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5 Things to Think About When Buying Your First Place

As a renter, you have the luxury of choosing a place that meets your needs at the moment.​ Buying a home is a much bigger commitment, both in terms of finances and the length of time you’ll likely live there. When seeking out your first place – whether a house or condominium or anything in between – it’s important to do your homework.

Here are 5 things to consider as you begin the process of purchasing your first place.

1. The growth possibilities. Shop for a place that meets your current spaces needs, but also consider one that can adjust to a changing household. A five-year plan may not pan out as you expect, so think about possible life changes that could impact your need for bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage.

2. What’s under the hood. Your first place may not come with many frills or luxury features – but all the basics should be in good condition. Thoroughly inspect prospective properties. And before any purchase is made, hiring a professional inspector is a must. Your real estate agent can guide you through this key step.

3. Know that no home will be perfect. Your first home may likely not be the perfect place. But make it the right one. Finding the right home is often a matter of prioritizing. Make a list of “must haves,” along with “nice to haves” and “not necessary to haves.” A three-car garage is nice, but would you rather have a larger kitchen or live in a good neighborhood? Only you can measure the importance of the amenities you are looking for.

4. Consider ALL the costs of ownership. When you buy a home​, you take on recurring costs you don’t have to worry about as a renter. Look for a home that meets your budget in terms of full living costs – mortgage, utilities, trash pick-up, sewage fees, homeowner’s association dues and other fees. Your lender doesn’t take into account these costs when approving your home loan. A good real estate agent can help you calculate estimated monthly costs to determine the most appropriate price range for you.

5. The lifespan of things. In addition to identifying cosmetic and structural flaws before you buy, know what to expect from the home’s components. How long until you need to replace the roof, appliances, furnace or carpet? Everything may be in working order now, but all homes need these types of repairs at some point. Researching the expected remaining life on large-ticket items can help you plan for the future.

When you’re ready to start the process of buying a home, RemaxAllPro.com will be ready to help.

September Housing Report

U.S. home sales in August extended a summer of strong demand and weak inventory that once again resulted in listings with short shelf lives. In addition to the normal late summer real estate trends, a primary focus during the next month will be on housing in specific markets affected by natural disasters like devastating wildfires and hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report shows August sales topping July by 2.8%, but finishing 0.84% below August 2016 which remains the best August in the report’s 9-year history. Houston, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, already experienced a 21.3% drop in sales from July and a 27.5% decline year-over-year.

Inventory in the report’s 54 markets declined 3.9% from July and 13.7% from a year ago, driving Days on Market to drop to 47 – the fastest listing-to-sale average for any August. The Months Supply of Inventory, while continuing to rebound from a May low of 2.6, settled at 3.1 months and set another report record for August.

Find the complete report here.

5 Tips for Getting Over “The One That Got Away”

Imagine you finally find the house of your dreams. It has everything you hoped for in a home, from the right countertops to the right landscaping. You spend hours envisioning the parties you’ll throw in the backyard and the baths you’ll take in the clawfoot tub. But fate intervenes. For some unfortunate reason – perhaps a fierce bidding war or a fickle owner who decides to stay put – deal falls through. How do you recover? Here are some tips.

1. Get right back in the saddle

If you must have a pity party, do it quickly. Perhaps a quick toast to what could have been, then dive straight back into search mode. In today’s market, things move fast. You don’t want to miss an even better home while you’re mooning over photos of the lost listing.

2. Don’t dwell on one dwelling

Delete the listing of the home that got away. Erase the pictures you took with your phone when you toured. Do your best not to compare new homes to the one you lost. There are lots of homes with lots of new possibilities. Keep an open mind.

3. Don’t settle

Don’t let your frustration push you into a hurried purchase of the next available property simply to get the process over with. Stay true to your shopping list of features you need and want.

4. Re-evaluate your budget.

Take another look at what you can spend and what the homes you’re looking at have been selling for. Do you need to add cushion to be more competitive when making an offer? Or do you need to start looking at a less expensive neighborhood to find a home that has everything you want?

5. Talk to your agent.

Your RE/MAX agent will be full of advice for surviving the lows – and highs – of your real estate journey. Find an agent here: RemaxAllPro.com.

August Housing Report

DENVER – While July home sales decreased slightly, homes sold at a faster rate than any month in nearly a decade, according to the August RE/MAX National Housing Report that analyzes housing data in 54* metro areas. July home sales declined 0.8% year-over-year, and the Median Sales Price of $239,950 – while slightly lower than June’s – was 7.4% higher year-over-year. Homes sold quickly in July, with an average 45 Days on Market, a record low for the report.

Find the complete report here.

Own It! Separating Wants From Needs

By Carriann Johnson, interior designer and TV personality

As an interior designer for 16 years, I understand falling in love with the details. And it’s so downright exciting to shop for one of your largest investments – a home! But before you get carried away with your list of “dream features,” have you truly defined what you want versus what you need in your next home? In my years of working with hundreds of clients, I have found that the things we think are “must-haves” aren’t what we really need once our lifestyles take over.

Recently my husband and I found ourselves home shopping. When I sat down and really thought about what I needed – and not just what I wanted – to my amazement, we decided to look for a smaller home. The fancy outdoor living space and grand front entrance I used to want had been taken off our list. Entertaining space and a dining room weren’t ‘needs’ any longer due to our hectic schedules. We found a home with more intimate spaces that bring us closer as a family compared to the sprawling oasis of rooms we once wanted. Carefully considering our lifestyles helped us create a list of what we really needed.

What do you need from your home? Remember, key word here is “need.” A need should always trump a want when it comes to big decisions in life. Agree? Take a look at my list to help you find the right attitude when looking for your next home.

1) Make a list
Make a list with two columns – wants versus needs. Your needs should include things like location, school districts, neighborhood, your budget, number of bedrooms, features and amenities, plumbing and electrical that are updated, lot size, number of garage spaces, HOAs and Covenants. Wants may include nonessentials such as the specific style of the home, a newer furnace and hot water heater, remodeled kitchen or baths, deck, pool, hot tub, flooring material, fireplace or wood stove, newer windows and/or landscaping.

2) Consult with other family members
If you’re purchasing a home for more people than just yourself, consult with other family members to further define your wants versus needs. A larger kitchen may be important to your spouse, whereas your son or daughter may need extra closet space due to hobbies or interests. Consider how you want your family to live in your home. Believe it or not, studies have shown that square footage and the floor plan of your home can affect your relationships. Bouncing thoughts and ideas off one another can be very helpful in determining your wants and needs.

3) Consider tomorrow
Consider how long you may plan to stay in your next home. That in itself can determine your wants and needs. If you are planning to stay short term in your home, its location, value and neighborhood will be important, as will current market activity.

If you are planning to stay in your next home longer than five years, think about upcoming life changes. Are you planning to expand your family? Will you be needing an extra room to accommodate an aging parent? Will you need a generous lot for a future home addition? Is remodeling certain features in your budget?

4) Compromise and trade-offs

The home shopping and purchasing experience can be exhausting. However, being realistic will ease your mind and reduce your stress. We have been suffocated by the pressure to live a life that tells us we need certain things to be happy. Avoid the noise. Ask yourself: What makes you happy? If having a large kitchen brings you joy so you can cook for family and friends, make that a need. But be okay to let go of a large backyard if you live in a state where mosquitoes and rain dominate your summers. Spend time defining your lifestyle and what you could forgo in order to be happy in your home.

Keep these perspectives in mind when defining the wants versus needs of your home and you’ll be sure to find a home you love!

Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

July Housing Report

DENVER – Halfway through 2017, the U.S. housing market is on pace for another record year as four of the last six months have topped same month sales from 2016, according to the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. June home sales were 1.4% higher than June 2016, which was previously the month with the most home sales in the nine-year history of the report.
Find the complete report here.

Should You Sell Your Home Or Rent It Out?

Sometimes, you decide exactly when you’d like to move. Other times, life swoops in and decides for you. Your company might transfer you, a family emergency might require relocation, or you might finally find the love of your life—three states over. Should you sell your house or hang on to it as a rental property? Here are 5 important considerations.

1. Are you gone for good?

Or do you need an exit strategy? If there’s a good chance you’ll return to your current home in a year or two, the money and time you spend selling your home and then buying a new one might make renting it out a smarter option.

2. How’s the rental market?

Look at online rental sites to see what properties in your neighborhood and in similar condition to yours are renting for. Are there a lot of listings? Think about what you might charge and what you might have to do to bring your property up to the market standard. You can then get an idea whether your potential rental income will cover your expenses.

3. Where’s the neighborhood heading?

A lot of factors feed into property values, from national trends to long-term construction plans. An agent can help you understand your property’s potential for appreciation and whether or not it might pay to hang onto it.

4. How much is the hassle of being a landlord worth?

Unless you pay for a property management company (about 10 percent of the rental income), dealing with issues, emergencies and uncooperative renters (sometimes all at once, often in the middle of the night) can be trying. Ask yourself if it’s worth the stress.

5. What are the tax implications?

Each situation is unique, so before you decide to rent out your home consider talking with a tax professional. They can help you figure out how much you can expect to pay in taxes on the rental income.

If you’re ready to sell, a RE/MAX All-Pro agent is ready to help. Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

June Housing Report

After a brief dip in April home sales, the U.S. housing market returned to seasonally high sales in May, increasing 20.6% from the previous month and 4.3% from May 2016, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report released today. In fact, it was the strongest May in terms of home sales in the nine-year history of the report.
Find the complete report here.

May Housing Report

The brisk start to the 2017 home-selling season slowed down in April with home sales dropping 4.1% below March and 4.5% below the previous April, according to this month’s RE/MAX National Housing Report.
Find the complete report here.

4 Landscaping Trends for 2017

With warmer weather and longer days on the horizon, now is the perfect time to get your yard in shape for summer. Keep this year’s top five landscaping trends (according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals) in mind as you get started.

1. Going green (the color)

Combine different textures and shades of green for a more dramatic lawn. Think of mixing leaves of different size and shape as well as plants with a variety of verdant hues.

2. Going green (the earth-friendly strategy)

More sustainable landscape designs have been becoming more popular over the past few years. Why? They’re better for the planet and can reduce maintenance costs. For example, more homeowners are planting “smart” lawns – varieties of grass bred to stay green with less water.

3. Giving bees a chance

With bee populations in trouble, people are actually starting to welcome the stingers in their yard by planting native plants that provide the nectar they feast on. The efforts to save vital pollinators is another sign of consumers seeking more green, sustainable practices for their yards.

4. Going Danish

The Danish concept of hygge is about creating an atmosphere of coziness by embracing life’s simple pleasures. How do you implement hygge in your yard? Add features that promote mindfulness, such as aromatic flowers and arranging seating in a way that encourages conversation. And don’t forget to include spaces that inspire play – for kids and adults. The experts at Gardendesign.com note an uptick in requests for things like bocce courts, fireplaces and hammocks, features to help home owners relax and play outdoors.

Looking for a new home with space for a bocce court? Talk to a RE/MAX All-Pro agent.