Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Build Your Retirement Home Before You Retire

Build Your Retirement Home Before You Retire

Top Places to Retire Abroad 
Last February, Ken Means bought a 3,000-square-foot home built in the early 1990s on 80 acres of land. Located in the Ozarks near Cabool, Mo., it is six hours from Means's home near Peoria, Ill., so he can't go every weekend. But when he can spare a day or two, he works on projects such as building a pond to attract waterfowl. The property is ideal for Means not only because he is an avid hunter but also because all that land comes with a reasonably new house—as opposed to a wreck in need of restoration. Plus, shopping and other basic services are no more than 15 minutes away.

See Also: Retiree Tax Map

Means, who is 56 and owns a fire-equipment business, says that five years ago he started toying with the idea of buying a vacation home that he could eventually retire to. Now he says he may sell his business in as little as two years—so he can resettle sooner to his spread. Land is cheap in the Ozarks, so his new property set him back less than $300,000, house included. Property taxes of less than $1,000 a year are also low.

The Missouri Ozarks is a low-income area, so there aren't many locals with the cash to bid up property values. Dollars aside, Means says the smartest thing he did before buying his house was to take the time to look at many properties and talk to residents and real estate agents. He knows he'll be comfortable living there permanently when the time comes.

"You'll want to buy something early enough to get it into shape before you do retire," says Means. "You don't want to retire and then work your butt off, because that defeats the point." The remote property is unlikely to attract renters, so he's not even thinking about a listing. Instead, he has opened the door to his family. His parents recently stayed for two weeks, and his sister and her family will vacation there for a week and a half.

A permanent vacation home

Wondering about buying a vacation home in Western Colorado? Click here!

When you're ready to retire, there's surely a manicured, gated subdivision with stair-free designs and an unchallenging golf course in your area. And the easiest (and perhaps least costly) decision is to stay in place and carry on, sans the commute (see The Benefits of Aging in Place). Some more adventurous retirees choose to move to a Sunbelt mecca or even to live overseas (see How to Retire Abroad).

But there's another way: Buy or build a retirement home before you retire. You can enjoy it now for recreation and relaxation, years before you get the gold watch. You can use it as a weekend and holiday retreat, and you can expand or adapt it gradually so it can function as a permanent residence. The home doesn't have to accommodate every luxury you'd ever want. The location and the lay of the land are the draw.

According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. vacation-home sales were a relatively modest 469,000 in 2010, rose to 502,000 in 2011, grew to 553,000 last year and will rise again in 2013. Prices are still depressed from the peaks of 2005 and 2006, the two years when Americans bought more than a million second homes. Still, prices rose 24% last year, to a median of $150,000 for existing properties.

With real estate prices booming again, could desirable recreational and resort-area property sell so fast that if you wait even one year to buy, you'll strike out? Stacy Matherly, the real estate agent who sold Means his acreage, says she is inundated with e-mail inquiries from distant "sofa surfers" who are eager to go home-and-land shopping. David Knudsen, a real estate agent in Liberty, N.Y., says the second-home market generally trails the primary market by six to 12 months. It is definitely on the rebound, if still in the early stages.

Half of all second-home buyers pay cash. But that stat may be misleading because the transaction counts as a cash sale if the buyers draw on a home-equity line on their main residence to pay for abode number two. If you need a mortgage, note that the standards for vacation homes are tougher than for the purchase of a primary home. You will need excellent credit and a down payment of at least 20%. Plan on paying an interest rate on the mortgage that's a little higher than for a first home.
Brokers who sell property within 150 miles of New York City say that affordable real estate still exists in the region, and buyers are tapping stock market profits rather than taking out bank loans to pay for it. For example, in Sullivan County, in the Catskills two to three hours northwest of Manhattan, there are listings for three-bedroom houses on five acres ranging from $200,000 to $300,000. These houses are rustic enough that you would probably want to invest in some upgrades. Direct water access, whether to a lake or river, and sweeping views pad the price substantially.

Build it?

 Want more information on building in Grand Junction? Click here!

Not all preretirees are interested in an existing house, however, especially a dated ranch or bungalow. If you want to build, David Weiner, a New York City architect known for his glass-walled weekend retreats in the Catskills and the Berkshires, says the first and hardest job is finding the land. It can take as long as two years to get local permits. You can also expect to deal with environmental quirks; water and septic conditions are all over the map in rocky places such as Maine and other mountainous regions. In remote southern Colorado, where Weiner has also designed custom homes, people will pay a premium for building sites where there will be 320 sunny days a year to power their off-the-grid solar units.

In the East and Midwest, you'll pay a premium for proximity to skiing and hiking trails, good roads, and beautiful vistas. Land becomes less expensive about a three-hour drive from a major city. The farther you go, the more land you can get for less.

Some architects will design second homes as small as 1,500 square feet. Weiner says most of his clients prefer a smaller weekend place anyway, because the cost of construction keeps creeping up—especially in rural areas, where the climate can require that the construction withstand storms, floods and wind. The total cost to build can easily reach $250 per square foot; combined with the cost of the land and the architect's plans, you could be looking at $750,000 for even a pocket-size luxury home in a high-cost region such as New England.

Weiner says you should budget for a 10% to 15% overrun in building costs because something will go wrong, whether it's a drainage problem or new regulations that magnify the cost of installing utilities. Fortunately, once you've acquired land, no one can outbid you. If you decide not to go ahead with the project, you should be able to sell the tract for a profit.

If you're not ready to cash in your current house, or if you don't want to or cannot borrow enough against your equity to swing the deal, you may have to negotiate a construction loan with a bank. You can eventually roll the balance into a 15-year mortgage or even pay it off if you profit enough from the sale of your primary residence.

Rent it for income?    

Interested in purchasing investment property in Grand Junction? Click Here

To defray the costs of maintaining two homes, you may be able to rent your lair to short-term visitors (see Tax Breaks for Second-Home Owners). Insiders say the rental business is booming in most places, citing a high volume of bookings and rising rents at HomeAway, Vacation Rentals by Owner, Airbnb and other agencies.

In a survey by the NAR last year, more than 90% of vacation-home buyers said they planned to rent their new property within one year, and three-fourths of them expected rents to cover at least half of their mortgage. That's more realistic now than it was during the recession, but you're taking a chance if you expect your vacation home to function as an ATM to make the cash-flow numbers work. It's better to buy or build something you can afford from current resources and shop diligently for the right property and price—even if your heart is telling you to rush to closing right after a memorable vacation.

Originally printed by link here
By Jeffrey R. Kosnett, From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, August 2013

What's the deal with a CMA?

What is Your Home Worth?
Maves Group Grand Junction Homes
When you are interviewing REALTORS® to market your home, you'll be introduced right away to a priceless document—the comparative market analysis(CMA.) This is one of the areas in which the real estate industry really earns its keep—by showing you in black and white what your competition is. But like a sword, it is a tool that can cut both ways. You and your agent will use the CMA, among other tools, to determine where your home will stand in comparison to others which are on the market, and those which have recently sold to determine the highest possible asking price. Your buyer will use it to find ways to reduce his or her offer.
CMA's are about facts which can be qualified and quantified. The CMA is typically designed to give quick capsules of information such as number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, size of major rooms, amenities such as fireplaces and pools, age of the home, property taxes, listing agent contact information and more.
CMA's can include homes that are currently for sale and those which have recently sold. They can go back in time as long ago as a year or a month or week ago. CMA's can cover areas as narrow as one or two streets surrounding your home, or as broad as an entire subdivision.
What is not included in the CMA are those factors that affect perception, and that is the key difference between why one home with identical features will ultimately command a higher price than its twin. Perception alters reality, and this is a crucial consideration in understanding the buying and selling process and the value of the CMA. Much of a home's value will ultimately be determined by the emotional impact it has on buyers. These emotions are based on subjective elements such as drive-up appeal, interior dec or, colors, views from the windows, light, darkness, room flow, and hundreds of other factors.
At the end of each home's information on the CMA report there will be a brief statement provided by the listing agent. This statement is usually a combination of fact and subjective opinion, and will generally cover selling restrictions or selling points. It could be anything from "seller's agent must be present at all showings" to "kitchen and master bath completely remodeled in 1997" to "Charming! Must see!" (Keep in mind that Realtors are salespeople, self-employed and have individual styles of marketing and that some will be better at writing CMA reports than others.)
For privacy reasons the CMA that is offered for public consumption does not list every piece of information that has been obtained by the seller's agent. It will give the what, when, where, but it won't give the who (the seller's identity) and the why (why the home is being put up for sale.) The reasons are two-fold, to protect the seller's privacy and to keep from inadvertently giving the buyer an advantage in a distress situation.
The CMA is clearly a selling tool, but like any tool, it doesn't work very well by itself. It takes a skilled person to be able to use it. For this reason, the CMA will always need to be interpreted by a professional or with complete objectivity by the seller or buyer.
Remember that the CMA is also a buying tool; it is taken just as seriously by the buyer and his or her agent. As you and your agent are going to use the CMA to ask the highest possible price for your home, the buyer is going to use it to find reasons to either choose or eliminate your home, and to arrive at the lowest price possible.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How affordable is it to own?

