What Not to Do Once Your Mortgage Is Approved

The real estate market in Boulder County is red hot, which makes maintaining your mortgage approval a must if you’re shopping for a home.

“It can be a lot of work to get your mortgage approved. Once it is approved, it is important not to make any major financial changes until you sign your final disclosure and the loan is closed,” says Jessica Shanahan, loan officer with Premier Lending.

To keep your mortgage approval, you need to know the financial moves not to make.

Your mortgage approval is primarily based on documenting your income and assets, your equity stake or down payment, your credit history and the cash you’ll have left over after the deal is done, according to Tuttle’s Real Estate Update.

After your mortgage is approved, don’t change any one of those qualifiers without first consulting your loan officer or you could lose your mortgage.

Here’s Real Estate Update’s list of what not to do:

Avoid Big Purchases

Don’t buy a new car or another large possession, or change the lease on your current car. It could show up on your credit report or bank statement. The new loan or purchase amount could tilt the debt-to-income ratio the lender used to approve your home loan, and your mortgage could vaporize.

Don’t Get New Credit

Don’t sign up for any new credit cards or other lines of credit, even for a zero interest rate. Resist all of those credit card offers that flow in after you get your mortgage approval.

Don’t Miss a Bill Payment or Pay Late

Pay your bills on time without fail, even if you dispute the charge. If you stop paying a bill, it can end up on your credit report and cause a problem with your mortgage.

Don’t Change Jobs

Now isn’t the time to start a new job or lose the job you have. It is okay to take a second job, as long as you keep the job you have. However, if you should be so fortunate as to get a promotion and raise, your mortgage shouldn’t be jeopardized.

Don’t Spend Your Cash

Don’t use your cash reserves, transfer large sums between bank accounts, or make undocumented transactions in your back account – either deposits or withdrawals. This activity can cause your mortgage approval to be reversed.

Just remember to control items that affect your financial picture, and barring any uncontrollable life events, your mortgage should be fine.

For more information see: https://bit.ly/2JzU2lx

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 12:09pm.

Posted on April 17, 2018 at 5:29 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boulder Real Estate Market Holds Steady, Despite Pressure

 

Early in 2018 the real estate outlook for Boulder County looks strong, even while sailing into the same headwinds that prevailed last year: low inventory and rising prices.

But this year promises additional gusts in the form of rising interest rates.

“None of the fundamentals in the market have changed, except a small rise in interest rates and the anticipation of additional increases,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

“January data shows year over year single-family home sales are about the same as last year, and condos and townhomes are up significantly.”

Single-family home sales for Boulder County are down a single unit or .05 percent with 220 units sold in January 2018 compared with 221 in January 2017. Month-over-month, January sales dropped 39 percent for the first month of 2018 compared to December’s 363 units sold.

In condominium/townhomes, 88 units sold in January 2018, a 44.3 percent improvement compared with 61 units sold a year ago, but a 26.7 percent drop compared with the 120 units sold in December.

“December finished strong and the totals for 2017 pushed over and above 2016 slightly, which makes having a strong January challenging,” says Hotard.

Inventory continued its persistent decline. Single-family homes for sale in the Boulder-area declined 1.3 percent in January 2018 compared to December 2017 – 550 units vs. 557.

Meanwhile, condominium and townhome inventory improved 8.3 percent in January compared to December – 130 units versus 120.

Hotard notes that rising mortgage rates is a new factor for real estate markets that have seen a long run of low interest rates. He says the question is whether rising rates, while still historically low, will have a dampening effect on pricing or sales.

“Affordability is already an issue in Boulder, Louisville and Niwot. If interest rates go up people may have greater difficulty affording higher priced homes,” he adds. For 2017, Boulder’s median sales price came in over $800,000, Niwot’s roughly $750,000 and Louisville’s nearing $575,000.

With minimal data to consider this early in the year, Hotard is reluctant to predict this year’s market.

“For now, the data is over a small number of sales, so it’s difficult to identify trends. But this market has been strong for years and it is likely to continue to be strong.”

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 9:37am.

