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What Your Money Can Buy - Enjoy all the Sunshine Frisco Has to Offer!

by Allison Simson & Joyce Nenninger
If you’re looking for a primary residence or just wanting a vacation home to get into our Summit County real estate market, this prime Frisco location offers it all! You’re a hop, skip and a jump away from Lake Dillon where you can jump on the bike path or wheel your kayak to the lakes edge. Enjoy fireworks on the Fourth of July without having to leave home and don’t worry about battling in town traffic in this prime location close to the interstate. Within minutes you can start your shopping at Safeway and Walmart, or jump onto I-70, all without hitting a ton of traffic lights. 
 
Because this home is so close to Lake Dillon and on the north edge of Frisco, you honestly get some of the last rays of sunshine that Frisco has to offer on any given day. Why be in the dark when you can take advantage of every last drop of sunshine? Speaking of sunshine, this duplex has many large windows that let the natural sunlight just pour in. Enjoy the sunshine outdoors on the two lovely decks or in the yard, but even when you’re inside you get to enjoy the abundance of light from the living and kitchen areas as well as from all of the bedrooms. 
 
This duplex located at 915 Lakepoint Circle boasts a large 1982 square feet, 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. Walk in the front door of your mountain home and kick off your shoes or boots in the large slate entry. Wonderfully maintained hardwood floors is what you’ll find throughout the house, with nice carpet in the bedrooms. 2 bedrooms and 1 full bathroom are on the entry level as well as the spacious 2 car garage. There’s plenty of room for all of your toys in this extra roomy garage! 
 
Walk up the stairs and the master bedroom and 5 piece master bathroom are off of the main living and kitchen area. There’s plenty of space in the master bedroom for your office as well. Vaulted ceilings, designer colors, a gas fireplace, deck and lots of large windows is what will capture your eye in this roomy level that’s perfect for entertaining! The kitchen, dining area and living room are all open and nicely flow into one another. The views from the main living level are spectacular! Capture a peek of Lake Dillon, the glory of the Continental Divide, Mt. Royal and Peak One from the abundance of windows. 
 
At $775,000 this mountain getaway can be yours in wonderful Summit County! Built in 1994 you won’t have to do any updating, you can move right in and start playing in our natural playground. Priced at under $400/square foot, this duplex is poised and ready to sell. There truly aren’t many options in Frisco where you can get this kind of square footage, a 2 car garage and a yard for this price. And let’s not forget about the prime location so close to Lake Dillon and that you’ll never be in the dark in this sunshine filled mountain home! Please stop by the open house on Sunday, August 31st from 1-3 pm. 
 
Looking to Buy? Not ready to speak to a broker? Visit www.SummitHomeBuyer.com
 
Meet Lynn Sustad, Kelie Gray and Meta Winn, the Buyer Specialist Team at Summit Real Estate-The Simson / Nenninger Team. Devoted to working only with Buyers, these Specialists tour hundreds of homes and commit to having the most comprehensive knowledge in the market. A member of the Buyer Specialist Team can be reached at (800) 262.8442 or (970) 468.6800, www.SummitRealEstate.com or email us at [email protected]
 

Top Kitchen Design Trends

by Allison Simson & Joyce Nenninger
Question: We are considering remodeling our kitchen and wonder what we can do that we will love now, and that will help the home sell in the not so distant future. Any suggestions?
 
Answer: Incorporating current trends into your kitchen design not only helps you create a stylish and updated room, but also increases functionality. From the latest colors to the newest materials, good design can ensure you enjoy your new kitchen.

A recent national survey of kitchen designers conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and luxury appliance manufacturer Thermador identifies several trends influencing today’s kitchen design -- from popular colors and finishes, to new materials, and even new technologies being incorporated by designers.
Style and Color
More than half (56.8 percent) of the kitchen designers surveyed said “traditional” was their most often requested type of kitchen design. However, designers identified contemporary and clean, simple lines as kitchen design trends to watch for.

For cabinetry, the top two most used finishes in kitchens are cherry and maple, while paints and exotic woods tied for third. This is a departure from the once-dominant oak cabinetry. Moreover, designers identify stainless steel as the top color scheme in today’s kitchen designs, followed by beige and bone colors.

Appliances
Stainless steel continues to lead the way as the most popular finish for appliances. However, appliances with custom paneling to match cabinetry are more commonly incorporated into today’s kitchen designs. The appliances that most often receive paneling are dishwashers and refrigerators.

Designers identified modular refrigeration, along with induction cooktops and speed-cooking ovens as one of the most exciting kitchen technologies. “Modular refrigeration like the Thermador Freedom Collection is gaining popularity because it provides designers and their clients greater flexibility,” says Michael Traub, president and CEO of Thermador. “With Freedom, they are liberated from having to design the entire kitchen around traditional and bulky refrigerator/freezer combinations while being able to achieve truly flush integration with cabinets.”

Countertops and Backsplashes
The countertop material used most frequently is granite, and with unlimited stone colors and designs, it’s highly customizable. However, another stone material -- quartzite, noted for its durability -- comes in a strong second. Additionally, the top three backsplash materials are tile, followed by granite and glass.

Functionality and Layout Today’s households often function with more than one cook, so kitchen designs frequently incorporate multiple cooking stations such as a range and a wall oven, or a range and a cooktop. Appliances are also occupying islands to add cooking space. Additionally, prep sinks are showing up on islands or other locations in the kitchen for increased functionality.

“Kitchens are more commonly becoming a household’s hub,” says Ed Pell, manager of marketing research at the NKBA. “With multiple cooks working in the kitchen, and more entertaining and family activities conducted there, designers want to fulfill their client’s desire for increased functionality with efficient work areas.”

Consumer Attitudes
When it comes to appliances, designers indicate that homeowners believe high-end options are a good home investment. In fact, designers say premium appliances are the top “dream” item amongst their clients -- winning over custom cabinetry and special countertops.

Upcoming trends
When designers were asked to name new trends to take note of, many identified new color applications. Specifically, greater use of color in cabinets was cited as an up and coming trend, as was the use of two colored cabinetry and molding, and the overall bolder use of color. (ARA)


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com   
 

New $7,500 Tax Credit for First Time Buyers

by Allison Simson & Joyce Nenninger
Question:  Allison, what is the scoop on the new Housing Recovery Act?
Answer:  The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was just signed by President Bush with some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers.  Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasn’t owned one in three years), this is too good to miss - its a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).
If you have not owned a home in three years, you are a first time home buyer.  If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for a credit.  Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify.  It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.
The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500.  So, if the home costs $100,000, you would get a credit of $7,500.  This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit.  In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill.  What if your tax bill is only $5,000?  The IRS will send you the additional $2,500 as a refund.  When was the last time the IRS sent you a refund because you bought something?
The credit is actually a loan which has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years.  You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment.  You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year.  If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.
What happens if you sell the house?  You pay the balance back at the closing.  So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house.
What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house?  They forgive the rest of the debt.  In other words, get $7,500 now and pay back nothing if your house only breaks even, or loses money, at closing.  When was the last time you got a loan on a speculative venture where the person who gave you the loan forgave the rest of the loan if you did not make enough profit on the sale? 
The risk of loss in buying now is on the government.  In other parts of the country where real estate is going down in value, you can lose 10% of the value of the home (up to $7,500) and the loss is covered by the fact that you do not pay back the tax credit.  The Portland real estate that first time buyers can afford is going up in value, so we are not as worried about the risk of loss. In fact we have been involved in many homes with multiple offers due to this program.   
Similarly, if you die before repaying the debt, it is forgiven.  There are special rules for sales as a result of divorce or if the government takes your property by condemnation.
There are restrictions on the amount of income that you can make and still get the credit.  But the restriction is $75,000 per year for a single person and $150,000 for a couple filing jointly, so the vast majority of people qualify.   If you make more than that, you can still get some of the tax credit, but there are complicated rules about phasing out the credit as the income goes up.  If you make that much money, you can afford to hire someone to figure out the formula.
There are minimal restrictions on the financing.  If you use a loan that is supported by mortgage revenue bonds, you do not get the tax credit.  These loans are normally made by the Oregon bond program, but there are not many of them available, and the qualifications limit their use.  In other words, nearly every loan allows you to get the tax credit.
What is the catch?  You have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the US.
If you know someone who wants to buy a home, call them.  If they want to buy in the Summit County area, have them call us and we will take exceptional care of them.  If they want to buy anywhere in the US, call us and we will find them an exceptional agent anywhere in the US. 
The government gives tax credits to huge companies, here is one for the little guy.  Don't miss it. 


For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com   

Put part-time rental cash in your pocket

by Allison Simson & Joyce Nenninger
Question: Allison, an acquaintance of ours is getting married at Keystone this fall and has asked us if her family could rent the house we own in The Ranch. We don’t normally rent the place, but we would consider renting to her family. They are willing to pay us an amount equal to the going rental rates. My question is do we have to declare the income we make to the Internal Revenue Service on our annual income tax return? How much is too much before crossing into different tax threshold?
Answer: While many families don't charge a fee for letting friends use their home or getaway retreat for a special gathering (hoping they'll return the favor when YOUR child gets married) you can pocket any fair-market rent as long as the term is 15 days or fewer and you don't claim any of the tax deductions typically allowed on rental property, such as for depreciation or maintenance.
According to Tom Kelly with Inman News, this option can come in handy for folks who do not want to be in the rental game, yet occasionally find they could rent their place. It happens all the time for annual golf tournaments, arts fairs, theatre festivals, ski races and jazz festivals.
Kelly says, the rules change, however, if the getaway house becomes a designated rental or investment property. Under current federal tax laws, the owner can still use a rental vacation home for 14 days or 10 percent of the amount of time the house is rented, whichever is greater, without jeopardizing its status as a rental property and tax shelter.
The owner who designates his cabin as an investment property and rents "full time" is getting three benefits: First, the renters are buying the house for him. Second, he can cash in on any appreciation that might result from rapidly increasing property values. And third, he can depreciate the building -- not the property it stands on -- which can provide substantial tax benefits.
Depreciating an asset means you are taking a deduction for the value lost as an asset ages. According to the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP, the period of time over which you depreciate your property has long been the subject of controversy. Often, it depends upon when the property was put "in service."
Investors in vacation homes must use the tax benefits from depreciation to cover their costs. What is left for them then is profit made from the appreciation in the value of the property.
The 14-day maximum-personal-use rule means a house at the ocean with a 90-day rental season can be owner-occupied for 14 days, instead of the nine days that would be allowed under the 10 percent rule. With longer rental seasons, however, the 10 percent rule can be a bonus.
For example, a mountain resort home near winter ski slopes and summer lakes might be rented for 250 days a year, allowing the owner to use it for 25 days. Personal use does come at a cost. Depreciation is limited only to the percentage of time that a house is rented. If you rented for 90 days and use it yourself for 10, you can take only 90 percent of the total expenses and depreciation.
But another way to catch a few hours at the beach without eating into or exceeding the 14-day or 10 percent limit is to clean the house yourself between renters. Days spent maintaining the house do not count toward the personal-use limit. And you can deduct travel costs to get to the house and expenses such as paint and cleaning supplies.
However, if the IRS determines that you were at the house more to sit in the sun than to clean the bathrooms and paint the porch, those days may be added to your personal use and could jeopardize your tax savings.
The house also must be rented at fair market value. If you rent to relatives at discount rates, the IRS may rule that the house is not actual rental property and disallow many of your deductions.
Rent to relatives at discount rates? (I would consider tacking on a premium for a couple of my relatives.)
 
