It’s hard enough to build lasting relationships in real life, harder still to build a loyal clientele. Denver Fashion Diva, Denise Snyder, an expert at both–pushes the idea to the limit. Every well-dressed Denver woman knows Denise is the go-to gal for evening wear, and now the evening wear designer comes to her! Tomorrow, Ms. Snyder hosts a pre-event trunk show at her Cherry Creek boutique with the rare personal appearance of designer extraordinaire, Sue Wong. Making her Denver debut, Ms. Wong spends the afternoon at Mariel before jetting down the Valley Highway to the Flight to Luxury event and fashion show (hosted by Mariel) at Centennial Airport. Read more…
We all know how babies are made, yet there is a different kind of co-mingling and sufficient collective labor that really useful things are born. Remember the commercial with the jingle “Look for the Union Label”? *cue sappy music* Feels like a such long time ago, when the American worker was protected by strong unions and lauded for a job well done. Everything has changed; manufacturing, the job market, the way we view organized labor and how we treat our workers. Our teachers and government employees have become the enemies as time sweeps them up in a political sentiment of smaller government. This is no longer the world of FDR, JFK and LBJ, whose visions of a Great Society have been ground to pieces in the profit mill.
The spirit of the American worker has been stripped down, diminished by outsourcing, plant closures and the low-lying message that we are replaceable in a world of Corporate profits, soaring CEO salaries and raided retirement funds. What has not changed is our ability to create and it is the creative spirit that wins every time. I remember the moment when I realized that outside of nature, everything I understood as the world around me was imagined, invented, engineered and build by someone. I was ten and awed by the notion. The dreamer, the doer, the builder, the sower, the seller, some toiling alone in the dark of night, others gathered in a field at the break of dawn– by the sweat of our brow and the wings of desire… Inventor, financier, laborer, public servant, hand-in-hand… We built that. *Music swells*
On this holiday weekend as you take respite, remember those who came before, who toil today and those who search for work in this difficult economy. Give thanks to the laborer who dug the ditch, laid the pipe, cut the trail, built the roads, the railroads, the bridges, stitched your clothing from the weaver’s fabric, assembled your car, your iPhone, your laptop. Take a moment to appreciate the teachers who taught you and the postman who carried the news of your college acceptance. Hug a tree in gratitude for the deck where you’re slaving over the BBQ grill, for those who brewed your beer and stuffed your sausage— all of these people have lead you to where you are in this moment and where you’ll be in the future. Stuck in traffic on the Eisenhower Tunnel. Happy Labor Day everyone!
Let’s face it, no matter how much Oprah says it, shopping for the right bra is enough to send a girl scrambling to refill her Prozac. Unless you’ve got SOL…
Blow a kiss goodbye to standing half naked in a cold dressing while a salesgirl, cheerfully ignorant of the effects of gravity, sweeps in with a tape measure, an attitude and an armload of magic-memory-foam-underwire-gel-ultra-turbo-maxi-uplift contraptions designed for her sorority sisters. It’s all good when you’ve got youth or silicone on your side, but what looks great on an “Angel” looks like hell on a grown-ass woman.
Escape from the mall and wander over to Cherry Creek North to SOL…store of lingerie. It’s a little slice of heaven where a woman can hold her head and her bust line high. Rather than padding your ego, SOL sisters Cindy Johnson and Jeanie Peterson with their expertise and superb service, have grown their boutique into one of the country’s leading specialty lingerie stores and before you hit the dressing room you’ll know why. I took the girls in for a peek and found my new addiction.
The shop is simple and elegant, a beautiful frame for the exquisite designs. Part art, part architecture, the European intimate apparel carried by SOL goes way beyond what you’ll find at the mall. As we strolled the display boards chatting about style– body, bra and life— co-owner/psychic/bra-fitter extraordinaire, Cindy led me to a private room, asked me what shapes I liked, concerns I had and left me with “I have a few things you’ll like”. No measuring tape, no calculation of rib-to-nipple ratios, no humiliation… just a simple ‘be right back’. Her re-entry with a hand-picked array of lovelies and her adept handling of the proper fit, had me feeling like everything was in place and all was right with the world.
“How do you choose the lines you carry?” I asked, as I tried on one titillating bra after another. “Well, we used to go to the fashion shows and make lots of appointments with the designers, looking for, let’s say, that perfect red bra. It was crazy. Eventually we learned which lines were consistent with the quality, style and structure that fit our vision, then narrowed it down to those who were also able to deliver on time, as ordered. We’ve taken years to cultivate relationships with the lingerie design houses and have been asked many times to step in as consultants.”
What you pay for at SOL is more than snobbery of a luxury line of European lingerie, it is expertise. This expertise and consultancy has earned Johnson numerous visits to The Today Show, where she shows America what’s important in fit as she shows off what’s in fashion.
The experience is the very definition of personal… and in a good way. Because they put their heart where their SOL is, they create deep, meaningful and lasting relationships not only with designers but with a loyal clientele.
Celebrating 15 years, SOL is in full-birthday-celebration swing. Wednesday night saw a 1920’s themed bash, complete with a Nash. September 6th, stop by the store for a pre-party as Cherry Creek North hosts Fashion’s Night Out, or break out the purple push-up and come along to “Take Me Out to the Rockies” on September 26. October is national bra month and you know Team SOL will be decked out in style on October 7th at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure .
SOL…store of lingerie 248 Detroit St. 303.394.1060
I’m moving! Well actually, I am planning to move. Next year. That’s how long it will take me to prepare my current home as a rental, give the tenants in the other house notice, and most importantly, let my son finish eighth grade at his current school. The idea came to me this summer when my old friend/former neighbor/current client called to discuss her options regarding the inspection objection on her new home. “We’re sitting in the backyard having wine. I wish you were in the hood, you could come over.” And that’s when it hit me; I’m too far away from my friends! I’ve been rumbling a plan around in my head since then, but I knew it was in the cards when my thirteen year old jumped in the car one day and stated, “Mom, I don’t think these suburban kids are my people.” Oh, I feel ya, babe.
Moving to Denver from Los Angeles, we settled in to Congress Park for the first ten years. The boys went to Denver Public schools and loved them. I loved the sense of community I felt; summers under the elm trees at the Congress Park pool, cool autumn evenings on the soccer fields, and all the school activities with the kids and parents I was growing up with. I felt safe, and I felt loved. People got my sense of humor, we shared our sorrows, our secrets and our extra tomatoes when the gardens were good. As our family’s needs and the market changed, we crept slowly southward. I kept the boys in Denver Public Schools as long as I could but the daily commute in the winter was fraying my sanity and my tread. I began to notice my urge for the urban as I kept putting buyers into my favorite neighborhoods; Park Hill, Congress Park, Washington and Platt Parks, Mayfair, (I could go on) but never realized it was all part of my secret plan. Now that Gabe has decided he wants to forgo the big suburban high school experience to attend East with his best friend and the other members of his “tribe”, I’m out of the walk-in closet and all in!
I grew up in the suburbs, have nothing against them in general or my neighborhood in particular. Actually I like it here in this funky little sweet spot called Dream House Acres. Free from the covenants and cul de sacs that make me claustrophobic, I love the wide, hilly streets, the mid-century modern houses and the mountain views from my back patio. I don’t even mind the 20 minute commute when I choose to make it; I’m just a city girl. I need the proximity to the arts and cultural centers, the theaters, restaurants and farmers markets that pop up spring through fall. Most of all, I need to be around a wide variety of people and the sense of community that Denver offers.
Why do I bring this up, you ask? As a real estate agent, I spend my days and into the nights helping movers and shakers change up their lives. While I’m focused on the business of buying and selling homes that make these moves worthwhile, my clients are focused on the mental, emotional, physical and financial planning that leads up to a big change in your habitat. Following a page out of my own playbook, I’ve pulled out the Task Timeline Template which I lovingly bestow upon my clients.
