Your August Checklist

August marks the beginning of the end of a summer that went by way too fast, but there is still so much to enjoy! Instead of getting down with the back-to-school blues, we have some great ways to keep the fun alive and get prepared for the next season.

Denver Staycation

Remember our blog about staycationing? The perfect way to keep the summer fun alive when school is back in session is a few weekend adventures. Denver is filled with so many exciting places to go and fun activities, weekend staycations never have to end!

Those Perfect Summer Nights

This summer has been brutally hot, but we’re finally starting to get those cool summer evenings we longed for. Enjoy the perfect summer evenings with drinks around the back patio, picnics in the park, or even hanging around a bonfire. The perfect way to spend a calm weekend night or wind down after a long day in the office or at school.

Family Meal Prepping

Back-to-school can mean time for some of the not as fun tasks, like planning meals and making lunches. Getting the kids involved can make this a family event, and maybe even a fun one! The kids get to feel part of the process (and maybe making a few choices for themselves will get them excited about a healthy lunch), and you get some bonding time in.  Plus, get a two-for-one and prep your healthy lunches too!

Go Camping

Colorado offers endless places to camp, and there are many dispersed camping areas that don’t require reservations or permits. Last-minute camping trips are easy if you car-camp, and with so many camping spots near Denver, you can even just camp for one night for a fun overnight with family or friends!

Back-to-School Shopping

One of the most exciting parts of going back to school is the new things! It’s so fun to shop for new outfits and gym clothes, notebooks, backpacks, and school supplies. It’s also the perfect opportunity to clean out the closet and get rid of things you (or the kids) no longer needs. There are lots of great places in Denver where you can donate things ready for a new home. Even if you don’t have kids, a little shopping and closet-purging is a great end-of-summer consolation prize.

Car & Home Maintenance 

After road trips and endless trips to the mountains for hiking and camping, your car may be ready for some maintenance! Get a general check up for brakes and tires, change the oil, and clean out the back to make room for whatever sport or adventure is next! Home maintenance is important too. Finish up any summer projects you began, with school starting you might not find as much time to finish them up! The last warm months of the year are the perfect time to finish up home repair projects, especially outdoor ones.

Harvest Time

Did you plant a garden this year? End of summer is usually harvesting time. Plan a big potluck or fun event with family and friends to enjoy the fruits of your labor (heh heh). Fresh fruits and veggies are wonderful, and if you didn’t get to gardening this year perhaps this will inspire next year’s urban farming venture!

 

How are you spending your August? Let us know, we’d love to hear your plans, adventures, and ideas!

The Pros and Cons of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

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HOW TO PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE EARLY

Pay a little extra each month. Any payments made over the minimum payment go to your principal on the loan, instead of towards the interest. Over time you can significantly reduce the amount owed and cut down the time of loan repayment, even by years (see graph).

Refinance to lower interest rate or shorter-term loan.
Both options lower the total interest you are paying, either due to the lower rate (if you don’t already have a low-interest rate) or the shorter amount of time for the interest to build. This allows you to save money long-term, either through reduced monthly payments because of the lower interest rate or by paying the loan off faster.

Downsizing.
If getting rid of your mortgage faster, or altogether, is important, downsizing can be a great way to get there. Selling your house and using the profits to purchase a smaller home could mean having no mortgage at all, or at least a smaller one. Using the same monthly payment as before you could be debt-free faster.

THE PROS

Save money! Interest builds up, especially over the course of a 30-year loan. Paying off your mortgage early can save tens of thousands of dollars on built-up interest.

Return on investment (ROI).
When you put your dollars towards your home, you know exactly what your return on investment will be. Real estate, the stock market, and the economy are ever-changing and investing in your home is a comforting way to be sure that your money is going to the right place.

Reduced cost of living.
Mortgage payments take up a big part of one’s take-home paycheck. Getting your mortgage paid off faster allows for a lower cost of living. This can create more financial freedom, allowing you to save money, which can then be put into retirement, kids’ college funds, travel, and more. It could also give you the chance to work fewer hours, or even work a job you always wanted but previously couldn’t afford the pay cut.

THE CONS

Lose the tax break. Mortgage interest paid throughout a year can be listed as a deduction on your taxes if you itemize. Taxes are complicated, so it’s important to talk to an accountant or tax specialist while figuring out if the tax deduction is worth keeping the longer loan.

Lost diversification.
From Todd Tresidder, a financial mentor, “this one is ‘the biggie’ so pay close attention… Most investor portfolios are denominated in their domestic currency and thus carry the risk that inflationary government policies will depreciate their investment purchasing power over time. A residential real estate mortgage is the only practical way for most people to short their domestic currency and hedge against inflationary economic policy.”

Life happens.
There are times when extra income could be better spent on investments, retirement, a more comprehensive healthcare plan, college funds, and more. For many Americans, medical bills are the primary cause of bankruptcy and investing in a better healthcare plan could be a wiser financial decision over paying off a mortgage faster. In some cases, insurance could be a more financially secure option than a paid-off mortgage.

Investments. Many hold the opinion that it is better, from a long-term perspective, to put extra income into investments rather than higher mortgage payments. Saving for retirement, investing in stocks, and having a diverse investment portfolio are things that can, over time, bring you even greater financial freedom and stability.

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A Denver Staycation

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Itchin’ for adventure, but lacking time or resources to get away for a long time? Denver has the answers. Sometimes it is easy to forget the endless adventure opportunities that are close to home, and Denver has an abundance of places to visit, things to eat and drink, and sights to see. You don’t have to go far to create new memories.

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Construction-Defects Reform Bill Passes Unanimously

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Condo construction is expected to increase, thanks to the new construction-defects reform bill. The bill changes laws and restrictions placed on builders, the repercussions of which have discouraged condo builders from developing for-sale condos in the past.

Designed to keep homeowners safe, construction-defect laws have historically placed full financial responsibility on condo builders, meaning a defect as small as a toilet being a few inches out of place could result in the entire complex suing the builders for defects. With such a high financial risk, most builders have opted for constructing rental properties and apartments instead of for-sale condos.

The result is a city that’s hurting for lower-cost housing. The lack of new builds is definitely felt, especially for those looking for affordability. The new bill seeks to incentivize new builds while continuing to protect homeowner rights. The compromise bill will, in fact, offer even higher protection to owners. It will require the majority of unit owners to vote before any construction-defects lawsuits are filed, instead of the HOA making the decision. Previous law only necessitated a majority of HOA board members to vote. Condo owners will now be required to be alerted to the potential impacts of a lawsuit on their selling or refinancing options. The bill does not stand in the way of individual owners with legitimate construction issues from pursing legal remedy, rather it protects condo builders from being sued by the HOA for illegitimate construction-defect issues.

HB 1279 was passed unanimously at the beginning of April by the Colorado House of Representatives. Sponsored by Democratic Rep. Alec Garnett of Denver and Republican Rep. Lori Saine of Dacono, the bill received no disagreement from House members.

Those backing the bill believe it to be crucial to encouraging new condo builds and a vital step for this booming city. The HOA coalition is in agreement, finding the bill to be a positive step towards creating more attainable housing options for Colorado residents while continuing to pursue its primary function of protecting homeowners and their right to pursue or not pursue litigation for legitimate construction-defect issues.

Those backing HB 1279 are encouraged by the positive and accepting response to the compromise bill-reform and hopeful for the opportunities it could create for more accessible housing opportunities for Colorado residents and newcomers.

Finding a Home You Love in a Crazy Market

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Denver’s housing market is booming. It’s hot, it’s popular, and it seems that everyone learned Denver’s once well-kept secret…that it’s the best. With so many people moving to this great city, inventory has been low and demand has been high. Looking at the housing market, one might feel discouraged and wonder if it is even worth it to buy right now. We’re here to assure you – it is! Despite the high demand and low inventory of the Denver housing market, it is possible to find a home you love as you make this wonderful city your permanent home (until the next adventure, that is)!

FIND AN AGENT

It is vital to find a great real estate agent who is knowledgable about the market, a real estate expert, and someone dedicated to their clients. The right real estate agent will fight tirelessly for their clients, finding you the right home. Madison & Company Properties has over 140 truly incredible, highly recommended, and vetted Realtors® who can help you find your new home. Check out our website to find a Madison Realtor® who is right for you!

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Finding the right home probably won’t happen overnight. It’s important to take time to learn about different neighborhoods, and know what you want going into it. Have a list of must-haves, really-wants, and can-live-withouts. Be flexible, you might get the giant backyard but no wrap-around patio, or there are the perfect number of rooms, but you wish the kitchen had a different layout. No matter the housing market, it is almost impossible to find a home that is 100% perfect (unless you design and build yourself!), but you can find the 100% right home. And remember – you can always paint, redesign, or renovate!

GET PRE-QUALIFIED

When purchasing a home, it is important to know your budget and what you can afford. Before even beginning to look for homes, find a mortgage broker and get pre-qualified on your mortgage loan.

YOU’LL LOSE A FEW

And it will be okay. Bidding wars happen, folks come in with a bajillion dollars over asking price and you get bumped. It happens to everyone, and it will all work out in the end. This is one of the reasons it is important to hire a Realtor®, it is their job to negotiate, help you find the best home, and work with the seller to make sure everything is in line.

Madison & Company Properties is a Denver Post Top Workplace!

Top Workplaces Blog BannerThe Denver Post Top Workplaces program believes that “the most successful companies are the ones that employees believe in.” Madison & Company Properties is a company employees most certainly believe in.

Ranked 5th of 3,500 businesses in the Small Business category, this is the fourth consecutive year that Madison & Company Properties has received the prestigious Denver Post Top Workplaces award. Placement is made based on anonymous reviews and testimonials from employees. The purpose of the Top Workplaces program is to recognize the state’s top employers. It honors companies that are “doing right by their workers,” acknowledging companies that encourage growth and commitment in their employees.

Madison & Company Properties is honored to be a workplace where employees believe in their company. Here we are dedicated to continuing to strive for excellence, cultivating an environment where all employees feel believed in and pushed to reach their highest potential. Thank you for being part of this journey.

Madison Commercial Real Estate

Madison & Company has assembled a top-producing team in the commercial real estate industry, with the ability to facilitate the purchase/sale/or lease of in all aspects of commercial real estate including retail, office, industrial, land, multi-unit investments, business opportunities , and commercial short sales and foreclosures. 

The CORE Power Broker Team has some of the best Realtors® in the industry. These top producing brokers are experts in real estate and work tirelessly for every one of their clients.

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You can learn more about the CORE Power Broker team and contact them here.