Pikes Peak Happenings

The areas surrounding Pikes Peak are some of the fastest growing economies in the United States partly because of the appeal to people of all interests. With hiking, skiing, fishing, art, concerts, festivals, dog parks, sports facilities, fitness facilities, and much more minutes away from nearly every destination around Pikes Peak, it is easy to see what is bolstering this popularity. Colorado Springs in particular has been rated one of the top places to live by sources such as the U.S. News and World Report. 

 

While prices continue to increase in Colorado Springs, it is still considered to be a cheaper place to live than Denver, only an hour away, because the median home price is $25,000 less on average. This is huge for the market because the affordability of homes causes a lot of people to make the commute to Denver daily, further enlarging and strengthening our economy. 

 

With all the hustle and bustle of living life to its fullest in Colorado Springs and its surrounding areas, LaskeyHomes has made it a priority to keep the public informed on the happenings of both the real estate trends and the fun, everyday events that make Colorado so awesome. Make sure to follow LaskeyHomes on Facebook to find more helpful information and fun events near you!

 

March 2, 2020

Should You Use Zillow To Buy Or Sell A Home In Colorado Springs?

Using Zillow to Buy or Sell a Home in Colorado Springs

If you’re looking to sell your home or purchase a home the easiest way possible, you might be tempted to look into a company like Zillow. Zillow claims to offer a stress-free, all virtual process that allows you to get an estimate online. You can get your mortgage online, and never have to deal with a bank in person or a traditional realtor. However, this might be too good to be true. Should you use a platform like Zillow to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs? Here’s why you may want to reconsider choosing to make the biggest purchase of your life with a company like Zillow. 

What is Zillow?

The Seattle-born company Zillow is a platform for online real estate. They are a database that users can access for free at any time, and they claim to provide up to the minute market listings across North America. Zillow also suggests that they can support homeowners throughout the selling phase, and those who are looking to buy a home through the buying process. They say that they can assist through the full real estate cycle, buying or selling. They can even help renters find available rental properties, help homeowners with financing for renovations, and more.   

Their featured product is called “Zestimates.” This is an online appraisal system that provides you with an accurate appraisal of your home with a couple of clicks of a mouse. This is the product that allows Zillow to offer all the services they do. From providing listings to financing the purchase, they are intended to be the only place you need to go to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs. 

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How do they offer free services?

Zillow in Colorado Springs

Anyone can use Zillow, so that means they need to find other ways to make a profit to continue advancing their products and services. 

They have three primary avenues for bringing in funds, which are iBuying, Advertising, and their Premier Realtor Service. 

iBuying is the real estate lifecycle online. The ability to purchase or sell a home all virtually through an automated system that makes the process extremely straightforward and quick. 

Zillow has a full network of sites that helps them bring in big advertising dollars. AOL Real Estate, MSN Real Estate, Hot Pads, Trulia, and MyNewPlace, to name a few. Because they have a clearly defined audience and can provide analytics that shows how much traffic they can generate, this can be very attractive to companies in the real estate industry. Companies like insurance brokers, mortgage companies, banks, telecommunications companies, and others will pay top dollar for access to Zillows audience. 

The Premier Realtor Service is a partnership program between Zillow and interested realtors. It’s a subscription service where the realtor pays a fee to Zillow, and they become boosted above the rest. They receive access to Zillow’s leads, they are promoted, and they are given preference for advertisements. There are plenty of realtors who subscribe to Zillow’s program, so when a user enters their information to continue browsing online, all of the premium realtors receive their information. They can then choose if they want to follow up. They are also recommended during the iBuying process. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs>>>

Should you use Zillow or a Traditional Realtor?

Using Zillow or a Traditional Realtor

If you could really purchase or sell your Colorado Springs home online without a hitch, that would be a fantastic concept. However, Zillow does not live up to its claims. Their reputation isn’t very great, either. 

The main product Zillow offers, which is Zestimates, is highly criticized among past users. It’s almost always wrong, which can be frustrating for individuals who are serious about selling their homes. An online system can’t see the condition of your home, so it would be impossible to provide a truly accurate estimate for a property. Providing very inaccurate information to clients in this way is highly irresponsible. 

Another criticism of Zillow is that they often have listings that are marked as current that are actually sold. Sometimes these listings are even advertised or promoted. They aren’t diligent enough to claim to have up to the minute listing information. This is another frustration for interested clients, as they may fall in love with a Colorado Springs home that is no longer available.

