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Vital Information for First-Time Buyers!

by Team Cook

Vital Information for First-Time Buyers!


 The first-time homebuyer Federal tax credit for $8000, record-low interest rates, and nationwide median home prices dropping to the lowest point in five years, makes this an enticing time to consider buying a home. By the way, that tax incentive isn't truly just for first-time buyers -- it's defined as those not having owned a home in the last three years. Research and knowing your options are critical. Check with your tax accountant for more details. It’s increasingly likely that Congress will extend and expand the popular home buyer tax credit, which will expire at the end of this month.

According to an article in August in the Raleigh News & Observer, 10.8 percent of buyers are motivated to buy due to Federal and state tax incentives. So far only 1.14 million buyers have filed for the credit but many more are expected to file for it on their 2010 returns. However, the National Association of Realtors reports that the first-time homebuyer figure in July was still about 10 percent below the average for the past six years.

There are many aspects to consider when buying your first home. Your price point, location, lifestyle, expert help, mortgage programs, inspections, how quickly you want/need to move, the list goes on. It can seem like an overwhelming process for first-time buyers. In fact, some shy away and continue to rent simply because they don't know who to turn to or where to begin. Today there are more resources than ever available with just the click of a mouse; however, that can create information overload! But if you take a breath and relax, I'll sort through some important factors for home buying. And even if you're a seller, it's good to review this material because it helps to remind you where first-time buyers' mindsets are when they make an offer on your home.

Give yourself more time than you think you need. Due to the housing crisis and credit crunch, the mortgage process can take even longer than it did previously. Searching for a home is averaging about 12 weeks while getting the mortgage process wrapped up can take up to 60 days, according to information released by National Association of REALTORS 2008 Profile of Buyers and Sellers.

Give yourself plenty of time to understand how much home you can afford, what kind of loan is most suitable for your needs, and, of course, plenty of time to select the home that fits your lifestyle. First-time homebuyers often don't have a lot of comparison shopping experience. Frequently they're just getting started. What is acceptable for a rental is likely different from what first-time buyers expect and accept when purchasing their first home. However, first-time buyers must understand that shopping for a home is akin to shopping for a mate... there are always some compromises that are necessary. If you don't allow enough time, you'll find that it will lead to headaches, rushed decisions, and, in the end, you may feel pressured to buy something that you have not had enough time to completely consider—maybe because you have to relocate and start your job.

Never skip an inspection. You simply can't spot everything that could be wrong with the home. While not all sellers do it, some hire an inspector to inspect the home when they list it on the market. However, the burden of the inspection typically falls on the buyer to pay for it. And the information you receive is invaluable. Hiring a certified inspector to give the home a once-over will help you discover problem areas that your agent can then negotiate for repair work or price adjustment. Also, note that the home inspections (yours and the sellers) may differ; examine both, this way you'll learn more about your potential home.

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, a licensed home inspector says that when you get your home inspection be certain to have everything turned on. In one case, "The water valve to the house was turned to almost off. When you turned it on to regular pressure... the seller had water spurting out of almost all of the faucets because all of the O-rings, the seals, had all dried so much that they were just allowing water to spill right out of them," said Schulte-Ladbeck.

Use experts to help prepare. Having a team of experts who can expedite your search by finding the most suitable properties for you will save you endless hours of looking. Also, the right mortgage expert simplifies the loan process. You'll be guided through the home-buying process instead of becoming overwhelmed by the options, paperwork, and tasks. Using the best specialists can truly make buying your first home a wonderful experience.

Written by Phoebe Chongchua

If you are a first-time home buyer, call Team Cook today!

Weekly Market Conditions!

by Team Cook

Weekly Market Conditions!

November 10, 2009

Berthoud - The number of homes on the market as of 11/10/09 is 124.
The Average Days on Market as of 11/10/09 is 163

Ft. Collins - The number of homes on the market as of 11/10/09 is 1361
The Average Days on Market as of 11/10/09 is 106.

Johnstown - The number of homes on the market as of 11/10/2009 is 113.
The Average Days of Market as of 11/10/09 is 109.

Loveland - The number of homes on the market as of 11/10/09 is 821.
The Average Days on Market as of 11/10/09 is 115.

Larimer County - The number of homes on the market in Larimer County as of 11/10/2009 is 3173.
The average days on market for Larimer County as of 11/10/2009 is 119.

