Citadel Realtyhas been selling real estate in Colorado Springs for over 20 years. We will be posting regular articles here with important information for both buyers and sellers to consider when entering into a transaction. Be sure to check back regularly.
Location, Location, LocationWhere you buy not only affects the home’s current and future value, but it also affects your lifestyle. Your Citadel Realty agent will be able to conduct a more targeted home search if you outline your preferences in neighborhoods and nearby amenities. Here’s a checklist of items you should consider and communicate to your chosen real estate agent. ·Urban, suburban or rural·Commute time·School districts·Desirable neighborhoods·Proximity to the airport·Proximity to restaurants and retail·Access to major highways and thoroughfares·Access to public transportation·Health care facilities·Parks and recreation·Length of time you plan to live in the home (Your agent should be knowledgeable about growth trends and projections that could affect your investment.)
Buyer and Seller Agent DutiesPosted 23JUN18The buying and selling of real estate is a complicated process with many subtle nuances. When it comes to the people that can represent you during this transaction, there are two types of agencies. A Buyer Agent is simple the person that represents the buyer of which they are expected to be loyal to in the transaction. A Seller Agent is the person that represents the seller and is therefore only expected to be faithful to the seller.But don’t worry—if you are a buyer, then don’t be suspicious of the seller agent being negligent. Likewise, if you are a seller, you don’t have to worry about the buyer agent being dishonest. In the process of a home changing owners, buyer and seller agents are obligated by law to treat you fairly whether they are working for you or not. Here are a few more things both agents are required to uphold by the law:Both agents must disclose any facts about the physical property.Both agents cannot discriminate an offer based on race, gender, of sexual orientation.Both agents must punctually give all written offers to the homeowner.Buyer Agent DutiesBuyer agents are expected to perform the terms of the written agreement between them and buyer. This may include advising the buyer on the benefits or risks involved and when to seek expert legal advice. The buyer agent must disclose certain information, as in adverse material facts and facts which may psychologically impact the purchase. Your buyer agent will undoubtedly promptly account for all monies and properties received, at the same time complying with all local, state and federal laws.Seller Agent DutiesLike buyer agents, seller agents are expected to perform the terms of the written agreement between them and the seller. This may include advising the seller on the benefits or risks involved and when to seek expert legal advice. The seller agent will always seek prices and terms acceptable to the seller, presenting all offers promptly. Again, just like buyer agents, your seller agent will promptly account for all monies and properties received, at the same time complying with all local, state and federal laws.Transaction BrokersUnlike a buyer of seller agent, a Real Estate Broker or Transaction Broker is expected to be faithful to both sides of the transaction. Since the broker does not fully represent the buyer or the seller they are not permitted to give out confidential information about one party to the other. In other words, a broker will not tell a buyer confidential information about the seller nor will they tell a seller confidential information about the buyer.That may sound a little vague, but when you choose to use a transaction broker there will be a written contract that outlines how partial the broker must be towards both parties. The contract will clearly state the home and area being bought or sold, the obligations of both parties, how the broker will be paid, and the period of which the agent will represent you. With everything laid out on the table, there are no unanswered questions.Additional InformationIf you are a buyer then you may be entitled to supplemental information from the Seller agent or transaction broker even if they do not represent you. For example, they are permitted to give you information about other available properties and compare economic qualities of different properties. They can also give you information on financing options available to you, assist in making an offer, and they can even legally offer to show you a property.AT CITADEL REALTY WE ARE ALWAYS A SELLER OR BUYERS AGENT TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE HIGHEST AND BEST REPRESENTATION.
1. DEFINE YOUR NEEDSWrite down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home, or a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale. 2. NAME YOUR PRICEYour next objective should be to determine the best possible selling price for your house. Setting a fair asking price from the outset will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers. You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area. It’s often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent’s expertise is invaluable at this step. Your agent will know what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market. If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This typically costs a few hundred dollars. Remember: You’re always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell. If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property. Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.3. PREPARE YOUR HOMEMost of us don’t keep our homes in “showroom” condition. We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick. It’s time to break out of that owner’s mindset and get your house in tip-top shape. The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer. First impressions are the most important. Your real estate agent can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers. * A home with too much “personality” is harder to sell. Removing family photos, mementos and personalized will help buyers visualize the home as theirs. * Make minor repairs and replacements. Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, can ruin the buyer’s first impression. * Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers. Make sure you have removed all knick-knacks from your shelves and cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible. 4. GET THE WORD OUTNow that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home. There are many ways to get the word out, including: * The Internet * Yard signs * Open houses * Media advertising * Agent-to-agent referrals * Direct mail marketing campaigns In addition to listing your home on the MLS, your agent will use a combination of these tactics to bring the most qualified buyers to your home. Your agent should structure the marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest. 5. RECEIVE YOUR OFFERWhen you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction. The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following: * Legal description of the property * Offer price * Down payment * Financing arrangements * List of fees and who will pay them * Deposit amount * Inspection rights and possible repair allowances * Method of conveying the title and who will handle the closing * Appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home * Settlement date * Contingencies At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them with your real estate agent right away. 6. NEGOTIATE TO SELLMost offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement. Your real estate agent is well versed on the intricacies of the contracts used in your area and will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining. Your agent also knows what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items: * Price * Financing * Closing costs * Repairs * Appliances and fixtures * Landscaping * Painting * Move-in date Once both parties have agreed on the terms of the sale, your agent will prepare a contract. 7. PREPARE TO CLOSEOnce you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing. The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired. Your real estate agent can spearhead the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer’s agent and service providers. Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items. If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue. If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step. You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing. Important reminder: A few days before the closing, you will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date. Also, begin to make arrangements for your upcoming move if you have not done so. 8. CLOSE THE DEAL“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer. Your agent will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. By being present during the closing, he or she can mediate any last-minute issues that may arise. In some states, an attorney is required and you may wish to have one present. After the closing, you should make a “to do” list for turning the property over to the new owners. Here is a checklist to get you started. * Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services. * If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account. * Gather owner’s manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.
Buying Tips: Home InspectionsPart of the real estate purchase contract that is approved by the State of Colorado, and that we use at Citadel Realty, includes the option for a buyer to make an inspection of the home after the contract is agreed to by the buyer and seller.A buyer can elect not to perform a home inspection, but it is highly recommended that one be completed. The Inspection Clause allows the buyer to perform an inspection of any part or all of the subject property by themselves or anyone they appoint. Most people choose a licensed and bonded inspector in the area where they are buying. Citadel Realty will be able to recommend local inspectors in our area.A licensed Inspector in the State of Colorado has gone through classes to educate themselves about all aspects of home inspection. If anything comes up that the inspector does not have specific knowledge and training about, that inspector should be able to refer you to another licensed professional. Following an inspection, the buyer is presented with the findings. The buyer then has the right to•Move forward with the contract as is,•Ask the seller to make necessary fixes to the areas that need work or come to agreement with the seller on how to handle these items•Terminate the contract.Home Inspection Concerns for Buyers The inspection process can cause a little anxiety in both buyers and sellers, but is something that Citadel Realty has experienced numerous times, and we would be happy to work with you, the buyer or seller, to advise on how to handle anything that comes up.The seller does not have to agree to any of the inspection items, but most agree to fix or negotiate a monetary amount for some if not all of the inspection items. In the current sales environment, sellers do not want to risk losing a buyer over inspection items that can usually be remedied easily. The Inspection Clause of the Colorado State approved contract is one way a buyer can protect themselves from unseen defects in the purchase of a property.CITADEL REALTY CAN HELP YOU NAVIGATE THE HOME BUYING PROCESS, INCLUDING THE HOME INSPECTION.
Increasing Your Home’s AppealRemember the 60-second rule: That’s all the time you have to create a winning first impression. Here are some simple to significant ways to maximize your home’s appeal. ExterioroKeep the grass cut and remove all yard clutter.oWeed and apply fresh mulch to flower beds.oApply fresh paint to wooden fences.oTighten and clean all door handles.oClean windows inside and out.oPowerwash home’s exterior.oEnsure all gutters and downspouts are firmly attached and functioning.oPaint the front door.oBuy a new welcome mat.oPlace potted flowers near the front door.InterioroEvaluate the furniture in each room and remove anything that interrupts “the flow” or makes the room appear smaller. Consider renting a storage unit to move items off-site.oClean and organize cabinets, closets and bookshelves.oClean all light fixtures and ceiling fans.oShampoo carpets.oRemove excessive wall hangings and knick-knacks.oRepair all plumbing leaks, including faucets and drain traps.oMake minor repairs (torn screens, sticking doors, cracked caulking).oClean or paint walls and ceilings.oReplace worn cabinet and door knobs.oFix or replace discolored grout.oReplace broken tiles.oReplace worn countertops.Special details for showingsoTurn on all the lights.oOpen all drapes and shutters in the daytime.oKeep pets secured outdoors.oBuy new towels for bathrooms.oBuy new bedding for bedrooms.oReplace old lamps or lampshades.oPlay quiet background music.oLight the fireplace or clean out the ashes and light a candelabrum.oInfuse home with a comforting scent, such as apple spice or vanilla.oSet the dining room table for a fancy dinner party.oVacate the property while it is being shown.
Creating Your Home Buyer Wish ListBefore the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home’s features and amenities.Features:oAge: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?oStyle: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?oBedrooms: How many?oBathrooms: How many? Are they updated?oLiving and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?oStories: How many?oSquare feet: How much space?oCeilings: How high?oKitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?oStorage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?oParking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?oExtras: Attic or basement?Amenities:oOfficeoPlay/exercise roomoSecurity systemoSprinkler systemoWorkshop/StudiooIn-law suiteoFireplaceoPooloHot tuboSidewalkoWooded lotoPatio, deck, or porchoLaundry room
Property MortgagesCitadel Realty has been in the niche real estate business for a long time and we know how confusing mortgages can be to new homebuyers. We have put together some of the most common things about mortgages that home buyers should know. The following terms are things that you will encounter when you search for the mortgage that is perfect for you. Though this list is a great start on understanding the different mortgages that are out there, there is a lot more to for you to learn. If you are looking for more information on mortgages and about the home buying process, feel free to Contact Citadel Realty.Types of MortgagesA 15-Year Fixed Mortgage loan has fixed payments and is repaid by the borrower making 180 equal monthly payments over a period of 15 years. What is appealing about this loan is that the borrower can expect to make the same monthly payment for the entire term of the loan.A 30-Year Fixed Mortgage loan has fixed payments and is repaid by the borrower making 360 equal monthly payments over a period of 30 years. What is appealing about this loan is that the borrower can expect to make the same monthly payment for the entire term of the loan.A Buy-Down is a temporary reduction in the rate of a mortgage, as in a three-two-one buy-down. On a 9% fixed-rate loan the first year's interest will be six percent, the second seven percent, the third eight percent and the fourth through the ending at nine percent. A buy-down is a great option for buyers with extra capital, because it allows them to qualify for a more expensive home than they might otherwise have not qualified for.You might hear about a Convertible Mortgage. The convertible aspect of this mortgage means that you can convert an adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed-rate mortgage for a fee. This can be done without refinancing the loan or changing the terms. Continue reading for more information on adjustable rate mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages.Federal Housing Administration or FHA Loans are great for new home buyers that can only make a low down payment. Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration requires a down payment of about three to four percent of the loan amount which is considerably lower than other loans that the buyer might qualify for.If you are a home buyer you might find that you qualify for a Fixed-Rate Mortgage. With this type of mortgage, you can get a break of about two percent by going with a fifteen-year loan. However, you will be responsible for higher payments. When compared to a thirty-year loan, a fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgage save up to sixty percent of the total interest costs over the life of a loan.A Jumbo Loan is a mortgage loan which is larger than the limits set by Federal National Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. These loans usually carry a higher interest rate to enhance their value and marketability to investors.A VA Mortgage Loan is a long-term, low or no-down payment loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. This type of mortgage loan is restricted to those that have served in the military or have other service-related entitlements. A home buyer with a VA loan pays a premium of up to only one percent.Adjustable Rate Mortgages or ARM is an alternative to fixed-rate financing. Initial rates begin at four percent lower. Because of these lower initial rates, these loans can assist buyers in qualifying for a greater loan amount. The federal housing administration has an attractive ARM program that offers more protection to a homeowner. The program offers a one percent annual cap and a five percent life cap.Balloon Mortgage Loans are fixed loans for five to seven years at a lower rate compared to fixed-rate loans. However, the payments from this loan are amortized over the following thirty years. At the end of those five to seven years, these loans are due in full. This mortgage loan program has no pre-payment penalties under the Federal National Mortgage Association guidelines and are based on simple interest calculations.Additional Mortgage InformationYou may be looking ahead, wondering when would be the best time to Refinance. Lenders normally recommend refinancing a mortgage when the market rate is one or more percentage points below the rate on the loan. It’s not a good idea to refinance your home if the gap between your current rate and the rates you can get on a new loan are less than one percent wide.A Title Search examines local public land records to determine the legal ownership of a property. The title company is responsible for making sure that you are the new free-and-clear owner of the property you are buying. The title company requires an insurance fee that will cover the buyer in the case of a clerical error that results in someone else claiming a lien or right to your property. Empire Title is a premier title company in Colorado with great reviews. You can contact them at 719-884-5300.Your lender may talk about Points. They may also use the terms Loan Origination Fee, Commitment Fee, Discount Fee, or Funding Fee. They are all the same thing—prepaid interest. Each point equals one percent of the loan amount. Home buyers should always make sure that their lender explains the points and interest rates available to them for the loan they choose. For tax purposes, if you are not sure about which points are deductible, then you should contact the individual or firm that prepares your tax return.No home buyer looks forward to those dreaded closing costs, but they are an integral part of the home buying process. Your Closing Costs will probably be anywhere from three to eight percent of the total loan amount depending on the type of loan that you have. If you are doing the math beforehand, eight percent is a reasonable estimate for you to use.
Deciding How Much House You Can AffordYour lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford. Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs. Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much. Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.CITADEL REALTY CAN DISCUSS YOUR OPTIONS AND SEE WHAT PAYMENT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH IN YOUR HOME PURCHASE JOURNEY.
Low Property Taxes on Colorado Residential PropertyColorado's property taxes are some of the lowest in the country. On average, Colorado residential property tax is about 0.6 percent, and the state is usually one of the 10 lowest paying of the 50 states.Property taxes are based on what the county assessor calls the Actual Value (Combined Market Value : land and improvements). These values are based on sales from the previous 24-month period that ends on June 30. So, in 2018, for example values will be based on properties sold between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2016. For 2019, they will be reassessed based on sales recorded between 2016 and 2018, and so on.Colorado Property Tax Use and HistoryIn Colorado, property taxes pay primarily for schools and local public services like fire department - or what are called special districts. The biggest portion is school funding and Colorado has a unique way to fund schools so that every student across the state gets about the same relative dollars of funding per year. Colorado tax law that effect property taxes are the Gallagher and TaBOR amendments. Gallagher keeps residential property tax rates low, which isn't great for commerical property. TaBOR (Taxpayers Bill of Rights) limits rate rise, but does lead to new taxes and fees and a very high sales tax level. In 1982 Colorado passed the Gallagher Amendment, which limits residential properties share of property taxes to 45 percent of the total. TaBOR restricts all state spending to a per capita plus annual cost of living increase.Colorado Senior Property Tax ExemptionApplication Deadline: July 15 in the tax year of applicationRequirements: To qualify a senior must be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year the application is filed and must have owned and lived in their home for at least 10 consecutive years. A surviving spouse of a senior who qualified for the exemption may also apply.For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted. Seniors who have previously applied and been granted the exemption do not need to apply again. Funding for this exemption was approved for tax year 2015 (taxes