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HOW'S OUR LOCAL ECONOMY DOING? ....PRETTY GOOD, ACTUALLY

by Harry Salzman

October 31, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE

A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

HOW’S OUR LOCAL ECONOMY DOING? …..PRETTY GOOD, ACTUALLY

 When comparing data from September 2011 with data from September 2010, The Gazette (Oct. 30, 2011) points out that seven out of eight indicators in our local economy look positive.

The “good news” is that:

  • Initial claims for unemployment were down 9.4%
  • Unemployment rate was down 8.6%
  • Single-family home permits were up 53.1%
  • New auto and truck registrations were up 10.5%
  • Taxable retail sales were up 2%
  • Hotel occupancy rate was up to 76.5%
  • Foreclosure filings were down 20.4%

 As always, the trouble spot is the employment picture, with wage and salary jobs down 0.8%. This troubled aspect of the economy seems to be a national phenomenon and explains why all of the candidates for office are emphasizing “Jobs, jobs, jobs”.

We are happy to see that our new Mayor and City Council are concentrating on attracting new businesses to our area, so that our employment picture improves.

 

BUILDER MAGAZINE SAYS COLORADO SPRINGS LOOKS GOOD

The Gazette, Oct. 30, 2011

Colorado Springs’ housing market will be among the country’s best next year, according to a national forecast by Builder Magazine. The Springs ranks #7 in Builder’s Top 20 list of healthiest markets for 2012.

Builder publishes the Top 20 list in conjunction with parent company Hanley Woods, a real estate media and information services firm. Its projections use data from Moody’s Economy.com, which focuses on jobs, price appreciation, population growth and other factors that drive housing.

 

Incentives Grow to Get Struggling Home Buyers Moving

Daily real estate News | Friday, October 21, 2011

With distressed properties accounting for 30 percent of existing-home sales, more Realtors are finding a growing part of their job is offering struggling home owners “cash for keys,” according to a recent article at MSNBC.com.

In the “Cash for Keys” program, home owners who are facing foreclosure are typically offered between $500 to $2,500 if they agree to move out within 30 days (and leave the place clean, too). The benefits of this program for the cash-strapped homeowner are:

  • ·         It frees home owners from their mortgage obligations and provides them with some money for moving expenses
  • ·         It helps avoid a ruined credit profile from a foreclosure.

The benefit to the lender is that it allows him to avoid the extra costs of an eviction. 

The “Cash for Keys” program is expected to become a more mainstream option for handling short sales too, not just foreclosures. For example, Bank of America is piloting a program in Florida that will pay up to $20,000 to short sellers as well as forgive their loan deficiency. 

Banks are looking at offering more incentives to short sales since their losses tend to be far less than a foreclosure. For example, foreclosure properties tend to sell for 40 percent below non-comparable non-distressed properties while short sales tend to sell for only 20 percent less.

“The more the lender’s inventory builds up, the more generous they tend to be with  “Cash for Keys”, says Benjamin Barber, a senior sales specialist at Green River Capital LC in West Valley, Utah, in an interview with MSNBC.com.

Realtors are often the ones who deliver the “cash for keys” offer to home owners. And as more real estate professionals continue to find foreclosures and short sales as an increasing part of their job description, they’re even taking training classes on how to negotiate such situations with home owners and navigate these often-complex transactions.

About 21 percent of National Association of REALTORS® members now hold special certifications that help agents better handle distressed property — that’s up from 12 percent last year.

 

NEW Survey Reveals 5 Home Buying Myths

Daily real estate News | Friday, October 28, 2011

Overall, today’s home buyers tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the real estate market, but there are still a few points of confusion about the process. A new survey of 1,000 potential home buyers by Zillow finds five main areas of confusion:

  1. Appreciation: About 42 percent of home buyers believe home values will appreciate by 7 percent a year. Reality: Historically, home values in a normal market appreciate by 2 to 5 percent in a year. 
  2. 2.       Mortgage insurance: 41 percent of buyers think they will have to purchase private mortgage insurance, regardless of the amount of their downpayment. Reality: Buyers only need to purchase PMI if their downpayment is less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.
  3. 3.       Appraisals: 56 percent of the buyers said the purpose of the appraisal was to determine if a home was in good condition. Reality: That’s the purpose of a home inspection; an appraisal estimates fair market value. 
  4. 4.       Home owner’s insurance: 37 percent of home buyers said that buying home owner’s insurance is optional. Reality: Lenders require homebuyers to purchase homeowner’s insurance. 
  5. 5.       Ownership: 47 percent of home buyers said a prospective buyer owns a home after the purchase contract is signed. Reality: The purchase and sales agreement is the beginning of the closing phase, but it can be a long process until they finally take ownership. 

