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Calling Outdoor Enthusiasts

How can you spot a town or state that is an outdoor haven?

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“If you see a lot of rugged vehicles with bike racks and hauling kayaks, that’s a telltale sign at the ground level that you’re in one of these places,” Chris Chesak, a travel consultant based in Cincinnati, told realtor.com®. “In an outdoor city, residents will meet up for a hike. The primary focus isn’t sitting around—it’s being outside.”

Realtor.com®’s research team scoured data to find the top affordable housing markets for those who love the outdoors. They evaluated the 150 largest metro areas, factoring in criteria like the share of homes with outdoor patios, outdoor kitchens, and decks; bike friendliness ratings; per capita kayaking, rafting, and outdoor gear stores; number of campgrounds; share of restaurants with outdoor seating; and more.

Why are outdoor meccas like Denver, Boulder, Colo., and Honolulu not on the list? Realtor.com® researchers say their list is for affordable cities, in which the median home price is below $300,000.

The five most affordable housing markets for outdoor enthusiasts, according to realtor.com®, are:

1. Spokane, Wash.

  • Median home list price: $295,100

2. Bakersfield, Calif.

  • Median home list price: $260,000

3. Tallahassee, Fla.

  • Median home list price: $225,000

4. Kalamazoo, Mich.

  • Median home list price: $269,500

5. Tucson, Ariz.

  • Median home list price: $279,800

So though our median. home price is higher than some places, Colorado is still an outdoor state.  By the rate people are moving in and buying or renting homes in the state, lots of people know Colorado is a great place to be and live.

  • Share of homes with outdoor patios, outdoor kitchens, and decks
  • Bicycle-friendliness rating
  • Per capita kayaking, rafting, and outdoor gear stores
  • Number of campgrounds
  • Share of restaurants with outdoor seating
  • Per capita of conservation scientists and foresters (sign of heavy park presence)
  • Number of national parks in the state
  • Percentage of residents who live within a 10-minute walk of a park

So ditch Netflix and power down the smartphone. Let’s hit the trails to find America’s hidden outdoor meccas within out borders of Colorado and outside of our borders too.

All my best,

 

Teresa

 


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

 

Does Your Garden Need Fall Fruits and Veggies?

You have seen a little shift in weather. Afternoon thunderstorms and a little shorter days. That is because fall is just around the corner.

But don’t worry, the summer planting season isn’t over yet. Get ahead of the game and start lining up your fall to-do’s. These fruits and vegetables, planted in fall, are full of flavor.

 

Rhubarb

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This large-leaf perennial is easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie.

What vegetable is a perennial that’s easy to grow, looks great in a flower bed, and is a wonderful addition to a summer pie? Rhubarb of course! Get growing.

Garlic

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There is no better time than the present to plant this bulb!

It’s simpler than you might think to grow this flavorful plant that can be used in your favorite recipes. Here are some tips on where to grow, how to harvest, and the different types of garlic you can raise in the fall.

Kale

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Kale is a garden superstar. It’s super nutritious and thrives in cooler fall weather with sufficient water.
Trending superfood kale is easy to grow in your vegetable garden. Kale loves cool weather, so plant it in spring or fall in a sunny location.

Blackberries

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Grow these juicy berries, rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. And they’re NOT black raspberries—know the difference!
Pluck juicy, blue-black berries from your own blackberry bushes that produce fruits year after year.
What kind of things do you also plant in your late summer or early fall garden?

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Digital Asset Protection

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Digital theft is the most common way businesses are hurt today.

In fact, 4,149 confirmed breaches resulted in more than 4.2 billion data records being stolen in 2016. 55% of those record losses came from business security failures or vulnerabilities. Inga Goodijn, Risk Based Security’s executive VP, says as shocking as those numbers are, their study probably “underestimates the actual criminal activity.”

It’s more important than ever to secure your data – and protect your assets – in our digitally driven business climate.

Here is what you can do:

1. Lock the Gateways

You wouldn’t leave your car keys in the ignition, with the doors unlocked and a sign on the hood that says “Free Ride,” right? It’s the same with our data, yet many people leave their data fully exposed to would-be cyber-criminals. More than 4 out of 5 hack-type breaches (81% according to 2016 data analyzed for Verizon’s 10th Annual Data Breach Investigations Report) are directly tied to weak or stolen passwords. Develop – and enforce – a password policy that prevents unapproved password sharing and helps users create strong, hard-to-crack access codes.

