It all started with a tree.

March 2019. My partner and I watched with gritted teeth as the mature ponderosa pine just outside our condo tipped and tilted against unprecedented bomb cyclone winds. Its roots, shallow from neglect, snapped one by one like floorboards in a suspense film. We feared it would fall, causing damage to our or others' property. While it remained mostly vertical after the storm, the incline was great enough that we determined it was more likely to fall than to ever thrive again. We notified the HOA, and it was unceremoniously felled the next day. We offered to purchase a replacement tree and tend to it if only they would remove the stump but were told that the complex had "too many trees."

That was the first domino to go timber.

I loved my condo. Its location was best described as "affordable," but I had done my best to make it a place for life to thrive. I tended to the little raised bed of irises and columbines I inherited from a like-minded prior owner and put together a patio container garden that I'm told brought great joy to our little neighborhood. That tree held pride of place, and now it was gone, never to be replaced.


I was determined to beautify the barren hill of patchy gravel and stump I had inherited even if no one agreed it needed it. Despite the scarcity-borne restrictions that precluded proper landscaping, I took pride in my dwelling and set about doing my best with the hand I was dealt. I filled eight big pots with colorful flowers and vegetables and put a patio table over the stump. Most neighbors loved it and remarked as much on their way to their cars, but the HOA wasn't so thrilled. Because of a stipulation that personal property of any flavor cannot be in a common area, I was in violation, and to allow my garden to persist would be to allow less conscientious residents to store garbage outside their units. We knew at this point that our ambitions had outgrown the limitations of this location. It was time to start looking for a house. 

The timing of our realization couldn't have been more perfect. We set out to find a modest starter home with a bit of a yard for a garden. What we stumbled on was a sizeable home on half an acre of land, in our price range. The only catch? Neglect. We could handle that. An hour after we started looking at houses at all, we put an offer on something too good to be true, and it came true after all.


Fast forward a year. I had been sitting on the condo all this time as an income property/backup plan and decided it was time to let it go and go all in on the dream. It was time to sell, and I needed a realtor.


I had known Maqui for several years, and although I had never worked with her professionally, my experience with her personally had been consistently positive. If she was anything in business like she was in person, I knew I would be in good hands. 


Sure enough, I saw through the selling experience that Maqui is identical in a professional capacity as she has always been in an interpersonal one, treating everyone she interacted with with the utmost respect and kindness. Her communication was consistently prompt, polite, and warm, and she was patient in educating and advocating for me as a first-time seller. She truly embodied her professional tenet that the home buying and selling process is about relationship building. It turned out that there was also truth in advertising to her business name itself.


During one of her walk-thoughs of the property, she told me about her vision for Giving Tree Real Estate to not only plant a tree upon closing, but also make a charitable donation. Since the community regulations precluded planting a tree at this property, she asked me to think about what kind of tree I might like planted at my new home and what charity I might like a donation made to. I knew right away that I wanted to support the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, for whom I volunteer as a foster, but the tree would need some consideration. I wanted something worthy of memorializing the tree we lost and serving a similar role.


I chose a Malus Prairifire crabapple for its year-round beauty, which would give our new neighbors cause to smile; its disease resistance, which honors the resilience of the old tree against adversity; and its flowers and fruit, which would provide sustenance to pollinators and wildlife when they need it most. It struck me as truly a giving tree. 


...just like our dearly departed ponderosa pine, this little crabapple provides beauty and shelter to our new home, where we believe you can never have too many trees. The poetic closing would be to say it all ended with a tree, but I feel it's just beginning. Maqui's gracious closing gift has gone into the ground and sent forth ripples of generosity, collaboration, and abundance that I have no doubt will be far-reaching. Maqui has brought her passion and compassion into her budding business and turned a routine exchange of property into a healing experience for me and a collaboration towards a greater good. It's been my honor and pleasure to grow together with Maqui and Giving Tree Real Estate."