Early Snow = Early Opening! Aspen Mountain will open with top-to-bottom skiing down both the Spar Gulch and Copper Bowl sides of the mountain on Saturday and Sunday, November 16 and 17, twelve days earlier than the scheduled opening on Thanksgiving Day. The Silver Queen Gondola and Ajax Express Chair will be open as will the Sundeck and Ajax Tavern. Specific information on runs and additional lifts will be announced later this week. Snowmass and Aspen Mountain Open Daily for the season November 23.
Are you a season passholder? Be sure to pick up your pass before Saturday to avoid the rush! Two Creeks, Buttermilk and Aspen Mountain ticket offices are open 9 am – 4:30 pm.
More information go to http://www.aspensnowmass.com/
Aspen exhibit features more than 100 valley artists
Each work is selected by the individual artist in consultation with 2013 guest curator and Carbondale-based artist James Surls. The 2013 Roaring Fork Open will remain on view from Oct. 4 through 27.
The Roaring Fork Open is a longstanding tradition that highlights the Aspen Art Museum’s ongoing investment in sustaining a vibrant local, national and international arts community, according to a statement. It is open to artists living between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, and over the past 33 years, countless artists have presented their work at the museum.
With the completion of the Aspen Art Museum’s new home expected in 2014, this is the last time that the Roaring Fork Open will be in the museum’s historic building.
From 5 to 6 p.m. each Saturday throughout the exhibition, the Aspen Art Museum also will present free public programs featuring local chefs, each of whom will invent a culinary dish inspired by an exhibition artwork of their choosing.
Oct. 5: Julia and Allen Domingos (Epicure)
Oct. 12: Pyramid Bistro
Oct. 19: Rustique Bistro
Oct. 26: Miles Angelo (Caribou Club)
Aspen Times Weekly: A Welcoming New Wheeler
The latest renovation of the Wheeler Opera House is all about comfort. That charmingly old-fashioned balcony, dating back to 1889, that caused even 7-year-olds to complain about the lack of leg-room, and the seats that didn’t quite face the stage are being replaced. The new seats will be wider, higher and, most noteworthy, at a greater distance from the seat in front of it. “We will be cheering the hearts and knees of our guests,” Gram Slaton, the Wheeler’s executive director, quipped in a press release.
The Wheeler also seems to have comfort foremost in mind with the first round of acts it has announced for the upcoming winter season. Several of the artists are Wheeler regulars with a solid track record; some are even Aspen residents. Virtually all of them are on the seasoned side age-wise, and thus are not likely to be testing the decibel limits of the new construction.
“It’s people who have sold out in the past,” Slaton said in an interview. “So it’s a good way to present the new Wheeler.”
The remodel will be introduced Dec. 21 with composer and part-time Aspenite Burt Bacharach. The 85-year-old, whose career dates back to New York City’s Brill Building in the 1950s, has used his signature melodic style to tally more than 70 Top 40 hits, including such pop classics as “I Say a Little Prayer,” “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “That’s What Friends Are For” and “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” Bacharach’s songs have been covered by British pop star Dusty Springfield, country singer Marty Robbins, ‘80s New Wave band Naked Eyes, rocker Rod Stewart, and the Beatles, who scored a hit with “Baby, It’s You,” from the band’s debut album “Please Please Me.” Dionne Warwick recorded 38 singles with Bacharach and his longtime lyricist Hal David. More recent collaborators include Rufus Wainwright, Dr. Dre, and Elvis Costello, with whom Bacharach recorded the 1998 album “Painted From Memory.” Bacharach, who last performed at the Wheeler in 2007, will appear with a full band and multiple singers.
The Crystal Palace Revue, featuring actors from Aspen’s defunct Crystal Palace Dinner Theatre, brings its original satirical song-and-dance show to the Wheeler for two shows on Christmas Day, Dec. 25. The Crystal Palace Revue, which has played numerous sold-out shows since the dinner theater closed in 2008, skipped performing last year at the Wheeler. The shows will include a champagne toast.
The Wheeler continues its tradition of a rocking New Year’s Eve with the local debut of the Louisiana swamp-rock band the Delta Saints. The evening includes an open bar, party favors and a champagne toast.
On Feb. 1, Dr. Ralph Stanley, the 86-year-old singer and banjoist whose career began in the 1940s, performs with his long-running Clinch Mountain Boys. The Virginia native performed from 1946-‘66 with his brother Carter in the landmark bluegrass combo the Stanley Brothers, and experienced a career resurgence in 2000, when he recorded the Appalachian song “O Death” for the film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Stanley’s upcoming shows are being billed as a farewell tour.
Judy Collins, known for her interpretations of songs by Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Stephen Sondheim, returns to the Wheeler for a Valentine’s Day show, Feb. 14, after a 2012 performance. Collins’ most recent album, 2011’s “Bohemian,” was a recollection of the southern California music scene of the 1960s and featured four of Collins’ own compositions.
Texas singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker, who recently bought a home in Aspen and has become a regular performer at the Wheeler, returns to play with his band on Feb. 15. Walker is best known for writing “Mr. Bojangles,” and for his recordings of “L.A. Freeway” and “Up Against the Wall Redneck Mother.”
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the South African band formed by singer Joseph Shabalala in 1964, makes its return to the Wheeler on March 11. The group, which sings in the a cappella style known as isicathimya, gained international prominence by contributing to Paul Simon’s landmark 1986 album “Graceland.” Ladysmith Black Mambazo, which has won three Grammy Awards, is still led by Shabalala, and features four of his sons along with several cousins.
The renovation of the Wheeler balcony will not result in any loss of seating. Part of the renovation includes the replacement of the old film projector booth — known as “the Whale” — with a smaller, digital projection system. The Wheeler will be used for Aspen Film’s Academy Screenings, Dec. 23-Jan. 2, featuring screenings of films considered contenders for Academy Awards. The program will be announced in mid-November.
Also coming to Aspen:
• Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s winter season opens with the traditional performances of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 14-15, with two performances each day. The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company will perform Feb. 14-15, with a program including Cayetano Soto’s “Beautiful Mistake,” Norbert de la Cruz’s “Fold by Fold,” and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Nicolo Fonte. The program will have an encore on March 29. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will also present the all-male parody company, Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, on March 16. All dance performances are at the Aspen District Theatre.
• Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ JAS Café, in the Little Nell hotel, opens for the season Dec. 20-21 with Colorado-based vocalist Stacey Kent, whose new album, “The Changing Lights,” focuses on Brazilian styles. The Gypsy Allstars, a spin-off of the Gipsy Kings led by drummer Cedric Leonardi, plays its show Return to Rajasthan, which traces the gypsy culture to India, Dec. 28-30.
Wycliffe Gordon, trombonist with various Wynton Marsalis projects, does his tribute to Louis Armstrong, Hello Pops! on Jan. 10-11. Singer Kathy Kosins is set for Jan. 30-31, with Brazilian-born singer-pianist Eliane Elias returning Feb. 14-16.
Jazz-pop fusion band Spyro Gyra plays Feb. 20-22. The duo of singer Cyrille Aimee and guitarist Diego Figueiredo returns March 7-8. The seven-piece swing band Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers performs March 21-22. The series closes with the return of Cuban-born percussionist-singer Pedrito Martinez.
• Winter highlights at Belly Up include blues icon B.B. King (Nov. 27); electronica act EOTO (Dec. 6); folk-blues trio the Wood Brothers (Dec. 8); DJ/producer Steve Aoki (Dec. 21); the Flaming Lips (Dec. 30-31); the area debut of rock band the National (Jan. 3); Dweezil Zappa’s Zappa Plays Zappa (Feb. 13); and alternative rock band the Pixies, with Best Coast opening (Feb. 14).
MADISON, N.J. (Sept. 23, 2013) – A new survey by Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Luxury Institute finds that wealthy younger buyers are driving the luxury real estate market, and they are willing to pay more than similar wealthy buyers age 55 and older. According to the survey of Americans age 21 or older with a minimum gross annual household income of $250,000, 43 percent of younger wealthy consumers are considering the purchase of residential property in the next 12 months, compared to 21 percent of those age 55 and older. On average these younger wealthy consumers spent more than $2.1 million on their most recent purchase of residential property, approximately twice the average amount spent by older and similarly wealthy luxury buyers, which was $1.1 million.
“This trend towards younger luxury buyers is leading a change in desired home amenities,” said Betty Graham, president, Coldwell Banker Previews International NRT. “Whether these younger buyers have young families or are single without children, they are looking for homes that fit their active and unique lifestyle.”
