Looking to buy a new home-you found the right place!
Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions. What are the motivating factors driving this decision for you? Perhaps you are looking for an investment, or maybe you have simply outgrown your current home and would like to explore another neighborhood. Many reasons for wanting to move exist, but having a clear vision of what you need will help you choose the right home.
Whether you are looking for an historic or a newly-built Denver home
, a luxury Denver estate on a golf course
, a Downtown Denver condo
with mountain views or a low-maintenance townhome in Cherry Creek
, I can help you locate the home of your dreams. Metro communities are some of the most diverse anywhere and it takes an expert Denver Realtor to help you navigate the Colorado real estate market.
Are you thinking of relocating to the Denver metro area? Contact me for detailed information on neighborhood price trends, school districts' ratings, Denver leisure activities and much more. Perhaps you are interested in finding out more about HUD homes
, Denver foreclosure
listings and Colorado mountain and horse properties
? I have that covered for you too! Whatever your lifestyle and needs are, contact me so we can start searching for your new home today and you can start living your dreams tomorrow!
I am a full-time agent. Connecting buyers with sellers is not a second job-it's my only job. So if your family has me on its side, you get my full attention. My real goal is customer satisfaction. I listen carefully and will help you find what you are looking for in your next real estate transaction.
Prepare for it!
Getting prequalified should be the first step for any buyer! It is crucial to determine your price point/comfort spending zone before we start looking at homes and investigating different neighborhoods. I always suggest speaking to several different lenders to find the best quote. You will be surprised to find how much lender fees can vary. The next thing to do is to make sure you actually like your mortgage broker. You will be spending the next few months working very closely with this person, so a good personality fit is a must too!
If you are a first time home buyer, consider looking into some of the down payment assistance programs in the Denver metro area. Even if you have been a homeowner in the past, but haven't owned any real estate for the last three years, you are now eligible for the first time home buyer benefits again! Down payment assistance is available to buyers in many parts of Colorado, so don't forget to investigate the programs offered for your favorite neighborhood. If you prefer, I can help you--I love seeing these programs being put to good use for my clients who need a little financial assistance. Contact me for more information and specific details about Aurora HOAP, Del Norte and Douglas County Shared Equity program.
Do your homework!
Choosing a home is about more than just selecting a house. Every neighborhood offers its own unique kinds of people, activities, and amenities. So which subdivision is the right fit for you? Would your family enjoy the quiet cul-de-sacs of Highlands Ranch
, small town feel of Parker
or a spacious backyard in Castle Pines
? The suburbs are still growing and offer endless options of new built homes, larger lot sizes and spectacular neighborhood amenities.
Perhaps you would enjoy the urban lifestyle in the established neighborhoods of Wash Park
, Bonnie Brae
, Platt Park
, Congress Park
or University Hills
. The lot sizes are typically smaller than in the suburbs, but the proximity to Denver and transit is a major attraction. Many buyers are interested in getting the biggest return on their investment when looking at the neighborhood to call home, so the up-and-coming and revitalized urban areas like Baker
, or Rosedale
are a great fit for them. Of course downtown living is still as popular as ever, and with many great nearby residential neighborhoods like Park Hill
and Capitol Hill
, a downtown high-rise is no longer the only option for someone seeking to live in the heart of it all.
One of the biggest considerations for many home buyers is their children's school. Between private, charter and public schools, there are a wide range of options. Some Denver Public schools are rated higher than others. Homes in the Cherry Creek School District
always seem to be high on my clients' wish lists as are those in the Douglas County School District
. Public schools dictate enrollment according to school district boundaries; keep this in mind when searching for the right home in your dream neighborhood. You may be surprised to find where lines are drawn.
Additionally, research the local crime statistics. Crime levels vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. Local police departments and sheriff's offices publish lists of registered sex offenders and I encourage all of my clients to obtain one. Safety of your family and property should be major considerations when buying a home.
The bottom line is that the decision about which neighborhood to call home has to come from you. It should reflect your needs, your goals and your personality. Some people say you don't choose the neighborhood, it chooses you. I couldn't agree more! So make sure you do your homework and due diligence and let's get you on the way to your dream neighborhood!
Understanding escrow, contingencies and inspection
Once your offer is accepted and signed by all parties, we will engage a Title company to open escrow and coordinate some of the "behind the scenes" work. The typical "in escrow" or "under contract" period in Colorado is between 30-45 days. It might be shorter or longer depending on what type of loan you are obtaining (if any), whether you are requesting contingencies and if the home you are buying is in an HOA controlled community. Each buyer's situation is different and unique, but I typically recommend my clients follow these steps when it comes to contingencies:
Write your offer with an inspection contingency, it's a must
for even new construction and condos. The inspection should be completed as soon as possible (usually 5-7 days) after the mutual execution of contract. I like to structure my purchase contracts in a way that allows the buyers to have three days following the inspection to try and resolve any unsatisfactory items found by an inspector.
As another step to a smooth transaction, I recommend for buyers to obtain either a survey or an improvement location certificate (ILC). Which one to go with depends, once again, on you situation, neighborhood you are purchasing in and the amount of money you are willing to spend. Full blown surveys can easily cost upwards of $1000, while an ILC is significantly less. The survey and ILC are written onto the purchase contract as contingencies and allow you to back out of the sale if the findings are unsatisfactory to you and are unresolvable. Surveys and ILCs can help you establish lot boundaries, or, for example, show if the neighbors' garage or deck are encroaching on the property.
Appraisal contingency is another important aspect. And since no lender will lend you more money than the home is worth, it can be nerve-wracking to wait for the appraisal results. When financing a loan your lender will have an appraiser go out to the property and perform an appraisal inspection to determine home's value based on the building costs, square footage, condition and recent comparable sales. In cases where the appraised value of a home comes in lower than its purchase price, there will be several choices including termination of the contract.
Always remember to secure homeowners insurance while under contract. Shop around. The rates and terms vary, so it's important to make sure you can find something that works for you.
Once all of the contingencies are removed and crucial deadlines are met, keep in close communication with your lender, who will let you know when additional documents are needed to approve your loan application and fund your loan. When you are within two weeks of closing, double check with your lender to be sure the loan will go through smoothly and on time.
As a last step, we will schedule the final walk-through inspection. At this time, you should make sure that the property is exactly as the contract says it should be. We need to make sure that what you thought to be a "permanently attached" custom bathroom mirror that would come with the property has not been removed by the seller and replaced with an entirely different fixture, and that the crack in the wall the sellers agreed to repair after the inspection doesn't looks worse than before.
Closing is the final step, after which congratulations are in order-you are now officially a homeowner!
Seller concessions explained.
Many people buying or selling a home may not fully understand what seller concessions are, also known as seller contributions. The concept is basically this: the home buyer must pay for certain home financing costs, but an agreement can be made between the buyer and seller where the seller pays those costs on behalf of the buyer. These costs are paid when buyer closes their mortgage (hence, they are referred to as closing costs) and can include, but are not limited to:
- Discount points
- Title insurance
- Credit reporting fees
- Appraisal fees
- Origination fees
- Processing fees
- Attorney fees
- Survey costs
- Transaction fees
- Homeowner association transfer fees and status letter fee
The amount of the fees charged can vary by geographic location and depends on what needs to be done.
But the whole thing sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it? Why would anyone selling a home pay the home buyer to buy it? Well, there are big advantages for both parties. For the home buyer, seller concessions can be a way to reduce the financial burden and can help pay your closing costs. And there are tax advantages-you may be able to deduct discount points and real estate taxes from your taxes.
There are limitations to how much a seller is allowed to pay and the amount can vary anywhere from two to nine percent of the purchase price or the home's appraised value. The specific amount depends on the kind of mortgage the buyer gets, how the property will be occupied, and how much the buyer borrows from the lender. As a buyer, you'll have to ask your mortgage banker to find out exactly how much your closing cost will be and how much the seller can contribute towards the closing. Due to the possible tax implications I encourage you to consult your tax advisor.