Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts
Grand Junction, CO

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Did you know???....

The Colorado Lottery has generated more than $2 Billion in proceeds for the people of Colorado.  This money is used to make our state a more beautiful & enjoyable place to live (as if it is not beautiful already!).  Lottery proceeds recipients are The Great Outdoors Colorado (state parks, public parks & recreation, Colorado Division of Wildlife & land conservation), under-funded school districts. 
I often forget to pick up a ticket, but it is fun when I remember.   Maybe some day I'll win it, but if that never happens it is great to know my dollar every now & then counts! 

Silly but usefull...

5 things you never knew your cell phone could do

All folks with cell phones. (This should be printed and kept in your car,

purse, and wallet. Good information to have with you.) There are a few

things that can be done in times of grave emergencies.

Your mobile phone can actually be a life saver or an emergency tool for

survival. Check out the things that you can do with it:


Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112. If you find Yourself out of

the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an Emergency, dial 112

and the mobile will search any existing network to Establish the emergency

number for you, and interestingly, this number 112 can be dialed even if the

keypad is locked. Try it out.


Have you locked your keys in the car?

Does your car have remote keyless

entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If

you lock your keys In the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone

at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about

a foot From your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock

button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock.

Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you.

Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can

reach someone who has the other 'remote' for your car, you can unlock the

doors (or the trunk).

Editor's Note:

It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a cell phone!'


Hidden Battery Power

Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370#.

Your cell phone will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show

a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge

your cell phone next time.


How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following Digits on

your phone: *#06#. A 15-digit code will appear on the screen. This number is

unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe.

If your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them

this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief

changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't

get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't

use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in

people stealing mobile phones.

And Finally.....


Free Directory Service for Cells

Cell phone companies are

charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or more for 411 information calls when they don't

have to. Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our vehicle, which

makes this situation even more of a problem. When you need to use the 411

information option, simply dial: (800)FREE411, or (800) 373-3411 without

incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell phone now

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Only in Colorado

Viewing property with clients up on Glade Park yesterday. Waded in 2+ feet of snow!! The roads were groomed nicely for a safe trip, but noone plows their driveway up there! LOL. The sun sparkled off the crystals of snow. I felt blessed, once again, to live in Grand Junction and be surrounded by breath-taking views!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Home for sale on 2 Acres close to Palisade, Colorado

3350 E ¼ Road - Offered at $435,000

Beautiful stucco ranch style home on 2 acres in “Country Clifton” surrounded by farms, great neighbors, & panoramic views (including deer)!  Just a jog away from Palisade's wine country!    4 bed (or 3 + office), 2 ½ Baths. Giant kitchen for the gourmet cook includes an island with gas range, ample cupboards & a walk-in pantry! Open concept continues to a large but cozy living room with vaulted ceilings & a gas fireplace. Spacious laundry room. Dynamic organizer closets throughout home. Refrigerated air for those hot summer days! Property boasts thousands of dollars in custom landscaping, sprinklers, drip-system, huge patios (stubbed for gas grill), wrap-around sidewalks, curbing, and fenced perimeter with entry gate. Front parcel would be great for horses or sub-divide. Seller will consider an exchange for a newer 3/2/2 in North or Northeast Grand Junction. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

New listing for sale in Grand Junction, Colorado

Real Estate purchases seem to have picked up... while prices are not on the rise, buyers are feeling the urgency to take advantage of what might be the tail end of the AWESOME interest rates! Here's another brand new listing I'd like to share... Immaculate family home in desireable North Grand Junction neighborhood! 2599 sq ft - Move-in ready!  4 good-sized beds, 3 baths, 3-car garage, RV parking! Hand textured walls, new interior paint 1 year ago, new carpet 1 year ago, master suite on main level has tray ceilings & 5-pc bath w/ walk-in closet. Living room w/ gas fireplace plus family room/den upstairs, huge windows w/ box-seats, formal dining plus breakfast nook, laundry room off garage, huge pantry, lovely landscaped & fenced yard w/ patio.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

230 SE Independence Avenue, Cedaredge, Colorado
The most beautiful setting in Cedaredge, Colorado! This unique vacant land is not only for comes with OPTIONS!!! We are in the process of a sub-divide, so the possibilities are endless! PRICE IS NEGOTIABLE DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH OF THE PROPERTY YOU WANT!

Did you know how the town of Cedaredge got its name???  At the back of the Grand Mesa, where the timbers subside and the green grass begins, an old aerial photo showed the "cedars edge", thus the township decided to call it Cedaredge!!

Commercial Lots for sale in Grand Junction, Colorado

alyssa@gjproperties.com468 & 470 Base Rock Street, Grand Junction, Colorado 81501   Commercial or Industrial Lots, located behind the the Rimrock Walmart. TWO LOTS INCLUDED IN THE ASKING PRICE OF $179,500!! ZONED C-2. SPECS FOR A METAL BUILDING, A SURVEY & A SITE PLAN REVIEWCAN BE OBTAINED BY BUYER. 3-PHASE ELECTRIC & GAS ALREADY IN EASEMENT AT REAR OF PROPERTY. LIQUIDATION SALE...MAKE OFFER!

3254 1/2 Collyer Avenue, Clifton, Colorado

Darling features w/ some updates in 2005!! Bright and cheery 3 bed, 1 bath, huge living room, inviting kitchen, perfect tile work in bathroom, everlasting metal roof, fenced & landscaped yard, private back deck, shed, 1-car carport, rear alley access for additional parking, Blue Ribbon Home Warranty, no covenants, no HOA dues!      Priced at only $125,000     970-683-2591

2109 Yosemite Road, Grand Junction, Colorado

All new inside and out! Totally gutted & remodeled on .27 acre lot. 4 bedroom (or 3 + family room), 2 full baths w/custom tile, gorgeous new kitchen, not only one garage but an additional 500 sq ft Shop w/ 12’ walls and 10’door. NEW stucco, 30 yr designer roof, windows, doors, carpet, tiled baths, & hand textured walls. Shows beautiful! Walk out the French doors onto a 45x16 stamped concrete patio w/ views! NO H.O.A. dues! Seller will assist w/ buyer’s closing costs with full price offer!  $275,000   970-683-2591

211 Grand Avenue, Grand Junction, Colorado


3016 Market Way, Grand Junction, Colorado

Nice Northeast Grand Junction location! Great starter, retirement, or investment home!! Cute, clean home on just under ¼ acre lot w/ mature trees. Room to build a shop and bring all your toys! 2 bed, 1 bath, 1,062 square feet. New vinyl windows, new paint, new flooring, new kitchen, new roof, n...ew HVAC unit. Bonus 14x6 addition makes spacious laundry/craft room. No home owners association dues! Just needs your touches for the landscaping and a fence.  $169,900   970-683-2591

2020 Broadview Court, Grand Junction, Colorado

VOTED BEST LOT IN GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO!!   Unique 2273 sq ft original home, custom-built in 1995. It is surrounded by million-dollar homes and sits atop the hill on the most extraordinary 3.34-acre property with breathtaking 360 degree views of the entire Grand Valley, the National Monument,... the Bookcliffs, and the Grand Mesa!! One-of-a-kind potential here! Rejuvenate the current home to make this your dream property! Add more square feet, and then build a wrap-around deck where you and your guests can share laughter and memories! Watch the train wind its way through Grand Junction, see the fireworks on the 4th of July, sip your coffee at sunrise, and enjoy the deer at sunset while surrounded by majestic mountains. Moments away from hiking trails, cycling routes, and golf courses. Offered at $450,000 or best offer!!! 970-683-2591

406 Ridges Blvd, #30, Grand Junction, Colorado

$112,000 Immaculate 1-bedroom Redlands condo, upper unit, custom paint, crown molding, master suite w/ walk-in closet, private sink area plus additional vanity in hall. Mountain Views from front or back patio, lots of storage, all appliances included even new washer/dr...yer, Home Owners Association covers all but gas & electric! Seller will assist with buyer’s closing costs with a full-price contract.
Call me about this or any other listing you would like to view in Grand Junction, Colorado! 970-683-2591

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Realtor Gives Thanks in Grand Junction, Colorado

GIVING THANKS...I have to give thanks for challenges...the ones that make me work harder and longer for fewer rewards while all the while making me a stronger person! I feel sometimes like I'm running a marathon! I encourage my family, friends, and clients to keep up the pace - finish 2009 STRONG - and then in 2010 ...revisit your values. Make a list of priorities. Have fuller relationships and quality of life.
Focus should be a mile deep, NOT a mile wide!  I push through painful times when I want to quit - maybe doing things to make a difference in OTHER people's life helps me stay on the course and determined.   I'm a winner...SO ARE YOU. Cheer me on and know I'm cheering you on too! HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all.   From your favorite realtor, Alyssa Roberts

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tax Credit Explained from Grand Junction, Colorado

New legislation, the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009, which was signed into law on Nov. 6, 2009, extends and expands the first-time homebuyer credit allowed by previous Acts. The new law:

Extends deadlines for purchasing and closing on a home.

Authorizes the credit for long-time homeowners buying a replacement principal residence.

