I am so lucky to love my job. One of my favorite parts is seeing how happy my clients can be with their purchase or their sale. Thank you to my client from 1043 Straight Creek Dr for this wonderful Zillow Review.
“Anne helped me buy and sell my first home. She made both processes very smooth and enjoyable. Her knowledge on the local market is what impressed me most. When I talked with her about listing my condo she gave me a few ideas to help maximize its’ selling potential. When it came to listing it I had offers before it hit the market and after her open house I again had multiple offers and ultimately sold above listing price. I can’t thank Anne enough for getting me such a great purchase price and even better selling price!” – 1043 Straight Creek Dr #O-101 Dillon, CO
If you or anyone you know is looking to move on or move up please contact me. I look forward to helping you!
A pre-listing inspection, staging and professional photos are some of the things I offer to help my clients sell quickly and for top dollar! If you have been thinking about selling your home, contact me today!
Let this great 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo be your gateway to everything the mountains have to offer. Centrally located to all of the major ski resorts and close to I-70, the location cannot be beat! Enjoy access to the pool, hot tubs, tennis courts, basketball courts, hiking trails, bus route and more! The walk out patio is perfect for your furry friends and the HOA will even allow you to fence it in. Recent updates make this the perfect place to move in & start enjoying the mountain lifestyle.
1 bedroom, 1 full bathroom
584 sq ft
Sold partially furnished
Walk Out Patio and the HOA will even allow you fence your patio
HOA dues are $354 per month and include heat, cable TV, water, sewer, trash, common area maintenance, common taxes and common insurance
Clubhouse has a pool, hot tub, tennis courts, basketball courts and more!
For a showing or more information please Contact Me
This beautiful single family home located in Leadville, CO was successfully sold! We had multiple offers and sold the home over the list price at $352,000 to a very satisfied buyer who can’t wait to make this his home!
If you’re looking to list your home please contact me for a free home evaluation.
So after years of DIY/friend-assisted moves, you’ve finally decided to hire movers. As a fellow lazy convenience-minded person, I salute you. The heavy-lifting, traffic-negotiating, stair-climbing nightmare parts of moving day are out of your hands.
But before you kick back and start daydreaming of sleeping in on the big day, I also have some bad news: There are some things you always want to move yourself.
Even if you’ve hired pros, you’re still probably going to be renting a truck or tucking a few things away in your car. Yes, I know—that completely bursts your nothing-to-do bubble. But you’ll want these things for their safe arrival.
1. Your pets
Obviously, you’re not going to pack Rover in a box with some air holes, but you still need to do some prep work.
Moving is stressful for pets. Add the potential danger of their busting free in the chaos of moving, and it could be a bad situation. Save yourself a headache later and pack them a travel bag now.
If you’re moving across town, plan to take water and food bowls, food, treats, an extra leash, a favorite toy, and a crate with you in the car.
If you’re moving out of state, your movers probably won’t transport your pets, but you can hire a pet-moving service.
Houseplants are a bigger moving-day hassle than you might realize.
“Before doing anything with houseplants, it’s good to check with your state’s Department of Natural Resources or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make sure there aren’t any restrictions for moving that particular type of plant,” says Jonathan Deesing, a community specialist with imove.
If the plants are allowed on the truck, you’ll still have to worry about everything arriving safely.
“Only pack up plants that are hardy and can survive a bumpy ride,” he says. Fragile plants (we’re looking at you, orchids) may not survive in the back of the truck. So put them in an open box in your car with some padding to keep the pots from tipping over.
If you’re packing, the movers probably aren’t.
Whether you’ve got an antique revolver just for display or a powerful hunting rifle, this one is a big no-no for obvious reasons.
“It’s best to move your guns on your own for safety reasons, and many moving services will not even consider moving guns for you anyway,” Deesing says.
If you’re moving your arsenal, don’t forget your safety lessons. Pack bullets and guns separately, and keep everything clearly marked and out of the reach of children.
