Friday, January 31, 2020

UWM enters the big leagues, unveils first Super Bowl commercial

Quicken Loans may be the “official mortgage sponsor” of the NFL and the face of the Rocket Mortgage Super Bowl Squares Sweepstakes, but one of its biggest lending rivals is dialing up its own big play on Super Bowl Sunday.

United Wholesale Mortgage, which is now one of the largest lenders in the country, will air its first Super Bowl commercial during this year’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

The commercial is the lender’s first Super Bowl ad and the ad itself is a direct shot across Quicken Loans’ bow. 

The ad, which can be seen below, opens with a swipe about how playing with rockets is fun when you’re a kid, but not so much when you’re an adult. 

The ad highlights the “” website, which is powered by UWM and helps borrowers find a mortgage broker in their area.

The ad claims that by using a mortgage broker, who work with various lenders instead of just one, borrowers can get a “faster, easier, more affordable” mortgage than the one they’d get using Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage or other lenders.

UWM and Quicken Loans are no strangers to competing against each other. Both are among the top lenders in the country, but UWM only does wholesale, while Quicken Loans does retail (mainly through Rocket at this point) as well as wholesale, through Quicken Loans Mortgage Services.

In fact, one might even say that the companies are rivals, as seen a couple of years ago when each company accused the other of underhanded dealings in the competition for borrowers.

But by advertising during the Super Bowl, UWM is following a path originally laid out by Quicken Loans, which rolled out its first Super Bowl commercial four years ago.

The commercial unveiled Rocket Mortgage and its tagline “Push Button. Get Mortgage” to the nation as a whole, but that tagline led to some serious confusion and angst among the public at large.

But Quicken Loans wasn’t the only lender to make a big push during the Super Bowl that day. SoFi also advertised during Super Bowl 50, spending 20% of its ad budget on its Super Bowl commercial.

SoFi was back the next year, although it took a different approach, choosing to buy one of the ad spots that would run only if the game went into overtime. That year’s game actually did go into overtime, leading to a big win for SoFi.

Quicken Loans returned to the Super Bowl advertising game a couple of years later, hiring actor Keegan-Michael Key to appear in its ad, which was much more well-received than its first go-round.

Super Bowl viewers will apparently see another Quicken Loans commercial this year, as the lender has recently been teasing an appearance from Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa in its ad.

Quicken Loans’ commercial will be a national spot, likely costing the lender somewhere between $5 million and $5.6 million if the ad is 30 seconds. If it’s longer, the price goes up, of course. And that doesn’t factor in how much it cost to produce the ad itself.

UWM, on the other hand, is taking a more targeted approach. The company’s ad will be available in “select markets,” the company told HousingWire.

The company did not indicate which markets those would be, but the move to advertise on what will be the most-watched TV program of the year in every market is still a big play for the already sizable lender.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

East Peak 8 development hearing pushed back

#Breckenridge #Colorado

The East Peak 8 development de novo hearing has been pushed back to Feb. 25 due to a request by the applicant. The hearing regarding the development was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28 after the development was called up by council at the Jan. 14 town council meeting.
While rare, a call up by council of a project that had been approved by the planning commission means that council will, after a hearing, determine if the project can move forward or not. At the Jan. 14 meeting, Breckenridge Town Council voiced concern about the project, particularly the membership piece, which allows 150 additional people to access and potentially park at the development, although no parking plans have been solidified.
At the Breckenridge Town Council work session on Tuesday, Jan. 28, town attorney Tim Berry presented a request from the developer, Lionheart-LH Mountain Ventures. The developer requested that they supplement their development application to council with a traffic study on Ski Hill Road to study the effects on traffic of the potential club membership. Berry commented that staff believes this study would be helpful and requested that it be reviewed by an independent third party selected by the town. In order to conduct the study, the applicant requested that the de novo hearing be moved to Feb. 25. 
Council member Jeffrey Bergeron asked if this would change the application or supplement the existing application. Berry said that depending on the findings of the study, it could change the application. Council agreed to push the hearing to Feb. 25.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Fed holds rate steady, cites “muted” inflation

The Federal Reserve left its benchmark rate unchanged on Wednesday, though it downgraded its assessment of the consumer spending that unpins about 70% of the U.S. economy.
In a statement issued at the end of its two-day meeting, the Fed said it would keep the federal funds rate in the current target range of 1.5% to 1.75% after cutting it by a quarter percentage point three times last year.

All the members of the Federal Open Market Committee approved the decision, the second consecutive unanimous vote.

The Fed downgraded its assessment of household spending to “moderate” after describing it as “strong” in December. Policymakers reiterated their description of inflation as “muted,” and pledged to monitor economic developments.

“The Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook, including global developments and muted inflation pressures,” the statement said.

While the Fed doesn’t directly control home-loan rates, its decisions and statements influence the bond investors who do. If investors are willing to accept lower yields, usually based on an expectation that inflation will remain low, that translates into lower mortgage rates.

The fallout from the U.S.-China trade war has been an overriding concern for Fed policymakers, who see it as a drag on the economy. The U.S. and China signed a “Phase One” trade agreement on Jan. 15 that halved the latest round of tariffs, which primarily hit retail goods, but didn’t touch the most punishing levies from the first 18 months of the trade war.

Those retail tariffs caused a “big drop” in consumer spending in the fourth quarter that’s persisted into the new year, said Seth Carpenter, chief U.S. economist for UBS, one of the world’s largest investment banks.

The trade deal with China “is going to cut those retail tariffs in half but not until February, so you have five and a half months of higher tariffs for a retail sector that’s already struggling,” Carpenter said in an interview. “We think that causes a temporary slowdown in the U.S. economy for the first half of the year.”

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Breckenridge January Real Estate Update

House to vote on credit reporting reform bill

The House of Representatives is poised to vote on a package of credit reporting reforms this week that includes banning the inclusion of mortgage delinquencies if it’s determined lenders engaged in discriminatory or abusive practices.

The package also gives the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the authority to test and regulate credit scoring models for accuracy and predictive value. Other changes include: Reducing the time late payments stay on reports; barring the inclusion of medical debts for procedures deemed medically necessary; removing citations of student debt within 45 days if the CFPB or a court finds the lender engaged in fraud.

The House Rules Committee meets on Monday at 5 p.m. to set the terms of debate, and the full House could pass the bill as soon as Tuesday.

While a Republican-controlled Senate isn’t likely to debate the bill, it’s a harbinger of what’s in store if voters hand majority control of both chambers of Congress to Democrats in November’s election.

More than 100 bills passed by the House have died at the door of the Senate. In April, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said: “If I’m still the majority leader of the Senate, think of me as the Grim Reaper. None of that stuff is going to pass. None of it.”

If Democrats win big in the next election, the credit reforms outlined in the House package could become law next year, said Jaret Seiberg, managing director of Cowen Washington Research Group.

“These measures are all negative for the bureaus and credit score producers, though we don’t see a path for them in the Senate,” Seiberg said. “The risk would be if Democrats sweep Capitol Hill in November.”

Last week, Fair Isaac said it is updating the secret formula for FICO scores in a way that will make it tougher for some consumers to get credit. The new formula scores consumers more strictly for things like late payments and rising debt levels.

Monday, January 27, 2020

#Coloradorealestate #Breckenridgerealestate

#Breckenridge #Realestate

The premier location in the prestigious Chateau condominiums in The Village at Breckenridge project. 

True ski-in/ski-out right at the base of Peak 9. 

In town and just moments from Main Street.  The ideal location.  The ideal investment. 

2 bedroom/2 bath.  Everything has been updated and it is a turnkey property. 

Rental income others just dream of.

Project has multiple hot tubs, indoor/outdoor pool, fitness area, front desk, underground parking and is surrounded by  retail shops and restaurants.

Contact Nancy L Yearout today for more information:  970-485-0292,  Don't let this one get away.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Summit County’s adoptable pets for the week of Jan. 26, 2020

The following animals are available for adoption at the Summit County Animal Shelter. Call the shelter at 970-668-3230 with questions.
Michael Yearout Photography


ASHTON, 8 months, domestic shorthair, black, neutered male
CATALONIA, 8 years, domestic shorthair mix, white and gray, spayed female
CLARA BOW, 5 months, domestic shorthair, brown tabby, spayed female
DECKER, 3 years, domestic shorthair, brown tabby, neutered male
KRIS, 4 years, domestic longhair, black and white, spayed female
MARIA, 7 years, domestic shorthair, gray tabby, spayed female
MISTER, 7 years, domestic shorthair, gray and white tabby, neutered male
MORRIS, 6 years, domestic shorthair mix, apricot, neutered male
NOD, 10 weeks, domestic mediumhair, black and gray, unaltered female
NUTMEG, 4 years, domestic shorthair mix, tortoiseshell, spayed female
PENELOPE, 3 years, domestic shorthair, gray tabby, spayed female
TINKERBELL, 7 years, domestic shorthair, gray and white tabby, spayed female
TWINKLE, 10 weeks, domestic mediumhair, black and brown, unaltered female
WINKLE, 10 weeks, domestic mediumhair, black and brown, unaltered male 


ABE, 5 years, German shorthaired pointer mix, black and blue ticked, neutered male
BENJI, 1 year 6 months, German shepherd mix, black and tan, neutered male 
DRAKE, 10 months, Labrador retriever, black and white, neutered male
JOE, 9 months, Australian shepherd mix, brown and black, neutered male 
KERA, 3 years, American foxhound and Catahoula leopard hound mix, tan and white, spayed female
LEVI, 4 years, pit bull terrier, blue and white, neutered male
LINKIN, 1 year 6 months, German shepherd mix, black and tan, neutered male
LUCY, 3 years, Plott hound mix, brindle and white, spayed female
LULU, 8 months, German shepherd and Labrador retriever mix, black and white, spayed female
LUNA, 3 years, German shepherd mix, black and brown, spayed female
NELSON, 1 year 6 months, Labrador retriever, tan, neutered male
NORMAN, 2 years, Labrador retriever and English coonhound mix, black and white, neutered male
OREO, 8 months, Australian cattle dog and pit bull terrier mix, white and black, spayed female
PUMPKIN, 2 years, pit bull terrier, red and white, spayed female
SARAH, 3 years, Chinese sharpei mix, red, spayed female

Guinea pigs

CHANNEL, no age, Guinea pig, red and white, unaltered male
GUCCI, no age, Guinea pig, calico, unaltered male
PRADA, no age, Guinea pig, calico, unaltered male

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Winners announced for 30th International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge

#Breckenridge #Colorado

 The winner of the 30th annual International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge — for the second year in a row — is Team Mexico with its sculpture “Greed,” according to the Breckenridge Tourism Office.  Pictured above.
The sculpture features a gluttonous king in the act of devouring food while sitting in a pile of it. The work aims to remind us that “there is a thin line between wanting more and having enough.”
The team comprised captain Carlos Migues Ramirez Pereyra, Georgina Gonzalez, Jessie Armand and Marianne Paquette. 
Winning silver was a team from Great Britain with its amusing sculpture, “Nice to Meet You,” which depicts two playful pups “greeting each other in the way that dogs always do.” The team was composed of captain Philippa Unwin, Mark Luscombe, Patrick Barker and Andy Clark. 
Winning Bronze this year is an American team from Wisconsin with its presentation of “Duality of the Soul.” The sculpture of a dual-faced deity “represents the duality within all of us.” The team comprised captain Bob Lechtenberg, Joshua Jakubowski, Adam Turner and Michael Lechtenberg.
Sixteen teams from around the world competed this week to hand-carve 20-ton blocks of snow into enormous, intricate works of art. Artists were allowed to use only hand tools, creativity and inspiration to bring their ideas to life.
Fans can vote for the People’s Choice award at through Saturday.
Courtesy Summit Daily.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Summit High School student competes at 30th International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge

#Breckenridge #Colorado

For the past 30 years, Breckenridge has welcomed teams of talented sculptors to make intricate pieces of art out of 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of snow. These competitors have spent about 65 hours this week to craft their designs without using power tools.
Alongside 11 other countries, the United States teams invited include Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont and Breckenridge, which will have local event co-founder Rob Neyland on the team. This year, organizers didn’t need to look far to find young blood eager to participate.
Eli Krawczuk-Cochrane, 15, has been sculpting for three years at the International Snow Sculpture Championships, usually on noncompetition sponsor blocks. His first was a collection of interactive toy blocks with a slide, and last year he helped on Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey’s teardrop trailer. Then when members of Team India got sick, Krawczuk-Cochrane had the fateful opportunity to actually compete at age 14 by assisting them in finishing their sculpture. 
Coaching and mentoring Krawczuk-Cochrane is family friend Rick Seeley. A graphic designer, artist and professional snow sculptor, Seeley has been participating in the international event for 17 years. His team placed third at Berthoud’s state competition this winter, while last year they finished first and won best in show. In Breckenridge, he can frequently be seen working on the sponsored designs and judging the international competition.
But lately, more of his time has been spent fostering other young teams and mentoring students around Summit and Park counties. Seeley gets the kids familiar with the tools but also coaches them on how to stay positive and keep a proper mindset as they work on “taking away what isn’t.” 
“Like Bob Ross used to say, ‘There’s no mistakes, just happy accidents,’” Seeley said. I just encourage them and let them know they can do this. Just giving them the opportunity to dive in when they say they don’t know how.”
 If You Go
What: 30th International Snow Sculpture Championships
When: Jan. 24-29. Awards ceremony is at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 followed by the illumination of the sculptures at 7. The sculptures will come down at 7 p.m. Jan. 29.
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: Free. Visit for more information and to vote on your favorite before polls close Jan. 25.
Seeley said Krawczuk-Cochrane is the youngest kid he’s seen who has continued to pursue the art.
“I definitely want to stick with snow sculpting,” Krawczuk-Cochrane said. “It’s a really cool form of art, and it’s just a really awesome field to be a part of already and to continue to grow. It could be something a lot bigger than it is now, and it’s just an amazing thing that would be great to continue in the future.”
Part of the appeal of the medium is that there are no cash prizes at this competition. All competitors do it out of their love for sculpting and forming bonds with the visiting teams.
“It’s very rewarding when you put a piece together and have it come to fruition,” Seeley said. “What’s so interesting about the snow sculpting community, we’re different than any other community that does any kind of sculpture and competition. We want everyone to succeed.”

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Frisco council focuses on phase two of Marina Park improvements

#Frisco #Colorado

The Frisco Town Council has turned its attention back to the marina as the town moves forward with the second phase of the Frisco Marina Park Master Plan.
In August, the town officially cut the ribbon on the “Big Dig” project — a grand reopening of the marina park following the excavation of 85,000 cubic yards of dirt from the lakebed, lowering the floor by as much as 13 feet in some areas and creating about four new acres of land for future improvements.
Now, with spring approaching, officials and staff with the town are beginning to focus in on what’s next.
At the Frisco Town Council meeting last week, Matt Stais of Frisco-based Stais Architecture & Interiors and Elena Scott of Norris Design provided councilors with a presentation on preliminary design options for the phase two site improvements outlined in the master plan, which was adopted in 2018. The designs touch on a number of coming upgrades, including parking, the main entrance, walkways, lawn space, and a new fuel system and lift station, among others.  
But the biggest pieces of the project are likely the new guest service and office building set for construction later this year and the potential repurposing of the Lund House and food and beverage spaces on-site.
“We’re on to phase two improvements, which we’re hoping will include a new marina office building, repurposing of the Lund House, the Island Grill and baths,” Stais said. “The infrastructure is also very important for the phase two area: water, sewer, electric and gas. … Basically, we are hoping to build onto the Big Dig from phase one, address immediate needs and allow for future growth.”
During the presentation, Stais proposed placing a new single-story, 2,290-square-foot office building along the south side of the park, to the east of the existing Island Grill location. The structure is expected to be considerably smaller than the initial design (4,846 square feet), though staff is hopeful the new concept can provide a cheaper option that would still offer plenty of new office space for marina staff in addition to expanded retail space. While smaller than expected, Stais noted the design would remain flexible to allow for expansion as operations at the marina continue to grow.
“The key to phase two is not putting things in the wrong place,” Stais said. “We want to make sure the work we do, whether it’s with utilities or buildings, will allow for future flexibility. We’re talking about another 10, 20, 30, 40 years — there’s a lot of connections going out to Summit Boulevard and to Main Street, and from Main Street to the mountains. We want to make sure we put things in the right location and allow for that future growth.”