Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Metro Denver home prices up for 9th month

For the ninth month in a row, metro Denver home sale prices rose in October compared to a year earlier, according to the CoreLogic Inc.'s home price index (HPI) report Tuesday.  Home prices in the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield metro area increased 9.2% in October from a year earlier.  Those numbers were for all sales, including REO, or distressed, properties.  The HPI for resales excluding distressed homes stood at 8 percent in October compared to October 2011.

“The housing recovery that started earlier in 2012 continues to gain momentum," Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in a release. “The recovery is geographically broad-based with almost all markets experiencing some appreciation. [Coastal] and energy states continue to experience the most robust appreciation and some judicial foreclosure states are even recording increasing prices.” 

CoreLogic research shows that all but five states are experiencing year-over-year price gains.
Statewide, Colorado’s HPI rose 7.3 percent in October from a year earlier, including REO property, and 6.1 percent excluding distressed homes.

In case you are wondering, we are far past the so-called "bottom."  The market is continuing to improve...which is great news for everyone!

Email me for specific neighborhood information: Jonathan@thedenverhouseguy.com

Monday, November 26, 2012

Denver #4 Where Homes are Selling Fastest

The median age of inventory of for-sale homes has dropped nearly 12% compared to year-ago levels, according to October housing data from Realtor.com.
With inventories shrinking nationwide and hovering at historic lows, homes are selling faster in many parts of the country. 
“Lower inventories, combined with somewhat higher median list prices, suggest that the housing market ending the 2012 home-buying season is in better shape than it was a year ago,” according to a Realtor.com release. 
In Oakland, Calif., the median age of inventory is the lowest in the country at 21 days, a 57% decrease over year ago levels. 
The following are the top 8 markets with the lowest median age of inventories in the country:
  1. Oakland, Calif.: 21 days
  2. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.: 26 days
  3. Sacramento, Calif.: 32 days
  4. Denver, Colorado.: 40 days
  5. San Francisco: 44 days
  6. Fresno, Calif.: 44 days
  7. Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: 47 days
  8. San Jose, Calif.: 47 days

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Foreclosures are Down in Colorado

New foreclosure filings in Colorado are falling this year at a pace that could make for the lowest totals since 2006, the state Division of Housing reported Thursday.

Third-quarter new filings declined 11.8 percent compared to the same period last year. For the first nine months of the year, filings are down 2.2 percent to 22,920.

Satewide foreclosure filings peaked at 46,394 in 2009. The totals have dropped every year since.
The decline suggests continued recovery in the Colorado real estate market with home sales and prices rising.
Foreclosure auction sales — a lagging indicator that represents the completion of foreclosures filed months earlier — were down 10.6 percent in the third quarter and down 23.6 percent year to date.
"Completed foreclosures continue to head down at a steady pace," said Ryan McMaken, economist for the Colorado Division of Housing. "As home sales and home prices, rise, it's getting a little easier to avoid that final foreclosure sale through a short sale or even a conventional sale."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Change clocks and Maintenance Time this weekend!

Denver House Guy: 
Maintenance TIME! 

As Winter is approaching, don't forget to do these essential things to get prepared:

1. We GAIN an hour this Saturday night! What are you going to do with your extra hour? Be sure to use it!

2. Replace your furnace filter. You don't want to be breathing old dust and other stuff throughout the Winter.

3. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, to make sure they are actively working & safe. 

4. Consider having a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen.

That's it! Have a great weekend and enjoy the EXTRA HOUR!

Jonathan Ghaly

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Work on 74-acre Broomfield Business Center Begins!

Etkin Johnson has started the first phase of development of Broomfield Business Center, a 74-acre mixed-use project northeast of FlatIron Crossing mall.  The initial components include a luxury apartment community and a 4½-acre park.  The $80 million first phase also will see construction of infrastructure for the remaining 51 acres.  The remainder of the project will include restaurants, banks, retail, single and multistory office/flex, structured and surface parking and a hotel.  It all is projected to be completed in five years.  When complete, the community will total more than 1.5 million square feet. 

"Broomfield Business Center is another perfect example of foresight by the leaders of Broomfield," said Tim Wiens, whose Arista development across U.S. 36 is booming. "We've worked long and hard, individually and together, to create infrastructure for transit stops and everything Arista is.
"Now, work is happening on the other side of U.S. 36 to continue that. It's just terrific."
Broomfield already is home to such corporations as Ball Aerospace, Level 3 Communications, Oracle and Vail Resorts.
"I've lived in Broomfield since 1981," said Broomfield Mayor Pat Quinn. "We were just a bedroom community, but that's changing."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Young Buyers Feel Smart About Home Ownership

More than three-quarters of Americans who fall within Generations X and Y believe they have become increasingly knowledgeable about home ownership due to the greater media coverage on the real estate market the past six years, according to a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey of about 1,000 18-35 year olds.
These two generations say that before buying they’d do their homework first, researching interest rates, home prices in a desired neighborhood, and the ability to secure a loan. Despite the past housing crisis, these generations say they are not deterred from home buying, and 75 percent say that home ownership is a key indicator of success.

They also know that paying their own mortgage is actually cheaper than renting in most markets, and overall a much better investment than paying someone else's mortgage.
Generations X and Y, which boast 103 million of the population, are viewed as major drivers of the economy for the next 30 years. 
Among some of the survey’s findings about Generation X and Y’s perceptions on home ownership is: 
  • 71% of Gen X and Gen Y surveyed say that home ownership is not something they deserve but rather something you must earn, and they say they’re willing to sacrifice in order to be able to buy a home one day. Sixty-two percent say they would save by eating out less, 40 percent are willing to take a second job, and 23 percent would move back home with their parents. 
  • 75% say owning a nice home is an indicator of success over taking fancy vacations, owning an expensive car, or owning designer clothing. 
  • 61% say they’ll be ready to buy when they’ve landed a secure job. 
"Every generation faces defining economic events that alter their collective perspective," says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC. "'The Greatest Generation' was shaped by the Great Depression and Baby Boomers were impacted by the oil crises throughout the 1970s. Gen X and Gen Y experienced their 'coming of age' moment during the largest housing market downturn in American history. As such, these generations believe that the details, risks and rewards of home buying are integral to their planning.” 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Denver 12th Most Affordable City, Much Higher in Desirability

According to the Denver Post, Denver ranked 12th of the 25 largest cities in the country in affordability. 

The median household income in the Denver area exceeds the income required to purchase a median-priced home in the Denver area by four percent, according to the report.

The top five most affordable areas are Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis. The least affordable are Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, New York and San Francisco.

What is more interesting is that in terms of desirability, Denver is much higher than most all of the cities ranked more affordable. Having been on scores of Top Ten lists throughout the last few years, including most popular city for relocating young adults, Denver has the extremely rare combination of both desirability and affordability.

Thank God we live in Denver! 

Home Loan Applications Soar

It's not surprising that mortgage applications for purchases rose to their highest levels since June last week, as mortgage rates hovered at record lows, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. 
Loan requests for home purchases, viewed as a leading indicator of future home sales, increased 2.4% for the week ending Oct. 5.  
However, the overall index — which includes applications for refinancing and home purchases — was down slightly for the week, falling 1.2% last week, MBA reported. Applications for refinancing make up the biggest bulk of the index. 
Taken alone, applications for refinancing dropped 2% last week, but still remain at a three-year high in volume, says Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

The 8 Big Investing Mistakes You Need to Avoid

If you've ever invested in real estate, you probably know some of these mistakes too well. If not, learn from ours! 

1) Buying In Spite of Horrible Neighbors

If the house next door has a house with a boat sinking in the front yard, rusty old car piled up on cinder blocks, an old camper from Woodstock with extension cords running to it and the lawn hasn’t been mowed or cared for since the Reagan administration…think again about your decision to buy.
No matter how much you fix up a house, you cannot change the neighborhood. The neighborhood will play a large role into the buyer’s decision whether to buy or not buy. When investing in real estate, always think ahead to the sale. Think “what would a buyer see that would detract them from buying this house?”
If the predominant answer you get is the next door neighbor, then move on. There are other flips in the sea . . . 

2) Hiring Your Friends

This is always a recipe for disaster. Although I do hire family members (they are in the legitimate trades after all), hiring a down and out friend to paint or roof or do any other subcontracting work on your project is usually a recipe for disaster, leading to wasted time and cost overruns. In many cases, you’ll end up doing the work yourself anyway.
Bottom line, if you hire your “friend” to work for you on a real estate project, chances are pretty good, he won’t be your friend when the project is done.

3) Buying Houses With Title Issues

This is especially true if you are new to real estate investing. Many guys I know make millions buying these kinds of problematic properties. So don’t get me wrong,  there is opportunity here, but only if you know what you’re doing.
Whatever you do, don’t buy a house with a title issue if you are new to real estate investing. Unless you either have lots of money or a real good understanding of title and title law, stay away because it could take years and lots of money to fix.
To avoid these mistakes, have a solid plan laid out with your attorney. But only if you feel confident you can go forward with it.
If you do venture down this road, have a solid plan with minimal loss to simply walk away if the costs run you too high. Better yet, if you’re new, don’t bother and aim for properties with clean title.

4) Hiring Contractors Based on “Trust Me”

This is a painful one. Too much personal experience here, especially in the early days.
I’m trusting by nature, but when it comes to general contractors, beware of the contractor who says“trust me I’ll take care of you”. When you hear those not so magic words, kindly show him the door.
This is especially true if they are reluctant to give you any kind of plan, estimate or time frame for the rehab completion.
Even more importantly, make sure they are licensed, insured and you get everything in writing prior to him setting foot into your property. Lastly, make sure you have an agreement of terms – what he will do for you and exactly by what time and date he will complete it.
Some contractors are notorious for “flying by the seat of their pants.” Don’t fall for it. Get it all in writing.

5) Not Sticking to Your Numbers

Way too common of a mistake here. Aren’t we all guilty of this one?
This is what we call “eraser math” and unfortunately it rarely works out in your favor. If you are about to buy a house and the rehab numbers, the comps, the ARV, the 70% rule don’t quite match up – don’t make the mistake that far too many real estate investors make.
If the numbers don’t work, they don’t work. Face facts and move on.
  • Could you get your rehab costs lower? Could be.
  • Could you sell it for a few thousand over market value? Possibly.
  • Could you buy it for a few thousand over your maximum ask price and still make a profit? Maybe.
Way too many question marks here . . .
Don’t buy a house if you have to adjust your spread sheet to make it work. Don’t lower your rehab budget or add to the selling price. In most cases, you’ll go over your budget and not under.  And then you’ll be under water.

 6) Buying on Emotion

“I love this place! It has so much…potential!”
In real estate investing, talk like this can get you in financial trouble quickly. The problem is that it’s easy to get carried away with emotion. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. It’s hard NOT to do it.
However the more “detached” you can be, the better. Of course, this may cause you to miss a few deals on the way, which is fine. But the more you stay true to the rules and the fundamentals and theless you lead with emotions, the better off you’ll be.
When you get even the slightest tingling feeling of emotion coursing through your veins, take a break. Remove yourself from the situation. If possible, think with your logic…not your emotions.  And if you can’t get the price you want, move on to the next offer. There will be other deals.

7) “Faking It”

For the new investor, this is so tempting to do. Don’t be tempted to stretch the truth and be more than you are – especially when you are first starting out.
It’s best to be honest.
Yes, it’s less glamorous.
Yes, it may lose you a few deals.
Yes, it may seem like the wrong thing for your business.
But in the long run, it will get you more deals, more partners, more investment dollars and more listings because you’re honest.
People by and large want to help other people. It’s human nature. So partnering with a mentor or someone who knows the ropes can help you get through this early time.
If you don’t have any house flips or wholesale deals under your belt already, it’s perfectly alright to tell people as much. In many cases, you’ll get some old-timer real estate investor to take you under his wing and help you along. Better yet, you could pay for a good honest mentor/coach and ride his coattails to your first deal.  Either way, don’t “fake it.” Be up front and honest.

8) Breaking Promises…and Breaking Trust

The local real estate investing community is tight-knit. Word travels fast about people who are dishonest and untrustworthy. And the quickest way you can make a bad name for yourself is to make promises you cannot or don’t choose to keep.
Reputation is EVERYTHING.
So go out of your way to make sure you keep yours intact. As they say: “Reputation is hard to earn…but easy to lose”
And you can destroy your reputation that took you any years to build up in mere seconds. Sad but true.
So stick to these principles instead:
  • Don’t make a promise you cannot keep
  • Do what you say and say what you’ll do
  • If you give someone your word, don’t go back on it….even if it may cost you thousands of dollars
  • Do your best to treat others as you would like to be treated
  • Be reliable. If you say you’ll be at a certain place at a certain time, be there
  • Be open and honest, be transparent
  • Be fair, don’t take advantage of people
Breaking promises can crush your real estate investing career quickly. Don’t be paranoid about it, just do what is right. If you do that, then chances are you’ll be in good hands.
But when you break your promises and develop a reputation as someone who cannot be trusted, word will spread. Reputations is everything in this business and trust me, word will get out quick.
There are a lot of mistakes you can make in real estate investing, but mistakes are what you learn from, so don’t go out of your way to avoid them.
Source: Bigger Pockets, Mike Lacava

Owners Who Foreclosed Back as Buyers

Families who had once lost their home to foreclosure following the housing crash are now re-emerging and looking to buy again, The Wall Street Journal reports. 
As Stuart Miller, chief executive of national homebuilder Lennar Corp., puts it: More people are “coming out of the penalty box.” 
Some builders have a growing interest in reaching out to these “boomerang” foreclosure buyers. For example, builders like K. Hovnanian are providing sales staff with fliers that detail mortgage eligibility rules for families who have undergone a foreclosure or bankruptcy. 
"The industry is saying, 'Pay your dues and then get back into the market,' " says Dan Klinger, president of K. Hovnanian American Mortgage.
In order to qualify for a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration, families must wait three years or more to apply again following a foreclosure or short sale. Using that benchmark, about 729,000 households that were foreclosed on during the housing crash are now eligible to apply for an FHA mortgage–up from 285,000 a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reports. 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require a much longer wait than FHA to qualify for a loan after a foreclosure or short sale, up to seven years. 
But just because “boomerang” families are allowed to apply again for financing for a home purchase doesn’t mean they’ll qualify for a loan, housing experts say. These families will still have to show a strong credit score and meet stringent underwriting standards. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Market Stats

Yep, this market is pretty hot

Entire MLS (All Areas)

Residential Highlights
  • 20.6% increase in number of closed sales for September year-over-year (3,147)
  • 9.4% increase in average price (sold) ($306,633)
  • 35.4% decrease in average days on market (64)
  • 17.8% increase in number of closed sales TYD (28,218)
Condo/Townhome Highlights (All Areas)
  • 49.6% decrease in average days on market (64)
  • 10.3% increase in number of closed sales for September year-over-year (802)
  • 16.8% increase in average price (sold) ($186,843)
  • 9.5% increase in number of NEW listings (968)
~Click here for Full report of entire MLS

This only means 1 thing: the market is hot right now. More people are buying, and faster. Sellers are delighting in so much attention for their homes. Buyers are loving the 3.4% rates. The "doom & gloom" is just not happening in Metro Denver. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reluctant Sellers Holding Up the Market?

While home prices are making gains in many markets, many home owners continue to wait for home prices go up even further before wanting to list their homes for sale, Inman News reports. As such, inventory levels have been tightly constrained in many markets, resulting in shortages of available for-sale listings. 

I myself have seen the consequences of this on buyers: reasonably-priced houses whisked away as soon as they're put on the market; multiple bid situations making buyers feel pressured (or at least frustrated if they lose); and not much inventory to choose from.

"Many sellers are still not aware of how strong our market is," Charles Roberts, co-owner of Your Castle Real Estate who serves as a director on the Denver Board of REALTORS®, told Inman News. "They still think it's a bad market to sell. Our job is to inform them about the market and explain to them that with a rising market, it has become a strong seller's market and to walk through their options."
In many areas, it’s a seller’s market right now, and that surprises many home owners, adds Jason Lopez, a broker at Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate in the San Diego area.
“Now it doesn't mean prices are skyrocketing like past cycles, but with the chance of multiple offers, it makes the process more appealing,” Lopez told Inman News.
And prices may never skyrocket like they did - tough lessons learned are better not repeated. 
So sellers, right now would be an excellent time to sell your home. Why? 
1) You have very little competition from other sellers. 
2) Prices have gone up, so you can price well. Many of my sellers were surprised that their home sold recently for what it could not get close to selling for 1-4 years ago.
3) Buyers will look at your house because of the low inventory, and if you're priced well in your market, you will get multiple offers! It's hard to say how long this seller's market will last. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 helpful tax tips for Sellers

The IRS has recently issued a helpful list of 10 tax tips all homeowners should keep in mind when selling a home:
1. You are usually eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.
2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).
3. You are not eligible for the exclusion if you excluded the gain from the sale of another home during the two-year period prior to the sale of your home.
4. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.
5. If you have a gain that cannot be excluded, it is taxable. You must report it on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.
6. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.
7. Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the adjusted basis of the home you sold, the gain (or loss) on the sale, and the gain that you can exclude.
8. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time.
9. If you received the first-time homebuyer credit and within 36 months of the date of purchase the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full credit is due with the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence, using Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year's tax return.
10. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you receive refunds or correspondence from the IRS. Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of your address change.
For more information about selling your home, see IRS Publication 523, Selling Your Home.

Trulia: Buying a home is 45% cheaper than renting

It's more affordable to buy a home than to rent in the 100 largest metros in the nation. That's the case if you plan to stay in the home for seven years, which is the average time Americans traditionally live in a home before moving.
The findings come from real estate data provider Trulia, which conducted a study of key market factors impacting the cost of homeownership. Based on asking prices and rents from the summer, the company claims that, on average, buying is 45% cheaper than renting those areas. That’s a savings of $771 a month.
Trulia Chief Economist Jeff Kolko cites the faster pace of rent hikes versus those of home prices.
“Asking home prices have started to rebound and have risen by 2.3% year-over-year in August (3.8% excluding foreclosures); however, rents have risen more (4.7%),” Kolko notes. “This means that prices are lower relative to rents than they were a year ago.”
“But more importantly, mortgage rates have fallen,” he adds. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sits at 3.55%, hovering only six basis points above the record low average hit in July.
To calculate whether renting or buying costs less, Trulia assumes people can get a low mortgage rate of 3.5%, itemize their federal tax deductions, are in the 25% tax bracket, and will stay in their home for seven years.
However, how much cheaper it is to buy a home than to rent depends on where you live.
Buying is 24% cheaper than renting in Honolulu, 28% cheaper in San Francisco, and 31% cheaper in New York, Trulia found. (Click on the map below.) Homeownership is even more affordable in Detroit, where buying a home is 70% cheaper than renting, and 63% cheaper in Oklahoma City and Gary, Ind.
With a higher mortgage rate (4.5%), failing to itemize and a shorter time horizon (five years), Trulia says renting becomes cheaper than buying in New York, San Francisco, San Jose, Calif., and Honolulu. Buying remains cheaper than renting in the other 96 out of the 100 largest metros.
If buying is so inexpensive relative to renting, why aren't more people doing it? Kolko responds that high unemployment is preventing people from saving for a down payment.
“And keep in mind, in the metros where the cost of buying is less than half of what it would cost to rent over the long term, it still takes years to save enough for a down payment,” he says. “It may be 56% cheaper to buy than to rent in Denver, for instance, but it takes more than eight years to save enough for a down payment there.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mortgage Rates Even Lower

Mortgage rates have moved lower every day this week.  Today's move was even more pronounced than yesterday's, carrying rates decisively into NEW all-time lows.   Today's data and events during the domestic market session were of little concern to Secondary Mortgage Markets, which began the day in stronger territory thanks to the overnight sessions in Europe and Asia.  From there, MBS (the "mortgage-backed-securities") that most directly influence rates) essentially held stead for the rest of the day, allowing lenders the ability to pass on more of the improvements.
The continued push into lifetime low territory lets us know that lenders are actually doing a fairly aggressive job of moving rates lower.  Adding to that sense of aggressiveness is the fact that most lenders have priced in the recent increase to Guarantee Fees which equates roughly to .125% higher rates.  For thefirst time ever, best-execution on 30yr Fixed Conventional Loans is 3.375% at a majority of Lenders, and even lower rates are viable choices at a few lenders for a few scenarios.

Check out these UNBELIEVABLE rates:
  • 30YR FIXED - 3.375% - 3.5%
  • FHA/VA - 3.25% - 3.5% (varies more between lenders than conventional 30yr Fixed)
  • 15 YEAR FIXED -  2.75% - 2.875%%
  • 5 YEAR ARMS -  2.625-3.25% depending on the lender

Friday, September 14, 2012

How can I improve my credit score right now?

As you know, your credit score is that 3 digit number that determines a lot in your financial life, including whether you can buy that beautiful house you're drooling over. So how can you improve or keep your credit score high?
There are several factors that contribute to one's score. Here are 5 ways to improve your credit score now:

1) Have multiple types of Credit: Lenders want to see that you have a history of multiple types of credit. If you only have one credit card, open up another. If you're going to buy a car, don't pay cash but pay a good downpayment instead and get a loan. Your credit score will go up as you pay. 

2) Pay down your debt: The more debt you have the riskier you appear to a lender. Paying down or paying off debt is a great way to make yourself more desirable for a home loan. 

3) Be on time with every bill. Don't be late! You can set up automatic payments from your checking account to pay off your credit card each month, and get those miles you need for a trip to Italy!
4) Do NOT under any circumstances open new lines of credit, no matter how small, before you start looking for a home.

5) Build your credit history: Younger borrowers are always at a slight disadvantage because they have a shorter credit history. But the longer you have lines of credit open (never close a line of credit! Even if you don't use a card, just keep it open), the higher your score will be!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How do I Know This House is "The One"?

With so many homes to choose from, how do you know if this house is "the one?"

Sounds like a dating question. And, coincidentally, using some of the same criteria used to determine if you're marrying the right person may also help you decide which home is the best for your needs. 

The last thing you want is analysis paralysis: a common disease caused by overthinking a decision, which then causes inactivity. It's horrible!

So, how can you be confident that the home you're buying will meet your needs? Start with some basic guidelines. Make a list of your must-haves, needs, and wants. These are truly three different categories. Yes, some things you list may overlap but after your list is started, you'll begin to see what really matters to you. Sometimes buyers will be shopping for a home with a pool, but when they finally make a list they realize that money is very tight and the added cost of heating a pool will be too much of a drain. So they revise their home-buying desires and start house-hunting all over again. It would've been far more effective to have considered this from the start.

Next, study the home or apartment that you're currently living in. What are the positive aspects of it? Are there things about the place you live in now that you absolutely can't stand? Taking stock of what is working and what isn't in your current home provides a good blueprint for the things you should consider when searching for your next home. Remember to be honest. Sometimes we tend to forget the bad things about a home due to its sentimental value. If you look at your current home with a critical eye, you'll know which areas caused a big headache and then you can be sure you don't buy another with the same problem.

For instance, maybe the home needs a lot of fixing up and you and your spouse barely survived the remodel without tearing each other apart. You might then want to search for homes in much better condition to limit the fixing up. Our minds have a wonderful way of forgetting the bad, once the bad is over. But, trust me, you'll remember once you're back in the same scenario again.
Do your homework and get everyone's feedback. Unless you're buying a home alone, you should spend time meeting with those who will be living in the home to discuss what's important. Sounds obvious...yes, but guess what? A lot of times Buyer One and Buyer Two don't even talk about what's really important to each other until they start searching for homes. Then they realize how truly different their views and expectations are and see the necessity to compromise a little. Time is better spent reviewing and discussing first. That way, an agent can make sure the properties being shown are in line with everyone's desires.

Finally, plan ahead. Especially if you're moving a family or you're moving in with someone else. Use a synchronized calendar, like Google, to help map out all the meetings and showings. There will be lots of important meetings to attend and if you can't get the necessary buyers there, the process will be stalled. Without the necessary buyers present, you can't be confident the home will satisfy. Plan. Schedule. Commit. This will assure that the home-buying process will be a success.

Survey Says: Generation Y Aspires to Homeownership

ERA Real Estate's survey of millennials, born from 1978 to 1995, found that 32 percent have already achieved homeownership — a purchase more than 90 percent of them made because they either wanted their own place or viewed ownership as a symbol of achievement.
Homeownership is a future goal of 64 percent of non-owners polled, and 53 percent of millennials who do not yet own houses view them as good investments. Given that 67 percent cited the importance of affordability and nearly 80 percent deem low real estate taxes to be very important, the survey indicates that the recession has played a role in Gen Y's thoughts on home buying.
The survey also reveals that 83 percent consider proximity to work important; while proximity to family and friends was cited by 67 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
Sixty-two percent of the millennials queried view living space as important, and Gen Y buyers are seen as being more practical because almost 70 percent cited the importance of built-in amenities but only 26 percent consider style to be important.
ERA Real Estate President and CEO Charlie Young notes that "Gen Y clearly understands the long-term value of homeownership from a financial standpoint" and they "view a home as a cornerstone in building a family and spending time with friends, not just a place to eat and sleep."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Case-Shiller: Home prices rose in June in 13 major cities, including Denver

Case-Shiller reported that home prices rose in June for 13 major cities across the U.S. from the same month last year, the first year-over-year increase since the summer of 2010.

In Denver home prices increased 4%, which is not a small number. This and the fact that vehicle sales are up 36.2% in Colorado are continued signs indicating growing consumer confidence in the economy. 

Below is a chart showing home price increases 

June home price index

June index
Change from May
Chg. from June 2011
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
New York
San Diego
San Francisco
The indexes have a base value of 100 in January 2000; so an index value of 150 translates to 50% appreciation for a typical home in the market.
Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices and Fiserv