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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 12.6.19

by Harry Salzman

December 6, 2019

 

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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LOTS OF GOOD NEWS BUT…

Colorado Springs keeps making all the Top 10 lists nationally which is great for our home appreciation values but…we just don’t have many homes for sale, especially in the mid-$300,000 range.  

Just last week the Federal Housing Finance Agency published it’s third quarter Home Price Index which included this:  “Colorado Springs, Colorado Ranked #9 in U.S. Home Appreciation”.

The study is a long-running and geographically comprehensive measure of house price appreciation in the U.S.A.  Colorado Springs is ranked #9 out of 100 metro areas with a weighted price appreciation of 7.4% over last year.  In comparison, the State of Colorado is ranked 25th in the U.S. with a 5.1% increase over last year.

Below is a chart describing our home appreciation growth in detail: 

 

While all of this is great news and indicative of the economic and population growth of Colorado Springs, it is also a result of a shortage of existing homes for sale.  The lack of available homes for sale, along with a 20-year-low foreclosure rate, are contributing factors in the home appreciation we are seeing at present.

As you will see in the November statistics, listings were down 26.3 percent from October 2019 and down 2.6% from a year ago November. And while this time of year is traditionally slower due to the holiday season, I’ve still got a lot of folks looking to sell their homes in order to trade up or move to another neighborhood, but…it’s really difficult at present with so few homes from which to choose.  Those that do come on the market are selling quickly and there’s little time to commit to making an offer.  

Historically low interest rates and increased home equity are two of the big reasons that a number of folks are wanting to sell and trade up.  Monthly mortgage payments at today’s low rates are making it so much easier to purchase a more expensive home without the added burden of payments too much higher than you might be paying at present.  All in all, it’s a great time for pursuing your residential real estate dreams.

However, it is more important than ever to have a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional on your team when you are ready to consider your move.  My 46 plus years in the local arena coupled with my investment banking background give you the edge over the competition.  If it’s possible to make a deal, you’ve got me to negotiate for you.  And if it’s in your best interest to walk away from a possible deal, I’ll tell you that, too.  A “win” isn’t always a “win” if it isn’t in your favor for the long run.  I’ve been around for so many different cycles that I can give you advice based on facts, not fiction.  That’s one of the reasons I’m now working not only with past clients, but also their children and grandchildren.  After all, looking after the individual needs of each and every family member is my job and one I take very seriously

Our local homebuilders are seeing a lot of activity and that’s another area where I can assist at no additional cost to you!  I have long standing relationships with most local builders and can help you with site and home selection as well as assist you in finding financing that fits your particular needs.

If you’ve even considered a move, or even an investment home purchase, now is the time to give me a call.  It’s certainly not as easy a proposition as in the past, but with me by your side---I’ll work to make it as stress-less as possible.

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com today and let’s see how we can work together to make your real estate dreams come true.

 

NOVEMBER 2019 BROUGHT MORE HOME APPRECIATION BUT FEWER LISTINGS

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

Here are some highlights from the November 2019 PPAR report.  Just a reminder that the new format of this report no longer provides monthly statistics for each individual neighborhood.  However, if you are interested in what’s happening in your neighborhood, I can provide you with this information through other means.

In El Paso County, the average days on the market for single family/patio homes was 27.  For condo/townhomes is was 17.  

The sales price/list price for single family/patio homes was 99.7% and for condo/townhomes  was 100.3%.  

Please click here to view the detailed 9-page report, including charts.  If you have any questions about the report or to find out how it relates to your individual situation, just give me a call.

In comparing November 2019 to November 2018 for All Homes in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,081, Down 2.6%

·       Number of Sales are 1,188 Up 8.4%

·       Average Sales Price is $365,218, Up 6.6%

·       Median Sales Price is $325,000, Up 7.3%

·       Total Active Listings are 1,667, Down 22.6%

·       Months Supply is 1.4

 

Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 150, Up 3.4% 

·       Number of Sales are 173, Down 4.4%

·       Average Sales Price is $248,247, Up 10.2%

·       Median Sales Price is $230,000, Up 7.5%

·       Total Active Listings are 152, Down 7.3%

·       Months Supply is 0.9

 

Now a look at more statistics…

 

NOVEMBER 2019 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE  AND MONTHLY INDICATORS  ILLUSTRATE OUR LOCAL TRENDS IN DETAIL

Colorado Association of REALTORS® , Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Providing greater detail than the above report, this contains information on both Colorado Springs and Teller counties for residential real estate.  

It is broken down by geographical areas and you can look to see how your neighborhood is doing in terms of sales, prices, and more.  

The “Activity Snapshot” for all residential properties in El Paso and Teller counties shows the Year to Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were Up 5.4%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was Up 9.0%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were Down 30.6%

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the geographical area of your choice from the 18-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own area or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. As an example, here is a detailed report on the Colorado Springs area:

 

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FIVE REASONS TO SELL THIS WINTER

Keeping Current Matters, 12.2.19

Looking for a good reason to sell now?  Here are five of them!

  1. Demand is strong.  Buyer demand remains strong throughout most of the country and especially here locally according to the latest Buyer Traffic Report from the NAR.  Buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase, and are in the market right now.  Often, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.  

 

  1. There is less competition now.  The shortage of existing homes for sale means your present home will get better exposure now.  With home equity rising in most homes, present homeowners have a pent-up desire to move and take advantage of that and the low interest rates.  With more homes on the market in the higher end range, you can your equity to work for you without increasing your monthly payment as much as when rates were higher earlier in the year.

 

  1. Buyers are serious at this time of year.  Traditionally, homeowners thought of spring as a great time of year to list their homes when buyer traffic may be a bit higher.  This time of year, however, the buyers who are seeking a home, whether for relocation or otherwise, are serious ones.  They’re ready to make offers and ready to move.  Your present home may be just what they are looking for.

 

  1. There will never be a better time to move up.  If you are looking to sell and trade up, now is the time.  There is more inventory at the higher price ranges.  This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving to your dream home, you’ll be able to do that at this time.  Demand for your present home is high at present.

 

  1. It’s time to move on with your life.  Look at the reason you’re thinking of selling in the first place and determine whether it’s worth waiting.  Isn’t it time to go on with the life you want for you and your family?  Only you can answer that, but perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

 

FORGET THE PRICE OF THE HOME.  THE COST IS WHAT MATTERS

Keeping Current Matters, 11.7.19

Home buying activity (demand) is up and the number of available listings (supply) is down.  When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate, just as we are seeing locally.  Firms are starting to increase their projections of home appreciation going forward because of this.

While this may cause concern about affordability, a study was released by First American last month that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability.  Prices, mortgage rates and wages were studied from January through August, 2019 and here are the findings:

Home Prices:

“In January 2019, a family with the median household income in the U.S. could afford to buy a $373,900 house.  By August, that home had appreciated to $395,000—an increase of $21,100.”

 

Mortgage Interest Rates:

“The 0.85 percentage point drop in mortgage rates from January 2019 through August 2019 increased affordability by 9.7%.  That translates to a $40,200 improvement in house-buying power in just eight months.”

 

Wage Growth:

“As rates have fallen in 2019, the economy has continued to perform well also, resulting in a tight labor market and wage growth.  Wage growth pushes household incomes upward, and were 1.5% higher in August compared with January.  The growth in household income increased consumer house-buying power up an additional $5,600.”

When all of these market factors are combined, purchasing power increased by $24,500, thus making home buying more affordable, not less affordable.  This table explains it simply:

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Bottom Line?  Do not focus solely on the purchase price of a home.  It is more important to focus on what you can afford to pay each month in terms of a mortgage payment because that is the dollar amount that will affect your budget.  It’s quite likely that you can afford to buy a more expensive home than you might have considered without paying more than you have budgeted for a monthly payment.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated 11.29.19

Here are the just published statistics for national and local economy, employment, real estate and much more from the UCCS Economic Forum.  Click here for the charts and if you have any questions, just give me a holler.

HARRY'S THANKSGIVING GREETING

by Harry Salzman

                                                                                

EXTRA...EXTRA...EXTRA

by Harry Salzman

November 7, 2019

 

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.  

 

EXTRA***EXTRA***EXTRA

BREAKING NEWS

 

This news was just so good I couldn’t wait for the next eNewsletter to share it with you.  

For some time now I’ve been telling you about the popularity of Colorado Springs and our very healthy residential real estate market. Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a report that shows exactly that.  

The American Community Survey releases the Public Use Microdata Sample files every year, which include population and housing unit records with individual response information.  Focusing on homeowners who moved into their homes within the last year, NAR was able to identify characteristics of the homebuyers and their homes at a local level.

 

Where are people buying homes?

Comparing the number of buyers with the number of all homeowners, NAR identified the top 10 large metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of buyers:

  1. Colorado Springs, CO (11.1%)
  2. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (10.8%)
  3. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL (10.6%)
  4. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (10.0%)
  5. Provo-Orem, UT (9.8%)
  6. Tucson, AZ (9.3%)
  7. Boise City, ID (9.2%)
  8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL (9.2%)
  9. Ogden-Clearfield, UT (9.0%)
  10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (8.9%)

Based on the NAR’s Home Buyers and Sellers Survey, a typical homebuyer was 46 years old earned nearly $92,000 in 2017. 

 

The profile of a typical Colorado Springs buyer is illustrated below:

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NAR also released the areas with the highest concentration of sellers, and, as you might guess, Colorado Springs is nowhere near the top 10.  

While several cities in the top buying areas are also in the top selling areas, we are not even close to that.  Our shortage of available homes for sale is indicative of our lack of sellers in recent times.

The chart below identifies the typical home seller in Colorado Springs according to the survey:

 

 

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Bottom Line? 

Colorado Springs is economically healthy and thriving, thanks in part to Mayor John Suthers and our City Council who have worked diligently to get us there.

If you’ve even considered selling, we’ve got a LOT of potential buyers for your home!  It truly is a Sellers Market right now.

Call me today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s talk about all of your residential real estate options.  

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 11.6.19

by Harry Salzman

November 6, 2019

 

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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IS IT…

TIME TO SELL AND TRADE UP?  

BUY FOR THE FIRST TIME? 

CONSIDER PURCHASING AN INVESTMENT PROPERTY?  

When it comes to residential real estate there are so many variables in play whenever you decide to get in the game.  Mortgage interest rates and housing availability play the greatest roles in most all decisions and as I’ve been saying for some time now, there’s no “normal” anymore.  

The shortage of existing homes for sale are causing home values and prices to increase and driving folks to consider new construction, especially here in Colorado Springs.  Rental prices are the highest they’ve ever been, and some first-time buyers are being priced out of the market or find they are unable to qualify for a mortgage.  

Our booming economy and low unemployment rate, on top of being named “Best Place to Live in the USA” and so many other “bests”, is attracting new business to the area and along with them come transferees.  Ridiculously high real estate prices in states such as California and Washington are bringing more “transplants” to our city. 

Most all of these newcomers will need a place to live and they are vying for the few properties listed for sale.  They are also helping to drive up the prices and multiple offers, all-cash offers and bidding wars continue to be the norm.  

One of the reasons our local homebuilding is picking up speed is the lack of existing homes for sale.  Low interest rates are also driving folks to new construction.  The good news there is that those current homeowners who are looking to build will eventually put their present home on the market, hopefully easing the listing shortage. 

Homeowners are currently staying put in their present home longer than ever. Nationwide, homeowners are remaining in their homes typically 13 years, which is five years longer than they did in 2010.  Those who don’t trade up to a larger home or downsize when children leave are plugging up the market for those buyers coming behind them.  Nationally, inventory of homes for sale is as dismal as it is here. However, our home appreciation has been consistently higher than that of the USA in general, which is a blessing for us local homeowners.

Yes, it is going to cost you more than it might have two or three years ago, but the interest rates are still historically low, which can help to keep your monthly payment more manageable.  The longer you wait, the more it’s going to cost you.  

There are still homes available in most price ranges, but they go quickly—especially at the lower end of the spectrum.  Investors are still picking up homes whenever they can since there are more and more renters—either by choice or by necessity—and rental rates keep rising.

Residential real estate is a tough game to play these days and those who choose to play solo are going to get lost in the dust.  It’s more important than ever to have a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional by your side.  Sure, you can buy “on-line” but without an advocate you trust, “let the buyer beware”, as they say.  

I’ve been in the local real estate arena for more than 46 years and have seen as many cycles are you can imagine.  I know the “ins and outs” of them all and more importantly I know how to expertly negotiate so that you can get the home that best fits your wants, needs and budget.  It’s vital to answer those, and many other questions BEFORE you start to look because once you are actively looking, it’s too late. 

In today’s market you sometimes have to make a decision even before you set foot in the home.  I’ve had that several times in recent months with clients who missed out on previous offers and didn’t want to miss another one.  Risky?  You bet.  But when you’ve got me on your side, it negates a lot of the risk.  I know what’s out there as I’ve been around long enough to have seen a good number of the homes in this city being built.  Good school district?  Good neighborhood?  One that meets the needs of your family?  I can help you answer those questions and more.

If new construction turns out to be what you want or need, I’m your man there too.  I have a good working relationship with most of the area builders and can help you with site, home and builder selection, as well as help you secure the best financing for your individual situation. And did I mention?  All of this is provided at NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU.

There’s no better time than now to at least get answers to all the residential real estate questions you’ve had over the last few months or years.  I can help you with that, and if I don’t know something, I DO know where to get the answers.  That’s just another plus for you. 

Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com today and let’s see how we can work together to make your real estate dreams come true.

 

OCTOBER 2019 BROUGHT GAINS IN HOME VALUES AND A SLIGHTLY INCREASED NUMBER OF SALES

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

Here are some highlights from the October 2019 PPAR report.  Just a reminder that the new format of this report no longer provides monthly statistics for each individual neighborhood.  However, if you are interested in what’s happening in your neighborhood, I can provide you with this information through other means.

In El Paso County, the average days on the market for single family/patio homes was 29.  For condo/townhomes is was 17.  

The sales price/list price for single family/patio homes was 99.4% and for condo/townhomes  was 99.7%.  

You can again see from those statistics that buying a home in today’s seller’s market is not as easy as in the past, but with me on your side you’ve got a considerably better than average shot at it.

Please click here to view the detailed 9-page report, including charts.  If you have any questions about the report or to find out how it relates to your individual situation, just give me a call.

 

In comparing October 2019 to October 2018 for All Homes in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,467, Up 8.7%

·       Number of Sales are 1,448, Up 9.7%

·       Average Sales Price is $372,037, Up 7.6%

·       Median Sales Price is $335,000, Up 9.8%

·       Total Active Listings are 1,940, Down 18.3%

·       Months Supply is 1.3

 

Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 192, Down 9.9% 

·       Number of Sales are 209, Down 3.2%

·       Average Sales Price is $257,005, Up 12.0%

·       Median Sales Price is $230,000, Up 8.9%

·       Total Active Listings are 188, Down 4.1%

·       Months Supply is 0.9

 

Now a look at more statistics…

 

OCTOBER 2019 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE  AND MONTHLY INDICATORS  ILLUSTRATE OUR LOCAL TRENDS IN DETAIL

Colorado Association of REALTORS® , Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Providing greater detail than the above report, this contains information on both Colorado Springs and Teller counties for residential real estate.  

