The Sky is Falling! Wait a Second – it’s just INTEREST RATES!

Falling Interest Rates

According to a recent Denver Post article, “U.S. mortgage rates declined for a second week, sending costs for 30-year loans to the lowest in more than a month as the busiest homebuying season gets underway.”

But there are just so many reasons not to buy a home…

  • Hey – you are already paying a mortgage. For your Landlord.
  • It’s fun to hear your upstairs neighbor listen to loud music. At 3 a.m. It’s almost like you’re invited to the party!
  • Tax deductible mortgage interest? Nah. Your tax dollars matter. Somebody has to keep the IRS running. Why not you?
  • You like white walls. Like, a lot. If you owned your own home you might want to paint them, and change is scary.
  • Equity Shmequity. Your Nascar memorabilia collection is someday going to be worth big bucks.
  • You don’t have a yard for the dog you also don’t have, but your goldfish Spot is a close second.
  •  If you buy a home, you’ll lose gym privileges. And you really liked that gym when you went last year. Once. 
  • But *gasp* what *gasp* if *gasp* the shower drain *gasp* gets clogged??? There are no plumbers around here.

If these are the issues keeping you up at night – congratulations! Renting (and paying somebody else’s mortgage) is the right choice for you. Stay put – and start saving for the rising cost of rent across Metro Denver.

If you are the kind of person who likes to pick out paint, isn’t afraid to tackle a leaking faucet (or call a plumber) and the idea of building financial equity through the increasing value of your own home appeals to you – well – it’s time to take the leap!

Interest rates are on your side, friend, and so am I. Drop a line or give me a call to talk about your home ownership goals and dreams. Ready to buy? Ready to move? Wondering what your next steps are? Let’s talk. 

I look forward to hearing from you,

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

The 5 Best Ways to Blow Off Your Future Down Payment

WHATEVER

You know that saying, “Good things come to those who wait?” 

Write that down. Crumple it up. Throw it away. Then burn the contents of your trash can. 

Whether you are dreaming of a white picket fence in a small town, a condo in the city or a McMansion in the suburbs, you’ll need a Down Payment to make your dream a reality. And if you already had a Down Payment waiting in the bank? Well… then we’d be out looking at houses and you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right?

Let’s talk about the very best ways to sweep your dreams under the rug and ignore the need to save up for your big move, shall we?

  1. Spend freely on little things, because nothing under $5 bucks really matters. Whether it’s your latte habit, weekly manicures, your baseball card collection or lunch out every day, keep up the good work! At $5 a day (by the way – tell me where you’re getting lunch that cheap!), lunch is only costing you $1,300 a year. (Or $2,600 if you spend ten bucks a pop). Don’t worry about cutting back – just cut loose!
  2. Live on Credit Cards. Interest charges don’t exist if you ignore them, and your high balances will look great when you apply for a mortgage down the road. Besides, that big high def tv needs to live on your wall – like – now.
  3. Don’t take advantage of Automatic Savings through your bank. Save your spare change, save your kid’s artwork, and save the earth – but whatever you do, don’t make saving money too easy! Imagine what would happen if you automatically transferred money into a savings account earmarked “Our Future Home.” Can you handle a risk like that?
  4. Ignore your untapped earning potential. So you have bar tending skills? Used to be a hairdresser? File taxes like nobody’s business? Why capitalize on these valuable skills when you could catch another rerun of Friends, instead? Sure, you’re practically leaving money on the ground, but do you really have time to mention your mad skills to people you know at work or church or next door? Oh wait – I think Friends is on again! 
  5. Consulting a Professional is for wimps. And while you’re at it – don’t bother to research until you think you’re ready to buy a home. Oh sure – you could talk to a Realtor or a Mortgage pro now to problem solve, take a peek at your credit and plan ahead for your future home – but you won’t be buying for another year or two or three – why start the process now?

It turns out that after all, good things come to those you plan. Chinese wisdom says the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The second best time is today.

If you are ready to chat about your future home purchase or you need a referral to a qualified mortgage professional, give me a buzz. I can’t set you up with a money tree, but I can share my perspective on when you may be ready to purchase your next home, and give you practical tips on how to get there. And that latte? It’ll be on me. 

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

The 5 Best Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value

If you are considering selling your Denver-area home, you’ll want to get right on that! There are fewer homes for sale than the number of buyers in our marketplace, and this high level of demand amidst inadequate supply continues to create upward movement in the price you can expect to receive for your home.

If you really want to maximize the sales potential of your home either now or in the future, here are five projects to consider before you list – even if you won’t be selling this year:

1. ANY improvements to the Kitchen and Bathrooms will pay dividends.

GO BIG: Replace counters with granite slab – still popular among buyers.

$MALLER UPDATE: Update paint or cabinet hardware.

