Castle Rock, CO Real Estate News

By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 3 – Rental Condo or Rental HomeThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, rental condos or rental homes, in Timber Canyon. What this investment is:  Purchase of a residential property to be rented out to tenants, usually on a 6-12 month lease term.  This is how most new landlords get started.  You can hire out all of the property management functions, but in many cases you will do many of them on your own.  There are smaller down payment requirements than for larger rental buildings.  The purchase process and financing process is very similar to what you experienced buying the home you live in now.  It's a great way for beginners to get started.Equity needed:  Currently 20% - 25% Downpayment.  In some cases you might be able to do it with 10% down,...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investing in Real Estate 2 – AssignmentsThis blog will discuss a type of real estate investment, assignments, in Timber Canyon.What this investment is:  An investor who is interested in Assignments gets a property under contract for an attractive price then assigns the contract to another buyer, usually another investor.  The first investor will be paid a fee for the work.  If you don't have much equity to work with, and/or if your credit power is limited, assignments can be a way to get started in real estate investing.  You will need to have a strong "sales" personality to succeed at it, though. Equity needed:  None, just earnest money.Importance of credit:  Not important, since you are not purchasing the property yourself.Importance of experience with contractors:  Not important.  Th...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic:  Special considerations for Investor loans The talk around the water cooler these days is all about LOANS. Who can get them? At what price? What if I already have a few loans, do I still qualify?  A year or two ago the question was at what price do I get a loan (those were the days!).  Today it is "am I still in the game?"     Here's the deal:  if you have an owner occupied loan and 3 investor loans you cannot buy any more properties and get Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac financing, meaning you can't get a conventional 30-year fixed loan. Now, my hope is that someone reads this and tells me I'm wrong. That would be great!  But as far as I know that is the case.    Where does this leave you?  You can pursue loans that are warehoused by lenders, meaning they are not sold on the backend t...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic:  Investor Series:  Why sewer scopes are important  A LOT of agents don't advise their clients to get sewer scopes when they purchase a property. This is a major mistake.  A broken sewer can cost between $3,000 - $10,000 dollars to repair and it only costs $99 ($99Rooter - others are more expensive) to have a tech put a camera down the sewer pipe and videotape the sewer all the way to the mainline. This will tell you  and the-buyer what the condition of the sewer is.    So let's see, we pay to have the furnace inspected but a new furnace will only be about $2,000. We pay to have the roof inspected but that's probably a $4,000 job. So why don't we always inspect the sewer?  One reason is because, let's face it,  Realtors want closings. Many figure if they keep their mouth shut and ...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic:  Investor Series:  Estimating Rents A lot of clients ask me how to figure out what market rents are in a neighborhood. This is a critical input into the calculations an investor needs to make in order to determine what their return on investment will be on a rental property. So you don't want to screw this up!  Unfortunately, this is one of the many figures new investors get wrong.   One place people go to get rents is Rent-o-Meter. Rent-o-Meter is billed as an online resource to get accurate market rents. In my experience it is anything but!  However, I have a fairly simple solution. Multiply what you see on Rent-o-Meter by  80%  and you'll probably be close. I can't explain why but I find rents on Rent-o-Meter to be about 25% high, so multiplying their rents by 80% will get you...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic:  Investor Series:  Things to look for when you look at roofs Have you ever driven through Aurora North looking for a rental property and taken a close look at the roofs?   Here's what you'll see: a bunch of 1950's ranches in varying states of repair or disrepair, lawns that are often grassless, old handcrank windows and roofs in almost perfect condition!  This surprised me at first and perplexed me for a long time.  Why, in a neighborhood devastated by foreclosures with properties with massive deferred maintenance are the roofs in such condition?  Really!  Stand in the middle of a typical street and looking at 10 roofs simultaneously, you'll be amazed. Well, it turns out the answer is pretty simple. There was a huge hailstorm in the mid-90's and most of the roofs were replaced by...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic:  Investor Series:  Things to keep in mind when seeing a foreclosed home As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.    This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topic name:  Investor Series:  Understanding Egress Windows  A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.    The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Th...
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By Mike Spector
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Topics for Investors:  Basement Kitchens You walk into a property you're looking to buy and rent and you walk down into the basement and voila! you find a full second kitchen.   Great!  You start calculating how much rent you could get if you could rent the downstairs separate from the upstairs and the cashflow is out of this world!  But wait, there are a number of very real problems with this scenario.   First of all, it's illegal unless the property is zoned for more than one tenant and the property has been converted to non-residential use. But there are even more practical reasons why having two separate tenants is often not a great idea. The first is the utilities. Since it's a house there will only be one bill for Excel and water. Who's going to pay it?  Can you really get the ten...
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By Sheryll White, Denver Real Estate Guide
(Exit Realty Denver Tech Center)
Holidays in The Meadows Celebration this Saturday 1-4 p.m. at The Grange A Meadows tradition, Holidays in The Meadows, will take place this Saturday, December 13, from 1-4 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a special visit with all the children. Be sure to be at The Grange at 1:00 p.m. for Santa and Mrs. Claus' special arrival! Other activities include a latte bar, chair massage and crafts. The Meadows Lighting contest will take place that evening from 5-9 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for Most Colorful Display, Most Creative Display, Best Block Light Display, and Best of Show Display. Stop by The Grange to pick up the list of registered addresses. Driving by these houses is sure to put you in the Holiday Spirit! Holiday Hours for The Grange are: Friday, December 19, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Wedn...
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By Tim Mancuso, Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART
(Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant)
I just got word that the FBI released their 'Most Wanted' widget update. This is available for nearly EVERY site and social network out there (go figure, it's the FBI for goodness sake!) Included are code sniplets and auto placements for: * Facebook * MySpace * MyYahoo *AOL *Email *Standard Embedding * and lots lots more.. Note: I didn't see Active Rain listed in there, nor did I see any AR folks listed in the widget... :-) I think it is very cool that we can add USEFUL widgets like this to our site(s) and in doing so help to keep our country/world SAFER by raising the awareness of criminals and terrorists who may be in our midst!! (Check out the terrorist code/widget that they list on the site, too!) Here's an example of the standard 'embed' code. (note: the 'embed' code isn't working ...
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By Jerry Becker, Littleton, Colorado
(Jerry Becker and Associates)
In this crazy real estate market we're in, I know how easy it is to get scared when you read something in the paper or see it on TV.  When you do, first ask yourself, 'is this a local story or are they reporting on a national trend?'  There's a big difference because here in Denver things are actually getting better.  Our inventory is down and many neighborhoods are showing price appreciation.  The main point I wanted to make is that don't necessarily take the figures you see at face value.  I recently attended a meeting on sales trends where the speaker was making the same point.  For example, he stated how the Castle Rock average sales prices were down 16% in 2008, when compared to last year.  When you get into the figures, they tell a different story.  By breaking the figures down yo...
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By Lisa Sargenti, Lisa Sargenti, SFR, CDPE
(Cherry Creek Properties )
BEING A PART OF A COMMUNITY IS BENEFICIAL TO YOUR REAL ESTATE CAREER.  AS A CO-FOUNDER OF THE CASTLE ROCK EVENT AND WEDDING CO-OP I HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK WITH SEVERAL BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS IN MY COMMUNITY.  THE CASTLE ROCK EVENT AND WEDDING CO-OP WAS FOUNDED IN 2004 AND HAS TAKEN PART IN SEVERAL EVENTS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS.  THIS YEAR WE PLANNED OUR FIRST BRIDAL SHOW AND IT WAS A GREAT SUCCESS. CHECK OUT OUR WEB SIGHT AT WWW.CASTLEROCKEVENTSANDWEDDINGS.COM. GET OUT THERE AND BE APART OF YOUR COMMUNITY.