It is broken down by geographical areas and you can look to see how your neighborhood is doing in terms of sales, prices, and more.  

The “Activity Snapshot” for all residential properties in El Paso and Teller counties shows the Year to Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were Up 4.1%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was Up 9.7%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were Down 26.2%

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the geographical area of your choice from the 18-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own area or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. As an example, here is a detailed report on the Colorado Springs area:

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UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated 10.31.19

Here are the just published statistics for national and local economy, employment, real estate and much more from the UCCS Economic Forum.  Click here for the charts and if you have any questions, just give me a holler.

 

housing market REMAINS STRONG WHILE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN LOOMS

Freddie Mac.com, 10.31.19

In September 2019, the unemployment rate was 3.5% nationally, the lowest rate since December 1969.  While there appears to be a weakening in the manufacturing segment, the housing market remains on solid ground with housing starts, building permits, existing home sales and new home sales all significantly outperforming consensus expectations in August.  

Freddie Mac forecasts that the 30-year mortgage rates will be 3.7% for the remainder of 2019 and will tick up slightly to 3.8% in 2020.  They also forecast the market to remain firm with sales rising to 6.0 million for 2019 before increasing to 6.1 million for 2020.  Home prices are predicted to increase 3.3% and 2.8% in 2019 and 2020 respectively.  

As I mentioned earlier, the Colorado Springs area has consistently fared higher than national statistics and I expect that trend to continue into 2020.  

So once more….NOW is the time to make the move you’ve been considering!

 

real estate TRENDS FOR 2020

Rismedia.com, 10.19

No one can be certain where 2020 is going to take the housing market, but here are some projections to help you get an idea of what you might expect.

 

Generational Communities

Baby boomers and millennials are causing shifts in the market, especially when looking at the types of housing.  To begin with, baby boomers are reaching retirement age.  In fact, according to a study by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, in 2020, one out of three households will be headed by someone over 65.  While some are downsizing, many seniors may opt for active living communities, including upscale apartments.

Millennials are now becoming parents and many young families will be looking for housing in what is dubbed “Hipsturbia”.  These are suburbs that are evolving on the outskirts of large cities and often consist of a more diverse community.  They are more pedestrian-friendly, as they promote public transit and keeping stores in close proximity.

 

Technology

Smart home technology is becoming more popular as new devices are released.  While this was slow to break through, it is gaining traction in popularity.  At the moment, security and energy management are still the top uses for smart home devices, but convenience is also a rising consideration.  The expansion of demand for tech friendly homes could affect buyers’ interest in a home as well as increase property values in 2020.

 

Affordability

As I mentioned earlier, there has been a steady rise in rent and home prices.  For minimum wage workers, fair market rent for one-bedroom rentals in 99% of counties in the USA is not affordable, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  This could possibly result in a drop in first-time buyers or even renters, as both millennials and Generatiion Z struggle to make ends meet.  

The luxury home market saw its challenges in 2019 but 2020 may be a turning point as the market recently saw its first gain since 2010.

However, while rising home costs may prevent some from buying or selling in 2020, lower mortgage rates may enable others to reach their housing goals.  Rates are now lower than they were a year ago. So, again, if you’ve been thinking of getting in the market, NOW is a great time.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.24.19

by Harry Salzman

October 24, 2019

 

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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COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate STILL LOOKING GREAT

I spent last week in Boston at the annual Worldwide Employee relocation Conference as well as the Relocation Director’s Council Meeting and it simply reconfirmed what I already knew—Colorado Springs is THE place to be!

In comparing local real estate with that of my peers from around the country, there’s just no comparison.  Across the country, median home prices of residential real estate are not escalating as well as ours.  But, just like here, the insufficient supply is adding to the price increases and creating problems for first time buyers.  Many young people and others are finding it difficult to qualify for a mortgage, either due to lack of credit, student loan debt or inability to qualify for homes that keep going up in price.   

However, while the downward trend nationally is continuing, we are beginning to see more listings, possibly due to the historically low interest rates.  Folks who thought they were too late to the game are finding out that rates are still low and even with higher prices, they are able to get back in the search for a new home. There’s no guarantee how long these rates will be around, but for now…it’s great news for all.

All the “top 10” lists Colorado Springs has been on in the past several years has helped keep our home prices higher. Fortunately, they are getting back to a more normal percentage increase which is allowing sales to remain strong. Obviously, if there were more homes listed, sales would be higher, and prices would stabilize even more. We’ve seen an influx of new companies and their employees moving here and those folks are all going to need a place to live. I’ve had the pleasure of helping a number of these families relocate and it’s not always easy to find them places to call home.  We are still seeing homes going for over list price, short days on the market and multiple offers in a matter of hours.  My investor clients are looking for as many properties as possible to rent out as rents continue their upward climb.  Rental properties, too, are getting more and more difficult to find, but you know me—where there’s a will…I can find a way.  It just may take a bit longer than in the past.  

If you, a family member or co-worker are sifting through all the options…NOW is the time to give me a call.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how together we can make all your residential real estate dreams come true.  I can help you find answers for your particular needs, but you need to pick up your phone and call me first!

 

THREE MINOR UPGRADES THAT BOOST VALUE INSTANTLY

Realtor Mag, 10.8.19

Looking for a few quick fixes that can have a big impact when you’re ready to list your present home?  Besides a fresh coat of paint, here are a couple of ideas:

 

  • Update the door.  real estate pros say that a new front door can be a cost-effective update that can make a big difference.  Solid wood doors are always a classic and typically last longer than alternative materials.  Also, front doors with inlaid glass can give the entryway more natural light.

 

  • Modernize the lighting.  To begin with, make certain that all interior lights have the same color temperature so it’s consistent throughout the home.  According to a blog on Redfin, “updating your light fixtures, ceiling fans and even the hardware on doors and cabinets is an easy and cost-effective way of increasing perceived value of your home.”  For example, replace dated brass light fixtures with more contemporary ones, like lights with a chrome or black finish.  Look for fixtures that will add more light and brighten up your home.

 

  • Upgrade your mailbox.  It may sound trivial, but the look of the mailbox is all part of helping build a strong first impression from the street, and it’s also the easiest home improvement you can do.  It could simply be a new mailbox that replaces the old, weathered one, or you could upgrade to a “next generation” mailbox that allows USPS to deliver large packages to your mailbox rather than your front door.

 

While these three upgrades can help boost your home’s visibility for sales purposes, they can also be quick fixes to enhance your present home even if you are not in the market to sell it at present.  Why not enjoy them yourself until you’re ready to move?

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR HOME INSPECTION

Keeping current matters, 

This is something I get asked almost daily and choosing a Home Inspector plays a big part in knowing that “what you see is what you get” so to speak.  I can only recommend inspectors that I’ve used in the past based on their experience and knowledge, but you are the one to select the inspector so I thought it might help to put some good tips in writing.

 

  1.  Qualifications.  Find out what’s included in your inspection and if the age or location of your home may warrant specific certifications or specialties on the part of the inspector.

 

  1. Sample Reports.  Ask for a sample inspection report so you can review how thoroughly they inspector will be in inspecting your dream home.  In most cases, the more detailed the report, the better.  

 

  1. References.  Do your homework.  Ask for phone number and names of past clients who you can call to discuss their experiences.

 

  1. Memberships.  Not all inspectors belong to a national or state association of home inspectors and while membership in one of these organization should not be the only way to evaluate your choice, membership in one of these groups often means that continued education and training are required.

 

  1. Errors and Omission Insurance.  Find out what the liability of the inspector or inspection company is once the inspection is over.  Being only human, the inspector might miss something they should see.  

