Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts
Grand Junction, CO

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!