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By The Roshek Group | Agent in Woodland Park, CO
  • Keep Some Cash In Hand When Selling

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs  |  August 16, 2012 1:40 PM  |  153 views  |  1 comment

    This week's blog is courtesy of the Coldwell Banker Blue Matter Blog site.  Enjoy!

    How to Limit Spending When Getting A Home Ready To Sell

    It is common for homeowners to think that selling a home is an expensive endeavor, which may in turn cause them to hold off on putting their home on the market. From repairs to staging the process can seem overwhelming. However, with the advice of a real estate agent, sellers often find there are several ways to keep costs low and come out on top during the selling process.

    Work with a seasoned professional

    Those who are unfamiliar with the selling process may try to take on everything themselves, which can lead to errors regarding documents, home staging, repairs and inspections. While many individuals initially opt for the “go-it-alone” approach to save money, working with seasoned professionals can help avoid costly errors. Real estate agents can provide sound advice on staging a home, accepting offers and enhancing listings to attract more buyers.

    A home inspector is another asset consumers should take advantage of to save money. Buyers will likely hire their own inspector to examine a home, and if they find significant problems, they may ask sellers to lower their asking price or walk away altogether. However, sellers who discover issues beforehand and have them repaired may be in a better position to price their homes and mitigate potential problems.

    Keep improvements to a minimum

    Minor updates to a home can be helpful in attracting buyers. However, going overboard on updates to sell a home may not give sellers the kind of return they are expecting. For example, adding on an office addition or turning the basement into a den may make a home more appealing, but buyers may be unlikely to pay a great deal extra for it, according to the National Association of Realtors. Instead, sellers may benefit more from small touch-ups, such as repainting the home, adding new fixtures and hiring a landscaper to improve a property’s curb appeal.

    Not sure where to start with your exterior? Realtor.com posted great suggestions that included:

    • Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
    • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
    • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
    • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
    • Clean and align gutters.
    • Inspect and clean the chimney.
    • Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
    • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
    • In Northern winters, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.
    • During spring and summer months consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
    • Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
    • Keep your garage door closed.
    • Store RVs or old and beaten up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
    • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door.

    In some cases, individuals who have outdated kitchens and appliances may want to undertake a larger project, such as replacing floors or countertops. Sellers who decide to take on these renovations should stick to materials used in similar homes in the neighborhood. For example, buyers may be more inclined to purchase a home if the newly-remodeled kitchen countertops are made of granite, like the neighboring homes, rather than tile.

  • How to Choose the Best Lender for Your Colorado Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs  |  May 18, 2012 8:39 AM  |  157 views  |  No comments

    There are lots of things to do before you buy your Colorado home. One of the most important things is finding the right lender.  While it’s tempting to go with the one offering the lowest rate, there are other things you should consider when setting up what will be a long-term relationship.


    Here are some ways to make the best choice.


    Ask Around – Check with family, friends or co-workers. Ask what they specifically liked or didn’t like about their loan process or their lender. You can also check with your real estate agent for a recommendation.


    Do a Background Check – It’s not all about interest rates. Use personal sources or the Internet to check out the experience and reputation of your potential lender. See if your current bank offers special deals for its customers.


    Conduct Interviews – Either by phone or in person, ask questions about the various loan programs offered. You can do this even if you’re not applying for a loan yet. Find out how each option will work for you today, and in the future how you can communicate with the lender if needed, and how long the loan process will take.


    One very important thing to know is whether your lender will service the loan for your Pikes Peak house or sell it to a large lending corporation. It’s a bit harder to get help with issues from a big corporation than your local bank or credit union.


    The kind of service you get in this process is a good benchmark for how you’ll be treated if you become a customer. Don’t go with anyone who is difficult to reach or otherwise uncooperative.


    Be Open to Discussion – A good lender will absolutely ask questions about your financial goals as well as your short and long-term plans for homeownership. They will tell you how you can improve your credit to better your chances of acceptance and will tie in this loan with your overall financial plan. Answering honestly will help you get the best deal possible on your desired Colorado Springs property.


    Keep It Simple – Decide whether your aim is to pay off the loan in a certain amount of time or to create the lowest monthly payments. Then ask the lender for a written statement or spreadsheet that clearly compares each loan’s interest rate, points and lender fees so you can choose the plan that fits best. Taxes and insurance generally are the same for all lenders, so save that discussion for the final stages of the process.


    Take the time to find the lender who will provide great service as well as a great rate. You’ll be happier in the long run.

    We can help you find the right house and an experienced lender to finance it. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak area, contact
    The Roshek Group! We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

  • Reasons to Refinance Your Colorado Home

    Posted Under: Financing in Colorado Springs, Property Q&A in Colorado Springs  |  April 20, 2012 3:47 PM  |  180 views  |  No comments

    Everyone wants to save money, and where your Colorado mortgage is concerned, the more savings the better. This is the primary reason most people refinance. 


    But there are at least five other good reasons to refinance, each with its own special benefit, and all can be helpful in the right circumstances.

