3 Easy Tips To Protect Your Deck This Winter

3 Easy Tips To Protect Your Deck This Winter.   Barbecue season is all but over, and you won’t be spending as much time out on the deck. Don’t let it get you down, though. Spring will be here before you know it. There are a lot of things that can wear down and damage your deck, so protect your deck and make sure it stays in tip top shape over the winter.

Cover The Furniture

You want your deck to look as good in the spring as it does now. The first step is to cover all the furniture (don’t forget the grill!). Cover everything with commercial furniture covers or just use a tarp. Be sure that the covers fit snuggly. They won’t do any good if they’re blowing through the neighbor’s yard. If you’ve got the space, make room in the garage for the deck chairs and table. They’ll last longer if you store them indoors for the winter.

Give It One More Good Cleaning

Dirt and dust can get trapped in the wood over the course of the summer, not to mention dog slobber or barbecue sauce. If you let these things stain your deck all winter, it will be a pain in your neck to get them out in the spring. Make sure to give your deck a thorough cleaning before it gets too cold.

You can use a pressure washer to spray away all the dirt. However, be careful not to splinter your wood, as pressure washers are powerful. Another option is to scrub the deck down with a brush.  There are several commercial cleaners to choose from, but don’t get one with bleach. You don’t want your wood to fade. If this sounds like too much work, consider hiring someone to give your deck a professional cleaning.

Moisture Is The Enemy

Rain, sleet, and snow will seep into the cracks of your deck all winter. They can cause discolor, warping, and even cracking. Now is the perfect time to use a waterproof finish to seal all the little cracks in your deck and keep out the moisture all winter. There are a wide variety of finishes to choose from. Choose a darker or lighter finish to give your deck a new look.

We’re leaving behind the days of barbecues and swimming pools, and replacing them with wool socks and fireplaces. Over the winter you can’t give your deck as much attention, but you can make sure it stays healthy and strong until spring. A good deep cleaning and a fresh new finish are your keys to avoiding cracking, warping, fading, and mold. Put in the time now, and you’ll extend your deck’s life by years.

5 Important Tips To Protect Your Home From Burglars When You Are Away

5 Important Tips To Protect Your Home From Burglars When You Are Away.   Any family would feel violated after coming home to a ransacked house. Burglars look for specific things when choosing a home to break into, and many homeowners are unknowingly inviting criminals through the front door.  Below are five ways you can avoid drawing the eyes of thieves and deter your home from becoming a target.

Beware Of Selling To Strangers

If you’re wanting to sell items on Craigslist or another internet-based classified ad website, attempt conducting your transactions outside of the home.  If you must meet at home, screen the person over the telephone to ensure that they are truly interested in the item you’re selling. Thieves have been known to make appointments just to check out your home.

Be Careful If You Tweet About It

Not all of your friends protect their social media information, or may not have the most virtuous acquaintances. If you share your upcoming vacation or big event, then a mischievous friend of a friend will know the perfect time to forcefully check out your home.  Learn how to limit your social media posts to only your trusted contacts.

Mind Your Trash

Be careful when it comes to taking out the garbage, especially around holidays. Criminals will drive around nice neighborhoods and specifically look for empty boxes of high-price items. Then all they have to do is wait for you to leave the house before they force their way in and nab the goods.  Break down boxes and conceal them in garbage bags or trash cans.

Prepare For Your Vacation

Make sure when you leave on vacation that you put a few lights on timers and have someone collect your mail. A home that is obviously vacant is every burglar’s dream.  And if you’re on an extended holiday, ensure you also hire someone to take care of the lawn – overgrown grass is a no-one-is-home indicator.

Secure The Safe

Just because you put your valuables in a safe doesn’t mean they’re secure. If the safe isn’t installed in a wall or bolted to the floor, then a burglar can just carry it through your front door. They can figure out how to break into it later.  Make the additional time investment to ensure your safe can’t walk out the door.

With a little common sense and by following the advice above, you’ll reduce the risk of your home being targeted by burglars. If you would like more information about keeping your Colorado home secure, call your trusted real estate professionals Terry Robinson, Stephanie Foster, Mike Fuentes, Christi Patrick or Deborah Oakes today.

How To Add Color To Your Home Decor Without Going Overboard

How To Add Color To Your Home Decor Without Going Overboard.

