El Dia de los Muertos

What a beautiful holiday but when translated into english, Day of the Dead, it sounds morbid, creepy and sacrilegious. I’ll admit, when Sam’s pre-school said that they would be making an altar to honor the dead, I had some questions.  I spoke with her teacher and decided that I need to learn more about the holiday. It took me a while to get past the name, but once I did and learned more about this Mexican custom, the more it intrigued me. In case you’re not familiar with this holiday, it is celebrated on November 2nd and is a day to honor those that have passed on, but it is a day of celebration and not morning. Beautiful alters are erected with pictures, flowers, beautifully painted masks and light candles. On top of this, they play the deceased’s favorite music and make their favorite foods. In my quest to learn more, I took Sam to the Longmont Museum for their El Dia de los Muertos exhibit, it was beautiful. I was blown away by how elaborate these alters are and the care and love that went into designing them. Thank you to The BellaVita School and the Longmont Museum for your enlightenment. And if you get a chance, check out the altars at the museum, you won’t regret it.

All good things must come to an end

I’ve got to admit, I am the first to complain when you see Christmas decorations out before Halloween, Really? I’m not trying to rush the end of the year but it’s time to face facts folks, the tax credits are coming to an end. If you have any home renovation plans in the works it’s time to get a move on. The goal here is not to just save money on your bills, although that is a big motivator, but to also leave a little something for those kids we keep making and maybe help the world in the process.  So here is the lowdown on energy savings rebates…for the most part these rebates are for your main residence and not rental properties, the rebate is for 30% of the cost and depending on what you are renovating there may or may not be a limit. What a deal! On top of the government rebates you may be eligible for a little cash from Xcel and just when you thought it couldn’t get any better Boulder County may be willing to give it up as well. So with a little research and sweat equity, they may be paying you to do the work!

Now I am not suggesting that we all stop shaving our legs, sing kumbya and hug every tree in sight but let’s face it, we could all be a little kinder to Momma Earth. So, even if you are not doing a major renovation isn’t there something that you could do to give Momma a helping hand? Personally, I just can’t bring myself to do the CFL’s, let’s face it girls, no one looks good under flourescent lighting. Here is what I’m doing…I’m reducing my consumption, no I am not going on a diet, I’m being more careful in  my purchases. It seems to me that by purchasing items with less packaging, than I am going to have less waste. Right? For example, I was buying Costco TP to save a little money, but when I stopped and thought about it, each roll of TP is individually wrapped! That just seems like a whole lot of plastic wrapping going into the landfills. Yesterday I was at the grocery store and picked up a carton of Land O’Lakes eggs, every egg is wrapped in plastic! While I appreciate their tenacity, I would rather have a broken egg than all that gunk in the landfill.  Since my daughter must have everything she eats smothered in orange cheese,  give me the block of Velveeta rather than those slices, each individually wrapped. The moral of my story; Let’s stop and think what we are doing to Momma Earth BEFORE we get to the register.

Delicious Autumn

“Delicious autumn, my very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird, I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns” -George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans) Last night as I was walking home from a friend’s house, the neighborhood was quiet, the air crisp and cool and the leaves were crunching beneath my feet, as I passed the 1,257th political sign my mind began to wonder and I realized just how blessed I am.  I have an amazing family whom I love, and they love me, we are all healthy, able to keep food on the table and even a little wine now and then and we live in an amazing society where you are free to speak your mind and vote for our leaders. Each of us comes from very different experiences which help to form our views and every November we get to wade through all the propaganda, go to the polls (without fear of being killed for the  privilege) and cast our vote for our leaders. And if we screw it up, just a wait a few years, then we can vote that S.O.B. out! God Bless America!

Somebody stop me…

I can’t help myself.  In my previous post I warned you of the dangers of too much HGTV and then I got the bright idea to turn a storage closet into a playroom for my daughter.  It’s a playroom, it can’t be beige, right? Of course not, it started off innocent enough

Just a little pink


But then I woke up at 3am with this bright idea

And I am not finished yet

And just in case this isn’t tacky enough

I added gold trim.

As I stepped back to survey my work, Sam walked in and said, “Mommy, I love my new room, thank you”.  My heart melted and I would do it all over again just to hear those words.

HGTV, my nemesis

In many ways HGTV has changed the world of real estate, some good, some not so good. They have opened sellers eyes and minds to the idea of “staging” which is fantastic. In this regard they have made my job much easier. After someone has decided to list with me, but before we put it on the market, I tell them now it’s time to get your house ready to “sell”. We are going to walk through their house room by room and I am going to tell them what needs to be done. I preface this walk with,”Put on your thick skin, because how you live in a house and how we sell your house, are two very different things”.  Invariably they pop up from the chair at the kitchen table and say, “I’m ready”! Oh, no, no, no, grab a notebook, a thick notebook, we’ve got some work to do. We walk through the house, room by room, we don’t skip any and I tell them EVERYTHING that needs to be done to get this home in ready to go to market. Remember, your home is a commodity, the value goes up and down with the market so we need it to shine. As we are going through the house, there is always one room, one wall, some telltale sign that little miss homeowner has been watching too much HGTV. Sponge Painting. Now, I am not saying that all sponge painting is bad, in fact I have seen some that is quite good, subtle and lovely.  It’s the Purple, Green and Orange sponge painters that take your breath away, and not in the good way. I don’t happen to believe in “Real Estate Beige’, I prefer a little color on the wall but not all people can see shades and those who can, can spot those who can’t a mile away.  If you suspect you are in the later group, get some help! Ask someone who can, to help you pick the shade.  The problem here is, most people don’t know they are a can’t, and proceed to paint purple, green and orange.  This is what I mean by,”put on your thick skin”, I’m about to tell you, “you’re a can’t”.  Here is the good news, if you can somehow not be offended, and take my advice. I’ll get your house sold quickly and for more  money. After we walk through your house, I tell you what needs to be done, and you do it…it’s not unusual for me to hear, “now we don’t want to move” 

I first walked through this house with these seller’s 6-8 months ago. We went through this house room by room and while there was no sponge painting, there were some changes that needed to take place, including a new bathroom! Asking a homeowner to add a new bathroom takes guts, but it paid off. They listened, added this gorgeous bathroom, and we were able to raise their asking price from $275,000 to $315,000. I don’t know how much this bathroom cost, but it was not $35,000.

My advice, find yourself a great agent, preferably me, and then LISTEN to what they have to say.

Hello world!

Here we go! I’m jumping in to the world of blogging.  What a wonderful world we live in where you can type in any random thought that pops into your head and send it out there into the atmosphere for the whole world to read. Now, don’t think for a minute that I believe the whole world has been waiting to read the random thoughts that pop into my head, but maybe a few would be interested, “Hi Mom”

So here I go. First off, let me introduce myself. I’m Susan Massey, Mom to one spectacular little girl, Sam. Wife to a fantastic man, Rick. Daughter to MJ and Workie and a Realtor.  There are a couple of brothers and some aunts, uncles and cousins but I don’t want to bore you with my entire family tree. We, Rick and Sam and I, live outside of Boulder, CO in Longmont. We’re in the historic district, which is commonly referred to as, “Old Town”. We live in a 1934 Bungalow that we have been working on since the day we moved in and I fear we will still be working on it the day we move out. Rick and I both work from home with our 2.5 year old daughter, she’s in pre-school a couple days a week and goes to day care when life just gets too overwhelming.  I’ve been a licensed Realtor for about 8 years now, with two of those years in Michigan and the rest right here in Longmont.

Here is what I am hoping, that I can share a little about me, inform you a little about the local real estate market and hopefully have a little fun on this journey.

And we are off…