July 7, 2020

Newlywed Home Buying Tips

Buying Your First Home Together With True Realty


Getting married is a very exciting time and momentous moment. Buying your fist home together as a couple should be just as joyous and exciting, yet can sometimes be overwhelming. We have a few tips on how to discuss options prior to beginning your home search.


Finances + Credit
If it hasn’t already been discussed, learning of each other’s current financial status and credit history is better to do prior to starting your search. The type of home that you can afford and the loan amount that you can qualify for depends on your joint financial status and credit history. If these two key items aren’t discussed first, you could be wasting your time viewing homes that are out of your reach at the moment.

Mortgage Options
Do you both have a fantastic credit history or is one credit history stronger than the others? While it is customary to believe both people need to be involved in the mortgage process, there are times where it is beneficial for only one person to be on the loan. If one credit history is not extremely strong and/or has debt or delinquencies involved, that person’s credit can drive up the interest rate, drive up the down payment, and drive down the approved loan amount. This is an example of where it may be beneficial for only one person to be on the home loan.

Type of Home + Amenities
One of the best ways to figure out on what type of home will make both of you happy is for each of you to make a list of your must-haves and wants in rank of importance then combine the lists. Don’t forget that marriage is all about compromise! The number one item on one list may be the number thirteen item on the other list. One example of compromise might be if one person can’t have their number one, maybe they can have both number two and number three on the list.

Here is a list of things to keep in mind:

  • Type (single-family, townhome, condo, manufactured)
  • Construction (vinyl, brick, stucco, etc.)
  • Location (commute time, neighborhood, school district)
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Square footage
  • Lot size (backyard, front yard, no yard)
  • Parking (garage, carport, street, parking lot)
  • Layout design (open floor plan, traditional, split)
  • Amenities (gas vs electric, deck, front porch, fireplace, etc.)
  • Flooring (hardwood, tile, carpet, laminate, etc.)
  • Finishes (countertops, cabinets)

Think of the Future
Are you going to have kids? Do you already have kids? What school districts are your kids going to attend or currently attend? Do you plan on having animals? How long do you anticipate living in this house? These are all fantastic questions to ask yourselves when considering what home best fits your needs. Take these into consideration and see if you can come up with more situational questions that may affect your future living situation.

Purchasing Process
If neither of you has owned a home before, learning of the home buying process can be a bit overwhelming. Here is what to expect.

  1. Apply for a mortgage and get pre-approved
  2. Contact a realtor
  3. Tour homes
  4. Choose a home and put in an offer
  5. Complete mortgage approval
  6. Home inspection
  7. Final walk-through
  8. Close

Home buying can be a challenging process when combining the interests of multiple people. Don’t worry, it is possible! Be sure to be honest with each other about what you can and cannot live without because living together in a home you hate is not the way you will want to start off a marriage. 

For a free consultation with no obligation - please feel free to give us a call @ (720) 305-0757.

 

July 5, 2020

Denver School Year 20/21

 

When you have kids in school, searching for a new home involves knowing the local school's availability and performance. Click HERE to review the annual school performance and statewide assessments to gain insight and assist you in finding the perfect home for your family.

 

 

Denver Public Schools Choice and Enrollment "Round 2" begins every year after families are notified of their Round 1 school placement, and ends in late August. This is a first-come, first-served segment of SchoolChoice for families who missed Round 1; took part in Round 1 but want to re-explore their options; or new to DPS for the next school year.

 

The Denver Schools Board and administration has been tasked with the difficult decision regarding reopening our schools for the 20-21 school year. In addition to a 100% online option for students, the district is also working toward opening all schools for full, in-person instruction in August instead of a hybrid model. 

 

 

While the last school year was disrupted and presented many obstacles, changes and anxiety, DPS has been working diligently towards this next school year and planning for the return in collaboration with Denver Health and the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment to create a set of health standards based on current conditions. Click HERE to watch their video that explains these standards.

 

 

We know that this can be a difficult time for many families in our community. We are truly here to help you to the best of our ability. Feel free to reach out at any time by messaging us here or calling (720) 305-0757.

 

 

Posted in Community Info
July 1, 2020

Tips On Staying Cool This Summer

With the higher temps, we wanted to share a few ways that you can beat the heat and stay cool!

Block The Sun

Room temps can increase by 10 to 20 degrees with direct sunlight. Block the sun by closing curtains and blinds. If you don’t have curtains, use bed sheets.

A/C TLC

Replace your A/C filter once a month during the summer. If you have a window unit, seal any cracks. Do you have a fireplace? Don’t forget to close the damper so that hot air isn’t sneaking in as you run the A/C.