Posted on March 9, 2018 at 7:59 pm
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Colorado Among Top 10 Predicted to Have Strong Housing Market

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 at 4:22pm.

Ranked the No. 7 strongest housing market in the U.S., real estate sales in Colorado will remain robust in 2018, according to analysis by credit.com.

The predicted increase is around 3.1 percent. Colorado Springs is emerging as the top city for growth and median home prices are predicted to rise 5.7 percent through 2018.

Colorado’s home prices saw the sharpest increase in the U.S. over the past two years, reports credit.com. That’s quite a mark, given that 2016 existing home sales nationwide were the strongest they’ve been in a decade, following the worst housing crisis in U.S. history. In 2018, the nation’s housing market’s strength is expected to continue with U.S. home prices expected to rise 4.6 percent.

Here are 10 states that are predicted to be among the top performers in 2018:

  1.       Nevada

Median home values in Las Vegas are expected to rise approximately 5.8 percent over the next 12 months. The median home price is approximately $285,045.

  1.       Texas

Lower taxes and a lower cost of living continue to lure profitable companies to relocate, expand or launch businesses inTexas. As a result, housing has boomed in Dallas and many other areas. In 2018, home sales are expected to gown 6 percent. The median home price in North Texas is $339,950.

  1.       Florida

Florida cities Deltona and Lakeland lead Florida’s strong housing market. With the appeal of ocean-side living, warm weather, and the ability to live an active lifestyle, Florida’s most popular areas are expected to see a more than 5% boost. The median home price in Deltona is $275,050.

  1.       California

Stockton – one of California’s fastest-growing cities – is predicted to grow its housing market by 4.6 percent. With a median home price of $385,050, Stockton is far more affordable than the state’s most desirable areas. For example, the median price of a home in San Francisco has increased $100,000 in the past year.

  1.       Utah

The Provo/Orem region was recently ranked as the best-performing city by the Miliken Institute, due to a robust high-tech sector and broad-based job and wage growth. Salt Lake City’s median home price averages $360,000, and housing sales are predicted to grow 3.2 percent in 2018.

  1.       North Carolina

People are moving into North Carolina from other states, driving a strong housing market with home sales predicted to grow 6 percent in 2018. The median home price averages $325,000.

  1.       Colorado

With the several year surge in housing prices, affordability is a growing issue in the Mile High City. Even so, the market is predicted to remain strong, leveling out a bit in 2018 to around 3.1 percent. Colorado Springs tops the cities for growth and the median home price there is slated to rise 5.7 percent this year.

Tennessee, Oklahoma and Georgia round out the list of the top 10 strongest housing markets in the U.S. for 2018, says Credit.Com. Nashville, Oklahoma City and Atlanta all bring the secret sauce that bolster home values. Median prices are $385,000; $99,000; and $218,350, respectively.

Read the full article at https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/10-states-predicted-strong-housing-markets-2018

Posted on March 6, 2018 at 7:29 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ONE MINUTE TAX UPDATE

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brings major federal tax changes.

Important to us estate planning attorneys, the new law doubles the estate and gift tax exemption, from $5.49 million in 2017 to approximately $11.2 million in 2018. The new tax law maintains “portability” (which allows surviving spouses to use their deceased spouse’s unused exemption), meaning a married couple’s combined estate and gift tax exemption is now approximately $22.4 million. Just to be clear, that’s the amount a married couple can transfer, during life or at death, without paying any estate or gift taxes. The tax rate on anything over the exemption amount remains steady at a flat 40%.

The annual gift tax exemption has increased from $14,000 (where it has been for the past five years) to $15,000. This is due to inflation adjustments and not the new tax law. I explained how the annual gift tax exemption works in an interview last year (note, however, that since the interview was recorded before the new tax law it uses the old 2017 figures).

It’s also important to understand what the new tax law hasn’t changed. The new law keeps the step-up in basis at death, which is a huge tax boon to those who inherit appreciated assets.

