Mortgage Rates are at a Historic Low!

25 11 2008

For buyers who qualify, mortgage rates are near historical lows!! the are hovering right around 6%, the same as they were 45 years ago. According to data provided by Freddie Mac, rates so far in 2008 are averaging 5.88% vs. a 2007 average of 6.41%.

Visit and look at Primary Mortgages Market Survey for more information on the latest rates. Low interest rates, coupled with recent corrections, give people looking to upgrade a unique opportunity to take advantage of market conditions.

I recently found land loans for qualified buyers as low as 10% down with a 5.875% interest rate!!

Want more info? Get in touch….

K. Hale Chamblee, Broker Associate

Email: KHaleChamblee(at)gmail(dot)com


It’s a Great Time to Buy!

24 11 2008

In spite of everything else that is going on, we are in the midst of a buyer’s market – there hasn’t been a better time to buy in years. Mortgage rates are at an all time low, sellers are motivated, and real estate is a great investment – especially in Salida and the surrounding areas!

Why is it a great time to buy?

1. MOTIVATED SELLERS & INVENTORY: Now is an ideal time to buy, in most markets prices won’t go any lower and there is an abundance of inventory. National inventory of homes is at a 15 year high, and inventory in Salida is higher than most agents have seen in 7 years. There re many options out there for buyers and sellers that are willing to work together and negotiate.

2. THE MARKET IS STRONG IN 2008 and EVERY MARKET IS DIFFERENT: All real estate is local and all markets are different. Most of what we have been bombarded by in the news relates to the volatile markets in Florida and California where markets experienced supernatural and unsustainable growth rates.

2007 was the fifth best year on record fo existing home sales, despite public apprehension about the real estate market. 2007 was very similar to the home ales and price gains experienced in 2002, when consumers were very confident about he market. Suffice to say, there are a lot of opportunities out there if you’re a buyer willing to look.

3. FHA LOANS SET TO INCREASE: While there are many choices for buyers looking for mortgages, FHA home loans are a viable option for many first time buyers. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is a part of HUD, insures the loan. so your lender can offer low down payments, closing costs and easy credit qualifying. FHA market share for home purchases are expected to triple over the next three years, from an estimated 7% in 2007 to an estimated 12% in 2009.

Visit: to learn more about these loans.

4. BENEFITS OF OWNERSHIP: Owning a home is the great American dream. Aside from providing amazing tax benefits, it also provides shelter and security for you and your family.

  • Dollar for dollar, the rate of return on an individual’s cash down payment on a house is substantial. In fact, repeat buyers are able to put 19% more down on a new home due to appreciation.
  • When you own a home you can deduct the property yaxes and mortgage interest from your income taxes.
  • In Colorado you can make up to $250,000 as an individual (and $500,000 if you’re married) and not pay capital gains on a primary residence so long as you’ve occupied it for two out of the last five years!!

If you’re considering purchasing your first home or would like to invest in the real estate market, please contact me, K. Hale Chamblee at, or give me a call at the office, 719.539.1031.

Sun Rises Over the San Luis Valley

21 11 2008
Sun Rises over the San Luis Valley

Sun Rises over the San Luis Valley

Whether it’s on horseback as I watch a bald eagle soar over the Arkansas River, or the dramatic white capped mountains that circle the valley, the fish I can spot with my naked eye as they swim upstream, the red rock canyon, the sweeping views, or the wildlife, I often catch myself thinking (or saying), Wow, I live in a beautiful place. So, everything else aside – home sales, investment opportunities, growth rates, market inventory, etc. it is the beauty of this place that plucks at my heartstrings.

In This Beautiful Place subcategory of my blog, I’ll be posting pictures from time to time (like the one on the banner above of Mt. Ouray as seen this fall from my front yard) of moments that have caught my eye. Today it is the sun rising over the San Luis Valley.

The San Luis Valley is incredible, vast, and surprising. While there is very little surface water the valley sits on top on an aquifer that is 25,000 feet deep!! There are many artisan wells in the area and all that water makes for great farming and horse property, not to mention hot springs!! Property in this area is surprisingly affordable: 40 acres for as little as $20,000.

K. Hale Chamblee, Broker Associate

Email: KHaleChamblee(at)gmail(dot)com


NAR’s Economic Stabilization Plan

18 11 2008

The recently passed Emergency Economic Stimulus Act has not been as effective in stabilizing the housing market as was originally anticipated. As a result, the National Association of REALTORS has provided an economic analysis demonstrating that a reduction in interest rates by just 1% could result in 840,000 additional home sales and reduce inventory by 20%. The inventory reduction would then serve to stabilize home values, the housing industry, mortgage and housing markets. Home price stabilization would bring  clarity to valuations of mortgage backed security and remove uncertainty in the financial markets.

