News and Info
News, information and tips on buying, selling and renting real estate.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Before you start touring homes with your Realtor, make sure you are at least pre-qualified for a loan. Pre-approved is better.
Keep in mind pre-qualified means you pass the screening process (typically based on your FICA scores and yearly income). Pre approved means the lender has basically said, “Yes, I will lend money to this individual to buy a home.” Big difference.
A real estate agent helps you find a house, a lender makes buying (financing) the house possible. As soon as you find your agent, he or she will most certainly have a lender or three to recommend. The lender’s responsibility will be to take all your financials (tax documents, pay stubs, etc.) and determine how much (if any!) to lend. If the lender drags their heels in any way, it can gum up the works! So be sure to do a bit of research in the form of referrals. Still not sure? Run their name and/or company through Google and see what pops up.
Be prepared for the lender to ask for a lot of personal information from you. You might get frustrated during this process, but just remember your ultimate goal . . .
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The latest data from Metrolist(R), the largest real estate multiple listing service (MLS) serving Colorado real estate agents, show May to be another impressive month for Denver Metro area home sales.
With a 6% increase over last month's rising numbers, total sales for single family residences in the Denver residential market are now running 20% ahead of the same period last year. According to Metrolist, the provider of REcolorado.com, average days on market (DOM) fell another 8% to 72 days, a full 32 days shorter than June 2011.
According to Kirby Slunaker, President and CEO of Metrolist, the fast-moving market is a function of rising demand and dramatically shrinking inventories.
"We're nearing inventory levels that are about 40% under last year's available units while sales continue to run well ahead of 2011 figures," says Mr. Slunaker. "In other words, product that's priced right and ready to sell is moving quickly. We expect the Denver market to really sizzle this summer."
The Metrolist report also showed prices in the Denver metro area on the rise. The average sales price for single-family homes rose to $297,597 in June, a 5% jump from May and a 12% increase from last year. Excluding condos, the average home sales price in the region was $324,497 for the month.
"With double-digit increases in prices and sales volume from last year, I have to think Denver is among the better performing markets in the U.S. today," says Mr. Slunaker. "The bottom line is we need more available inventory for homebuyers to choose from."
Saturday, April 07, 2012
With today’s lending guidelines you need to be mindful of your credit score. This can be a crucial element in any major purchase such as buying a home, a car, or getting a personal loan. Below are a few great tips you can use to improve your credit rating.
1. Check Your Credit Report – Your credit begins here, all of the important information is recorded on your credit report. You are entitled to a free report each calendar year and there are many websites you can visit to see your report. Remember that there are 3 agencies, Equifax, Experian and Transunion. The road to perfect credit begins with you knowing what’s on your credit report.
2. Reduce your debt- Reducing the amount of outstanding debt DOES have an impact on your credit. When you are “Maxed out” it reduces your score and you are less likely to qualify for a loan.
3. Pay your bills on time- This seems easy enough but MANY Americans still do not follow this rule. Set up payment reminders or auto bill pay. Your bank can assist with auto bill pay and so can your service providers. Contact them directly and set up electronic payments to be deducted from your bank account each month and you will avoid late charges which show up on your credit report.
4. Keep credit card balances low- Easier said than done right? Each month you only make a minimum payment on your credit cards you are accruing finance charges which make it harder to catch up each month. Keep your balances low, and if you have a balance try to pay it off as soon as possible and avoid using your credit cards unless it’s absolutely necessary. Bankrate.com has a great page with steps to paying off your credit cards : http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/dollardiva/20010702a.asp
5. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed- Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix. It probably won’t improve your credit score according to Experian.com.
6. If you usually pay your debts on time, but a missed payment ended up on your credit, ask the creditor for a good-will deletion.- If you are usually on time the lender will often remove the damage.
7. Tell the credit reporting company, in writing, what information is inaccurate- Your letter should clearly identify each item in your report that you want to dispute, state the facts and explain why you dispute the information, and request that the information be deleted or corrected. You may want to enclose a copy of your report with the items in question circled. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the credit reporting company received. Keep copies of your dispute letter and enclosures. They will usually reply to you within 30 days.
8. Develop a budget- This can help you improve your credit because when you know how much cash flow is coming in and out of your household monthly you will be less likely to over-spend.
9. If you have really bad credit - even filed bankruptcy -- don't let your credit status go dormant- The faster you can start establishing good credit again the better. Make it a habit to pay on time!
10. Protect your identity- Mind where you are storing your personal information, shred important documents such as bank statements, bills or anything that someone can your information from. Be sure you are not just throwing away the credit card applications companies send to you because someone may be able to retrieve them from places like your garbage and being using your identity! Keep your credit safe by protecting yourself from identity theft. There are also several companies out there that will watch and alert you of suspicious activities.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
If you've got children heading off to college soon, there's no doubt you have concerns about them as they leave the home to live on their own for the first time. Dorms are cheap, but how safe are they? How about privacy? Hundreds of unsupervised teenagers living in close proximity of each other sounds more like FOX's next reality series than an environment for learning.
If you are already thinking about renting a property for you child and a couple of close friends, why not consider buying? After all, your child is going to be there for four years (God willing). Rental prices are on the rise and mortgage rates are falling. Couple that with some rental income from select roommates and then a potential after a four year investment, there's a strong chance you could make money off this property. Or, you could hang on to it as a student rental property for years to come. After all, there are literally thousands of potential tenants coming to town every fall.
Stability for both you and your child is another consideration involved in owning a home near campus. Your student and roommates can leave their belongings in the property over the summer, so there's no need to move or pay a storage facility fee. Also, you are in control of their living environment. You know your child is safe.
Whether your son or daughter is off to Boulder, Ft. Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs or even D.U., I know I can locate and negotiate the right property for your college bound student. Take advantage of the current market conditions and set yourself and your son or daughter up for a great collegiate experience.