Lakewood, CO Real Estate News

By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
What is a FICO score? FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, a company that created the most used credit scoring model in the United States.  An individual's credit score is calculated through a statistical algorithm and is used as a factor in determining the likelihood of a borrower defaulting on a loan.  FICO scores are generally used for obtaining mortgages, car loans or consumer credit.  The scores are provided from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  Typically, there is a variance amongst the scores since each agency has a slightly different scoring formula.  FICO scores range from 300 - 850, with higher scores being considered less risky.  For mortgage lending purposes, any score over a 680 is considered good and above a 750 is considered...
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By Matthew Bailey
(Your Castle Real Estate)
TOPIC: Improving conditions in Denver's  market There are some signs of strengthening in our Denver market.  The metro area's inventory of available resale housing decreased 20% to 23,120 units in October from October 2007.  Some of this reduced inventory is attributed to homeowners taking their properties off the market in frustration because their property is not selling, but lower inventory implies a strengthening market.  Remember, the Denver area had housing inventory of 31,989 units in July 2006. Home sales rose 14% to 4,265 in September compared to the same month last year.  This is due almost entirely to the lower-end of the market (under $180K) selling like hotcakes. October's median selling price for single-family homes decreased 12% to $206,000 from the same month of '07, and...
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By Robert Taylor
(Your Castle Real Estate)
There are some signs of strengthening in our Denver market.  The metro area's inventory of available resale housing decreased 20% to 23,120 units in October from October 2007.  Some of this reduced inventory is attributed to homeowners taking their properties off the market in frustration because their property is not selling, but lower inventory implies a strengthening market.  Remember, the Denver area had housing inventory of 31,989 units in July 2006. Home sales rose 14% to 4,265 in September compared to the same month last year.  This is due almost entirely to the lower-end of the market (under $180K) selling like hotcakes. October's median selling price for single-family homes decreased 12% to $206,000 from the same month of '07, and was down 4.7% from September's median of $216,1...
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By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    If you have not heard already, the inventory of home on the market in Denver has been declining. This is not true in many regions of the county. Your clients, who often only see national headlines, might not be aware of this favorable news. Our market has some unusual factors at work. Let's explore them, so you can better help your clients.If you look at the first chart (MOI 1), you'll see the MOI (months of inventory) for Denver's suburbs on the bottom axis and the average sales price in that suburb on the axis on the left side. Denver metro currently has about six months of inventory (a balanced market, on average), but you can see there is a lot of variety from one city to the next. Lower cost areas, such as Thornton, are seeing inventory move fast. Sellers (mainly banks) don't ...
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By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    If you have not heard already, the inventory of home on the market in Denver has been declining. This is not true in many regions of the county. Your clients, who often only see national headlines, might not be aware of this favorable news. Our market has some unusual factors at work. Let's explore them, so you can better help your clients.If you look at the first chart (MOI 1), you'll see the MOI (months of inventory) for Denver's suburbs on the bottom axis and the average sales price in that suburb on the axis on the left side. Denver metro currently has about six months of inventory (a balanced market, on average), but you can see there is a lot of variety from one city to the next. Lower cost areas, such as Thornton, are seeing inventory move fast. Sellers (mainly banks) don't ...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
   The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Boulder.Some areas did bett...
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By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
   The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Boulder.Some areas did bett...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Boulder.Some areas did be...
Comments 1
By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Boulder.Some areas did be...
Comments 1
    The average home price in Metro Denver increased +2% in the full year 2005 to the full year 2006. Comparing 2006 to 2007, the average home price across the metro dropped 3%, to $303,000. The average price in the first three quarters of 2008 was $272,000 vs. similar period of 2007 was $308,000: an 11% decrease. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Colorado Springs or Boulder.Much of the decline is a mix issue. For example, sales volume of homes over 4,000 square feet has plummeted in the last twelve months. Middle-market homes have generally been steady in their sales volume. Very inexpensive homes under 1,000 square feet have greatly increased their sales volume. You can explain it to your clien...
