Denver Coronavirus updates and Q&A

72 Replies | Denver, Colorado

Over the last week (man how fast the world can change!) I've had clients and fellow investors and agents reach out to ask questions on the market. I share what I know and often learn tidbits from them.

It's been a great way to share knowledge, but it's over one-on-one phone calls. Add in the fact that news and the market are changing by the hour = inefficient ways of sharing knowledge and staying up to date. Frankly, I'm having trouble keeping up with everyone.

I started thinking of better ways to share ideas and information... then it hit me to start a BP thread! The forum is easy for sharing ideas and collaborating.

There are quite a few smart people around town that can share their knowledge and what their hearing from their network. It should be a great way for all of us to learn and help get through this.

At this point, it's us versus the damn virus.

Tagging people that I know around town who are frequent posters to BP with great info. Add anyone that I don't know or forgot

@James Carlson

@Erin Spradlin (just saw a google hangouts you're hosting. Hopefully you'll share notes!)

@Matt M.

@Craig Curelop

@Dan Mackin

@Scott Trench

for north Colorado @James Orr

Hopefully, they and others join. if not, I'll keep posting updates. I'm pretty isolated at home, so being isolated on BP will just add salt to the wound. :)

Be safe and stay healthy!

Yesterday, Your Castle Real Estate held a webinar with their internal team, a title company owner and a lender to provide the latest information. Below are the notes. I've added additional commentary for color and my perspective as boots on the ground.

***Disclaimer with anything given to clients and public that situation is still very fluid and what may be true today, could change tomorrow

Denver Market Update:

  • More people will wait to list, not only b/c they don’t want ppl in their home, but b/c they have their kids in the house, homeschooling, or working from home and have meetings. Can’t leave the house.
  • Showings are down because ppl are choosing to only look at top 2-3 homes on their list and not see the “maybes” on the list
  • Education to clients:
    • May need Pre Approval letter to approve showings of properties
    • No extra ppl at showings (mom/dad/friends/kids)
    • Clause to extend contract for 30 days if lender/title goes out of business to complete closings
      • Current Contract already has some language if title can’t deliver on time (extend 10 days)
      • Can Amend
      • Can terminate
    • Still a Seller’s market
      • Finding right balance of what buyers should/should not ask for to keep their offers competitive
      • Important to let buyers know to try any work together (buyer/seller) to get the deal done
      • Properties that are priced correctly are still getting immediate showings, multiple offers and going under contract the same day or within a few days.
        • We've already experienced this a few times this week. We couldn't even look at a property that went live within 24 hours before it was under contract. Right Eric?

Title companies and closings:

  • Educate clients of closing process
    • As few ppl as possible
    • Curbside closings - drive up, crack your window, get docs, close window, put your ID to the window for notary, sign, open window, pass back, and drive off.
    • No waiting for funding approval or checks – will be mailed out
    • No agents at closing
  • Facetime/video notary = Not legal in Colorado
    • Governor MAY help with this for an emergency bill to allow for set period of time
  • When offices are “CLOSED”(government/county offices) – that really means they are running on a skeleton crew and/or working remote. They can do E-Recordings for Title. Things can still get done, just takes longer
  • Certain Counties (Jefferson/Adams) do not have E-Recording so if business is in a county that doesn’t have E-Recording there is agreement/gap coverage
  • Note that while Title may be ok with this gap coverage, lenders may not. Have to discuss with specific lender

Lending:

  • Make sure to ask lender what their “Disaster Recovery Plan” is.
  • Rates will continue to change hour by hour
  • Need to educate clients on risks of “shopping around”
  • Once you are “locked” with a rate, that rate does NOT change unless change is more than 1%. And even then, only some lenders honor changing rate to lower.
  • Once you lock in your rate, be ready to move forward and close with THAT rate.

Landlords:

  • Eviction Moratorium
    • Sheriff’s office will not be doing evictions for the foreseeable future.
    • Still go through the process, get order from the court, but don’t expect Sheriff’s office to take the request as all evictions are in holding pattern.
    • Have conversations with tenants – what’s their situation and when/how can they pay? Govt will be giving bail outs, how does that help them pay rent.
    • There will always be tenants who know how to “cheat” the system, but that percentage is very Communicate with them, work out payment plans, and see if they are willing to work with you. If not, follow eviction process and get your ticket in line to evict when Sheriff’s office resumes them.

One more post... more time than usual to write!

One of the big lessons I learned is the importance of having a plan. The plan helps take the emotion out of the moment and stay focused on the big picture.

A few years ago, as I was getting into real estate, I create a plan. I'm sharing mine to get holes poked in it and get other people to share and discuss theirs. I have very similar views to @Scott Trench

I'm a buy and hold rental investor with a goal of buying 1 to 2 properties a year until I get to $20,000/mo in gross rents.

My financial plan is simple and I divide it into different categories:

  • 6 months of personal living expenses as cash in the bank. With an additional six months invested as 60/40 stock/ bond allocation.
  • 6 months of my realtor business expenses as cash in the bank. This includes my salary and estimated monthly tax payments. I keep reserves as current expenses, so there is room to shave expenses to extend the cash reserves. Cash in the bank = time to pivot in business (Another 2008 lesson learned.)
  • 6 months of PITI and HOA (if applicable) or a minimum of $10,000 in a dedicated checking account for each rental property. Plus I keep a general ~$15,000 extra reserve fund.
  • I only buy rental properties when I have enough for the downpayment + all closing / acquisition costs and can fund the operating account at 10,000 or 6 months of PITI.
  • Every year I fund retirement and HSA accounts to buy stocks (low cost index funds and ETF's) and bonds at a 90/10 ratio. This is based on Warren Buffet's advice.

If my income, my wife's income, and all tenants stop paying rent, everything can survive a minimum of 6 months. I spent an hour two nights ago reviewing all my finances and am happy to see that everything is funded correctly. I slept well that night. I am starting to tighten up our business and personal finances.

About two weeks ago, before our world went to crazy town, I went under contract on a house with an ADU. I didn't stretch my finances and can buy and fund the property as outlined above. I have faith in the Denver market and sticking with my plan. So I'm sticking to the plan and moving forward.

As the stock market started tanking, I funded my retirement accounts for 2019 and started buying VTSAX (Vanguard's Total Stock Market low cost Index Fund) as the market was dropping. I've deployed about 80% so far. I didn't expect the market to drop so much so fast... oh well. I'll deploy the rest soon and then look at my account in 6 months.

A couple rental units were coming vacant in March and April, which I was originally happy with since it's a great time to get renters. Within the last week, two units went live and have seen higher than expected interested. I have opened up all my units section 8. I'll be happy to take guaranteed government money for the next 12 months. I've also instructed my property managers to focus on communication with current tenants in case they can't pay. I'm not a cut throat investor and do empathize with everyone going through tough times now. I have a "get through it together" attitude.

What holes are in my plan?

Who's moving forward or not moving forward on properties?

What's your plan? Have you looked at recently?

My plan is to stick to the plan!

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Great idea, @Chris Lopez ! It has been a crazy week for sure. 

From the PM side, we have seen owners reach out with concerns about tenant's abilities to pay rent and tenants who have lost their source of income. This is a fluid situation and we have our plan in place for how to handle rent collection and most owners have agreed to work with tenants. We have been pro-active in our communication with owners trying to provide updates as we get more information about the situation and how that affects owner's assets.


I like your attitude of "lets all get through this together". It has been really refreshing seeing some owners of properties reach out and proactively agree to lower tenant's rent for April given the current situation. 

On the leasing side, we saw our rental activity drop 45% last week to this week (showings/inquiries). We are shooting each of our vacant units with Matterport to have virtual tours and have self-showing lockboxes on the properties to continue to allow people to see them. We have stopped showing occupied properties for the next two weeks and will adjust as more information comes to light. Still marketing those properties, but not facilitating showings right now. Some of our residents have agreed to assist us in taking photos/videos of the interior of their units to aid with virtual showings.

Leasing typically begins to pickup in March/April, so we will see the full affects taking place in the next few weeks.

I went under contract on a house prior to all of this and am still planning on moving forward. It was a good deal before this and I fully believe in Denver market that it will be a good deal in the long term, no matter what happens the next few months/years.

Let me know if anyone has questions in the property management world.

@Chris Lopez - Thanks for starting this thread.

I had this post elsewhere, but think it's useful to add here for where to look for mortgage relief, tenant laws, tax changes, the federal bills being passed for relief and then localized stuff (how we look 5 days out, and also how Redfin is thinking about this and how Seattle may be a good place to look. We think it is important to look at Denver real estate  in 5 day increments since corona virus became real (I'm saying March 12th, which is when the NCAA canceled the tournament.)

GETTING HELP NOW

NYTimes - Money Matters

  • Unemployment - law expires 12/31
    • States can access when they have 10% rise in unemployment
    • Unemployment is typically 45% of lost income
    • Most states pay 26 weeks
    • Don’t have to lose your job, can get it if: you are quarantined, furloughed
    • Getting unemployment
      • Have to have been at job for 30+ days
      • Eligible for 2 weeks paid if ill or quarantined or caring for sick family member
      • Part time workers can get average of normal 2 week salary
      • Self-employed (gig workers, etc) must calculate daily average and claim as tax credit
    • Who is exempt:
      • People that work at companies that employ 500+ people
      • Companies with fewer than 50 people can ask for an exemption

  • Evictions + Foreclosures
    • Moratorium right now on both
    • Suspended for 60 days
      • This includes foreclosures that are in process
  • Taxes
    • Can hold off on paying (without penalty) until July 15th if:
      • You owe less than $1 million to the federal government
    • If you are getting a refund, it will come in a normal time frame
  • Mortgages
  • Small Business Relief
    • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans
    • Small business loans up to $2mil
    • 3.75% int rate for businesses | 2.75% for nonprofits

  • Denver Small Business Relief

DENVER RE TRENDS - please note you should watch Seattle, as what happens there will likely come to Denver and Colorado Springs

  • Pulled data for detached/attached homes within 6 miles of a client property in Sloans Lake
    • $350-$500K
      • More properties went under contract in past 5 days than in two other 5 day increments we recorded (11-15, and 16-20 days out)
        • 35 of those were on the MLS for 6 or fewer days
    • $500-$700K
      • Similar to above, 5 days out is beating number of houses that went under contract 11-15 days out and almost the same as 16-20 days out
        • Citywide: 2.4 homes were falling out of contract/day in March. 5.8 for Feb. 2.7 for Jan.
    • $800-$1.2M
      • down from 5 day increments before, but not significantly and a small data set

@Gray Hall Great insight. Do you have a rough estimate for what percentage of the tenants can't or won't pay April's rent? I talked to a PM last week and they had around 13% of tenants already reach out regarding their inability to April's rent. That was the middle of March!
Do you have more owners wanting to go sec 8? That was the very first thought in my mind.

@Erin Spradlin Interesting market data. I'm surprised by it. The bottle kneck we're facing now is appraisers. It seems like their average age is 60+. So I imagine a lot don't want to go around and town at the moment. 
What are the bookings been like on medium-term rentals? Did they plummet like STR's?

Thanks for starting this thread @Chris Lopez

I am not one to try and predict what is going to happen in the next 1,2, 6, or 12 months. I think we all need to have a plan regardless of what the market does. As investors, if the market does tank, I sure hope everyone has purchased so that they can rent it at a discount and still hold on. If it continues to increase, business as usual. 

From the buyer's perspective, I really don't think it matters what the market does. If you are buying and holding for the long term you are going to see the ebbs and flows of the market. You have to be able to hold on during all market cycles regardless if you invest at the top or the bottom of the market. 

The market is impossible to predict and no one can do it consistently. They could find a cure for the virus tomorrow and we pick back up? Or it could last years? Who knows? The market is something that we can't control and the best thing to do is to have a plan for any scenario! 

As for right now, I haven't seen the Denver market slow down quite yet. There are still offers going for way above asking. Buyers may be reluctant to buy right now and sellers also may be reluctant to sell. It feels like that would be a total wash and we will not see a whole lot of change in the market? 

From a Market activity standpoint, I am seeing the same as mentioned above (@Craig Curelop ). We are still getting multiple offers on our listings, especially as inventory continues to tighten in Colorado Springs. My Buyers are out shopping but they are limiting which homes they want to see and some bringing gloves for opening doors. Some of my less experienced investors are backing off to "wait and see" while my more experienced investors are still making offers. I saw three offers on a 4-plex that just came back on the market yesterday. Long term buy and hold investors don't care as much about the value of their rentals, as long as the cash flow stays the same, we will make it by just fine. 

I too am seeing what @Gray Hall  is seeing in our property management division. A handful of tenants are getting laid off and we are prepping them with as many resources as we can so they may still make their 4/1 rent payment on time. Thankfully it has been fewer than we anticipated but I am sure not all of them have reported their job layoffs yet. We saw two prospective tenants lose their jobs right before signing the lease this past week which is going to add vacancy across the board. We are proactively prepping our landlords for worst case scenarios as we know not all our landlords have been building the reserves we recommend to them at the start. We are also recommending our landlords who have vacant properties decease their marketed rental rates to get ahead of the down trending curve which worked as we leased about 25% of our active rentals.

Talking with the wholesalers, most of the big guys in Colorado Springs are going liquid and ready to buy up deals. They have all stated they are intending to buy at steeper discounts to ensure if the market drops their investments are still safe. They are drawing not their HELOC's now in case lines freeze in the future. Having liquidity will help them make it through the slim months but also allow them to purchase while others can't. If lines of credit and HELOC's freeze then they don't expect to have the competition which allows for better buys. I know the fix and flip guys are following this model as well, though, it seems only the more experienced flippers are staying in the game here while the rest "wait and see" again.

Talking with lenders, almost all the hard money guys cancelled their loans and are no longer offering new lines of credit. Puts guys like me in a bind when we have closings coming up on great deals in a couple weeks. It sounds like several of the hard money guys across the nation closed doors and called it quits this week too. For all the other lenders out there, all the non QM loans are stalling and we saw contracts fall through because of it. Any in the box loans (FHA, VA, Conventional) are still moving forward but also mentioned above is the appraisal bottlenecking. 30 day closings maybe become 45-60 day closings for a bit. Refinances are very hard between low interest rates causing increased demand and fewer appraisers, they are being put to the way side right now so lenders can focus on the purchases. While I haven't seen this happen yet, I did have a couple lenders let me know I need to warn my FHA DPA (Down Payment Assistance) borrowers that these loans may get cancelled next week.

As for my own portfolio, I am prepared to get kicked in the butt with my buy and hold properties. Thankfully, I have reserves to eat it for a bit as a worst case scenario. The last thing I want is to let a good tenant go and have a vacancy in a market where I believe we will see high vacancy. I personally like the C class investments so I expect things to work themselves out just fine and possibly have increased demand as tenants look for more affordable housing options. That being said, I would prefer to setup payment plans than to pay for turnover costs and vacancy plus there is the risk of the tenant quality of a new tenant when I know I already have a good tenant who fell on hard times.

As for the future - all speculation here. I am eagerly awaiting to see if this $1 Trillion stimulus package gets approved. Part of me says I don't want to see it as it's going to weaken the power of the dollar globally over the long run. Another part of me wants it as I would expect tremendous inflation over the next ten years. I can afford the cost of milk, bread, and gas to double if it means my rental rates due the same. Long term buy and hold purchase prices are locked in for life when you close on the property, therefore outside of taxes and insurance, my mortgage is the same. As rents go up over time, my investments only getting better and my expendable cash flow increases. My personal recommendation is to keep buying despite the Sellers market. I don't foresee prices getting any better over the long run. I talk to new investors every week who all wished they were buying in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Hindsight is 20/20 except this time we have past experience to tell us what the future is likely to hold since we saw stimulus packages in last housing crash. These packages will help keep the economy going and tenants staying in their homes for the most part. I expect to be having the same conversation with investors in 2030 that said they wish they were buying in 2020 and 2021. 

Great information @Erin Spradlin and @Chris Lopez ! Thank you!

@Craig Curelop yep, we're seeing the same thing with and multiple offers. Lost out on a few this week. It may get even worse if sellers decide to not list their property for a bit, which my cause more inventory problems.

