About Me

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Hello - My name is Mike Baker and I am a Denver Realtor and have been practicing real estate in the Denver metro area since 1999. I am posting my blog to provide information to the general public about the changing aspects of real estate and most importantly how it is affecting the local Denver real estate market. If you have any questions or thoughts please dont hesitate to comment on my blog. Also, I am always willing to provide services such as: FREE home evaluations if you are thinking about selling your current property or FREE lists of properties to buyers who are just starting to look (not only market rate but bank/foreclosed options). Let me know how I can help. You can contact me at info@hotspotrealestate.com or visit http://www.hotspotrealestate.com and use some of the search tools such as: map search, search by master planned community, neighborhood information and much more... Good Living, Mike Baker

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cherry Hills Village, CO - a good buy?

Anyone looking for luxury/high end real estate in the Denver front range, knows very well that one of the best if not THE BEST areas is Cherry Hills Village. Until recently this area has been a gem of an investment and a lifestyle that not many areas can provide. The lifestyle is still present, however, due to the economic crisis we are currently under, values have dropped significantly and sellers are feeling the blunt pain of those reductions to what was once market highs. Prices have not only reduced by $100's of $1000's but even by $1,000,000 at a time in certain cases... A very tough time to be a seller if you need your equity. However, there is always two sides to the story and that flip side is anyone in position to buy in Cherry Hills Village under current economic conditions would be wise to seek out the potential lows in the markets current value. There is no crystal ball, as we could still stir at this bottom for a while or possibly drop lower but most projections is that the economy is slightly improving and the Denver front range is under valued at this point and likely to rise in the near future thus posing significant potential gains in the short and long term. Always have a professional opinion before making such a leap of faith but in this bloggers/agents opinion, Cherry Hills is ripe for the picking.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Forbes Magazine Ranks Denver #1 real estate market

Denver is ranked #1 in America as the best city to buy a home according to Forbes Magazine and its latest ratings. “While the majority of the nation’s housing markets are still working toward a bottom, some cities are boasting fundamentals that make them good places to buy a home now,” Forbes reported recently.
Phoenix was ranked No. 2 on the Forbes list, followed by Boston, San Diego and Los Angeles.
The Forbes rankings seem geared more toward each market’s current and future potential as a place to buy a home, since some of the cities at or near the top of the list are among those hardest hit by the recession.
The report ranked the 25 largest U.S. metro areas on the basis of change in price per square foot, frequency of real-estate transactions, and how evenly distributed home-sales activity is in a metro area.
“Denver tops the list,” Forbes said. “It had 25 percent of its property sales occur within approximately 25 percent of the city’s ZIP codes. This means sales in various parts of the city were fairly evenly distributed, showing proportionate activity. The further a city deviates from the 25 percent mark, the less evenly distributed the market is in that city, and thus the lower that city ranks.”
Forbes also determined that average price per square foot of housing space increased 5.7 percent in Denver between February and March of this year, and that transactions decreased 8.4 percent between March 2008 and March 2009, less of a drop than many cities.
“Denver scores very well in terms of being able to bring people into a stable housing market,” the magazine quoted Moody’s economist Christopher Cornell as saying. “It has better growth potential than most cities today.”

Great news for potential buyers and sellers alike!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Short Sale Options to be considered

Broderick Perkins with Realty Times wrote - Now, mortgage modifications can include second mortgages -- not just first mortgages -- and cash incentives are sweetening short sale deals, thanks to new efforts by the Obama Administration.

The new efforts give some homeowners a second shot at a home-saving loan modification, especially if they were originally turned down -- or turned off -- because the second mortgage (piggy back, home equity loan or line of credit, etc.) impeded the process.
Other homeowners may now be able to take the short sale escape route from unaffordable mortgages that could otherwise wind up in foreclosure.
Second mortgage modifications
Loan modifications are designed to make the home loan more affordable, typically by reducing the interest rate, extending the term of the loan and, less often, by reducing the principal. They are not refinanced mortgages, which pay off the old mortgage with a new mortgage.
Under Making Home Affordable's new second-lien program, borrowers whose first mortgages are modified will automatically have payments reduced on their second mortgages as well, provided the first and second-mortgage lender participates in the program.
Twelve mortgage servicers currently do. Among them are large banks including, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, Citibank, Chase and others.
Eligible homeowners looking to modify their first mortgage must be an owner-occupant of the home; have an unpaid principal balance that is no more than $729,750; have a loan that was originated on or before January 1, 2009; have a mortgage payment (including taxes, insurance, and home owners association dues) that is more than 31 percent of their gross monthly income; and have a mortgage payment that is not affordable, perhaps because of a significant change in income or expenses.
Under the new second mortgage program, in addition to lowering the payment, lenders can also opt to erase a borrower's second mortgage in exchange for a lump-sum payment from the government.
New short sale incentives
Short sale incentives were among recent refinements to the Obama administration's housing rescue programs.
In a short sale, the lender closes the mortgage in return for whatever sale price the homeowner can net. However, the difference is sometimes considered income for which the selling homeowner may be taxed. It's important to include a tax professional's advice in the deal.
Under the new short sale incentive, lenders can receive a $1,000 payment from the U.S. Treasury for allowing the owner to sell the house for less than the amount owed on the mortgage and for accepting the proceeds as full repayment, rather than treat it as a short sale.
Lenders can also receive $1,000 for accepting a deed-in-lieu transaction, in which the deed is simply transferred to the lender instead of going through a costly foreclosure.
Homeowners who agree to short sales or deed-in-lieu deals can receive up to $1,500 in closing costs. To help stop second mortgages from blocking the deal, the Treasury will pay second lien holders up to $1,000 to relinquish their claims in such transactions.
To learn more about these options visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov