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Cassidy Jones Named Rising Star in Real Producers Magazine

What is my favorite part about being a REALTOR®? It’s the relationships, by far. As I think back about myself I have always been driven by relationships. If I think about the different places my family moved or vacations we went on my first memories are always the relationships that were created in those experiences. If you were to ask my mother to give an insight on me she would tell you that I do not like being alone. All of my life I have been drawn to human interaction and being surrounded by good people.

My relationships are the most important asset I have. First and foremost, I am a wife and mother. My best friend is my husband Kevin and my biggest love is my stepson Gabriel. Kevin and Gabriel have had my back through my career changes and uncertainty. Without their endless support, I would have never made it to the point I have in my career. 

I have had the opportunity to help friends, family and complete strangers with their homeownership goals. In the end, this is what brings me the most reward. The relationships I get to develop with new clients seem to be some of the most rewarding. I really love the fact that I can meet a total stranger at an open house I am hosting (or receive a recommendation from a friend or past client) and we are able to hit it off so quickly. I love helping people achieve a goal of homeownership or even just getting to the home-owning situation they need to be at in the time they are at in their life. This is what makes me feel accomplished.

Not only has this career gifted me friendships with clients, but it has also brought me some of my most rewarding professional relationships. I now call a handful of local real estate professionals some of my greatest friends. What I love about this profession is the camaraderie that comes within my team and brokerage and even in a single transaction. Very few transactions in my career have seemed like a battle. What is great about the Colorado Springs area market is how willing I find the professionals in a transaction to band together to get all parties involved what they need and want all while making the experience enjoyable. Of course there are always situations where things get combative, but those occurrences happen a small fraction of the time.

I grew up in what I consider the second half of my childhood in Monument, Colorado. I am the oldest of four daughters and our family grew very close as we moved around the country through my young ages. My dad is a chef and to “make it” in that profession, you had to relocate often and be willing to take on new challenges in the culinary world. These moves brought along many destinations to include Missouri (both Columbia and St. Louis), Tennessee (Memphis), Florida (where my father worked at Walt Disney World), and Iowa (Cedar Rapids). Our moves finally ended in Monument, Colorado.

While moving throughout my adolescence I think this is where I developed my value of family and sense of adventure. My mother is, and always has been, the rock that held our family together, especially through all of our young moves. She never seemed to mind moving away from her large family in Missouri. Now that I look back at it, I realize she has always been up for an adventure.

Some of my best young memories are taking our Sunday drives. My parents would call this “going crazy.” We would hop in the car with no plan on where we were going. One of my sisters or myself would eventually ask my parents where we were going, their response was always “going crazy.” To this day this is still one of my favorite things to do with my own family.

As a kid, I never really knew what I was going to be when I “grew up.” In my younger years, I waffled between endless ideas of being a lawyer, a nun, a flight attendant, a chef… the list was much longer and just as diverse as these examples. I always knew I would be in a position where I worked with people but I wasn’t like many people who seemed to just know where they would end up.

As a teen (and through college), I worked as a waitress at the Woodmoor Country Club in Monument, CO. That job taught me some of the best lessons of my life and later also supplied me with my most cherished relationship (with my husband). Working in a restaurant is one of the best places to learn hard work and also learn a lot about people. I have vivid memories of working weddings and private events where people show their true colors. Those situations range from seeing grouchy members throwing a cooler full of oysters at the bartender (my now husband) to kind-hearted families that made sure I had a generous extra tip each time they sat at one of my tables because they knew I was paying my way through college. Along with teaching me hard work and how to properly tip, that job equipped me with great local friendships that I still hold to this day.

It wasn’t until late in high school that I realized I had pinpointed a career. I would be a teacher! I loved my high school art classes and knew that I would love the relationships I would build with my students. I admired my high school art teach- er and thought it would be so cool to be just like her (little did I know then that she would go on to become one of my best friends).

So, I graduated high school and I went through college at the University of Northern Colorado where I received my bachelor’s degree in visual art education. Like most, I absolutely loved college! I loved living with different roommates each year, I loved making art, I loved working as a waitress (where I met my husband Kevin), and I loved the freedom that college brought. But more than anything I loved that I was working towards a career that would allow me to develop lasting relationships all while getting to create art. I loved problem-solving to come to a solution to make a piece work but I also thrived on the discussion that art created.

Through college, I worked at a bronze foundry where I helped art- ists from around the region (and some internationally) bring their works of art to life in bronze form. I promise not to go into the full process of bronze casting as that would take as long as this article and no one wants to read that! But, what I will tell you is that this position was very isolated and I spent many long hours working alone. This was my first professional job and it taught me that I was not meant to work in a confined space. I loved that job and I was fortunate to get a shot at a position that many post-grad stu- dents do not receive, but it showed me that I am best working with people and that I cannot function without the company of others.

