How To

Summer is House Shopping Season in Denver!

Summer house shopping: buying a home during real estate’s busiest season

Throughout the United States, the summer months have long been known as the most-hectic time to buy or sell a home. There are several reasons for this. The biggest is that, in summer, people with children have the spare time to concentrate on finding a home that suits them. 

Closing prices throughout the summer months tend to be a little higher than in winter. And the overall pace of the real estate market in the summer is breakneck; people who want to snag the home of their dreams must be prepared to go to closing fast. 

This means that the summer months are a generally more-stress-filled time to shop for a home. Because of these considerations, many experts recommend that people avoid house shopping in the summer. However, like everything else in real estate, whether avoiding the summer home-buying rush is best or not depends on many factors. The fact is that participating in the summer real estate market can provide several significant edges for both buyers and sellers when the way to succeed in the competitive summer market is understood.

Although regular and physician mortgage loan options are often slightly worse in the summer months, the opportunities to save money overall on a summer home purchase abound. 


Competition is a two-way street



The summer months often produce slightly higher average closing prices because there are far more buyers going after limited inventory. However, this is offset by the fact that there are also often more sellers in the summer, which means that those selling their homes are competing for offers almost as fiercely as buyers are competing for homes. 

As a buyer, understanding your local real estate market can help you to determine in what segments the real competition is taking place between sellers. In competitive markets, being able to make fast offers and get to closing before other buyers can provide a considerable edge. Having your financing arranged beforehand, only making offers on properties that you are prepared to immediately go to closing on and knowing ahead of time exactly what features you require in a property are all essential for remaining competitive in the summer months. 

The good news is that, especially at the mid-priced level and lower, sellers understand they are competing in a market where inventory is likely vast. This means that swooping in with a cash-in-hand offer that can get a deal closed in a matter of weeks can be a hugely useful negotiating tool when dealing with sellers, who often realize that they may be waiting months to get another serious offer should yours fall through. 


When you play it right, summer allows you to get more for your current home



There are compelling reasons to avoid the summer real estate market for those who are not currently selling a home while simultaneously looking to buy a new one, at least for those who may not have the experience and knowledge to compete successfully. 

But for those who must sell their current home to buy a new one, summer is almost always the best time to make the transition to a new home. The simple fact is that the knowledgeable summer seller can maximize the selling price that they get for their current property. At the same time, the expert summer buyer can mitigate or even reverse the downside to summer purchases by learning to quickly assess properties and make competitive offers that sellers have a tough time declining. 

Additionally, summer days can have up to twice as many hours of light, making touring vast numbers of homes in a short timespan feasible. While summer might still not be the best time for you to buy your next home, approaching this competitive seasonal market the smart way can open new advantages that might make it the right time to make a move. 

3/3/1 Townhome Listed at $280,000

This bright 3 bedroom townhome has been recently painted and has been well maintained.  The vaulted master bedroom has great natural light, a large closet, and a full private bath. The other 2 bedrooms upstairs share a full bathroom. The home has room to grow with a large unfinished basement currently utilized as the laundry room, it has an egress window already in place for an easy convert to a bedroom.  Come see how convenient your commute will be once you move into this lovely home. Close to UC Health University Hospital, Lite-rail, RTD bus lines and quick access to I-225 and DIA.

For a showing or to get prequalified to purchase call Nick at 303-476-8454.

Home Improvement Horror Stories and How to Avoid Them

One of the ways you can boost the value of your home before putting it on the market is by carrying out some home improvements. Adding improvements to the kitchen, the living room, the front yard, and other parts of the property can really increase the appeal of your home while adding value to it.

However, home improvement projects need to be taken with extra care. There are so many construction and home improvement horror stories out there. We are going to review some of them and see how to best avoid running into the same problems with your own projects.

5 Gallons of Spilled Paint

A repainting is usually a simple enough job to complete, but that is not the case with this particular one. It is one of the scariest contractor disaster stories out there. While applying primer to prepare surfaces for a fresh coat of paint, a contractor once knocked a freshly-filled sprayer over a layer of thin rosin paper. What follows is even worse; upon trying to contain the spill, the contractor actually ripped the rosin paper and caused the paint to spread.

The damage is somewhat predictable. Hardwood floors were completely ruined since the primer got into the grooves and damaged the floor itself. Hardwood is notoriously difficult to clean too, especially when it is not coated properly. The result was 82 hours added to the project just to clean the surface and the space underneath the hardwood floors.

This kind of contractor horror stories is exactly why you want to use better surface protection like the products offered by Trimaco. It is always better to take extra steps with protecting your floor and other parts of the space than to run into a big issue when you do spill paint or other substances.

A Sudden Burst

Doing a thorough inspection is highly recommended before every remodeling project. The inspection isn’t just for spotting early signs of problems, but also for checking and double-checking the remodeling project against existing fixtures and wirings.

Having not done sufficient checks, a contractor once cut through an old pipe that was still connected to the plumbing system. Water flooded the entire space and started spreading to other rooms. Even worse, the stairs leading to the basement turned into a waterfall within minutes.

The damages were more expensive to repair than expected, all because of poor planning and lack of thorough inspection before a remodeling project. This too is an issue you can avoid easily with sufficient preparations.

Mold on the First Day of Open House

Another thing that can be avoided with a simple inspection before a makeover project is mold and damp walls. This one is actually a true horror story, because the owner of the house didn’t realize that there were leaks affecting the nearby wall until it was time for an open house.

A portion of the wall in the kitchen showed clear signs of water seeping through the surface and early signs of black mold. Rather than boosting the value of the house, the fresh coat of white paint ended up revealing what was wrong about it and scaring potential buyers away.

You would not want that to happen on your own open house day, would you? These problems are all easy to avoid with the right preparations before your home makeover. Make sure you complete the necessary steps and use the stories in this article as a warning of what not to do before moving forward with your own home improvement projects.

Listing Periods for HUD Homes

HUD employs varying listing time periods for their listed homes based on the qualification status of the home and the kind of purchaser that desires to submit a bid.  Provided below is a guide for consumers and agents to easily determine the listing periods for HUD homes.

Exclusive Listing Period (Owner Occupant Priority):

The Exclusive Listing Period, bids are submitted by Owner Occupant purchasers only. HUD defines owner-occupant purchasers as owners that intend to live in the property over 1 year or qualified nonprofit organizations and government entities.

There will be:

  • A 15 day Exclusive Listing Period for Owner Occupant purchasers for properties listed with status as Insurable and Escrow Insurable with Repairs made.
  • A 5 day Exclusive Listing Period for Owner Occupant purchasers for properties listed status as uninsured.
  • A Owner Occupant must occupy the house for one year and can’t participate in a HUD sales for two years after purchase.
  • For Insurable and Escrow Insurable properties, initial bids will not be opened and reviewed until the 10th day of the Exclusive Listing Period. All bids will be handled as having been received simultaneously. If no winning bid is received by the 10th day, bids shall be opened and reviewed on each day after the 10th day  until a winning bid is accepted. If no winning bid is received in that 15 day Owner Occupant period, the listing shall be extended to all buyers on day 16.
  • For Uninsurable status properties, Owner-occupant only bids shall be opened and reviewed on the 6th day. All bids will be treated as having been received simultaneously as well. If no acceptable Owner Occupant net bid is received then the listing shall be extended to all buyers on day 6.

Extended Listing Period

At the end of the Exclusive Listing Period, should a property still be unsold, general public bids (including  real estate Investors) may be submitted every day.

Quick Review Tables

The following tables provides a different way to review the bidding timelines based on the Listing Period posted at HUDHomestore.com.  

