Boulder Article Is At Top of New York Times Most Emailed List

The link below will take you to a great article about the emerging technology sector in Boulder. The article draws an interesting link between the high quality of life and the sustainability of the business culture over time. The article wonders if we are the next Silicon Valley. Very interesting.

From The New York Times:

Boulder, Colo., a Magnet for High-Tech Start-Ups

Boulder, Colo., in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, has become a magnet for entrepreneurs seeking to start technology companies.

Read Article

New Boulder Luxury Home – 772 Circle Drive $5,900,000- Exterior Slideshow

Please take a look at this slideshow.  It is a collection of photos taken at 772 Circle Drive Boulder, CO 80302.  Kearney Realty has this home listing for $5,900,000 and it is nearly complete.  I took these photos this morning and the quality, location and detail of the home is just stunning.  Take a look and please let me know what you think.  I will have interior photos and landscape photos in a few weeks.  For best results view in full screen mode.
772 Circle 4/9/2010

Appraising Green Features and A Preview of Boulder’s Newest Landmark

I had the opportunity to walk through 772 Circle Drive yesterday with the architect, Sam Austin.  Our company has the house listed and the new build is just getting to a point where a potential buyer can envision the finished product.  And what an amazing house it is!  I will write more on it later once I get a chance to take more photos.  I have begun working on the website which I hope will convey what a work of art this house is.  The house is special on so many levels and it better be as the list price is $5,900,000.

One thought I had, as I tried to soak in all of the details was the valuation of such a house.  Specifically, I was wondering if an appraiser would monetarily appreciate all of the amazing upgrades in this house.  The utility closet was over 250 square feet and included geothermal (radiant) heating and cooling with a high efficiency gas backup,  solar electric, fire suppression etc.  The house, which is at the base of Flagstaff Mountain, is built to last with over 30 piers reaching down to bedrock, the structural concrete floors are extra thick, the foam insulation is tight to a point that the efficiency tester when doing a air test commented that “the only improvement that can be done would be to remove the windows”.  On first glance none of these features are readily apparent.

Green building is really gaining traction.  Whether it is a modest solar project or a $5,900,000 home, banks need to start valuing the future benefits that green building provide.  Not only for cost savings, but for improved re-sale value.  It’s not cheap to put in a geothermal system that reaches 200 feet below the house and provides heating a cooling for the cost of running a small pump.  So why would the system not provide more value than an 80% efficient furnace blowing through ducts?  We are on the front end of this and I believe it will get better.  But with everything, if it doesn’t make sense financially, in the long run only the die hard tree huggers will spend money on principle.

I’m excited to tell you more about this magnificent house in the coming weeks.

Boulder County Market Recovery?

The definition of ‘recovery’ from my handy dandy Iphone app: “restoration or return to any former and better state or condition”.  The results are in, and despite some starts and fits to what might be deemed improvement, we have not yet reached what might be deemed a recovery.

After posting gains in the number of sales during October, November and December, sales during January were again down, although ever so slightly.  This means that the number of sales in January 2010 were at the lowest levels for any month that can be searched using IRES’s historical online data.  Not quite the classical definition of recovery.

Statistics are by nature backward looking and sometimes the past is too negative for an optimistic person like me.  So, before I move on, and talk about the present, I’d like to give an ever so brief report on the major trends in the local real estate market.  Through January, sales continue to struggle and prices are trending downward (although slightly) for the first time in decades.

Now to what I am seeing happening right now in the market.  Just after the New Year, buyers started breaking hibernation early and decided that looking at houses would be a good thing to do.  Since January showings have been robust and starting late January buyers started making offers. Right now 15% of the 2,600 residential listings in Boulder County are under contract.  398 units, not too bad.

Last year we had a late start to our selling market.  Not much happened during the first quarter.  This year, because of the tax credit, the opposite is true.  I expect the number of sales for the next few months to exceed 2009.  We are off to a quick start, but the lingering question on my mind is how strong the market will be after April 30th.  With the scheduled expiration of the tax credit possibly coinciding with the end of the Fed buying of mortgage back securities (see interest rates – rising); we will have a stern test as to the strength of our short lived recovery.  I will keep you posted.

It’s a Start

Wouldn’t this be a better if you lived in Hoboken?  Maybe this person is looking for confirmation.  Boulder – Colorado – USA – Earth …

Donate $25 To Charity for FREE

Free is my favorite amount.  Donating to charity is always a good idea but we don’t always get around to it. Life sometimes gets in the way.  Xcel has allocated $30,000 to donate to three Colorado charities; Habitat for Humanity, Mile High United Way and Colorado’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program.  Xcel has allocated the money and now they are asking their customers where they would like the money to go.

I called, and after learning a bit more, it seems like just a nice PR effort using Xcel Foundation money.  It looks like we get to donate the money but it seems to me that they were going to donate the money anyway and they are making us, their customers aware and feel good about their giving.  By clicking here you can give your “vote” on where “your” $25 goes.  I voted for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

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