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

A Denver Real Estate Health Check

According to a recent Denver Business Journal article, a report by New York-based financial services firm SmartAsset ranks Denver 9th in the nation among the healthiest urban housing markets. Factors analyzed for the study include stability, risk, fluidity (ease of sale), and affordability.

This is awesome news for local homeowners and those considering investing in the Denver Metro housing market. A couple of nifty highlights accompanying the report:

  • Homes in Denver are selling faster than anywhere else in the country at an average of 8 days from Listing to Contract.
  • The report found only 3.1 percent of Denver homes were decreasing in value, against a national average of 12.5 percent.

The market is hot, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to rest on your laurels. Maximizing your home’s potential as a Listing still matters, and experienced representation is vital for Buyers, who are up against a lot of competition in a market favoring the Seller.

If you are seeking a guide in our fast-paced marketplace or know someone who could use a hand, I’m happy to help. Give me a buzz or drop a line to find out what your house is worth in today’s market, or to plan the next move in your home search.

Jack Meyers

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

Cosmetic Issues = Buyer Savings

In a high demand real estate market like Denver, Sellers have the advantage. When Buyer demand outpaces available inventory, the Seller is king, and they have the upper hand at the negotiating table. Don’t abandon all hope, Buyers! In any market, there are things you can do to educate yourself so as to gain an edge in the process.

One area Buyers should pay particular attention to is the cosmetic condition of properties they view. In a Buyers’ Market, Sellers have to work harder to appeal to Buyers, including staging and taking care of deferred maintenance. Sellers can get away with minor deferred maintenance or cosmetic issues when the market is in their favor. BUT – these issues can still give the Buyer a little wiggle room at the negotiating table.

The following is a list of items you can use to your advantage when trying to negotiate concessions or a lower price as a Buyer in a Sellers’ Market (or any market):

  • Overly colorful paint, or paint in poor condition. If the basement is hot pink or the exterior paint is flaking off, it is worth asking for a minor break in the price, or a “paint allowance,” to help cover the cost of updating the home. You might not get what you ask for, and you may have to offer full price with a “paint allowance” stipulation, but the answer to a question you don’t ask is always NO.
  • Damaged carpet or other flooring. I once helped clients buy a house that sounds terrible – but was really a hidden gem: listed under FMV (fair market value), but the house needed all new paint, there were no window treatments of any kind, the main level smelled like dog and the finished basement smelled like cat. UGH – right? They bought this home in a desirable suburb for about $20,000 less than it was worth, and by painting and replacing flooring themselves and purchasing quality blinds on sale, they were able to make this house shine and gain instant equity. Don’t pass up an opportunity like this because the house is a little rough around the edges.
  • Fence in disrepair. Wood fencing is a common source of deferred maintenance. I don’t know many homeowners who enjoy staining or painting the fence every year or two. Use this to your advantage. If the Seller has left the fence alone for a few years, or it has obvious damage, ask for a break in price, or ask whether the Seller will meet you in the middle on repair or replacement costs. If you’ve made a fair offer and the Seller is motivated to close the deal in a timely manner, you may be able to pick up a few bucks on an item like this.
  • Road construction or other pesky projects – current or future. Even in a Sellers’ Market, major road construction, noisy building sites, even nearby home construction can be a pain. Noise. Pollution. Ugly views. Extra traffic. None of these things are pleasant to put up with. As a Buyer, do your homework! If there is a new road going in half a block away, the Seller should disclose this information if they have it – but they don’t always do that. Learn everything you can about a city or neighborhood, and if there are projects underway or planned for the near future, use this information to your advantage. A motivated Seller with a smart Realtor on their side knows major construction projects near the home will not improve the market value in the short run, and they will likely want to sell the house before the dust begins to rise. Use this information to negotiate a better price, or possibly concessions on the home.

Buying a house is a big deal, and there are a lot of moving pieces. When you work with an experienced Realtor, you’ll reap the benefits of someone who’s got your back – and knows every in and out that could save you money and give you an edge. In a market like Denver, Buyers need all the help they can get to score a great deal. If you’ll be in the market soon, I’d love to help you find the right home and maximize your potential at the negotiating table.

