There’s no need for an expensive gym membership or high-tech equipment to slim down this year. Here are a few suggestions for creating a home gym, even in a small space:
1. Designate a space
Regardless of whether your workout space is an entire room or just the width of a yoga mat, take steps to separate it from the rest of your living area. Experts agree a dedicated space helps keep you motivated. A room divider can help separate your equipment from the rest of your life — and prevent it from becoming a drying rack for your laundry.
2. Admire and inspire
A $10 mirror can make all the difference when it comes to checking your alignment and preventing injury. It can also give you a way to check your progress, or keep an eye on those love handles for extra motivation.
3. Equip yourself wisely
If you’re short on space, you can find treadmills, rowers, TRX machines, and even bikes in fold-and-stash options. Adjustable weight sets take up a fraction of the space of a whole set of dumbbells. And a chin-up bar across a doorway hogs no floor space at all.
4. Turn the music up
An upbeat playlist can be a huge motivator for going the extra mile. Install speakers in your workout space, or find portable ones that can link to your phone.
Is the cost of furniture causing to you to debate if a kitchen table is a “want” or a “need”?
Don’t worry! There are plenty of options for you to furnish your nest without breaking the bank. Here are some good places to start:
1. Check with Craig
Craigslist.org: the 24-hour garage sale where you never need to worry about parking! Not just for used items, many furniture warehouses use the site to move merchandise. Search by style, like “modern” or “shabby chic,” or by brand, such as “IKEA” or “Pottery Barn.” Don’t forget to compare prices on the original sale site to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
2. Give fleas a chance
If you’re patient (and lucky) you can find all sorts of treasures at flea market. Many feature vendors who focus on refurbished pieces, providing a unique way to go green.
3. Antique stores
Just because an item is an antique doesn’t mean it’s not functional. Many stores pride themselves on refurbishing old appliances and vintage pieces for everyday use, so you’re not buying a sofa that’s too fancy to actually sit on. You’ll also discover that the term “antique” is used loosely. A vintage looking chair from 2005 may be hidden among furniture from the 1970s.
4. Estate sales
You can score amazing deals when an owner needs to clear out an entire house. Arrive early and don’t hesitate to haggle.
5. Help clear the floor
Have a favorite furniture or home décor store that’s a bit over your budget? Ask if they ever sell floor models for a reduced price.
6. Online options
Wayfair.com and Overstock.com offer free shipping on purchases over $50. Both have a wide assortment of styles and price ranges on everything from headboards for your kid to cushion beds for your dog.
Wherever you shop, try to avoid the temptation to buy poor quality furniture that may end up costing you more in the long run. That sofa on super-closeout-clearance? It may seem like a steal, but if the material wears out quickly and the style isn’t timeless, you may find yourself on the market for another couch sooner than you would like.
Start preparing now! It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking of entering the real estate market this month or six months from now; preparing today will help make the process a little less stressful. Here are three things that will really help in preparing.
Check Your Credit & Get Pre-approved:
Take a look at your credit score. You’ll want to make sure that your credit is in good standing. If there are any issues, take care of them. If you have a high credit score, you’ll get a better finance rate, which could save you on your mortgage payments.
After you know your credit is in check, you can work with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage tells you how much you can afford and when it comes time to make an offer, the sellers will see that you can, in fact, afford the house.
A mortgage broker can be a big help in this process. If you need a good recommendation, email me back and I’ll help connect you to one.
Make a Wants & Needs List:
The all-important question is, what are you looking for in your next home? A lot of people waste time looking at properties they would have never looked at if they’d just taken some time to prioritize their wants and needs. So, start searching online to help you gain a sense of what it is you desire. Make a list of your top three needs and top three wants. If you’d like some properties emailed to you, just click email@example.com to send me an email and I’ll get you set up.
If You’re Selling:
Start looking at any improvements that you can make to help your home sell. Make repairs, get rid of clutter, and make your home presentable for potential buyers. Knowing your home’s value is helpful in starting the process and knowing where to invest your money. Again, just reply to this email and I’ll help you get the most current value of your home.
These ideas are just a snapshot of things to help you get started in your new home search. I would like to guide you through the entire process and help you every step of the way. If you have a question about this or any other news you might have heard about the industry, I’m here to help. Give me a call.
1. Homes are selling fast
In December, homes spent an average of 57 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.
2. Prices are rising
The median sales price of a home sold in December was $232,500. That’s nearly 3 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2016.
3. Inventory continues to shrink
Making sales harder was a low supply of inventory at 3.7 percent — which is the lowest December figure in the nine-year history of the report. That corresponds with a 14.6 percent decline in inventory, lengthening a streak of monthly declines that began in November 2008.
4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred
The overall average number of home sales fell 3.3 percent compared to December 2016, with 39 markets reporting fewer transactions. The end of year is typically a slower selling season, but buyers should still work with their agents to navigate the competitive market.