@Colin Smith Lots of good info. Thanks for sharing. That's good to hear on the PM side. How many renters stop paying is the biggest wildcard for me and my investors at the moment. Since the government is discussing a 1 to 2 trillion dollar bailout, I'm getting less worried about the worse case scenarios. It seems they are moving faster and going bigger/more aggressive with the bailouts this time around. I guess the new norm is to get government bailouts now?!?!

I've heard the same from flipper friends. They are going liquid and looking for bigger spreads. I'm sure there will be some deals because of this crisis, but not many. Those deals will go to the cash guys ready to pounce on them.

Chris, thanks for this resource. 

To everyone else, I am new to the area, and just starting my RE investing journey. 

I hope you guys don't mind a couple of questions. 

Colin posted above:

Talking with lenders, almost all the hard money guys cancelled their loans and are no longer offering new lines of credit. Puts guys like me in a bind when we have closings coming up on great deals in a couple weeks. It sounds like several of the hard money guys across the nation closed doors and called it quits this week too. For all the other lenders out there, all the non QM loans are stalling and we saw contracts fall through because of it. Any in the box



For those of you who have been thru a cycle or two, did you see this last time, the asset based lending guys dry up when it hit the fan? Do you feel that there is an opportunity there for someone that can still tap money and perform good underwriting? 


If I understand it correctly, guys that can get liquid now, either buy and hold or rehabbers are in the drivers seat, yes? And it seems to me, that if you can be liquid whether with experience or not, that the playing field will be shrinking here soon. Meaning less competition on the bid side. Do I have that right? 

With respect to to deal side, do you guys see the offer side of the market pulling in substantially, meaningfully, or not really at all. And is it possible to put a time frame on that? Like I think my question is, have the distressed sellers been sophisticated enough in the past to start cutting price aggressively and getting creative in this environment?

Like assuming full blown recession, which I am, can anyone venture a guess as to inventory and price trends in the next 6-12 months? I don't expect, no matter how bad it gets finance wise, to see what we saw in '08-09. Mainly due to greater Denver's demographics. But I've been wrong before, and most likely will be again. :)

I hope this makes sense. 

Again, thanks for this resource. 

***Disclaimer with anything given to clients and public that situation is still very fluid and what may be true today, could change tomorrow

@Chris Lopez Some really great info. Thanks for sharing. I think it's great to have a central repository for Denver real estate info in a time like this. We'll definitely share what we hear on our call.

It's a bit of a mixed bag for us. I just had a house hacking client come in last week and go under contract in Denver this week. On the other hand, we had a client pull out of a deal after her tech-industry stocks got hit hard and she got spooked. We are still getting inquiries from buyers, but I will be interested to see what it's like in a few months when the economic upheaval starts to bear out.

I think buyers are limiting what they want to see, and I know the client we got under contract this week has a 45-day close to give our lender a little buffer. 

The lenders we work with are seeing rates go up. Likely because of two things: 1. they're trying to curb demand a little bit as they are still overwhelmed with applications from two weeks ago when rates were crazy low; and 2. people are selling mortgage bonds like hot cakes, so the rates are going up to try to attract purchasers of those bonds. 

Personally, Erin and I are finding a new love for rice and beans, considering a medium-term rental in unused space, and generally being prudent in shoring up our reserves for anything that might come. 

@Chris Lopez , @James Carlson , @Colin Smith , @Craig Curelop , @Gray Hall

(tenants, being together, medium term, appraisers, not predicting, sseattle, 

I'd like to echo Gray's comment that the "do this together" comment is nice. I've heard a few people get pretty negative about the extension on the tenant lease, but I hope we all recognize that this is an issue for everyone and the best and fastest way our is civility and helping each other. @lizziecarver commented to me (before any of this) that she would never evict a tenant as long as communication continued and the relationship was good. I think that's a smart way to approach all business.

Re medium-term rentals, they are in demand at the moment, but that is because all of our properties are fairly close to hospitals. (We feel pretty strongly that any/all of our investments need to be close to hospitals or colleges so that if we move out of short-term rental, there are other options.) All of our Denver properties were already medium-term, and now we are converting our Colorado Springs properties as well. It is not that difficult- you just extend your minimum stay on Airbnb, and we also added our links to Facebook and Furnished Finders (which is $99/year, and which did result in one paying tenant.) The others came from FB marketplace. 

That's a great point about appraisers. They do tend to skew older right now, and completely understand why they would be the bottleneck/want to hold off. 

My personal client set has resulted in two closes since March 12th and one client dropping out. Most of my married couples or female investors want to lay low. I completely understand that feeling.

Agree with Craig that you can't predict the market. I'd be suspect of someone that does. We are doing two things though: 1.) looking to Seattle, since it is heavy on tech, an attractive place to live, expensive like Denver, etc. and has been hit pretty hard; and 2.) studying trends in 5 day increments to see if there are still listings and also if homes are going under contract. 

Anyway, again, thanks for starting this thread, Chris. It's helpful to have community and share info during this situation. 

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Apparently bail outs are the new norm which is unfortunate. A few hard years as a country would make this country much stronger in the long run.

@Mike Gebhardt - Much of the hard money lenders get their financing from other sources. With lack of confidence in any market, the outside investors are going liquid also with the fear of the unknown. Someone who has been through a couple cycles could answer the question of loans a bit better than I could at the moment.

It is hard to say if there will be less competition. We are still in a Sellers market and COVID-19 has made a unique situation where inventory is going to continue to tighten most likely. If supply and demand go down together then market price may remain the same. This is uncharted territory so there is no playbook right now. I haven't seen any creative deals happening yet but that is not to say it won't start happening. Things changed so fast we don't have a new norm yet. 2008 crash took longer to play out and settle in, which is not nearly as fast as a virus spreading and governments reacting.

@James Carlson - What's the best rice and beans recipe you guys found so far? :)

@Colin Smith

I hear the jest in your tone, and I don't care. You're going to hear my recipe anyway. 

(Side note: Black beans and rice is like the house hacking of cooking. Take some under-utilized food items, put them to good use, save money. Bam!)

Follow me here:

Black beans

  • 1C dried black beans
    3C water
    2tsp onion powder
    1tsp garlic powder

NO salt yet. 35 minutes in Instapot or other pressure cooker, let it naturally release

Rice

  • 1C brown rice
    1/2C finely diced onion
    2 garlic cloves minced
    1 1/2C chicken broth or stock (1 3/4C if you're at elevation in Denver or Colorado Springs)
    1/2C tomato sauce
    1tsp salt
    1/2tsp cumin
    1/2tsp cayenne (less if you're heat sensitive, more if you want to ratchet it up. I like it with a little kick.)

Cover bottom of Instapot with oil. (I use avocado or vegetable, something with a higher burn point.) Set Instapot to saute and saute onion 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, saute for another minute. Scrape often to ensure no burning.

Add chicken stock, salt, cumin, cayenne and tomato sauce and stir in. Seal with lid and set timer for 20 minutes to pressure cook.

Pulling it all together

I store these two separately. When I want to make a meal, I put about a 1:1 ratio of each in a soup pot, with a healthy dose of the black bean liquid in there. Be sure to salt liberally as the black beans don't have any (and again do NOT salt the beans before doing the initial cook. They won't turn out right.)

Bring to a boil (again, you've got a good amount of that black bean water in there for boiling). Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off. Immediately add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of medium or sharp cheddar and stir it all in. There should be no visible strands of cheese. 

What's left is a melded tasty pleasure. Serve with half an avocado sliced and maybe a few tortilla chips for dipping. You got fiber in the brown rice and black beans, the combo of rice/beans is a complete protein, you've got healthy unsaturated fats in the avocado, and it probably cost you $1 total.

You're all welcome. ;)

Thank you all for some great insight as to what you are seeing. Just in case you want some additional experiences on the current Denver market and what I am personally experiencing which is very much in line with others: I listed a new property in Castle Rock Wednesday (3/18) around $500k and it had multiple offers and went under contract by Thursday. I had a $750k property in Larkspur that took about a week and half to get UC (yesterday the 21st). There were fewer buyers than expected, but they seemed to be more serious buyers. We still got under contract fairly quickly below the market average DOM, so it appears buyers are still looking.

I was competing for the lower end $400k market for buyers last week in Lakewood and Briargate (CO Springs) and both had many properties with multiple offers and were scooped up quickly. However I also have two sellers that fit the above mentioned profile: they were going to list but have decided to wait due to children at home and difficulties with getting out of the home and letting unknown people going through their property.  I also had one buyer end up falling though due to a loss of a substantial portion of his self-employed income. Make sure to verify stability of income when considering offers!  

@Chris Lopez We haven't seen quite that high of a number yet regarding not being able to pay rent. We are more in the 1-2% range right now. I am assuming that will change this week and will let y'all know if so.

Section 8 was slow to deal with prior to this. I imagine that their office will be closed making it even more difficult to get the lease and house approved. This will create a longer vacancy period, so I won't be recommending owners to do this off the bat. 

If unemployment goes to 20%-30%, that still leaves 70% - 80% of people with jobs. We will be more aggressive with price drops to get houses leased. I reviewed our leasing team's communication with prospects reaching out about our available rentals this a.m. First glance it doesn't appear to have dropped off.

@James Carlson ha, I love the detail for the recipe! Will have to attempt that this week. Pasta and ground turkey is getting old....

@Gray Hall

Interesting to hear what you're seeing on the ground. I read in the Denver Post that most restaurants have a few days worth of cash, maybe a week or two at most. After that, what happens? It seems like we haven't fully seen the trickle-down effect of the service industry going dark. 

On our now-daily long walk with our dog in Colorado Springs yesterday, we ran into a jewelry shop owner on the sidewalk in downtown who said he was going to shut down. He has 13 employees. I know it will be okay in the long-run, and you should do everything you can to keep your rentals, because the long-term prospects of Denver and Colorado real estate are strong. But I think this is going to get worse before it gets better. 

And yes, we should start a Bigger Pockets cookbook thread where we share our peasant recipes for eating cheap.

Regarding home construction in Denver and the surrounding areas our business hasn’t slowed down. Haven’t had any homeowners back out on remodels and new builds are still going strong as of now till the end of April. Interested to see if people want to get those home projects they’ve been putting off done now that they’ll be at home more or if they’ll push it back or do it themselves since money may be tighter and they may not want people in their homes. I will say, Home Depot has been more crowded this past week. Best of luck to everyone and stay safe.

@Chris Lopez I love your conservative financial plan that you shared! My husband has been a builder for over 30 years and I've been a Realtor for 10 so we've seen our share of ups and downs! Because of the things we've been through, we have a 100% debt free/mortgage free mentality and lifestyle. I'm so thankful for that as our STR property (we had one unit in a triplex and were just in the process of furnishing the other two to get them online when this hit) is now going to be sitting vacant until we are through this - and you know what? I'm not losing any sleep at all. We may put some clients in there if they end up between homes but I'm not in the least worried that it'll all be fine. I may also convert to medium term once I get these other two units furnished.

My other long term rental has a great government worker tenant in there so I'm not concerned about her job, but if I did have a tenant who ran into financial hardship - I'm in a position where I could help. I'm also in a position that if the rental market were to drop (I don't foresee that), I can lower my rents and still be okay. I'm in no way saying that my way is the only way to invest in real estate but it works for me and I have peace of mind no matter what the economy does.

As for the market here in the Springs - I had two listings close in the past two weeks and one set to close this week. I have several upcoming listings and buyers under contract.  So far I've only had one set of buyers cancel their offer and was totally supportive of their decision. We just have to be here for our clients and provide them with the most up to date information we have. What I'm seeing right now is that our market is still a very strong sellers market and there is still a lot of demand especially for entry level!

Denver county (not Denver metro) issues a "stay at home" order. Denver Public Health says Real Estate is an essential business. It appears that anything under contract will continue to close without issue and that showings can continue.

Essential Businesses. For the purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their
residence to work for or obtain services at any "Essential Businesses," which for purposes
ofthis order means:

xx111. Professional services, such as legal, insurance, accounting, real estate, and tax
preparation services, including ancillary and supporting services;

See page 9: https://www.denvergov.org/content/dam/denvergov/Portals/771/documents/covid-19/DenverStayAtHomeOrder_DDPHE.pdf