Aurora, CO Real Estate News

By Gilbert Wheeler
(Your Castle Real Estate)
  A lot of clients ask me how to figure out what market rents are in a neighborhood. This is a critical input into the calculations an investor needs to make in order to determine what their return on investment will be on a rental property. So you don't want to screw this up!  Unfortunately, this is one of the many figures new investors get wrong.     One place people go to get rents is Rent-o-Meter. Rent-o-Meter is billed as an online resource to get accurate market rents. In my experience it is anything but!  However, I have a fairly simple solution. Multiply what you see on Rent-o-Meter by  80%  and you'll probably be close. I can't explain why but I find rents on Rent-o-Meter to be about 25% high, so multiplying their rents by 80% will get you close (do the math, it works out).   ...
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By Gilbert Wheeler
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investor Series:  Things to look for when you look at roofs   Have you ever driven through Aurora North looking for a rental property and taken a close look at the roofs?   Here's what you'll see: a bunch of 1950's ranches in varying states of repair or disrepair, lawns that are often grassless, old handcrank windows and roofs in almost perfect condition!  This surprised me at first and perplexed me for a long time.  Why, in a neighborhood devastated by foreclosures with properties with massive deferred maintenance are the roofs in such condition?  Really!  Stand in the middle of a typical street and looking at 10 roofs simultaneously, you'll be amazed. Well, it turns out the answer is pretty simple. There was a huge hailstorm in the mid-90's and most of the roofs were replaced by insur...
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  As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple...
Comments 0
By Gilbert Wheeler
(Your Castle Real Estate)
  A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete found...
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By Gilbert Wheeler
(Your Castle Real Estate)
You walk into a property you're looking to buy and rent and you walk down into the basement and voila! you find a full second kitchen.   Great!  You start calculating how much rent you could get if you could rent the downstairs separate from the upstairs and the cash flow is out of this world!  But wait, there are a number of very real problems with this scenario.     First of all, it's illegal unless the property is zoned for more than one tenant and the property has been converted to non-residential use. But there are even more practical reasons why having two separate tenants is often not a great idea. The first is the utilities. Since it's a house there will only be one bill for Excel and water. Who's going to pay it?  Can you really get the tenants to pro-rate their share if you pa...
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By Tatyana Sturm, Denver Realtor, GRI, Denver/ Aurora CO Relocation
(Exit Realty DTC)
Every year the Greenfield Home Owners Association puts on the Greenfield Fall Festival.  This year Team 5280 was there and sponsored the Chili Cook-off and provided face painting and Treat Bags to the Kids of Greenfield.  It was held at the Greenfield Clubhouse on October 25th.  There were many different activities for the entire family.  Trick or Treat Street around the lake Pumpkin Patch Apple Bobbing Costume Contest Pie eating contest (which was our favorite, hilarious) Face Painting (By TEAM 5280) Cotton Candy and Popcorn Spin Art Chili Cook-off Tons of food and snacks provided for all I am so proud of the Greenfield Community and to be a part of the Fall Festival.  I wanted to make a special thanks for all the hard work by Heather Prue of the Greenfield Social Committee.       Colo...
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By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
  Source: Your Castle Real Estate analysis, MLS data   The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Coll...
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By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
    The average home price in Metro Denver increased +2% in the full year 2005 to the full year 2006. Comparing 2006 to 2007, the average home price across the metro dropped 3%, to $303,000. The average price in the first three quarters of 2008 was $272,000 vs. similar period of 2007 was $308,000: an 11% decrease. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Colorado Springs or Boulder.Much of the decline is a mix issue. For example, sales volume of homes over 4,000 square feet has plummeted in the last twelve months. Middle-market homes have generally been steady in their sales volume. Very inexpensive homes under 1,000 square feet have greatly increased their sales volume. You can explain it to your clien...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete foundat...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
You walk into a property you're looking to buy and rent and you walk down into the basement and voila! you find a full second kitchen.   Great!  You start calculating how much rent you could get if you could rent the downstairs separate from the upstairs and the cashflow is out of this world!  But wait, there are a number of very real problems with this scenario.     First of all, it's illegal unless the property is zoned for more than one tenant and the property has been converted to non-residential use. But there are even more practical reasons why having two separate tenants is often not a great idea. The first is the utilities. Since it's a house there will only be one bill for Excel and water. Who's going to pay it?  Can you really get the tenants to pro-rate their share if you pay...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
A LOT of agents don't advise their clients to get sewer scopes when they purchase a property. This is a major mistake.  A broken sewer can cost between $3,000 - $10,000 dollars to repair and it only costs $99 ($99Rooter - others are more expensive) to have a tech put a camera down the sewer pipe and videotape the sewer all the way to the mainline. This will tell you  and the-buyer what the condition of the sewer is.      So let's see, we pay to have the furnace inspected but a new furnace will only be about $2,000. We pay to have the roof inspected but that's probably a $4,000 job. So why don't we always inspect the sewer?  One reason is because, let's face it,  Realtors want closings. Many figure if they keep their mouth shut and don't go out of their way to recommend a sewer scope tha...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
