The $8,000 tax credit is set to expire very soon. Buyers must be under contract by April 30, 2010.
The consensus seems to be that Congress will not renew the tax credit. I’m torn between wanting our country to pursue responsible fiscal policy and reducing the national debt, and wanting this tax credit to continue as I’ve seen first-hand the effect it’s had on the market.
Buyers I’ve been working with are quite aware of the tax credit. It remains to be seen what happens to the market after the tax credit expires.
The good news is that we’re entering the traditional busy season in real estate, so it’s likely that the tax credit expiration will not have a measurable effect on the number of contracts given that we’re entering the spring/summer strong season. Final analysis will likely have to wait until next year.
Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the tax credit, or Boulder or Denver real estate in general.
In the land of the broke, the one-nickle man is king. Let me start by stating the obvious: I may be wrong. My opinion doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just my opinion. And I’m not brilliant, just average intelligence at best. But it seems painfully obvious to me that if you encourage a new round of first-time home buyers to jump in to the real estate game when they don’t even have enough for a down payment, then you’re just asking for trouble.
This is pretty much what the current administration is doing by creating this “fake” bond market. I’ve mentioned earlier how the housing collapse took this bond market with it. It just disappeared…there was no longer a bond market where investors bought and sold mortgage-backed securities. Makes sense, right? If those securities are worthless, then who is going to buy them. Well, you are. And me. We are buying them.
The Federal Government is jumping back into the mortgage security game and plans on buying up Fannie and Freddie assets backed by state bonds in order to finance loans to first time home buyers. Part of program also helps people with BAD loans get refinancing. I’m not opposed to that at all, in fact that seems like a good idea to me. If you can take someone from an arm loan that adjusted to 12% to a fixed loan at 5% and they can avoid foreclosure, then great! I’m all for it.
My problem with this program is that it appears that we haven’t learned anything from our recent mistakes. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could afford a home? Sure, that sounds really nice. Maybe even Utopian. But is that that case? Should we be messing around like this and continuing to encourage home ownership to people who just can’t afford it? What’s wrong with renting and saving for a down payment? I’m NOT talking about saving for a 20% down payment, no. The current FHA minimum down payment is only 3.5%. Just three and a half percent. That’s $7,000 down for a $200,000 home. Doesn’t it seem reasonable to expect a potential home owner to come up with 3.5%? And if they can’t, then that’s ok. It doesn’t mean your a bad person if you need to rent for a while in order to SAVE up that 3.5%. I’ve rented for more of my adult life than I’ve owned a home. I’m a decent guy, not some sort of miscreant.
Rent does not equal Bad. Ownership does not equal good. Let your reality dictate whether you rent or own. RESPONSIBLE home ownership is a great thing. Responsible renting is also a good thing, especially if it affords you the opportunity to SAVE some money.
We’re looking for some new agents in the Fort Collins, Colorado area. If you or one of your friends or family members would like to join the Real-a-Save team then please email us at email@example.com, or simply call 303-415-2541.
Experience: you’ll close a higher volume of deals, and will gain more experience, thus becoming a better agent. Period. There’s really no faking experience.
Best technology and tools: maybe you’re an agent who is not up to date on things like digital signatures, blogging, social media, electronic contracts, virtual offices. We’ll show you how to use these tools in ways that your clients will love and you’ll appreciate.
A place on our site: you’ll get your own agent page on our website, giving your clients access to the best Colorado map search around. Try it, you’ll like it!
Systems: we’ll train you on the best client management systems, blogging, work-flow, and advertising.
Real-a-Save is a great company- sure, I’m biased because I own the company, but I really believe in what I’m doing. I love coming in to work- which is much more than I can say about my time in a traditional real estate company. The traditional company is set up to benefit the Brokerage. That’s it. The brokerage employs as many Broker Associates as possible (reminiscent of “Boiler Room“) and hopes that a few of them will pan out. They charge lopsided splits of up to 50% or more. Then there’s the whole “administrative fee”…but I’ve already written about that one and it’s a total joke. Not here. You’ll keep at least 90% of what you earn, and there’s no “administrative fee”.
So pass along this post if you’ve got a friend who works the Fort Collins real estate market, or just tell them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember that we’ve got the best Colorado rebate program around where home buyers receive 50% of our commission, see www.realasave.com for more details.
Yes, the sky has fallen. Agreed, the real estate market has been rocked over the past year and a half. Yes, the economy sucks. Yes, it’s completely annoying to hear another tool-box Realtor telling you how GREAT! everything is and WHAT A WONDERFUL TIME IT IS TO BUY!. I’m embarrassed by some of my esteemed colleagues, and completely annoyed by the NAR advertising campaign telling us how GREAT! things are. Puke.
The truth is wrapped in an old cliche: all real estate is local. Maybe it is a great time to buy. Maybe it’s an awful time to buy and you should just keep renting. It all depends on where you live and where you’re looking to buy. Sounds obvious, right?
Colorado has been hit hard, really hard, by the real estate downturn. But there are areas of relative strength. Louisville, Colorado is one of them. It doesn’t hurt that Louisville keeps getting mentioned by Money Magazine as the best place to live. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a great little town with a lot going for it. But there are a lot of great little towns with a lot going for them that are AWFUL places to buy right now. What sets this one apart?
Conoco Phillips just purchased an office campus a few minutes from Louisville in the Northwest corridor between Denver and Boulder. There are future jobs. They’re building an office tower. Future jobs. IBM, Sun Microsystems,WhiteWave Foods, and Amgen (just to name a few) are some of the big companies just a stone’s throw from Louisville.
But really, the proof is in the pudding. There were 21 sales in Louisville in the last 30 days where the sellers got almost 98% of list price. Anecdotal point: every time we represent a buyer in Louisville it seems that we’re in a competing offer situation; the last home we sold in Louisville was on the market for one weekend before we had 2 offers. Louisville is a good place to buy. Period. Great lifestyle, Boulder Valley Schools, lots of technology jobs.
You’ve got a contract on your home and you’ve just sailed through inspections without a hitch. All’s well, right? Maybe.
It used to be that once you get through inspections it was all downhill from there. Closing is just around the corner and unless the buyer decides to bail on the contract then the property should close (Incidentally, buyers are really in charge and have lots of protection in Colorado. More on that another time ). But with the way that the lending industry is reacting, and often overreacting, to the recent housing meltdown, there is a new hurdle that’s often more treacherous than inspection: The Appraisal.
I have no problem with an honest, experienced, reliable appraiser doing his or her job and placing a proper value on a home. And if that value is less than the contract price then so be it. Appraisers serve a very important function in the real estate world. And honestly, if there were more rigorous appraisals in years past then maybe we would have had the severe run up in housing prices we saw over the last decade or so…that’s debatable, but an interesting issue none the less.
The problem I have with the way that appraisals are currently done is that we are getting inexperienced appraisers who are often NOT familiar with the neighborhood trends and micro-market they’re working in. Does this sound like typical BS from a Realtor who just wants the deal to close? Sure, I understand skepticism like that. But all real estate IS local. And you truly need to understand how pricing works from one city and one neighborhood to the next if you’re going to put a proper value on a place.
What to do? Well, since there’s really no way for sellers to change appraisal laws/rules and force lenders to hire experienced, impartial, LOCAL appraisers, then we have to do the next best thing: make sure you have pricing support IN HAND at every moment when your home is for sale. Sounds obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. Maybe you’ve had your home listed for 9 months and you started out at $350k, and dropped to $345k a few weeks ago. You remember the comps from 9 months ago and they clearly supported a price of 345-350k, so you priced on the high side (which is not the best tactic anyway…). But it’s quite possible that the market has dropped significantly since then. And when an appraiser comes to value your home they’re only going to be interested in the last 3 months of sold comps. And there had better be about 3 of them.
So be sure you are constantly updating your sold comps as you sit on the market. Numbers don’t lie. If home values are dropping significantly in your area then it’s best to SET the market then to chase the market. Price just under what the numbers support, generate some interest and get your place sold.
