Don’t Have a CLUE?

Denver & CLUE reports?

An insurance policy is required by most lenders when you buy a home in Denver or other places. The premium for that first year needs to be paid and an escrow is set up to pay next years policy. If that policy premium is too high you may not qualify for the mortgage on that home. And it is all related to the previous owner’s claim history. Read on…

If you haven’t heard of a CLUE report, it has nothing to do with the table game searching for a murderer. It is a report showing the insurance claims on your home and car for the past five to seven years.Denver CLUE report

This database is used by insurance companies to evaluate risks and determine rates. C.L.U.E. stands for Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. Rates can be increased not only due to legitimate claims but data entry errors also. Sometimes, simply asking a question without filing a claim can be logged as a claim.

For that reason, similar to verifying the accuracy of your credit report, it is important to check out the CLUE report on your home and car. The reports are free and there is a process for correcting mistakes.

An interesting and sometimes costly surprise occurs during the home buying process. The claim experience of the prior seller could impact the price of the premium of the new buyer. For that reason, you can ask for a copy of the CLUE report on the home you’re interested in buying prior to writing a contract.

Here is an interesting example: My neighborhood has been hammered by hails storms twice in the last 3 years hence 2 claims. A neighbor had the water line between the house and the street start leaking and raised the ground water in his and another neighbors crawl spaces. Well the neighbor filed an insurance claim, that makes 3, and now his insurance company has cancelled his policy due to the number of claims, and his clue report means he will pay excessive premiums for a few years until the claims fade away. And none of this has to do with any culpability on his part, only acts of God and a contractor who “kinked” a copper pipe 28 years ago. So when getting ready to sell your Denver home, it might be good to check that CLUE report if you have had multiple claims on your insurance.

If you need help getting a CLUE drop me a note here.

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Hidden Costs of Home Buying in Denver

One of the greatest joys of working in this business of real estate in Denver is helping someone buy that first house. The excitement is palpable and it is especially gratifying when everything goes according to plan: the lender gets the money there; the inspection works out; there are no title glitches; and everyone gets the times and locations correct. No drama just weeping for joy! When you hear someone asking real estate related questions please introduce us, but make sure to read on…

Owning a home is the great American dream! When it comes to buying a home, most of your clients naturally begin by combing through thousands of online listings, oohing and aahing as they find homes they ♥. While the process varies from client to client, that first-time home buying feeling only happens once. And when it comes to that group, here are the facts:

  • First-time buyers account for 52% of the future buying potential
  • Despite being plagued by student loan debt and in a different headspace than previous generations, Millennials are ready to buy with the majority of current first-time home buyers being in this generation
  • Older Millennials (25-34) dominate current home shoppers, making up 33% of the market

As with all buyers, first-time home buyers are aware of the long-term financial commitment that comes with homeownership. However, while they know what features and amenities they want in a home and are expecting a mortgage payment, they may not know about the additional “hidden” costs associated with buying a home. Remember, these buyers are completely new to the process and are looking for an agent who knows their stuff! In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 74% of Millennials said that help understanding the purchase process is the most beneficial part of having a real estate agent. This is your chance to demonstrate your value! We’ve made that easy for you by creating the infographic below for you to share directly with your first-time home buyer clients.

Denver Millennial Home Buyers

For more about the Home Buying Process in Denver CLICK HERE

Source: ListHub

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Emergency Kit for the Car in Highlands Ranch

Last week I traveled from Highlands Ranch to the Mescalero Apache Indian Nation near Alamogordo and found myself in the middle of an emergency. They needed blankets and ropes which I had in my trunk. My lightweight jacket went too! I was glad I had them to give to those in need as I know there was real comfort given. My real estate emergency supplies are in my experience but read on…

Mickey Mantle said “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”

Similarly, if people planning their summer travel knew they were going to have an emergency, they would have the right things available. Only 5% of drivers carry all recommended emergency supplies in their cars.Highlands Ranch emergency supplies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that all Americans have some basic supplies on hand in order to survive for at least three days if an emergency occurs. Some of these things would be more important if you lived or traveled in remote areas.

  • Reflective hazard triangle or road flares
  • Spare tire
  • Jumper cables
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Crucial medications
  • Emergency radio with batteries
  • Bottled water for each person and pet in your car
  • Non-perishable, high-calorie food
  • Distress signal flag
  • Matches or lighter

During cold weather, additional items are recommended:

  • Windshield scraper and brush
  • Blankets and extra warm clothing
  • Road salt or cat litter to help with tire traction
  • Tarp for working outside in weather

It is recommended that emergency supplies should be checked at least twice a year to see that all of the items are in working order and in good condition. It is important that items are replaced if any of them are used during the year.

The American Red Cross is among many sources where emergency preparedness kits and supplies can be purchased.

You never know when you need these things for someone else and I never know when a client will need some special help. You might drive down the road and into a flash flood or find yourself on the edge of a wildfire like we had in Highlands Ranch last year. Something in your car could save a life or just provide warmth and comfort. Get to know more about this Highlands Ranch resident and Realtor here.

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DENVER-What Can You Expect?

