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Summit County by the numbers

by Allison Simson

With any luck at all, you are still recovering from the feeding/family frenzy of Thanksgiving and enjoying some good leftovers!  Hope your holiday was joyful!

As we near the end of the year, it is good to look back at the months behind us and evaluate what they have brought us so that we can gather the assets we have gained and move into the new year!

For those of you who LOVE the numbers, here's a link to the overall stats of Summit County real estate.  As usual, at Summit Real Estate, we look to the actual numbers to evaluate what's happening in the market, not just the gossip and cocktail conversation! 

Summit County by the numbers 2011!

Enjoy your week! 

Top reasons to sell home in winter

by Allison Simson

Aside from less competition, low borrowing costs give buyers incentive

Question: Allison, We’re contemplating putting our Frisco home on the market and we’re wondering if there is anyone out there buying property right now?

Answer: Good question.  I hear this question a lot and can provide your with some specific information about your particular segment of the market, but in general, according to Dianne Hymer, Inman news, we are getting close to the end of the year, which begs the question of whether it's worthwhile trying to sell your home now. Is it a waste of time? Will it sit on the market and become shopworn? Should I take my house off the market for the holidays? Will the home-sale market be better for sellers in 2012?

The first question you need to ask yourself is: Are you emotionally prepared to sell? Selling is a challenge for most sellers, although some markets are better than others. Unless you bought more than eight to 10 years ago and preserved your equity, you may not be able to sell for enough to pay off the mortgages secured against the property and the other costs of selling.

Sellers who have the resources to make up the difference between the sale price and the amount they owe need to ask themselves if they are willing to pay the additional cash in order to sell and move on.

There are two reasons why you might prefer bringing cash to closing. One is that your credit will not be negatively impacted, as would be the case with a short sale or foreclosure. The second is that many buyers shy away from short sales because of the lengthy and uncertain process involved.

The next thing to consider is the condition of your home. Is it ready for the market? The most salable homes are those that are in move-in condition.

Before racing to the hardware store, ask your Realtor about how much competition there would be for your home if you put it on the market before the holidays. Some areas are shy on inventory of good homes on the market. If so, now could be a good time to sell.

The supply/demand ratio plays a significant role in the health of a local real estate market. No matter what is said about the housing market nationally, it's the local picture that tells the tale in terms of the possibility of selling your home at any given time.

Most sellers don't put their homes on the market during the last or first couple of months of the year. The inventory of homes for sale tends to dwindle during the winter months. Interest rates are low. So, if there are buyers in your local market, you may be at an advantage selling when most sellers are waiting.

Some sellers feel that if they've waited this long to sell, they should put the process on hold until spring and get the house ready in the meantime. Certainly, it's not a good idea to put your house on the market until it looks great. But if you and your house are ready to sell, move ahead.

The market in general tends to slow down over the holidays. But rather than pull your house off the market and miss a likely prospect, change the showing procedure to require advance notice. And enjoy your holidays. A sale before year end could be a great holiday gift.

There is a lot of pent-up demand, on both the buyer and seller sides. Sellers have been waiting for a better time to sell. Buyers have been waiting for more quality inventory and a sense that prices have bottomed or are close to it.

In closing, recent projections call for another five or so years of bouncing along close to the bottom of this market cycle. Many experts believe that the big price declines are behind us.  I sure hope they are right!  Remember that Summit County tends to lag behind the national economy by anywhere from 18-24 months.  Inman News. 


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit  

What your money can buy - Views from Villamont!

by Kelie Gray

6901 Villamont is a townhome style end unit located in Wildernest that will knock your socks off!  It is certainly one of the most appealing units in the complex for multiple reasons.  It’s an end unit, so it has tons of windows to let the natural sunlight flood in.  The abundant windows also let you take in the awesome mountain and lake views from both levels of the property.  It also boasts one of the largest decks, and because it wraps around it is a great addition to your indoor and outdoor living space.  You would never know it was built in 1976 because this unit has updates galore!  Wood floors, doors and trim, paint, carpet and counters are just a few of the nice touches.  A brand new built in entertainment and storage center in the family room keeps your electronics up and out of the way and provides great additional storage. 

Adding to the ease of livability, whether Summit County and it’s mountains are your primary residence or you’re looking for a vacation home, is all of the additional space to store your “toys”.  Ingenious bike storage in the unit is easy to use and out of the way!  An exterior storage closet nearby has tons of room for all of your summer and winter gear and whatever else you need to pack away from time to time.  A washer and dryer in the unit is so convenient and what a time saver! 

