On Sale

With interest rates so low, one could argue that money is essentially on sale.

It’s actually half off.

30-year mortgage rates hit 3.75% which is exactly half of their long term average.

Rates have averaged 7.5% over the last 40 years so today buyers are getting half of that rate.

The “sale” on mortgage rates creates a significant savings in monthly payment because of the 1%/10% rule.

For every 1% change in interest rate, the monthly payment will change roughly 10%.

So when rates go up to 4.75%, a buyer’s payment will be 10% higher.

For example, the principal and interest payment on a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment at today’s rates is $1,482.

If rates were 1% higher, the payments jump up to $1,669.

 

Posted on August 9, 2019 at 5:37 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chugging Along

The real estate market keeps chugging along.

Here’s news from the Mortgage Banker’s Association…

Last week, applications to purchase a home hit their highest level since April 2010. This is clearly a sign that the spring selling season is starting off in full swing.

You may remember that the reason why April 2010 was so active is because of the Home Buyer Tax Credit that was in effect. In order to get a special income tax incentive, buyers had to go under contract in April 2010 and close by June 30, 2010.

Today, purchase applications are at their highest level in 9 years and are up 14% over last year. Interest rates are roughly 0.5% lower than 6 months ago and roughly 3.0% below their long-term average.

Let the Spring Selling Season begin!

Posted on April 19, 2019 at 6:24 pm
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Are You Better Off Paying Your Mortgage Earlier or Investing Your Money?

Photo Credit: Rawpixel via Unsplash

Few topics cause more division among economists than the age-old debate of whether you’re better off paying off your mortgage earlier, or investing that money instead. And there’s a good reason why that debate continues; both sides make compelling arguments.

For many people, their mortgage is the largest expense they will ever incur in their lives. So if given the chance, it only makes logical sense you would want to pay it off as quickly as possible. On the other hand, a mortgage is also the cheapest money you will ever borrow, and it’s generally considered good debt. Any extra money you obtain could be definitely be put to good use elsewhere.

The reality is, however, a little less cut and clear. For some homeowners, paying off their mortgage earlier is the right answer. While for others, it would be far more advantageous to invest their money.

Advantages of paying off your mortgage earlier

  • You’ll pay less interest: Each time you make a mortgage payment, a portion is dedicated towards interest, and another towards principal (we’ll ignore other costs for now). Interest is calculated monthly by taking your remaining balance, the length of your amortization period, and the interest rate agreed upon with your lending institution.

If you have a $300,000 mortgage, at a 4% fixed rate over 30 years, your monthly payment would be around $1,432.25. By the time you finish paying off your mortgage, you would have paid a total of $515,609, of which $215,609 were interest.

If you wanted to lower the total amount you pay on interest, you don’t need to make a large lump sum to make a difference. If you were to increase your monthly mortgage payment to $1,632.25 (a $200 a month increase), you would be saving $50,298 in interest, and you’ll pay off your mortgage 6 years and 3 months earlier.

Though this is an oversimplified example, it shows how even a small increase in monthly payments makes a big difference in the long run.

  • Every additional dollar towards your principal has a guaranteed return on investment: Every additional payment you make towards your mortgage has a direct effect in lowering the amount you pay in interest. In fact, each additional payment is, in fact, an investment. And unlike stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, you are guaranteed to have a return on your investment.
  • Enforced discipline: It takes real commitment to invest your money wisely each month instead of spending it elsewhere.

Your monthly mortgage payments are a form of enforced discipline since you know you can’t afford to miss them. It’s far easier to set a higher monthly payment towards your mortgage and stick to it than making regular investments on your own.

Besides, once your home is completely paid off, you can dedicate a larger portion of your income towards investments, your children or grandchildren’s education, or simply cut down on your working hours.

Advantages of investing your money

  • A greater return on your investment: The biggest reason why you should invest your money instead comes down to a simple, green truth: there’s more money to be made in investments.

