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Northern Colorado Real Estate Blog

Team Cook


Displaying blog entries 331-340 of 359

Did You Know???

by Team Cook

Homes in the For Collins/Loveland market are 47 percent more affordable today than in 1995, & in Greeley, homes are 28 percent more affordable than in 1995. 

Several mortgage loan originators lost their licenses in Colorado after they failed to meet new requirements for education and testing.  The Colorado Division of Real Estate Canceled 4,560 licenses.

That ranked Colorado No. 4 among the best states for a business - this is up  from No. 6 last year.

Face Book Virus "KOOBFACE"

by Team Cook

We checked this out on and it is a true virus -

It may come across your computer as a christmas greeting. New Facebook virus- Santa Claus isComing to Facebook to Infect Your Computer With Koobface [ALERT] Santa Claus is Coming to Facebook to Infect Your Computer WithKoobface [ALERT] The worm spreads as infected users post the greetings to the walls oftheir friends, who then in turn get infected when they check out thesupposed greeting. Here’s how Panda Security describes it:"Following the posting of malicious links on Facebook() users’ walls,the bait directs to a fake embedded video player that poses as aChristmas greeting. When users try to play the video or click on alink on the page, their computers download and install a variant ofthe well-known Koobface worm, Koobface.GK.After the virus is installed on a computer, a captcha is displayedthat threatens to reboot the computer within three minutes. Although nothing happens after three minutes, the computer is rendered useless.Every time a user enters the captcha text, Koobface.GK registers a newdomain where the infection files are hosted, facilitating the worm’scontinued distribution."Panda notes that holiday-themed malware has been a trend in recentyears, with malware distributors taking advantage of user’s propensityfor sending online greetings. Add social networking to the mix and youhave a medium where such scams can spread remarkably quickly.

"...I was on the verge of foreclosure..."

by Team Cook

After falling behind in my mortgage payments for several months, I was contacted by Kevin Cook of The Cottage Realty, Ltd.

As this was the first time that I was on the verge of foreclosure, I had no idea what my options were. I also did not know what to expect as I navigated through this process. Kevin explained that I had a number of options available and we discussed the pros and cons of each one as it applied to my circumstances. For me, it became clear that a short sale was my best chance of avoiding foreclosure.

I was highly impressed by Kevin's dedication to save my house from foreclosure. How can you adequately thank someone enough for giving you the opportunity to restore your family, your housing, and your future? I owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin Cook for helping me.

I now have the ability to reach out to other distressed homeowners. I understand how difficult a time it can be.

I am excited that Kevin Cook has been helping educate homeowners about their options to foreclosure. He has restored hope to many. If you are facing foreclosure, then you understand what this really means.

Thanks to Kevin and his Team, I can now move forward and rebuild my future. He has bent over backwards to make the process as painless as possible.


Thank you...

by Team Cook

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for all the help your provided me. You have saved me from foreclosure and I really appreciate everything you guys did to make this happen. You just don't know how relieved I am right now. You guys performed a miracle and I will definitely recommend you to anyone who is also in the same situation as I was.

You have gone "above and beyond" to make this a very smooth process! I am really impressed how you always maintained a positive attitude even in light of some pretty stressful situations. I could not have done this without your team. This entire ordeal was very stressful for me and you did a great job of relieving me of most of that stress. You gave me a real solution to my terrible situation.

I just wanted to take a minute and thank Team Cook for all the hard work they have done for me. I know you have spent a LOT of time "fighting" to get the best deal for me and I really appreciate it!


Fagottini di Asparagi al Forno - Baked asparagus bundles

by Team Cook

Cookin' with Kevin & Connie!

Fagottini di Asparagi al Forno - Baked asparagus bundles

This dish is one of my favorite preparations - topped with creamy mozzarella cheese & sweet prosciutto. You can also transform this dish into a light meal by serving the bundles along side a couple of fried eggs or a few slices of frittata.


16-24 asparagus spears
4 thin prosciutto slices
4 fresh mozzarella cheese slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into bits
salt to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish.

Trim off any tough ends from the asparagus, cutting at the point at which they begin to turn white. Thicker spears benefit from a light peeling to within about 3 inches of the tips.

Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and salt, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the spears are just beginning to bend when they are lifted by the stem end, 4-8 minutes; the timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus. Using tongs, transfer to a platter and pat dry with paper towels.

Divide the asparagus evenly among the prosciutto slices, centering the spears across the end of each slice. Roll up the prosciutto, encasing the asparagus inside, to form 4 neat bundles.

Place the bundles in the prepared dish. Lay a mozzarella slice on top of each bundle. Dot the ends and tips of asparagus with butter.

Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Transfer to warmed individual plates and serve hot.

Chili Relleno Casserole

by Team Cook

Chili Relleno Casserole

What you will need:

1 can (26 oz.) whole green chili

1 lb. monterey jack cheese cut into strips

1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese

5 lg. eggs

1 1/2 c. milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. flour


Clean Chili; rinse, dry. Place monterey jack cheese strips in chilies and place in greased 9X13 inch pan. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over chili. Next, Beat eggs. Gradually add flour and beat until smooth. Add remaining ingredients & blend thoroughly.  Spread egg mixture over chili. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.



Team Cook you're my HERO'S!

by Randy Lindstrom

Team Cook you're my HERO'S! (Wish I would have listed with you 2 years earlier)

I had my house on the market for two years (5/07 - 4/09) listed with different agents of course! With the economy the way it is, I lost my job and had other family crisis's going on at the same time. I spoke with Kevin about a short sale. Best decision I have made in many years! I was able to concentrate on my family issues while they handled the sale of my home. One less concern for me. I would recommend this team to everyone. They are true professionals, their communication is superb. They kept me informed of the progress from the beginning to the end when it finally sold. And thank you Rose for staying on those mortgage companies.

One very happy client,

Randy Lindstrom


by Team Cook

Cookin' with Kevin & Connie!

"This is one of my all-time favorites to make- A good wine pairing is an Iron Horse "Q" Pinot Noir from California"


Asparagus Tart

6 stalks Asparagus

1 tbs butter

1 1/2 tsp minced shallots

12 ounces chopped wild mushrooms

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup heavy cream

Salt & pepper to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

4 4-5 inch tart shells


Marsala Sauce

1 tbs minced  shallots

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

6 cracked peppercorns

1/2 cup burgundy wine

1 cup demi-glaze

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbs unsalted butter


1. Asparagus Tart. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove asparagus tips and set aside. Chop asparagus stems. Heat butter in saute pan, add shallots, and cook over medium to medium-low heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and chopped asparagus and cook until all moisture has evaporated. Add wine, stirring to dissolve browned particles in bottom of pan; cook until liquid is reduced by three fourths. Add cream and cook until thickened. Season with salt & pepper & stir in parsley. Fill tart shells with mushroom mixture, place on baking sheets, and bake until shells are browned and centers are warm, approximately 20-25 minutes.

2. Marsala Sauce. Combine shallots, thyme bay leaf, peppercorns and burgandy in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add Marsala and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir in demi-glaze, reduced to desired consistency, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in butter.

3 Serving. Blanch asparagus tips in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then cut in fourths. Cut tarts in half, place two halves on each plate, and cover with approximately 1-1 1/2 tablespoons sauce. Garnish with asparagus tips and serve immediately.

*The pastery shells can be found locally at Schmidt's Bakery in Loveland, Colorado

Recipe from Cooking with Colorado's Greatest Chefs

Thompson School District Map

by Team Cook


Vital Information for First-Time Buyers!

by Team Cook

Vital Information for First-Time Buyers!

