If you are considering selling your home then nothing works better (or harder) to sell your home than some good, old-fashioned curb appeal.
Buyers interested in a new house look for many home features, updates, and upgrades, but it all begins outside in the front of the house.
If you’re interested in learning more, here are some helpful tips to boost your home’s curb appeal and inspire buyers to move on your listing.
1. Front Door. The front door is an invitation to your home. Painting it an appealing color and upgrading hardware is recommended if you want prospective buyers to pay attention. Even if you don’t have the time or money to do other minor upgrades, a new coat of paint will do wonders.
2. Garage Door. Consider your garage door’s placement in relation to the front of your home. Now consider how old and outdated it is. If your garage door has seen better days, a new garage door is in your future.
3. Lighting. Exterior home lighting is often overlooked, unfortunately. But for those who have spent a lot of their time improving their landscape, lighting can really make the front of your house pop. Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer and take a look at where lighting would add value.
4. Landscaping. Now that we mention landscaping, how long has it been since you made a landscaping improvement? In the interest of saving money, we won’t advise that you pick up the phone and call a landscaping company. Rather, just add a few new shrubs, flowers, and decorative rocks to turn your front lawn up to 10.
5. Declutter. Clean up and shape up areas that need some TLC. After a long winter, leaves, limbs, and debris begin to clutter up a front yard. Before you list your home, especially before you take pictures, straighten up any part of your yard that has seen better days.
A little curb appeal can go a long way when it’s time to sell your home. Just follow our tips for a successful spring sale.
If you are considering selling your home and curious what your home might sell for then check out our free Home Valuation service. What is My Home Worth?
Buying a home is stressful, and there are many things that could easily go wrong. Before you begin your house hunting, make sure to know the dos and don’ts of buying a home.
Here are five things home buyers should never do.
1) Increase Your Budget
Once you begin house hunting, you will come across some “dream homes” that send your budget soaring! Before you set off on your hunt, make sure to sit down and find a budget that works for you.
Keep in mind that additional costs and fees may be factored in during the buying process, so save room for fluctuation.
2) Settle For Less
It’s important to know what you and your family want in a new home. Make a list of features that are most important to you, and prioritize them ahead of time. This will help you understand which homes you can weave out, and which ones might be a good match. If you find yourself really debating a purchasing decision, then don’t settle for less than what you aimed for, there are plenty of homes to choose from.
You don’t want to settle for a home that doesn’t fit well with your lifestyle.
3) Find The Cheapest Inspector
The inspection is a vital part of the home buying process. If you don’t invest in someone who will take the job seriously, or who might not have the best experience, then you might find yourself stuck with a home that has a lot of problems that your inspector failed to find in the first place.
Finding the right inspector who will check every nook and cranny of your soon-to-be home could save you money in the long run.
4) One Realtor
Not all realtors are perfect. If you are having a difficult time with your realtor, whether they don’t work with your schedule, aren’t finding ideal homes, etc., then don’t be afraid to move on to someone new. Remember, this is a home that you will be living in for quite some time, you don’t want to miss out on opportunities because your realtor was not a good match.
A good realtor should make you feel that your searches were worth it, and if you find yourself clashing with them, then it’s ok to get help elsewhere
5) Make Large Purchases
During your home buying process, your credit score will be viewed. Make sure to hold off on making large purchases, such as a car, boat, or flat screen TV, until your new home is a done deal and you have the keys in your hand.
Your credit score can fluctuate depending on what you buy, and you don’t want to ruin it right before you close on the perfect home!
If you need more help with buying a home in Colorado, please feel free to contact Housing Helpers Colorado real estate agents.
If you’ve looked at the Colorado real estate market lately, you know that home prices have been growing at a steady pace for many months now. If you thought of buying a home last year, and waited to see what the market would do, you may be regretting your decision now.
Every passing month brings higher appraisals, and you may find yourself waffling between buying a home now, so you can get in on some of the incredible appreciation Colorado homeowners are enjoying, or waiting it out to see if these high prices are just a bubble that is going to burst, leaving you on the hook for a higher mortgage than you can sell your home for. It’s times like these you may wish you had a crystal ball.
However, if you understand what’s behind the booming real estate market in Colorado, fortune-telling skills may not be necessary. Some have speculated the increased demand for homes in the Colorado real estate market has more to do with more people being drawn to move to Colorado for alternative reasons we haven’t seen before.
There has been a correlation between the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and the increasing cost of homes. The state of Washington has seen a very similar housing boom lately. More people are moving into these two states to legally enjoy marijuana, and so there is more demand for housing than there are available houses. As long as supply exceeds demand, housing costs will continue to rise.
According to the CNN Money article, “How Legal Marijuana Biz is Boosting Denver’s Housing Market”
“In a normal market, Denver typically has around 24,000 listings, according to Moye. But right now, she said, there are only around 4,000. But there is a nagging question of just how long the real estate buzz will last. Moye said the market has room to run for five to seven years barring any major economic disasters.”
This means that even though we’re seeing high prices in homes today, the prices could easily continue to get higher. You can still buy real estate in Colorado today and possibly sell in four or five years and turn a profit. But ultimately there is no guarantee on how long the Colorado real estate market boom will last – as long as people are drawn here it will provide a strong stable pool of buyers and renters. There are many reasons that people are drawn to Colorado, legal marijuana is just one more reason the Colorado real estate market remains strong.
You don’t have to spend much time in Boulder to realize that the Colorado real estate market is going a little crazy! Houses are appreciating at unheard of rates, which is great news for homeowners, but it can be more than a little frustrating for anyone trying to buy a home.
Buyers are having to be pretty patient, putting in offers well above the asking price, and brushing off rejection when their offer isn’t accepted and the house they love is sold to someone else. Most homes in Colorado are selling quickly with homeowners receiving many competitive offers. So the vast majority of buyers will put offers in on several homes before they have an offer accepted.
If you want to increase your odds of having your offer accepted, there is one simple thing you can do. In addition to submitting the strongest offer you can submit, you can write a personal letter to the seller.
A personal letter should introduce yourself and your family. It should explain why you are buying a house now, and why you are specifically excited about this particular house.
Homeowners get attached to the homes they have live in, and they want to know that the new owner will love and appreciate their home as much as they have. It may seem silly, but often times the personal touch of a letter makes all the difference to a seller who can have their pick of buyers.
We would be happy to help you find your perfect home in Colorado, and we can share our expertise on putting together offers that are appealing to sellers in this hectic Colorado real estate market.
Call our Real Estate Agents at (303) 545-6000.
Are you considering buying a home in Colorado? If so, you’ll want to act fast. Colorado has one of the hottest housing markets in the country. A growing job market, coupled with other factors, such as low numbers of new homes being built, have made the state’s real estate market go red-hot.
For instance, in Denver, home prices are up 11 percent since last year, according to data from Live Urban. Meanwhile, the number of homes available, however, has dropped 15 percent. What does that mean for a prospective buyer? Good credit and available funds may not be enough to get you into the home you want.
Here are a few things to expect:
Prices are climbing quickly throughout the state, and this isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. What that means for buyers is that waiting can prove costly.
Are you debating on a home you recently viewed? Don’t wait too long, or the house may no longer be available. Some houses are selling after just days on the market.
With Colorado’s current market conditions, demand for houses is very high, but the number of available houses is very low. This translates into heavy competition for sellers. If you’re looking for a home, that means you’ll need to be prepared to face bidding wars.
With a red-hot market, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you even view a home. You may have to make an offer on the spot, and if so, you’ll want to be sure that you are ready and able to complete the purchase. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that a home will sell to another buyer while you’re going through the approval process.
When beginning your search for homes in Colorado you will want to be prepared for this market. In addition to these tips, the real estate agents here at Housing Helpers are tapped into this fast paced market on a daily basis. Utilize our experience and expertise to help guide you through this challenging real estate market.
Rents are climbing in most major cities across the country, driving more folks to consider buying homes sooner than their initial plans. By purchasing a property, renters begin investing their monthly payments into the equity of their homes rather than losing that money each month.
The widely-accepted housing affordability guideline is to spend no more than 30 percent of your income. Currently, renters pay 30.1 percent of their incomes on rent each month, while homeowners pay just 15.3 percent on their mortgage payments. In Denver, those values are even costlier.
Denver renters pay 33.4 percent of their incomes and homeowners pay 19.8 percent each month. In fact, rents in Denver are up 10.6 percent in the last year.
Clearly, buying is the better financial option for monthly savings, but owning a home costs more than the monthly payment. Buyers need to prepare for the down payment, closing costs, property taxes, homeowners insurance and annual maintenance costs. Homeownership is expensive, but it’s still the American dream and many millennial-aged folks are beginning to consider the transition to avoid rising rents. But, can they afford it?
Millennials are between the ages of 23 and 34 years old and are generally some of the lower earners nationwide because of their youth. Unfortunately, incomes have not kept up with rising home values in the real estate market. Since 2000, incomes only rose 15 percent among the lowest third of U.S. workers. Meanwhile, home values appreciated 41 percent. From that perspective, low-earners would be strapped to find affordable inventory. However, the facts prove that millennials can afford much of the available inventory.
The median income of millennials in Denver is $56,843. Assuming these millennials could afford a 5 percent down payment and spend 30 percent of their monthly income toward a mortgage payment with a 3.98 interest rate, then Denver-based millennials could afford nearly half of the homes on the market. The potential price of homes they could purchase would be $313,299, freeing up 46.3 percent of the inventory. Zillow found the total number of for-sale listings at that price point going back to 2010; of all 6,577 listings in Denver, a millennial could afford to buy 3,045 of the properties.
Although affording half of the market seems reasonable for a lower-earning group, it’s well below the national affordability rate of 69.7 percent. Across the country, millennials can afford far more of the for-sale market, but their median income is lower at $49,176, and their purchase price is less too ($271,041).
Denver is a hot sellers’ market for 2015, ranked third in fact. Buyers battle for inventory and sellers can get away with steep prices because the inventory is low compared to the demand.
And the demand doesn’t seem to be calming anytime soon. According to the Zillow Housing Confidence Index survey, 19 percent of 18- to 34-year-old renters plan to buy in the next year. The survey indicates 29,000 millennial buyers will emerge in the Denver market within the year.
If renting is becoming too pricey in the Denver area and you’re considering buying instead, review the for-sale listings and keep the 30 percent guideline in mind. First-time buyers with good credit can offer 5 percent or even 3 percent down to ease the upfront costs of financing a home purchase – some loan options even allow zero down.
Start shopping now to get an idea of the inventory and value before bidding in the competitive Denver market.
This post courtesy of Tali Wee of Zillow
As the years pass a new generation of home buyers rise. Yes, members of the millennial generation have been buying houses for several years now, but now the vast majority of the generation has hit their 20’s, and so the number of home buyers will increase dramatically.
Lucy Mueller shares the words of Nela Richardson, the chief economist for Redfin, in her article “Why Millennials Are Better At Home Buying Than You”:
“Millennials will have a huge impact on the housing market for the next decade, just because of demographics alone. So whatever a few of them do, there’s enough of them that they’ll make a big impact.”
With this rising generation of home buyers, a change in the home buying dynamics is inevitable. This includes the relationship between buyers and their real estate agents and realtors.
Generation of the Techies
The millennial generation is technologically savvy and it shows in their house buying. This generation prefers text messaging and emails to phone calls and face to face interactions, and considers the internet an all-knowing source. This generation of buyers will undoubtedly do the bulk of their shopping via online Realtor websites, perusing inside and outside photos before ever setting up an appointment with an agent to see the house.
Generation of the Housing Crash
This generation also watched the housing market crash and the economy fall. A trust has been lost or at the very least shaken, particularly with financial lending institutions. Alan J. Heavens shares in his article “On the House: Millennial buyers are few, dependent on Realtors”:
ClosingCorp of San Diego, which provides residential real estate closing-cost data and technology for the mortgage and real estate services industries, found in a survey that two-thirds of the 1,000 millennials it surveyed were unaware that closing costs were involved in buying a house. If a millennial does know anything about closing costs, he or she finds out by talking to a real estate agent rather than a lender, the survey showed.
The millennial generation is looking more to real estate agents and realtors than previous generations for knowledge of the ins and outs of house buying.
The next decade will see what other changes may take place as the millennial’s flood the housing market with buying their first and second home
Looking for capital to invest in Colorado real estate? Consider crowdfunding.
If you’re unaware of the term, crowdfunding is a means of raising money for a project by seeking contributions from a large number of people. It’s been popularized online with websites like Kickstarter.
That’s not to say that crowdfunding a real estate investment in Colorado is for everybody. The minimum capital required, as of this writing, starts at $5,000. For some properties, it can go much higher.
Still, with crowdfunding, the real estate investor risks less money. Of course, that lower risk also results in a diminished return.
Broadmark Capital oversees funds that are used to lend money to real estate investors. One of those funds has a focus on metro Denver.
The company recently used RealCrowd, an online crowdfunding platform similar to Kickstarter, to connect investors with capital.
Adam Fountain is a managing director at Broadmark. He said that, using RealCrowd, the company raised $3 million for one fund in just 3 months. That’s money from brand new investors that the company would not have been able to raise otherwise.
Broadmark also raised $5 million for a second fund and has turned to crowdfunding to reach its goal of $50 million.
As of this writing, Broadmark loans are supporting more than a dozen projects in the Mountain West, including homes in North Denver and Milliken. It should be noted that these are “hard money” loans and are offered with a heftier price tag – a 12.5% interest rate. That’s significantly higher than a bank loan given the current yield on the 30 Year Treasury.
Broadmark typically requires investors in its fund to pony up at least $100,000. However, with the use of RealCrowd, the company was able to lower that limit to $25,000.
Joshua Dorkin is the CEO of the online real estate community BiggerPockets. He said small-scale operators are interested in crowdfunding, but that interest is limited because of the headaches associated with dealing with multiple investors on a small project.
It’s also possible that unsophisticated investors, lured by the possibility of a positive return with minimal investment, might lose money on bad deals, he said.
Purchasing investment property in Colorado can be complex, consider working with a Colorado real estate agent with Housing Helpers. Our realtors know the investment market as well as the rental market to help you understand all of your options both before and after the purchase.
We’ve all had thoughts of “if only I’d known then what I know now…” Well, sorry, but here’s another one: The four things that could make purchasing Real Estate easier in the new year.
Loosened mortgage lending.
You may have heard the recent story about how former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was unable to get a refinance loan. When I read that, I wondered how many would-be home buyers also read it and just gave up on the idea. For many, logic would dictate that if Ben Bernanke couldn’t get a loan, they probably couldn’t. Well, one of the things the latest federal budget bill did is help loosen mortgage lending. Good news for Ben. Good news for you.
Down payment requirements will be lower.
After the financial meltdown of 2008, down payment requirements for mortgages went up as high as 25 percent, according to SFGate.com. But Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering lower down payments.
Growth in home prices will be slower.
This means there could be more bargains out there, relatively speaking – the real estate market in Colorado is still very strong. Of course, in some areas, prices will rise more sharply, while in others growth will be slower. But, on average, home values will grow at a slower pace than we’re historically used to. But eventually, growth in those values will increase. That will make buying a home a sound investment over the long term.
Low interest rates will continue.
This has been the 800 pound gorilla in the financial room for six years now. The federal funds rate has been at or near zero percent since December, 2008, and it’s expected to remain low for some time. As long as the federal funds rate is low, mortgage and other credit interest rates will also be low. Until now, that low rate has primarily benefited Wall Street and high net worth investors. But, when you add looser credit and lower down payment requirements into the mix, middle America will now reap some benefit as well.
Here’s the takeaway for those who would like to buy their first home, or upgrade to something larger: You can wonder “if only I’d acted on what I knew in January”, or you can start actively exploring the real estate market in Colorado now.