Support Windsor Businesses

Now is the time to support our local businesses. As of March 26th, below is the status of businesses that are open and will be delivering, open with online order, and businesses that offer gift cards.


Posted on March 27, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

St. Patrick’s Day – Crowds, Solitude and The Coronavirus

Have your annual St. Paddy’s Day celebration plans with friends and family and maybe hundreds or thousands of other people now changed due to the COVID-19? I know mine have. In an effort to slow the spread of this disease and to protect others, most of us have chosen to opt out of celebrating the holiday with large groups of people. Not only has the St. Patrick’s Day parades been canceled, but there has been a complete halt to a lot communal events and activities; such as children’s sports, public sporting events, going out to restaurants, family gatherings, etc. So what are we to do with ourselves in this time of expected solitude. There is so much more than locking ourselves in a house full of toilet paper and Lysol mist.

 

Go for a hike, it might be a chilly one, but nature will not infect you and unless you’re high-fiving or allowing yourself to be sneezed on other hikers you should be able to avoid the risk. Don’t want to brace the chilly weather? Go for a drive through the Rockies! Throw on your favorite St. Paddy’s Day t-shirt, load up a couple of healthy friends, pack a lunch, and spend the day viewing the beautiful Colorado scenery. Invite your friends over to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, hose them down with antibacterial chemical spray, serve the green beer, and enjoy each other’s company over a game of cards. My point is, don’t torture yourself with locking yourself inside away from others, continue to interact while still being thoughtful to the purpose of trying to control something that may not directly affect you, but may affect your loved ones. Respect the greater cause while still being a happy lad.

 

Wishing you all a HAPPY, SAFE, & HEALTHY St. Patrick’s Day!


Posted on March 13, 2020 at 3:16 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Furry Friends Love Colorado!   

Colorado ranks at the top in pet-friendly states alongside Maine, Virginia, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Filled with dog parks and pet-focused businesses, such as doggy daycare, puppy spas, and canine hotels, Colorado really knows how to socialize and spoil our furry friends. As developers build new communities and architects design new homes and businesses, our four-legged family members’ lifestyles are considered and planned for. “Puppers” are included in our everyday lives in Colorado. There isn’t a brewery that doesn’t allow the human and dog duo to enjoy a beer in each other’s company or a new community that doesn’t have a space for dogs to run and exercise.  

Colorado’s outdoor lifestyle is a dog’s dream. As most Coloradans know, there is no better pair than you and a four-legged companion to joyfully lead the way on a Rocky Mountain hike. With endless trails, rivers, and lakes Colorado is heaven on earth for our residents and visitors.  

These are a few reasons why Colorado is one of the best places for you and your dog, but there is so much more that goes into a state’s pet-friendly ranking than just dog parks to pet-friendly housing. Safewise sat down and looked at information from the Bureau of Labor, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and other online pet-related resources. They specifically looked for high-percentages of no-kill shelters, strict anti-cruelty laws, pet-friendly public areas like dog-friendly restaurants and off-leash dog parks, and housing restrictions to compile a list of the top 10 most dog-friendly states in the country. It is an honor to have Colorado be part of such a list. So, if dogs are part of your family or you simply want to be surrounded by them, Colorado is the state for you.  


Posted on March 6, 2020 at 7:25 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

VETERANS DAY – LET’S NOT FORGET

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY.

In a time when every day is a national holiday, ‘National Wine Day’, ‘National Siblings Day’, ‘National Hot Dog Day’, let’s not forget the significance of this day that should be celebrated to its fullest. On this day we honor those who have served, sacrificed, and suffered so those who can’t and simply don’t can live in peace and comfort. Let’s not forget that there are men and women who leave their families and friends for extended periods of time to live in very uncomfortable climates, sleep on a pad, live with little to no privacy and shower in water that is the equivalent of the sand that blasted them during the last 48 sleepless hours. Let’s not forget that while we unconsciously walk the paved sidewalks of our safe streets, a solider has or is taking each step with extreme caution simply to stay alive for their next calculated step. Let’s not forget that there are dads who have missed the birth of their first born child and mothers who have missed their baby’s first words. Let’s not forget that there are soldiers that go to war an athlete and come home unable to ever walk or run again; artist that will never see or hear again; a husband that will never be able embrace his wife again. Let’s not forget that there are grieving mothers, fathers, children, siblings, husbands, wives, extended family and friends that are reminded every day of the gap they now have in their lives because of the selflessness of their lost loved one(s).

Let’s not forget that even those who are lucky enough to survive continue to suffer as they bring home with them a part of their life at war and struggle with their future. Their time is served for the remainder of their days with constant reminders and memories of their experiences as a soldier. So, let’s not forget to truly celebrate this one day and the Heroes that surround us and recognize their service, sacrifice, and suffering that they selflessly gave so that the rest of us can live in peace and in comfort.

Today I recognize my sister Jessica and my brother Will for their service and selflessness, as well my brother Jeff for his continued service and dedication to protecting us all (that includes you reading this).

I AM GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PROTECTION.


Posted on November 11, 2019 at 8:20 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

The Slow Down in Foreign Buyers

The United States housing market is experiencing a significant reduction in foreign buyers. Windermere Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, cites several factors that could be contributing to this trend and offers his opinions as to what to expect in this recent Market Update.


Posted on September 27, 2019 at 10:29 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized |

Increase your living space—and your home’s value

Cooking and dining alfresco is arguably the single greatest thing about warm weather in spring and summer, but most backyard barbeques involve a million trips to and from the kitchen. As such, one of the hottest trends in new home construction is outdoor kitchens. Outdoor kitchens typically feature a comfortable eating area with a combination of cabinets, sinks, warming drawers, prep counters, ranges, and refrigerators—all within arm’s reach of the grill. Outdoor kitchens provide a natural gathering spot for friends and family and can add to the value of your home.

How elaborate your outdoor kitchen should be depends on how often you plan to use it. Some people enjoying dining outdoors every evening, while others reserve it for special occasions and social gatherings. Regardless of the frequency of use, you need to use materials that do well in all kinds of weather. Stone sinks, stainless steel cabinets, and slate countertops will withstand the Seattle rain, as well as the months that pass between barbeque seasons. Many outdoor kitchens also feature pergolas or other roof structures to shield guests from sun and rain. Something else to consider is adding an outdoor gas heater or fireplace, which will extend the amount of time you can use your outdoor kitchen into the fall and winter months.

In addition to the convenience of having all your grilling accoutrements within a handy distance, a well-built outdoor kitchen also adds to the value of your home. And you don’t have to have a new home to reap the benefits. With the right space and backyard layout, owners of existing homes can easily add-on an outdoor kitchen area. When adding an outdoor kitchen to an existing home, power, gas, and water lines often have to be extended from the home, so be sure to hire a qualified contractor to do the work for you. By extending your living space outside, you have essentially increased the square footage of your home. In many cases the increase in your home’s value will equal or even sometimes exceed the cost of the project itself.

The benefits of an outdoor kitchen area and living space are many. And with the convenience of having your drinks, condiments, meat, and cooking space all in one easy-to-reach place, you can spend the precious summer moments right where you should—outside with friends and family.

What features would you include in an outdoor kitchen?


Posted on April 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Sellers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Simple Ways To Conserve Energy In Your Home

With the increased emphasis on global warming in recent years, combined with rising energy costs, more and more people are asking what they can do to make their homes more energy efficient. Energy conservation can be as simple as closing your curtains at night, changing a light bulb, turning down your thermostat, or closing the fireplace damper. Many of the most inexpensive solutions quickly pay for themselves in conservation, which you ultimately benefit from when you get your power bill.

One of the biggest ways you can conserve energy is to take advantage of “off-peak” hours. This is a step that everyone can take because it simply involves shifting your power use of major appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers. Puget Sound Energy recommends using these appliances outside of peak hours—peak hours are between 6am-10am and 5pm-9pm. Studies show that by shifting a portion of your energy use, consumers can significantly lower wholesale electricity prices, which saves everyone money in the long run.

Another way you can save energy is by washing your clothes in cold water and only running full loads. When using the dryer, toss in a couple of dry towels with your clothes to help speed up the drying process. It’s also important to clean the lint trap in your dryer after every load and make sure the dryer hose and vent are clear.

There are several steps you can follow to reduce your home’s demand on heating during the winter months. Conventional measures, such as setting back your thermostat, are effective at reducing energy consumption. It is recommended that you keep your thermostat set between 65 and 72 degrees during the winter months. Keep in mind that by simply lowering your thermostat one degree, your furnace will use seven percent less energy overall. It’s also important to clean your furnace filter frequently—doing so will enable your heating system to run more efficiently and cost-effectively.

It’s estimated that lighting accounts for 10 percent of your overall home energy bill, so another way you can conserve is by using energy-saving fluorescent light bulbs, known as CFL light bulbs. CFLs use approximately one-quarter of the energy of equivalent incandescent bulbs, they give off warm, indirect light, and they last ten times longer than average light bulbs. When shopping for CFLs, look for those with the Energy Star label on them—this ensures that you’re purchasing a product that has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

For more information about energy conservation, please visit www.energystar.org.


Posted on April 26, 2019 at 11:09 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Childproofing: Protect Your Family and Your Home from Potential Hazards

When you think of your home, it likely conjures up feelings of safety, shelter, and comfort. However, accidental injuries in the home are one of the leading causes of harm to children 14 and younger. By taking certain precautions, many of these accidents can be prevented.

While supervision is the best way to keep your children safe at home, you can’t watch them every second. Childproofing, to whatever degree you are comfortable, will go a long way toward keeping your littlest loved ones safe and healthy at home.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Many accidents happen with or around water.

If you have children at home, it’s advisable to adjust your water heater to no higher than 120 degrees to prevent scalding. Furthermore, you should never leave a small child unattended in a bath tub, even for a few seconds. And be sure to safely secure doors that lead to swimming pools and hot tubs, including pet doors. When cooking or boiling water, turn pot handles in, or better yet use the back burners, to prevent little hands from pulling them off the stove.

Household chemicals can be very harmful to children.

It’s important not to keep poisonous materials under the sink, even if you have a cabinet guard in place. Keep dangerous chemicals up high and in a room that isn’t accessible to your little ones. Seemingly innocuous medicines can also be dangerous. Make sure your medicine cabinet is out of sight, mind, and reach.

Use safety latches and gates.

It’s advisable that you use safety latches on drawers, cabinets, toilets, and windows, as well as place covers on all electrical outlets. Gate off stairways and entrances to rooms, such as garages, that contain dangerous or fragile objects.

Secure furniture and other objects.

Heavy furniture, electronics, and lamps must be secured to prevent a child from pulling them over. Bookshelves and entertainment centers often come with devices that attach them to walls so that a climbing child won’t topple the furniture. The end-caps on door stoppers can be a choking hazard, so it’s advisable to remove them. Place plastic bumpers on sharp corners or edges of coffee tables, entertainment centers, and other furniture to prevent cuts and bruises.

Install a carbon monoxide detector.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke alarms. Be sure to test both devices regularly and replace batteries as needed. The American Red Cross advises families to learn first aid and CPR, and to devise an emergency evacuation plan for fires and earthquakes.

Emergency contact info.

Last, but not least, in case an emergency does happen, always keep numbers for your child’s doctor, your work and cell, and other emergency contact info in an easily found place, preferably near the phone.

Accidents can and will happen, but by following a few small steps you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ve done everything you can to protect your family from harm in your home.


Posted on April 24, 2019 at 10:45 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Is a “home exchange” vacation right for you?

 

A home exchange—often called “house-swapping”—is a money-smart vacation idea that’s been around for a long time. With virtually everyone feeling the economic squeeze, some exchanges are more popular than ever before.

Why a home exchange? Since accommodations are usually the priciest part of a vacation, a home exchange saves money, allowing travelers to take longer vacations and perhaps splurge a bit on dining, tours, or shopping. Larger families appreciate how homes meet their needs for space, meals, and a good night’s sleep. And, home-swappers often say they enjoy “living like the locals,” especially when traveling internationally.

How it works. The basic idea of a home exchange is that two families agree to live in each other’s home (usually at the same time) at no cost—it’s considered an even trade. Exchangers find one another via home exchange website that provides detailed listings of available homes. Exchanges take place within the United States or internationally, and the length of stay is whatever the parties agree upon. Exchangers typically do not meet in person but get acquainted via phone calls and emails before the exchange happens. Details, including pets, the use of a car, and cleaning are all agreed upon ahead of time, usually in a written contract provided by the website.

What makes a house desirable? You might be surprised! As a general rule, home exchangers are looking for location, location, location. They want to explore attractions in your area, attend an event, or visit family. A beachfront house in California is highly desirable, as is a condo in an exciting city—and even a home in the suburbs will appeal to the right travelers. Because swappers are primarily looking for a convenient jumping-off point for their adventures, your home’s age, floor plan, and furnishings don’t matter too much, as long as it’s clean, comfortable, and accommodating.