Many folks have estate plans that were designed to avoid or delay estate taxes. Such plans may no longer be appropriate now that the estate and gift tax exemption is much higher. In fact, many tactics used to plan around the estate tax eliminate the step-up in basis at death, meaning those who in inherit have to pay higher capital gains taxes.

To learn more about these tax changes and how to protect your estate, contact our office for a no-obligation consultation. Contact us here or call 720-588-9830.

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Posted on February 23, 2018 at 10:19 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Boulder-area Home Sales Reach New Heights – Again

It’s the same old story, but one we love to hear. Boulder County home sales closed 2017 with yet another increase over the previous year, despite ongoing low inventory, according to Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

“All in all, the year was positive. Sales increased moderately over 2016 in both single-family and attached residential housing,” says Hotard.

That’s saying a lot, since sales have increased in Boulder County for several years in a row and prices have increased significantly, while inventory levels never cease to become more challenging.

“The past several years have a pattern of similarity. It’s a sure sign that the demand for a home in Boulder County is strong and undeterred,” he says.

In fact, year-over-year increases in sales were only about 1 percent apart in each market category. Condominiums and townhomes lead with a 5.6 percent rise through December 2017 – 1508 homes sold vs. 1,428 through 2016 – while sales of single-family homes improved 4.4 percent for the year with 4,612 homes sold vs. 4,419.

Month-to-month sales of single-family homes were virtually unchanged, increasing .1 percent in December 2017 compared to November 2017 – 363 vs. 359 units. In the same period, sales of attached dwellings dropped 2.4 percent compared to the previous month – 120 units vs. 123.

Hotard says lack of inventory is a problem plaguing Boulder County that shows little sign of change in the near future.

Inventory of single-family homes dropped 28.3 percent in December compared to November—declining to 557 units from 777, while multi-family unit inventory decreased 5.5 percent—138 units versus 146—over the same period.

Adding to the inventory crunch, demographers say age is starting to catch up with Boulder County. State demographics show the size of the retired Baby Boomer age group will reach unprecedented levels in the coming years.

Experts say older people tend to move less and age in place. Hotard cautions the aging population could make the already tight housing inventory even tighter over the next decade.

Where might inventory easing come from? Hotard notes that Boulder city leaders are looking at land use policies that may bring some limited relief by making it easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units or Occupant Accessory Units. And there’s consideration being given to a targeted zoning change that would allow two homes to be built on larger lots where only one home currently stands.

None of these changes, though, will have the impact needed soon enough or large enough to negate the fact that many people who work in the city of Boulder will likely live somewhere else. Hotard believes that improved public regional transportation will be a needed component of our housing picture.

“We’re in the midst of a big shift,” says Hotard. “Boulder Valley used to be 25 square miles surrounded by reality. Now it’s 25 square miles surrounded by competition. That competition is in shopping, locations for businesses, housing and jobs.”

Housing start statistics show that building has increased in Eerie and the tri-towns of Dacono, Frederick and Firestone north of Boulder.

“Increasing inventory in these towns is helping to keep pricing in check in Boulder,” Hotard says of the competition. “Moderating prices is probably a good thing.”

But he remains confident that Boulder County holds strong as a place that people want to live. He expects 2018 to be another positive year in the area’s residential real estate, beginning with a strong first quarter. With interest rates expected to slowly rise, buyers will be motivated to move earlier in the year rather than later.

“As long as we have the beauty and quality of life Boulder County offers, people will want to live here.” And that means our real estate market will be rock solid.

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, February 9th, 2018 at 11:57am.

Posted on February 23, 2018 at 9:00 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boulder Valley 2018 real estate predictions

Published in BizWest on December 6, 2017.

The Boulder Valley real estate market has undergone a shift in 2017.  While we began the year in a fairly strong seller’s market, it soon became apparent that the indicators we track were pointing to a shift toward a more balanced market. 

Making predictions is always a risky business, but here are my top three predictions for 2018 and what they will likely mean for people in the market.

1. Appreciation will continue (but at a slower pace).

While the Boulder area continues to top the country in total appreciation since 1991 (a whopping 371 percent), we have fallen out of the top 10 — to number 19 — nationally in terms of one-year appreciation (10.84 percent according to FHFA). Nevertheless, many structural factors point to increased upward pressure on home values (including low unemployment, strong net migration, and lack of lots to build upon).