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By Tim Mancuso, Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART
(Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant)
We Remember! Veterans' Day * November 11, 2008 Veterans' Day is a day to HONOR our HEROES who put their lives on the line to protect our Nation. Please join me in Thanking a Veteran during this day of remembrance and tribute. It's the right thing to do, and not enough of us do this as often as we should. To all who have served this greatest of Nations - I sincerely Thank YOU for your commitment and sacrifice - on behalf of myself and my family. -Tim Mancuso
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By Tim Mancuso, Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART
(Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant)
They say the cold weather is nearly upon us - as we say goodbye to the short-wearing warm weather days of grilling, smoking (meats, that is), and BBQ-ing, I wanted to share some pretty cool BBQs and Smokers with you all. Now, by no means is my own personal grill anywhere NEAR as cool as these (in fact, my wife pushed mine home down the street one fine spring morning from a neighbor with a 'free' sign attached to it. . . but that's ANOTHER story entirely!!) editor's note: Nicole is the BEST wife ever!! In any case, enjoy the coming winter months, keep those steaks and burgers cookin' and enjoy the pics! -Tim Mancuso
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By Tim Mancuso, Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART
(Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant)
How many of us are celebrating Halloween this year? On top of that, how many of us are dressing in costume @ the office today?! Here's a history of Halloween for you, from LandAmerica: HISTORY OF HALLOWEEN Over 2000 years ago, the Celts celebrated the beginning of their new year on November 1 with bonfires and a feast called Samhain. They believed that this turning point of the year, the end of summer and beginning of winter, was a time when the spirits of the dead and other magical beings could communicate with the living. In the early centuries of Christianity, church holy days were often set to coincide with existing pagan festivals in order to bring people into the Catholic faith. Pope Gregory III, in the 700s, moved the holiday of All Saints' Day from March to November 1. On that d...
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By Gene Elzenberger
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Recap of First Half 2008 Home Price Performance By Lon Welsh and Terry Wenze, Your Castle Real Estate. The average home price in Metro Denver increased +2% in the full year 2005 to the full year 2006. Comparing 2006 to 2007, the average home price across the metro dropped 3%, to $303,000. The half of 2008 was $275,000 vs. the first half of 2007 was $306,000: a 10% decrease. These numbers will be slightly different than Metrolist, as they are just Denver Metro and don't include outlying areas like Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, or Boulder. The average price of a foreclosure dropped -6% to $168,000 in the first half of 2008. The average short sale was steady at $212,000. The average price of a non-distress sale decreased 5% to $352,000. Sales volume was down for single family homes. For...
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By Gene Elzenberger
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Investor often ask me what types of real estate investments are available on the market.  Here's what we tell them. This is the first of several postings on the topic. Please offer comments - positive or negative! Assignments.  If you don't have much equity to work with, and/or if your credit power is limited, assignments can be a way to get started in real estate investing.  You will need to have a strong "sales" personality to succeed at it, though.    Rental Condo or Rental Home.  Purchase of a residential property to be rented out to tenants, usually on a 6-12 month lease term.  This is how most new landlords get started.  You can hire out all of the property management functions, but in many cases you will do many of them on your own.  There are smaller down payment requirements th...
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By Gene Elzenberger
(Your Castle Real Estate)
    If you have not heard already, the inventory of home on the market in Denver has been declining. This is not true in many regions of the county. Your clients, who often only see national headlines, might not be aware of this favorable news. Our market has some unusual factors at work. Let's explore them, so you can better help your clients.If you look at the first chart (MOI 1), you'll see the MOI (months of inventory) for Denver's suburbs on the bottom axis and the average sales price in that suburb on the axis on the left side. Denver metro currently has about six months of inventory (a balanced market, on average), but you can see there is a lot of variety from one city to the next. Lower cost areas, such as Thornton, are seeing inventory move fast. Sellers (mainly banks) don't ...
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By Gene Elzenberger
(Your Castle Real Estate)
As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of...
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