Let us help guide you through the home-buying process by explaining the realities you might not be aware of as you look for your new home. Call us at 598-3200,or, (800) 677-MOVE (6683).

 

and, as long as we are talking about real estate myths, here are

7 COMMONLY HELD myths about Home Inspections

Source: American Society of Home Inspectors, Des Plaines, Ill.

An estimated 70 percent of all homes sold annually receive a home inspection. Still, confusion persists over what the process does, and doesn’t, involve. Here are seven common misconceptions:

 

  1. 1.       Licensing ensures a professional home inspection. Wrong. Currently, 29 states have some form of inspector regulation—but state requirements vary widely. Verifying the inspector’s credentials, experience, and adherence to professional standards is still important, even in a state with licensing.
  2. 2.       A home inspection is designed to identify problems that might be the basis for renegotiating the purchase offer. Wrong. The inspector’s service is primarily one of education, providing buyers with a better understanding of the physical condition of the home and giving them the knowledge to make smart decisions. The inspector’s observations or recommendations might help to dispel buyer anxieties and provide useful home repair and maintenance suggestions. When areas of concern or problems are identified, the inspector should play no role in fixing them or addressing them with the seller.
  3. 3.       Home inspections are needed for existing homes only. Wrong. New construction is often the most in need of a thorough inspection. Many professionals offer “phase inspections” in which the property can be checked at various stages of completion.
  4. 4.       Having an appraisal, code inspection, and termite or other hazard inspection eliminates the need for a separate home inspection. Wrong. While each of these inspections is valuable, these should never be used in place of a complete home inspection. Similarly, a home inspection should never take the place of other prescribed inspections.
  5. 5.       Home inspections are for the buyer. It’s true, most inspections are conducted on buyers’ behalf during the purchase process, but prelisting inspections for sellers also can be beneficial. Prelisting inspections can identify areas of concern to be addressed before the sale and can assist in disclosure matters. The American Society of Home Inspectors recommends that a home be inspected every 10 years, regardless of whether a sale is taking place.
  6. 6.       Home inspectors are too nitpicky and will identify every little problem in the home. A professional home inspection is an objective examination of the condition of the visible and accessible components of a home on the day of the inspection. Professional home inspectors don’t point out every small problem or defect in a home. Minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent without the aid of a professional.
  7. 7.       All home inspector certification and credentialing programs are equal. Some organizations for inspectors offer credentials in return for nothing more than an annual payment, while others are new or exist mainly online. When selecting a home inspector, look at the background, history, and reputation of the person’s certifying organization.

This is another area in which we can assist you. Give us a call at 598-3200,or, (800) 677-MOVE (6683).

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 39 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 podcast for this month …

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes peak area, as published by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

We came across this joke on the Internet, and the timing seemed right !

The government is recommending another ‘Economic Stimulus’ aimed at pumping money into the economy, to help pull us out of the recession (which officially ended several months ago, in case you hadn’t noticed).  

This is indeed a very interesting idea, but many people don’t understand how to best spend their stimulus money in order to help the economy, so, we’ll explain it by using a Q & A format:

Q. What is an 'Economic Stimulus' payment ?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q.. Where will the government get this money ?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money ?
A. Only a smidgen of it.

Q. What is the purpose of this payment ?
A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Q. But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
A. Shut up.

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the U.S. economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

* If you spend the stimulus money at Wal-Mart, the money will go to China or Sri Lanka .

* If you spend it on gasoline, your money will go to the Arabs.

* If you purchase a computer, it will go to India, Taiwan or China .

* If you purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala .

* If you buy an efficient car, it will go to Japan, Korea or Finland .

* If you purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan .

* If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock, it will go to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.

Instead, if you want to keep the money in America, you should consider:

1) Spending it at a yard sale, or

2) Going to a ball game, or

3) Spending it on prostitutes, or

4) Beer, or

5) A tattoo.

(These are the only American businesses still operating in the U.S. )

Conclusion:

When you receive your stimulus money, the most patriotic thing you can do with it is, go to a ball game and drink beer all day with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a yard sale. !

