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June 25, 2012


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


OUR HEARTFELT THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO OUR LOCAL FIRE VICTIMS

As we write this issue of the Update, the TV stations are all covering the terrible fires which are devastating our local area. We have heard from friends, neighbors, clients and businesses about the problems that these fires have caused …but, fortunately, so far, no homes have been lost.

Our hearts go out to those who have had to abandon their homes during this emergency and our hearts have also been filled with admiration for the firefighters who are working so hard and for such long hours to protect our homes.

Let’s hope that this fire season is almost over and that we can all return to normal.

Thanks, again, firefighters !!! You are really heroes !!!

 

LOCAL HOME SALES JUMP 13.5% IN MAY
The Gazette, Friday, June 22, 2012

Colorado Springs-area home prices jumped to a nearly four-year high in May, while sales rose to their highest level in almost three years.

The median price of homes sold in May rose to $210,000, a 13.5% increase over the same month last year, according to figures released early this month by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors (See Statistics, below).

Home sales totaled 925 in May, a 15.8% year-over-year increase. The number of homes sold in May was the most for any month since 946 in July, 2009.


HOMEBUILDING RISES THIRD MONTH IN A ROW
The Gazette, Wednesday, June 20, 2012

U.S. builders started work on more single-family homes in May and requested the most permits to build homes and apartments in 3 ½ years, according the Commerce Department figures.

Locally, single-family homebuilding permits totaled 249 in May – nearly double the permit total during the same month last year and the highest monthly figure since 257 in April, 2007.

Through May, single-family building permits totaled 808 in the Springs and El Paso County for the year, a 47.7% increase over the same five-month period in 2011.

It’s time to Buy. Call us at 598-3200, or, 1-800-677-MOVE.


HOUSING STARTS JUMP 28.5 PERCENT IN MAY
By Inman News, Tuesday, June 19, 2012.

Privately owned housing starts saw a substantial year-over-year jump in May, following an even greater upwardly revised increase in April, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Housing starts rose an estimated 28.5 percent on an annual basis in May, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000. That's 4.8 percent below April's upwardly revised estimate of 744,000 when housing starts rose 34.8 percent compared to April 2011. The previous estimate was 717,000.

Housing starts have been rising on an annual basis since September 2011 and are now 48.1 percent above their trough in April 2009 -- 478,000 -- in census records dating back to January 1959.

Also in May, homebuilders broke ground on the highest number of new single-family homes so far this year: an estimated 516,000. That's a 26.2 percent increase in single-family housing starts compared to May 2011 and a 3.2 percent rise compared to April -- the third straight monthly increase.

Meanwhile, multifamily housing starts for buildings with five or more units rose 31.6 percent on an annual basis in May, to 179,000.

The West, including Colorado Springs, saw the biggest jump in single-family starts in May (37 percent), followed by the South (25.2 percent), the Midwest (20.8 percent), and the Northeast (18.4 percent).

The number of building permits issued in May rose 25 percent on an annual basis and 7.9 percent on a monthly basis in May, to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 780,000. Permits for single-family homes rose 4 percent from April and 19.9 percent from May 2011, to an estimated 494,000.

All of these figures indicate a strong improvement in the national housing picture and Colorado Springs is one of the leading cities in these improving numbers.

Better Buy now to take advantage of the low prices and low rates.

Call us at 598-3200, or, 1-800-677-MOVE.


WHAT TO DO THIS YEAR: RENT OR BUY A HOME?
RISMedia June 22, 2012

Today is a tempting time to Buy a home with interest rates and prices at their lowest levels in years. Deciding whether to buy or rent can be complicated, and potential homebuyers have a lot to consider this summer. As part of National Homeownership Month, the American Bankers Association came up with these key questions to help shoppers make wise financial choices when considering buying a home.

