What to know about buying a foreclosure in Colorado

You can find the full video series here: Home Buyer Video Series


Boulder Counties Best Realtors

When to Purchase Investment Real Estate In Denver

Please do contact me with any questions at 303-956-1771


Buying a Home To Rent

“The Perfect Storm”

I was reading an article today and in it an investment fund manager was quoted using the term “perfect storm” as an analogy. I thought to myself,  “What an unfortunate time to use that analogy.” That guy shouldn’t be making a lot of speeches where the public can hear him! At the same time, he was making a valid point. He was talking about the current condition of the rental market. In fact, the reason he was being interviewed is because the investment fund that he manages is starting to include single family residential rental properties in their portfolio. It’s not often that we hear about institutional money buying up residential real estate. Although he may not win any awards for etiquette, he probably knows a thing or two about recognizing opportunities when they appear. So what did he mean by saying that there is a “perfect storm” in rental properties right now? Let’s take a look.

The Basics

If you are going to invest in rental properties you have a few goals.

1. Buy properties for as cheap as possible (also known as “making your money going in”).

2. Use as much of other peoples money as you can and pay the lowest possible interest rate for that money.

3. Charge as much as you can for rent to maximize your profit!

Pretty simple stuff. Lets take a look at what is currently going on in the market

Opportunity in Distressed Properties

REO’s and Short Sales are in high supply. REO’s are properties that have been foreclosed on and are still owned by the bank. REO’s are typically in worn condition and the banks that own them can’t wait to get rid of them. That means that you can typically purchase them at a discount, put some money into them to spruce them up and make a nice return renting or reselling them. The big time investors have already taken note of this and have secured a few 100+ property purchases from banks in the U.S. to use as rentals. Short sales happen when home owners need to sell their home but owe more than the home is worth. Since they won’t be able to completely pay the bank back when they sell, the bank agrees to take an amount “short” of what is actually owed. Often times short sales can also be purchased at discounted prices and the numbers of short sales across the country continue to rise.

According to the most recent CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report Denver is currently 14th in the nation for most foreclosures with 8,192 completed in the past 12 months.

Rock Bottom Mortgage Rates

Borrowing money in America has certainly been easier in the past (remember the mid 2000’s) but rarely in history has it ever been cheaper.

In the past 20 years 30 year mortgage rates have dropped by over half from 8% to 3.5%
– mortgage-x.com

What does that mean to a potential land lord? For a property worth $100,000 it is a difference of over $200 per month in income. Hmmmm, could I use an extra $200 per month?  Yes, yes I could!

Lending Qualifications

The days of the NINJA loans (No Income, No Job, No Assets) are gone. The events of the past few years in the housing industry have caused mortgage lenders to become much more stringent when qualifying borrowers. There are a good number of people who have decent income and solid credit who in past years would have been home owners but in this financial climate, can’t qualify for a loan. As a result a smaller percentage of potential home buyers have the ability to buy homes and have to rent. In addition to that, remember those foreclosures and short sales we talked about? All of the owners of those homes won’t be allowed to purchase homes again for at least 2 years and often times longer.  In turn, the demand for rentals has gone up driving rental rates up. At the same time with more people trying to rent, vacancy rates (one of the biggest risks to owning rental property) are dropping, taking the risk with it. Those two coupled together make the job of being a land lord sweeter than ever.

Boulder Rental Rates – ApartmentRatings.com

National Rental Vacancy Rates – U.S. Dept of Commerce

Perhaps the idea of owning a rental property sounds far too boring in comparison to your Facebook stock.  On the other hand, if you are the type that loves the idea of building your real estate empire, the cards have never been stacked in your favor as much as they are now.

Best of luck to you!

-Ken Crifasi

Find out what Warren Buffet has to say about Investing In Real Estate.

CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report 2012

Boulder Colorado's Best Real Estate Agents

Boulder Colorado Real Estate Investment Market Update

Real estate trends in the markets near Boulder Colorado 10/20/12

Below you will find charts that show the number of active properties vs the number of sold properties in a given month in different areas near Boulder. There are two graphs for each area – one for single family homes and one for attached dwellings (condos and town homes). If the image is too small to read, you can select the image to view it in full size.
Feel free to share any conclusions or thoughts about the current trends.

Longmont Single Family Home Sales

Longmont Attached Dwelling Sales

Loveland and Berthoud Single Family Home Sales

Loveland and Berthoud Attached Dwelling Sales

Greely Single Family Home Sales

Greely Attached Dwelling Sales

Fort Collins Single Family Home Sales

Fort Collins Attached Dwelling Sales

Boulder Single Family Home Sales

Boulder Attached Dwelling Sales

Check back in for more updates on current market conditions.

– Ken Crifasi

Boulder Colorado's Best Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Boulder Colorado

Opportunity Abounds for the Boulder Real Estate Investor

With home prices down and mortgage rates at historic lows, real estate hasn’t ever been cheaper. Rental rates are equal to and in some areas higher than the cost of owning a home. The market is loaded with unprecedented numbers of distressed properties and according to recent reports there are still tens of thousands of REO properties in Boulder and Denver banks inventories. For at least the next 5 years, the Boulder/Denver area will be ripe with opportunity for savvy investors to start, add to, or improve their wealth building portfolios.

Building Wealth Through Real Estate Investing

Certified Investor Agent Specialist

To best serve those of you who are interested in real estate investing I hold the
Certified Investor Agent Specialist™ (CIAS) Designation. With the CIAS, I have the training, tools and calculations to effectively serve the five investor types: First-Time Investor, Move-Up Investor, Portfolio Investor, Performance Investor, and Rehab and Resell Investor. Real estate represents a consistent and stable way to build wealth, brings liquidity to our housing market, and stimulates our local economy. In fact, in the past year, investment and second-home properties represented approximately 27% of all residential sales. It’s also worth noting that nationwide, 43% of real estate investors earned less than $75,000 per year. You don’t need to have a fortune to start investing and you don’t need a MBA.

Real Estate vs. Stocks

Today, real estate is quite literally on sale! There is an unprecedented opportunity to build
wealth through real estate, and I specialize in helping all investors achieve their goals.
Contact me today to learn more about investing in real estate.

-Ken Crifasi    303-956-1771    KenCrifasi@kw.com

Boulder Colorado's Best Real Estate Agents

Short Sales In Boulder, Colorado -The Nitty and the Gritty

What You Should Know About Short Sales In Boulder, Colorado

Many who are new to the home buying and selling process, have similar questions and a couple that we hear all the time are “What is a Short Sale?” and “How do I get one?”.   After the last couple of years, the terms short sale, foreclosure, bank owned property, and REO are all part of the dialogue we hear on an everyday basis regarding the housing market but there are still plenty of misconceptions about these terms.

Today, we get down to the bottom of one of these terms, one that is still prevalent all over Boulder County- the Short Sale.

First and foremost, let’s define the term. A short sale happens when a home or property sells for less than the balance owed on it’s mortgage. It can be a home, an apartment building, a commercial space or land. There are a couple of things that all short sales have. They all have a seller with hardships, a property that is currently valued less than what is owed on it (we say the seller is “under water” or “upside down on their mortgage”) and a willing bank.

What happens is the seller’s original lender allows them to sell the property for less than it is worth and agrees to take a loss on the home. The bank knows the seller is behind or struggling to make payments or has to move for one reason or another. The bank will agree to a short sale to avoid foreclosure and their own repossession of the property.

Ok, so now we know what one is. But is a short sale a good deal?

There are certainly some pro’s and con’s to short sales. Sometimes short sales can seem like great deals. The price is usually somewhat below what other homes are selling for in the area and if there is one thing I know it is that people love a good deal. But before buyers jump in, they should know a couple key things.

First, banks play an integral role in the selling process and must approve the sales price. The sales price is set by the homeowner and their agent and may or may not be a price that the bank will approve. The bank is going to lose money on the deal and is only willing to lose so much. So while the listing price for the home may seem fantastic the bank will have to approve the final sales price and that doesn’t always happen.

Secondly, the banks are very busy.  The sale of your potential home is one in hundreds for them and sometimes the short sale process can take months longer than if you were to buy a normally listed home. If you need to get a home now, the short sale is not for you.

Third, sometimes the homes seem like great deals but often that is because the condition is not in great shape. Remember, most of the time the seller was having hard time paying their mortgage so they were not likely maintaining the home very well. Many times short sales take a lot of work and are sold as-is, meaning any items you find on your inspection (roof needs replacing, cracks in the foundation, bad furnace etc.) will not be addressed. You can take it or leave it.

For some buyers (the handy type with no pressing time frame), the short sale can be a great option. Just bring a healthy dose of patience and perseverance to the table.

This blog really just scrapes the surface of the all that should be taken into consideration in a short sale purchase.

For further reading…..

On buying a short sale:

If you think you may need to sell your home as a short sale:

To search for short sales in Boulder County:

Boulder Colorado's Best Real Estate Agents

How Is The Boulder Real Estate Market?

The Boulder Housing Market

….In a Nutshell

It’s old news that the Colorado housing market has been tough the last several years but the great news, the new news, is that the housing market, especially our Boulder housing market is making a comeback. Just like the ironic 70’s mustaches that can be seen on urban 20 somethings these days, it looks like the American dream of home ownership has seen its darkest hours and is on its way back into popularity.

Boulder home property values in 80301. Click image to search real estate prices in other zip codes in Colorado.

So what does it look like when you hit the bricks out there these days? Which neighborhoods are hoppin’? Which are just chuggin’ along? And why?

Ok, so here’s what we know- historically low interest rates coupled with a pent up buyer demand from the last couple of years has sent demand for homes in the Boulder area through the roof. In certain areas and in certain price ranges, there just simply are not enough homes to buy. Buyers are putting in multiple offers, homes are selling for over listing price, buyers are fighting tooth and nail – putting in offers within 24 hours of the home being on the market, and sellers are having a hey-day! Specific areas where we are seeing this happen- downtown Louisville, pockets of Longmont, Boulder under 400k.
Any neighborhood where the pent up demand for first time home buyers can be unleashed! Watch out!

So what does this mean for buyers and sellers? For buyers, it is still certain- now is the time to buy. Take advantage of those interest rates. With home prices where they’re at and with mortgage rates being historically low, you can get a lot more home for your dollar right now than you could at just about any time in history.  Did you know a 1% rate change for a 30 yr fixed mortgage on a $200,000 house is a difference of over $42,000 when all is said and done!

For sellers, if you have thought about selling anytime in the last 4 years, now is the time to boogie! Especially if you have a home in the 180,000 to 350,000 range, you are in business!

-Allison Benham

Have I peaked your interest? If so check out these links to stats and other articles for further reading.

Boulder Area Realtor Association

Housing Market News and Stats

Boulder County's Top Realtors

To buy or not to buy?

If you are like many who are thinking of buying and selling a home in 2012, it is a given you have some uncertainties about the housing market these days. Is the market really rebounding? If I buy now, will I be able to make a profit on my home when I resell in a few years? What does the future look like in the Colorado housing market? Should I move to the mountains and battle the moose or stay in Denver and battle the traffic?

The questions go on and on.

Fear not, faithful reader. You are not alone! Thankfully, Ken and I are here to answers some of these questions, take a good hard look at what is going on in our Boulder market, give you some valuable information to arm yourself in the housing hunt, and also have a bit of fun!

We are K&A Properties, a Keller Williams team based out of Beautiful, Boulder Colorado! We love what we do and that is informing and guiding our clients, friends, and family through the home buying process. We consider ourselves to be extremely perceptive and what we have perceived is…. drumroll…… Buyers, Sellers, and Real Estate aficionados alike have questions! Lots of them!

So today, we start! We start the process of writing to you about the things you really want to know about the home buying and selling process. We are also going to be writing about exactly why living in our fabulous city is fantastic! Whether it is a blog about how to make a strong offer on a home, what earnest money really is, how to buy a foreclosure, or where to get the best tacos in town, this blog is all about giving you the best, most relevant information possible so you can go out in the world and make fantastic decisions for you and your family. That is what it is all about.

Let’s get crackin’.

Boulder Colorado's Best Real Estate Agents