Monday, September 26, 2016


3 Colorado cities among Money 

Magazine's best places to live



by Caitlin Hendee, Denver Business Journal

There are three Colorado cities where residents have it made — they have low crime rates, top-notch schools and low unemployment.

And those three communities are Highlands Ranch, Centennial and Broomfield which landed the Nos. 6, 13 and 25 spots, respectively, on Money Magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" report.

To compile its report, Money Magazine starts with all U.S. towns and cities with populations of between 50,000 to 300,000. It then analyzed cities based on a number of factors, including:
  • Predicted job growth.
  • Crime rates.
  • Ethnic diversity.
  • Home values.
  • Economic performance/tax rates.
  • Median household incomes.
  • Accessibility to health care, culture, strong public schools and sports.
  • Resident interviews (conducted by Money Magazine reporters).
Highlands Ranch — at No. 6 nationally — was noted for its exceptionally low crime rates, high-ranking schools and plentiful jobs. The fact that Charles Schwab located its Denver-area offices nearby, as well as the planned, $315 million hospital being built by UCHealth, were also mentioned in the report.
"Highlands Ranch is a bedroom community where residents sleep very well at night. In fact, they affectionately refer to their hometown, about 15 miles south of downtown Denver, as 'the bubble,' " Money Magazine said. "The bad news is that the sizzling job market has attracted an influx of new residents, who in turn have driven up real estate costs."

Highlands Ranch, with a population of 105,143, has a median home price of $410,000, property taxes of $2,466, an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent and an average commute time of 26 minutes.

"On the plus side: Highlands Ranch, a planned community, was founded in 1981, so the housing stock is relatively new," the report noted.

With a population of 107,569, Centennial — at No. 13 on the list — ranked especially high because of its job market. Money Magazine called out the numerous companies that reside there, including major Comcast operations, United Launch Alliance and Innovation Pavilion, the 80,000-square-foot startup incubator that provides co-working space for entrepreneurs.

"Centennial also makes it easy for residents to take advantage of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine," Money's report said. "The town offers more than 2,500 acres of open space and parks, including award-winning Center Park, with an amphitheater and kid-friendly splash pad."

Centennial's median home price is $374,500 with property taxes of $2,368. It's average commute time is 24 minutes and its unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. The city was also the first city selected to get a TopGolf, a 65,000-square-foot golf-themed entertainment complex.

Money Magazine said Broomfield — at No. 25 nationally — was an "enviable location for both living and work" because of its proximity to the mountains and its more than 8,000 acres of open space and 281 miles of trail, as well as its rapidly growing job market.

"With such a strong job market, Broomfield is attracting new residents and building homes rapidly, causing some areas of town to look more like construction zones than neighborhoods," Money's report said. "Also, while many of Broomfield’s schools receive top marks, overcrowding has become a problem in some locations."

Companies headquartered at the city's 963-acre business park Interlocken Advanced Technology Environment include Level 3 Communications and Vail Resorts.

Broomfield, with 63,676 residents, has a median home price of $365,000, property taxes of $2,590, a 26-minute average commute time and an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

Last week, San Francisco-based career information site Zippia said Highlands Ranch is the 7th "happiest" community in the nation based off similar metrics included in this report.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Neighborhood Spotlight: Parker, Colorado


Photocredit: http://www.parker-station.com

If you are thinking of moving to one of Denver’s suburbs, you should consider Parker, CO.  With easy access to I-25 and E-470, Parker is located to the Southeast of Denver-proper.  There is a lot to do in Parker, to include concerts, camps, classes, art exhibits, festivals, and recreational activities for kids and adults alike!  There are numerous recreational facilities around town, to include pools, field houses, gyms, rock climbing centers, facility centers, playing fields, equestrian trails and more.  Further, Parker has a large network of trails, to include the Cherry Creek Trail, Centennial Trail, Sulpher Gulch Trail, Tallman Gulch Trail, the Newlin Gulch Trail, and the future East/West Trail.

According to Trulia, Parker is exhibiting the current market trends:

Housing Market Trends
Market trends help you understand the movement of key price indicators. Trends in Parker show an 8% year-over-year rise in median sales price and a 2% rise in median rent per month.

Median Sales Price
The median sales price for homes in Parker for Apr 14 to Jul 13 was $402,450 based on 500 home sales.

Price Per Square Ft.
Average price per square foot for Parker was $202, an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year.

Median Rent Per Month
The median rent per month for apartments in Parker for Jun 14 to Jul 15 was $2,295.

Demographics
16%
SINGLE RESIDENTS
91%
HOME OWNERS
36
MEDIAN AGE
$100,647
MEDIAN HOUSEHOLD INCOME
57%
COLLEGE EDUCATED


Source: Trulia


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Is now a good time to buy using a mortgage?


Is now a good time to buy using a mortgage? 

I am sure that you have heard over the past few months that interest rates are expected to rise as a result for the Fed’s anticipated rate hike.  However, with the global economy’s multiple crises, economic experts are expecting mortgage rates to stay the same, or to drop even further.

The Chicago Tribune reports that low mortgage rates will be something we can grow used to.  Most notably, the recent BREXIT situation has caused major players in the US to rethink their position on the state of our interest rates in the US due to an increasingly growing world economy on a macro-level.  For example, Freddie Mac’s chief economist has stated that "the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows; thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity."[1]

OK, so what does this mean for me?

Let’s compare interest rates using the annual averages for 2007, 2011, 2015, and June of 2016, assuming a 30-year fixed, $250,000 loan balance.  Rates are derived from Freddie Mac’s compiled data.[2]

Year
Average Int. Rate
P&I Payment
Savings compared to 2007 rates, annualized
2007
6.37%
$1,864.75
-
2011
4.45%
$1,511.16
$4,243.08
2015
3.85%
$1,406.42
$5,499.96
Jun-16
3.57%
$1,358.88
$6,070.44

So as you can see from this simplified chart, last month compared to the average rates in 2007 would yield homebuyers a savings in $6,070.44 in interest, each year!  This means that homebuyers can possibly qualify for homes that they wouldn’t have qualified for in 2007, or perhaps it will allow homebuyers to take that extra money that they are not spending on interest payments, and apply it to pay down debts or put it into investments for further growth.

Conclusion

As physics dictates, what goes up must come down (and in this case, the opposite- what goes down, will eventually go up!), so it is a great idea to reconsider your position.  Now is a great time to take advantage of the lower interest rates to buy your first home, or perhaps even move up to a bigger home.




[1] http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-mortgage-rates-20160714-story.html
[2] http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms30.htm

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

13 Colorado cities ranked for their real estate markets



(Standley Lake, Westminster)

Colorado cities' residential real estate showed up strong on a new report that looks the nation's best housing markets.
Seven cities were in the top 25 nationally, with Thornton ranking No. 8, according to WalletHub's "Best Real Estate Market" report released Tuesday.

To compile the report, the Washington, D.C.-based financial analyst site looked at 16 metrics across three categories in 300 U.S. cities, ranging in population from fewer than 150,000 (small cities) to between 151,000 and 300,000 (midsize cities), to 301,000 or more (large cities).
Metrics measured included:
  • Real estate market: percentage of homes underwater; average number of days until a house is sold; percentage of homes selling for a gain; median home-price appreciation; home sales turnover rate; rent-to-sale price ratio; foreclosure rate; mortgage delinquency rate; number of bank-held homes; vacancy rate; and building-permit activity.
  • Affordability & economic environment: housing affordability (based on price as a percentage of the area's median income); maintenance affordability (based on costs as a percentage of income); population growth rate; job growth rate; and unemployment rate.
  1. Thornton
  2. Arvada
  3. Denver
  4. Greeley
  5. Fort Collins
  6. Aurora
  7. Westminster
  8. Longmont
  9. Colorado Springs
  10. Centennial
  11. Lakewood
  12. Boulder
  13. Pueblo
Source: Caitlin Hendee, Aug 30 2016, bizjournals.com
Image Source: Materialicious