If you have reservations about buying a house in Boulder, CO, take a look at this 848 sq. ft. ranch style home that just sold in Sunnyvale, CA for $2 million!
This simple Sunnyvale home sold for $2 million in only two daysMLS claims that it also broke a square footage record in the city
Courtesy Douglas Larson, Coldwell BankerThe two-bed, one-bath, 848-square-foot house at 1062 Plymouth Street in Sunnyvale wasn’t even on the market for the length of a long weekend before a buyer dropped $2 million in cash for it—possibly breaking a Sunnyvale record in the process.
According to realtor Doug Larson, it only took two days for the circa 1953 home to find a buyer. The humble home, a one-story ranch-style, was only asking $1.45 million to begin with.
To top it off, the San Jose Mercury News repots that at $2,358/square foot, 1062 Plymouth is the most expensive house in terms of cash to space ratio ever sold in the city of Sunnyvale.
It’s notoriously difficult to confirm alleged records or record busting when it comes to home sales, but in this case the Mercury cites no less an authority than Multiple Listing Services President Jim Harrison.
Larson tells Curbed SF there were several past sales that appeared to have gone for more, but upon investigation all were actually record keeping errors. “There was one place on a huge lot that was going to be a teardown, but that was only about $2,100/foot” and the most likely previous record holder, says Larson.
He notes that MLS records go back only as far as the year 2000, but “I doubt anything would have gone over this before that.”
The home itself, though perfectly pretty, is an unlikely record breaker, the big deal sale probably having more to do with the bizarrely frantic scale of demand in Silicon Valley these days.
Although Larson’s ad does note that the 6,000 square foot lot leaves “plenty of room to expand,” so it’s possible the no-nonsense buyer has ambitions beyond just this now prize abode.
Buying your first home? The experts have advice. Read more below on how to not forget about focussing on practicality and functionality, think about long term lifestyle and always buy with resale in mind.
Before Buying, Real Estate Pros Insist on Doing These 4 Things
One house you’re looking at has the wraparound porch you’ve fantasized about, but it’s on a high-traffic street. The condo you like has a doorman in the lobby (you can order online now!), but it has no dedicated parking. What to choose?
It’s not every day that you buy a home and make decisions about the next three, five, or 10 years of your life. Since you can’t exactly take a home on a test drive, how do you decide? That got us to thinking about real estate pros. When they’ve seen practically everything on the market, how do they choose?
Four pros who’ve seen it all share their advice and their stories of hunting for just the right home.
Compromise for Your PrioritiesVeteran real estate agent Nancy Farkas knew exactly what she wanted in her home: ranch style, three bedrooms, high ceilings. But you know what she bought? A two-story Colonial.
For Farkas, an associate partner with Coldwell Banker Heritage REALTORS®, in Dayton, Ohio, the home’s location and price trumped style. “I had a dog I had to go home and walk at noon, and the house was close [to work] and the right price,” she says.
Her advice: Make sure your practical and functional priorities don’t get lost in all the home buying hoo-ha (sparkling granite counters, new hardwood floors, a steam shower!). Remember, you can always add the hoo-ha, but you can’t make a home fit all priorities, such as location and price.
Best Pro Secrets for Buying and Selling
Having lived the high-rise apartment life as a renter, Pekarsky knew a single-family home was just what he wanted. He was tired of living in a relatively small space with no yard. He wanted a house he could “grow into in the next three to five years.” That meant multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for the family he plans on having. So what he bought — a three-story, single-family with a finished attic bedroom (shown below) on Chicago’s North Side — suits his lifestyle perfectly.
In addition, “you get the biggest value from owning the land,” he says. “In a single-family [home], people aren’t telling you what to do with the investment.”
On the other hand, Matt Difanis wished he’d bought a condo when he bought his first home, a small bungalow ranch in a charming, historic neighborhood in Champaign, Ill. It was first-home love — until it rained.
“If I didn’t clean out the gutters before every rainstorm, the basement would leak,” says the broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. He didn’t realize that taking care of a single-family home wouldn’t be his cup of tea. “I should have opted for a condo without gutters to clean and a lawn to mow,” he says.
Agent Amy Smythe Harris of Urban Provision REALTORS®, in Woodland, Texas, bought a home with a sizable downstairs suite her parents could use now (and she could use years from now). She says her millennial clients aren’t forward-thinking about their lifestyles. Some are childless and say they don’t care about schools, pools, and tennis courts. Then they become parents a few years later and have to move.
“Once they have kids, the first question [they] ask is about school districts, and the second is about where the parks and pools are,” she says.
The pros’ bottom-line advice: Think of your lifestyle preferences and how those might change in the next few years. After all, the typical homeowner lives in a house for a median of 10 years before selling, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® data shows.
Look at the House Through the Lens of ResaleAll the real estate pros we talked to — no surprise here — emphasized resale. Take appraiser Michelle C. Bradley of Czekalski Real Estate Inc. in Natrona Heights, Pa. When she built her current home — a 2,200-square-foot ranch — she included a full, unfinished basement, even though she has no use for one and rarely ventures into it.
Why would she do that? Because basements are standard in her southwest Pennsylvania market. But Bradley’s not going to finish the basement until she’s ready to sell. That way, she avoids having to clean it and ensures she’ll install the most fashionable bathroom fixtures at sell time.
Her advice: “Don’t buy or build something unique that you can’t resell. If you’re not in an area with log homes, don’t choose a log home. If you’re not in an area with dome homes, don’t choose a dome home.”
Likewise, Don’t Overspend for the NeighborhoodIf you buy a home priced higher than average for the area, it’ll be difficult to resell at a higher price.Read More InBuy Your First Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guidedon't buy a home that's not in line with the neighborhood's average price . When you go to resell, you’ll find yourself in an uphill battle to maintain your higher price.
Other advice from the pros: Watch out for unfixable flaws that could affect resale, like:
Related: Are You Making a House-Hunting Etiquette Mistake?
Christina Hoffmann also contributed to this story.
TOPICBuy & Sell, Buy, House Hunting
DONA DEZUBEhas been writing about real estate for more than two decades. She lives in a suburban Baltimore Midcentury modest home on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound. Follow Dona on Google+.
Housing Outlook 2018: 6 Predictions From The Experts
In 2017 Americans learned to expect the unexpected, whether it be politics, weather or housing. Driven by record low inventory, little about the housing market went as forecast last year. “We thought there would be some things to take the pressure off,” reflects Skylar Olsen, senior economist at home search site Zillow. Interest rates would rise. Construction would pick up. Price growth would moderate. “That did not happen at any impactful level.”
Instead the market got hotter: inventory tightened, prices rose, mortgage rates barely budged and, though new home construction picked up at the end of the year, it was not at the starter price points where new inventory is needed most. Like the soaring stock market, the housing market often seemed disconnected from the tumult in Washington and natural disasters elsewhere. Observes Javier Vivas, director of economic research for Realtor.com: “We saw the economic growth and the economic momentum function as an override for a lot of external forces.”
With few clear signs of supply relief and the impact of the new tax law still being digested, reading the housing tea leaves is particularly challenging this year, but here are six things experts expect to happen:
1. The pace of sales will slow early in the year—but not for long.
Several provisions in the tax bill signed into law by President Trump last month will directly impact housing. These include changes to the mortgage interest deduction and to property tax deductions. Other changes will impact how much money people have, requiring decisions on how to spend it. Experts anticipate households will take some time to do the math on how the tax plan impacts them and the value of their home before making any big moves. Nevertheless underlying demand should remain strong after the best year for wage growth since the recession. Pent up demand from renters who have been unable to find suitable homes to buy also means the lid won’t stay on for long.
Read more on how the new tax law could impact housing here.
2. Inventory will continue to be a drag.
A crippling lack of inventory remained the defining trait of the housing market in 2017. At the start experts believed the crunch that characterized 2016 would bottom out; instead it grew worse. According to Zillow, housing inventory declined 10.5% in the 12 months ending in November. Data from brokerage Redfin shows that in November 2017 there were 653,347 homes for sale across the country. In November 2010 there were 967,604. Low inventory, says Olsen, “drove all the dynamics that we saw, from bidding war in the hottest U.S. housing markets, to the incredibly fast home value appreciation” across the country.
Looking to 2018, the general consensus is that inventory will pick up slightly. The biggest reason for this modest optimism is that the current situation is unsustainable. Prices cannot rise faster than wages forever. Plus, life events will eventually force reluctant sellers off the sidelines. Home search site Trulia found that 31% of Americans believe 2018 will be a better year then 2017 to sell a home, far more than the 14% who this it will be worse. (Though only 6% of homeowners say they plan to sell.) Another positive signal? New construction has started to swing away from apartments, typically built to rent, to single-family homes, which are built to own.
However, it has become clear that the typical assumption that demand and strong prices will entice construction are not holding true this cycle. There are structural reasons builders aren’t building: the high cost of land, skilled labor and building material, lack of buildable space and local regulations against density. Recently, however, builder sentiment has been brighter than consumer sentiment.
For a sign of how bad things have gotten, Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, points to the aftermath of hurricanes and wildfires that wreaked havoc last year. Following those tragedies construction resources went to the places where it was needed most. This was necessary, but it “flat lined growth” elsewhere, says Richardson. Meanwhile, in the debate about the tax plan lawmakers indicated inventory woes are not top of mind, suggesting no policy relief on the horizon.
