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Month: August 2015

Things to See in Colorado: Grand Lake

Moose edited

 

One of the great travel destinations in the Front Range is Grand Lake, just over 2 hours from Longmont, Colorado.  There are many great attractions in the area such as hiking, camping, fishing, ATV riding and boating.  If you don’t have your own boat to get out on the lake, you can rent paddle boats or take a guided tour of the lake.  On this trip we took the boat tour out of Headwaters Marina. At $20 per adult, you get an hour long cruise around the lake with a thorough explanation of historic homes and information along the way.  I highly recommend it!

The photo is of a large bull moose we saw hanging out in the water.  At this time of year the moose likes to take his share of the gardens belonging to homeowners living along the lake shore.

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Open House Sunday, August 30th From 1-3 pm!

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452 SVR

Open House at 452 Steamboat Valley Road in Lyons, Colorado this Sunday!

Remodeled ranch-style home on 41 acres with great views! Private, yet close to town. New: SS Appliances, light fixtures, flat-top stove, cabinets, slab granite countertops, windows, paint, doors, bathroom tile, carpet, base trim & drywall, roof, gutters, relined well, pump, water filtration system. Septic upgraded to 4 bdrm a few years ago. Flagstone floors, huge pile of flagstone on property near the small pond, next to rockcliff wall.

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Longmont Colorado Market Update

The real estate market continues to trend upward along the Front Range and Longmont is no exception.  Inventory is still low and there is no shortage of buyers.  This is due to a continued influx of people to Colorado due to job opportunities in the technology sector and other industries as well as lower taxes than in other parts of the country.  Further, Colorado is a beautiful place to live with over 300 days of sunshine on average!

Property values continue to rise due to these factors.  In the last 12 months, median property value estimates have increased by 16.3% (NARRPR.com).  In the last 12 weeks we’ve seen a 5% increase in the number of houses sold.

What does this mean for you?  You could capitalize on the equity you have in your home if you sell now.  You could then invest that money into that home you’ve been wanting, and with interest rates still hovering around 4% you’ll get more for your money!

Some are concerned that if they buy now their home won’t appreciate in value.  However, all of the financial indicators point to a growing economy in Colorado, thus continuing to bring increased value to your property.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the investment you have in your home, let’s talk about what it’s worth and take the next steps to putting it on the market!

 

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Firestone Colorado Market Update

The real estate market continues to trend upward along the Front Range and Firestone is no exception.  Inventory is still low and there is no shortage of buyers.  This is due to a continued influx of people to Colorado due to job opportunities in the technology sector and other industries as well as lower taxes than in other parts of the country.  Further, Colorado is a beautiful place to live with over 300 days of sunshine on average!

Property values continue to rise due to these factors.  In the last 12 months, property value estimates have increased by 15.8% (NARRPR.com).  In the last 6 months, over 80% of the homes have sold for at or above the list price.

What does this mean for you?  You could capitalize on the equity you have in your home if you sell now.  You could then invest that money into that home you’ve been wanting, and with interest rates still hovering around 4% you’ll get more for your money!

Some are concerned that if they buy now their home won’t appreciate in value.  However, all of the financial indicators point to a growing economy in Colorado, thus continuing to bring increased value to your property.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the investment you have in your home, let’s talk about what it’s worth and take the next steps to putting it on the market!

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An Update to Your Kitchen Can Add Value In Many Ways

Where do we spend the most time with family and friends in our homes?  Most likely in the kitchen.   Whether cooking, eating a meal, doing homework or socializing, this is where we congregate the most.  This is also the first place many prospective buyers look when visiting a home for sale.  I have seen many a kitchen make or break a buyer’s interest in a home.

So what can you do to spruce up your kitchen not only for your own enjoyment but to also increase its market value?  According to the Cost vs. Value report a minor kitchen renovation is the way to go.   Change out the laminate countertops, reface the cabinets with raised panel wood doors and drawers and upgrade the appliances and you will likely recoup  79.7% of your costs when you sell your home.  To save costs, get your appliances at a factory outlet store where you will pay significantly less than in the big box stores.  Further, you can do some of the renovation yourself such as replacing the backsplash, the cabinets, etc.  There are plenty of online sources that give tutorials for completing DIY projects.

