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Jim Garcia's Blog

By Jim Garcia Real Estate Agent | Broker in Castle Rock, CO
  • Avoid Foreclosure

    Posted Under: General Area in Castle Rock, Home Selling in Castle Rock, Property Q&A in Castle Rock  |  April 11, 2014 8:46 AM  |  415 views  |  No comments

    Avoid Foreclosure

    Are you a homeowner trying to avoid foreclosure? If you are struggling to make or are already behind on payments, here are some ideas that may help to avoid losing your home. Whether you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines or anywhere in Colorado, familiarize yourself with strategies and options to possibly save your home.

    Get in contact with your lender immediately. As soon as you think you may miss a payment or foresee financial distress ahead, stay in contact with the lender. The key is to be proactive with your mortgage lender; do not push the issue under the rug until you start receiving collection notices or calls. Often by the time it is too late to avoid foreclosure.

    Lenders are often reluctant to work with the homeowner after foreclosure proceedings begin. Let them know if your situation is temporary or something more serious like loss of employment. Keep an accurate detailed record of all information discussed and utilize certified mail for proof of any payments or information asked for by the lender. Keep in mind that lenders lose a lot of money in foreclosures, so it behooves both parties to remain in close communication. Contact your Colorado lender as soon as possible.

    Early on consider a short sale or even selling your home. Interview experienced foreclosure real estate agents to determine if either of the these are viable options. Selling your home may not be what you want to do but it is better than a foreclosure on your credit record.

    Mortgage Forbearance is an option to avoid foreclosure and is sometimes offered to the borrower as a temporary way to hold off foreclosure proceedings. The goal of mortgage loan forbearance is to help you get your home loan payments including tax and insurance escrow or impound accounts suspended or reduced for a set period of time. If you’re suffering from a temporary significant reduction in your income or an increase in your expenses, you may qualify. Talk to your lender to see what you need to do to qualify.

    Reinstatement is when the lender may reinstate the loan if the borrower promises to make up the back payments by agreed set time. Reinstatement is often coupled with forbearance and a repayment plan.

    Loan Modification is an important option to consider. The lender can make a permanent change to one or more of the terms of your loan in order to make your payments more affordable. Those terms could include the amount of money paid each month, reducing the interest rate, extending the repayment term of the loan, agreeing to reduce the principle balance of your loan or changing the loan's annual percentage rate (APR) to a fixed rate. There is a processing fee involved with a loan modification.

    Refinance your mortgage is sometimes a good option especially if you have a high interest rate. However, be mindful that refinancing can be expensive because points, closing costs and additional fees may be included. Make sure you and your lender are on the same page.

    Chapter 13 Bankruptcy may also help avoid foreclosure because the lender may not proceed with the foreclosure once under the supervision of the bankruptcy courts. This allows you to restructure your debt while you retain possession of your home.

    If you absolutely have to give up your home consider Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. This will stall the sale for a few months while the bankruptcy is pending allowing you to live in your house for free. Chapter 7 also cancels debt that is second by your home such as home equity loans and mortgages. Either way always hire a qualified attorney that will work with your lender and have the ability to protect you and possibly apply some leverage that you as a layperson could not readily do yourself to avoid foreclosure and the loss of your investment.

    So before you give up and walk away from your home consider looking into one or all of these options. Foreclosing on your home will damage your credit and make it very difficult to buy another home in the future.

    If you are looking for a local realtor and would like more information, here is Jim's contact information and online resume.

    Jim Garcia

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.linkedin.com/in/garciajim/

    www.castlepines-realestate.com 

  • Castle Rock Police Department Information

    Posted Under: General Area in Castle Rock, Crime & Safety in Castle Rock, In My Neighborhood in Castle Rock  |  April 11, 2014 8:35 AM  |  369 views  |  No comments

    Castle Rock Police Department is located at 100 Perry St. in Castle Rock, Colorado and is recognized as one of the safest communities along Colorado's front range. The Police Department focuses on education and crime prevention. Since 2002 the number of major crimes has decreased even though the the population has doubled and the economy has slowed. Whether buying a home in Castle Rock or Castle Pines Colorado, it's important to know where your local authorities are located, the services they offer and how far they are from your home.The Castle Rock Police Department is located approximately 16 minutes south of Castle Pines.

    Castle Rock Police Department continually invest available resources toward community wide economic viability, safety and security as well as maintaining the positive reputation of Douglas County's Law enforcement services. They are able to provide these services through new technology, working in partnership with the community as well as a highly-trained and dedicated team of professionals who utilize their unique skills and talents. Castle Rock Police Department states their responsibility is to keep public safety in Castle Rock and enforce law in fair and impartial manners, recognizing the constitutional rights of all citizens as well as police statutory and judicial limitations.

    The Castle Rock Police Department utilize CodeRED an emergency communication network. This system enables local government officials to record, send and track personalized critical information to thousands of Castle Rock citizens and businesses in minutes. The information provided will update you on the status of ongoing emergencies or disasters and where to go to find emergency services and safety locations. CodeRed will also alert you to situations such as child abduction all the way to evacuation plans.

    The Department also provides a Special Operation Division that offers services such as Animal Protection, Community Policing, Traffic Division, and a Regional S.W.A.T. Team. Offered also are Community Resources such as Crime Stoppers, drug addiction and prevention services as well as victim and family assistance. The Investigation Line provides a narcotic tip line, assistance with issues such as identity theft, internet crimes on children and sex crime information. Protect yourself, your family and your community by becoming informed. To reach the Castle Rock Police Department and learn more about services provided, you can phone them at (303) 663-6100 or find them on the internet at crgov.com. 

    If you are looking for a local Realtor in Castle Rock and would like more information, here is Jim's contact information and online resume.

    Jim Garcia

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385- 4497 

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.linkedin.com/in/garciajim/

    www.castlepines-realestate.com

  • Castle Rock area is golf paradise

    Posted Under: General Area in Castle Rock, Quality of Life in Castle Rock, Parks & Recreation in Castle Rock  |  February 24, 2014 7:43 AM  |  442 views  |  1 comment

    It's no secret why the Castle Rock area is a golf paradise! With some of Colorado finest courses and an incredible 243 days of sunshine on average, these courses are a challenge for both the recreational and serious golfer. Tee off at nationally acclaimed public links and pristine courses offering beautiful scenery, wildlife and excellent clubhouses. Castle  Rock home owners, visitors to the city and professionals all agree that Castle Rock offers many of the best places to golf.

    The Ridge at Castle Pines North, Colorado was designed in 1997 by Tom Weiskopffamous, winner of 16 PGA Tours and  famous course designer. This impeccable course will provide enjoyment and challenge for every caliber of golfer offering a par 71 challenge playing from 4 sets of tees ranging from 5,000 yards to more than 7,000 yards. This course was ranked #66 on Golf Magazine's 'National Top 100 Week. Sculpted bunkers, rolling greens and spacious fairways contribute to the ability to view the beautiful Mt. Evans, Devil's Head, and Pike's Peak. Year round season open to the public, a driving range and pro teaching are just a few of the perks also offered. Visit their website at playtheridge.com to see prices and tee times. 

    Red Hawk Ridge Golf course located in Castle Rock, Colorado was designed in 1999 by Jim Engh award winning golf course architect. Voted 7th "Best New Affordable Public Course" by Golf Digest in 1999 this beautiful layout offers an 18 hole regulation length course, 72 par | 6,942 yards | 129 slope | USGA 71.6 rating. With beautiful rolling course terrain, significant elevation changes, wide fairways,  and strategically placed bunkers, this municipal course offers fun for beginning golfers or a challenge for golf professionals. Castle Rock residents and visitors truly enjoy this golf course with breathtaking scenic mountains in addition to abundant wildlife. PGA professional instructors offer lessons on a 3,000 square foot putting green in addition to a 50 tee driving range. For further information regarding the pro shop, tee times and other amenities visit redhawkridge.com.

    There are numerous private, semi-private and public courses near the city of Castle Rock. If you desire to have golf right in your back yard, there are many homes for sale situated up against the greens. For a listing of golf courses in Castle Rock and the near vicinity check out http://www.golflink.

    cleardot Castle Rock Area Golf ParadiseIf you are looking for a local realtor in Castle Rock or homes for sale in Castle Rock and would like more information, here is Jim's contact information and online resume.

    Jim Garica

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.linkedin.com/in/garciajim/

    www.castlepines-realestate.com


  • Buying a Home from a New Home Builder - Part 1

    Posted Under: General Area in Castle Rock, Home Buying in Castle Rock, Property Q&A in Castle Rock  |  December 13, 2013 10:31 AM  |  475 views  |  1 comment

    Home Buyers usually ask 2 general questions when it comes to buying a new home: 1) Why do I need a Real Estate Agent if I am Buying from a new home builder? 2) One Builder offers more incentives to buy their house versus another builder, but the second builder has nicer homes with no incentives. Which builder should I choose? We will discuss both of these topics in a 2 part series.

    1) Why do I need a Real Estate Agent if I am Buying from a new home builder?

    A) In Colorado the Buyer Agent fees are paid by the Seller (i.e., the builder in this case). Thus it will cost you nothing to be represented by a real estate professional who is negotiating and advising you in your best interests with your transaction. A Buyer should want a Realtor helping them with a major transaction especially since their services are at no cost to the Buyer.

    Builders factor in a Buyer Agent fee into the home price. You will not be able to negotiate a better price with the builder because you don't have an Agent with you on the contract. The builder will not tell you this fact. Quite the opposite. If you have an Agent with you, the Agent will more than likely be able to negotiate a better deal for you because you are being represented by a professional who knows the true value of everything that you are buying.

    For example, let's look at upgrade options between 2 builders. I had a situation where one builder was charging $30k for a walkout basement option.  Another builder was charging $15k for the same walkout basement option. Since I was familiar with the local market and the builder charges, it was easy to negotiate a $15k discount for my client. A Buyer not represented by an Agent, more than likely, would not have known this information and would have paid the $30k charge with their purchase.

    Buyer's should consider having an advisor prior to signing a document with any major life changing event especially when purchasing something that does not exist yet.  Many times everything will be okay and many builders do a very good job of making a Buyer happy. But what if not everything goes as planned and issues arise? Who do you call or rely upon when you are alone and trying to figure it out? Another way to state this is: The builder is a professional at what they do. They build houses from dirt up, write their own contracts, state the price, terms and conditions to the Buyer, ensure your earnest money non-refundable and try to maximize their total net profits on each deal. The builder represents the builder, not the Buyer.

    B) The professional Real Estate Agent visits houses on a regular basis. You do not. Your Agent should be able to point out not so obvious things that you might miss. Like, which house has the better floor plan for living. For example, is the model home absolutely gorgeous, well staged, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and you have to have it?  Perhaps you missed that it only has 2 full bathrooms and 2 half bathrooms. That might be an issue with your 4 kids, all getting ready to go to school at the same time each morning with only 1 bathroom for them to use on the upper level. Try to sell that house in 5 years.

    Which is the best lot location and what is a fair price for the lot premium? Typically builders will increase lot premiums for the better lots because they have a limited supply of highly sought after lots.  If you think you are getting a good deal on the lot because there is no premium and you are the first one to "jump" on that deal, think again! You may be getting a bad lot that no one wants, especially when you are looking at a map and no actual roads have been paved. Even worse, you may be buying a lot the builder knows he won't sell for a long time (So they throw in a free washer dryer for you).  After the house is built and when you go to sell your house in 5 years, that lot you purchased with no premium could be a major issue.

    C) Your Agent can help you with the pre-closing process such as inspections. I always suggest to my clients that they have a full set of inspections done prior to the final walkthrough on a new build.  Does that sound strange? Think of it this way. No one has ever lived in the home. So no one knows what works or doesn't work. If you buy from a reputable builder, they will honor their warranty. But what if they are too busy building the house next door?

    Here are a few examples of inspections and issues that might arise. Get a sewer line scope inspection - Just in case a tractor or truck drove over the front yard and crushed the line after it was installed.  Get a complete home inspection - It might reveal code violations like electrical wiring not set properly, or roof tresses not properly braced, or second floor deck railings not properly secured, or an undersized furnace for the total square feet of the house. Get radon test results - Some new home builders will pay for a radon mitigation unit if you show them the test results, many do not. But you should still know if your house has a radon gas issue. The house may look fantastic from the street and you will be excited, but the list of issues can be extensive with a newly built home.

    You have more bargaining power with the builder to resolve issues before they receive their money.

    Buying a home, whether it is new or existing inventory, can be a wonderful and exciting experience. Protect yourself so it really is a "wonderful and exciting experience" -  not a painful and disruptive event - by finding a good local Realtor who knows the area, the builders, is someone you can trust, and has your best interests at heart.

    About: Jim Garcia is a local Realtor, Real Estate Agent/Specialist in the Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Parker, Douglas County, Colorado area.  He is a Premier Agent and Top Producer with Your Castle Real Estate. His background includes 20+ years as a CEO/COO of local companies, working in real estate with new builds, fix & flips/holds and is a real estate investor.

    If you are looking to Buy or Sell a home in the Castle Rock, Castle Pines, or Parker Colorado area, and would like more information, here is Jim's contact information and online resume.

    Jim Garica

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.linkedin.com/in/garciajim/

    www.castlepines-realestate.com

  • MLS Access for Home Buyers

    Posted Under: General Area in Castle Rock, Home Buying in Castle Rock, Property Q&A in Castle Rock  |  November 13, 2013 10:25 AM  |  479 views  |  1 comment

    The Denver Metrolist Service (MLS) now allows direct MLS access for home buyers with the release of their new software system "Matrix". Matrix is the new system recently released and is being used by local Real Estate Agents.

    This system provides home buyers their own web portal which is updated within 15 minutes of a change to any listing on the MLS in their search parameters. The Buyers portal allows the Buyer to manage homes in their search parameters. They can "delete" a property, mark as a "possibility" or a "favorite" home on their personalized search screen.

    When the status of a property changes, so does the Buyers web portal. For example, if a property is a new listing, comes back on the market, has a price decrease, etc. that is noted on the Buyers site.

    Here is a screen shot of a sample portal page:

    CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO OF HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS

     

    This technology is only available to Buyers when working with a Real Estate Agent.

    If you are looking to buy a home in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Parker, or Douglas County Colorado area, and would like to work with a Real Estate Agent who provides this service, please let me know. I would gladly show you the advantages you can have by monitoring and reviewing your own extremely accurate property searches.

    Jim Garcia

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.castlepines-realestate.com

     

  • Castle Rock Condo For Sale - $139,900

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Castle Rock, Rent vs Buy in Castle Rock, Investment Properties in Castle Rock  |  November 4, 2013 9:12 AM  |  370 views  |  No comments

    Here's a deal! A condominium for sale in Castle Rock Colorado for $139,900. Price was just reduced. Unit is FHA approved. 

    2 bedroom, 2 full baths, fireplace in the living room, mountain views, newer built unit, by the outlet malls, newer paint PLUS owners will credit the Seller $1500.00 for new carpet.  

    This unit won't last long a this price. It is less expensive to buy this condo than renting. If you are interested in it, give me a call.

    Jim Garcia

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.castlepines-realestate.com

     

  • Home Mortgage Interest Rates Drop - Again

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Castle Rock, Home Selling in Castle Rock, Financing in Castle Rock  |  November 1, 2013 8:11 AM  |  371 views  |  No comments

    Home mortgage interest rates dropped to just under 4% this week primary due to the feds commitment to on-going funding of the bond market. If you think rates have been crazy with their ups and downs this year, you're not alone. Here's a look back at prime 30 year owner occupied mortgage interest rates.

    In early 2013 interest rates hovered around 3.5%. During the summer rates increased significantly and quickly to around 4.75%. Since topping out just below 5%, rates have slowly pulled back for the past few months. As of this week rates are just around 4.0%.

    The question I have been receiving from Buyers and Sellers is - What should I do? Consider a few facts:

    1) Historically interest rates are in the 6-7% range. Today they are still well below historical ranges at 4%.

    2) Home prices have risen over the past 2 years as inventory levels have dropped and demand has increased. However prices are still lower than the levels before the market crashed for all categories of homes - high end luxury homes to investor and starter properties.

    3) Inventory levels are very low.  In July 2007 there were 30,827  properties listed for sale on the Denver MLS. Historically around 16,000-18,000 is an average number for standard consumption given the average number of 4,000 Buyers per month when looking at a 6 year trend. This year the number of properties listed on the Denver MLS has been below 10,000 for most of the year with a low of 6,682  in March 2013.

    In short, interest rates are historically low. Prices have not rebounded to their all time highs and inventory levels continue to challenge Buyers and Sellers.

    Given these facts, my advice to Buyers and Sellers is the same. Sellers - It is a good time to move to the next point in your life, since you have been waiting for equity to appreciate in your house. You are probably not upside down like you may think you are. So sell your house and go buy the house you want. Buyers - Interest rates are low and prices are still down. If you continue to wait and procrastinate, you may miss a good opportunity to build equity and security with a low monthly payment.

    If you would like a free consultation and home evaluation of the local market in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Parker or Douglas County, Colorado, please let me know. I would be glad to talk with you.

    Go Broncos!!!

    Jim Garcia

    Your Castle Real Estate

    720-385-4497

    jim.garcia@netzero.com

    www.castlepines-realestate.com

     

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