March 2012

Found 15 blog entries for March 2012.

Rates dropped all week, only to give up half the gains late Friday.  Throughout the week, economic reports were mostly positive but overwhelmingly below expectations, re-emphasizing  the Fed’s position that while we are seeing improvement in the economy, it is fragile.  The 10 year yields started the week at 2.28%, dropped daily through Friday morning to a low of 2.14% only to reverse themselves Friday afternoon, hitting 2.22% at mid-afternoon.  While seemingly of concern, the increase should be erased early next week as the fund managers that were playing positioning games prior to quarter end will re-position their funds during the first part of the new quarter.  This was non-economic positioning to bring the funds back within their published

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Are you tired of your home's layout? Bored with its inadequate lighting or outdated fixtures or, simply in need of a little change? Many homeowners across the country are gearing up for their summer renovations; whether you’re just reaching out to builders, finalizing plans, finessing details or stocking away pennies to pay for it all, be sure to include electrical plans in the mix.

Remember—a home is a system of electrical, heating, lighting networks which work together to create a warm and safe abode. So, an important part of all summer renovations is the careful consideration of the electrical wiring in your home.

If you're planning on building a recreation room, enhancing your kitchen or making over your living room, you should design your layouts

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Selling your home can be an exciting time. It’s a time for change, and for some, a time for starting over. It can also be a stressful time, especially when it comes to finding a buyer.  The best way to assure you find the right buyer, is by first finding the right price. Many sellers make the mistake of thinking the value of their home should without a doubt be the same or more than what they purchased it for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The truth is that there is an art to pricing a home, and to do it right you need to know the market, or find someone who does.  Together, you need to compare similar properties in similar locations, make adjustments based on any differences among them, and of course track the market. If you do all of this

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According to the National Association of REALTORS®, “curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes.” Episode one of national lawn care service TruGreen’s new webisode series shares three tips for updating your home’s first impression this spring, just in time for the peak home-selling season.

Tip 1: Watering Right
Improper watering of your lawn and landscapes can be a drain on your home’s curb appeal. In spring, check the working condition of sprinkler heads and related water lines to ensure they’re functioning properly. Also, make sure your automated or manual watering method efficiently covers the landscape. You can place a one-inch deep, empty food can in the middle of your lawn to measure depth of water collected each watering cycle.

Don’t over or

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Freddie Mac is reporting in their weekly rate survey that 30 year rates are back above 4% - at 4.08% with 0.8 points.
That roughly translates to a rate of 4.25% with no points.  The bad news, rates are above 4%.  The good news, rates are only at 4%.  So what’s going on? Well, last week rates started going up. This week they kept going up until they decided to go back down, with today being the low day of the week with the bellwether 10 year bond being at 2.23%.  The cause of the  market moving up was the Chairman of the Fed’s comments that (to paraphrase) the economy isn’t as bad as it was before; it isn’t good; it’s still weak; but it may be stronger than it was; it may get worse but we’ll see.  A strong, definitive comment by the chair and the markets

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Q: Can I contest my property taxes?

A: Many people do, mainly because determining value can often be tricky. This is especially true in a changing market when local prices either take off dramatically or plunge precipitously, like during the Texas oil bust of the 1980s.

While it is up to a professional assessor to evaluate property value for tax purposes, property owners are usually allowed to contest their assessment until a certain date after they are made public.

Once you contest, you will have to prove why you think your property is worth less – few homeowners contest hoping to pay more taxes! The two most popular ways for determining value are an appraisal and a comparative market analysis. With an appraisal, a professional estimates the

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Keeping your home and family safe is a high priority. If home fires, break-ins or weather-related disasters have you worried, here are some simple steps you can take to make your home a safer place.

Be Forewarned

Every home should have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors, but they require some minor maintenance and don't last forever. According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), a working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a home fire.

• Make sure you have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, including the basement. The USFA recommends installing them inside and outside of sleeping areas.
• Replace your batteries regularly. While having a working smoke detector more than doubles your chance of

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Not a good ending to the week for mortgage rates.  After Wednesday’s dramatic jump, with not a great deal of substantive news, we saw rates stabilize and recover some on Thursday.  Then this morning hit and the bearish outlook for rates became very obvious.   This morning the Consumer Price Index for February came out up 0.4%, the highest we’ve seen in quite a while.  Stocks and bonds tanked since both markets are inflation adverse and 0.4% would annualize out at a 4.8% inflation rate which is considerably higher than expected.  The 10 year T-bill jumped from 2.27% to 2.34% at open.  Then (finally) the core numbers were examined, the volatile energy and food costs are removed and the core inflation numbers were 0.1% (1.2% annually) which is lower than

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Training Sessions, Networking Benefits Boulder Area Families

Twelve Broker Associates from RE/MAX of Boulder attended the RE/MAX R4 Convention in Las Vegas last week, learning the latest real estate techniques and networking with other RE/MAX agents from around the world. They were: D.B. Wilson, Irene Shaffer, Chris Carter, Jill Bryant, Lisa Wade, Peter B. Trost, Art Schwadron, Steve Carter, Duane Duggan, Carolyn Bleicher, Dave Fish and Eric Jacobson. The intensive training and educational sessions focused on helping families facing difficult economic situations and how to best serve real estate buyers and sellers. 

“The convention is a huge opportunity to add to your expertise and it’s very important to you, our clients,” said D.B Wilson, Managing

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If your home has been on the market for a while and isn’t moving, instead of lowering the price, you may want to consider adding value to your home.  There are many things you can do, from small changes to larger renovations, that can increase your home’s value and make it more appealing to buyers.

Install New Windows
In an average home, 30 percent of energy is lost through windows. So adding new windows will not only be aesthetically appealing, but any energy efficient feature is a great selling point.  Look into ENERGY STAR qualified windows, which can lower energy bills by up to 15 percent.

Bring In a New Bath
If your place has several more bedrooms than baths, you may want to think about adding another.  First floor baths are a great idea if you

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