Archives for: January 2009

01/31/09

Permalink 07:55:25 am, Categories: Announcements & Events [A], News, 114 words   English (US)

Make Reservations Now For Restaurant Week

A record-setting 198 restaurants will participate in the next Denver Restaurant Week (DRW), scheduled for February 21-27, 2009 - a 14 percent increase over the 174 that composed the 2008 culinary festival.

Denver Restaurant Week, presented by VISIT DENVER The Convention & Visitors Bureau and sponsored by the Denver Newspaper Agency, serves as the city's largest dining festival, attracting 160,000 diners in 2008. View advertisement>

During the week-long celebration of Denver's culinary scene, restaurants offer a multi-course dinner for the "mile high" fixed-price of $52.80 for two ($26.40 for one), not including tax and tip. The event began in 2005 with just 84 restaurants and has now grown to be one of the largest restaurant weeks in the nation.

For a list of participating restaurants click here.

01/30/09

Permalink 12:00:54 pm, Categories: News, Background, Kirstan's Ramblings, Real Estate, 90 words   English (US)

Ron Paul Quoted (Because I Agree With It)

From ireport.com, January 23, 2009

Government is a monumental drag on this economy. Government at all levels currently absorbs about 35-40 percent of GDP, which is still not enough for its voracious appetite. While productivity is already overtaxed, the government routinely spends more than it takes in and makes up for the shortfall by constantly borrowing or debasing our dollars through inflation...And yet we are to believe the solution to our problems is to make government bigger? On the contrary, government makes our problems bigger.

Read his thoughts on the economy >

01/29/09

Permalink 04:46:02 pm, Categories: Announcements & Events [A], 176 words   English (US)

Challenges in Helping Homeowners

Now that the Fed holds some mortgages (under Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae), there is a challenge they face in actually helping the distressed homeowners that need help.

According to Guy Cecala (publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance), just urging the the mortgage industry to voluntarily assist borrowers won't cut it. He was quoted saying "for the government to have any impact on foreclosures and loan workouts, they need to control a lot more. The best way to do it is to acquire all these bad assets -- or even questionable assets -- and do it themselves."

I think Guy is right on and I hope that the government puts more of their people to good/purposeful work rather than have them just eating up space in an office. I know that we are in the middle of a unemployment problem, but I hope that the government won't hire any more people for this...they have plenty already! So conserve our tax money and give people work that will make a real difference. Read the entire article >

01/28/09

Permalink 02:04:08 pm, Categories: News, Background, Real Estate, 39 words   English (US)

Some Interesting Posts on Article in RMN

So it was interesting to me to read the posts left by readers of this article in the Rocky Mountain News today:

In regards to Denver Real Estate >>Metro home prices fall but do better than in most cities

Permalink 10:54:02 am, Categories: News, Background, Kirstan's Ramblings, Real Estate, 414 words   English (US)

Denver: A Safe Bet for Increasing Real Estate Values

Investor Report: PMI Group Risk List
By Kenneth R. Harney

Two new national indexes that measure real estate risk -- and buying opportunities -- came out last week, and they offer some geographical pointers for investors.

Title insurance giant PMI Group's quarterly metropolitan area risk list covers 381 markets, and ranks them according to the probability of real estate price declines during the next 24 months.

The thinnest ice-where PMI forecasts further drops in values -- continues to be in once-booming, speculator-driven markets that haven't quite finished their downward cycle.

The 10 areas most likely to see real estate price declines: Tops on the list is Riverside-San Bernadino, California, once the epicenter of double-digit price inflation, but now suffering from one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country.

Investors can definitely pick up deals there, but they shouldn't expect a bottoming out on prices or turnaround before 2011.

Number two on the PMI list: Miami and Miami Beach. No surprise here either, because the south Florida market is weighted down by a couple of years' worth of unsold condos.

In third place is Fort Lauderdale, just up Interstate 95 from Miami, and loaded down with similar problems. Next comes Los Angeles, which is a bit of a surprise since LA -- with its highly-distinctive sub-markets ranging from posh Beverly Hills to central city neighborhoods -- hasn't performed as badly in statistical terms as other parts of the state.

But PMI rates LA as having a 99.8 percent probability of further price declines over the coming 24 months.

Rounding out the riskiest 10: West Palm Beach; Las Vegas; Tampa-St Pete; Orlando; Anaheim, California; and Jacksonville, Florida.

The least risky markets to put your investment dollars if you want to avoid short-term valuation losses, according to PMI: Texas dominates the list: Dallas, Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio are all in the top five. But Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver and Indianapolis also are among the safest bets to grow property values in the next 24 months.

A second quarterly real estate index comes from HomeVestors, whose franchisees across the country buy thousands of what they call "ugly" houses a year, fix them up, rent them out, or resell them at a profit.

Based on volume of purchases in the final quarter of 2008, HomeVestors ranks Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Denver among their top 10 opportunity markets.

So their index is pretty much in sync with PMI's, but Home Vestors includes Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Atlanta as top turnaround opportunity markets as well.

Copyright © 2009 Realty Times. Used with permission.

01/24/09

Permalink 11:46:04 pm, Categories: News, Background, Kirstan's Ramblings, Real Estate, 158 words   English (US)

The World According to Warren Buffett

"I can't predict the short-term movements of the market...[but] if you wait for the robins, spring will be over." Warren Buffett, Op-ed, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2008

Regarding the 52% increase in stock market from Nov. 1, 1974 to Sept. 21, 1976:

"Now is the time to invest and get rich."
Warren Buffet, Forbes, Nov. 1, 1974

In the past, when the market looked dismal, many smart investors were taking advantage of the market's bargains:

"Those awaiting a better time for 'equity investing' are highly likely to maintain that posture until well until the next bull market."
Warren Buffett, Forbes, Aug. 6, 1979

There are still many opportunities and strategies for today's market. It's important to stay informed, call me at 303-561-2457 if you would like a real estate market snapshot for your neighborhood or in an area that you would like to invest.

"...the market will move higher, perhaps substantially so, well before either sentiment or the economy turns up."
Warren Buffett, Op-ed, New York Times, Oct. 17, 2008

01/23/09

Permalink 05:15:10 pm, Categories: Announcements & Events [A], News, Kirstan's Ramblings, 303 words   English (US)

Spread the LOVE

I've been told that Ballet Nouveau's (BNC) production of Love will be something to see in February. I've been to a few of their productions and have thoroughly enjoyed them. It's not like Nutcracker ballet, it's contemporary, so many of the dancers are not wearing traditional tutus and spinning slowly. Energy abounds and the dancers are mesmerizing. Celebrate Valentine's Day a whole new way this year.

Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood
February 6, 8:00pm
February 7, 8:00pm
February 8, 2:00pm

Pinnacle Events Center, North Denver
February 13, 8:00pm
February 14, 8:00pm
February 15, 2:00pm

Tickets>

Here's a blurb about the show: Denver’s premier contemporary dance company brings a new evening of love to the stage for Valentine’s Day. BNC joins forces with Denver’s award winning Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop (winner, 2008 Mayor’s Award) to produce three new works that combine passionate movement and words. Featuring choreography by Artistic Director Garrett Ammon, Ma Cong (winner of the 2008 21st Century Choreography Competition), and renowned special guest Mark Godden.

Each choreographer is teamed with a writer from Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop to create a piece that is love themed. How they choose to work together is their own choice – incorporate spoken word into dance? Project poetry on the stage? Use the words as inspiration for the movement? Only time will tell what this collaboration will truly look like.

Before you see the show, BNC invites you to go behind the curtain with four of the show’s creators. Enjoy readings, videos and rousing discussions in a relaxed setting with complimentary wine. You’ll see Love. in a whole new way.

Friday, January 30
6:30-7:30pm
The Lab at Belmar
404 S. Upham Street, Lakewood
FREE to the public

Panelists
Garrett Ammon, BNC Artistic Director
Michael Henry, founder and Executive Director of Lighthouse Writers Workshop

Mark Godden, internationally renowned choreographer
Chris Ransick, Denver’s Poet Laureate

01/22/09

Permalink 11:52:25 pm, Categories: Kirstan's Ramblings, Humor, 125 words   English (US)

Always check your child's homework!

(letter from parent to teacher regarding the drawing below)
Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, snd then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot.

From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Smith

homework drawing

01/19/09

Permalink 04:19:52 pm, Categories: News, Background, Real Estate, 183 words   English (US)

RESPA Ruling Regarding Builder Incentives

This is a good change...

Effective January 16, 2009, "ALL" Builders that have an Affiliated Lender Relationship (partial or full ownership interest) will no longer be allowed to exclusively entice/incent their buyers to use their affiliated lender relationship. Under the new HUD Final RESPA ruling on "Required Use Of Affiliates" the Definition of "Required Use" has been Amended. This ruling also requires the revision of the "Good Faith Estimate" form and revision of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement form to follow.

What does this really mean?

Builders that have an in-house mortgage company or joint venture with a mortgage company must now offer the buyer the same incentives regardless of who the buyer elects to use as her mortgage lender. If the builder is offering to pay closing cost and /or upgrades, they must now offer those incentives to the buyer regardless of where the buyer goes to secure her mortgage. Effective on contracts written after January 16, 2009, no longer can the builder use those incentives as an exclusive enticement if the buyer only uses the builder's in-house or affiliated lender relationship. This affects ALL builders!

01/07/09

Permalink 04:45:10 pm, Categories: Kirstan's Ramblings, Humor, 919 words   English (US)

The Ear Bud Phenomenon

First of all, I can't believe that I spelled the word phenomenon correctly. I just checked it and it's correct. Wow, my spelling hasn't gone as down hill as I thought.

