Home > Blogs > Christopher Crosby's Blog
10,043 views

Christopher Crosby's Blog

By Christopher Crosby | Agent in Greenwood Village, CO
  • BEWARE: Wire transfer scam

    Posted Under: Crime & Safety in Greenwood Village, Home Buying in Greenwood Village, Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village  |  October 11, 2014 11:24 AM  |  31 views  |  No comments

    It’s hard to believe the amount of risk out there when it comes to technology.  We’re constantly hearing about new breaches and scams, and unfortunately, this week in the real estate world is no exception. 

     
    Recently, a buyer’s agent received an email, supposedly from a title company, with the correct file number and buyer’s name.  This included “new” wiring instructions for this file.  The instructions would have sent the funds out of the country and were completely fraudulent.  The agent then received several more identical emails the next morning, supposedly also from the title company.  Sensing something wrong, the agent called the title company to verify the change, which was, of course, a hoax.  The wire, already in progress, was able to be stopped in time.  The buyer stood to lose $300,000 in this scenario had this transaction been completed.  This case is currently under investigation by the FBI. 



    While all of these security threats are extremely frustrating for those of us using our powers for good (which is, of course, the vast, vast majority), the best we can do is keep our eyes wide open.  If faced with a similar situation as this, ALWAYS verify changes with the title company by telephone, or even take it one step further and stop by in person.  Ask yourself if it’s worth the risk of not being 100% sure.  Always trust your gut.  You know your business best.  If you sense something is off, it most likely is.

  • Front Door Facelift

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Greenwood Village, Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Design & Decor in Greenwood Village  |  September 25, 2014 7:44 AM  |  39 views  |  1 comment

    I’ve talked a lot in previous posts about both small and large home improvement projects that can add appeal for buyers, up your resale value, and make your home more marketable. These can range from outdoor lighting to bathroom tweaks to a simple planter on the porch, but it's been proven that the number 1 most valuable makeover in terms of return on investment is a front door redo. A new front door returns 96.6 percent of the cost, according to Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value report for 2014. 

    But not just any front door will do. Choosing the right door, and, specifically, the right color, is critical for adding value, but also for enjoying your home.

    It's the first thing people see and the last one on many homeowners' to-choose list: the color of the front door," said This Old House. "But if classic green, red, and black have long been the defaults, that's beginning to change. People are starting to branch out. They realize the color of the front door introduces the world to the people inside, and it can be unexpected and playful."

    Here are few ideas for a colorful, modern front door.

     

    Black

    Black may be considered old school by some, but this hue remains “dark and dramatic…creating a classic old-Hollywood glamour look that is definitely swoon worthy,” said Style at Home.

     

    Raisin

    "Go with something strong and bold that makes a statement," said House Beautiful. "This gorgeous raisin with undertones of purple and gray and brown (is) an unusual color for a front door. A little mysterious. It would wet the palate for the entry foyer."


    Bright Yellow 

    A happy color that provides a warm welcome, yellow also "also evokes mental clarity, perception, understanding, wisdom, confidence, curiosity, humor and merriment," said Houzz. "Because it is "often identified with happiness, high energy and warmth, a lively yellow can brighten otherwise gloomy exteriors."


    Green 

    Standard shades of green play well with homes that are nicely landscaped, offering a complement to lush greenery and verdant gardens.

     But, you can also pump it up with an unexpected shade of green for a fresh look. "We have to look twice when we pass homes with an entrance painted in this show-stopper," said Huffington Post. "While we know it won't work for every abode, it looks especially smashing with brown, grey or a raisin-colored exterior."


    Turquoise

    A turquoise door can evoke feelings of the beach or simply incorporate a lightness to your exterior. A welcoming, modern color, it is as warm as it is memorable.

     

    Blue

    According to the experts, blue doors look best with detailed architecture. "A Victorian home is a license to indulge in brilliant paint and trim choices," said DIY Network. "This style of architecture has so much detail that it takes a dark or bold color to draw your attention to the front door as a focal point."


    Orange 

    Looking for a way to really make your house stand out? "Go bold or go home," said Huffington Post.

    "Nothing makes a statement quite like orange, and this not-to-be-missed hue will draw people right inside. We especially love it on a dark charcoal backdrop, which makes the color really vibrate."

     

    Red

    For a punch of color that breathes new life into the exterior of a home, red is always a winner. Plus, the bold, passionate color "also projects a strong, confident aesthetic," said Style at Home. "For a modern look, veer away from candy apple and toward deeper shades.

     

     

    Shared from “Does Your Front Door Need a Makeover?” by Jaymi Naciri.

  • Fall Maintenance Tips

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Property Q&A in Greenwood Village, Home Ownership in Greenwood Village  |  September 18, 2014 11:41 AM  |  43 views  |  1 comment
  • Money-Saving Moving Tips

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Greenwood Village, Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Moving in Greenwood Village  |  September 10, 2014 7:07 PM  |  72 views  |  4 comments

    1. Don't take it all with you 

    Furniture you're no longer in love with or appliances like washers and dryers or the fridge you have in the garage can be a pain to move. You can potentially save money (and time and hassle) by including them in your home sale. First-time buyers or someone moving from out of state may appreciate your old stuff far more than you, and you don't have to pay to haul it to your next place.

     

    2. Leave the flat screen

    If you have a mounted flat screen TV that's at least a few years old, consider leaving it behind too. The cost of taking it down and repairing the wall behind it plus the care involved in moving it might not be worth it. Flat-screen technology is always improving while costs are coming down, so it's a good excuse to buy something bigger and better without spending a lot.

    3. Negotiate everything 

    If you've been looking for a house or have bought one before, you're probably already aware of closing costs. But you might not be aware of how much you can negotiate with your lender.

    "Shop around before choosing a mortgage lender, but don't stop there," said Bankrate. "When you receive your good faith estimate of closing costs, or GFE, the negotiation hasn't ended." This itemized list of estimated closing costs includes lender's fees as well as items such as appraisal charges and title insurance premiums. 

    "The lender or broker charges some fees, and third parties charge others. The first step is to find out which are loan origination fees and which are third-party fees. Don't guess. Ask the lender or broker."

    Bankrate advises that while "some items are non-negotiable: taxes, city and county stamps, recording fees, prorated interest and reserves," negotiating on others that can "be waived or reduced" can save you money."

     

    4. Barter for services

    Need a handyman and have appliances or furniture you're getting rid of? You just might be able to make a deal. Ask around for referrals and then introduce a barter system into the equation during your first conversation. You might be surprised what you can get for what you've already got.
     


    5. Move Smart 

    Once you're out of college, or maybe out of your first post-college apartment, thinking about renting a U-Haul and moving yourself (or with a few good friends) seems less than desirable. But if you're willing to sweat a little (ok, a lot) you can save a bundle. Just remember two important things to entice and thank your friends: Pizza. And beer.

     If you don't want to do the whole thing on your own, think of ways you can save by doing a hybrid move:

    • Do the packing and unpacking yourself
    • Have everything on one floor. Stairs can add considerably to the cost of a move.
    • Pare down. Maybe you don't need to bring all that stuff with you. Selling it will earn you a few bucks and save you a few more.

     

    6. Consider moving and storage hybrid options

    A company like PODS or U-Pack might be a solution for you if you need self storage wrapped into your move. Essentially, the company drops off a mobile storage unit at your house and you pack it up yourself. They then pick it up and move it for you. You can tack on storage at the end if needed, making this a particularly good solution for those who have time between their move out and their move in. This type of move can cost up to 35 percent less than traditional movers, but keep in mind you will be doing the labor—just not the driving.

     

    7. Take advantage of special offers

    Move-in offers for cable, Internet, and phone service can save you a lot of money. But they often come with a catch that could cost you down the line. Look out for special limited-time offers—one-year or six-month specials that expire, leaving you with much higher rates after the introductory period.

     

    8. Don't rush the renos

    Chances are, after you move in, you're going to start receiving all kinds of junk mail asking if you want to refi, redo your lawn, and apply for 72 different credit cards. In what seems like an endless pile of junk mail will be some special offers for new homebuyers, but they might not arrive for a month or more. Look out for coupons from handymen, companies selling flooring and window coverings, home furnishing companies like Bed Bath and Beyond and World Market, and offers from landscapers with discounts for new clients. If you're planning to shop, renovate, or do some work on your interior or exterior, taking advantage of a few of these offers can help shave down the cost.

     

     

    Shared from “8 Ways to Save Money on Your Move and Move In” by Jaymi Naciri.

  • Avoid Moving Company Scams

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Greenwood Village, Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Moving in Greenwood Village  |  September 5, 2014 11:14 AM  |  72 views  |  3 comments

    Moving. Always such a joy, right? Hm…probably not. Sure, the thought of getting all settled in to your new home is exciting, but everything that goes into it is usually exhausting and incredibly stressful. One way to thwart some of that stress and exhaustion, of course, is to hire a moving company to handle the (literal) heavy lifting (and hopefully keep your friends from avoiding your phone calls for the two weeks prior to your move). While absolutely worth it in my humble opinion, there are some caveats to be aware of before you watch all of your worldly possessions drive down the street in a stranger’s truck.

     

    Do your research 

    Proper preparation can help you ward off many of the issues that can turn a move into a nightmare, and that's starts with a healthy dose of research. You always want to ask for a referral rather than using an unknown. And not just anyone is qualified to give a referral, according to MSN. "Ask your real-estate agent. The general consensus among moving professionals is that word of mouth is the best way to find a good mover," they said. "Real-estate agents know the ins and outs of the housing industry and are the most reliable sources. Realtors want to make sure that your (moving) transaction is a good one."

    There are also websites dedicated to moving scams. "MovingScam.com maintains a ‘black list,'" they said, as well as a "message board filled with consumer experiences, bad and good."

     

    Verify licensing and look for complaints 

    MSN recommends people who are moving investigate the companies they are looking at using. Interstate movers must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

    "Check with your area's Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed and whether there are reliable," they said.

    ProtectYourMove.gov also provides info on whether a mover's license is current "and if the company has ever had a federal complaint."

     

    Watch out for the lowball bid 

    "You get what you paid for" is often a dangerous reality when it comes to moving. To protect yourself against unethical movers, get several estimates and make sure to weed out any that seem too low. Yes, the desire to save money is strong. But an unusually low bid is often a red flag, and when all of your things are being held hostage while you cough up the remainder of the cost, it probably won’t seem so worth it.

    "When shopping for movers, it's best to get at least three estimates, " said MSN. "If you've got one that's really, really low compared to the other two, you're going to know something's up."

     

    Have a contingency plan

     No matter how well you prepare, the unexpected can still happen. What if the truck doesn't show up on time? Are you prepared to live without your things for a few days, or longer? Make sure you pack a bag of essentials you can have with you while the rest of your stuff is stuck on the truck. 



    Protect yourself 

    The Better Business Bureau suggests paying a little extra for peace of mind. "Consider accepting full value protection. It may cost a few dollars more up front, but it can eliminate headaches after your move," they said. "Purchasing full (replacement) value protection from your mover means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced, or a cash settlement will be made to repair the item or to replace it at its current market value, regardless of age. The cost of full value protection must be included in the initial estimate you receive for an interstate move."

     
    For more information, visit: https://www.protectyourmove.gov

     

    Shared from “How to Protect Yourself During a Move” by Jaymi Naciri.

  • The 4-1-1 on Hardwood Floors

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Remodel & Renovate in Greenwood Village, Design & Decor in Greenwood Village  |  August 27, 2014 8:40 AM  |  70 views  |  No comments

    I have yet to hear a buyer say, “Oh bummer, this home has hardwood floors” when we walk into a listing. We all know it’s a desirable feature when selling or buying a home. And like most things, there’s a lot to know.

     

    Solid hardwoods:  Solid hardwoods are the most expensive option. They come in planks of various lengths and are typically 3/4' thick. The floors are installed as raw wood and sanded down and stained on site. The advantage is that your floors can be refinished often over the years. Solid hardwoods are not recommended over concrete slab foundations. Disadvantages are that hardwoods cannot be washed with water, water leaks can cause them to bow, and direct sunlight can cause stained finishes to bleach.


    Engineered hardwoods:  Composed of layers or plies of wood that are glued together and finished with a laminate, engineered hardwoods are finished with a final layer of hardwood that is generally between ¼" and ½" thick. The advantage of engineered hardwoods is that they are suitable for any foundation. Drawbacks are that laminated floors usually cannot be refinished.


    Engineered hardwoods come in a variety of styles, such as long-strip hardwoods in which the flooring can be installed several "planks" at a time. Parquet floors are also engineered with strips of hardwoods laid like tiles that form patterns such as herringbone. Floating floors are planks that fit together and can be glued or nailed down to the subfloor.


    Stains and finishes:  If your floor comes unfinished, you need to know what kind of wood it's made of in order to select a stain, as different woods can make stain colors change tone. A good way to choose is to ask the installer for samples, or you can go to a local paint and home improvement store and view stain colors. Sherman Williams "Wood Classics" have color charts just like paint, so you can see how the stain you choose will appear on your wood floor.


    Keep in mind that unfinished floors must be sanded, stained and sealed on site, which is labor intensive, time consuming and messy as you wait for each layer to dry. Factory finished floors are usually warrantied, they can be installed immediately which saves time and labor, and only the glue to the subfloor has to dry.


    Finishes are important to choose because they dictate how you will care for your floor. If your floor has a penetrating seal, you will have to wax it to keep it burnished. If the floor is sealed with a urethane, polyurethane or other polymer coat, it's water resistant and easy to clean with a mop.


    Types of wood:  The most common woods for floors are species of oak, pine, walnut, pecan, birch, beech, ash, cherry, maple, cypress and Douglas fir.


    Wood for floors can be exotic, and are prized for their unusual grains and colors. Exotic woods include mahogany, teak, and Brazilian cherry.


    One of the most popular flooring options is actually a grass, not a wood. Bamboo is a quick-growing resource that is easily replenished, making it a good choice for green-building. Bamboo can be cut and finished like any hardwood, and is more durable in some cases.


    To learn more about wood floors, visit Woodfloors.org.      



    Shared from “Choosing Hardwoods for Floors” by Blanche Evans.

  • 5 Tools for Joe on the Go

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Greenwood Village, Agent2Agent in Greenwood Village, Home Ownership in Greenwood Village  |  August 18, 2014 11:57 AM  |  80 views  |  No comments

    Has anyone ever crawled out of a tent, breathing in the fresh morning mountain after a wonderful night’s sleep in the great outdoors only to find that coffee was the one thing was overlooked when packing the cooler? Or (worse?) someone was thoughtful enough to throw in a few packs of instant? Well, unfortunately this has been me. The good news is it only happened once (I’m a fast learner), and that I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to happen to you. Friends don’t let friends have coffee-less travels. I can assure you, it’s safe to leave your home with these 5 essential tools from our friends at The Kitchn (www.thekitchn.com), which are way better than some of the things I’ve come up with to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

     

    1. Grind Your Beans: Porlex Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

    You didn't think you were going to get away with pre-ground coffee while traveling did you? Oh yes, yes, you can have a burr grinder on the go. Small and light, this grinder works well for travel.

     

    Find it: Porlex JP-30 Manual Coffee Grinder, $69 at Stumptown Coffee

     

    2. Press Your Coffee: Snow Peak Titanium French Press

    Honestly this one is as functional as it is beautiful, and if you want to make your coffee friends jealous, this French press will do the trick. Snow Peak also makes a collapsible filter setup, which if you're looking to save space is also an excellent option.

     

    Find it: Snow Peak Titanium Cafe Press, $55.95 at Amazon

    3. Brew Your Coffee: MSR Mug Mate

    Another option for brewing coffee is to do it directly into your mug. If this is the route you want to go, look no further than the MSR Mug Mate. It's easy to clean, and means no coffee filter waste.

     

    Find it: MSR Mug Mate Coffee/Tea Filter, $16.95 at MSR

     

    4. Drink Your Coffee: Innate Gear Doppio Tumblers

    You want something small and portable to drink your coffee out of, and for this I love the Innate Gear Doppio. Yes, it's called a "doppio" because it does in fact fit a double espresso shot, which is great if you're checking out the local coffee shop and don't want to get a disposable cup. Pairs well with a good thermos of course, to keep that rest of your brewed coffee nice and hot.

     

    Find it: Innate Gear Doppio Tumblers, $10.60 at Amazon

     

    5. Store Your Coffee Beans: Airscape Container

    While you can always store your beans in the bag you bought them in, sometimes you may want something that can handle the wear and tear of travel a little better. For this you want an airtight container. The Airscape container by Planetary Design is nice as its inner lid and valve allows you to get the air out, ensuring a truly airtight lock, which will keep those beans nice and fresh.

     

    Find it: Airscape Container, $21.45 at at Liquid Planet

« Read older posts
 
Copyright © 2014 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer