Real Estate Information

Longmont Colorado Real Estate Blog

Cory Dudley


Displaying blog entries 571-580 of 656

52% Likely to Buy in the Next 5 Years!! Are You?

by Cory Dudley
Are you part of the majority ready to buy in the next 5 years?

52% Likely to Buy in the Next 5 Years!! Are You? | Keeping Current Matters


According to the recently released BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also had other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy
  • 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult a real estate agent
  • 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home
Those Who Already Own
  • 75% of current home owners set a budget before looking for a home. 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
  • 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search - or even any plan to buy at all - because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those that purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why are More People not Planning their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? A recent article by Fannie Mae may give us that answer, there is evidence that a large numbers of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Perhaps it is time to sit with a real estate professional to determine the actual equity you have in your house and take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

NAR’S Latest Existing Home Sales Report

The Latest Existing Home Sales Report from NAR


NAR's Latest Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Existing Home Sales are up 10.3% year-over-year across the country.
  • Sales rose to an annual rate of 5.59 million marking the 10th month in a row of year-over-year gains
  • Prices are up 5.6% year-over-year in the U.S. to a median price of $234,000
  • Marked the 41st consecutive month of year-over year price gains.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

by Cory Dudley
Homeownership is the Best Way to Build Wealth says the New York Times


 New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth | Keeping Current Matters


The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Times editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creationthey explain:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) expanded on the Federal Reserve’s research and projected that by the end of 2015, the average homeowner will have nearly 41x the net worth of a renter. Their findings are detailed in the graph below:

Increasing Gap In Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:

“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”  

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
Shoes and Brews in Longmont brings running and craft beer together

By Grace Boyle

Photos by Grace Boyle

Cheers and clapping come from the road as two eager runners take off in a sprint in the 800-meter road challenge for Shoes and Brews in Longmont. As the two runners loop back and head to the finish line, with Longs Peak looming behind them, owners, bystanders and shoe shoppers are whistling and counting down their time, urging them to the finish line.

They cross the line panting, leaning down with their hands on their knees to catch their breath, but their smiles are wide.

These folks just landed two of the top 20 spots on the board in the Brews side of the business, and their time of just over 3 minutes and 3 seconds denotes the cost of their beer that night: $3.03. As long as their name remains on the board, that’ll be the cost of their first beer upon subsequent visits.

Six passionate owners opened Shoes and Brews a year ago: Colin and Roger Anderson, a father son duo; Ashlee Velez, Colin’s fiancé; Dave Zakavec, and Kris and Mike Donohoe. Colin, Ashlee and Dave (also a brewer) all ran college track and cross-country together at Colorado State, and the Donohoe’s son, Dylan, ran with Colin back in high school. Dylan is also an employee on the retail side of the business. Mike, a longtime builder, was the contractor for the 3,750-square-foot dual space, while Roger Anderson is a longtime home brewer who heads up their brewing operation.

An Anderson cousin and Colin’s two younger brothers are both actively involved, as is his mom, making it very much a family affair. Ashlee shares, “Even if you aren’t family, we all treat each other that way.”

Since Longmont doesn’t have a specialty running store, Colin (who came up with the idea) wanted to contribute to the evolution of Longmont’s burgeoning downtown. As he sees it, Longmont “has a lot of potential,” and it was important for him because he grew up there, “to be part of that growth.” He believes that cool concepts like Shoes and Brews don’t just have to be something you only find in Boulder.

The group describes initial challenges in finding property owners that wouldn’t rent them space and banks that wouldn’t issue loans. With a brand new concept that doesn’t exist relatively anywhere else in the United States, and the lack of data on their potential success, they were turned down multiple times, but the group kept on pushing.

Although their location doesn’t get foot traffic in the more industrial location they landed at, it wasn’t by accident that they’re right on a running trail, the St. Vrain Greenway.

Roger Anderson says there was “a lot of sweat equity” in getting the place up and running. He describes the early days as, “All of us were there seven days a week and contributed to everything from washing the ceilings, to digging the trenches by hand in back.”

The Shoes 

The retail side of the shoe shop focuses on carefully selected and diverse shoe, apparel and running gear. Ashlee, who is the main buyer for retail, says everyone working at the store are “serious runners.” Visitors get personal attention and specific guidance, whether they are just looking to start running for the first time, or a serious runner on their 15th marathon.

They also pride themselves on holding brands that many other stores in the U.S. haven’t even seen yet. For instance, Run Gum is a U.S. company, and Shoes and Brews is one of the first retailers to carry them. They focus on a lot of Colorado specific running brands whenever possible.

The Brews 

On the beer side of the house they have 20 unique Colorado beers lined up on a chalkboard menu, including smaller, lesser-known breweries like Dads & Dudes out of Aurora, City Star out of Berthoud and Wild Cider out of Firestone. Although small isn’t the entire focus, Roger says after New Brew Fest in Niwot last year, he was inspired to give back to those local, smaller brewers by showcasing their new beer, fresh on the market.

