Western Colorado Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 5, 2023

Inspections in Real Estate

   

 

The Essential Role of Home Inspections in Your Real Estate Journey

 

Introduction

 

When it comes to buying a home, the excitement of finding "the one" can often overshadow the importance of conducting a thorough home inspection. A home inspection is a critical step in the real estate process that can provide you with invaluable insights into the condition of the property you're considering. In this blog, we'll delve into the significance of a home inspection and why it should be an integral part of your homebuying journey.

 

Understanding Home Inspections

 

A home inspection is like a comprehensive health check-up for the property you're interested in purchasing. It's carried out by a certified home inspector who examines various aspects of the home's structure, systems, and components. This process includes evaluating the condition of the roof, plumbing, electrical systems, foundation, HVAC, and more. The goal is to identify any existing or potential issues that may affect the property's value, safety, or functionality.

 

Uncovering Hidden Issues

One of the primary benefits of a home inspection is the ability to uncover hidden problems that might not be visible to the naked eye. While a property might look picture-perfect on the surface, an experienced home inspector can identify underlying issues such as mold, water damage, faulty wiring, or structural concerns. Identifying these issues early on can save you from unexpected and costly repairs down the line.

 

Conclusion

 

 

In the world of real estate, knowledge is power, and a home inspection is your key to unlocking that power. It's an investment in your future home that pays off in multiple ways, from identifying potential issues to giving you leverage during negotiations. So, before you finalize your purchase, consider including a comprehensive home inspection as an essential step in your homebuying journey. After all, ensuring the structural integrity, safety, and functionality of your new property is a decision you'll never regret.

 

Posted in For Buyers
July 24, 2023

advantages of buying with rates above 7%

Introduction:

In the ever-evolving landscape of the real estate market, prospective homebuyers are often faced with the question of whether it's the right time to take the plunge into homeownership. One factor that significantly influences this decision is the prevailing interest rate. In recent times, interest rates around 7% have garnered attention. While some might perceive this as a challenge, this blog aims to shed light on the advantages of buying a home when interest rates hover around this mark.

1. Stability in Payments:

Interest rates around 7% offer a sense of stability to homebuyers. Compared to historically low rates, which are prone to fluctuations, a rate at this level provides more predictability in monthly mortgage payments. This predictability allows homeowners to budget more effectively, making it easier to plan for other financial goals and responsibilities.

2. Easier Qualification:

In an environment with moderate interest rates, lenders may adopt a more flexible approach to lending. Buyers who might have faced challenges qualifying for loans during periods of higher rates might find it easier to get approved at 7%. This increased accessibility can open doors for many aspiring homeowners who have been diligently saving for their dream property.

3. Room for Investment Growth:

While 7% might seem higher compared to previous rates, it is essential to understand that interest rates have historically fluctuated. Locking in a rate around 7% today could prove advantageous in the long term, especially if rates rise in the future. As the economy strengthens, property values tend to appreciate, allowing homeowners to build equity and potentially benefit from their investment.

4. Diverse Inventory and Negotiation Power:

When interest rates rise, the demand for homes may cool down, leading to increased housing inventory. A higher inventory translates to more options for buyers, increasing the likelihood of finding a home that precisely meets their needs. Additionally, with fewer buyers in the market, there may be more room for negotiation, allowing you to secure a better deal on your home purchase.

5. Avoiding Timing Paralysis:

Attempting to time the real estate market perfectly can lead to a phenomenon known as "timing paralysis." While waiting for the rates to dip lower, one might miss out on the ideal home or favorable market conditions. Buying a home with a 7% interest rate ensures that you can seize the current opportunities and start building equity and stability sooner rather than later.

Conclusion:

Purchasing a home when interest rates hover around 7% presents a host of advantages for homebuyers. The sense of stability in monthly payments, improved qualification prospects, potential for investment growth, diverse housing inventory, and the avoidance of timing paralysis make it an opportune moment to embrace homeownership. Remember, a home is not just an investment in property; it is an investment in your future and your family's well-being.

