Ultimate Man Cave Ideas

We, at Gateway Realty Wiggins, want you to be comfortable in your home. What better place is there to unwind than in your own man cave? You can take over the garage, basement, or just about any place that strikes you. There are many things to consider when building your sanctuary: will your man cave be a shrine to your team? Will it be the ultimate place to build your dream machine? Will your man cave entertain you and all your friends? Read on for some great ideas to include in your ultimate man cave.   man cave sign

Much needed man cave sign

Man Cave Ideas:

man cave Bar

Aluminum isn’t just for roofs anymore

mancave03

Hang your hat in style

mancave04

Wash up from your rebuild

mancave05

Harley Davidson and black leather— what is better?

mancave06

Combo kegerator and wine fridge

mancave07

Football lover’s dream

mancave08

Make sure everyone knows what’s up

mancave09

What to do with the old kegs

mancave10

Because chrome flames ROCK!

mancave11

Make sure to have plenty of seating

mancave12

Best chandelier ever!

mancave13

Who’s got spring fever?

mancave14

Because even your lighting should say “Man Cave”

mancave15

For poker night in your Ultimate Man Cave, party on your own custom built poker table. See details here.

And finally, no Man Cave would be complete without a giant pile of bacon.

Man Cave Ideas from Gateway Reaty Wiggins

Your ultimate man cave can be a sports arena, a poker tournament, or anything you want it to be. Whatever your vision is, we at Gateway Realty Wiggins can bring you to the right place to make your home a reality. Send a photo of your man cave and we will post it on our Facebook page!

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) Home Loans

Did you know that you could earn tax credits of up to $2000 per year through CHFA home loans?

What is the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority?

Colorado Housing and Finance Authority LogoThe Colorado Housing and FInance Authority provides fixed rate financing to homebuyers, small to medium businesses, and multi-family rental housing developers.In existence since 1973, CHFA’s mission is to finance the places that people live and work throughout Colorado.

 

How do CHFA Loans work?

CFHA partners with banks, mortgage lenders, developers and local governments to offer Colorado citizens affordable loans. These loans are offered based on a set of specific guidelines and are designed to help Coloradoans buy their own homes.

CHFA Programs for Home Buyers:

  • Available for first time and non-first time homebuyers
  • Buyers with higher (680+) FICO scores, who don’t want to pay mortgage insurance
  • Buyers with lower credit scores (620) or no credit score
  • Buyers who would like to utilize CHFA’s second mortgage assistance to help with down payments and closing costs

CHFA home loans are available for:

  • Very low mortgage amounts – CHFA has no floor
  • Deed restricted properties
  • Manufactured homes!
  • No mortgage insurance loans – 97% Loan to Value purchase or refinancing

CHFA Programs for Developers:

Colorado is experiencing a shortage of affordable rental properties. This offers opportunities for multifamily developers.

  • The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is Colorado’s only allocating agency for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
  • CHFA can help enterprising developers secure equity towards affordable apartment development.
  • Loan programs and underwriting guidelines can be used to build or renovate units for lower income individuals offering lower fixed interest rates on long term financing.
  • Income and rent limits apply.

How Do You Get a CHFA Loan?

  • List of lenders for CHFA home buyersHome buyers must take a training course, either live or online.
  • Loans must follow FHA, VA, RD or Fannie Mae credit underwriting guidelines.
  • Meet the Income Limits for your county.
  • Contact a CHFA Lender (See list at right)
  • Determine what type of loan product is best for you:
    • CHFA Advantage – Eligible borrowers must have a mid credit score of 680 or higher.
    • CHFA SmartStep and CHFA SmartStep Plus – CHFA SmartStep Plus includes a 30 year fixed rate 2nd mortgage loan to assist with down payment and/or closing costs.
    • CHFA HomeOpener and CHFA HomeOpener Plus – These programs have income limits, and to qualify, you must attend a CHFA-approved homebuyer education class, mentioned above. You must also contribute at least $1,000 of your own funds to the purchase of the home. The property must be occupied by the homebuyer and can not be used as a rental property.
    • CHFA HomeAccess – For people with disabilities or for parents of children with disabilities.
    • CHFA SectionEight and SectionEight Plus Homeownership programs – For renter who receive Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) from Public Housing Authorities (PHA)

How to Receive MMC Tax Credits Under CHFA 

An MCC is a certificate that authorizes a qualified homebuyer to claim a percentage of the mortgage interest paid annually as a federal tax credit with the IRS. Claimed when filing your taxes, this is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income taxes due. This increases the amount of income a homebuyer has available for monthly mortgage payments. The remaining mortgage interest continues to qualify as an itemized deduction on the homebuyer’s federal income taxes – just like it has in the past. This MCC is valid for as long as your original mortgage is outstanding and you occupy the home as your Principal Residence.

These tax credits are available for properties in targeted areas. As of this writing, Morgan and Weld counties are targeted areas.

Help for Home Buyers!

CHFA programs are designed to help you better afford a home. Colorado recognizes that our state is stronger when more people own their own homes. These programs are available to both first time and existing home owners. If you are considering buying a house this spring, take the time to learn about CHFA programs. You can learn more at www.chfainfo.com

Home Buyers Increasingly Make Use of the Internet

Each year the National Association of Realtors publishes The 2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This year the report was released on November 4, and it examined the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans, and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers.

One recent trend discussed is how much consumers now embrace technology during the home search process.

  • Fifty-six percent of buyers start their home search online, 43 percent found the home they ultimately purchased online (edging out all other sources), and 92 percent used the internet at some point during their search process.
  • Forty-five percent of recent buyers used a mobile or tablet website or application during their home search and among those who did 22 percent found the home they purchased online.

The report also showed who is buying homes:

  • 66% of buyers responding to the survey are married couples
  • 16% are single women
  • 9% single men
  • 7% unmarried couples and 2 percent other.

In 2010:

  • 58 percent of buyers were married
  • 20 percent were single women
  • 12 percent single men
  • 7 percent unmarried couples

As we can see, more married couples are buying homes in today’s real estate market indicating the benefit of dual income families in a tighter credit market. The good news for those of us that live in Eastern Colorado is that there are many very affordable homes available for all home buyers. In fact, If you are renting it may be possible for you to purchase a home instead. If you are considering this option, please give us a call. We can help!

20 Ways to Winterize Your Home

As the temperatures drop drop toward freezing, it’s time to winterize your home. Here are some tips for getting the job done right:

  1. Perform a Visual Inspection – Inspect everything from the foundation to the roof – hire contractors for the dangerous parts. Look for cracks and holes and seal them from small animals and rodents.
  2. Clean Your Gutters – As soon as the last leaves have fallen, clean your gutters and make sure the downspouts are clear. This will prevent Ice dams from forming and backing up under your shingles.
  3. Get a Furnace Tune-up – Depending on where you live this will cost about $100 to $200. The technician will inspect your furnace and make sure there are no deadly carbon monoxide leaks. Also, install a new filter for better air flow.
  4. Turn Down the Thermostat – IF you haven’t yet, invest in a programmable thermostat. You won’t be disappointed. You can cool the house down at night when you are asleep and during the day when you are at work, but you can wake up to toasty warmth at whatever time you program. Today there are even thermostats you can control from your computer or smart phone.
  5. Blow Out Your Sprinklers – Make sure you turn of the water to your sprinklers and blow them out with low pressure, high volume compressed air.
  6. Disconnect hoses from spigots – Your outside faucets actually protrude about 8 inches into the wall of your house. If you leave the hose attached, water trapped in the spigot could freeze instead of drain out. You will know there is a problem when you turn on the faucet in the spring and water runs into your home instead of out to your lawn. On older homes, turn off the shutoff valves inside the home – and be sure to open the spigot to drain the trapped water.
  7. Secure windows – Tightening the latches on all windows will help reduce leaks, put up/close  storm windows and re-caulk as needed.
  8. Call a Chimney Sweep – Depending on how much you use the fireplace, a build up of creosote could pose a danger of a chimney fire. If you have a wood stove, it must be cleaned every year. But, even if you don’t have a build-up, you should have the chimney inspected for debris before you light that first match.
  9. Chop Chop – Now is the time to chop or buy you winter supply of firewood, pellets, heating oil, etc.
  10. Check your Alarms – Use a vacuum to clean dust from your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries. (If you don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm – buy one!)
  11. Reverse the Ceiling Fan – Reversing the ceiling fan will push the hot air trapped at the ceiling down into your room.
  12. Check for Drafts – Pick a cold windy day (we get plenty of them in Eastern Colorado) to feel around the windows and door jambs for air leaks. Re-seal or add weatherstripping as needed. Consider investing in a clear plastic window insulation kit. They are practically invisible and can really cut down on drafts
  13. Check and seal your ductwork – How many of you have ever used duct tape? Good. now how many of you have used it for what it was originally intended? Ducts. You can run the fan in your furnace and feel around the joints of the ductwork and use duct tape to seal those leaks – you don’t need warm air leaking into the basement, crawlspace or attic instead of going into your home.
  14. Winterize Swampers – Shut off and drain water lines to swamp coolers and remove any standing water that may remain in the unit.
  15. Add Insulation – This can be a bit of an investment, but it can pay off big. Adding to the existing insulation in the attic and around window casings can significantly cut down on your heating bill. In Colorado a variety of incentives are available Here.
  16. Wrap Your Pipes –  feel the exposed pipes in your basement, any that are warm to the touch should be wrapped to reduce energy loss.
  17. Fill the tank on your lawnmower so moisture won’t form inside the tank. At the same time, get those snow blowers tuned and ready!
  18. Trim and Clean – Clear debris from the foundation of your house and trim any trees and shrubs as appropriate for the type of plant.
  19. Fire Extinguishers – Buy, recharge, replace fire extinguishers.
  20. Emergency Kit – Finally prepare an emergency kit, include flashlights with fresh batteries, water, non-perishable food and candles and matches.

If your home is vacant, winterization takes on a whole new meaning. We recommend hiring a professional, but if you plan on doing it yourself here are the steps:

  1. Turn off the water, drain all water lines and pump in RV style antifreeze. Close all sink drains and tub traps and put saran wrap over toilet tanks to prevent evaporation. Drain water from any appliances being left in the home. Don’t assume you are safe because you are leaving the heat on. If the furnace doesn’t work, the failure could be very costly.
  2. Unplug any and all appliances left in the house.
  3. Turn down the thermostat and put a hold on it if you have a programmable thermostat.
  4. Shut off gas lines and drain and put antifreeze in the water heaters.
  5. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer and prop the doors open.
  6. Remove all food from the house.
  7. Spray a long lasting insecticide around baseboards and buy some insect traps for lower cabinets and basements and garages.
  8. Remove all trash and clutter.

Winterize your home

Do these steps every year and your house (and your future realtor) will thank you!

Help for Flood Victims in Northern Colorado

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the devastating floods that ravaged Northern Colorado. When disasters like this occur, Americans respond.  We make donations, we provide shelter, we assist wherever we can.  Here is a partial list of resources the help those in need:

Donations:

From the Morgan County Disaster Relief Facebook Page:

AGENCIES Participating:

  • September 18, 2013 at 1:49pm
  • Brush Chamber of Commerce
  • Salvation Army – Brush
  • BOCES Colorado/National
  • CitIMPACT Ministries – New York!!!
  • American Red Cross – National
  • USD Foods – Denver
  • Northeast Colorado Health Department
  • Caring Ministries of Morgan County, Inc.
  • Fort Morgan Chamber of Commerce
  • Fort Morgan Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc.
  • Salvation Army – Fort Morgan Unit
  • American Red Cross – Northern Colorado – Morgan County Unit

Colorado Office of Emergency Management
To get ongoing information and updates about the floods throughout Colorado, go to coemergency.com

FEMA
If you sustained losses call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Weld County

Weld County has compiled long-term recovery information for flood victims about clean-up, re-entry, recovery, water quality, maps, public meetings and more.
Please go to www.weldgov.com for information.

Flood 2013 Long Term Recovery information – http://flood2013.weldgov.com/

Weld County Resource Information Sheet
For information about: road closures and alternate routes go to www.weldgov.com or www.facebook.com/weldcountygovernment or Weld County Resource Information Sheet

Beware of Fraudulent Aid and Assistant Offers

Unfortunately, when disasters like this occur, there are also those that seek to take advantage of the situation.  These fraudulent actions are deplorable. Examples of recent types of fraud related to relief efforts include:

– Fraudulent Charities: Cases in which individuals falsely hold themselves out as agents of a legitimate charities, or create “charities” that are in fact shams;

– Identity Theft: Cases in which the identities of innocent victims are “stolen” and assumed by criminals who convert the assets of, or otherwise defraud, the victims;

– Insurance Fraud: Cases in which false or inflated insurance claims are filed

– Government Benefit Fraud: Cases in which individuals file false applications seeking benefits to which they are not entitled.

Several resources are available to obtain information about, and report instances of, flood-related fraud. Members of the public can call the FBI at 1-800-CALLFBI to report instances of fraud or report online on the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.

The Fraud Section of the Criminal Division maintains additional information about internet-related scams at http://www.internetfraud.usdoj.gov. The Federal Trade Commission provides additional information at its website, http://www.ftc.gov , and a toll-free FTC hotline, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357, TTY/TDD: 202-326-2502), also allows consumers to report suspected schemes to defraud.

FHA Waives Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Short Sale Waiting Periods with FHA Back To Work Program

FHA Back To Work

As of August 15th, 2013, under the FHA Back to Work Extenuating Circumstances Program, the FHA has waived it’s 3 year waiting period for borrowers with a recent history of the following credit defaults:

  • Bankruptcy – Chapter 7
  • Bankruptcy – Chapter 13
  • Judgement
  • Foreclosure
  • Short Sale
  • Loan Modification
  • Deed-in-Lieu
  • Pre-Foreclosure Sales

The FHA, or Federal Housing Authority, is a part of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Their primary role is to insure loans that meet FHA Guidelines. These loans must be made by FHA Approved Lenders. FHA Back to Work Extenuating Circumstances is a program designed to help more Americans enter or re-enter the housing market.

FHA Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances 

When the economy crashed, many Americans were forced into dire financial circumstances. In many cases the credits defaults listed above were created by circumstances beyond the lenders control. That is they were not the result of an unwillingness to pay. By waiving the three year waiting period, and in recognising that individuals were adversely impacted by the recession, the FHA has stated the following in Mortgage Letter 2013-26:

FHA recognizes the hardships faced by these borrowers, and realizes that their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage.

Indeed, many people who would have never considered bankruptcy or foreclosure were forced into it by an economic event:

To that end, FHA is allowing for the consideration of borrowers who have experienced an Economic Event and can document that:

  • Certain credit impairments were the result of a Loss of Employment or a significant loss of Household Income beyond the borrower’s control
  • The borrower has demonstrated full recovery from the event; and,
  • The borrower has completed housing counseling.

FHA Waives Foreclosure, Bankruptcy and Short Sale Waiting Periods with FHA Back To Work Program

The FHA Back to Work Waiver of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Waiting Period Means More Borrowers Now Qualify for a Home Loan!

Borrowers that meet these guidelines now have the ability to re-enter the housing market! If you meet these qualifications, at Gateway Realty Wiggins we can help. We have lenders who will work with you to secure pre-approval for a home loan. With this in hand home sellers will take you seriously and our realtors will help you find the perfect property for you and your family.

Contact Gateway Realty Wiggins by calling 970 483-7373 today!

Landlord Checklist for Renting Properies

Are you a new landlord or thinking about becoming a new landlord?

Landlord Checklist for Renting Properties

Below is a simple Landlord Checklist for Renting Properties. When we sat down to put this list together, it was surprising. We didn’t realize how much work really goes into preparing and renting out a property. The process can be daunting and there is a lot of preparation and forethought needed. See for yourself:

Landlord Checklist for Renting Properties:

  1. Property Acquisition – Of course this is where we excel. IF you are in the market for a rental property, we can help. You should consider the legal entity your will use to buy the property before the deal goes through. Talk to your lawyer and accountant – its important.
  2. Property Preparation – Is the unit ready too rent? You are going to collect a deposit and charge for damages when your renters leave, so you better be sure everything is up to snuff before they move in. Does everything work? Plumbing, electrical, appliances. are the carpets and walls clean and stain free? Is the structure sound: doors, windows, etc. You may want to consider taking pictures of the entire property before your first renters move in!
  3. Marketing your rental property – Now its time to find a renter. Depending on the type of property and the location, you have several options. What are you willing to spend on marketing. Craigslist is free and is good for certain types of properties. There is also northerncoloradorentals.com and other similar websites that charge landlords for listings. You could put up flyers and signs (check your local codes.) Describe the property accurately and include lots of pictures.
  4. Your Privacy – As a landlord, you have to be available to your tenants to resolve problems and for general communication. Are you going to give them your home address? Your private phone number? Consider these before you publish them. You may want to consider a separate cell phone or PO box.
  5. Taxes and Rental Income – We are not accountants and you should definitely consult your own, but we do recommend keeping a seperate checking account to track all monies coming in and expenses flowing out. You will need them come tax time.
  6. Renter Profile – Who will you rent too? What are your rules for who can and cannot rent your property? Here are some things to consider:
    1. Credit Rating
    2. History of Foreclosures or Bankruptcy
    3. Prior Rental History
    4. Income vs. Monthly Rent Payment
    5. Money in the Bank
    6. Pets
    7. Smokers
    8. Criminal Record
  7. Rental Application – Now that you have a set of criteria, its time to develop a rental application. Ask all of the questions that you are allowed to ask in your state.
  8. Background Check – Now that you have an Application, how will you verify it? Will you pay someone to do a background check and run credit? There are many services available online – all of which cost money.
  9. Rental Agreement – For this you will need an attorney. You can find and download many rental agreements online, but are they legal in your state? All states have tenant/landlord laws and they are all different.
  10. Your Instincts – We are big believers in gut instinct. Read the book Blink! You first feelings are usually the best. Trust them.

Gateway Realty Wiggins takes the stress out of rental Property Management

If this Landlord Checklist for Renting Properties seems daunting, thats because it is! There is a lot of work that goes into renting a home a apartment or even a room over your garage. If it seems like more than you want to get involved in, call us at Gateway Realty Wiggins:

  • We are experts at property management
  • We have everything in place to market rent and manage your property
  • We can help you find properties to rent
  • We will take the stress out of rental property management!

For more information and to see our fees, visit our Rental Property Management page.

What’s the Difference Between a Mobile, Modular and Manufactured Home?

Do you know the difference?

As Realtors in Eastern Colorado, we get this question a lot! At first glance it may seem like there is little difference between the three, but when you dig deeper into these types of homes you will find that there are very real and important differences between mobile, modular and manufactured homes.

What is a Mobile Home:

Mobile homes are exactly what they say…mobile. They were manufactured in a factory and moved to the home site. They have steel beams running along the base of the structure and serve as a permanent chassis. These I-beams can rest on a cider block or concrete foundation, wooden posts, metal supports or stone blocks.

What is a Mobile Home photo of redneck mansion
On June 15, 1976 the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (commonly known as the HUD Code) went into effect. This code set out new and safer construction and installation standards for all homes built in a factory, therefore all homes of this type built since 1976 are called Manufactured Homes. Technically the term Mobile Home is used for homes built prior to 1976.

What is a Manufactured Home:

What is a manufactured home
Manufactured homes arrive on wheels. They are towed to the site on axles and wheels that are removed when the unit is set. These homes should have a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Certification Label on the side or on each of the two sides if they are a double width unit.

Modern Manufactured Homes can appear similar to site built homes and they can be placed on the same types of foundations as the mobile homes listed above.

While the initial cost of manufactured homes may be less than site built homes, living costs can be significantly higher in older models. This is due to energy inefficiency.  The higher cost of heating and cooling is less in “High Performance Manufactured Homes.” This trend involves a “whole building” design concept that makes the home more resistant to heat loss, wind, moisture penetration and boasts healthier indoor air quality.

What is a Modular Home:

Modular Homes are at the top of the factory made housing market. Modular homes are shipped to the site on flatbed trucks. They are structured WITHOUT a permanent metal chassis. These homes are built to the same standards as a site built or scratch built home.

What is a modular home?

These homes can have multiple stories that are attached to each other on-site. Once assembled they are designed not to be moved to another location.

Considerations When Buying or Selling a Manufactured, Modular or Mobile Home:

When listing or buying a mobile, modular or manufactured home, identify which type of home you have. This is important information for the lending side on these homes.

When trying to finance manufactured homes in certain areas, the property MUST be considered real estate and the title must be purged.

Titling Homes as Real Property:

Manufactured Homes are traditionally titled as personal property, much like a travel trailer/camper. It is titled through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and considered to be drawn over public highways.

To “Purge” a title to become “Real Property”: The manufactured home must be affixed to a permanent foundation and the certificate of title should be surrendered or “purged.” Then the home will be taxed as “real property.”

Many factors go into determining the value of any given home. Age, location, condition all play a part in setting the price of  your property. Like any home, it is all about how it is cared for and maintained over the years.

The Vickie Newman Team

newm189.jpgMeet Vickie Newman:

I was born and raised right here in Colorado. There’s something about Colorado sunshine, outdoor activities and the healthy lifestyle that I’ve never desired to leave. Skiing is definitely a big passion of mine. It’s actually where I met my husband! We’ve been married for over 10 years, and we have a beautiful daughter, Peyton. Together, we love to golf, travel, spend time with friends and enjoy our daughter’s soccer games. On the weekends, you can find me cheering on the Broncos, tailgating or spending time in Vail with my family.

 

Vickie Newman – Loan Originator:Vickie Team Logo

I grew up in Colorado helping my Dad with his real estate business.  He not only did well selling real estate, but he was an avid real estate investor who bought and managed over 40 properties at one point in time.  He believed in helping people achieve their dream of home ownership, and that’s something I took to heart, something I wanted to work toward.  I believe that this dream still exists today and the prospect of owning a home is more important than ever.  Learning at a young age all the various nuances of the real estate business has been incredibly useful as I help my clients achieve that dream and set them up for a successful future.   With over 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry, closing over $1 billion in loans and a knack for providing some of the best service in the industry, my clients can always trust me to structure loans that help them achieve their short- and long-term financial goals.

 

Due to my client dedication and strong work ethic I’ve always achieved top producer status at the companies I’ve worked for. In 2012 I was a Real Estate Mortgage Network All Star Team Member and ranked #1 in the company. I’ve also been recognized as being in the top 1% of US loan originators.

 

REMN Logo with Transparent BackgroundAbout Real Estate Mortgage Network:

Real Estate Mortgage Network is a full service mortgage banker with a wide variety of mortgage solutions. Life is not one size fits all, so your mortgage shouldn’t be either. We work to meet your unique needs and offer a personally tailored mortgage solution, with a competitive rate.

 

A home purchase (and mortgage) is one of the largest financial transactions that you’ll ever make, so it’s important to make the right decisions and keep an eye on the details. With the assistance of me and my team, closing a loan with Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. will be an efficient, pleasant and rewarding experience.

 

Contact Vickie Newman:

720.974.8400 ext. 1

vnewman@remn.com

www.vickienewman.com

www.remn.com/vickienewman