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Easy Spell Checking for Dummies on Active Rain - 08/31/06 01:21 PM
OK, so I'm a Dummy too. I have had the ability to spell check for years, but never noticed it until Active Rain. Do you have the Google Toolbar? If not you can download it here. On the Google Toolbar is the icon "ABC Check". You can use it to spell check your blogs and comments. It's easy to use, just be sure your cursor is located within the "entry" box. Click on it, the spell check will scan for mistakes, if one is found it is highlighted. You click on the highlighted word, then here's the tricky part, you have to figure (14 comments)
Clues for Cutting Moving Expenses - 08/30/06 11:53 PM
Relocating to a new neighborhood at a distant location can be very expensive. Not all people moving have the benefit of a relocation package or the excess cash to complete the move. Many folks rely on the do-it-yourself options like U-Haul Penske or Budget truck rentals. These companies offer one-way truck rental, so you can pack and unpack yourself. The fees involved typically are per diem, plus gas and mileage. Prices for these rentals will vary according to location. Oddly enough some locations do not need additional trucks and will charge a premium if you plan to drop it off (5 comments)
It's the end of the month...are you busy? - 08/30/06 11:08 PM
Typically the end of the month signals a busy time for real estate professionals. Everyone is rushing to get "this deal" and "that deal" off the books. Scheduling a time to close that meets with all the principles is sometimes difficult. Yesterday I had a closing that was scheduled to close in a far northern suburb. The house is Southwest, both agents are Southeast, but the Title Company (picked by Homecomings) was Northwest. I campaigned the listing agent and requested they have the closer come to a southern branch of the Title Company. After requesting severeal times, he got it changed. At least (2 comments)
Infomercials of yester years - 08/29/06 10:15 PM
Brian Brady has a great post discussing the value of purchasing property that is being pitched on TV. Years ago a real estate development company marketed "Colorado Ranchettes" to the people of Chicago. I knew because every so often I would get a call from a "ranchette owner" who wanted me to sell it or value it. On several occasions they would provide me with the original marketing materials that had promoted them to purchase this property. The brochures depicted wonderful Colorado settings taken against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. Ironically, the photos told the story, but not all (1 comments)
Why Title Insurance is a good thing - 08/29/06 12:00 AM
I listed and sold a 4-plex once. The owner brought his "spouse" to the closing. The closing went well. Six months later i got a call from the guys "wife". She wanted to know if I ever sold her husband's place. I told her, yes don't you remember you were there. Well you may have guessed the rest of the story. The "spouse" he brought was not. He planted a pretend "spouse" in the closing and they both walked merrily away with the proceeds. All I could tell the real spouse when she called was to talk to the Title Company. Some people's children.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (7 comments)
TREX...Thanks and good bye! - 08/28/06 10:41 PM
Last week Governor Bill removed the very last construction cone from I-25. After 5 years the Transportation Expansion Project is complete! Would you like to join me and all the other Denver metro commuters in a wild celebration? We have suffered along with the construction crews (who got to work mostly At Night!) for 5 years. There were times when it seemed as though we would never see the end of the project. I won't miss the nights when I didn't get to leave the office until after 9 p.m. only to find my way home was, oh well, closed. Most of time (0 comments)
To Stand Still is to be left behind - 08/26/06 11:46 PM
Blogging on Active Rain is an addiction. To keep up, you must be consistent and continually blog, comment, think and try to be creative. Not everyone has the time or energy to do this, besides we are supposed to have other things to do, like list and sell real estate! Going back to the earlier pages of Active Rain, I see the names of former Rainers that no longer frequent the network. Why is that? Did they burn out early, lose interest or run out of things to say? I'm wondering who's next...will it be me? Or you? Can we all keep up (11 comments)
Colorado High - 08/26/06 10:24 PM
