What Does “Average Days to Contract” Mean?

Superior Homes Average 6 Days to Under ContractRealtors and news reporters often talk about the average number of days to contract as if everyone knows what it means.  This statistic is a great indicator of how the real estate market is moving and since its been mentioned in the news lately I thought I’d take a minute and explain it to you here.

The Average Days to Contract statistic tells us how fast or slow homes are selling.  It tracks the actual number of calendar days from the moment a home is listed for sale on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to the day the contract negotiation is finalized and both buyer and seller have signed the contract.

This statistic is a great one to watch because its clean and simple.  It only tracks how long it takes for a house to “go under contract”.  The shorter the number of days the faster the market is moving. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips to Make Your Home Sell Faster

Selling Your Louisville, CO HomeI get lots of real estate related questions throughout the course of my week and I thought I’d post them every now and then just in case its something you are thinking about too.

Here’s a good one on how to make your home sell faster.

Q:  What steps can I take to make my home sell faster?

A:  There are many steps you can take to shorten the length of time it takes to sell your house plus help it sell for its greatest value possible.  Many sellers make a common mistake:  they don’t see their home though the eyes of a potential buyer.

Here are a few helpful tips for you to remember: Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Know a 4-Year Old?

OneBook4ColoradoEvery 4-year old in Colorado has a free book waiting for them at the library!

Thanks to a wonderful program called One Book 4 Colorado 70,000 free books will be distributed to 4 year olds all across the state May 6-20th.  The name of this year’s book will be unveiled on May 6th as part of Colorado’s Literacy Week.

This is the second year for One Book 4 Colorado.  Last year’s book was Maybe the Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris.

Studies have proven that pre-schoolers who have access to books and adults who will read to them are much more likely to be ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten.

Reading bedtime stories was a big part of our family’s evening ritual when our kids were little.  Read the rest of this entry »

Does Your House Have These Top Features?

9972204_sBuyers are out looking for homes and they know what they want. Does your home have “It”?

Here is this year’s buyer’s wish list and the values attached to having each feature in the home.

Does your home have any of these features?

Top on the list are kitchens.  It seems the Food Network has had a huge influence on home buyers and the kitchen is now the central gathering place in a home.

Stainless steel appliances –  $1,850 Read the rest of this entry »

Boulder Valley Rental Rates Hit Record

248280_sHave you ever thought of being a landlord?

Owning rental property can be an excellent asset in your investment portfolio and the recent figures posted by the Apartment Association of Denver and the Colorado Division of Housing make that exact point.

Rental rates in Boulder and Broomfield counties have hit an all-time high for the first quarter of 2013.  Based on rent per square foot that comes out to $1.33/ft.  Now add in the fact that vacancy rates have fallen and that means more units are fully occupied while landlords are getting bigger rent checks.

The vacancy rates in Boulder-Broomfield market checked in at an average of 3.2 percent.   But when you drill down into the sub-markets you’ll find University Hill area of Boulder had a 0.3 percent vacancy rate and the rest of Boulder reported a 1.4 percent vacancy rate.   Good news for landlords – a little rougher for those looking to rent a place. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Steps to Successful Negotiations

12161928_sI get lots of real estate related questions throughout the course of my week and I thought I’d post them every now and then just in case its something you are thinking about too.

Here’s a good one about how to navigate the negotiations required for buying a home.

Q:  I’d like to buy my own home but I’m feeling overwhelmed about all the negotiations involved in the process.  Can you help?

A:  The goal of every real estate transaction I represent is to find a win-win agreement for both parties.  If buyers and sellers both feel they have reached an equitable agreement the whole process flows much smoother.

I’ve received specialized training in real estate negotiations and earned the designation of Certified Negotiation Expert. This training has helped me negotiate dozens and dozens of successful real estate deals.

Here are a few tips to help you feel like a negotiation pro. Read the rest of this entry »

Fireside Elementary: “Don’t Squish the Squash”

Fireside Elementary Outdoor Learning GardenThe good news is Louisville schools are rated excellent academically.

But ask any family that attends one of these wonderful institutions and they will tell you there is another important criteria that multiples this high value factor x10 – and its the sense of community they feel from their school.

Community building seems to come second nature to our schools.

There are so many opportunities for parents to volunteer, the children to perform or display their artistic talents and to grow friendships.

And then there are the parties!  These PTO groups know how to put on a fundraiser that focuses on the “fun”.

Louisville’s PTO groups provide a critically important voice for the schools leadership and in developing a sense of community for the children and their families.  Lots of heart and time goes into fundraising for our schools and the outcomes can be pretty amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

What $800,000-$900,000 buys you in Superior,CO

1031 Torrey Peak DrivePreviewing homes is something I do for my buyers, especially when they are coming from out of state.  This particular family is moving back to the area after being gone for a few years.  They are elated  to be “coming back home” and I’m excited to help them.

First on the agenda is to preview the available homes in their price range in Superior.  These are all lovely, executive homes with top-of-the-line finishes and ample square footage for families, entertaining, hobbies and home offices.  High ceilings, granite counters, media rooms and 5-7 bedrooms all were included.  The master bedrooms were spacious retreats with 3-sided fireplaces, reading areas, luxurious bathrooms and mountain views.

Views are one of the biggest intangibles for homes in Boulder County.  They are a highly sought after amenity and usually makes the price of the home higher than non-view homes.  But I always look at the views with a critical eye.   Read the rest of this entry »

Waking Up the Bears on Pearl Street

15352365_sBears on Pearl Street Mall??  Your reaction is probably either:  Cool!  or No Way!

But don’t grab the Bear repellent just yet because this event is just for fun.

Every year at this time Downtown Boulder hosts a wonderful spring festival called the Tulip Fairy and Elf Festival to celebrate the 15,000 tulips bursting forth on Pearl Street Mall.  Children dress up in their best fairy and elf costumes and help the Tulip Fairy parade down Pearl Street Mall beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday April 27.

There are lots of fun things for kids to do like foam sword fights, making fairy wands and elf hats, art projects and nature activities.

This year’s special live event is the Waking Up the Bears concert. Read the rest of this entry »

Making an offer? What you need to know first

12161928_sI get lots of real estate related questions throughout the course of my day and I thought I’d post them every now and then just in case its something you are thinking about too.

Here’s a good one about what to know before making an offer on a home.

Q:  My wife and I are ready to buy our first house.  What things should we consider before making an offer on a home?

A:  Before you start searching the housing websites or head out to neighborhood open houses please do yourself a BIG favor and determine what your budget is for buying a home.  It always breaks my heart when a someone gets all excited about a house only to find out they can’t qualify for the required mortgage.

A very loose rule of thumb is you can afford Read the rest of this entry »