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5 Reasons to sell now!

by Allison Simson

The beauty of our county is spectacular this month - I know I probably say this every year, but I don't think I've ever seen the leaves look prettier!  They are just breathtaking this year!

If you love Summit County and own a place here, but find, as many do, that life has gotten in the way and you just don't get up here enough anymore and if you are thinking of selling, I came across this article from the Keeping Current Matters Crew that you might ponder: 

5 Reasons to Sell Now

 Many sellers feel that the Spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the Fall and Winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to to sell now.
1. Only Serious Buyers Are Out
At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
2. There Is Far Less Competition
Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. This year will be a little different as some of the distressed properties being liquidated by the banks (in the form of foreclosures & short sales) will enter the market. However, for those buyers looking for a non-distressed property, the choices will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.
3. The Process Will Be Quicker
One of the biggest challenges of the 2012 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 15% from now to 2016. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.
5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?
You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

Enjoy the week and if you are in Dillon this week, stop by and say hello! 

 

Condo financing good news!

by Allison Simson

We awoke to a beautiful dusting of snow on the mountain peaks this morning....this fall has been absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.  I hope you have had a chance to get up here and enjoy it! 

Here is some good news on the condo financing front that you may be interested in: 

Real estate industry welcomes changes to FHA condo rules
Investor ownership limit upped, legal liabilities for HOA boards reduced
By Ken Harney, Friday, September 14, 2012.    

Inman News®


The Federal Housing Administration has finally done what it promised back in May: published revised rules that could convince condo associations across the country to get certified or re-certified for financing, thereby opening individual unit owners and sellers to low down payment, FHA-insured mortgages once again.

For condo boards, real estate agents and property managers, the long-awaited rule changes announced yesterday should prove to be "excellent news," that will "help spark home sales and help tens of thousands of condominium associations recover from the housing slump," according to the Community Associations Institute, the largest U.S. trade group in the field.

Among other changes, the rules eliminate some of the legal liability headaches that caused many condo boards to balk at FHA certifications; raise the permissible investor-ownership limit; and increase the percentage of non-residential, commercial use allowed in an FHA-certified project.

To Christopher Gardner, managing member of FHAProsLLC, a Los Angeles-based firm that assists condo boards with their applications for FHA certifications, the changes "aren't a home run but maybe a double," but should still significantly reduce the impediments associations encountered in seeking FHA approvals.

Under federal rules, individual units in condo projects are not eligible for financing unless the entire project has passed FHA's certification process, which looks at project budgets, reserves, forthcoming capital improvement needs, insurance policies, delinquent payments of association dues, composition of renters versus owner-occupants, and various other factors.

Industry experts welcomed the revisions to the certification form itself, which previously intimidated condo association officers because it appeared to ask them to accept broad legal liability on matters they couldn't totally be certain about, such as disputes among tenants in the building, litigation filed with courts involving the condo project or board, compliance with local and state regulations and the like.

Though FHA attempted to reassure them that it would be rare that the government would seek the maximum penalties in cases of misinformation in applications for certification, those penalties nonetheless were daunting: up to $1 million in fines and 30 years in prison.

Now the certification form asks a single signer representing the association to attest that, to the signer's knowledge and belief, the information in the application is accurate, has been reviewed by an attorney, and that the project complies with local and state regulations.

The signer also must warrant that he or she has no knowledge of circumstances that might have an adverse impact on the project, including construction defects, "operational issues," or legal problems. The federal penalties remain, but consultants such as Gardner say the revisions should alleviate "a lot of the fears" boards had with the previous language.

The rule changes published Thursday are "temporary" until FHA replaces them with formal, final regulations that would be preceded by proposed rules giving the industry additional opportunity to seek improvements. The new policies also represent the culmination of lengthy negotiations between FHA and industry groups, including NAR, CAI and consulting and management firms that started last spring.

At a conference held by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Thursday, acting FHA commissioner Carol J. Galante said the revisions show "that we listened" to the critiques from the industry, while still protecting the government's insurance funds.

Under the previous rules, condo associations abandoned FHA in droves, even at significant costs to their own unit owners who suddenly had difficulty selling because FHA financing was no longer available to purchasers.

Only one out of 10 condo associations that would normally qualify for FHA financing currently is certified, according to Gardner, whose firm maintains a massive database of information on condos. HUD confirms that just 2,100 out of a possible 25,000 projects had obtained certifications or recertifications as of late last year.

The human costs of the previous rules were sometime extreme, Gardner says. In one case, an elderly woman who owned a unit in a non-certified community sought to obtain an FHA reverse mortgage in order to help pay the costs of her cancer treatments. The condo board said no -- it didn't want to run the certification gauntlet or take on the legal liabilities.

Among the key changes now in effect:

    The investor ownership limit in existing projects has been raised to 50 percent. Previously there was a 10 percent cap on the number of units owned by any single investment entity. Now the rule states that "any investor/entity (single or multiple owner entities) may own up to 50 percent of the total units…if at least 50 percent of the total units in the project" are owned or under contract for purchase by owner-occupants.
    The percentage of space used for commercial/non-residential purposes in a project is limited to 25 percent, but applicants can request exceptions up to 35 percent and even above in certain mixed-use developments that are still "primarily residential" in character and where the project is "free of adverse conditions to the occupants of the individual condominium units."
    Condo associations in which as many as 15 percent of unit owners are 60 days delinquent on their condo fees will now be eligible for certification. Under the previous rules, no more than 15 percent could be 30 days late. This was a major issue for many associations since they didn't track 30-day delinquencies. Industry groups had sought a 90 day delinquency standard.
    Previous confusion over FHA requirements on fidelity bonds for management companies -- with coverage that sometimes duplicated what was already maintained by the condo association itself -- appears to be resolved. If the association's fidelity bond policy names the management company as an insured or agent, it should pass muster.

We are cautiously optimistic that these changes will make a positive impact on the Summit County real estate market! 

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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