General Info

By now, many property owners have received their county/state property tax assessment.  Read the notices and don’t be afraid to question the values reported by the assessor.  Because many areas of the US real estate market have had DRASTIC price increases in the past year or two, you may be paying much more than needed. Keep […]

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Transferring real (real estate) property to an heir or beneficiary can be accomplished many ways, including Power of Attorney, Probate, Wills and Trust Estates.  Power of Attorney (PoA) are instructions while living.  Wills are instructions upon death.  Deeds are devices to transfer property.  Trusts are holding entities for assets (including real estate). Power of Attorney […]

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Tenants filing for bankruptcy, landlord and owner issues.

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When buying a property with a residential mortgage (loan), you may be bombarded with solicitations from various companies offering you “mortgage life insurance” that offers to pay-off your mortgage if you or your spouse dies.  These policies are usually much more expensive than a term-life policy and decline in value over the term of your […]

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Owners that manage rental property should learn about the various “Landlord-Tenant” laws.  There are many laws that must be followed or the resulting legal action and penalties can be severe. For example, security deposits must be handled properly when received, held and disbursed.  A final accounting is extremely important and failure to correctly account for […]

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A common scam circulating on Craigslist is the rental property scam.  Thieves take the pictures of a property currently on the market and then re-market it on Craigslist (or other websites) as a rental.  The thief then steals the prospective tenant’s money. The common story begins with the property owner that had to leave the […]

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Word on the street is that now may not be the best time to buy a home.  If the predictions are correct, a drop in housing values of 15% to 25% may be on the horizon.  Source:  CNN/Money Depending on your particular situation, it may be cheaper to buy now instead of renting.  If your […]

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Recent guidelines for FHA loans will make getting a FHA-backed loan on a meth (methamphetamine) contaminated (or remediated) property virtually impossible.  Since most new loans today for buyers are FHA loans, this will probably severely limit lending on any property that was once a “meth contaminated” property.  The net effect will most likely mean a […]

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If you are rehabbing an older building  (built before 1978), then new EPA rules are in place. It is suggested that you first test the property for lead based paint.  If the building tests positive for lead based paint, you need to follow the new RRP (Renovate, Repair or Paint) Rules. The basic rules state […]

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In Colorado real estate, there are several types of deeds, depending on the type/amount of protection given and received from the seller and buyer.  From the Colorado Real Estate Manual, Chapter 8: Types Of Deeds There are four major classifications of deeds: (1) General warranty deed, (2) Special warranty deed, (3) Bargain and sale deed, […]

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Most smoke alarms (smoke detectors) have a useful life of 7 to 10 years. After this time period, the detecting elements start to wear out. Newer smoke detectors are more sensitive and more reliable. Homeowners should consider changing their smoke detectors every 7 to 10 years. (Remember: Batteries should be changed at least yearly). Most […]

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Many homes in Colorado have a natural gas-fired furnace.  In the middle of cold Colorado nights, when the furnace starts and stops many times, the “igniter or ignition” or glow-plug may quit working.  This is one of the most common reason for no heat from a furnace. When the igniter stops working, the furnace electronics […]

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When buying property in Colorado, there are many ways to visually represent the piece of land on a sheet of paper. The four popular methods used in Colorado are:  ILC, Land Survey Plat, Improvement Survey Plat and an Alta Survey. ILC – This is NOT a Survey!  This is a rendition of a visual inspection […]

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“ A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. [1] ” -Wikipedia Buyer’s/Seller’s Agent or Transaction Broker? To help you navigate the complicated path of buying or selling a home, you need […]

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Water Rights in Colorado can be as valuable as gold, sometime more valuable than gold!  In order to develop land or build upon it, an owner is required to supply water.  Due diligence should be exercised when buying a property with water rights, a well or municipal water.  Diverting or storing of water (catching rain […]

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Effective January 1, 2010,  the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) modified the RESPA (real estate settlement protection act) rules.  This is the first major change in 30 years.  It is designed to help consumers comparison shop for mortgage loans by “bundling” the fees that lenders and title companies charge consumers. Some highlights include: […]

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If you need to sell your property, and you owe more than the property is worth, you may be a candidate for a short sale (or other solution). Whatever the reason: Loss of Job Business Failure Damage to Property Death of Spouse Death of Family Member Severe Illness Inheritance Divorce Separation Relocation Military Service (SCRA […]

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When offering a property for rent, you should have a “Meth Clause” and “crime-free addendum” in your lease. (here is a sample “Crime Free-Drug Free” addendum) This will let tenants know that you do not tolerate any type of illegal drug use or criminal activity on or in your property. Because methamphetamine is cheap and […]

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Join the latest trend in housing – Go Green! Installing a “photocell or dusk-to-dawn lights” on your exterior lighting can cut your electricity bill by over $100! A photocell will automatically control the lights so that they turn-on at dusk, and turn-off at dawn. This provides safety and security as well as eliminates the waste […]

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Renovation loans are a great way to purchase a property that requires rehabilitation or renovation prior to occupancy.  Buyer’s can use a renovation loan to update, rehabilitate or renovate a property. There are currently two types of loan programs:  FHA and Fannie Mae. The FHA program requires: Current seller on title for 90 days For […]

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Buying a home has its rewards and drawbacks.  One of the biggest drawbacks to home ownership is the regular home maintenance needed to keep a home operating at peak efficiency. Properly maintaining a home increases the homes value as well as minimized operating costs.  Deferring maintenance is not a good practice and may also be […]

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There are many properties available at a significant discount.  For the typical buyer that can tackle cosmetic repairs (paint, carpet, windows, doors, drywall and light remodeling) staying away from properties with structural defects/deficiencies is important. To help identify structural defects, buyers should have an agent that is familiar with the major systems of a property […]

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This week, Congress and the President passed the 2009 Stimulus Plan. If you are a first time buyer, there is an $8,000 tax credit available. To qualify, you must: Not owned a principle residence in past 3 years Buy a home (house, condo, duplex, triplex or 4-plex apartment) from Jan 1, 2009 through Dec 1, […]

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…low rates, large selection and lowered prices, NOW is a great time to buy…

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