2. Safely Park Your Property Management Equipment

If you use company-owned mobile devices and allow employees to use their own cell phones and laptops for company business, it’s time to create policies that protect your physical assets from theft. Conduct routine inventory assessments to make sure all your equipment is accounted for, and train employees on how to protect their personal devices against hackers.

3. Discourage Wandering Eyes

Digital theft may start with non-digital snooping. Confidential and sensitive information should never be left where unauthorized eyes can take a peak. Position fax machines out of public view. Install filters that prevent others from reading information on desktop and laptops. Keep private paper files in folders or turned face down on desks. It only takes a few seconds for someone to glance at a sheet of paper or lift something from a desk when an employee steps away to make a copy or retrieve a brochure. Always secure valuable data – even if it is a bit inconvenient.

4. Shut the Computer Down

Instruct employees to turn off their computers, or put them in a password protected sleep mode every time they step away from their device. Sure, it takes a little longer, but it’s more secure, and wouldn’t rather spend an extra two minutes powering on and off than trying to recover from a data breach?

5. Be Diligent

Pay attention to what happens. Complacency is almost as dangerous as putting out a sign that your data is available for the taking. Don’t just make policy, make sure your policies are consistently followed. Even if you instruct employees not to store password lists, financial data, and other sensitive information on email storage – which is an excellent policy – you should still periodically make sure your policy is in practice. Remember, security threats come from internally and externally. Educate your staff to spot potential threats. Never let your guard down. Build a company culture that is security-minded. Adopt a training policy that gives employees the tools they need to deal with digital and face-to-face threats appropriately.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

End of Summer Party Ideas

Is it really the end of summer?

Looking at the calendar we still have weeks left but in theory, kids are going back to school and parents and grandparents are quickly getting back into school mode.

So why not throw a summer party!?!?! That sounds like an amazing idea. With the cost of school supplies, uniforms (if you child wears them) or new school clothing, back packs and the like, let’s throw an inexpensive but fun party.

 

Here are some ideas to affordably have a summer party theme on a budget:

Summer Party Display

A bold display is a great way to wow your guests. Pick your color scheme and buy (or make) a tablecloth that fits the bill.

Cost: $15 for tablecloth fabric and fabric paint

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Free Printable Party Invitation

Set the tone for the party in advance with a bold, summery invitation. Our free pattern is ready for you to type your greeting and event details. Or, for a personal touch, fill in all of the info by hand.

Cost: $9 for 10 invitation envelopes plus stamps

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Party Door Welcome

Start the party at the door. Print out an extra invitation to. Trim an aspect of the design (in this case, the orange) and attach it to striped paper with text and borders. Frame the piece and tie it to the door with coordinating ribbon for a welcome guests are sure to notice.

Cost: $5 for frame

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Party Wine Labels

A few bottles of wine make any gathering a celebration. Simply peel off the label of a fruity summer wine bottle and replace it with our downloadable cover up. If you are pressed for time, you can cover up the current label. Type or handwrite the name of your personal wine directly onto the label.

Cost: $5 per bottle of wine

Get the FREE wine label.

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Here is to an amazing 2018 School Year for you and your family.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

Own and Build Equity 3 Ways

As a Property Manager I get the opportunity to help people rent their homes and help people understand how they can own their own home too.

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The most important benefit to owning a home is equity. It is essentially a savings account that you can later tap into. Equity is how you build wealth with real estate investments, thus the goal is to grow and maximize it. When you purchase a home, there are three primary ways to build equity.

 

  1. Pay down your mortgage

 

Every month, your mortgage payment goes towards both principal and interest. Unfortunately, early on, most of it covers interest since that is calculated against the mortgage balance. However, this does gradually shift over time.

 

You can speed up the process by making extra payments directly towards principal. Your standard monthly payments remain the same moving forward, but your mortgage will be paid off sooner. Since your principal is lower (from the extra payment), the interest charged each month will be less. Therefore, more of your monthly payment will apply to the principal, speeding up your equity growth even more.

 

  1. Improve your home

 

Another way that you can change your home equity is through home improvements. For instance, if you spent $3,000 to add a deck or patio to your home and it increased your home’s value by $5,000, that results in $2,000 of additional equity. The type and quality of renovations can vary based on your geographical region.

 

  1. Market appreciation

 

As home prices rise, that directly and instantly increases your equity. Imagine that you purchased your home for $400,000. If you made a 5% down payment, you would have started out with $20,000 in equity and a loan of $380,000. If home prices rose to $420,000, your equity would grow by an extra $20,000 ($40,000+) simply from market appreciation!

 

Now what

Once you’ve built equity, there are many things that you can do with it. You can cash-out some of it to pay off other higher-interest loans, finance home improvements, or fund other investments. If you are selling, that equity can be put towards the purchase of a new home (and cover the costs of selling and buying). The opportunity to build equity is something not available through renting!

 

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

Grout Cleaning: The Secrets to Success

The solution to dirty grout may be in your pantry. Grout lines are magnets for dirt and grime, and dingy grout can detract from the good looks of pretty tile.

Eliminate dirty grout for good with these tips and tricks.

If your grout looks dull and dingy, a good cleaning will have it looking fresh and new.

Cleaning options range from the commercial, to the completely natural.

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Before beginning to clean with any product, prep the area by wiping it down with a wet cloth.

One natural cleaning solution is simple paste of two parts baking soda and one water. Use a grout brush or an old toothbrush to apply the paste to the grout lines. To get twice the scrubbing power, use an old electric toothbrush. Clean all of the grout lines then rinse the area with water.

If your stain is stained or discolored replace the water with vinegar in the baking soda paste. Careful it doesn’t bubble over. Apply the paste to the grout and allow it to set a few minutes before scrubbing. Then rinse well.

If you have coarse tiles, such as marble test this method in an inconspicuous area since the acidic vinegar could stain the tile.

Hydrogen peroxide is a less acidic option than vinegar. Mix one part peroxide with two parts baking soda. Apply this paste to the grout, scrub and rinse.

There are also plenty of commercial grout cleaners designed to do the job. Just follow the manufacturer’s directions to clean your group when using these products.

No matter which cleaning option you choose, all the grout to dry for 24-hours then use a sealer to preserve all of your hard work.  Whether you use store-bought cleaners, or go with a natural option, clean grout improves the look and extends the life of your tile.

 

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

Technology Is Changing Our Homes

As a property manager, I don’t deal a lot with new construction in homes but more so, making existing homes perfect for the renter’s in the marketplace. Technology is changing our homes.

However, I thought this advancement in the area of new construction was interesting. One thing I know for sure, is today’s new homes become tomorrow’s homes that we manageme in my Northern Colorado Property Management Company, Picket Fence Properties.

Check this out:

An invention by a 3D printing company may raise the ante for how smart a building can be. NOWlab, a branch of the 3D printing company BigRep, has developed concrete walls that respond to touch. In its model, a slab of 3D-printed concrete with a honeycomb design, three LED lights embedded in the hexagonal holes light up when skin touches the concrete. The design uses capacitive sensors in the concrete to turn the entire wall into a light switch; the sensors are connected to the LEDs with internal cables. NOWlab says the technology could be used in the future for applications from similar light switches to activating other devices.

What cool things have you seen in your friends or families homes that you’d like to see in your homes?

Are there ever enough outlets? With the evergrowing array of gadgets that find their way into our home (Pads, Tabs, Fires, iPhones, and Nexuses) it seems like the answer is a resounding “No!” Maybe it’s time to give that outlet a reboot with some USB functionality. One of the things I have seen that I wish were in every plug in America are USB phone ports. Everyone, it seems, is always needing to charge their cellular phone or device today.

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Pretty cool!

All my best,

Teresa

Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

3 Ways To Make Your Home Look Expensive

Whether you’re moving into your first home or a new rental, there’s always a ton of things to buy.  Low-cost decor that looks expensive is everywhere.

Let’s have some fun decorating!

Stylish storage
Despite your best efforts to keep clutter to a minimum, life happens, and inevitably our homes fill up with stuff from the kitchen counters to the bathroom drawers. We are big believers in prevention rather than a cure, and that applies to more than just our health. Stop your mess in its tracks with storage that looks like stylish decor and makes chaos look chic.

A chic rug
No home, whether it’s your first or not, is complete without a rug. It’s the single most transformative thing you can do to any space, aside from paint. While there are several styles you can choose from, we recommend a jute or a flat-weave style. It’s incredibly hardy so it withstands any spills or wear and tear, but we love it for layering with – it’s the one home hack that transitions your home to winter. Throw a vintage or colorful small rug over the top for instant texture and visual flavor. It’s a super-simple change, but it makes the biggest difference.

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Nice dishes
Whether you plan on hosting guests for refined dinner parties or prefer to dine alone, you should always keep your buffet or kitchen cupboard well-stocked with upscale dining sets from dinner plates to bowls, salad, and side dishes. After all, a good hostess is always prepared for unexpected guests.

Have fun making your new house a home!

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

5 Yard Improvement Ideas

Right now every one is loving the great outdoors in the early morning and evening. It is at those times the you spend more time in the yard. Almost always, one can find a way to improve it. Here are some ideas that might inspire you.

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Outdoor fireplaces

A fire is perfect for those cool summer nights. Rather than a simple portable fire pit, consider an outdoor fireplace. This not only allows you to create a safer and larger fire, but it can also create a focal point for your outdoor living space. Imagine sitting by the fire to enjoy a quiet evening on your own or socializing for friends and family!

Seating areas

This actually brings us to our next popular outdoor home trend,  formal outdoor seating areas. Whether it be around a fireplace or in a defined space of its own, comfortable outdoor seating is popular right now, and for good reason. From comfy couches to lounge chairs and outdoor beds, your yard can be just as cozy and relaxing as your indoor living room. By straying from traditional patio tables and chairs, you can create a truly welcoming space that you will enjoy all summer long.

Small gardens

If a traditional flower garden seems a bit difficult or overwhelming to manage, consider smaller garden areas. Vertical gardens can help add greenery and privacy to your space. Potted plants placed throughout your yard can create a beautiful landscape filled with color. Be creative with your container selection for an added design element and mix plants with flowers for added depth.

Water gardens

The sound of waves or moving water can be very soothing. You can bring this element into your yard by creating a water garden or fountain area. Make it even more special by adding some fish!

Time for a change

The traditional sense of a yard with just grass and landscaping around the perimeter has changed dramatically. Outdoor home design trends are all about comfort, functionality, and depth. We hope that the ideas above will inspire you to make your back yard a welcoming place for your whole family to enjoy this summer!

All my best,

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

Millennials, Money and Mortgages

When it comes to money, millennials are doing better than many people think.

Yet the vast majority is still fretting about their finances, even as the oldest part of the group has begun applying for mortgages.

Let’s start with savings: Millennials (age 23 to 37) are saving money. Nearly half have saved $15,000 and one in six has saved $100,000, according to the latest Better Money Habits Millennial Report from Bank of America. That’s a significant improvement in the past three years: In 2015, only 33 percent had $15,000 or more saved and only 8 percent had $100,000 or more.

Even better, 57 percent of millennials are setting savings goals and two-thirds are meeting those goals. (From a savings perspective, millennials are far out-saving their baby boomer and Gen-X cohorts.)

Not only that, but millennials are extending a DIY mentality to their pursuit of financial independence. A 2017 Merrill Edge study asked millennials to think about 20 years and predict what they could rely on. Two-thirds said they would be able to rely on their savings, a self-created and self-funded source.

Will millennials continue to save money?

According to both studies, at least some millennials are willing to make the kinds of tough choices necessary to continue building their savings accounts. More than half are cutting back on entertainment, 42 percent are willing to skip taking a vacation for a year, and 38 percent are saving more than half of their salary.

At the same time, 73 percent of millennials say they worry about money; that’s about the same number that was worried about money in 2014. There is clearly a hangover effect from the Great Recession, when millennials were teenagers or in their early 20s, watching their parents battle against the biggest financial storm in 80 years.

Which brings us to mortgages.

How do millennials measure up when it comes to getting approved for a mortgage?

Pretty well. Despite spiraling home prices and a dramatic lack of homes for sale, the National Association of Realtors reported that last year, millennials were the single largest group of home buyers. According to Lending Tree, 38 percent of mortgages went to millennials in 2017.

And why are millennials taking the homeownership plunge now? The Realtors say it’s because the oldest millennials are finally getting around to securing mortgages and buying homes because they’re having children and are thinking about schools.

That might be the tail wagging the dog. Literally. A survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of SunTrust Mortgage found that while 66 percent of millennials bought a home for additional living space, a full third said their decision to buy a home was driven chiefly by their dog.

All my best,

 

Teresa


Picket Fence Properties, located in Windsor, CO is Northern Colorado’s Top Notch Property Management company helping owners with their rentals, income/investment properties and vacancies in Northern Colorado. Are you a owner of a home for rent or that you’d like us to manage? We help you have the perfect tenants in NoCO. Are you looking for somewhere to rent in Greeley, Loveland, Fort Collins, Wellington, Eaton, Evans, Windsor, Frederick, Firestone? Look no further, we have all your real estate and rental needs covered. Check out website for vacancies today.

 

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