It is a record year for Denver real estate, so is it a good decision to buy at this time?
On the positive, interests are at a record low, so loans are very cheap. It is a great time to get into a Fixed Rate Mortgage Loan. On the contrary, demand is high and supply is low in Denver, meaning prices are at high and rising steadily.
According to CBS Money Watch as of March 2016, Colorado is ranked as the 2nd Best State to buy a home this season. Property taxes are at .61%, the Average Mortgage APR is 4.09% and the Median Listing Price is $350,000.
Pros of Renting
-Flexibility: It is easy to move on if you are unsure of how long you may be in an area.
-No property taxes: But, keep in mind that when your landlord is paying property taxes, your monthly payment is probably helping pay this fee.
-No maintenance to renting a property: The costs of repairs do not fall on the renter.
Cons of Renting
-Steady Incline: Rent can increase and, especially now, have been increasing quickly and steadily.
-Your future is uncertain: At the end of your lease, the landlord does not have to renew.
-Buy, buy money: You are throwing out your money and do not have an ability to build equity. Overtime, no matter how you cut the pie, you will be spending more if you rent.
Pros of Buying
-Personalization: You have the freedom to personalize your home. You can do whatever you want to a house if it is yours. So, paint, tear down walls, update fixtures to your heart content.
-Stability: Especially if you choose a Fixed Rate Loan, your monthly payment will not increase annually.
-Go Bigger: Every time you have to pay, at least you are building equity. This comes in handy in the long run when your house has appreciated and you may want to buy a bigger home or refinance.
-Deductions: You can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan from your taxes. This includes property taxes.
Cons of Buying
-Disposable Income: You need to have money to make a downpayment.
-Fees: Selling a home costs money. You will have to pay a realtor fee and usually might have to update the home in order for it to be sell-ready.
-Repairs Fall on You: You are in charge of repairing your home. If something breaks or the yard needs fixing up, it is up to you to pay those fees.
Have you ever been to Paris? Enjoyed an espresso on the patio at a small cafe where the waiters knew their regulars and time seemed to stop? It is that escape that many Americans crave, but are too busy to find the time to experience. An escape where you relax with a cold drink and listen to music among the company of neighbors and friends.
Historic Downtown Louisville may not be Paris, but it is a Colorado gem that sparkles all the same. It is an escape from a city's fast pace and a long stressful work week. Surrounded by 100 year old wood buildings, unique shops and historic restaurants, Louisville is a welcoming community not to be missed.
A fun summer outing on a Friday night is the Louisville Street Fair. The fair lasts from 5-10pm, rain or shine, with live music from 6:30-9pm. Vendors line the streets offering food, drinks, children activities, arts and crafts. (For a list of performers, visit Downtown Louisville).
For a sit-down meal where you can still take advantage of listening to the live street fair music, try 740 Front. This restaurant is one of the two oldest bars in Colorado with an ongoing tavern license. Its historic mahogany bar and classic chandelier that hangs in the main bar skylight, still stand in the restaurant. During the summer, the patio provides the perfect vantage point to observe the Friday night activity.
So, take a moment to relax and let loose. Dance, eat and walk around this quiet, yet growing city on a Friday night. You might just be transported to that cafe table in Paris.
We all get it at one point in our lives: That awkward moment when your friend asks you to help them move and, despite everything in you wanting to say no, you kindly oblige. This article showed up in Today's E-News by RIS Media and has some funny ways to get out of helping with a move. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
How to Get Out of Helping Your Friends Move
By Nick Caruso
RISMEDIA, Thursday, July 21, 2016— Moving to a new home is one of the most exciting life experiences there is. For you. But when one of your friends is moving and asks you to help, there's not enough free pizza in the world! But you say yes anyways because you don't really have an excuse not to lend a hand.
This excuse generator provides random, funny excuses to get you out of waking up early on a Saturday to He-Man your friend's massive king-sized bed and antique hutch. Like:
Seriously. Who likes lifting things anymore? The only thing I want to lift on the weekend is my Roku remote and maybe a beer or six.
