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