Fan Strategy

When I was a kid, we didn’t have any A/C and I don’t recall too many days being unbearable. My Mother would place box fans throughout the house, facing outward and forcing the heat out while pulling cooler air in. She also placed a couple of fans on a table top with a bowl of ice in front, that was always a nice treat! One last trick was to place a standing floor fan in the middle of the room, creating a cross breeze. Many summer nights, the cross breeze was especially cool.

Remember, ceiling fans for the summer should run counter-clockwise, forcing air downward and cooling the room.

Know The Pulse Points

Need to cool down quickly? Apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points – the neck, elbow and wrists, behind the needs, groins and ankles. You can also fill a sock with rice and place in the freezer for an hour and use for about 30 minutes.

Dress For The Heat

The goal is to have the sweat evaporate from the skin to air. Wear loose, light colors that allow air to move and keep from feeling sticky.

Protect your head from the sun with a hat, scarf or loose ball cap … or use an umbrella.

Dress like a cowboy. The handkerchief around a cowboy’s neck wasn’t necessarily a fashion trend, there was a purpose. The handkerchief was actually damp and cooled the neck.

Stay Hydrated & Eat Light

We hear this often, drink lots of water. As the body sweats, you must replenish the moisture that you perspire. Otherwise, your body temperature will rise. Try to avoid alcohol, caffeine or sugar heavy beverages.

Eat smaller meals. Smoothies, fruits and veggies are great options for food. Watermelon has the greatest water content of any food and is a great summer time treat for all ages. Spicy foods that heat your mouth cool the body. According to research conducted by Dr. Ollie Jay, sweating from the consumption of a hot beverage or spicy food outweighs the added heat.

Another great alternative is to freeze fruits like blueberries, strawberries, mango and cherries. You can enjoy the frozen treats by themselves or infuse your water, encouraging you to drink more. Chrysanthemum tea is also a natural coolant to enjoy and helps lower the body temperature in addition to being loaded with vitamins.

Need to cool a bottled beverage quickly?  Wrap a wet paper towel around the drink and place it in the freezer for about 15 minutes!

Break Out The Water Balloons

Who doesn’t love a good ‘ole fashion water balloon fight – fun for all ages! There are a few products on the market that eliminate the process of filling the balloons and tying off. . . who enjoys that! “Bunch O Balloons” are self sealing and easily filled within seconds. A trick is to fill the bucket that will hold the balloons with water so that the balloons don’t stick together and burst before playtime.

Cold Potato is a great alternative for summertime fun. Use a pin to poke a tiny hole in the neck of the balloon, allowing a slow and steady leak. Toss the leaky balloon from one player to the next, spraying everyone in the process. Be sure to toss quickly as the goal is to pass the balloon before the water runs out.

The kids enjoy a good game of “towel toss”, using a beach towel, position one or two at each end of the towel. Place a water balloon in the center and lift the towel, sending the balloon into the air. The goal is to see how high the balloon can soar and catch the balloon without bursting.

One more water balloon game is to fill a dozen water balloons and take turns throwing high into the air over a driveway, seeing who can make the biggest splat. Use chalk to trace the outline and determine who won.

More Outdoor Fun

Have the kids create their own sprinkler with a 2-liter bottle and garden hose. Use a pushpin to create 8 holes on each side of the bottle. Use a bamboo skewer to widen the holes. Use a ¾ inch female by ¾ inch female swivel hose adapter to thread the bottle onto the hose. Use rubber washers to minimize leaks. Turn on the hose and have fun! Be sure to not turn the water on to full pressure as this could force the bottle off of the hose. Check on your DIY sprinkler once in a while to make sure that the connection isn’t loosening and risking coming loose.

Bubbles and glow sticks are a great distraction from the heat in the shade as well as an outdoor picnic. Consider camping at home! One of my daughter’s memories that she often talks about is when “camped at home”, sleeping on the hammock, falling asleep as we gazed at the stars.

“Sponge Bombs” are a great replacement to water balloons, reusable and environmentally friendly. All that you need are sponges, scissors and fishing line or yarn. Cleanup after playtime is easy  … just stuff them in a mesh or linen bag to dry.

Check out this over-sized sponge bomb made with foam and rope. . . oh yeah, talk about fun!

Don’t Forget About Your Pets

Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water and shad from the sun. For canines, create a Popsicle by filling a bucket with water, chicken broth and dog treats and freezing. Turn the bucket over and the Popsicle will slide out to the delight of your furry friend.

