Renting vs Buying: Which is better for you?

Deciding whether to rent or buy can be a difficult decision, but with the right analysis, you can determine which is best for you. Knowing whether it’s the right time to rent or buy depends on your buying power, what you’re looking for in a home, your local market conditions, your plans for you and your household, and the responsibilities you’re prepared to take on at your residence.

Renting vs. Buying: Which is Better for You?

Renting gives you greater flexibility to relocate, fewer home maintenance responsibilities, and can often be more the more affordable option, depending on where you live. The extra costs associated with owning a home—interest payments, taxes, repairs—may be too much for some renters to handle. Becoming a homeowner has its respective advantages. You’ll have stable monthly payments and greater freedom to customize your living space. Advocates of buying will contend that purchasing a home is an investment in equity, which can increase in value every year you live in the home, whereas if you rent a property, you’re essentially paying for someone else’s mortgage. 

Ultimately, the right decision depends on your situation. If you don’t plan to be living in the same place for at least five years, renting might be more logical, as it allows you more flexibility when it comes time to move again. If you’re looking to settle down for the better part of a decade or longer and can afford to buy a home, becoming a homeowner may be the better option. Here are a few additional considerations to guide your renting-versus-buying decision making process.

What are the local real estate market conditions?

Investigate the local sales and rental markets. Industry groups put out reports every quarter stating the average national sales price for a home and the average monthly payment for a rental. These reports are typically based on an average of all the cities in the U.S. But what really matters is what the numbers show when you dig into them on a local level. When looking at these reports, you’ll see there are some cities that fall below that average, while others rise above it. When comparing housing costs, be sure to base your evaluation on what’s happening in your city and neighborhood, not the nationwide averages.

For a quarterly breakdown of local market conditions, explore our Market Updates page. With data analyzed by our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, each report breaks down the latest figures in home sales, home prices, and days on market for regions throughout Windermere’s footprint. Gardner also provides his estimation of where each market sits on the buyer’s-market-to-seller’s-market spectrum.

What can you afford?

Making the jump from renter to homeowner is often a question of affordability. Your mortgage rate will depend on your financial strength, your credit score, and other factors, so make sure to talk to a loan officer before you start looking for a home. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will identify what you’re able to afford and helps strengthen your offer when the time comes.

To get an idea of what you can afford, use our free Home Monthly Payment Calculator by clicking the button below. With current rates based on national averages and customizable mortgage terms, you can experiment with different values to get an estimate of your monthly payment for any listing price. By using the Home Monthly Payment Calculator, you can make a well-informed estimation of whether it’s the right time to buy.

 

Will you need to make repairs to your new home?

Buying a fixer-upper may seem like a great way to get a deal on a house, but if the money you spend on the repairs is too great, your profit could be diminished when it comes time to sell. The same is true for remodeling and improvement projects. There are various renovation financing loans available to you that can help with the costs of home repairs, though extra consultations, inspections, and appraisals are often required in the process of securing these loans. Ultimately, if you can only afford a home that demands major improvements, and you don’t have the skills to do much of the work yourself, you may be better off renting.

Can you rent part of the house you’re buying?

If you buy a house with rental-capable space (extra bedroom, mother-in-law unit, etc.), you could use the rental income to pay off your mortgage faster and contribute more to your savings. But, of course, you need to be willing to share your home with a tenant and take on the responsibilities of being a landlord or working with a professional property manager to help you with those duties. Renting out a space in your home will also require you to purchase landlord insurance on top of your existing homeowners insurance policy.

Making Your Decision to Rent or Buy

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you. Based on the conditions laid out above, it simply may not be the right time for you to buy. Fortunately, when it comes to being a homeowner, it’s not now or never. A real estate agent will be your ultimate resource in gauging whether it’s the right time to buy and guiding you through the process toward homeownership.

The post Renting vs Buying: Which is better for you? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Renting vs Buying: Which is better for you?

Deciding whether to rent or buy can be a difficult decision, but with the right analysis, you can determine which is best for you. Knowing whether it’s the right time to rent or buy depends on your buying power, what you’re looking for in a home, your local market conditions, your plans for you and your household, and the responsibilities you’re prepared to take on at your residence.

Renting vs. Buying: Which is Better for You?

Renting gives you greater flexibility to relocate, fewer home maintenance responsibilities, and can often be more the more affordable option, depending on where you live. The extra costs associated with owning a home—interest payments, taxes, repairs—may be too much for some renters to handle. Becoming a homeowner has its respective advantages. You’ll have stable monthly payments and greater freedom to customize your living space. Advocates of buying will contend that purchasing a home is an investment in equity, which can increase in value every year you live in the home, whereas if you rent a property, you’re essentially paying for someone else’s mortgage. 

Ultimately, the right decision depends on your situation. If you don’t plan to be living in the same place for at least five years, renting might be more logical, as it allows you more flexibility when it comes time to move again. If you’re looking to settle down for the better part of a decade or longer and can afford to buy a home, becoming a homeowner may be the better option. Here are a few additional considerations to guide your renting-versus-buying decision making process.

What are the local real estate market conditions?

Investigate the local sales and rental markets. Industry groups put out reports every quarter stating the average national sales price for a home and the average monthly payment for a rental. These reports are typically based on an average of all the cities in the U.S. But what really matters is what the numbers show when you dig into them on a local level. When looking at these reports, you’ll see there are some cities that fall below that average, while others rise above it. When comparing housing costs, be sure to base your evaluation on what’s happening in your city and neighborhood, not the nationwide averages.

For a quarterly breakdown of local market conditions, explore our Market Updates page. With data analyzed by our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner, each report breaks down the latest figures in home sales, home prices, and days on market for regions throughout Windermere’s footprint. Gardner also provides his estimation of where each market sits on the buyer’s-market-to-seller’s-market spectrum.

What can you afford?

Making the jump from renter to homeowner is often a question of affordability. Your mortgage rate will depend on your financial strength, your credit score, and other factors, so make sure to talk to a loan officer before you start looking for a home. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will identify what you’re able to afford and helps strengthen your offer when the time comes.

To get an idea of what you can afford, use our free Home Monthly Payment Calculator by clicking the button below. With current rates based on national averages and customizable mortgage terms, you can experiment with different values to get an estimate of your monthly payment for any listing price. By using the Home Monthly Payment Calculator, you can make a well-informed estimation of whether it’s the right time to buy.

 

Will you need to make repairs to your new home?

Buying a fixer-upper may seem like a great way to get a deal on a house, but if the money you spend on the repairs is too great, your profit could be diminished when it comes time to sell. The same is true for remodeling and improvement projects. There are various renovation financing loans available to you that can help with the costs of home repairs, though extra consultations, inspections, and appraisals are often required in the process of securing these loans. Ultimately, if you can only afford a home that demands major improvements, and you don’t have the skills to do much of the work yourself, you may be better off renting.

Can you rent part of the house you’re buying?

If you buy a house with rental-capable space (extra bedroom, mother-in-law unit, etc.), you could use the rental income to pay off your mortgage faster and contribute more to your savings. But, of course, you need to be willing to share your home with a tenant and take on the responsibilities of being a landlord or working with a professional property manager to help you with those duties. Renting out a space in your home will also require you to purchase landlord insurance on top of your existing homeowners insurance policy.

Making Your Decision to Rent or Buy

At the end of the day, the decision is up to you. Based on the conditions laid out above, it simply may not be the right time for you to buy. Fortunately, when it comes to being a homeowner, it’s not now or never. A real estate agent will be your ultimate resource in gauging whether it’s the right time to buy and guiding you through the process toward homeownership.

The post Renting vs Buying: Which is better for you? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Buy Before 5

30-year mortgage rates just exceeded 4% for the first time in three years according to Freddie Mac.

We have new advice for anyone considering a home purchase in the next couple of years.

Buy before 5.  This means buy before rates go to 5%.

Even though rates have been ticking up over the last several weeks, we believe that in a few years we will look back on this time and realize what a tremendous opportunity it was to have a mortgage under 5%.

So, don’t be discouraged by recent uptick in rates.  Instead, feel great that you were able to buy before rates hit 5%.

The post Buy Before 5 appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

New Construction: Why Work with a Buyer’s Agent?

If you’re a buyer, you may have considered purchasing a new construction home. After touring the model home and talking to the builder’s sales representatives, you begin to wonder if it’s necessary to work with a buyer’s agent. Although it’s possible to move forward with the purchase of a new construction home without a buyer’s agent, you may be missing out on the benefits of having a representative at your side. Take a look at how a buyer’s agent can provide value in the purchase of a new construction home. 

 

Buyer Agent vs. Builder’s Agent
Who Works for Who?
A sales representative is the builder’s representation in the sale of a new construction home. They can assist buyers by providing insight into the construction process, available upgrades, and answer questions related to what the builder is able to offer. That said, they represent the builder and will always advocate in favor of the builder. Think of it this way: in new construction, the builder is the seller and the sales representative is the listing agent. 

