Two fantastic Urban Lofts available!!
- A Luxury Loft availalbe at Residences at Civic Center Park – priced at $999,900
- One of the last Condo’s Available at The Arboretum at Cheesman Park- priced at $236,000
Two fantastic Urban Lofts available!!
Mid July 2012 –
And the search continued. One of the benefits of being an owner occupant vs. and investor is that you have the ability to purchase some homes that investors do not. Some foreclosures and short sales only allow for owner occupant purchasers and are leery of agent owners (which would be me, a real estate agent purchasing for themselves). However, Troy and I are legitimately living in this home as our personal residence so we would like to take advantage of the homes that would not normally be possibilities as investors. So, we decided to look at short sale, despite the process not being short at all, we figure it’s worth a shot. The home is in the Baker neighborhood, which we feel will be a major up and coming area in the next 5 years, the home is good size, the lot is big enough for a three car garage and it definitely needs some work. However, unlike the last property this home has a very structurally sound foundation, as it was completely replace in the 1970’s by Habitat for Humanity (well, at least that’s the rumor on the street). So we put in an offer and now we will just wait and wait and wait and wait and see.
Mid September 2012 –
Closing here we come! Two months ago we made an offer on our new house and to be honest this was a lot quicker than I anticipated. It’s still a little unreal but it’s happening.
Two Days After Closing 2012 –
Our first break-in… and it’ not exactly what you’d expect….. So…. Most people get nice bottle of champagne or wine when they close, right? Well, we were pleasantly surprised to find a Budweiser 40oz in our fridge when we visited the home after closing. It was obviously not intentional, the tenant left it there by mistake, however, we found it humorous. A few days later we visited the property again and it was obvious that someone had come in through an unsecured window. We thought they had come to steal the appliances or the copper or whatever else they could get their hands on. However, we looked around and everything seemed to be in order, nothing was taken, everything was still exactly as we left it, it seemed very strange. It wasn’t until we looked in the fridge and noticed that the 40oz was gone that we realize what the “thief” was really after! “Dang man, I left my 40oz at the house, I’m going to go back and get it”
Mid October 2012 –
We are definitely under way with the construction on our house. The major lesson learned so far: Don’t go into a renovation thinking you are going to do anything less than a full gut, we definitely did our due diligence on this house but there were a few mechanical systems and cosmetic items that we didn’t think we’d have to tear out… yeah, not so much. New sewer, new plumbing, new HVAC, all new baths, all new kitchen, move the laundry room, move a bathroom, move a few doors, tear down a few walls, drywall patches, paint, refinish floors, new doors, new trim, new light fixtures and then I think we’ll be done… oh not to mention a brand new 3-car garage. We have our work cut out for us, but we couldn’t be more excited. For us, as a Realtor/Designer/Real Estate Investor/Contractor/Builder our home is going to be like our own little showroom!
End of May 2012 –
So far our house search as consisted of looking at approximately 30+ houses and we have submitted two offer. Both of which we have been outbid. One property in particular was a huge let down. It was a HUD property and on a HUD home for the first 15 days only owner occupants, government agencies and non-profits can bid on the home (no investors). Being an investor myself, I sometimes hate this rule, but now as a buyer, I thought this was my golden ticket to an undervalued house. The property was amazing, a beautiful two story home, needing an interior renovation but otherwise good structure, nice backyard and located near the neighborhood known as Baker. We felt as though this was an up and coming area and we had an opportunity to purchase a great house for under $200k with some serious potential for appreciation (but who knows, we could be way off). The property was priced in the mid $100’s and we bid $10,000 above asking price. If an owner occupant bids on a HUD home and is using FHA financing they have to bring the total amount they bid above asking price to closing as cash out of pocket. Because we are not using FHA financing we had the financial ability to bid $10k above asking price and figured that would give us a pretty substantial advantage over our competition. Unfortunately, we were wrong and we were out bid. The home has not closed yet so I do not know what the winning bid was, but in hind sight I would guess closer to $30k above asking price. Absolutely crazy!
Early June 2012 –
We found another house! Similar location to the one we got outbid on, but significantly smaller and fronts to a busy road. (sigh). This time it’s a standard bank-owned property (not a HUD). We go through the bidding process, the home seems significantly undervalued, but we suspect it might have some structural issues. We make a decision to bid as if it does not have structural issues, plus we are not structural engineers and do not have the ability to make that determination. However, we know that we will need to hire a structural engineer to assess the property and if it does have structural issues we may need to provide notice to the seller in the form of an inspection objection that we will be terminating or asking for a price reduction. We submit a bid $45k above asking price and this time we won! Part of me was ecstatic and part of me immediately thought, crap we over paid. If we beat out all the other bidders (and trust me there were tons) then they must know something I don’t know about the value of this property. Ha! Classic case of feeling damned if you do damned if you don’t. Regardless, we took it as a sign to at least pursue the home and see what we come up with.