After a few days in the mountains in the cool, clean fresh air, my spirit is lifted and I'm almost ready to go back to work. :( Last night it snowed above 11,000 feet. Since we were living at only 9,000 feet, it only effected us with cooler temperatures. Many people come to Colorado in the winter to ski. That's too bad, because summer is beautiful too. Note my photo of Lake Dillion in Summit County. If you look at the peaks to the right, you will see snow! (in August!) At the top of Loveland Pass, I posed for a picture, just for (10 comments)
Networking fun - 08/26/06 12:03 AM
This week my husband and I have been entertaining friends in the mountains. When the friends left, we went to visit the Head Snowman of Summit County, none other than Ken Deshaies. I've known of Ken for a long time, he has authored books on real estate and has a terrific website. His company is Snow Home Properties, with a wonderful slogo, "Snow Place Like Home." Obviously Ken is a very creative guy! We caught Ken between golf and hiking a fourteener. He's a busy guy but we managed to corner him for lunch. As an added bonus, we toured his new (5 comments)
Mortgage Fraud and Lemonade - 08/25/06 06:32 PM
A story in the Denver Post yesterday related how a ex-mortgage company owner is heading toward a new career...in loan fraud prevention. Michael Richardson's company went down the tubes when 5 of his employees got caught falsifying loan-apps, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, pay stubs, yaddy yaddy. He fired them immediately, but not soon enough to save his company. Loan fraud is rampant in Colorado. What is amazing out of 337 claims to FHA, of those 1/4th came from 4 mortgage companies. The mortgage business needs to be cleaned up. Perhaps Mr. Richardson is the one to do it. From losing his life's work (2 comments)
Use of Autoresponders - 08/25/06 03:48 PM
Recently I was emailing messages to recruit for some wild real estate group I am in. It surprised me to have 90% of my messages responded to via an auto responder. The messages were basically "Hi thanks for the email, I'm out right now and will get back to you later." Well, most never got back to me. That's OK, it's not my point. I just wonder why people use an auto responder. To me it's like saying "I'm gone, too bad." It's not my expectation to have in instant answer when I email someone. To get a canned message is not helpful. (11 comments)
Naming Names... - 08/24/06 08:16 PM
Names are important they help us identify in life. Naming a baby becomes a monumental task to many parents, much so they spend hours researching and discussing the most appropriate label for their progeny. This process is sometimes made easier by reclaiming names of one's ancestors. If that doesn't work, there is always the Internet. On the Internet parents and grandparents alike can research an endless selection of names and their ranking in popularity by state! Another fascinating naming conundrum would be the naming of streets. When it comes to naming streets, typically the developer gets to do that. Unfortunately, for (6 comments)
Homeowners stop treating your home like a ATM machine! - 08/23/06 10:44 PM
The real estate boom of the past few years has given many homeowners a lot of confidence. As home values appreciated the homeowners felt "rich". The equity in their homes continued to climb, with no end in site. With easy money 2nd mortgages, home equity loans and refinancing, homeowners discovered they could tap into this equity to pay for things they want...now. Homeowners, I speak from experience. One of the things I've regretted doing in my life is spending the equity in my home(s), before I sold them. If you are thinking about refinancing to pay bills or purchase things you could do (1 comments)
Meet my new friends... - 08/23/06 10:15 PM
It's been a long summer for me with lots of work and not much play. We finally escaped and headed for the hills. Today we enjoyed the touristy delights of the Keystone Resortm located in Summit County Colorado. My good friends from Chicagoland are visiting Colorado. We entertained ourselves by taking a mountain trail ride. Later that afternoon we enjoyed cycling along the Snake River. After a liter of libations at the ODI, a 128 year old bar, we are mellow. It's been a great day here in the Colorado mountains. I can't figure out why I don't visit more often! P.S. My horse was (3 comments)
Creating Hot Links - 08/22/06 10:46 PM
Recently someone asked in a comment section "how do you make a link to a site?" I'm assuming they were talking about linking on a blog post. It's quite easy, look above at the "chain" in the tool bar where you enter your blog. This is the icon you will be clicking on to insert the url you wish to link to.
Typically, I will surf to the page I want to link to, cut and paste the URL on my clip board, then surf back to my blog entry.