 The first-time homebuyer Federal tax credit for $8000, record-low interest rates, and nationwide median home prices dropping to the lowest point in five years, makes this an enticing time to consider buying a home. By the way, that tax incentive isn't truly just for first-time buyers -- it's defined as those not having owned a home in the last three years. Research and knowing your options are critical. Check with your tax accountant for more details. It’s increasingly likely that Congress will extend and expand the popular home buyer tax credit, which will expire at the end of this month.

According to an article in August in the Raleigh News & Observer, 10.8 percent of buyers are motivated to buy due to Federal and state tax incentives. So far only 1.14 million buyers have filed for the credit but many more are expected to file for it on their 2010 returns. However, the National Association of Realtors reports that the first-time homebuyer figure in July was still about 10 percent below the average for the past six years.

There are many aspects to consider when buying your first home. Your price point, location, lifestyle, expert help, mortgage programs, inspections, how quickly you want/need to move, the list goes on. It can seem like an overwhelming process for first-time buyers. In fact, some shy away and continue to rent simply because they don't know who to turn to or where to begin. Today there are more resources than ever available with just the click of a mouse; however, that can create information overload! But if you take a breath and relax, I'll sort through some important factors for home buying. And even if you're a seller, it's good to review this material because it helps to remind you where first-time buyers' mindsets are when they make an offer on your home.

Give yourself more time than you think you need. Due to the housing crisis and credit crunch, the mortgage process can take even longer than it did previously. Searching for a home is averaging about 12 weeks while getting the mortgage process wrapped up can take up to 60 days, according to information released by National Association of REALTORS 2008 Profile of Buyers and Sellers.

Give yourself plenty of time to understand how much home you can afford, what kind of loan is most suitable for your needs, and, of course, plenty of time to select the home that fits your lifestyle. First-time homebuyers often don't have a lot of comparison shopping experience. Frequently they're just getting started. What is acceptable for a rental is likely different from what first-time buyers expect and accept when purchasing their first home. However, first-time buyers must understand that shopping for a home is akin to shopping for a mate... there are always some compromises that are necessary. If you don't allow enough time, you'll find that it will lead to headaches, rushed decisions, and, in the end, you may feel pressured to buy something that you have not had enough time to completely consider—maybe because you have to relocate and start your job.

Never skip an inspection. You simply can't spot everything that could be wrong with the home. While not all sellers do it, some hire an inspector to inspect the home when they list it on the market. However, the burden of the inspection typically falls on the buyer to pay for it. And the information you receive is invaluable. Hiring a certified inspector to give the home a once-over will help you discover problem areas that your agent can then negotiate for repair work or price adjustment. Also, note that the home inspections (yours and the sellers) may differ; examine both, this way you'll learn more about your potential home.

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, a licensed home inspector says that when you get your home inspection be certain to have everything turned on. In one case, "The water valve to the house was turned to almost off. When you turned it on to regular pressure... the seller had water spurting out of almost all of the faucets because all of the O-rings, the seals, had all dried so much that they were just allowing water to spill right out of them," said Schulte-Ladbeck.

Use experts to help prepare. Having a team of experts who can expedite your search by finding the most suitable properties for you will save you endless hours of looking. Also, the right mortgage expert simplifies the loan process. You'll be guided through the home-buying process instead of becoming overwhelmed by the options, paperwork, and tasks. Using the best specialists can truly make buying your first home a wonderful experience.

Written by Phoebe Chongchua

If you are a first-time home buyer, call Team Cook today!

Displaying blog entries 331-340 of 359





Contact Information

Team Cook Real Estate Services
The Cottage Realty Ltd.
908 Mountain Avenue
Berthoud CO 80513
Fax: 970-532-2699

"I have truly heard and seen first-hand that Cottage Realty is wonderful, exemplary, and a real asset to the economy of Northern Colorado. I will definitely keep Cottage Realty in mind as my first choice if and when I have real estate needs in the future. Again, thank you so much. I will also refer you to friends and family who need your services. Sincerely...Stacy"