RE/MAX of Boulder earns top rank in nation for total sales volume in 2010

REAL Trends has named RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc. No. 1 on its list of Top Firms Ranked by Closed Sales Volume Per Office, a category in its 2011 REAL Trends 500 publication released this month.

RE/MAX of Boulder earned the designation with a sales volume of nearly $560 million representing 1,400 sides in 2010 – more than $71 million more than the next ranked office.

The REAL Trends 500 is an annual research report identifying the country’s largest and most successful residential firms as ranked by closed transaction sides and separately by closed sales volume. “This report represents the most trusted standard of measuring the performance of the nation’s leading realty service firms,” said REAL Trends editor Steve Murray in informing RE/MAX of Boulder of its honor.

The recognition from real estate consulting and communications company REAL Trends falls on the heels of RE/MAX International naming RE/MAX of Boulder its top single office for total sales volume in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year.

D.B. Wilson, managing broker for RE/MAX of Boulder, attributed the office’s accomplishment to the hard work of its 89 brokers and their loyal customers, who continually return or refer their friends and family to the real estate office.

“This award is just incredibly gratifying,” he says. “Our Realtors take tremendous pride in their production and providing a level of service to their clients that can't be beat. This award exemplifies the fulfillment of all of their dedication and hard work.”

The local media has also often recognized RE/MAX of Boulder for its customer service: it has been Boulder Daily Camera’s Boulder County Gold Winner for Best Real Estate Office or the runner-up for 16 years, and the Colorado Daily has named the office Best of Boulder, as well, multiple times.

RE/MAX of Boulder, 2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 110, is owned by Tom Kalinski and serves all of Boulder and Broomfield counties, and parts of Larimer, Denver, Jefferson, Weld and Gilpin counties.

Here’s a look at the 10 Top Firms Ranked by Closed Sales Volume per Office:

Source: REAL Trends 500

Remodeling index shows improvement across the board

Homeowners are slowly re-entering the remodeling market, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI).

The NAHB reports that its remodeling index has increased from 41.5 in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 46.5 in the first quarter of 2011, indicating a potential recovery.

This is the highest level for the RMI since the fourth quarter of 2006, although an RMI below 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is lower compared with the prior quarter than those who report it is higher.

The overall RMI combines ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future activity like calls for bids, according to the NAHB. Current market conditions for the first quarter of 2011 rose from 43.3 in the previous quarter to 46.1. Future market indicators climbed from 39.7 in the previous quarter to 46.8.

“Remodelers report a jump in activity so far this year and have been receiving more calls for work and appointments,” says NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bob Peterson, CGR, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Fort Collins. “However, many home owners are still slow to commit to remodeling due to feeling uncertain about the economic recovery and difficulty obtaining loans.”

Below are the top reasons prospective customers have told remodelers that they are waiting to remodel their homes:

• It is difficult to get financing (90 percent of remodeler respondents);

• They have lost equity in their homes (81 percent);

• They are uncertain about their future economic situation (74 percent);

• Reluctance to invest in home when not sure home will hold its value (67 percent);

• Negative media stories making them more cautious (62 percent);

• Inaccurate appraisals make financing more difficult (54 percent).

“Home remodeling continues to slowly increase and continued growth through the year is expected,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The fact that some indicators are breaking 50 means remodelers are seeing improving activity in their markets. While credit scarcity and economic uncertainty continue to weigh down remodeling, signs of increasing consumer interest are promising.”

Here’s a look at current remodeling market indicators compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, all of which have increased, according to the NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index:

For more information about remodeling, visit

From skiing to family to business, Boulder offers property manager a life he loves

Like so many Colorado transplants, Todd Ulrich came to the state from Baltimore, Maryland, with skiing as much as possible on his mind.

But he found that Colorado offered him so much more than winter recreation: it was here that he found a home, the opportunity to make a living and where he wanted to raise a family.

Todd, the owner of PG Rentals Property Management at RE/MAX of Boulder, moved to Colorado in 1993 “kind of for skiing and just a change of pace,” he says. “I purposely moved here to get stuck here and ended up going to the University of Colorado.”

While he went to CU for a degree in economics, none of the jobs he has had has put that degree to use: he had worked as a Web and software developer for a “dot com” company, as well as invested in real estate (he bought his first rental property after graduating from CU) and worked as an electrician. But the experience of managing his own properties led to opening his own residential property management business, and he founded PG Rentals 12 years ago.

When Todd started his business, he was managing two or three of his own properties; today his company manages more than 100 rental properties, including short term, student, executive and standard 12 month. The majority of those properties are located in Boulder County communities including the city of Boulder, Broomfield, Longmont, Louisville, Lafayette, Erie and Superior.

Most of the properties he managed in the beginning were leased to students, and from that experience he learned that property management involved much more than just collecting rent. “I had to educate myself very quickly,” he says.

Today, with 12 years of experience in the business under his belt, Todd says he offers what other property managers often fail to: customer service.

“(I pay) attention to detail,” he says, adding when he was a student renter, he noted what property managers did that was good and bad, and why they earned the reputation they did.

Todd says the biggest complaint many have about property managers is their failure to respond in a timely manner and to follow up, so he has tried to excel in that area.

“Clients came to me because they were looking for something different, and I’ve kept every one of them,” he says.

Because PG Rental serves a diverse clientele, Todd’s knowledge and ability to manage any and all residential properties has grown over the years and it’s kept his job interesting and new.

And his personal life is full of new things, as well: Todd married Susan Gingrich, whom he met while working for the dot com business, more than a year ago, and they are now the proud parents of a four-month-old baby boy, Thomas.

“I’ve lived here almost 20 years and I’m still very active with camping, hiking and skiing,” Todd says of his adopted home. “There’s so much to enjoy in the state. We love being here and our kids are going to have the opportunity to experience all this.

“On the business side of things, the opportunity is remarkable in Boulder,” he adds. “People everywhere are struggling – the economy is not great – but Boulder just keeps on.”

For more information about PG Rentals, visit; call (303) 564-4762; or e-mail

April market stats show buyers are slowly springing into action

Boulder County’s real estate market continued to push on toward recovery in April, with sales and prices of single-family homes creeping upward.

Both average and median prices increased in every Boulder community – a phenomenon not witnessed in recent memory, even though the area’s prices have not experienced the decreases many markets throughout the nation have.

“They’re holding up extremely well,” says Ken Hotard, senior vice president of public affairs for the Boulder Area Realtor Association.

He attributed the increases in part to limited inventory, creating a more competitive environment.

“It’s a classic supply-demand situation,” Hotard says.

The sale of 257 single-family homes in April was an increase over the 212 sold in March but still down from the 346 in April 2010 – though that’s expected considering that was the last month in which the first-time and move-up buyer tax credit was available.

“We could not match the incentivized market of 2010,” Hotard says. However, April 2011’s single-family home sales “improved substantially over 2009,” which had 204 sales.

Additional good news that came with April’s real estate statistics is that sales of condominiums and townhomes were in line with March’s, holding at 75.

Hotard says that market is still having an issue with tight financing and demand is not as strong as it is with single-family homes.

While the chilly, wet weather has not helped the housing market, affordability has in both pricing and a 30-year fixed interest rate below 5 percent, he says.

With improved job creation in the area and pent-up demand, home sales should be stronger, Hotard says. Although the trend is moving upward, it’s uneven.

“Unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to constrain the market place,” he says. “In some parts of our market areas, we’re seeing lower appraisals resulting in contract cancellations. Those kinds of pressures continue to make this a challenging - although an improving - market.”

Although reports show foreclosures in many parts of Colorado are down by large numbers, “we still have a ways to go to clear out all of that distressed inventory,” Hotard says.

“I’m encouraged by the strength of our market,” he says. “My personal feeling is if we could loosen credit and make it available to a larger number of qualified borrowers, we would see substantial improvement in our market.”

The Boulder Area Realtor® Association is working with the National Association of Realtors® to encourage Congress and federal regulators to provide affordable mortgage products and guarantee a strong secondary market to support credit availability, Hotard says.

“We’re fighting battles to make sure that home ownership tax benefits are preserved in the tax code. Homeownership matters,” he says.

Tips will ensure summer parties are clean and safe

Summer is finally here – or it’s supposed to be, anyway – and you likely are planning one or more barbecues with friends and family. Here are a few tips to prepare the yard and grill from before you plan the menu and fill out the guest list:

Grill Safety Inspection

• Check for leaks in your gas grill by mixing a small amount of dishwashing liquid and water in a spray bottle, then spray the hose and all connections. Next, with the hose connected to the propane tank, open the gas. If bubbles appear, you have a leak and need to replace the hose or fix a loose connection.

• The flame on gas grills should be blue; if you see a yellow flame, there are either clogged air jets or burners that need adjustment.

• Clean the grill, inside and out. Scrub burners and grates with a wire brush, and then cut the grease build-up with a vinegar and water solution. Rinse clean and let dry thoroughly. A good all-purpose cleaner can take care of the outside of the grill.

Clean and Cool

Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are in good condition so your food is stored at the correct temperature and remains safe to serve.

• The cooling vents shouldn’t be blocked, as the air needs to circulate to ensure safe food preservation.

• Keep the refrigerator temperature at 36ºF to 38ºF and the freezer no colder than 0ºF to 5ºF. Inexpensive refrigerator and freezer thermometers can help you maintain the right temperature.

• Clean gaskets on the refrigerator and freezer doors with mild detergent and water - not bleach - to ensure a good seal and prevent wasted energy.

Spruce Up the Yard

• Inspect the deck and stairways for any loose boards or railings and tighten them up.

• Give your lawn mower a check-up to ensure you can mow efficiently and safely. Consider buying extended service plans for your appliances and power tools for your peace of mind and to make service and repairs easier.

• After mowing the lawn, break out the trimmer and edger to tidy up the sides and corners of your yard.

For more tips on getting ready for summer fun, visit