You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
IT'S TIME FOR CUSTOMER APPRECIATION.
Please join us. We want to show our APPRECIATION and THANKS
for your continued support of Keenan Real Estate with a
3rd Annual Christmas Mini Photo Shoot.
These will be short Christmas minis with the purpose of getting a few great shots to use for a Christmas card or to get an updated family portrait, our treat. Each session will be 15 minutes long and will take place at Stroh Ranch Recreation Center, 19301 J Morgan Blvd, Parker, CO 80134
There will be several Christmas decorations to make each photo session personalized.
Our photographer has been booked for October 22nd, from 11 am-3 pm. The photoshoot will be held inside and the sessions will be 15 minutes each. We will deliver the images via email to you once complete.
Thank you again for your continued support!
To sign up for the OCTOBER 22nd Photo Shoot CLICK HERE
Address of Photo Shoot: 19301 J Morgan Blvd, Parker, CO 80134
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call, 303-564-6988.
You think of your contractor as an ally and partner — but he’s a primarily a businessman who may not reveal all. Here’s how to level the playing field.
1. He's desperate for your business
As tough as the economy has been overall, the construction industry has been in far worse shape. While the national unemployment rate has hovered around 8%, for construction workers it’s been a whopping 17% and higher.
What you should do: It doesn’t mean you should play hardball with your contractor on his price (because he might cut corners on the job if you do), but if you ask for an itemized bid, and explain that you're getting them from a few contractors, he's going to sharpen his pencil and give you his most competitive price.
2. He's going to farm out the work
General contractors often don’t do the physical work themselves. They might have been carpenters or plumbers, but now that they run their own businesses, they’ve retired their tool belts.
Instead, their role is to sign clients, manage budgets, and schedule a cast of subcontractors. When he’s trying to win your business, a contractor can be pretty vague about how involved he’s going to be — and who will be running the job day-to-day.
What you should do: Inquire who will be in charge of the jobsite. Ask to meet the job foreman, preferably while he’s at work on a current jobsite. “Maybe he’s a chain smoker or doesn’t speak English or who knows what?” says Stockbridge, Mass., contractor Jay Rhind. “You want to make sure you feel comfortable with him.”
3. A big deposit is unnecessary -- and possibly illegal
When you sign a contract, you’re usually expected to pay a deposit. But that’s not for covering the contractor’s initial materials or set-up costs.
If his business is financially sound and he’s in good standing with his suppliers, he shouldn't need to pay for anything up front. In fact, many states limit a contractor’s advance.
What you should do: If your contractor is asking for, say, 25%-30% of a job that’s not even due to start for a while, offer to give a more nominal amount (5%-10%) with the contract and the rest on the day the work commences.
4. He's not only marking up labor, but materials too
No contractor wants to talk about it, but he’s going to mark up everything he pays out to make your job happen. That’s fair; it’s how he pays his own overhead and salary. Keep it in mind that the 10% to 20% mark-up applies not just to materials but labor costs, too.
What you should do: If you can handle buying items such as plumbing fixtures, cabinets, countertops, and flooring, ask your contractor to take them out of his bid price. Be sure to agree on specific numbers and amounts of what you’ll be buying, and that you’ll have the items to the jobsite when they’re needed. You could save 10%-20% or more from what your contractor might charge.
5. He’s not the design whiz he claims to be
Sure, there are contractors who have strong design abilities. Chances are, however, they’re spending a lot more time running their businesses than honing their design chops.
What you should do: Don’t count on a contractor to design your space and add clever details, unless he clearly demonstrates his abilities and has a portfolio of his own designs. Ask his references specifically about his design skills. Otherwise, you’re better off hiring an architect for overall planning, and a kitchen and bath designer for the details. The cost of those design professionals usually is compensated by efficient planning and problem-free design work.
By: Oliver Marks
Although housing prices started to rebound last year and are expected to continue rising in 2022, it's still a buyer's market. Prices remain 30 percent below their peak before the housing crash and mortgage rates hovering at all-time lows. If you are ready to jump in to the real estate market, here are 13 house-hunting tips for 2022.
