Category Archives: Choose to be happy

New Years Day Trek

Kitchen Mesa rising 600' from the valley

Jocelyn coming up through the narrows on the rope

Every New Year on the 1st of January we do something awesome. Last year it was a Crossfit (OMG) class in the morning. I am very grateful to have a wonderful home on the north end of  Heron Lake in Northern New Mexico so this year it was Hiking Kitchen Mesa at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico with my girlfriend, my daughters and boyfriends. I have two daughters and love them to pieces however it was the best having guys around (the boyfriends).

Michael, Jessica, Jocelyn and Dan-Shock and Awe at the beautiful panoramic view

Everyone was ready to get out and hike a bit after stuffing ourselves for the past ten days and the noteworthy muffin tops arising from the indulgence. Not really. All of the family is in extreme shape enough so to run marathons, salsa dance for hours, hold yoga positions forever, pursue and receive black belts in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Snowshoe for miles at high altitude and keep horses under control, you get the picture here.

Jessica and Dan

We started out at Vista de Brazos  in the pines of Lake Heron and as we drove south and dropped in elevation down to the desert, we started getting into the reds, oranges, yellows, blues and blacks of the massive sandstone cliffs and mesas carved out by millions of years of water, wind and weather. This was the stomping grounds of one Georgia O’Keefe and I could feel her presence as we viewed Pedernal Mesa as it grew bigger and bigger.

Callie coming up through the narrows

We started out on a very slippery slope of ice shaded by the juniper and pinon trees. We broke in to red mud that added about 10 pounds per shoe. Slogged up the canyon and then at the end of a box canyon there was a rope. Hmm? So we pulled ourselves up the rope about 150 feet to the most spectacular views. I could see in every direction. Some views were up to a hundred miles away. Wow. The whole hiking group made it to the top, my girlfriend Jocelyn had minor trepidation about the narrow and very steep passage with the rope but was a trooper to the top.

I ran part of the mesa. It was energizing, recharging and fantastic to have the family along to enjoy this epic hike on New Years Day. The quiet was, positive, all that is and all that will be good, astounding, inspiring. Now I start the New Year rested, energized, focused and with that Never, ever, ever give up attitude that keeps me going in Boulder luxury real estate. Thanks for the great memories family!

Michael grew up near Santa Fe and is a longtime resident of Boulder and has been with Sotheby’s International Realty since their inception in Boulder County and along the front range.  If you have questions regarding this article or would like information about Boulder real estate or Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes is a Certified Negotiation Expert and full time Realtor at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Bullet Proof Real Estate

Boulder Real Estate on Left

Forbes Magazine says. As the economy seems to unravel around us these cities are bucking the trend as the top 25 Recession-Proof Cities. Bullet proof as it were. These are the 25 metro areas in the U.S.  leading the bull market in real estate. Also Q2 stats are out about the Boulder area in the governmental websites that I track which substantiates what Forbes is saying. The bottom (in Boulder at least) is over, done, finished, adios. What does this mean? It means we will continue to see more and more multiple offers, higher prices and competitive bidding for Boulder real estate and Boulder luxury real estate.  The statistics for the increase in home prices for this story come from Zillow. While I vehemently dislike Zillow as a tool to figure out what your home is worth (they are extremely inaccurate 98% of the time-up or down) they do a good job of tracking price changes in the market. For this list, Zillow poured through home and real estate price data for 499 metro areas, reviewing values for homes both on and off the market using list prices, final sale prices, tax records, and property histories. Three markets in our great state of Colorado made it on to the Forbes 25 Recession Proof list; Boulder, Fort Collins and Pueblo. According to Zillow; Boulder real estate Second Quarter 2011 Price Increase: 1.6% First Quarter 2011 Price Increase: 0.5% Price Plunge Since Peak: 6.7% decline. According to the government website Second Quarter increase: .12% at least Zillow is going in the right direction.   Read the entire story in Forbes.

Michael is a longtime resident of Boulder and has been with Sotheby’s International Realty since their inception in Boulder County and along the front range.  If you have questions regarding this article or would like information about Boulder real estate or Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes is a Certified Negotiation Expert and full time Realtor at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Green Innovation

Shared from Elliott Lemanager & Christopher Demorro

“Sure  I’ve seen a lot of ideas and concepts come out of the green industry but I do have to say this is one of the best ideas I’ve seen to date. It’s thinking out of the box for sure but utilizing our existing network or roads for solar power could generate more clean energy.” Christopher Demorro says “The Department of Transportation awarded the $100,000 to Solar Roadways. This money is to build a 12? x 12? prototype road section, the average width of a highway lane. Solar Roadways creator Scott Brushaw proposes that his prototype will be able to capture and produce energy from the sun. This energy would then be used to light the roadways, “paint” lines, and flash warnings to motorists about upcoming hazards like an accident or daring animal, as well as providing power to America’s home and businesses.”

Imagine powering your car from the roadway and tolls for constant fuel instead of “gas stops” paid out in to a greener cleaner quieter world. Maybe there are no longer tires but the car floats much like Blade Runner or Bruce Willis’ cab in The 5th Element. It’s a new world where innovation and advanced thinking will win.

http://www.elliottlemenager.com/2011/04/14/solar-highways-replacing-asphalt-with-solar-panels/

If you have questions about this article please leave a comment, text or email me. Michael Hughes-Sotheby’s International Realty-Boulder. Cell 303.359.6627  michael.hughes@sothebysrealty.com

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Phantom Strikes Boulder

Posted by Michael Hughes – Sotheby’s International Realty – Boulder, Colorado

Phantom Sculptor strikes again in Boulder. The underground scene is alive and well in Boulder, Colorado. Similar to Boulders’ version of Banksy in London, no one seems to know who the sculptor is. An anonymous statement. Whereas Banksy “graffiti” or “art” is clearly a style of satirical street art and subversive epigrams combined with  irreverent dark humor; no one seems to know what the “meaning” of the sculpture is that was planted in the front of some Boulder real estate late last week.

Does there need to be a meaning to everything? Well not really. It is fun and somewhat whimsical and to Donna Coughlin the Boulder Home owner, a little nostalgic as this happened 23 years ago when a CU artist named Mark Guilbeau dropped a sculpture on to her front lawn and left the same gift; Again this time attached to the base of the sculpture was a round tin box holding a pair of earrings and a note with letters and words cut from a magazine spelling out “We hope u enjoy this thing,” signed with the letters PS. Again the box and the earrings appeared. Mr. Guilbeau was unavailable, as in, not to be found for comment. Coughlin found the similar earrings in a box attached to a sculpture that mysteriously appeared in her front yard more than 23 years ago, in 1987. Click here for the entire story.

Another mystery sculpture has appeared in Boulder. This time, employees at the Boulder History Museum noticed the artwork as they arrived Tuesday morning. It was standing on the front lawn of the museum. A set of earrings in a box attached to it as well. Similar to the Coughlin sculpture.

Boulder is truly an amazing place to live. World class athletes, entrepreneurs, eclectics, a small town feel, close knit community activism and artistic eccentricity to balance it all out.

Happiness is a choice. Joy is a journey, not a destination.

If you have questions regarding this article or have any questions about Boulder or would like information about Boulder Luxury Real Estate check out my website. You may also call or TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Pied-a-Terre Boulder Chic

Pied-a-Terre

Posted by Michael Hughes

Suburbanites who get a chance to experience life in another city without doing an extended hotel stay will usually buy a Pied-a-terre  or what is commonly known as a second home. Don’t you agree Pied-a-Terre does sound sexier?

People want to be more than a tourist and are drawn by locations that have a robust business, iconoclastic local lifestyles, vibe, attributes such as architecture, culture, history, art, and also shopping, world class dining, nightlife and social events.  These cities inspire people to become part of daily life if only for a day a week or a month.

People are looking for a lifestyle change and to be able to Gestalt the location. Many buyers say they feel ‘renewed’ like youngsters again but with the options. Usually cosmopolitan types who travel a lot; or like a nice family from Chile who found Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty a few months ago because they wanted a home in Boulder outside of Santiago to offer their children the “American experience.” Or the people from Milan who wanted a place to be near the downtown area of Boulder, or the family from Shanghai who wanted a getaway and a place to renew, recharge and thrive for short periods of time. We have helped them all. People want to be a “local” not just a tourist passing through.

The Pied-a-terre in Boulder Real Estate in my experience has been the downtown lofts in The Walnut or the Arête, the Newlands, Whittier and Mapleton Hill and the close in downtown or the close in Country Estate.

A pied-à-terre is usually purchased for the Boulder lifestyle. Think well chosen, think green, think resale and you have one of the best possible real estate investments that has universal appeal. Cool location, size and condition are key. A hip central location in a leading neighborhood allows owners to access a city’s attractions quickly, within walking or cycling distance and often without a long commute.

Owning something that’s easy to maintain is extremely attractive because they are not often used. Move in ready, no maintenance and sound. No one wants to spend their time supervising work crews. Buy only where there are other Pied-a-terre buyers not a gaggle of subletters. What the objective is, is prime real estate and convenience in an atmosphere you find enjoyable.

In Boulder Real Estate right now it is  “a great opportunity to buy.” Boulder is a city that is alive with business, culture, activity, green building, active people, sports, world class dining and a view to die for. Breathe deep and thrive in Boulder, Colorado.

If you have questions regarding this article or have thought about selling, renting, investing or  would like to Buy A House In Boulder check out my website. You may also call, TEXT me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO.

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Farmers Markets and Slurry Bombers

Posted by Michael Hughes   September 9, 2010

Every weekend I stay at my girlfriend Jocelyn’s house. We love being around each other and it’s a nice break from her and my hectic schedules. We get to work in the garden and better yet eat from the garden. Every Saturday and Sunday morning Jocelyn doesn’t exactly jump, but she is disciplined and gets out of bed around what feels like 6ish a.m. to ride her road bicycle 40-50+ miles. She rides with her best friend Marcie. I get up around 8ish. Make a strong cup of coffee and sit on the porch perusing the back 5 acres, listening to the birds and enjoying the crisp Colorado morning. I kick it into high gear to get to my usual Saturday morning Muay Thai Kickboxing, where I am pursuing my Black Belt at Tran’s Martial Arts in Longmont, run by some of the finest people on the planet. After the mornings exercise, I usually meet with clients and then Jocelyn and I usually meet up and head to the farmers market with the idea that the best produce is what we produce, but if we can’t then the best is at the Boulder Farmers’ Market.

This weekend there may not be too many cyclists on the road, what with the smoke and the fire in the nearby foothills. It’s sad to see and hear about so many of the locals having lost their homes. The final count is not in yet but currently stands at a loss of 139 homes in the foothills above Boulder, Colorado.

Fire trucks arrive from increasingly distant communities. 3,500 people have been evacuated. Only 13 families in the public shelter attesting to Boulder’s tight knit mountain community. The boulder reservoir is a tent city for all the firefighters and emergency responders. Still getting a little smoke in the city but not as bad as Monday. The ash is less frequently falling like snow. So far no known fatalities. I am most concerned for the pilots of the slurry bombers who are taking great risks flying so low in unpredictable conditions. Several years ago a big bomber went down near Estes Park killing both on board when a wing support failed. The fleet is quite old and subject to structural failure. Pray for the firefighters and the emergency responders, pray for the families and pray for the slurry bombers in their ancient craft.

If you have questions regarding this article or have thought about selling, renting, investing or  would like to Buy A House In Boulder check out my website. You may also call, text me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO. Featured Listings

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Zen and the Art of Gardening

Posted by Michael Hughes   August 3, 2010

The garden. Serene, peaceful yet a paradox of weeds and plants. I let the producing plant live over the non producing weeds which I pull. I decide. Morning glories, tomatoes and cukes can stay and bind weed is pulled. It’s not the bind weeds fault that their flowers are not colorful (to me) or large, bell shaped and are only there to choke out other plants much like kudzu. I have learned to do nothing when there is nothing to be done. I understand that the garden is larger than myself.

The first time I saw a seedling emerge from the soil I experienced magic.  A wow factor so big it has kept me engaged in gardening to this date if nothing more than admiration for another’s garden.  In the darkness of the soil and the lightness of the sky is a way to understand. Everything in constant change and season. No beginning and no end. This cycle of life has been here forever and it is as old as the earth.

I plant the seeds but do not make them grow, I prune the trees but do not create fruit, I seek life but cannot prevent death. The cycle of life is present for all things, provides for others but has no needs for itself.

Water gives life to all plants. Balance is important. In watering be generous, in weeding be mindful, in pruning be light, in harvesting be grateful. Don’t depend on others’ approval or you may forget your own joy. Rest is as important as gardening. The garden takes care of you as you take care of the garden. Giving, receiving, resting it’s possible to have these things without controlling them.

Land lies fallow waiting for new growth. Standing in my garden I see the miracles unfolding. Gardening has no beginning and no ending. There is somewhat of a mystery in gardening, it cannot be heard, seen or held. But it can be felt. To me it feels like joy, appreciation, freedom, love and  passion.

For more information on Gardening in Colorado you can find it at my friend Jane Shellenbergers’ magazine website The Colorado Gardener.

If you have questions regarding this blog or have thought about selling, renting, investing or  would like to Buy A House In Boulder check out my website. You may also call, text me 303-359-6627 or e-mail Michael Hughes at Sotheby’s International Realty in Boulder, CO. Featured Listings

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