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Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Latest Trends in Denver Home Prices

How have home prices changed over the course of 2016? We’ll go over the numbers for single-family homes, townhomes, and condos today.  

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How have Denver home prices changed in 2016? 

If you look at traditional homes with yards that don’t share a wall with a neighbor, the average price is $443,000. That is a 9% increase in value for 2016, which falls into the same trends we have seen over the past couple of years, where homes appreciated by 8% to 12%. 

What does this mean to you as a homeowner? If you bought a house back in January for $400,000 and put the home on the market today, that home would now be worth $436,000. That is $36,000 of appreciation in one year! As you can see, owning a home in Denver is still a great investment. 

The townhome and condo market is very similar to the traditional home market, but they are not identical. The first difference is the price point. Townhomes and condos typically cost less than a single-family home.



Now is a great time to invest in Denver real estate.



The average price in the townhome/condo market is $293,000, which is a 7% increase for 2016. In the past, this market only saw an appreciation rate of about 5%, so 7% is a bit of a jump. Part of the cause for this jump in appreciation is the fact that townhomes and condos are at such an attractive price point. 

If you purchased a townhome or condo in January for $250,000 and put it on the market now, it would currently be worth $267,000, which is a $17,000 increase in value. 

Ultimately, owning property in Denver is still a good investment. These numbers are averages, so if you have questions about your specific house, condo, or townhome, just give us a call. We would be happy to help you!

Friday, November 18, 2016

What Is Happening in the Denver Real Estate Market?

How is the Denver market doing? Now that the election is over, what will happen to interest rates? We have the answers in your November market update.

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Today we’re here with your November real estate market update. 

The number of detached single-family units for sale has decreased to 4,700, an 11% drop from the previous month. Attached single-family units are also down, dropping 8.5% to only 1,300 units for sale. 

On the other hand, the average sales price is up to $442,000 for detached single-family units and $288,000 for attached single-family units. 

There are 4,975 homes under contract right now. In order to reach a balanced market with six months of inventory, we need 29,000 active units. As you can see, we are incredibly short on inventory and demand is remarkably high. 



Interest rates will probably start to go up as early as December 2016.



Now, after the election, we got a ton of phone calls asking about rising interest rates. Many of the experts predict that we will start to see rates move up. We should see an initial rate hike in December, followed by another during the first quarter of 2017. There will probably be a few more rate increases next year as well. 

What does that mean to you? Keep this in mind: every 1% increase in interest rates means a 10% decrease in purchasing power for buyers. For example, let’s say you get approved for a mortgage with a 4% interest rate. Today, that means you can afford a $400,000 house. If rates go up to 5%, you would only be able to afford a $360,000 house. 

Interest rates are especially important if you’ve been considering buying or selling a home. You will have the best opportunity to capitalize on these historically low rates over the next six months. 

If you have any other questions about our current market or interest rates, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Friday, October 21, 2016

What’s Going on in the Denver Real Estate Market?


In comparing the Denver market of 2016 with where it was a little less than a decade ago, we see that it’s done a complete 180. 

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Are we in a bubble here in the Denver real estate market?

It’s a question that seems to be on the minds of a lot of our clients lately. They’re constantly asking us whether they should buy a home or hold off until a later date. I don’t own a crystal ball, but I can give you a fact-based comparison between the market of August 2007—when we were at our absolute peak—and the market of August 2016 to help answer that question. I can also compare some numbers from both years as a whole to paint an even clearer picture.

In August 2007, there were 30,000 total active units. In August 2016, there were 5,200 units. That’s an 82% decline in active listings. As for closed transactions, there were 4,300 in August 2007 and 3,600 in August 2016. That’s a decline of about 14%.

When we look at the average days on market, the difference is truly magnified. In August 2007, there were 95 days on market. Over the entire year so far in 20016, we’ve only averaged 28 days on market. That’s a decline of 70%.



The number of active units and the number of closed transactions have both declined.



Another important statistic to look at is the number of transactions going under contract in seven days or less, or “quick closes.” In 2006, 8% of all transactions were quick closes. So far this year, 45% of all transactions have been quick closes. That’s an increase of 450%.

The last statistic I want to point to is the percentage of cash transactions. In 2007, that number was 10%. In 2016, that number has been 20%.

