The Cost of Waiting

It’s true, certain parts of our market are cooling off. We are seeing fewer multiple offers, fewer bidding wars, and fewer inspection concessions.

However, homes that are priced right and in great condition are selling, and in many cases, selling quickly.

As buyers feel the market cool a bit, it may cause them to want to wait. They sometimes feel like it’s a better choice to ‘wait and see what happens.’

The reality is, there is a real cost to waiting given two specific facts.

1. Interest rates will continue to rise
2. Prices will continue to rise

Interest rates are a little more than 0.5% higher than a year ago and experts predict them to be another 0.5% higher by this time next year.

Prices have been appreciating at roughly 10% per year for the last four years. Based on the numbers, we see that appreciation could be 5% per year for the next two years.

So, let’s look at a house priced at $450,000 today. If prices go up “only” 5% for the next 12 months, that home will cost $22,500 more in a year.

And, if rates go up another half percent, the monthly payment will be $206 higher. That’s an 11% increase!

In an environment of rising prices and rising rates, there is a real cost to “wait and see.”


Posted on September 7, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Fun Facts, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Charming Home in the Heart of Fort Collins

This beautifully remodeled home at 515 10th Street is located in the heart of Fort Collins provides easy access to Old Town Fort Collins, breweries, CSU, I-25 and the Poudre Trail! This home sits on a spacious lot with a recently finished privacy fence, storage shed and beautiful landscaping in the back yard. Featuring stainless steel kitchen appliances, granite counter tops, sliding barn door, private driveway, as well as mature trees and landscaping. This home surely won’t last long! Contact Meaghan Nicholl for more information or click below to view the photos and details, including price.

Posted on August 30, 2018 at 6:39 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Fort Collins Real Estate, Virtual Tour | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Did You Know?

Did you know the average price appreciation over the long term, according to the Federal Housing Finance Authority (who’s been studying this for 40+ years) is…

·         5.63% per year for Metro Denver

·         5.35% per year for Larimer County

·         4.5% per year for Weld County

If you want to be totally clear on all the stats, facts and trends in Colorado real estate so that you know what the future value of your home looks like, watch this video.

This is a complimentary service for our clients and friends.


Posted on August 17, 2018 at 3:59 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Fun Facts, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Unique Opportunity on Main Street in the Windsor Central Business District!

This home at 212 10th St is a phenomenal value as zoning allows for conversion to commercial. Close to schools and shopping. All brick ranch 4 bed 3 bath with attached garage. This home features a large living area and covered back porch. Freshly painted interior and new hardwood floors. Central A/C is not currently working. Contact John Taylor for your private showing at 970-541-1003 for more information or click the link below for more details.

http://windermerewindsor.com/listing/82387370


Posted on August 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Virtual Tour, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Colorado Real Estate Market Update

The following analysis of the Metro Denver & Northern Colorado real estate market (which now includes Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Park Counties) is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.

 

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW

Colorado continues to see very strong job growth, adding 72,800 non-agricultural jobs over the past 12 months—an impressive increase of 2.7%. Through the first five months of 2018, the state added an average of 7,300 new jobs per month. I expect this growth to continue through the remainder of the year, resulting in about 80,000 new jobs in 2018.

In May, the state unemployment rate was 2.8%. This is slightly above the 2.6% we saw a year ago but still represents a remarkably low level. Unemployment remains either stable or is dropping in all the markets contained in this report, with the lowest reported rates in Fort Collins and Boulder, where just 2.2% of the labor force was actively looking for work. The highest unemployment rate was in Grand Junction, which came in at 3.1%.

 

HOME SALES ACTIVITY

  • In the second quarter of 2018, 17,769 homes sold—a drop of 2.4% compared to the second quarter of 2017.
  • Sales rose in 5 of the 11 counties contained in this report, with Gilpin County sales rising by an impressive 10.7% compared to second quarter of last year. There were also noticeable increases in Clear Creek and Weld Counties. Sales fell the most in Park County but, as this is a relatively small area, I see no great cause for concern at this time.
  • Slowing sales activity is to be expected given the low levels of available homes for sale in many of the counties contained in this report. That said, we did see some significant increases in listing activity in Denver and Larimer Counties. This should translate into increasing sales through the summer months.
  • The takeaway here is that sales growth is being hobbled by a general lack of homes for sale, and due to a drop in housing demand.

 

 

HOME PRICES

  • With strong economic growth and a persistent lack of inventory, prices continue to trend higher. The average home price in the region rose
    9.8% year-over-year to $479,943.
  • The smallest price gains in the region were in Park County, though the increase there was still a respectable 7%.
  • Appreciation was strongest in Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, where prices rose by 28.9% and 26%, respectively. All other counties in this report saw gains above the long-term average.
  • Although there was some growth in listings, the ongoing imbalance between supply and demand persists, driving home prices higher.

 

 

DAYS ON MARKET

  • The average number of days it took to sell a home remained at the same level as a year ago.
  • The length of time it took to sell a home dropped in most markets contained in this report. Gilpin County saw a very significant jump in days on market, but this can be attributed to the fact that it is a very small area which makes it prone to severe swings.
  • In the second quarter of 2018, it took an average of 24 days to sell a home. Of note is Adams County, where it took an average of only 10 days to sell a home.
  • Housing demand remains very strong and all the markets in this report continue to be in dire need of additional inventory to satisfy demand.

 

CONCLUSIONS

This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.

For the second quarter of 2018, I have moved the needle very slightly towards buyers as a few counties actually saw inventories rise. However, while I expect to see listings increase in the coming months, for now, the housing market continues to heavily favor sellers.

 

Matthew Gardner is the Chief Economist for Windermere Real Estate, specializing in residential market analysis, commercial/industrial market analysis, financial analysis, and land use and regional economics. He is the former Principal of Gardner Economics, and has more than 30 years of professional experience both in the U.S. and U.K.


Posted on July 31, 2018 at 10:22 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Economy | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Considering becoming a landlord? How to evaluate whether to rent or sell your property

Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in homeowners choosing to become landlords rather than placing their homes on the market.  In deciding whether or not becoming a Landlord is right for you, there are a number of factors to consider, but primarily they fall into the following three categories:  Financial Analysis, Risk and Goals.

CalculatorThe financial analysis is probably the easiest of the three to assess.  You will need to assess if you can afford to rent your house. If you consider the likely rental rate, vacancy rate, maintenance, advertising and management costs, you can arrive at a budget.  It is important both to be reasonably correct in your assumptions and to have enough reserves to cover cash-flow needs if you’re wrong.  The vacancy rate will be determined by the price at which you market the property.  Price too high and you’re either vacant or accepting applicants that, for some reason, couldn’t compete for more competitively priced homes.  Price too low and you don’t achieve the revenue you should.  If you want to try for the higher end of an expected range, understand that the cost may be a vacant month.  It is difficult to make up for a vacant month.

Consider the other costs renting out your property could accrue. If you have a landscaped or large yard, you will likely need to hire a yard crew to manage the grounds. Other costs could increase when you rent your home, such as homeowner’s insurance and taxes on your property. Also, depending on tenant turn-over, you may need to paint and deal with maintenance issues more regularly. Renting your home is a decision you need to make with all the financial information in front of you.  You can find more information about the hidden costs of renting here.

If your analysis points to some negative cash-flow, that doesn’t necessarily mean that renting is the wrong option.  That answer needs to be weighed against the pros and cons of alternatives (i.e., selling at the price that would actually sell), and some economic guesswork about what the future holds in terms of appreciation, inflation, etc. to arrive at an expectation of how long the cash drain would exist.

Risk is a bit harder to assess.  Broadly though, it’s crucial to understand that if you decide to lease out a home, you are going into business, and every business venture has risks.  The more you know, the better you can mitigate those risks.  One of the most obvious ways of mitigating the risk is to hire a management company.  By hiring professionals, you decrease your risk and time spent managing the property (and tenants) yourself.  However, this increases the cost.  So, as you reduce your risk of litigation, you increase your risk of negative cash-flow, and vice versa… it’s a balancing act, and the risk cannot be eliminated; just managed and minimized.

In considering Goals, what do you hope to achieve by renting your property? Are you planning on moving back into your home after a period of time? Will your property investment be a part of your long-term financial planning? Are you relocating or just hoping to wait to sell? These are all great reasons to consider renting your home.