I'm a little concerned about our society. I ride the 16th St Mall Shuttle at least a few times a week. On most occasions, there are more people riding the bus with ear buds (usually people listening to an Ipod or some type of MP3 player, etc.), than there are people without. I read a newspaper article a few months ago that talked about how kids and teenagers are not as developed in their communication skills. The article said that technology (e.g. cell phones, text messaging, video games, email, internet, Ipods, MP3 players, etc.) is to blame. I agree and I wish that more people would take out their ear buds and participate in human connection. I'm also guilty; I often play with my Blackberry or cell phone in many public places, when I could have been smiling at or sparking a conversation with someone else. I also have to work on actually placing a phone call, rather than texting someone. Texting can get a lot done, but it is much more impersonal.

What is our world going to come to if we can't acknowledge each other and engage in actual conversation vs. technology?

Below are some basic guidelines for enjoying your music without sacrificing your manners. (Source: Ellen Reddick, Impact Factory, Expert on Business Etiquette and Protocol)

Consider earphones a social cue.
Wearing earphones is like hanging a “do not disturb” sign off your nose. Like an engrossing novel, they help you avoid interactions with annoying strangers on airplanes or subways. Unfortunately, they send the same go-away message at work. That is useful if you wear them only when you are on deadline, but your iPod is more likely to irritate co-workers if you hide behind it eight hours a day. Which brings us to the next point.

Take note of your surroundings.
It may be fine to use your iPod on the commute (in a relatively anonymous public space), but it is more difficult to use it in the break room at work. When you are likely to run into someone you know in a communal space, leave your iPod behind, or at least remove one ear bud so you can hear someone greeting you; then you can remove the other ear bud. If you do not feel like greeting people, consider addressing that with your therapist.

Respect no-Pod zones.
Mp3 players are unwelcome at weddings, funerals, and other gatherings, and also in classrooms or places of worship. This holds true even if you are a sullen 13-year-old with inattentive parents.

You should also avoid using mp3 players in restaurants (because the waiter needs to interact with you), waiting rooms (so you can hear the receptionist call your name), and group exercise classes (so the instructor does not single you out for a mildly humiliating demonstration).

Be a professional.
If you work in the customer-service industry, iPods are out. No one should have to feel like they are interrupting you to get service. Of course, your boss may have already mentioned this.

iPods also have no place in office meetings. Even innocently setting your mp3 player on the table suggests that you would rather be doing something else. This, though possibly true, will not help your cause during bonus time—and iPods are expensive.

Remove your ear buds to interact.
Leaving your earphones on when someone is talking to you is like refusing to make eye contact. It looks as though you are not listening. Stop what you are doing, remove both earphones, and pay attention.

Removing only one ear bud signals that you hope a conversation will not last too long, or that a person is not important enough to warrant your full attention.

Keep the volume moderate.
No one else should be able to hear your music. That constant buzz emanating from your headphones is only slightly less irritating than your tendency to hum a song. Speaking of which…

Do not get funky on us.
Yes, we know you like music. We can see that it moves you. This is because you are always moving—bopping your head, dancing, drumming, and even singing along. Please, stop it. Otherwise, we are forced to feign interest in your childlike enthusiasm for a song we cannot even hear. It is exhausting.

Establish your own musical tastes.
You are excited about your new iPod, but you have not bought a CD since James Taylor’s Greatest Hits came out. Asking if someone has a particular CD or song you can download is OK, but never assume that anyone will hand over his or her entire music collection. Some people spend obsessive amounts of time assembling mood-appropriate playlists and unearthing obscure bands. Asking these people for a carbon copy of their iPods is a close cousin to identity theft. Instead, ask for a few recommendations or advice on where to look for music you might like.

Share the airspace.
Just because it is common for people to denigrate one another’s musical tastes does not make it polite. If you are sharing a speaker system, respect others’ choices, and let everyone have a turn at the jack.

That is it, you can put your ear buds back in now. But remember, maybe someone else's life will be enhanced just a tad because you took out your ear buds.

01/02/09

Permalink 11:49:02 pm, Categories: Kirstan's Ramblings, Humor, 123 words   English (US)

Financial Planning

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business. When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men. ha, ha, ha, ha

:: Next Page >>

Passionately Urban

Welcome to my journey. My name is Kirstan Borne (formerly Kirstan Marks) and I'm an active community member, a Denver Realtor, and business owner who moved from the suburbs to the city of Denver, nearly 10 years ago. It's a change of pace, a change of lifestyle, and a definite move for the better! I have great knowledge and experience in residential, commercial and investment real estate since 2001. Currently, I specialize in commercial real estate sales and leasing with my firm Location Innovators, Llc.

Kirstan Denver Realtor

To connect with me, email me at kmarks@TopDenverAgent.com. To search for a new home in the Denver metro area, please visit here .

Disclaimer: Regarding information throughout this blog that may appear to be advice - be sure to consult with your own qualified CPA and/or attorney concerning any legal matter.

Connect with me on Facebook Kirstan Marks, Kirstan Marks, Realtor (Location Innovators Llc): Commercial Real Estate Agent in Denver, CO

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