Category: Real Estate

Larimer County Property Valuations

[ 0 ] May 9, 2017 |

Superficial vs. Enduring

[ 0 ] March 27, 2017 |

As we see it, there are two types of improvements you can make to your home — we’ll call them “Superficial” and “Enduring.” A “superficial” change/improvement could be new paint, new countertops, or maybe new floor coverings. What we’re calling an “enduring” improvement might be a change to the floorplan, an addition to the home, or even the planting of trees in the yard.

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New Construction – Part 1

[ 0 ] November 15, 2016 |
Nobody owned it before you, and you get a hand in the creation.

Buying a new home can be and should be an exciting process. You get to pick out the cabinets, the flooring and paint colors – not to mention lighting and appliances. You will often have a say in the choice of lot, and if you start the process early enough, you’ll even have the opportunity to choose from a handful of different floor plans. The home will be yours; nobody owned it before you, and you get a hand in the creation. For most people, this really is a fun process. Read More

Kids & Moving – Part 1

[ 1 ] November 7, 2016 |
What to consider in your next home (if you have young kids – like I do)

As I write, I am a working mom and wife in her mid-30s. I have two sons (or three, if you count my truly wonderful husband?) – one in elementary school and one in preschool, and a career in real estate that started nearly 13 years ago. Because I’m a mother, I know the incredible joy our children can bring; and, because I’m a mother, I know the incredible challenges that can result from those same children. If you happen to be in a similar situation/stage of life, it’s likely you, like me, are looking for ways to make your life just a bit easier. If so, and if you’ve been considering a move – this is for you!

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Real Estate Bubble

[ 0 ] November 7, 2016 |

bubbleAs home prices continue to rise in Northern Colorado, I hear this familiar refrain with increasing frequency: “are we in a real estate bubble, and when is it going to burst?” My response is, I don’t know – only time will tell. Yes, I don’t know, but I do have an opinion. Let’s consider the Fort Collins market.

What better way to form this opinion than to look back at/compare the national real estate markets that collapsed in the late 2000s and the Fort Collins market at that time. In 2008, when multiple markets around the country began to collapse (e.g., parts of California, Las Vegas, parts of Florida, etc.), Fort Collins’ market remained largely stable. Some of the higher priced neighborhoods did come down in value, and even a few moderately priced neighborhoods experienced a slight downtick. But for the most part, Fort Collins experienced a stabilization of, rather than a downward trend in, home values. Read More

Your Home Should Not Be a Commodity

[ 0 ] October 11, 2016 |

corn

 

Your home should not be like corn. Corn is a commodity; a commodity is an economic good whose value is NOT based on any sort of qualitative measure. The buyer of corn is not looking for better corn and doesn’t think about worse corn; corn is corn to this buyer. Because of this, because corn is all the same, the buyer will determine value based solely on price.
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What is a ‘Backup’ Offer?

[ 0 ] September 23, 2016 |

So, what is a “backup” offer? A backup offer, simply stated, is when a second buyer comes along and likes your home enough to bet on the possibility that the first contract falls through. If the second buyer writes a backup offer, and if you accept it, and if the first contract does fall through, the backup offer will immediately take effect as the active contract. If the second buyer does write an offer, we go through the negotiation process just like we did with the first contract. You evaluate the dates and deadlines, and the price, and you decide if you want to accept, counter, or deny the offer outright.

Frankly, it isn’t likely you will receive a backup offer — however, even given their infrequency, it is our opinion that leaving the door open for such an offer can’t hurt. Being open to a backup offer also means maintaining your home as available for showings (making beds, wiping crumbs off of kitchen counters, keeping clutter to a minimum, etc.).

Once your home goes under contract, we are obligated to change the “status” of your home. That is, we have to let potential buyers and agents know that your home is under contract. How we do this is up to you, and what you decide will determine whether or not you have the possibility of receiving a backup offer. You will decide whether you want the status of your home to change to Under Contract/Backup or to Pending. By changing the status to Pending, you are effectively telling buyers and agents that you want no more showings. You may decide to go this direction because it’s too much work to get your home ready, or maybe because you are tired of leaving every time someone wants to see your home; by identifying the contract as Pending, we will receive no requests for showings, and as a result, you will have no potential for receiving backup offers. If, however, we identify your listing as Under Contract/Backup, we are effectively telling agents and potential buyers that you are still willing to show your home and that you would consider a backup offer. These are the only two options available to us — it is not an option to leave the home listed as it was before; that is, once your home goes under contract, we are obligated to change the status, letting buyers know your home is under contract.

Risk vs. Reward

[ 0 ] September 22, 2016 |

 

Every real estate transaction comes with some amount of risk and potential reward. For example, you may love the house that backs up to the four lane road, with a 45 mph speed limit, and the reward for you may be a home you love. But we might suggest a couple of potential risks. We would tell you that, 1) that home is always going to be more difficult to sell — because at least half of the people that look will rule it out because of the road, and 2) you may love the home now, and you may love it if you are the type of people to spend most of your time inside, but if you enjoy outdoor living, you may grow to hate the hum of the road. Read More

One thought when buying an investment property

[ 0 ] September 16, 2016 |

To the extent possible, buy based on the worst of times, not the best.

A photo by Todd Diemer. unsplash.com/photos/67t2GJcD5PI

Rental properties are a hot topic right now in Fort Collins.  Rents are up, vacancies are down, and interest rates are very, very low.  At this point in time, there would appear to be very little risk; it’s difficult for investors not to find renters, and current rental rates are at a premium.  I contend, however, that this is a potentially dangerous and shortsighted view to take.  When I work with investors, my goal is to help them buy a property that is not only easy to rent now, but will be easy to rent when vacancy rates are higher (and they will, eventually, be higher).  Before writing an offer, I would urge you to consider this: Is this the type of property that is going to be appealing to a quality renter when vacancy rates are up?  That is, there will come a time when renters have multiple options, and aren’t desperate to find just anything; when this day comes, will they pick your rental, or the one down the street?  To the extent possible, buy based on the worst of times, not the best.

 

Behind the Graph

[ 0 ] June 16, 2016 |

graphBased upon our experience over the past decade, there is a “statistics driven” trend in real estate. Agents place statistics—often beautifully presented—in front of a client and then encourage that a decision be made based upon those statistics.

Thus, our cautionary note: If an agent puts a graph, chart, or set of numbers in front of you but doesn’t also reveal the data source, sample size and method of collection, then “buyer beware.” Statistics can either be manipulated or omitted to serve an agent’s agenda. And, to be fair, it’s also possible that an agent not familiar with the derivation of statistical figures could unwittingly present invalid information.

So, if an agent tries to convince you of something using statistics, or more to the point, if an agent claims some absolute based upon statistics, just be ready to ask questions and be informed. There is certainly a place in this business for statistics, if used appropriately and with full disclosure.

However, keep in mind that the value of an agent is the knowledge and experience behind the graph, not the graph itself.