Colorado Lifestyle

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4 Misconceptions Millennials Have About Buying a Home in Denver

When it comes to buying a home in Denver, millennials are moving much slower than previous generations. Part of the reason is because there are some major misconceptions that make millennials not want to buy a home.

Before you wait too long to buy or jump into the market with little knowledge, you should try to find out everything there is to know about buying a home. That’s why in this blog, we want to help debunk the top four misconceptions millennials have about buying a home in Denver.

Misconceptions Millennials Have About Buying a Home in Denver

1 – Denver’s Housing Market is Too High to Buy

The latest craze in the Denver real estate market is talking about how high the market is. Many people, specifically millennials, are under the impression that the housing market is too high to buy right now — however, that’s no longer the case.

According to the Denver Post and the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, the market is beginning to cool down. This is great for buyers in the area because when there’s less interest in a home, the seller will typically lower their asking price. It’s hard to predict the future when it comes to the housing market, but right now it’s in the buyers court.

2 – Paying Rent is Cheaper

A lot of millennials are still paying rent because they think it’s more affordable than buying a house. However, paying off your mortgage can actually result in a lower monthly payment. Especially because the rent prices in Denver seem to increase every year.

Also paying off your mortgage each month allows you to invest in a property and create equity, whereas paying rent does not benefit you in any way longterm. If you’re already paying a significant amount in rent each month, you should definitely look into becoming a homeowner.

3 – I Can’t Afford the Down Payment

If you’re worried that you can’t afford the down payment on a house, then rest assured. There are many programs designed to help you make the payment. Once you speak with a mortgage broker, they can help you determine if you qualify for a local, state or federal program.

Through FHA, USDA and VA loans, along with down payment assistance programs, there are plenty of options out there. The FHA loan can help you lower your down payment 3.5 percent. The USDA loan could help so you don’t have to pay any down payment at all. Then the VA loan is for veterans that have served in the military and can help with the payment.

4 – I Need to Pay My Student Loans First

According to Market Watch, 83% of non-homeowners said the reason they can’t buy a home is because of their student loan debt. Many millennials believe that because they have to pay off their student loans, they will have a high DTI and won’t be able to save enough money to buy a house.

However, once you meet with a lender, you’ll see that there are a lot of options out there that can help you buy a house, even with student loan debt. The lender will take a look at your DTI, but they will also consider how much money you make, how long you’ve been at your job and how large your down payment is before they determine if you’re eligible for a loan. This means your DTI isn’t the only factor used when it comes to getting a loan for your house.

Find a Home Today!

Are you ready to start your search and find a home today? Buying a home in Denver can be easier and more affordable than you think. Plus, now that you know the truth about buying as a millennial, you can look into the best options for you.

If you’re looking for homes for sale in Denver CO, give West + Main Homes a call. We’re

Denver’s top real estate firm and we help people find and sell homes throughout the Denver Metro Area. When you’re ready, give us a call at 720-299-6635 or send us an email at

CHFA Preferred Loan Program

​With CHFA Preferred, you could save money up front and throughout the life of your loan with a lower down payment requirement and lower monthly mortgage insurance payments than similar programs in the market.

The CHFA Preferred loan may be paired with CHFA’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs.


​CHFA Preferred offers the following unique benefits:perferred photo

  • Only 3 percent down payment requirement (similar conventional programs require 5 percent)
  • An optional CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant (CHFA DPA Grant) to help cover down payment, closing costs, and/or prepaids
  • Reduced-cost mortgage insurance
  • The possibility to cancel your monthly mortgage insurance payments once you reach 80 percent loan-to-value (competing FHA mortgage programs do not allow the same flexibility)
  • Eligible homebuyers may also be able to increase their savings with a CHFA Mortgage Credit Certificate (CHFA MCC​).

CHFA Preferred Qualifications

​Applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:​

  • Have a mid credit score of 620 or higher
  • Meet income limits​​​
  • Complete a CHFA-approved homebuyer education class prior to loan closing
  • Contribute a minimum of $1,000 toward the transaction

Looking to the Future

Want help or advice to start moving forward into a new home, we would love to help at Colorado Mortgage Group. Call today at (303) 444-5251 or email us at

CHFA Down Payment Assistant Programs

What is CHFA?

CHFA’s mission is to strengthen affordable housing and economic development across the state. They offer many financial resources to strengthen homeownership, affordable rental housing, and businesses. They also offer education classes and technical assistance to help borrowers succeed.

CHFA has invested more than $10 billion in Colorado’s economy. Their resources have helped:

  • 84,472 Colorado homebuyers achieve homeownership;
  • 97,761 households attend homebuyer education classes held statewide;
  • 58,628 affordable rental housing units be developed or preserved; and
  • 3,670 business access capital to support 49,570 jobs.

Home Finance Programs:

borrower qualifications vary by program; however there are certain ones that apply in all or most instances:

  • No first time homebuyer requirements on most loan programs
  • CHFA-sponsored homebuyer education required with purchase programs and CHFA Mortgage Credit Certificates (CHFA MCCs)
  • $1,000 minimum borrower contribution required (may be a gift) on most loan programs

You will find below a brief overview of CHFA programs, along with key benefits of each to help you determine which might be best for you.


home finance program comparison chart

Take the next step towards your future with confidence by financing your home with Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). Need Help feel free to call us with any question at (303)-444-5251 or email at
couple colorado photo

My Community Mortgage Program by Fannie Mae

What is A My Community Mortgage?

Has a down payment been a stumbling block to advancing your goals of purchasing a home, Fannie Mae may have the loan program for you. The My Community program was created by Fannie Mae with the intent to provide low rates, minimal risk-based price adjustments, and reduced mortgage insurance costs to home buyer who meet certain requirements.   Homebuyers can purchase a house under Fannie Mae’s My Community Mortgage product with a 3% down payment if at least one co-borrower is a first-time buyer.


Low Rates Risk Based Price Adjustments

The program has a no loan-level-price adjustments.  These on a conventional loan could lead to the borrower paying more due to the higher risk associated for the lender, however this is not the case with the My Community Mortgage program. A few LLPAs to consider are the following:

  • FICO score, the good news is whether you have a 620 or 800 score, those who get approved get the same interest rate pricing.
  • Property type- Fannie Mae will increase the cost of loan if the property is labeled as higher risk. Properties that are commonly high risk are condominiums, duplexes, triplexes, or fourplexes.
  • Down payment, on a conventional loan Fannie Maw will adjust pricing based on the size of your down payment. For example if you have the ability to pay a larger down payment then the outcome would result in better pricing.  With the My Community Mortgage you have access to the same rate regardless of your down payment.
  • Subordinate Financing or Second Mortgages, this program does not have any additional charges is there’s a second mortgage.

Affordable Mortgage Insurance 

A positive attribute of this loan program is that is has reduced mortgage insurance costs.  On a traditional loan the insurance cost is determined by many factors, “coverage” requirements is one of those factors.  With a My Community Mortgage, the coverage requirement from the lender is noticeably less, making way for a cheaper mortgage insurance costs. Listed below is a table comparing coverage for a traditional loan vs a My Community Mortgage.

Down Payment 15-19.99% down 10%-14.99% down 5%-9.99% down Less than 5% down
PMI Coverage Amount for a regular Conventional Loan 12% PMI Coverage 25% PMI Coverage 30% PMI Coverage 35% PMI Coverage
PMI Coverage Amount for a My Community Mortgage 6% PMI Coverage 12% PMI Coverage 16% PMI Coverage 18% PMI Coverage

Reduced Down Payments 

One of the biggest draws of this program is the down payment requirements.  This programs allows Down Payment Assistance to assist in a down payment that can provide as little as zero down on a new property.  Now that conventional 3% down loans are a reality, buyers have a real alternative to FHA. While the FHA loan has its benefits, it comes with high upfront fees and permanent mortgage insurance.  Three percent down loans with the following characteristics will be considered for approval:

  • The mortgage is a fixed rate loan.
  • The property is one-unit single family home, co-op, PUD, or condo.
  • At least one buyer has not owned a home in the last three years.
  • The property will be the owner’s primary residence.
  • The loan amount is at or below $417,000

For those wishing to use a first time homebuyer program, there are several options.  Both FHA and the Fannie Mae My Community Mortgage are some of the best options available.  If you wish to know more information or take action on determining your eligibility, we would love to help.  Please feel free to email or contact us at (303) 444-5251.


How To Avoid Common Mortgage Approval Mistakes

The mortgage process can be an in depth process as well as time consuming. Ask your mortgage lender to help you during this season of your life.  Below are a few common mistake to avoid that will simply obtaining a mortgage approval. Stay clear of the following:

1. Avoiding or Leaving Out Information on Your Financial Profile

Colorado Mortgage Group will begin by reviewing your personal information.  This information will include employment, income, residence history, debts, and assets. The important take away is to answer every question and be truthful.  If every question about your financial profile isn’t answered, it has the potential to derail the loan process. It is better to know everything up-front so we can handle it before it becomes an issue.

