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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 11.6.17

by Harry Salzman

November 6, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

SOME THINGS TO CELEBRATE AND SOME TO CONSIDER…

With Veterans Day this week, I want to send a big thank you for all my friends, clients and eNewsletter readers who served in the Armed Forces for this great country of ours. 

Living in Colorado Springs, with the Air Force Academy literally in my backyard and several other military bases located here, I can’t help but be reminded daily of how grateful I am for the men and women who have served and continue to serve.  It is because of them that I can go to sleep at night knowing they are on constant watch and alert for events such as the recent terror attack in New York City. 

I have nothing but the utmost respect and gratitude for all Veterans and want to give them a BIG SHOUT OUT here.

And kudos for Colorado Springs...  Realtor.com analyzed 32,000 Zip codes based on factors like the time it takes properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each ZIP code and coming in at number 7 on the list of Hottest Zip codes is our Zip code 80922.

Now something to ponder…the proposed TAX REFORM BILL recently sent to Congress. 

As most of you know, I refrain from political rhetoric in this eNewletter and will continue to do so.  However, when something is proposed that will affect all homeowners I feel it is my responsibility to share it with you.  There are several proposals in this bill that will directly affect those of you who presently own and homes and those of you who are considering a first time purchase. 

One of the issues is the proposed reduction of mortgage interest deduction over $500,000 and property taxes.  These deductions are essential to many American homeowners. 

Another issue that indirectly affects homeowners and potential homeowners is the proposed elimination of both medical cost and student loan interest deductions. It is already difficult enough for graduates to purchase a home due to the high student loan debt.  If they cannot deduct the interest paid on those loans it will certainly add to the difficulty in affordability for those folks. 

What can you do?  Please write your Congressmen and let them know this is NOT acceptable.  If enough of us take a stand it will force them to see that these issues are of great importance.

Thank you.  And now I’m off my soapbox.

 

STATISTICS AND GOOD NEWS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

The most recent report from PPAR came out on November 3rd and shows that  homes are selling at 99.5% of listing price and a very low average of 28 days on the market. This trend is continuing to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making.

With homes still selling within days of being listed, if you are planning to sell your home, you need to know where you are planning to go next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

Let me remind you again that the hard reality today is:  If you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will

As much as I hate for my clients to face disappointment per a possibility of multiple offers, it’s becoming a regular thing.  That’s why you need to keep an open mind to look at properties in areas where you might have not considered in order to find what you want, need and can afford.  Even when it comes to purchasing a newly constructed home, I’m finding that lots are going quickly and with multiple offers, so making an informed decision is essential no matter what you are seeking.

Homeownership rates are continuing to rise in this tight market as more folks are finding a way to purchase a home despite all of the above-mentioned obstacles.  This can be partially attributed to the high rental rates but most likely because prices are quickly escalating and interest rates are sure to follow.  Folks just don’t want to be left out if at all possible.

Despite all this, there are still homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  If you are in the market—either as a first-time buyer, as a trade-up buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

For more details on the local October 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

SALES AND PRICES KEEP ESCALATING DESPITE LOW INVENTORY

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary that total sales numbers year-over-year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 13.0% and up 15.3% for Condo/Townhomes.

Year-over-year, new listings are up 8.4% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 14.9% for Condo/Townhomes. It appears that those who have been thinking of listing their home, are beginning to realize that it is certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember if you are considering listing your home that it’s likely to sell fast, so once again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the October 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts.

In comparing October 2017 to October 2016 in PPAR:

                Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,320, Up 8.4%
  • Number of Sales are 1,431, Up 13.0%
  • Average Sales Price is $317,112, Up 7.9%
  • Median Sales Price is $280,538, Up 9.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 1,939, Down 12.9%
  • Months Supply is 1.8, down 1.0

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 185, Up 14.9%
  • Number of Sales are 211, Up 15.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $199,881, Up 6.7%
  • Median Sales Price is $195,000, Up 12.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 119, Down 40.5%
  • Months Supply is 0.6, down 2.6

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  October 2017                        October 2016

Black Forest                            $510,000                              $502,500                    

Briargate                                  $369,500                              $352,000           

Central                                     $239,000                              $204,000

East                                          $239,925                              $215,000

Fountain Valley:                      $260,000                              $224,500

Manitou Springs:                    $383,000                              $270,250

Marksheffel:                             $321,955                             $271,450

Northeast:                                $284,500                              $255,000

Northgate:                                $449,900                              $418,857           

Northwest:                               $413,500                              $338,850           

Old Colorado City:                  $266,200                              $219,450

Powers:                                    $275,000                              $255,000

Southwest:                              $331,000                              $345,000

Tri-Lakes:                                 $441,000                              $464,669

West:                                        $267,500                              $257,900

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

If you have any questions about these reports and how they might relate to you and your future housing plans, please give me a call at 593.1000.

 

METRO HOME PRICES MAINTAIN FAST GROWTH AND COLORADO SPRINGS IS 40% ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE

Low inventories are continuing to contribute to the escalating prices nationwide. In the just published third quarter list from NAR, the Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for 177 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) increased 5.3% year-over-year. 

The good news for those of us in Colorado Springs is that our median sales price year-over-year was 7.3%--40% higher than the national average.

According to Lawrence Yun, this could have been even better had there been more homes for sale.  “The stock market’s climb to new record highs, the continued stretch of outstanding job growth and mortgage rates under 4 percent kept homebuyers demand at a very robust level throughout the summer,” he said.  “Unfortunately, the pace of new listings was unable to replace what was quickly sold.  Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had to outbid others in order to close on a home.  The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

He added that “affordability pressures are frustratingly occurring in places where jobs are plentiful and incomes are rising.  Without significant boost in new and existing inventory to alleviate price growth, job creation could slow in high cost areas in upcoming years if residents begin exiling to more affordable parts of the country.”

This is exactly why so many are looking to buy in the Pikes Peak area.  Denver home prices are beginning to drive folks further south when looking for a home, which, while helping keep our home prices on the upswing, is also contributing to the low inventory. 

For a look at the entire list of 177 MSAs, please click here.

 

HOME PRICES SEEM TO BE UNSTOPPABLE.  WILL THEY STAY THAT WAY?

Rismedia, 11.1.17

According to S&P Down Jones Indices Chairman of the Index Committee and Managing Director, David M. Blitzer, “Home prices appear to be unstoppable.  Most prices across the rest of the economy are barely moving compared to housing.  Over the last year the consumer price index rose 2.2 percent, driven largely by energy costs.  Aside from oil, the only other major item with price gains close to housing was hospital services, which were up 4.6 percent.  Wages climbed 3.6 percent in the year to August.”

Blitzer said that the ongoing rise in home prices raise questions of why prices are climbing and whether they will continue to outpace most of the economy.  “Currently, low mortgage rates, combined with an improving economy, are supporting home prices.  Low interest rates raise the value of both real and financial long-lived assets,” he added.

“The price gains are not simply a rebound from the financial crisis,” he says.  “Nationally and in nine of the 20 cities in the recent S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Indices Report, home prices have reached all time highs; however, home prices will not rise forever.  Measures of affordability are beginning to slide, indicating that the pool of buyers is shrinking.  The Federal Reserve is pushing short-term interest rates upward and mortgage rates are likely to follow over time, removing a key factor supporting rising home prices.”

Bottom line?  NOW is the time to make your move if you’ve been waiting.  Prices will continue to rise and interest rates are sure to do likewise.  If you’ve even been thinking about purchasing residential real estate, either to sell and trade up or for a first time purchase, wait no longer.  Give me a call at 593.1000 and let’s see how we can make this a reality for you.

 

TODAY’S BUYERS AND SELLERS—INFOGRAPHICS YOU MIGHT FIND INTERESTING

NAR, 10.30.17

 

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UPDATE FROM THE UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM (10.20.17)

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business

As always, I am providing you a look at the report I receive from the UCCS Economic Forum, which will give you not only the “Big Picture” of the U.S. Economy, but also how things are shaping up locally. 

