeline. Now, talking to a lender does not mean that your credit will be pulled right away. Your credit will only be pulled when it comes time for the pre-approval process to begin.

3. Have a face to face consultation with us. The buyer consultation gives you and our team a chance to get to know each other. After all, if you hire us to guide you through the process of buying a home, it’s important that you like and trust us. During this meeting, we will go over the home buying process so that you will know exactly what to expect.

These three steps are critical in helping you meet your goals. If you have any other questions about the home buying process or about the real estate market in general, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

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Current Trends in Real Estate Appraisals

 

The appraisal process has changed significantly as of late. They are being scheduled sooner and cost more than they used to.

Over the last few years, several changes have been made in the real estate appraisal process. These changes have had an impact on the buying and selling processes, and we wanted to go over them in further detail today.

An appraisal is an independent third-party report of a home’s value. The appraiser wants to ensure that the collateral that secures the mortgage (the home) is enough to cover the loan. Banks and lenders are risk-averse in nature, so they want to make sure the current market value of a home is in line with the amount being borrowed.

What has changed recently is how appraisals are conducted, how much they cost, and the time frame it takes to complete them. Lenders now order appraisals through a blind bid system and they don’t have much influence on how long it takes for appraisals to b assigned.

Some lenders have established pre-negotiated rush fees to speed things along. I like these lenders because they usually don’t miss closing dates, which is good news for all parties involved.

However, appraisal costs have risen because of this. An appraisal that used to cost $399 can cost over $1,000 and have rush fees as high as $1,500. In the past, lenders waited to order an appraisal. However now, that the process taking up to six weeks now, they are ordering them immediately after the contract is accepted in order to avoid delays.

NOBODY LIKES A LOW APPRAISAL.

In the purchase contract, there are three deadlines around the appraisal process. The first is when the appraisal needs to be completed. The second is when the buyers can object to the appraisal if it comes in lower than the purchase price. Finally, the third deadline is the appraisal resolution deadline, where the buyer and seller need to come to an agreement on solving a low appraisal.

With a low appraisal, the buyer might have to increase their down payment or the seller might have to lower the sale price. Most often, it’s a combination of the two. Remember, appraisals must be disclosed to any other buyers that come along. Simply coming back on the market might not be the best option if that happens.

If you have any questions for us about appraisals, don’t hesitate to ask. We would love to hear from you and look forward to answering them.

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Should You Rent Your Home Out or Sell It?

 

Should you rent your home out or sell it in today’s market? Here’s what you need to know.

As a homeowner, you have two options when it comes to maximizing your investment: sell your home or rent it out. Which is a better option? The answer is usually, “It depends.”

There are several factors to consider when it comes to deciding whether to sell your home or rent it out, and everybody’s situation is a little different.

With current housing inventory still at an all-time low and the demand for homes still at an all-time high, it really is a great time to sell your home, cash out your equity, and roll into your next home purchase. That said, some homeowners do consider keeping their home and renting it out, which is great, but if you’re considering this, just remember that you will be starting a rental business.

Many people simplify this and think that the best option would be to rent their home out in order to put a few extra bucks in their pockets, but the reality is that there is a lot involved in the rental business. For example, you have to consider establishing escrow accounts, tenant background checks, home maintenance and upkeep, possible evictions and vacancies, as well as insurance and tax implications.

INVENTORY IS LOW AND DEMAND IS HIGH, SO NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO SELL YOUR HOME.

Renting out your home does allow you to capitalize on future equity opportunities and create some monthly cash flow, but on the other hand, the market favors sellers and prices are at or near all-time highs. This means that your equity position may be such that you can capitalize on some gains.

If you’d like to learn more about your best options as a homeowner, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email with any questions you may have. My team and I would be happy to get you moving in the right direction!

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5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Fall

 

Fall is upon us. There are five things you should do now to prepare your home for the cold, harsh winter weather.

Fall is upon us and there are five things you can do to prepare your home for the colder weather.

1. Examine your roof, gutters, and downspouts. Your roof is often forgotten about because it’s not at eye-level — out of sight, out of mind. Check the flashing around the chimney and look for any openings in the roof, especially around skylights.

2. Change the filters in your home. Most people are aware of HVAC filters but you may also have filters for your stove, vents, dryer, or fans. Clean filters keep your appliances in working order longer.

3. Prepare your fireplace. Gas log fireplaces are the most common these days, but some homeowners still have traditional wood-burning fireplaces. You need to get these serviced by a qualified professional at regular intervals.

4. Have your garden tools serviced. Sharpen the blades on your lawn mower and trimmer. If you need new garden tools, you may get a great deal by buying some in the fall.

5. Take care of your lawn needs. Aerate the lawn and apply fertilizer to prepare for the cold weather and long winter months. Blow out those sprinklers, too.

By taking care of these things now, you will beat the spring rush by making repairs at the end of the season. If you need any recommendations on who to work with, let me know and I’ll send you a list of vendors.

MAKING REPAIRS NOW WILL HELP YOU BEAT THE SPRING RUSH.

If you have any questions about preparing your home for colder weather or about the real estate market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!

 

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Trends We Are Seeing in the Denver Market

 

Denver is still in a strong seller’s market, but things are beginning to balance out. We are heading toward a more healthy market because of this.

June and July mark the peak of the market here in Denver. The flurry of activity in the market eventually subsides each fall, and 2016 is no different from past years.

Most job relocations take place in late spring and early summer. Traditionally, the later summer months mark the height of vacation travel, and that leads into back to school time for students.

The market still favors sellers right now, but signs of balancing continue to show,particularly in the market around the $400,000 price range. As prices climb, so does inventory. This brings further balance to a heated market. Showings have slowed, which is typical for this time of year.

