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Don't Fall into the Rental Trap

by KCM

62% of renters indicate they believe they are losing money by renting- and rents only continue to increase. Don't fall into the rental trap! If you're currently renting, let's get together to explore your homeownership options.

Summit Real Estate's Deena Heppner Sponsoring Fundraiser

by Allison Simson

Join Us! A Fundraiser to benefits our local Silverthorne Climbing Gym!

When: November 5th, 2019 6:00 pm

Where: Summit Climbing Gym 1291 Blue River Parkway Silverthorne (Next to Habitat ReStore)

What: Watch the latest (often sold out) Reel Rock installment "Reel Rock 14". Plus FREE Beer/Pizza and a Rad Raffle!

View Trailer "Reel Rock 14":

Get Reel Rock 14 Tickets click on image:

 


FRISCO — Upgrades are coming to some of Frisco’s community parks.

The Frisco Town Council unanimously passed a resolution to adopt a new Neighborhood Parks Master Plan at its regular meeting Tuesday night, opening the door for an estimated $3 million worth of improvements in the next five years.

“These final neighborhood park concept plans are the result of a comprehensive community outreach process that stemmed from our community plan update last fall,” Community Planner Susan Lee said. “These were the parks that rose to the top in terms of community desire for improvements.”

The new plan was developed following a special public meeting held in November 2018 — along with online surveys, site visits and conceptual design development by Norris Design — prioritizing improvements to Walter Byron Park, Meadow Creek Park, Pioneer Park and Old Town Hall Park.

The plan outlines a number of upgrades and capital improvements for each of the parks based on community feedback.

Instead of completing all of the outlined improvements at one park at a time, Lee said the town likely would mix and match when it jumps into projects within the parks.

At Walter Byron Park, the plan details almost $1.5 million in improvements including upgrades to create a year-round restroom facility, incorporating new playground equipment, providing more access points to Tenmile Creek and creating additional gathering areas for things like picnics.

The upgrades at Meadow Creek Park, expected to cost about $676,000, largely revolve around efforts to improve safety and optimize use during winter. The plan for the park includes reconfiguring parking and landscaping to improve visibility in the park, installing overhead lighting over the pond, improving ice skating amenities, creating better connections to trails in the area and investing in new playground equipment.

The plan also outlines more than $320,000 worth of improvements at Pioneer Park, including better maintenance on tennis courts, the addition of a new nature play area for kids, and infrastructure investments to improve drainage and signage, among other projects.

Finally, the plan anticipates about $550,000 in upgrades to the Old Town Hall Park. The plan calls for the development of a more functional urban plaza space so that the park serves as a kind of extension of Main Street, along with improved amenities like better lighting and additional seating. The plan also includes the installation of a small stage that could be used as an outdoor classroom, and the development of interactive play features for kids.

While there aren’t any hard timelines on the park improvement projects, the town is expected to begin putting out requests for proposals to contractors next year. The town budgeted $750,000 for park improvements in 2020, beginning with Walter Byron and Meadow Creek parks.

The first phase of improvements scheduled for next year includes the restroom and playground upgrades at Walter Byron Park, followed by safety and landscaping improvements at Meadow Creek Park.

FRISCO — Coloradans are hopping on board with public transportation, according to new numbers released from Bustang, Colorado’s statewide bus service.

The service launched in 2015 and officially celebrated its fourth anniversary earlier this month, when community members from around the state highlighted the Colorado Department of Transportation’s work on the project, noting the rapid increase in the number of residents choosing to bus their way across the state in lieu of driving.

“We’re grateful for the support we’re getting from the riders in Colorado,” said Mike Timlin, Bustang program manager with CDOT. “People see the value in the service, and we’re pleased to offer it. The way people have responded, I believe they want to see this continue to expand.”

Bustang provides public transportation across the state, offering three main lines and a few Outrider services that launched last year ranging from Grand Junction in the west to Lamar in the east and from Fort Collins in the north to Alamosa and Durango in the south. Passengers utilizing the service get to ride in relative style, with each of Bustang’s coaches offering restrooms, bike racks, USB and 110v outlets, and even free Wi-Fi.

Since the first year Bustang began operating, ridership has grown steadily from just over 102,000 riders to more than 238,000 in 2018-19. This year’s ridership numbers also represent a significant 23% jump from 2017-18 when just more than 194,000 riders utilized the service.  

