Tag Archives: Colorado Real Estate

Colorado Among Hottest 10 Housing Markets

As we approach the presidential inauguration, demand for homes continues to increase throughout the country, in a recent real estate market trend. Although this trend is taking place nationally, multiple sources report that the trends continues to be particularly hot in Colorado.

Recently, Realtor.com reported that two Colorado cities, Denver and Colorado Springs, were among the countries’ hottest real estate markets last month. Denver came in at number six and Colorado Springs in 14th.

In particular, home buying interest became strong throughout the country after the election. Often the winter months are a slower season in real estate, particularly in snowy climates like Colorado, but this year the market shows no signs of slowing down. Nationally and locally, this is due to a few trends:

  • Mortgage rates increasing. After years of remaining low, mortgage rates recently started going up, with plans to continue to rise over 2017. Would-be homeowners hope to buy now before the rates increase further.
  • Snapping up the remaining inventory. Buying may be getting more popular in Colorado and nationwide, but housing stock isn’t increasing. Many people are buying homes now to make sure they get the ideal house for their needs.
  • Better weather. In Colorado, the weather has been warmer and sunnier than usual, particularly last fall and early winter, so more home buyers were willing to brave the elements and go house hunting.

Even with the busy market in Colorado, now is still a great time to buy your next home. According to Denver Business Journal, while inventory may be down, single family home sale prices remain steady. Denver also has the second highest appreciation values of home values in the country, making a home a great investment. But be sure to buy soon, before mortgage rates increase and inventory further shrinks.

For your Home Buying needs in Colorado contact Stephanie Iannone 303-641-7484

Colorado Fall Real Estate Housing Helpers

The Fall Real Estate Market in Colorado

If you’re in the market for a new home, you should know that fall is an especially good season for buyers in the real estate market. That’s partly because of the simple law of supply and demand. According to MSN Money, need to move into a new home before the school year starts. If you’re trying to sell a house, that means there’s less demand, a fact that puts buyers in the driver’s seat and leaves more room for negotiation.

Another plus for buyers? Home prices tend to fall slightly after the busy summer real estate season. If a seller that listed his home last spring or summer still hasn’t sold it, he may consider reducing the price, or at least negotiating some concessions to keep a potential buyer on the “line”.

If you’re looking for a home in the fall, it’s likely you don’t have school aged children, so there are no hard and fast deadlines pressuring you. Sure, you may prefer to close on a house before the holiday season, but it’s not the same as having to. If you can get a better deal by waiting awhile, chances are you will.

One caveat to this rule concerns vacation homes. If you’ve rented a home for a period during the summer and love the area, you may be at a slight disadvantage. A seller knows when he’s got a home that’s worth more simply by virtue of its location near a prime vacation spot, and because of skiing, Colorado often has more than just summer vacationers — they’ve got the winter ski crowd too.

Still, buying a vacation home in the off-season has the advantage of letting you get to know what the area is like when it’s not crowded with tourists and vacationers, and if it’s a second home, you can always rent it out during prime seasons, so it might just be a win-win situation for both parties!

As with all things real estate, it’s much easier to navigate the Colorado real estate market with a trusted and experienced expert by your side.   Call Housing Helpers real estate group and let us guide the way!  303-545-6000

Real Estate Agents          Boulder Real Estate 

 

 

Colorado Real Estate Housing Helpers

One Simple Tip to Buy Colorado Real Estate in a Seller’s Market

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.

 

Colorado Real Estate

 

Crowdfunding Colorado Real Estate Gaining Traction

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.

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.

Colorado Real Estate, walkable neighbrohoods

The best walkable cities in Colorado

If you’re looking for a new home and wondering what the best walkable cities in Colorado are, you’re not alone.

When relocating to a new home, more and more people are looking for a walkable neighborhood with a diverse mix of homes, shopping and businesses. The National Association of Realtors highlights this trend in the recent 2013 Community Preference Survey. As real estate agents, we strive to stay current on these trends and help you find the perfect community for your next move.

According to the report, more than sixty percent to people prefer a walkable neighborhood with a diverse mix of uses. The trend continues to move away from sprawling suburban communities that require significant driving between home, work and school. Interestingly, people are more willing to make trade offs between the size of the home where they live and the commute they have to work or to school.

In fact, more than two-thirds of people respond that the choice of neighborhood is more important than the size of the home, and more than half of people are willing to have a small yard if they can have a shorter commute to the office. Yet, even with these trade offs people still prefer a single-family home, but clearly enjoy having ease of access to employment centers, shopping and neighborhood schools and activities.

Why is this important if you are looking for homes in Colorado?  Well, there are many great walkable cities in Colorado.  In particular the City of Boulder and Denver Metro areas have an amazing diversity of walkable neighborhoods.  And of course it depends what you prefer to walk to: hiking trails or sushi restaurants.  That sort of thing.

So what are the best walkable cities in Colorado?  The answer really is “it depends”.   Disappointed?  Sorry.  There are just so many individual preferences and factors that define the best walkable neighborhood.  One of our favorites is The Highlands neighborhood in Denver.  Ok here’s another one The  Mapleton neighborhood in downtown Boulder.  There you go.   Feel better?