Vacation homes are ideal. Whether it’s a rustic cottage on a secluded fishing lake or a condo at a popular ski area, a second home is ideal for exchanges. Logistically, you don’t have to vacate your primary residence, and you have more flexibility as to when the swap can happen.  For this reason, many retirees—who often own second homes and enjoy freer schedules—find home exchanges especially appealing.

First steps. If you’re intrigued, start by exploring a few websites; you can view a lot of information for free. Home exchange websites typically charge an annual membership fee of $50 to $100 to list your home. If you decide to join a service, you’ll provide several photos and a detailed description of your home. You’ll also post your desired destination(s) and travel dates, and you’ll be able to peruse the homes that meet your criteria. It’s common to trade information with several homeowners before finding just the right match, and the process may take several months.

Focus on the basics. Once you’ve agreed to an exchange and are preparing your home for guests, think about what makes a hotel room enjoyable.  A clean, clutter-free home is universally appealing, and comfortable mattresses and attractive bedding are a must. Your kitchen should be well organized, and internet access is a big plus. Your guests know they’re staying in someone’s home, so don’t worry about scuffed baseboards and well-worn furniture.  Likewise, don’t expect five-star accommodations when you step into your host’s home.

Is a home exchange right for you? If the very thought of others living in your home and sleeping in your bed—or you in theirs—makes your palms go clammy, an exchange is probably not for you. But many travelers are hooked!

What are your summer vacation tips?

 


Posted on April 22, 2019 at 2:43 pm
Justine Marx | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Make the Most of the Home You Have

  1. Find your home’s purpose. Each home is as unique as its owners, so in order to fully utilize your home, consider how you view your home’s purpose. Some people like to entertain, others find it a calm space in the frenzy of daily life; some nurture their families and others nurture their creativity. Your home’s purpose can be any combination of these and more, but it helps to consider the function of your space in order to ultimately find its purpose.
  2. Assemble a list. A list always helps me figure out where to start or prioritize what is the most important project. Think about what you want to change in your home, inspirations, and preferences.
  3. Make an “inspiration board”. An “inspiration board” is a great way to visualize your home’s decor. You can create a board online with a tool like Pinterest to organize ideas you love or you can do it the old fashioned way with a board, magazine cutouts, color swatches, and fabric samples. Doing this will allow you to see all the elements you like in one place so that you can then tie it all together into a room you love.
  4. Create a collection. If you have items that you like to collect, think about how to transform that collection into something you can display. If you don’t already have a collection of loved objects think about what this collection would be for you. You can center a room design around your travel souvenirs, old camera collection, figurines, unique plates, or familial objects. Adding to this collection over time can be a great way to keep your spaces new  while maintaining a personal feel to your decor.
  5. Choose a new palate. Shake up your sensibilities and think of a color that will compliment your room while making a statement. It’s easy to fall into the white/beige standby to keep our rooms neutral, but sometimes a color that provides a contrast to your décor will make the room pop.
  6. Repurpose an old piece of furniture. Instead of replacing your furniture give it a facelift. You can have a sofa or chairs reupholstered or make use of a slip cover. Also, Painting and staining can add new life to your wood pieces.
  7. Rearrange. Moving furniture around is another easy way to reinvent your space. Try placing your sofa on an angle to open up your entertaining room or move your lamps to improve lighting. You can also think about moving a piece of furniture into a room to give it new life, like using a unique dresser for a credenza or a chair as a side table.
  8. Make a room of your own. Find some space in your home that is uniquely yours, whether this is the corner of the guest room or an office of your own. It can be very rewarding to have a space that you can organize to fit your personal needs without the worries of others intruding
  9. Find an inspirational object. Have you ever fallen in love with an object that inspired you to want to completely redo a room to accommodate it? Designing a room around an inspiring object can be a great way to create a space that truly embodies your design sensibility.
  10. Find design motivation. Home design evolves over time and can be sustained by finding items that inspire you. Read magazines and books that inspire your interests in architecture, design, art, etc. Or find stores and flea markets that sell pieces that influence your aesthetic. Or bring a camera with you when you’re doing your favorite activities and bring back memories or inspirations. Most of all have fun!

What inspires your home design?


Posted on March 27, 2019 at 11:42 am
Justine Marx | Posted in Home Facts, Housing Trends, Sellers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,