Zillow is an online platform, which means it’s only interaction is with interested users. It doesn’t provide a very personal or excellent customer experience. Dealing with a traditional realtor has a significant benefit in this area, as they work to provide you with an experience. A sale or purchase of your Colorado Springs home takes time, and you will need to have open communication. A seasoned realtor will have excellent skills to help you through the process. Buying or selling a home can be a bit of a stressful and exciting time, and there can be a lot of emotions that come along with it, and a realtor can help ease your mind.

Using Zillow or a Real Estate Agent to Buy your Home in Colorado Springs

When you’re browsing Zillow, eventually, you will have to give the site your necessary information to continue browsing. Even if you’re not ready to buy or sell your home right now, you’re just looking for fun, or whatever your situation may be, your information is shared with all of the premier realtors that are eager to help you. Some past users have noted that they’ve received over 15 different realtors contact them immediately to see if they want to see a home or are interested in working with them. Treating any lead this way isn’t a great way for Zillow to conduct business. 

If you do happen to be interested in a Colorado Springs home, you’ll put in your information and can anticipate being contacted by a realtor. You likely won’t be contacted by the listing agent. This available realtor that contacts you probably won’t be knowledgeable about the home, and might not be able to answer any questions you may have about the property. In fact, if you decide to use Zillow, you will probably deal with a different agent at every step of the process, never seeing the same one twice. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs>>>

Why a traditional realtor is better

Using Zillow to Buy or Sell your Home

When you’re ready to buy or sell your Colorado Springs home, the last thing you want are the glaring issues that Zillow brings to the table. When you hire a traditional realtor, you’re immediately eliminating all of those glaring issues. 

The first step in finding a great realtor is research. Whether you choose a referral from your family member or friend, or you find a neighborhood expert in your desired Colorado Springs communities, a realtor with a lot of experience will be a massive asset to the process. 

When you’re selling your home in Colorado Springs, an experienced realtor will know a rough idea of what your home is worth in comparison to the other houses around yours. They will also have a good idea of what it can sell for. They will have a network of photographers, marketing resources, and tips to stage your home, so it’s new owner will be willing to put in an offer. Zillow does not have the ability to do any of this, and you will be competing with others for ad space solely on Zillow and its network of affiliate sites. A realtor is not limited to where they try to advertise your home. 

A realtor will be motivated to sell your home or help you purchase because they are paid by commission. Their livelihood depends on your happiness with their work and getting you the right price. They will put in the effort to make sure you get exactly what you’re looking for. 

Zillow can merely provide data, show you listings, and pass on your information. An experienced realtor is always a phone call away, and they are your partner in completing a sale or purchase. A realtor is an invaluable asset to have on your side.

Stick with what you know

Buying or Selling a Home in Colorado Springs

There is a good reason why realtors will not be made obsolete by an online system. Companies like Zillow have been emerging over the last decade, and they are supposed to be beneficial to a large number of people. But, they don’t deliver on their promises. They are highly criticized, and many people are left with a bad taste in their mouth after using their services. 

There are countless reviews from frustrated Zillow users, and some even wish they had just hired a traditional realtor. Don’t take a chance on an online system, and stick with what you know. Realtors are still prevalent for a reason, and it’s because they add so much value that can’t be replaced by an online system. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs>>>

Sources: 

https://unionstreetmedia.com/benefits-drawbacks-zillow/

https://www.piersonrealestate.com/2016/04/21/the-pros-cons-of-using-zillow/

https://listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/pros-and-cons-of-ibuyers-like-opendoor-offerpad-zillow/

https://www.mashvisor.com/blog/for-sale-by-owner-disadvantages/

https://austinstartups.com/why-you-should-avoid-zillow-at-all-costs-27dd65793b4a

https://www.zillow.com/corp/About.htm

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/110615/why-zillow-free-and-how-it-makes-money.asp

 

 

Posted in Buying
March 2, 2020

Should You Use Trulia To Buy Or Sell A Home In Colorado Springs?

