Flipping for Fix and Flips? The good, the bad, and the truth.

Flipping for Fix and Flips? The good, the bad, and the truth.

flip2You know the saying: “If it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a house flip.”

Isn’t that how it goes?

Okay, maybe that’s not the original phrase, but the house flip frenzy is still happening for the same reason diet pills and spray tans are popular – we like things to be fast and easy.

Flipping houses is a gamble; and as in gambling, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. If the stars align and you find an underpriced house in a great neighborhood that needs a little TLC before hitting the market, you’re probably going to make some money.

But. . .

If you find that same house and then uncover the creeping mold, the cracked foundation and the sketchy electricity, you can say goodbye to your profit and your sanity.

Don’t get me wrong here – I am not against house flips. On a big, big scale it can be good for the seller, the buyer, and the neighborhood. After all, updating an eyesore and finding owners to love and cherish a property is a good thing.

Still, with television shows such as Property Brothers and Flip or Flop, with all of their fancy lighting, hunky contractors and 30-minute timeframe, it’s easy to get swept up in something that appears to be fast and easy when, in real life, it can be slow and really, really (really!) tough.

Planning on buying a ‘fix and flip?’ Here are a few tips to keep you in the money, instead of landing you in a money pit:

Rely on a Realtor and Other Professionals:

Realtors, real estate attorneys and accountants can help you navigate the dollars and sense of an investment. Could buying this house put your financial future in jeopardy? Or your other properties? Or your bank account? Before taking this step, recognize what’s at risk with you and your investments.

When it comes to the nuts and bolts of things, surround yourself with reputable, experienced professionals. Make sure all of your contractors and suppliers are licensed, insured, recommended, honest, trustworthy and competent. Also, work with people you like. You’re going to be working side-by-side on a huge project, and you want to get along with the people who are literally putting your house together.

Don’t Be a Hero:

If you have questions, ask. If you don’t agree with a suggestion from a friend, investment partner, supplier, speak up. If you don’t know how to rewire the water heater, don’t! Just don’t!

Do Your Due Diligence:

There are insurance policies for building repairs that all licensed contractors must hold in order to be in the business. There are specialty policies for buildings that are vacant or under construction. There are home warranties that can protect the appliances already in the home. Looking into insurance is just a way of looking out for yourself.

Look Under the Hood:

Hire the best inspector you can find and don’t balk on the cost. I promise that in the end this expense will actually save you money. An inspector knows what to look for, what is an easy fix and what is a nightmare. Stay away from the nightmare. Nightmares are…scary.

And Back to the Realtor:

No matter how great the house looks, if you don’t have a savvy Realtor on your side, it’s not going to sell. Look for a Realtor who has pulled comps for your neighborhood. Look for someone with experience, a solid marketing plan, a list of recommendations and a network of buyers and sellers.

This blog is a first in a series on the frenzy over fix and flips. Look for part two in the weeks ahead. In meantime, do you have a fantastic or frightening fix and flip story to share? Let’s hear it!

Colorado Ranked 5th Best Housing Market in Nation

Colorado Ranked 5th Best Housing Market in Nation

While most of the nation continues to recover slowly from the housing market collapse, Colorado seems to be surging ahead.  Colorado is ranked the 5th best housing market in the nation according to 24/7 Wall Street. While home prices across the United States jumped 3.8 percent in the last year, Denver, Colorado almost doubled the nation’s average with a 7.3 percent increase.

Home sales are on the rise in Denver, which just showed a strong growth in August, a month that typically shows a decline. According to the Denver Post, “In the Denver residential market, 4,685 homes and condos were sold in August, a 1 percent increase from July,” up 18 percent from last August. Kirby Slunaker, president and chief executive of Metrolist said, “Everything we’re seeing points to a steady recovery in the Denver housing market.”

While Arizonia claimed the Number 1 spot, ranking above Colorado in the best housing market, Jeff Whiton, president and CEO of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver isn’t buying it. “I would say that we are the best housing market on a qualitative basis,” says Whiton. “You can’t just look at markets on a quantitative basis. As far as quality of life, I think we are No. 1.”

Have you been holding off on selling your Denver home? Now might be the time. Give Ann Meadows a call at for advice on selling your home in the current Denver Housing Market.

New Home Construction Continues to Rise in Denver

New Home Construction Continues to Rise in Denver

It’s good news for home builders in Denver as permits for new construction rise 48 percent more than last year’s for the same period. According to Inside Real Estate News,”In the first seven months of the year, builders pulled 3,035 permits for single-family detached homes, a 48.3 percent increase from the 2,046 during the same period in 2011.”

A report by the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver shows that in July alone, 532 permits were issued in Denver-area counties– Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, and Jefferson. A huge increase from the 320 issued last July.

Builders are taking advantage of the shortage of homes listed on the market. While new construction appears to be on the rise, resale inventory is down more than 40 percent from last year. More people are choosing to buy rather than rent a home.

If you are looking to buy a new home in Denver give Ann Meadows a call at 888-860-1931

Denver Ranked One of America’s “Coolest Cities”

Denver Ranked One of America’s “Coolest Cities”

Denver was recently inducted to Forbes list of “America’s Coolest Cities.” Forbes took a look at the largest Metropolitan cities around the country and ranked them on what they determined to be the “coolness factor”. The calculations were based by the “number of entertainment options per capita with an Arts & Culture Index (100 is the best score); recreational opportunities, including the amount of green space, quality of outdoor activities available, and the number of pro and college sports teams (again, (100 is the best score); and number of restaurants and bars per capita, with a focus on local eateries.”

Photo via Forbes

See Forbes findings below:

Denver, CO
M.S.A.: Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
Arts & Culture Index: 96
Recreation Index: 91
Diversity Index: 59.1
Number of Local Eats: 4,445
Median Age: 36
Unemployment: 8.1%
2011 Net Migration: 17,590 people

Looking to move to Denver? Need help navigating the Denver real estate market? Give Ann Meadows a call at 888-860-1931.

Colorado Ranks Third In Lowest Mortgage Closing Costs

Colorado Ranks Third In Lowest Mortgage Closing Costs

Looking to buy a new home? Well we have good news. The State of Colorado ranks third in the lowest mortgage closing costs in the U.S. According to Bankrate.com, the national average for closing costs is $3,754, the cost to close in Colorado is $3,199.

Colorado, which was previously ranked 23rd, ranks behind Missouri and Kansas. The Denver Post recently reported that “Closing costs in Colorado declined 17 percent over the past year, versus a 7 percent decline nationally.”

Are you looking to buy a home in Denver, Colorado? Now is your chance. Give Ann Meadows a call at 888-860-1931.