1. How much can you afford to put down? Can you afford the monthly payment? A mortgage down payment of 5 to 20 percent of the selling price is typical, but can vary depending on the situation. The size of the down payment will impact the monthly cost. Assess your financial health, determine how large of a down payment you can afford and consider if you can then afford the monthly cost.

2. What other debt do you have? Consider all of your current and expected financial obligations and ensure you are able to make all the payments. Aim to keep total rent or mortgage payments plus other credit obligations fewer than 35 to 40 percent of your monthly income. If you can’t keep payments below that, you may be better off renting for a while or searching for a more affordable home.

3. What is my credit score? Can I qualify for a good interest rate? A high credit score indicates strong creditworthiness, which qualifies you for better interest rates on a mortgage. Maxing out your credit lines and paying bills late will lower your credit score, and the impact of a credit score on interest rates can be significant. For instance, a borrower with a score of 760 could pay nearly 2 percentage points less in interest than someone with a score of 620. That equates to over $3,000 less in mortgage payments each year. If your credit score is low, you may want to delay buying a home and take steps to raise your score.

4. How much will taxes, monthly maintenance or other fees cost? Owning a home means you will have to pay real estate taxes and other costs like insurance and maintenance. However, owning a home can bring tax savings at the end of the year. Remember to factor in these costs and incentives. Renters have neither these costs, nor tax advantages.

5. How many years will I stay here? Generally, the longer you plan to live someplace, the more it makes sense to buy. Over time, you can build equity in your house where renters do not. Yet, renters have greater flexibility to move as they don’t have to worry about finding new tenants.

 

AS HOME PRICES RISE, INVENTORIES START TO SHRINK – IS IT TIME TO BUY?
USA Today, June 20, 2012

USA Today points out that there are several factors in play that will affect today’s homebuyer.

• First, prices are rising.
• Second, inventories are shrinking
• Third, cash-buyers and buyers with larger down payments are going after the bargains.
• Fourth, FHA Buyers tend to get shoved to the bottom of the pile because of appraisal issues, and because FHA borrowers tend to have more limited finances.

USA Today mentions Colorado Springs specifically as one of the top 7 US markets where there has been a drop of more than 50% in the number of homes for sale. This drop can be attributed to the facts that there are now fewer foreclosures coming to the market …. and many homeowners don’t want to sell right now because they don’t have enough equity in their homes, or because they are waiting for higher prices.

Another factor that is influencing the local real estate market is that it now costs more to rent than to own a home in 98 of the top 100 US metropolitan markets, according to real estate websiteTrulia, which tracks rents and home prices.

While all of these factors make our market very attractive to investors, …they really complicate the picture for the typical homebuyer.

In order to properly evaluate your homebuying decision in today’s market, you really need the input and advice of an experienced, helpful Realtor. Let us help you consider where you stand in our present market. ….Should you rent or buy? …How can you find the best deal? ….What does the future look like for the neighborhood you are considering?

Call us at 598-3200, or, 1-800-677-MOVE, to discuss these issues and to get some helpful advice about our local market.


SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the most recent Sales and Listing information for the Pikes Peak area. These statistics are published by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and can be helpful to you in evaluating and comparing current listings in the various neighborhoods in our area. If you would like to ask any questions about this data, please give us a call at 598-3200, 0r, 800 677-6683 (MOVE).

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


JOKE OF THE WEEK

This has been around before, still good.


An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio, Texas, leading a tired old mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat.

He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, "Hey old man, can you dance?"

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No son, I don't dance... never really wanted to"

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now!" ...and started shooting at the old man's feet.

The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet.

Everybody standing around was laughing..

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled 12 gauge shotgun and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly.

The silence was deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin 12 gauge barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man's hands, as he quietly said;

"Son, have you ever kissed a mule's ass?"

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No sir... but.... I've always wanted to."


There are a few lessons for all of us here:

*Don't be arrogant.
*Don't waste ammunition.
*Whiskey makes you think you're smarter than you are.
*Always make sure you know who is in control...
*And finally,……… Don't screw around with old folks; they didn't get old by being stupid....