And remember the rules and regulations.
“Make sure you have all the paperwork in order before moving guns across state lines,” Deesing says.
4. Your record collection and other valuables
Whether it’s the complete history of the blues on 350 vinyl records, or a collection of antique snow globes, “if you can’t stand the thought of losing it, don’t put it on a moving truck,” Deesing says.
Your moving company isn’t going to toss any of your stuff around (we hope), but accidents do happen. It’s one thing when it happens to that bookshelf you bought at Target, but another when it happens to your great-grandmother’s antique lamp set. If in doubt, bring it with you.
5. Personal paperwork
Pack your Social Security card, birth certificate, auto title, and any other important paperwork in a waterproof case, and haul that with you. Inevitably, something gets misplaced in a move. And it’s not helpful to find your passport six months after you had to scramble to get a last-minute replacement for your vacation to Spain.
“Of all your belongings, these can often be the most difficult to recover if lost or damaged in transit,” Deesing says.
6. Climate-sensitive artwork
If you’re moving across town or within the same state, your artwork can probably be safely packed and stowed away on the moving truck. If you’re moving several states away and the temperature might change drastically on the trip, you might want to bring those originals with you in your climate-controlled car.
“If you have artwork in a truck and move from the Northeast to the Deep South, it could irreversibly damage certain paints and materials,” Deesing says.
For everything else, follow this rule: When in doubt, overcompensate.
“Communication is key with any part of the move, and this is no exception,” Deesing says. “Don’t take risks, either—clearly label your fragile items and feel free to supervise movers as they load items onto the truck.”
Buying a home is a major step toward building a solid, secure financial future—so whether you’ve made the plunge into ownership or are aiming to soon, you should pat yourself on the back! (This, of course, is not as easy as it seems.) And yet, in the race to settle into a place of your own, it can be easy to overextend yourself and cut corners on yet another important financial goal: saving for retirement.
Even if retirement is decades away for you, this subject nonetheless repeatedly tops the list of Americans’ economic fears in Gallup’s annual Financial Worry metric. But just because you buy a home doesn’t mean you can’t save for retirement, too. It’s a high-stakes balancing act, one where the right home-buying decisions will keep your retirement on track, and the wrong ones may throw you seriously off-kilter.
Here are some common retirement saboteurs to avoid.
Saboteur 1: Buying a house outside your price range
When you purchase a home, your retirement savings are on the line—even if it may not seem that way at the time.
“Housing is the biggest expense most people have,” points out Mary Erl, a certified financial planner and owner of Nest Builder Financial Advisors in Gurnee, IL. Hence, if you purchase a property that’s way outside your budget—and you’re forced to forfeit saving for retirement in order to make your mortgage payments—you’ve put yourself in a bind. A pickle, even.
And don’t just consider your current income, but your future income, too.
“People almost never take future earnings into consideration,” laments Joe Pitzl, a certified financial planner and partner at Pitzl Financial in Arden Hills, MN. “Younger couples get married, buy their first home based on their combined household income. But then when they start a family, one of the spouses leaves the workforce to raise the children and all of a sudden they’re bringing in a lot less money each month. That reduces how much money you can save for retirement.”
Saboteur 2: Draining retirement accounts for a down payment
While it’s tempting to borrow from your IRA or 401(k) to amass a down payment on a home, many financial experts say home buyers should do so sparingly, only as a last resort. IRAs and 401(k) plans are called retirement accounts for a reason—you’re not meant to touch the money until you’ve entered your golden years. If you borrow from either plan before age 59½, you’ll get slapped with a 10% excise tax on the amount you withdraw, on top of the regular income tax you pay on withdrawals from traditional defined contribution plans. Ouch.
Making early withdrawals also obviously prevents the money from accruing interest in these accounts. Put simply: Raiding the piggy bank before the money has matured can put a serious dent in your retirement savings, and many underestimate the repercussions.
“Withdrawing $5,000 from your IRA or 401(k) to pay for home repairs may not seem like a big deal,” Pitzl says. “But if you do so at age 30, that money would have grown exponentially over time if you left it in the account.”
Saboteur 3: Paying off your mortgage too quickly
While it sure sounds impressive to pay off your mortgage in three years, it’s not necessarily the best for your retirement. The reason: There’s good debt and bad debt. You want to pay off your credit card bill (bad debt) in full each cycle or you’re going to pay interest. Mortgage payments, though, work differently.
From a psychological standpoint, you probably don’t like owing a hefty sum to your lender. (We don’t blame you.) However, if you’re a younger homeowner with a new mortgage (good debt), it’s beneficial from a retirement savings perspective to make only the minimum monthly payments on the loan and invest the money where you can get a higher return.
For example, on a 30-year mortgage, at today’s interest rates, it makes more sense to put the money into an IRA or 401(k) than increase your mortgage payments, Pitzl says. “Don’t throw every penny you can at your mortgage debt,” he says. Granted, if you’re approaching retirement and are close to paying off your mortgage, it may make sense to up your payments if you want to retire debt-free.
Saboteur 4: Not saving for a rainy day
When asked about their emergency savings, an alarming 29% of Americans said they had none, according to a report last year by Bankrate.com. Nada. But without a sufficient emergency fund, you may be tempted to run up credit cards or tap your home’s equity or retirement accounts to pay for major repairs (new roofs don’t come cheap). And “if you get laid off, your mortgage payments don’t stop,” Erl says.
Therefore, make sure you have enough cash tucked away to cover six months of living expenses in the event you lose your job and budget 2% of your home’s value for annual maintenance (1% for newer homes), says Pitzl.
Saboteur 5: Waiting too long to downsize
Your $1 million McMansion may have made sense when your family of five was living under one roof, but if you’re heading into retirement, it’s probably time to downsize.
A common mistake, says Austin Chinn, a certified financial planner at Fountain Strategies in San Jose, CA: “People destroy their retirement savings by staying in their home so that they can have their kids move back in after they graduate college.”
Unless you’ve budgeted for a boomerang child, you need to do what makes sense for you financially.
“If you can move from a larger home to a smaller home and wipe out your mortgage, that’s a huge boost to your retirement,” says Erl.
Because crunching the numbers can be complicated, it can be helpful (and a huge relief) to meet with a financial planner to determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you (find one at Napfa.org).
Let’s get real: The first room you stumble into in the morning—bleary-eyed, dazed, and yawning—should be a soothing oasis. A bathroom that achieves those lofty heights? That’s a bathroom you can love. That’s why these most special of rooms are second only to kitchens as the areas homeowners eagerly spend time and money renovating—and that catch a buyer’s eye when you’re trying to sell.
But exactly which upgrades are the best, in terms of both usefulness and return on investment? Before you go nuts installing saunas and rain shower heads, check out this second installment in our series Renovations That Really Pay Off, for some smarter tweaks you’ll be very glad you made.
Reglaze, don’t replace, the tub
“No, no, no—do not put in a new tub,” says Rebecca Knaster, associate broker with Manhattan’s William Raveis. “It’ll cost thousands between the tub and the installation.” Instead, have the tub reglazed for “around $1,500,” which will make it look brand new.
Matt Plaskoff, founder of One Week Bath, agrees that if the shower area “is in decent shape,” it’s best to concentrate on the front part of the bathroom, which “sets the tone for the space.”
Invest in a new sink
Face washing, teeth brushing, gerbil bathing—your sink sees a lot of use. It’s also the very first thing a buyer notices in a bathroom, saysKnaster.
“Step 1 for getting the most bang for your buck is a new contemporary sink,” she says. “It will set you back a few hundred dollars and make all the difference.”
Just note whether the sink you already have is an undermount (where the edge is below the countertop to create an uninterrupted surface) or overmount (where the sink lip comes up over the countertop), says interior designer Randal Weeks, founder of Aidan Gray Home.
An undermount can be difficult to remove unless it’s under a formica top. If the sink is adhered to the surface, the top will also have to go, which quickly drives up the cost. One easy and dramatic sink upgrade Weeks recommends is replacing separate hot and cold faucets with a sleek single-handle faucet that starts at $70.
Go for timeless tile
While natural stone is hot, Weeks prefers neutral styles that will appeal to a broader range of people and provide better return on investment. Pricey stones are taste-specific, he notes, and can give a busy look that’s a turnoff regardless of expense.
In fact, Weeks says one of the biggest issues buyers consider when making offers is the cost of redoing other people’s “bad choices.” So go for crowd-pleasing features such as bright white subway tiles, which run a mere 21 cents each. The payoff?
“You can add $10,000 of value to your home by selecting timeless elements that won’t date it.”
Upgrade your lighting
It’s not just Snow White’s evil stepmother and the Kardashians who spend lots of time staring into the mirror on the bathroom wall. For most of us, lighting and lighting fixtures are critical elements.
“Dated light fixtures are a turnoff,” says Knaster. “For no more than $100 you can buy a basic but nice bathroom light fixture.”
Install a double vanity
The last thing you need in the morning is a battle with your partner over who gets the sink. It’s no wonder “I’m looking for a double vanity” is one of the most common things heard by Will Johnson,a Hendersonville, TN, real estate agent and founder of the Sell and Stage Team.
A double vanity typically costs between $200 and $800, with installation falling around $220, Johnson says—and it’s a wise investment. Johnson has clients who “won’t buy a house simply because there’s only one sink in the master bathroom!”
Swap in new fixtures
“Old materials such as bronze can instantly date your bathroom,” says Johnson. To knock out this easy DIY update, simply purchase new door handles, drawer pulls, and towel bars. A nice chrome drawer pull can cost as little as $3, while a towel bar canaverage $30.
Get a water-saving toilet
Old toilets use 6 gallons of water per flush, gobbling up about 30% of all residential water in U.S. homes. Go green when you swap out your throne. New WaterSense models using only 1.28 gallons per flush (e.g., TOTO’s Carlyle II 1G toilet) conserve up to 18,000 gallons of water annually. The initial cost of $974 will shave more than $110 per year off a water bill and add up to almost $2,200 over the lifetime of the toilet. Bonus: The latest water-saving thrones actually work.
But skip the bidet
Bidets may be considered the Rolls-Royce of toilet upgrades, but most bathrooms simply don’t have room for them. What’s worse: Most Americans have no idea what on Earth these things are and may even be weirded out by them.
“My personal opinion is that our society is not accustomed to this practice and doesn’t see the extra value in them,” says Tracy Kay Griffin, an expert designer at Express Homebuyers in Springfield, VA. “We haven’t renovated a home yet where we thought it would be a good investment to add a bidet.” Just say nay to the bidet.
In recent years, Denver has made numerous appearances on lists featuring the best, most exciting places to live in the nation. So it’s no surprise that creative, forward-thinking entrepreneurs and professionals choose to call our city home. Meet some of the brains behind local businesses and leaders in various fields.
summitskyranch.com | (970) 286-0202
PO Box 2984, 309-M Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne, CO 80498
Tom Everist, developer of Summit Sky Ranch, has been involved in Summit County through his six-generation family business since 1964. Now, this longtime businessman is developing Summit Sky Ranch on his family’s pristine parcel of Rocky Mountain wilderness in Silverthorne, just five minutes north of I-70.
“I envision a vibrant and inclusive community that brings families and their love for the outdoors together to enjoy quintessential Colorado living, and at the same time preserves the natural beauty of the spectacular Blue River Valley that my family has cherished for more than half a century,” said Everist.
