The great deals that Buyers line up for at retail stores on the day after Thanksgiving are still available in spades for real estate Buyers.

In real estate, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the slowest time of the year. Most people are so busy buying presents and Christmas trees, that they don't have time to buy houses.

So, if you're a prospective Buyer, this time of the year presents a great opportunity to get some wonderful deals on houses. Not only are prices and mortgage rates low, but Sellers are not getting any offers, so they are very eager to negotiate with the few prospective shoppers who are willing to buy during this slow time of the year.

Now, if you're a Seller, this means that you should make sure you are making your home look as good as possible during this slow time of the year. Price it right and make it look good, both inside and outside.

Most real estate professionals advise Sellers to list their homes during the holiday season rather than waiting, citing more serious Buyers and less competition among properties, according to a recent survey.

In their recent survey of 429 real estate professionals, Holiday Home Selling Survey found that 60% said they would always advise a Seller to list a home during the holiday season and agreed that "it's a good time to sell".

The vast majority of respondents, 79 %, said more serious Buyers were one of the biggest benefits of listing during the holidays, while 61 percent said less competition among homes was a plus.

But the biggest challenge, noted by 63% of respondents, was keeping a home "open house ready," meaning clean and staged, during this time of year.

The majority of respondents, 74 percent, said pricing a home to sell was even more important during the holiday season, and 40 percent said staging a home was more important at this time of year. Nearly a third said being flexible with contract terms such as move-in dates and when closing costs were paid was more essential during the holidays.

The way a home is staged during this time of year is also significant, according to the survey. Almost all respondents said they advised Sellers to put up some seasonal decorations.

Eighty percent of respondents said they encourage Sellers to light their fireplace when staging a home during the holiday season, while 62 percent said they suggested Sellers update outdoor lighting because the Buyer is more likely to see the home at night due to shorter days.

Other popular staging advice for Sellers included using winter-scented home fragrances before an open house, making the home feel more cozy through reading nooks and blankets on couches and beds, setting the table to showcase holiday entertaining, and playing seasonal music that is not specific to a particular holiday, the survey said.

If you would like to find your new home before Christmas, or sell your new home before the end of the year, just call us at 598-3200, or, 800-677-MOVE (6683).


On Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, the Gazette reported that the pace of homebuilding increased last month in the Colorado Springs area while foreclosure filings fell, continuing a positive trend for the local housing market over the past few months.

Single-family homebuilding permits in El Paso County totaled 122 in November, up 27.2% from the same month last year, according to figures released Thursday by the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department. Year-over-year permit totals have increased in five of the past six months.

Local economists and housing officials track single-family permits as a measure of the health of the building industry and economy. When the economy is going well, permits are on the rise; when the economy goes south, so does the pace of homebuilding.

Permits are also tracked by local governments; lumber, drywall and other building materials that are purchased to construct houses generate millions in sales tax revenues that governments use to fund their annual budgets.


Three recent news stories all point to the fact that things are looking up.

First, NAR reports that the inventory of homes for sale is getting smaller. That's an indication that the glut of foreclosed properties which was artificially distorting inventories and prices is being absorbed by the market. That's good news. It means the real estate market is returning to normal.(The 'not so good' reason for this shrinking inventory is that some potential Sellers are 'underwater' with their mortgages and are waiting for their equity to come back, before they list their homes for sale. However, the rising prices of homes for sale could solve that problem within the next year.)

In fact, just this week we were interviewed by the Gazette to comment on the shrinking inventory of homes for sale and we pointed out that our current inventory of available homes (3667) is actually the lowest it has been since January of 2005, when it was 3725.

The Second piece of good news is that there was a jump in pending home sales in October.

Realtor.org. November 30, 2011, reports that pending home sales rose strongly in October and remain above year-ago levels, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, surged 10.4 percent to 93.3 in October from 84.5 in September and is 9.2 percent above October 2010 when it stood at 85.5.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said improved contract activity is a hopeful sign. “Home sales have been plodding along at a sub-par level while interest rates are hovering at record lows and there is a pent-up demand from Buyers who normally would have entered the market in recent years. We hope this is indicates more Buyers are taking advantage of the excellent affordability conditions,” he said.

“Many consumers are recognizing that home Buyers in the past two years have had one of the lowest default rates in history. Moreover, continued inventory declines are another healthy sign for the housing market,” Yun added.

Locally, home sales totaled 758 in October, a 20% jump over the same month last year. It was the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in home sales.

The third piece of good news is that the Wall Street Journal (Dec. 1, 2011) reported that private businesses added 206,000 jobs in November, according to their latest survey.

So, SMILE !!!! Things are getting better every day !!!


Daily real estate News | Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable now than in the past 15 years, and is less expensive than renting in numerous cities, according to The Wall Street Journal’s third-quarter survey.

Low home prices mixed with low mortgage rates—hovering at 4 percent or even lower—are creating an appealing Buyer’s market, analysts say. For example, buyers today have a 77 percent increase in their borrowing power compared to 1991, The Wall Street Journal points out that, in 1991 a $1,700 mortgage payment allowed a borrower to take out a $200,000 mortgage, whereas today the home owner taking advantage of current low rates can get a $350,000 loan for that same mortgage payment amount.

To illustrate, in 1991, a $1,700 mortgage payment allowed a borrower to take out a $200,000 mortgage, whereas today the home owner taking advantage of current low rates can get a $350,000 loan for that same mortgage payment amount.

In the 28 cities that The Wall Street Journal tracked, it found monthly mortgage payments on the median-priced home—including taxes and insurance—to be lower than the average rent levels in 12 of the metro areas.

Nationwide, apartment rents are expected to rise by about 4 percent this year, which may make the owning vs. renting picture tilt even higher, according to some analysts.


Daily real estate News | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two-thirds of baby boomers say they want to help their children or grandchildren with a home down payment, according to a study of more than 1,000 baby boomers age 45 and up conducted by Meredith Research Solutions for Better Homes and Gardens

In fact, one in five boomers surveyed say they've already loaned their children money, cosigned a mortgage, or given a cash gift for a down payment on a home.

Even baby boomers not considered wealthy are willing to offer help on down payments. While baby boomers who make more than $75,000 a year were found to be the most willing to offer help, 46 percent of baby boomers who make less than $75,000 per year say they also plan to help their child with a future home purchase, according to the survey.

So why are baby boomer parents so willing to help their children out with a home down payment? About 75 percent of boomers said they believe owning a home is a good investment for their children, and 58 percent said they think it’s still part of the American dream.

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, 800 877-MOVE (6683).


CLICK HERE to see the latest statistics about real estate sales and listings in the Pikes Peak area. Note that these statistics are generated every month by the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors and they are one of the important tools that we use in assisting Buyers and Sellers to establish realistic listing/buying prices. Also note that the data is broken down into specific neighborhoods in the Pikes Peak area.

Some of the more pertinent data contained in these statistics are median and average prices and price spreads within neighborhoods.

We would be happy to discuss these statistics with you and to answer any questions you might have about how they can be used. Just give us a call at 598-3200, or, 800 877-MOVE (6683).