Under Contract in 5 Days!

Stunning Remodel in Piney Creek – 5419 S. Jasper

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Welcome to this spectacular Piney Creek home with beautiful finishes and impeccable updates.  The delightfully low maintenance front yard and xeriscaped backyard is a serene private retreat.

Stunningly remodeled, the extended main level hardwood floors make this open floor plan an entertainer’s dream. The breakfast nook and bar seating in the kitchen create a sense of space with the use of daylight from the south-facing oversized windows and skylights. The romantic main floor master suite is complete with access to the Trex deck, to enjoy your mornings with a view. The master bath has new stone floors, a stone shower,  new soaking tub, granite counters and double vanity.

Upstairs enjoy the mountain views with the newly added Anderson windows in the second bedroom. The hardwood floors make this a perfect guest room or second study. Across the hall, the Jack-and-Jill bedrooms share a full bath.

The dramatic finishes continue in the professionally finished basement. The wine cellar, wet bar/ kitchen and open great room complete this truly special space. The gym area and new bathroom top off the list of all your wishes in your next dream home.

5 Beds | 5 Baths | 3 Car Garage | 3,078 + 2,087 SF (basement)

Listed at: $559,000

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First Time Home Buyer Workshop

This is going to be a very informative event for first time home buyers. Feel free to pass this flyer along to anyone you know thinking of making a real estate purchase in the coming months! I look forward to seeing you there!First-time Home Buyers Workshop Invite (2)

All Cash Offers Crushing First Time Home Buyers

I came across this article about how all cash buyers are cornering a market that has historically been driven by first time home buyers. To read the entire article, click here.

In my experience over  the last 12 months, I’ve seen this first hand. Last Spring & Summer, first time buyers were being outbid by investors or individuals with the ability to pay cash and  also offered far over the listed sales price. It was heart breaking to see time and time again when a buyer would be first in the door for a showing, make a full price offer (in some cases even go over asking price) and still be pushed out by cash deals.  “All-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales in December, up from 38.1 percent in November, and up from 18.0 percent in December 2012, according to a new report from RealtyTrac. First-time homebuyers, historically about 40 percent of the market, accounted for just 27 percent of sales nationally in December, the lowest since 2008.”

Also mentioned, is a good point about how the increased appreciation of property drives prices higher and higher, making a home purchase even more difficult. Lastly, first time home buyers are also weighed down with heavy student loan repayment and credit card debt, so the new mortgage rules that have gone into effect this month push off the dream of buying a home for many. If you’re in the market to buy a home this year, my experience is to avoid waiting to buy a home prices for many reasons:

  • before prices continue to rise
  • before interest rates rise, as predicted a full point increase by end of 2014
  • the increased activity of buyers flood the market during the “heavy buying season”
  • as lending rules and regulations make it difficult to qualify for a loan.

What’s Your Style?

Thinking of redesigning your dining room lately? Not all homes have a formal dining room, but a home should have some place for a designated eating area. What’s your style preference for the homes below?  Sound off in the comments below!

A.  Modern
B. Cozy
C. Ornate
D. TraditionalDining Room Choices

What If Your Home Doesn’t Appraise?

For home sellers and buyers alike, the appraisal process can be the last final hurdle before getting to the closing table. However, this important step in the process can often cause headache and frustration for those that don’t completely grasp the appraisal process.

Being on both sides of the transaction, I’ve seen a few appraisal issues arise and here is quick rundown of the ins and outs of this process.

First off, when a seller and their broker are determining a listing price for the home, the listing agent performs what is called a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). The listing agent is determining a price range that the house should be sold at. The most efficient way of doing this is by looking at the sold prices of similar styled homes located within a relatively short geographic region.

As a realtor, I always try to use the formula that a bank-hired appraiser might use – this compares apples to apples in terms of style of house. Is the subject home a ranch home? Well then only looking for ranch style homes, not 2 story homes, bi-levels, etc. Then looking at homes within about 20% either way of above grade square feet (so excluding the basement). Most important is finding comparable home that are located close to the subject home – hopefully less than a mile away and in the same neighborhood. After finding comparable homes, making dollar amount adjustments for number of bedrooms, amenities, upgrades, garage style, etc to determine a value range.

On the flip side, as a buyer when you find a home that you are interested in making an offer, it’s imperative to ask your agent, “What are homes like this selling for?” This will help determine if the seller is over priced or right in line with the market. As with lots of things in life, there is no one exact price for a home.

So what do you do if your home doesn’t appraise?

As a seller you have a few options: you can ask that the buyer bring more cash to the closing table to make up for the price difference in the contract price and the price the appraiser gave the home (which is difficult to get done) or you can renegotiate the price with the buyer. As a seller, it’s important to remember it doesn’t matter how much you paid for the home, the cost of renovations you’ve added or how much profit you need in order to buy your next home. The appraiser was hired by the bank, which means they also work for the buyer. The bank does not want to lend on a home that is worth less than their loan amount.

As a buyer you have similar options: you can decide to bring additional cash to close to fill the gap, you can try to renegotiate the price with the seller, you can terminate the contract or you can challenge the appraisal. If the buyer decides to terminate the contract they will get their earnest money back so long as they have terminated by the date specified in the contract.

It’s important to note that challenging an appraisal can sometimes cost the buyer an additional fee. However, this is where an agent can really show their strength. If the broker can show that the appraiser used poor comparable properties or did a “drive by” appraisal and  didn’t actually enter the home, then there may be a chance to fight the value. If the home had a renovated kitchen then the appraiser may have completely missed that value added item.

HouseWith the market moving so fast lately, appraisal issues have become common. The cause for this is that an appraiser is using past historical values for a homes value and not always necessarily looks at appreciation values. This is why it’s important to look for the most recent sales. A house with the same floor plan and finishes that sold across the street from the subject property yesterday is obviously the best comparable possible. Of course we know that’s not always easy to find.

After the appraisal has passed, hopefully it’s smooth sailing until the closing table for buyer and seller! 🙂