Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dues for Leads Club



A Full Time Licensed real estate broker since 1985 I go to work everyday for you & your friends, learning about our home town! It could be Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Englewood, Parker, Elizabeth, Larkspur, Franktown, Kiowa, or anywhere in metro Denver Colorado. Talk to me for real estate advice, properties for sale, multiple listing service, all available at www.DenverRelocation.com. Drop me a note to pete@Denverrelocation.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Denver Real Estate Investors...Choose a Lower Tax Rate

Over the years we are privileged to have all kinds of conversations with Littleton home owners and friends in Denver about taxes and rental properties. Sometimes it is about the capital gains they would pay or the way we might use a 1031 exchange to assist in deferring taxes on a "like-kind" exchange. Some times it is just the property taxes and how they are paid in arrears in Colorado, or even how a home buyer might increase their take home pay by reducing their withholding taxes. Yet the below is a fairly simple explanation of how a rental property is taxed when sold. For more specific guidance make sure to give us a call and we can connect you with a good CPA or maybe suggest some strategies to help you make a move into a dream home using your rental properties.

During campaign season, it is not unusual to hear a candidate criticized because they make a lot of money but pay little in income tax. While it might not seem fair, taxpayers are allowed to arrange their affairs so that they minimize the amount of tax paid.tax brackets.png

Salary, wages and commissions, along with interest and dividends are taxed at ordinary income rates which can range from 10% to 39.6%. However, capital gains rates, for property held more than 12 months, are much lower ranging from 0% to 20%. Taxpayers in the 25-35% brackets pay LTCG rates of 15%.

The profit on rental property enjoys the lower long-term capital gains rates as compared to the profit on “flipped” property which is taxed at ordinary income rates.

Investments in rental homes generate income, provide depreciation for tax shelter, have equity build-up due to the amortizing loan, leveraged growth due to the borrowed funds and appreciation. The profits could be considerably higher than alternative investments and the profits taxed at lower rates.

The advantage is available to people who understand the tax laws and choose to arrange their activities so they pay a minimal amount of tax. The advantage is available to all taxpayers, not just the rich. In fact, implementing these types of strategies could lead to an increase in wealth.

Consider having this discussion with your tax professional.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Increase Your Marketability...secrets for Denver

As we start into a new season in the Denver real estate market, we start to see more sellers getting the "attitude". That means one of three things: The prices are 7% above the last sale because "that is what I think it is worth and everybody's house in Denver is going up that much!"; the availability is limited' eg terms "showings only between 6 & 630"; and the condition is marginal "they can fix it up...I do not have to work to sell my house". One sees this especially in the listings that expire off the market everyday. Truth is, in Denver every neighborhood has its own appreciation rate (price), and sometimes it is depreciation in the million plus range. And more truth: you cannot sell it if they cannot see it (available to show) and it still does need to be in top flight condition to sell as fast as we want. It also points out the value a full-time, professional Realtor can add to your efforts. Here is a perspective from my friend Pat Zaby:

The seller has three tools available to affect the marketability of their home: price, condition and terms. Price is the easiest to adjust for the competing properties, amount of inventory or market conditions. However, lowering the price is not necessarily the best decision when trying to maximize the proceeds of sale.

If a home is in poor or outdated condition, updating can be done to make it show favorably with other homes that are currently on the market. Sometimes, sellers rationalize not doing the work by saying they believe the buyers would rather make their own choices. The truth is that most buyers are using all their resources to get into the home and will have to live in its present condition until they can save enough to make the changes they want.Denver real estate market

Another reason to go ahead and invest the money and effort into improving the condition is that it is difficult for buyers to imagine the home any other way than its current condition. When comparing one home to another, buyers will sometimes refer to a home as the “stinky house” or the “old kitchen” which may put it at a disadvantage.

While price and condition are the main things that control the marketability, terms can be equally effective. Terms relate to financial considerations made by the seller to induce a buyer to make a decision to purchase their home.

Seller-paid points or closing costs, interest rate buy downs and owner-financing are examples of terms that may increase the marketability of a home because of the additional benefits they offer to buyers.

An example could be that a seller will carry a 10% second lien so that the buyer can get an 80% loan and avoid the expense of mortgage insurance. The seller gets most of their equity plus a fair interest rate on the loan that doesn’t have to be tied up for 30 years like the first mortgage.

Increasing the marketability of your home is a great conversation to have with your real estate professional especially to help you get the highest price in the shortest time with the fewest problems. Just be aware that not all agents may be as creative as some and not all are Realtors.


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

If you're going to play, GET IN THE GAME

As we help buyers in this Denver real estate market the primary comment we get is there is nothing to buy (inventory is low). Once they decide to move and to make an offer they tend to disbelieve the statistics and make low offers where homes are selling in days (low days on market = full price or above). The reality pill tastes bitter when they loose their first dream home, and then their second. This is all price sector sensitive of course with some markets in Denver having more homes for sale due to their price range. To be successful today's Denver buyer needs to be ready to go into battle and has to be well armed! We are happy to share some strategies that have proven to get the Seller's attention and to bring your offer to the top of the pile, but read this first. Then give Pete a call!

If competition is a buyer’s biggest concern, for goodness’ sake, get in the game. In a new survey of close to a thousand home buyers conducted by Redfin, affordability is still the number one concern but due to low inventories, competition from other buyers is moving its way up the poll.

26% identified affordability while 19% mentioned competition and 15% mentioned low inventory as their respective top concerns.get in the game-250.jpg

To win, athletes study the competition to come up with a plan and buying a home is not different.

