Buyers Love Bragging Rights

As a seller, no matter the state of the market – Buyer’s Market, Seller’s Market or Balanced Market, paying attention to your property’s pluses will pay dividends at the closing table. Let’s talk about some of the features and benefits of your home you’ll want to make sure to mention to your pool of buyers.

STORAGE

If you’ve got storage to spare, whether in closets, the basement, your garage or a nifty shed in the backyard, MENTION IT! Current renters and anyone upsizing will be in need of additional storage and “not enough storage” may be one of their chief complaints. “We’ve got way too much storage space in this home!” Said no one, ever! If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and mention it in the listing description.

COMMUTABILITY

Few people enjoy a lengthy or traffic-riddled commute, and traffic in the Denver area has increased over the past several years. If your property is convenient to bus stops, Light Rail service, or convenient routes to downtown or other saturated work areas, shout it from the rooftops. Potential buyers will be more likely to keep you on the list, and to pay asking price or more, if you help paint the picture of all the extra time they’ll have in the home with commuter friendly benefits nearby.

ROOM FOR GRANNY & GRAMPS

If your home has comfortable space to accommodate aging relatives long term, or even just for the weekend, share this information clearly. With an aging Baby Boomer population choosing to move in with family instead of into long term care, having the right space for older loved ones is a priority for many families. Don’t miss the opportunity to appeal to buyers with this need.

GREEN & EFFICIENT LIVING

Highlighting features in this category will appeal not only to the Eco chic, but to budget savvy buyers as well. If you have energy efficient windows, solar panels, water saving toilets/shower heads/sprinkler system, make these details known. Everybody wants to save money. Even noting the savings on heat or AC based on shade trees or the direction your home faces, ie. lots of natural sunlight and lower heating bills for an East or South facing home. And if you can mention exactly how much your efficient features allowed you to cut utility bills, even better! Buyers will eat this stuff up. To attract the Green Scene, make sure you mention built in green features like a compost or recycling bin, organic garden in your backyard or items like a rain water barrel. If you have cleaned and maintained your home using natural substances only, mention this as well.

As a seller, what kind of return can you expect on your investment right now? As a buyer, which features beyond location, number of bedrooms, square footage and such are the best investment for your real estate dollar? I’m happy to help you understand what’s happening in the Denver market, and help you maximize your home buying dollar or make the most of your real estate sale.

Jack Meyers
jackestate@aol.com
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

How Much House Can You Afford?

Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or planning to upsize, downsize or relocate, thoughtful planning in terms of how much you should spend on your home makes sense. Beyond the size of mortgage you qualify for, thinking through additional expenses and your desired lifestyle before you begin the house hunt, will save time and help you make a smarter home-buying decision.

*Disclaimer: I am not a mortgage lender or financial adviser, and you should bring any and all questions of this nature to a financial professional. I do, however, have many years of experience in the Real Estate industry, and have worked with clients to buy and sell homes at a variety of price points for clients from all walks of life.

  1. Understand Debt to Income Ratio. A Qualified Mortgage will require that your debt to income ratio is no higher than 43% once you take on a mortgage. This means the sum total of all of your debts + your monthly mortgage payment can be no more than 43% of your gross income.
  2. Consider your personal financial situation. Do you have young children and accompanying daycare costs? Are you planning to have children? Are your insurance and medical costs stable? Will you need a newer vehicle in the near future? Do you plan to travel often? Know the answer to questions like these before you determine how much you are willing to spend on monthly mortgage payments.
  3. Consider all home expenses. How much will property insurance and property tax set you back? Will your loan require private mortgage insurance (PMI)? Does your new neighborhood have an HOA? Will your utilities increase significantly from your current situation?
  4. What will you do in an emergency? If home repairs arise, can you handle the additional demands on your budget? When you determine how much house to buy, consider setting aside a monthly amount to handle home repairs as they arise.

At the end of the day, information is POWER, and you should be as informed as possible in order to make the right decision about the affordability of your home purchase, and whether that purchase will fit in with your overall financial and life goals.

Are you ready to take the plunge, or move on to your next home? Drop a line. I’d be happy to help you navigate the competitive Denver Real Estate market.

Jack Meyers
jackestate@aol.com  
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

 

Let Freedom Ring

If you rent or crash on somebody’s couch, you’re missing out. Homeownership offers a freedom that can’t be found in renting; if you’ve never done the research — talked to a mortgage professional, consulted with a Realtor, driven around a few favorite neighborhoods to scope out what’s for sale — now is the time. Read on for a few of the freedoms homeownership offers.

flag fireworks

Homeownership makes YOU the boss. Who likes answering to a landlord or management company? When you own your home, you have additional responsibilities, but you also hold all the cards. So go ahead – paint the walls, hang your pictures, and make the place your own. No permission needed!

