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The Benefits of Home Ownership

by Cory Dudley

Considering buying a home? With the current, low mortgage rates, you may be thinking about purchasing. But other than affordable rates, there are so many benefits to owning a home. Take a look at this infographic showcasing just a few homeownership perks. If you're ready to begin the process of purchasing a home, contact us today! 


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501
o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

#1 Reason to Sell Now

by Cory Dudley

#1 Reason to Sell Now

#1 Reason to Sell Now | Keeping Current Matters

If you are one of the many homeowners out there who are debating putting their home on the market in 2015, don’t miss out on the opportunity that currently exists. There will be significantly less competition in the winter months than in the spring.

According to the National Housing Survey released by Fannie Mae, 45% of homeowners “say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months.”

What Does This Mean?

Homeowners are unaware that interest rates are projected to go up by all four major reporting institutions – This is big news for move-up buyers reflecting the overall amount of housing inventory that will be on the market.

If existing homeowners believe that mortgage interest rates are not going to increase, then they won’t be inclined to make a move by putting their home up for sale, meaning less competition for sellers who list now.

Don’t Wait!

The study also revealed that:

“Those who say it is a good time to buy a house rose to 68%” & “the share of respondents who think it would be difficult to get a home mortgage today decreased by 3 percentage points.”

As Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae explains:

“We expect consumer attitudes toward housing to improve as the pickup in the overall economy lifts employment and income prospects.“

Bottom Line

There are buyers out there who are ready to make a move. If your goal this year is to move up to your dream home, what are you waiting for?


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Inaccurate Zillow 'Zestimates' a source of conflict over home prices

by Cory Dudley

Inaccurate Zillow 'Zestimates' a source of conflict over home prices

 

When "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell asked the chief executive of Zillow recently about the accuracy of the website's automated property value estimates — known as Zestimates — she touched on one of the most sensitive perception gaps in American real estate.

Zillow is the most popular online real estate information site, with 73 million unique visitors in December. Along with active listings of properties for sale, it also provides information on houses that are not on the market. You can enter the address or general location in a database of millions of homes and probably pull up key information — square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms and baths, photos, taxes — plus a Zestimate.

Shoppers, sellers and buyers routinely quote Zestimates to realty agents — and to one another — as gauges of market value. If a house for sale has a Zestimate of $350,000, a buyer might challenge the sellers' list price of $425,000. Or a seller might demand to know from potential listing brokers why they say a property should sell for just $595,000 when Zillow has it at $685,000.

Disparities like these are daily occurrences and, in the words of one realty agent who posted on the industry blog ActiveRain, they are "the bane of my existence." Consumers often take Zestimates "as gospel," said Tim Freund, an agent with Dilbeck Real Estate in Westlake Village. If either the buyer or the seller won't budge off Zillow's estimated value, he told me, "that will kill a deal."

Back to the question posed by O'Donnell: Are Zestimates accurate? And if they're off the mark, how far off? Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff answered that they're "a good starting point" but that nationwide Zestimates have a "median error rate" of about 8%.

Whoa. That sounds high. On a $500,000 house, that would be a $40,000 disparity — a lot of money on the table — and could create problems. But here's something Rascoff was not asked about: Localized median error rates on Zestimates sometimes far exceed the national median, which raises the odds that sellers and buyers will have conflicts over pricing. Though it's not prominently featured on the website, at the bottom of Zillow's home page in small type is the word "Zestimates." This section provides helpful background information along with valuation error rates by state and county — some of which are stunners.

For example, in New York County — Manhattan — the median valuation error rate is 19.9%. In Brooklyn, it's 12.9%. In Somerset County, Md., the rate is an astounding 42%. In some rural counties in California, error rates range as high as 26%. In San Francisco it's 11.6%. With a median home value of $1,000,800 in San Francisco, according to Zillow estimates as of December, a median error rate at this level translates into a price disparity of $116,093.

Some real estate agents have done their own studies of accuracy levels of Zillow in their local markets.

Last July, Robert Earl, an agent with Choice Homes Team in the Charlottesville, Va., area, examined selling prices and Zestimates of all 21 homes sold that month in the nearby community of Lake Monticello. On 17 sales Zillow overestimated values, including two houses that sold for 61% below the Zestimate.