Get a baby pool for your dog to splash around. Not all dogs like water and not all dogs are good swimmers …. be sure to not leave your pet alone around a large swimming pool.

Nothing is more important than brushing your furry family member, removing the winter undercoat and tangles, allowing circulation and protection from the sun.

 

We hope that you find the tips above to help bear the heat. If you find that your home is in need of any repairs over the summer and are not sure who to contact, we have a plethora of trusted resources that can assist. Just give us a call @ (720) 305-0757.

Posted in True Realty Team
June 28, 2020

Shop For A Mortgage Lender?

Finding the right home for you is our primary goal, but enjoying it with a lower payment and better mortgage terms is a very important secondary goal.

Should you shop around for mortgage lenders?

Yes, absolutely. You will want to consider different options and ask each about rates, loan terms, down payment requirements, property insurance, closing and fees of all kinds and compare these details so that you can negotiate the best deal. 

As you begin to search for a mortgage lender it is important to:

  • Know your credit score and history
  • If applicable to you, ask about first-time home buyer programs
  • Compare interest rates and more from several lenders 
  • Get pre-approved

Although financial experts recommend applying for loan pre-approval with multiple lenders, consulting more than three lenders is generally a waste of time and money as loan offers beyond this will vary minimally, if at all. 

Will shopping for mortgage hurt credit scores?

Looking for new credit can equate with a higher risk, but most credit scores are not affected by multiple inquires from auto, mortgage or student loan lenders within a short period of time. Typically, these are treated as a single inquiry and will have little impact on your credit score.

Can you really negotiate a mortgage rate?

Yes, you can try to negotiate the interest rates presented by the lender, much will depend on your qualifications as a borrower. Generally speaking, well-qualified borrowers have more negotiating power. You can also use prepaid interest points to negotiate a lower mortgage rates. The amount of interest reduction will vary from one lender to the next. Generally speaking, one point will equate to .25%. Example: If a lender offers you a rate of 4% with no points, you might choose to pay one point at closing to reduce the rate to 3.75%. Two points would bring it down to 3.5%. 

At True Realty we've researched and worked with many mortgage brokers and lenders. We can help you contact those that are the best for you and your financial picture. Give us a call today @ (720) 305-0757 to get started in finding mortgage lenders with competitive interest rates that best fit your needs. 

 

 

Posted in Buying
June 14, 2020

Buying A Home?

 

Looking into buying a home? Here are 5 essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get Your Finances In Order

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit score. Make sure the facts are correct and fix any problems that you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will place you in a better position to make a serious offer when you find the right house.

Find A House You Can Afford

There's a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: aim for a home that costs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt and expenses affect what you can afford. Don't forget that there are also considerations beyond the price of the home, including property taxes, insurance and energy costs. 

It is a good idea to have an understanding of what your lender thinks you can afford and will depend largely upon two factors:

  • Gross income determines the "front-end ratio", also known as the mortgage-to-income ratio. The front-end ratio measures how much of your income is dedicated to mortgage payments. This is typically no more than 28& for most loans and 31% for FHA Loans
  • "Back-end ratio" is how much of your income is dedicated to other debt obligations, credit-card payments, non-mortgage payments.

Look for a trusted advisor to assist you with this step. If you do not have one, True Realty can share a list of trusted providers for you to choose from.

Hire A Professional

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can't pick up from surfing the web. That's why you're better off using a professional agent than going it alone. Choose a buyer agent who will have your interests at heart and can help you with the strategies during a bidding process. 

True Realty offers a free consultation with no obligation. If choose to not work with us, it is not our style or business practice to hassle you. Schedule your free consultation by calling (720) 305-0757 or reach out to owner Chris Tucker via email: Chris@TrueRealtyCo.com.

Do Your Homework

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area / neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months, Come up with an asking price that's competitive, but also realistic.

Think Long Term

Obviously, you shouldn't buy unless you're sure that you will be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home's resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

 

We hope that you find these 5 tips helpful! If you are interest in a free, non-obligatory consultation, call (720) 305-0757 or reach out to owner Chris Tucker via email: Chris@TrueRealtyCo.com.

 

 

June 11, 2020

Mortgage Rates Will Stay Low

Incredible News For Both Homebuyers AND Homesellers!

The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday, June 10th that it would keep its benchmark interest rates at its current all-time low, previously seen during and after the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession. This leaves the Federal Reserve's target for the federal fund rates within a range of 0% to 0.25% 

Learn More

Contact True Realty today to discover the best options for you!

Call (720) 305-0757

 

June 7, 2020

Preparing Your Home To Sell

Tips On Selling Your Home _ Presented By True Realty

 

We consider it our obligation to help you thoroughly and objectively evaluate your home's condition and features to properly assess how it compares to the current market. Once we've determined the full value, our team will offer you advice about the little things that you can do to stage your home to get you the highest possible price.

Learn More About Selling Your Home

Did you know?

Well placed furniture can open up rooms and make them seem larger than they are?

Or that opening drapes and blinds + turning on all lights make a room feel bright and cheery?

It's a fact: acquiring the highest market value and elevating your home above others in the same price range often come down to first impressions.

THINGS TO DO:

EXTERIOR:

  • Keep the grass freshly cut
  • Remove all yard clutter
  • Apply fresh paint to wooden fences
  • Paint the front door
  • Weed and apply fresh mulch to landscaping / garden beds
  • Clean windows (inside and out)
  • Wash or paint the home's exterior
  • Tighten and clean all door handles
  • Ensure gutters and downspouts are firmly attached.

INTERIOR:

  • Consider removing excessive all hangings and furniture
  • Store away knickknacks and items of personal value
  • Clean or pain walls and ceilings
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Clean and organize cabinets and closets
  • Repair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps
  • Clean all light fixtures / possibly update them

FOR SHOWINGS

  • Turn on all lights
  • Open drapes in daytime
  • Keep pets secured outdoors / allow someone to pet sit for you at their home
  • Play quiet background music
  • Light the fireplace (if seasonally appropriate)
  • Infuse the home with a comforting, not overwhelming, scent like apple spice or vanilla
  • Vacate the property while it is being shown

ADDITIONAL HOME STAGING TIPS

If you find this to be overwhelming or if you are needing assistance of any kind, True Realty has a plethora of resources that can help. Just give us a call @ (720) 305-0757. 

 

 

 

Posted in Selling
May 31, 2020

Shade Garden Tips

Shade gardens are planted and grown in areas with little to now direct sunlight. They can occur naturally or by design under trees and can be such a pleasant surprise. In the very spot where you think nothing will grow, there are plants that will not only grow, but flower and thrive as well.

Astilbe

If you are looking for plumes of color for that shady spot, consider planting astilbe. These perennials are quite easy to grow and will bloom from late spring and through the summer.

Astilbe flowers are white, pink, lavender or red, and are striking when grown in bunches or along a shady walkway. Give the plant rich soil and water to keep the soil moist.

Camellia

The only problem with choosing a camellia shrub for your shady garden is trying to figure out which variety to grow, which color to grow and which flower form.

The Japanese camellia (Camellia japonica) is the most popularly grown species in the home garden. With more than 2,000 cultivars, gardeners can choose those that bloom in double, semi-double or single flowers, in shades of white, pink and red.

Although the young camellia will thrive in deep shade, as it ages it will need a bit of morning sun to produce the gorgeous flower show. Watch the Grumpy Gardener’s Guide to Camellias video for additional tips.

Heuchera

The Heuchera is commonly known as coral bells. Heuchera is popular not only because it’s so easy to grow, but for its mind-boggling diversity in form and color – with nearly 50 different species.

Dainty flowers provide color to the shade garden, in white, pink, and red hues. Learn more about Heuchera and get tips on choosing the right one for your garden at the spruce.com.

Hosta

Don’t discount the value of brilliant foliage in your shade garden. Hosta is a favorite, across the country. Although they die back in winter, the gorgeous foliage appears again in spring.

Check out ‘Autumn Frost” to provide a pop of color along a walkway or wall in the shade garden.

Hydrangea

Is there a flower lover on earth who isn’t impressed with hydrangea blooms? The mopheads, with their huge, round flowers or the panicles that drip from the shrub – what is not to like?

Best of all (at least for the shade gardener), is that too much sun is brutal on the hydrangea. In fact, a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade is ideal.

Hydrangea is a deciduous shrub and, depending on variety, may grow from four to 12 feet tall. Learn more about the different types of hydrangea and their care at Clemson University’s website. 

Impatiens

This African native is a top selling bedding plant in the country. The reason: it’s very easy to grow.

Impatiens come in 15 colors, from white to bright and will grow quite well in the shade. They do always require moist soil to keep blooming.

Impatiens are also lovely in containers and hanging baskets. 

Lungwort

If you prefer to carpet the soil within your shady gardening spot, choose a groundcover. Lungwort is one worth considering.

