Friday, October 17, 2008

Its Time to Buy Your Next Home

Calling all Aurora real estate home buyers looking for a "smokin' deal" ! Over the last couple of weeks, our team has been showing homes in the Murphy Creek neighborhood. Do to hard economic times for home owners in this area there are over 49 homes for sale, many below market value. There are several homes in short sale or foreclosure, which makes this the perfect time for buyers to consider making their move. Located just 6 miles from Southlands Mall, 7 minutes from E-470, 17 minutes from DIA, 20 minutes from DTC and 20 minutes from Downtown, the area is perfect for families working all over Denver.

Most of the homes on the market in Murphy Creek, Aurora Colorado were built after 2003 and can be bought for $94.00 to $175.00 a square foot depending on their finishes. We have found that some of the nicest properties have over 3,000 square feet of living space and are priced around $101.00 a s/f. One in particular is loaded with upgrades including stamped patios, cherry cabinets, 3 car heated garage & patios facing the golf course.

The golf course this neighborhood was built around is city owned and open to the public, which gives the residence a sense of living in a Country Club Community without the huge membership fees. In fact, the HOA in this area is around $45.00 per month and includes snow removal of the streets. Also provided by the Home Owners Association are tennis courts, a pool and Country Club Restaurant.

If your not intrigued yet, our sources have revealed to us that a new High School and Community College will be built in conjunction with one another by the year 2010. This will provide the opportunity for students attending the High School to conveniently receive college credits prior to graduation.

Here is a sample of what you will find for sale in Murphy Creek, Aurora Colorado 80018.

  1. 2,960 Square Feet
    Two Story Home
    3 Car Heated Garage
    4 Bedrooms
    3 Bathrooms
    1,014 s/f Open Basement
    Short Sale
    Located on Golf Course
    Cherry Cabinets
    Hardwood Floors
    Price $299,900
  2. 2,505 Square Feet
    Two Story Home
    2 Car Garage
    3 Bedroom
    3 Bathrooms
    1,281 s/f Open Basement
    Lender Owned
    Granite Countertops
    Master Suite w/Fireplace
    Needs Some Work
    Price $236,900
  3. 2,498 Square Feet
    Two Story Home
    2 Car Garage
    4 Bedrooms
    3 Bathrooms
    1,105 s/f Open Basement
    Possible Short Sale
    Situated on Cul de Sac
    Hardwood Floors
    Washer/Dryer Included
    Price $225,000
  4. 3,174 Square Feet
    Two Story Home
    3 Car Garage
    4 Bedrooms
    3 Bathrooms
    1,439 s/f Open Basement
    Short Sale
    Gas Log Fireplace
    Built-in Entertainment Area
    Gourmet Kitchen w/Granite
    Price $279,000

    Are you still not sold on considering these properties? All of these prices could be open for negotiation, if you have patience enough to wait on the Lenders response. Most of these homes have been on the Metro Denver real estate market for over 600 days, which translates to "motivated sellers". Do you want to know more? Call Kim Olson's Team at 303.917.6402, they is doing weekly showings of these homes for Colorado home buyers that know a GREAT DEAL when they see it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Staging your Denver Home Correctly

So, your house is on the market, and once again the figures have just been released showing that prices are down... down... down - but don't go down with them. Instead, get active and bring yourself up, up, up by doing something practical and truly helpful in the marketing process: home-staging. No, I mean really home staging not a half hearted attempt!

It is bad luck if you have to sell your house now, when figures have dropped another couple of percentage points, but there are others out there who are also on the move and want to buy your house - if their attention is drawn to it. According to the National Association of Realtors, the prices are reported to show a national average of being 15.5% lower than this time last year. However, your area may be above or below this, so take your realtor's advice about a realistic asking price. He or she will also have some tips for home-staging but these will get you going.
How to get your home noticed - that is the first key to selling it so the home staging must start on the exterior; more on that later. The second key is the viewing and this is where the home staging really comes into play. Prospective home buyers want to enter your home and see it looking like a show-home for a new housing development. In other words, it has no clutter and no personal affects showing; this way they can imagine their own effects in the home and begin to picture themselves in it.

The large photograph of Fido above the fireplace will be a hindrance, not an asset. Perhaps they are allergic to dogs and it will invoke a bad memory - get rid of it! And while you are in the living room, take away the CDs, the books, the ornaments, the rattan waste bin, the cat's toys, the magazines under the coffee table, the grand-daughter's photo, the crochet behind the armchair, the ash tray, the spare rug and all those plants catching the sun on the window sill!

If you are still reading at this point..... then here's some more expert advice: hire a storage for $20 a month and pre-pack some boxes prior to moving. Most of us could fill one box with our kids school paintings and fridge magnets! The fridge, the counter tops and the kitchen floor must all be bare! Bare is what house buyers want to see- it makes a kitchen look big and spacious and as if they could concoct a cordon bleu meal in it.

The first thing that anyone will notice when entering a home is ...smell. Be sure it is fresh and clean and pleasant. Use a plug-in air freshener; if you have a pet use two or three plug-ins! Also fling open the windows for real fresh air, and try the corny old trick of buns or cookies baking in the oven. It is sometimes the case that stoves and furnaces give off a smell of smoke when they are first lit, if so - do not use them; instead turn on the central heating. Thoroughly clean the furnace and sparkle it with a special fire black product from the local stove store.

Light is a bonus in a home so clean all your windows, and your lampshades and try putting a higher wattage bulb in all your light fixtures, especially the hallways. For a cozy ambience, put a pink bulb in one or two living room lamps, but ensure that this gives a warm atmosphere and not just a dim room.

Bedrooms must be treated in the same way, at least the master bedroom anyway. Every day put all the shampoo bottles, creams, toothbrushes and used towels out of sight. Strive daily for the clutter-free look, bare bath tub edges and bare counter-top surfaces. If you can possibly manage it, a new coat of paint has been said to increase the value of a home by 700% of the price of the paint job! Obviously that clean untouched look counts for a lot with a prospective buyer.
Finally, the exterior: yes, yes, you know the routine - everything out of sight: bikes, skates, garbage bins, recycle cans and even the car as it hides the nice view of your garage. A good realtor knows to take the photo when the sun is shining on the house, and to take the interior photos when the sun shines into the rooms, many people love sunshine in the home. Buy a few potted plants and place one each side of the front door. Group a few in the front yard.

Trim your lawn so that it is short and keep it green, also 'edge' the paths into nice, defined lines that will photograph well. Ensure that your drapes are tidy in the photographs. Hose down the paths if they are pretty cobblestones to make their color notice more in the photo. Now, sit back and prepare for the rush.

The Denver Source is a prominent name in Denver real estate, with agents specializing in working with both buyers and sellers of Aurora real estate throughout the Denver area. Visit for details about their services, property listings, and information about finding beautiful Aurora real estate.

How to Sell Your Denver Home FSBO

Did you get that big job promotion in another city or state? Ready for a change of scenery, or unhappy with your current living arrangement? Relocating can sometimes be a stressful situation, especially if your family is involved. The big question here is "How do you sell your FSBO home quickly and for top dollar?"

Determining the correct sales price range for your Denver home is imperative, but there are also many other things to factor in during a relocation situation. The first major factor is time. How much time do you have to sell your property? If you just received that dream job promotion in another state, you may only have three months or less to get the home sold and all your furniture moved out. In the Denver real estate sales process this is a fairly quick turnaround time! In situations such as these your best bet is to set the sales price of your property lower than current price range you received in the comparable market analysis (CMA). When dealing with potential buyer's price is ultimately one of the most driving factors behind their purchasing decision. Listing your home below market value will help it sell faster...and buyers know the market because they dictate it!

The second major factor to consider is property condition. Is your Denver property brand new or are there updates that need to be made? Try to make a decent comparison between your house and others in the area that is currently for sale. If your house is in much better condition then you should be able to ask top dollar for it, if not then make any necessary repairs or market the property as a 'fixer upper'. If you do market the home as a fixer upper then make sure to price it to sell as a fixer upper (in general a fixer upper means a deal to a buyer because they will get the home for less even though there are several repairs to be made). If you need a good idea of what repairs need to be made you can always hire a certified/insured property inspector.

The last major factor to consider is sales price negotiation. In many real estate markets it's very common for buyers to offer you anywhere between 1 to 6 percent below your listing price. How do you offset this? For example, let's say you had a CMA performed and the fair market value of your home is determined to be $200,000. It is recommended that you list the home just a little above this number, around $202,999 or $204,999. Doing so will offset buyer offers and counter offers! Not only will if offset the offers and counter offers but by listing the home with $999 tacked on to the end it makes the buyers feel like they are still getting a deal under that thousand dollar range. Again, this strategy is dictated by the market so know the current real estate market in your area. If the market is strong then you can probably list it high because buyers know it will sell, if the market is low put your best price up first as it will only save you time and money.

For more FSBO tips and tricks please visit:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Buying an Aurora Home - Making the Right Offer

Written by L Lynch

Finding the Aurora home of your dreams is something most people try to attain. In order to accomplish this goal it is advisable to hire a licensed real estate agent who is familiar with the area in which you want to live. A realtor can help you look through neighborhoods and narrow down houses to find a short list of potential homes that may suit your needs and budget. Considering your budget, before narrowing down your list of potential matches, it is highly recommended that you get preapproved for a loan with a lending institution. This way, you will know exactly what you can and can not afford which will help with the negotiation process.

So, after you know exactly how much you can spend on a Denver home and have looked through potential matches you can narrow your selection to the one you want. It is now time to make an offer on the home. This can be one of the most important steps in the home buying process and sometimes the most stressful. But it sets the groundwork for negotiation and your Aurora realtor should be able to assist you greatly during this process.

Remember that most people are invested in their Denver home both financially and emotionally so if you really want that particular house it would bode well not to insult the current homeowner. The easiest way to do this is to sorely undervalue the property and come up with an offer that is significantly below the asking price or to have a laundry list of conditions for the sale. Instead, consult with your realtor to get an idea of a fair market value based on current market conditions, comparable sales in the neighborhood and the condition of the home. You should have an idea of the low, median and high prices for the Aurora home and have a clear idea of how high you would be willing to go while remaining fair to both parties.

Once you have the data you need, you can submit an offer. The offer should be fair enough that the homeowner would not feel slighted and would seriously consider it. Expect, however, for the homeowner to either outright reject the offer or come back with a counter offer that is higher. Most homeowners are motivated enough to sell that they will counter rather than outright reject an offer, though. Your Denver realtor can assist you in negotiating until both parties have reached an agreement for the price of the home and conditions of sale. Once this is done, you will need to carefully read and understand all contracts for purchase before signing.

Kim Olson is an experience Denver Real Estate Agent and area expert. For question regarding the Denver Metro or the surrounding area please contact her at 720-870-0307.

Is This the Time to Buy Real Estate?

Written by Nancy Evans

Ask ten people this question and you'll likely get ten different answers. The real question is, are YOU ready to become a homeowner or a landlord?

It's really a question of affordability and the responsibilities that are a "side effect" of owning a home or becoming a landlord. Let's take a quick look at the cost of home ownership.

Please don't confuse cost with price. The amount of money you and the seller agree upon has very little to do with the ongoing costs of home ownership. The monthly and annual expenses that you take on (knowingly or unknowingly) are what we'll address here.

First, your mortgage payment. Included in this amount is the principal and interest on your loan amount. Most likely it also includes a portion that goes to cover PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance. This protects your lender--NOT YOU--should you default on your loan. This is NOT optional; it is a requirement for financing if you put less than 20% down.

Your monthly mortgage payment may or may not automatically include an amount to be set aside to pay your real estate taxes and homeowners insurance when they come due. I've seen too many people get into trouble because they assumed their taxes and insurance were included in their payment when they were not. Make sure you check and double check that the loan officer is quoting you the complete payment, not just the portion for principal and interest. If they are not included or cannot be included (some lenders refuse to escrow), make sure to set up your own budget so you have the money to pay them when they come due.

Being a homeowner comes with other expected and unexpected (to some) bills as well. You will need to pay for water, sewer and trash. These are usually collected quarterly by your city or town. In some locations, trash pickup is included in your real estate taxes.

Let's not forget heat and electric as well, since some landlords generously include this in your rent. You can obtain records of how much the previous owner paid for these utilities from the seller, the real estate agent or from the utility company. Some homes are more energy efficient than others, especially ones with newer windows and appliances.

You will also have to pay for repairs when things break--and they will, usually at the most inconvenient times. Your roof will leak in a thunderstorm, your water heater will spring a leak on a holiday weekend, or your refrigerator will die just after you went out and spent $300 on groceries. Set up and continually fund a maintenance budget so you are prepared financially to handle these events. When it comes to anything involving water, prevention is your best--and cheapest-- bet.

If you're thinking of buying a rental or investment property, you must include not only those things I mentioned but also plan to have each unit empty with no rental income for a couple months out of each year.

In short, you must be able to afford not only the mortgage payment but also the ongoing upkeep of a home or rental property. Hope for the best but plan for the worst, and you'll sleep better at night.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Aurora Real Estate

There are many places to find information on Aurora real estate or Aurora homes for sale but there is not a better source than The Denver Source! The Denver Source is a website put together by individuals independent of the Denver real estate industry. The site features many Aurora real estate listings along with descriptions of the different neighborhoods that make up Aurora.

Some of these neighborhoods are The Blackstone Country Club, Tallyn's Reach, and Southshore. Each neighborhood has their own unique amenities and a variety of things they offer their residents. The real estate site also points out the main attractions in Aurora and has helpful links to Aurora hot spots such as movie theatres and the Southlands Mall.

This is a helpful tool for home buyers or home sellers in Aurora to either list their home or find a home for sale. Buyers can also use the real estate information on the site to decide where they would like to live in Aurora and what neighborhood fits their families needs and desires.