After college, I moved back to the Colorado Springs area and started my full-time career as a high school art teacher at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs. I had teaching offers in a few places around Colorado but I was eager to get back to the Colora- do Springs area where my then-fiance (Kevin) and his son (Gabriel) lived. I missed getting to go to Kevin’s hockey games each week as that is where some of our best friendships were housed at the time. So, when I was offered a job at Doherty High School to work with my mentor (and former art teacher Sarah Stevens) I was elated to take the part-time position they offered me.

My first year of teaching was a total whirlwind with not only adapting to a new career but also getting married and becoming a stepmother. At Doherty, I taught a variety of art subjects to include photography, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and graphic design. Teaching a wide variety of subjects was tough as teachers are already very overworked in our public school system but those who have many subjects to teach are spread even more thin. I really loved getting to work with high school age students and supplying them with a safe place to make art and be comfort- able at school but I found myself falling into a negative space that I could not shake.

My focus had changed over the years that I was a teacher. I had once been engulfed with a desire to be the best teacher and that desire changed to wanting to be the best mother and wife. My time was most enjoyed spent with my family, even if it meant endless hours at an ice rink.

For years, Kevin coached hockey locally with the Colorado Rampage. He has coached a variety of teams over the years and be- cause we spent so much time at the ice rink we developed many strong friendships with families there. Our close relationship with the hockey club eventually led us to one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had…billeting hockey players. Most people have never heard the term “billeting” before so for those of you who are not familiar, billeting is very similar to hosting a foreign exchange student, but instead, you are hosting a hockey player that has come for the season to play for a local hockey organization. Our billeting experience started in 2014 with a 14-year-old player named Aleksey who had come from Russia and lived with our family for four hockey seasons. To this day I still speak with Aleksey a few times a week and call him my “other son.”

After seven years of working as a teacher, I decided to change things up. I was frustrated with the way I was treated and paid as a teacher. In my nearly seven years as a teacher, I had never seen a pay raise – the only raise I saw was my class sizes getting bigger and bigger (all while my budget got smaller). I was tired of going home each night and complaining about education to my husband and son. A complaining and negative mom is not a good mom and being a good stepmom and wife is what is most important to me.

I figured that when I told my husband Kevin that I was ready to make a big change to real estate he would think that I was crazy. After all, we had moved to a specific neighborhood so that I could live by the school I taught at and I taught with my best friend. I was wrong; Kevin stood by my side and supported me as he always has. I promised our son Gabriel that this change would allow me more time to spend with him…Boy, was I wrong!

I took the encouragement of a long-time friend and REALTOR® and studied for my real estate exam over a summer between my sixth and seventh year of teaching. Leaving public education was not easy. Most who get into education do it for the right reasons and I believe I did as well. Educators want to change things and fix the broken system and unfortunately, it’s not possible to fix it on your own. In the fall of 2015, I took the plunge and started on a new path. Do I still at times feel guilty for leaving my students and colleagues at Doherty? You bet I do, but I know that I am now in a career that I am better at and that I can make a different kind of difference in!

I have also been lucky that my friends in education stuck by my side after I left teaching. My first transaction in real estate was with a couple that I taught with at Doherty. Glen and Vickie, thank you for giving me a shot and believing in me! 

To this day Kevin, Gabriel and I still take in hockey players from around the country. We have hosted a total of six billet players over the past seven years. What I love most about bringing these young men into our home is the chance to build a stronger hockey family with each player and their families. I love a house full of Gabriel’s friends and hockey players. I may spend an obscene amount on groceries and know the staff at Costco a little too well but I wouldn’t trade my busy home and those relationships for anything. Aleksey, Cam, Clayton, Roope, Stanford and Zach…thank you for being part of our family and for keeping my free time filled with hockey games to watch or Instagram stories to laugh at!

When I became a REALTOR®, I was extremely fortunate to be brought in to the profession by a dedicated mentor that put in the work to truly teach me the ins and outs of the business. That team leader made sure that I stuck to my follow up and did things for the right reasons and the right way. I spent three years on that team and I am so fortunate to have ended up with the kind of support and guidance it provided.

In 2018, I made a team switch to The Wheaton Team with RE/ MAX Properties, Inc. This switch has to this day been one of the best professional decisions of my career. Since 2018 I have been honored to join in on a team with John and Jean Wheaton and Kristin Dionne as licensed agents as well as the best staff in the business. Our staff is comprised of our listing coordinator (Tricia Stack), licensed transaction coordinator (Tanya Bingham) and marketing director (Lori Pitcher).

Joining The Wheaton Team has been a complete game-changer for my business and especially for my clients. The entire Wheaton Team always stands by their true values and have fully committed to always doing what is right for the profession and their clients. I would say that most real estate professionals operate with these same values but this team brings it to a new level.

What I value most about the mentoring I have received with The Wheaton Team is the reminder to get back to basics. My team is filled with professionals with great reputations and those reputations have been built because we make sure to stick to our instincts and always do what is right. Over my time in real estate, I have finally come to realize that if I do the right things and treat people the right way the business will come. I have had the opportunity to build my referral business and the hockey community I so cherish has grown to cherish their relationships with me, as well. I will forever be grateful for this advice and my friends and family that entrust me to help their own loved ones.

This career has taught me many things in the (just over four) years I have been a REALTOR®. I have so far learned that 1.) Business is not ever promised, but earned by hard work, that 2.) I should never take for granted a day off, because they don’t last long (usually not even until the end of the day) and that 3.) with the right people around you and the support of my dear friends and family, I can do whatever I set my mind to.

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Quarantine Spring Cleaning

There’s a good chance you’re spending more time at home than you are used to. Whether you had travel plans change, or you are now working remotely from home, or you are on a ‘shelter-in-place’ order from your local government, you probably have some extra time on your hands. Now is the best time to get ahead on spring cleaning so when things are looking up, you won’t have to worry about clutter or chaos at home!

Take advantage of this extra time. While a large project can seem daunting, added stress is unnecessary. Taking on a project like spring cleaning step by step can help it feel doable. Make a list of what you want to take care of, section by section.

For example:

-Backyard – sweep patio, clean furniture, update light fixtures
-Kitchen – deep clean floors, clean out fridge and pantry, organize freezer items

Once you’ve made a step by step list for each part of your home, you can create a to-do list for the members of your house and spread the items out over the next week or two.

This is also a great time to get rid of clutter. If you are spending more time in your house than usual, it may become more obvious what is clutter and what is necessary. Take time on one of your first days home to deem items as “clutter” and store them away. If you didn’t miss them over that week, you know it is time to toss or donate them when you can leave your house again.

As you continue to clean, you may be concerned about a shortage of cleaning products. Even if the shelves are running low on Lysol, you can create your own DIY disinfectant. A popular combination includes rubbing alcohol, essential oils, and water. You can also use vinegar and dish soap to clean glass!

Lastly, make it fun. Open the windows if the sun is shining and play your favorite music. Being stuck inside doesn’t have to feel so terrible.

Let The Wheaton Team help you will all your Real Estate needs!

Call today: 719-536-4581

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Buying or Selling During A Pandemic

While it may only be temporary, the COVID-19 pandemic is touching everyone’s life in one way or another. If you are in the market to buy or sell your home, this can be a frightening time. With calls for social distancing and many businesses temporarily closing their doors, there is a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to real estate. If you are trying to buy or sell right now, here are some tips to help you make it through!

 

 

GO DIGITAL

Instead of opting for an open house, see if you can do a guided tour via Facetime or video marketing.

SANITIZE

If you are still allowing tours of your home or attempting to tour homes, make sure you are taking all sanitary precautions. Offer hand soap for your home tour and ensure you are sanitizing all surfaces a potential buyer may come into contact with, such as door knobs and counter tops. If you are touring a home, make sure you maintain social distancing practices with the agent and avoid touching anything you do not need to.

DOWNSIZE

Instead of having an open house, consider having only scheduled showings for your home or only participating in scheduled viewings if you are looking to buy.

STAY CALM, STAY SAFE

While there are still many options to buy and sell right now, stay calm and trust your agent. This is their specialty and they know the best course of action during this time. If they can offer digital options, they will let you know.

If The Wheaton Team can answer any questions please call our office, we’re here to help in anyway.  719-536-4581

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HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY

Concrete driveways are becoming more popular again, and there are plenty of reasons why. With a lifespan 10-15 years longer than asphalt, often lasting around 30-40 years, concrete is a worthy investment if you are willing to maintain it properly. If you’re considering making the investment or you already have concrete and want to make it last for decades, here is how:

SEAL IT

Water exposure of any kind can result in pore development in your concrete. Water alone can dissolve calcium hydroxide in concrete, and that process can be made more severe if there is any carbon dioxide in the water. Once your concrete loses strength and harmful substances can get inside, there can be damage to the concrete’s internal structure. This is why sealing your driveway is a major key step in maintaining your concrete.