The excuse generator also takes this a step further, finding you a real event near your friend's moving date, in order to get you out of that tight predicament of being a good person.
OK, for the record, if I told my friends I had Barbra Streisand tickets, that would open up a whole new world of problems. Or my moving friend would see right through that malarkey. However, you get the idea. EXCUSES ARE AMAZING.
According to the geniuses at HireAHelper, they'll even make this excuse ironclad for you if you call their Moving Excuse Hotline at (888) 688-3287. One of their highly trained Excuse Experts (LOL) will even help you book tickets to the event of your choosing!
Praise the internet - for you will never have to help a friend move ever again! (Seriously, you can just buy your own pizza and beer at this point.)
This post was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.
This article appeared in the Boulder County Business section of the Daily Camera on 7/15/16 .
The article confirms that "The average house in Boulder now officially costs more than $1 million."
Continue below to read more of Shay Castle's article, or click the link below to go to the article on the Daily Camera's website.
Cost of average home in Boulder surpasses $1 millionPrices county wide see double digit increases over last yearBy Shay CastleStaff Writer
Average, median home prices in Boulder County (and percent increase from last year):
Boulder County: $659,275; $535,807 (both up 14 percent)
Boulder: $1,067,213 (9 percent); $905,000 (15 percent)
Longmont: $379,388 (13 percent); $350,000 (15 percent)
Louisville: $638,433 (12 percent); $645,050 (24 percent)
Lafayette: $555,963 (13 percent); $495,000 (11 percent)
Superior: $633,115 (14 percent); $634,250 (31 percent)
After much speculation and nervous anticipation by many hopeful homeowners, it's finally happened: The average house in Boulder now officially costs more than $1 million.
That's according to the latest data from D.B. Wilson at Re/Max of Boulder, analyzing home sales in Boulder County for the first half of 2016.
The average sales price of a single-family residence in the city of Boulder was $1,067,213 over the past six months, up 9 percent from the same time last year ($975,894).
But the median price — the preferred (and lower) measure, because average prices are often pushed up by multi-million dollar listings — was up 15 percent, from $790,000 last year to $905,000 now.
"Boulder's single family homes have become unaffordable to the middle-class," said council member Aaron Brockett. "In order to preserve income diversity in our town, we'll need to look primarily to other housing types (and) need to keep working on increasing our affordable housing options as well."
"Virtually all areas (in the county saw) double digits increases in median price," Wilson said. "It's reemphasizing that we're really losing our lower-end homes."
Prices in Boulder County as a whole are up 14 percent, to a median price of $535,807.
Superior, flush with the development of 75 new high-end homes, led the pack with 31 percent median price growth, from $485,000 to $634,250. The three L's (Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville) saw increases of 11, 15 and 24 percent respectively.
Longmont remains the only market with an average price under $400,000 — the top end of what's considered attainable for a couple in Boulder County, with an average combined salary of around $70,000 — but just barely: $379,388.
"You have to go out of Boulder County to get what is a real affordable place for a first-time buyer," Wilson said.
Occassionally, though, some young couples get lucky.
James Milani and Kelly MacLean on Thursday were closing on a house with a fenced-in yard that butts up against MacLean's childhood home in unincorporated part of the county between Boulder and Lafayette.
The pair are living in California. Both Boulder County natives, they've always planned to return and buy a home. But with the recent, rapid price increases, they weren't sure if anything would be in their budget when they were ready to settle down.
"We both went to CU so we paid the rental prices and saw them (and home prices) go up and up," Milani said.
"We just didn't know they were going to go up quite so crazy," MacLean added.
After her sister nabbed a Longmont home by going to the showing with a pre-prepared contract in hand, MacLean knew it was the time to get serious.
"We were starting to feel if we couldn't buy today, we would never be able to buy," she said. "I don't know how we got so lucky."
Shay Castle: 303-473-1626, email@example.com or twitter.com/shayshinecastle
Pre-Qualification Recap: Pre-qualification is the first step to buying a home, but not required. During this process, you will get an idea of how much of a loan you might be able to qualify for. Usually, this step can be done quickly over the phone and allows you to at least start looking in your budget.
