The New Rules.

This week’s blog will be short, sweet and to the point (just like this market). As interest rates hit record lows for the ninth time this year and we face extremely low inventory levels there is a new set of rules to play by…

7 showings in a week.
17 showings no offers.
On the market for 6 days.

That’s what it takes to get a home under contract. In other words – homes are selling after 17 showings (7 of which are in the first week) and is on the market for and average of just 6 days.

I will let that sink in but that is one quick market. 

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

The Suburbs – The New Downtown?

Denver Suburbs

For quite some time now I have felt that the Denver suburbs were positioned nicely to continue appreciating quite a bit. Overall, Denver is a young city and as millennials started having families, I felt they would start moving towards the suburbs for more space, schools and more of a community feel. However, I felt that this would be a gradual change over a number of years.

Then COVID happens and now there are people moving in flocks to the Denver suburbs. As I mentioned here, we are starting to see the  Downtown Denver real estate slow. 80202 zip code (Downtown, Ballpark and Riverfront) is actually a buyer’s market now with a little more than 6 months of inventory.

People are heading to the Denver suburbs looking for more outdoor space, office space and space to homeschool. If you are a current client, I have sent you this map but it’s worth a share to visualize the current shift in the marketplace.

Denver Suburbs

As you can see, the suburbs have a lot of buyer demand (in blue) while the city itself is a bit more sluggish (in red). This is a stark change in demand with the suburbs around C-470 (parts of Arvada, Westminster) and Thornton lead the pack with buyer demand.

What does this mean? 
Buyer’s should expect competition in the suburbs (especially the darker blue cities). Sellers continue to have the upper hand and can expect their home to go under contract quickly while buyers compete for it. If you have to buy before selling your home in the suburbs, you will have an easier time buying in a city with less buyer demand (Downtown Denver and cities further out from Denver).

This market continues to be very hot and now the Denver suburbs are getting a cut of an appreciation!

Gender Gap… In Real Estate?

Did you know women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less?Isn’t that an alarming stat? I mentioned here, that more and more single women are buying real estate however they aren’t building as much wealth as men through real estate. This article outlines a gender gap in building wealth through real estate. Here are just a few facts that stood out in this article:

  • Single men earn 1.5 percentage points higher unlevered returns per year on housing relative to single women.
  • 45% of the gap in housing returns can be explained by gender differences in the location and timing of transactions.

Whaaattt? This information is bananas to me. Real estate is such a great way to build wealth and it is an absolute shame if women are missing out on some of the rewards (i.e. money) of real estate. So, how can we fix the problem? Find an agent that you trust and will negotiate on your behalf. As women, we wear a lot of hats and if you aren’t in the real estate industry it may be daunting and intimidating (it is one of the biggest purchases you will make!) but here is the thing, you don’t need to know everything you just need a leader. That leader would come in the form of a real estate agent. What are some characteristics of a good agent for a woman?

  1. Someone who will negotiate on your behalf.
  2. Someone who is out there in the trenches themselves (primary residence, rentals, etc.).
  3. Someone creative. Maybe a house needs only a can of paint?
  4. A good listener.
  5. An expert in your marketplace.

Listen, your list may look different but I urge you to may a list of what you need from your real estate agent. I truly believe a good agent can help close the gap between the wealth building abilities of the two genders. These numbers may not scare you, however, this may. “The gender gap in housing returns is economically large and can explain 30% of the gender gap in wealth accumulation at retirement.” Real estate is a great way to build wealth and even a 2% difference in buying and selling price can compound and impact wealth building greatly.

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

Inside the Mind of a Homebuyer in Metro Denver.


t is no secret that Denver is a hot real estate market. As the population of metro Denver increases, we don’t have enough homes to satisfy the amount of people. Ultimately, supply is low and demand is high for homes. Therefore, listings typically receive multiple offers and a higher price as homebuyers compete for a house. Each year, it seems homebuyers up the ante with what can keep them relevant and competitive. Buyers often send “love letters” to the seller pleading for the home and to play to the seller’s emotional side. Homebuyers end up waiving an inspection and sometimes even bring money above appraised value. In this competitive environment, it is useful to understand the psychology of these homebuyers.

  1. They love shiny objects. Homebuyers all seem to clamor around the homes that look nice: the ones that have professional pictures, neutral colors, popular upgrades and are staged nicely. Issues with the home often get overlooked if it looks nice. Homes like this typically get bid up.
  2. Short Attention Span: Since the market is so competitive, homes go under contract very quickly. If a home doesn’t go under contract in the first weekend, homebuyers lose interest and they will move on to the next round of new homes that come on the market the next week.
  3. They seem to be more open to competing for a home versus negotiating. Maybe it is the energy of a good competition but buyers seem to want the gratification of winning the home. In the last 6 months, I have had two examples of this while representing a seller. In both cases, once we dropped the price slightly, we received multiple offers, getting the price back to close to the original list price.
  4. Fatigue is a real thing and a major concern. Buyers seem to come out earlier each year while sellers do not. This makes the most competitive time of the year in real estate March to June. Buyers come out in full force in the winter while sellers don’t seem to list a home until the summer. Often, Homebuyers find themselves bidding on multiple homes and not getting any of them. This takes a toll and some decide to sit out the rest of the year.

Now that we can see inside the psyche of a homebuyer in Denver, how can buyers and sellers use this information?

