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Gifts First-time Homeowners Can Really Use
'Tis the season to be gifting...and if you have friends or family who recently moved into their first home, here are some ideas for practical gifts that will be much appreciated. 

Pay a visit to your local bookstore and check out the home improvement shelves. Books on do-it-yourself home projects or a first-time owner's guide are great options. Alternatively, pick up a beautiful coffee table book on a subject your friends are interested in.

Gift Cards
Let them have fun picking out items from a home improvement warehouse, garden center, paint store, hardware chain or grocery store. A restaurant gift certificate or a visit from a cleaning service is always welcome.

A collection of essential tools is something that every homeowner will need at some point. Buy a basic toolbox and fill it with a hammer, various screwdrivers, pliers, a wrench and a tape measure. Or choose one tool – a drill or a hammer – and buy the best quality item you can afford. Include drill bits or nails.

Meet Santa at RE/MAX on December 21!

Santa is coming to RE/MAX Properties of the Summit in Breckenridge! Come join us for the 15th annual celebration on Thursday, December 21st from 4:30 - 6:30. Toys for all the kids.

Food and refreshments for all. Complimentary photos from Michael Yearout Photography. Live holiday music by the Summit Choral Society.

I hope to see you on the 21st at 220 South Main Street in Breckenridge!

Add a New (and Fun) Twist to Entertaining
Instead of hosting another sit-down dinner, or the usual holiday open house, why not mix it up this year. Your guests will enjoy the new twist and so will you.

Here are four new takes on holiday parties:

Do it after Christmas

Finding a December date that works for everyone can be tough. Why not wait until after the craziness dies down and host a relaxed, post-holiday bash? Everyone will still feel festive but probably not stressed.

Order In

Who says hosting has to mean cooking? Order in instead. Offer a selection of gourmet pizzas, sushi, or Chinese takeout. It's fun, delicious - and easy. Don't fuss with cutlery; supply chopsticks and lots of napkins. Set out a variety of beverages, add a simple dessert and you have a dinner party!

Try Brunch

Host a brunch. Waffles, fruit salad, eggs, bacon and French toast are universal favorites and can be served buffet style. Skip the dining table and eat in the living room for a relaxed party atmosphere.

Turn it Into a Game

Potlucks can be boring, but not when you add the element of competition. Host a contest. Call it "Summit County Top Chef" and ask each guest to contribute a dish. Assign categories, such as appetizers, salads, mains, sides and desserts. (Hint 1: ask what they're bringing ahead of time to avoid duplication.) You'll need volunteers to judge. (Hint 2: kids might enjoy being on the judging panel). The winning dish gets a fun prize. You relax. Everyone enjoys. It's a win-win!

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today's market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering about home prices in Summit County, or thinking of selling your home, I can help.

Just call my office at 800-289-7005 or email me at for a professional price analysis. There is absolutely no obligation.

I’ll give you honest feedback about the value of your home. And I’ll also give you the inside scoop on what’s happening in the housing market in Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne and Keystone.

'Urbys' Offer a New Approach to Housing Millennials
What do millennials want when it comes to housing? The answer: pretty much everything.

The "Urby" - a mixed-use residential development that brings a little bit of city, a little bit of community and a little bit of entertainment to a little apartment - may be the answer. Emphasizing "New Urbanist" principles such as walkable neighborhoods and access to public transportation, Urby developments are designed to attract successful urban professionals.

New Jersey-based Ironstate Development Co. calls its Staten Island complex Urban Ready Life (URL), and describes it in a recent CityLab article as "an all-encompassing living experience for today's urbanite." Each apartment complex includes ultramodern living units, ground-level retail stores and amenities that include fitness centers, heated outdoor pools and keyless entry via a phone app.

The goal is to use common areas to organize activities for millennial apartment dwellers; coffee shops in the lobbies, communal kitchens and a cultural director offer many chances for interpersonal connections between residents. URL residents, for example, can gather for stand-up comedy in the café, flower arranging in the workshop or stump-the-chef in the kitchen.

The apartments themselves are inspired by European design and use European techniques for making small spaces feel bigger. While planning, the developer considered what its millennial market would and would not live without. The result: built-in shelving, pocket doors and kitchen and bathroom "stations." Nonessentials included room to entertain, as the entertaining takes place in communal spaces. Sounds ideal for this work-hard, play-hard generation.
Kelli Bennett
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December 14-17, Dew Ski and Snowboard Tour, Olympic qualifying events sponsored by Mountain Dew. 
December 14-29, 7:30 p.m., A Rocky Mountain Christmas, Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, 121 S. Ridge Street. 
December 15, 5-7 p.m. New Moon Snowshoe Tour, Gold Run Nordic Center.
December 24, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Skate with Santa, Stephen C. West Ice Arena.
December 29, 8 p.m., Yonder Mountain String Band, Riverwalk Center.

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This Month's Question
Should I buy a home first or sell mine first?

Your approach may change depending on whether it's a buyer's or a seller's market in your area, and in the area where you want to buy.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that prices, which are expected to increase by 5% by the end of 2017, will rise 3.5% in 2018, making it a seller's market in many parts of the U.S.

In a seller's market, you would be inclined to buy first, as there are more buyers than available properties. But it's a great time to sell your own property.

In a buyer's market, you may want to sell first, as there are more available properties than buyers. Your home may be on the market for some time, and you don't want to carry loans for both it and your new home.
This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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