Posts Tagged Kim

Interest Rates Continue at Historic Lows

Interest Rates

The chart above tracks interest rates over the past 200 years.  We are experiencing interest rates nearly as low as anytime over that period of time.  Our challenge is making those rates available for the average home purchaser.  We continue to see underwriting guidelines that penalize the home buyer with relatively solid credit, good income, and sufficient cash for a down payment.  Lenders obviously got burned during the recession but they are turning away good business.  It makes no sense.  I don’t see the housing market making a strong recovery until lenders change their lending practices.

In the meantime, those buyers who can qualify for a mortgage will get an incredible deal.  Kim and I are considering refinancing again after refinancing just last year.  I’m a firm believer in the quote “It’s not the price but the terms” and the terms are pretty good at the moment.

Thanks to Devon DeCrausaz, Branch Manager & Vice President at MegaStar Financial Corp for use of the chart.  MegaStar is one of the few lenders with common sense lending practices.

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Darius Rucker – A Great Concert at the Gerald Ford Amphitheater (minus the rain)

Kim and I attended the recent Darius Rucker concert at the Gerald Ford Amphitheater in Vail, Colorado.  This is the third year Darius has played a benefit concert for the Steadman Hawkins Research Center in Vail.  It was also the third time Kim and I attended.

Darius puts on a great concert, full of energy with amazing clarity.  Of course, the GFA is a great venue to view the concert.  However, as it happened last year, it rained for almost the entire concert.  But Kim and I are veterans and came prepared to sit on the grass and deal with the rain.  So we managed to stay dry while enjoying the concert.

The place was packed.  Hopefully Darius will return next year.

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Vail Valley Annual Highway Clean-up Day – A Fun and Productive Way to Spend the Morning

Kim and I participated in the Vail Valley Annual Highway Clean-up day last Saturday.  What a great way to spend the morning.  We joined the Prudential crew at mile market 156 just west of the Wolcott exit.

It is a little intimidating picking up trash with 18 wheelers wizzing by at 75 MPH.  Most drivers are very courteous and slow down in respect for the workers.

It was also a beautiful day.  You really never know what you are going to find.  Very few treasures but lots of bottles, cans, auto parts, and some unmentionables.

There is a party afterward where everyone shows off their most interesting finds. We came in second this year with our discovery you can see in the photo below.

It was a fun day spent with some great folks.




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We Just Refinanced and are Saving Over $400/mo!

I was somewhat shocked when a few months ago Wells Fargo (they hold our 1st mortgage) called and asked if I wanted to refinance at a rate about 1% below where I was at.  They said the closing costs were minimal and an appraisal wasn’t needed.  I just needed to confirm that our employment situation hadn’t changed for Kim and I.  I asked what was the catch?  It seemed rather strange for a bank to call me and ask if I wanted to lower my interest rate on my mortgage so they would make less money.

I started thinking about it and realized they were concerned about losing my business.  I had been considering refinancing with another lender. It probably helped that we had high credit scores and no missed payments.

So we signed our name a few times and sat back while Wells Fargo did their thing.  After about 6 weeks, they said the docs were ready and we could close.

We went to the title company yesterday and lowered our monthly payments by over $400!  Yeeeee Hawwww!  Our closing costs were so low we can pay those off in about 4 months.

It is a strange world to say the least.  People wanting  new loans struggle to qualify in this lending environment but then lenders are turning around and giving away money at lower interest rates.  There is something seriously wrong with this picture.  I think I know the answer but I don’t want to get political, only celebrate that we were on the right side of this transaction.

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Crested Butte – A Diamond in the Rough

Kim and I visited Crested Butte last weekend to spend a few days outside the Vail Valley.  We had a fabulous time.  We were lucky that Nick Herrin, Director, Resort Services & The Ski and Ride School for Crested Butte, was able to hook us up with some discounts for lodging and lift tickets.

We stayed at The Elevation Hotel in Mt.  Crested Butte, which is the small village at the base of the mountain.  It is not only a wonderful hotel with large, comfortable guest rooms, it is located just steps from the lifts.  The rooms come equipped with a small kitchen and separate living room area.  The only item on our wish list was an outdoor hot tub.

The skiing was amazing.  Both Kim and I like skiing the steeps and we got our fill.  Crested Butte has some of the steepest, most gnarly terrain we have skied.  Some of the more popular expert runs still needed some snow to completely cover the rocks but nearly everything was skiable.

We really enjoyed the runs off the North Face T-Bar.  That is Kim in the photos skiing Hawk’s Nest, a double black diamond.  The snow was excellent and the bumps well shaped.

Kim and I explored a couple of local restaurants at night and came away well satisfied.  We ate at Django’s, a tapas restaurant in Mt. Crested Butte.  The restaurant offered a variety of dishes we could share.  The signature dish is deep fried brussel sprouts, something we wondered about but thoroughly enjoyed.

The next night we tried Maxwell’s in Crested Butte, a short 15 minute bus ride down the mountain from Mt. Crested Butte.  Maxwell’s is a local steak house full of life and character.  The food was excellent, the portions generous, and the prices reasonable.

I can highly recommend Crested Butte if you are thinking of a vacation to a beautiful mountain destination.





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