For Insured (IN or IE)-These are the FHA and FHA 203b eligible properties:

Listing Period Eligible Bidders Period Duration Bids Opened
Lottery GNND 7 days 8th day
Exclusive O, NP, GOV 15 days 11th day, then daily
Extended O, NP, GOV, I List date + 180 days Daily
Dollar GOV 10 days Daily
Extended (no time limit) O, NP, GOV, I No time limit Daily

For Uninsured (UI)- These are the properties that may be eligible for 203k but are not eligible for FHA or 203B FHA financing

Listing Period Eligible Bidders Period Duration Bids Opened
Lottery NP,GOV, GNND 7 days 8th day
Exclusive O,NP, GOV 5 days 6th day
Extended O, NP, GOV, I List date + 180 days Daily
Dollar GOV 10 days Daily
Extended (no time limit) O, NP, GOV, I No time limit Daily

The financing status of each asset can be found on Property Detail Screen at HUDHomestore.com under the FHA Financing fields on the far right column.

Definitions:

GNND- Good Neighbor Next Door

O- Owner Occupants

NP- Not For Profits

GOV- Government Entities

I-Individuals aka. INVESTORS (all buyer types)

Lottery– only bidders allowed are qualified nonprofit organizations and government entities

 

Real Estate Buying Guide: 6 Common Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide

Don’t you sometimes feel as if the process of buying the house was just one big game between the buyer and the seller in which the latter is trying to outsmart the first one and trick them into purchasing a home that is really not worth the price? Well, if it’s a game they’re playing, no problem. We’ve prepared a list of the most common issues they’re trying hard to hide, so you will be well prepared to lower the starting price as much as possible, or even give up on the purchase altogether if the home in question has all these problems.

 

Neighborhood issues

Before even taking a peek inside, let’s remember that location is everything, and for a good reason. First of all, you should check if the area is famous for common traffic congestion. Also, ask around to see whether any of your neighbors are too noisy to be put up with. If you have children, you have already enquired about the education institutions in the area, but what if they are not that suitable, so you plan on buying an affordable home and paying for education more in a school from a different district? The school district zoning system may represent an obstacle in this case.

These and plenty of other issues have a huge impact on the price of the property, so it’s advisable you get a free property report for the house you wish to buy. Not only will you have the price estimate and what to look for list, but also information on earlier sales, and even rental history.

 

Leaks

Leaks of all kinds. This is something most people put off doing, and eventually they are closer to selling their homes than solving the simple issues. Leaking can appear anywhere: ceilings, roofs, radiators, faucets – you name it, it’s dripping and taking your money away. Most leaks occur in the bathroom of course, but you should check the whole house for signs of leakage.

 

Aging mechanical systems

Do not be fooled with the seller’s faked ignorance about the age of water heaters and HVAC systems. If that’s the answer you get, the systems are probably considered too old to be mentioned. Nevertheless, your home inspector should be able to find the information rapidly. As opposed to leaks, these can cost you quite a lot.

 

Pest threats

Imagine this: the freshly painted walls look picture prefect, as the whole house in general, but it hides one dirty secret – termites! Before you ask about any pest issues, check if the seller can lie to your face, i.e. if there aren’t any disclosure laws that would force them to share the information with you.

 

Structural situation

Even though some of them are really easy to spot, such as a sagging roof or cracks in the walls, that does not necessarily mean the complications are always going to be visible to an inexperienced eye. In order to definitely determine whether you would be in for a costly repair, call a home inspector to take a professional, closer look and give their stamp of approval (or not).

 

Pool problems

However, one thing a home inspector cannot help you with is a pool in the back garden. If you are looking for a home with a refreshing area, be aware that there is much more to check than just water consumption and pool shape. Most home inspectors aren’t trained to estimate pools since they have complex systems that can usually only be checked by a professional pool expert. Don’t expect from your seller anything apart from proudly presenting you the pool. No one is going to brag about the existing complications of something that is considered rather a luxury than a necessity, thus admitting their bad judgement.

 

Now that you know what to pay attention to, you are ready to begin proper house hunting, ask the right questions and negotiate the price. In short, let the games begin!

Guest blog provided by Bill Gordon:

Bill Gordon is a freelance writer who likes writing articles that cover small business and corporate related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time with his wife and riding bikes.