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Real Estate Matters

www.reporterherald.com • Saturday, October 1, 2011 • Reporter-Herald

Homeowner may default on loan ILYCE GLINK TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

Q

uestion: I am pushing 73 and my house is underwater. I have a first loan of about $140,000 and a second loan of about $18,000 with a 7.85 percent interest rate. My second loan has a balloon payment coming due soon. I was lied to about this loan having a balloon payment. Neither of my current lenders will work with me to refinance the loans, and I can’t find another lender to help either. I always pay on time, have never paid late and have great credit. I paid about $200,000 for the home, and it’s now worth about $135,000. I’m thinking of walking out and renting to cut down on monthly expenses. All of these thoughts bring a moral issue to me, and it goes against what I know is right. I just want a lower interest rate, and it amazes me that no one will help me. It seems illogical and unfair to me that the only way I can get help is to stop paying on my mortgage. What is the worst thing that will happen if I give it back to them since they will not work with me? I have been told by several lenders to stop paying my mortgage, bank the savings and walk out to help myself. Credit is not my major concern at this point in my life. Any other concerns I should be aware of if I just walk out? I’m not sure I can do it and live with myself, but I feel I have to protect myself from these people. Answer: I’ve answered this question in the past, but your question has an interesting twist to it. It appears you can afford your mortgage payments but did not know the promissory note on your second mortgage has a balloon payment. A balloon payment refers to a loan that comes due at some time after five or seven years, and at that time you must repay the entire amount that is still owed on the loan. With a customary home mortgage, you have that loan for 15 or 30 years and the payments you make over the length of the term result in a zero balance at the end of the loan term. Obviously, we don’t know the circumstances of how you obtained your loan or what type of a loan you were getting — or thought you were getting. However, in just about all the cases we’ve seen, the borrower is given loan documents to sign at the closing and has the opportunity to review those documents. While most borrowers don’t read all of the terms and conditions of the loan documents, all of them should. If you read your documents carefully, you’d see the interest rate for the loan, how it works, whether the rate can change, whether payments can increase and by how much, when the loan is due, whether you will have to make monthly payments to the lender for real estate taxes and insurance, and what the costs are to obtain the loan. ■ See GLINK/Page E3

Photos courtesy Oakwood Homes

The Turner floor plan in the New Beginnings II Collection at Thompson River Ranch.

Amazing Opportunity PAID ADVERTORIAL

O

akwood Homes is having another great year in Thompson River Ranch; once again being the top selling community across all of Northern Colorado. While the subdivision has a long way to go until it’s fully built out, Oakwood Homes is down to 30 home sites available for the affordable New Beginnings II Collection homes. This includes the Gilpin, Emery and Turner floor plans, which have been some of the most popular choices in the 73 sales so far this year. Starting with 209 of these home sites, Oakwood Homes is down to roughly 30 left of this size. Mike Welty, Community Manager at Thompson River Ranch, explains that the current prices won’t last long. “We’re able to sell that Collection for a great price on those home sites, but that will go away once those lots have been sold.” At the current rate of sales, they won’t be available too much longer. However, they still have plenty of home sites for the New Beginnings 1 and Carson Collections to last quite some time. With many homebuyers trying to be in a new home before the end of the year, their inventory homes are in high demand. “We’re constantly advertising a quick move-in Gilpin model for sale, but it’s never the same Gilpin,” explains Welty. “The home is just a great value so it always sells quickly,

Kitchen and dining area of the Turner floor plan. and we start building a new one for the next buyer that needs a quick move-in home.” That’s exactly what they have going on right now with another Gilpin home available for those homebuyers looking for a quick move. For $200,190, it features three bedrooms plus a bonus room and two-and-a-half baths and over 1,531 finished square feet. Additionally, it includes a full basement, air conditioning, and five-piece master bathroom while still allowing you to

make personal selections at Oakwood’s Design Center since the home will be finished in November. Oakwood Homes realizes not everyone has the option to wait for a personalized home to be built, so they try to have a couple homes on hand for anyone that needs a home fast. This time last month they had four quick move-in homes available in Thompson River Ranch; currently they only have the one Gilpin.

Buying a home that needs work? Call the experts in FHA 203(k) renovation financing. An FHA 203(k) mortgage allows you to finance both your home purchase and renovation with a single loan. Call now to learn more. Vivian DeVoe, VP Mortgage Banker, NMLS#269876, 970-227-4702 Loans and rates subject to credit approval. Owner-occupied residences only. FHA conditions and restrictions apply.

Mike Welty and Dwayne Montoya will be on hand this weekend for any questions or additional information; contact them at 970-669-9801. Models will be open to view from 10 a.m.6 p.m. To get there, take Thompson Parkway south from U.S. Highway 34, then head west along Ronald Reagan Blvd. to the frontage road. Follow that south and you can’t miss the entrance to the community. You can find more information about Thompson River Ranch at www.OakwoodHomesCO.com.

www.HomeStateBank.com

970-203-6100 Check the license status of your mortgage loan originator at http://www.dora.state.co.us/real-estate/index.htm Think big

Bank small


E2

Saturday Reporter-Herald October 1, 2011

Featured Properties UP TO $199,999 BRIGHT & OPEN!

PATIO HOME WITH LAKE ACCESS

OPEN SAT. 12-4 & SUN. 12-3 PM

OPEN SAT. & SUN 11 AM-3 PM

207 Charles Ave, Severance

2476 N. Boise Ave, Loveland

Peakview Meadows, Berthoud

3730 Jefferson Drive, Loveland

Well maintained with new roof and new ext paint, this 3 bed/2 bath/2 car garage home is a great 1st time buy! Features gorgeous gardens, A/C, 5-Pc Master. Pre-inspected. $185,000.

Fresh and clean! 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage brick patio home w/open floorplan, new paint & carpet is minutes to McKee Med Ctr. Access to Upper Hofffman Lake just steps away. $185,000.

Peakview Meadows Sales office open Saturday 12-4 and Sunday 12-3 Prices starting at $195,900. 5 Models to choose from.

2,174 sq. ft., A/C, humidifier, new carpet & int. paint, ceiling fans, main lev. laundry w/half bath,lg. walk in clst, full unfin bsmt, sprinkler syst., lg. porches, 2 car gar., close to schools & 287

Lori Weeks RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. 970-443-9800 Lori@LoriWeeks.com www.207CharlesAve.com

Lori Weeks RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. 970-443-9800 Lori@LoriWeeks.com www.2476NBoiseAve.com

Kurt Albers & Chris Rampone Century 21 Humpal, Inc 970-231-1224 Kurt 970-430-0845 Chris www.berthoud.org

$200,000 - $299,999 OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY 2:30-4:00

Michael Nicholson Home Savings Realty 970-691-8429 mnicholson@homesavingsrealty.net

$300,000 - $399,999

$400,000 - $499,999

BUILDERS MODEL-DAKOTA GLEN OPEN HOUSE 12 TO 4 THURS.-MON.

OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY 1-4 PM

OPEN SAT. & SUN. 1-3 PM

3843 Kenwood Circle, Johnstown

Warberg Farm at Chapman Reservoir

3464 Peruvian Torch Drive, Loveland, CO

Just West of Loveland 288 Reservoir Drive!

Awesome ranch conveniently located in Thompson River Ranch Subdivision. Tile back- splashes, Pergo floors, maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances. MLS#664262 $209,900

OPEN Saturday & Sunday 1-3 PM 2+Acre Lake front & horse lots starting $225,000 water tap included. Surface rights, walk paths, parks, boat docks, fishing and peace garden.

Looking for Maintenance-FREE* lifestyle? Open floor plan, patio home w/3 bdrms/3 baths, granite kitchen island, backs to green belt with mountain views! Convenient location. MLS#622329. $342,000

Introducing Pittington Ranch! Panoramic views, open floor plans, room for your horses! 90 plus acres of riding space. Model home open! 13 homesites to choose from, starting in mid $400’s.

Kurt Albers Century 21 Humpal, Inc. 970-231-1224 kurtd57@msn.com www.warbergfarmatchapmanreservoir.com

Ryan Andre Sears Real Estate 970-381-1081 / 330-7700 www.searsrealestate.com

John Mathey Premier Lifestyle (970) 481-5512 info@pittingtonrach.com www.pittingtonranch.com

Venna Hillman ERA Herman Group/Glen Marketing 970-663-4522 venna@glencompanies.com www.DakotaGlen.com

saturday

sunday

Price

Location

Address

Hours

Office

Phone

Price

Location

Address

Hours

Office

Phone

From the $140’s

Loveland

43rd St & Wilson Ave The Cottages at Enchantment Ridge

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

From the $140’s

Loveland

43rd St & Wilson Ave The Cottages at Enchantment Ridge

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

Starting in the $150’s

Milliken

110 Traders Lane

12-3 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Tracy Wilson

970-567-0907

Milliken

110 Traders Lane

12-3 PM

Loveland

1899 East 11th St.

10 AM-6 PM

Midtown Homes, Wayne Lewis

970-456-4600

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Tracy Wilson

970-567-0907

From $159,900$229,000

Starting in the $150’s

Loveland

1899 East 11th St.

10 AM-6 PM

Midtown Homes, Wayne 970-456-4600 Lewis

$159,900

NW Loveland

2629 N. Gilpin Ave

12-2 PM

RE/MAX Alliance-South, Rhonda Heth

970-566-3516

From $159,900$229,000

$169,900

Loveland

4403 Elliot Pl

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-215-0515

$169,900

Loveland

4403 Elliot Pl

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-215-0515

$185,000

Severance

207 Charles Ave.

Call for information

RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. Lori Weeks

970-443-9800

$178,000

NE Loveland

2445 Oleander Ct.

2-4 PM

RE/MAX Town & Country, Gary Maggi

970-692-2002

$185,000

Loveland

2476 Boise Ave.

Call for information

RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. Lori Weeks

970-443-9800

$185,000

Severance

207 Charles Ave.

Call for information

RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. Lori Weeks

970-443-9800

Starting at $195,900

Berthoud

Peakview Meadows

12-4 PM

Century 21 Humpal, Kurt 970-231-1224, Albers, Chris Rampone 970-430-0845

$185,000

Loveland

2476 Boise Ave.

Call for information

RE/MAX Advanced, Inc. Lori Weeks

970-443-9800

$199,900

Loveland

3730 Jefferson Drive

11 AM-3 PM

Home Savings Realty, Michael Nicholson

970-691-8429

Starting at $195,900

Berthoud

Peakview Meadows

12-3 PM

Century 21 Humpal, Kurt 970-231-1224, Albers, Chris Rampone 970-430-0845

Starting in the $200’s

Windsor

620 Moonglow Drive

1-4 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Kelli Couch

970-310-8804

$199,000

Loveland

3730 Jefferson Drive

11 AM-3 PM

Home Savings Realty, Michael Nicholson

970-691-8429

$207,315

Loveland

3441 Foster Pl

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-215-0515

620 Moonglow Drive

1-4 PM

3843 Kenwood Circle

2:30-4 PM

Sears Real Estate, Ryan Andre

970-381-1081

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Kelli Couch

970-310-8804

Johnstown

Starting in the $200’s

Windsor

$209,900

$207,315

Loveland

3441 Foster Pl

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-215-0515

$220,000

NW Loveland

4228 Foothills

1-3 PM

RE/MAX AllianceLoveland, Franci Wunderlich

970-667-1828

Starting at $225,000

Loveland

Warberg Farm at Chapman Reservoir

1-3 PM

Century 21 Humpal, Kurt Albers

970-231-0548

Starting at $225,000

Loveland

Warberg Farm at Chapman Reservoir

1-3 PM

Century 21 Humpal, Kurt Albers

970-231-0548

$239,000

Loveland

4496 Hayler Ave

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$239,000

Loveland

4496 Hayler Ave

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$249,900

Berthoud

Collins Park Subdivision

1-3 PM

RE/MAX AllianceLoveland, Kathy Beadell

970-566-4627

$249,900

Berthoud

Collins Park Subdivision

1-3 PM

RE/MAX AllianceLoveland, Kathy Beadell

970-290-1798

$287,296

Windsor

4607 Pompano Drive

12-5 PM

970-290-8097

$287,296

Windsor

4607 Pompano Drive

12-5 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Kristen Specketer

970-290-8097

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Kristen Specketer

$298,664

Loveland

4355 Ridgway Dr

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$298,664

Loveland

4355 Ridgway Dr

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$299,900

Loveland

1920 New Hampshire St

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$299,000

Loveland

2892 Ariel Drive

1-3 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Georgena Arnett

970-481-9801

$299,900

Loveland

4454 Stump Ave

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$299,900

Loveland

1920 New Hampshire St

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

$300,000

Loveland

2821 Logan Drive

1-3 PM

970-227-7742

$299,900

Loveland

4454 Stump Ave

12-5 PM

Cottage Realty

970-532-5900

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Sally Lee

$335,000

Loveland

2890 Carina Circle

1-3 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Georgena Arnett

970-481-9801

$334,900

Berthoud

1723 Wales Drive

1-3 PM

RE/MAX AllianceLoveland, Connie Gliott, Lisa Moore

970-566-4629, 970-566-4627

$334,900

Berthoud

1723 Wales Drive

1-3 PM

RE/MAX AllianceLoveland, Lisa Moore, Connie Gliott

970-566-4629, 970-566-4627

$342,000

NW Loveland

1/4 mile west of Wilson on 14th Street/SW/HWY 402 to the Dakota Glen Subdivision

12:00-4:00 PM

ERA Herman Group NoCo/Glen Marketing

970-663-4522

$342,000

NW Loveland

1/4 mile west of Wilson on 14th Street/SW/HWY 402 to the Dakota Glen Subdivision

12:00-4:00 PM

ERA Herman Group NoCo/Glen Marketing

970-663-4522

$342,000

NW Loveland

3464 Peruvian Torch

12:00-4:00 PM

ERA Herman Group NoCo/Glen Marketing

970-663-4522

$342,000

NW Loveland

3464 Peruvian Torch

12:00-4:00 PM

ERA Herman Group NoCo/Glen Marketing

970-663-4522

$347,900

Loveland

920 Norway Maple

1-3 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Rich Gardiner

970-227-0964

$347,900

Loveland

920 Norway Maple

1-3 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Rich Gardiner

970-227-0964

$369,963

Fort Collins

1031 Hinsdale Drive

12-4 PM

The Group Inc. Real Estate, Keith Huntsman

970-227-2779

Starting in the $400’s

Loveland

288 Reservoir Drive

1-4 PM

Premier Lifestyle Realty, 970-613-4400 John Mathey

$625,000

NE Loveland

3015 Challenger Point Drive

12-2 PM

RE/MAX Alliance-South, Jennifer Kelly

970-581-9005

$509,900

NE Loveland

2960 Laguna Ct.

12-2 PM

RE/MAX Alliance-South, Coleen Ligotke

970-690-1732

To add a listing or speak to an advertising representative, call Dan Grassmeyer at 970-635-3615 or email: dgrassmeyer@reporter-herald.com. Realtors can join our on-line realtor community at: http://www.reporterherald2.com/YourNorthernColoradoHome/_featured/featured_newclient.asp

For details about these open houses, see the ads in this section. For additional open house listings, please check the “Real Estate Classifieds” section of this publication. This guide is brought to you by the Daily Reporter-Herald, local real estate agents and area builders.

WWW.HOMEANDREALTYGUIDE.COM •CLICK ON

OPEN HOUSE MAPS


Saturday Reporter-Herald October 1, 2011 E3

Regional Snapshot for Loveland/Berthoud Residential

Mortgage rate update

May

June

July

Active Listings Previous Year Active Listings

1004 1117

973 1101

938 1092

Sold Listings

126

155

134

$200,000 $214,500

$220,000 $234,000

Average Days on the Market Previous Year ADOM

107 118

121 121

103 122

Year to Date Listings Sold Previous Year YTD Listing Sold

521 559

676 728

810 839

Median Sales Price Previous Year Median

30-year fixed

$208,958 $238,000

This week Last week Trend

4.07%

4.00%

15-year fixed

3.36%

3.30%

5/1 ARM

3.01%

2.93%

Home & Real Estate is produced every Saturday by the Loveland Reporter-Herald.

News and Press Releases: The Reporter-Herald welcomes news on hirings, advancements, awards, classes and other information of interest to the real estate and home community. Submit information to jcody@reporter-herald.com. Advertising: For advertising information, call Dan Grassmeyer. Office: 970-635-3615 Cell: 970-214-6297 E-mail: dgrassmeyer@reporter-herald.com

GLINK From Page E1

750 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland

669-1234

Each office independently owned & operated

view more properties at:

www.HomesInColorado.com

OPEN SATURDAY 12 2 2960 Laguna Ct, Loveland

Enjoy Water Views! BOATERS DREAM. Lake Access. PRISTINE CONDITION, Gorgeous VIEWS, walk-out basement & an amazing THEATER ROOM are just the beginning. $509,900 | MLS #662500

OPEN SATURDAY 12 2 2629 N Gilpin Ave, Loveland

Like a patio home without HOA. New decor paint. 1/2 duplex, 3BR, Master oversize shower, kitchen door to covered private patio. Large backyard, ample storage in garage. You’ll feel right at home! Newer furnace. $159,900 | MLS #664129

OPEN SUNDAY 12 2 3015 Challenger Point, Loveland

Views galore from this 5 bed, 5 bath ranch style home that backs to Westerdoll Lake. Garden level walk-out located in Seven Lakes subdivision. Recreational lake rights included! Check it out today! $625,000 | MLS #659326

Hosted by Coleen Ligotke

Call Rhonda Heth

Call Jennifer Kelly

coleenligotke@gmail.com

rhondaheth@remax.net

jkelly@remax.net

690-1732

OPEN SAT & SUN 1 3 P.M. 1723 Wales Dr, Berthoud

Oversized 4 Car Garage. Great split style ranch w/ unobstructed mountain views & backs to open space. Large granite island in kitchen, plus lots of custom features. Located in Matthew Farm. $334,900 | MLS #643192

Connie Gliott and Lisa Moore 566-4627 | 566-4629

www.505-5thSt.com, Berthoud

Roomy updated ranch in Berthoud. Experience the joy of cooking in kitchen with a large pantry and then relax in the basement with great home theater. Amazing shaded patio. $225,000 | MLS #661764

Call Nanci Garnand

622-1846 | 227-1327

www.LivingInBerthoud.com

JUST LISTED 2503 Logan Dr, Loveland

Location! Updated two story across from Lake Loveland, 4 beds, 2.5 baths, office w/ separate entrance, private backyard w/ decks, pond & mature landscaping, granite counters, master bath w/ jetted tub, craft rooms & more! Call for your appointment today! $350,000 | MLS #665751

Call Julie Stinson

662-1809

julies@rmfa.com

JUST LISTED 3377 Crowley Circle, Loveland

Stunning home backing to open space! Wonderful views of the foothills with greenbelt, walking/biking trails, and privacy. This lovely 4 bed/4 bath home has a main-floor office/study and hardwood floors. $350,000 | MLS #665906

Call Susan Zack

970-226-1222

susanzack@remax.net

566-3516

OPEN SATURDAY 1 3 4228 Foothills Dr, Loveland

Corner Lot in Mariana Butte backing to Greenbelt! 4BR 3BA 2Car, FP, A/C, Sprinklers, Dining Rm & Eat-in Kitchen. Basement set up for Theatre Room. Upstairs Laundry. Close to Golf Course, Park & ACE! $220,000 | MLS #663578