There is a fine line between adding color to your home décor and using too much so that you feel like you are living in a rainbow.  A little color will add a lot of fun and interest, but too much can be overwhelming.  How can you achieve the perfect balance?

Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind For Using Color In Your Home In A Subtle And Balanced Way:

·        Use Color Schemes

Before choosing colors for your décor, do a little bit of research into color schemes and how they work so you can combine colors harmoniously.  For example, you can choose a complementary color scheme with shades that are across each other on the color wheel – such as blue and orange or purple and yellow.  Or you could try an analogous color scheme, which is a scheme where colors are next to each other on the colour wheel – such as blue, green and purple.

·        Use The 60/30/10 Rule

This is a rule that interior decorators use in order to use colors in a balanced way. Use the dominant color on 60% of the room, so that it will create a unifying look.  Then, use the secondary color on 30% of the room in order to add visual interest. Lastly, use an accent color for 10% of the room to add that little extra.

For example, you might use the dominant color for the walls and carpet, the secondary color for the upholstery and the accent color for some pillows, a wall hanging or a throw rug.

·        Try An Accent Wall

Perhaps you have found a gorgeous paint color, but it’s just a little too bright and overwhelming to use for all four walls of a room.  In this case,  simply paint one wall with the color and the other walls with a neutral tone, so that you can enjoy the shade without it being overpowering.  You could also simply use the color in one aspect of the room, such as the baseboards or the door jams.

These are just a few of the ways that you can incorporate color into your home design without it being overpowering.

CO Residential Inventory: Beyond the Numbers

Today’s real estate market is in the news and on the minds of all buyers, sellers and real estate brokers.  Demand is high and record-low home inventory is sending prices up, blurring the affordability line for some consumers.

However, not all inventory situations are equal. Here is a snapshot of some notable differences in inventory in parts of the Denver Metro, including Boulder, as well as the mountain communities of Conifer and Evergreen.

CO Home Inventory: Beyond the Numbers

Through April 2014 in Colorado, inventory was tightest for Denver homes priced up to $250,000. The number of active listings in this price range dropped 73% in units for sale this year, compared to April 2013.

To understand the story behind the numbers, it is important to drill deeper into the market. For example, inventory overall dropped 53% for homes priced up to $500,000, comparing April 2014 to April 2013. However, a different picture emerged in the Highlands Ranch market. There, the number of active listings was down 72% compared to last year in the same price category.

Here are some other interesting examples:

  • Notably, listings for homes priced $1 million and up did not post such dramatic declines. In the City and County of Denver, where certain neighborhoods are historically desirable, the number of listings available from $1 million dropped 36%.
  • In Castle Pines Village, a gated golf community of luxury homes sited in a spectacular scenic setting, the number of active listings was down just 24% for homes priced at $1 million and up.
  • In Vail Valley’s resort property market, Beaver Creek’s inventory was termed “moderate to strong” for homes in the $1 million to $2 million range in March 2014, based on the most recent data available at The Insider’s press time.
  • Inventory for homes in the $1 million and up price range in the town of Breckenridge was down about 19.3% this spring, compared to spring 2013.
  • In the city of Boulder, where the average home price is now more than $723,000, inventory for homes across all price ranges was down 19.2% this April, compared to last year.

Call Terry Robinson and The Early-Group for more information about your area.  303.748.3838

Marijuana is Starting to Intersect with Real Estate

You don’t think of the changing status of marijuana in many states as having a real estate impact but it does. In the states where medical marijuana is decriminalized (and in Washington and Colorado, where it’s decriminalized even for non-medical use), landlords and their rental agents have a disclosure issue on their hands. The landlord has to decide whether or not the rental property accommodates marijuana use, and if so, the rental agent has to be sure to adequately disclose the policy to prospective tenants. That’s just one of the issues stemming from the changing legality of this controlled substance.

The marijuana issue is one of several trending legal issues you’ll be hearing about more in the months ahead. Fracking, which involves extracting gas from shale rock, raises contractual issues: do the rights to the gas leases convey with the property in a sale? The answer is, it depends on what you negotiate. So, agents need to be up on the contractual issues that Fracking raise and also has to be able to manage buyers’ and sellers’ expectations about who gets the rights to the gas.

Our goal is to make you aware of these twists so you can have a better idea of what to do if you find yourself dealing with one of the issues this year.  Please call Terry Robinson & The Early-Group @303.748.3838 for more info.

by Robert Freedman


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