 
 
For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. She’s a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation awarded to a Realtor in the residential sales field. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com   

The Power of Leverage

by Allison Simson & Joyce Nenninger
Question:  Allison, we have been long-time renters in Summit County and now are considering purchasing our own home here. We’re concerned about the overall economic outlook in the country and here in Summit County and wonder if we wouldn’t fare better to just keep renting and put our money in the stock market. What are your thoughts?
 
Answer:  Good question! Newspapers and business magazines are fond of horse races. Who's the richest? Which company's stock has risen the most? Which company posted the biggest profit or loss? And so on. Recently, the Washington Post ran a story asking if stocks are a better financial investment than owning a home. 
While tempting, simply comparing the average return over a period of time is a misleading way of looking at the financial benefits of owning real estate versus stocks.
According toPaul Bishop, Managing Director of Survey and Marketing Research, consider the following scenario. How would a buyer who purchased a home in 1977 fare compared with the investor who instead invested the same amount in a portfolio of stocks tracking the S&P 500? While home prices increased at an average rate of 5.6% per year between 1977 and 2007, the S&P 500 increased at an average annual rate of 9.2% during the same period. Therefore, stocks are a better investment than a home.
Or so the story goes.
Although this appears to be a straightforward analysis, there's one very important factor that's missing. While there are buyers who purchase a home without using mortgage financing, the percentage that do so is very small. According to the 2007 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 93 percent of buyers used a mortgage. With a mortgage, the power of leverage operates in full force.
So, back to our scenario. A household in 1977 has two ways to invest $10,000. As before, the household can forego home ownership and make a one-time investment in an index fund that tracks the S&P 500. This investor will end up with a nest egg of $141,300 in 2007 for a net gain of $131,300.
The median existing single-family home price in 1977 was $42,900. For the purpose of this scenario, assume our home buyer purchased a home for $50,000 with a $10,000 down payment using a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. The home buyer not only captures the non-financial benefits of home ownership and the value of a home as a shelter, but also the financial gain that leverage provides. Assuming that the home increases in value at the long-term rate of 5.6% per year, the buyer would be able to sell their free and clear home in 2007 for $256,400, leaving a net gain of $246,400. So, clearly, the power of leverage makes home ownership a powerful source of wealth accumulation over the long-term.
The Power of Leverage
 
Homeowner
Stock Investor
Beginning investment
$10,000 down payment on a $50,000 home
$10,000
Annual appreciation
(1977-2007)
5.6%
9.2%
Ending value
$256,400 home value
$141,300 stock value
Net gain
$246,400
$133,300
 
While the homeowner will own their home after 30 years, the investor will end up with a smaller nest egg, while also paying rent for the 30 years during which the home owner was able to enjoy the benefits of home and hearth. For many home owners there also are substantial tax benefits from home ownership, including the deductibility of mortgage interest and in most cases a tax-free gain upon the sale of the home. Neither of these benefits is available to investors in stocks.
Of course, most households do not face a choice of only investing in a home or in financial assets. Many households invest in stocks and bonds and also purchase a home while others will choose to rent a home and invest. However, it should be clear that over a period of several years the returns from owning a home will usually keep pace with, and in most cases exceed, the returns from stocks while also providing the intangible benefits of ownership. (Copyright National Association of REALTORS®, Reprinted with permission.)
 
 
For answers to your real estate questions, call Allison at 970-468-6800. Email - [email protected]. Allison is a long time local in Summit County. Summit Real Estate – The Simson/Nenninger Team is located at the Dillon Ridge Marketplace. Allison’s long-time residency and years of real estate experience can help you make the most of any buying or selling situation. Her philosophy is simple, whether buying or selling, she understands that the most important real estate transaction is yours.  Want to know the value of your Summit County property? Visit www.SummitHomeValue.com   

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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