No Comments

Colorado Springs expected to be a Top 10 housing market in 2018

http://gazette.com/southeast/colorado-springs-expected-to-be-a-top-10-housing-market-in-2018/article/1616196

“Already on pace this year to break its home sales record, Colorado Springs will continue to be one of the nation’s hottest housing markets in 2018.

That’s a prediction from Realtor.com, an online real estate service that ranked Colorado Springs as No. 8 in its national housing forecast for next year.

Realtor.com based its rankings on home sales and price increases expected next year. It predicts median prices in the Springs will rise 5.7 percent in 2018 over this year, while annual sales will grow by 3.1 percent on a year-over-year basis. The forecast includes single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums.

“I’m a little surprised we’re No. 8. I thought we’d be higher than that,” said Debbie Howes, a broker at Re/Max Performance in Woodland Park and board chairwoman of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

Don’t get her wrong; Howes said she’s happy Colorado Springs is one of Realtor.com’s Top 10 markets for next year. But since the Springs is enjoying strong job growth and a resurgent economy, she thought it might climb even higher.

Single-family home sales in the Colorado Springs area – excluding townhomes and condos – set a record high of 15,318 in 2016, according to Pikes Peak Association of Realtors data. Based on the number of sales each month in 2017, this year’s total should blow past last year’s mark.

Median prices, meanwhile, have set record highs on four occasions this year, topping out at $285,250 in June, Realtors Association figures show.

“I really kind of like where we’re at,” Howes said of the Springs market. The (Colorado Springs) Chamber and EDC, it looks like they’re doing a wonderful job of bringing companies in.”

She also applauded the Chamber and EDC’s efforts to work with existing companies that are expanding.

But not everything is rosy when it comes to the housing market, Howes said. It’s tough for some buyers to find entry-level homes, she said.

“Our teachers, our policemen, our firemen,” Howes said. “They have good jobs. But right now, they’re losing out on the bidding wars in those below-$300,000 houses.

“I don’t want us to become a nation of renters,” Howes added. “I want us to be homeowners because that’s when we have a strong economy, that’s when people care about their homes, they care about their community, they care about their city.””

Contact the reporter: 636-0228

Twitter: @richladen

Facebook: Rich Laden

No Comments

7 Common Seller Mistakes

It may seem like a sellers’ market thanks to continuous news coverage about the rising costs of buying, but it’s still a complex endeavor if you want to do it right. Even if you’ve made costly improvements like granite countertops, new appliances, or a new roof, it may not be enough to put you in the best position.

Seven common issues seller’s experience without an experienced, trustworthy professional include:

  1. Overpricing your home

Realtors have their eye on the market and they are aware of the prices, the time frame, and the conditions of other homes for sale. Starting out with your home priced too high discourages buyers from giving your home consideration, and your property could be listed for longer than necessary. An experienced Realtor will suggest an appropriate listing price based on your home’s current value, comparable sales nearby, and other relevant data.

  1. Neglecting repairs

If buyers spot a handful of items that need repair, they’re going to wonder how well the rest of the home has been maintained. Don’t ignore things like a loose hand rail, sagging screen doors or jiggly door knobs, fix them before you have showings. It’s also a good idea to clear your gutters, patch holes in your walls and address dripping faucets. When your Realtor walks through it, they will view it through the buyer’s eyes and let you know what projects will get your home in show-worthy shape.

  1. Spending too much on upgrades

Fixing up your home to sell, or at least making repairs before listing it, is a good start. But, sellers often misunderstand which alterations to make without spending time and money on unnecessary updates. Realtors know what buyers are looking for and what needs to be done in order for your home to make the best presentation.

  1. Marketing

A lot of sellers think they can put a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard and a few photos online and have buyers come pouring in. However, getting the best deal means using all of the marketing options available to you. This includes online advertising with professional, quality pictures of your home. Realtors have access to sites that the public doesn’t, and the more people who see your house, the better your chances are of getting the best deal.

“In this age when buyers start their searches online, quality photos are crucial to actually bring them in the door.”

  1. Being emotionally involved

Buying and selling a home is a naturally emotional process. But, the blood, sweat and tears you’ve put into it does not make it someone else’s “perfect,” home.  Unfortunately, a seller’s love for their home can impact their perception of reality. Again, an experienced Realtor can give you an unbiassed view of any objections buyers may have.