 

An Expert on Your Side
Knowledge is Power 
Working with a buyer’s agent gives you an advantage. Not only do they have experience with new-construction home purchases, but they are also familiar with major builders in the area and can speak to their quality of work. Moreover, buyer’s agents bring a working knowledge of the housing market to the table and can provide insight into current home prices. Tapping into a buyer agent’s knowledge and experience could save you time, money, and stress as you navigate the purchase of your new home!

 

An Agent is Your Advocate
Your Best Interest Comes First
A buyer’s agent will:
  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Clarify what is included in the base price
  • Help you navigate the purchase amidst rising building costs
  • Help you obtain the best financing available
  • Provide guidance with regard to builder’s warranties and home inspections 

 

Agent Commission
What’s the Cost to Me?

Traditionally, sellers are responsible for paying real estate agent fees. In the case of new construction homes, the builder will likely cover all or most of the agent’s commission. You may be able to work with a  real estate professional at no cost to you. 

For additional inquiries, please contact our office or your Windermere real estate agent directly. 

The post New Construction: Why Work with a Buyer’s Agent? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

New Construction: Why Work with a Buyer’s Agent?

If you’re a buyer, you may have considered purchasing a new construction home. After touring the model home and talking to the builder’s sales representatives, you begin to wonder if it’s necessary to work with a buyer’s agent. Although it’s possible to move forward with the purchase of a new construction home without a buyer’s agent, you may be missing out on the benefits of having a representative at your side. Take a look at how a buyer’s agent can provide value in the purchase of a new construction home. 

 

Buyer Agent vs. Builder’s Agent
Who Works for Who?
A sales representative is the builder’s representation in the sale of a new construction home. They can assist buyers by providing insight into the construction process, available upgrades, and answer questions related to what the builder is able to offer. That said, they represent the builder and will always advocate in favor of the builder. Think of it this way: in new construction, the builder is the seller and the sales representative is the listing agent. 

 

An Expert on Your Side
Knowledge is Power 
Working with a buyer’s agent gives you an advantage. Not only do they have experience with new-construction home purchases, but they are also familiar with major builders in the area and can speak to their quality of work. Moreover, buyer’s agents bring a working knowledge of the housing market to the table and can provide insight into current home prices. Tapping into a buyer agent’s knowledge and experience could save you time, money, and stress as you navigate the purchase of your new home!

 

An Agent is Your Advocate
Your Best Interest Comes First
A buyer’s agent will:
  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Clarify what is included in the base price
  • Help you navigate the purchase amidst rising building costs
  • Help you obtain the best financing available
  • Provide guidance with regard to builder’s warranties and home inspections 

 

Agent Commission
What’s the Cost to Me?

Traditionally, sellers are responsible for paying real estate agent fees. In the case of new construction homes, the builder will likely cover all or most of the agent’s commission. You may be able to work with a  real estate professional at no cost to you. 

For additional inquiries, please contact our office or your Windermere real estate agent directly. 

The post New Construction: Why Work with a Buyer’s Agent? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Lumber Back Up

The price of lumber has jumped back up again and is adding to the cost of new home construction.

Over the past four months, lumber prices have nearly tripled, causing the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600.

According to Random Lengths, as of the end of December, the price of framing lumber topped $1,000 per thousand board feet — a 167% increase since late August.

This most recent lumber price upsurge is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Ongoing supply chain disruptions
  • A doubling of tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. market that increased price volatility
  • An unusually strong summer wildfire season in the western United States and British Columbia

Predictions on what lumber prices will do during 2022 are mostly pointing to even higher costs for home builders and ultimately, new home buyers.

The post Lumber Back Up appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Lumber Back Up

The price of lumber has jumped back up again and is adding to the cost of new home construction.

Over the past four months, lumber prices have nearly tripled, causing the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600.

According to Random Lengths, as of the end of December, the price of framing lumber topped $1,000 per thousand board feet — a 167% increase since late August.

This most recent lumber price upsurge is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Ongoing supply chain disruptions
  • A doubling of tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. market that increased price volatility
  • An unusually strong summer wildfire season in the western United States and British Columbia

Predictions on what lumber prices will do during 2022 are mostly pointing to even higher costs for home builders and ultimately, new home buyers.

The post Lumber Back Up appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Simple Tips to Make Your Move Easier

Your needs as a homeowner change over time, and you need the right home to fit those needs. Accordingly, it’s highly likely that at some point in your future you will experience another moving day. While moving can be challenging, there are resources to make it easier. If you are remaining in your current area, your Windermere agent can continue to be a valuable resource on communities, schools, utilities, transportation, recreational opportunities, and more.

If you are moving out of the area, your agent can help you with a referral to another reputable agent in your new community. Many agents also have relationships with real estate-related service companies in their area whom they can call upon for information regarding title, escrow, mortgages, temporary housing, and moving services. They can also help guide you in your search as you learn more about new communities and relocation services.

You’ve decided to move. Now what?

Once you have reached your decision, it’s time to gather information, start making decisions and get organized. Begin by creating a “move” file to keep track of your estimates, receipts, and other information. If you’re moving for a job, some expenses may be deductible, so you’ll want the paperwork when tax time comes.

If you are moving out of the area, start researching your new community and ask your agent for help in finding a referral agent in your new area. You’ll also want to determine whether you want to rent first or buy immediately. Your new agent should be able to help you with your decision. Once you know where you’re going, you’re also ready to get estimates from moving companies.

Closing one door, opening another

After you have chosen a moving date and either hired a moving company or reserved a rental truck, it’s time to wrap things up in your old neighborhood and start establishing relationships where your new home is located. This is particularly important if you are moving to a new town/city. You may want to ask your current doctors, dentists, etc. if they have any referrals on care providers in your new location. Be sure to check their recommendations on your insurance company’s online provider search list. Once you arrive, you may also want to ask new coworkers, friends or the school nurse for their recommendations.

Contact your children’s school and/or day care and arrange for their records to be sent to their new school district or day care. Call your insurance agent about coverage en route to your new home and also arrange for insurance in your new home. Remember to contact utility companies to disconnect, transfer or end service in your current home and turn on service in your new home.

You’ll want to file a change of address form with the U.S. Postal Service, either online or at your local office. If you don’t know your new address, have them hold your mail at the post office in your new locale. Don’t forget to cancel or transfer magazine and newspaper subscriptions as well.

If you belong to a health club or other association, contact them about ending or transferring your membership. Some clubs require written notice before cancellation. Finally, contact your bank or credit union to transfer or close accounts; if you have a safe-deposit box, don’t forget to clean it out before you leave.

Starting the countdown

With moving day in sight, it’s time to get organized. Here are a few items to check off your list before you start packing:

  • Tie up loose ends. Be sure to send out an email or change of address cards with your new contact information to family, friends, and associates. Return library books and any other borrowed items you may still have.
  • Triage your possessions. Determine what you are taking with you; what you are giving away to friends, family, or a favorite charity; and what is going to the dump or recycling center.  If you have time, you can hold a garage sale or post items on craigslist.org or ebay.com.
  • Clean up. Drain all gas and oil from your mower, other machinery, gas grills, kerosene stoves and lamps, etc., before loading them onto a moving truck. Empty, defrost, and clean your refrigerator at least 24 hours before your move, and prepare other appliances for moving as well.
  • Have your car serviced. This is especially important if you are driving to your new home.

Packing strategies

If you are doing your own packing, start collecting boxes and/or buy them from your movers. It may take a few days to do your packing, so be sure to pack non-essential items first and label them carefully. If you have any valuables, it’s recommended that you take them with you as opposed to packing them. You risk the chance of losing those items if they’re packed away in boxes. It’s also smart to take along a box of essentials, including items such as toilet paper, paper towels, tape, soap, scissors, pens, paper, and your toiletries. That way you won’t have to track these items down once you’ve arrived in your new home.

For more information on how to make your move easier, visit our Moving Tips page here: How can I make moving easier? 

The post Simple Tips to Make Your Move Easier appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

No Inventory?

One misconception about today’s market is that there is ‘no inventory.’

Actually, there are numerous new listings that hit the market each month. It just so happens that they tend to sell quickly.

The numbers show the number of new listings that came on the market in September closely equate to the number of sales that occurred.

  •  In Larimer County, 693 new residential listings hit the market last month and there were 688 sales.
  •  In Weld County, there were 681 new listings and 733 sales.
  •  In Metro Denver, there were 6125 new listings and 5233 sales.

So, while homes tend to sell quickly today, there is still a significant amount of new inventory hitting the market each month for buyers to consider.

The post No Inventory? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

No Inventory?

One misconception about today’s market is that there is ‘no inventory.’

Actually, there are numerous new listings that hit the market each month. It just so happens that they tend to sell quickly.

The numbers show the number of new listings that came on the market in September closely equate to the number of sales that occurred.

  •  In Larimer County, 693 new residential listings hit the market last month and there were 688 sales.
  •  In Weld County, there were 681 new listings and 733 sales.
  •  In Metro Denver, there were 6125 new listings and 5233 sales.

So, while homes tend to sell quickly today, there is still a significant amount of new inventory hitting the market each month for buyers to consider.

The post No Inventory? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.