Please Help – Thinking About Selling? We Need To Talk!

Happy Holidays to our clients, friends, and business partners! At Spaces Real Estate we’re grateful for a wonderful 2013, and we’re excited about an even better 2014. Check out our End-Of-Year Party pictures at our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SpacesRealEstate.

Boulder real estate and Colorado real estate in 2013 was marked by many eager buyers chasing record low levels of homes for sale.  Competitive bidding and fast sales became the norm.  We’ve been working hard to help our seller clients navigate the complexities that result from this market. As we move through the holiday season and towards 2014, we continue to serve many buyer clients on the hunt for homes.

Please help! If you know anyone thinking about selling their home, please put them in touch with us right away. This list below is only a small sampling of our buyer needs:

Do you know anyone thinking of selling their home? Contact your favorite Spaces Realtor at http://www.yourspaces.com/agents.php

  • Sweet family has just relocated. They’re looking for a large upscale  home in Denver. They prefer a home with lots of windows and natural light.
  • Newly-wed first time home-buyers shopping for a home with lot’s of natural light or even a sun room for their finicky cat.
  • Lovely family relocating to the Boulder area from Southern California. They prefer a large home with at least 4 bedrooms on the same level.
  • This lovely couple is moving here from our county’s capitol. They would love a home with a yard where they can grow their own organic veggies.
  • Darling buyer moving to the area to be closer to family.  A main floor master would be ideal.
  • This adventurous buyer is wishing and hoping for a home in the hills with lots of space and views.
  • FOUR Downtown Denver lofts needed!!
  • We have three different buyers looking for a Colorado homestead with plenty of room for horses, chickens, more!
  • We have FIVE investors looking for suitable income properties.
  • Fun couple looking for a bright and airy condo in Boulder.
  • Two families looking for a single family home with in-law quarters in and around Boulder.
  • Hard working family looking for space inside and out in Golden. High end finishes or remodel potential would be perfect.

Do you know anyone thinking of selling their home? Contact your favorites Spaces Realtor at http://www.yourspaces.com/agents.php

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Posted in Buyer and Seller Needs

Watershed School – Non-Profit Spotlight

Boulder Real Estate - School

At Spaces Real Estate, we love our Boulder Area Non Profits!  Our realtors are involved with many great organizations and one of our favorite core values is:

We Care – We do good while doing well. We are committed to the idea that business 
can and should be a vehicle for social change.”

This month we are featuring the wonderful Watershed School.  Top Spaces Real Estate agent Myriam Johnson is on the board at this innovative school in Boulder and tells this story about why she’s involved:

“We were lucky to find the Watershed School when our oldest daughter was ready to enter high school. When we saw how happy she was and how engaged she became in her education, it was a no-brainer to have our youngest daughter attend as well. Watershed’s approach to education is so innovative and cutting edge that it brings out the best in people who benefit from it. The results of an integrated approach of intense experiences and rigorous academics, are smart and  independent students who are well prepared for college. I am the proud mother of two Watershed graduates, and feel so lucky to be a member of the board of trustees. The school’s approach to education is an inspiration to the board and I am honored to serve and support such a meaningful and worthy organization.”

Here is some additional information from Watershed School’s website:

Watershed School is an independent school in Boulder, CO serving middle school and high school students. Its uncommon approach to education fosters academic excellence and upstanding character through an innovative, rigorous, and effective experiential college prep curriculum. Watershed Students engage in meaningful, exciting work. They learn to apply their education to the real world and have the opportunity to explore their community and learn from what is around them. They are given the opportunity to explore their interests and passions and to learn more about themselves as they approach adulthood.
The school design includes a challenging, engaging, and interdisciplinary curriculum that challenges students to know and care for themselves, their community, and their world. A Watershed School education is an exceptional preparation for college and life!

Watershed School is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and if you would like to find out more information about its innovative, cutting edge education, visit: www.watershedschool.org or call 303.440.7520 to schedule a visit.

Congratulations and a big thank you to Myriam Johnson and Watershed School for your wonderful contribution and lasting impression to the lives of so many here in Boulder and beyond!

 

Posted in Non-Profit Spotlight

How’s The Boulder Real Estate Market?

December2013-4

“How’s the market?”  We get this question at Spaces Real Estate all the time. The Boulder real estate market is one of the most dynamic markets in the country. Whether you have a Boulder home for sale or just want to know how your value is changing, real estate statistics and economic numbers have a story to tell.

 

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At Spaces Real Estate, we are in the field every day with clients and we have come to learn that “the real estate market” can mean several different things. National news outlets usually report on the US market as a whole.

December2013-10

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on national trends like interest rates, jobless rates, and foreclosure rates. These trends set the context for your local real estate numbers. The fact that interest rates are low, consumer confidence is high, and the stock market is looking to end the year up 20% has a direct impact on local real estate.

