Recent Articles

Brittany Knolls

[ 0 ] August 16, 2018 |

.

 

Map it

  • Located in south Fort Collins, Brittany Knolls is just down the street from Southridge Golf Course, only a few miles from Front Range Village, and about 4 miles west of I-25.
  • You’ll find Brittany Knolls west of Lemay Ave, north of Trilby Rd, east of College Ave, and just to the south of Fossil Creek Park.

Read More

Customs Process Made Easy (skip the line)

[ 0 ] July 24, 2018 |

My wife, our three girls and I recently took a trip to the Caribbean. Our return had us flying into Miami National Airport with a 2-hour layover before heading back to Denver. We assumed two hours would be plenty of time to get through customs, re-check our bags, and make our way to our gate. This assumption was tested when we found ourselves at the end of a customs line that held 6000 people (yes…six THOUSAND).

A funny thing happened, though, about ten minutes before the herd stopped us — I paid attention (no small feat). As we were landing in Miami, an informational video played on the back of the seats; but you know what it’s like as a plane is landing, we’re in a hurry, we’re anxious, and because we’ve heard it all before, we aren’t paying attention to anything. The video referenced an app, Mobile Passport, that could potentially speed up the customs process. The video wasn’t great, and I didn’t quite understand what I was doing, but I downloaded the app and started through the required steps.

I was prompted to “create a trip” — which required that I input some information from each of our passports (there was an option to auto-fill this section by scanning the passport with the app, but it didn’t work for me), select the destination airport, and answer the basic questions you get when reentering the country (are we carrying any fruits, plants, meats, animals, etc.). I then had to take our pictures (being careful not to show any teeth and being certain there was nobody else in the picture). The whole process took no more than ten minutes.

I wasn’t confident that much time, if any, would be saved by completing this process, but I figured if it saved even a little time, it would be worth it. As we got to the customs line, there was an official letting us know we were in for a LONG wait (again, we were told there were at least 6000 people in front of us). There was then an agent yelling something about “mobile passport” and once we verified that he was referring to this app, he directed us past the very, very long, winding line. We ended up directly in front of a customs agent, with only one group ahead of us in line. From the time we started to follow the official past the line of people until we made it through customs was about the same amount of time it took me to fill out the info in the app: 5-10 minutes.

Needless to say, this simple process saved us a significant amount of time, and possibly even prevented us from missing our connecting flight. If you’re going to be traveling abroad, I highly recommend looking into whether your connecting US airport utilizes this app/process. The info has to be filled out no more than (if I remember correctly) four hours before arrival at customs, so, the only downside is that you will have to wait until nearly the last minute. Good luck and hope this saves you some time!

 

How I clear up space on my desktop

[ 0 ] June 22, 2018 |

I don’t like clutter — especially on my desk. So it logically follows that I attach as much under my desk as possible (doesn’t everybody?). Using Scotch Extreme Fasteners, one of my work computers (a Mac mini) and a backup hard drive are securely attached to the underside of my desk. I can’t attach everything to the bottom of my desk, but it works for a few things — which makes brain happy.

 

 

 

Our Favorite Life Hacks

[ 0 ] June 20, 2018 |

5. I try to burn 1000 active calories a day. This would be impossible if not for my DeskCycle 2. This small machine fits under my desk and allows me to passively pedal (and still get my work done) for hours at a time.

4. I have used DayOne as a family diary for years, but I’ve recently expanded its use. I now have journals for things like yard work, dog records, and receipts. If I need to know the last time I fertilized my lawn I look in DayOne.

3. With 5 in our family, we have a lot of shoes. We’ve tried many different ways to keep them organized, but nothing stuck until I created my ‘wall of shoes’ in our garage.

2. I hate clutter. This compulsion leads me to find/create order where I can, which in turn led to using velcro to store my computer at work (a Mac Mini) and external hard drive under my desk.

1. There are many practical ways to use the Amazon Echo, but using it to add items to the grocery list is by far the most useful in my family. Combine this with grocery delivery, and we have to save hundreds of hours/year.

Skip the Line

[ 0 ] May 3, 2018 |

If you own a car, motorcycle, or another motorized vehicle you are certainly aware that you must renew your vehicle’s registration every year. Historically, this process involved waiting in line (for what seemed like an eternity) at the county courthouse. Fortunately, there are now multiple ways for you to skip the line during the registration renewal process.

