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Ron Rovtar's Blog

By Ron Rovtar | Agent in Boulder, CO
  • What's Wrong with My Real Estate Agent . . . ?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boulder County, Home Selling in Boulder County, Home Ownership in Boulder County  |  July 19, 2014 1:02 PM  |  204 views  |  4 comments
    Home sellers frequently feel less than generous sentiments about their real estate agents after transactions.

    But often, clients keep their concerns to themselves. For a variety of reasons silence may just seem easier than confronting an agnet.

    We were reminded of this as we read an article on Inman News real estate website. The article closely examines comments of six home sellers who recently participated in a San Francisco panel.

    The comments were not terribly flattering for agents.

    This was, of course, a very small group. Statistically nothing meaningful emerges from a sample this small.

    But the feedback tracks roughly what larger studies have found. And the comments gave real voices to the numbers we have studied, providing much anecdotal food for thought.

    Studies show clients often score agents especially low, for customer service and communication skills.

    "None (of the sellers) said their agent had made them feel like they were part of a team in selling their house," noted the Inman article by Associate Editor Andrea V. Brambila.

    "Two of the 6 said they felt good about the industry after the selling process," the article noted.

    Just two? Does this bother you? It certainly bothers us!

    It also concerns us that this may become a very big problem for the traditional real estate industry very soon.

    If our industry impresses clients this little, then some of the newer web-based solutions for buying and selling homes may start to look very appealing to clients.

    And where will this leave our industry?

    Please use the comments section to tell us about your good, bad or mediocre  experiences in buying or selling real estate.



    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.

    Photo © Ron Rovtar

    Tags:
    Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, news, real estate, real estate agent, realtor, customer service
  • Time to Check Your Home Insurance Again . . .

    We now are entering the time of year when disasters seem most likely in Boulder County.

    Think the 2010 Fourmile Fire and the unexpected storm last year. Both started in September, which is just a month-and-a-half away.

    So this might be a good time to make sure your home is insured for its REPLACEMENT cost, not market value.

    It's important to remember the foothills often play a part in these disasters. And many Boulder County neighborhoods start where the foothills end.

    But even areas away from the mountains are affected by floods, and grass fires can spread across flat areas very quickly.

    This blog post is hardly new, but remains very current. Take a look!

    It offers good advice about making sure your structure is properly insured, ensuring your home's contents have adequate protection and taking care that you have the proper documentation stored off-site.

    Too many homeowers found themselves under-insured after recent tragedies.



    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.



    Tags: Insurance, Home Insurance, disaster, tragedy, fourmile fire,
    Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, news
  • Boulder's Newest Neighborhood . . .

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boulder, In My Neighborhood in Boulder  |  July 10, 2014 8:10 PM  |  209 views  |  1 comment
    Executives from Koelbel Urban Homes said this afternoon that construction of Boulder's newest community will begin this fall, with the first of 31 homes hopefully completed in March of 2015.

    Koelbel Senior Vice President Peter Benson and Vice President Carl Koelbel introduced TrailCrossing at Lee Hill to Boulder to Realtors® this afternoon during a gathering at Bacco Trattoria and Mozzarella Bar in North Boulder.


    Koelbel Urban Homes Vice President Carl Koelbel (left) and Senior Vice President Peter Benson.


    The 6.1-acre new development will be just south of Dakota Ridge off Lee Hill Rd. between 8th and 10th Sts. The project comes as work in Dakota Ridge winds down after years of construction there.

    TrailCrossing plans include three homes built under Boulder's Affordable Housing Program (priced about $230,000), and 28 market value dwellings with base prices ranging from the low $500,000s to the $700,000s.

    Finished square footage above ground will range from about 1,200 square feet to 2,700 square feet. Basements can be finished at additional costs, said Benson. All will be two-story single-family residences.

    (We picked up floor plans and exterior drawings during the introductory event and will be happy to share them. Contact us at 303.961.1617.)



    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.

    Photo © Ron Rovtar

    Tags: TrailCrossing,
    Koelbel Urban Homes, Koelbel, development, neighborhood, new construction, Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, news, TrailCrossing at Lee Hill
  • Boulder County Tidbits . . .

    Posted Under: General Area in Boulder County, Quality of Life in Boulder County  |  May 19, 2014 4:07 PM  |  528 views  |  2 comments

    There's always something interesting going on in Boulder County as this photo from a recent Boulder Farmers' Market shows.  Below are some  links about life in Boulder County:



    Local Guitarist Trace Bundy

    Since when were guitars supposed to sound like this? Awesome! Trace Bundy of Boulder.


    Wild West End Wednesdays

    Here's an excellent reason to visit Pearl St. west of the mall on Wednesdays!


    Colorado is Officially Awesome

    Colorado was the subject of an exceptional write-up in the Huff Post travel section. Within the 19 reasons "Colorado is the Most Magical State," Boulder is mentioned twice. There actually are 20 reasons here, including two number 11s, probably because some people will not find Rocky Mountain Oysters appealing (the first #11). Apparently those folks would rather go to a baseball game at Coors Field (the second #11). Imagine that!


    Boulder Farmers' Market

    We recently enjoyed a Wednesday afternoon taking photos at Boulder's Farmers' Market. Some of the images are posted here on facebook.


    Section 8 Lottery in June

    Boulder Housing Partners will accept applications for Section 8 vouchers June 10 -14. Applications will be submitted online only.  Section 8 is a Federal housing assistance program for low-income families.

    What to Do; What to Do


    It's time to start planning your summer entertainment schedule. There's a lot going on in the Boulder area. Here's some venues you might want to check out:

    Colorado Shakespeare Festival

    Boulder Theater

    Fox Theatre

    Chautauqua

    The Dairy Center

    eTown

    Red Rocks

    And you want to look farther ahead, CU is going to have some fine entertainment next fall.




    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.

    Photo © Ron Rovtar

    Tags: Boulder, Boulder County, Colorado, news
  • Watch Crude Oil Prices Now . . .

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Boulder County, Home Buying in Boulder County, Financing in Boulder County  |  May 5, 2014 3:33 PM  |  695 views  |  2 comments
    Often, when predicting the near future of the real estate market, "experts" start by discussing mortgage interest rates.

    It's almost a knee-jerk reaction because mortgages and homes are tied so tightly together.

    But house payments are not the only large but necessary expenses of daily living. Food and energy also come to mind.

    If food and/or energy prices rise, we usually feel the pinch fairly quickly and may put off purchasing our next home until our personal cash flow situation improves.

    So, while all the experts lately seem focused on Federal Reserve tapering and the effect on mortgage interest rates, we're finding more important data elsewhere.

    Since gasoline is a hugely important expense for most of us, we're watching as the light crude futures trade in a tightening price range right around $100 a barrel.

    This triangular pattern is a little disconcerting because it offers not a clue about the near future direction of the market. 

    We do know the pattern for crude futures cannot narrow much more. And, from previous experience watching other markets, we know that a break in this tightening pattern usually signals a robust move in the direction of the break.

    As a result, we'll be watching light crude prices very closely during the next few months to see what this very important commodity can tell us about the future of the housing market.

    And we'll worry about Fed tapering at a later date.



    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.

    Tags: Boulder, Boulder County, home prices, oil prices, crude oil, futures, homes, houses
    , finances, mortgages,
  • Berkshire Hathaway Brand Catches Fire . . . !

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boulder County, Home Selling in Boulder County, Home Ownership in Boulder County  |  March 19, 2014 11:35 AM  |  1,010 views  |  No comments
    The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand has been live less than a year. But it already has caught fire in a big way!

    It was announced this morning that BHHS was named the  “Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year” in the 26th annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.
     
    And why not? Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices combines the Prudential Real Estate brand, which won three of four J.D. Powers awards for customer service last year, with HomeServices, a regional brand with a stellar reputation of its own.

    “This terrific honor by consumers is a tribute to our powerful brand – whose namesake is the world-renowned Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and the top-quality affiliates and agents who represent it,” said Earl Lee, CEO of HSF Affiliates LLC, which operates Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

    To win this honor, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices received the highest numerical Equity Score among large real estate brands included in the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study.

    The study involved 41,806 consumers. This morning's press release said the study " . . . measures and compares the brand health of more than 1,500 brands across 170 categories from airlines and apparel to retailers and real estate."


    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO. Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617.  To learn more about Ron, please visit his website. For more about life in Boulder County and nearby, check out our facebook page.

    Tags: Boulder, Boulder County, Berkshire Hathaway, HomeServices, real estate, agency, realtor, BHHS,
    EquiTrend®, Harris Poll, Prudential Real Estate, real estate agency brand of the year
  • A Year for New Home Construction . . .

    Posted Under: General Area in Boulder County, Home Buying in Boulder County, Home Selling in Boulder County  |  February 18, 2014 11:12 AM  |  1,129 views  |  2 comments
    If ever there was a year tailor-made for Boulder County home builders, 2014 may be (probably will be) it.

    The reasons are simple. For sale inventory of existing houses and "attached dwellings"  has tumbled well below historic levels. Meanwhile, buyers have returned to the market in numbers larger than we have seen since before the 2008-2009 recession.

    As a result, bidding wars are common. Existing home prices are rising. Buyers are settling for less. Sometimes potential buyers are deciding to stay where they currently live.

    And new home construction is starting to boom.

    According to the Boulder Area Realtors® Association, house sales in Boulder and Broomfield Counties rose 8.6 percent during 2013 on a year over year basis, while the sales of attached dwellings rose 16.9 percent.

    The increases occurred despite strong headwinds. According the the Colorado Association of Realtors®, 2013 Inventory of available Boulder County houses hit its yearly peak of just 1,390 units in June.  There were just 411 attached units available at the yearly peak in May.

    In recent Boulder County history, house inventory regularly rose above 2,000 dwellings during the summer while attached dwelling inventory usually topped out at more than 800 units.

    Unfortunately, nothing suggests inventory of existing dwellings will improve this year. In fact we've heard a number of potential sellers say they are staying put because finding a new home will be too hard after they sell or end a lease.

    Which brings us back to new construction.

    It is booming throughout Boulder County. And it offers buyers an important escape from the uncertainties of searching in the existing residential market.

    Construction at recently initiated projects, like Steel Ranch in Lafayette, moves along briskly these days. 

    Recently we've seen regular reports of new projects in local media. It was announced this week that Markel will build 53 homes at W. South Boulder Road and Cimarron Dr. in Lafayette. A 31-home project in North Boulder was unveiled in December.

    Additionally, we noticed on the IRES MLS that McStain has started building new homes at the Triple Crown Meadows subdivision in Niwot. Triple Crown builders fell on hard times during the recession, but the situation clearly has improved recently.

    Of course, new construction is not for everybody. 

    New home buyers often must sign a purchase contract before construction starts, making the move-in date feel like a distant dream. It can be hard to predict what the homes will sell for once the builder (or builders) leave the subdivision. Even with model homes to walk through, visualizing a new home with different finishes can be challenging. And some builders simply do better work than others.

    For these and other reasons, hiring a knowledgeable real estate agent is good advice for buyers of new homes.

    But buying a new home can be the right answer for many. 

    Today's new homes generally are among the most energy-efficient ever built. They come with a builders' warranties. Buyers often can pick their own finishes. Builders sometimes offer reduced-interest mortgages and other incentives. Construction periods give new home buyers time to prepare current homes for sale.

    So there are good reasons to consider new homes. And we expect more buyers to explore new construction this year because the market has made "new" more appealing.


    Ron Rovtar, dba Front Range Real Estate, Ltd., is a broker associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Real Estate of the Rockies in Boulder, CO.  Please call Ron with all your questions. He can be reached at 303.981.1617. To learn more about Ron, please visit his website.

    Tags: new home, new construction, homes, houses, townhouses, condos, neighborhoods, builders, Boulder, Boulder County, Lafayette, Louisville, Longmont, Niwot, CO, Colorado, local
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