Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Everything!

At the end of each year at Staufer Team Real Estate, the agents get together to prepare our business plans for the new year. Not only do we review and create professional goals but personal goals, as well. Each agent picks a "word" for the new year - something that helps us focus on a quality or idea we would like to improve. Some of my past words have been "Growth," "Sustainability" and "Support." For 2016, I've chosen "Intentional."

Present moment awareness is a skill I am trying to cultivate. I believe it will help me be a calmer presence and a better listener. I want to choose my words and actions with more intention, and I believe this will result in wiser choices and a more peaceful existence. One of my goals is to commit to some kind of volunteer work, not just write checks to charitable organizations. I would like to spend more time with people who enjoy giving, appreciate them more, and allow that spirit to continue to grow my gratitude in the new year.

The best part of my job is helping great people who then become part of my life. The holidays are about spending time with loved ones and being grateful for the gifts we have. Yet there are so many people who struggle this time of year. It is so easy to allow our daily lives and a fearful culture to narrow our focus and our energies. Yet when we open our hearts and act from love our fears grow smaller and our world gets bigger. My wish and challenge for you in the new year is that you allow the holiday spirit to stay with you beyond the decorations, and that you make an intentional choice to expand your perspective and your world. ❤️

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

Riding Green: A Review of the Nissan Leaf

When I earned my GREEN Designation from the National Association of REALTORS, I made a 

pledge to walk the talk, to make changes in both my personal and professional life to show a commitment to living a more sustainable life. Since one of our family cars was showing serious signs of decline (after more than 20 years), this seemed to be a great opportunity to advertise for the cause.

I have had my 2015 Nissan Leaf for almost a month now, and I'm mostly quite satisfied with it. That is to say, it has met my expectations so far both positive and negative. Also in contention for purchase was the Ford Focus Electric, but the dealership I spoke with likened them to "unicorns" in the Denver market, saying they only see one about every six months. Since I wanted to buy before the end of the year to receive the $12,500 in federal and state tax credits, I decided I couldn't wait for the unicorn, or for the new Tesla that would first start pre-orders in the spring.

Like all electric cars, the Leaf has great torque. The 80kW electric motor provides acceleration from 0 to 60 in 10.2 seconds. I haven't exactly tested that, but it does do that push-you-back-into-your chair thing even when I just want to change lanes (I'm sure that has nothing to do with the way I drive). You can also drive in ECO mode, which consumes less power. It also employs regenerative braking when the accelerator pedal is released. This puts the motor into reverse mode, which extends the life of the brakes while feeding power back into the battery.

Driving in ECO mode can extend the life of the battery. I've become obsessed with the ECO indicator on the dash, which displays how economically I'm driving by building little tree symbols. Last week I was on pace to hit the 100-mile mark on a single charge. However, yesterday's cold temperatures reduced that by quite a bit. I wasn't out long enough to get an accurate measurement, but I'm sure it was at least a 20% reduction in range. Since my drive time is reduced in the coldest months due to real estate's seasonal slowdown, I am less concerned with this than other drivers with long commutes may be.

Initially, I was adding the cost of a home charging station into my car budget, but as it turns out I didn't need one. I've been charging overnight on a regular 120V outlet, which has met my needs so far. The Leaf will trickle-charge from 0-100% in 21 hours, and so far I haven't gotten close to zero to test it out. During the busy season next spring/summer, I may have to shell out for the next level charger which will give me a complete charge in 4-7 hours so I don't strand myself and my clients anywhere. I can set a charging timer if I am so inclined, which would be an asset to anyone living in areas where electricity costs change over the course of the day. We also have solar panels on our roof, and my husband likes to brag about how we're powering our car with the sun. The Leaf also has the ability to quick charge 80% in about 30 minutes, and I've downloaded an app to show me where all of the available charging stations are just in case.

Everyone who has seen my car has asked about the life of the battery pack. The battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles, but since the Leaf was only introduced in 2010 we don't have a lot of data on whether they will out- or under-perform the warranty. A replacement battery is currently coming in around $5,500 but that cost is anticipated to keep decreasing as time goes on. I've done some calculations on my energy savings based on average use and found that I may save almost $1,500 annually on gas. My plan is to put just a portion of that aside each year to painlessly fund the eventual battery replacement.

Additionally, the Leaf has an anti-lock braking system, an Intelligent Key system, and a Approaching Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians since the operation of the car is practically silent. It has plenty of cargo room for my needs, and some other nifty features like honking at me when I've filled my tires to the right pressure. My only complaint would be the lack of 4-wheel drive. The high-torque engine could not help me get onto the road any faster when there was a layer of ice and snow beneath me. In colder states or those who travel often into the mountains this will definitely be a concern, so I'd recommend test driving it in these conditions if at all possible. Boulder Nissan was great to work with if you're in the market - tell Ed or Brendan I sent you.

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