One of the basic tenants I have always subscribed to is “FAIR and HONEST Business dealings” with all my Denver, and elsewhere, clients. I was thrilled to see that proclamation in the real estate commissions guidelines and definitions of real estate brokers. I take it even further with my standards which you can see by clicking here. But read on…

Businesses must treat customers fairly if they expect to do business with them again or get recommendations to their friends. Customers of stores like Nordstrom’s understand that a salesperson is an employee and represents the company.denver home buyers

The line becomes less clear in some industries, especially ones that involve real estate. Agency is a legal relationship authorizing a person to act for or in the place of another. It involves responsibilities that exceed treating a person fairly.

The duties a buyer or seller can expect to receive from a real estate salesperson or broker include but are not limited to honesty, accountability, full disclosure, representation and reasonable skill and care. Buyers and sellers might additionally expect representation, obedience, loyalty and confidentiality. State laws can differ on specific duties.

Mortgage and title officers are limited in their duties to the buyer to honesty and accountability and specific requirements under the federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act.

A special relationship with a real estate agent makes it advantageous to have them coordinate efforts with the other professionals in the home buying process. Since most buyers’ and sellers’ transactions are infrequent, the agent can bring valuable experience to the transaction.

Every buyer and seller should discuss the level of service they expect from the real estate professional they work with. Another good question is what happens if the purchase and sale are within the same company.

Regarding agency, I have always chosen the direct route…that is to disclose the relationships early. And hopefully, when we talk about your real estate needs here in Denver, you will find that I always want to take the position of being on your side of the fence, not being on the fence as so many do today. My goal is to represent you, and your interests first. How can I do that? Well as an dear friend, attorney and instructor who is now gone on to greater things once said to me “Pete, you know what you are doing”.

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Hands-Only CPR

Last time I was certified for CPR was in 1975. I am sure glad it has evolved into hands only instead of the additional breathing. Some times a Denver Realtor has to perform CPR on a real estate transaction. I had one that took 6 attempts to get it closed! But this is far more important…

Hands-only CPR can save lives. The American Heart Association states that “Almost 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.” Most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by a bystander.

  1. Check for responsiveness – shake the person and shout “Are you OK?”11700251-250.jpg
  2. Call 9-1-1 – either tell someone to call or make the call yourself
  3. Compress – Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 per minute.

The victim should be flat on their back preferably on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest and place the heel on top of the other hand lacing your fingers together. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift enough to let the chest recoil.

Chest compressions should be continued until the person shows obvious life-like breathing, the scene becomes unsafe, an AED (automatic external defibrillator) becomes available, or a trained responder takes over the emergency treatment.

Alternating mouth-to-mouth breaths is not necessary using this method. Compressions are adequate except in drowning or drug overdose situations where 30 chest compressions are followed by two mouth-to-mouth breaths.

Watch this two-minute video and consider taking instructions from the Red Cross or other qualified provider. Every household should have at least one person trained in life-saving skills.

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Denver Realtor “Not Just Denver”

Denver Realtor shares From the National Association of Realtors

Pending Home Sales Sluggish as Low Supply Rears Its Head

Pending home sales were sluggish in April as low supply reared its head, down 1.3 percent in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The PHSI posted 109.8 in April, down from 111.3 in March. The Index is based on contract signings.

“Much of the country for the second straight month saw a pullback in pending sales as the rate of new listings continues to lag the quicker pace of homes coming off the market,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “REALTORS® are indicating that foot traffic is higher than a year ago, but it’s obviously not translating to more sales.

Denver Realtor

National Assn Realtor

“Prospective buyers are feeling the double whammy this spring of inventory that’s down 9.0 percent from a year ago and price appreciation that’s much faster than any rise they’ve likely seen in their income.”

The West fared best in April, with pending home sales up 5.8 percent to an Index reading of 100.0, though still down 4.2 percent from one year ago. The Midwest saw a 4.7 percent decrease in the Index to 104.4, while the South saw a 2.7 percent decrease to 125.9, and the Northeast, a 1.7 percent decrease to 97.2.

Scarce supply will remain the status quo, according to Yun, unless more homes are made available, especially from the investor side.

“The unloading of single-family homes purchased by real estate investors during the downturn for rental purposes would also go a long way in helping relieve these inventory shortages,” Yun says. “To date, there are no indications investors are ready to sell; however, they should be mindful of the fact that rental demand will soften as the overall population of young adults starts to shrink in roughly five years.”

If you want to visit (no obligation) about the Denver real estate market and where we see it going, drop me a note or contact me. It would be my pleasure!

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Denver – Must Be This Tall to Ride?

Oh yeah…it happened to me near White Plains New York. But it also happened when I was looking for a house here in Denver. And it just happened to a couple who wanted to pay all cash. They did not have proof of funds that a seller could see. “I have never had to do that before!” But today is a lot different than it was 25 years ago. So enjoy the read and then come back…

Surely, you remember being a child at an amusement park when after having stood in line with your friends and family, waiting to get on a terrific ride, you discovered the sign that read, “you must be this tall to ride.”This Tall in Denver

Not only was it disappointing, it was slightly embarrassing. You never want to go through that again.

A remarkably similar situation occurs when people are buying a home. After finding the right home and negotiating the contract, they find out that they don’t measure up financially. It’s not something that anyone wants to go through if they have a choice.

Regardless of what you think you know, if you’re buying a home with a loan, you need to physically visit with a trusted mortgage professional before you get serious.

  • You’ll find out your credit score which will directly affect the mortgage rate you’ll pay.
  • You might discover blemishes on your credit that possibly can be corrected.
  • You’ll even get a pre-approval letter that you can submit with an offer which could dramatically affect your negotiations in the current competitive market.

Some rides don’t turn out to be as good as you thought they were going to be. A person certainly doesn’t want that disappointment with a lender. Contact me for a recommendation of trusted mortgage professional.

It would be my pleasure to introduce you to a professional loan officer. Contact me… When I bought my first home in 1972, people took your word you could afford it. It doesn’t seem that way anymore. If you are getting a loan they want a loan officer to say that you can. If you are paying cash they want to see proof you have it. 

And if you are an all cash buyer here in Denver, lets talk about how you need to be ready, and what documents the seller will need to see.

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Buyers with Student Debt

Denver First Time Buyers and Sellers need to be positioned to take advantage of these programs. Read on…

59% of non-owners are not comfortable taking on a mortgage with their student debt according to the Aspiring Home Buyers 2017 survey. It is estimated that buyers with student debt (aka college graduates) have an average of $37,172 in student debt.first time buyers

Fannie Mae, who has loan programs with as little as three to five percent down payments, has announced changes to how student loan debt is treated that could make the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

For the 5 million borrowers who participate in the reduced payment plans, actual payments are considered for calculating debt-to-income ratio rather than maximum payment amount.

Non-mortgage debts paid by another party for at least 12 months won’t be included in calculating debt-to-income ratio. For example, payments being made on a student loan by the parents would not be counted against the DTI ratio for the student.

These changes can make it possible for would-be buyers with student debt to get a home now instead of waiting for years. Being pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional is the best way to confirm that these changes apply to your situation. Call today for a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

For a list of good mortgage lenders in go to my Denver lenders web page.

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Good Info – Good Decisions

While homes available to buy are pretty scarce, some folks are not willing to make the move in Denver, yet prices will make it prohibitive with 10% annual increases. Hiding one’s head in the sand will keep you in that neighborhood you do not want to be in. So we should talk after you read this…

While low inventory is certainly challenging buyers, not having a clear understanding of mortgage financing is also causing issues. By having good information, they are able to make better decisions as well as compete favorably.Mortgage Rate History in Denver

Most buyers don’t realize how the mortgage rate is determined for a borrower. While annual income is important, a good credit score, low debt-to-income ratio, loan-to-value ratio and ability to repay the loan are vital concerns.

A variety of myths seem to permeate the market such as rates are set and released once a day; FHA loans are for first-time buyers only; pre-qualification commits the lender; lender fees are not negotiable and adjustable rate mortgages always go up.

Misunderstanding of actual mortgage practices may be a contributing factor to why more buyers are not taking advantage of what are still historically low mortgage rates.

While getting solid information about mortgages and being pre-approved from a lender are very important, it is only one step in the home buying process. Success in buying a home in today’s market should begin with a real estate professional who will coordinate all the different parts of the transaction including mortgage, title, insurance, inspections.

For good lenders here in Denver, go to

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Reasons to Refinance

The current conversation in Denver real estate circles is all around whether we are in a bubble. Even if we were (we are not) with rates this low, it is time to refinance that loan. Maybe even investigate a reverse mortgage? read on…

Regardless of the reason to refinance a home, the basic question to ask is: “Do you plan to live in the home long enough to recapture the cost of refinancing?” There are always expenses involved in refinancing which can be paid in cash or rolled into the new mortgage.

From a strictly financial standpoint, the break-even point is achieved when the cost of refinancing has been recaptured by the monthly savings. It would take approximately 23 months to recapture $4,000 of refinance costs with a lower payment of $175 a month.Deciding to refinance in Denver

  1. Lower the rate
  2. Shorten the term so that the loan will build equity faster and be paid off sooner.
  3. Lower your payment to reduce your monthly cost of housing.
  4. Convert an ARM to a FRM to stabilize your payment due to concern of rising interest rates.
  5. Cash out equity to be able to use the money for another purpose.
  6. Combine a first and second mortgage.
  7. Consolidate personal debt so the interest is tax deductible.
  8. Payoff higher cost debt such as credit cards, student debt, etc.
  9. Remove a person from a loan as in the case of a divorce.

Points paid to purchase a principal residence are tax deductible completely in the year paid. However, the points must be spread over the life of the mortgage on a refinance. For that reason, consider getting a “par” value loan with no points. It may have a slightly higher rate but the interest will be fully deductible and it will lower the cost of refinancing.

Determine the break-even point on your situation by using the Refinance Analysis . Call Pete 303-880-5585 ext 3 for a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

Or go to

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