However, days on market have climbed quite a bit. The average days on market are still hovering around 30 days. As you may expect, higher price point homes have fewer qualified buyers based on the average household income. Price reductions and low offers continue to further support the balancing movement.

A SEASONED PROFESSIONAL CAN HELP IMMENSELY.

The market price of homes is driven by a combination of recent sales, seasonality, availability, and homeowner input. A seasoned professional should see these things and give them weight when writing offers. You can’t know there has been a market shift until you’re already in it. This is where clients can capitalize on a seasoned Realtor’s knowledge for guidance.

To sum it up, the local market is still very strong and favoring sellers. The market is trending towards being balanced, but Denver is still one of the most active markets in the U.S. Appraisal completion times and costs are at an all-time high, so keep that in mind if you plan on buying or selling as it may affect your timeline.

If you have any questions for us at all, don’t hesitate to give us a call or shoot us an email. We would love to hear from you!

 

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Buying a home? Search all homes for sale

What Qualities Should Buyers and Sellers Look For When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

 

When I ask people what qualities they look for in an agent, I receive many different responses. The most common are integrity, experience, honesty, great communication, knowledge of their local market, and personal compatibility.  All these are important, but really, these are the minimum expectations.

Most people don’t say that they want an agent who clearly identifies and understands my needs and goals, but that’s exactly what you need. Prescription without diagnosis is malpractice. You wouldn’t expect to walk into your doctor’s office and say, “I want to feel better,” and have them immediately write you a prescription without problem-solving.

It’s the same scenario with the average agent. Voltaire once said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Understanding the why of your move will lead to the right strategy for your move.

For instance, if you’re moving for a job relocation, the net profit from your home may not be your number one focus. You may be more concerned with the time frame, or how flexible a buyer can be on the closing date. Average agents don’t think in those terms. They just focus on netting the highest amount for the home, period. That certainly is important, but again, other factors can come into play.

By clearly identifying client goals at the initial meeting, we are able to create a marketing plan and put together the ideal contract for you.  With a solid plan in place, top agents can deliver a top experience.

If you have any questions, give us a call or send us an email.

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Should Homeowners Trust Zillow?

 

People always ask my opinion of online evaluation sites and their accuracy. It’s important to know most online evaluation sources use basic algorithms with generalized information to estimate home values. It’s that simple! Often, Zillow estimates are off by 5% to 15%.
The best way to price a home is to closely analyze everything about it. Looking at a home physically also helps, too. Zillow cannot actually go into a home to examine the property and analyze certain factors. A website can’t tell you how living next to a garbage dump affects your home value. If you use online valuation sites, refer to them as a starting point. They’re a resource for anyone beginning their search.

However, a professional Realtor can provide a comprehensive analysis. I do it for free all the time. If you’re interested in more information about buying a home in Colorado, just ask. I’m happy to help you by phone phone or email! Let’s talk.

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Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale.

Good Credit vs Bad Credit

I occasionally get people in my office who want to buy a home, but they have no credit history whatsoever. This leads me to a good question: is it better to have bad credit or no credit?
From the perspective of a lender, it is riskier to lend to someone with no credit history at all than someone with bad credit. They have no way of telling if you are good at making payments or not. When you have bad credit, we can fix it. But if you have no credit at all, there is no way of telling what kind of borrower you might be.
A lot of the time, no credit ends up getting you no mortgage. This is why it’s not a terrible idea to start building credit now. You can buy a credit card and put a very small balance on it, and pay it off month to month to build a little bit of consistent credit history.

It’s surprising to most people, but it is better to have bad credit than no credit at all. If you want to buy a home in the future, I highly suggest that you begin to build credit now.

If you need help buying or selling in Denver, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
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Keep the Closing Process Moving Forward

Once a home is under contract, there are several dates and deadlines that need to be met to close on the agreed upon closing date. A delay in closing could create implications for both parties. For instance, it could be interest rate changes, added negotiations, or changing the date of the move-in day. However, there are ways to dodge and prevent delays.

  • Agents should watch out for any problems early on. It is up to the agent to maintain consistent communication between all parties. A seasoned agent will know what to look for and can address any situations that may arise. 
  • Keep lenders in the loop. It’s crucial for communication among lenders and their clients. Avoid delaying lenders by ensuring they have all the requested financial documentation they need. A delay in the loan process could result in a delay in the closing date. 
  • Be aware of last minute seller surprises. Sellers can sometimes delay the process by requesting to move out later and failing to fix repairs. Be prepared for anything and allow adequate time for repairs to be addressed and fixed. 
  • Keep all finances stable. The slightest change in debt or financial obligations will most likely affect the ability to close on a mortgage. Prior to closing, avoid buying a new car, opening a new credit card, and investing in any major purchases. This is not an opportune time to change your credit!
Delays can be avoided by effective planning. If you notice any issues early on, communicate that concern to all relevant parties! If you have any questions about this topic or more, feel free to reach out to me by phone or email. I’d be happy to serve your real estate needs!
Want to sell your home? Get a FREE home value report. 
Want to buy a home? Search all homes for sale.

The Home Buyer Consultation

The home buyer consultation is the first step we recommend to all of our clients when they have decided they are going to purchase a home. This decision could be made to buy a home immediately or within the next 12 – 18 months. Whenever it is, it’s never to early to start planning!

Too often I talk to home buyers who just want our team to show them a home and help them with the transaction. These are definitely things our team does, but we prefer to do them after we have had a chance to meet with you face-to-face and discuss your real estate goals.

Buying a home is not like buying a car. It is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make and an investment that will hopefully yield you great returns! A good Realtor is not here to just sell you a home, they are there to help you achieve your real estate goals.

This is what you can expect from our team whether you are buying, selling or investing in real estate!