Awards, News

Thank you!

The results are in for Boulder County Gold 2018 People’s Choice Award! Thanks to everyone who voted-I won BEST REALTOR! I cannot thank you enough! Remember, I love to talk about Real Estate. Call me anytime.  303.402.6000  

2018 Boulder County Gold
Karen Bernardi | Best Realtor, Boulder County Gold 2018 People’s Choice Award!
Uncategorized

Buying distressed properties — are they a bargain??

Even in the Boulder area, we are still seeing a lot of bank owned homes and sellers in distress.   While we do not have the same numbers of distressed homes as Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas and other really hard hit areas, there are short sale homes and bank owned homes in our area.

First, lets break the distressed properties into two groups — bank owned and owners in distress.

The bank owned properties are pretty straight forward — the bank now owns the house either through a foreclosure process or the owner has “given” the house back to the bank through a “cash for keys” program or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.   Bank owned homes are generally in “as-is” condition and may have had the utilities turned off.   The banks generally do not have any information on the condition of the home or the systems in the home (plumbing, electrical, heating, etc) so there will be no disclosures.   Buyers can inspect the home but may incur costs for turning on the utilities and getting them turned back off.   The inspection may disclose big issues with the property and the bank MAY reduce the price but will generally not fix anything.

The price a bank will take can really vary — the longer it sits on the market the lower the price may get but we have not seen banks selling a huge discounts below market value.  Generally, the discounts have been indicative of the condition of the home compared to comparable properties.   The good news is that banks generally act on offers pretty quickly and the process after that is usually smooth on the bank’s side.

Distressed owners fall into two categories — those that owe less than the market value but are having trouble making payments and those that owe more than the house is worth (this is a short sale).  If the owner is facing a short sale, the process can take several months and involves the owner’s lender approving the sale (there can be multiple lenders and that can extend the timeframe).  If it’s a short sale, the property will generally be “as-is”.  The lender (or lenders) will obtain an estimate of the market value of the home (sometimes called a BPO) as part of the process — they will use this estimate of market value to insure that the home is being sold for a fair price (not too much of a bargain).

If the owner can payoff their loans, the process can be fast but the owner may not be in a position to make any repairs should any major defects be found.

The basic rule in buying distressed property is buyer beware — the sellers of distressed properties will generally be “as-is” and may have a number of defects and deferred maintenance issues.   If the price reasonable reflects the condition, there may be an opportunity for some “sweat equity” but the days of “fix and flips” are over and they don’t seem to be on the horizon — yet.

If you  have questions about bank owned homes or short sales, give me a call at 303-402-6000 or visit our website at www.bernardirealestate.com.

Trends

“Relocating to Boulder, Colorado?”

I just got off a conference call with a real estate broker from Valencia, California where they are receiving multiple offers on properties, especially those priced below $500,000. Is this good news for Colorado real estate and especially Boulder real estate?

In the early 90’s when California was faced with earthquakes and riots, the Californians were anxious to move to Boulder, Colorado. In the last few years there have been many Californians with the desire to move to Boulder however we didn’t take them too seriously because it was impossible for them to sell their homes in California in order to relocate to Boulder, Colorado. However, now that their homes are selling in California lets hope that holds optimism for Boulder County Real Estate!

Uncategorized

“Your Home: An Asset or a Liability?”

For years and years in the Boulder real estate market we always considered our personal residence an asset. An asset that would keep growing and growing, giving and giving. Unfortunately too many of us have used our homes in the United States as a credit card, never the intended purpose of a residential property. I ask my sellers many times when I go to visit them at their home – is this home truly an asset at this point or is it a liability to you? If you are no longer getting the benefit of the enjoyment of living in your property, if you cannot maintain the property and certainly if you cannot afford to make the payments on your property then the property is a liability, not an asset and should be sold.

News, Trends

Where have all the good builders gone (and the other rumors)??

You know how when you see a great movie or eat in a fabulous restaurant you just have to tell everyone about…well…this message is really more of a testimonial, endorsement.

I have always been a raving fan of McStain Homes during my 26 years selling real estate in Colorado. I have sold more McStain Homes than any other builder. This was not a plan, they were just great homes.

With so many Colorado builders going “belly-up”, many buyers are concerned about after closing warranties, which is a valid concern.

Well…here’s the story…I have a resale McStain Home listed. Now, McStain Homes have always been great with after closing service but this home is 8 years old!

A potential buyer raised some concerns about the construction. The sellers called McStain and within 24 hours the customer service rep for McStain was at the property acting like a superman coming to save the world!

He pulled workers off of jobs to make any repairs that might be a concern to this or any buyer for FREE! His comment was, “we want to help all McStain homes sell wherever!”

I have know this sort of service to be standard for McStain through the years, but, honestly we all wonder in these time when nearly everyone is cutting costs…will even the best need to reduce their standards? Maybe some, but not McStain. I took a few lessons from this…

I will work hard to have someone tell a story like this about my company. I was wise to sell so many McStain homes and I will continue in confidence to do just that for many years to come!

Trends

“ARE YOU FACING FORECLOSURE? I CAN HELP.”

When the majority of homeowners start falling behind on their mortgage payments they become ostriches, in other words, they stick their heads in the sand and go into a state of denial. Soon it’s too late to do anything about it. There are many things that we can do to stall foreclosure and get people out with their credit relatively intact. If they owe more than their home might be able to sell for in the current real estate market then this is called a short sale.

We have done a number of these short sales here at the Bernardi Real Estate Group and this is the way that some homes, even in Boulder County, are being sold in the current real estate market. The most important thing in a short sale situation is that we receive an offer from a buyer because the bank will not even begin to negotiate on a short sale until we get an offer. Once the offer is received, we go to work and negotiate with the bank to forgive the current debt up to the amount of the sale. In fact, in most cases, with every short pay we have done this year we have seen that the bank has forgiven all of the debt of the difference between the sales price and the loan amount. They have forgiven what would normally be called short fall or a deficiency and in many cases they will forgive what is called the deficiency judgment. In fact, for every home in a short sale situation that we have sold, the bank has forgiven the deficiently judgment.

If your loan was originated before January 2008 then there is no tax consequence on the amount of the loan that is forgiven. Prior to the bill being enacted last spring by Congress, you were taxed on the difference of the amount forgiven by the loan company. My expert lenders have told me that if a homeowner does a deficiency judgment that their credit is then virtually repaired and they would be able to buy another home within 2 years. If they let the property go into foreclosure, it would be 7 years before they would be able to buy another home. My belief is that by helping families do short sales, I am helping our community and the neighborhoods in all these cities in Colorado that have been affected by foreclosures such as Erie, Lafayette, Longmont and even a few cases in Boulder and Niwot. I feel that in the cases when I’m able to help these homeowners that I’m also helping the communities to not further deteriorate into crisis.

Unfortunately, if the property goes into foreclosure it could sell for no more than 50 cents on the dollar. The pipes could break or the grass goes brown and these foreclosed homes become an eyesore in our community. I feel like I am doing the homeowner a big favor by helping them to salvage their credit as well as assisting them to move on in a dignified manner and by doing that we are also doing the right thing for our community. I believe that I am also helping our country by facilitating the absorption of the real estate inventory in Boulder Colorado to help expedite the end of our real estate recession. In addition, I’m helping our banks because they will receive more money than they would if the property went into foreclosure and this will in turn aid our country. Lastly, I’m helping the buyer because they are getting a great deal on a property that has not been vacant for 6 to 9 months.

If you are facing a foreclosure situation then please call us here at The Bernardi Real Estate Group because I can help.