Credibility in Real Estate Statistics & Market Trends

 

Are the national and local market and trends that are being fed to you credible? Is your real estate resource full of trustworthy statistics that enhance your knowledge of whether to buy or sell? Know that It is okay to ask for the source and credibility of the statistics that are influencing your future home buying decisions. It is only the biggest purchase of your lifetime.

When working with my clients I feel confident in the market trends and statistics that I provide. I leverage one of the most powerful resources in real estate, Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist at Windermere. Matthew is a well-respected economist with 28 years of professional experience in both the U.S. and U.K. In short, his strengths are in analyzing and interpreting real estate market trends, as well as accurately forecasting and delivering what to expect in the new year. If you are unfamiliar with Matthew and his influence, send me a request to receive our quarterly Gardner Reports to understand the significance of Matthew’s output, and most importantly our local market trends. Even Better!!! If you would like to experience Matthew firsthand, attend our Windermere Annual Forecast the January in Fort Collins and Denver. Contact me for more details and to RSVP as spots are limited.


Posted on December 4, 2019 at 4:46 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Economics, Economics 101, Fort Collins Real Estate, Housing Trends, Real Estate, Real Estate Outlook, WHO LOVES STATS, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

So you bought an investment property, now what?

Investing in a home is a great way to build passive income but earning from your investment will take a little groundwork to become a well-oiled machine. This is your beginner’s guide to owning an investment property so you can set up that foundation properly to avoid future headaches.

 

Make sure it’s livable

It’s important to start with your home inspection before you start making plans. Use the inspection report to prioritize the maintenance issues.

Before a tenant moves in, make sure the home is livable. Handle the important items that affect the livability of the property, either now or in the near future. If the inspector noticed a leak in the roof or holes that could lead to infestation, take care of those first. Other maintenance issues to prioritize are the fuel and the hot water source.

If your city has inspection and registration requirements, be sure to cross check those inspection checklists with your current property. If the property wouldn’t pass now, make sure it will pass by the time the city sees it.

 

Upgrade the space

Once your property is in livable condition, it’s time to upgrade. If you have any left-over budget after the necessities are handled, consider adding a bedroom or a bathroom where you can find the space. These rooms heavily impact the rental price, and the more you have the higher the price. If there’s no space for another bed or bath, think about finishing the basement or upgrading some of the appliances to make the property more attractive to potential tenants.

Use similar properties in your neighborhood as your inspiration. These units are your competition, think about what you can add, or even take away, that would help you compete. Ask yourself what about your home is unique and in what ways does that affect your rentability? If every unit in your area has hardwoods, how can you make your carpeted home appealing? Maybe new carpet? Or is switching to hardwoods, or vinyl laminate that looks like wood, worth it?

 

Market it to future tenants

You need two things in your listing: 1) Great Photos 2) An Amazing Description

After you’ve perfected the property, it’s time to tell potential tenants that it’s available. Creating the listing is essential in drawing eyes on the unit so you can show it to as many people as possible.

Renters looking to move are quick to make their first impression of a property with thumbnail photos on a map. So, take lots of great, bright, photos of the entire place to showcase the amenities and show potential tenants what it looks like, then choose the best photo to be the first in the lineup. Remember to get the lighting is just right to show every corner of the listing. Dark photos scare tenants away, making them think the unit is dingy and dirty. Light and bright photos show a clean home that’s move-in ready. They can imagine themselves living there a lot easier than in dark and cramped looking units.

Next, they’ll read the description. This is again where other listings in your area can help you.

Read other listings to structure your description and to draw inspiration on what tenants might think is important. Find the selling points and emphasize those above the unique features, especially if those unique features are obvious in the photos.


Posted on November 21, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers & Sellers, Home Facts, Housing Trends, Investors, Renters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE PRICE IS RIGHT!

