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Bev, of Bevz Bakery, is one of the most talented and creative people that I’ve ever met.  She’s now making her talent available to those in need of sweet creations.  She’s been a friend for years and I will go out of my way to host things at our house knowing that she won’t come empty handed.

From her website:

We provide custom cakes, cupcakes, breads, cookies, and more for all occassions:

  • Weddings
  • Birthdays
  • Dinner and Holiday Parties
  • Business Meetings
  • Retirements
  • Honors and Awards Celebrations
  • Graduations
  • and other Special Events

Bev is compassionate  A few years ago we had an agent in our office who The Strange Team is sweetwas battling cancer.  Keller Williams truly is a family so we set off in an attempt to raise some money for her and her family.  I reached out to my friends and Bev answered the call.  She made several mini pumpkin loafs and allowed us to raffle them off.  What tipped the scale was the basket of bite sized samples that gave people the opportunity to sample.  Those loafs were the single biggest draw and brought in the highest bids of roughly $700.  After years of requests and encouragement by friends and familes – she’s taking the step to start her own bakery.

More about Bev:

Bev has been baking sweet creations since she was in elementary school.  Many burned fingers and worn out pot holders later, she is now offering her gift for baking to others.

Bev’s favorite recipes have a distinct southern influence, inspired by her familial roots in South Carolina and Louisiana.  Above all else, flavor is king in her kitchen…followed closely by a clean-lines appearance and welcoming presentation.

She was kind enough to bring us some samples at our office.  When you’re a hard working real estate agent it is easy to work through lunch 😉  She has such a eye for detail that I know she’s going to do great.  Look at some of her creations.  Here is the best way to contact her:

http://www.BevzBakery.com

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V8 vegetable juice

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It’s Sunday morning and I’m preparing for the NFL games that are about to air.  I thought I’d take this forum to discuss a new hobby that I just developed…and then subsequently have already stopped.  That new hobby is the art of juicing vegetables into a healthy drink.  As most of my hobbies develop this one came after I watched a documentary on juicing.  The title of the documentary is Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It’s about a guy who has a skin condition that presents itself as a rash that just doesn’t go away.  It’s hidden behind clothes and has just been an irritant for him for a large part of his adult life.  After seeing doctor after doctor without relief he decided to take matters into his own hands.  This alone was not the reason for this change is health habits.  He found himself over weight after years of eating unhealthily.  He decided what better way to  detoxify then to go on a juice fast.  His juice fast journey started in NY for 30 days after which he spent the next 30 days driving across the US.  It was a fascinating story after which he lost a ton of weight, his skin condition cleared up and he helped some others start their journey on their road to health.

Vegetables

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Great story, right?  I am totally in to this new lifestyle choice.  Sold.  Count me in.  That was Friday night.  Saturday morning, after a listing appointment, I found myself in Denver with some time on my hands.  I sought out a Whole Foods Market…specifically their juice bar inside.  Of all the choices they had to offer I selected the one with the biggest bang for my buck.  They had offerings paired with orange juice and other fruits…but I am totally in and all over the vegetable juice diet.  Because, as shown in the documentary, I can eat three bushels of vegetables in 12 ounce glass (my math might be a bit fuzzy).  The one I choose was called Goddess.  That should have said to me…dude, pass on that one…but I dove in.  It was a beet, parsley, carrot and something else concoction.  I’m sure it tasted as it was supposed to although to my untrained new vegetable seeking taste buds…it was gross.

So, my story is now…I used to be a juicer…but that hobby has passed.

Seriously, I am now reviewing juice makers to find one that will handle my ‘weekend warrior – juice guy’ mentality.  I’m looking at recipes too that offer some fruit-ness since I believe that will help.  When  you find yourself with some time go check out that documentary and see if it sparks a new (albeit temporary) hobby.

What kind of hobbies have you started on a whim and have stuck to or have you found yourself looking for another?

 

questions about short sales and foreclosurfe

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When is a property that is available for sale not really available for Sale?  How about when is a property under contract but not really under contract?  Answers to these riddles are coming up soon…

Metrolist, Denver’s MLS (Multiple Listing Service), answered a call for a change to the system Realtors use from some confusing status options as we saw an increase in short sales and foreclosures properties.  Last year when a property was being offered as a short sale

…A short sale is when a mortgage loan is or may be facing foreclosure and the owner is trying to get an offer to take to theColorado Foreclosures bank to have them accept short of what is owed…

there was a lack of uniformity for how to handle these when marketing the houses for sale.  When a short sale is being processed the bank is reviewing an offer for acceptance (typically that has taken between 30-90+ days) so while that is being reviewed the house is in a limbo state where it isn’t necessarily under contract (the contracts are contingent on the bank accepting the offer) and it’s not exactly available since there is a contract running on the house.  Last year this was handled by language written into the super secret section of the MLS where only the brokers can see whether or not there was an offer being reviewed.

That system lent itself to errors and slow recording new information.  This year Metrolist developed a new status called “Pending”.  This indicates whether or not a bank is reviewing a contract and that it does have someone who has essentially ‘first dibs’.  The new confusion is that when people are searching for homes for sale in the Metro Denver area they will often see properties in the ‘available’ section that are in fact ‘Pending’.  Many websites are not able to differentiate between the ACTIVE and the PENDING properties so they all show as ACTIVE.  It’s frustrating – although it is the best of the worst options and will be corrected with a new fix before too much longer I imagine.  When searching for homes for sale in the Metro Denver area have you come across this scenario?

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Spotlight on Harris Park Homes for Sale
Harris Park is located in between 76 th and 72nd to Sheridan and Lowell.  Harris Park features homes built in the 1950s and have multiple ranch style homes.  This neighborhood is close to many conveniences and has been well established.  Many homeowners have made renovations to their homes over the years and most homes have very nice sized lots.  There is definitely room to grow here.
 
 
For a look at all of the homes available for sale at any given time please click this map below.  
 
Today I feel cold and alone

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It dipped below 70 degrees today so naturally I’m thinking “Winters here”.  So along that vein I thought let’s talk a minute about some energy-saving tips.  A client of mine asked me recently about an energy audit on a house they were buying so I became an expert of sorts on the topic and found a great resource to learn about energy conservation.  Interestingly enough they offer energy auditing services.  Excel Energy and more information on getting a home energy audit can be found following this link.  Excel Energy’s website is chalk full of useful information and tons of links for further information.  I believe wholeheartedly in being more green and in doing what we can to cut down on waste.  Excel Energy has a blog that keeps lots of ideas on energy conservation and here are some types that they recently posted on one of their sites (source http://www.ExcelEnergy.com):

  • Set your thermostat to 68 degrees.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Open window coverings on south-facing windows to warm your home, but remember to close them at night.
    Image showing both a fluorescent and an incand...

    Image via Wikipedia

  • I don’t care how much you love that fireplace, traditional fireplaces are not efficient. When not in use, shut the damper and make sure it stays closed.
  • Plug leaks — Install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows. Did you know a 1/16th-inch unsealed crack around a window lets in as much cold air as leaving the window open 1/2-inch? Yikes.
  • Use cold water when you wash your clothes. They won’t know the difference.
  • Dry your clothes outside (Okay it’s not ideal, I get that.) or buy a drying rack.
  • Change out your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs.
  • Install a low-flow shower head.
  • Buy your water heater a blanket. If your water heater feels warm to the touch it is losing heat and needs a blanket.
  • Don’t forget to replace your furnace filter — remember that a dirty filter for your furnace is like you trying to breathe through a waffle.
  • Ceiling fan — Turn the blades clockwise in the winter!
  • Install clear, plastic sheets in the windows. Remember to seal the plastic tightly frame to frame.
  • And my personal favorite, make sure you don’t have a piece of furniture or a big, fluffy cat blocking a vent! This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed throughout the-house and not inundated with cat hair.
These are just a few ways to help stretch your dollar during the winter months.  What kind of things do you do at your house to cut down on electric bills?
Keller Williams Realty

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We here at Keller Williams Preferred Realty keep a close eye on the market and watch closely trends to make sure we stay on top of the market.  We personally hold daily real estate sales team meetings and our whole office holds bi-monthly meetings with all or most of our 170+ agents.  Today was one of those meetings where we discussed market updates, new home community builder Meritage, financing and interest rate updates and upcoming training opportunities.

Market update
For the month of August 2011 we had a total of 16,631 homes for sale which is a decrease from last year by around 28%.  Last year was an anomaly because of the tax credit hype which caused people to show up to the party – albeit a little late since the credit expired June 30, 2010.  We did see a jump in inventory this time last year.  The numbers this year are more in line with our typical market.

We did see a 14% increase in homes that went under contract from last year.  This type of activity combined with lower inventory suggests that a seller is more likely to sell right now because demand is up and supply is down.

New Home Community by Builder 

In the world we currently live it’s just the right thing to do to conserve and reuse when we can.  The green movement is here and it’s time to get involved.  Meritage has answered the call.  Focusing on energy efficiency they have developed a home that comes in around 60 HERS compared to the average resale which is around 135 HERS.  Here are a few of places where they are building:

North Creek Farms is located across from Larkridge shopping plaza on Highway 7 in Thornton, CO.

Coal Creek Village in Lafayette with close proximity to shopping and major thoroughfares.

Interest rate updates

Rates are hovering right around 4% with an FHA loan.  Anytime an interest rate goes up by 1% it buys 10% less house for the same monthly payment.  If you or someone you know is on the fence about getting into this market it may be time to get off that fence.

Upcoming training
Mega agent camp in Austin, TX, is being held next Tuesday, September 20-21, 2011. The core belief for this organization is that ‘Iron sharpens iron’. This is an intensive couple of days focussed solely on finding out what the best agents are doing in their markets to really help people with their real estate needs at a high level. We at the  The Strange Team average 30 days in training each year. In order to stay on top of the market and marketing trends it’s important to learn from people in different markets dealing with different situations.

What do you do to stay on top of the industry in which you work?


Football is back! Today’s lack of productivity is brought to you in part by two NFL Monday Night Football games which ended at 11:49pm MST last night.  That in and of itself isn’t that big of a deal.  The thing that tipped the scale for me is that the Broncos was that 2nd game and the Broncos didn’t win…at home…against the Raiders…hence lack of productivity today.

Fantasy Football A friend posted on Facebook recently that he was having his fantasy football draft and all of his buddies showed up in french maid outfits.  I’ve played fantasy football for many years now and have done it over various platforms and managing a couple of teams at a time.  Up until this year my wife and I have played in the same league for about since I started.  She has a strategy which has helped her finish in the top 1-3 teams while she was playing.  She would pick the players based solely on head shots.  It sounds crazy but it seemed to work for her.

Fantasy Football – Father and Son Edition This year my 9 year old son is taking the reigns from my wife’s team and we’re playing in the same league.  This league has another father and son combo which makes it a little more fun.  Last night my son had Tom Brady in and he threw for over 500 yards and 3 touchdowns.  One touchdown was a 99 yard pass play to Wes Welker for a TD.  Needless to say he won last night…his dad didn’t…

Time Together Back to school, fall football, gymnastics…our schedule has started back up for the school year and it seems non-stop doesn’t it?  It’s something we all go through.  It’s amazing how fast paced we all are right now.  It’s important, I believe, to find ways to spend some time together whoever you can…as a family and individually.  I would argue that quantity time is more important than quality time.  Larry Winget writes that the average parent spends less than three and a half minutes of meaningful conversation with their kids.  Let’s change that.

How do you work in family time with such a hectic schedule?