Keep in mind that renting your family home can be emotional.  Many homeowners LOVE the unique feel of their homes.  It is where their children were raised, and they care more about preserving that feel than maximizing revenue.  That’s OK, but it needs to be acknowledged and considered when establishing a correct price and preparing a cash flow analysis.  Some owners are so attached to their homes that it may be better for them to “tear off the band-aid quickly” and sell.  The alternative of slowly watching over the years as the property becomes an investment instead of a home to them may prove to be more painful than any financial benefit can offset.

In the process of considering your financial situation, the risks associated with becoming a landlord, and the goals you hope to achieve with the rental of your property, – ask yourself these questions.  Before reaching a conclusion, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the landlord-tenant-lawspecific to your state (and in some cases, separate relevant ordinances in the city and/or county that your property lies within) and to do some market research (i.e. tour other available similar rentals to see if your financial assumptions are in line with the reality of the competition across the street).  If you are overwhelmed by this process, or will be living out of the region, seek counsel with a property management professional.  Gaining experience the hard way can be costly.


Posted on July 31, 2018 at 6:00 am
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Windermere Real Estate |

Is Assisted Living Right for Your Aging Loved Ones?

Making a decision about whether assisted living is right for your loved ones is one of the hardest decisions we face today. Over the years I have worked with many adult children and their parents as they prepare to make the decision about when the parents should sell their family home.

I have learned that fully assessing the situation and communicating openly with your parents is the best way to begin. I advise my clients to go through the following questions as they weigh this difficult decision.

Is Your Parent Ready for Assisted Living?

Ask Yourself These Questions

  • Is your parent telling you that he is eating, but you’re seeing food go bad in the refrigerator?
  • Is your parent falling? To determine the answer, is your parent covering up bruises he or she doesn’t want you to see?
  • Is your parent wearing the same clothes when you go to visit? Can they bathe themselves, groom adequately and launder clothes?
  • When you look around the house or yard, is it as neat and clean as it used to be?
  • Is your aging parent remembering to take medications correctly, with the right dosages and at the right time? Are medications expired?
  • Are they able to operate appliances safely? Do they remember to turn appliances off when they finish cooking?
  • Is the home equipped with safety features such as grab bars and emergency response systems?
  • Do they have a plan in place to contact help in case of an emergency?
  • Are they driving? Should they be driving? Do they have alternate means of transportation?
  • Are there stacks of papers and unpaid bills lying around?
  • Do they have friends, or are they isolated from others most of the time?
  • When you really look at your parent, do you see the bright and vibrant person from years ago, or do you see a more limited person who needs some help one hour a day, or even around the clock?

If you answered yes to even a couple of these questions, your parent may be ready for an assisted living facility.

I know from my personal and professional experience that many children and grandchildren dread this conversation with their aging loved ones. But it’s so important to sit down and talk with them before a crisis hits, when decisions can be discussed and all options considered.

As you probably know, the process of selling a cherished family home and deciding where to live late in life can often span a few years. I have been called upon to help with this complex moving process many times over the years and I now have a deep appreciation and understanding of the emotional needs of senior adults and their families during the process, as well. When the time comes for you to begin working through this process with your parents, contact an agent who specializes in the unique needs of seniors.

For more information and to contact a Windermere Senior Transitions Specialist, please visit: http://windermeretransitions.com/


Posted on July 30, 2018 at 6:00 am
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Windermere Real Estate | Tagged

6 Smart Home Gadgets Perfect for Summer Fun

Tell your friends and families to clear their weekend schedules throughout the entire summer—your house is the place to be for fun all season long.

If you sloughed through winter with visions of making your house the hangout spot of the summer, you’ll want to bookmark this page. We’re outlining the gadgets you’ll need on hand to turn your home into a modern entertaining destination!

1. Keyless Door Lock

No one wants to be kept inside on door duty when the party is in the backyard. Give trusted guests the freedom to enter on their own by installing a keyless door lock. By swapping a traditional key entry with one of the many keyless touchpad lock options, not only will you avoid always rummaging around the house itself searching for the keyring, you’ll also be able to create temporary codes to give to guests that unlock the front door. While they can come right in and enjoy the party, you won’t have to forfeit any sense of security, since those access codes can later be changed once the party’s over.

2. Smart Thermostat and Energy Monitor

You know the drill. When temperatures go soaring, the air conditioner plummets. However, there’s a better way to keep your home’s climate comfortable than constantly blasting cold air. Instead, opt for a smart thermostat that learns the heating and cooling patterns of your home and adjusts energy usage accordingly.

Install something like the Nest Learning Thermostat and you’ll not only get a better idea of how you’re currently using energy at home and how that affects your bills every month, but you’ll also have the option to control your cooling system with a smartphone app. Picture this: you ran out to the store for one more item before friends arrive, and you realize you didn’t turn on the air conditioning. Before you hop into the car, open the Nest app and tell it how cool you’d like the house to be by the time you return home.

3. Water-Resistant Bluetooth Speakers

While you’re hanging outside and listening to music, splashes and spills will happen, we can guarantee that. What can’t be guaranteed is whether the music will stop because of these splashes. Keep the tunes playing by arming your festivities with water-resistant speakers that won’t fritz out with the smallest splash. Plus, most portable speakers have Bluetooth connectivity, so you’ll be able to keep the smartphone or tablet you’re streaming music through with you up to 30 feet before interfering with the connection range.

4. Party-Ready Lighting System

As the sun dips in the sky for the night, you have the perfect opportunity to showcase one of our favorite smart home gadgets—colorful and very intelligent lights! Creating ambient lighting does not involve black lights or scarves thrown over lamps anymore. The electronics brand Philips has made itself the leader in colorful solutions for relaxing at home that can also be synced across Wi-Fi systems. The Philips Hue family of products offers everything from movie theater-style light strips—how great would those look along window panes?—to long-lasting LED light bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone app and programmed to nearly infinite color combinations. Keep the party humming well into the night by getting creative with smart lighting’s endless color palette.

5. Smartphone-Controlled Irrigation and Watering System

In between traveling the world, splashing in the pool and catching up on a long list of reading material, the last thing you want to check off your to-do list in the hot summer months is tending to your garden. However, you don’t want all your hard work to turn into weeds or dry up from neglect.

To keep the yard looking in tip-top shape whatever your hosting or travel schedule may be, install a smart irrigation system in the backyard. Devices like the Rachio Iro Intelligent Irrigation Controller allows you to control your sprinkler system via its smartphone app. You could be in another state enjoying a friend’s backyard party and still turn your sprinklers on or off with a few taps of your phone. Look for other types of smart gardening sensors, specifically ones that can be inserted right into the soil, which will alert you when it’s time for a water refresh on the plant.

6. Security Camera

Of course, we’re going to have to add a touch of practicality to your gadget arsenal. With all those people streaming in and out of your house through a variety of entrances, accidents may happen and a door can be mistakenly left open. Create some peace of mind without helicoptering around the doors or your guests by installing a security camera on the exterior or interior of the house.

Choose a smart security camera option with Wi-Fi viewing to keep an eye on what’s happening in your house from the convenience of an app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer browser. Indoor camera options are ideal for homes that have small children or pets that you may want to check in on from another room or when away for the day. Opt for an outdoor camera when it’s a crime deterrent you’re after or if there’s a pool or other item you’d like to monitor on your property.

Stock up on these tech gadgets and you’ll be ready to party all summer long.


Posted on July 29, 2018 at 6:00 am
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Windermere Real Estate | Tagged

Homeowners Insurance: Protecting Your Home

In addition to providing shelter and comfort, our home is often our single greatest asset. And it’s important that we protect that precious investment. Most homeowners realize the importance of homeowners insurance in safeguarding the value of a home. However, what they may not know is that about two-thirds of all homeowners are under-insured. According to a national survey, the average homeowner has enough insurance to rebuild only about 80% of his or her house.

What a standard homeowners policy covers

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy typically covers your home, your belongings, injury or property damage to others, and living expenses if you are unable to live in your home temporarily because of an insured disaster.

The policy likely pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by disasters, such as fire or lighting. Your belongings, such as furniture and clothing, are also insured against these types of disasters, as well as theft. Some risks, such as flooding or acts of war, are routinely excluded from homeowner policies.

Other coverage in a standard homeowner’s policy typically includes the legal costs for injury or property damage that you or family members, including your pets, cause to other people. For example, if someone is injured on your property and decides to sue, the insurance would cover the cost of defending you in court and any damages you may have to pay. Policies also provide medical coverage in the event someone other than your family is injured in your home.

If your home is seriously damaged and needs to be rebuilt, a standard policy will usually cover hotel bills, restaurant meals and other living expenses incurred while you are temporarily relocated.

