As Earth Day Approaches, Coloradans Have Many Opportunities to Do Their Part

Real_Estate_Today_bylineThis Sunday, April 22nd, is the 48th anniversary of Earth Day. Here are some of the ways you can participate in this annual event and do your part in preserving this planet for future generations.

On Saturday, April 21st, from 11 am to 4 pm, Lakewood will hold its Earth Day Celebration at the Lakewood Heritage Center, south of Belmar on the west side of Wadsworth. A no-charge bicycle valet will be on hand so your bike will be secure while you listen to live music (three different bands will play), do yoga, attend a compost workshop, learn how to create a sustainable backyard, or visit the electric vehicle expo, where a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and my own Tesla Model X will be on display.  I, along with other EV owners, will be there to answer questions and demonstrate each car’s features.  See a full list of Lakewood’s Earth Day activities (far more than other cities, I’ve found) at www.Lakewood.org/earthday.

Recycling is a popular Earth Day activity, particularly the recycling of electronic waste. Adjacent to their Earth Day event, at 777 S. Yarrow Street, Lakewood is accepting e-waste, but for a fee.  Meanwhile, the Denver Metro Association of Realtors will accept e-waste free of charge at its Jeffco office, located at 950 Wadsworth Blvd. from 8am to noon that same morning. You can drop off unused, unwanted and nonfunctional electronics. This is a great way to responsibly recycle nearly anything with a plug or battery!  Recycling is open to the public and is free, with the exception of televisions and monitors, which carry a fee of $20 to $60 depending on size. There’s also a $5 charge if you ask to have hard drive data destroyed.

Residents of the City of Golden can recycle e-waste and many other items during its “Community Pride Days,” which is the weekend of May 19-20.  The city doesn’t charge for this service, although proof of city residency is required. A Golden mailing address does not by itself make you a City of Golden resident.

Year-round you can bring block white Styrofoam to Golden Real Estate’s “Styrofoam Corral” behind our office at 17695 S. Golden Road.  At least once a month, the 10’x20’ corral fills up and we truck it all to one of three recycling/reprocessing facilities, but ours is the only location in Jefferson County for dropping off this material.  We estimate that we keep over 200 cubic yards of polystyrene (the generic name for Styrofoam) out of the landfills every year.

Other recycling:

  • You can bring up to 5 gallons of used paint to many Ace Hardware, Guiry’s and Sherwin Williams stores. See www.paintcare.org for locations.
  • Donate your unwanted bicycles to the Golden Optimists any Tuesday or Thursday from 1 to 5 pm, at 1200 Johnson Road (next to the Golden main post office).
  • Take old clothes hangers to any dry cleaning store.
  • Home Depot accepts unbroken CFL light bulbs for recycling.
  • Any Staples or Office Depot store will accept used toner or ink cartridges and give you a credit if you are a rewards member.
  • King Soopers and Safeway accept plastic shopping bags for recycling.
  • O’Reilly’s accepts used motor oil.

Do You Have a Question or Concern About Your Reverse Mortgage?

A very upset reader recently contacted me with a concern about their reverse mortgage and the payment of real estate taxes. I referred that reader to Jim Spray, a reverse mortgage expert. If you have a similar concern, call Jim at 303-403-8168 or write to him at Jim@JimSpray.com. Please copy me on your email.

I love to hear from my readers for any reason. Call me at 303-525-1851 or email me at Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com. Call or email me anytime!

 

Would You Like to Be Alerted to Real Estate Activity in Your Area?

Would you like to know when homes in your subdivision go on the market, go under contract or are sold?

As a free service to our readers, we can set you up to receive an email alert within 15 minutes of any of those real estate events occurring in your neighborhood.

To get it started, all you need to do is send an email to info@GoldenRealEstate.com,. Provide your own address and the outlines of your neighborhood or the name of your subdivision, and we’ll get you set up.

 

Price Reduced on Kristi Brunel’s Listing in Arvada’s Ridge at Harvest Lane

StreetviewThis 7-bedroom, 4-bath home at 7587 Union Ct. is now listed at $895,000. Licensed for, and meeting all the code requirements of a group home (including fire alarm and sprinkler system), it would also make a terrific home for a buyer with a large family. See more picures and a narrated video tour at www.ArvadaHome.info.

 

Brick Ranch in Arvada Just Listed by David Dlugasch

DSC_0027This well maintained 2-bedroom, 2-bath brick ranch home is at 7299 W. 73rd Avenue in Arvada, conveniently located near shopping, Indian Tree golf course, and not far from I-70. The home has a new roof, new heating and air conditioning unit, and the exterior was painted in 2015. The family room has a gas fireplace, and sliding glass doors lead out to a covered patio with a large deck. There is an oversized 2-car garage with room for an RV next to it and a newer storage shed.  See more pictures and view a narrated video tour at www.ArvadaRanch.info, then call listing agent David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for a private showing. David will be holding this listing open on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Listed at $380,000. 

 

Just Listed: Applewood Home With Walkout Basement

DSC_0222The seller of this brick ranch at 1835 Union Drive is the original owner. They built it in 1960! Most buyers will probably think of this largely unimproved home as a fixer-upper, but it has great bones, including hardwood floors that have been protected for 58 years by wall-to-wall carpeting. The attached garage does not have direct access into the house, requiring a 25-foot walk to the front door of the house. The old trees have been removed from the large backyard, leaving a grassy “blank canvas” for your landscaping ideas. You’ll love this quiet Applewood neighborhood. You can see more pictures and take a narrated video tour of this home at www.ApplewoodHome.info, then come to our open house on Sunday, April 22nd, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Or call your agent or me at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.  Listed at $495,000.

 

Buyers Save a Little on Property Tax When Buying a Long-Held Home from Seniors

Real_Estate_Today_bylineAs homeowners 65 and over well know, they get a discount on their home’s property taxes once they have lived in their home for at least 10 years.  It’s called the “senior property tax exemption.”  For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted from property taxation.  At 100 mills, that’s worth $720. Rita and I have been in our current house for six years, so we can look forward to saving about that much on our property taxes if we stay put for another 4 years – and if the state legislature continues to fund it, as I’ll explain below.

A veteran who has been deemed permanently disabled by the VA enjoys that same discount, but isn’t subject to that 10-year rule. He/she only has to have owned and lived in the house on Jan. 1st of the tax year. There is also a little-known program by which qualified seniors and veterans can defer the payment of property taxes. Under that program, the state of Colorado pays your local property taxes, creating a lien against your home for the deferred amount, which is paid off like any lien when the house is eventually sold.  Conditions apply, of course, which you can read by Googling “Colorado senior property tax exemption,” as I did.

What you may not know is that any buyer, irrespective of age, enjoys that same property tax exemption for their first calendar year in a home they purchase from a senior citizen who earned that discount.

My new listing (below) brought this topic to mind. The sellers, who are over 65, paid only $1,221 in property tax last year, and the property tax bill will probably be the same for this year’s property taxes, which are payable in April 2019. Whoever buys the home in the next month or so will enjoy that senior property tax exemption next April and won’t begin paying the full property tax amount until 2020. The reason for this mini-windfall is that state law specifies that the exemption only requires that an eligible senior owned and lived in the house on Jan. 1st of the tax year.

Something else you may not know is that this property tax exemption does not cost the county or other local tax jurisdictions a penny. The state reimburses the jurisdictions for the discount given to qualified seniors. After making their annual revenue and expense estimates, the state legislature determines how much of a discount qualified seniors will earn. It wasn’t funded in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but it was restored in 2012 and remains in effect. Because the state’s balance sheet is expected to look good for the coming year, there’s certainly reason for optimism.

My only complaint with the senior property tax exemption is that it requires 10 years’ ownership of a home before seniors quality. This poses a disincentive to downsizing, which often makes sense for seniors, especially after one of them has died.