They’re constantly rotating beers; when one tap is finished, they have another Colorado beer queued up. And with their one-barrel system that has three different fermenters, Roger Anderson has brewed a variety of beers already in-house, and he has already loftily focused on seasonal beers. Some of the beer names are funny; others are focused on running themes like the “Orange You Glad Triple,” “Heff Ya Hefeweizen,” the “All Comers Pale Ale” (a track meet term, meaning anyone can run in the meet) and the “Negative Split IPA” (the second half of your run is faster than the first), to name a few.

Inside the brewery, the tables are hand-crafted by a local woodworker, “Wood 2 Wood,” just down the road from them. And owner Michael Donohoe, of Donohoe Builders, built the beautiful long bar out of Colorado fir.

Although the focus is on beer, they’ve brought in some local pre-prepared food for people to snack on. They have Rocky Mountain Pizza (out of Denver) that they’ll bake in-house, a baker from Erie brings them fluffy pretzels and baked goods and occasionally food trucks will come by on specific evenings or when they host events.

Ashlee says she is surprised at the surge in the brewery’s popularity. They’ve found a diverse market: those who are interested in a great brewery and bar and have no idea about running, longtime runners and even some people who started running after coming to the bar. They believe they’ve built a place that’s welcoming to everyone, no matter your running preference.

The Community 

Perhaps the most notable difference about this fun two-sided concept is their focus on community.

Every Thursday they host their “Fun Runs” where up to 60 runners and walkers gather for a run and end up back at the store for beers and socializing. The owners urge anyone to attend; you can walk a mile or run six miles. It’s flexible and just meant to be a good way to get outside and meet other people.

They also hosted two races last year, the “Sole Mates 5K” in the fall and the “CollaBEERation 5K” in the spring in coordination with Left Hand Brewery, their neighbor just down the road. Their first race was capped and sold out at 300 participants, and their second spring race capped at 400. They hope to do their next fall event on Nov. 7. The winners bring home a keg of beer from Left Hand and the race finishes at Shoes and Brews for a beer fest to enjoy and unwind after the run.

The 800-meter road challenge is a great way to bring people in, show a little competitive spirit and get people’s names on the board. They describe stories of people showing up from out of town to try it, and someone driving in from Denver just for the run. As long as it’s not busy, they’ll host anyone outside on the frontage road next to the Greenway. Even if you don’t make it in the top 20, they post everyone’s times online, so you can see how many have participated.

Currently in the top spot for men is Billy Nelson, who ran as part of the U.S. Olympic team in the 2008 Beijing games. He ran to help them open, and his time came in at 1:57. Keeping it in the family, Colin and his two other brothers grace the board with their speedy times as well.

Although some might balk at the thought of combining beer and running, it’s about joining two passionate pastimes together and making them both shine.

How Property Tax Increases Affect Your Mortgage

by Cory Dudley
How Property Tax Increases Affect Your Mortgage

Have you noticed an increase in your mortgage payments? It may be due to an increase in your property tax. Your total mortgage payment includes both your home’s tax assessment and insurance, which means your monthly bills can change whenever those rates rise. Here’s why these modifications occur and what your mortgage may look like afterwards:

Property Tax Assessment

Your property tax changes when the county or state you live in has altered its percentage rates or reassessed the value of your home. An increase in your home tax may signify that your house is now worth more than before, which is positive news, but it also means that you’ll be spending more money on its mortgage payment.   

Your lender puts aside a portion of your monthly mortgage bill into your escrow account, which is used to pay off your property taxes (on your behalf) when they are due. Therefore, when your property tax goes up, your lender will adjust the escrow amount to reflect the increase.

Escrow Adjustments

Lenders typically evaluate your escrow account twice a year, informing you of any adjustments in your upcoming mortgage bills. Your statement will show whether you have any escrow shortages, either due to rising property taxes or insurance premiums. While policies may vary from lender to lender, you’ll likely be given three options for making up the shortages: pay it all at once, pay some of it off immediately and have the rest be added to your monthly bills, or have all of it be divided among your upcoming 12 months of mortgage payments.

Failing to pay for your new escrow costs, or falling behind on your monthly bills, is risking foreclosure on your home. It’s vital that you not ignore a property tax increase and continue paying your mortgage on time, in order to avoid defaulting on your loan.

If you believe your property tax has been raised inaccurately, you can file an appeal by contacting your local assessor’s office. It can be a tedious process—you will probably need a home reappraisal and may need to do some research on comps in your neighborhood—but it is an option if you truly believe that the value is different from the municipality’s appraisal.

For more information or guidance regarding property tax increases and overall home loan costs, please don’t hesitate to contact me:

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
Mortgage Lending is NOT Out of Control!!


Mortgage Lending is NOT Out of Control! | Keeping Current Matters


This year, both Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae have introduced new programs that only require a 3% down payment on a mortgage in order to purchase a home. Earlier this month, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association reported that adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) may be making a slow comeback as the share of ARMs increased to 7.4 percent of total mortgage applications. Some see this loosening of lending standards as a point of concern.