Should you use Trulia to Buy or Sell your Home in Colorado Springs

Would you purchase your new Colorado Springs home online if you could? How about getting your mortgage online without stepping foot in a bank? In a perfect world, this sounds like an ideal situation for some people, but in reality, it might not be all that it seems. E-commerce real estate companies like Zillow and Trulia suggest that they are a one-stop-shop for all your home buying and selling needs. Eliminate the need for a traditional realtor in this day and age and just handle the process on your own. What could possibly go wrong? The truth is that these companies should be bypassed, and you should stick with a realtor. Here’s why you shouldn’t use Trulia to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs. 

What is Trulia?

Trulia is part of Zillow’s network of real estate websites. Others include AOL Real Estate, Hotpads, MyNewPlace, and MSN Real Estate. Zillow was established in 2006 in Seattle, and it is possibly the biggest platform of this kind, with their network closely trailing behind. In 2015, Zillow acquired Trulia for $3.5 billion. 

Trulia is advertised as a database that is used to connect interested home buyers with sellers and partnered realtors. It can even be used to find rental properties. Trulia is very similar to Zillow, but it offers an interactive crime map, extensive community insights, and cost breakdowns. 

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How does Trulia make money?

Using Trulia iBuyer to Buy Colorado Springs Home

Since the website is free to use, Trulia’s leading source of revenue is advertising, just like Zillow. Agents can promote themselves and their listings on the platform, mortgage brokers and insurance companies are also frequent advertisers. Due to the targeted nature of Trulia’s audience, advertisers will pay top dollar to be seen on the site. In the past, users have complained that Trulia is overloaded with ads, and it negatively affects the experience online. They have taken that feedback into account, and it has improved slightly since. 

Choosing Trulia or a Traditional Realtor

Choosing Trulia or a Traditional Realtor

Trulia is its own platform, so their listings are not up-to-the-minute. Use caution when browsing Trulia, as some of their promoted listings are not accurate or available. This can be frustrating for users because you never know which listings are available or not. This has been a considerable critique of the website and it’s parent company Zillow. When you choose to work with a realtor, they have access to the MLS, which is the most up to date, current listings. As their client, you will have access to that information whenever you need it. A realtor is always just a phone call away. 

When you’re browsing Trulia’s site, you will be prompted to provide your necessary contact information to continue browsing. You may just be browsing for fun, or you might be an interested buyer, there is no way to tell. However, your information will be treated the same and sent to all the premium realtors that have partnered with Trulia. You will likely be bombarded by many realtors, as there is a lack of communication between Trulia and their realtors. Comparing this experience to a traditional realtor, where this situation would never occur, it would be a different story. When you work with a realtor, you work specifically with that realtor. You’re far enough along in the process of buying or selling your Colorado Springs home that you know you are interested in properties, and your realtor will handle the rest.

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Trulia Homebuying

Trulia and Zillow do not have the best reputation, and there are plenty of negative experiences documented from past clients who are not thrilled with their experience. There is a lot of misinformation on the site, allegedly. Unhappy clients have mentioned that after they gave their personal information, or paid the premium fees, that they weren’t provided any benefits. The website is unclear, and that needs to be ironed out. 

Hiring a traditional realtor is a motivated person to have on your team. Since they get paid through commission, not through lead generation or advertising, their livelihood is based on the experience they provide you. If you’re not happy with them, or they can’t find you precisely what you want, they don’t get paid. 

When Trulia promotes a listing, it can be promoted with any of their premium realtors, not always the listing agent. This is another frustration factor for users. If you have a particular question about a property you might be interested in, and you attempt to get in contact with a realtor about it, they likely won’t be able to answer for you. A traditional realtor will use conventional methods to contact the listing agent to find out everything you want to know about the property. They may even set up a showing with them, and you can find out together. 

Trulia is a crapshoot of information, and you never know which of it is accurate. A traditional realtor will always help you find the answer with their tools and experience. 

The Benefits of a Traditional Realtor

Deciding between Trulia and a Traditional Real Estate Agent

Hiring a traditional realtor to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs is always recommended over an e-commerce real estate site, and there are plenty of valid reasons why. 

The first step in hiring a realtor is research. Hiring a local Colorado Springs realtor is beneficial because you may have a friend or family member who can refer you to someone great. You can also check out reviews to see who might be a good fit for you. You don’t have to hire the first realtor you meet, and you can meet with a few before making your decision. 

