Realtor for Women
Get access to your Customized Home Search Client Portal with Daily Email Notifications
click
Newsletter Signup

Register for my newsletter by clicking the button below.

Twitter_button pinterest linkedin facebook rss feed

Real Estate

Information about buying, selling and investing in residential real estate.

10 important tips for Sellers when showing their home.

  1. Be as flexible as possible with showing times. Evenings and weekends are the most popular times for buyers to view houses. Your home won’t sell if buyers can’t see it.
  2. Open Houses are important, especially in this current market.  An open house allows your home to be viewed by as many people s possible, with minimal disruption to you and your schedule. My suggestion is that you plan on going on a nice weekend get-a-way and let me do the work!
  3. Have plans for your pets during showings. Some people are uncomfortable around animals.  You’ll need to put dogs into crates, take them to doggie day care or ask friends or neighbors to care for them.  Cats that cannot go outdoors should be placed in carriers.  Most people are conscientious, but they cannot guarantee your pet won’t escape during a showing.  Your pets are your responsibility.
  4. Put valuable items in a secure location. Most people are trustworthy but it is best not to leave valuable items in plain view (i.e. jewelry, money, collectibles, and personal electronics).
  5. Secure all prescription drugs.  This is critically important, especially during an open house.  Although your agent will be present for the open house, it is difficult to keep track of everyone at all times.
  6. Keep your house as clean as possible. Have a closet, bin or other convenient location to hide things if you need to make a quick exit. Do your best to have your home ‘show ready’ at all times.
  7. Don’t stay in your home during showings or an open house. It is very important that buyers have the time and freedom to thoroughly view your home.  Most buyers are not comfortable if the seller is present. If you cannot leave consider going outside, go for a walk, or visit a neighbor’s house.
  8. It is okay to wait to leave for a showing until the buyers arrive. I suggest you check after about 30 minutes to see if they’ve gone and you’re free to go back inside your home. It is to your benefit not to stay in the home during showings.
  9. Be careful about talking to the buyers or the buyer’s agent. It is too easy to give away information to the buyer or their agent that could negatively affect you during negotiations. “Silence is Golden”.
  10. Call your agent immediately if you find any problems in your home after a showing or open house.

If you live in the Denver Metro area and are thinking of selling your home.  I would be honored to help you.  You can reach me through the “contact me” link on this website.

Real Estate Bubble or Not?

The truth is I don’t know if this is a real estate bubble or not and neither does anyone else!  What I can tell you is what I tell all my clients.  “If you’re ready to buy then now is the right time”.  Of course, I also tell them to carefully consider the following information:

  1. Buy only what you can afford with the salary you are making RIGHT NOW.  Don’t count on a promotion, a raise or a new job.  In most cases, especially with first time home buyers, your income will increase, not decrease.  If you buy a home you can afford today you can weather any volatility in the the real estate market. 
  2. The market value of your home only matters when you SELL.  Although no one can predict the future, if you plan to stay in your home for 5 – 7 years you can very likely wait out any downturn in the market. Looking at historical data if you purchased your home at the peak in 2006, the Denver Market had essentially recovered by 2013 (7 years). Prior to that the property values had been increasing steadily since 1992! (S & P, Case-Shiller Home Price Index). 

    S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, S&P/Case-Shiller CO-Denver Home Price Index© [DNXRSA], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DNXRSA, June 6, 2017.

  3. Interest rates are incredibly low right now and the likelihood of them increasing gets a little greater every day.  For every increase in interest rates you reduce your buying power. For example: if you want to keep your principle and interest payment around $1500 and you have 20%  down, the graphic below shows you how that affects your buying power.

With all that being said… If you’ve been sitting on the fence, wondering if you want to buy or not, please reach out to me.  I will help you logically evaluate your unique situation so you can make an informed decision about whether or not you’re ready to buy.

It’s wind & hail season in Colorado,are you ‘covered’?

Almost 2 years ago now we were hit by a bad wind & hail storm, here in Englewood, where I live.  After the storm passed we inspected our roof and realized we were going to have to have it replaced.  The good news for us?  Our homeowner’s insurance covered the replacement cost of our roof.  The bad new for our next door neighbor?  His insurance only covered the actual cash value.  Our neighbor ended up having to come up with almost 50% of his cost to replace his roof, boy was he mad!

This article was generously provided by Taylor Bigandt of American Family Insurance. Taylor is a local Insurance Producer in the Englewood area. The agency that Taylor works for has two locations, one in Lakewood and the other in Englewood. Taylor is the Sales Lead Manager at the Englewood office. You can reach Taylor by phone or email at 303-462-2100 or tbigandt@amfam.com.

Summer is fast approaching, and you know what that means? Afternoon thunderstorms. These storms place Colorado in the middle of “Hail Alley”. Hail season starts in mid-April and goes through mid-August. The damage can be catastrophic and may leave you wondering what to do next. If you have the correct coverage on your Homeowners Insurance when that next storm hits, you will not have to worry about what to do next. Many people are not educated by their agents on the coverage that will help them save money when a hailstorm or windstorm destroys their roof. When your roof is destroyed by wind or hail, there will be two different coverages that you can be covered under. The first coverage that I personally recommend having on your Homeowners Insurance is Roof Replacement Cost Coverage. The definition of replacement cost is “the current cost of replacing an existing asset or property with the same quality of construction”. The second coverage is Actual Cash Value. The definition of actual cash value is “the current cost of replacing an asset less the depreciated value”.

Roof Replacement Cost Coverage means that your insurance company will cover your roof at a replacement cost value, less your deductible, without taking into consideration the depreciated value. This means that if your roof costs $20,000 to replace with a $1,000 deductible, the insurance company will pay $19,000. If your policy does not include Roof Replacement Cost Coverage then your roof will be covered at Actual Cash Value. Actual cash value means that your insurer will pay to replace your roof, less the deductible and depreciation for the age of the roof. For example, your roof costs $20,000 to replace and it is 10 years old with a depreciating value of $500 per year along with a $1,000 deductible. The insurance company will then pay out $14,000 ($20,000-$1000=$19,000-$5,000(depreciation) =$14,000) leaving you to pay $6,000 to get your roof replaced.

When shopping for a policy it is important to understand what your wind and hail deductible will be. Some insurance companies are starting to go to a percentage deductible. Having a percentage deductible will help you save at the time of purchase on your homeowners insurance but most people don’t understand the consequences financially by selecting this deductible. A percentage wind/hail deductible will be based on your dwelling coverage. If you own a home that costs $400,000 to replace and you have a 1% deductible for wind and hail then your deductible will be $4,000. If you do not have $4,000 to spend then the policy you purchased will be of no use and your roof will not be replaced.

At American Family Insurance where I am currently employed we still offer a $1,000 wind/hail deductible. In addition, we offer Roof Replacement Cost Coverage on roofs up to 15 years old. This is longer than the industry average which is about 10 years. Our homeowner’s product will be able to properly protect your home during hail season in Colorado.

Again, if you have any questions or would like to inquire about a quote from American Family Insurance please give Taylor a call at 303-462-2100 or email Taylor at tbigandt@amfam.com

Property Value, Assessment, Taxes and Mill Levy – What does it all mean?

If you live in Colorado, you should be receiving your new property assessment and tax rate notification by May 1, 2017.  Below you will find definitions and information that I have summarized from the Arapahoe County Assessors website for your review.  It is extremely likely that your tax rate will have increased significantly as property values continue to increase at an extraordinary rate.

If you disagree with the property valuation you can make an appeal with your county assessor.  The deadline is likely June 1, 2017 to file an appeal.  You cannot appeal the mill levy as that is determined by the individual taxing authorities. 

If you disagree with the property value the assessor has determined, and are considering making an appeal, feel free to contact me and I will gladly provide you with comparable property sales for documentation to use in your appeal.

Property Value – In Colorado the county Assessor, for the county in which your property is located, is required to reappraise (determine the market value) all real property (land and improvements) every 2 years in the odd numbered years. 

Property Assessment    Every 2 years the assessor determines the actual (market) value for all real and personal property. Then a percentage (assessment rate) is multiplied by the actual value to determine the assessed value. In Colorado the residential assessment rate is currently 7.96%. 

Mill Levy – Is the tax rate applied to real property.  The mill levy is set by individual taxing authorities in your area, these might include schools, county, fire, water, sanitation, library, recreation districts and metropolitan districts.  Mill levies within a county can vary widely.

Property Taxes – The final property taxes for your home and/or land are calculated using this information.    The actual value is multiplied by the assessment rate which is then multiplied by the mill levy. The residential rate in Colorado currently is 7.96%. The assessment rate for all other property, including vacant land, is 29%.

Example: A home which has a market value of $300,000 (actual value) x 7.96% (residential assessment rate) x .081265 (mill levy) = $ 1,940.61 (annual tax dollars). Please note this is only an example. Your value and mill levy maybe different. (300,000 x .0796 = 23,880 then 23,880 x .081265 = 1,940.60)

Categories
Archives