2. Documentation, make sure you have everything

Your lender will next ask you for detailed documentation which may include:documentation photo

  • 30 days of pay stubs
  • Two years of tax returns and W-2s
  • Year-to-date business financial statements if you’re self-employed
  • Two months of statements for all asset accounts
  • Explanations and paper trails of all deposits (and often withdrawals)
  • A home insurance quote with adequate coverage
  • Full financials on any other homes or businesses you own

If any document is missing, providing it will be necessary to move forward. Colorado mortgage group will also run your credit, which can reveal employers, addresses, debts and other credit inquire. If new information comes to light, you’ll be required to explain and document all of it.

3. Pre-approval is not loan approval

You should consider your loan approved by an underwriter before you write any offer to buy a home. Lets talk about the difference between being “pre-approved” and obtaining loan approval.  Getting a mortgage “pre-approved” means you’ve talked to a lender, and provided the necessary documents listed above, and your personal profile looks good. This does not however mean you have loan approval.  The next step would be to get “underwriting approved”. This would mean obtaining a formal loan commitment in writing.  When this step has been accomplished your loan approval is official. Your Colorado Mortgage Loan officer will be the one to submit your file to an underwriter.

4. Not knowing what is realistic or being uninformed about rates

Avoid surprises when is comes to rates and get your lender to quote a rate based on your closing timeline.  Remember rates change daily.  Rates are based on how long they’re locked, for example a shorter lock at 15 or 30 days will have a lower rate that a longer lock such as 60 days.  As the borrower you are under rate market movement until you’ve entered into contract.  You are in contract when a seller accepts your offer.  It is key to know that before entering a contract you cannot lock a rate, this is because a rate is linked with the borrower and the property. Colorado Mortgage Group Publishes our rates online. These are the same rates you will receive when you call us for a quote.


VA Loan Programs: Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

VA Energy Efficient Mortgage:

Looking to go “green”? For VA borrowers and homeowners, this may be more helpful than just reducing your household’s environmental footprint.  Making home improvements to be more energy efficient could mean lower energy bills, additional tax breaks, and the added satisfaction of living eco-friendly and  you might be able to finance all of this on the The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) VA Loan Program. The EEM VA Loan Program allows borrowers to upgrade the energy efficiency of your home and to finance the cost of upgrades.  You may do this at the time of purchase or as a refinance if the you already own your home.

Energy Efficient Improvements may Include:

  • Solar heating systems including solar systems for heating water for domestic use
  • Caulking and weather-stripping
  • Furnace efficiency modifications limited to replacement burners

  • Boilers or furnaces designed to reduce the firing rate or to achieve a reduction in the amount of fuel consumed as a result of increased combustion efficiency
  • Devices for modifying flue openings which will increase the efficiency of the heating system
  • Electrical or mechanical furnace ignition systems which replace standing gas pilot lights
  • Clock thermostats
  • New or additional ceiling
  • Attic, wall and floor insulation
  • Water heater insulation
  • Storm windows and/or doors, including thermal windows and/or doors, heat pumps, and vapor barriers

Maximum Allowable Cost of Improvements

The mortgage loan amount may be increased up to $3000 based solely on documented costs for energy efficiency improvements, up to $6000 provided the increase in the monthly mortgage payment does not exceed the likely reduction in monthly utility costs, more than $6000 subject to a value determination by VA, or up to the amount necessary to pay for materials, if labor is performed by the veteran.

Would You Rent Out Your Home as a Marijuana-Friendly Vacation Home?

Colorado marijuanaIt’s called Marijuana Tourism and you would be surprised to find that many people are searching for a marijuana friendly vacation home.  You would also be surprised to find that there are websites and forums dedicated to connecting people to marijuana friendly vacation homes.    Or maybe you wouldn’t be surprised.  Maybe you are considering renting your home as a marijuana friendly vacation home.  If you are, there you should look at both the pros and cons that come with this newly emerging market. Continue reading

5 Ways the Legalization of Marijuana Can Impact Home Prices in Colorado

It’s been all over the news and hard to miss: Colorado has legalized the use and growth of recreational marijuana.  How will that impact home prices in the area?   There are five key ways that the legalization of marijuana could impact home prices in Colorado, both pro and con.  Let’s explore them.

marijuana regulations by county colorado1.  Not all of Colorado has adopted in the law.  The state law allows local governments the right to regulate.  Many of the counties in Colorado have passed bans on marijuana retailers or have delayed their decision and placed a hold on the law.  As you can see from the map below, there are not that many areas of Colorado that are allowing recreational sales.  For many Colorado residents, the impact of the new law is not affecting them in any way at this time.  But that could change at any moment so residents should know what they support and lobby for or against. Continue reading