One of the best benefits of updating your home is that it will increase the enjoyment of being at home and hosting friends and relatives.  Coming home will be a place of relaxation rather than stress.  Further, when you do want or need to move, your home will already be in the condition that will get you top dollar in the real estate market!

 

 

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The Difference Between a REALTOR® and a Real Estate Broker

There are many terms used to describe licensed real estate professionals.  Real estate broker and REALTOR® are two terms that are often used interchangeably, though they are not the same thing.  It is good to know the difference when finding a professional to work with for your real estate needs.

Here in Colorado, a licensed real estate broker must complete 168 hours of licensing education that is approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission.  Once this is completed, the real estate school that the prospective licensee attended will provide a certificate (REC 33) that confirms this.  Then the state and national exams must be passed in order for the prospective licensee to apply for their license.  Once the license is received, the licensee is able to find a brokerage to work for.  At a minimum, a new broker must be highly supervised for two years under a managing broker.  Another term you’ll see is broker associate.  This is the title given to a real estate broker, new or experienced, that chooses to work under the authority of another broker.

A real estate broker, then, is someone who is licensed to practice real estate.   They are governed by the Division of Real Estate and must abide by the statutes regarding real estate practice.

A REALTOR® is a real estate broker that has chosen to join the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).  With this, a REALTOR® voluntarily submits themselves to a higher standard of conduct as stipulated in the Code of Ethics.   The Code of Ethics promotes a standard of professionalism for how REALTORS conduct business with the public and with other REALTORS® and real estate brokers.  REALTORS can also be held accountable for their actions by NAR which gives additional protection to consumers if they are not treated professionally.  While REALTORS® and real estate brokers are both governed by the law, REALTORS® are governed by a code of ethics as well.

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Homeowners May Underestimate How Much Equity They Have in Their Home

Do you know how much your home is worth?  You might be surprised by the amount of equity you have in your home.  Median home values across the nation have gone up for the 40th month in a row as of June, according to research cited in an article by housingwire.com.  Northern Colorado is a healthier market than many other areas in the country so it is likely you have a good amount of equity in your home.  In fact, in a study conducted by CoreLogic, homes in Colorado have appreciated 9.8 percent from June 2014 to June 2015.

Recent research, however, conducted by Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association), which guarantees and insures mortgages, indicated that homeowners may lack awareness of how much equity they have in their home.   This lack of awareness could hinder homeowners from selling their home and using the profits to put toward another home.  They also may not be aware that they could get a loan for their new house that only requires 5% down or even less instead of a larger down payment.  They then would be able to set aside the profits made from selling their home for investments, retirement, a college fund for their kids, etc.

As a homeowner, this puts you in a commanding position. It is good to know the value of your home to help you make the best decision moving forward.  If you are looking to move to a different home or cash in on your equity, now is a good time to do it.

Make the most of your biggest investment!  Contact me for a free Comparative Market Analysis of your home.

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Add Your Current Home to Your Investment Portfolio

The single family rental market is hot here in Colorado.  Most renters prefer to rent a house versus an apartment.  Renters like the amount of space and the privacy that renting a home affords them.  According to a HousingWire.com article citing research by Moody’s Analytics, there has been a sharp increase in the rental market for single family residences due to continuing fallout from the foreclosure crisis and the low home ownership rate related to this.  Further, there is an influx of people moving to Colorado for various reasons including business development (i.e. Google) and the simple fact that Colorado is a great place to live!

How can you capitalize on this?  You can keep your current home as an investment property.  Rental rates are at a premium due to high demand and there are many that are actively seeking a home to rent that can’t find one.  This will make it easier to find a renter and charge a rate that may allow you to make a monthly profit while someone else pays your mortgage.

So if you’re in a position to upgrade to that house you’ve been wanting while keeping your current home, this could be a great investment opportunity.  An investment property can be a great addition to your retirement portfolio.  Talk with a local lender to see if you qualify for this option.

 

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