For single family homes, Boulder County experienced 5 percent appreciation through the first three quarters of 2017. While this is solid, it pales when compared to the over 15 percent appreciation during the same period of 2016.

In 2018, I predict we will see about 5 percent overall appreciation in Boulder County, with individual cities varying substantially.  I predict that the highest appreciation rates will be in Longmont and Erie, and the slowest appreciation will be in the City of Boulder.

For attached homes (townhouses and condos), Boulder County experienced a meager 1.7 percent improvement through the third quarter of 2017. This number is somewhat misleading, as most areas were up by a higher percentage while the City of Boulder was actually down 3.7 percent.

For 2018, I predict that attached homes will appreciate by about 5 percent, with appreciation being higher in every locale except the City of Boulder. In Boulder, it is possible that we will see a continued decline in prices, especially if investment property owners who have not brought their units up to Smartregs compliance decide to sell rather than spend the money to them into compliance.

What this means: For buyers, now is a great time to buy, especially if you are in the market for a condo in the City of Boulder.  Waiting will cost you, but not as much as in previous years.  For homeowners, if you are considering selling, you have ridden a strong wave of appreciation over the last several years, and you will not likely see the same rate of appreciation by continuing to hold.

2. Inventory will increase in 2018.

Since 2011, the inventory of available homes on the market has generally gone down when compared to the preceding year. That trend finally broke in 2017, with available inventory of both single family and attached homes rising above 2016 numbers. Without getting too deeply into the weeds, a number of indicators that we use to track the market point to a continuation of this trend in 2018.  Some of the more telling indicators are (1) a falling sales price to list price ratio, (2) an increase in months of inventory, and (3) more expired listings (homes that did not sell on the market).

In the City of Boulder, on the single family side, I predict that inventory will see the biggest increase in the $1 million+ market as a gap has started to open between sellers’ opinions of their homes’ values and what buyers are willing to pay for them. On the attached side, we will likely see an increase as well, partly due to an influx of non-Smartreg-compliant units as well as condos at the Peloton being converted from apartments.

What this means: For buyers, you will finally have more homes to choose from in your search. For sellers, you will have to be much more careful when pricing your home to avoid being rejected by the market.

3. Interest rates will rise modestly.

For the past several years, numerous experts have predicted mortgage interest rate increases. And for as many years, the rate increases have been non-existent or far more modest than predicted, even after the Fed increased its Fed Funds Rate. Speaking of which, the Fed is expected to raise rates again this month as the economy shows continued signs of recovery. However, the number and size of interest rate increases in 2018 is far from certain because of a change in leadership of the Fed.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, predicts that rates will increase to 4.5 percent by the end of 2018, which is about 0.5 percent higher than current rates. This figure could be affected by tax reform, the country’s economic performance, and other political factors. Nevertheless, for planning purposes, an increase to 4.5 percent in 2018 is likely to be in the ballpark.

What this means: While appreciation rates and inventory are starting to move into buyers’ favor, there will be a cost to waiting to enter the market in terms of affordability.  That is, the longer you wait, the more you will likely pay for a home and the more interest you will likely pay for it.

Conclusion: Sellers have been the primary beneficiaries of the real estate market since the recovery of the Great Recession, but 2018 will finally see buyers in a stronger position.

_________________________

Posted on February 5, 2018 at 8:46 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: BizWest, RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boulder County’s Future Bright, but Challenges Ahead

Good times in Boulder County and in Colorado will continue said local economic experts at the recent Boulder Economic Forecast. But they caution that 2018 may not reach the heights of 2017, and the difficulties could impact us well beyond next year.

Organized by the Boulder Chamber and the Boulder Economic Council, the 11th annual Boulder Economic Forecast was held on January 17 at the new Embassy Suites Hotel, and RE/MAX of Boulder was among the event’s sponsors.

“By almost every economic indicator we measure, 2017 was an historic year,” says Executive Director of the Boulder Economic Council Clif Harald in his opening remarks.