Raises the income limitations for homeowners claiming the credit.

Under the new law, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010 and close on the home by June 30, 2010. For qualifying purchases in 2010, taxpayers have the option of claiming the credit on either their 2009 or 2010 return.

For the first time, long-time homeowners who buy a replacement principal residence may also claim a homebuyer credit of up to $6,500 (up to $3,250 for a married individual filing separately). They must have lived in the same principal residence for any five-consecutive year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the replacement home is purchased.

People with higher incomes can now qualify for the credit. The new law raises the income limits for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009. The credit phases out for individual taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) between $125,000 and $145,000 or between $225,000 and $245,000 for joint filers. The existing MAGI phase-outs of $75,000 to $95,000 or $150,000 to $170,000 for joint filers still apply to purchases on or before Nov. 6, 2009.

Several new restrictions apply to homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009.

Purchasers must attach a properly executed settlement statement to their return.

No credit is available if the purchase price of the home exceeds $800,000.

The purchaser must be at least 18 years old on the date of purchase. For a married couple, only one spouse must meet this age requirement.

A dependent is not eligible for the credit.

The new law gives the IRS broader authority to deny first-time homebuyer credit claims, without having to first audit a taxpayer’s return. Known as math error authority, this authority applies, retroactively, to credits claimed on original and amended 2008 returns, as well as to claims yet to be filed.

Additionally, there are new benefits for members of the military and certain other federal employees:

Members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community serving outside the U.S. have an extra year to buy a principal residence in the U.S. and qualify for the credit.

In many cases, the credit repayment (recapture) requirement is waived for members of the uniformed services, members of the Foreign Service and employees of the intelligence community.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tax Credits for Updating Your Home

The tax credit is aggregated for all qualifying energy upgrades—insulation, roofs, windows, and so on—so you can’t claim separate $1,500 credits for each project. Only improvements to your existing primary residence count. New homes and second homes are excluded.


The roof of your house protects against more than rain. The sun’s rays beat down relentlessly, especially during summer. The intense heat can raise the temperature inside your home. Proper venting and insulation help keep the cool air in and the warm air out. So, too, do energy-efficient roofing materials, which take the brunt of the solar onslaught. Uncle Sam is encouraging homeowners to improve the roofs of their primary residences with a tax credit worth up to $1,500.

During 2009 and 2010, you can claim a credit for 30% of the cost of qualifying asphalt or metal roofing materials. The credit, which should be taken on IRS Form 5695 for the tax year in which the work is completed, can be split between 2009 and 2010 but can’t exceed $1,500 total for both years. You can’t claim more in credits than you owe in taxes.


For a 2,200 square foot home, adding insulation to an attic can cost from $1,000 to $2,500 including labor, depending on how much you put in and how easy it is to install. Effort and expense go up when you add insulation to exterior walls or around hard-to-reach ductwork. A federal energy tax credit worth up to $1,500 can help defray the cost.

Replacing an aging heating and cooling system can save you money on energy costs. According to Energy Star, the federal government’s program to promote energy-efficient products and practices, the average household spends about $1,900 a year on energy bills, with about half of that amount going toward heating and cooling. Upgrading your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to energy-efficient units can cut utility costs by about 20%, or $200 annually, on average.

This type of home improvement doesn’t come cheap. Prices vary widely based on where you live, unit specifications, and the condition of your home, but figure a high-efficiency furnace will start at around $3,500, including installation, estimates Corbett Lunsford, executive director of Chicago-based Green Dream Group. A standard furnace may cost $2,400. To help offset the price difference, the IRS allows a tax credit worth up to $1,500 on eligible HVAC systems put into service during 2009 or 2010. Consult a tax advisor.

Save on Energy Costs

Replace Old Windows with Energy-Efficient Models

Adding new energy-efficient windows can pay off at resale, as well as boost your energy savings - $126-$465 annually - if you choose the right ones.

If your windows are more than 15 years old, you may be putting up with draftiness, windows that stick in their frames, and skyrocketing energy bills. Energy-efficient windows would be a great improvement, but replacement can be very expensive. In a 2007 survey conducted by Consumer Reports, half of respondents spent $8,000 or more to replace all the windows in their homes, and 16% shelled out $15,000+.

Windows recoup much of their cost

The range for energy-efficient window pricing is wide, but Energy Star-qualified windows start around $120 for a 36” x 72” single-hung window and can go up 10 times that. With labor, you’re looking at about $270 to $800+ per window. Typically, windows at the low end of the price spectrum are less energy efficient.

