We're all spending more time inside these days...If you’re like us the words “spring” and “cleaning” in the same sentence usually make us turn the other way, but in an effort to add some structure to our days and get ahead on spring cleaning, we've started a 10-Day Declutter Challenge! Whether you're waiting on this uncertainty to pass before listing your home for sale this spring or you just want to tidy up a bit around the house - this challenge is for you! Before you deep clean everything, you need to declutter. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to clean. Our 10-Day Declutter Challenge will help you slowly tackle decluttering your home to make it a little less daunting and a little more fun if you’re the type of person who likes to cross things off a to-do list every day. Happy decluttering!
Make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #10DayDeclutterChallenge!
DAY ONEJunk Drawers & CountertopsBefore diving too deep in grandma’s china we’ll start small. Everyone has at least one (or two) junk drawers in their kitchen. Clean these out first, throw away any actual “junk” and organize the rest.
DAY TWO Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer Remember those frozen pretzels you bought last year when you were craving them? They’ve probably expired or will stay in there for another year so it’s probably best to toss them. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer to get rid of all expired and unwanted food items.
DAY THREE Kitchen CabinetsNow we can dive into the good stuff. If you’re the type of person who loves getting free cups at every event you go to or has way too many plates it may be time to part ways. You can donate anything you don’t need or toss anything that’s been used too much.
The Living Room
DAY FOUR Books, Movies, and the Mail PileUnless you’re stuck in the ’90s or like to collect DVD’s there’s no reason to keep piles of them. You can toss them out, give them away, or put them in a box tucked away.
DAY FIVE Toys, Games, and/or Office SuppliesIf you have kids, it’s likely you have a lot of toys laying around. Go through the toys and games they’ve outgrown and set them aside to donate.
After decluttering your living room, here are some tips on how to stage if you are considering selling soon.
DAY SIX ClothesIf you haven’t heard of Maire Kondo yet, she has great tips on how to sort through your clothes that actually work. Check them out here.
DAY SEVEN Shoes and AccessoriesJust like with your clothes, sort through your shoes, belts, bags, hats, and anything else that may be hiding in your closet. Throw out or donate things that don’t fit or are not used anymore.
DAY EIGHT Under the SinkThe space under your sink is probably filled with a couple of things... cleaning products, old lotions, and a few half-used bottles of shampoo. Take some time to go through which products you'll actually use and toss the ones you know you won't or those that have expired.
DAY NINE Linen Closet and Medicine Cabinet Did you know that medicine expires? It does, so those old prescriptions and cough medicine should probably get tossed out. This would be a great time to put old towels in the garage for chores and to refold all the towels in that one perfect way.
DAY TEN Nightstands and Tops of DressersFor the last day, let's clear off your nightstands and the top of your dressers and first give them a good dusting. We find that these areas are often neglected and tend to collect a lot of dust. Then, re-evaluate what you have on top of these spaces - is everything functional? Do the remote batteries need to be replaced? Can you get rid of anything here?
Buying a home is often a very exciting time, as it represents a significant life achievement and financial success. However, new homebuyers can overlook some important considerations in all of the excitement, leading them to make potentially costly mistakes. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to be aware of them right from the beginning. If you are looking to buy a home, here are some common homebuyer mistakes to avoid:
1) GETTING A HOME AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUDGETWhen buying a home — especially your first home — it may be tempting to go all out and get your dream house. You will start rationalizing more expensive properties to yourself because you fall in love with them, even if they are over your budget. Breaking your budget is a bad idea, and the best way to keep yourself from doing so is to get preapproved for a mortgage first. Even then you should strive to come in at least 15-20 percent under your preapproved amount. Just because you can afford something right now doesn’t mean that your financial situation might not change in the future. It is always better to play it safe.
2) FORGETTING ABOUT ADDITIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP COSTSOne of the main reasons why you should always stay within your budget is that homeownership comes with many hidden costs which can really add up. You need to be aware of the property taxes, utility costs, insurance and maintenance costs that are going to come with your new home. If you don’t take these costs into account when coming up with your budget, you will have a difficult time making all of your monthly payments on the house.
3) FORGOING A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONThe importance of getting a professional inspection before finalizing a sale on a home cannot be overstated, as it can save you from unexpected costs in the future. A house may look like it is in great shape and worth every penny, but a professional inspector can tell you if you will be looking at needing to make major and costly repairs after your purchase. This information can help you back out of a bad deal in time, or, if you’re willing to make the repairs, negotiate the price of the home.
4) NOT CONSIDERING THE RESALE VALUE OF YOUR HOMEWhen in the processes of buying a new home, one of the last things you are probably going to consider is the home’s potential resale value. If you love the home and you plan to stay there forever, then why give any thought to selling it one day? Any number of life changes could mean needing to move again in the future. The time may come when you will want or need to sell the house, so ensuring that it has good resale value before you buy may help you out immensely in the future.
5) RELYING ON VERBAL AGREEMENTSWhen buying a new home, you should never rely solely on verbal agreements. It is in your best interest to get everything in writing before agreeing to the sale. Failing to get a seller to agree to your offer in writing can also open the door for another buyer to come in with a lower offer at the last minute and steal the property out from under you! Getting everything in writing is a must. Review the contract carefully with your real estate agent. Homebuyers are sometimes shocked to walk into their new home only to find that there are no kitchen appliances or light fixtures, for example.
Wishing you and your family
a FUN and SAFE 4th of July!
And please don't forget about your furry family members!
Here are some 4th of July safety tips for dog owners:
As The Denver Metro Area has become a booming area for not just potential homeowners, investors and more flock to get a piece of real estate. The more we become another New York, California culture, we become united with all the different types of people that enter our beautiful state to create an everlasting rich satisfying place to live! From our mountains to our need for CBD we have cultivated in to so much more than just what we used to be known as, a cow town.
Was it Legalization of Marijuana that caused our up beat new found destination? To watch out of state plates is the new slug bug of road trips here in Colorado. I do believe now that other states are legalizing we will start to see a slight downward hill but not a crash. This might help even out the prices for those trying to buy as well.
To unify and to watch so many move to our great state just makes it even more robusk with intellectuality of those all over the Globe, not just the United States. Being in the Real Estate business I have had the pleasure of working with people all over and now they have joined our fine state. What more could a girl ask for. The growing population is wonderful however it has caused an unbelievable need for affordable housing pushing some natives out of where they were raised.
You will see signs that say No Vacancy to others frustrated with the all hours of the day traffic but we need to be in realization that this will not define us. We welcome everyone on all four corners of our beautiful state regardless of race, gender or beliefs. To give back to our community in such a way to fix our affordable housing issue has always been a goal of mine.
The current affordable housing programs that exist do not work properly. As the income limitations make not sense. Say for instance you have to make under $40,000.00 for income qualifications but to purchase the home you have to make $70,000 to qualify. Makes no sense right? Also, why would someone want to buy affordable housing if you can't keep your equity? Well that makes it just renting from the government.There needs to be some rules established, like you must live in Colorado for more than 5 years to apply. The potential homeowners should be allowed to keep their equity and sell for a profit after 5 years also. There should be reasonable income limits also. I plan on finding a route to fix this by obtaining cheap land and building on it. These are dreams but I have often made dreams reality so let's just leave it there.
Spring break is right away the corner and if you call Denver home, you don’t have to book a flight to have a killer spring break trip. Whether you’re traveling with college pals or taking the whole family on a trip, there are plenty of spring break destinations just a few hours outside the city. From local ski resorts to a mild outdoor excursion in Utah, we’ve got a few spring break destinations that you can reach by car in under ten hours.
Aspen is a four-hour drive from Denver and great for snow bunnies who pretty much just want to ski the entire vacation. Aspen has four distinct ski areas all within the same lift ticket, so there is something for everyone regardless of skill level. This legendary ski town has plenty of snow this spring and nothing beats skiing in March when the sun is out. Plus, Aspen Snowmass is hosting free concerts all of March as part of their Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert Series.
Colorado Springs, Co
It only takes two hours (or less) to get to Colorado Springs from Denver, though we’d suggest taking the four-wheel drive on this trip because vacationing in Colorado Springs is all about outdoor activities. Pack up and take a drive through Pikes Peak Highway — which is a safe mountain climb that lets you view the city’s beauty from up high. Colorado Springs is also home to Garden of the Gods and its breathtaking red rock formations, which is a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking. If you’re feeling fancy, stay at the historic Broadmoor resort and check out nearby Seven Falls, a series of waterfalls with nearby hiking trails that have been dubbed “The Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado.”
Steamboat Springs, Co
Steamboat Springs is a quick three-hour jaunt from downtown Denver, making it the perfect ski getaway — even for a weekend. Steamboat Springs has a hidden attraction that the other ski towns like Telluride and Aspen don’t — geothermal hot springs. Hot springs are said to have therapeutic properties, so a long soak does a body good after a full day on the slopes. The popular Old Town Hot Springs has eight pools, including water slides.
Telluride is further out than most ski towns, but the six-hour drive is worth it. Telluride feels like taking a step back in time to the Wild West and many consider it to be the best Colorado ski resort. Downtown Telluride is the best spot for soaking up history and partying at night, but if you’re traveling with little ones, Telluride’s next door neighbor Mountain Village is newly developed, safe, and close to tons of child-friendly slopes, sledding hills, and the ice rink.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you want to ditch the snow, Santa Fe, New Mexico might be where it’s at. Crossing state lines takes six hours by car and it’s worth it to experience this unique melting pot of Hispanic, Anglo, and Native American cultures. Southwest food, the art scene, and Pueblo-style architecture reign supreme in Santa Fe, plus the city has the 3rd largest State Museum system in the country.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Rapid City, South Dakota is a great place to stay if a visit to nearby Mt. Rushmore is on the itinerary. Though most people visit the national monument in the summer, spring is a great off-peak time to visit and beat the crowds. Cruise down the U.S. Highway 385's scenic drive through the Black Hills and Badlands as you pass waterfalls, canyons, and creeks. As for Rapid City itself, you can experience the downtown art and culture scene or head to the outskirts and get up close and personal with nature at Reptile Gardens or Bear Country USA. The entire drive from Denver is a little over six hours.
Moab, Utah is situated just outside Arches National Park and its more than 2000 natural arch-shaped rock formations. Though Arches is the real draw here, Moab, Utah is also home to sites like Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge, where you can see authentic dinosaur tracks. Early spring is the best time to visit Moab, as the weather is cool but mild and it’s just outside peak season. It takes a little over five hours to drive here from Denver.
As a Realtor it is always important as a Buyer to pay attention to overly high HOA fees. This is be a sign that there is a special assessment that is causing the fee to keep going up. Pay attention if the HOA is over $280 no matter what. You’re right to take homeowner’s association fees into account when buying a property. They represent the ongoing obligation you’ll have as an owner to pitch in on the costs of building and maintaining common areas and in some cases parts of your own property, such as a shared roof or walls.
The possibility exists that these fees will rise. The trouble is, that possibility exists whether the fees are high now or not. In fact, unusually low fees are sometimes a sign that the association hasn’t been able to talk the owners into paying for needed maintenance, repairs, and improvements. The day will come when they can’t put this off any longer, and you may have to pay some whopping special assessments along with the usual fees.
Too-high fees can also be a problem, of course, particularly if they exceed some owners’ ability to pay, resulting in disputes and foreclosures.
You’ll definitely want to do more than take the existing monthly fees at face value when considering buying a home in an HOA. Check out:
1. Whether the HOA is embroiled in any financial or legal disputes – or soon to be. This means they are being sued. Be cautious of this. Check the title work correctly.
2. The dollar amount that the HOA has in reserve (it needs money to draw on if a sudden repair or emergency arises)
3. Under what circumstances the HOA can impose special assessments or other fees, and whether it has done so recently, and
4. The number of owners who are paying the fees that they owe (if more than 15% of them aren’t complying, the HOA may be in trouble already)
As you read this, you may realize that you’ve probably heard this information before. Would you accept our invitation to re-visit these ideas with an open mind and an intention to help yourself alleviate the damaging effects of prolonged stress?
There is unanimous agreement among healthcare professionals that stress can make you sick, reduce your quality of life and in some cases, even end your life. High blood pressure, insomnia, digestive disorders, premature aging, and depression are just some of the risks of unmanaged anxiety. What is also true is that it is often insidious. We get accustomed to the internal “buzz” that stress creates, and it just becomes integrated into our every day experience. We may tell ourselves that we are fine, or even feel pleased about getting through yet another day of pressure without having a meltdown. We might not even notice that we are living our lives in “fight or flight” mode – when we have a strong stress reaction, the chemicals secreted by the brain stay with us, even when the acute stress has passed.
Many people accept that this is just a fact of life – you may tell yourself that you are a caregiver, a corporate executive, a parent, an adult child of a declining parent, a small business owner – and that stress is just part of that kind of responsibility. Maybe so – but there are strong indications that the residuals of constant stress need attention for us to stay well.
Each of us has the ability to do something about it. Maybe preventing it entirely is unrealistic – but can you improve how you of handling these moments? Although this is not new information, it might be helpful to pause, and take a look at the influence that stress is having on your life. Maybe there is nothing to do about the actual stressors – they are real and often not in your control. Don’t give up - the process doesn’t end there. Consider that trying to reduce or change the cause of the stress may not be the only answer and that managing your response to it might be another option. Trying to change the fact that your Mom has dementia, or your adolescent kid is defiant and difficult with you, or that the company you work for is being sold and your job security is up in the air – well, that’s a pretty tall order. But what could you do?
Following are some suggestions. Why not take 60 seconds, take a breath, and read them with an open mind? Is there just one thing on this list that you might try to reduce what are known to be damaging chemical responses in your body?
Any of these strategies might change your habitual response and help your nervous system cope with the effect that stress inevitably will have on your well- being. Challenge yourself to pick just one and notice any difference in how you feel.
Try at least one of these for a month (take it a day, or a moment, at a time). It is unlikely that you will not discover some benefit in taking better care of yourself. As we’ve all heard “This is not a dress rehearsal”. It is our only chance to enjoy this life.
Staying up with all the new data that come in can be challenging but that is what we are here for