• Design Recipes – All that glitters is gold (accents)
    Broken “egg” ceramic art lined in gold makes a dramatic statementin this living room. (Photo: Design Recipes) Gold artwork paired with a gold accent piece helps make this entry area shine. Gold has long been associated with luxury and glamour. And it’s currently one of the hottest and most utilized finishes in home decor. Gold or brass accents remain more popular than ever and can serve as the perfect complement to your existing decor. When looking for ways to incorporate gold accents into your home, here are some basic design rules to keep in mind. Do:– Use gold as accents in accessory items such as toss pillows. – Consider infusing gold or brass accents through your use of artwork, either in the artwork itself or in the frame. – Consider using gold in a series of similar accent pieces such as a long row of mirrors hung in a space. – Incorporate small gold accents in smaller surface areas such as nightstands or bookcases. – Experiment with accent pieces of different sizes and shapes. Don’t:– Overdo it. In many cases, less is more. Use your gold accents purposefully and sparingly. – Use gold on too many primary or large pieces in a room, as this can overwhelm. – Miss an opportunity to mix gold with other metallic elements such as silver. – Forget it’s OK to mix different materials such as lacquer and wood with some of your gold elements. – Pair gold accents with too many patterns. Solid colors such as black and white can help enhance gold accent pieces. By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service. Cathy, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at info@cathyhobbs.com or visit her website at cathyhobbs.com. The post Design Recipes – All that glitters is gold (accents) appeared first on At Home Colorado. ... read more
    Source: Loveland Real Estate NewsPublished on 2018-02-09
  • CSU Extension – Chocolate is a Valentine’s best friend
    Cocoa pod on a dark wooden table. (Photo: Shutterstock) Carol O’Meara, Colorado State University Extension LONGMONT – Diamonds and flowers are nice, wine and sweet words can woo, but if you’re intent on showing your special someone the depth of your love, gift them a gift worthy of gods. This Valentine’s Day, celebrate your passion with the plant that’s been revered for over 5,000 years: chocolate. Theobroma cacao, the cacao plant, dates back to Mesoamerica where it was cultivated by Aztec, Mayan, and Olmec peoples. Native to central and South America the tree sports tiny, rice-sized blossoms on its trunk and main branches that attract a tiny midge for pollination. And though the plant does its best to entice the gnat-sized pollinator, only three out of a thousand flowers gets lucky. These fertilized flowers produce large fruits, called pods, which contain the coveted cacao seeds. Fruit and flowers are born throughout the year making harvest an ongoing event, with two or more heavier ‘flushes’ of pods. Waiting to collect the seeds is a labor of patience, not a flash in the pan: from flower to ripe fruit takes six months. The cleaned, roasted seeds are the source of the tasty treat, which was first cultivated as a drink or pulverized and used in gruel and other dry goods. So cherished by the ancient Mesoamerican cultures that cacao was considered a drink of the gods and used as currency. The bitter flavor was not appreciated by the Europeans who first explored the region; rather, it was its use as money that captured their attention. Seizing containers carrying the seeds, they brought them back to Europe where they were at first ignored, then prized once sugar was added instead of chili pepper. With this it became a popular drink. At first only nobles enjoyed chocolate, but with an increase in production, soon most people had access to the frothy beverage. In 1828 a revolution in chocolate making occurred when Conrad J. van Houten, a Dutch chocolatier, invented a hydraulic press that squeezed the fat from the bean. The result was “cake” cocoa that could be powderized. For this, van Houton should be canonized. This cocoa powder opened up whole new avenues for enjoying chocolate, and in 1849 Englishman Joseph Storrs Fry mixed it with sugar and added the cocoa butter back in to create a solid chocolate candy. For this, Fry also should be elevated to Saint. Today, retail sales of chocolate were $98.2 billion dollars in 2016 with Switzerland leading per capita consumption at 8.8 kilograms per person per year (the U.S. is ranked 5 at 5.5 kilograms). This is not to say they lead the world in wooing, because there’s always the per capita consumption of wine. The top honors for that seem to be Vatican City at 54.26 liters per person, according to Forbes, but it’s probably not for the same purpose. Second to them is the country of Andorra. But we were talking about chocolate. Considered a ... read more
    Source: Loveland Real Estate NewsPublished on 2018-02-09
  • The Mortgage Professor – How to buy a house before selling the one in which you live
    A homeowner who wants to exchange the house in which they live for another one that better meets their current needs and capacities can save much grief and expense by buying the new house before selling the old one. (Photo: Shutterstock). By Jack Guttentag The Mortgage Professor A homeowner who wants to exchange the house in which they live for another one that better meets their current needs and capacities can save much grief and expense by buying the new house before selling the old one. Buying the new house first means having to move only once instead of twice. The downside is that financing a house purchase when you already own a home is more difficult. Coping with these difficulties is the subject of this article. When a homeowner applies for a mortgage to purchase another house, since the borrower can permanently occupy only one house, the practice is to view the purchased house as the borrower’s residence, leaving the existing house as an investment property. Investment loans are riskier than loans secured by a permanent residence. Since the applicant for a new purchase loan is viewed as having a risky investment property, the payment reserve requirement – the number of months of monthly payments the borrower must have in the bank at closing – is higher. Further, the expense-to-income ratio used to assess the borrower’s ability to make future payments will include the payment on the existing mortgage as well as the payment on a new mortgage. For these reasons, the purchaser may find it difficult to qualify for a loan from a traditional mortgage lender, which raises questions about other potential sources. If the borrower has a 401(k) retirement account and her employer permits loans against it for the purpose of buying a house, which most do, this is a low-cost and usually a low-risk way to finance the home purchase before selling the existing house. It avoids collateral and affordability issues because no lender is involved – the borrower is lending to herself. The cost of borrowing against a 401(k) account is the earnings foregone on the amount borrowed, which is no longer earning a return. The risk is that if the borrower loses their job, or changes employers, they must pay back the loan in full within a short period, often 60 days. If they don’t, it is treated as a withdrawal and subjected to taxes and penalties. While 401(k) accounts can usually be rolled over into 401(k) accounts at a new employer, or into an IRA, without triggering tax payments or penalties, loans from a 401(k) cannot be rolled over. If you have a binding contract of sale on the old house, and a bank with which you have a history, a bridge loan is the way to go. A bridge loan is used to provide funds needed for a short period until another source of funds becomes available. In the home loan market, a bridge loan, sometimes called a “swing” loan, allows ... read more
    Source: Loveland Real Estate NewsPublished on 2018-02-09
  • Markel Homes – New Homes to Fit Your Lifestyle in Louisville and Longmont
    Fresh architecture, an open floor plan and high-end finishes in the Falcon at North End. The stylish Columbine at North End features a main-floor master suite. LONGMONT/LOUISVILLE – Location is the golden word in the vocabulary of home buying. Where we live influences how we live. In Boulder County, access to walking paths and bike trails is a must. Buyers value mountain, foothills and open space views for their calming effect on the mind and body. Exercise enthusiasts look for proximity to a gym, rec center or yoga studio, and coffee drinkers appreciate a local coffee shop just minutes from home. As Colorado residents and home builders for decades, the folks at Markel Homes put location front and center when creating communities that people love. New homes are currently available in two Markel Homes communities in Boulder County. Each offers its own brand of the enviable Colorado lifestyle and all-important location amenities. Contemporary two-story homes in LouisvilleDrive through the Block 10 neighborhood at North End to get a feel for the flurry of activity in this popular Louisville community. Two single-family Falcon homes on Snowberry Lane are move-in ready, with another four coming on this spring. Pricing starts at $759,900. The bright and open main floor, modern finishes, and ease of living in a well-designed, beautifully styled home make these 3-bed/2.5-bath Falcons particularly appealing. The artfully-designed Columbine plan is nearly complete on Block 18. The open living, dining and kitchen as well as the master suite and laundry are on the main level, with 2 additional beds, another bath and an open loft upstairs. A full basement and a 3-car garage allow space for everything. Priced at $859,900, this home will be complete this spring. Only a handful of homes remain in Block 18. These larger home sites – some with mountain and lake views – are available for home buyers who want to engage with the building process from the ground up. Hip, urban 3-story Town Homes with a unique entry-level flex space at North End are move-in ready. Easy living options at North EndThe six-plex of town homes located on Hecla Way has just been completed. Three town homes are still available, all interior units with master and mini-master suites. The town home floor plan features something new from Markel Homes – a flex space at street level, with its own entrance, large south-facing window, front courtyard and bath. The space is ideally suited for a home office, studio or guest bedroom. A two-car garage is located behind the flex space. The kitchen and great room are on the second level, with ample outdoor living on the two large decks. The third floor houses the master and mini-master suites. The town homes are on the market for $624,900. Markel Homes will include the refrigerator and washer/dryer (a $3K+ value) for home buyers who purchase in February. A furnished model at 1459 Hecla Way is available for touring. A 3-bed/2.5-bath two-story duplex featuring an open plan and outdoor living ... read more
    Source: Loveland Real Estate NewsPublished on 2018-02-09
  • Boulder Economic Forecast – Boulder County’s Future is Bright, But Challenges Are Ahead
    2018 Boulder Economic Forecast. (Photo courtesy: RE/MAX of Boulder)   Jay Kalinski RE/MAX of Boulder BOULDER – Good times in Boulder County and in Colorado will continue said local economic experts at the recent Boulder Economic Forecast. But they caution that 2018 may not reach the heights of 2017, and the difficulties could impact us well beyond next year. Organized by the Boulder Chamber and the Boulder Economic Council, the 11th annual Boulder Economic Forecast was held on January 17 at the new Embassy Suites Hotel, and RE/MAX of Boulder was among the event’s sponsors. “By almost every economic indicator we measure, 2017 was an historic year,” says Boulder Economic Council Executive Director Clif Harald in his opening remarks. Statistics show a superlative year. Colorado ranked third in the country for the pace of GDP growth, while unemployment dropped to 2.5 percent, the second-lowest rate nationally. The state’s labor force soared with the fastest growth rate in the U.S., according to speaker Rich Wobbekind, Executive Director, Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business, CU-Boulder. But, Harald noted that 2017 presented challenges, too. And, these challenges could escalate in the coming years. He pointed to constraints for Boulder’s economy, including a shortage of labor and resources and high housing costs that cause long commutes for many Boulder County workers. In his keynote address, Wobbekind called the labor shortage the area’s “biggest short-term challenge.” While job growth in Boulder County continued in 2017, the pace slowed from the peak of 2014-15. “Almost every industry sector reported lack of available labor or properly trained labor. This doesn’t go away,” Wobbekind says. And chief among the factors impacting Boulder County: age. Colorado State Demographer Elizabeth Garner says residents 65-and-older will represent 20 percent of residents by 2030. The 65+ group will be 77 percent larger than it was in 2015. “We are aging fast,” says Garner, noting that the age wave will overtake the entire state. Garner explains that demographics – and the age wave beginning to sweep the state – are an economic issue. As people retire, aging results in a labor shortage. When people choose to age in place, housing stock for people moving in or moving up is negatively impacted. Aging also impacts healthcare and public financing issues. At the same time, those migrating here are typically ages 20-27 and never married. Total household income is below $50,000 for 80 percent; 65 percent earn less than $24,000. People move to Colorado for the jobs. But, Garner cautions, the biggest increase in jobs are those that are low- to medium- wage, while the cost of living is relatively high. The highest income and spending group – 45- to 65-year-olds – is the smallest demographic in the state and in Boulder County. It also has the slowest growth rate and the numbers are declining. In addition, diversity will increase as the Hispanic population is projected to grow from the current 20 ... read more
    Source: Loveland Real Estate NewsPublished on 2018-02-06