Posts Tagged ‘Colorado homes’

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.

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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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Foreclosures: Hardest hit zip codes

Foreclosures: Hardest hit zip codes

The mortgage industry has often been blamed for its role helping homeowners get lines or credit and bigger mortgages during the housing boom. The industry saw little downside, unloading the risk that the loans would go bad on to the financial markets.

With Schneiderman, who has been working on his own investigations into big banks, Obama is signaling he’s ready to go after financial crimes. And left-leaning progressive groups cheered the news.

“Schneiderman has shown himself to be a courageous hero in his defense of the struggling underwater homeowners in his state and across the country,” according to a statement released by a coalition of left-leaning advocates such as MoveOn and New Bottom Line.

The news came as a surprise to the financial industry, which had been predicting Obama would tout a proposed settlement under discussion among federal regulators, state attorneys general and the largest bank mortgage servicers under investigation for improperly foreclosing on homeowners.

“We believe the industry is worried that this new task force will go after the banks for the origination of many of the mortgages that have defaulted or are now underwater,” said Jaret Seiberg, a senior policy analyst for the Washington Research Group.

The state attorneys general, the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have been in talks for nearly a year with big bank servicers that stand accused of using robo-signers to service home loans. The five largest mortgage servicers involved in the talks are:Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500), Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) and Ally Financial (GJM).

According to people familiar with the talks, a draft settlement would result in those banks paying $20 billion to $25 billion toward housing relief. About 1 million underwater homeowners would be eligible for an average $20,000 off the principal owed.

In return, state attorneys general would not be able to file future lawsuits against the bank mortgage servicers that agree to the deal. The amount of relief available for homeowners depends on how many state attorneys general agree to the deal.

Obama didn’t mention the talks in his State of the Union speech. A White House official said Wednesday that the new task force would not prevent progress that has been made on that deal.

– CNNMoney’s Les Christie and CNN’s Terry Frieden contributed to this report.

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Joel Thompson 303-877-0060

Housing Affordability Index Hits Record High

 Housing affordability conditions have reached the highest level since recordkeeping began in 1970, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 in January, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power.

An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments. For first-time buyers making small downpayments, the affordability levels are relatively lower.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, says this latest data underscores buyer opportunities in today’s market. “This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home,” he said. “For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner.”

NAR projects the affordability index for all of 2012 will be at an annual high, with little movement in mortgage interest rates or home prices during the year. “Housing inventory levels have declined to a point where conditions are becoming much more balanced in much of the country,” Veissi said. “If access to credit improves, we could see a much more meaningful increase in home sales and broader stabilization in home prices with modest gains in areas with stronger job growth.”

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Joel Thompson, RE/MAX Alliance 303-877-0060