Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Boulder Is #1 of Top 10 Housing Markets Nationally - MSN Reports

Nearly 60% of Homes In Boulder Have Increasing Property Values, According To MSN's '10 Strongest Housing Markets' Report

"Boulder, about 35 miles northwest of Denver, has had a relatively stable housing market, in part, because it is home to strong employers, including the University of Colorado, as well as a base of affluent residents. The supply of homes is limited in Boulder by the mountains to the west and its tens of thousands of acres of protected open space...."


Friday, October 7, 2011

Now Under Contract!

Another NW Denver Home - Contract Pending!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mid-Century Between Sloans Lake & Highlands

2749 Vrain Street Denver CO 80212
Just Listed at $459,900!

Here Is A Sneak Peak At This Charming Ranch - Just 2 Blocks North Of Sloan's Lake Park!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Broker Open - Wednesday Aug. 3rd!

BROKER OPEN: 3129 w. 25th Avenue Denver, CO 80211
Stop By For Lunch 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Brokers, Join Us At This Charming Highlands Home Wed. Aug. 3rd Between 11:30 And 1:30. Share Your Feedback, And Enjoy Lunch - Catered By A Highlands Favorite, Coral Room. Call Kari At (303) 909-0906 For Any Details Or Directions!

On the menu: BLT Wraps, Tomato & Mozzarella Paninis, Fresh Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies & More!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Denver Is Fastest Selling Market In The US?!? - The Denver Post Reports

Quoted from the Denver Post Article...

"This may come as a shock to people struggling to sell their homes in the Denver area, as well as Realtors listing homes, but in May, homes on average sold faster in Denver than any place in the nation, according to an analysis of 146 metropolitan areas tracked by

May marked the second consecutive month that Denver had the boasting rights as the No. 1 metropolitan area for home sales speed in the country, according to, which is owned by the National Association of Realtors.

The report shows that it took only an average of 39 days to sell a home in the Denver area in May. That is 11.4 percent faster than the 44 days it took in April."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Amazing Highlands Bungalow!

For Sale $339,900!
3129 W. 25th Avenue Denver, CO 80211

Exclusively Marketed By Kari Wisenbaker - Keller Williams Realty Downtown

Adorable NW Denver Bungalow- Near Highlands Square & Sloans Lake! Features Include Large Master w/Two Closets, Lots Of Living Space, Over-sized Three Car Garage + 1 Off-Street Space, And Fabulous Outdoor Space.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Park Front Home In Ken-Caryl Valley!

Amazing Park-Front Home Offered At $489,900
15 Mountain Oak Littleton, CO 80127
Exclusively Marketed By Kari Wisenbaker - Keller Williams Realty Downtown

This beautiful 4 Bed/4 Bath Village home has the perfect Ken-Caryl Valley location and all the upgrades. Sought-after lot facing Heirloom Park, and positioned at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. Among the features are a completely remodeled kitchen, top of the line appliances, tile & hardwoods throughout, new master bath and finished basement large enough for a media room or additional bedroom. Best block in Heirloom!


Friday, April 8, 2011

What Would A Government Shutdown Mean For Housing?

The National Association of Realtors put out this summary - which tries to estimate the functions of various government programs in a Government Shut Down scenario. This is specifically written to discuss the impact to Real Estate programs and Housing. (Source: NAR)

What a Government Shutdown Means for REALTORS®

(April 5, 2011)

The current continuing resolution (CR) providing funding for government operations is set to expire on April 8, 2011. If legislation providing for funding is not signed into law to extend funding after April 8, the federal government could shut down. This means many, but not all, government programs, including some that impact federal housing and mortgage programs, could grind to a halt as early as April 9, 2011. While the true impact of a shutdown is unclear until it actually begins below is a synopsis of how federal housing programs will likely operate in the event of a shutdown. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires each agency to have contingency plans in place and reportedly has instructed agencies to not provide specific information on impacted operations.