This property has 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, 877 square feet and is listed for sale at $230,000.00.  Low HOA dues of $218/month include common area maintenance, common building taxes, building insurance, management, security, trash pickup and snow removal.  2011 property taxes were just over $900 for the year.  Don’t wait, give your broker or Summit Real Estate a call to see this bright and updated end unit today! 



Looking to Buy? Not ready to speak to a broker? Visit                

Meet Lynn Sustad, Kelie Gray and Anna Willis, the Buyer Specialist Team at Summit Real Estate-The Simson / Nenninger Team.  Devoted to working only with Buyers, these Specialists tour hundreds of homes and commit to having the most comprehensive knowledge in the market. A member of the Buyer Specialist Team can be reached at (800) 262.8442 or (970) 468.6800, or email us at [email protected]                                                                                                                      




6 must-haves for mortgage approval

by Allison Simson

Even trade-up buyers, owners of multiple properties hit roadblocks

Question:  Allison, we’re looking at trading up from our condo in Wildernest to a single family home in Silverthorne, CO, but we’ve heard that it’s impossible to get a loan.  Any suggestions?

Answer: Despite what you may have heard, the lending business  in Summit County is alive and well!  Is it as easy to get any type of loan under the sun like it was during the boom days? No.  Are there some great options out there?  Absolutely!  According to Diane Hymer at Inman News, interest rates fell to new lows in October. Low interest rates increase affordability and should make it easier for buyers to qualify. Yet stories of buyers waiting months to gain loan approval and home purchase transactions not closing on time due to lender's strict underwriting are all too common.

Some buyers are turned down for illogical reasons. For instance, if you have investments -- even if they're performing well -- an underwriter might deny the mortgage because your portfolio doesn't fall into the underwriter's risk assessment model.

One couple was turned down because the husband had worked at his current job for less than a year -- even though he was making more money at the new job than he was before.

These buyers were well-qualified. The wife had worked several years for one employer and was able to qualify for the loan on her own. So, the transaction closed, although two months late.

Generally, it's more difficult to qualify now than it was a year ago- but don’t be discouraged! Most conventional lenders require a 20-25 percent down payment. For the lowest interest rates, your credit scores need to be in the 700 range. You need to have verifiable income and cash reserves in addition to your down payment and closing costs.

You could run into underwriting problems if you're self-employed, as W-2 income is much easier to verify. Other hurdles are lapses in employment and owning a lot of property. Some lenders won't lend to buyers who have more than three or four residential properties.

If you're buying a new home before selling your current home, you'll need to have 30 percent equity in your current home. This needs to be verified by the lender's appraiser. Also, the lender will want to see a copy of the cashed check from the tenant for the first month's rent to verify rental income if needed to qualify.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: As soon as you're serious about buying a home, find the best mortgage broker or loan agent you can to assist you. Don't make your selection based on interest rates alone. A good track record counts for a lot.  A local lender familiar with doing loans in Summit County is your best bet.

Closing the deal should be your primary goal. If you have to pay 0.25 percent more to assure your transaction closes on time and that you're not turned down at the last minute, it's worth it.

Be candid with your loan professional about anything in your financial picture that might impact loan qualification. A good loan agent or broker will be able to assess your financial situation and anticipate what you'll need to do to satisfy the underwriter.

Be aware that appraisal issues can impact your loan approval. For example, if a previous owner added square footage without a building permit, the additional square footage probably won't be included as livable square feet.

If the appraisal comes in for less than the purchase price, the lender might not lend you enough to close the deal. Include an appraisal contingency in your contract.

As of Oct. 1, the conforming jumbo mortgage limit for expensive housing markets like New York City and San Francisco dropped from $729,750 to $625,500. In some cases, conforming jumbo lenders have moved into the market to pick up some slack. You can expect to pay about 0.25 percent more for a 30-year fixed-rate conventional jumbo loan, in some cases. However, today's lower interest rates will help boost affordability.

There are more jumbo financing options available now. Adjustable-rate mortgages that are fixed for 10 years and then revert to an adjustable have a starting rate about 0.25 percent less than a 30-year fixed jumbo. A five-year fixed starts about 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent lower, but is riskier.

We have some of the finest mortgage brokers and lenders around right here in Summit County.  If you’d like a list of our preferred lenders,  just ask.



For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit  

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Photo of Summit Real Estate Real Estate
Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
Fax: 970-468-2195

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