Remember that www.realasave.com can help you save lots of cash on commissions with our Colorado commission rebate program and flat-fee listing service, so email email@example.com for more info.
Real-a-Save is a full-service, licensed Colorado real estate company. We offer services to both buyers and sellers.
We feel it’s very important for home buyers to have someone on their side when negotiating a contract, and so we offer exclusive Buyer’s Agency. Many buyers just want to be left alone at the start of their home search- and that’s fine. The Internet has certainly put a ton of information at the savvy buyer’s feet. But when you are ready to look at a home, or if you have some questions about a particular property, then that is the time to give us a call and let us help.
It’s best for buyers not to simply start calling random real estate agents and asking questions. The listing agent is trying to sell that lovely Denver condo that you fell in love with. And his/her job and loyalty is clearly on the side of the seller. So it seems wise that you have someone on your side.
For more information about our commission rebate program and how you can receive 50% of our commission, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply go to our website at www.realasave.com and join the scores of Denver/Boulder real estate consumers who have taken advantage of the great savings we offer.
The real estate industry is unique in many ways- not all of them good. For example: why are the words “savings”, and “discount” regarding with such disdain in this industry? It seems that almost every other industry rewards the savings monsters within it with great success. Think Walmart, Costco, or any of a number of low-fee stock trading sites like Scottrade, E-trade, etc.
But in the real estate industry companies which give discounts, or operate with reduced-fee models are often ridiculed or labeled as companies which are doomed to failure. “You get what you pay for!”, is a refrain we in the discount real estate industry hear from those in the traditional, full-fee real estate companies. This implies that savings and poor service go hand in hand. Really? Just take one look at the glowing testimonials on this page and you’ll have to think again. Is it so shocking to traditional real estate agents that someone who offers savings to his clients might also take pride in providing excellent service?
This is not a foreign concept to us at Real-a-Save. Full-service, big savings. It’s a simple business model that is working quite well, thank you.
Visitors to the Real-a-Save website can very easily search for Denver homes for sale in close proximity to their school of choice by using the Sketch-a-Map feature. Simply open up the search page and look at the lower left portion of the screen for the Sketch-a-Map icon. This is a tool we’ve developed which allows visitors to draw boundaries right on our map. You can even save multiple “sketches”, each with unique boundaries, in your “Saved Searches” area of the website. Once you draw and save a search, our system will search for new listings in your saved search each morning and will email you when a home pops up on the Denver or Boulder real estate market which fits your criteria. Pretty cool, right? Give it a try here. And remember that Real-a-Save is the Front Range’s best choice for saving money in your next real estate transaction.
So far our business at Real-a-Save is available in Colorado only. Specifically, the Denver and Boulder real estate markets. But we do get a few calls a month from Brokers and investors who are interested in franchising and/or licensing our business model. So why haven’t we offered franchises yet? Well, we’re considering it, but are really taking our time and doing the research. The most important thing is to make sure that our current clients remain satisfied. Every franchise owner I’ve spoken with thus far has advised that it’s extremely important to prove your business model before franchising. It’s also VERY expensive and time consuming to franchise a business. If you or someone you know is interested in bringing Real-a-Save to your market, then shoot me an email at email@example.com and I’ll keep you updated as to our time frame for franchising.
Traditional advertising and marketing methods are dead. Gone. As consumers, we’re getting so good at filtering out all the “noise” which gets thrown our way. Noise like the paid Google results on the top and right nav sections of your Google results page. Or noise like those wonderful “Just Listed” or “Just Sold” postcards which your local Realtor mails to you. Or what about newspaper advertising? Do I really need to address this? Magazines? Come on.
We’re lucky enough at Real-a-Save to have a really loyal base of fans. These are former clients and current users of our websites who act as advocates for our company by telling their friends. We get so many calls where a buyer/seller says something to the effect, “my buddy told me I just had to check out your site and I did. I love your business model…”. People seem to be sold on the concept before we ever have to discuss our model with them. It seems that saving people money AND providing great service is actually appealing!
Search for Boulder homes for sale on our incredible website and I’m sure you’ll agree that our savings, website, and incredible service are worth talking about.