What to Do for New Year’s Eve in Boulder Eve

What to Do for New Year’s Eve in Boulder

New Year's Eve BoulderWhether you want to have a casual night with friends or go all out and have a night to remember,  New Year’s Eve in Boulder can be anything you want it to be. Here are several of the events that are going on December 31st, 2013.

Absinthe House New Year’s 2014

With eight (count ‘em, eight) international DJs playing, party favors and a champagne toast at midnight, this party combines class and a full blown party right downtown. Tickets are between $15-$35 and you can get them here.

New Year’s Eve James Bond Ball

Have a shaken, not stirred sort of New Year’s Eve at the Boulderado. That’s right, the hotel is going 007 this year and the James Bond Ball offers all of the luxury that any secret service agent is accustomed to. Dine, drink and dance the night away and then simply go upstairs to your room at the Boulderado after you’ve polished off all the champagne you can handle.

Millennium Harvest House Hotel New Year’s Party

Again, a hotel party, so you can rent a room and sleep in the day after living it up the night before. This year, they’re featuring the band “Soul School” so that you and your guests can boogie the night away and celebrate midnight with a champagne toast. There’s a whole bunch of ticket packages including the top package that includes four hours of open bar access.

SALT New Year’s Celebrations & Libations

For the foodies out there, enjoy a prix fixe four course meal, drinks and dancing with Hot Club of the Pearl Street Band. There are two dinner times, so if you prefer to have an earlier dinner and then continue on elsewhere to ring in the New Year, you can do that as well.

NYE AT THE FACTORY: A SPECTACLE IN POP, SILVER & POLAROID

The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting a New Year’s Eve Warhol-themed spectacular. The annual fundraiser will transform the museum into the artist’s iconic NY-based Factory. Pop-era costumes or clothing and accessories are encouraged and there will be a photobooth for guests to commemorate their evening.

New Year’s Eve Dance Party at the Avalon Ballroom in Boulder

Why ring in the New Year when you can swing in the New Year? At least one of the four rooms that will be hosting dancing music will be playing swing. Other rooms will play salsa and batchata and couples dancing. There will be performances and lessons throughout the evening and this event is BYO! So feel free to bring your own snacks or booze.

 

 

John Marcotte
Marcotte Real Estate Group
720-771-9401

john@boulderhomes4u.com

Search for homes on my website @ www.boulderhomes4u.com

When thinking of Real Estate, think of John Marcotte
I’m never too busy for your referrals.

TIPS FOR FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

 TIPS FOR FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS

Written by 

 

The real estate market is beginning to rebound with both buyers and sellers taking notice. If you are ready to kick off the home buying process take the correct steps before the New Year. Make sure to be prepared for what 2014 has to offer with our home buying tips. In order to cover all of your bases and find the home that is financially sound and an investment you will enjoy for years to come.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Most likely a home purchase is one of the largest purchases you will make in your lifetime. Any large purchase should involve extensive research through professional venues and on your own. Begin your research with establishing a thorough knowledge of the buying process, pricing and your projected purchase area. Know the communities in which you are interested along with specific properties you admire in order to move forward with a wish-list and the confidence in knowing what you want.

2. WHY WORKING WITH AN AGENT SAVES

If you are a real estate professional or have extensive knowledge to the point you can successfully navigate the purchase process, then by all means, proceed. However, it cannot be stressed enough that navigating a real estate deal without a professional agent or prior experience in real estate can be a financial burden and stressful situation to say the least. Even though an agent will receive a commission on the sale, this commission is most likely much less than the potential money lost through inexperience and negotiating a sale on your own. An agent will help you to find your way through the web of paperwork, placing offers, negotiating final prices and leading you through closing costs.

3. GET A LOAN PRE-APPROVAL

This step is extremely important. If you do not get pre-approved for a loan then you may find a home of your dreams and not be able to proceed due to a loan that is not approved too late in the game. This helps you to set a price and move forward with a financially sound purchase. When it is time to acquire a loan, shop around for a lender that offers you an interest rate you are pleased with since it will be with you for quite some time. There is nothing wrong with speaking with several lenders. After you are pre-approved make sure to pay close attention to your finances and do not make any rash decisions or large purchases until after the purchase of your new home. This is incredibly important especially around the holidays when you are most likely spending more than normal.

4. KNOW YOUR BUDGET

After pre-approval you will be more familiar with a price range to work with. It is good to know a range within you can begin your search and that you are comfortable with. This budget will need to take into consideration not only the price of the home, but also HOA fees, closing costs, insurance and costs incurred throughout the move. Sticking to a budget is good financial practice, but also key throughout the home buying process. If you don’t look at homes that are out of your price range then you will not get sucked into thinking you can “make it work.” Remember that this purchase will follow you for years down the road. Make sound investments that work with your budget and equity will follow, if you over-purchase though it can end up hurting you in the long run.

5. CREATE A REALISTIC WISH LIST

Once a budget is established, your wish list is much easier to build upon. This list should include wants and needs, but most importantly it needs to capture a complete picture of the home and community you are looking for. Start big with the non-negotiables such as the specific communities you want to live in, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need, what style of homes you are interested in looking at, whether or not you need a garage, etc. After the larger must-haves are established it is easier to understand what is negotiable in the long-run. Don’t be afraid to wait until a home comes available that offers everything you need, but understand every home no matter how long you wait may not have everything you want. This does not mean you cannot work future upgrades or improvements into the final price of the home through negotiating with the help of an agent.

6. FIND A RELIABLE HOME INSPECTOR

Good home inspectors are on the same level as a good real estate agent. Imagine closing on your home, the process is finally over and then there is a leak in the basement, or the roof, or the electrical begins to malfunction. In order to avoid any pricey mishap research and procure an excellent home inspector since they will make sure if your dream home is in fact a safe place to live and a sound financial investment. Make sure your inspector is not only certified, but is also affiliated with a professional home inspector organization. Another point of conversation with inspectors is to procure an actual written report at the end of the inspection and not simply a check-list. We suggest going the extra step and being present for the inspection itself, you should not work with an inspector who is wary of having you there throughout the inspection.

7. UNDERSTAND ALL COSTS INVOLVED

Buying a home is not just a down payment and closing costs. Before beginning the process sit down and compile, along with your home budget, a list of closing cost fees and payments. On top of these costs there are also costs incurred post-purchase such as HOA fees, home insurance, taxes and maintenance. Some types of insurance for example are more important in certain areas of the country than others. For example, wildfire insurance is absolutely necessary in most parts of Arizona whereas in other parts of the country flood or tornado insurance is stressed.

 

 

 

 

John Marcotte
Marcotte Real Estate Group
720-771-9401

john@boulderhomes4u.com

Search for homes on my website @ www.boulderhomes4u.com

When thinking of Real Estate, think of John Marcotte
I’m never too busy for your referrals.

Wells Fargo expects to make fewer U.S. home loans this quarter

Wells Fargo expects to make fewer U.S. home loans this quarter

A Wells Fargo sign is seen outside a banking branch in New York July 13, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Peter Rudegeair

Mon Sep 9, 2013 11:17am EDT

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co, the largest U.S. mortgage lender, expects to make 30 percent fewer home loans this quarter due to rising interest rates, its financial chief said on Monday.

The expected decline underscores how rising U.S. mortgage rates are cutting in to banks’ profit. Wells Fargo’s shares were down 1.2 percent at $40.94 on Monday morning.

The fourth-largest U.S. bank estimates it will make $80 billion of home loans in the third quarter compared with the $112 billion it made in the second quarter, Chief Financial Officer Tim Sloan said at a conference hosted by Barclays Plc in New York.

That would mark the first quarter since mid-2011 that Wells Fargo did not make at least $100 billion in home loans.

Customers’ demand for refinancing their home loans has fallen 63 percent from the peak in early May, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association refinance index.

As mortgage revenue declines, the bank is cutting costs in the business, a process that usually takes one to two quarters, Sloan said. On August 21, the bank announced it would lay off 2,300 employees in its mortgage unit as higher interest rates were causing refinancing activity to slow.

The San Francisco-based bank made more than one of every five U.S. home loans in the second quarter and collected payments on nearly as many, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry publication.

Wells Fargo believes its profitability is not solely tied to the mortgage lending business. The bank boosted its earnings per share in each of the previous 14 quarters, and in six of them mortgage origination revenue declined, Sloan said.

Gains elsewhere at Wells Fargo could help offset the declines in mortgage income. The bank expects to release more in loss reserves than the $500 million it released in the second quarter, thanks to improved credit performance, Sloan said.

(Editing by Matthew Lewis)

 

 

John Marcotte

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A Margarita Tour of Boulder

A Margarita Tour of Boulder

boulder margarita

Being from Texas, there’s a special place in my heart for the margarita. Thankfully,Boulder restaurants keep my margarita cravings appropriately appeased. As we’re prepping for a three-day holiday weekend, why don’t you come on a stroll with me and sample some of my favorite ‘ritas about town? Maybe you’d think you can’t get a decent marg in Boulder county, but there’s where I’d be telling you — son, you’re dead wrong.

So pull up a barstool. You’re going to need one by the time we’re done with this tour.

Zolo – While this little gem might be tucked away in a shopping center off Arapahoe and Folsom and away from the hustle and bustle of Pearl Street, it’s a Boulder favorite. Delicious Southwestern fare coupled with a fantastic margarita selection only makes it more appealing. Check out their tequila bar, their coin-style ‘ritas and, of course, my favorite margarita on the menu: Herra the Dog (oof).

The Rio – Good for but great margaritas. The Rio is well known for their potent margs and has a 3 margarita limit for every patron. Seems that even they know the oomph behind their salt-rimmed glasses. If you’re just looking for a good time, you might want to check out their Mini Margs, which still pack a punch and will likely not leave you crawling out the door.

Tahona Tequila Bistro – If you’re walking down Pearl Street and need a Boulder margarita fix, stumble on it to Tahona — and then stumble out a few hours later. They have a full tequila bar like Zolo (double oof) and have one of the best margarita-flavored happy hours in town. As far as their margaritas go, the house marg is perfectly serviceable, but I’m a fan of the Prickly Pear. They also offer a variety of infusion-style margaritas made with whatever the house infusion is that day. Check out the menu here.

T|aco – Last but not least, it’s T|aco on Walnut. Happy hour runs from 2-6PM daily boasting a $4 house margarita (delicious, says my liver). Personally, I’m a fan of the pineapple habernero margarita, though. A word of warning: the pineapple habernero marg packs a punch and frankly, I can’t abide by more than one. Maybe you’re a better man/woman than I am, but even if you stop with one, you’re well taken care of on the tequila front. They also have a Smoky Marg that’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of the chipotle flavor. See the menu here.

By Erika Napoletano

 

John Marcotte

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Pica’s Taqueria Spices up East Boulder

Pica’s Taqueria Spices up East Boulder

picas_food

Pica’s is one of the amazing places that is helping East Boulder to make a name for itself. The taqueria is located in a strip mall (which follows my theory) at Arapahoe and Conestoga, across the parking lot from Ozo Coffee and across the street from Dizzy’s Donuts.

Pica’s is in the corner of the shopping center, giving the restaurant a spread-out feeling and a sweet back dining patio. With reasonable prices and a friendly environment, Pica’s is the real deal.

Trent, Pica’s owner and chef, can frequently be found working in the kitchen or running food out to tables and talking with customers. His toddler son can also be found often running around the restaurant.

With the success of his first restaurant in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Trent decided to bring to Boulder a high-end taqueria featuring quality ingredients and unique updates to traditional Mexican food.

picas burrito

Photo credit: Pica’s Taqueria

I’ll be honest. I’ve been spoiled by the tacos at Pica’s. Maybe it’s the creamy lime cabbage coleslaw on the grilled shrimp tacos or the pineapple in the tacos al pastor, but it’s been difficult ordering tacos elsewhere. And if you’re not as taco-crazy as I am, there are plenty of enchiladas, burritos and quesadillas on the menu to choose from as well.

The drinks at Pica’s complement tacos nicely. In addition to making their own horchata and margaritas, Pica’s offers Mexican beers, watermelon juice (!) and Mexican Coke. So whether you feel like getting a buzz or not, they have you covered in the beverage department. They also have a happy hour Monday through Saturday. The only bad news is that Pica’s is closed on Sundays. By Tara Cahilman, Yourboulder.com

 

John Marcotte

720-771-9401

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The Mapleton Elk – Cop Strikes Plea Deal

The Mapleton Elk – Cop Strikes Plea Deal

boulder mapleton elk

We all remember earlier this year when the iconic Mapleton Elk was shot for trophy in the middle of one of Boulder’s neighborhoods. Shenanigan after shenanigan ensued, photos of cops posing with the dead elk emerged, and all hell broke loose.

Yesterday, the first cop in the case — not the one actually charged with shooting the elk — struck a plea deal. The penalty he’ll have to live with? One year of probation and 60 days of house arrest.

Having known people charged with DUIs and DWAIs in Colorado, I’m failing to see how this guy’s penalty for his involvment in this crime are fitting. Especialy given that he plead out to one felony and four misdemeanor charges.

Here’s the direct skinny from The Daily Camera this morning:

He received a two-year deferred sentence for the felony charge, tampering with evidence. If he abides by the terms of the deferred sentence for two years, the felony would be wiped from his record.

The misdemeanor charges are illegal possession of a trophy elk with a Samson Law surcharge, conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife, unlawful taking of a big game animal out of season, and unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife.

Three other felonies and a misdemeanor were dropped in exchange for the plea.

Now — let me get this straight. Someone who has a few beers or cocktails and gets caught and charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado faces a zero tolerance threshold and that offense will never be wiped from his or her record. It will follow them to and from every job application and criminal background check for a lifetime. And no, I’m not saying that it’s AOK to drink and drive — it’s anything but.

But a guy who goes out and conspires to shoot another living being — unlawfully — and to the effect of four felony charges and five misdemeanors gets to have his felony wiped from his record after he “behaves” for two years?

I’m not on board with this. But frankly, it doesn’t matter what I’m on board with. It’s the District Attorney’s office in Boulder that carries the burden here. Boulder’s a community that lives and breathes the outdoors. We practice Leave No Trace and report dog owners for not sporting a pup’s off-leash tag on the Mt. Sanitas trail. We provide the training ground for world-class athletes and are graced to ake up each morning to deer wandering through residential yards.

We are the idyllic watercolor painting.

And when crap like this happens in our community — the conspired death of wildlife — by those who have sworn to protect and serve our community, I fail to see how a plea deal as slick and self-serving as the one handed down serves anyone except Brent Curnow. We certainly can’t get the elk back, the one that was shot for trophy by a Boulder Police Officer.

But does anyone feel that this is justice served?

 

John Marcotte

720-771-9401

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98 Anemone Dr • Boulder, 80302

98 Anemone Dr • Boulder, 80302

Beautiful new listing!

98 Anemone Dr., Boulder

3 beds, 4 baths, 2628 square feet

Best lot in Seven Hills subdivision. It’s rare to find such an idyllic mountain retreat with its privacy & natural beauty just five minutes to the Pearl Street Mall! Set on a lot with fenced yard area and good usable land, you’ll enjoy the abundant outdoor spaces & marvel at the foothills and city views. Kitchen has granite counters & radiant heated stone floors, all bathed in southern sunlight. Hot water radiant floor heat, over-sized 2 car garage. A unique property in an incredible setting!

Boulder homes for sale

 

John Marcotte

720-771-9401

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Denver home prices highest between coasts

Denver home prices highest between coasts

This 760-square-foot row home sold earlier this month for $250,000.

This 760-square-foot row home sold earlier this month for $250,000.

The Denver-Aurora area had the highest price homes in the middle of the country at the end of July, according to a national report released today.

The report by RealtyTrac also shows that 24 percent of the homes sold in July in Denver were for all cash.

While that may seem like a lot, it is far below the national average of 40 percent all-cash purchases.

The median price of a home in the Denver metropolitan statistical area was $250,000, according to the Irvine, Calif.- based real estate data company.

Only cities on either coast and Honolulu were more expensive.

Denver was the 10th most expensive city of the 58 MSAs tracked in the report.

Of the top 10 most expensive cities, half of them were in California, with the San Jose MSA leading the pack with a median price of $640,000.

U.S. median price $174,500

The median price in Denver was 43.3 percent more than the national median sales price of $174,500.

In Denver, prices rose by 2 percent from June and 11 percent year-over-year.

