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The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents.

there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years.

The graph which helps visualize the data from the report.

Bottom Line

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy.

#realestate   #homeownership   #mortgage  
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The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.

Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000 $500,000 range up 21.2%.

The chart shows the breakdown.

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit with your agent and see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

#realestate   #marketconditions   #economy  
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National Homeownership Month started as a week-long celebration of homeownership during the Clinton administration in 1995. In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed June as the National Homeownership Month.

Here is an excerpt from his proclamation:

“Homeownership is an important part of the American Dream…A home provides shelter and a safe place where families can prosper and children can thrive. For many Americans, their home is an important financial investment, and it can be a source of great personal pride and an important part of community stability.”

“Homeownership encourages personal responsibility and the values necessary for strong families. Where homeownership flourishes, neighborhoods are more stable, residents are more civic-minded, schools are better, and crime rates decline.”

“During National Homeownership Month, I encourage all Americans to learn more about financial management and to explore homeownership opportunities in their communities. By taking this important step, individuals and families help safeguard their financial futures and contribute to the strength of our Nation.”

If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to make the transition from renter to homeowner, let me know, so we can take a look at your situation.

#realestate   #homeownership  
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The FREE real estate guides have been updated for Spring, 2015! Get your no-obligation copy now at and stay current with information you need to know.
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It's a tight market out there. 
Rents Are Up, and Not Where You Might Expect
The Bay Area, New York City and other hot real estate markets have been coping with rapid rent appreciation for years. Now the rent is surging in smaller markets, raising affordability concerns.
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We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand.

If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now.

According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity last month (January) was three times greater than it was last January. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market in great numbers.

The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed that the months’ supply of housing inventory had fallen to 4.4 months which is the lowest it has been in over a year.

Bottom Line
These charts reflect the national housing market, but I can tell you that in my market area, the supply is well less than half the national average. Buyers are ready! Listing your house for sale when demand is high and supply is low will guarantee the offers made will truly reflect the true value of your property.

#realestate   #economics   #housingmarket2015  
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There has been much talk about homeownership, and whether it is a true vehicle for building wealth. A new report looks at the impact owning a home has on the financial well-being of people closing in on their retirement years (ages 55-64).

A recently released study by the Hamilton Project, Ten Economic Facts about Financial Well-Being in Retirement, showed that:

1. Middle-class households near retirement age have about as much wealth in their homes as they do in their retirement accounts.

“Over the past quarter century the largest single source of wealth for all but the richest households nearing retirement age has been their homes, which accounted for about two-fifths of net worth in the early 1990s and accounts for about one-third today.”

2. Home equity is a very important source of net worth to all but the wealthiest households near retirement age.

“Home equity is an important source of wealth for middle income households, accounting for more than one-third of total net worth for the second, third, and fourth quintiles of the net worth distribution… The fifth quintile has a much larger share in business equity—almost a quarter—than any other quintile. (The figure leaves out the bottom quintile of households because they have negative net worth. It is likely that these households will rely almost exclusively on Social Security in retirement.)”

The chart shows an asset breakdown for the middle 20% of Americans determined by median net worth ($165, 720). It's easy to see that homeownership has a big role in building wealth for American families.

#homeownership   #wealth   #retirement  
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People often ask whether they should buy a home now or wait. Recently released data suggests that waiting may not make sense as prices seem to again be on the rise. Let’s take a look at some of the data and commentary on the subject:

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics:
“The current tightness of supply conditions would normally be consistent with much faster price growth. The continued steady growth in home sales that we expect this year will only add to this upward pressure on prices.”

Case Shiller Home Price Index
“The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015 … with a 0.8% increase for the month.”

Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic
“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015… Tight inventories, job growth and the impact of demographics and household formation are pushing price levels in many states toward record levels.”

Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics at NAR
“Even without further acceleration, the pace of price growth remains too high. Strong buyer demand and low inventories coupled with relatively low new construction are helping to push prices up, keeping the housing market tipped in favor of sellers.”

FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis
"The first quarter saw strong and widespread home price growth throughout most of the country. Home prices are now, on average, roughly 20 percent above where they were three years ago. This run-up has been historically exceptional and is particularly notable in light of the limited household income growth and modest rate of overall inflation observed during that same time period."

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home in the near future, waiting probably doesn’t make sense from a purely pricing standpoint.

#realestate   #homebuying   #homebuyertips  
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Matthew Rognlie, from the Department of Economics at MIT, recently released a paper: Deciphering the Fall and Rise in the Net Capital Share. One of the major findings of the report is that homeownership is and has been for the last fifty years a major component to family wealth.

An article on the study in The Economist notes one of the findings of the study:

“The return on non-housing wealth, in fact, has been remarkably stable since 1970. Instead, surging house prices are almost entirely responsible for growing returns on capital.”

This came as no surprise as the Federal Reserve previously reported that the net worth of families that own their own home is 36 times greater than that of families that rent.

Bottom Line

HousingWire’s Senior Financial Reporter, Trey Garrison, summed it up well in his reporting on Rognlie’s study:

“Homeownership has consistently created generational wealth more reliably, and more ‘democratically’, than any other asset class. And it does so in a manner entirely ancillary to its primary purpose of giving you a place to lay your head and keep your stuff.”

#realestate   #homeownership   #wealth  
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The 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate is still generally available below 4%. Many buyers might be on the fence about purchasing a new home, or waiting until next year and hoping the low rates will still be available.

If you are one of those buyers, take a look at what the experts are predicting over the course of the next 12 months. It might make the decision for you.

Predictions for 2016 2Q:

4.2% - Fannie Mae
4.7% - Freddie Mac
4.9% - Mortgage Bankers Association
5.3% - National Association of Realtors

Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family’s net worth.

Let’s look at it this way…

The monthly payment (principal & interest only) on a $250,000 loan today, with the current 3.86% interest rate, would be $1,173.

Take a look at that same home one year later. The Home Price Expectation Survey projects that prices will rise about 4.4%, so your mortgage will need to be $11,000 more, or $261,000. That alone might affect your ability to buy the home.

If we take the average mortgage rate projection of 4.78% from above, the monthly mortgage payment climbs to $1,366. Some buyers might not think that an extra $193 a month is that bad, but over the course of 30-year mortgage you will have spent an additional $69,480 because you waited a year, and you'll need over $600 more in gross income per month to qualify for the loan.

Bottom Line

We've been very lucky that mortgage rates have been staying so low for so long. Nothing lasts forever, though, and those rates are expected to go up. Don't let your luck run out.

#realestate   #mortgage   #mortgagerates  
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Wait! Before you write that earnest money check, maybe a little-used thing called an earnest money promissory note might work. It might not, but you should know about it. Read more at the blog.

#realestate   #financing  
Earnest money promissory notes are kind of a unique little animal in the real estate world. They are rarely used, but can be useful.
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Highlands Ranch, CO
USColoradoHighlands Ranch
Real Estate AgencyToday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
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Real estate agent and REALTOR  representing Equity Colorado, and offering personalized service to buyers and sellers in south metro Denver. 
  • Master Certified Negotiation Expert
  • Certified Distressed Property Expert
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