As you probably experienced, the Superbowl was pretty hard to watch, but we are still proud of our Broncos and their great season!
On a brighter note, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Make it a special one with your loved ones this year! In fact take a peak at the WIFM (Whats in-it for me?) as there is a great offer for friends and loved ones!
This February Enewsletter is PACKED with the following GREAT topics:
- BIGGEST Home Seller Mistakes
- Top Kitchen Renovation Trends
- Downtown Denver Residential BOOM
- Market Numbers and Hottest Zip Codes
- Mortgage Rates Fall
- 2014 Tax Benefits for Home Owners!
Check out below for all that and more!
Gatsby’s in LoDo combines the opulence of downtown chic with the swagger of a back alley speakeasy, as the most stylish new addition to Denver’s nightlife scene. Featuring a fantastic Happy Hour loaded with specialty wines, martini’s, craft cocktails, and gourmet bites to satisfy the most discerning of appetites. The lounge style seating is assured to keep you as comfortable as you are in your own living room, and our private loft area is available to reserve for occasions to be remembered for years to come. The cornerstone of Gatsby’s is it’s service team, who will welcome you into our family whether you are just stopping in for a quick drink, or are lounging the night away with us. Gatsby’s is a sophisticated modern day speakeasy, the type of place you can’t help but return to again and again.
Gatsby’s is proud to partner with Madison & Company Properties to offer you a special romance package anytime during the month of February. For the entire month when purchasing dinner for two you will receive a complementary glass of champagne accompanied by an order of hand dipped chocolate strawberries to compliment your meal. This offer is open exclusively to Madison & Company Properties email members. Please present this email to your server when ordering. All February long is romance month with Gatsby’s and Madison & Company Properties.
As always, let me know if YOU have any questions! I am always here to help and serve you!
Top Kitchen Renovation Trends
You Should Know About!
Kitchens are the new family rooms. It’s no wonder why buyers put so much stock in what a kitchen looks like. And it’s also no wonder why homes with the best kitchens sell for TOP dollar!
Here are the top trends happening in the kitchen:
1) White cabinetry
Beautiful and timeless, white cabinets are a versatile choice for any kitchen. One attraction of white cabinetry is that it works with multiple architectural styles — from traditional to country chic to contemporary. White cabinetry opens a room to a number of decor choices and color palettes that have no boundaries and turns the kitchen into a backdrop that can be embellished as much or as little as you’d like.
2) Stainless steel appliances bring a sophisticated and rich feel to the kitchen and work with a variety of styles. The sleek silver lines bring a polished look to refrigerators, stoves, and even trash compactors and waste bins. And no more worrying about fingerprints smudging the surface of stainless. Manufacturers offer fingerprint-resistant steel that eliminates this issue.
3) Work Zones
Specialty workstations are cropping up inkitchens across the country and range from elaborate to utilitarian. Popular examples include baking centers, coffee bars, wine-tasting nooks, and pizza-making stations.
4) Walk-In Pantries
A walk-in pantry is the perfect solution for families who require must-have kitchen
items in quantity. All necessities — snacks, canned goods, baking supplies, and even surplus goods such as paper towels and aluminum foil — are hidden behind closed doors. Space for items used on a daily basis, such as silverware
, dishes, glassware, and cooking gadgets
, is reserved for kitchen drawers and cupboards.
5) Save and Splurge Strategy.
Kitchen island or farmhouse sink? Professional range or granite countertops? By choosing to splurge on one item versus another, consumers are sticking to their remodeling
budgets and saving money. This mentality has always been considered by remodelers, but when the state of the economy is shaky, this trend rises to top of mind.
6) Technology in the Kitchen.
As people become increasingly tech-savvy,kitchens
are being accessorized with electronics rather than traditional decor
. Popular electronic items, such as wall-mount televisions, sound systems, and computers, are showing up in all rooms of the home. Another hot trend is making the home “wireless.”
7) Granite and Quartz Countertops. Granite is still super popular among home buyers, but Quartz is a rising star, resistant to stains and scratches,easy to clean, and cheaper than granite.
8) Integrated Appliances.
Refrigerators have become ever larger, but new technology and techniques make them virtually invisible — a big leap forward in built-in refrigeration. The same is true for dishwashers. Cabinetry panels discreetly hide these appliances
, allowing the room’s
style to take center stage.
9) Layered Kitchen Lighting.