 

As a seller it’s easy to have your head in the clouds when it comes to pricing your home. Being biased is completely understandable. You did create some of your best memories in this home; you and your son remodeled the bathroom together using the highest quality and most appealing material; your kitchen was recently updated with this year’s hottest trends and you are now the neighborhood’s ultimate host. So why shouldn’t you get  20-30% more on your home than your neighbor’s? The reality is that the market sets the price and depending on your goals you’ll want to be realistic to attract the right buyer at the right time. Research from the Denver Metro Association of Realtors® found that sellers who had to reduce their price experienced an average of 58 days on the market, compared to only 13 days for sellers who never had to reduce their price. Think like your consumer. Understand the market. Be realistic. Work with an expert.

If you are planning on listing your home, spend some time understanding what other comparable properties have recently sold for or save yourself some time and contact me for a complementary Comparative Market Analysis.


Posted on November 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Colorado Real Estate Market, Home Facts, Housing Trends, Real Estate, Sellers, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Two Tales

This is a Tale of Two Counties.

When it comes to new home activity, there is a big difference between Larimer and Weld Counties.

Larimer County new home starts are down 10% and new home closings are down 15% compared to last year.

Weld County new home starts are up 18% and new home closings are up 8% compared to last year.

This is all according to the new home research experts and Metrostudy.

So why the difference?  It comes down to price and availability.

There is more land available for new home development in Weld County.

Plus, the land tends to be less-expensive than Larimer which means that builders can deliver a lower-priced product and reach a larger pool of buyers.

The average price of a new home in Larimer County is $507,105 while the average new home price in Weld is $411,269.

 

 

If you want to see even more insights about the Colorado market so that you can make really good decisions about your real estate, you are welcome to watch this complimentary webinar, just click HERE.


Posted on November 15, 2019 at 5:44 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Fort Collins Real Estate, WHO LOVES STATS, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

VETERANS DAY – LET’S NOT FORGET

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY.

In a time when every day is a national holiday, ‘National Wine Day’, ‘National Siblings Day’, ‘National Hot Dog Day’, let’s not forget the significance of this day that should be celebrated to its fullest. On this day we honor those who have served, sacrificed, and suffered so those who can’t and simply don’t can live in peace and comfort. Let’s not forget that there are men and women who leave their families and friends for extended periods of time to live in very uncomfortable climates, sleep on a pad, live with little to no privacy and shower in water that is the equivalent of the sand that blasted them during the last 48 sleepless hours. Let’s not forget that while we unconsciously walk the paved sidewalks of our safe streets, a solider has or is taking each step with extreme caution simply to stay alive for their next calculated step. Let’s not forget that there are dads who have missed the birth of their first born child and mothers who have missed their baby’s first words. Let’s not forget that there are soldiers that go to war an athlete and come home unable to ever walk or run again; artist that will never see or hear again; a husband that will never be able embrace his wife again. Let’s not forget that there are grieving mothers, fathers, children, siblings, husbands, wives, extended family and friends that are reminded every day of the gap they now have in their lives because of the selflessness of their lost loved one(s).

Let’s not forget that even those who are lucky enough to survive continue to suffer as they bring home with them a part of their life at war and struggle with their future. Their time is served for the remainder of their days with constant reminders and memories of their experiences as a soldier. So, let’s not forget to truly celebrate this one day and the Heroes that surround us and recognize their service, sacrifice, and suffering that they selflessly gave so that the rest of us can live in peace and in comfort.

Today I recognize my sister Jessica and my brother Will for their service and selflessness, as well my brother Jeff for his continued service and dedication to protecting us all (that includes you reading this).

I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PROTECTION.


Posted on November 11, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Most Active

 

What is the most active price range in Northern Colorado?  Take a guess…

  • $300,000 to $400,000
  • $400,000 to $500,000
  • $500,000 to $750,000
  • $750,000 and above

By far, the most active price range is $300,000 to $400,000 with 60% more closed transactions than the $400,000 to $500,000 range and 400% more than homes priced $750,000 and above.

However, this lower price range does not have the most inventory.  The price range with the greatest selection of homes is $500,000 to $750,000.


Posted on November 7, 2019 at 9:47 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Buyers & Sellers, WHO LOVES STATS, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , ,

Buyer Beware: Is That House For Sale Haunted?

