Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Our Planet May Have Already Passed the Tipping Point on Climate Change

[Published Jan. 30, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

By JIM SMITH, Realtor®

Each January, political leaders shower us with speeches on the State of the Union, the State, the City and other jurisdictions.  No one, to my knowledge, presents a "State of the Planet" speech, but if someone did, I suspect climate change would be topic #1 — and for good reason.

My friend and mentor, Steve Stevens, forwarded this chart showing the decline in late summer Arctic sea ice. If it isn’t a wake-up call regarding climate change, I don’t know what is.

 

I don’t have a degree in science, but I do understand it enough to know this chart’s significance.

If you have studied any science — or own an automobile — you know that white surfaces reflect solar heat, whereas dark surfaces (open ocean, for example) absorb it. The loss of sea ice does not just indicate global warming, it accelerates it, which makes one worry whether it’s already too late to reverse the effects of human-caused global warming.

Climate change deniers may celebrate the fact that the Arctic Ocean is becoming increasingly navigable in the summer, but they need to connect the dots between global warming and the whipsawing we now see in our day-to-day weather. 

I’d be curious to see the statistics on how many times the network news programs featured severe weather reports in 2013 versus previous years.  I can’t remember an evening in which weather wasn’t the lead -- or at least a major -- story. We in Colorado have suffered less than elsewhere.

Our earth’s climate has been de-stabilized. Had you heard of the "polar vortex" before this year?  I hadn’t.  The uninformed will say that our cold weather proves that the earth is not warming, but how na├»ve is that?  It’s global warming that is causing extremes, both of temperature and precipitation — which is caused by warming. I don’t hear them questioning El Nino, in which natural changes in ocean temperature affect climate.

Is there time to reverse this situation?  Maybe not.  But we certainly don’t have time to debate its existence with climate change deniers.

Rita and I are about to replace her gas-powered Lexus with an electric-powered Tesla.  Solar panels on our home and office will charge it as well as my Chevy Volt. These technologies are now proven.

We don’t do this for the savings alone, but because it contributes to saving our planet.

Meet the Broker Associates of Golden Real Estate

[Published Jan. 30, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section]

 

Mark Spencer
(303) 842-4480
Mark@GoldenRealEstate.com
Having grown up in the construction business, Mark is very knowledgeable about home construction and renovation. This comes in handy with his own residence and investment property. As a Realtor, this knowledge furthers Mark’s ability to serve clients.

 

Carrie Lovingier
(303) 907-1278
Carrie@GoldenRealEstate.com
 Carrie recently earned the MCNE designation (Master Certified Negotiation Expert), which nicely complements her degree in Finance. She specializes in Golden, the mountains, and horse properties, but has 12 years' experience working throughout the Denver metro area.

 

April Westbrook
(815) 529-6026
April@GoldenRealEstate.com
Recently returned to Colorado, April is in the current class of Leadership Golden, which typifies her spirit, which won her our company’s “Rising Star” award for 2013. She specializes in serving relocating buyers & sellers. She looks forward to serving you too!

 

Kristi Brunel
(303) 525-2520
Kristi@GoldenRealEstate.com
Kristi and her husband are long time Golden residents, real es-tate investors and property managers.  Kristi is active in the Golden community, a graduate of Leadership Golden, on the board of the Christian Action Guild and is active in Golden schools.

 

Jim Swanson, CRS
(303) 929-2727
BrokerSwanson@aol.com
Raised in Golden, Jim's exceptional knowledge of the area is a benefit to both buyers and sellers. His energy earned him the company’s “Top Producing Broker Associate” award for 2013.

 

Suzi Nicholson
(303) 908-4873
Suzi@GoldenRealEstate.com
Suzi (shown with our company mascot Flower at Buffalo Bill Days booth) has been a resident of Jefferson County for over 23 years. As a mother of two graduates of Bear Creek High School, she has exceptional knowledge of Lakewood and the surrounding areas.

Karon Hesse
(303) 668-2445
Karon@GoldenRealEstate.com
 Karon brings over twenty years of real estate experience to Golden Real Estate, having been a part of the Golden community since 2001. Karon provides a free staging consultation on all her listings. She is committed to following the “Golden Rule” in serving her clients.
 

