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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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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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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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Virtual Staging: Why It Helps Sell Houses FAST

September 30, 2020

If 2020 has shown us one thing, it’s that so many things can be done online—even selling a house! This isn’t a new concept to most people as we have all spent time scrolling through apps and sites like and, however, there is a new way to boost your real estate listing, and that is: Virtual Staging.

Virtual Staging is not just taking great pictures for your online listing (although it is a good idea), instead it’s an advanced technology that helps you to digitally populate and display vacant houses with furniture and decor. Here’s how virtual staging can help you boost your listing and why! 

Saves You Time and Money

For a fraction of the time and cost, virtual staging can give your listing a wider audience. Quick read more or view full article Unlike traditional home staging, with virtual staging, you can customize your house to each prospective buyer. You can build a home that buyers will love at first sight versus the traditional “one size fits all” staging model. 

Not only that, but what can take you a lot of time and money can now be done in a matter of hours with customized decor for less than $50!

Gives The Buyer More

When prospective buyers look at a house, they want to visualize their own life within those four walls. By virtually staging, and therefore customizing the experience for your buyer, you help your buyer get to do just that! 

With almost 90% of buyers searching for their new home online, you are able to appeal to them directly and instantly with virtual staging. Giving them the digital visual, prior to them making an appointment, is a huge time saver for the buyer (and for you)!

The Selling Process

Staged properties have a higher success rate when it comes to selling. In fact, staged houses typically sell 70% faster than un-staged homes. Once again, saving you time and money during the selling process.

Needless to say, staging your home virtually will save you time and money. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to give your property appeal to a wider audience. And, in times like we are in now, having the ability to showcase your property digitally helps everyone involved. In conclusion, as you are getting ready to put your home on the market, it’s well worth your time to look into virtual staging your property. 

For the top Virtual Staging Companies in 2020, Click Here

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Debunked: 5 Common Real Estate Myths

September 16, 2020

Regardless of whether you are buying or selling your home, it is not only an exciting process filled with new beginnings, but also one filled with many unknowns. The more knowledgeable you are, the better experience you are going to have. This week I will debunk five of the most common real estate myths.

Myth #1: As a Home Buyer, You Don't Need an Agent
With all of the available apps out there like Zillow and Trulia, it has become a common myth that as a home buyer, you don't need to find an agent. These apps allow you to, with the click of a button, get in touch with the seller's agent and schedule a home viewing. And while it is nice to be able to shop from your Quick read more or view full article couch, you are quite vulnerable when you skip getting a buyer's agent.

Getting a buyer's agent will help prevent you from making easily-looked over mistakes during the buying process. You will have a licensed agent on your team, advocating for your needs. This often saves time, money, and headache. Not to mention, the buyer does not pay for their agent's commission as it is typically covered by the sellar of the house.
Myth #2: FSBO Will Save You Money
On the flip side, a common misconception is that you will save time and money by listing your home For Sale By Owner, aka FSBO. While yes, this does save you a bit on commission, it doesn't necessarily save you money. In many circumstances, a seller's agent can help negotiate a higher price.

In 2017, the National Association Of Realtor's came out with the following find: 
A home sold as a FSBO property typically sold for 25% LESS than those properties that had a broker behind the sale. For example, a FSBO property may go for $300,000, while the same property could sell for $365,500 with a real estate agent.
Myth #3: You Must Sell Your Current Home Before Buying a New One
While this one boils down to finances and the buyer's situation, it is not necessarily a bad thing to hold on to your current home as you buy a new one. Especially if the rental market is good! Having a passive income through renters can be a blessing while buying a new home and moving into it.

Not only that, but you can continue to build equity through the old home.
Myth #4: Pick Out Your Perfect Home and Then Get Pre-Approved
It is SO tempting to search for the perfect home from the comfort of our current one. With apps like Zillow and Trulia, this has become incredibly easy! However, you should always get pre-approved before getting your hopes up about the "perfect property".
Getting pre-approved will not only set you apart from other buyers during the bidding process (as it shows the sellers that you are a serious buyer), but it will also give you realistic guidelines and expectations about what home you can by with your budget and loan possibilities.
Myth #5: All Real Estate Agents Are The Same
It is easy to think that all real estate agents are the same, however, that is yet another (costly) misconception. Every agent has a different personality and skill-set—not to mention, you will want to find someone who you can connect with an trust to have your best interests at heart.
In terms of skill-set, one of the most significant differences between agents is whether their background is as a seller's agent or a buyers agent. Even though an agent can do both, knowing their primary focus can help you determine if they are right for your process. Same goes for commercial versus residential.

