Life in Boulder County Category

Boulder is #1

Our little piece of paradiseBoulder’s housing market has been the most stable residential real estate market in America since 1991.  I’ll let that statement soak in for a moment.

The most stable housing market in America, as defined by the finance site SmartAsset, is the market with solid upward growth in home prices partnered with a low probability of home values declining by 5% within a decade of the home being purchased.  The site looked at 358 housing markets in the county for the past 25 years, from 1991 to today.

Sitting at the top of the list is Boulder, Colorado where home prices have climbed more than 300% in the past 25 years and “the average homeowner in Boulder hadn’t suffered any significant price declines since 1991,” the analysis showed.

The year 1991 caught my attention because that’s the year our son was born and we bought our home in Louisville.  Using current MLS data for homes in our neighborhood that sold already this summer, I determined our home’s value has increased an incredible 338%, all while we were busy raising our family in it.  Cue the happy dance!

But Boulder wasn’t the only Colorado market to land in the top 10 communities for most stable housing market.  Fort Collins came in at #6 and Denver was named #9.  You can see the entire list here.

There has never been a better time to own a home in beautiful Boulder valley. If you’d like information on buying a home in this hot market or if you want to know what your home’s current value is please give Jeff a call at 303-579-1617.  He’d be happy to answer all your questions.

 

East Boulder County’s Smartest Cities

Louisville CO Main StreetWe all know Boulder County is a pretty wonderful place to live but did you know its filled with smart neighbors too? I bet you’re not too surprised!

According to the folks at Zippia, a web-site devoted to careers, several cities in East Boulder County are among the Colorado’s smartest, which makes for one more reason why we love living here.

Zippia ranked Colorado’s 79 largest cities with a formula using data on adults with at least a high school degree and the percentage of high school dropouts.  They share this data with companies who value intelligent communities to locate their operations.

Erie CO Balloon FestivalLouisville ranks #3

  • Population of 19,171
  • 0% of teenage high school dropouts
  • 1.5% of adults without high school diplomas

Erie ranks #5

  • Population of 19,305
  • 0% of teenage high school dropouts
  • 2.5% of adults without high school diplomas

Superior ColoradoSuperior ranks #7

  • Population of 12,716
  • 1.6% of teenage high school dropouts
  • 1.6% of adults without high school diplomas.

Who came in on top?  Here is the entire list of Top 10 Smartest Cities in Colorado:

  1. Estes Park
  2. Castle Pines
  3. Louisville
  4. Cherry Hills Village
  5. Erie
  6. Greenwood Village
  7. Superior
  8. Monument
  9. Frederick
  10. Parker

If you’d like to know more about buying or selling a home in one of these smart cities or anywhere in beautiful Boulder County please give Jeff a call at 303-579-1617.  He’d be happy to help you.

Thinking About Solar for Your Roof?

Boulder County Solar BenefitsThinking about adding solar to your roof?  Then check out Boulder County’s newest program Solar Benefits Boulder County which makes solar power for your home more affordable and easier than ever before.  We personally know of this program because Kay was part of the committee who created and launched the highly successful 2015 Solar Benefits Boulder County last summer.

Because of its success last year, Boulder County has relaunched the program for 2016 offering residents in Boulder County the opportunity to get access to big discounts on residential roof-top solar systems. Hundreds of Boulder County homes are already being powered by the sun, so if you have been considering this for your home now could be the best time to make the investment. Simply sign up before May 15th and receive a free bid from the competitively selected local solar installer – Namaste Solar.  The bid is specific to your home and includes details focused on its unique features, orientation to the sun, shade, etc. If you decide to get a proposal, there is no commitment to move forward

  • Get the complete setup – The discount offered by Namaste Solar includes system design (using only premium, high-efficiency components), permitting costs, installation services, and monitoring. Namaste Solar also takes care of any repairs and maintenance, and guarantees the system’s production, for savings you can count on.
  • Use Flexible Payment Options – Access low-interest financing at 1.99% interest
  • Get Rewarded – $250 cash back to each customer once total installations reach 400kW
  • Keep it Local – Competitively selected Namaste Solar is a Boulder County company here to serve you
  • Act Soon – Residents must sign up by May 15th, 2016

Solar power is definitely a popular and positive enhancement to any home in Boulder County and it supports a strong return on your real estate investment when it comes time to sell your home. If you’d like to discuss how solar power could improve your home please call Jeff at 303-579-1617.

**PS. Stay tuned because the county will also be launching an electric vehicle deal on April 1 that will be available to residents and those who work in Boulder County communities. **

 

Boulder’s Community Food Share

Community Food ShafreEnding hunger… with goodwill and generosity.  That’s what Boulder’s Community Food Share successfully manages to do year after year.  Thanks to their incredible efficiencies three meals can be distributed for every $1 donated.

Jeff and I had the great pleasure of touring Community Food Share’s impressive Louisville warehouse with the energetic Michelle Orge, Executive Director of Community Food Share.  Michelle explained how Community Food Share directly supports 48 local agencies with weekly food deliveries in addition to focusing on their Feeding Families and Elder Share programs.

The most startling statistic Michelle shared with us was 1 in 6 people in Boulder and Broomfield counties is hungry.  That includes 56,000 people who are food insecure – of which 15,000 are children who receive free or reduced lunch at school.  Its surprising and humbling to learn that even in our vibrant community, people are in need of food.

Community Food Share distributes more that 9 million meals every year (1 meal = 1 pound of food).  All this food is valued at over $15 million and all was shared free of charge.

Through the Feeding Families program any family who is enrolled in their school’s free or reduced lunch program can fill one full shopping cart with free food each week.  This saved 1,449 families an average of $150 each week that can be put towards housing costs, medical bills, etc.

The Elder Share program allows low-income seniors in our communities to supplement their shrinking food budgets, and home-bound members can receive home delivery thanks to very generous volunteers.  Last year 334 Elder Share members received an impressive 113,000 meals.

All this good work takes lots and lots of resources and YOU can help.

  • Donate 
    • An impressive 54% of all financial support comes from the generosity of individuals like us. Every dollar donated equals three meals distributed.  Doubling your donation is extremely impactful and easy when you sign up for employer matching donations.  Ask at your workplace about matching gifts.
  • Volunteer 
    • 2,335 volunteers provided enough labor last year to equal 15 full-time employees.  Community Food Share benefits in so many ways by having 40% of its labor come from folks like you and me.  New this year is Family Volunteer Days.  During spring break families with kids can volunteer at the warehouse and experience what it feels like to support this important organization,  Sign up on their volunteer page.

Community Food Share is one of the gems that makes living in Boulder and Broomfield counties so special.  We feel proud to know that every day the generosity of our friends and neighbors is making a huge difference in the lives of so many people.

Which Two Boulder County High Schools are ranked #1 and #3 in Colorado?

Peak to Peak School logoWe have always known Boulder County students have excellent choices for education but now the U.S. News and World Report confirms it.  In their recent 2014 rankings Lafayette’s Peak to Peak Charter School was named the #1 high school in Colorado with Boulder’s Fairview High School ranking #3.  This is great news for families all across the Boulder Valley area.

The rankings are primarily based on the percentage of students who take and pass advanced placement exams and on standardized test scores.  At Peak to Peak, 98 percent of their seniors took an advanced placement test and 81 percent passed.

logo-b40f225f74365e294e3c30b56f66550cTo add to the bragging rights, both Peak to Peak and Fairview earned a “Gold” medal for ranking in the Top 500 high schools nationally – this is based on data collected from over         31, 242 public high schools in the United States.

Strong schools are often a significant component in determining the neighborhood search area for our buyers. A recent article in the Washington Post confirms that buyers on average are willing to pay $50 more per square foot for homes in top rated school districts compared to homes in average schools districts.

The Gazaway Group knows and understands the schools in the Boulder Valley School District.  Our children and their friends go to these schools and we can help you find the best home for you near the best school for you and your children.

Summer Fun in Boulder County

Our family loves these long days of summer.  Evenings full of gardening, BBQ or music and friends make us so happy. It feels like summer is in full bloom.

In front of the stage at the Louisville Street FaireThe other day Jeff and I were looking at all the fun concerts and festivals still to come and it occurred to us you might like to know about these fun things too. Maybe we’ll even see you there!

Festivals:

Summer festivals are the best.  Here’s a list our family’s favorites:

Louisville’s Labor Day Fall Festival  We admit to being totally biased but this festival has always been our family’s favorite and even more so now that Kay has organized it for six summers running.  When our kids were little they were always in the parade, now they help organize it.

Lafayette Peach Festival  Eating peach cobbler and slurping peach milkshakes while browsing booths and listening to music makes for a great Saturday.

Boulder County Fair  Colorado’s oldest County Fair is great fun for everyone.  Our family loves the midway rides and the horses.

Nederland Miners Days Experience what it feels like to be a miner in Nederland’s Miners Days.

Boulder Creek Hometown Festival  Join in the great zucchini races and taste some of the best chili around.

Outdoor concerts

Outdoor concerts are the best and fortunately live music is as abundant as the garden’s zucchini in Boulder Valley in the summer time.

Louisville Street Faire Again we’re biased, but we LOVE the Street Faire.  This year our son Ben took on the big job of managing all the vendor booths, food booths and kids inflatables for the Street Faire and we’re so proud of him!  The end of the summer line-up is fantastic so make your way to downtown Louisville on a Friday night.

Lafayette Summer Concert Series

Flatiron’s Summer Nights Concert Series in Broomfield

Boulder’s Band on the Bricks on Pearl Street Mall

Rock N Rails in Niwot

So much summer fun yet to be had in Boulder Valley!

If you think you’d like to live in one of our communities check out our IDX home search tool that uses *both* Front Range MLS lists.  Its free, fast and completely up to date.  Or set up a free Email Listing Alert so you can get notified as soon as a new listing comes on the market in the community and price range you are looking for.  We hope you’ll try one or both and if you would like to see any home in person please call us at 303-579-1617 and we’re happy to take you out for a showing.

 

July 4th Fun in Boulder County

July 4th Celebrations in Boulder CountyJuly 4th is one of our favorite holidays.  Its peak summertime, lots of BBQ, family and friends and of course, fireworks!  What’s not to love?

There are lots of fun July 4th choices in Boulder County so read through the list and pick something fun to do.

Louisville

We’ll start with Louisville because I have been planning Louisville’s July 4th Celebration for six years now and Jeff is my number #1 volunteer!  Come by the Golf Course and look us up.  We’ll be there!

The City of Louisville is hosting their annual July 4th Celebration at the Coal Creek Golf Course, 585 W. Dillon Road on Thursday July 4th starting at 6:00 p.m.

Festivities include:

Free face painting, free balloon animals and free hennas, food booths, including United Methodist Church’s favorite hamburgers and corn, jumpy castles, bungie trampoline and more.  The Boulder Concert Band will perform their patriot music beginning at 7:15 p.m. and will play until the fireworks start at approximately 9:30 p.m. There is no parking at golf course but free shuttles will run continuously starting at 6:00 p.m. from the Louisville Rec Center and Home Depot.  For more details visit LouisvilleCo.gov

Lafayette Read the rest of this entry »

Louisville Street Faire – the Best Party of the Summer

Louisville Street FaireLouisville’s best summertime party is about to begin – the Street Faire!  We are all excited over here because once those banners hit McCaslin Blvd and South Boulder Road we know summer is officially here!

This summer marks the 10th Anniversary of the Louisville Street Faire and the musical line up is something worth celebrating.  Friday, June 14th is opening night with CJ Chenier and his Red Hot Louisiana Band.  CJ and his red hot zydeco accordion are in our picture and yes, we were that close to the stage.

Come on down to the Street Faire tonight.  The music starts about 6:30 p.m.  and if you’re looking for Kay and me we’ll be out on the dance floor.  Come join us!

Here is the complete line up for the summer: Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Know a 4-Year Old?

OneBook4ColoradoEvery 4-year old in Colorado has a free book waiting for them at the library!

Thanks to a wonderful program called One Book 4 Colorado 70,000 free books will be distributed to 4 year olds all across the state May 6-20th.  The name of this year’s book will be unveiled on May 6th as part of Colorado’s Literacy Week.

This is the second year for One Book 4 Colorado.  Last year’s book was Maybe the Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris.

Studies have proven that pre-schoolers who have access to books and adults who will read to them are much more likely to be ready to learn to read when they start kindergarten.

Reading bedtime stories was a big part of our family’s evening ritual when our kids were little.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fireside Elementary: “Don’t Squish the Squash”

Fireside Elementary Outdoor Learning GardenThe good news is Louisville schools are rated excellent academically.

But ask any family that attends one of these wonderful institutions and they will tell you there is another important criteria that multiples this high value factor x10 – and its the sense of community they feel from their school.

Community building seems to come second nature to our schools.

There are so many opportunities for parents to volunteer, the children to perform or display their artistic talents and to grow friendships.

And then there are the parties!  These PTO groups know how to put on a fundraiser that focuses on the “fun”.

Louisville’s PTO groups provide a critically important voice for the schools leadership and in developing a sense of community for the children and their families.  Lots of heart and time goes into fundraising for our schools and the outcomes can be pretty amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

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