Category Archives: Market Conditions

Vet Village coming to Longmont, CO

Read the FULL ORIGINAL article HERE

Tiny homes just part of a big project for Vets

Tiny homes have an undeniable charm about them. They’re – well, let’s just say it – they’re super cute. An entire neighborhood of tiny homes is downright adorable. But for one particular community, the tininess is ultra-lovable, because it’s about opening up a whole new world for each resident. The people living in those homes were simply trying to make it through another day, and they were suffering. Now they’re being helped big-time, and deservedly so.

The residents are veterans who took an oath when they enlisted to protect our country, and as a result of their military service, they gave up so much physically and emotionally. Following their service, they struggled to survive whether on the streets or on the skids, living a life where making ends meet and staying healthy seemed almost impossible. Veterans Community Project (VCP), based in Kansas City, is working to change those circumstances, and soon Longmont will also have a VCP program.

Founders of VCP, Mark Solomon, Chris Stout, Brandon Mixon, and Bryan Meyer, are combat veterans. Five years ago the friends decided “to do something to able to say yes to veterans, and particularly homeless veterans” and they came up with the Veterans Village tiny home concept. The first subdivision of 49 homes in Kansas is more than halfway complete. In the last two years, the program has helped 7,000 veterans.

“It’s basically houses with dignity,” Solomon said. Living amongst other vets means there’s instant camaraderie and understanding of each other’s’ experiences. Having access to transitional programs that teach life skills, secure employment, address addictions, and provide psychological support makes the program work.

The story of bringing VCP to Longmont starts with Niwot resident Kevin Mulshine. Mulshine learned of Longmont’s Mayor Brian Bagley proclamation to help homeless veterans. Although the number is most likely underestimated, the city identified 20 to 25 homeless vets. Councilwoman Bonnie Finley has taken charge of the project for the city of Longmont.

“The mayor put us on a committee to help find land, but we kept on having NIMBY [not in my backyard] issues,” Mulshine said. Mulshine’s company, HMS Development, was building a subdivision of townhomes in south Longmont and the mayor suggested that the right place for veterans’ transitional housing might be part of that existing development. Mulshine’s knee-jerk reaction was that it wouldn’t work to have a “homeless facility near a nice amenitized community.” Mulshine said Bagley challenged him on that conclusion. So Mulshine went on the road to Virginia, California, and Florida to research other veterans’ transitional housing.

“Our last stop was Kansas City, and when you go to Kansas City, it’s infectious, because the veterans are so amazing. It’s always teaming with volunteers and the level of energy there is as I said, just infectious. It was in that moment to me, and I’m serious about this, because there are townhomes right next door, that I said I could live next door to this in a heartbeat. And we thought maybe it’s time that people accept that the new amenity in the community was going to be compassion.”

Mulshine’s deep respect for the founders of VCP and how profoundly touched he is from getting to know the veterans making their way through the program helped propel Longmont’s village. Mulshine described how hugely transformational the program had been to vets he’s met – how one gentleman finally got the cane he’d needed, how a Coast Guard vet, who had been dishonorably discharged because of the trauma she’d suffered from being raped while serving, was able to finally get the help she needed, and how a father was able to get custody of his kids.

Mulshine’s company is donating three acres of land and the necessary infrastructure south of Rogers Road and west of Hover for the 25 tiny homes that will be Longmont’s Veterans Village. While the project in Longmont is under VCP’s umbrella, the cost of the village and services need to be supported on their own. Running the project will cost seven figures per year. One cost for instance, is the salary of caseworkers who will work with a low number of veterans to ensure each person gets the most thorough level of attention.

Solomon said, “As far I know, we are the only tiny house community within city limits anywhere in the United States that’s code-compliant.” That means the houses are permanent fully-functional structures on slab foundations, hooked up to all utilities. Each house is 240 square feet; designed specifically to give vets a sense of control (beds placed to face the entire room for instance). Dogs, cats, and children are welcome.

Outreach efforts entail locating vets in need. It can take an extended number of visits on the streets and under bridges to build trust with each person, to demonstrate their lives are worth the effort, and to convince them to join the program.

Solomon stressed that housing is only one part of what VCP does. The emphasis is on “wrap-around services” which, without red tape and delays, gets vets what they need pronto. That’s because one of the distinctions that makes VCP different from other veterans support endeavors is that it’s paid for with only private funds.

Aside from the expediency with which VCP can jump in to help, they can decide in what way to help, and will not discriminate as other programs do.

“We’re able to help, which is different than a lot of government programs, because if you had a dishonorable discharge for example, that’s an automatic door slammed in your face.” Solomon said. “Our definition of a veteran is anyone who ever took the oath to serve.”

Solomon described an army sniper, who after being deployed four times, was discharged for drug use. While his discharge was understandable, his drug use was a way of self-medicating for post-traumatic stress disorder. But it meant he was not eligible for Veterans Administration benefits. VCP was able to help him.

Solomon comes in from Kansas City to Longmont every week to work on the project. He’s thankful for the many Longmont area resources available, making it easy for VCP to determine eligibility and then direct vets to these partners. “We can help clear the road,” Solomon said, “and we don’t need to reinvent the wheel; we just need to supplement what others are doing.”

The most immediate need for Longmont’s Veterans Village is funding. They are looking for small contributions, even $10 per month, and larger donations of $25,000 which would build a tiny home and house a veteran for a year.

“What an amazing community in terms of people stepping up and being willing to help, I cannot understate that,” Solomon said of Longmont. Getting Kansas City up and running took four years. Longmont will be the first expansion city for the organization and, because of how cooperative the community and city have been, they’re projecting the timeline will be closer to 18 months.

“We’re really moving quickly with the city and they’ve been incredibly helpful in terms of pushing forward with the project making sure we’re meeting all of the requirements as soon as possible,” Solomon said.

Any ideas to raise money are greatly appreciated. Kansas City’s village was the recipient of funds raised by a biker group’s progressive poker tournament ($30,000), a church collected nearly $40,000 by making VCP their congregation’s Easter cause, and children have requested donations for VCP rather than birthday gifts.

Further along in the project, VCP will need volunteers in various capacities, including in the outreach center. For every 10 people living in the village, another 10 will be utilizing services available through VCP’s outreach centers.

Solomon said VCP is hopeful to break ground in late fall and, early in 2020, to start to build homes. Projects are in the works for Nashville, Orlando and St. Louis.

How you can help: donate, volunteers, and spread the word about the project. Visit VeteransCommunityProject.org. To designate funds specifically for Longmont’s project, type in the word Longmont. Also visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook/VeteransCommunityProject.com.

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Multiple Listing Services IRES, PPRSC Announce Data-Sharing Agreement

Fantastic News!!!

IRES MLS: Come Home to Colorado

Partnership expands broker access to MLS data throughout much of Colorado, improving information collaboration and customer satisfaction

LOVELAND, Colo. and COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Dec. 14, 2018 — Information and Real Estate Services, LLC (IRES), a Loveland-based multiple listing service (MLS) serving northern Colorado and Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp., (PPRSC), a Colorado Springs-based MLS serving southern Colorado, today announced a data-sharing collaboration that allows for brokers to more easily access listing data in either market.

“This partnership offers any of our participants throughout Colorado the benefit of being able to look broadly at listings in the northern and southern Colorado areas, two high-growth areas in real estate, through either the IRES or PPRSC portal,” Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES, said. “Once a member enters a listing onto either the IRES or PPRSC MLS, it will be shared and populate to the other MLS, putting the listing in front of…

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How to get buy: The do’s and don’ts of home buying

Matthew Leprino, REALTOR® and spokesperson for the Colorado Association of Realtors, shares insight on purchasing a home in Denver with 9News. He discusses changes in the qualification process over the years, how much money to put down on a home,  “do’s and don’t’s,” and advice for social media.

Link to 9News Original Videohttps://media.9news.com/embeds/video/8311749/iframe>

Video originally posted on 9News.com. Their website can be accessed by clicking here.

Step By Step – Sell Your Home

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How To Buy And Sell A House At The Same Time

CLICK HERE to link to the full, original posting of this article.

Originally posted on FORBES by Tara Mastroeni. 

Selling your old home and buying a new one at the same time is a balancing act. That said, it can be done. We’ve taken the liberty of outlining all of your options below. Read them over to decide which ones will work best for you. If you follow this advice, you should be able to create a plan to help the whole process go smoothly.

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If you buy before you sell

Buying a new home before you sell your old one is, honestly, the trickier of the two methods. While it’s not impossible, it does require a bit more financial finagling. Sometimes, though, you find your dream home early on in your search. If that happens to you, here are your options:

Use a home sale contingency

The easiest way to deal with this scenario is by including a home sale contingency in any offer that you make. This contingency allows you a set period of time to find a buyer for your old house before you move forward with settling on your new home. If you can’t find a buyer in time, you have the option to try to extend the contract or to back out of the deal.

