Some Good News for Denver.

Denver

The last few months have left many uneasy, concerned and feeling out of control with how the corona virus would impact both the nation and our city. Now that we are about a month into the safer at home model and home showings were able to resume, I am happy to be able to report some good news.

Real Estate. 
Inventory is as an all-time low, however, demand is not. Although, not great for buyers, we seemed to slide right into the busy season without missing a beat. Homes on the market experience multiple offers and go under contract within days. The best explanation to why we have seen such extreme volatility in the stock market but not in the real estate market is a simple: supply and demand. Nationally, we still not have enough supply of affordable homes.

Long Term Rentals.
This one was a doozy from the start of corona virus as renters felt the immediate impact of the sudden shutdown. In April, many landlords were very concerned about their ability of receiving rent over the next few months. Anxiety continued to rise as eviction moratoriums were put into place for government backed mortgages and many states. This put a lot of pressure on landlords as mortgage payments continues while rents may have stopped. However, nationally, 91% of rents were collected in April and 93% were collected in May. Stimulus checks and unemployment most likely contributed to May rent collections.

Short-Term Rentals. 
Almost immediately the world saw the impact of corona virus and short-term rentals as a travel ban was passed. Overnight, short-term rentals saw guests cancelling reservations and were left wondering how they would continue to make their mortgage payments. Some were lucky enough to be able to pivot into a long-term rental. However, as states reopen, we are seeing a surge in demand for Airbnb’s. Colorado has seen an increase in hyperlocal travel (2-3 hours away from home) and ‘glamping‘.

Overall, we have seen some great progress, however, we still aren’t in the clear. Colorado has not fully reopened and there are still a few unknowns. As things progress I am keeping an eye on a number of indicators, such as, interest rates (the Fed is still pumping QE into the bond market buying up bonds which results in lower interest rates for consumers), the impact of unemployment especially when it ends this Fall/Winter, and forbearances and deferred mortgage payments coming due over the next 6 months. However, the progress that we have made so far is incredibly positive!

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

Professional Photos to Sell Your Home.

professional photos

Even through a pandemic, the Denver real estate market still remains a strong seller’s market. As we navigate these new restrictions to showings it is even more imperative that seller’s employ a great marketing strategy that includes pricing the home right, professional photos and more. With the current health concerns, buyers are doing a lot more research online before actually stepping into a home.

Think of the presentation of the home like a first interview. You are taking the time to get to know it, a buyer is trying to determine if it is a good fit. Will the layout work? Are the features what they want? When you go on an interview, what are you going to wear? In corporate America it would be your nicest suit (please!). As a entrepreneur, you may not need to have a suit but you definitely want to look your best, correct?

According to realtor.com 92% of buyers use the Internet for their home search. Since most people start their home search online, professional pictures are the first thing that sells a home. Without professional pictures, fewer buyers will step foot into your home which results in less interest and less offers.

Putting your best foot forward can actually make you money. This fact holds true for homes that use professional photography. A 2010 Redfin study showed that professionally photographed homes sell for at least $934 and as much as $18,819 more than homes photographed by an amateur.

So, how do professional pictures sell real estate?

  1. The right angle. Photographers are trained to find the features of the home and capture it in a way to exemplify the feature. One does not need 500 pictures of the home to sell it but rather a handful of pictures that capture the right angle.
  2. Lighting. There is not enough emphasis placed on the strength of good lighting in a picture. Again, it can help bring focus to the home’s features.
  3. Composition. Photographers will define the subject and the elements that need to be in the picture.  This allows the pictures to tell a story and create more appeal.
  4. Editing. After the shoot, the photographer will choose the best pictures to help you sell the home.

With a majority of the home search occurring online, professional pictures are a mandatory part of the marketing plan. As a seller, ensure your agent is keeping their iPhone in their pocket and not snapping pictures to use to sell your home.

 

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

 

Featured Home In Littleton.

6980 S Lee Way Littleton CO 80127 | $625,000 | 3,554 Sq. Ft | 4 bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms

We are back! Showings have resumed and this home certainly piques my interest! This walk-out ranch offers main floor living with vaulted ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors, built-ins and a gourmet kitchen. The main floor master is the perfect spot to unwind with private access to the hot tub and a master bath with a soaking tub and an oversized walk-in shower. Think of all the possibilities with a walkout basement that already has a bedroom, laundry, game room and living room. It’s the perfect place for parties, mother-in-law suite or a rental?

Listing courtesy of Coldwell Banker.

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

HOMEwork.

chandelier

 

Remember the house we were updating? Reminder hereherehere and here.  Well, things have been slow moving over the last year and we were finally getting momentum again right before stay-at-home orders. Which left us with a room that we were turning into a butler’s pantry with holes in the drywall and counter height electrical socket but no counters. That room now is my husband’s new home office so it all worked out as it should.

