I wish I could find product. I could probably make quite a few commissions. I have clients who have been

looking for over a year who just can’t find what they are looking for.

Steffen Kaufman Broker Associate at RE/MAX Professionals, Englewood

Denver Colorado Downtown Financial District

Constriction of Contractors But bridge loans and low down payment loans are not enough to get some prospective home buyers over the affordability hump in Denver. And some of those prospective buyers are leaving the Denver area as a result, which is having a ripple effect on the housing market, Kaufman noted. “We’re seeing a constriction of contractors. … They can’t pay them enough to live here,” he said, adding that one of the head painters on the painting crew he uses had recently moved out of the Denver area because he could no longer afford to live there. “For inspections you have to give it some thought as a Realtor … you have two weeks to close and you have a laundry list of things that need to be done and (you) can’t find a contractor.”

“Bridge loans eliminate the timing pressures of having to sell the current home before buying the next,” wrote Thomas in an email response to questions. “Finding affordable homes in the Denver market can be difficult. …. When a low- to moderate-income family finds a home and makes an offer, many times they are competing with an investor’s cash offer. … Bridge loans, along with a strong pre-approval letter from a reputable lender, can help low- to moderate-income families get their offers accepted.” “A Ton” of Low Down Payment Loans First-time homebuyers, who don’t have the option of leveraging their current home’s equity with a bridge loan, are increasingly relying on low down payment loans, according to Armstrong, the broker/owner in Denver.

“There are a lot of first-time homebuyer loans out here,” he said, specifically referencing a down payment assistance program available through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). “A lot of 5 percent down conventional loans. A lot of the 3 percent down FHA loans.” Kaufman said he is seeing “a ton” of low down payment buyers in his market. He said he considers those buyers a high risk for default given any shock to the overall economy or those borrowers’ individual circumstances. “I think FHA is no different than 0 down or stated or all that stuff,” he said, noting that he had two sales closing that day with low down payment buyers — one of whom had made eight previous unsuccessful offers and offered $15,000 above the list price of $275,000 to secure the home. “No one is going to stick around for $7,000 down.”

ATTOM Data Solutions • P17

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