If this option sounds too good to be true, unfortunately, for the most part, it is. Home sale contingencies aren’t used much these days. Understandably, sellers don’t like them because they offer little-to-no reassurance that the buyer will actually be able to purchase the home. You are, of course, free to include this clause in any offers you make, but be aware that it could negatively impact the strength of your offer.

Get a bridge loan

A bridge loan is another option for helping you deal with the financial strain of buying a new house before you sell your old one. Bridge loans are short-term loans that allow you to pay off the mortgage on your own home so you don’t have to carry that cost. Then, when your home sells, you’d use the proceeds from the sale to pay off the bridge loans.

That said, bridge loans are a gamble. These loans often come with strict terms and high interest rates. In order for a bridge loan to work, both settlements need to go off without a hitch. Even if there is a problem with the settlement of your old home, you’ll still be responsible for finding the funds to pay back the loan on time.

Keep two properties for a bit

Holding two properties at the same time will undoubtedly be a stretch financially. However, if you can afford to do so, it’s also the safest option. This option allows you to submit offers on new homes without having to worry about using a home sale contingency or taking out a new loan.

If you sell before you buy

Selling your old home before you buy a new one is a more financially secure option. This way, you’ll know exactly how much money you have to spend on a new property. However, this method is not without its inconveniences, as well. For instance, you may have to deal with the stress of moving twice within a short period of time. Here’s how to go about doing it:

Use the settlement date to your advantage

The easiest way to avoid the hassle of moving twice is to use the settlement date to your advantage. If possible, try to have the settlement date on your new home fall on the same day as the closing on your old one. That way, you can move directly from one home to the other without pausing in between.

Here, it’s important to remember that writing up an offer is a negotiation. If having matching settlement dates is important to you, you may want to be flexible with other areas of the contract as a gesture of good faith to the other parties involved.

Ask for a rent back contingency

A rent-back contingency is exactly what it sounds like. This provision allows you to rent your home back from the buyer-now-owner from the time of closing until you’re ready to move. Keep in mind, however, that in this scenario, you’re essentially asking your buyer for a favor. They don’t have to agree to rent the home back to you. After all, they may be organizing a buying-and-selling plan of their own. But it never hurts to ask.

Find a short-term rental

If all else fails, you can always find a short-term rental to hold you over until it’s time to move into your new home. The biggest issue, here, is the cost. Short-term rentals are often more expensive than their year-long counterparts. Additionally, you may have to invest in some storage options to hold your excess belongings until it’s time to move.

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Top Three Best Returns on Your Home Improvement Investment

Often the best return on your investment is the joy you get from waking up in a home you love. But sometimes the best part is getting your money back when the love affair is over.

Here are our Top Three picks for the most enjoyment and highest return on your investment.

New Wood Floors

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Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $5,500

ROI: 91%

One of the best returns on a home investment is hardwood floors. They’re beautiful, durable, and timeless — and one of the smartest things you can do, too.

Many homeowners now want (and even expect) hardwood floors. And when done in keeping with the home’s layout and neighborhood, they can add 2.5% to the sale price.

How to get even more ROI: If you already have wood floors and they’re still in good shape, why not refinish them and save a little money? It costs around $3,000 and recovers 100% of its value at resale.

New Garage Door

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Estimated Cost for a Pro Job: $2,300

ROI: 87%

While it’s not the dreamiest home investment, a new garage door is one of the quickest ways to make your home shine, especially if it’s front and center like many of today’s homes. It’s also one of the most affordable.

How to make your garage door pay off more: In addition to improving curb appeal, an insulated door on an attached garage can help lower energy bills, which will earn back money every month — and generate a little joy in your heart.

Plant Trees

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Estimated Cost: $50 to $100 for a 6- to 7-foot deciduous tree

ROI: 100% or more

Planting trees today is one of the smartest ways to reap financial rewards tomorrow. A well-positioned tree shades the house in summer and shields it from harsh winds in winter, shaving money off your utility bills — as much as $250 per year.

And according to the Forest Service, mature trees contribute as much as 10% to your home value

6 Smart Home Products That’ll Make Your Home More Functional Today

A couple of these are super fun to use and may even enhance your home’s value.

