QUESTION: How's The Market?

I don't know a Realtor who doesn't get asked this at least once a day! The standard answer is always...Good.

If you live Anywhere in Colorado now you know it is better than Good! The secret is out and everyone wants to live in Colorado. Every time we list a home our phone starts to blow up with calls from Florida and California. They always tell me the same thing...we are looking for a better lifestyle and we have friends who just moved there and LOVE IT.

I am including a link to a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette titled "Colorado Springs' housing market expected to be red-hot"

If you are looking to SELL your home and it is fairly priced and in good condition...it will sell. The old plan of list high, hope for an offer and then negotiate down doesn't work any longer. Today's buyers are savvy, informed and ready to make a decision. It is common for us to Rent homes to folks relocating simply off of photos and video, but buyers are actually buying homes this way now as well! We are currently working with a buyer in California that when we find something they are interested in, I will go out and walk through the house while Face Timing with them on our Iphones!

We sold 12 of the 13 homes we listed For Sale so far this year and the average time to contract was 45 days with an average sales price/list price was 98.89%. (We ended up renting the one we didn't sell in 5 days after putting it up For Rent).

QUESTION: I Really Need Help Finding A Rental. Everytime I Call On One It's Already Gone. Can You Help Me?

I get this question almost every day. Colorado continues to be the hottest place for Real Estate in the entire country. Recently Denver was again ranked #1 hottest real estate markets. With the DTC only a 45-60 minute commute from the North Springs/Monument area we are getting flooded with Denver commuters looking to our market for homes. As hot as we think our market is, the same home in Denver can easily rent for (20-40%) higher than in the Springs.

What that means to you is that it is going to be harder and harder to find a rental, and when you do find one you need to BE PREPARED move on it QUICKLY!

Make sure you have all your documentation prepared ahead of time. This includes employment records, bank statements and rental history. If at all possible, please ask your current/previous landlords to write you a letter of recommendation and also take the time to write your own personal letter about why YOU would be a good tenant. You would be surprised how effective that can be when you are competing with multiple applications.

Also, you need to be diligent in your search. Home come and go quickly so it is on you to make sure you are seeing all the relevant listings as soon as they come on the market. Although there are tons of relevant sites out there posting homes, you can pretty much stick to Zillow.com and Realtor.com and by all means STAY OFF OF CRAIGSLIST unless you want to waste your day chasing down scams and expired listings. Zillow.com and Realtor.com update regularly so new homes will be posted throughout the day, and will have 95% of all the homes listed there.

QUESTION: Is It Common For Landlords To Charge A Co-Pay For Maintaince On A Rental Property?

It is common for NOT VERY GOOD landlords to charge co-pays for maintenance. This is an antiquated practice that actually does exactly opposite of what it is intended to do. Landlords use this clause in order to try and keep maintenance costs down and hold tenants accountable for minor damages. What ACTUALLY happens is that tenants often times either hide or repair damages themselves...More often than not, the repairs are inadequate and require additional repairs later on...OR they actually cause more damage because the tenant is unqualified to do it in the first place.

QUESTION: Should I Do A Cash Out Refinance On My Rental Property?

I normally advise against increasing your debt on a rental property. If your rental property is being financed you already have reduced cash flow. Increasing your monthly payment also increases the risk of going negative in the event your home sits vacant or you have expensive repair or turnover costs.

QUESTION: Should I Buy A Home Now?

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

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 while they are still available.

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

Zillow MRP National Assoc of Realtors

Contact The Springs Team

The Springs Team Real Estate Company
1755 Telstar Dr., Suite 300
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Phone: 719-481-3800