Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Traditions

'Tis the Season... for Christmas traditions! 

Maves Group Grand Junction Fruita Real Estate

I found this list on and thought it was great! 

And just for fun here are a few traditions my family celebrates:
  • Mexican food for Christmas Eve- Chile Rellenos and Enchiladas homemade by mom
  • Opening one present with the kids on Christmas Eve
  • Ski trip with the kids. We normally take one day over the break to take the kids skiing. They love it! One of these times we will switch it up and go cross country skiing and make them work! 
  • I never put name tags on the presents under the tree. I use the same wrapping paper for each kid... that way they aren't tempted to open or shake any presents!
  • And one that makes me especially sentimental... A baking day with my best friend while watching Love Actually. I haven't gotten to do this one since moving 3 years ago and I miss it every year! 

And now for the list from Cozi...

Holiday food traditions

1. Make traditional dishes for your holiday meals and include foods from your culture or foods you ate growing up. Ask for recipes from relatives to keep your family food traditions alive.
2. Organize a cookie-baking party. Invite friends and family, or a group of your kids' friends. Ask everyone to bring their favorite holiday cookie recipe. 
3. Make the same entree for Christmas Eve (such as stew) and Christmas Day (ham or turkey) every year. Or, choose a side-dish that becomes the yearly tradition, even if it's just for laughs.
4. Make a gingerbread house with your family. Those pre-made sets make it easy and provide you with everything you’ll need! Another option is to use graham crackers, some royal icing and candy you've saved for this purpose.

Neighborhood and community traditions 

5. Get a handful of friends together and go caroling. You’ll be surprised by how well-received your singing group is, even if you’re out of tune!
6. See a local production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ ‘A Christmas Carol,’ or another holiday-themed show.
7. Check out holiday lights in your area. Get in the car, turn on your holiday playlist, and find brightly lit houses.
8. Record local holiday events on your calendar. Most cities have concerts, festivals, plays, and more to celebrate the season.
9. Walk door to door delivering Christmas cookies after you've made a batch.
10. Go visit Santa! Do your research and find out what times of the day are best to this, like mid-week during the evening.
11. Go sledding, ice skating, or other outdoor winter activity with your family. A great time time to schedule this is on Christmas day, after the gifts are opened, the meal is eaten, and everyone is getting antsy from being inside.

Around the home holiday traditions

12. Start the ‘Elf on a Shelf’ tradition. Your kids will love it and it will keep them on their best behavior!
13. Read holiday books before bed each night. The Polar Express, Santa Mouse, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are all excellent tales to boost your family’s holiday spirit.
14. Go to a tree farm to locate the perfect Christmas tree. At home, decorate it as a family or let the kids do their thiing. Have some treats and hot cider or cocoa on hand to keep energy levels up!
15. Create a holiday playlist that your family listens to in the car or at home. Don’t forget classics like ‘White Christmas,’ ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas,’ and ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’
16. Use an advent calendar to count down to Christmas. There are many varieties of advent calendars, from candles that are burned daily to boxes you open daily.
17. Set aside one night each week to watch a holiday movie or television special, such “Miracle on 34th Street” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
18. Have your child start an ‘I Am Thankful’ list. Have him add one thing he is thankful for each day. You can turn this into a decoration by having him write it on a paper Christmas tree or snowflake that you then hang across the fireplace or some other area.
19. Purchase or make a holiday ornament for each child every year. This is a great reason to reminisce during holiday decorating.
20. Sit down with your child and write a letter to Santa.
21. As a family, write your holiday letter. Have each member contribute one memorable moment from the year to be recorded to share with friends and family.
22. Make holiday decorations yourself! Decorate windows with paper snowflakes, glue glitter onto pinecones and arrange in a bowl, and visit kid-friendly crafts sites to get creative and fun ideas that will involve your children.
23. Start a holiday village display. Add a new house or shop to your display each year.
24. Camp out in front of your Christmas tree one night. Keep the tree lights on, read holiday stories, and snack on holiday treats.

Giving back holiday traditions

25. Volunteer your time as a family at a soup kitchen or a food bank that hands out food to families in need.
26. Find a giving tree that allows you to sponsor a family in need or purchase toys for children in need. Go shopping for the items together and donate them.
27. Start a canned food drive in your neighborhood or at your child's school. Ask neighbors to donate canned and non-perishable foods, then donate them to a food bank.
28. Go through closets and donate gently used clothing (coats are particularly useful this time of year) to a local shelter.
29. Hold a book drive and ask coworkers, friends, neighbors, and family to donate books for kids that you can give to your local library, elementary school, or family shelter.
30. Deliver cookies and treats to your local fire station, police department, and even the staff at your local hospital. After all, they’ll be working through the holiday.
31. Don’t forget senior citizens! Volunteer time at your local senior citizens center or see if there is a giving tree specifically for the residents.