As you can see, the Denver market has done a complete 180 from where it was nearly a decade ago. The market of 2007 was fueled by bad credit whereas the market of today is being fueled by wealth.

If you have any questions about the Denver market or are interested in buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to email us or give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Problem with Zillow and Home Values

Zillow’s Zestimate calculates home value by pulling information from county records. Unfortunately, Zestimates are often inaccurate because they cannot take one major factor into account.

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If you are thinking of selling your home, you have probably heard of Zillow’s Zestimate. The Zestimate is a home valuation based on county records and the price-per-square-foot on sold homes in the area.

The problem is that those Zestimates are not very accurate.

The main issue is that Zillow cannot take the home’s condition into account when determining home value. Zillow doesn’t know about the lot’s square footage, how the home is situated on the lot, and whether you have a view of a mountain or a golf course. Zillow relies on public county data but has no way of knowing what upgrades you have made to the home.



Zillow has no way of knowing about the condition of your property.



The best way to get an accurate home value is to call a local Realtor and have them come out to your house. They will look at the current condition of your home, determine the value of the upgrades, and compare the lot size to your neighbor’s lots.

If you are looking for the most accurate and updated valuation of your home, call a local Realtor, like us, and we’ll do a free comparable market analysis on your property.

If you have any other questions about preparing your home for the market or about real estate in general, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

We’re Giving Away an iPad to a Lucky Client



Zillow has not only changed our business and brought our relationships with clients into the 21st century, but it has also become the primary resource for people searching for properties to buy. It’s the first step in a lot of people’s home search and the first step people take when finding a Realtor to work with.

It has become an integral part of the real estate market and a primary tool for first-time home buyers. To better represent our team on the site, we have decided to start a contest. From now until September 7th, log on to Zillow to provide a review of us or one of the agents on our team.



Each review gets you in a drawing for a free iPad.



Each person that writes a review will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a free iPad. If you have any questions for us or you’re looking to buy or sell a home, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you, and we look forward to your reviews!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Is Denver Really Experiencing a Housing Bubble?


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Today we wanted to take a minute to talk about the so-called bubble looming in Denver. Let's take a look at some stats from August 2007 to April 2016 to debunk this notion of a bubble. August of 2007 was certainly near the height of the market and we're obviously at the height of the market here in Denver.

In August 2007, there were 30,000 units available whereas now, we have just 4,390. Looking at the total number of transaction, August 2007 saw 4,300, and this last month, we saw 4,200. Average days on market is interesting as well, with 95 being the average back then, and 31 being the average last month. Similarly, with the number of homes going under contract in seven days or fewer, it was 61% in April of this year, compared to just 8% in August 2007.

Back then, cash transactions were lower as well at 10%, compared to 15% last month. If we look at list price compared to closing price, homes sold at 94% of asking price in August 2007. This April, homes sold for a little over 100% of list price. If you're comparing the height of the market of 2007 vs. the height of the market today, it's substantially different. The number one reason is the influx of population moving to Denver, our economy is booming, and inventory is low. 


Average sold price for single family homes reached a new record at $440,000.


Let's get some perspective on the current market. We have just 3,820 detached single family homes and 1,100 attached single family homes. The average sold price for single family homes actually reached a new record at $440,000, and attached single family homes came in at $285,000. Last month we had 5,270 homes placed under contract. To create a balanced market, we need 31,000 active units to offset the demand. For homes under $600,000 we have roughly 1.4 months of supply.

Interest rates are of course still low - back to three-year lows, in fact. You're probably looking at 3.5% to 3.75% depending on your qualifications and credit score. The market is challenging, but it's still a good time to buy. We have several different strategies that we're using, and we haven't had a buyer yet that we weren't able to find a house for. And of course, it's an amazing time to sell.

For any assistance we can give you, please feel free to reach out. We'd love to help!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Expert Advice for Denver Home Buyers


Looking to buy in the Denver Metro Area? Get a full Home Search 
Looking to sell in the Denver Metro Area? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

Today I have Jessica Uphoff with me, and she works with Legacy Mutual Mortgage. She’ll be giving us some tips on what buyers can expect from this market and how they can take advantage of mortgage loans available to them.

Jessica says that buyers need to know the difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification. A pre-qualification is when you simply speak over the phone with someone about your finances, and it doesn’t solidify anything. Your documents aren’t reviewed, and this essentially means nothing to a seller.

A pre-approval is much more important. This is a much more thorough review of your income and assets. You’ll need one of these if you want to stand a chance in the Denver market.


Jessica also recommends that buyers find a local lender with a good reputation in Denver. She also recommends being prepared, because a lot of documentation will be required on your end. There are lots of regulations involved in lending, and that’s just a fact of life today. 

For more experienced buyers in the Denver market, Jessica recommends getting creative with your down payment. You can take out a 401k loan or research some down payment assistance programs. Everyone qualifies for these but they are income-limited. 

Because the Denver real estate market is so hot, you’ll need to be prepared to act quickly in order to find the home that you want. The sooner you buy, the better off you will be in this market. Interest rates are only climbing higher, so it’s best to lock in a low rate right now.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tax Season Is Coming Up, Here’s What You Need to Know


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Today, we are delighted to be joined by Troy K. Vigil, who has been a tax professional for many years. We’re going to ask him some of the most common tax-related questions we’ve been getting from buyers, and see what he has to say. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

What are some of the tax advantages of owning a home?
There are really 3 big ones. The first is being able to deduct the property taxes you paid on the property, and that’s a deduction you will take at the end of the year. Secondly, it opens up a lot more itemized deductions on your taxes, like medical expenses, charitable contributions, and more. The third, and best advantage, in my opinion, is the exclusion of paying capital gains when selling a property. If you live in a house at least 2 years and sell the property at a gain, you can exclude $250,000 from capital gains taxes if you’re single, and $500,000 if you’re married. This is one of the best tax benefits in America.

What do homeowners need in order to file their taxes?
The most important form you need is the 1098 from your mortgage company, which will show how much you paid in interest throughout the year, as well as what you paid in property taxes.

Do homeowners who bought in 2015 need any other forms?
Yes, in addition to the 1098, you will also need your closing statement. If you don’t have yours, we can send it out to you no problem.


What are the tax consequences of someone pulling money out of an IRA or a 401K to use for a down payment?
As far as the IRA is concerned, since the money has never been taxed, when you pull it out you will have to pay taxes on it. Also, if you are not at least 59 ½ years old, you will be charged an additional 10% penalty on any withdrawal over $10,000. With a 401K, the same rules apply, except for the fact that you will be charged that 10% early withdrawal penalty on any amount.

What considerations should rental investors make?
It’s just like any other investment, where you should focus on buying at a good price and starting a nice stream of cash flow. There are a lot of deductions associated with rental properties, so the cash flow is nice. I own 4 rental properties myself, and I think it’s a great investment. 

If you have any questions for us, give us a call or send us an email. You can contact Troy K. Vigil by calling his office phone, 720-484-6683, or emailing him at TVigil@tkvcpa.com. We would love to hear from you!

Monday, February 8, 2016

What to Expect from the Denver Real Estate Market in 2016


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Today we’re going to give you an overview of what happened in the Denver real estate market in 2015, and we’ll be giving some predictions about what might happen in 2016. Overall, we’re seeing a market that’s moving very quickly with inventory just being gobbled up.

Here are a few statistics from 2015:
  • The average price for single family detached homes was $411K, and attached homes are selling for $276K.
  • Average days on market for detached is 32, and for attached homes it is 26 days.
  • Over 35% of homes are under contract in 7 days or less, and 46% of attached SF homes are under contract in 7 days or less.
  • We saw a net migration of 101,000 people into the state of Colorado in 2015, and this is putting enormous stress on our inventory levels.
  • We have predicted that 65,000 people moved into the Denver/Front Range area, but we only had 17,000 available units.
  • Overall, supply is simply lacking and that is what is driving prices higher and higher.

The market is moving at a rapid pace right now. Homes usually sell in 90-110 days in Denver, but homes are flying off the market in 30 days right now. We have found that the higher the price point, the less activity you will see, but we’re still in a very robust and active real estate market. If your home takes longer than 14 days to sell, the stats show that your home will likely not sell for its maximum value.

So, what are the odds of selling your house in one month? In 2015, you would have had a 62% chance of selling.

Should you wait to buy or sell this year? We expect another 90,000 people to move into Denver, so we expect even more appreciation on our homes. However, rising interest rates will push a lot of buyers onto the market, so you could capture some of that pent-up demand, but we expect next year to be a good one for our market as well.