FILL ANY CRACKS

Preventing cracks is important, and can be done by hiring an experienced contractor who will properly install and cure your driveway. If you’re moving into a home that already has a concrete driveway and cracks exist, you will want to fill those cracks as soon as possible with a resurfacing material for fine surface cracks and sealant for cracks that are wider.

ADDRESS SPILLS ASAP

While preventing spills entirely is impossible, it is imperative that you clean up spills as soon as they happen. Car fluids, like oil, can both stain and damage your concrete . Rinse any spills when they happen and for cases with stubborn oil, you might need to use a solvent.

DON’T USE DE-ICER

If you live somewhere that gets snow, you may be tempted to use chemical de-icers or salt on your driveway. While it may seem easier, these products can seep into your driveway and can lead to deep cracks. Opt to use sand or kitty litter to create traction on your driveway on icy days.

CREATE A RUNOFF AREA

Making sure water and melted snow has a place to runoff will help prevent water seeping into your concrete.

START NOW

Don’t wait for your concrete driveway to show signs of damage before taking care of it. Putting in the time to maintain your driveway now will save your money in the long run.

If you need concrete repair or mud jacking please give us a call, we have a great list of professionals that can help: 719-536-4581

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Home Bar Essentials

If you love to entertain when you have guests over, you may be working on building your home bar. While enjoying time inside doesn’t require a bar, sometimes a happy medium between a full-on wet bar and just a few beverages in the fridge can help elevate the hosting experience. Here are the essentials you need for a great home bar:

1. Bar Fridge

Having a separate bar fridge is a great addition for several reasons. First, you can keep your beverages at the temperature they are meant to be kept at. Beverage refrigerators are best kept 10 degrees warmer than the normal fridge temperature. Another great reason is that you will no longer waste fridge space for beverages. Now, you don’t have to worry about taking food out to put drinks in!

2. Bar Decor

Decide what style you want for your bar space. Whether you want an elegant or pub theme, choose pieces that will tell a story.

3. Plenty of Glassware

When hosting guests at your home bar, it is helpful to have a variety of glassware to suit the types of drinks you may be making. Keep rocks glasses, highball tumblers, and stem glasses – with a few red and white wine glasses on hand. Pint and shot glasses are also great to keep in your bar.

4. Cocktail Shaker & Strainer

If you have a cobbler shaker, there is no need for a strainer, as they are usually built in. If you have a Boston shaker, which can be a little trickier to use, you will need to get a strainer for pouring your drinks.

5. Ice Trays

Unless you have an ice machine, you will need to have ice cube trays. Silicone trays are much easier to get cubes out of and tend to be much sleeker in appearance. Try to find trays with larger compartments so your ice will last longer.

6. Bar Accessories & Tools

Some items you may want to have in your bar for some cocktails include:

  • Mixing Spoon

  • Muddler

  • Jigger

  • Measuring Shot Glass

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Reducing Closet Clutter

The closet might just be the hardest place to reduce clutter in the home. So often, we find ourselves using closets as the one space in the home that we allow a little chaos. Whether we use it as the space to keep unfolded laundry or to tuck away things that we forgot to clean up before having guests over, closets don’t always get the de-cluttering treatment they deserve. Here are a few ways to reduce closet clutter and in turn, reduce the stress it might be causing.

GROUPING THINGS 

The easiest way to keep your closet organized is to have a grouping system. You may not be someone who color coordinates your closet, but you can group work shirts together, and casual pants, etc. in a way that will make it easier to find and easier to put away.

SHELVING THAT MAKES SENSE

Your current shelving set up might not be ideal for you. Take the time to group and sort your clothes an see what you may be missing. Maybe you need less shelving as a way to make space for more hanging clothes, or more shelving for folded pants.

ORGANIZATION BASED ON USE

If you have a walk in closet, you can make your life easier by storing what you use frequently closest to the entrance. If you don’t store seasonal clothing, this will help greatly in making sure the season in use is always the most accessible.

UNIFORMITY IS KEY

The satisfaction of an aesthetically pleasing closet can help you to keep things de-cluttered. Get matching hangers, and invest in matching organizing bins or shoe boxes if your closet needs those items.

For more information and BLOGS visit: www.TheWheatonTeam.com or call today: 719-536-4581

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Choosing The Best Bathroom Tile

If it is time for your bathroom to get a renovation, you are likely already thinking of what style you have in mind for the update. One of the major parts of that design is your tile. Here is a quick guide to choosing the best tile!

