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Tag: Sean Gilliam

Not All Lenders Charge the Same

Ready to buy a home? As you shop for a home you are determining whether or not a property will meet your needs and making sure that you’re not paying too much for it. You should shop for a lender in the same way. Consumers want a good price AND good customer service. Regarding the price, that is easier to evaluate. Each lender will be able to give you an estimate of their costs for the loan. The customer service aspect might be more difficult to assess so ask your local real estate agent for referrals.  I don’t/can’t take kickbacks from lenders so if I refer you to one it’s because I know they’ll get the job done in your best interest.

Let’s look at how to evaluate the cost of the loan. First, it is recommended that you get the opinion of three lenders to see how they stack up. With each prospective lender, get an itemized summary of their charges. Lenders will need some basic information such as your credit score income statements and any debt you may have incurred.   By law, within 3 days they will give you basic information on the cost of the loan such as lender’s fees and an estimation of your monthly payments, also known as a Loan Disclosure (formerly HUD-1).

Once you get a summary of the lender’s costs for the loan you wish to apply for, compare them side-by-side. Here’s what to look for:

  1. Interest Rate – There are various factors that impact your rate (i.e. your credit score, type of loan, loan discount points, etc.) but some lenders have a higher interest rate than others for the same loan product.
  2. Loan Origination Fees – some lenders will charge a flat fee or none at all. Some will charge a percentage of the loan amount, typically one percent (this is where your loan gets expensive).

Example: On a recent transaction, one lender charged 1% for loan origination on the same loan while another charged a flat fee of $1200. For a $400,000 loan you will be paying $4000 vs. $1200 for the same product.

  1. Underwriting Fees – This is the cost for the underwriter services for your loan.       Compare to see which one is higher.
  2. Additional Fees – Some fees you’ll see have miniscule differences but when added up, can make one lender look more attractive than another (i.e. Tax Service, Credit Report, Appraisal Fee, Flood Certification).

In addition to cost, the level of service provided by a lender is very important. This can make or break a transaction. Some questions to ask:

  1. What is the lender’s availability? Do they return calls/emails to you and your real estate agent in a timely fashion? Do they work weekends and nights if need be? This is crucial if you have important questions, especially those of a time-sensitive nature.
  2. Will you be working with an individual throughout the transaction or a team? Sometimes a personal touch can make all the difference. In any case, you’ll want someone that knows you, what your needs are and where you are at in the transaction. This is especially important with regard to getting the appraisal done on time.
  3. What kind of loans do they provide? Some lenders tend to provide a limited number of loans as they provide service in multiple states. Local lenders will provide basic loans (Conventional, FHA, VA) but also state specific products that will benefit you (i.e. down payment grant assistance programs).
  4. What happens if the lender makes a mistake? Will they correct the issue and compensate you?   It happens, we all make mistakes. A good customer service provider will fix it with the least amount of burden to you.

Once you’ve narrowed your prospects down to one lender, it’s wise to shop their offer around to the other lenders. They can evaluate whether or not they can meet or beat the other lender(s). Once you’re satisfied you have chosen the right lender, have them pre-approve you for a loan and then you are ready to go shopping for a home and start making offers!


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.

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Things to do in Longmont this October

Looking for fun and interesting things to do in Longmont this October?  Below is the short list.  If you’re looking for more information on Longmont and all there is to do, check out visitlongmont.org.

Click on the link below for a larger image.


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.

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Just sold this beautiful home in SW Longmont!

Just sold this beautiful home in SW Longmont.  Seller put a lot of work into getting this home ready and it paid off.  They sold it at $7000 over list price!  Need help selling your home?  I’d be glad to meet with you and show you what you can do to get the best price.  Sean Gilliam, 970-313-6706.

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Just Sold!

Just sold this beautiful mountain property!  I represented the seller on this one.  It received a lot of attention from buyers, had multiple offers and ultimately sold for $30,000 over the list price!  The mountain market is really waking up this Spring.  Let me know if you need assistance buying or selling a home, I’d be glad to help.  Sean Gilliam 970-313-6706

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October Market Insights

Here is the Market Insights report for October 2017 for Boulder County, Colorado provided by RE/MAX Alliance.

October 2017 Market Insights (PDF version)


Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  To read Sean’s articles see his blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.