Holiday gift traditions

32. Draw names in your immediate family and make a gift for that person. It can be as easy as a playlist for an MP3 player or a photobook of your family’s greatest moments of the year. 
33. If gifts have been sent from relatives that are far away (like grandparents), use Skype or another video chat service when they are opened so everyone can share in the joy.
34. Spend a day, and possibly a night, in a local metropolitan area and get your holiday shopping completed. Ask your mom, sister, or sisters-in-law to come along!
35. Pick names randomly and only give gifts to the person whose name you draw. Set a dollar limit to keep it even and have fun!
36. If your extended family is large, make a deal among the adults to buy gifts for only the kids of the family.
37. Spend Thanksgiving night planning your Black Friday. Check out all the sales, map your route, and make your list.
38. Start a gag gift tradition. Give a funny gift to a family member. Each year, pass the gift on to another unsuspecting family member.

Christmas Eve traditions

39. Open one gift on Christmas Eve.
40. Track Santa’s progress across the globe on NORAD.
41. Make reindeer food on Christmas Eve (oats and candy sprinkles) and toss it on the lawn for Santa’s team of reindeer.
42. Read The Night Before Christmas at bedtime.
43. Leave a ‘trail’ of gifts from the chimney to the tree so show Santa’s route in the house.
44. Get matching pajamas for the kids to wear on Christmas Eve. Talk about a great photo op Christmas morning!

Christmas morning/day traditions

45. Open all the gifts under the tree at 12:01 a.m. on Christmas Day. This works best with older kids and teens.
46. Don’t open presents until after religious services or brunch.
47. Choose a family member at random to pass out gifts to everyone.  
48. Call or have a video chat with loved ones who aren’t able to be with your family.
49. Invite family, friends, and neighbors over Christmas evening for games, dessert, and to decompress from the holiday.
50. Go out for breakfast and let someone else do the cooking!

Merry Christmas from The Maves Group!  

Remember us for all of your home buying/selling needs in 2014!

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Does the Shutdown Mean for Real Estate?

Mesa County Real Estate Agent Blog

As we enter the second week of the government shutdown many people are wondering what it means for them. Although there have been many news reports on how this effects the real estate industry I thought I would give you a first hand, local perspective. As a real estate professional here is what it means for me. 

I am a bad news first type of person. So here it goes... in our area we have what is commonly known as a RD loan, which is "Rural Development" through the US Department of Agriculture. The USDA department that handles these types of loans is shut down. This is the ONLY type of loan that a buyer would be unable to obtain during the shutdown. 

Now for the good news! And there is a LOT of it! If you are looking at getting a Conventional, FHA or VA loan which probably 98% of people are... you still can! For the most part my business is proceeding as "Business as Usual". In fact interest rates have stayed the same, if not even gone down slightly since the shutdown began! I know you hear it all the time... now truly is a good time to buy and a good time to sell! Low inventory and strong sales numbers this makes for good opportunities for both buyers and sellers! 

Contact Kelly with the Maves Group for more info or to see if now may be the time to buy or sell for you!

Mesa county luxury homes

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 Parade of Homes

New Construction Maves Construction Maves Group Keller Williams
It's time for the 2013 
Grand Junction Area Parade of Homes 

This will give you the chance to see 14 homes by various builders in the valley. 
The Parade runs Sept 27-29 and Oct 5-6
Tickets are available at all City Market locations for just $10ea. 

Below is info on the house being built by my husband, Michael Maves at Maves Construction. This home was built for us personally. I hope you are as excited about the finishes as I am! Be prepared to see some things you have likely never seen before! 