Home trends come and go. But it’s functionality that wins in the end. Because smart functionality almost always adds some intrinsic value to your home.

That’s why these smart home products, especially the ones that make you safer, are some of our favorite home upgrades.

#1 Video Doorbell

WiFi-enabled video doorbells will let you see, hear, and speak to whoever is at your door via a smartphone, even when you’re not home.

It’s like Facetime but for your house. It alerts your phone and turns on the camera when someone rings the bell or comes near. You can tell the UPS guy to leave the package at the door or say, “Be there in a minute!” — whether you’re in the bathroom or thousands of miles away. So much for casing the joint while you’re out of town.

Video doorbells can even help catch a thief because you can see them on camera.

They’re not expensive — at most, around $200 — and you can install one yourself with some basic tools.

#2 Smart Door Locks

Keys are so 20th century. With a smart lock, you can lock or unlock your door with your smartphone or voice. You can text digital keys to friends, the dog sitter, or the delivery guy, giving them temporary access, which is waaaaaay safer than the old key-under-the-doormat routine.

Plus: Think you forgot to lock the house? You can whip out your smartphone and check. On the stoop with arms full of groceries? Just tell the lock to open.

#3 Home Generators

The number of power outages from bad weather has more than doubled in the last 15 years, so generators are becoming a thing.

But not those noisy, portable, diesel ones. You want a generator that’s built into your home. They look like an HVAC unit and run on propane or natural gas, so they don’t belch out smelly gases or require refueling every couple of hours. They’ll kick on automatically when the power goes off and can even be operated from a smartphone.

It might not be a home investment you’ll eagerly Instagram upon installation, but when you’re still scrolling and posting during a killer snowstorm, you’ll be feeling pretty fancy.

#4 Smart Mirror

Even the ol’ looking glass is getting smart. Bathroom mirrors with voice-activated digital assistants can tell you the weather, give you traffic updates, and play your favorite podcasts. You can even tell your mirror to order more moisturizer the moment you realize you’re getting low.

There are prototypes out there for mirrors that advise on your wardrobe, health, and skin care, too; they’re just not on the market yet.

Obviously, everything in your home is not about ROI, and a smart mirror is no exception. Will it up your home value? Nah. Is it fun? Yes. Does it make life in one of your home’s most hectic rooms easier? Oh yeah.

#5 Indoor Gardens

Houseplants have been having a moment for a while, but edible gardens are coming indoors, too.

More than a third of Millennials are growing herbs indoors, and a gardening industry report predicts the number of people growing plants inside is going to increase about 25% by 2021. It’s an especially good idea for homes that have little or no yard space.

We’re not talking pots of basil on the windowsill but permanent setups — like a built-in planter that also works as a room divider (mid-century, retro-cool factor included).

Or you can turn a whole wall into a hydroponic, vertical garden with PVC panels. Install a few smart grow lights, and you’re good to go.

#6 Smart Blinds

Throw some shade on high cooling and heating costs with WiFi-enabled blinds you can control with your smartphone or voice. They’ll even work with Alexa and Siri.

Program them to open or close at certain times of day, or when the room hits a specific temperature. Or if you’re reading and you want to open the blinds to let in more light, you don’t have to get out of your chair. “Alexa, open the blinds.” Done.

You can also pre-schedule your smart blinds to make your home more secure.

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Keeping Denver’s housing market in reach for all Denverites

Link to Original Denver Post Full Article

We need to make sure people can afford to live here, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock writes…

Denver, your city is working hard to ensure families have housing options they can afford.

We have made great progress in helping first-time homebuyers, connecting families with new affordable options, protecting renters from eviction, and easing the tax burden on seniors and those with disabilities.

Today, one-quarter of all affordable homes here were created with city support over the past seven years.  And in 2018, we will invest more money in one year than ever before to deliver housing Denver families can afford — $40 million.

Stapleton housing and development nears the end with building of the North End neighborhood.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post
Workmen frame the walls in new affordable housing units in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Stapleton on Aug. 1, 2018, in Denver.

But we are just getting started. Denver is stepping up our game, because this issue remains a primary challenge to our residents and families toward achieving the level of equity they work hard for and deserve, but is out of reach because the market is not responding to our residents’ needs.

On Monday, City Council passed my administration’s proposal to double the Affordable Housing Fund created in 2015 to $300 million using marijuana taxes. With it, we’ll be able to secure the building, preservation or land needed for more than 6,000 affordable homes for families over the next five years.

And in partnership with the Denver Housing Authority, we’ll use part of this to generate a surge of $105 million in upfront funding through bonds to accelerate building and preserving much-needed affordable housing. This step will also increase the land available for future affordable housing creation to support Denver’s lowest-income residents and those experiencing homelessness.

We’re not stopping there. I’m going to keep working with City Council, the Housing Advisory Committee and community partners to add new tools to our housing toolbox — land trusts, land banking, accessory dwelling units, a resident preference policy, extending minimum affordability periods are all being explored. We are also pushing to get more affordable housing from developers.

We can be the spark that helps get homes out of the ground, but the city can’t be the only ones. Congress needs to see this for the national issue that it is and provide the funding that matches the need. Our State Legislature needs to see that this isn’t just Denver’s issue alone, it’s affecting cities across Colorado. It’s vital that the State’s funding commitment in this year’s budget continues in future budgets.

And our private sector needs to step up to address what we as city leaders, our residents, stakeholders and the market are demanding — homes that are affordable. We can’t continue to put our recent economic successes at risk because the very people who jump-started and drove that success — the people of Denver — are pushed out because of costs. The demand and the need is there, it’s past time that the supply match it.

To ensure that our neighborhoods are accessible, inclusive and affordable, and that our economy extends opportunity to everyone, building more equity and access in Denver’s housing market should be everyone’s top priority – I know it’s mine. We need to make sure people can afford to live here. We need to protect what we love about our neighborhoods. This is how Denver will continue to rise – together.

Michael Hancock is the mayor of Denver.

Real Estate Snap Shot – Colorado – June 2018

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4 Super-Easy Curb Appeal Projects to Max Out Your Home’s Value

The yard of your dreams just might be more achievable than you thought.

You’ve been spending so much time on projects inside your home (like that new shower you have to drag yourself out of), that your front yard is starting to scream for a bit of attention.

Poor neglected, thing.

You know your yard has some super curb appeal potential, but where to begin?

Check out the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features from the National Association of REALTORS®. It’s got some interesting data on how landscaping affects home value, especially those with tons of curb appeal. They beat out most indoor projects when it comes to adding value to your home!

Below are four projects with so much curb-appeal juice, any money you invest in them is likely to pay you back much more.

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#1 Add or Replace a Few Landscaping Basics

Every few years, you overhaul your closet, replacing your worn-out basics with a few new pieces to ramp up your wardrobe. Why not do the same with your yard? Give it a basic makeover so it has some good, classic, value-boosting “bones” to build upon.

Landscape design basics like:

  • A winding flagstone walkway
  • A couple of stone planters (6 feet by 2 feet)
  • A few flowering shrubs
  • A deciduous tree about 15 feet tall
  • Quality mulch

Why you can’t go wrong: The median cost for this makeover is $5,000. But the recoup (how much more your house would sell for after doing this project) is $4,000! Pretty sweet, right?

#2 Take Care of Your Trees

Dead or dying trees definitely hurt resale value. And if you remove dead trees and take care of your healthy trees, you won’t be throwing money away.

REALTORS® who advised their clients to do some tree triage before putting their home on the market say their clients almost always get their money back.

The typical cost to pay a pro to remove a dead tree and take care of the healthy ones with fertilizing, pruning and trimming is $2,000. And if you sell, you can expect 100% return on your investment in most cases, according to the RIR report.

Why you can’t go wrong: Just three trees in the right location can save up to $250 a year in heating and cooling costs, says the source for energy-saving stats: the U.S. Department of Energy.

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#3 Build a Deck If You Don’t Have One

If you’re spending sunny days admiring the great outdoors from indoors, it’s time for a change to get you outside… like finally building that deck you’ve been dreaming of.

Why you can’t go wrong: A new deck costs about $10,000 and recoups 80% at resale. Plus, how can you put a price on all those evening cookouts and Sunday brunches al fresco?

#4 Heap Loads of Love on Your Lawn

Yep, you read that right. Especially if you know you’re going to sell in the next year or so.

It’s the easiest project to do — and it has a whopping ROI of 267%!

Lawn maintenance is simple:

  • Fertilize
  • Aerate
  • Weed
  • Rake

Why you can’t go wrong: It’s the cheapest project to do with an annual cost of only $375. Every year, you’ll reap the benefits of a lush, barefoot-friendly lawn.

Originally posted on HouseLogic.com