No need to thank us, we’re just glad we could be of help.

THE NEW GAME PLAN FOR THE DENVER BRONCOS

by Harry Salzman

October 24, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


AT LAST !!! A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM TO HELP THE GOOD GUYS

The Wall Street Journal (Monday, Oct. 24, 2011), as well as Fox News and MSNBC describe an upcoming  major overhaul of an under-used mortgage-refinance program designed to help millions of Americans whose home values have tumbled. Federal regulators plan to announce the program today, in an effort to revive the stagnant housing market caused by a surfeit of homeowners who have been unable to re-finance their ‘underwater’ homes.

The overhaul will, among other things, let borrowers who have good credit and who have kept up their mortgage payments, refinance regardless of how far their homes have fallen in value.

The plan would streamline the refinance process by eliminating appraisals and extensive underwriting requirements for most borrowers, as long as the homeowners are current on their mortgage payments.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have also agreed to waive some fees which have made refinancing less attractive to many homeowners.

Officials at FHA, which regulates Fannie and Freddie, estimate that the plan will enable between 800,000 and 1,000,000 more borrowers to refinance at lower rates and thus, be able to continue to pay their mortgages.

CoreLogic, a company that tracks 85% of all mortgages, estimates that 20 million borrowers with equity in their homes could cut the interest rates on their homes by more than one percentage point, if they could refinance. That’s about a quarter of all the homeowners in the country.

Pricing details won’t be published until mid-November, and lenders could begin financing loans under the re-tooled program as soon as December 1, according to federal officials.

Bottom Line: If you bought your present home with a loan amount of $250,000 and an interest rate of 6.5%, this new program would allow you to re-finance to a rate of 4% and thus lower your monthly mortgage payment by approximately $520 per month. …Even if your home is currently ‘under water’.

If your present mortgage rate is 5.5%, your re-financed 4% loan would save you approximately $312 per month.

This new money in your pocket should now enable you to pay for Junior’s college, or, if you wish to upgrade to a better home and cash in on the current opportunities in the housing market, you could:
1. Re-finance your current home.
2. Rent it out (it’s a hot rental market right now), and
3. Buy that better residence at a very low price and a historically-low interest rate.  

Call us at 598-3200, or 800-677-MOVE (6683) to discuss what this new opportunity could mean to you

…… It’s nice to see the good guys win, for a change !!!


DOES RENTING OUT YOUR PRESENT HOME MAKE GOOD SENSE?

Daily real estate News (Tuesday, October 18, 2011) Identifies the rental market as housing’s bright spot.

“With rental demand rising and apartment economics improving, the multifamily sector is a positive signal for the U.S. housing industry,” writes Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, in the October 2011 U.S. Economic and housing market Outlook.
 
An increase of 1.4 million households moved into rental housing in the year ending June 2011--a 4 percent rise in the number of tenant households in one year alone, the Census Bureau reports. Meanwhile, the home ownership rate dropped about 1.5 percent over the past year.

Rents are rising at a 5.17 percent annual rate — up from last year’s 4.72 percent rate. If rents continue to grow at their current pace, they won’t be too far behind the record-high reached in 2000 of 6.18 percent, according to Axiometrics Inc.

The rental market has added about 1.4 million new renters this year, some of whom were former home owners who faced foreclosure or a short sale. Renters are increasingly showing an appetite for single-family homes owned by investors
.
As such, the number of investors in the market is growing. Investors make up anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of monthly existing home sales, according to home-sale data. With home prices and interest rates low, more aspiring investors are jumping in. Nearly 60 percent of investors in a recent survey by Realtor.com considered themselves newcomers to real estate investing.

The increase in rental demand is due partially to some households who may have faced a short sale or foreclosure of a home they owned. However, most of the rental demand is coming from young and newly formed households, who are postponing home ownership. The home ownership rate for household heads under 30 years of age has fallen the sharpest in recent years.

As demand increases, vacancy rates are dropping and rents are rising.

Keep in mind that rents are a steady return on your investment through the years, leaving you with an attractive asset when prices improve. And they will. The best profits in real estate accrue to long-term investors who take a long-term view.

Call us at 598-3200, or 800-677-MOVE (6683) to discuss this great opportunity


RIDING THE INVESTOR WAVE
By Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist
 
Interest rates continue at historic lows. Home prices in many markets are more affordable than ever. Indeed, housing affordability conditions are among the best they have ever been.

