Hello Denver-Metro property owners! 2019 Real Property Valuation for taxes payable in 2020 should have hit your mailbox early May of 2019. If you don’t agree with the County Assessor’s valuation of your property and are confused on next steps, Wisdom Real Estate is here to help!
Protesting the value is relatively simple. If done correctly it could result in lower 2019 property taxes for you, depending on the Mill Rate that will be set in December. If you’d like to protest, follow these steps:
REVIEW: Carefully review the Notice of Valuation from your County Assessor’s office. If you feel the “Current Year Actual Value As of June 30, 2018” is too high, you can protest the amount. If you feel the “Property Class” is incorrect, you can protest that designation.
PROTEST: Counties may differ slightly, but each will offer several ways to submit your protest. Directions for how to protest by mail, fax, online or in person will be clearly identified in your letter.
June 3, 2019 is the deadline for submitting your protest
Tips from the Denver Assessor if you plan to protest the valuation of your property:
DON’T simply protest the amount of increase
DO review the property characteristics listed on the form (size, unit counts, etc.)
DON’T focus on today’s market value
DO remember the Assessor’s date of value (6/30/18)
DON’T protest the taxes (you technically don’t know what the tax rate will be)
DO consider what the proper value should be
DON’T simply say “the value is too high
DO provide evidence: sales, photos, descriptions of issues negative to the property, estimates of cost to cure, rent rolls, etc.
DO include your parcel/schedule # and a daytime phone number
RESPONSE: The Assessor will review your protest and provide a response via mail in a letter called a “Notice of Determination”. If you are still unsatisfied with the valuation or the Assessor’s response, you may appeal their decision at that time. Dates and deadlines for appeals may vary for each County.
WE CAN HELP: If you need assistance in any part of this protest process, please reach out to your Wisdom Real Estate Agent any time!
You’ve probably noticed it — solar power is taking off, and is now the fastest-growing energy source in the world. With absolutely no upfront cost, homeowners are now able to save ten of thousands of dollars compared to the cost of electricity with the utility company and substantially improve the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.
What you may not have noticed is there are a couple of significant solar factors that will change in 2019. First, the 30% federal tax credit for residential solar installations will end on December 31, 2019. The tax credit will be reduced to 26% in 2020, and 22% in 2021 before it is eliminated completely in 2022.
The second factor that will change in 2019 is the completion of the Colorado Renewable Energy Standard. The law requires utility companies in the state to achieve a minimum percentage of their electricity from renewable sources by the end of 2019. So this is the year the utility companies must comply with the law, and it is uncertain what will happen once they do so. One possibility is that after they meet the renewable energy percentage, utilities will be able to charge for the solar net meter, which until now has been provided at no cost to solar customers.
The bottom line is that NOW is the time to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit and the free net metering from utility companies while they still exist. If you have any interest in solar for your home, 2019 is the time to get it done. At Wisdom Real Estate, we trust the company Blue Raven Solar, as they are the top-reviewed solar company in the country on solarreviews.com. They will complete a preliminary, no-obligation solar analysis for your home to give you the details and specific numbers for your home so you can make an informed decision about solar. But don’t wait…time is running out to maximize your tax and net meter benefits from solar!
Please reach out to your favorite Wisdom Real Estate agent if you’d like more information about Blue Raven Solar, or simply reach out to Mike Falls with Blue Raven directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Sun Power Be With You!
~The Wisdom Team and our friends at Blue Raven Solar
If you’ve ever even considered purchasing a home, you’ve probably seen a number of lending acronyms: LTV, FHA, ARM, FICO, APR, PITI, TIL, TRID, DTI…the list goes on and on. While some of these only come into play once you’ve applied for lending, one term that is important to know, and it’s impact on your pre-approval for a home loan is DTI. DTI, or Debt to Income, is comprised of 3 factors; Your gross monthly income, the monthly amount you already owe, and your suggested mortgage payment, which includes escrow for taxes and insurance.
Monthly debt, or your ‘back end ratio’, is anything you are obligated to pay long term including, but not limited to, car payments, credit card minimums, alimony, and student/personal loans.If you’re wondering what payments you are currently making that impact this number, the best way to get this total is off your credit report, which is also where your lender will pull them from. Fortunately, monthly bills like utilities and groceries are not included because they fluctuate every month. For most conventional loans, your DTI is expected to be around 43% but can be up to 50+% if you have other strong compensating factors like high credit and lots of cash reserves. One of the reasons it’s important to interview lenders before choosing one is because while they all have the same overall requirements for granting a loan, they have different allowances they might offer which can help you qualify, including DTI percentages.
To give you an idea of what this looks like, let’s say you want to attain a mortgage for $300,000. You plan on putting $30K, or 10% down, so you are asking to borrow $270,000. If you get a loan for this amount at 4%, your mortgage payment will be $1289. Because your lender will be on the hook for your property until you pay it off, they pay your home insurance and taxes on your behalf, and work those numbers into your monthly mortgage payment. These 2 additional payments are called ‘Escrow.’ If, for example, you have a home owner’s insurance policy which costs $1200/yr, that will add an additional $100 to your mortgage payments. The tax rate for the county you are expecting to move to can be found if you Google your county name and state. FYI, your house taxes are actually based on your Assessed Home Value, not the price you pay for your home. (This is the one instance that you want your home value to be low!) For arguments sake, let’s say the home you want to buy is assessed at $300K. In Denver county, you’ll pay $1872/yr in taxes, or an additional $156/mo. In Arapahoe county, your taxes will be $2112, or $176/mo, so the old real estate adage, ‘location, location, location!’ applies here too.
If this purchase took place in Denver, then, your total suggested mortgage payment would be approximately $1545 for mortgage and escrow. If you have a monthly car payment of $300, a credit card with a minimum monthly payment of $75, and a student loan repayment amount of $100 a month, totaling $475 in bills, or $2020 total, you would need $4700/mo gross income, or $56,400 a year to be at 43%DTI. To be at 50% DTI would need $4040/mo gross income. Although you might make enough salary to qualify for this loan scenario, keep in mind that these numbers don’t take into consideration whatever amount is coming out of your paycheck beforehand for taxes. So if you want to be able to pay for other home/life amenities like water, utilities and groceries, you need to take that into consideration when searching for your new home.
Obviously there are THOUSANDS of DTI scenarios, so if you want to look at your lending numbers specifically, a great source to calculate your DTI is this affordability calculator. If you have follow up questions about DTI, or any lending questions, we suggest you contact our lending partner, Scott Lagge at Eagle Home Loans, email@example.com, (303) 944-8552 and speak directly with him for accurate answers. We have been working with them for over 4 years, and have found them to be an invaluable source of information and assistance. If you know you’re ready to house hunt and start the process NOW, you can go here, and start the process online. This usually takes around 30 minutes, and will give you the quickest answer on what you will be able to qualify for.
Although the house hunting process, (and specifically applying for lending to start the house hunting process,) can be daunting, preparing yourself on what to expect, and educating yourself on the steps along the way will certainly make it all less stressful. If you have any follow up questions to this blog, we are always happy to help and assist in anyway we can because an educated home seeker is much more likely to be a successful home buyer.
What is the top thing people want when selling their home? They want to get the most amount of money for it!
Pricing your home correctly is the most important thing you can do when selling.
Get the Most Money When Selling Your Home - YouTube
When working with an experienced real estate agent, they will determine the best price your home could sell for. When you price it too high, the home becomes stigmatized and people don’t want what others don’t want. Don’t let your home sit on the market without being aggressive with pricing.
Worried about pricing your home too low? As long as you fully expose your home to the market and allow people to see it, the market will drive the price up to the market value.
Have more questions about getting top dollar for your home? Contact our Listing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes you don’t have the option on when to sell your home but if you do have any sway in the decision listen to Dan Wisdom explain when the best times of years to sell your home is.
When is the Best Time to Sell Your Home - YouTube
The worst time to sell your home is July 4th weekend as showings decrease by 50%. The same is true for Thanksgiving and Christmas. While you can have your home on the market at these times, it is not a good idea to bring them on during these holiday weekends.
The best time to sell your home is in the spring. People are out looking and more energized during this time. While this is a good time to sell, that also means there is more competition and inventory on the market.
If you have questions on if now is a good time to list your home, please reach out to our Listing Team at email@example.com.
At Wisdom Real Estate, we love helping our community by supporting local organizations. Please help us support “Invest in Kids” today through July 20th, and help us reach our goal of raising $500! This fundraiser is running in conjunction with our upcoming Kickball in the Park Client Appreciation Event on July 19th at Cheesman Park. Visit our FUNDRAISING PAGE to donate now!
According to “Invest in Kids” Colorado Gives Website: For 20 years, Invest in Kids’ (IIK) mission has been to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable young children and families in Colorado. We implement, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) and The Incredible Years (IY), which combined reach more than 15,000 children and families in all 64 counties each year. IIK has a rich history of working closely with local communities to successfully implement these two evidence-based interventions. Communities across Colorado have come to know us for our commitment to positive outcomes and our ability to deliver results.
Community leaders concerned about the barriers children in poverty were facing and the resulting achievement gap founded IIK. With a focus on early interventions demonstrating clear evidence of long-term effectiveness, our founders chose NFP. Forty years of high-quality randomized control trial research including longitudinal data demonstrates that the program clearly produces improved pregnancy outcomes, better child health and development and greater economic self-sufficiency for participating mothers. Shortly after beginning our intensive community work with NFP, IIK recognized the need in the area of early childhood social and emotional skill development and school readiness. Studies validated the importance of social and emotional development of young children as a strong predictor of early academic achievement and a more positive life trajectory. The result of a second national program search was the adoption of IY, which empowers teachers and parents to improve the social-emotional health of children ages 3-5. Over the last 20 years, we have served more than 100,000 children and parents in all 64 of Colorado’s counties.
Summer in Colorado is one of my favorite seasons, (bested just barely by fall, and only because that’s when my kids go back to school and I regain my sanity!) As a kid growing up here, I remember hot sunny days pleasantly broken up by a short lived mid afternoon rainstorm. The rain would sweep in and cool things off giving us a much welcomed reprieve from the heat, then move swiftly along in time for us to get back outside and enjoy the evening festivities. Most of my summer vacation was spent in my neighborhood, kicking back at the pool, biking around the ‘hood’ to visit friends, and partaking in outdoor night games with school mates. A couple times each summer, though, we’d pack up our camper and head for the hills to escape the city heat and hustle and bustle of the “intensely electronic age” we were growing up in, (as my father put it,) and get back to nature. If it rained, we’d crowd into the camper to play card games like ‘Spit,’ and ‘Spoons,’ or the classic board games, Parcheesi and Monopoly. During the heat of the day we’d go fishing, hike and explore our surroundings, or pop a cold coke and enjoy it with a freshly cooked hot dog while we contemplated how long of a nap we were planning on taking. It didn’t hurt that we owned a ski boat and would generally camp near one of Colorado’s lakes so we could spend the day cooling off and frolicking in the water on days where it was ‘hot as blazes,’ (my father wasn’t much on the heat, either.) If you like the idea of trying camping in Colorado’s great outdoors this summer, here is a link you can use to find out more about the many sites you can camp at and how to go about making reservations to visit there this summer. Colorado Campsite Reservations.
Being a tomboy, I loved camping, fishing, cooking over a campfire, (especially s’mores,) – all of it, and I looked forward to camping trips all year long. For some of my friends, though, I know the thought of camping, is, well, ‘yucky’. So what do you do if you want to go to get out of town this summer but don’t want to camp? Fortunately, Colorado has become quite the beacon for summer festivals, and many of them take place in our beautiful mountains with many comfortable lodging opportunities. If you are so inclined, you could attend a festival, (or two,) every weekend during the summer, we have that many! As a matter of fact, there is a website that now categorizes the festivals on content. Naturally a majority of festivals revolve around food and wine, check those out HERE.
Telluride Bluegrass Festival 2009
Music festivals also abound during the summer months here in Colorado. The infamous Telluride Bluegrass festival is in it’s FORTY FIFTH year! They must be doing something right, and it’s on my bucket list to get there one of these summers. Telluride is an awesome summer destination, and if Bluegrass isn’t your thing, you can also travel down there for the 7th annual Ride Festival which showcases a broader music lineup including rock, jam band, folk and pop music. This year’s headliners include Sheryl Crow, The String Cheese Incident and Grace Potter with many other talented musicians featured throughout the weekend of July 14th and 15th. If the 6 hour drive from Denver to Telluride seems a bit daunting for a weekend show, there are other options that will get you out of town in a fraction of the time. I have made it to CountryJam in Grand Junction, about a 4 hour drive, and the Greeley Stampede, approximately 1 hour northeast of Denver multiple times in my life. These 2 festivals offer the best in country music and a glimpse into the country life. Great country fair like food and atmosphere, and non stop entertainment if you have the energy to get to it all. If you think I’m kidding about being able to get to a festival, or 2, or 3 every weekend, just check out “303 Magazine’s” list of Colorado’s 32 Best Musical Festivals. THIRTY TWO BEST? Geez..I wonder how many ‘just okay’ musical festivals there are that I might be overlooking?
While I could definitely stop here, having covered plenty of things to do in just food, wine, and music, I would be neglectfully leaving out those of you that maybe don’t like food, wine and music…wait, what? Well, maybe you like those things, but don’t want to attend a festival celebrating them for 48-72 hours. That’s okay, I’m pretty sure there’s a festival that is appropriate for all ages and interests. How about Steamboat’s Hot Air Balloon Rodeo? (I’m not sure how you round hot air balloons up, this one would DEFINITELY be worth checking out!) Want to really connect with the outdoors and enjoy nature? Try The Crested Butte Wild Flower Festival. Oh, man. The list goes on and on!
What festivals have you personally attended that you would go back to? Please chime in and share your list with us. We love knowing what our friends and family enjoy, & personal suggestions are the best way to help narrow down the massive list. Until then, I’m going to go contemplate which festivals I’m attending this summer. This blog wore me out…I think I’ll contemplate my festival choices while napping.
It can seem like a monumental task to find a home that fits your wants, must haves and budget even in the best market conditions. If you do find a home that fits your criteria, you will most likely be competing with multiple offers and well above asking price. Here are some things to do to be prepared to land the home of your dreams even in Denver’s tight seller’s market.
This shows the seller that you are an eligible and serious buyer. This blog entry lays out the steps and reasons for preapproval.
Find a Rock Star Agent
According to 5280 magazine, There have been countless first-time buyers outbid by investors with cash offers; sellers who get more than two dozen offers (all above asking price); new listings with lines of hopeful home-seekers waiting on the sidewalk to get inside; people who write lengthy letters to homeowners about why they should be the victor. Even so, you can still win with the help of solid financing and a reputable real estate agent. Check out Wisdom’s profile of top agents here!
Treat house hunting as you would job hunting. If you are serious about your home search, being available is essential because you are competing with so many other buyers. If you find something you like, don’t hesitate to call your agent and have a showing scheduled that day, if possible.
Don’t Hesitate to Make an Offer
If you find something that you like, don’t wait! Be prepared to make an offer at asking or above to stand a chance. In fact, start with your highest and best. Also, be equipped with an approval letter in hand from lender to show the seller that you mean business.
This doesn’t have to mean you settle on a home that you dislike but you may have to narrow your search on features that you really need over wants. No matter what your price range is, you’ll need to compromise (on cost, location, size) to find your ideal home. You might want to consider a new build. Lowry, Jefferson Park and Stapleton are filled with construction crews and new (or somewhat new) properties for sale.
The Denver area may be a tricky market to navigate, but know what you are up against with the latest market stats.