Local Real Estate Snapshot:

In Boulder County we’ve seen a 12% slower pace this past month in single family home sales as compared with last November:

November 2013 Single Family Sales – 262 units sold
November 2012 Single Family Sales – 298 units

Condominium sales also dropped off slightly with a 4.5% slower pace this past month:

November 2013 Condo Sales – 85 units sold
November 2012 Condo Sales – 89 units sold

While these numbers are not dramatic, they do represent a larger trend – The inventory of homes for sale has continued to shrink dramatically.  Home sales have slowed in part because there are simply not enough homes available for sale to keep up with demand.

December2013-43-1

As a result of this continued low inventory, the average days to contract for homes for sale in Boulder has shrunk by 44% to 42 days and the average price has risen by 10.5% to $630,000.  We simply need more homes on the market. If you would like a further analysis of our local market numbers or if you are thinking about selling your home, call your favorite Spaces Agent today!

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Market and Trends

Featured Neighborhood – Newlands

Spaces Real Estate is highlighting the wonderful Newlands neighborhood in Boulder for our first Featured Neighborhood blog post.

We love this gorgeous neighborhood west of Broadway, tucked between Alpine Drive and Hawthorn Avenue. Newlands enjoys a rich history and boasts some prime Boulder real estate.

The town of Boulder was settled in the mid 1800’s.  Mary and William Newland purchased about 240 acres of land in 1871.  Their land was just west of Broadway and north of Alpine Ave.  In 1875 they began to sell off small farming lots, and in 1891 “The Newland Addition” became an official Boulder neighborhood.

Believe it not, this tree-loving town had very few trees in the 1800’s. Luckily, Mary and William grew many orchards on the land they owned and you can still enjoy the apple trees sprinkled around this lovely neighborhood.

Today, Newlands is a gorgeous collection of peaceful tree-lined streets punctuated by a lovely variety of homes.  There are smaller 1950’s/1960’s brick ranches and substantial contemporary homes as well. The lot sizes are just as varied though there are not many lots over 1/4 acre. The friendly and active neighbors add to the vibrancy you would expect from a favorite Boulder neighborhood. Newlands also features the North Boulder Park and is close to great shopping and dining attractions.

As with most Boulder homes for sale, the inventory is fairly tight in Newlands – there are currently only three active listings. The current entry point is $1,075,000 and the priciest option sits at $1,389,000.

Looking back over the previous 12 months, 35 homes have sold in Newlands in a big range from $345,000 to $2.7million.  The average home sold for $1.2 million. Homes here have been selling in 99 days on average which is in line with other Boulder homes for sale in this price range.

For a closer look or a tour of Newlands or any other Boulder neighborhood, reach out to a Spaces Real Estate agent at www.YourSpaces.com!

A special thank you to Silvia Pettem for her article about Newlands posted on the Daily Camera website 5/09/2010  http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15009120.
She deserves a ton of credit for some of the information contained in this blog post.

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Posted in Featured Neighborhood

The Truth About Photos

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are incredibly grateful for our clients, our friends, and our colleagues. We love Boulder real estate and we love working with YOU!

Insist on a pro!

Insist on a pro!

Let’s face it. Anyone can take a picture.  Yet we know that GREAT real estate photography is particularly challenging. Lighting and spaces and lines and compositions get complicated quickly with architectural photography.  Friends don’t let friends sell their homes using bad pictures and here’s why:

According to the  2012 National Association of Realtor’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 98% of buyers who searched for a place on the internet found photos to be among the most useful features when house hunting.  Today’s busy buyers depend on digital images more than ever to “tour” homes on the internet.  Photos are the new curb appeal.

Pre-screening homes online is like pre-screening potential suitors online. We all know that the photos on the internet have been created and presented with just one goal – to make the very best first impression. If it doesn’t look good online, it’s certainly not going to improve in person!

Savvy sellers and savvy realtors understand the importance of top-notch presentation. Sellers often ask about professional photography and realtors routinely promise professional photography.  Yet we believe from our many hours of sorting through homes for sale every day that professional photography is actually fairly rare. We decided recently to test this theory to discover the facts and here are the results from our little study:

Sample:

  • Boulder County
  • Active Listings For Sale
  • $300,000 – $600,000
  • 126 Listings Total

Results:

  • 99/126 listings (79%) – Amateur Photography
  • 27/126 listings (21%) – Professional Photography

Shocked? We were too!  Ask just about any real estate agent and they will tell you that professional photographs are a key marketing tool yet just 21% of the listings in our study were presented with professional photography.  

When you’re selling your house, every single opportunity, every angle, every view, every image counts!  Yet only 16/126 (13%) of the listings utilized both professional photography AND the maximum number of pictures allowed by the MLS.

