Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts
Grand Junction, CO

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!