Posts Tagged ‘Boulder County real estate’

Do Your Part: Top 5 Easiest Foods to Grow at Home

Do Your Part: Top 5 Easiest Foods to Grow at Home

 Want to join the grow-your-own food movement but just don’t know where to start? Don’t fear. Spring is here and it’s the perfect time to start growing delicious foods right where you live. Why not begin with foods that are nearly fail-proof? Here are my top 5 foods to grow at home whether you have a lot of space or just a sunny window. A spot with six hours or more of sunlight is all you need to Do Your Part for fresher foods.

1) Tomatoes
Did you know that tomatoes are the most popular piece of produce to grow at home? Besides being delicious, tomatoes are fairly simple to grow. There are thousands of varieties to choose from. You can grow tomatoes in containers, raised garden bed, upside down, or in a traditional garden.

2) Herbs
Talk about instant gratification! Herbs are fast growing so you can experience their flavors in no time. Herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, chives, and more can be grown in a sunny window indoors. They also thrive outdoors in containers and are attractive when mixed with potted flowers.

3) Lettuce
Lettuce will get you the biggest bang for your buck plus it’s super simple to grow. Think about it. If you spend a couple bucks to plant lettuce, you’ll make that money back the first time you make a salad from your garden. Lettuce is a cool season crop and needs just six inches of soil to grow.

4) Strawberries
Strawberries are the perfect fruit to grow at home and will return year after year without a whole lot of work. Just remember a few things with strawberries. They need regular watering and fresh fertilizer every few weeks. Strawberries grow best in the spring or late fall.

5) Peas & Beans
There are many options when it comes to peas and beans. Think green beans, snow peas, sugar peas, wax beans, and so many more. Peas are a cool season crop and most bean varieties are warm season crops but both grow on vines. This makes them perfect for a small space because you can train them to grow up a trellis, stakes and string, or a fence.

There are many reasons to grow foods at home. You’ll know exactly what went into growing them and you’ll be saving money—all at the same time. But best of all are the tasty rewards enjoyed with family and friends.

 Article printed by www.rismedia.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 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.

Article printed by www.rismedia.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAXAlliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 Facing Foreclosure? Know Your Deductions and Credits

 According to NPR, more than half the nation saw a spike in foreclosures last month. With more and more homeowners facing foreclosures, experts at The Tax Institute at H&R Block offer the following information on credits and deductions, which can provide assistance to individuals prior to and after this unfortunate circumstance.

• Mortgage Debt Forgiveness: homeowners who experienced foreclosure on their primary home may be able to exclude the amount of canceled debt from their taxable income if they meet specific criteria.

• Mortgage Interest Deduction: taxpayers are eligible to deduct qualified mortgage interest on their main home and a second home if they itemize deductions on Schedule A.

o They must be legally liable for repayment of the loan to deduct the loan interest.

o For 2011 filings, taxpayers who could not pay at least 20 percent of their down payment may have been required by their lender to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). If the taxpayer qualifies, the PMI may be deductible as mortgage interest.

• Real Estate Taxes: homeowners are able to deduct real estate taxes separately from mortgage interest on Schedule A and from property taxes.

• Non-Business Energy Property Credit: taxpayers may claim energy-efficiency credits for up to 10 percent of the cost of various home energy-efficiency improvements.

• Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit: a nonrefundable personal credit is available for property used to produce energy in a personal residence located in the US .

o The credit is also available for wind energy property and geothermal pumps.

o Real estate taxes must be based on the home’s value and assessed at least annually.

Article printed from RISMedia: http://rismedia.com

 

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

Foreclosure Proceedings Can Make or Break Local Market Recovery

Foreclosure Proceedings Can Make or Break Local Market Recovery

 

 The housing market seems to be on the upswing, and some experts say that by 2014, the market will be back on track. Last week NAR noted that investment properties are on the rise, and the National Institute of Home Builders reports that contractors have high expectations  for remodeling this year. According to data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home price indexes for 38 states ended 2011 above their early-year lows and 30 states reported more than two quarters of growth by the end of 2011.

However, Kiplinger.com notes that how each individual state recovers will depend largely on how it deals with foreclosures; in states that require judicial review before signing off on a foreclosure, backlogged properties can slow down the progress in the market. States that do not require judicial review—like Texas and Delaware—are speeding through foreclosure processes in impressive time. In Florida, it can take over 800 days to complete a foreclosure; in Arizona, it can take less than 200. This may be part of the reason Phoenix gained 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, despite its 55 percent plunge from 2006 levels.

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

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 www.realestateeconomywatch.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

Home Trends: How to Clean and Repair Gutters

Home Trends: How to Clean and Repair Gutters

 Cleaning roof gutters is a small task that can prevent big problems. Every spring and fall, thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters will keep them working like they should. Leaves can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (board behind the gutter). All that water pouring over the gutters can end up next to your home’s foundation, and maybe in the basement or crawlspace. Follow these simple steps for cleaning your home’s gutters and making simple gutter repairs.

Select an appropriate ladder to clean gutters. Use a step ladder if possible. For a two-story home, you may need an extension ladder. For all ladders, make sure the legs are set on a solid and level surface.

Removing Debris
Begin cleaning the gutter near a downspout. Remove the large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) with a trowel and dump it in a bucket. To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer, and clean as necessary. If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.

Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed. Install a small nozzle on the hose and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage. Reattach the downspout.

Repairing Gutters
After flushing the gutter, if there is still standing water, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. The length of the system should decline at least ¼” every 10’ toward the downspout. If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. It may be easiest to work on small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling. Inspect the gutter for obvious damage and missing parts. Support hangers should be spaced every 2’ along the gutter.

Repair any leaks in the gutter. Identify gutter leaks by filling the gutter with water, but make sure the gutters have dried before repairing. To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints. To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the joint. To repair holes in the gutter material, ask a Lowe’s associate for products designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.

Apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters in the home’s exterior color.

This article is excerpted from Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine. For more information, please visit www.lowes.com

Joel Thompson RE/MAX Alliance

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale

LONGMONT REAL ESTATE STATS

LONGMONT REAL ESTATE STATS

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

joelathompson@hotmail.com 303-877-0060

Search all of Boulder County homes for sale