Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
These new regulations are intended to help borrowers avoid surprises at closing by revising the good faith estimate and ensuring that lenders disclose all fees in the same manner so Buyers can compare “apples to apples” when trying to choose a lender.
The new regulations may impact the timing of closings, so it is critical that the Realtor, the title company, and the lender all work together from contract to closing to ensure that each requirement is met in a timely manner and the closing is not affected by any last minute delays. Whether you are buying or selling a home, be sure that you are working with both a qualified lender and real estate agent, who are up to date with new laws and regulations before they take effect. When you choose to buy or sell your home with a Colorado Landmark Realtor you can be confident that we are prepared to handle each facet of your transaction with the highest level of care and experience.
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
- Amounts owed
- Payment history
- Types of credit in use
- New Credit
- Length of Credit History
- Pay all your bills on time
- Work to get credit card balances below 25% of their limits
- Open new accounts only if absolutely necessary
- Lengthen your credit history
- Seek credit counseling through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling http://www.nfcc.org/
- Opt-out to stop receiving new credit card offers through http://www.optoutprescreen.com/ or call 1-888-567-8688
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Why? Because the study specifically cited green initiatives as the main booster in the area's local economy and that the city is a national hub for alternative energy, wind farm manufacturing and natural gas. Many of the companies that play the biggest roles in these local industries are right in OUR backyard, in Broomfield, Golden, and even in Boulder proper, so Denver ... say a big thank you to the Boulder Area for your accolades!
Many of these energy industry companies are growing and expanding, which should be good news for our local employment figures. When companies hire locally and bring in talent from outside the area that provides a boost in consumer spending and real estate sales, thus increasing tax revenues for local municipalities. Conoco Phillips will have a significant impact on our local economy when they start staffing up their facility from 2012-2014.
For the full report click HERE, but if you just want some highlights, here they are. Denver was:
#10 - Multifamily and Commercial Investment
Friday, November 6, 2009
As long anticipated, the House and Senate have both approved an extension to the homebuyers tax credit of 2009. The credit will now be extended to April 30, 2010. First time homebuyers will get a credit up to $8000 depending on income level, and veteran homebuyers who have been in their home for at least 5 years can receive up to $6500 depending on income level. The original tax credit was set to expire November 30th. Every realtor in the country is now going to be emailing their clients saying "now is the time!" Is it??
This IS good news for homebuyers who want to keep some cash in their pocket after their purchase. The other good news is that interest rates are still at near-record lows. I researched rates in Colorado today and for a $250-299k conventional loan with no points borrowers can get rates between 4.75-5.125% with varying fees. A jumbo in the $500-549k range will be at 4.875-6.4% with varying fees.
The bad news is that unemployment figures continue to be discouraging. At the national level CNN reports that we hit 10.2% in October 2009, the highest level reached since 1983 and indicating 22 straight months of declining employment. Worst case forecasts for the first two quarters of 2010 are in the 10.5% range. Among the hardest hit sector are teens ages 16-19 whose rate rocketed to 27.6% in October. Teens now have to compete with adults for jobs in industries like food service and retail, typically dominated by the teen demographic. Obama has signed a bill allowing the jobless to receive up to an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits which is sure to help out many households, even in our relatively stable and affluent Boulder area.
In Colorado we are hovering around a 7.0% unemployment rate. The state's unemployment figures for October will come out on November 20th. In our immediate area, for September 2009 Boulder County was at 5.5%, Broomfield County was at 6.6% and Weld County was at 7.5%. Some major area employers (IBM, Sun) have announced pending layoffs but it is unclear how many of them will come from our area. And of course our white knight Conoco Phillips is scheduled to bring jobs to our area but the initial build-out of 2012 is suspect, and could be pushed out by a couple years. That's a chicken we can't count until it hatches!
The term "jobless recovery" is being thrown about, but how our nation or our local economy can experience a real recovery without putting more people back to work is beyond me.
