Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Zillow's 2017 Housing Market Predictions

After Zillow surveyed more than 100 economic and housing experts, the consensus is that home prices nationally will rise 3.6% in 2017. Here are some other predictions from Zillow:
  • More Millennials will buy homes next year than this year which is a pretty easy prediction to make as Millennials get older each year, more of them will be able to buy a home and more of them will choose to buy a home.
  • President-Elect Trump's potential immigration policies could exacerbate the shortage of construction workers which would cause labor costs to rise, longer construction time periods, and higher home prices. (This may be a good opportunity for blue-collar jobs to come back into the arena as great opportunity, vs. the 4 year degree which comes with alot of debt and a lot of competition). 
  • As Millennials buy homes it's expected they will purchase homes further out in the suburbs or exurbs where homes are more affordable. This will result in the percentage of people driving to work to rise for the first time in a decade. This is happening despite the fact that major cities are developing their urban cores or centers with denser development and smaller homes that are more affordable. But, they are not affordable enough. Plus, one thing not being addressed is quality schools in the urban centers. Most Millennials grew up in the burbs in big homes with good schools; so Millennials who are parents already are buying homes and moving back "home" to the burbs.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mortgage Rates Going Back to 1900: We are at lowest EVER

I love big picture charts that cover more time than just a couple years. This chart shows you mortgage interest rates from the year 1900. We are essentially at the lowest ever today in 2016, at 3.5%.

Hard to believe just in 2008 rates were 6.5% - that's a $500 DIFFERENCE IN MONTHLY PAYMENT!

Imagine the late 70's and early 80's, at 19%! Buying an $89,000 home back then would be the same monthly payment as buying a $212,000 today! If you are looking to buy now is the time. Don't cry to me when rates go up in the next few years!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Comparing Mortgage Payments Over Decades: 1985 vs. 2000 vs. 2016

Many people think they shouldn't buy right now because prices have gone up in the last 5 years, and skyrocketed since the 1980's. However, what most people forget is how much interest rates significantly affect a monthly mortgage payment. Check out this awesome infographic:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RiNo in 4 Years, According to Developer Rendering

The River North neighborhood has gone from industrial corridor to hipster magnet, full of bars, restaurants and apartment buildings. And this week, developers of the area released a rendering of what the neighborhood will look like in four years (see the image above), when at least fifteen projects currently in the works are complete or will be near completion.

Responsible for much of the redevelopment is OZ Architecture, whose projects are highlighted in yellow above. More about a few of its RiNo projects below. (Full disclosure: OZ redesigned Westword's office space.)

The WTC will blocated along 38th Street between Walnut and Blake streets. According to its website, OZ "will develop the master plan for the extensive campus, to be anchored by a flagship hotel. The development will also include approximately 250,000 square feet of best-in-class office space for both large and small businesses from around the world, an international business and conference center, a flex-work environment, an array of multicultural restaurants, diverse retail, an art gallery and a parking structure."

tial condominiums, an incubator office space, and plenty of retail and restaurant locations on the ground floor." DriveTrain will be walking distance to the Light Rail A Line station at 38th and Blake. Groundbreaking will happen sometime next year. OZ will also redevelop the old Gold Star Sausage processing plant at 2800 Walnut Street, which 1425 Market LLC bought in 2015 for $3.2 million

Source: Anna Campbell, Westword.com
Image Source: Westword.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Neighborhood Price Change Map!

This awesome price change map shows you, by neighborhood:
  1. The average sales price of homes that have sold in the last 12 months
  2. Whether the neighborhood has gone up (green) or down (red) in the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months. 
  3. How many sold in the last 12 months. 
  4. How many are for sale.
  5. How many are under contract.
  6. And the months of inventory, meaning how long it would take for al the homes for sale to be absorbed by the buyers. The lower this number is, the hotter that neighborhood is. 

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.


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]

Average Int. Rate
P&I Payment
Savings compared to 2007 rates, annualized

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.


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

New 1% down home loan!

Check out the new, awesome 1% down home loan! Yep, I said 1% down!

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Metro Denver homeowners #3 happiest in the nation

It's not breaking news that Denver's home market is on fire right now.
Prices have been steadily climbing since early 2012, and last month, Denver's market was third only behind Portland and Seattle in terms of year-over-year resale price gains, with prices rising 9.5 percent from a year earlier.

But does that mean Denver homeowners actually like where they live?
Very, according to HomeAdvisor's new Homeowner Happiness Index, which found that homeowners in Denver are the third-happiest in the nation.
To compile the index, the Denver-based home improvement referral service, surveyed more than 18,000 homeowners in 36 U.S. metros to identify factors that make them happy.
  • Practical commutes and access to attractions and services.
  • Community diversity, safety and a vibrant neighborhood network.
  • Affordability and comfort offered by a homeowner's dwelling.
"A homeowner’s quality of life is more likely to be dependent on their community and access to important attractions and services than it is on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in their home," said Dr. Karen Ruskin, HomeAdvisor’s happiness expert and a tenured psychotherapist. "Our research shows that homeowners are happiest in urban cities with good weather, an active culture, arts scene and higher income levels."

The index assigned Denver homeowners an A- "happiness score," with eight out of
10 saying "It's the best place to live." In addition, 72 percent said their home makes them proud; 57 percent said their home is their favorite place to be; and 77 percent said they plan to say in the community for at least five years.
The affordability factor was where metro Denverites scored their happiness lowest, with just 46 percent saying the average $509,900 home price is "reasonable." Another 80 percent said they renovated their homes, and 69 percent said they were happy with their home's size and layout.
When it comes to community, a majority 75 percent of Denver residents said they feel safe and 73 percent said they trust their neighbors, but just 37 percent said they feel their community is racially diverse, while 44 percent said they feel their community is religiously diverse.
(Denver Business Journal)