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August 22, 2011

HARRY’S WEEKLY UPDATE

A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP: IT’S STILL THE AMERICAN DREAM

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac just released the results from their NATIONAL HOUSING SURVEY. We thought you might like to see some of the results.

First, let’s look at Rent vs Buy:

  •  63% of renters have aspirations of someday owning their own home
  • 72% of renters think that owning is superior to renting
  • 95% of homeowners see homeownership as a positive experience.
  • 96% of homeowners live in a single-family residence, while 46% of renters live in a multi-unit building

The survey also shows that the four major reasons a person buys a home have nothing to do with money. The top four reasons, in order, were:

  1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide them with a good education
  2. It provides a structure where you and your family feel safe
  3. It allows you to have more space for your family
  4. It gives you control of what you do with your living space (renovations and updates)

How about homeownership as an investment? Though most people purchase a home for non-financial reasons, everyone realizes there is a money component to homeownership. Here is what survey respondents had to say about that:

  • 65% of the general population (and 67% of homeowners) believe that homeownership is a ‘safe’ investment.
  • 56% believe that homeownership has more potential as an investment than any other traditional asset class.
  • 69% think that now is a good time to buy a home (this number has increased in each of the last two quarters).

The bottom line is that, even in difficult times, Americans still realize the value of homeownership.

 

SO, I’M THINKING OF SELLING MY HOME. WHAT SHOULD I BE AWARE OF??

If you want to sell your home right now, there are some factors you should be aware of. First of all, our current real estate market is, to use a technical term, “lousy”. Why did this happen and how does it affect you?.

  • As a result of the national economic decline, foreclosures and short-sale homes have flooded the real estate market, thus creating a temporary oversupply. When there is an oversupply of a product or service, prices tend to go down. …and homes are no exception to that rule.
  • Again, as a result of the general economic decline, this year’s county assessments of property values show lower values for homes, thus impacting our pricing of homes for sale. The bottom line is that home prices have gone down from their peak of about five years ago.
  •  This temporary oversupply has allowed prospective Buyers to be very selective about the price and condition of any home they look at. What this means to you, as a Seller, is that, if you want to sell right now, you will have to price your home realistically and make sure it is in great condition. Your house will not sell if it is overpriced (compared with your competition) or if there is deferred maintenance, peeling paint, dirty windows, worn carpeting, etc.

All of this means that you will probably have to invest some money in repairing or remodeling your home to bring it up to the quality that today’s Buyers are looking for.

Because of these factors, many homeowners have decided not to sell right now, but rather, to stay put, until prices rebound. They are adding features, finishing basements, remodeling, etc. Some are doing this to prepare their home for eventual sale, Others are doing it to upgrade their present home so they can stay in it, rather than selling it.

Call us now to discuss your options. We are very familiar with every neighborhood in this area and we will be happy to discuss with you the current market value of your present home, the relative merits of selling now, selling later, buying your next home now and converting your present home into an investment property, etc., etc., etc.

Call us at (719) 598-3200, or, 800 677 MOVE (6683). We would be happy to hear from you.

 

OK, I THINK I’LL HOLD ON TO MY PRESENT HOME FOR NOW …..BUT TELL ME ABOUT INVESTMENT PROPERTY. IS IT REALLY A GOOD IDEA?

There’s a great window of opportunity right now for acquiring some investment property. Why right now? …Because:

  • Prices are low …probably lower than you will ever see again
  • Rates are low… probably lower than you will ever see again
  • The inventory of available homes is very high. You have your ‘pick of the litter’
  • The high volume of people who, prior to foreclosure, were homeowners, but who are now renters has resulted in very low vacancy rates.
  • Lenders are starting to tighten lending requirements and loans will soon become more difficult to obtain
  • As of October 1, 2011, FHA maximum loan amounts will drop from $325,000 to $272,800 for most communities in the US, including Colorado Springs.

The Wall Street Journal, Wed. Aug 17, 2011 stated, “Prices are so low that more investors are scooping up foreclosed properties and renting them out. Investors can cover their monthly costs and make an 8% -12% profit pretty easily. We haven’t seen that in 20 years”.

As a matter of fact, the profit can easily be greater than that.

As an example, let’s take a look at what we discussed with one of our clients just last week, as we helped him build his retirement portfolio with an investor property. The following figures are based on realistic estimates in our local; market.

