Colorado Landmark, Realtors Announces New Mobile Texting Service

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is changing the way our customers get real estate information by providing property details instantly through our new Text Messaging Service, KWKLY. This cutting-edge real estate technology offers customers instant information about any property that is for sale in the Boulder area.

If you are driving by ANY property for sale (not just Colorado Landmark listings), simply text the word “LANDMARK” to 59559. You will be instantly receive a text back with property information – price, square footage, bedrooms and baths of the address you request, as well as a link for additional information and to connect with an agent to set up a showing. If you have a GPS-enabled phone, you can also view the 5 nearest properties.

This fantastic new service will also be great for our Colorado Landmark listings, providing real buyers instant information and connecting us with the people who are interested in your property.

For more information, contact your Colorado Landmark, Realtors agent today, call 303-443-3377 or visit our website, http://www.coloradolandmark.com .

10 Home Maintenance Tips for Spring

Spring flowers in Boulder, Colorado Spring has sprung in Boulder!

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. Is your home ready for the heat of the summer?

After months of freezing temperatures, bitter wind, and snow that hung around a lot longer than we are all used to, chances are that your home could use a little attention.

 

Here are some tips to keep your home in top shape as we move in to the warm, beautiful Colorado months:

1. Replace the filters in your furnace, humidifier, and air purifiers
2. Clean gutters and downspouts and make sure they are draining properly away from the house
3. Have your fireplace cleaned and chimney swept and inspected by a licensed professional
4. Consider having your ducts cleaned, this will improve the air quality in your home and make your furnace and A/C run more efficiently
5. Check your roof for any damage that may have occurred over the winter and repair/replace any shingles as needed
6. Have a qualified heating and cooling professional service your air conditioner or evaporative cooler
7. Inspect and seal cracks in your concrete or asphalt driveways
8. Check and clean the clothes dryer vent and stove hood
9. Check all windows and doors, make sure they open and close properly and well-sealed.
10. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Taking these steps now will ensure that your home is ready for the coming summer months, and will eliminate the need for costly repairs and maintenance in the future.
If you have any questions, real estate related or otherwise, please feel free to contact a Colorado Landmark, Realtors professional. We are here to help!
 

 

Jennifer Fly
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377

Tax Credit Home Sale AND National Open House Weekend – Boulder, Broomfield County Homes Open and On Sale!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is leading the charge for housing recovery in our Boulder and Broomfield County communities.  The first time home buyer ($8000) and repeat home buyer ($6500) tax credits will no longer be available to buyers who are not under contract by April 30, 2010.  We have worked hard with many of our sellers to reduce asking prices on some of our best listings by 3% or more!  Check out this link to the IRS website for more information on the tax credit.

This Saturday and Sunday April 10th and 11th  is National Open House Weekend.  Colorado Landmark, Realtors will have many of our price-reduced homes open, as well as some of our brand new listings.

See the list of our Open Houses at http://www.landmarkopenhouse.com/ OR http://www.boulderopenhouse.com/.

Musings on Pricing, Sellers and Housing – Boulder and Beyond, Part II

In Part I of my musings I talked about real estate as housing, but a discussion about real estate is not complete without some reference to home prices.

Recently IRES (our local area MLS) had a True-False question on the home screen. Bank-owned homes sell at market prices. True or False? Surprisingly over 60% of respondents (who are realtors by the way …) chose False. Serious hmmmm. Where is the logic in that? When a home sells for a price, that price reflects what a buyer in the market is willing to pay for that home. Isn’t the price a buyer is willing to pay in essence the “market price”? True! Bank-owned homes DO sell at market prices, and one could even say that they set the trend for prices in a given area. Bank-owned homes and the much dreaded “shadow inventory” will likely set market prices in virtually all areas of the country, and certainly in Boulder County, for at least the next 12-24 months. Sellers, are you listening??

The first time home buyer and move-up home buyer tax credits will expire shortly, and will most likely not be extended. The time to act is NOW, for both buyers and sellers. Buyers, get off your fences. You have between today and April 30th to get under contract on a home purchase. You must close before July 1st. Sellers, slash your prices or gird your loins for the upcoming storm. You have between now and April 30th to get your home under contract before one or all of the following things happen: tax credits expire, interest rates jack up, scores of bank-owned homes hit the market greatly affecting pricing (NOT to your benefit), mortgage markets tighten up again, and home prices in our neck of the woods take a much feared double dip. All of these things could happen, making it a “perfect storm” of trouble for home sellers, even in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.  We are not immune here, despite what some would like to think.