payable in 2016). This is re-evaluated by the Colorado legislature each year. Senior Exemption Resources Senior Exemption blank long form (pdf) Senior Exemption blank short form (pdf) Senior Exemption brochure (pdf) Senior Exemption long form instructions (pdf)Colorado Veteran Property Tax ExemptionApplication Deadline: July 1 in the tax year of applicationRequirements: Qualifying disabled veterans will receive an exemption on 50% of the first 200,000 of actual property value. Owners of multiple properties can designate only one of those properties for the exemption, and it should be their primary residence. A qualifying disabled veteran must meet the following requirements: the disability must have been service related, while serving on active duty in the Armed services; the veteran must have been honorably discharged; the Department of Veteran's Affairs will have issued a "permanent and total" disability rating to the veteran. The veteran must own the property and must have been an owner of record since January 1 of the application year. In some circumstances ownership by a spouse or by a trust or other legal entity may be considered acceptable.Application Submittal & Qualification Veteran applications for this exemption are made through the Colorado Department of Military Affairs in Denver. The phone number is (303) 284-6077. The application is online at the Division of Veteran Affairs. The Department of Veteran Affairs will qualify the veteran as eligible, the county assessor's office will confirm that the ownership and residency requirements are met. In 2014, Colorado’s Legislature extended this exemption to the surviving spouse of a disabled veteran who previously received the exemption. Surviving spouse applications are submitted to the county assessor. Veteran Exemption Resources Veteran Exemption Brochure (pdf) Veteran Surviving Spouse Application (pdf) Other Colorado Exemptions Charitable, religious, and private school organizations may apply for exemption from property tax. Application must be made to the state Division of Property Taxation. The application form, along with the state's fee, is submitted through the Assessor's Office. This office verifies location and ownership information and forwards the application documents to the state. The state informs both owners and assessors of their determination.
Home Buyer ReportsReports and Documents a Home Buyer Might NeedThere is a lot of paperwork that is involved when buying a home. Before beginning the buying process, you might want to ask about some of the following reports and documents that could help you make your decision. Some home problems are not a visible as others. For example, you might need a list of all improvements done without building permits and all non-conforming uses of the property.Though this is a great list to help you get started but you may need other reports or documents, so check with your agent or broker on what reports have been done on the property. You should be aware of any legal proceedings which may affect the property like tax liens, foreclosure proceedings, pending lawsuits or bankruptcy, and zoning changes. Entering the home buying process is a large feat, so make you know everything there is to know about the property beforehand. Inspection ReportsHome Inspection ReportRadon Inspection ReportSeptic Inspection ReportSeptic PermitTermite Inspection ReportWell Inspection Report: Potability ReportWell Inspection Report: Production ReportWell Inspection Report: Recovery Rate ReportWell Inspection Report: Well PermitWell Inspection Report: Well LogHome Buyer ReportsHazardous Materials Inspection ReportHome Energy Efficiency Rating ReportSoils ReportStructural Engineer's ReportOther DocumentsBuilding PermitsCurrent AppraisalEasements or EncroachmentsFlood Zone InformationFloor Plan DrawingsHOA Rules and RegulationsHome Warranty PolicyMegan's Law informationMining, Abandoned Mines and Subsidence Potential InformationRights of Way
Selling Your El Paso County Real EstateSelling your home in the Colorado Springs real estate market can not only be a bittersweet task, but also a daunting one. Listing an El Paso County property involves certain variables like timing, location, pricing, the state of the local or Colorado real estate market, and legal matters involved in the sale of property. Without careful consideration of these factors, you may not end up with the best possible deal on your hands. It's always safe to first do research on each area before you decide to commit to selling your home.How We Work for YouSometimes there are unforeseen variables that sneak their way into the picture, despite you having done painstaking research beforehand. Even the most shrewd homeowners can face circumstances beyond anyone's control, such as big market fluctuations in local real estate. This is where your Citadel Realty Real Estate professional comes in: your agent should not only be knowledgeable and up-to-date with current trends in real estate in places like Monument and Fountain, but also be experienced enough to make the best decisions for you within the context of the industry. Buying and selling homes are part of the real estate agent's trade—placing your trust in and delegating your work to the right agent can spare you from hours of headache and possibly even heartache. Your real estate agent should have access to a network of contacts, good negotiation skills in dealing with buyers, sellers, and middlemen, and most importantly, the commitment to meet your unique goals. With their guidance, you can go through the selling process with confidence and peace of mind.Try our free home evaluation service: We analyze the market for you, taking into account the most actively-searched prices and home values in your area. We then send you a detailed evaluation so that you can see things in the proper context.