Nationally prices rose 4 percent from June and 6 percent from July 2012, marking the 16th consecutive month in which median prices nationwide have increased annually after bottoming in March 2012. according to RealtyTrac.

Chris Mygatt, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado, despite the report, said that home prices are affordable in Denver.

“Home prices are less expensive in Denver than in most major cities,” he said.

“Denver prices are less than in Chicago, for example,” he said.

Although the RealtyTrac report disagrees, as it places the median price at $182,000 in the Chicago MSA, Mygatt does have a point.

RealtyTrac uses Census blocks to define the MSAs. The Chicago MSA not only captures home sales in the Windy City, but in Naperville, Joliet and ner the Indiana and Wisconsin borders.

Such a wide geographic swath includes a large range of home prices.

In Naperville, for example, the median price of a home is about $350,000, while it is about $110,000 in Joliet. In Wilmette, a suburb near Chicago’s North Shore, the median price of a home is approaching $600,000. www.insiderrealestatenews.com

 

Seems like now is the time to buy a home in Boulder!

 

 

John Marcotte

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Crooked lender agrees to pay over $919,000

Crooked lender agrees to pay over $919,000

Jill Evans has agreed to pay almost $919,500 to victims of a mortgage scheme in Colorado and other state, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today.

The plea bargain deal to pay $919,465.35 amounts to “full restitution” to more than a dozen victims who were defrauded by Evans and her company, Paramount Mortgage of Colorado Ltd.

Evans,47, pled guilt to theft and forgery under the plea agreement.

In addition to Colorado, victims were in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Nevada, Virginia and Washington.

“In cases like this, it is often challenging to secure compensation of victims for their loss,” Suthers said. “So it is especially gratifying that this case results in people receiving full restitution,”

In early 2012, Suthers announced that the State Grand Jury had indicted Evans for stealing fees for mortgage loans that she never delivered.

According to the 18-count indictment, filed in Denver District Court, Evans defrauded her victims by charging upfront fees in exchange for what her victims believed were commercial and reside. The transactions affected include properties in Crested Butte; Beverly Hills, Calif.; Calabasas, Calif.; Chicago and New Carrollton, Md.

“Since becoming attorney general, my office has made investigating and prosecuting mortgage fraud cases one of our top priorities,” Suthers said at the time of the indictment.

“Mortgage fraud harms everyone involved in real estate transactions — lenders, buyers and sellers — by disrupting the market,” he said.

www.insiderrealestatenews.com

John Marcotte

720-771-9401

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U.S. new home sales fall sharply; house prices rise

U.S. new home sales fall sharply; house prices rise

A newly constructed home is pictured before being occupied by its buyers in a new housing development area in Vista, California March 20, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Blake

 

(Reuters) – Sales of new single-family homes in the United States fell sharply in July to their lowest level in nine months, casting a shadow over the country’s housing recovery.

Sales dropped 13.4 percent to an annual rate of 394,000 units, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

The reading, which was well below economists’ expectations, could be a sign that a recent surge in mortgage rates is weighing on the economy, although the data is often subject to large revisions.

The report could weaken the case for the U.S. Federal Reserve to reduce its support for the economy by trimming monthly bond purchases later this year.

“The higher mortgage rates are having an impact on the housing market,” said Scott Brown, chief economist with Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. “That makes tapering (bond purchases) somewhat less likely.”

The government revised sharply lower its estimate for new home sales in May and June.

Yields on U.S. government debt dropped sharply and the dollar weakened following the release of the data, a sign that some investors were scaling back bets that the Fed would trim its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases next month.

Mortgage rates have risen sharply since May on bets that the Fed would soon begin tapering its bond purchases. The stimulus program is designed to lower interest rates to make it easier for businesses to expand and take on new workers.

The housing market, which has been a major drag on the U.S. economy since the 2007-09 recession, appeared to turn a corner early last year when home prices began to rise.

Last month, the median price for a new home sale rose to $257,200, up from $237,400 in the same month of 2012.

There have been indications that higher borrowing costs are having only a limited impact on the overall housing market.

Sales of existing homes, a much larger category than new homes, surged to a three-year high last month. Some analysts speculated, however, that home buyers rushed into the market to lock in mortgage rates before they rose further.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Additional reporting by Richard Leong in New York; Editing by Paul Simao)

John Marcotte

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