Archive for July, 2009
The June MLS real estate market statistics for Highlands Ranch have come out, and some overall thoughts are as follows:
- Total number of residential solds is down by 26% this June compared to June 2008
- The bad news, is the number of listings on the market is up, about 10% from June 2008
- The absorption rate in months is about 4.2 months, a deteriation over the last year
- The condo sales in Highlands Ranch are up about 12% compared to June 2008
- The inventory for sale is down slightly about 4% from June 2008
- Average price for a home is at $368,011, up about 2% over the last year
- Average price of a condo has gone down 8% to about $240,788 over the last year
Remember its Supply and Demand for Denver real estate market
The June real estate market statistics for Centennial have come out, and some overall thoughts are as follows:
- Total number of residential solds is down this June compared to June 2008
- The better news, is the number of listings on the market is down, about 25% from June 2008
- The absorption rate in months is about 4.5 months, a slight improvement over the last year
- The condo sales are down about 7% compared to June 2008
- The inventory for sale is down 21.7% from June 2008
Remember its Supply and Demand for Denver real estate market
In part 1, we discussed having an inspection on a resale home in Littleton or Highlands Ranch. Now what about a decision when you bought a brand new home, should you have it inspected?
One word answer. YES!!
Don’t believe the talk from the nice onsite salesperson, that says the builder “always builds the home to perfection, and with the county or city inspectors overseeing the home, there is no need for a home inspection, you are just throwing money away”. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, the builder has all their permit inspections, but this is just to get the temporary C.O. (Certificate of Occupancy), or a permanent C.O. Once the builder has that C.O., their contract usually says it is time to close, and they want their money.
The key to inspections is all dependent upon the timing with the stage the home is being built. If this is dirt start, you will want to do several inspections.
- Reviewing the Soils Report and Foundation recommendations
- After the foundations are poured
- Prior to sealing up the walls with the drywall
- Prior to your walkthru with the builders superintendent
- After you have received the builders punch list
If the home is fully completed, then you will want to review the permit card, and complete your inspection prior to your walkthru.
Since the home you are purchasing has had many “subs” building the home, and many different county/city inspectors, it will pay to have a professional set of eyes to look at the home in a way that will satisfy your concern, prior to you moving in.
We offer buyer brokerage in helping buyers buy either resale or new homes. I work for you, the buyer. I never work for the New Home Builder. Use our experience. We know inspectors to use.
You have been searching for the perfect home, you have successfully found the home, you have just put it under contract, and now it is time to do your inspection. And you have to do this within the timeframe specified in the contract. What do you do?For your inspection here are some items to review:
- You will want to get a sample copy of the inspectors previous work.
- You will want to question about their education.
- You will want to question about their experience.
- Do they take photos?
- Do they have certifications?
- Will he miss things as to not “kill the deal?”
Normally we would have an inspector on call, based on how your search is going. In purchasing a home in Denver, the normal acceptable timeframe is 10 days for you to do the inspection.
After we coordinate the time so the seller is not present, the inspection is performed over 2-3 plus hours, followed up with a written report issued to the buyer. We then consult with you over your concerns about the findings, and prepare up an inspection notice to the seller outlining those items. This will need to be presented to the seller within the inspection time frame. Whether serious, or trivial, you need to have in writing your thoughts.
Then it is back to negotiations, as the seller may think your serious items are trivial, and we see what becomes of the inspection notice. Usually there is a meeting of the minds, and you can move forward with completing the purchase.
Call me, as we know inspectors to use.
New Homes? See Part 2
CHFA, which is short for Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, has unveiled their CHFA JumpStart program to help Coloradans take advantage of the first time homebuyer federal tax credit. Homebuyers in Littleton will be able to leverage the future benefit of the federal tax credit by working with CHFA to access the dollars needed to buy a home today.
The loan is really 2 loans: a first loan to first time homebuyers at a 30 year competitive fixed interest rate AND a second mortgage in the amount of $6000, or 3.5% of the home price, which ever is less, to be used for down payment and closing costs. The great part about this is that the 2nd mortgage will be offered at ZERO (0%) interest rate, and no payments thru June 30, 2010.
A savvy borrower can use the federal tax credit to pay off the 2nd mortgage before the 6/30/2010 deadline. That could be slick.
Given todays affordable home prices in Littleton, and its surrounding areas, the CHFA JumpStart program will give homebuyers that “jump start” we all need in building equity in our homes.
Keep in mind, if the 2nd loan is not paid off in full by June 30, 2010 deadline, the loan will change to a 8% interest loan, with a 10 year term. This loan is not for every first time homebuyer looking to buy in Littleton. Do you see yourself paying off the 2nd quickly? If not CHFA also has a different “HomeOwner Plus” program at competitive rates.
We can guide you to the proper lenders who work with CHFA and help you do your homework to prepare yourself for homeownership in Littleton.
Should I go with “Uncle Bob” who has an inactive real estate license or use a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR)? In Denver’s real estate market, you will literally save thousands, by using a REALTOR.
REALTOR’s adhere to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection to the public. You should look for the REALTOR logo when choosing an agent. We are members within the local and national levels, which all are part of the largest professional association in the country. Here are a few things we can provide.
- We can give up to date information about the Denver real estate market, prices, and conditions of competing properties
- We will market your property to other agents, and to the public
- We know when, where and how to best market your property
- We can help close the sale of your home
- We have many resources to assist you in your search for a home
- We can help you negotiate
- We can provide objective information about each property
- We can help you determine your buying power
- We can provide guidance during the evaluation of a property
Not all agents are equal, and not all agents are Brokers, and not all agents are the Broker/Owner and manager of their own real estate company. My company: Garard & Associates, LLC has been in business since 1990, and I have been selling the Denver real estate market for almost 25 years. Go with experience and give me a call to discuss your needs, whether you are buying or selling.
The media is always talking about it, the guys at the cocktail party are always talking about it, and on late night infomercials someone is always talking about it. Yes, it’s the one person who bought a bank foreclosure and made a ton of money, either flipping the home or keeping it as a rental.
Truth is in the Denver real estate market, it takes a lot of hard work, the money is deceptive, and there will always be surprises. Consider these items:
- Interest on the loan will always keep adding up
- Banks sell the homes in “As-Is” condition
- Lower priced homes in the Denver area usually get multiple bids
- With multiple bids, they ask for and get “Best and Highest Offers”
- Inspections don’t always reveal everything
- Banks sell the homes based on Appraisals, and several BPO’s
- Banks have a Listing Agent on their side for pricing
- Banks may have “title”, but was the foreclosure proper?
- Banks sell with a Special Warranty Deed
- Remodeling bids, and the quality of work may not be Equal
- Who at the bank has the authority to sign off and sell the home?
- Banks Addendums protect them from now until the end of time
- Just because it is “Bank Owned”, does not imply it is a bargain
- HOA assessments, and penalties may need to be readdressed
- The really profitable homes will probably be in less than desirable areas, and in questionable school districts
These are a few of the concerns I have seen in the Denver real estate market. When dealing with Bank Owned “REO’s”, buy with the proper representation, things can go smoothly, and hopefully profitably for your financial future. Real Estate should be part of everyone’s financial portfolio. Consult a real estate broker for details.
The Mile High City is full of mile high surprises. As a real estate broker selling Denver homes for the past 24 years, I have come to realize in working with buyers and sellers, that the high majority of people leaving the state, do NOT leave because they want to, more because the HAVE to, and the buyers who move in, can’t believe what we have to offer, and then come to realize they do NOT want to leave.
- Metro Denver area covers 4500 square miles, like the size of Connecticut
- In 2009 there are about 594,000 people living in the City and County of Denver
- Our mild and dry climate has 300 days of sunshine a year, more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach
- The cities 90 golf courses remain open all year, and plenty of people try to ski and golf all in the same day
- Denver has 200 named parks within the city limits
- Denver’s mountain panorama is 120 miles long, and from the state capital you can see 200 named peaks
- Denver is the Napa Valley of Beer, brewing over 100 different beers daily
- In Mile High Denver’s rarified air, a golf ball goes 10% farther
- Denver International Airport is the largest airport in the nation, covering 53 square miles, we can expand
- Denver Performing Arts Complex is the 2nd largest performing arts center in the nation
- The city boasts the largest “Green Fleet” of alternative fuel vehicles in the country
- Central City and Black Hawk gambling gold mining towns just increased betting to $100 maximum betting
Did I mention going up to the Mountains, the National Parks, and just the quality of outdoor living? I could go on with more facts and figures; probably will with another posting, but you can also check out: www.visitdenver.com
I also have the Official Visitors guide to mail to interested future Coloradans. Call me today. 303-888-2488
Wood Brothers builders started this development of 470 homes in the middle of 1978, when it was still in unincorporated Arapahoe county around the same time that Medema builders was building the Oakbrook development within the city limits of Littleton.
