Latest News from Colorado Home Sales

The Hidden Costs of Buying Homes For Sale in Littleton CO

April 19, 2017

Buying a new home is a huge financial commitment. Many buyers have to stick to a tight budget in order to afford a new home, so they can be caught off guard when they are hit with a bill that they weren’t expecting. What should you expect to spend if you are buying a new home? Here are some of the hidden costs of buying homes for sale in Littleton CO:

Moving Costs

Even the most meticulous planner may forget about the cost of moving into a new home. Besides buying moving supplies such as packing blankets, boxes, and tape, you may also need to hire movers, rent a moving truck, or ship items if you’re moving from a different city or state. How much will you have to pay to move? According to the American Moving & Storage Association, the average cost to move within the same state is around $1,200, but moving to a different state will set you back over $5,500. Learn more about the hidden costs of moving.

Survey Costs

Many lenders require that you pay for a survey of the property before closing. A survey is an official document that shows the property’s boundaries so you can protect yourself from boundary disputes in the future. You will have to hire a professional to perform the survey, which should cost a few hundred dollars.

Home Inspector Fee

Lenders will also require that you hire a home inspector to take a closer look at your home. The inspector’s job is to find any issues that may present a problem in the future, including structural damage, mold, or a leaking roof. You will be responsible for paying for the home inspector to perform the inspection, which usually costs between $200 and $600.

Appraisal Fee

Before issuing a loan, your lender will also ask you to get the home appraised. Why? Lenders do not want to give you a loan for $500,000 if the home is only worth $300,000, because if you can’t make the payments in the future, the bank will not be able to recover all of their money by selling the home. It makes sense—but unfortunately, it will set you back a few more hundred dollars.

Closing Costs

Buyers will have to pay the majority of closing costs, which can include credit report fees, tax service fees, lender’s origination fees, recording charges, and title insurance fees, among others. It can be difficult to plan ahead for closing costs because the amount will vary depending on a number of factors. But, closing costs tend to fall between 2-5% of the home’s purchase price, so keep this in mind when you are making your budget.

Be sure to plan for these hidden costs so you’re not caught off guard before closing on your new home. If you have any questions, our agents can guide you through every step of the buying process. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales today.

Calculating How Much You Should Spend on Mortgage Payments for Highlands Ranch Real Estate

April 12, 2017

Every Highlands Ranch real estate agent will tell you that you should always set a budget before starting to look for a home. Lenders will review your information and tell you how much you are approved to spend on a home, but you shouldn’t take their word for it. Instead, sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a mortgage payment every month, and go from there.

So, how much should you spend? It depends on who you ask. Many financial experts recommend that you spend no more than 28% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. For example, if you have a monthly income of $3,000, it’s recommended that you don’t spend more than $840 on a mortgage payment. If you use this method to calculate how much you can afford, you should remember that 28% is the max. The less you can spend, the better. Other experts are more conservative, recommending that you cap your mortgage payments at 25% instead of 28%. Learn more about mortgage basics and loan eligibility.

Even though many experts recommend this method, it doesn’t work for everyone because it fails to account for any other expenses you may have. For example, if you have to spend $1,500 a month paying off credit cards, car payments, and student loan debts, this only leaves you with $1,500 for a mortgage payment, groceries, utilities, and other expenses. In this scenario, spending $840 on a mortgage may make it difficult to pay your other expenses.

If you have a lot of expenses, you may want to ignore the 28% method. Instead, subtract your total expenses from your total income and figure out how much you have left to allocate to a mortgage payment. For example, if you have a monthly income of $4,000 and have $2,100 in all other expenses, that would leave you with $1,900 to allocate towards a mortgage payment and your savings.

Regardless of which method you choose, keep in mind that there are four things tied into a mortgage payment, including the principal, interest, property taxes, and homeowners insurance. If you put less than 10% down on the purchase of your home, the lender may also ask that you pay private mortgage insurance, or PMI, every month. Many people make the mistake of only factoring in the principal and interest when calculating mortgage payments, but this will not give you an accurate estimation. When calculating how much you plan on spending, make sure you are factoring in the cost of the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

Remember, you should calculate how much you can afford to spend instead of relying on what the bank tells you.

Now that you know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to find a home within your budget! Our agents can help you find the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales today.

Listing Photos for Lakewood Homes For Sale

Have you ever heard of the old expression “first impressions are the most lasting”? It simply means that people tend to make a judgment on something based on their first impression of it. In real estate, this usually means that potential buyers will immediately determine what they think of your home based on your listing photos. Because listing photos of Lakewood homes for sale can make or break the sale, it’s important to make sure you use the perfect pictures. Here’s how you know your agent has nailed your listing photos:

Your home looks clean.
Buyers don’t want to see your personal belongings scattered everywhere in the listing photos, so make sure your kids’ backpacks, dog’s food bowl, and all other items are removed before your agent takes the pictures. Everything in your home should also look clean and orderly. This means your throw blanket should be perfectly folded and placed across the top of couch, your rugs should be vacuumed, and your windows should be spotless. If your home doesn’t look this way in your listing photos, it may be time to ask for a reshoot. Learn about staging for listing photos.

