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1031 Changes!

by Allison Simson

There have been some interesting changes and challenges with the current 1031 tax deferred exchange laws and regulations.  The capital gains tax is currently at only 15%, but that is set to "sunset" at the end of the year.  It will most probably go up to at least 20%.  If you're considering selling and want to buy another investment property somewhere, now might be a good time for you to take advantage of the 1031 exchange.  Here is some information you might find interesting from my friend, Mary Lou Schwab of Bankers Escrow - a great 1031 exchange qualified intermediary company.


Decisions — Decisions!  It is more challenging in this economy to understand all the tax, lending and insurance issues which affect a successful 1031 Exchange transaction. Tax changes are forth coming. Lenders are requiring more equity & also limiting the number of investor loans.  Insurance is a challenge as well.  An exchanger needs to review many factors to determine if they can successfully complete a 1031 exchange.  

Capital gains tax rates have a high probability of increasing in 2011.  Currently, the 2010 long term capital gains tax rate is 15% for married tax payers that have income exceeding $66,800.  Publicly, the Obama administration has recommended an increase in long term capital gain tax rate to 20% and some members of Congress support a higher rate.  
Watch for changes in State Tax regulations for 1031 exchange recognition and tax rates.  As State legislators try to increase tax    revenues for their enormous budget deficits, both 1031 Exchange    recognition & capital gains tax rates are in jeopardy.  Currently, a proposed California Assembly Bill 2640 would eliminate a company’s ability to use 1031 exchange deferred tax treatment.  In Rhode Island, favorable capital gain treatment is no longer recognized for 1031 exchanges.  In Minnesota, the majority of 1031 exchanges are audited by state auditors. Many exchanges are being excluded from tax deferral treatment due to their ultra conservative interpretation of 1031 exchange regulations.   
Depreciation recapture has a current rate cap of 25% which Congress could change to match the current maximum individual tax rate of 35%.  Changing the cap rate on depreciation recapture would be a simple maneuver.  Then the Legislators could claim they have not raised taxes for individual taxpayers.  

Commercial banks & mortgage lenders are creating incredible challenges for investors who need loans.  Lower appraised values of property, higher equity requirements by banks & the FDIC requirements for limiting the amount of bank lending that is available for real estate has created a shortage of lending options.  Additionally, FNMA regulations limit lending for investors if they have 3 or more investment property loans & their own principle residence loan.  Double check the availability of lending prior to initiating your 1031 exchange transaction.  Lastly, begin your lending request early in the 1031 exchange process as the loan processors, underwriters, SBA & bank officers are requesting more information & are not timely in responding to contract closing dates.  

For any new insurance coverage a credit check is generally requested & will be utilized to calculate your premium rate.  Utilize your insurance broker to compare coverage & premiums to determine the most economic alternative.  By shopping for your insurance needs early in your replacement 1031 property purchase, you have the opportunity to minimize your premiums.
Prior to any contemplated 1031 exchange transaction check with your direct tax advisor regarding your own tax situation.  If you have a passive loss carry forward or a long term capital loss it could be beneficial for you to do an outright sale; a partial 1031 exchange or an installment sale for tax purposes. Additionally, if you have converted a rental property into your primary residence in the last 5 years you may receive only a prorated exclusion based upon how long the property was used as a primary residence.  
Planning is key to your successful 1031 exchange.   Utilize Bankers Escrow Corp. for your qualified intermediary needs.

And now for your Coffee Break..."All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on."    ~  Henry Ellis   
Make it a great day.....


Warmly,Go Green 2

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker
Lynn Sustad, Buyer Specialist
Kelie Gray, Buyer Specialist
Anna Willis, Buyer Specialist
Kristi Warner, Client Care Manager
Margaret Bowes, Transaction Coordinator

Tuesday Coffee Break ~ Real Estate Outlook: Experts Weigh In

by Allison Simson

It's beginning to show signs of spring here in the high country...the buds on the trees are coming to life and the melt-off is beginning.  It's been a long winter and the sunshine is quite welcome!
I'd like to share an interesting article from "Realty Times" published on May 10th:
Real Estate Outlook: Experts Weigh In 
by Kenneth R. Harney
Mega-investor Warren Buffett and a group of top corporate leaders are weighing in on a key issue that's crucial to a sustained real estate recovery: How long will the good economic news we've been getting lately continue?

Are we going to be let down later in the second half of the year, or is the current, slow-moving national economic growth pattern a long term trend?

Buffet told his annual stockholders gathering in Omaha that, the economy is showing "significant" and persistent improvement for the first time since the financial crisis broke in 2008.

Other top business leaders polled by the Conference Board -- and quoted last week by the Wall Street Journal - said they are now "confident that the U.S. will see sustained growth through 2010" - with moderate gains in employment, consumer spending and consumer confidence.

That's hugely important for housing of course - and offers a strong answer to economic doomsayers who predict a sharp drop in home sales and real estate activity following the expiration of the tax credits.

The latest housing and mortgage numbers certainly look encouraging:

Pending home sales jumped by more than five percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors, and were 21 percent higher than the previous year for the same month.

Home prices are turning at least modestly positive again in the majority of large housing markets. The closely-watched PMI risk index, which looks at price decline potentials for two years out, found that 42 of the 50 largest markets in its latest survey showed diminished risk.

Another index -- from valuation data firm Clear Capital - found home prices gained by five percent nationally year over year. Prices in a handful of what Clear Capital calls "micro" markets are doing better than that. Washington DC, for example, saw an 8.4 percent increase over last year, according to the latest index.

Meanwhile, new applications for loans to purchase houses took another big jump -- up 13 percent over the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

MBA vice president for research, Michael Fratantoni, said that last week's FHA and VA share of home purchase applications soared above 50 percent -- the highest it's been in more than two decades.

Finally, there was some outstanding news for home buyers and sellers in high cost markets: The jumbo loan market is roaring back -- with more banks now offering big loans and cutting rates. One major lender even announced that for credit-worthy applicants, it's dropping rates on jumbos to 5.7 percent for 30 years -- the best ever.

Published: May 10, 2010 in “Realty Times”

In Summit County, we historically lag behind the national economy by 18-24 months.  When the majority of the economy has their big spike in prices in 2005-2006, we were still very steady and flat here, and then when the rest of the country took a nosedive is right when we saw our biggest appreciation in years!   Now, our values in Summit County are depreciating, but it's great to hear some good news on the national front.  Time will tell if history repeats itself or not.

And now for your Tuesday Coffee Break....."We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have."     ~  Frederick Keonig

Have a great week! 



Allison Simson, Owner/Broker
Lynn Sustad, Buyer Specialist
Kelie Gray, Buyer Specialist
Anna Willis, Buyer Specialist
Kristi Warner, Client Care Manager
Margaret Bowes, Transaction Coordinator

I received so much response from my last article on staging your home to sell, I decided to incorporate a few more ideas.  I found these tips in a blog from Emily Hsieh.

It’s probably stating the obvious to say that it's a tricky, challenging real estate market out there, and, if you’re currently selling your house, you can use any kind of competitive edge. Professional home stagers can help you get it. Part interior decorator, part closet organizer, and part magician, they offer advice on upping the value of your home by sprucing up your interiors—all without any major renovations or shelling out of major cash. Basically, a home stager's job is to maximize your space, making rooms appear larger and feel more inviting (and desirable) with just a few clever design tweaks.

Intrigued by the idea of this home-makeover magic, we tracked down Donna M. Dazzo, president of Designed To Appeal, a New York-based home staging company, to share her tried-and-true tips for capitalizing on the worth of your house. “With things the way they are, the name of the game is to get your house sold, and sold quickly,” Dazzo says, before outlining her essential tricks to do just that:

Depersonalize. Hide anything—family photos, awards, trophies, your collection of antique teacups—that might interfere with a buyer feeling like your home could be theirs. People get really distracted when they’re surrounded by someone else’s personal stuff. Make your bathroom look like a hotel’s: no one wants to see your soggy loofah and half used bar of soap. Put all your beauty products in a shower caddy, so they can easily be stowed under the sink when you have a showing.

De-clutter. Most people have too much stuff, whether it’s tchochkes or paperwork or furniture. The goal is to create a sense of space in a room—and in all your closets. Fight the urge to shove all your stuff in your closets, since you have to be prepared for prospective buyers to open every last cabinet. An organized closet can send the message that as an owner, you’re the kind of person who doesn’t slack on any aspect (a leaky roof, a busted water heater) of maintaining your home.