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is committed to matching home buyers and sellers at market prices. To this end on April 10th and 11th we are participating in the Nationwide Open House Weekend and having a “Tax Break Home Sale”. We are working with many of our home sellers and have successfully reduced asking prices on some of our existing inventory by 3% or more! Just in time to get a home under contract before the April 30th tax credit deadline. These discounted homes will be held open Saturday and/or Sunday, April 10th and 11th.

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is at the cutting edge, setting the market in Boulder and Broomfield Counties, and beyond. Check out our Open House schedule at http://www.landmarkopenhouse.com/ on RELO Homesearch, at our company website Open House page, and in the Boulder Daily Camera real estate section both April 10th and 11th.

Hope to see you at one of our open homes!  Please contact me if you have thoughts or questions about the tax incentives for 1st time and move up buyers.  I welcome your feedback.

Pam Metzger
Director of Business Development and Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
twitter = @pmcolorado
pam@coloradolandmark.com

Musings on Pricing, Sellers and Housing – Boulder and Beyond, Part I

Back in the early 1990’s my husband and I tried to buy our first home in Southern California. That market was experiencing some challenges at the time, and we thought we would be able to swoop in, and snap up a great house with no money down using our VA loan. We made at least 4 low-ball offers without success. One home was offered at $215,000, we offered $185,000 and the seller countered back at … $215,000. His rationale? That was the price he “had” to get in order to make any money on the deal. Ultimately we weren’t successful in purchasing a home in SoCal. Good thing! Within a couple months my husband’s company offered him a transfer to Boulder, CO and we have happily been here ever since, and have indeed been homeowners.

But a few things from that time in our lives have stuck with me. One was an article I saw in the LA Times back then that lambasted sellers who have what they called a “gotta get” mentality. “I have to get $300k for my home, or I can’t buy my replacement home.” Or “I’ve got to get $450k for my home because, if I don’t, after my mortgage and transaction fees I won’t break even.” Or “I have got to get $275k for my home because that is what I paid for it 6 years ago.” Guess what sellers – WHO CARES??? As a buyer I could CARE LESS about your situation, what you owe, what you paid, and what YOU think your home is worth. As the home’s current owner, yours is the most biased opinion possible! What matters to me are MY housing needs, MY budget, and what your home is worth to ME.

Something else that stuck with me was a conversation we had with a friend of my parents, Dr. Alan Kreditor. At the time he was the Dean of the School Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. Very Smart Guy. His wife Marcia was also the real estate agent assisting us in our home search. At a gathering one night we expressed frustrations about our home search – we were very concerned about resale and not paying too much, exasperated by unreasonable sellers, our inability to find the perfect deal. Time for the tough love. He said some things we will never forget.

Here they are, here are your take-aways from this post … You can’t always look at a home purchase as a money-making venture. This is housing – this is where you will eat, sleep and dwell, with your family, pets, belongings, etc… When you quit looking for what you THINK is the perfect investment and start looking for a place to LIVE, you will find the right home. When you sell this property in the future maybe you will make money on the deal, maybe you won’t. You have to ask yourself … Did we enjoy living here? Was it affordable for us? Did it compliment our lifestyle? Did we feel safe here? Did we create lasting memories in this home? A profit on the deal is the icing on the cake. This is housing. Period.

Stay tuned for Part II and what my company and I are trying to do to ensure that our buyers housing needs are met, and that our sellers come to terms with current market dynamics.

I whole-heartedly welcome ANY and all comments on my musings! (Because of course that is what they are … MY musings. However Alan Kreditor is a really smart guy so take (my recollection of) his words for what they are worth, which is substantial, IMO.)

Pam Metzger
Director of Business Development and Relocation
@pmcolorado
pam@coloradolandmark.com
303-443-3377

Is your Realtor up to date on the latest lending regulations?

Real estate agents at Colorado Landmark, Realtors recently attended a training session at Wells Fargo in Boulder to learn about the new RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) regulations that will be going into effect on or before January 1, 2010.

These new regulations are intended to help borrowers avoid surprises at closing by revising the good faith estimate and ensuring that lenders disclose all fees in the same manner so Buyers can compare “apples to apples” when trying to choose a lender.

The new regulations may impact the timing of closings, so it is critical that the Realtor, the title company, and the lender all work together from contract to closing to ensure that each requirement is met in a timely manner and the closing is not affected by any last minute delays. Whether you are buying or selling a home, be sure that you are working with both a qualified lender and real estate agent, who are up to date with new laws and regulations before they take effect. When you choose to buy or sell your home with a Colorado Landmark Realtor you can be confident that we are prepared to handle each facet of your transaction with the highest level of care and experience.

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-443-3377
www.coloradolandmark.com

Credit Information EVERYONE Needs to Know

If you are thinking about buying a or re-financing now, or anytime in the future, one of the main factors determining your ability to qualify for a loan is your credit score. Understanding what credit scores mean, how they are calculated, and how to improve your score can make the difference in your ability to qualify for a loan and get the best possible terms and interest rates.

Credit scores range from 300-850. Here is how those scores are broken down:
780 and Above: Outstanding
740-780: Excellent
690-740: Good
620-690: Fair
62o and Below: Poor

Typically, the higher your credit score, the better loan terms you will be offered. People with scores below 620 will generally not be able to qualify for a loan.
Credit scores are determined by a number of factors including:

  • Amounts owed
  • Payment history
  • Types of credit in use
  • New Credit
  • Length of Credit History

There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies may all have slightly different information, and they each use a different method to calculate credit scores, so your score will be slightly different from each one. Most lenders will pull credit reports from all three agencies when processing a loan. It is important that everyone checks their credit report at least once a year to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. You can pull a free copy of your credit report once a year through the website http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. This website also offers credit scores, for a fee.
If your credit score has seen better days, there are things you can start doing right away to improve your score:

  • Pay all your bills on time
  • Work to get credit card balances below 25% of their limits
  • Open new accounts only if absolutely necessary
  • Lengthen your credit history
  • Seek credit counseling through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling http://www.nfcc.org/
  • Opt-out to stop receiving new credit card offers through http://www.optoutprescreen.com/ or call 1-888-567-8688
In Boulder County, we have a fantastic resource for anyone who is thinking about buying a home and has questions about credit or related items. The Boulder County Housing Counseling Program offers free housing counseling and classes http://www.bouldercounty.org/hhs/housingcounseling.htm. These services are available to residents of Boulder, Broomfield, and western Weld Counties.

Brought to you by:

Jennifer Fly
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377
Twitter: jenflycolorado

Financial Fitness – Your Credit Score – Free Class Offered!

Would you like to know more about credit scores? This class will answer your questions – what they are, who uses them, what actions on your part affect them, what is a good score or a bad score, what kind of score do I need to get a loan to purchase a home or car?

An expert from the Boulder County Housing program will be speaking on these topics to our agents, clients, family and friends.

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is pleased to offer a FREE 1-hour class to our clients and friends.

Wednesday, November 18th
9:00am
Snacks provided! Door Prize!

Please RSVP to Pam at pam@coloradolandmark.com and you will receive a confirmation email with the location of the class.

Not Too Late – $8000 Free $ for your First Home!

69 Days and Counting! It is not too late to take advantage of the government $8000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The Boulder market continues to stay strong, and well priced homes in Louisville and Superior are going under contract in a matter of days. Interest rates have never been better, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has announced that his findings indicate that the recession is “very likely over”.
RealTrends reports that nearly 40% of first-time homebuyers said they would not have bought a home if the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers was not offered, according to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) “2009 First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit Survey.” Supporting that theory, the IRS recently released a report indicating that approximately 1.4 million taxpayers have filed (or amended) their 2008 income tax returns claiming the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. This is basically in line with NAR’s projections that about 1.8 million taxpayers will ultimately claim the credit during this first round.
Buyers have to close their home purchase transaction prior to December 1, 2009 but there is still time left if you can act quickly and have a knowledgeable real estate professional and a reputable lender. Associates at Colorado Landmark, Realtors can help you identify a suitable home quickly, help you find the right lender, and we will do everything we can to get the transaction to close before the December 1st deadline.
The National Association of Homebuilders has a great Frequently Asked Questions web link regarding this landmark government program. Check this out and then call me here at Colorado Landmark, Realtors and I will be happy to connect you with a real estate professional who can help you in the neighborhoods you are interested in. Good luck! 69 Days and Counting!
Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-443-3377

Important New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law

Effective July 1, 2009, the State of Colorado is requiring carbon monoxide detectors in many homes due to the passing of House Bill 1091 which was signed into law in March by Governor Bill Ritter.

The new law requires that sellers/landlords of homes or apartments provide carbon monoxide alarms near bedrooms, if the home has the following:
• a fuel-burning heater or appliance;
• fireplace; and/or
• attached garage.
Mobile and manufactured homes also are covered by the law. Landlords are required to install these devices any time there is a new tenant occupying a rental. The new law also applies to the construction of a new home or upgrades to an existing home. Alarm installation costs approximately $30.00.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that is very toxic and kills hundreds of people every year. Protect your family and make sure you have a properly working detector in your home!

For more information, feel free to contact your Colorado Landmark Realtor.

Posted by:

Jennifer Fly
303-443-3377
Twitter: @jenflycolorado