Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Winter is Coming! Are you Winterizing?

Temps are about to drop again on Sunday.  I ran across this winter prep list that might be helpful.  I always try to equip my buyers with inside tips and tricks not only for the home buying process, but also for those first years as homeowners.  Home upkeep can bring some hard (and expensive!) lessons, so being prepared and educated is always a good thing.  
This list is a good start, but I see a few things missing...... for example, running out the gas in your lawnmower.  Any others that you guys think this list missed?  Any (God forbid) horror stories!??

Happy Winterizing!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

5280 Neighborhood Guide: East Colfax community promises eclectic eats, retreats, and history.

Sometimes change seems to happen all around you, but not to you. Such is the case in Denver’s East Colfax neighborhood, whose immediate neighbors—Lowry and Stapleton—have both recently received residential and commercial makeovers. Soon, though, the 684-acre enclave of East Colfax (the local neighborhood association embraced the name, instead of East Montclair, this past August) is poised for a transformation.
Last fall, the city of Denver purchased the defunct PT’s strip club at East Colfax Avenue and Valentia Street with hopes of turning it into a community gathering spot or an affordable housing development. And in November, Denverites approved a general obligation bond allotting $55 million for the East Colfax Bus Rapid Transit project, which will run along East Colfax Avenue between the Auraria Campus and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. But the neighborhood already boasts a bevy of gems, including diverse eateries, inviting coffeeshops, and an attraction that no amount of development can alter: unique Colorado history.


During the past 20 years, East Colfax has become home to refugees from East African and Southeast Asian countries such as Somalia, Bhutan, and Myanmar. So in addition to long-standing Latin American restaurants like Tacos Acapulco (try the pupusas) and 7 Leguas Mexican Grill (get the tacos al pastor), flavor seekers can also enjoy authentic Ethiopian-style lentils and injera (flatbread) at Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar and pick up specialty groceries like jasmine tea and Thai durian crackers at Family Asia Market. For a caffeine fix, there’s Pablo’s Coffee. 
Image result for pablos coffee denver


East Colfax might not have a big, shiny community hangout like Stapleton’s Stanley Marketplace (yet), but it does offer a distinct community vibe all its own. The best place to find it? Quince Essential Coffee House, where java junkies can pair beans from Kaladi Coffee Roasters (Denver) and Jubilee Roasting Co. (Aurora) with board games and open mic nights. For more structured socializing, head next door to the Sprightly Escapes escape room: Your team of friends or colleagues will work together to break out of an old motel (fitting) or save the dinosaurs from extinction.


Between the decommissioned Air Force base in Lowry and the string of neon-signed hotels along the neighborhood’s main drag, East Colfax offers a one-of-a-kind glimpse into east Denver’s past and present. For a complete picture, consider a bike tour of the area, starting with the neighborhood’s northern border on Montview Boulevard. Head south on Ulster Street where, from the 1920s to the 1950s, the houses at 1740 and 1760 served as part of the Greeters of America Home—a guesthouse and gathering place for members of the hospitality industry. Continue south toward East Colfax Avenue along either Valentia or Trenton streets—welcoming residential roads dotted with classic Denver bungalows—and reward yourself with a cheap beer at the Hangar Bar. Opened by two Denver women in 1938, this time-honored dive was a popular hangout for Lowry pilots and military personnel during WWII.
Image result for hangar bar east colfax
-Jeff Waraniak, 5280 Magazine  

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Denver Ranked Top 20 'Future-Proof' Markets in the World

According to HousingWire, recent research suggests that some of America’s most popular cities, including our own Denver, CO, are fully prepared to tackle long-term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum, states Jones Lang LaSalle, the popular financial and professional services firm. 

JLL is the creator of the City Momentum Index, which covers 131 global major established and emerging markets and tracks factors that determine which cities have the strongest short-term socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum, and those that are more equipped for long-term success.

