Expert Opinion

This week, take a listen to Matthew Gardner, Windermere’s Chief Economist as he discusses the current state of the housing market.​​​​​​​

 

He takes a deep dive into interest rates, price appreciation and where the market is headed.

 

You can watch his video HERE

 

The post Expert Opinion 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.

Money at a Discount

This week, for the first time in 32 months, mortgage rates hit 4%.

While this increase may feel painful for buyers currently looking at property, it is important to put today’s rates in perspective.

We believe we will look back a few years from now and see that a 4% rate was like buying money at a discount.

Interest rates hovered between 4.5% and 3.75% for the 8-year span of June, 2011 to June 2018

Between January, 2000 and December, 2010 rates were as high as 8.25% and as low as 5.0%.

When looking at the history of interest rates and researching economists’ forecasts, we believe it is reasonable for rates to hit 5% within the next 24 months. 

When interest rates increase 1%, a buyer’s monthly payment increases 10%.

So, if rates do go to 5%, it is like an additional 10% price increase for a buyer.

Given all of this information, we believe the biggest risk to a buyer in today’s market is to wait.

Mortgage rates are likely on their way up and there is an opportunity to buy money at a discount today.

The post Money at a Discount appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Money at a Discount

This week, for the first time in 32 months, mortgage rates hit 4%.

While this increase may feel painful for buyers currently looking at property, it is important to put today’s rates in perspective.

We believe we will look back a few years from now and see that a 4% rate was like buying money at a discount.

Interest rates hovered between 4.5% and 3.75% for the 8-year span of June, 2011 to June 2018

Between January, 2000 and December, 2010 rates were as high as 8.25% and as low as 5.0%.

When looking at the history of interest rates and researching economists’ forecasts, we believe it is reasonable for rates to hit 5% within the next 24 months. 

When interest rates increase 1%, a buyer’s monthly payment increases 10%.

So, if rates do go to 5%, it is like an additional 10% price increase for a buyer.

Given all of this information, we believe the biggest risk to a buyer in today’s market is to wait.

Mortgage rates are likely on their way up and there is an opportunity to buy money at a discount today.

The post Money at a Discount appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

7 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home

Making the leap from renter to homeowner doesn’t happen overnight; it requires steady planning to put yourself in a good position to buy your first home. Prospective first-time home buyers can often feel like they’re waiting for a sign to indicate they’re ready to start making offers, when really, it’s a combination of factors. Here are seven signs that you’re ready to buy a home.

7 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home

1. You Know Which Homes You Can Afford

To know whether you’re ready to buy, you need to identify your price range. If you’re unhappy with your pre-approval, or need more money for your desired location, there are ways you can increase your buying power. Once you know which homes you can afford, you can work with your agent to find the right home and prepare an offer.

2. You Understand Your Local Market Conditions

The dynamics of the market in which you’re buying will play a role in determining whether you’re ready to buy. The local market conditions will dictate what kinds of offers you can expect to compete against, what tactics other buyers may employ, and whether the buyer or seller will have the leverage during negotiations. Therefore, it’s important to understand the difference between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market so you and your agent can strategize accordingly.

3. You’re Comfortable with the Responsibilities of Being a Homeowner

Having a mortgage instead of paying rent isn’t the only difference between owning a home and renting. You’ll be responsible for maintaining the property, making repairs, and completing remodeling projects. That doesn’t always mean you can’t predict a future need. The best way to prepare for unexpected projects on any home is to get a home inspection before you buy so that you know every inch of the property and can start to save for larger expenses that might come down the road.

4. You Have Funds Available for Home Buying Costs

The costs of buying a home are more than just your down payment and monthly mortgage. Before you move into your new home, you’ll have to pay closing costs, moving expenses, and appraisal and inspection fees, to name a few. Property taxes can sometimes be part of the mortgage and depending on the time of year may need to be paid before you move in. Once you’re settled, homeowners insurance will enter the fold. If you can afford these costs, it’s a sign that you are ready to buy.