As always, it is crucial to evaluate your personal financial situation and consult with a trusted real estate professional and financial advisor before making any significant decisions. By doing so, you can navigate the real estate market with confidence and find the perfect place to call home. Happy house hunting!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or investment advice. Interest rates and market conditions may vary, and individuals should conduct thorough research before making any real estate-related decisions.

Posted in For Buyers
March 29, 2023

Home selling tips

4 Key Tips for Selling Your House This Spring




Spring has arrived, and that means more and more people are getting their homes ready to sell. But with recent shifts in real estate, this year’s spring housing market will be different from the frenzy of the past several years. To sell your house quickly, without hassles, and for the most money, be sure to follow these four simple tips:

1. Make Sure You Give Buyers Access

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a seller is limiting the days and times when buyers have access to view your home. In any market, if you want to maximize the sale of your house, you can’t limit potential buyers’ access to view it. If it’s not accessible, it could cost you by sitting on the market longer and ultimately selling for a lower price.

2. Make Your Home Look as Good as Possible on the Inside

For anything to sell, especially your home, it must look inviting. Your real estate agent can give you expert advice on ideal staging for your home. Even updating a room with fresh paint, steam cleaning carpets, or removing clutter from the garage can make a big impact.

3. First Impressions Matter

The old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” matters when selling your house. Often, the first impression a buyer gets is what they see as they walk up to the front door. Putting in the work in on the exterior of your home is just as important as what you stage inside. Freshen up your landscaping to improve your home’s curb appeal so you can make an impact with potential buyers.

4. Price It Right

This is probably the most important aspect of selling your home in today’s real estate market. If a house is priced competitively, it’s going to sell. Period. To do this, you have to know what’s happening with home prices in your area and understand the factors that are affecting the market right now. That’s why it’s best to work with a trusted real estate professional who can ensure you list your house at the right price.

Bottom Line

Everyone selling their home wants three things: to sell it for the most money they can, to do it in a certain amount of time, and to do all of that with the fewest hassles. To accomplish these goals, let’s connect so you can understand the steps you need to take to sell your home this spring. 

Posted in For Sellers
March 25, 2023

The Future of Real Estate

What’s Ahead for Home Prices in 2023




Over the past year, home prices have been a widely debated topic. Some have said we’ll see a massive drop in prices and that this could be a repeat of 2008 – which hasn’t happened. Others have forecasted a real estate market that could see slight appreciation or depreciation depending on the area of the country. And as we get closer to the spring real estate market, experts are continuing to forecast what they believe will happen with home prices this year and beyond.

Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, says:

While 2023 kicked off on a more optimistic note for the U.S. housing market, recent mortgage rate volatility highlights how much uncertainty remains. Nevertheless, the continued shortage of for-sale homes is likely to keep price declines modest, which are projected to top out at 3% peak to trough.”

Additionally, every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts regarding their five-year expectations for future home prices in the United States. Here’s what they said most recently:

So, given this information and what experts are saying about home prices, the question you might be asking is: should I buy a home this spring? Here are three reasons you should consider making a move:

  1. Buying a home helps you escape the cycle of rising rents. Over the past several decades, the median price of rent has risen consistently. The bottom line is, rent is going up.
  2. Homeownership is a hedge against inflation. A key advantage of homeownership is that it’s one of the best hedges against inflation. When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you secure your housing payment, so it won’t go up like it would if you rent.
  3. Homeownership is a powerful wealth-building tool. The average net worth of a homeowner is $255,000 compared to $6,300 for a renter.

Experts are projecting slight price depreciation in the housing market this year, followed by steady appreciation. Given that, you may be wondering if you should move ahead with buying a home this spring. The decision to purchase a home is best made when you do it knowing all the facts and have an expert on your side.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect so you can make the most informed decision about your next move.

Posted in Real Estate News
March 24, 2023

Good Decision to Buy?

Why Buying a Home Is a Sound Decision




If you’re thinking about buying a home, you want to know the decision will be a good one. And for many, that means thinking about what home prices are projected to do in the coming years and how that could impact your investment.

This year, we aren’t seeing home prices fall dramatically. As the year goes on, however, some markets may go up in value while others may lose value. That’s why it’s helpful to keep the long-term view in mind. Experts project a return to a steadier rate of price appreciation in the years that follow.

Home Price Appreciation in the Years Ahead

Over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts were polled by Pulsenomics in their latest quarterly Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES). The report indicates what they believe will happen with home prices over the next five years. As the graph below shows, after mild depreciation this year, these experts forecast home prices will return to more normal levels of appreciation through 2027.

The big takeaway is experts aren’t forecasting a drastic fall in home prices nationally, even though some markets will see home price appreciation while others may depreciate. And when they look further out, they see steady price appreciation in the long run. That’s a great example of why homeownership wins over time.

What Does This Mean for You?

Once you buy a home, price appreciation raises your home’s value, and that grows your household wealth. Here’s how a typical home’s value could change over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the survey mentioned above (see graph below):

In this example, if you bought a $400,000 home at the beginning of this year and factor in the forecast from the HPES, you could accumulate over $54,000 in household wealth over the next five years. So, if you’re wondering if buying a home is a sound decision, keep in mind what a strong wealth-building tool it is long term.

Bottom Line

According to the experts, while we may see slight depreciation this year, home prices are expected to grow over the next five years. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as home values (and your own net worth) are projected to grow. Let’s connect to begin the homebuying process today.

Posted in For Buyers
March 20, 2023

Market Crash

Here’s Why the Housing Market Isn’t Going To Crash [INFOGRAPHIC]




Posted in Real Estate News
March 3, 2023

Housing Costs a Big Burden on Renters

Is renting a home beneficial to you?

In mesa County, the answer to that headline would most likely be no. The average percentage of renters household annual income spent on rent is about 30%. Compare that to homeowners annual income spent on a home at 21%. Couple that number with the equity you build owning, tax breaks you receive and many, many more benefits. Buying a home will always be your best option. Position yourself where this can become a reality. I can help. Call me @ 970-270-9495! Click here to view the full Census article. 

 

Posted in Rent vs. Buy
Feb. 17, 2023

Home Value

Home equity…Everybody wants it, but what exactly is it, and how do you get it?

Equity represents the degree of ownership an individual or entity has in an asset after subtracting any debts against the asset. To say someone shares equity in a company means they would share in any assets remaining after all debts are accounted for.

For example, if your business has sold $500,000 worth of product this year, but you have rent, operating expenses, and a business loan payment totaling $400,000 for the year, you have $100,000 of equity in your business. Equity changes as the value of your assets and debts change.

Home equity works the same way. When you take out a mortgage to purchase a home, your home is collateral on the mortgage loan, so the outstanding mortgage principal must be deducted from the value of the home to determine your home equity.

In most cases, you make a down payment when you purchase your home. That down payment is your initial home equity. If you pay a 20% down payment on a $200,000 home, you have $40,000 equity when you close on your purchase.

As time goes on and you continue to pay down your mortgage principal, your equity grows. Usually, the longer your own your home, the more equity you gain because you are paying down your mortgage.  However, any debts you take on using your home value as collateral, such as a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC,) decrease your home equity.

The changing real estate market also influences your equity. If you paid $200,000 for your home, and two years later the homes in your neighborhood start selling in the $400,000 range, your theoretical equity increases. (Theoretical because you don’t realize your home equity until you sell your home and pay off all debts against it.) You can also lose equity if the market takes a dive but be patient and it should recover in time.

Equity also grows if you make improvements on your home that increase its value. Let’s say you add a swimming pool and all new appliances. You have increased the value of the home. Your equity doesn’t increase by the amount your spent on the improvements, but on the value you get upon resale. This is an important point when considering making improvements prior to putting your home on the market, and one that is often misunderstood.

Let’s say Joe spends $50,000 on upgrades to his home. He might tell his neighbor, “I have $50,000 in my home,” but when he goes to sell, the current market dictates how much he will actually get in return. If Joe ends up selling for $40,000 more than he originally paid, his $50,000 investment got him $40,000 in home equity.

Some things you can do to increase your home equity include:

1) Make a large down payment when you purchase your home. The more cash you put down, the more equity you begin with.

2) Make increased or extra payments on your mortgage principal. Adding to the principal portion only on your monthly payments, or making extra payments when you are able, helps chip away at your outstanding debt.

