In college I had this summer job where I sold educational books door-to-door in one small area for the entire summer.  It was with a well established company called the Southwestern Company based in Nashville, TN.  Their 150 years of experience taught me, along with thousands of other college students, how to prospect for leads, knock on doors, introduce myself, clearly explain what I was doing, and attempt to close a sale all within about 20 min. 30+ times a day.  More importantly, they taught me that sales is a part of EVERYTHING we do. We’re constantly selling ourselves everywhere we go; to new friends we meet, to new clients or prospects, or perhaps to a new significant other… it’s all (a form of) sales.

Recently, I was reminded of some of the principles I learned while door knocking those summers of past. The success priciples I learned in sales back then still apply to the success of any area in my life today. I strive to live these principles and some I succeed at; others I keep striving for.  I chose ten of the principles to share for the global truths they speak to me.  As you read through them, think of which ones you see in your life already and which ones you’d like to see more.  Feel free to share and I’m happy to help build those principles into your life.  Enjoy!

  1. Successful people form the habit of doing things average people don’t want to do.
  2. You can™t teach what you don™t know, and you can™t lead where you won™t go.
  3. Action precedes feeling.  It™s easier to act your way into proper thinking than it is to think your way into proper acting.
  4. The chief cause of failure is sacrificing what you want most for what you want at the moment.
  5. Successful people take responsibility for their results: œIf it is meant to be¦it is up to me!
  6. Don™t take yourself seriously:  œI™m not important, but what I do and give is important.
  7. There are two types of people in the world; one finds and excuse, the other finds a way.
  8. Commitment in the face of adversity yields character.
  9. Average people ask, œWhat is required? Successful people ask, œWhat does it take?
  10. A sense of urgency accompanies everyone who ever accomplished anything great:  Today is the day and now is the time.  Act now.

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith – REALTOR, EcoBroker
Real Estate Consultant
Urban Pro, LLC
Professional Real Estate for the Urban at Heart
www.UrbanProRealty.com
Keller Williams Realty Downtown
Denver, CO
Chat live with Brian C Smith
fax: 303.964.0136

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Is a distressed property the right deal for you?

With the first-time homebuyer tax credit deadline having come and gone, you may be asking yourself, œWhat now? Fortunately, the door is now open to a new wave of savings: distressed properties.

For many buyers, the term foreclosure brings up images of run-down homes with no heat and rotting wood. While this is still the case for some homes around Denver, it™s no longer the standard. In fact, first time buyers are snatching up distressed deals in decent condition for great prices all throughout Metro Denver.

According to a November 2009 Keller Williams Research Buying Distressed Properties Survey, 40 percent of all buyers for bank-owned foreclosures (REOs) were first-time buyers in 2009. 50 percent of all short sale buyers were first-time buyers.

By definition, a distressed property is one that was purchased with a loan and the homeowner is no longer able to make their mortgage payment resulting in foreclosure “ or if they™re lucky a short sale “ meaning they owe more on the home than it™s currently worth. With a 20 percent increase in foreclosures from 2009, distressed properties still remain a large portion of home sales and are going to continue well into 2010 as homeowners continue to feel the effects of an economy on the mend.

If you™re in the market for a home and are prepared for a unique transaction, a distressed property can be a great option. Here™s why:

Prices are low “ Buying a foreclosed property is an excellent way to get a home for less. Research shows you can save 10-40 percent over the price of similar properties in a traditional sale.

Mortgage costs are low “ With rates hovering near historic lows, financing costs to are favorable. Keep in mind, rates are always changing. It™s important to begin the pre-approval process so that you know how much you can realistically afford.

You have options “ The number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process still remains high. RealtyTrac, a site dedicated to tracking foreclosures across the country, estimates that there are approximately 2.1 million homes in some stage of foreclosure in the United States and we have our fair share of these homes in Colorado.

Sellers and lenders are motivated “ According to data from RealtyTrac, in  April, one in  every  387 households in the country has received a foreclosure filing. The bottom line is that many sellers are still feeling the pain of a down economy and are anxious to out get from under a home that is putting stress on their current financial frustrations. While it is still an emotional transaction, these sellers are willing to come down on price or even consider concessions such as helping out on closing costs. Banks holding on to large portfolios of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties want to unload quickly “ and price these home to sell.

Your best ally when purchasing a distressed property is an expert. Always have a professional REALTOR ®  by your side to help you make informative decisions. If you™re interested in learning more about purchasing a distressed property, sit down with me TODAY!  

Call or e-mail me to setup a time!

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith – REALTOR, EcoBroker
Real Estate Consultant
Urban Pro, LLC
Professional Real Estate for the Urban at Heart
www.UrbanProRealty.com
Keller Williams Realty Downtown
Denver, CO
Chat live with Brian C Smith
fax: 303.964.0136

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Upbeat Economic Forecast Cheers Colorado Lawmakers: Colorado legislators say they won™t have to continue cutting services or raising fees to balance the state budget for the next year, and bills proposing further revenue increases from businesses could be tabled, after receiving a favorable economic forecast March 19. read more here

Case-Shiller: Denver Home Prices up for 3rd Straight Month: For the third month in a row, Denver-area home prices showed a year-over-year increase in January, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Index. Out of 20 U.S. cities in the closely watched report from Standard & Poor™s, released March 30, Denver was one of nine that showed a year-over-year increase in prices. read more here

162,000 Jobs Added in March, Most in 3 Years: WASHINGTON – The nation’s economy posted its largest job gain in three years in March, while the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent for the third straight month. read more here

M&As Rebound: Colorado’s deals hit $8.2B in 2010 first quarter: Colorado™s merger-and-acquisition activity rose in the first quarter, as the market continued to rebound from a slowdown in 2009. A total of 56 deals worth at least $8.2 billion altogether closed in the first quarter of 2010, according to FactSet Mergerstat LLC, a subsidiary of Norwalk, Conn.-based FactSet Research Systems Inc. That compares with 47 deals worth at least $199 million in the same quarter of 2009. read more here

Colliers™ Merger Big for Denver: Colliers Bennett & Kahnweiler Inc. of Denver, one of the metro area™s largest commercial real estate brokerage firms, soon will have a new name. As part of the deal, Colliers plans to make metro Denver a hub for the company, according to Dylan Taylor, president of FirstService REA™s U.S. operations and located in Denver. read more here

Economic Recovery Stirs in Grand Junction: œWe™ve certainly seen a turnaround and have been doing some hiring, said Linda Spencer, human-resources manager at CoorsTek, one of the Grand Valley™s largest manufacturing businesses. read more here

Developer Moving Ahead with $80M Office Complex, Hotel near Anschutz Campus: A Kentucky-based developer is moving ahead with plans for an $80 million office building and hotel for a site on East Colfax Avenue near the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, according to the company. read more here

Thanks to Land Title for providing the copy for this post.

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro, LLC
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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This Month in Real Estate

April 2010

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Commentary

The economic recovery continues to slowly but steadily deepen its roots.   Consumer sentiment ticked up in March and it appears businesses are feeling more positive as well. According to a CEO Economic Outlook Survey, America™s top CEOs are expecting an increase in sales, along with increased or stabilized capital spending and employment.

Over the past several months, the hot topic of health care reform took much of Congress™s attention.  Now, with the bill passed into law, the government is turning its attention to other matters to help bolster the economy including the job bill and financial reform.

High unemployment and elevated levels of foreclosures and distressed homeowners continue to be two of the biggest factors in preventing a robust recovery.   The government™s attentive attitude toward these obstacles is seen as a positive sign by industry and economic experts.

The Housing Market

Existing Home Sales

Existing home sales softened in February. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, the widespread winter storms during the month may have masked underlying demand as œbuyers couldn™t get out to look at homes in some areas and that should negatively impact near-term contract activity. February sales of 5.02 million remained 7 percent above the 4.69 million-units last year.

 

Median Home Price

The median price for an existing home was $165,100 in February, a 1.8 percent drop from February 2009. Distressed homes, which accounted for 35 percent of sales last month, continued to skew prices downward as they typically were discounted in comparison with non-distressed homes.

Inventory

Total housing inventory rose 9.5 percent to 3.59 million, representing an 8.6-month supply at the current sales pace. Compared to the previous year, there were 5.5 percent fewer homes on the market.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates dipped to 4.99 percent in February from 5.03 percent in January. During the first week of April, rates crossed the 5 percent threshold but still remained near historically low levels. While the full effect of the Federal Reserve mortgage-backed securities purchase program™s expiration at the end of March is yet to be seen, the Fed echoed its accommodating policy to support the economy.

Affordability

Affordability remains at record levels, supported by the lowest mortgage rates in decades, low home prices, and the first-time home buyer tax credit. The home price-to-income ratio continues to remain well below the historical average of 25 percent. The ratio now stands at 14.2 percent.

Sources: National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac

Government Action

Mortgage Relief for Unemployed

Attempting to overhaul its foreclosure prevention program, the Obama administration took noteworthy steps to help the unemployed stay current on their mortgage through tough times.

While the trouble in the housing market stemmed originally started with loose lending practices, high unemployment and underwater homeowners are now the major factors contributing to foreclosure.

The program will now:

  • Require lenders to œslash payments for the unemployed for 3-6 months. In some cases, payments could be deferred entirely.
  • Cut payments to at least 31 percent of previous income, about the same amount that unemployment insurance pays.
  • Become effective over the next 6 months.
  • Not require new taxpayer funds.   The program has only used a
    small portion of its $75 billion allocation.
Source: The Washington Post

                 

                                    Helping Underwater Homeowners

Underwater borrowers are one of the major driving forces behind foreclosure.  It™s estimated that one in four homeowners owes more than their home is worth. Economists categorize these borrowers as œhigh risk because they can™t sell or refinance.

The government is taking the following steps to address underwater borrowers:

  1. Principal Reduction. Lenders will be asked to reduce the principal loan balance if it is 15 percent or greater than what the home is worth. This will only be available to borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments and they will need to stay current to œearn the full reduction over three years.
  2. FHA Refinancing. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers refinancing alternatives for borrowers who are underwater and offering incentives for lenders who reduce the principal on primary mortgages by at least 10 percent.
  3. Second Mortgages. The government will double the incentive amount paid to lenders who help modify second mortgages. Half of all troubled homeowners have second mortgages, which have been an obstacle in providing modifications.
  4. Short Sales. Incentives to lenders who help troubled borrowers that don™t qualify for the program, most commonly a short sale, have been increased.
Source: The Washington Post

Topics For Buyers & Sellers

Energy Efficient Tax Tips

Three Things You Need to Know About Home Improvements to Help Slash Energy Bills and 2010 Taxes

  1. Simple qualifying improvements include increasing insulation or insulating items such as door and windows, roofing, skylights, etc. These qualify for a 30 percent credit on the cost of the item, not installation,   up to a maximum credit cap of $1,500.
  2. Certain big-ticket items have no maximum credit cap. The credit is still 30 percent of the cost of the item. These items include furnace, air conditioning, tankless water heater, heat pump, geothermal system, solar or wind installation.
  3. It™s a tax credit, not a deduction.   That means it reduces the actual taxes you owe, not your taxable income.   Use IRS Form 5695, and hang onto receipts and product labels.

Don™t forget to check your state and local area for additional incentives.For more info on the federal tax credit, check out: EnergyStar.gov and NAHB.org/efficiencytaxcredit.

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro, LLC
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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This Month in Real Estate

March 2010

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Commentary

As the market continues to show shoots of recovery, experts believe that the roots will continue to grow. In his annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett said, œWithin a year or so, residential housing problems should largely be behind us.

After a steep run-up in prices during the first half of the decade, home values have readjusted back to normalized levels. Fixed mortgage rates are sitting near record lows and the number of homes available for sale is providing home buyers with more options. Also encouraging are indications that the high end of the housing market could begin moving again as luxury financing becomes more readily available.

Despite high unemployment and looming foreclosures, experts maintain their expectations that the economy will grow in 2010, while the government carries on its search for solutions to help both troubled homeowners and the unemployed.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The Housing Market

Existing Home Sales

Existing home sales slowed in January. According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, this is mainly due to the lack of urgency with the extension and expansion of the first-time buyer tax credit in November. January sales of 5.05 million remain 12 percent above the 4.53 million-unit level last year.

Median Home Price

Existing-home price was $164,700 in January, 3.4 percent below December and unchanged from January 2009. Distressed homes, which accounted for 38 percent of sales last month, continue to skew prices downward as they typically are discounted in comparison with traditional homes.

Inventory

The supply of homes continued to shrink, falling 0.5 percent to 3.27 million, representing a 7.8-month supply at the current sales pace. Compared to a year ago, there are now 10 percent fewer homes on the market. This is the lowest level of competing homes on the market since March 2006.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates edged above the 5 percent threshold during the week of February 25, but remained near historically low levels. As the Federal Reserve mortgage-backed securities purchase program is scheduled to run out at the end of March, the Fed has held the door open to extending it if the economy weakens.

Affordability

Affordability remains at record levels, supported by the lowest mortgage rates in decades, low home prices, as well as the first-time buyer tax credit. So far this year, the home price-to-income ratio has fallen well below the historical average of 25 percent. The ratio now stands at 14.1 percent.

Sources: National Association of Realtors, Freddie Mac

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Government Action

 

Jumbo Mortgages Begin to Thaw

The cost of jumbo loans, often used to purchase luxury homes, shot up during the financial crisis because lenders steered clear of anything that could be considered somewhat risky. Plus jumbo loans are too large for the government to support through the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

The good news:   The jumbo loan markets are beginning to unfreeze and return to normal.

The difference between interest rates on conventional loans and jumbo loans has decreased from higher levels seen last year.

In some cases, the down payment requirements are easing as well, but they often still depend on the level of borrowing “ the more the mortgage, the higher the down payment percentage. In New York, mortgage professionals report the following common down payments:

Borrowers will still need a good credit score, typically at least 700, evidence of high income, and a sizable bank account.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, Inman News

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Topics For Buyers & Sellers

2009 Tax Tips

Tax time is coming up.   Don™t forget about the following benefits in 2009 for homeowners.   What™s deductable in itemized deductions for homeowners?

  1. Mortgage Interest
  2. Points - paid at closing if you purchased or possibly if you refinanced this year
  3. Mortgage Insurance Premiums
  4. Property Tax
  5. Energy Efficiency Credits – see IRS Form 5695 for qualifying projects
  6. Home Buyer Tax Credit   – see IRS Form 5405 to claim your credit if you qualify

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro, LLC
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:  1/22/10

DENVER REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL EARNS ECOBROKER CERTIFIED ® DESIGNATION; Certified to Address and eNCOURAGE the Benefits of Energy Efficiency and Green Features in Homes. BUYERS AND SELLERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT BRIAN C. SMITH FOR INFORMATION ON THE ENERGY-EFFICIENT, HEALTH-RELATED AND GREEN FEATURES OF HOMES AND BUILDINGS.

 

Denver, CO – 1/22/10 – Brian C. Smith, of Keller Williams Realty Downtown & Urban Pro, LLC in Denver, has earned the EcoBroker Certified ® designation, having successfully completed an award-winning informative training program on the energy and environmental issues that affect real estate transactions. Brian joins the movement of professionals pushing the real estate market toward energy-efficient, sustainable, and healthier features in homes and buildings. Today’s focus on high-performance energy-efficient homes is a priority for this type of high-quality real estate professional earning the EcoBroker Certified ® designation. EcoBrokers ® like Brian are building premier market presence by serving as consumer and community resources on energy and environmental issues. With national surveys indicating that 9 out of 10 consumers consider energy efficiency and the environmentally sound aspects of a home to be almost as important as interior finishes, Certified EcoBrokers ® are simply in a better position to serve the savvy green-minded real estate consumer.