How much insurance do you need?

Homeowners should review their policy each year to make sure they have sufficient coverage for their home. The three questions to ask yourself are:

·      Do I have enough insurance to protect my assets?

·      Do I have enough insurance to rebuild my home?

·      Do I have enough insurance to replace all my possessions?

Here’s some more information that will help you determine how much insurance is enough to meet your needs and ensure that your home will be sufficiently protected.

Protect your assets

Make sure you have enough liability insurance to protect your assets in case of a lawsuit due to injury or property damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide a minimum of $100,000 worth of liability coverage. With the increasingly higher costs of litigation and monetary compensation, many homeowners now purchase $300,000 or more in liability protection. If that sounds like a lot, consider that the average dog bite claim is about $20,000. Talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage for your situation.

Rebuild your home

You need enough insurance to finance the cost of rebuilding your home at current construction costs, which vary by area. Don’t confuse the amount of coverage you need with the market value of your home. You’re not insuring the land your home is built on, which makes up a significant portion of the overall value of your property. In pricey markets such as San Francisco, land costs account for over 75 percent of a home’s value.

The average policy is designed to cover the cost of rebuilding your home using today’s standard building materials and techniques. If you have an unusual, historical or custom-built home, you may want to contact a specialty insurer to ensure that you have sufficient coverage to replicate any special architectural elements. Those with older homes should consider additions to the policy that pay the cost of rebuilding their home to meet new building codes.

Finally, if you’ve done any recent remodeling, make sure your insurance reflects the increased value of your home.

Remember that a standard policy does not pay for damage caused by a flood or earthquake. Special coverage is needed to protect against these incidents. Your insurance company can let you know if your area is flood or earthquake prone. The cost of coverage depends on your home’s location and corresponding risk.

Replacing your valuables

If something happens to your home, chances are the things inside will be damaged or destroyed as well. Your coverage depends on the type of policy you have. A cost value policy pays the cost to replace your belongings minus depreciation. A replacement cost policy reimburses you for the cost to replace the item.

There are limits on the losses that can be claimed for expensive items, such as artwork, jewelry, and collectables. You can get additional coverage for these types of items by purchasing supplemental premiums.

To determine if you have enough insurance, you need to have a good handle on the value of your personal items. Create a detailed home inventory file that keeps track of the items in your home and the cost to replace them.

Create a home inventory file

It takes time to inventory your possessions, but it’s time well spent. The little bit of extra preparation can also keep your mind at ease.  The best method for creating a home inventory list is to go through each room of your home and individually record the items of significant value.  Simple inventory lists are available online.  You can also sweep through each room with a video or digital camera and document each of your belongings. Your home inventory file should include the following items:

·      Item description and quantity

·      Manufacturer or brand name

·      Serial number or model number

·      Where the item was purchased

·      Receipt or other proof of purchase \Photocopies of any appraisals, along with the name and address of the appraiser

·      Date of purchase (or age)

·      Current value

·      Replacement cost

Pay special attention to highly valuable items such as electronics, artwork, jewelry, and collectibles.

Storing your home inventory list

Make sure your inventory list and images will be safe incase your home is damaged or destroyed. Store them in a safe deposit box, at the home of a friend or relative, or on an online Web storage site. Some insurance companies provide online storage for digital files. (Storing them on your home computer does you no good if your computer is stolen or damaged). Once you have an inventory file set up, be sure to update it as you make new purchases.

We invest a lot in our homes, so it’s important we take the necessary measures to safeguard it against financial and emotional loss in the wake of a disaster.


Posted on July 28, 2018 at 6:00 am
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Home Owners, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged

At Least List

Here’s a stat you’ve heard from us before…

It’s called “At Least List”

It measures how active the market is by tracking the number of single family homes that sell for at least list price.

Because of the demand in our market, many homes sell for list price or higher.

So here’s the latest based on closings so far in the month of July…

The percentage of single family homes selling for at least list price:

  • Fort Collins = 58%
  • Loveland = 67%
  • Windsor = 55%
  • Greeley = 75%

Based on these numbers, homes that are priced right, and positioned right in the market will attain the price the seller wants (or higher).

To see the whole story about our market along with other stats and trends, watch the recording of Tuesday’s Windermere Workshop right here.


Posted on July 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm
Windermere Windsor | Posted in Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , ,