Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer 2013 Camping!!

I know its been quite a long time since I have been blogging, however I do have a good excuse. SUMMER!
Yes, not only is summer one of my busiest times of year Real Estate wise, its also the only time we have to really get out in full blown nature with the kids. We decided to take a whole 5 days this year and packed it up to the hills with the kids and some close friends for a camping trip! Had a wonderful time!
This is La Jara Reservoir 

Our camping spot overlooked this lovely piece of the mountains! We rode dirt bikes, did a little hiking, fishing, and Daphne got her first BB gun so Dad of course started the proper lessons:)
Jaxon was busy doing what ever he could, which was fine with me since usually I'm trying my best to keep him out of things at home. Here we see him with a wild beast of nature!! If you ever encounter one in the wild, PLEASE use extreme caution! lol

We took naps!

Played with GLOW STICKS!

And of course Daphne's art work had to be displayed for the next campers to enjoy. It was a blast watching her paint!
Jaxon saw his first double Rainbow! Reminds us of how precious God's promise is! What a great way to teach our children how fully He keeps his word!
Of course I had to tame the most wild creature found in the forest! Love!

And of course no camping trip would be complete with out friends/family!
Oh and at least one kid being dumped off a small motorcycle into a mud puddle....
Hope you and your family had a splendid summer making beautiful family memories! 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Phrase of the day: "Mom Guilt"

It seems like lately the guilt monster has been creeping up on me. About what?
Lets see.....
Crazy work schedule
Why can I get my house sold so I can finish the other and take some stress away?
Not having physic abilities about what my 3 year old needs, 6 year old can at least tell me.
Was I too laxed in that discipline, was I too harsh?
Are the kids growing properly
Are the activities I have them involved in stimulating them enough?
Why is my 6 year old acting like a cartoon character one day and then asking to be a teenager the next?
Just wanting a break from kids, work, house, just wanting me time!

I know as a mom I am truly doing my best, and I do fall short. But does guilt really have any benefit?
NO! Guilt will not make things better, but 99.9% of the time, worse.
As you can see from the list above I can quite put my finger on EXACTLY what is making me feel most guilty. Maybe it's a combo of everything.
I read a blog by Jamee Tenzer about this very topic. Here are 3 tips she gave in order to help ease our guilt:
1) What are you feeling most guilty about? Be specific! Try to set aside some time to play that game or read that one book before bed.
2) Ask yourself if you feel guilty because you actually feel you should be doing something different or because you feel other people are judging you. This is a HUGE thing for me. Make peace with the idea that most mom's have their own "guilt's" they are dealing with and feeling judged, and are more than likely not thinking or judging you.
3) If you are feeling guilty, find an action you can take to turn the situation around. I know easier said than done. For example, Jamee said: "“I’m guilty because I’m not making dinners from scratch every night,”  can be changed to “I’m going to add one more dinner each week that I make from scratch by planning it ahead of time and asking my partner and children to pitch in and help.”

And to all the Moms out there, keep doing a fantastic job! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Up" in the air

Being a parent we can't help but get caught up in watching cartoons with our kids. And yes, there has been times when our kids have gone to bed, then Keith and I find ourselves still watching the cartoons. Something that, honestly, I hope I never grow out of! ;)
One fond memory I have is taking my daughter to see the movie "Up" in 2009. It was so cute, and made us both tear up a bit. Of course the "Realtor" in me started asking "Why didn't Carl just sell his house"!
After all he was offered double the last offer was, what seller wouldn't jump at that!?

 Then I brought myself back to reality and told myself it was just a movie and to enjoy it with my daughter!

If I was a little more nerdy I could say, just for fun lets pretend this wasn't a fictional scenario and take a look at what would have happened if Carl had make the financially sound decision to sell his home to the developer. We would need to look at the location of the home, next the size of the home (ie: number of beds, baths, sq ft), lastly we would look at the price per sq ft of comparable homes.

It can be done, I've seen people do it! However, I prefer to keep the mind set that Carl was just as happy going on his adventure with Russell, never realizing the financial mistake he made.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A good credit score is important for more reasons than just obtaining new credit. These days, it can be factor in everything from landing a new job, to getting the best deals on your insurance policies.
1) A 100 Point Drop for One late Mortgage Payment? - Sad, but true! A single 30 day late mortgage loan payment can cause your score to drop by as much as 100 points. Credit scoring algorithms vary based on many factors and there are also instances where the damage can be even greater.

2) 90 Days Late - Not only can this shave 100 points and more from your score, but it can also take as long as 7 years to erase the penalty for this. This is certainly a situation you want to avoid and one of the best ways that you can do this is to maintain an emergency cash reserve account equal to at least 3 months of living expenses or more. 

3) Adding Up The Cost - At the time, a single missed payment will only cost you a late fee, but when the expense really adds up is on your next loan or a missed opportunity. Low credit scores typically mean a higher rate and cost than can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of extra interest expense over the life of a loan.

4) Few Plan on This Happening - Yet it does. There are certainly things beyond our control such as accidents, illness, job loss, family issues, etc. At other times, it can just be carelessness or even the result of a hectic life. If you're prone to forgetting or don't have a scheduled time to sit down and pay bills, it can help to set up auto payment through your checking account or to put a perpetual reminder on your calendar. 

Opportunities and needs come up sometimes when we least expect them. Allowing payments to be made late is not something that we can readily fix after the fact as little other than time will decrease the negative impact. Since we can't speed up time, this leaves prevention as the one sure remedy!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Then & Now

Did you know that you can purchase a median price home today for a payment that can be lower than it was for the same home 30 years ago? Whats even more amazing is that when we consider that with inflation, that payment is much smaller percentage of average income than it was back then.

Let me give you an example, but please remember that these are for illustration purposes only. Prices are based on U.S. median average sales prices, rates are reflective of a 30 year fixed rate loan for 1981 and early in 2013, Principal and Interest payments are based on an 80% loan to value, taxes are based on a factor of 1.5% of the sales prices and insurance is based on a cost of $3 per $1000 of loan amount. Actual current rates, taxes, insurance, etc., can very at any time.

              1981 Home                                         2013 Home
Median Priced Home was: $67,000           Median Priced Home: $176,800
30 Yr fixed Principal & Interest: $824   30 Yr. fixed Principal & Interest: $645
Taxes: $83.75                                           Taxes: $221
Insurance: $13.40                                      Insurance: $35.36
TOTAL PAYMENT: $921                      TOTAL PAYMENT: $901
Income to Qualify: $36,855                       Income to Qualify: $36,056

The down side to this? It won't last. Interest rates are at a historic low, and once the economy improves or the Fed takes its proverbial foot off the gas pedal, mortgage rates will rise again.
Are you ready to take advantage?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Its Spring!

Now that Spring is here, its time to throw open the windows and tackle projects that we've been putting off all winter:
1) Trim tree branches
2) Touch up any peeling paint
3) Remove leaves and debris from around home and A/C units
4) Seal any leaking windows and doors.
5) Reseal any natural stone surfaces and repair grout in kitchen and bathrooms

Since the market is showing a positive improvement, now might not be a bad time to look at your home before putting it on the market. Fixing small things like the list above can improve, value and curb appeal.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Perspectives on Real Estate

My friend sent this to me! Had to share because it is so accurate its scary! LOL!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Its on the Rise

As a busy mom I try to find time to do some fun activities with my kids. My mom moved here about 2 years ago and she has a pool where she lives. So of course we try to take the kids swimming. Its fun, and wears them out for later! :)
Do you remember when you were a kid going swimming and getting the life preserver and trying your best to hold it under the water? Didn't work so well. They are designed to float. This thought brings me to my subject for today. Rising Rates.
Interest rates are rising to, and the Fed alone cannot hold them down forever.
Are you prepared to take action before it's too late?

1) The Winds of Change: The actions for the Fed are both very real, yet artificial in nature. They work, but as in nature, physics and economics, the laws, fundamentals, and truths always rise to the surface in the end. In fact, we've recently seen that the consensus of the market is far more influential than the Fed holding its finger in the dyke. When the majority of the market participants begin to act en-masse, there is little if anything effective enough to counteract the trend.

2) The Trouble with Targets: Lately, the Fed had taken to announcing their benchmarks for letting the preserver go, whether it's inflation within the ideal range, or the unemployment rate at 6.5% everyone now knows where the bulls eye lies. Smart investors operate ahead of the curve and will exit the scene before the tidal wave hits. They know it's safer to be alone at sea than with the crowd on shore.

3) The Factors: There are many things that can contribute to rising rates from positive economic news here and abroad to whispers or hints of policy change coming from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors itself. The collective sentiment and actions of the mortgage backed securities investors be they hedge or pension funds, institutions, sovereign nations or any of the many other groups at play are the ultimate arbiter of what mortgage rates will do and those forces acting in unison making the market regardless of what the the Fed might like. 

4)  What can we do? As individuals, we can't change the market but we can take advantage of it. How so? We can lock in a rate before it changes and we can lock it in for as long as a loan is structured to last. Whether it's a hybrid ARM loan for 3, 5 , or 7 years or a fixed rate for 10, 15, or 30 years, the choice is ours and there's great certainty that comes with that. A fixed monthly mortgage payment for as long as we foresee using that loan is a great way to create permanence in an otherwise uncontrollable sea of change.

Rising rates are upon us now and while it's rarely a straight line up, there's not much merit in gambling at this point in the hopes of getting something better later. As well, it's not just rates but home prices that are on the rise again. The compounding of higher rates and prices can make what's affordable today become out of reach tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Still Writing Checks to the Landlord?

Did you know that home loan payments can often be less than paying rent?
Renting can make good sense for those that don't intend to stay in their home for long, need extra mobility or have highly uncertain employment prospects.
If your planning on sticking around, there are several very solid reasons why owning can prove to be more rewarding:
1) Rates are at Historic Lows: and if that weren't already enough, prices are low too. This is an unusual and probably once in a lifetime combination. Together, the real cost of purchasing a home is less than it's been at anytime in about the last 50 years.
2) Buying builds equity: on most mortgage loans you pay down the principal balance with each payment. This typically starts at about $100 per month for every $100,000 of loan balance and increases each month through the entire life of the loan. To do an accurate rent vs. own comparison, you must subtract the principal paid each month from your total loan payment. Even where purchasing may be more than renting, this alone will often tip the scales back in the other direction.
3) Appreciation: its no secret that we haven't seen much of this lately, and there's no guarantee either. However, if we use history as a guide, values have typically risen at a pace above inflation and as long as there is only so much land and every more people, demand will rise and values will go up. Housing is precious and necessary commodity that we all need every day. It's our choice to rent or to own, yet buying one for yourself usually beats buying one for your landlord.
4) Tax Benefits: not everyone is going to benefit from this. Unless you have a sufficient basis to warrant "itemizing" on your taxes, it can be better to just take advantage of the standard deduction. However, the home mortgage and real estate tax benefits can be two of the most valuable items in the tax code for individuals. Many homeowners save thousands every year with these deductions. To learn how that might apply to you, it's best to consult your tax pro for personalized advice.

Home ownership can mean different things to different people, yet most cite the many benefits beyond just the financial. Becoming rooted in a neighborhood, school district or community, having the freedom and privacy to do what you want or to make modifications to your property as you please are all factors that can formulate the most valuable returns.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Does Size Really Matter?

Aaahhh the question that has been brought up for centuries! But today we are going to look at it from a different angle, (insert giggle).
Today it seems as if downsizing is a trend of the past. According to Census Bureau in 2011 homes were 141 square feet bigger than in 2010. They also reveal that the number of bedrooms and full bathrooms increased.
Check out this article:

Is the Downsizing Trend Fading?

So after reading, I assume the answer is....yes. ;)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I know its been awhile since I've blogged. Unfortunately my son caught the flu and so graciously shared with me. I pray I don't see that bug again! Its one thing to take care of yourself while sick, but mom's don't get sick days.
When all is said and done, I'm now back at work and have a exciting project pending. I'm still trying to put it together, but I'll give you a sneak peak:

123 Address Street
Anywhere, CO Zip

Compliments of:
Molly Curley
Broker Associate, Keller Williams
719-589-3465 office/ 719-588-1648 cell
I'm trying to make home books for my listings!!! So super excited about this! I'm going to try and have my first one complete by the first of next week. I'll stick some pictures up so you can see.
If you or anyone you know that might be interested in one, please have them call me!!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dreaming of a Second Home

Is this something that you have ever thought about? Its true that in recent years many homeowners have struggled to maintain and hold on to their homes. And some have bought second homes in vacation areas that now wish they hadn't. Because of this reason, Real Estate inventory is at a high, and there are good deals out there. What does this mean for you? If this is an idea that you have been pondering, and with a combination of low prices, historically low rates, and the availability of homes, now many be the perfect time to make this dream a reality. Lets consider a few ways that it can be made to work:
1) Conventional Financing: Really the purchase of and financing of a second home is really no different from the purchase of a primary home. Some of the programs that offer little to no money down are not available with conventional financing. However, with conventional financing,  Fannie/Freddie type loans offer as little as 10% down you can get your foot in the door.

2) CASH : Remember the saying "cash talks"? Cash buyers are desirable to sellers, as paying cash eliminates the usual financing contingencies.  It can also shorten the time from offer to purchase. Something to remember though when paying cash: Re-sale time can present a limited pool for prospects if conventional financing is unavailable.

3) Rental Income: This is an area that you must proceed with great caution! Whether you are an investor and looking to supplement your income every month, or looking for a vacation rental, make sure that you are in a location where rentals are in demand. Don't just buy a home if your entirely dependent on the income to make it work.

4)  Tax Benefits and Appreciation: This is another area you need to be cautious of the rules, eligibility and markets are always changing. But owning a second home can extend or even put you over the threshold for the benefits of deducting interest and taxes on your return. ALWAYS check with your CPA or tax pro or attorney to see how this may or may not effect you. 

So if you think that you are in a position for second home ownership and are ready to find out more, please contact me. I will be happy to help you find the best way for you to reach you goal.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Inspection Resolutions

Lets talk today about an issue that has recently come up in the world of Real Estate in Colorado. As many of you know, contracts change every year. And as Realtor's its our job to keep abreast of those changes and make sure our clientele is fully aware of what those changes mean for them. I'm seeing a new trend in the new Inspection Resolution forms and hopefully answer some nagging concerns that buyers, sellers, or Realtor's may have. 
First I need to tell you what sparked my keen interest in this topic. I've recently started working with a new buyer. As usual they supplied me with a pre-approval letter. But this one had something different on it that I had never seen before. "Property MUST be inspected prior to closing by a licensed inspector approved by this bank." Hummm....curious. Colorado is a buyer beware state, and as Realtor's we highly encourage any and all buyers and sellers to have a home inspection by a licensed inspector. However, this is the first time in my Real Estate career that I've seen a bank require it. 
Now with that being said, lets look at the Inspection Resolution.
Below are the thoughts from my connection Sean Young on LinkedIn:
One of the most discussed topics from Realtors this year is on the new inspection resolution and how will lenders view it.

The Inspection Resolution form is now a part of the contract unless it is waived on the Inspection Objection form. Either the Resolution or the waiver on the Inspection Objection form must be received prior to ordering the appraisal for any contract written 1/1/13 or later.

The Resolution or waiver on the Objection form must be received prior to ordering the appraisal – no exceptions. The Resolution is now a part of the contract and we only have a fully executed contract once we are in receipt of the form.

Below are some questions and answers I have been asked in the last week.

* Is the Inspection Resolution ALWAYS required?:

NO – It is required unless the borrower withdraws the Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form.

* Does the Inspection Resolution need to go to the appraiser?:

YES – Unless the borrower withdraws the Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form.

* When does the Inspection Resolution form need to be provided to the appraiser?:

At the initial appraisal order, NO exceptions.

* If the appraiser has the Inspection Resolution form, must (s)he condition for repair/final inspection based on the completion of all of the items listed?:

NO – however the appraiser may have their own interpretation of the contract and their responsibilities. Also, the appraiser may still require additional items at their discretion.

* Allowable Scenarios:

* Borrower withdraws Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form, copy received, can proceed with appraisal order.

* Borrower withdraws Inspection Objection by executing Item #2 on the Inspection Objection form; copy received along with Amend/Extend stating seller agrees to contribute a monetary amount towards borrower’s closing costs/prepaid. Can proceed with appraisal order. The A/E may not read “in lieu of repair of inspection items” or verbiage to that affect.

* Fully executed Inspection Resolution form is received, can proceed with appraisal order.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Wouldn't it be great if life were like a subsidized loan? I mean think about it: a subsidized loan, the borrower doesn't pay the interest, its paid for by a third party. 
So say in life: you need diapers. You go to the store and the person in line behind you buys them for you! It could happen!
But just like subsidized loans, all good things come to an end. Because you eventually have to change the diaper and its usually filled with a nice brown surprise. :)

Monday, January 28, 2013


~Monday~ Back at it after a much needed weekend. Yesterday I was out running errands when I walked out from paying for my gas for my car and a gentleman next to me says "Excuse me Miss? you have a flat tire".
Oh no!
At least I wasn't on showings and I didn't have my kids with me. Yes I now how to change a tire, however, since its been getting a bit warmer and the snow is melting, made a nice muddy pool for me to change it in! ;)
Which while I was down in the mud looking under my car for the spot to stick my jack, made me think that I was VERY glad I wasn't on showing. It also made me wonder if any of my friends, colleagues, or clients have had horror stories while looking at houses with a Realtor? I'd love to hear your stories! Please share!!! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

First time home buyers

It seems like for at least the last few months, or even more recently the last 2 weeks, I have started working with new home buyers. Or if they are not new home buyers, its been several years since they have bought a home and the experience is like being a first timer. Honestly these are some of my favorite clientele to work with! Seeing their faces light up as they look through homes, picturing their things in the home, meals they will have with their families, the moment they realize "Yes, this is our new home"!
Thinking about this today inspired me to post a link for people who are considering purchasing a home for the first time. Even if its been a while since you have purchased a home, these tips will help you consider what options are best.
Please feel free to leave a comment!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My first day as a Blogger!!!

Ok, so this is literally my first attempt at blogging. And as my friend Natalie (who by the way helped me set this all up) can attest to the fact that I am in fact the "Rain Man" of bloggers!
It's about 7:00 PM MST on Wed and I'm sitting in my office (I work at Keller Williams Performance Realty in Alamosa, CO ) working on things I was not able to finish during the day. I have my son here an he just handed me his diaper. I guess he decided it wasn't needed....Which typically this would not bother me being a mom and all, but my office is located on a storefront on the main street of our town.....need I say more?
**Pause while I find the diaper bag*.......
So begins my blog! Hope to hear from anyone and everyone interested!