Especially for investors with cash, the situation is providing them with a golden opportunity. The investor share of home purchases has been creeping up. Investors accounted for 18 percent of home purchase activity in July; the share reached 22 percent in August. (The first-time homebuyer share fell after the homebuyer tax credit expired last year, and investors stepped in to fill much of the gap).

A significant share of investors is purchasing properties via all-cash transactions. All-cash purchases represented 30 percent of all home sales transactions across the country and accounted for over half of the sales in hard-hit regions like Las Vegas and Miami.

At the same time, higher rents are also attracting investors to the market and the attractive rates of return from rising rental income is a strong lure.

Rents rose at a better than 3 percent annualized rate in the third quarter of 2011, according to government data, and private data sources suggest even faster rent growth. If annual rent gains remain near 3.5 percent, rents will double in 20 years. If the rents rise 5 percent a year, rents will have doubled in 14 years.

In addition to strong returns on rental property, investors can anticipate solid home price appreciation over the long haul.

Given that the housing bubble has virtually deflated, the future path for home prices path should follow the future path for rent growth. That means home prices could also double in 14 to 20 years, though it is unclear as to when home prices will begin to catch up with rents. But long-term investors are sure to catch some if not most of the upward ride.

Call us at 598-3200, or 800-677-MOVE (6683) to discuss this great opportunity.


LOCAL HOMEBUILDERS PICK UP PACE IN SEPTEMBER

Local Homebuilders started projects in September at the fastest pace in 17 months, a hopeful sign for the economy.

Single-family building permits in Colorado Springs totaled 124 in September, a 53.1% increase over the same month last year.

It was the third year-over-year gain in permits during the past four months.

Looks like we're on track for a modest recovery this year.

 

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 39 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 podcast for this month …

 

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area.

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Joke #1

Bronco’s Coach Fox has a new plan for insuring a victory every Sunday.

He will let Tim Tebow take a nap before every game and then, right before the game begins, he will wake Tim up and whisper in his ear, “Tim, wake up. There’s only five minutes left to play before the game ends.”


Joke #2

We think we used this joke before, but it is still appropriate

The dream of the older generation was to pay off a mortgage. The dream of today's young families is to get one.
 
If you think no one cares you're alive, just miss a couple of house payments.

My buyers went through debt consolidation. Now they have only one bill they can’t pay.

If you want to know exactly where the property line is, just watch the neighbor cut the grass.

This country is great. It's the only place where you can borrow money for a down payment, get a 1st and 2nd mortgage and call yourself a homeowner.

The trouble with owning a home is that no matter where you sit, you're looking at something you should be doing.

WHAT DID THE SCEF PREDICT FOR COLORADO SPRINGS?

by Harry Salzman

October 17, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

 

Because there are a lot of interesting developments in the real estate market, we are calling this issue,

“BITS AND PIECES”

THE relocation MARKET ….IS THAT PROMOTION REALLY WORTH IT??

At the recent Denver meeting of Worldwide ERC, several interesting aspects of relocating employees were explored. The decline in home prices which resulted in many employees being “underwater” with their mortgages has forced companies to revise their policies regarding employee transfers:

• Unless you are a top-level manager, your company may not buy out your present mortgage. Instead, they may give you a rental allowance in your new city, encourage you to rent out your home in the city you are leaving and subsidize the rental differential (if your rental income does not pay for your mortgage payments) for some specified period of time. There can be tax implications for you, should this happen.
• If you end up renting out your present home, because of relocation, you become a landlord and will probably have to hire a management company to handle your property. Obviously, the relocation process is a much more complicated process than it was when employers could simply buy out your mortgage.

Does this affect employers’ relocation policies? You bet. In fact 65% of companies now offer some form of pre-decision support to their employees who must move and 65% of employees who are offered a job that requires a transfer don’t accept the offer because of the housing issue.

Bottom line - Better check all of this out, before you take that promotion!!! If you are an employer who is trying to work out the best possible solutions to your relocation policies, or, if you are an employee who is facing relocation, we would be happy to share our expertise with you.


IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO BUY? GUESS WHAT MY ANSWER IS.