I have completed phase one; Making The Decision. Phase two, Preparing the House, will take much longer; pulling up carpet, throwin’ down a little love on the hardwood floors, the painting, slight upgrades to the kitchen and baths…slight? Who am I kidding? And along the way,I will partake in my favorite slice of Virgo heaven— PURGING! When you think about it, there is no way to move without making a decision about every single thing you own. What stays, what goes, how many sets of socket wrenches do I really need, will I really wear this? Thank god I have a year.
Taking the time to wrap up the dishes and the memories this house holds, I will be mindful to keep the valuables and leave the rest behind. A fresh coat of paint, like a white sheet of paper, lets the new occupants write their own stories on these walls (not in the literal sense, I hope), as I move forward to the next chapter of life. Painting the new place.
If you’re ruminating on such things~ buying or selling, up or downsizing, Spanish Olive vs. Navajo White~ give me a call. We can share tips as we scrub grout and fantasize about the new digs. After all…I’m improving my skills just for you.
Planning a trip to New York is always exciting, but planning a ten day trip with two teenage boys is a handsome cab horse of a different color. How could they see New York’s New York, my New York and find those “I Heart NY” moments for themselves? I knew I had to keep it real. With all of the touristy things on our plate, the trick would be to spin those with the sights and sounds, the smells, bells and flavors that make the city what it is. In New York the magic’s in the moment, so the more opportunities I could create for them to dance among its denizens, the better the interface would be.
Rule number 1.) Walk as much as you can.
Rule number 2.) Take the subway for maximum effect.
Rule number 3.) Do not put any limits on the day. Including what time it starts and ends.
And the bonus tip…No matter how well you know the city, allow yourself to get lost.
Throwing down a bit of historical context to match the immediacy of the New York minute, I worked in some tales of my time in Manhattan and a few irritating, “See that (painting, building, church, store, statue…)? It’s important!” stops along the sidewalks. Dinner at Joe Allen’s over Applebee’s, and meeting friends for picnics, lunches, or museum visits gave things the personal touch and sense of belonging. The overall effect…? “Mom. Can we move here?”
To read more on our adventure, plan your own or find out what made the boys’ “TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN NEW YORK”, click here.
People who go to museums and concerts or create art or play an instrument are more satisfied with life, regardless of how educated or rich they are.
For years we’ve read studies about how arts in education create better students, especially with the math+music connection. Here’s proof (I’m calling it proof) that you don’t have to be Baby Mozart or write the Great American Novel to benefit from the creative spirit. Partaking in the experience is a spiritual anti-oxidant of its own.
Cultural institutions work hard raising funds and keeping doors open and the gift of your attention helps them keep giving, creating a rich communal experience and increasing the value of our cities. When funding issues hit the ballot the arts are ofttimes berated. Seems to me the beraters might be happier if they picked up that dusty guitar in the basement or that watercolour they’d judged themselves harshly for and didn’t finish.
We’re inundated with news of of the benefits of exercise and healthful eating; we would be well served to take heed of our need for arts & culture as well.
Looking for to the warming weekends but not quite ready to head to the high country? Here’s a “Honey-do” list that will slough off those winter blues and spring you into the season. Whether you are preparing to put your home on the market or just want to lighten your spirits without breaking the bank, the first 4 simple home improvement tips will put you on the right track.
Closets- You’ve heard this a million times and you’ve probably done it only once. Cleaning out your closets can feel great, once you get over the idea that your favorite dress will ever come back in style or that you’ll really get back into a 2. (And if you did, wouldn’t you want to buy all new clothes?!) One by one, take your clothes out of your closet and toss what you don’t wear. Seriously. I’ve hauled things up and down from the cedar closet for years before I ever fessed up to the truth. YOU WON’T MISS IT. And the two things I regretted tossing, I forgot about. Now wipe down the baseboards inside and re-paint your closet white! Purchase plastic hangers (all the same color) and re-hang all of your clothes white to black facing left. Okay, there’s a bit of my control freakish mentality peeking out here but, this is like Virgo crack!
