Monday, November 24, 2008

Denver & Houston Real Estate Markets on the Rise

Recent statistics indicate that residential home prices and sales in Denver and the Front Range have held up against the national trend, and are fighting negative market conditions.

Here are just a few great statistics publushed recently:
According to the Real-Time Housing Market Report, out of 26 major markets, listing prices rose at the fastest rate in Denver - up 0.7% in October.

Denver and Houston are now the only markets showing three months of sequential price increases. According to Inverstor's Business Daily, Colorado's sales of existing single-family homes rose 4.8% in September from a year earlier, and the Denver metro area's sales rose 14.3%.

This article was complied by Luxury Home Magazine (LHM) - the premier magazine to see luxury home listings. To receive a publication of Luxury Home Magazine call LHM at 303.650.4090 or for more information.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: 970.846.1086
office: 970.879.8100 EXT 434

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Where's the Money - in Steamboat Springs???

Where’s the Money?

The Mortgage Brokers in Steamboat Springs have access to plenty! On Thursday, November 20TH, REALTORS® gathered at the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors conference room to listen to a panel of local Mortgage Brokers talk about Credit Tips and several types of loans available to our Buyers. Thanks APC for hosting this much needed positive spin on the mortgage industry. The good news is there is money out there. Buyers don’t let the negativity of the media or the current economic conditions keep you from inquiring about a loan to purchase a home. All are welcome including poor – average credit (FICO scores), first time home buyers, and those with little down payment.

Ed Allbright from Columbine Mortgage gave many credit tips. Here are just four:
1. Don’t close old credit cards. 15% of credit scores are determined by the age of the credit file. People who have had credit for a longer period of time are thought to be less of a risk of defaulting. Use your old card once every three months or so then pay it off at the billing cycle to keep your credit scores high.

2. When you decide you would like to buy a home begin by checking your own credit score at Look for mistakes and correct them. Any item that says: “unknown, unsatisfied, not paid, or not released” should be changed to “paid, satisfied or released”. You can contact this company once per year at no charge and not receive an “inquiry deduction” on your FICO score. Your goal is to have at least three lines of credit established for two years in good standing to really improve your credit or FICO scores.

3. To help prevent Identity fraud, place a freeze on your credit reports. You can do this by contacting the three credit bureaus in writing by certified mail. Just state in the letter you want to place a freeze on your file. The bureau will not be allowed to release your credit report or any information in it without your special password. The three bureaus are:, and

4. Eliminate junk mail by going to:

If you may be unable to make several mortgage payments, look into a "Loan Modification" program which is differenct then refianancing. There are numerous sites on line to help with this. One mentioned was Home Help which I found at

Carmen Ashbaugh from Vectra Bank says the current FHA Loans are the new 80/20 and are not like your dad’s FHA. 30% of the loans she does are now FHA and are ideal for 1st home buyers. The following criteria applies: Owner occupied; mortgages up to $675,000; as little as 3.5% down or can accept the down payment in the form of a gift or seller carry; full documentation of salary and assets; Co-signer allowed; OK with poor FICO scores especially if your scores have been improving over the last 12 months; no prepayment penalty; no income limits; manufactured homes OK, but no condos or condotels. She stated for developers to consider applying for an FHA approval to be the first condo development in Steamboat to qualify their buyers for FHA approved loans.

John McCollum from First National Bank of the Rockies talked about the criteria of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) Loans. He says the CHFA loan is available for a maximum purchase price of $350,000 and condos are allowed. It is designed for the 1st time home buyer or people who have not owned in the last three years; home buyer class is required that can be taken on-line; low FICO scores are accepted; as little as $1,000 down; three years of documentation are necessary; Mortgage Insurance required on loans above 80% of home value; higher interest rates then other loans; recapture tax if sold within 10 years and if income goes up significantly.

Kathryn Pedersen of Yampa Valley Bank described the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loans that are only available to rural areas like Routt County. Must be a primary residence and can be a condo; 30 year fixed; 100% financing available; no monthly mortgage insurance premium; no reserves required; considers low FICO scores; and no maximum loan amount.

Loans are not guaranteed based on the information provided in this summary. Every day new information becomes available to the mortgage lenders that can change the loan requirements just like new properties come on the market and current active listings turn into pendings or solds on a daily basis. 85 % of home buyers begin their real estate research on-line, yet eventually secure the service of a qualified REALTOR®. As important as it is to have Buyer’s
Representation from a REALTOR®, you should also seek the advice early on of a reputable local lender. To access lender information go to - Click on Steamboat Links - choose Lenders.

For all your real estate needs in Steamboat Springs, Colorado call me…

Michelle Diehl, GRI
Broker Associate
Prudential Steamboat Realty

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Steamboat Place Social Club in Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Slope Side

One Steamboat Place (OSP) which is one of the newest up and coming slope side developments in Steamboat Springs, Colorado has just released its highly anticipated
One Steamboat Place Social Club.

One Steamboat Place Social Club members will have privileged access to all One Steamboat Place amenities including:

*Secure slope side underground parking
*Car cleaning services while its parked and you're skiing
*Spacious members' ski services area equipped with personal lockers, boot dryers and ski shop, and year-round storage of ski equipment and personal items
*A Zen-inspired Spa
* Ability to soak your muscles in the steam room, sauna or heated outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi at the state-of-the-art health and fitness center.
*Preferred access to the Truffle Pig restaurant.
*Private members-only areas like the member's lounge, wine cellar and tasting room

The details have not been set and this is very preliminary information. However, with the limited number of memberships available we expect they will be reserved very quickly.

Preliminary Social Club Membership details: (all subject to change prior to official offering)

Anticipated structured similar to country club membership (non equity)

Anticipated 50 memberships available now (possibly 100 total in the next year)

Anticipated $65,000 +/- introductory membership price

Anticipated prices will increase with every few sales

Anticipated $3-4,000 +/- annual dues

Anticipated broker commission to be 3%

All of the specific details regarding the One Steamboat Place Social Club Membership will be forthcoming.

Anticipated Enrollment Process:

You may reserve your OSP Social Club Membership opportunity now with a Reservation Agreement accompanied by a fully refundable $5,000 deposit. In approximately two- three months you’ll receive final membership details and documents. At that time OSP anticipates reservation holders will convert to a non-refundable Purchase Agreement and we expect another deposit of $5,000 will be required at that time. The balance of the membership price will be due when One Steamboat Place opens its doors in December of 2009.

Please contact Michelle Diehl Broker Associate, GRI with Prudential Steamboat Realty 970.846.1086 or to arrange all the details for you with the peace of mind of Buyer's Representation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Real Estate Activity Update:

Steamboat Springs, Colorado - Real Estate Actvity Update

MLS Statistics by Area (January 1st, 2008 – November 17th, 2008)
Single Family Homes, Townhomes, Condos, Multi Family:

Mountain Area: 26 Pending, 203 Sold, 383 Active, 512 Expireds/Withdrawns (EW).

Downtown Area: 10 Pending, 28 Sold, 69 Active, 120 EW.

Fish Creek Falls Area: 7 Pending, 37 Sold, 60 Active, 90 EW.

West Steamboat: 0 Pending, 6 Sold, 26 Active, 13 EW.

Hayden: 6 Pending, 29 Sold, 31 Active, 56 EW.

Stagecoach: 2 Pending, 6 Sold, 26 Active, 13 EW.

These statistics represents 6 of the 25 Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Search Areas in our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). To view all search areas go to and click on Communities.

Commercial Property which can be retail, business, industrial or lodging in the entire MLS has 5 Pending, 100 Sold, 128 Active, and 103 EW. Many developments have space available including Howelsen Place, Sundance North, Torian Plum, The Grand, Pine Grove and Fox Creek Park to name a few. The Alpen Glow, The Victoria and The Olympian, are almost 100 percent sold or leased according to speakers at the Real Estate Expo in Steamboat Springs, Colorado last week.

The total volume of closed units in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado MLS since January 1st, 2008 is $247 million. This dollar volume is very comparable to the sales during the same time period in 2006 which was $289 million. This number is more significant then the sales volume of 2007 since during that year there was a huge influx of buyers based on the multiple acquisitions of major properties such as Intrawest purchasing the Steamboat Springs Ski & Resort Corporation & Starwood Hotels purchasing the Sheraton Resort plus there were several other major purchases during 2008 (see: The 2007 sales volume at the end of September was $524 million.

According to Bruce Carta from Land Title Guarantee Company the total number of sales or transactions at the end of the third quarter was 228. July had 94 transactions – August had 70 transactions – September had 64 transactions. In the last five years a typical month was over 100 transactions.

Although transaction numbers are down the price per square foot (PPSF) continues to rise. The following is an average PPSF for the following years: 2006=$290 PPSF & 2008=$450 PPSF.

Currently, we are seeing at least one property go under contact daily and an average of at least two closings per day.

The Third quarter produced the lowest unit sales volume since 2003. My guess is that many buyers are going to be anxious to sell soon, so now is a great time to be a buyer in the Steamboat Springs, Colorado real estate market.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs, Colorado or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Steamboat Springs - Real Estate Round Up

Realtors look for positives
Developer predicts 2009 sales tax increase
By Tom Ross (Contact)
Sunday, November 16, 2008

Members of Steam­boat’s real estate and development community gathered at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel ballroom Wednesday to look for reasons for optimism on the heels of a third quarter that produced the lowest unit sales volume in more than five years.

The occasion was the second Colorado Group Realty Real Estate Roundup and Expo.

One presenter acknowledged after the conference that the decline in transaction volume is apt to lead to attrition among the ranks of area Realtors early next year — perhaps by as much as 30 percent..

Colorado Group Broker Owner Jim Cook produced a bold prediction about downtown commercial real estate.

“The good news is that in Alpen Glow, The Victoria and The Olympian, 100 percent of the retail spaces are sold or leased,” Cook said. “There are still some holes in Howelsen Place, but overall, I think that’s very encouraging.

“We’re all aware that our City Council is worried about sales tax receipts for next year. I predict that we will see an increase in sales tax revenues in the downtown from new businesses that are opening on the order of double digits.”

Cook, who is a partner in Alpen Glow and Howelsen Place, said he expects to see four to six grand openings for businesses during a downtown ceremony Dec. 13.

Among the new openings are Zirkel Trading and Urbane. Vectra Bank also will be relocated to Howelsen Place, a move that will create more space for the Steamboat Art Museum store.

Cook said he attaches symbolic importance to the new Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. branded retail store set to open in Howelsen Place this winter.

“The Ski Corp. saw the importance of creating connectivity between the downtown and the mountain,” he said. “It’s really important that we create that relationship for new downtown residents.”

Cook said that during a trip to Steamboat, former Intrawest CEO Alex Wasilov said one of the values his company saw in the acquisition of the Steamboat Ski Area was the strong brand of the downtown area.

“It was shortly after that (Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. President and COO) Chris Diamond and I began talking about the store,” Cook said.

In addition to selling branded merchandise and lift tickets in its downtown location, Cook said the ski area would offer a ski concierge service. It will allow guests of second- and third-story residential units in

downtown buildings to have rental skis and boots fitted in their accommodations and then have them delivered to a storage/changing facility at the ski area.

“That means they won’t have to lug their equipment to the mountain,” Cook said. “They can just jump on the bus.”

Colorado Group Operations Manager Bart Kounovsky opened the Roundup program by telling the gathering that the local market has reversed itself in less than a year.

“The seller’s market of 2006 and 2007 has turned into a buyer’s market in 2008,” Kounovsky said.

His colleague, Annamarie Shunny, told the gathering that the past six weeks have put up some more encouraging numbers in terms of dollar volume.

“Since Sept. 30, we’ve closed another $39 million in real estate,” Shunny said.

Dollar volume of sales recorded by the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service through the end of September was $247 million. That compares to $524 million for the same period in 2007 and $289 million in 2006. Shunny pointed out that although dollar volume is less than 50 percent of last year, current numbers compare far more favorably to the previous record year of 2006.

However, if unit volume is an indicator of how well commissions are spread among rank and file Realtors, that doesn’t add up to good news.

Unit volume, the number of sales versus the aggregate dollar value of sales, totaled 228 in the third quarter. That number is fewer than the number recorded for just the month of September in all but one of the past five years. That statistic doesn’t come from the Steamboat MLS but the countywide statistics compiled by Bruce Carta of Land Title Guarantee Co. Accordingly, it includes transactions that weren’t handled by a Realtor. But the trend is clear.

July saw 94 transactions; There were 70 in August and 64 in September. Before this year, the last time a single month saw fewer than 100 transactions was February 2004.

“That is going to affect the attrition rate of Realtors not just locally, but nationally,” Shunny said. “Locally we’re expecting the rate of attrition to be up to 30 percent.”

The trend probably won’t emerge until the end of January when Steamboat Realtors must pay their annual dues. There are presently 412 licensed real estate brokers in the Steamboat MLS compared to 427 in January 2008.

Even amid the national real estate slowdown, Shunny said, the price per square foot of Steamboat real estate is up. The average price per square foot of a home sold here in 2006 was $290. The figure increased to $450 in 2008. Similarly, the average price per square foot of a Steamboat townhome in 2008 was $440.

Shunny acknowledged to her audience that the most expensive Steamboat real estate is accounting for the bulk of dollar volume late this year and is partly responsible for skewing those numbers.

“The high-end sales market, we’ll say over $2 million, has been very strong,” she said.

To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mortgages are Available!

You can not believe all you read in the papers. News and newspapers sell best when they highlight the worst case scenarios.

There is plenty of money available for borrowers especially for primary homes with loan amounts under $417,000. Rates are currently just under 6%. In fact, Ed Albright from Columbine Mortgage in Steamboat Springs, Colorado says he can do loans for up to 100% financing on homes in value up to about $220,000.

Money is also available for homes with loans up to $625,000 at reasonable rates like 6.25%. As you can imagine the lenders are requiring full documentation and reasonable credit scores.

There is also money available for purchase over $1 million with some restrictions, as you might imagine.

Ed says, "I believe now is the right time for your clients to buy, inventory is high and rates are the lowest point since 1971. I believe that the prospect of inflation will start to increase the rates in the next few months".

To reach Ed Allbright call 970.846.3740

I know Ed personally and he has helped my clients to obtain financing for their Steamboat Springs, Colorado homes. He is very professional and a competent mortgage broker who is happy to talk to you about your financial requirements and help you to increase your credit scores to attain the money you need to purchase real estate. I always recommend for my clients to talk with an informed mortgage broker prior to us touring property, so you know the price range that will fit your lifestyle. To obtain information on Steamboat Springs Mortgage Brokers I recommend you go to my website: and click on the Steamboat Links box and scroll down to: Lenders. If you need immediate help contact me, Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty: 970.846.1086. I look forward to helping you with your move to Steamboat Springs. Is it time for you to live your dream?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Graystone: New Golf Course Lots in Steamboat Springs

Graystone on the Green subdivision is a new golf course homesite development located near the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Course (formerly called the Sheraton golf course). 17 homesites were released for sale in late 2008. The developers with the contracting firm Joint Venture Colorado, in conjunction with KSA Architects are providing the first four homesite Buyers with completed construction plans for their new home. All new homesite owners will be deeded a membership to Rollingstone Ranch golf course - a value of $35,000. Rollingstone is a beautiful wooded course with hills and ponds and bears. This is one of the prettiest courses I have ever played. If you are a golfer, this would be an excellent place to buy a lot for a future home. World class skiing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado is just about a five minute drive from your new homesite.

The City of Steamboat Springs has asked that the homes at Graystone on the Green be under 4,000 sf. The current house plans are showing three-story homes — with walk-outs and walk-ups — that have four bedrooms. Each person will be able to bring in your own architects and builders, but if you are lucky 1, 2, 3, or 4 why not use the resources available?

The lots are typically above the course, so views are looking at the golfers and across the expansive course. Also at some sites are views of Sleeping Giant, Emerald Mountain, the South Valley and Steamboat Ski Area. Lots begin at 0.25 acres and continue up to 1.05, most range in size of 1/3 to 1/4 acres. Prices begin at $799,000 and top out for now at $1.08 million. All are in walking distance to the club or cross country skiing.

If you are looking for a homesite, completed home, condo or townhome, in or near Steamboat Springs, Colorado... Contact me: Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: 970.846.1086
office: 970.879.8100 ext. 434

Steamboat Ski Resort Offers Free Lift Tickets!

Steamboat-Ski Town, U.S.A.® is scheduled to open Wednesday, November 26th and Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have joined forces once again! The snow has been falling in Steamboat Springs for days now with nearly a foot of snow in the past 48-hours! Steamboat is rolling out a red carpet for visitors unlike any other--FREE lift tickets from Opening Day through Christmas Day.

"Steamboat is world-renowned for its western hospitality and kicking off the 2008/2009 season with free skiing is the perfect way to say ‘thanks and welcome back' to our friends who ski and ride at Steamboat," said Rob Perlman, vice president of sales & marketing for Steamboat. "This season more than ever, people are looking for great values and Steamboat has stepped up in an unbelievable way with free lift tickets. Nothing puts a bigger smile or rejuvenates people faster than spending quality time with family and friends in Steamboat, the quintessential ski community known simply as Ski Town U.S.A."

Steamboat will provide FREE lift tickets when powderhounds book a minimum 3 nights lodging between Opening Day, Wednesday, November 26th and Thursday, December 25th through Steamboat Central Reservations®. Local experts are available seven days a week to assist guests in planning and building a customized Ski Free at Steamboat* lodging package that is only available for a limited time.

"It's no secret prudent travelers are looking for exceptional vacation values right now and we have worked closely with our Steamboat lodging partners and the community to offer this incredible early season package," continued Perlman. "Skiers and riders would be hard pressed to find a better deal than the Ski Free at Steamboat* lodging package."
Last season was one for the record books, posting a record Champagne Powder snow season including more than 40 feet of the light fluffy stuff. As widely known, history has a way of repeating itself in Steamboat, so there's no better time to make sure you're in shape, your gear is tuned up and you've reserved your Ski Free at Steamboat lodging package including FREE lift tickets by Opening Day.

"Skiers and riders know they can always count on Steamboat to take the uncertainty out of a winter vacation with industry leading value programs," continued Perlman. "With so much going on in the world today, there's never been a more important time to reconnect and renew what's most essential in life-spending quality time and making lasting memories with friends and family and there isn't a better place than Steamboat."

The Ski Free at Steamboat lodging package*, an unbeatable early season value, simply requires a $50 refundable deposit; must be purchased by the resort's scheduled opening day, November 26th; and travel completed by December 25th. Lift tickets are per person, limit 2 people per bedroom and are valid one day less than nights stayed.
Year after year, Steamboat continues to be recognized as one of the best ski resorts on the continent. This year, the resort was ranked as one of the Top 10 Resorts in North America by SKI Magazine, Skiing Magazine and Outside Magazine. Plus, resort accolades continue with SKI's #1 Family Resort in the West and #1 Place for Tree Skiing as well as Top 5 for Powder and Top 10 for Apr├Ęs Scene by Skiing Magazine.

The accolades are bolstered by more than $27 million in on-mountain improvements that Steamboat has invested over the past three years. From new lifts to redesigned terrain to additional snowmaking and parking, Steamboat continues to get better every season. With six peaks, nearly 3,000 acres of terrain, abundant Champagne Powder snow, 70-year Olympic heritage, and family programs rated best in the industry, Steamboat is worth taking the road less traveled to feel like you're a world away.
Don't wait because the powder will be here before you know it. Contact Steamboat Central Reservations at 1-800-922-2722 or online at www.steamboat.comDon't com to experience everything Steamboat has to offer including free lift tickets.

* Valid for new reservations only and cannot be combined with other offers. Ski free by purchasing lodging for November 26-December 25, 2008 for a three night minimum stay. Package must be purchased by November 26, 2008. Payment in full due 7 days prior to arrival and cancellation 3 days or less prior to arrival are non-refundable. Lift tickets are per person, limit 2 people per bedroom and are valid one day less than nights stayed. Other restrictions apply-call for details or go to


To obtain information on any property in Steamboat Springs or the surrounding areas with Buyer Representation, contact
Michelle Diehl, GRI Broker Associate at Prudential Steamboat Realty.
I am happy to help...

cell: (970)846-1086
office: (970)879-8100 ext. 434