Using Airbnb Income to Refinance?!

newlogo1Airbnb has become, in recent years, very familiar in the eyes of renters and travelers alike. It is a convenient service set up to allow homeowners to advertise their homes for temporary rental situations. It has created a new market for competition between hotels and private renters, as Airbnb allows for a good deal of flexibility for both the person renting out their property and the person who decides to rent it. The app makes it easy for those seeking somewhere to stay to find such within someone’s private home (via a shared living situation,) or by renting someone’s property as a whole. The convenience of Airbnb makes it attractive to travelers and those looking for short-term rentals.

Airbnb has contributed their success to providing a variety of options regarding price, availability, and by having properties all over the world. It gives homeowners the opportunity to rent out as much of their home as they choose to bring in extra income. Until recently, this extra income was purely for personal gain; but recently, companies such as Fannie Mae have partnered with Airbnb in an effort to allow borrowers to use Airbnb income towards refinancing their mortgages. Think about it – you live in Denver, which has seen a huge increase in tourism over the last 5 years and has become a “destination” spot for many travelers, and you have a room to spare in your house; maybe renting your extra room on the weekends will allow you to refinance your mortgage and save you money! Is this too good to be true?

According to CNBC’s market report, homeowners are now able to use rental income earned through Airbnb to refinance their mortgages. This pilot program launched in early 2018, and has seen some great success so far. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae designed the program with Airbnb in an effort to help more borrowers get better loans in today’s tight mortgage market. Since Airbnb already tracks the income data for individual homeowners, it will now provide documentation for a mortgage application. Fannie Mae allows borrowers to use rental income as part of the income qualification needed to refinance their home loans – this allows them either to get a better interest rate, or to take cash out for other expenses, like renovations or education.

The mortgage industry has started to recognize the income potential in companies like Airbnb, which allows homeowners to generate rental income on their own terms. Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk wrote “Some of the nation’s largest financial institutions understand that Airbnb is an economic empowerment tool that can generate important income for families, and they are working to recognize this.”

This is big news for homeowners seeking both extra income and to refinance – Airbnb may be the answer! “Because of the sharing economy, the way people use their homes has changed … and now finally the mortgage industry has caught up. We are able to use that income in actually underwriting the value of your house, your ability to make a payment on that loan, and then qualify you for a lower rate.” said Vishal Garg, CEO of Better Mortgage.

Better Mortgage is one of three lenders partnering with Fannie Mae and Airbnb in this program, along with Quicken Loans and Citizens Bank. Borrowers can use Airbnb income to apply for refinances through one of the lenders. In order to qualify for the program, the home must be the borrower’s primary residence, and they are required to have 12 months history of Airbnb earnings. The program is not for investors using multiple homes only as rental properties, but shows definite potential for those looking for options when it comes to refinancing in a tough market!

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Denver’s 2018 Real Estate Hot Spots

newlogo1Testing…is this thing still on? It has been some time since we here at Walters & Company have connected with our friends and community about the world of Real Estate News and happenings in the Denver area. Along with the fresh start a new year always brings, we hope to expand our social media presence in 2018 in an effort to bring our followers up-to-date information and stay connected with our community. We are so pleased to have you along for our journey!

2018 is off to a hot-market start here in the Denver area. Last year, Denver home prices were appreciating at a pace that put Denver in the top 5 housing markets in the country. However, this appreciation in home pricing slowed a bit towards the end of 2017, allowing other markets with accelerating prices to catch up (according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.) This tends to happen when prices are continuing to appreciate rapidly – the numbers eventually plateau once they can no longer be sustained at that pace. At the end of 2017, Denver maintained a 7 percent rate of appreciation in home prices. The average increase for the 20-city study conducted by S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller was 6.3 percent, which marked the 28th month that home price gains nationally have run above 5 percent; Denver still remains a hot market!

Speaking of hot, let’s take a moment to focus on a few of Denver’s “hottest” neighborhoods for 2018. According to Redfin, the three hottest spots for Denver homes are in the Green Mountain area of west Lakewood, the Applewood area also in Lakewood, and the Regis neighborhood in North Denver.

In west Lakewood, the gateway to the Rockies, you will find the Green Mountain neighborhood. Homes there have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 99%; 22% sold over list price (as of December,) and homes spent an average of just 28 days on the market. Talk about hot!

Green Mountain Neighborhood


Homes in the Applewood neighborhood of Lakewood have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 97.3%; 8% sold over list price (as of December,) and homes spent an average of 55 days on the market. Applewood is a wonderful part of Lakewood and deserves a look from anyone in the market!

North Table Mountain from an Applewood Neighborhood

Finally, Redfin points to the Regis area as one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods for 2018. Homes in this area have an average sale-to-list price ratio of 100.4%; 54.8% of homes sold over list price (as of December,) and homes spent an average of just 46 days on the market. With its close proximity to the city and access to major highways, Regis is an awesome neighborhood with huge potential.

View of the Front Range from Regis University’s campus

So there you have it – a quick update on Denver’s hot spots as they’re shaping up for 2018; we’re off for another week in the world of Denver real estate life. Stay updated on all things Walters & Company by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thanks for reading!


Walters & Company Newsletter




Monthly Market Update

The market stays robust for Denver in the month of October even though we see our lowest inventory in 30 years. You can see below sales price and sold price continue to rise and that there has been no change in days on market, year-over-year or month-over-month.




What Do We Mean When We Say “Average”?

Of the homes that sold in October, the average detached single family home was 1,849 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and was built in 1979. The average attached family home (i.e. Condo) was 1,239 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and was built in 1987.




#DenverHousingStats -April 2016

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April 2016 proved to be very similar to last year as you can see in the chart! This year’s inventory shortage, because it has been prolonged, makes it different than years prior, with pros and cons for both Buyers and Sellers. In some respects it shows signs of being as unbalanced as the market was in 2007/2008.

Let me explain. This kind of Seller’s market is causing Sellers to NOT list because they have no where to move up/move down to. Renting was a great plan B a year and a half ago, but rents are rising and making plan B look less attractive. As I sit at listing appointments I can point out seductive sales prices, Buyers forgoing appraisals and inspections and quick sales, but Sellers still are no less hesitant to put their homes on the market. This is causing an even greater tightening of housing inventory as we move into Spring. This market is too unbalanced and is beginning to cause hardships for both Buyers and Sellers.

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If you look at Colorado’s supply numbers they are down for the whole state to 2.2 months (33% year over year ) of supply and if you look at Denver Metro we have moved from  1.7 to 1.3 months of supply. This slowing begins to cause a build up of demand similar to what we saw right before 2013. I wish I had a crystal ball that could tell us when this pipeline of Sellers will burst!

Even though we are without a crystal ball, I am thinking that as home prices start to rise more minimally, Sellers will begin to have thoughts that mirror this: “Uh, Oh I better sell now before things slow too much”. We saw our first single digit (median house price) increase month over month in March, and then we saw it again in April….If this trend continues I see it as a good thing, a move towards a more balanced market.

I am always looking for balance in my life, aren’t you?



9796 Bucknell Way 80129

Bucknell Insta

Put this Highlands Ranch Home on your list to see today! It has 3 Bedrooms and 3 Baths with almost 2000 Finished Square Feet with an additional almost 700 in the Unfinished Basement. Located on a Large Fenced Corner Lot with tons of Privacy! The Home has a 2 Car Attached Garage, stainless appliances, granite counters, hardwoods and the Washer and Dryer are included too! For more information please call Danny at 303-916-7367 or Lizz at 303-907-1984!

Hacks for the Home Buyer

Home Buyer Hacks

I was out showing property to a younger couple this week and their strategies for purchasing a home were really Brilliant! After spending an afternoon with them I thought more people should consider some of these ideas when they are homebuyering.  I have also decided (while doing some graphic design today) that Iwould make up a new word “homebuyering” kind of like “Strategery” and see where it takes me….Here are some Tips or Hacks as they are now called, to consider when Buying a Home.

Here are your Hacks:

  1. Buying Below Your Means and Make Extra Principal Payments:

Considering the current cost to Rent in Denver, purchasing the right home might be able to save you a couple of bucks per month over the equivalent rent.  While some buyers take this to mean they can purchase a much larger home with a payment more in line with what they are paying in rent, consider purchasing a home that is less than your current rent.  With the additional money, you can pay down debt, improve the property, save for retirement, travel, etc. Buying below your budget means that you can apply extra money to the principal balance of your mortgage each month to pay it down and save money in costly interest.  For example, paying an additional $50 a month towards the principal of a 30 year mortgage would decrease the term by 2 years, 9 months.

2. Is a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Necessary Always?

This is an interesting one because the housing downturn swung the pendulum too far in the wrong direction with regard to mortgage products. We threw the baby out with the bathwater when pundits decided after the housing downturn that the reason we had the bubble was because too many people had adjustable-rate mortgages. I say further evaluation of the different products is in order! For a lot of people, an adjustable-rate mortgage is a great way to finance a purchase of a home, depending on how long you’re going to be in the property. If you’re going to be there for less than seven years, you should absolutely consider an adjustable-rate mortgage. If you got a 30-year fixed for that five-year period, you’re going to pay more per month to live in the same home, and the reason is that you’re basically buying an option for the right to stay in that home for 30 years. But if you know you’re going to be there less than seven, you could pay a lot less on that home with an adjustable-rate mortgage. It’s shortsighted to just dismiss a whole class of mortgage products because of the way the media reported on the them during the downturn.

3. When getting closer to making the final decision you might want to know:

If you get good cell service while in the house. I guess this could depend on who your carrier is, but why not take note of it while you are there.

If you are Buying in Colorado, which way does the home face. For faster snow melt consider being SW or W for less shoveling.

Homes with street with names sell better than homes that have numbers for names. I read that “Sunset” and “Lake” are the preferred names. In Colorado the Sunset wouldn’t be that hard, but Lake my prove to be more challenging.

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4. Get Instant Updates from the MLS

For the last 12 months, many first time home buyers in the Denver area have found it frustrating to purchase affordable houses because of a lack of housing inventory.  The solution: beat the other home buyers to the punch by seeing the homes as soon as they are listed for sale on the market.  Most very popular websites only update every 24 hours with new listings and that is simply too late.  Fortunately, the local multiple listing service has a feature that will notify potential buyers the instant a home is entered into the system that matches their criteria.

Our website, updates every 15 minutes with new listings. So hop on there and set up a search for yourself today!

9947 Spring Hill Ln Highlands Ranch Colorado 80126

This 5 Bedroom 4 Bath beauty can be yours today! Brand new Deck with Mountain Views, New Wood Floors throughout main level, New Tile Floors, Updated Baths….the list goes on and on! Call 303-907-1984 today for your private viewing!

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