Suppose that instead of dedicating an additional $200 towards your monthly mortgage payment, you decide to invest it in a conservative index fund which tracks S&P 500’s index. You start your investment today with $200 and add an additional $200 each month for the next 30 years. By the end of the term, if the index fund had a modest yield of 5% per year, you will have earned $91,739 in interest, and the total value of your investment would be $163,939.

If you think that 5% per year is a little too optimistic, all we have to do is see the S&P 500 performance between December 2002 and December 2012, which averaged an annual yield of 7.10%.

  • A greater level of diversification: Real estate has historically been one of the safest vehicles of investment available, but it’s still subject to market forces and changes in government policies. The forces that affect the stock and bonds markets are not always the same that affect real estate, because the former are subject to their issuer’s economic performance, while property values could change due to local events.

By putting your extra money towards investments, you are diversifying your investment portfolio and spreading out your risk. If you are relying exclusively on the value of your home, you are in essence putting all your eggs in one basket.

  • Greater liquidity: Homes are a great investment, but it takes time to sell a home even in the best of circumstances. So if you need emergency funds now, it’s a lot easier to sell stocks and bonds than a home.

 

Misael Lizarraga is a real estate writer with a passion for teaching real estate concepts to first time buyers and investors. He runs realestatecontentguy.com and is a contributing writer for several leading real estate blogs in North America.

Posted on March 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, For Buyers, For Buyers & Sellers, For Sellers, Mortgage | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Are You Better Off Paying Your Mortgage Earlier or Investing Your Money?

Photo Credit: Rawpixel via Unsplash

Few topics cause more division among economists than the age-old debate of whether you’re better off paying off your mortgage earlier, or investing that money instead. And there’s a good reason why that debate continues; both sides make compelling arguments.

For many people, their mortgage is the largest expense they will ever incur in their lives. So if given the chance, it only makes logical sense you would want to pay it off as quickly as possible. On the other hand, a mortgage is also the cheapest money you will ever borrow, and it’s generally considered good debt. Any extra money you obtain could be definitely be put to good use elsewhere.

The reality is, however, a little less cut and clear. For some homeowners, paying off their mortgage earlier is the right answer. While for others, it would be far more advantageous to invest their money.

Advantages of paying off your mortgage earlier

  • You’ll pay less interest: Each time you make a mortgage payment, a portion is dedicated towards interest, and another towards principal (we’ll ignore other costs for now). Interest is calculated monthly by taking your remaining balance, the length of your amortization period, and the interest rate agreed upon with your lending institution.

If you have a $300,000 mortgage, at a 4% fixed rate over 30 years, your monthly payment would be around $1,432.25. By the time you finish paying off your mortgage, you would have paid a total of $515,609, of which $215,609 were interest.

If you wanted to lower the total amount you pay on interest, you don’t need to make a large lump sum to make a difference. If you were to increase your monthly mortgage payment to $1,632.25 (a $200 a month increase), you would be saving $50,298 in interest, and you’ll pay off your mortgage 6 years and 3 months earlier.

Though this is an oversimplified example, it shows how even a small increase in monthly payments makes a big difference in the long run.

  • Every additional dollar towards your principal has a guaranteed return on investment: Every additional payment you make towards your mortgage has a direct effect in lowering the amount you pay in interest. In fact, each additional payment is, in fact, an investment. And unlike stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles, you are guaranteed to have a return on your investment.
  • Enforced discipline: It takes real commitment to invest your money wisely each month instead of spending it elsewhere.

Your monthly mortgage payments are a form of enforced discipline since you know you can’t afford to miss them. It’s far easier to set a higher monthly payment towards your mortgage and stick to it than making regular investments on your own.

Besides, once your home is completely paid off, you can dedicate a larger portion of your income towards investments, your children or grandchildren’s education, or simply cut down on your working hours.

Advantages of investing your money

  • A greater return on your investment: The biggest reason why you should invest your money instead comes down to a simple, green truth: there’s more money to be made in investments.

Suppose that instead of dedicating an additional $200 towards your monthly mortgage payment, you decide to invest it in a conservative index fund which tracks S&P 500’s index. You start your investment today with $200 and add an additional $200 each month for the next 30 years. By the end of the term, if the index fund had a modest yield of 5% per year, you will have earned $91,739 in interest, and the total value of your investment would be $163,939.

If you think that 5% per year is a little too optimistic, all we have to do is see the S&P 500 performance between December 2002 and December 2012, which averaged an annual yield of 7.10%.

  • A greater level of diversification: Real estate has historically been one of the safest vehicles of investment available, but it’s still subject to market forces and changes in government policies. The forces that affect the stock and bonds markets are not always the same that affect real estate, because the former are subject to their issuer’s economic performance, while property values could change due to local events.

By putting your extra money towards investments, you are diversifying your investment portfolio and spreading out your risk. If you are relying exclusively on the value of your home, you are in essence putting all your eggs in one basket.

  • Greater liquidity: Homes are a great investment, but it takes time to sell a home even in the best of circumstances. So if you need emergency funds now, it’s a lot easier to sell stocks and bonds than a home.
Posted on March 6, 2019 at 8:00 am
Rondi duPont | Category: For Buyers & Sellers, Fort Collins Real Estate, Homeowners | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

OUR FORECAST

This past Wednesday and Thursday evenings we had the pleasure of hosting our annual Market Forecast events in Denver and Fort Collins.

Thank you to the 700 people who attended both events. We appreciate your support!

In case you missed the events, here are some highlights including our forecast for price appreciation in 2019:
• In 2018 Prices went up:
o 8% in Fort Collins
o 8% in Loveland
o 8.5% in Greeley
o 8% in Metro Denver

 Inventory is (finally) showing signs of increasing:
o Up 25% in Northern Colorado
o Up 45% in Metro Denver

• There are distinct differences in months of inventory across different price ranges = opportunity for the move up buyer.

• There are several reasons why we don’t see a housing bubble forming:
o New home starts along the Front Range are roughly 60% of pre-bubble highs 14 years ago.
o Americans have more equity in their homes than ever, $6 Trillion!
o The average FICO score of home buyers is significantly higher than the long-term average.
o The home ownership rate is back to the long-term average.

• Our 2019 Price Appreciation Forecast:
o 6% in Fort Collins
o 6% in Loveland
o 7% in Greeley
o 6% in Metro Denver

If you would like a copy of the presentation, go ahead and reach out to me.  I would be happy to put it in your hands!

Posted on January 21, 2019 at 7:16 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Fort Collins Realtor, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Windsor Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A History Lesson

One of the most common questions we hear from clients is “Where do you think interest rates are going?”

Virtually all of the experts we follow put rates above 5% going into next year and some see rates approaching 5.5% by the middle of 2019. What’s certain is that there are economic forces at work that are pushing rates higher.

So, how about a little history lesson? How do today’s 30- year mortgage rates compare to this same date in history going all the way back to 1990?

• Today = 4.85%
• 2017 = 3.94%
• 2015 = 3.82%
• 2010 = 4.27%
• 2005 = 5.98%
• 2000 = 7.84%
• 1995 = 7.75%
• 1990 = 10.22%

While today’s rates feel high only because they are higher than 2017, they are quite a bit lower than at many times in history.

Posted on October 21, 2018 at 5:59 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Fort Collins Realtor, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our Forecast

Last night was our annual Market Forecast event. Thank you to the 400 clients and friends who joined us at the Marriott.

Here are our predictions for where prices are going in 2018:soap-bubble-1959327_1920.jpg

  • Fort Collins 8%
  • Loveland 7%
  • Greeley 9%

Last year’s average price increases looked like this:

  • Fort Collins 7%
  • Loveland 8%
  • Greeley 11%

Low inventory will persist in many parts of the market during 2018. But, like we mentioned last night, there are many parts of the market where the market is in balance or even over-supplied with homes. All markets are local!