3. Price growth will slow—but not stop.
National home prices have climbed for 23 consecutive months. From January through October 2017 the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index increased 5.92%, on track for the biggest gains since 2013 when the market was finally recovering from the bust. The hottest markets last year were western cities like Seattle and Las Vegas where closing prices rose 12.7% and 10.2% respectively. Experts say prices will continue their march higher in 2018, but the rate of increases will slow. “Underlying the rising prices for both new and existing homes are low interest rates, low unemployment and continuing economic growth. Some of these favorable factors may shift in 2018,” noted David Blitzer, head of the Index Committee at S&P in the most recent release of the monthly reading.
4. The rent versus buy equation could tilt toward renting in costly markets.
Thanks to the new tax law, it just got more expensive to own a home in high tax and high price places. For some people the changes, combined with rising prices, may mean renting makes more financial sense than buying. “Since home prices are rising faster than wages, salaries, and inflation, some areas could see potential home buyers compelled to look at renting” particularly in expensive West Coast cities, noted Blitzer.
“We begin 2018 with a frigid cloud of uncertainty surrounding the impact of the new tax bill that restricts State and Local tax deductions, both very high in states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California and Illinois,” noted Leonard Steinberg, president of brokerage Compass, in an e-mail with his quarterly report on the New York’s luxury market. “Will uncertainty lead the consumer to become a society of renters with diminished incentives to buy?” He thinks not.
Nevertheless, high rents and student debt loads have also made it difficult for young households to save up a down payment even if they can afford the monthly mortgage. Moreover, with prices rising so fast even a small increase in mortgage rates can put people over the edge on affordability. (Also read: Millennials Get A New Way To Clear The Down Payment Hurdle To Homeownership)
5. Mortgage rates will hover around 4%.
In December the Federal Reserve bumped short term interest rates 25 basis points to between 1.25% and 1.50%. Historically, movement from the Fed has had a corresponding effect on mortgage rates, but three hikes in 2017 and two in 2016 only moved the cost of a home loan slightly higher, casting doubt on just how much of a difference the three hikes Fed policy makers have projected for 2018 will have on housing.
Experts tend to agree mortgage rates will finish the year between 4% and 4.5%. That’s a touch higher than the rates for most of 2017 but still historically low. What they disagree on is how we’ll get there. Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, for example, expects a slow and steady rise. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, anticipates volatility with rates “dipping below 4% at least once, spiking above 4.5% and closing the year around 4.5%.”
6. Millennial demand for housing will keep climbing.
After a decade of decline the homeownership rate finally ticked up in 2017. By the third quarter, 63.9% of households were occupied by owners--up from a low of 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016. McLaughlin says 2017 will be remembered as “the year the bleeding stopped and the healing started.” As Millennials age this trend is expected to continue. The generation of adults born after 1980 were slow to enter the housing market, but as a growing share of them get married and have kids they are buying homes at rates equal to their parents. In fact, single millennials are more likely to own a home than prior generations of singles.
Looking to buy a home, but don't quite have the down payment? There are ways to help save or get money towards your downpayment if you know what and who to ask. Learn more below:
5 Surprising (and Useful!) Ways to Save for a Down Payment
Buying your first home conjures up all kinds of warm and fuzzy emotions: pride, joy, contentment. But before you get to the good stuff, you’ve got to cobble together a down payment, a daunting sum if you follow the textbook advice to squirrel away 20% of a home’s cost.
Here are five creative ways to build your down-payment nest egg faster than you may have ever imagined.
1. Crowdsource Your Dream HomeYou may have heard of people using sites like Kickstarter to fund creative projects like short films and concert tours. Well, who says you can’t crowdsource your first home? Forget the traditional registry, the fine china, and the 16-speed blender. Use sites like Feather the Nest and Hatch My House to raise your down payment. Hatch My House says it’s helped Americans raise more than $2 million for down payments.
2. Ask the Seller to Help (Really!)When sellers want to a get a deal done quickly, they might be willing to assist buyers with the closing costs. Fewer closing costs = more money you can apply toward your deposit.
“They’re called seller concessions,” says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for the New York metro area at TD Bank. Talk with your real estate agent. She might help you negotiate for something like 2% of the overall sales price in concessions to help with the closing costs.
There are limits on concessions depending on the type of mortgage you get. For FHA mortgages, the cap is 6% of the sale price. For Fannie Mae-guaranteed loans, the caps vary between 3% and 9%, depending on the ratio between how much you put down and the amount you finance. Individual banks have varying caps on concessions.
No matter where they net out, concessions must be part of the purchase contract.
Related: New Law Protects You from Surprise Closing Costs
3. Look into Government OptionsThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, offers a number of homeownership programs, including assistance with down payment and closing costs. These are typically available for people who meet particular income or location requirements. HUD has a list of links by state that direct you to the appropriate page for information about your state.
