The Buzz at The Bartic Group

Check out our blog below to catch up on recent developments in Colorado's real estate world and other interesting news.

Feb. 15, 2019

Instant Offer Program

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Visit us online at www.TheBarticGroup.com or call us at 720-208-7200 to learn more today!

Jan. 31, 2019

The Bartic Group Partners With Barbara Corcoran

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Jan. 7, 2019

December 2018 Real Estate Recap

The Bartic Group's December 2018 Real Estate Recap

With a blink of an eye, December has come to a close. We’re counting down the 12 days of Christmas into the New Year, but not without another Real Estate Recap!

Every month, The Bartic Group scours the internet for the latest real estate stories to create an informative monthly digest so that you’re up to date with the goings-on in housing.

Let’s take a look at what happened last month:

1. FED UP

 

+ On December 18, The Federal Fund raised interest rates by a quarter-point to 2.25-2.5 percent. What does this mean for you as homebuyer or seller? Well, higher interest rates mean higher mortgage rates—fewer people are able to afford the hike in interest when buying a home.

+ CNBC, Here’s how that Fed rate hike will impact you: “The economy, the Fed and inflation all have some influence over long-term fixed mortgage rates, which generally are pegged to yields on U.S. Treasury notes, so there’s already been a spike since the Fed started raising rates.

Between increasing home prices and higher mortgage rates, homes are about 10 percent less affordable this year than they were last year, according to Tendayi Kapfidze, the Chief Economist at LendingTree. ‘Next year, we could see another 10 percent to 15 percent decrease in affordability,’ he said.”

If you’re thinking about selling a house, get your listing up sooner rather than later. With mortgage rates still at a historical low, buyers won’t be entirely affected just yet and still have full wallets as we enter the new year. Homebuyers will want to lock down on a rate before its late.

 

2. OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR OPPORTUNITY ZONES


In 2017, Congress established the Opportunity Zones program as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as an approach to encourage private sector investments in low-income communities in the U.S. In other words, another way for people to avoid capital gains taxes.

+ CNBCHeard the buzz about opportunity zone funds? Here’s the skinny.

Just last week on December 12, President Trump signed an executive order “to create a new White House council for promoting private investment in ‘opportunity zones’ in more than 8,700 distressed communities across the U.S., aiming to expand prosperity to neglected zip codes” (The Washington Times).

Pretty similar to the 1031 exchange, but with different rules and mission statement. With Opportunity Zones, investors don’t have to die to eliminate the capital gains tax burden. After 10 years, the entire basis automatically steps up. And investors don’t have to jump through hoops to get it.

This includes saving taxes on any depreciation of the asset, unlike the 1031, where an investor may have to pay “depreciation recapture.” In essence, an investor can use depreciation to offset income in the rest of the portfolio” (wealthmanagement.com, Opportunity zones explained).

Sounds good, huh? You can read more about it on the IRS’s FAQ page, which highlights how investors can benefit from the proposed tax breaks.

 

3. FIRES CONTAINED. NOW, WHAT?


California fire claims have reached $9 billion and is expected to rise even more. Following the aftermath, California wildfire victims face new challenges finding housing (Market Watch):“For the thousands of Californians who now find themselves homeless, matters may only get worse thanks to the state’s extremely competitive, pricey real-estate market. ‘These market conditions that require would-be home buyers to make quick decisions are not easy for buyers,’ said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.

“Views per property in Butte County, which was the location of the Camp Fire, are nearly double what they were last year. Listings under contract have spiked 86% in Butte County compared to the week before the fire. The number of homes on the market is 23% lower than pre-fire inventory projections.”

With thousands picking up the charred pieces from the aftermath, unable to find housing, and facing unaffordable insurance rates, victims are taking their families elsewhere. More than 1 million have already left between 2006 and 2016, due to the housing crisis, and the fires are only making that number go up.

+ Buzzfeed News: California Already Had A Housing Crisis. The Wildfires Are Making It Worse.

+ The Mercury News: Deadly Camp Fire fuels California’s raging housing shortage.

 

4. LIKE COLLEGE, BUT FOREVER: “CO-LIVING” OR GROWN-UP DORMS?


Co-living is “where residents buy into furnished, semi-serviced apartments, either by the unit or by the bedroom. These are sort of communes for digital nomads with pop design, Casper mattresses, Nest thermostats, and other covetable accoutrements of the startup set.

Critics have called them ‘dorms for adults,’ while more evangelical residents praise them for the instant community they create” (Bloomberg, Hotel Icon Ian Schrager Thinks Communal Living Is the Future).

In Europe, Bloomberg, Co-Living Firm Wins $1.1 Billion Investment for Europe Expansion: “Medici Living Group, a Berlin-based provider of communal housing for millennials, won a commitment from Corestate Capital Holding SA to invest 1 billion euros ($1.13 billion) over the next five years to fuel European expansion.” Medici has plans to expand to states in 2019 with properties already in New York and Chicago.

+ PR Newswire: Starcity announces major ground-up developments in San Francisco and San Jose, bringing more than 1,000 new coliving units to key urban centers in the Bay Area
  

5. CLIMATE CHANGE IS AFTER THE HOUSING MARKET, OH AND YOUR LIFE


The federal government released a climate assessment following the UN’s climate report, with not so great news:

“Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century. Without adaptation, climate change will continue to degrade infrastructure performance over the rest of the century, with the potential for cascading impacts that threaten our economy, national security, essential services, and health and well-being” (NCA, Fourth National Climate Assessment).

We’ve witnessed the wrath of climate change all year, from fires to hurricanes. Housing Wire, Natural disasters hasten housing market slow down: “Mortgage Bankers AssociationChief Economist Mike Fratantoni cites California’s recent wildfires as cause for concern. ‘The hurricanes in the South and wildfires in the West likely impacted both month’s numbers and continue to cloud the picture of the housing market’s overall strength,’ Fratantoni said.”

Cities are implementing their own bills to curb pollution, while some people are taking it upon themselves to buy property in less affected areas as preparation for climate change-related disasters and evacuation. NYTimes, Climate Change Insurance: Buy Land Somewhere Else: “A small number of young professionals who are preparing homes away from the places where climate change is expected to strike the hardest. They believe they are making sound real estate decisions by buying land on high ground that will appreciate in value, while at the same time developing a Plan B.”

 

6. WHERE DID EVERYONE GO?


According to people looking for new places to live, the west coast is the best coast. The US Census Bureau released a report that shows which areas have increased or decreased in population. Idaho and Nevada are the biggest winners. Between July 2017 and July 2018, each state increased more than 2% in population.

+ Realtor.com, The states that grew the most this year: “Texas saw 379,128 new residents over the past year, followed by Florida with an increase of 322,513 new residents. California hit third with 157,696, and Arizona got fourth with 122,720.

Overall, the most populated state is California with more than 39.5 million residents. Texas ranked second, but with 10 million less. On the other hand, the least populated state is Wyoming with 577,737 residents.

The state that lost the most residents over the past year is New York, whose population fell by 47,510 over the past year. Other states that saw population declines in the past year were Illinois, West Virginia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, Connecticut, and Wyoming.”

 

7.  ALASKAN EARTHQUAKE


On November 30, Anchorage, Alaska was hit with a 7.0 earthquake that split highways in half and has caused more than 5,000 aftershock since then. But, within days, Alaskans dusted off their shoulders and repaired their city.

+ The Verge, How Alaska fixed its earthquake-shattered roads in just days: “‘We have more quakes than any other state in the Union,’ says Shannon McCarthy, a spokesperson with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. As a result, Alaska takes its earthquake preparation very seriously."

+ NYTimes, The Anchorage Earthquake Was Terrifying. But the Damage Could’ve Been Much Worse: “Experts said that while the quake was significantly less intense than the one in 1964, which was magnitude 9.2, its limited destruction was the result of the region’s growing smarter and much more resilient in the years since. Anchorage was much better prepared for a major earthquake; other cities may not have fared so well.”

As a homeowner or homebuyer, make sure your insurance and protection are updated. Depending on where you live, this might be a call for flood, earthquake, or fire insurance and inspection. In earthquake-prone areas like Alaska and California, double check what your homeowner’s insurance covers to stay protected in case of an emergency.
  

8. ANALYSTS SEE 2020 RECESSION WITH 2020 VISION


+ USA Today, Worst December for stocks since 1931 gets worse as rate hikes spook investors:  “The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 464 points, or 2 percent, to a 14-month low of 22,860. The technology-packed Nasdaq composite briefly slipped into bear market territory after dipping more than 20 percent from its late August peak.

And the broad Standard & Poor's 500 stock index, which tumbled 1.6 percent, is now down 10.6 percent from the end of September, which marks its worst start to December since the Great Depression, according to Bespoke Investment Group. The large-company stock index fell 14.53 percent in December 1931, according to data from S&P Dow Jones Indices.”

As we head into 2019 with this stock market, home sellers beware. Fortune, Most Chief Financial Officers Expect a Recession by 2020 at the Latest: “The latest survey of chief financial officers shows that 82% of U.S. CFOs expect a recession to have started by 2020. Almost half (48.6%) of the CFOs thought the downturn would happen by next year, according to the Duke CFO Global Business Outlook poll.”

Our advice? Sell your home in 2019 before the market drops further. A slowing economy and lower consumer confidence are signals for you to cash out on now.

  

9. AND THE COLOR OF THE YEAR GOES TO….


+ Pantone, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral: “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression."

Living Coral doesn’t have to just be an Instagram aesthetic. If you’re feeling inspired, sprinkle this color around your home for a cozy, yet lively atmosphere.

+ House BeautifulWarning: These Coral Rooms Will Make You Want To Redecorate Your Home Immediately

+ Elle Decor, Pantone just released their color of the year 2019: “Some years, we choose a color and we see it more as an accent, especially in the home space. It's the kind of color you could paint a whole room. It would be great in an entryway or a bathroom. You could see someone with a great coral couch. It's a shade people want to live with, which is exactly why we chose it.”

  

10. 'TIS THE SEASON

With holiday decorations, most families go for the usual—a tree, basic lights, and maybe a reindeer on the lawn. These families, on the other hand, aren’t here to play. TIME, ‘People Think We’re Crazy.’ Families Who Spend Thousands of Dollars a Year on Christmas Light Displays Explain Their Obsession.

“MONEY spoke with five dedicated light show creators who have decorated their homes for anywhere from five years to four decades, all while adapting to new technology, managing electricity bill costs, dabbling in programming, creating fresh designs, curating the perfect playlist, and balancing a regular job on top of all of it."

+ Realtor.com, When holiday decor goes too far.

That's it for your December, 2018 recap!

Dec. 3, 2018

Your real estate recap for November, 2018

In November, Amazon announced it’s locations for HQ2, wildfires blazed through California, and midterm elections brought out the most voters in decades.

Here’s how the news shook out for real estate in November:

1. Bezos Money Moves


+ There’s no doubt that the recent announcement of Amazon’s HQ2 locations (Long Island City, NY, and Arlington, VA) has sparked interest and concern for the housing market in these areas. In Long Island City alone, real estate agents saw a 794% increase in online views of homes for sale in November. 

+ From Housing Wire: Amazon announces HQ2 locations in New York and Virginia. "'Today’s announcement of HQ2 will likely have a quick impact on home prices and rents in Arlington, Virginia, and New York City. That’s because Amazon’s HQ2 is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,' Hale said. Not only is it one of the largest company headquarters openings, but the amount of attention it’s received is unparalleled. There’s no doubt that investors and landlords in these areas have been following the news trying to get ahead of the Amazon housing boom.

+ NY Times reports: Amazon’s HQ2 Will Benefit From New York City. But What Does New York Get? “‘What are they going to do for the community? Are they going to guarantee us employment opportunities?’ said April Simpson, the president of Queensbridge Tenants Association. 'I’m worried about, when they come, they’re not going to have opportunities for people. Not just people from Queensbridge—but other lower- and middle-income people in this area.'”

+ The Verge: For Queens residents, Amazon’s HQ2 isn’t arriving without a fight. "Between 2010 and 2016, LIC has seen a population growth of about 11 percent, which is more than double the rate of all of New York City, according to the American Community Survey. (The waterfront strip along Vernon Boulevard alone has nearly doubled its population from roughly 3,400 residents to 6,700.) A study last year found that LIC has outpaced the rest of the United States for new housing developments, and a local neighborhood development organization found that the area is on pace to grow from 80,000 residents to over 100,000 in the next three years."

2. A Country Divided By Real Estate


+ Now, we can’t ignore the red elephant in the room—it’s been an intense rat race for both sides this past couple of months leading up to the midterm elections. The country is split, left and right, in its values and, consequently, voting. Real estate data can reveal what you believe in and predict how you vote.

+ Realtor.comRed vs. Blue America: How the nation's real estate divide shaped the midterm elections “We found stark differences between America's red and blue real estate—everything from the cost of homes, the number of places being built, even the credit scores it takes to buy a home. ‘Not only are people living in different political realities, but they're contending with very different housing realities and paying different amounts for it,’ says Mark Muro, senior fellow in the metropolitan policy program at the Brookings Institution, a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

‘You're seeing the Democrats become more and more of an urban party and the Republicans become more of a rural or exurban party,’ says Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato's Crystal Ball, a newsletter from the University of Virginia Center for Politics. 'As you get farther out from the city, it gets more Republican.'"

+ Then, what does it look like for the real estate market with our newly elected congress? What does this look like for home buyers and sellers? FromInman.comWhat the new Congress means for real estate. “For one the housing market, unlike the stock market, does not make sudden moves based on events like elections. Buyers will still purchase homes and sellers will still list their houses.

However, longer-term public policy can play an important role, as we have learned with actions by the Federal Reserve, starting three years ago when it began raising interest rates. Plus, tax reform has played a role — good and bad — with the real estate scene.”

3. Camp Fire to Thousand Oaks


+ Camp Fire tops the list for most destructive wildfires in California. Though it’s now 100% contained, the wildfires left a trail of flattened towns and destroyed homes (unless you hired private firefighters like the Kardashian-Wests).

+ HomeLight: Firestorms in Northern California Cause Unchartered Territory in the Real Estate Market. HomeLight analyzed the effects of the 2017 wildfires in Sonoma and Santa Rosa, CA— “According to HomeLight data, the real estate market in Sonoma county took a steep dip at the start of the fires, but in days after the containment began, sales crawled back up.

In fact, sales are creeping back to the level they were at this time last year, despite fire cleanup and aftermath. Instead of overpriced homes sitting on the market, they’re selling right away. As soon as a listing hits, buyers come in with their best offer.”

+ Business Insider: Wildfires in California have destroyed thousands of homes, and the devastating pattern is making fire insurance more expensive and complicated than ever “Thanks to heightened wildfire activity across the state, it's becoming harder than ever for California homeowners to obtain and keep fire insurance, reported the Associated Press.

'As California wildfires grow larger and more intense, an increasing number of insurance companies are not renewing policies for customers who live in areas they deem too risky to cover,’ wrote Laura Newberry of the Los Angeles Times."


After detrimental events, such as a wildfire, we have found that property owners will either 'dive, survive or thrive.' Wildfires can be an opportunity to paint a fresh picture and thrive. While it is never easy to deal with life-altering devastation, being aware of what is going on around you will help promote a positive rebuilding process.” Forbes.com: The Impact of Wildfires on The Future of California Real Estate.

+ NBCNews: How to help victims of the California Wildfires “FEMA, a government entity, does not accept donations, but they are working closely with non-profits that are relying on donations. Hart urges people who want to donate to make sure that whichever charity you choose has been approved by National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Here’s a list of some organizations working closely with survivors:
Right now best thing is to go on the Red Cross site and sign up to volunteer,' says Tornetta. 'Whatever time you can commit, whether it’s a week or eight hours — we will welcome your support. Please sign up and call first, as we can’t necessarily stop in the middle of an operation if you just show up.'"

4. DIY a Christmas Gift, Not Your Home Sale


+ Realtor Magazine: FSBO Transactions Hit New Record Low "The number of For Sale by Owner transactions fell to a record low of 7 percent of all home sales in 2018, down from 8 percent last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. FSBOs—homeowners who try to sell their properties themselves without a real estate agent—have decreased dramatically since 1981, when they accounted for 15 percent of all home sales.”

+ What does this mean for home buyers and sellers? Chances are, you can’t compete with the chops of top real estate agents who have been in the business for years—they know the right people and the practices to get you the most for your money.

