Interest Rates Are Rising!

How will higher interest rates affect your buying power?  Rate Increase

Many times buyers resist this crazy market with multiple offers and rising prices. Although this is unsettling for many, the real concern should be rising interest rates. For example, if you were a buyer in the market Spring of 2016 and were considering buying a home at $400,000, but timing did not work out for some reason, that same home this Spring could be worth approximately $436,000 or approximately a 9% appreciation. Granted this is a hefty change, however not as much as if the interest rate increases 1%.  Let me illustrate.

If the interest rate last year was 4.0% and you fell in love with a home listed for $450,000, for giggles, imagine that the market had 0% appreciation in the past 12 months, but the interest rate this Spring is 5.0%. Given that your down payment remained the same 10% down and all other taxes, insurance and other variables in the payment remained the same, your payment would change by $214 for the same priced home this year.  How does that affect your buying power? Well to attain the same payment as last year, you would now be purchasing a $400,000 home.  A $50,000 swing in buying power is the effect of a 1% rate increase at $400,000.

In addition, the higher your price range, the higher the difference in buying power. For an FHA buyer, 3 ½% down at $225,000, their buying power would be reduced approximately $25,000 for a 1% rate increase and a larger home at $675,000, would be reduce to the $600,000 price range for the same monthly payment. As the indicators hit the market and the stock market and job employment rates are favorable, we may see rates climb this year.  We have already seen an uptick since the beginning of the year.

These are general figures, but the overall message is to consider all terms of the market that affect your payment and value when purchasing a home.  In our industry, we often see people attempting to wait out the market until the “market settles down” or “prices stabilize”. While it is always wise to not get caught up in the frenzy of the market, if you are truly looking for a home, please consider that waiting for the prices to relax may do to your buying power and overall mortgage payment. Possibly paying a little higher price on that home with a lower interest rate is not such a bad idea after all!

Denver Metro Latest Statistics & Trends for 2016

Denver Metro’s Latest Statistics & Trends

Denver Metro latest statistics generally show an up word trend with the exception of # of sold homes and DOM compared to 2015. The drop in homes sold in December could possibly due to the slight increase in interest rates.

Median prices are up 11% which is a healthy gain but reflects the overall shortage of homes available for sale. Even with Central Park Town Center and  Sterling Ranch coming online this Spring and Summer and all the other new building going experts still predict it will be several years before demand for new homes can be met.

Denver Metro Latest Statistics
Denver Metro Latest Statistics

Denver Metro's Latest Statistics

Sterling Ranch, CO New Homes Coming This Spring!

Sterling Ranch is starting to take shape, I drove by there today and as you can see from the pictures it looks like the roads are in!

Sterling Ranch, CO Sterling Ranch, CO

I talked with several of the builders and with the exception of Richmond Homes most of them are planning on opening their models this spring or summer. Richmond on the other hand is already selling lots, Floor Plans and Pricing are available.

Parkwood Homes plans to open a model home in Sterling Ranch in early 2017. If you just can’t wait that long you can see the Asheville model in Stapleton and check out their website to get a feel for the homes they are going to build. Pricing is expected to range from the $600s to the $900. Initial lots will be limited so to keep updated make sure you Like their Facebook page.

I will post updates as we find out more details.




Central Park Is Coming To Highlands Ranch

Central Park is coming to Highlands Ranch!

Things are moving forward with the next phase of the Town Center build out (Central Park) that will border Town Center North just across Town Center Dr. from the Super Target location. The new center will be mixed use and include retail, office and or multi-family, single family, recreation and medical facilities.

Central Park Town Center - Highlands Ranch, CO

If all goes well, we could see retail space opening up before the end of the year. I searched for information on the final approval from the Douglas County commissioner that was supposed to meet on August 11th concerning approval of the development but could not find anything. But judging by the amount of dirt they are moving over there I would say it’s a go.