HUD offers help based on profession as well. If you’re a law enforcement officer, firefighter, teacher, or EMT, you may be eligible under its Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program for a 50% discount on a house’s HUD-appraised value in “revitalization areas.” Those areas are designated by Congress for homeownership opportunities. And if you qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage under this program, the down payment is only $100; you can even finance the closing costs.
For veterans, the VA will guarantee part of a home loan through commercial lenders. Often, there’s no down payment or private mortgage insurance required, and the program helps borrowers secure a competitive interest rate.
Some cities also offer homeownership help. “The city of Hartford has the HouseHartford Program that gives down payment assistance and closing cost assistance,” says Matthew Carbray, a certified financial planner with Ridgeline Financial Partners and Carbray Staunton Financial Planners in Avon, Conn. The program partners with lenders, real estate attorneys, and homebuyer counseling agencies and has helped 1,200 low-income families.
4. Check with Your EmployerEmployer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs help connect low- to moderate-income workers with down payment assistance through their employer. In Pennsylvania, if you work for a participating EAH employer, you can apply for a loan of up to $8,000 for down payment and closing cost assistance. The loan is interest-free and borrowers have 10 years to pay it back.
Washington University in St. Louis offers forgivable loans to qualified employees who want to purchase housing in specific city neighborhoods. University employees receive the lesser of 5% of the purchase price or $6,000 toward down payment or closing costs.
Ask the human resources or benefits personnel at your employer if the company is part of an EAH program.
5. Take Advantage of Special Lender ProgramsFinally, many lenders offer programs to help people buy a home with a small down payment. “I would say that the biggest misconception [of homebuying] is that you need 20% for the down payment of a house,” says Rodriguez. “There are a lot of programs out there that need a total of 3% or 3.5% down.”
FHA mortgages, for example, can require as little as 3.5%. But bear in mind that there are both upfront and monthly mortgage insurance payments. “The mortgage insurance could add another $300 to your monthly mortgage payment,” Rodriguez says.
Some lender programs go even further. TD Bank, for example, offers a 3% down payment with no mortgage insurance program, and other banks may have similar offerings. “Check with your regional bank,” Rodriguez says. “Maybe they have their own first-time buyer program.”
Not so daunting after all, is it? There’s actually a lot of help available to many first-time buyers who want to achieve their homeownership dreams. All you need to do is a little research — and start peeking at those home listings!
I don't usually post Zillow reviews, but this one meant a lot to me. We worked hard to make sure this home closed seamlessly and that my client had less stress on the plate during such a big move. I have experience with construction and have bought and remodeled personal properties as well as helped revamp client's properties. I am always happy to help and feel that a good job requires hard work from start to finish, no matter what that means. Each job is different, but each job requires the same level of attention to detail. Thank you again for this testimonial. You can see more reviews on the website www.BoulderHomeZone.com
5 Star Zillow Review: Recently, I moved from Colorado to the East coast for an Opportunity. A few years back Lou had helped me buy the perfect house. I was so impressed with his services, that I had recommended him to anyone I knew who were looking to buy or sell a house. And the people who I referred to Lou had only great things to say about him. Naturally, when I had to sell my house, I called Lou, and I’m so glad I did. My house was not very old, but after 11 years, it had a list of things that needed to be fixed. I was moving in a rush, there wasn’t time to fix everything, but Lou knew what the buyers would notice on showings and narrowed it down to a few items. These days, around the Denver area, it’s so hard to find the contractors that are reliable and are available within a few weeks. I’m anything but handy, so before putting the house on the market, Lou helped me power wash the front elevation, paint the patio, and fixed broken tiles on the yard. Once we got the house ready, it was listed and we got an offer within couple of days. I wanted to sell quick, so I was ready to accept it, but Lou had a strange feeling that the buyer had never toured the house personally. Guess what? Lou was right. Before accepting the offer, Lou wanted the seller or someone from his close family come and look at the house. Somehow, he made that happen. After the second showing, to the buyer who had already made the offer, Lou became reasonably confident that the offer was genuine; and only then he advised me to accept the offer. This yet another example of Lou doing the hard things to protect his client’s interest, instead of taking the easy way out. After the inspection, the buyer’s agent just forwarded the whole inspection list and wanted everything fixed. The list from home inspections are typically tedious with a lot of nit-picks, the buyer wanted them all fixed! Any seller would’ve rejected it and terminated the deal. However, I had already moved and had to sell the house, so Lou went to my house, verified every little detail on the list, discarded all the nit-picks, and came up with a few reasonable items that we should fix on the counter-proposal. Lou ‘s knowledge of construction was very helpful in the preparation of our counter offer. The buyer accepted it. Lou worked the phone with the contractors he trusted and got all the items fixed, payed them upfront out of his pocket and invoiced me; the costs were very reasonable. Finally, he couldn’t find someone to fix the fence post before closing, so once again, Lou fixed it himself, and didn’t charge me a dime. I had also left an old couch and few items that I didn’t want to take. Lou and one of his guys took care of it. My new job has kept me extremely busy, not a single free weekend for the past few months, without Lou’s help I would’ve lost my mind before closing; which I’m writing him a review on my first free weekend on the east-coast! By now you can tell Lou is my guy, that’s because I’m his most important client. Interestingly, that’s how all my referrals’ Lou, felt about him—he treated them as if they were his most important client.
