Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Like Abusers: It's Time to End the Like

I can trace the improper use of the word "like" back to Shaggy on Scooby Doo or perhaps Sarah Jessica Parker in Square Pegs. Regardless of the source of the word, its misuse today as a language filler is incorrect, annoying, and even foolish.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, then listen to yourself talk. You, like, might be part of the problem.

This language phenomenon is most prevalent in people under 35 proven solely by my own observations. Given that I am 36, I think I missed it by 12 months. It crosses professions, gender, and age. I hear 30 somethings "liking" and I hear eleven year olds "liking." I have even seen writers quote people in the following manner: "That was like such a good game, you know, it like was like nothing I've ever seen before." Reality TV is filled with "like" abusers. "We like totally love our new house. It's like the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Thanks like ABC."

I interviewed close to 15 candidates for a receptionist/office admin position about six months ago. Only three of them didn't use the word "like" excessively and improperly. I hired one. One of the candidates used the word like at least twice in every sentence, dragging the long i sound out: "Liiiiiiiiike, I really would like you know like a position like this because it would liiiiiiiiike be a Monday to Friday job rather than liiiiiike having to work at night." I suggested she keep her bar tending job.

I had two nannies, at two different times, taking care of my boys in our home. I had to have separate conversations with each of them to curtail use of the word "like." Both my husband and I went crazy hearing our 5 year old son saying "like" three to four times in each sentence. We are still deprogramming him. Good thing our 2 year old wasn't talking enough to pick up on that habit.

What is most impenetrable about this issue is that "like" abusers don't even realize they are doing it. It's not akin to a drug addiction where you have to go out and retrieve a substance. There are no support groups. People are not telling "like" abusers to stop. This bad habit just pours out of people's mouths, punching my inner peace with each sounding of the word "like."

If I had the magic wand for mankind, I would wave it high and fast and wish for the like-fest to end. Until then, I will publish this post and hope it gains traction among those "like" minded.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fractional Ownership -- owning a perfect piece of mountain property

What is Fractional Ownership?

The official definition of fractional ownership is a 1/15th share to a ¼ share of a property. Title is conveyed by a deed, the closing occurs at a title company, and the deed is recorded. Colorado boasts the largest concentration of fractional ownership, which isn't surprising. Resort properties have increased in value dramatically over the years and many people can no longer afford a full ownership mountain property.

According to Ragatz Associates, a market research firm specializing in fractional ownership, in 2007 fractional sales in developed properties equaled $2.3 billion.

Obviously fractional ownership is not a product that would work in a suburban housing subdivision, because people actually live there full time. But in Summit County Colorado, where I sell real estate, at least 50% of the properties here are vacant 75% of the time, presenting a perfect scenario to better utilize these vacation properties.

Why May Fractional Ownership Work for You?
1) Price.
The first reason people are drawn to fractional ownership is price. Buying ¼ of a property is financially feasible for some people who may not be able to afford full ownership.

2) Size
You may be able to afford a studio in Summit County but don't really feel like sharing the same room with all three of your children. For the price of a studio, you can own a fraction of a three bedroom residence.

3) Location
As we know in real estate, location, location, location is the key to buying right. Unfortunately, ski-in, ski-out properties sell for upwards of $1,000 a square foot here in Summit County. Fractional ownership units often times can be found in great locations such as at the base of a ski lift or on the river with fishing rights.

4) Taste in Finishes
Fractional ownership properties, as a general rule, are newer construction and outfitted with modern finishes and amenities.

5) Convenience
In addition to looking good, fractional ownership properties are furnished down to the silverware and washcloths. There is no need to go to Target or Wal-Mart and purchase kitchen utensils and towels. Also, there is usually a cleaning company that puts the place back together after you leave and the next owner arrives, so it makes your vacation stay even more convenient.

6) Investment
Fractional ownership appreciates like full ownership of real estate. Plus, if you are not using all your time, you can put your fraction into a rental pool and gain some income from your investment.

7) Efficient Use of Time
Aren't we all busy?? Most people use vacation property from 3-6 weeks per year. That leaves 48 weeks unused and wasted. Fractional ownership cuts down the amount of waste and allows people to rent the property when they are not using it.

8) Standards
Similar to Number 4, people want what they want. Fractional ownership allows for people to have their standards met in a real estate purchase and still stay within their budget.
Summit County has a large variety of fractional ownership opportunities available ranging from condos to single family homes. If you love the mountains and want to make the dream of mountain home ownership a reality, you owe it to yourself to give me a call!

Authored by Amy Nakos, JD, CLHMS, Owner/Managing Broker, Landmark Real Estate Group, LLC, 111 Main Street, Frisco, CO 80443, 970-668-1430 office, 970-389-8388 cell,

Monday, December 1, 2008

Homemade Power Bar Recipe

I found this recipe in Backcountry Magazine and then tweaked it for high-altitude baking and added some extra ingredients. These healthy power bars are great for biking, hiking and skiing or for whatever it is you do! When people try these bars, they want the recipe. So I'm sharing it with the activerain community! Also, if you have kids or grandkids, you can call them "cookies" and they will love them! If you make these -- email me and let me know how you like them! Enjoy.

10 T butter, melted
1/4 c Splenda, fructose or brown sugar
3/4 c white grape juice concentrate
2 large eggs
1/4 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c old fashioned rolled oats
1 c plus 2 T whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 T wheat germ, oat bran or ground flaxseed
1 c chopped walnuts or almonds
1 c raisins, or dried fruit
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/4 c coconut flakes

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Place butter, Splenda (or brown sugar), grape juice concentrate, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until well mixed.
3. Place oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and wheat germ in another bowl and mix. Add the oat mixture to the butter mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
4. Fold in the nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips and coconut until combined.
5. Spray a baking sheet with non stick spray. Shape heaping tablespoons of the batter into two by four inch bars with an inch or two of space in between. Bake the bars until the bottoms are brown and the tops are golden brown - about 13-15 minutes.
6. Let the bars cool before taking them off the baking sheet.
After cooling, we wrap the bars in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. When it's time for a bike ride, hike or other outing, we grab a few to go!

Authored by Amy Nakos, JD, CLHMS, Owner/Managing Broker, Landmark Real Estate Group, LLC, 111 Main Street, Frisco, CO 80443, 970-668-1430 office, 970-389-8388 cell,