  1. Bold Décor

It’s okay to paint your house any color you like while you live there. However, when you’re ready to sell, distinct paint colors or wallpaper just means work for potential buyers. Decorating is a very personal thing and it can cost a lot to paint a house, and the thought of stripping wallpaper can be a deal-breaker.

  1. Not staging your home

Your furniture arrangement may work effortlessly for your family, but it may not appeal to everyone. Often simply moving the furniture can create a better flow, but in some cases professional staging is key to creating the welcoming environment needed to attract buyers. Don’t reject staging or become offended if your agent recommends staging, it is just the act of strategically placing neutral furnishings for the best attention.

The bottom line is – if your goal is to sell your home with the best outcome, you should hire a qualified Realtor and then listen to their instructions.

Realtors have years of experience and unlimited resources to help you evaluate your best options based on your situation and the local market conditions.  For a no-obligation consultation, call today: 719-955.8578 or email us at: Brandon@BuyWithBrandon.com.

No Comments

Multigenerational Households May Be the Answer to Price Increases

Multigenerational homes are coming back in a big way! In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to an article by Realtor.com, “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans is now living in a multigenerational household – a household with two or more adult generations, or grandparents living with grandchildren – a level that hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since 1950.”

Another report that proves this point is the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers which states that 13% of home buyers purchased multigenerational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:

  1. To take care of aging parents (22%, up from 19% last year)
  2. Cost savings (17%)
  3. Children over the age of 18 moving back home (16%, up from 14% last year)

Valerie Sheets, Spokesperson for Lennar, points out that,

“Everyone is looking for the perfect home for any number of family situations, such as families who opt to take care of aging parents or grandparents at home, or millennials looking to live with their parents while they attend school or save for a down payment.”

For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living,” says, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

This shift can be attributed to several social changes over the decades. Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living; “Data suggest that multigenerational living is more prevalent among Asian (28%), Hispanic (25%), and African-American (25%) families, while U.S. whites have fewer multigenerational homes (15%).”

Additionally, women are a bit more likely to live in multigenerational conditions than are their male counterparts (12% vs. 10%, respectively). Last but not least, basic economics.

Valerie Sheets brings to light the fact that home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that, “As home prices increase, more families tend to opt for living together.”

Bottom Line 

Multigenerational households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these households might be the answer that many families are looking for as home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory.

No Comments

Home Updates To Make Every 10 Years

Owning a home is a big investment and staying up to date on your home’s maintenance is vital. The Platinum Group, REALTORS knows that no matter how much you love and care for your home, things are bound to become outdated and will need repairs or fixing – especially when you hit the ten-year mark. In order to keep your house in the best condition, the best real estate agents in Colorado Springs have listed some updates you should consider making every ten years. If you keep up with your homes updates and maintenance, it will give you an upper hand if you ever decide to sell your home.

Replace Hot Water Tank

A water heater may not show any symptoms before it starts to leak or before it stops working, so it’s important to keep track of how old your water heater is. If the manufacturer date isn’t shown, then you may find it embedded in the serial number. A water heater that has been in use for about ten years should be replaced.

Get New Carpet

The average medium-grade carpet only has a life expectancy of about ten years. That number, of course, depends on many factors including high traffic areas and pets. Your carpet may last longer, or it may need replacing sooner than ten years. Signs that your carpet needs to be replaced includes rips and tears, stains, and odors that won’t go away no matter how many times you clean it. Even if your carpet doesn’t have any of these signs, it may just look old and worn out after a certain amount of time. Updating your flooring can never hurt.

Buy A New Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is similar to your water heater. It’s a good idea to replace your dishwasher after about ten years. Upgrading to a newer energy efficient dishwasher will help save money and will pay for itself over time. You should replace your dishwasher sooner if your dishes aren’t getting clean, buttons on the control board are not responding, or there are cracks in the tub.

Replace Washer and Dryer

The common washer and dryer have an average lifespan of about 8 years. If either appliance is older than 8 years and is still functioning properly, you should consider yourself fortunate. You should think about replacing your washer and dryer to prevent any leaks or malfunctions.

Repaint Inside and Outside

There is no exact science as to when you should repaint your home. It all depends on your home’s paint color, where you live, and what kind of weather you experience. If you live somewhere that is humid and gets a lot of rain or snow, then you’ll need to repaint more often than if you live in an area with no weather. Some people will repaint areas inside the house that are used more frequently every 3-5 years to keep it fresh. But if you haven’t painted in a few years, now is the time to do it.

