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Showing posts from February, 2012

Warren Buffett: It’s Time to Buy Real Estate

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by The KCM Crew

Warren Buffett appeared live on CNBC’s Squawk Box this week. During the interview, he was asked about the current real estate market and whether he felt now was the time to buy. His response was rather emphatic and has been used as a headline in hundreds of articles since the interview:

“If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes I would load up on them.”

However, throughout the interview, he addressed the market from a few angles. Here is what he said:

Why invest in real estate now?

“It’s a way, in effect, to short the dollar because you can take a 30-year mortgage and if it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower. And if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s stuck with it for 30 years. So it’s a very attractive asset class now.”

Is buying your own home better than investing in stocks right now?

“If I knew where I was going to want to live the next five or 10 years I would buy a home and I’d finance it with a 30…

Foreclosures in Process by State

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Methodology as per CoreLogic: The foreclosure inventory represents the number and ratio of homes that have been placed into the process of foreclosure by the mortgage servicer. Mortgage servicers start the foreclosure process when the mortgage reaches a specific level of serious delinquency as dictated by the investor for the mortgage loan … The foreclosure inventory is measured only against homes that have an outstanding mortgage. Homes with no mortgage liens can never be in foreclosure and are therefore excluded from the analysis.

If you are considering Relocating to Colorado Springs, Purchasing a Home for Sale in Colorado Springs, considering Selling a Home in Colorado Springs, or want more information on the Colorado Springs Real Estate Market, Contact your Colorado Springs Real Estate Expert, Mike MacGuire Today! Click Here to Check out my informational video if you are considering Selling a Home in Colorado Springs. Click Here to Check out my informational video if you are consid…

Existing-home sales post third gain in 4 months!

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By Inman News

Increased demand from investors and first-time homebuyers helped boost existing-home sales in January -- the third increase in the past four months, the National Association of Realtors reported.

NAR said total existing-home sales -- including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- were up 4.3 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million.

While that's essentially unchanged from the same time a year ago, for-sale inventory was down 20.6 percent from a year ago, to 2.31 million homes, a 6.1-month supply of homes at the current pace of sales.

Many housing analysts view a six-month inventory of homes as a good balance between supply and demand -- a larger inventory of homes can indicate an oversupply of homes for sale, which can undermine prices. When inventories drop below six months, the shortage of homes for sale can drive up prices.

"The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough bal…

Is There a 3.8% House Sales Tax in the Health Care Bill?

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by The KCM Crew

The presidential election has renewed the debate about the Administration’s Health Care Bill. We are again getting many questions about a possible 3.8% tax on home sales that some claim is in the bill. To answer these questions, we have decided to re-run a blog post we did last year. – The KCM Crew

We have received many questions about a possible 3.8% tax which will be put on home sales beginning in 2013. We want to do our best to clarify this situation for everyone. We are not accountants and give you this information just as a simple answer to the misconception. Understand that, when it comes to IRS regulations, you should check with your accountant for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

A little history on the confusion

Fact Check.org explains it this way:

The truth is that only a tiny percentage of home sellers will pay the tax. First of all, only those with incomes over $200,000 a year ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) will be subject to it. And …

How the Serenity Prayer Applies To Selling a Home

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by The KCM Crew

You may believe that selling your home is impossible in today’s market. You may feel powerless to the process. What could YOU possibly do to turn this housing market around? There is no doubt that today’s real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate. However, we want you to know that thousands of homes sold yesterday, thousands will sell today and thousands will sell each and every day from now until the end of the year.

It is totally within your power to guarantee that your house will sell even in the current market.

“How?”, you ask. Let’s look at the simplicity of the famous Serenity Prayer and apply it to selling a home in today’s real estate market.

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Accept the things you cannot change

The two main reasons that the housing prices have softened:

1. the current economy
2. the inventory of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sa…

Springs named second safest city in U.S.

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COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. -- Colorado Springs has been named the second safest city in America by InsuranceProviders.com.

The study took into account crime rates, probability of natural disasters and driving safety.

The main reason for the high ranking was the city's disaster ranking. Because it is up on the edge of the mountains, tornadoes are not common, and it is obviously not near a coast, so tropical storms are nonexistent.

Crime rates are lower than cities of comparable sizes, but officials with the study said crime rates ended up not being as big a factor in cities that ranked safe as it was in cities that ranked unsafe.

In terms of driving, Colorado Springs residents go an average of 11.9 years without getting into a crash.

Mesa, Ariz. was the only city listed as being safer than Colorado Springs. Aurora, Colo. also finished in the top 10, coming in at number nine.

To see the complete list, click here.

If you are considering Relocating to Colorado Springs, Purchasing a Home for Sal…

20 Weekend Projects Under $20

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These 20 improvements may not cost a lot, but they'll make a big difference in how your home functions. Complete one or more of these projects this weekend.

Add a Lower Bar

Adding a lower bar to a closet lets you hang tops above and bottoms below and can effectively double your closet space. You might need to move the existing rod up a bit to accommodate the new arrangement.







Increase Lighting

Install a fixture to shed additional light on a dim area. Think about dark closets or corners where you sit and read and decide if you need more illumination.



Update with Paint

Breathe new life into an old piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint. For wood pieces, remove dirt or wax buildup with a household cleaner and rinse. Sand rough areas and wipe away dust. Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer and allow it to dry between coats. Roll or brush on two coats of latex paint in the direction of the wood grain, and use a brush to finish the surface with smooth strokes.



Tackle Trim Work

Replace…

Mortgage Settlement to Drive Increase in Foreclosures

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by The KCM Crew

The National Mortgage Settlement gave banks a roadmap showing them how to proceed with the backlog of foreclosures (known as shadow inventory) that has been hanging over the housing market for more than a year. We believe that understanding this dynamic is crucial in determining home prices as we go through the year. We believe the number of houses sold will grow somewhat dramatically in 2012. However, the increase in demand will be offset by an increase in supply of distressed properties that sell at a discount.

Others also feel there will be an increase in foreclosures as we move through the year.

Calculated Risk

“It does appear the number of completed foreclosures will increase following this settlement – especially in some judicial states with large backlogs – so there will probably be more REOs (lender Real Estate Owned) for sale.”

Brandon Moore, chief executive of RealtyTrac

“The settlement sets forth clear guidelines for lenders and servicers to follow when foreclosin…

Behind the Numbers: Builder Confidence Climbs

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By Dawn Wotapka

A closely watched confidence index came in at the highest level in nearly five years, a sign of improvement for an industry trying to climb out of a deep slump.

The National Association of Home Builders said Wednesday its housing market index climbed to 29 from 25 in January. The increase, the fifth in a row, lifted the index to its highest since May 2007. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast a reading of 26.

All three components of the builders’ index increased. Builders’ assessment of traffic from potential buyers, current sales conditions and expectations for sales over the next six months all reached the highest point since mid-2007.

To be sure, the reading remains low. A number above 50 in the NAHB index would show more builders view conditions as good rather than poor. And keep in mind that the reading remains well below the boom, when numbers hit the high 60s and 70s. Of course, it is much better than the depressing eight seen in early 2009.

Builders…

Local economy strongest in two years

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by Monica Mendoza

It’s been a long couple of years since folks in El Paso County have bought houses and new cars. They put it off and saved their money instead.

Now, there are signs that people are ready to spend, said Fred Crowley, Southern Colorado Economic Forum senior economist.

The El Paso County economy showed its strongest growth in two years, and it did so without artificial effects like home-buying incentive programs or reinvestment job act money, Crowley said. This time, the economy showed improvement all on its own, he said.

The forum released its quarterly update this week with some good news, including strong increases in single family home sales, increases in car sales and increases in wages.

“All of these are really strong indicators,” Crowley said.

The local economy is doing better than predicted, he said. Some of the increases are due to the normal inventory adjustment correction. But, the real increases are simply a result of spending.

Single family permit activity was high…

Pricing Your Home For Sale

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by: Better Homes and Gardens

Is your home worth your asking price? The best way to answer that question is to separate what’s relevant to home buyers from what’s not relevant.

Starting with the bare basics, home buyers choose homes based on:

Price – their lenders tell them what they can afford
Location – they know where they want to live and why
Condition – they want homes that are well-maintained and move-in ready

They look at the available inventory – your home and its competition. The greater the inventory, the more room they have to negotiate terms.

They narrow their choices to a short list, based on what they perceive to be the best value.

They buy according to what’s most important to them – price, neighborhood, and/or condition. For example, a buyer who wants a certain neighborhood may choose a home in less than perfect condition, but only if the price is right.

What you should consider before you price your home

Your market

When home sales volumes increase, prices go up, and inventories …

Move In Ready Home For Sale in Colorado Springs

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Beautifully Updated Tri-Level Home For Sale in Colorado Springs! Perfect for the First Time Home Buyer looking to Purchase a Home For Sale in Colorado Springs. Boasting 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1 Car Attached Garage, 2 Car Detached Garage with Power and 1,556 Square Feet. Click Here to Tour This Home for Sale in Colorado Springs. Spacious Living Room that is Open to the Kitchen and Dining Area. The Perfectly Appointed Kitchen has been completely remodeled with New Counters and Cabinetry. All Kitchen Appliances Included! There are 3 Spacious Bedrooms on the Upper Level and a Completely Remodeled Full Bathroom. The Lower Level Boasts a Family Room with a Cozy Fireplace. The Lower Level also features the 4th
Bedroom and 2nd Bathroom. Enjoy Summer BBQ’s in your Expansive Backyard. Tons of Storage and Space in the Detached 2 Car Garage with Power. This Move In Ready Home For Sale in Colorado Springs is Located in a Fantastic Location with Easy Access to Shopping, Parks, Schools, Dining and …

Where Are Rents Headed?

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by The KCM Crew

People are delaying the decision to buy a home because they are not sure where prices are headed. If they buy and prices continue to soften, they feel that they will not have purchased at the optimal moment. They reason that, if they sit and wait, they can’t be hurt. This thinking assumes that a non-decision comes without consequence.

The normal retort to this thinking by people bullish on real estate is that prices may soon turn to the positive or that interest rates will start heading upward. Buy now before the cost of buying increases! Today, we want to look at this from a different angle. We want to alert our readers that their housing expense is about to increase if they continue to rent.

Currently, in most parts of the country, buying is less expensive than renting. Plus, purchasers can lock in their housing expense for the next thirty years by buying now. They will get a sensational price and a record low interest rate. What will happen if they continue to rent?

The…

Is It Time for Young Families to Buy a Home?

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by The KCM Crew

We have reported that almost six million adults between the ages of 25 to 34 are currently living with their parents. That number reflects an almost 50% increase since 2003. These young adults are now being advised to jump into homeownership.

Who are the people selling them on the American Dream? Their parents! It seems that parents of some adult children are strongly suggesting that their children take advantage of the low cost of homeownership available today. Some moms and dads are helping financially and are even co-signing for the mortgage. Middle age parents who have owned a home understand its true value. A home has always been a good long term financial investment. However, homeownership also has many other benefits.

In Fannie Mae’s most recent National Housing Survey, they asked the question directly: Is this a major reason to buy a home?

The study broke up the answers into financial and non-financial reasons. The top four reasons and six of the top ten reasons we…