Common Real Estate Questions

Real Estate Questions Answered

In this post we cover a few of the common real estate questions that we get asked!

Real Estate Questions
Staged Home

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market – You’ve probably heard the terms “buyer’s market” and “sellers market” at least once when discussing real estate. While these may sound confusing, they are actually pretty basic terms! A Buyer’s Market is when the inventory of property exceeds the demand for property. This puts the buyer at an advantage because there are a lot of properties to choose from at competitive prices. A Seller’s Market is when the inventory of properties is low but the demand is up. This puts sellers at an advantage because there is less competition, so they can ask more for their property!

Build vs Buy – This question is a common one, especially in areas with many lots for sale, such as Pagosa Springs. Building a home can be a great option for a few reasons. You can choose where you want to build, how big you want your home, and exactly how you want it to look and function! New builds may have unexpected costs or complications that you must consider in the initial build cost. Buying a home already built may be a better route for many buyers. These homes are usually ready to move in much sooner, the prices are typically negotiable, and you don’t have the same upfront costs that come with a new build. The cons of buying a built home include older appliances and other things that may need maintenance sooner. You are also more likely to compromise on features you may want when purchasing a pre-built home. There are many pros and cons between building and buying a home; it really comes down to what you think will work best for you and your lifestyle!

Buying a Foreclosure – A foreclosure is a home that’s seized and put up for sale by the bank that gave the original owner a loan. When you see a home listed as “foreclosed,” it means that it’s owned by the bank. Foreclosures are usually less expensive, have fewer title concerns, and often have a great renovation potential. Foreclosures are usually sold “as-is” so there are maintenance concerns that you as the buyer would be responsible for fixing. There are many ways to get a loan for a foreclosure, and if you have a licensed agent helping you throughout the process, a foreclosure can be a great investment!

Should I Get Pre-Approved First? – The answer is YES! Pre-Approval should be the first step you take when preparing to buy a home. This is how you know how much you can afford, if you can afford a home. You don’t want to shop until you find the perfect home, only to realize you can’t quite afford it! If you have any questions on how to start this process, give us a call at (970) 507-8655.

Who Pays The Realtor Fees? – This question is pretty easy to answer! Typically in a home sale, the seller pays the realtor fees, as they are the ones making money on the transaction. The amount the seller pays is negotiable and may vary from deal to deal.

Common Closing Expenses – Typically, the home buyer will pay 2-5% of the purchase price of the home in closing fees. These fees will cover the cost of things like insurance, inspections, taxes, attorney fees if applicable, credit checks, etc. The average total closing cost in the United States is $3,700.

How To Prepare For Showings – Showing your home to strangers can be strange, especially when you are only getting little notice beforehand. You should be ready to show at all times; staying flexible is important as everyone has different schedules. That last minute-showing could be the one that sells your home! It is best to leave the property for showings as prospective buyers will be more comfortable talking about the property. If you have pets, be sure they are picked up after and make a plan of where to take them during showings! To see our post on home staging, click here!

If you have any further real estate questions, please feel free to give us a call at (970) 507-8655. You can see the homes we currently have listed for sale on our featured page. Let us help you find your Next Home!

Healthier Mountain Living

Why Living In The Mountains Is Healthier

It’s easy to fall in love with the mountains. Fresh air is abundant, the weather is fairly temperate, and the views are some of the best mother nature has to offer. Living in the mountains can actually be healthier for you too, believe it or not. If you don’t believe me, here are a few facts to convince you!

Healthier
Lake San Cristobal – Photo By: Gavin Kiker

 

  • Inspiration To Be Active  The rocky mountains are inspirational simply by nature. The peaks tower over everything else, begging to be seen. When you are surrounded by views as beautiful as the rocky mountains, you are sure to become inspired to explore and be active!
  • Altitude Burns Calories – Studies have proven that the human body burns more calories while expending energy at high altitude than it does while at lower altitudes. This means that a mile hike in the mountains will burn more calories than the same hike down lower; plus you get to enjoy the mountain views!
  • Clean Air – There’s nothing better than taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air. Less pollution at higher altitudes can directly improve asthma symptoms and other acute respiratory symptoms. The smell of pine, which is especially common in the rockies, has been proven to help alleviate stress and depression. If you have trouble sleeping, try to find some lavender at the base of the pines. It can help you fall asleep!
  • Less Risk Of Heart Disease – Studies have shown that people who live at higher altitudes can have a certain gene activated that significantly decreases the risk of dying from ischemic heart disease. When your body has to work harder every day to take in oxygen, it automatically improves your cardiovascular fitness! This makes your heart stronger and more resilient to rough conditions.
  • Statistically Longer Life Span – Researchers have found that the 10 million people who live over 4,900ft above sea level typically live one to three years longer than people living closer to sea level. This is just another benefit of living at high altitude!

Thanks for reading through today’s post! If you have any questions, or if you would like to talk with a NextHomie, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. To view our current listings, see our featured homes page here. We can’t wait to help you find your Next Home.

Renovations – Return On Investment

Renovations With The Highest Return On Investment

Whether you are trying to sell your home or not, paying attention to the renovations you do and how they affect your home’s value can be important. Some home improvement projects can yield a much higher return on investment than others.  We’ve compiled a list below of the best renovations you can do for your money. Enjoy!

Return On Investment
Photo Courtesy: mountainvillageestespark.com
  1. Minor Bathroom Remodel – There are two rooms that sell homes more than any others; the kitchen, and the bathrooms. Bathroom remodels actually provide the highest return on investment, averaging 102%. You don’t need to fully gut the room however, adding a good coat of paint and new fixtures is a great way to elevate the value of your home.
  2. Landscaping – Curb appeal is a very important aspect when listing a home. Fresh landscaping and a picked up exterior can make your home appear fresh and clean, which buyers want. Basic landscaping averages a 100% return on interest, even adding a few potted plants to your front porch can make a huge difference!
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel – A minor kitchen remodel can really bump your home’s value up without much work. Start by upgrading outdated appliances with newer ones; prospective buyers will notice these additions. Painting or staining your existing cabinets can substantially increase your kitchens appeal. Modern hardware on all of your drawers and doors will help a lot too!
  4. Attic Bedroom Conversion – One of the best ways to increase the value of a home is by adding to the number of rooms it has. If you have an attic that can be converted to a bedroom, and you have the budget to do so, this addition can add a lot of value to your home while also adding to it’s usability! While not necessary, this is an option everyone should consider. The average return on investment for an addition like this is about 93.5%.
  5. Entry Door Replacement – While it may seem simple, replacing your front entry door is one of the most impactful renovations you can do to your home. If your home’s style can support it, a door painted a bright, primary color can really draw prospective buyers into a home. It makes the home more approachable and inviting! Even a fresh coat of paint can make a huge difference.
  6. Deck Addition – If you have the room to do so, adding a deck or porch is a great way to add perceived value to your property. If you already have a deck, make sure it has been painted or stained and is structurally sound. A deck increases usable living space and can be a deciding factor for some buyers! Outdoor living spaces have become especially desirable since the covid-19 pandemic.
  7. Basement Remodel – Although not all homes have a basement, the ones that do can sell for significantly more than homes that don’t! Converting your dark and dingy basement into a usable living space can bring your home value up quite a bit. Return on investment for this renovation sits around 90% on average and can draw in prospective buyers!
  8. Window Upgrade – Fresh, new windows can have a huge impact on the exterior image of your home! They will make the outside look newer and the interior brighter! In addition to the added curb appeal, new windows are typically more efficient and you may be eligible for a tax break when purchasing energy efficient windows. Although many may not notice, new windows will slide more easily too!

These are some of the best renovations you can do to add value to your home before selling! If you have any questions, or would like to talk with one of our brokers, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. To see the homes we currently have listed, click here!

Pet Friendly Pagosa Springs

Dogs Welcome!