  Have you ever driven through Aurora North looking for a rental property and taken a close look at the roofs?   Here's what you'll see: a bunch of 1950's ranches in varying states of repair or disrepair, lawns that are often grassless, old handcrank windows and roofs in almost perfect condition!  This surprised me at first and perplexed me for a long time.  Why, in a neighborhood devastated by foreclosures with properties with massive deferred maintenance are the roofs in such condition?  Really!  Stand in the middle of a typical street and looking at 10 roofs simultaneously, you'll be amazed. Well, it turns out the answer is pretty simple. There was a huge hailstorm in the mid-90's and most of the roofs were replaced by insurance companies then. The result is that while you certainly ...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
A lot of clients ask me how to figure out what market rents are in a neighborhood. This is a critical input into the calculations an investor needs to make in order to determine what their return on investment will be on a rental property. So you don't want to screw this up! Unfortunately, this is one of the many figures new investors get wrong. One place people go to get rents is Rent-o-Meter. Rent-o-Meter is billed as an online resource to get accurate market rents. In my experience it is anything but! However, I have a fairly simple solution. Multiply what you see on Rent-o-Meter by 80% and you'll probably be close. I can't explain why but I find rents on Rent-o-Meter to be about 25% high, so multiplying their rents by 80% will get you close (do the math, it works out). So then, how ...
Comments 0
By Deb Reinhard
(Atlas Real Estate)
The talk around the water cooler these days is all about LOANS. Who can get them? At what price? What if I already have a few loans, do I still qualify?  A year or two ago the question was at what price do I get a loan (those were the days!).  Today it is "am I still in the game?"        Here's the deal:  if you have an owner occupied loan and 3 investor loans you cannot buy any more properties and get Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac financing, meaning you can't get a conventional 30-year fixed loan. Now, my hope is that someone reads this and tells me I'm wrong. That would be great!  But as far as I know that is the case.       Where does this leave you?  You can pursue loans that are warehoused by lenders, meaning they are not sold on the backend to Fannie or Freddie. You are probably lookin...
Comments 0
By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investor often ask me what types of real estate investments are available on the market.  Here's what we tell them. This is the first of several postings on the topic. Please offer comments - positive or negative! Assignments.  If you don't have much equity to work with, and/or if your credit power is limited, assignments can be a way to get started in real estate investing.  You will need to have a strong "sales" personality to succeed at it, though.    Rental Condo or Rental Home.  Purchase of a residential property to be rented out to tenants, usually on a 6-12 month lease term.  This is how most new landlords get started.  You can hire out all of the property management functions, but in many cases you will do many of them on your own.  There are smaller down payment requirements th...
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By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    If you have not heard already, the inventory of home on the market in Denver has been declining. This is not true in many regions of the county. Your clients, who often only see national headlines, might not be aware of this favorable news. Our market has some unusual factors at work. Let's explore them, so you can better help your clients.If you look at the first chart (MOI 1), you'll see the MOI (months of inventory) for Denver's suburbs on the bottom axis and the average sales price in that suburb on the axis on the left side. Denver metro currently has about six months of inventory (a balanced market, on average), but you can see there is a lot of variety from one city to the next. Lower cost areas, such as Thornton, are seeing inventory move fast. Sellers (mainly banks) don't ...
Comments 0
By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
  Source: Your Castle Real Estate analysis, MLS data   The big message has not changed since last quarter - it's still a great time to be a buyer in the condo market. Prices are at a three year low in many areas, and interest rates on mortgages are still historically low.The average condo price in Metro Denver declined 4% between 2006 and 2007: from $187K to $180K. Homes dropped 3% in that time period. Looking just at the first nine months of 2008 vs. the same time period in 2007, the price dropped 6%: from $181K to $172K. Homes dropped 11% in that time period. From their peak prices in 2006, condos have dropped around 9.5% while homes have dropped 12%. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Coll...
Comments 0
By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    The average home price in Metro Denver increased +2% in the full year 2005 to the full year 2006. Comparing 2006 to 2007, the average home price across the metro dropped 3%, to $303,000. The average price in the first three quarters of 2008 was $272,000 vs. similar period of 2007 was $308,000: an 11% decrease. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Colorado Springs or Boulder.Much of the decline is a mix issue. For example, sales volume of homes over 4,000 square feet has plummeted in the last twelve months. Middle-market homes have generally been steady in their sales volume. Very inexpensive homes under 1,000 square feet have greatly increased their sales volume. You can explain it to your clien...
Comments 0
By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of...
Comments 0
By Lance Petrillo
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete foundat...
Comments 0
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