Archive for the ‘Local News’ Category

Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

Boulder Area Markets Continue Rebound

March 2012 single family home sales in Boulder area markets improved significantly from February 2012; 270 compared to 172 respectively, up 57%. When compared to the 212 single family home sales in March 2011 there is a strong 27% increase. Condo and Townhome sales improved in March 2012 over February 2012 by more than 42%, 88 units versus 62. And, when compared to March 2011’s 75 units sold, March 2012 saw a 17% increase in units sold. Go to to view stats. to view sales by price point.

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance 303-877-0060

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April Showers Bring Flooding and Mold

April Showers Bring Flooding and Mold


As winter gives way to warmer weather and spring begins to bloom, heavy rain storms pose a threat to homeowners. Homes that aren’t properly protected from the elements are at risk of flooding and mold infestation, which can cost thousands of dollars to fix once the damage is done.

Water damage claims have been growing faster than other components of homeowners insurance in recent years, according to the American Insurance Association. Water and moisture damage not only affect homes, but health as well. Moisture creates the ideal breeding ground for mold growth, which can trigger allergic reactions and a host of health problems.

Since mold cannot grow without the presence of moisture, preventing mold from growing in the home starts with taking the proper steps to safeguard against water infiltration. In anticipation of the rainy season’s arrival, now is the time to take action.

Water damage prevention starts with a thorough home inspection. It’s every homeowner’s responsibility to make sure the inside and outside of the home is properly inspected and protected against water damage. REALTORS® can help their clients take a proactive approach to protecting their homes from water damage by recommending a home inspection company that goes beyond the basics to provide professional and comprehensive home evaluations.

An inspection team evaluates more than 1,600 items in and around the home, taking the worry out of the weather’s effect on the home, and giving homeowners peace of mind.

Potential Problem Areas

Roof: There are several culprits to identify when protecting against water damage. The roof is the area that takes the brunt of heavy rains, so it must be maintained properly to prevent leaks. Air should be flowing freely through all roof vents, which will reduce the build-up of heat and moisture and extend the life of the roof. Shingles should be inspected, and any cracked, broken or curling shingles should be replaced. The roof should lso be inspected for damage around the chimney, vents and valley areas.

Gutters: Gutters should be clean and clear of debris to ensure proper drainage. They should also be stabilized so they stay firmly in place, even in the event of high winds and heavy rains. Splash blocks should be placed at the end of downspouts to carry water away from the home’s foundation. Downspouts should be sloping away from the house, carrying water a safe distance away from the foundation.

Attic: Attics should be inspected for moisture and surface discoloration. Checks should be performed around flues, plumbing vents and chimneys.

Basement: A thorough inspection of the basement is vital to protecting a home from the elements because it houses many of the home’s maintenance systems, including electrical wires, pipes, sump pumps and heating and cooling systems. Sump pumps should always be tested before the rainy season starts because they assist in keeping unwanted water out of the home.

Doors and windows: Door and window flashing, seals and weatherstripping should be checked for cracks or gaps. Any damaged areas in caulk should be resealed.

Foundation: It’s a mistake to assume every foundation is waterproof. As the house shifts and settles over time, cracks are created, leaving an open invitation to water infiltration.

Home inspection services can save homebuyers thousands of dollars in the long-term. It’s a risky gamble to not have a home inspected for potential problems. Exhibiting transparency is a REALTOR’S® responsibility to their clients. When a client sees you’re doing everything possible to know the condition of the home, they’ll be more likely to close on the sale. Referring clients to an unbiased, third-party inspector is the best option.

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060

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Single Family Rentals Now Exceed Multifamily

Single Family Rentals Now Exceed Multifamily

While inventories of homes for sale have been shrinking this spring, MLSs are filling the void with rental listings for single family homes that until recently were foreclosures. Some 16.1 percent of all listings on MLSs today are rentals, more than double the number in 2006, according to some reports.

Single family rentals are $3 trillion business today and growing as investors turn to real estate and opt to rent out the bargains they buy until prices improve. Today the single family rental market accounts for 21 million rental units or 52 percent of the entire residential rental market, according to a new study by CoreLogic economist Sam Khater.

Yet the single family rental market is poorly understood and almost invisible to economists and journalists because virtually all rental market data tracks multifamily properties and either ignores the single family segment or lumps it together with multifamily.

“Single family rentals are very distinct from multifamily and they behave very differently,” said Khater in an interview with Real Estate Economy Watch. For example, on a per unit basis, rents for single family rentals run 1.5 to 1.6 times higher than multifamily. Unlike multifamily, millions of single familyrentals are listed on MLSs by real estate brokers, many of who represent new owners in acquiring investment properties. As the for-sale inventory has trended down since 2005, the rental share rose 13.3 percent last year alone. As of the end of last year rental closings were up 11.5 percent year-over-year while prices fell 9.8 percent during the year. Demand is strong. The national average months’ supply for single family rentals was 4.5 months in December compared to 6.2 months for homes listed for sale.

Another important difference is the nature of the tenants. Single family rentals, usually stand-alone properties in ownership settings, appeal more to families. In fact, the typical SFR tenant is a family that has just left a foreclosure and can afford to pay the rent on a former foreclosure but could not make the mortgage payment on their old home, perhaps because they bought with alternative financing or purchased at the peak and could not get a modification when their home lost value. Over the past five years, foreclosures have turned more than 3 million homeowners into renters. Typical multifamily tenants, however, are younger, generally single and more mobile, and have never owned a home.

Khater found a strong relationship between distress sales markets and single family rentals. Census data shows a correlation between single family rentals and the hardest hit areas of the so-called “sand states”-Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada.

Investors buying REOs and short sales in foreclosure markets convert them to rental units and homeowners in the same locale who have lost their homes to foreclosure rent homes that until recently were owned by other families who suffered the same ill fortune.

For more information, visit

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060

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The Market action index for Boulder is already hitting above 19.  Last year the market peaked in June so we should have some additional upside and may see our highest Market Index Rating in the last 3 years.  These are similar patterns to Longmont, but Longmont has shown strength over the past couple years where the city of Boulder has been fairly low.

Boulder is also experiencing a renewed enthusiasm for mid to higher priced homes.  Since May of 2011 Median price has risen from the $610,000 to the $754,000 range.  This is a similar pattern that we saw in Longmont Real Estate numbers yesterday.  

Based on our analysis over the past couple days it does appear the Boulder Valley Real Estate is improving and is following a traditional pattern of moving from the bottom up.


Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance 303-877-0060

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Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

Survey Finds Women and Men Make Home-Buying Decisions with Head and Heart

 Square-footage and price are important elements to consider when selecting a home but according to a new survey from Coldwell Banker Real Estate of 1,000 men and women, they both also rely on how they feel and how their lifestyle fits into a home when looking for a place to live. The survey found 28 percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do on the layout, square footage, or price. The majority of women (62 percent) and men (61 percent) also know within the first visit if the home is right for them.

“A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “When two people are looking for a home together, there are many considerations to take into account. Of course, price and layout matter, but ‘feeling at home’ is an important factor.”

The survey also reveals insights into the roles men and women play at home and finds some interesting differences between age groups.

Women Take Charge of Making a House a Home:

Over half of women (54 percent) say that they take the lead when it comes to decorating.

However, younger men play a larger role in décor decisions than their older counterparts. Forty-eight (48) percent of younger respondents, age 18-44, say decorating is mutual; this decreases to 36 percent for respondents 55 and over.

Women also cook it up in the kitchen. Sixty-eight (68) percent of women say they are the “primary chef” for their household.

Not to be outdone, some men are also putting on the apron—occasionally. Nearly a quarter of men (23 percent) say cooking is their job.

Age Changes How Men and Women Feel “At Home”

Sharing financial decisions may get easier over time. Fifty-four (54) percent of people age 18-44 say major financial decisions are mutual, compared to 60 percent of those 45-54. This increases to 70 percent for people 55 and over.

Interestingly, as age increases, so does contentment with the current status of the home. Almost half (45 percent) of those older than 55 say they are very happy with their home just the way it is, compared to 25 percent of those age 18-44.

More men seem to be focused on making significant changes to the home (9 percent) compared to women (5 percent).

For couples entering the home-buying process, here are Edwards’ tips for harmonious house-hunting:

• Each person should come up with a list of a few things that are most important and then come together as a couple to decide on a list of the top three to five things that are important for the home.

• When looking for a home, communication is key. Consider designating a point person for different aspects of the home-buying process, so that information is not delayed or communicated to just one part of the couple.

• Don’t get too many people involved; typically more people means more stress and what is most important is that the couple is happy with the decisions being made.

• Don’t forget to have fun! Remember that this home will be the place to build memories and a life together.


Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance 303-877-0060

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April Positive Perspective

April 2012, Issue 46

Metro Denver is a mile high above the rest: Metro Denver’s mild climate and wealth of recreational activities make this the perfect environment for energetic bodies. Its educational and cultural opportunities make it the ideal home for energetic minds. read more here

Denver is No. 3 for relocating families in 2011: Denver has emerged in the past year as a top draw for relocating families, U-Haul International Inc. reported on March 23. read more here

Metro Denver home sales on the upswing: If February is any indication, 2012 is going to be a better year for home sales in metro Denver, according to a report released March 5 based on Metrolist Inc. statistics. read more here

Home prices up across Fort Collins Region: Home prices, including distressed sales, increased in both Fort Collins-Loveland and Greeley in January, according to the most recent data from CoreLogic. In Fort Collins-Loveland, homes prices increased by 2.9 percent in January compared with January 2011. In Greeley, home prices increased by 1 percent over the same period. read more here

Denver ranked 3rd, Colorado 8th for job growth in 2011: Metro Denver ranked third among large U.S. metro areas for its job growth rate in 2011, and Colorado ranked eighth, according to an analysis of new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. read more here

Fortune names 4 Colorado companies among world’s most admired: Four Colorado companies have been named among the “world’s most admired companies” by Fortune magazine – two more than last year -and two others are named “contenders.” read more here

Colorado ranked 3rd for economic competitiveness: Colorado is ranked third best among the 50 states in the Beacon Hill Institute’s latest State Competitiveness Report, an annual comparison of each state’s readiness for prosperity, released March 6th by the Boston-based institute. read more here

New tech center brings jobs to Boulder: All eyes are on Covidien as they open their new innovation center in Boulder.This 63,000-square-foot facility will focus on medical devices and state of the art labs developing products that will aid those in the medical field. With the opening of the new innovation center will come more than 100 jobs for skilled individuals. read more here

HQ relocation means jobs in Broomfield: The Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, owners of Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette, plans to move its headquarters from Kansas to Denver and add offices and jobs in Broomfield. read more here

Startups bouncing back in the Springs: The startup drought is ending, said Jan Horsfall, a top local entrepreneur and organizer of Startup Colorado and, statewide and local groups of entrepreneurs helping each other solve problems with their businesses. read more here  

Manufacturing leads Pueblo’s recovery: Employment gains and consumer spending in the five-county Southern Colorado region anchored by Pueblo outpaced the state in 2011, according to state economists. read more here

Courtesy of Land Title

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance 303-877-0060

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Consumers Can Learn Credit Awareness

Consumers Can Learn Credit Awareness

As many people celebrate the arrival of warmer weather and Spring Break vacations, the™ band took to the sun and surf to star in the newest television commercial, “Credit Wipeout.” The new 30-second spot, draws attention to the situations that can impact a person’s credit status while encouraging consumers to learn more about those factors.

“Every individual’s personal credit story is unique, and we’ve found that bringing financial factors to life in a fun and relatable way, such as in the new commercial, helps people understand the impact simple actions can have on their credit scores,” says Ken Chaplin, senior vice president of marketing for “Experian Credit Advisors, Inc. helps individuals better understand how to take control of their credit.”

Experian Credit Advisors, Inc. (an affiliated company, in partnership with the iQual Corporation), offers members personal, one-on-one sessions, designed to empower consumers to proactively manage their credit through education and useful tips, in an effort to provide a better understanding of credit and the role it plays in their lives.

“Through our agreement with Experian Credit Advisors, Inc., iQual Corporation will offer credit advisory sessions to customers who purchase the service,” says Jeff Mandel, CEO of iQual Corporation. “We provide Experian Credit Advisors, Inc. customers with highly trained credit advisors, timely access to credit education, and online resources focused on financial literacy and empowerment, which may help individuals improve credit scores, qualify for new credit, and even reduce unnecessary monthly interest expense.”

For more information, visit  or

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060

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2011 Boulder County stats

Well, the final 2011 numbers are in the books and we can now take a look back at the year gone by. In general, not a bad year, not a great year, but another year of bouncing along sideways while people come to terms with the new national economy.

We ended up selling fewer properties in 2011 than we did in 2010 in Boulder County. For single family homes, the difference was negligible, 7 fewer homes sold. Attached dwellings however were off by quite a bit, almost down 11% with 107 fewer attached dwellings sold in 2011 when compared to 2010. Here’s the breakdown:

Interestingly, the percent of homes successfully sold rose for the first time in 2003. This chart is for single family homes newly listed and subsequently sold during that same year. This would not count homes listed in one year and then sold in the subsequent year or homes listed, withdrawn, relisted, and eventually sold. Many people, especially sellers, are stunned when I show them this chart. Just putting your home on the market does not guarantee and eventual sale and 57% of the homes listed in 2011 were not successfully sold in 2011. It is hard to imagine that statistics, alone, 57% of listings did not sell.

Another interesting thing in these numbers that we have previously talked about is the low inventory of homes for sale. We haven’t seen this few homes for sale since 2000. I think one of the big questions for 2012 will be what is causing this lack of homes for sale. The possible culprits are many. One, is scared sellers. Many sellers believe the national news stories that the real estate market is in terrible straits and can’t imagine anyone wanting to buy their home or having the comfort level necessary to make a change. Another possibility is no, or low down payment. Many sellers are realizing that they will not have much equity left once they sell their home to roll over into the next one, and so are holding tight for now. Three, home not worth what it should be. Many sellers are following a twisted logic that says if I bought for $350,000, added a $35,000 finished basement, my home is not worth selling unless I get $385,000. Four, self-fulfilling low inventory. Some sellers aren’t selling as they are afraid that with the low levels of inventory they won’t be able to find a good replacement property to purchase.

The real reason for low inventory is probably some combination of all of these factors. Whatever the reason, low inventory is a fact and it is causing issues for the buyers who are actively in the market. Hopefully, as spring comes to Boulder, more sellers will make the decision to put their homes up for sale.

Many of us run into buyers who think a seller will be willing to accept an offer that is 30% off the asking price. Those sellers probably do exist in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami and Detroit, but, thankfully, in Boulder County, they are extremely rare. In 2011, across all of the single family homes that sold in Boulder County, 95% of the homes had a sales price that was within 10% of the asking price. 66.5% of the homes in Boulder County that sold in 2011 had a sales price within 4% of the asking price. Surprisingly, 18% of the homes in Boulder County that sold in 2011, had a sales price that was over asking price. Now these numbers did not account for sales concessions as they are very difficult to tease out of the date, but that would not have a substantial effect on the figures. These numbers are also compared to the last listed price in the MLS not the original asking price which is also too difficult to tease out of the data. Even with these caveats, sellers in Boulder County have not had to resort to massive discounts to get their properties sold.

Joel Thompson 303-877-0060

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Boulder Chamber of Commerce

Tonight was such a fun event at The Spice of Life. I furthered my network connection of business professionals in the area.This is such a great way to meet people,  I encourage all to come.  I have a connection to any type of professional you need. 

Chamber’s Monthly Events

November 2011 Business After @ CU Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Photos by Pinque.


Business After Hours
Third Wednesday | 5:30-7pm

Hosted by a different member business every month, this event continually takes on a new persona and attracts an interesting mix of business executives and entrepreneurs. Join this lively crowd to build your business relationships!
Staff Contact: Jan Berg, (303) 786-8076

About the Chamber

Susan Graf, CEO & PresidentThe Boulder Chamber is a dynamic organization comprised of more than 1,500 businesses that help shape the economy, promote community awareness, and set the pace for the future of Boulder County and beyond. Through the Chamber’s successful training programs, volunteer committees, and business events, we provide the services and resources to help your business grow while gaining exposure in the community.

In addition, the Chamber is committed to building solid partnerships with our member businesses, the city of Boulder, Boulder County, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Boulder Valley School District. As an advocate for business, we strive to create a healthy economy while at the same time, preserving the quality of life we all enjoy. Since many of our members’ businesses extend beyond Boulder Valley, we also get involved with regional issues such as housing, technology, growth, and transportation.

Again, welcome to the Boulder Chamber! Our experienced staff is eager to help launch your participation in one of Colorado’s most innovative business organizations.


Susan Graf
President & CEO
Boulder Chamber

If you need any type of resource in Boulder, call me. Joel Thompson 303-877-0060

Housing Is Healing: Asking Prices to Show Gain in 2012

Housing Is Healing: Asking Prices to Show Gain in 2012 

For the first time in six years, sellers’ asking prices tracked by the Department of Numbers Website have gone positive on a year-to-year basis, another sign that the housing economy is slowly healing itself. Sellers’ asking prices nationally first showed a positive year over year gain in December, and increased to 3.9 percent as of March 5. “I wanted to see January’s data follow suit lest I prematurely announce a sign change only to have it reverse direction the following month. Of course there’s nothing that precludes that even with two months of positive Y/Y numbers, but it does tell me that the housing market is slowly healing itself,” wrote Ben Engebreth, an independent programmer and data analyst who operates the site. As of March 5, 2012 there were about 858,688 single family and condo homes listed for sale in the 54 metro areas Engebreth tracks. The median asking price of these homes was estimated to be $224,322.2. Since this time last year, the inventory of homes for sale has decreased by 20.5 percent and the median price has increased by 3.9 percent.
“The Y/Y inventory decline of roughly 15 percent (which puts it at an all-time low for the series) offers additional supporting evidence. That’s not to say that we’ll be returning to rapid price appreciation any time soon; I certainly don’t foresee that,” Engebreth wrote.
The median asking price for homes in the US peaked in June 2006 at $319,459 and is now $95,137 (29.8 percent) lower. From a low of $211,844 in January 2011, the median asking price in the US has increased by $12,477 (5.9 percent).
In its January data,, the massive listings site which also tracks asking prices, reported list prices were up 3.69 percent on the year in the 146 metros it covers. The site reported the top four markets in terms of year over year increases were all in Florida: Miami (up 32.75 percent), Fort Myers-Cape Coral (up 21 percent), Punta Gorda (up 19.33 percent), and West Palm Beach (up 18.60 percent). Inventory was down 23.20 percent on the year.

Call me and I will help you determine what your home is worth.

Joel Thompson * * 303-877-0060