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Gallup surveyed Americans on their choices for best long-term investments, and reveals the stability of housing as a long-term investment.

Don't Fall into the Rental Trap

by KCM

62% of renters indicate they believe they are losing money by renting- and rents only continue to increase. Don't fall into the rental trap! If you're currently renting, let's get together to explore your homeownership options.

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

by KCM

Recently, there's been a lot of news surrounding an impending recession. However, the same experts predicting an economic slowdown also believe it will not be caused by the housing market. If you're thinking of buying or selling a home, there's no need to panic- let's get together to address your concerns and talk about what's really happening.

10 Easy Hacks to Save Money Around the House

by Bomb Bomb

I hope you’re enjoying your first few weeks of fall and (hopefully) cooler temperatures. With the changing of the seasons, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at your home and make tweaks that will help you save money this fall and winter. 

Ten ways you can adjust your habits and make small, affordable household hacks that will lower your utility bills — and in many cases, help the environment. 

If you’d rather look for a new home that’s more energy-efficient, please let us know; We'd be happy to help!

In today’s fast-paced world where answers are a Google search away, there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The truth is, the addition of more information causes more confusion.

Shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and dozens more on HGTV have given many a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home.

Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying and/or selling a home is definitely not something you want to DIY (Do It Yourself)!

Here are just some of the reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner:
There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online!

There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

What is the home you’re buying or selling worth in today’s market?

There is so much information on the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Having a professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage!

 

Sellers: Now Is the Time to Buy!

by KCM

Falling interest rates coupled with increasing inventory create the ideal market to find the home of your dreams. There's no time like the present to move up! Let's get together to discuss your options.


FRISCO — Summit County’s Family & Intercultural Resource Center has announced that its 3-year-old Housing Works Initiative has helped nearly 100 Summit County residents find long-term rental housing. The Housing Works program connects Summit County workers in need of housing with landlords willing to convert their vacation or short-term rental properties into long-term housing.

The program, which is supported by The Summit Foundation, seeks to put a dent in the county’s shortage of housing for full-time workers. Recent figures from the state demographer’s office reveal that 68% of Summit County’s housing units are vacant, meaning they are not lived in for a majority of the year or are used as short-term rentals. That leaves very few units available for long-term or yearlong leases, compounding the extremely high cost of living in Summit.

When it started nearly four years ago, Housing Works leased 15 housing units to local workers. Now, 32 units are leased with more units coming online every month. Housing Works has helped 67 working adults and 30 children find long-term housing in Summit County, people who otherwise might be forced to find housing in places like Grand, Lake or Park counties.

“Personally, I am very grateful for FIRC,” Norma, one of Housing Works’ first tenants, wrote in Spanish in a letter to the nonprofit. “Thanks to you, I have had a secure place to live for the past four years. All of the staff are attentive and try to help. Thanks to Housing Works, I have a safe place to live with my family.”

Aside from helping workers live near where they work, Housing Works also boosts the local permanent workforce pool, from which businesses draw, as well as helps build up the local permanent resident community.

Anita Overmyer, the organization’s marketing and events director, said families in secure and stable housing situations are able to be better parents, employees and community members, which is the foundation of the resource center’s mission in Summit County.

Michel Infante, the resource center’s supportive services manager, oversees the Housing Works program. He said the organization works with local real estate and property management group Omni Real Estate to connect with property owners who would be willing to convert their short-term, former owner-occupied or newly purchased properties into long-term rentals. 

Omni surveys potential properties and agrees to a monthly rental price with the property owner in line with the caps the resource center sets for rentals. To avoid putting people in a position where they become cost-burdened, rents are capped at $1,500 for one bedrooms or studios, $2,100 for two-bedroom units and $2,600 for three-bedroom units. 

Even with the cap, the resource center does not rent units to potential tenants if their rent-to-income ratio exceeds 50%. This is a safety measure for the tenants and landlords to ensure the tenants will be able to pay their rent and to avoid a situation where they are unable to pay for other necessities, like food and utilities.

Scholarships are available through various sources to help potential tenants pay rent if they are just over the rent-to-income ratio.

After a property becomes available, the resource center advertises it through various outlets. Infante screens potential tenants, and if they are approved for a unit, they connect with Omni real estate, who handles the leasing arrangements

The program is sold to property owners with numbers showing how much more financially sensible it is to lease their units long-term than short-term or vacation rentals. Homeowners can stand to make $10,000 more a year renting through Housing Works than they might through short-term rentals. 

For example, a two-bedroom short-term rental unit usually has as much as 35% of costs going toward property management, while it’s usually about 6.5% for long-term rentals. Combined with the resource center’s screening process, property owners have more of a guarantee they will get a stable tenant who will provide a consistent rental income, as opposed to the inconsistency of relying on tourists, who might not visiting during shoulder seasons.

The Recourse Center reported that 96% of tenants wound up resigning their leases and staying in the program.

“Renting our condo through FIRC’s Housing Works Initiative has brought us peace of mind,” homeowner Kyle Hendricks said in a testimonial about the program. “We rely on the rental income to pay our mortgage, and by renting through Housing Works, we know we will get that payment consistently. It also feels good knowing that we are contributing in our small way to be part of the solution to Summit County’s housing crisis. By providing a long-term rental unit in our community, one more family can have a safe and stable place to live.”

The resource center is aiming to have 45 units available in its program but will grow further as more units become available. Units get rented as soon as they are listed and are rented on a first-come, first-served basis with no waiting list. The nonprofit advertises the units through various channels, including its own website at SummitFIRC.org, the Summit Daily News and social media.

Homeowners interested in listing their properties for long-term leases through Housing Works should contact Community Resource Coordinator Caitlin Johnson at [email protected] or call 970-455-0236.

 

Summit County Market Update Fall 2019- Courtesy Allison Simson

by Allison Simson


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Market Update Fall 2019

Autumn is such a glorious time in Summit County!  Crisp mornings and warm days splashed with amazing colors all around- I never want to step foot outside the county this time of year!
The real estate market in Summit County is strong on so many fronts. Looking at several leading indicators – inventory & number of showings and as well as two lagging indicators – pending/closed sales and Days on Market –gives a good picture of where we’ve been and what may come.

Active Properties: 777 on the market early fall priced from $209,000-$18,000,000 – something for everyone! 
Showing data: The number of showings tends to dip slightly in the fall and pick up again when the snow flies and the skiers are back. Showings are still consistent.
Pending: Currently, there are 458 properties under contract.  The number of properties going under contract is on par with the summer months. 
This tells me Buyer demand is staying consistent, week after week.  While other aspects of the market go up and go down, we can depend on the Buyers to be here.  That's a good thing.
Sold properties: 1210 Sales Q1-Q3 2019 vs 1356 Q1-Q3 2018.  Number of sales is down overall by about 11%, but overall volume is up.
Interest rates also play a part of the equation- they are so low right now!  3.75% at the start of this quarter. The predictions of most economists at the beginning of this year for rising interest rates have not panned out – thankfully!  This helps with consumer confidence and makes properties more affordable.
Days on market: Median days on market is 19 this year vs 11 last year. A slight increase, but not statistically relevant.

The bottom line: High consumer confidence, low interest rates and buyers making offers gives the market a sense of confidence and predictability. That being said, we can expect, as we move toward winter, a gradual slow-down in transactions.  Much of the fall real estate market is driven by folks who want to get in and secure their ski getaway before the lifts start to turn!

Stay tuned to weekly updates on the Market click here: 

FRISCO — The town of Frisco is hoping to remove some of the unintended consequences of past deed restrictions placed on homes in town.

The Frisco Town Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution at their regular meeting Tuesday night that would allow homeowners with a deed restriction on their property to opt in to a new housing covenant offered by the town. The move is meant to help incentivize home improvements on restricted properties, and provide more flexibility to sellers so they aren’t forced to take a loss, while still assuring affordability for buyers. Council members Jessica Burley and Melissa Sherburne recused themselves from the vote.

“We tried to address each problem that was identified,” said Nancy Kerry, Frisco’s town manager. “It isn’t a perfect solution. Not every homeowner will make money. That’s how the housing market is for anybody. The goal of the council was not about guaranteeing any sales prices. But it also isn’t to force people to lose money. So we’re trying to thread the needle to the right outcome with as few unintended consequences as possible.”

There are currently about 170 deed-restricted covenants in Frisco, and while they aren’t completely consistent in terms of restrictions, most include the same language in regard to maximum resale value for sellers. Kerry said that language is the heart of the problem.

Under most current covenants, sellers are only allowed to sell their homes for a sum that’s equal to the lesser of two scenarios: either the purchase price plus 3% a year (not compounded), or the purchase price plus a percentage increase equal to the percentage increase in the area median income (AMI) from the time the unit was purchased until the time it’s listed for sale.

This means that in some cases, when there’s a negative or static change in AMI from the time of purchase — calculated using a national formula by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with local variations — homeowners would be forced to sell their property for less than they purchased it for or a very small profit. It also means individuals with similar properties may be forced to sell under extremely different circumstances based on when they sell their homes.

“Let’s say someone purchased a house in 2011,” said Katie Kent, a planner for Frisco, in an interview with the Summit Daily this summer. “You actually pull out this spreadsheet from 2011 and look at what the AMI was that year, then you look at the AMI in the year they want to sell it and calculate the difference, whether it’s positive or negative. It all depends on what year you bought. You can only look at the year you purchased and the year you’re selling. And because the covenant says lesser of, if that number has gone down, that’s the formula, and that’s how you get the negative sell price.”

The new resolution creates a voluntary covenant that owners of current deed-restricted properties can join to change the maximum sale price calculation on their covenant.  

The new formula would set the maximum sale price as the sum of the seller’s original purchase price, a 3% increase annually (not compounded or guaranteed), the cost of qualified capital improvements on the property, and the cost of real estate commission. Sellers can also add a 2% bump on the commission if they use the Summit County Housing Authority to list their home.

Of note, homeowners won’t be allowed to sell above the set maximum purchase price in the published Summit County AMI at the time, even if the new calculation suggests they should be getting more. The only time someone would be able to sell their property above the published AMI is if they would otherwise be forced to take a loss on the deal — at which point they could sell for the original purchase price.

The new calculation also doesn’t guarantee that homeowners will get to sell at their highest allowed price, as they’ll still have to find a buyer within the correct AMI threshold to agree to that price. Though, it does provide increased flexibility for both buyers and sellers. For the first 30 days a property is listed, members of the Frisco workforce will have priority to purchase the property at its original AMI. Though, if the home isn’t sold in those 30 days, a 20% AMI spread goes into effect opening the door for more buyers.

For example, if someone lists a property restricted to buyers at 100% AMI and it doesn’t sell in 30 days, individuals who qualify at up to 120% AMI would then be allowed to buy the home.

Town officials also hope that by adding capital improvements and real estate commissions to the calculation they can encourage homeowners to make improvements to their homes without fear of losing value when selling, and to use a real estate agent so buyers aren’t left unaware they’re purchasing into a deed-restriction.

Kerry said that individuals interested in changing their deed restrictions would have to fill out an application, and have an informational session with town staff to make sure they understand how the new covenant would affect them.

“The goal is to have an inclusive community, and we want a range of people to be able to afford to live here,” said Kerry. “But in manipulating the market there are unintended consequences, and that is true for all affordable housing programs. … You have to be really careful. You can’t think of every possible outcome. But you can try, and that’s why we gathered as much information as we could to try and find the real causes of the problem.”

Real Estate Market Predictions for rest of 2019

by KCM

We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.

Here’s what some of the experts have to say:

Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic “We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR “We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”

Freddie Mac “The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”

Bottom Line

The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 53

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Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker