Colorado Real Estate Market Housing Helpers

Indicators that Could Signal a Boost in the Real Estate Market

It’s no secret that the real estate market has slowly recovered from the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Between the inability of would-be home buyers to save for an adequate down payment, and the higher qualification standards for mortgages, many first-time buyers have been priced out of the market. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

The Rock

There were a number of factors that led to people’s inability to save for an adequate down payment. Most significant was an unemployment rate in the high single digits (7.5% or higher) for four-and-a-half years (January, 2009 thru June, 2013). Add to that increasing rents and higher student loan debt, and you get a decline in first-time home buyers from 47% in 2009 to just 33% this year.

The Hard Place

As if the rock wasn’t bad enough, the Federal Government enacted sweeping reforms to the mortgage lending industry in response to the underlying cause of the financial crisis – sub-prime mortgages and related securities. Many argue that they overcompensated. But that’s a topic for another day. Suffice it to say that a lot of people, even those who actually could afford mortgages, were frozen out of the housing market because they couldn’t qualify for a loan under the revised standards.

Better Days Ahead

It’s beginning to look like there are better days ahead. The space between the rock and hard place that would-be home buyers have been squeezed between over the past five years is beginning to open up.

Since July, 2009 the unemployment rate has been on a downward trajectory through the mid single digits (between 5.0% and 7.5%). In addition to that, inflation has been below 3% two of the last six years, below 2% four of the last six years, and is on track to be below 2% for 2014. So, with more and more people working and inflation tracking very low, people are better able to save.

But the good news doesn’t end there. There are signs to indicate that qualifying for a mortgage is going to start getting a little bit easier. In a speech delivered by Mel Watt, Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to the annual conference of The Mortgage Bankers Association, he signaled that they could loosen their mortgage underwriting standards, and that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will still purchase the loans, without much recourse if the loans turn sour.

This is all good news for home buyers in general, and first-time home buyers in particular because it opens up the real estate market to them. As a result, we should begin to see an increase in the percentage of first timers.

Apartment Kitchen Improvement Tips, Apartment Finder Boulder Colorado

Four ways to spruce up your apartment kitchen

Apartment living has its advantages.  You love the location, the community, and the rent of your apartment. However, the kitchen could use a little work.  However most apartment communities wont allow renters to make significant changes to the apartment interiors.

You’re feeling frustrated because you know that you can’t make permanent changes to this less-than-desirable space. Cheer up because here are some modifications you can do and still reverse when you move out of your apartment.

  • Change the cabinet hardware. The knobs and handles on your kitchen cabinets and drawers are typically just screwed in. So if you don’t like the style, unscrew the hardware and replace them with more suitable options from the home center store. But keep the old stuff so you can put them back on when you leave the apartment.

 

  • Expand with shelves. Are the kitchen cabinets dark or outdated? For a more modern look, remove a few of the doors to reveal the shelves and expand the visual space. Add inexpensive mirrored tile behind some of the shelves to reflect light. Put most of your plates behind closed doors. Reserve the revealed shelving for a few well-chosen kitchen accessories.

 

  • Keep beauty underfoot. Because kitchens are usually a high traffic area, they can look worn and dirty quickly. If cleaning the floor doesn’t fix it, lay down some brightly colored kitchen rugs with interesting patterns. Be sure they have non-slip back and are machine-washable.

 

  • Go bold. Many windowless apartment kitchens have a blank wall that may be the first thing you see when you enter the space. Turn this into a focal point by adding a large, colorful, and bold graphic. The pic can be framed or wrap it around a large board, which you can then hang from a hook on the wall.

Don’t let your apartment kitchen get you down.  On a budget and with a little creativity it can be your favorite room in your home.  And if you still haven’t found an apartment that you love, well Housing Helpers can help you with that.   Our Apartment Finder service is a great way to search for your next apartment in Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield, Denver, and throughout Colorado.   Our apartment finder service is free for renters and we have hundreds of rental properties to choose from.

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Boulder Real Estate Market Statistics November 2014

November 2014 Boulder Real Estate Market Sales Statistics

The Boulder Area Realtor Association compiles the following monthly real estate sales statistics for Boulder and surrounding Boulder County Areas.

Year to Year Detached Home Sales

  • Detached home sales declined by one unit or .38 percent in November 2014 compared to November 2013; 261 units versus 262 units.

 Month to Month Detached Home Sales

  • Detached Home sales in November 2014 dropped 15.5 percent compared to October 2014; 261 units versus 309 units.

 Detached Home Inventory Trends

  • The year to year inventory of detached homes for sale in November 2014 dropped by 10.3 percent compared to November 2013; 937 units versus 1045 units.
  • The month to month inventory of detached homes for sale in November 2014 fell 17.5 percent compared to October 2014; 937 units versus 1136 units.

Year to Year Condominium and Townhome Sales

  • Condominium and townhomes sales jumped 27.0 percent in November 2014 compared to November 2013; 108 units versus 85 units.

 Month to Month Condominium and Townhome Sales

  • Condominium and townhome sales fell 17.6 percent in November 2014 compared to October 2014; 108 units versus 131 units.

 Condominium and Townhome Inventory Trends

  • The year to year inventory of condominiums and townhomes for sale fell 8.1 percent in November 2014 compared to November 2013; 238 units versus 259 units.
  • The month to month inventory of condominiums and townhomes for sale in November 2014 dropped 9.8 percent compared to September 2014; 238 units versus 264 units.

**NOTES

Credit-  Thanks to the Boulder Area Realtor Association for providing the November 2014 Boulder Real Estate Market statistics.

  • November 2014 Boulder real estate market sales statistics, while somewhat mixed, suggest a trending toward a traditional year-end slow down
  • November 2014 sales of condominiums and townhomes leaped (27%) year-over-year, reflecting weak sales in November 2013, but pulled back sharply (-17.6%) month-over-month in 2014.
  • Both detached and condominium and townhome month-over-month sales and inventories declined sharply in November 2014.
  • While November 2014 year-over-year detached and condominium and townhome sales remained stable, year-over-year inventories tightened noticeably.

For more information about the Boulder Real Estate Market and Boulder Home Sales trends please contact a Housing Helpers realtor at 303.545.6000.

Homes For Sale in Boulder

Boulder Rental property owners invited to public forum

Boulder area rental property owners, property managers, and management companies are invited to discuss how best to achieve “Design Excellence” in Boulder

Boulder community members are invited to attend a “Design Excellence” public forum from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 10, in the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) at 1750 13th St. The City of Boulder’s Design Excellence Initiative is intended to support a broad community discussion about what is and is not working with current design policies for buildings and the public realm, as well as evaluate built projects to determine whether desired outcomes are being achieved.

Urban planner Victor Dover, cofounder of Dover, Kohl & Partners and coauthor of Street Design: The Secret of Great Cities and Towns, will lead the discussion and present relevant best practices for design and development strategies that help connect neighborhoods, strengthen commercial districts, expand travel options, enhance community character, and improve quality of life.

The discussion and presentation will be framed by observations of recent developments in Boulder, some recently completed and some still under construction, which resulted from key planning policy decisions made by the city during the last 10 to 15 years. The focus of the conversation will be on design-related issues and best practices from other communities that are relevant to the Boulder context.

The Boulder Design Advisory Board and the Planning Board are scheduled to have a joint session with Victor Dover from 5 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, in the Twenty Ninth Street Community Room at 1750 29th St., Suite 1062. Mr. Dover will also host a similar discussion at the City Council study session on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at the Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway.

During the next several months, the Design Excellence Initiative will continue the community discussion about design and development issues. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to develop recommended strategies to address community concerns related to development outcomes, including (but not limited to) potential changes to codes, incentives, development review processes, design guidelines, and/or review criteria.