01/01/2018 - arvin13
Sold a Single Family home in 2017 in McKay Landing, Broomfield, CO.
In an effort to make home ownership more obtainable for lower-income families, Elevations Community Land Trust has put a low income housing project in the works. In five years, the goal of 700 new and current homes will be transformed to allow homeowners to profit on the home's value, while the trust maintains profit on the land. Read more below:
700 homes in 5 years: Metro Denver homeownership initiative has raised $24 million to help low-income families
Seven foundations and nonprofits announce start of Elevation Community Land Trust and five-year goalBy JON MURRAY | email@example.com | The Denver PostPUBLISHED: December 7, 2017 at 4:54 pm | UPDATED: December 8, 2017 at 1:26 am
Several private foundations and nonprofits on Thursday gave a more than $24 million boost to an idea that has gained attention from Denver affordable-housing advocates as a promising way to put homeownership within reach for lower-income families in the metro area.
By forming the Elevation Community Land Trust and committing that money, its backers aim to create the largest community land trust in Colorado. Within five years, the new organization could assemble a collection of 700 homes scattered across the city and its suburbs — split between existing houses and new townhomes and condos — using a model that reduces the cost for buyers who fall below income limits.
It would do so by holding ownership of the land under each home in a nonprofit trust in perpetuity, leasing the land to the home’s owner for regular payments. Upon reselling the house, owners would pocket a portion, but not all, of any increase in the home’s value. Future buyers would face similar income qualifications.
Community land trusts “support low-income families in safely bridging the gap between rental housing and homeownership, allowing them to increase their savings and assets, improve their financial literacy and ultimately become more economically self-sufficient,” said Dave Younggren, the president and CEO of Denver-based Gary Community Investments, which has committed $5 million to the effort through the Piton Foundation.
Unlike most income-restricted housing that is made available for homeownership, the restrictions in a land trust model don’t expire within a few decades, which converts homes to market-priced. Instead, the land trust provides permanent affordability.
Many details of the Elevation program, including financial restrictions, remain to be worked out. But its targets for help are families making 55 percent to 80 percent of the metro area’s annual median income, or AMI.
That range spans $36,960 to $53,760 for a two-person household and $46,145 to $67,120 for a family of four.
Early calculations for the program included a model scenario in which Elevation would buy a home that’s for sale for about $260,000, then invest $25,000 in rehabilitation, Gary officials said.
By holding onto the land ownership, the organization would subtract roughly $80,000 in value from the market selling price charged to the qualified buyer.
“This is a proposed financial model that we came up with to make sure that the numbers could actually work,” said Tracey Stewart, the family and economic security investment director for Gary. “But that’s not necessarily what will happen, because there are a number of variables — including, and most important, the variable of what the community is going to decide. Each neighborhood is going to have a say in how homes are purchased (and) how land is donated.”
If successful, Elevation could set its sights statewide.
Seeking public subsidies and other helpThe fundraising announced Thursday will kick off a plan that is estimated to cost about $58 million during the next five years.
The backers plan to seek an estimated $23 million in contributions from local governments. An additional $11 million could come from new private partners as well as donations of public and private property.
They are starting by seeking a commitment from Denver’s new $15 million-a-year local housing fund.
Informal conversations with metro-area government officials have been encouraging, Younggren said.
“There’s a need and a desire to create some permanent affordability, and that’s really missing,” he said.
The other initial financial backers of Elevation are the Colorado Health Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation, the Denver Foundation, the Mile High United Way and Chicago-based Northern Trust.
The Urban Land Conservancy is also lending an organizing hand, and a president and CEO for Elevation should be in place within a few months as the land trust launches. It could begin snatching up for-sale homes later in 2018, but Gary officials say those plans will depend on the new Elevation leader’s direction.
At the end of five years, Gary officials say, their financial modeling shows Elevation operating self-sufficiently from revenue that includes land-lease payments and its shares of resale profits.
On Thursday, Younggren spoke to Denver’s Housing Advisory Committee to get discussions rolling with its first potential city partner about subsidies or other contributions for the project.
City officials have made no firm commitments yet, and the request comes amid increasing interest by Denver neighborhood-based groups in forming local land trusts. There’s also heavy competition from various programs for Denver’s limited housing fund.
“How we stitch this all together with the advice and the expertise around this room is going to be the next challenge,” said Erik Soliván, the director of Denver’s housing policy coordination office.
Activists from the northern Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods have lined up research and partners and early plans for a community land trust to help keep renters and homeowners in the neighborhood. They again asked for city support at Thursday’s housing meeting but so far have had no success.
Some expressed surprise and disappointment with the Elevation plan, since they had met earlier with some of those same foundations and nonprofits to discuss their plans. They perceived that the Elevation plan’s strong backing and money would push it to the front of the line.
“It’s very confusing to me why the city would invest in funders, versus community, and why the funders wouldn’t invest alongside the city in a community,” said Candi CdeBaca, a community organizer in Elyria-Swansea. “Or why they wouldn’t pilot this to see if it works first, before they go with a 700-unit model.”
A mix of new projects and existing homesBackers of the Elevation plan say they support smaller efforts like the one pursued for those north neighborhoods but want to start a broader program that benefits more areas.
Of the 700 or so homes that could be folded into Elevation’s land trust, Gary officials say, about half would be existing homes scattered in neighborhoods that are considered “cost-burdened” — meaning home prices and rents are rising to the point that many current residents now spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing.
In Denver, think of Westwood, Elyria-Swansea and parts of the city’s southeast, where home prices are fast increasing. It’s unlikely that Elevation would go for homes in more affluent neighborhoods such as Highland, Cherry Creek or Washington Park.
For the remaining half of the homes, supporters envision Elevation acquiring land and then leasing development rights for new townhouse or condo projects. Owners of those new homes also would pay land leases to Elevation and split resale gains.
Community land trusts have been successful in some cities across the country, but their complexity sometimes makes them more difficult to pull off with existing homes than with new-build projects, experts say.
Gary officials anticipate the plan will evolve along with market changes and neighborhood conditions.
“I don’t know, personally, of another initiative of funder collaboratives that has come together in Colorado around affordable housing in this big of a way,” said Meghan Sivakoff, an investment project manager for Gary Community Investments, during an interview.
“Oh, definitely not around affordable housing,” Stewart chimed in.
A half-dozen or so housing land trusts are operating in the state, including the Colorado Community Land Trust, which began in Lowry; Thistle in Boulder County; Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust in El Paso County; and the Chaffee Housing Trust in Buena Vista. The Urban Land Conservancy holds a land lease for an affordable apartment complex near the Sheridan West Line station and plans to lease out development rights for an upcoming project on land it owns near the 38th and Blake transit station.
Hot 2018 Decor Trends are Here and HouseBeautiful has 16 decorating tips that will make your home trending in the New Year!!
View the full article:
16 Décor Trends That Are Going to Be Hot in 2018
The Denver Post published this article showcasing how Denver is in the top 10 cities that have seen the largest income gains since the recession, most notably because of its increase in tech jobs across the area. Learn more below:
Denver among the 10 U.S. metro areas with largest income gains since the recession
Thriving cities are leaving others behindBy CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER | The Associated PressPUBLISHED: December 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm | UPDATED: December 17, 2017 at 2:21 pm
As the nation’s economy was still reeling from the body blow of the Great Recession, Seattle’s was about to take off.
In 2010, Amazon opened a headquarters in the little-known South Lake Union district — and then expanded eight-fold over the next seven years to fill 36 buildings. Everywhere you look, there are signs of a thriving city: Building cranes looming over streets, hotels crammed with business travelers, tony restaurants filled with diners.
Seattle is among a fistful of cities that have flourished in the 10 years since the Great Recession officially began in December 2007, even while most other large cities — and sizable swaths of rural America — have managed only modest recoveries. Some cities are still struggling to shed the scars of recession
IN LAS VEGAS, HALF-FINISHED HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, RELICS OF THE HOUSING BOOM, POCKMARK THE SURROUNDING DESERT. FAMILIES THERE EARN NEARLY 20 PERCENT LESS, ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION, THAN IN 2007.
The Associated Press
Change in employment by metro areas. (Click to enlarge)In the decade since the recession began, the nation as a whole has staged a heartening comeback: The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, down from 10 percent in 2009. Employers have added jobs for 86 straight months, a record streak. And last year, income for a typical U.S. household, adjusted for inflation, finally regained its 1999 peak.
Yet the rebound has been uneven. It’s failed to narrow the country’s deep regional economic disparities and in fact has worsened them, according to data analyzed exclusively for The Associated Press. A few cities have grown much richer, thanks to their grip on an outsize share of lucrative tech jobs and soaring home prices. Others have thrived because of surging oil and gas production.
But many Southern and Midwestern cities — from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Janesville, Wisconsin — have yet to recover from the loss of manufacturing jobs that have been automated out of existence or lost to competition from China, before and during the recession. Like others, they have fewer jobs and lower household incomes than before the downturn.
Those disparities complicate the rosy picture painted by most nationwide economic data. With the nation enduring a widening wealth gap, an overall robust U.S. economy doesn’t necessarily translate into widely shared prosperity.
“There’s definitely a pattern of the coasts pulling away from the middle of the country on income,” said Alan Berube, an expert on metro U.S. economies at the Brookings Institution. “There are a large number of places around the country that haven’t gotten back to where they were 15 years ago, never mind ten years ago.”
That said, for all the economic might the top-flight cities have gained in the past decade, many city officials and business leaders have become concerned that their success is running up against limits. Surging home prices and rents have made housing unaffordable for many. With cities like Seattle and San Francisco choked with traffic, engulfed by homeless people and requiring ever-larger incomes to live comfortably, quality of life may be at risk.
In the Western United States, inflation reached nearly 3 percent in October compared with a year earlier, according to government data. By contrast, inflation rose just 1.5 percent in the Midwest and New England.
“It’s the first time I have noticed a persistent spread between inflation in one area and the rest of the country,” says Steve Cochrane, an economist at Moody’s Analytics who has studied regional economics for 25 years.
Mindful of the financial burden on employees, some tech companies have decided to set up shop or expand where expenses are more manageable. Snapchat and Hulu have put down roots on the slightly more affordable west side of Los Angeles, joining outposts of Google and Facebook in an area now known as “Silicon Beach.”
Last year, nearly as many people moved out of Silicon Valley — defined as Santa Clara and San Mateo counties — as moved in, according to a report by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a civic group. It was the first time since 2010 that the number of arrivals and departures have been roughly equal.
The trend isn’t entirely surprising given that commuting times in San Francisco have lengthened by 40 minutes a week in the past decade, the report said. The price of a typical San Francisco home has reached an eye-watering $1.2 million, according to Trulia, an online real estate data provider.
Housing costs, inflated by local regulations restricting home-building, can act as a barrier to opportunity. They make it harder for people in poorer areas to move for better opportunities. With fewer people able to move to places with more jobs and higher pay, the national economy tends to suffer, economists say.
Among the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, San Francisco experienced the biggest gain in median household income in the decade after the recession began. Adjusted for inflation, it jumped 13.2 percent, according to data compiled by Moody’s Analytics. San Jose, which is part of Silicon Valley, enjoyed the second-largest increase, at 12.7 percent, followed by Austin, Texas, with 8.8 percent.
By comparison, median household income in the 100 largest metro areas actually fell 2.7 percent, on average. And the income gap between the 10 richest and 10 poorest metro areas has widened in the past decade, Moody’s data shows.
The Associated Press
Income inequality between cities. (Click to enlarge)Eight of the 10 cities with the largest income gains are “tech hubs,” with heavy concentrations of software architects, data analysts and cloud-computing engineers. They include Denver, Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Pittsburgh has experienced the ninth-largest income gain, thanks to increased tech and health care jobs. Oklahoma City, where inflation-adjusted incomes are up 5.5 percent, has benefited from the oil and gas boom.
Most Americans haven’t received raises anywhere near that large. Data compiled by Brookings shows that 65 percent of Americans who live in urban areas — defined as cities with populations above 65,000 — live in places where the typical household income is still below its 1999 level.
Max Versace, CEO of artificial intelligence startup Neurala, who arrived in Boston in 2001 from Italy, has watched the city transform itself into a boomtown, filled with innovative companies working on robotics, AI and self-driving cars. Boston enjoyed the 11th-best income gain in the past decade, Moody’s data shows.
“I have never experienced a slowdown in Boston,” said Versace, whose company is based in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, a formerly rundown industrial area now crowded with startups and high-end restaurants. “Boston is one of those bubbles — good bubbles — that have been saved by the two locomotives of computer sciences and biotechnology.”
Versace launched Neurala in 2013, and it now has 36 employees, including eight with PhDs. While most workers across the country have endured scant pay gains, Versace estimates that salaries for AI researchers with Ph.D.’s have doubled since 2008.
Neurala is working to incorporate AI in drones, including one aimed at energy firms that will use its technology to spot cracks in pipelines or wind turbines without needing humans to monitor video feeds.
One other change Versace is happy to observe: “I no longer have to spit out espressos or pasta,” because the quality of each has improved so much since he arrived.
The divergence between the richest and poorest U.S. cities predates the Great Recession. But it is historically unusual. For a period of 100 years ending in the 1980s, income gaps between richer and poorer cities narrowed steadily.
Economists cite three reasons why such convergence ended. The nature of high-tech work, for one thing, makes it productive for higher-skilled workers to cluster in the same cities.
Elisa Giannone, an economist at the University of Chicago, notes that in past decades, highly paid professionals — doctors, say — might have congregated in cities with fewer physicians to capitalize on the lack of competition and earn more. Likewise, many companies that employed high-skilled workers would move to lower-cost cities to take advantage of cheaper labor.
