International Notary Guidelines

Notary Guidelines

I'm certainly not going to pretend to be an expert on all things regarding legal notaries around the globe. It only came to my attention a few years ago that it might not be as easy everywhere as it is here! 

In the United States of America, many legal documents need to be notarized. For most of us, in our industry, that means every title closer you know can do this for you, and they perform all of our closings. If you live in another state and are closing on a property here, sometimes that means walking into your local bank or just finding a local notary in your area to certify your signature on your legal documents.

Well, such is not the case around the globe. I had a client moving from a civilian job with the USA working in Saudia Arabia. As they began the search, they of course came here to look at homes. With electronic software, the contract, inspection, amendments, etc. were fairly easy to execute halfway around the world. But when it came to closing time, we discovered they had to have docs sent to them, then notarized and returned. Easy-peasy, right? Nope! First of all, the title companies here require an American notary. So they had to find one... at the US Embassy... and pay $50/page to have it notarized. The title company was so helpful and kept to a minimum the actual documents that needed notary. It was complicated, but accomplished.

Second example, I took a recent continuing education class in which the instructor shared an example of a client that lived in Australia and was selling a property in Colorado. Well, in Australia, to get something notarized you have to go before a judge. Wow, that's complicated!! So the Colorado seller, living in Australia came to the US at some point during their transaction (not Colorado) to visit family. The title company sent documents to them while in the USA, so they could find a US notary and remove some complications! 

I have a client now, living in Prague, getting ready to sell their property here in Colorado Springs. I asked her to get started in the process of what it takes to notarize documents there, so we would be ready when the time comes. Their home here will of course sell in probably less than a week and close in under 2 months. If they are stateside at any time in the next 3 months, we'll certainly try to get any possible documents to them, especially if we are already under contract.

The internet and social media has shrunk the world in many ways. But sometimes we need to be reminded how easy we have it... what a great country this is!!! 

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Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 18-Feb 20) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 18-Feb 20) in Colorado Springs

CS Youth Symphony's Winter Concert 'Ovation,' 'Pikes Peak Winds,' and 'Bravo! Winds' -  Sun Feb 19, 3 pm, Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St

Admission: free. Come watch as the hard work of the Colorado Youth Symphony pays off in their Winter Concert. Two wind symphonies will be performed as well as a full orchestra arrangement. There will even be a raffle for some prizes. For more info, visit: Colorado Springs Youth Symphony

Children's Makerspace Workshop, Sat Feb 18, 2 pm - 3 pm, PPLD - Rockrimmon Branch 832 Village Center Dr

Admission: Free. Do your kids love to tinker? Head over to the Rockrimmon library where they can cut, copy and paste recycled materials into wonderful works of art. For more information: Rockrimmon Library.

 

Active Adults Club: Paint Mines Park Photography Workshop, Sat Feb 18 9:00-11:00 am, Paint Mines Regional Park

Admission: $20 adults only. Limit 12 participants. Join Colorado Springs photographer, Mike Pach, as he guides you through the fascinating Paint Mines park to capture the unique landscape of this park in east El Paso County. All levels welcome and be prepared for some light hiking. For more information: El Paso Co Parks.

 

Airbrush 101: Basic Airbrush Operation and Maintenance, Sat, Feb 18 1pm - 3pm, Humming Line Gallery 4851 Barnes Rd

Admission: $45 per student. Limited to the first six paid reservations.. Have you ever wanted to learn the art of Airbrush? This is a great time for students 15 and older to get an introduction to the paints and techniques of the craft as well as how to clean and maintain the equipment. For more information check out their website Humming Line Gallery.

 

Cripple Creek Ice Festival, Sat Feb 18, Sun Feb 19 beginning at 11am, Cripple Creek 200 Bennett Avenue, Cripple Creek, CO 80813

Admission: Free. This is the 10th year that Cripple Creek has hosted the Ice Festival and it keeps getting better every year. Come watch the artists make their sculptures, take the kids on an ice slide and enjoy the street vendors for a fun day. For more information: Cripple Creek Ice Festival

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A Love Letter to My Clients

In honor of Valentine's Day, I am writing this love letter to all my clients. 

heart for valentine's day 

Dear Clients/Friends,

Thank you for allowing me to help you with one of the most important decisions of your life, one of buying and selling your home, one of relocating your family, one of financial change, one of great impact to you.   Thank you for trusting me to guide and advise you through the process.  Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to feel significant. 

Thank you for the knowledge this work has given me.  Thank you for the confidence I have gained.  Thank you for the difficulties it has posed which have forced me to grow in patience and wisdom.  Thank you for the income it has offered, enabling me to provide a great life for my daughter.  Thank you teaching me how to do this job the best way I can.

