A4HB Homebuyer's Blog

Hiring a professional in a DIY world – Part 2

8 Great Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent In an earlier post, I talked about the disastrous first home buying experience my husband and I had. We did everything wrong and nearly lost our shirts. Ever since, I have been true believer in the value of using the assistance of a good buyer’s agent instead of going it alone. Here’s why. Why Not DIY? With all of the internet tools available today, there’s a lot of debate about whether a buyer needs an agent. Why not DIY? Today, you can find homes for sale and look up almost anything you

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Top 5 Strategies to Keep in Mind When Flipping

Flipping houses has been a passion of mine for over a decade. I’ve been fortunate enough to purchase and sell 13 properties during that time. Each property needs its own special kind of attention and love. Here are my Top 5 bits of advice if you are getting the itch to flip. #1: Creating curb appeal is essential when flipping in order to get buyers interested in what is inside the home. Some properties need more work than others to become enticing to potential buyers. This house had just been painted in the last few years, so it was unnecessary

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Download and Print a Home?

According to a report by the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, 1.2 billion people worldwide live without adequate housing. Last month at the 2018 South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference, New Story, a housing charity based in San Francisco, offered a potential solution in a low-cost 3D printing approach. In partnership with New Story, ICON, a construction tech company, unveiled a new invention: a massive 3D printer called the Vulcan that will soon be able to extrude an entire four-room house in less than a day. For the past several years, New Story has built over 150 homes

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Hiring a professional in a DIY world

When my husband and I were newlyweds, our family situation led us to the decision to buy a home. My mom was handicapped and needed our help, and my younger brother was a student at community college. At the time, we had little or no understanding of the home buying process; we were completely clueless. We thought you just borrowed money somewhere, gave it to someone who had a house you wanted to buy, and they gave you the house, right? Well, in mega-simplified terms, that’s exactly what happens. But, as in our case, if that’s all you know about

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Home Construction Not Keeping Up with Job Growth

We argued in an August post that the collapse of new construction during the recession. and its failure to recover to pre-recession levels, has been a major contributor to the supply/demand imbalance that is pushing prices up in the Boulder/Denver markets. This morning, an article in the Denver Post argues that new construction over the past 3 years has provided housing for only about 25% of the new jobs created in the metro Denver area.  Where nearly 146,000 new jobs would typically require about 91,000 new housing units, only a bit over 24,000 have been built. So rather than alleviating the

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Picking the Best Investment as a Residential Buyer

In a recent post, we presented some data on a gap that opened up between 2002 and 2010 between condo/townhome prices and prices for small single family homes…and then noted that this gap had narrowed substantially in most local communities over the past few years.  For many buyers, this raises this question:  Had you recognized this gap opening up, would it have made sense to buy a condo or townhome…rather than a single family home…to maximize the upside potential of your investment. Looking back at our data, one thing we can say is that if you’d invested broadly across all

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Speed of Sale Data Reflect Nightmare Market for Buyers

We have lots of detailed data on the web site tracking how quickly properties go under contract once they’re listed on the MLS.  These data, which  show what percentage of listed properties go under contract within 5 days of listing and within 14 days of listing, give us a very good measure of the intensity of buyer pressure on various property type in various communities. But sometimes it can be useful to step back and take a more global view of the data.  In the chart below, we focus not on specific communities but on how many properties go under

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Peak Pressure on the Market: What Time of Year?

Since 2013, we’ve had more buyers than sellers in our market, resulting in multiple offers on many listed properties and rapidly rising prices.  While there has been some variation from year to year, our experience is that buyers are facing the most intense competition for properties between mid-January and June, and that the market has softened some as we get into July and August.  If we could get the data, we’d love to look at how many offers are being made on new listings at different times of the year.  This year, for example, our buyers in Feburary through May

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Affordable Condos Drop out of Mix in New Construction

For the past 4 years, the Colorado legislature has considered legislation that would reduce make it more difficult for condo owners or HOAs to sue builders for construction defects.  This is a response to legislation that facilitated such lawsuits, and claims that builders have effectively quit building condos because that legislation increased liability as well as insurance and financing costs.  Since the state legislature has failed to pass any “corrective” legislation, a dozen communities along the Front Range have, in an effort to stimulate condo construction. The graph below, produced by Metrostudy, illustrates the nature of the problem: Briefly, where

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Drop in New Construction: Major Factor in Tight Market

Anyone who’s tried to buy a home in the Denver/Boulder region since March of 2013 knows that there are more buyers in this market than there are homes to buy.  There are a number of factors contributing to this, but the collapse in the building of new homes during the recession certainly contributed.  The chart below tracks the number of new building permits issued from 1985 through 2014 for Boulder County and the adjoining counties that define our housing market.  You don’t need a Ph.D. in statistics, or powerful analytic tools, to notice the numbers slipping off a cliff in

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