We know that the ridiculously low lending standards of the early 2000’s were part of the reason a housing bubble formed and burst last decade. Some are worried that we are headed down the same road that caused that housing crisis.

However, a recent survey of a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts conducted by Pulsenomics showed the vast majority disagree. The survey revealed that only 4% of the experts felt that over the next twelve months lending standards would “ease too much, become too lax”.

Here are the results of that survey:

Mortgage Access Survey | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

There is no question that lending standards are easing; thereby giving more families the opportunity of accomplishing the American Dream of homeownership. However, we are not going back to the ridiculousness of the last decade.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Don't Wait to Move Up to Your Dream Home!

by Cory Dudley
Your Dream Home is Here. Don’t Wait to Move Up!

Don’t Wait to Move Up to Your Dream Home! | Keeping Current Matters


Now that the housing market has stabilized, more and more homeowners are considering moving up to their dream home. With interest rates still near 4% and home values on the rise, now may be a great time to make a move.

Sellers should realize that waiting while mortgage rates are increasing probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain budget for your monthly housing costs.

Here is a chart detailing this point:

Buyer's Purchasing Power | Keeping Current Matters

With each quarter percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5%, (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard earned money.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

An Easy Way to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent

by Cory Dudley
Finding the Perfect Real Estate Agent

An Easy Way to Find the Perfect Real Estate Agent | Keeping Current Matters

There is a plethora of real estate information available today in the news and on the internet. It can be extremely confusing at times.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, you need an agent who can help make sense of this rapidly evolving housing market. You need an agent who can help you price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process. You need an agent who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball 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 their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience so much easier.

But, how do you identify which agents truly understand what is happening and will take the time to simply and effectively explain what it means to you and your family?

One simple way is to check out the agent on social media. What are they posting on Facebook and Twitter? Are they using their social media platforms to share relevant, helpful information or are they just posting cherry pie recipes and cartoons? The best agents are committed to educating the consumer so they can feel confident when they are buying or selling a home.

What they are posting online will help you determine which agents meet the criteria that Dave Ramsey suggested you look for: someone with the heart of a teacher!

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Fall? Next Year? | Keeping Current Matters


The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s July 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

30 Year Fixed Rate Prediction | Keeping Current Matters

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, the SVP & Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say in their latest MarketPulse:

“If you are thinking of buying a home and have the financial means to do so, this could be a good time to take a look at the neighborhoods you are interested in. We expect home prices in our national index to be up about 4.3% in the next 12 months, and mortgage rates are also likely to increase over the next year.”

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Denver is America's best place for business and careers out of 200 cities, and Fort Collins is No. 10, Forbes magazine declares in its latest annual ranking.

"The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro area, home to 2.8 million people, is attractive for its diverse economy, highly educated labor force and outdoor recreational opportunities," report author Kurt Badenhausen writes. "Companies are increasingly choosing Denver as the site for new operations or to relocate."

Forbes' report cites "Denver's relatively central location [which] makes it a natural location as a distribution hub for the American West, while also supporting a number of growing industries in technology and telecommunications."

Energy is "another staple of Denver's economy," it says. The report also lauds Denver for its arts and cultural scene, including the Denver Art Museum and Denver Performing Arts Complex, as well as "bustling neighborhoods such as LoDo, … filled with art galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs," and its outdoor attractions.

"The good news is this ranking validates what we’ve known for years about the Denver metro area: We’ve got an incredibly smart, healthy workforce, a region that works together toward shared success and great quality of life that makes people want to build their lives and their businesses here,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, in response to the accolade from Forbes.

“The bad news is we can’t beat it next time," she added.

It's the first time in the 17-year history of the Forbes ranking that Denver has hit the top spot. Denver ranked No. 4 on Forbes' list last year and Fort Collins was No. 5. In 2013, Denver came in at No. 6 and Fort Collins No. 7.

"We're all smiling around here today," said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. "We've always aspired to be No. 1. You can tell the public that it really doesn't matter, but it really does matter."

Clark said that the No. 1 ranking can only help with his agency's business-recruitment efforts. "We're kinda always in the top 10 (in the Forbes' ranking), but when you get that top spot, it does get people's attention," he said.

Other Colorado cities on Forbes best-places-for-business list:

  • Boulder, No. 26.
  • Greeley, No. 33.
  • Colorado Springs, No. 37.

Nationally, Raleigh, North Carolina, comes in at No. 2 after Denver, followed by Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Atlanta.

The magazine's ranking of the nation's 200 largest metro areas is based on 12 factors related to jobs, costs (business and living), income growth, quality of life and education of the labor force.

Earlier this month, an annual ranking by Area Development magazine rated Denver the best metro area in the nation for economic development and jobs, and three other Colorado cities placed in the top 20.

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:  Connect:  Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Displaying blog entries 571-580 of 656