Clean. Clean. Clean. No one wants to walk into a dirty house. Bathrooms and kitchens in particular should be sparkling. Don’t just do a surface clean—pay attention to hidden corners like the nook behind a toilet or the inside of your refrigerator. You never know where people are going to look. Use Febreze or reed diffusers to remove any odors, and invite a neighbor over to make sure there are no leftover scents, since living there may make you immune to the smell. Only about a third of Americans live with pets, so to be sure you’re not alienating the other two thirds of the population, remove all traces (leashes, litter boxes, dog beds) of animals.

Lighten and Brighten. You want to have as much light as possible filtering through your space. Start by cleaning the windows. Ditch the screens, which just add one more darkening layer. During an open house, make sure your shades are up. Check to see if all your bulbs are working, and replace low-watt bulbs with high-watt ones to ensure the place feels bright.

Paint. Walls are the bones of your home, and it’s super important to make sure they look fresh. Painting is relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself, and can have a huge impact on the way a place looks. Avoid non-neutral colors like red, purple, or loud yellow, since they won’t appeal to the majority of people. White can feel stark and cold, which doesn’t do anything to add to the appeal of a room. Try warm beige tones instead like Benjamin Moore’s Rich Cream or Natural Wicker.

Would you like a complimentary brochure on staging your home to sell?  Email - [email protected] and we’ll get one to you straight away!    

For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field.  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   

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Summit County Home

by Allison Simson

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Summit County Home

Selling your Summit County, Colorado home should be a smooth and -with any luck at all- a profitable transaction. But it could end up being an unsuccessful, draining experience, especially if the appropriate precautions and preparations are not observed. A majority of the time, the chance for success lies within the hands of the hired real estate expert. In order to guarantee optimal results, the sellers must be willing to cooperate and consider the professional advice of their real estate agent. Agonizing over a listing price, making the property presentable, rushing for last minute showings, answering inconvenient calls, and frazzling thoughts of not being able to sell are all stressful components of selling your Summit County home. If you and your home are not properly prepared there is a great risk of losing thousands of dollars in an unsuccessful transaction.  Here are five of the most common, costly mistakes homeowners can easily avoid when selling their property here in the mountains:

1. Do not believe all real estate professionals are the same, choose wisely

The process of selling your home involves many tedious details and critical decisions. Real estate professionals are experts in handling these situations and offering knowledgeable guidance to sellers. It is crucial to research several professionals in order to find a suitable match with experience selling homes similar to yours. Real estate agents use different methods to sell their listings. Innovative professionals who promote listings with newer techniques to attract buyers are always more successful than professionals relying on traditional strategies. 24-7 advertising, excessive exposure and lead generation are important services agents offer to aid in selling your home. Hiring and utilizing the right real estate professional can significantly maximize the chances for a smooth, profitable transaction.

2. Effects of ignoring cosmetic upkeep

The potential buyer’s first impression of your property is crucial. Dirty dishes piled in the sink, unkempt lawns and front entry areas, cluttered rooms, stained carpets, scattered soiled laundry, and any offensive odors may seem like little things, but they are big turn-offs to prospective buyers. Ignoring cosmetic upkeep leads to loosing home sales. It also never hurts to hire a staging company to assist in making the home more appealing to buyers.

3. Refusing to make repairs

Another major cause in loosing home sales is the seller’s refusal to make necessary repairs. In the long run, it is not beneficial to sell “as is”. Instead, making needed repairs or improvements will increase the home’s value. A real estate agent can decide what repairs will boost the home’s value.

4. Picking a price that is too high or too low

When properties get priced too high they tend to sit on the market and eventually develop a label of a problem property. When priced too low a home could fly off the market, allowing the buyer to get a great deal and the seller with lost potential profits. Listing the home at the appropriate price could make or break a successful sale. Real estate professionals use their market knowledge and special tactics to appropriately price the property and ensure a timely and profitable sale.

5. Making things convenient for prospective buyers

Providing easy access to the property for showings is the key to finding the right buyer. Appointment-only showings take away from the buyer’s convenience because a specific time has to be set to fit the schedules of multiple people. Using a lock box is the best way to provide easy access for showings. You are less likely to miss out on a sale when buyers are never denied a chance to view the property.

 For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. 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