Our Cheif Economist, Matthew Gardner, shared several of his insights including his prediction for interest rates one year from now which is 4.4% (about 0.5% higher than today).

For buyers thinking about waiting until the market cools off, there is a tangible cost to that wait. If prices and interest rates go up as we predict, a one-year wait would equal over $200 per month for a $400,000 home.

In case you missed the event, you can read more about it here in the Loveland Reporter-Herald. They did a great recap of our presentation. CLICK HERE

Posted on January 19, 2018 at 4:14 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Fort Collins Realtor, Fun Facts, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s Up??

First things first, this is your last call to register for our Annual Forecast. If you want clarity on what is happening in the market, this is the event to attend. We will be live at 5:30 Thursday the 18th at the Marriott. RSVP to www.windermereforecast.com

Now, what’s going up? According to our Cheif Economist Matthew Gardner, interest rates. His prediction for 2018 is that rates will rise roughly 0.5% up to 4.4%.

That means a buyer’s purchasing power will go down by 5%. Even if prices didn’t increase at all, a buyer’s monthly payment would go up 5% because of a measly 1/2% increase in interest rate.

By Matthew’s own admission, rates have baffled forecasters for the last few years. Unusual forces have kept them artificially low for a sustained period of time. But even a small rate increase like Matthew predicts will have a big effect on potential buyers.

To hear our predictions for the 2018 market, join our live Market Forecast event on January 18th at the Marriott in Fort Collins. Back by popular demand is Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner who will give you valuable and interesting insights into the real estate market. Reserve your spot at www.windermereforecast.com

Posted on January 12, 2018 at 8:36 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Fort Collins Realtor, Fun Facts, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Short vs Long

There are short-term questions about real estate and there are long term questions about real estate.

Clients often have short-term questions like…

How much will prices go up next year? Should I sell my house this Fall or next Spring? Will interest rates go up next week?

We encourage our clients to evaluate those questions in the context of the long-term. There are decades of data on the Northern Colorado market which reveal certain patterns.

When we show our clients these patterns they feel confident and secure in the investment they have made into their home and their rental properties.

For example, the long-term appreciation rates based on up to 41 years of research are as follows:

  • Larimer County = 5.36%
  • Weld County = 4.25%
  • Metro Denver = 5.56%

So over the course of a year prices may go up a lot or go up a little, but in the long term they will stay true to these long term averages.

To see an update as to what is happening in the Northern Colorado market, contact me to receive our quarterly “Scoop” report.

Posted on October 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Fort Collins Realtor, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Memory Lane

Today we will take a fun trip down memory lane.

Did you know that it was the fall of 1981 when mortgage interest rates hit their all time peak? Yes it was this time 36 years ago when 30-year mortgage rates hit 18.39%

Yikes!

It’s important to note that in those days, not many home buyers were opting for a 30-fixed loan because rates were so high. There were a lot of people looking at adjustable rate products as a way to reduce the monthly payment.

Just for fun, let’s look at what a monthly payment would look like if those same rates from 1981 existed today.

If rates were 18.39% today, a $350,000 home with a 20% down payment would have a monthly principal and interest payment of…

$4,309! Yikes!

Thank goodness rates aren’t that high today. They are actually about 15% lower!

Today’s 30-year rate sits at 3.83% (which by the way is roughly half of the long term average).

A monthly principal and interest payment on a $350,000 home with 20% down is…

$1,309. Three thousand dollars lower than it would be using 1981 ‘s rates.

For a detailed look at what’s happening across Colorado, request our quarterly market report called “The Scoop.”

Posted on September 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm
Rondi duPont | Category: Blog, Fort Collins Real Estate, Fort Collins Realtor, Fun Facts, Northern Colorado Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,