We are a proud of our state, aren’t we? Maybe even, dare I say, arrogant, when it comes to Colorado? After all, we boast over 300 days of sunshine, are home to the esteemed Air Force Academy, and live in a place so stunningly gorgeous that Katherine Lee Bates wrote “America The Beautiful” while drinking in the views from Pikes Peak. (We will get to ‘drinking’ later.)
Colfax Avenue is the longest continuous road in North America, we host the largest rodeo, the Great Sand Dunes are a national monument considering the 46,000 acre park was created over a million years ago from wind and ocean waters, and we are the only city to turn down an offer to host the Olympics – we did not want the cost or the pollution to damage our beloved Colorado.
But that’s just the beginning. Recent news has only added to our egos because:
We Have Brains:
“America’s Brain Health Index”, a study conducted by the National Center for Creative Aging — ranks Colorado third in the nation for brain health. Researchers examined 21 criteria, including everything from physical and mental health, diet and social well-being.
Coloradans earned their high ranking, the report says, by “taking care of their physical and mental health and maintaining a diet rich in DHA-fortified foods and supplements.”
We Have Jobs:
Denver ranks No. 1 for professional and technical job growth.
Denver is No. 3 — and Colorado is No. 4 — among the top 10 cities and states for job growth, according to an Arizona State University report.
Colorado also ranks No. 1 for the rate of growth of government jobs.
We Have Beer!:
Denver was recently voted as the 2nd best city for beer drinkers. Why? Because we have 154 breweries and lots of hip craft brews, including Denver Beer Co. and Great Divide Brewing. And we host the Great American Beer Festival, one of the largest beer events in the country.
We Have Equity In Our Homes:
A National Association of Realtors report proves that not only is Colorado a great place to live, it’s a great place to buy. The following 10 real estate markets have realized the greatest equity appreciation since the fourth quarter of 2010, due to relatively low prices, low mortgage rates, and investor demand
1. San Jose
2. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. San Diego
9. Cape Coral-Fort Myers
So what does this mean for you? Well – you are smart, happy, employed, beer-loving people who should consider buying your next home! See how I did that?
All jokes aside, the real estate market is healthy and the trend seems to moving in the right direction. When it comes to purchasing or refinancing or even remodeling, investing in Colorado is a sure bet. And we didn’t even need a fancy report to tell us that.
I recently remodeled one of my bathrooms and it was – um – fun.
Okay, maybe fun isn’t the right word. And, actually, maybe ‘remodel’ is too strong a word. Let’s say I gave my bathroom a mini-facelift – a whirlwind weekend that included paint, textiles, lighting, hardware, photographs and a really lovely scented candle. The scented candle was the nicest part. And the easiest. And the nicest. Did I already say that?
Why is it that the word remodel strikes fear in the heart of so many people – including me? Is it the angst of making a mistake? The concern over ROI? The dread of spending your hard-earned money on a toilet of all things?
For me, I am always looking at my home through my Realtor lens and wondering in my head (and, yes, out loud to my painters who kindly but firmly reminded me that Silver Chain Gray was, in fact, a great color) if buyers are going to love it.
The answer is – maybe. The bigger question is: is the expense and exhaustion from a major remodel, or even a lesser transformation, really worth it? When I was remodeling I didn’t discuss my plans with anyone else except me. On the flip side, when I was shaky about the color, I had nobody to blame but myself. I hate blaming myself. It’s less fun than blaming someone else.
So – should you do it or not?
The short answer is yes. If you are considering selling your house, updating your home is a good bet. You want your home to be the best and the brightest on the proverbial block, but you don’t want to exchange your good-looking house for the poorhouse.
Experts suggest taking an honest look at the outside to make sure it appeals to buyers –no matter how great the house is on the inside, nobody will ever see it if the outside is ugly. This is the same reason cupcakes are so popular and eel is not. Just saying. Do the windows need to be replaced or repaired? Would a new front door or at least a fresh coat of paint give the home a bit of sparkle? Be honest – or ask a trusted friend for insight.
Once you get past the freshly painted door, it’s the kitchen that buyers most want to see. If you’re selling now or sometime in the near future, remember to appeal to the masses, which includes stainless steel appliances, soft close drawers, a designated space for recycling and upgraded finishes. I have a client who recently upgraded her kitchen in a smart, budget-friendly way. By painting her cabinets and walls, adding new hardware, and investing in granite countertops, the space looks fresh and open. Even I was impressed and I’ve seen a lot of kitchens in my day. A MAJOR overhaul was not necessary since said kitchen, like many kitchens, was functional, just not fabulous. Had my client embarked on a huge remodel, her ROI would be slim and her mental state would be a bit – oh – compromised. And then she might have to live with me. And what if she didn’t like the paint in the bathroom? What if she was allergic to my new candle?
So, be brave my fellow homeowners! Tackle that tired bathroom, kick-up that kitchen and examine that exterior because the pros outweigh the cons. And that’s coming from a pro.
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.
The median age of inventory in Denver for June 2011 was a mere 30 days, less than a third of the national median age of 93 days. This comes along with the record gains in Denver home sales we saw last month, and the news should continue to heat up the market as the summer progresses.
Denver’s median inventory age was also down 23 percent from May, the largest percentage drop across the nation. Realtor.com calculates the median inventory age by using data from its website, which could be different from the data provided by an MLS provider. Most notably, a home can be listed through an MLS but not Realtor.com at the exact same time, which can create a discrepancy.
Even though there is some room for error when looking at how these numbers of calculated, one thing is certain: the Denver real estate market has been and continues to be one of the healthiest in the U.S.
Call me at 888-860-1931 for information about buying or selling a home in Denver.
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Last month, the Denver housing market jumped 22.5 percent from a year prior, marking the highest June-over-June increase on record. It was also the first month that allowed year-to-year comparison with 2010 after numbers were skewed from home buyer tax incentives that ended in April 2010.
4,751 Denver homes were placed under contract in June 2011 compared to 3,885 in 2010. This year, the housing market had been down compared to the first half of 2010 when home buyer tax credits required homes to be under contract by April 30th. This is the first time year-over-year comparisons have been possible without the lingering effects of the tax incentives.
Denver home sales also surpassed the $1 billion mark at $1.08 billion, and there was a 15.7 percent drop in the number of unsold homes on the market. Clocking in at 19,580 unsold homes, June inventory was the lowest Denver had seen in a decade.
All of this is great news, but we still need to consider a few more months of data before we can truly start celebrating. Even so, June 2011 numbers were huge for the Denver real estate market, and I expect this trend to carry on through the summer.
For more local market updates and other news, bookmark my Denver real estate blog.
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