ྕSee what else is on the market: Use the customizable search tools on our site to get a better picture of the competition.ྕDraw up your marketing plan: Our tried-and-tested marketing plan will help give structure to the processes involved in selling your home.ྕTalk to one of our agents: Contact any of us at Breckenridge Associates anytime to talk about your goals in selling your property. We'll guide you through all the necessary steps and ensure your listing gets the best exposure and lands you the right buyer, for the right price.Why Work With A Citadel Realty Real Estate AgentAt Citadel Realty we are dedicated to the real estate business and a commitment to you as our client to do every thing possible to satisfy your real estate needs, maximize your investment, and keep your real estate business for years to come. Our unparalleled knowledge of the local market and economy combined with a well developed marketing plan, full-time professional support staff and our easy access North Academy Blvd location have resulted in Citadel Realty being one of the top sales and property management companies in El Paso County for many years.We are dedicated to getting you seamlessly where you want to be, on time. To receive a FREE market analysis, please call us at 855-530-8008.
Loan Application InformationApplying for A LoanApplying for a loan is something that every homebuyer must do. The staff here at Citadel Realty knows how stressful this process can be. In order for you, the homebuyer, to be more prepared when you fill out your application for a mortgage loan, we have prepared a list of things you'll need.If you are able to provide the loan officer with all the information at your first meeting, then you will undoubtedly save a lot of your precious time. Failing to get everything squared away in the first meeting with a loan officer will result in a loss of several days. Your lender will need this information as it applies to you and your CO-borrower. Personal InformationYour personal information will be required during the loan application process. As the homebuyer, you should bring be prepared to bring the following self-identifying records for the loan officer.A copy of your W-2’s from the past two years and your most recent pay stubs.A copy of your bank statements from the last two months on all of your accounts.A copy of your Driver’s License.A copy of your Social Security Card.Documentation showing at least two years of landlord or mortgage addresses.Documentation showing at least two years of employment history.Documentation showing at least seven years of residence history.Documentation showing any child support debt or income.For self-employed home buyers, you will need your signed and completed tax returns from the past two years, including any corporate tax returns, and a current profits and loss balance sheet.The sales contract on your new home and/or the sales contract or listing agreement on your present home.And of course, don’t forget to bring a check to pay for a credit report and appraisal.Employment InformationDuring your first interview with your loan officer, they will need to know some information about your employer or place of business. Be prepared to give the loan officer the name and address of your employer. If you brought the personal documents with you that are outlined in the list above, then you will easily be able to identify your pay rate with a copy of your current pay stubs. The same goes for your W-2’s from the past two years.Homebuyers should be prepared to accurately tell a loan officer how long they have worked for their current employer. If you have worked for your current employer for less than two years, you will be required to give the same information about your previous employer.Additional Required InformationSome of the information that a loan officer will need for your loan application varies from homebuyer to homebuyer. For instance, if you have paid off an account in full within the last two years, you will need to show documentation of this to your loan officer. Likewise, if you have any outstanding balances of creditors or credit cards, then you will need to provide documentation of this to your loan officer, including account numbers, addresses and zip codes, and the required payments. Any delinquent payments with any creditor will require written explanation.The loan officer will also need to know about any assets that you have. This may include the value of certain household items, jewelry, hobby collections, cars, etc. Basically, they will need to see documentation of the things that you own which have specific monetary value. Likewise, if you have any investments, the loan officer will need to see evidence of them. This may include stocks, mutual funds, market shares, bonds, real estate holdings, etc. Remember, if you are not sure if the loan officer will need documentation on something then consider bringing it anyways just to be sure.CITADEL REALTY CAN GIVE YOU A RECOMMENDATION FOR A LENDER IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE. JUST CALL US AT 719-266-6003.
Understanding The BuyerAs the seller, you can control three factors that will affect the sale of your home: * The home’s condition* Asking price* Marketing strategyHowever, it’s important to note that there are numerous other factors that influence a buyer, and you need to understand these consumer trends when you enter the sellers’ market. The more your home matches these qualifications, the more competitive it will be in the marketplace. Your real estate agent can advise you on how to best position and market your home to overcome any perceived downsides. LocationUnfortunately, the most influential factor in determining your home’s appeal to buyers is something you can’t control: its location. According to the National Association of REALTORS(r), neighborhood quality is the No. 1 reason buyers choose certain homes. The second most influential factor is commute times to work and school. SizeWhile some buyers want to simplify their lives and downsize to a smaller home, home sizes in general have continued to increase over the decades, nearly doubling in size since the 1950s. Smaller homes typically appeal to first-time home buyers and “empty nesters,” or couples whose children have grown up and moved out. AmenitiesPreferences in floor plans and amenities go in and out of fashion, and your real estate agent can inform you of the “hot ticket” items that are selling homes in your market. If your home lacks certain features, you can renovate to increase its appeal, but be forewarned: That’s not always the right move. Using market conditions and activity in your neighborhood as a gauge, your agent can help you determine whether the investment is likely to help or hinder your profit margin and time on the market.
Loan ProcessThe Life-Cycle of A LoanThe process of getting a loan for your horse property is something that almost every buyer will have to go through. The staff at Citadel Realty knows that this can be a stressful process especially if this is your first property deal, so we have broken down what you can expect during this time. A loan typically goes through three main phases during its life-cycle. The loan will have to be opened, then processed and underwritten, and then finally closed. Opening A LoanThe first step to opening a loan is getting pre-qualified. When you meet with your lender they will gather all of the information about your income and debts. With this pertinent information the lender will determine how much house the borrower, that’s you, should be able to afford. When all of that is taken care of, you will then need to complete a mortgage application. Colorado Horse Property has also provided a Mortgage Reference Guide of all the things you will generally need to bring with you to fill out this application. At this time your loan officer will give you two things: A Good Faith Estimate (or GFE) and a Truth-In-Lending statement (or TIL) which itemizes the rates and associated costs for obtaining the loan. Finally, your lender will submit your application for automated underwriting to see if you can be pre-approved for the loan.UnderwritingBefore the underwriting of your loan, your lender will have to do a few things. First, they will order an appraisal and title insurance mail out requests for verifications. Then, your application is reviewed by a processor to validate your income and debts reported.Now your loan is ready to be underwritten in which there are two stages. First you will probably encounter lender underwriting, in which the underwriter determines if the loan is acceptable or if more information is required. Then you will encounter mortgage insurance underwriting, if you have less than 20% of the loan amount for a down payment, in which case the loan is submitted to a private mortgage guaranty insurer. The insurer will provide extra insurance to the lender in case of default.ClosingYou have opened your loan and it has been accepted and underwritten. You are almost done! To close the loan, the lender will give a cashier's check, draft or wire of the money to the selling party in exchange for the title to the property. And that’s it!