If You Receive an Envelope Like This After Closing…It's a Scam

[Published Jan. 30, 2014, in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

 
The letter inside this envelope says you should send them money to get a copy of your deed. You get the deed free from your title company.  Don't fall for this scam!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Now You Can Select Real Estate Agents Based on True Evaluations

[Published Jan. 23, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

I’ve written before about agent evaluations and described how www.RatedAgent.com (where all Golden Real Estate agents are listed) bases its ratings on actual surveys mailed to clients after each closing.  The responses to these surveys produces an overall rating from 0 to 5.  (My rating is 4.7.)

How detailed is the survey?   About a month after closing, clients are sent a different survey depending on whether they are a buyer or a seller.

Here are some of the questions asked of buyers:

1. Did your sales associate provide written/electronic competitive or comparable market analysis prior to you making an offer?

2. How satisfied were you with the counseling and needs assessment provided by your sales associate?

3. How satisfied were you with the thoroughness of the search process to find a property that met your needs?

4. How satisfied were you with the availability of your sales associate?

5. How satisfied were you with your sales associate's knowledge of the area, community, and properties?

6. How satisfied were you with the assistance your sales associate provided in negotiating the price and terms of the purchase?

7. How satisfied were you with the quality and frequency of communication provided by your sales associate?

8. How satisfied were you with your sales associate's attention to details and assistance from contract to closing?

9. What was your overall satisfaction with the results and service provided by your sales associate?

10.  How likely would you be to use the same sales associate to assist you in the future?

11. How likely would you be to use the same real estate company to assist you in the future?

12. How likely are you to recommend the services of your sales associate to a friend, neighbor, or relative?

13. How likely are you to recommend the services of the real estate company to a friend, neighbor, or relative?

14. What was your primary reason for selecting your sales associate?

Here are some of the questions asked of sellers:

1. How long did you expect your property to be on the market before it was sold?

2. How long was your property marketed by your sales associate and broker before you accepted an offer?

3. How satisfied were you with the marketing plan developed and implemented for the sale of your property?

4. How satisfied were you with the price and terms of the sale?

5. How satisfied were you with the assistance your sales associate provided in negotiating the price/terms of sale?

6. What was your primary reason for selecting the sales associate you chose to market your property?

All those questions had multiple-choice answers from which to select. Following them, however, there was an open ended “Comments” field in which clients could say whatever they want to say.  One of my sellers said he thought he should have gotten a higher price for his home. All the others were positive. The point is that they are not edited, and you get a true picture of the agent.  By contrast, the company behind the Five Star Professional program advertised in 5280 Magazine does not reveal who is surveyed, what is asked, or how clients responded.

If your agent doesn’t appear under your city at www.RatedAgent.com, ask him or her to sign up for this service — which is free to Realtors.

Sign the Jeffco5 Petition at Golden Real Estate’s Office

[Published Jan. 23, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section]

Golden Real Estate endorses the efforts of the “Jeffco5 Grassroots” committee to increase the Board of County Commissioners from three to five commissioners and to have them elected by district instead of at large. 

The current arrangement where the three commissioners each represent one-third of the county but are elected by all county residents reduces the representation of every section of the county.  The issues important to areas of the county — whether they be cities or unincorporated areas, including the foothills — are easily disregarded by “their” commissioner.  Wouldn’t it be better to have each commissioner representing — and elected by — 100,000 people instead of a half million people?

The commissioners could have voted to put this question on the November 2014 ballot but, except for Casey Tighe, refused to do so.  Join Commissioner Tighe in signing the petition, which is available at our office at 17695 S. Golden Road. Better yet, pick up a petition form to circulate in your subdivision or in front of a supermarket.

For more details, visit www.Jeffco5.com.

 

Price Reduced on This 3/4-Acre Horse Property in Lakewood

[Published Jan. 23, 2014, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section]

 
 
7670 W. 10th Avenue, Lakewood 80214
$319,000
 
In north Lakewood, just west of Wadsworth Blvd. is this updated 1938 home.  I created a narrated YouTube video tour of it which you can view at www.JeffcoHorseProperties.com. With its detached garage/workshop and loafing shed, this property is ready for your horses. Originally a small farmhouse, the home has a newer main-floor addition plus an upstairs master suite. All systems have been updated, including the 95% efficient gas furnace. 
 
Open this Saturday, 1-4 p.m.