Colorado Ski Pass

Are you a Colorado skier? I am so excited that ski season is fast approaching!

Do you have a 5th or 6th grader? If so - you'll want to check out Colorado Ski County USA Passes to learn how your 5th grader can ski for FREE or your 6th grader for only $99 (ski for 4 days at one or all of the 21 member resorts for only $99 total).

Whether you enjoy skiing Arapahoe Basin, snowboarding at Copper Mountain, kickin' up powder at Winter Park or trying your luck at Monarch on their black diamonds ~ you should check out this deal if you have a 5th or 6th grader. If you don't - enjoy your ski season anyway! ;)

Stressed-out by home clutter? Don't agonize.... ORGANIZE!

If clutter is threatening a takeover, divide and conquer!
Household clutter tends to take on a life of its own. What starts as just a few items here or there can end up as a mountain of stuff that seems impossible to manage. Deal with "incoming clutter" - flyers, newspapers, bills, mail, kids school papers - by handling it once, and immediately either acting on it, filing it or tossing it. Then when you need to pay a bill, it won't be hidden under a pile of useless papers. "misplaced clutter" is items like toys, books or clothing which just need a quick trip to their to the toy box, shoes to the closet, etc. By following a few easy rules, you can trim that clutter down to size and finally eliminate it!

How to start organizing
Organizing your home doesn't have to be a battle, but you do need a battle plan. Don't try to organize your house in a day. Pick one area and start there. Think of it as a "non-clutter zone" that you will expand each day. If you make serious commitment to organization in family areas, then family members can use the same principles in organizing their own spaces, such as the home office. The important thing is to start somewhere!
Maintain your clutter-free home
It's a wonderful feeling to get ride of clutter, but unless you think and act in a new way regarding "stuff," you'll wind up right back where you started. So, spend ten minutes every morning on a quick pick-up. Getting organized and maintaining a clutter-free home is one of the best steps you can take toward a stress-free life. For additional tips on organizing and de-cluttering your home, visit the following websites and put together a plan that's right for you and your family.

The Clutter Cutters - Local Colorado Springs Family Manager Coach, Cari Pemberton

Organized Home - Great tips and ideas on getting & staying organized

Clutterbug - How to gain peace of mind by organizing your home

Take Charge of your credit

Who Knows More About Your Finances?
You - or your automobile salesman?
Gone are the days when a hopeful couple sat across the desk from their local banker anxiously awaiting his decision on their loan application. Today, the fate of their loan and the rate of their interest hinges on a computer-generated number - their credit score.

What's the score?
The FICO credit score reflects dozens of parameters in one's financial history. For years, this number - named for developers, Fair, Issac & Company - was a tightly guarded secret. Congress has now secured your right to know.
  • Score 700-850 - smooth loan process; best interest rates
  • Score 550-699 - medium risk; higher interest rates
  • Score 300-549 - sorry, rarely a loan or credit card is offered
Know your score
Are you soon hoping to purchase a new car? a new home? remodel your home? send a child to college? Before you talk financing, send for your credit report and FICO score. If there are errors or other surprises, contact creditors to make corrections or negotiate settlements. Also, be sure to notify the credit bureau of your dispute. Legitimate black marks on your credit won't disappear quickly. (it takes seven years; ten for a bankruptcy.) However, time and your diligence can turn things around. Lenders will give recent responsible activity due consideration.

In our credit-driven society, taking charge of your credit should be an on-going process. Your FICO score is a snapshot in time, not set in concrete. Review it each year for errors that may have crept in and to monitor your progress. You have the power to know it, raise it, maintain it.

* Pay all bills - and pay on time * Too many credit cards or zero cards
* Maintain 2-4 credit cards * High non-mortgage debt
* Close unused credit or store cards * Delinquent accounts
* Keep balances well below the limit * Frequent job or address changes
* Pay more than the minimums * Charge Off's (bills marked uncollectible)
* Establish long-term credit history * Bankruptcy


Equifax Information Services, LLC 800-685-1111
Experian 888-EXPERIAN
TransUnion LLC Consumer Disclosure 800-888-4213

If you are interested in being put in touch with a lender for pre-approval for a home purchase or to refinance your current loan, please contact me. I'm happy to recommend several lenders that I work closely with and trust.
Laughter is the best medicine
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
Get your beauty rest
Cliches? Or truths to heed?

As this century rolled into existence, average U.S. life expectancy hit an historic high: 77 years - up from an average of 47 years just a century ago. But how will Americans spend those extra years? Shuffling weary bones about a nursing home or playing shuffle board on a Caribbean cruise?

Do you remember being surprised to learn the age of a coworker or new friend? They look and act ten years younger - or older. Have you ever done that back-pedaling trick when you mistook someone's sister for her mother? Once past puberty, guessing a person's age can be tricky. Is there a secret to looking and feeling youthful?

From hormones to herbs, fighting the effects of time is big business. "Snake-oil salesmen" are alive and well with "magic" pills to restore the vitality of youth, grow hair, smooth thighs or wrinkles. The truth is that we are more than physical beings and no one pill or potion (or surgery) can reverse the advancing years.

The real "magic" lies in wise life decisions made in all areas of our humanity. In fact, laughing more, eating fruit, and sleeping that extra hour are not merely cliches, but examples of practical day-d-day choices that can add up to more years in your life and more life in your years.

Regardless of age, you can "live younger", reduce the risk of disease, and look forward to a future characterized by well-being and independence.

It's Easier Than You Think to LOOK younger:
Flossing your teeth wards off infection & helps your immune system 6.4 years younger
Work puzzles to maintain mental sharpness 2.5 years younger
Laugh to reduce tension that deteriorates health 1.7-8 years younger

Take a look at Real Age: Live Life to the Youngest for helpful articles, health & diet information as well as a complete personal profile and live "As Young As You Can Be".

Most Americans Couldn't Tell You What Their Home Is Worth

I want you to be one of the few who are informed. You know the genuine value of "home and hearth", but do you know the dollar value of your house? Or how much of that value belongs to you? A number of key decisions can be more wisely made with the benefit of this knowledge.
  • Is your home adequately insured? If disaster were to strike, would your insurance cover the losses? In California, a state known for wild real estate escalations and wild fires, many devastated homeowners have learned the hard way that their homes were under insured.
  • Is your estate plan based on a realistic estimate of your home's worth? Assuming you have provided a means for your assets to be distributed upon your death, will your plan minimize the tax burden your heirs may face? Underestimating home equity could force loved ones to sell the family homestead to cover inheritance taxes.
  • Could your home mean more to your family than just safety and warmth? Could home equity be put to use in financing your children't college education? Funding a business? A more active retirement plan? Home improvements?
  • Do you know how to measure the value of your home? A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is the only tool that provides current pricing of homes in your style in your area. With a recent CMA and knowledge of your home's condition relative to others that have tested the market, you can know an accurate dollar amount for your home.
Contact me today if you would like to know the worth of your home and receive a complimentary CMA. I would be happy to stop by, take a closer look at upgrades and improvements and provide you with a more in-depth, personalized analysis.

35th Annual Colorado Springs Balloon Classic THIS WEEKEND

This event is held in Memorial Park, in Colorado Springs, off Pikes Peak Avenue between Hancock Avenue and Union Boulevard near the shores of Prospect Lake from Sept. 3rd - 5th.

Mass ascensions of dozens of balloons are scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings with a Balloon Glo® scheduled for Saturday and Sunday evenings. Each year a variety of concessions are available and entertainment is provided during each event. Admission for spectators is free!

Per city ordinance - no pets are allowed in Memorial Park during the Colorado Balloon Classic.

The park is filled with festivities all day long. It's recommended you arrive at the park by 6:00 am to be a part of all the activities and walk the field and be next to the balloons as they inflate and take off! The evening Balloon Glo activities start at 5:00 pm with the Glo started at dusk/dark. For more information, visit their website.

What Size Moving Truck Do You Need?

When you are moving and need to rent a moving truck, it's important that you know the size of the truck you need. Moving trucks can be very expensive to rent, especially when you are moving a long distance away. It's always best to make sure you have the smallest truck that is still large enough for all of your stuff to save money.

  1. Search through your house to see how many things you will need to be putting on the moving truck. Make a note of all of the large things in your house like your living room and bedroom furniture. If you have any other large things that will need to be packed you should take note of these as well.
  2. Call the moving truck rental company that you are planning to use. Ask them what size trucks they have to choose from. Typically they will have several different sizes. In most cases the larger the moving truck's size, the more expensive it will be to rent.
  3. Ask them which one they suggest using. Normally they can give you a general idea of the size of moving truck you should use by knowing how large the place you are moving out of is.
  4. Take what the moving truck rental company has told you into consideration. After you have done this, determine if your particular living space fits the description you gave them. For example, if you told them that you are moving out of an 800 square foot one bedroom apartment, then make sure you are accounting for any garage or storage space you may be using. If you do have extra space with more things to move, you should consider renting a moving truck that is one size larger.
Taken from a Merchant Circle article by gasman.