According to the Denver Business Journal, "Metro Denver's year-over-year gain in home-resale prices stood at 8.4 percent in February, almost an entire percentage point higher than the annual gain the previous month." Read more below:
Home-resale price growth still rising in metro Denver, report says
By Kelcey McClung – Reporter, Denver Business Journal
Apr 24, 2018, 12:46pmMetro Denver's year-over-year gain in home-resale prices stood at 8.4 percent in February, almost an entire percentage point higher than the annual gain the previous month.
That's according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices report, released Tuesday.
January's year-over-year gain in Denver-area resale prices was 7.6 percent, according to the closely-followed monthly report series.
In February, only three major U.S. cities showed greater year-over-year price increases out of 20 big markets tracked by the Case-Shiller report series: Seattle (up 10.1 percent from the previous February), Las Vegas (up 11.6 percent) and San Francisco (up 10.1 percent).
Denver surpassed Los Angeles this month, though just by a hair — the California city was up 8.3 percent from the previous February.
Denver tied with Detroit with an 8.4 percent annual gain.
The average year-over-year increase for all 20 cities, as well as the national price gain, was 6.3 percent in February, the report said.
The Denver Business Journal released this article addressing the stresses of being relocated and tools to use to make that transition easier. Read more below:
8 ways to make employee relocation a more positive experience
By PODS for Business
Mar 12, 2018Moving for a job is a big deal for employees and the employers moving them. A smooth move can pave the way for a seamless transition into a new position or facility, which is of huge value to businesses.
Here are eight tips for making your next corporate relocation the easiest one yet.
1. Be clear about relocation policies
A corporate relocation is a careful balancing act. Each party must feel the process is fair, especially when it comes to money. Having clear, well-expressed policies prevents misunderstandings and increases the likelihood of a successful move. Employees need to know what services are cost covered by the company, and what portions of the move they are responsible for. They need to know the specific relocation services the company provides. And they need the information in writing. That protects both parties from misunderstandings that arise in verbal agreements, and it provides a ready reference if needed.
2. Forge relocation specialist partnerships that add value
The logistics of a relocation often demand skills, products and services that are not core competencies of your company. So, cultivate partners that can help ease the burden for the employee, and for you. For example, when you partner with PODS®, your transferees enjoy simplified moves with single points of contact, flexible scheduling, and access to secure storage centers. PODS also adds certainty in pricing for your company with its lump sum and direct billing options. When you partner with relocation industry specialists, you offer your employees expert help in adjusting to their new surroundings.
3. Consider cost of living difference
A person earning $70,000 in Dodge City, Kansas, moving to Baltimore, Maryland, will experience a cost of living increase of almost 20 percent. An equivalent home will cost 35 percent more, and they’d need to make more than $83,000 per year to stay on an even footing, according to cost of living comparisons. So it’s often important to make corporate relocation assistance available for more than just moving expenses. Cost of living subsidies, help with child care, and loans to bridge time between mortgage transactions can help cover the difference between earnings and livings costs. Of course, in some cases, a salary bump won’t hurt either.
4. Move employees with skills and who embrace change
If a transferee doubts their ability to transition, you are adding risk to an already taxing event. It’s also important to ensure a good job fit. Moving someone without the experience or skills required and hoping they’ll get up to speed is asking a lot. They face moving challenges, and they also face adjusting to an unfamiliar workplace where they haven’t developed a strong support network. Be sure the employee is up for it before investing in a relocation.
5. Make the relocation package convenient and descriptive
Each employee relocation is unique. Some transferees go ahead of family while others move together. In all cases, moving is complicated. Whatever you can do to make it easy helps turn a stressful situation into a manageable one. Instead of bombarding employees with folders filled with paper, provide information on USB drives or in the cloud. If your company has enough relocations to justify an instructional app, even better. Consider information you can include that provides assurances to your relocating employees. Go beyond just putting words on paper and describe the services employees can access to help put them at ease.
6. Empower employees with resources and information
Design your relocation services so they help employees feel empowered. Consider using short videos to introduce people to their new location. Besides giving them overviews of the workspace and facilities, include information about what’s nearby. Providing an overview of neighborhoods close to the job helps employees narrow their search for homes or apartments. Provide information about registering vehicles, public transportation, schools and getting drivers’ licenses.
7. Maintain a personal touch
Don’t go so overboard with technology that you remove people from the process. While employee relocation apps can help transferees track expenses, organize receipts and keep checklists, it’s still important to have the human touch. To avoid becoming impersonal, set up regular times for HR to check in with transferees. It’s amazing what you can find out about how your transferee’s relocation process is going just by informally chatting over coffee.
8. Offer flexible storage solution
Employees are not moving specialists. Most people underestimate the time and space they’ll need for transitioning their belongings. Often, they don’t ask for storage options, even though many say afterward they wished they had. Plus, they are dealing with the challenges of purchasing and selling homes and adapting their lives to a new city. This is another place where PODS excels at relocations. With PODS’ secure storage options at both ends of their move, transferees don’t have to deal with loading and unloading multiple times. Instead, they get flexibility in storing their personal items, and a helping hand to support them at what might otherwise be a stressful time.
Denver area housing market to see big value increase in 2018: Report
Ben MillerMar 29, 2018, 6:44am MDT
The Denver-area housing market will appreciate more than any other market in the U.S. outside of Washington state in the next year, according to a new report.
Kathleen Lavine, Denver Business Journal
The Denver-area housing market will appreciate more than any other market in the U.S. outside of Washington state in the next year, according to a new report.
Veros Real Estate Solutions of California predicts residential market values in the Denver-area housing market will increase 9.9 percent in value in the next year, behind only the Seattle area (11.1 percent increase), Bellingham, Washington (10.1 percent) and the Kennewick-Pasco-Richland area in southeast Washington (10 percent).
Nationally, housing should appreciate by 4.3 percent in the coming year, according to the report.
"The greater Denver real estate market continues its fifth consecutive year of near double-digit appreciation. In fact, the average detached single-family home price just topped the half-million dollar mark for the first time on record and is being fueled by an insatiable demand for $1 million-plus luxury homes that continues to set records each quarter," said Anthony Rael, a Denver-based broker with Re/Max Alliance, in a statement.
Rising population growth and low housing inventory are two drivers of the increase in value appreciation, according to Veros.
It's been well reported in the past few months that Denver's housing inventory is at extremely low levels.
RankBusiness nameSales volume in Denver area in 20161Re/Max Alliance$3.45 billion
2LIV Sotheby's International Realty$2.42 billion
3Re/Max Professionals$2.37 billion
View This List
Moving can be stressful and it is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the things you need to do to have an easy, successful move. One thing that can be easily overlooked is the safety of your home. So before you unpack, take a few measures to get your home safe and ready for move-in. Read the blog, Moving In: Security Checklist for your New Home , by ADT for more information.
For information on how to take ADT with you to your new home, visit our Help Center.
Take a look inside this multi-million dollar home that sold in just 10 days after going under contract.
Inside the Aspen estate that sold for $14.7 million (Photos)
By Caitlin Hendee – Associate Editor, Denver Business Journal
Feb 13, 2018, 2:44pm MST Updated 41 minutes ago
An Aspen estate has sold for $14.7 million just 10 days after going under contract, indicating just how hot Colorado real estate is these days.
The 9,200-square-foot home is situated on 1.19 acres and was recently re-built. It includes five bedrooms, five baths, and two half-baths with views of Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Red Mountain and Tiehack.
Multiple entertaining spaces, a gourmet chef's kitchen, outdoor patios, a hot tub, a fire pit, an open space pond, tennis courts and a Nordic ski trail are among the estate's amenities.
"This stunning property adds to the string of multimillion dollar sales we’ve seen in recent months, which is a true testament to the current market demand," said Will Herndon, president of Coldwell Banker Mason Morse.
Coldwell Banker associates represented both the buyer and seller of the estate, which is located at 180 Heather Ln. in Aspen.
Redfin predicts 3 of Denver's hottest residential neighborhoods in 2018 below:
Denver area's 'hottest' residential neighborhoods? Two are in one city
By Ben Miller – Contributing Writer Jan 29, 2018, 7:28am MST Updated Jan 30, 2018, 1:11pm
What are the Denver area's "hottest" residential real estate areas in 2018? Two are in Lakewood, according to Redfin.
Each year, the online real estate company picks out the nation's and large U.S. metro area's "hottest" neighborhoods. Last year in the Denver area, it was Greenfield, located in the south Aurora/Centennial area, which was rated the ninth-hottest neighborhood in the country by Redfin.
This year, no Colorado neighborhood made Redfin's national "hottest neighborhood" list. In fact, no neighborhood outside of California's Bay Area made the national list, as nine from San Jose and one from San Francisco were the top 10 in the country.
In the Denver area, Redfin says the Green Mountain area in west Lakewood will be the area's "hottest neighborhood." Homes there have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 99 percent; 22 percent sold over list price (as of December); and homes spent an average of just 28 days on the market.
Also making the Denver area's top three "hottest neighborhood" list is Applewood in Lakewood. Homes there have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 97.3 percent; 8 percent sold over list price (as of December); and homes spent an average of 55 days on the market.
The third "hottest neighborhood," according to Redfin, is the Regis neighborhood in north Denver. Homes there have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 100,4 percent; 54.8 percent sold over list price (as of December); and homes spent an average of 46 days on the market.
What determines a neighborhood's "hotness?" Redfin said "Hottest Neighborhoods is a prediction based on the most recent growth we’ve seen in page views and favorites on Redfin.com."
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 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.