2. Upgrade Curb or Backyard Appeal.

GO BIG: If you enjoy a mountain view, add a deck or patio.

$MALLER UPDATE: Refresh a front or back deck with Deck Over; your patio will look brand new!

3. Finish the Basement.

GO BIG: Solicit several contractor bids and finish the basement; be sure to include a bathroom.

$MALLER UPDATE: Paint concrete flooring a bright white and install add’l inexpensive lighting.

4. Jazz up the Garage.

GO BIG: Paint the floor in an attractive speckled finish; install floor to ceiling storage; update the garage door.

$MALLER UPDATE: Give the entire garage a good cleaning and move your stuff into storage – free up as much floor            space as possible to expand the visual impression of your space, and ideally – leave the garage empty or, if a two                car, park just one vehicle in the garage to leave space for buyers to explore.

5. Add an Extra Bedroom.

You know that home office you love “commuting” to every day? When you are ready to sell, it’s time to turn that valuable Real Estate back into a bedroom. Whether your home features 2, 3, 4 or even 5+ bedrooms, an additional bedroom will always net you more at the closing table than a home office. It’s fine to leave a work area in place for the duration of your listing – as long as there is room for a bed and the space is clearly staged as a bedroom that happens, also, to have a desk in it. It’s worth the cost of purchasing, renting or borrowing a bed repainting if necessary to properly stage the space as a bedroom.

Are you thinking about updating your home for sale, or for your own enjoyment? Give me a call to chat about which updates are the best investment in our current market, and for the long term. 

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

Could Renting Now Keep You from Buying Later?

“The rental market used to be and should remain a steppingstone to homeownership. But given how widespread rental affordability problems have become, the rental market could be acting more like a barrier to buying,” according to Stan Humphries, chief economist with online Real Estate resource Zillow.

perplexedSay WHAT? 

If you are currently renting, or trying to, in the Metro Denver housing market, you’ll want to read this Denver Post article in full.

Rents are on the rise nationwide, with an average increase across the U.S. of 3.3 in January, according to the Zillow Rent Index. (zillow.com) Compare that number to Denver’s January average rental price increase – a whopping 10.2%, and its no wonder making ends meet as a renter is harder and harder to do across Denver.

So what is a cash strapped renter to do if he/she/they hope to become a homeowner in the foreseeable future and wave goodbye to annual rent increases?

  •  Consult a mortgage credit professional. If poor credit, lack of credit, bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale, bad debt or other credit-related issues are keeping you from purchasing a home, there are experts who can give you straight answers on the state of your credit, provide you with a realistic timeline for when you will be able to qualify for a mortgage, and actively assist you in cleaning up your credit scorecard. But don’t rely on Google to find you a professional you can trust – ask a licensed Realtor or mortgage expert for a referral on this one.
  • Consider earning additional income in order to save for a down payment. Rental rates are increasing significantly faster than wages, and this does not put goal-oriented renters in a good position to save for a down payment on a future home purchase. If your current cash flow situation does not allow you to contribute toward this goal, consider finding a side job or advertising your marketable skills for hire including house painting, yard work, tax preparation, child care, etc. The sacrifices and hard work you put in now will pay dividends later in the form of your own home and all the benefits that come with property ownership.
  • Invite a roommate to share expenses. If you are a family renting a home with a finished basement or extra bedroom, a single or couple in a two bedroom, or a couple of bachelors with space to spare, consider renting your additional room or space to offset rising expenses. The cozier quarters you deal with now may yield your own square footage sooner if the savings lets you contribute more to a down payment fund.
  • Do your research, and be willing to relocate to an area with more affordable rents. Not surprisingly, Aurora is the suburb with the most affordable rent in our area at a median rate of $850 for a 2 bedroom apartment. Broomfield, on the other hand, is tipping the scales at an median rate of $1480 for a similar unit. If you are able to commute to where you work, broaden your apartment search to include areas with lower average rental rates. Set the savings aside toward the future, more ideally located home you’d like to purchase.
  • Be disciplined, but be realistic.  Just like a crash diet, crash budgeting for your future home purchase is unlikely to produce long term success. Find ways to ferret out a few extra dollars a week, but don’t cut back on every joy in life, or your dreams and goals will quickly feel like a chore and you may give up. If you want the security and long term cost savings of living in your own home, you may have to forego luxury vacations in lieu of long weekends in the mountains for a couple of years, but you don’t have to live like a pauper to achieve your goals.

Find ways to cut back, find ways to earn more, make sacrifices you can live with – and consult a Realtor and experienced mortgage pro. Homeownership can be more than a dream – but it helps to have a plan to get there.

Want to chat about the ways to work toward your own home purchase? Drop me a line – I’m here to help.

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