The images are clear.
Buyers want to get a clear shot of your home, so if the pictures you have are blurry, you shouldn’t post them online. Why? Not only does it make it hard for buyers to see what your home looks like, but it also gives off the impression that you and your agent are not serious about selling your home. Even worse, it could make buyers think you are trying to hide something by taking photos that are out of focus.

You’re showing unique amenities.
Do you have a beautiful pool and hot tub in your backyard? This is appealing to many buyers on the market, so it’s imperative that this is included in your listing photos. Go through your home and identify every unique amenity you think your home has to offer. Do you have a Jacuzzi style tub? A spacious pantry? An outdoor kitchen? These are all sought after amenities. Then, make sure each of these amenities is clearly shown in the listing photos so buyers get a true sense of what it’s like to live in your home.

The room is naturally lit.
Natural light is the most flattering when it comes to real estate listing photos, so it’s recommended that your agent take photos of your home on a sunny day when the light is streaming through your windows. Be sure to pull the curtains back and turn on the lights inside as well to really brighten the picture and make your home look more vibrant and full of life.

Now that you know the ins and outs of listing photos, it’s time to contact an agent who can help you sell your home! Our agents can guide you through every step of the sales process. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales today.

What to Consider When Buying Newly Constructed Homes For Sale in Littleton CO

Many homes for sale in Littleton CO were built over the last several decades, but there are also a lot of homes on the market that are newly constructed. Buying a home that has just been built can be different than buying a home from its previous owner. If you’re looking at newly constructed homes, make sure you follow these tips:

Research the builder.
No one has ever lived in these homes before, so you can’t ask the previous owner questions about the quality of construction. But, you can research the builder online to find more information. Ask your agent to check and see if there are any Better Business Bureau complaints about the builder. You should also talk to the agent about what kind of reputation the builder has in the community. Builders typically build homes in multiple neighborhoods within one city, so your agent may have experience selling the builder’s homes.

Learn about the homeowners’ association.
You should never make an offer on a newly constructed home without learning more about the homeowners’ association for the neighborhood. The HOA ensures that all homeowners follow certain rules, but some associations are much more restrictive than others. For example, let’s say you want a basketball hoop in your front yard, but the HOA does not allow it. In this case, you will have to decide which is more important to you: the home or your plans to play basketball with your kids. See 9 things you need to know about homeowners’ associations.

Ask about warranties.
If a home is newly constructed, the builder will most likely offer you some sort of warranty. It’s important to ask the builder if you can review the fine print of the warranty prior to making an offer. You and your agent should determine what is and what is not covered under the terms of the warranty so you are fully informed before making an offer. You should also ask the builder about manufacturer warranties on the appliances that were installed in the home. For example, the manufacturer of your refrigerator and dishwasher should provide you with a warranty to cover repairs for a certain period of time.

Don’t skip the inspection.
Buyers often make the mistake of thinking a newly constructed home does not need an inspection. They assume that there won’t be any problems since everything was just built—but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You should always get an inspection before closing on a home, regardless of when the home was built. You never know if the home has serious structural issues or if mold is hiding in the walls. Let an inspector do the digging for you so you don’t run into trouble after moving into your new home.

Now that you know what questions to ask when looking at homes that were recently built, it’s time to find a home within your budget! Our agents can help you find the home of your dreams without breaking the bank. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales today.

How to Impress Buyers on the Highlands Ranch Real Estate Market

It’s spring time, which as you may or may not know is the busiest season for the Highlands Ranch real estate market. If you plan on selling your home soon, you may face a great deal of competition from other sellers who are going after the same buyers you are. How can you make your home stand out from the others? Follow these tips to impress potential buyers:

Get your carpets cleaned.
You may not notice a small stain on your carpet that has been there for years, but it will probably stick out like a sore thumb to a buyer who is walking through your house for the first time. Before listing your home, have your carpets cleaned so you can present your house in the best light possible.

Replace burnt out bulbs.
Houses look better when they are lit up, so make sure all of your lights are working by replacing the bulbs that have burnt out. Before potential buyers come to see your home, either you or your agent should ensure all of the lights have been turned on so the buyer gets the full effect.

Find a babysitter for your pets.
Do you have a pet? Ask a friend or neighbor to watch your pet if you have buyers coming over to look at your home. Why? Some buyers could have allergies, and you don’t want to send them home with a full blown allergic reaction. Other buyers may love your animal, but then he or she may become too much of a distraction. If a buyer really loves dogs, he may not be able to take his attention off of your pet long enough to focus on the details of your home. Eliminate the possibility of this happening by finding a babysitter for your pets.

Check the front door.
Go outside and take a good hard look at you front door. Are there spider webs growing in the corners? Is the decorative glass dirty? What about the doorknob? Even though you probably pass through your front door everyday, it’s easy to forget to clean it off and make it look nice. But, this is one of the first things that potential buyers will see when they arrive at your home, so make sure it looks presentable.

Get rid of clutter.
Clutter can be distracting, and a buyer may not be able to focus on your home if he is too busy wondering why you didn’t clean up before he arrived. Additionally, clutter gives off the impression that you don’t keep up with your home, which could lead a buyer to wonder whether your home has severe maintenance issues he should know about. Learn more about decluttering.

Now that you know how to make your home more appealing to potential buyers, it’s time to contact an agent who can help you sell your home! Our agents can guide you through every step of the sales process. Contact us at 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales today.