A realtor that has been working in Colorado Springs for a long time will be a massive benefit to your experience. When you meet with your realtor (once you’ve met the one you like or have had coffee with a few and found your favorite), you can expect to give them details about what your needs are, what your wants are, and the areas you’re interested in. A savvy realtor will know the neighborhoods like the back of their hand, and they will know how to find what you’re looking for. When you hire your realtor, you are able to utilize their experience, their network of professionals, and the customer experience. Trulia can’t compete with any of that. 

Your realtor will handle all the nitty-gritty of the sale or purchase for you. They will negotiate for you, with your approval, and they will always work to get you the best price. The commission is a percentage of the sale, so this will be a top priority for them. 

They will let you know where you can browse listings that will be more up to date and accurate than anything Trulia can provide.

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs >>>

Do away with Trulia

Selling a home with Trulia or a Real Estate Agent

So, should you use Trulia to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs? The short answer is no. There is a good reason why traditional realtors are still a viable and stable career choice. E-commerce and the internet have overtaken so many industries and helped make things extremely convenient for us. Again, a traditional realtor brings too much value to the table that can’t be replaced by an algorithm. They have tools, a network of professionals, the drive, and the personal touches that Trulia just can’t compete with. In theory, Trulia is a great idea, but until they iron out their issues, a traditional realtor will always be the way to go. 

Sources: 

http://darwalden.blogspot.com/2014/09/anchorage-alaska-real-estate.html

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/100215/5-best-alternatives-zillow-trulia.asp

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/021815/zillow-vs-trulia.asp

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/trulia.html

https://austinstartups.com/why-you-should-avoid-zillow-at-all-costs-27dd65793b4a

https://www.trulia.com/about/

https://vator.tv/news/2015-10-02-how-does-trulia-make-money

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/trulia-review/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Buying
March 2, 2020

Should you use Redfin to Buy or Sell a Home in Colorado Springs?

Buying a home in Colorado Springs

Buying or selling a home online sounds like the way of the future. We tend to do most things online these days, from banking online to having the ability to order something and have it delivered hours later. E-commerce is a mammoth industry, and it is only growing. Choosing an e-commerce real estate agency like Redfin might not be in your best interest when buying or selling your Colorado Springs home. Here’s why you should not use Redfin to buy or sell a home. 

What is Redfin?

Based in Seattle, Redfin emerged onto the scene in the mid-2000s, but only became public in 2017. It’s considered an online real estate agency, and it is a discount brokerage. This means that they charge a 1 to 1.5% listing fee and much lower commissions for those purchasing through the site. It provides online tools to assist buyers and sellers in Colorado Springs to be able to DIY their real estate experience. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs > > >

How does Redfin make money?

What is redfin

The discounted listing fee that Redfin charges for sellers makes up the bulk of their revenue. If an agent does not represent the buyer, the company charges another 1% when the house sells. This percentage can end up being $4,000 to $5,000 depending on the house price and area. There are additional fees during the process that also contributes to Redfin’s revenue, including licensing, settlement services, and marketing fees. 

When a Redfin agent closes a sale, they will be paid a salary plus a bonus. The listing agents don’t make any commissions. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs > > >

What’s the difference between a traditional realtor and Redfin?

Using a realtor to buy your home in Colorado Springs

A clear difference between using Redfin versus a traditional realtor in Colorado Springs is the customer experience. When you hire a realtor, they’re yours to be partnered with. The personal touch of a realtor can’t be beat. You will have many conversations about your wants and needs, and they will be dedicated to the process and help you every step of the way. This just isn’t possible to achieve using a website. 

While Redfin does retain full-service realtors on staff, they’re typically difficult to get a hold of, and you will likely never deal with the same realtor twice. This can be frustrating to have to explain your situation over and over to every new realtor you meet. Once you meet with your local realtor, you won’t need to do that. 

A traditional realtor is paid strictly by the commission, by selling your home or helping you buy a home. This is very different than a Redfin realtor. Their realtors are paid a salary and a bonus if they manage to close the sale. A traditional realtor will likely be more motivated to sell your home because the reward is higher, and their entire income depends on it. 

When you are dealing with a real person, you have some flexibility with communication and contracts. You can work to negotiate a contract that benefits both parties. When you choose Redfin, you have to accept their standard practices for everything. There is no wiggle room when it comes to marketing, contracts, or processes that they have in place. 

using redfin to buy or sell a home in Colorado Springs

Part of the reality of dealing with a discount brokerage is that every realtor will likely have more clients than they can handle. Past Redfin clients have noted that it’s challenging to get a hold of their agent, and it was a very impersonal process. This might sound okay for some, but for most, they hope their realtor is going to be part of the process. If you have questions, you want to be able to reach your realtor. Understandably, they have more than one client, and you won’t be their only priority, but these agents are overloaded. 