All that bad news being said, in Boulder (MLS sub-area 1) median home prices remain stable in the low-mid $500k range. Louisville (MLS sub-area 2) median home prices have jumped all over the place, ranging from $310-425k over the course of 2009 so far, coming in at $$324k in October. Longmont is steady in the low $200's. Superior is a robust market seeing median home prices range from $342k all the way up to $675k! Proximity to transportation, employment, open space, good schools, etc... continue to bolster the Louisville-Superior area's housing market.
So ... to buy or not to buy ... Speaking from purely my own opinion if you have some confidence about your employment situation and intend to stay in your house more than 2-3 years then this really IS the time to buy. And that's honestly not realtor-speak, because I am not one! The late fall-winter selling season typically gives buyers the least amount of inventory to look at, but the most negotiating power. The combination of the tax credit and crazy-low interest rates makes this a perfect storm for you (in a good way). If you have dreams of becoming a fix and flip artist though, think again. Probably too risky given that we don't know exactly where housing prices are going to go.
If you are a seller, consider putting your home, or keeping your home, on the market this winter. Yes, there are fewer buyers, but those in the market are serious. Relocation buyers (job transfers, life changes, etc...) are still out there too in addition to the local prospects. And your home will look so pretty decorated for the holidays! BUT (and there is always a "but") these buyers are going to be looking for a deal, if not a steal. If you want top dollar for your home then frankly don't list it. (And expect to wait until around 2014 to get your price! again, my opinion)
As a seller, if you have some room to negotiate and just want out, then price it fairly given it's condition, age, and location. Offer a buyer something for "free", like a view, or landscaping. How do you do this? Price it similar to a recently sold home or another currently listed home that perhaps didn't have your location backing to open space, or your soothing backyard pond. This way the buyer thinks they are getting a freebie. Let go of that "gotta get" mentality and the ego that compels you to want to get more than your neighbor did for their home. This is not time to worry about stuff like that. I have trained many of my agents on "price positioning" and we are seeing great results.
Stay tuned for more information and insights from Colorado Landmark, Realtors - your Boulder and Front Range experts.
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
twitter = @pmcolorado
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
In some cities, small traffic circles have been constructed in the middle of residential intersections to calm neighborhood traffic. Occasionally, these small circles are called roundabouts or mini-roundabouts. Circles of this type are common in Seattle, WA and Boulder, CO. Definitions of traffic calming vary, but they all share the goal of reducing vehicle speeds, improving safety, and enhancing quality of life. What we have on Pine Street are known as traffic circles, not roundabouts. Per http://www.trafficcalming.org/ traffic circles are raised islands, placed in intersections, around which traffic circulates. They are good for calming intersections, especially within neighborhoods, where large vehicle traffic is not a major concern but speeds, volumes, and safety are problems. B efore the installation of these roundabouts on Pine Street one could observe cars blazing down the street in this otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.
The towns of Erie and Superior also have traffic circles, mini-roundabouts, or roundabouts, so if you drive anywhere in Boulder County it might be a good idea to be familiar with how to negotiate these traffic calming road features.
Okay, so now for the HOW TO portion of this post. The city of Overland Park, KS has a nice little .pdf on their website with a diagram that illustrates how to drive a roundabout. Click on the link to see for yourself or just read on ...
- Slow down as you approach, be prepared to YIELD, and check the crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Look to your left and check for vehicles already in the traffic circle - vehicles already in the circle have the right of way. Wait for them to flow through and then when there is a gap in the circulation it is your turn, so go ahead and pull into the circle!
- Once you are in the traffic circle YOU have the right of way. Herein lies my big pet peeve - if you are already IN the traffic circle, don't stop! Keep on moving (with caution of course). If you stop you cause a bottleneck for everyone. You don't have to stop and let new cars in the circle - why? Because YOU have the right of way - you were there first! Of course if there is an irresponsible driver who you think clearly intends to disregard traffic circle protocal then by all means slow down or stop to avoid an accident. Otherwise, keep on truckin'!
- As you approach your exit put on your right turn signal, and then exit the traffic circle.
Now, what if you and another driver arrive at the traffic circle at the exact same time, but at difference entry points? According to SafeMotorist.com the driver on the left should always yield to the driver on the right. The same rules apply for traffic circles as for regular intersections. For instance, if you reach an uncontrolled intersection (i.e. traffic circle) at close to the same time, the vehicle who actually reached the intersection last is the driver who must yield the right of way. If you reach the intersection at the same time, the driver on the left should always yield the right of way.
Congratulations - You survived Traffic Circles 101. Happy driving Boulder!
Disclaimer - I am NOT an expert on traffic circles, or traffic laws in Colorado or anywhere else. For information specific to Colorado please consult the State of Colorado, Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles Colorado Driver Handbook. Page 16 has information on Right of Way. Content in this blog post was obtained via research on the websites mentioned or is my opinion only.
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
twitter = pmcolorado
Friday, October 2, 2009
- Trim trees and remove dead branches. Bad weather and the high winds we sometimes experience here in the Boulder area can cause weak limbs to break, damaging property or causing injury. Consult a professional tree service for large jobs.
- Reduce energy costs by lowering the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees F.
- Make sure caulking around windows and doors is adequate to reduce heat loss.
- Replace the filter on your furnace and schedule routine maintenance with a qualified heating contractor.
- Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors - time this to correspond with switching your clocks back in the fall, and then forward in the spring so you won't forget!
- Clear out gutters and downspouts on the exterior of your home to prevent the build-up of leaves and debris that can impede the flow of rainwater and cause water damage.
- Check your chimney for birds nests or other debris especially if you have a wood burning fireplace, and make sure the chimney cap is in place. Call a chimney sweep to perform maintenance.
- Be aware that mice will try to start coming in from the cold, especially if you live in or near a rural area, field, park or open space. There are numerous ways to trap mice, humane or otherwise. You will find many choices and expert assistance at McGuckin Hardware, Boulder's go-to place for pretty much everything since 1955.
- Consider repainting or staining and sealing your exterior doors to protect them from rain, snow, ice and wind. A $10 can of paint or sealant could go a long way to prevent damage to an expensive door.
- Cover your patio furniture, outdoor grill, portable firepit, etc... or move into storage.
- Drain and store your garden hoses, and have your sprinkler system blown out to prevent damage to pipes in freezing weather.
- Pull your refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum the condensor coils to prevent damage to the motor.
- Check your dryer exhaust tube and vent for built up lint, debris, birds nests, etc...
- Clean out your whole house humidifier and replace filters before heating season starts.
- Be prepared for weather related emergencies such as high winds, tornados, blizzards, or flooding. Organize survival kits and review an emergency escape or protection plan with your household.
Have a wonderful fall and enjoy everything our beautiful area has to offer this season!
Director of Business Development and Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
We have some big CU fans here at Colorado Landmark, Realtors, and our owner/managing broker Joel Ripmaster was even a varsity letterman back in the day.
Sunday, September 6: vs. CSU at BOULDER
Friday, August 14, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
- Last week, Money Magazine voted Louisville the best place to live in America for the second year in a row. Superior was also on the list, coming in at #13. The criteria was based on factors like strong economies, great schools, affordable housing, low crime, and proximity to the outdoors and all that beautiful Colorado has to offer.
- Forbes also just listed Denver as #13 on their 2009 Best Places for Singles due to a fantastig restaurant/bar scene, a ton of popular sports teams (Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rockies, Colorado Avalanche), as well as incredible outdoor recreation options.
- The Denver Business Journal recently reported that even with a recession, the selling prices of homes are rising in some of the area’s most desirable neighborhoods, including Boulder, Louisville, and parts of Denver.
- The American Legislative Council just ranked Colorado #2 for economic recovery based on low tax rates, Colorado's Taxpayers' Bill of Rights and expenditure limitation.
