In the last week we have all experienced the rapid changing of seasons. The temperatures dropped, snow fell, and I spent every night by my fireplace keeping warm. With this shift in temperature, many of you may be wondering what is going to be changing in the Real Estate Market as well?
If you're looking to buy in the upcoming months, the above infographic gives you a small glimpse into the current real estate trends. Within the Denver area, the Median Sold price for a home in September was $405,000. There were 6,078 new listings and they averaged 22 days on the market.
Wondering where to buy? 5280 Magazine compiled a list of the top 25 neighborhoods to live in in Denver currently. It was based on a number of factors such as school rankings, crime data, proximity to open space, and many others. The top five of these came out to be, in order: Congress Park, Hilltop, University Park, Hampden South, and Indian Creek.
Additionally, the market has slowed in the last month from the aggressive climb it has been making over the year. It is unclear yet whether this is simply the normal Winter pace, or the Denver market is seeing a cool down. That said, we are still in a seller's market. Depending on the price range you are looking in, be prepared to write a competitive offer and pull the trigger quickly on a property you are interested in.
If you are looking to sell your house, it is important to know that the colder months often see a cool down in the market as well. This does not mean you won't get your money's worth for your house, it just might sit on the market a little longer and you amy not see the bidding war we've become used to this year.
This is due to a number of factors. One being, quite simply, that in winter the cold weather keeps more people inside. However, more importantly, the snow and the dying foliage tend to make houses look less appealing. So, if you are planning on listing, here are a few tips to make your house look like an ideal winter listing.
While all of these helpful tips can aid you in your home selling and buying this winter, it is never an exact science. That's why it is important to have a realtor you trust guiding you through the process. Contact us today with any real estate questions your may have.
Fundamentals are saying that there is nothing to suggest we are due for a recession." - Lawrence Yun on real estate projections in Colorado
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Economic and Real Estate Outlook lunch hosted by the South Metro Denver Realtor's Association (SMDRA). The presenter was Lawrence Yun, PhD, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). He was able to provide some great insight into the questions that're on everyone's mind: are we in a bubble and is it going to burst?
The short answer to those questions: no and no. Because of the steady rate of increase in population in Colorado, and the slow rate at which housing construction and sales are striving to catch up with that number, we will not be seeing a "bubble" or a "burst" anytime soon. In fact, it is projected that home prices will continue to rise in Denver for at least the next 10 years.
Furthermore, Yun included some impressive facts about the state of Colorado's and the nation's economy. Here are just a few:
Next time you're in a traffic jam just be thankful! It's because of your good economy." - Lawrence Yun, on Colorado's current economic state
A lot of this may seem scary to someone who doesn't think they can afford a home. However, buying your first home is significantly more affordable than you think. It is a myth that one needs at least 20% to buy a home. In fact, some loans will allow a first time homebuyer to put just 1% down on their home. Additionally, down payment assistance programs and (of course) Equity for Educators if you're a teacher can help you pay the other up front costs of a home. I recently got a client into her first condo for less than $2,000. She received a check back from her lender at closing rather than paying more money.
The tiny home lifestyle is becoming exceedingly more popular and happens to be exceedingly more affordable as well. Houses are deemed "tiny" if they are under roughly 500 square feet, although there is no definitive dimension requirement. Tiny houses can be mobile or built into a foundation on a property. They also are often built out of sustainable materials, and therefore are more eco-friendly than their larger counterparts. On average, they cost around $40,000- just 7% the cost of the average single family home in Denver.
There are numerous tiny house communities sprouting up in Colorado. One such community is in fact built by Sprout Tiny Homes and is located in Salida, Colorado. Another Sprout community is located just south of Colorado Springs. For details and pricing check out the Sprout website. Additionally, the Beloved Community Village is a tiny home community to help with homelessness in Denver.
Another popular alternative to tiny houses is storage container houses. Supposedly able to be built for just $20,000, these are houses made from old shipping containers. They can be as big or small as you want depending on how many containers are used! This article from Rise Home Builders analyzes the pros and cons of them.
Whether you are in the market for affordable housing or not, tiny houses are a creative solution to our current housing crisis and definitely worth supporting. And if you're wondering if you would be able to live comfortably in a tiny house, give it a whirl at WeeCasa: the world's largest tiny home resort in Lyons, Colorado.
At this point it has become fairly common knowledge that the Millenial generation is influenced in their home buying decisions by their dog or desire to have one. In fact, studies show that 1/3 of Millenial home owners considered their dog a major part of that decision. In addition, 42% of Millenials who have yet to buy a home consider a dog a to be a key factor in their home-buying decision.
I recently adopted my very first dog from the Animal Rescue of the Rockies. Her presence in my home is now a huge motivator to be able to buy a new home! Whether you already have the yard and want a dog to play in it, or you want a dog and will someday have the yard for it, there are a ton of great pet rescue organizations in the Denver Metro Area to check out.
3. Denver Dumb Friends League
Probably the most well known Denver based shelter, DDFL has all kinds of animals for adoption including horses at the Harmony Equine Center. They frequently have specials that discount or waive fees to incentivize adopting older animals or multiple animals together. Check them out here.
MaxFund is another Denver based shelter that boasts in impressive 33,420 adopted animals in their 30 years of existence. The shelter was named for their very first rescue, "Max," who inspired the founding of the organization. Check them out here.
5. 4 Paws 4 Life
4P4L is among a large number of Colorado organizations that rescue animals from kill shelters and find them new homes here in our state. As they state in their mission, their goal is to "show grace and mercy to the animals entrusted into our care and to find them families that will do the same." Check them out here.
There are countless more organizations that I can't even begin to scrape the surface of the list. If you are looking for a certain type of dog there are also breed specific organizations like Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies or Colorado Pug Rescue to name a few. Here is a more comprehensive list of breed specific rescues in Colorado.
But those are just my reasons. I asked a few of my clients and friends to tell me why they decided to stop renting and buy a home. Here is what they said:
I bought a condo for one main reason: I was tired of lighting approximately a million dollars on fire every month for rent and wanted to start paying myself instead of a rental company. It still makes me happy every day to come home to my place and have it be my place.
I was living in a 550 square foot apartment that had gone from $975 to $1100 per month. I decided that I should at least look for what kind of place I could buy and pay the same amount each month for my mortgage payment instead.
We decided to pull the trigger and own instead of rent because we wanted a home to take care or that was our own. We were renters for decades and every home or apartment we rented we took care of it as if it were our own. We would paint or landscape, etc. But, we always said that we wished we could be taking care of something we owned and not someone else's property."
Do you have a great story about making the switch from renting to owning? Or, do you want to buy your first home and make your own story? Let me know. I'd love to hear your story or help you create yours!
Did you know that both income restricted and income based housing exist in Colorado? AND did you know that there's a difference between the two? Both of these types of communities are designed to help people of limited means, like educators, afford housing, but there are some key differences that it's important to be aware of.
First of all, the sponsor for the two different programs is different. Affordable or income restricted housing is through the government funded US Department of Urban Housing and Development. These homes or apartments are in designated areas owned by the government and the property must be used for this purpose for at least 30 years. Income based housing is owned by an independent contractor who designates 20-40% of the units in a given building for rent to low income individuals or families.
affordable housing projects. However, if you buy a home through HUD's affordable housing be aware that there will be a sale limit, or a "price restriction" on its resale value.
Alternatively, some new income based units are in the works in the popular RiNo neighborhood. The city is working with developers to exchange higher height restriction limits for affordable housing units. Rental based affordable housing complexes exist in Globeville, Curtis Park, and Five Points. Some other complexes to look into are the Park Avenue West Apartments and Mercy Housing.
The bottom line here is that, whether you are looking to rent or buy, Denver has numerous affordable housing options available. And more are popping up all the time! Questions? Contact me. I can help you buy or put you in touch with the right people to help you rent.
Before getting my real estate license, I was a full time teacher working in a restaurant on the weekends just to pay my bills. I had moved to Englewood where I could actually live for less than $1000 a month, and had about $6000 in savings. I was laboring under the common misconception that I could not afford to buy a home on my teacher salary.
If only I had known that one of the simplest solutions to all of these financial problems was to purchase my home! My best friend (and now real estate partner) had been telling me this for years, but I didn't believe her. Turns out, she was right! Based entirely off of my teacher salary I purchased my condo. My monthly payments are lower, and I'm saving even more money because I rent out my second bedroom!
Lori Richardson, one of the amazing lenders I work with, put together the above charts reflecting monthly costs and overall savings over 5 years for a purchase of $250,000. They show (at least) a $300 monthly savings based on current rent trends in the Denver area. Furthermore, over 5 years instead of spending almost $100,000 in rent, you would have accrued almost $24,000 in equity! But I'm sure you're still wondering how you do this. Here are just a few ways home buying is more affordable than you thought:
2017 was my first full year in Real Estate. I have spent the year both doing real estate and still teaching part time at my school. As the year went on and my active client based picked up, I have been quite a busy bee! But I would not trade that for anything, and am grateful for the work and prosperity.
I have accomplished a lot of things in this crazy year that I am proud of. I have closed on multiple properties and helped many first time home buyers. I purchased my very own home for the first time! And most recently I learned how to navigate the complexities of a truly difficult sale (I was foolish enough to think up until then that my real estate career might be smiled upon with only easy deals.)
As a result I have learned a lot and am feeling more confident in the field every day. It is not easy to learn a new career! I know that was the same when I first started teaching, but it's been so long now I can't even remember what that felt like. I know that one day (hopefully soon) I'll look back on the beginnings of my real estate career and feel the same way.
The biggest thing that I have learned is that I could not have done it without a lot of support. I am backed by an amazing team at Price & Co Real Estate who make me feel more confident and competent every day. Furthermore, I could not have done it without all of the clients this year who knew I was new to the game but trusted me to help them with their home buying!
Finally, as I have started to see Equity for Educators grow, and I have started to work with Landed as they expand to Colorado, I have learned that I truly have a passion for helping make teachers' lives a little bit better. I know that this is something I want to continue to focus on and work for in the future.
I hope you all have had a wonderful 2017, and I look forward to helping you in the upcoming years!
I don't know about you, but as the teacher in the family (or one of them) I am often asked to bring an appetizer to family holiday meals. I think this is because my kind caring family doesn't want to strain my teacher budget. So I have become a connoisseur of inexpensive appetizer recipes. Here are just a few of my go-tos!
Whether you're cooking or not cooking, celebrating with friends or family, Happy Thanksgiving from Equity for Educators!
As Halloween fast approaches many people are looking for haunted houses to visit. Theses haunted houses are of the type that has dressed up zombies and ghouls stalking darkened hallways with props and scenery. However, Denver has some actual famously haunted houses that might give people a much more real scare.
1. Grant- Humphrey's Mansion
Denver's Cheeseman Park neighborhood, which once served as the city cemetery, is home to many a haunted house. The Grant-Humphrey's Mansion is one such place. Originally built in 1902, it was home to Denver Mayor James Benton Grant and then eventually one Albert E. Humphreys. Both have long since passed away, but Humphreys reportedly lingers. He died in an unusual shooting accident in the third floor of the mansion and is rumored to have never left. Furthermore, when the area that is Cheeseman Park was converted from a cemetery, many bodies were disturbed and left buried and forgotten. It is reported that these spirits also roam the Grant-Humphreys Mansion and keep Albert E. Humphrey company.
2. The Molly Brown House
Molly Brown is known for surviving the sinking of the Titanic. She eventually passed away, but the ghost of her and her husband, JJ, live on in their Capitol Hill Mansion. Many visitors to the Mansion have reported smelling the smoke from JJ's cigars. In addition, the window blinds have been said to move on their own in the room of Molly and JJ's daughter, Catherine. Today the Molly Brown House is a museum and open to all visitors.
3. Croke-Patterson Mansion
Since its construction in 1890 the Croke-Patterson Mansion has been reported to be haunted. The original owner, Thomas Croke, never even lived in the house due to the evil presence he is said to have felt. Today the building serves as an office. Construction and office workers in more recent years report that items are moved and worked is disturbed or undone over night. An actual apparition has been sighted on the stairwell. Perhaps you will be lucky enough to experience the paranormal activity in this building!
Emily Baker has been an educator in North Denver since 2012. She taught 4th grade for many years, before transitioning to Middle School English. She loved her job working with children, and now her job as a realtor. With Equity for Educators she is able to combine these two passions.