“I’m always looking for the best ways to not only offer my clients the best value but to also develop a relationship where they feel I am a trusted resource,” Brian explains. “My EcoBroker Certified ® training helps me ensure that my customers, who are my number one priority, get the knowledge they need. From energy-efficient appliances to solar options to overall energy savings, I now have more resources at my disposal to help my buyers and sellers make informed real estate decisions. The EcoBroker Certified ® designation doesn’t make me an energy and environmental expert, but it puts me in a position to recognize issues and convey information on the products and services available to my buyers and sellers.”

EcoBroker International’s premier designation program is designed exclusively for real estate professionals who care about the environment and want to help their clients benefit from the energy-efficiency, “green,” and healthier features of properties. The extensive curriculum of energy and environmental training requires participants to fulfill additional program requirements to become Certified EcoBrokers ®.

“Brian is an example of the quality real estate professional the EcoBroker Certified ® designation continues to attract,” explains EcoBroker International CEO Dr. John Beldock. “These real estate professionals are not only distinguishing themselves in a competitive market place, but they are really giving back to the community in very constructive and meaningful ways. Denver needs more contributors like Brian. The planet and our grandchildren need them, too,” says Dr. Beldock.

The program also teaches its members how best to market and position themselves for that competitive edge within the real estate platform. From the Denver office, Brian explains, “With EcoBroker’s training, I have broadened the range of real estate opportunities I offer my clients. I’m in a position to help. The real estate industry is forever changing and our nation faces complex environmental issues. To best serve my clients, I need to understand the newest products, technologies and issues as they affect today’s real estate market. My EcoBroker Certified ® designation helps me stay ahead of the game.”

Brian earned his EcoBroker Certified ® designation in January and is wasting no time putting the tools and additional expertise to work. He has already found that being an EcoBroker ® creates added value that sets him apart from other agents. Brian says he’s looking forward to continuing to positively impact the industry by highlighting the cost effectiveness and benefits of energy-efficient homes and commercial buildings.

For additional information on what it means to be a Certified EcoBroker ®, please contact:

Brian C. Smith
Cell: 720.334.1104
Email: brian@UrbanProRealty.com

EcoBroker International provides an award-winning energy and environmental curriculum to licensed real estate professionals, leading to the EcoBroker Certified ® designation. EcoBroker International’s mission is to broaden and improve the base of training and continuing education for real estate professionals and, in doing so, encourage improvements to the quality of buildings while reducing the impact on natural resources and the environment. EcoBroker is a U.S. Department of Energy Building America partner and a Built GreenÃ’ Colorado Education Partner, the most successful green building program in the United States. EcoBroker provides state-approved continuing education courses to licensed real estate professionals in states throughout the United States. EcoBroker can be reached by phone at 1-800-706-4321, online at www.EcoBroker.com and by email at customerservice@ecobroker.com.

# # #

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Hello Friends!

It™s the beginning of both a new year and a new decade.  It™s around this time that we tend to reflect on the year previous while setting goals for the next. This ritual of setting New Year™s resolutions is quite similar to goal setting, which is a major part of my business. While most resolutions fail, it™s not because of lack of intent or desire, but rather because most don™t take the necessary steps to position themselves for success.   So, as you™re reviewing the resolutions you set at the beginning of January, here are six tips on how to make those resolutions achievable goals this year and this new decade.

  1. Write your goals down & review daily “ We are what we think about.   By writing down your goals, you make them real.   By reviewing them daily, you make them a part of your daily life and your thoughts.   Brian Tracy says, œThink about your goals and review them daily. Every morning when you begin, take action on the most important task you can accomplish to achieve your most important goal at the moment.
  2. Break your goals down into smaller quantifiable chunks “ If asked to eat an elephant, most would say they can™t, it™s just too big.   But if I were to bring you a small piece of elephant meat every day and say œEat this; maybe not in a week, maybe not in a month, but before you know it you will have eaten the entire elephant.   Goals work in the same way.   Break down your goals into smaller measurable pieces and you will accomplish them.
  3. Visualize “ You must see it to believe it.   If you can see yourself achieving your goals then your mind won™t be as resistant to accomplishing them.   Every day, imagine yourself putting on those workout cloths, going to the gym, imagine what workouts you™ll do, the effort you™ll put in¦ then imagine it getting better, getting easier, the good feelings you™ll have from being in shape and seeing the numbers on the scale go down.
  4. Tell your goals to others “ Don™t just tell your family and/or significant other.   Tell everyone you meet and tell them often!   It™s easy to let ourselves down, especially when no one else knows.   Most are quick to forgive themselves.   But when everyone you™ve met knows your goals, you™re forced to achieve those goals.   Money can™t buy that kind of accountability.
  5. Schedule your goals “ If you don™t give your goals the time they need, you will not achieve them.   It™s as simple as that.   Figure out specific dates and times that you will work on your goals and just do it.   Whether it™s every day, first thing when you wake up or three times a week at 7:00 pm; find a time that works in your schedule and stick to it.
  6. Reward the action NOT the results “ Most try to reward results.  However, the results are so far from the action that achieved them that our brain doesn™t make this connection well.   We eventually stop doing the action and then wonder why we aren™t still getting the same results.   Instead, if you reward the actions and good habits that will achieve your results, then the results you want will come and you™re setting yourself up for continued success.

 

Since we™re talking about goal setting, I want to share two of mine with you.

  • More consistent and useful communication with you, my friends, clients, and family.   This will come monthly in the form of letters, newsletters like HOMEtalk, postcards, phone calls, market updates and I may even stop by a couple of times.   Let me know what you find value in.
  • More than 24 transactions before 2011.   You can help me with this one.   I know most of you are not planning on buying or selling this year, however, I™m sure all of you will talk to someone at some point this year who is.   All I ask is you keep me in mind.   Give your friend my contact information, send me theirs¦ All I ask for is the opportunity to interview to be their Realtor so I can earn their business.

2010 is going to be a great year!   If you™d like to share your goals with me, please e-mail me at brian@urbanprorealty.com or post a comment on my blog.   I look forward to hearing from you!

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro, LLC
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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Yes, I know I’m a Realtor, so of course I’m going to tell you to buy a home.   But none-the-less, here are the Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Home.Buy a Home

  1. Quality of Life – a home provides security and stability for you and your loved ones.
  2. Pride of Home Ownership – it’s your personal haven and you are your own landlord.
  3. Historically Low Interest Rates – around 5 percent in the U.S. and those rates are expected to start rising again at the end of March.   The Fed has been purchasing debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which has been keeping the mortgage interest rates down.   However, this program is set to expire at the end of the first quarter, 2010.
  4. Tax Credit – the U.S. government is providing a special $8,000 incentive for qualifying first-time buyers. ($6500 for qualifying current homeowners who buy a new primary residence)
  5. Appreciation Potential - your home investment can grow in value.   With home values at a low, now is the time to invest!
  6. Equity Buildup and Debt Pay Down – homeowners enjoy an average net worth of approximately $184,000 vs $4,000 for renters.
  7. Leverage - where else can you buy an investment of this magnitude with 3.5-10 percent down?
  8. Tax Deduction Advantages – property tax and mortgage interest write-offs.
  9. Tax Exemption – up to $500,000 per couple or $250,000 per person on the sale of a primary residence in the U.S.
  10. The Real Cost of Renting – at $800 per month, with the average 6 percent rental increase per year, you will pay $126,536 over a 10-year period but have zero ownership of the property.

If you think it’s time for you to buy, you just have questions to see if it’s possible, or you know someone who’s thinking about buying; contact me today! My favorite part of being a Realtor is helping others realize the dream of Home Ownership!

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro, LLC
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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THE LAW:

œA PERSON EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER SHALL NOT USE A WIRELESS TELEPHONE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENGAGING IN TEXT MESSAGING OR OTHER SIMILAR FORMS OF MANUAL DATA ENTRY OR TRANSMISSION WHILE OPERATING A MOTOR VEHICLE.

As of December 1, 2009, Colorado drivers MAY NOT  TEXT while driving.

Anyone UNDER 18 is NEVER allowed to use a cell phone (not for texting OR calling) while driving.

