December 2012

Found 10 blog entries for December 2012.

Well, this week has performed as promised:  No economic news of consequence, just politics and volatility. After seeing the bellwether 10 year drop sharply last Friday on fiscal cliff concerns, we saw rates move up some on Monday as investors hedged positions for the Christmas holiday.  Wednesday was quiet and stable as many investors took the day off to extend their vacation.  Yesterday, nervousness over the lack of direction or progress from Congress on the fiscal cliff helped bonds and hurt the stock market as the 10 year dropped to 1.70%, down 6 points.  But volume is off more than 15% from the 30 day average which hasn't been particularly high itself.   Mortgage rates have followed, albeit low volume also and 30 year rates are approaching record

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Rates are improving this morning despite a bevy of good economic news.  All focus is on the fiscal cliff and the lack of progress in Washington.  The bellwether 10 year bond dropped this morning from Tuesday's 1.85% to 1.73% and is resting at 1.75% at mid-day.  Mortgage back securities have eased off their high on Tuesday and are more comfortably in the 3.25% range.  Nationally, rates moved up to an average of 3.62% with .31 points.

We're halfway through the day and so far it appears the Mayans just ran out of room on their calendar or got tired of writing instead of predicting the end of the world.  In Washington, far too many politicians were counting on Armageddon and not being held accountable for their nonsensical approach to the looming fiscal

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Mortgages are barely hanging on to recent rates as we've seen rates increase steadily since last week.  The 10 year bond rose to a 7 week high yesterday of 1.85% and has since dropped down slightly to 1.78%.  All this based on...... very little economic news. The only reports since Friday showed Housing Starts down 3% after two months of strong gains and Mortgage Applications are down 12%.  Mortgage applications dropping is a pretty consistent seasonal event.  As we move towards winter weather and the season's holidays, people are less interested in buying a home and the holidays shift focus away from refinancing.

So what's driven rates up?  As we talked about last week, there was the appearance of a Fiscal Cliff deal being close and money moved from

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RE/MAX of Boulder Agent, Pete Abel, is a very dedicated Habitat for Humanity (H4H) enthusiast.  When a friend of Pete’s turned him on to the Boulder chapter of H4H he was not familiar with the organization and what they did.  After learning more about the program, Pete signed up with H4H and became a board member for Flatirons H4H.  Since then Pete has help a position on the Flatiron H4H board and is currently the VP of operations. 

 His responsibility as VP is to head up financing and fundraising operations of H4H.  If you do not know, H4H helps a select group of families a year make their home owning dreams become a reality.  In order to do this, H4H asks for donations from real estate professionals, contractors, material suppliers, and government

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Closing on a home is an exciting time. You’re making big life changes, whether it’s your first home, second home to make room for that baby on the way, or that vacation spot you’ve always dreamed of. It’s such an exciting time, you may as well go out and make other life changes—like buying that new car or that $12,000 leather couch, right? Wrong.

Making large purchases, switching careers, or in any way altering your financial resume before closing, or when your house is in escrow, is one of the largest mistakes a buyer can make. Even minor changes to your credit ratios could cause your loan to be dropped or denied. In addition to losing the home you have your heart set on, you could even lose your deposit.

Have you been dreaming of leaving your desk job to

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If people are selling their houses during the holidays, they shouldn’t ignore the season when staging their homes, according to Barb Schwarz, creator of Home Staging® and the CEO of

Schwarz provided Realtor® magazine with several suggestions on how to stage a home during the holiday season:

Don’t turn the heat off

Make the investment necessary to keep the home heated during the cold months, as prospective buyers won’t want to take much time to tour a home if they’re cold. So keep the home warm and inviting, especially if it’s vacant.

Keep it light

Use plenty of lighting throughout the home to offset the darkness that comes with the winter months. This may mean investing in timers for every room.

Keep it simple


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Although it's growing slowly but steadily, the nation's economy faces a 25 percent chance of slipping back into a recession in the next nine to 18 months, a former Federal Reserve economist said at the Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference in November.

Mark Snead, founder and president of economic analysis firm RegionTrack, gave the forecast. Before founding RegionTrack, Snead was vice president and Denver branch executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. His responsibilities included serving as the bank's regional economist.

Snead is not especially pessimistic about the “fiscal cliff,” which would see the federal government cut spending next year while simultaneously raising taxes unless a deal is cut by the end of this year. Going over

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For real-estate developers, the meteor has struck, the Great Extinction has happened and the survivors are finally getting opportunities to get back to work.

The brightening future and the opportunities it provides were the subject of a panel at the Boulder Valley Real Estate Conference.

The market crash in 2008 brought on some dark days for the industry, W.W. Reynolds Cos. chief executive Jeff Wingert said, but there are enough positive trends that developers with new projects are moving forward.

“We’ve come out of probably the worst real-estate cycle this country has ever seen,” Wingert said.

Banks now are less stringent with loans, he said, which allows development to go forward. The market is ready, too, with rents for offices hitting

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For many first-time buyers, the process of finding and purchasing a home can seem exhausting. One of the most important things buyers can do to make the entire experience easier is getting preapproved for a mortgage. Here's how to get preapproved for a mortgage, and why it’s so important.

In short, getting preapproved for a mortgage, and obtaining a letter of preapproval, means that a mortgage lender has verified that you’re eligible for a mortgage of a certain amount during a certain period of time. This helps you, the buyer, in two ways. The first is that it provides you with parameters in which to start your house hunt. When you know how much you can borrow, you know how much home you can afford. The second reason is that it bolsters your

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Just when it appeared the Boulder-area real estate markets’ sales were headed downhill for the remainder of 2012, buyers surprised industry experts with a late-year surge in October.

“We had a surprise this month,” notes Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor® Association. “Typically we would have seen month-to-month sales drop. Instead we saw a 12 percent increase in single-family sales from September to October.”

Three hundred and fifteen single-family homes sold in Boulder County in October compared with 281 in September. And October’s sales represented a 27.5 percent increase compared with the 247 single-family homes that sold October 2011.

The condominium and townhome market also showed improvement

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