1. Run the numbers. Put together a financial plan to determine whether you can really afford to buy. After all, just because it's a good time to purchase a home doesn't mean it's a good time for YOU to buy. It's important to understand how much home you can afford and whether home ownership might preclude you from addressing other important financial issues in your life.
2. Save 20 percent for a down payment. I'm not a huge fan of putting down less than that amount (although the Federal Housing Administration allows it). Keep your down payment fund in cash or cash equivalent accounts, so that market movements don't thwart your plans.
3. Be an informed buyer. You're not going to buy a house simply because there's a pretty photo posted online, but you can conduct a lot of price research. That said, there's nothing better than talking to people in the neighborhood for "on the ground" intelligence.
4. Obtain a copy of your credit report. If you haven't done so in a while, go to AnnualCreditReport.com and request your free copy. It's important that you correct any errors on the report before you start the mortgage process.
5. Get pre-approved for a mortgage. Pre-approval is a good gut check on your price range for a home. Gone are the days that banks will fork over cash to anyone with a heartbeat. The best way to start is to ask friends for referrals from mortgage brokers and to shop around with banks and credit unions. Make sure to compare apples to apples and to ask the broker about your total costs to you at closing. You should also know that once you actually find a home, the mortgage process is on the same pain level as a root canal, only it requires more patience and there's no Novocain. You'll need to dig up tons of paperwork and fair warning -- there will be multiple requests for even more documents as you move toward closing. Eventually, you will need "commitment letter," which details the terms of your loan approval.
6. Hire a real estate attorney. This is a major transaction in your life, so don't try to save money when it comes to legal fees. Even if your mortgage company provides a lawyer, hire your own to help draft all documents and to ensure that your interests are being represented at every step of the process.
7. Get an appraisal. An appraisal will determine the market value of the property and ultimately will be used by your lender to determine the amount of your loan. You have a legal right to get a copy of this and will want a copy for your records.
8. Start with a fair offer. The offer should be based on similar houses sold in the neighborhood in the past six months. Your agent will help you with the process, but the offer should include the price you're willing to pay for the house, your financing terms and contingencies such as specifying what will happen if any problems come up during the inspection.
9. Purchase homeowners insurance. If you are a life-long renter, this can be an eye-opener in terms of cost. Make sure that you understand the difference between insuring the structure and insuring the contents. And if you are buying property that is close to water, make sure that you have an agent who can help you enroll in the national flood insurance program.
10. Review your HUD statement BEFORE closing. The government document provides basic details about the involved parties and a lot of numbers. Mistakes do occur, which is why it is vital that you review the statement and confirm that everything is correct.
Jill Schlesinger /
Spring is just around the corner, and it's about time to begin doing that seasonal cleaning. You’re probably dreading it, I know I do, but there is something you can do to make it a bit better. Going green and natural can help you avoid the dangers that many chemicals in cleansers can bring into your home. If you want to get your home freshened up and looking clean, here are some wonderful spring cleaning tips that are all natural.
Tip #1 –
Get the Clean Smell the Natural Way
After having the house all closed up through the winter, you may want to find a way to make the house smell clean. Do not resort to using those air fresheners that end up putting chemicals into the air of your home. One of the best things you can do is to simply open windows. Doing this will bring in fresh air, get rid of impurities, and eliminate those stale odors.
Tip #2 – Hang Items Outside
Instead of throwing curtains and towels in the dryer with softener sheets, which also include chemicals, you can get a great smell by hanging them outside. The fresh air will dry them for you and make them smell great so when you bring them back inside, they’ll add to the clean smell of your home.
Tip #3 – Look for Natural Products
In some cases you may need more than just the products you can create at home to clean your house. Try looking for natural products that do not include chemicals in them. Often you’ll find that even your local supermarket has leaning towards products that are all natural and plant based so you can clean your home this spring without worrying about breathing in chemicals and furthering pollution and global warming.
For more great Spring Cleaning ideas visit http://www.homecleaningblog.com/
As a Realtor, I have seen it all- from the dreams come true to the lurking nightmares. Part of my responsibility is to ensure that my buyers and sellers have the facts, and the best way to educate is to inspect.
What Is A Home Inspection?