Read More: Colorado House Bill 1094


THE FINES:

  • First Offense: $50.00 + $6.00 surcharge
  • Second Offense: $100.00+ $6.00 surcharge

This violation of law is a secondary offense. This means that you must FIRST be violating another primary enforcement law, such as reckless driving , speeding or running a red light before you can be ticketed for violating Colorado™s new Cell Phone Law.

THE EXCEPTIONS:

In the case of an emergency, where the driver,

œhas reason to fear for such person™s life or safety or believes that a criminal act may be perpetrated against such person or another person, requiring the use of a mobile communication device wireless telephone while the car is moving; or Reports a fire, a traffic accident in which one or more injuries are apparent, a serious road hazard, a medical or hazardous materials emergency, or a person who is driving in a reckless, careless, or otherwise unsafe manner.

BE SAFE.

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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It’s happened!!   It’s actually official!   Roll out the red carpet, drop the balloons, throw on your party hat!!   The Bill extending and expanding the $8,000 tax credit for First-Time Home Buyers has been passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law earlier this morning!   The U.S. economy has narrowly missed yet another devastating hit and we’re saved once again by the economic stimulus packages from our faithful public servants…   right?   But wait, what does this really mean? Read on to find out.

First-Time Home buyers:
For most of you, this just gives you more time… until April 30th, 2010 to be under contract. All of you First-Time buyers who have been sitting on the fence or waiting for that perfect moment, you now have one more chance to take an $8,000 gift from Uncle Sam.   And remember, it is a true gift from you loving uncle.   You do NOT have to pay this money back! If you’ve truely been on the fence of purchasing, sit down with a professional (like me) and have a candid talk about whether it’s right for you to purchase now.   If it is, take advantage of this freebie!

Before Dec. 1st, some of you were not included in the tax credit due to income restrictions.   Well, rejoice because the income restrictions have been raised from $75,000/year for an individual to $125,000 and from $150,000 to $225,000 for couples!   I can already think of a few clients and friends of mine who are now included that were not before.

For all of you First-Timers, the tax credit is based on 10% the purchase price of the home up to $8,000.   This won’t effect most buyers, but if you’re purchasing below $80,000 for your home, don’t expect an entire 8 grand check coming your way.   Also, on the other end, the most expensive home you can purchase and still receive the credit is $800,000.

Current Home Owners:
The biggest expansion to the previous bill is the inclusion of current home owners.   If you’ve lived in your primary residence for 5 years or more, then you qualify to receive $6500 if you purchase a new primary residence before the law expires.   The income restrictions and other similar regulations apply, but it’s another freebie from our government to encourage more movement in the real estate market and greese the wheels of the economy.

The Downside:
The biggest downside is, of course, the cost. The current Tax Credit bill has already costs the US government over $10 billion and that’s not including claims that will be made on their 2009 tax returns.   This will, of course, increase that as well and we won’t know the final tally until after the 2010 taxes are done in 2011… and that’s assuming they won’t extend it again. However, œThe rebound in the housing market was one of the big factors that contributed to the growth of the economy last quarter, according to President Obama at a national address in the White House Rose Garden on Friday.   And I happen to agree with him. The housing market has a major impact on our economy, more than most people realize. And if it helps you any, President Obama also reassured the American people that this home-buyer tax credit measure would not increase the national deficit.

So, will the Tax Credit help the economy and put us further down the right track? or will it only hurt us more than it helps?   Only time will tell. But in the meantime, we might as well take advantage of the free gift from Uncle Sam.

Check out the Article on the Tax Credit extention and expansion from the National Association of Realtors:

http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2009/11/extension_positive

Here is a side by side camparison chart of the old and new $8k Tax Credit.

http://www.realtor.org/fedistrk.nsf/files/government_affairs_tax_credit_ext_chart_110409.pdf/$FILE/government_affairs_tax_credit_ext_chart_110409.pdf

720.334.1104

Brian C. Smith
Urban Pro
Keller Williams Downtown
Denver, CO
www.UrbanProRealty.com

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