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Dear Friends: Someone once said: “A new year puts a 365-page blank book at our hands, so be sure to write a good one!” And while it’s true that there are always things over which we have no control, here’s wishing you success in all your goals and endeavors in 2014.

Joey Cranford Broker Associate Direct: 303-268-0631

Looking at the Chinese calendar, 2014 is known as the “Year of the Horse.” Hopefully it will be that kind of year for the Broncos! But 2014 will also bring some interesting “horse races” in November, as Coloradans head to the polls to vote for a governor as well as numerous other political offices. So as you open this new “book” and begin writing Chapter One in this “Year of the Horse,” here’s wishing you a HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!

The Front Range Realty Report NewsBriefs

Presented by The Cranford Team at RE/MAX PROFESSIONALS If your home is currently listed for sale, this is not intended as a solicitation.


Our Colorado Market: A Quick Look in Both Directions In the next two months we’ll be seeing a wide variety of reports from 2013, many of them pertaining to Colorado’s residential real estate market. As these year-end wrapup articles are published, I’ll bring you the most important and pertinent industry stats and stories right here in my newsletter. So as the old saying goes, “Stay tuned!” Although many of the statistics for 2013 will take a few months to be officially reported, there are several highlights from last year’s market, as well as a few general predictions, that I’d like to address at this time. • Homes are selling faster. The National Housing Trend Report for September showed that in terms of the number of days a home is on the market for sale, the Denver metro area had one of the shortest periods on the market out of 146 Metro Statistical Areas throughout the nation. • Home prices are increasing. By the 2nd quarter of 2013, every Front Range metro area showed a year-over-year increase in price from 2012 statistics. By September, our home prices were rising at nearly double the national pace.

• Foreclosures are down significantly. Foreclosures, which drag area prices downward, have dramatically declined. Once in the Top Three foreclosure states in the country, last year Colorado’s foreclosure rate fell below the national average. • We continue to grow. People want to live here. Last year Colorado grew at a rate twice as fast as the national average, and our Front Range population growth has consistently outpaced the national rate every decade since the 1930s. • Colorado promotes homeownership. Colorado was recently named the nationwide #2 “Best State for the First-Time Homebuyer,” based on the extensive series of first-time buyer programs offered by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, as 2013 statistics and 2014 predictions arrive, I’ll keep my readers informed. But for now, my belief is that a year from now we’ll be singing the praises of our 2014 market. In the meantime, as always, I encourage you to call me with any real estate questions you have, or for any help you may need.

 According to the latest report from the State Demography Office and their Department of Local Affairs, Colorado’s growth ranked 5th in the U.S. in percentage terms, and 10th in absolute change. Colorado grew twice as fast as the U.S. population as a whole. The report also showed that 82% of Colorado’s population live in the 12 counties that comprise the Front Range, our median age is 36.1 (the 11th youngest in the U.S.), and our population is forecast to grow 1.5% per year over the next five years to reach 6 million persons by 2020.  When comparing the national average of housing prices from the 3rd quarter of 2013 with the 3rd quarter of 2012, prices rose 12.5% nationally, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Colorado has the 4th lowest share of population over the age of 65, yet things are changing. Between 2000 and 2010 this age group grew by 32% compared to the 17% growth of the state as a whole. As the state’s Baby Boomers age “in place,” meaning within Colorado, this age group is forecast to increase by 150% between 2010 and 2030.  A report from the Urban Land Institute predicts that 2014 will be the last year that low inventory will aid property prices. Distressed inventory is drying up and sellers will be looking at better profits than they have in years. For answers to all of your Colorado real estate questions, give me a call.

COLORADO CORNER Leadville’s Ice Palace of 1896 and Today’s Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival It was the late 1800s and the city of Leadville was battling to survive. The silver mines had played out, and the town’s population had shrunk from 40,000 to just under 15,000 residents. The depression of 1893 and the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act drove a stake through the heart of Leadville’s economy. Looking for ways to boost the town’s economy (and spirits), town leaders came up with the idea to build the world’s largest ice palace. It was to house a ballroom, a skating and curling rink, restaurant, theatre, toboggan runs, a carousel and more. It was also to become a permanent fixture in this high country town. After months of preparation, 118 years ago this month, Leadville opened its Ice Palace. Within 3 months they had entertained more than 250,000 visitors, but it was a financial bust. An early spring thaw and financial problems put an early end to the

Palace, along with any hope of making it a permanent fixture. To commemorate this little town’s determination to return to its former glory days, if only for a few months, Leadville holds an annual Ski Joring & Crystal Carnival. (Ski joring entails a horse and rider pulling a skier down a snow-packed road over jumps, while spearing rings in a timed competition.) The Carnival offers an out-of-theordinary good time for the entire family, and features something most have never seen: ski joring. Other activities include a children's parade, snowshoe races for teens, sled dog races, a winter mountain bike race, and a whole lot more. This year the event will be held March 1-2. Don’t think you can make it but would love to see what ski joring is all about? Visit this website and scroll down to the Carnival: areas/leadville-events/

Call or email to ask for this month’s FREE REPORT:

COLORADO PROPERTY TAXES: Are you paying too much, and what can you do about it? With rising property values comes rising property taxes. But it isn’t unusual for costly mistakes to show up on an assessment. It also isn’t unusual to receive some degree of tax reduction for those who file a proper protest. This month’s FREE Homeowner’s Report will show you: • How counties determine a value in appraising property. • Where the majority of mistakes occur and what to look for. • How to file a protest if you believe the assessment is high. • The biggest mistake most protesters make. • Plus resources to help make it easier to protest and win!

Just call or email for your free copy.

Three simple January projects designed to protect your home and your family Have you made any resolutions for the New Year? If you’re a homeowner, resolve to make 2014 a safer year by performing a few simple tasks. Here are three important projects to consider this month: Test for Radon. The EPA has declared January as “National Radon Action Month,” so if you haven’t tested your home recently, do it now. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas emitted from uranium, a naturally occurring mineral in rocks and soil. Normally, radon rises up through the soil and dissipates in the air outside. Radon becomes a concern, however, when it seeps through openings such as cracks, loose fitting pipes, sump pits, dirt floors, slab joints or block walls and accumulates in the home. It’s the second leading cause of lung cancer, and you should know that the Front Range sits in Zone 1--where the highest levels are found. Radon test kits cost from $15 to $25 for a short-term kit and $25 to $40 for a long-term kit. Test kits are available from hardware stores or through mail order companies. Some communities provide free test kits at county health and Extension offices or senior citizen centers. For discount coupons through the state, do an Internet search using the words: Radon Outreach Colorado. Click the site, then click on the COUPONS link. For an eye-opening 30 minute video on the radon problem in Colorado, visit: watch?v=4nZHB8KapBw&

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, almost twothirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. If you already have these devices, start off the New Year with fresh batteries. If you don’t have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, stop by the local hardware store and purchase what you need. They just might be the best investment you’ll ever make in your home’s safety. Create a Personal Home Inventory. Just this past summer we witnessed the power of water, as hundreds of homeowners lost their homes or experienced major damage from the floods. We’ve also watched heart-wrenching news coverage of Colorado homeowners who lost their homes to wildfires. Chances are that these people never thought it would happen to them--but it did. From floods to fires, burglary to tornados, having a photographic inventory of your possessions will help provide proof of personal property loss, and lessen the emotional strain of dealing with the insurance paperwork afterwards. At the very least, walk through your home, room-by-room, and take photos of everything. Open drawers and photograph everything inside. Then make a couple of copies on either a CD or a thumb drive. For safety’s sake, store your copies outside of your home. However, if you really want to do it right, fill out an online Home Inventory form. The Insurance Information Institute offers home inventory software you can download for free.

Green Ideas for the Colorado Homeowner Resolve to Save Energy in 2014 Cutting back on wasted energy use is an easy way to keep your hard-earned money in your pocket. Here are some energy saving suggestions you can easily do at home, at absolutely no cost to you. Let the sunshine in. Open draperies and let the sun heat your home for free. (Close them at sundown so they help keep the heat from escaping.) Rearrange your rooms. Move your furniture around so you are sitting near interior walls. Exterior walls and older windows are likely to be drafty. In short, don't sit in the draft.

heating costs by 33 percent. Use appliances efficiently. Do only full loads when using your dishwasher and clothes washer. Use the cold water setting on your clothes washer when you can. Using cold water reduces your washer's energy use by 75 percent. Be quick. Don't keep the refrigerator door open any longer than you need to.

Keep it shut. If you have a fireplace, when not in use, make absolutely sure the damper is closed. An open damper can pull about 8% of your furnace-heated air up the chimney.

Set the thermostat to 68-70 during the day in winter. Lower it at night to keep your home comfortable and save substantially on heating costs.

Turn it off. Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms.

Don’t block air vents with draperies or furniture.

Turn off kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans after they've done their job. If inadvertently left on, these fans can blow out a house-full of heated air.

Stop energy leaks. If possible, unplug electronic devices and chargers that have a blockshaped transformer on the plug when they are not in use.

Shorten showers. Showers account for 2/3 of your water heating costs. Cutting your shower time in half can reduce water

Stop drips. A faucet that leaks enough water to fill a soda bottle every 30 minutes will waste 2,192 gallons of water a year.

Not So Accurate Predictions This time of year experts in all fields make predictions for the future, but the “experts” don’t always get it right. Here are a few infamous predictions that just didn’t work out.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943. "Ours has been the first, and doubtless to be the last, to visit this profitless locality." -- Lt. Joseph Ives, after visiting the Grand Canyon in 1861. "The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." -- Sir William Preece, chief engineer of the British Post Office, 1876. "Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-

New Colorado Bill Boosts Homeowner Protection

rates to rise, but don’t despair. Here are six things you can do to lower your premiums:

Last year, Colorado had a devastating year of hailstorms, fires and especially floods. In the end, thousands of homeowners discovered just how under-insured they were. Responding to angry constituents, at the end of 2013, Colorado legislators passed House Bill 13-1225. The new law is quite comprehensive by boosting consumer protection in the event of a loss. It also encourages consumer awareness of the specifics of their policies. (For details on this legislation, do an Internet search under the term: Colorado House Bill 13-1225.)

• Raise your deductible. By increasing your deductible from $250 to $1,000 you could save up to 25% on your premiums.

Because of Mother Nature’s costly disasters, expect your home insurance policy

• Don’t include the land value in deciding how much insurance to buy. Even if your house burned to the ground, the land would still be there. • Companies offer "multi-line discounts" to attract customers who will need more than one type of insurance. These companies offer a discounted rate to insure both your house and car than if you insured each one separately at different companies. The same goes if you add a second car or a life insur-

rays will prove to be a hoax." -- William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899. "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929. "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C', the idea must be feasible." -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

Although Denver boasts the first school in Colorado (from 1859 when a log cabin was rented in the vicinity of the Auraria campus), the first actual schoolhouse was built in Boulder in 1860. The first Colorado private school, Denver’s St. Mary’s Academy, opened in 1864 by the Sisters of Loretto, and it is still in operation today.

ance policy. The discounts keep adding up. • Smoke detectors, a burglar alarm and dead-bolt locks can provide you with a discount. So can new wiring, living in a gated community, having Class 4 roofing material, belonging to a homeowners’ association, or having “non-smokers” live in the house. • If you retire or turn 55, let your insurer know. You may qualify for a mature insured credit of 10-25%. • Review your policy at least once a year. You may find you’re paying for a rider (an additional fee on jewelry, artwork, collectables, etc.) to insure something you no longer own.

Joey Cranford, Broker Associate The Cranford Team at RE/MAX Professionals 9200 E. Panorama Cir. #140 Englewood, CO 80112 Direct: 303-268-0631

January 2014 Front Range Market Report