Of course, Realtors are, by definition, optimistic. Otherwise how could we continue to do what we do. We sell homes to clients and friends and I would like to believe that most of us do that in good conscience.
That said, you might want to consider doing some independent research. Denver is not a great real estate market right now and no one can predict exactly when it will improve. Nor, can anyone realistically predict how bad it will get. However, there is some underlying factors that are very promising about the Denver market.
Denver is still a net growth market. Jobs are increasing. More people are moving into the metropolitan area than moving out. The economy here is still healthy. None of these things were true in Denver experienced its worst recession in housing. That was during the 1980s. We were a one employer town. And that employer was energy. When energy declined, jobs evaporated and people started moving out. Homes depreciated an average of 2%-3% per year during that period.
We just don't have that kind of market now. Could happen in the future? Sure. But, it would have to have a catastrophic event in the economy for that to occur.
What is the worst case did occur? Yes you could get stuck. Then what would you do? You'd have to do it people in the 1980s did. That was either to sell for less money than the last home sold for or rent out your home until things improved. Right now, that might not be such a bad alternative. Rents are rising here dramatically. It is not difficult to rent a good house.
When I rent in this market? Personally, I wouldn't. I believe the risk is low enough that buying is the better decision. Plus wait until you see what kind of rentals you can get in the same price range of monthly payment compared to buying a home. Rentals are generally not in good condition and often have bad locations.
I would suggest looking at both rentals and properties to purchase. That will give you a good comparison between the two. Best of luck and enjoy your new home in our great city!
Warren Petracek, GRI, SRES
Broker Associate, Showcase Properties Unlimited
Certified Residental Appraiser
I certainly hope it doesn't get worse 5 years from now than what it is currently. Real Estate, like any business, is cyclical. It goes up and it goes down and how long the highs and lows last is just a good guess but I think most believe it will be on an up swing 5 years from now. Again, no guarantees except that whatever goes up must come down, and whatever goes down must come up.
It is a buyers market with low mortgage rates. Much better to buy in this market than a sellers market and high mortgage rates. Find an excellent, experienced buyers agent. Maybe interview 2-3. Find someone who knows the stats, current events/plan and historical data for the area you are interested in. Location, location, location is going to play a big part of your ability to resale. Find an agent to help with that.
Lastly, there is one assurance in regards to the bottom falling out. First the people of America need housing and since we aren't making any more land/dirt you know there will always be value in it. Second, it's not like owning stock in a company and having a piece of paper that can go up in smoke with an indicted CEO.
There are great first time home buyer programs in CO. Make sure you check into them when get close to buying.
Here's an article you may find useful on availability and current loan costs:
Good luck with your search.
Have you decided on renting vs. buying? There is a great article in this month's 5280 magazine that I think you might find useful.
According to a recent article in Realtor Magazine, Denver is currently ranked 7th in the nation for cities that are good for home seller. This is due to a significant drop in new home construction and an increase in the job market. That being said, if you plan on staying here closer to the 5-year mark buying a home would be your best bet. Not only would it allow time for the market to recover, but you wouldn't have to worry about capital gains taxes.
Colorado is also an excellent state for first-time home buyers thanks to the CHFA (the Colorado Housing and Financing Administration) and FHA programs that are available. I've worked almost exclusively with first-time buyers in this market because that is where the real opportunity is now. Low prices, low interest rates, and a lot of properties to choose from.
I also have a fantastic search tool that I would love for you to check out. My other out of state buyers have really found it very useful, as it accesses all the homes in the MLS and provides a ton of bells and whistles that will help educate you on the area. Best of all, it's free and comes with no obligation.
Let me know if you'd like me to enroll you.
John Keene, EcoBroker
* call to find out how you can live carbon free for 3-years!
For now, most of Metro Denver has been removed from the Declining Markets Watch List, meaning prices have leveled. (I can send you the list if you wish, it is dynamic loaded with macros, meaning when you open it, it will be up to date with latest changes).
2-5 years down the road could be anyone's guess. And, "yes" it could fall apart that bad, but it could also hold together and even grow, "That Good".
One should never put on the table what they cannot afford to loose. If it is THAT critical to you, renting might be your option. I would suggest you contact a local Denver Lender/Broker and discuss your options.
I can refer you to someone if you wish.............but the list is short.. :)
For a free list of homes in Englewood and surrounding areas: FindingTheHome.com -- Your list will be sent to you within 24 hours.
Kathryn Carlson, Licensed Real Estate Broker Owner ,
Bachelor of Science, Realtor, Accredited. Luxury Home Specialist, e-Pro Certified
Memberships: National Association of Realtors,
Colorado Association of Realtors, Denver Board of Realtors, Council of Residential Specialists,
Council of Luxury Home Specialists, Colorado Mortgage Holding Company, Licensed HUD Broker, Denver Metrolist
Homes and Lifestyles of Colorado
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Coincidentally, my spouse and I are moving to the Denver area in May also.
Come to Colorado with your wife! You will love living here! Buy in an area that is experiencing a high appreciation over other area(s). Englewood is a great investment- as well as the surrounding areas. Don't worry about FHA guidelines and first time home buyer programs- they are actually getting stronger than ever. Meaning- you are good! In fact, FHA didn't get much business over the last few year(s) because of the sub-prime market (100% financing with 80/20 loans). So they are coming back in to the market stronger than ever and they want you to own a home! They are getting extremely creative with their financing! Buy at the low end of your budget- but don't be afraid to spend more if the investment makes sense. I would suggest that you do a FHA loan (30 year fixed- keeps you safe) and negotiate with a seller 3% downpayment through a governmental grant program such as Neimiah program (this gives you 3% equity to start). You also can negotiate that a seller pays for your closing cost which is around 2.5% after that use the rest to buy down your interest rate. If none of this makes sense- contact me so that I can put you in touch with my mortgage consultant to explain more in depth what this looks like on paper. One last thing, try to do the above mentioned items without increasing the purchase price above and beyond asking price. Professionally speaking the market is picking up- Colorado is one of the best places to live. I say this only as a native who has lived here my entire life. Tried other places- stuck on the sunshine and mountains! I am certain you will enjoy them too-
Feel free to utilize the website below and email me direct if you need more advice.
Broker Associate, REALTOR
All of the real estate information I can get my hands on and several economists are predicting Denver to have bottomed out on market declines for 2008. Predictions are for prices, metro wide, to start increasing again in 2009.
If you have reasonably good credit, you will ALWAYS be able to get financing. Lenders are not all going out of business. FHA financing only requires a three percent down payment. If you have good credit, many lenders are still offering 100% financing. There are many great loan programs available for first time buyers. We just need to get you in touch with a local lender.
Hope this helps you. Feel free to contact me directly for more information.
Bill Kosena, ABR, CRS, SRES