Monday, July 6, 2009
• a fuel-burning heater or appliance;
• fireplace; and/or
• attached garage.
Mobile and manufactured homes also are covered by the law. Landlords are required to install these devices any time there is a new tenant occupying a rental. The new law also applies to the construction of a new home or upgrades to an existing home. Alarm installation costs approximately $30.00.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
ERIE - Vista Ridge Independence Day fireworks at dusk – http://www.vistaridgegc.com/
ESTES PARK - Fourth of July celebration with car show 10 AM – 3 PM on MacGregor Avenue between Elkhorn and Wonderview, patriotic concert and fireworks over Lake Estes at 9:30 PM. http://www.estesparkcvb.com/
JAMESTOWN - Fourth of July celebration with pancake breakfast at 7:30 AM, parade at noon, kids’ games, food and beverages, pie/cake contest, fireworks and live music all day. All proceeds benefit Jamestown Volunteer Fire and EMS departments. 303-429-1129
LOUISVILLE - Fireworks at Coal Creek Golf Course in Louisville - Fireworks start at approximately 9:15 http://www.louisvilleco.gov/Portals/0/Special%20Events/july42009.pdf
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Friday, June 26, 2009
We all know that the real estate market and the mortgage industry has been going through many changes. With past mortgage fraud leading to an all-time high number of foreclosures, the government is taking measures to prevent deceptive lending practices and ensure that buyers are better protected and informed. In 2008, the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) were passed by Congress, and the Federal Reserve Board published new regulations under the Truth in Lending Act. In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adopted the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), which will take effect July 30, 2009. These new regulations will affect several aspects of real estate closings.
- Lenders are now required to use an appraiser from a national pool of independent appraisers from around the country. In the past, lenders maintained longstanding relationships with local appraisers, and were sometimes able to influence the values in order to secure financing, which led to some appraisals being inaccurate. The intention of this new regulation is to put more separation between the lender and the appraiser to ensure fair, accurate appraisals. In reality, it also means that the appraiser who is evaluating a property may not be experienced in that specific market. Before the appraiser is scheduled to come to appraise a house, Sellers should have any documentation about the house that might be helpful in the valuation – receipts for work they have had done, a list of improvements they have made and special features about the house. This will help an appraiser who is less familiar with that area deliver the most accurate evaluation possible.
- Buyers are now required to receive a copy of their appraisals no less than 3 business days prior to the closing of their loan. The intention of this rule is to make sure they have ample time to review the appraisal and fully understand the value of the property they are purchasing.
- The earliest any home purchase transaction can close is 7 business days after the homebuyer is issued his or her initial Truth in Lending disclosures from the lender. These documents are typically given to a buyer at the time of the application, but if the buyer and lender don’t meet in person, the requirement allows extra days for mailing (e-mailing isn’t currently an acceptable form of delivery). Again, this insures that Buyers have time to review all the documents.
- Upfront fees that have been typically collected at the time of application can no longer be collected until the Truth in Lending disclosures are received, and the same rules apply as stated above – there needs to be time built in to allow for mailing of these disclosures unless the buyer meets with the lender in person.
- And lastly, any increase in more than .125% in the APR from the initial Truth in Lending disclosures (which can happen for a number of reasons, including a change in the loan amount, an un-locked rate or a re-lock in a rate, changes to fees, etc.) requires the disclosures to be re-issued and received by the buyer at least 3 business days before closing.
Ultimately, what this all means for buyers and sellers is that parties need to allow ample time between contract and closing to address all these issues. Working with a knowledgeable, experienced Realtor who is up to date on the latest rules will ensure that your transaction is structured appropriately to avoid any closing delays due to these new regulations. At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we strive to be up to date on the latest industry issues to provide exceptional customer service to our clients.
This article contributed by:
Jennifer Fly, Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
June 26 - Pure Prairie League
July 3 – No Faire
July 10 – The Informants
July 17 – Hamilton Loomis
July 24 – Flash Cadillac
July 31 – Firefall
August 7 – Hazel Miller Band
August 14 – The Northern Way & Roe
For more information check out: http://www.louisvilledba.com/street_faire.htm
Friday, June 19, 2009
Consider these scenarios – you have a willing buyer who goes under contract on a property and locks in their loan rate for 45 days. You have a willing seller who has agreed to undertake some major home repairs in order to get the deal to close. With the two cases our office is dealing with, one transaction involves the replacement of an entire septic system to the tune of $18,000. In a second separate transaction it is some major roof repairs that will top out at $25,000.
In both transactions the sellers determined that it would not be possible to have the major repairs/installations completed by the scheduled closing date. So what? The obvious solution is to push the closing date out so that the work is completed prior to the sale. But this means the buyers would lose their loan rate locks. No surprise that since rates have increased neither bank would extend the buyers’ loan lock past the original 45 day time period! In both cases the sellers generously offered up several options: 1) credit the buyers with cash back at closing for the agreed upon estimated full cost of the work; 2) escrow funds at closing sufficient to cover all costs with any remainder going back to the sellers after the work is completed; or 3) reduce the purchase price prior to closing by an agreed upon estimated amount for the full cost of the work.
This time 2 years ago, or even last year, most lenders would not have had any issues with any of the above options. Not so now! In the case of the septic system, the lender would not allow the credit or the escrow of funds, but would allow the sellers to reduce the purchase price. In the case of the major roof repairs, the lender won’t allow any of the options, so the buyers and sellers are still trying to work out a way to get the deal done. The current option on the table is for the sellers to begin repairs prior to closing and pay the contractors “as they go”. At closing the contractors will provide written estimates of the remaining work and the sellers will put appropriate funds into escrow so the contractors will be paid that remainder upon completion. We’ll see how this works out. Speaking from personal experience, all of these options created a great deal extra stress for the sellers.
What’s going on here?? Why are lenders sabotaging these deals?
The crux of the story here is that the lenders have us by the “huevos”, meaning that realtors have to be proactive with their buyers and sellers. What advice and assistance can we offer clients in these types of scenarios? How do we earn our keep?
- For buyers, get the longest loan lock possible from your lender. Do the research ahead of time to find a lender that is willing to be flexible should a situation like this arise.
- For sellers, make every effort to get work done prior to closing. Start immediately getting bids, estimates and work scheduled within the timeframe of the contract. Have a pre-inspection done prior to listing the house to identify major issues that might come up. Repair what you can ahead of time.
- For realtors, make sure you have strong working relationships with several good reputable lenders. If you represent the buyer make sure you communicate their loan lock situation to the seller’s agent so that all parties know the time constraints. For your sellers, encourage them to do pre-inspections and repairs prior to listing. Make sure you and/or your office have good resources for contracting - companies that you refer business to often that will give your clients top priority scheduling, reliable estimates and timely service.
It’s easy to blame the lenders for the challenges of our new real estate world, and maybe they do deserve it (ummm, maybe?). But the reality is that, like it or not, realtors have to operate within constantly changing economic and market parameters. It is our job, no … our RESPONSIBILITY to be informed, to be knowledgeable, and to be proactive problem solvers for our clients at all times. THAT is how we add value and justify our existence in this new world. A Colorado Landmark Boulder real estate agent has the knowledge and resources to successfully help you navigate through these tough issues.
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Some cities are likely to recover more quickly from the housing downturn than others. And aren’t we lucky to live in one of them! Forbes.com just named Boulder, CO to its list of the 10 Best Cities for Recession Recovery in the US. We are all familiar with the cliche that the three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location. This is true for recovery from a housing market crash too. Economists expect the national economy to return to growth later in 2009, perhaps as soon as this summer, and Boulder is poised to lead that recovery in Colorado.
Forbes used projected gross domestic product data from Moody’s Economy.com as well as unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and home prices, incomes and affordability data from the National Association of Home Builders. Because, in general, healthy cities were not victims of as severe a housing collapse, home prices were not used in ranking the cities poised for recovery. Well thank goodness for that! In the city Boulder real estate remains strong ... the median home price for May 2009 was $499,900 while the average topped out at an incredible $643,454. Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont, Broomfield, Superior, Erie and Loveland/Berthoud real estate markets all remain affordable options near Boulder with median home prices in the $200,000-400,000 range.
The Boulder area's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was reported at $15.6 billion and projected to be $16.3 billion at the end of 2010. Unemployment in the area is running a low 5.7% compared to a national rate that is creeping up just under that scary double digit mark. The University of Colorado provides an abundance of stable jobs for the region. Boulder is also home to a number of high-tech laboratories. Moody's projects the economy of Boulder will dip less than 1% before growth resumes in the first half of this year. My family and I were out Saturday night getting a bite to eat, and with restaurants like Jax Fish House and The Med telling us that wait times for our party of four would be over an hour to an hour and a half, it sure doesn’t feel like there is a recession here in Boulder! Could it be because Boulder is BOLDER? (yes, pun intended!)
This article posted by:
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Friday, June 12, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I took a look at this list expecting to see one or more Colorado cities at the top and was shocked that none of our Colorado home towns made the list! Kiplingers’ numbers guru, Kevin Stolarick, evaluated 361 U.S. cities for their growth potential; he looked not just at the overall number of jobs, but also at the quality of those positions and the ability of cities to hold on to them when the economy softens. Employment here in Colorado, and Boulder in particular, has held pretty steady during the current economic downturn, so … I decided to look at the study a little closer and find out why we didn’t make the list.
The top ranked cities (in order) were Huntsville, AL, Albuquerque, NM, greater Washington DC/MD/VA area, Charlottesville, VA, Athens, GA, Olympia, WA, Madison, WI, Austin, TX, Flagstaff, AZ, and Raleigh, NC. Since Boulder in particular is often likened to several of these cities I wanted to see how we compared on each of the individual ranking areas.
Allbuquerque, Washington DC, Madison, Austin and Raleigh are all much bigger metropolitan areas compared to Boulder, which I think is a plus for Boulder. Who wants the fight the DC area beltway traffic everyday? You can get from one end of Boulder to the other in 15 minutes even at peak commute times. Score one for Boulder.
The statistic that really should have put Boulder on top is the % of Creative-class Workers. According to Kiplingers, creative-class workers -- scientists, engineers, educators, writers, artists, entertainers and others -- inject both economic and cultural vitality into a city and help make it a vibrant place to live. Compared to the top ten ranked cities, and all of the other Colorado cities that made the study, Boulder is second only to the greater Washington DC area for % of Creative-class workers, while the DC area’s population over 18 times bigger than Boulder’s!! Boulder shows 43.4% Creative-class Workers as compared to 43.6% in DC, a scant difference. That to me is amazing. The next closest city on the top ten list was Huntsville with only 39.7%. Clearly there is a significant brain trust that chooses to make their home beneath the Flatirons.
Median household income was the next statistic used in the rankings. Clearly a high median household income is indicative of local salary levels, which is a huge draw for people wanting to reside in any city. Again, Boulder was second only to Washington DC in this category – Boulder’s median household income reported at $63,064 compared to a whopping $81,163 in Washington DC. The next highest median household income was in Madison, WI at $58,090 and Denver was at $58,039. Madison is another college town, with UW often compared to CU in terms of the type of educational experience for students, quality of instruction, college town atmosphere, etc…
Four year salary growth was also used to compare the cities, and again Boulder ranked higher than all but one of the top 10 ranked cities. Boulder’s rate was reported at 12.0 while Olympia reported an astounding 22.0! Wonder when everyone will start moving to Washington State?? The next closest city to Boulder on the top 10 list was Hunstville with 9.7. Elsewhere in Colorado, Fort Collins made an impressive showing at 13.6, while big sister Denver reported in a lackluster 7.0 and Pueblo a dismal 4.7. Interestingly, there were some cities that appeared on the top 10 list, like Charlottesville, that reported only marginal salary growth at 4.8. So why in the heck isn’t Boulder on the top ten list – it should be!!