Statistics show a superlative year. Colorado ranked third in the country for the pace of GDP growth, while unemployment dropped to 2.5 percent, the second-lowest rate nationally. The state’s labor force soared with the fastest growth rate in the U.S., according to speaker Rich Wobbekind, Executive Director, Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business, CU-Boulder.

But, Harald noted that 2017 presented challenges, too. And, these challenges could escalate in the coming years.

He pointed to constraints for Boulder’s economy, including a shortage of labor and resources and high housing costs that cause long commutes for many Boulder County workers.

In his keynote address, Wobbekind called the labor shortage the area’s “biggest short-term challenge.”

While job growth in Boulder County continued in 2017, the pace slowed from the peak of 2014-15.

“Almost every industry sector reported lack of available labor or properly trained labor. This doesn’t go away,” Wobbekind says.

And chief among the factors impacting Boulder County: age.

Colorado State Demographer Elizabeth Garner says residents 65-and-older will represent 20 percent of residents by 2030. The 65+ group will be 77 percent larger than it was in 2015.

“We are aging fast,” says Garner, noting that the age wave will overtake the entire state.

Garner explains that demographics – and the age wave beginning to sweep the state – are an economic issue. As people retire, aging results in a labor shortage. When people choose to age in place, housing stock for people moving in or moving up is negatively impacted. Aging also impacts healthcare and public financing issues.

At the same time, those migrating here are typically ages 20-27 and never married. Total household income is below $50,000 for 80 percent; 65 percent earn less than $24,000. People move to Colorado for the jobs. But, Garner cautions, the biggest increase in jobs are those that are low- to medium- wage, while the cost of living is relatively high.

The highest income and spending group – 45- to 65- year-olds – is the smallest demographic in the state and in Boulder County. It also has the slowest growth rate and the numbers are declining.

In addition, diversity will increase as the Hispanic population is projected to grow from the current 20 percent to 30 percent by 2040.

Among the challenges and issues facing Boulder County and the state, Garner listed:

– Aging with its far reaching impact across the economy, housing, labor supply and healthcare. As the workforce ages and retires, Colorado could experience a natural decline;

-Disparate growth across the state with Colorado’s economy flourishing along the Front Range and 1-25 corridor, but far fewer gains in the rest of the state and rural areas;

-Attracting the best and brightest to Colorado;

-Population growing at slower rate, with a total population growth from 2015-2050 reaching 2.5 million along Front Range and 1.5 million in Denver;

Garner says Colorado’s population has increased by 578,000 since 2010, making it the eighth highest state in the U.S. for total growth.

Boulder County’s growth rate is the second lowest statewide. The population in-migration peaked in the 1990s. Garner notes that students move to Boulder for college, leave after graduation, then return, and then leave again. One key reason: As a young adult it’s hard to live, buy, and rent in Boulder.

Now, fewer young families live in Boulder, and the tide has shifted toward a higher number of deaths than births.

But the dynamics of Boulder County’s economy are strong, outperforming state and national economies in job growth and educational attainment.

Boulder County, though, has well-supported economic vitality, fueled by high concentrations of companies and employment in aerospace, biotechnology, cleantech, and information, according to Wobbekind.

The area’s high quality of life and business, and cultural and outdoor attractions appeal to a highly educated workforce and visionary entrepreneurs.

Incomes are above average. The median household income for Boulder County residents was $74,615 in 2016 compared to $65,685 for Colorado residents, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

But Garner cautions that Colorado’s housing affordability is a big concern. The disparity between median home value and median income is the second-highest in the U.S., which fuels the labor shortage and decreases the ability for young families to live here.

For more information, see Boulder Economic Forecast presentations at:

http://bouldereconomiccouncil.org/bec_publications/2018-economic-forecast-presentations/

See Leeds School of Business, CU-Boulder’s Economic report at: https://www.colorado.edu/business/sites/default/files/attached-files/2018_colorado_business_economic_outlook.pdf

 

 
Posted on February 2, 2018 at 10:51 am
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,