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2016 Year-End Summary
February 16, 2017

Posted by Sigrid Cottrell

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Fed rate hike: What it means for consumers
January 1, 2017

Financial markets have sent a forceful message that the era of super-low interest rates is coming to a close.

The Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate will slowly push up rates on everything from mortgages and credit cards to savings accounts. 

The Fed increased its federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage points. It was only the second increase in more than a decade. Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen said at a press conference that the economy had shown enough improvement in the last year to warrant higher increases and projected three more rate hikes in 2017.

Here’s how the rate hikes will affect your pocketbook.

Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are already historically low and the Fed’s short-term rate bump — which indirectly affects mortgage rates — is not likely to make a big difference in the next few months. But, subsequent hikes by the Fed in 2017 could start to really add to the cost of a home. 

Zillow and other industry watchers say mortgage rate increases have more of an impact in costly home markets, like San Diego County. 

Rates have already gone up since president-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Since the day before the election, the cost of a typical San Diego County home increased by $50,400 over the course of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with 20 percent down. 

The median home price in the county, $507,500, hit its highest point in a decade in [more...]
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Here Are The 10 Best Places To See Colorado’s Stunning Fall Colors
September 27, 2015

 
[more...]
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Crested Butte, the Best Ski Town in North American...
February 18, 2014

...The 15-seed mountain in Southern Colorado that beat everyone else

[The people of Crested Butte are taking to the streets to get the vote out. PHOTO: Crested Butte]
The people of Crested Butte are taking to the streets to get the vote out.
PHOTO: Crested Butte
The day after taking the second annual Ski Town Throwdown presented by Liftopia championship,
Crested Butte and its passionate denizens went after another win—the world record for the most
Santas skiing at one time. Santa suits sold for $25 a piece (and that included five drink tickets) and
hundreds of jolly red and bearded skiers stormed the mountain. That’s one of many reasons why
people voted Crested Butte the best ski town in North America. “We’re definitely a different breed
here in Crested Butte,” says Gabe Martin, 33, who owns the ski shopColorado Freeskier. “We’re so
far off the beaten path and we love that.”
Crested Butte was rated as a 15-seed in the Rocky Mountain West region, but the mountain beat
the oddsin the 64-town/ski area field, overcoming Powder Mountain/Snowbasin, Aspen, Big Sky,
Sun Valley, Stevens Pass, and the tournament runner-up, Eaglecrest, Alaska, by a record final
score of 17,156 votes to 17,063. CB is known for steep terrain and for hosting one of the longest
running big mountain competitions in the country (Freeskiing Extremes, a FWQ 4-star event), but
it’s also the kind of place where fundraisers are thrown for your neighbor’s dog who needs
surgery—and the entire town comes out to show support, says Martin. It’s a town of referrals,
where [more...]
Posted by Sigrid Cottrell
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How Much Snow is Too Much Snow on Your Roof?
February 6, 2014

By: Douglas Trattner[Snow on a home's roof]Wet snow is much heavier than dry, fluffy snow. Six inches of dry snow weighs about as much as 38 inches of wet snow. Image: Zvozdochka/iStockphoto

If you’ve had a big snowfall in your area and you’re wondering if your roof can stand the extra weight, don’t reach for a ladder and a shovel — reach for the telephone. Calling in a professional to remove ice and snow from your roof is the smartest — and safest — option.

When (If Ever) is it Necessary?

The critical factor in determining excessive snow loads on your roof isn’t the depth of the snow, it’s the weight, says home improvement expert Jon Eakes. 

That’s because wet snow is considerably heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, 6 inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow.

The good news is that residential roofs are required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for that particular part of the country.

“Theoretically, if your roof is built to code, it’s built to support more than the normal load of snow and ice,” says Eakes.

You can determine the type of snow you’re getting simply by hefting a few shovelfuls — you should be able to quickly tell if the current snowfall is wet or dry. Local winter storm weather forecasts should alert you to the possibility that snow loads are becoming excessive and a threat to your roof.

[more...]
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Heightened Market Conditions Fuel More Multiple Offers...
November 23, 2013

... and Higher Selling Price


More properties were sold above their asking price this year, as tight supply conditions
continued to heat up market competition in the first half of 2013, according to the
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2013 Annual Housing Market
Survey.”


Nearly half (49.5 percent) of all homes sold in 2013 were sold above asking price, nearly twice the share in 2012 (25.9 percent) and triple the share in 2011 (16.6 percent). The 2013 figure was more than twice the long-run average of 18 percent during the past 20 years. For homes that sold above the list price in 2013, the median premium paid over the list price was 4.8 percent, unchanged from 2012. For the third consecutive year, an increasing number of home sellers – nearly half – planned on purchasing another home in the future.


“Sellers are more upbeat about the housing market and are more comfortable with their
financial situation. As the real estate industry and the economy continue to recover, many sellers regained confidence in owning a home since the Great Recession,” says C.A.R. President Don Faught. “The number of home sellers planning on repurchasing, in fact increased to the highest level since 2007, which suggests that repeat buyers could be the driving force in the housing market in 2014.”


The shortage of housing supply intensified further this year, leading to heightened market [more...]
Posted by Sigrid Cottrell
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