According to Peter Culshaw, executive vice president for Shea Properties the single family homes planned for the area will differ from the existing neighboring homes and will be more affordable. At this time there is no information about cost and how long the project should take too complete.

RTD Light Rail

RTD Light Rail Southeast Extension

Starting this spring RTD Light Rail plans to start work on the construction of the Southeast Rail Extension. It will extend the E & F lines from the current Lincoln station 2.3 miles ending at the RidgeGate Parkway End-of-line Station by the S. Havana St. & I25 Exit. There will be three new stations Kiss-n-Ride at Sky Ridge Ave. near the medical center,  another at the future Lone Tree City Center and a 1,300 space park and ride at RidgeGate Parkway.

The project is expected to cost $233.1 million and will be paid for as follows. $92 million will come from Federal funding, $28 million from local business

RTD Light Rail Southeastern Extension
RidgeGate Parkway End Of Line

associations and businesses in the southeast metro Denver area, the remaining cost will come directly from the RTD budget from funds that were already allocated.

The two phased project had been awarded to Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc. (BBII) to design and build the 2.3 mile-long Southeast Rail Extension from Lincoln to RidgeGate Parkway. The decision took place during the Board of Directors meeting July 28, 2015. Design will begin during the fall with construction expected to start in spring 2016.

Did You Know?

If you live within this coverage area in Highlands Ranch you can schedule RTD’s Call-n-Ride to pick you up at your home and bring you to any of the RTD’s stations for as little as $1.30? Discounts Apply.

Increasing Insurance Rates

Increasing Insurance Rates in Colorado

What’s Causing It The Increasing Insurance Rates and What Can We Do As Consumers?

Have you noticed any increase in your costs for Auto and Homeowners Insurance in Colorado over the last two plus years? If you have not, you should feel lucky. You should also know that what is happening in the areas of loss for both products is not a carrier problem, it is an industry problem. That means if you have not seen large increases in your cost of insurance, you most likely will very soon. Prior to the last two years Colorado may have seen annual rate increases of 2 to 12 %, on average. The increasing insurance rates were due to an average increase in losses, as well as the cost of labor and materials. Over the last two to 4 years, the increases have been from 2 to 92%, depending on the area of the State you live in. For Homeowners Insurance the most susceptible areas are that of the Front Range, which is the Wind and Hail Belt of Colorado. Colorado is second in the nation to Tornado-Struck Oklahoma for Catastrophic Claims. The losses also include the Wildfire claims that occurred in 2012 and 2013. We saw a total of 1,105 homes destroyed in the High Park Fire, Waldo Canyon Fire, and Black Forest Fire. The Flash Flood Event in September of 2013, which affected 17 Counties in Colorado is not a factor in most of the increases due to Flood Insurance being a Federal Program, for now. That may be changing soon with recent Federal Legislation being voted through to allow Private Carriers to Underwrite the coverage. 90% of all property loss claims in the State of Colorado are Roof Claims due to Wind and Hail Storms. Your roof is the most important part of the underwriting of a homeowner’s insurance policy for your closing. The roof cannot just pass a pre-purchase inspection, but must also pass an inspection done by the Insurance Carrier themselves. And, the all popular 5 Year Roof Certification does not help a roof pass, that is in actuality a roof with only 5 years of life left. Remember, if a Sellers Roof has un-claimed hail damage, a claim can still be filed with the Sellers Carrier, and the roof repaired or replaced before or after the closing. The key is not to be left with a roof on a house that you just purchased, that is bad or out of code. It is then most likely going to be your dime to fix it.

So what has changed from the Insurance Carrier stand point due to the Catastrophic Wind and Hail Losses? Two major changes are occurring to the policies. Either the carrier is doing a mandatory percentage deductible, such as 0.50 to 2% of the dwelling coverage amount, or they are no longer paying for replacement cost of the roof, after the roof is a certain age. The age depends on what type of roof you have. The most common roof, which is Composition Asphalt Shingle, normally has replacement cost for the first 10 to 15 years of life. After that the coverage goes to the depreciated value, with no recoverable depreciation available. Other types of more durable roofs, such as Metal, Concrete, and Tile, have up to 20 years of replacement cost coverage before the roof goes to the depreciated value. You will have to check with each individual carrier for the coverage that they offer. Make sure that the coverage the Agent is telling you that you have is in the verbiage of the policy language, or included as a Rider to the Policy.

As for why our Auto Insurance Rates are being so affected, just one thing comes to mind, distracted driving. The death rates on our roads in Colorado are up 17% over last year. When you combine distracted driving with a much higher rate of speed when impacts occur, we have fewer people surviving impact accidents. The other bleeding that is happening is the losses from 16 to 22-year-old drivers. As of last year, the Company that I represent had loss ratios for 16 to 22-year-old drivers of greater than 350%. That means the insurance carrier is losing $2.50 for every $1.00 of premium being collected. For Colorado specifically, due to our low unemployment rates, we are seeing more drivers and more vehicles of value on the road than ever before. That equates to an increase in the average dollar amount of each claim.

The difference between the increases for the Auto Insurance and the increases for the Homeowners Insurance is, we can fix our driving and what is happening on our roads through education to help slow increasing insurance rates, and becoming more responsible drivers on our roads. We cannot prevent hail storms. There is a reason why there are so many Personal Injury Attorney’s in our State, and most States.

For more information, please contact Brian Dee Counterman, LUTCF

Tel: 303-741-6966


Allstate Insurance Agency Owner in Littleton Colorado

Increasing Insurance Rates - by Brian Counterman

Terrain New Home Sites in Castle Rock!

New Home Sites!

Pick out your lot!

Take a look at the map we just received from Century Communities they wont last long. Give us a call 303-683-4837 and make an appointment to see your new home site.


New home sites are being added at the Terrain in Castle Rock and pre-sales are slated to start in March 2016. Nicole and I just attended the 2016 Builder Breakfast in Denver and found out the news! So if you have been thinking about buying and want something new, this could be your chance.

Taylor Morrison will be offering the Gallop Collection featuring 4 models.

These new home sites will be offering 4 floor plans and as of yet no pricing has been released. The homes will range from 1,932 + Sq. Ft. up to 3,000 + Sq. Ft. The Ranch style model will offer 2 – 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and 2 – 3 car garage’s. There will also be 3 two story models available featuring 4 – 6 bedrooms, up to 4.5 baths and all will be offered with 3 car garages.

There is still a shortage of listings this year and buyers will have to act fast so don’t wait!

If you would like to visit the area and take a tour or have any other questions give us a call 303-683-4837 or email us at


Toy & Coat Donations

Thanks For Your Donations

Thanks to everyone for their donations to our Toy and Coat drive. We received this letter from the Douglas/Elbert Task Force thanking us and wanted to share it with you. Thanks to you our clients and friends we were able to drop off 20 coats and a large box full of toys.

We would also like to thank Marion Dahlem for helping us get organized with the donations process. She gave us a tour of the facility and it is a very impressive setup. They even loaned us a banner! The D/E Taskforce has been those in need since 1984 and served 15,519 people in 2014.

Donations Thank You

See you next Year!

Pie & Wine!

Pie Giveaway and Wine Tasting

We hope everyone had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! Pinette Realty Group’s first annual Pie Giveaway and Wine Tasting was a lot of fun. We connected with many clients we had not seen in a while and it was nice to catch up with everyone. The pies were a big hit as was the wine tasting provided by Wine Shop At Home. On another note sorry for the blurry pictures it’s not from the wine but from forgetting to switch to auto-focus on the camera!

We plan on continuing the event every year so make sure you tell your friends and family about it! This is just one way we at Pinette Realty Group show our appreciation to our clients for their continued support.

Go Broncos!