 

Ask your inspector if it’s okay for you to be present during the inspection so they can point out anything that needs to be addressed or fixed.  Don’t be surprised to see your inspector climbing on the roof or crawling around in the attic and on the floors.  Their job is to protect your investment and find any issues with the home, including but not limited to:  the roof, plumbing, electrical components, appliances, heating and air conditioning systems, ventilation, windows, fireplace and chimney, foundation and so much more.

It might be said that “ignorance is bliss” but not when making one of your largest investments.  Work with a professional you can trust to give you the most information possible so you can make the best educated decision about your home purchase.  

 

WHEN A SIX-FIGURE SALARY STILL CAN’T BUY A HOME

The Wall Street Journal, 10.16.19

This article in The Wall Street Journal last week specifically caught my eye as it was relating a recent situation in the Stapleton neighborhood in Denver. A couple with a child had moved there from Missouri, found the home of their dreams, and despite having a household income in the low six figures—they had to rent because a home like the one they sold in Missouri would cost about four times as much!

This family is just one of a growing group of high-earning Americans who are renting instead of buying homes.  For a number of years, this was the norm in cities like New York or San Francisco where the price of real estate is sky high. However, these markets account for less than 20% of the new six-figure renters, according to an analysis by the Journal.

To accommodate well-off renters, developers are racing to build luxury apartments around city centers, like we’ve been seeing right here in our own backyard.  

Investors, meanwhile, have bought hundreds of thousands of suburban homes nationally to turn into rentals and single-family homes are increasingly being built specifically aimed at well-heeled tenants.

While this is becoming a problem for buyers, especially those moving here from cities where home appreciation is not what ours is, it is a great opportunity for those looking for investment properties.  I have a number of clients who are constantly searching for these properties and they are finding that the quality of their renters has changed drastically over the last several years, as more and more folks are being priced out of the market.

If investment property is something you’ve even considered in the past, NOW is a great time to explore it further.  As most of you know, I put my money where my mouth is, and have been a landlord for most of my 47 years in the local real estate arena.  

Call me today and I can give you insight into the pros and cons of rental properties and help in determining if this is something that could be right for you.

And on that note…

 

10 TIPS FOR BUYING RENTAL PROPERTY

The Gazette, 9.28.19

  1.  It’s Not as Easy as It Looks.  To make the most of income property requires an accountant’s eye for detail, a lawyer’s grasp of landlord-tenant laws, a fortuneteller’s foresight and should you choose to manage your rental property yourself, a landlord’s firm but friendly disposition.  You need to decide in advance whether you have the time and skill to put into managing a rental.  

 

  1. Success Requires a Long-Term Outlook.  The way people get in trouble with investments is that they don’t hold on to them long enough.  With rentals, if you break even on a cash-flow basis, that’s actually not too bad as you are paying down the principle and building equity.  Then, hopefully, you’ll also see some appreciation.  If you’re looking to make money in real estate, it’s important to think long-term.

 

  1. It’s Easy (and Costly) to Break the Law.  State landlord-tenant laws are important to follow.  Something as simple as a tenant security deposit involves specific bookkeeping for each tenant.  There are laws for the amount of time you have to return a security deposit when tenancy ends, minus any expenses for cleaning or repair—which have to be itemized.  This is just one of the many laws regarding landlord-tenant relationships that you must follow.

 

  1. Make Sure You’re Landlord Material.  When you purchase a rental property, you need to decide whether to manage it yourself or pay 6-10% of your rental income to a management service.  These companies do the background check, make sure the tenants sign the lease and that they pay their rent on time.  They also make decisions concerning the repair or replacement of things that require this.  There are definitely downsides to managing the property yourself.  Among them are getting too close to the tenants which could affect decisions you make concerning their tenancy.  A management company frees you up to manage your money, not your investment property or tenants. 

 

  1. Analyze Whether Buying or Financing is Better.  Some say that paying cash is the way to go, which many others say that leveraging (getting a mortgage) typically magnifies the returns on both the upside and downside.  These decisions are best made after discussing it with your tax and financial advisors so that you know you are doing the right thing for your individual situation.

 

  1. Budget for the Unexpected.  It’s a good idea to save about 20%-30% of your rental income for upkeep, maintenance and emergencies.  If you are living off your total rental income, you could find yourself short when unexpected repairs or problems arise.

 

  1. Remember to Renew Your Leases.  One of the problems of not using a management company is a failure to renew leases in a timely manner.  It might seem like a good idea to not renew a lease and let it go month to month in case you want to get the tenant out, but you cannot raise the rent unless you have them sign a form changing the lease every year.  If you let the lease renewal slide, it can be tough to get back on track.

 

  1. It’s All About Location, Location, Location—Sort of.  I’m always talking about Location, Location, Location…but it takes an interesting turn when it comes to rental property.  Sometimes the best locations with the most appreciation are where you will potentially have the worst cash flow.   Why is that?  Investors can earn a return in two ways:  cash flow and appreciation.  In some areas, investors might want higher cash flow in order to compensate for slower appreciation.  However, if an investor expects an area to appreciate substantially, they might be willing to forgo some of the cash flow in order to enjoy that appreciation.  Again…this is an area where discussions with your tax and financial advisors is crucial.  Only they can help you determine which direction is best for your long-term financial plan.

 

  1. Want Long-term Tenants?  Consider Section 8.  Sudden vacancy is the bane of every landlord because each month a rental stand vacant you’re having to pay a mortgage, utilities, and more out of your pocket.  Therefore, turnaround is one of the things you need to address quickly.  A popular solution is to give Section 8 renters a try.  Section 8, aka the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program, typically caps the rent for low-income Americans who qualify at 30% of their adjusted monthly income.  While some landlords are skeptical of the paperwork and potential upkeep problems from some Section 8 renters, there are many older folks and persons with disabilities who make excellent tenants.  They tend to take excellent care of the property and if they don’t pay their rent or ruin your home, they risk losing their Section 8 voucher.

 

  1. Don’t Forget Rental Property at Tax Time.  There are a number of powerful tax benefits and investing returns in owning rental property, but again…it’s very important to ask your accountant how to take advantage of them.

 

Bottom Line?  Rental property can be an excellent investment if it is approached in a business-like manner.  It’s important to understand all the risks, as well as the advantages and to remember that it often requires a certain amount of time commitment.  After discussing all of the above with your tax and financial advisors, give me a call.  I can provide you with my own personal experiences as a landlord, in using a management company, and more.  And….I can help you find the property that fits your needs as well.

 

NEW VA FUNDING EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2020

The VA Funding Fee is increasing at the beginning of the year and the change is effective based on the closing date. Here is a copy of the new Funding Fee Chart for those considering VA as a mortgage option.

 

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HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 10.9.19

by Harry Salzman

October 8, 2019

 

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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HOUSING FORECAST IS BRIGHT…AND ESPECIALLY SO RIGHT HERE AT HOME…

I’m thrilled to tell you that once again in Colorado Springs, both the average and median sales prices are continuing their upward trend.   This is true for both single family/patio homes and condo/townhomes as you’ll see in the statistics below.

There have been national news reports saying that while housing is starting to “bounce back”, it is still “underwhelming” in the overall economic environment.   Let me remind you once again that when it comes to housing, it’s all about localizing.  Our local housing market is alive and doing very well, thank you, and it should continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Even on a national level, the housing market forecast is a “bright spot in a worrisome economy, despite fears of an economic slowdown” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.  He went on to say that “while mortgage rates have ticked up in recent weeks, they remain lower than they were a year ago, which will help boost sales headed into the fall”.

His comments follow on the heels of several housing reports that suggested a solid housing market.  Existing home sales rose to the highest level in 17 months according to NAR’s latest report, and more new homes are entering the pipeline as well. 

Freddie Mac economists predict that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will remain below 4% for the remainder of this year, which should ease affordability concerns somewhat for potential buyers.

And speaking of buyers, much of the demand lately has being coming from young adults.  “The millennial cohort has now entered the housing market in force and is already driving major changes in buying and selling patterns,” according to Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.  

“Almost half of the millennials over 30 years old have bought a house in the last three years.  These folks are increasingly looking to move out of urban centers in favor of the suburbs, which offer more privacy and a greener environment. Perhaps more significantly, almost 80% of all millennials are confident they will become homeowner in the future”, he added.

This is especially great news for us in Colorado Springs since we’re one of the top 10 areas where millennials want to live. Companies are also realizing this, moving their offices here and relocating employees as well.  All these folks are looking for housing and many want to buy. At the moment there are not a lot of existing homes for sale which is helping drive up prices.   Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR recently said, “Rising demand will reaccelerate home price appreciation in the absence of more supply.”  Fortunately, the mortgage interest rates are keeping monthly payments from escalating too rapidly but no one knows how long they will remain this low.

Anyone who has even considered selling their present home and trading up or moving to a new neighborhood might want to take the time to find out all their options NOW.  It takes a lot of information to make an informed, relevant decision, most especially since we’re talking about most folks' greatest financial asset. 

That’s where I come in.  I’ve been in the local real estate arena for 47 plus years and have seen all types of cycles and know the “ins and outs” of buying and selling in all of them.  When you add that to my investment banking background, you’ll find I’m your man to go to for answers to most any of your residential real estate questions.  More importantly, if there is something I don’t know, I do know where to get the answers—an added value for my clients.  

Any real estate decision should not be taken lightly or without thinking of what it all entails.  This is true for selling or purchasing an existing home, buying new construction or purchasing a home for investment purposes.  There are all kinds of housing information sites on the internet that should be taken lightly.  A number of uninformed sources who call themselves experts give opinions without facts to back them up and this can be dangerous. Just remember—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  

An experienced real estate professional like me can provide answers to help you make the best decisions for you and your family.  Sometimes it’s not in your best interest to move and I’ll tell you that, too.  Your goals become mine and when we work together, we can find the best way for you to proceed--or not, if it’s not the right move at present.

It all starts with a phone call to me at 593.1000 or an email to Harry@HarrySalzman.com.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you so we can get the ball rolling.  The sooner we talk, the sooner you will be one your way to achieving your personal “American Dream”.

 

SEPTEMBER 2019 BROUGHT SMALLER GAINS IN HOME VALUES AND A LOW NUMBER OF SALES

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

Here are some highlights from the September 2019 PPAR report. Don’t forget that the new format of this report no longer provides monthly statistics for each individual neighborhood.  However, if you are interested in what’s happening in your neighborhood, I can provide you with this information through other means.

In El Paso County, the average days on the market for single family/patio homes was 26.  For condo/townhomes is was 18.  

The sales price/list price for single family/patio homes was 99.8% and for condo/townhomes  was 99.7%.  

You can see from those statistics alone that buying a home in today’s seller’s market is not as easy as in the past, but with me on your side you’ve got a considerably better than average shot at it.

Please click here to view the detailed 9-page report, including charts.  If you have any questions about the report or to find out how it relates to your individual situation, just give me a call.

In comparing September 2019 to September 2018 for All Homes in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,421, Down 6.3%

·       Number of Sales are 1,394, Up 9.5%

·       Average Sales Price is $368,430, Up 7.1%

·       Median Sales Price is $325,500, Up 6.5%

·       Total Active Listings are 2,089, Down 14.7%

·       Months Supply is 1.5

 

Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 213, no change 

·       Number of Sales are 202, no change

·       Average Sales Price is $270,453, Up 9.9%

·       Median Sales Price is $241,000, Up 11.4%

·       Total Active Listings are 209, no change

·       Months Supply is 1.0

Now a look at more statistics…

 

SEPTEMBER 2019 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS  ILLUSTRATE OUR LOCAL TRENDS IN DETAIL

Colorado Association of REALTORS® ,Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Providing greater detail than the above report, this contains information on both Colorado Springs and Teller counties for residential real estate.  

It is broken down by geographical areas and you can look to see how your neighborhood is doing in terms of sales, prices, and more.  

The “Activity Snapshot” for all residential properties in El Paso and Teller counties shows the Year-to-Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were slightly Down 0.1%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was Up 6.8%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were Down 21.3%

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the geographical area of your choice from the 18-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own area or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. As an example, here is a detailed report on the Colorado Springs area:

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6 GRAPHS SHOWING THE STRENGTH OF THE CURRENT housing market (Infographic)

Keeping Current Matters, 9.13.19

This is a national average….and our stats are better, but more data to support why NOW is a good time to buy and sell.

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Some Highlights:

  • Keeping an eye on the current status of the housing market is one of the best ways to make powerful and confident decisions when buying or selling a home.  That’s just one of the many things I do for you.
  • Mortgage rates remaining near historic lows and homes selling quickly are just two of the key elements driving the strength of today’s market.
  • While the national data is shown here, make sure to contact me to determine what’s happening locally so you can be fully informed when making your housing decisions.  Just give me a call and let’s get the ball rolling.

 

MORE REASONS TO HIRE A real estate PROFESSIONAL…AKA ME..

Keeping Current Matters, 9.6.19

In case I didn’t make it clear earlier…

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HOW WILL THE NEXT RECESSIOIN AFFECT THE housing market?

Keeping Current Matters, 8.2019

I get asked this quite often and the following infographic provides a great answer:

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Points to “take home”...literally:

  • There is a lot of talk in the media about a pending economic slowdown.

 

  • The good news is, home values actually increased in 3 of the last 5 U.S. recessions, and decreased by less than 2% in the 4th.

 

  • Many experts predict a potential recession is on the horizon; however, housing will NOT be the trigger and home values will still continue to appreciate.  It will NOT be a repeat of the crash in the 2008 housing market.

 

6 THINGS PROFESSIONAL BURGLARS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW

RISMedia, 4.2017

A burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the U.S., but you can still protect yourself without installing expensive security features.

Home burglary generally has a pattern; criminals are looking for an easy target they can rob fast. Here are six tips from career burglars you can use to defend your home and prevent break-ins.

  1.  Nighttime Burglaries Aren’t the Best Time.  Burglars like to break into homes during daytime hours—the last thing they want to do is encounter someone at home.  Weekdays are ideal for thieves, since weekend schedules are too unpredictable. Between 12:30 p.m.and 2:30 p.m. are the most popular times because there’s a high chance people will be away at work or school.

 

  1. They Know When You’re Not Home—Thanks to Social Media.  While it’s tempting to show photos of your vacations while you are away, it is better to wait until you return to do so.  Criminals scout social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find victims.  Locating someone’s physical home address is relatively easy using GPS data embedded in photos posted online.  Even if all your accounts are private, that old friend from high school or new neighbor down the street could be a potential criminal.  Don’t give them information concerning your comings and goings.

 

  1. They Don’t Like Your Security Practices.  Burglars want nothing to do with alarm systems—no matter who installs them.  Homes without a security system are 300 percent more like to be targeted for a break-in.  If you do install an alarm system, use a strong security code. And wipe off dirt from numbers that are regularly pushed.  Unlocked windows, unused deadbolts, poorly lit homes and residences without security systems are prime targets.  It’s also good to use tricks that make it look like someone is home like motion sensor lights and timed lights, or tvs or radios left on.  Cars parked in the driveway also deter burglars.

 

  1. Great Targets Advertise Their Weapon Supply.  If you’re a proud gun owner, that won’t scare burglars away—it only entices them.  A gun is stolen every two minutes in the U.S. so homeowners should be sure to always lock up their guns.  An NRA bumper sticker on a car or Smith & Wesson sign on a house advertises that there are lots of guns to steal.

 

  1. Shrubs and Architecture Make Great Hiding Spots.  Tall bushes are favorites of burglars since they offer an unobstructed view from the street and an easy way to hide from neighbors.  Keep shrubs and large landscaping features trimmed. If you want something big by the window, choose thorny plants like cactus or roses that will detract burglars. Also, high fences and half walls provide burglars a place to hide and plot their method of entry.  The best defense is a clear view of your front porch.

 

  1. Valuables in the Open Help Them Decide on a Target.  Keep your expensive items out of sight.  You make it too easy if you advertise the type of valuables a burglar can steal.  Don’t leave a laptop by your kitchen window or even a nice car in a garage window with a clear sight line to the street.  Key hooks—especially with labels for each key—need to be concealed out of view of windows too.  It’s also a good idea to keep family calendars out of view.  No need to advertise when you’ll be away.  Any ID documents or mail left in plain sight are also a gold mine for a criminal looking to easily steal your details for identity theft.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.26.19

by Harry Salzman

September 26, 2019

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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PUZZLED ABOUT RESIDENTIAL real estate? FORTUNATELY, YOU’VE GOT ME…

There’s been so much in the news concerning all facets of the residential real estate market that it can start to get confusing. Interest rates are dropping…should you refi?  Or should you use that as an opportunity to sell and trade up or move to another neighborhood? Or is it time to look at investment property because home values are going up faster than the volatile stock and bond markets?  Or possibly it’s a good idea to use a home purchase as a way to keep down student debt for your family members?  Maybe new construction is the way to go?  

How can one muddle through all of this and know what’s best for his or her individual needs, wants and budget?

Solution?  It’s as simple as reaching out to ME.  This is where my 47 plus years in the local real estate arena, along with my investment banking background, can become your greatest asset.  

I’ve been through just about every cycle imaginable and know the “ins and outs” of what can and can’t work and it’s my pleasure to help you find the best solutions for YOU.

Yes, interest rates are down to historical lows and home prices locally are still climbing, although at a slower pace than in the past year.  This is actually good news since things are starting to get back to a more manageable level in terms of home price increases.  The lack of available listings helped raise prices and kept some from being able to find homes.  We are starting to see a few more homes on the market as folks are considering a trade up or other type of move or investment.

Colorado Springs is faring better than most cities since we are continuing to make many of the “top 10” lists such as “Best Place to Live”, “Best Place for Small Business”, “Hottest real estate Market” and many others.  A number of companies are choosing to relocate to here and with them come employees who need housing and more.  All of this bodes well for those of us who are already here…except maybe for what WE consider “increased street traffic”—something Denver or another bigger city would consider a blessing!

Back to the housing puzzle.  All of the things you might consider confusing are “just another day” for me.  And I’m thrilled to be able to share my knowledge with you so you can make an informed decision one way or another.

No one knows how long the low rates will be around, as most economists predicted they’d be long gone by now.  However, that doesn’t mean that what goes down quickly can’t also go up just as fast.  It’s best to be prepared and start getting your answers as soon as possible.

If you, a family member or co-worker are sifting through all the options…NOW is the time to give me a call.  I can be reached at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how together we can make all your residential real estate dreams come true.  I can help you find answers for your particular needs, but you need to pick up your phone and call me first!

 

ASPIRING HOME BUYERS PROFILE

National Association of REALTORS,.2019

The National Association of REALTORS released a study of data that was collected throughout 2018 on a monthly basis as part of their Housing Opportunities and Market Experience report.  It is an in depth examination of the consumer preferences of non-homeowners, defined as those that rent and those that live with someone else (such as family and friends) without paying rent.  

Topics include if now is a good time to buy a home, the perception of homeownership as part of the American Dream, why non-owners do not own now and what would cause them to buy in the future.

I found this research interesting and wanted to share it with you.  I have reproduced several of the charts below and you can click here to read the report in its entirety. A couple of highlights:

  • Of the U.S. consumer households that were surveyed each month in 2018, 64 percent of respondents were homeowners, 27 percent were renters, and nine percent lived with someone else.
  • Of the non-owners, 45 percent were 34 years old or under, 59 percent make an income of under $50,000, and 43 percent live in suburban areas.
  • For both homeowners and non-homeowners alike, homeownership is strongly considered a part of the American Dream. For non-owners, roughly 75 percent reported that homeownership is part of their American Dream.
  • For owners, nine in ten believe it is part of their American Dream.

I might add that interest rates in the beginning of 2018 were not as favorable as they they were later in the year so that could have played a part in some decisions made at that time

I’ve found that in many cases those that thought they could not afford to purchase a home actually could not afford to NOT purchase a home.  It’s all in figuring out the right way if at all possible.  Just ask some of my very satisfied clients! 

 

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5 REASONS TO SELL THIS FALL

Keeping current matters, 9.2019

  1. Demand is Strong…According to the latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of REALTORS, buyer demand remains strong throughout the majority of the country.  These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase homes right now, and more often than not are competing with each other to buy the same home!  NOW is the time to take advantage of the buyer activity we are currently seeing in the market.

 

  1. There is Less Competition Now…Homes are in short supply…way less than what is needed for a normal market. This means that there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.  

Historically a homeowner would stay in his or her home for an average of six years.  Since 2011 that number has hovered between nine and ten years.  There are many who were unable to sell over the last few years due to negative equity situations, but as home values continue to appreciate, more and more will be given the freedom to sell and trade up.  Don’t wait until more inventory comes on the market before you decide to sell.  

 

  1. The Process Will Be Quicker…In today’s competitive environment, potential buyers have had to do all they can to stick out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing or paying all cash.  This makes the entire selling process much easier and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. 

 

  1. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up…If your next move is a to a premium or luxury home, now is the time to sell and move up.  There is currently more inventory in the slightly higher price ranges so you will have more choices.

Another reason to act soon is that prices nationally are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, which means our prices will likely appreciate even more. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars if you wait.

 

  1. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life…Consider the reasons you are thinking of selling in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting.  Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire in the home of your dreams.

 

HOMEOWNERS HAVE NEVER BEEN RICHER

RealtorMag, 9.23.19

Nationally, homeowners with a mortgage have seen their equity rise by 4.8% year over year.  The average homeowner has gained $4,900 in home equity between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of this year, according to CoreLogic’s Home Equity Report.

“Borrower equity rose to an all-time high in the first half of 2019 and has more than doubled since the housing recovery started,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.  “Combined with low mortgage rates, this rise in home equity supports spending on home improvements and may help improve balance sheets of households who could take out home equity loans to consolidate their debt.”

Homeowners are getting richer and fewer are in a negative equity position.  From the first quarter to the second quarter of this year, the total number of homes with a mortgage that were in negative equity dropped 7% to 2 million homes—or 3.8% of all homes with a mortgage.  

Overall, the western part of the U.S. is seeing some of the strongest equity gains and as you will see on the map below, Colorado is one of the top 10 states with the highest average gain in equity.

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So, once again…NOW is the time to put that equity to work for you.  When you trade up, you’ll likely get more for your present home while taking advantage of the low interest rates on the new one.  You might be surprised to find out that the net cost could be far less than you might imagine.  Just give me a call and let’s see if this is something that can work for you and your family.

 

MORE PEOPLE FEEL POSITIVE ABOUT BUYING, SELLING

RealtorMag, 9.23.19

With the low mortgage rates fueling more favorable opinions on home buying, nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 63%, believe now is a good time to buy a home, according to the newly released Housing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey from the NAR.  

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, “I see no sign of the optimism about home buying fading” despite some concerns over the direction of the economy.  

Millennials tended to be the most pessimistic about the direction of the economy while older consumers with higher incomes tended to be the most optimistic over the prospects of homebuying.  The silent generation (those born between 1925 and 1945) were the most upbeat about buying at 75%, followed closely by older baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1954) at 72% the study showed.  Further, 72% of consumers with incomes of $100,000 felt now is a good time to buy compared to 54% of consumers with incomes under $50,000.

And once more, the West wins, with being the most likely to say now is a good time to sell at 81%.

According to The Wall Street Journal, August was the strongest month of sales for U.S. homes in nearly a year and a half.  The article goes on the attribute this to renewed hope for market recovery.  They also say that economic uncertainly may be holding some potential buyers back but for those that can afford it, rising rents that continue to break price records nationwide (as well as here in Colorado Springs) are starting to nudge some renters to consider homeownership more seriously.

Here are some charts to show a more detailed breakdown of the NAR survey:

 

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REGISTER NOW FOR THE UPCOMING SOUTHERN COLORADO ECONOMIC FORUM

There’s still a little time to register for the always sold out and informative UCCS Economic Forum which is put on by the College of Business.

The Forum will be held on Thursday, October 10, from 1:30- 4:30 at the ENT Center for the Arts.  This will be followed by a Networking Happy Hour.

The keynote address will be given by Alison Felix, Vice President & Executive, Kansas City Federal Reserve-Denver Branch.

To register and more information, please go to: 

www.UCCSEconomicForum.com.

 

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 9.10.19

by Harry Salzman

September 10, 2019

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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LOTS OF REASONS TO BE HAPPY THIS MONTH…

Home values are up, mortgage rates are down, and Colorado Springs is one of the “cheapest” places to live.  How’s that for an interesting lead-in?

We will get to prices in a moment, but I wanted to share with you the front-page story from the Colorado Springs real estate Journal on August 26th.  A new study by Move.org ranked cities based on the average monthly cost of living.  Out of the USA’s top 75 cities, Colorado Springs was ranked 26thmost affordable with an average monthly cost of living listed as $1,719.15.  Lower utility costs helped the city in the rankings and only three cities in the top 25 had lower utility costs than Colorado Springs. That’s just one more reason why companies and their employees are choosing to relocate here.  

The four months of record-setting home price increases was stalled in August. However, prices continue to rise, although at a more sustainable pace.  Traditionally, August is a slower month in real estate as families with children are already settled into their new homes prior to the start of the school year, so the slight slowdown in sales was anticipated.

Median sales prices on all home types continued to rise, while active listings were down 9.2 percent for single family/patio homes and up only 1.1 percent for condo/townhomes.  This shortage of available listings is certainly playing a role in keeping sales down.  If there were more available homes, especially at the lower end of the market, I believe the market would be hopping no matter what time of year.  As I’ve been telling you for some time, the Colorado Springs housing market is one of the strongest in the country and I don’t see an end in sight.

Add the still historically low interest rates to the mix and you can understand why folks are wanting to sell and trade up. We are seeing activity in all price ranges and in new home construction, too.

If you have even considered a move, or just want to check out the possibilities for your individual situation, NOW is the time. Those looking for investment properties should be considering time a priority, too.  Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how we together can make all your residential real estate dreams come true.

 

AUGUST 2019 BROUGHT SMALLER GAINS IN HOME VALUES AND A LOW NUMBER OF SALES

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

Here are some highlights from the August 2019 PPAR report. Remember that the new format of this report no longer provides monthly statistics for each individual neighborhood. However, if you are interested in what’s happening in your neighborhood, I can provide you with this information through other means.

In El Paso County, the average days on the market for single family/patio homes was 21.  For condo/townhomes is was 15.  

The sales price/list price for single family/patio homes was 99.6% and for condo/townhomes  was 100.1%.  

You can see from those statistics alone that buying a home in today’s seller’s market is not as easy as in the past, but with me on your side you’ve got a considerably better than average shot at it.

Please click here to view the detailed 9-page report, including charts.  If you have any questions about the report or to find out how it relates to your individual situation, just give me a call.

In comparing August 2019 to August 2018 for All Homes in PPAR:                      

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

·       New Listings are 1,842, Up 3.1%

·       Number of Sales are 1,542, Up 0.9%

·       Average Sales Price is $371,552, Up 4.0%

·       Median Sales Price is $330,000, Up 4.8%

·       Total Active Listings are 2,194, Down 9.2%

·       Months Supply is 1.4

 

Condo/Townhomes:

·       New Listings are 250, Down 4.6%

·       Number of Sales are 207, Down 9.2%

·       Average Sales Price is $262,877, Up 14.4%

·       Median Sales Price is $242,000, Up 15.2%

·       Total Active Listings are 187 Up 1.1%

·       Months Supply is 0.9

Now a look at more statistics…

 

AUGUST 2019 LOCAL MARKET UPDATE AND MONTHLY INDICATORS ILLUSTRATE OUR LOCAL TRENDS IN DETAIL

Colorado Association of REALTORS® ,Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or it’s PPMLS

Providing greater detail than the above report, this contains information on both Colorado Springs and Teller counties for residential real estate.  

It is broken down by geographical areas and you can look to see how your neighborhood is doing in terms of sales, prices, and more.  

The “Activity Snapshot”for all residential properties in El Paso and Teller counties shows the Year to Date one-year change:

  • Sold Listings for All Properties were Down 1.6%
  • Median Sales Price for All Properties was Up 6.7%
  • Active Listings on All Properties were Down 19.6%

You can click here to read the 16-page Monthly Indicators or click here to get specific information on the geographical area of your choice from the 18-page Local Market Update. I recommend that you check out your own area or one that you are considering, to get a good idea of the local pulse. As an example, here is a detailed report on the Colorado Springs area:

 

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MORTGAGE RATES DROP TO ANOTHER 3-YEAR LOW LAST WEEK

HousingWire, 9.5.19

Last week, once again, the U.S. rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to another three-year low, according to the latest Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

According to the data, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49% for the week ending September 5, 2019, down from the previous week’s 3.58%. This average is nearly an entire percentage point lower than its 2018 rate of 4.54%.

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said, “While economic growth is clearly slowing due to rising manufacturing and trade headwinds, economic fundamentals are still solid for U.S. consumers.  The unemployment rate is low, housing affordability is improving, buyer demand is rising and home price growth is stable.”

The 15-year FRM averaged 3% last week, falling from the previous week’s 3.06%.  This time last year it came in at 3.99%.

The image below highlights last week’s changes:

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Bottom Line?  What are you waiting for?  These rates mean you can get more for your money even with homes values increasing. Run…don’t walk…to your nearest phone and give me a holler today!

 

DECLINING MORTGAGE RATES PROPEL NATION’S HOME BUYING OUTLOOK TO A NEW HIGH

HousingWire, 9.9.19

Last month, American housing confidence increased slightly as more consumers expressed optimism regarding the nation’s falling mortgage loan rates, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

The sentiment was up by 0.1 point to 93.8 in August.  Not only is this up 5.8 points from last year’s rate, but it also is a new survey high.  The survey is constructed from six questions, gauging the current views and forward-looking expectations of consumers navigating the housing market.

According to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist, “Growing expectations that mortgage rates will remain flat or decline are reflected in (this report) which is now at a survey high even though other indicators of economic and housing market sentiment are flat to negative.”

So…one more time…what are you waiting for?  Give me a call today and let’s see how we can put these low rates to work for you.

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.28.2019--SECOND EDITION

by Harry Salzman

August 28, 2019

 

HARRY’S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE

*****SECOND EDITION*****

          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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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…

This article was today’s lead story on the front page of THE GAZETTE.  It should make those of you living in Colorado Springs smile BIG.

Rich Laden asked for my input and if you know me at all—you know I take every chance I can to brag about Colorado Springs, and most especially when it’s such good news.

Click here to read the article.

And as you will see, every minute you wait to buy a new home is one where you are losing equity you could be earning!  

 

Call me today at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com.  

 

HARRY'S BI-WEEKLY UPDATE 8.28.2019

by Harry Salzman

August 28, 2019

 

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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HOME PRICES CONTINUE TO RISE, DRIVEN BY THE LISTING SHORTAGE AND LOW MORTGAGE RATES AS WELL AS THE ROBUST ECONOMY

I’m still dealing with buying and selling frenzy and from what I can see, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down at present.  On August 19, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were averaging 3.6%, a three-year low

Last year at this time the average sat at 4.53%, which combined with the listing shortage, explains in part why home values are increasing. According to a report in Capital Economics, a 3% increase in home values nationally is predicted.  As most of you are aware, the Colorado Springs housing market has been increasing at a higher pace than the national average so I would suspect that our average increase will be considerably higher than 3%!

The report stated, “As with any other asset, lower interest rates will act to boost home values.  Other things equal, with a given income and debt-to-income ratio, a lower interest rate raises the amount a household can spend on a home”.

U.S. home sales started picking up in July, which is the first national year-over-year uptick in 17 months.  Economists are seeing this as a sign that the lowest interest rates in 50 years, along with strong employment and higher wages have finally sparked more home buying.

We continue to experience an all-time low in listings of existing homes in the Colorado Springs area and this is still creating bidding wars and selling prices considerably over asking prices.  There are relatively few “bargains” in today’s market, most especially in the lower price ranges.  And speaking of the lower price range, I’m seeing a lot of my investor and first-time homeowner clients move quickly when those homes are listed, so they don’t stay on the market for long, often for less than a day!

Another driving force in investment property purchases has been the volatile stock market of late.  Folks are sensing that over the long haul, home prices continue to rise, while stocks and bonds have been a bit riskier at present.  

On the plus side for first-time buyers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are considering alternatives to the industry standard FICO scores that are used to determine an applicant’s creditworthiness.  Using an alternative scoring process would open the mortgage market to a greater number of people and lead to greater approval for those with little or no credit history.

My advice to anyone who has even considered selling their home to trade up or move to a new neighborhood or who has thought about investment property—don’t delay.  With more companies deciding to relocate to the Springs we are seeing more folks looking for homes, thus adding to the shortage.  These same folks could be the buyers of YOUR present home, allowing you the opportunity to move on and take advantage of the low interest rates.  

As always, no one knows how long these rates will be around.  If you, a family member or co-worker are even thinking of looking for a new home or an investment property….NOW is the time.  Simply give me a call at 593.1000 or email me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and let’s see how together we can make all your residential real estate dreams come true.  It may not be as easy as it once was, but hey—I haven’t been so successful in my 47 plus years in this arena without learning how to weather all types of cycles and obstacles successfully.  I can help you find a way, but you need to pick up your phone and call me first!

 

13 COLORADO SPRINGS COMPANIES QUALIFY FOR THE INC. 5000 LIST

The Gazette, 8.15.19

Colorado Springs set another new record with 13 area companies qualifying for the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. This surpassed the 2009 record of 11 companies and should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my eNewsletter. We have seen record low unemployment rates, a robust economy, new companies relocating here, a red-hot real estate market and more in the past several years and the end is nowhere in sight. 

I wish to congratulate not only the 13 companies, but also Mayor John Suthers, the City Council, the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy and others too numerous to mention that have worked so diligently to get Colorado Springs to the place where we are today.  It took a lot of hard work and compromise to get here and a big “BRAVO” is deserved by all.

 

CONDO MORTGAGES GET A BOOST

The Wall Street Journal, 8.15.19, The Gazette, 8.15.19

The Federal Housing Administration is hoping to revive the entry-level condo market for first-time buyers because FHA-backed loans require only a 3.5% down payment and lower credit score than conventional loans.

New guidelines were released several weeks ago for the types of mortgages the FHA will insure for condominiums.  Previously, just 6.5% of the 150,000 condominium developments in the U.S. were eligible for FHA-backed mortgages.  Now the FHA will start backing mortgages for individual units and will have greater flexibility to react to changes in market conditions. 

This will make it easier for first-time buyers, retirees, and minorities to become homeowners due to the lower down payment and credit score requirements.  

If a condominium purchase is something you or a family member is considering, give me a call and let’s see how these new regulations can help this become a reality.

 

UCCS ECONOMIC FORUM DASHBOARD 

UCCS Economic Forum, College of Business, updated 8.22.19

I just received the latest update from the UCCS Economic Forum and as always, I like to share it with you as soon as possible. 

It contains information on the economy, labor force/employment, and consumer sentiment for the U.S., as well as local information concerning wages, military, real estate, tourism and more.

Please click here to see the report in full and call me if you have any questions. 

 

AND…PLEASE SAVE THE DATE…

The 23rdAnnual UCCS Economic Forum will be held on Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 1:30- 4:30 p.m. at the ENT Center for the Arts. 

This always sold out event is a must for anyone doing business in the city of Colorado Springs.  Registration and additional information can be found at:  www.UCCSEconomicForum.com.

 

SENIORS ON THE MOVE IN real estate MARKET

Keeping Current Matters, 8.21.19

August 21st was National Senior Citizens Day.  According to the U.S. Census the honor is because:

“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”

Here are some senior-related data in the housing industry:

“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.”

Seniors Believe in Homeownership

Freddie Mac compared the homeownership rates of two groups of seniors:  the Good Times Cohort (born from 1931-1941) and the Previous Generations (born in the 1930s).  The data shows an increase in the homeownership rate for the Good Times Cohort because seniors are now aging in place, living longer, and maintaining a high quality of life into their later years.

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This does not mean all seniors are staying in place. Some are actively buying and selling homes.  In the 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the NAR showed the percentage of seniors buying and selling:

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Highlights from the NAR report:

  • Buyers ages 54 to 63 had higher median household incomes and were more likely to be married couples.

 

  • 12% of buyers ages 54 to 63 are first-time homebuyers, 5% (64 to 72) and 4% (73 to 93)

 

  • Buyers ages 54 to 63 purchased because of an interest in being closer to friends and families, job relocation, and the desire to own a home of their own.

 

  • Sellers 54 years and older often downsized and purchased a smaller, less expensive home than the one they sold.

 

  • Sellers ages 64 to 72 lived in their homes for 21 years or more.

 

Bottom Line:

According to NAR’s report, 58% of buyers ages 64 to 72 said they need help from a real estate agent to find the right home.  The transition from a current home to a new one is significant to undertake, especially for anyone who has lived in the same house for many years.  

If you’re a senior or know a senior thinking about this process, please contact me so that I may help make this transition as easy as possible.  In recent years, I’ve helped a number of my clients who I sold homes to 20 or more years ago sell their present home and relocate to another one better suited for their current needs and/or closer to family or friends. 

It takes someone with my 47 plus years of experience and my special brand of customer service to understand the needs and wants of seniors.  It’s not easy to relocate at any age, but it’s much more difficult for those who have lived in the same home for many years.  I can help make this a more enjoyable experience.

 

BUYING A HOME IS A GREAT WAY TO INCREASE YOUR FAMILY’S NET WORTH

Keeping Current Matters, 8.21.19

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Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts its Survey of Consumer Finances where data is collected across all economic and social groups.  The latest survey data covers 2013-2016.

That study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400--a 15% increase since 2013.  At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).

Those numbers show that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.

Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth…

As I’ve mentioned many times before, homeownership is a form of “forced savings”.  Every time you pay your mortgage, rather than paying someone else’s mortgage via renting, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.

That is the reason Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the sixth year in a row.  According to this year’s results, 35% of Americans chose real estate.  Stocks followed at 27%, then savings accounts and gold.

Bottom Line:

Call me without delay to find out how you can use your monthly housing cost to increase your family’s wealth.  

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Harry A Salzman
ERA Shields / 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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