October 2009 DID YOU KNOW???

by Team Cook

Did you know???

  • A recent analysis of locally owned homes between 910 and 1,149 square feet appreciated 4.5 percent. Homes between 2160 and 2,874 square feet lost 5 percent of their value and homes with more than 2,875 square feet fell 10.45 percent.  

 

  • Jeff Thredgold, an economist for Vectra Bank Colorado. Emphatically, Thredgold said "The Great Recession' is no more. It's over, finished, kaput!"

 

  • Lawrence Yun, the NAR's Chief economist, said the housing market "has decisively turned for the better."

 

  • According to the Commerce Department, bookings for durable goods in July climbed 4.9 percent, which exceeds the forecasts as well as achieves the largest gain since July of 2007.

 

  • According to the American Institute of Economic Research, Fort Collins ranked among the top small college cities in the United States. In its "College Destinations Index 2009-2010," the AIER evaluated categories such as academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities.

 

Weekly Market Conditions!

by Team Cook

Weekly Market Conditions!

October 22, 2009

Berthoud - The number of homes on the market as of 10/22/09 is 131.
The Average Days on Market as of 10/22/09 is 162

Ft. Collins - The number of homes on the market as of 10/22/09 is 1469
The Average Days on Market as of 10/22/09 is 106.

Johnstown - The number of homes on the market as of 10/22/2009 is 124.
The Average Days of Market as of 10/22/09 is 110.

Loveland - The number of homes on the market as of 10/22/09 is 852.
The Average Days on Market as of 10/22/09 is 116.

Larimer County - The number of homes on the market in Larimer County as of 10/22/2009 is 3374.
The average days on market for Larimer County as of 10/22/2009 is 119.

Weekly Market Conditions!

by Team Cook

WEEKLY MARKET CONDITIONS!

OCTOBER 14, 2009

BERTHOUD - The number of homes on the market as of 10/14/09 is 129.
The Average Days on Market as of 10/14/09 is 162

LOVELAND - The number of homes on the market as of 10/14/09 is 847.
The Average Days on Market as of 10/14/09 is 116.

FT. COLLINS - The number of homes on the market as of 10/14/09 is 1499
The Average Days on Market as of 10/14/09 is 106.

JOHNSTOWN - The number of homes on the market as of 10/14/2009 is 122.
The Average Days of Market as of 10/14/09 is 109.

LARIMER COUNTY - The number of homes on the market in Larimer County as of 10/14/2009 is 3400.
The average days on market for Larimer County as of 10/14/2009 is 119.

DID YOU KNOW???

by Team Cook

DID YOU KNOW...

  • Colorado ranked 11th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in the home price appreciation during the second quarter of 2009, according the the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index.  The report shows that home values in Colorado increased 0.17 percent over the first quarter.

 

  • The Business Week magazine survey ranked Fort Collins number 19 among the nation's strongest housing markets! The report shows that 28.82 percent of homes in the area increased in value from the second quarter in 2008 to the second quarter in 2009.  The report also states that Fort Collins "has excellent schools, low crime, and a vibrant downtown known as Old Town. It has miles of hiking and biking trails, 600 acres of parks, and 5,000 acres of natural areas." The survey in Business Week is based on data compiled by www.zillow.com.

 

  • The Larimer Home Ownership program is administered by the Housing Authority of the City of Loveland and offers down payment and closing cost assistance to low and moderate income families purchasing their first home.

 

  • The City of Fort Collins Home Buyers Assistance program is available for households financially ready to buy a home but do not have the funds in hand to cover down payment and closing costs.

 

Contact Team Cook for more information on statistics or programs available in the Northern Colorado area such as Berthoud, Loveland, Ft. Collins, Longmont, Boulder, Greeley and everything in between!

 

 

 

September Market Update

by Team Cook

For the first time in five years, existing home sales have increased for four months in a row, according to an August report by the The National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Existing home sales - including single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops - increased 7.2 percent in July, which is the largest monthly sales gain recorded since 1999. Analysts are projecting an increase in 2009 of existing home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units, which is 5 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace set in July 2008.

"The housing market has decisively turned for the better," said Lawrence Yun, chief NAR economist. "A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales."

Ground Breaking News for Ponderosa Elementary!

by Team Cook

Located in the North West part of Loveland Colorado the official groundbreaking began for the Thompson School District's newest school, Ponderosa Elementary on July 23rd. 