If you’re looking for the best walkable cities in Colorado we would love to help and find the perfect home and walkable neighborhood in Colorado for you. Contact us today!

Fall Preleasing Boulder Colorado

Colorado real estate market feels impact from floods

According to a recent report, analysts are now saying that, similar to other natural disasters including fires, the summer floods experienced in the state could negatively impact the Colorado real estate market for at least a year.

Some of the early effects that are already being seen include lower inventory due to homes seeing flood damage, a booming rental market due to displaced residents and re-inspection by appraisers of all of Boulder and Weld Counties resulting in delayed closings and loss of interest rate locks.

Home values could see a decrease too as FEMA begins significantly changing the flood plain maps. Other impacts from that include the need for additional need for flood insurance and individuals experiencing more difficulty in lending on certain properties. Historically, however, the home values in places such as Boulder that are already included in the flood plain maps have not experienced much of a decrease, the report stated.

Since 1987, Housing Helpers has been serving the area that has been impacted by the floods and beyond. This is our home community and we are here to help our community recover. We have recently entered into a partnership with local governments and non-profits such as the United Way to help locate more temporary rental housing for those that have been displaced. If you or anyone you know has a rental property in Colorado to offer, or even just a room in your house to offer, please contact us right away- there are still hundreds of people that are in need of housing.

Beyond recovery, we are looking forward to seeing the region grow and thrive, continuing to help those who are looking to relocate to Colorado, to purchase a home, rent an apartment, or relocate for work opportunities in Colorado. With Housing Helpers, there is no need to sacrifice personal, friendly service for reliable information. We offer both. How can we serve you? Contact us and let us know.

Will Colorado Floods Affect Property Values?           Boulder Home Prices

Seeking Homes That Aren’t for Sale: Can Real Estate Agents Help with the Emerging Trend of House “Stalking”?

When home buyers have their hearts set on the perfect neighborhood but their simply are no homes for sale in that neighborhood, it can be a frustrating experience.  And with Colorado facing fewer listings of homes for sale (despite housing prices being up), how many people will turn to the emerging process of house stalking to obtain the home they want? While such a thing sounds dangerous, it can sometimes be successful if done in a courteous way.  It’s merely the procedure of providing an unsolicited offer to purchase a home that is not listed for sale.

How to Approach a House That’s Not for Sale

If you see a home you like that has no “for sale” sign out front, you might think about hiring a real estate agent to initiate contact with the owner.  While you could personally mail a note to the people living in the home, it can be better received if you let an agent handle it for you so the home owners don’t think you really are stalking them.   An experienced real estate agent, especially one who is well known in that particular neighborhood, may be the impetus for those homeowners to consider opening up the possibility of selling their home.

Negotiating a Price

If the people in the house you contact make it clear that they don’t want to sell, it’s best to not push an offer. However, if you decide to make an offer it should be a strong one, and consider offering some extras as a thanks for their trouble to seal the deal. This might include allowing the owners to rent the house at a low rate for a set number of months while they find a new home. Also consider paying for upkeep in the immediate term so it doesn’t come out of the initial owners’ pockets.  A real estate agent can help you determine a fair price to offer for the home and they can help with navigating the contractual details involved with purchasing homes in Colorado.

Finding an Unlisted Home on the Internet

If you’re not comfortable driving neighborhoods looking for homes that may not be on the market, try a few internet home searches first.  Rather than contacting a homeowner in person, Zillow.com has a feature called the “Make Me Move” page. Here, those who don’t want to sell their house right away list a home value and what offer they’d want if they did sell. A house stalker can easily scope out neighborhoods that look desirable and perhaps negotiate on a dream house they always wanted.

A real estate agent can still give you an advantage in these scenarios, as the information on these websites is not always accurate and up to date with the most current market sales comparisons- real estate agents can pull real time sales statistics and often know about potential listings that haven’t hit the market yet.  A realtor can usually help you easier land that home you didn’t think you could have.

While house stalking is still a growing trend, our real estate agents are always available here at Housing Helpers to help you with your home search in Colorado. Visit our Colorado Realtors page to find a real estate agent  that specializes in your desired area of Colorado.

Real Estate Trends

Real Estate trends show “Millennials” moving to urban locations

A recent national survey conducted by the New York Times suggests that the new generation of home owners is shifting its interests to a more urban-styled preference. The majority of those surveyed preferred attributes such as walkability, a wide variety of housing choices, and nearby shopping, restaurant and transportation options. This new wave of young adults, also known as the Millennials, differs drastically in their preferences compared to the many older residents from the baby boomer generation. How it will affect nation-wide real estate will be very interesting.

Why Such a Sudden Change?

The majority of this new generation is burdened with excessive student loan debt. This transfers to their city-like preferences in real estate because the demand for jobs is considerably higher in more populated areas. In addition, the amount of licensed drivers has dropped considerably in their generation so good walkability is a must when choosing a property to rent or purchase.

Victims of Hard Times

The Millennials are being compared to those who had to endure the Great Depression. The group consists of people who are 18 to 34 and must deal with a wide array of financial burdens. Beside the mounting college loans they must make payments for, the recession, rising unemployment rates and stiff competition for jobs make the younger generation comparable to the people of the 1930’s. It is hard to tell what direction the Millennials will branch off toward, but the amount of home owners for their age is dwindling. Perhaps small, inexpensive apartments are what they must deal with at the moment.

Rural Homes Are Not Going To Be Left in the Dust

While factors such as student loan debt, high levels of unemployment, and lasting repercussions of the recession drive people to search for homes located near urban areas, the Millennials are also interested in suburban developments. While there is a greater chance that younger potential home owners may be searching in the city, they will also be looking at suburban houses that many older residents from the baby boomer generation will be looking to sell. With everything said, there is not enough information yet about this recent shift in preferences. The Millennials are too new of a generation to conclude anything drastic about the real estate market.

Get Informed 

The real estate market is a continually changing industry. It is important to consult those who have valuable experience in the field, especially if you are going to be a first time home owner. Housing Helpers can assist you with buying a new home while offering you a diverse selection of properties to rent or purchase in Colorado. Top of the line advice concerning selling your home is also available. If you are interested in real estate, please do not hesitate to contact us at (303) 545-6000 and one of our Real Estate Agents will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have about our services.

Boulder Colorado Housing Helpers

When searching for homes in Colorado, keep your eye on the PRIZE!

If you’re looking to buy a home in Colorado, you’ve likely already realized that the internet is drenched in an overwhelming amount of tips, checklists, real estate websites, and forums full of advice for your situation. For better or worse, this is a recipe for information overload.

This post will attempt to condense, compact, and configure the best advice and present it in a simple format for your sanity.

As it goes with math, information is always more enjoyable if placed within a wider context. On a similar vein, then, this information will be presented in the context of home buying in Colorado.

But first things first. How on earth does one even start the home buying process? Here’s a tip- contact one of our acclaimed Colorado realtors at Housing Helpers. Our incredible team of realtors would be happy to guide you along this exciting journey.

And whatever you do, don’t lose sight of the PRIZE (Perspective, Research, Imagination, Zzz, and Enjoy).

  • Perspective: Know what you want, but prepare to be flexible. Choosing a house, like everything in life, requires a bit of compromise and a lot of vision.   The real estate market is always in flux.  What may have been a “buyers market” last year is in fact a “sellers market” now in many parts of Colorado.  Our Colorado Realtors can give you the background on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis to help you gain a lot of perspective.
  • Research: Don’t step into this life-changing process blindly. Look up specific features that you want in a home and know what your deal-breakers are. Try to narrow it down to a short list of less than ten key features.  Moreover, get to know your realtor and let them get to know you. Our Colorado real estate agents take the time to learn your preferences so that they can assist you with finding the best possible property for you.
  • Imagination: Don’t forget the potential of a home. The color of a wall or the hideous crown molding can always be changed, so try to imagine the raw version of the places you view. Homes with “good bones” can yield a lot of potential through remodeling, painting, and even a simple thorough cleaning.  But you can’t change the location of a home, so if when you find a home with good bones in the neighborhood you want, take a moment to think about the possibilities.  We have seen some amazing transformations on relatively small budgets.  A little bit of new paint can go a long way!
  • Zzzz: The early bird gets the worm! So even if you’re in the early stages of contemplating a house, start getting in contact with mortgage lenders to get pre-qualified for financing. If your not sure where to start, contact Housing Helpers now and we’ll walk you through it.  Being prepared to make an offer on a home in a sellers market is especially important.  There may be five other buyers lined up to submit offers on the same house that you want.  Sometimes the difference in whose offer will get accepted is based on who is pre-qualified to obtain financing for the home.   Be prepared, be ready to act quickly, and you’ll sleep better knowing that you are ready!
  • Enjoy: Once you’ve settled with a realtor that you trust, relax and take in the scenery that house-hunting has to offer. Consider the possibilities and look forward to what opportunities await you as a homeowner! Perhaps you’ll spruce it up, or simply unwind in the comfort of your own home and enjoy the benefits that owning a home in Colorado has to offer.  Maybe someday you’ll even choose to rent it out (another great thing Housing Helpers can help with), and start to build your investment property empire!

Searching for homes in Colorado can be a daunting task with distractions from every angle as friends and coworkers will be more than willing to share their “expert” advice.  We have all heard the “fish stories” from our friends and relatives of the incredible real estate deal on that perfect home in that perfect neighborhood, which sold for thousands below asking price. Try not to let this chatter interfere with your goals. It is important to focus on what is important to you. And remember, keep your eyes on the PRIZE!

We value the trust that our customers place in us each and every day.  If you are looking for honest advice on purchasing a home, selling a home, or simply have questions about the real estate market, we would be honored to talk with you.  Contact our Boulder Realtors and Denver Realtors today for a free consultation.

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