Tag Archives: Real Estate

Time for Millennials to Leave the Nest-realtor.com

Housing Rebound: Time for Millennials to Leave the Nest1.4K Real Estate News and Advice / by Steven Russolillo / 5 days ago

The U.S. homeownership rate hit a 48-year low earlier this year.

Steve DiPaola/Reuters

Millennials appear to be in no rush to ditch their parents’ homes. Perhaps they should be.
More adults between ages 18 and 34 are now living with mommy and daddy than ever before, according to the Pew Research Center. And the millennials who have fled the nest have increasingly become renters rather than buyers, a major reason the U.S. homeownership rate hit a 48-year low earlier this year.
But times are changing. Job prospects are improving and wages are showing signs of breaking out. Those factors alone suggest conditions are favorable for home buyers. Yet record levels of student debt are weighing on millennials and that could prompt them to miss out on a ripe opportunity to buy.
Consider the coming S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, due Tuesday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal estimate home prices across the nation rose 5.2% in the 12 months ended in October, up from a 4.9% increase in the comparable period a month earlier.
Home values have been increasing recently at an annual clip of about 4% to 5%, pushing prices closer to precrisis records.
Of course, that is good news for current homeowners. They reap the benefits of seeing home values appreciate by more than twice the rate of inflation. But that doesn’t help a millennial skittish about becoming a first-time home buyer. Rising home values make it even more difficult to muster 20% for a down payment.
Furthermore, the benefit of ultralow mortgage rates won’t last forever. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was still under 4% in December, according to Freddie Mac. With the Federal Reserve expected to keep raising interest rates at a measured pace in 2016, they should move higher as well.
If, for instance, 30-year mortgage rates rise by one percentage point a year from now and home prices rise by another 5%, a monthly mortgage payment could jump by around 18%.
Rising prices and interest rates may please the older generation, but not the one that hasn’t yet begun climbing the property ladder.
The fear of missing out—or FOMO, as the kids say these days—should prompt millennials to act now.
The post Housing Rebound: Time for Millennials to Leave the Nest appeared first on Real Estate News and Advice – realtor.com.
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The Top 12 Keller Williams Blog Posts of 2015

Keller Williams tracked their top blog posts of 2015. One of my favorites is “Random Acts of Kindness” from January 2015. Find them all below and pick your favorite. 

January 2015– Random Acts of Kindness

Keller Williams associates started 2015 off with full hearts and generosity. Readers were delighted to learn about the unforgettable gift associates gave a pizza delivery driver at the Keller Williams Michigan-Northern Ohio Regional ALC Clinic.

“I was proud to be a part of the Keller Williams family before but now I’m just bursting with pride. Your act of kindness brought tears to my eyes.” – Dian Thompson-Melvin

February 2015   – Breaking Records & Winning Awards

On the same day that Keller Williams announced it was the largest real estate franchise by agent count in the world, Training Magazine named the company the world’s #1 training organization across all industries. At a Feb. 9 awards ceremony in Atlanta to honor the Training 125, Keller Williams was recognized for the growth, productivity and profitability gains resulting from its world-class education and training programs.

“Keller Williams training and technology have almost doubled my business in 10 months and is absolutely unparalleled in our industry. Simply the BEST!” – Ellen Grant

March 2015 – Making Millionaires

Keller Williams continued to make millionaires in 2015.The Millionaire Real Estate Agent (MREA) is a roadmap to success that contains four models for running a successful real estate business: the economic model, the lead generation model, the budget model and the organizational model. It’s really easy honestly; just read the book and follow what it says. There is no guess work involved. Just ask Chip Parrish of the Denver Central (Colo.) market center.

“I suit-up and show-up every day. I am in the office from 6am-4pm working hard at lead generation. When you run your business like a business, you set it up for success.” – Chip Parrish

April 2015 – A Culture Worth Studying

In April, researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business published a report in their Closer Look series on the importance of culture at Keller Williams. It marked the third time that the prestigious business school has studied Keller Williams.

The nine-page report can be downloaded for free.