Rustique Chic by Maves Construction, Inc

This Rustique Chic home is a modern twist on the typical Rocky Mountain rustic design that Maves Construction has been known for building for nearly a quarter of a century. This home will show you that it is not only possible, but also quite beautiful when you merge different design flavors. This home began with Michael’s love of the outdoors and added elements of urban modern, which Kelly loves. The home was designed to optimize views in every direction with intentional window placement towards the ideal view corridors. With careful planning this home was designed to maximize entertaining and family space while still making the sleeping spaces not only comfortable, but a place to truly find rest. The outdoor space becomes a part of the home by incorporating eating and living space, as well as a dramatic barbeque and fireplace focal point. A second story bonus room that is actually a “bonus” with plenty of room to relax and unwind as a family or with guests. By blending the various textures of stucco, wood, stone, plush carpet and some unique tile designs, as well as a few surprise design elements it will be hard to find a favorite feature in this home! 

 We are looking forward to seeing you at the Parade! Be sure to say HI! 
If you are interested in discussing your next construction project, Commercial or Residential, contact Maves Construction at 970-858-9642

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New FHA Rule Allows Some Foreclosed Homeowners to Buy After 1 Year

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced a significant mortgage rule change that will allow some borrowers to get a new FHA loan just one year after a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu or bankruptcy as part of the new “Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances” program.
To be eligible for the program, borrowers must be able to prove that a major economic event such as a job loss or severe reduction in income (20 percent for at least six months) was the main catalyst in losing their home. In addition, borrowers will need to show that their income has since fully recovered, and their credit score must be satisfactory. Finally, potential borrowers will need to complete a one-hour one-on-one housing counseling session. Borrowers will need to meet all other FHA eligibility criteria.
To be deemed with “satisfactory credit,” borrowers will need to meet the following guidelines for a minimum of 12 months:
  • No history of delinquency on rental housing payment.
  • No more than one 30-day late payment due to other creditors.
  • No collection accounts/court records reporting (other than medical and/or identity theft).
Prior to the major economic event, the borrower’s credit must have been satisfactory and in good standing.
However, even with the new rules, whether a particular borrower actually gets financing is ultimately at the discretion of individual lenders — even if the FHA rules say they can lend, individual lender rules could be significantly tighter, prohibiting them from lending below certain preset standards.

Do you know somebody who this could apply to? Contact The Maves Group at or 970-414-0956 to see how we can get you back on track towards home ownership! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What's Your Walk Score?

Grand Junction Walk Score Real Estate

As people become more active in cultural/community events it becomes ever more important for them to live close to those activities. But how by simply looking at a listing can you tell whether that property will work for you? 

It will give you restaurants, grocery stores, outdoor places, schools, etc that are all within walking distance of the home

Take these current listings for example:
Click on the walk score or property address to learn more

Grand Junction Real Estate Maves Group Walk Score
926 N. 9th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently listed at $135,000
2 bedroom, 1 bath built in 1937

Grand Junction Real Estate walk score Maves Group
 1353 N. 24th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently Listed at $132,500
3 bedroom, 1.5 bath built in 1954

Grand Junction Real Estate Walk Score

636 N. 4th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently Listed at $133,900
2 bedroom, 1 bathroom built in 1905

2721 Patterson Rd, Grand Junction, CO
Currently Listed at $137,000
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom built in 1977

As you can see the walk score can vary greatly! If being able to be free from your car is important to you contact The Maves Group at 970-414-0956! We can help you find the perfect property, although we may drive you there to take a look! :) 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Listing Losers - 8 Reasons Your Home Isn't Selling

Why do some homes linger on the market for months — or years — while others are snapped up in a matter of days?

While much of it has to do with price and local inventory, a whole host of factors can conspire to make a home sit and stagnate on the multiple listing service without showings or offers.
"The longer a house sits on the market, the more it gets stigmatized," says Deirdre Lohan Conway, of Schooner Properties near Cape Cod, Mass. People ask, "What's wrong with that house?" and "Why hasn't it sold?"
If you don't want your home to be the listing that won't budge, read on for eight listing no-nos and four tips to help you sell lickety-split.

1. A 'what the heck are they thinking?' price tag

Grand Junction homes Kelly Maves

Price is usually the overriding factor in any home that doesn't sell. Whatever its problem, it can usually be rectified by adjusting the price, says Kathy Opperman, broker-owner of Century 21 Alliance in Philadelphia.
"It's always price for condition or price for location," Opperman says. "That's one of the main reasons [homes] sit."
Why are some homes priced so far above the pack? While many nostalgic sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home can fetch, others simply can't afford to take less because they are underwater on their loan.