Re-Caulk Showers, Bathtubs and Sinks

Re-caulking really gives you the most bang for your buck. Whether it hasn’t been high on your priority list, or you recently bought a ten-year-old home, you should go ahead and re-caulk the shower, tubs, and sinks. This is something you can do yourself and it has a significant impact on those areas.

Purchasing a home is a big investment and the best real estate agents in Colorado Springs want to make sure that your investment is protected. Whether you’ve been in your house for ten years, or you are considering purchasing a house that is more than ten years old, you should consider making these improvements and staying on top of any maintenance. If you’re looking to buy a new home or even sell your current home, let us know how we can help!

No Comments

7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season

Every year at this time, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their homes on the market for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is less competition for you as a seller right now. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:

7 Reasons to List Your Home This Holiday Season | MyKCM

  1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream home during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
  2. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge reaching new heights in 2018, which will lessen the demand for your house.

Bottom Line

Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.

No Comments

How Your Home’s Value Grows Your Family’s Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.64% per year on average and to grow by 18.4% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

How Your Home’s Value Grows Your Family’s Wealth | MyKCM

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 5.0% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained $12,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $49,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

No Comments

5 Common Home Buying Mistakes

When making the leap into what is the typically the biggest financial decision people ever make, buying a home is exciting, and also distressing.    There is a lot of room for error, so play it smart rather than making mistakes that could cost thousands of dollars.

  1. Shopping for a home without an experienced agent

Everyone looks at homes for sale online, out of curiosity as well as to gather a sense of what is available and at price look like. But if you’re serious about buying a home, you need an experienced advocate looking out for your best interests. Your agent will expertly navigate every step of the home-buying process beside you, including finding the best property, writing a winning offer, negotiating inspection repairs and cruising through to closing.

  1. Evaluate mortgage options

It’s necessary to get pre-approved for a home loan before you begin earnestly searching for a house You can’t know that you are getting the best deal unless you can compare offers. However, applying with too many lenders can lower your credit score and can generate unwanted calls and solicitations. Contact two or three lenders and compare rates and closing cost to determine the best one for you

  1. Don’t hold out for your “dream home”

Frankly, the perfect home, (perfect location, size, condition, features and price), may not exist. Create a list of “musts” and “wants” to identify criteria for your Realtor, but don’t insist on checking everything on the list. Limited inventory means some compromises might be necessary in order for buyers to find their home.

  1. Don’t make lowball offers

Of course, you want the best deal, but don’t miss out on the right home with a foolishly low offer. A survey from Inman found that 15 percent of real estate agents say the third-largest mistake people make when buying a home is offering too little for a property (behind not talking to a lender first and taking too long to make an offer). If your offer offends the seller, they may not even consider making a counteroffer.

  1. Don’t make any big purchases before you close

You found a great house, the seller accepted your offer, but until the loan is closed it still must go through underwriting. Underwriters will look at your credit to make certain nothing has changed since the pre-approval. If you’ve established any new debt since then, such as a new car or you’ve maxed out your credit cards, your credit score will be impacted which could raise your interest rate or, possibly result in a rejection of your mortgage application.

Your best bet is to trust your Realtor to help you make informed and accurate decisions throughout the home buying process. The Platinum Group Realtors have the experience, knowledge, and resources to help ensure your experience is as stress-free and relaxing as possible. Need a complimentary Platinum opinion about your home? Call today: 719-955-8578.

No Comments

Thinking About Buying? Know Your Credit Score

Knowing your credit score or getting a recent copy of your credit report is one of the first steps that you can take toward knowing how ready you are to start the home buying process.

Make sure all the information listed on your report is accurate and work to correct any mistakes. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will be to receive a better interest rate for your mortgage, which will translate into more ‘home for your money.’

Many potential buyers believe that they need a 750 FICO® Score or higher to be able to purchase a home. The truth is that according to Ellie Mae’s Origination Report, over 53% of loans were approved with a FICO® score under 750 last month!

Here are some tips for improving your credit score:

  • Make payments, including rent, credit cards, and car loans, on time.
  • Keep your spending to no more than 30% of your limit on credit cards.
  • Pay down high-balance credit cards to lower balances, and consider balance transfers to free up credit.
  • Check for errors on your credit report and work toward fixing them.
  • Shop for mortgage rates within a 30-day period — too many spread-out inquiries can lower your score.
  • Work with a credit counselor or a lender to improve your score.

Once you know your score, your next step will be finding a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this will ensure that you know your budget before you start looking for your dream home.