In Carlsbad, Calif., Jeff Dowler, an agent with Solutions Real Estate, did a similar analysis on sales in two ZIP Codes. He found that Zestimates came in below the selling price 70% of the time, with disparities ranging as high as $70,000. In 25% of the sales, Zestimates were higher than the contract price. In 95% of the cases, he said, "Zestimates were wrong. That does not inspire a lot of confidence, at least not for me." In a second ZIP Code, Dowler found that 100% of Zestimates were inaccurate and that disparities were as large as $190,000.

So what do you do now that you've got the scoop on Zestimate accuracy? Most important, take Rascoff's advice: Look at them as no more than starting points in pricing discussions with the real authorities on local real estate values — experienced agents and appraisers. Zestimates are hardly gospel — often far from it.

 

Distributed by Washington Post Writers Group.


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade

by Cory Dudley

Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade

 

Consumer Confidence at Highest Level in Over a Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Two recently released reports reveal that the American public is starting to feel much better about the U.S. economy. The University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers showed that:

“Consumer optimism reached the highest level in the past decade in the January 2015 survey…Consumers judged prospects for the national economy as the best in a decade, with half of all consumers expecting the economic expansion will continue for another five years. The anticipated strength in the overall economy has been accompanied by more favorable income and employment expectations.”

Here is a chart showing results over the last decade:

Consumer Optimism | Keeping Current Matters

As all consumers are feeling more optimistic, more young adults are moving out of their parents’ basements and into a residence of their own. The recent Census report shows that new household formations skyrocketed in 2014. Below is a chart showing the historical significance of the numbers:

Bottom Line

The economy is definitely improving and, more importantly, the American consumer is beginning to feel much more confident. This should lead to a very robust real estate market in 2015.

shared from KCM

 

Keep up with the current Boulder County Real Estate market by visiting here or here.  You can find out what your home is worth and what your neighbor's home is worth - free.


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Should You Buy A Fixer-Upper?

by Cory Dudley

Before you purchase a fixer-upper, you should consider a few things. Have you done this before? What do you want to do with the house when you're finished fixing it up? Do you have the extra time and money for a project like this? This infographic will help you determine if a fixer-upper is right for you!


 

The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 
o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

 

 

Home Buying Tax Breaks to Remember

by Whitedove Gannon

Home ownership can bring a lot of trials and tribulations, but you will be happy to find that it will also bring you quite a few tax breaks. The following is a guest post by Whitedove Gannon of In The Books LLC advising you on the important financial elements of owning a home and how to take advantage of these while filing your taxes.


Buying a new home, or refinancing your current mortgage, are huge deductions in the tax world.  Here are three good points to remember when filing your 2014 taxes:

Mortgage Interest

Your biggest tax break is reflected in the house payment you make each month since, for most homeowners, the bulk of that check goes towards interest. Fortunately, all that interest is deductible, unless your loan is more than $1 million.

Interest tax breaks don't end with your home's first mortgage. Did you pull out extra cash through refinancing? Or did you decide instead to get a home equity loan or line of credit? Generally, equity debts of $100,000 or less are fully deductible.

What if you're the proud owner of multiple properties? Mortgage interest on a second home also is fully deductible. In fact, your additional property doesn't have to strictly be a house. It could be a boat or RV, as long as it has cooking, sleeping and bathroom facilities. You can even rent out your second property for part of the year and still take full advantage of the mortgage interest tax deduction as long as you also spend some time there.

However, be careful- If you don't vacation at least 14 days at your second property, or more than 10 percent of the number of days that you do rent it out (whichever is longer), the IRS could consider the place a residential rental property and nix your interest deduction.

Points

Paying down points to get a better mortgage rate offers tax breaks, too. The only issue is exactly when you get to claim them.

The IRS lets you deduct points in the year you paid them if, among other things, the loan is to purchase or build your main home, payment of points is an established business practice in your area and the points were within the usual range. Make sure your loan meets all qualification requirements so that you can deduct points all at once.

The same rule applies to home equity loans or lines of credit. When the loan money is used for work on the house securing the loan, the points are deductible in the year the loan is taken out. But if you use the extra cash for something else, such as buying a car, the point deductions must be parceled out over the equity loan's term.

Also, points paid on a loan secured by a second home or vacation residence, regardless of how the cash is used, must be amortized over the life of the loan.

Property Taxes

The other major deduction to remember with your home is property taxes.

A big part of most monthly loan payments is taxes, which go into an escrow account for payment once a year. This amount should be included on the annual statement you get from your lender, along with your loan interest information. These taxes will be an annual deduction as long as you own your home.

However if this is your first tax year in your house, dig out the settlement sheet you received at closing to find additional tax payment data. When the property was transferred from the seller to you, the year's tax payments were divided so that each of you paid the taxes for that portion of the tax year during which you owned the home. Your share of these taxes is fully deductible.

Don’t forget- Property taxes must be deducted as an itemized expense on Schedule A.

What’s Not Deductible??

Nondeductible residential expenses include the following: homeowners association dues, any additional principal payments you make, depreciation of your home, general closing costs, and local assessments to increase the value of your neighborhood- such as construction of new sidewalks or utility connections.

The biggest question? “What about all those repairs that seem to crop up the day after you move in?” Surely, they're tax-deductible. No go. While they'll make your house much more comfortable, you're on your own here with this one.

Recap

As always, talk to your tax professional.  Your communication about life changing purchases such as a home, or refinancing your current home, will ensure you receive the most deductions you are allowed when filing taxes.


Whitedove Gannon is a Professional Bookkeeper at In The Books LLC, working with clients to help them prepare each year for tax season.  If you would like more information on Whitedove, visit her website at www.InTheBooksLLC.com.

As adapted from Kay Bell
 


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Latest Equity Report Released

by Cory Dudley

Latest Equity Report Released

CoreLogic’s Q3 Equity Report was recently released. As a whole, the country has recovered well from the negative equity situation that existed previously. We now stand at 89.8% equity share as a nation.

According to CoreLogic’s Methodology:

“The amount of equity for each property is determined by comparing the estimated current value of the property against the mortgage debt outstanding (MDO). If the MDO is greater than the estimated value, then the property is determined to be in a negative equity position. If the estimated value is greater than the MDO, then the property is determined to be in a positive equity position.”

The President & CEO of CoreLogic, Anand Nallathambi summed up the findings of the report well by saying:

“Negative equity continued to decrease in the third quarter as did the level of homes mired in the foreclosure process. This should hopefully translate into less friction in the housing market as we move forward. Better fundamentals supporting homeownership in the face of higher rents should attract more first-time homebuyers to the market this year and next.”

Below you will find a map of the equity share percentages of each state.

Only 12 states have less than 90% equity share and can be seen in the shades of red on the map below. Seven states did not have enough data to be included in the report: Maine, Vermont, South Dakota, Wyoming, Louisiana, Mississippi, & West Virginia.


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

The Art of Home Appraisals

by Cory Dudley

 

An appraisal, while most of the time goes well, can indeed prevent a sale or purchase from moving forward if something goes wrong. So what actually is an appraisal? Can you affect it? How can you prepare for it? In order to prepare for a successful appraisal, one must understand what it is, who is doing it and what that person is looking for! There are some things that you can do to help the appraisal process go smoothly; educate yourself on the in's-and-out's of the appraisal process so yours can be a success! 

 

The Art of Home Appraisals
 
 

The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501
o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

The Two Things You Don’t Need to Hear from Your Listing Agent

by Cory Dudley

The Two Things You Don’t Need to Hear from Your Listing Agent

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

  1. Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  2. Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  3. Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. 

Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

  • Bragging about their success
  • Bragging about their company’s success

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.

Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

 

by KCM


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

This is us before we met Cory Dudley,

a couple of anxious drifters, wondering how on earth we would find a house in the scarce and competitive Old Town real estate market of 2014. With almost nothing on the Old Town market this year, we were afraid we’d be left out in the cold. 

 


But then we found Cory, and look at us now! 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Cory’s hard work, resourcefulness, wise counsel, professionalism, and great attitude, we found a lovely house in Old Town Longmont.

Cory negotiated all the little details that can keep you up at night, and made the process run as smooth as greased glass.

He knows everyone in town, and anyone he doesn’t know probably doesn’t need to be known. My husband and I are advanced-level worriers, but Cory’s upbeat confidence (backed up by actual competence) kept us on an even keel.

To anyone looking for a house in Longmont: Beware the imitators!

You can’t do any better than Cory Dudley. 


Alex and Stephanie  


The Winning Team Real Estate Group at Old Town Real Estate Co.
522 Kimbark Street • Longmont, Colorado 80501 | o:303.776.4004 • c:303.641.8597 • f:303.776.4661
Email: cory@justlistedcolo.com  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

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