But that doesn’t mean the numbers can’t make sense for you. For starters, window replacement is one of the best home remodeling projects in terms of investment return: You can recoup about 78% of the project cost in added home value, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. Based on the projects outlined in Cost vs. Value, that’s a value add of about $8,200 to $10,600. Plus, if you choose windows that qualify for the new federal tax credit (U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient ratings must be 0.3 or less), you can effectively lop $1,500 off the purchase price.

You’re also likely to see modest savings on your energy bill. In general, you’ll save $126 to $465 a year if single-pane windows in a 2,000-square-foot house are replaced with tax-credit-eligible windows, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promotes efficient window technology.

Keep in mind, though, that the savings can vary widely by climate, local energy costs, and the energy efficiency of both the windows purchased and the windows being replaced. Finally, you may qualify for low-interest loans or other incentives offered by your local utility that can sweeten the deal.

Angel Christmas Tree Program for Grand Junction, Colorado Community

I'm at it again...along with my fellow Re/Max 4000 agents...ensuring a joyous Christmas for the less-fortunate children of Grand Junction, Colorado.  Beginning November 23rd I invite you to stop by our office, located at the corner of 1st and Patterson and pick a name from the Christmas tree.  On the tag will be an item needed for that child.   You go purchase it, wrap it, and tape the tag to your gift bag/box.   Just before Christmas, Santa will pick up the gifts and deliver them to the children.   Come on friends... this is HUGE.   YOU CAN make a difference!   I look forward to seeing you.   May your holiday season be blessed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Events in Grand Junction, Colorado

Something's Afoot in Santa's Workshop
By the Grand Mesa Chorus aka The Sweet Adelines
November 21 at 2:00 pm and 7:00
At the Avalon Theatre - 645 Main Steet, Grand Junction, Colorado

Tree Lighting Downtown on Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado
November 27 Starts at dark

The Great Russian Nutcracker
December 3 at 7:30 pm
At the Avaolon Theatre - 645 Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado

Winterfest on Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado
December 5 from noon - 8:00pm

Parade of Lights on Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado
December 5  Starts at dark

Holiday Concert
December 6 at 3:00pm
at Mesa State College Moss Performing Art Center, Grand Junction, Colorado

Spirit of Christmas Walk on Main Street, Grand Junction, Colorado
December 11

Breakfast with Santa
December 12 at 9:00 am
Dinosaur Journey Museum - 550 Jurassic Ct, Fruita, Colorado

Olde Fashioned Christmas
December 12 all day
Downtown Palisade, Colorado

Festival of Carols
December 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm
at Mesa State College Moss Performing Art Center, Grand Junction, Colorado

Hometown Christmas Parade
December 18 from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Downtown Fruita, Colorado

Christmas Train Show
Open Saturdays and Sundays December 18 - January 3
Cross Orchards Living History Farm - 3073 F Road, Grand Junction, Colorado

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cold & Flu Season...

Check your medicine cabinet for these 2 products: ZICAM Cold Remedy NASAL GEL and ZICAM Cold Remedy SWABS. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to STOP USING and DISCARD these products because of the growing numbers of people reporting loss of their sense of smell, perhaps permanently, after using these cold remedies!!

For a cough (adults & children alike) may I personally recommend an old remedy passed down from my Grandmother… equal parts of honey and fresh-squeezed lemon juice, gently boil in a saucepan. Sip while still warm!

Go Green!!

Pollution and Global Warming
Global warming refers to the increase in the temperature of the Earth’s near surface air and oceans. Research has shown that global warming is caused by the build-up of harmful greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Severe consequences of global warming include retreating glaciers, rising sea levels, and an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events.
The Formation of Smog

Smog results from large amounts of coal burning in an area caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide. Modern smog does not usually come from coal but from vehicular and industrial emissions that are acted on in the atmosphere by sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical smog.

Melting Ice & Global Warming

Nobel Prize laureate and climate advocate Al Gore said prompt action is necessary in order to prevent the potentially irreversible melting ice. According to Gore, ice reflects 90 percent of the sun’s radiation back into the atmosphere. If the ice were to melt, the dark water would not reflect the heat but instead absorb it, thereby accentuating the effect of global warming.

Together we can help eliminate pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emission, reduce carbon offset and improve climate change.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Beware of false help...

With foreclosures at record levels, scam artists are preying on people desperate to keep their homes.  Companies advertising on the radio, TV, internet, and by mail promise to rescue homeowners from foreclosure, charging fees ranging from $1,000 to $5,000!!  DON'T FALL FOR IT.  Stay away from any so-called rescue companies that ask for any up-front fees.  Don't do business with companies that approach you, and don't send ANY PAYMENTS to a company other than your lender!   If you need a trusted advisor for direction, call me TODAY...there ARE options...the RIGHT ONES!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

President Obama signed an extension and expansion of the first-time homebuyers tax credit last Friday.

The $8,000 credit was scheduled to lapse on Dec. 1 but will now be in effect through the end of June. Homebuyers must sign a contract before April 30 and close by June 30. The income limits were also raised: Single buyers can now earn up to $125,000 and still get the full credit while a married couple can earn $225,000.

The bill also made more homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers -- those who have not owned a home in the past three years -- still qualify for an $8,000 rebate. But now people who want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is a "CDPE"???

A Certified Distressed Property Expert! While Short Sales were virtually unheard of only a few years ago, now the majority of banks and lenders are negotiating and closing these deals. They allow a homeowner with a legitimate hardship to sell their property for less than the balance of their mortgages and avoid foreclosure.

The issue is that the banks want the right type of deal with exactly the right paperwork and most agents are completely unaware of what the banks want.
This is why the majority of short sales are not accepted or take so long to close that buyers lose interest.

After completing my lengthy course, The Distressed Property Institute gave me MY certification that allows me to submit a package the banks will rush to close!!
I have been professionally trained to understand and assist with the needs of distressed homeowners.
Foreclosure is a devastating financial and emotional process for a homeowner to go through, and in many cases they do so alone and without help of any kind. It is my goal to give you the tools to avoid foreclosure and move forward with your life.
Homeowners who are in the pre-foreclosure process need to speak with an educated agent as quickly as possible.   If you know someone who is in this situation, please have them call me TODAY! 

Friday, October 30, 2009

A great big thanks to all of you that participated in our October 16th Breast Cancer Fund Raiser event. We have kept the donation account open at the Bank of Colorado, and the generosity of the community has been overwhelming. The bank's vice president, along with friends, had been growing their hair long to donate to Locks of Love, wigs for woman with cancer. Today, October 30th, in the lobby of the main branch of Bank of Colorado at 3:00 PM their heads were shaved! Also present was a rep from the St Mary's Wilma B Bacon Mammography Department to receive the $11,009 check from all the funds we raised. A great big rewarding feeling as we close out this 2009 October Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!!
Thank you again, event coordinator,
Alyssa Roberts, Re/Max 4000

Giving back to the community

Even struggling real estate agents still do good for others!! And the Grand Junction community participation is still high even when things are rough for so many. It is always more blessed to give than to receive! This Wednesday I, with my fellow Re/Max agents, stood out on the corner in the cold, to raise groceries for the Grand Junction Food Bank. At the end of the day we had filled 21 shopping carts to the brim with non-perishable items!! The attendant at the Food Bank said this was the largest single-donation they had ever seen raised in one day! Thank you all who participated and contributed. I am proud to be a Re/Max agent!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Riding the Real Estate Wave

Despite the media-driven economic panic around the country, Grand Junction's real estate market has managed to keep its head above water! This makes our community an exception to th current real estate rule, both statewide and nationally! While builders and developers are feeling dramatic dips, they're still constructing homes for growing numbers. Realtors experienced a slight downturn, according to our First Quarter Stats, and sellers have been forced to be patient - but compared to the nation, Grand Junction is fortunate, thanks to a stable economy. Advice to buyers...if you are even thinking that a home purchase is in your future, I suggest you kick it into gear... these terrific prices and low interest rates are not going to be around forever. I can recommend a handful of solid lenders for you to chose from! Call me anytime to discuss buying or selling!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Save money - plant a garden

Can we garden our way out of this hole? Just a few years ago, the road to riches was clear. We could all sit on our porches drinking mint juleps while our houses appreciated 30% a year. Now, our houses are falling in value by 30% a year. Forget about them. The real money maker, it turns out, was always our backyard. By planting a vegetable garden, we can slash our food bill while eating healthier.

Grand Junction Real Estate Affordability

Housing affordability is the best it has been in 38 years, and the monthly cost of homeownership has fallen 43% from the peak in this housing cycle, according to research released this week by Real Estate Consulting.
"Once the word gets out that homeownership is less expensive than renting, which is now also true in 54 of the 88 markets where we track this information, we expect buying activity to increase substantially (even in a horrible economy)," the firm said in a newsletter sent out this week. The firm's clients include home builders, developers, lenders, equity investors and product manufacturers.

Grand Junction, Colorado voted one of the best places to live

Read more real-estate news in this week's pages, including the best places to live in 2009. Plus, read why it's looking even more attractive to buy a home today.
It's looking especially attractive if you're a first-time buyer or investor -- they're driving the market today, due to increased home affordability.
Rates on long-term mortgages are lower than short-term home loans, according to Freddie Mac's latest weekly survey of conforming rates, released on Thursday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What is so special about Grand Junction, CO?

