24 January, 2021

Housing Market in the USA and some tools to help buyer

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit a lot of sectors and jobs, but how is the housing market in the US after the pandemic?

The answer is a bit surprising. Like every other sector, everybody expected a plunge. But, housing rates are skyrocketing in almost all states in the USA.

The current state of the real estate market in Colorado Springs is this as per greatcoloradohomes.com.

Total active listings went down 59% from last year and the house average price rose 20% from last year. Colorado springs is the strongest seller's market than ever before. So, until the inventory raises again, even though it's not a good time to buy a home now, the average house prices continue to rise making buyers restless. Interest rates are at record low making the buyers' decision still confusing.

What about other regions in the USA?

As per this article from Forbes,

On the whole, the market will remain seller-friendly, but buyers will still have relatively low mortgage rates and an eventually improving selection of homes for sale in 2021.

By the end of 2021, the market might pick up with new constructions and sellers being comfortable. But, the economists predict sales to grow 7% and prices to increase another 5.7% on top of the 2020's already high levels.

As per Elena from better.com, we will continue to see a growth in millennial home buying regardless of interest rate changes.

As per other experts, due to fewer inventory / supply-demand gaps, house prices might go high in the first half of 2021 and could ease a bit in the second half of the year.

With these many confusions and predictions, it only makes sense to use technology to decide on buying a new home.

There are numerous tools on Mortgagecalculators.info to help in this decision. Since we are planning to buy a new home, I found these calculators very useful to know the home price we can afford based on our annual income, debts, bills, down payment, property taxes in our area, HOA, and many other parameters which influence our decision highly.

I found the Advanced Mortgage calculator beneficial with features like loan payment breakdown graphs, biweekly savings, other closing costs, and monthly amortization tables.

As per this article from Bloomberg, experts feel, buyers will prefer renting than buying a new house due to less inventory and rising prices. When most of the people in the USA get vaccines by May, and if all the sectors pick up again after the downfall of Covid, the economy might recover making the second half of 2021 good again for buyers.

We can always be hopeful of situations, right? But, right now, being safe from Covid and getting vaccinated are the priorities. Won't you agree?

Until next time,

PS: All pictures from www.pixabay.com

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10 January, 2021

Million Dollar Highway and Telluride - A Travelogue

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Here is the Day #3 itinerary of our Colorado SouthWest trip. We visited Black Canyon of Gunnison on Day#1 and #2. 

Due to Covid, we stayed in the same hotel in Montrose all 3 days to cover the places around. Hampton Inn Hotel in Montrose made sure that they followed all safety procedures for Covid. Rooms are exceptionally clean, contactless check-in available and they provided to-go complimentary breakfast as well. 

We started to Telluride from Montrose in the morning after breakfast. On the way, we made a quick stop at Dennis Weaver Memorial Park in Ridgeway. Just to see this Giant Eagle up close. This park also has river access, so you can get your feet wet and relax.

Dennis Weaver Memorial park, Ridgeway

We reached Telluride by afternoon. The drive was scenic. We took the free telluride Gondola and had lunch in the downtown area. 

Biking paths from Telluride Gondola

Bridal Veil Falls (the tallest falls in Colorado) is not far from downtown. We could see the falls and the powerhouse from the parking area but didn't have enough time to hike to the falls. This seemed to be a busy area with parking lots full. Someday, we would love to drive on the dirt road to reach Powerhouse on Jeep / 4 wheel drive. 

Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride

I am not sure what these 2 blue lakes are. Seems like they got color from some mineral deposits. But, they looked cool!


Our next destination was Ouray. We had to skip Box Canyon falls on the way, as we thought we need at least 2 hrs time to explore the falls.

The US route 550 between Ouray to Silverton is known as Million Dollar Highway. It indeed gives million-dollar views!


The highway got its name as someone in a planning meeting mentioned that it will cost million dollars to construct the road between Ouray and Silverton.

The scenic drive starts after the Ouray lookout point. The first stop is Bear Creek falls which can be viewed by the parking lot.

Bear Creek Falls

Later, the road goes through several switchbacks, narrow roads without guard rails with 360-degree views of majestic mountains and valleys.

Million Dollar Highway

The Switchbacks

The next stop is Hayden lake on the highway. A beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Then, we drove through the red mountain pass.

Hayden lake

A few more views

We could capture a few more beautiful scenery before reaching Silverton. Trees were just turning yellow, it was around Sep 20th.

No Gaurd rails

The beautiful Yellows

We couldn't drive to Durango as we had to reach Montrose back by night and we don't want to risk driving the Million dollar highway without daylight.

But, If you plan a trip, stay in Telluride / Ouray so that you can explore the beautiful mountain town, Durango, as well.

By the way, While returning, we had a great Mexican meal at a local restaurant (GNAR Tacos) near Ridgeway. I highly recommend this restaurant if you love Mexican food.

Side Trip Ideas :

Even though we didn't have enough time to cover all places, I made a list of places and Side trip ideas. Hope, these are useful!

  • Telluride - Try Lost dollar road (4 wheel drive required ) and snap a picture of the mountain you see on Coors Beer bottle :-D This is also best to visit during the fall season to enjoy the fall colors.
  • Ouray - Visit Box canyon falls on the way, expect to spend 1-2 hrs.
  • Durango - If you can spend a day in Durango, catch the Durango to Silverton Narrow gauge train / hike the Animas river trail. A dip in Durango hot springs would be relaxing too. 
  • Silverton - Try the gold mine tour
On Day #4, while returning to Colorado Springs, we drove through Crested Butte and covered 2 more scenic drives. Those details will be in my next travelogue. Stay tuned.

Here is a map to book accommodation in Montrose:

Until then,

Stay safe.

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Linking this to #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne at everydaygyaan

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