A trope as old as horror movies: a family moves into a beautiful house that they bought for well under market value. They’ve put all their savings into the move, and they’re looking for a fresh start. When they meet the neighbors and other townsfolk, they quickly learn that there’s a history to the home that they weren’t aware of.

When they start to experience the abnormal, it’s easy to brush off as new home jitters. The children who hear noises in the closet, and a husband who starts sleepwalking, are chalked up to stress and anxiety from the move. It’s only when the experiences escalate beyond control that the family finally realizes the extent of the haunting.

While sharing a home with the supernatural can be a selling point for some buyers, it’s quite the opposite for others. In fact, a 2017 survey by Realtor.com found that 33% of people were open to living in a haunted house, 25% would consider it, but 42% said it was a deal-breaker. So how do you make sure you’re fully informed about a home’s history? Knowing the right questions to ask is the first step:

 

 

Ask to see the seller disclosure form

In the famous 1991 case Stambovsky v. Ackley, the new homeowner, Jeffrey Stambovsky, won a lawsuit against the previous owner for not disclosing the history of hauntings.

In this case, the previous owner had published stories about the family’s experiences in Reader’s Digest and their local newspaper. In her writings, she explained several interactions with ghostly beings in the home, including finding that her children had been given rings, which would later disappear, bed shaking, and conversations with the floating specters.

The court took this evidence and ruled the “defendant is estopped to deny [the ghost’s] existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted.” Setting a new standard, this case created a basis for future seller disclosers. In this instance, they found that the history of the home, and the seller’s experiences in the home, would have influenced the marketability, and therefore, omitting these facts was unfair to the buyer.

Fast forward to 2019, there is not a specific section on seller disclosure forms for hauntings or ghostly sightings, but thanks to Stambovsky v. Ackley, sellers in many states are obligated by law to disclose things that affect a house’s marketability.

 

 

Ask Google about the history of the home

In 1991 when Mr. Stambovsky bought his haunted house, search engines didn’t exist. Today,  we’re lucky enough to have things like Google which would have found the previous home owner’s stories in mere seconds. Search keywords like the address or town name, and words like “haunted” or “ghosts”, as well as “murder” or “news report” should help you start your dive into the history of the home.

 

 

Ask the neighbors and your agent  

This is where nosey neighbors come in handy. When you find a place you’re serious about, contact the neighbors to see what they know about the home’s history. The same goes for your real estate agent; he or she can reach out to the listing agent to see if there is anything haunting you should know about prior to buying. While many states don’t require sellers to disclose paranormal activity or deaths in the home, if asked, all real estate agents must, by law, answer truthfully.


Posted on November 6, 2019 at 1:18 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers | Tagged , , , , , , ,

END OF YEAR HOME BUYING

 

Here is a fact…

If you have ever thought about owning a new home, the last two months of the year are usually the best time to make that happen.

Here’s why…

Many builders have year-end goals and sales quotas to hit.  If they have a “standing inventory” of homes that are completed but not sold, they are typically motivated to sell these homes by the end of the year.

This dynamic can be especially true for publicly-traded builders who are even more motivated to hit year-end sales numbers.

Up and down the Front Range there are beautiful new homes in fantastic neighborhoods.  The builders of these homes may be happy to make concessions and provide incentives as long as you close by year-end.

We just recently helped a buyer with a very compelling incentive package from a builder which included a lower price, additional landscaping and window coverings.

If you would like more details about these kinds of opportunities, reach out and we can help.


Posted on November 1, 2019 at 7:48 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Investors, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

How to Cover Unexpected Costs with a Personal Loan

Owning a home comes with its rewards — it’s an investment, a cozy haven to kick-up your feet after a long day of work, and a welcoming place to bring family and friends together. Although all of this makes homeownership fulfilling, owning a home also opens the door for unexpected (but necessary) expenses.

If you’ve suddenly been hit with a home improvement project that’s pinching your budget, like a roofing issue or heater malfunction, a personal loan might be an option to help cover the cost.

What is a personal loan?

A personal loan is an installment loan that’s typically issued by a bank, credit union or online lender. According to the Federal Reserve, the average interest rate on a two-year personal loan is 10.22% but varies depending on your credit score and other criteria. Some lenders offer repayment terms anywhere from 12 months to five years.

