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Check This Off Your Bucket List! Annual 14’er Hike 2014

Mt. Evans the strange team

When: August 9, 2014, 7:00 a.m.

Where: 11859 Pecos St. Westminster, CO 80234  Meet in parking lot at office for a light breakfast.  Caravan leaves at 7:30!

Hike: This year we will be hiking MT. EVANS, a 5 1/2 mile roundtrip using Route #2) Mt. Evans – West Ridge via Mt. Spalding– see route info below.

How do I join? The event is free, but we need you to Sign-up below so we can make sure to get you breakfast & a water bottle!

Reaching New Heights
Let’s Tackle a 14’er!!

Below is some logistical information as well as some helpful pointers supplied by REI.

Here is an abbreviated list of recommended items to bring along:

□ Travel pack (30L sized pack rec.)
□ Fanny pack
□ Dry bag for wet clothes
□ Camera bags

□ A few articles of lightweight and easily washable clothing for city wear
□ Quick drying pants/shorts
□ Long and short sleeved shirts
□ Sun hat with brim


Travel Gear
□ Heavy or mid-weight wool or synthetic socks
□ Waterproof/breathable jacket with hood
□ Bandana
□ Walking shoes
□ Lip balm
□ Water bottles
□ Camera with extra batteries
□ First aid kit
□ Sunglasses; sunscreen
□ Snacks

There have been reports of cool weather in the mornings and some have even reported seeing
flurries while on the summit. There may be a section or two where a snow field will have to
be crossed so keep that in mind while selecting clothing. .

For more information on the route and photos visit: It is also recommended to purchase a CORSAR card for $3 and there is more information is below via link. We are looking forward to it and please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions: Alan 303.668.5208

** Please consult medical advice before attempting a hike. Hiking is inherently dangerous and
the participant accepts all liability for injury and safety.

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Southern Peach Cobbler


Turn fresh peaches into sweet, outrageously delicious cobbler.

In this video, you’ll see how to turn fresh peaches into a classic, Southern-style peach cobbler. This 5-star recipe is the result of years of devoted cobbler experimentation. Sure, you can use peaches that don’t come from Georgia in this Southern cobbler, but why would you? See how it’s done! This may be the perfect summer dessert.

  • PREP20 mins
  • COOK40 mins
  • READY IN1 hr


Original recipe makes 4 servings
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.
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Don’t Let Summer Break Set Your Kids Back This Fall

Ideas for summer learning fun

Start with a Book

Check out Reading Rockets’ new summer website, Start with a Book. You’ll find a treasure trove of themed children’s books, parent–child activities, and other great resources for summer learning.

Offer recommendations for active learning experiences. Check with your local department of parks and recreation about camps and other activities. Find out what exhibits, events, or concerts are happening in your town over the summer. Create a directory or calendar of local summer learning fun to share with your students and their families. (Be sure to note any costs involved.)

Encourage parents to build reading and writing into everyday activities. Some ideas to pass along: (1) watching TV with the sound off and closed captioning on, (2) reading directions for how to play a new game, or (3) helping with meals by writing up a grocery list, finding things in the grocery store, and reading the recipe aloud for mom or dad during cooking time. More ideas at PBS Parents (in Spanish, too).

Summer trading cards. Kids can dive deeper into summer reading by exploring characters with the Trading Cards activity from ReadWriteThink, which provides students with the opportunity to expand their understanding of the reading by creating new storylines and characters. A nifty Trading Card interactive tool provides additional support.

Encourage writing. Give each of your students a stamped, addressed postcard so they can write to you about their summer adventures. Or recycle school notebooks and paper into summer journals or scrapbooks. Another way to engage young writers is to encourage your students to spend some time researching and writing community stories — not only does it build research and writing skills, but helps kids develop a deeper sense of place. And check out the pen pal project at Great Schools. Find more good summer writing ideas from Start with a Book: keep a nature journal, create a poetree, share a recipe, or keep a scrapbook of reviews of summer adventures.

Kids blog! Arrange for a safe, closed community so that your students can blog over the summer. Edublogs and Kidblog offer teachers and students free blog space and appropriate security. Free, disposable e-mail accounts are available at Mailinator. Students can create an account there, use the address long enough to establish the blog and password, and then abandon it.

Be an active citizen. Kids who participate in community service activities gain not only new skills but self-confidence and self-esteem. Help them zoom into action! Resources from ZOOMcan help them get the most out of helping others this summer.

Active bodies. Active minds. First Lady Michele Obama is leading the national Let’s Move initiative — with the goal of raising a healthier generation of children. Let’s Move Outside has lots of ideas to help kids get the 60 minutes of active play they need everyday. At Your Library has suggestions for fun outdoor games — everything from the classics (remember Capture the Flag?) to how to invent your own, plus a list of books that will inspire you to “let the games begin.”

Get into geocaching. Everyone loves a scavenger hunt! Get in on the latest outdoor craze with geocaching, where families search for hidden “caches” or containers using handheld GPS tools (or a GPS app on your smart phone). Try a variation on geocaching called earthcaching where you seek out and learn about unique geologic features. Find more details about geocaching plus links to geocaching websites in this article from the School Family website,Geocaching 101: Family Fun for All, in Every Season. Or follow one young family on their geocaching adventure: Geocaching with Kids: The Ultimate Treasure Hunt.

Watch a garden grow and build research, reading, and writing skills with this summer project from ReadWriteThink. Children are encouraged to write questions and observations in a summer garden journal. Or check out the Kids Gardening website for lots of great ideas and resources for family (and school) gardening.

Make cool things. “Dad, dad, dad, can we make a samurai sword?…” Dad Can Do is a wonderful site full of crafty ideas that bring fathers and kids together. Make a wizard’s wand, paper planes, spaceships, ex libris, and quirky things like an origami cowboy shirt (think Woody from “Toy Story”) — mostly from inexpensive or recycled materials.

Help parents plan ahead for fall. Work with the teachers a grade level above to develop a short list of what their new students have to look forward to when they return to school. For example, if rising third graders will be studying ancient cultures, suggest that parents check out educational TV, movies, or local museums that can provide valuable background information on that topic.


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How to Handle Multiple Offer Situations

market snapshot june 2014

When selling your home, having more than one offer to consider is a great position to be in. However, there are some rules of thumb for handling the sale of your property in a multiple-offer situation.

The most important is to evaluate every offer for its details – not just the price. Study all conditions and investigate thoroughly the strength of each offer. Just because the buyer has agreed to pay a certain amount for your home doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is capable of bringing about a successful closing.

Evaluate their pre-approval letter as well as the lender itself. You should be particularly suspicious of all-cash offers. What’s too good to be true, often is.

In evaluating offers, your listing agent will prove an invaluable support. He or she will do the legwork required to consider each offer and check out the buyers and buyer agents. Do ask your agent for input and opinions. However, in the final analysis, you are the decision-maker.

You’re more likely to attract multiple offers and save yourself headaches if you order your own property inspection before you put your house on the market. Feigned ignorance of the condition of your home risks an eventual lawsuit or costly work orders. If it’s bad news, you’ll have the choice of making repairs or reducing your asking price.

It also means fewer complications with negotiations and closing.
Negotiations are particularly difficult in multiple offer situations – not so much for the seller, but for the buyers. Hopefully, you and your listing agent will treat offers with respect. The seller pretty much dictates the way offers are presented, and making buyers jump through hoops – especially if their offer comes in well below the others – won’t benefit anyone. Let them know there are several better offers, so if they can’t increase theirs, they can exit gracefully.

Symon Payne from Ready to go newsletters provided the content for this article

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Are Zillow’s Home Value Estimates Accurate?

JULY 9, 2014 14:00 PM · From


Most of you have probably heard of Zillow – this is one of the largest and most popular online and mobile real estate sites, a leader in its field beloved by analysts and used by millions of home buyers and sellers. As a Realtor, I love many aspects of Zillow – but not all.

Every week, some of the most common questions I get from buyers and sellers relate to the “Zestimate” – Zillow’s hugely popular online home value estimating tool. Zillow invented this online feature and changed the real estate marketplace in 2005. It’s a cool idea. Many homeowners start their selling process by getting a Zestimate, and many buyers use it to get a “second opinion” on the value of a property they’re interested in. Friends, if only it were so easy … Unfortunately, those estimates are frequently inaccurate – and sometimes they’re wildly off base.

Zillow and major competitors like Trulia and Redfin are awesome because they’reempowering for buyers and sellers. Back in the day, real estate agents held all the cards – only they knew which homes were on the market and only they understood property values. Nowadays you can get much of this data online before you ever meet an agent – and that’s great when the info is on target.

The problem starts when a buyer/seller gets an online estimate on a property and believes it’s accurate … until they receive a very different estimate from their real estate agent. Then they don’t know who to believe, or worse – they want to sell their home for more than it’s really worth.

Zillow’s system is well designed – but at the end of the day it’s an automated system that’s pulling data from a few sources and making generalized assumptions. It cannot account for exceptions and variations – and those details can substantially alter home values from an “average.” Furthermore, the market determines the price … In the space of a year, the value of your home can shift by tens of thousands of dollars, due to supply and demand and other market forces that Zillow cannot know or quantify.

How does Zillow value homes?

Zillow uses a proprietary formula to determine the value of a home based on a tonof data that it pulls from public records and information entered by users, such as – the home’s last sales price and the sales price of “comps” (homes in the surrounding area), the home’s layout and features, tax records, and so on. However, the data they use has many issues – for instance, different data is available in different counties … the info Zillow uses for New York City may be different than the info it has access to for Contra Costa. And part of the formula is the property’s assessed value. Unfortunately, it’s rare that assessed home value has any correlation to market value – these are two completely different things. Assessed values are used by towns to collect taxes and in many cases they trail the actual market value of a home. Here in the East Bay, I’ve seen homes sell for tens and even hundreds of thousands more than their assessed value – and I’ve seen them sell for under it too.

The biggest single problem with Zillow is their methodology – it just highlights the limitations of technology, no matter how innovative.

How does a real estate agent predict a home’s value?

I could tell you … but then I’d have to…Okay, I’ll let you in on a bit of The Secret Formula!

It’s actually a combination of art and science that requires a real understanding ofthe local market – bearing in mind that the market changes day to day and data gets old quickly, and interpreting recent sales data is complex and demands intimate knowledge of the area. Moreover, adding in variables like schools, location to freeways and changing neighborhood demographics can be daunting if you are not very familiar with an area.

So should home sellers and buyers just forget about online home value estimates?

In my opinion, no – you should research as much as possible. But be smart about your research and have reasonable expectations. For this article I searched on a friend’s property from several leading sites, and got these values:

  • Zillow Zestimate – $812,00
  • Trulia – $955,304
  • Redfin – $944,000

Notice how the Zestimate is quite a bit lower than the others? Zillow tweaked its system recently and according to some analysts, as of 2014, Zillow’s estimates are too low. My suggestion is, go to 3 or 4 sites that you trust and get their estimates. Then take them all and calculate the average to get a quick snapshot of your home’s current value.

But don’t get too caught up in the results. If your local market is smokin’ or your home is super snazzy, it might generate much higher offer prices when you list it … and if your roommates are termites and your house hasn’t seen an update since 1948, it’s probably worth less.

Online estimates are fine if you’re not selling soon. But if you are – you’ve got to meet with a great real estate agent and have them present you with a serious CMA of your home’s value at this exact moment in time, based on the current condition of your home. No algorithm can beat the expertise and intimate market knowledge of an agent. The computer doesn’t know some very important factors that can affect price, like recent remodels, curb appeal, additions on a home and upgrades – and real live agents can pick up on market trends much faster than any old algorithm.

Keep in mind that the number one reason why homes do not sell is because of an unrealistic asking price. If you price your home incorrectly out of the gate more than likely you will end up selling it for less than you would have if priced correctly from the start.

Until next time … Nancy

Nancy Bennett, REALTOR, Keller Williams

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