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2017 Northern Colorado Real Estate Forecast

2017 Northern Colorado Real Estate Forecast

The year 2016 brought moderate home price appreciation as estimated (see the 2016 forecast).  This year will see much of the same with likely more conservative appreciation.  This will be in large part due to the cumulative effect of home values going up, raising affordability issues, and the mortgage interest rate increases that we’ve seen recently.  However, while home values won’t go up significantly they will rise moderately and the housing market in Northern Colorado will continue to be robust.  This is due to the relatively stable economy and the continued influx of people to Colorado.  Using the Leeds  School of Business’ Colorado Business Economic Outlook 2017 as a reference for data and forecasting estimates, this article will take a look at specific information regarding Northern Colorado’s economy and population and see how these variables inform the outlook for the housing market in 2017.

Colorado’s Economy:

Colorado has a stronger economy in comparison to national statistics.  The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or the total value of goods and services produced in the state of Colorado, has grown 3.6% year over year as compared to 2.6% nationally.  Colorado has the 4th fastest growing GDP among the 50 states.

Further, for job growth we are ranked 8th in the nation.  Colorado attracts a significant amount of entrepreneurs to Northern Colorado with plenty of resources and networking opportunities in the metropolitan areas such as Denver and Boulder.  New businesses are an important part of a growing economy.  In fact, from 2010 to 2014, new businesses in Colorado created 47,000 jobs annually.  The first quarter of 2016 showed a 7.4% increase in new businesses over the first quarter of 2015.  The sectors with the most growth are professional, scientific and technology, accounting for 20% of new businesses.  Construction accounted for 9% of new business growth.   With the associated job creation related to these new businesses, the economy will continue to strengthen and the influx of people to Northern Colorado filling these jobs will remain steady.

Colorado’s Population Growth:

In recent years there has been a population growth of 100,000 per year in Colorado.  This is projected to continue into 2017 and beyond.  Colorado has the 2nd highest population growth in the country.  It is projected that between 2015 and 2020 that population growth will reach 500,000.  Of that, 86% or 420,000, will be along the Front Range of Northern Colorado.   To break it down further, of the population growth of 100,000 expected for 2017, 31,800 will be due to natural increase (resident births minus resident deaths) and 67,000 will be due to people moving to the state.   This impacts an important factor in the real estate market, demand.  With increased demand for homes, property values rise.   What has caused significant rise in home values in northern Colorado is the growing demand paired with what will be highlighted in the next segment, low inventory.

Housing Inventory:

One factor that has caused an imbalance in the housing market in Colorado is low inventory.  This is to be expected with the amount of population growth with a limited amount of residents leaving the state.  Low inventory has been a significant factor in the rising value of homes in Northern Colorado.  It’s old fashioned supply and demand.  So what is the solution to this dilemma?  New construction.  In recent years, builders have returned to Northern Colorado and are developing new communities to address the high demand for homes.  In 2015, builders brought 26,000 new units to the market.  However, household formation, or the amount of individuals or families that opt to buy their own home was estimated to be between 33,000 and 35,000 in the same year.  This deficit contributes to low inventory and thus rising home prices due to demand.  As new construction increases their numbers and the number of new units catches up with household formation, home prices will continue to level out and a more balanced market will be seen.  Indicators for new construction are positive going into 2017 as the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Market Index indicated that builder confidence is at its highest level since July of 2005.  Further, 2016 saw a 9% increase in new businesses related to the construction industry.

An additional factor that would increase inventory is housing turnover.  That is, if more people chose to move, more houses would be available.  While this sounds a bit simplistic, it is essential to a healthy, balanced housing market.  As cited above, as new construction units continue to increase, more inventory will be available for those moving to Colorado and for current residents that want to upgrade or change location.

Mortgage Interest Rates:

As rates have gone up in recent months, this will impact the perceived affordability of homes for some buyers and perhaps price them out of the market altogether if the rates continue to rise.  For others it may change the price range of homes they are willing or able to buy.  Rates in 2016 hovered around 3.5% to 3.7% as an average for fixed rate 30 year mortgages for much of the year.  The beginning of 2017 sees rates at just above 4% on average for the same type of loan.  If they remain in this range, rates shouldn’t have too significant of an impact on home affordability for buyers.

Recent years have seen an imbalanced market extremely in favor of sellers, with multiple competitive offers on properties and offers significantly above the list price in many communities.  This has been great for sellers but an exercise in frustration for many buyers.  This has been due to low inventory and high demand and has resulted in dramatic increase in home values.  As inventory increases the market will become more balanced, putting buyers and sellers on more equal footing.  It is estimated that the market will become more balanced in the next couple of years.  In most market segments it is moving in that direction.  However, homes below $300,000 will continue to see a significant amount of attention from buyers, especially homes in this price range along the Front Range, particularly communities that are in close proximity to Interstate-25.

In summary, the housing market will continue to be strong in Northern Colorado though with more conservative gains in price appreciation than in recent years.  Things to keep an eye on will be mortgage rates and the amount of new construction.  As rates go up and new construction units increase, home prices will level out and we will move toward a more balanced market and an impending market correction.  Additionally, continued job and wage growth will also have an impact.  While Colorado already experiences healthy job growth, it remains to be seen how that will continue to improve with a new president and their respective policies.

What does all of this mean for buyers and sellers in the real estate market?  It is still a good time for buyers as they will experience price appreciation of their homes even after purchasing them.  Further, interest rates are still relatively low so buying power is strong.  Of course, it will continue to be a great market for sellers as high demand will bring willing buyers to the table.

References:

2017 Annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook.  Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder.

2016 Colorado Real Estate Forecast.  Sean Gilliam, Realtor®

New Construction: The Solution to Low Inventory.  Sean Gilliam, Realtor®

Home Builder Confidence End the Year at Highest Point Since 2005.  Kelsey Ramirez, HousingWire.


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Alliance in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to your success.  Give me a call at 970-313-6706 to get started.

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December Holiday Events in Longmont!

december-newsletter-events-002

Please click to enlarge.

 

About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

“Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to serving you in attaining your goals.”

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Things to do in Colorado: Fall Color Drive – Guanella Pass

sun-on-aspens-2016

Colorado is a great place to live!  One of the most beautiful things in God’s creation is seeing the change of the seasons.  One of my favorites is the fall, when the trees turn from their lush green color to gold, orange and red.  On this stop, we are going to take a look at one of the best places to see the fall colors, Guanella Pass.  This is an easy day trip from most Northern Colorado locations. You can get to the pass either coming from Georgetown on the north side or from the town of Grant to the south.  The best time to go is mid to late September when the Aspen trees are at their peak colors.  Nestled among the evergreen trees, the luminescent colors of the Aspens make the mountainsides look like they are on fire.

fall-colors-guanella-2016

The pass is all paved and there are no steep drops off the side of the road so it is a comfortable and safe ride even for the most timid.

guanella-pass-road

At the top of the pass, just above the tree line, you’ll have a grand view of Mt. Bierstadt.  As you can see in the photo, on September 24th there was already snow on the ground and the temperature was in the upper 30’s above 11,000 feet.  So be sure and bring proper clothing for the elements.

mt-bierstadt

Some of the best views can be taken from the many stops along the pass where you can get out and hike and be among the trees.

aspen-stand

So grab your family and friends, your camera and spend a great day in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  Best of all, it’s free as there are no fees to drive the pass.  If you’re up for it, there are numerous camping sites along the pass so you can make a weekend of it.  Check the Forest Service page for reservation and fee information on the Guanella Pass Campground as well as the multiple designated and dispersed camp sites along the way.  Enjoy!

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Cookies are for Closers!

I just had to share this one…

I recently had the pleasure of helping a family sell their home in Firestone.  They are a great family and were fun to work with! When I hosted an open house for them they kindly put out cookies for the guests.  To give you an idea of their sense of humor, they joked that the cookies were for closers, insinuating that I couldn’t have any cookies until I sold their home!  Sure enough, I did sell their home.  When we were at the closing table, they kindly presented me with this cookie, because, after all, “Cookies are for closers!”

cookies-are-for-closers


About the author: Sean Gilliam is a Realtor® in Northern Colorado and is a Certified New Home Specialist™.  Sean can be reached at seangilliam@remax.net or by phone at 970-313-6706.  For additional articles see Sean’s blog or to search for properties see his web page.

Interested in buying a home or selling your current home?  I am committed to serving you in attaining your goals.

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