The True Cost of a “Fixer-Upper”

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Puzzled About Real Estate in 2017?

Mortgage rates are currently sitting at their highest level in two years, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaging 4.32 percent and 15-year mortgages averaging 3.55 percent. Rising mortgage rates continue to be a concern when it comes to home sales and affordability; however, rising rates tend to indicate a strong economy – and strong economies are good for housing.

Puzzled about 2017'sReal Estate.png  Interest rates are still historically low, compared to 6.14 percent for a 30-year mortgage in December 2006. Consumers looking to buy should consider taking the leap as there is still plenty of room for rates to rise.


There is no doubt about it that lending has changed in the last 10 years.  In fact, it changes every year.  Starting January 9, 2017 FHA dropped the mortgage insurance rate.   FHA mortgages are important for low- and moderate-income buyers in particular because a lower down payment is required than with many conventional mortgage options. Buyers with lower credit scores may find more favorable treatment with an FHA loan than a conventional product as well.

I’m happy to share more information about trends in 2017.  Email me today.

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Is Marijuana Effecting Homeownership

Since Colorado voted to legalize marijuana in November 2012, a number of issues have arisen for home buyers.   Homeowners have the right to grow marijuana inside their homes for personal use.   According to CAR (Colorado Association of Realtors) “As a result, it is increpotasingly common for REALTORS® to encounter homes with existing grow facilities (or evidence of former grow facilities) as they tour properties with buyers.”

CAR also recommends “Inspectors should be made aware of any grow facilities that were in the home and should  pay particular attention to any modifications that have been made to the home’s plumbing or electrical systems to accommodate hydroponic (water) grow systems or high powered grow lights. These modifications are often made by the homeowner – as opposed to a licensed contractor – and may not have been performed pursuant to applicable building code(s).”

Another area that seems to be a problem is odor.  A non ventilated grow operation can permeate the home with the scent of “pot”.  It can be an expensive fix to clean up the residue on walls and in carpet causing a homeowner or buyer additional expenses.

Marijuana has helped many people with epilepsy, pain management, cancer, and other ailments.  With it’s popularity growing, the chances of a buyer buying a home that has had grow facilities or use in it, are more prevalent all the time.  Colorado is at the forefront of this new frontier.  The Colorado Association of Realtors put out a great article on the impact Pot has had on Colorado.

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Buyers Are Chomping At The Bit To Buy!

Are you holding back on listing your home because spring and summer have the most home buyers?  Well, it appears that spring has started early in Northern Colorado.  With temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s, people are out anchomping at the bitd about and thinking of moving.  Home buyers are looking now!

Inventory is still low in Weld and Larimer County.  Larimer County currently has 849 listings which is down 19% from this time last year according to the MLS.  Of this only 151 are priced at under $299k.    Weld County is in the same situation with 545 listings of which 202 listings are under $299k.   With more foot traffic for buyers being high, now is a great time for sellers to benefit from low inventory.

Buyers are chomping at the bit to buy!!  List now!

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A “Leap” of Faith Year

Why do we have Leap Year  (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year)  We need Leap Year to keep the calendar aligned with the earth revolving around the earth.  A year is 365 days and without it we would loose six hours from our caleLeap Yearndar every four years.  The reason is that Earth takes approximately 365.25 days to orbit around the sun every year. It’s that .25 that creates the need for a leap year every four years. After 100 years we would loose 24 days.

Leap year always coincides with the Presidential election year or Leap year can also be a “leap” of faith year, like listing your house or buying a home for the first time.  Interest rates are so low, why not take the leap?  Rents getting higher and higher but if you own your own home the monthly payment doesn’t increase if you are in a Leap Year or not.

Inventory may be low in Northern Colorado but oh my gosh the interest rate is low, low, low.  Agents as myself are knocking on doors, calling homeowners, networking to help increase the supply of homes for sale.

If you are thinking of selling or need help finding a lender call me.  Let 2016 be your year to “take the leap”

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Why Won’t It Sell!

Reasons A Home Won’t Sell 

On average over 14,000 homes sell every day!

I get a lot of questions about selling homes. Many people are curious why some homes sell quickly and others sit on the market longer than necessary.

Here are a few reasons why a home won’t sell quickly, or sometimes at all.

Home Is Difficult To Show

If your home is not convenient to show you may have already set a bad start for a prospective buyer. Buyers want to see homes when it’s convenient for them. If there are very restrictive hours, buyers may pass over your home to look at the next home on their list. When it’s difficult for buyers to see your home, that may send a message that you are not motivated to sell.

Your Home Is Overpriced

This is a big one! Many sellers feel their home is extra special and worth more than market value. We know you are proud of your home, but a home is only worth what a buyer will pay for it and the price at which it will appraise. Pricing your home accurately from the beginning will attract more buyers and get your home sold quicker and for more money.

Your Home Doesn’t Show Well

It’s critical to make an amazing first impression when your home is being shown. If a potential buyer encounters bad odors, clutter, a barking dog, your house is too cold or hot, etc, they may be unable to think positively about your house. You want to always have your home in good showing condition if you want it to sell! The goal is to create a comfortable environment that the buyer can envision themselves spending a lot of time in.

Your Home Is Timeworn

Savvy buyer’s agents and buyers will look closely at the number of days the home has been on the market. Pricing your home too high to start with the idea that you’ll lower it later if necessary is not the best plan. If your house sits on the market for too long, buyers and their agents will approach the house thinking it’s overpriced and may think something is wrong with it before they even get there.

If you want to sell your home quickly for the most money possible, it’s critical to price it accurately from the beginning, make it easy to show, and make sure it looks its best for every showing!

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“Sparkle and Shine”

Putting your home on the market? Realtors agree that having clean windows during your open house creates brighter, more inviting rooms. Bright sunshine in your home will also highlight small details that may go unnoticed in lower light, window sparklelike a fresh paint job or the luster and character of hardwood floors.   A “sparkling” window can bring extra light into your home making it appear larger than it is too.

Window Cleaning Services                                               Anyone can search the internet for window cleaners.  The question is what to ask them when you call.  What is included in the service?  Will they be cleaning the windows and wiping the window sills?  Will they charge extra if you have hard water deposits?  Do they charge by the job or by the hour?    Do they charge by the number of windows? Do they charge more for second story windows or basement windows?

How Often to Have Windows Cleaned
As a general rule, it is a good idea to have a home’s windows professionally cleaned at least once every three months; this equates to four times per year. This is especially recommended for homeowners who live in areas that experience all four seasons. Having a home’s windows that “sparkle and shine” can keep mineral deposits and other debris from building up, which will be more expensive to clean in the long run. This also gives homeowners the peace of mind in knowing that their home’s windows always look their best.

Self Cleaning Glass                                                                                                                                      Yes, I’m serious.  A self cleaning glass is out there.  A company from the UK has it available.  A transparent coating on the outside of the glass harnesses the power of both sun and rain to efficiently remove dirt and grime. Exposure to the UV rays present in daylight triggers the decomposition of organic dirt and prevents mineral dirt from adhering to the surface of the glass. It also turns it “hydrophilic” meaning that when it rains the water sheets across the glass, without forming droplets, rinsing away the broken down dirty residues.  Only a small amount of sunlight is required to activate the coating so the self-cleaning function will work even on cloudy days.  A simple rinse of water during dry spells will help keep windows “sparkling”.

So whether your thinking of selling in the spring (most people do) or in the winter, this needs to be on the “to do list”.  Let buyers know you have pride in your home and have taken care of it.  Clean windows say a lot about your home!

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Seller’s Are In The Driver’s Seat

It’s only natural to want to figure out what type of market you’re entering when buyers market vs sellers marketyou decide to list your home for sale. There are distinctive differences between a buyer’s and seller’s real estate market that are worth learning about.

Seller’s markets are characterized by:

  • A depleted inventory of homes for sale.
  • Escalating home prices.
  • Multiple offers on homes in good shape and located in decent areas.
  • Buyers have little bargaining power.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these characteristics.

Depleted Inventory

The most common cause of low inventories in a real estate market is a combination of few homeowners listing their homes and strong buyer participation in the market. It’s a matter of supply and demand.

Escalating Home Prices

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The economic principle of supply and demand works with most commodities, including real estate. When buyer demand is high but the supply of available homes is low, those homes that are available increase in value.


Multiple Offers are Common

When there are few decent homes on the market yet plenty of ready and able buyers vying for them, multiple offers on suitable homes become common. Or, as I always
say when I see the inventory shrink “Home listings dry up and we break out in bidding wars.”

Like the tug-of-wars with products at Black Friday sales, bidding wars are commonplace in seller’s markets.  This is very difficult for first time home buyers.  Usually they do not have the resources to pay more out of pocket.

Buyers have little Wiggle Room

Sellers are in the driver’s seat in this market. They dictate the terms, they set the price and they have all the power when deciding who will purchase their home. It’s frustrating for buyers to know that they have no wiggle room for negotiations and must come in with their highest and best offer. This is particularly difficult for first time home buyers.  Usually they do not have the resources to pay more out of pocket.

Turn these seller’s market characteristics backward and you’ll have a description of a buyer’s market. Inventories of available homes are large, there are few buyers in the market for a home and prices typically . Buyers dictate the negotiations and sellers may find themselves taking less for the home than they hoped or offering concessions to buyers to entice them to buy the home.

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