2. Tacky or dated decor

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

Everybody's taste is different, so less is more when it comes to decor at sale time. Loud patterns and bold colors can be big distractions.
In one of his recent upstate New York listings, Don Moore, an agent with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley, says that wallpaper played a starring role in every room, as did colorful and dated window treatments and furniture.
Even the foyer was baby blue with pink trim. The gaudy decoration obscured what was a gem of an energy-efficient house, complete with 37 acres of land. The home had been on and off the market since 2010; its price dropped from $879,900 to $549,000 before selling recently — good thing, because the buyer had to invest quite a bit of money to remove all that wallpaper.
Other buyer turnoffs include time-capsule interior treatments such as mirrored walls, cheap wood paneling and 1970s kitchens.

3. Poor condition

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

If a home looks as if it's going to cost half as much to repair or renovate as it does to purchase, it's going to take a long time to move, agents say. Indeed, today's buyer is a lot more reluctant to take on a "project," says Conway of Schooner Properties, especially if there are houses around it that don't need as much work.
Ditto for homes that have strong pet or mold smells. So fix it, or prepare to lop a large amount off the price, agents say.

4. Bad location

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

A wonderful house can't always overcome a bad location. Homes that are close to a power plant, waste-treatment facility or busy freeway will often sit, unless the seller is willing to take a major hit on the price, Opperman says.
She experienced this when a freeway moved into her backyard, forcing her to slash her home's price. "We had to disclose that they were putting one of those [turnpike] barrier walls 10 feet into my property," Opperman says. "We sold for $100,000 less than my neighbors across the street."
Moreover, when a neighborhood has disintegrated, pushing values down and crime up, it's hard to find a buyer who wants to purchase there, and owners are forced to rent out the home, possibly under the federal government's Section 8 housing program. Once renters are in, it's also more difficult to show a property to potential buyers, agents say, because tenants don't want to be disturbed — or uprooted.

5. Bad design

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

With many homes, it's an inefficient or strange floor plan or design that acts as a barrier to a sale.
In some cases, it's a matter of functional obsolescence, when a dated design no longer serves today's population, such as older homes where you have to walk through one bedroom to get to a second bedroom.
This home in Catskill, N.Y., is missing one important element — a driveway — says listing agent Ted Banta III of Premier Realty Services. Located on a steeply graded street that doesn't encourage parking – and with no room on the lot to add a driveway – it has lingered on the market for more than four years.
Sure, the buckled linoleum and rough interior aren't selling points either, but those could be overcome with the right price. Good thing it's close to Main Street, since an eventual new owner may be doing a lot of walking.

6. A fancy hacienda among humble homes

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

While it certainly feels nice to have the largest, most elegant home in the neighborhood, it won't do you any favors when it comes time to sell, agents say. People are paying not only for the house but also for everything around it. If the homes around yours don't mirror yours in size or polish, you might have a hard time getting a luxury price.
Moore, who sells properties near Albany, N.Y., tells of one golf-course property that has been on the market intermittently since July 2011 because its scale and amenities are so much richer than those around it.
Originally listed at $799,900, it's now priced at $579,000, a step closer to the ranch homes around it, which are selling in the low- to mid-$200,000 range.
"This is the most expensive house on the street for blocks around," Moore says.

7. Investor-owned condo projects

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

Some condos can be a hard sell for banks, including those in largely investor-owned communities.
This unit in an upscale, master-planned, student-housing development near Clemson University in South Carolina could be attractive for parent investors — if they could get a loan on it, says agent Susie Kohout of Carolina Real Estate, who has the listing.
In recent years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made it more difficult to get a loan on a condo in a heavily investor-owned complex, which most college condo complexes are. This property has been on the market for three years, according to
So, sure, the development with its game room, pool and lazy river looks great, but its pool of available buyers may be limited as few banks will fund it.

8. Frightening photos

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

If a seller can't be bothered to clean up before the sale, the agent probably shouldn't include many interior photos. In these horrifying photos of a Chicago-area home, posted on a real-estate message board, dirty clothes, hoarding and clutter dominate the shots, giving would-be buyers pause about the hygiene and condition of the rest of the house. Where is the storage if people need to dump their belongings throughout the house?
"As a buyer, would you even want to go look at something like this?" asked "blub blub blub," who posted the photos. Yet, according to "blub," this listing comes from a building in which units are selling briskly.  
Only a certain set of plucky buyers will see past the mess and cosmetic issues to realize that there's a bargain to be had.

Original story from

To find out how The Maves Group can help you get that SOLD sign in your yard, contact us at (970)414-0956 or 
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013