Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Great Vail Valley Schools

Along with our great lifestyle here in Eagle, and the Vail Valley as a whole, we also have great schools for our kids to thrive in. Five schools in the area won awards in 2012 for their scholastic achievements and progress. Brush Creek Elementary and Eagle County Charter Academy won the John Irwin Award while the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award was given to Edwards Elementary, Eagle Valley Middle School and Gypsum Creek Middle School.

The John Irwin Award is given to schools that demonstrate excellent academic achievements by exceeding expectations on the state's academic achievement indicator and the growth gap indicator. Both Brush Creek and Eagle County Charter were among 151 Colorado Schools chosen for this honor because of their continued growth in the fields of reading and math among the whole student body. This means that both schools have been great at narrowing the gap between their highest and lowest achieving students.

The Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award is given to the top 8% of public schools that have had great performance by growing their schools standards and shrinking the gap between students. This award was earned by Edwards Elementary, Eagle Valley Middle  and Gypsum Creek Middle Schools by having 97% of fifth and sixth graders score proficient or advanced in statewide tests; these scores were among the best in the state.

Congratulations to these schools! For a closer look at school ratings go to The Colorado Department of Education website or visit other valuation school sites by visiting and You will see on these websites that we are fortunate to live in a beautiful area with many great activities as well as having schools that can prepare our kids for anything.

If you would like to talk further about Vail Valley schools please contact me anytime.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Slifer Smith & Frampton Broker of the Week

Hi Everyone, I hope you all enjoyed your Holiday Season. I enjoyed mine with my family and am excited to begin the new year. A great way to start is that I was fortunate enough to be named Broker of the Week by Slifer Smith & Frampton. My profile will be featured on our Facebook page where you can also enter a sweepstakes to win a 2-night stay at the Four Seasons in Vail, Friday March 29 – Sunday March 31, 2013. This prize will give you a great weekend in Vail and also include parking & complimentary breakfast, and 2 VIP passes to the Vail Film Festival! You can visit my website to search for listings  our Facebook page to enter the Sweepstakes and the SSF Blog to keep up on happenings in the Vail Valley by clicking the links below.

To view my listings visit
Enter to win the Vail Premier Weekend sweepstakes by visiting the  SSF Facebook Page.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What is a Fixture?

With so many homeowners remodeling their homes and adding new hardware it may cause some confusion about what sellers can take and what buyers are entitled to upon the sale of the home. As a general rule, anything permanently fixed or attached to something is a fixture. A thing is considered affixed to real property when it is attached to it by roots, imbedded in it, permanently resting upon it, or permanently attached to what is thus permanent, as by means of cement, plaster, nails, bolts, or screws. If you need tools to take it, the object probably belongs to the house. 

This is not to say that you can't keep the antique mirror you have on you wall... just make exclusion clear in your listing contract as well as the purchase contract. A better option than that is to completely remove the item from the home so buyers don't even have the item on their wish list. As is human nature, when buyers see something like a mirror and are told they can't have it, they will want it even more. Buy a cheap mirror or something else to take the place and then put the treasured item in a safe place to alleviate all confusion.

Another place where confusion could arise is with landscaping. Many homes have expensive landscaping formations and gardens that the sellers have put in place and want to keep. Unless they remove these things before the listing period starts, or specifically exclude them in the listing, they come with the house. So that beautiful trellis of roses you may want after moving out is considered a fixture and part of the sale of the home.

A good way to avoid all of the issues that may come up is to walk through your home with your broker before putting it on the market and look at each item to decide what stays and what goes. If you, as the seller, want to keep something either make a note in the listing agreement or even better, take it out of the home for safe keeping. The earlier you address these issues the better off you will be when a buyer comes in.

If you have any questions about fixtures or real estate in the Vail Valley in general please contact me anytime!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Following Vail Real Estate

Who has time to sift through the huge amount of homes for sale in newspapers or even the big real estate websites like Trulia or Zillow. Slifer Smith & Frampton makes it much easier with all of the online resources to search for a home and learn about the Vail lifestyle. 

The SSF Facebook page is a great way to hear about any happenings in the Vail Valley as well as some great giveaways. If you go to our Facebook page we offer many giveaways for liking certain posts so check it out every day! 

To find out more about weekly activities in the area keep an eye on our twitter handle, @vailoriginal, and our Pinterest page. From there you can see the things our brokers are doing for fun as well as some great real estate news and updates. 

To keep an eye on new homes on the market or other Vail Real Estate news head to our You Tube channel and blog. These are great places to find out about the real estate in the area through virtual tours and photos as well as Valley updates on things like the new gondola at Vail. 

Another way that Slifer is a great innovator is our amazing iphone app. Vail Real Estate Search can provide you with up to date listing information, maps, photos and contact information for every home on the market in the Vail Valley. The app allows you to search by price, area, recently reduced, new homes on the market and more so you can personalize it to search for your needs.

All of these great resources allow you to stay in touch with the Vail real estate market as well as our amazing lifestyle from anywhere. With our iphone app and other websites you can keep your finger on the pulse of Vail on your mobile phone too. 

For any questions that may sprout from keeping an eye on the Vail Valley please contact me anytime!

Call to Action

Fiscal Cliff Puts Mortgage Interest Deduction in the Cross-Hairs

With the White House and Congress trying to bridge the gap between what they spend and what they take in, many changes could be coming to our tax code including adjusting some long standing deductions. Our country's beloved mortgage interest tax deduction (MID) is being threatened as we approach the "fiscal cliff." 

This deduction has been a part of our tax code since 1913 and changes in it could alter long held homeowner and home buyer mindset when purchasing their home. With our housing market just now showing signs of recovery from "The Great Recession", a change or elimination of the MID would only drive up the cost of home-ownership and set back the recovery. Although no specific legislation has been introduced, the common consensus among economists and political pundits is that the MID will be on the negotiating table to bridge the debt gap.

President Obama's proposal is to limit the total amount of principal eligible for deduction  from $1,000,000 to $500,000 as well as making second homes no longer eligible. These are two limitations that directly effect real estate in the Vail Valley with our average home prices being around $850,000, and the percentage of second homeowners staying around 50%. Because of our market it is more important than ever to protect our MID. Please contact your Senators and Congresspeople by clicking the link below to send a letter. This call to action will only take 30 seconds but will have a lasting effect on making the goal of home-ownership a possibility for future generations. 

Please contact me with any questions on the MID or other real estate questions you may have. Enjoy the snow!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Vail Valley is once again lucky enough to host the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships. Over 2 weeks the best skiers in the world will be competing in our backyard with us and 50,000 of our closest friends there to cheer them on. This provides limitless opportunities for business owners in the valley but many challenges as well for them to get ready for the influx of people. There are some big changes coming to both Beaver Creek and Vail mountains and Vail Resorts is leading the charge.

Beaver Creek Changes

While Beaver Creek has hosted the Birds of Prey World Cup Ski Race annually for many years for the 2015 World Championships they are changing the woman's race course. They started cutting a new trail at the beginning of this month that will be skiers right of the usual Birds of Prey course. If you head to Spruce Saddle at the top of Centennial lift you can see them working on the new course that will be ready for racers in 2013 for the Birds of Prey. Along with changing the course itself they are completely re-doing the finish area. They will be constructing new buildings for spectators and permanent structures that will be able to accommodate the growth of Beaver Creek in the future. Watch this video to see the proposed changes.

Vail Changes

Vail will not host any competition races in 2015 but they will be bustling with other activities. Vail will host the opening ceremony, some of the qualifying races, and the medal ceremony; but their daily activities and nightlife is where they will draw the crowds. They will be having many vendors and daily activities for skiers to enjoy as well as free concerts at night.  One of the main changes Vail will be highlighting is their new Epic Discovery that will provide many more summer activities for visitors. By having many of the attractions in place for the huge winter crowd to see, it will get them excited to book their return trip in the summer. Vail Mountain plans on adding a new hiking and mountain biking trails as well as more adventitious activities like zip-lines and an alpine slide that will run on raised rails. For more information click here.

These new changes will provide for the long term success of the world class resorts in our backyard. With Vail Resorts focusing on both winter and summer activities it can ensure that there will be visitors coming to our lovely valley for years to come.  Watch this video for more information on the changes and coming races.

Please contact me for more information on these changes or any questions you may have about the Vail Valley!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A new version of The Tortoise and the Hare

Recently Darren Hardy wrote an article where he takes a different look at the fable we all know from growing up. He reassesses the story of The Tortoise and the Hare to look at with a not so final ending; he looks not at the results of the race but the reaction to the results by it's participants. Read the article below.

Tortoise vs. Hare. Who Wins? Think Again.

If you read The Compound Effect (hope so!) you know I am a fan of the story of the tortoise and the hare and the lesson it teaches about how hardworking, consistent and steady-paced people (or reptiles) will eventually overtake the fast, talented, experienced but complacent people (or mammals).
Someone recently shared with me an adaptation of the story that makes a poignant leadership point.

It goes like this…
After getting his hare butt kicked by the tortoise so many times, the hare finally wised up and realized it was because he was being overconfident, unfocused and inconsistent (maybe he read The Compound Effect; hey it’s possible!).
Newly enlightened he decided to make some changes and challenged the tortoise to a rematch. The tortoise accepted his challenge.
This time, the hare ran with all his might and didn’t stop, relentlessly and persistently until he crossed the finish line. This time the hare won!

The moral of the story?
If you think focus and consistency is amazing when applied to the slow and steady, imagine what’s possible if applied to the fast and talented.

But the story doesn’t end here…
This time, it was the tortoise that did the soul searching and he realized that if the hare didn’t stop, there is no way he could beat him…. unless! He thought.
He decided on a different course and he challenged the hare to another rematch. The newly emboldened hare, of course, agreed.
With the lessons learnt from his previous failure and his new disciplines in mind, the hare kept on running once the race started and didn’t stop until the route led him to the bank of a river. He was taken by surprise and he did not know what to do, since he could not swim. There were no bridges in sight and no one to ask for directions. As he racked his brain, thinking of ways to cross the river, the tortoise strolled slowly along, dived into the river, swam across it and ultimately, finished the race before the hare.
The moral of the story? Know your strengths and take on your competitors in areas of your core competency.

But that’s not the rest of the story…  
With the hare and the tortoise spending so much time together racing, they became rather good friends. They also developed a mutual respect for one another as they realized that they are both different and they have different strengths. They decided to race again, but this time, as a team.
As the race started, the hare carried the tortoise and they sped to the riverbank. There, they switched positions and the tortoise ferried the hare across the river. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they crossed the finishing line together.
They completed the race in a record time that both of them could never achieve if they were to do it alone. They also felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they’d felt earlier.

The moral of the story?
It’s good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies but unless you’re able to work in a TEAM and harness each other’s core competencies, you’ll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you’ll do poorly where someone else does well.
Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership. And being supportive team members is necessary for a team to advance.

There are more lessons on teamwork to be learned from this story…
Note that the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could, but was not doing as well as he wished.
Imagine how long it will take the hare to learn how to swim! Or for the tortoise to learn to run fast. In this day and age when the environment changes at lightning speed, we have to learn to work with people who have strengths in areas that we do not.
It is the same in business, if we can collaborate with people who are experts in areas that we are not familiar with, we will realize that our market and opportunities suddenly becomes bigger.