A benefit of using a personal loan for emergency home improvement projects is that the approval process is generally quick so you can address urgent home repairs sooner. Some online lenders can run a credit check, approve your application and send funds your way with a couple of days. The approval process for banks and credit unions, on the other hand, can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, if the lender needs additional information.

How to find a personal loan

If you’ve decided that a personal loan makes sense to fund your next home project, make sure you’re aware of these next steps.

1. Assess your budget

 

The last thing you need is taking out a personal loan only to realize after the fact that you can’t afford to repay it. Calculate how much you realistically need for your home improvement project, giving yourself a reasonable buffer for unforeseen repair expenses (e.g. permit fees, price changes for a specific material, etc.)

Then, tally your monthly income and financial obligations to ensure you still have enough cash on hand to keep the lights on and make monthly installments toward your loan. Using a spreadsheet or budgeting app can help you track these numbers easily.

2. Know your credit score

 

Generally, you need a good credit score to get approved for a personal loan. Your credit score is one of the key factors that lenders use to determine whether your application is approved, and a higher credit score results in a lower interest rate offer.

Check your credit score with the three credit bureaus to ensure there isn’t an error or suspicious activity that might inadvertently lower your credit score. For a free credit report, go to AnnualCreditReport.com to see where your credit stands before moving forward in the process.

3. Compare rates and terms

 

When you’ve confirmed that you have a good credit score that can get you competitive interest rates, it’s tempting to accept a loan from the first lender that approves you. But like other major purchases, it’s important to shop around.

Compare interest rates, annual percentage rates (APR), and term durations available, and read the fine print for any conditions or fees that might offset any benefits.

To start, try reaching out to your existing financial institution first to see what they can offer; sometimes credit unions, in particular, offer rate incentives for loyal members. Also, consider using a personal loan aggregator website to compare offers from multiple online lenders at once (just do your due diligence to ensure the site is legitimate).

4. Submit an application

 

If you’re ready to submit an application, you can either complete a form online or apply in-person, depending on your lender. Although all lenders require different information to process a loan application, some common information to prepare ahead of time include:

  • Personal information
  • Income
  • Employment information
  • Reason for the loan
  • Amount you want to borrow

 

To minimize any delays on your end, it’s helpful to prepare copies of verification documents, such as a driver’s license, proof of address like a utility statement, information about your home and pay stubs. Your prospective lender will likely reach out to you if they need any other information to make a decision.

Although it’s always best to have emergency savings set aside for a sudden home improvement project, turning to a personal loan is a useful option when you’re pressed for funds and time. As urgent as your project might feel, however, always take the time to do your research to ensure you’re making the right move for your situation.


Posted on November 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers | Tagged , , , , ,

NEW BUILD ON WINDSOR LAKE!

What a view! In addition to the beautiful mountain scenery and glass water that mirrors Colorado’s amazing skies, Windsor Lake offers peace and tranquility to its visitors. The lake is surrounded by a well-maintained paved 2.25 mile trail connecting to miles of extended trails that run through the lovely town of Windsor. Walk your furry friends, run, bike, fish, bird watch, or just simply relax. Spend your summer days boating, swimming, barbecuing, or buying fresh goods at the occasional Farmers Market at Boardwalk Park. Enjoy summer nights accompanied by family and friends with live music, food trucks, outdoor games, and movies in the park. We in Windsor are fortunate to have Windsor Lake as part of our community and home.

Don’t be just be a visitor; live just feet from Windsor Lake and be the first to enjoy the unique opportunity of waking up to breathtaking views in our newly built condominiums. Located on 6th and Cedar in Windsor’s Downtown District you will have immediate access to restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Each unit offers high-end finishes, over-sized double pane windows, and a large patio or balcony to enjoy everything the lake has to offer.

Learn more about this development by contacting Justine Marx at 970.775.4030, Windermere Real Estate, Windsor.


Posted on October 30, 2019 at 9:00 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Colorado Real Estate Market, Investors, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , ,