Colorado Real Estate News

HOW TO FIND DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

You just found your dream home in Denver Metro, and it’s within your budget! One thing has you scratching your head though, how are you going to come up with the 20% down payment? You’re worried that if you can’t find the money for the deposit, you’ll lose your chance to buy your perfect house. 

Don’t worry just yet. Many Rocky Mountain homebuyers are surprised to learn that there are a variety of down payment programs available to them—there are more than 2,200 down payment programs in the US that might be able to help. 

A lot of home shoppers don’t even consider applying for any kind of down payment assistance. People might automatically assume they’re not going to qualify, or it’s just too much work, and not even worth the hassle. This isn’t always the case! Lenders want to get more people into homes, and these kinds of programs can help, as long as you meet eligibility requirements. 

Here are some tips to help you find a down payment assistance program that’s right for you:

1) Search for government programs 
Depending on your state, county, or community, you might have down payment assistance available to you from one of many government entities. Check with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Both of these bodies have home loan programs for individuals, and some have a down payment component. You can also find assistance options by consulting with your state on the Department of Housing or Urban Development websites.

2) Search for Local Neighborhood Stabilization Programs
Congress established the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) to help rebuild and sustain Rocky Mountain areas with high rates of abandoned homes and foreclosures. If you need down payment help, searching for a home in an area that’s a part of an NSP might be a great place to start. 

Also, don’t cross high priced home markets off your list just yet. Programs will usually adjust specific benefits and eligibility requirements based on a percentage range of the area’s home prices and median income.

3) Special programs for certain buyers
Depending on the Rocky Mountain community, you may qualify for down payment assistance if you’re an educator, healthcare worker, firefighter, police officer, or another type of civic employee. If you’re a first-time homebuyer or haven’t owned a home in more than three years (re-qualifying you as a first-time buyer), you could also qualify for down payment help.

4) Search online and ask around
Search websites such as Down Payment Resource, which calculates what kind of assistance you might be eligible for receiving based on your community, occupation, and income. You can also search for programs that provide loans, grants, or tax credits, or others that can help you come up with your down payment faster, cover closing costs, and help move you into your perfect home sooner than you would on your own.

Also check out your local Denver Metro housing authorities, lenders, not-for-profit organizations, and even your employer. You might be surprised with what kinds of special assistance you uncover. Even as you’re searching home listings online, some listing services display a special badge on listings that could qualify for down payment assistance.

If your search for down payment assistance is turning up empty, get in touch! Because programs change frequently, realtors are usually up to date on these topics. 

Colorado Real Estate News

SHOULD YOU RENT OR BUY COMMERCIAL OFFICE SPACE? THE ANSWER DEPENDS ON THESE THINGS

Should you rent or buy commercial office space? The answer depends on these things

 

Your company is growing and it’s time to move into a bigger, or maybe even a different space to meet the daily needs of your workers. The biggest question on company leader’s minds, “should we rent or buy commercial office space?” The answer, of course, depends on many factors — here is a guide to help you decide which path to explore further: 

 

Why you might consider leasing

 

You’re not ready for a long-term investment. You haven’t found the perfect property to invest in for the long haul, or maybe you’re not ready to make a long-term commitment. It’s also a time and emotional investment —Owning real estate is a distinct, non-core business that will require your time, knowledge, and resources. Not having to worry about this frees you up to grow your business. 

 

Tax benefits. Come tax time, you can deduct your lease payments and other rental expenses.

 

There’s no down payment. Investing in an office space, you have the benefit of a lower upfront capital investment. When you invest in an office space, you’ll need to factor in a large down payment, anywhere from 10 to 30 percent. When you rent, you’ll only need to pay a deposit that’s usually equal to one month’s rent, or first and last month’s rent. 

 

Keeps your cash-free. When you rent a commercial office space, this will free up more cash in the short term for you to invest back into your business or use for working capital.

 

 

No-fuss maintenance. Depending on your rental terms, your property owner will likely be responsible for building maintenance and repairs. You’ll likely be responsible for keeping your office space clean and kept. Note, this could also be a deterrent depending on how quickly and efficiently the owner responds to any of your concerns. 

 

A nicer space than you might have access to. It may be too costly to purchase an office facility in a high-end area, but with renting, you could have access to that high-end property you have your eye on for less money than if you purchased. 

 

Flexibility. Leasing offers a variety of flexible options. You’ll have the option to choose a lease term that fits your company’s needs, the flexibility to grow or contract for both the short and long term, and the flexibility for an easy departure at the end of your rental period if you choose not to renew.

 

Why you might consider purchasing

 

Building equity and your brand. When you purchase a commercial space, you’ll be able to build equity. The longer you stay, your cost of ownership goes down on an actual cash basis. You can eventually use this equity as collateral if you decide to expand your business. Should it ever come time for you to sell, you could also make a nice profit. This may also create favorable perceptions in your market as your company is viewed as a stable player.

 

Increased cash flow. You can take advantage of low borrowing costs if you’ll be the owner-occupant. If the commercial space is large enough, you can rent out extra office space for supplementary monthly income.

 

Tax benefits. You can deduct interest payments on your taxes. Unlike a lease, you won’t be able to deduct your entire monthly payment, but you can deduct your mortgage interest expense.

 

Avoiding rent hikes. If you lease, your rent is likely to increase at renewal time particularly in high-demand neighborhoods, whereas if you purchase, your month-to-month fees will eventually decrease over time. 

 

Design your own amenities. With a lease, you may be limited, or even restricted to the amenities you can offer your employees. With ownership, you’ll have greater control over the space and be able to scale and grow as your business expands. 

 

You’re in charge of maintenance. While this could also be considered a point against purchasing, if you’re responsible for maintenance and repairs, you’re in control of how quickly you can make the repairs and get to control the vendors you use instead of being limited to previously approved vendors with a property management company. 

 

Predictability. With a lease, the building owner could change hands at any time. With a change of ownership comes unpredictability in many things like rental fees, amenities, and terms if you were renting. If you take out a fixed loan, your costs will remain steady and your monthly payments will never increase during the finance period.