May 2010

There are 29 blog entries for May 2010.


What is LEED?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system was developed by the US Green Building Council (USBGC) as a voluntary green building certification program that provides a third-party rating system for “green-built” construction.  This internationally recognized rating system applies to a wide variety of buildings, both residential and commercial, and provides a framework for owners and operators to design, build and operate structures that have improved levels of energy savings, CO2 emissions reductions and improved indoor lighting and air quality.  The LEED rating system also promotes infill development opportunities by offering incentives during the site-selection process and proximity to public transit.  The

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e1275076271_320As many of you know, many areas in Colorado have been hit hard by recent major wind and hail storms. Here's some pointers to protect yourself as you deail with the damage.

Simple steps to protect you when a storm hits and before choosing a Contractor...
  • CALL your insurance company immediately if your know for sure you have damage.
  • NEVER sign anything before you fully understand what you are signing. One of the most common tricks is to have you sign something just to let an inspector get on the roof. You may actually be signing a contract and don't know it.
  • ALWAYS get a quote in writing. We suggest getting more than one. Some companies will tell you that they will just do the job for the insurance price. This is not adequate.
  • CHECK with the Better
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The 8th annual Denver Chalk Art Festival on Larimer Square is just a week away! The FREE two-day street-painting festival will feature 200 artists who will spend hours that weekend turning the streets of Larimer Square into a museum of chalk art.
June 5, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
June 6, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition to amazing chalk art from 200 artists, the festival features all kinds of event excitement throughout the weekend.

    * Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design Youth Challenge: Colorado high schools and youth groups will compete for cash prizes that will go to their respective school’s visual arts departments.

    * Mike's Camera Capture the Color Contest: Mike’s Camera presents YOUR opportunity to be an artist for the

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Effective June 1, 2010, Fannie Mae will begin requiring a final credit check just before closing and funding on a new mortgage. 

 If new loans exist that are sizable enough to affect the debt-to-income ratio calculations used in the original mortgage approval, the whole deal could fall through.

 Alternatively, if the credit score has dropped below the minimum requirement for the loan, the deal could fall through. 

Credit reporting is like a snapshot on a given day, so scores tend to fluctuate from day to day.  A buyer could potentially have a 620 score on day of application and a 619 on closing day, rendering them ineligible for financing, for example.

Read more here.

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It seems like the lower priced homes are flying off the shelves, but how are the high priced homes in Denver doing?  According to a terrific article out today from John Rebchook with, surprisingly well. 

A total of 58 homes sold for more than $1 million in April, up more than 70 percent from March and 18 percent from April 2009 when the nation’s economy was just beginning to pull out of its long downturn. Last month’s sales were the most for any month since June of 2009.

 This is a great sign for the Denver market which has been troubled by declined sales in the $500,000 and up range for the past few years.  With the drop in interest rates this past week, along with the stock market doing better, we have already seen

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Denver Parks and Recreation announces its 2010 summer movies  
Bring the whole family out to see some of the brightest stars, both on the screen and in the sky, at one of the Blockbuster Movies in the Parks. For the 5th year, Denver Parks and Recreation will host, along with our sponsors, 11 movies in park locations across the City.

   Movies in the Parks are always family-friendly and fun-filled entertainment. These G-, PG- and PG -13 rated films start at sunset with plenty of pre-movie opportunities to play, meet the neighbors and enjoy free popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy. Other concessions also will be available for purchase.

   With inflatable screens over 24-feet wide and a high-quality sound system, these unique movie-going experiences…
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Here's our periodic glance at select urban Denver neighborhood sales data. We're featuring Observatory Park, Congress Park and City Park South this time. Want to know about your ‘hood? Contact us today.

Observatory Park
S. University Blvd. – Colorado Blvd./E. Evans – Yale
Under Contracts:  5
Active Listings:  16
YTD Sales:  9
Avg. Sold Price:  $882,756
Avg. Finished SQFT:  3797
Avg. Price/Finished SQFT:  $232
Avg. Days on Market:  197
Sold Price Range:  $624K - $1.190M
*these statistics reflect new(er) construction homes only
Congress Park
Josephine St. – Colorado Blvd./8th Ave. – Colfax Ave.
Under Contracts:  12
Active Listings:  40
YTD Sales:  16
Avg. Sold Price:  $340,914
Avg. Finished SQFT:  1397
Avg. Price/Finished SQFT:  244
Avg. Days on Market:  62
Sold Price

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With the crash of the European economy, what is going to happen to real estate prices in Denver now?  With the roller coaster ride we have been on lately, it is no surprise that this latest concern for the economy, this time from Europe, will have an immediate impact on the American economy, and at an even more local level, here in Denver.  

To answer this question, you have to look no further than to what happened at the end of last week.  In case you haven't noticed, interested rates are falling, no, tumbling.  We are once again seeing historic lows on interest rates and while we expected to be back in the 6% range by the end of the year, it now appears that we might remain in the 4% range for the time being as European money keeps flooding into our

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Before the fun, there is the fundraising. The Sunnyside Music Festival volunteers have launched a fundraising effort to shore up the beloved Greater Highlands music festival, which suffered bad weather last September and left the rolls in the red.

The community, in true Highlands spirit, has begun to rally. A new Board has been formed to advise the Festival’s all-volunteer staff. The Board is headed up by community leaders such as former Councilman and new Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Rick Garcia; Mollie O’Brien, national recording artist and Prairie Home Companion regular; and our own John Skrabec, former advertising agency guru and owner of LIVE Urban Real Estate.

“The Sunnyside Music Festival is truly a premier event for

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Interest rates often define the real affordability of homes.  While tax credits are incentives, low interest rates create long term advantages for homeowners and investors.  Today, rates as low as 4% for a 15 year mortgage or a 30 year FHA mortgages 4.65% is unprecedented.    While many expected the real estate marketplace to be affected by the end of tax credits, 2010 continues to provide unique opportunities.

Great incentive for  1st time buyers.
Live Urban was very successful in finding homes for our first time clients with the tax credit program.  While the program has come to a close, the advantage of home ownership over renting remains strong, especially with stabilizing prices and significantly lower interest rates.   Mortgage interest remains a

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