Crested Butte Realty :: Sigrid Cottrell
 

Butte Blog

Sigrid's Butte Blog

2016 Year-End Summary

February 16, 2017
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Fed rate hike: What it means for consumers

January 1, 2017
Financial markets have sent a forceful message that the era of super-low interest rates is coming to a close.

The Federal Reserve’s decision Wednesday to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate will slowly push up rates on everything from mortgages and credit cards to savings accounts. 

The Fed increased its federal funds rate by 0.25 percentage points. It was only the second increase in more than a decade. Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen said at a press conference that the economy had shown enough improvement in the last year to warrant higher increases and projected three more rate hikes in 2017.

Here’s how the rate hikes will affect your pocketbook.

Mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are already historically low and the Fed’s short-term rate bump — which indirectly affects mortgage rates — is not likely to make a big difference in the next few months. But, subsequent hikes by the Fed in 2017 could start to really add to the cost of a home. 

Zillow and other industry watchers say mortgage rate increases have more of an impact in costly home markets, like San Diego County. 

Rates have already gone up since president-elect Donald Trump’s victory.

Since the day before the election, the cost of a typical San Diego County home increased by $50,400 over the course of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with 20 percent down. 

The median home price in the county, $507,500, hit its highest point in a decade in Quick read more or view full article October. Mortgage rates were 3.59 percent the day before president-elect Donald Trump’s victory, rising to 4.19 percent Wednesday, said Mortgage Daily News.

Mortgage rates typically track the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury. That yield has risen sharply since the election as investors take money out of bonds and put it in the stock market. However, the bond market could still change course as investors become less bullish on stocks. 

Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages for Zillow, said coastal California will feel the impact more than, for instance, much of the Midwest. 

“Those higher price markets are where even moderate increases in rates can be felt more significantly,” she said. 

Lantz said higher interest rates could slow home price increases, but it is not likely prices will go down. She stressed interest rates were still at historic lows and there does not seem to be any drop in purchase loan requests on Zillow.

However, subsequent rate increases could make more of a dent. 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, predicted Wednesday after the Fed announcements that the mortgage rate would be in the 4.5 to 5 percent range for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at this time next year.

Randy Goodman, CEO of Accretive Investments, said at a real estate conference last week at the University of San Diego that even though interest rates have an effect on San Diegans, there are non-local buyers who can prop up the market.

He identified foreign buyers and so-called "baby chasers," parents who move across the nation to be with adult children who recently had kids of their own, as people ready to pay higher rates. 

Auto loans

Current car owners paying off a fixed-rate loan will not be affected by any rate increase, but new shoppers looking to buy could pay more — but not much.

The average interest rate for a new car was around 4.26 percent in early December and 4.79 percent for a used car, said Bankrate, a financial website that tracks loan rates.

Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate, said people looking to purchase a car shouldn’t lose sleep over interest rate changes. 

“The difference of a 0.25 percentage point for somebody looking to borrow $25,000 is $3 a month,” he said in a Facebook video. “So, nobody is going to have to downsize from the SUV to a compact.”

More Fed increases next year, though, would make these loans more costly. While auto loans are not a huge part of the economic puzzle, Lantz said increases in various parts of the economy mean less disposable income for basic items, and people could put off big purchases.

Savings accounts and CDs

If you like to save money, you’re happy to see any rise in interest rates. But don’t get too excited because Wednesday’s move will have a marginal impact on your nest egg.

Rates on many savings products are still in the basement — down nearly 6 percent since 1990. Consumers are still lucky to find a savings account with 1 percent rates.

Savings accounts and certificates of deposit, or CDs, benefit from high yields and could become more of a factor if the Fed continues to raise rates. 

“If this signals the beginning of more rate hikes to come, then I think you will begin to see meaningful increases in the yields people are earning,” said Claes Bell, Bankrate researcher. 

Money market accounts, a subset of savings accounts, have historically performed much better. The yearly yield was 5.98 percent in 1990, said Bankrate. By 2000, it was down to 2.07. Today,  the average rate on a money market account is 0.11 percent, with the best rates usually coming from credit unions. Rates in San Diego County range from 0.01 to 0.05 percent, according to Bankrate. 

Credit cards

If you have a credit card with a variable rate or a home equity line of credit, you’ll feel Wednesday’s Fed move pretty quickly.

Average credit card interest rates are about 16.28 percent, while home equity lines are about 4.78 percent, says Bankrate. And banks will pass along that quarter-point increase in the fed funds rate to consumers in a few weeks. So, it will make sense to pay this type of debt off before rates get too high or get into some sort of fixed-rate repayment.

“The cost of carrying that debt every month is going to get heavier and heavier,” Bell said. 

The average San Diego County resident was $26,266 in debt in October, according to credit monitoring company Experian. That can include mortgages, student loans and credit cards.

Article by: 
phillip.molnar@sduniontribune.comtime since ‘06 Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Here Are The 10 Best Places To See Colorado’s Stunning Fall Colors

September 27, 2015
 
Quick read more or view full article line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">

In the fall, Colorado is transformed into a natural arena of shimmering colors, with the state’s signature gold Aspen trees serving as the main act. These 10 trip ideas will point you in the direction of shimmering yellows, oranges and reds this September and October.

1. Trail Ridge Road

The highest continuous paved road in North America winds through Rocky Mountain National Park from Estes Park in the east to Grand Lake in the west. With more than eight miles above 11,000 feet and a maximum elevation of 12,183 feet, Trail Ridge Road is an amazing vantage point for leaf peepers and is a favored spot for photographers. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy offers guided hikes and tours and volunteer opportunities in the park.

2. Kebler Pass

Gunnison is home to Kebler Pass, which boasts the largest aspen grove in North America and is one of renowned photographer John Fielder’s favorite places. Ohio Creek Road is a great starting point, as it passes some unique natural landscapes, including a series of ranch buildings marking the abandoned site of Castleton and the spires of “The Castles” — remnants of volcanic ash and mud that erupted from the West Elk Volcano some 30 million years ago.

3. The San Juan Skyway

San Juan Skyway, a breathtaking 236-mile loop through the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, offers visitors an amazing array of fall colors and includes a 70-mile stretch known simply as the Million Dollar Highway.  The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers a special Fall Photo Train that coincides with optimal fall foliage. Another unique way to experience Colorado’s fall colors is with Soaring® Tree Top Adventures, home to 27 zip lines that pass by brilliant aspens.

4. Maroon Bells

The iconic Maroon Bells, two towering 14,000-foot mountains nestled in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, are the most photographed peaks in North America. Located in the 2.3-million-acre White River National Forest, the Maroon Bells tower over numerous hiking trails that offer unbeatable views of golden aspen trees. The area is accessible by car, however buses run daily mid-June through Labor Day and on weekends Labor Day through early October from the Aspen Highlands.

5. Western Slope Colors

Colorado’s Western Slope is home to the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat top mountain, and Colorado wine country. In addition to the reds, whites and rosés made in Grand Junction and Palisade, fall brings with it glorious colors. Powderhorn Mountain Resort’s vibrant scrub oaks contrast with golden shimmering aspens along the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway.

6. Buffalo Pass

This dirt road just west of Steamboat Springs, is lined with rows of glowing aspen groves. The pass winds eight miles up toward the Continental Divide and Summit Lake, offering stunning views of the surrounding foliage. As the fall colors become more robust, locals recommend a hike to the pristine Zirkel Wilderness Area’s Three Island Lake Trail, which takes hikers through coniferous forests and high meadows, past glacial lakes and vistas. The 6.1-mile (round trip) trail is moderate in difficulty.

7. La Veta Pass

Peaking at an altitude of more than 9,400 feet, the La Veta Pass on U.S. Route 160 in southern Colorado (west of the town of La Veta) is one of the most scenic drives in the state during the fall season. Gold aspen trees mixed with dark green pines line the pass, while the magnificent Spanish Peaks and Sangre de Cristo Mountains tower over the foliage of the San Luis Valley. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad (May through October) passes through mountain meadows, canyons and colorful foothills otherwise inaccessible by cars.

8. Free Gondola Ride

The Telluride Free Gondola is one of the most popular ways to view Telluride’s amazing fall colors. The aerial views include the town of Telluride, its box canyon and colorful valleys lined with aspens and evergreens. For yet another way to see Telluride’s foliage, several trailheads are located right in town. Locals suggest the Jud Wiebe Trail, a three-mile loop that winds through large aspen groves and passes by Comet Falls.

9. Dallas Divide

Colorado Hwy. 62 over the Dallas Divide represents an epic fall Colorado drive. Starting near Ridgway, visitors can get an amazing view of Mount Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 58 14ers, and the expansive Sneffels Wilderness Area, which offers several hiking trails for those wishing to venture out further. The route eventually connects with Hwy. 45 and Lizard Head Pass, which offers views of Wilson Peak, the very mountain that inspired the iconic Coors logo. Read about other famous Colorado mountains.

10. Front Range Foliage

Peak to Peak Scenic and Historic Byway is Colorado’s oldest, having been established in 1918. The byway starts in Boulder and offers unmatched views of the Continental Divide and its dramatic fall colors. Though the byway is less than 60 miles in length, there are numerous stop off points along the route, including Rocky Mountain National Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, all of which offer their own unique vantage points for leaf peepers.

 
Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Crested Butte, the Best Ski Town in North American...

February 18, 2014
...The 15-seed mountain in Southern Colorado that beat everyone else

[The people of Crested Butte are taking to the streets to get the vote out. PHOTO: Crested Butte]
The people of Crested Butte are taking to the streets to get the vote out.
PHOTO: Crested Butte
The day after taking the second annual Ski Town Throwdown presented by Liftopia championship,
Crested Butte and its passionate denizens went after another win—the world record for the most
Santas skiing at one time. Santa suits sold for $25 a piece (and that included five drink tickets) and
hundreds of jolly red and bearded skiers stormed the mountain. That’s one of many reasons why
people voted Crested Butte the best ski town in North America. “We’re definitely a different breed
here in Crested Butte,” says Gabe Martin, 33, who owns the ski shopColorado Freeskier. “We’re so
far off the beaten path and we love that.”
Crested Butte was rated as a 15-seed in the Rocky Mountain West region, but the mountain beat
the oddsin the 64-town/ski area field, overcoming Powder Mountain/Snowbasin, Aspen, Big Sky,
Sun Valley, Stevens Pass, and the tournament runner-up, Eaglecrest, Alaska, by a record final
score of 17,156 votes to 17,063. CB is known for steep terrain and for hosting one of the longest
running big mountain competitions in the country (Freeskiing Extremes, a FWQ 4-star event), but
it’s also the kind of place where fundraisers are thrown for your neighbor’s dog who needs
surgery—and the entire town comes out to show support, says Martin. It’s a town of referrals,
where Quick read more or view full article your friend knows another person who can help you with that thing. It’s famous for the
burritos and tamales at Teocalli Temale—a cheap, quick, delicious meal to power up on
powder days (except you’ll have to wait until noon, because the people who make your burritos
will be skiing fresh pow all morning). Crested Butte is a town where you can move in without
knowing a soul, and four years later, become the mayor. That’s what happened to Mayor Aaron
Huckstep. “Crested Butte is a unique place. The locals take a lot of pride in that,” says Huckstep.
“That really is the glue that keeps everybody together.”
The day after winning the Ski Town Throwdown, Crested Butte showed up to the mountain (and the bar) as Santa Claus en masse. PHOTO: Kochevar's
[The day after winning the Ski Town Throwdown, Crested Butte showed up to the mountain
(and the bar) as Santa Claus en masse. PHOTO: Kochevar's]
The day after winning the Ski Town Throwdown, Crested Butte showed up to the
mountain(and the bar) as Santa Claus en masse.
PHOTO: Kochevar’s
Every time Crested Butte was up for another round of Ski Town Throwdown voting, there’d be a
party at the oldest saloon in town, Kochevar’s, another slice of Crested Butte goodness recently
renovated by owner Jason Vernon. Amid the wall-hanging taxidermy, porcelain dolls, and other old
artifacts the saloon has collected since it first opened in 1886, Crested Butte skiers and riders cast
their votes. Billboards across Colorado got the vote out. And last Friday, voters were biting their
nails until 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, when the polls closed. Crested Butte beat Eaglecrest by
a narrow 93 votes out of more than 34,000 total votes cast in the finals.
“Everyone gets pumped up,” says Martin, who hopped on a bus on Saturday night and gave a
shout out to CB’s win, spurring cheers from the rest of the riders. “We’re definitely going to be living
off this high for the next year.”
Details, Details:
Vertical: 2,775
Average Annual Snowfall: 300 inches
Total inbounds acreage: 1,547
Ticket price: $98
Don’t Miss: Teocallii Bowl, a short hike in and a short hike out, but your chances of finding a stash
are pretty good.