If you are saving to buy a home, here are five good saving options for you down payment.
1. Savings Account
FDIC insured up to $250,000, a savings account is an ideal place to keep your cash while you save for the big day. The best option is a savings account at an online bank for two reasons. First, the interest rates at online banks, while not enough to make you rich, are generally higher than with traditional banks. And second, because you won’t be driving by the bank’s branch every day (they don’t have any), you’ll be a little less likely to spend the money. These accounts are easy to open, and you can get access to your money immediately when you find that perfect bungalow.
2. Certificates of Deposit (CD’s)
As with savings accounts, most CDs are FDIC insured. Unlike savings accounts, however, there are generally penalties if you withdrawal the money before the term of the CD elapses. The penalty can be a helpful deterrent if you fear you may be tempted to spend the money.
Alternatively, you can invest in short-term CDs with durations of 3 to 12 months. Or you can put your money in a no-penalty CD, which as the name suggests, doesn’t charge a penalty if you decided to take the money out early. Keep in mind that the longer the CD term, the more interest you’ll typically earn.
3. U.S. Treasury Bills
U.S. Treasury bills are obligations of the federal government that matures in one year or less. They are considered to be virtually risk-free as they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Treasury bills are purchased at a discount and upon maturity, the investor receives the full face value. To make the investment worthwhile, financial experts suggest purchasing at least $10,000 or $20,000.
If you go this route, I’d suggest I bonds purchased through Treasury Direct. But keep in mind that you cannot redeem these bonds for one year, and there is a small interest penalty if you cash in the bonds before five years.
You can consider shorter T-Notes as well. The yields on a 2-year T-Note, however, are lower than an online savings account.
4. Reward Checking Account
With the right checking account, you can save money in a FDIC insured account and earn some perks at the same time. Some checking accounts offer bonuses to new account holders. For example, EverBank’s checking account offers a bonus rate for the first six months that is currently 1.40% APY (rates do change so check out the details on EverBank’s website). One of my other favorites is FNBO Direct, which pays one of the top interest rates I’ve seen. You can check out the details on our list of free checking accounts.
5. Money Market Account
A money market account is another great way to insulate your money while earning higher interest rates (based on the amount you have to deposit). Money market accounts can be purchased through your local bank and should not be confused with money market funds, which are similar to mutual funds, yet buy cash equivalents as investments.
Money market accounts are almost always FDIC insured if your bank is a member financial institution. Make sure to always confirm that this is the case, however, and know that there are withdrawal restrictions.
As always, one must consider their time frame and risk tolerance. A down payment on a home is not money that can be lost. Investors must realize that parking their money for the short-term in a safe place will give them peace of mind, but most likely a lower return. The key is liquidity, safety, and accessibility.
Tri Lakes Chamber Report From February 1, 2018
Town of Palmer Lake John Cressman the mayor spoke and Chris Lowe the town manager for Monument, and El Paso County Commissioners Stan VanderWerf, and Darryl Glenn.
Colorado Springs and Monument are no longer a secret. We are booming!
* There were 334 new single family home permits in 2017, in El Paso county.
* The town of Monument had 184 single family home starts in 2017. They predict a 7% increase in the population next year. As we know people are coming down from Denver and Castle Rock as you can get a bigger, nicer house for a lot less money and pay less taxes, and have a high quality of life!
* Passing of the Ballot measure last year allows them to invest millions in infrastructure, 1.5 mil for parks, I million for disaster recovery.
* The largest manufacturer of Tiny homes is in Colorado Springs and they are now going to be allowed to have tiny homes in mobile home or rv parks, and do tiny home developments, or apply to have a tiny home as a secondary residence on a property for a mother in law type situation.
* Working on plans to improve Highway 105 to Highway 83, Struthers and Gleneagle intersections and improving safety on Monument Hill. Working on the I-25 corridors and improving commercial and industrial space.
* A walking bridge over the rail road tracks in Palmer Lake has been approved.
* Feb 24th they are going to have a Winterfest in Palmer Lake, with a bon fire and ice skating.
* The town of Palmer Lake received a water grant to assist with water concerns there.
* Starting an Elephant Rock open space park.
* Growth is coming on strong but they are wanting to manage it to still have the charming small town feel we have now in Monument.
* Predictions are that El Paso County will rival Denver by 2040.
* 665,000 vehicles registered in El Paso county up 14% since 2012.
* There is $617 million in new investments in Downtown Colorado Springs.
* Over 600 new units in pipeline for Downtown Colorado Springs.
* US Olympic Museum coming in2019.
* Bike sharing is coming to Colorado Springs!
* Working on getting the grant to widen 125 between Castle Rock and Monument it still has not been determined yet if it will be a toll lane or not.
Please voice your opinions to elected officials and go to meetings and make your voice heard.
* The Tri-Lake Chamber has had over 1 million website hits.