Federal Housing Administration

FHA cannot offer endorsements for any new loans in the Single Family Program and cannot make commitments in the Multi-family Program in the event of a shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management & Marketing (M&M) Contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate.

VA Loan Guaranty Program

Lenders may continue to process and guaranty mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program in the event of a government shutdown.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Should the federal government shut down, the IRS cannot process federal income tax returns or issue refunds (but it can deposit tax payments). Consumers who were expecting to use their tax returns as part of the down payment for a home purchase will temporarily not have access to these refunds.

Flood Insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not be impacted by a government shutdown.

Rural Housing Programs

For the US Department of Agriculture programs, essential personnel working during a shutdown do not include field office staff who typically issue conditional commitments, loan note guarantees, and modification approvals. Thus, lender will not receive approvals during the shutdown. If the lender has already received a conditional commitment from the Rural Development office, then the lender may proceed to close those loans during the shutdown. A conditional commitment, which is good for 90 days, is given to a lender once a USDA Underwriter approves the loan. If a commitment was already issued, the funds were already set aside and the lender may close the loan at its leisure. If Rural Development has not issued a conditional commitment, the lender must wait until funding legislation is enacted before closing a loan.

Government Sponsored Enterprises

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.


No official word as of yet, but the Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, may not be affected as the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which is mandatory spending not discretionary.

Background Information on Government Shutdown

HJ Res. 48 extends the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 112-6) to April 8, 2011. If another continuing resolution (CR) or budget is not signed into law, the federal government could shut down on April 9, 2011. This requires the furlough of non-emergency personnel and the curtailment of federal agency activities. Federal contractors cannot be paid. Programs funded by annual appropriations are directly impacted though programs funded by laws other than appropriations (such as Social Security) may also be impacted. The last government shutdown occurred during fiscal year (FY) 1996 and lasted 21 days, from December 16, 1995 through January 6, 1996.

The Antideficiency Act is the primary law preventing government activity when no budget or CR is enacted. The act, found in 31 U.S.C., prohibits:

  • Making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law.
  • Involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated, unless otherwise allowed by law.
  • Accepting voluntary services for the United States, or employing personal services not authorized by law, except in cases of emergency involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.
  • Making obligations or expenditures in excess of an apportionment or reapportionment, or in excess of the amount permitted by agency regulations

Basically, the government may not make payments or commitments unless there is enough money in the bank. According to the US Office of Personnel Management, an agency must shut down activities not excepted by the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) when it no longer has the funds to operate. OPM recommends that agencies 1) communicate with employees and representatives about a potential shutdown, 2) prepare draft furlough notices, and 3) determine which positions are excepted from the furlough according to OMB guidance.

Federal agencies have been required to complete contingency plans since 1980. OMB has three different bulletins that agencies may reference in the development of their shutdown plans. Plans must include, among other things, estimated time to complete a shutdown and the number of employees to be excepted. The President, Members of Congress, presidential appointees, certain legislative branch employees, and federal excepted employees are not subject to the furlough.


House Resolution 3082, “An Act making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.”

Antideficiency Act Background. US Government Accountability Office.

Guidance and Information on Furloughs. US Office of Personnel Management.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tax Tips For New Homeowners

With tax time just around the corner, it's a great time to look back at your year and evaluate any changes in your tax situation. For anyone who purchased a home in 2010, the changes could be welcome ones!

Nothing is more valuable at tax time than a trusted accountant, and everyone's tax situation is unique, so please do not take any of the information here as direct advice - but here are a few things to consider if you purchased a home in 2010...

1. One word: Interest. This might become your favorite word during tax season! All that interest you pay on your mortgage just might pay you back in the form of a welcome tax deduction.

2. If you purchased a home in 2010, you may be able to write off your closing costs! These typically qualify as deductible expenses (
even if the Seller paid them on your behalf!)

3. For Investors: Remember to track the repairs and maintenance expenses on your property, as these costs will typically qualify as deductions for investment properties. This includes HOA fees in many cases if your investment property has association dues!

4. For Non-Investors: It's still important to track your expenses... even for your primary residence. Any permanent improvement to the property could mean tax breaks down the road (when you eventually sell your property and you are determining your tax basis). Just think how happy you will be when that day comes... and use it as a reminder to keep good records NOW!

Always consult with a CPA for tax-related questions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rebates for Denver Homeowners!

Planning some home improvements that will make your home more efficient? Installing a low-flush toilet? How about a rain sensor on your new sprinkler system this spring? If so, you may have a rebate in your future! Denver Water is accepting applications for rebates for a number of products (both indoor and outdoor) in 2011.

Keep in mind, you must provide receipts, and you must submit no more than 90 days following your purchase. You can find more details on which consumer products qualify for the rebates, as well as the formal application at the Denver Water website Click Here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Renting vs. Buying

Real Estate Website, just published a great study on the affordability of renting vs. buying in various cities across the U.S. Denver, so you know, is ranked as 'affordable to buy'. Click on the link below to link to their interactive map - showing the results of all the major cities they studied!

Click to view interactive rent v. buy map.

For your own Rent Vs. Buy Analysis, check out our Rent Vs. Buy Calculator HERE!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wondering What To Expect With Mortgages in 2011? Read On...

Mortgage Updates for 2011 Leading financial experts suggest that borrowers should apply for a new mortgage loan, or refinance their home loan when the time is right for their individual needs, rather than attempt to time the market. While risk takers may be enthusiastic about waiting until the last minute to lock in a low mortgage interest rate, most homeowners and homebuyers prefer to observe general mortgage market trends and focus more intently on their own finances. Predicting a specific mortgage rate for a particular time is pretty nearly impossible, but real estate market observers have identified a few trends that they anticipate will impact the mortgage market in 2011:

1. Mortgage rates will slowly rise throughout the year.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) anticipates that rates will rise slightly in 2011, hovering around 5% and increasing to about 6% in 2012. While any increase in mortgage rates is unwelcome to homeowners who want to refinance or to buyers, a 5% mortgage rate is still historically in the low range of interest rates.

2. Mortgage applications for a home purchase will become a greater part of the market.
The MBA predicts that stabilizing home prices and modest increases in home sales will increase the number of applications for a mortgage for a home purchase.

3. Jumbo loan mortgages will be more attractive. In 2009 and earlier in 2010, mortgage rates for jumbo loans (loans over $417,000 in most housing markets and above $729,750 in high-cost housing markets) were far higher than mortgage rates for conforming loans. The higher rates prevented homeowners from refinancing and kept some purchasers out of the market for more expensive homes. In the Q4 of 2010, mortgage rates on jumbo loans decreased, which will likely spur refinancing applications and purchase applications for the high-end housing market.

FYI: Bank of Commerce Mortgage offers 30 year fixed rate loans with:

  • 20% down (80% loan to value) for loan amounts to $1 million
  • 25% down (75% loan to value) for loan amounts to $1.5 million
  • 30% down (70% loan to value) for loan amounts to $2 million.

4. The down payment requirements for conventional financing will be loosening up in the near future. FHA needs some breathing room and we anticipate PMI companies will allow a 97% loan to value (3% down payment) again for well-qualified buyers.

5. Requirements on gifts for down payments are changing. On loan amounts above $417,000 buyers will now be required to contribute a minimum of 5%, the remaining down payment can come from a gift. If the loan amount is under $417,000 the old rules still apply allowing a buyer to receive a gift for 100% of the down payment and contribute nothing with a minimum 20% down payment.

The Bottom Line While these general mortgage trends may impact the real estate market overall, each homeowner or buyer considering applying for a mortgage should meet with a lender to determine the cost and availability of a loan that meets his or her needs.

Calvin Cox


Published with permission from Bank Of Commerce


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