We have all heard over and over again how strong the real estate market is and how property values are increasing in the Denver Metro area and surrounding areas. Just recently, Denver was in the news for an unprecedented 10.2% increase year over year in the month of June according to the Case-Shiller Index.1 Mortgage rates remain low and property values continue to increase. However, there is still a group of renters out there that don’t seem to be picking up on the equation of low interest rates, good financing options and the ability to step into a purchase that is accruing equity right before their eyes.
So, why are they ignoring this perfect opportunity to build their net worth?
Studies show that nearly “70% of Americans don’t know that there are down payment and closing cost programs, affordable first mortgages, mortgage credit certificates, grants and many other programs available in every community.”2 When speaking with my peers, this statistic is validated as it seems that the number one rebuttal to this question is a variation of “we cannot afford the down payment” or “we cannot afford closing costs.” The vast majority of renters that would soon become first time home buyers can already afford the cost of a monthly mortgage payment. In fact, with median rental rates in the Denver metro area on an increase at 14.5% year over year, they are already likely paying more monthly to rent than if they were paying their own mortgage payment.3
Where the problem lies is the extra liquid funds needed to come up with a down payment or closing costs. When I speak with individuals that are currently renting, many still seem to be under the misconception that you must have 20% down in order to purchase a house. This simply is not true! At Price & Co., we have worked with many buyers that have as little as 3.5% to 5% of their purchase price for a down payment.
During the last economic downturn, there was quite a bit of publicity surrounding buyer assistance programs. As the economy and real estate market began to stabilize, the emphasis on these programs subsided. But, they did not disappear. In fact, these programs are alive and well and out there for you to take advantage of. If you are just starting to entertain the thought of buying, there is a great resource that shows you what you might be eligible for! This information can be found on the Colorado REALTORs® website here. If you are beginning your home search more seriously, speak with a reputable lender to verify what type of program you may qualify for in more detail.
One of my duties as a REALTOR® is to be a resource to consumers on Colorado real estate. This may not be the right time for you personally to buy. However, you owe it to yourself to investigate if it would be a smart financial decision to add to your personal net worth. If you have any questions about your ability to purchase, contact me and we can discuss the process and put you in touch with a great lender to help determine your purchasing power.
- S&P Case-Shiller Index Article. August 25, 2015.
- Colorado Association of Realtors website. August 28, 2015
- Denver Real Estate Watch Article. August 29, 2015.