Pagosa Springs is a mountain town full of people who love dogs. Whether you’re hiking up Pagosa Peak or grabbing a burger at Riff Raff, you are sure to see at least one furry friend. In addition to the National Forest and the many outdoor dining areas around town, Pagosa Springs has several dog friendly parks; with clean-up stations! If you’re looking for a place to walk your dog, or dogs in pet friendly Pagosa, this list is for you!

Pet Friendly Pagosa

Humane Society Bark Park – The Pagosa Springs Humane Society has done a great job of making a safe environment for your dogs to play! There are separate fenced areas for large and small breeds with awesome views of the San Juan mountain range. The Bark Park is equipped with kiddie pools, drinking fountains, and some shaded areas for your pup to cool off. Near the fenced areas is the Serenity Garden where you can walk along in peace. The garden features engraved memorial bricks along the path and benches to take in the views. There are restrooms in the Humane Society Lobby and dog toys available to purchase. Proceeds benefit the animals at the Humane Society! See their website here.

Yamaguchi Park – Located at the South end of the San Juan Riverwalk, Yamaguchi Park is a great place to get out and get active! This park borders the San Juan River to the East and features over half a mile of trails with pet stations along the sidewalk! There are several spots where river access is available; so your dog can get his or her paws wet on their walk! There are bathrooms on-site as well as a skate park, playground, and large Terrazzo overlooking the river. Two laps around the perimeter of this park is about 1 mile.

Town Park/Mary Fisher Park – One of Pagosa’s oldest parks, Town Park is located right on the river in downtown. This is one of the most popular parks as it’s in the middle of downtown! For the pups, there are pet waste clean-up stations and water fountains in the park. Dogs should be on a leash or lead, as this park is close to Main Street. If you cross the walking bridge over the river, you enter Mary Fisher Park. Named after Dr Mary Fisher, a Pagosa Springs doctor born in 1868 in Illinois, this park has many places to lay out and watch the river flow or play fetch with fido. There is a changing screen if you want to get in the water with your dog and more parking than Town Park across the river.

Reservoir Hill Park – Reservoir Hill is well known by locals for it’s many trails and the star that lights up at the top of the hill, overlooking downtown Pagosa Springs at night. Your dog is sure to love the rugged terrain and winding trails heading up the hill. At the top you are greeted with great views of downtown Pagosa. There are benches and picnic tables on top as well. This hill is a great place to get some exercise with your dog! The Annual Folk Festival is held on Reservoir Hill as well.

Centennial Park – Centennial Park is located along the San Juan river, behind the courthouse. This park is home to the Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership’s geodesic greenhouse setup, a sustainable agricultural project. There is a small outdoor amphitheater in front of these greenhouses. You will find pet clean-up and water stations along the riverwalk, and an electric vehicle charging station if you need to juice up while you’re exploring with your dog! If your pup likes the water, there is a section of beach along a shallow part of the river perfect for pets and kids to swim.

With all the opportunities to explore and discover new things, you are sure to love pet friendly Pagosa. If you would like to learn more about Pagosa Springs, our town website has many resources available. To see the homes we currently have listed, visit our Featured Homes page here!

Investment Property

What To Look For In Your Next Investment Property!

Have you been thinking about purchasing an investment property? Real estate can be a great investment if you know what you’re doing, but there are some risks involved. Below, we’ve compiled some things to look for when considering a rental property.