For stakeholders around the state, the program’s evolution is a huge step in the right direction. Danny Katz, director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group Foundation, said the project has dramatic effects on issues surrounding accessibility, safety, economics and more.

“When you think about our transportation system, it has so many different impacts on Colorado,” Katz said. “It impacts our health, there are safety issues, affordability issues and accessibility issues. Too long has our transportation system been dependent on a system that requires you to own and operate your own vehicle just to get around.

“Traditionally, the kinds of vehicles we drive are producing a lot of pollution. It’s expensive to own and operate your own vehicle, and something like 10% of Coloradans don’t even have a driver’s license that are of driving age. There’s people who can’t or choose not to drive, so we need those other options. … I applaud CDOT for recognizing that they have a good system that deserves to expand and grow, and that’s what they’ve been doing.”

On the west line — which runs from Denver to Grand Junction through Summit County, with a stop at the Frisco Transfer Center — ridership also saw a considerable 69% swell in less than a year, expanding from 38,625 riders (July 2017 to June 2018) to 65,332 (July 2018 to March 2019).

“This is a huge impact for all those local communities up there,” Katz said. “A few thousand cars can really cause a lot of congestion and pollution in your local communities. So an option like this is a really good thing, and I think that ridership growth shows there’s a real need along the I-70 corridor to get around on a bus. It’s a good example of where this is really going well.”

Timlin said that given the quick growth on the west line, CDOT has had some issues keeping up with demand over the past year. Though, the department is already working to address the issue. Since winter, CDOT has added five new busses to its fleet bringing the total from 19 to 24, in addition to seven Outrider busses. Timlin said Ace Express Coaches of Golden, which is contracted to operate Bustang, also recently hired more employees to help meet increasing demand.

The extra capacity likely will be put to the test right away. CDOT is planning on expanding services later this year, beginning with pilot routes from Denver to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park on weekends starting in fall. CDOT also is hoping to expand services to Pueblo and the Interstate 70 corridor in December. Perhaps most notable is ongoing planning for a project called Snowstang, which would provide service directly to ski areas from December to April. Timlin said recruiting already has begun to get ski areas on board but noted that Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and Loveland Ski Area already were committed.

While plans are somewhat ambitious, CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson said Bustang’s ongoing expansion largely will be tied to the availability of resources and funding.

“It’s exceeded all of our expectations,” said Timlin, reflecting on the past four years of the program. “We do annual planning on what we think we’re going to see in growth and ridership, and it continues to exceed that greatly. … If I had to grade it, I’d give it a resounding A.”

Source: Summit Daily 

A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

by KCM

Recently, there's been a lot of news surrounding an impending recession. However, the same experts predicting an economic slowdown also believe it will not be caused by the housing market. If you're thinking of buying or selling a home, there's no need to panic- let's get together to address your concerns and talk about what's really happening.

10 Easy Hacks to Save Money Around the House

by Bomb Bomb

I hope you’re enjoying your first few weeks of fall and (hopefully) cooler temperatures. With the changing of the seasons, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at your home and make tweaks that will help you save money this fall and winter. 

Ten ways you can adjust your habits and make small, affordable household hacks that will lower your utility bills — and in many cases, help the environment. 

If you’d rather look for a new home that’s more energy-efficient, please let us know; We'd be happy to help!

Summit Made the Top Five Vacation Spots~

by NAR

In today’s fast-paced world where answers are a Google search away, there are some who may wonder what the benefits of hiring a real estate professional to help them in their home search are. The truth is, the addition of more information causes more confusion.

Shows like Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and dozens more on HGTV have given many a false sense of what it’s like to buy and sell a home.

Now more than ever, you need an expert on your side who is going to guide you toward your dreams and not let anything get in the way of achieving them. Buying and/or selling a home is definitely not something you want to DIY (Do It Yourself)!

Here are just some of the reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner:
There’s more to real estate than finding a house you like online!

There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?

You Need a Skilled Negotiator

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars. Each step of the way – from the original offer, to the possible renegotiation of that offer after a home inspection, to the possible cancellation of the deal based on a troubled appraisal – you need someone who can keep the deal together until it closes.

What is the home you’re buying or selling worth in today’s market?

There is so much information on the news and on the Internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

Today’s real estate market is highly competitive. Having a professional who’s been there before to guide you through the process is a simple step that will give you a huge advantage!

 

Sellers: Now Is the Time to Buy!

by KCM

Falling interest rates coupled with increasing inventory create the ideal market to find the home of your dreams. There's no time like the present to move up! Let's get together to discuss your options.


FRISCO — Summit County’s Family & Intercultural Resource Center has announced that its 3-year-old Housing Works Initiative has helped nearly 100 Summit County residents find long-term rental housing. The Housing Works program connects Summit County workers in need of housing with landlords willing to convert their vacation or short-term rental properties into long-term housing.

The program, which is supported by The Summit Foundation, seeks to put a dent in the county’s shortage of housing for full-time workers. Recent figures from the state demographer’s office reveal that 68% of Summit County’s housing units are vacant, meaning they are not lived in for a majority of the year or are used as short-term rentals. That leaves very few units available for long-term or yearlong leases, compounding the extremely high cost of living in Summit.

When it started nearly four years ago, Housing Works leased 15 housing units to local workers. Now, 32 units are leased with more units coming online every month. Housing Works has helped 67 working adults and 30 children find long-term housing in Summit County, people who otherwise might be forced to find housing in places like Grand, Lake or Park counties.

“Personally, I am very grateful for FIRC,” Norma, one of Housing Works’ first tenants, wrote in Spanish in a letter to the nonprofit. “Thanks to you, I have had a secure place to live for the past four years. All of the staff are attentive and try to help. Thanks to Housing Works, I have a safe place to live with my family.”

Aside from helping workers live near where they work, Housing Works also boosts the local permanent workforce pool, from which businesses draw, as well as helps build up the local permanent resident community.

Anita Overmyer, the organization’s marketing and events director, said families in secure and stable housing situations are able to be better parents, employees and community members, which is the foundation of the resource center’s mission in Summit County.

Michel Infante, the resource center’s supportive services manager, oversees the Housing Works program. He said the organization works with local real estate and property management group Omni Real Estate to connect with property owners who would be willing to convert their short-term, former owner-occupied or newly purchased properties into long-term rentals. 

Omni surveys potential properties and agrees to a monthly rental price with the property owner in line with the caps the resource center sets for rentals. To avoid putting people in a position where they become cost-burdened, rents are capped at $1,500 for one bedrooms or studios, $2,100 for two-bedroom units and $2,600 for three-bedroom units. 

Even with the cap, the resource center does not rent units to potential tenants if their rent-to-income ratio exceeds 50%. This is a safety measure for the tenants and landlords to ensure the tenants will be able to pay their rent and to avoid a situation where they are unable to pay for other necessities, like food and utilities.

Scholarships are available through various sources to help potential tenants pay rent if they are just over the rent-to-income ratio.

After a property becomes available, the resource center advertises it through various outlets. Infante screens potential tenants, and if they are approved for a unit, they connect with Omni real estate, who handles the leasing arrangements

The program is sold to property owners with numbers showing how much more financially sensible it is to lease their units long-term than short-term or vacation rentals. Homeowners can stand to make $10,000 more a year renting through Housing Works than they might through short-term rentals. 

For example, a two-bedroom short-term rental unit usually has as much as 35% of costs going toward property management, while it’s usually about 6.5% for long-term rentals. Combined with the resource center’s screening process, property owners have more of a guarantee they will get a stable tenant who will provide a consistent rental income, as opposed to the inconsistency of relying on tourists, who might not visiting during shoulder seasons.

The Recourse Center reported that 96% of tenants wound up resigning their leases and staying in the program.

“Renting our condo through FIRC’s Housing Works Initiative has brought us peace of mind,” homeowner Kyle Hendricks said in a testimonial about the program. “We rely on the rental income to pay our mortgage, and by renting through Housing Works, we know we will get that payment consistently. It also feels good knowing that we are contributing in our small way to be part of the solution to Summit County’s housing crisis. By providing a long-term rental unit in our community, one more family can have a safe and stable place to live.”

The resource center is aiming to have 45 units available in its program but will grow further as more units become available. Units get rented as soon as they are listed and are rented on a first-come, first-served basis with no waiting list. The nonprofit advertises the units through various channels, including its own website at SummitFIRC.org, the Summit Daily News and social media.

Homeowners interested in listing their properties for long-term leases through Housing Works should contact Community Resource Coordinator Caitlin Johnson at [email protected] or call 970-455-0236.

 

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Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker