First-Time Home Buyer in Castle Rock, CO: 5 Things to Know

Castle Rock, a hidden gem located just south of Denver in Douglas County, Colorado, captures the essence of blending its rich wild-west history with modern amenities. Its name was derived from the iconic rock formation above the city center, which is recognized as a popular landmark and a tourist attraction. Nestled amidst the foothills of the Rampart Range, this town envelops a high quality of life brimming with outdoor adventures.

Witnessing an annual population increase of 3.6%, Castle Rock thrives as a tight-knit community that beckons individuals and families that are seeking a fulfilling lifestyle. The downtown area reveals charming eateries and boutiques, while the proximity of Denver offers big city amenities and accessibility.

Castle Rock real estate is red-hot, with high demand and fierce competition for properties. Navigating this dynamic market requires careful consideration and strategic decision-making for first-time buyers. In this blog, we will equip you with some valuable information to navigate buying a home.

Castle Rock housing market

First-time home buyers need to understand the market they are interested in. Colorado has generally seen a volatile housing market since the pandemic, but it is slowly balancing itself out. There is a limited inventory across the state of Colorado, and it is creating fierce competition. However, in May, there was a 12% increase in inventory statewide, but that number is still down 22% from May 2022.

Not only are we contending with an acute shortage of available homes, but we are also grappling with soaring interest rates that have reached a considerable 6.5% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. This abrupt escalation has made potential sellers hesitant, particularly those who capitalized on the opportune low-interest rate of a couple of years ago.

Now, let’s zoom in on Douglas County. Presently, the median sale price for a single-family home rests at $725,000, showing a marginal decline of 4.6% from May 2022. It’s noteworthy that despite these fluctuations, the demand remains eager. May saw 724 listings on the market, and the percentage of list price received was 100.1%.

For those embarking on their maiden voyage into homeownership, these numbers shed light on a competitive market where individuals are not hesitant to pull the trigger on the house of their dreams. In this cutthroat market, decisive action and proactive engagement will prove to be invaluable assets.

Consult a real estate expert

First-time home buyers can greatly benefit from the expertise and guidance of a realtor from MC2 Properties Group throughout the home-buying process. Joy McWilliams and Brian McWilliams have extensive knowledge of the real estate market in Castle Rock, and they understand how to cater to different clients for a personalized experience.

Realtors possess in-depth knowledge of the real estate market, including current trends, neighborhoods, and property values. First-time buyers will need someone who understands local regulations and negotiates offers to help them save money, time, and stress.

One of the greatest assets that realtors have access to is the Multiple Listing Services (MLS). It’s a comprehensive property listing service that can efficiently narrow down the search based on the buyer’s preferences and criteria. It ensures that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities and saves you from scouring online platforms for more listings.

Negotiation skills are another advantage of working with a realtor because they advocate for the buyer’s interests, helping to secure a fair price and favorable terms. Realtors can also navigate the complexities of counter-offers, contingencies, and repair negotiations, and they can explain the legal and realtor jargon.

Additionally, realtors have a vast network of professionals that they can consult or recommend. From lenders and inspectors to title companies and contractors, it will give you peace of mind to know that you are surrounded by trusted individuals who are helping you achieve your goal.

Down payments

Many people will recommend a 20% down payment when buying a house, but it isn’t always necessary, especially for first-time home buyers. The ability to purchase multiple homes in a lifetime and the potential for less secure financial situations make a higher down payment less essential.

First-time buyers need to assess their individual circumstances, considering factors such as their financial capacity, savings, and future plans. Opting for a lower down payment can offer more flexibility for life changes and unexpected expenses.

It’s crucial to always consult with a professional, so you can align your goals and understand the full scope of options.

Property tax

Property tax is another expense that is often overlooked by first-time home buyers. The rise in home prices is leading to a rise in property taxes. Since June 2020 in Colorado, there has been a 40% increase in median home values.

You can calculate your property tax on homes for sale in Castle Rock by multiplying the market rate of your home by the local mill levy rate. The mill levy rate can vary from property to property, even in the same town, so be sure to check before you buy.

So, let’s say your home is valued at $750,000 with a 6.765% residential assessment rate with a levy rate of 80.

To calculate property taxes for this example, it would look like this: 750,000 x .06765 x (80 x .001) = $4,059.

Because of Colorado’s recent uptick in home values, Governor Jared Polis has introduced Senate Bill 303, which aims to curb the property tax spike. Potential buyers should familiarize themselves with this new bill and have a discussion about it with your realtor.

Home buyer assistance programs

Becoming a first-time home buyer in Castle Rock, Colorado, may feel like an intimidating task, but the government has programs designed to ease the path to homeownership. Popular options include government-backed home loans, mortgage assistance, homeownership vouchers, and opportunities to purchase real estate and federal lands.

With these comprehensive programs at your disposal, you can embark on your home-buying journey with confidence. Take a look into the home buyer assistance programs to see if they can help your situation.

Douglas County also has its own assistance programs. It includes a Down Payment Assistance Program, Shared Equity Finance Program, and Amortizing Loan Program, as well as Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling and Reverse Mortgage Program. Most of these you will need to qualify for, so make sure to speak to your realtor about them and apply early.

Discover more working with MC2 Properties

Take the next step towards finding your dream home with MC2 Properties. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to guide you through the home-buying process, offering personalized assistance and access to a wide range of properties.

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced homeowner, discover the exceptional service and expertise that MC2 has to offer. Contact us today to start your home-buying journey.

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