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Author: Sean Gilliam

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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Things to See in Colorado: Dowdy Lake

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A misty morning at Dowdy Lake in the Red Feather Lakes Area.  The area hosts places for camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and horseback riding.  Located about 48 miles northwest of Fort Collins, it is another great reason to visit or move to Colorado!

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Longmont and Greeley Top Ranked Cities for First Time Home Buyers

According to research conducted by WalletHub, several Colorado cities were ranked in the top 20 best suited for first time home buyers.  The study evaluated 300 cities in the U.S. based on housing affordability, status of the local real estate market and the living environment.

Based on these criteria, several Colorado cities along the front range ranked in the top 20 in the nation.  See cities by rank order below:

2.   Centennial

7.   Longmont

8.   Thornton

10. Arvada

12. Westminster

13. Greeley

18. Fort Collins

Another good reason to move to Colorado!  It’s a great place to live!

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Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza is Coming to Denver?!

 

Good news for Chicago natives in Colorado, Giordano’s is coming to Denver!  According to several articles and word of mouth, those of us that have moved from Chicago to Colorado will finally have authentic Chicago-style pizza!

Upon moving here I have sought a good pizza and have tried more than a few restaurants.  While some are good in their own right, none compare to my favorites from Chicago, one of which is Giordano’s.  While the Giordano’s website does not show Denver in their Coming Soon list, the news of a franchise coming to Denver is enough to confirm it for me.

It only makes sense, as there are plenty of Chicago natives here in Colorado.  I went to a Cubs-Rockies game here in Denver several years ago and there appeared to be more Cubs fans in the stadium than Rockies fans.  Now all we need is a Portillo’s 🙂

What impact will this have on the real estate market here?  Likely property values will skyrocket 😉  But seriously, it will at least make a lot of Chicago natives happy.

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Should You Use a Real Estate Broker or Try For Sale by Owner?

Buying and selling a home is an emotional process.  You need someone with objectivity and expertise to support you through the process.  You can get some relief in those stressful moments from a real estate broker that understands your situation and can help give you perspective with factual information and experience.

Real estate brokers tend to get more money for the sale of your home than for sale by owner (FSBO’s).  This is because they have access to the tools to do a proper market analysis.  Brokers also understand the process from the initial listing of your property all the way through closing.  Further, brokers have the tools to market your property so that more buyers will see it.   Being a RE/MAX Alliance broker commands a large market audience due to international branding via the internet, media and local advertising.   This means more eyes will see your property.

According to NAR’s 2014 Profile of Buyers and Sellers (http://www.realtor.org/presentations/presentation-2014-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers), 88% of sellers used real estate brokers because they wanted assistance in marketing their property, they wanted to sell their home within a specific time frame and they wanted to be able to price their home competitively.

The 2013 edition of the same report indicated that on average, FSBO’s sell their homes for $40,000 less than sellers that use real estate brokers.  Working with an broker will get you more for your property and will get it sold quicker.  This will likely cover the cost of any commission you pay out and may put more money in your pocket than if you tried to sell by yourself.

A real estate broker can represent you in the process from listing to closing and handle things that the average seller isn’t knowledgeable of, and quite frankly can be very stressful if one doesn’t know how to navigate the process.  Things like handling inspection objections or appraisal issues are best negotiated through a broker.  Information is a commodity, especially in real estate.  Not having the proper information or representation can be costly.

If you do FSBO, know that any buyer represented by a broker will be trying to get the best deal for their client.  This means they may take advantage of your lack of knowledge and experience when negotiating.  They have no obligation to educate you or advocate for you.

Let me if you have further questions or need a real estate broker to represent you.  I would be glad to represent you as your broker.

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Open House Sunday, 7/19 from 12-2 at 318 Widgeon Lane in Longmont!

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Beautiful 3 Bed 3 Bath Ranch in desirable Golden Pond Estates! Great corner lot w/ landscaped yard, mature trees & 2 Car garage. Ample kitchen with island, great for entertaining. Large living room with gas fireplace and vaulted ceilings. Master Bed with big closet & soak tub! Full  1900 sf. unfinished basement with high ceilings & large windows, great potential to be finished. Easy access to everywhere. Picture perfect!

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Open House Saturday, 7/18 from 11-1 at 500 Allen Drive in Longmont!

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Wonderful SW Location, desirable Golden Ponds Estates,enjoy miles of bike paths nearby at St. Vrain Greenway. 4 bedrooms 3 baths. New Furnace & Carpet. Hardwood floors on main level. Sunlit kitchen with plenty of counter space. Double sided fireplace in study and living room. Room to expand in unfinished basement.New Furnace & Hot Water Heater installed. Right around the corner from the house in the bus stop to Longmont Estates, Westview & Silver Creek.  New furnace and hot water heater installed!

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Will the Colorado Real Estate Market Continue to Grow?

Ever wondered how the Colorado real estate market is looking or the local economy as a whole?  Is it still a good time to buy or sell property?  There’s good news, the market continues to look favorable according to the following data:

A recent study by Area Development assessed 373 cities in the United States for their potential as leading locations for business leaders to choose for expansion or location of their businesses.  They evaluated each city for its “prime work force, economic strength, year-over-year growth, and “recession-busting” attributes”.  The results put four Colorado areas in the top twenty ranking:

1.    Denver/Aurora/Broomfield

4.   Greeley

9.    Boulder

20. Fort Collins/Loveland

The Denver area is considered the hottest real estate market nationwide due to buyer activity, home value appreciation and a growing economy, according to a report posted by Realtor.com in May of this year.

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2014 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, Realtors® interviewed estimated that the housing prices in Colorado will increase by 5.2% over the next 12 months in 2015 compared to 3.5% for the entire United States.

What does this mean for the real estate market?  It means the value of our homes is likely to increase over time as there will continue to be an influx of people into Colorado, which increases demand and thus increases the value of our properties.   It means that people who recently bought a home can expect to see increased valuation in their property.  Also, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell as they will cash in on the equity they have built up in their home and will likely see increased valuation on their newly purchased home.  Further, due to high demand from low inventory, sellers can likely get a higher price for their home (sometimes with offers coming in above the list price) in a shorter amount of time.

 

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Things to See in Colorado: Rocky Mountain National Park

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A view of Hallett Peak (12,713 ft) from Dream Lake.  You can find this view by taking the trail from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Along the way you’ll come across Dream Lake and will have excellent views of Hallett Peak as well as Flattop Mountain (12,324 ft) which is just to the right of the frame of this photo.  It’s about a 1.8 mile hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake and is a nicely groomed trail.  A nice hike for the whole family!

Rocky Mountain National Park is a scenic destination for locals and tourists.  It is about 1 hour from Longmont, Colorado and about 1.5 hours from downtown Denver.

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