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All posts tagged grand junction 1st time homebuyers

The following is highlights from a report Heritage Title recently put out.
*Heritage Title- 970-241-8555

Keep in mind that winter is a slow sales time regardless of activity.  In my opinion, spring/summer are the telltale times of how the market is progressing.

1st Quarter Real Estate Highlights:
*10% fewer sales in 1st quarter 2014 vs 1st quarter 2013
*$133 million in real estate sales in 1st quarter 2014, down 8% from 2013
*median home pricing was for January: $167,400, Feb: $181,950, & March: 159,450
The market peaked in 2008 with a median sales price of $222,000
*Days on Market average was 131 days (2014) vs 153 days (2013).  Keep in mind that days on market for our area include the days that the property is under contract all the way up until the day of sale.
*Home Building: 97 permits issued vs 90 for the same time period last year
*Foreclosure filing dropped from 182 in 2013 to 148 in 1st quarter 2014.  The peak was in 2010 when there was 397 filings.
*resale of foreclosed homes composed 14% of the sales in 2014 (91 of them)  vs 25% in 2013 when there was 181

If you have any questions on market conditions or would like a free evaluation of your home’s value, please let me know.
Great service with equally great listing rates.

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With the first quarter behind us, let’s take a look at how the Redlands real estate market performed with regard to single family homes.  Keep in mind that traditionally the 1st quarter is the slowest of the year.

Redlands 1st Quarter 2014:
# of Sales: 38
*This represents the lowest number of sales in the past 4 years.

Average Sales Price:   $297,243
*This is also below the past 6 year average. In 2013, the average sales price was just over $326K

Average Days on Market: ~151 Days
*This also represents an uptick as compared to 2013 when the average days on market was ~126 days.

All in all, Jan-March has started slow for the area BUT this does represent the slowest selling time of the year and can be influenced by what is on the market as well as weather conditions.  Not always fun to get in the mood to look at real estate when it is cold outside.

As a reminder, 2013 represented the highest number of sales over the past 6 years with 290 sales for the year.  This helped clear much of the inventory on the market which could also lead to the slower 1st quarter as much of what was on the market was the remnants of what the market in 2013 did not buy.

As an example, I brought on a very nicely presented home in the Redlands on Feb. 26th of this year and we were under contract by April 4th.  When the home came on the market, there were a few showings here and there in the 1st few weeks but near the end of March, there was a dramatic search in showing activity.  So, if this holds, it could indicate the Buyers are coming out of their winter slumber and with the nice spring time temperatures setting in are out and about looking to buy.

Check back for more updates or contact me directly with questions.


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Looking to add a little pizzazz to your curb appeal with a limited budget?  Here are a few tips to get you going and enhance your curb appeal.

1) Add a Flower/Planter Box
Flower boxes are typically cheap and combined with going to your local nursery, the new colorful flowers that you add should be an instant hit.

2) Plant a Flowering Tree, Bush, Tree…
Like the flower boxes, let nature shine through as you walk up to your front door. For the finishing touch add some decorative mulch or some xeriscaping.

3) Install New House Numbers
If your house numbers are old and tired, head down to your local building supply store to find some new modern ones.

4) New Exterior Light Fixtures
Modern light fixtures can provide a new look and hopefully some added light to your front entry way.  Make sure you look at your old mounting system as if you can find an exterior light fixture you like with the same mounting system, you will have saved yourself some installation time.    Also, look into outdoor stainless steel solar lights.  If you are in an area of lots of sun, these would look great at night as they illuminated the pathway up to your front door.

5) New Mailbox
Look online, a thrift store or your local bldg. store to see if you can find a fun, decorative new mailbox.

6) Paint
Paint is relatively inexpensive yet makes a world of difference.  Consider painting your door & window trim, shutters and front door (if it can be painted).  Painting whether inside or outside is typically money well spent.
While you should paint to your tastes also consider checking with a local paint store to see what they recommend for the latest color trends.

7) Decorative Fence
The fence may not have to be big or keep anyone out for that matter but a fence, even a small decorative fence even a foot high helps establish boundaries and gives a mental sense of separation from the sidewalk/road to your personal property & home.




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Exterior Touched Up

Starting to get serious about buying?

Then time to get organized and make sure nothing is overlooked
with this buyer’s checklist.

Pre-Contract Stage

  • Get Pre-Approved for a Loan – If you think you will be buying a condo or a townhome, you will typically have an Association Fee. Make sure you have your mortgage officer ballpark a number as well as put in property taxes to get an accurate amount of how much you can qualify for.
  • Determine your Wants & Needs – Make a list of what is absolutely needed (# of bedrooms, price range, home or condo, location…) and you want but could live without.
  • Give me a call, Matt Eilers (970) 445-8227 so we can go out and look at what is available on the market.
  • IF buying into an Association, make sure you call the Property Management Company and a Board Member 1st to get a general feel of how well the association is doing financially, their future plans, possible special assessement and any current maintenance issues.
  • Found that perfect property?  Take a drive by on a Friday night as well as during the weekend to get a feel for the neighborhood (noise levels, kids/families out and about)…If you do see potential neighbors outside, ask them their impressions of the area, likes/dislikes…
  • Have kids?  Ask around and check out the schools to make sure you are comfortable with the school(s) your child will attend
  • www.maps.google.com- do a satellite view of the property you like.  This bird’s eye view will give you a good idea for the surrounding area that is hard to get from driving around.  You might find some fun things like close by parks or not so fun things like a nearby train track that you did not see (nothing like a 3am train passing thru to start the day)
  • Once you have gone over the various intangibles of your property (schools, location, views….) time to do a market analysis of the property and compare the property vs 1) solds in the past 0-6 months 2) other active properties in the area 3) withdrawn & expired listings in the past 0-6 months.

Contract Negotiation Stage

  • Make sure I have all contact info. available for you so I can get a hold of you.
  • Be prepared to right an Earnest Money Check to accompany the offer
  • Discuss Major Dates prior to submitting offer: Inspection Objection Deadline, Resolution Deadline, Loan Conditions Deadline, Appraisal Deadline, & Closing Date.
  • Be available and mentally prepared for quick negotiations and counteroffers

Under Contract Stage

  • Make a list of your major contract dates and put it on your fridge.  Put the important dates in your phone’s calendar.
  • Order a Home Inspection ASAP! – Ask the Home Inspector what is and is not covered in his/her exam. You may need a more specialized person if you want a radon test, mold test, water flow and water quality test, soils test, furnace inspection…
  • Give a copy of all contract documents to your mortgage officer
  • Review the title work which you should be sent by the Title Company usually within the 1st week to 10 days.
  • IF buying into a property that has an Association Fee, make sure you let your mortgage officer know this exact number as well as the yearly property taxes. They need these numbers to accurately assess if you can qualify for a loan.
  • Review your loan conditions with your mortgage officer prior to the Loan Objection Deadline. If there are ANY issues, you must object on or prior to this date.
  • Lock your loan type and rate when you fell comfortable.  Until you lock your rate, the interest rate can fluctuate.
  • IF buying into an Association, read all the CC&R’s and Bylaws to make sure you are comfortable with them as these will be your governing documents for your property. These docs will basically explain what is and is not allowed and generally how things are to operate. – EX: I met a Buyer once (who did not use me) that called and was very upset that she bought a condo but was not allowed to have her beloved dog at the unit and was wondering if she had any recourse. Unfortunately, she did not read her governing docs which clearly stated that NO PETS were allowed by owners or tenants on the premises. Sadly, she was out of luck and her dog would not be allowed at her new unit.
  • Obtain Property Insurance on the property. Most mortgage lenders cannot close on the property until this is done. Ask your mortgage officer what is required. If buying into a HOA, the HOA might have master insurance on the property.  Check to make sure.  If they do, I would recommend speaking with your insurance agent about a HO-6.
  • Review all Disclosures that you should receive (Sellers Property Disclosure, Water Source Disclosure, Sq.Ft Disclosure, Lead Base Paint Disclosure…)
  • Let me and/or the title company know if you will be present for closing. If not, they will need time to put together a mail out. Make sure you Notarize the documents.
  • Get an Inclusion/Exclusion List- if you are not sure if a certain item is included/excluded in the sale, ask and get it in writing.
  • Prior to Closing, walk through the property to make sure all agreed upon Inspection related items are fixed and in working order.
  • Call the title company a few days prior to closing and ask what is required of you to bring in order to have a successful closing. Also, ask for an early copy of the Settlement Statement so you can review it prior to closing. Generally, you will need to bring a Drivers License and a Certified Check or already have the money wired to the Title Company prior to Closing.

After Closing

  • Call 1-2 days prior to change all necessary utilities, phone, trash, TV… into your name.
  • Call your Insurance Company to make 100% sure that the property is insured
  • If dealing with an Association, let them know your mailing address as well as ask them when your 1 st set of monthly dues are due.
  • It is always recommended to re-key or change codes on your property where applicable.
  • Keep an eye out for that 1st Mortgage payment. You do not want to ruin your credit score because somehow in the whole crazy closing process, your mailing address for the mortgage was misprinted or written down incorrectly.
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