As a trusted Realtor, my networks of local contacts provide the best in the business for all things real estate. A home inspection gives you as the buyer some time to spend in the home, and more importantly a full report on your future house.
Home inspection reports can vary greatly and some will be very brief checklist-style documents, while others will be comprehensive narratives with photos. Feel free to ask your home inspector for a sample report prior to the inspection, which will give you time to review inspection reports from several companies. This review can help you determine what the inspector will include during the evaluation of the home. Some inspection companies even use different report formats for different levels of service. Be sure to ask so you know what you will be getting in the end.
A good inspector will:
There are limits, however, to what a home inspection will cover. They aren't required to identify conditions that are concealed or are considered latent defects. That means if personal property, plants, snow, or debris is covering an issue, the home inspector isn't require to move those items to inspect it and isn't liable if he misses it. They aren't require to make determinations on systems that aren't readily accessible.
Having a trusted inspector means that most every problem that can be identified, will be. And inspection is about peace of mind, and a good inspector gives you that.
Many home owners are currently waiting until Spring to put their home on the market. Their thinking goes along the lines that everything always looks best when the grass is green and flowers are in bloom. A home will surely be easier to sell if that is the case. But you may want to rethink about selling your home NOW this year.
Here are 5 reasons we think you should list your home for sale NOW!
Home Inventory at Record Lows
The inventory of homes for sale throughout Colorado have dropped substantially over the last six months. The number of homes for sale in most communities has fallen to lows we have not seen for many years. When home inventory levels drop, home prices tend to rise. This will become even more prevalent in a more desirable neighborhood where buyer competition is normally high. There are more than likely going to be bidding wars on every home listed.
Demand is Up For Homes
Contrary to what some people may think there are lots of buyers out in the market place right now looking for a home. We have several. Some are first time buyers who are looking for a place to build some equity. There are others who see an opportunity to “move up” in the market as home prices have dropped substantially since the market peak in 2005.
Renting vs. Buying
In this area, the monthly payments on a purchased home are very close to the same as renting when tax benefits are considered. Rents here have steadily increased while home prices have dropped. Home ownership makes complete sense if a down payment can be attained.
Interest Rates Creeping Up
Interest rates have begun to inch up from their historic lows, and predictions are that they will continue the slow upward movement.
New Construction Starting Up Again
In and around Denver builders are starting to get back into the fray. When builders are actively building homes it becomes harder for some who are selling their used homes to compete. There are many that will jump at the chance to have a shiny new home with all the bells and whistles customized to their specific needs. When new construction is limited, previously owned homes are all that there is for buyers to consider.
As you can see, if there are no time constraints on your part you should consider moving up your time frame for putting your home up for sale. All the conditions are optimum for sellers to get the most they possibly can from a March sale. As always, Keenan Real Estate would like the opportunity to discuss listing your home. Maybe you are just curious about your current home Value, you can find it here at Home Value Colorado all you need to do type in your address. We will help you every step of the way. Contact us today!
Once home buyer has been approved for a mortgage loan, they need to make sure they don't jeopardize the loan by making any of the common mistakes listed below. The lenders can and will rescind a loan offer and the buyer is left with no home.
• Making a big purchase. Big purchases, such as a new car or furniture, can change the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio that the lender used to initially approve the buyer’s home loan.
• Opening new credit. Buyers should avoid new credit card applications between approval and closing.
• Missing payments. Even bills in dispute should be paid on time between loan approval and closing.
• Cashing out. Avoid transferring large sums of money between bank accounts or making undocumented deposits – both could send up “red flags” to a lender.
These mistakes truly are deal breakers and adversely affect your mortgage loan. It is best to call your lender or me before making any big purchases or if you have any questions.
If you are currently pricing homes in our market, you might be interested in Keenan Real Estate's email listings service, which sends you up-to-date information on all listings as they become available. The service is free and can be found HERE
And just so you know, using me as a buyer agent won’t cost you anything. My services are paid for by the home seller. I specialize in working for home buyers, representing their best interests throughout a purchase.
Or if you're looking to sell today or are thinking of selling tomorrow, please feel free to call or visit http://www.homevaluecolorado.com or ask for an analysis of our recent market activity.
We would be more than happy answer any questions you might have.