Buyers need to stay open to homes that may not be perfect. Paint, carpet and tile go a very long way to make a house a home. Also, take rests when needed but don’t stop.

Sellers need to remember that we are a very visual population and prior to listing their home, they need to make it look nice. Professional pictures and video will not only get more people through the door but more offers. Pricing is crucial and buyers seem to respond better to the milestone prices such as 400k or 550k and will raise the price, if needed. Additionally, to catch the most number of buyers, sellers need to consider listing their home between March and June.

We have lived through seven consecutive years of rapid appreciation in the real estate market in Denver and more buyer’s continue to join the ranks and compete for a home. As in any cause of supply and demand, if supply is low and demand is high, the buyers will raise the price of the good. By understanding the psychology of current homebuyers, both home sellers and buyers can use the psychology of Denver homebuyers to win in this market.

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

How Downtown Denver Real Estate is Doing.

Downtown Denver

Most neighborhoods are still popping despite COVID concerns and protests. However, there is one that has somewhat stalled out with inventory increasing and not a lot of demand. What neighborhood is that? It is the Downtown Denver real estate market. These changes in the market are a result of a few factors:

  • Amenities are Closed. Living in Downtown Denver has a lot of perks, including, close proximity to just about all amenities – gyms, parks, museums, public transportation, restaurants, shopping, bars and so much more! However, due to COVID, all of these amenities are closed which means there is no advantage to live Downtown currently.
  •  Harder to get loans at higher prices. Over the past seven to ten years Downtown Denver has grown and gotten very desirable, i.e. EXPENSIVE. Lately, jumbo loans (loans larger than the conventional limit) have been very difficult to obtain and many financial institutions have limited or discontinued jumbo products through the uncertainty of this market and virus. This means interested buyers may have a more difficult time obtaining a mortgage for an expensive home Downtown.
  • People are not working Downtown now. On any given day before COVID, there were thousands of people that worked Downtown Denver, making living Downton very desirable for many. However, now a majority of these employees are working from home and unsure when they will be back in the office.
  • Boards up on Businesses. As the protests started, many businesses shutdown (again) and put boards up. With businesses and other amenities shutdown, many people don’t have a reason to go Downtown.
  • Some are Concerned about Shared Spaces. Most of the real estate Downtown Denver is shared being either condos or townhouses. As we navigate COVID, some buyers are reluctant to buy shared spaces and would prefer a single-family home (with a yard).

The result is a significant amount of inventory Downtown with not as much demand. This means homes for sale are taking longer to sell and may have to reduce their price to entice buyers. If you always will be a city dweller and love to live in the in the center of everything, buying a home Downtown Denver now may be a great option!

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

What the Heck is House Hacking?

house hacking

Have you heard the term house hacking before? It seems to be gaining in popularity and talked about among many different real estate investor forums and podcasts. House Hacking is when you buy a home (single family or multi-family) and rent out a portion of this home or units. Examples of house hacking, include:

  • Buying a duplex and renting out one side while living in the other.
  • Buying a home and renting out the bedroom(s).
  • With Airbnb increasing in popularity, renting out a portion of your home or bedroom as a vacation rental can also be considered house hacking.
  • Renting out (short term or long term) a mother-in-law unit.

Unbeknownst to most, some people find themselves doing a version of house hacking and this serves as the first step in their real estate investing adventure. The benefits of doing a house hack vs. a rental are plentiful but some of the big reasons are financial and emotional. First and foremost, when buying a primary residence (which is what you would purchase if you are house hacking because you will live there), you need as little as 3% down with a conventional mortgage or 3.5% down with FHA). The “renter’s” rent would then go to pay a portion or all of your mortgage, allowing you to live mortgage free.

House hacking also allows you to try your hand at being a landlord. Land lording within its self is a business and house hacking can help you set up rudimentary systems on how to maintain your rental and tenant(s) that can be applied to additional rentals. If you find you do not like it, house hacking provides an easy to get out once the tenants lease ends.

My Story.

I purchased my first home when I was 25. it was a 1,600-sq. ft. condo with two full bedrooms and bathrooms. As I started to consider changing careers and moving to Denver, I realized that extra bedroom and bathroom was my biggest asset and a way to make extra money. For 18 months, I rented out the bedroom and bathroom to another young professional woman. It worked out great, especially since she ended up paying my mortgage. Due to New Hampshire’s high property taxes, the only payment that I was responsible for at the time were the taxes. I was able to build up a savings account that made me feel comfortable leaving my corporate job and moving cross country.

Tips and Tricks.

  • Make sure you can afford the mortgage without a renter. There will be vacancies, unforeseen events that come up (such as a pandemic) and/or you may find out that you do not like being a landlord.
  • I am a firm believer that house hacking could be for anyone. However, I think it is incredibly great for single people (a single income source makes it harder to afford a home), anyone looking to offset some of the mortgage payment and/or save funds, anyone considering being a landlord and/or a family that has an ADU or mother-in-law that isn’t being used.
  • Treat the rental agreement like a business, even if it is just a room. Use a lease, do a thorough background and credit check and employment verification.

House hacking has many perks, including, more money in your pocket. Who doesn’t like more money? If you house hacked, what would you use the extra cash for? I may be crazy but I would save it to purchase another rental. 🙂

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.