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Property Management Blog

State of the Real Estate Market - July 2015

Jim Lagan - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

After recently being named the “Hottest Home Market in the Nation” by REALTOR.com, what does the state of the real estate market suggest as we push forward through the second half of the year here in the Denver/Boulder area? While having a full six months of data on the books is great for 2015, we are only halfway through and forecasting what is to come can be about as unpredictable as forecasting the Colorado weather. One thing that can be said is that the outlook certainly continues to look promising, especially with interest rates managing to remain low through the summer months.


What we have seen in the form of an overall market snapshot is a 17.9% gain in sold listings among all property types from last year, a 4.3% reduction in median sales price, and a 17.8% decrease in total number of days on market. What we are also seeing is that inventory is creeping up, albeit slowly and still well below normal, evidencing that we are still in the epitome of a seller’s market.


What other real estate rumblings have been circling as of late? Well, recently there has been some buzz in the metro areas about the market finally showing some signs of easing up. The Denver Metro Association of REALTORS reports that homebuyers are starting to go under contract with less competing offers, and the occasional price reductions are beginning to make their way to the market. However, this slight feeling of relief is only being felt in the $400k to million dollar range, leaving buyers searching in the sub-$400k category extremely frustrated with an outrageously competitive and saturated market.


Take a look at the graph below [see below]. You can see that for both single family and townhome/condos, inventory for active listings has been slowly and steadily climbing from January 2015’s numbers, when inventory was at its lowest. What you can also see is that while inventory is growing, we are still far under what is defined and considered to be a “balanced market,” further justifying a seller’s market.




Another interesting graph to consider is the Percent of List Price Received, as seen below [see below]. While we are seeing a small bump in available inventory, the demand for homes is still far outgrowing the supply and continuing to drive prices upward of list. Last year at this time we saw about 99% of list price being received and that number taking an ever-so-slight dip as we headed into the less active winter months. However, this summer came back full swing, detailing a 101.3% of list price received for single family homes and a whopping 103.8% of list price received for townhome/condos. Respectfully, up 2.2% from last year in regard to single family homes and up 3.8% for townhome/condos.




Lastly, and in regard to the current state of the market, median sales price is always an intriguing statistic to watch. As you can see below [see below], the median sales price for single family homes has fluctuated quite a bit over the last year, ultimately bringing us to a 10% reduction in median price from last year at this time, citing the median sales price for single family homes currently at $475,000. Alternatively, we can see the townhome/condo side of things mirror a similar fluctuation throughout the year, but an overall 3.8% INCREASE in median sales price from last year and the median sales price landing right at $275,009.




What are my take-a-ways given all this comparative data?


1) Buyer demand is still red hot, competition is ferocious (especially in the sub $400k and townhome/condo categories), and homes are often selling for more than list. The seller’s market is here to stay for a little while longer.


2) Denver is experiencing substantial economic growth, and the tight supply of housing is resulting in the fastest-moving inventory in the country. It also seems that more buyers are able to pay with cash and do not need to wait for appraisals, and that certainly drives a share of the market and these statistics, collectively tightening the competitive band among offers and shortening the length of time until closing.


Interested in Boulder County's latest single family home, condo and townhome stats? Click on the June 2015 link to review the latest statistics released by the Boulder Area Realtor Association. There are also year-over-year figures well represented in the report. 


June 2015 BARA Report


12 Ways to Keep Your Home Warmer

Jim Lagan - Friday, March 06, 2015


With winter not quite over yet, many of us (myself included), are looking for ways to not only keep the house warm, but to also save a few bucks in the process. Sometimes striking the right balance between saving money on heating costs and maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home can be quite the balancing act, especially with older homes that are less insulated, but utilizing the tips below will certainly help you achieve that balance.


1. Install a programmable thermostat. This will keep your bill lower and efficiency higher. This Old House recommends the following programming schedule to those with empty houses during the day. While some of the recommended temperatures may seem a bit extreme, they can certainly be adjusted to reflect your level of comfort.


            6:00 am to 9:00 am = 68 degrees

            9:00 am to 5:30 pm = 60 degrees

            5:30 pm to 11:00 pm = 68 degrees

            11:00 pm to 6:00 am = 60 degrees

            *55 degrees when on vacation


2. Let that sunlight in! The sun is free source of heat and even on cold days, the sun is still warm. Open up the curtains before you leave the house for the day and capture as much of that free heat as possible. If an area of your house does not receive direct sunlight, there is no need to open those curtains.


3. Don’t let that warm air out! All those curtains you opened before you left for work? Keep them closed at night. While insulated curtains will do the best job in keeping that warm air from escaping through the windows, any curtains you may have, and blinds for that matter, will do a much better job of trapping heat inside the home if they are closed at night. 


4. Don’t be afraid to use your ceiling fans. Many ceiling fans sit dormant during the winter months, but by simply flipping the switch on your fan to allow the fan to spin clockwise will allow the fan to redistribute the warm air sitting at the ceiling (hot air rises, cold air sinks) back down the sides of the walls. Although the majority will agree that summer = counter clockwise and winter = clockwise (looking up at the fan), some will argue the proper direction to achieve this effect. However, feel free to experiment to find what may work for you. Just remember to keep the speed low to avoid cold drafts.


5. Make sure your vents are not covered. Many of us unknowingly, and sometimes knowingly, often for lack of space, place furniture in front of vents. Check around the house to make sure every room is at its full heating potential, as blocking return vents could also cause air pressure issues.


6. Seal leaks and drafts. Doors and windows are the most notorious offenders of leaky gaps, causing unwanted cold air to sneak into your home. However, do not neglect attics, basements, and even kitchen hood vents for other sneaky high-draft areas. Visit Energystar's website for a handy resource in attending to leaks and drafts.


7. Close doors. If you have a room that you frequent often, close the door to trap heat inside, creating a sauna-like effect. The opposite holds true as well. If you have a room that sits dormant for most of the winter, maybe while offspring are away at college, close the door to that room and close the vent to lower the square footage that your furnace is trying to heat. This will also help to bring that bill down slightly.


8. With caution, utilize space heaters. This could work particularly well if the room that was referenced in step seven was a home office rather than your college co-ed’s bedroom. If you find yourself using a room just a few times a week, keep the vent and door closed to give the furnace a break and utilize the space heater for the few hours you are in there.


9. Use the oven. Baking, convecting, and broiling will warm up the house a bit, so don’t be afraid to turn the thermostat down a few ticks when roasting that chicken or cooking that turkey for hours on end. The flip-side is to limit long-term oven use in the summer months.


10. Wood floors are great, but… according to the National Energy Foundation, uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home’s total heat loss. Carpets and rugs keep rooms warmer and trap heat. Not to mention, they make things much cozier in the winter!


11. Be mindful of wood-burning fireplaces. While they are romantic on a chilly evening and can be glorious to snuggle in front of, heat is being exhausted up through the fireplace and pulling cold air in from other areas of the house, which brings us back to those pesky drafts and poor seals we discussed in section six. This is due to a physics principle known as the “stack effect” and besides sealing drafts elsewhere through the house, using glass in front of the fireplace will help mitigate this effect.


12. Be selfish! Outside of the tips outlined here, keep in mind that this all about keeping the individual warm, not necessarily the house. Your house doesn't mind if it is feeling a little chilly, so be selfish and put your needs first. Whether it is sweatshirts, sweaters, heavy blankets, or a steady diet of hot tea and coffee, don’t be afraid to keep your house on the cool side if you are more comfortable getting wrapped up and cozy. Just don’t let the temperature dip too far, you have pipes that can freeze and burst, remember!? 



References: nfpa.org / thisoldhouse.com / energystar.gov / artofmanliness.com




Common Mistakes that First-Time Home-buyers Make

Web Admin - Monday, February 02, 2015
An article published on the BayAreaForSale website, written by Kevin Chard, Owner and Realtor of Phoenix Realty and Property Management, Inc.

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We're a second generation, family owned full service Real Estate and Property Management company that's been serving Boulder, Denver, and The Front Range communities since 1986. My wife, Michelle Irons, is our principle owner and manages our Property Management portion of the business, as well as the business itself; while I manage the Real Estate portion of our business along with our marketing, business development, and strategic alliances. We specialize in single family homes, townhomes, and condominium's, and have 2 varieties of services that we offer to our owners and investors: Tenant Location Services and Full Property Management Services. Read More...

Your House is Older Than Our Country?

Jim Lagan - Monday, November 24, 2014

How much would it cost you to buy a home built before the good ol’ US of A gained their independence? What if that home was not only built prior to the Declaration of Independence, but built on our nation’s oldest residential street? Well, not as much as you might think, but then again, it might cost a little more than you expected. No matter which side of the fence you fall on, the sentiment remains the same… You simply cannot put a price on history, and the rich landscape and architecture alone are enough to make this property worth every penny.


Elfreth’s Alley lives in the Old City neighborhood of our nation’s first capital, Philadelphia. Originally founded in 1702, a visit to Elfreth’s Alley invokes images of 18th century shipwrights, silversmiths, and watchmakers lining the streets to discuss issues of sovereignty or social mobility as they leisurely saunter across its cobblestone. As the years passed, more homes were built on this tiny residential street, primarily from 1728-1836, each revealing captivating stories of our Founding Father’s everyday lives.


The home that has recently become available at 112 Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA was built in 1764 and one can safely assume that it harbors its fair share of historical secrets, giving new meaning to “if these walls could talk.” However, despite the property’s tie to such deeply rooted history, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home still manages to boast an updated living room with fireplace, dining room, and a modern kitchen with high-end stainless steel appliances. Most impressive, however, is the home’s original wood flooring and exposed brick, beam, and stone.


For a list price of $599,900.00, you can be the proud owner of a 1,480 square foot home that is not just unique, but one that has successfully managed to accomplish quite a difficult feat… the seamless juxtaposition of luxury and history.


Listing: 112 Elfreth's Alley, Philadelphia, PA


HUD.gov Announces: The Lead Disclosure Rule

Michelle Irons - Friday, November 02, 2012

Congress passed the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992, also known as Title X, to protect families from exposure to lead from paint, dust, and soil. Section 1018 of this law directed HUD and EPA to require the disclosure of known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the sale or lease of most housing built before 1978.


Types of Housing Covered?

Most private housing, public housing, Federally owned housing, and housing receiving Federal assistance are affected by this rule.


Effective Dates

The regulations became effective on September 6, 1996 for transactions involving owners of more than 4 residential dwellings and on December 6, 1996 for transactions involving owners of 1 to 4 residential dwellings.


Recordkeeping

Sellers and lessors must retain a copy of the disclosures for no less than three years from the date of sale or the date the leasing period begins.


What Can You Do?

If you did not receive the Disclosure of Information on Lead-Based Paint and/or Lead-Based Paint Hazards form when you bought or leased pre-1978 housing, contact 1-800-424-LEAD (5323).


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