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OpenSnow launches ‘OpenSummit’ Summertime Mountaintop Weather Forecasts

by Antonio Olivero- Summit Daily


In time for summer hiking, the skiing-focused weather forecasting website OpenSnow and its Colorado-based founder Joel Gratz have launched a new mountaintop weather-forecasting service dubbed “OpenSummit.”

OpenSummit — available at OpenSummit.com — provides access to hourly weather forecasts for more than 1,000 locations across the country. Information for each location includes the chance of precipitation, lightning potential, temperature, wind speed and sunrise and sunset times free to all readers up to two days, and up to five days for OpenSnow/OpenSummit all-access subscribers. Gratz said additional forecast data and locations will be added over time. A dual OpenSummit-OpenSnow yearly subscription costs $19 annually.

The forecasting service provides information specific to 232 mountaintop locations in Colorado. Here in Summit County, the service provides information at locations including Buffalo Mountain, Uneva Peak, Peak One, Peak 10, Crystal Peak, Pacific Peak, Atlantic Peak, Fletcher Mountain, Quandary Peak, Bald Mountain, Mount Guyot, Mount Valhalla, Mount Powell, Eagles Nest, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Keystone Resort and Breckenride Ski Resort.

Other nearby locations include Torreys Peak, Grays Peak, Mount Edwards, Mount Sniktau, Pettingell Peak, Byers Peak, Square Top Mountain, Notch Mountain, Mount of the Holy Cross, Holy Cross Ridge, Clinton Peak Mount Lincoln, Mount Cameron, Mount Democrat, Mount Buckskin, Mount Bross, Mount Silverheels, Dyer Mountain, Mount Sherman, Horseshoe Mountain, Mount Massive, Mount Oklahoma, Mount Elbert, Casco Peak, Lackawanna, French Mountain. Mount Parnassus, Bard Peak, Vasquez Peak, Winter Park Resort and Colorado Mines Peak, among others.

An OpenSummit mobile-phone application is also available for download on iOS, while Android will be available by early June.

To search and see which mountains are included in the forecasting service, vist: OpenSummit.com/Explore.

 

Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage

Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Experts Agree: "Home Prices Will Rise This Year!"

by KCM

Many experts are revising their initial predictions for 2019 to reflect more aggressive projections for home price appreciation. This is great news for homeowners who will gain even more equity in their homes as prices rise! Let's get together to chat about what this means for you!

As the days get warmer, the snowcaps in the High Country are about to shrink. An epic spring runoff is in the works after one of the best winters in recent years, and local water...


As the days get warmer, the snowcaps in the High Country are about to shrink. An epic spring runoff is in the works after one of the best winters in recent years, and local water and emergency officials are preparing Summit County for the deluge.

Snowpack across the state is 654% of normal, according to the latest snow survey from the National Resources Conservation Service. That is 51 times larger than the state’s average snowpack at this time last year, with flooding a much bigger concern at this point than wildfire. The state of Colorado is drought-free for the first time in 20 years, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

To illustrate the change in fortunes, the county was on the verge of declaring Stage 1 fire restrictions at this time last year. Wednesday will mark one year since the Buffalo Mountain Fire nearly destroyed the Wildernest neighborhood near Silverthorne. That fire was borne out of extraordinarily dry and hot conditions after one of the worst winters in the state’s history.

This year, instead of supplying helicopters with water to dump on fires, Denver Water is draining water from Dillon Reservoir in anticipation of runoff, which is expected to really begin coming down in the next few weeks.

“This year being a high snowpack year, we know there’s going to be a lot of water getting into the reservoir,” Denver Water supply manager Nathan Elder said. “We’re trying to have enough space to catch that runoff while providing for safe outflows to the Blue River below the reservoir.”

At the moment, the reservoir — which is the main drinking water supply for 1.4 million people in the Denver metro area — is 75% full with 192,554 acre-feet of water. When full, the reservoir holds 257,304 acre-feet. An acre-foot of water would cover an area the size of an acre 1-foot deep. Given the current estimate for runoff volume, there will be more than enough water to fill it.

“The forecasting for the rest of June and July project a volume of anywhere from 169,000 acre-feet to 211,000 acre-feet coming into the reservoir,” Elder said. “That’ll fill it, but we’re probably not going to fill it until the Fourth of July to make sure we’re past that peak-inflow time.”

Elder said peak inflow to the reservoir is expected to start about a week later this year than usual, which also means Summit’s two marinas in Dillon and Frisco will have to wait before the reservoir is full enough for boating. However, boaters should have a lot more time for play this year compared with last, when boat ramps were retracted weeks before they normally would be due to low water.

“Typically, every year we target June 18 to be at 9,012-foot elevation needed for both marinas to be completely operational, but it’s going to be a little delayed this year,” Elder said. “But while the boating season might be shortened by a week on the front end, on the tail end, it should last quite a bit longer.”

The delay also means local emergency officials will be watching streamflows longer into the month, looking to spring into action if Tenmile Creek, Straight Creek or the Blue River approach the verge of flooding.

Current two-week projections show all three waterways approaching “action stage,” the threshold at which the towns and county are called to start flood mitigation preparations, by June 15.

Summit County’s director of emergency management Brian Bovaird said he closely has been watching the forecasts for flooding. That is opposed to last June when Bovaird, who recently had gotten the job as emergency director, was given a literal trial by fire.

“It’s like picking your poison,” Bovaird said. “Last year, it was wildfire. This year, it’s flooding. We’re expecting heavy runoff moisture, which is good for wildfire but makes us uneasy about the flooding risk.”

Bovaird said the county and towns have been on standby for weeks, and even if there is flooding, the county’s strict zoning requirements in 100-year floodplain areas mean homes are up to code in those locations and have flood insurance, minimizing the likelihood of significant damage or loss.

Dillon’s Fourth of July fireworks show shot down

by Summit Daily

Dillon’s Fourth of July fireworks show shot down


The county will be a little quieter this Fourth of July with no fireworks over Lake Dillon as community officials continue to consider the impacts of large crowds in the area.

The town of Dillon officially pulled the plug on their planned fireworks show over the reservoir this Independence Day, or rather the plug was pulled for them at the monthly Dillon Reservoir Recreation Committee (DRReC) meeting last week.

Dillon’s marketing and communications director Kerstin Anderson said the town had every intention of moving forward with a fireworks display going into the DRReC meeting last Tuesday — a committee made up of representatives from Dillon, Frisco, Summit County, the U.S. Forest Service and Denver Water. But after questions arose about public safety and the community’s desire to collaborate on big projects of this nature, the town’s permit was denied.

Denver Water, which operates the reservoir, is a required ‘yes’ for any events to take place on the reservoir. Denver Water’s manager of recreation Brandon Ransom, who serves on the committee, was among those who opposed the show.

According to Todd Hartman, a spokesman for Denver Water, the decision was largely influenced by health and safety concerns of the community, citing input from law enforcement and emergency services worried about their ability to navigate potentially extreme congestion around the reservoir, including on U.S. Highway 6 and CO Highway 9.

“Denver Water is proud to support many recreational activities and events around Dillon Reservoir through the DRReC partnership, which allows all stakeholders an opportunity to weigh in so we can carefully evaluate the activity with regard to public safety and resource requirements,” said Ransom in a statement provided to the Summit Daily.

The county’s fireworks shows began making news in January after Breckenridge decided to cancel their show, citing concerns regarding wildfire safety after back-to-back seasons with major fires: the Peak 2 Fire and the Buffalo Mountain Fire.

In response to Breckenridge’s cancellation, Frisco decided to cancel their annual show over the reservoir, though the decision was much more heavily influenced by safety concerns surrounding crowds and traffic than fires. On a particularly busy day in late January, emergency services from around the county complained that prolific traffic and crowds had become a legitimate factor in inhibiting emergency operations throughout the county, and Frisco feared that an even bigger turnout to their fireworks show in the wake of Breckenridge’s cancellation could create major public safety concerns.

“The big issues had to do with life safety, and concerns in emergency response and the volume of guests,” said Diane McBride, Frisco’s director of recreation and assistant town manager. “All of that came into play when we made that decision, and a lot of those same concerns were raised when Dillon proposed having the fireworks.”

In early April, Dillon began discussions to step in and fill the void. Despite some concerns from staff — including Dillon Police Chief Mark Heminghous — that the town may not have sufficient time to plan the event, nor the resources to effectively police the event, the town was still pushing forward with the show until the rejection at the DRReC meeting last week.

In addition to any fireworks over the reservoir getting axed, Keystone Resort also decided not to incorporate a fireworks display as part of their Fourth of July celebrations this year.

“After consideration of a number of factors, we are confident Keystone will continue to serve as an ideal location for an Independence Day celebration,” said Geoff Buchheister, vice president and general manager for Keystone Resort. “Keystone is proud to offer families and guests a variety of activities and events to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday.”

Regardless of the lack of fireworks in the county this year, officials are optimistic that there’s still plenty of programming to draw visitors to the area and give locals a fun holiday. Among the most notable Fourth of July events this year are a performance from the National Repertory Orchestra at Rainbow Park in Silverthorne in the morning, live music and parades throughout the day in Frisco and Breckenridge, and a performance by The Air Force Academy Band at Dillon Amphitheater to close out the night.

Anderson said that while the town won’t be doing fireworks this Fourth of July, that doesn’t necessarily mean fireworks won’t be returning sometime in the future.

“In general the community is reevaluating how we manage big events collectively, and that’s going to be a process that each entity is going to need to come together to find where those parameters are and what works,” said Anderson. “The council needs to have a discussion and consider whether fireworks for Labor Day is a direction they’d want to go, knowing it’s a tough fire time of year, or looking at doing something at another time of year like the Lighting of Dillon. But fireworks are not off the table in Dillon.”

Some Highlights:

If you are planning on listing your house for sale this year, these four home improvement projects will net you the most Return on Investment (ROI).
Minor renovations can go a long way toward improving the quality of your everyday life and/or impressing potential buyers.
Whether you plan to stay in your house for a long time or just a few years, it’s smart to know which home renovations add the most value.

Sell this Summer? Why it Makes Sense to Sell.

by KCM

Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Index  from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners are granted the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their home over the last couple of years for fear that they would not find a home to move in to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you to decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. Buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 43 days. (Last numbers available.)

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has created a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, it will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 4.8% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to start living the life you desire.

Buyer or Seller's Market?

by KCM

Some Highlights:

  • An emerging trend for some time now has been the difference between available inventory and demand in the premium and luxury markets and that in the starter and trade-up markets and what those differences are doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury and premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with lower-than-normal inventory levels in the starter and trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise on a year-over-year basis for 85 consecutive months.

Need something to do in Summit County this mud season? Start here...

by Summit Daily Heather Jarvis

Mud season. The name says it all. While the sloppy trails keep some tourists away, the spring off-season is actually a time to break out and try some new adventures. After most of the resorts stop spinning their lifts in April, there’s a quietness around Summit County where residents have a chance to recharge and enjoy the season before summer hits.

While we call it the off-season, there are still plenty of activities and things to do around the county. In fact, it’s one of the best times of the year to find deals at local eateries and businesses. It’s also one of the best times to get outside and revel in the solitude.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Hike along Lake Dillon (free)

While most of the trails are a muddy mess, the Summit County recpath system is a great option to stretch the legs. The recpath has plenty of routes to choose from with a variety of difficulty levels. For pathway locations, rules, regulations, etiquette guidelines and ADA accessibility information, go to: SummitCountyCo.gov/1130/Recreational-Pathway

Road biking (free with your own bike)

Bring your bike and cruise along the recpath system or on the roads. For a challenge, ride the 18-mile, 1,100-foot climb around Lake Dillon. The route has one significant climb and descent over Swan Mountain Road on the south side of the lake. A round trip from Breckenridge will extend the ride even further, for 31 miles with 1,600 feet of climb.

Bike and ski (free/$)

Bike and ski all in the same day by packing your gear and riding eastbound up Highway 6 to Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the resort in Summit County that stays open the longest. Expect A-Basin to be open through at least May, but depending on snow conditions it sometimes stays open through the month of June. In a really good snow year, you might even be able to ski into June or July, making a ski-in-the-morning, golf-in-the-afternoon day possible.

Guided bike tours ($)

Discover Breckenridge on a bike with a guided tour from Breck Bike Guides (CycleBreck.com) or Colorado Adventure Guides (ColoradoAdventureGuides.com). Kick it up a notch and take a guided fat bike beer and distillery tour with Ridden Breckenridge (BreckenridgeBikeTours.com).

Ski and music (free/$)

Ski during the day or just come for the free music on Saturdays at Arapahoe Basin. The ski area’s Shakin’ at the Basin Spring Concert series begins April 27 with music from 1–4 p.m. in the Mountain Goat Plaza base area. For more information, go to ArapahoeBasin.com/events/

Take the Summit Stage from Keystone or town, visit SummitStage.com for route information and times.

Guided fly-fishing on the Blue ($)

While the spring runoff can make the temperatures in the Blue River downright chilly, those willing to suit up and brave the water will be rewarded. Water temperature fluctuates from February through March or April, and the bugs begin to hatch, according to the crew at Cutthroat Anglers. Fish such as rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are very active this time of year feeding on the bugs before they start to spawn.

“You definitely want to wear waders, that’s the main difference,” a Cutthroat Anglers manager said about fly-fishing in the spring compared to the summer. “Don’t hesitate to get out and give it a try.”

Don’t have your own gear or just want to find the best fishing holes? Check out these local shops for guided trips:

Cutthroat Anglers: 400 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne. 970-262-2878

The Colorado Angler: 249 Summit Place, Silverthorne. 970-513-8055

Mountain Angler: 311 S. Main St., Breckenridge. 800-453-4669

Trouts Fly Fishing: 309 Main St., Frisco. 970-668-2583

Breckenridge Outfitters: 101 N. Main St. B, Breckenridge. 970-453-4135

Early season rafting ($)

May can be a fantastic time to go rafting: river flow is high, there are less people on the water and some outfitters offer early season discounts. Weather does play a part in early season rafting and May in Colorado is unpredictable, said Lauren Swanson, marketing and relations manager for Performance Tours Rafting.

“Weather in Colorado varies minute-by-minute and sometimes mile-by-mile,” she said. “We recommend getting the gear to prepare for colder water and changing conditions. Opt for the wetsuit, splash jacket and bootie rentals. You can also bring additional layers made from quick-dry outdoor materials like wool, fleece, micro-fleece, polyester and waterproof layers.”

While bigger spring flows equal more excitement, they aren’t always for beginners. Check with your local rafting company on river flows, which can vary from day to day in May. Swanson said sometimes they will raise the minimum age on specific trips or pull off some of the class 4+ sections during peak flows for safety.

“We will always communicate these changes with our guests and offer alternative options customized to their experience and expectations,” she said. “Because we are able to make these decisions for the safety of our guests, we are confident that early season rafting is a great experience for all skill levels and abilities.”

INDOORS

Escape rooms ($)

The weather in the spring can be variable, with warm temperatures and sunny skies one day and dumping snow the next. For those looking to stay indoors but still be entertained, check out Summit County’s escape rooms. The game involves getting a group of players together to solve puzzles and riddles using clues hidden around a room in order to “escape” within the allowed time.

“Escape Rooms are such a unique experience for all ages — everybody can have fun,” said Nicolette Cusick, owner of Escape Room Breckenridge. “They are a great way for family, friends or co-workers to work together and bond. It is also great during mud season because it is indoors so weather is not a factor.”

Voted “best indoor activity” in the Summit Daily’s annual Best of Summit contest, Escape Room Breckenridge was the first escape room to open in the county. EscapeRoomBreckenridge.com

Brewery tour ($)

There are an abundance of breweries in Summit County, requiring a designated driver and multiple days to try them all. Here’s the list by town:

Breckenridge

Broken Compass Brewing: 68 Continental Court Unit B-12

Breckernridge Brewery & Pub: 600 S. Main St.

Frisco

HighSide Brewing: 720 Main St.

Outer Range Brewing Company: 182 Lusher Court, Frisco

Silverthorne

The Bakers’ Brewery: 531 Silverthorne Lane

Angry James Brewing Company: 421 Adams Ave.

Dillon

Pug Ryan’s Brewery: 104 Village Place

Dillon Dam Brewery: 100 Little Dam St.

Recreation Center ($)

Get a day pass at either the Breckenridge or Silverthorne recreation centers and let the kids run loose. The recently remodeled Breckenridge Recreation Center offers all the traditional workout spaces plus a gymnasium, racquetball court, indoor rock-climbing wall and aerobic/dance studios. The aquatics area features lap and leisure pools, the Summit Plummit water slide, coed sauna, and indoor and outdoor hot tubs. 880 Airport Road. 970-453-1734.

The Silverthorne Recreation Center has a large aquatics area, gymnasium, indoor track, fitness equipment and offers classes for all levels. The rec center also offers on-site child care for parents using the facility. 430 Rainbow Drive, Silverthorne. 970-272-7370.

 

[email protected]

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have been on the decline since November, now reaching lows last seen in January 2018. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates came in at 4.12% last week!

This is great news for anyone who is planning on buying a home this spring! Freddie Mac had this to say,

“Mortgage interest rates have been steadily declining since the start of 2019. These lower mortgage interest rates combined with a strong labor market should attract prospective homebuyers this spring and could help the housing sector regain its momentum later in the year.”

To put the low rates in perspective, the average for 2018 was 4.6%! The chart below shows the recent drop, and also shows where the experts at Freddie Mac believe rates will be by the end of 2019.

Bottom Line

If you plan on buying a home this year, let’s get together to start your home search to ensure you can lock in these historically low rates today!

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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