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Why Wait to Spring to Find Your Dream Home?

Winter is here! Time to bundle up and spend more time with family and friends. In addition to celebrating the holiday season, if you are thinking about selling or buying a home, this season can offer many advantages.

The winter months can offer a good selection of housing with less competition from other buyers, plus the opportunity to settle in before warm weather arrives.

Keep reading for advantages of winter home selling and buying.

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Motivated Buyers and Sellers:  Buyers and sellers during the holidays are focused on moving, and moving fast.  People who are house hunting during the winter usually have a good reason, mostly out of necessity or opportunity. Many buyers this time of year have a timeline, like a relocating deadline for a new job or transfer, investors on tax deadlines or simply those looking to downsize or upsize.

Less Competition: There is a belief that putting your home on the market during the harried holiday season may leave it sitting long after ringing in the New Year. Just as there are sellers seeking to make a move during this time of year, there are buyers looking for a home. With many people on holiday breaks visiting their families and friends, there can also be less competition that may place both home sellers and buyers at an advantage.

Holiday Cheer adds Curb Appeal:  For many, the holidays are a favorite time of year because of the festive lights and decorations. Many homes are looking their best. Celebratory decorations and an uncluttered environment is the recommended approach.

Energy-efficient Insights: Viewing homes during cold weather enables you to better determine the heating system’s efficiency, as well as how well-insulated the home is. You’ll be able to find out if some parts of the house are drafty and whether the owner uses space heaters in some rooms.

Lenders are Less Busy: Mortgage lenders aren’t as busy during the slower months, so they have more time to give you individualized attention, possibly resulting in expedited approvals and quicker closings.

Reliable Affiliated Agents:  An experienced and committed agent can relieve much stress and help provide peace of mind to enjoy the holiday season to its fullest. Finding a local agent who will go above and beyond to sell or find your home may be easier than you think.

This article was written using information from Karen Bernardi, owner of the Bernardi Group at Coldwell Banker in Boulder. Karen has been selling real estate for 30 years. The Bernardi Group’s hard work and dedication to customer service has enabled us to help more people buy or sell real estate in Colorado then any other agents. Chris Mygatt, a real estate veteran with more than two decades of experience, and President and Chief Operating Officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado, also provided information for this blog post.

Continue reading “Why Wait to Spring to Find Your Dream Home?”

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Open House Saturday December 8 11am-1pm

9533 Mountain Ridge Drive, Boulder 80302

Call 303.402.6000 for more information.

Your close-in mountain retreat! Only 12 minutes to downtown Boulder! Views, views, views at this beautiful custom home. This home features: amazing indoor and outdoor living space, five bedrooms and six bathrooms, and a daylight walkout lower level. This is an incredible opportunity to own a one of a kind estate.

 

 

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Open House Saturday October 20th 11am-1pm

4627 Sunnyside Place, Boulder, Colorado  80301

4627 Sunnyside Pl_DiningRoomA

Click on the photo for more information or call 303-402.6000

Curb appeal! This bright South facing 2 story has it all. Features include: open floorplan, tall ceilings, hardwood floors, open concept kitchen with maple cabinets, quartz slab counters, pantry and Stainless Steel appliances. Upstairs has 3 beds and laundry room. Master suite with vaulted ceilings and big windows to take in the mountain view. Big walk-in closet with storage system. Freshly finished basement with big windows/tall ceilings, Rec room, extra bed and bath. Fenced backyard with patio and pergola. Easy access to walking trails.

 

 

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Open House Sunday October 7th 11am-1pm

4627 Sunnyside Place | Boulder Colorado

Sunnyside

Curb appeal! This bright South facing 2 story has it all. Features include: open floorplan, tall ceilings, hardwood floors, open concept kitchen with maple cabinets, quartz slab counters, pantry & Stainless Steel appliances. Upstairs has 3 beds & laundry room. Master suite with vaulted ceilings & big windows to take in the mountain view. Big walk-in closet with storage system. Freshly finished basement with big windows/tall ceilings, Rec room, extra bed & bath. Fenced backyard with patio & pergola. Easy access to walking trails.

I would like more information or set a private showing:

Call us directly 303.402.6000

Home Maintenance, Uncategorized

Fall Checklist

The air is becoming crisper and the sun is setting earlier.
Follow the to-do’s below to help you maintain your biggest investment and to prepare for those cold winter days.
Checklist for Home Maintenance
Make note. Take a walk around your property, to look for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
Clean up the yard. Rake up the leaves and debris. Make sure that overgrowth does not block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home.
Clean the windows. Rain and wind from over the summer months can make your windows dirty and streaked.
Schedule furnace maintenance. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? Have the HVAC system checked before you need to turn on the heat.
Clean out the fireplace. Have your chimney cleaned by a professional.
Clean the gutters. After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts.
Caulk windows. Be sure to caulk around windows and doorframes to prevent heat from escaping.
Inspect the roof. Make sure the roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Your roof protects your home, make the repairs when they happen so you don’t find yourself in a predicament.
Reverse the ceiling fans. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to create an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling.
Cover air conditioner. Remove units from windows or wrap the outside box with a tarp.
Clean off your porch and deck. Look for any needed repairs and cover or store outdoor furniture in a protected area. Make sure all soil is emptied from pots and planters.
Improve Insulation. This will help prevent cold air from seeping into your interior. Investing in insulation will save you money on your energy bills because your furnace will not have to work overtime to heat your home.
Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct. Remove lint and dust that may have accumulated.
Shut off exterior faucets. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets and drain hoses and store them. Winterize the sprinkler system.
Check safety devices. Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace if needed. If you haven’t checked your home for radon, fall is a good time to do so.
Please call us if you need anything. We really appreciate you and your business!
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Real Estate and Taxes — Don’t Pay Too Much

No one wants to pay more taxes than necessary.  In fact, there is a quote I ran across from Judge Learned Hand (philosopher and US Court Judge) that says “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible…..for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands.”   Although Judge Hand was referring to income taxes, the concept can reasonably be expanded to all taxes.

There are several areas where real estate and taxes overlap.   One area is property taxes — the taxes paid to local governments based on the assessed value of the property.   In Colorado, property is generally reassessed every two years.   Notices are sent out with the revised values and the timeframes for appeals.   The appeal process is pretty straightforward — owners may submit alternative comparable properties to support a revised (hopefully lower) value.   Counties use an automated system for identifying comparable properties that does not always come up with the most similar properties.   This is particularly true of properties not in big subdivisions.  If you can find 3 properties that support a lower valuation, you may be able to save some money on your property taxes for a couple of years.   We have had many clients that have successfully appealed their valuation.

Another area where real estate and taxes come together is on properties that have been sold through a short sale or foreclosure proceedings.   A previous post on this issue has the details but the bottom line is act this year if this situation may be something you are facing.   Right now there is no tax on any debt forgiven but this exemption expires the end of 2012 (unless Congress takes further action).

The sale of investment property can result in a taxable gain.   It is possible to defer the taxes if the money is reinvested in similar property through a section 1031 exchange.   There are rules about the timing of the exchange (days until the new property is identified, days to close, etc) and how the proceeds can be held until the “new” investment is made but it is a well established process and there escrow companies that specialize in assisting with these types of transactions.

If you have questions about any of these issues, give me a call at 303-402-6000 or email me at karenb@bernardirealestate.com

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