Monday, February 25, 2013

Still Writing Checks to the Landlord?

Did you know that home loan payments can often be less than paying rent?
Renting can make good sense for those that don't intend to stay in their home for long, need extra mobility or have highly uncertain employment prospects.
If your planning on sticking around, there are several very solid reasons why owning can prove to be more rewarding:
1) Rates are at Historic Lows: and if that weren't already enough, prices are low too. This is an unusual and probably once in a lifetime combination. Together, the real cost of purchasing a home is less than it's been at anytime in about the last 50 years.
2) Buying builds equity: on most mortgage loans you pay down the principal balance with each payment. This typically starts at about $100 per month for every $100,000 of loan balance and increases each month through the entire life of the loan. To do an accurate rent vs. own comparison, you must subtract the principal paid each month from your total loan payment. Even where purchasing may be more than renting, this alone will often tip the scales back in the other direction.
3) Appreciation: its no secret that we haven't seen much of this lately, and there's no guarantee either. However, if we use history as a guide, values have typically risen at a pace above inflation and as long as there is only so much land and every more people, demand will rise and values will go up. Housing is precious and necessary commodity that we all need every day. It's our choice to rent or to own, yet buying one for yourself usually beats buying one for your landlord.
4) Tax Benefits: not everyone is going to benefit from this. Unless you have a sufficient basis to warrant "itemizing" on your taxes, it can be better to just take advantage of the standard deduction. However, the home mortgage and real estate tax benefits can be two of the most valuable items in the tax code for individuals. Many homeowners save thousands every year with these deductions. To learn how that might apply to you, it's best to consult your tax pro for personalized advice.

Home ownership can mean different things to different people, yet most cite the many benefits beyond just the financial. Becoming rooted in a neighborhood, school district or community, having the freedom and privacy to do what you want or to make modifications to your property as you please are all factors that can formulate the most valuable returns.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Does Size Really Matter?

Aaahhh the question that has been brought up for centuries! But today we are going to look at it from a different angle, (insert giggle).
Today it seems as if downsizing is a trend of the past. According to Census Bureau in 2011 homes were 141 square feet bigger than in 2010. They also reveal that the number of bedrooms and full bathrooms increased.
Check out this article:

Is the Downsizing Trend Fading?

So after reading, I assume the answer is....yes. ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I know its been awhile since I've blogged. Unfortunately my son caught the flu and so graciously shared with me. I pray I don't see that bug again! Its one thing to take care of yourself while sick, but mom's don't get sick days.
When all is said and done, I'm now back at work and have a exciting project pending. I'm still trying to put it together, but I'll give you a sneak peak:

123 Address Street
Anywhere, CO Zip

Compliments of:
Molly Curley
Broker Associate, Keller Williams
719-589-3465 office/ 719-588-1648 cell
I'm trying to make home books for my listings!!! So super excited about this! I'm going to try and have my first one complete by the first of next week. I'll stick some pictures up so you can see.
If you or anyone you know that might be interested in one, please have them call me!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dreaming of a Second Home

Is this something that you have ever thought about? Its true that in recent years many homeowners have struggled to maintain and hold on to their homes. And some have bought second homes in vacation areas that now wish they hadn't. Because of this reason, Real Estate inventory is at a high, and there are good deals out there. What does this mean for you? If this is an idea that you have been pondering, and with a combination of low prices, historically low rates, and the availability of homes, now many be the perfect time to make this dream a reality. Lets consider a few ways that it can be made to work:
1) Conventional Financing: Really the purchase of and financing of a second home is really no different from the purchase of a primary home. Some of the programs that offer little to no money down are not available with conventional financing. However, with conventional financing,  Fannie/Freddie type loans offer as little as 10% down you can get your foot in the door.

2) CASH : Remember the saying "cash talks"? Cash buyers are desirable to sellers, as paying cash eliminates the usual financing contingencies.  It can also shorten the time from offer to purchase. Something to remember though when paying cash: Re-sale time can present a limited pool for prospects if conventional financing is unavailable.

3) Rental Income: This is an area that you must proceed with great caution! Whether you are an investor and looking to supplement your income every month, or looking for a vacation rental, make sure that you are in a location where rentals are in demand. Don't just buy a home if your entirely dependent on the income to make it work.

4)  Tax Benefits and Appreciation: This is another area you need to be cautious of the rules, eligibility and markets are always changing. But owning a second home can extend or even put you over the threshold for the benefits of deducting interest and taxes on your return. ALWAYS check with your CPA or tax pro or attorney to see how this may or may not effect you. 

So if you think that you are in a position for second home ownership and are ready to find out more, please contact me. I will be happy to help you find the best way for you to reach you goal.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Inspection Resolutions

Lets talk today about an issue that has recently come up in the world of Real Estate in Colorado. As many of you know, contracts change every year. And as Realtor's its our job to keep abreast of those changes and make sure our clientele is fully aware of what those changes mean for them. I'm seeing a new trend in the new Inspection Resolution forms and hopefully answer some nagging concerns that buyers, sellers, or Realtor's may have. 
First I need to tell you what sparked my keen interest in this topic. I've recently started working with a new buyer. As usual they supplied me with a pre-approval letter. But this one had something different on it that I had never seen before. "Property MUST be inspected prior to closing by a licensed inspector approved by this bank." Hummm....curious. Colorado is a buyer beware state, and as Realtor's we highly encourage any and all buyers and sellers to have a home inspection by a licensed inspector. However, this is the first time in my Real Estate career that I've seen a bank require it. 
Now with that being said, lets look at the Inspection Resolution.
Below are the thoughts from my connection Sean Young on LinkedIn:
One of the most discussed topics from Realtors this year is on the new inspection resolution and how will lenders view it.

The Inspection Resolution form is now a part of the contract unless it is waived on the Inspection Objection form. Either the Resolution or the waiver on the Inspection Objection form must be received prior to ordering the appraisal for any contract written 1/1/13 or later.

The Resolution or waiver on the Objection form must be received prior to ordering the appraisal – no exceptions. The Resolution is now a part of the contract and we only have a fully executed contract once we are in receipt of the form.

Below are some questions and answers I have been asked in the last week.

* Is the Inspection Resolution ALWAYS required?:

NO – It is required unless the borrower withdraws the Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form.

* Does the Inspection Resolution need to go to the appraiser?:

YES – Unless the borrower withdraws the Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form.

* When does the Inspection Resolution form need to be provided to the appraiser?:

At the initial appraisal order, NO exceptions.

* If the appraiser has the Inspection Resolution form, must (s)he condition for repair/final inspection based on the completion of all of the items listed?:

NO – however the appraiser may have their own interpretation of the contract and their responsibilities. Also, the appraiser may still require additional items at their discretion.

* Allowable Scenarios:

* Borrower withdraws Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form, copy received, can proceed with appraisal order.

* Borrower withdraws Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form; copy received along with Amend/Extend stating seller agrees to contribute a monetary amount towards borrower’s closing costs/prepaid. Can proceed with appraisal order. The A/E may not read “in lieu of repair of inspection items” or verbiage to that affect.

* Fully executed Inspection Resolution form is received, can proceed with appraisal order.