To renew your registration online, go to https://apps.colorado.gov/apps/door/dmv/vehicle/registration/renewal/welcome.jsf  

Online registration renewal requires that you have the following:

  • license plate number
  • credit card or checking account
  • a valid email address
  • current vehicle emissions, if applicable
  • current insurance

A few things to note about the online renewal process:

  • it can take up to 15 days for you to receive your renewal documents
  • you CANNOT renew online if your registration has expired
  • if needed, you can register multiple vehicles in one transaction

For more FAQs, visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/online-vehicle-registration-renewal-faqs.

If you aren’t able to renew online you can save time by scheduling an appointment. Go to www.larimer.org/bookatime to make an appointment. I had to do this the last time I renewed my registration and it worked great! I was in and out in fewer than 10 minutes.

 

Condo Insurance: What You Should Know

[ 0 ] March 27, 2018 |
What you have: Master Policy

When buying an attached home (condo or townhome), part of the HOA fee goes toward the Master Insurance Policy. The Master Policy covers liability & property coverage for the HOA. This policy DOES NOT cover the inside of each unit; this coverage insures each building from the “studs out.”

What you might also need: HO6 & Loss Assessment

When buying an attached dwelling, you will want to ADD an HO6 policy, which covers the unit’s contents, and any damage from the “studs in” (e.g., kitchen fire damage, loss from theft).

Finally, while the exterior of each building may be covered with the Master Policy, the deductible is still the homeowner responsibility. This deductible used to be manageable, but now insurance companies (generally) charge 10% of the total cost of the work. Let’s say a hail storm hits, resulting in each building needing a new roof. And let’s say each roof costs $50,000 — for a total cost of $400,000. If there are a total of 24 owners, and if the deductible is $40,000, each owner will owe just under $1700 for his/her portion of the deductible.

You as the owner can either start saving now for this potential cost, or you can invest monthly in Loss Assessment coverage, an optional add-on to the HO6 policy (i.e., H06 policy is prerequisite to this coverage). You should be able to get $5000 of coverage for around $10/month.

 

Record your iPhone screen

[ 0 ] November 14, 2017 |

 

Digging Deeper (to unearth the questions you haven’t thought to ask)

[ 0 ] October 9, 2017 |

Have you ever unintentionally buried someone else’s (dead) cat in your garden? Well, I have. And while it was admittedly regrettable, I did learn a valuable, if not elementary, lesson from the experience — a lesson that transfers quite nicely to real estate.

That is, take a closer look and ask a few more questions so that 1) you have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into, and 2) you don’t later regret your decision.

Had I taken just a few extra seconds to study the features of the cat, or to simply read the tags on the still intact collar, I would have realized this wasn’t our Daisy. I still may have decided to bury and eulogize the deceased, but it would have been a conscious choice. As it was, I made a hasty and ultimately regrettable decision to bury Daisy’s doppelganger in a shallow grave in the middle of our garden. (I still feel bad DD’s owners never learned of their mate’s fate.)

Read More

What’s not to Love

[ 0 ] October 9, 2017 |

When selling your home, you want buyers to be indifferent to most features of the home, and you want them to absolutely fall in love with two or three things. To put it another way, when listing and selling a home, our goal is that 80% of the home would be just fine…not a distraction, but that the other 20% of the home would be the real draw.

Read More

If Only….

[ 0 ] September 29, 2017 |

Allow us to help you avoid potential real estate regret

There’s always one more question we wish we’d asked…one more bit of information we wish we would have gathered. I like to call them “if onlys.” Things like, “if only I had known the market would go up like it did I wouldn’t have sold;” or, “if only I had thought of Facebook first;” or, “if only I had known having a husband was like having an extra kid.”While we can’t help you with your personal “if onlys,” we can certainly help you get in front of potential real estate regrets.

When buying or selling, we consider it our jobs to present to our friends/clients the questions they don’t know to ask and to present the information they didn’t know existed. And this service extends beyond just buying or selling. We also ask friends and clients to use us as a resource if they are, for example, thinking of finishing a basement or considering a remodel to some part of their home. There are no absolutes when it comes to what you should/shouldn’t do to your home, but will instead depend on your specific location, the cost associated with the change, and more, so we suggest you never rely on any generalities that you might find in magazines or on television. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether what you’re planning will actually accomplish what you believe it will.

Read More