Updates on Loan Limit Increase from Elevations & Melissa Cotton

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has raised the baseline conforming loan limit for 2021, and we’re here to help you understand what this means. Laws restrict Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchasing single-family mortgages with origination balances that are below a certain amount — this amount is known as the “conforming loan limit.*”

The conforming loan limit was increased nationwide effective January 1, 2021.  Read on for the reason behind this limit change, what these limits are in the Colorado counties we serve, and what the increase means for homebuyers.

 

Why has the limit been raised?

The limit increase is a response to significant gains in home values that occurred during 2020. According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 7.42%, on average, between the third quarters of 2019 and 2020.** As home prices rise, the maximum loan limit needs to rise so homebuyers can borrow enough to cover the cost of their new home purchase. Raising the conforming loan limits for mortgages purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reflects the continuing recovery of the U.S. housing market. In most counties across the country, the 2021 maximum conforming loan limit for a single-family home is $548,250. That’s an increase of $37,850 from the 2020 baseline limit of $510,400.

 

What does this mean in high-cost areas?

High-cost areas are counties in which 115% of the local median home value exceeds the baseline conforming loan limit. In Colorado, that includes Boulder, Denver, Broomfield, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams counties. In these areas, the loan limit is established as a multiple of the area median home value, while a “ceiling” of that limit is set at 150% of the baseline loan limit.  Read on to see the limits in the Colorado counties we serve.

 

What does this mean for borrowers?

Higher conforming loan limits are an “added value” to the homebuyer. It allows you to purchase a higher-priced home but keep your loan amount in a conforming loan limit that provides greater flexibility with underwriting guidelines and programs.

Below you’ll find a snapshot for the high balance conforming limit for one-unit properties in select counties.

 

What the new limits are in the Colorado counties we serve:

Conforming New Limit One-Unit Property
All Counties (includes Larimer & Weld County) $548,250
Conforming – High Balance Limit One-Unit Property
Boulder County $654,350
Denver, Broomfield, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas, & Adams County $596,850

5 Home Must-Haves According to Millennial Buyers

Millennials are becoming leading influencers in the luxury real estate market and, with that, comes along a new list of desired amenities and design elements such as minimalism, smart technology, wellness, entertainment, and more. The below list of homes, of which can all be seen on Luxury Portfolio International‘s website, showcases such trends and is worthy of Millennial swooning.


WELLNESS AMENITIES

Crete, Greece | Price Upon Request

Wellness is of vital importance to Millennials. Stay active within multiple calming spaces throughout this property – for instance, walking the private sandy beach or the garden with shady paths complete with Mediterranean flowers and centuries-old trees. A dip in the infinity pool is yet another activity, serving both as a place to get fit, as well as to unwind.

 

SMART HOUSE

Malibu, California, USA | US $6,885,000

The smart house is growing in popularity, allowing Millennials to customize and automate much of their living environment. This newly built, Malibu home is fully automated and 100% off-grid through solar energy. The Ring security system is another highly desired smart home benefit this abode has to offer. Along with the smart house amenities, this home is beautifully designed with 17-foot ceilings and walls of glass overlooking mountain and ocean views.

 

MINIMALISM

Chicago, Illinois, USA | US $6,750,000

Millennials always seek ways of simplifying their busy lifestyles, which has resulted in the rise in minimalism in design. But keeping it simple doesn’t have to be boring. This award-winning Chicago penthouse showcases remarkable, 12-foot ceilings with dramatic arched windows and doors. The open floorplan prioritizes sleek design, but in a truly mesmerizing fashion.

 

AMAZING KITCHENS

Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA | US $3,585,000

Millennials consider kitchens to be among one of the most important rooms within the home and enjoy experimenting with different cuisines. What better space to cook than this sleek and contemporary kitchen? Offering an oversized refrigerator, two large sinks, and abundant storage space, this kitchen opens to other stunning living areas. Cooking can also be taken outside on an expansive wood deck, complete with a built-in grill, plus a gas fireplace, saltwater pool, and views of Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier, and Seattle.

 

NATURAL ELEMENTS

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA | US $2,350,000

Nature-related design is expected to be huge among Millennials in the coming years. This Colorado home, built by the award-winning Brannen Homes, offers a stunning and intimate backyard with beautifully styled outdoor living and dining spaces. The surrounding, lush vegetation provide an additional nature connection, while nearby parks and walking paths allow residents to explore nature within their residence and beyond.


For more home inspiration, check out Luxury Portfolio International’s list of  favorite  work-from-home amenities.

 

Service Line Coverage from State Farm

 

 

 

 

Do you know that municipalities and utility companies are typically not responsible for the water, sewer, electric, gas and other service lines on your premises? Any repairs are most likely at your expense.

State Farm® Service Line Coverage may be added to your Homeowners Policy for a low annual cost with a $500 deductible and a $10,000 limit per occurrence to provide coverage for loss or damage to service lines. In some states, coverage includes a limitation of $2,500 on service lines 50 years old or older at the time of loss. Ask your agent about what’s covered in your state.

 

What does this coverage include?

This is not warranty coverage. Under the Service Line Coverage, a covered service line refers to “exterior underground piping and wiring,” including permanent connections, valves or attached devices providing the following services to your home:

1. Communications
2. Compressed air
3. Drainage
4. Electrical power
5. Heating, including geothermal, natural gas, propane and steam
6. Waste disposal
7. Water

A service line failure is defined as a leak, break, tear, rupture, collapse, or electrical arcing of a covered service line not otherwise excluded. A service line failure may be caused by, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Wear and tear, marring, deterioration or hidden decay
  • Rust or other corrosion
  • Mechanical breakdown, latent defect inherent vice
  • Weight of vehicles, equipment, animals or people
  • Vermin, insects, rodents or other animals
  • Artificially generated electrical current
  • Freezing or frost heave
  • External force from a shovel, backhoe or other forms of excavation
  • Tree or other root invasions

Blockage or low pressure of a covered service line when there is no physical damage is not a covered service line failure.

 

Here’s a coverage example:

Say, for instance, your sewer line cracks as a result of tree root invasion and the covered repair costs total $10,000. With Service Line Coverage, your responsibility for the loss is your $500 deductible. Payment for the loss would be the remaining $9,500. Payment for the loss would be $2,500 if your state has a sublimit and the damaged sewer line was 50 years old or older.

 

Covered service lines also include:

• Excavation costs – We may pay the necessary and reasonable excavation costs that are required to repair or replace your covered service line.
• Expediting costs – We may pay reasonable extra costs to make temporary repairs and expedite permanent repairs or permanent replacement.
• Loss of use – We may cover additional living expenses and fair rental value due to a covered loss.
• Outdoor property – We may pay for your outdoor property, such as trees, shrubs, plants, lawns, walkways or driveways that are damaged as a result of a service line failure or are damaged during the excavation of the covered service line.

 

Choosing the right supplemental coverage is important. Your State Farm agent is here to help guide your decision.

 

Call us 24 hours a day!

Jeannie Hulse Ins Fncl Svc Inc
Jeannie Hulse, Agent

303-828-4002

525 Briggs Street, PO Box 1005
Erie, CO 80516-1005

 

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Agent About Your Home Insurance Policy

Custom content created by Bennett & Porter Wealth Management + Insurance

 

Buying homeowner’s insurance is so much more than just filling in the paperwork and signing above the dotted lines. There are a lot of considerations that should go into making the decision — if you want to end up with the right policy, that is.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time home buyer or someone that has previously purchased home insurance; discussing these points with your insurance agent will help ensure that you get the level of coverage and protection that you need.

 

How much home insurance do I need?

Some homeowners purchase home insurance for the sake of compliance, without even knowing if they’re buying the right amount of coverage or not. You don’t want to buy too much or too little insurance — either way, you could be on the losing end of the deal. Make sure you have enough coverage to keep your home protected.