Comments 1
    The average home price in Metro Denver increased +2% in the full year 2005 to the full year 2006. Comparing 2006 to 2007, the average home price across the metro dropped 3%, to $303,000. The average price in the first three quarters of 2008 was $272,000 vs. similar period of 2007 was $308,000: an 11% decrease. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Colorado Springs or Boulder.Much of the decline is a mix issue. For example, sales volume of homes over 4,000 square feet has plummeted in the last twelve months. Middle-market homes have generally been steady in their sales volume. Very inexpensive homes under 1,000 square feet have greatly increased their sales volume. You can explain it to your clien...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of...
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By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete foundat...
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By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete foundat...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
You walk into a property you're looking to buy and rent and you walk down into the basement and voila! you find a full second kitchen.   Great!  You start calculating how much rent you could get if you could rent the downstairs separate from the upstairs and the cashflow is out of this world!  But wait, there are a number of very real problems with this scenario.     First of all, it's illegal unless the property is zoned for more than one tenant and the property has been converted to non-residential use. But there are even more practical reasons why having two separate tenants is often not a great idea. The first is the utilities. Since it's a house there will only be one bill for Excel and water. Who's going to pay it?  Can you really get the tenants to pro-rate their share if you pay...
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By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
You walk into a property you're looking to buy and rent and you walk down into the basement and voila! you find a full second kitchen.   Great!  You start calculating how much rent you could get if you could rent the downstairs separate from the upstairs and the cashflow is out of this world!  But wait, there are a number of very real problems with this scenario.     First of all, it's illegal unless the property is zoned for more than one tenant and the property has been converted to non-residential use. But there are even more practical reasons why having two separate tenants is often not a great idea. The first is the utilities. Since it's a house there will only be one bill for Excel and water. Who's going to pay it?  Can you really get the tenants to pro-rate their share if you pay...
Comments 1
By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A LOT of agents don't advise their clients to get sewer scopes when they purchase a property. This is a major mistake.  A broken sewer can cost between $3,000 - $10,000 dollars to repair and it only costs $99 ($99Rooter - others are more expensive) to have a tech put a camera down the sewer pipe and videotape the sewer all the way to the mainline. This will tell you  and the-buyer what the condition of the sewer is.      So let's see, we pay to have the furnace inspected but a new furnace will only be about $2,000. We pay to have the roof inspected but that's probably a $4,000 job. So why don't we always inspect the sewer?  One reason is because, let's face it,  Realtors want closings. Many figure if they keep their mouth shut and don't go out of their way to recommend a sewer scope tha...
Comments 1
By Lillian Lively
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A LOT of agents don't advise their clients to get sewer scopes when they purchase a property. This is a major mistake.  A broken sewer can cost between $3,000 - $10,000 dollars to repair and it only costs $99 ($99Rooter - others are more expensive) to have a tech put a camera down the sewer pipe and videotape the sewer all the way to the mainline. This will tell you  and the-buyer what the condition of the sewer is.      So let's see, we pay to have the furnace inspected but a new furnace will only be about $2,000. We pay to have the roof inspected but that's probably a $4,000 job. So why don't we always inspect the sewer?  One reason is because, let's face it,  Realtors want closings. Many figure if they keep their mouth shut and don't go out of their way to recommend a sewer scope tha...
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By Laura Lomba-Berg
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A lot of clients ask me how to figure out what market rents are in a neighborhood. This is a critical input into the calculations an investor needs to make in order to determine what their return on investment will be on a rental property. So you don't want to screw this up! Unfortunately, this is one of the many figures new investors get wrong. One place people go to get rents is Rent-o-Meter. Rent-o-Meter is billed as an online resource to get accurate market rents. In my experience it is anything but! However, I have a fairly simple solution. Multiply what you see on Rent-o-Meter by 80% and you'll probably be close. I can't explain why but I find rents on Rent-o-Meter to be about 25% high, so multiplying their rents by 80% will get you close (do the math, it works out). So then, how ...
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