May 2015 – Giving Where We Live

On May 14, 2015 Keller Williams associates around the globe donated hundreds of thousands of hours to their local communities during RED Day. RED Day stands for Renew, Energize and Donate. It is a global day of service and volunteerism for 700 offices and the hundreds of thousands of Keller Williams associates around the world.

“Every time we participate in a RED DAY, I feel good. Just a little help anyone receives goes a long way.” – Leslie Guzman

June 2015 – Agents Lead the Conversation

On June 25, 2015, Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller and President John Davis co-hosted the first KW Town Hall, an interactive streaming conversation with associates worldwide. After a brief update on the state of the company, Heller and Davis turned the conversation over to agents who submitted their questions through social media, using the #KWTownhall hashtag, as well as to the live studio audience of local team leaders and ALC members.

July 2015 – Topping Lists

Keller Williams was proud to be represented by 30 associates on the fourth-annual National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ (NAHREP) annual list of the top-producing real estate agents in the United States, two of which are on the top 10 list! The 2015 list recognizes top-producing agents whose hard work and dedication has led them to close an outstanding number of transactions. Selected from among 500 agents considered, the 250 winners collectively handled a total of 20,730 transaction sides in 2014 and over $3.9 billion in total volume.

“These 30 agents are market experts who have committed to delivering a superior customer experience. It’s no wonder so many clients choose to work with them to buy or sell their home.” – John Davis, President, Keller Williams.

August 2015 – Success Is Sequential, Not Simultaneous

In August, 2015, Keller Williams associate Chad Hyams of the Southeast Region, spoke with Mega Camp attendees in Austin, Texas on best practice tips to ensure their digital marketing strategy is on track.

“You have to go and do work; success is not going to just happen.” – Chad Hyams

September 2015 – A Look at Lead Generation

Generating leads is your business’ bread and butter. Without a lead, there’s no client, which is why you dedicate a good deal of time to cultivating prospects. All year, the KW Blog delivered proven techniques to help turn you into a lead generation machine.

“Good tips, I love this stuff! We’ve been using BOLD leads to bring in sellers, and have signed a few listings already, but we are always looking for more ideas!” – Susan A.

October 2015 – Highest Ranking Real Estate Brokerage by Sales Growth Percentage

With year-over-year sales growth of 16.1 percent, an increase of nearly $700 million over the previous year, Keller Williams moved up from No. 28 in 2014 to No. 24 in 2015 on the Franchise Times 200. The impressive showing by Keller Williams followed on the heels of recognition by Inc. Magazine earning a spot on the 5000 Honor Roll as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.

This impressive showing followed on the heels of earning a spot on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Honor Roll with Keller Williams being listed as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. This recognition placed Keller Williams on the Five-Time Inc. 5000 Honoree Honor Roll.

November 2015 – Profit Share Milestone Achieved

In keeping with the philosophy that agents are partners and stakeholders, Keller Williams created a distinct wealth building platform that rewards associates who contribute to a profitable market center’s growth by attracting productive associates. In the United States and Canada, we do this through profit share; and across the world, through growth share. By November 2015, Keller Williams had distributed more than $104.3 million in profit share in a single year to associates.

“For Keller Williams, 2015 marks another record year for growth, productivity and profitability gains,” said Chris Heller, CEO, Keller Williams.

December 2015 – Planning for 2016 with CEO Chris Heller

Steve Murray of REAL Trends Talked with Keller Williams CEO Chris Heller about the challenges and opportunities in real estate in 2016. Find out what kind of a sales year Heller thinks we will experience in 2016 as well as his insights on new business models, Upstream and keeping good momentum.

I’m very proud to be a Keller Williams agent, and am looking forward to what 2016 will bring. 

-Anne Skinner


Should You Buy a Home While Carrying Student Debt?

 on the Zillow.com blog examines what it means and how you can buy a house with student loan debt. There is some great advice from financial experts on how to move forward with buying a home financially. “The single most effective way to get rid of student loans while saving and building wealth is to live below your means. When you start significantly upgrading your lifestyle, you lose flexibility with your budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning” 

Should You Buy a Home While Carrying Student Debt?

Financial experts give their two cents on managing both student debt and a mortgage.

It’s challenging for first-time buyers to break into the housing market as rents keep rising and the inventory of low-value homes remains scarce in most areas. Add thousands of dollars of student debt to the equation and potential buyers may assume they simply cannot afford to buy. Recent data showed that home buyers who completed at least a bachelor’s degree are minimally affected by their student debt when shopping for homes.

Check out some tips from personal finance experts about acquiring mortgages while carrying significant student loan debt.

If you had student loan debt, what was your payment strategy to get rid of it?

I used the debt snowball method to pay off my student loan debt. In 2005, I still owed $13,000. Since my loans were serviced through Sallie Mae, I took advantage of the 1-year forbearance to pause my loan payments so I could aggressively pay off smaller loans that we owed. While the interest still accrues during the forbearance period, I was able to focus on clearing up other debt faster. After the year passed, I was able to start paying off my student loan with more traction. It only took another year and a half to retire the remaining student loan balance. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

Personally, I was lucky enough to make it through undergraduate and graduate school without accumulating any student debt. My wife, however, accumulated between $10,000 and $20,000 in student debt from going to a small private college for her undergraduate degree. Once we got married, I “married” her student debt as well. Currently, she still has around $11,000 in student loan debt. To manage the payoff, the first thing we did was to call the loan administrator and request a lower interest rate, which they did to our surprise without any problems. Currently, the interest rate is only 3 percent annually, which equates to $124 per month. At this level, I do not feel that much of a hurry to pay it off. Instead, it is more along the lines of a low-interest home mortgage, which we are paying off at the required rate, but no more. — Jacob Irwin of My Personal Finance Journey

If you’re still carrying student loan debt, what is your financial plan to eliminate it?

Slow and steady! — Heather Jarvis of Ask Heather Jarvis

I currently hold quite a bit of student loan debt — over $85,000 — but I like to think that my resolve is tantamount to the balance. When I first graduated, I had nearly double that amount to pay off. But by making the pay-off my first financial priority and sending over $1,700 to pay it down every month, I was able to make a sizeable dent in that number quickly. I also cut out spending elsewhere to have more to send toward my loans whenever possible. This meant limiting meals out, having multiple roommates rather than living alone, and forgoing cabs in favor of public transportation. — Mario Bonifacio of Debt Blog

If you’re a homeowner, did you have student loan debt at the time you bought? How did that impact your purchase?

We didn’t let the student loan debt hold us back from buying a home, but we also purchased a home that easily fit into our budget instead of purchasing a home that stretched our budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

We purchased a condo while I had an outstanding student loan balance. The pre-approval process takes into account your debt-to-income ratio when determining the amount you’re able to borrow. Those purchasing a home without outstanding student debt should ensure that their monthly payment does not exceed 25 to 30 percent of your monthly income. We started with a small condo with very affordable monthly payments and assessments that allowed us to have breathing room in our budget to address our outstanding debt — including my student loans. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

The student loan debt did not impact our purchase much at all, since the home we wanted to buy was very affordable based on our income. For us, I do not believe it would have been better to pay off the student loan prior to buying a house, since our debt was fairly low, carried a reasonable interest rate, and does not tie up a large portion of our monthly income. — Jacob Irwin of My Personal Finance Journey

In hindsight, would it have been better to pay off your student loan debt before or after your home purchase?

One thing I would do differently would be to focus on repaying my students loans aggressively as soon as I graduated from undergrad. Instead of taking on car loans and living in high-priced apartments, I could have been much more aggressive as a single person with no children. Instead, I was comfortable with the idea of paying the minimum amount for the full loan term because that was the normal approach to dealing with debt. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

If you’re not a homeowner, is your student loan debt prohibiting you from buying?

I don’t believe that my student loan is prohibiting me from purchasing a house, though I may have been able to contribute a down payment fund by this point if it weren’t for my student loans. I still feel like both my personal and professional life are in limbo, and at this stage I feel like renting is the smart choice for my situation. I’m currently contributing extra money toward both my 401(k) and my personal IRA account each year and I could instead allocate some of that money towards a down payment if purchasing a home was one of my priorities. My student loans have definitely put the thought of even saving for a home on the backburner, but it was also not a priority of mine to begin with. — Debt Hater of From Debt to Dreams

What are your tips for folks carrying substantial student loan debt?

The single most effective way to get rid of student loans while saving and building wealth is to live below your means. When you start significantly upgrading your lifestyle, you lose flexibility with your budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

Maintain a positive attitude. The best plans and the most sophisticated math in the world don’t mean a thing if you make yourself miserable and give up. Second, make a budget. Knowing where you spend will help you make meaningful cuts and not beat yourself up over meaningless cuts (like single-ply toilet paper or bad Q-tips). Lastly, put together a sensible timeline of how quickly you might be able to pay off all your debt. Having a timeline can change the way you look at your debt; whereas hundreds of thousands of dollars might seem insurmountable, you know that December 2019 will definitely arrive and can therefore plan the months leading up to it. — Mario Bonifacio of Debt Blag

First, use the federal government to your advantage. It offers programs to consolidate and, in some cases, even forgive student loans. Sadly, not everyone knows about them. For instance, a relatively new program is called Pay As You Earn, or PAYE for short. It actually caps the monthly federal student loan payment at 10 percent of your discretionary income. Second, don’t stop paying. The same government that offers helpful programs can also garnish your wages, take a portion of your Social Security benefits, and confiscate tax refunds. Call your loan servicer and ask about your options. But be careful of student loan repayment scams. Only deal with reputable organizations that have excellent reviews and a Better Business Bureau rating. Third, get creative. For instance: volunteer with organizations like AmeriCorp. They offer loan forbearance (which means you don’t have to pay on the principal or interest while working). After your service, you receive a monetary award you can put toward your loan. — Howard Dvorkin of Debt.com

What advice do you have for prospective home buyers limited by their student loan debt?

Build a strong credit history by making your payments on time. Improve your debt-to-income ratio by paying down credit cards and other consumer debt. Balance your competing goals of paying down debt and saving for a down payment. — Heather Jarvis of Ask Heather Jarvis

Don’t let student loan debt hold you back from buying a home. It is important to make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle, but it’s also important to balance student loan debt with other important financial goals. Make sure you purchase a home that allows you some room in your budget to focus on other goals. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

For anyone looking to buy a home and carrying loan debt, I would say that it is all about balance as with most things in life. You need to set your goals and figure out what is important to you. Are you OK with stretching your student loans out a few more years in order to save for that down payment? Or does the student loan payment need to be eliminated so that you have breathing room in your budget for a mortgage? It may be best to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible (especially if they are high-interest loans), and then switch your focus toward purchasing a home. If you do have any outstanding credit card debt, I would advise you to pay that off before even starting to save for a down payment. If you have sufficient income to pay off your student loans a little slower and buying a home is a priority for you, start shifting some of that money toward your down payment instead. If you come up with a sound financial plan and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments, I don’t feel that there’s any reason that a student loan will prevent you from owning a home. — Debt Hater of From Debt to Dreams




5 Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

The Zillow.com blog outlines 5 tips fo First-Time Home Sellers. Brendon DeSimone shares of the key things to consider as you decide to sell your home.


5 Tips for First-Time Home Sellers


Selling a home is nothing like buying one. Whether you’ve been in the home for four years or 40, first-time sellers need to consider some important points before getting started.

You need the right agent

Unless you’re offering the home For Sale by Owner, you will need to sign an agreement with a real estate agent and their brokerage. You’ll also have to pay a commission. Because the agreement contractually ties you to your agent for three to six months, choosing the right one is more important this time around. Unlike when you were a buyer, you can’t simply come in and out of the market.

You’ve got to be ready to sell

In the Internet age, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Information flows more quickly than ever. If you list your home at an unrealistic price or not in the best condition, the number of days on market (or DOM) will add up — and could come back to bite you later.

Sellers who resist their agents’ pricing suggestions may not be emotionally ready to separate from their home. By overpricing it, they will self-sabotage the sale. It’s better not to list your home than to “try” at a high price or in bad condition.

DOM factors into buyers’ offers

A typical buyer looking at a listing will first notice the price and size. They will then scroll through the photos and look at the listing history. If a home has been on the market more than three months, they may think there is something wrong with it.

Or, what’s worse, when you do get serious and adjust your price or condition to what it’s really worth, buyers will penalize you for it by offering even less.

You’ll never interface with the brokerage — only your agent

The agent you choose matters more than the brokerage, although you should consider both. If you list your home with Suzy at XYZ Brokerage, Suzy will be your only contact with the company.

Agents are independent contractors who choose to hang their license with a company whose brand and culture match their business. While a well-known or large brokerage is an important consideration for listing, if your agent is successful and someone you trust, they will do a good job no matter the brokerage.

If you get an offer, you have to move soon

Once you get an acceptable offer from a buyer and you sign the contract, the clock starts ticking toward your closing. Many sellers underestimate the amount of time it can take to list, sell and close on a home. Know your market before you list, and put a plan in place for where you’ll move when your home sells. If your market moves quickly and your agent expects the home to sell within a few weeks, it might be better to wait.

The best advice for first-time sellers is not to sell until you are ready. Have a plan, know where you are going, and work with a great local agent early on. You should do what it takes to present your home in its best light and price it right.

Selling a home can be very stressful and emotional. Add on top of that packing and moving, and it’s a lot to deal with for anyone. Be sure you’re prepared before you start the process.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Brendon DeSimone


Summit Sky Ranch: What You need to Know

Summit Sky Ranch is the newest development in Silverthorne, CO. Summit Sky Ranch embodies the Summit County lifestyle. Focusing on location, amenities, and community. The Everist Family, who owns Summit Sky Ranch, wants families to enjoy all that Summit County has to offer right outside their back door. 

Summit Sky Ranch Site Map (Phase 1A)

If interested in exploring more about Summit Sky Ranch, they are offering their first 47 properties which will range between 3 and 5 bedrooms. Starting price is $595,000. If interested please feel free to contact me to learn more about this amazing Summit County opportunity.

When my family and I began planning the development of this majestic property over 15-years ago, we knew three things. 1. We were going to build for those who had the mountains in their hearts. 2. We wanted to build a community that could imbue the passion and love for the mountains into younger generations of Colorado adventurers. 3. We were focused on conservation—both of the land and environment, but also of the active mountain lifestyle. (SummitSkyRanch.com)

“Summit Sky Ranch is the rare combination of people, place and vision coming together in complete harmony.”

— Tom Everist, Owner, Summit Sky Ranch
SummitSkyRanch.com Keller Cabin
SummitSkyRanch.com Valhalla Cabin

*More styles available.

More information can be found at SummitSkyRanch.com

El Niño is Coming: What that means for Real Estate

Realtor.com discusses the effect El Niño may have on the market this winter, especially in the front range. Though sometimes harsh winters limit selling, “the Herald reported that there have been 23 El Niño winters since 1950; most of them we haven’t even noticed.”


Realtor.com What Will the Winter of El Nino Be Like for Colorado Real Estate? By Lisa Davis

A funny thing about El Niño and the hot Denver market: This winter, the weather pattern will bring much-needed snow in Colorado—but locals aren’t sure that’s good news.

More frequent and wilder storms are expected across the western U.S., inundating those parts with snow and rain. Now Coloradans are wondering if a whole lotta snow will mean a whole lotta slow in the real estate market. That’s what the Durango Herald looked into this weekend.

“Heavy snowfall may be great for the Durango area’s ski industry,” the paper reported, “but it could put a chill on the area’s real estate market.”

None of the industry professionals the Herald interviewed were prepared to offer a definitive vision—there are as many potential outcomes as there are Eskimo words for snow. (As a reminder: 50.)

But while snow is good for the ski areas in theory, “the winter can have a dampening effect on land sales if the property is deeply covered with snow, and the same can be true for residences with acreage,” Don Ricedorff of The Wells Group told the Herald.

The story continued, “The Federal Reserve Board’s Beige Book, an anecdotal summary of economic conditions reported by the Federal Reserve districts, frequently reports accounts of low inventory and construction delays during extreme winter weather and temperatures.” Sellers don’t feel like packing up and moving in the dead of winter, it added.

Low inventory has been a continuing problem for parts of Colorado, but not just because of snow. Rather, it’s because of demand. Denver is the No. 1 hottest market in our October rankings, and in recent months its sales have increased more sharply than those in any other city.

Is Denver’s real estate market hot enough to melt all that El Niño snow? Heck, it may not even need to be. After all that fretting, the Herald reported that there have been 23 El Niño winters since 1950; most of them we haven’t even noticed. Just in case, though, take some tips from us. You can find them in our story on how to Niño-proof your home.

By: Lisa Davis

For original article: What Will the Winter of El Niño Be Like for Colorado Real Estate?

Mountain Events: November 6th-8th, 2015

Friday, November 6th 2015

Keystone Resort: OPENING DAY! 9am Lift start turning. Click Here for more information.

Adult Drop-In Hockey: 8:30am Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

Pray for Powder Party: 4:00pm Dillon Dam Brewery, Dillon. Click Here for more information.

Climbing Club: 4:30pm Breckenridge Recreation Center. Ages 6-11. Click Here for more information.

Public Skate Session: 7:30pm Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Click Here for more information.

Grant Farm: 9:30pm Snake River Saloon, Keystone. Click Here for more information.

Beak Nasty: 9:00pm Barkley Ballroom, Frisco. Click Here for more information.

Saturday, November 7th 2015

Weekend Yoga: 9:30am Boy Essential Pilates, Dillon. Click Here for more information.

Adult Drop-In Tennis Clinic: 10:30am Keystone Tennis Center. Click Here for more information.

Woodward Copper Barn Bash: 2:00pm Woodward, Copper Mountain. Click Here for more information.

Get Stoked Winter Film Series – Take One: 5:30pm Warren Station Center for the Arts, Keystone. Click Here for more information.

La Catrina String Quartet: 7:30pm CMC Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

Grant Farm: 9:30pm Snake River Saloon, Keystone. Click Here for more information.

Sunday, November 8th 2015

Candy Give Back Program: All Day Stork & Bear, Frisco. Click Here for more information

Mother Daughter Tea Party: 1:00pm Larkspur Restaurant, Vail. Click Here for more information.

Public Skate Session: 1:15pm Stephen C. West Ice Arena. Click Here for more information.

Vail Valley Band: 7:00pm Route 6 Café Vail. Click Here for more information.

Face Vocal Band: 7:30pm Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek. Click Here for more information.

Mountain Updates:


Loveland Opening Day
Mountains Open:
  • Arapahoe Basin
  • Loveland Ski Area
Opening this Weekend:
  • Keystone Ski Resort
Opening Soon:
  • Copper Mountain: November 13th
  • Breckenridge Ski Resort: November 13th
  • Vail: November 20th
  • Beaver Creek: November 25th  

 New Restaurant:

Tavern West:

“Tavern West features new American dishes crafted from all-natural meats and seafood, sourced locally whenever possible. With a wood-burning grill, a smoker and a rotisserie in his arsenal of culinary tools, Chef Ryan Worthen creates layers of flavor reminiscent of family favorites, but not easily found at home.”

7 Home Buying and Selling Tips From the Property Brothers

The Property Brothers is one of my favorite HGTV shows. My husband and I were able to collect a ton of inspiration for our first home from their episodes. Shannon Petrie with HGTV outlines The Property Brothers 7 Home Buying and Selling Tips that might help you with your home purchase. 


Photo: Caitlin Croneberg; HGTV’s The Property Brothers

By: Shannon Petrie

Jonathan says: “In order to pump these homes out as fast as the builders want to, some of them cut corners like not waiting long enough for concrete to cure properly or hiring untrained labor forces. I’m not saying new construction is bad; you just want to find a builder who has a quality product – it’s going to last a lot longer.”

Do your homework when buying a brand-new home.

Jonathan says: “In order to pump these homes out as fast as the builders want to, some of them cut corners like not waiting long enough for concrete to cure properly or hiring untrained labor forces. I’m not saying new construction is bad; you just want to find a builder who has a quality product – it’s going to last a lot longer.”

Know the hidden costs of buying a home.

Drew says: “Over and above the actual purchase price of the home, you may have to dish out some money for land transfer fees, mortgage costs, home insurance, legal costs and title insurance. Ask your real estate agent for a complete list of all the estimated closing costs so the only surprises you get will be the good ones.

Never skip the home inspection.

Jonathan says: “I can’t stress enough how important it is to get a home inspection, whether you’re getting a fixer-upper or or something brand new. The seller most likely will cover any costs of a problem that pops up. If you’re putting an offer in, make it subject to a home inspection, so that way nobody else is going to swoop in and take the property out from under you, and it gives you enough time to make sure the house is actually a good investment.”

Get to know the neighborhood before buying.

Drew says: “Nothing compares to actually walking the neighborhood prior to buying in the community. Pounding the pavement will give you a clear image as to how noisy it is, the density of traffic and what your neighbors are like. Getting to know the locals will give you that insider scoop as to whether or not this is the kind of neighborhood you want to raise your family in.”

Don’t fall for love at first sight.

Drew says: “I always recommend touring at least 10 houses before you put an offer in on one. The first few houses may seduce you aesthetically, but may not really have what you need. When you walk through a home, have a checklist in hand; write down the pros, write down the cons and rate that house from 1 to 10. At the end of a long house hunting day, all the houses are going to blend together, and it’s that checklist that’s going to be the saving grace and will get you your dream home.”

Put safety first when remodeling a home.

Jonathan says: “We make it look like a lot of fun on TV, but things can go seriously wrong if you just blast through a wall with wild ambition. Plan first: For safety, you want to have glasses, masks and gloves. Go down to the circuit breaker and make sure you shut off any electrical in the wall. Finally, just stop frequently and investigate inside the wall where you’ve opened it up to make sure there are no other surprises.”

Simple staging tactics go a long way toward making a quick sale.

Drew says: “Depersonalize: Pack up the family photos and artifacts. Declutter: Clean off the countertops and pack away the knickknacks. As a final touch, make your house sparkle: Wash the windows and clean away the old cobwebs. Simple steps make a huge difference and can lead to a sold sign on your house.”

For the full article and videos from the show that support their 7 tips check out HGTV’s 7 Home Buying and Selling Tips From the Property Brothres.


“Go Bigger or Go to a New Home?”

The Zillow Blog discusses the all to common question homeowners eventually get to: To Upgrade or To Renovate? 


Zillow Blog: Go Bigger or Go to a New Home?

Go Bigger or Go to a New Home?

You’ve got two options when it comes to a home you’ve outgrown: add on or trade up. Which is right for you?

Many homeowners today face a serious housing dilemma. They love their home, its location, and even their neighbors. But they’ve outgrown the space. Do they trade up to a bigger or better house, thus entering a busy real estate market, or stay put and renovate?

Most homeowners have never sold and bought at the same time, nor have they lived through a renovation. Both experiences are incredibly stressful, and many people don’t know what to expect. Here are some tips for making an informed decision.

Know what you’re getting into

It’s helpful to know that it is cheaper to stay in your current home and renovate than it is to sell your home and buy a bigger one. And renovating isn’t as big a deal as one may think.

If you go into it with an open mind and full awareness, it’s not so bad. However, some people are just not cut out for living with dust, disruption, and a little bit of chaos.

Living through a renovation means a constant stress is hanging over you. If you can’t take that in your life, don’t fool yourself.

Check your finances

The most important thing you need to do is understand your home financial situation. Do you have equity in your home? If so, how much, and would you need those funds to either renovate or purchase the new home?

Is a home equity line of credit available to you? Using that money provides the mortgage tax benefit for the interest, which makes an equity line a no-brainer.

What would you need to spend on a new home in your desired location? Just like when you first got pre-approved to purchase the original home, you need to get pre-approved and run the numbers. You may find that the house you can get isn’t much bigger than where you are, or that you have to change areas to get more space.

Define your renovation requirements

What exactly is it that you need? An extra bedroom or bath, more family or community space, a larger kitchen or a master bath? Put it all out there and prioritize.

Can these changes be made within the envelope of your current home, or would you have to expand outside your walls? Renovating inside might mean that you need to leave the home for some time, while an expansion might allow you to stay in the home during the renovation.

Research zoning and building codes

Learn how building and zoning laws will affect your plan to renovate. Find out if expansion is even a possibility.

Many people think that finishing the basement is as easy as putting up some walls and carpet and moving the TV downstairs. But did you know that you likely need two forms of egress or certain height and insulation to make a finished basement meet code? A few hours of an architect’s time can help get you the information you need.

If you want to add on, make sure that your lot is big enough. Town zoning laws only allow a certain percentage of the lot to be covered. If you’re at your max, you’re out of luck.

Set-back laws might mean that you can only expand in the front or on one side of the property. You may find out immediately that what you want to do simply isn’t possible, and the decision is made for you.

Don’t over-improve for the neighborhood

You need a master bathroom and family room or some extra square footage, but will the neighborhood support it? You don’t want to be the biggest or best house on the block when you go to sell. A big master suite or designer kitchen may be just what you want, but will future buyers pay for it?

Do some research, talk to a real estate agent and attend open houses in your neighborhood. If you don’t know, ask. But do not embark on a large renovation project if you can’t get your money back when it’s time to sell.

Get ready for a different kind of stress if you move

Purchasing a new home and selling your existing one simultaneously means instant stress that is intense and compacted in a short period. The stress may come in the form of carrying two mortgages, getting a bridge loan or waiting for your home to get an offer.

Remember how you felt when you purchased your first home? Now double or even triple that.

Expect the expenses

When you sell your home, you need to pay the real estate commission and transfer tax on the sale, and you may be taxed on any gain. When you get a mortgage for the new home, expect more loan and title fees upfront.

While many closing costs and transfer fees are tax deductible, you don’t realize anything from these expenses. The $10,000 in fees might be better spent toward a new bathroom. Before you decide to explore this path, gather some information about costs.

Deciding whether to trade up or sell and buy is incredibly personal. The most obvious thing to do is to check your finances, and see what is out there on the purchase market. Learn what’s happening and understand how you would fare. And even if it’s intimidating, seriously consider renovating. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to make your home even more custom to you.

For original article: please visit the Zillow Blog.

Winter is Coming

Summit County’s Annual COO Breakfast

Tuesday, October 6th was the annual Chamber of Commerce breakfast with the Chief Operating Officers from Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone and Loveland.  The breakfast sold out in record time and proceeds went towards scholarships for local students.  The talks began with a review of some statistic for the area and the ski industry as a whole.  Overall we have seen a lot of growth in the last few years and now its just a matter of balancing the peaks and valleys in travel.

Consumer confidence was also a hot topic and with the volatility in the markets over the last few weeks. Confidence has started to flat line instead of grow.  One of the neatest statistics was that the true epicenter of ski country, from a statistically perspective, is 4 miles north of frisco

From there each COO went into a discussion on the state of their resort, new offerings, and many other topics.  A Basin highlighted its evolving plan for its base area including a concert stage and a new sit down bar and grill.  Breckenridge discussed the parking situation and the upcoming ballot issue of adding a tax to day ticket purchases to help fund new infrastructure to resolve the issue.  Copper Mountain discussed its green initiatives as well as the improved features on its Sherpa app, which is designed to rival the Vail resorts Epic Mix app.  Keystone followed that with a discussion on how the Epic Mix will now have wait times for each of the lifts as well as how Keystone if positioning itself to be one of the most family friendly resorts in the area.  Loveland talked about their new lift and how it will provide access to areas that were previously difficult to reach.
Overall, the feeling was positive for the upcoming season.  The only controversial issue was work force housing which has become a hot topic in the last few months.  With low wages and limited supply of housing, many locals are struggling to find accommodations for this upcoming season.  It needs to become a collaborative effort between the towns and the employers to resolve this issue.
The issue that has been on everyone’s mind, El Nino, was barely touched on. While historically El Nino years have brought a lot of snow, there is no way to predict exactly what will happen this year so we will all keep our fingers crossed and pray for snow. (Do your snow dances!)
For your enjoyment, a little Chris Farley as El Nino:
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Anne Skinner
Mountain Real Estate
Keller Williams Top of the Rockies