Last year, the real estate market was, well, crazy. I mean crazy in a good way. Crazy can be good, unless it involves people behind the wheel of a car or B-list celebrities.
In 2013, homes were flying off the proverbial shelf, sometimes going under contract within three hours of being listed. The median price of homes rose and foreclosures dropped and mortgage rates were actually affordable – good, good, and more good.
So what does that mean for 2014? While 2013 was a fantastic year for real estate, it doesn’t mean 2014 won’t be great. Granted, 2013 is a tough act to follow; but predictions for this year are positive, with experts believing that home sales will remain at or near the current level and prices will hold steady or even rise a bit. There will likely be a better balance between buyers and sellers, alleviating the panic buyers, concerned with the reality of losing the house of their dreams, felt this past year.
What can you do if you are hoping to buy in 2014? Reach out to me or you personal Realtor now rather than later and provide me with your wish list. Be specific, but flexible. As Realtors, we are constantly touring homes, talking with sellers, and learning of properties that are not yet on the market but may be coming soon. By sharing your wants and needs with us now, you are one step ahead of other buyers in the marketplace.
Thinking of selling this year? Be cognizant of that fact and keep it in the forefront of your mind when making big and small decisions, including renovations, welcoming new pets into your world, and even buying non-essentials for your home. Remember that you are planning on showing your property at some point, and when that happens, you will have to de-clutter and clean to position your property in the best light.
Got a leaky faucet or a non-working fireplace? Tackle those projects now to avoid the mad dash later. And now is not the ideal time to housetrain a puppy (is there ever a good time for this job…I’ve done this more times than I can count and let me just say, wow?!) or paint your bathroom Bronco’s orange or start collecting bottle caps from around the globe. You can do all of those things in your next house – for now, keep it simple and save yourself some crazy.
As much as things change, things remain the same. This is not news. But let’s talk about the news or, more specifically, the media.
I’ve been hearing complaints about the holiday season starting earlier and earlier every year (most of the complaints have been coming from yours truly, but it’s only because I am still busy with the leftover Halloween candy and I don’t want to be pushed towards candy canes just yet), but a recent article in The Denver Post points out that even as early as 1912, stores were promoting Christmas sales early in the season. One ad even boldly stated: “For the sake of humanity, shop early.” Wow.
So actually Christmas promos aren’t earlier every year, we are just led to believe that. In reality, things have pretty much remained the same.
So, imagine my surprise when I heard that owning a home was no longer the quintessential American Dream! And you thought the impending wine shortage was serious.
A recent report stated that nearly one in four people between the ages of 18 and 24 defined the American Dream as being debt-free. That’s good, right?. But what the poll was trying to convey is that more young people would rather be debt free than own a home, which throughout history was cited as part of the American Dream thanks to the societal status associated with home ownership.
But wait! The National Housing Survey of Delinquent Mortgage Borrowers study, conducted by Fannie Mae, asked questions about the importance of homeownership to those delinquent on their mortgages and 74% still see homeownership as better than renting.
So who’s right?
You’re right. Yes – you. Research and studies and polls and data can be skewed, so the only right answers when it comes to the question of whether or not to buy a home is whether it is the best decision for you now and in the future.
If you are, in fact, ready to buy, you should read my recent blog: Five Steps That Will Lead You Home, and remember that you would not perform brain surgery (I hope) if you were not a brain surgeon and therefore should probably not attempt home-buying without a professional at your side. A full-time, full-service Realtor with credentials and references is a good bet. Someone with CRS and ABR behind their name knows the ins and outs of the business while negotiating on your behalf. Realtors who have been in the business a long time know the pros and cons of different neighborhoods including everything from school districts to walking trails to resale values to the best floor plans for that perfect view.
If you are looking to buy or sell, I can help. In the meantime, enjoy that glass of cabernet before it’s gone for good.
Metro Denver saw home sales increase nine percent from April to May, a good sign for the local real estate market. Even better, prices were up slightly, and inventory held steady from month to month. However, the time a property is on the market is what caused the most concern for May 2011’s housing numbers.
The median sales price for single-family metro Denver homes for the month was $230,000, up four percent from April and about the same as a year ago. 19,573 homes and condos were on the market last month, even with April and down 11 percent from the same month last year.
While it is still difficult to directly compare 2010 and 2011 numbers so far this year due to the tax incentive that ended last April, these statistics looking promising for the Denver housing market. I will continue to post about the latest real estate figures and keep you updated on how our local economy is affected.
For more information about local real estate and more, bookmark my Denver blog.
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng
First impressions do matter when home buyers come to view your home on the market. If you are looking to improve your home’s appearance, a remodeling project could be just what your home needs, but make sure that it comes with a strong resale value. Here are two remodeling projects identified by REALTOR® as part of the top 5 improvements that bring the greatest return.
- Entry Door Replacement (Steel)
Replacement projects tend to be less expensive and have better resale value versus other projects. According to the study, this remodeling project cost was $1,218, resale value was $1,243, and costs recouped was 102.1 percent of costs involved. When choosing a door, remember to look at the neighborhood and your home’s style to make sure it correlates well.
- Siding Replacement
This project is a bit more expensive, but ranks first among projects that cost $5,000 or more. For the study, the project cost was $13,382, resale value was $10,707, and costs recouped was 80 percent. One tip for saving with this project is to see how big a lap the contractors use and if costs can be lowered if the lap is increased.
View other high resale value remodeling projects at www.realtor.org. Keep in mind that this study cannot be applied to every remodeling project, but it will give you a good indicator of where to invest your money. Give me a call if you are looking to sell your home in the Denver area; I would love to help market your home.
Source & Photo credit: Realtor.com
We all make New Year’s resolutions, but what New Year’s resolutions did you make for your home? It is important to have improvement goals for your home, especially if you plan on selling it in 2011. Here are some home improvement resolutions for your home that can get you started:
- Streamline the stuff
Get ready to breathe a little better as you rid your home of clutter. Our drawers are jam-packed with stuff we accumulated through the years and closets are stocked full of clothes you no longer wear. Take one room at a time and get rid of things you do not need and donate them to charity.
- Get your place ready for entertaining
If your home could use a little updating, a fresh look does not have to break your budget. A simple way to add some color and energy to a room that you entertain in is to add plants that coordinate with your current color scheme. Your can also pick out a color in your current room design that is underused and add more of the color to the room through pillows or a throw blanket. Rearrange your furniture to form small conversational groups that will help traffic flow and help you connect with guests.
- Make it safe and sound
It is not uncommon for homes to have elevated radon levels and it is important to test your home’s levels with inexpensive test kits. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancers deaths each year. Another safety addition for your home is carbon monoxide detectors to go in each room. If a chimney flue or vent on a furnace get blocked or leaks, this deadly gas can source back into your home. Carbon monoxide testers are also inexpensive and cost about $40 each.
What are some other improvement resulotions you have for your home? Share your ideas below.
photo credit: nuttakit on freedigitalphotos.net