Many functional and comfortable kitchens
have a layered lighting
approach. A series of recessed fixtures provide ambient light. Chandeliers and pendants are popular products for task lighting over an island or seating area. Accent lighting above and below cabin
|Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) improved for the fifth straight week last week, helping to send U.S. mortgage rates to their lowest levels in more than 11 weeks.The streak has been a welcome surprise. Wall Street widely expected mortgage rates to rise in 2014. Through the year’s first month, though, Wall Street has been wrong.
Mortgage rates have dropped slowly and steadily since the start of the year. Pricing is the best it’s been since Thanksgiving.
Is Your Lender Quoting You Higher Than 4.32 Percent?
Freddie Mac puts the 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.32 percent. However, not all U.S. borrowers are getting access to that rate. There are several reasons why.
The first reason is that Freddie Mac’s published rate is meant for primary home-purchasing, prime borrowers only. This specifically excludes refinancing households and investors buying a second or vacation home; or a rental.
Homeowners applying for the HARP mortgage, for example, won’t get the same specific rate as a move-up buyer with great credit.
Another reason why your rate may exceed 4.32% is that discount points are optional, and you may be choosing to pay no points. In general, waiving discount points will raise your mortgage rate one-quarter percentage point.
And, lastly, your quoted rate may be higher because you’re applying for something other than conventional financing.
The Freddie Mac survey applies to backed by Freddie Mac (which remains closely linked to Fannie Mae). First-time buyers using the FHA’s 3.5 percent downpayment program; and military veterans using VA loans, as examples, won’t be seeing identical rates.
Jumbo mortgage rates vary from Freddie Mac rates, too.
Market Numbers for the end of 2013
The inventory of available homes for sale is 7,275 homes at year’s end were the following: 2,379 homes came onto the market, 2,807 homes were placed under contract, and 3,229 homes closed for a closed dollar volume of $1.0 Billion. The year ended December 31, 2013 was a year of records, continuous buyer demand, market frenzy, and upward interest rates.
Residential (Single Family plus Condo):
Active Inventory is 7,275 homes at month end
Sold homes is 3,229
Average Days on Market is 57
Average Sold Price is $310,643
December Year-to-Date Market Recap (2013 versus 2012):
Residential (Single Family plus Condo):
Active Inventory 7,275 versus 7,706 (↓6%)
Sold Units 54,024 versus 46,299 (↑17%)
Average Price $306,910 versus $279,601 (↑10%)
Sales Volume $16.6B versus $12.9B (↑28%)
Hot Zip Codes:
Top 5 zip codes with Increases in Homes Sold 2012 vs. 2013
- 80215 – 54.2% increase in homes sold
- 80260 – 48.7% increase in homes sold
- 80021 – 46.4% increase in homes sold
- 80007 – 44.3% increase in homes sold
- 80018 – 42.1% increase in homes sold
Top 5 zip codes with Increases in Average Sold Price 2012 vs. 2013
- 80204 – 27.5% increase ($237,027 in 2013)
- 80010 – 26.1% increase ($136,295 in 2013)
- 80221 – 23.4% increase ($184,785 in 2013)
- 80231 – 23.1% increase ($436,969 in 2013)
- 80011 – 20.7% increase ($156,124 in 2013)
Top 5 zip codes with Decreases in Average Days on Market 2012 vs. 2013
- 80230 – 61.0% decrease (40.1 average days on market in 2013)
- 80122 – 55.8% decrease (34.1 average days on market in 2013)
- 80209 – 53.8% decrease (37.2 average days on market in 2013)
- 80033 – 53.7% decrease (38.7 average days on market in 2013)
- 80130 – 51.3% decrease (24.2 average days on market in 2013)
With rates falling a bit, more buyers will pursue homes this month!
Downtown Denver Residential Boom
Below are the recent residential developments that have happened downtown since September.
Since September 2013, ten projects (blue highlight) with a total of 1,580 units have finished construction, bringing the number of completed units within a 1.5-mile radius of 17th and Arapahoe since January 2012 to 2,982. Several of these projects, like Cadence, One City Block, 2828 Zuni, The Douglas, and Element 47 are so newly finished that the paint’s barely dry and, in some cases, minor construction is still going on as new tenants are moving in.
Four projects (green highlight) totaling 927 units have started construction since our September update, resulting in a total of 4,406 units currently under construction. AMLI Riverfront Park is almost finished and will be moving to the Completed column within a month or so.
