Ask-Nancy: Is there A ‘Best Time’ to List Your Home?

 clock-163200_1280

 

It is a good bet that the first place the public will spot your house for sale will be the MLS listings. If 90% of those who actually do buy a home go to the web during their search (researchers at the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) say so), they will either go directly to the MSL or find them through a Realtor’s site.

If you think like an advertising director, you might wonder when, exactly, the best time would be for your new listing’s premier. Is it in the dead of winter? Springtime? Summer? And is there a perfect day of the month, or, come to think of it, day of the week?

seasons-158601_1280

The NAR® has weighed in with some concrete answers. Well, actually, not really answers per se—more like information to help satisfy our curiosity. It turns out there really is no single best time for Denver Metro listings to debut, for a couple of reasons–

The most popular home listing debut last year was Thursday, May 1, 2014. Second, April Fools’ Day. April and May were sprinkled liberally through the Top 25; but June, and March were all up there, too. But although the 20th was one of the top days of the month for listings launches (as well as the 24th through 30th), the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranked often enough to tilt the overall results toward early in the month.

As for the most favored day of the week, there really wasn’t a clear winner—though there were definitely a couple of losers. Saturday and Sunday were all but ignored as days anyone first listed their homes, possibly because most real estate professionals are out in the field most weekends. Launching listings is a job best performed at an office desk.

Closings—the days that home sales are signed and sealed—had the same unpopular pair of days: weekend closings were predictably rare, as were Federal holidays. Two strange exceptions did pop up last year: Sunday, November 30, and Sunday, August 31. That has to be because of the natural inclination for people to pick the end of a month when they need to come up with a deadline. Often enough, we have to scramble to meet any deadline…if it happens to fall on a Sunday, too bad!

But although we have all this information about the most common days to inaugurate a listing or finalize a home’s sale, that really doesn’t answer what’s the best time to do either. After all, just because more people pick similar dates, that doesn’t mean it is necessarily advantageous. You might even argue that the best day to list your home would be the least popular one, since your listing would be more likely to stand out when it’s the newest. Lonely, but brave!

So, what’s the best time to list? Whenever you’re ready. There are plenty of prospective buyers at all times—and many start looking in the dead of winter, when many outdoors activities are at a minimum. As for when is the best time to give me a call? Anytime!

8896 Roxbury Dr - Nancy Cooper

 

Ask Nancy: New Loan Wrinkles for Self-Employed

You don’t have to tell the self-employed that there are extra costs that go with the benefits. In addition to the long hours and extra responsibility, getting a home loan has always added special challenges. Now that we are into the new Dodd-Frank era of federal oversight, some of the changes warrant an early heads-up.

The 2010 legislation that went into effect on January 10 created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which tightened the rules lenders follow in order to discourage them issuing loans that buyers couldn’t repay. What does this mean? That lenders will require more paperwork to support the income claimed on loan applications.

If you are your own boss and getting a loan is on your horizon, take heart! Just because it may be more difficult to apply for home loan doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

The new lending rules describe eight specific factors that lenders should verify and document before advancing home loans. They include the borrower’s assets, credit history, employment status and other debt obligations. Lenders who fail to do so adequately may be legally liable if a borrower proves unable to repay.

The general rule is that borrowers must provide at least two years’ worth of personal tax returns. Since self-employed people getting a loan often have perfectly valid reasons for fluctuating annual incomes, it’s vital to talk with a broker and lender as early as possible to establish the taxable income level needed to qualify for a loan.

That talk should cover other areas. For instance, self-employed people have greater flexibility than most when it comes to reporting deductible expenses, which can result in lower net incomes. One way to counter that problem is to demonstrate that the expenses incurred will improve their business in the long term. Another approach is to show that similar expenses are not likely to re-occur.

If you are self-employed—and plan on getting a loan—planning is key. Get your ducks in a row now so the loan process doesn’t derail you later. It’s never too early to call me as an early resource before we get to move on to the fun stuff–finding your dream home!

What is a Lease Option, and is it Right for You?

What is a lease option?//www.nancyrealestateonline.com

What is a Lease Option, and is it right for you?

A lease option, also known as Lease with the Option to Purchase, is a type of contract between an owner and a tenant, in which the renter has the option of purchasing the property after a certain amount of time.

The Tenant and Landlord sign a lease for the home at a price they agree on, and simultaneously prepare the lease option. In Colorado, an attorney must draw up the lease option addendum, and Colorado-approved real estate forms must be used for the purchase.

Is this a beneficial way to buy or sell property? It certainly can be, as shown below.

Top Five Reasons to Think About Lease Options:

From the Buyer/Tenant’s Perspective:

  1. This may be an alternative to qualifying for a conventional mortgage – you can get into a house now, and not wait for 2-3 years or longer.
  2. A Percentage of your rental payment usually goes towards purchase – you don’t get that with a regular lease.
  3. You will know the house before you buy it – no surprises!
  4. You will need to offer a down payment that is not refundable – be aware that if you can’t buy, you forfeit your down payment.
  5. Seller/Landlord is responsible for all maintenance issues until you buy the home – you usually pay for the utilities.

From the Seller/Landlord’s Perspective:

Offering a lease option to a Buyer/Tenant may be a good move for you – you really can’t lose!

  1. If a Buyer/Tenant pays upfront earnest money and does not exercise the option to buy the house – you get to keep all the down payment.
  2. You keep all the tax benefits and write-offs until the home is sold.
  3. You agree on a selling price when you sign the lease option. If the market goes down, you win, but if the market goes up, you may lose that gain. You do receive rental money each month.  That amount should cover your mortgage costs.
  4. You have a Tenant/Buyer in your home that will take really good care of your home.

A lease option alternative will be more complex than a traditional purchase or property rental, but this may your best real estate alternative.  Let me know how I can help!

Nancy Page Cooper

Link Real Estate

 

The Top Ten Mistakes You Can Make When Leasing a Home

Looking for a place to rent? Consider these ‘hidden’ costs before signing a lease….

1) Not adding the cost of ‘Surprise’ utilities. I’m talking about the ones NOT included in your monthly rent when you calculate your payment. Trash, sewer, water, cable, electricity and gas can add several hundred dollars a month to your base rent. Are there HOA fees as well? If so, who pays them, you or the landlord?

2) Renting a home that does not fit into your lifestyle.   For example, if you hate to commute, don’t look at houses 45 minutes each way from your job. Make sure you take traffic patterns and school zones into account as well.

3) Signing a lease for too long a period to lock in a rent rate. Will you really need a 4-year lease on a home?

4) Not signing a lease if you rent from a friend or family member.  No matter how close you are, a rental agreement protects you both. When things are clearly spelled out on paper–who pays the sewer bill, who rakes the leaves–it’s easy to avoid misunderstandings.

5) Renting a home or apartment without a garage, especially if you hate cold weather!  If this means paying extra for a garage space or a carport, make sure you calculate that in to your monthly rent.

6) Not reading the ‘fine print’ on the lease.  What does ‘routine maintenance’ mean to you?  What does ‘end-of-lease cleaning’ or ‘carpet cleaning’ mean?

7) Not renting from a professional property manager.  In Colorado, you have to be a licensed realtor to manage property.  To make sure you are renting from a licensed Property Manager, ask for their Real Estate agent ID number.

8) Thinking that you can keep the home as messy as you want, inside and out. Owners/managers should make periodic inspections to ensure that you are taking good care of their home. Your landlord can begin eviction proceedings on anything they deem unsatisfactory if you don’t correct those issues in a short period of time.

9) Know about the Warrant of Habitability.  This law states that you are entitled to a certain level of living in your home such as heat, water, etc., or you can break the lease.  But be careful of demanding that work gets done in a non-realistic timeframe.

10) Thinking of yourself as a permanent renter.  The rental index is so high in Colorado now that it is almost cheaper for you to buy a home.  There are grants to help in down payments, loan repayments, etc.  Ask Link about some payment options, or work with a qualified mortgage counselor.  There are thousands of mortgage people just waiting for you to call.

Why not make this the last year you rent a house? If you are looking to rent, buy, sell, or need a Property Manager who really cares about you and your family, please give me a call! It would be my pleasure to help you with your housing needs.

Link gives you Real Estate Options!

 

 

Denver Metro Assistance Loan Offers FREE MONEY to Qualified Buyers!

Hello Homebuyers,

While most things that sound too good to be true usually are, here’s the exception–a 4% loan towards a home purchase that you do not need to pay back.

A Denver loan program eases the way for low and middle-income home buyers, by offering a 4% loan to qualified buyers. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY THIS LOAN BACK. Honest!

I’ve listed the pertinent points below:

Program: Denver Metro Mortgage Assistance Program (I call it the Denver MMA for short)

Qualifying Guidelines:
For households of 1-2 persons, income must be $91,100 or less
For households of 3+ persons, income must be $130,000 or less
Minimum FICO credit score of 640
Maximum debt-to-income ratio of 45%

Must complete HUD-approved homebuyer education.

Property must be located in one of the following areas: (Denver, Arvada, Aurora, Bennett, Boulder, Brighton, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Centennial, Commerce City, Dacono, Edgewater, Englewood, Firestone, Golden, Lakewood, Littleton, Parker, Sheridan, Thornton, Westminster, or Wheat Ridge can be purchased through this program; the home must be within the incorporated city limits of the participating city. In addition, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and Boulder County are program participants for properties within unincorporated areas.)

Time of Loan: Available currently, with no projected end date

Amount of Assistance Available: Qualified borrowers will be granted 4% of their loan amount. Funds to be used at closing.

If you have questions, please contact me!