The recommendations of the Design Excellence Initiative will help inform the city’s coordinated planning efforts, including the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan 2015 Update, Civic Area Implementation, Access Management and Parking Strategy, Envision East Arapahoe, North Boulder Subcommunity Plan Update, and Transportation Master Plan Implementation.

Visit www.BoulderDesignExcellence.com for more information and to sign up for email updates.  The opinions of Boulder rental property owners and Boulder property management companies is valuable insight that we hope is included in the discussion, please attend if you can.

Property Management Services      Boulder Property Management Companies

Renting versus buying a home.

You might be asking yourself if it is the right time for you to buy a house. Maybe you have been saving up money for a while and have a nice down payment. You could be asking yourself if you should buy a home or rent one.  There are advantages to both.

However, there can be many benefits to renting a home instead of buying one.

  • You are not tied down to a house or a specific location. When your lease is up, you are free to try to move to another area.
  • You do not have to worry about the costs of repairing a home. Instead, it is usually the landlord’s responsibility. You do not have to worry about replacing appliances, the roof, or any other costly repairs.
  • You do not have to pay taxes when you rent. Taxes can be quite costly. Even though they are included in the mortgage, they add up.
  • You will also have to pay insurance for you house. Though renter’s insurance is available, it is much cheaper than home insurance, if you decide to get it.
  • You do not have to worry about maintaining a home. You may not even be required to do any outside work.
  • It is often cheaper to rent than own your own home. Maybe you can even invest that money that you saved.
  • Often, when people rent, they choose a smaller home with less rooms to clean. The outside is also considerably less area to take care of also. Many time landscaping is included with a rental.
  • Renting could be considered safer than owning your own home. With the economy being the way it is, many people worry about losing their income and their homes.
  • Many times, some extra costs are included in the rent. You may not have to worry about electricity and water. Yes, that will make your rent higher but you won’t have to write more checks each month.
  • You do not have to worry about being foreclosed on and losing your home. Yes, you can get kicked out of your apartment but the implications to your credit and ability to secure new housing usually is not as severe.
  • When you rent, it is much easier to move, no matter the reason – you don’t like the place, neighborhood, neighbors, noise, etc. With a house, you are stuck there until you are able to sell it- even if you don’t like your neighbors!

Renting a home might be something to consider. You will be able to move as you need to. You will not have to worry about the extra costs of owning a home, including the repairs, maintenance, taxes, and insurance - save the money, and invest it so you will have more money when you retire.

Search:  Colorado Apartments Rentals     Boulder Apartment Rentals

 

 

Relocation Services Housing Helpers of Colorado

Five tips for a successful Relocation

Whether you are used to moving or not, relocation can be a stressful time. Packing up and moving across several states can be difficult. Relocating and starting out somewhere new is equally stressful. You need to find a new place to live, a new community, and new friends. However, with a little bit of patience and plans, it can go smoothly.

Here are five simple tips to help your relocation go a little smoother.

  1. Ask for a Relocation Package.   If you are moving for your job, ask if they have job relocation package or some type of relocation assistance available. If they do not, be prepared to negotiate. Relocation can be very expensive and they might be willing to help cover some of the costs.

  2. Take a trip.  If you have time, try to take a trip to your new location to explore before you move. This will give you a chance to see where you are going to be living. You might be able to explore different neighborhoods, talk to some people about the schools, and more. You can find out what there is to do around the town for both you and your whole family.

  3. Don’t rush into buying.  Start by renting (short term, if possible) instead of buying a home or signing a long term lease. You should always try renting a month to month or corporate apartment if possible. Though it will take a few months to get used to a new location, you do not want to buy a home if you might not like the job or your new neighborhood.  Corporate housing serves perfectly for an interim living situation during a relocation.

  4. Stay organized. A big relocation move requires a lot of organization. Be prepared to make a lot of lists and follow them.   You\r relocation company or moving company should be able to provide you with some handy lists to keep your move organized.

  5. Use a local realtor. A good LOCAL realtor in your destination City is one of the best tools you can have. She will know a lot about the location where you are looking plus the best way to buy a home there. She will be able to help you through the whole inspection and buying process.  Many will also be able to help you settle into the neighborhood.

Relocation can be a very scary term. However, with a lot of organization ( and help from good relocation professionals and realtors ), you will be settled in your new home in no time. You should always try to visit the area - and spend time there - before you move so you can see if you are going to like living there. Also, try to find a place where you can rent month to month instead of buying a home, just in case.

For relocation assistance in Colorado you can call Housing Helpers at 303.545.6000 and we will make your relocation that much easier!

Relocation Services     Real Estate Agents     Corporate Housing

Fall Preleasing Boulder Colorado

2015 Fall Preleasing in Boulder, a CU Students Guide to finding off campus rentals in Boulder

Welcome to 2015 Fall preleasing in Boulder!

Fall preleasing in Boulder is that time of year where CU students start looking to find off campus rentals in Boulder for next year – and when property owners look to sign leases for next year, typically in August.

Every year, here at Housing Helpers, we put together a guideline for University of Colorado Boulder Students, Parents, Faculty, and those looking to secure a place to rent off campus in Boulder for the following academic season.   From tools and tips, to help searching for the prefect apartment or home rental in Boulder, we are here to help you.

Where to find rental properties available for Fall Preleasing in Boulder

Here at Housing Helpers in Boulder we connect thousands of CU student renters each year with great rental properties in Boulder.  We are here to help students and their families navigate the hundreds of choices for student rental properties in Boulder to find the right one for you.   Our office is open six days a week and is staffed with friendly rental specialists that can answer your questions. Our office is located one block from the University of Colorado at 2865 Baseline Rd.  Call Us 303-545-6000

Housing Helpers Boulder’s Fall Preleasing Headquarters!

How to be prepared for Fall Preleasing in Boulder

Tip 1 – Set up a time to come in and meet with a rental locating specialist here in our office.  Make sure that all of your roommates can attend the meeting together.   Call our office at 303.545.6000 to set your appointment.

Tip 2 -  Once we identify a list of properties that meets your needs we will set up the showings for you.   Be on time for your showings and make sure that everyone that needs to see the property is present- whether its roommates, parents, cosigners etc.  Properties go fast, often times there is no time for multiple showings.

Tip 3 -  Have your security deposit check ready.  Some landlords may require a cashier’s check or money order, but we find that most will accept a bank check.  Check with your bank ( or your parents) in advance to make sure you are ready to put down a deposit.

Tip 4- Applications will need to be filled out.  These can take a few minutes.  To save time you can complete these in advance and be one step ahead of the game!   Application fees will need to be paid once your applications are submitted for the property.  These fees can vary depending on the property.

Tip 5 – Parental guarantee forms may be required.  These are forms that your parents will need to fill out.  Just like the application fees you can have these completed in advance so that you are ready to rent that perfect place when you find it!

Tip 6 – Know the occupancy laws.  If you are renting in Boulder check with the City to make sure the property you are renting allows the number of occupants that you have.   Here is good resource for more information on this.  https://bouldercolorado.gov/public-works/city-of-boulder-occupancy-regulations

Tip 7 – Working fast is key.   Fall prelease properties in Boulder move fast!  If you are interested in a property chances are there are others interested in it as well.    Be ready to act quickly to secure that property and take action as soon as you are interested.  Leases are made on a first come first serve basis.

Tip 8 – Don’t fret if you don’t find a place right away.  Consider waiting it out until the spring and summer months, there are lots of properties that don’t prelease in advance.  And many times the rent prices on those properties will be less.

Fall preleasing in Boulder can be stressful for students and parents.  Just remember, we are here to Help!  Let our experience and expertise in the Boulder rental market take away some of the stress and help make the process of finding a new place to live easier.   We look forward to working with you!   You can reach our Boulder office at 303-545-6000, open Monday through Saturdays.

 

 

Colorado resorts rebounding from recession

When you told your friends that you were relocating to Colorado, someone probably assumed that you’d take up skiing in your spare time. Seeing how the front range is in close proximity to a number of the state’s best resorts, there would be no reason not to assume that.

