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January 2024 Your Castle Real Estate Newsletter

Stylish & Energy-Efficient: Unique Earth-Sheltered Home Delivers Sustainable Living


Realtor.com recently showcased a unique, energy-efficient home cozily nestled into the earth. This Lyme, New Hampshire residence, designed by renowned local architect Don Metz, incorporates earth-sheltered features along with modern upgrades like solar power and heat pumps, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and is currently listed for an approachable $699,000.




Built in 1980, this three-bedroom home spans 1,731 square feet and has been recently updated with new flooring, generator, and improved lighting. Its most unique and brilliant feature lies within its layout. Its south-facing orientation maximizes passive solar gain, optimizing warmth in winter while minimizing heat in summer. The property boasts an open-concept layout with exposed-beam wood ceilings, laminate floors, and ample natural light streaming through oversized windows. The house offers one-level living and easy access to an outdoor patio through sliding-glass doors from the dining room.


Homes like this draw the attention of discerning buyers for various reasons. The reduced reliance on traditional energy sources aligns with eco-conscious values, offering a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Additionally, the unique design and innovative features, such as earth-sheltered elements and solar power, not only lower utility costs but also contribute to a more comfortable and consistent indoor climate. For some, the allure lies in owning a property that stands out, offering a distinctive and forward-thinking living experience that's both environmentally conscious and architecturally intriguing.


Listed by Jane Darrach of Martha E. Diebold Real Estate


(Info Source: Realtor.com)



Looking Back at 2023 & What to Expect in 2024


2023 was marked by high mortgage interest rates that presented a significant hurdle for both buyers and sellers. These rates not only priced buyers out of the market, but also placed a strain on housing inventory as sellers held on tight to their previously locked rates. Dubbed the “golden handcuffs” or the “mortgage lock,” this phenomenon kept potential home sellers stuck in place and their properties off the market. Despite the impact of high interest rates, the market still didn’t crash, and only proved to be a roller coaster ride with prices remaining steady despite declining home sales.


What 2024 will bring to the Denver real estate market seems to hang in the balance of mortgage interest rates. On a national level, experts predict a slight increase in inventory with prices remaining stable. Thankfully the Denver real estate market often outperforms the rest of the country, due to its highly desirable locale, among other reasons. Although we can’t predict the future, we can anticipate at least these mild improvements based on local economic factors, such as migration, job growth, and lower inflation.


We are hopeful these factors will create a more favorable mortgage interest rate environment and have a positive effect for both buyers and sellers. We are already experiencing signs that there are better days ahead, such as declining interest rates, “on the fence” buyers returning to the market, and increased inventory in existing home sales.


Overall, Denver’s market has endured many challenges and demonstrated great resilience. If rates continue to trend downward, we can anticipate rate-adverse buyers and sellers to come off the fence. This pent-up demand will likely increase home prices, although at a much slower and more stable rate than year’s past. Hopefully these anticipated gradual changes will bring more normalized growth and balance to the market, a welcome change from the chaos of the pandemic years.



Info for Sellers


Avoid the Rush


With the expectation that the Federal Reserve will cut rates 3 times in 2024, buyers can anticipate better affordability in a mortgage. However, rate cuts will bring more buyers to the market and competition could lead to bidding wars and other challenges of a hot market. Our outlook for buyers remains the same as it has the last few months. Now is the time to take advantage of stale listings and greater probability of favorable price, concession, and inspection negotiations. If you can afford the down payment and mortgage, there’s no need to wait for rate drops that will bring an influx of buyers. Make your 2024 move today!



(Info Source: D.M.A.R. (The Denver Metro Association of Realtors, YCRE Analysis)


*We use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information. The real estate market changes often. We make no guarantees of future real estate performance and assume no liability for any errors of omission in the content.

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