Often, discount brokerages attract newer or inexperienced agents. This could be a problem for you if you’re looking for a certain level of expertise. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a new agent because everyone has to start somewhere. Still, if you’re set on hiring someone who has proven results and a track record that speaks for itself, you may not find that on Redfin. This also means that there are some perks that only a seasoned professional can add that you can’t get through a website. From marketing tips and advice to having their own network of people they can rely on, Redfin is a much more cut and dry experience. 

While you may save some money with Redfin, you have to do most of the work on your own with little support. Why should you navigate the biggest purchase of your life alone? This is one of those situations where you get what you pay for. Let the professionals take care of negotiations, setting up showings, and the hard work. 

A neighborhood expert will also have a lot of information about the areas you want to live in. If you want to know the best schools, the best parks, or information about the best restaurants nearby, they will probably know all those things, or they can find it for you. Redfin won’t do that for you. 

Why should you hire a traditional realtor?

Buying a home in Colorado Springs

Redfin is a classic example of ‘you get what you pay for.’ With their lower price tag comes lower value. A conventional realtor will provide you with the opposite experience that a company like Redfin will maintain.

A traditional realtor that is there for you every step of the way will be your best resource. Spending the extra money when your investment is returned ten-fold is always smart. An online brokerage where you don’t even deal with the same realtor twice doesn’t sound like it could possibly be a cohesive experience.

A professional who has been around a while will know the best way to get your home sold fast. They also know to act with urgency when you find a home that you love and are interested in, and they’ve likely seen every possible situation unfold and have a solution. They will be able to maximize your home’s exposure to the Colorado Springs market, give you tips on how to stage your home for the best results, and will be able to help you every step of the way. At Redfin, everything will be an air-tight process, with little room for wiggle. Your home will be promoted to the same audience, it will have the same advertising space as everyone else, and there will be no differentiation.

Reviews online about Redfin are pretty clear that past users don’t recommend their services. The lack of involvement and follow up from the Redfin team are deal breakers for most people, and they can lead to confusion, frustration, and added unnecessary stress. Buying or selling a home in Colorado Springs can be filled with both excitement and anxiety, so keeping the process streamlined and as informed as possible is critical. Meeting a different agent every time you need something can be difficult as well. 

Find Your Dream Home in Colorado Springs > > >

Steering clear of Redfin

Buying a home in Colorado Springs

Buying or selling a home in Colorado Springs is a big deal, and you want to have faith in the realtor that you’re hiring. You will cultivate a relationship with this person, and they will be motivated to support you through one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make. While Redfin may cost a little less, or sound more convenient, it would be a stressful route to take. You will not receive the same quality through a discount brokerage like Redfin. A traditional realtor with a great attitude is so valuable that the e-commerce industry will never replace them. 

Sources: 

https://tspmortgage.com/pros-cons-discount-real-estate-brokerages/

https://wallethacks.com/buying-a-home-with-redfin-vs-full-service-agent/

https://listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/how-does-redfin-make-money-an-in-depth-guide/

https://mustardseedmoney.com/redfin-vs-traditional-agent/ 

https://listwithclever.com/real-estate-blog/redfin-agent-vs-realtor/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redfin

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/08/business/redfin-online-real-estate.html

 

Posted in Buying
March 5, 2018

When Mortgage Interest Rates Rise How Does that Effect Sellers and Buyers?

In this short video Tom explains how there is a significant effect on a Buyer's purchasing power, when rates increase by as little as 1/2%. How might this effect you, if you're considering making a home purchase?

If you are looking to buy a home, the rise in interest rates can cause you to have to look at "less" house in size, price, and desired criteria, in order to stay within the budget you have set for your home purchase.  A 1/2% rate increase typically means that, in order to keep the same payment, you would have to look at something that is priced 5% less from when the rate was 1/2% lower. For example, if you're looking to buy something that at 4.5% runs about $1600 per month for principal and interest, with 10% down - you could look at about a $350,000 home.  If rates bumped to 5%, you would have to be in the $330,000 range, in order to keep the same payment. You would lose about $20,000 in purchasing power.