More Young Money Enters the Real Estate Market
So what are they buying? The survey found:
- Younger buyers are significantly more likely than wealthy buyers age 55 and older to want homes with amenities such as a pool, outdoor kitchen, home gym, home theater, wine cellar and four or more garages.
- Wealthy consumers under age 55 are more than twice as likely (23 percent) to value Green or LEED certified residential properties than their older counterparts (11 percent).
- Open floor plans and a fully automated and “wired” home environment are the top features wealthy consumers, regardless of age, say have become important to them in the last three years. Less importance is placed on staff quarters, tennis/sports courts and separate catering kitchens.
“Luxury homes are for more than successful and retired empty nesters,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute. “Today’s luxury buyer is both dynamic and diverse, and it’s reflected in the homes and products they’re buying.”
Additional Survey Findings
- They may jet set internationally, but they are buying in the U.S.
Only 6 percent of wealthy homeowners surveyed own residential property located outside the United States.
- For majority of luxury buyers, location is the most important factor when considering the purchase of residential property.
Seventy (70) percent of wealthy consumers identified location as the most important factor in their last residential purchase. Other elements included the condition of the property – brand new with no work required, as opposed to needing major renovations (10 percent), price (8 percent), home amenities (6 percent) and view (6 percent). The most commonly cited reason for wealthy consumers not considering the purchase of a residential property was the desire to keep assets liquid (24 percent).
- However, nearly one in four have the freedom to choose a property anywhere.
Overall, 22 percent of wealthy consumers, and 24 percent of wealthy consumers with a net worth of $2 million and greater, have more freedom to choose a residence that truly fits their lifestyle and will not limit their search based on location.
- The wealthier they are, the more they spend on real estate (by far).
On average, wealthy consumers with a gross annual household income of at least $400,000 spent 225 percent more on their most recently purchased residential property than those with incomes between $250,000 and $399,999 ($2.58 million vs. $792,000).
- Interest rates matter, even for the wealthy.
More than one in three (39 percent) wealthy consumers listed low interest rates as a reason for considering a residential real estate purchase, making it the most commonly cited motivation amongst wealthy consumers. Other frequently listed motivations were the desire to own a property in a specific location (35 percent), viewing the purchase of residential property as a good investment (32 percent) and the desire to own another residence (31 percent).
The full findings from the Coldwell Banker Previews International Wealthy Consumer Survey are available here.
Home prices are still surging, but the pace of the gains has steadied as interest rates continue to rise.
Home prices still surging … for now
By Steve Hargreaves @hargreavesCNN August 27, 2013: 10:52 AM ET
“With interest rates rising to almost 4.6%, home buyers may be discouraged and sharp increases may be dampened,” David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a press release.
Home prices have been on a tear for the last twelve months. June marks the first time in over a year that the overall increase has been smaller than the month before. While prices rose in all 20 cities measured by the index, only six cities in June saw price increases larger than the month before, down from 10 cities in May.
Prices in Dallas and Denver hit all-time highs, while San Francisco housing prices notched the biggest rebound, rising 47% from their low in March 2009.
U.S. home prices are now at early 2004 levels — still 23% below their peak in mid-2006.
And while mortgage rates have been steadily rising for the last few months, they’re still at historically low levels.
Record-low rates, a lack of new homes on the market and years of pent up demand have been the driving forces behind the recent home price spike, according to Erik Johnson, senior U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.
“The shortages are likely to get larger before getting smaller,” Johnson wrote in a note Tuesday. “We still expect housing to remain a key driver of growth for at least the next couple of years.”
The recovering housing market has been a big part of the nation’s economic recovery since the Great Recession. But many fear that rising mortgage rates could put a damper on that growth.
Rates have risen more than a full percentage point since May, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the Fed may soon ease its bond buying program that’s helped keep interest rates at record lows.
Housing markets where cash is king
By Les Christie @CNNMoney July 25, 2013: 2:10 AM ET
If you want to buy a house in Nevada you better bring cash.
In June, 58% of the sales in the state were made in all-cash, according to a report by RealtyTrac.
|Metro area||All-cash deals as % of sales|
But it’s not just Nevada. All-cash deals in Florida comprised 57% of home sales during the month; in the state of New York, it was 51%, and in Vermont, a whopping 80%.
In markets like these, lingering foreclosures and depressed home prices are attracting private equity firms and other investors looking to buy before home prices go much higher, RealtyTrac said.
In other markets, where there are fewer distressed properties, the all-cash deals are a lot less prevalent. Nationwide, cash deals comprised 30% of home sales in June, down from 31% a year earlier, RealtyTrac reported. But in states like Texas, Utah and New Mexico, such deals were practically non-existent.
“The U.S. housing market is slowly but surely moving toward a more normalized and sustainable pattern after a flurry of institutional and cash buyers flocked to residential real estate last year, pushing up prices and picking clean the best inventory available in many areas,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
The biggest metropolitan hotspot for investors right now is Atlanta, where all-cash deals represented 42% of sales in June and investors represented 27% of buyers, the highest ratio in the country. Atlanta is still struggling with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, making it a prime target for investors.
Hit hard by foreclosures when the housing bubble burst, Phoenix was one of the first places investors flocked to. A year ago, 25% of all homes sold went to deep-pocketed investors. In June, that percentage dropped to 13% as most of the low-priced, prime properties had already been sold.
“Prices in Phoenix are just too high now,” said Tanya Marchiol, founder of Team Investments, a real estate investment firm based in the area. “Last year, I could buy a foreclosure, needing just new carpeting and a paint job, for $80,000, put $5,000 into it, and flip it for $120,000.”
With fewer opportunities in her hometown, she has been buying and flipping in Orlando, where 53% of sales were all-cash deals last month, according to RealtyTrac. Other Florida metros ranked even higher for cash sales. In Miami, 64% of deals were done in cash and in Tampa, 58%.
A larger share of the deals in Florida, however, are going to individual buyers, according to Blomquist. Retirees come to the state looking to buy with the proceeds from the sale of their former home or cash from their retirement funds. There’s also a huge cash-rich international contingent, especially in Miami.
The New York metro area is also something of a special case, said Blomquist. Not only is there a large number of international buyers, but there’s also a very limited inventory of homes for sale in the high-demand areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Even buyers who prefer to finance purchases may be forced into cash deals in order to have their bids taken seriously.
Hip, Urban, Middle-Aged
Baby boomers are moving into trendy urban neighborhoods, but young residents aren’t always thrilled.
Jennifer Williams says she often feels like the oldest person on her block. When the 52-year-old corporate communications executive sets off for work in a suit, carrying a briefcase, with her hair in a bun, she is usually surrounded by young people with tattoos and rainbow crocheted skull caps. “It’s like mom is coming in for a visit,” she says.
Dorothy Hong for The Wall Street JournalNerou Cheng, 63, spent $1.03 million on an apartment in the Edge, a condo building in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, where many of the building’s younger residents like to sunbathe outside.
That doesn’t bother Ms. Williams. In fact, such diversity is exactly what she was looking for when she bought a condo in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn two years ago, after living in what she calls the “dead zone” of the Upper East Side of Manhattan. “I find it endlessly fascinating and interesting. I wanted to be somewhere with energy and life.”
Hip urban neighborhoods are aging, as a growing chunk of adults in their 50s and 60s and older give up their longtime homes and head for trendy condos. The invasion of older, moneyed buyers has “created a gold rush” in some of these areas, says Dean Jones of Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty in Seattle. Mr. Jones’s firm sold 34 condominium penthouses and luxury town homes for more than $1 million in downtown Seattle neighborhoods between March and October of 2012—a large percentage to baby boomers. It was a 40% increase over the same period a year earlier.
The migration of baby boomers to cities, which started in the 1990s but slowed during the recession, is now regaining steam. According to online real-estate brokerage Redfin, more than a million baby boomers moved to within 5 miles of the downtown of the 50 largest cities between 2000 and 2010, while the same number of baby boomers moved away from neighborhoods located 40 to 80 miles outside those 50 cities’ downtown areas.
Moreover, according to the American Housing Survey, 9.6% of households 55 and older in central cities lived in condos in 2011, the past year for which figures are available, up from 7.3% in 2005. That is despite the negligible growth in the supply of condos and coops over that same period. “Baby boomers are tired of mowing the lawn. They’re looking for a more diverse environment,” says Chris Leinberger, chairman of the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at George Washington University School of Business.
In some cases, they’re also looking for more youthful surroundings. “I am getting older kicking and screaming,” says Terri Nussbaum. The executive assistant to a real estate developer who will only say she is in her mid-50s recently sold a 3,500-square foot-house 50 miles outside Denver, where she’s lived for 11 years, and paid $30,000 more for an 880-square-foot one-bedroom loft in LoDo (which stands for Lower Downtown)—an old neighborhood that has recently gentrified, with hip restaurants and higher prices. In doing so, Ms. Nussbaum replaced almost all her old furniture with more modern pieces. “You are as young as you feel.”
Fueling the shift is a change in the way cities themselves are perceived. In a 2011 National Association of Realtors poll, 19% of Americans said they wanted to live in a city, up from 13% in 2004. Many cities have become safer and cleaner, and as baby boomers retire later, they want to be downtown where they can often walk to work. Their kids gone, they don’t need to worry about the quality of schools, and they don’t want large houses, says. John McIlwain, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington.
Ann Morgan, 56, just sold her 2,600-square-foot home on half an acre in Evergreen, Colo., where she’d lived for 15 years, for $475,000, according to public records. She is closing on a 2,100-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse in downtown Denver’s artsy LoHi (that stands for Lower Highlands) neighborhood for $600,000. She says she wants to stop driving so much—her new place is a bus ride to her job as the regional national director of the National Wildlife Federation—and she misses the downtown lifestyle she experienced when she was younger. “I remember being able to be spontaneous and being in a vibrant environment,” she says.
Developers are taking note. Ten years ago, Toll Brothers, TOL +0.06% one of the nation’s largest home builders known for its sprawling, suburban communities, created its city living division, which chooses neighborhoods for projects by looking at where “young people with money” are going, says CEO Doug Yearley. The company didn’t expect to be selling such a large percentage of those projects to baby boomers.
Boomers represent about 75% of the buyers so far for the company’s newest condominium, 160 East 22nd, currently under construction in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park; about 35% of the buyers in a Williamsburg project, called Northside Piers; 50% of its latest Philadelphia project, 2400 South, near Rittenhouse Square; 33% of its Naval Square location in Philadelphia and 25% of the newest condominium building in Hoboken, called 1100 Maxwell Place.
Now, “we get it,” Mr. Yearley says. Toll Brothers City Living is positioning its buildings to Boomers by increasing the amenities: bigger, more luxurious fitness centers, higher end finishes, clubhouse-type common rooms and wine storage rooms.
What Toll Brothers won’t do is install features often found in homes for the aged, like wide doorways or grab rails in showers. “We don’t want to remind any buyers that one day they might need a grab bar,” Mr. Yearley says. “We don’t want them to be thinking about the next stage in life.” He adds that Boomers in these buildings are living among many young families, who are attracted to the three and four bedroom units. The company is now building a similar project called Hampden Row, in Bethesda, Md., and is looking at more in San Francisco, Seattle, Miami and Boston.
In some cases, as the older, more affluent baby boomers—typically defined as born between 1946 and 1964—move to these neighborhoods, younger residents are starting to move out to avoid rising prices and the growing number of older folks. Mr. Jones in Seattle says it used to take about 10 years for the hipsters to get priced out of a neighborhood they pioneered—now they are moving out after five.
“The pace of change is unbelievable,” says Warner Lewis, a real-estate agent at Halstead Property in New York who does a lot of business in Williamsburg. Long a neighborhood of industrial warehouses and small homes, Williamsburg became a haven in the 1990s for young artists and musicians seeking affordable studio space. A rezoning in 2005 sparked a building boom, and an influx of wealthier buyers began. Now celebrities are frequently spotted, and expensive boutiques and an upscale hotel are mixed in with the rundown thrift shops.
Jeremy Penn, a 34-year-old artist in Williamsburg, says he has heard of plenty of younger residents who are moving south, moaning about what is jokingly called the “Broken Hip-sters,” who are driving up prices. While he says it is true that a lot of artists can’t afford to have studios there anymore, he notes that complaining “is a major characteristic of being a hipster.”
For his part, Mr. Penn considers himself part of a new generation of hipster. He is married with a baby, and has started hanging out with some of the Boomers who have moved to the neighborhood. “If you’d have told me I’d become close friends with people almost my parents’ age I’d have said you were crazy,” he says.
The move downtown almost always means paying more. Nationwide, there is a 40%-to-200% price-per-square-foot premium on property in central city neighborhoods studied by George Washington University’s Mr. Leinberger, compared with the same square footage in a drivable suburb in the same town or school district. That is a reversal from 20 years ago, when the most expensive real estate was often in the suburbs. The median price nationwide for a condo has risen 11% over the past year, with supply hitting 6.3 months in 2012 from 11.9 months in 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors. Toll Brothers says land prices in urban neighborhoods have increased 30% to 50% in the eight years it has been building downtown condos and its selling prices have gone up accordingly. “Baby boomers could well drive the sale of downtown condos going forward,” says Robert Rulla, a director at Fitch Ratings, which analyzes the housing market.
Another drawback is noise. But those who have made the switch say activity is part of the appeal of living downtown and they get used to sirens and car alarms. “We don’t want to go to a retirement home,” says retired neurosurgeon and thriller author Allen Wyler who, with his wife, is selling their 3,400-square foot-home in Anacortes, Wash., and is looking to buy a penthouse in downtown Seattle. “We want to be around people who are younger because that gives us more energy.”
John Truax, a 64-year-old retired engineering executive, and Kathie Truax, 67, sold their 3,800-square foot, four-bedroom house in a Seattle suburb for $470,000 three years ago and bought a 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom condo for $730,000, taking out a mortgage in the process. Their new building is in downtown’s South Lake Union neighborhood, an area filled with young techies (Amazon is building a new headquarters a few blocks away).
The couple says many of their friends have chosen to move into 55-plus communities on golf courses; others have “hunkered down” in their old homes, forgoing ethnic diversity and outside opinions. Mr. and Mrs. Truax have joined a multigenerational (ages range from 23-70) book group in their new building, and Mrs. Truax belongs to a neighborhood coffee group that discusses politics and local issues once a month. “We find people here are much more engaged in the world,” says Mrs. Truax. “We feel like we’ve started a new book. Every day we say ‘Can you believe this? This is so fun’.”
Nerou Cheng, 63, paid $1.03 million for a two-bedroom at the Edge in Williamsburg and moved from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where, he says, “there was nothing to do.” He says he entertains much more often, goes out all the time and feels like he has a lot more energy. Another difference: His 28-year-old daughter recently moved in with him temporarily, something he thinks she never would have done if he was living in his previous neighborhood.
“She loves it here,” he says.
Write to Nancy Keates at email@example.com
5 things to know about rising rates
By Anne C. Lee @Money July 23, 2013: 4:23 PM ET
After years of decline to rock-bottom levels, interest rates are on the rise. The average rate for a 30-year mortgage was recently 4.35%, more than a point above the 2012 low of 3.3%.
Whether you’re buying, selling or refinancing a home, here’s how to navigate the new environment.
1. No more record rates, but still cheap loans
If the economy continues to improve as anticipated, rates will keep inching up. Freddie Mac expects the 30-year to reach 4.7% by the end of 2014. IHS Global Insight forecasts that rates won’t hit 6% until 2017.
2. The refi window is starting to close
The rate bump is already cooling off refis, but most homeowners with the equity and stellar credit to refinance have already done so.
If you didn’t have enough equity to qualify, check again — rising prices pushed 850,000 homes into the black in the first quarter, according to CoreLogic. Plus, the recovery may lead lenders to loosen up.
The average credit score for an approved mortgage has been 761, says the National Association of Realtors, up from the normal 720.
3. Higher rates won’t scuttle the housing recovery
At worst, this turnaround will only dampen the pace of growth, says IHS U.S. economist Patrick Newport. A healthier economy is what’s boosting prices. Rates would have to rise sharply to make a mark. “Going up three percentage points would be a major wet blanket,” says Bob Walters, chief economist of Quicken Loans.
With prices rising, sellers can be patient. For buyers, mortgages are still historically cheap.
4. Once you’re ready to buy, lock in
To avoid any short-term spikes, Washington, D.C., mortgage banker Frank Donnelly recommends locking in as soon as you can (typically when you sign a contract).
Most lenders won’t charge for a 45-or 60-day rate lock. Pay for a 90- or 120-day lock only if deals close slowly where you live (ask your lender); the typical cost is a quarter of a point per 30 days. With a float-down option, you’ll pay less when rates fall at least a quarter point. Skip that add-on unless it’s free.
5. Fixed loans usually beat adjustables
You may be eyeing adjustables, which are up less than fixed loans. An ARM is the better call only if you plan to own your home for a short time.
“When you need five or six years, you might save with an adjustable,” says Keith Gumbinger of the research firm HSH.com.
Posted on: Thursday, Aug 1, 2013 12:00 AM
by: Aspen Chamber
The Rotary Club of Aspen will hold their 22nd Annual Ducky Derby on Saturday, August 10th in Rio Grande Park. The Rotary Club of Aspen, a service group comprised of active community members, will run the event. Community youth groups from Aspen will be selling duckies to race in the derby. The proceeds of duck adoptions sold by Rotarians fund Aspen Rotary’s charitable projects and those of Rotary International.
The Ducky Derby will race the thousands of rubber ducks purchased throughout the past few weeks down the Roaring Fork River. The ducks will be dropped off the No Problem Bridge a little after 2 p.m. and they are projected to finish around 3 p.m. at the Mill Street Bridge. The winning duck’s adoptive parent (the person who purchased the duck) will win $10,000 cash! If a “Lucky Ducky” (1 in every 3,333 duck is “lucky”) wins the owner of that ducky will win 1,000,000!
You can adopt a duck (or up to 100) online today, adopt through many youth representatives in the community, or head down to the corner of Galena and Cooper in downtown Aspen and purchase to purchase your duck under the giant rubber duck. Each ducky is $10.
Other than the main Ducky Derby there will be many activities going on throughout the day. You can bring your kids early because starting at 10:00 a.m. and lasting throughout the day there will be youth games and booths. From 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. there will be a silent auction. Two new activities are taking place this year; one is the Skateboard Invitational, which will be at 11:00 a.m. featuring a skateboarding competition with the local talent. The other new event is the Aspen Brewing Company Beer Garden, which will have great beers on tap and include their amazing root beer. At 11:30 a.m. there will be a Whole Foods Lunch alongside the beer garden. Finally at 4:00 p.m. the Ducky Derby winners will be announced on the festival stage.
Still not convinced this is a fun way to give back to Aspen’s youth organizations? Check out how exciting this event really is on YouTube. Now that you’re hooked go buy some duckies and join in on the fun, not to mention the chance to win $1,000,000!
Institute to feature McChrystal, Barbara Bush, Landrieu, Dionne STAFF REPORT | Wed., June 19, 2013 @ 1:39 pm
Panelists featured will be New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps Barbara Bush, and best-selling author and U.S. Army veteran Wes Moore in conversation with moderator E. J. Dionne, award-winning Washington Post columnist and fellow at the Brookings Institution.
The event will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25, in Greenwald Pavilion on theAspen Institute’s Aspen Meadows campus in Aspen, CO. Tickets are $20 each and go on sale this Friday through Aspen Show Tickets at the Wheeler Opera House. As a full-capacity audience is expected for this program, early ticket purchasing is encouraged by organizers. Doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the event, and unclaimed tickets will be on sale at the door, according to theAspen Institute.
Gen. McChrystal became an action officer for Army Special Operations in 1990 working in Joint Special Operations Command. In 1991, he saw action in the Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm tours, and he was commander of the Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008. McChrystal became the top commander in Afghanistan in 2009, but resigned in 2010.
Mitch Landrieu is the 61st mayor of New Orleans. Since taking office in 2010, Landrieu created the New Orleans Business Alliance, a public-private partnership for economic development, and has attracted over 4,000 new jobs, bringing major retailers, business start-ups, and new private investments to the city.
Barbara Bush is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps. Before joining Global Health Corps’ founding team in 2008, Barbara worked in Educational Programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, where she supported design thinking programs for high school students and faculty in Louisiana, Texas, Minnesota, and New York. Bush graduated from Yale University with a degree in Humanities in 2004.
Wes Moore is a youth advocate, Army combat veteran, social entrepreneur, and host of Beyond Belief on the Oprah Winfrey Network. His first book The Other Wes Moore became an instant The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.
E. J. Dionne writes about politics in a twice-weekly column for The Washington Post and on the PostPartisan blog. He is also a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, a government professor at Georgetown University and a frequent commentator on politics for National Public Radio, ABC’s “This Week,” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
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