Baseboards- The lowly baseboard. Easy to scuff, last to get painted. Brighten up the whole house by washing and repainting these once a year. It’s one of those secrets that make a home feel bright and fresh. Personally, I assign this task to my children for any number of reasons. They like to make $$, they need to learn to do things other than shoot virtual zombies, and they’re already closer to the floor.
Garage- This one is especially important if you’re listing your home to sell. Clean out your garage! Ditch the rollerblades your kids have outgrown and the ones you bought to blade with them. I mean, those have only been worn once or twice, right? Once you’re clean, it’s time to paint. That white you used in the closets would look great, adding sparkle to the most under-improved part of the house. Power-wash the floors, hang your tools, rakes on that new pegboard and throw the skis up into the rafters. Now it’s time to shake out the camping gear, pump up the bike tires and you’re ready for summer activities!
Windows- One thing that I always notice about a new house is that all of the windows and window sills are spotless. Windows shine and make your home look the kind of clean that makes buyers bite. There are many products you can attach to your garden hose to spray the winter off of the outside and if you have a good squeegee, they’ll turn out squeaky clean. Now it’s time to tackle the inside glass and the sills. Those sills, by the way, need to be more than wiped down. Take your window cleaning solution, a towel and some cotton swabs to make sure you remove all traces of dirt from the crevices. It really makes a difference. If you’ve got an older home with wooden windows, try to make sure they all open safely and easily. Many times they’re painted shut or the ropes are broken: Buyers will find this out on inspection. And though it’s not normally a deal breaker, it will reduce your offer when a buyer calculates the cost of new windows throughout the house. There are companies who will come and make minor repairs or replacements and you can give them a new coat of paint once they’re gone. Just be sure you don’t paint the window shut again.
Okay, I’m going to leave you alone for now, I’m sure you’ve got enough to keep you busy. Remember, as your back is aching and you pop open that day’s end beer, that it’s the little things that make a home stand out in the market. Clean is one of them. Make that SUPER clean.
…with all due respect to the Staples Singers
You’ve found the perfect house! Redone tip-to-toe! That kitchen with the gleaming stainless and the leathered granite is perfect, the master suite, divine, and the water feature will provide a soothing soundtrack for starlit summer nights on the back patio. It’s your dream house… until you see the Inspection Report.
Part “honey-do” list, part diagnosis, a home inspection is the best way to make sure your dream house isn’t a nightmare with a fresh coat of paint. No one wants to shell out $300-$600 to have someone crawl up in the attic and scope your sewer line, but believe me it may be the best money you spend in your home-buying (or selling) process. Last week, I thought for sure we’d fall out of contract once I delivered the Inspection Objection—it was the BIG LIST, and it had to be done by the seller if my buyer was going to go through with the purchase.
1. New roof
2. Sewer line offset repaired
3. Radon mitigation system installed
4. Electrical work on aluminum wiring
5. We overlooked the aging water heater.
So… now you know. What’s next? She had beaten the competing offers so she was paying a fair price, market value, certainly no bargain. With little room for $15-20k worth of repairs, especially on items which are considered “health and safety” issues, which can hold up the loan if left unattended, the buyer has some decisions to make. And I have some questions to ask, the one that tops the list…
Whose problem is it?
Thinking we might be at risk of losing the house, I sat with my client over coffee and asked her how she felt about all of this.
1. Do you love this house enough to stay in the deal?
2. Are you willing to do the work yourself?
3. What on this list is most important to you?
We worked our way through her options, she made her decisions, and I sent over the “final four” on our list of objections to the listing agent. “Do you think they’ll go for it?” my buyer asked, uncertain. “We know what you want, all we can do is ask“ (And I love the ask).
If a seller is motivated, your requests are not unreasonable, and the agents are good at what they do, chances are you can find a solution that suits all. In our case, that’s just what happened, but it ain’t always the case. So… how do you avoid the less harmonious outcome to this situation?
Sellers usually have a pretty good idea about what is wrong with their homes. The problem is they are used to living with that squeak in the floor, the drip in the downstairs bathroom and that little flicker in the dining room light fixture when the kids are on the computer. Many times, they’ll spend time and money preparing to put their house on the market, only to find a slew of hidden problems upon the Buyer’s inspection and a bucket of resentment along with them. It might be a good idea to have a home inspection BEFORE you list your property; that way, you’re able to make pre-market repairs or price accordingly if you choose not to. Buyers write offers based upon their emotional response to a home, but they walk away from contracts based upon practical matters. Chances are, they’ll feel better about a coat of paint or buying a new refrigerator than installing a radon system or a sewer repair. For Sellers, it’s “Be Prepared” and for Buyers “Beware”. In either case you will forget about the $300 check soon enough, but there will be that night at 2 a.m. when you’ll remember the mold report and wonder if it’s growing in your drywall… and if your buyer’s going to find it.
It took Dr. Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary and countless hits of LSD to learn one simple truth: Be Here Now. So what can the psychologist-turned-spiritual guru, Baba Ram Dass, teach you about today’s Denver real estate market? BUY. HERE. NOW.
With nary a trace of mind-altering substance in sight, I can honestly tell you that the time to list your home for sale in the Denver metro area is NOW.
“How now” you say?
• Because EVERYONE else IS WAITING until spring.
• Because buyers ARE out looking.
• Because SHOWINGS ARE UP and inventory is down.
• Because all FOUR OFFERS I wrote in January created a BIDDING WAR.
Now, we all know war is not the answer but in real estate, a competitive market results in sellers driving their purchase price above their asking price. At this point (Jan/Feb, so I’m being here this quarter) the demand exceeds supply and buyers are flying out to snatch up well-priced properties like savvy shoppers after Christmas at Filene’s Basement. There is simply not enough out there. And I’m not just talking of the under-$200-first-time-buyer/investor end of the market. A home priced at or around $300k is likely to move well, despite the common seasonal perception, the Super Bowl or the weather. On Friday, as constant snow flurries were rapidly accumulating inches, agents were rushing out to show homes in order to present their offer s before the “Highest & Best” deadline. (I know this, I was one of them.) Today I submitted an offer for a buyer on a property, sight unseen. The home fit his criterion and he’d been beaten out three other times, so today we take no prisoners.
If you are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the winter storm to pass before you list your house, remember… you could be pushing up daisies before the crocus pushes through the frosty ground. Now, I don’t mean that in the literal sense of the metaphor, but in the BE HERE NOW spirit.
If you’d like more information on the value of your house, trends in your neighborhood, or a yoga class near you, send me a vibe, a text or find me on Facebook. As the guru said…“We’re all just walking each other home.”
― Ram Dass
Wondering what you can do to “be the change”? Here’s a video with an easy (and fun) way you can make your voice heard without camping out in the snow to the beating of drums. There are so many stories in America, each a unique experience within a collective experience. Whether you feel the Occupy Wall Street movement is an important expression of our frustration or a bunch of dirty-little-trust-fund-hippies, it has opened up a conversation about how we’d like to craft our future and that of our children. We’re in a moment of major change and there are many, many changes that need to happen; left, right and center. The first step is to create a dialogue, in this case with the banks who control our economy, our politics, and our destinies.
Let’s face it, we do want our lifestyle: we want our Starbucks and our comforts, and me, I like to see the ocean on occasion. We also want to stay in our homes and pay our mortgages, we want to feel our jobs are not going to be outsourced, we want our neighbors to have their jobs and their homes and we all want our freedoms. Here is a brilliant way to ensure those freedoms, including our First Amendment right to speak.
So we take responsibility. For our credit card debt, for our ability to create, and for being the change. Click here to see what you can do. Keep Wall Street Occupied. Oh… and there is sweet revenge for all that junk mail ; )