Monday, December 21, 2009

Boulder Real Estate Firm - Colorado Landmark, Realtors - Makes Denver Book of Lists Top 20!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors, a fixture in Boulder real estate since 1977, has recently been ranked #15 out of the Top 20 Residential Real Estate Companies in the Denver area, according to the Denver Business Journal 2010 Book of Lists. Not bad, considering some of the other companies on the list have 6-17 offices and 100-1300 agents on their rosters. Just goes to show that size doesn't matter!

With 2 offices and 50 agents, Colorado Landmark, Realtors assists buyers and sellers all over Boulder County and beyond navigate today's turbulent real estate market. Our agents have the training, experience, support and tools to help buyers and sellers make some of life's most important decisions.

Recently our agents and staff celebrated the holidays together with a wonderful catered event at one of our gorgeous luxury listings. 902 White Hawk Ranch, Boulder, built by Sarete Custom Homes, was decorated for the holidays and full of good cheer.
This home is over 9600 square feet, has unobstructed foothills and back range views, backs to open space, and could be one of the last large square footage homes in Boulder County! It was the perfect location for our party, and a good time was had by all.
Happy Holidays everyone from Colorado Landmark!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Is your Realtor up to date on the latest lending regulations?

Real estate agents at Colorado Landmark, Realtors recently attended a training session at Wells Fargo in Boulder to learn about the new RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) regulations that will be going into effect on or before January 1, 2010.

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
303-443-3377
www.coloradolandmark.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boulder Real Estate Professional Dave Scott Inducted to Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is proud to announce that one of our own was recently inducted into the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame at recent induction gala event on November 9th, 2009 in Vail, CO. David Scott, Boulder real estate professional and BrokerAssociate with Colorado Landmark, Realtors since 2006, was honored for his many contributions as a sport builder for the ski industry in Colorado. (Link to press release here.)

David began ski racing in Pennsylvania at the age of 11. His passion for that beautiful fluffly cold white stuff led him to the University of Colorado Boulder, and on to coaching opportunities with youth racers and even a Junior National Team. His commitment to the sport of ski racing continued with AMF/Head in Boulder where he was Director of Racing, responsible for all of Head's worldwide amateur and professional racing programs.

For over 10 years David and his wife Gretchen owned and operated Chivers Sports in Boulder, one of the most highly respected ski shops in the country at that time. The Scott's sold their store in 1987 and over the last 15 years David has been a consultant to many ski industry companies as well as a key member of a management team for a new resort in Idaho.

David brings the same passion to Boulder real estate that he has for skiing. He and 3 partner broker associates have formed The Scott Team. David and his team work with buyers and sellers at all price points throughout Boulder County, and David has even sold property in Port Grimaud, France! To learn more about David, his associates, expertise and listings check out his website at http://www.boulderrealestateinfo.com/ .

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is very proud to have David Scott and The Scott Team as part of our Boulder area real estate family. Congratulations to David on his Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame induction!

David Scott
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors - The Scott Team

Monday, November 23, 2009

Credit Information EVERYONE Needs to Know

If you are thinking about buying a or re-financing now, or anytime in the future, one of the main factors determining your ability to qualify for a loan is your credit score. Understanding what credit scores mean, how they are calculated, and how to improve your score can make the difference in your ability to qualify for a loan and get the best possible terms and interest rates.


Credit scores range from 300-850. Here is how those scores are broken down:


780 and Above: Outstanding
740-780: Excellent
690-740: Good
620-690: Fair
62o and Below: Poor

Typically, the higher your credit score, the better loan terms you will be offered. People with scores below 620 will generally not be able to qualify for a loan.


Credit scores are determined by a number of factors including:

  • Amounts owed
  • Payment history
  • Types of credit in use
  • New Credit
  • Length of Credit History

There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These agencies may all have slightly different information, and they each use a different method to calculate credit scores, so your score will be slightly different from each one. Most lenders will pull credit reports from all three agencies when processing a loan. It is important that everyone checks their credit report at least once a year to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date. You can pull a free copy of your credit report once a year through the website http://www.annualcreditreport.com/. This website also offers credit scores, for a fee.


If your credit score has seen better days, there are things you can start doing right away to improve your score:

  • 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
In Boulder County, we have a fantastic resource for anyone who is thinking about buying a home and has questions about credit or related items. The Boulder County Housing Counseling Program offers free housing counseling and classes http://www.bouldercounty.org/hhs/housingcounseling.htm. These services are available to residents of Boulder, Broomfield, and western Weld Counties.


Brought to you by:












Jennifer Fly
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377
Twitter: jenflycolorado





















Thursday, November 12, 2009

Financial Fitness - Your Credit Score - Free Class Offered!


Would you like to know more about credit scores? This class will answer your questions - what they are, who uses them, what actions on your part affect them, what is a good score or a bad score, what kind of score do I need to get a loan to purchase a home or car?

An expert from the Boulder County Housing program will be speaking on these topics to our agents, clients, family and friends.

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is pleased to offer a FREE 1-hour class to our clients and friends.

Wednesday, November 18th
9:00am
Snacks provided! Door Prize!

Please RSVP to Pam at pam@coloradolandmark.com and you will receive a confirmation email with the location of the class.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Danver Ranking means Good News for Boulder Real Estate, Boulder Jobs

Price Waterhouse/Cooper and the Urban Land Institute recently released a report detailing 10 national cities to watch with regard to commercial real estate recovery and growth. For the third year in a row Denver ranked in the top ten! Given the reasons cited for Denver's ranking it follows that the Boulder area plays a huge factor in the Denver area's economic health.

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
#9 - For Sale Homebuilding
#8 - Apartment Buy/Hold/Sell Recommendations
#8 - Office Property Buy/Hold/Sell Recommendations
#11 - Retail Property Buy/Hold/Sell Recommendations
#12 - Hotel Buy/Hold/Sell Recommendations
More news you can use from Colorado Landmark, Realtors.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
twitter = @pmcolorado











Friday, November 6, 2009

News You Can Use - Tax Credit, Unemployment, Boulder Housing Market


If you read my blog you know that I will give you the straight scoop - no sales pitch or baloney here! If you dare, read on ....


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.



Pam Metzger
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
pam@coloradolandmark.com
twitter = @pmcolorado

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Roundabout Boulder - A Tutorial

I drive to work almost every day down Pine Street in downtown Boulder between Folsom and Broadway, and each day I realize how lucky I am to live and work in such a wonderful community. However, I think I might need to find a different route because almost every day I arrive at work irritated by drivers on Pine Street who don't know how to negotiate the traffic circles! After stewing about this for some time I thought ... why not take this opportunity to use our blog to educate and inform Boulder drivers on exactly how to drive through these little roundabouts. Then we'll all be safer AND in a better mood!

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 ...

  1. Slow down as you approach, be prepared to YIELD, and check the crosswalk for pedestrians and cyclists.

  2. 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!
  3. 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'!

  4. 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.


Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
pam@coloradolandmark.com
twitter = pmcolorado

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Fall is officially here in Boulder, with our first true chill in the air! October in Boulder is beautiful and there is always something going on - school events, sports activities, CU Buffs games, and Halloween to name a few things. Don't get so busy with the fall fun that you forget stay on top of a few important home maintenance "to do's". Whether you are staying put for the time being or you are sellling your home and trying to keep it comfortable and in great showing condition be sure to make time for the following:

  • 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!


Pam Metzger
Director of Business Development and Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
pam@coloradolandmark.com
303-443-3377

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not Too Late - $8000 Free $ for your First Home!

69 Days and Counting! It is not too late to take advantage of the government $8000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. The Boulder market continues to stay strong, and well priced homes in Louisville and Superior are going under contract in a matter of days. Interest rates have never been better, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has announced that his findings indicate that the recession is "very likely over".

RealTrends reports that nearly 40% of first-time homebuyers said they would not have bought a home if the federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers was not offered, according to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) "2009 First-time Home Buyers Tax Credit Survey." Supporting that theory, the IRS recently released a report indicating that approximately 1.4 million taxpayers have filed (or amended) their 2008 income tax returns claiming the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. This is basically in line with NAR's projections that about 1.8 million taxpayers will ultimately claim the credit during this first round.

Buyers have to close their home purchase transaction prior to December 1, 2009 but there is still time left if you can act quickly and have a knowledgeable real estate professional and a reputable lender. Associates at Colorado Landmark, Realtors can help you identify a suitable home quickly, help you find the right lender, and we will do everything we can to get the transaction to close before the December 1st deadline.

The National Association of Homebuilders has a great Frequently Asked Questions web link regarding this landmark government program. Check this out and then call me here at Colorado Landmark, Realtors and I will be happy to connect you with a real estate professional who can help you in the neighborhoods you are interested in. Good luck! 69 Days and Counting!


Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-443-3377

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Colorado Buffaloes 2009 Football Schedule

What better way to spend a fall afternoon or evening in beautiful Boulder, Colorado than catching a CU Buffs football game at Folsom Field?

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.


Here's the schedule:



Sunday, September 6: vs. CSU at BOULDER

Friday, September 11: vs. Toledo at OH

Saturday, September 19: vs. Wyoming at BOULDER

Thursday, October 1: vs. West Virginia at W. Va

Saturday, October 10: vs. Texas at TX

Saturday, October 17: vs. Kansas at BOULDER

Saturday, October 24: vs. Kansas State at KS

Saturday, October 31: vs. Missouri at BOULDER

Saturday, November 7: vs. Texas A&M at BOULDER

Saturday, November 14: vs. Iowa State at IA

Thursday, November 19: vs. Oklahoma State at OK

Friday, November 27: vs. Nebraska at BOULDER


See you at the game! GO BUFFS!



Jennifer Fly, Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377
Twitter: jenflycolorado

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boulder, CO #1 Strongest Housing Market in the US, Few Foreclosures

Boulder has received LOTS of great press lately, and for that we are always thankful. If any of you read my blog entries you know that I love it when Boulder or any of our surrounding communities makes it into a ranking or national survey. But I just read a local competitor's blog that stated "What recession? Move to Boulder! Living here is simply the best!" Not to be a "negative Nellie" here, but the recession IS still alive and well here in Boulder. Enough propoganda! Although we have definitely fared better than many other parts of the country, our economy does seem to have lagged behind the rest of the country by 12-24 months, going into the downturn, and it will be in the recovery too.

A very recent and much twittered and blogged about Business Week article touted Boulder for its strong housing market. Boulder is the #1 Strongest Housing Market in the US! 60% of the homes in our market have increased in value during the past year, and the city of Boulder's median home price rose 2.12%. Reasons? Big limits on development and growth within city limits (thus constriction of the housing supply), the University of Colorado providing a constant source of jobs and new energy to the town, and of course the area's incredible natural beauty.

What people aren't buzzing about on blogs, Twitter, etc... is mention in the same article that our local economy HAS slowed, and that while our housing marketing is STRONG, it isn't necessarily affordable. I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade, but I am trying to be honest. I am grateful every day that I live in the Boulder area, but I have lived here long enough (15+ years) to be congizant of its drawbacks as well as its attributes.

Two things have been tough to find in Boulder in the last 12-24 months - foreclosure properties, and jobs. I get referrals for out of the area buyers frequently, and everyone I speak to believes they can find a foreclosure property in Boulder and get a screaming deal. You certainly CAN in other parts of the country (Florida, Michigan, California, etc...) so why not Boulder? If you are looking in one of the outlying areas like Longmont, Lafayatte, Erie you may indeed be in luck. But if you are looking in Boulder proper ... think again. That cute single family Victorian style home, walking distance to downtown and nearby trails, with a gourmet kitchen and spacious yard simply doesn't exist in Boulder for even $450,000 in most areas, and certainly not for $250,000, which is the number buyers tend to throw out at me when I get their initial call. However the Daily Camera reported Friday that foreclosure filings are on the rise in Boulder County - 17% in the second quarter and foreclosure sales increased 33%. We still have the lowest foreclosure rate in the Denver metrol areas at 1 per 540 households, compared to 1 per 169 households in Denver County and 1 per 197 households in Douglas County. But that being said, the Boulder County public trustee's office figure's show that the county's foreclosure filings don't seem to be slowing down, so attention bargain hunters - don't give up yet!

As for jobs, as of June 2009 the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment was reporting an unemployment rate of 6.6% in Boulder County. While you might say "Well what's wrong with that? That's fantastic!" remember that a significant population living in Boulder works elsewhere. Unemployment rates in other surrounding counties aren't so good - 7.5% in Broomfield, 8.5% in Denver, 7.5% in Jefferson, 9.0% in Adams, 7.7% in Arapahoe counties and 7.8% statewide. And these figures are about 2-3% points above where they were 2 years ago.