5. You’re Making Progress on Your Debt

Having zero debt is not a realistic expectation for every first-time home buyer. But, if you have a plan in place for paying off your outstanding debt and can show evidence of the progress you’re making, it will strengthen your buying credibility. Lenders will factor this into their assessment of your financial health during the pre-approval process.

6. You Have a Strategy for the Down Payment

It is true that lenders view a twenty percent down payment as favorable and won’t require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), but it’s not game over if you can’t make a lump sum payment of that size. With a lower-than-twenty percent down payment, you may incur higher interest and fees over the life of the loan, which could put a greater strain on your finances long-term than waiting until you can pay more principal down. Whichever route you choose, make sure you have a solid plan in place to repay your loan.

7. Your Life Aligns with Buying a Home

Buying a home means you’ll be putting down roots, so it’s important that you and your household are ready to establish yourselves in one area before you buy. There’s financial logic behind this line of thinking, as well; in general, the longer you stay in one home, the more equity you’ll build. Career and income stability also play a role in determining whether you’re ready to buy. Landing a job with long-term prospects may be just the thing you need to green-light your decision to buy your first home.

 

To learn more about buying your first home, connect with an experienced Windermere Real Estate agent today by clicking on the button below.

 

The post 7 Signs You’re Ready to Buy a Home appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Home?

Buying a home is a major investment, and it comes with a lot of variables. From finding the right neighborhood to determining how much home your budget allows, it is a complicated task. Because of the difficulties involved, many prospective homebuyers decide to work with a full-service realtor. However, if you decide to go on this venture by yourself, here are the top things you’ll want to know before you buy a home without a realtor. 

 

Consider These 5 Things Before Buying a Home Without a Realtor:

Forbes shared 5 times to consider buying a home without a realtor:

1. You’re Related to the Seller

You might be able to avoid hiring a real estate agent if you’re selling a home within your family. In that case, as long as you’ve agreed on a price and other important transaction details, you’ll probably be able to handle it without the seller paying thousands of dollars in commission. Regardless, consult a lawyer to conduct a title search on the property and ensure that all paperwork is properly filled out, reviewed, and filed.

 

2. You Know the Area

When you’re buying a home in a neighborhood you know well, you might not think it’s necessary to hire a buyer’s agent. However, a real estate agent can provide more information than just market knowledge, such as assisting you in finding the right home and negotiating with the seller’s agent.

 

3. You Can Save Money

In rare circumstances, a buyer may be required to pay all or part of a buyer’s agent’s commission. Someone selling a home on their own, for example, might state in their listing that they will not negotiate fees with a buyer’s agent. In this case, instead of hiring an agent, you might decide it’s worthwhile to try to work directly with the seller.

 

4. You Get to Work Alone

Even though they are legally required to represent your interests, you may be wary of dealing with a buyer’s agent. If you believe an agent would rush you into a deal or match you with the wrong house, you might feel more at ease handling it yourself.

When dealing with the seller’s agent, you’ll want to make sure you’re not overmatched. Think of it like negotiating a divorce settlement with just the counsel and expertise of the other party’s lawyer—it might not go well for you.

 

5. You’re Buying a New Home

If you’re only interested in buying a newly constructed home, you might be able to work out a deal with the builder directly. According to the NAR survey, about 6% of buyers worked with a builder or builder’s agent to purchase a home in 2020.

 

real estate agent helping someone with paperwork

 

The Benefits of Working With a Realtor

The best tip for buying a home is not to do it alone. Realtors can assist you with every aspect of shopping for a home. From researching the market to representing you throughout sale negotiations, a realtor’s ultimate job is to provide you with peace of mind. When working with a realtor, they can help you find the home that meets your budget and your lifestyle. Additionally, real estate agents speed up the process of buying a home because their knowledge and experience help them be more efficient throughout the entire process. This means you will save both time and money and have the peace of mind in knowing all the details are being handled by a professional.