Info Required: Income, assets, debt, projected down payment.
Visit our Blog to learn more: Pre-Qualification: Know Exactly What You Can Afford Before Shopping for a New Home
Pre-Approval: Pre-approval is more complex and should be done with a few lenders. This will allow you to compare offers. Whereas a pre-qualification can get the ball rolling so that you can start looking for your home, a pre-approval actually determines how much of a loan a bank is going to give a buyer.
Once you find your lender (generally a lender can be referred by the agent you are working with), all information is gathered and your credit report (which hopefully turns out good) is checked.
Info required: Most recent bank statements (checking, savings and other), most recent W-2, proof of retirement accounts, mutual funds or stocks, your drivers license/SSC, and pay stubs from the last month. Your employer may be contacted for proof of employment.
If the bank is willing to give you a loan, you will get a GFE (aka. good faith estimate) which outlines the loan, it's interest rates and closing costs. Comparing quotes from multiple lenders will help you get a better interest rate or lower closing cost. Once you receive your GFE and find a home, the bank will appraise the house to check it's actual value. After that, you can look to qualify for a home!
Why Get Pre-Approved?
It's important to get pre-approved before you actually begin the buying process for a few reasons:
1. Be Competitive: Not many people get pre-approved, so, when it's time to put in an offer, you will be more likely to get the house you want if you already have your pre-approval letter.
2. Save Time and Heartache: You can dream big, but you don't want your dreams shattered. So, get pre-approved so you don't waste time or emotion over a home you don't even qualify for.
3. Be a Good Client: Real estate agents are more likely to work with you when you have your approval letter. By being pre-approved, your agent knows the deal won't fall through and they can do a better job looking for the home that you can afford. This way, it is easier to find the house that you can afford and will love without wasting your time.
Living in Boulder, it is not hard to find yourself wandering around the red-brick buildings, large lawns and grown-up trees that make up the University of Colorado. Among strong science, business and law programs, the university is also ranked in the Top 100 for its theater program.
Nestled between the Henderson Building and Hellems Arts and Sciences, one might find themselves stumble upon an outdoor old-style theater built back in 1939. Named after Mary Rippon, the first female professor at the University of Colorado, the Marry Rippon Outdoor Theatre has hosted plays such as Romeo and Juliet since 1944. In 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival was founded. This is the second oldest Shakespeare festival in the country.
From the first week of June through the first week of August, you can enjoy outdoor entertainment in this historic theater. Four to five productions are shown at the outdoor Mary Rippon Theater and the newly renovated indoor University Theater through the summer. This year, "The Comedy of Errors," "Equivocation," Troilus and Cressida," "Cymbeline," and "Henry VI, Part 2" can be seen.
The festival has brought a lot of cultural dynamics to Boulder by allowing CU students to help participate in these summer events. Graduate students are chosen to work with summer directors and act as assistant directors. Undergraduates can help act, manage or create costumes and crafts. The goal of this festival is to help bring cultural awareness to Boulder and help tap into the artistic qualities of Shakespeare.
Be apart of this cultural endeavor this summer and enjoy a play under the stars. For a full calendar of the plays, visit Colorado Shakes.
Curb Appeal: First impressions matter. Make sure you have a lawn and walkway that invites people in. Not only does the buyer have to feel comfortable and excited to enter the home, but the buyer should feel proud when they show off their new home to their friends and family. So, mow the grass, trim the bushes and spruce up the entryway with a "Welcome Home" mat. You could even take the extra step of freshly painting your front door and putting a fresh coat of paint on the trim of the house.
Lighting: You want your house to bring the outside in. No one wants to sit in a house that feels like a dark cave, so make sure to take some simple steps to lighten up your home. Take down drapes, clean windows, change the lampshades(try light bulbs with a higher wattage for extra light).
Enhance the Storage: In bedrooms especially, you can make your closet look like it has more room by taking out the majority of your clothes from the closet and neatly organizing them. Same goes for the laundry room. Add storage and folding space to make your laundry room look organized and usable. Invest in your sale by going to organizational stores like The Container Store to make your home show better. When it's sold, you can take these things with you..that's a good investment!