According to a recent article in the Denver Post, the resorts have woken up from their recession slumber and are seeing the highest number of new hotels and fractional homes under construction since 2007-08, when the recession began. The recession hit the tourism industry across the nation particularly hard, as people had less money to spend on vacation. With the money coming back into the state now, the resort communities and the companies who own property there have more to invest in the projects that have long been put on hold.

The resort industry is not coming back in quite the same way, however. According to the article, fewer of the new construction projects would be considered grandiose. Instead, they’re more affordable. Approachable. They’re an attempt to seek a crowd that may not be as quick to make buying decisions, and are more likely to be looking for something for the long term, rather than a quick financial play.

Residents of Colorado truly have the best of all worlds: Thriving business communities in which to work; vibrant communities full of arts, culture, and top-of-the-line educational opportunities in which to live; and plenty of nearby mountains where they can enjoy time away. If you’re ready for that kind of life, then contact us. We’ll help you find your new home in Colorado.

Colorado Relocation Services    Colorado Real Estate Agents

Arvada Colorado plans net-zero community

Arvada Colorado could soon be home to the largest net-zero community in North America. According to the Denver Post, a net-zero community is one who makes as much energy as it consumes, using power from only solar, wind, or geothermal generation systems.

 

Developer Norbert Klebl’s planned 25-acre Geos neighborhood was put on the back burner in 2009 due to economic woes. However, it’s now a priority again, the Post reported, with the developer having worked with the city for the past two years to get mixed use permits and approve a modified zoning code for the development. That said, the city was in favor of the project all along as it addresses sustainability and efficiency — both important considerations for a location reaching full build out.

 

The project provides for 308 units, including solar cottages and multi-family homes. The homes will feature construction that reduces energy consumption by 75 percent and provide 60 percent of winter heating needs through the sun in the windows.

 

Though the homes have higher upfront costs, Klebl says the cost will be returned through lower utility costs. However, the Post article notes, banks often don’t want to cover the higher mortgage of energy efficient homes, which makes the sale of them more reliant on buyers with disposable income.

 

Are you looking for homes in Colorado with energy efficient features and sustainable construction? Housing Helpers can assist you in finding the home of your dreams in Arvada Colorado or neighboring cities by learning about your priorities and searching for homes that fit both your wants and your needs. For more information about our personalized relocation services in Arvada Colorado, contact us today.

 

 

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Broomfield Colorado First Bank Center

Broomfield Colorado leaders vision new downtown

Broomfield Colorado doesn’t want a traditional looking downtown. According to a report from the Boulder Daily Camera, the city’s leaders are, instead, seeking proposals from developers who share their vision of what the space should look like: a gathering space that includes recreation opportunities, housing, and shops into a park-like area that reflects Broomfield’s sense of community.

Broomfield never had a downtown area that the city developed around. The planned 61-acre Civic Center project calls for such an area to include existing buildings and apartment homes, as well as bike and pedestrian trails near city hall, the library and the auditorium, as well as upgrades to the Community Park pond, the report stated.

Currently, buildings occupy about 15 of the 61 acres of the Civic Center area, with the rest consisting of parks, undeveloped land, and the Brunner Reservoir. According to the plan, about 9.8 acres of the undeveloped land will be used for new commercial buildings as well as 60 to 70 apartment units. 40 percent of the land will be reserved for open space.

City leaders say that the intention for designing the Civic Center like this is to provide plenty of room for activities and entertainment. They envision providing a place where a family can go and spend half the day enjoying their time together, the report stated. The city’s longterm goal is actually to develop several dowtown-like areas to be utilized and appreciated by residents as Broomfield Colorado continues to grow.

Are you looking to live in a nontraditional community? Broomfield Colorado might be just what you’re after. Whether you’re coming here for work or a change of pace, let Housing Helpers assist you in finding the home of your dreams. For more information, contact us 303.545.6000

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