EVERY Spaces Real Estate listing is presented with professional photography and we believe this is a big reason behind our better results for our sellers. We have special access to the best photographers with the best tools to turn your home into the hot new listing that brings all the buyers to your house.  To learn more, visit us today at www.YourSpaces.com!

Posted in The Cutting Edge

3 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster and Save

Pay mortgage early and save money. Spaces Real Estate Boulder Colorado

Save Money!

When you bought your home, you may remember seeing a big scary number at closing  the estimated total cost of your new purchase with interest payments included. The total payments amount to many thousands of dollars more than the original purchase price.  We recently reached out to Senior Mortgage Banker Jessica Uphoff at Pinnacle Mortgage for these smart tips to reduce the total amount you pay for your house over the life of your loan:

1. Round Your Mortgage Payments Up – The easiest way to pay down the principal on your loan is to round up.  If your payment is $1241, you already think of your payment as $1250. Why not just pay $1250? On a $260,000 loan over 30 years, the extra $9 per month contributed towards the principal eliminates six payments. Want to pay it down faster? Pay $1300 a month and cut 30 payments from the loan! You will save approximately $17,000 in interest payments. Every little bit counts.

2. Refinance For a Shorter Term – Most banks offer options beyond the common 30 year loan term. The most popular fixed term mortgage loans are 30 year, 20 year, 15 year and 10 year. Typically the best interest rate deal is the 15 year loan. The monthly payment is quite a bit higher when compared to the 30 year, but the amount of interest you save is shocking.

For example, the payment on a $200,000 loan with a 30 year term at 4.5% is $1013. The payment on a $200,000 loan with a 15 year term at 3.5% is $1430. The $417 additional payment per month is a considerable increase, however you save a whopping $106,448 in interest over the life of the loan!

3. Make Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments – Pay half of your regular mortgage payment every other week. By the end of the year you will have made 26 half payments or the equivalent of 13 full payments. This amounts to one extra principal payment per year. That extra principal payment will shave roughly 5 years from your loan. Most banks offer bi-weekly payment options, so  just ask!

We hope these tips save you a ton of money. Please share your thoughts and comments below!

Posted in Did You Know?

Better Agents

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran’s Day

Better Results

Happy Veteran’s Day From Spaces Real Estate in Boulder!

At Spaces Real Estate, we love a great client success story. This tale of remarkable Boulder real estate results comes to us from our very own Ken Crifasi.

At the height of the recently reheated Boulder real estate market, Ken met a savvy first time real estate investor looking for a home in Boulder or in the Denver Metro area. Val was eager to score a great bargain on an investment property. He was working as a helicopter pilot for the United States Air Force and stationed in Kuwait.

This purchase would need to happen from afar.  Ken agreed to do all of the ground work  stateside and provide photos, advice, and spread sheet analysis to aid in property selection. Working as a team, they crunched the numbers, reviewed all alternatives, and decided that a 4-plex would maximize Val’s investment dollars and return on investment.

The stage was set for a great deal on a first-time investment, but there was a snag – mortgage rates had just hit new lows and investors were buying up listings like crazy.  Suddenly prices were rising at a fast pace and the great deals were becoming harder and harder to find.

Through skill and determination, Ken identified some possibilities and Val found some properties online as well.  They managed to narrow the choices and wrote a first offer.  The property was priced lower than market value, so the offer was over asking price. The market was so competitive that even this aggressive offer was not enough to secure the investment!

Val continued to hunt and found some more options that seemed like fantastic opportunities from his vantage point online in Kuwait. Ken agreed that the numbers looked good, but found that the properties were not what they seemed after careful investigation.

Ken realized that this tough challenge would require some out-of-the-box real estate problem solving. “Let me try a different route” he said. “Let’s find the ideal property that is not listed yet, and see if we can beat out the other investors to a deal BEFORE it’s listed.” Val agreed that this was a smart approach and Ken got to work combing through his database of realtors, clients, property owners, and investors.

Ken managed to find an owner of a 4-plex willing to consider a sale. The property was in a GREAT neighborhood, but the numbers didn’t look so promising.   Ken dug deeper and carefully studied the Profit and Loss and Cash Flow Statements.  Ken realized that the property was being managed poorly and that there was a ton of lost income opportunity.

They submitted an offer and of course there was no competition since other investors didn’t even know about the property. The offer was accepted! Ken attended the inspection, met with existing tenants, performed extensive due diligence, and helped Val seal the deal.

In the end, after 100‘s of emails and even a call by Satellite Phone, Val bought the investment for Zero Down payment, and a positive Cash Flow of over $900 per month! Val didn’t even see the property in person until after the closing.

Congratulations Val – Happy Veteran’s Day and a special thanks from the Spaces Real Estate team for your service to our country!

Posted in Success Stories