We spend a great deal of time looking at numbers, trends and analysis and have noticed that Grand Junction, despite the troubled economy, has shown a 4.9% growth in the median home value since this time last year. As the national economy continues to struggle – the U.S. is down 9% compared to this time last year — Grand Junction continues to grow. The initial theory of Grand Junction’s growth revolved around the ski industry, mostly because that’s why folks move to Colorado. Aspen and Snowmass are more than two hours away, which is not an efficient commute for mountain staffing. There are a few smaller ski areas closer but hardly enough to explain Grand Junction’s growth. So, what is it that makes Grand Junction so special? After some digging it became clear, but first, let me provide some background.
Grand Junction and the western slope of Colorado have the largest concentration of oil shale in the world. Oil shale can be mined and processed to produce oil. It’s much more expensive to produce oil from oil shale, but in the gas crisis of the 70’s, Exxon set up shop in Grand Junction to do just that. However, when the crisis concluded and traditional means of getting oil became more affordable, Exxon left as fast as it arrived. Twenty-five years ago, Exxon pulled out of Grand Junction on what became known as Black Sunday, and left 2,100 workers without jobs. Black Sunday plunged the Western Slope — including Grand Junction’s economy — into a depression that took many years to recover. Understandably, Grand Junction is reluctant to get excited about the latest boom.
Interestingly enough, the Piceance Basin, located northwest of Grand Junction, is an energy rich formation loaded with natural gas. Natural gas — unlike the oil shale — is a commodity that may be more sustainable. And it doesn’t hurt that most of the money is private compared to the government-subsidized oil shale project of the 70s. It’s unclear if there is a rebirth in the oil shale mining projects from the past, but it does seem that natural gas reserves are a bit safer than the oil boom of the 70s.
As the national unemployment rate is rising, Grand Junction is busy recruiting workers out of state in an effort to fill energy-related jobs. According to the Denver Post, as of July 2008, Halliburton, an oil field services company, had 100 open positions with an average annual salary of $50,000. As the number of jobs increases, the available rental properties drops and the need for new housing increases.
What’s so special about Grand Junction? … It has GAS!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The sky is not falling in Grand Junction, Colorado!

Companies who wish to survive the economic downturn could do their businesses a favor by diversifying their operations.
About half the businesses that responded said they see opportunities for increased market share or new competitive advantages.
Businesses that are on solid ground, however, seem to be well-situated to survive the national storm.
Those that are going under weren’t in good shape to begin with.
According to the snapshot of the economy, the sky is not falling, just see beyond the gray cloud!
Dean Massey, regional president of Wells Fargo for western Colorado and chairman of the board of directors of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, agreed that for businesses to survive the down economy, they must adapt.
They need to conserve liquidity and capital while remaining open for business.
In a recession, companies cut back on spending, which causes the economy to slump even more.
The mood of the economy needs to turn positive, and that’s the only thing that can stop it.
Colorado’s economy is stronger than the nation as a whole, and the Western Slope has fared better than other areas of the state.
We need to realize there are some strengths out here, and we need to capitalize on that.
As always, I invite you to pose comments or questions here!

Satisfaction with life in Mesa County increasing

Results from a recent poll of Mesa County residents are in and according to the county’s latest Citizen Attitude Survey, almost 80 percent of responders rate the quality of life in Mesa County as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The survey also indicates a solid majority is also satisfied with the overall quality of services provided by the Mesa County government.The survey was administered by the ETC Institute, a company that conducts similar surveys elsewhere in the country. A company spokeswoman says with the current economy, many governments are seeing significant declines in their citizens’ opinions of their services but that Mesa County’s results are unusually positive.Areas that saw significant improvement since the last survey in 2007 include: believing Mesa County is good place to raise a family, recreation, ease of travel, condition of major roads, employment, growth management and quality of law enforcement. “These improvements haven’t come at the expense of other services,” says County Commissioner Craig Meis. “We’re still doing well in other areas. To me, that means we’re spending our dollars in the right places.”Most of the questions in the survey also show Mesa County is doing better than the regional or national averages,” says County Commissioner Janet Rowland. “On average, sixteen percent more of our citizens rate county services as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ than citizens in other counties around the Rocky Mountain region.”
As always, I invite you to post comments or questions here.