Investment Property
Photo By: Gavin Kiker
  1. Location – This first tip is an important one. When searching for a rental, location is the top thing tenants are interested in. Choosing an area that is close to schools, shopping, and healthcare is a good way to draw tenants in. Rentals in college towns or ski towns can be very profitable, but it can be difficult to lease one of these properties in the summer months, so that is something to keep in mind.
  2. Safety – Safety is very important to most people. Choosing a location with low crime rates is always smart when shopping for real estate to rent out. Installing quality locks and even a good security system can increase the appeal of your property!
  3. Parking – While not as crucial in rural areas, reserved parking for tenants in cities and more populated areas is a must. Rental properties with off-street parking or even a garage or carport can be a huge selling point to prospective tenants.
  4. Fresh Property – New builds or freshly renovated properties are usually more attractive to tenants searching for a rental. Moving into a new space is a fresh start for tenants, the rental should be as fresh as they feel!
  5. Open Space – An open floor plan with plenty of natural lighting feels a lot larger than a closed off space with no windows of the same size! Potential tenants will subconsciously lean towards a bright space over a darker one, so properties with lots of windows and lighting are preferable.
  6. Appliances Included – No one wants to buy appliances for a house they don’t own! Including essential appliances will add value to your rental property and will most likely get it rented sooner!
  7. Outdoor Space – Connecting with the outdoors is important to a lot of people; Especially in Colorado! An outdoor space like a backyard, deck, or even a small balcony to enjoy the mountain views can add a lot of value to your property. This is one feature that is typically more important in rural areas than it is in more urban environments.
  8. Pet Friendly – Pets are family to a lot of people, and no one wants to give up their family to move into a rental! Consider looking at more pet-friendly properties, as they will be more desirable to a lot of tenants. A house with a decent backyard and hard floors is ideal for a pet friendly rental.
  9. Job Market – Locations with a growing job market, or a strong established industry will draw more tenants. Job security is an important factor to consider when renting, so choosing a location with a strong job market is a good idea when looking for investment property.
  10. Trustworthiness – Tenants looking to rent a house want a landlord or property manager they can trust completely. Being honest with potential tenants and disclosing any negative aspects of the property that you are aware of is a good way to build trust as a rental owner. These people are depending on you to provide them with a safe and functional living space for months or even years at a time!

These are just a few tips to help you in your search for the perfect investment property! To speak with a NextHome RMR agent about purchasing your investment property, give us a call at (970) 507-8655. If you want to view our current inventory, visit our featured rentals page here!

 

Congratulations!

231 Tiffany is SOLD!

Big congratulations to Chris and Mariana on the sale of their home! 231 Tiffany Place sold for $585,000 and features a fully finished basement and incredible views of Squaretop Mountain. The Letchfords have their home at 1551 Cattle Trail listed with us as well. See this beautiful ranch home here!

Sold!
Photo: 231 Tiffany Place
Sold!
Photo: 1551 Cattle Trail Place

Thank you Mariana & Chris for choosing NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals to list your Pagosa Springs real estate! We appreciate your business and friendship! If you would also like to work with NextHome RMR, give us a call at (970) 507-8655.

Crazy Colorado Weather

Snow In September!

Colorado is having trouble making up it’s mind on the weather this month! The beginning of the month held several 90F+ days and forest fires throughout the state. September 8th however, we experienced a temperature drop of nearly 50 degrees and enough rain and snow to leave the ground muddy! Wolf Creek Pass got 13 inches of snow, A full 13 days before the solstice!

Snow In September
Wolf Creek Ski Area

This moisture is greatly appreciated, even if it’s a little early! Visit our website to view property available for sale in this winter wonderland!

 

Fall Home Selling Tips

Fall is Upon Us!

It is common knowledge that Spring and Summer are the peak seasons in the real estate industry, but that doesn’t mean that fall can’t be productive! In this post we’ve compiled several tips for anyone wanting to list their home this Fall. Enjoy!

Fall Home Staging
Photo Courtesy Of: Houzz.com
  1. Keep the Yard Clean! – Be sure to keep your front yard clear of dead leaves and other fallen debris. Trimming tree branches and bushes can let more light hit the house; which can help attract buyers! Make a yard clean-up checklist so you don’t forget to do anything before showings.
  2. Autumn Curb Appeal – Solid curb appeal can really help your house stand out in the fall months. Place potted yellow or orange flowers by the front door and pumpkins/squash by walkways to help potential buyers envision how they would decorate the home! Adding a tray for wet shoes is a good way to keep the interior flooring clean during showings.
  3. Fire Up the Woodstove – If your home has a wood-burning stove or fireplace, be sure it has been cleaned and it is functional for showings. A clean stove indicates a well maintained stove! Plus, there is nothing cozier than a fire burning in the woodstove on a fall day.
  4. Clean Your Windows! – Windows can gather a lot of dust and grime throughout the spring and summer months that you may not notice as an owner. Prospective buyers will notice dirty windows, so we recommend going through the house and cleaning them before listing. This is an easy way to clean up the front of your house without adding anything!
  5. Fall Colors Everywhere – Using Fall accent colors such as oranges, yellows, and reds can really dress up the interior of your home and tie the moods from autumn back into your property! You can even use pine cones and candles as decorative pieces throughout the home. Throw pillows are also an easy addition.
  6. Make it Brighter – As days get shorter, homes get darker. Turn all the lights on and open windows, blinds, and curtains everywhere you can. Natural light will really brighten the space up and open windows can make your home appear larger!
  7. Be Creative With Photos – With trees losing their leaves and grass beginning to die, fall real estate photos can start to look pretty drab. You need to be creative with how you photograph and display the home to sell. Twilight photos and staged decorations are two great ways to set your house apart from other listings!
  8. Treats! – Buyer comments are a great way to learn what is working and what isn’t during showings. Leaving treats out next to a comment book is a great way to get people to leave their comments on the showing experience. Plus everyone gets a treat on the way out! Halloween candy works great for this.

Following these tips will make your home stand out from other listings this Fall! Don’t forget to like our Facebook page for weekly Virtual Open House videos and updates.  If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak with one of our licensed brokers, you can contact us here. We would love to help sell your home this Fall!

 

Off to the Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Sometimes staying in the same place for too long can be tiring, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Luckily, Southern Colorado is full of places to explore! If you are having trouble deciding where to go or just looking for somewhere to escape for the day, Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great place to start!

Topping out at around 755 feet high, these impressive sand dunes are the tallest in North America. The dunes are surrounded by the 14,000 ft. peaks of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, the Southernmost range of the Rocky Mountains. The contrast between the light sand of the dunes and the dark greens and blues of the mountains makes for a truly stunning view. If you like taking photos, you are sure to enjoy this area!

Sand Dunes
Photo By: Gavin Kiker

In addition to taking in the views, visitors to the Great Sand Dunes can enjoy hiking and camping all throughout the park, splashing in Medano Creek when it’s flowing, and even sand-boarding and sledding. (Think snowboarding but with sand.) Sand toys are available to rent right before entering the park.

If driving slow offroad is more your speed, the Medano Pass Primitive Road may be for you! This 22 mile 4wd-only trail connects the Great Sand Dunes with Wet Mountain Valley and Colorado State Highway 69. The trail crosses Medano Creek nine times, and also takes you through some deep sand and even Bighorn Sheep habitat at the higher elevations.

Whether you want to backpack in and spend the night, or just pack a picnic and take some photos, Great Sand Dunes National Park makes for a wonderful Southern Colorado day trip! If you would like to see our featured homes in the area, click here. Don’t forget to like NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals on Facebook for weekly virtual open houses and more!

Auction For The Animals

First Ever Virtual Auction For The Animals

For the past 25 years, the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs has hosted an annual live “Auction For The Animals” to help fund our local animal shelter. With current restrictions involving in-person gatherings, however, things are going to be different for 2020…

Auction
Photo: Humane Society of Pagosa Springs

In lieu of a live auction, the Humane Society has decided to move the bidding online! Items in this auction range from smaller items such as gift-cards and art pieces, all the way up to a Kilimanjaro climbing trip, and even a four wheel drive F150 pickup! You can also choose to donate money for food, microchips, vaccines, spay/neuter costs, or even emergency medical expenses.

This auction is a wonderful way to support your local Humane Society and animals during these uncertain times.

If you would like to register to bid, or just make a donation, you can visit the Humane Society auction page here. You can also see the dogs and cats available for adoption at the links provided.

Thank you for supporting these animals in need!