However, we are trying to tackle what we can while we are home and something tell me we are not the only people taking on home projects during this time. First project up: change out the ugly chandelier over the dining table. Seems like an easy task, however, it proved to be a little more difficult this time around without the ability to go to the stores.

Size of the Chandelier. 

There are two ways to determine the width of the chandelier. One way takes into consideration the size of the room and the other takes into consideration the size of the table.

  • Using the size of the room: Measure the room length and width. For us it was 10.5 ft. X 13.5 ft. Then add the length and width together to get the width (which is 24 inches in our case). This measurement is best if you have a formal dining room that is a separate room.
  • However, if you have a dining room that opens to the kitchen/living space, determining the width of the chandelier is best by measuring the length and width of the table it will go over. Our table is 5 ft. X 3 ft. When using the measurement of the table, width of the chandelier should be one-half to two-thirds the width of the table. Therefore, the width for our table should be roughly 12 inches to 24 inches.

Bet you didn’t know there was a science to finding the right sized chandelier!

The Look.

Now onto the fun part: the style. I use a lot of mixed metals in this home and I fully believe in not having things all match. However, I was there was a lot of steel and a little bit of gold already in the room so I wanted a black fixture. There is always an argument in our home on traditional vs. modern so I knew I needed something that would be a great mixture of both traditional and modern. Also, we needed a chandelier with a chain as that was what we currently had and would make it easier to switch out without patching the ceiling.

The Budget. 

Always the least fun of every project. Any project we do around the home, I always want to keep it as inexpensive as possible however I do need to be realistic. Whenever considering the budget, I always outweigh what the home will be. Is it a rental? Is it a primary home, if so, for how long. We are not yet in our forever home so I like to be practical. The chandeliers I have found are between $100 – $200.

Here are a few that would fit the look and the budget:

Sources: one / two / three / four

You will notice that two of these are bigger than the suggested 24 inches. I am comfortable pushing the size of the chandelier a little bit since we have 10 ft. ceilings.

Tell me, which one is your favorite? I am leaning more towards number one. However, it is currently out of stock so now I have to decide if it is worth the way. What projects have you crossed off the list during this time?

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

Who Needs a Good Book?

This year I set a daunting goal to read 50 books this year. Little did I know that the coronavirus would slow everything down and provide a great reason (and time) to read.  In quarter one, I was able to finish a total of 16 books and before going into details about the book, I wanted to chat about some of the tricks I employed to read this many books.

  1. Book clubs: In the last year I joined two book clubs (one virtual and one face-to-face) but these book clubs have kept me accountable AND push me to read a different type of book. Also, they are fun!
  2. I read multiple books at a time. I never used to do this but I find doing this makes me a little more efficient reader. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just need to switch it up based on my mood.
  3. If I don’t get into a book within the first 50-75 pages, I discard it. I never used to do this and would force myself to finish the book. Life is TOO short to read boring books.
  4. Goodreads. I joined the social network for book nerds! This also keeps me accountable to my 2020 Reading Challenge and I am able to see what my friends read, which has led me to reading some of my favorite books so far. Follow me!

Anywho, if you are looking for a good book, here is what I have read so far broken into category.

Fiction.

Circe. A Greek mythology, Circe, daughter of Hellios is born with powers that allow her to turn rivals into monsters and her actions get her banished to a deserted island.  This book chronicles her life as a woman who stands alone. There are a lot of key players (as every Greek mythology) so it took a little extra thought to keep characters straight.

Nine Perfect Strangers. Nine strangers visit a remote Health Spa with hopes to remedy some of their life’s problems. They find themselves in a much bigger situation and challenge as events at the Health Spa get stranger and stranger. I had high hopes for this novel as it was the same author of Big Little Lies. This book took about 100 pages to get into and some of the events in the book were so outrageous that it was hard to believe.

Daisy Jones & The Six. Based in the sixties, this is about a iconic rock band and their beautiful, lead singer. This is a very easy read and in a narrative form which keeps the story moving and interesting. Would have loved just a little more drama and rock and roll though.

When Never Comes. This story weaves between past and present for Christy-Lynn. Her husband is found dead, along with his mistress. Christy-Lynn is stunned to find out about the mistress and with more research, she finds a These turn of events provoke Christy-Lynn to look into her past of growing up with an alcoholic mother and then being an orphan and re-evaluate her current life and her deceased husband’s child who now finds herself an orphan. I have been a member of Kindle Unlimited for some time (I pay $10 a month to essentially borrow certain kindle books on Amazon), although, I never use it. This what one of the first books I decided to read on Kindle Unlimited and was quite impressed.