+ So, as we head into the holiday seasons and you’re thinking about selling or buying a home, take into account these five trends for the 2019 housing market.

+ From Caroline Feeney, ForbesReal Estate Markets Cooling Across The Country, And It's Not Just The Winter Effect

1. Mortgage rates will continue to rise and hit 5.5% in 2019.
2. Homebuyers will have more negotiating power, and sellers will need to make more compromises.
3. As price gains slow, home values will still appreciate at a 2-3% clip.
4. Markets will cool faster or slower depending on local conditions and tax burdens. 5. Upper-tier markets will soften while demand for entry-level housing remains high. 

+ Work with the top real estate agent in your area to navigate the rest of the year and 2019.

5. The Wells Fargo wagon is not coming to town


+ “Wells Fargo acknowledged Tuesday that, because of a calculation error, it had improperly foreclosed on 545 distressed homeowners after they asked for help with their mortgages. Overall, 870 homeowners were denied help for which they qualified — with more than half losing their homes afterward, Wells Fargo said.”Washington Post: Wells Fargo admits it incorrectly foreclosed on 545 homeowners it should have helped

+ 'Wells Fargo initially disclosed the problem in August and said it would set aside $8 million, or about $12,800 per customer, to address the problem. But on Tuesday it increased the number of people it believes were affected after conducting an expanded review. A ‘substantial majority’ of the borrowers have already been contacted and will be offered “remediation,' the bank said.

+ 'This effort to identify other instances in which customers may have experienced harm is ongoing, and it is possible that we may identify other areas of potential concern,' the bank said in its SEC filing."

+ One word: Yikes. Calculation errors… isn’t their job to do, well, calculations? Some owners decided to take action against their wrongful disclosure. Market Watch: Longtime Sacramento Restaurant Owner Files Wrongful Foreclosure Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo.

+ CBS News: How to fight a wrongful foreclosure.


6. Cash or coin?


Blockchain is taking on a new frontier: real estate. But, it’s premature to think that young tech billionaires are now purchasing homes with Dogecoins.

+ Forbes: How real estate is breaking the blockchain mold “As it stands, most real estate transactions that involve cryptocurrency require the parties to transfer their assets into fiat cash – although experiments involving direct crypto to crypto transfers are ongoing.

While blockchain is forecast to turn into a billion-dollar industry in the next few years, growing to $9.7 billion by 2021, the report states that adoption in the commercial real estate markets is limited. To date, only a handful of single-family sales have taken place using cryptocurrency.”

+ For more literature: The Blockchain for Real Estate, Explained ( Forbes)

+ If Bitcoin isn’t your thing, what about cold hard cash? Housing Wire: Feds significantly expand investigation into all cash real estate deals

“Title insurance companies in 12 of the nation’s largest markets will now have to provide federal authorities with substantial details on all real estate deals of $300,000 or more if the buyer is paying all cash. The requirement comes at the hands of the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is significantly expanding its investigation into whether foreign buyers are using shell companies to buy U.S. real estate in order to launder money.

Going forward, title companies in Boston; Chicago; Dallas-Fort Worth; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle will all be required to report on the person behind shell companies on all-cash deals of $300,000 or more.”

7. Mr. Robot, the Realtor


+ “Home buyers have reported losses totaling $1 billion to the FBI since 2015” reports NBCNews Bay Area (“They Failed to Protect My Money”: Home Buyers Demand Answers, Accountability After Fraud). “Among the latest victims is Maria Lopez, a Napa retiree.  She now finds herself caught up in a costly home purchase gone awry.‘ I have absolutely no savings,’ Maria said. ‘So, if something happens, like if my car breaks down, I have no money to pay for that." Maria did have savings — until someone stole it...Internet thieves spoofed her real estate agent's email account, and took every penny.”

+ The FBI issued a public service announcement just last year, warning against electronic money wiring and email fraud. How can you prevent this from happening to you?

+ Realtor Magazine: Housing is the second highest industry for cyber attacks

Be particularly vigilant Tuesday through Thursday. Cyberattacks can happen at any time, but businesses were found to be 2.5 times more likely to fall victim to a phishing attack between Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Watch for fake invoices. The most common way to disguise malware for businesses is through an 'invoice.'

Don’t be ignorant. For every 33 employees, you can expect one phishing attack per quarter, the report finds.

Don’t believe software will always protect you. Antivirus software usually lags 30 days behind evolving malware in detecting it.”

8. Flash sale! This Thanksgiving only—ish!


+ 70% off flatscreen TVs, buy one get one 50%—Black Friday is any shopper’s Holy day. Now, what about housing? Do “hot deals, act now!” exist in the real estate industry?

+ Kind of… (Bloomberg: Black Friday Comes to London Apartments With $64,000 Discounts), but for real estate in the U.S., the best time to buy isn’t necessarily on the day after Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. What you can do is time your sale or purchase like a Black Friday deal.

+ Find out the best time to sell your house with HomeLight’s Best Time To Sell tool.

+ “Over the last 5 years, we've compiled the most comprehensive dataset on real estate transactions nationwide. Each month, we add new information to our database to better match homeowners with the top real estate agents in their areas. This same data can be used to see the best time to put your house on the market.”

+ Attom Data: Top 10 days of the year to buy a home “ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released an analysis of the best days of the year to buy a home, which shows that only 10 days of the year offer discounts below estimated market value — seven in December, and one each in October, November, and February."

9. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tulsa, Oklahoma!


+ CityLab: Stop Complaining About Your Rent and Move to Tulsa, Suggests Tulsa“Another big plus is that Tulsa is much, much cheaper to live in than New York City. The median home price here is about $120,000, not nearly $700,000. And, for about 25 lucky telecommuters looking for a change of scenery, it’s about to get even more affordable.”

+ CNBC: Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay you $10,000 to move there and work from home “Eligible workers receive access to additional benefits, including a co-working space that comes with complimentary snacks and beverages, as well as monthly meetups and workshops with fellow members and Tulsa entrepreneurs. Program participants will also have the option of living in a new, fully-furnished apartment for a discounted rent, plus free utilities for the first three months.”

+ This isn’t the first city offering straight up cash for you to move in with them. Newton, Iowa revitalized their dwindling population with a $10,000 subsidy, Vermont is offering $10,000 in tax breaks, and Maine expanded a local program to offer student loan forgiveness for recent grads.

+ In an effort to compete with coastal migrations, the Midwest is laying it all on the line, “Love Actually”-style. But, with a $10,000 bag of money.

That wraps it up for November, 2018.
Nov. 2, 2018

Monthly Real Estate Recap

 

1. Miss Fannie Mae 

+This past month, the press has zoned in on one particular trend: rising mortgage rates. They’ve hit an all-time high since 2010 when it lingered around 4.7 percent.

From WashPost: US average mortgage rates edge up; 30-year at 4.86 percent. “Home borrowing rates remain at their highest levels in more than seven years, with the key 30-year rate approaching 5 percent. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages ticked up to an average 4.86 percent this week from 4.85 percent last week. A year ago, it stood at 3.94 percent.”
 

+So, what does this mean for homebuyers?
 

+“For homebuyers who don't have a lot of wiggle room in their wallets, the rise in monthly payments will reduce the number of homes affordable to them in their local markets. A buyer with a $2,500 monthly housing budget lost nearly $30,000 in purchasing power this year.” CNBC onHigher mortgage rates, rising prices costing homebuyers more than $1,200 a year.
 

But remember, mortgage rates are still at a historic low. And since rates have just started to rise, agents like Loretta Thomason, a top selling agent in Austin, Texas, haven’t seen the effect on her home sales just yet.

“I would advise my buyers to lock in the rates now and purchase at this time” (after checking with their lenders). “Try to get a home before rates increase too much, where you’re no longer able to afford a property,” says Thomason.
 

+Jon Coile from WashPosthas a couple of other ways to finesse the higher mortgage rates as a homebuyer in What to consider when buying a home amid rising mortgage rates.
 

2. Tech rush: California to Austin, Texas

+“Google, Apple, Amazon, Dropbox, and Oracle have all recently either built new facilities or significantly expanded existing ones in or near Austin, prompting dozens of smaller internet companies and start-ups to follow. The city remains affordable, as well, with a favorable cost of living compared to dozens of other major cities in North America.”
From Washington Post: Movers and Shakers are flocking to rising tech hubs
 

+With steep housing prices in the Silicon Valley and Bay Area, young home buyers don’t mind moving to other techie hubs that go easier on their savings account.


+“In the Austin area, the biggest generator of inflow was San Francisco, unsurprising considering both cities are hubs for the technology sector.” Culture Map: California homebuyers continue coasting into Austin's real estate market
 

+ Thomason: “I had a closing this morning—she works for Google and he’s at Amazon, and they moved here from California! This is their first home and this is where they can still build a home in the low $220K price range. I still see the California trend, with all the new companies moving into Austin.”
 

3. Rental news: Expedia versus Airbnb

+ Housing WireExpedia dives headfirst into short-term rentals, acquires Pillow and ApartmentJet.“Expedia announced this week that it is acquiring Pillow, a San Francisco-based startup that helps apartment owners work with their long-term residents to turn their occupied units into short-term rentals, and ApartmentJet, a software company that enables multifamily property owners to turn units into guest suites.”
 

Expedia acquired HomeAway back in 2015, which already taps into the short-term rental market. “According to Expedia, the acquisitions will ‘help unlock urban growth opportunities that, over time, will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace and marketplaces across Expedia Group brands.’”


“Our acquisitions of Pillow and ApartmentJet are important and foundational investments in the Expedia Group platform,” Okerstrom (CEO of Expedia) added. “We gain technologically advanced solutions that will help us give travelers new options for great places to stay in popular destinations while benefiting residents, owners, managers, and local tourism.
 

If you want to rent out rooms in your house, your role as a host is getting a whole lot easier. Especially with higher mortgage rates, it’s a great time for homeowners to consider short-term rentals as a way to make some extra cash.
 

+ TechCrunch, Expedia acquires Pillow and ApartmentJet to conquer the short-term rental market.
 

4. Eye on the storm

+After Hurricane Michael and Florence devastated areas in Florida and the Carolinas, it might be useful to look back to Harvey and consider what will happen to their housing market.
 

+ In WSJ:How Harvey Transformed House-Hunting in Houston, where there weren’t any floods, like the Heights neighborhood in Houston, “the median sales price of homes rose 8.2% to-date in 2018 from the year earlier, according to the Houston MLS. The median sales price of homes in River Oaks has shot up 22.6% year-to-date compared with a year earlier.”
 

Where Harvey gave no mercy, like the “traditionally affluent Bellaire, the median sales price of homes fell 11.8% over that same period.”
 

+But, as reported in HomeLight’s hurricane comparison of Katrina and Harvey, Houston’s real estate market bounced back almost immediately. From HomeLight:Hurricanes Harvey vs. Katrina: Which Storm Hurt the Housing Market Most?
 

“Houston housing experts say the Harvey effect won’t last long, and that neighborhoods like Bellaire that might be down now are where the opportunity lies. There is skepticism that climate change will lead to another event of Harvey’s magnitude anytime soon” (WSJ).
 

5. Aftermath of the storm

+So, your house is actually better insured for volcano damage than floods. Unless you in live in Hawaii or Washington, a volcanic eruption is probably the least of your worries. Storms and hurricanes on the other hand cause floods, which are not covered…
 

+“Towns and cities along the Panhandle coast were left in ruins, and damage extended well inland into southern Georgia. The storm’s high winds stripped roofs and caused trees to fall on homesand cars. Coastal communities were walloped by a massive storm surge, which forecasters predictedcould reach as high as nine to 13 feet before the storm. Only homeowners who bought separate flood insurance for their homes were covered if water from Florence damaged their house. And there weren’t many people in that boat.”
 

+From Market Watch:After Hurricane Michael, what homeowners need to know about disaster insurance. You might want to consider purchasing flood insurance to avoid paying cash upfront if and when another hurricane hits.
 

+ CNBC: Tech and real estate turn to the cloud to protect cities from floods. “One four-year-old company, Boston-based Opti, installs underground smart water management systems that connect to the technology cloud and track the weather. The systems control water coming into and out of urban lakes, retention ponds, tanks, pipes, cisterns, even constructed wetlands.”
 

“‘We're able to take the weather forecast and use it to predict how much runoff is going to occur, and drain the facility down in advance to create new storage without building a new major capital asset,’ Opti CEO Marcus Quigley said.”
 

6. A team... like the Red Sox?

+ PR Newswire:Number of Real Estate Teams are Growing, NAR Survey Finds
 

+NAR found that a rising trend in real estate teams. A team is typically led by one main agent in charge of showings and listings. The other team members are each responsible for one specific aspect of your sale.
 

+“The survey asked Realtors® to choose from a list of activities to explain their primary functions on a team. The most common answer was agent (88 percent), followed by broker (50 percent), marketing (47 percent), administrative (47 percent) and transaction coordinator (34 percent).”
 

"‘This growing trend not only helps our members share workloads and responsibilities but also allow Realtors to benefit from the experience of fellow professionals. The synergies of a well-functioning team are often an incentive to relinquish some of the independence of a solo practitioner and offer many attractive features for both licensees and their customers,’ said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor from Columbia, Missouri, and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty.”
 

+This trend shows just how much harder it is to sell a home by yourself.Can you make a drone video or VR experience of your house for buyers? Probably not, huh? But, more importantly, do you know the market well enough and deal with real estate transactions on a daily basis? Without a real estate agent or team on your side, you’ll be competing with staffs and groups who know what they’re doing. Find a top real estate agent or team in your area with HomeLightto compete with the market.
 

 + NAR:2018 Teams Survey, from July - October 2018.

“Among respondents that are not currently on a real estate team, nine percent have strongly considered and 30 percent have briefly considered joining or starting a real estate team.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents had two people on their real estate team.
The median number of people on a real estate team was four.
The median year that real estate teams were established was in 2014.

Typically, respondents joined their current real estate team in 2016.”
 

7. Avocado toast and house hunting

+ CNBC:Waiting longer to buy a house could hurt millennials in retirement
 

+“The researchers found homeownership declining most steeply among people under the age of 30 when compared with other generations. ‘They're not able to hit the mark at the same age as their parents,’ said Tamara Sims, a research scientist at Stanford. Why the delay? People often want to put down roots once they have a family. Indeed, the likelihood of owning a home by the age of 30 swells by nearly 30 percentage points for those already married and with children. But younger people today are not in a rush to wed and reproduce.”
 

+Due to student loans, rising prices, and a shift in home ownership culture, younger people just aren’t buying as many homes. But, this isn’t any reason for baby boomer home sellers to fret! As the circle of life continues, the oldest of millennials are now approaching 38 years old, closer to a secure age to buy a home. 33% of home buyersin the U.S. in 2018 were first-time buyers—we forecast a gradual increase in first-time buyers as millennials get older. Guess ya can’t stay young forever.
 

8. Tiny homes, big roles

+As small as 400 square feet and as large as 1,000, tiny homes are once again in the news. This time, they have a bigger role to fill other than appeasing a couple looking to downsize but also keep a bathtub and queen size bed in a 500 square feet box. Veteran Chris Stout realized that Tiny houses for homeless vets make a lot of sense, CNN.


Instead, people are starting to realize its use in more practical and powerful ways. “Our anticipated length of stay [homeless veterans] is six months, but as long as they're working towards their goals, they're welcome to stay.

We see these tiny homes as an educational tool to teach them how to maintain a home, cook for themselves and live next to neighbors.

So far, eight of the original 13 residents have moved into permanent housing. They take their furniture with them, so it takes about 72 hours to prepare a home for the next resident. We'll also have a community center providing medical, dental, barbershop, veterinarian care, as well as a fellowship hall, so we can have group events. So far, we have helped more than 8,000 veterans.”
 

+In Arizona, which ranks dead last for elementary school teacher salaries in the country, school districts decide to target the state’s housing problem as another way to keep teachers in the area despite their low pay. CBS News: How tiny homes are helping cash-strapped teachers in Arizona.
 

“‘The Vail Unified School District purchased a five-acre lot for two dozen tiny homes. The district will charge $125 a month for the land and utilities, but the teachers will own the homes, paying around $600 a month – half the cost of the average mortgage in Vail. We have to be aggressive in pursuing all avenues that we can to attract and retain high-quality teachers, and we feel that this is one of those ways,’ said John Carruth, associate superintendent of the school district.”


That's it for October, 2018.

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
April 11, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: It is time to sell!

Denver, the most expensive housing market between two coasts, hit an important milestone in February. For the first time ever, the average sold price of a single-family, detached home topped $500,000, at a record breaking $502,986. The year-over-year appreciation was up 11.78% from February 2017. The dramatic price increase came as the total sales volume posted a double-digit drop. The 2,002 single-family homes sold in February marked a 10.59% reduction in closings from a year earlier, DMAR data shows. 

Home prices are rising while at the same time mortgage rates are rising. Rates are now averaging close to 4.45% for a 30-year mortgage, while rates below 4% were available not long ago. Part of the reason home prices are going up so quickly, especially so early in the year, is because some people are bidding up home prices before they rise even more. 

Historically, when single-family home prices shot up, more consumers - especially first-time buyers - chose less expensive condos and townhomes. With an average price of $345,632, attached homes are significantly less expensive than single-family homes. However, condo prices have risen even more than single-family homes jumping 16.95% from February 2017.

Interested in selling? Find out what your home is worth here

Article Credit: Denver Real Estate

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
March 23, 2018

15259 W La Salle Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Feb. 1, 2018

Upgrade With Color

The easiest way to make a BIG impact in a room – paint! Color can impact the overall mood of your surroundings as well as what potential buyers immediately feel when they step inside your home. It can be challenging and stressful to choose the right combination for your particular space. Here are what the experts are predicting as the hottest colors of 2018:

 

Hues to Use

Experts from Pantone, Sherwin Williams and other companies make annual paint color predictions based on global themes. Hues such as BEHR’s color of the year, In The Moment, along with its peaceful palette, focus on people’s needs to unplug from an over connected world. I think we can all agree with this! Similar shades like Equilibrium and Off The Grid promote a sense of serenity. Paint can transform your unused home office into a personal oasis.

 

Light and Dark

Contrasting light and dark colors is a great way to create dynamism in your home décor. The lighter the shade, the more spacious the appearance. If your furniture and flooring are primarily neutral, adding dark colors can bring balance and help create attractive focal points.

 

Capitalizing on Color

Whether we notice or not, our mood is influenced by the colors around us. Soothing shades such as powdery blue Casual Day can help you unwind, similar to a relaxing day at the beach. While vibrant deep oranges like Civara invigorate the senses, and create an optimistic tone; has anyone ever been unhappy looking at a sunset?!

 

Pointers for Color Pops

Both fun and formal spaces are equally enhanced by accents. Whether you use them to highlight a unique architectural feature or tie an area together, the trick is to be strategic. In design, the 60-30-10 rule is a well-known way to bring balance to a room.

 

What is the 60-30-10 Rule?

You don’t need to be a mathematician to use the 60-30-10 rule in your décor, nor do you need a ruler or a calculator. The rule simply states that for the most balanced, appealing look, you should choose a three-color palette for decorating a room, and use it as follows: decorate 60% of the room with the dominate color, decorate 30% of the room with the secondary color, and use the remaining color as an accent in 10% of the space.

Happy painting!

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Jan. 29, 2018

New Year, New Home.

New Year, New Home.

Thinking about buying or selling your home in 2018? Here are a few key points to help you get ready.

Sellers:

1.      Declutter and Organize

With the holiday whirlwind finally over, it is the perfect time to put everything back in its place. Spend a few extra minutes organizing your closets. Decide what you no longer need and clear it out! This will help showcase your storage space to potential buyers.

2.      Make Updates to Increase Your Home’s Value

Talk with your agent about small, low budget, changes you can make that will have a big impact on buyers. Updates like a kitchen backsplash or new hardware throughout are quick fixes that leave a lasting impression.

3.      Price Your Home to Sell

      Keep yourself up to date on market indicators such as recent sales, pricing trends, and inventory to guide you in getting the best listing price. Overpricing could scare off potential buyers while underpricing means that you as a seller could leave money on the table. Be sure to reach out to us to discuss the right pricing strategy. To keep yourself up to date on market indicators sign up for our Customized Market Reports.

 

Buyers: 

1.      Find Out How the New Tax Bill Affects You

      With the new 2017 tax bill that was signed into law, there are several financial changes that should be taken into considerations when buying a home, such as the conforming loan limit increasing. As a buyer it is important to acquaint yourself with these changes. 

2.      Get Pre-approved

      Be ahead of the game and ensure you are able to submit a competitive offer. Most agents require it and many sellers won’t even entertain an offer without a pre-approval letter. Don’t have a lender? We would be more than happy to connect you with one our highly-regarded lenders. 

3.      Set Up a Saved Search

Once you establish your general purchase price range, head to The Bartic Group website to start searching for properties to make your buying process quick and easy. The Bartic Group website is directly updated from the MLS for the most accurate and current listings! Our website makes your home search a breeze by helping you narrow your search based on your desired specifics, such as location, price point, and bedrooms/bathrooms.

Give us a call at 720-208-7200 for more information before listing your home or purchasing a home! 

 

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz
Sept. 19, 2017

Last weeks for Farmers Markets

Fresh produce, outdoor setting, and a chance to try great local food! Most Farmers Markets only have a month or two left, a couple end this weekend. Check them out while you still can this season! 

 

 

 

CHERRY CREEK FRESH MARKET

E. 1ST AVE. AND UNIVERSITY BLVD.

The award-winning Cherry Creek Fresh Market is the largest farmers' market in Denver. Touted as the “Cadillac of farmers markets,” you’ll find a high-quality mix of Colorado growers and unique local gourmet food vendors representing the best of the Rocky Mountain region. Also enjoy chef events, gardening tips from Master Gardeners and Master Composters, live music and more in a fun and festive outdoor shopping environment. Parking is free during the market.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 2017, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.; Wednesdays, June 14–Sept. 27, 2016, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

CITY PARK ESPLANADE FRESH MARKET

E. COLFAX AVE. AND COLUMBINE ST.

Now in its 20th season, the City Park Esplanade Fresh Market sets up around historic Sullivan Fountain among the majestic statues and architecture of City Park. A strong agricultural market, you’ll find the best selection of local growers on a Sunday complemented by a fun mix of fresh food vendors in an urban park setting. There's plenty of free parking, so if you miss the Cherry Creek Fresh Market on Saturday, visit your favorite market vendors on Sunday!

WHEN: Sundays, June 4–Oct. 29, 2017, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

THE FARMERS' MARKET AT HIGHLANDS SQUARE

32ND AVE. AND LOWELL BLVD. 

Beginning June 11 and every Sunday through September, HighlandsSquare will bring you The Farmers' Market at Highlands Square. Going on its fourth year, this market has a charming location, flanked by local boutiques and eateries. In addition to the farm-fresh food, expect live music and beverages, including local craft beer, mimosas and Bloody Marys. 

WHEN: Sundays, June 11–Sept. 24, 2017, 9 a.m–1 p.m.

STAPLETON FRESH MARKET

E. 29TH AVE. AND ROSLYN ST.

The Stapleton Fresh Market takes place from June to October on the Founders' Green. Don't miss freshly popped kettle corn and other tasty snacks while you browse for healthy produce. This year's kickoff is on Father's Day, making it the perfect way to spend the morning with Dad. 

WHEN: Sundays, June 18–October 15, 2017, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

UNION STATION FARMERS' MARKET

DENVER UNION STATION PLAZA 

The Union Station Farmers' Market takes place right in the heart of The Mile High City and is a beautiful sight to behold on sunny Saturdays, with gleaming produce on display in the impressive plaza of historic Union Station. The market boasts an impressive list of local producers and vendors, selling farm-fresh fruits and veggies, meat and dairy, and prepared goods like coffee, sauces and baked goods. 

WHEN: Saturdays, June 3–Oct. 28, 2017, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

OLD SOUTH PEARL STREET FARMERS' MARKET

ON THE 1500 BLOCK OF OLD SOUTH PEARL ST., BETWEEN FLORIDA AVE. AND IOWA AVE.

Super-fresh produce, ready-to-eat treats, artisan cheeses and just-out-of-oven baked goods — this is what a farmers' market is all about! The quaint South Pearl neighborhood hosts the splendid Old South Pearl Street Farmers' Market every Sunday in the summertime. The irresistible smell of freshly roasted chilies will lead you over to Pope Farms' booth. And keep an eye out for juicy, fresh Colorado peaches at the Ela Family Farms stand.

WHEN: Sundays, May 21–Nov. 19, 2017, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

HIGHLANDS RANCH FARMERS' AND STREET MARKET

9288 DORCHESTER ST., HIGHLANDS RANCH

Made up almost entirely of farmers and producers from the areas surrounding Denver, this is a fun, fresh market that is worth the drive to Highlands Ranch. Fill all of your fruit and veggie needs and then explore some of the other, more unique booths of the Highlands Ranch Farmers' and Street Market, offering everything from handbags to cooking utensils to garden adornments.

WHEN: Sundays, May 7–Oct. 29, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

LITTLETON FARMERS' MARKET

7301 S. SANTA FE DR., LITTLETON

Venture outside of the city to the Littleton Farmers' Market at the Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center. If you want to be even more eco-friendly, take the light rail to Aspen Grove to reduce your carbon footprint.

WHEN: Wednesdays, June 14–October 11, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. 

FOUR SEASONS FARMERS AND ARTISANS MARKET

7043 W. 38TH AVE., WHEAT RIDGE

The year-round, indoor Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market offers an open-air option in summertime. The market is a great source for local, farm-fresh vegetables and fruit, raw goat milk, cheeses, sauces, preserves, baked goods, free-range chicken and duck eggs, flowers, organic grains, and local meats. The market places an emphasis on healthy, high-quality local foods. Photographers, jewelers, painters and other artists also display their work during the market.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 13–Oct. 28, 2017, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

SOUTHWEST PLAZA FARMERS' MARKET

SOUTHEAST PARKING LOT AT WADSWORTH AND BOWLES AVE.

Local suppliers come to the Southwest Plaza Farmers' Market with their fresh peaches, plums, apricots and cherries mid-season, and you'll also find fresh baked goods, honey and greens.

WHEN: Saturdays, May 6–Oct. 28, 2017, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

LAKEWOOD FARMERS' MARKET

MILE HI CHURCH, ALAMEDA AVE. AND GARRISON ST., LAKEWOOD

At the Lakewood Farmers' Market, a large lineup of vendors will tempt you with beautiful leafy greens, glistening grape tomatoes, fragrant green chili and shiny string beans. And you'll also have the chance to munch on kettle corn and cheese samples while you browse knitted shawls and handmade soaps.

WHEN: Saturdays, June 17–Oct. 28, 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

WHEAT RIDGE FARMERS' MARKET

8235 W. 44TH AVE., WHEAT RIDGE

Choose from a ripe selection of produce from well-respected farmers who participate at the Wheat Ridge Farmers' Market, including Forte and Galicia Farms, plus some niche sellers offer up their finest mushrooms, jams, pastries, rice and nuts.

WHEN: Thursdays, July 6–Sept. 28 2017, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

 

Posted in Bartic Group Buzz