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Tami Spaulding's Blog

Tami Spaulding

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 296

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU FREEZE YOUR CREDIT

by Tami Spaulding

In the wake of the massive data breach at Equifax, one of three major credit reporting bureaus, many Americans are rushing to freeze their credit – a tactic for keeping scammers from using your credit information to get a loan. Before you make that move, be prepared for these next steps: 1. Freezing your credit protects you now, but it means you’ll need to un-freeze it later in order be approved for any new debt, obviously for a major purchase such as a new mortgage, but also potentially for purchasing a new smart phone on a payment plan. Plan ahead, as un-freezing can take up to 48 hours! 2. At the time you freeze your credit, you will receive a PIN number or access code to use for future access to your credit. 3. Consumers must contact the credit bureau directly to request a “global lift” on the credit freeze. 4. Your PIN number is only good for one attempt at un-freezing credit within a limited time period. All three bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – answer credit freeze questions on their respective websites. You can also check with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the government’s consumer protection agency, at consumer.ftc.gov/ articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs.

 

The Group Inc's Insider November 2017

DON’T LET STUDENT DEBT DERAIL HOME OWNERSHIP

by Tami Spaulding

There’s ample evidence to show that a college education can boost earning power. But for those who borrow heavily to pay their tuition, the burden of student debt can limit recent graduates in one key measure of financial success: home ownership. That’s the conclusion from a recent study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors, which found that 83 percent of millennials – those born between 1980 and 1989 – are forced to delay plans to buy a home due to student debt. If your child is on the college track and facing the prospect of $100,000 or more in tuition and expenses to get through school, consider this alternative to the student loan quagmire. By acquiring a rental property when your child is young, you can build equity to substantially cover their college costs by the time they head to school. For instance, by purchasing a $200,000 condominium with 20 percent down on a 15-year loan, it’s within reason to project $100,000 or more in equity within 10 years. In a college town like Fort Collins or Greeley, where price appreciation has been robust, the equity opportunity is even greater. Of all your options for paying for school, it may be the best chance to help your kids avoid the fate of graduating with debt and putting their own home ownership on hold. And it’s a solid investment.

 

The Group Incs Insider  November 2017

OUTDOOR PROJECTS BRING MANY HAPPY RETURNS

by Tami Spaulding

For homeowners looking at improvement projects to help them sell their house, it’s what’s outside that counts. According to the National Association of Realtors, some of the best returns on investment for home improvements can be made in your yard. For example, by spending $330 on a standard lawn care program, a homeowner can recover an estimated $1,000 in home value – a return of 303 percent – according to the NAR study “2016 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features.”

 

 

The Group Incs Insider October 2017

STUDY: INVESTMENTS IN LANDSCAPING EARN DIVIDENDS FOR HOMEOWNERS

by Tami Spaulding

A little water can go a long way in helping homeowners add value to their properties. That’s the conclusion that Colorado State University researchers are making after a study focusing on the social, economic and environmental benefits of landscaping. The report, titled “The Hidden Value of Landscapes: Implications for Drought Planning,” reinforces the importance of using a relatively small amount of Colorado’s water – currently estimated at 3 percent of all the state’s water – to sustain home landscapes. Among the benefits: • For every $1 invested in home landscaping, homeowners gain a return of $1.35 • Commercial properties with attractive landscapes earn 7 percent higher rents • 55 square feet of household turf grass generates enough oxygen for 1 person for 1 day • 48 pounds of carbon dioxide are absorbed by 1 tree each year Of course, resale value is rooted in curb appeal – and landscaping is a key ingredient. According to the CSU study, large street trees can add anywhere from 3 percent to 15 percent in value to a home. Additionally, the report states, “a ‘high’ to ‘excellent’ landscape is estimated to increase property values as much as 10% and bring as much as a 17% increase in overall curb appeal.”

 

The Group Incs Insider October 2017

BERTHOUD NEIGHBORHOOD BUZZING WITH NEW HOME SALES

by Tami Spaulding

As the shiny new TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes Golf Course takes shape at the west edge of Berthoud, a housing development next door is topping the leader board with Northern Colorado homebuyers. Through the first seven months of 2017, the Heron Pointe neighborhood has registered 157 sales – making it the most popular development for new home sales around the region. Water Valley in Windsor stands at a distant second with 109 sales. No other neighborhood in Northern Colorado had topped 70 sales through July. Fittingly, the two most active communities in Northern Colorado for new home sales include the Windsor area (including Timnath and Johnstown) with 484 sales, and the Loveland-Berthoud area with 437 sales. Combined, sales in those two markets made up 68 percent of all new home sales in the region through July. By comparison, Fort Collins and Greeley – the region’s two most populous markets – added up to just 403 new home sales combined. Call me if you would like to learn more about new home construction.

 

The Group Inc's Insider October 2017

ANOTHER REPORT PRAISES STEADY NATURE OF LOCAL HOUSING MARKET

by Tami Spaulding

In April, Realtor.com issued results of a study that ranked the Fort Collins-Loveland area as the nation’s No. 1 real estate market for stability and growth. Now, a new report released in July reinforces that earlier assessment. Financial services website SmartAsset ranks Fort Collins No. 6 nationally in 2016 among the best housing markets for growth and stability – one of three Colorado metro areas in the top 10. In the SmartAsset report, Boulder took the No. 1 ranking and Denver checked in at No. 9. The SmartAsset study was based primarily on overall home price growth dating back to 1991, and the average odds that a homebuyer would have encountered a price drop within 10 years of buying their home. Specifically, homeowners in the Fort Collins metro area – which covers Larimer County for purposes of the study – experienced average price growth of 246 percent between 1991 and 2016, and faced only a 5 percent chance of a price decline.

 

 

The Group Inc's Insider  September 2017

MIDTERM REPORT: SALES FIGURES IN LINE WITH 2017 GROUP FORECAST

by Tami Spaulding

With his trademark homespun wisdom, Yogi Berra once declared, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” Still, at The Group Inc. we continue to take our best crack at forecasting the local housing market – and with pretty good results. For instance, our 2016 forecast for average sales prices in Northern Colorado landed within 2.5 percent of the actual outcome. And our prediction of the number of sales was off by just 1.8 percent. And looking at the first six months of statistics for 2017, our predictions seem to be holding up well at the half-way checkpoint. Back in January, we projected 10,746 home sales across Northern Colorado, or a 5 percent increase over 2016. Through June, we’re at 5,067 – or 47.1 percent of the predicted total. 

 

 

 

The Group Inc's Insider September 2017

HOUSING PRICE POINTS FIND A NEW NORMAL IN NORTHERN COLORADO

by Tami Spaulding

What a difference a half decade makes. As recently as 2012, homes priced at $250,000 or less represented a vast majority of all sales in Northern Colorado – 68.5 percent during the first half of 2012. So far in 2017, only 17.7 percent of regional sales fall in the same price category. Two different factors have brought about this shift in the pricing landscape. First, since the local housing market started shaking off the shackles of the Great Recession, rising demand and a general lack of inventory have combined to drive prices up on single-family homes throughout the region. Second, the lack of availability of condominiums for sale has reduced the number of lower-priced options for first-time homebuyers. As we’ve discussed here in recent editions, Colorado law made it easy for builders and developers to get sued over alleged construction defects, a fact that has deterred development of new condominiums in recent years. It’s believed that recent changes in the law could begin to reverse the trend. So, where have all the homebuyers gone? Here’s a snapshot of how different price categories are attracting buyers in Northern Colorado after the first six months of 2017: • 70 percent of all sales across Northern Colorado this year are in the price range of $250,001-$500,000. That compares to 27.6 percent at the same time in 2012. • 475 homes priced between $500,001 and $750,000 were sold so far this year, more than four times the total (118) in 2012. • Similarly, 87 homes priced between $750,001 and $1 million have been sold this year, or nearly four times the 22 sold in 2012. • In the highest-priced category, 34 homes have sold for more than  $1 million so far, compared to eight in 2012.

 

The Group Incs Insider September 2017

‘MAIN STREET’ BRACING FOR MASSIVE COMMERCIAL PROJECTS

by Tami Spaulding

With Northern Colorado’s population continuing to grow, the conventional wisdom is that commercial development on the northern Interstate 25 corridor would soon follow suit. It was never a question of if, but when. And get a load of some of these whens: When Scheel’s opens its new 260,000- square-foot retail complex in Johnstown on September 30, it will be the biggest sporting goods operation in Colorado with up to 400 staff. When Amazon completes its three-story, 2.4 million-square-foot distribution warehouse in Thornton next August, it will be largest building of any kind in Colorado. Amazon also expects to employ up to 1,500 people. When IKEA launches a new 300,000-squarefoot store in Broomfield sometime in 2019, it will need about 250 people to work at the largest retail store north of Denver. When J.M. Smucker opens a new 200,000-square-foot food packaging plant in southwest Weld County, also in 2019, it will create up to 500 new jobs at full production capacity. What these projects all have in common is proximity to I-25, large employment rolls, hundreds of millions of dollars in investment, and – oh yes – significant construction activity before they can open the doors. By even the most conservative of projections, the impact on the regional economy is robust, at least. And the same can probably be said for traffic on parts of Northern Colorado’s “Main Street.”

 

The Group Incs Insider August 2017

GROUP MORTGAGE PUSHES THE PACE WITH EXPRESS CLOSING.

by Tami Spaulding

Walk into a traditional mortgage loan closing today and you’re likely to be looking up – at a mountain of documents some 150 pages high. And best bring a trail snack and a bottle of water to get through the hour-plus course of reviewing and signing documents. Beginning July 1, The Group Mortgage, LLC blazed a new, low-altitude trail for the closing process. Called Express Closing, the new approach can usher homebuyers through the closing session in as little as 20 minutes, and with as few as 20 documents. Express Closing is grounded in a concept developed by Jason Peifer, branch manager and loan officer for The Group Mortgage. Essentially, the new process sought to eliminate long-standing duplication from the document set, and then dispatched most of the documents via email to the borrower for their review and electronic signatures ahead of the closing appointment. “With TRID (a recently established disclosure regulation for home loans), we have to send out closing figures three days prior,” Peifer said. “The thought came to me, why not send any other documents that we can electronically so the client has time to review in advance.” The net effect: by the time borrowers arrive at an Express Closing, the number of documents to see is pared down to small fraction of the full set, and borrowers only need to make a handful of “wet” signatures to complete the loan. “I never want to hear that joke again, ‘Oh, my hand’s cramping,’” Jason said. “The closing should be the highlight (of the homebuying process). It should be the touchdown dance – not this long arduous process.”

 

 

The Group Incs Insider August 2017

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 296

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Photo of Tami K. Spaulding Real Estate
Tami K. Spaulding
The Group, Inc.
375 East Horsetooth Road
Fort Collins CO 80525
Direct: 970-377-6003
Office: 970-223-0700
Fax: 970-223-2999