Many of our readers kid us about the fact that we constantly say, “Now is the time to buy”. But seriously, folks, it’s true. Look at what experts are saying:

• The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011) says, “It’s Time to Buy That House”. The article points out that it’s an excellent time to buy a house to live in for the long term, or for investment income (but not for a quick flip) because of two factors:

The nation’s ratio of house prices to yearly rents is nearly restored to it pre-bubble average and

When mortgage rates are taken into consideration, houses are the most affordable they have been in decades

The article goes on to point out that, “if you have good credit, a job and a downpayment, you can get a mortgage. There’s more paperwork and scrutiny than five years ago, but things are pretty much like they were in the ‘80s and ‘90s.

“Houses aren’t the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the bubble, but when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump”.

• Bloomberg Businessweek (Oct. 17 – Oct. 23, 2011) states that “Epic Home Deals Await the Creditworthy”.

“Bargains abound, and rates are at record lows – for those who qualify”

“Buyers “won’t gain anything by playing the waiting game”

The Bloomberg article points out that the current market features lower prices, but tomorrow’s market will feature higher rates. For example, the house that lists for $300,000 today, with a 4% mortgage, will require a $60,000 downpayment, and monthly payments of $1,145, for a 30 year total of $472,200.

That same house in 2012 will probably list for $289,000, with a 4.5% mortgage and will require a $57,800 downpayment and monthly payments of $1,171, for a 30 year total of $479,360.

So, it’s not just us that’s saying it, folks. NOW really is a great time to buy.

Call us at 598-3200, or 800-677-MOVE (6683) to discuss it.


WHAT DID THE SCEF PREDICT FOR COLORADO SPRINGS?

As we have mentioned in our previous enewsletters, last week at the Antlers-Hilton, the Southern Colorado Economic Forum presented their analysis of what will happen in our area in 2012. There were several great presentations, but a few speakers merit some special attention.

Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist for Wells Capital Management showed several charts and graphs which tracked the recoveries from the recessions of the early 1990s and 2001 and our present recovery. Surprisingly, every aspect of the economy that was charted showed almost identical recovery lines and timeframes for all three recoveries. The only major segment of the economy that is not on the typical recovery track this time is housing. (Tell me about it).

Fred Crowley and Tom Zwirlein of the forum made presentations indicating that the nation and the world should expect another, smaller recession in 2012, but the impact on our local economy should be cushioned by the return to Fort Carson of between 7000 and 8000 troops now deployed in the two wars in the middle east. Spending by those troops should likely create another 3000 to 6000 local jobs

One startling statement made at the forum was that 10% of total defense expenditures within the US are made in the Colorado Springs area. No wonder our economy looks so much better than many other US cities.

The bottom line is that Colorado Springs is on track for recovery, and 2012 should see improvement in every economic area, but probably not more than 4%.


SO, HOW’S COLORADO SPRINGS LOOKING TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY?

Colorado Springs has been rated:

• 9th for recovery from the recession by the Brookings Institute because of a combination of a well-educated workforce and industries that have not been hit as hard in the recession.(09/11)
• 11th Best Drivers by Allstate Report compared to America’s 200 largest cities (09/11)
• 4th Best Value City by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for low living cost, strong economies and great amenities(07/11)
• 15th Best City for Families according to Parenting.com for quality of schools, affordable homes, low crime rates, jobs and parkland (07/11)
• 6th best in getting the “Bang for your Buck” metropolitan areas in America by U.S. News. Results are from the Council for Community Economic Research which looked at prices on a variety of basic goods and services, groceries, housing, utilities, healthcare, transportation and common expenses like movie tickets and newspapers (06/11)
• Garden of the Gods ranked 2nd Great Public Space by American Planning Association.(10/11)

In addition, Colorado was rated

• 3rd in the US by TechAmerica Foundation for concentration of high-tech workers, wages, trends in high-tech employment and other key economic factors (10/11)
• 5th Best State for Business by CNBC, which looked at cost of doing business, workforce, quality of life, transportation and infrastructure, economy, education, technology and innovation, business friendliness, access to capital and cost of living.(06/11)

And Tim Tebow will start as Quarterback for the Denver Broncos this Sunday. Who could ask for anything more?


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 39 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 podcast for this month …

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area.

JOKE OF THE WEEK

In surfing through several “Joke” sites, we came across a list of “Dumb Colorado Laws”. We are reprinting them here, together with our reactions to them. (We were going to reprint the “Dumb Federal Laws”, but had to abandon that idea when the list grew to 247 pages).

Dumb Colorado Laws
It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence. (Well, there goes half of my vacation).
Tags may not be ripped off of pillows and mattresses. (Apparently, using a flamethrower is legal.)

Colorado Springs
It is permissable to wear a holstered six-gun within city limits, except on Sunday, Election Day, or holidays. (Great !!!! Just when you need them the most)

Cripple Creek
It is illegal to bring your horse or pack mule above the ground floor of any building. (Especially if they are “under the influence”).

Denver
It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor. (Again, does this apply to flamethrowers as well?)

It is illegal to mistreat rats in Denver, Colorado. (Fill in your own comments on this one)

You may not drive a black car on Sundays. (This makes arranging funerals a little tricky)

Durango
It is illegal to go out in public dressed in clothes "unbecoming" on one's sex. (We’ll pass on this one, too)

Logan County
It is illegal for a man to kiss a woman while she is asleep. (Well, there goes the other half of my vacation.)

Pueblo
It is illegal to let a dandelion grow within the city limits. (If it weren’t for dandelions, my house wouldn’t have any landscaping at all).
 
Sterling
Cats may not run loose without having been fitted with a taillight. (Instead of an office party this year, we are all going to Sterling to watch the fitting process. Be sure to bring plenty of Band-Aids and ear-plugs.)

 

WHAT’S THE LATEST ON OUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET ?

by Harry Salzman

October 10, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

WHAT’S THE LATEST ON OUR LOCAL real estate MARKET ?

The Gazette reports (Oct. 6, 2011) that local home sales totaled 672 last month, an 11.4% increase over September 2010. This was the third straight month of sales increases.

So, sales are up …That’s good.

What about mortgage rates? Well, during the past year, mortgage rates have dropped approximately 1% (From 4.75% in October of 2010 to 3.75% in October of 2011). This amounts to a reduction of about 20% in the 30 year mortgage interest rate.

So, mortgage rates are lower …..That’s really good, too.

What about the inventory of available homes for sale. Well, our present inventory (4,196) is down 24.5% from September of 2010. This is the lowest number of homes for sale since January, 2010 and is a good indicator that our excess inventory is being cleared out.

On the negative side, the average sales price of local homes has dropped about 5.2% (from $230,419 in September of 2010 to $218,526 in September of 2011). This represents an approximate decline in price of 5.2%. However, indications are that prices have finally bottomed out. In fact, Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the NAR, is now predicting that, “Despite major hurdles in the housing market, there are signs that sales and prices have reached their bottom”.(Realtor Magazine, October, 2011

So, home prices have fallen …and that’s not so good …but it looks like they may have hit bottom.

OK, what do all these numbers mean to Buyers and Sellers?

Well, the bottom line for Buyers is that the cost of acquiring and owning a home is lower today than it has been in recent history ….. but that could soon change. As our inventory shrinks and as prices seem to be bottoming out, it looks like our “Buyers Market” could be shrinking. ..Better buy now, or miss out on the best deals we have ever seen.

For Sellers, however, the outlook is improving. Increased sales, lower inventories and lower mortgage rates should make it easier for you to sell your home in the coming months.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-MOVE (6683) to discuss our local market and how current conditions might affect your decision to buy, sell or invest.

And to review all of the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area, CLICK HERE.


HOW IS HOMEBUILDING HOLDING UP ?

Locally, Home construction jumped in September by 53.1%, over the same month last year (The Gazette, October 4, 2011).

Also, single-family building permits totaled 124 in September. This figure represents the third increase in the last four months.

This upturn in homebuilding is likely one reaction to the decline in foreclosures. Through the first three quarters of the year, foreclosure filings totaled 2,615, down 26.9% from the same period last year. The area is now on a pace to close the year with about 3,800 foreclosure filings, which would be the fewest since 2007.

The increase in building permits, coupled with the slowdown in foreclosures, are two more indications that our local real estate downturn is coming to an end.


TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE ---WORLDWIDE ERC GLOBAL WORKFORCE SYMPOSIUM

This week, we will be attending the annual ERC Symposium in Denver. The presentations include such interesting topics as: “Help! My mortgage is underwater and my company wants me to move”, “Distressed properties: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions in Mobility”, and “Changes in the U.S. Mortgage Industry”.

Every time we attend one of these Symposiums, we have the opportunity to hear from the experts and from our peers in the relocation industry. It’s another opportunity to learn how to help our clients with their relocation challenges.

If you are facing any issues related to relocation, please give us a call. We will be happy to hear from you and offer our assistance.