Homeownership leaves you free to seek a return on your investment. As a renter, you will never see a dime of the money that goes into your rental payments. Investing in the lucrative real estate market gives you an opportunity to gain equity over time. In addition, interest on your mortgage is tax deductible every year.

Homeownership offers stability. Rents can and do rise over time, property changes hands, and you won’t always have a choice about the ongoing terms of your rental, or whether you can remain there long term. When you own your home, it’s yours. No one can pull the rug out from under you or change the terms of your contract.

Homeownership helps you build a strong credit history. Making your monthly mortgage payments on time every month shows lenders you are a good bet for future auto loans, home improvement credit, and positive financial terms in general.

Pride of ownership is awesome! A rental is never really yours…in the back of your mind, you always know the walls, floor, ceiling — all belong to someone else. Pulling into your own garage or parking space, glancing around the kitchen from the breakfast table and knowing what you see is really, truly your own, gives you a sense of pride that can’t be met when you’re sending in a rent check to pay somebody else’s mortgage.

Have you been pondering the benefits of owning your first (or next) home? I’d love to help you take the next steps to homeownership, or trading up to your next dream home. Drop me a line or pick up the phone.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Your June Home Maintenance Checklist

With the first day of Summer nearly here, it’s time to get started on your June home maintenance checklist. Many of these tasks are DIY-able with a little help from the interwebs, but if you’d like a referral to a trustworthy pro, I’m happy to provide a reference.

  1. Clean the dryer vent pipe.
  2. Prune shrubs around your Central Air unit; ensure it is level.
  3. Replace AC filter. 
  4. Clean and inspect AC condensation drain line. 
  5. Spray or leave traps for Summertime pests.
  6. Test and adjust sprinkler system.
  7. Wash exterior windows. 
  8. Inspect/clean/repair window screens. 
  9. Pressure wash exterior surfaces/sidewalk/driveway.
  10. Clean and maintain the grill. 

grill

Are you considering Buying or Selling a home in the Denver area this Summer, or this year? Give me a ring – I’d love to represent you in our fast-paced marketplace.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

 

Denver On Speed

According to the Denver Business Journal, last month Denver was the fastest selling housing market in the nation, with nearly half of homes on the market going under contract in just 6 days, down from an average of 11 days from Listing to Under Contract at the same time last year.

If you are listing your home for sale and staying in the Denver Metro Area, you may want to consider putting the cart before the horse, and pursuing your next home before you sell your current home.

Things to consider as a Seller in a fast-paced market:

  • Talk to your Realtor about including a contingency clause in your Contract to Buy & Sell; the Closing Date on the sale of your home will be determined by the forthcoming Closing Date on your next home.
  • Even if you aren’t comfortable making an offer before your home is Under Contract, begin searching for your next home (if you’re staying in the area) as soon as you begin preparing to list.
  • Have a Plan B — and maybe a Plan C for good measure.
    • If your home sells before you secure your next residence, can you stay in a residential hotel, or crash with a friend for a bit?
    • If you need to rent while you continue your search, what will this cost?
    • Where will you store your stuff if it takes time to land your next home?
    • Will temporary housing affect your commute?
    • Will you be able to rent within your current school district, if it takes time to find your next house?

As a Seller, the Denver housing market is highly in your favor, and it’s an exciting (and potentially profitable) time to sell your home. If you’re staying in the area and looking to upsize, downsize or transfer to another area of the city, you’ll want to work with your Realtor to plan the details of your “next” so every aspect of your sale, and the transition that follows, is as close to ideal as possible.

Thinking about making a move? In this marketplace, you’ll need an expert guide! Let me know how I can help.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Ways to Save on Homeowner’s Insurance

It’s time once again for everyone’s #favorite: Homeowner’s Insurance! I know…property insurance isn’t the sexiest Real Estate-related topic out there, but if you’ve found a just-right home, moved yourself in, and filled it with the best appliances, fixtures and furniture you can afford + all your favorite tchotchkes, you’ll want to have a reasonable level of protection in case disaster strikes. The great news is there are ways to streamline the cost of homeowner’s insurance while still maintaining optimal coverage.

6 Ways to Save on Homeowner’s Insurance

  1. Ask your Agent. Chances are good you qualify for one or more discounts, but you don’t get what you don’t ask for. Ask your agent point blank what discounts you may qualify for, or if you can do anything specific to qualify for additional savings.
  2. Bundle to Save. If you are able to insure your home, vehicle or health through the same company, go for it! Shop around to find out which agencies offer the best multiple policy savings.
  3. Raise your Deductible. As with most types of insurance, a higher deductible = lower premiums. Before making this change, educate yourself on how this will impact items like broken windows or minor damage from leaking pipes, as items like this will more than likely be out of pocket with a higher deductible.
  4. Pay off your Mortgage. Are you laughing at that one? As with any major asset, when you pay off your home, your premiums will likely decrease.
  5. Compare Annually to Save. Set a calendar reminder once a year to shop around and make sure you are getting the best rates. It may not be worth the hassle to save a couple bucks a month, but if you are diligent, you may turn up savings of as much as 10-15%, and that adds up. If you’ve stayed with the same company for a long time, ask about loyalty discounts.
  6. Install a Security System. Installing and maintaining a recognized security system may save you as much as 5% with some companies. Before you shop for an alarm system, talk to your insurance provider to find out which products qualify and how much you could save before you sign a contract for services.

Do you have questions that can only be answered by a qualified insurance professional? I’m happy to refer you to a few great providers. Let me know how I can help!

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

Property Insurance Check-Up

After Monday’s hailstorm did extensive damage across Metro Denver, damaging shops and homes, and causing car accidents, many people are making calls to their insurance providers. If a disaster happened to your home, do you know, for sure, that you’re adequately covered?

Here’s a rundown of Property Insurance Basics you need to know:

  1. You don’t have to own your home to need insurance. Many landlords require renters insurance, and a minimal investment in rental coverage can offer a lot of coverage, in case an incident occurs. If your apartment building burns down with all your stuff inside, renters insurance can help you replace your property, as an example.
  2. Standard home owner’s insurance policies cover the following: Interior or Exterior Damage due to weather, fire, vandalism or other covered disasters. You’ll be compensated so your home can be repaired or, if necessary, rebuilt. Flood and earthquake insurance require additional, specialty coverage. Garages, sheds or any structures not directly connected to your home, will require an addendum in order to be covered.                                                                              Loss or damage to your personal property, including clothing, furniture, appliances and most of the other contents of your home, assuming the damage occurs as part of a covered disaster. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurance companies will provide coverage for 50–70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. If you own high value jewelry, antiques or electronics, you will want to provide documentation of these items to your insurance company prior to the need for a claim.

    Personal liability for damage or injuries caused by you or your family. Liability coverage protects you from lawsuits filed by others, including pet issues. Insurance experts recommend having at least $300k worth of coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

    Hotel or house rental while your home is repaired. This type of insurance coverage is known as additional living expenses (ALE). ALE reimburses you for rent, hotel room, restaurant meals and other costs you incur while waiting for your home to become habitable again.

  3. Different types of coverage include: Actual Cash Coverage (the current value of your home and its contents, minus depreciation); Replacement Coverage (actual cash value without subtracting depreciation); Guaranteed Replacement Cost (comprehensive coverage for the actual replacement cost of your home and personal property – including inflation).
  4. What ISN’T included? Natural disasters, acts of God, acts of war
  5. How much does it cost? The average yearly premium cost for U.S. homeowners insurance in 2013 (the latest year for which data is available) was $1,096, according to a 2016 report by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, but premiums vary widely and depend on multiple factors, including your state. Price will of course be determined by how much coverage you buy, a decision you can only make after evaluating the market value of your house, completing a household inventory, and deciding how much liability protection you want.Other variables include your zip code. If you live in a high-crime area, for example, insurance premiums will be higher. Companies also take into account the size of your house, how close it is to a fire hydrant, the condition of your plumbing, heating and electrical systems, how many claims were filed against the home you’re seeking to insure, and even details like your credit score that reflect on how responsible a consumer – and, therefore, a homeowner – you are.

    Shop around and do your research when it comes to homeowner’s insurance coverage. Ask questions like, “If a sprinkler head breaks in the yard and my basement floods, will I be covered?” You might be surprised by the answer, and you don’t want to be caught off guard. This exact scenario happened to a friend of mine, and the insurance company denied the claim because the sprinkler head was outside the home, and not, in their view, technically attached to the property.

Stay tuned for a discussion of ways to save on your insurance coverage!

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate