Just Released! The Modern Luxury : Reimagined

Luxury Portfolio International® has released its latest report, which delves into luxury real estate trends and the effects of COVID-19. 

Findings include: 

  • Real estate is the next big buy:  61% of those surveyed indicated their next big buy will be a home-related investment.

  • The seller’s market:  The current ratio of buyers-to-sellers, on average, is 3 buyers for every 2 sellers.

  • Face-to-face preferred:  61% of affluent buyers and 57% of affluent sellers noted that they prefer face-to-face property tours, with the expectation that agents enforce safety protocols.

  • PLUS: Most popular amenities by home price and generation. 

 

View the entire digital version here!

 

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

from Keeping Current Matters

For years, real estate has been considered the best  investment  you can make.

A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the  2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data  from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

 

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

 

How do homeowners gain wealth?

 

Click here to read the entire article and find out! 

 

The Best Moving Advice for Beginners

from Allied.com 

Moving for the first time may seem like a very overwhelming experience. If this is your first relocation, then you may not know how to simplify your move dramatically. A little expert moving advice will no doubt take your move to the next level. The following list offers some excellent moving advice for beginners. By taking advantage of these moving tips, you will be able to pack your belongings in an efficient manner. When planning a move, you want to find the easiest way to complete necessary tasks. Figuring out the best moving hacks to complete your relocation can make your move smooth and simple.

 

Use garbage bags to move your clothes.

When it is time to move your clothing, leave all of them on the hangers. Cover the clothing with large garbage bags and tie the bags at the top of the hangers. This will allow for an easy transport of your clothes. To the surprise of many, garbage bags can be extremely useful during a relocation. So while you can use these bags to help relocate your clothes, they can also be utilized in many other facets as well. So, make sure you get the most use out of the  garbage bags during your move.

Use Styrofoam plates to transport glass plates.Plates

Typically, when moving your glass plates, you need to wrap them individually. This takes a ton of time. Instead, stack your plates with a Styrofoam plate in between each of them. This will keep the plates from clashing against one another and will help prevent breaking during the move.

Secure makeup with cotton balls.

Moving your makeup from one home to another can be a pretty tricky task. Small makeup compacts are easily broken during the moving process; however, these compacts can be protected with cotton balls. The cotton balls will shelter powdered cosmetics against getting bumped and shattered while you move. This simple fix will save your makeup from an untimely demise.

Take a picture of your electronics before you pack them up.

It can be quite a task to plug up your electronics the proper way in your new home. Taking a picture of the electronics prior to moving them will serve as an extremely helpful guide. It will help you install them appropriately when you arrive in your new home.

Use socks to wrap your glasses.

Who has time to wrap each cup or glass individually? If you do not have that time, consider using socks. Slipping one cup in each sock will prevent them from breaking during your move. For sanitary purposes, you may want to buy a few packs of new socks.  The few dollars you spend will prove to be well worth your money.

Leave everything in your drawers.Move drawers

Unpacking your drawers and putting everything back in after the move is a major hassle. Instead of doing this, leave everything in its place and cover with plastic wrap. This will keep all of your items secure during the move and will also save you time during both the packing and unpacking process.

Utilize sandwich bags.

During a move, screws and other small items can easily be lost. To keep this from happening, use plastic sandwich bags to keep these pieces together. You should also label each bag with the appropriate piece of furniture the screws belong to. Sandwich bags could also be used to help organize various cords as well. Once you have packed the cord into the bag, consider taping it to the corresponding electronic device. Doing this will keep your relocation moving in an orderly manner.

Color-code each box.

Color coding your boxes will make for an easier transition. Moving from one home to another can easily become a confusing task; however, if you properly color-code each box, you will know exactly where everything belongs. Doing this will help you simplify your unpacking process tremendously. By properly using a color-coding system while packing, your new home will be prepared in no time.

Use egg cartons to transport jewelry.

During a relocation, transporting jewelry can be a major headache, but with the appropriate moving techniques, this does not have to be the case. Utilizing egg cartons during your relocation to hold all of your jewelry is an excellent way to stay organized. The tiny compartments are ideal for keeping jewelry in place while moving. Once you have placed your belongings in the carton, use tape to secure them. This will ensure that nothing falls out during the move. There are a number of crafty ways to pack your jewelry when you move and using egg cartons is just one of the many methods out there to get this task done successfully.

Use rolling suitcases.

Move with a suitecase

It can be difficult for anyone to lift heavy items. Because of this, you should pack these things in rolling suitcases. This will make transporting such items a breeze. Books, weights, and cookware are all pieces that could be too heavy to place in a box and could cause too much strain on your body. Before deciding to place these things in a suitcase, you will want to make sure it can withstand the weight. Not all suitcases are designed to uphold a ton of weight, so it is vital that you only use heavy duty suitcases. Putting them in a rolling suitcase will make the process much simpler and efficient for you.

If you utilize these helpful moving advice hacks during your next relocation, you will save yourself a ton of time. No matter if you are moving internationally, long distance, or locally, you will need some type of assistance. Some of that assistance might come in the form of moving advice such as this, a professional relocation company, or from your family and friends. With that said, if you are embarking on a relocation for the first time, do not be overwhelmed. With proper preparation, your move will occur effortlessly.

Wondering What Your Home is Worth? Check out our new valuation tool!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors has partnered with Buyside, a helpful new tool to provide homeowners with 3 valuations along with insight about the real estate market in their area.

Homeowners can also sign up to receive an automatic monthly market report for their property, offering a great way to monitor their investment.

Of course, these figures are estimates, and no one can give you a value as accurate as your Colorado Landmark Agent.  If you want a more detailed analysis, please reach out to us at (303) 443-3377 or info@coloradolandmark.com, and we will connect you with an agent who can provide a detailed pricing analysis.

Click on the photo below to find out what your home is worth!

Colorado Landmark Home Valuation Tool

Colorado Landmark, Realtors

www.coloradolandmark.com

Landmark Advantage Transitional HELOC Program

Ready to buy but need time to sell? Move on your terms with a Transitional HELOC.

When you work with Colorado Landmark Realtors, you get access to the Transitional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) program from Elevations Credit Union, the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado.


Access your home equity without rushing to sell.

With this customized short-term loan that’s similar to a Bridge Loan, you get access to the equity in your current home so you can make an offer on your next home — without rushing to sell. After your home is sold, the proceeds are applied to pay off your Transitional HELOC.


A Transitional HELOC is a flexible solution.

While Elevations tailors each loan to the buyer’s needs and best interest, consider a Transitional HELOC if:

 

  • Your money is tied up in the equity of your current home.
    Fund the down payment or mortgage payments for your next home with a Transitional HELOC — a great option in Colorado where properties are in high demand.

 

  • You need to renovate your current home.
    Move out before your home becomes a construction zone so you can boost your home’s value and get ready to sell.

 


*Offers of credit are subject to credit approval. Available equity is dependent upon the difference between your current home value and your current mortgage balance(s) to include all loans that are secured by your current home.


 

To Refinance or Not, That is the Question…

by Aaron Staufer

Elevations Credit Union

NMLS: 501268 | LMB: 717246

 

     No doubt you’ve been seeing commercials on TV or hearing radio spots advertising rates that seemingly can’t exist and you’re wise to be a bit skeptical. At the end of the commercial you’ll undoubtedly see a screen of text in .2 font that can hardly be read. So how do you know when it makes sense to refinance and what should you look out for? I’m taking a bit of time to hit the high points…

 

     One of the first things I ask a member when we start the refinance conversation is, “how long do you plan on being in the property for?” and the second question I ask is, “what do you intend to do with the property once you move out?”

Refinances always have closing costs, sometimes they are rolled into the loan amount and sometimes they are wrapped into a higher rate, but rest assured they always exist. If somebody is only going to be in the house for a year or two and they are planning on selling after that time, refinances rarely make sense. The longer that you have the loan, the longer you’ll benefit from reducing the rate or term. So if you’re thinking about moving soon and you don’t have interest in being a landlord then you’ll want to think long and hard before paying the costs associated with a refinance.

 

     Another important variable is to consider how much you owe. Closing costs on a refinance are fairly static. The difference in closing costs for a $100,000 mortgage and a $500,000 mortgage are typically only a couple hundred dollars. But somebody with a $100,000 mortgage is going to save 1/5th the amount of somebody with a $500,000 mortgage. Since the costs are almost identical in both scenarios the larger mortgage is going break even with costs in far less time. If you don’t owe a lot expect your break even point to be quite a bit higher. Owing less money is a great problem to have but it can pose a problem when it comes to refinancing.

 

     Make sure when you’re hearing about refinances that you keep an eye on a few things.

 

1) The term of the loan. I see commercials all the time and my poor wife has to listen to me rant and rave every time one comes on TV because you’ll hear them advertising, “2.5% with no points!” but if you read the fine print you’ll see the rate that’s being advertised is for a 15 year mortgage. It’s not that 15 year mortgages are bad (I love 15 year mortgages) but if your goal is to reduce your payment there’s a good chance that loan will not accomplish your objective.

 

2) The costs associated with the rate that’s being offered. Points are a bit confusing but in short 1 point (also known as discount points) is 1% of your loan amount. Points are the cost (or credit) associated with the rate that’s being advertised. You can pay higher costs (points) and obtain a lower rate. It’s extremely common for lenders to advertise rates with points being paid. Keep an eye on the costs associated with the refinance and as your lender for a “no point option” for comparison sake. A loan officers’ job is to present options, not to decide for you.

 

3) The program they are advertising. Another common ploy lenders will use is they will advertise programs that are seldom used because they have a lower interest rate. The next time you see one of those commercials on TV see if the letters “FHA” show up anywhere. If so, the program that’s being advertised is a Government loan that has a multitude of potential down sides. Just as 15 year mortgages aren’t bad nor are FHA loans. They have their place in the world and can be quite helpful for the right situation. But if you have good credit or 20% or more equity in your house then FHA is not a program we’d typically explore. It has higher costs both up front (known as up front mortgage insurance) as well as on a monthly basis (monthly mortgage insurance). While they may come with a lower rate the potentially higher upfront and monthly costs usually outweigh the benefit.

 

     If you’re going to have the loan for an extended period of time and you can recoup the costs associated in short order (I usually hope for 18 months or less though it does depend case by case) then a refinance may very well make sense. Keep an eye out for misleading advertising and make sure you’re working with a  reputable lender.

 

Ask for a Loan Estimate or Closing Cost Worksheet to ensure you’re getting a full break down of the costs associated and make sure to read the fine print!

 

Colorado Landmark’s Commitment to Safe Showings

As we begin to carefully re-open some areas of our lives, including showings, we remain deeply committed to the safety of our agents, clients, and neighbors. We are honored by your trust in us, and we take our responsibility to our communities seriously. We are taking the necessary steps to ensure we continue to provide the white glove service we have been known for for 43 years.

Here are some ways we are working to serve our clients while keeping our staff, brokers, and clients safe:

Virtual tours first

Before we schedule any in-person showings of properties, we will work to ensure the buyers are pre-approved and ready, willing and able to move.  This will include a thorough review of virtual tours, photos, online floorplans and disclosures, and when possible, a drive by of the neighborhood.

Safe showing protocols

Here are the steps we are taking for safe in-person showings:

  • Parties will drive separately and meet their agent at the property.
  • Showings will be limited to decision-makers who will be signing the contract, kids and other family members should stay at home whenever possible.
  • Both buyers and sellers will be asked to sign a disclosure stating that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or have knowingly been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • No overlapping showings will be allowed, so only one set of buyers and their agent will be in the property at a time.
  • All parties will wear masks.
  • Your agent will wear a mask and gloves, and provide gloves and booties whenever possible if clients need them, and change gloves in between showings.
  • Your agent will unlock the door, and turn on lights so buyers will not have to touch anything in the home.
  • Buyers will tour the home with their agent while practicing social distancing.
  • All surfaces that were touched during the showing will be wiped down afterwards in preparation for the next showing.
  • Once the showing is complete, buyers can have a phone or video conference with the agent to discuss the next steps.

Safe, Easy Transactions from Beginning to End

For as long as the Colorado Safer at Home order is in place, we will continue to work with photographers, inspectors, appraisers and contractors to ensure safety is the priority, and much of the real estate transaction will continue to be completed virtually.  This includes virtual buyer and seller consultations, electronic document signing, safe practices during inspections and appraisals, and contact-free closings.

As always, we are available to answer your questions, address any concerns you have, and talk to you about your particular needs.  Through this uncertain time we have learned to adapt in new ways, and are constantly taking steps to make the entire process or buying or selling a home as easy and stress-free as possible.  Our agents and staff have used this time to sharpen our skills, learn new tools, and are emerging better and stronger than ever.

We are here for you, as we have been for the past 43 years, and as the world changes, that will remain the same.

Safe Showing Update

On Sunday, April 26th, Boulder County released an update to their stay at home order, which is currently in effect until May 8th, allowing in-person showings.  (Open houses are NOT permitted.)  While we are thrilled to be able to serve our clients in this way again, we take the safety of our agents, our clients and our community very seriously.

 

Here are the steps we are taking to make sure our showings are as safe as possible:

 

Prior to approving any showings, we are asking buyers to thoroughly review photographs, virtual tours, floor plans, videos and property disclosures. and if possible, drive through the neighborhood.

 

Buyers must also be pre-approved for mortgage financing through a reputable lender, or provide proof of funds.

 

We provide a COVID-19 Disclosure and Release Agreement for both buyers and sellers to review and sign, confirming that no parties are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have knowingly been exposed.  These steps ensure that only serious buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase the home are approved for showings.

 

Seller or listing broker will prepare the house for showing by turning the lights on, clearing paths,  opening closet doors, and removing all valuables.

 

Masks, gloves, booties, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (if available) will be made available by the front door of all listings.

 

If home is occupied, the Seller is also instructed to disinfect surfaces of home after showings have taken place.

 

No overlapping showings allowed.  A maximum of three people can attend showings, and buyers should whenever possible leave children at home.  All people entering the property must wear masks, gloves and booties, leave lights on and refrain from touching anything other than doorknobs and handrails if necessary.

 

Anyone entering the property must adhere to the safe distancing guidelines, and any discussion regarding the property should take place following social distancing rules (6’ or greater) after leaving the property, or over via electronic means.

 

Together we can work to keep everyone safe while still providing our world-class service to our buyers and sellers. If you have questions about how we can help you buy or sell a home during this time, please reach out!

 

We are here for you!

 

Boulder County Updates Stay at Home Order to Allow In-Person Showings

Boulder County that has issued guidance regarding the extended Stay at Home order (which currently extends through May 8th), to allow Real Estate Showings.

Real Estate Showings: In-person real estate showings are permitted under the following conditions:

Appointment only (no open houses)
Masks required for all participants
Number of in-person participants limited to the greatest extent possible with participation by children strongly discouraged
Social Distancing Requirements are met at all times

This is great news for our buyer and seller clients who need to buy or sell during this time. Colorado Landmark has worked diligently to create safe showing protocols to protect our clients and the community, and we are thrilled that this order allows us to continue to do our jobs and serve our clients.

More information on the order can be found HERE.

For more information on the steps Colorado Landmark, Realtors is taking to ensure the safety of our clients and community, please contact us at 303-443-3377 or www.coloradolandmark.com.

Drive-thru closings – the new normal?

As we have mentioned, we are working hard to accept this “new normal” we are living in, and continuously needing to adapt to the changing times.  What we know to be true: even in times of crisis, people need to buy or sell their homes.  Today’s post is by our wonderful agent Phil Booth, who completed his first “drive through” closing today in the parking lot of a Land Title office.

Here is his story:

“New terrain”… we are hearing this a lot lately.

Indeed, it was new terrain today for this REALTOR today at Land Title in Longmont, where I was involved in my first ‘Curb-side’ closing with my first time home buyers.

The sellers had closed separately, so it was just my buyers parked in one spot and me alongside, in my own vehicle, but with one parking space between us (social distancing!).

The closer came out with paperwork galore (yes, a loan was involved).

She had done a beautiful job of writing explanations and marking each signature space with lovely sticky, color coded arrows to make things as easy as possible for my buyers.

She left us to it for awhile, and I was able to ‘cheer-lead’ and give explanations from the ‘safety’ of my car.

When it was time to sign the documents requiring a notary, we called the closer up, and she trotted out and provided explanations and witnessed the signing.

Things went really smoothly… the only downsides, it was pretty chilly with the window down, there were not the usual lovely drinks and snacks available, and the bathroom facilities are not very handy!

Phil Booth

303-817-8307

phil@coloradolandmark.com