Mid June 2012 –
Turns out there are some major structural issues and the bank was unwilling to lower the price of the home. We had no option other than to terminate the contract. With the cost of the structural repairs we determined that we were going to be in this home for way over market value. I’m not scared of a deteriorating brick foundation (no way!) but I am scared of over paying for a house. So on to the next one. It’s always a little scary to terminate when you have $2,000 in earnest money at risk, but we followed the terms of the contract and rightfully terminated based on our structural inspection. We’ll let some other poor sucker deal with this house. We are definitely disappointed and despite the home being small and being on a busy road we had some pretty cool visions for the place. Industrial style interior, modern artistic fixtures and finishes (this home was located near the Santa Fe art district, so I wanted to let my inner artist out when remodeling this home). We had visions of a roof top deck with views of the city and skylights to help bring in light (the home was sandwiched between two other properties so natural light was limited). Oh, and a brand new foundation that wasn’t about to crumble below the surface, but eh, it’s the little stuff that matters.
I know so many people who are frustrated with housing in Denver right now. As a Real Estate agent I often sympathize with my clients and the woes of buying a home, but right now I can truly empathize as I am also a home buyer myself. I wanted to share my story because it is a challenging one and as someone in the industry I want to share what it looks like from an “insiders” perspective.
My personal story –
I’ve owned many homes in the last few years, my personal residence as well as a few investment properties, however as newlyweds, my husband and I had to decide on where to live once we got married and the final decision ended up being his place. My place had more square footage and was in a great neighborhood, but my husband being a General Contract he had an entire 2-car garage that was essentially his office and my place could not accommodate his business. So… we moved into his place, a very small outdated, 1 bedroom condo, but located in a fantastic area as well, West City Park. It was perfect for a bachelor who was rarely home, enjoyed going out and would rather spend his money on living life than on a large mortgage payment. He was also one of the co-owners in the building, but aside from a partial ownership interest, essentially we are tenants, in an entirely too small house with no opportunity to improve the property or expand it. Like many renters in Denver, we don’t dare leave because finding any type of temporary rental is nearly impossible, a friend of mine is trying to find a place to rent and is constantly losing out on places and competing with 9 other potential renters on a place that has been listed for less than 24hrs. Yeah, no thanks. Luckily, not long after we got married, I sold my condo, which gives us the financial means to purchase our first home together, now the struggle is finding a house!
|I have been reflecting lately, as this year comes to a close, and I am thankful for many things, namely you. You have been my support, my clients, my solicitors, my referrers and my friends and I feel lucky to have been able to work with you, have fun with you, and be your real estate resource. Thank you.Many real estate agents have taken an extended vacation in the month of December; however, I’ve been busy with new clients, a full blown renovation project and preparing and planning for the new year. Next year brings some exciting changes, some new improvements and opportunities and a continuation of successes from 2010. Here is a sneak peak of some things to come…
Thank you for all your continued support and I look forward to being your #1 real estate resource in 2011!
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) pending sales are up 10.4% from last month and experts predict that demand will continue to increase next year. This is good news for everyone because increase demand is one of the first steps to an increase in house prices.
|I wish you a wonderful holiday season and an extraordinary 2011!
The Avenue Grill
(Another great restaurant offering gluten free options)
630 E. 17th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
The Avenue Grill is all around a great restaurant. I highly recommend it for
any occasion. It’s a fine dining, but like many places in Denver it isn’t
stuffy and you don’t have to be wearing a suit and tie.
Amazing food, great wine list and great service, I could go on and on.
However, what I discovered on my recent visit is that The Avenue Grill has a
some new gluten free options. I personally do not have a gluten sensitivity
so I stuck to the regular menu. However, I know many people who do so I
wanted to pass on this bit of news. For people trying to avoid gluten, it
can be difficult. Gluten is in a number of food and is hard to avoid. So,
if you or someone you know is trying to steer clear, give The Avenue Grill a
try, they have something for everyone and you won’t be disappointed.
It feels like fall finally arrived! I hope everyone is enjoying the fall
weather and has a safe and happy Halloween!!! I just have one article that I
would like to share, but the topic seems to be making big news lately.
I’m sure you have been hearing a lot about the “freeze on foreclosures” and I wanted to share an article with you. I think it does a great job of
honestly talking about what the “freeze” is and the implications it has on
the market. My biggest take from it is if you are thinking about selling
your home, do it now! Do it before this inventory of homes hits the market
again. I’m sure there are a number of buyers who need a place to live and
can’t wait around for the bank to move forward on a short sale or
foreclosure that they put a freeze on. These buyers are going to have to
purchase something else… might as well make that your home.