Golden Gate Canyon Home on 35 Acres Just Listed by Kristi Brunel & Carol Milan

Beautifully nestled on 35 stunning acres, this log home at 5771 Bear Paw Road offers all the beauty of mountain living, just 30 minutes from downtown Golden up Golden Gate Canyon. Just minutes from the Golden Gate State Park, this home is also an easy drive to Golden, Boulder, Denver and major ski resorts. It was just listed for $924,000.

The large natural stone fireplace adjoins the kitchen in a beautifully open floor plan with a main-level master suite. A large laundry room and sun room off the front of the home, offers both city and mountain views to complete the main level.  Upstairs, the open loft area separates a second master suite and third bedroom, which share a full bathroom. Come see this peaceful property amongst the quaking aspens (peaking this week!) and all that mountain living has to offer! Call co-listing agents Carol Milan, 720-982-4941, or Kristi Brunel, 303-525-2520, to set a private showing.  Get more information and see more pictures at www.FoothillsHome.info.

Were Last Week’s “Climate Strikes” Enough of a Wake-up Call on Climate Change?

We can thank Al Gore for educating us about global warming, but I wish a non-politician such as Carl Sagan had performed that service. I can’t think to any other scientific research which became partisan in a similar way.

Remember CFCs and the ozone hole? It wasn’t a partisan issue. The issue was addressed quickly in a bi-partisan manner.

It was meteorologists, not politicians, that taught us about El Nino and La Nina—the cyclical events in which changes in ocean temperature create weather patterns affecting our entire continent. No one has said El Nino is not real.  It is accepted science — like climate change.

It’s only because Al Gore introduced us to the “inconvenient truth” about climate change that his teachings were disputed and rejected as left-wing propaganda by those on the right. How sad, how unfortunate, and how deadly the consequences.

Last Friday I attended the “Climate Strike” event on the Colorado School of Mines campus and watched news coverage of bigger events around the world.  I’m 72 now, and, yes, the climate will worsen before I die. But those under 40 and certainly those under 20 are seeing the early effects of global warming and worry that their world will be unlivable by the time they’re my age.  For them, it’s a huge crisis.

Back in June, I attended my 50th reunion at M.I.T, during which there was a Technology Day symposium on climate change. One of the speakers, Prof. Noelle Selin, told us that the global concentration of carbon dioxide was 325 parts per million when we graduated in 1969, but now it was 410 ppm. She made us think about those who graduated in 2019 (who she dubbed “the Class of 410 ppm”) and speculated on the class that would be graduating at their 50th reunion. “Will it be the Class of 600 ppm or the Class of 700 ppm?” she asked. And what will life be like for them at their 50th reunion?

It was a sobering presentation. And you can be sure that it was even more sobering for the Class of 2019 and for M.I.T. students who have yet to graduate.  To view her 19-minute presentation, click here.

The impact on real estate — and national security — is apparent when you consider all the “climate refugees” who are likely to migrate from heavily impacted areas such as the Bahamas, Florida, Houston — and Syria, where drought, as much as civil war, contributed to the exodus of Syrians to Europe. Indeed, over a decade ago the U.S. Defense Department labeled climate change a threat to national security. You can understand why.  I do.

The headline of my column on Jan. 14, 2014 was, “We May Have Already Passed the Tipping Point on Climate Change.” That statement was based on the already dramatic reduction in summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, as documented by the Earth Policy Institute at Rutgers. I published their chart showing a correlation between the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 300 to 400 ppm since the Industrial Revolution, and the 50% loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic between the late 20th Century and 2013. 

The reason loss of sea ice creates a tipping point for our climate is that sea ice, being white, reflects sunlight, whereas open ocean, being dark, absorbs sunlight, causing more ice to melt and to melt faster. A warmer Arctic region in turn upsets weather patterns worldwide.

Almost six years have passed since I wrote that column, and now the Arctic Ocean is open and navigable for part of the summer. We have learned the term “polar vortex” and experienced the effects of wilder than normal fluctuations of the jet stream. Warmer oceans in the tropics have caused stronger, slower hurricanes, causing 100-year floods to become frequent, as we have already seen in Houston. These effects were already happening back in 2012 with superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey and even here in Colorado with the heavy rains and flooding of Sept. 2013.

Unfortunately, we have a president who will never admit he was wrong, so he will never admit that climate change is real, that it is exacerbated by CO2 emissions, and that the only hope, if there is any this late in the game, of reducing the impacts of climate change is to drastically reduce the output of greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane. Instead, inaction on climate change, and worse, may be this president’s #1 legacy.  How sad.

5-Bedroom Bi-Level in Southwest Denver Just Listed by Andrew Lesko

Just one block from Garfield Lake Park, this bargain-priced home at 1431 S. King Court is located on a quiet cul-de-sac, ideally situated in the Mar Lee section of southwest Denver. It was just listed for $338,000.

With 5 bedrooms and 2 baths, this bi-level home offers the potential for added value with a little sweat equity. It is quite livable in its present condition, with great “bones” and flow. On the upper level are 3 bedrooms, a full bath, eat-in kitchen and living room. On the lower level are 2 more bedrooms and another full bath plus a spacious family room. A new roof was installed in 2012 and windows were replaced in 2011. This home could be perfect for a first-time homebuyer or an investor looking for an easy, low-maintenance rental property. It is currently occupied by an excellent long-term tenant on a month-to-month lease who wants to stay. Call Andrew Lesko at 720-710-1000 for a private showing. More information and interior pictures can be found at www.DenverHome.info.

Amazing North Golden Luxury Home Just Listed by Kristi Brunel

You will revel in the luxury found in this one-owner custom home at 301 Cliff Line Road, one mile from downtown Golden high up on the west-facing slope of North Table Mountain. Its location endows this home with panoramic mountain views from every window! You’ll love the vaulted ceilings, custom woodwork, alder hardwoods, and 8-foot doors. The gourmet kitchen features slab granite countertops, SubZero refrigerator, two full-size ovens and electric cooktop with gas available. The open floor plan is perfect for entertaining yet offers cozy spaces around multiple fireplaces. 

The 7,300-sq.-ft. home features 6 bedrooms with walk-in closets, 5 bathrooms and 2 master suites. The main-floor suite has a private door out to the large covered deck and hot tub.  Adventure enthusiasts will love the heated, oversized 4-car garage with shop, 2nd washer and dryer and a 10-foot garage door for your RV. You can view a narrated video tour with drone video and get more info about this home at www.MesaMeadowsHome.com, or call listing agent Kristi Brunel at 303-525-2520 to request a showing. 

Big Price Reduction on Golden Horse Property

If you drive Easley Road, perhaps you’ve seen this banner on the fence of my listing at 16826 W. 57th Ave.  It was originally listed at $750,000 — a great price, I felt, for a one-acre horse property within 4 miles of downtown Golden. Now, however, the price is reduced to $699,000.  Such a deal! In addition to the half-acre pasture, the property includes a 5-bedroom, 3-bath multi-level home with a 3-car garage. Separate from the pasture is a fenced backyard which is sheltered from any traffic noise. The master bedroom upstairs has a private deck with a view of North Table Mountain.  You’ll have the experience of being in the country here, close to bridle trails, bike trails and walking paths up the east slope of North Table Mountain. There’s no HOA, and you’re in unincorporated Jefferson County, so you’re free to build another outbuilding as big as you’d like or to use the pasture for storing your cars, RVs and other toys. You can take a narrated video tour at www.JeffcoHorseProperties.com, or call me for a showing.  Open this Saturday, 11am-1pm.

Just Listed: Awesome Home in the Foothills Above Boulder

Nowadays, it’s rare to find a Boulder home this special on the market for less than $1 million.  This fabulous home at 1670 Timber Lane is located in coveted Pine Brook Hills, 4 miles northwest of downtown Boulder and the Pearl Street mall. It’s a 4-bedroom, 3-bath ranch-style home with walk-out basement and 3,793 finished square feet of living space on 1 acre. It has  a 2-car attached garage and a ramp making it wheelchair accessible. It was just listed by Chuck Brown for $998,000.  Enjoy the best of both worlds here — in the wooded foothills but close to the restaurants and nightlife of Boulder. You’ll love the view of city lights from the recently rebuilt wraparound deck. Take a narrated video tour of the home at www.Boulder-Home.info, then come to Chuck’s open house this Saturday, Sept. 21st, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Or call Chuck at 303-885-7855 for a private showing.

Nothing Would Spur the Real Estate Market More Than Relief of Student Debt

A recurring idea among many of the Democratic presidential candidates is the payoff of student debt combined with making public universities and colleges tuition-free.

If that were to be done, I think we’d see an amazing increase in home purchases by those who are currently saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Freeing them from monthly payments of that debt could unleash a lot of buying power, and not just for real estate. Dollar-for-dollar, there is probably no investment the government could make of equal scope that would have as great a stimulating effect on the economy.

According to the Center for Responsible Lending, “Student loan debt has topped $1.5 trillion in recent years, making it the largest type of consumer debt outstanding other than mortgages. The average student loan borrower graduates with nearly $30,000 in debt.”

Moreover, according to the Center, The CFPB estimates that over a quarter of borrowers are delinquent or have defaulted on their student loan debt. Such defaults wreak havoc on the borrower’s credit rating, making home financing impossible rather than just difficult.

It’s hard to imagine the impact of having literally millions of home buyers entering the market if this were to happen. It may, in fact, prove to be too much stimulation of an already tight housing market. Meanwhile, the rental market could have the depressing impact of so many renters vacating rental units to buy their own condos and homes.

Speaking of the economy, I read an article last week that the RV industry is experiencing a 20% decline in sales, and that it’s considered a leading indicator of recessions. In my Sept. 5th column I wrote about fears of recession stoking a reduction in home buying activity, although market statistics don’t yet show that happening .

However, the article on declining RV sales got me to thinking. What makes it a leading indicator of a coming recession is that RVs are an extreme example of discretionary spending, the kind that is reduced when consumers fear for their financial future.

Well, real estate purchases are often discretionary, too. People don’t always have to sell their current home or leave their rental to purchase a home. If they are in fear of economic pain, it’s understandable that they would postpone such a purchase.

So, although the statistics don’t yet reflect such a slowdown in real estate activity, I think the prospect of that slowdown is quite real, and I’ll be watching for statistical evidence of it.

If indeed a recession is looming, relief of student debt could have a strong countervailing effect on the economy as a whole, and not just the real estate market.

Note: Some readers of this column got the impression that I supported the forgiveness of student debt. I still need to be convinced that it would be a good thing to do. The point of this column was merely to speculate on the market effect if that idea were to be implemented.