Jack Meyers

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

 

 

Lowest Inventory in the History of Ever

According to statistics compiled by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR), the inventory of available homes in Metro Denver hit an all-time record low since the numbers have been tracked. 

This is great news for Sellers! People want to live in and around Denver, they’re willing to pay a premium to do so, and there aren’t enough houses, townhomes or condos to go around. It’s called a Sellers Market for a reason: the odds are in your favor, and this is an excellent time to maximize your homes potential and gain a return on your investment by selling your property, if you are in a position to do so.

The hot market we’re in right now is challenging for Buyers. Prices are strong. Inventory is low. Interest rates are on the rise. Factors like rising interest rates will eventually put a dent in the insane level of demand in our area because as financing becomes more expensive, fewer buyers will enter the marketplace. In the meantime though, if you are a buyer in the Metro Denver housing market, you need to do everything in your power to give yourself an edge.

Here are a few tips savvy Metro Denver Buyers can use to win at the game: 

crossed

Secure financing first. Don’t begin the hunt until you are fully approved for a loan, and don’t wait to apply. If you want to move in 6-12 months, apply for financing now.

Know your timeline. If you want to move in a year, don’t assume you can wait 10 months to begin your home search. Even if the market cools a bit as the Fed raises rates, Denver will likely still be hopping in a year. Plan for the possibility you’ll be searching for a home for several months, and don’t put off the process until the moment you want or need to move.

Don’t go it alone. Unless you are an expert negotiator and familiar with the ins and outs of real estate contract law, seek expert representation to secure a legal, smooth-as-possible transaction. Things move quickly in a market like this, and if you aren’t prepared, you’ll lose out and possibly hit legal snafus along the way. Work with an experienced real estate professional to avoid pitfalls.

Whittle down your must-haves. Wouldn’t it be nice if your next house had freshly painted walls, beautiful hardwood floors, newer appliances (included, of course) and stylish high end draperies in every room? In a Sellers Market, you may have to give up on some of your wishes and hopes in order to snag a deal. You can paint, upgrade the flooring or appliances and install fancy curtains later; if you aren’t able to successfully close on a house, none of those details will matter. Choose 5 absolute must-haves and mentally prepare yourself to look past minor imperfections.

Steel yourself – there will be disappointment along the way. The reality of a competitive real estate marketplace is this: you will likely make offers (notice I said offers – plural) that are ignored completely or rejected. You may come back with a higher/better offer on a house you love and be rejected a second time. It will probably bum you out every single time – at least a little. The key is not to let yourself fall in love on the first date. Not even once you are under contract – because sometimes contracts fall through. The time to really let loose with a victorious hoot-holler-we-did-it victory dance is the moment you walk away from the closing table with keys in hand. That’s when the house is really yours, and that’s when to breathe a sigh of relief and start dreaming big dreams about your new digs.

Are you thinking about selling, and wondering if it’s worth your while? Thinking about moving closer to work, into the city, or further out into Suburbia?

Call me or drop me a line in email. I’ve been helping people buy and sell homes across Denver for over 20 years, and I’d love to help you make your next move.

Jack Meyers

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

Help Wanted: Denver Construction Workers

Unemployment rates are a quirky thing…     construction-dude

Too high a rate of unemployment and the economy suffers as those without jobs are unable to make purchases; when unemployment rates are high, the real estate market and many other markets can slump, affecting the entire economy and even those blessed with stable, adequate or better employment.

Industries can also suffer when unemployment rates are too low; employment can fall so low it is difficult to find qualified help.

Such is the case in the construction industry in Colorado. While an ultra-low unemployment level in the industry nationwide is something to celebrate, Colorado’s level of construction unemployment is less than half that of the national level. Add this factor to the ever-increasing demand for housing across Metro Denver, and the result is an industry bottleneck. Homes continue to be in demand in our area, there is not enough supply, and there aren’t enough tradesmen available to add to existing inventory.

