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Home Energy Cost: The Real Deal on Big Bills That Come With a House

Home energy cost is not something people always think of when it comes to buying a house. But don’t get consumed by the details of finding and buying a house without considering the potential bills you’ll have to pay every month for heating, cooling and more.

Home energy cost considerations

Even an affordable mortgage payment could quickly tip into the pain point if your new home comes with a monthly utility outlay that you weren’t expecting. So what factors should you consider? Everything from your electric bill to your heating are part of your home energy cost.

How to do that math:

You might want to hire a professional to determine the home’s overall energy costs before committing to a down payment. Energy audits cost a few hundred dollars but could save you from countless headaches (and costs) down the line. Not only will they give you a good idea of what’s in store, they will also point you toward fixes you can install so you’re not facing the same bills as the previous owner. The federal government’s Energy.gov site has guidelines for home energy audits, and tips for a DIY version. If you don’t want to go that far, here are some specifics to consider:

Heating and cooling systems

Heating and cooling can consume 45% of a house’s energy costs. The layout of the house will be a factor in energy costs. Vents located under windows are inefficient, and some rooms may not even have vents. In colder climates, remember that heat rises. High ceilings can result in wasted energy and added heating costs every winter. In tri-level houses, the upper floors will be warmer while the ground floor will be colder.

Consider how much alterations might cost. In-floor heating can save you up to 40% of energy costs, depending on the system. To have a professional install a hot water radiant floor heating system would cost about $6 to $15 per square foot.

Get all the information available on the house’s furnace and air conditioner. Find out the seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) for the house’s air conditioning system. For gas furnaces, you need to know the Annual Fuel Utilization Ratio (AFUE). If the house’s heating and cooling systems are 10 to 15 years old, or have a SEER of less than eight, it may be necessary to replace them.

Appliances energy costs

Did the former owner of the house throw in some appliances as part of the package? Although this gesture may save you money in the short run, be aware that older appliances can be much less energy efficient than new ones. Inefficient appliances eat up energy and can cost you hundreds of dollars over time. Research the make and model of any used appliances and assess whether they will incur higher energy costs than if you bought new ones.

Tax credits

State and federal programs might offer tax credits or other deals, such as grants or discounts, if you replace older appliances or heating or cooling systems, like an aged boiler, with newer, more energy-efficient versions. Some localities offer free energy audits, too. It might be worth asking about such programs if you are looking at an older house. Maybe the efficiency ratings are low, but if you love the house, and there’s enough deals available that you could upgrade relatively painlessly, it might still be worth purchasing. The key here is knowing the facts so you can judge what your bank account can handle.

Infrastructure

Check features such as windows, doors, insulation and siding for efficient energy usage. You can hire a professional to use a thermal camera to see where heat escapes, or conduct a blower-door test to identify air leaks by using a large fan with an airtight skirt that blows air out the door, although those tests could prove expensive. Insulation in the attic should be thick enough to hide all of the studs. Weathering and material aging can cause problems with siding, such as cracking, rotting or cupping, so check its condition too. Leaky windows glazed with putty can be reglazed, or consider buying double-pane windows. These will run you about $600 for moderate quality or up to $800 for high quality.

Architectural features

Big homes mean bigger energy bills too, so consider size in relation to your ongoing energy bills when you look at homes. A big stairway in the entryway means a lot of wasted heat each time the front door opens. Beautiful cathedral ceilings can bump up energy bills too. Walls of windows can afford a lovely view, but the added sunlight can strain your air conditioning bills in the summer, while leaks will raise your heating costs in the winter.

Energy costs: an informed decision

Only you can decide whether a home’s energy costs are worth the selling price. Your dream home may not be so ideal if the energy bills deplete your savings. But it could be worth investing some money in upgrading the house’s systems and features.

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How Sellers Win When Housing Inventory Is Low

How Sellers Win When Housing Inventory Is Low | MyKCM

In today’s housing market, the number of homes for sale is much lower than the strong buyer demand. As a result, homeowners ready to sell have a significant advantage. Here are three ways today’s low inventory will set you up for a win when you sell this season.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently getting into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 3.7 offers in today’s market. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this certainly works to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which increases the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2021, the average homeowner gained approximately $51,500 in equity during the past year.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to sell your house and then put that money toward a down payment on your next home, or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

In a sellers’ market like we have today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you make a move. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally land their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell on your terms. Moving now while inventory is so low is key to maximizing your opportunities.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, let’s connect today to determine your best move.

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Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert

Homebuyers are flooding the housing market right now to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Many have a sense of urgency to find a home soon since experts forecast a steady rise in both rates and home prices this year and next. As a result, buyer demand greatly outweighs the current housing supply. Here’s how the shortage of houses for sale sets yours up to be the oasis in an inventory desert.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), today’s housing inventory sits at an incredibly low 2.1-month supply, far below the 6-month mark for a neutral market. Inventory of single-family homes a year ago was already very low, and as you can see in the graph below, this year’s levels are even lower:Your House Could Be the Oasis in an Inventory Desert | MyKCMDue to these market conditions, today’s buyers frequently enter fierce bidding wars while trying to purchase a home. This in turn drives up home prices and gives sellers incredible leverage in the negotiation process, two big wins if you’re going to sell your house this year.

Bottom Line

In such a hot market, it can feel as though the supply of homes has virtually dried up, leaving buyers to wander in an inventory desert. That’s why there’s never been a better time to sell. To a parched buyer needing to secure a home as soon as possible, your house could be a true oasis.

We can help! Call The Wheaton/Wass Real Estate Team today: 719.822.1444

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Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home?

Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

Once the kids have left the nest, you may be wondering what to do with all of the extra space in your home. Chances are, you don’t need four bedrooms anymore, and it may be a great time to sell your house and downsize, maybe even into a single-story home. You’ve likely gained significant equity if you’ve lived in your home for a while, so making a move while demand for your current house is high could be your best step forward toward the retirement goals you set out to achieve several years ago.

The dilemma, though, is where to go next. A big concern for many homeowners who are ready to sell is finding a home to move into, given today’s lack of houses available for sale. There is, however, some good news: the number of single-family 1-story homes being built today is on the rise, improving your odds of finding the right home for your changing needs. In a recent article, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explains:

“Nationwide, the share of new homes with two or more stories fell from 53% in 2018 to 52% in 2019, while the share of new homes with one story grew from 47% to 48%.”

Here’s a map showing the breakdown of newly constructed homes being built by region, and the percentage of 1-story and 2-story homes in that mix:Is it Time to Move into a Single-Story Home? | MyKCM

What are the benefits of buying a one-story home?

Still not sure about buying a single-story home? An article from Home Talk covers several advantages of switching from two floors to one:

1. Energy Efficient

“It is easier to heat and cool a single-story house [than] it would be to regulate the temperatures of a multi-story house.”

Most single-story homes only need one heating or cooling unit, and they typically stay cooler than a two-story home, both of which can lead to significant savings.

2. Easier to Maintain

“Doing a general cleaning in a single story requires less effort and you will be able to see all areas that need cleaning and the areas are easily accessible.”

Cleaning and maintenance of a single-story home can take less time and effort, and better upkeep helps improve the overall value of the home.

3. Accessible for Everyone

“A single-story house can be accessed by anyone, whether they are young children or the senior citizens.”

If you’re looking for a house that provides a safe and easily accessible environment at any age, a single-story home may be optimal.

4. Good Resell Potential

“When buying a single-story house, you should consider the resale value should you think of reselling it in case of a circumstance that can happen. Look at the growth rate of that area. Due to the high demand of these types of houses it is [easy] to resell them and depending on the growth rate of an area, it increases in value significantly.”

Single-story homes have a lot of benefits and are often in higher demand. This bodes well for future resale opportunities.

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to downsizing into a one-story home. Doing so while demand for your current house is high might make it easier than ever to make a move. Let’s connect if you’re ready to purchase the single-story home you need while homes are so affordable today.

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Why the Tri-Lakes Housing Market Continues to Soar

tri lakes housing market

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, timing your local market is an essential part of your real estate investment. The Tri-Lakes housing market appears to be poised for steady price growth in 2020 and beyond, thanks to a number of key factors that make it an attractive place to live, work and raise a family.

Sustainable, Upward Trends

The Tri-Lakes area is a term used to describe the area that includes Palmer Lake, Monument and Woodmoor. Located about 20 minutes north of Colorado Springs, much of this area is in Palmer Lake and Monument, with portions of the Black Forest included around Highway 83. Bridging the gap between Denver and Colorado Springs, this area includes many luxury homes for sale on lovely acreage as well as modern homes on small lots.

The Tri-Lakes region has seen unprecedented growth as robust commercial development along I-25 has sparked homebuilding aimed at meeting the increasing demand of a growing population. For more than a decade, Monument has spearheaded the region’s development with its ever-growing restaurant and retail options, as well as its convenient proximity within minutes of Colorado Springs. 

housing market in tri-lakesThe Colorado Springs real estate market is sometimes overlooked in favor of Denver. However, Colorado Springs has a great number of things in its favor for both residents and real estate investors. Situated on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs plays host to nearly half a million people. The city’s metropolitan area is home to around 700,000 people and sits amid a broad range of premier employment opportunities at renowned tech companies and the region’s many prominent military installations, from Peterson Air Force Base and Fort Carson Army Base to Schriever Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy.

As the Colorado Springs area enjoys continuous, rapid growth, the Tri-Lakes housing market has continued to appreciate in value faster than most US markets. Conditions in the Colorado Springs and the Tri-Lakes real estate markets show no signs of slowing down and appear to be in a sustainable, upward direction. Inventory remains relatively low and home prices are increasing at a steady rate. The local economy is very strong and mortgage rates remain low, creating attractive opportunities for both sellers and buyers.

As a whole, Colorado Springs’s real estate has remained red hot, according to Zillow, with property values enjoying 7% collective growth in the past year. The Tri-Lakes area has followed suit, as buyers seek a quiet, scenic, peaceful lifestyle within moments of museums, galleries, professional sports and major employment opportunities afforded by nearby metropolitan areas. 

An Attractive Place to Live

The Tri-Lakes market remains robust mainly because of a strong economy, limited inventory and buyers’ desire to live the sought-after Colorado lifestyle. The state continues to rank as one of the top places to live, and the Tri-Lakes area provides an ideal blend of all the things that make Colorado so desirable. 

The area provides a gorgeous, natural landscape for biking, hiking and outdoor recreation. The mountain views are stunning, and the area sits within moments of major metropolitan attractions, giving buyers the ability to enjoy the best of both worlds without having to make major sacrifices. 

Tri-Lakes real estate continues to appreciate in value as buyers flock to the area in hopes of securing the home of their dreams, situated amid rolling hills and beautiful wooded lots. Whether its new construction homes, resale homes, raw land or luxury homes, real estate demand continues to rise at an impressive rate compared to other markets in the state.

If you’re thinking of selling or buying a home in the Tri-Lakes area, contact The Wheaton Team. Over the past decade, we’ve developed a well-earned reputation for specializing in residential real estate in Palmer Lake, Monument, Woodmoor, Colorado Springs and all of El Paso County.

Visit our website to browse our listings of current homes for sale in the Tri-Lakes area or contact us directly at 719-204-8021. Our seasoned team of attentive real estate professionals will guide you through the complex home buying/selling process.