MARKETING PHILOSOPHY?? ….WHAT IS IT???

by Harry Salzman

June 18, 2012

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


OK, HARRY, IS THE real estate MARKET REALLY AS POSITIVE AS YOUR ENEWSLETTER MAKES IT SEEM ??

Absolutely !!!! It’s hard not to get excited about the prospects for our local real estate market, when you read the stories coming out of the national press and our local media. Here are some recent examples:

• MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS SOAR TO HIGHEST LEVELS SINCE SPRING 2009 (Housingwire 6/13/2012)
• AMERICANS SEE BIGGEST HOME EQUITY JUMP IN 60 YEARS (Bloomberg 6/15/2012)
• FORECLOSURES DOWN FOR 20TH STRAIGHT MONTH (Housingwire 6/14/2012)
• INVENTORY OF FOR-SALE HOMES FALLS 20% FROM A YEAR AGO (Realtormag 6/13/2012)
• 30 YEAR MORTGAGE RATE DROPS TO A RECORD LOW (The Gazette 6/8/2012)
• LATE-SUMMER EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK SUNNY IN SPRINGS (The Gazette 6/12/2012)

Furthermore, our local statistics show that our local market is doing even better than the national market. Comparing our recent May figures with one year ago, we see that our average sales prices are up 9.3%. our median sales prices are up 13.5% and the number of sales is up 15.8%. These numbers show a market that looks good in anybody’s book.

The only negative number for prospective buyers is that our inventory of available homes for sale has shrunk 24.2%.

Finally, we just received a copy of a study commissioned by PPAR which shows remarkable upward trends in our local market. The study by Fred Crowley, chief economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, shows that:

• Local business conditions in general are improving
• Foreclosures are dropping
• New home building is rising
• Single-family home sales are rising
• Demand for homes is up
• Total listings under contract are up 21% in May
• Average days-on-the-market is down

PLEASE CLICK HERE for a copy of this report, and please note pages 9-15, which contain the data for our local real estate market.

The bottom line is that your dream home is now within your grasp …However, it may not be tomorrow, as prices and rates rise and as buyer competition for homes kicks in.

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


MARKETING PHILOSOPHY?? ….WHAT IS IT???

The other day, we had dinner with several friends to celebrate my upcoming 40th year of being in the real estate business in Colorado Springs. They asked me to explain how I have managed to build such a good reputation and a loyal following in such a competitive industry….in other words, what is my marketing philosophy.

It was a good question and I thought our readers might be interested my reply.

First of all, I don’t consider a sale to be successful just because it closes. I think my obligation to my clients requires that every transaction should add to their economic advancement. That means negotiating a fair price, a full discussion of all the factors that might affect the transaction (neighborhood history, economic trends in the area, etc.) an impartial look at the current inventory, a mortgage that will be sustainable and a reasonable expectation of an increase in the value of the home. Fortunately, because I have been gifted with a good understanding of real estate finance, I have been able to offer this kind of total real estate expertise to my clients.

Sometimes, this type of realistic approach ends up turning-off a sale, but that may be the best course of action for my client at that particular time. Most clients appreciate the opportunity to make an informed decision … and I don’t look at a closing as the end of my relationship with my client. I consider a closing as the beginning of a respectful friendship.

Does this marketing philosophy pay off? Well, I think that a 40 year track record and a sales history that is 50% higher than the typical Realtor would indicate that it does….and, for the record, I am not aware of any of my clients who have suffered foreclosure. What other Realtor do you know who can say that??

Give me a call at 598-3200, or, 800 677-6683 (MOVE), to talk about the local market.

INVENTORY OF FOR-SALE HOMES FALLS 20% FROM YEAR AGO
Daily real estate News | Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The number of homes on the market continues to become a shrinking pool. Inventory of for-sale single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops dropped 20 percent in May compared to year-ago levels, according to data from 146 local markets.

In April, the number of ‘for-sale’ homes was 2.5 million, which marked the lowest number for an April since 2006.

Inventories of “For Sale” homes in May declined even further in all but two of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com.

Our Colorado Springs inventories have shown an even sharper decline.

While inventories were on the decline, the median national list price was on the rise, inching up 3.17 percent in May compared to May 2011.

The Los Angeles Times discussed this topic (June 10, 2012) in an article titled, “Shortage of homes for sale creates fierce competition”. Some of the points in the article were:

• The newest problem for the slowly improving housing market isn't a shortage of serious buyers, it's a shortage of good homes.
• Would-be buyers are packing open houses and scrambling to make offers on properties before they are even listed. Bidding wars are erupting. And real estate agents are vying fiercely to represent the few sellers that do exist.
• Housing inventory has sunk to levels not seen since the bubble years. The number of American homes with a "for sale" sign hit 2.5 million in April, the lowest number for an April since 2006, according to the National Assn. of Realtors.
• The much-predicted foreclosure wave that was expected to dump more homes onto the market has not materialized. Fewer borrowers are entering default, and banks are better managing the properties they do have on their books.
• In addition, professional investors bankrolled by private equity firms and hedge funds are pouncing on bank-owned homes, often turning them into rentals…. So, you should think about making your move right now, before prices rise and inventories shrink even more.

This lack of available homes is maddening for those consumers who thought 2012 would be the year to buy, but now find themselves bidding against other prospective buyers. …So, Call us now to discuss your new home at 598-3200, 0r, 800 677-6683 (MOVE).


SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here to see the most recent Sales and Listing information for the Pikes Peak area. These statistics are published by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and can be helpful to you in evaluating and comparing current listings in the various neighborhoods in our area. If you would like to ask any questions about this data, please give us a call at 598-3200, 0r, 800 677-6683 (MOVE).

 

8 SCENARIOS THAT HURT MORTGAGE QUALIFICATION
By Jack Guttentag, nationally recognized real estate expert (Inmannews June 11, 2012)

• DO I JEOPARDIZE MY MORTGAGE APPLICATION BY CHANGING JOBS BEFORE THE LOAN CLOSES?

Yes. The underwriter approved your application based on your documented income covering two years or longer, from one source. At closing you must certify that all the information in your application continues to be true, which short of committing perjury you won't be able to do if you switch jobs. Your revised job history will be numbered in days rather than years, which could cause a rejection.

Back in the pre-crisis days, underwriters had discretion to use their judgment in such cases. If the borrower was moving up to a better position in the same field, for example, they would let it go. In today's market, however, underwriter discretion has been markedly reduced, and the likelihood of rejection is uncomfortably high. The prudent thing to do is to defer the job change until after the loan closes. Nobody will care what you do then.

• WILL THE RENTAL INCOME I RECEIVE FROM RENTING OUT MY HOUSE DURING PART OF THE YEAR HELP ME QUALIFY FOR THE MORTGAGE I NEED TO BUY THAT HOUSE?

No, anticipated rental income cannot be counted as qualifying income unless it is documented in the owner's tax return for at least two years. Further, only income net of expenses would be counted, and that number would be very small or zero if you expense everything you can in order to avoid taxes.

• CAN I QUALIFY USING MY INCOME AND MY SPOUSE'S CREDIT?

No. Good credit without the means to pay is of little value to lenders, and good income without the willingness to pay is not much better. Lenders require both capacity to pay and willingness to pay in the same person.

Before the financial crisis, married couples who had one spouse with the required income and the other with good credit often took "stated income" loans. Stated income was not verified by the lender. These loans were taken in the name of the spouse with good credit, who stated that the income of the other spouse was theirs. But stated-income loans no longer exist.

• HAVE PRE-APPROVALS BECOME MORE USEFUL TO HOMEBUYERS SINCE QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS BECAME MORE RESTRICTIVE?

Yes and no. The main purpose of preapprovals is to establish the bona fides of potential homebuyers to home sellers and their agents, who don't want to waste time dealing with wannabe buyers who can't qualify for a mortgage. With an increasing number of potential homebuyers unable to qualify, the value of reliable preapprovals has increased.

However, the same factors that make it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage today also make preapprovals less reliable. This is especially the case with self-employed buyers, who may be rejected despite having been preapproved. Preapprovals are always subject to conditions, the most important of which is a minimum appraised value. If an appraisal comes in below the minimum, the preapproval dies.

• AS A "NONPERMANENT RESIDENT ALIEN," CAN I QUALIFY FOR A MORTGAGE?

Yes, but the terms are a little stiffer because of the risk that you might be obliged to leave the country. Lenders will require a larger down payment and/or a higher interest rate. In contrast, a "permanent resident alien" suffers no penalty.

• CAN AN EXCESS IN APPRAISED VALUE OVER THE PURCHASE PRICE BE USED TO MEET A MINIMUM DOWN PAYMENT REQUIREMENT?

No, the down payment requirement is based on the lower of purchase price and appraised value. Any excess appraised value is ignored.

• WILL SIZABLE STUDENT DEBT PREVENT MY QUALIFYING FOR A MORTGAGE?

It may if you must begin repaying the debt within the first year of the mortgage, and if the amount is large relative to income. If the payments are deferred more than a year, it is a judgment call by the underwriter who will consider the size of the student debt, your credit and perhaps other factors.

• AS A DIVORCED SPOUSE WHO REMAINS LIABLE ON AN EXISTING MORTGAGE, CAN I QUALIFY FOR A NEW MORTGAGE?

Yes, if your income is large enough to afford the payment on two mortgages. If you can afford a new mortgage but not two mortgages, you must induce your ex-spouse to refinance the mortgage in her own name. Such a provision should have been part of a separation agreement.

The only other possibility is to convince the new lender that the ex-spouse remaining in the house is sufficiently creditworthy that there is negligible risk of your having to meet two payments. That will require documentation that your ex has been making the payments on her own for at least a 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. Call us 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. Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 677-MOVE (6683).

JOKE OF THE WEEK

A new guy in town walks into a bar and notices a large jar filled to the brim with $10 bills. The man approaches the bartender and asks, "What's up with the jar?"

"Well, you pay $10, and if you pass three tests, then you get all the money."

"What are the three tests?" asks the man

"Gotta pay first."

So the guy gives him the $10 bucks, and the bartender adds it to the jar.

"OK, here's what you have to do. First, you have to drink that whole bottle of pepper tequila -- the WHOLE thing at once -- and you can't make a face while doing it. Second, there's a pit bull chained up out back with a sore tooth. You have to remove the tooth with your bare hands. Third, that really ugly 90-year-old woman at the bar has never been kissed. You gotta give her a big kiss."

"Well, I've paid my $10 bucks," says the man, "so I’ll give this a try. Where’s that tequila".?.

He grabs the bottle of pepper tequila with both hands and downs it, gulp by gulp. Tears are streaming down his cheeks, but he doesn't make a face. Next, he staggers out back. Everyone in the bar hears a huge scuffle outside -- barking, yelping and growling, then silence.

Just when they think the man must be dead, he staggers back into the bar with his shirt ripped and gashes across his body.

"NOW," he says, "where’z at ol' lady with the sore tooth?"

Colorado launches SmartStep to help homebuyers

by Harry Salzman

June 11, 2012

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


THE LATEST STATS SHOW OUR LOCAL real estate MARKET IS COMING BACK STRONG

The latest statistics from PPAR show that our local real estate prices are back up to where they were four years ago and the number of sales are back up to where they were three years ago. In fact, Local sales prices have risen for the past three straight months. These are all good indicators that our local market has bottomed out and is well on its way back up. …..

