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This blog is for buyers and sellers in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond! Come back every Wednesday for new Real Estate tips and discussions!
Real Estate Updates

Living Green: 5 Steps to a more Sustainable Home

November 4, 2020

Have you been wanting to make some changes in your life to be more energy and environmentally efficient? One of the best places to start is your home! While some changes can be pricey - like solar panels - there are other, small updates around your house that you can do to make the transformation. Read on to find 5 simple steps to making your home more sustainable!


Switching your lighting to LED or CFL lights is a simple and inexpensive way to ensure that your house uses less energy. On average LED lights use 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent ones. Not only that, but they will also last up to 20 times longer - fewer in the landfill and fewer for you to have to purchase/change Quick read more or view full article out. Lastly, incandescent bulbs tend to emit more heat - causing your air conditioner to kick on, LED bulbs do not have that issue. Further saving you energy and money on the bill!

Recycle and Compost

One of the best parts of the Roaring Fork Valley is how Compost-Conscious we are! Studies show that almost 50% of household garbage is food scraps—so, instead of throwing them in a dumpster, why not compost it and make a healthy fertilizer for your garden? 

You can buy an outdoor composter, build one yourself, or, if gardening isn't your thing, you can hire one of the local composting companies to pick it up on your curb - just like the garbage. 

Faucet Repairs 

Believe it or not, repairing leaky faucets, shower heads, and toilets is a great way to conserve water in the home. Statistics from the EPA.govshow that, in the worst cases, homes with leaks can waste up to 90 gallons of water per day! The average leaky household wastes more than 10,000 gallons every year. 

Whether you fix it yourself or call a plumber, not only will your home be more green and sustainable, but your water bill will also improve! 

Energy Efficient Appliances 

This option and the following one are not as "low-cost" upfront, but both will save you money in the long run. Replacing appliances such as: washers/dryers, ovens, refrigerators, and dishwashers with energy efficient ones will not only make your home more sustainable, but will cut your monthly bills significantly.

Solar Panels 

Can you imagine if your home was powered by the sun? While installing solar panels can be a big expense upfront, they will save you so much in the long run! Not only will they pay for themselves over time, but they will also help you to decrease your carbon footprint. Again, our valley is very conscious of sustainability, so a quick Google search will bring you to multiple solar companies for you to choose from. 

Achieving sustainable living is one goal that can be accomplished by completing the 5 steps above! And while some of these will cost more upfront, in the long run, these transformations will save you money and significantly decrease your carbon footprint. It's a win-win!
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Winter Is Coming: 5 Yard Care Tips!

October 28, 2020
The season is changing! Soon the autumn colors will fall, the air will get colder, and what was once a colorful wonderland will be a winter one! With all of the hard work you have put into your house's exterior, you will not want to have it go to waste by not preparing for winter correctly. Here are 5 tips to have done before the snow falls!

1. The Leaves
  Raking up leaves can save you from extra yard work and repair in the spring. When the ground freezes with a think layer of fallen leaves over it, it can suffocate the grass below. Whether you rake and compost, or use a mulching mower, this afternoon of work will help your lawn stay healthy during the winter and save you time when Quick read more or view full article the snow melts.

2. Clean Up
  Clean and store all of your patio furniture before the snow starts to fall! Either cover them up with a tarp or store them inside of a shed or garage. This will help your furniture last longer and not wear as quickly.

3. Repair
  Take the extra time to repair outside hardscape features such as railings, walkways, and porches. Take care of those small cracks, splinters, and other damaged areas as the moisture/cold from winter will only make those damages worse come spring. Just like the leaves, taking care of this at the end of fall will save you a lot of damage control in the spring.

4. Winterize
  This is arguably the most important thing for you to do: winterize your lawn. This means reseed and aerate your yard during the fall season. To go that extra step, add some winter fertilizer to the grass to make sure that the roots are able to fully penetrate the soil. Doring this to your yard will ensure a lush lawn come spring.

5. Trim
  When the colder months come, and the snow piles up, there is more possibility that branches from both trees and shrubs will fall. Removing dead limbs in the wintertime can help to prevent dangerous accidents from these limbs falling on children, animals, and visitors. Lastly, make sure that any dead limbs near power lines or breakable property features are removed.
Getting ready for winter can take a few extra hours out of your weekend, but by doing these 5 simple tasks, you will help to ensure that your yard, lawn, and property is protected during the cold months and thriving during the spring.  Read Less
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Transform Your Space With These 5 Tips! No Remodel Required

October 21, 2020
Updating your home always helps add a breath of fresh air to your life, but home remodels can require deep pockets and a lot of time. There are many ways to update your space and give it that newer, fresh vibe without remodeling! Below are 5 upgrades that are easy to do, time-effecient, and not too expensive.

1. The Kitchen: Update The Cabinetry

Many of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen, preparing meals, eating them, and cleaning up afterwards. Giving your kitchen a fresh now look can really help to improve your mood and productivity!

Consider updating your cabinets for a simple, and relatively inexpensive home upgrade! Just changing the doors (or the full cabinets) can spruce up your space and give it a fresh new-look!
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Selling Tip: If you are planning to put your house on the market in the future this is not a bad upgrade to do! The kitchen is one of the most important (and most used) rooms in the house and adding new cabinetry can help to increase your home value!

2. New Paint Job
One of the easiest DIY options to sprucing up your space: a new coat of paint! From neutral and calm colors to bold and loud ones, you can really add a whole new vibe to your space with some time and a brush! 
Selling Tip: If you have the funds, hiring a professional is never a bad idea! This will ensure that your new paint job is clean and ready for the market when you decide to sell!

3. Let There Be Light

Whether switching to LED lights, which give your room a sophisticated (and more energy efficient) look, or updating your fixtures—this is a great way to add some new life to your home!

Change the lamp shades and placements, add some recessed fixtures, and/or replace old ceiling lamps with new ones. This is another inexpensive way to give your living space a face lift!

4. Small Bathroom Upgrades

Doing a small bathroom remodel is not only cost-efficient, but highly effective as well! Doing something simple like replacing the sink faucet or drawer knobs can be a very subtle, but welcomed update!

Or, if you want something a bit more time-consuming, you can always replace the flooring, tile, or even adding new drawers and cabinets.

5. Organize and De-Clutter!

Cluttered spaces can weigh down one's productivity, motivation, and mental state. De-cluttering and cleaning is one of the simplest ways to update your space! Not to mention, it doesn't cost anything to do so!

So turn on your favorite playlist, or start a new audio book and give yourself a few hours to deep clean your house! Go room to room and get rid of old/broken belongings, dust, sweep, and straighten up. You will feel better and your space will look fresh and clean!

These simple home updates will be sure to help you feel like your home is fresh and new, without the cost and time of a whole remodel!
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What is an HOA?

October 14, 2020

If you are in the market for a new home or rental, then chances are you have come across HOAs. Home Owners Associations are put into place to help both residential communities and planned developments (townhouses, condos, ect..) maintain a clean and protected neighborhood/living atmosphere.

Every HOA you will encounter during your home search will have similarities and differences. For example, in a townhouse the HOA may cover landscaping and yard maintenance , whereas in a residential community, the HOA may dictate the square footage of your house and appearance of your property. Regardless, all HOAs require owners to pay monthly fees that are correlated to the services the HOA provides.

These fees vary depending on location and the type of HOA. Gated communities and residential Quick read more or view full article communities, like golf course, often have higher fees than planned developments or non-gated residential communities. When living in a planned development you will most likely encounter HOA fees that help cover the building's community as a whole. For example, HOA fees associated with a condominium will help cover the building's insurance, building repairs, common areas, and lawn maintenance .

As you continue to search for your new home, keep in mind that you should also be looking into the HOA's as well. Make sure their dues are feasible and that you align with what the HOA covers. You want to make sure that you are feeling good about your contribution to the neighborhood/development. In other words, make sure you can see and respect the value of the specific HOA before you opt to buy and live there. If you can get behind the HOA's value, you will feel much better about your purchase in the long term.

For a deeper dive into HOA's, please read Investopdia's article here.

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Investment Properties: Make The Right Choice

October 7, 2020

When looking for a good source of passive income, investment properties should not be overlooked! Whether for residential or commercial use, leasing your property can be a very lucrative path because someone is always looking to rent or expand their business. However, it is vital to make smart and informed decisions or else your investment property could end up costing you. 
In order to have the property make you money, you’ll need to make sure that you have a very clear and organized investment budget—after all, the goal is to help you make money! 
When looking at a potential investment you have to take into account initial and future payments and necessary improvements to the structure and property. This number should play a huge factor in your decision Quick read more or view full article as you want to turn around and start making a passive income as soon as possible. When you take the potential rental income and minus the expenses, it must be, in the long run, greater than breaking even for you to make money. 

You want to have decent idea of your Return On Investment (aka ROI). Take into account interest rates and the fluctuation of the market in the area. The goal is to have your ROI higher than your interest rates and your income from the property to be higher than your costs (both monthly and annually). 

Imagine Your Ideal Renter
Before buying an investment property it’s vital to imagine who you want to have leasing the property or unit from you. This will help you decide on the location, price, and neighborhood. 
For example, if you are planning to appeal to a family, then a house in a neighborhood is a good idea. They will want to be close to amenities and good schools and will typically be a longer term tenant. Whereas, if you want to appeal to job hunters and those that are climbing the corporate ladder, then a condo near the commercial district would be more beneficial. They also won’t be as long term as they will follow the opportunities presented to them. 
When looking at an investment property, it’s vital to take all of these steps into consideration. Skipping any will make your investment more risky and could end up costing you money. But, if you take the time to target your ideal renter and crunch the numbers, you could have the potential for a very successful passive income. 
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