Author

Lisa Reich

Lisa Reich is an experienced REALTOR with RE/MAX Alliance. She has extensive knowledge in contract negotiations, listing homes and representing buyers. She is eager to assist you with your buying and selling needs.

Finance,

What to Bring to Closing

What to bring to closing

What happens between the loan objection deadline and closing?

There are parts of the transaction where you as the Buyer may feel like there is a lot of movement.  With me as your agent, you shouldn’t feel stressed during these times. I will get you ready for your real estate closing. Before we arrive at the title company to perform the closing, you will need to compile some additional documentation and get ready to sign a lot of documents (if you are securing the home purchase with a loan).

Here is an easy list of what you will need to have on hand for closing:

  • You will need to know your Social Security number (or Tax Identification Number) to complete IRS documents at the closing table. If you do not have it memorized, please bring additional paperwork.
  • You will need your driver’s license, a Colorado identification card, or passport. Whichever form you decide to bring make sure it is current (NOT expired).
    • If there has been a change of marital status, let the closer know before you get to the closing table. You will need to provide a marriage license or divorce decree.
  • As stated in an earlier blog,
  • You will need to know how you are transferring money to the Title Company (either wire transfer or cashier’s check). If you would like to wire the funds to the title company, please call me. I can help you avoid the scammers that are trying to steal your money.

Whether you are a first-time home Buyer or a seasoned Buyer being prepared for closing can lower your stress level.

Finance,

What to Expect at a Closing

What to Expect at closing

Arriving at the title company to sign all the real estate documents to purchase your home can be stressful – this is one of the largest purchase you will ever make.  So I am here to tell you exactly what it will be like.

First, you will be greeted by your closer and the closer will show you to a conference room.  The closer will generally sit at the head of the table for ease of passing documents back and froth from the Buyer and Seller to sign.

The Seller and Sellers Broker will be on one side of the table and the other side will be the Buyer, Buyers Broker and at times Lender.  The closer will ask for your government issued identification and review the loan documents with the Buyer.  This process generally takes about 40 minutes.

If the Lender is requiring funding conditions, the closer may step out of the room to begin that process.  The closer will then review with the Buyer and Seller the Real Estate documents – such as the Buyers Settlement Statement, Sellers Settlement Statement, Warranty Deed, etc.  This process takes about 20 minutes.

The Closer will then accept “good funds” from the Buyer and Lender (cashier’s check or wire).   The Closer will then take the funds and distribute per the contract.

Only 2 more steps to go:  the closer will ask Buyer, Seller and Brokers how they would like to receive copies of the signed documents – email, hard copy or both.

And for the final step, Seller hands the keys to the Buyer.  It is that simple.  Congratulations you are officially a homeowner in Colorado.

 

Living in Denver,

How to Keep One Step Ahead of Denver Traffic

How to Be One step ahead of Denver's traffic

Image Courtesy of CODOT

I am a perpetually check Google Maps before I leave any location.  I will ask my step-sons to check the route to see if there is a better one before us.  I want to see if the traffic is moving (or not).  Is the route I like to take all “red” with congestion?  Is there a better way to go?  Should I stay at work a little longer and wait for the traffic to die down?  I am sure you may be thinking…I live in Chicago and I use public transit.  I just walk to the CTA bus or train and hunker down into a good book, podcast or people watching and zone out.  Well, depending on where you live and work, public transportation may not be a viable option for you.

We have 2 major highways in the Denver Metro area, I-70 (runs East and West) and I-25 (runs North and South).  They can be quite a nightmare especially with construction! The Colorado Department of Transportation has several popular projects they are working on and will start to work on in 2018.  One of my favorite is the Central 70 Project.  This project is between I-25 and Chambers Road and will remove the 53-year old viaduct.  CDOT’s site states that the viaduct carries upward of 200,000 vehicles per day.  There will be a lot of changes, so to keep on top of it you can:How to Keep one step ahead of denver traffic

  • check CDOT’s lane closures with this map,
  • subscribe to all project Alerts via email or text (this will sign you up for travel alerts, news and much more), or
  • One of my favorite functions on CDOT’s site: the COTrip, an interactive map that provides live feeds of the condition of the roads and traffic.

Another important part of Denver’s roads is the City and County of Denver’s Public Works Department provides services involving the public infrastructure (transportation, street maintenance, planning and construction and many more services).  Road impartments are discussed often.  Are the roads needing to be repaved?  Does the CCD need to acquire land owner’s property to widen streets? CCD has a Downtown Paving Work Program that has identified streets that will be repaved in 2018.  If you have any questions on a program, need to request a repair or need to report a problem you can call 3-1-1.

For more information, check out our blog post by Bethany Candelaria “Everything you need to know about Denver Traffic.”

By knowing some of the Colorado Department of Transportation and City and County of Denver’s Public Works Department transportation projects, you will be zipping down I-25 stress free.

Living in Denver,

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Moving can be stressful especially if it is out of state and even more so if you don’t know a lot about the state or city you are moving to.  If you type in, “what to know before moving out of state” into Google, there 2.28 Billion search items in less than .71 seconds.  That can be very overwhelming.  To make it easier for you, here are our top 7 questions to ask yourself before moving out of state.

1. What does the job market look like?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

If you are moving for a job, CONGRATULATIONS! If you are looking for a job in the Denver Metro area – there are plenty of jobs available.   The Denver Post reported in May 2018 that our unemployment rated was below 3%.  Update your LinkedIn profile to look for jobs in Denver.  You can also use Indeed to find a job.

2. When should I move?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

According to Moving.com, the most cost-effective time to move is Mid-September to April.  Just remember, if you are moving to Colorado snow can start to fall as early as September but late October is more likely.  And Wikipedia states March is the 2nd snowiest month with 10.7 inches on average

3. What is the housing market like?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Courtesy of www.videoblocks.com

Whether you are looking to Buy or Rent, knowing what you will pay for your living situation is vital.  CNBC with the Federal Housing Administration (yes if you read the article CNBC says Federal Housing Association which is incorrect) has a rule of thumb to not spend more than 30% of your gross (before taxes and expenses).  There is a neat chart for your reference.  Check it out and see where you rank!  Learn more about Denver in this blog post of ours: “Five Things you Need to Know about Denver.”

4. Where should I live?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Image courtesy of www.metrowestres.com

Do you want to be close to the mountains? Do you want to live close to your office? Getting to know the neighborhoods can be fun.  Once you have an idea of what you need and want to be close to, it will be easier to identify where you could live.

5. What is the cost of living?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

I love that our beautiful state ranks in the top 10 best states for early retirement.  The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Enter your current city and state and current salary.  The output will compare salary, and price differences on groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care.  For example:  If you currently live in Chicago making $75,000 a year – you will need to make at least $67,950 a year in Denver.  Your groceries will be about 10% less, Housing will be 16% less, Utilities 3% more, Transportation 18% less, and health care will be 3% more.

6. How is the weather?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Check out #2 on 5 things you should know about Denver.   We have lots and lost of sunshine.  67% of our days are sunny ones.  And generally, when we do get snow, it will melt on the streets the next day – making your commute to work or outdoor activities more tolerable.

7. What is the Crime Rate?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

As you can tell from our blogpost about the Denver neighborhoods , there are 78 official neighborhoods. CityWide Data reported in July 2018 that murder was down 50% from 2017, -1.7% Rape, -10.3% Robbery, +1.81 Aggravated Assault in Denver.  Once you have identified where you would like to live, use the Denver Police Departments cumulative data and data by month for more specific information.

We hope you find this information valuable.

 

 

Living in Denver,

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

1. Moving is an opportunity to purge some items that you haven’t used in a while or won’t be using in Colorado.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

For example:  If you are moving from Chicago, you may have a lot of Bears, White Sox, Cubbie, and Bulls apparel that you won’t need– you are in Broncos, Rox, Avs, Nuggets country now!  On a serious note – When starting to pack, ask yourself “Do I really need this?  Have I used/worn this in the past year?”  If the answer is “No” then give it away

2. Labels, labels and more labels.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

The more you label something the more organized it will make you – which relieves stress.  When I moved this last time, we asked a couple of local offices if we could have their unwanted one side used paper.  We were able to get a lot of paper for free.  We would label the boxes on all 4 side with 8 ½ x 11 sheets.  There was no question which room the box was supposed to go into.  I like to save as much money as possible since moving can prove to be expensive.

3. Decide if you will be moving yourself or hiring movers.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

Moving.com has a calculator for moving estimates.  It can cost $3,910-$5468 to hire movers for a 2-3 bedroom apartment from Chicago to Denver.  If you choose to move yourself, Uhaul’s 20’ truck (2-3 bedroom apt) would cost you $1,615.

4. Start collecting boxes and packing material.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

HomeDepot or Lowes can cost a lot of money.  Try reaching out to your local Nextdoor neighbors and ask if anyone is getting rid of boxes and packaging material.  It could save you a LOT of money.

5. Pack essentials last.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

Could you imagine if you packed your tooth brush, toiletries and towels for the showers?  That would be pretty frustrating as you use them daily! I know that seems pretty dramatic but think of this: Don’t pack things you know you will need to use.  Pack items that are in storage, Holiday items, nonessential items, books, etc.

6. Keep the breakables or prized items with you.

6 tips to make moving easier

Do you have your great grandma’s china, priceless paintings, or an extensive coin collection?  If so, you may want to drive with them in your car for safe keeping.

Happy Moving!

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver
Living in Denver,

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

1: HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET

RE/MAX Alliance YouTube has some valuable information about communities and vital market information to help you make an informed real estate decision. You may be thinking a Tiny House is something you are able to afford in a hot market but make sure to check with the City and County on their restrictions.

2: LOTS OF SUNSHINE

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

Clouds are a rarity in Denver

Many believe there are 300 days of sun – it really depends on how you interpret it.  The National Weather Service identifies sky condition with 1/8 or less cloud coverage as a clear or sunny day.  Mostly clear/Mostly Sunny is 1/8 to 3/8 of cloud coverage. Current Results Weather and Science Facts reports 245 sunny days. Not bad! 67% of our days are sunny days.

3: BLUCIFER!

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

He looks even more terrifying at night.

Blucifer or the Blue Mustang shoots red LED beams from his eyes. Frightening? Great public art? Ponder this: Its creator, Luis Jimenez, was killed when a piece of the torso fell on him; his two sons finished the $650,000 project.

4: LOW UNEMPLOYMENT

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the Colorado Economy at a glance with unemployment at 2.5% for September 2017. Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2.7% as of October, 2017. That’s a full 1.4% lower than the national average.

5: SOOOOOO MUCH TO DO

A High Dynamic Range photo of the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, Colorado with Pikes peak in the background.

Whether is it hiking, biking, boating, snowshoeing, skiing, watching professional sports.  The City and County of Denver site have a laundry list of year-round family attractions, adventures, vacation ideas, national parks and outdoor activities that make the state of Colorado come to life.

Need help exploring how you can move to Denver? My contact information is in my signature.

Tiny House
Uncategorized,

Could a Tiny House be the Solution to Denver’s High Realestate Prices?

If you are thinking of moving from Chicago to Denver or have just moved, buying a home within your budget can be a challenge. A tiny house might just be the solution.

The home prices may be a shock for you Chicagoans – the median prices for the Denver metro area is $487,794 and for the Chicago area is $222,700.

One option many transplants have considered since Colorado has a lot more land available is a tiny house. 

Tiny House

Could a Tiny House be the solution to the high-priced Denver housing market?

A tiny house is a structure that is roughly 100-500 square feet. They’ve gained in popularity in recent years, both because they are more economical than larger homes, and because of exposure on television shows such as those on HGTV.

There are two common problems with tiny houses: 

  1. How do you pay for a tiny house?
  2. Where do you put the tiny house?

How do you pay for a tiny house?

There are 2 options, cash or loan.  If you have cash to purchase your tiny house – CONGRATULATIONS.  You are on your way to financial freedom.

If you need a loan, you’re going to have some obstacles to overcome. Houses under 500 square feet cannot be appraised.  There aren’t enough of them out there for lenders to obtain reliable appraisal based comparable sales.  As popularity grows for tiny house purchases and more sales data gets out there, lenders may loosen guidelines and start offering more loans on tiny houses.

You may have the option of getting a loan through a non-traditional mortgage provider, such as a portfolio lender or a credit union. Portfolio lenders lend their own money (or money from a pool of investors) and don’t play by the same rules as larger banks. Just expect to put down more money (20% or more) and get a higher interest rate than on a traditional mortgage.

Where do you put the tiny house?

If you’re looking to move your tiny house to the City and County of Denver – Good news – they are allowed.  However, some tiny houses do not align with city codes.  If a RV or mobile home park isn’t what you are looking for, you will have to purchase a house that is run down and needs to be demolished or find available land.  There are some cities, like the  City of Loveland, that are working with tiny home owners by creating spots to place them.  For one night if your tiny house is self-contained (it has a toilet, gray water holding tanks, and you need no hook-ups), try Harvest Hosts or Boondockers or Gamping.

There are several things to consider when purchasing a tiny house.  Make sure you have done your research so that you follow your preferred city and county codes and regulations.

You’ll also want to talk to an expert—someone who can guide you through the process from one end to the other. As a realtor working in the Denver market, I can help answer your questions and assist you in finding the perfect home to meet your needs. You can reach out to me through my signature, or through the comments section below.