One of the many reasons our metro Denver real estate market has been so strong is that our local and state economies have seen tremendous growth over the past several years. USA Today recently undertook a deep dive into the economies of all 50 states and Colorado is at or near the top across the board! Here’s what they said:
“As was the case last year, Colorado’s economy ranks as the best in the country, due largely to its GDP and job growth, which each ranks among the top five nationwide. The state economy has expanded by an average annual rate of 2.7% over the last five years, and employment has increased by an annual average of 2.4% over the same period, compared to national growth rates of 1.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Nationwide, many of the jobs in the fastest growing industries require a postsecondary education, and in Colorado, nearly 40% of the adult population has a bachelor’s degree, the second highest share in the country. College-educated adults are more likely to have greater job security, which may help explain Colorado’s relatively low 2.7% unemployment.”
Colorado’s economy ranks near the top in several critical metrics:
- 5 yr. GDP annual growth rate:+2.7% (4th largest increase)
- June 2018 Unemployment:7% (tied — 3rd lowest)
- 5 yr. annual employment growth:+2.4% (5th largest increase)
- 2017 GDP:$302.9 billion (18th largest)
Ready to Buy a Home?
The time has finally come: you are ready to take the leap into buying your first home! This is an incredibly exciting – albeit, scary – undertaking. As you begin your real estate research, you may feel as though there is information being directed at you from an infinite number sources. With so many steps in the home buying process to conquer, a considerable amount of life-changing decisions to make, and an impending housewarming party to organize, this process can be extremely overwhelming.
With this in mind, where do you start? What are you really getting yourself into? Here are the…
Top 5 Things to Be Aware of When Becoming a Homeowner
1 – The home buying process doesn’t actually begin with searching for a house.
Buying a home begins with becoming pre-approved for financing a mortgage through a qualified lender. While this isn’t the most thrilling step in the home buying process, it is one of the most crucial actions you will take. Mortgage lenders determine your buying power- or, your cash available combined with your borrowing capacity. This is a vital step in the buying process – it can often be the difference between having your purchasing offer accepted or rejected.
2 – Budget for (much) more than you expected.
Always overestimate your budget! As much as all of those dollar signs might pain you to look at, it is better to be cautious when estimating new home expenditures. It’s probably best not to max out your budget when bidding on a home. When you finally find your dream home, it is tempting to place an initial bid that skims the top of your budget in order to outjockey the competition. A best practice when searching for a new home is to look for houses that are priced below your planned monetary disbursements. This allows you the flexibility to increase your initial bid, and helps to prevent a mortgage payment that you may not be able to afford.
3 – Location, location, location.
In my experience, people buying houses often become distracted by details such as wanting a covered front porch or a slightly larger kitchen island. You must remember that these are all cosmetic details that can be changed over time after you purchase the house. What you cannot change, however, is the location of your home. Because of this, it is incredibly important that you choose your house in large part for the neighborhood you want to live in.
4 – Make sure you know what you are paying for.
It is your responsibility to be an informed buyer. For example, you’ll want to carefully examine your potential new home with a qualified home inspector. A home inspection gives a buyer more detailed information about the overall condition of the home prior to purchase. While an inspector will never directly answer the question, “Should I buy this home?” They will give you an in depth, unbiased look at your potential new home to:
- Evaluate the physical condition of the structure, construction, and mechanical systems.
- Identify items that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems, equipment, structure and finishes.
Remember, YOU are the buyer. You should always be aware of exactly what you are purchasing. If you don’t know, ASK. It is your money, and you need to be as well-informed as possible before making such a large investment.
5 – Use a GREAT real estate agent!
Your agent needs to be a trusted resource that can separate signal from noise and help to navigate the complex process that real estate has become. Your real estate agent will be by your side every step of the way on your path to a new home. You will need an experienced agent that is open and honest with you. I believe that access to the best and most timely information can dramatically shape your decisions, and no one does more research on the local housing market than we do. We are eager to guide you skillfully from the beginning to the end of your real estate journey. Use a great agent, it will make all the difference!
And as always, here is the Denver Market snapshot to keep you “in the know”.