by: JULIE BROWN published: DECEMBER 17, 2013 Read Less
Posted by Sigrid Cottrell
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

How Much Snow is Too Much Snow on Your Roof?

February 6, 2014
By: Douglas Trattner[Snow on a home's roof]Wet snow is much heavier than dry, fluffy snow. Six inches of dry snow weighs about as much as 38 inches of wet snow. Image: Zvozdochka/iStockphoto

If you’ve had a big snowfall in your area and you’re wondering if your roof can stand the extra weight, don’t reach for a ladder and a shovel — reach for the telephone. Calling in a professional to remove ice and snow from your roof is the smartest — and safest — option.

When (If Ever) is it Necessary?

The critical factor in determining excessive snow loads on your roof isn’t the depth of the snow, it’s the weight, says home improvement expert Jon Eakes. 

That’s because wet snow is considerably heavier than dry, fluffy snow. In fact, 6 inches of wet snow is equal to the weight of about 38 inches of dry snow.

The good news is that residential roofs are required by building codes to withstand the heaviest snows for that particular part of the country.

“Theoretically, if your roof is built to code, it’s built to support more than the normal load of snow and ice,” says Eakes.

You can determine the type of snow you’re getting simply by hefting a few shovelfuls — you should be able to quickly tell if the current snowfall is wet or dry. Local winter storm weather forecasts should alert you to the possibility that snow loads are becoming excessive and a threat to your roof.

Quick read more or view full article /> How Do I Know There’s a Problem?

An indication that the accumulated snow load is becoming excessive is when doors on interior walls begin to stick. That signals there’s enough weight on the center structure of the house to distort the door frame.

Ignore doors on exterior walls but check interior doors leading to second-floor bedrooms, closets, and attics in the center of your home. Also, examine the drywall or plaster around the frames of these doors for visible cracks. 

Homes that are most susceptible to roof cave-ins are those that underwent un-permitted renovations. The improper removal of interior load-bearing walls is often responsible for catastrophic roof collapses.

The Snow Load Seems Excessive, Now What?

Most home roofs aren’t readily accessible, making the job dangerous for do-it-yourselfers.

“People die every year just climbing ladders,” Eakes points out. “Add ice and snow and you’re really asking for trouble.”

Instead, call a professional snow removal contractor to safely do the job. Check to make sure they are licensed and insured — that immediately sets them apart from inexperienced competitors.

Pro crews attack snow removal with special gear, including sturdy extension ladders, properly anchored safety harnesses, and special snow and ice-removal tools. Expect to pay $250-$500 for most jobs.

Don’t expect (or demand) a bone-dry roof at job’s end. The goal is to remove “excessive” weight as opposed to all weight. Plus, any attempt to completely remove the bottom layer of ice will almost always result in irreparable damage to your roofing.

The DIY Option

If you have a small, one-story bungalow where the roof is just off the ground, taking matters into one’s own hands may be safe — if you can work entirely from the ground and have the right tools.

Long-handled snow rakes work great on freshly fallen snow, and at $45 they are relatively affordable. Look for models with sturdy telescoping handles and built-in rollers, which keep the blade safely above the shingles. 

Other versions work by releasing the snow from underneath. These models slide between the roof and snow, allowing gravity and the snow’s own weight to do most of the work. Models range from $50-$125 or more for unique systems utilizing nylon sheeting. Again, search out models with sturdy adjustable handles.

Eakes offers a common sense word of caution about all these snow removal tools. “They tend to work their best on light, fluffy snow — the kind that probably doesn’t need to be removed in the first place.”

You’ll need to anticipate where the snow and ice will fall as you pull it off your roof — you won’t want to pull a load of heavy, wet snow down on top of yourself or any helpers.

Remember, the goal isn’t to remove all visible snow and ice, but rather just enough to relieve the excessive load on the roof.
Douglas Trattner with House Logic Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Heightened Market Conditions Fuel More Multiple Offers...

November 23, 2013

... and Higher Selling Price


More properties were sold above their asking price this year, as tight supply conditions
continued to heat up market competition in the first half of 2013, according to the
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2013 Annual Housing Market
Survey.”


Nearly half (49.5 percent) of all homes sold in 2013 were sold above asking price, nearly twice the share in 2012 (25.9 percent) and triple the share in 2011 (16.6 percent). The 2013 figure was more than twice the long-run average of 18 percent during the past 20 years. For homes that sold above the list price in 2013, the median premium paid over the list price was 4.8 percent, unchanged from 2012. For the third consecutive year, an increasing number of home sellers – nearly half – planned on purchasing another home in the future.


“Sellers are more upbeat about the housing market and are more comfortable with their
financial situation. As the real estate industry and the economy continue to recover, many sellers regained confidence in owning a home since the Great Recession,” says C.A.R. President Don Faught. “The number of home sellers planning on repurchasing, in fact increased to the highest level since 2007, which suggests that repeat buyers could be the driving force in the housing market in 2014.”


The shortage of housing supply intensified further this year, leading to heightened market Quick read more or view full article competition and more multiple offers, with more than seven of 10 home sales (72 percent) receiving multiple offers in 2013, up from 57 percent in 2012. The 2013 figure was the highest in at least the past 15 years, with each home receiving an average of 5.7 offers, up from 4.2 offers in 2012 and 3.5 offers in 2011.


The distressed market continued to be the most competitive segment of the market, with more than nine in 10 (91 percent) real estate-owned (REO) properties attracting multipleoffers, an increase from 71 percent in 2012. The short sale market was less intense than the REO market, but still three quarters of all sales received more than one offer, a jump from 66 percent in 2012. Close to seven of 10 equity sales received multiple offers in 2013, a surge from 51 percent in 2012.


Other key findings from C.A.R.’s “2013 Annual Housing Market Survey” include:


• The share of all cash buyers decreased for the first time after seven years of continuous increase. More than a quarter of all home buyers paid with all cash in 2013, triple what it was in 2001, when the share was 8.8 percent. The share of all cash buyers continued to stay well above the long-run average of 15.1 percent since 1998.


• Overseas buyers were increasingly interested in owning property in California. The share of international buyers rose for the third year in a row, up from 5.8 percent of total sales in 2012 and 5.7 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2013. More than half (57 percent) of all international buyers bought the property as a primary residence, while almost one-third (31 percent) of them purchased the property as an investment. Buyers from China, Mexico, and Canada made up the vast majority of international buyers at 34 percent, 15 percent, and 10 percent, respectively.


• Investors were very active in California’s housing market, creating high demand for
investment properties during the first half of 2013. Nineteen percent of total sales went to investors in 2013 compared to 16 percent in 2012. The demand for investment properties has grown significantly since 2000 as many bargain properties became available during the housing downturn. At the beginning of the past decade, the share of sales pertaining to investment home buyers was only 7 percent, but has nearly tripled since then. 


• As investors and first-time buyers competed intensely for lower-priced properties, the share of first-time buyers fell again in 2013 to 28 percent, after inching up slightly to 36 percent in 2012 and was well below the long-run average of 38 percent. It was the third decline in the last four years since the share of first-time buyers peaked at 47 percent in 2009, when home buyer tax credits fueled the demand for entry-level homes.


• Bargain hunting investors competed directly with first-time buyers looking for more
affordable homes in the distressed market. More than a third of all properties (34 percent) purchased by investors were either short sales or REO/foreclosures.

November 6, 2013                              by: RISMedia
 
Read Less
Posted by Sigrid Cottrell
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>
©2018 Crested Butte Realty, Inc. | 503 6th St. Suite #6 | Crested Butte, CO 81224 USA | Tel: 970.596.2596 | Fax: 877.860.7461 | sigrid@crestedbutterealtyinc.com