Staying Productive While Staying Home – Painting

Have you been looking at that living room wall, that front door or maybe the entire house thinking to yourself, “If only I were home long enough to do these painting projects”? Is your home in need of some minor updating before you put it on the market? Well here is your chance! While we will be spending all our time at home over the next few weeks, potentially months, future sellers now have the time to complete their painting projects. Painting is a great return on investment when it comes to selling your home.

A clean look of fresh, neutral paint can make your house more appealing to a wide range of buyers. A good paint job helps show buyers that you care about your property and that it will serve them well in the years to come.

Home Depot remains open to accommodate those in need of essential items such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, cleaning supplies, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items. They have processes in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to its employees and visitors. Don’t want to go into the store? Call your local store and request pickup or options for delivery.

Painting is not only good for the sale of your home but will also lessen the feeling of “cabin fever” while you are staying productive while staying home.


Posted on March 26, 2020 at 3:30 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Sellers | Tagged , , , , , , ,

COVID-19 & The National Housing Market

 

How will COVID-19 impact the national housing market? 

Take-aways from Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner

Housing Market

  • Expect a 10% -15% contraction in the number of home sales for 2020 
  • Contraction is anticipated to be brief and pick back up quickly
  • Qualification and financing is going to more achievable than ever
  • Low supply in new construction, but households are still being created which puts upward price pressure on housing stock

Buyers

  • Mortgage Interest Rates continue to remain extremely low and are expected to remain low
  • Buyers are influenced by the economy and with 70% of the US economy being influenced by consumption and the stock market declining, buyers concerns of job security arise and the option to obtain a down payment from selling stocks is limited
  • Take Action: Buyers, look for lending options that offer achievable money down and doesn’t create a risk for leveraging stocks or completely deplete savings during this uncertain time. Leverage the low interest rates while they last and understand how a decline in interest rates can significantly change your monthly mortgage, making home ownership more achievable in the long term.

Sellers

  • Inventory may drop as, depending on market, sellers may be hesitant to list
  • Sellers may be cautious to open their home to potential buyers
  • Take Action: Discuss virtual safe tours with your agent to keep your listings moving and buyers looking.

Recession

  • Will we experience a recession in 2020? Yes, if the economy continues to see a shirk through Q3.
  • How long will it last? Because there is nothing systemically wrong with the market, if a recession occurs, it will be a short term impact.
  • The economy is expected to recover and to be much healthier than in the second half of 2020 than what is experienced in the first half.
  • Note – A recession is two or more quarters during which the economy shrinks.

 

Most importantly! Order take-out, get coffee to-go, buy gift cards and find every opportunity to continue to support your small businesses and stimulate the overall economy. Action now will lessens the impact when we fully recover from COVID-19.


Posted on March 17, 2020 at 7:15 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Buyers & Sellers, Investors, Sellers | Tagged , , , , , ,

A History Lesson

 

With the stock market on a wild ride and the Dow Jones dropping nearly 1,000 points last week, it makes some people wonder if the local real estate market might also crash or at least “correct.”

A little history lesson on the Front Range real estate market is in order. 

 

  • In the last 40 years average appreciation per year has been 5.5% 
  • Highest appreciation in a single year was 15.9% in 1994
  • Lowest appreciation rate in a single year was -4.0% in 1982
  • In 2008 Wall Street was in turmoil, the stock market plummeted and the Dow Jones dropped 33.8%. Meanwhile real estate along the Front Range dropped only 2.2%.

 

Bottom line, the Front Range market has no history of crashing or even experiencing a major correction.

Why is that?

The answer is fundamentals.

Our local economy has inherent fundamentals that insulate it from big downturns. 

We have an incredibly diverse economy which is not reliant upon a single industry.  We have all the way from health care, to technology, agriculture, oil and gas, major universities, and financial services (just to name a few).

We are a global destination with a major international airport.

Oh, and the quality of life here isn’t too shabby.

Prices of real estate, just like prices of anything, come down to basic economic principles of supply and demand.

Because of our diverse economy and desirable quality of life, there has been strong, consistent demand for housing along the Front Range.

While there may be little bumps along the way, over the long term our market has proven that it performs.


Posted on March 11, 2020 at 3:19 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Economics, Sellers, WHO LOVES STATS | Tagged , , , ,

When To Sell An Investment Property

 

Common and urgent reasons to unload your investment property:

 

If Real Estate Is Too Much of Your Net Worth

Experts recommend holding investments in at least three or four different asset classes, with a roughly equal portion of your value in each class. If real estate is more than half your net worth, you might want to consider diversifying.

If Long Term Tenants Move Out

Long-term tenants don’t always a allow for continual upkeep on your rental. If your tenants move on, and the market looks strong, you might want list your rental in place of exhaustively upgrading.

Increase in Property Taxes

A times, property taxes go up right alongside home values, sometimes even outpacing them. When property taxes increase, landlords have to pay them out of their rental income, so either their profits go down, or they’ll increase rents to make up the lost revenue. In either case, the situation can get complicated; higher rents mean a smaller tenant pool to draw from, and smaller profits means, well, less money. Only a few successive property tax hikes can make an investment property financially unfeasible.

Reset the Depreciation Clock

Depreciation can play a big part in an investor’s financial strategy. When properties no longer offer any potential depreciation, it’s time to sell, and buy newer properties, thus resetting the depreciation clock.

Seller’s Market

If you’re a short-term investor or have reached the financial capacity of your property, leverage a favorable seller’s market to get the highest return. Work with a knowledgeable real estate broker that understands the local market and its trends, so you know when the best time is to sell.

A Bigger, Better Opportunity Presents Itself

If you’re looking to turn your present investment into a larger one, a 1031 exchange is a valuable tool. The 1031 essentially lets you trade one property for another, a more valuable one, while temporarily deferring capital gains taxes.

An investor can exchange a small duplex for a larger six-unit property, using a 1031 exchange, and then flip that six-unit property for a full apartment building with another 1031 exchange, and defer capital gains from all the transactions. Since capital gains taxes can take a huge bite out of your profits when you sell, being able to delay this tax bill, potentially indefinitely, is incredibly valuable.

This article is highlights from Thomas O’Shaughnessy article, How to Know When It’s Time to Sell Your Property and Buy Another.

 

 


Posted on March 2, 2020 at 8:20 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Investors, Renters, Sellers | 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 , , , , ,

Mistakes to Avoid When Buying and Selling a Home

 

There’s nothing more exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling than buying a home. However, it’s a complex transaction; there are a number of steps along the path that can confuse, betwixt, and befuddle even the most seasoned buyers and sellers.

How can you avoid those potential pitfalls and common mistakes? Look to your real estate professional for advice and keep these guidelines in mind:

 

BUYERS:

 

#1 Review your credit reports ahead of time

Review your credit report a few months before you begin your house hunt, and you’ll have time to ensure the facts are correct and be able to dispute mistakes before a mortgage lender checks your credit. Get a copy of your credit report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because, if the scores differ, the bank will typically use the lowest one. Alert the credit bureaus if you see any mistakes, fix any problems you discover, and don’t apply for any new credit until after your home loan closes.

 

#2 Get pre-approved

Before getting serious about your hunt for a new house, you’ll want to choose a lender and get pre-approved for a mortgage (not just pre-qualified—which is a cursory review of your finances—but pre-approved for a loan of a specific amount). Pre-approval lets sellers know you’re serious. Most importantly, pre-approval will help you determine exactly how much you can comfortably afford to spend.

 

#3 Know what you want

You and your real estate agent should both be clear about the house you want to buy. Put it in writing. First, make a list of all the features and amenities you really want. Then, number each item and prioritize them. Now, divide the list into must-haves and really-wants.

 

#4 Account for hidden costs

In addition to the purchase price of the home, there are additional costs you need to take into consideration, such as closing costs, appraisal fees, and escrow fees. Once you find a prospective home, you’ll want to:

  • Get estimates for any repairs or remodeling it may need.
  • Estimate how much it will cost to maintain (gas, electric, utilities, etc.).
  • Determine how much you’ll pay in taxes monthly and/or annually.
  • Learn whether there are any homeowner’s or development dues associated with the property.

 

#5 Get an inspection

Buying a home is emotionally charged—which can make it difficult for buyers to see the house for what it truly is. That’s why you need impartial third parties who can help you logically analyze the condition of the property. Your agent is there to advise you, but you also need a home inspector to assess any hidden flaws, structural damage or faulty systems.

 

#6 Evaluate the neighborhood and location

When house hunting, it’s easy to become overly focused on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the condition of the home and its amenities while overlooking the subtleties of the surrounding neighborhood. Take time to check crime reports, school options, churches and shopping. If schools are a key factor, do more than simply research the statistics; speak with the principal(s) and chat with the parents waiting outside.

 

 

SELLERS:

 

#1 Avoid becoming emotional or sentimental about the sale

Once you decide to sell your house, it’s time to strip out the emotion and look at it as a commodity in a business transaction. If you start reminiscing about all the good times you had and the hard work you invested, it will only make it that much harder to successfully price, prepare, and market the home.

 

#2 Fix problems (or price accordingly)

Homes with deferred maintenance and repair issues can take far longer to sell and can be subject to last-minute sale-cancellations. These homes also often sell for less than their legitimate market value. If you simply can’t afford to address critical issues, be prepared to work with your agent to price and market your home accordingly.

 

#3 Don’t overprice your home (and/or refuse to negotiate)

Getting top dollar is the dream of every seller. But it’s essential that you let the market dictate that price, not your emotions or financial situation. Allow your agent to research and prepare a market analysis that factors in the value of similar homes in the area, and trust those results.

 

#4 Use quality photos

The vast majority of prospective buyers today search for homes online first. In order to make a good first impression, you need a wealth of high-quality photos of your home and surrounding grounds. You may also need to consider professional staging in order to position your home in the best possible light for prospective buyers.

 

 

The process of buying or selling a home can have plenty of twists and turns, but with some smart decision making, you can avoid the most common mistakes and pitfalls.

 

Click here if you would like to connect with an experienced real estate agent.


Posted on September 25, 2019 at 9:30 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Buyers & Sellers, Sellers, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Warranties Provide Buyers and Sellers With A Peace Of Mind

If you are a homeowner, you probably know all-too-well how costly home repairs can be. And, thanks to Murphy’s Law, appliance break-downs seem to happen at the worst possible time—like when you are selling your home. For this reason, it is in the best interest of all home sellers to consider purchasing a home warranty.

A home warranty offers many advantages to the home seller, the least of which is a peace of mind that your major home appliances are covered in the event of a break down. Most home warranties cover both parts and labor of your home’s most vital systems and major appliances. This protects the home seller from potentially large, unexpected repair bills and also allows the buyer to purchase the home with more confidence. Additionally, a home warranty is usually for the term of at least one year, so any unforeseen repairs/replacements are also covered well after the home has been sold. A home warranty also provides a competitive edge over those homes without warranties because it communicates confidence to buyers. This can add up to a faster selling period, resulting in a more convenient process for all involved.

A home is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make, so the last thing you want as a home seller or buyer, are unexpected home repairs/replacements. Major appliance replacement can cost you several thousand dollars, and during the process of a home sale/purchase, your budget doesn’t often allow for costly expenses. A home warranty is designed to protect you from these types of expenditures. Furthermore, it is convenient for home sellers because a home warranty offers after-sale liability. While an inspection may find many faults that are covered by a home warranty, it cannot account for latent problems that are beyond an inspection’s scope, or problems that occur down the road. In most cases, a home warranty will cover these expenses, alleviating potential financial burdens for the seller once they have sold the home.

When considering a home warranty, it’s important to ask the right questions. Warranties vary from one company to the next and there are also many different types of coverage available. Your Realtor should be able to help you with this process. First and foremost, you should identify which components of the home will be covered by the warranty. It’s also important to attain annual costs and the charge for service calls. You will want to ask what the total dollar limit is on the warranty and what the limits are for the individual items that are covered. Many home sellers purchase home warranties, which are then passed along to the homebuyer when they move into the home. As a homebuyer, you may want to look into whether or not the coverage can be renewed once the warranty has expired.

According to American Home Shield, one of the largest home warranty companies in the nation, the average home warranty customer uses their warranty plan 2.3 times. Furthermore, the number of home warranties is increasing with every year because homeowners are becoming more informed of their benefits. Eventually home warranties will become commonplace, as buyers and sellers realize the advantages they offer. Ultimately, what it comes down to is that a home warranty is a very simple, cost-effective way to purchase a peace of mind for both homebuyers and sellers alike.


Posted on April 29, 2019 at 9:15 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Buyers & Sellers, Sellers | Tagged , , , ,

Increase your living space—and your home’s value

Cooking and dining alfresco is arguably the single greatest thing about warm weather in spring and summer, but most backyard barbeques involve a million trips to and from the kitchen. As such, one of the hottest trends in new home construction is outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens typically feature a comfortable eating area with a combination of cabinets, sinks, warming drawers, prep counters, ranges, and refrigerators—all within arm’s reach of the grill. Outdoor kitchens provide a natural gathering spot for friends and family and can add to the value of your home.

How elaborate your outdoor kitchen should be depends on how often you plan to use it. Some people enjoying dining outdoors every evening, while others reserve it for special occasions and social gatherings. Regardless of the frequency of use, you need to use materials that do well in all kinds of weather. Stone sinks, stainless steel cabinets, and slate countertops will withstand the Seattle rain, as well as the months that pass between barbeque seasons. Many outdoor kitchens also feature pergolas or other roof structures to shield guests from sun and rain. Something else to consider is adding an outdoor gas heater or fireplace, which will extend the amount of time you can use your outdoor kitchen into the fall and winter months.

In addition to the convenience of having all your grilling accoutrements within a handy distance, a well-built outdoor kitchen also adds to the value of your home. And you don’t have to have a new home to reap the benefits. With the right space and backyard layout, owners of existing homes can easily add-on an outdoor kitchen area. When adding an outdoor kitchen to an existing home, power, gas, and water lines often have to be extended from the home, so be sure to hire a qualified contractor to do the work for you. By extending your living space outside, you have essentially increased the square footage of your home. In many cases the increase in your home’s value will equal or even sometimes exceed the cost of the project itself.

The benefits of an outdoor kitchen area and living space are many. And with the convenience of having your drinks, condiments, meat, and cooking space all in one easy-to-reach place, you can spend the precious summer moments right where you should—outside with friends and family.

What features would you include in an outdoor kitchen?


Posted on April 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Sellers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

The following analysis of the Metro Denver & Northern Colorado real estate market (which now includes Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Park Counties) is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

The Colorado economy continues to grow, adding 69,100 new non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months, which represents a solid growth rate of 2.6%. That said, we are continuing to see a modest slowdown in employment gains, but that is to be expected at this stage of the business cycle. My latest forecast suggests that Colorado will add a total of 65,000 new jobs in 2019, representing a growth rate of 2.3%.
In November, the state unemployment rate was 3.3%, up from 3% a year ago. The increase is essentially due to an increase in the labor force, which rose by 77,279 people. On an un-seasonally adjusted basis, unemployment rates in all the markets contained in this report dropped between November 2017 and November 2018. The highest rate was in Grand Junction, but that was still a very respectable 4%. Fort Collins and Boulder had the lowest unemployment rate of 2.9%. All the regions contained in this report are essentially at full employment.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, 12,911 homes sold — a drop of 13.8% compared to the last quarter of 2017 and down 22% from the third quarter.​
  • The only market that saw growth in sales was Clear Creek, which rose by 3.8%. This is a small market, however, and is prone to rapid swings in price as well as sales. There was a significant drop in sales in the Denver market. I will be watching closely to see if this is an anomaly or a longer-term trend. At this time, I believe the former to be true.​
  • Interestingly, this decline in sales in Denver came as inventory levels rose by 37%. For now, I attribute this to seasonality and expect to see sales growth return in the spring.
  • Inventory growth continues to give buyers more choice, allowing them to be far more selective — and patient — before making an offer on a home. That said, well-positioned and well-priced homes are selling relatively quickly.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • Despite the rapid rise in listings and slowing home sales, prices continue to trend higher, though the rate of growth is slowing. The average home price in the region rose 6% year-over-year to $454,903. Home prices were 2% higher than in the third quarter.
  • In all, the data was not very surprising. As with many markets across the country, affordability is starting to become an issue. However, the recent drop in interest rates likely stimulated buyers at the end of 2018 and I expect to see good price growth in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Park County, where prices rose 28.2%. We can attribute this rapid increase to it being a small market. Only Gilpin County saw a drop in average home price. Though this, too, is due to it being a very small market, making it more prone to significant swings.
  • As mentioned, affordability is becoming an issue in many Colorado markets and I anticipate that we will see some cooling in home price appreciation as we move through late 2019.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home in Colorado rose by one day compared to the final quarter of 2017.
  • The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in four counties: Boulder, Larimer, Gilpin, and Park. The rest of the counties in this report saw days on market rise relatively modestly with the exception of the small Clear Creek market, which rose by 20 days.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, it took an average of 38 days to sell a home in the region, but it took less than a month to sell a home in five of the eleven counties contained in this report.
  • Housing demand is still there, but buyers appear to have taken a little breather. I anticipate, however, that the spring will bring more activity and rising sales.

 

 

CONCLUSIONS

The speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, I continue the trend I started last summer and have moved the needle a little more in favor of buyers. I will be closely watching listing activity in the spring to see if we get any major bumps above the traditional increase because that may further slow home price growth — something that would-be buyers appear to be waiting for.

 

As Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, Matthew Gardner is responsible for analyzing and interpreting economic data and its impact on the real estate market on both a local and national level. Matthew has over 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.

In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities, Matthew sits on the Washington State Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors; chairs the Board of Trustees at the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington; and is an Advisory Board Member at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Washington where he also lectures in real estate economics.


Posted on April 19, 2019 at 11:15 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Buyers, Colorado Real Estate Market, Economics, Housing Trends, Sellers | Tagged , , , , ,

How to Create a More Beautiful and “Sale” Ready Home

RGN_1In today’s market, I am consistently seeing that buyers are looking for the “cream puff” listings. They want a home that is well maintained, “move in” ready, priced well, and in a good location. No surprise there, right?

As I work with clients, whether they are preparing to move now or just looking to improve their home for their own enjoyment, I find a few things that consistently show rewards in the end.

Beginning with maintenance items such as roofing, siding, paint (both interior and exterior), windows, and a couple secret weapons that are often overlooked, which offer a huge impact and are more reasonably priced than you may think, are new garage doors and outdoor fixtures. Remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Outdoor living areas have become all the rage by giving the homeowner an opportunity to add additional entertaining space to their home. The options here are endless depending on your budget and amount of space you have to work with, but this can be a great way to improve the function and finish of your home.

Take a minute to ask yourself, where do I spend most of my time in my home? Kitchen, kitchen, kitchen! We all love to eat and hang out in the kitchen. As a result, improvements here are always a good place to start.

RGN_2

 

Owner’s bedroom suites and bathrooms are also very popular areas for improvement.  The range of options for these areas is vast based again on size and budget.

Consider replacing hard surfaces, base and trim, fixtures, and doors. Think outside the box and ask an expert for help choosing something that might set your home apart. Why use the same six-panel door that everyone has? Change it up a bit. Starting with the solid bones using neutral tones and embellishing with accessories to add a splash of color and your own flair is always a winner!

RGN_3

 

The more open, clean, and well maintained your home is, the greater your return on your investment will be. Buyers in today’s market have access to an abundance of information and have a good eye for short cuts. Work done just to “flip” a home will be called out very quickly! Always ask a professional for advice. You will find your favorite contractor or real estate professional will be more than happy to spend some time helping you make educated decisions that will meet your needs and show long term return.

RGN_4By Aimee Shriner

Windermere Real Estate/Northeast Inc.

Kirkland, WA

Orignially posted on RGN Construction’s blog.

All photos are from www.rgncon.com


Posted on April 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Housing Trends, Sellers | Tagged , , ,