Tag Archives: Breckenridge

6 Ways to Supersize Your Small Kitchen for the Holidays

There comes a time in your life when eventually you have to host your family or friends for the holidays. Realtor.com explains some useful ways to make your small kitchen seem a lot larger. 


 

6 Ways to Supersize Your Small Kitchen for the Holidays

By: Deborah Kearns

With Thanksgiving around the corner, odds are you’ll soon be spending plenty of time in your kitchen. (Maybe even way more then you want!) Adding to the holiday stress levels: if your culinary workspace is tight, turning out meals for a crowd may be a real challenge, especially with more helpers (aka family members) around. Don’t panic! You still have time for some kitchen-organizing hacks that can bring some order to the chaos. Plus, you can get inspiration for how to maximize your small space for next year.

1. Plan where everything will go

Before you head to Williams-Sonoma and start swooning over gravy boats shaped like roasted turkeys, take stock of what you already own and plan out how you’ll organize everything, says Susie Kurkowski, owner of Items of Interest, a home decor boutique in Brooklyn, NY.

You may have to do a holiday-specific reorg—as usual, the items you’ll use most (such as dishes, cups, and mixing bowls) should be within arm’s reach, but you’ll also need to get out your heirloom casserole dishes and other items for serving. After the big meal, those special-occasion dishes can go back into storage where they’ll be safe but won’t get in the way of your daily routine.

You’ll also want to limit the number of small appliances (just stick them in a closet, if there’s nowhere else) on your countertops, to free up prep space. And again, when the festivities are over, you may want to rethink what you put back out. The Keurig you use daily? Yes, that can remain. The dusty waffle maker you got as a wedding present and haven’t used since 2009? Say adios!

2. Pimp out your cabinets with custom inserts

Whether you inherited an antique kitchen with equally outdated shelving or you’re starting from scratch, it’s smart to buy custom inserts to organize each nook and cranny, Kurkowski says. You’ll be able to put away more things—without putting them out of reach. She recommends Rev-A-Shelf’s products, which include pullout inserts, Lazy Susan spinners, tray dividers, and door storage.

“Sometimes store-bought cabinets come with weak shelving and inserts that don’t last, so it’s best to buy those items separately,” Kurkowski recommends. “Position like items such as dishes, bowls, and cups close together to make them easy to access, and use the inserts to store all of your small appliances, spices, and other necessities to keep them out of sight and off your counters.”

3. Invest in new appliances

Switching out appliances is one of the easiest ways to bring style, increased efficiency, and a higher resale value to your petite kitchen, Kurkowski says. Although stainless steel has been the preferred choice for the past decade, white appliances are coming into vogue. Certain sizes are considered the standard, but you can opt for smaller appliances to gain more storage inches in your cabinets. Just pay attention to the height, width, and depth. Most modern appliances are deeper than what you probably have now, and you don’t want new appliances to stick out past your countertops.

4. Go easy on color

If you want to add a touch of style, just know that small kitchens are not the place to let loose with dramatic hues. Choose a more subtle color, says Allison Petty, an interior designer with Homepolish. Just like with other small spaces, keep darker colors at the bottom of your kitchen and use lighter shades higher up. More and more homeowners are opting to paint lower cabinets a darker shade, like gray, and the uppers with a creamy white for contrast, Kurkowski says. The effect is dramatic: It brings the eye up and makes your kitchen appear more spacious.

That said, be careful with the backsplash, which is already in shadow. A white subway or hexagon tile goes flawlessly with most kitchen designs instead of dark granite or mosaic tile, Kurkowski says. Adding a backsplash is an inexpensive and dramatic way to add some visual pop, as long as you keep colors neutral.

5. Open up your space with light

Your kitchen is no place to skimp on lighting. Use bright lights over workspaces, Kurkowski says. If you’re blessed enough to have an island, invest in a showstopper light fixture. Hudson Valley Lighting has plenty of beautiful options. Recessed lighting for the rest of the kitchen works fine, but Kurkowski thinks track lighting is even better.

“If you put a track in a suspended rectangle junction box in your kitchen, you can have up to 12 lights on one track and point them at different areas in the kitchen,” Kurkowski notes. “It is less expensive than installing several fixtures that each require their own junction box.”

6. Give old cabinets and countertops new life

Don’t have the funds for a complete gut and reno? No worries: You can transform your outdated cabinets with paint, Petty says. A popular option with avid DIYers is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Another low-cost, eye-popping transformation is to change out or add new knobs and pulls, which can update the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank.

There’s no beating around the bush: Countertops are expensive to replace—even in small spaces. You’ll spend at least $4,000 for engineered quartz (a hot option right now). If you don’t have the money for a complete upgrade, consider painting laminate surfaces with Giani Countertop Paint (available at your local home improvement store for under $100).


 

The 4 Most Important Mortgage Documents You’ll Sign

Your signature is needed on so many documents when buying or selling a home. As of October 2015 there are new documents you need to sign for your mortgage. Not only does having a realtor help you keep track of everything, but they can help you manage getting it all done. Zillow blog examines the 4 most important documents you’ll have to sign for your Mortgage. 


 

The 4 Most Important Mortgage Documents You’ll Sign

When it comes to buying a home, knowing your way around the paperwork will help you feel more confident on closing day.

BY

Laws effected in October 2015 require home buyers to sign new documents during the mortgage process. Here’s a look at what has changed, and what you’ll be signing if you buy a home now.

Mortgage disclosure law changes in 2015

Consumers financing homes in the U.S. are protected from fee abuses by two main regulations: the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

Respectively, TILA and RESPA protect you from closing cost abuses and prevent housing service providers (like lenders, real estate agents and title companies) from giving each other referral fees for your business.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforces TILA and RESPA, and on October 3, 2015, the CFPB combined all previously required mortgage rate and fee disclosures into two simple forms to make it easier for consumers to understand their mortgages. This initiative is called the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID).

The Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure

The two forms TRID created are called the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure.

The Loan Estimate must be provided to you within three days of applying with a lender, and it replaced the Good Faith Estimate and Truth In Lending disclosures home buyers used to get prior to October 3, 2015. It details loan terms, projected payments over the life of your mortgage, and line item closing costs.

The Closing Disclosure must be provided to you at least three business days before closing on your mortgage, and it replaced the final settlement statement, which was also known as the HUD or HUD-1. It looks almost exactly like the Loan Estimate, but adds a breakdown of costs paid by buyer versus seller versus third parties. This means you’re reviewing final terms in the same format you saw in the Loan Estimate initially, and you’ve got three days to digest it before you close.

Make sure you read and understand the specific timing rules lenders (and you) must follow with these disclosures when closing a home purchase or refinance, because they could affect how long it takes to complete the mortgage process.

If you agree to go forward with closing after the Closing Disclosure’s three-day waiting period, you’ll also need to sign a full set of loan documents. Among those, the following two are most important.

The promissory note (aka “the note”)

The note is your loan contract, and contains the terms of your loan (such as 30-year fixed or 5-year ARM); specifies the rate, payment intervals and payment changes along the way; and states whether you’ll incur a prepayment penalty if you pay off the loan early.

In the note, you agree that your home is security for the loan, so your lender will have a claim to your property if you don’t repay according to the note’s terms. This note provision will refer to a separate document that’s the “security instrument,” called a mortgage or a deed of trust.

The security instrument (aka “the mortgage” or “the deed of trust”)

Both a mortgage and a deed of trust pledge the property as security for the note. Fannie Mae provides a list that specifies which states require mortgages vs. deeds of trust so you know which one you’ll sign along with your note based on where you live.

Depending on the loan you choose, you’ll need to comply with one of these three occupancy provisions contained in all mortgages and deeds of trust:

  • Owner-occupied. You must move into the property within 60 days of closing and live there as your primary residence for at least one year. Then you’re allowed to use it as a rental or a second home.
  • Second home. You can only use the property as a second home and aren’t allowed to rent the home.
  • Non-owner-occupied. You’re paying a higher rate for this loan, so you’re free to convert occupancy to owner-occupied or second home if and when you see fit.

Should You Buy a Home While Carrying Student Debt?

 on the Zillow.com blog examines what it means and how you can buy a house with student loan debt. There is some great advice from financial experts on how to move forward with buying a home financially. “The single most effective way to get rid of student loans while saving and building wealth is to live below your means. When you start significantly upgrading your lifestyle, you lose flexibility with your budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning” 


Should You Buy a Home While Carrying Student Debt?

Financial experts give their two cents on managing both student debt and a mortgage.

It’s challenging for first-time buyers to break into the housing market as rents keep rising and the inventory of low-value homes remains scarce in most areas. Add thousands of dollars of student debt to the equation and potential buyers may assume they simply cannot afford to buy. Recent data showed that home buyers who completed at least a bachelor’s degree are minimally affected by their student debt when shopping for homes.

Check out some tips from personal finance experts about acquiring mortgages while carrying significant student loan debt.

If you had student loan debt, what was your payment strategy to get rid of it?

I used the debt snowball method to pay off my student loan debt. In 2005, I still owed $13,000. Since my loans were serviced through Sallie Mae, I took advantage of the 1-year forbearance to pause my loan payments so I could aggressively pay off smaller loans that we owed. While the interest still accrues during the forbearance period, I was able to focus on clearing up other debt faster. After the year passed, I was able to start paying off my student loan with more traction. It only took another year and a half to retire the remaining student loan balance. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

Personally, I was lucky enough to make it through undergraduate and graduate school without accumulating any student debt. My wife, however, accumulated between $10,000 and $20,000 in student debt from going to a small private college for her undergraduate degree. Once we got married, I “married” her student debt as well. Currently, she still has around $11,000 in student loan debt. To manage the payoff, the first thing we did was to call the loan administrator and request a lower interest rate, which they did to our surprise without any problems. Currently, the interest rate is only 3 percent annually, which equates to $124 per month. At this level, I do not feel that much of a hurry to pay it off. Instead, it is more along the lines of a low-interest home mortgage, which we are paying off at the required rate, but no more. — Jacob Irwin of My Personal Finance Journey

If you’re still carrying student loan debt, what is your financial plan to eliminate it?

Slow and steady! — Heather Jarvis of Ask Heather Jarvis

I currently hold quite a bit of student loan debt — over $85,000 — but I like to think that my resolve is tantamount to the balance. When I first graduated, I had nearly double that amount to pay off. But by making the pay-off my first financial priority and sending over $1,700 to pay it down every month, I was able to make a sizeable dent in that number quickly. I also cut out spending elsewhere to have more to send toward my loans whenever possible. This meant limiting meals out, having multiple roommates rather than living alone, and forgoing cabs in favor of public transportation. — Mario Bonifacio of Debt Blog

If you’re a homeowner, did you have student loan debt at the time you bought? How did that impact your purchase?

We didn’t let the student loan debt hold us back from buying a home, but we also purchased a home that easily fit into our budget instead of purchasing a home that stretched our budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

We purchased a condo while I had an outstanding student loan balance. The pre-approval process takes into account your debt-to-income ratio when determining the amount you’re able to borrow. Those purchasing a home without outstanding student debt should ensure that their monthly payment does not exceed 25 to 30 percent of your monthly income. We started with a small condo with very affordable monthly payments and assessments that allowed us to have breathing room in our budget to address our outstanding debt — including my student loans. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

The student loan debt did not impact our purchase much at all, since the home we wanted to buy was very affordable based on our income. For us, I do not believe it would have been better to pay off the student loan prior to buying a house, since our debt was fairly low, carried a reasonable interest rate, and does not tie up a large portion of our monthly income. — Jacob Irwin of My Personal Finance Journey

In hindsight, would it have been better to pay off your student loan debt before or after your home purchase?

One thing I would do differently would be to focus on repaying my students loans aggressively as soon as I graduated from undergrad. Instead of taking on car loans and living in high-priced apartments, I could have been much more aggressive as a single person with no children. Instead, I was comfortable with the idea of paying the minimum amount for the full loan term because that was the normal approach to dealing with debt. — Toni Husbands of Debt Free Divas

If you’re not a homeowner, is your student loan debt prohibiting you from buying?

I don’t believe that my student loan is prohibiting me from purchasing a house, though I may have been able to contribute a down payment fund by this point if it weren’t for my student loans. I still feel like both my personal and professional life are in limbo, and at this stage I feel like renting is the smart choice for my situation. I’m currently contributing extra money toward both my 401(k) and my personal IRA account each year and I could instead allocate some of that money towards a down payment if purchasing a home was one of my priorities. My student loans have definitely put the thought of even saving for a home on the backburner, but it was also not a priority of mine to begin with. — Debt Hater of From Debt to Dreams

What are your tips for folks carrying substantial student loan debt?

The single most effective way to get rid of student loans while saving and building wealth is to live below your means. When you start significantly upgrading your lifestyle, you lose flexibility with your budget. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

Maintain a positive attitude. The best plans and the most sophisticated math in the world don’t mean a thing if you make yourself miserable and give up. Second, make a budget. Knowing where you spend will help you make meaningful cuts and not beat yourself up over meaningless cuts (like single-ply toilet paper or bad Q-tips). Lastly, put together a sensible timeline of how quickly you might be able to pay off all your debt. Having a timeline can change the way you look at your debt; whereas hundreds of thousands of dollars might seem insurmountable, you know that December 2019 will definitely arrive and can therefore plan the months leading up to it. — Mario Bonifacio of Debt Blag

First, use the federal government to your advantage. It offers programs to consolidate and, in some cases, even forgive student loans. Sadly, not everyone knows about them. For instance, a relatively new program is called Pay As You Earn, or PAYE for short. It actually caps the monthly federal student loan payment at 10 percent of your discretionary income. Second, don’t stop paying. The same government that offers helpful programs can also garnish your wages, take a portion of your Social Security benefits, and confiscate tax refunds. Call your loan servicer and ask about your options. But be careful of student loan repayment scams. Only deal with reputable organizations that have excellent reviews and a Better Business Bureau rating. Third, get creative. For instance: volunteer with organizations like AmeriCorp. They offer loan forbearance (which means you don’t have to pay on the principal or interest while working). After your service, you receive a monetary award you can put toward your loan. — Howard Dvorkin of Debt.com

What advice do you have for prospective home buyers limited by their student loan debt?

Build a strong credit history by making your payments on time. Improve your debt-to-income ratio by paying down credit cards and other consumer debt. Balance your competing goals of paying down debt and saving for a down payment. — Heather Jarvis of Ask Heather Jarvis

Don’t let student loan debt hold you back from buying a home. It is important to make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle, but it’s also important to balance student loan debt with other important financial goals. Make sure you purchase a home that allows you some room in your budget to focus on other goals. — Katie Brewer of Your Richest Life Planning

For anyone looking to buy a home and carrying loan debt, I would say that it is all about balance as with most things in life. You need to set your goals and figure out what is important to you. Are you OK with stretching your student loans out a few more years in order to save for that down payment? Or does the student loan payment need to be eliminated so that you have breathing room in your budget for a mortgage? It may be best to pay off your student loans as quickly as possible (especially if they are high-interest loans), and then switch your focus toward purchasing a home. If you do have any outstanding credit card debt, I would advise you to pay that off before even starting to save for a down payment. If you have sufficient income to pay off your student loans a little slower and buying a home is a priority for you, start shifting some of that money toward your down payment instead. If you come up with a sound financial plan and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments, I don’t feel that there’s any reason that a student loan will prevent you from owning a home. — Debt Hater of From Debt to Dreams


 

 

 

9 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Turning Up the Heat

Realtor.com is at it again. Maureen Dempsey explores 9 ways to stay warm this winter without relying simply on the heat. One of my personal favorites is the heated towel rack.


 

9 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Turning Up the Heat

D Trocio Photography/Getty Images

By: Maureen Dempsey

The chill will be here before you know it—or, depending on where you’re reading this, it’s already arrived with a scary vengeance. Now you have three options: Crank up the thermostat, up your layering game (and risk looking like the Michelin man), or search for other types of home heating products to keep you and the family toasty.

Here’s the good news: There’s a slew of products that can warm your home in an array of astonishing ways, from heated rugs to countertops to driveways (no more shoveling snow!). Here’s a sampling of the innovative options.

Heating panels

Radiators and vented systems work perfectly well throughout the house, but add a few radiant heating panels to your room of choice to fire up the cozy factor. Starting at $600; warmlyyours.com.

Heated driveway

You might love a fresh snowfall a little more (instead of cursing it) if you don’t have to shovel it. You can increase safety and eliminate snow and ice by installing a heated driveway. Around $2,500 plus installation; heatizon.com.

Heated rug pads

A heated rug sounds pretty appealing, no? The plug-in pad slips under a standard area rug. We have a feeling the kids (and pets) will be flocking to this one. Starting at $150;cozywinters.com.

Heated countertops

The cool touch of granite is fabulous in the summer, but it’s not so great when you’re trying to make coffee on a chilly winter morning. The solution: heated countertops. Installable and stick-on are available. Starting at $750; feelswarm.com.

Heated towel rack

You can banish après-shower cold shocks with this toasty towel rack, one of the products that helped kick off the whole heated gear trend a few years back. $160;wayfair.com.

Heated mattress cover

Ten heat settings and dual control means everyone will be snug on this sherpa mattress cover. Starting at $65; target.com.

Boot heater

Can’t bear the thought of slipping your little piggies into wet, cold boots for another schlep outside? Avoid the torture with a space-saving boot dryer. $35; cozywinters.com.

Heated slippers

http://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/ways-to-stay-warm-this-winter/?iid=rdc_news_hp_carousel_theLatest

These heated indoor-outdoor slippers work as shoes, too, depending on your definition of footwear and, um, style. $125; brookstone.com.

Heated toilet seat

Let’s be honest: This heated toilet seat (with night light!) is quietly appealing. We’ll leave it at that. $122; homedepot.com.


 

Let’s be honest though, all of these sound amazing. Here in Summit County these little improvements could help make the long winter a little bit warmer. 

When Is Housing’s Black Friday? Some Surprising Holiday Home-Buying Trends, from Realtor.com

So today is Black Friday, but when is the “Black Friday” of the Real Estate market? sRealtor.com explore when the “Black Friday” of real estate is, and surprisingly it seems to be in the winter. Yuqing Pan writes, “So what is the true Black Friday of the housing business? Here’s a holiday shocker: Dec. 28 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches in the entire year, despite the fact that Dec. 24 was the single slowest.”


When Is Housing’s Black Friday? Some Surprising Holiday Home-Buying Trends

Rusanovska/iStock; prosado/iStock from Realtor.com

By: Yuqing Pan 

Thanksgiving evokes certain unshakable images: Long tables crammed with too much food. Beloved and bickering family members consuming way too much of that food. Overstuffed family members staggering away from the table to watch football. And once the crumbs and turkey bones and cranberries are cleared away, just about everyone gearing up for the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

While prowling the malls for fantastic deals has become enshrined as a traditional part of many Americans’ holiday season, it has long been considered conventional wisdom that this sales fervor doesn’t extend to shopping for a home—that there’s no deluge of would-be buyers surfing the Web for listings or slogging through the (presumed) snow to open houses.

But does the housing market really come to a screeching halt during the holidays? The realtor.com® team decided to put down its Best Buy circulars and Victoria’s Secret gift cards long enough to find out for sure. In order to measure people’s interest in shopping for a home, we used traffic data on realtor.com from throughout 2014. Not-quite-spoiler: Traffic is much lower on an actual holiday. But what about directly afterwards? And in different parts of the country?

We compared the traffic data for realtor.com on Thanksgiving Day 2014 with that of an average day in 2014’s fourth quarter, and then we identified states where house-hunting activity appeared to be most and least impacted by the holiday.

Source Realtor.com

In balmy Hawaii, the amount of people house hunting on turkey day is only 10% less than the average for that quarter. However, in New Hampshire, the number is down by almost 60%.

And overall, the Thanksgiving slowdown only lasts as long as it takes to digest that huge mass of poultry—and hit a few Black Friday sales. By Saturday, it’s pretty much business as usual.

But according to our database, the number of scheduled open houses on the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend is going to be only 6% of the number from this past weekend. So for buyers serious enough to attend a Thanksgiving open house, your effort will likely pay off—you will be dealing with equally determined sellers and facing less competition.

Moving beyond Thanksgiving, we looked at the impact of all major holidays. Take a look at the graphic: Dark red indicates higher traffic, while light yellow indicates lower traffic.

So what is the true Black Friday of the housing business? Here’s a holiday shocker: Dec. 28 was actually one of the busiest days for real estate searches in the entire year, despite the fact that Dec. 24 was the single slowest.

The reason: When we’re over the holiday hump but still on break, it’s a great time to look for our dream home. The same reason explains the surge of activity on New Year’s Day. And, perhaps buying a house is a popular New Year’s resolution?

Another surprising, best-performing day on a holiday weekend: the other side of the year, July 6. Instead of traveling, many buyers apparently use the long weekend in the height of the buying season to search for homes and go to open houses.

Overall, the spring market typically has the best combination of inventory and value—more homes go onto the market, but prices have not yet thawed. If you miss out on that sweet spot, the second-best opportunity is in fall. Sept. 1, on Labor Day weekend, was another top performer—it’s all part of a seasonal pattern that buyers and sellers can use to their advantage if they are not constrained by school schedules or job transfers.

Besides family-oriented holidays, there’s one more holiday that significantly slows down home-searching activity. Nope, not Mother’s Day, not Father’s Day, but … Valentine’s Day. Think about it: Your significant other wants to take you out for a romantic dinner. Are you gonna say no because you want to stay at home to browse photos of fixer-uppers?

Yuqing Pan


Any time of year is a great time to find your High Country get-away!

Mountain Events: November 27th-29th

Friday, November 27th 2015

Snowmobiling Tour: 8:00a, 10a, 12:30p, 2:30p First-time to advanced – Dillon.

Adult Drop-In Hockey: 8:30a Stephen C. West Ice Arena – Breckenridge.

Snowcat Santa & Fireworks: 6:30p Snowcat Parade, 7p Tree Lighting & Santa Visit, 8p Fireworks – Copper Mountain.

Family Gym Time: 10a Breckenridge Recreation center – Breckenridge.

Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows: 3p &8p Vilar Performing Arts Center – Beaver Creek. (And more info.)

The Swing Crew: 3p The Last Lift Bar, live music – Keystone Resort.

A Christmas Story: 4p Riverwalk Center, Backstage Theatre – Breckenridge.

Late Night, Date Night, Create Night!: 7p ReadyPaintFire! – Breckenridge.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure: 7:30p Lake Dillon Theatre Company – Dillon.

Soulful, Sexy Blues and Rock of Rachel & the Ruckus: 9:30p Snake River Saloon – Keystone.

Saturday, November 28th 2015

Stick & Puck Sessions: 10a Stephen C. West Ice Arena – Breckenridge.

Art of the Valley Gallery Opening for Thanksgiving Weekend: 10:30a Chapel Square – Avon.

Go Pro Yam Jam: 11a Center Village – Copper Mountain.

Silversmithing with Martha Peterson Glomb: 12p Hot Shop – Breckenridge.

Meet the Critters: 1p Petco – Dillon.

The Swing Crew: 3p The Last Lift Bar – Keystone Resort.

Warren Miller’s Chasing Shadows: 5p & 8p Vilar Performing Arts Center – Vail.

Under A Blood Red Sky – The U2 Tribute: 7:30p Riverwalk Center – Breckenridge.

Soulful, Sexy Blues/Rock of Rachel & the Ruckus: 9:30p Snake River Saloon – Keystone.

Sunday, November 29th 2015

Free Puppy Playtime 0-6months: 10a Petco – Dillon.

Public Skate Session: 1:15p Stephen C. West Ice Arena – Breckenridge.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure: 6:30p Lake Dillon Theatre Company – Dillon.

Vail Valley Band: 7p Route 6 Café – Vail.

Mountain Events: Thanksgiving Week 2015

Friday, November 20th 2015

Vail Mountain Opening Day!

Adult Drop-In Hockey: 8:30am Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

Free Co-working to Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week: 9:00am Elevate CoSpace. Click Here for more information.

Adult Co-Ed Drop-In Volleyball: 6:00pm Red Sandstone Elementary School Gym, Vail. Click Here for more information.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure: 7:30pm Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Dillon. Click Here for more information.

Country Western Dance: 8pm Silverthorne Pavilion. Click Here for more information.

American Babies: 9:00pm Barkley Ballroom, Frisco. Click Here for more information.

Cold River City: 9:30pm Snake River Salon, Keystone. Click Here for more information.

 

Saturday, November 21st 2015

Adult Drop-In Tennis Clinic: 10:30am Keystone Tennis Center. Click Here for more information.

Met Opera Live in HD: Lulu, Berg: 10:30am Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

First Tracks, U.S. Ski Team Naming: 1:00pm Copper Mountain. Click Here for more information.

Meet The Critters: 1:00pm Petco, Dillon. Click Here for more information.

Cold River City: 9:30pm Snake River Saloon, Keystone. Click Here for more information.

 

Sunday, November 22nd 2015

Free Puppy Playtime 0-6months: 11:00am Petco, Dillon. Click here for more information.

Public Skate Session: 1:15pm Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

A Christmas Story: 6:00pm Backstage Theatre, Breckenridge. Click Here for more information.

Sherlok Holmes: The Final Adventure: 6:30pm Lake Dillon Theatre Company, Dillon. Click Here for more information.

Vail Valley Band: 7:00pm Route 6 Café, Vail. Click Here for more information.


 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Keystone Thanksgiving. Click Here for more information.
  • Kidtopia opening at Keystone, November 27th
  • Turkey Day 5k: Town of Frisco. Click Here for more information.
  • Frisco Adventure Park Opening, November 26th
  • Midnight Madness at the Outlets at Silverthorne: November 26th 8pm-12am, November 27th 8am-8pm

Opening Soon:

Vail: November 20th

Beaver Creek: November 25th


 

 Summit County Spas:

Some of my favorite spas for either a quick treatment or a full day retreat.

Refresh Spa: Grand Timber Lodge, Breckenridge. (970) 547-3624

Sooth Spa: Grand Lodge on Peak 7. (970) 547-8701

Bodyworks Spa & Massage: Frisco, CO. (970) 668-5859

Corpus Sanus Spa: Dillon, CO. (970) 513-6550

Elan-Life Spa: Silverthorne, CO. (970) 368-6680

5 Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

The Zillow.com blog outlines 5 tips fo First-Time Home Sellers. Brendon DeSimone shares of the key things to consider as you decide to sell your home.


 

5 Tips for First-Time Home Sellers

Zillow.com

Selling a home is nothing like buying one. Whether you’ve been in the home for four years or 40, first-time sellers need to consider some important points before getting started.

You need the right agent

Unless you’re offering the home For Sale by Owner, you will need to sign an agreement with a real estate agent and their brokerage. You’ll also have to pay a commission. Because the agreement contractually ties you to your agent for three to six months, choosing the right one is more important this time around. Unlike when you were a buyer, you can’t simply come in and out of the market.

You’ve got to be ready to sell

In the Internet age, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Information flows more quickly than ever. If you list your home at an unrealistic price or not in the best condition, the number of days on market (or DOM) will add up — and could come back to bite you later.

Sellers who resist their agents’ pricing suggestions may not be emotionally ready to separate from their home. By overpricing it, they will self-sabotage the sale. It’s better not to list your home than to “try” at a high price or in bad condition.

DOM factors into buyers’ offers

A typical buyer looking at a listing will first notice the price and size. They will then scroll through the photos and look at the listing history. If a home has been on the market more than three months, they may think there is something wrong with it.

Or, what’s worse, when you do get serious and adjust your price or condition to what it’s really worth, buyers will penalize you for it by offering even less.

You’ll never interface with the brokerage — only your agent

The agent you choose matters more than the brokerage, although you should consider both. If you list your home with Suzy at XYZ Brokerage, Suzy will be your only contact with the company.

Agents are independent contractors who choose to hang their license with a company whose brand and culture match their business. While a well-known or large brokerage is an important consideration for listing, if your agent is successful and someone you trust, they will do a good job no matter the brokerage.

If you get an offer, you have to move soon

Once you get an acceptable offer from a buyer and you sign the contract, the clock starts ticking toward your closing. Many sellers underestimate the amount of time it can take to list, sell and close on a home. Know your market before you list, and put a plan in place for where you’ll move when your home sells. If your market moves quickly and your agent expects the home to sell within a few weeks, it might be better to wait.

The best advice for first-time sellers is not to sell until you are ready. Have a plan, know where you are going, and work with a great local agent early on. You should do what it takes to present your home in its best light and price it right.

Selling a home can be very stressful and emotional. Add on top of that packing and moving, and it’s a lot to deal with for anyone. Be sure you’re prepared before you start the process.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Brendon DeSimone


 

Don’t Wait – Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter, Realtor.com

Did you know it is cheaper to own than to rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the United States? Realtor.com’s Jonathan Smoke explains why now is the time to buy if you can, and how in doing so you can not only get the best deal, but also save money in the long run.


 

Don’t Wait – Beat the Crowds and Buy this Winter

From Realtor.com
Snow globe: rakchai/iStock; sign: jdillontoole/iStock

Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

After all, when people have jobs they can break off and form new households—ditching the roommates behind or finally moving out of Mom and Dad’s basement—and that’s what fundamentally drives home purchases.

Most of the households created over the past two years have been renting households, but based on U.S. Census data for the third quarter of this year, it appears that homeownership has started to recover.

This especially makes sense now that it is cheaper to own than rent in more than three-quarters of the counties in the U.S. And it’s not getting better— rents are rising year over year at twice the pace of listing prices. Meanwhile, mortgage rates remain at near record lows but appear poised to increase over the next year. And home prices are rising, too.

So if you qualify for a mortgage and have the funds for a down payment and closing costs—and if you intend to live in a home long enough to cover the transaction costs of buying and selling—you will be better off financially if you buy as soon as you can. After all, if you are tired of your current home now, you won’t feel better about it in six months.

The top factors driving home shoppers this summer were pent-up demand and recognition of favorable mortgage rates and home prices. These drivers will likely remain well into next year.

Yet demand for housing is extremely seasonal. In most markets in the country, we are conditioned to believe that we should buy homes in the spring and summer. So come each October, plans to purchase shift to the spring. While the school calendar and weather do influence the ideal time to move, many buyers would benefit from buying this fall and winter rather than waiting until next spring.

In October, the percentage of would-be buyers on realtor.com® saying that they intend to buy in seven to 12 months was the highest it has been all year and represented the largest time frame for purchase. Likewise, October produced the lowest percentage of would-be buyers saying they intend to buy in the next three months.

In other words, people’s stated plans point to a very strong spring for home sales. Great, right? But here’s the problem: Inventory isn’t likely to be higher in March and April than it is now. And while inventory should grow in late spring and into summer, it won’t grow as fast as the seasonal demand.

So, if you are ready, consider getting in the market now instead of early spring. You will have more choices and less competition, and you can lock in today’s rates rather than risk rates being 25 to 50 basis points higher. (A basis point is 0.01 percentage point.)

A 50 basis-point increase in rates (for example, from 4.05% to 4.55%) would cause monthly payments to be 6% higher. And that increase would not only affect your monthly cash flow but could also affect your ability to qualify.

So if you are considering buying a home this spring, it’s worth exploring the inventory now and reaching out to a local Realtor®. A new home could be the best gift you give yourself and your family this holiday season.

Jonathan Smoke

For Original article click Here.


 

Maintenance Tip: Caulking Your Bathroom

Regular maintenance on your home is important to keep up with on a consistent basis.  It not only protects your home, but also when it comes time to sell it, it shows potential buyers that your home has been well-maintained and makes a lasting impression.

Quick Bathroom Tip:

One of the simplest things you can do is re-caulk your bathroom vanities, sinks, showers, toilets and trim on a yearly to bi-yearly basis.  The caulk in your bathroom is quick to wear out because of it’s daily use.  It is important to help prevent water from penetrating the cracks in your shower and causing mold.

It is a simple project, all you need is a caulk gun, matching caulk and a razor blade or paint scraper.  All of these can be picked up at your local home improvement store.  To keep caulk looking good and working properly, its important to scrape the old caulk off first with a razor blade or paint scraper.  This is time consuming, however, it is a very important step.   Putting layer on top of layer not only makes it look bad, but also reduces the effectiveness.  You can be pretty aggressive when you are scraping the old caulk off, don’t worry about removing a small amount of grout in the process.

Once you have removed the old caulking, make sure that the surface is clean and dry.  The next step is to apply a bead of caulking to all of the seams.  In the shower, you will want to make sure to apply caulking to the edges of the floor or tub, to all of the corners, to any glass doors you might have as well as to benches or shelves.  You can use multiple colors of caulking to acheive the desired effect.  For instance, if you have a glass or metal framed door, you may want to use clear caulking there and then colored caulking in the corner of the shower.

Once you have applied a bead of caulking, you can use your finger to smooth it down and push it into the cracks.  It helps to have your finger slightly damp.  You may need to run your finger over the seam multiple times to achieve the desired effect.  Keep a damp rag handy so you can wipe your finger off.  Once you have completed the job, try to allow the caulking to dry for 24-48 hours before using your shower again.  It will make your bathroom look brand new!

-Anne Skinner