Thank you for sharing your personal stories with me.  I love hearing how you couples met, who your children are, what brings you joy and what sorrows you face.   I love knowing you so intimately that I learn your pet's names and get invited to your baby showers and weddings.  I love that we have laughed together, and I cherish that we have cried together.

What a gift you have all given me...one of knowing you! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nicole Happel

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Tiny Trees - Colorado Seedling Program

Tiny Trees - Colorado Seedling Program

When we first moved onto acreage, we were in the great rolling hills northeast of Colorado Springs. Our property was not treed and the only growth to speak of was weeds. Now in our second home on acreage, we looked into a seedling program offered by the state. Crazy as it is, I recall doing this when my family moved to Castle Rock, CO in 1988. We planted a huge tree line and now the trees are beautiful and tall. Well, the state of Colorado seedling program is great! Rather than me try to explain, I've copied verbatim the email we recently received. If you live on more than 2 acres you qualify to buy the inexpensive seedlings to build up tree growth on your property for a variety of reasons. 

Rose Long, Colorado State Forest Service, Woodland Park wrote us (and others) the following email: "The Colorado State Forest Service Woodland Park District is now accepting orders for the 2017 Trees for Conservation seedling tree program, with seedlings ordered now to be distributed in late April. The program enables landowners to obtain seedling trees at a nominal cost to be used for any conservation or land rehabilitation purpose, including the enhancement of tree species diversity that improves long-term forest health.

The purpose of the program is to encourage landowners to meet conservation goals, such as planting seedlings on properties with little to no vegetation, reducing erosion and enhancing wildlife habitat. The program also allows landowners to plant trees and shrubs in areas affected by wildfire or insect and disease, such as beetle-kill or mistletoe infestation.

Michael Till, a forester with the CSFS Woodland Park District, says he hopes the program will help landowners make a personal commitment to their properties through tree planting. Planting seedlings can help improve the quality of a property through such benefits as: 

  • re-establishing vegetation 
  • stabilizing soil and reducing soil erosion
  • controlling snow drifts 
  • improving species biodiversity 

When contemplating which species to plant, landowners should consider elevation, property slope/aspect and soil type. Some of the most successful species in El Paso, Teller and Park counties are caragana, ponderosa pine, Colorado blue spruce and piñon pine. The Woodland Park District also sells a variety of seedling survival accessories, including wind shades, tree guards, fertilizer tablets and weed barrier fabrics.

Orders made by April 4 will be available for pickup at the CSFS Woodland Park District office on April 28-29. For more information go to Seedling Tree Program , or call 719-687-2921. To obtain a up to date order form please click on the following link:http://csfs.colostate.edu/media/sites/22/2016/12/2017_CSFS_WPDS_Seedling_Tree_Order_Form_12-15-2016.pdf"

I hope you find this beneficial, especially if your property could use more trees! And if you're looking for a home on acreage, give me an email or a call

 

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Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

My family and I moved to Colorado Springs in the Fall of 2008 and we quickly fell in love with the lifestyle, the abundance of year-round outdoor activity, fresh air and lots of sunshine! Oh, and plenty of snow just to make things really exciting. This area has so much to offer no matter your season of life. But if you are like me, married with kids, you will soon appreciate the variety of life-giving recreation just minutes from your door! So, here are a few family favorites.

Hiking – You could literally spend a lifetime discovering new trails, rock formations and mountain peaks nestled among the amazing Rocky Mountains. One I highly recommend is Mount Herman. Located just west of Monument, CO this trail takes you up to an elevation of 9100 feet, and can be accessed from Mount Herman Rd. halfway up the mountain. It is given a skill level of moderate and is a 2.2 mile out and back trail. On a clear day you can easily see downtown Denver and downtown Colorado Springs. Pack a lunch and plan to relax for awhile to take it all in!

Zoos – One of the area’s treasures is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It is located Southwest of Downtown and is sitting on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. There are dozens of exhibits and animal species represented and you can even feed the peacocks as they roam around the grounds freely. Annual passes are available at an affordable price so that you can go as often as you like! A real favorite for kids of all ages.

Shopping – You can find 100’s of shops scattered around the area featuring local craftsmen and artists. I highly recommend taking a drive through Old Colorado City and into Manitou Springs. A tourist destination located to the west of Colorado Springs and just next door to Garden of the Gods, this area boasts many restaurants, boutiques, Bed & Breakfast Inns and an old-world Arcade! While in town you can take a ride to the Summit of Pike’s Peak on the Cog Railroad. Check the calendar for a vast array of events including farmer’s markets and street fairs.

Whatever you are into, The Springs area is hard to beat. Come for a visit…you may decide to stay for the rest of your life!

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