Use Your Space: Make your home have as much living space as possible. And I don't mean just inside, but outside as well. Show off how much room your yard has by staging patio seating or an area for gardening. Make sure to clean up your garage to amplify the possibilities of parking multiple vehicles and even having a workbench or hangout area. On the inside, try adding mirrors to give the illusion of more room.
Neutralize your Home: Make sure to take the "U" out of "House." New buyers want to envision themselves in the home they are looking at. They want to envision how their own lives would look, so stage the house by removing excess furniture and clutter and take down photographs of you and your family.
No Pets Allowed: Not everyone loves pets and some people are even allergic, so make sure your house is dander-free, hair-free and as clean as can be. Make sure to vacuum the carpets and remove hair from furniture. Even take the extra step of hiding pet food bowls and pet housing units in storage. *Another good allergenic to keep in mind is smoke. If you are a smoker, have your carpets professionally cleaned and get air fresheners in the halls.
Keep Clean: In case of last minute showings, make sure your house is always clean. Clean bathrooms (make sure mirrors are clean and doorknobs polished), a clean kitchen sink and clutter-free rooms are a must. Even if people don't comment on how clean the house looks, they will certainly comment if it looks lived-in and dirty.
Embrace your Inner Handyman: Don't put too much money into a remodel, but do some small things to spiff up the house. Add a fresh coat of paint (especially a light, neutral color to help bring in light), make sure curtains and carpets are cleanand repair any damaged hardware on cabinets. It would also be a good idea to update sink faucets, repair the tracks on your closets, make sure the toilet doesn't run and replace outlet covers if they are outdated.
Update the Kitchen: The kitchen can date your house the fastest. So, invest! This is the one area where spending a little more will pay off in the long run. Paint, counter-tops and cabinet hardware are easy ways to update your kitchen. For an investment you can take with you, update the appliances to help bring a modern feel to your home.
If you’re looking to live amongst great food, friendly people and endless outdoor activities, Colorado is an obvious choice. One example of Colorado's abundant offerings is in it's hidden outdoor treasure - the Red Rocks Amphitheater!
Originally known as the Garden of Angels, Red Rocks is conveniently located just 15 miles west of Denver. From Downtown, I-70 west takes you to exit 259, which is the exit to Morrison, CO. This little town itself is a stop not to be missed. Whether looking for a quick bite before a concert or a cold drink after a hike, this town comes alive with visitors relaxing on patios in the summer.
After passing through Morrison, the scenic drive with greenery and trees makes this short trek from the city feel like a mountain escape. In the not too far distance, the three hundred-foot monoliths (named the "Ship Rock" and "Creation Rock"), provide the perfect acoustic setting for a musical venue.
The Red Rocks Amphitheatre is known for its infamous concerts hosting big names in the music industry. It is the “only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world.” The first recorded performance was in the early 1900’s when John Brisben Walker played his music and encouraged the Mayor at the time, Ben Stapleton, to build the venue. This act set the stage for Denver to host performers such as Sting and the Beatles.. (To see a list of upcoming concerts, visit http://redrocksonline.com/concerts-events/listing).
Along with soaking up the summer air and echoing notes of country, jazz, reggae, hip hop and more, Red Rocks Park offers itself to beautiful views and outdoor exercise.
On non-event days, the amphitheater opens an hour before sunset and closes an hour after, allowing visitors to explore its natural beauty. If you want to explore in and around the landmark, you will find 868 acres of dinosaur fossils, deer, unique mountainous plants and spectacular views. Being located where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, Red Rocks Park offers an environment that is attractive to birds, plants and animals from both regions. Hiking, biking, guided tours and even relaxing at a restaurant is available to natives or tourists of Denver.
To learn more about this historic landmark in Colorado, visit http://redrocksonline.com/about/history-geology
I am a real estate professional, serving Boulder and Denver, Colorado. My extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with my commitment to provide extraordinary service, has resulted in hundreds of successful transactions. Let me help you buy or sell your home.