 

Purchase price                          $200,000

Down Payment                              50,000

Loan Amount                            $150,000

Using today’s investment interest rate of only 4.5% for non-owner occupied property, on a 30-year fixed loan (and assuming a tax bracket of 33%), here’s how the numbers worked out:

Monthly payment P&I                $760

Estimated taxes                       $120

Estimated Insurance                  $  80

Total Monthly Payment            $960

 

Typical one-year tax deduction

            Interest deduction          $6,700

            Estimated property tax  $1,440

            Total deduction            $8,140

 

Annual Income-tax savings        $2,686

Net cost of the property

            Monthly payment           $ 960

            Less tax savings           $(224)

            Net cost                        $736

 

The monthly rental net income (after estimating repairs and vacancies) would be $1,054

On a monthly basis, that works out to:

            Income                                     $1,054

            Loan cost                                 $ (736)

            Income before depreciation          $  318

            Depreciation per month               $ (390)

            Actual loss per month                   ($72)

 

Further, the estimated annual depreciation would be $4,675.

If you held this property for 10 years, assuming typical inflation and appreciation, you could expect an average annual growth of 3% per year. Thus, the market value would go to $260,000.

At the end of the ten years, your balance on the loan would be at $120,134 and your equity would be $139,866 from your original investment of $50,000. That’s 27.97% growth per year as your rate of return.

Finally, in the event that there is absolutely no growth for ten years, i.e. the economy does not grow at all, your rate of return would still be approximately 16%. In a dead economy, that would be fantastic !!

The icing on the cake is that these figures don’t even take into account your annual tax benefits/deductions. …That alone puts an additional $8,140 per year in your pocket.

And you thought Stocks were the way to go

If you would like us to go into more detail about these numbers, please call us at (719) 598-3200, or, 800 677 MOVE (6683). We would be happy to hear from you.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR NOW FOR THE 15th Annual Southern Colorado Economic Forum

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 wiill be held in the Heritage Ballroom of the Antlers Hilton.

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

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

 

Top Ten Things Never Before Said by a Presidential Candidate

10. "Vote for me or I'll slash your tires"

9. "Forget universal health care -- I'm buying every American an XBox"

8. "In a crisis I ask myself, 'What would Regis Philbin do?'?

7. "I'd give you my plan for economic recovery if I actually had one"

6. "If your last name begins with 'M' through 'Z,' sorry -- your taxes are doubling"

5. "We're gonna cut the deficit by selling North Dakota to Canada"

4. "I have tons of experience from being president of the Aston Kutcher fan club"

3. "Lady, that is one ugly baby"

2. "When I'm president, I'm putting Elvis on Mt. Rushmore"

1. "Read my lips: I plan to fire half the people in Washington"

HOW WILL THE CREDIT DOWNGRADE AFFECT MORTGAGES?

by Harry Salzman

August 15, 2011

HARRY'S WEEKLY UPDATE

A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

 

IS NOW A GOOD TIME TO BUY YOUR NEW HOME?

LET'S LOOK AT THE FACTS

No matter what news outlets you read, the scary headlines about the housing market may have convinced you to postpone the purchase of your new home until the market "settles down".

Unfortunately, if you have been influenced by these depressing news stories into postponing your home purchase, you will be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Let's take a cold, hard look at our local housing market to see what the facts are.

 

HOW IS COLORADO SPRINGS DOING ?? 

Actually, compared with most other parts of the country, Colorado Springs is doing quite well. The national statistics from the National Association of Realtors and the local statistics from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors show that, over the past four years, i.e. the period that encompasses the much-publicized decline in the housing market, the national median home price, according to NAR, has gone from $223,500 in July of 2007 to $171,900 in July of 2011. That's a decline of approximately 23%.

However, during that same period (July of 2007 to July of 2011) our local median home price has only gone from $227,000 to $194,000. That's a decline of approximately 10%. .that's 13% better than the national average for home prices (and much, much better than your retirement fund has done)

The bottom line is that "all real estate is local", and therefore, the headline that laments that "You can buy a home in Detroit for $50", doesn't really have any meaning in our local market. Our prices have held up remarkably well. In fact, they appear to have 'bottomed out' and have started to climb again.

 

AREN'T FORECLOSURES STILL CAUSING A PROBLEM??

