Archive for the ‘Real Estate Topics’ Category

Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

March 2012 single family home sales in Boulder area markets improved significantly from February 2012; 270 compared to 172 respectively, up 57%. When compared to the 212 single family home sales in March 2011 there is a strong 27% increase. Condo and Townhome sales improved in March 2012 over February 2012 by more than 42%, 88 units versus 62. And, when compared to March 2011’s 75 units sold, March 2012 saw a 17% increase in units sold. Go to http://www.baraonline.com/sites/bara/files/statistics/March12stats.pdf to view stats.  http://www.baraonline.com/sites/bara/files/statistics/March12PricePoints.pdf to view sales by price point.

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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Homeowner Vacancy: Tightest Housing Markets in the U.S.

Homeowner Vacancy: Tightest Housing Markets in the U.S.

A simple measure of tightness in a market for owner-occupied housing is the homeowner vacancy rate (number of homes for sale divided by the number either for sale or owner-occupied). Builders are often interested in markets that are tight by this measure, because it indicates prospective buyers will have difficulty finding a suitable home among the available existing units.

Several federal government surveys provide homeowner vacancy rates, but the one with the greatest geographic detail by far is the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). In a recent study, NAHB tabulated the most recent (2010) ACS this data for all metropolitan areas in the country.

Overall, the tightest markets tend to be relatively small: Corvallis, Ore. (with a homeowner vacancy rate of 0.23 percent), Lebanon, Pa. (0.49 percent), Billings, Mont. (0.54 percent), San Angelo, Texas (0.61 percent), and Eau Claire, Wis. (also 0.61 percent).

The two tightest large markets in 2010—Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. and Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, Calif.—were also the two tightest large markets the last time NAHB looked at the ACS data in 2008.

The NAHB study provides a rundown of the top-10 metros according to nine key measures, including: owner-occupied housing units; homeownership rate; home owner vacancy rate; share of single-family detached homes; value of homes owned; home owner incomes; growth in stock of single-family detached homes; and share of homes built recently. It also has a spreadsheet that shows how more than 350 other metro areas stack up in each category.

Read the original article at the National Association of Home Builder blog, Eye on Housing

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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Successful Short Sales: Giving the Lender What They Want

Successful Short Sales: Giving the Lender What They Want

Short sales are enjoying a much-needed resurgence as lenders become more motivated to move short sale transactions through the pipeline more quickly. So, if you’ve soured on short sale business, now is the time to rethink your position as the lending landscape begins to change.

Your approach to successful short sales must be focused in two areas: making sure the seller is truly a short sale candidate  and making sure you foster the right relationship with the lender.

A little secret nobody realizes is that many lenders are desperately looking for a competent real estate partner in the short sale arena. I walked into my local bank, for example, and discovered that they were getting barraged with calls from clients inquiring about a short sale on their property. While a lot of us think that banks are against short sales, the reality is, they just don’t have the time to handle the volume.

This is where huge opportunity lies for real estate professionals. Take the time to build a relationship with your local lenders, understand exactly what they need in order to process a short sale, and then be the conduit throughout the entire process. In other words, work with your clients to give lenders what they want. This will eliminate notorious delays and save you, your client and the lender precious time.

Following is the lender package that I require all short sale clients to complete. When it comes to short sales, the devil is truly in the details.

Required Items: Before the Sales Contract
1. Cover letter
2. Table of contents (this lets the lender know right away that everything they need is included)
3. Third-party authorization
4. Seller’s tax returns from the previous two years
5. Seller’s bank statements from the previous two months (six months is even better)
6. Most recent paystubs
7. Seller’s hardship letter
8. Bank worksheets (financial situation)
a. Current
b. Projected in next three months
c. Projected in next six months
9. Listing agreement

Required Items: After the Sales Contract
10. Necessary short sale addendums
11. History of listing – market report
12. Sales activity report
13. Local community economic report
14. CMA/absorption rate
15. Sales contract
16. HUD-1
17. Buyer’s pre-approval letters
18. Earnest money verification
19. Damage report with photos
20. Carry cost estimate
21. Agent personal letter

By providing banks with the right information, you are helping them push through the glut of short sale requests. Make sure you become their partner in this effort.

Short sales aren’t as complicated as you may think. Let me help walk you through the process.

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

 Square-footage and price are important elements to consider when selecting a home but according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 1,000 men and women, they both also rely on how they feel and how their lifestyle fits into a home when looking for a place to live. The survey found 28 percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do on the layout, square footage, or price. The majority of women (62 percent) and men (61 percent) also know within the first visit if the home is right for them.

“A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “When two people are looking for a home together, there are many considerations to take into account. Of course, price and layout matter, but ‘feeling at home’ is an important factor.”

The survey also reveals insights into the roles men and women play at home and finds some interesting differences between age groups.

Women Take Charge of Making a House a Home:

Over half of women (54 percent) say that they take the lead when it comes to decorating.

However, younger men play a larger role in décor decisions than their older counterparts. Forty-eight (48) percent of younger respondents, age 18-44, say decorating is mutual; this decreases to 36 percent for respondents 55 and over.

Women also cook it up in the kitchen. Sixty-eight (68) percent of women say they are the “primary chef” for their household.

Not to be outdone, some men are also putting on the apron—occasionally. Nearly a quarter of men (23 percent) say cooking is their job.

Age Changes How Men and Women Feel “At Home”

Sharing financial decisions may get easier over time. Fifty-four (54) percent of people age 18-44 say major financial decisions are mutual, compared to 60 percent of those 45-54. This increases to 70 percent for people 55 and over.

Interestingly, as age increases, so does contentment with the current status of the home. Almost half (45 percent) of those older than 55 say they are very happy with their home just the way it is, compared to 25 percent of those age 18-44.

More men seem to be focused on making significant changes to the home (9 percent) compared to women (5 percent).

For couples entering the home-buying process, here are Edwards’ tips for harmonious house-hunting:

• Each person should come up with a list of a few things that are most important and then come together as a couple to decide on a list of the top three to five things that are important for the home.

• When looking for a home, communication is key. Consider designating a point person for different aspects of the home-buying process, so that information is not delayed or communicated to just one part of the couple.

• Don’t get too many people involved; typically more people means more stress and what is most important is that the couple is happy with the decisions being made.

• Don’t forget to have fun! Remember that this home will be the place to build memories and a life together.

Article printed by www.rismedia.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 According to NPR, more than half the nation saw a spike in foreclosures last month. With more and more homeowners facing foreclosures, experts at The Tax Institute at H&R Block offer the following information on credits and deductions, which can provide assistance to individuals prior to and after this unfortunate circumstance.

• Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: homeowners who experienced foreclosure on their primary home may be able to exclude the amount of canceled debt from their taxable income if they meet specific criteria.

• Mortgage Interest Deduction: taxpayers are eligible to deduct qualified mortgage interest on their main home and a second home if they itemize deductions on Schedule A.

o They must be legally liable for repayment of the loan to deduct the loan interest.

o For 2011 filings, taxpayers who could not pay at least 20 percent of their down payment may have been required by their lender to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). If the taxpayer qualifies, the PMI may be deductible as mortgage interest.

• Real Estate Taxes: homeowners are able to deduct real estate taxes separately from mortgage interest on Schedule A and from property taxes.

• Non-Business Energy Property Credit: taxpayers may claim energy-efficiency credits for up to 10 percent of the cost of various home energy-efficiency improvements.

• Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit: a nonrefundable personal credit is available for property used to produce energy in a personal residence located in the US .

o The credit is also available for wind energy property and geothermal pumps.

o Real estate taxes must be based on the home’s value and assessed at least annually.

Article printed from RISMedia: http://rismedia.com

 

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

April Showers Bring Flooding and Mold

April Showers Bring Flooding and Mold

 

As winter gives way to warmer weather and spring begins to bloom, heavy rain storms pose a threat to homeowners. Homes that aren’t properly protected from the elements are at risk of flooding and mold infestation, which can cost thousands of dollars to fix once the damage is done.

Water damage claims have been growing faster than other components of homeowners insurance in recent years, according to the American Insurance Association. Water and moisture damage not only affect homes, but health as well. Moisture creates the ideal breeding ground for mold growth, which can trigger allergic reactions and a host of health problems.