Are you interested in learning more benefits of working with a realtor? 

The post Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Home? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Home?

Buying a home is a major investment, and it comes with a lot of variables. From finding the right neighborhood to determining how much home your budget allows, it is a complicated task. Because of the difficulties involved, many prospective homebuyers decide to work with a full-service realtor. However, if you decide to go on this venture by yourself, here are the top things you’ll want to know before you buy a home without a realtor. 

 

Consider These 5 Things Before Buying a Home Without a Realtor:

Forbes shared 5 times to consider buying a home without a realtor:

1. You’re Related to the Seller

You might be able to avoid hiring a real estate agent if you’re selling a home within your family. In that case, as long as you’ve agreed on a price and other important transaction details, you’ll probably be able to handle it without the seller paying thousands of dollars in commission. Regardless, consult a lawyer to conduct a title search on the property and ensure that all paperwork is properly filled out, reviewed, and filed.

 

2. You Know the Area

When you’re buying a home in a neighborhood you know well, you might not think it’s necessary to hire a buyer’s agent. However, a real estate agent can provide more information than just market knowledge, such as assisting you in finding the right home and negotiating with the seller’s agent.

 

3. You Can Save Money

In rare circumstances, a buyer may be required to pay all or part of a buyer’s agent’s commission. Someone selling a home on their own, for example, might state in their listing that they will not negotiate fees with a buyer’s agent. In this case, instead of hiring an agent, you might decide it’s worthwhile to try to work directly with the seller.

 

4. You Get to Work Alone

Even though they are legally required to represent your interests, you may be wary of dealing with a buyer’s agent. If you believe an agent would rush you into a deal or match you with the wrong house, you might feel more at ease handling it yourself.

When dealing with the seller’s agent, you’ll want to make sure you’re not overmatched. Think of it like negotiating a divorce settlement with just the counsel and expertise of the other party’s lawyer—it might not go well for you.

 

5. You’re Buying a New Home

If you’re only interested in buying a newly constructed home, you might be able to work out a deal with the builder directly. According to the NAR survey, about 6% of buyers worked with a builder or builder’s agent to purchase a home in 2020.

 

real estate agent helping someone with paperwork

 

The Benefits of Working With a Realtor

The best tip for buying a home is not to do it alone. Realtors can assist you with every aspect of shopping for a home. From researching the market to representing you throughout sale negotiations, a realtor’s ultimate job is to provide you with peace of mind. When working with a realtor, they can help you find the home that meets your budget and your lifestyle. Additionally, real estate agents speed up the process of buying a home because their knowledge and experience help them be more efficient throughout the entire process. This means you will save both time and money and have the peace of mind in knowing all the details are being handled by a professional.

Are you interested in learning more benefits of working with a realtor? 

The post Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Home? appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists

Finding your dream home may not be easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier, like creating a “Must-Haves” list and a “Nice-To-Haves” list. These lists allow serious home buyers to save time, energy, and ultimately, money as they prepare to buy a home.

A Must-Have List is exactly what it sounds like, a checklist of the details that are non-negotiable for your new home. It’s essential to sit down and think about the things you need in order to feel comfortable there for the next 7-13 years.

Your “Nice-To-Haves” list is a checklist of details that you’d like to have, but you can live without. This list is great for those things that you’ve always dreamed of but may be out of reach for reasons such as your budget or location. This list may include things like fireplaces or gas appliances, a pool, or other non-essential items.

Your “Must-Haves” list focuses your search and helps your agent narrow down which homes are worth your time. Your “Nice-to-Haves” list will help you determine what you’re willing to sacrifice, which will ultimately solidify your must-haves.

These lists can also help manage your expectations regarding price. Take your lists to your real estate agent, along with your pre-approval from a lender, and you’ll be able to work together to determine what is a reasonable ask within your budget and your desired location.

Creating Your “Must-Haves” List

The first step is to think about the essentials. If things like location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are a priority, then you’ll want to include them in your must-haves. Consider where you live now and use that as a starting point; what do you love and what are you missing? You may need more storage space, or an extra room to work remote, or a larger backyard for the newest member of the family.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Must-Haves” list:

  • Where do you want to live? (Be as specific as you can.)
  • What do you have now that you can’t live without?
  • What are you missing now that you may need for the next several years?

If you’re struggling to determine what it is you need to have, you can start working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list. This can also help you determine what is essential. For example, it may be nice to have five bedrooms when in reality, a three-bedroom house with a flex space that works for an office or guest room would do the trick.

Creating your “Nice-To-Haves” List

While you’re working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list, you’ll be thinking about the parts of a home that would be great to have but aren’t as important for you. You might also want to take into consideration what is reasonable in your area and if it’s a common amenity.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Nice-To-Haves” list:

  • What home upgrades are you willing to make?
  • What is something you’d like to do in your house more often?
  • What do you have in your current home that you love, but don’t need?

Searching for Your Next Home

These lists will help guide you and your real estate agent as you search for your next home. During this process you might realize some aspects aren’t as important to you as you thought, and vice versa. Keep your agent in the loop as you update your lists so they can continue to search for the perfect home for you.

Looking for a real estate agent who can help guide you through the home buying process? Connect with an Agent:

 

The post Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.

Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists

Finding your dream home may not be easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier, like creating a “Must-Haves” list and a “Nice-To-Haves” list. These lists allow serious home buyers to save time, energy, and ultimately, money as they prepare to buy a home.

A Must-Have List is exactly what it sounds like, a checklist of the details that are non-negotiable for your new home. It’s essential to sit down and think about the things you need in order to feel comfortable there for the next 7-13 years.

Your “Nice-To-Haves” list is a checklist of details that you’d like to have, but you can live without. This list is great for those things that you’ve always dreamed of but may be out of reach for reasons such as your budget or location. This list may include things like fireplaces or gas appliances, a pool, or other non-essential items.

Your “Must-Haves” list focuses your search and helps your agent narrow down which homes are worth your time. Your “Nice-to-Haves” list will help you determine what you’re willing to sacrifice, which will ultimately solidify your must-haves.

These lists can also help manage your expectations regarding price. Take your lists to your real estate agent, along with your pre-approval from a lender, and you’ll be able to work together to determine what is a reasonable ask within your budget and your desired location.

Creating Your “Must-Haves” List

The first step is to think about the essentials. If things like location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are a priority, then you’ll want to include them in your must-haves. Consider where you live now and use that as a starting point; what do you love and what are you missing? You may need more storage space, or an extra room to work remote, or a larger backyard for the newest member of the family.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Must-Haves” list:

  • Where do you want to live? (Be as specific as you can.)
  • What do you have now that you can’t live without?
  • What are you missing now that you may need for the next several years?

If you’re struggling to determine what it is you need to have, you can start working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list. This can also help you determine what is essential. For example, it may be nice to have five bedrooms when in reality, a three-bedroom house with a flex space that works for an office or guest room would do the trick.

Creating your “Nice-To-Haves” List

While you’re working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list, you’ll be thinking about the parts of a home that would be great to have but aren’t as important for you. You might also want to take into consideration what is reasonable in your area and if it’s a common amenity.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Nice-To-Haves” list:

  • What home upgrades are you willing to make?
  • What is something you’d like to do in your house more often?
  • What do you have in your current home that you love, but don’t need?

Searching for Your Next Home

These lists will help guide you and your real estate agent as you search for your next home. During this process you might realize some aspects aren’t as important to you as you thought, and vice versa. Keep your agent in the loop as you update your lists so they can continue to search for the perfect home for you.

Looking for a real estate agent who can help guide you through the home buying process? Connect with an Agent:

 

The post Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists appeared first on Fort Collins Real Estate | Fort Collins Homes for Sale & Property Search.