In fact, the worst of the foreclosure problem came two years ago. Since then, most of the 'at risk' Homeowners have been weeded out. Foreclosure filings in El Paso County in the second quarter of 2011 dropped 36.1% from the same period in 2010 and first-half foreclosure sales were down 15.6% from last year. As a reflection of this drop, new construction is picking up. Single-family building permits are up and El Paso County is seeing more construction activity than any other major metro area in the state.

However, one significant effect that foreclosures are having on the market is that everyone who has lost a home through foreclosure has become a renter. This has resulted in a very low local vacancy rate, an increase in rents and a rise in the sale of investment properties. You may never have thought of yourself as a landlord, but you should give some serious consideration to purchasing a rental property. Prices are low, Interest rates are at record-lows and there is a big demand for homes and apartments, so rents are rising rapidly.

 

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH MORTGAGE RATES? ......OR...........

HOW MUCH HOUSE WILL MY MONTHLY P&I PAYMENT GET ME ?? 

Here's some great news for prospective Buyers. This week, mortgage rates have gone down to as low as 3.875% for a 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage. As Karen Moore of Mortgage Loan Originator Residential Mortgage of Colorado, one of our preferred lenders points out, "These rates are lower than I have seen in my 29 years of mortgage banking".

To put these rates into real numbers, in 2007, the monthly principal and interest payments on a $200,000 home with a 6.5% mortgage was $1264.14.Today, a $200,000 home with an 3.875% mortgage would have a P&I monthly payment of only $940.47. That's a savings of $323.67, or around 25% less expense every month for the lucky HomeBuyer who decides to buy right now.

Take a look at how much your monthly Principal and Interest payment would buy at today's mortgage interest rate of 3.875%.

Approximate loan amount                       Monthly P&I                          

$212,659                                                           $1,000

$255,190                                                           $1,200

$318,988                                                           $1,500

$382,786                                                           $1,800

Keep in mind that these prices are based upon the 3.875% rate for Owner-occupied properties, but the current Investment property rate is still a very low 4.625%. It's not unusual that, considering today's high rents and the depreciation tax write-off, an investment home can generate enough income to pay for itself. In other words, the Owner has a "free" home which can be held forever, or, can be sold at a profit when prices rebound.

So, there may not be any such thing as a "free lunch", but you can now buy a "free house".

Surprised, aren't you?

Call us at (719)598-3200 or (800)677-MOVE (6683).

 

WHAT ABOUT THE APPRAISAL PROBLEMS WE HAVE BEEN READING ABOUT ?

You are probably referring to the media stories about real estate deals that have fallen apart because of "low" appraisals. Here, again, the headlines don't tell the whole story.

The reason why appraisals can present a problem is that many homes currently on the market are overpriced, either because of inadequate market research by the Realtor, or because the Seller insisted on an unrealistic listing price. Whatever the reason, the fact is that an overpriced house will not sell.

Because we do our research, have extensive knowledge of every neighborhood in the Pikes Peak area and work with our local appraisers, we have had absolutely no problems with appraisals creating closing problems.

Take a minute to think about all of these facts and then call us to discuss our local market, the outlook for real estate in the Pikes Peak area, the opportunities for acquiring your next home or investment property or any other questions you might have about Real Estate in general. Just dial (719)598-3200 or (800)677-MOVE (6683).

We're looking forward to hearing from you. 

 

NEW MAYOR INITIATES AN "UPDATE EMAIL" TO KEEP US INFORMED

Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach has introduced a free email report to keep us advised of the status of the city, budgeting problems and priorities, etc. To see a copy of the recent report, Click here. Or, to get on the mailing list, send your email address to:  stephenbach@comcast.net.

Great idea, Steve !!!

 

HOW WILL THE CREDIT DOWNGRADE AFFECT MORTGAGES?

"Not much", says Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist & Senior Vice President of the National Association of Realtors. Mr. Yun says that mortgage rates might be impacted by 30 basis points at maximum by the recent S&P downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. He states that it is also possible that the downgrade might have absolutely zero impact, if global bondholders do not care for S&P's opinion.

In a statement issued on August 8, 2011, Mr. Yun points out that, "A 30-year fixed rate rising from 4.3% to 4.6% will not change the housing game that much, but a return to normal underwriting standards and a boost to consumer confidence will be the true game changer".

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

 To see the latest Sales and Listing statistics from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors, Click Here

JOKE OF THE WEEK

"How to Succeed in Business" Advice from an Investment Banker

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The Banker asked how long it took to catch them. The Fisherman replied, "Only a little while." The Banker then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?" The Fisherman said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs." The Banker then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?" The Fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and I could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; The next step would be to open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. Obviously, at that point, you would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to the city, where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?" To which the Banker replied, "15 to 20 years." "But what then?" asked the Fisherman. The Banker laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions." "Millions?...Then what?" The Banker replied, "Then you could retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

This story illustrates the truth of the old saying, "Give a man a fish, and he will be able to eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will be able to sit in a boat and drink beer for the rest of his life".

 

WAITING FOR 'JUST THE RIGHT MOMENT' TO SELL YOUR HOUSE?

by Harry Salzman

August 8, 2011

HARRY'S WEEKLY UPDATE

A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

 

THINKING OF BUYING A HOME ?  HERE'S SOME REASONS FOR DOING IT RIGHT NOW

 If you have been delaying buying that new home, either as a residence or as an investment, here are a couple of reasons for getting off the dime and making your move right now:

 

  • Mortgage rates and fees are on the verge of going up. Although you can now get a loan for as low as 4% - 4.25%, that's going to change soon. S&P warned that they may downgrade Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and that will push rates up. Also, loan fees are going up and credit requirements are tightening. The bottom line is that, if you qualify for a loan today, you had better strike, while the iron is still hot, or, you might have to pay a higher rate tomorrow.  
  • If you have been delaying your decision to buy and home prices take another downward slide, you might not end up with as much equity in your present home, thus making it more difficult to qualify for a loan
  • Inflation is an inevitable consequence of printing more money ..(and we have done a lot of that lately). The coming Inflation will raise all prices, including home prices.

 And, as far as buying a home as investment property is concerned, remember that, "Everybody has to live somewhere". With homeownership falling (65.9% in 2011 vs. 69.2%in 2004), because of foreclosures and tightening credit requirements, more people are now being forced to rent. This creates an opportunity that has persuaded many smart investors to buy rental property.

 As we emphasized in our last issue, a lot of "Big Money" is getting into the investment property game. Buying foreclosed properties has long been an activity for mom-and-pop investors, but now hedge funds, private equity firms, pension funds and university endowments are dipping into that market. They see that, within the last couple of years, rentals have gone from 20% to 30% of the housing market and they see that the double-digit returns shown by investment property are much better than the low yields which other income investments are showing.

 Keep in mind, also, that Colorado Springs has historically out-performed the rest of the country in real estate appreciation.

 Perhaps you should discuss this option with us. It could improve your entire investment portfolio.

 Call us at (719) 598-3200 or 1-800-877-MOVE (6683)

 

WAITING FOR 'JUST THE RIGHT MOMENT' TO SELL YOUR HOUSE? READ ON

If you have delayed putting your house on the market until there isn't as much competition (i.e until the inventory of available homes gets smaller), it looks like you might have a long wait. Many experts are predicting that 2011 will see a jump in inventory, as banks dump more foreclosures on the market.

To quote from the KCM blog, here are some of the industry publications that are predicting an increase in inventory and a decline in prices:

 

  • BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK - "Housing prices will decline 6% - 8% nationally, with 6 - 7 million more foreclosures yet to come".
  • YAHOO FINANCE - "Housing prices will fall another 20% and underwater mortgages will balloon from 23% to 40%"
  • HOUSING WIRE - "JP Morgan analysts estimate a further drop of 4% in home prices from the first quarter of 2011 to a new bottom next year."
  • DS NEWS - "Most analysts expect further declines to characterize the later parts of the year and possibly extend into next year, largely because of the huge supply of foreclosures on the market"

The bottom line for prospective Sellers is that waiting might be a bad strategy. By waiting, if prices dip, your equity could go down and the number of competitors for prospective Buyers could go up.

Bottom line: If you are thinking of selling your home in the next 12 months, you would probably do much better if you sold sooner, rather than later.

Call us at (719) 598-3200 or 1-800-877-MOVE (6683)

 

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

The latest report from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors shows that, :

  • Number of Sales in July 2011 was up 11.9% over July of 2010 (798 vs 713)
  • Prices in July 2011 were down 5.2% from July 2010
  • Median prices in July, 2011 were up 7.5% from June, 2011 ($198,950 vs $185,000)
  • 80% of all local sales were for homes under $299,999
  • There are now 20.8% fewer homes on the market than there were last year.

