Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from Colorado Landmark, Realtors!

Wishing everyone a very safe and happy new year.

We truly appreciate our clients for trusting us with their business during what has in many ways been a very difficult year in real estate. Whatever your needs are in 2011, we are here to help.

Looking forward to continued success with you in 2011!

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Dec 1 - 15, 2010 - Location, Location, Location

Our Colorado economy is still struggling but there are signs of improvement. The Denver Post reported this week on job growth in Colorado.  "The primary indicator for any state of economic recovery is job growth, and for the first time in three years, we have experienced three straight months of job growth here in Colorado," Governer Ritter said.  That's good news for housing, but we haven't seen that translate to much sales activity in the last month.  Not surprising though given the time of year, the holidays being traditionally slow for home sales in our area.  The true test will be to see if activity picks up in the February-March-April time frame.

Approximately every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks. Hopefully our analysis will help reveal what properties are selling, at what prices, how long they are are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area - Boulder County and Broomfield County.

For the two week period from December 1 through December 15, 2010 here are the numbers:

•132 properties sold
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $72,000 - $2,290,000
•Median price: $320,500
•Average price: $389,800

•$0-199k = 31 sold this period
•$200-299K = 28 sold
•$300-399k = 25 sold
•$400-499k = 24 sold
•$500-599k = 11 sold
•$600-699k = 2 sold
•$700-799k = 3 sold
•$800-899k = 1 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 5 sold
•$2.0M+ = 1 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

This period's Top Ten numbers reinforce a very cliche real estate phrase - "Location, Location, Location"!

When markets are bad, especially at the high end, the attributes of location and condition become even more important to the successful sale of a property, and should be carefully analyzed when it comes to pricing a property for the market. 

Properties in highly desireable locations will hold their value in a down market more so than in other areas.  Two examples of this are the properties on Marine and Highland in this week's list above, both with terrific downtown Boulder locations. This is not to say that the other areas listed, like White Hawk Ranch, the close-in mountains, and Lafayette are undesireable, far from it; they are just less so to some buyers than others. The home on Marine St. was priced appropriately and went under contract in a mere 32 days and garnered 99% of the asking price.  The property on Highland Ave. took quite a bit longer to sell - 595 days to contract - but the sellers netted 83.3% of their original asking price, which in this market is not bad for any property priced over $2 million. 

Additionally, these two homes have the highest price per square foot at $492/sq ft for Marine and $592/sq ft for Highland, when compared to other homes on the list.  Several of the other homes have argueably more luxury features, larger lots, and are considerably more spacious yet yielded much lower $/sq ft.  Consider the home on Bitterroot Circle for example - same selling price as Marine, but at $227/sq ft.  The luxury home out in White Hawk Ranch sold for a mere $310/sq ft. 
(using finished square feet above grade for comparison purposes) 

The takeaways here for me are the following:
  • If you know you will be somewhere for the long haul, then buy what you want, where you want.  But if there is a chance your plans could change in 5 years or less, consider the location of your next purchase much more carefully with an eye on desireability, walkability and popularity.
  • Also, if you have a home priced over $600,000 you can expect the market to continue to be quite slow for a while.  Homes under this threshhold are still selling quite well though!
Happy Holidays everyone! 

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Friday, December 3, 2010

Don't Eliminate the Mortgage Interest Deduction, Employ Basic Supply-Demand Principles!

With Shiela Mudd Roberts permission we are including here content from her blog post today about the current momentum in our legislature to eliminate the deduction for mortgage interest for homeowners.  Shiela has some great insights ... read on below or link to her blog for this article and other great local real estate information.

"I have to admit, I heard blimps of this in the news over the past few months but it is so absurd that I didn’t think it would really happen. But then I saw a headline that read “National Association of Realtor’s Defend Mortgage Interest Deduction”. Well, absurd as it is, the current administration is trying to take the change right out of our pockets and, thankfully, NAR has already reacted.

The way it currently works is that if you have a mortgage, you very likely have interest that you pay on said mortgage. Look at your statement, especially for the first say 15-20 years most of your monthly payment is interest. This interest paid is then deducted against your earned income come tax time. If you have rental property or second homes, same thing. What is being proposed is that this annual amount, totaling thousands of dollars, is no longer going to apply for a tax deduction. Things are unclear whether the proposal will protect your primary residence or not. Regardless, just like for home owners, mortgage interest deductions combined with depreciation, is a huge incentive for investors to own rental property.

Instead of taking this away from everyone, limit supply. And let me be clear, if you own your property free and clear (no mortgage) this still effects you because this proposal will affect the housing market overall. Buyers lose incentive along with current home owners and prices will drop, plain and simple. I would think a more logical way to approach this is to limit supply, specifically: new building. Sure the big builders won’t like it, but it has been high time for them to find a new gig anyway. In turn, local governments should put a moratorium on new developments. I mean, really, do we need more track homes? Just look at Boulder. There is a housing cap meaning that the supply is limited. It is no accident that the City of Boulder has consistently held it’s housing values. And, in some price points, continued to appreciate in this National “Housing Crisis.” To hit this home even more, compare Boulder to Longmont (also in Boulder County). Longmont has allowed building virtually on all sides of its city borders. At the same time Longmont’s inventory is higher with decreasing sales prices over the past few years when compared to Boulder.*

What can you do? Contact your local representative to tell them that this is not okay:

*Based on IRES, LLC data"

Shiela Mudd Roberts
Broker Associate
Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(720) 628-8454

Monday, November 29, 2010

Top Ten Holiday Showing Tips for Sellers

'Tis the season to hang stockings by the chimney, stuff over-sized trees into family rooms and play the dreidel. However, December is also a season when interested buyers take advantage of vacation time and slower work schedules to attend showings and open houses to gauge the real estate market before the year's end.