Additionally, the National Association of REALTORS has developed a Four Point Plan that could provide more stabilty in the nations real estate markets. NAR has urged Congress to include the following four provisions in any future legislation:

  • Make the $7500 tax credit available to all purchasers and eliminate the repayment requirement. The credit’s limited availability and required repayment terms have severely limited the credit’s appeal to potential homebuyers.  As a result, the credit has not been widely used or proven effective at stimulating sales.
  • Make the 2008 FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits permanent. New rules for 2009 would significantly reduce the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limit from their 2008 levels. Now is not the time to limit the availability of affordable mortgages.
  • Get the Emergency Treasury bank relief program back on track by targeting more funds to mortgage relief efforts and increasing efforts to mitigate foreclosures.  Don’t just give the banks unrestricted cash. Make the program work to improve mortgage and housing markets as it was originally intended.
  • Permanently bar banks and banking conglomerates from engaging in real estate brokerage and management.  The banks have proven they have enough to do to simply properly manage their current lines of business.  Do we really want them to manage on the home buying process?  Imagine what could have been the situation now if they already had the added ability to engage in real estate sales.

To see what else a REALTOR can do for you, contact me at:

K. Hale Chamblee, Broker Associate

Email: KHaleChamblee(at)gmail(dot)com


Salida, Best Of!

11 11 2008

This is an exciting time in Salida and the Arkansas River Valley!! Click below to check out some of the highlights:

Salida “Best Low-Cost Place to Retire” U.S. News & World Report

Salida “America’s Top Dream Towns” Outside Magazine

The quality of life here in Salida and the surrounding area is amazing. Salida has a vibrant Historic Downtown, world class fishing on the Arkansas, great whitewater rafting, road and mountain biking! Salida even has it’s own microbrewery.

2008 marks my second year in Salida. I came here for a more sustainable way of life. When  moved to town I worked as the office manager and personal assistant to Salida Realty’s Broker/Owner, getting my license was a natural transition. For truly local information, let me be your guide as you check out the area out. Contactme for the following services:

  • A FREE Relocation Packet with information about Salida, the Arkansas River Valley
  • A FREE Market Analysis for any property that you own.
  • One stop service SEE ANY LISTING in south-central Colorado.
  • The list goes on – Contact me for ALL your Real Estate needs

K. Hale Chamblee, Broker Associate

Email: KHaleChamblee(at)gmail(dot)com


Home Sales Stats – It’s not all Doom & Gloom

10 11 2008

Many say the depth of the current recession will depend entirely on housing, and the good news is there is good news!!

Pending sales have been have been above year-ago levels for two months in a row. While September 2008 sales were down 4.6% from August’s 93.5% they were 1.6% higher at 89.2% than in September of 2007 (87.8%).

Existing-home sales are expected to total 5.02 million in 2008, rising to 5.32 million next year and 5.62 million in 2010.

A lot of what we see on the news or hear on the radio revolves around the most volatile markets in the country. According to the National Association of REALTORS home prices have fallen by more than 20% for all of 2008 in places like Las Vegas, Phoenix and many California markets. Many middle America markets will experience little change. While NAR expects to see wide variation in home prices through 2009, places like Houston and Denver are expected to see price gains, while other markets are expected to remain stagnant.

This is good news for Salida and the surrounding areas. We haven’t seen prices drop here and with Denver leading the way, we don’t expect we will. If you’re thinking about buying you may get a motivated seller to drop their price if you close before the New Year when capital gains taxes threaten to increase.

Another reason to buy now? 30 year fixed mortgage rates are expected to rise. They are expected to remain around 6.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and then gradually creep up to 6.5% in the second half of 2009 and to 6.7% in 2010.

Curious about topics discussed here, get in touch.

K. Hale Chamblee, Broker Associate

Email: KHaleChamblee(at)gmail(dot)com


Spring, Sprang, Sprung!

10 04 2014

Spring is a funny thing in the Rockies. In the beginning it’s a volatile kind of thing: with plenty of wind, dynamic storms and snow, then warmth and melt, and then, yes, mud. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. It’s a far cry from April Showers. Yet, somehow, at the first onset we get excited.

I notice the geese first. As their south shooting arrows break up, ladies and gents pair up and hunker close to the river. I see them sitting still as stones on those early floats down the river. Then, the clouds. I notice their shift from cold-winter-snow-clouds to little-suspended-cells-of-fluffy-white-joy, harbingers of warmer weather, greener pastures, bulbs, birds, leaves and babies.

Like most, spring’s transition from winter to summer is not steady, even-paced, or predictable. Inevitably, the first warm days coax flip flops out of the closet and then, even though new snow has fallen, snow boots have gone by the mental wayside and it’s blue toes and down coats for the duration.

Then, little things start to happen, little things you realize you haven’t seen in a really long time, little things like bugs. You’ll be out on the river in layers and muckers tossing dry flies into the river, hoping to pull out a polka-dotted fish, and something will land on your face, nose, hand. Something that is not a snowflake, something to take note of, something to try to mimic, something a hungry trout might like to eat. Then, blue birds, and the next thing you know all the pastures are littered with calves still slick with their newness. The days are getting longer, the snow is melting faster, each time the dogs go in and out, the floor is getting muddier.

Maybe this isn’t the kind of thing I should be telling you. Here, on a blog designed to sell real estate. In fact, I should probably lead you to believe that spring is all daffodils and daisies – but that’s not who I am, and that’s not why I live here, and my guess is, that’s not why you want to live here either. Like me, you want to earn those daffodils, take a few last turns as those violent spring storms dump loads of snow, and sit down and laugh because your dog just showed up looking like he’s been dipped in chocolate, and the outside water is still turned off, and yes, you’re going to have to take him inside to clean him up. Sound like what you’ve been looking for? Get in touch. We’ll find you a place to call home. It’ll be fun.


Salida Home Sales Soar

19 03 2014

For the first time since “the crash” Salida Realtors are starting to see: multiple offers on well-priced listings in-town, low inventory, and buyers that are ready to buy. The hottest market right now is, by far, homes in town. Houses with walkable/bikeable proximity to downtown Salida reflect a new set of post-recession values. Buyers are looking to simplify, they’re trading in sweeping views, acreage and large square footage for accessibility to things like bike paths, parks, restaurants and shopping.

This drive less, live more approach is driving up demand specifically for downtown Salida homes priced below $300,000. Homes in this range are selling quickly, with multiple and back up offers, sometimes for more than the asking price! This boon, however, does not apply to all area markets. The go-to market for second home owners and retirees – homes with acreage and views listed at $300K and above – is still soft. Vacant land sales are also slow, with a glut of inventory.

The good news doesn’t stop with in-town home sales. In fact, an overstock of vacant land coupled with an increased demand for affordable housing, points right to residential development – welcome news for buyers, builders and developers alike!

Want to know more about the homes on offer here in Salida? Interested in listing you house? Contact me! I can help.




Salida Homes are Flying Off the Shelves

5 03 2014

That’s right! Homes in Salida are selling almost as quickly as they’re coming on the market. It’s been years since we’ve seen this kind of activity, with houses in town selling after only a handful of weeks, sometimes even days, on the market. Even now, in March, with the nights still cold and snow still hiding in the shade, sales are picking up!

Right now there are 30 homes on the market in Salida listed between $250,000 and $350,000. Think you might like to pick one up? You can view them here.

Alternately, if you’re thinking about listing your home – Now is the time. If you’re interested, contact me for a free market analysis.

New In-house Mortgage Lender

20 11 2013

Please welcome, Traci Birchler of V.I.P. Mortgage Inc., to the offices of Wes Hill & Associates! I spent Monday morning in a meeting with several representatives from V.I.P. Mortgage Inc., and confess, I am excited about the services they are going to bring to our clients, and our community. Now, more than ever, buyers in Chaffee County will have a range of options when it comes to financing a home.

Mortgage Banker, Traci Birchler, brings experience and expertise to the mortgage lending field, especially: VA and FHA loans. Traci offers an easy checklist for buyers seeking home loans and V.I.P.’s all-but-patened system lets buyers know if they qualify earlier in the process than most banks – ensuring smooth and easy transactions for local Realtors.

In addition, Traci brings a whole new level of insight to the, “Rural Development: Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan,” program. I’m especially excited about this program as it allows qualified buyers to purchase stick built homes, at low interest rates, with a fixed origination fee, and NO down payment. For more information, or to see if you qualify for this program, click here.

If you’ve been looking for a home, now may truly be the time to buy!


Another Reason to Call Salida Home

13 11 2013

If you need another reason to start calling Salida, Colorado home, I give you this! An excerpt from an article in NY magazine entitled, “Aspen Alternatives”

Salida Instead of Aspen, Colorado
As lift lines and prices at Colorado’s top ski resorts continue to skyrocket (an Aspen lift ticket costs $117), Salida’s Monarch Mountain is like a breath of crisp Rocky Mountain air. Tickets cost $65 at the window, or $57 online, among the lowest prices in the state. The resort may not be large or fancy, but it gets a whopping 30 feet of snow per year, and you can walk from your car to the lift. Lines are nonexistent, especially on weekdays. Stay at the recently renovated Palace Hotel (from $139;, built in 1909. A few steps away is Laughing Ladies (128 W. 1st St.; 719-539-6209), owned by two former Napa Valley chefs.

I hear there are already 18″ of snow on the midway, and 7″ more forecasted in the next 72 hours. Monarch Mountain is 100% all natural snow – that’s right, no snow machines here – when it’s good, it’s the goods! See you on the slopes!




Chaffee County Real Estate: 2013 3rd QTR Sales Report

22 10 2013

A few years ago, I might have titled this post, Third Quarter Sales Report: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Then a year later, maybe just,  The Ugly. Last year, we took the Good with the Bad and made the best of it. This year we have what I’m finding to be real and interesting data on the housing market here in Chaffee County. I don’t perceive this data as having a binary value, such as good or bad, but rather, it’s meaty. So without further ado, let’s  get to the meat.

The Numbers

The end of the third quarter 2013 shows a total of 453 real estate transactions, to the tune of $101,814,949. These numbers are up from the end of the third quarter in 2012, which boasted 390 sales for a total of $89,135,385 in real estate transactions. Thats 63 more sales in the first three quarters of 2013 as compared to 2012, and $12,679,564 more dollars in revenue.

If we look at the third quarter alone, there were 41 more sales in 2013 than in 2012, which generated an additional $9,097,975. Not too shabby. However, if we look at the boom of the real estate market and compare 2007′s numbers to 2013, we find that in the third quarter alone there were 71 more sales in 2007 than 2013, for a single quarter difference of $14,218,886.

There is no doubt that present real estate activity is on the rise, and that’s a good thing, especially, if you’re a Realtor – like me. The increased activity also means more local money being spent locally, and that’s a good thing on a great number of levels. From increased retail sales around town to a resurgence in new home construction, the local economy is getting just the kind of cash influx it needs –  but how can we make these numbers more pertinent for the individual buyer and seller?

Numbers for Buyers and Sellers

For myself as a buyer or seller (and I have been both) I’m most interested in what the average cost of a piece of real estate is. While the data we have here lumps all types of transactions, from vacant land, to commercial, to residential, together, I still find it useful. In fact, understanding the average cost of real estate within a historical context can prove a very useful tool when deciding whether it’s time to buy or sell.

  • 2007′s average sale = $228,438
  • 2008′s average sale = $234,152
  • 2009′s average sale = $222,245
  • 2010′s average sale = $227,380
  • 2011′s average sale = $208,005
  • 2012′s average sale = $222,304
  • 2013′s average sale at the end of the third quarter = $224,757

2007 really started to put Salida/Chaffee County real estate on the map and the popularity of the area can be seen in the increase in the average sale price between 2007 and 2008. In other words, everyone wanted in on the action – buyers and sellers, alike.

2011 was, you guessed it, The Ugly. After years of marked success, sellers kept prices (and dreams?) high, but buyers were unable to perform at those levels. With the failing economy came failing mortgages, foreclosures, and savvy buyers, like sharks off a reef, were able to take advantage of some of the best real estate deals in ages.

I think what’s important to keep in mind is that neither 2007, nor 2011, are the norm. Rather, they’re opposite ends of the same spectrum. Who know’s what the average sale will be once 2013 closes out, but we can see that prices appear to be creeping their way back up a bit, and the increased activity – from lookers to buyers – leads me to believe that we are once again approaching a healthy real estate economy. Sellers have, for the most part, let go of the pipe dream prices of years past, and buyers who have been on deck waiting for a time to act are able to take advantage of wide selection of properties while mortgage rates remain relatively low. 

It will be interesting to see what future real estate trends bring, but after years of starving, it sure feels good to have a piece of meat to chew on!





A Great Recommendation Makes Your Morning!

18 10 2013

I woke up this morning to a great recommendation posted to my LinkedIn profile by some clients from Los Alamos New Mexico that I helped with the purchase of a second home last year here in Salida. What a great way to start my Friday! Thanks Jo!


Josephine Caffrey has recommended your work as Colorado Realtor at Wes Hill Real Estate Professionals.

This recommendation is visible in your profile.

Dear Kristin Hale,
I’ve written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.

Details of the Recommendation: “Hale is responsive, diligent, and professional and knows her market extremely well. She is responsive, while staying patient and is very personable. I would recommend her to anyone looking to buy or sell real estate in the Salida area.”
Service Category: Real Estate Agent
Year first hired: 2011
Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, High Integrity



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