Standing Low

The standing inventory of residential properties currently for sale is staggeringly low.

The number of active properties for sale is almost 90% below the average for this time of year.

In Metro Denver, there are 1,144 residential properties for sale today.

In Larimer County, there are 136 and in Weld County there are 174. 

Current inventory along the Front Range is essentially half of what it was one year ago.

The low standing inventory bolsters our belief that nothing resembling a decline in housing prices is on the horizon.  The low supply will continue to put upward pressure on prices.

It is time to register for our annual Market Forecast with Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.  This year the event will be hosted online on Thursday February 3rd from 11:00 to 12:00.

You can register at

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Housing Inventory

Many of our clients wonder if the current pace of price growth can continue.  Some even ask if prices will decline this year. 

Based on researching the Case-Shiller Home Price index and the National Association of Realtors home inventory data, there must be at least 6 months of inventory in a market for prices to have any chance of declining. We wrapped up 2021 with about 2 weeks of inventory across Larimer County, Weld County and Metro Denver. This marks a 43%-46% decrease in inventory as compared to December 2020.

The dwindling supply and the rising prices have led to a lot of questions about the future of the housing market. Is there a market crash on the horizon? Is there a housing bubble that’s about the burst? The answer is no. Although it is unlikely that the market can continue at this pace indefinitely, all signs point to a healthy housing market in 2022.

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Lumber Back Up

The price of lumber has jumped back up again and is adding to the cost of new home construction.

Over the past four months, lumber prices have nearly tripled, causing the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600.

According to Random Lengths, as of the end of December, the price of framing lumber topped $1,000 per thousand board feet — a 167% increase since late August.

This most recent lumber price upsurge is due to a number of factors, including:

  • Ongoing supply chain disruptions
  • A doubling of tariffs on Canadian lumber imports into the U.S. market that increased price volatility
  • An unusually strong summer wildfire season in the western United States and British Columbia

Predictions on what lumber prices will do during 2022 are mostly pointing to even higher costs for home builders and ultimately, new home buyers.

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The Fire’s Impact

Our heart goes out to all of the people impacted by the Marshall Fire in Boulder County.

If you would like to give your support, we have set up a special fund through the Windermere Foundation where we will match any donation you make up to $5000.

You can make that donation HERE.

This devastating event will have significant impacts on the real estate market both short term and medium term.

There are some interesting things to consider related to the fire:

  1. This will be the costliest wildfire in Colorado history, by far.  The total losses will probably approach $800 million.  The most expensive wildfire up until now was last year’s East Troublesome fire at just over $500 million.
  2. It’s likely that the vast majority of the residential property owners who lost their homes were underinsured.   Given the recent rise in both property values and construction costs, these homeowners may find that their insurance won’t cover their actual loss.  We encourage everyone to check in on their own property insurance versus actual replacement costs.
  3. Nearly 1000 households are now in need of housing.  Today there are only 161 residential properties for sale in Boulder County.  In addition, the rental market also has low supply.  We expect that many of the people impacted will consider housing alternatives outside of Boulder County simply out of necessity.
  4. The homebuilding industry is currently challenged with both labor and material shortages.  It may take long time to replace the properties that were destroyed by the fire.

Again, we are so sad for the people who were impacted.  We are also encouraged to see all the different ways that our community has stepped up to help.

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How to Prepare for a Fire at Home

A fire breaking out in your home is a serious potential hazard. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to identify the early signs of a fire and to prepare for an emergency. The following list will help you and your household put together your fire safety plan.

How to Prepare for a Fire at Home

Fire safety

Having properly functioning smoke and CO2 detectors is crucial to your safety. Test your smoke and CO2 detectors frequently and swap out the batteries when necessary. It is recommended to have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home.

Always keep a fire extinguisher near the kitchen to combat flame outbursts from the stove or oven. It is best to have at least one fire extinguisher per floor for easy access. Keep in mind that fire extinguishers are used to control and extinguish small, contained fires. If a fire has spread throughout an entire room, or is beginning to engulf your home, know that fire extinguishers are no match for the blaze, and you should escape immediately.

Evacuation plan

A home fire can be very disorienting. During an emergency, it is critical that all members of your household know how to properly evacuate the home. Identify two ways to escape from each room in case one route is unsafe. Choose a meeting spot somewhere outside for everyone to meet a safe distance away from the fire. This can be across the street, down the block, at a neighbor’s house, or wherever makes most sense for you and your family. The most important thing is that you all have an agreed-upon rendezvous. Select an emergency contact whom you can reach out to if something goes wrong in the evacuation process or if a family member is missing.

Best practices

When escaping your home, crawl as low as possible to stay beneath the smoke. Test closed doors before using them to escape. If they are hot, that’s a sign that there are flames on the other side of the door and you should use an alternative escape strategy. Be careful that you don’t burn your hand when testing closed doors. Make sure everyone in your household knows the procedure for calling 9-1-1 and properly alerting the fire department. If you have pets at home, include them in your evacuation plans. If you are forced to decide between evacuating safely and trying to rescue a pet, know that firefighters are trained experts at saving animals from house fires. 

For more tips on how to plan for fire-related emergencies at home, read our blog for Wildfire Preparation and Evacuation Tips.

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Working with a Listing Agent

What is a Listing Agent?

Generally, a real estate transaction involves a listing agent representing the seller and a buyer’s agent representing the buyer. Listing agents will conduct a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA)—which uses recent housing market data to compare the seller’s home to other listings in their area—to accurately price the property. The agent will list the home, coordinate showings and open houses, and negotiate with buyers’ agents to find the best offer for their client. Once the transaction is complete, the listing agent and buyer’s agent will split the commission of the sale.

Hiring a listing agent removes the risks of selling your own home by placing the selling process in the hands of an experienced licensed professional. Once you’ve found the right agent, you can begin working together to form your selling strategy.

Advantages of Working with a Listing Agent

Accurately Pricing Your Home

Your listing agent will begin the selling process by finding the value of your home. There are various factors that influence home prices, including seasonality, market conditions, home features, and more. Agents have exclusive access to the data behind these trends, allowing them to conduct a thorough CMA to accurately price your home. Of all the costly mistakes in the selling process, an inaccurately priced home is perhaps the most consequential. An overpriced home will attract the wrong buyers, increase your home’s days on market, and could lead to serious post-sale complications, that, in some cases, could jeopardize the sale. An underpriced home leaves money on the table. With a listing agent’s CMA, you can rest assured that the price of your home is backed by current market data, which will set you and your agent up for successful negotiations.

Marketing Your Home

Listing agents are experienced professionals who possess a wealth of knowledge on how to market your home. Your agent will list your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), an online database to which they have exclusive access. Getting your home listed on the MLS will greatly increase its exposure to interested buyers. Your listing agent will coordinate showings and open houses, opening the door to conversations with buyers and their agents.

Your agent will also make recommendations and help coordinate all marketing efforts, like staging and photography. They’ll also be able to recommend what, if any, repairs need to be made before you go live. Their expertise will streamline the selling process, getting your house ready and on the market quickly.

Offers / Negotiations / Closing

The complexities of the critical stages in the selling process highlight the value of an agent’s expertise. A listing agent will work on your behalf to field and assess incoming offers, communicate with buyers and their agents during negotiations, and ultimately, see the deal through to closing.

Local market conditions can often dictate how your agent approaches offers and negotiations. In a seller’s market, there’s a good chance you will have multiple competing offers on the table, contingencies are often waived, and all-cash offers may arise. Trying to pin down the best offer in these competitive situations can be overwhelming, but listing agents specialize in understanding the terms of these kinds of offers to identify the one that best aligns with your goals. If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, the buyer will have the leverage. Your listing agent will work with the buyer’s agent to reach an agreement on the buyer’s contingencies and finalize the terms of purchase.

From list to closing, your listing agent is there to answer any questions you may have, allay your fears, and guide you toward a successful sale. When searching for an agent, keep in mind that their ability to connect with you on a human level is just as important as their professional qualities. Selling your home can be an emotional roller coaster, and you’ll want someone by your side who you can trust on the journey ahead. If you would like some help connecting with an agent, get started here:


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Do You Need a Realtor to Buy a Home?

Buying a home is a major investment, and it comes with a lot of variables. From finding the right neighborhood to determining how much home your budget allows, it is a complicated task. Because of the difficulties involved, many prospective homebuyers decide to work with a full-service realtor. However, if you decide to go on this venture by yourself, here are the top things you’ll want to know before you buy a home without a realtor. 


Consider These 5 Things Before Buying a Home Without a Realtor:

Forbes shared 5 times to consider buying a home without a realtor:

1. You’re Related to the Seller

You might be able to avoid hiring a real estate agent if you’re selling a home within your family. In that case, as long as you’ve agreed on a price and other important transaction details, you’ll probably be able to handle it without the seller paying thousands of dollars in commission. Regardless, consult a lawyer to conduct a title search on the property and ensure that all paperwork is properly filled out, reviewed, and filed.


2. You Know the Area

When you’re buying a home in a neighborhood you know well, you might not think it’s necessary to hire a buyer’s agent. However, a real estate agent can provide more information than just market knowledge, such as assisting you in finding the right home and negotiating with the seller’s agent.


3. You Can Save Money

In rare circumstances, a buyer may be required to pay all or part of a buyer’s agent’s commission. Someone selling a home on their own, for example, might state in their listing that they will not negotiate fees with a buyer’s agent. In this case, instead of hiring an agent, you might decide it’s worthwhile to try to work directly with the seller.


4. You Get to Work Alone

Even though they are legally required to represent your interests, you may be wary of dealing with a buyer’s agent. If you believe an agent would rush you into a deal or match you with the wrong house, you might feel more at ease handling it yourself.

When dealing with the seller’s agent, you’ll want to make sure you’re not overmatched. Think of it like negotiating a divorce settlement with just the counsel and expertise of the other party’s lawyer—it might not go well for you.


5. You’re Buying a New Home

If you’re only interested in buying a newly constructed home, you might be able to work out a deal with the builder directly. According to the NAR survey, about 6% of buyers worked with a builder or builder’s agent to purchase a home in 2020.


real estate agent helping someone with paperwork


The Benefits of Working With a Realtor

The best tip for buying a home is not to do it alone. Realtors can assist you with every aspect of shopping for a home. From researching the market to representing you throughout sale negotiations, a realtor’s ultimate job is to provide you with peace of mind. When working with a realtor, they can help you find the home that meets your budget and your lifestyle. Additionally, real estate agents speed up the process of buying a home because their knowledge and experience help them be more efficient throughout the entire process. This means you will save both time and money and have the peace of mind in knowing all the details are being handled by a professional.

Are you interested in learning more benefits of working with a realtor? 

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Construction Openings

It’s not just the availability of materials impacting home builders today, it’s also the availability of labor.

The market could use more inventory.  Home builders are trying to catch up.

You’ve likely read the stories about the cost and availability of materials making an impact on home builders’ ability to keep pace with demand.

It turns out they have another factor impacting them as well- labor.

There are more construction job openings than ever before in history.

This is according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There are 410,000 job openings in the Construction Sector.

A year ago there were 253,000.

If you know of anyone looking for work, there is a good chance a home builder could use the help.

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Must-Haves and Nice-To-Haves Lists

Finding your dream home may not be easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier, like creating a “Must-Haves” list and a “Nice-To-Haves” list. These lists allow serious home buyers to save time, energy, and ultimately, money as they prepare to buy a home.

A Must-Have List is exactly what it sounds like, a checklist of the details that are non-negotiable for your new home. It’s essential to sit down and think about the things you need in order to feel comfortable there for the next 7-13 years.

Your “Nice-To-Haves” list is a checklist of details that you’d like to have, but you can live without. This list is great for those things that you’ve always dreamed of but may be out of reach for reasons such as your budget or location. This list may include things like fireplaces or gas appliances, a pool, or other non-essential items.

Your “Must-Haves” list focuses your search and helps your agent narrow down which homes are worth your time. Your “Nice-to-Haves” list will help you determine what you’re willing to sacrifice, which will ultimately solidify your must-haves.

These lists can also help manage your expectations regarding price. Take your lists to your real estate agent, along with your pre-approval from a lender, and you’ll be able to work together to determine what is a reasonable ask within your budget and your desired location.

Creating Your “Must-Haves” List

The first step is to think about the essentials. If things like location and number of bedrooms and bathrooms are a priority, then you’ll want to include them in your must-haves. Consider where you live now and use that as a starting point; what do you love and what are you missing? You may need more storage space, or an extra room to work remote, or a larger backyard for the newest member of the family.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Must-Haves” list:

  • Where do you want to live? (Be as specific as you can.)
  • What do you have now that you can’t live without?
  • What are you missing now that you may need for the next several years?

If you’re struggling to determine what it is you need to have, you can start working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list. This can also help you determine what is essential. For example, it may be nice to have five bedrooms when in reality, a three-bedroom house with a flex space that works for an office or guest room would do the trick.

Creating your “Nice-To-Haves” List

While you’re working on your “Nice-To-Haves” list, you’ll be thinking about the parts of a home that would be great to have but aren’t as important for you. You might also want to take into consideration what is reasonable in your area and if it’s a common amenity.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you build your “Nice-To-Haves” list:

  • What home upgrades are you willing to make?
  • What is something you’d like to do in your house more often?
  • What do you have in your current home that you love, but don’t need?

Searching for Your Next Home

These lists will help guide you and your real estate agent as you search for your next home. During this process you might realize some aspects aren’t as important to you as you thought, and vice versa. Keep your agent in the loop as you update your lists so they can continue to search for the perfect home for you.

Looking for a real estate agent who can help guide you through the home buying process? Connect with an Agent:


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Equity Snapshot

CoreLogic just released their quarterly Home Equity Insights Report.

Their analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of over $3.2 trillion since the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 31.1% year over year.

In the third quarter of 2021, the total number of mortgaged residential properties with negative equity decreased by 5.7% from the second quarter of 2021 to 1.2 million homes, or 2.1% of all mortgaged properties.

Negative equity means a home is worth less than the amount owed on the property.

In Colorado, the percentage of homes with negative equity is even lower than the National average at 1.5%.

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