But her research has found that both trends have been upended by the rise of highly skilled information technology work. People with such skills prefer to work in cities with their peers. And the companies that employ them seem to care just as much about the right skills as they do about lower costs. What’s more, higher educated employees typically become more efficient when they cluster together and exchange ideas.
“It’s more beneficial and more productive to go where there are more people like me,” Giannone says, referring to how such workers think. “I don’t want to be left out.”
Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, the job listings website, calculates that one quarter of tech job openings in the first half of this year were located in just eight tech hubs: Baltimore, Washington, Boston, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Raleigh, North Carolina.
A second factor is swelling home prices and rents, particularly where regulations make it harder to build more. People in poorer areas often used move to wealthier cities to find better opportunities. Now, that option is increasingly available only to those with advanced skills or education.
Two public policy experts, Peter Ganong and Daniel Shoag, concluded in a paper last year that both janitors and lawyers used to fare better financially in New York City than in poorer cities, even accounting for the higher cost of living.
Now, because of rocketing home prices in richer areas, that’s no longer true. Lawyers can still come out ahead. But janitors and other lower-skilled workers don’t.
“Skilled workers move to high cost, high productivity areas, and unskilled workers move out,” Ganong and Shoag wrote.
In the 10 cities with the fastest income growth, housing prices have soared by an average of 31.1 percent in the past decade, Trulia found. That compares with a national average increase of just 5.1 percent.
One result has been huge wealth gains for a fortunate few. A resident of San Francisco who bought a typical home, paying nearly $816,000 in the spring of 2007 — just as the housing market nationwide was collapsing — has gained $365,000 in the past decade.
In Cincinnati, a homeowner who bought at the same time would have paid just $143,000 but would have gained only $6,500.
“Geography plays a critical role in wealth building,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia.
A final factor behind the diversion is that the industries and occupations in slower-growing regions were leveled by the recession. Manufacturing and mining are disproportionately located in red states. So are retail jobs. All those sectors have endured weak growth since the recession.
Robin Brooks, an economist at the Institute of International Finance, a trade group, says those job losses have opened a gap between so-called “red” states, which voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and “blue” states.
About 61 percent of blue state residents have jobs, compared with roughly 59 percent in red states, Brooks found. That cuts against recent historical patterns: From the 1990s through the mild recession of 2001, there was no gap at all.
Despite the persistence of regional inequality, some positive trends have emerged: More tech jobs are moving out of the tech hubs and spreading around the country. Software programming jobs have migrated to Dallas, Detroit, and Charlotte, among other cities, according to Brookings data. Software increasingly plays a vital role in banking and finance, auto manufacturing, and retail.
But many of those tech jobs are lower- or mid-level positions, such as technical support and help desk jobs, rather than higher-paying, cutting-edge positions. Kolko notes that the most highly-skilled tech jobs — in such areas as machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence; computer vision; and database engineering — are even more concentrated in tech hubs than are tech jobs overall.
“There’s a spreading out of the tech economy, but it remains a different tech economy in the middle of the country than what you find in the Bay Area, Boston, New York and Austin,” Berube said.
Software may be more widely used, but when it comes to actually inventing new software, “that is still a phenomenon you find in only four of five places in the United States.”
AP Writers Gene Johnson in Seattle and Matt O’Brien in Boston contributed to this report.
To my Clients,
Thank you for another great year! I look forward to 2018 and being able to help more more buyers, sellers and those looking to relocate or invest achieve their goals in a stress-free environment. If you or someone you know is looking for a realtor, know that I am here to provide the best service and support possible.
I am an experienced real estate professional, serving Boulder and Broomfield County in addition to Denver metropolitan area.
My extensive knowledge of the market, coupled with my commitment to provide extraordinary service, has resulted in hundreds of successful transactions over the last eleven years. For clients looking to sell properties, I deliver fast and profitable results. I am highly attentive with active and consistent communication. I negotiate collaboratively, but aggressively to represent the best interest of my clients.
Choosing the right Real Estate professional is a big life decision. It’s important to select a partner who provides all of the critical support you’ll need to successfully complete your real estate transaction.
Please contact me with any questions. I am available 7 days a week. Together, I look forward to working with you to sell your property.
Gord Collins summarized his predictions for the 2018 housing market. With a good economy and a lot of new construction, things are looking good. But, on the other hand, prices could increase with less labor and higher lumber. Collins will answer if you should sell or buy in the new year, the best cities to find a home for sale that will give you a good return and much more.
Read the full article The US Real Estate Forecast 2018 to 2020
The US Real Estate Forecast 2018 to 2020November, December, January and the coming spring 2018 real estate season should be interesting times. The economy is solid, trade deals look okay, new construction is active and recovering from the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, and the California fires.
Labor shortages and higher lumber costs are looming which could mean house prices could rise, and perhaps fewer resale houses will be for sale. If you’re buying or selling, check out the factors that will affect the housing market for the next 5 years.
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.