Denver First Time Home Buyer FAQ

Mortgage lender Michelle Oddo and Denver Realtor Caroline Kleckner have created a video series for first time home buyers. It can be overwhelming to know where to start in the process of buying your first Denver home. Some of the questions Michelle and Caroline answer are:

How do I get started in the home buying process?
Do I need 20% down for a home mortgage?
Do I need to use a real estate agent?
What is earnest money and when do you need it?
What is title insurance?
How do you estimate your monthly mortgage payment?
What is homeowner insurance?
What is mortgage insurance and when is it required by the lender?

If you have any questions or want more information, visit our YouTube channel or contact Michelle today for a no obligation consultation!

Contact us to get started on buying your first home!
Michelle Oddo
(303) 961-6906

Early Birds Getting The First Spring Worms!

It was an exciting month for our market! Both buyers and sellers were READY to go under contract in March. With a larger inventory (we had 22% more homes come onto the market, according to DMAR), house hunters found properties that met their needs. Homeowners seemed to negotiate for the price they wanted (as average sales prices remained steady). So we had a whopping 27% MORE homes go under contract compared to February. With this many deals getting done, homes spent less time on the market and we ended the month with just a slightly larger inventory compared to February. 
So the spring frenzy is in full effect! In April we typically have even more homes hit the market. 
Homeowners who’ve built up equity, THIS IS YOUR TIME TO UPGRADE. The conditions are quite ideal: more homes on the market + sales prices will likely rise + mortgage rates are steady =  opportunities to purchase the next, right home!
Let’s chat today about your needs. Feel free to call, text, or email me today.

Why Denver Home Prices Are Climbing

I often get asked why home prices are climbing in a hot market like Denver. These are a few reasons. But take heart! With time, patience, and a great strategy, I’ll help you secure the right home for you!

Learn more at or contact us for advice or a consultation:

Michelle Oddo
Sr. Loan Officer


How Home Buyers Win In Denver’s Market

The game rules of Denver’s real estate market are constantly changing, especially for buyers! Thanks to our need for more inventory, massive population growth, and still-low interest rates, buying in—or even near—the Mile High City can be competitive. Here’s how you can play to win.


9 Elements To Successfully Buying A Home

Is this your year to buy a new home? In our metro’s competitive market, these tips will help you create a successful strategy!



Denver is a top city for property investors!

One of the top rental markets in US real estate: the Denver housing market!

Learn more at or contact us for advice or a consultation:

Michelle Oddo
Sr. Loan Officer


Slower Yet Steady

As the market has moderated itself over the last few months, we’ve eagerly awaited news about October’s activity. And the results: about the same as September. The number of listings and closings – even the average sales price – only had minor fluctuations. While our market still favors sellers, compared to the spring and summer, buyers have more inventory to choose from at perhaps slightly lower prices. With the uptick in loan rates, this is welcomed news! One surprise for sellers is the extra time homes are staying on the market. Last month homes took an average 29 days to go under contract. That probably feels quite “sluggish,” considering homes flew off the shelf at 19 days in June! But the increased DOM is quite typical for the fall season.

Will these trends hold out through the winter months? I’ll keep you in the know!

Homeowners, if you want to avoid the spring frenzy and traffic through your properties, consider selling within the next few months! Buyers, you’ve been presented some strong silver linings over the months. Purchasing now when there is less competition and more homes to choose from may give you more negotiating power.

If you want to learn more about taking advantage of our current market, contact me today!


Planning to buy or sell? Check out more mortgage tips or contact me for advice:

Michelle Oddo

5 Mortgage Blunders To Avoid

Big and small missteps can cost you thousands of dollars in mortgage payments. So to help you not look back and wish you’d done things differently, avoid these regrettable blunders!


1) Big banks aren’t always the right option.

Working with a big bank because you know the name doesn’t mean you’ll get the best rate and service when it’s time to buy your home. Big bank reps may not be guaranteed experts on the local market or unusual financial circumstances. So be sure to work with a local lender so you can meet face to face and have the personal service you deserve. The last thing you want is to pass up home after home because your lender is fumbling with your paperwork!


2) Delaying to secure a good rate.

Mortgage rates can quickly change! So while it sounds reasonable to take a couple of days to decide on a loan officer’s offer, rates can shift in a matter of hours. Make your decision as immediate as possible or you may be suddenly paying extra on your loan!


3) Skipping chances to make extra payments.

Even making an extra payment on your loan every year to ‘principal only’ can help shave years off of your mortgage! So when you get a tax refund, an inheritance or even a “great” weekend in Vegas consider the financial benefits of putting that money toward your principal. Or set up biweekly mortgage payments to increase the number of payments every year and reduce your interest!


4) Making “small” credit mistakes.

If you plan to refinance, it’s important to stay on top of paying your bills, such as credit cards. One late payment can drop your FICO score by 60 to 110 points (and stays on your report for seven years). This can cause you to miss out on a good interest rate!  In fact any changes to your credit behavior (i.e. opening a new credit card or increasing your balance) can shift your score. So don’t make any unusual moves with your finances!


5) Not tracking mortgage rates.

Many homeowners see refinancing as a hassle — the time and money spent dealing with the bank, attorneys, an appraisal, title insurance and etc. However if you bought your home years ago at 7%, can you imagine how much you’d save is you qualified for a 15-year mortgage at 3.5%?? Ignoring news reports or not checking in with us can cost you incredible opportunities to boost your financial legacy!


Check out more tips for buyers or contact us today.

Michelle Oddo



Private Mortgage Insurance: How it can be paid.

The different ways Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) can be paid.

How does PMI work?

In old-school traditional PMI if you put less than 20% down on a home you had to have Private Mortgage Insurance and it was always a monthly payment.  Now there are other ways to do PMI.
There is the monthly payment which is the traditional method- typically it lasts about 10 years. Once that loan hits 78% of the original purchase price that PMI automatically drops off on a conventional loan.
The second way is one-time upfront PMI. An example of that is:
If someone did a 90% loan and had a pretty high credit score they would have a PMI factor of approximately  1.4 percent so on a $300,000 loan that’s going to be about $4,500.  That’s a lot easier than coming up with a whole another 10% which is $30,000 if we go monthly.  You would have the one-time up for a PMI that can be paid out closing and then you never have a monthly PMI payment.
Another option is split PMI. You can split that upfront into a portion that’s paid upfront and a smaller monthly and that again that monthly would drop off once you hit 78%.
The last way is lender paid at PMI where the lender actually pays the PMI so there’s no monthly PMI fee ever to the borrower. Typically it affects the rate slightly but usually the payment difference and that slight adjustment is so much lower than what that would have been it’s a much more beneficial way to do it if somebody’s very payment conscious.
So it’s not one-size-fits-all decision!
My job is as a professional to assess the situation and provide solutions and guide you to the best way to go. Ultimately it’s your decision. Keep in mind people that are waiting for a 20% down payment : you just can’t out save at the pace of this real estate market!