Saturday, June 21, 2014

Enough to Make a Cat Laugh

Some of my coworkers and I joke about writing real estate memoirs.  From walking in on the naked couple, to the underground grow room, to the headless Barbie doll in the window, there are plenty of situations that keep us on our toes when we enter a home.  As a REALTOR®, we have a great deal of responsibility to the sellers we represent and the houses we list and show.  We're always conscious of making sure the property is secure and taken care of, although some days we're more on top of it than others.

My buyers and I were greeted one afternoon by a curious cat in the front hallway.  He stared at us for a few seconds, and then bolted into another room as cats are wont to do.  He continued to keep tabs on us as we walked through the house, never getting too close.  When we went into the garage, he ran through our legs and bolted out a doggie door into the yard.  He seemed to know where he was going, but just to be sure I called the showing service.

"Yes, hi.  I'm showing the house at 123 Main St.  Are there any specific instructions regarding the cat?

"Hold on a moment, please."  Pause.  "Yes, there are.  Don't let him out."

"Uh...okay.  Thanks."

As my buyers finished checking out the rest of the home, I searched for the cat in the yard, and again in the garage.  When I couldn't find him, I called the showing service back to ask them to call the listing agent and let her know what we had done.

We continued on to view the rest of the properties lined up for that afternoon, and concluded our tour about an hour later.  I said goodbye to my clients and headed back to the home, hoping maybe the cat was wandering nearby.  As luck would have it, I found him sleeping on the back deck.  He wasn't too happy with my arrival, and fought me a little bit when I tried to get him back into the house, but I was just relieved.

On my way back to the office, I called the showing service again to let them know that the cat had been found and was safely back in the home.  It was a few blocks before I questioned myself, "Wait...what color was that cat?"

I could not remember what color cat had greeted us when we entered the home in the first place, and suddenly I was not at all sure that I had put the correct cat back in this owner's house.  What if I had picked up some stray from their yard and thrown it into their front hallway?  A nice surprise to come home to after a long day at work.  Once again, I called the showing service to notify the agent and suggest that maybe she visit the home before her seller got there.

Shortly after, the listing agent on the property called me back.  She also happened to be the owner, and when she got the last message I had left she busted out laughing.  She mentioned that a stray had been hanging around the house the past few days, and that it was as likely as not that I had gotten the wrong cat.  But luckily, she found her cat safe and sound when she got home - and it was alone.

image: eviltomthai

I would love to help you with your real estate journey. 
Please contact me at 303-917-7143 or

Friday, June 6, 2014


By now, most people are familiar with the little, blue ENERGY STAR logo.  The ENERGY STAR Program was established by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992, under the authority of the Clean Air Act.  It's a voluntary program to "identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards."

That's great - but what does that mean for the average consumer or home buyer?  It means that someone else has already done the legwork for you in identifying the most efficient products and manufacturers.  Visit the ENERGY STAR Certified Products page for an easy way to look up the specific item you are researching.  These items use less energy to operate, reducing utility bills and usually enhancing performance.

Homes can also receive the ENERGY STAR qualification.  These homes use less energy for heating, cooling and water heating - about 20% less.  Comfort and indoor air quality are improved, as well as the reduction of fossil fuels burning which decreases outdoor air pollution.  Homes that are awarded the ENERGY STAR qualification must meet minimum standards in 5 areas:
  • Efficient insulation system
  • High performance windows
  • Tight construction and ducts
  • Efficient heating and cooling equipment
  • ENERGY STAR appliances and lighting
Obviously, then, the presence of ENERGY STAR appliances alone in a home does not necessarily mean that the home itself is ENERGY STAR qualified.  In addition, energy-efficiency standards have changed over the past 22 years; an old ENERGY STAR appliance may no longer meet the current minimum standards to receive the qualification.  The ENERGY STAR qualification is awarded for a specific year and must be requalified yearly to maintain the certification.  Find home builders who are committed to building ENERGY STAR homes HERE.

If your home does not have the ENERGY STAR qualification, there are still things you can do to improve it's performance.  As you replace appliances, windows, insulation, etc., consider ENERGY STAR products that will reduce utility bills over time.  Certain product models also perform better due to their design; for instance, refrigerators with bottom freezers and through-the-door water and ice dispensers are more efficient.  Chest freezers use less energy than upright freezers.  Front-loading washing machines are more energy efficient, use less detergent and get clothes cleaner.  Appliances that don't receive ENERGY STAR ratings?  Clothes dryers, microwaves, ovens and ranges, solar products (other than water heaters), and space heaters.

I would love to help you with your real estate journey. 
Please contact me at 303-917-7143 or