3) Be smart when making home improvements. Not all improvements build equity. Some improvements may be personal preferences that don’t necessarily add value for resale. Improvements such as a new HVAC system, new appliances, or a new roof are usually more reliable investments than a fountain in the front yard or surround sound speakers throughout the house.

4) Don’t borrow against your home equity unless you must. Home equity is often a homeowner’s biggest asset, and can help to build your retirement nest egg, but it can also come in handy if life throws you a curve ball and you need to borrow against it for an unforeseen emergency. Be careful not to borrow against your equity for frivolous purposes, so it will be there if you really need it.

5) Sell when the market is favorable. If you are counting on your home equity to help finance your next home, pay for your children’s education, or add to your retirement funds, try to sell during a seller’s market when inventory is needed in your area.

Feb. 15, 2023

Ibuyer

Should You Sell to an Instant Offer Company?

 There’s a new term in real estate: iBuyer.

iBuyers, short for instant buyers, give sellers an almost instantaneous offer on their homes. Also called instant offer companies, iBuyers promise sellers an offer within a couple of days and closing dates within one to two weeks. Some popular iBuyers include Opendoor, Offerpad, Redfin, and Zillow Offers. 

Unlike house flippers, iBuyers aren’t looking for distressed homes. iBuyers purchase moderately-priced homes, fix them up as needed, and relist them.

 The obvious downside to selling to an iBuyer is that you will not get top dollar for your home. They are looking for homes where they can make a specific profit margin. Typically, the company will analyze your home online, using algorithms to come up with a value. For example, Zillow Offers will most likely offer you their Zestimate price. Sellers should expect an offer of about 10% under fair market value.

 iBuyers accept a tiny percentage of the homes submitted. If the company decides to make you an offer, they may send a home inspector out to determine what costs they will have in preparing to resell the house. If you work with an iBuyer, make sure to read all the terms, as you may be required to cover some repairs.

 While using an iBuyer saves you from paying real estate agent fees, watch out. You may not have to pay the 5-7% real estate commission, but iBuyers charge fees that may run anywhere from 6 to 9%. The total costs of working with an iBuyer can sometimes run as much as 12-15% of your selling price.

 Working with an iBuyer benefits sellers who don’t have the time or desire to market their home traditionally. If you are in a situation where you need to sell your home quickly and are willing to take less than your home is worth, then an iBuyer may work out well for you. 

Before you offer your home to an iBuyer, please allow me to discuss your options with you. 

 

 

 

Posted in For Sellers
Feb. 15, 2023

Refinance now or wait

 

Your home mortgage is an important investment in your future, and a mortgage refinance can be a smart move to help you manage your investments when used under the right circumstances. Here are some things to consider about refinancing your mortgage.

 Simply put, when you refinance your mortgage, you are taking out a new loan to pay off your original mortgage, so the first question to ask yourself may be is there a better product available to you than what you started with?

 Refinancing allows you to borrow against the equity you have built up in your home and take out cash you can use to pay off other debt, make home improvements, or invest in your retirement. For example, let’s say you have $70,000 of equity in your home, but still owe $175,000 on your mortgage. You may take out a new mortgage for $200,000 that is used to pay off the first mortgage, and then pays you $25,000 in cash. If you have made regular payments on your initial mortgage for at least five years, you probably have enough equity built up to take a cash-out mortgage.

 Another reason to refinance is to reduce your monthly payment to give you more flexibility in your monthly budget. When you refinance, you are basically starting over on your 30-year commitment, but, if you are not taking cash out, your new mortgage amount will be lower, so your payments decrease.

 If you originally took out a 15-year mortgage, changing to a 30-year term will lower your monthly payment considerably.

 You may also choose the opposite and switch from a 30-year loan to a 15-year term. Your monthly payments will likely increase, but you will pay your loan off earlier and pay less interest.

 Another reason people refinance is to change from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate. This eliminates fluctuations in your monthly mortgage payment and may help you take advantage of favorable rates.

 Before you decide to refinance, do some homework. You should perform an audit of your monthly budget, assess your short and long-term financial goals, check your credit score, watch interest rate fluctuations, and consider the costs involved in refinancing ads there will be closing costs on your new loan.

 

 

Posted in For Sellers