First highlight the "link text" you wish to link (5 comments)
Dangers of Top Position - 08/22/06 12:45 AM
In Real estate that is... For some reason because I have a website that is visible, I get people calling me asking the darndest questions. Today someone called asking if this was the Denver Answer Desk. No, it's actually a car in Denver, but what's your question. "OK, well who are you?" You called me to ask me who I am? "No, I called to ask a question". Oh, ok, I'm a Realtor in Denver. "Cool, do you rent apartments?" no. "Can I ask you a question?" sure, I'm still here. "Can a person survive in Denver with Asthma?" I guess, but maybe (5 comments)
You Can't Handle the TRUTH! - 08/22/06 12:33 AM
Remember Jack Nicholson's famous line, "You Can't Handle the Truth?" That's how I feel when I get a call from an "investor" who is just starting out. They just woke up the morning after watching a late night, "Make a Million Flipping Real Estate Part Time With No Money Down, in Less Than Month" cable TV presentation. They are still waiting for The Tapes to arrive in the mail, but want to get started Right Now, by golly. How can I tell? Well they usually tip their hat and give me a clue by asking to buy real estate "at wholesale". Usually part of (8 comments)
Builder, why did you put that there? - 08/21/06 11:53 PM
This weekend we received company. Prior to their arrival I had my hubby hand a new mirror in the foyer. It was one of those chores that should have taken about 15 minutes tops. It didn't. Why? Because the stupid builder person put an ugly doorbell in a really dumb spot. My hubby had to move the doorbell, paint, hang the mirror and paint. It took 1/2 a day. How many times have you walked into a house to see something placed in a wrong spot? Did you wonder why in the world would the builder do it that way? My biggest peeve is the (0 comments)
REALTOR Hyperbole... - 08/19/06 11:41 PM
Recently I showed a home to a client, where the description was so puffed up it didn't come close to matching what we saw. The listing agent wrote in glowing terms about a lovely town home with fresh paint, new carpet and a absolutely fabulous view. What we saw was a dirty, smelly, pigsty with filthy pet stained carpet. In fact the odor was so bad, I had to go back outside. While I was outside, I double checked the address with the listing, just to be sure we didn't happen on the wrong place. It was correct. When my client got back (5 comments)
Facing Foreclosure? Don't walk...call for help. - 08/19/06 11:02 PM
In troubled times homeowners sometimes go into denial, thinking if the situation is ignored, it will go away. The fact is, if you are having trouble making your mortgage payment sooner or later you will have to face up to the situation. It's best you face up to it as soon as possible. Consulting a real estate professional is a good place to start. Perhaps with some help and planning you can get your home sold and avoid a foreclosure and further negative remarks on your credit report. How can a REALTOR help? If you have equity in your home (the difference between (6 comments)
A few weeks ago it was "Snakes on a Plane". My son's friends couldn't believe his MOTHER started the personalized telephone calls... Now McDonalds is the target of social conscience. In an effort to get Mickie D's to stop promoting the Hummer, Sign-O-Matic has this fun website. Now if I could just figure out a way to start my own virus...the Good Kind of course... (1 comments)
Glazed over eyes.... - 08/17/06 08:27 AM
Remember the cartoon where the human is talking to the dog. "Fido, I just vaccumed the couch. It's nice and clean now so Fido I don't want you up on the couch." What the dog hears, "Fido, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah, Fido blah, blah, blah,blah, blah, blah." Our consumers hear like this as well. I find myself answering a question and noticing how they aren't listening. Later, they prove my notion buy asking the same question again. I try to handle this by answering the question in a different manner, using an example of a real life situation. (1 comments)
The Title Company goofed... - 08/17/06 01:18 AM
A couple weeks ago, I had some buyers go sideways and decide not to purchase a home. Everything was great until the seller (or the seller's agent) decided to play the zero sum game and not repair some inspection issues. Their inflexibility shook the buyers up, so we went looking at more homes. As luck would have it they found a home they liked better. So they wanted out. Just before the inspection resolution deadline the seller agreed to do everything we asked for. Taking away the buyers last "out" of the contract. The buyers realized they would lose the earnest money (3 comments)
New Marketing Nuances ~ analyzing the blog - 08/15/06 11:43 PM
As we all plod along trying to grasp the proper techniques of blogging, we are making a huge mistake by bringing in our former marketing baggage. Interpublic Group's Universal McCann released a study relating to user of the web. In a nutshell the study indicates that users don't just use the web, they "power use it." Also of note, there is a "digital divide" in how the new generation of consumers are exhorting their influence on marketing. Of these users 80% find value in blog advertising. Outright ads bring a better response than "covert methods". Covert is defined as "overt corporate interaction" which (1 comments)
Road Wars... a continuing saga - 08/15/06 10:20 PM
Late today my road trip to my last appointment was so full of nasty drivers. Twice I either saw or experienced reckless driving. I had a close call when the driver in the next line and slightly in front decided to cut me off rather than brake for the driver who was turning in front of her. Normally I don't have a problem letting people in front, but I always prefer to have at least a car length of comfort between me and their rear bumper. Apparently this other driver misjudged the size of her SUV, because it took all I had (5 comments)
First Time Home Buyers - 08/15/06 07:14 PM
This afternoon I received a call from my son's friend. It seemed I had meet him last week at The Birthday Party. The Friend was roaming around this weekend and stumbled into an open house. The Friend & wife fell in love with the place and the agent at the open house helped spur their encouragement along. Well, The Friend is a first time home buyer and admittedly a novice when it comes to matters of real estate. His instincts were very good though. The Agent offered to assist him to buy a home, since The Friend didn't have an agent. But (2 comments)
How to get your foot in the door. - 08/14/06 03:03 PM
Justin Nickelsen posed a question regarding home inspection marketing practices. He like many other vendors are always looking for ways to get more business. Vendors to the real estate industry are Lenders, inspectors, handyman services, media advertising, title reps and others. My advice to them is universal. Snail mail tends to get dumped into the trash basket that is conveniently built-in right next to my mail box. Email goes to my "junk" folder which is almost never read. Catch me at the office...good luck. Office presentations should be good, but we get tons of those. I hate asking a professional to pay for (8 comments)
Recession? I refuse to participate! - 08/14/06 10:03 AM
The media wants to bury us in negative press. We read about the high rate of foreclosures, increasing interest rates and the glut of homes on the market. Somewhere in the doom and gloom are facts that aren't related. Our (Denver) unemployment rate is the among the lowest in the county. So are Colorado property taxes. Jobs and low taxes, now there's an attraction! The media needs to sell papers. Why must the news be bad? Why not look at the market and realize it is fluid. Things are always changing, that's why its called a "market". when the population reads nothing but negative (2 comments)
Developing a Website? Watch your step. - 08/13/06 11:33 PM
In the excitement of developing a website, many people feel it's ok to do "research" to find what they like. Sometimes this research is taken a step further and next thing you know, it's "right click, cut and paste." Wallah a website is built. Awhile later, maybe months or could even be days, you get a call or maybe a "cease and desist" letter. What do you do? Blame it on the web designer? How original. Have you ever heard of Vicarious Liability? IF you are a Realtor you have. Vicarious liability means you are responsible for what has your name on (10 comments)
.Home Owner ~ Don't Sell Yourself Short! - 08/13/06 10:02 PM
When it comes time to sell your home, there are many decisions to be made. Selecting the "right" real estate professional to sell your home is very important. With so many real estate practitioners to choose from, it's important to know what questions to ask. The Active Rain Network is a good place to begin your research. The network consists of many real estate agents from around the North American Continent. This savvy group discusses issues that come in the field that annoy or assist them in the pursuit of real estate sales. Via this short synopsis, let me guide you in (1 comments)
Denver is a Cow Town - 08/12/06 06:31 PM
This month Denver is celebrating it's past with a CowParade full of Cow Memoo-rbilia. Patterned after the famous Zurich CowParade in 1998, that attracted more than one million visitors from throughout Europe, Denver is exhibiting 100 bovines in three different pastures. Where can you see these beautiful bovines? Throughout metro Denver in Cherry Creek North and the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, downtown Denver at the special watering holes on 16th Street Mall, Larimer Square, Tabor Center, Writer Square and Denver Pavilions and the Stapleton community. Why does Denver have Cows? Raising Moo-la is the primary purpose for having the CowParade. The goal is (2 comments)
Miss Manners speaks to telephone solicitors - 08/12/06 12:56 AM