Federal Reserve Surprises Financial Markets

Here's the scoop. What the Fed just announced is huge – they have committed to buy another $750B in Mortgage Backed Securities, and $300B in Treasuries.
But what does this mean and why do you care?
Their actions provide a demand for Mortgage Backed Securities, which should help keep a ceiling on home loan rates moving much higher in the foreseeable future. That's good news, for homebuyers who are seeing the bargains out there and understanding that now is the time to act. Good news for those who are ready to refinance too.
But an important distinction – this does not mean rates may move significantly lower. Depending on exactly which coupons the Fed purchases when they go shopping for Mortgage Backed Securities, their actions may keep a lid on rates, but not push them very much lower. And based on what they've been buying since the beginning of this year when they started their purchasing program – that is exactly how it has played out.
Present home loan rates are within inches of historic lows. What is keeping you on the sidelines from acting now to refinance and get some dollars back into your own pocket, where they belong – or moving forward to buy the home of your dreams, while it is still on sale?
If you have questions – call me. You know there's no pressure, but let's discuss options and see if there is something we should be looking at to improve your situation.
As always, I invite you to post comments or questions here!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Current events in Grand Junction

Alyssa I am very impressed with all the current events & informative information that you are providing for both your buyers and sellers of real estate in Grand Junction. Good Job - you are a true professional that is in it for the long haul & for all the right reasons - to make people happy. Thank you for all your efforts!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Stimulus package and Grand Junction, Colorado!!

Colorado is preparing to spend their $2.85 billion share of the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on everything from road repairs to food stamps. This sum includes $752 million to help Colorado pay the bills and cover the state budget deficit without laying off teachers or reducing Medicaid benefits. Construction focusing on highway and bridge repairs gets $404 million. $100 million will go toward making more homes energy efficient. Millions more is coming for job training and to extend unemployment benefits.

Below are more ways American’s can boost their bottom line:

An Incentive for Home Buyers
A tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers has been extended through November, 2009.

More in Your Paycheck
Starting in the second half of this year, you’ll see a reduction in the amount withheld to cover income taxes-up to $400 for individuals and $800 for couples both in 2009 and 2010.

Help for the Laid-Off
Those who remain on their former employer’s health insurance plan will get a 65% subsidy for up to nine months. The first $2,400 in unemployment insurance benefits this year will be tax-exempt.

Something for Retirees
If you collect Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or veterans’ disability or retirement benefits, look for a $250 check this summer.

A Break on College Tuition
A beefed up Hope credit will max out at $2,500, up from $1,800. Qualifying income limits will rise to $80,000 for singles and $160,000 for couples. In 2009 and 2010 you may use money in your 529 account to purchase a computer or internet access for your college student.
Read more at the IRS website;

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Single or married people who worked full time or part time in 2008 can qualify for the EITC depending on their income.
Workers who are raising one child* in their home and have family income of less than $33,995 (or $36,995 for married workers) in 2008 can get an EITC of up to $2,917.
Workers who are raising more than one child in their home and have family income of less than $38,646 (or $41,646 for married workers) in 2008 can get an EITC of up to $4,824.
Workers who are not raising children in their home, and are between ages 25 and 64 on Dec. 21, 2008, and have income below $12,880 (or $15,880 for married workers) can get an EITC of up to $438.

Workers with investment income exceeding $2,950 in 2008 may not claim the EITC.
* Qualifying children include: sons, daughters, stepchildren, grandchildren and adopted children. Brothers, sisters, stepbrothers or stepsisters -- as well as descendants of such relatives -- if they were cared for as members of the family.

Despite downturn, plans for Grand Junction rec center alive

Economic troubles may have hit the Grand Valley, but some people think that doesn't mean the fun should end. That's why a community recreation center for the area is still on the table.
The 85,000 square feet recreation center is estimated to cost $28 million dollars. Project planners say the facility would run from existing income, but it would still need a boost from the city's sales tax.
"I think it would be great, help our community to have that asset, and I think it would be a wonderful benefit to families," Debbie Hall said.
Ask around, and parents and community members alike agree there is a need for a recreation center in the Grand Valley.
Sally Schaefer is the board chair of Grand Valley Recreation Resources Inc. She says there's an upside to the economic downturn--the estimated price tag of the project may drop with lower contractor costs.
"I'm hoping the cost is down now to $25 million. We have foundations saying they're dying to give us money. They're still standing in the wings waiting to do that," she said.
She says right now is a tough time to gain support, but the community needs this.
"We just don't have any place where whole families can go.
The proposed recreation center would include an indoor play area, a pool, two gymnasiums and a health facility. It would be built along the Colorado River where the bridge crosses to Orchard Mesa.
Overall, parents we spoke with say they'd be happy to see a community recreation center. It will be up to voters to decide on the November 2010 ballot.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grand Junction schools fuel the economy

While the economy began to struggle in 2008, the demand for commercial drivers didn’t slow down.
The number of commercial driver’s licenses issued in Colorado during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, was 44,436. During fiscal 2008, 52,902 were issued, according to Colorado Department of Revenue spokesman Mark Couch.
People interested in obtaining a CDL can study with materials published by the Department of Motor Vehicles and available at driver’s license offices for free. Manuals also are available at
There are multiple schools in the Grand Valley that offer courses for obtaining a CDL.
5 Star CDL Professional Training, 2591 B 3/4 Road, offers courses that last five to eight weeks. Graduates who pass their tests can expect to earn $40,000 a year, said director LeRoy Arguello.
About half of his graduates work locally. Others drive national routes, which have them on the road for weeks at a time.
Arguello has contacts with national driving firms that will hire his students right out of school. He said most of his students come to the school for a change in careers. “For me, it was basically, the CDL is like a piece of gold, your opportunities,” Henderson said. “Whether it’s from a boat, train or plane, it’s gotta come in on a truck.”
Henderson left an 18-year career in management to get his CDL. He took a 130-hour course at 5 Star, spending time in the classroom and behind the wheel.
“We are very busy and have a good reputation going,” Arguello said. “We haven’t slowed down yet.”

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mesa State still big engine of Grand Junction-area economy

Mesa State College’s place in the economic grand scheme is twofold but contradictory.
On one hand, the college is tightening its belt in the face of slashed state support. With the economy shedding jobs, Mesa State is re-examining where resources are devoted to ensure it gears its programs to job opportunities for graduates.
On the other, Mesa State is still a powerhouse for the Western Slope in uncertain economic times.The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment projects several industries to increase in Grand Junction through 2016, including construction management, projected to grow by 73.8 percent; nursing by 42.4 percent; and mechanical engineering by 41.2 percent.
For these industries, Mesa State has added programs to meet the need, such as a degree in mechanical engineering, which is offered in partnership with the University of Colorado, a degree in construction management and expanded programs in nursing.
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership ranked the college, with 1,267 employees, as the third-largest employer in the area in 2008.
The board of trustees committed to giving college employees an inflationary pay increase this year, and Foster said he doesn’t believe in furloughs or freezing salaries despite the budget constraints.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tax Credit For Home Buyers

Tax credit has been increased to $8,000.
Homes have to be purchased between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009
No repayment/recapture clause for homes sold after 36 months of occupancy and ownership.

The Tax Credit is for home buyers (either spouse if filing jointly) who have NOT owned a principle residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. Ownership of vacation property or rental property does not disqualify home buyers from this program.
The maximum credit is $8,000 or 10% of the home purchase, whichever is less.
The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 31, 2009.
To qualify for the full tax credit, married couples' modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) should be under $150,000 and single filers' MAGI should be less than $75,000. Partial tax credits may be available for married couples with MAGI incomes of over $150,000 but under $170,000 and single filers with incomes over $75,000 but under $95,000. If married couples who qualify for the first-time tax credit file separately, they would both claim 5% of the home purchase or $4,000 each (whichever is less) on their tax returns.
Home buyers who qualify for this program, but who do not intend to purchase a home till the end of 2009, may elect to alter their tax withholdings (up to the amount of the of the tax credit) in order to save up money for a down payment. However, if the purchase of the home does not occur, the taxes must be repaid to the IRS.
There is no recapture or repayment clause IF the home is owned for at least 36 months.
The effective date of purchase for new construction (even if buyer owns title to the lot) is the date the owner first occupies the house. So even if construction began in 2008, as long as the home and buyers qualify for the tax credit, they will be eligible if they take possession any time during 2009. However, new construction bought from the builder is only eligible if the settlement date (closing) takes place between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009.
The law allows taxpayers to elect to treat qualified 2009 purchases as a 2008 purchase so that they can receive the tax credit on their 2008 tax returns.
The full amount of the eligible tax credit is refunded to the buyer, regardless of whether the buyer has paid an equivalent amount in taxes.

Please consult your tax advisor / accountant to determine whether you are eligible for this tax credit before making any decisions or changes to your tax status.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stimulus package may direct $14.4M to Mesa County Roads

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The $787 billion economic stimulus package on its way to President Barack Obama’s desk may bring up to $48.4 million to rebuild roads and bridges in western Colorado. The latest figures show $14.4 million in Mesa County projects would be funded, subject to approval by the Colorado Transportation Commission.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grand Junction News!

Grand Junction is still one of the top rated places in the Nation to live. Especially in these challenging economic times.