Monthly Archives: August 2017

The New IKEA Catalogue Is Here


Back to school isn’t the most exciting thing happening in August. It pales in comparison to another, much more important event: the release of the new IKEA catalogue. Praise, Sweden, it’s here. And that means it’s time for us scour the book for all the things we’ll need to go buy in the coming weeks.

Here is our Top eight:

1. The utilitarian Pinnig has a coat rack up top and shoe storage down below, and will fit right in with industrial décor. Throw a cushion over that bench and you also have a comfy place to sit with this $89 piece.

2. We love the simple shape of the $75 ODGER chair, and the fact that it “assembles without tools and works for dining room, workspace, and more,” said Curbed, makes it even better. If you’re not a fan of the light brown, it will also come in creamy white and dark blue.

3. IKEA is down with the brass trend that’s going on in interior design, and we’re all about their new TILLAGD Flatware. Priced at $59.99 for a 20-piece set, it also comes in black. Apartment Therapy calls the sets an “on-trend bargain yet timeless enough to purchase for the long haul. Get ready for your glammiest dinner or holiday parties ever with flatware in simple shapes done up in luxe, of-the-moment finishes.”
4. In a kid’s room, a laundry room, a craft space, a dorm room, a kitchen – there isn’t a space we can’t picture using the MYRHEDEN Frame. At $14.99, it’s so affordable you can buy one for every room. With a clip in every part of the grid and hooks at the bottom, just imagine what you’ll be able to show off.

5. New hardware is among the easiest and most impactful changes you can make to a piece of furniture, and these OSTERNAS Leather Handles and Pulls ($12.99 for two handles, $9.99 for two pulls) will certainly make an impression.

6. The LAMPAN Table Lamp is IKEA at its best – stylish, perfect for small spaces, and just about the price of your morning latte. A chic lamp for under $6? We’ll take 10.

7. Personally, we’re fans of anything that has a tray on top. This little $39 YPPERLIG Coffee Table is DEFINITELY going to keep the dog from knocking over the ever-present Diet Coke (again).
8. If you’re OVER your quilted headboard, might we suggest the GJÖRA Bed Frame. The natural wood color is right on trend, and, at $279, it’s an inexpensive way to update your lair.

This article was  WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI and posted on RealtyTimes.  


Showstopping Tips for Creating an Outdoor Theater

Here’s a fun article we wanted to share that was written by Amalie Drury and shared on Housecall.  It’s too good to keep to ourselves!!

outdoor theatre

There’s something magical about watching a movie outdoors—the fresh air, the novelty of a big screen under the stars, the excitement of a group of people all laughing along to their favorite lines. And you don’t have to wait for your local park district to host a screening, either, when you create your own outdoor movie theater right in your backyard. Here’s what you’ll need.

Cozy Seating
Create a stadium-style effect by arranging a semi-circle of comfortable outdoor lounge chairs, sofas and chaises for adults. Then spread thick picnic blankets—or even sleeping bags—for kids on the grass closer to the screen. Scatter oversized pillows, poufs and extra light blankets within easy arm’s reach for everyone.

Soft Lighting
When your guests get up and down for snacks during the show, make sure to light their way with candles (real or battery-operated) in glass hurricanes, a strand of string lights overhead or even rope lighting along the ground similar to the aisle at an actual movie theater.

theatre snacks

Snacks and Drinks
In a tucked-away spot away from the screen, set up your “concession stand.” Make it festive with a big popcorn popper complete with a buffet of toppings like melted butter, parmesan cheese, cajun spices and cinnamon sugar. For a fun touch, buy individual popcorn bags—you can find old-fashioned red-and-white bags or customizable brown paper bags online. Other easy food ideas include sophisticated meat-and-cheese boards for adults, homemade pizza cut into small squares, and bowls of miniature candy bars for all to enjoy (just avoid foods that are drippy or difficult to eat in the dark).

Beer and wine are the logical way to go for drinks—they’re easy to pour and can be sipped over the course of a couple of hours as the movie plays. Make them feel special with a bar cart setup complete with pretty ice buckets and attractive melamine glassware rather than disposable plastic.

Tech Gear
There are lots of different options when it comes to the key components you’ll need to actually screen your movie: a projector, a screen, a sound system and a media player. If cost is no object and you foresee using these components time and again, there are amazing high-quality inflatable screens and high-pixel projectors on the market. But you’ll have just as much fun with a king-sized white bed sheet hung on the side of your house or garage, a low-cost (or rented) projector, your laptop computer and your best Bluetooth speaker cranked way up.

Just be sure to test your setup before movie night, checking to make sure your connections work and finding out how dark it needs to be outside before your movie shows up nice and bright on the screen.

Fun and Games
An idea we love? As dusk begins to fall, get your guests excited to watch the movie and draw them to their seats with “previews,” like clips from wildlife documentaries and classic cartoons. Consider raffling off a pair of tickets to a movie at a local theater, and plan something participatory for intermission—a trivia game or a toast with a special batched cocktail will help keep the mood festive.

movie ticket

Amalie Drury is an expert on home design and furniture trends, writing on behalf of Crate and Barrel. She has covered related topics as a senior editor for magazine publisher Modern Luxury and as a city editor for women’s lifestyle site PureWow. She has also written for Time Out, the Chicago Tribune and Sophisticated Living.

Each Generation’s Favorite Renovation Projects


The average homeowner is spending more money on a greater number of home improvement projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s 2017 True Cost Survey, a study of 14 million service requests received between July 2016–17. However, the projects vary by generation, income, and geography, the study finds. Here are the top five most popular home improvement projects by generation.

outdoor play equipment


  1. Install outdoor play equipment
  2. Install childproofing
  3. Install backyard landscaping
  4. Update sprinkler system for lawn and garden
  5. Install front yard landscaping


above ground pool

Generation Xers

  1. Repair outdoor play equipment
  2. Install outdoor play equipment
  3. Add or remove holiday lighting
  4. Build or install vinyl-lined swimming pool
  5. Build or install an above-ground swimming pool



Baby boomers

These homeowners are the biggest spenders on remodeling projects, according to the study. They pay a lot for home maintenance to keep their property values up—particularly if they’re looking to sell and use the proceeds in retirement.

  1. Install or repair gutters
  2. Repair shed, barn, or playhouse
  3. Repair gazebo or freestanding porch
  4. Asphalt sealing
  5. Repair exterior trim

“Boomers are indulging in luxury purchases, large discretionary remodels, kitchens, bathrooms, stonework, remodeling swimming pools, hiring designers to do professional landscaping jobs,” says Brad Hunter, HomeAdvisor’s chief economist.

Source: “Home Improvement Is Hot Right Now, But Who’s Doing What?”® (Aug. 28, 2017)

972 Welch Avenue – Berthoud, Colorado

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Welcome to your new home at 972 Welch Avenue in historic Berthoud, Colorado!

This property is impeccable with it’s sparkling clean interior and ready to move-in condition.

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You’ll enjoy it’s recent upgrades to the bathrooms, including a fully finished “daylight” basement, upstairs loft area and private patio.

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With designer touches everywhere, you can spread out in your separate dining room and breakfast bar. Kitchen features a wonderful pantry and the property has high ceilings, for a completely airy feel.

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Some luxuries that you might not expect is a walk-in closet, central air conditioning and attached car garage.

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We think the crown jewel is the extended front porch!

welcome to berthoud

Low maintenance living at it’s best, not to mention the opportunity to live in historic downtown Berthoud!


Why Is It Important To Use A Professional To Sell Your Home?

When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price for it with the least amount of hassles along the way. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is actually getting their homes sold.

Real Estate Contract of Sale

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the first step that “…44% of recent buyers took in the home buying process was to look online at properties for sale.

However, the report also revealed that 96% of buyers who used the internet when searching for homes purchased their homes through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their homes directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online but then depend on an agent to find the home they will buy (50%), to negotiate the terms of the sale (47%) & price (36%), or to help understand the process (61%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers who reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who have used agents to buy their homes has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

What we’d like you to take away – 

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

How Long Is Mortgage Pre-Approval Good For?


If you want to show sellers you’re seriously interested in buying their home, getting mortgage pre-approval is a critical first step. It proves that, after digging through your financials, a lender is willing to give you money to buy a house.

“Getting pre-approved is a great way to differentiate yourself when making an offer,” says Linda Walters, a Realtor® in Wayne, PA.

Unfortunately, a pre-approval isn’t a one-and-done process. In fact, if your home search drags on for several months, there’s a chance your pre-approval won’t be valid after a certain point. Let’s explore how long a pre-approval letter remains valid and what to do if yours expires before you find a house.

Pre-approval vs. pre-qualification

It’s important to understand that pre-approval is different from pre-qualification.

To get pre-approval, the lender will review your financial information such as bank statements, pay stubs, W-2s or 1099s, a year or two of your tax returns, and your credit report. Once the numbers are crunched, the lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter certifying you are qualified to borrow a certain amount of money at a certain interest rate. Pre-approval does not lock you into a deal with a lender; in fact, it’s wise to speak to a couple of lenders before signing a mortgage.

On the flip side, getting pre-qualified for a loan is much less of a financial deep-dive. The lender simply estimates what you’d probably qualify for based on information you provide about your income, debts, and assets. It’s good information to have if you’re not sure you can get a mortgage, but it doesn’t mean as much to sellers as pre-approval does.

mortgage tilesWhy mortgage pre-approval matters

“If you want to purchase a home, you will have to demonstrate that you are financially able to buy it,” says Cathy Baumbusch, a Realtor in Alexandria, VA. “It doesn’t make sense to look for properties to purchase without first knowing what price range you qualify for and are able to purchase,” she says.

If you are in a competitive market, a pre-approval letter is often needed for your offer to be taken seriously.

How long does your mortgage pre-approval last?

It varies from lender to lender, but mortgage pre-approval is typically valid for about 90 days, according to Baumbusch. Your letter will have a date on it, after which it is no longer valid.

The reason pre-approval letters “expire” is because banks need the most up-to-date information about your salary, assets, and debts. Three months is long enough that you could have left a job, taken on new debts, or spent what was previously in your bank account.

In fact, even if you’re pre-approved, most lenders will want an updated set of pay stubs and bank statements around the time of closing. Hey, nobody ever said getting a mortgage was easy!

mortgage house keyring

What do you do if your mortgage pre-approval has expired?

If you’re still house hunting past the expiration date on your pre-approval letter, you just need to get another one. If you go to the same lender, it “can be updated by reverification of your financial documents,” says Sheree Landerman, a Realtor in Farmington, CT.

You will need to provide updated pay stubs and bank statements, but if nothing major has changed in your financial world, it should be no problem to get a fresh pre-approval letter from your lender.

shared from realtor .com, written by By Audrey Ference

3 Questions To Ask Before You Buy Your Dream Home

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If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place? 

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say, “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in May (the latest data available) was $252,800, which is up 5.8% from last year. This increase also marks the 63rd consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at home prices year over year, CoreLogic is forecasting an increase of 5.3% over the next twelve months. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year to buy it.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy. 

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), NAR, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Your Dream Home | Keeping Current Matters

What does this mean to you and your family?

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not For Sale By Owner!

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their homes on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

no to FSBO

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers 

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 16% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the homes they actually purchased?

  • 51% on the internet
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 8% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With 

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years. 

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.


5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent 

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

What does this mean to you?

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.