The Maves Group Grand Junction Real Estate

Here are a few different Loan scenarios for a home priced at $150,000. Surprisingly affordable!! Rates are going up... now is the time to buy! Figures thanks to Dave Shepard at Major Mortgage.

Contact Dave at 970.257.9989 to see if you qualify!!
Contact Kelly at The Maves Group to see what homes are available in this price range!!

USDA 30 Yr @ 4.375% Purchase Price $150,000 FHA 30yr @ 4.375% Purchase Price $150,000 VA 30yr @ 4.375% Purchase Price $150,000
Down Payment Required $0.00 $5,250.00 $0.00
Principle and Interest $764.21 $735.59 $765.38
Homeowners Insurance (Estimate) $40.00 $40.00 $40.00
Taxes (estimate) $90.00 $90.00 $90.00
Mortgage Insurance (estimate) $51.65 $164.50 $0.00
TOTAL ESTIMATED PAYMENT $945.86 $1,030.09 $895.38
Estimated Closing Costs $4,800.00 $4,800.00 $3,900.00
Every .125 difference in rate (per month) $11.33 $10.91 $11.34

Just Listed 2814 Carter Ln... Priced at $165,000

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Lovely Front Yard with large shade trees

Listed at $165,000 this totally remodeled house on Orchard Mesa with mature shade trees on a quiet dead end street is the perfect place to call home. 
2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
1 Car attached garage with large driveway
2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Totally remodeled kitchen with stainless appliances
Split bedroom floor plan featuring 3 bedrooms, wonderful master bedroom with lovely master bath, large dining room with nook that would be perfect for a little hutch or desk for built in office space.

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Spacious Master Bedroom
2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Master bath with oversized shower
2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Nook for hutch or office desk

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Large Dining Room with Built in Shelves

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Kitchen and Dining Room

Nice sized secondary bedrooms with plenty of natural light

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group

Large living room steps down into family room 
with wood burning fireplace with adjacent laundry room

Large patio and back yard, surrounded by privacy fence, perfect for those Summer BBQs!

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Back Yard
2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Back of House

Contact The Maves Group for more information on this home, or any other homes!! 

2814 Carter Ln, Grand Junction Real Estate The Maves Group
Kelly Maves, Lead Agent
The Maves Group at
Keller Williams Colorado West Realty

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Denver Housing Market Cooling or just a lull...

Originally printed in The Denver Post. 

Grand Junction Real Estate Buying

The number of homes for sale in the Denver housing market increased significantly in June, while home sales decreased, indicating a cooling of the market, Metrolist said in a report Wednesday. 

Available home listings increased 12 percent from a previous record breaking month-over-month spike but there are still 16 percent fewer homes on the market than there were at this time last year, said Metrolist. 

The total supply of Denver-area condos and single family homes would last about 60 days. 

Meanwhile, home sales experienced a minor slowing in June, which was coupled with a decrease in the days on market to 43 days, signifying not only a competitive balance of available listings and local demand but a clear race to lock in housing contracts before interest rates go up, said the report. 

"The Denver housing market is finally seeing some relief from our long-term undersupplied condition," said Metrolist CEO and president Kirby Slunaker. "We're still seeing strong sales figures, which were coupled with another jump in sales prices - its clear buyer and seller confidence remains high." 

Average sold prices increased three percent month-over-month averaging just under $320,000. Denver-area prices are seven percent over average price in June 2012, demonstrating strength and stabilization within the Denver housing market, said Metrolist. 

Metrolist noted that rising interest rates "clearly have a significant impact" on the marketplace as some buyers have found their buying power reduced. 

Independent real-estate analyst Gary Bauer said that the Metrolist numbers show that the homes for sale in June were 9,187 or up 973 homes from May's 8,214, accounting for the 12 percent increase in inventory. 

"By the numbers, the month of June ended with an inventory of 9,187 homes; 7,645 homes came onto the market; 7,420 homes went under contract; 5,566 homes closed with a closed dollar volume of $1.77 billion," said Bauer. 

He noted that June "traditionally starts slow as everybody leaves town as soon as school is out." 

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939, or Read more: Metrolist: Denver metro housing market cooling -