Wood Brothers had their models located near Dry Creek and Clarkson at 1331, 1351, 1371, and 1391 E. Dry Creek Place as the 4 original models. They built traditional homes, with basements, good size lots and yards, and originally were priced around $62,000 to $70,000, (should have bought 2 at those prices). As with all Wood Brothers communities in metro Denver, they named it after their last name: ”Wood” and then added “ridge”.
The floor plans built were mainly:
The Madison, mainly a 3 bedroom 4 level home, 1850 sq feet
The Adams, mainly a 4 bedroom 4 level home, 2100 sq feet
The Franklin, mainly a 3 bedroom 2 story, 1970 sq feet
The Washington, the largest 2 story with a study, 2300 sq feet
The Jefferson, 4 bedroom 2 story, 2100 sq feet
The Monroe, the ranch, 2100 sq feet
and at the tail end of building out the development, they built 2 contemporary homes.
All these homes were built when mountain views could still be seen, and Puma Park was the centerpiece of the development. Good real estate in Denver can be found by the school district and these homes all feed into the Littleton school district. The area of Woodridge is designated to be between Dry Creek Road to the North, Phillips Avenue to the South, Oakbrook neighborhood to the West, and mostly Clarkson Street to the East, within the zip code of 80122.
Most residents and old time realtors know this as Woodridge, but the newbie agents keep calling it by its legal name of “The Highlands 1st filing”, and this further confuses the MLS search’s. There is a voluntary HOA.
When times were tough in the middle 1980′s, Wood Brothers in an effort to stay financially sound, sold the models to an investment group called EPIC Realty. This outfit would buy builders models, then resell, at an inflated price to investors who then would rent the homes out. Unfortunately this was during one of Denver’s real estate downturns, and eventually the partnerships ended, and the homes were then sold onto regular owners.
Call me to discuss further the current values in Woodridge.
We always talk about Lead based paint in older homes, but some facts are needed to clarify things when dealing with home sales in Denver. The magic date is 1978, and applies to a home/condo that you may buy, sell, rent or even renovate.
Landlords and Sellers must provide to tenants and buyers a disclosure of what is known, and everyone has to sign this BEFORE a contract is in effect. There is also a EPA packet, EPA747-k-99-001, that is titled “Protect Your Family From Lead In Your Home” and must be provided. Disclosure and knowledge is key.
Here is a fun fact. Why did the government pick 1978?
Answer: The paint industry and the government stopped adding lead in paint in 1953, and then figured there would be a 25 year supply that would run out in 1978, hence the date.
Back to the cold hard facts. Lead is dangerous to babies, young children, and adults, so everyone that comes in contact with the paint, the dust, the chip, and the soil can be affected. There is a number to call: 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) for other safety measures, or visit their site at www.epa.gov/lead, or www.hud.gov/offices/lead/. The regional EPA office in Colorado, Region 8, and can be reached at 303-312-6021, or call long distance to Washington at 1-202-755-1785.
If you have a home built after 1978, things should be safe regarding Lead. But if you are looking to buy a home in the Denver suburbs, like Littleton or highlands Ranch you just need to worry about other items, like covenants, zoning, asbestos, radon, mold, bentinite soil, runoff, air leaks, and a long list of other concerns. If you want, we can go over your questions at a meeting.
With all the changes in the financial community, and what Washington is telling the Lenders, there are currently less REO’s on the Denver real estate market, but more will be upcoming. Lenders are not sitting on the homes waiting things out. They want to get them ready for the market, and then pull the trigger to sell them at fair market value.
The banks have moratoriums on foreclosures, the banks have to deal with current tenants, or subsequent owners becoming a tenant, along with the lawsuits in the east coast; whereby a lender who did not record a simple assignment, can not foreclose. All these things attribute to less REO’s currently being placed on the Denver market. Hopefully this will cause regular homebuyers buying our current inventory, which will draw down the supply, which will lead to stable values. We will see.
Denver real estate market has always been about supply and demand, always.