Buying is still an option for renters in the market |

Buying is still an option for renters in the market

Dear Joan: It is that time of year again. It isn’t the leaves changing; I am talking about my rent going up. I have been renting in this valley for five years and it has gotten more and more expensive. I wish I would have been able to buy a place five years ago, but I could not afford it then, and it is even more expensive now. I know that there is more talk of deed restricted properties, but I am not sure how that could help me. I don’t want to leave the valley because of housing, but I feel stuck in my dilemma. What are your thoughts?

Dear Renter: You are in a situation common among locals. I have known people who were not sure they would stay here, and 20 years later they are still renting, which is the same as making the mortgage payment for the owner of the property.

You could move from the valley, but we all know how miserable that sounds and then it does not help that rents are going up most places that would have jobs for you. The deed-restricted goal of 1,000 properties in the town of Vail is a goal to be achieved in Vail if owners and buyers cooperate, in the next 10 years. They are not sure how well it will work and, of course, mortgage lenders will have to approve the loan on a property that might immediately be restricted and more difficult to sell the next time.

My suggestion is one I often give: Find a great Realtor who is knowledgeable and willing to take the time and trouble to help a first-time home buyer. This Realtor will put you in touch with one or more knowledgeable lenders who can give you information about USDA loans (with no money down), FHA loans (with as little as 3.5 percent down) and the down payment assistance program the county offers. If you do not qualify to buy right now, the lender can tell you what you need to do in the next six to 12 months to make you more creditworthy.

We Realtors have been helping first-time buyers for our whole careers, and it is a wonderful feeling to help someone become a homeowner. There are opportunities for new home owners all over this Valley.

This is another reason for an excellent, dedicated Realtor, to help you through the mine field of terms and inspections for your purchase. Ask around with friends and family and find the best agent you can to help you through this process. It is definitely worth the effort, since experts agree — personal wealth starts with owning your own home.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 and

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