    1.    Shorten Your Payment Years – By refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage, you decrease your total interest amount because you’re paying the loan off sooner. (Though with this option your monthly payments will increase.) Shorter-term loans often have lower interest rates as well.

    2.    Fixed Interest Rate – An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) looks great when you first get it because interest rates are low. But you never know when those interest rates will spike and blow a hole in your budget. Today’s low rates argue for the switch from an ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage. The fixed-rate interest might be a bit higher, but your monthly payment will stay the same for the life of your loan.

    3.    Additional Cash – Known as a cash-out mortgage refinance, this is a great way to turn the equity in your Pikes Peak property into money for special needs—special being defined as something with long-term benefits such as college tuition or a major home improvement, not that little sports car you’ve always wanted. You only want to take on extra debt for a really good reason.

    4.    Debt Consolidation – Roll the mortgage and equity debt on your Colorado Springs home into one loan. This results in only one monthly payment to your lender, which is often a lower amount than the two separate loan payments combined.

    5.    Financial Stability After Divorce – Generally, only one party gets to keep the home in a divorce settlement, but sometimes both parties will be required to pay the mortgage. Refinancing in this case makes the designated homeowner responsible for payments and the other party can walk away.

    When refinancing for any of these reasons, do your homework. Check with your current lender about preferred rates or other deals. If you’re not satisfied, investigate other lenders in your area, and research online for even more options. No matter which option you choose, your budget will breathe a sigh of relief—and you’ll be armed and ready when it’s time to buy your next home.


    Our expert agents can help with all your real estate needs. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak area, contact The Roshek Group!  We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

  • Avoid Last-Minute Mortgage Issues on Your Colorado Home

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs, Credit Score in Colorado Springs  |  April 6, 2012 7:59 AM  |  260 views  |  No comments

    More often than not, mortgage closings go off without a hitch. But today, lenders are extremely cautious about handing out their money and will sometimes continue checking information right up to the closing date, even for Colorado homebuyers with good credit.


    To make getting your mortgage a hassle-free process, follow these rules of thumb.


    Hold Major Purchases Until After Closing – Until you’ve actually signed the mortgage agreement, wait on buying that new car or big appliance. If your bank investigates, it will see this as more debt for you and more risk for them and potentially pull the loan. Even buying with cash can be an issue because lenders check cash reserves when approving a loan.


    Wait on Big Career Moves – Because lenders heavily consider salary and job stability when granting loans for a Pikes Peak property, a career change could hurt your chances for approval. The bank could pull the loan or hold off approval until there’s proof that your new job is stable and provides enough income to pay your mortgage.


    Expect an 11th Hour Credit Check – New rules created by Fannie Mae mean that lenders will probably make a final credit check just before your closing.  If you’ve missed or are late on any bill payments in the period between your approval and closing dates, you could lose the loan. Applying for a credit card is also a negative as it could reduce your credit score.


    Set Aside Cash for the Closing – It’s essential that you have enough ready cash set aside for closing costs. On a $200,000 mortgage, a three percent closing cost means you need $6,000 before you even add in points and closing fees. And know that these numbers can increase at the last minute. If you don’t have this money already set aside, you might lose that awesome Colorado Springs home.


    These are not the only possible issues to avoid, but they hold one of the biggest consequences. Losing your mortgage can mean losing the home you’ve searched long and hard to find. A little up-front knowledge and preparation can help prevent any last-minute surprises.


    It’s important to work with an agent who knows how to avoid all the potential pitfalls of the real estate process.  When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak area, call The Roshek Group!  We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

  • Options for Buying a Colorado Foreclosure

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs, Foreclosure in Colorado Springs  |  March 23, 2012 10:44 AM  |  263 views  |  No comments

    Walk or drive through any neighborhood in Pikes Peak or the surrounding area, and there’s a chance you’ll see a home that’s in foreclosure. It’s sad for the families who’ve lost their house, but it’s also an opportunity for many buyers who otherwise could not afford to buy a home.


    Many folks wonder whether foreclosures are safe to buy.  According to Houselogic, there are two options for buying a foreclosure, each with its pros and cons.


    Buying at Auction – In this scenario, you bid on the foreclosed Colorado home on the steps of the local courthouse. The risk in this case is that you won’t be able to inspect the home before the auction to learn about potential issues, such as the ones that follow.

    • If the house has been empty for a while, there could be bug infestations, burst pipes, or kicked-in walls. However, you buy “as is” and won’t know what you have till you own it.
    • If there’s a tenant in the house who doesn’t want to leave, you are responsible for the eviction process and all its potential costs.
    • The home’s title might not be clear or it could have liens.
    • Even if you’ve already put down a cash deposit, the previous owner could file for a last-minute bankruptcy, which cancels the foreclosure—and your purchase.

    So while buying at auction can be a price bargain, it’s sometimes not worth all the headaches.  Generally only investors and house flippers are willing to take on these particular risks and challenges.

    Buying from a Bank – If a Colorado Springs home doesn’t sell at auction, the bank takes ownership of the title and puts the home on the market for 20 to 30 percent above the minimum auction price. The bank also hires a Realtor® to handle the sale. This is just like buying a non-foreclosed house, but the bank is the owner.


    The potential risk here is lack of maintenance on the house. A bank might not have stayed on top of upkeep for the vacant house, and the former homeowners probably pulled out anything they could sell, including appliances. Something as “minor” as peeling paint can make it harder to get a mortgage. So buyers have to do a lot of the fix-ups themselves, possibly even before they own the property.


    The upside is that on average you’ll pay 20 percent less than for a non-foreclosed home.  And if a bank-owned house is on the market, it generally has a clear title. However, you should still consult an attorney to confirm this and be sure to get title insurance.


    Knowing your options for buying a foreclosure can get you a great deal while helping you avoid some of the more expensive pitfalls.


    Our staff has solid experience working with foreclosed homes. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak area, call The Roshek Group!  We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

  • Get That Colorado Home Loan—Even with Poor Credit

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs, Property Q&A in Colorado Springs  |  February 17, 2012 7:53 PM  |  237 views  |  No comments

    You’ve found the Pikes Peak home of your dreams, but you think your credit isn’t good enough to qualify for a mortgage. Not to worry, says the AOL Real Estate website. Even buyers who’ve had foreclosures, bankruptcies, or previous loan rejections can still become loan eligible—by knowing some valuable tips.

    It will take work, but you can increase your chances by highlighting your “compensating factors,” i.e. those things that don’t show up as part of your bad credit score. Here are seven things that will put you in the best possible financial light with lenders and improve your chances for that loan.


    Other Assets – This includes things like a large 401(k) account or other retirement accounts which tell lenders that you have some financial resources if you get into trouble with your mortgage.

    Job Stability – Being at a job five years or more can offset a bad credit history. Let the lender know how your income has increased over the years through regular pay raises as well as cost-of-living or annual merit increases. Lenders want to know you can cover any unexpected costs that come along.

    Discipline, Consistency, Stability – Show lenders your current savings account or 401(K) balance to prove you’ve kicked your bad credit habits.

    Put Down Roots – If you’ve lived in your current Colorado Springs home for three years or more, this shows that you’re connected to the community and will probably stay put for several years. Lenders like permanence.

    Big Down Payment – The bigger this is, the faster you’ll be approved. If you don’t have at least ten percent, check into state and local assistance programs for help. Show the lender you can be trusted to figure out your financial problems.

    Start Small – Know what you can afford and stay within your limits. Better to own a Colorado home you can afford right now than buy outside your means and lose it down the road, adding to your bad credit woes.

    Documentation – Provide lenders with canceled checks for payments made as well as bank statements that prove you’re saving regularly. These offer solid proof that you pay your bills and are being truthful about your credit history.

    No one’s credit is perfect. But if yours is of the “really less than perfect” variety, presenting these positive aspects of your financial life can set a lender’s mind at ease and ultimately get you the loan for that great property in Colorado.

    No matter what your financial situation, we can help find a home for your budget. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak Area, call The Roshek Group! We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

  • The “Don’ts” of Great Colorado Credit Scores

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Colorado Springs, Financing in Colorado Springs, Credit Score in Colorado Springs  |  February 8, 2012 8:50 PM  |  314 views  |  No comments

    You know your credit score is important. The closer your score is to 800 the better your chances of securing a loan for that beautiful Colorado Springs home. A high score also means better rates and terms for the loan. However, many people don’t realize that certain negative actions can bring down your credit score—and keep it there for seven years or more. 


    From RealtyTimes, here are seven things that can wreck your credit score and your subsequent eligibility for financing.


    1.   Frequent Late Payments (aka Deadbeat Behavior) – Consistently making payments 30, 60, or 90 days late should be avoided. Know that paying even 30 days late can stay on your report for many years.

    2.   Collections – If your lender contacts a collection agency to obtain your payment, it’s reported to the credit bureaus and this negative information stays put on your report for seven years.

    3.   Charge Offs – Another seven years of damage result if your lender charges off your debt because they know you’re never going to pay.

    4.   Public Proceedings – Examples include bankruptcy, tax liens, or other financial judgments assessed to you. Even if you pay them off, they’ll show for seven years on your report. Bankruptcies can hang on for ten years and you never get rid of an unpaid tax lien.

    5.   Settlements – This means paying part of your debt in a settlement such as a mortgage short sale. Whether for mortgage, credit cards, or other debts, a settlement notice means (you guessed it) seven years of an undesirable credit score.

    6.   Foreclosures – Whether your lender forecloses on your Pikes Peak home or you give it to the lender in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, it’s another seven year stain on your report.

    7.   Vehicle Repossessions – Not paying the car loan means the repo man takes the car and your credit score takes another nasty hit.


    For those who’ve managed to avoid the things on this list, keep up the good work! If you’ve made one or more of these errors, there is still hope for buying a home in Colorado. With a lot of patience and hard work, you can get your credit score back in line. And now you know what not to do to keep it there.


    No matter what your financial situation, we can help find a home for your budget. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Pike’s Peak Area, call The Roshek Group! We are ready to help you with all of your real estate needs.

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