So my answer to my competitors who blow sunshine all over the place and say "What recession?" - I answer with THIS recession - it is still affecting Boulder County and may continue to do so for the foreseeable near future. Is Boulder still a phenomenal place to live - DARN RIGHT! Is real estate in the Boulder area still a wise investment - ABSOLUTELY! As long as you aren't expecting to buy and flip over the short term, real estate in Boulder is as close to a "sure thing" as you can get, especially if you look at it from the perspective of housing, and not the source of a quick turnaround buck. No brainer alert!
So it's a great time to buy, but what does this mean for home sellers? Do not under any circumstances overprice your home - price it competitively and fairly, or even better than fairly, and don't think you will be able to squeeze every last dime out of it in this market, or it will sit, and sit, and sit on the market. When it finally sells it will sell for LESS than it would have if you have priced it correctly to begin with. We may not see full market recovery until 2012, so if you do not need to sell then wait. If you do need to sell, price it right to begin with. Consult a reputable real estate professional with experience and success listing and selling homes in YOUR neighborhood who can provide analysis (key word here) and recommendations for pricing. Price it to sell within 90 days - you don't want it to sit.
Do you want the propoganda, or do you want the facts? I never promised anyone that I would be "glass half full" all the time. But I have promised that I will always be honest and straightforward about our community and our market, and that I will try to provide our clients with the best information possible to assist in their decision making. And really, isn't that what you want in a real estate company?

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-302-8839 (direct)

Boulder Real Estate Company Expands Reach to French Riviera!

David Scott of Colorado Landmark, Realtors in Boulder is a lucky fellow ... he is fortunate to split his time living in two incredible locations - Boulder, CO and France! Dave recently leveraged his considerable experience and international connections and has sold a luxury home in Port Grimaud, France for €1.3 Million, or about $1.85 Million.

At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are very fortunate to be affiliated with the Luxury Portfolio Fine Property Collection. Luxury Portfolio was launched by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World in 2005 and in the very first year it's award-winning website, http://www.luxuryportfolio.com/, featured more $1 million-plus properties than any other luxury real estate organization. Today Luxury Portfolio represents over 17,000 of the world's most remarkable properties. Luxury Portfolio is a major player in the global arena, with properties in 24 countries, website visitors from over 200 countries, site translation in nine languages, and conversions for 60 currencies. With over 45 states and 24 countries represented, their total inventory of properties exceeds $39 billion. Using Colorado Landmark's affiliation with Luxury Portfolio, Dave Scott was able to list, market and sell a beautiful property in France near the French Riviera.

Dave recently sold this charming Maison de Pecheur (or Fisherman's House) in the village of Port Grimaud, France, where every home has direct access to the Mediterranean. Port Grimaud began in the 1960's as the dream of French architect Francois Spoerry. His dream was to create a private lagoon city with waterways in place of roads, where yachts could be docked in front of the owner's homes. The village was designed with traditional Provencal architecture and looks like an authentic centuries-old coastal village. Originally planned for 900 dwellings it has grown to over 2200 dwellings over the past 40 years. Port Grimaud is located in the south of France at the head of the Golfe of Saint-Tropez, equal distance from Saint-Tropez and Sainte-Maxime.

As a long time Boulder resident, Dave has seen Boulder from multiple perspectives - as a student, a corporate employee, a business owner and realtor, a homeowner and a parent and grandparent. Dave strives to provide his clients the best service possible and is constantly working to enhance his knowledge and expertise. He recently earned the EcoBroker® and TRC (Transnational Referral Certification) designations. He also recently completed his course work for both the CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist) and ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative) designations. On his website you will see that Dave's clients are understandably generous with testimonials to the level and depth of the expertise and service he provides in the Boulder area. With his international experience and contacts Dave can also guide clients through the maze of rules and regulations that govern property purchases in France.

At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are proud that Dave Scott is a member of our wonderful team of broker associates, and we congratulate him on this incredible accomplishment. If you would like more information on real estate in Boulder or in France Dave Scott would be pleased to assist.

David Scott
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-443-3377 x250

Monday, July 27, 2009

How about some good news for a change?



In crazy economic times like these, it's great to be finally hearing some good news about the market and the Boulder/Denver area is especially getting a lot of positive attention lately.
  • 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.
All this news shows that even in a recession, the Boulder/Denver area is still a great place to buy a home. For more information about our company and how a qualified Realtor can help you find your perfect Colorado home, whether it is a condo in Denver, a single family home in Louisville, or a luxury home in Boulder, visit http://www.coloradolandmark.com/.

Posted by:
Jennifer Fly
303-506-0253
Twitter: jenflycolorado






Monday, July 6, 2009

Important New Carbon Monoxide Detector Law




Effective July 1, 2009, the State of Colorado is requiring carbon monoxide detectors in many homes due to the passing of House Bill 1091 which was signed into law in March by Governor Bill Ritter.



The new law requires that sellers/landlords of homes or apartments provide carbon monoxide alarms near bedrooms, if the home has the following:

• 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.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that is very toxic and kills hundreds of people every year. Protect your family and make sure you have a properly working detector in your home!

For more information, feel free to contact your Colorado Landmark Realtor.


Posted by:
Jennifer Fly
303-443-3377
Twitter: @jenflycolorado






Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What are you doing for the 4th of July?


There are so many options for fun this holiday weekend in the Boulder area!

FRIDAY JULY 3rd:

ERIE - Vista Ridge Independence Day fireworks at dusk – http://www.vistaridgegc.com/

SATURDAY JULY 4th:
ARVADA - Arvada’s Spirit of America Fourth of July Festival at Lutz/Stenger Sports Complex, W. 58th Ave., Arvada. Starting at 3 PM Classic car show, a military display, live music, family entertainment, great food and a fireworks display. 303-421-5305

BOULDER - Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast at Folsom Field. Gates open at 7:45 p.m. The program begins at 8 p.m. The fireworks display will be at 9:30 p.m. Additional event information can be found at www.dailycamera.com/boulderfireworks

BROOMFIELD – Great American Picnic and Bike Parade with pony rides, family entertainment, face painting, inflatables for the kids, a bike parade at 5:30 PM and fireworks at dusk. http://www.broomfieldrecreation.com/


DENVER – Coors Field - Colorado Rockies vs. Florida Marlins at 6 PM, Fireworks following the game around 10 PM http://colorado.rockies.mlb.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

LONGMONT – Boulder County Fairgrounds - fireworks at dusk 303-441-3927

NEDERLAND – Barker Reservoir Parade at noon, fireworks at sunset http://www.town.nederland.co.us/

We hope you have a wonderful and safe 4th of July from everyone at Colorado Landmark, Realtors!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-443-3377




Friday, June 26, 2009

New Lending Regulations May Affect Your Boulder Area Home Sales



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
303-302-8823 (office)
jenniferfly@coloradolandmark.com
www.twitter.com/JenFlyColorado

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Louisville Street Faire - Friday Nights in Downtown Louisville

If you are looking for a fun way to spend an evening this summer, check out the Louisville Street Faire! Presented by the Louisville Downtown Business Association, the Faire runs Friday evenings from 5:00 – 9:00 PM and is FREE! Every week there is great live music and booths with food, beverages, art, children’s activities, and more. Music Starts around 6:15, upcoming bands include:

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

See you there!


Jennifer Fly
303-506-0253

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yet ANOTHER Potential Deal Breaker – Loan Locks, Buyer Credits and Escrowed Funds

In the last week our office has dealt with yet another new challenge in residential real estate sales. Two of our transactions have been at risk of complete derailment due to the increased lender “stickiness” that many people are experiencing in this market.

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.

This article contributed by:

Pam Metzger

Director of Relocation and Business Development

pam@coloradolandmark.com

303-302-8839 (office)

www.twitter.com/pmcolorado

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Boulder MADE This List! 10 Best Cities for Recession Recovery

If you have read any of my blog posts you know that I love lists and rankings, especially when one of our local communities makes it on a good list. Fortunately for us here in the Boulder area that happens often, like this time in the RACE to economic recovery for towns and cities across the country.


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:
Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
pam@coloradolandmark.com
www.twitter.com/pmcolorado

Friday, June 12, 2009

Best Places to Live 2009 - Loveland, Colorado Makes the List!

US News and World Report came out with its Best Places to Live 2009 rankings this week, and lo and behold one of our nearby Colorado cities made the list. Who knew it would be Loveland, ranked Number 7!?

In 2008 the number of Americans that moved their primary residence fell to its lowest level since 1948, when the Census Bureau began tracking such data. Not a surprising statistic given a banking crisis, housing market crash, national recession and continuing uncertainty in the economy. But hey, this is America, right? Despite the above it IS still possible to find an affordable, pleasant place to live, work, retire, and/or raise a family. According to US News and World Report, our own Loveland, CO is just such a place.

Loveland fit the study's main criteria of being an affordable community, with a strong local economy, and lots of fun things to do. The population of the greater Loveland area is just over 90,000 people, making it a managable community to navigate through as far as traffic, schools, etc... And the location doesn't hurt either! Loveland is located within a 30-45 minute drive of the glorious Rocky Mountain National Park, the Boulder area, and Denver - everything is within reach. There are 27 public parks and 16 miles of recreational trails as well as 300 pieces of scuplture and two-dimensional works of art on display throughout the community through the Art in Public Places program. And Lake Loveland is a beautiful scenic recreation area.

And the Loveland folks are special people too. The local Chamber of Commerce reports that there are over 50 people on a waiting list to be "stampers" for the city's Valentines remailing program. 200,000 cards are sent to the city each year around this holiday to receive a special cachet stamp. 37% of the area households have children, and crime rates are incredibly low, so it is a very safe and kid-friendly place to live with excellent schools.

Living in Loveland is affordable too. In 2008 the median price for a single family home was $205,000 while the median for a condo/townhome was only $146,000. For the first 5 months of 2009 these prices have dropped slightly to $195,000 and $144,900 for single family and attached dwellings respectively. While housing remains affordable, median household income is high at around $65,300. Many major employers are within easy driving distance to Fort Collins, Longmont, Denver, and points in between.



For more information about Loveland visit the Loveland Chamber of Commerce or the City of Loveland. Many of the associates at Colorado Landmark know the Loveland area well, so if you are interested in more information please contact us.


This article written by:
Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Boulder MISSED the List - Say it Ain't So!!

Kiplingers Personal Finance Magazine just published their list of 2009 Best Cities, with the tag line that this year “It’s all about Jobs”. Well in this economy isn’t that the truth!!

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!

This article contributed by:
Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
303-302-8839 (direct)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Got Kids? ...How to Keep your House in Showing Condition

I recently asked a client how the showing went and she enthusiastically replied, "Great! But...." But what? She went on, “my kids think I am “Crazy Mommy!” I yelled at them to 'finish the snack!' 'Clean up the mess!' 'Put the dog in the car!'" Her kids wanted to know what happened to Mommy? Let's take a moment to understand that while it is important to sell the house, we don't need to throw the kids under the bus to get it done! Here are some tips for managing showings in a household with kids:
  • 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.
Keep a bin of basketballs, mitts, tennis rackets, Frisbees, kites and the like in the car; a quick jaunt to the courts or parks gives your little ones an opportunity to expend energy and have fun during a showing.
  • Teamwork.
Give your little ones age-appropriate tasks to help the household get ready for a showing. A two year old may like to use a dustpan and sweeper to clean up the floors. A three year old may clean surfaces with a duster. A four year old may want to make their bed. Giving children a chore teaches teamwork, jump starts the learning of some important life skills, and keeps them out of trouble while you get the house ready.
  • Containing Messes.
From art to popsicles, explain to little ones that certain items must be used or eaten in rooms where messes clean up easily. I can tell you from experience, a red magic marker + master bedroom curtains = disastrous mess.
  • Donate It.
Your family may have an opportunity to clean-out closets, playrooms and the like when selling a house; cleaning out the home prior to placing a house on the market helps make the home feel organized and roomy. Groups such as Saver's, The Salvation Army, www.boulderfreecycle.com, There With Care, Lupus Foundation, etc appreciate the donation, offer tax write-offs and may pick up donations at your front door.
  • You Are Not Alone.
If you are struggling with showings, contact your listing agent. He or she is your ally and may be able to adjust the showing instructions giving you more time to get ready, conduct fewer open houses, etc.


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)

amy_zoldak1@yahoo.com



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Boulder Real Estate Firm on the Money with Leading RE affiliation

At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are very proud to be members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global network of nearly 700 premier real estate firms with 5,500 offices and 170,000 sales associates in 38 countries around the world. Collectively, this group has sold over 1.2 million homes worth $370 billion in 2007, more than any national real estate brand. LeadingRE dominates the United States’ list of top 500 real estate firms, with more of the Number One market leaders in the top 90 markets than any network.

A recent study by Real Trends shows that the independent member companies that make up Leading RE close almost twice as many transactions when compared to ALL of the top franchise brands in real estate, with 50% less firms! (REAL Trends, Inc. is a publishing and communications company considered to be a leading source of analysis and information on the residential brokerage industry. REAL Trends is based in Denver, Colorado.)
This just confirms what we have known all along ... that independent real estate firms are entrenched in the hearts of their communities and therefore know their markets better than any large multi-state corporation could ever hope to.

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.