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By BoulderSuZ | Broker in Longmont, CO
  • Erie poised for growth

    Posted Under: General Area in Boulder County, Market Conditions in Boulder County  |  March 4, 2014 6:54 AM  |  309 views  |  No comments
    The Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver reports that construction picked up in January. Metro area builders pulled 520 permits for single-family homes, a 4.63 percent increase over January 2013. Meanwhile, builders are advertising their plans for homes to be constructed at Colliers Hill in Erie. Colliers Hill replaced the former name
    Daybreak, which was reported to have 968 acres in th
    e project with 2,880 residential units planned. 

    At build out of the Colliers Hill development, some project upwards of 10,000 residents will be added. 

    Last April, Erie's Board of Trustees approved the final plat for the first phase that will see 724 homes built over two years. 

    Erie has to be attractive to commuters who can quickly jump on I-25, state Highway 285 and E-470. 

    Shea and Richmond are offering plans at Colliers Hill. The new communities there will provide pedestrian connectivity from both Erie Commons and Old Town to Erie High School at the corner of County Road 5 and Erie Parkway.

    Also opening this year is the 922-home Erie Highlands development just south of Colliers Hill. Flatiron Meadows, an 875-home project is under way on the west side of Erie.
  • Keeping the eye on the goal of home ownership

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Colorado, Home Buying in Colorado, Financing in Colorado  |  July 22, 2013 1:30 PM  |  459 views  |  No comments
    The pundits driving you crazy, buyers?

    How will the housing market respond to the higher mortgage rate? The answer was prompt. The total number of houses sold in June was off by 1 percent from month to month. One percent. After two years of headlines about price rises and sales increases, maybe it was time for some relief, anyway.

    A 1 point increase is nothing small when it comes to mortgage rates. If you are a new buyer, it doesn't have to be discouraging, though. In fact, buyers are still out there shopping. 

    The media has been quick to pull out their calculators and ring up how much more it will cost to buy a median priced home - about $250,000. Marketwatch.com said it was going to be a difference of $2,700 over five years. Five years is the typical stay for home owners. 

    That's not enough to knock a lot of people out of the market on something as important as a home purchase - you would think anyway. That's what the pundits say about affordability. In fact, Trulia's chief economist says there is a ways to go before rates become prohibitive and they have to start falling again.

    If you are looking at starting a family or making a move, consider that rates are historically low. I took on 12 and 13 percent loans when I first started out. So, it is more likely many will even step up their search to land a home before rates go higher. And, that's another thing. Rates may level off for a while, but the arrow is generally believed to be pointed upward for the long term. 

    What to do?

    Buyers may want to consider:
    • Lowering their sights. Maybe a less expensive home can fill the buyer's needs.
    • Putting a smaller percentage down.
    • Or, consider other loans, like an adjustable rate loan.

  • Longmont, where a tradition of legacy resides

    Posted Under: General Area in Boulder County, Quality of Life in Boulder County  |  June 8, 2013 5:59 PM  |  715 views  |  1 comment

    Discover Longmont, one of the pearls in a string along the Front Range.
    Townsfolk have long appreciated its history, having named one of its city parks for President Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt used his executive power to establish the first
    national parks. Congress also got into the act, but Roosevelt is the reason we have this abundance of maintained parks and forests. The ancient ruins at Mesa Verde are but one of the great treasures our 26th president chose to preserve for future generations.
    And there is Rocky Mountain National Park, a wonderful playground for families.

    I started a campaign to bring attention to the legacy that is Longmont, Colorado. The
    marketing piece above calls attention to our good fortune to live so close to so much 

    Dad was an outdoorsman. He returned from the war, bought a Jeep from Army surplus and disappeared into the wilderness. Of course, he eventually returned after about a year and married Mom. My childhood had frequent ventures into the forests. Six of us sisters were packed along with Dad's gear and we set off for lakes, streams and forests. Camping with my siblings is one the great memories of my childhood. Even before I married, my Dad went out to visit my future husband in Farmington, New Mexico.
    We toured Mesa Verde. When Dad brought Mom back we also ventured over to Chaco Canyon. We spent numerous outings finding hidden away places in the foothills and low mountains. We also traveled up to Walden, Grandby and Trail Ridge Road. Now that my parents are gone, the family still has to make a visit twice a year or more to Rocky Mountain National Park and the tiny shops at Estes. 

    No wonder, Roosevelt was smitten. Roosevelt started it. Others have followed, and oh
    the work they have done. This is God's country, we all say. But it takes an army of
    people to support preservation of wildlife and these great mountains. Please support
    these efforts and when you visit, take care to leave these areas so future visitors
    can enjoy them, too.

    Today, I share some information of the legacy we enjoy here in Longmont.

    Longmont is minutes away from these great parks and forests.
    Check out Rocky Mountain National Park
    (highly recommended for families)

    YMCA of the Rockies
    (highly recommended for families)

    Roosevelt National Forest:

    I'm proud to say that Boulder County is involved in honoring a tradition of
    keeping lands preserved. Boulder County has committed itself to identifying and
    preserving the rich history of the county. County staff and the Historic Preservation
    Advisory Board assist property owners in researching their property history. There is a
    Historic Landmark Rehabilitation Grant Program that provides funding for rehabilitation
    of locally designated landmarks. Here are more sites. Local, county, state and federal
    government all maintain these treasures.

    Check out the Betasso Preserve 

    Check out the Flagstaff Summit Trailhead

    Check out Walden Ponds
    (Easy afternoon outing)

    The Indian Peaks Wilderness Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to 
    preservation of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. 

    In Longmont, check out:
    Cycling, Trails Map
    Nature areas

    Map of Longmont parks


    Historic Longmont
    The wilds don't get all of the attention, though. Indeed there is more to this place called
    Longmont and many work on keeping historic structures preserved.  The city of Longmont currently has more than 122 designated historic structures. 
    Longmont has two nationally registered historic districts. These districts recognize
    that areas of the city have special character and interest. These districts exemplify
    outstanding elements of the city's heritage.

    More information:



    - compiled by Suz Real Estate | PML
  • As tight as we have ever seen

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Boulder County, Home Buying in Boulder County, Home Selling in Boulder County  |  May 5, 2013 11:15 AM  |  629 views  |  No comments
    The rental market is as tight as we have ever seen at PML Property Movers. Our property management side is showing units go quickly.

    Residential sales are the best I've seen in my six years with PML. A licensed Realtor, I've been selling homes for 11 years with companies that have included PML, Engle and Richmond American Homes. Earlier, I was design consultant and I managed a studio for D.R. Horton. I've been involved in the business for approaching 30 years.


    We're hustling these days to help home shoppers. Call Suz: 720.810.0683. I am accepting listings at this time, sellers. Call and we'll set up a time to talk.
  • It's a 'sellers' market', but ...

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Colorado  |  April 17, 2013 3:02 PM  |  625 views  |  No comments
    ... If a home is priced too high, it won't sell. Sellers are well advised to carefully consider an appropriate price when the property is listed. 

    This is a sensitive topic. I appreciate that. I can say that it's not really the money in every case of a seller who has a price in mind that's too high. The seller may want affirmation that theirs home is a great home. They worked hard to make their house a home. This is, however, an instance where emotion only gets in the way.

    This isn't an easy subject to broach because I WANT the best price for my client. That's not helpful. All the agents I talk to want the same thing.

    Consider this: Realtors know their market. They not only research comparable listings that have sold in the past year, but they have a good idea what homes are appraising at. They may even know off the top of their head that a property a few miles away sold higher or lower than the price the seller wants.

    In all cases, the Realtor performs a market analysis for each seller and many prospective sellers. Anyway, that's what keeps our lights on late into the evening. If you want to sell quickly and even attract the best price, you need to price appropriately. Right now, sellers in Boulder County can be aggressive.

    It's the appraisal that will rein in prices that are too aggressive. Aiming too high has its hazards:
    1) The buyer may withdraw their offer if the appraisal comes in lower than the price they are about to pay.
    2) The lender will reject a loan if the home is priced too high.

    Realtors understand what happens when the price is too high. The listing sits and sits. There may be plenty of traffic. The open house draws crowds. The phone rings all day from agents anxious to show your home. But an offer doesn't come. Worse still, the seller becomes frustrated. (There's those emotions again.) Then seller may dig in their heels. 

    Price is not the only consideration. If the seller has resisted getting broken tiles fixed and/or stains removed from carpets, it won't be long before I follow up with another conversation. Fixes and staging go a long way to making your home show worthy.

    But nothing is better than pricing a home appropriately. 

    - Susan Alvarez
  • Machete time? 3 tips for curb appeal

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Boulder County, Curb Appeal in Boulder County, Property Q&A in Boulder County  |  July 12, 2012 1:38 PM  |  893 views  |  No comments
    Surveying your house from across the street, does the yard look manicured or does it look like a set for the Indiana Jones franchise?

    Rundown home ignored for years.If you're like me, you love mature trees. Besides the shade and lovely breezes your trees dance in, there is that stunning visual beauty. Landscaping makes a statement, doesn't it? Talk to friends and neighbors. If they don't use descriptive words like stately and forested, you might need to attend to some chores, especially if you have been in your home for a while.

    Your cue to swing into action might be neighbor complaints about falling branches or maybe you're about to put your home on the market.

    If you can't bring in an arborist or an expert, don't just get out the machete and start hacking. There is plenty of advice all over the Internet. In fact, I like the video at thisoldhouse.com. 

    Curb appeal is the most important thing you should think about when getting your home in shape. If your home doesn't look inviting, buyers may not bother to leave their car. 

    1. Trim back trees and bushes
    2. Edge after mowing
    3. Plant fresh flowers
    If you have kept after chores like these, then you can get after some serious cleaning like clearing the gutters, touching up paint and replacing things like badly worn screen doors.

    Here is a great tip: Re-paint the front door. Easy chore and it adds tremendously to the curb appeal!

  • The turning point

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Longmont, Home Selling in Longmont, Foreclosure in Longmont  |  March 25, 2012 10:35 AM  |  1,078 views  |  No comments
    If you missed it on the 5 o'clock news, the real estate market is sending out strong signals it has turned the corner here in Colorado.

    It's no secret to anyone who has sat down with a Realtor. Things have changed rather dramatically here in Boulder County. There is an inventory shortage and despite the release of some foreclosures, it hasn't gotten appreciably better.

    Real estate is experiencing a sweeping change right now. Inventory has been drawn down.
    Go over to the Trulia "Local Info" and check out the number of foreclosures for Longmont. The number is up 25 percent, but the number of homes on the market is still down in the range of mid-700s. We were used to 900 some 10 years ago.

    What is going on? Sales have been running well ahead of last year and the simple fact is sellers are not so hot to sell at these market prices. These conditions mean we should prepare for more frustration on the buying side with buyers having to look longer for a home that fits their needs. So, I'm saying no wonder Richmond American Homes is back in town. With rental vacancies the lowest we've seen in more than a decade, we could be looking at the predicted shortage people have been talking about for two years. Builders have been building homes at a rate that is one-third the numbers of the go-go boom years, and well below the longer trend line.

    David H. Stevens, president and chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association and a former Obama Administration official, last fall came to Boulder to tell us things will get worse when the "echo boom" arrives.

    Looking at the market today, I think that prediction is fairly safe.
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