Tom’s passion for developing Summit Sky Ranch comes from his belief that personal relationships are at the core of our lives, and the community is being thoughtfully designed to encourage social connectivity among families and neighbors. The Aspen House serves as the community’s social and recreation centerpiece offering everything from coffee to star gazing, yoga to outdoor swimming and more. In warmer weather, residents can kayak and paddleboard on the community’s private lake, and come snowfall they’ll enjoy Nordic trails, ice skating and sledding. Plus, miles of community trails connect to the White River National Forest for year-round enjoyment.
In addition to the thoughtfully designed amenities, the community’s mountain modern design stands apart from more traditional log cabin architecture in the area. With a variety of sizes and floor plans, all of the homes are contextually designed to complement the raw natural beauty of the land, featuring a natural palette and native materials such as wood, stone, granite and quartz. Built with extraordinary architectural design, this community centered development will bring families together to enjoy Colorado living at its finest.
It’s hard to find a more sympathetic foreclosure story than Kathleen Conrad’s.
The disabled widow of a Marine who served in Vietnam, Conrad, 66, lives in a rundown Westchester house the couple bought in 1999, realizing their modest version of the America dream.
But after her husband died in 2004, Conrad faced larger-than-expected cuts to her widow’s benefits. During the 2007 housing market boom, she took out a second mortgage from GMAC. In 2013, Conrad fell behind on payments and was contacted by her loan’s new owner, Infinite Customer Systems and the strong-arm tactics began to get Conrad out of the home.
Unlike big banks, non-bank servicers like Infinite are not bound by even the modest consumer protections built into the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) of 2012.
Non-bank servicers are taking a page from their predecessors’ playbooks. Sources say that many of the same old problems the NMS partially sought to address are back with the nonbank servicers, including long delays in reviewing loan modifications and wrongful denials of loan modification requests.
While Federal Housing Finance Agency director Mel Watt is still dithering about whether to finally allow principal write downs to help troubled borrowers keep their homes, private investors who’ve already gotten a steep discount on distressed debt sold by government-sponsored entities are using hard-knuckle tactics with homeowners.
“The investors buying these loans are not interested in offering home-saving solutions to struggling homeowners,” said Jacob Inwald, director of foreclosure prevention at Legal Services NYC.
As government-sponsored enterprises including Fannie Mae sell delinquent mortgage loans to shore up their balance sheets and banks pull back on this market, private investors are muscling in. They range from small fry like Virginia-based Infinite Customer Systems to $60 billion Texas-based private equity titan Loan Star Funds. Loan Star is the backer of mortgage servicer and originator Caliber Home Loans, a major new player in New York.
After a flood of complaints about Caliber’s practices, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened an investigation last year. Loan Star declined to comment. A spokesman for the AG said the investigation is ongoing.
ICS’ Patrick Desjardins said he tried to reach a deal with Conrad before filing foreclosure. She halted the case by filing for bankruptcy protection, aided by foreclosure defense attorney Linda Tirelli. Earlier this month, a judge voided ICS’ lien, leaving the investor with worthless paper, and Conrad in her home.
“I don’t know where I would have [gone]” Conrad said. “That’s why I was fighting so hard to keep the house.”
Experts fear the new wave of investors will steamroll other vulnerable New Yorkers.
“We’re really concerned about the outlook,” said a spokesman for the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “This is an unprecedented transfer of property ownership, accelerated by the distressed sales to non-bank servicers.”
Non-banks serviced 25 percent of the $9.9 trillion in outstanding US residential mortgages last year, against just 7 percent in 2012.
That’s according to a new Government Accountability Office report released last week by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who called for more oversight. This shift could lead to “harm to consumers, such as problems or errors with account transfers, payment processing, and loss mitigation processing,” the report said.
These new risks come as thousands of New Yorkers are mired in foreclosure. A new report from New Yorkers for Responsible Lending notes that as of last October, the state had nearly 90,000 pending foreclosure cases, half of which were filed in the previous 12 months. The crisis has bypassed wealthy enclaves of the city while ravaging low-income minority neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens.
It’s always a Sisyphean task to set a budget for a renovation—or at the very least an ever-moving target—but if you’re planning to put your home on the market, you’ll have a way different set of calculations than a starry-eyed new homeowner.
Before you embark on a gut of your circa-1990 kitchen, consult with a Realtor® and a general contractor about which renovations will yield the biggest return on investment. How much work you’ll need depends on your home’s value, your market, and the comps in your neighborhood.
“In competitive markets where prices are through the roof, like San Francisco or New York City, you don’t really need to do renovations before selling,” says Mike Aubrey, a Realtor with Long & Foster Real Estate in Gaithersburg, MD. “But in other places where inventory is going up, your house needs to measure up to the other listings on the market.”
Committed to doing some work? Start by thinking small. Minor cosmetic upgrades go a long way in getting more buyers through the door for a quicker sale—and time on market is key to determining what you’ll net at closing.
Where to start? Here are some suggested upgrades (and some to avoid):
Walls and floors
Replacing or refinishing your flooring and painting the walls are the quickest and least expensive ways to give a house new life, Aubrey says. With these enhancements, you can expect roughly a 15% uptick in asking price.
Paint color matters. Shades of gray are in with buyers right now; stay away from tan and beige hues—they scream the era of Bill Clinton and Seattle grunge, Aubrey says. While you can certainly go the DIY route with paint, hiring a pro will get the best results. Expect to spend $2,000 to $3,000 for whole-house interior painting, Aubrey says.
The same goes for new carpet. A sturdy, builder-grade fiber in a neutral color that doesn’t compete with your wall color is the way to go. While most buyers prefer hardwood floors, they’re pricey to install. If you have existing hardwood floors, refinishing them will bring back the luster.
If you live in an area where ceramic tile is the standard (hey, we’re looking at you, Florida), a less expensive and durable option is DuraCeramic, an engineered tile that mimics the look of ceramic without the high cost, Aubrey says. You can find it for less than $3 per square foot.
According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your existing front door with a new steel door will net you a 101.8% return on resale for a minimal replacement cost of about $1,230. Who knew? But think about it: It’s the first and last thing you’ll touch on your home visit. It makes an impression.
Installing a new garage door has an impact on buyers, too. Even better: It offers an 88% return at resale and costs an average of about $1,600 to replace, according to the Remodeling report.
Roof and siding
Adding a new roof and replacing your home’s unsightly vinyl siding will also yield a high ROI, Aubrey says. His assertion is backed by the Cost vs. Value Report, which found that homeowners recouped 72% and 80% of the cost, respectively, for those upgrades. Another benefit: When it comes time for inspection and appraisal, having those repairs done will not only increase the value of your home but also reduce the likelihood of being forced to make fixes or adjust pricing later in the process.
A modern kitchen is a top draw for buyers—but don’t try to overhaul a dated one, which could cost mucho dinero. Buying new cabinet drawer pulls, painting or refacing old cabinets (white is in right now), and installing sleek light fixtures are all low-cost upgrades that will make your kitchen sparkle.
New appliances, which can run about $10,000 for a whole-kitchen replacement, are an easy way to add value. While the upfront cost might be hard to swallow, new stainless appliances make your kitchen more attractive to a wider range of buyers, says Ashley Oakes-Lazosky, a Realtor with Vegas Homes and Fine Estates in Las Vegas.
Granite or quartz countertops are also hot, but they can be pricey, depending on your kitchen layout.
“You need bids from professional remodelers to figure out how much new countertops will cost—and if it fits your budget and timetable for selling,” says Robert Criner, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers and owner of Criner Remodeling in Newport News, VA.
A less pricey alternative is simply adding a clean, white ceramic tile backsplash to create visual appeal, Criner adds.
Upgrades to skip
Thinking about finishing an attic or basement? Adding a deck? Well, don’t. Those upgrades tend to be pricey, and buyers will likely prefer to remodel those areas to their own tastes.
Other areas to avoid doing a major renovation: bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices, according the Remodeling report.
In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t renovate it!