Colorado Front Range Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 6, 2020

How Does Your Credit Score Affect the Rates on Your Mortgage?



More today than ever before, our increasingly tight credit market demands a high credit score. Why? Over three quarters of all lenders use credit scores when approving loans or credit. It's also used to determine your interest rate, the amount of your down [payment and the variety of mortgage types available to you if you're buying a house. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate. For larger loans, such as a mortgage, one point up or down in your score can add up to a significant amount of money.

The industry has changed over recent years as lending guidelines have become more restrictive making it harder to obtain loans.

FICO Score


Monthly Payment

Total Interest Paid   

Extra Interest Paid from 760850 Credit Score































*  Based on a 30‐year fixed mortgage of $200,000 according to May 2010 interest rates from


What Lenders look for on Borrower's Credit Reports...

·         Outstanding debt

·         Outstanding debt relative to the total available debt

·         Length of credit history

·         The pursuit of new credit


Lenders Prefer Borrowers With..

·         Low balances on credit cards and loans

·         A long history of on-time payments

·         A mix of credit utilization (a couple credit cards, a car loan and a mortgage)


Sept. 15, 2020

The Benefits of Starting Your Home Search Process Now

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 14, 2020

10 Things That Will Absolutely Kill Your Home Sale

10 Things That Will Absolutely Kill Your Home Sale

10 Things That Will Absolutely Kill Your Home Sale

When you're selling your home, you need every advantage you can get. And there are few homes that are magically market ready without a little help. If your home needs a touch more than a little help, it's time to get focused. After all, listing your home when it's not in the right condition to sell will probably only end in frustration. And, in this case, frustration means: your home sitting on the market for months with no offers or the errant, offensive, lowball.

If you want to make sure you get home sold quickly and for the right price, you'll want to avoid listing it with the following:

1. Excessive damage

Maybe the home you're selling was used as a rental and trashed by frat boy tenants, or maybe you just haven't kept it up as you should. Either way, those holes in the wall that look like the living room was used as a boxing gym, the scratched-up wood floors on which dinosaurs have clearly been racing, and the yard that's barren except for those two-foot-tall patches of weeds are not what buyers are looking for. Unless you're planning to offer your house for a price that will make buyers emphasize the good and ignore the bad and the ugly, it's going to need some attention.

2. Carpet in the bathroom

It's just gross. And everyone who walks into that bathroom is thinking one of two things: 1) There's gotta be mold under there; 2) There's gotta be pee on the floor around that toilet. This is one update you'll want to do before you list. Or, if you're already listed and your home's not selling.

3. Big, nasty stains

A buyer shouldn't know where your dog likes to mark or where your kids spilled the entire bowl of holiday punch. If the stains on your carpet are that bad, potential buyers will stroll in and run right back out. No one wants to buy a pigsty. Invest a few bucks in new carpet. You'll make the money back since you won't have to drop your sales price.

4. Pet smells

Speaking of pets…they smell. You probably don't notice since you live with them everyday, but buyers will, and it might be enough to turn them off. Deep clean the carpets and the upholstery, invest in some air fresheners, and remove cat boxes from the house for showings. The last thing you want is a potential buyer referring to your house as "the stinky one."

5. Loud dogs who bark every time someone approaches the home

One last word on pets. Barking happens, whether it's your dog or one that belongs to a neighbor. But you don't need that on the day of your open house. Offering to pay for doggie day care for a neighbor's pooch can eliminate the issue and help create the serene setting buyers want.

6. Your dead lawn

Lack of curb appeal won't necessarily kill a deal. In many cases, you won't even get potential buyers to get out of the car. If the front yard is a mess, buyers will naturally think the mess continues inside.

7. A bad agent

Face it. Not all of them are winners. If your agent is: rude, uninformed, lazy, uncommunicative, belligerent, or unwilling to take your opinions into consideration, get a new one. An agent who isn't giving their client the right type of attention probably isn't going to get the job done.