FACING THE LOSS OF YOUR HOME? WHICH IS BETTER, SHORT SALE OR FORECLOSURE?

Unfortunately, because of a loss of income or some other change in circumstances, many 
Homeowners find themselves in a situation where they can no longer afford to make their house payments. When this happens, they face a choice of either trying to “short sale” their home (i.e. work out an agreement with the lender who holds the mortgage to accept a buyer’s offer for less than the mortgage balance), or, letting the lender foreclose on the property.

Which of these options is better for the homeowner? Our experience tells us that a short sale is always the better option, for a number of reasons:

• The homeowner’s credit report after a short sale shows that, “Mortgage debt was settled for less than full” and the balance on the mortgage is $0. This opens the door to financial recovery.
• The homeowner’s credit report after a foreclosure indicates, “Foreclosure”, together with an amount that was delinquent. E.g. $150,000. This deficiency balance will create a much larger problem for the homeowner to overcome when he applies for credit in the future.

The short sale also eliminates such insults to the family’s dignity as a Sheriff’s order, or some other type of legal action.

If you face this type of problem, please call us at for advice Call us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-MOVE (6683) to discuss your options.

MAYOR STEVE BACH TO LEAD ANNUAL CHAMBER TRIP TO D.C.

This week, Mayor Steve Bach will lead the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce’s annual trip to Washington DC to meet with key lawmakers and public policymakers to discuss issues of importance to the Pikes Peak region. The mayor, along with about 70 local business and civic leaders will meet with the economic development director of the National League of Cities to talk about tools for emerging businesses, small businesses and primary employers, and will also meet with Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum. Mr. Holtz-Eakin is also the former chief economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and a former Congressional Budget Office official.

Other scheduled events include meetings with Colorado Senators Bennet and Udall, Rep. Eric Cantor, Rep John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House budget committee, the Department of Defense and U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials.

This year, for the first time, the trip will be lead by our elected Mayor, who has the authority to make budgetary decisions, so, the impact of the trip will be more measurable and productive in developing more business for Colorado Springs.

The primary goal of this annual trip is to stimulate jobs in our region …..and jobs will determine how quickly we are able to put the recession behind us.

We will report about the results of these important, business-building meetings, in future issues.

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 39 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 podcast for this month …

JOKE OF THE WEEK

I really don’t know why this joke struck me as being funny.

 

An elderly couple had been experiencing declining memories, so they decided to take a power memory class where one is taught to remember things by association.

A few days after the class, the old man was outside talking with his neighbor about how much the class helped him.

"What was the name of the Instructor?" asked the neighbor.

"Oh, ummmm, let's see," the old man pondered. "You know that flower, you know, the one that smells really nice but has those prickly thorns, what's that flower's name?"

"A rose?" asked the neighbor.

"Yes, that's it," replied the old man. He then turned toward his house and shouted, "Hey, Rose, what's the name of the Instructor we took the memory class from?"

39 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, AND WE CAN STILL BE SURPRISED !!!

by Harry Salzman

Oct. 3, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE
A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET


PENDING HOME SALES CLIMB 7.7% ABOVE LAST YEAR
 
Although August 2011 national home sales dipped slightly from July, 2011, they rose 7.7% compared with sales in August, 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist stated that “The market is underperforming, given a pent-up demand in household formation.

“The unnecessarily restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are attenuating the housing recovery and are a risk factor for the overall economy. We need to remove the road blocks to the housing recovery for people who are trying to take advantage of excellent affordability conditions”, Yun stated.

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

So that you might see how our local real estate market is faring, we have linked to the most recent Sales and Listing data for the Pikes Peak area, issued by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. At our publication time, statistics for September Sales had not yet been released, but we will include them in next week’s issue. Click here for the latest available statistics.

39 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS, AND WE CAN STILL BE SURPRISED !!!

Last week, we arranged for a 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage for an Investor-client. One of our local lenders wrote the loan at an interest rate of 4.375% for a non-owner occupied property

Our client reported that, considering the 4.375% rate and our local vacancy rate, he would show a positive income starting the first month after closing.

Last week, for an Owner-occupied home, we arranged for a 15 year, fixed-rate loan at 3% and 30 year loans were available at 3.75%.

These are the lowest rates we have ever seen.

If you’re thinking of buying, now’s the time to do it.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-MOVE (6683).

 

TWO MORE JOB-BUILDING PROJECTS FOR COLORADO SPRINGS ANNOUNCED

Agilent Technologies is moving forward on a $121 million, 55,000 square-foot expansion to their Garden-of-the-Gods campus. The project will include a 20,000 square-foot data center and a 35,000 square-foot technology center.

The economic impact of the Agilent expansion to Colorado Springs will match the expansion of the Wal-Mart data processing facility near Interquest parkway, which was announced in July. Wal-Mart has now finalized its purchase of the 24 acres required for the expansion, at a cost of $5.3 million for the land. Local government officials and business leaders projected that the new facility will pump about $488 million into the local economy over the first 15 years.

Both of these projects will create many new high-paying jobs in our local economy and our Mayor and City Council deserve a vote of thanks for aggressively pursuing these opportunities.

Keep up the good work !!

And, to add some icing on the cake, Tom Binnings, a senior partner in Summit Economics LLC, a Springs economic research and consulting firm, predicts that Colorado Springs job growth should resume next year as major construction projects take hold, including Fort Carson expansion, the Southern Delivery System water pipeline and several apartment complexes.

According to Binnings, some of the other positive factors that will impact Colorado Springs will be:

• Continued Population growth
• A resurgence of entrepreneurship
• Capital access
• Private sector company growth to replace expected government jobs losses
• Troops returning to and remaining at Fort Carson
• A modest resurgence of homebuilding.

And, best of all, we get to see the aspens turning for the next several weeks. …And to think, many people actually choose to live somewhere else…..on purpose. … Go figure !!

 

WANT TO LEARN WHERE OUR CITY WILL BE IN THE FUTURE? 
REGISTER FOR THE 15TH ANNUAL SCEF

On October 14, 2011, The Southern Colorado Economic Forum will bring together local experts from the public, private, and academic sectors to report on our economy. Thought of by many as our region’s economic “State of the Union,” the Forum offers the community an annual snapshot of local economic activity and provides forecasts to help businesses plan for the upcoming year.

This valuable research about where our community has been and where we are headed is made possible through a cooperative effort between UCCS and local business sponsors. This long-standing partnership between the academic and business communities has produced timely, accurate, and objective economic data to guide local businesses for nearly a decade.

This year’s Forum will be held in the Heritage Ballroom of the Antlers Hilton.

To register for this very informative meeting, Please click here.


FACING A TRANSFER ? BE AWARE THAT relocation BENEFITS ARE CHANGING

As a result of the decline in home-values and ‘upside-down’ mortgages, many companies are no longer able to simply ‘buy-out’ the homes of their employees who are transferring out of town. Instead, they are using ‘tiered policies’ or ‘Cafeteria relocation Benefits’ to assist their transferred employees moving to new locations.

According to the recent Worldwide ERC Survey, “relocation Assistance: Transferred Employees”, 73% of organizations now report they use tiered policies, compared to 10% in 1988. These companies use three or more tiered policies to better align policy with job or salary levels, homeowner/renter status and other criteria. 

Companies which use tiered policies report they must maintain some flexibility in these polices, or run the risk of alienating existing talent, but also must retain some rigidity, or exceptions become the rule and benefits can become inequitable.

Cafeteria relocation Benefits are offered by 24% of organizations (as compared with 13% in 1997).  These plans offer the company a menu of several benefits, such as:

• Homefinding trips
• En route travel
• Temporary living
• Shipment of household goods, autos and pets
• Home purchase assistance
• Home purchase assistance
• Spouse career transition
• Settling-in services
• Property management
• Child/elderly care assistance

As a long-time member of Worldwide ERC, we have many years of experience working with companies and transferees to assist them with their relocation needs and we would be pleased to discuss this important topic with you.

Give us a call at 598-3200, or, 800 677-MOVE (6683).


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 39 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 podcast for this month …

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

A bird was flying south for winter, but the weather turned cold early and he was frozen solid in a storm.

He dropped down, frozen and exhausted, into a pile of manure in a cow pasture.

At first, the bird was disgusted, until he realized that the manure was thawing him out! He was so happy to be warm again that he started singing for joy.

A cat that was nearby heard the singing, walked over, saw the bird and ate it

There are three morals to this story:
1. Not everyone who covers you with manure is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of the manure is your friend
3. If you happen to find yourself in manure, keep your mouth shut

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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Photo of Harry A Salzman Real Estate
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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