But, the rise in rates not only effects buyers, but can potentially effect sellers. If there is a pool of buyers that are able to afford a $350,000 home, at the current rates and a seller's home is within that range, just a 1/2% could reduce the buyer pool for that home and potentially cause the seller to have to take less for the home, in order to accomodate the buyer pool. Of course, this is only one variable that needs to be considered. The supply and demand of homes at a given price point is another variable to consider, the potential supply (new construction), another variable. The availability of loan programs, along with many other considerations are all something to look at, when making a decision on whether to sell.

We would love the opportunity to sit down with you and talk about your real estate holdings and help you determine what is the best course for you to take, if you're considering buying or selling.  Just give us a call at (719)648-9634 - Tom or (719)301-8255 - Ben, or shoot us an email at LaskeyHomes@gmail.com

 

 

Oct. 30, 2017

Hottest Zip Code in Colorado Springs: 2017

And the winner is... 

Congratulations to ZIP code 80922 on being one of 2017s hottest zip codes to live in! This information is based on a study completed by Realtor.com of over 32,000 ZIP codes and was based on factors such as: how long it takes to sell a home and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP Code. Interestingly enough, they were also gauged on factors sought after by millennials such as hiking trails, restaurants, and nightlife. Danielle Hale, who is Realtor.com's chief economist was quoted saying, "Increasingly, the hottest housing markets are the ones that appeal to millennial preferences, and right now the standouts are relatively affordable suburbs with local 'it' factors such as hiking trails, great restaurants, and nightlife." LaskeyHomes is going to break down what makes 80922 so great and why!

 

Restaurants

With over 50 restaurants packed into a relatively small area, 80922 has become a mecca for food connosieurs on a budget. You will find food of all sorts, from Hibachi to Brazilian, and food of all prices, from 5 star to your standard drive-thru. One very popular destination for foodies is the First and Main Town Center. Here you can park and walk to 29 food destinations. On top of this, First and Main Town Center was voted 'Best Variety in Colorado Springs.' 

 

Nightlife

80922 has become a popular destination for those of us who embrace the nightlife. With multiple bars and clubs seated in a beautiful setting, it is hard not to have fun in 80922. Bar Louie, The Wobbly OliveFox & Hound, and The Cow Pub and Grill are just a few of the favorites in the area. 

 

Affordability

While 80922 boasts tons of amazing features it also is amazingly affordable comparitively to the surrounding market. The average sold price of 80922 since the beginning of 2017 is just over $270,000. Compare that to the rest of the market's average price of over $309,000, it is easy to see why LaskeyHomes believes affordability is a huge factor!

 

Do you live in 80922 and love it? If so be sure to comment on our blog or on our Facebook why you love 80922! Commenting will enter you into a drawing to receive a gift card to one of 80922's most loved restaurants, Tuscanos. Thank you for trusting LaskeyHomes to be your local real estate news!

Posted in Market Statistics
April 20, 2017

Nervous About Being a First Time Home Buyer in this Market?

Every home owner has been a first time home buyer at some point in their Real Estate journey.  Along with the excitement of buying that first home often comes anxiety about a number of different things; will I be able to afford a home, on an ongoing basis?  Am I biting off more than I can chew? And along with that question, the lender says I'm qualified for way more than I want to spend -- am I going to be pushed into going higher in the price I pay? Is buying a home really a good investment to make? Is now a good time to buy or should I wait? How much money do I have to have to buy a home?  It will take me forever to save up for a 20% downpayment, how will I ever afford a home?

There are any number of questions, all valid, that first time homebuyers ask. We'd like to address some of the more common ones and hopefully ease your mind if you are a first time homebuyer or maybe someone who hasn't been in the home buying mode for a long time.

Will I be able to afford a home, on an ongoing basis?  

As rents continue to go up, home ownership is a way that you can control living expense.  When you buy a home, your principal and interest will remain the same for the life of the loan.  The only thing that can change in your payment is your taxes and insurance.  In our market those are pretty negligible changes and don't typically effect your total payment significantly.  Rents will typically increase at each renewal of the lease and currently we have seen those increasing often by several hundred dollars.  

 

Am I Biting off More than I can Chew and Will I be Pushed to Spend what the Lender Says I'm Qualified to Spend?