Choosing an agent that aligns with your stance as a buyer or a seller is key, and finding one that makes you feel advocated for is even better! 
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Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes You Should Avoid

September 2, 2020
Selling your home is a daunting task! What can make it even more stressful is trying to anticipate all of the problems, both big and small, that can arise during the selling process. For those of you who are looking to put your house on the market, be sure to take the necessary steps to avoiding these top 5 mistakes.

1. Don't Underestimate The Cost
Many first-time sellers don't realize how much it can cost to sell a house. For many cases, it can amount to almost 10% of the sale price. This can occur from buyer/seller agent commissions, inspections, repairs, and more. Additionally, for those people who have to move into a new place while they sell their old one, the added cost of having a second living location Quick read more or view full article can add up temporarily.
2. Only Considering The Hightest Offer
No matter how tempting it is to take the highest offer, it is vital to look at the written contingencies of the sale. These are conditions that have to be satisfied from the seller before the sale of the home is completed. These conditions can impact the selling process in terms of timeline, complexity, and the guarantee of the sale.

3. Disregarding Repairs/Costly Renovations
Many times, the sale of a house comes with a lengthy list of repairs. These can not only turn off potential buyers, but may also impact the value of your home. It is important to look at the most glaring issues and get those repairs completed before putting your house on the market.
On the flip side, be wary of making too many costly renovations with the intent of increasing your home's value. It is never guaranteed that you will recover that money put in.

4. Not Preparing Your Home
You will be showing your house often when selling, therefore it is vital to make sure that your home is camera ready! Staging your home, clearing out the clutter, and preparing your home for both in person showings and listing images will help you in the selling process. The same goes for curb appeal: make your home look inviting to prospective buyers.
5. Choosing The Wrong Agent
When selling your home, you want to work with an agent who has your best interests at heart. Take the time to do some research and interview multiple options before making your final decision. You will be working closely with your agent, and they will be helping you every step of the way. For this reason, it is vital that you select an agent that you can trust. 
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Increase your Curb Appeal

August 19, 2020

Even though we have all heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover," many of us still do that anyways. It is the same with houses—your house may be spectacular inside, but if the outside looks outdated, messy, or neglected, you will be missing out on a handful of potential buyers. Not only that, but having a well-maintained landscape can add up to 10% to the value of your home!

Gardening and Ground Maintenance
This is going a step beyond the vegetable patch. Clean up your weeds, touch up the mulch to make your plants pop and trim overgrown shrubs and bushes. Don't forget to tend to your herbaceous plants (i.e. perennials and annuals) and clean them up as much as possible.

Add some color and decoration Quick read more or view full article by planting some new flowers around your home. This will give your exterior a fresh and inviting boost! Replace or clean up outdoor plant containers and place them strategically on the porch or patio.

Water Features
This covers everything from a bird bath to your outdoor faucets. Make sure any features such as a fountain, pond, or bird bath is devoid of debris. Clean up the fallen leaves, bugs, and algae. If necessary, clean or replace the water filters—the clearer the water and the more functional your feature is, the better!

Fix any irrigation issues you may have, get the sprinkler repaired, yes it is expensive, but the buyer won't want to adopt that added expense. Additionally, any leaky faucets or places where the outdoor plumbing is faulty, address those and get them repaired prior to showing your house.

Clean Up Your Space
Lastly, make sure to tidy up and clean any outdoor living area you may have. This could be anything from the front stoop to the back patio. Sweep the leaves, gravel, and dirt away—in some cases, renting a power washer to get all of the grime off is the easiest way to do it!

Straighten up your furniture and discard of anything that is broken. Again, add some color to these spaces by grabbing some flowers. Make this space as inviting as the rest of your property, after all, prospective buyers will be imagining their life on that patio. 
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