Flowering in shades of purple, red, white, or pink, lungwort is a clumping perennial. Most varieties grow nine to 10 inches in height and spread two to three feet wide.

Lungwort always prefers slightly moist soil. If the roots get too dry the plant will wilt and it will rot if the roots get too much moisture. The experts at Iowa State University suggest watering it every week to 10 days if there is no rain.

 

 

Posted in Home Design
May 17, 2020

5 Tips To Enjoy Your Garden Space

Tips To Enjoy Your Garden Space

 

Now is the time for gardening fanatics to roll their sleeves up and dig in to some fun! Starting a garden is just like real estate. It's all about location. Follow the sun. Misjudging sunlight is a common pitfall when you're first learning to garden. Stay close to water and start with great soil.

Dig into your gardening adventure with these 5 additional great tips to make more efficient use of your gardening time and money:

DYI SPRINKLER SYSTEM WITH TIMER

Save time, water and pamper your plants. A programmable timer and a drip kit can transform into a DIY sprinkler system that allows you when to water, how long to water and when to repeat 

How To Install DIY Sprinkler

RAISED GARDEN BEDS

Raised beds provide a rich aesthetic to your home and convenience when gardening. When visiting a dear friend a few days ago, she shared that she had just moved her raised garden bed from the sunroom to the outdoor and uses it year round!

Tips Tools And Materials

DON'T GROW THESE VEGETABLES NEXT TO EACH OTHER

Yes, there are incompatible plants, who knew? Plants fight for nutrients and space. Some demand their own space and don't play well with others.

Plant Tips

10 KITCHEN INGREDIENTS TO HELP YOUR GARDEN GROW

Who knew that baking soda, cream of tartar, cayenne pepper could be used for your garden? Baking Soda is alkaline and flowers thrive on alkaline soil. Cream of tartar will keep the ants away without chemicals. Cayenne pepper is a deterrent for squirrels to dig your bulbs.

Pantry Ingredients Good For Your Garden

PRUNING

When is the best time to prune? That depends. Spring flowering shrubs and trees should be pruned right after they bloom. If you wait until the summer or the fall, you will cut off flower buds for the next year. Summer blooming should be taken care of in the later winter and non-blooming trees and shrubs should be pruned in the late winter when they are fully dormant.

Step By Step Pruning Tips

 

 

 

Posted in Home Design
March 23, 2020

Real Estate Market News

With all of the volatility in the stock market and uncertainty about the Coronavirus (COVID-19), some are concerned we may be headed for another housing crash like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. The feeling is understandable. Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview:

“With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.”

There are many reasons, however, indicating this real estate market is nothing like 2008. Here are five visuals to show the dramatic differences.

1. Mortgage standards are nothing like they were back then.

During the housing bubble, it was difficult NOT to get a mortgage. Today, it is tough to qualify. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases a Mortgage Credit Availability Index which is “a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.” The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. As shown below, during the housing bubble, the index skyrocketed. Currently, the index shows how getting a mortgage is even more difficult than it was before the bubble.

2. Prices are not soaring out of control.

Below is a graph showing annual house appreciation over the past six years, compared to the six years leading up to the height of the housing bubble. Though price appreciation has been quite strong recently, it is nowhere near the rise in prices that preceded the crash.

There’s a stark difference between these two periods of time. Normal appreciation is 3.6%, so while current appreciation is higher than the historic norm, it’s certainly not accelerating beyond control as it did in the early 2000s.

3. We don’t have a surplus of homes on the market. We have a shortage.

The months’ supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale in 2007, and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory which is causing an acceleration in home values.

4. Houses became too expensive to buy.

The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, the wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Fourteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased and the mortgage rate is about 3.5%. That means the average family pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then. Here’s a graph showing that difference:

5. People are equity rich, not tapped out.

In the run-up to the housing bubble, homeowners were using their homes as a personal ATM machine. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up, and they learned their lesson in the process. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over fifty percent of homes in the country having greater than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time. Here is a table comparing the equity withdrawal over the last three years compared to 2005, 2006, and 2007. Homeowners have cashed out over $500 billion dollars less than before:

During the crash, home values began to fall, and sellers found themselves in a negative equity situation (where the amount of the mortgage they owned was greater than the value of their home). Some decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area. That can’t happen today.

Bottom Line

If you’re concerned we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the above graphs are to help alleviate your fears. The entire True Realty Team is here to assist you with answering any questions. We are telecommuting daily and conducting video conferences to still have that personal face-to-face conversation. Reach out at any time, (720) 305-0757. 

 

Posted in Market Updates