Ten projects (purple highlight) with a total of 1,843 units are new to the Proposed category since September 2013, for a total of 2,952 units currently proposed. Some of these Proposed projects have not been covered-yet- on the DenverInfill Blog due to (a.) a lack of reliable information, (b.) their being in the early stages of development, or (c.) we just haven’t gotten around to it yet! Also, there are about a dozen more projects within the 1.5-mile radius that have recently been submitted to the city for review, but are not in the Proposed category because we are still researching either the exact location or the number of units.
Assuming all of the developments under construction will be completed, then a total of 7,388 new residential units will be added to Downtown Denver from January 2012 through mid-2015, without counting any on the Proposed list. That translates into roughly 11,000 new residents and approximately $1.5 billion of residential investment in Downtown Denver.
New For 2014, The Tax Benefits And Deductions Available To U.S. Homeowners
Tax season may feel like a burden for some Americans, but homeowners have plenty of advantages when it comes to claiming deductions.
The U.S. tax code is designed to offer incentives to homeowners, and by taking advantage of these breaks, 1040-filing citizens can maximize their financial investment in homeownership.
Whether a home is financed via a mortgage, or paid-in-full with cash, there are a multitude of tax-savings opportunities associated with owning a home. Of course, every homeowner’s financial situation is different, so please consult with a tax professional regarding your individual tax liability.
Tax Deduction : Mortgage Interest Paid
Mortgage interest paid to a lender is tax-deductible and, for some homeowners, interest paid ca provide a large tax break — especially in the early years of a home loan. This is because the standard mortgage amortization schedule is front-loaded with mortgage interest.
At today’s mortgage rates, annual interest payments on a 30-year loan term exceed annual principal payments until loan’s 10th year.
Mortgage interest tax deductions are extended to second mortgages, too.
Interest paid on refinances, home equity loans (HELOAN) and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) are tax-deductible as well. However, restrictions apply on homeowners who raise their mortgage debt beyond their property’s fair market value.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) imposes a $1 million loan size cap. Loans for more than one million dollars are exempt from this tax deduction.
Tax Deduction : Discount Points
Mortgage tax deductions can extend beyond your monthly payment. Discount points paid in connection with a home purchase or a refinance are often tax-deductible, too.
A discount point is a one-time, at-closing fee which gets a borrower access to mortgage rates below current “market rates”.
As an example, if the current market mortgage rate is 5 percent, paying one discount point may get you access to a mortgage rate of 4.75%. The IRS treats discount points as “prepaid mortgage interest” which, in turn, can render them tax-deductible.
When discount points are paid in conjunction with a purchase, the cost may be deducted in full in the year in which they were paid, dollar-for-dollar. With respect to a refinance, discount points are not fully tax-deductible in the year in which they are paid.
With a refinance, discount points are typically amortized over the life of the loan.
The cost of one discount point on a 30-year loan can be deducted at 1/30 of its value per tax-calendar year.
Other Deductions : Property Taxes, Renovations, Home OfficeReal Estate Taxes
Homeowners typically pay real estate taxes to local and state entities. These property taxes can often be deducted in the year in which they are paid. If your mortgage lender currently escrows your taxes and insurance, it will send an annual statement to you which you can file with your complete federal tax returns. Your accountant can help determine the payment’s tax deductibility.
For tax-paying homeowners, certain types of home improvement projects are tax-deductible. Home improvements made for medical reasons, for example, can be tax-deductible. If you are making home renovations to accommodate a chronically ill or disabled person, and the renovations do not add to the overall value of the home, the project costs are typically 100% tax deductible. Repairs and improvements made for aesthetic purposes are not tax-deductible.
Homeowners who work from their residence can typically deduct the expenses of maintaining a qualified home office. Allowable tax deductions for a home office include renovations to the room(s), telephone lines, and the cost of heat and electric. Before claiming a home office on your returns, though, be sure to speak with an accountant to understand the benefits and liabilities. There are caveats to claiming home office tax deductions on your tax returns, and the rules can be tricky.
Homeowners : Budget For Your Tax Breaks
Tax deductions will reduce your annual costs of homeownership and, for some homeowners, mortgage interest tax deductions will shift the answer to the “Should I Rent or Should I Buy?” question.
Tax law changes frequently, though. Consider building your housing budget with the help of a tax preparer. Get a feel for how much home you can afford before and after accounting for your various homeowner tax breaks. And, as you build your budget, use legitimate mortgage rates in your calculations.
-By Dan Green