If you would like to examine all of the local housing statistics for July, 2011, please click here and. if you would like to discuss any aspect of the PPAR report, please give us a call at (719) 598-3200 or 1-800-877-MOVE (6683).

 

THE PARADE OF HOMES IS NOW OPEN

This year's Parade of Homes opened on August 5th and features 33 homes and 25 home builders. The main sites are located at Gold Hill Mesa, Cordera and Flying Horse.

We're excited to see that Homebuilders are confident that the market is coming back and we're looking forward to seeing you and the beautiful new homes at the Parade.

If you would like any information about the Parade of Homes, just give us a call at 719-598-3200 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.

Finally, just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my podcast for this month.

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

After sitting through the recent interminable Football Hall of Fame ceremonies, we were reminded of an old joke:

Three sons left home, went out on their own and prospered. Getting back together, they discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother.

The first son said, "I built a big house for our mother."

The second son said, "I sent her a Mercedes with a driver."

The third son smiled and said, "I've got you both beat. You remember how mom enjoyed reading the Bible? And you know she can't see very well. So I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible and speaks three languages. It took elders in the church 12 years to teach him. He's one of a kind. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it."

Soon thereafter, mom sent out her letters of thanks:

"Milton," she wrote son #1, "The house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house."

"Gerald," she wrote son #2, "I am too old to travel. I stay most of the time at home, so I rarely use the Mercedes. And the driver is so rude!"

"Dearest Donald," she wrote to her third son, "You have the good sense to know what your mother really likes. The chicken was delicious."

Donald immediately called his mom:

"Good Grief, Mom. That wasn't a chicken. It was a very valuable parrot. He could recite the whole bible and speak three languages".

Mom responded, "My Goodness !!! ..So why didn't he say something??

LEMONADE, ANYONE?

by Harry Salzman

August 1, 2011

HARRY'S WEEKLY UPDATE

A CURRENT LOOK AT THE COLORADO SPRINGS RESIDENTIAL real estate MARKET

LEMONADE, ANYONE ????

From time to time, our friends kid us about the fact that our Enewsletter always manages to maintain a positive view of the housing market. 

"With all the news about housing sounding so bad, how do you always manage to sound so enthusiastic about our local housing market", they ask.

Well, let's take a look at what's happening in housing and see if the "bad" news is really all "bad", or, can it actually be "good" news, depending upon how you react to it.

In other words, maybe we have to make lemonade out of the lemons that the market has dealt us in the past few years.

True, the news we read in the papers sounds pretty grim. For example, here's a few housing headlines from the past week:

  •  HOME SALES, PRICES REFLECT MALAISE - The Wall Street Journal, July 27
  • HOUSING PRICES RISE SLIGHTLY, BUT REMAIN WEAK - NY Times, 7-27-11
  • GROWTH SLOWS THROUGHOUT U.S. -Gazette, July 31, 2011
  • HOUSING SQUEEZE FAILS TO LOOSEN UP- The Wall Street Journal, July 25.

(By the way, this last headline fits right in with our lemonade analogy)

Wow, that paints a pretty bleak picture, doesn't it? But now, let's look at some of the positive aspects of the data that will illustrate there's a fantastic opportunity waiting for you in today's market:

  •  Everybody has to live somewhere !!!!!, That means they either buy or rent their home.
  • While the population of the Springs has remained fairly stable, the percentage of people who own their homes has gone down (65.9% in June.the lowest level since 1998) and the percentage of people who rent has gone up accordingly. What this means is that the individuals and families who have lost their homes to foreclosure have now become RENTERS !!
  • Vacancy rates for apartments and single-family homes are way down and going lower.
  • Because vacancy rates are down, rents are going up (In many cases, mortgage payments are cheaper than rent, for the same property)

So, what does this mean to our readers who are thinking of selling their homes?

  •  If you don't have to move, or don't want to move right now, just wait for the market to come back (and it will, eventually). Relax, have a glass of lemonade and enjoy life !!!
  • If you have to sell right now because of a job transfer, or a change in your family finances, be prepared to price your home realistically, based upon today's market. True, you will probably have to sell at a price lower than you would have gotten three years ago... however, your new home will be a real bargain. ..and remember, for every dollar you "lose" when you sell at today's prices, you will gain one back when you buy your new home.
  • If you just want to "move up" to a bigger/nicer home in this area, but don't want to take a 'loss' on the sale of your present home, consider renting out your home. (You might even make more from the rent than you presently spend on mortgage payments). Later, when the market comes back, you can either sell your present home or continue to rent it out. But, before you decide to sell it, keep in mind that there are several financial benefits to being an "investor". (Call us to discuss this. You might be surprised how owning a rental property can improve your retirement plan).

 "OK, Mr. Lemonade. What if I'm a Buyer? "

Well, if you're a Buyer, you are looking at a fantastic opportunity. Some of the reasons for buying your home right now are:

  •  Prices are very low ..probably as low as they are ever going to be.
  • Interest rates are very low .probably as low as they are ever going to be.
  • Down payment requirements are very low .probably as low as they are ever going to be.
  • Inventory is very high .probably as high as it is ever going to be.

 (Come to think of it, those also sound like good reasons for buying investment property.)

And, if you need further assurance, just check out the following recent articles.

The Wall Street Journal: Why It's Time to Buy

CBS Money Watch: Why the Time to Buy is Now

Forbes Magazine: 9 Reasons to Buy a House Now

National Public Radio: For Many, It's Still a Good Time to Buy a Home

The bottom line: Call me at 719-598-3200 or 800 677-MOVE (6683) and we'll have a glass of lemonade and talk about your new home.

THE PARADE OF HOMES OPENS ON AUGUST 5TH

This year's Parade of Homes opens on August 5th and features 33 homes and 25 home builders. The main sites will be located at Gold Hill Mesa, Cordera and Flying Horse.

We're excited to see that Homebuilders are confident that the market is coming back and we're looking forward to seeing you and the beautiful new homes at the Parade.

If you would like any information about the Parade of Homes, just give us a call at 719-598-3200 or 800 677-MOVE (6683)

See you there.

AND HERE'S SOME MORE GOOD NEWS

Sorry to be so cheerful, but the good news just keeps rolling in. Here are some examples:

  •  CoreLogic's July report says that home prices are stabilizing and the number of foreclosures is falling.
  • Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index of home prices in the top 20 metropolitan areas shows a 1% increase.
  • On the local scene, WalMart's new $100 million dollar data center will be built near Voyager and Interquest parkways. The center will require an additional $50 - $100 million in machinery and equipment and will initially employ about 30 people with salaries of $30,000 to $70,000. Construction will begin in October and will be completed in late 2012.
  • Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has named Colorado Springs as #4 in their list of 'Best Value Cities' The list cites "low living costs (8% below the national average), strong economies, great amenities and the high number of 'creative class' workers".

Colorado Springs is profiled in the September issue of Kiplinger's magazine and online at www.kiplingers.com/links/bestcities.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW COLORADO SPRINGS IS DOING? THE "QUE" WILL TELL YOU

The Southern Colorado Economic Forum issues a quarterly report on our local economy. This 19 page report, called the "QUE" (Quarterly Updates and Estimates), contains graphs and statistics about every facet of our local economy and is invaluable in analyzing our economic progress. The most recent report shows that our economy is struggling to rebound, but slowly.

The "QUE" housing market statistics indicate that our prices and inventory are stabilizing.

Fred Crowley, chief economist for the Forum, states that we are on our way back up, but jobs will still be the critical factor in our recovery.

For a complete copy of the "QUE", Click here.

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, please contact us. 

LATEST SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

Click here for the most recent Sales and Listing statistics from the Pikes Peak Area Realtors Association

JOKE OF THE WEEK

To heck with news about the deficit. Deficit, Schmeficit, Who cares. The important news is that football is back. We thought you might enjoy the following story that illustrates what football means to the typical fan:

A guy named Bob receives a free ticket to the Super Bowl from his company. Unfortunately, when Bob arrives at the stadium he realizes the seat is in the last row in the corner of the stadium he's closer to the Goodyear blimp than the field. About halfway through the first quarter, Bob notices an empty seat that was 10 rows off the field, right on the 50 yard line. He decides to take a chance and makes his way through the stadium and around the security guards to the empty seat.

As he sits down, he asks the gentleman sitting next to him, "Excuse me, is anyone sitting here?"

The man says "No".

Now, very excited to be in such a great seat for the game, Bob again inquires of the man next to him, "This is incredible! Who in their right mind would have a seat like this at the Super Bowl and not use it?"

The man replies, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me, I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't attended together since we got married in 1965."

" Wow, that's really sad," says Bob, "but still, couldn't you find someone to take the seat? .maybe  a relative or close friend?"

No," the man replies, "they're all at the funeral."

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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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