Since mold cannot grow without the presence of moisture, preventing mold from growing in the home starts with taking the proper steps to safeguard against water infiltration. In anticipation of the rainy season’s arrival, now is the time to take action.

Water damage prevention starts with a thorough home inspection. It’s every homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the inside and outside of the home is properly inspected and protected against water damage. REALTORS® can help their clients take a proactive approach to protecting their homes from water damage by recommending a home inspection company that goes beyond the basics to provide professional and comprehensive home evaluations.

An inspection team evaluates more than 1,600 items in and around the home, taking the worry out of the weather’s effect on the home, and giving homeowners peace of mind.

Potential Problem Areas

Roof: There are several culprits to identify when protecting against water damage. The roof is the area that takes the brunt of heavy rains, so it must be maintained properly to prevent leaks. Air should be flowing freely through all roof vents, which will reduce the build-up of heat and moisture and extend the life of the roof. Shingles should be inspected, and any cracked, broken or curling shingles should be replaced. The roof should lso be inspected for damage around the chimney, vents and valley areas.

Gutters: Gutters should be clean and clear of debris to ensure proper drainage. They should also be stabilized so they stay firmly in place, even in the event of high winds and heavy rains. Splash blocks should be placed at the end of downspouts to carry water away from the home’s foundation. Downspouts should be sloping away from the house, carrying water a safe distance away from the foundation.

Attic: Attics should be inspected for moisture and surface discoloration. Checks should be performed around flues, plumbing vents and chimneys.

Basement: A thorough inspection of the basement is vital to protecting a home from the elements because it houses many of the home’s maintenance systems, including electrical wires, pipes, sump pumps and heating and cooling systems. Sump pumps should always be tested before the rainy season starts because they assist in keeping unwanted water out of the home.

Doors and windows: Door and window flashing, seals and weatherstripping should be checked for cracks or gaps. Any damaged areas in caulk should be resealed.

Foundation: It’s a mistake to assume every foundation is waterproof. As the house shifts and settles over time, cracks are created, leaving an open invitation to water infiltration.

Home inspection services can save homebuyers thousands of dollars in the long-term. It’s a risky gamble to not have a home inspected for potential problems. Exhibiting transparency is a REALTOR’S® responsibility to their clients. When a client sees you’re doing everything possible to know the condition of the home, they’ll be more likely to close on the sale. Referring clients to an unbiased, third-party inspector is the best option.

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

The Housing Recovery Is Slow Going, but Things Are Improving

The Housing Recovery Is Slow Going, but Things Are Improving

 

 There has been a flurry of media stories regarding the latest housing data that suggest the recent momentum in the housing market has stalled and the industry is heading toward another downturn.

Although the latest monthly housing data showed modest declines, the less volatile quarterly data have continued to show modest improvement. Consequently, there is plenty of evidence for retaining a cautious optimism for a gradual recovery. While the February new-home sales rate dipped a nominal 1.6 percent, sales are still running 11.4 percent above their year-ago level and at the rate expected for the slow recovery. Meanwhile, the inventory for new-homes for sale remains at an all-time record low.

While combined U.S. housing starts lost some ground in March, this was almost entirely due to typical month-to-month volatility on the multifamily side. The fact is that single-family and multifamily starts and permits were all stronger in the first quarter of 2012 than they were in the fourth quarter of 2011, indicating that the market continues to slowly strengthen, albeit in fits and starts.

We are also seeing the long-term improvement in housing conditions continuing to take hold in a growing number of local markets. The April NAHB/First American Improving Markets indicates that 101 individual metros are showing measurable and consistent signs they are heading in the right direction.

Total job growth continues upward, providing added consumer confidence and pushing personal income up.

No one is anticipating that an upward path for housing will run in a straight-line trajectory. The economy is in an uneven recovery and we can expect some corresponding ups-and-downs in the housing market in the months ahead.

However, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) believes that on the whole, we can expect a slow and gradual recovery in housing starts, home sales and the overall housing market in 2012. We will provide more details on our perspective on national and regional housing trends at the Spring NAHB Construction Forecast Webinar on Wednesday, April 25 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

 www.nahb.org/cfw

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

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