581-9005

www.1432SevenLakes.com

Space and sunshine!! And only steps away from your back door to water. A lot of livin’ to do and lots of room for it in this lovely 2-story home. Kitchen highlights granite counters/maple cabinets. $390,000 | MLS #661627

Call Franci Wunderlich

Call Nanci Garnand

YourHouseInColorado.com

www.LivingInLoveland.com

970-667-1828

PRICE REDUCED 106-108 13th St, Loveland

Good rental history! Investment opportunity or live in one side, small business. Newer roof, paint, carpet, HW floors. Large corner lot with off st parking, yard, and storage. Clean & ready now! $189,900 | MLS #664327

622-1846 | 227-1327

PRICE REDUCED 227 Johnson Drive, Loveland

SW Loveland - Awesome 2 story in Meadowbrook Heights! 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths finished basement, master bedroom 5 piece suite, master bedroom deck, gas fireplace, central air & a 3 car attached garage all on a quiet street. $233,900 | MLS #638800

Call Rose Walker

Call Julie Stinson

rwalker@remax.net

julies@rmfa.com

213-2916

PRICE REDUCED 134 Sweet Clover Ct, Loveland

Beautifully remodeled Custom On Site semi-custom home in Mariana Butte Golf Course. Lake/Mountain view. Wrap around deck. Gourmet kitchen, granite, hardwood, NEW everywhere. 9’ ceiling in finished basement.

622-1809

0 Rossum Dr, Loveland

WOW! The last lot with deeded recreation rights on Buckingham Reservoir in Mariana Butte Golf Course reduced $25,000! Lake allows fishing/non-motorized water craft. Panoramic views of water/mountains.

$393,900 | MLS #654498

$325,000 | MLS #652947

Call Coleen Ligotke 690-1732 coleenligotke@gmail.com

690-1732

Call Coleen Ligotke

coleenligotke@gmail.com

These basic facts, which are all laid out in the first few pages of the loan documents, should be the minimum information that a borrower should understand. If you were lied to on this issue or the documents you signed are not the documents that were recorded for your loan, you should seek legal counsel on that issue. Now on the issue of walking away from the loan, that seems to be a loaded question these days. The term people are using for walking away from their homes and mortgages is “strategic default.” Some readers take exception to the idea that you can walk away from a mortgage obligation. Others believe a mortgage is merely a contractual obligation to make payments, and if a borrower decides to stop making those payments, then the only issue is the consequences of the default as spelled out in the contract. The moral question of making or not making the payments is a personal one, and you will have to make that decision on your own. A contract is a legal document, not a moral one. Your actions may affect other people in your neighborhood. If you walk away, you force the lender to foreclose on your home and affect the home values of others in your neighborhood. While your obligation to make your payments under the mortgage is a legal one, and a lender can’t go after you for the moral issues involved, only you can deal with the moral issue and how it affects you. It’s interesting that you didn’t indicate that you couldn’t make your payments but rather that you wanted a lower payment and wanted one mortgage rather than two. Given the value of your home, it’s understandable why lenders are unwilling to give you a new loan. While for some years lenders were willing to overlook just about everything in a loan application, most today have gone the other way. Lenders will scrutinize every detail of an applicant’s finances, credit history and credit score. Lenders will also make sure they have a valid appraisal for the property being financed. And, finally, lenders will seek to give their best loan terms to borrowers with the best credit and those who borrow at most 80 percent of the appraised value of the home. While you may feel these terms are unfair to you, the financial system is still trying to correct itself from the imbalances of the last 10 years. If you end up walking away from your home and the obligations you have to repay your loans, your credit history will take quite a big hit, your credit score will drop substantially, and, depending on where you live, your lenders may have the ability to sue you and attempt to collect any amounts you might still owe them after they foreclose on your home and sell it to satisfy whatever portion of the debt they can. In addition, you may find that no lender will give you a loan for the purchase of a home for the next five years or so. But if you don’t need good credit, then that won’t matter. Question: Last September I tried to refinance my home with my lender. I had lost my current job and started running a small landscape business I previously had. The agent working with my lender told me about a loan product with no income verification. There was a problem with the appraisal and the loan officer indicated there would be no problem, as he could proceed based on the “valuation” of the property and the income I received from the rental por-

tion of my home. Any ideas how I can refinance? Answer: Based on the very little specific information in your letter, it’s going to be hard for you to find a lender to refinance your home. I’m not sure what loan “program” your lender is trying to get for you. You should know that “no income verification” loans died a couple of years back with the bursting of the housing bubble. The only no-appraisal loan product we know of is for borrowers with FHA or VA loans. The lender is empowered to do a streamline refinance for FHA or VA loans, which consists of lowering the interest rate. If you don’t have an FHA or VA loan, you’ll have a tougher time. It appears that the person you spoke to felt that your income was not sufficient to qualify you for a loan. He or she might have thought that you could qualify for a loan at a higher interest rate with a lender that would not “look” at your income. However, I would be quite surprised if a lender today would give you a loan without looking at your income in great detail. As you have lost your job and are now working in your own business, it won’t be easy to find a lender to overlook your job situation. If you are self-employed, lenders will want to see a two-year track history of your self-employment to get a good feel as to whether you will be able to make your monthly payments under the new loan. I suspect that any such new loan will not be much better than your current loan once you review the terms offered by your new lender. If you want to refinance your loan because it’s due to become a variable rate loan after five or seven years of being a fixed rate loan, you might want to review your loan documents again. Most loans taken out five years ago were tied to an index rate. Most of those index rates have come down drastically. You may find that your monthly mortgage payment will go down once your loan adjusts with the new index. If your rate does go down, you may want to wait a year or so, have your income in your new business stabilize, and then apply to refinance your loan to lock in a rate for years to come. However, if your original loan was locked in at a low payment and is soon going to readjust, making your payment skyrocket, you might want to call your existing lender and see if they have any loan modification plans that meet your needs. Keep in mind that most people who apply for loan modifications end up being denied. One final note: If your home’s value has gone down significantly, you probably won’t find a lender willing to give you a new loan unless you have cash to pay down the current loan balance. For example, if you bought your home for $200,000 and had a loan for $160,000, and now your home is worth $150,000, most lenders won’t want to give you $160,000 again. They will base any new loan on the home’s current value and will give you the best deal at 80 percent of the home’s value or a new loan at $120,000. That would mean you’d have to pay down your debt by about $40,000. Since most borrowers don’t have that kind of cash lying around, it makes it quite hard to refinance a loan under those circumstances. Even though some loan modification plans allow you to refinance even if your home value has gone down a bit, those plans only work if your new loan is going to be at most 125 percent of your home’s value on the date you refinance. If you fall into this category and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you might be in luck. Talk to your loan servicer and see if they can provide you with details.


E4

Saturday Reporter-Herald October 1, 2011

H&RE Real Estate Transactions Real Estate Transactions are supplied by Prospects Unlimited Inc., 1151 Eagle Drive No. 467, Loveland, CO 80537, 667-1537.

Loveland

• Jason & Leah Rohlf from Fay Bell, 155 Snow Goose Ave, Loveland, $165,000, home • Charles Zitting from Fannie Mae, 4589 Sunridge Dr, Loveland, $132,000, home • Michael Coronado from Bonnie Ichimaru, 307 W 6th St, Loveland, $182,500, home • Albert & Laura Brooks from Larry Sanders, 339 Johnson Dr, Loveland, $228,500, home • Peter & Corey Fox from Connie Whyrick, 822 W 36th St, Loveland, $190,000, home • Deborah Scherner from Gayle Wilson, 138 Mountain Ash Pl, Loveland, $175,000, home • Yvonne Siefken from Terry Wright, 2617 Greenland Dr, Loveland, $215,000, home • Ralph & Rosalind Servello from Lakeshore Condominiums LLC, 4905 Hahns Peak Dr Unit 102, Loveland, $136,000, condo • Brian Urtel from Langar Inc, 1620 Celeste Ln, Loveland, $105,000, home • Jackie Ross from Jeffrey Mattson, 1126 Paloverde Dr, Loveland, $158,000, home • Alyson & Robert Benton from Windmill Properties #2 LLC, 4764 Maggie Ct, Loveland, $328,500, home • Steven Hoostal from Sarrell Beal, 325 Harrison Ave, Loveland, $132,300, home • Patrick & Susan Kelly from David Brigham, 4795 Ignacio Ct, Loveland, $408,000, home • David & Mary Marquardt from Buer Homes Inc, 3429 Red Orchid Ct, Loveland, $424,300, home • Robin & John Main from Charles Carnes, 7815 W County Road 24h, Loveland, $425,000, home • Janelle Vandervelde from

Colorado Housing Finance Autho, 1563 Peacock Pl, Loveland, $102,000, home • Kody & Julie Krause from Custom Onsite Inc, 4785 Laporte Ave, Loveland, $384,000, home • Thomas & Lana Wheeler from Joshua Dietz, 2355 15th St Sw, Loveland, $143,500, home • Andrea Obrien from Fannie Mae, 1705 W 8th St, Loveland, $189,000, home • Robert Coleman from Fannie Mae, 3788 Butternut Ave, Loveland, $113,500, home • Brian & Kirstin Syp from Fannie Mae, 1605 Cheetah Pl, Loveland, $275,000, home • Linda Hansen from Fannie Mae, 341 W 1st St, Loveland, $111,000, home • Jeffery & Margery Westman from George Fentress, 1805 Empire Ave, Loveland, $174,000, home • Amy & Jay Roup from Romeo Gervais, 6281 Sea Gull Cir, Loveland, $275,000, home • Rodger & Jeannie Hosier from William Guldan, 469 Magpie Dr, Loveland, $218,000, home • Joshua & Nicole Dietz from Timothy Hammers, 1697 Rhyolite St, Loveland, $225,000, home • Albert & Marcella Sisneros from Rodger Hosier, 1726 Ellen Ct, Loveland, $179,900, home • Catherine Nelsoncurtis from J N LLC, 5242 Deer Meadow Ct, Loveland, $501,800, • home • Susan & Kevin Miller from Kevin Jacquot, 1113 Belle Dr, Loveland, $165,900, home • Craig Janda from Jj Betty J Goetzinger Trust, 1502 Caddoa Dr, Loveland, $229,000, home • Ronald & Carol Christensen from Patrick Kelly, 2115 Garo Ct, Loveland, $225,500, home • Charles Klijewski from Sandra Kendrick, 4725 Hahns Peak Dr Unit 102, Loveland,

$130,000, condo • John Underwood from Michael Pasiewicz, 241 Audrey Dr, Loveland, $215,000, home • Diann Rice from Bruce Sutton, 4445 Walden Ave, Loveland, $323,000, home • Sean Mccormick from Traders Network Inc, 1477 Melissa Dr, Loveland, $185,000, home • Diana Brown from Otis Vaughn, 6045 Clearwater Dr, Loveland, $725,000, home

Berthoud

• Trevor & Carolyn Hobson from Canyon Falls Investments LLC, 817 Green Wood Dr, Berthoud, $268,000, home • Jaylene & Thomas Maxwell from Federal Home Ln Mortgage Corp, 808 14th St, Berthoud, $159,000, home • Linda Ellinger from Michael Allen, 721 N County Road 17, Berthoud, $330,000, home • Donna Ruehlen from Francis Hamm, 807 8th St, Berthoud, $224,900, home • Brandon & Danielle Hoda from Peakview Homes Inc, 115 Quandary Ave, Berthoud, $225,200, home • Russell & Traci Mau from US Bank, 7106 Bennet Rd, Berthoud, $290,000, home

• Deborah & Jay Blackwood from Hanigan Family Partnership, 620 Macgregor Ave Unit 2, Estes Park, $180,000, condo • George Hurni from Patrick Finley, 2634 Dorsey Cir, Estes Park, $450,000, home • Chris & Judy Wadhams from Rainer Schelp, 2625 Marys Lake Rd Unit 12a, Estes Park, $200,000, condo • Susan Warcup from Mary Smithson, 201 Fall River Ln, Estes Park, $339,000, home • Resident from William M Patterson Trust, 1151 Fairway Club Cir, Estes Park, $270,000, home • Resident from Neal Wiseman, 645 Riverside Dr, Estes Park, $630,000, home

from Cathy Freerduggan, 204 Tartan Dr, Johnstown, $250,000, home

$176,000, home • Stacy Merritt from Fannie Mae, 564 Powderhorn Ct, Windsor, $265,000, home • Byron & Debra Austin from Herbies Homes LLC, 37573 Lee Lake Ave, Windsor, $281,000, home • Raymond & Judith Johnson from Larsen Marital Trust, 201 Manor Ct Unit A, Windsor, $147,000, condo • Patrick Reinard from Tracy Peter, 308 Amber Dr, Windsor, $243,900, home • Devin Wagner from Shores LLC, 7040 Ruidoso Dr, Windsor, $425,000, home • Jeffrey & Debra Mathews from Highpoint Vista LLC, 5815 Stone Chase Dr, Windsor, $100,000, home • Kelly Paulus from Melody Homes Inc, 613 Botley Dr, Windsor, $299,000, home • Timothy Hoops from Melody Homes Inc, 1666 Merton Ct, Windsor, $330,700, home • James & Terri Hoover from Gunderson Trust, 1131 Valley Dr, Windsor, $215,000, home • Geroge & Diane Nelson from Highland Meadows Development I, 6347 Crooked Stick Dr, Windsor, $105,000, home • Brody & Terri Price from Jeremy Olinger, 5518 Flamboro Dr, Windsor, $332,000, home • Robert Smith from Deutsche Bk Natl Trust Co, 1753 Clear Creek Ct, Windsor, $262,500, home

Milliken

• Ricky Markley from Fannie Mae, 1531 S Cora Ave, Milliken, $135,000, home • Emily Graeper from Joint Revocable Trust Patricia, 413 Heidie Ln, Milliken, $170,000, home • Richard Marshall from Dale Boothe, 1497 Cattleman Ct, Milliken, $122,000, home

Windsor

• Resident from Melody Homes Inc, 1663 Merton Ct, Windsor, $216,000, home • Trollco Inc from Daniel Sanders, 1492 Eagle Ct, Windsor, $400,000, home • Neal & Annette Monaghan • Daniel & Jana Sanders from Cory Owens, 326 Grafrom Trollco Inc, 880 Doce Ln, ham Ln, Johnstown, $198,000, Windsor, $565,000, home home • Jacob & Candra Campbell • Donald & Teresa Morris from Aspen Homes Colo Inc, from Ryalnd Group Inc, 2791 74 Veronica Dr, Windsor, White Wing Rd, Johnstown, $242,900, home $226,800, home • David & Katherin Ahl from • Shannon Odiet from Saint Teresa Lafehr, 907 Scotch Pine Aubyn Homes LLC, 156 Tartan Dr, Windsor, $201,500, home Dr, Johnstown, $259,100, • Douglas & Susan Hamhome mond from Residential Invest • Christopher & Megan LLC, 564 Lakewood Ct, WindKwilinski from Saint Aubyn sor, $339,900, home Homes LLC, 307 Sloan Dr, • Dennis Scheer from WestJohnstown, $225,700, home mark Homes LLC, 6659 • Stacie & Wesley Windel Crooked Stick Dr, Windsor, from Oakwood Homes LLC, $571,500, home • Oleksii Kurylin from Gail 3754 Beechwood Ln, John• Dan Gentilcore from Bruntjen, 882 Crabapple Ln, stown, $209,300, home Deutsche Bk Natl Trust Co, Estes Park, $203,500, home • Clarence & Shirley Robins 1204 Creekwood Ct, Windsor, • John & Lynn Griswell from Walker Scott, 1550 Raven Cir Unit N, Estes Park, $225,000, condo • Resident from Robert Brehm, 1751 Hummingbird Ln, Estes Park, $218,000, home • Manuela Rivasmarquez from 300 Far View LLC, 300 Far View Dr Unit 12, Estes Park, $202,000, condo • Gary & Laura Wile from Catherine E Taylor Trust, 700 Summerset Ln Unit 3, Estes Park, $303,000, condo

Johnstown

Estes Park

H&RE Front Range Gardening

CSU Gardening Tips Boxelder bugs, home invaders are common in the fall season MITZI DAVIS CSU EXTENSION • Home invaders — Look for them in the fall. The most common is the black and red boxelder bug, and becoming more common, the brown western conifer seed bug. Both are harmless and you can vacuum them up if you find them on your south and west window sills or anywhere that’s warm and sunny. Cluster flies, which develop as a parasite of earthworms, are looking for ways to spend winter inside — usually in walls. European paper wasps will be abandoning their nests now and will never use them again. The future queens seek protection during the winter and often find their way into your home. Caulk cracks or openings into your house to keep

insects from entering. • Plant garlic in a corner of your garden to harvest next spring. Separate the bulbs into cloves. Enrich the soil with organic matter like compost or well aged manure. They need full sun and well-draining soil. Plant with the pointed end up, about 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart. They’ll be ready to harvest next spring when the foliage dies down. • Fall is also the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. If you have trouble with deer eating all your tulips, plant daffodils. The deer tend to avoid them. Check the nurseries, garden centers and catalogs for early, mid-season and late-blooming varieties to extend the bloom time. Other bulbs that are deer “resistant” include Dutch iris, grape hyacinth, scilla and puschkinia. Mitzi Davis has received training through Colorado State University Extension's Master Gardener program and is a Master Gardener volunteer for Larimer County. For more information about CSU Extension, Larimer County, call 970-498-6000 or visit www.larimer.org/ext.

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Saturday Reporter-Herald October 1, 2011 E5

On the

Surface Top counters: Granite sharing the spotlight with glass, stone and more

production builder that moved this market.” And moved some homeowners to other choices that are new and appealing to green consumers, such as engineered quartz, as well as some that have been around for centuries, like soapstone or marble. MARY MACVEAN “I have not done a single MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE granite countertop in 10 years,” said Dan Campbell, a o anyone reading the Los Angeles contractor who real estate ads in recent specializes in kitchen design years, it could seem that and remodels. “Maybe because granite was the only material it’s so overused. It all blends worth using for a kitchen together.” counter, as important as Troy Adams also hasn’t used updated electrical or a reliable much granite in the high-end roof. kitchens he designs, though Granite isn’t going anyhe acknowledged there are where. But many designers many beautiful granite slabs and homeowners are turning available. Improvements to to glass, manufactured stone, other materials, such as stainmetal and other materials to less steel with fine patterns create counters that work for that resist fingerprints, have people who actually cook as made alternatives more popuwell for those who see the lar, Adams said. kitchen as a decorative accesOne of the materials he likes sory. to use is lava stone, which is “What consumers now have quarried from a volcano in seen is there is kind of this France, enameled and then granite fatigue. Everyone has fired at high temperatures. It’s granite,” said Ed Rogers, the stain-, heat- and scratch-resisdirector of business developtant, and it has a sort of crackment at CaesarStone US, ly surface that can be made in based in Van Nuys, Calif. intense colors. It’s also three CaesarStone and other to four times as costly as many brands, including Silestone, granites, Adams said. sell engineered quartz, a Whether the kitchen durable product made from counter is just a spot to toss more than 90 percent crushed the keys and mail, the place quartz mixed with a resin. for breakfast around an island, Manufacturers are producthe lab for a chili cook-off ening dozens of colors of engitry or the respite for sitting neered quartz, some of them alone with a glass of pinot gritrying to replicate the look of gio, the kitchen counter is inother stones or concrete, at evitably a focal point of what’s prices comparable to those of become the center of many midlevel granites. Both a homes. virtue and a drawback is its Adams said he builds his consistency — no fossils or palette around the aspect of natural quirks, though that the kitchen with the most surcould change too as compaface area, so a large, dramatic nies work to mimic the natural island might be the place to variations of marble or add a start. leathery surface texture. In sophisticated, high-end Glass counters too are shin- kitchens, an island might be ing. Lighted from below, they topped with one material, the can add an appealing glow to a sink and cooking area in ankitchen. Buyers also like the other. In his own kitchen, hygienic qualities of glass in Adams combined lava stone, these days of the hand sanitiz- stainless steel and glass. er. That doesn’t mean the old Granite had been “reserved standbys, including solid surfor the ultra high end,” but faces such as Corian, are gone now it’s available in big box from the market — particularhome stores, Rogers said. “It ly in budget-minded kitchen plans. Wood — often used for was the home center and the

T

Laminate countertop swatch

Marble countertops cutting blocks or other inserts to countertops — also can work for counters, whether in a farmhouse kitchen in the city or a sleek contemporary space. Although it still represents a small share of overall sales, engineered quartz has been the fastest-growing category in the last five or six years, CaesarStone’s Rogers said. CaesarStone was the first engineered stone, made in 1987, said Arik Tendler, president of CaesarStone US. It was, and still is, made in Israel, where he grew up to become a stone fabricator. When he was first approached by a salesman with engineered quartz, his reaction was: “Do me a favor. I’m a second-generation stone guy. Have some coffee and get out of here.” Obviously, he changed his opinion over time. In Southern California, he went door to door to introduce his company starting in 1999. Campbell said he likes the seamless counter front possible with engineered quartz. “No one wants to see the manufacturing of anything if you can avoid it,” he said. Many companies also are working to make their products — natural and manufactured — as eco-friendly as possible. Consumers who care might check a product for its percentage of recycled materials, which varies considerably, or the conditions of its mining. Cosentino reports that its Eco line is made of 75 percent post-consumer or post-industrial materials, including mirrors, glass, stone scraps and porcelain. Other counters are being made from recycled glass or recycled paper sealed with wax. “Granite is going to stay as long as they keep on digging,” said Oren Osovski, an L.A. contractor and interior designer, noting that the range in appearance can provide a look that feels unique. “If you want something beautiful that only you have, you have to have granite or marble.”

works for you: The toughest part of the kitchen counter decision may be figuring out what you care about most. Durability? A unique look? Color? Price? Here’s a look at some of the most common options, with an assessment of their quality from designers, manufacturers and the website www.kitchen.com.

MISSION: KITCHEN

LAMINATES

CONCRETE Pros: Modern, industrial look. Can be made in any shape and in a variety of colors. Cons: Can stain and crack, though that also may be an appeal. Relatively expensive. May need a sealer and wax applied periodically to protect against staining.

GRANITE Pros: Huge range of colors and prices. Durable. Stain- and heat-resistant, though some sealers commonly used to combat its porous qualities can be damaged by excessive heat. Cons: Some designers say it has become overused.

patterns and finishes. Budgetfriendly. Easy to maintain. Cons: Chips can be difficult to repair.

ENGINEERED QUARTZ Pros: Extremely tough. Dozens of colors and patterns. Easy to clean. Consistent color and detail. Many manufacturers, including CaesarStone, Silestone, Cambria. Considered more sustainable, as remnants often can be recycled. Cons: Lacks unique colorations and details found in marble or granite.

WOOD Pros: Can be used as a chopping board. Cons: Shows knife marks. Susceptible to water damage. Requires periodic re-oiling.

OTHER NATURAL STONE Pros: Slate, soapstone, quartzite, lava stone and others can provide a variety of looks. Soapstone gives a traditional appeal, while lava stone is as modern as can be. Some can be made into sinks as well. Cons: Depending on the rarity, it can be expensive.

SOLID SURFACES

STAINLESS STEEL Pros: Durable. Stain-resistant. Looks like a professional kitchen. Other metals, such as zinc and copper, lend an unusual appearance that will change over time. Cons: Can show fingerprints and scratch.

Pros: Products such as Corian come in a variety of shapes, colors and finishes. Nonporous, low-maintenance. Can be made into a seamless piece. Cons: Can be stained or scratched, though marks can be repaired, sometimes with just an abrasive cleaner.

TILE Pros: Budget-friendly. Unlimited color and pattern choices. Durable, heat- and stain-resistant. Cons: Grout can stain and be tough to clean. Not a smooth surface for some cooking tasks.

GLASS Pros: Looks new and modern. Can be made in many colors, patterns and shapes. Translucent qualities enable natural light to pass through. Nonporous, heat-resistant, easy to clean. Can be made from recycled glass. Cons: Shows fingerprints. Can crack or break.

MARBLE Pros: Classic looks. Sometimes has translucent quality. Great for making and rolling pastry dough because it’s cool to the touch. Cons: Can stain.

Choosing a material that

Wood countertop

Pros: Huge range of colors,

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Online version of publication at www.thegroupinc.com containing links to detail pages for most listings. rado rn Colo Northe ource

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c.com


E6

Saturday Reporter-Herald October 1, 2011

H&RE Front Range Gardening

Perennial Onions

growing season, and you’ll be rewarded with sweet, delectable bulbs. Other alliums for fall planting are shallots and garlic, staples for any kitchen garden. Shallots are perennials that create clusare new to me, so what was pur- ters of bulbs around the mother chased at the silent auction was bulb. Treat them like you not just a basket, it is an adven- would the potato onions, fertilizing shallots once in spring ture. with an all-purpose fertilizer Yellow potato onions, also before the sprouts are 6-inches known as multipliers, grow in tall. clumps of onions from one CAROL O'MEARA Garlic thrives in Colorado, planted bulb. Plant them in fall, CSU EXTENSION until mid-October, and they pro- but if you want to grow your own, avoid grocery store garlic, duce three to five onions each, giving you a big crop for a small which might be treated with a iscovery is an enjoyable growth inhibitor. Softneck garinvestment. Eat the larger past time for a curious lic (Allium sativum var sativum) gardener. With each new bulbs, but save some for resquash, flower or shrub, lessons planting; you’ll have a perennial has a soft, flexible stem at the supply of onions for your gartop of the bulb that makes it in life as well as gardening are den. Other multiplier onions the choice for braiding into learned each year. During a silent auction a few weeks ago, I create clusters of small bulbs at ropes and necklaces. Commonly sold in grocery stores, they grow discovered the joy of new plants the top of their stems and are known as top setting onions, readily. while my spouse learned that such as Egyptian, or walking Hardneck garlic (Allium it’s not safe to take me to a onions. silent auction. sativum var ophioscorodon) proSoil preparation is the key to duces a curled, flowering stem, The basket was filled with supsuccess, as potato onions don’t called a scape, that eventually plies for seed saving, so I like heavy, wet ground. Amend turns woody. Rich with flavor, camped out near it in order to outbid anyone else who wanted the planting area with plenty of they have fewer, but larger, compost or peat moss to keep it. Swooping in after the other easy-to-peel cloves. Use hardthe soil well drained. Dig the bidders left, I counterbid each necks early; they don’t store as planting hole 2 to 3 inches entry until it was just me and long. deep, sprinkle a teaspoon of one other person, a stubborn Plant now, while we still have bonemeal into the hole beneath four to six weeks before the woman named Connie. As the price rose, my spouse wondered the bulb, then pop in the onions ground freezes, in a sunny spot 6-inches apart. if we couldn’t simply buy the with well-drained soil. Plant only items for less. Mulch with a 3-inch layer of the largest cloves, saving the straw for winter. In spring, “Yes I could, but this is for smaller ones for eating. Push charity; we’re helping people,” I clearing away the mulch from cloves root end down, 1-to 2said, glaring at the back of Con- around the onions is a must, inches into the soil, about but leave the mulch in place nie’s head as she sidled up to 6-inches apart. between rows to the clipboard to log another bid. The back and forth contin- help conserve water. Keep the ued until I eventually secured Carol O’Meara is with the basket for a price that bulb from becomCSU Extension in made the charity organizers ing elongated by Boulder County. delirious. scraping away a bit Contact her at It was worth it, for within the of soil until there is 303-678-6238 or only one-inch of soil basket was treasure: A paper comeara@co above the bulb. wrapped bundle of yellow .boulder.co.us. Make sure the potato onions, small, golden onions never dry orbs waiting to be put in the Front Range Gardening out during the ground. The perennial onions

Multiply your yield with yellow potato onions

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Fall planting is encouraged PATRICK MILLER CSU EXTENSION

even in the winter. Mulching and proper watering will greatly improve the likelihood of plant success in the following months and years. More information uestion: I see many greenhouses regarding tree planting, fall and winter and nurseries selling trees and watering and mulching is provided by shrubs at reduced prices. Would Colorado State University Extension from this be a good time to purchase and www.ext.colostate.edu and the Colorado plant? Master Gardener website at Answer: Absolutely. Fall and spring may www.cmg.colostate.edu: be the best time to plant nursery items • Fall and Winter Watering, #7.211: such as deciduous trees and shrubs. It is http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garadvised to plant evergreen trees and den/07211.html shrubs in spring or summer, because • Mulches for Home Grounds, #7.214: their foliage continues to lose water durhttp://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/Garing winter months and desiccation is more probable. If you plan to plant in the den/07214.html • The Science of Planting Trees, #633: fall, be sure to finish before the end of http://cmg.colostate.edu/gardenOctober, to increase the chances of your plant(s) becoming established. One bene- notes/633.pdf Patrick Miller has received training fit of Colorado’s sunny days is that soils through Colorado State University Extenstay warm and usually don’t freeze until sion's Master Gardener program and is a December or later. The warm soils will Master Gardener volunteer for Larimer help plants form new roots for establishCounty. For more information about CSU ment. Extension, Larimer County, call 970-498Be sure to water new plantings thoroughly and check soil moisture often, 6000 or visit www.larimer.org/ext.

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Stinky house will foul sales prospects MARCIE GEFFNER BANKRATE.COM

and development at ServiceMaster Clean, which does major cleanups and post-disaster restorations for commercial and residential properHomebuyers don’t want houses ties. that stink. Sellers must identify and “There is no ’odor meter,’” Gupta remediate odors that make prospecsaid. “People get used to the odor of tive purchasers hold their noses and their house and may not notice that run for the exits. something is not pleasant.” A buyer’s market is a tough chalThe best way to find out whether a lenge for sellers, said Patti Ketcham, house smells OK is to “ask someone owner of Ketcham Realty Group in who doesn’t live there to come inside Tallahassee, Fla. and give an opinion,” Gupta said. “If you’re selling,” she said, “your The obvious “someone” would be house has to look a little better, smell the real estate broker hired to sell the a little better and be priced a little better than the other houses the buy- home. But not all brokers will point out that a house smells bad, even if er will look at that same day.” they’re willing to offer other helpful Unfortunately, it’s not always easy suggestions. for sellers to identify familiar smells Ketcham offers to pass along any that might be problematic, said Neeraj Gupta, director of product research unfiltered “brutal truth” comments

she hears from her colleagues who bring buyers to see the property. That way, the message gets delivered with less risk to her cordial relationship with the sellers. “I will never be the kind that will come out and tell you that your house smells like cat litter or mothballs,” she said. “I would rip my tongue out first.” The two most common sources of offensive odors are pets and cigarettes; neither of which, Gupta said, is easy to remediate. The first line of defense in any smelly situation is to remove the problem’s source, even if that means a beloved pet must board elsewhere for a while. “If the pet is in the house, you’re introducing new odor every day,”

Gupta said. Cat urine can seep into carpet fibers, carpet padding, concrete and wood floors, upholstery fabrics, and furniture cushions and pillows. “Oftentimes,” he said, “you have to remove the carpet, remove the pad and seal the floor, and then replace the carpet and the pad.” Cleaning the carpet might help. But humidity will raise the odor from the padding or floor beneath. Cigarette smoke can cling to furnishings, drapes and other window

coverings and work its way inside walls. Some topically applied solutions can reduce the stench, but an ozone generator, hydroxyl generator or air scrubber should be more effective, Gupta said. These approaches are “very effective in absorbing odors,” he said, though there is no guarantee that an odor can be eliminated completely. One more tip: If someone suffers a long illness or dies in a home, a good airing may be adequate to remove odors. In the case of a violent death, however, professionals who handle what’s known as “trauma cleanup” should be called. The cost might range from a few hundred dollars to at least $1,000, depending on the type of remediation and the square footage. “If you have that type of situation,” Gupta said, “it’s probably best to call a professional. It may be traumatic for you to do it yourself.”

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