5 Tips for Millennials Buying a Home

Originally posted by RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, July 6th, 2018 at 10:11am.

When it comes to homeownership, millennials are no different than other generations. Many would love to buy a home, according to findings by SmartAsset. To achieve that dream, one of the looming issues that they must overcome is saving for a down payment. This can be especially challenging in the Boulder-Denver metro area where rents are high. Also, millennials often have student loan payments contend with, which impacts savings.

Although mortgage interest rates are increasing, they are still relatively historically low, and they are empowering millennials to invest in property. To buy a home, millennials need to plan how to overcome obstacles. Here are five tips on how to get organized and make a plan that will succeed, reported by SmartAsset.

Do the Math

Know the 28/36 rule. Mortgage lenders typically require that your mortgage payment, property taxes, and insurance total no more than 28 percent of your monthly gross income. Then, your mortgage payment and your total debt payments, including college loans and credit card debt should not be more than 36 percent of your gross income. Get out your spreadsheet and calculate what this means for you. Knowing your spending limits helps target your search for the right home.

Get Your Documents Together

Getting a loan and closing on a home requires certain documents. Go ahead and pull everything you need together and put it in a file. Usually for a home purchase you need your government issued ID, most up-to-date credit report, a verification form from your employer, W-2 forms, federal tax returns, and bank and asset statements.

Get Your Down Payment Together

Plan to pay the biggest down payment you can afford. The down payment amount determines the length of your mortgage and its monthly rate. Typically, the down payment is between three to 20 percent. The bigger your down payment, the lower your loan amount will be. Increasing your down payment has benefits: a higher down payment makes it possible to get a lower loan at a lower interest rate. Putting more money down usually gives you the ability to borrow more.

Consider Taxes, Property Insurance, Closing Costs and Other Expenses

These necessary expenses factor into the price of the home you can afford. Be sure to calculate home insurance and property tax rates in Colorado and in the county you are exploring. Closing costs include loan origination, underwriting, appraisal, title insurance, wire and courier, and other fees.

Study the Area

Discover which neighborhood is best for you. Study the value of surrounding properties. This will help you know if the home you want is comparably priced to other homes in the area. Working with a knowledgeable Realtor provides insight and perspective on neighborhoods and home values. Be sure to find a Realtor who can help you navigate the search for a home and purchasing process.

To read the full article, visit https://smartasset.com/mortgage/millennial-home-buying-guide.

To find a home and realtor for you, visit http://www.boulderco.com.

__________________

RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Alana Childre is a Colorado native and long-time resident of Boulder who understands the needs of seniors, veterans, property investors, and families who relocate to Boulder County. Alana has a solid business background, having graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in business management and worked for many years in banking and property management before obtaining her real estate license. Her background has equipped her to provide useful advice about various financing options and about purchasing and managing investment properties. Alana’s certifications include: Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), and Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS).

For questions, call 720.560.9690, e-mail alanac@boulderco.com or visit alanachildre.com.

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 7:32 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Articles, RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Boulder County Housing Market Percolates Through June Heat

Originally posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 at 1:34pm.

Market demand continues to be strong for Boulder County residential real estate with continued improvements for June sales compared to May.

“Sales were strong through June. It’s a lively market, but certainly not overheated,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

Single-family home sales in Boulder County improved 2.3 percent in June 2018 compared to May 2018 – 498 vs. 487 units – while townhome/condominium sales jumped 31.3 percent – 189 units sold vs. 144.

Year-to-date sales show ongoing growth with single-family home sales rising 2.4 percent through June compared to the prior year – 2,218 vs. 2,166 units – and condo and townhome sales improving 6.6 percent year-over-year – 776 units sold compared to 728.

Inventory is holding steady, which typically correlates with strong sales. Single-family homes for sale increased 9.4 percent – 1,004 homes for sale in June compared to 918 in May. Condo/townhomes inventory rose 14.4 percent over the same period, making 238 units available for sale vs. 208 in May.

Prices are one indication of market temperature. So far, 2018 has seen average and median sales prices continue to rise year-over-year, with all Boulder Valley markets showing improvement in the single-family category for June. Condos/townhomes also showed improvement in both median and average sale prices in every community except statistics for Louisville, Niwot and the Mountains.

Hotard notes that typically “July has a pullback in sales, due to summer vacation schedules and the anticipation of school starting.”

“Market demand is impressive and prices are holding up,” he says. “Single-family homes average selling price has been over a million for months now and shows no signs of cooling off.”

_______________________

About Tom Kalinski:

Tom Kalinski is a pillar of the Boulder Valley real estate community who was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016. Tom has vast inside knowledge of the Boulder County real estate market and an impressive 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. Tom is the Owner and Founder of RE/MAX of Boulder, the top-producing local residential real estate company he established in 1977, which has grown to over 100 Realtors. RE/MAX of Boulder has been voted Best Real Estate Group by Boulder Weekly, Best Real Estate Company by Colorado Daily, and named #1 RE/MAX office in the U.S. for sales volume 8 times.

For questions, email Tom at tomkalinski33@gmail.com, call 303-441-5620, or visit boulderco.com.

 

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder
303-441-5620
tomkalinski33@gmail.com

Posted on August 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Design Trend Going to the Dogs

Originally posted by RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, August 10th, 2018 at 9:51am.

Daily Camera At Home article by Realtor Laurie Kaufman, RE/MAX of Boulder
August 10, 2018

Here’s a “creature comfort” that keeps your home and the family pup clean while adding that something extra home buyers love: a dog wash. Having a dog wash in your home is becoming as common place as a powder room or upstairs laundry.

Homebuyers find value in features that make life easier. Any dog guardian knows, dogs love to get dirty on their daily hike or swim. My dog Kali loves rolling in “I don’t want to know what” when we are out at Cottonwood Trail and Coot Lake (the stinkier the better). When it comes to washing Kali, she whines and squirms like a two-year-old child during a temper tantrum when I wash her with ice cold water from the garden hose. Having a dog shower in my home is a much-needed convenience.

The demand is growing for designated showers for dogs in homes, reports the New York Times. For example, the national luxury home builder Toll Brothers offers a dog shower option for many of its home designs. Sign me up for this option! Kali won’t be too thrilled, but this guardian who provides her with two squares a day and a roof over her head sure will be.

Read on for tips on installing a dog wash station, suggested by Petsbest.com.

Installation Needs

Adding a dog wash is similar to installing a human-style shower or tub. You’ll need a general contractor or you can create the design yourself. Either way, plumbing is needed to drain the water and connect the fixtures. Tile installation is needed whether you opt for a free-standing tub or a more elaborate solution.

Shower or Tub?

Generally, step-in showers work best for big dogs. Elevated tubs make it easier for the homeowner to wash ergonomically, but work best for small dogs that can be lifted. Adding steps or a ramp to a raised tub can provide access for larger dogs. However, many dogs are afraid of steps and resist going up and down them. In a step-in design, an area for the dog guardian to sit can be included.

Handy Features

The goal is making dog washing as easy as possible. A flexible handheld shower head and wall clip for tying the dog during bath are musts. You’ll also want a shelf or cabinet to store supplies conveniently. To prevent slips, place a rubber mat in the tub and a nonslip rug on the floor. And, don’t forget the hook for towels and a rubber apron. You can expect to be the next one who will need a shower once your dog shakes off the water – to get you back for washing them with that smelly shampoo and conditioner. 

Custom Builds

New builds and remodels are the easiest way to add a dog washing station. Some dog wash rooms are as stylish as the master bathroom. From a ceramic tile-lined tub to a dog spa-shower, homeowners nationwide are jumping on this design trend.

In resale value, even if a prospective homeowner doesn’t have a dog, a dog wash can serve as a “gear” wash for outdoor enthusiasts and even kids’ sporting equipment. Or, designate this the kids’ shower when they are a muddy mess after outdoor activities like soccer practice or mountain biking at Valmont Bike Park.

For the full stories, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/05/style/trends-in-design-and-architecture.html and https://www.petsbest.com/blog/installing-a-dog-washing-station/

_______________________

 

RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Laurie Kaufman has lived in Colorado for 20 years and began her real estate career in 1999 when she purchased her first investment property. Having grown up in Michigan, she attended college in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated with a degree in media communications. Laurie earned her master’s degree in counseling while managing a portfolio of residential properties in Boulder County for a local investor. Laurie’s extensive real estate experience and knowledge coupled with her background in counseling and communications make her uniquely skilled at helping her clients navigate the home buying or home selling process.

In her spare time, Laurie enjoys attending CU-Boulder sporting events and often sees films and performances at the Dairy Arts Center. Besides real estate, Laurie’s passion is helping animals in need. Laurie donates a portion of her home sales to a number of organizations such as Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Longmont Humane Society, and Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue where she adopted her sweet black Labrador, Harley.

Feel free to call Laurie for a friendly chat about real estate at (303) 579-3738, email lauriek@boulderco.com, or visit boulderco.com

Posted on August 14, 2018 at 7:25 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Articles, RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Six Pet-Safe Ideas for Getting Rid of Weeds

Originally Posted by RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, June 8th, 2018 at 10:18am.

By Terri Johnson, Realtor, RE/MAX of Boulder

Boulder County’s growing season is in full bloom – perfect for the plants we want in our garden. But it’s also perfect for weeds.

Many of the chemical weed killers are toxic to the environment and to our kids and pets, too. Our furry and young family members need a yard free of chemicals to roll around in. You don’t have to look farther than your kitchen for items that can do the trick. Here’s a helpful list, first published by Better Homes and Gardens.

1. Salt

Salt will kill weeds and any other vegetation, too. So only use salt where you don’t want anything at all to grow. Salt can be used in the cracks in sidewalks, driveways, and pathways to eliminate plant growth. Just be sure the water from the salted area doesn’t run off into an area where you want plants to grow.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar has acetic acid that draws moisture out of plants, which kills the plant. Vinegar will kill any plant, so be careful to apply only to weeds. It may take several applications to work. You can increase the effectiveness by adding one tablespoon of dish soap to one gallon of vinegar. The dish soap makes the vinegar stick to the plant so it can work more quickly.

3. Cornmeal

Before weeds emerge, sprinkle cornmeal around your landscaping to prevent weed growth. It keeps seeds from germinating so the weeds can’t get started.

4. Boiling Water

Here’s a super environmental solution for targeted weed control: douse the weed with boiling water. It will wither and die. Meanwhile, the soil is hydrated. Tough weeds may require several applications of boiled water.

5. Mulch

Starve your weeds of sunlight. You can use all kinds of material to cover weeds so they don’t get the sunlight they need to survive. Mulch options include cardboard, shredded bark, leaves, evergreen needles, and rocks. As long as the material lets water through and keeps sunlight out, it can be used to maintain a weed-free area.

6. Pulling weeds by hand

Okay, pulling weeds is the one thing that gardeners want to avoid. But, if it’s needed in small areas, it’s not so bad. And it is a safe and effective method for getting rid of weeds without using toxins.

For the full list of how to make your yard beautifully weed-free and safe for your pets and family, visit: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/insects-diseases-weeds/pet-friendly-weed-killer-281474979765644/

___________________________

RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Terri Johnson is a Colorado native who was born in Denver and has over 35 years of real estate experience – and she’s an avid gardener! With Terri’s extensive experience selling new and pre-owned homes in Boulder, Larimer, Weld, Jefferson and Adams counties, she has developed strong skills and expertise in marketing, buying and selling real estate. Her real estate designations include Senior Residential Estate Specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert, Certified Distressed Property Expert, Short Sale and Foreclosure Specialist and Graduate, Realtor Institute.

For questions contact Terri Johnson at 303-589-8180 or terrij@boulderco.com, or visit boulderco.com.

Posted on August 10, 2018 at 7:14 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Articles, RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Colorado Ranks High for Job Seekers

Originally Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, July 20th, 2018 at 10:09am.

If you feel like you live in a great state for your career, it’s official: you are absolutely correct. Among all 50 states, Colorado is the second best state for finding a job, according to analysis by WalletHub.

The only state where job seekers fare better is Washington, with a total WalletHub score of 71.45 compared to Colorado’s 70.04.

But in “Job Market Rank,” Colorado pulled the top position at No. 1, followed by Utah, Maryland and Minnesota. Washington came in at No. 7.

Total score of most attractive states for employment was determined by WalletHub’s comparison of 50 states across 29 key indicators of job-market strength, opportunity and a healthy economy. The two key dimensions were Job Market and Economic Environment. Job Market was weighted more heavily since the factors in that category most heavily influence a job seeker’s decision in terms of relocation for employment.

Here’s how Colorado ranked in key categories.

In ‘Economic Rank’ Colorado is No. 19. Economic Rank evaluates the economic environment based on indicators such as median annual income (adjusted by the cost of living), monthly average starting salary, share of workers living under poverty line, average length of work week, average commute time and commuter-friendly jobs.

At the city level, Aurora led Colorado as the top place to find a job, ranking No. 33 in the U.S. Denver followed at No. 35 and Colorado Springs No. 68. The top cities in ‘Job Market Rank’ are Peoria, AZ; San Francisco, CA; Chandler, AZ; Gilbert, AZ; and Scottsdale, AZ, ranking 1-5 respectively.

In April, Colorado’s state unemployment rate fell by a tenth of a point to 2.9 percent and Colorado employers added 7,200 non-farm jobs to their payrolls, according to a monthly update from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Nationally, the unemployment rate in April stood at 3.9 percent.

Average hourly earnings rose from $27.73 an hour to $28.91 over the past year. The average workweek remains unchanged at 33.7 percent.

For the full listing of statistics on the states, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-best-economies/21697/. For cities, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/best-cities-for-jobs/2173/.

_________________________

About Tom Kalinski:

Tom Kalinski is a pillar of the Boulder Valley real estate community who was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016. Tom has vast inside knowledge of the Boulder County real estate market and an impressive 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. Tom is the Owner and Founder of RE/MAX of Boulder, the top-producing local residential real estate company he established in 1977, which has grown to over 100 Realtors. RE/MAX of Boulder has been voted Best Real Estate Group by Boulder Weekly, Best Real Estate Company by Colorado Daily, and named #1 RE/MAX office in the U.S. for sales volume 8 times.

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder
303-441-5620
tomkalinski33@gmail.com

Posted on August 8, 2018 at 7:08 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Gifts that make a world of difference

BOULDER –  There’s nothing like the magic of holidays and Share-A-Gift is dedicated to bringing that magic to every family in Boulder County.

Now in its 46th year, the good work and long legacy of Share-A-Gift is as strong as ever as businesses, citizens, and volunteers donate toys, money, and time to make the holidays happy for every family in our community.

Armed with the generosity of Boulder County and hard-working elves, a.k.a, volunteers, Share-A-Gift collects and distributes donated bikes, toys, books and clothing to cheer more than 650 families and 1,800 children who live in the Boulder Valley School District. Donations not distributed through Share-A-Gift this year will be given to other charities serving additional families and children in Colorado.

Through this extended charity, nearly 2,000 children in total received gifts from Share-A-Gift this year.

“Share-a-Gift is a wonderful example of how the people in our community support each other,” says Todd Gullette, a past-president and current board member of Share-A-Gift, and managing broker at RE/MAX of Boulder.

He’s referring to the regular folks, professionals, the city of Boulder police department, schools, clubs, and organizations who come together to bring the magic of Christmas to those who might otherwise be overlooked.

RE/MAX of Boulder lobby filled with presents generously donated by Realtors, clients, staff, and friends.

RE/MAX of Boulder is a proud supporter of Share-A-Gift. Each year, RE/MAX of Boulder encourages donations of presents for Share-A-Gift in its lobby. These gifts are generously donated by RE/MAX of Boulder Realtors, staff, clients, and friends. Among those are Realtor Patrick Dolan and his team. RE/MAX of Boulder volunteers who also help coordinate the organization’s logistics, transport donations, and work at the Share-A-Gift Toy Shoppe include Managing Broker Todd Gullette, Realtor Mary Arnold Grow, Realtor Lisa Wade, Boulder Property Network Team members including Debbie Duggan, Kelsey Jensen, and staff member Stephanie Wickstrom.

To add to the bounty, 100 Women Who Care members donated $10,000 to Share-A-Gift this year. RE/MAX of Boulder Realtors Kimberly Fels, Linda Nehls, and Lisa Wade belong to this local group of inspiring women, which raise funds for Boulder nonprofits.

Todd Gullette says, “We are so thankful to have the involvement of our community as we support families that truly need our help. Among our many partners and contributors this year, we have been very excited that the wonderful folks at the Can’d Aid Foundation supported us, and we partnered with Boulder’s Bridge House to spread some great cheer to their organization. There will be many happy families this year.”

For more information visit shareagift.org or 100womenwhocare.net.

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 9:44am.

Published in the Daily Camera’s At Home section on December 29, 2017

Posted on January 18, 2018 at 9:41 am
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boulder-area market holding steady, proving strong demand eclipses low inventory

It’s beginning to look a lot like this year’s Boulder County real estate sales performance will outperform last year’s robust close. Year-over-year sales data for 2017 shows slight improvements compared to 2016, even with inventory at persistently low levels.

“It just proves that demand is strong and consistent,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

Single-family home sales in the Boulder area improved 2.1 percent year-to-date through November 2017 compared to the prior year – 4,224 homes sold vs. 4,138.

And the sale of 1,377 condominiums and townhomes through November represented a 5.5 percent gain compared to the prior year’s 1,305 units sold.

“We saw year-over-year sales improvements, but the pull-back in November compared to October was more than average,” says Hotard.

He’s referring to the 7.9 percent drop in single-family home sales in November compared to October — 359 vs.  390 homes sold. Attached dwellings sold decreased 2.4 percent month-over-month with 123 units sold vs. 126.

Since the weather was excellent for house hunting, the pullback is likely indicative of more than the typical seasonal slowdown.

“Inventory is probably the culprit in the November pullback this year, which resulted in not only fewer sales, but also a softening of prices,” he says. When it comes to low inventory, there is “no end is in sight for the foreseeable future.”

Hotard believes price-softening is confined to higher end homes where inventories are larger and homes take twice as many days on the market before selling. “Lower priced homes are not affected,” he adds.

While buyer demand is strong, low inventory can’t supply that demand. November’s inventory is telling: Single-family homes for sale in the Boulder-area dropped 22.8 percent in November compared to October with 777 homes for sale vs. 1,006. Condos and townhomes felt the pinch slightly harder with a 24.7 percent drop for the month of November – 146 units vs. 194.

Mortgage interest deductions may diminish in importance as a result of the doubling of the standard deduction as part of recent tax reform legislation. The National Association of Realtors predicts only a small percent of homeowners will take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction in years to come because of that change.

 

*Photo courtesy of Edwin Andrade on Unsplash.com

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Friday, January 5th, 2018 at 10:15am.

Posted on January 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm
Jay Kalinski | Category: RE/MAX of Boulder | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,