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Harry Salzman

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E Newsletter - Aug. 17, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

GREAT NEWS !!!

  

This week, Fred Crowley, Colorado Springs Senior Economist for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs reports that El Paso County is pulling out of the recession. Jobs, housing numbers, car sales and the return of Fort Carson soldiers are some of the economic indicators that point to an emerging economy.

 

Crowley's comments reflect the findings contained in the Quarterly Updates and Estimates, published by the Southern Colorado Economic Forum, Volume 8, Number 1, July 31, 2009.

 

According to the report, real wages are expected to increase for several more months and building permit numbers are steady. Car sales are rebounding because of the Cash for Clunkers Program and sales tax revenues should see a spike because of the new troops at Fort Carson.

 

Crowley had predicted that the local economy would bottom out during the last quarter of 2008 and would begin to emerge during the first quarter of 2009 and the new report confirms that his prediction is coming true.

 

The Business Conditions Index now stands at 79.09, up from its March value of 70.4, a 12.35% improvement since March. The Business Conditions Index is a measure of 10 seasonally adjusted local economic indicators, including building permits, enplanements employment, sales tax, car sales, foreclosures and wages.

 

As our readers are aware, we have been predicting a dramatic improvement in our local real estate market by the third quarter of this year and this latest report supports that prediction.

 

This Quarterly report also includes a very informative section, "Coping with Economic Conditions, a Business Survey". We were honored to be a participant in this survey which included such topics as: Perceptions of the Economy, The Effects of the Recession on a Business Owner, Expectations about the Stimulus Package, etc. We think you will find it interesting.

 

Our community owes a debt of gratitude to UCCS for all of the research, time and expense they put into the preparation and dissemination of these reports.

 

If you would like to receive a free copy of the 23 page Quarterly Report, please email me your request at Harry@HarrySalzman.com and we will forward a copy to you.

 

Here's an added thought..There's an old saying that, in a recession, the two best ways of protecting your assets are gold and real estate. Well, that being the case, and considering that the "experts" are predicting runaway inflation next year, it looks like NOW is the time to consider acquiring rental property. The present Real Estate climate (low mortgage interest rates, motivated Sellers, large inventories, etc,) represents a great opportunity for savvy Buyers to protect their assets against inflation by investing in some high-quality rental properties. For that reason, we will feature more information about investment property opportunities in the next issue of our Weekly Update.

 

By the way, be sure to listen to our latest podcast about the current local market. The link is available at the top of this Update.

 

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about our emerging local economy, you should attend the upcoming 13th Annual Southern Colorado Economic Forum presented by the College of Business and Administration of UCCS at the Antlers Hilton Hotel on Oct. 30th, 2009. Be sure to make your reservations ASAP, to insure that you get a seat. In recent years, this event has been a "Sell Out" and many people without reservations have been turned away at the door. For more information, click on www.SouthernColoradoEconomicForum.com.

 

 

 

INNOVATION OVERLOAD

 

We are still recovering from an intensive week of seminars, workshops and demonstrations at the Inman Connect SF09 Exhibition in San Francisco. Over 1700 professionals attended this event, featuring over 45 educational sessions, plus a huge Trade Show, loaded with ideas. (We were the only participant from the Pikes Peak region). This whirlwind convention explored the Innovations that are now sweeping the real estate profession. Some of the topics explored were: The Open 3D House, 10 New Tools and Technologies, What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why it Matters to the Real Estate Industry,

 

While it was encouraging to learn that our recent offerings of the Job-Loss Protection Plan for Buyers and the Complete Market Surveys for Prospective Buyers fitted right in with the most current trends in our profession, it was also challenging to learn about all of the other new techniques for providing better services to our clients. It's really amazing to see how technology is changing our entire profession.

 

(If you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Plan, or our Complete Market Survey, please give me a call, or contact me at Harry@HarrySalzman.com)

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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.

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

In line with all of the current discussion about health care, we thought you might want to review the following list of:

 

Things You Do Not Want To Hear During Your Surgery,

 

Could you stop that thing from beating? It's throwing my concentration off..
What's this doing here?
I wish I hadn't forgotten my glasses.
Sterile, shcmerile. The floor's clean, right?
Anyone see where I left that scalpel?
Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.
Darn! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

Ya know, there's big money in kidneys. Heck, the guy's got two of 'em.
Better save that. We'll need it for the autopsy.
Bo! Bo! Come back with that! Bad Dog!
Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?
Hand me that....uh....that uh....thingie.
Oh no! I just lost my Rolex.

E Newsletter - July 28, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY’S COLUMN

CONSISTENT MARKET IMPROVEMENT IN COLORADO SPRINGS 

After two complete quarters of fully-recorded and closed real estate sales activity in 2009, we note that every month has shown increases in both the average and the median prices of homes sold in our local market.(Only April showed a negligible decline). For your information, we are including a chart which shows these figures for each of the separate areas in the Pikes Peak market..

 

 

Median Sales Price

Median Sales Price

Area

Dec.31, 2008

  June 30, 2009

 

 

 

Black Forest

$255,000

359,617

Briargate

281,000

285,000

Central

130,250

130,000

East

164,000

164,000

Manitou Springs

235,000

313,500

Northeast

189,950

210,000

Northwest

288,500

282,500

Northgate

313,500

333,500

Powers

188,000

194,000

Southwest

254,500

225,000

Tri-Lakes

337,450

369,000

 To further emphasize that the real estate market is now on the way back up, we reference a recent article from Inman News, titled, “Home Sales Show Third Month of Gains.”

 "Existing-home sales rose for a third month in a row in June, and prices may stabilize in many areas by the end of the year if inventories continue to decline, the National Association of Realtors said today.

Sales of resale homes, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 3.6 percent from May to June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units -- virtually the same as a year ago, NAR said.

At that rate of sales, the 3.82 million homes on the market represented a 9.4-month supply, down from 9.8 months in May.

A six-month supply of homes is generally considered a healthier balance of supply and demand, but the "raw inventory" total, or number of homes on the market, is down 14.9 percent from a year ago.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of housing fundamentals in 28 major real estate markets during the second quarter showed considerable variation in inventory, ranging from a high of 18.1 months in Chicago to just 2.7 months in Sacramento, Calif.

"If we can keep the volume of sales above the level of new inventory, prices could stabilize in many areas around the end of the year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a press release."

Give me a call to discuss the great opportunities now available for prospective home buyers.

2009 HOUSING OPPORTUNITY PULSE SURVEY

The June 30 PULSE Survey of the Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, published by the National Association of Realtors, emphasizes that now is the time to buy. NAR’s seventh pulse survey reveals that despite improved affordability conditions, eight in 10 Americans still consider having enough money for downpayment and closing costs to be the biggest obstacle to buying a home.

The survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers, also found job security concerns to be the highest in seven years of sampling. Two-thirds of Americans think job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem; eight in 10 cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.

The telephone survey of 1,250 urban and suburban adults in the top 25 metropolitan statistical areas was conducted for NAR by by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. June 30 PULSE Survey of the Top 25 Metropolitan Statistical Areas, published by the National Association of Realtors, which emphasizes that now is the time to buy

Some key results include:

·     Eight in 10 Americans (82 percent) still consider having enough money for downpayment and closing costs to be the biggest obstacle to buying a home.

·     Two-thirds of Americans think job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem; 83 percent cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.

·     83 percent of Americans still believe buying a home is a good financial decision.

·     Three-fourths of those surveyed also believe now is a good time to buy a home, a number that has increased steadily the past two years.

·     The number of those who feel buying and selling activity has stabilized or stayed nearly the same has grown significantly, up more than 44 percent since last year.

·     The majority (58 percent) report that activity in their market has slowed.

·     Regarding home sales, nearly eight in 10 say it’s harder to sell a home in their area today than it was a year ago, despite the fact that nearly three-fourths of respondents say home prices are less expensive.

·     Foreclosures remain a real concern among survey respondents. Slightly more than half (51 percent) say foreclosures are a big to moderate problem in their area.

·     The rate of foreclosures is generally seen as stabilizing; 41 percent say the rate of foreclosures in their area is about the same as last year.

·     Ninety-two percent of respondents said neither they nor members of their immediate family have experienced a foreclosure in the past year, yet it is still a personal concern for many. One in five respondents said they are very or fairly worried that they will have difficulty making their mortgage payments over the next year.

·     Thirty-two percent say it’s a big or moderate worry that they, or a member of their family, may have their home repossessed or foreclosed because they are unable to pay rising monthly mortgage payments.

·     In 2008, more than half of respondents (54 percent) were open to the federal government taking a more active role in overseeing mortgage and lending practices – the number dropped this year to 47 percent.

·     Forty-two percent of Americans believe the country is back on the right track, more than double the number last year (16 percent).

SALZMAN’S JOB LOSS PROTECTION PLAN CAUSES STIR IN INDUSTRY

In the PULSE article noted above, the NAR notes that “Two thirds of Americans think job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem. Eight in ten cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership”. This concern on the part of many prospective homeowners is the reason why we decided to offer our “Job Loss Protection Plan, to our clients. We invite you to call us to discuss this innovative program.

 And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 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.

 JOKE OF THE WEEK

 While walking down the street one day a US senator is hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

 ‘Welcome,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, we'll have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.

 And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly & nice guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

 The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. ‘Now it's time to visit heaven. ‘So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

 ‘Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity. ‘The senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell. ‘So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

 Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and prods him with a pitchfork. 'I don't understand,' stammers the senator. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?

 ‘The devil looks at him, smiles and says, 'Yesterday we were campaigning....Today you voted.'

 

E-NEWSLETTER, JULY 20, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY’S COLUMN

 THE NEGOTIATION PROCESS

 real estate transactions are often won or lost during the process of negotiation. And we have found that better negotiating skills make happier clients.

 Finding the right property for the Buyer and the right Buyer for the Seller is only the first step in the negotiating process. Once the price for the property is established, there are 29 performance dates required by the standard “Colorado contract to Buy and Sell real estate”. Any one of these dates can be a “deal killer”, for either the Buyer or the Seller. This is especially true in a relocation transaction, where we need to correlate timetables in two different states.

 As your Broker, another one of our responsibilities is to introduce you to competent, trustworthy vendors who will be able to provide reliable services such as moving, storing household goods, providing temporary housing, and, most importantly, providing the best mortgage available.

 In order to assist you with the best advice possible relating to your mortgage, we regularly study the daily mortgage rates as published in the Wall Street Journal. That enables us to advise either for or against an offering by any of our local lenders, based upon the current “wholesale” rates. We are happy to provide our clients with the most experienced, knowledgeable advice in the area of financing.

 Almost every real estate transaction requires negotiation. Some of the issues that can complicate a transaction are:

             A corporate buyout

            A sale involving two attorneys

            A sale involving a divorce settlement

            A sale involving a foreclosure sale

 The bottom line is that, with over 37 years of experience in negotiating real estate transactions, we are confident we can negotiate the best deal possible for you. I invite you to call me, personally, to discuss your own unique requirements.

 FREDDIE MAC SAYS HOME SALES WILL POST STEADY GAINS

 The analysts at Freddie Mac say that home sales bottomed out in the first three months of 2009 and will post steady gains each quarter to reach a pace of 5.85 million sales by the fourth quarter of 2010. This forecast agrees with the predictions we have posted in our newsletters since early 2009.

 Although home prices have declined over the past year, the Standard and Poor Case-Shiller Home Price Index Report projects the rate of decline slowing to 10% during the third quarter of this year and shrinking each quarter of 2010 from a high of 5% to 1%. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are expected to continue rising from their low of 5% in the second quarter of this year, reaching 5.5% in the final quarter of 2010. At 5.8%, however, the projected average for 30-year fixed rate mortgages would still be low, by historic norms.

 Click here for the July 2009 Economic and housing market Outlook from Freddie Mac

 NUMBER ONE AIN’T BAD

We were proud to note that, according to 2008 Real Trends 500, Leading real estate Companies of the World, the group of which we are members, lead every other organization in home sales for the year. The statistics show that in 2008, of the top 500 U.S. Real Estate firms, Leading RE accounted for 29% of all sales, with our nearest competitor coming in a t 23%. (Third place came in at 13%).

 Leading RE affiliates were also #1 in transactions in 37 of the top 88 U.S. markets.

 We are proud to be a member of such a highly professional team.    

 By the way, don’t forget to click onto my most recent podcast, at the top of this email. We try to give you some interesting data in our monthly radio updates.

 Also, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

  And, 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.

 JOKE OF THE WEEK

ENEWSLETTER - JULY 15, 2009

by Harry Salzman

 

 

HARRY’S COLUMN

 

HE WHO HESITATES …….

 

The latest statistics from the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors show that the local real estate market is coming back with a vengeance. For the fourth month in a row, the median price and the average price for homes in the Pikes Peak area have both increased. In addition, our inventory of available homes is down 22.3% from last year. All of these statistics indicate that the local market has bottomed out and that home values are now on the rise. So, with very attractive low mortgage interest rates still available, with the inventory of available homes beginning to shrink, and with home prices on the rise, the moral of this story for prospective buyers is strike now, while the iron is hot.

 

 

JOB LOSS PROTECTION GENERATES EXCITEMENT

 

Of all the programs that we have introduced in past years,

not one has created the excitement that our new Job Loss Protection Plan has generated. This innovative new program pays up to $1,800 monthly for as long as 6 months to Buyers who lose their jobs within two years after closing and who qualify for unemployment. To date, we are the only Colorado Realtor to offer this unique protection and we feel it provides some valuable Peace of Mind to prospective Buyers who are concerned about the present economic uncertainty of the job market. When the economy returns to normal, this program may go the way of the hula hoop, but in today’s economic climate, this plan can be a life-saver to Buyers who fall victim to job cut-backs. If you have hesitated to buy your new home because of worries about job security, please contact us for more details about this revolutionary new program.

 

 

NEW NAR PAMPHLETS NOW AVAILABLE

 

The National Association of Realtors has just published their 2009 brochures and several of them might be of interest to our readers. We would be happy to email copies to you at no charge. Just send us your request.

 

“It is a Great Time to Buy” lists many websites that would be helpful to prospective Buyers 

 

“Energy Savers Booklet” contains 34 pages of tips for saving energy (and money”

 

“2009 Family Guide to Going Green” contains environmental tips for your home, your yard, etc.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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.

  

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

Only in America


Only in America... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
Only in America... are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.
Only in America... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
Only in America... do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet Coke.
Only in America... do banks leave both doors to the vault open but then chain 25 cent pens to the counters.
Only in America... do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
Only in America... do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won't miss a call from someone we didn't want to talk to in the first place.
Only in America... do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
Only in America... do we have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering

 

  

E-Newsletter July 6, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

SELLERS, TAKE HEART !!!

 

In our recent enewsletters, we have been emphasizing the fact that our present economic crisis represents a great opportunity for Buyers. Reduced prices on homes, low interest rates, large inventories of homes for sale and looming inflation all add up to an exceptional opportunity to buy a home today that will be worth much more tomorrow.

 

But, we do not want to give you potential Sellers the impression that we are ignoring you. It's true that selling a home in today's market is tougher than it has been in many years, but, there's an 'upside' to the problem.

 

First of all, keep in mind that houses are selling every day. With proper marketing, your home can be sold, even in this very competitive market. To get the attention of prospective Buyers, however, you will need the advice of an experienced, professional Realtor who is familiar with the local market and the day-to-day changes in local lending procedures, financing requirements and effective incentives to the Buyer. That's why we are so excited about Harry's new Job Loss Protection Plan for Buyers. It represents a unique opportunity for you, the Seller, to provide prospective Buyers with some peace of mind about their decision to buy your home.

 

In addition, the innovative, Cyberhomes professional market survey of your property that Harry can now provide to you and to your prospective Buyers takes all the guesswork out of your presentation of your home's value. It will provide complete information about your neighborhood, local school districts, even an aerial view of your home, to your prospective Buyer. With over 37 years of experience in the local market, Harry can show you how to make your home stand out from all the others with proper pricing, staging, attractive financing terms and a variety of selling techniques that get Buyers' attention.

 

Finally, if you are concerned about the decline in home prices that has taken place in every part of the country, keep in mind that, when you sell, even though you might have to accept a lower price today than you might have received last year, your new home will also cost less than it would have cost last year. Whatever you might lose when you sell in today's market, you will probably make up for when you buy. 

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your Residential real estate needs.

 

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.

 

HAVE YOU LISTENED TO HARRY'S PODCAST ??

 

If you haven't heard Harry's regular monthly podcast, featuring a nationally recorded interview about our local real estate market, check it out on the webpage, SalzmanRealEstateServices.com.

 

 

LATEST STATISTICS 

 

Click here to see the latest local sales and listing statistics

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

Socrates came upon an acquaintance that ran up to him excitedly and said, "Do you know what I just heard about one of your students?" "Just a minute," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Test of Three.

 

"The first test is Truth. Are you sure that what you will say is true? "Oh no," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it." "So you don't really know if it's true, Socrates said.

 

Now let's try the second test, the test of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?" "No, on the contrary.." "So," Socrates interrupted, "you want to tell me something bad about him even though you're not certain it's true?" The man shrugged, rather embarrassed.

 

Socrates continued. "You may still pass though, because there is a third test, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me at all?" "Well it ..no, not really.."

 

"Well, concluded Socates, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?" The man was defeated and ashamed.

 

This is the reason Socrates was held in such high esteem.

 

It also explains why he never found out what Plato was up to.

ENEWSLETTER - June 29, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

HARVARD STUDY SHOWS STAGE IS SET FOR HOUSING RECOVERY

 

In a report issued on June 22, 2009, a Harvard University study states that conditions that could support a recovery in the housing market are now taking shape.

 

"We do see some signs of stabilization, more in home sales and less so in prices", said Nicolas Retsinas, Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

 

Although housing is becoming more affordable now, the report also noted that the number of households paying more than half their incomes for housing jumped from 13.8 million in 2001 to 17.9 million in 2007.

 

In the long run, the study notes, immigration and demand for housing by "echo boomers" could improve the balance between supply and demand. A related practitioner survey by the National Association of Realtors shows that first-time buyers accounted for 29% of transactions in May and that the number of buyers looking for homes was nearly 10 percentage points higher than a year ago.

 

Also, keep in mind that the recent and projected influx of military personnel into Fort Carson will help keep Colorado Springs well ahead of the national real estate growth curve and will result in a reduction in the local home inventory.

 

So, with home inventories shrinking, low interest rates still available, inflation looming ahead of us and home prices predicted to rise as the population of the Pikes Peak area grows, right now is the time to buy !!!

 

 

COLORADO SPRINGS BUSINESS JOURNAL RECOGNIZES HARRY'S "JLP"

 

The June 26 issue of the Colorado Springs Business Journal featured a front-page article about Harry's recently-introduced Job Loss Protection Plan for Buyers. The article included interviews with home sellers who felt that this new benefit would be a great assist in their efforts to market their homes. To date, Harry is Colorado's sole source for this innovative plan.

 

Harry is excited about the newly-introduced Job Loss Protection Plan and has stated, "In times of economic upheaval, potential Buyers are rightly concerned about the possibility of involuntary job-loss. With this plan in place, Buyers can be assured that they will receive payments of up to $1800 per month for six months, if they are laid-off from their present job."

 

"It's a "Win, win, win, win situation", Harry said. "It's good for Buyers, Sellers, Lenders and Realtors and definitely gives some peace of mind to all parties".

 

 

AND FOR ALL OF YOU SELLERS OUT THERE, HERE ARE SOME GREAT TIPS !!!

 

1. First Impressions count:  How's your curb appeal? Is the house clean and spotless? Remove excess furniture. (Rent a storage unit, if necessary). Stage the rooms. Update cabinet hardware, lighting, welcome mats, etc.

 

2. De-personalize your home:

Yes, your kids are beautiful, but the prospective buyer wants to visualize his/her kids' pictures on the walls.

 

3. Create incentives for the buyer: Ask Harry to provide you with a marketing survey that can demonstrate to prospective buyers that your house is going to grow in value. Take advantage of Harry's Job Loss Protection Plan for Buyers to persuade prospective Buyers that they're covered against job loss for 18 months. Offer to pre-pay real estate taxes for 6 months or longer. Offer an interest-rate buy-down, gift certificates from Home Depot, Family Gym Memberships, etc.  

 

4. Sponsor an Open House and Agent Tours:  Rent a 20 ft. tall blow-up OPEN HOUSE sign. Provide refreshments.

 

Don't get discouraged, if your house doesn't sell right away. Keep in mind that houses are selling every day. Just make yours look like the best apple in the barrel.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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 35 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.

 

LATEST LOCAL STATISTICS

 

Click here to see the most recent sales and listings statistics

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

I'm really tired. For a couple years, I've been blaming it on lack of sleep and too much pressure from my job, but now I found out the real reason: I'm tired because I'm overworked.

 

The population of this country is 237 million. 104 million are retired. That leaves 133 million to do the work.

 

There are 85 million in school, which leaves 48 million to do the work.

 

Of this 48 million, there are 29 million employed by the federal government, leaving 19 million to do the work.

 

Of this 19 million, 2.8 million are in the Armed Forces, which leaves 16.2 million to do the work.

 

Take from that 16.2 million the 14,800,000 people who work for State and City Governments and that leaves 1.8 million to do the work.

 

At any given time there are 188,000 people in hospitals, leaving 1,212,000 to do the work.

 

Now, there are 1,211,998 people in prisons.

 

That leaves just two people to do the work. You and Me !!

 

And you're sitting there at your computer reading jokes.

E-NEWSLETTER -JUNE 23, 2009

by Harry Salzman
 

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

 

salzman's MORTGAGE PAYMENT PROTECTION plan causes stir in the industry

 

The response to Harry Salzman's recently introduced mortgage payment protection plan has been phenomenal. As we announced last week, Salzman real estate Services now offers an Innovative new program for Buyers called the Job Loss Protection Plan. This new program is patterned after the job-loss protection plans now offered by some automobile manufacturers. Simply put, if the Homebuyer loses his or her job within 24 months after closing and qualifies for unemployment, the program will pay up to $1,800 monthly for as long as 6 months. 

 

As Harry said when this program was announced, "I am excited to be able to introduce this highly-innovative new program to my clients. The cost to the Seller for this protection is $500, but the peace of mind for the Buyer is priceless. It's a new answer to our current market situation"

 

Call us, if you would like to know more about this exciting Innovation in the real estate industry.  

 

 

both buyers and sellers are responding to the MARKET FORECASTS now available for any local residential address

 

Salzman real estate Services has had many requests for the market forecasts introduced in our most recent e-newsletter. Included in these in-depth forecasts for any residential address are:

 

A 24 month real estate market forecast and housing supply projections,

delinquency and foreclosure trends,

local foreclosure trends and timelines,

mortgage delinquency and loan deterioration trends,

historical median sales price vs. volume trends,

neighborhood lending and sales statistics,

average area credit scores,

the local percentages of distressed homes compared to state and national levels,

average local discounts on bank-owned properties

risk from exotic loan types in the neighborhood.

 

When used properly, these forecasts, based on data and analytics, can predict whether the property in question is expected to increase in value, decline in value, or remain neutral. (They even include satellite images of the property).

 

Initially, Harry is offering these reports to local Buyers and Sellers free of charge, but will assess a pass-through charge of $9.99 to out-of-town Buyers and Sellers.

 

Harry is very excited about this new service to his clients. "These reports will help us offer specific property information to our Buyers and Sellers. With this data, we will be able to localize, interpret and advise clients more effectively that ever before. It's another example of the Innovation that must lead our industry into the future."

 

SOME TIPS FOR SELLERS IN OUR CURRENT MARKET

 

Today's prospective Buyers all have a lot in common. In a recent survey, 81% of them said that move-in conditions were very important (Only 7% were looking for "fixer-uppers). So, assuming that your home is priced realistically, here are 5 ways to attract prospective Buyers to your home:

 

1. Maintain and stage: Buyers want to imagine themselves in your home. They don't want to see peeling paint, dead grass, childrens' toys, dirty dishes, or, pictures of your relatives.

 

2. Mention up-front that you'll help pay closing costs: This offer should be included in your listing and on the flyers.

 

3. Offer the Salzman Mortgage Payment Protection Plan. In today's uncertain economy, they will probably be concerned about their job security.

 

4. Offer a Home Warranty.  First-time Buyers might be uneasy about home-ownership and will be reassured by the knowledge that potential problems will be taken care of.

 

5, Respond to all offers:  In today's market, just as Sellers tend to overprice their homes, Buyers tend to "low-ball" their offers. A low offer is not an insult. It might just be the result of their ignorance of the realities of the market. Be prepared to negotiate.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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 35 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.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST LOCAL SALES AND LISTING STATISTICS

 

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

Three engineers and three accountants were traveling by train to a conference. At the station, the three accountants each bought tickets and watched as the three engineers bought only one ticket.


"How are three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asked an accountant.
"Watch and you'll see", answered an engineer.

They all boarded the train. The accountants took their respective seats, but the three engineers all crammed into a rest room and closed the door behind them. Shortly after the train departed, the conductor came around collecting tickets. He knocked on the restroom door and said, "Ticket, please".

The door opened just a crack and a single arm emerged with a ticket in hand.
The conductor took it and moved on.

The accountants saw this and agreed it was a quite clever idea. So, after the conference, the accountants decide to copy the engineers on the return trip and save some money (being clever with money, and all that). When they got to the station, they bought a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the engineers didn't buy a ticket at all.

"How are you going to ride without a ticket"? said one perplexed accountant.
"Watch and you'll see", answered an engineer.

When they boarded the train, the three accountants crammed into a restroom and the three engineers crammed into another one nearby. The train departed.

 

Shortly afterward, one of the engineers left his restroom and walked over to the restroom where the accountants were hiding. He knocked on the door and said, "Ticket, please."

E-NEWSLETTER - JUNE 15, 2009

by Harry Salzman

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS ..IT'S INFLATION TIME

 

In the June 10, 2009 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Arthur B. Laffer, noted economist, warns us that the coming, unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the 70's look benign. To quote from the article,

 

   "It's difficult to estimate the magnitude of the inflationary and interest-rate consequences of the Fed's actions because, frankly, we haven't ever seen anything like this in the U.S. To date, what's happened is potentially far more inflationary that were the monetary policies of the 1970s, when the prime interest rate peaked at 21.5% and inflation peaked in the low double digits. Gold prices went from $35 per ounce to $850 per ounce, and the dollar collapsed in the foreign markets. It wasn't a pretty picture."

 

What does this mean to the real estate market? Well, to those of us who were lucky enough to be tied into a low-interest mortgage during the 1970s, and who saw the value of our homes skyrocket and our low interest mortgage payments become the envy of all of our friends, it means that opportunity is knocking. If Mr Laffer's predictions are correct (and we believe they are), the house you buy today will become the best investment you ever made.

 

The declining inventory of homes, plus the very favorable mortgage rates still available, plus the looming inflation all make it obvious that, in the years ahead, your investment in today's real estate market will turn out to be "as good as gold".

 

DISCOUNTS, ANYONE ???

 

Salzman real estate Services has just been approved for membership in EC Purchasing. As a result, we can now offer our clients some significant discounts on several major brands. These discounts range from 20% - 50% on the products and services represented by the participating organizations. Some of the companies now offering discounts through Salzman Real Estate Services are: FedEx, Kinko's, HP, Dell, Xerox, Hyatt, Hertz, to name a few. For a complete listing of discounts available to Salzman clients, click on www.ecpurchasing.com.

 

HERE'S SOME WORTHWHILE POLITICAL ACTION, FOR A CHANGE

 

We are often asked why we contribute to our Political Action Committees. The following links explain why. Our real estate lobbyists are working hard to drum-up support for Sen. Johnny Isakson's legislation which would expand the Homebuyers' Tax Credit. The proposed Bill, which was just introduced on June 8, 2009, would extend the tax credit through 2010, award the credit to ­­all homebuyers (not just first-time buyers) and increase the credit from $8000 to $15,000. To learn more about this significant proposed legislation, click on:

 

http://rismedia.com/2009-06-11/senate-renews-push-to-expand-home-buyer-tax-credit-to-15000/print/ 

or:

http://isakson.senate.gov/press/2009/061009housing.htm.

 

 

NEW CLIENT BENEFIT ANNOUNCEMENTS GET A BIG REACTION

 

The two new client benefits announced in last week's enewsletter have triggered a lot of response from our readers. The newly-established Mortgage Payment Protection Program and the Market Forecasts for Individual Homes which we now offer to our clients (and, in the case of the Market Forecasts, to our prospective clients) are both significant steps forward in professionalizing the real estate industry and we are very pleased to introduce these programs to the Colorado Springs area. If you are interested in either or both of these revolutionary new programs, please contact us for more information  

 

 

THERE'S MORE TO BEING A REALTOR THAN JUST SHOWING HOUSES

 

I hate to give away trade secrets, but I couldn't help but get a kick out of a recent article from Inman News which detailed the negotiating process that results in a sale. Titled, "Secrets of a Master Negotiator", the article explains how an experienced real estate negotiator can overcome the common stumbling blocks which crop up in all real estate transaction. The author lists 10 steps in the negotiating process, some of them serious, some of them tongue-in-cheek (for example, "Flinch and Vise", which explains how to "flinch" when an unrealistic offer is made and how to "vise" the prospective buyer into raising the ante).

 

The article reminded me that the difference between an effective real estate agent and a "salesman" is experience in negotiating.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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 35 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.

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and went to sleep.
Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replied, "I see millions and millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" Holmes asked.
Watson pondered for a minute. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.
Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.

Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant.
Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.
What does it tell you?"
Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke.
"Watson, you idiot. Somebody has stolen our tent!"

E-NEWSLETTER - JUNE 6, 2009

by Harry Salzman

SALZMAN NEWSLETTER-JUNE 6, 2009 

HARRY'S COLUMN

 

UP, UP AND AWAY !!!

 

You may have heard the old saying, "When are the two best times to plant trees? Answer: Twenty years ago and today". The same advice goes for buying a house. Considering the 4.75% interest rates available last week, that would have been the best time for you to have purchased your new home. Your next best opportunity to buy your new home would be today. Interest rates are still extremely low (currently running around 5.75%). Added to that, our local statistics show that the value of local homes is now on the rise (In May, the number of sales were up 17% over April, average price was up 5.2%, and median price was up 5.1%). On the other hand, inventory, i.e. listings (the number of available homes) is down 21.2% from May of last year. This reduction in inventory tends to raise home prices. The moral of the story is that you had better buy now, while all the indicators are good.  

 

All things considered, it's obvious that the real estate market in Colorado Springs is turning around. As witness to this, Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, in his June 6 interview on 60 Minutes, repeated his prediction that a positive forecast of the economy is beginning to emerge. Because all of these positive indicators tend to lead the market by 6 months, the evidence points to a marked rebound in the local Real Estate market by the last quarter of 2009, as we have been predicting in our weekly enewsletters.

 

Bottom line: BUY NOW !!!

 

Latest Local Stats

To review all of the most recent local Real Estate statistics, click here.

 

 

 

WHAT'S NEW ???

 

This week, we have two pieces of good news and one item of not-so-good news for Buyers and Sellers.

 

GOOD NEWS ITEM #1

 

SALZMAN INTRODUCES innovative MORTGAGE PAYMENT PROTECTION

 

In response to the concerns that some prospective homeowners have voiced regarding the possibility of losing their jobs during the present recession, Salzman real estate Services is introducing an innovative new program called the Rainy Day Fund. This non-profit service will offer a product that works much like a home warranty. The Seller offers to buy job loss protection for $500. If, within 24 months after closing, the Buyer loses his or her job and qualifies for unemployment, the program will pay up to $1,800 monthly for as long as 6 months.

 

In announcing this revolutionary new program, Harry A. Salzman stated: "During uncertain economic times, it is understandable that some prospective homebuyers might be concerned about the possibility of losing their jobs and, as a result, falling behind on their mortgage payments. The Rainy Day Fund will ease their concerns by providing mortgage protection, until they find a new job.

 

"I am excited to be able to introduce this highly-innovative new program to my clients. It's a new answer to our new problems"

 

good news item #2  

 

salzman now offering iN-DEPTH MARKET FORECASTS FOR EVERY ADDRESS IN THE PIKES PEaK AREA

 

Salzman real estate Services is now able to offer market forecasts for individual homes in the Pikes Peak area. These forecasts, based on data and analytics, look two years into the future taking into account inventory, valuations, credit information, loan repayment data, delinquencies and foreclosures. They even include satellite images of the property. When used properly, these forecasts can predict whether the property in question is expected to increase in value, decline in value, or remain neutral.

 

The pass-through charges for these forecasts are $3.99 for a summary report which includes a 12 month real estate market forecast and housing supply projections, delinquency and foreclosure trends, a 12 month value projection and summary information about the property. For $9.99, a more comprehensive report provides a 24 month market forecast and other information, including local foreclosure trends and timelines, mortgage delinquency and loan deterioration trends, historical median sales price vs. volume trends, neighborhood lending and sales statistics, average area credit scores, the local percentages of distressed homes compared to state and national levels, average local discounts on bank-owned properties and risk from exotic loan types in the neighborhood.

 

"Here's a new service that will help us offer specific property information to our Buyers and Sellers. This data will enable us to localize, interpret and advise clients more effectively that ever before. It's another example of the innovation that must lead our industry into the future."

 

I'M FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND I'M HERE TO HELP YOU !!

 

In response to the criticism that they made buying homes too easy, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have responded by adopting a code which makes buying and selling homes more difficult. The new Home Valuation Code of Conduct, while well-intended, requires that appraisers not be appointed by lending institutions. As a result, lenders are encouraged to outsource appraisals to appraisal-management companies (which take a sizeable cut of the appraisal fee). The result, according to many appraisers, is less accuracy and certainty about a property's actual value. In our local market, for example, it has resulted in appraisers from Denver being assigned to travel to Colorado Springs to appraise properties. Obviously, they don't know the local market as well as our local appraisers and the Denver appraisals tend to be inaccurate, too expensive (and, typically, too low).

 

DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS BEFORE YOU CLOSE

 

How soon should you pack up your belongings when selling your home? Sellers used to start packing as soon as the buyers removed all contingencies from the contract. It was usually smooth sailing from then to closing.

 

Now, there are some sale transactions that don't close on time because lenders take longer to approve loans, often asking for an additional appraisal or more documentation from the buyer before they'll deliver the funds. Occasionally, a transaction doesn't close at the last minute. The lender might cease offering a certain loan program. change the terms of the loan or run out of money.  

 

To avoid moving out before you know the sale is closing, build a few extra days into the purchase contract at the time you negotiate the sale with the buyers. For example, ask to vacate the property within two or three days after closing. That way, if the closing is delayed, you have time to reschedule your move, and to move out and clean the house before the buyers take possession.

 

If you are renting, you should have assurances from your lender that the sale will go through before giving notice to your landlord, unless you have a place to stay temporarily if the closing is delayed.

 

The moral of the story: Don't move your furnishings out until you are sure the transaction is closing, or, you might have to move back in again.

 

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your broker for all of your residential real estate needs.

 

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 35 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.

 

 

JOKE OF THE WEEK

 

In researching for the enewsletter, we found the following story. For some strange reason, it reminded us of our current economic situation.

 

A white-haired old man walked into a jewelry store on a Friday, with a beautiful young lady at his side.

 

 

"I'm looking for a special ring for my girlfriend," he said.

 

 

The jeweler looked through his stock and took out an outstanding ring priced at $5,000. "I don't think you understand. I want something very unique," the man said.

 

 

At that, our now very excited jeweler went and fetched our special stock from the safe. "Here's one stunning ring at $40,000." The girl's eyes sparkled, and the man said that he would take it. 

 

 

"How are you paying?" asked our jeweler.

 

 

"I'll pay by check; but of course the bank will want to make sure that everything is in order, so I'll write a check and you can phone the bank tomorrow, and then I'll fetch the ring on Monday."

 

 

Monday morning, our very disappointed jeweler phoned the man. "You lied, there's no money in that account." 

 

 

"I know, sorry, but can you imagine what a FANTASTIC weekend I had?"

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Harry Salzman

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall further than they have already. They are assuming that the best course of action is to wait for the bottom in the market and then buy. The problem with this approach is that you don't know where the bottom is until you see it in the rear view mirror, meaning until you've missed it!

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have gone up in the last six months, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, if home prices come down a little further but interest rates go up, it could cost you even more to service a mortgage on an identical home!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates and low home prices, rather than to hope for a further break in prices in the future.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

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Harry A Salzman
ERA Shields / Salzman Real Estate Services
5475 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs CO 80919
719-593-1000 or Toll Free: 800-677-MOVE(6683)
Cell: 719-231-1285
Fax: 719-548-9357

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