According to recent Denver Post coverage of the topic, the lack of a qualified construction workforce threatens to slow the state’s incredible economic momentum. It’s a catch 22 for construction workers outside the state who might consider relocating to Colorado. The likelihood of landing work in the field is high, but in part because of the trickle of new construction, so are housing prices – and availability remains scare.

And so – we wait. Wait for new construction projects including apartments and homes, hotels and business infrastructure, to carry forward inch by inch. Wait for a new generation of able-bodied construction workers to rise – choosing valuable, meaningful work in the trades over a “traditional” college education.

Interested in talking shop – about the building industry, the Denver real estate market or your next home purchase or sale? I’m here to help in any way I can.

Jack Meyers

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

Trump’s Presidency + Real Estate

How might the president elect’s policies affect

U.S. Real Estate?

A few day’s ago, Forbes contributor Lawrence Yun hypothesized how a Donald Trump White House may impact homeowners, home sellers and home seekers in terms of interest rates, home listings, purchases, taxes and more. I encourage you to read the article in full, and I’ll highlight a few key points below.

election

  • While the stock market has had a few ups and downs following the unexpected results of the presidential election, the economy will likely see a boost the first half of 2017 as tax cuts are implemented and government spending increases to reflect the new president’s plans for increased infrastructure. Long term, this increase in economic growth will likely contribute to rising interest rates. 
  • Changes to Dodd-Frank financial regulations may remove cost restrictions currently impacting smaller banks. The result would be greater lending access and an increase in new home building activity. Deregulation does carry the risk of a return to the faulty lending practices that led to the last recession if big banks are allowed the freedom to operate unchecked.
  • Regulatory and zoning issues have helped push the cost of newly constructed homes significantly higher than existing homes. Lifting the burden of these regulations would lead to lower purchase prices on new home construction.
  • Fannie and Freddie could be on shaky ground. These institutions have made major mistakes in recent history, but have cleaned up their respective acts and are responsible for adding stability to the lending marketplace. This point (#7) of Yun’s article deserves a full read.

Whether you voted to “Make America Great Again” or be “Stronger Together,” this nation is in for a fair bit of change over the next four years. If you are planning to buy, sell or refinance a home for personal or investment purposes, you’ll want to know the lay of the land and work with an expert to minimize negatives and take advantage of every opportunity available to you. I hope you’ll give me a call if I can be of service.

Jack Meyers

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

What First Time Buyers Want

WHAT FIRST TIME BUYERS WANT

According to organizations like NAR (the National Association of Realtors) and Zillow, first time buyers are far from dead. In fact, an online survey by Zillow attributed 47% of home sale over the past year to first time buyers. This figure helps explain the lack of inventory in the housing market; first time buyers don’t have a property to sell, so while they are flocking to buy, there aren’t enough home available for the total number of buyers, keeping home prices strong for sellers, but leaving some buyers searching longer than they expected, and making multiple offers before clinching a deal.

So who are all these first timers, you ask? If you are a seller, chances are first time buyers are viewing your listing, and it’s worth knowing who they are and what motivates them to buy. If you are in the market to buy a home, learning more about the “typical” first time buyer may give you an edge over the competition.

  • Median age is 33
  • Large percentage of first time buyer’s are couples in their thirties
  • More likely to be college educated                                                                                              (62% of buyers overall have at least a 4 year college degree)
  • 17% of millennial homebuyers are Hispanic
  • Just 66% of millennial homebuyers are white; future generations of homeowners will likely continue to increase in diversity
  • At a median purchase price of $217k and median square footage of 1800, millennials are bypassing smaller starter homes and purchasing next level homes once reserved for “buy up” shoppers looking to expand on space and amenities
  • According to Zillow’s information, just 1/4 of millennial homeowners are city dwellers; a whopping 47% choose to live in the suburbs, proving that suburban living, despite rumors to the contrary, is just as popular with up and coming millennials as prior generations

Whether you are a swinging single, married with 2.5 kids, thinking about retirement or hoping to upsize, downsize or rightsize your digs, it pays to be informed and to have an experienced professional by your side to help you navigate the real estate marketplace. Give me a buzz to let me know how I can help.

Jack Meyers

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