Contributor

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Summer afternoons in Colorado are often hit with wild weather, and this week was no exception. The Boulder/Louisville area was pounded by a severe hail storm with golf ball and larger-sized hail wreaking havoc on buildings, houses, cars, trees, and gardens.

I stopped by Foothills Insurance next door to my office after the storm. It was certainly bustling! Whenever a hail storm comes ripping through the area, the phone starts ringing in a frenzy. Out of curiosity I asked if this was one of the biggest storms. They laughed and reminded me of the Colorado Mills Shopping Center storm when the roof was pounded, businesses flooded, and nearly every car in the parking lot was damaged. Nonetheless, while driving through central Boulder and Louisville, I

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Duane Duggan is an award-winning Realtor and author of the book, “Realtor for Life.” 

Over the years we’ve learned a considerable amount about the impact of septic systems in Boulder County. There is clear evidence that aging, unapproved septic systems have been leaking into our water system. As a result, Boulder County implemented SepticSmart Regulations on September 1, 2008 in order to protect our health and environment. 

Here are six important facts every home buyer of a house with a septic system should know:

  1. SepticSmart requires that a septic system be permitted, approved, and inspected before the sale of a home. Either the existing owner or the buyer will need to make any repairs that are required to bring the system to compliance.

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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

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There’s nothing like buying a home and finding out on the day you move in your garage is encroaching onto your neighbor’s property! It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen, especially in older neighborhoods where a previous homeowner put up a garage or shed without a survey or a permit. 

Typically, when a homebuyer gets a loan to purchase a property, and/or when the buyer is requesting Owner’s Extended Coverage title insurance, the title company will order what is commonly called “the survey”. However, this instrument is actually an “Improvement Location Certificate” (ILC), and not an actual “Boundary Survey.” An ILC is a scale drawing that documents the position of buildings, driveways, overhangs, outbuildings, fence lines, etc. in

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When you prepare to sell your personal residence -- if you have lived in it for the last two out of five years -- there can be a substantial capital gains exclusion. Tax Reform 2018 retained the home sale tax exclusion of $250,000 for single people and $500,000 for married couples filing jointly. This means you can exclude that amount of profit from your tax liability. This is all well and good, but in some markets like the city of Boulder, where average home prices exceed $1 million, these exclusions have not kept up with the market.

However, capital improvements made to your home could help reduce your taxes. In any market, it is important to keep records of the capital improvements you make to your home. Why? Because any capital improvements you

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When you think of “mortgage insurance,” you may think of a type of life insurance that if you die, the mortgage on your house is paid off for the benefit of the survivors. Private Mortgage Insurance, known as PMI, is not that at all. PMI is insurance to protect the lender in the event the borrower defaults. PMI is usually required on conventional home loans where the down payment is less than 20%.

Without PMI, the risk to the lender would be higher, and lenders would not be as willing to commit as many funds towards low down payment programs. With PMI, conventional loan programs are available to buyers with as little as 3% down.

In rapidly appreciating markets, buying with as low a down payment as possible, makes a lot of sense.  When a market

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March home sales signaled a robust and active home buying season ahead for Boulder County.

“The Boulder-area market rocketed forward in March with strong sales that improved significantly,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association.

Following modest positive movement in February, housing surged forward in March, according to March sales statistics. Boulder Valley buyers showed up strong, undeterred by a market pattern of low inventory and rising prices. This pattern has characterized the countywide housing market for several years running.

Single-family home sales in the Boulder-area jumped 43.3 percent in March compared to February 2018 – 344 units sold vs. 240. Condominium and

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With Boulder's walking, biking and hiking trails, it’s no surprise the city made the SmartAsset top 10 list of places for physical fitness.

But here’s what is surprising: as fitness and healthy-eating oriented as Boulder's culture is, the city ranked only No. 10 on SmartAsset’s fourth annual study of the most fitness-friendly places in America.

According to the study, nine other cities are more fitness-friendly than this biking-hiking-running-skiing-walking-climbing loving town.

SmartAsset describes fitness-friendly cities as those that tend to be walkable, offer few fast food eateries and plenty of healthier eating restaurants, and present plenty of places to workout in. Having ample workout facilities overcomes crowded or far away gyms that

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Over the last several years, we have enjoyed record-low mortgage rates and a prevailing sense of relative stability. During times of stability, the question as to whether to lock the interest rate while you are under contract on a home, isn’t as critical as in times of rising interest rates. In recent months, there has been upward pressure on rates, making it a more relevant conversation.

To lock or not to lock, that is the buyer’s choice. However, buyers need to understand that is a commitment from both the lender and the buyer to close at the agreed upon interest rate.

The scenario goes like this. One day you write a contract on a home knowing you can afford it at a certain interest rate. Then while you are waiting to close, the interest rate

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The real estate market in Boulder County is red hot, which makes maintaining your mortgage approval a must if you're shopping for a home.

“It can be a lot of work to get your mortgage approved. Once it is approved, it is important not to make any major financial changes until you sign your final disclosure and the loan is closed,” says Jessica Shanahan, loan officer with Premier Lending.

To keep your mortgage approval, you need to know the financial moves not to make.   

Your mortgage approval is primarily based on documenting your income and assets, your equity stake or down payment, your credit history and the cash you'll have left over after the deal is done, according to Tuttle’s Real Estate Update.

After your mortgage is approved,

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