Whether renting or buying a home, it is important to consider how much your budget allows for that cost. While you may qualify for significantly more than what you're comfortable with, typically it's best to stay in your comfort zone or if you stretch it, to do it in a way that has some certainty about it.  For instance, if you typically receive a raise at the end of a year, you may feel o.k. about stretching your mortgage payment by some portion of that raise, knowing that you'll be making more income each year and that a little higher payment will be more and more comfortable as time goes on.  A standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28 percent of your income before taxes. This debt-to-income ratio is called the "housing ratio" or "front-end ratio."  You will normally hear ranges of 25%-30%.  However, the most important thing is that you are comfortable and can see yourself comfortable for the foreseeable future with the payment.  Our practice at LaskeyHomes is to not push you beyond your comfort zone, but to allow you to make those decisions.

 

Is Buying a Home Really a Good Investment to Make?

Over time real estate ownership has proven to be probably the very best investment a person can make. There is a tangible asset, that is always going to be in demand.  While real estate goes through up and down cycles, it's easy to look at the real estate market over time and see that a majority of time real estate has appreciated well.

 

How Much Money do I have to Have to Buy a Home?

There are many different types of loan programs that range from $0 down to 20% down.  Depending on your income, credit scores, debt to income ratios and many other factors will determine how much money you have to have to buy a home.  Some of the lower down payment programs in our area are: CHFA Loans, where a buyer is given assistance through grant money to purchase a home. FHA requires 3.5% down to buy a home, however that can be through gift money.  USDA loans in the more outlying areas provide 100% financing. If you are active duty or a veteran you may qualify for a VA loan, requiring 0% down. Conventional loans start at 3% down.  The best thing to do is to talk to a lender about your particular situation and see what fits you the best.  

Worth noting is that when you buy a home you have down payment costs as well as closing costs.  All closing costs can be paid by the seller of the home and we often negotiate that into the transaction.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Should I Wait?

No one can answer that question with 100% certainty; however, those that answered that question last year at this time and decided to wait have probably found that homes they are interested in have gone up 5% - 10% in our market. Rates are still low for mortgages.  It's more competitive for the buyer right now because of lower inventory, but the right home can still be affordable and you can begin the process of owning an appreciating asset.

We would love to meet with you and answer any other questions you might have about buying.  In fact, if you would like, contact us and we'll be happy to provide you a Home Buying Guide that takes you through the process of buying that first home.

Nervous about being a first time home buyer? You will always have a certain degree of anxiety in the home buying process; however, we have been through this process hundreds of times and can provide you the assurance throughout the process to calm the anxiety.  Give us a call today!

What Kind of Home Can I get for my Desired Price?

$0-$200,000

$200,000-$250,000

$250,000-$300,000

$300,000-$350,000

 

April 3, 2017

Pikes Peak Area Real Estate Weekly Report

Record Breaking Sales Continue

The Pikes Peak Area real estate market continues to break records.  All price points are up in year-to-date sales, with the exception of $0-$299,999.  You may wonder why that is so.  We have been experiencing severe inventory shortages in those price-points which have kept the numbers down.  Part of that is the increasing prices in general and increased prices through multiple offers on homes.  

As you can see there is only about a 2 week supply of homes available, up to $300,000, if home sales continue at the pace they have been going.  When you get to the $300,000-$500,000 range it stretches out to about 5 weeks.  

What does this mean for you?

If you are thinking about selling your home; it's obviously a great time to consider selling. We are heading into what are traditionally the "selling months" of real estate in the Pikes Peak Area real estate market, so inventory may increase and along with the increase of inventory, the competition for buyers may increase.  There are some reasons that now can be ideal:

  • If you go under contract now - you will probably close in 30-45 days.  Sellers are in the drivers seat right now and if you need 60 days, that can often times be arranged.
  • If you go under contract now - you may hit the buying end of the market when there is more inventory coming on, which consequently may provide more choices and less multiple offer situations.
  • If you go under contract now - the comps that an appraiser uses are beginning to catch up with the market activity, so your home may be more likely to appraise easily.
  • If you have thought about moving from the $300,000 and under market to the next tier of pricing, you potentially could be in an incredible position with the sale of yours, as well as purchasing at a price point that is less competitive.

If you are interested in finding out more:

If you are wondering what your home might bring, we are more than happy to offer you a complimentary market analysis for your home, as well as set up a search for you on what your ideal would be for a new home.  Click here for your home evaluation.