You can insure your home for its actual cash value or replacement cost value. An actual cash value policy factors in the depreciation cost of your home into the claim payout, which means you need to pay the deductible + shell out money out-of-pocket for the repairs/restoration. With a replacement cost policy, you’ll only have to compensate for the deductible to restore your home to its former glory.

 

What does my homeowners’ policy cover?

Standard home insurance policies come with four main types of coverage:

1. The dwelling coverage, which protects the structure of your home from specific types of perils, including damages due to fire, explosion, smoke, and vandalism.

2. A personal property coverage, which covers the repair/replacement of your personal belongings in case of loss, theft, or vandalism.

3. A liability coverage, which should take care of the legal and medical expenses (either in part or in full) arising from 3rd party injuries in your home or if you have inflicted damage on other people’s property.

4. An additional living expenses (ADL) coverage, which will cover your temporary living expenses while your home is under repair after sustaining serious damage from a covered peril.

Insurance companies typically offer additional coverages and endorsements that you can add to your core policy to increase its coverage. Discuss these options with your agent.

 

Am I covered for all types of damages and disasters?

Your standard homeowner’s insurance will protect you from most common perils, but policies typically exclude coverage for floods and other natural disasters, like earthquakes. Damages resulting from war, nuclear explosion, and power failures may also not be covered.

If you live in a flood-prone or earthquake-prone area, it should be in your best interest to add a flood or earthquake coverage to your portfolio for an extra layer of protection. Ask your agent if a flood or earthquake insurance would be necessary.

 

What if someone gets injured in my home?

Your personal liability protection coverage should kick-in in case of an injury in your property. It will pay for the medical expenses and legal bills and damages (if you are sued), but only up to the amount specified in your policy.

Standard homeowner’s insurance typically includes $100,000 worth of liability coverage but you may raise this if you think you need more. You’ll want to make sure you’re fully covered in case of accidents and injuries in your home. Your agent can help you determine the right amount of liability insurance to purchase.

 

How can I reduce my monthly premiums?

Opting for a higher deductible is the easiest way to cut the cost of your monthly premium, but it means you’ll have to pay more money out-of-pocket in the event of a claim. You may also further reduce the amount of your insurance policy by taking advantage of credits and discounts offered by insurance companies.

Most insurance providers give insurance credits to students, non-smokers, retirees, etc. They also offer a multi-policy discount to those who purchase more than one policy from them, for example: auto insurance and home insurance. One advantage of bundling your policies is that you only have to deal with one insurer for your insurance needs.

Insurance companies don’t usually advertise their discount offers, so make sure to ask your agent if you qualify for any.

 

Preparation, Presentation & Pricing

THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION, PRESENTATION & PRICING

Featuring Colorado Landmark agent Phil Booth

We may be in a strong sellers’ market this year, but we firmly believe that in order to sell for top dollar in a timely manner that the three P’s are super important… preparation, presentation, and pricing!

 

Case in point:  Rising Star Award recipient and agent Phil Booth picked up an expired Boulder Townhome listing this fall. The home was vacant, and fairly outdated. It had been on the market for three months without selling. His sellers spent $4,500 on some maintenance issues, new bathroom counters and interior painting throughout (preparation), and $2,000 on staging (presentation). They priced it carefully, based on direct comparisons in the area (pricing). It went under contract in one  day for $12,000 above the expired listing price!

 

Below are the incredible before and after photos documenting this transformation.

 

 

Colorado Landmark offers a variety of tools through our Landmark Advantage Program to bring maximum value to our clients, and take the stress out of buying and selling a home.  Given that every house is unique, we thoughtfully create a customized plan for each client.  We have partnered with fantastic companies to add even more value. Concierge and Staging Solutions fueled by Zoom Casa and access to the Transitional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) program from Elevations Credit Union, the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado, are just a couple of them. To learn more about Landmark Advantage, contact us today!

 

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.