Hard works translates into successful business and happiness for Clyncke

Hard work is in Chris Clyncke’s blood.

The third generation of the Clyncke family to head up Clyncke Concrete, Chris grew up on a Boulder farm, where working hard wasn't just a part of life – it was his life.

While his friends were getting in shape at a gym to prepare for the fall football season, Chris spent his summers bailing hay and doing other farm-related work that made him as big and strong as his peers.

"You did that all the time because you had to; it wasn’t like you played all day," he says. "I kind of liked it. I was big (200 pounds in the 10th grade)."

Chris followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps in the concrete business, but he once dreamt of riding the professional rodeo circuit, even though he broke his wrist in 11 places when a bull threw him when he was just 11 years old. That experience didn’t deter him from the rodeo – which he continued to participate in on the weekends during the summer – anymore than more recent injuries have deterred him from working in concrete.

Except for a two-year stint at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, during which he realized college wasn’t for him, Chris’ career in concrete was cemented from the time he started working with his father at age 14.

"I thought I wanted to do other things, but I liked doing the concrete work," Chris says, adding he enjoys the physical labor and making life better for others. "I just had fun doing it, and I still do."

And, like bull riding, a career in concrete has presented its own share of threats to Chris’ health: he’s had four surgeries on one knee, broken three lumbar in his back and had his torso punctured by a rebar, which just missed his heart. This last spring, Chris had surgery to repair a shoulder he seriously injured when he slipped on ice and put his hands back to catch his fall while working a job.

But none of these incidents or health-care providers’ warning that he would never again do the things he loved – from concrete labor to waterskiing, snow skiing and bicycling – have deterred him from the life he’s chosen. He calls his injuries the "good, ol' fun stuff" that are just part of the path he’s following.

"It’s been a long, hard life but I’ve enjoyed it," Chris says.

It's a life that is not much different than what the previous Clyncke generations lived. Chris' family emigrated from Belgium to the United States around 1860, homesteading in Boulder in 1861.

"They were farmers from over there, and (my great-great-grandfather) actually brought over some Belgium horses from there and those were the first set of registered Belgium horses brought into the United States," Chris says.

Chris' grandfather, Poliete Clyncke began doing concrete work in the late 1920s, and he and his father built ditches as part of the first Boulder watershed project. Chris’ dad, Marvin Clyncke, took over the business from his father and remains a majority owner. However, Chris is president and makes all the decisions for the business as well as does labor, serves as secretary and performs any other tasks required of running the company.

While Clyncke Concrete provides the full range of concrete work, including simple overlays, rip out and replace, residential foundations, windows and stairwells, curb and gutter, sidewalks, patios and driveways, it specializes in decorative concrete and overlays.

"That’s where the fun is at," Chris says, noting he recently paved a driveway in a sunset rose concrete, but he also does decorative stamp work on decks, patios and front entryways.

Chris, married 23 years to another Boulder native, Debbie, relishes the hard labor involved with his choice of careers. But he has successfully discouraged his 22-year-old son, Jeremiah, from going into the physically demanding concrete business. Jeremiah will soon start his fifth year at the University of Northern Colorado, where he is pursuing a bachelor's degree in forensic anthropology investigation with a minor in sociology.

In December 2001, Clyncke received national press for a Christmas display that featured, among other things, the Twin Towers and the American flag in lights in his front yard to show that his nation was not defeated. It was only three months following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack.

But it’s not the patriotic statement he made that keeps Clyncke busier than his competitors these days, but the repeat and referred business from satisfied customers.

"Word of mouth is everything," he says. "If I’m going to do a job, I do it right. I do it not because I want to be rich; I just want to do a perfect job."

For more information about Clyncke Concrete, call (303) 901-9914 or see some of their work at here.

June’s stats may indicate market has hit bottom and is headed up

Home sales in Boulder continued their upward trend in June, giving hope that perhaps the real estate market has finally hit bottom and is headed in the opposite direction.

"Sales held up very well in June, probably continuing with the impact of the homeowner tax credit for first-time and move-up buyers," observes Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

Until Congress recently extended the deadline for closing on a home purchase to the end of September, buyers had to close by the end of June to qualify for the tax credit.

Boulder County saw 370 single-family homes and 131 townhomes and condos close in June, compared with 357 and 147, respectively, in June 2009. From June 1, 2009, through May 31, 2010, 3,418 single-family homes and 1,356 townhomes and condos sold, compared with 3,140 single-family homes and 1,184 townhomes and condos during the year before.

"For the first time in a quite a while, sales increased year over year and quarter over quarter," Hotard says. "That’s a good sign that suggests we’ve actually hit the bottom and leveled out and starting that slow crawl back to more historic sales volumes in the future."

And while June's market statistics are an improvement, they are far from where the market was a decade or so ago.

"These numbers look better than they are because we're comparing year-to-year numbers," Hotard says, noting 2008 was the worst year on record. "We’ve leveled out and we've begun that slow climb out of the recession. We are by no means moving into a rapid economic expansion and a robust period of growth."

However, the climb up could still have some bumps and dips.

Job growth – a major player in the state of the real estate market – is still in question, with University of Colorado economists recently revising statewide job numbers estimates substantially downward. But Vestas is adding employees to its Colorado locations – as many as 1,000 jobs at one facility – and other businesses announcing plans to locate along the U.S. 36 corridor, bringing moderate job growth to Boulder-area markets, Hotard says.

Interest rates remain at historic lows, which should spur buyers but restrictions on credit are making mortgages somewhat difficult to come by, he notes. A regulatory bill now in congress will reign in abusive practices of some lenders but will do little to free up credit.

"The numbers look very strong all around," Hotard says of the June sales statistics, noting that the downward pressure on home prices and sales volume has stabilized.

Realtors have told Hotard that activity has slowed this month compared with June, but whether that's reflected in the volume of closings won't be known until August.

"I think some people are expecting a real serious drop but I'm not of that mindset," he says, adding he expects to see a mild correction but not a dramatic reduction in home sales.

Boulder tops quality-of-life survey

For those who enjoy a lifestyle that America’s smaller – but not smallest – communities offer, Portfolio.com and bizjournals say that Boulder provides the highest quality of life out of all mid-sized communities nationwide.

The combined study of the organizations ranks Boulder No. 1 among 109 medium-sized markets, with populations between 250,000 and 750,000, in 20 statistical categories.

Portfolio.com and bizjournals gave the highest scores to areas with healthy economies, moderate costs of living, light traffic, impressive housing stocks and high-powered educational systems.

Boulder, with a population of 300,000 including the county, is a hub for high-tech industries and the home of the University of Colorado – two characteristics that have attracted a young, highly educated work force, according to Portfolio.com. It also earned high scores across the board in the quality-of-life study, placing among the 10 best markets in 13 of the 20 categories.

Among its strengths are:

• 56 percent of Boulder’s adults have bachelor’s degrees – the strongest concentration in any midsize metro. Just eight other markets are above 35 percent.

• Slightly more than half of Boulder’s workers hold jobs in the sector that pays the highest salaries – management or professional. Ann Arbor, Mich., is the only other market with 50 percent or more of their workers in that sector.

• Boulder has more than an average share of large homes, with nine rooms in 18 percent of its houses – a figure that only Provo and Ogden, Utah, can beat.

• Boulder is seventh in two key financial categories: its median household income of $65,960 is the seventh highest in the study group, and its poverty rate of 5.8 percent is the seventh lowest.

Portfolio.com and bizjournals based their quality-of-life rankings on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006-2008 American Community Survey, released late last year.

But Boulder wasn’t the only Colorado metro area among the top 10 for quality of life: Fort Collins (all of Larimer, actually, with a population of 292,889) ranked third and Colorado Springs seventh in the survey.

While Portfolio.com noted Fort Collins’ sizable pool of bright, young workers and that nearly 42 percent of its adults have college degrees, it pointed out Colorado Springs’ impressive growth, big houses, well-educated workers and a substantial number of young adults.

The Sunbelt dominates the opposite end of the quality-of-life scale, with medium-size markets from Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas holding the nine lowest positions, according to Portfolio.com. Last place belongs to Visalia, Cali., with the lowest percentage of management and professional workers in the study – 23.9 percent, which is less than half of Boulder’s 50.1 percent. Visalia is also dead last in the share of adults with college degrees at 12.7 percent.

Here’s a look at all of the metros joining Boulder on the top 10 list:

Read more: http://www.portfolio.com/business-news/us-uncovered/2010/06/30/boulder-colorado-leads-in-quality-of-life-survey-for-mid-sized-us-cities#ixzz0sqXCrnBc.

One of Boulder's finest is also one of nation's finest now

OpenTable celebrated our nation’s independence by highlighting the Top 50 American Restaurants – and Boulder’s own Flagstaff House ranked high among patrons.

According to the Denver Business Journal, the annual list – issued in advance of July 4th – includes the 50 favorite American-cuisine restaurants of the San Francisco-based online restaurant-reservation site’s users. The selected restaurants were pulled from a pool of more than 11,000 restaurants and more than 5 million reviews.

Flagstaff House is the only Colorado eatery to make the list.

To learn more about Flagstaff House, visit http://www.flagstaffhouse.com/.

If your home isn't selling, consider these improvements

It’s true that the real estate market isn’t at the top of its game. But even so, if your home is on the market and has been for a while, here are some other reasons why from http://homesforsaleloganut.com:

Priced too high

A home priced higher than what the market indicates and potentially over what it appraises at is the most common reason a home doesn’t sell. When listing your home, keep in mind that you’re going to get the most activity within the first 30 days. If it’s priced too high, buyers who would have qualified at a more reasonable price will walk out the door and not come back. And if your home doesn’t appraise at the inflated price, you will have to reduce the price anyways.

If you can’t reduce your price, try looking at these other possibilities preventing your home from selling:

Your home isn’t putting on the best show

A higher number of homes on the market means buyers can afford to knit pick, and they don’t have to settle for a mediocre home. Give buyers something to get excited about, such as painting, cleaning the carpets and fresh fixtures. Household odors can also turn buyers away, so rid your house of stenches stemming from mold, animal urine or cigarette smoke or lose a potential buyer.

Location, location, location

Of course, you can’t really do much about where your house is located, or the schools that serve your neighborhood or the highway on which thousands of vehicles zoom past your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And while some buyers may consider it ideal, others may not. But if its location is generally unattractive to most of the house-buying population, the best you can do to help it sell is lowering the price or, if you can’t, offer something different from the competition, such as seller financing or add furniture to the asking price.

A poor agent

If your agent tells you he or she can get you more for your home than other agents, that’s a red flag to turn to an agent who is honest and realistic. It takes more to sell a home than putting a sign in the yard and placing the home on the MLS. And a good agent will give you feedback on showings, return your calls or e-mails in a timely manner, and work congenially with other agents. If you discover that the problem with selling your home lies with your agent, you may have to wait out your contract, but most agents will release you from your contract at any time. A good agent wouldn’t force you to work with someone with whom you’re not satisfied.

Inadequate marketing

Today’s Realtor must go above and beyond the yard sign and MLS listing to including your home on a robust online marketing site, since 90 percent of buyers start their search online.

But print media is not dead when it comes to real estate, and many people who haven’t entered the world of the Internet rely on newspapers for open houses and local real estate publications.

In a nutshell, today’s best agents must take advantage of all levels of marketing, from the World Wide Web to the newspaper to yard signs, color flyers on the sign, multiple phone numbers, MSL listings, directional signs on busy streets, multiple open houses and more. Make sure the agent you hire has such a multi-level marketing strategy.

In addition to what your agent can do to sell your home, give buyers a good reason to buy it. Those in the market to buy know they have plenty of houses from which to choose, and they’re looking for the best deal as well as the perfect home. Make that your house.