When We Believed in Mermaids. This is a tale of two sisters and the search for truth. Kit believes her sister Jozie died years ago during a train fire. However, one night, Kit sees Jozie on the nightly news as a bystander to a club fire. This leads Kit across the world on a search to find her sister and, ultimately, come to terms with her chaotic upbringing and family life. I am a sucker for a family saga (especially between sisters) and this was one of my favorite fictions books I read first quarter.

The Great Alone. This book came highly recommended and the writer wrote one of my favorite books, The Nightingale.  However, this book did not hold my attention. The story chronicles a family who moves to Alaska to get away from it all. They find themselves fitting for survival and in a how new way of life.

Non-Fiction

The Moment of Lift. This book chronicles the work she and Bill Gates do throughout the world, especially with women. You will read stories of child marriages, sex workers and gender inequality. This book was pretty interesting, I find the Gates fascinating and quite innovative.

Stress Less, Accomplish More. Ah, meditation, a practice I struggle to maintain. This book goes into the benefits of meditation (there are many) and the author’s method of meditation called Zika mediation.

Bringing Up Bebe. Have you ever considered how other countries raise their children? The Parisian way seems to be elusive with well behaved children and less stress. An American family moves to France with their toddler and immediately notice the differences as they navigate the French culture.

French Kids Eat Everything. They truly do! Similar to Bringing up Bebe, this book is a story about an American family who moves to France. They immediately notice that French children eat like adults and its no wonder since the French culture greatly values good food and all meals. This book serves as a rule book of French eating.

The Magic of Motherhood.  Looking for a book of short stories about the joys of motherhood? This is it and would make a great Mother’s Day book!

Undone. A book about family, faith and resiliency. This proved to be a very easy read written by an author local to Colorado.

Boys Adrift. We are expecting our first son in June and this is the first boy in 28 years on my side. This book came recommended as one of the best on how to raise boys to be successful. The author lists five factors on why boys are unmotivated today. He then gives parents to tools on how to help boys become successful and flourish. Quite an interesting read!

Business.

The Book on Managing Rental Properties. My husband has urged me to read this for our two rentals and I finally got to it at the start of the stay-at-home orders. It proved to be a great comprehensive overview of the rental process and systems that make your life easier as a landlord. Additionally, there are a TON of resources (and documents) that come along with this book.

Talking to Strangers. I love anything Malcolm Gladwell write and his latest book did not disappoint. Gladwell investigates how we talk to strangers and how and why it often goes wrong. Throughout the book are examples of this miscommunication in its true form.

Your Money or Your Life. I read this BEFORE Covid, however, I think it would be quite relevant now too. This poignant book is about staying back your life and achieving financial freedom. This book offers tips and tools on how to get out of debt, build good money habits, declutter and live with less, invest and start to build wealth.

Whew! That’s all the books I read in quarter one and I hope you are able to find out that piques your interest. Tell me, what good books have you read?

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.

 

This is Not Business As Usual.

real estate

Well, here we are.

I have struggled with what to write over these last few weeks as we all regain footing in this new environment. Nothing has seemed all that relevant.

As real estate agents we have been told we are not essential, then we are essential and the latest information is that we are essential but only for transactions currently under contract. Showings, open houses, etc. are not considered essential through this time. Showings are to be “virtual” with photos and videos of the home provided by the listing agent.  But let’s be honest, we are not the only ones who have had to pivot, the whole country has had to.

Through the last few weeks, I have had a lot of thoughts on this situation:

Real estate agents can play a huge role slowing down the curve. In the past, it was normal to have 35 people through an open house and to be one of three groups looking at a home at a time. Just by abstaining from those activities, we can do our part in slowing down this virus. It is both a necessity and responsibility we should take seriously.

There is a lot of misinformation and opinions. 
This seemed to start when the Fed dropped the rate to 0%. I saw a lot of professionals pushing people to buy a home because interests rates dropped. The Fed rate is the rate in which banks lend to one another, it has no impact on mortgage rates. The ten-year treasury is best to follow regarding where mortgage rates are. As time has progressed, it has escalated to professionals telling others what will happen after this is all over. Their speculation and advice ranges from financial markets, real estate markets or even what will happen socially. Here is the thing: no one knows what will happen when this is over. We have not been here before – this is not the dot.com bubble, 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis. We were in a great economy prior to this and there are so many factors that will impact the future: how long this lasts, the QE that the government provides and so much more. However, what is helping me get through the uncertainty is that we are the United States of America and I will always bank on the fact that we can get through hard times and rebuild, if put into the position.

This is hard for everyone.
COVID-19 has impacted everyone and has created stress, unknowns and fear. No one is exempt from some sort of stressor ranging from worry about their health or a loved one’s health, financial constraints, business owners trying to pay employees or handling a household of kids while working from home.

As we navigate this time together, I’d like to keep you updated of the real estate market and information that may help make this time easier. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer.

Stay safe and healthy!

Liz is  broker and owner of Liz Daigle Realty.