Compared to the number of local home sales last year, we are up 15.8%. Furthermore, average sales prices are up 9.3%. (from $213,370 to $233,065). …and median sales prices are up 13.5% (from $185,000 to $210,000).

Most homebuyers will be very surprised by the home-price rises that are in store for us next year. Fannie Mae’s most recent housing survey shows that Americans are expecting home prices to rise next year, but by only 1.4%....If our present rate of median price increase of 13.5% continues, there will be many buyers who will look back and wish they had made their move now, rather than waiting until next year.

In a nutshell, the Inventory of available homes is going down and mortgage interest rates are at all-time lows….but prices are going up faster than most people expected.

The Bottom Line is: Buy now !!!

To see how our local market is getting healthier every day, CLICK HERE to take a look at the most recent PPAR statistics. These statistics will enable you to see what prices homes in every neighborhood are selling for and how much local Sellers are asking for their homes. These are some of the numbers that we use in developing ‘comparables’, to help guide you through the purchasing process.

Keep in mind, however, that there are a lot of variables that could affect the asking price for the home that you might be interested in. You need the assistance of a qualified, experienced Realtor to make you aware of all of the factors that will affect your decision. We will be happy to work with you to develop a specific, realistic offer for that home you have your eye on.

To take advantage of the wonderful opportunity that currently exists for homebuyers, please give us a call at 598-3200, or, 800 677-6683 (MOVE).


COLORADO LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAM TO HELP HOMEBUYERS
The Gazette , Friday, June 8, 2012

Last Monday, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority launched a new program of mortgage help for low and moderate income homebuyers. The program, called SmartStep, is available from 21 lenders in the Colorado Springs area, includes loans and special certificates that entitle buyers to get federal tax credits for part of the interest they pay on their mortgages.

The SmartStep Program includes:

• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 3.5% without down-payment assistance
• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 4% with down-payment assistance in the form of a second mortgage of as much as 3% of the first mortgage amount. The second mortgage is a 30-year loan at the same interest rate as the first mortgage.
• Mortgage Credit Certificates allow borrowers to claim a federal income tax credit of as much as $2,000. The credit is 50% of interest paid annually on loans of $100,000 or less, 30% of interest paid annually on loans from $100,001 to $150,000 and 20% of interest paid annually on loans of more than $150,000.
• To qualify, borrowers must be a first-time homebuyer, eligible veteran, or, acquire a property in federally designated low-income neighborhoods, pay at least $1,000 in some part of the transaction, have a credit score of at least 620,and complete a free buyers credit course online or in person. They must also use the agency’s income and ourchase price limits.
• For participating lenders in the Colorado Springs area, go to www.chfainfo.com/documents/participating_lenders/coloradosprings.pdf.


COLORADO GDP GROWTH BEATS U.S. AVERAGE
The Gazette, Wednesday, June 6, 2012

According to a report by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Colorado’s GDP growth of 1.9% in 2011 beat the national average of 1.5% and placed Colorado in 14th place in GDP growth.

Colorado’s growth came mostly from the state’s information services, manufacturing and professional, scientific and technical services industries.

The state’s economic growth per person grew 0.5% from 2010 and was the first gain since 2008 and the strongest since 2008. Colorado’s economic growth per person in 2011 was 8.9% higher than the national average at $45,792.

“This demonstrates that new technology is a good path to economic growth, although I believe growth would have been strong both in Colorado and the rest of the nation without a slowing in exports, probably as a result of slower economic growth in Europe and China”, said Fred Crowley, senior economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum.


HOUSING CRISIS DIDN’T SCARE AMERICANS OFF HOME OWNERSHIP
Daily real estate News | Friday, June 08, 2012

Seventy-five percent of Americans still aspire to own a home and consider home ownership a major life goal, according to a new poll of non-home owners aged 22 to 50 conducted by Integra Realty Resources, an independent real estate valuation firm.

Despite a housing crisis that saw housing prices drop in many markets, Americans’ enthusiasm for home ownership hasn’t lessened, according to the study.

The survey found that non-home owners under the age of 30 are even more positive about home ownership than older buyers: Forty-seven percent of respondents under 30 say owning a home is very important, compared to 41 percent of respondents over the age of 30.

While the desire to own remains high, many Americans say they are left on the sidelines unable to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and record-high housing affordability. Younger generations, in particular, say they face increased job insecurity and are struggling to come up with the financing needed to buy a home.

Thirty-one percent of all respondents to the survey said they can’t buy a home because they lack a down payment, 24 percent say they are holding off because they fear making a bad investment, and 21 percent say they aren’t buying because of the uncertain economic outlook.
Yet, “clearly, the American dream of home ownership lives on," says Jeffrey Rogers, president of IRR. "But if you go deeper into the research, this may be only in a fantasy not to be realized in the current economy."

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

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

First grade kids in a Catholic Elementary school were asked questions about the old and new testaments.
Can you imagine the Nun sitting at her desk grading these papers, all the while trying to keep a straight face and maintain her composure! (I know I couldn't!)

1. In the first book of the bible, guinessis, god got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.

2. Adam and eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was joan of ark. Noah built an ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

4. The jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic genitals.

5. Samson slayed the philistines with the axe of the apostles.

6. Moses led the jews to the red sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

7. The egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, moses went up to mount cyanide to get the ten commandments.

8. The first commandment was when eve told adam to eat the apple.

9. The seventh commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

10. Moses died before he ever reached canada . Then joshua led the hebrews in the battle of geritol.

11. The greatest miricle in the bible is when joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

12. Solomon, one of david's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

13. When mary heard she was the mother of jesus, she sang the magna carta.

14. St. John , the blacksmith, dumped water on his head.

15. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.

16. The epistels were the wives of the apostles.

17. One of the oppossums was st. Matthew, who was also a taximan.

18. St. Paul cavorted to christianity. He preached holy acrimony which is another name for marraige.

19. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? …APPARENTLY, THE NEWS MEDIA CAN

by Harry Salzman

June 4, 2012

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

CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? …APPARENTLY, THE NEWS MEDIA CAN

Last week we featured a national story about our local housing market that should have been featured in every local news media, but wasn’t. The story listed the 10 national metro markets where housing prices had risen the most from March to April.

Realtor Mag (May 29, 2012) reported that Colorado Springs was #10 out of the top 146 metro areas in the country for increasing values in “for-sale” home prices.

Now, rising prices are usually not a reason to rejoice, but, in the case of real estate, rising prices are a wonderful sign that the market is improving and is on the upswing. …and for our area to come in as #10, is a real signal that our local recovery is doing very well.

These price increases show the strongest gains in 6 years and are a good indication that Fred Crowley, chief economist for the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, was correct when he stated, “ The bottom of the real estate market in El Paso County took place 16 months ago”..

It’s a positive sign that housing prices are continuing to rise….but the message to prospective buyers is .. NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY !!!

 

DID YOU KNOW …COLORADO SPRINGS’ COST OF LIVING IS WELL BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE?
The Gazette, May 30, 2012

The Council for Community and Economic Research, an Arlington, VA-based research organization, surveys living-costs across the nation, and reports that Colorado Springs’ cost-of-living is 4.5% below the national average.

Fuel costs caused a slight recent rise in our local costs, but, Colorado Springs is still the best place to live !!!!

 

MORE GOOD NEWS …COLORADO SPRINGS’ FORECLOSURES, MORTGAGE DELINQUENCIES DOWN
Colorado Springs Business Journal – May 29, 2012

CoreLogic, a real-estate analytics firm, just released their monthly data about foreclosures. It show the foreclosure rate in Colorado Springs dropped year-over-year in March from 1.71% in 2011 to 1.39% of all outstanding mortgages this year. This is significantly lower than the national rate of 3.41%.

Both the declining delinquency and foreclosure rates in Colorado Springs are following a consistent trend on monthly declines.


HO-HUM…HERE WE GO AGAIN !!! MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES HIT ANOTHER ALL-TIME LOW

It’s getting monotonous to report that we have hit another “all-time low in mortgage rates”, but it really has happened again. With credit requirements being tight, lenders have fewer applications for mortgages, so, to incentivize prospective customers, lenders had to lower their rates again.

The current rate in Colorado Springs for a 30 year, FHA fixed-rate home mortgage is 3.375%.

OK, so what does that really mean to you, the prospective buyer? Let’s look at some real-time numbers.(To keep this simple, and to enable us to give a clear comparison with past years, we are not including taxes, insurance, closing costs, etc., since these factors vary so much based upon location, lender’s charges, etc.)

If you bought a $250,000 house today, after paying the 3 ½% down payment, your Principal and Interest monthly payment would be $1,066.50.

This same house, if you purchased it six years ago with an interest rate of 6%, would have cost you $1,446.42 for Principal and Interest ….That’s a 40% difference !!!!

So, does this mean that anyone can now buy a house and cash in on the present opportunity? Unfortunately, no. Only buyers with good credit can qualify for loans in today’s market. But, if you do have good credit, you really have a historic opportunity to get a great deal on a new home for yourself and your family.

And, as for those additional charges such as closing costs, we can assure you that the lenders with whom we do business can offer you the best deals possible. If you are interested in seeing how much a new home would cost you, let’s discuss it. Call us at 598-3200,or, 800 677-MOVE (6683).

 

HERE’S ANOTHER GOOD SIGN …LOCAL HOMEBUILDING IS ON THE RISE
The Gazette, Saturday, June 2, 2012

The pace of homebuilding surged last month in the Pikes Peak region, another sign that the housing market is moving toward a recovery.

Single-family homebuilding permits totaled 249 in May in the Springs and surrounding El Paso County - nearly double the permit total during the same month last year and the highest monthly figure since April 2007 (257).

This rise represents a 47.7% increase over the same five-month period in 2011.

Low interest rates, increased consumer confidence, troops returning from overseas deployment and the normal summer boom helped fuel this increase in homebuilding.

Things are looking up !!!

 

NATIONAL HOME VALUES SEE HIGHEST MONTHLY CLIMB SINCE 2006
 DSNews,com May 29, 2012

Zillow reports that both national values and rents rose in the month of April. National home values rose 0.7% in April to a Zillow Home Value Index of $147,300. This is the largest monthly increase in home values since January, 2006, and it makes April the second month in a row in which home values climbed up.

“The housing market continues to show positive signs, with home values increasing significantly in April”, said Dr. Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. “The recovery is moving in the right direction”.
 

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

 

LATEST STATISTICS

Click here for the latest Sales and Listing statistics for the Pikes Peak area. These statistics will enable you to see what prices homes in every neighborhood are selling for and how much local Sellers are asking for their homes. These are the numbers that your Realtor will use in developing ‘comparables” when you ask him/her for a recommended listing price for your home. However, there are a lot of variables that will affect the asking price for your home. We will be happy to work with you to develop a specific, realistic listing price for your home. Please give us at 598-3200, or, 800 677-6683 (MOVE),

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

It’s often confusing when people use the terms “Liberal”, or “Conservative”. What, exactly do these terms mean?
Well, here are some real-life examples, to help you understand the difference.

Scenario: You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a dangerous looking man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, raises the knife, and charges. You are carrying a Glock 45 and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family. What do you do?

Liberal Answer:

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids? Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation?

Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children? Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?

Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted? We need to raise taxes, have a “paint and weed day” and make this a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for a few days and try to come to a consensus.


Conservative Answer:

BANG!


Redneck’s Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click....(sounds of reloading). BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click.

Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips??

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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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