8. Your sloppiness

Those drawers and cabinets you shoved everything into when you cleaned off your kitchen and bathroom cabinets could be a deal breaker for picky buyers. We all know buyers open stuff. They look in drawers, they open cabinets, they examine closets. If these spaces are messy and overstuffed, they may assume there's not enough storage space.

9. Unreasonable sellers

Big problems in your house can be deal killers, but they can also be deal sealers, if you are reasonable. If your inspection uncovers plumbing, electrical, or roofing problems (or all three!) and you're unwilling to negotiate, you can kiss that sale goodbye.

10. Bad Taste

Your poor decorating choices and failure to keep up with trends from this year—or century—may haunt you when it's time to sell. If it's true that many buyers have no vision—and all you have to do is watch House Hunters and observe a buyer getting hung up on a paint color to know that's true—then you are really in for it with your crowded house full of ugly, outdated crap. A few simple updates can help it to look fresh and give buyers something to fall in love with. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 29, 2020

Shifting Population Due to Working Remotely

Shifting Population Due to Working Remotely

The Covid-19 pandemic could cause a major shift in where many people live. This week I had a conversation with a friend who lives and works in the San Francisco Bay area. He is one of the estimated 400,000 high-tech workers living in the Bay area. Our discussion turned to coming to Florida and working remotely and getting a 3-hour head start on his coworkers due to the time change, and this made me start thinking about possible opportunities. I have two family members that have worked from home since March, both living in major metropolitan areas and have expenses relating to their commutes – again thinking of other opportunities. If I can live anywhere and work remotely, where do I want to live? Why wait until I retire to relocate to my dream home?

I remembered years ago when my son was looking to move from Washington D.C. to Tampa, Florida and I found, which has a “Cost of Living Calculator.” Together we looked at what he would need to make in Tampa to support the same standard of living as living in a suburb of D.C. Tampa has a 37% lower cost of living which, if you made $100,000 in D.C., in Tampa $62,400 has the same buying power.

Back to my friend in San Francisco, he expects many tech-based companies will be allowing working remotely permanently in the near future. He also expects companies will adjust pay, which would make sense not needing to live in one of the most expensive areas of the country.  Just for the fun of it I compared the cost of living in San Francisco to Central Florida, my neighborhood.  With about 44% lower cost of living and the same $100,000 in San Francisco, you would only need to make $55,670 in the Orlando area for an equal standard of living.     

I am not sure what this new business model will be called; Uber or one of the successful network marketing companies that depend on folks working from home are examples of having large numbers of people and not needing brick and mortar. Regardless of the name of the model, regardless of what adjustments companies make as far as income based on where you live, the real estate industry needs to get ready for dealing with buyers who, in some cases, have a very high level understanding of technology and, for many, a certain character trait, no patience for those that don’t!

Let me help you with a word you should never speak again, especially to these high-tech workers: Fax! In my past I have had consulting contracts with tech startup companies, so I’ve been exposed to high-tech personalities. I’m not saying they’re all the same, but many speak a different “geek” language and have different work habits with no patience.

Back in the early 2000’s I read a survey that I wish I could find today; I have it on an old slide I used at the time. 70% of consumers working with real estate professionals believed the consumer had a higher level of technology than the real estate professional. Ouch! I believe we have been playing catch up for almost two decades and now, with young homebuyers with an above average income and very high tech skills, here we go again!  I plan on helping with ways to communicate with this group of people who average 29 year olds and make $250,000 a year at leading social media platforms.

Posted in Real Estate News
May 21, 2020

Borrowers Can Now Defer Payments Until The End Of Their Loan

Forbearance News: Borrowers Can Now Defer Payments Until The End Of Their Loan

Forbearance News: Borrowers Can Now Defer Payments Until The End Of Their Loan

Have a forbearance agreement with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac? You can breathe a big sigh of relief. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that homeowners in COVID-19 related forbearance programs with Fannie and Freddie can defer their missed payments until “the home is sold, refinanced, or at maturity,” they said in a news release.

The release spelled out the details of the new deferment plan. “For homeowners in forbearance due to COVID-19, payment deferral allows them to make up missed forbearance payments when they sell their home or refinance,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “This new forbearance repayment solution responsibly simplifies options for homeowners while providing an additional tool for mortgage servicers. Borrowers who can pay their mortgage should, because missed payments remain an obligation that will ultimately have to be repaid.”

Previously, there was some question as to whether borrowers would have to make a lump sum payment at the end of their forbearance period or enter into some other type of agreement that would potentially increase their monthly payments.  

“Payment deferral is one of the repayment options,” they said. “Servicers will begin offering the payment deferral repayment option starting July 1, 2020. In addition to the new payment deferral option, borrowers with COVID-19 related hardships can still utilize other options that include reinstatement, repayment plan, or loan modifications based on their individual situations.”

Up to 12 months of deferred payments can be added to the end of the loan term. “The deferred sums to be repaid include principal, interest and escrow advances,” said National Mortgage News. Borrowers will not have to make the missed payments in a lump sum.

And now for the bad news

There is one piece of not-so-good news related to forbearance. “U.S. homeowners hurt by coronavirus were told they could delay their mortgage payments without facing consequences. Now, some are learning they’re at risk of being shut out of the housing market,” said Yahoo Finance.

The stimulus bill contained language that was meant to protect borrowers from credit issues related to their forbearance agreement. “But the law didn’t address long-standing policies that restrict consumers from getting new loans for a year after their forbearances end,” they said. “For instance, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…won’t buy such mortgages. Some borrowers who took advantage of the relief lawmakers provided are now being told that they will have to wait before they can refinance or obtain a fresh mortgage to purchase a home. That’s true even for those who ultimately make their payments on time, as the forbearances are still being noted on some consumers’ credit reports.”

Posted in Real Estate News
May 13, 2020

Are You Ready to Divorce Your House After the Quarantine?

Are You Ready to Divorce Your House After the Quarantine?

Are You Ready to Divorce Your House After the Quarantine?

A number of things have happened during this unprecedented time:

People have had more time to spend together. They’ve also spent that time at home. 

All that time together has not necessarily helped some relationships. Perhaps not surprisingly, the divorce rate is skyrocketing in countries like China, and now it’s been reported that, “Cooped-up New Yorkers are flooding lawyer phone lines with divorce inquiries — with an avalanche of filings expected once the courts re-open,” said the New York Post.

But it’s our relationship with our homes that may be the most stressed. A home may function perfectly fine when you’re only there a few hours a day, but this quarantine has shined a light on many a flaw. Here’s how to tell if you’re just done or if your relationship with your house can recover.

It’s not something a renovation can fix

There are some floorplans that just can’t get with the times. Not without a tremendous financial commitment, anyway. If fixing up your home to get it to modern standards or even make it more livable is impossible or unadvised, it may just be time to move on. 

You have no appetite for a renovation

Perhaps your home is a good candidate for a makeover but you just can’t bear to live through it. If you’ve been stuck in a house you don’t love or that no longer works for you, it’s OK to say goodbye and move on to something that better suits your family’s needs—

Posted in Real Estate News
May 6, 2020

Should I Sell Now?

Should I Sell Now?

Should I Sell Now?

The pandemic has put the world on pause. Should you put your real estate plans on pause, too?

This article reaches a sizable online audience, so there’s not just one answer to this question. In direct conversation with you—one-on-one—this question could be answered with specific reference to your location, property, finances, and desired outcomes, but there would still not only be one answer to this question.

Real estate, by its nature and its tremendous location-driven diversity, makes that question open-ended, with many possible answers:

• Each option has many perspectives.
• Each property is unique.
• The reasons homeowners love, or are ready to leave, their real estate are unique, too.

The greatest challenge can be uncovering and understanding the full range of options open to homeowners, not just during these bizarre times, but in any market—before making the decision to sell or not.

The seemingly-simple “sell or not” question can only be answered after tackling a series of other questions. Even without the pandemic, making the decision to sell your home is complex and usually involves significant emotional elements:

• If you had planned to list your property this spring, before you abandon that project, take a fresh look at that decision to sell. Identify your