1. Pick Out Your Favorite First.

When looking at tile options, you will likely find one that you immediately fall in love with. If you find yourself picturing the rest of your bathroom based off a tile, choose that tile and use it as your starting point.

2. Keep It Simple.

Depending on your bathroom, you might have floor tile, wall/accent tile, and bath tile. Try to use no more than 3 different types of tile, and do your best to keep it to 2. You will have trouble matching tiles the more you choose and tiles that differ too much in a small space can make it feel cluttered. If you ever plan to resell your home, choosing too many tile options or choosing extremely decorative tile can date your bathroom quickly and might end up costing you during the selling process.

3. Consider Maintenance.

Have you ever had a bathroom where it felt impossible to clean certain parts? Keep that in mind when choosing your tile. Consider the amount of maintenance it will require. If you prefer little to no maintenance, choose either a porcelain or ceramic option. If upkeep isn’t a big deal to you, natural stone is an option for you as well.

4. Choose!

The hardest part is choosing. Instead of doubting yourself, take that tile you first fell in love with a see if you can imagine a bathroom styled around that tile. If you can, go for it!

Return often for our weekly blogs for great ideas!

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Is Tiny Living For You?

As conservative lifestyles and living ‘small’ becomes more and more popular, tiny homes and other downsized living have become a normal choice in the home buying process. If you have considered tiny home living, you may need to ask yourself a few questions before taking the leap. Here are 6 questions to check off before going “tiny”!

1. Can you build it? Smaller homes offer different challenges than building a full home, and you need to consider those differences before taking on the build yourself.

2. Do you have $20,000? If you don’t have or can’t easily get $20K, you may need to put the tiny dream on hold. Tiny homes typically require an upfront cost.

3. Can you wait for the build? They usually take a year or two from start to finish, so it is important to keep in mind you will need somewhere to stay.

4. Will you have enough room? While this seems like an obvious question, sometimes tiny home buyers don’t realize just how small the space will be. If you can live in the space of a one car garage, you will be fine.

5. Where will you park it? Do you have land to put the home on? This is a key step in your planning process.

6. Will you have a bathroom? Some tiny homes have running water capabilities, some do not. This is also a key choice to make if you are building your tiny home.

If you need help in your search for the perfect plans, builder or land to place your tiny home on give us a call The Wheaton Team at 719-536-4581

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7 SIGNS OF A DOG-FRIENDLY HOUSE

Embarking on a home search for a property that must be approved by furry, tail-wagging family members? Here are a few things to look for.

Does the home have a yard? Just a little bit of a fenced-in grass can be your pup’s paradise. Be sure to check that the HOA allows you to put in a fence tall enough to keep your pooch in.

2. Proximity to play areas

Look for homes within walking distance to trails, open space and dog parks.

3. Your very own pack

Check out the neighbors’ properties for evidence of other dogs in the neighborhood, like dog toys in yards, dog doors and dog-related bumper stickers on cars.

4. Accommodating landlords

In some areas, finding condo communities that allow dogs can be challenging. The local animal shelter usually keeps lists of pet-friendly communities.

5. Storage for Fido

A designated space for keeping leashes, toys and other belongings is a blessing when it comes to keeping the rest of your home clean (or, cleaner).

6. Camouflage

Wall-to-wall white, plush carpet is not what you’re looking for. Neither are gorgeous softwoods just waiting to be scratched. Look for homes with resilient flooring that’s easily cleaned.

7. Doggie door

Dog doors offer your pooch (and you) a fabulous taste of freedom. Check whether a home has a convenient place to put one.

Convey your pet-friendly priorities to your agent and he or she will be able to help you hone in a place where your entire family – canine and human – will be happy. Start your agent search here.

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The Pros & Cons of Laminate and Hardwood

If you are looking to install wood flooring , you will likely be looking at a several thousand dollar investment. When making an investment that large, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of flooring options so you can choose what is best for you and your family. Here are some things to consider when choosing between laminate and hardwood:

 

 

 

Pros of Laminate Flooring

Easy Installation
Easy Maintenance
Cost-Effective (Usually 1/2 the $$$ of hardwood)

Cons of Laminate Flooring

Appearance (Not authentic)
Potentially Dangerous (Slippery)

Pros of Hardwood

Boost Home Value
Visually Appealing
Easy to Refinish
Very Durable
Environmentally-Friendly

Cons of Hardwood

Expensive
Prone to Moisture Issues
High Maintenance

Call The Wheaton Team today for our list of vendors ready to help you make the best decision for you and your family’s needs.

719-536-4581

https://www.TheWheatonTeam.com