  1. Ask what terms are important to the seller before you write the offer.
  2. Once you decide to make an offer, do it as fast as you can, hopefully, to be the only one the seller is considering.
  3. Make a good (or possibly, your best) offer in the beginning; you may never get a chance at improving it. In highly competitive situations, offer above the list price.
  4. Attach your pre-approval letter from a respected lender. This means you’ll need to get pre-approved before you even think about writing an offer.
  5. Have your lender call the listing agent to reassure them of your ability to qualify.
  6. Include a higher than normal amount of earnest money to show you are serious.
  7. Eliminate unnecessary contingencies.
  8. Write a personal, hand-written letter telling the seller what you like about their home and why you want it. Consider including pictures of your family.
  9. Minimize seller expenses paid for the benefit of the buyer.
  10. Shorten inspection times.
  11. Don’t ask for personal property.
  12. Be flexible on closing dates to accommodate the seller’s move.

Once you find your dream home, don’t take a chance on losing it. Write a winning offer that will be good for both the sellers and the buyers.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

June brides hot topic for leads club



A Full Time Licensed real estate broker since 1985 I go to work everyday for you & your friends, learning about our home town! It could be Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Englewood, Parker, Elizabeth, Larkspur, Franktown, Kiowa, or anywhere in metro Denver Colorado. Talk to me for real estate advice, properties for sale, multiple listing service, all available at www.DenverRelocation.com. Drop me a note to pete@Denverrelocation.com

Your Tenants Will Send Your Kids to College

Parents, with children getting closer and closer to entering college, may also be feeling stress because they haven’t saved enough for tuition and other expenses. It’s estimated that the average cost for the 2015-16 school year is $32,405 for private colleges, $9,410 for state residents of public colleges and $23,893 for out-of-state residents.kids to college.png

If you started saving the year your child was born, you’d have to save $4,608 per year for 18 years at 5% to accumulate $129,620. If you waited until they were 10 years old, you’d have to save $13,574 per year to have the right amount. Saving enough can be difficult if you have a lot of time but if you only have a short time to meet your goals, it can seem impossible.

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Student debt is one way to handle the tuition but many parents are reluctant to saddle their children with the obligation. Currently, there is more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt to 40 million borrowers with an average balance of $29,000. Some economists suggest that this debt is delaying would-be buyers from making their first home purchases.

There is another way to pay for the education by making an investment in a rental property. Rents are continuing to rise, homes in owner-occupied neighborhoods are appreciating and the leverage due to borrowed funds can be a huge help in building the equity to pay the tuition.

Rent the home and maintain its condition over the years. As the loan amortizes and the value increases, the equity will grow. When your student is ready to start college, you'll actually have several options.

You can sell the property; pay the tax on the gain at the reduced capital gains rate and fund the education. Another option would be to refinance and take the proceeds to pay for the tuition. This would allow you to continue to own the asset but would free your equity. Under current tax laws, it is a non-taxable event.

In effect, your tenants are paying to send your kids to college.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Obvious Alternative Investment

Rental homes can be a natural alternative investment choice for homeowners because they are already familiar with houses. Maintenance on a rental is not that much different than on your personal home. The same plumbers, painters and other workmen can be used to make repairs. 20947848-250.jpg

Single family homes offer an investor high loan-to-value mortgages at fixed interest rates for long terms on appreciating assets with defined tax advantages and more control than other investments.

  1. High loan-to-value mortgages – most investments require that you pay cash but rental properties can be purchased with 20% down payment.
  2. Fixed interest rates – most commercial loans are based on a floating rate such as prime interest plus one or two percent compared to real estate loans as fixed rates for the term.
  3. Long terms – commercial loans are generally short-term such as six months or a year with the possibility of being renewed for another six months or a year unlike real estate where a 30-year mortgage is commonplace.
  4. Appreciating assets – real estate has a long-term history of going up in value.
  5. Defined tax advantages – many investments are taxed as ordinary income but rental real estate enjoys a non-cash deduction called cost recovery, the profits from sale are taxed at lower long-term capital gains rates or may be eligible for a tax-deferred exchange.
  6. Control – rental homes don’t require partners and afford the investor more options than investing in mutual funds and other traditional investments.

The demand for good rentals is strong and the rents continue to go up in most markets.  There are people who choose not to buy or cannot buy a home who would prefer to live in a single family home rather than an apartment.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

7 Out of 50 Could Save Money

Denver Home owners should know that seven million out of 50 million homeowners could save money by refinancing their existing mortgages. Obviously, if the replacement mortgage has a lower rate than your existing one, you will save money.

If you bought a Denver home before 2011 and are paying mortgage insurance, you should investigate refinancing to eliminate that requirement. Even if you don’t get a lower interest rate, the savings could amount to hundreds of dollars a month.

If the home you purchased since 2011 has appreciated enough, it could easily justify refinancing to eliminate the required mortgage insurance. Most loans don’t require mortgage insurance if the loan-to-value is 80% or less. There are some programs for 90% mortgages that don’t require mortgage insurance. It is certainly worth investigating with a trusted mortgage professional.

Continuing to pay mortgage insurance that could be eliminated is like having a broken cell phone and continuing to make the monthly payments for something you can’t use and don’t need.

If your current mortgage is several years old, instead of getting a new 30 year mortgage, you might consider a 15-year term. The money you save with a lower interest rate could help you to retire your loan in a shorter time so that your home would be paid for.

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