As homes tend to be crammed with decorations, baking and packages, and family and friends drop in without notice this time of year, the holiday season can present challenges for sellers who know the importance of keeping their listed property minimally adorned and tidy.

Good news! Selling a home over the holidays doesn't mean that you and your family can't celebrate the season.

Here is a “top ten” list of pointers that will help houses shine in this oft-cluttered holiday season.

1. Festival of lights – Exterior holiday lights can brighten up any house and really increase curb appeal. Less-is-more in this case! Opt for white lights instead of multi-color and/or flashing bulbs to provide a more taste-neutral glow to your home. A few strands of white icicle lights are always tasteful.

2. Fake it – Brightly colored plants and flowers are usually nowhere to be seen in Colorado this time of year, but you can "fake" your garden. Place frost-resistant potted plants, such as flowering kale or miniature trees, in the walkway and garden to brighten up your home's exterior and give buyers a sense of the landscape potential.

3. Let it snow – Snow can look beautiful on trees, but driveways and walkways should ALWAYS be cleared as soon as the fluffy stuff falls. Don't forget your back patio or deck and walkways around the sides of the house. Buyers should be able to move freely to all parts of the property. Keep an eye out for icicles on the roof, as they can indicate that your home has inadequate insulation.

4. Toasty and cozy – A warm home is always more inviting than one that has people
reaching for their coats. Be sure to have the heat set at a comfortable temperature for the
entire day. If possible, turn the lights on and have fireplaces and candles lit to create a cozy environment, even during daylight hours, especially for open houses.

5. Sugar and spice – To create an inviting, festive atmosphere, boil a pot of cider with
cinnamon during any open houses or showings.

6. Home sweet home – From fish, to cabbage rolls, to turkey, the holidays can be a fragrant
time of favorite holiday dishes. What appeals to you at dinner may leave an odor in your
home that not everyone will appreciate. Hold off on holiday cooking as much as
possible, especially if you know that a showing or open house is scheduled. Give
yourself permission to take this holiday off from cooking – treat yourself to a meal out at
a restaurant, or dine with family and friends!

7. A home for all seasons – Display several photos of the home's front and back yards,
gardens, and patios in spring and summer to show potential buyers what the house looks
like when it is not buried in snow, and when there are leaves on the trees and green grass.

8. Size matters – Choose a small Christmas tree and dress it minimally with decorations. A
huge tree will make your room look smaller, and busy decorations can appear messy.

9. It’s presence, not presents – It is important to cut back on clutter when listing your
home. Wrapped presents should not be on display, for aesthetic purposes and also to
ensure that they don‟t “grow legs and walk away”.

10. Less is more – When it comes to decorating and selling a home, less is always more.
When in doubt … don't.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, something else, or nothing at all, this can
be a very stressful time of year, especially if your home is for sale. Keep things simple and
remember that the most important things in life are family and friends. Please call your sales
associate at Colorado Landmark if you need advice or assistance during this holiday season.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Colorado Landmark, Realtors!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Twitter: @COLandmark

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Colorado Landmark, Realtors

At Colorado Landmark, Realtors, we are so thankful for the beautiful place we live, and the wonderful people we are privileged to work with on a daily basis.

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
(303) 443-3377
Twitter: @COLandmark

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Oct 18 - 31, 2010 - Treat Selling Your Home Like Buying Zucchini - GO Local!

Our economy is still struggling.  Employment is not improving at a fast enough pace.  Colorado's unemployment rate is still hovering at 8.0% for September 2010, down from 8.2% in June 2010 but up from 7.7% in May 2010 per the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Boulder County stands at 6.2% and Broomfield County is at 7.2% for September 2010.  
Approximately every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks. Hopefully our analysis will help reveal what properties are selling, at what prices, how long they are are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area - Boulder County and Broomfield County.

For the two week period from October 18 through October 31, 2010 here are the numbers:

•193 properties sold (up from 142 properties previous reported period)
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $59,000 - $2,400,000
•Median price: $305,000
•Average price: $385,529

•$0-199k = 44 sold this period (33 last period)
•$200-299K = 49 sold (38 last period)
•$300-399k = 31 sold
•$400-499k =  29 sold (13 last period)
•$500-599k = 10 sold
•$600-699k = 10 sold (4 last period)
•$700-799k = 10 sold (4 last period)
•$800-899k = 1 sold
•$900-999k = 3 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 5 sold (15 last period)
•$2.0M+ = 1 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

This period's Top Ten numbers are not very different from previous periods, and reinforce what we have been communicating all along.  Overpricing = BAD!
The four properties with the longest days on market are .... you guessed it ... the properties with the lowest ratio of sale to list price.  The home on Neher Lane was listed for over 900 days total and sold for only 39% of its' original list price.  8828 W. Phillips Road was marketed for almost 2000 days (astounding!), and sold for just over half of its' original list price.  What was going on with these sellers?  Did they dictate a sales price to their real estate professional, driven by greed, ego, or financial need?  Or did their original listing agent blow sunshine in their face and recommend an inflated list price simply to win the listing?  Shocked?  Don't be ... these things do happen.

So what's the antidote for overprice-itus?  Two simple things.

#1) Get several professional opinions about what your house is worth from local realtors that have been recommended by someone you trust.  The stress is on the word local here.  No one can do it all.  The Boulder-Denver Metro area is huge.  A real estate professional who lives in Denver and is based in Cherry Creek can't possibly be completely clued into what the Boulder-Broomfield market is doing.  Pick an agent that not only lists homes in your specific neighborhood, but actually sells them.  Ask for proof of their sales records, and testimonials or recommendations from past clients.  Many of you shop at the Boulder Farmer's Market for produce because you feel good about "buying local".  Don't you think using a local professional to help you sell your most important asset is just as important as buying a locally grown zucchini?

#2) Don't dictate a selling price to your realtor.  Please don't take offense to this but don't think that just because you have a Masters in Engineering, MBA or PhD, or are a high ranking executive at a great company that you know how to price your house.  We know Boulder and Broomfield are full of wonderful highly educated people - what a pleasure for us to work with you!  Just let us do our jobs.  A true real estate professional is on top of the market data, community trends and current inventory and they will know how to price your house appropriately.  Trust their expertise and experience!

This week's takeway - find a good local professional, and trust them to do their job.
Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Friday, November 5, 2010

Open Houses this weekend!

Fall is a great time to see what's on the market in your neighborhoods of interest.  Check out the open houses this weekend!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Boulder-Denver Economy, OUR Nation and YOUR Real Estate - Part II

Any good real estate agent or relocation professional should stay on top of their local economic news as well as the news at the national level, and at Colorado Landmark, Realtors that's just what we try to do every week.  As I said in my previous post, last week I had the privelege of attending the Rocky Mountain Relocation Council's Fall Conference held at the Arvada Center.  My previous post was about national economic news conveyed to us by an economist from Wells Fargo Bank.

The second speaker of the morning was Cheryl Meyn from Denver's The Genesis Group.  Cheryl has an extensive background in Denver area real estate and spoke to us about economy in Colorado and specifically the 7-County Denver Metro Area.  Here are a few highlights from her presentation:
  • Real estate overall:  If you look at the statistics, theoretically the Denver area real estate market bottomed out last year in 2009. 
  • Unemployment:  Hovering around 8%, Colorado's unemployment rate is one of the lower rates in the nation.  We are experiencing a lessening of job losses which is giving the area economy some stability, but unfortunately not much in the way of job growth yet.  We have lost a net 45,000 jobs in this recession (at one point it was as high as 52,000) and it could take 3 years to recover from that.  Our area unemployment rate is not expected to go under 7% until late 2011.
  • Mortgages and foreclosures:  18-20% of Coloradans are underwater on their mortgages, compared to 25-30% nationally, however foreclosure activity for 2010 is 10% below 2009 levels.  70% of all of the area's foreclosure activity is in Adams, Arapahoe and Denver counties.
  • Housing inventory:  We have 3 years inventory of properties over $1M.  Local home builders have shown incredible restraint and we have little to no new construction inventory which has helped our resale market significantly
  • Home Prices:  We have actually experienced a 3.6% increase in price activity in the last year.
  • Housing Demand:  Pent up demand in our area is growing as we are seeing our population and # of households grow.  From 2005-2010 it was predicted that we would see a growth in households of 75,459 but the actual figure is 80,909.  From 2010 to 2015 we will see 80,952 additional households in our area.  Owner occupancy has declined from 66.7% in 2005 to 60.9% today and we have the lowest vacancy rates since 1994. 
So, what's in Colorado's future?  Housing will stay flat in 2010 and might improve somewhat in 2011.  Resales, which were down 8% in 2010 will see a rebound in 2011.  There are signs of improvement on the foreclosure front, and in-migration continues to be strong, with people still moving to Colorado.   All you have to do is check in with the national news media once in a while to hear various Colorado communities earning accolades for one thing or another, so it's no wonder people want to relocate here!

For Boulder County, the employment numbers are quite optimistic.  The most current numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (for August 2010) put the Boulder Metropolitan area's unemployment at 6.4%.  Broomfield County recorded a 7.1% unemployment level for August 2010, so closer to the state level of 8.0% recorded for September 2010.

On the other hand, foreclosure activity is definitely catching up with our area.  According to RealtyTrac foreclosure filings in Boulder County were up in Sept 2010 with 234 filings, the highest number in 12 months.  The highest numbers were in Louisville (75) and Longmont (67).  Month-over-month price appreciation levelled out at 0.0%.  Only 29 foreclosure properties actually SOLD in Sept 2010 though.  Foreclosure activity is expected to rise, while the # of pre-foreclosure properties rose significantly last month from the single digits to over 60 properties.  The majority of the foreclosures are in the $100-300k range.  The foreclosures in our area don't necessarily translate to huge price savings for buyers -  10% in most of the county, with 20% in Longmont.

Broomfield County saw 52 new foreclosures in Sept 2010 and actiity is also expected to rise there.  Only 10 foreclosure properties actually SOLD in Sept 2010 though.  As in Boulder County, month-over-month price appreciation levelled out at 0.0%.  The majority of the foreclosures are also in the $100-300k range.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation, Business Development and Finance
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Boulder-Denver Economy, OUR Nation and YOUR Real Estate - Part I

Any good real estate agent or relocation professional should stay on top of national economic news as well as news at their local area, and at Colorado Landmark, Realtors that's just what we try to do every week.  Last week I had the privelege of attending the Rocky Mountain Relocation Council's Fall Conference held at the Arvada Center

The first guest speaker was Dr. Scott Anderson PhD, Senior Economist at Wells Fargo Bank, based in Minneapolis.  His words about the state of our nation's economy and what that means for real estate on a national level didn't exactly bring smiles and fist-pumping enthusiasm to the room of about 75 real estate, mortgage, and mobility professionals.  A few brief highlights from his speech:
  • The housing market will continue to underwhelm in the foreseeable future
  • We are enduring one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression
  • Overall loss of wealth during this 2.5 year period is $17 trillion, representing 20 years worth of savings
  • 14% of mortgage holders are not making their payments
  • The Chicago Mercantile Exchange is predicting national declines of 5% in housing prices
  • The pipeline of foreclosure properties is still filling
  • We currently have the highest federal deficit since World War II
  • A national sales tax could be coming, as well as cut backs in Social Security
And that was the good news ... just kidding!  There really WAS some good news, but the question is, is that news good enough to sustain our economy going forward?  That remains to be seen.  Some positive notes from his speech:
  • Corporate profits always lead job growth ... and they are now above pre-recession levels
  • In Q2 2010 business spending grew 25%, which is not sustainable, but some measure of double-digit growth IS
  • 1.5-2.5% growth in the national economy is predicted for 2011; when this number goes over 3% it will be enough to have a meaningful impact unemployment
Stay tuned - later today or tomorrow we'll post some notes from the other conference speaker, Cheryl Meyn from Denver's The Genesis Group who gave detailed economic info on our 7-county Denver Metro Area.

Pam Metzger Director of Relocation, Business Development and Finance
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Colorado Landmark Associate and Client Featured on HGTV tonight!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors associate Michelle Clifford and her client are the featured story on tonight's HGTV episode of My First Place!  If you are in the Boulder/Denver area tune in at 6:30pm to Comcast channel 39 or Dish Network channel 112.

In tonight's episode ... Michelle's client Ginny is set on buying her first place in only one Boulder neighborhood, but will her budget get her an updated older first place that's and problem-free? She discovers that with older homes often come bigger problems, which may leave Ginny with more than she bargained for. How much will Ginny compromise to get her first place within her favorite Boulder area zip code?

Michelle Clifford has been a sales associate with Colorado Landmark since 2006.  Her dedication to her clients can be seen in every transaction. She epitomizes professionalism and diligence. Her attention to detail ensures her clients receive the quality of service expected of a Colorado Landmark, Realtors broker.  Michelle's recent acquisition of the designations GRI, ePro, and RECS ensure that she is staying on the forefront of the changing real estate market.  Way to go Michelle!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Sept 26-Oct 9, 2010

Wow, all kinds of crazy real estate and mortgage news out there!  Are you confused?  If so we don't blame you but there are two good places to turn for answers.  On a national level, one of the best real estate experts who is masterful at consolidating all of the national media and statistics is Steve Harney and Keeping Current Matters.  Check out their blog or KCM Crew Facebook page for lots of great analysis.  On a local level, if you are reading this blog then you are in the right place!  At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are committed to knowing the local market and giving our clients and friends the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.  Find it here, or on our Colorado Landmark Facebook page as well!
To that end, about every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the past two weeks - this is a change up as previously we were only reporting 1 week at a time. Hopefully our analysis will help reveal what properties are selling, at what prices, how long they are are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area of Boulder County and Broomfield County.
For the two week period from September 26 through October 9, 2010 here are the numbers:
•142 properties sold
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $41,000 - $1,995,000
•Median price: $298,000
•Average price: $369,133
•$0-199k = 33 sold this period
•$200-299K = 38 sold
•$300-399k = 30 sold
•$400-499k = 13 sold
•$500-599k = 11 sold
•$600-699k = 4 sold
•$700-799k = 4 sold
•$800-899k = 3 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 15 sold
•$2.0M+ = 0 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:











Information obtained from MLS and public record.
This week's statistics tell us several things:
  • New construction is being priced to sell.  Three of the five properties in this group with the shortest days on market (DOM) are new construction.  Builders know they are facing the fall-winter real estate doldrums and have priced some things to sell.  Hard to believe that condos in downtown Boulder at $877 and $915 per square foot are "priced to sell", I know ... but 2-3 years ago these prices would have been well up over $1000 per square foot.  There are deals to be had with builders now, although the word "deal" is certainly relative!
  • The glaringly obvious continues to be ... glaringly obvious.  Overpricing your home is a devastating financial mistake.  The three properties above with the highest days on market are also properties with very drastic price reductions.  The bank-owned property on Mooring sold for 34% of it's original owner list price.  Yes, you read that right - 34%!!!  When the bank got hold of it and priced it where it should have been from the beginning, it still only sold for 75% of the list price.  That's the stigma of a bank-owned for you right there.
  • People are still shopping in the $1M+ price range!  That is the price range where the biggest deals can be found right  now, and buyers on solid financial footing are taking notice and they are shopping.  I expect this price range might just hold steady through the fall-winter.
Here's your takeaway for the week - stay informed.  Whether or not you are in the market to buy or sell right now, your employment or financial situation could change unexpectedly, for better or worse, on a moment's notice.  Know where you are with your home in today's market, and you will be able to make an informed decision if your situation changes.  Read up on the national and local real estate news, talk to a local real estate professional about your short and long term goals, and be ready to act if an opportunity or challenge pops up.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Sept 19-25, 2010

Our area's real estate market is still somewhat flat (yes, even in Boulder/Broomfield) but homeowners are bombarded by conflicting national news reports and statistics that make it difficult to discern what is really happening in OUR area. At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are committed to knowing the local market and giving our clients and friends the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

To that end, about every other week Colorado Landmark provides detailed information on the real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties from the prior week. What is selling, at what prices, how long these properties are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR local area.

For the week of September 19-25, 2010 here are the numbers:

•63 properties sold (up from from 58 properties 2 weeks ago)
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $46,000 - $1,019,000
•Median price: $310,000 (down from $290,000)
•Average price: $348,849 (down from $364,332)
•$0-199k = 15 sold this week
•$200-299K = 16 sold
•$300-399k = 11 sold
•$400-499k = 10 sold (up from 5 last period)
•$500-599k = 2 sold
•$600-699k = 5 sold (up from 2 last period)
•$700-799k = 1 sold
•$800-899k = 1 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 1 sold
•$2.0M+ = 0 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:

Information obtained from MLS and public record.

This week's statistics illustrate a depressing fact - today's selling prices have reverted to 2000-2001 levels in many cases.  And homeowners who purchased later than 2006 may not break even selling in today's market.  With transaction costs and seller concessions, this means that some sellers may even have to bring a check to the closing table - ugh! Activity in the upper echelon of the market has slowed down, after a fairly decent summer of sales in the $1.0-1.9 million range.  And as reported last time, if your home is priced in the $700-999k range, be prepared for a tough go. Homes in this "move up" price range are a difficult sell.  Consumers concerned about unemployment may not be willing to risk a leap now, despite the lowest interest rates in history.

The statistics illustrate the glaringly obvious fact that overpricing your home can be a devastating financial mistake.  The three properties above with the highest days on market are also the ones with the most drastic price reductions.  The property on today's list that was on the market for over 1900 days sold for 43% of the original list price.

Pricing is THE only way to compete in this market.  Sellers should consult no fewer than three real estate professionals for price opinions ... and list with the one who tells the hard, honest truth.  This is not a time to let anyone blow sunshine in your face about the price of your home.  Sorry Gordon Gecko, but in this market greed is NOT good.  The only explanation for 1900 days of market time is greed and a very poor pricing strategy.

Here's your takeaway for the week - price positioning.  Set a market price for your home and it will sell.  Case in point - the second property on the above list.  The seller knew they were not going to be able to sell for the price they purchased the property for in 2007, so they didn't even try.  They priced it to sell, and it did ... in 5 days.  Be that seller - realistic, brave, and smart.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Moved to the Boulder Area Recently? Get Used to your New Location This Fall

As the days become shorter and the leaves begin to change color, there are so many great ways to enjoy your new location – outdoors and in.  We are so lucky to live in such a wonderful climate with four relatively mild but distinct seasons.

Many areas in and around Boulder have wonderful displays of autumn colour, usually starting in late September and going through to November, depending on where you are.

Fall is also a great time to buy in the Boulder/Broomfield area.  Sellers whose homes have been on the market all summer are getting anxious.  Interest rates are at record lows.  And with school already started and fewer families moving into the area this time of year, buyers are in the driver's seat!  Check out the Flatirons Tour of Homes this weekend Sept 25-26, or access all homes on the market on our website

Here is a list of some Fall area activities you and your family might enjoy:
Elk Bugling in Estes Park - September/October
If you want a National Geographic experience, head up the highway to Estes Park to catch elk antics during their annual mating season.  The characteristic rutting call of bulls can be heard from just before dusk to dawn. Head into Rocky Mountain National Park and stop at Horseshoe Park. In the early evening, local volunteer guides called the Bugle Corp are on hand to give interpretive information. Find a good place to camp out for a while, take a picnic lunch or dinner, some folding chairs and blankets, and watch this unique animal activity!

Drive the Peak to Peak Scenie Byway - September/October
Explore one of Colorado's most scenic byways during this glorious time of fall foliage.  Less than an hour from Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins, this 55-mile-long route provides matchless views of the Continental Divide and its timbered approaches.  The Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway also traverses an area rich in early Colorado history. The area was once a mining belt of valuable gold and silver deposits.  Plenty to see and places to stop along the way!

Fall Festival - Sept 24 (5-10pm) Sept 25 (11am-10pm) Sept 26 (11am-6pm)
This has been one of the most beloved community events in Boulder for over 20 years!  This 3-day autumn festival features food, brews and music as well as a Children’s Carnival and many regional artisan booths.

Guided Nature Hikes and Programs - various dates in September
Boulder Open Space Mountain Parks division has a number of great Fall programs, including night hikes, wheelchair outings, kids animal talks, and star and planet gazing.

See Fall Foliage Colors - on your own!
Check out this local hiking guide for some great places to enjoy our natural surroundings and the beautiful fall colors.

Anderson Farms Fall Festival and Corn Maze - Sept 25-Oct 31, 2010
Home of Colorado's Oldest Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch. They offer many activities at their Fall Festival, including pumpkin patch, wagon hay rides, pedal karts, pumpkin launching, barrel train, mine cars, farm animals, kiddie korral, hay bale maze, and terror in the corn!  Enjoy spectacular views of the Front Range, Longs Peak and the serenity of this country farm as the beautiful backdrop for a fun fall day.  Check website for prices.

Other Pumpkin Patch Options - various, through October 31, 2010
Check out this HUGE list of area pumpkin patches!  These farms range from the low-key pumpkin and vegetable patches, to carnival-style festivals. Close in our area are Munson Farms, Cottonwood Farm, and Rock Creek Farm.  Call ahead to find out if the pumpkin patch you've chosen is offering wagons to transport pumpkins from the field or whether you should BYOW - Bring Your Own Wagon. At the same time, find out if the pumpkins are actually in the field or in a big pile (it may differ during the week). Prices vary greatly, so be sure to inquire about the price of a 10-lb and 15-lb pumpkin before you leave home.  Of course, the carnival-style farms will charge admission fees and tickets for rides.

Boulder Farmers Market - Wednesdays thru Oct 7 (4-8pm), Saturdays thru Nov 7, 2010 (8am-2pm)
The quintessential event in Boulder EACH week!  The Boulder County Farmers' Market brings you locally grown organic and conventionally grown vegetables and fruits, meats, flowers, plants, gourmet cheeses and wines sold by the area farmers that produce them. Local bakeries and chefs will have delicious confections and savory treats for your culinary enjoyment too! 

Louisville Farmers Market - Saturdays thru Oct 16 (9am-2pm)
Enjoy quaint downtown Louisville and the weekly Farmers Market there.  Fresh produce, local artisans, area restaurants, market meals, live performances and activities for kids. 

Pearl Street Stampede - Fridays, before CU home football games, 7pm
Start at 13th Street and stroll down Pearl Street cheering on your favorite University of Colorado Buffaloes and listen to the traditional sounds of the Golden Buffalo Marching Band.  A big community pep rally and great family fun!

CU Football Games - Saturdays, October 2, 16, 23 and November 13, 30 - times TBA
After the pep rally make your way to the Coors Field at CU to watch our very own Colorado Buffalo football team own the field!  Watching college football is a staple of most everyone's fall activity list - since CU is in our backyard, why not go to a game and enjoy a fall day outside?

Open Studios Fall Studio Tour - October 2-3, and 9-10, 2010, noon-6pm
Drive around Boulder's various neighborhoods and look at the fall colors between your stops at dozens of artists' studios.  Once a year, the private studios of Boulder's best artists are open for you and your family! Enjoy a fall day with friends while you experience the world of creation and imagination. Everyone is welcome at this FREE event.

Erie Harvest Fest - October 2, 2010 (10am-5pm)
The Erie Chamber of Commerce hosts this wonderful harvest festival.  The event features live entertainment all day. While enjoying these performances, try the Turkey Legs, Roasted Nuts, German Brats, Polish Sausage, Cabbage Rolls, Pretzels, Funnel Cakes, Curley Fries, Giant Pretzels and more.  Chili Cook Off and Pie Baking Contest!  And this year- Talent Contest! 

CU Family Weekend - October 15-17, 2010 - check website for times
For families of CU students - CU invites you to join other CU-Boulder parents and families for a special weekend on campus during one of Boulder’s most beautiful seasons. This annual fall event provides an opportunity for you to visit your student’s campus home, talk with university faculty and staff, attend classes and presentations, tour the campus and Boulder, cheer the Colorado Buffaloes to a Big 12 football victory over the Baylor Bears, and meet other CU-Boulder families.

Meet the Spirits at the Columbia Cemetary - October 17, 2010 - 12-5pm
Columbia Cemetery (also known as “Pioneer Cemetery”) has been an important part of Boulder’s heritage since its establishment in 1870.  Come and meet some of Boulder’s most dearly departed! Costumed “spirits” will rise from their graves in Columbia Cemetery for just one afternoon to tell their stories. Get into the Halloween spirit with Victorian mourners, funeral music, vintage hearses, and a reenactment of a solemn Masonic burial service.  $10 adults, $5 kids.

Broomfield Spooktacular - October 23, 2010 - 11am-2pm
You’ll have an unhauntingly good time at Broomfield Recreation Services Great Broomfield Pumpkin Festival. The Festival is held at the 1STBANK Center this year. Come in costume! They will have carnival games, prizes, wagon rides, crafts, and a trick or treat street. The $5.00 fee is for one series of carnival games and treat street, an additional visit cost an additional fee. This Halloween party is guaranteed to be a treat for kids of all ages!

Trunk or Treat and Spooky Fest - October 30, 2010, 4:30pm
You have heard of going door to door, why not consider going trunk to trunk? Vehicles decorated by volunteers and area businesses will line the parking lot of the Erie Community Center for this year's 5th Annual Trunk or Treat and Spooky Fest. This spooktacular event should prove to be SAFE and plenty of fun with and indoor haunted house, spooky games, treats, and of course trunk or treating. Prizes will be awarded for Best Trunk!

World of Wonder WOW! Halloween Event - October 30, 2010 (10am-6pm)
Fun and spooky Halloween crafts and pumpkin decorating at this terrific children's museum in Lafayette!  Wear your costume and receive a special Halloween treat! All Halloween activities are included with Museum admission.  $7 children, FREE for adults

Longmont Halloween Parade followed by Trick or Treat Street - October 30, 2010 (10am)
Come in Costume!!!  NEW Route!! Route will be lengthy: wagons and strollers recommended. No motorized children's cars. Trick or Treat Street by participating Downtown Merchants will immediately follow the parade. Streets will remain closed during this time.

Munchkin Masquerade - October 31, 201 - 2-5pm
Each Halloween Downtown Boulder is invaded by 2,000+ tiny ghosts & goblins, dinosaurs & dragons, fairies & princes, super heroesand animals of every size trick­or­treating along Pearl Street.

Safe Halloween Night - Longmont Rec Center - October 31, 2010 (6-8:30pm)
Longmont Recreation Services offers a Safe Halloween Night geared for youth ages 10 and under that is full of carnival games, boat rides, and Halloween fun!

Check our Facebook page "365 Things to do in Boulder" for daily updates of things to do this fall!  And follow us on Twitter!

If you have suggestions for other fall events that you would like to see on this list please leave a comment and let us know!

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Business Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Friday, September 17, 2010

Colorado Landmark, Realtors is proudly sponsoring the 2010 Flatirons Tour of Homes

We at Colorado Landmark, Realtors are very proud to be sponsoring the 2010 Flatirons Tour of Homes!

We are the featured sponsor of this fantastic free event, hosted by the Home Builders Association.

The tour runs for two weekends, September 18-19 and September 25-26, from 10 am - 4 pm each day. Homes throughout Boulder, Broomfield, Longmont, Niwot, and Lafayette will be featured. Whether you are in the market for a new property or seeking inspiration for your current home, this is a great opportunity to see the latest innovations in architecture, construction, and interior design.

For more information, including a map and details of each home, please click here.

Hope to see you there!

Colorado Landmark, Realtors
Twitter: @COLandmark

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Top Ten Sales - Boulder/Broomfield Counties - Sept 5-11, 2010

There is volatility in the real estate market right now (yes, even in Boulder/Broomfield), and an abundance of conflicting news reports and statistics that maare potentially confusing to buyers and sellers. At Colorado Landmark, Realtors we are committed to knowing OUR local market and giving our clients and friends the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

To that end, about every other week we will give you detailed information about the prior week's real estate actvity in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.  What is selling, at what prices, how long these properties are taking to sell, and other relevant information about what's going on in OUR area.

For the week of September 5-11, 2010 here are the numbers:

•58 properties sold (down from 81 properties 2 weeks ago)
•Price range of properties sold during this period: $114,900 - $1,500,000
•Median price: $265,000 (down from $290,000)
•Average price: $364,332 (down from $432,480)
•$0-199k = 13 sold this week
•$200-299K = 18 sold
•$300-399k = 10 sold
•$400-499k = 5 sold
•$500-599k = 5 sold
•$600-699k = 2 sold
•$700-799k = 2 sold
•$800-899k = 0 sold
•$900-999k = 1 sold
•$1.0-1.9M = 2 sold
•$2.0M+ = 0 sold

Top Ten Listings Sold during this period:
Information obtained from MLS and public record.

Looking over the last two reports of Top Ten on this blog, there are a couple of obvious conclusions. One, if you have priced your home in the $700-999k range, be prepared for a tough go.  If you are in the $800's it is especially rough.  Homes in this price range are difficult to sell right now.  For the Boulder area this is typically a "move up" price range.  It has historically been a tough price point to sell anyway, but with consumers concerned about unemployment it's even tougher for buyers to make that leap to "movin' on up" now.

The other obvious conclusion is that sellers still haven't gotten the message about overpricing their homes.  You can hire the best realtor in the area, with affluent connections, the most innovative and comprehensive marketing, and biggest web presence.  You can stage your house beautifully, keep it spotlessly clean for showings and open houses, and make it look like an HGTV showcase home.  But all that means nothing if you insist on overpricing it!  You don't need to give your home away, but you DO need to be realistic and toss both your ego and emotional attachments aside.

I am going to sound like a real broken record here, but again ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to look at the chart and see that the five homes with the longest DOM are the five homes with the most drastic price reductions, from 21.8% all the way up to 62.3% off original list price.  Hellooooo ..... anyone listening?

Here's your takeaway for the week - It's time for tough love.  Instead of beating your realtor up about why your home hasn't sold, get their honest opinion (or one from their managing broker) about what it will take to price your home to sell in the next 90 days.  Listen, bite down on that leather strap, and just do it.

Pam Metzger
Director of Relocation and Busienss Development
Colorado Landmark, Realtors

Friday, September 10, 2010

Boulder Four-Mile Fire Information and Resources

Here is a list of some websites that have good information on the Boulder Four-Mile Fire:

Boulder Office of Emergency Management - main page for emergency status, updated throughout the day
American Red Cross Disaster Update - day-by-day update of services that are being offered and what to do and what NOT to do in terms of volunteering, dropping off donation items, etc...
Boulder County Government Update Page - daily update of general affected areas, resources, map
Radio Frequencies for Emergency Services -  professional rescuer and amatuer listener radio frequencies used in Boulder County and surrounding areas are provided here.  Law enforcement frequencies are NOT provided.   Also on Radio Reference.
Updated Map of the burn area - provided by Boulder County
Updated List of Homes Damaged or Destroyed - provided by Boulder County
Official Drop Off Site for Donations - provided by Boulder County, plus list of items needed and what items will NOT be accepted
Public Information Resources - provided by Boulder County, information on services offered at the victim assistance center, numbers to call for evacuees, volunteers, etc ...
Information on Air Quality in Boulder County - health information for area residents on air quality issues as a result of the fires
Boulder Daily Camera Fire Coverage - links to all news stories from Boulder's local newspaper, links to live audio feeds, photos, photo submissions, #Boulderfire twitter feed, map
News Report on Fire - story on the fire, with list of links down the left hand side of the article to other other articles, resources, photos, etc...
Photos of Fire Area - Fox News Photo Gallery
Full Fire Coverage - Colorado Daily's coverage page, links to stories, photo galleries, videos, maps

For Evacuees and Victims:
Victim Assistance Center - provided  by Boulder County.  Address and list of services offered
Safe and Well website - site provided by the Red Cross to register yourself, search for family and friends
YMCA of Boulder Valley - page on the shelter set up at the Mapleton YMCA
Offers of Help - posed on the Daily Camera website, many people are offering housing, pet help, etc...
Boulder Humane Society - offering assistance for those with displaced pets - this is their page dedicated to info about that
Longmont Humane Society - also offering assistance for those with displaced pets, main page
How to Get Help - comprehensive list from Daily Camera
Forum for People Needing/Offering Help - from, a clearinghouse of offerings

Facebook Pages
Boulder County
Red Cross Mile High Chapter
Boulder Office of Emergency Management

Twitter Links - also check for posts using the hashtag #Boulderfire
Boulder County
Red Cross Denver
Boulder Office of Emergency Management
Colorado Division of Emergency Management
EPIC Colorado - CU research effort in emergency information
Boulder Police Department

How to help/donate:
Call 211 - this will connect you to the United Way's central clearinghouse for donations.  United Way is supporting the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Most likely they will take down your name, contact info and details about what you would like to donate rather than give you specific instructions. 
Salvation Army - currently providing meals to the firefighters via a mobile kitchen and cold truck
American Red Cross - currently helping evacuees and victims by providing shelter, meals, needed items.  They are currently stating on their Twitter page that people should bring donation items to 3111 28th Street in Boulder, NOT the Mapleton YMCA.
Boulder County Volunteer Connection - volunteer information and referral center for Boulder County
Fight the Boulder Fire - central site for volunteer and donation information, plus live Twitter feed on everyone posting about #Boulderfire
Daily Camera posting site - post what help you can offer here in the comments section of this article
Citizen Action Team Relief Database - list of many organizations collecting donations, items, drop off sites, items needed
How to Help - comprehensive list from Boulder Daily Camera on ways to assist
Forum for People Needing/Offering Help - from, a clearinghouse of offerings

This is only the tip of the iceburg for resources and information.  As soon as we identify and additional set of resources we will post and update.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colorado Landmark Offers FREE Facebook Class for Boulder Realtors - Friday October 1st

This class is FREE to local Boulder/Broomfield area REALTORS who are members of the Boulder Area Realtor Association, Longmont Realtor Association, or North Metro Realtor Association.  (membership will be verified) 

If you have been wanting to get on Facebook and don’t know how to get started, have an account but don’t know what to do with it, or want to utilize more of Facebook’s features and options then this class is for YOU!  Light snacks will be provided.

Friday, October 1, 2010 – NOON – Boulder office

Colorado Landmark's own Marissa Cannady will be leading this class. Topics covered include:

• How to set up a Facebook page for anyone that does not already have one set up.
• How to find other friends that are on Facebook/add friends/remove friends/block lists
• Wall post overview/photo comments
• How to create and manage lists of friends
• Privacy overview
• Using the search bar in Facebook
• Privacy settings
• Application settings
• Hiding people in your news feed
• Difference between Personal Profile and Facebook Business Page/CO Landmark Page
• How to set up Facebook Pages (aka Fan Pages)
• Promoting your Facebook Page (suggest to friends, etc)

Bring your laptop if you would like and you can get up and running DURING the class!

Please RSVP to by Tuesday, September 28th.

Twitter class … coming soon – stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fourmile Fire - Information and Links

We are devastated about the fire that is burning in Boulder today. Stories are coming in about clients and friends who have lost their homes, and many more who have been evacuated and now just have to wait. The entire downtown area of Boulder is set in a dark, smoky haze. We are all feeling the effects.

Many people are looking for current information and asking what they can do to help. Below are a few links with up-t0-date information:

Boulder Office of Emergency Management - This site seems to display the most current updates coming from the City and County of Boulder

Fourmile Fire: How to get help / How to help - Good resource with ideas of how to help, including donations being accepted at the Northern Colorado Red Cross and the Longmont Humane Society

BoulderPage Blog - A good compilation of stories and photos about the fire.

We will also be updating our Colorado Landmark, Realtors Facebook Page as we have more information.

If you have additional links or resources, please feel free to post them in the comments.

Twitter: @COLandmark

Friday, September 3, 2010

2010 CU Buffs' Football Schedule

We can't believe it is already time for football! But it's true - the kids are back in school, the mornings are feeling pretty crisp and cool, and the Rocky Mountain Showdown is this weekend!

In our opinion, there is nowhere better to watch a college game than Folsom Field. And now that the University of Colorado has joined the Pac-10, it's going to be a very interesting season.

Here's the University of Colorado Buffaloes' game schedule for the 2010-2011 season, brought to you by Colorado Landmark, Realtors.




September 4: 12:00

Invesco Field at Mile High

Colorado State

September 11: 1:30

Berkeley, CA


September 18: 1:30

Folsom Field


October 2: 5:00

Folsom Field


October 9: TBA

at Columbia, MO


October 16: TBA

Folsom Field


October 23: TBA

Folsom Field

Texas Tech

October 30: TBA

Norman, OK


November 30: TBA

Lawrence, KS


November 13: TBA

Folsom Field

Iowa State

November 20: TBA

Folsom Field

Kansas State

November 26: 1:30

Lincoln, NE


Go CU! Make it a great season.

Twitter: @COLandmark