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Enewsletter - October 26, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

COLORADO SPRINGS IS BOUNCING BACK

 

This past week, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported that the unemployment rate in Colorado Springs in September had fallen to 7.4%. This is the lowest level of unemployment in 2009 (and for some time). As the experts at the upcoming Southern Colorado Economic Forum are observing, our local economy has bottomed out and the statistics indicate we are starting to recover from the recession.

 

On October 23, the National Association of Realtors reported that single-family home sales increased 9.4% within the last month. The Gazette put that national data into local context. They pointed out that the 9.4% increase was the largest in 26 years and that current local home resales are up nearly 24% from the national bottom of January, 2009.

 

Additionally, NAR reported that the national current inventory of unsold homes fell to almost 8%, our lowest level since March of 2007. That 8% represents an 8 month supply of homes for sale nationally.

 

To explain this inventory figure in more detail, the "Market Absorption Factor" is defined as "the number of months needed to sell current supply, based upon average monthly sales for the past 12 months". In Colorado Springs, the number of listings (4835) divided by the average monthly sales (823) gives us a Market Absorption Factor of 5.87 months. That's significantly better than the national figure of 8 months. In fact, of the 28 major national real estate markets charted by The Wall Street Journal on October 22, 2009, only 6 of the 28 major cities surveyed come close to that figure.   

 

As always, between the time when a recession is officially "over" and the time when employment returns to normal, businesses have the opportunity to review their investments, repair and remodel their plants, restock their inventory and prepare for the good times. And, because labor and material costs always lag behind a recovery (There are still 22,000 unemployed in the Colorado Springs area), these projects will be less expensive today than they will be next year. How strongly do we feel that recovery is just around the corner? Well, you may have noticed the major exterior remodeling of our office building that was just completed. In other words, we're getting ready for a busy 2010.

 

Forecasters are predicting a slow recovery, but, we can all start looking forward to better times ahead.

 

real estate STILL LEADS THE WAY TO RECOVERY

 

It's an established fact that real estate leads the economy into either good or bad times. In recent months, the First-Time Home Buyers' tax credit has helped lead us out of the recession by stimulating home sales. Experts attribute much of our recovery to the First-Time-Home Buyer tax credit. In recognition of that fact, and in an effort to continue this recovery, the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors have joined forces to urge Congress to extend and expand this important tax credit. In full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, these two organizations point out that, by renewing this soon-to-be-phased-out tax credit, Congress can create 350,000 new jobs, inject more than $28 Billion into the U.S. Economy and generate $12 Billion in additional Tax Revenue. Let's hope the efforts of the NAHB and the NAR are successful and that Congress helps "Put America Back to Work" by renewing this very popular tax credit.

 

SOUTHERN COLORADO ECONOMIC FORUM

 

Just another reminder, this Friday, from 7am to 12pm, the Thirteenth Annual Economic Forum will be held at the Antlers Hilton Hotel in downtown Colorado Springs. The keynote speaker will be Eugenio Aleman, Ph.D., Senior Economist of Wells Fargo. Please call us ASAP, or, click on www.SouthernColoradoEconomicForum.com, to reserve your place at this very informative event.

 

SALZMAN real estate SERVICES GETS INVOLVED IN HEALTH CARE

 

 While in Chicago attending the ERC conference, we were interviewed by MD Preferred real estate Provider, an internet based physician resource center which matches professional service providers in Real Estate, relocation, Insurance, Legal and Financial Advisory Services with physicians on the move. We have since been notified that Salzman Real Estate Services, Ltd. has been awarded membership in MD Preferred and will serve as their exclusive agent in El Paso and Teller Counties. We will provide relocation services to doctors involved with individual practices, groups, hospitals and clinics. This distinction, awarded to less than 100 national firms by MD Preferred Services, is based upon Salzman's "experience and commitment to serving the unique needs and demands of today's busy physician". We are excited and honored to be selected for this appointment.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

 

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

 

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

And God said to Adam,"It is not good for you to be alone, so I will create woman to be a helpmate to you. She will support you in all you do. She will always be cheerful and pleasant. She will laugh at all your jokes, no matter how often you tell them. She will be understanding when you play golf on weekends and when you have too much to drink. She will happily clean your house, cook your meals and pick up after you. And her name will be 'Eve'".

 

And Adam said, "That sounds great, Lord. But, how much will that cost me ?"

 

And God replied, "Creating is not cheap. It will cost you an arm and a leg".

 

And Adam pondered for a while and then asked, "Well, what could I get for, say, a rib?"

Enewsletter - October 19, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

SORRY ABOUT THE CANCELLATION

 

We apologize for the cancellation of our first "Open House with Style" that we announced last week. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to call off the event, which had been scheduled for October 24th .But we will be scheduling another one in the near future. Stay tuned !!