This will be Loveland's newest Elementary School and will cover 72,000 square feet and have anticipated for four classes per grade.

The school is expected to be completed in one year with plans to be ready for the 2010/2011 School year.

Market Conditions!

by Team Cook

Approximate Location Boundaries: Berthoud

41 Residential Homes Sold in 2nd Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $232,000.00
24 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $236,000.00
36 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2008.
Median Price was $215,000.00.
The number of homes on the market as of 08/18/09 is 126.
The Average Days on Market as of 08/18/09 is 151.

Location Characteristics:
Nestled between the cities of Loveland and Longmont, Berthoud's local charm is well known. Shaded parks, quaint and historic neighborhoods, and peaceful streets allow Berthoud a special ambiance.

Approximate Location Boundaries: Fort Collins

742 Residential Homes Sold in 2nd Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $215,000.00
408 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $210,000.00.
422 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2008.
Median Price was $211,000.00.
The number of homes on the market as of 08/18/09 is 1543.
The Average Days on Market as of 08/18/09 is 110.

Location Characteristics:
Fort Collins is 60 miles north of Denver and is nestled on the Colorado plains near the Rocky Mountain foothills. With a population of over 120,000, this college town provides many interesting diversions. The combination of great recreation, safe living, vibrant culture and outstanding beauty have placed the city of Fort Collins on many top ten lists including Best Place to Live and Work in America, Best Place to Visit and Best Place to Retire. Residents of this lovely city enjoy a quality of life that is indeed to be envied.

Approximate Location Boundaries: Johnstown

161 Residential Homes Sold in 2nd Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $219,900.00
28 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $185,000.00.
42 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2008.
Median Price was $189,900.00.
The number of homes on the market as of 08/18/2009 is 142.
The Average Days of Market as of 08/18/09 is 116.

Location Characteristics:
Johnstown is situated along I-25 just south of Loveland. Johnstown offers a rural quality of life unsurpassed on the Northern Colorado Front Range. This small town presents a superb place to buy, rent or sell with the expanding community opportunities, from the high-quality neighborhoods with the grand mountain views to the vast chooses of job prospects.

Approximate Location Boundaries: Loveland

331 Residential Homes Sold in 2nd Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $185,880.00
210 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2009
Median Price was $200,000.00.
251 Residential Homes Sold in 1st Qtr. 2008.
Median Price was $195,000.00.
The number of homes on the market as of 08/18/09 is 911.
The Average Days on Market as of 08/18/09 is 117.

Location Characteristics:
Loveland is a great place to live. Situated within the beautiful Colorado landscape, Loveland combines the splendor of nature with a vibrant community devoted to social interests, cultural activities and outdoor pleasures. With a population of over 50,000 residents, you can enjoy the benefits of small town living in a relaxed and safe environment. You can visit the nearby town of Berthoud. Nestled between the cities of Loveland and Longmont, Berthoud's local charm is well known. Shaded parks, quaint and historic neighborhoods, and peaceful streets allow Berthoud a special ambiance. 

Check out Thomson School District CSAP Reports for 2009!

by Team Cook
 
 
 
 
 
Cottonwood Plains Elementary
Loveland, Colorado
http://www.reporterherald.com/webextra/csap/elem_school.asp?ID=1920
 
 
 
 
Laurene Edmondson Elementary
Loveland, Colorado
http://www.reporterherald.com/webextra/csap/elem_school.asp?ID=5018
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thompson Valley High School
Loveland, Colorado
http://www.reporterherald.com/webextra/csap/high_school.asp?ID=8824
 
The statewide ACT scores also were released. Here is a list of the 2009 average composite scores:
 
Berthoud High School: 21.13
 
Loveland High School: 20.63
 
Ferguson High School: 14.49
 
Mountain View High School: 19.42
 
Thompson Valley High School: 20.47
 
District: 20.17
 
State: 19.6

Displaying blog entries 341-350 of 360

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Team Cook Real Estate Services
The Cottage Realty Ltd.
908 Mountain Avenue
Berthoud CO 80513
970-532-2695
Fax: 970-532-2699

"I have truly heard and seen first-hand that Cottage Realty is wonderful, exemplary, and a real asset to the economy of Northern Colorado. I will definitely keep Cottage Realty in mind as my first choice if and when I have real estate needs in the future. Again, thank you so much. I will also refer you to friends and family who need your services. Sincerely...Stacy"