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Knowledge Is Power on the Path to Homeownership

 

Homeownership is on the goal list for many young adults, but sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to get there. From understanding the homebuying process to pre-approval and down payment assistance options, uncertainty along the way can ultimately hold some buyers back.

Today, there are over 75 million Millennials and 67 million Gen Z’ers in the U.S., making up a significant number of both current and soon-to-be homebuyers. According to a recent Fannie Mae survey of more than 2,000 of these individuals:

“88% said they are confident they will achieve homeownership someday.”

In addition, the survey also reveals that for younger generations, the motivation to own a home may be more emotional than financial compared to previous generations:

  • <50% say they want to use their home as an asset
  • 78% believe it’s the best way to live the way they want, without restrictions
  • 80% believe homeownership is the best way to make it on their own

Whether homeownership goals come from the heart or are driven by financial aspirations (or maybe both), the obstacles standing in the way don’t have to bring these dreams to a screeching halt. The same survey also reveals two key roadblocks for potential buyers. Thankfully, they’re both easily overcome with the power of knowledge and trusted advisors leading the way. Here’s a look at these two challenges potential homebuyers face today:

1. 73% of future homebuyers are unaware of low-down-payment mortgage options

For those who want to purchase a home, low-down-payment options are instrumental to affording one sooner rather than later, especially given the amount of debt many younger adults have accumulated. Fannie Mae also notes:

“Among the challenges they face is an unprecedented amount of debt, along with a lack of understanding of the mortgage process and their own purchasing power. Debt, in particular, creates many obstacles such as a limited ability to save and the fear of taking on more debt.”

Today, there are more than 2,340 down payment assistance programs available nationwide to help relieve this pressure. Understanding what’s out there and the options available may help many buyers become homeowners faster than they thought possible. In a year like this, with record-low mortgage rates making their mark in the history books, being able to take advantage of the opportunity buyers have right now is essential to long-term affordability.

2. 64% of buyers expect lenders and other real estate professionals to educate them about the mortgage process

While many people love to do a quick search online to find instant answers to their questions, it isn’t the only way younger generations want to consume information or build their knowledge base. As the survey mentions, having trusted professionals help them learn what it takes to achieve their dreams is definitely on their wish list too.

Bottom Line

If you’re aiming for homeownership someday, it may be in closer reach than you think. Let’s connect so you can learn about the process and get the guidance you need to make it happen.

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Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers | MyKCM

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently entering into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this can definitely work 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 drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity.”

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

3. Better Terms

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

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell your house at the perfect time. Today’s market gives sellers immense negotiating power. However, it won’t last forever, especially as more sellers return to the housing market next year. If you’re considering selling your house, the best time to do so is now.

Bottom Line

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

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6 SMART HOME DEVICES FOR LESS THAN $100

Every day, the world presents us with new technology. It seems like there isn’t much left that technology can’t do. Thankfully, with every advancement, many items have become more affordable. While a high-tech home may not be the choice for everyone, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to try out if you are interested in making your home a little bit more accessible. Here are 6 items to try:

  1. Smart Speakers

    Setting reminders, asking questions, and playing music on demand has never been so easy! Smart speakers are capable of making lists for you, looking up recipes, and so much more.

  2. Smart Plugs

    Left the coffee pot plugged in and need to turn it off, but you aren’t home? Smart plugs allow you to turn off (and on) something plugged in from your phone. These are also great for lighting systems like lamps or even holiday lights.

  3. Smart Doorbells

    Smart doorbells are an incredible investment. Monitor who is ringing your doorbell, when packages are dropped off, and so much more all with your phone!

  4. Smart Locks

    Lost keys? Need to let someone in to water your plants while you are out of town? Smart Locks allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock your door, or just use a keypad!

  5. Smart Switches

    Smart switches allow you to turn lights off and on with your phone. Next time you forget to turn off the kitchen light and you are already in bed, smart switches can save the day!

  6. Smart Bulbs

    Adjust the brightness of color in any room when you install smart bulbs. Great for kids or rooms where you want to be able to dim the lights!

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How Often Must a Colorado Real Estate License Be Renewed?

renew colorado real estate license

To protect consumers and prevent predatory practices, the state of Colorado requires real estate agents to acquire a professional license. Here’s what you should know about this license, including what it entails, why it’s required and how often it must be renewed.

Why licenses are required

As with any profession, a certified license affirms that a person has undergone a certain amount of training. It also demonstrates that the professional has accumulated enough expertise to pass examinations that confirm their industry knowledge.

While licensing requirements vary by state, the typical Colorado real estate agent has to complete several hours of real estate coursework. They must also become knowledgeable about all relevant local, state and national real estate practices and laws. Certified agents are also required to continue their education and must go through a regular renewal process to keep their certification from expiring.

How do agents obtain licenses?

To become certified, agents must complete 168 hours of approved pre-licensing education at an accredited school with DORA-approved college-level real estate courses. They must also complete a routine background check conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

If they make it this far, agents are able to apply for licensing exams. This comprehensive final exam consists of 100 Colorado-specific questions and another 100 national questions. If they pass the test, the agent will need to provide proof of Errors & Omissions insurance. Then, they can complete their state real estate license application and await approval.

When do licenses have to be renewed?

To operate as a real estate agent in the state of Colorado, a person is legally required to obtain a license. They must also renew this license every three years. Agents are required to renew their licenses frequently to ensure that they adhere to the state’s continuing education requirements for real estate professionals.

Licenses aren’t everything

renew colorado real estate license 2While they do prove that an agent has received a minimum amount of education, real estate licenses don’t tell you much about a person’s experience, communication or professionalism. It takes years for savvy agents to accumulate the expertise they need to serve clients. It also takes years to develop reputations — either good or bad — which help clients decide on whether an agent will have their best interests at heart.

In virtually every industry, people prefer to work with professionals who have extensive experience and expertise. Real estate is no different. In fact, experience is more critical in real estate than in many other industries.

Without extensive experience, agents can have difficulty streamlining the complex home selling and buying process. They may overlook key details and have trouble attracting interested buyers. Inexperienced agents also tend to lack knowledge about local markets and the communities in which they work. On the other hand, experienced agents know how to pique interest in buyers and represent the best interests of the clients they serve.

They also know how to handle complex paperwork and navigate the many steps that go into each transaction. Experienced agents can efficiently identify and predict trends. They can tell you the neighborhoods that are trending up or down and explain why. If you don’t need to sell or buy right away, they can recommend when you should wait and when you should act.

Experience also plays a critical role at the negotiating table. Negotiating is an art form that is honed by frequent practice. Experienced agents often have insight into who is motivated to sell quickly and who has the patience to sit and wait for a more favorable deal.

It’s also important to understand that selling or buying a home typically requires working with vendors such as title companies, mortgage lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, pest inspectors and general contractors. Because they’ve been in the industry so long, experienced agents know who to avoid and who to trust.

Whether you’re planning to buy or sell a home, it’s important to make sure you are working with a licensed agent. It’s also important to make sure the agent has extensive industry experience, so there won’t be any surprises or needless complications that could torpedo the sale or purchase of a home.

Thinking of buying or selling a home? The Wheaton Team can help. With 60-plus years of combined experience, our team specializes in residential real estate throughout all of El Paso County, including Colorado Springs and the Tri-Lakes area. Let us guide you through each step of the selling, buying and financing process, so you can turn dreams into reality.