The Top 10 Pet-Friendly Cities to Move to in 2021

Americans are making moves. Despite economic uncertainty, home sales rose to a 14-year high in 2020, and the trend looks set to continue into the new year. According to  Pew Research, one in five Americans have moved or know somebody who has due to the pandemic.

Key factors like livability, growth, job opportunities and most importantly, pet-friendliness are top considerations for those considering a relocation this year. For those local to Boulder, it will come as no surprise that we have been ranked as the #1 most pet-friendly city to move to in 2021 by bringfido.com.

“The People’s Republic of  Boulder  is the place to be in 2021. First, you can check excellent public schools and ample job opportunities in a variety of sectors off Fido’s moving list. Located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, this small city within a park is also a gateway to the “grrreat” outdoors. Bring Fido  for a dip  at  Boulder Reservoir, hike the beautiful  Flatirons Vista and Doudy Draw Trail,  or meet the local canine community at Foothills Community Dog Park. You can even sign your pup up for a  Boulder Voice and Sight Tag  for off-leash access to designated trails. With 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s plenty of time for outbound hounds to experience all that Boulder has to offer. In the summer, the free  Park-to-Park shuttle  welcomes dogs on board. And the city boasts a thriving food and arts scene. Check out  SmithKlein Gallery  with your pooch before visiting Avery Brewing Company to hang in the spacious fenced-in area.”

 

Read on here, and find out which other 9 cities were runner up!

 

Congratulations to Our President & Founder, Joel Ripmaster!

Joel Ripmaster, REALTOR Emeritus, has been named the Boulder Area Realtor Association’s Broker/Manager of the Year! This award recognizes individuals that serve as the backbone of incredible Real Estate organizations. Nominees provide wisdom, guidance, and valuable information to help Realtors grow and maintain successful businesses.

Being presented with this award is a true Landmark Moment, and a testament to Joel and the incredible leadership that he has exhibited over the past 43 years as the President of Colorado Landmark, Realtors.  Our Landmark agents adore him, their nominations described him as a true leader who is always there for them with qualities such as integrity, kindness, and a great sense of humor, and they praised him for the wonderful family company that he has built.

 

Just Released! The Modern Luxury : Reimagined

Luxury Portfolio International® has released its latest report, which delves into luxury real estate trends and the effects of COVID-19. 

Findings include: 

  • Real estate is the next big buy:  61% of those surveyed indicated their next big buy will be a home-related investment.

  • The seller’s market:  The current ratio of buyers-to-sellers, on average, is 3 buyers for every 2 sellers.

  • Face-to-face preferred:  61% of affluent buyers and 57% of affluent sellers noted that they prefer face-to-face property tours, with the expectation that agents enforce safety protocols.

  • PLUS: Most popular amenities by home price and generation. 

 

View the entire digital version here!

 

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

from Keeping Current Matters

For years, real estate has been considered the best  investment  you can make.

A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the  2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data  from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

 

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

 

How do homeowners gain wealth?

 

Click here to read the entire article and find out! 

 

Landmark Advantage Transitional HELOC Program

Ready to buy but need time to sell? Move on your terms with a Transitional HELOC.

When you work with Colorado Landmark Realtors, you get access to the Transitional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) program from Elevations Credit Union, the No. 1 credit union mortgage lender in Colorado.


Access your home equity without rushing to sell.

With this customized short-term loan that’s similar to a Bridge Loan, you get access to the equity in your current home so you can make an offer on your next home — without rushing to sell. After your home is sold, the proceeds are applied to pay off your Transitional HELOC.


A Transitional HELOC is a flexible solution.

While Elevations tailors each loan to the buyer’s needs and best interest, consider a Transitional HELOC if:

 

  • Your money is tied up in the equity of your current home.
    Fund the down payment or mortgage payments for your next home with a Transitional HELOC — a great option in Colorado where properties are in high demand.

 

  • You need to renovate your current home.
    Move out before your home becomes a construction zone so you can boost your home’s value and get ready to sell.

 


*Offers of credit are subject to credit approval. Available equity is dependent upon the difference between your current home value and your current mortgage balance(s) to include all loans that are secured by your current home.


 

The Saul Team, Featured in Real Producers Magazine

Check out this fantastic article about the background and passion for real estate of Lynn Saul, Jordan Saul-Peterson and Kaylyn Thueson of The Saul Team out of CLR Louisville, by Ashley Sowell of Real Producers Magazine.

These women are doing some incredible things and have beautiful families and stories to share. Read the full magazine and article starting on page 12 here.


To Refinance or Not, That is the Question…

by Aaron Staufer

Elevations Credit Union

NMLS: 501268 | LMB: 717246

 

     No doubt you’ve been seeing commercials on TV or hearing radio spots advertising rates that seemingly can’t exist and you’re wise to be a bit skeptical. At the end of the commercial you’ll undoubtedly see a screen of text in .2 font that can hardly be read. So how do you know when it makes sense to refinance and what should you look out for? I’m taking a bit of time to hit the high points…

 

     One of the first things I ask a member when we start the refinance conversation is, “how long do you plan on being in the property for?” and the second question I ask is, “what do you intend to do with the property once you move out?”

Refinances always have closing costs, sometimes they are rolled into the loan amount and sometimes they are wrapped into a higher rate, but rest assured they always exist. If somebody is only going to be in the house for a year or two and they are planning on selling after that time, refinances rarely make sense. The longer that you have the loan, the longer you’ll benefit from reducing the rate or term. So if you’re thinking about moving soon and you don’t have interest in being a landlord then you’ll want to think long and hard before paying the costs associated with a refinance.

 

     Another important variable is to consider how much you owe. Closing costs on a refinance are fairly static. The difference in closing costs for a $100,000 mortgage and a $500,000 mortgage are typically only a couple hundred dollars. But somebody with a $100,000 mortgage is going to save 1/5th the amount of somebody with a $500,000 mortgage. Since the costs are almost identical in both scenarios the larger mortgage is going break even with costs in far less time. If you don’t owe a lot expect your break even point to be quite a bit higher. Owing less money is a great problem to have but it can pose a problem when it comes to refinancing.

 

     Make sure when you’re hearing about refinances that you keep an eye on a few things.

 

1) The term of the loan. I see commercials all the time and my poor wife has to listen to me rant and rave every time one comes on TV because you’ll hear them advertising, “2.5% with no points!” but if you read the fine print you’ll see the rate that’s being advertised is for a 15 year mortgage. It’s not that 15 year mortgages are bad (I love 15 year mortgages) but if your goal is to reduce your payment there’s a good chance that loan will not accomplish your objective.

 

2) The costs associated with the rate that’s being offered. Points are a bit confusing but in short 1 point (also known as discount points) is 1% of your loan amount. Points are the cost (or credit) associated with the rate that’s being advertised. You can pay higher costs (points) and obtain a lower rate. It’s extremely common for lenders to advertise rates with points being paid. Keep an eye on the costs associated with the refinance and as your lender for a “no point option” for comparison sake. A loan officers’ job is to present options, not to decide for you.

 

3) The program they are advertising. Another common ploy lenders will use is they will advertise programs that are seldom used because they have a lower interest rate. The next time you see one of those commercials on TV see if the letters “FHA” show up anywhere. If so, the program that’s being advertised is a Government loan that has a multitude of potential down sides. Just as 15 year mortgages aren’t bad nor are FHA loans. They have their place in the world and can be quite helpful for the right situation. But if you have good credit or 20% or more equity in your house then FHA is not a program we’d typically explore. It has higher costs both up front (known as up front mortgage insurance) as well as on a monthly basis (monthly mortgage insurance). While they may come with a lower rate the potentially higher upfront and monthly costs usually outweigh the benefit.

 

     If you’re going to have the loan for an extended period of time and you can recoup the costs associated in short order (I usually hope for 18 months or less though it does depend case by case) then a refinance may very well make sense. Keep an eye out for misleading advertising and make sure you’re working with a  reputable lender.

 

Ask for a Loan Estimate or Closing Cost Worksheet to ensure you’re getting a full break down of the costs associated and make sure to read the fine print!

 

What Americans Love—and Hate—About Their Homes During Coronavirus, a REALTOR.com Survey

By  Clare Trapasso  |  Apr 27, 2020

There’s nothing like a pandemic forcing you to stay indoors to help you realize what’s really important in your living space.

 

As millions of Americans shelter in place, they’re realizing what they love—and what they desperately want to change—about their homes and neighborhoods.

 

The quality people valued most in their current living situation was being in a quiet neighborhood with outdoor space that’s near grocery stores and pharmacies, according to a realtor.com® survey of 1,300 homeowners and renters.

 

The survey was conducted during the week of April 5. About 13% of respondents ranked each of these characteristics highly.

 

“After more than a month of stay-at-home orders, it’s safe to say Americans are really getting to know what home features work and don’t work for their families,” realtor.com’s chief marketing officer, Nate Johnson, said in a statement.

 

That outdoor area in a quiet community can provide fresh air and a much-needed mental health break from those who have been cooped up at home for too long.

 

Ten percent of folks also appreciated having an updated kitchen, all the better for preparing meals at home when dining out is not an option. About 9% of participants liked their natural light, and 6% appreciated flexible spaces that can be used for crafting, gaming, or exercise.

 

What folks yearned for the most—but didn’t have—in their homes was more space. Hey, it’s hard to be quarantined with everyone on top of everyone else! About 19% of survey participants dreamed of additional square footage, while 13% wanted an updated kitchen and 11% wanted a home gym.

 

Updating the style of the home, wanting more natural light, and adding a yard or patio all ranked highly, with about 9% of participants each. An additional 6% hoped for an extra bathroom.

 

And since they’re stuck at home, many folks are making the best of it by finally getting around to their do-it-yourself lists. About 32% of those surveyed said they had started a home improvement project, and another 15% plan to embark on one.

 

“As we move forward, we expect the shelter-in-place experience to have a significant influence on home-buying trends and how buyers prioritize home features, neighborhoods, and home improvement projects” Johnson said in a statement.

 

The most common DIY project was finally getting around to cleaning out the closets or the garage, at 21% of participants. That was followed by gardening and planting, at 17%; painting, at 13%; redecorating a room, at 10%; and rearranging the furniture, at 9%.

 

In addition, folks were keen on adding artwork or decor to their homes, at 7%; adding a home gym or workout space, at 5%; and installing an office or work space, at 4%.

 

Clare Trapasso is the senior news editor of realtor.com and an adjunct journalism professor at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She previously wrote for a Financial Times publication, the New York Daily News, and the Associated Press. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Contact her at clare.trapasso@realtor.com.

 

Safe Showing Update

On Sunday, April 26th, Boulder County released an update to their stay at home order, which is currently in effect until May 8th, allowing in-person showings.  (Open houses are NOT permitted.)  While we are thrilled to be able to serve our clients in this way again, we take the safety of our agents, our clients and our community very seriously.

 

Here are the steps we are taking to make sure our showings are as safe as possible:

 

Prior to approving any showings, we are asking buyers to thoroughly review photographs, virtual tours, floor plans, videos and property disclosures. and if possible, drive through the neighborhood.

 

Buyers must also be pre-approved for mortgage financing through a reputable lender, or provide proof of funds.

 

We provide a COVID-19 Disclosure and Release Agreement for both buyers and sellers to review and sign, confirming that no parties are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have knowingly been exposed.  These steps ensure that only serious buyers who are ready, willing and able to purchase the home are approved for showings.

 

Seller or listing broker will prepare the house for showing by turning the lights on, clearing paths,  opening closet doors, and removing all valuables.

 

Masks, gloves, booties, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes (if available) will be made available by the front door of all listings.

 

If home is occupied, the Seller is also instructed to disinfect surfaces of home after showings have taken place.

 

No overlapping showings allowed.  A maximum of three people can attend showings, and buyers should whenever possible leave children at home.  All people entering the property must wear masks, gloves and booties, leave lights on and refrain from touching anything other than doorknobs and handrails if necessary.

 

Anyone entering the property must adhere to the safe distancing guidelines, and any discussion regarding the property should take place following social distancing rules (6’ or greater) after leaving the property, or over via electronic means.

 

Together we can work to keep everyone safe while still providing our world-class service to our buyers and sellers. If you have questions about how we can help you buy or sell a home during this time, please reach out!

 

We are here for you!

 

Home Sales Are Still Up!

Showings are down starting in March, as you can see, due to physical distancing and safety precautions; but home sales are still up and title companies are busy!

 

We have had to become more creative in how we show and list homes. Virtual home tours have been our most effective, main creative platform.

 

Check out some of our most recent tours from CLR’s Candace Loving and 3rd Eye View Productions working with Marley Gagnon, to bring you high quality 3D virtual home tours from Matterport. If you have virtual reality goggles, you can even jump on and feel like your really in the living room or kitchen of your future home!

 


6030 Red Hill Road, Boulder

https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=ohSB8r2oc4

5 Beds | 5 Baths | 5553 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Kim Thompson

303-641-2049

Kim@KimThompsonGroup.com

 


3850 Broadway Street #19, Boulder 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=EwbDki7mtA3

4 Beds | 3 Baths | 2132 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Kim Thompson

303-641-2046

Kim@KimThompsonGroup.com


 

47 Chieftain Court, Lyons 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=anuZnFQobDJ 

3 Beds | 3 Baths | 2515 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Joni Renee

720-365-7302

Joni@JoniReneeRealty.com

 


745 Highland Avenue, Boulder 

my.matterport.com/show/?m=NjHHgGAD28t&brand=0

5 Beds | 5 Baths | 4518 Sq. Ft.

 

Listed by: Candace Loving 

303-332-4530

CandaceLoving@gmail.com