To view the report, please click here If you have any questions, please give me a holler.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.18.17

by Harry Salzman

October 18, 2017

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

THIS IS A BIT LATE BECAUSE…

I was hoping to include the comprehensive neighborhood reports are usually in the 2nd eNewletter of the month, but they have not been produced by PPAR as of this morning and I did not want to delay sending this.

Any one of you who would like a copy of the detailed report, or simply the page covering your individual neighborhood, please send me an email and I will have it sent to you directly.

Business is still going at a record pace and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to a particular “buying season” anymore.  Starter homes are continuing to receive multiple offers, some over listing price and they are on the market for a very short time—sometimes just hours. 

This can be discouraging to first time buyers and others who want to sell and trade up but there are lots of ways to help improve your chances and working with me is number one on that list. 

I have seen it all in my 45+ years in the local residential real estate arena and know the ins and outs of the business.  I can help from beginning to end—from finding properties that meet your individual needs, wants and budget to recommending lenders to obtain pre-approvals and then writing an offer that will most certainly get noticed, if not accepted the first time.  

If you, a family member or co-worker need help in making your residential real estate dreams come true, my special brand of customer service is simply a phone call or email away.  I can be reached at 593.100 or at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

 

MILLENNIALS’ NEW WEAPON IN BIDDING WARS:  A PARENT’S HOME EQUITY

The Wall Street Journal, 10.10.17

Parents are refinancing their own homes to help their children compete as all-cash buyers in hot housing markets. When the purchase closes, the children pay the parents back.

This has been referred to as the mortgage merry-go-round:  Parents refinance their own home to fund the full cost of their son or daughter’s home.  This allows the child to compete as a “desirable all-cash buyer” in areas such as Colorado Springs where bidding wars are common and we find that many sellers today often prefer cash transactions because they can close quickly without making a deal contingent on financing.  Then, when the purchase closes, the new home is refinanced by the child and the parents are paid back.

This strategy is also indicative of how hard it is for most millennials to get into their “starter home”, where competition is the fiercest.  Even those with high paying jobs and large down payments are losing out, most especially in hot real estate markets such as ours.

Certainly, this will not work for everyone.  Parents must have enough equity in their homes to make it worthwhile, and the same goes for the child’s new home.  And both parties must be willing to take on the added hassle and cost of two loans.  Additionally, mixing family and money can be tricky—especially when large sums and people’s homes are involved.

Here are a couple more things to keep in mind:

  1. Loan Options.  Parents have several options for using the equity in their homes, including a cash-out refinance, which allows the borrowers to refinance an exiting mortgage plus an additional amount and take the difference out in cash; a home-equity loan, which is a loan against the value of a home, including a second mortgage; or a HELOC, which works like a credit card, allowing homeowners to qualify ahead of time and withdraw funds when the child is ready to close.

 

  1. Finance Fail.  The biggest risk, however, is that the children will not qualify for a loan—or one as big as expected—especially if they pay above the asking price or the market cools before obtaining the loan.  To avoid this, let the lender know your plans ahead of time and if possible, use one loan officer for both transactions.  Also, some lenders want buyers to live in a home for at least 3 to 6 months prior to refinancing.  An alternative here would be a “delayed-financing mortgage”, which allows a buyer to purchase the home in cash and refinance the day after closing for up to 80% of the value of the home.

 

  1. Think Like a Lender.  Parents should do the same kind of due diligence as a lender, including vetting children’s finances.  It might be best to work with a lawyer to draw up a family loan agreement setting out repayment terms and other stipulations.  For example, parents may want to ask for 5% of the eventual sale price.  Buyers may also want to get a home inspection.

 

  1. Consider the Costs.  A purchase mortgage or a refinance would typically cost about 2% of the loan value.  Most closing costs would apply to two loans instead of one.  And while repayment penalties are rare on primary-residence homes, they may apply to investment properties.

 

  1. Tax Tips.  Gifts of more than $14,000 per person per year are subject to federal gift taxes for the giver, which could apply to both parents and children.  Both parties should consult a tax professional to determine how this type of transaction could affect them.

 

DOWN PAYMENT MYTHS DEBUNKED:  An Infographic:

 

THE COST OF WAITING TO BUY

Keeping current matters, 9.29.17

I get asked this question a lot:  “Should I buy now or wait?” and my answer is always the same.  It all depends on your individual circumstances.  That said, in general, and most especially in today’s escalating market prices with the good possibility of mortgage interest rates rising in the near future, there’s no better time to buy than NOW.

Here is an illustrations explaining why:

 

Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.4% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.0% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to.

So, if you are ready, willing and even thinking about buying a new home—whether to sell and trade up or buy for the first time or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later and let’s see how we can make this a reality for you and your family.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com.

 

AND FINALLY, A LITTLE BIT OF BRAGGING…

As most of you know, I was in Chicago for an International relocation Conference the last week of September.  The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) held a formal dinner on September 29th, which I was unable to attend.  To my great surprise and with much gratitude, I found out that I was awarded the “Extra Mile Award” at that dinner.

According to PPAR, this award was presented for:

“Excellence and service to the real estate industry.  Harry Salzman has served as a member of the Government Affairs Committee (of PPAR) for over 20 years.  As part of the association’s advocacy efforts he has represented PPAR in city and county with his famous statistical and economic outlook, making him and PPAR the go to source for housing statistics in the region.  In addition to his advocacy efforts, Harry has been a valuable member of PPAR’s investment task force.”

I have been doing what I do for more than 45 years in the local real estate arena and know that my clients enjoy getting my special brand of customer service.  Knowing that people trust me enough to allow me to play a big part in their family’s biggest financial investment and that I can help them make their residential real estate dreams come true is a reward in itself.  To be able to do the work I love is also a reward in itself.  This special award from PPAR and being recognized by my local peers is the “icing on the cake” and is special to me and I wanted to share it with you—because, let’s face it, without all of you, an award like this would not have been possible.

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.3.17

by Harry Salzman

October 3, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                        A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

 

AS I BEGIN TO WRITE OF ALL GOOD THINGS, TROUBLING THOUGHTS DISTURB ME

There’s lots of good news to share about the residential real estate market, but it’s difficult to get the events of the past few weeks out of my head.  I recently returned from an international relocation conference in Chicago and learned of so many positive things about corporate staff building, which of course translates into new workers being relocated to all areas of the country. It was a very positive meeting and left me feeling recharged and full of new possibilities for the Colorado Springs market.

Last week was the beginning of the Jewish New Year, a time of reflection and rededication to helping achieve peace, equality in all areas and to spread goodwill to mankind.  It’s an uplifting experience and leaves you feeling that all things are possible if we all work to make that happen.

Then came the Las Vegas massacre on top of the devastating hurricane damage in Houston, Florida and now Puerto Rico.  The world as we know it is changing in so many ways and it can be very disturbing.  I’m so grateful to all the first responders everywhere who continue to risk their lives everyday to save those unable to help themselves.  Their sacrifices are many and a great debt is owed to one and all.

My heart goes out to all the families affected in this very troubling time.  There really are no words for this.  If you or anyone of your family or friends is suffering a loss, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

 

NOW FOR SOME STATISTIC AND GOOD NEWS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate

Homes are selling at 99.6% of listing price and a VERY LOW average of 24 days on the market. It’s still unbelievable and continues to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making.  It doesn’t appear that this pressure is going to subside in the near future.

In September 2017 Colorado Springs was once more listed in America’s Top 20 Performing Markets at number 18 in the Realtor.com rankings. 

With homes selling within days of being listed, if you are planning to sell your home, you need to know where you are planning to go next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

Let me remind you again that the hard reality today is:  If you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will

As much as I hate for my clients to face disappointment per a possibility of multiple offers, it’s becoming a regular thing.  That’s why you need to keep an open mind to look at properties in areas where you might have not considered in order to find what you want, need and can afford.  Even when it comes to purchasing a newly constructed home, I’m finding that lots are going quickly so making an informed decision is essential no matter what you are seeking.

That being said, there are still homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  If you are in the market—either as a first-time buyer, as a trade-up buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

For more details on the local September 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

SALES AND PRICES KEEP ESCALATING DESPITE LOW INVENTORY

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary that total sales numbers year-over-year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 9.3% and up 20.4% for Condo/Townhomes.

Year-over-year, new listings are up 3.4% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 11.5% for Condo/Townhomes. If you’ve been thinking of listing your home, it’s certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember that it’s likely to sell fast, so once again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the September 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts

In comparing September 2017 to September 2016 in PPAR:

                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,442, Up 3.4%
  • Number of Sales are 1,509, Up 9.3%
  • Average Sales Price is $309,698, Up 6.3%
  • Median Sales Price is $275,000, Up 4.2%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,145, Down 12.2%
  • Months Supply is 1.4

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 177, Down 11.5%
  • Number of Sales are 254, Up 20.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $217,732, Up 9,5%
  • Median Sales Price is $197,000, Up 12.6%
  • Total Active Listings are 112, Down 49.3%
  • Months Supply is 0.4

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  September 2017                    September 2016

Black Forest                            $495,000                              $475,000                     

Briargate                                  $337,500                              $345,750           

Central                                      $220,000                              $204,500

East                                           $245,000                              $218,500

Fountain Valley:                       $252,500                              $229,700

Manitou Springs:                     $392,000                              $385,000

Marksheffel:                             $288,750                             $267,888

Northeast:                                $369,950                              $250,000

Northgate:                                $460,381                              $430,525         

Northwest:                               $380,000                              $369,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $231,000                              $191,500

Powers:                                    $275,000                              $250,500

Southwest:                              $287,000                              $292,500

Tri-Lakes:                                $437,125                              $411,000

West:                                        $273,500                              $270,000

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

If you have any questions about these reports and how they might relate to you and your future housing plans, please give me a call at 593.1000.

 

FIVE REASONS TO SELL THIS FALL

Keeping current matters, 9.18.17

As I mentioned earlier, NOW is a great time to list your home if selling to trade up is in your present plans.  There are lots of buyers out there and with the low number of listings, your home is sure to get noticed.

Here are Five Good Reasons:

 

  1. Demand Is Strong.  The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country.  These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now.  More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Taking advantage of this buyer activity is to your advantage.

 

  1. There is Less Competition Now.  Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market nationally and it’s considerably less than that here locally. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.  This is great news for homeowners who have  gained equity as their values have increased.  However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but that number has jumped to an average of almost nine years since 2008.  There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation.  As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will have the freedom to move.

Since the choices buyers have will continue to increase, NOW is a great time to sell.  Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to the market before you decide to sell if that’s something you are thinking about now.

 

  1. The Process Will be Quicker.  Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for a mortgage and writing an offer that gets noticed the first time.  This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping and sellers know they have qualified buyers.  According to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 43 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January,

 

  1. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up.  If your next move will be to a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move-up!  The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market.  This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own

Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.0% over the next year according to CoreLogic.  If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars—both in down payment and mortgage payment—if you wait.

 

  1. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life.  Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting.  Is money more important than being with family?  Is money more important than your health?  Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you can answer those questions.  You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market.  Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you’ve always dreamed of.

 

A COUPLE OF PICTURES FROM CHICAGO

 

Me in front of the National Association of Realtors Building in Chicago

 

There was a contest for Chicago businesses to decorate “Police Dogs” for PAWS Chicago This one was designed by The National Association of Realtors and was outside their building.  I loved their slogan:

“Supporting all who serve—whether two legged or four—to find a safe home.”

 

REMODELING THAT CAN OFFER BIG PAYBACKS AT RESALE

Realtormag.org  9.28.17

Kitchen renovations and upgrades are among the top remodeling projects likely to add value to a home and most likely to appeal to home shoppers according to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report conducted by the NAR.

Fifty-four percent of Realtors surveyed reported suggesting to sellers that they complete a kitchen upgrade before attempting to sell.  Twenty-three percent of real estate pros also said that a kitchen upgrade helped close a sale.

The report estimates that homeowners stand to recover 57%--or %20,000—of the $35,000 or so of the cost to take on a kitchen upgrade. 

Not only do kitchen upgrades just offer the potential for some bang for your buck at resale, but it has also been found to make homeowners more happy.  81% of remodeling consumers surveyed said they had a greater desire to be at home since completing their kitchen upgrade project and 81% also felt a major sense of accomplishment after the renovation.

The following chart shows you other ways in which to get greater joy from your home while recouping much of the cost at the time of sale.

 

HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY:

A doctor vacationing on the Riviera met an old lawyer friend and asked him what he was doing there.

The lawyer replied, “Remember that lousy real estate I bought? Well, it caught fire, so here I am with the fire insurance proceeds. What are you doing here?”

The doctor replied, “Remember that lousy real estate I had in Mississippi? Well, the river overflowed, and here I am with the flood insurance proceeds.” 

The lawyer looked puzzled. “Gee,” he asked, “how did you start the flood?”

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.19.17

by Harry Salzman

September 19, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

          A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

FALL IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER…

What a beautiful time of year.  The leaves are just starting to turn gorgeous shades of red, yellow and orange and the cooler mornings are a reminder that soon it will be fall. 

As you will see in the following reports, the residential real estate market is NOT cooling off and I’ve had quite a busy summer.  Those of us in the business have finally accepted that there is no longer a “traditional” buying and selling season.  With the shortage of listings and escalating prices, I’m finding that folks are buying and selling when it is “right” for them.  It is taking a little longer to find the home that can fit your needs, wants and budget and it doesn’t make sense to put your present home on the market until you find another one.  Available homes are selling so quickly for the most part that you don’t want to be faced with nowhere to go in that scenario. 

That being said--there are still many home options available in most price ranges and in most neighborhoods.  It may take a bit longer to find what you want, or you may turn to new construction as an option, but you will find the perfect home for you. 

A word to the wise—if you are considering new construction--sooner is better than later because with all the rebuilding that’s going to be necessary due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, prices of building materials are starting to escalate and availability of these materials will be scarce.  That’s going to affect home prices all around the country for some time into the future.

If you are thinking of selling to trade up, buying for the first time or for investment purposes, just give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me help you make your real estate dreams come true.

 

AUGUST 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

These reports contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports I shared and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 5.9%, a good sign that our housing market is still continuing to appreciate.  The shortage of listings is helping to drive up prices and if there were more listings, more people would be moving—either selling to trade up or buying for the first time and for investment purposes.

In the recently published August 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were down 1.7% for the single-family/patio homes and up 4.1% for condo/townhomes. 

With the “traditional” selling season over, NOW is a great time to list your home, as there are still plenty of buyers who have not found “the” home for which they are looking.  The only drawback, as I’ve mentioned time and again, is that you need to have an idea of where you want to go because your home will likely sell much quicker than it might have in the recent past.

     The “Activity Snapshot” shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 11.5%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 5.9%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 24.2%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Northwest, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

 

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.  If you’re thinking of a move or looking for investment property—I’m just a phone call away.

For questions about any of these reports or just to find out how I can put my special brand of customer service to work for you, please give me a call.

DO YOU KNOW THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME?

Keeping current matters, 9.6.17

According the latest edition of Corelogic’s Home Price Index, home prices nationally have appreciated 6.7% over last year and 0.9% month-over-month.

In the release of the report, this was the headline:

National Home Prices Now 50% Above March 2011 Bottom”

This is great news for homeowners as the market has come a long way since 2011.

Nearly 79% of homeowners with a mortgage in the USA now have significant equity in their homes (defined as over 20%) according to the latest Equity Report, also from Corelogic.  What is interesting though, is that not every homeowner knows just how much their home’s value has appreciated.

The report indicated that Denver lead the way with 8.7% appreciation over the last year, and we are not far behind.  Nationally, Corelogic forecasts that home values will increase another 5.0% by this time next year.

Bottom Line:  Do you know what your home is worth today? 

If you have refrained from looking to sell and trade up because you don’t know how much equity you have in your present home, now is a great time to find out.  Just give me a call and I can get this information for you and help you decide if now it the time to put your hard earned equity to work for you.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS NEEDS YOUR HOUSE…

Keeping current matters, 9.7.17

You read that right!  The biggest challenge in today’s residential real estate market is the lack of inventory.  We are at a record low in listings and that’s driving up prices while making it difficult for some folks to find a new home.

Here’s what four industry economists are saying in this regard:

“The underlying fundamental issue is an overwhelming lack of supply. The supply of newly constructed homes is also sagging, adding to the supply challenges.  Over the last eight years, housing demand has increased by 5.9 million, but the net new number of housing units has only increased by 3.5 million.”

  • Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist

“Everyone has been talking about tight inventory but I think we are okay calling it a straight up inventory crisis at this point.  We just don’t have enough homes.”

  • Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist

“Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

  • Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist

“Housing prices today are higher than they were at the peak in the summer of 2006, near-record-low mortgage rates have boosted housing demand, and sales volume is robust.  The spoiler is the lean inventory of houses for sale.”

  • Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist

What does this mean to you?  If you are even considering selling your house soon, now may be the time to get it on the market.  The lack of competition could lead to a faster sale at a higher price.

 

BE SURE TO REGISTER TODAY FOR THE UCCS SOUTHERN COLORADO ECONOMIC FORUM

September 29th is the date of this year’s UCCS Southern Colorado Economic Forum at The Antler’s Hotel.  This perpetually sold out event is one you won’t want to miss.

For more details and to register, please go to: www.UCCSEconomicForum.com

 

HARRY’S THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: 

-The older generation's dream was to pay off the mortgage. The younger generation's dream is to get one.

-Home sickness is what you feel every month when the mortgage is due.

-By the time you pay for a home in the suburbs, it isn't.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.5.17

by Harry Salzman

September 5, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

         A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Unique Brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

LOTS TO PONDER OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND

I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday Weekend.  I’ve got lots of great news to share but just wanted to take a minute to mention events of this past week. 

Watching Hurricane Harvey wreck havoc on the Texas coast was just heartbreaking, as are the fires all over the western part of the country.  So many people have been displaced and it will be a very long time before these areas see any sense of normalcy. 

Having lived through several devastating fires right here in Colorado Springs only a few years ago, I can truly emphasize with those who are suffering at this time.  As with our fires, it is heartwarming to see first responders and so many others from all over the country jumping in to do whatever they can to help.  Tragedies like this tend to bring out the very best in the American people, and at times, the worst.  Price gouging and theft only make it harder on those affected to survive the day to day of their life at the moment. 

Fortunately there are far more enlightening stories, such as the help of the Cajun Navy from Louisiana and others who risk their own lives to save others.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and those who are still threatened by the fires in other parts of the country.

 

INVESTOR SNAPSHOT” REINFORCES MY BELIEF IN THE VALUE OF HOMEOWNERSHIP

PPAR, 8.17

As you know by now, I not only sell Residential real estate, I also am an “Investor” and have always put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.  Having been an Investment Banker in my earlier life, I have always followed the financial markets.  Time and again, investing in real estate has consistently provided a better return over stocks and bonds in the long haul. 

The following “Investor Snapshot” recently published by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) illustrates the “Active Listings”, “Average Sales Price” and “Median Sales Price” of both Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes for the past 20 years.  This is published once each year in August.

To save you time—I did the math!!  Over a 20-year period for Single Family/Patio Homes, there was an average annual increase of 6.11% in the Average Sales Price and 7.18% for the Median Sales Price!

For Condo/Townhomes, there was an average annual increase over 20 years of 5.36% for the Average Sales Price and 6.63% for the Median Sales Price!

A point worth noting is that the period between July 2016 to July 2017 had the least number of closings per year for the past 20 years.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of many, if any, other investments that can provide that consistent rate of return.  This chart most certainly demonstrates what I’ve been talking about for years.  If you have any questions, please give me a call.

AND NOW FOR SOME STATISTICS…

Homes are selling at 100.4% of listing price and a VERY LOW average of 23 days on the market. It’s still unbelievable and continues to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making.  And I’m afraid that pressure isn’t going to subside any time soon.

Consider this:  Two new studies have concluded that Colorado Springs continues to have one of the nation’s strongest housing markets. 

As I mentioned last issue, WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked our city as having the 19th best housing market out of 300 cities.  And among 62 cities with populations of 300,000 or more, the Springs came in at number 5.  In a similar study last year, the Springs’ housing market ranked number 28 in the nation and number 7 among cities over 300,000.

In a second study released last week, ATTOM Data Solutions, a California real estate company, listed Colorado Springs as Number 1 out of 122 metro areas as a place where homes are likely to sell—either to newcomers or to trade-up buyers.  ATTOM’s first such index was published in June and the Springs also ranked number 1 in that study.

What does this mean to us?  Well, it certainly is great that Colorado Springs is finally getting the recognition it so richly deserves, but it isn’t going to make things easy when it comes to buying a home—either for the first time or for those wanting to sell and trade up.

Another reminder—if you are planning to sell your home, you need to know where you are planning to go next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

The hard reality today is if you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will

As much as I hate for my clients to face disappointment per a possibility of multiple offers, it’s becoming a regular thing.  That’s why you need to keep an open mind to look at properties in areas where you might have not considered in order to find what you want, need and can afford.  Even when it comes to purchasing a newly constructed home, I’m finding that lots are going quickly so making an informed decision is essential no matter what you are seeking.

That being said, there are still homes available in most neighborhoods and in most price ranges.  If you are in the market—either as a first-time buyer, as a trade-up buyer or for investment purposes, please give me a call sooner than later.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or by email at Harry@HarrySalzman.com .

For more details on the local August 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

SALES AND PRICES KEEP ESCALATING DESPITE LOW INVENTORY

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary that total sales numbers year-over-year in Single Family/Patio Homes are up 6.8% and up 13.3% for Condo/Townhomes.

Year-over-year, new listings are up 1.3% for Single Family/Patio Homes and up 5.0% for Condo/Townhomes. If you’ve been thinking of listing your home, it’s certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember that it’s likely to sell fast, so once again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the August 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing August 2017 to August 2016 in PPAR:

                       

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,716, Up 7.6%
  • Number of Sales are 1,658, Up 14.2%
  • Average Sales Price is $313,781, Up 6.1%
  • Median Sales Price is $282,750, Up 6.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,284, Down 14.1%
  • Months Supply is 1.4%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 246, Up 1.7%
  • Number of Sales are 242, Down, 0.4%
  • Average Sales Price is $200,017, Up 5.7%
  • Median Sales Price is $189,250, Up 11.6%
  • Total Active Listings are 140, Down 39.9%
  • Monthly Supply is 0.6%

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                          Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                      August 2017                          August 2016

Black Forest                            $551,500                              $470,000                     

Briargate                                  $360,000                              $349,000           

Central                                     $219,250                              $217,450

East                                          $240,000                              $220,000

Fountain Valley:                      $249,900                              $232,500

Manitou Springs:                    $346,500                              $326,500

Marksheffel:                             $294,950                             $254,900

Northeast:                                $280,000                              $261,250

Northgate:                                $422,354                              $438,800           

Northwest:                               $375,000                              $355,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $258,500                              $202,500

Powers:                                    $274,450                              $250,000

Southwest:                              $340,000                              $299,500

Tri-Lakes:                                 $474,900                              $422,500

West:                                        $280,000                              $284,950

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.21.17

by Harry Salzman

August 21, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                               A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my unique brand of Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

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DOUBLE RAINBOW FROM MY OFFICE WINDOW…

A 90% SOLAR ECLIPSE IN COLORADO SPRINGS TODAY…

HOME PRICES ECLIPSING THE 2016 HIGH IN THE SECOND QUARTER …

ALL-IN-ALL IT’S DEFINITELY A GOOD LIFE!

A lot going on these days and with the focus on today’s total Solar Eclipse over North America, I thought I’d write once again about the “sky high” local home appreciation and what it means to you and me.

The just released quarterly National Association of Realtors (NAR) median single-family price data for 175 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) is just one more “plus” for the Colorado Springs area.  This data has been tracked by NAR since 1979 and I’m thrilled to tell you that while the average sales price of all homes in this survey increased by 6.2%, home prices in Colorado Springs increased by 9.6%.  What that means is that our local homes prices increased more than 50% over the measured average of all 175 MSAs.  Now that’s certainly something to cheer about.  If you’d like to see the complete listing, please click here.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, says home prices in most metro areas continued their fast ascent in the second quarter because supply remained at pitiful levels, something we are definitely seeing in the Colorado Springs area. 

“The 2.2 million net new jobs created over the past year generated significant interest in purchasing a home in what was an extremely competitive spring buying season”, Yun said.  “Listings typically flew off the market in under a month—and even quicker in the affordable price range—in several parts of the country.  With new supply not even coming close to keeping pace, price appreciation remained swift in most markets.”

Yun added, “The glaring need for more new home construction is creating an affordability crisis that needs to be addressed by policy officials and local governments.  An increasing share of would-be buyers are being priced out of the market and are unable to experience the wealth building benefits of homeownership.”

“Mortgage rates have subsided in recent months, which has only somewhat helped take away some of the sting prospective buyers are experiencing with the deteriorating affordability conditions in many areas,” Yun said.  “Household incomes may be rising and giving consumers assurance that now is a good time to buy, but these severe inventory shortages will likely continue to be a drag on sales potential the second half of the year.”

The Pikes Peak area is most definitely one of those to which Yun is referring.  I can’t ever remember a time when home sales have moved as quickly and with so many multiple offers in most price ranges.  I can barely list a home on MLS and it’s been shown multiple times and the sellers have received more than one offer in record time.  While this is great news, it places a lot of stress on both buyers and sellers.  Yes, understanding that “time is of the essence” is extremely important to all parties.

Sellers have to know where they are planning to move because oftentimes the buyers want to close quickly.  That’s one of the reasons I’ve encouraged my clients to purchase their “next” home prior to listing their present one, if applicable. 

Buyers, on the other hand, need to know what they need, want and can afford prior to the home search, as there is little time to make a decision when they find a home they like.  If they don’t make an offer, someone else will.  That’s today’s reality and unless the listing shortage goes away, it’s not likely to get any better.

Mortgage rates are still historically low, and with the stock market dropping lately, folks are seeing that home appreciation is most definitely outpacing the market over the long haul.  I’ve been telling you that for years and recent history has proved it time and again.

Many of my clients are adding one or more rental properties to their investment portfolios and with good reason.  Aside from the obvious home equity appreciation, there are still a number of people who cannot or choose not to own a home and those folks need to rent.  Investment properties are helping fill that need for those renters. 

Rents are at an all time high nationally and Colorado Springs has one of the highest percentage increases in rental rates in the country.  This is pushing those who had not considered homeownership in the past into the category of potential buyers.  Millennials and others who have not been real active in the housing market are beginning to move in that direction.  Let’s face it—you’re paying someone’s mortgage one way or the other—why not let that be your own?  Besides the obvious tax deductions and equity building, at least you know that your rent is not going to increase every time the lease is up. 

So there you go.  Lots of reasons to buy and trade-up, buy for investment purposes or buy for the first time.  I’m here to help and advise you with it all.  In todays market it’s more important than ever to have someone with my special brand of customer service who has experience in the bidding wars and can help you stand out in this competitive market.

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com sooner than later and let’s see how we can make your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

HOUSING INVENTORY IS AT LOWEST IN TWO DECADES

Rismedia.com, 7.4.17, 8.10.17

Housing inventory is officially on its longest downward stretch in two decades with eleven percent less homes on the market year-over-year in June, according to the latest data from realtor.com. 

According to that data, sixty-three percent of homeowners surveyed recently say their current home meets their needs, with baby boomer homeowners especially unwilling to move—a problem for succeeding generations, who are missing out on the 33 million condos and single-family houses boomers currently own.  And 85 percent of those boomers surveyed say they have no plans to list their home for sale in the next year.  Sixty-five percent of Gen X homeowners and 52 percent of millennial homeowners echoed the same sentiment.

However, 35 percent of millennial homeowners surveyed have plans to list their home for sale in the next year and if their plans pan out, the housing market could gain a boost in entry-level stock.

Colorado Springs’ housing market remains HOT—and is holding at number 8 in the realtor.com “hotness index” with the median age of housing inventory at a low 33 days. 

Again, what this means is that if you’ve considered listing your home, NOW is a great time.  The only caveat is again—be prepared for a quick sale and know what your next move will be.

 

SURVEY SHOWS HOMEOWNERSHIP IS A SOUND INVESTMENT—IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT

Rismedia.com, 7.12.17

With home prices nationally at an all time high, many folks believe in the wealth-building potential of homeownership but are also struggling to reconcile the outcome with its cost, according to a new survey by NAR.

In fact, affordability was identified by respondents as one of their top five challenges, ahead of employment security.  And 44 percent of them report the lack of affordable housing in their community as a “big” or “fairly big” issue. 

Some of these concerns are based on the myth that a significant down payment is required, which is not as much the case in today’s lending environment.  This is especially true for first time buyers, who are able to secure good rates with lower down payment and credit requirements than they imagine.

Despite the concern over affordable housing, this survey makes it clear that a strong majority still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own.  Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home, according to NAR President Bill Brown.

The 2017 Housing Pulse Survey results are shown below:

 

21st ANNUAL UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM IS SEPTEMBER 29

You will want to mark your calendars for the perennially sold out UCCS Economic Forum which will take place this year on Friday, September 29th at The Antlers Hotel. 

The full agenda and early registration is now available by visiting: www.UCCSEconomicForum.com

 

HARRY’S THOUGHT OF THE DAY: (with thanks to Elliot Eisenberg, the Bowtie Economist)

“Domicile Dominion”

Among western industrialized nations, Singapore’s homeownership rate is tops; 90.8%, Norway follows at 82.8%, then Iceland at 77.8%, Italy at 72.9%, Finland at 72.7%, Luxembourg at 72.5%, Belgium at 71.3%, Sweden at 70.6%, Ireland at 68.6%, Netherlands at 67.8%, Canada at 67.6%, Israel at 67.3%, Australia at 67%, France at 65%, New Zealand at 64.8% and the USA in 16th spot at 64.5%.  Including all nations, the US rates 41st.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.7.17

by Harry Salzman

August 7, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                            A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

HERE WE GO AGAIN...FORTUNATELY FOR US

I’m thrilled to keep bringing you excellent news about the local housing market as well as the accolades that are continually bestowed upon the city of Colorado Springs.

A good number of my clients have been calling about investment properties, and while it’s not quite as easy to find them as in the recent past—where there’s a will—I will try to find a way.  Interest rates are still historically low but on the upward swing and will more than likely continue that way. 

If you have considered rental property, there’s no better time than the present.  Since that’s another area of my expertise, I’d be happy to discuss the possibility of rentals with you  Give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see if this is something you might want to consider.

And now for some stats…

Homes are selling at 100.3% of listing price and a VERY LOW average of 21 days on the market.  Yes, you read that right.  It’s unbelievable and continues to put a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making. 

When selling your home, you need to know where you are going to next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of leeway to decide after the sale.  It’s best to find your next home prior to listing your present one at this time.

If you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will

That’s the hard reality these days, but it’s accurate, and the main reason you need a seasoned professional real estate agent like me who knows the process and can get an offer to the table that most likely won’t need to be revised.  That doesn’t mean it will be accepted, and not all are for one reason or another, but my track record is outstanding.  However, disappointment, much as I hate to see it for my clients, is still somewhat of a norm, especially in the under $300,000 price range. 

Colorado Springs is appearing on most of the “top” lists—hottest housing markets, best places to live, great cost of living, work/life balance and on and on.

Just this week we have even topped Denver as “one of the top 5 big cities to live in, and one of the most affordable” according to WalletHub who compared 62 cities with populations above 300,000 using several factors:  affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety. 

This is something we who live here know—it’s the best place to live and raise a family or retire, but…now the whole world is finding out and there you go.  That’s a part of what’s keeping our housing inventory so low.

For more details on the local July 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

DESPITE LOW INVENTORY, LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate IS STILL HOT

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 10.8% and 7.1% respectively for year-over-year.

New listings are up 0.6% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 18.5% for Condo/Townhomes. If you’ve been thinking of listing your home, it’s certainly going to get a lot more attention in this type of sales environment.  Just remember that it’s likely to sell fast, so again…you need to be prepared for that inevitability.

Here are some highlights from the July 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing July 2017 to July 2016 in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,943, Up 0.6%
  • Number of Sales are 1,646, Up 10.8%
  • Average Sales Price is $323,247 Up 9.9%
  • Median Sales Price is $285,000 Up 10.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,366, Down 14.9%

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 229, Down 18.5%
  • Number of Sales are 255, Up 7.1%
  • Average Sales Price is $201,662 Up 8.6%
  • Median Sales Price is $192,000 Up 15.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 163, Down 25.9%

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                          Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                        July 2017                              July 2016

Black Forest                            $480,000                              $427,500                      

Briargate                                  $390,500                              $337,450           

Central                                     $234,500                              $209,450

East                                          $240,000                              $217,500

Fountain Valley:                      $260,000                              $232,000

Manitou Springs:                    $380,000                              $375,800

Marksheffel:                             $323,000                             $257,500

Northeast:                                $265,000                              $250,000

Northgate:                                $446,928                              $415,000          

Northwest:                               $360,000                              $365,000           

Old Colorado City:                  $322,500                              $225,000

Powers:                                    $275,000                              $255,000

Southwest:                              $333,500                              $286,500

Tri-Lakes:                                $473,950                              $413,415

West:                                        $270,000                              $260,500

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP IS UP AS MARKET TURNS

The Wall Street Journal, 8.17

The homeownership rate in the USA climbed in the second quarter—a signal that the sharp downturn that began after the housing crash is beginning to reverse.

According to the Census Bureau, the homeownership rate hit 63.7% in the second quarter—a jump of nearly a full percentage point from a year ago when it reached a 50-year low of 62.9%.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at home tracker Trulia said that “The damage the great recession has done to the homeownership rate is likely reversing course.”

I’m adding my two-cents worth in saying that I believe the high rental costs are also a big contributor for many folks turning to ownership if they are at all able to do so.  Rents just keep on going up along with home prices, so it makes double sense to buy now if at all possible.  Homeowners are earning equity while paying down a mortgage on a home that they own—rather than doing the same thing for their landlord.

 

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS REAPPEAR

The Wall Street Journal, 7.16.17

First-time homebuyers accounted for 33% of all home sales in the USA in May, up from 30% a year earlier, according to the most recent data from NAR.  Once more—my opinion-- folks are finding it cheaper to buy than to rent and earning equity while doing so.

These prospective buyers are showing more interest in home purchases despite rising prices and anxiety over affordability.  Google searches related to buying a first home jumped 11 percentage points to 44% of all home-buying related search activity in 2017 compared to a year earlier, according to a study of search data conducted by Chase Home Lending.

First-time buyers are critical to the market because they bring new demand, allowing homeowners to trade up and stimulating demand for builders to construct new homes.

Demand from Millennials had been soft due to stagnant wage growth, student loan debt and their wariness about the benefits of homeownership.

So far this year, new purchasers accounted for 42% of all buying through April, up from 40% in 2016 and 31% during the lowest point of the recent housing cycle in 2011, according to the most recent data from Fannie Mae, which defines first-time buyers as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years.

Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing officer at Chase Home Lending said “I had assumed that we would see Millennials come in in force in the next two years.  They’re already here and buying today.”

While affordability still remains part of the picture, there are still homes available for first-time buyers and good incentives from lenders to help them make this a possibility. 

If you or any family member is considering a first-time home purchase, please have them call me at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me see what can be done to make this possibility a reality.

 

THREAT OF RISING MORTGAGE RATES SPUR ON NUMBER OF MORTAGE APPLICATIONS

RealtorMag. 7.19.17

Total mortgage application volume for refinancing and home purchases jumped 6.3% several weeks ago on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Borrowers appeared worried that interest rates are rising and are seeking to lock in rates as soon as they can.

While rates have been holding steady in recent weeks, the threat of increases remains a constant worry and probably for good cause.  These still historically low rates are not here to stay.  I’ve been saying this for some time but apparently borrowers are finally taking this thought to task and making their move while they can do so at today’s rates.

 

THE HIGH IMPACT OF LOW INTEREST RATES ON YOUR PURCHASING POWER

Keeping Current Matters, 7.11.17

As I just mentioned, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are still near record lows in comparison to recent history.

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Simply put, purchasing power is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend.  As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows what impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range, and planned to keep your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).  Experts are predicting that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

What does that mean to you?  Act now if you want to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS AVAILABLE BUT GOING FAST

The Sky Sox are number one in their division right now and tickets are going fast.  If you would like to enjoy a game from my front-row tickets, please give me a call so I can put them aside for you.

I have four tickets and they are free to you for the asking, based on availability.  Friday night fireworks and Sunday 50-cent hot dog days are the first to go, so call as soon as you know when you might want the tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.24.17

by Harry Salzman

July 24 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

                                A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

LET’S TALK ABOUT RENTALS FOR A MOMENT OR TWO…

The record-setting statistics that I’ve been showing you lately are continuing, but with that great news I’ve also been writing about the shortage of available listings.  That’s been affecting a number of my clients, which I’ll write more about later on.

The biggest news now is “RENTAL PROPERTIES”.  According to an article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal, “Wall Street is the New Suburban Landlord.”  What this means is that large companies are buying up homes and then renting them our rather than selling.  And many individual investors are also scooping up homes as investment properties.

Other companies are purchasing multifamily condo buildings, buying the units back from owners, and converting them into rental apartments.

The reasons are varied, but most agree that since homeownership is the lowest in five decades it’s likely to stay that way and that rent rates will continue to rise.  These same investors are “wagering that many people no longer see owning a home as an essential part of the American dream” states the Journal article.

If the Millennials and Gen Zer’s want to maintain the suburban lifestyle of the past they are going to need to rent—especially at first.  Many of these folks have substantial college debt, no down payment, no real credit, and low FICO scores.  Others don’t know where they will end up career-wise so a non-permanent solution makes sense. 

Homes are also increasing so quickly in value so what might have been affordable for first-timers could be impractical today.  Slowly rising interest rates are also beginning to slow down the market.

Even some experienced homeowners who might have recently sold their home quicker than expected and without having decided where to go could need temporary lodging for several months.  And if they were planning on moving into a newly constructed home it might not be ready just yet.

I’ve had a number of clients purchase rental properties in the past year and a half.  If that is something you have even considered—NOW is the time.  Home prices are escalating and rental prices are too—so while you’re building equity in your investment you are also collecting rent with the option to raise it at the end of a lease. 

Someone I recently spoke with has been purchasing rental properties for more than 15 years.  Recently she decided to have the homes appraised and low and behold—her equity is now more than a millions dollars.  That’s the EQUITY—not including the actual home values.  Most impressive to say the least.

Homes have been doing better than stocks, bonds, equities, etc for some time now, with few exceptions, so if you own your own home you are probably ahead of the game and happy about it.  If you owned another property you would not only be gaining equity, but most likely receiving rental income that would cover your monthly payment and then some. 

According to a study recently released by REAL Trends, Inc and NEXZUS Publishing Group, about 23 percent of residential home built for one to four families are now owned by investors.

Out of about 125 million households in the U.S., an estimated 43 million live in investor-owned housing units according to the study.  “While most real estate industry and consumer publications have focused on the impact institutional buyers have had on this rental market, the facts show that it is somewhat ordinary American families who own the majority of these investor-owned residential properties.”

There are a number of things to consider if you are interested in rental property and since I’ve been putting my money where my mouth is for many years I can give you advise and answer most questions you might have.  I can also help direct you to a qualified property manager if that is the way you want your rental property handled.  In that case, you would not have to worry about the upkeep and other duties of a “landlord” and would be paying someone else to care for your property while still receiving the benefits.

I also get asked the tax questions a lot but will always refer you to your personal accountant and/or investment advisor as I’m not qualified to give you advise in those areas.  Each person needs to see how investment property fits into their own financial portfolio and only these professionals can help you with that.

If you are anyone you know are interested in discussing how to make rental property work for you, I’d love to discuss it.  Just give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s talk.

I also am available to help those looking to rent a home if that is the option.  You can also pass on my information to anyone who might need help in that area.

My 45+ years in the local real estate arena along with my personal brand of customer service make me one of the best choices you can make for yourself, a friend or a family member when it comes to any form of residential real estate

I can you help buy, sell, buy new construction and buy for investment purposes.  I do it all.  I do it well.  And I do it with extensive knowledge of not only the Colorado Springs market  and regulations, but with long professional relationships with local realtors and builders, which can help you in getting what you seek. I look forward to helping you again soon.

 

JUNE 2017 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR CONTINUING UPWARD TREND IN GREATER DETAIL

Pikes Peak REALTORS® Services Corp.,

These reports, issued today, of the continued fabulous residential real estate growth contain much greater detail than the first of the month reports and cover ALL residential areas in the Pikes Peak Region.

The local median sales price increase year-over-year in all properties was 8.3%, a good sign that our housing market is continuing to appreciate.

In the recently published June 2017 Monthly Indicators and Local Market Update for El Paso and Teller Counties, new listings year-over-year were up 7.9% for the single-family/patio homes and up 9.1% for condo/townhomes. 

This is a good indication that folks are now realizing that it is a GREAT time to list a home and trade-up or move to a new neighborhood.  The only drawback, as I keep mentioning, is that you need to know where you intend to move BEFORE you list your home as it is going to sell much faster than it would have in past years.

     The “Activity Snapshot” for June 2017 shows the one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties was up 8.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was up 8.3%
  • Active Listings on All Properties was down 22.0%.

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the neighborhood of your choice from the 33-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own neighborhood, or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of what’s transpiring there.  I have reprinted just one neighborhood, Southwest, below to show you the type of information available for all local areas.

              

Despite rising home prices, interest rates, while slowly rising, are remaining historically low for the time being as I mentioned above.  That won’t always be the case, so “sooner than later” should be your motto if a real estate move is in your immediate future.  If you’re thinking of a move or looking for investment property—I’m just a phone call away.

 

COLORADO SPRINGS IN THE NEWS...AGAIN

The Gazette, 7, 18 & 22,.17

Our unemployment rate was the lowest in the nation for the fourth consecutive month.

It remains a record low for the state in records beginning in 1976 and is the fourth-lowest of any state during the 41-year period.  Wow.

According to Rich Wobbekind, senior economist for the Leeds School of Business of UCBoulder, “This rate does suggest we are at full employment.  We are really scrapping the bottom of the barrel.  At 2.3 percent, the people who are unemployed don’t have the skills needed for the current job openings, so employers either have to find the people by recruiting out of state or from people who have retired but are willing to come off the sidelines to be part of the workforce again.”

 

We are the 28th best for first time homes among 62 cities with a population of 300,000 or more.

A new study released last week by WalletHub , a personal finance website, submits that Colorado Springs remains a great place for first-time homebuyers.  Only caveat here—IF they can find an affordable starter home.

The survey is based on nearly two dozen measurements of market attractiveness, affordability and quality of life. 

This would be great news—as any recognition is—but we are falling short in providing homes these first timers can afford.  This is just another reason that buying rental property is a smart idea.  A number of these young folks who are choosing to move here will need housing until they can afford to buy their own home.

 

NEW CONSTRUCTION PRICES COULD ESCALATE AS FIRES BURN CANADIAN FORESTS

The Wall Street Journal, 7.24.17

The wildfires in Canada are pushing up the price of lumber and threatening the supply to U.S. homebuilders.  This fire season across the border has been harder on the lumber industry than in more than a decade.

This comes at a time when existing home listings are so low that many folks are seeking new construction.  I’ve been taking a lot of clients to see if new constructions can help in their home search to satisfy their wants, needs and budget.  The problem has been that the builders are swamped and building as quickly as they are able to keep up with the new demand.

Now when you add this to the mix, the price of new homes will have to increase along with the price of lumber.  And that’s hoping that the supply holds steady.  If not, it will not only cost more, but the wait will be longer.  This is another reason to buy NOW.

Demand is continuing, but lot availability is becoming an issue and rising interest rates could also limit some from buying.

That said, though, the Colorado Springs issued 1,781 permits for new construction of single-family homes for the first half of 2017—matching that of the first half of 2016 when the annual total of permits were at the highest level since 2006.

So all in all..it’s been a good year for new home construction, too. 

 

FEATURED LISTING

New listing coming tomorrow! 

Motivated Seller.

Recently listed with another realtor for $835,00. 

Now it is:  $759,000.

Gated in The Village at Stratton Preserve

1855 Cantwell Grove

Colorado Springs

Call me for more info

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 7.10.17

by Harry Salzman

July 10, 2017

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

       A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.

Optimized by JPEGmini 3.9.27.0L 0x39aa2ab7

AND ONCE AGAIN…LOCAL HOME SALES AND PRICES CONTINUE UPWARD…

It would get a bit tiring to read (and write) except all this great residential real estate news is affecting us all in such a positive way!    

In comparing June 2017 real estate average and median sales prices to June 2016—they are once again up—up—up.  I’m still busier than ever, although things have slowed down a bit so I can at least catch my breath.  Listings are up but continue to be a problem because the lack of inventory makes it more difficult for buyers.  In fact, I’ve had to direct a number of clients to new construction because of this. 

In case you are not aware, that’s another part of my special brand of customer service.  I take the needs, wants and budget of my buyers into consideration and then proceed to find them new construction that fits their personal scenario.  With me, they can be certain in talking to the homebuilder that they are getting exactly what they are being promised and I can help direct them to the best financing for them.  All of this is at no additional cost to the buyer.  Whether it’s an existing home or new construction—I do it all—and more—to make certain that my clients get the very best residential real estate situation for them.

And now for the good news…

In the Single Family/Patio Home category, average sales price in June was $326,263 and median sales price was $285,250.  This is an increase of 10.6% and 8.7% respectively year-over-year.

In the Condo/Townhome category the average sales price was $199,134 and the median sales price was $180,000 up 8.7% and 5.9% respectively year-over-year.

Homes are selling at 100.4% of listing price and a VERY LOW average of 24 days on the market.  Yes, you read that right.  It’s still unbelievable and puts a lot of pressure on both buyers and sellers in terms of decision-making. 

If you are selling your home, you need to know where you are going to next because the short turnaround times don’t give you a lot of time to decide after the sale.

And if you are buying, you need to know in advance exactly what you want because most often you don’t get the luxury of “thinking about it” for even a few hours.  If you don’t make an offer—one that’s going to get noticed—someone else will.  That’s the hard reality these days, but it’s accurate, and the main reason you need a seasoned professional real estate agent like me who knows the “ins and outs” of the process and can get an offer to the table that most likely won’t need to be revised.  That doesn’t mean it will be accepted, and not all are for one reason or another, but my track record is outstanding.  However, disappointment, much as I hate to see it for my clients, is becoming somewhat of a norm, especially in the under $300,000 price range. 

Colorado Springs is appearing on most of the “top” lists—hottest housing markets, best place to live, great cost of living, work/life balance and on and on.  Relator.com just listed the “Top 20 Performing Housing Markets in the USA and while California dominated with 8 cities on the list, Colorado Springs came in at number 8! This is something we who live here know—it’s the best place to live and raise a family or retire, but…now the whole world is finding out and there you go.

If you’re looking to sell and trade up—NOW is a great time and if you’re looking to buy for the first time or investment purposes—there are still homes available in most price ranges. 

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let me run the numbers for you.  With mortgage interest rates still historically low you might find that the house of your dreams is simply a phone call away.

For more details on the local June 2017 PPAR reports, please see the next article.

 

DESPITE LOW INVENTORY, LOCAL RESIDENTIAL real estate IS HOT

Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

You will see in the Cumulative Year to Date Summary, total sales numbers in Single Family/Patio Homes and Condo/Townhomes are up 4.5% and 18.1% respectively for year-over-year.  This number would have been even higher if we had more listings.

New listings are up 10.8% for Single Family/Patio Homes and down 13.2% for Condo/Townhomes. It appears that sellers are beginning to realize that listing their home in this “hot” market will make it much easier to sell.

Here are some highlights from the June 2017 PPAR report. Please click here to view the detailed 15-page report, including charts. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

In comparing June 2017 to June 2016 in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 2278, Up 10.8%
  • Number of Sales are 1,743, Up 5.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $326,263 Up 10.6%
  • Median Sales Price is $285,250 Up 8.7%
  • Total Active Listings are 2,162

 

                        Condo/Townhomes:

  • New Listings are 301, Up 13.2%
  • Number of Sales are 248, Up 21.6%
  • Average Sales Price is $199,134, Up 18.7%
  • Median Sales Price is $180,000 Up 5.9%
  • Total Active Listings are 161

 

COLORADO SPRINGS AREA MONTHLY SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOME SALES ANALYSIS*

                                                Median Sales Price             Median Sales Price

                                                  June 2017                             June 2016

Black Forest                            $571,000                              $433,500                      

Briargate                                  $386,000                              $355,500          

Central                                      $228,500                              $200,000

East                                           $236,250                              $223,000

Fountain Valley:                       $259,825                              $229,900

Manitou Springs:                     $397,500                              $347,500

Marksheffel:                             $316,750                             $279,900

Northeast:                                $270,000                              $243,450

Northgate:                                $472,455                              $397,500      

Northwest:                               $370,000                              $377,500          

Old Colorado City:                  $248,500                              $240,000

Powers:                                    $272,000                              $250,000

Southwest:                              $421,000                              $342,250

Tri-Lakes:                                 $479,649                              $425,000

West:                                        $285,000                              $250,000

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

 

HOMES IN THE USA ARE ALSO ZOOMING TO A NEW HIGH

RealtorMag, 6.21.17

Prices all across the country have rose to a new high in May and this doesn’t appear to stop buyers as demand remains high despite housing shortages. 

In May, existing home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops—rose 1.1 percent month over month to a seasonable adjusted annual rate of 5.62million.  Existing-home sales are now 2.7 percent higher than a year ago.

“The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved.  Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace, and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $252,800 in May.  That surpasses last June’s peak of $247,600 NAR reports.

According to Yun, “This is not sustainable in the long run.  Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkable fast pace of under a month,” Yun says.

 

HOW TO FIND A HOUSE TODAY

Rismedia.com, 6.17

This may be the most difficult year in a decade to buy a home, especially for the first-time buyer.  As previously mentioned, prices are soaring and supplies are short—fueling greater demand and multiple offers in the lower price ranges.

There’s not a lot of leeway for mistakes in today’s marketplace.  Discipline is essential, and the learning curve is stepped up.  I’ve been telling you for awhile now that home buying is a more serious business today than ever and even more difficult for move-up buyers as well as first-timers.

Here are five tips on house-hunting in today’s market that will help put you ahead of the competition and may spell the difference between success and failure.

 

(Please note that while a lot of these tips are applicable for any real estate sale, some of the statistics listed are national ones, not local.)

Hire A Specialist

real estate is a large and complex field.  Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and it’s essential to have someone like me in your corner.  With 45 years in local residential real estate and an investment banking background, I am well prepared to guide you through the entire process.

Don’t Start Until You’re Ready

It’s important to know in advance what you need, want and can afford.  There’s no sense looking at homes that don’t fit you personal specifications.  It’s also imperative that you improve your credit if necessary, have the money for a down payment and get pre-approved by the lender of your choice prior to the search.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

The amount for which your lender approves you is NOT your budget.  Your pre-preapproval is conditional and can change when you apply for a mortgage.  It also does not include many of the costs of homeownership, like taxes, home insurance and maintenance.  Figure out in advance what you can afford and stick to it.  There are few heartaches worse than falling in love with a house you can’t afford or stretching yourself so thin that you are “house poor” for the foreseeable future.  Don’t let your emotions get the better of you—winning a bidding war could mean a loss to you in monetary terms.  That’s what you have me for—to help keep the emotional part in check so you end up with a home that fits you in “all” areas of importance to your family.

House Hunt Every Day

Looking for a new home today is like a second job and financially, it may even be more important to you than a second job.  The outcome will determine where you live and how much you spend on housing for years to come.  Be proactive and look at all the emails I send you.  Spend time learning about new neighborhoods you might not have considered before.  Ask me as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the entire process. 

Be Flexible

You might find that you cannot afford to live where you might like, or you can’t afford the size or amenities you would like.  If those are deal-breakers for you, you many not be ready to buy in today’s market—or you might want to revisit your criteria and look at homes in other neighborhoods or an older home you can improve over time.  Starting out in a condo might be an acceptable solution for first-time buyers.  Prices are not likely to decline so you will be building equity while you wait until you can afford the home of your dreams. 

Sweeten Your Offer

Don’t rely on real estate sites to determine the value of a home you like.  I can show you a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help determine it’s real value.  The only thing I can tell you is that with prices rising so quickly, it’s often hard to get a true CMA since other homes in the area may not have sold in recent times.  This is what I was telling you about appraisals.  The appraisers use current CMA, but those are changing almost too fast to keep up with current prices. 

Sellers are not only looking for the best price.  They also want an offer that will close on time from a buyer whose financing will not fall through.  Consider sweetening your offer by increasing the down payment. If you are selling to trade-up, sell your current home before you buy a new one.  Most sellers these days react negatively to offers that are contingent upon a buyer first selling his current home.

Don’t Lose Your Deal

Nationally, about 23% of contracts on homes today have a delayed settlement and 7% of contracts fail to close and are terminated.  The leading causes for delayed settlements are issue relating to obtaining financing and appraisal issues.

Most appraisal issues result from appraisals that come in lower than the contract price and buyers must come up with more cash.  One way to protect against a low appraisal is to know the value of the house before you make an offer and make a larger down payment than you have to.

Persistence Pays Off

Learn from your experiences.  Don’t despair if a seller selects another offer over yours.  A better home may come on the market tomorrow.  Last year buyers searched for an average of 10 weeks and looked at a median of 10 homes according to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Buyers and Sellers but that’s just a national average for all buyers.  If you’re a first-time buyer in a hot market like ours expect the hunt to take longer.  Don’t quite after weather turns cold.  Fall and winter can be a great time to find a home—there is often less competition than in the spring and summer and sellers can oftentimes be more motivated.

 

SKY SOX TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

The Sky Sox are number one in their division right now and tickets are going fast.  If you would like to enjoy a game from my front-row tickets, please give me a call so I can put them aside for you.

I have four tickets and they are free to you for the asking, based on availability.  Friday night fireworks and Sunday 50-cent hot dog days are the first to go, so call as soon as you know when you might want the tickets.

 

 

 

 

 

HARRY'S HOLIDAY GREETING

by Harry Salzman

 

                       

 

Wishing a Happy Birthday to the U.S.A.

&

A Joyful and Safe July 4th to You.

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Harry A Salzman
Salzman Real Estate Services
5475 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs CO 80919
719-593-1000 or Toll Free: 800-677-MOVE(6683)
Cell: 719-231-1285
Fax: 719-548-9357

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