Over the course of a day a REALTOR moves through a variety of functions, keeping paperwork up to date, following up on the status of contracts, obtaining feedback from showings, updating clients/customers of their progress. One's day is very busy, seldom is there time to waste. If the REALTOR is not at a desk, chances are they are in a car with clients/customers on the hunt for a home. When you the Telephone Solicitor calls wanting to speak to the REALTOR you must not bust into your sales pitch without first asking if this is a good time to speak. You (7 comments)
Do it yourself home buyers - 08/10/06 12:58 AM
Getting 2/3rds the commission back maybe appealing the home buyers who have the time to go visit homes on their own. The problem with the plan comes not from the lack of information, that we have plenty, but the lack of understanding. Information is just that, understanding is a whole different ball game. As REALTORS there are reasons we do the things we do, sometimes we don't even explain the myriads of scenarios that can go into effect if you do something wrong. Expensive, gut wrenching, serious mistakes that make 2/3rds the commission look like a pittance. Kristal Kraft ~ Denver, Colorado (3 comments)
Bumper Stickers - 08/09/06 10:18 PM
Bumper stickers don't seem to be as popular as they once were. Now a days it seems the people who have them have tons of them so many you can't even begin to read them all while driving down the street. Today I grabbed a glimpse of out that said, "Where are we going? And why am I in this hand basket?" Have you seen any good bumper stickers lately? (5 comments)
Market Conditions in Denver, Colorado - 08/08/06 04:28 AM
Today the Realty Times reports all the news we already know about Denver. It's nice to see a reliable medium deliver the facts. Denver real estate news is looking good. The average price of homes continues to climb, even though we have a huge number of foreclosures. The sales are firm and steady in the high end. Unemployment is among the lowest in the nation. Considering unemployment is a leading indicator, Denver's future is looking very bright. Investors get ready for the rebound. The time to buy is now. For the full story, see Blanche Evans' column here. Kristal Kraft ~ Sells Denver and the (0 comments)
Day's End... a celebration of beauty and life - 08/06/06 08:39 PM
Sunsets are wonderful no matter where you are in the world. I've enjoyed the celebration of sunset at Key West where they make a big party out of the experience every night. I've witnesses the same sun setting over ancient ruins in Anchor Wat, Cambodia and the Parthenon in Greece. Last night I made my husband stop the car so we could sit on the veranda at the welcome center to Reunion while the sun graced its beauty on the Front Range of the Rockies. No matter where in the world you are...sunsets are a celebration of beauty and life. I took (1 comments)
Win-win wins - 08/05/06 03:31 PM
When negotiating a residential real estate contract, there are typically 4 items we "fight" over. Those are; 1) price 2) terms 3) possession 4) personal property. Buyers and sellers should consider these items and rank them according to importance. Sometimes the best transactions occur when we find the buyer and seller have matching needs. For instance a seller may not want to close until a date in the future, but is willing to take less for the house, just so he doesn't have to move twice. If the buyer is price sensitive but has the time to wait, this could be (2 comments)
All or nothing - 08/03/06 10:38 PM
Making home improvements is an expensive process. Sometimes the homeowner runs out of money before he runs out of things to improve. When it comes time to sell the house the homeowner discovers buyers have a hard time overlooking the things that didn't get done. In fact, the things that aren't done are what the buyer DOES notice. Bottom line advice to homeowners, do it all or don't bother. You have a choice your can do a total remodel, fixing everything from the inside out or you can sell it "as is". Price it accordingly and you will save (0 comments)
Fix 'n flip styles - 08/03/06 09:44 PM
Fix 'n flip properties have been all the rage among investors and wannabe investors as well. Dreaming about buying a home cheap, throwing a few bucks into it to doll up and sell at a big profit is common. When I run across fix 'n flip properties in the Denver metro area, they tend to fit into 2 categories. The first type is when the investor takes into account the condition of the operating systems, plumbing, HVAC and electrical. It is the wise investor who addresses these important components first, before dolling up the rest of the property. The second (0 comments)
Soapbox musings for and about Denver relocation and real estate.
Author Bio: Kristal Kraft is a Colorado Real Estate Broker specializing in relocation to and from the Denver Metro area. She is an amateur photographer, cyclist, golfer and enjoys traveling just for the fun of it!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.