Not so fast … there was one remaining statistic that, in my opinion, was the killer for Boulder, and that was the Cost of Living Index. If 100 is the baseline, then Boulder reports in at a daunting 124. This means that goods and services costing $100 in places like Greeley, CO, Athens, Madison and Raleigh will cost you $124 in Boulder. Boulder being 24% more expensive is nothing to disregard casually, especially when it comes to housing. With an average single family home price of $725,617 in April 2009 in the City of Boulder, and $459,714 in Boulder County, living here sure ain’t cheap! However, not surprising is that the greater Washington DC area has a cost of living index of 138! Guess living near all of those fancy politicians has its price. Hmmm – would I rather live near the Flatirons, or the White House? Gee … tough choice … not!
What does all of this mean? In my humble opinion Boulder should have made Kiplingers’ top ten list. Three of the four statistics clearly place us on this list, if not at the very top. One factor that wasn’t included in the study, probably because it is too subjective, is quality of life. There are reasons that all of those Creative-class Workers choose to live in Boulder – yes salaries and salary growth are motivators to be sure. But the fact is that we live in a truly incredible place – astounding natural beauty, abundant and varied close-in recreational opportunities, vibrant downtown, great mix of local and nationally branded shopping, award winning restaurants, and a top ranked school system. Kiplingers, you really missed the boat on this one – Boulder should have made your top ten list. People in Boulder don’t need to read Kiplingers to know this, and maybe now they won’t bother to read it at all!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
- Morning Routine.
Add a 10 to 15 minute clean-up routine after breakfast; this way if you get a call to show the home anytime throughout the day, the house is relatively clean. Make sure surfaces are picked-up, beds are made, breakfast is put away and toys are in their rightful bin/closet/chest, etc
- Requesting Time.
Request a 2-hour prior notice to showing; 2 hours gives your family time to straighten up and exit the home.
- Ready ... Set ... Go!
Pack a "field trip" bag. It may contain excursion essentials such as snacks, diapers, wipes, sippy's, and sweat shirts. Having it ready by the front door or in the car means you can grab and go just before a showing.
- Excursion List.
Prior to placing your home on the market, develop a list of places to go and things to do. In good weather, you can head to the park, creeks, farmer's markets, trailheads, Pearl St, the reservoir and the like. In bad weather, you can easily spend time at Moe's Bagels, the libraries, Barnes & Noble and Border's, BMOCA (Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art), Boulder Book Store, The Parenting Place, Logan's or Vic's, Amante or Laughing Goat, rec center pools, the movies, etc.
- Your Village.
Nothing beats having a friend who will open their doors to you and the little ones during a showing. Be sure to ask for help and let friends know prior to listing your home you might need a place to lay low during showings.
- Sports Pitstop.
- Containing Messes.
- Donate It.
- You Are Not Alone.
In the end, your house will sell and the whole family can say they helped make it happen!
This article contributed by:
Amy Zoldak, Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
720.841.2390 (cell phone)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
It is a great time to buy a home right now with prices and interest rates at their lowest points in decades. If you do decide to take the plunge the smartest thing you can do is pick up the phone, or click that mouse, and find the best local independent firm that also has worldwide affiliations.
If you are interested in moving to Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield, Denver or any points in between of course we would love to talk to you, so check us out at http://www.coloradolandmark.com/. If you are moving elsewhere in the country or in the world, our relocation department has would be happy to refer you to one of our affiliates, many of whom we have successfully referred clients to. If you prefer to "do-it-yourself" you can easily find a company in your location by going to Leading Real Estate Companies of the World then click on "Member Directory". To search community information and Leading RE listings worldwide go to RELO HomeSearch.