Tag Archives: colorado

Dreaming of Moving to Colorado?

Sand Hill Cranes Migrating to Colorado

Sand Hill Cranes Migrating to Colorado

Yesterday I received a call later in the evening than most people work. It was from a gentleman in Texas who had an opportunity to move to Denver, Colorado. He was excited but overwhelmed at the cost of our housing. He needed to talk.

I always enjoy these chats with people who want to fulfill their Colorado Dream. It wasn’t so very long ago I had the same dream. I remember how I looked forward to living in a beautiful environment where the air is clean and the ever present view lifted my spirits!

Relocation Hurdles

Moving from one part of the country to another comes with much anxiety about where to start. There are questions about the cost of living, distances and amount of time it takes to commute. Families with children always want to know about the school system. Mostly people want to know how much home they can buy with their money.

Denver’s housing market is not the most expensive in the country but it is much higher than many areas, especially Texas! The gentleman I was talking to was overwhelmed by the cost of our homes.

Granted our median sales price in metro Denver is $250,000, our property taxes are the fifth to the last least expensive in the county. Comparing the final house payment in Denver to one in Houston where the taxes are higher would compensate. Houston has the 5th highest rate of property taxes while Denver is ranked at 45th in the nation.

Comparing Square Footage

Another thing we discusses was the difference in the size of homes. Unlike Texas, Colorado homes typically have basements. This extra square footage in not always represented in the listings found on the Internet. Thus when comparing homes you are getting the size as measured “above ground” leaving out a significant portion of the home that is “below ground.”

While these differences may not totally compensate for the price differential, they certainly help. Living in Colorado is more expensive, but if you ask people who live here, it’s worth it!

Your Denver Relocation Resource

Have questions about a possible relocation to Denver?  Give me a call, I can help answer some of your pressing questions and help you make that move a smooth one!

 

Source of information on State Tax Rankings: http://taxfoundation.org/article/facts-figures-2013-how-does-your-state-compare

Tricks of the Trade – Offering a Quick Closing to the Seller

Getting Your Offer Accepted – Offering a Quick Closing & Deliver It! (Part 3 of the Series)

Denver Real Estate is experiencing a very unusual market right now. To illustrate what is happening we have

  • Minus 10.9% less inventory than last year
  • Last month we sold 17.7% more homes than last year

We are selling homes at a faster pace than we are putting them on the market. This fact is causing some buyers great distress, because each home they find, someone else is finding it too. It is not unusual to put a home on the market one day and have it under-contract the next! Buyers are competing with each other and yes, there is blood in the streets!

What is a buyer to do?

Be ready at the starting line for a fast finish!

Be ready at the starting line for a fast finish!

To be the Winning One, you and your offer must stand out in the crowd of other offers. Your offer must be strong in benefits to the seller, that includes any number of features.
One strong selling feature is to offer a short time to closing. The time from contract to closing is a very stressful one for the seller. Yes, it’s tough for the buyer too, but in this instance we need to focus on the “other guy” and try to determine what feature in your purchase offer is going to really make his day.
Knowing you have a sure thing in hand is often better than the uncertainly of not knowing. It’s really hard for a seller to make plans for the next move when they run the risk of a buyer who isn’t 100% ready, willing and able to move forward.
Offering an early close means you and your lender have to be able to prove you can do it. This is where you really must be in sync with a good lender you can trust. I’ve talked about the value of using a good lender in previous blog posts.
A lender is an intricate role in the process. The contract you and the seller will sign has specific dates that must be met. If these dates aren’t met by your lender he actually risks losing YOUR earnest money! Sadly, many lenders don’t pay any attention to these dates. They just put your loan in process and hope for the best.
Obviously that type of lender is not someone you want to deal with!
If you want to get a quick closing on your transaction, you need to start before you find the home. Yes, before!

You have another challenge:

The average transaction from start to finish is 5-6 weeks from going under-contract. According to Ellie Mae a loan processing software firm that keeps statistics, the time it takes to process a loan has been increasing. This is a factor of the changing market coupled with the extra burden of financing regulations.
This process can be shortened up considerably with prior planning. Getting your documentation to the lender for a formal PreApproval is critical.
Once you find the home the next steps are inspection and appraisal. Typically in the past we would do the inspection before ordering the appraisal. Now, buyers are finding the fastest way to get to closing is to do these simultaneously.

Warning: Yes, this is risky, if the home has inspection issues that cannot be resolved it is possible you may have to pay for both an inspection and an appraisal on a house you end up not buying. Still ordering both the appraisal and the inspection immediately will help shorten the contract to closing time.

The key to making this work is having a good team that is working together to get the job done!

Being the One Winner in the home search contest requires attention to many details.  I created this series of posts to help illustrate how to become that One Winner!  If you are ready to begin your home search right now or in the near future, please give me a call.  I look forward to being of service to you.

Begin your home search here.

Call direct 720-279-4599

Tricks of the Trade – Getting Your Offer Accepted

Denver Real Estate Home Shortage

boxingglovesDenver is experiencing an inventory shortage of homes for sale.  This is resulting in homes being sought after by more than one buyer.  Well priced homes are being bid up, leaving many buyers in a lurch because there is only One Winner!

If you are wanting to be that One Winner on the house buying bidding war, there are somethings you can do to increase your odds of winning.

Preparation First!

Preparation is the key. Buying a home isn’t like shopping for a retail product. You can’t just walk into a store, open your wallet, pay and leave the store with your new home! Well that isn’t possible unless you are independently wealthy and have oodles of cash!

Preparation before even starting to look at homes requires a few steps.  First find a good agent to act on your behalf. This is an agent who will work as your “buyer’s agent” or “buyer broker,” both terms mean the same thing.  Using an agent to represent your best interests is your first step into positioning yourself for success.  Oddly enough some buyers don’t realize this. They see a home they like and call the number on the sign.  This is akin to calling “the enemy!”  When you have the “listing agent” who’s name in on that sign show you the property, they by law are working on behalf of the seller who hired them.  Right away you dilute your negotiation power to zilch!

So first find a buyer’s agent who knows their stuff. They should be experienced in explaining the home buying process to you as well as adept at negotiation strategies and be able to write a Colorado contract with ease.  In other words, finding you a house should not be their first Rodeo!

Jump to Begin Your Home Search here!

Finding a Buyer’s Agent to Represent YOU!

So first find a buyer’s agent who knows their stuff. They should be experienced in explaining the home buying process to you as well as adept at negotiation strategies and be able to write a Colorado contract with ease.  In other words, finding you a house should not be their First Rodeo!

By finding and hiring your buyer’s agent, you strengthen your position immediately because this agent, by law must act on your behalf.  Typically buyer’s agents do not cost you the buyer any more, in fact in Metro Denver most listing agents offer to pay the buyer agents who bring the buyer, so having a buyer’s agent will cost you nothing extra!

The next step is to have a consultation with your buyer agent to determine your needs, discuss the home buying process, timing and most importantly acquire the names of a few good lenders.  Buyer agents work with lenders day in and out, so we know who is truthful, efficient and can get the job done!  This aspect of buying a house is so often over looked.  Many buyers feel the need to respond to radio ads, go online to find the best deal on the interest rate, but don’t realize they are jeopardizing their future by trusting in the unknown. Like any other business the people who know how to get things done are the ones who are in the business! Most buyers don’t buy a home every month or every year.  So relying on the professional who does is a wise course of action.

I will write more on this later this week, but the point is work with a tried and true local lender for best results.

Timing is everything!

Since the mortgage documentation process takes 4-6 weeks, you should start this process well before your home search begins.  So many times people wait until they find The House and then visit the mortgage lender only to find there are “issues” with credit or timing that won’t work. Sadly these people learn the hard way, but losing The House because they weren’t prepared.  Don’t risk being disappointed, get the loan process started and in place before opening that first door!

Tips for Getting Your Offer Accepted

Getting your offer accepted is mostly about having your offer stand out above the others. Sometimes that means your offer is the highest and best, but other times that isn’t the most important thing to the seller.
When a seller has more than one offer to choose from, they are going to consider all the factors. They will choose the offer based on what is MOST IMPORTANT to THEM. Knowing what that is, would be helpful, but seldom do they share that information with us.

What we can do is prepare an offer that is as perfect as Apple Pie to the seller.

The Best Offer May Have MANY of these Features:

1) Cash

1a) Loan with significant down payment 20% or more

1b) Any other kind of loan accompanied by strong pre-approval letter from recognized local lender.

2) Quick Close (30 days or less)

3) No contingencies

4) Best price & No Concessions to the Seller

5) No requests for non-included personal property

6 Increased earnest money presented with contract

7) Specific Performance over Liquidated Damages

8) Pre-approval letter from a recognized lender including confirmation of credit examination, job verification and cash on hand (not a pre-qual letter which is worthless!)

9) Professionally written contract, preferably using CTM digital contract.

10) Include an Escalation Clause in the case of multiple offers

11) A buyer’s agent who communicates your needs accurately and in a timely manner.

As a consumer you are in control of some but not all of these things. Your first consideration should be choosing an agent who is well versed in all of the above, including negotiation strategies and tactics.  Most likely it is not possible to structure your offer if you don’t have all cash, but you certainly can compensate in other areas by strongly demonstrating your good intent to purchase the home.

Over the next week, I will be elaborating on each of these offer features, illustrating why they are important and how they will help you achieve success.  Please subscribe to my blog if you don’t want to miss the series.

If you are just starting the home buying process and are in need of an experienced buyer broker, pick up the phone and give me a call.  I work hard to make sure my clients are the ONE WINNER!

Begin Your Home Search here!

Happy 137th Birthday Colorado!

Colorado contains 75 percent of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet.

Colorado contains 75 percent of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet.

It was on this day in 1876 that Colorado became the 38th state in the Union!  Colorado is a great place to live with a unique culture.  We pride ourselves in being the highest state in the nation.

Here are some other facts:

  • Colorado is the 8th largest state.
  • Colorado borders 3 other states in the SW corner. The only 4 corner area in the country
  • The deepest snow in Colorado was recorded in 1899 in Crested Butte.  254 inches fell near the top of Kebler Pass.
  • The largest nugget of gold in Colorado weighed 135 ounces, it was found near Breckenridge.
  • The toughest climate in Colorado is found in Silverton, where there are only 2 frost free weeks a year!
  • Colorado was the second state in the US to give women the right to vote. Pioneer women really rocked (and could probably shoot too!)!
  • Denver, the Capitol of Colorado was named after a Kansas Territorial Governor James Denver.  It was a political move in order to gain favor from him, but he retired by the time they got the mining camp officially named
  • Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state.
The Columbine is the Colorado State Flower

The Columbine is the Colorado State Flower

Fresh Tracks in Denver

FreshTracks-RTDLIghtRail-KristalKraft-w Referring to Fresh Tracks in  Colorado typically has something to do with snow.  These fresh tracks are preparing to serve the suburbs of the Western Corridor of Metro Denver. They are the RTD Lightrail tracks that go from Union Station in Lodo west to the Jefferson County Building in Golden.

The West Corridor gives access to some vary significant work/education centers and neighborhoods.  Including:

  • Auraria Campus
  • Denver Federal Center
  • Mile High Stadium
  • Jefferson County Government Complex
  • Red Rocks Community College
  • St. Anthony Medical Campus
  • Union Station

The convenience of easy transportation for the West Metro Denver population has been anxiously awaited.  Development opportunities for investors is still very strong along the line as plans are still emerging.

RDT-LIghtrail-KristalKraft2013-3

The future of real estate along this line is very rosy. We will see Transit Oriented Developments (TOD’s) along the line, shopping, restaurants, lofts, condos, apartments attracting the commuter who wants to like near the rail. Metro Denver has already seen TOD’s along the Southeast & Southwest Corridors.  Considering the current shortage of housing we are experiencing, these TOD’s will be a welcome addition to the West Corridor real estate market.

DenverSkylinefromFedCenter-KristalKraft

Yesterday when I toured the line, the efficiency of the travel was most evident.  One thing I think the RTD people missed was having an upper deck on the train.  It would be nice to sit in a all-window car to enjoy the spectacular view!  Every direction had an interesting focus, from the Denver Skyline, to the Rocky Mountains, south, west and north!  Of course being entertained with the wonderful view would probably be cause for forgetting to get off at your station!