Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

As your Colorado Springs real estate agent Jeff Ryder, I want to be your resource for all things real estate. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, I am here to guide you through the process. Subscribe to this blog to learn all of the latest news from our local market and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Tips to Get You Ahead of the Game in 2018

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

If you’re thinking about buying a house in 2018, the time to start working on it is now. Actually, December through January is the perfect time to get the ball rolling so you can hit the ground running next year. Here are a couple quick tips to keep in mind to get ahead of your game and the competition.

1. Check your credit score. Having good credit is like gold when applying for a mortgage. Typically, you’ll get the best rates if your credit score is around 740 or higher. But if you don’t have perfect credit, it’s okay. Just start working on it now. The first thing you’ll want to do is check your credit report to see if there are any errors on there that are easily fixable; a lot of times there are. Pay your bills on time, and make sure that you don’t carry a balance that’s above 30% of your available credit.

2. Don’t open any new lines of credit. Don’t buy a car or anything really expensive for Christmas. As you’re doing your holiday shopping, I know it’s tempting to save the 20% on the new card department stores push at you, but it can actually hurt your chances of getting a loan, so don’t overspend during the holiday season.

3. Ask for money for Christmas instead of traditional gifts. When you buy a house, you’re going to need money for closing costs, unexpected repairs, upgrades you’ll want to do, and anything other projects you decide to undergo. That in mind, it’s a good idea to ask for cash instead of gifts for the holidays.

Make sure that you don’t carry a balance that’s above 30% of your available credit.

4. Find a good mortgage lender even before you start shopping online, because you don’t want to fall in love with a house you can’t afford. A good lender will be able to tell you how much home you actually qualify for and how much you want to qualify for. You may qualify for a $300,000 house, but you might not want the payment associated with it. A good lender can give you a guideline of what price range to look at. Now’s a good time to take a look at closing costs, rates, and how long it takes for a lender to close on a loan.

5. Start interviewing real estate agents. I can put you in touch with a great Realtor who will be able to talk about the kinds of features—benefits, bedrooms, bathrooms, locations, floor plans, and more—you want to be in the house that will be your home.

If you’re ready to grab a cup of coffee and talk about the home buying process and what you’ll need in order to be prepared in 2018, give me a call or shoot me an email. Have a great day and a great 2018.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why You Should Get a Home Inspection & How I Can Help

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

If you are buying a home, you need to have it inspected by a professional home inspector.

Today, I’ll show you how you can get a free home inspection (including a radon test and sewer scope). First, I want to explain why it’s so important to get one in the first place. Brody Lotz, the co-owner of American Professional Home Inspection, is here to help.

So, why is an inspection so important?

The main thing is that when you buy a home, especially as a first-time buyer, you are making one of the biggest investments of your life. You want peace of mind. You don’t want to walk into a bad situation or money pit. Inspectors like Brody look at things to protect your investment.

What major components are covered in a home inspection?

The most important things inspectors look for are structural issues. “We check the roof for leaks and look at plumbing, electrical, and, of course, the foundation,” says Brody. “We really pay attention to big-ticket safety items. We also look at your appliances like the water heater and the furnace, which could be a big deal down the road.” Your inspector is there to make sure you are protected.

What is radon and why do you need to test for it?

Radon is present everywhere in the air, but it tends to accumulate in basements. Radon is a radioactive gas that dissipates in the air, but radon levels can rise in your home. If the house does have high levels of radon, it can be mitigated.

Now, in my opinion, it’s also very important to check the sewer line. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories out there where someone buys a house, the sewer line collapses, and the basement is flooded with sewage. Not all homes need a sewer line inspection, though. According to Brody, he determines that on a case by case basis.

It all depends on what kind of drain pipes there are, how old the home is, and if there are a lot of trees in the front yard. Those are all major concerns. If Brody can determine what the pipes are made out of, that can help determine whether or not the property needs a sewer line inspection.

Home inspections protect your investment.

If the sewer line collapses after you buy the house, that’s automatically a $10,000 to $15,000 fix. You can protect yourself from that by paying a much smaller amount for a home inspection.

Now, I have a home inspection certificate valued at $600. If you are the first buyer to contact me, I will pay for your inspection, as well as your radon and sewer line tests.

I want to go above and beyond that, so here’s my next offer: If you buy a house with me before the end of 2017, I will pay for your home inspection to make sure you are protected when making such a big investment.

If you are interested or know someone who is, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can also reach out to Brody at 719-648-4098 or with any home inspection questions you might have. We would be happy to help you!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Colors That Make You Money

Most people have heard that you should stick with neutral colors when painting your home before a sale. However, a new study shows that this may no longer be the case.

Selling your Colorado Springs home? Get a home value report
Buying a Colorado Springs Home? Click here for full MLS access

Did you know that you could add thousands to the value of your home by spending less than $100?

We’ve all heard that neutral paint colors are best for your home. However, a recent study from Money Magazine now indicates that you may want to go with something a little bolder.

The study included more than 32,000 photos of homes, and the results showed that certain colors in certain rooms can increase the value of your home by more than $5,000.

A navy blue front door can really make the house pop.

Homes with blue or gray-blue kitchens sold for about $1,800 more. A lot of white in a kitchen can also help it to appear cleaner.

In a smaller room like a bathroom, an accent wall is going to give you much more bang for your buck. Powder blue and periwinkle are very popular colors for bathrooms.

Homes with bold shades of blue also tend to boost home value. Dining rooms look good in slate blue or pale gray, while living rooms generally benefit from a light beige or pale taupe.

On the exterior of the home, a navy blue front door can really make the house pop.

I’m not an interior decorator or a stager, but I am connected with a team of professionals who can help you sell your home for the most money with simple tips like this.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.