 

CONFIDENCE IN HOUSING VALUES JUMPS

 

A new Rasmussen Report indicates that Americans are more confident than they have been all year that housing values are going up and are also more likely to say their home is worth more than they owe on it..but they still don't think it's a good time to be selling.

 

The new national telephone survey report finds that 27% of homeowners say the value of their home is likely to go up over the next year. That's an eight-point jump from August and the highest level of confidence measured this year.

 

Just 19% say the value of their home is likely to go down in the next year, an eight-point drop from the previous survey. Unchanged is the 49% who expect their home's value to stay about the same.

 

In the same report, Voters remain closely divided on their opinions of President Obama when it comes to economic issues. While 40% say he is doing a good or excellent job handling those issues, 40% say he is doing a poor job. Still, 55% say the nation's current economic problems are due to the recession that began under President Bush. 37% blame the policies Obama has put in place since taking office. These findings have remained relatively stable since May.

 

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Voters oppose the passage of another economic stimulus package this year (the effects of which would be felt immediately before the elections of 2010). Sixty-seven percent (67%) are against a national sales tax on all goods and services as a new revenue source for the federal government.

 

For the first time this year though, Voters are almost evenly divided when asked if the environment can be protected without hurting the nation's economic growth.

 

CITY INITIATIVE 2C - PPAR SPEAKS OUT

 

On the upcoming November ballot, City Initiative 2c proposes to raise Colorado Springs' mill levy by 6 mills this year and 1 mill for each of the following four years. The Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (PPAR) has issued the following statement regarding this proposed Initiative:

 

"The Board of Directors of PPAR does not support Initiative 2C. The current economic downturn has undeniably affected all sectors of the economy, including revenue shortfalls for our local governments. While the City of Colorado Springs boasts having some of the lowest property taxes in the Front Range region, the heaviest burden of taxation currently inappropriately impacts our business/commercial sector. The PPAR leadership believes that a property tax increase as currently submitted to the voters of Colorado Springs continues to promote an imbalance of taxation between our residential and commercial sectors."

 

We have to agree with the Board of Directors of PPAR and we feel that Initiative 2C would create a burden on all the taxpayers in Colorado Springs.

 

MORE OBSERVATIONS FROM THE WORLDWIDE ERC CONFERENCE

 

After having had a chance to digest all of the information gleaned from the presentations at the recent relocation Conference in Chicago, it's obvious to me that there was a consensus on several key points:

 

Corporate relocation activity is down approximately 30%, undoubtedly as a result of the worldwide economic downturn.

 

Considering the fact that the stock market typically leads the business cycle by 2 quarters, the recent upturn in the market should be a signal to investors to take action in their local real estate markets. There will be an inevitable recovery from this, our worst recession since the Great Depression and the investors who take advantage of the current, low mortgage money, will prosper (Ben Bernacke has put us all on notice that these rates will not last much longer). Today's Real Estate investor should realize an excellent return over the next several years.

 

Investors who have concentrated exclusively on stocks and bonds would be well served to add real estate to their portfolios.

 

In general, there was an optimistic view of the real estate market in the near future and I was very glad I attended the conference.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

 

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

 

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 

 

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

For those of you who are parents of grown children, the following might make an interesting email to send to your offsprings:

 

Dear Son (Daughter):

 

Here's an easy test to find out who your Role Model is:

 

1)  Pick your favorite number between 1-9

2)  Multiply by 3

3) Add 3, then multiply again by 3

4) You'll get a 2 or 3 digit number ..

5) Add the digits together

Now, using that number, see who your ROLE MODEL is from the list below:

 1. Einstein

 2. Nelson Mandela

 3. John Wayne

 4. Helen Keller

 5. Bill Gates

 6. Mother Theresa

 7. George Clooney

 8. Thomas Edison

 9. Your Mom (or Dad)

10. Kermit the Frog

I know... I just have that effect on people ... one day you too can be like me...

Mom (or Dad)

P.S. Stop picking different numbers. I am your idol -- just deal with it!

Enewsletter Sept. 29, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

"OPERATION 60THIRTYFIVE" STUDY IS NOW COMPLETED

           

In the past week, the final report of "Operation 60 Thirtyfive" was delivered to Colorado Springs community leaders. (The report is named after the elevation of Colorado Springs, i.e. 6,035 feet above sea level). We do not have a copy yet, however, the Colorado Springs Business Journal has published some highlights of the study. Here are some of the areas of concern as listed by the Business Journal:

 

"Colorado Springs lacks positive leadership, community collaboration, is rapidly losing young professionals and the local Taxpayers' Bill of Rights severely handicaps the city's economic development efforts".

 

The plan bluntly defines the local and regional impediments to creating long-term effective economic development strategies.

 

"Early in the course of this project it became clear that there were systemic issues facing the region, issues that both compromised and threatened the ability to recruit new industry and that threw a stark light on economic vitality," according to the executive summary. "It was the opinion of the consulting team, as well as stakeholders, that a frank and candid assessment of those issues would be required".

 

The report says that longstanding silos must be broken down to allow for collaboration toward a common vision.

 

"This plan stretches the boundaries of what constitutes economic action', the report says. "It does this because community stakeholders believe that 'business as usual' will result in failure .The Pikes Peak region must take fundamental collaborative action in order to strengthen the region's competitiveness. Because of this approach, the recommendations that are the core of the plan go well beyond a traditional framework,"

 

The report's authors regard the region's loss of young professionals as a particularly serious problem.

 

"The region benefits from some of the top high school graduation rates in the country and extremely positive employer perceptions of the K-12 school systems," the report says. "High college attainment rates and growing university and community college professional presence offer significant opportunities, however, the region is rapidly losing the critical young professional demographic (25 - 44 age group). Reversing this trend and establishing the Pikes Peak region as a talent magnet will be a critical component of this action plan".

 

Much of the action plan's 26 pages are devoted to specific strategies.

 

"This committee should develop a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure a commitment to collaboration and implementation of this action plan," the repot says. "Successful implementation of the plan will not occur unless a comprehensive and diverse range of community leaders ate driving the effort. Other stakeholders, from state leaders to industry leaders to educators to entrepreneurs must be engaged".

 

 

NEW FEDERAL RULES ARE AFFECTING APPRAISALS

 

Last week, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Homebuilders and the Mortgage Bankers Association conducted a joint "Appraisal Summit" with Federal regulators, to discuss the new rules governing appraisals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed mortgages.

 

 As a result of recent federal regulations, lending institutions, rather than using the services of their local appraisers, have been utilizing the services of Appraisal Management companies. These companies frequently provide appraisers who are not familiar with local neighborhoods and/or market conditions. The result has been that many appraisals have been coming in below contracted prices. This has created a serious problem for Buyers and Sellers across the country.

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has stated they will implement new rules for FHA appraisals on January 1, 2010, that will be in "full alignment" with the Home Valuation Code of Conduct Rules, but these Rules are not specific enough, nor has implementation of these Rules been consistent enough to ensure that local appraisals will accurately reflect appropriate valuations of residential real estate.

 

If you have been affected by this problem, please give me a call to discuss it in more detail.

 

MORTGAGE RATES TO REMAIN LOW, BUT MAYBE NOT FOR LONG

 

The Federal Reserve, in a move aimed at keeping interest rates low for home-buyers, has announced it will not raise rates, at least until early next year. After that, they will gradually phase out the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. This means that, at least for the immediate future, Buyers will continue to receive very favorable home-mortgage rates.

 

As an example of these great rates, last week I received a quote for a 30 year, fixed rate FHA loan with only 3 ½% down, at 4 ¾% !!! Combine these rates with the First-Time Buyers tax rebate and it's obvious that, in today's market, home ownership is a much better deal than renting. Better act now, or regret it later.

 

13th ANNUAL SOUTHERN COLORADO ECONOMIC FORUM

 

On Friday, October 30, 2009, the 13th Annual Southern Economic Forum will feature a keynote address by Eugenio Aleman, Ph.D., Senior Economist, Wells Fargo. His topic is, "National and International Economic Outlook - Hit Bottom and Rebounding??.

 

Other presentations will include, "Current Economic Conditions in the Pikes Peak Region and Prospects for the Next 12 Months" by Tom Zwirlein, Ph.D, and Fred Crowley, Ph.D., College of Business and Administration, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and "What's Hot? Updates from the local Aerospace and Renewable Energy Sectors", a panel discussion.

 

These presentations will be followed by a Townhall Meeting: "Planning Ahead in the Pikes Peak Region."

 

We recommend that you register ASAP. The past two years have sold out. There is nothing else like this event in the Pikes Peak area.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move.

 

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

The following are new Error Messages planned for Windows Vista:

1) Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.

2) Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.
3) Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.
4) Press any key... no, no, no, NOT THAT ONE!
5) Press Ctrl-Alt-Del now for IQ test.
6) Close your eyes and press escape three times.
7) Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.
8) This will end your Windows session. Do you want to play another game?
9) Windows message: "You have just made a type mismatch! Shall I format your brain?"
10) This is a message from God: "Rebooting the universe, please log off."
11) Keyboard not attached. Press F1 to continue.
12) BREAKFAST.SYS halted... Cereal port not responding.
13) COFFEE.SYS missing... Insert cup and press any key.
14) CONGRESS.SYS corrupted... Re-boot Washington D.C? (Y/N)
15) File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)
16) Bad or missing mouse driver. Spank the cat? (Y/N)
17) Runtime Error 6D at 417 A:32CF: Incompetent User.
18) Error reading FAT record: Try the SKINNY one? (Y/N)
19) WinErr 547: LPT1 not found... Use backup... PENCIL & PAPER.
20) User Error: Replace user.
21) Windows VirusScan 1.0 - "OS/2 found: Remove it? (Y/Y)"
22) Backup not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic

 

Enewsletter - October 12, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

YOU'RE INVITED TO OUR FIRST "OPEN HOUSE WITH STYLE"

 

Please be our guest at our first "Open House with Style", which will take place at 8285 Clifton, on October 24, 2009. (This home is featured, below, in this newsletter). This Innovative event is a new approach to the traditional "Open House" and features a mini-trade show of local small businesses, gourmet hors d'oeuvres for all attendees, extensive advertising and an exciting way to network and promote local businesses and homes for sale. We are very interested in hearing from you about your reactions to this Innovation in real estate marketing.

 

We look forward to seeing you there !!

 

INFORMATION OVERLOAD FROM THE ERC CONFERENCE

 

I just returned from the semi-annual ERC Conference in Chicago. This event attracts representatives from every aspect of the relocation industry, including Corporate Human Resources Personnel, real estate Brokers, Mortgage lenders, Moving companies, Temporary Housing companies, consultants, etc.

 

I'm still digesting all of the new ideas and concepts discussed in the presentations, but, for the benefit of my readers who are involved with relocation, here are a few of the ideas about relocation that were presented at the conference. Please note that these random notes are not in any particular order:

 

Some observations about Relocations:

 

The most strategic investment of a business is the hiring process and those of us in the relocation sector play a key role in that process. Let's look at a few of the factors that are affecting the role of employee relocation services in today's market:

 

Within the U.S.

 

As a result of increased layoffs, there is an growing pool of highly qualified personnel available for hire. (The current national average for a professional job seeker to find new employment is approximately 23 weeks and seems to be increasing).

 

Shareholders are pressing harder for profits. So, corporations are closely monitoring home sale performance and their total relocation costs, including management fees and supplier fees and they are streamlining their relocation policies. Profits vs transfer costs for relocated employees are being closely compared. As a result, 2009 and 2010 will probably see a cutback in new-hire relocations.

 

It behooves companies that cannot educate their transferee Buyer and/or Seller about how to take advantage of the current housing cycle, to utilize the services of a trained relocation Specialist to provide this service. Selecting the proper relocation service providers will impact their entire staff.

 

International relocation issues

 

There is a "War for Great Talent" and countries from all over the world are competing with us for personnel. This global competition is irreversible. However, there is an increasing complexity of international compliances and security issues required for international relocation. International relocation issues are more political, social and economic than those in the U.S.

 

Some general business observations from the conference:

 

Within companies:

 

Many companies are cutting back on their buyout packages and others are providing a "loss on sale" package instead of the traditional reimbursements

 

There is an increasing number of lawyers and consultants at all levels of business

 

Corporations are shifting from print media to the internet

 

Most companies feel they offer appropriate health care benefits

 

Employees generally have not changed. They will give proper support to their company and abide by their policies, in order to preserve their careers. Employers should respect that.

 

There is an increase in diversification at both the individual and corporate levels

 

Cost reductions are becoming more "people-based and employee-centered"

 

Within the real estate profession:

 

From speaking with representatives from all of the major markets across the country, it was apparent that, to use one of my favorite expressions, "All real estate is Local", yet the problems are universal.

 

real estate has historically led the way in and out of recessions within their market areas and the decline of the Real Estate market has affected millions of people.

 

real estate companies are changing the way the consumer see's the Realtor's role in the process

 

real estate companies must become more technology oriented

 

Today's mortgage money is really cheap

 

 

Some of the issues that do not seem to have changed are:

 

There is an increase in transparency in real estate transactions, due primarily to the Internet

 

"On-line" real estate is here for good

 

The recent ruling, effective August 1, 2009, by the Federal National Mortgage Association that the trailing spouse income can no longer be considered will have a definite effect on the "trade-up Buyer" market.

 

Finally, Senior corporate leaders cannot agree on how long the present business cycle will last

 

We will continue to present new information from the conferences in future enewsletters.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

 

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

 

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ..And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 

 

 JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

For those of you in a quandary when considering your health insurance options, I offer the following Q and A:

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.

Q. I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. The doctors basically fall into two categories: those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry, the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No. Only those you need.

Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the generic medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.

Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his/her office?
A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $20 co-payment, there's no harm in giving it a shot.

Q. Will health care be different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.

 

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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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