Monday, March 21, 2016

Jerry Buys a Home

This is a funny and true story, along with a valuable lesson about buying a home.
Jerry flew through the door at our real estate office one day with more energy than anyone I know.  He was a body builder, huge man, about 6 foot 5 or 6 inches.  He very loudly announced to our petite receptionist that he was buying a house.

I happened to be the agent on floor, so Sarah led him to my office.  He towered above her, looking like he could have picked her up and snapped her in half.  Her eyes looked like saucer plates.
He quickly told me that his mom had told him that at 35 years old it was time to buy his own home and move out.  He was like a kid at his Birthday Party.
We talked for a couple of hours, went over the process, discussed what he could afford and what he wanted.  At the end of the meeting, he promised to be at my office Thursday at 5:05pm (He got off work at the gym at 5:00) and we’d look at the three or four best homes on the market.
Promptly at 5:05 Thursday, he barged through the door.  I could hear him from down the hall.  “I’m here to buy a house.  Where’s that Mike Moger?”
Sarah scurried down the hall with her saucer plate eyes to my office, Jerry towering behind.
He loved the third house.  He needed no time to make the decision.  This was it.  “What do we do now?  Mom is going to love this house.  This is so exciting.”  Still Birthday Party energy levels.
As I wrote the offer at my desk, he asked if we could negotiate a bit.  “This is so exciting,” he kept saying.  I told him that we could, that the home had been on the market for a month with no offers, so we could risk a bit if he wanted to.  The asking price was $68,000.  “Can we try for $65,000?  I’ll pay $67,000, but I’d like to try.”
We wrote the offer, he signed it all, and I told him I’d call him at the gym the following day.
I was so happy when the listing broker called me the next day to tell me that the sellers wouldn’t do $65,000, but countered at $66,500.  Looked like Jerry was going to get his house.
When I told him over the phone, he shouted so loud, I had to move the phone away from my ear.  “Ya!  I’m buying a house!”  I could hear the cheers in the gym.  “What do I do now?”
I told him that all he had to do was write his initials next to the change on the contract form, and we could start the move toward closing.  He told me he’d be in my office at 5:05 that afternoon.
I warned Sarah that he was coming.
Sure enough, at 5:05pm, Sarah and Jerry were coming down the hallway. 
“I’m buying a house!  What do I have to do?  I’d have paid $67,000.  Mom’s so happy!”
I have never seen anyone so excited about buying a home.  With no warning at all, he marched around my desk and picked me up in a big bear hug.  It being Jerry, he wrapped me in his arms, my hands dangling at my hips, feet hanging off the floor.  I wasn’t sure if I was dying or going right to heaven without the formality of suffering an earthly demise.
When I finally landed back on the floor, I sat at my desk and told him again that all he had to do was write his initials next to the change in the selling price on the contract, turned it toward him and pointed out the line.  I laid the pen on the desk next to it.
He was alive.  He kept talking about the house, his mom, what his favorite rooms were. 
Six o’clock, he still hadn’t initialled the change.  Sweating a bit, he called his mom and told her again about it all.  She told him to just do what Mike says and sign the contract. 
At seven, he called a couple of friends, who came over to the office to cheer him on.  “Jer-REE, Jer-REE, Jer-REE”.  They left for dinner and told him to report back.
We walked around the block a few times.  We talked about lifting weights, vacations he’d taken with his mom to New York, what colors he’d paint his house when it needed it. 
At 10pm, sitting at my desk, I told him it was time to call it a day.  Maybe this wasn’t the right house after all.  I told him that we’d meet again at 5:05 tomorrow and review our options.
“NO!” he yelled, pushed the chair back and threw himself on the floor and furiously started pumping out pushups.  After a quick 25, he jumped up, grabbed the pen and signed his initials.  “I DID IT!”    My feet flew up off the ground in another bear hug, and as I was dangling in his arms, I wondered at the stack of papers we was going to have to sign at the closing.
I write this story not because it’s a very entertaining story about a past client, but simply to let you in on something that’s very real.  Buying a home is not a little thing.  It’s a huge thing.  I know that, and different people do this in different ways.  Not everyone is like Jerry, but at varying levels of energy and fear, excitement and joy, the process is sometimes not easy. 

When it’s your time to move, know that working with someone who honors your energy and concerns, who takes the time you need, makes this whole thing much easier and more comfortable.
And yes, Jerry signed the closing documents without incident.  Just as much energy and excitement, but without a moment of hesitation.  I got another bear hug when it was over.
If you’re thinking about a move, call me.  I’m always here for you.

Enjoy the day,
303.541.1920 office

Friday, March 4, 2016

Colorado is Still One of the Best

I have trouble believing that Nevada beats Colorado, but it actually makes sense.

Colorado shows the second highest appreciation in home values in the country, as of the newly released fourth quarter report from FHFA.

FHFA is the Federal Housing Finance Administration.  It has for many years now been the clearinghouse for data on everything economic in the housing sector.  If you want the real numbers, you go to

Of the 51 states (yes, I know, but it considers the District of Columbia as the 51st state), Nevada showed the highest home value appreciation over the past year at 12.72%.  Colorado came in second with 10.91%.  Rounding out the top five includes Idaho, Washington and Oregon, all at better than 10%.

So why Nevada?  Think it through.  When the wheels fell off the economic wagon in 2008, home values in Las Vegas were already on the way down.  It lost 8.31% in 2007, another 35.01% the following year, then another 19.71%, 6.09% and 12.14% from 2009 through 2011.  Do the math.  That's more than 80% of the value in residential properties.

It's made a remarkable comeback of more than 50% appreciation since then, but is still much less than when it started this ride.  The citizens of Nevada should get some kind of reward for holding on.  From that point of view, it's nice to see them winning this year.

Compare that, though, with Colorado.  Denver values depreciated a total of less than 8% over that five-year period, and has appreciated more than 35% since then.  Boulder only lost value three of those years, for a total of less than 5%.  The recovery has added another 32+%.

One more detail in the data.  If you look at the appreciation in home values since the data began in 1991, home values in Colorado have increased a total of 267.79%.  That's better than any other state in the union.  Only the District of Columbia outpaces us at 383.82%.

If you live and own a home in Colorado, good job.  You made the right decision.

Call me anytime.  I'm always here for you.

Enjoy the day,
Mike Moger
WK Real Estate
303-541-1920  office