Short-term momentum is determined by both socio-economic and commercial real estate momentum. Economic output, population, investment transactions, transparency, construction, consumerism are factors in JLL's analysis.
According to JLL, future-proofed cities have higher education infrastructures, innovation capability, better environment quality, more technology firms and international patent applications.
The firm's analysis ranked the top 30 most future-proofed markets in the world, as well as those with short-term momentum. While Seattle was the only American city to appear on the short-term list, 12 American cities were among the top 30 most future-proofed markets globally.
San Francisco topped the list as the no. 1 city in the world to have the most sustainable long-term market with nearby Silicon Valley ranking second. Other major U.S. cities claiming spots on the list include New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Austin, Denver(#10 in U.S. and #20 in the world), Washington D.C. and Philadelphia made an appearance on the list, which you can check out below: 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Denver Homes Sold Faster in April than anywhere in the U.S.

Homes in Denver sold faster in April than anywhere else in the country.

According to a new report by online real estate company Redfin, Denver was the fastest market in the country last month, with half of all homes pending sale in just six days. That was faster than Seattle (seven days), and San Jose, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Tacoma, Washington (nine days).

Over the past year, Redfin estimated that the median home sale price has risen 9.2 percent in Denver to $415,000.

That's higher than the rest of the country, which saw the national median home sale price increasing 7.6 percent in April from a year ago, to a median of $302,200, according to Redfin's report released Thursday.

And Denver's near the top nationally in some other housing categories as well.
The metro areas with the lowest days on market were San Francisco at 19, Seattle at 21, and Denver at 23, according to Re/Max's National Housing Report, released Wednesday.

Denver is tied for markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory with Boise, Idaho, San Francisco, and Seattle, at 1.0. A six-months supply historically indicates a market that's balanced equally between buyers and sellers, according to the Re/Max report.

With the extremely low supply, sellers are still having a hay-day in the Denver Metro area.

-Denver Business Journal

Monday, February 27, 2017

Check out how your neighborhood appreciated!

This awesome price change map from First Alliance Title measures how much each neighborhood appreciated or depreciated in the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months, along with average home sales prices and days on market for each neighborhood in Denver. I also have other areas. Check it out!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Denver Ranked #2 BEST City to Live

For the 2nd year in a row Denver was named either #1 or #2 BEST city to live in the country. This year it was #2 - perhaps it would have been a bit embarrassing should it have gotten #1 both years in a row!

The key factors were demanding for any city:
1) Value of homes.
2) Quality of life.
3) Job market health.
4) Desire to live here.
5) Number of people moving here.

Check out what US News & World Report had to say: 

"Founded in the mid-1800s as a mining hub during the gold rush, Denver has come a long way since its Wild West days. Over time, its residents have evolved from gun-slinging gamblers into an easygoing crowd of ambitious, progressive-minded fitness fanatics and nature lovers who are eager to push the envelope on everything from civil rights to drug laws. Nicknamed the Mile High City for its 5,280-foot elevation (although officially reported as 5,279 feet), Denver's location at the base of the Rocky Mountains provides a gateway to a slew of outdoor pursuits, although it is probably best known for its devout ski and snowboard enthusiasts.
To clarify a common misconception, Denver is not a mountain town. It actually takes at least an hour to drive to the Rockies. But there are some great places for recreating within a 30-minute drive of downtown, such as Red Rocks Park and Cherry Creek State Park.  
Some might say that Denver is experiencing a gold rush of a different color: green. After Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, Denver has seen a surge in cannabis-related commerce, from dispensaries to magazines to high-tech paraphernalia like vaporizers, rolling papers, lotions and storage containers – and the industry is just gaining speed."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Zillow's 2017 Housing Market Predictions

After Zillow surveyed more than 100 economic and housing experts, the consensus is that home prices nationally will rise 3.6% in 2017. Here are some other predictions from Zillow:
  • More Millennials will buy homes next year than this year which is a pretty easy prediction to make as Millennials get older each year, more of them will be able to buy a home and more of them will choose to buy a home.
  • President-Elect Trump's potential immigration policies could exacerbate the shortage of construction workers which would cause labor costs to rise, longer construction time periods, and higher home prices. (This may be a good opportunity for blue-collar jobs to come back into the arena as great opportunity, vs. the 4 year degree which comes with alot of debt and a lot of competition). 
  • As Millennials buy homes it's expected they will purchase homes further out in the suburbs or exurbs where homes are more affordable. This will result in the percentage of people driving to work to rise for the first time in a decade. This is happening despite the fact that major cities are developing their urban cores or centers with denser development and smaller homes that are more affordable. But, they are not affordable enough. Plus, one thing not being addressed is quality schools in the urban centers. Most Millennials grew up in the burbs in big homes with good schools; so Millennials who are parents already are buying homes and moving back "home" to the burbs.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mortgage Rates Going Back to 1900: We are at lowest EVER

I love big picture charts that cover more time than just a couple years. This chart shows you mortgage interest rates from the year 1900. We are essentially at the lowest ever today in 2016, at 3.5%.

Hard to believe just in 2008 rates were 6.5% - that's a $500 DIFFERENCE IN MONTHLY PAYMENT!

Imagine the late 70's and early 80's, at 19%! Buying an $89,000 home back then would be the same monthly payment as buying a $212,000 today! If you are looking to buy now is the time. Don't cry to me when rates go up in the next few years!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Comparing Mortgage Payments Over Decades: 1985 vs. 2000 vs. 2016

Many people think they shouldn't buy right now because prices have gone up in the last 5 years, and skyrocketed since the 1980's. However, what most people forget is how much interest rates significantly affect a monthly mortgage payment. Check out this awesome infographic:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

RiNo in 4 Years, According to Developer Rendering

The River North neighborhood has gone from industrial corridor to hipster magnet, full of bars, restaurants and apartment buildings. And this week, developers of the area released a rendering of what the neighborhood will look like in four years (see the image above), when at least fifteen projects currently in the works are complete or will be near completion.

Responsible for much of the redevelopment is OZ Architecture, whose projects are highlighted in yellow above. More about a few of its RiNo projects below. (Full disclosure: OZ redesigned Westword's office space.)

The WTC will blocated along 38th Street between Walnut and Blake streets. According to its website, OZ "will develop the master plan for the extensive campus, to be anchored by a flagship hotel. The development will also include approximately 250,000 square feet of best-in-class office space for both large and small businesses from around the world, an international business and conference center, a flex-work environment, an array of multicultural restaurants, diverse retail, an art gallery and a parking structure."

tial condominiums, an incubator office space, and plenty of retail and restaurant locations on the ground floor." DriveTrain will be walking distance to the Light Rail A Line station at 38th and Blake. Groundbreaking will happen sometime next year. OZ will also redevelop the old Gold Star Sausage processing plant at 2800 Walnut Street, which 1425 Market LLC bought in 2015 for $3.2 million

Source: Anna Campbell,
Image Source:

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Neighborhood Price Change Map!

This awesome price change map shows you, by neighborhood:
  1. The average sales price of homes that have sold in the last 12 months
  2. Whether the neighborhood has gone up (green) or down (red) in the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months. 
  3. How many sold in the last 12 months. 
  4. How many are for sale.
  5. How many are under contract.
  6. And the months of inventory, meaning how long it would take for al the homes for sale to be absorbed by the buyers. The lower this number is, the hotter that neighborhood is. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

3 Colorado cities among Money 

Magazine's best places to live

by Caitlin Hendee, Denver Business Journal

There are three Colorado cities where residents have it made — they have low crime rates, top-notch schools and low unemployment.

And those three communities are Highlands Ranch, Centennial and Broomfield which landed the Nos. 6, 13 and 25 spots, respectively, on Money Magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" report.

To compile its report, Money Magazine starts with all U.S. towns and cities with populations of between 50,000 to 300,000. It then analyzed cities based on a number of factors, including:
  • Predicted job growth.
  • Crime rates.
  • Ethnic diversity.
  • Home values.
  • Economic performance/tax rates.
  • Median household incomes.
  • Accessibility to health care, culture, strong public schools and sports.
  • Resident interviews (conducted by Money Magazine reporters).
Highlands Ranch — at No. 6 nationally — was noted for its exceptionally low crime rates, high-ranking schools and plentiful jobs. The fact that Charles Schwab located its Denver-area offices nearby, as well as the planned, $315 million hospital being built by UCHealth, were also mentioned in the report.
"Highlands Ranch is a bedroom community where residents sleep very well at night. In fact, they affectionately refer to their hometown, about 15 miles south of downtown Denver, as 'the bubble,' " Money Magazine said. "The bad news is that the sizzling job market has attracted an influx of new residents, who in turn have driven up real estate costs."

Highlands Ranch, with a population of 105,143, has a median home price of $410,000, property taxes of $2,466, an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent and an average commute time of 26 minutes.

"On the plus side: Highlands Ranch, a planned community, was founded in 1981, so the housing stock is relatively new," the report noted.

With a population of 107,569, Centennial — at No. 13 on the list — ranked especially high because of its job market. Money Magazine called out the numerous companies that reside there, including major Comcast operations, United Launch Alliance and Innovation Pavilion, the 80,000-square-foot startup incubator that provides co-working space for entrepreneurs.

"Centennial also makes it easy for residents to take advantage of Colorado’s 300 days of sunshine," Money's report said. "The town offers more than 2,500 acres of open space and parks, including award-winning Center Park, with an amphitheater and kid-friendly splash pad."

Centennial's median home price is $374,500 with property taxes of $2,368. It's average commute time is 24 minutes and its unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. The city was also the first city selected to get a TopGolf, a 65,000-square-foot golf-themed entertainment complex.

Money Magazine said Broomfield — at No. 25 nationally — was an "enviable location for both living and work" because of its proximity to the mountains and its more than 8,000 acres of open space and 281 miles of trail, as well as its rapidly growing job market.

"With such a strong job market, Broomfield is attracting new residents and building homes rapidly, causing some areas of town to look more like construction zones than neighborhoods," Money's report said. "Also, while many of Broomfield’s schools receive top marks, overcrowding has become a problem in some locations."

Companies headquartered at the city's 963-acre business park Interlocken Advanced Technology Environment include Level 3 Communications and Vail Resorts.

Broomfield, with 63,676 residents, has a median home price of $365,000, property taxes of $2,590, a 26-minute average commute time and an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent.

Last week, San Francisco-based career information site Zippia said Highlands Ranch is the 7th "happiest" community in the nation based off similar metrics included in this report.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Neighborhood Spotlight: Parker, Colorado


If you are thinking of moving to one of Denver’s suburbs, you should consider Parker, CO.  With easy access to I-25 and E-470, Parker is located to the Southeast of Denver-proper.  There is a lot to do in Parker, to include concerts, camps, classes, art exhibits, festivals, and recreational activities for kids and adults alike!  There are numerous recreational facilities around town, to include pools, field houses, gyms, rock climbing centers, facility centers, playing fields, equestrian trails and more.  Further, Parker has a large network of trails, to include the Cherry Creek Trail, Centennial Trail, Sulpher Gulch Trail, Tallman Gulch Trail, the Newlin Gulch Trail, and the future East/West Trail.

According to Trulia, Parker is exhibiting the current market trends:

Housing Market Trends
Market trends help you understand the movement of key price indicators. Trends in Parker show an 8% year-over-year rise in median sales price and a 2% rise in median rent per month.

Median Sales Price
The median sales price for homes in Parker for Apr 14 to Jul 13 was $402,450 based on 500 home sales.

Price Per Square Ft.
Average price per square foot for Parker was $202, an increase of 12% compared to the same period last year.

Median Rent Per Month
The median rent per month for apartments in Parker for Jun 14 to Jul 15 was $2,295.


Source: Trulia

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Is now a good time to buy using a mortgage?

Is now a good time to buy using a mortgage? 

I am sure that you have heard over the past few months that interest rates are expected to rise as a result for the Fed’s anticipated rate hike.  However, with the global economy’s multiple crises, economic experts are expecting mortgage rates to stay the same, or to drop even further.

The Chicago Tribune reports that low mortgage rates will be something we can grow used to.  Most notably, the recent BREXIT situation has caused major players in the US to rethink their position on the state of our interest rates in the US due to an increasingly growing world economy on a macro-level.  For example, Freddie Mac’s chief economist has stated that "the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows; thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity."[1]

OK, so what does this mean for me?

Let’s compare interest rates using the annual averages for 2007, 2011, 2015, and June of 2016, assuming a 30-year fixed, $250,000 loan balance.  Rates are derived from Freddie Mac’s compiled data.[2]

Average Int. Rate
P&I Payment
Savings compared to 2007 rates, annualized

So as you can see from this simplified chart, last month compared to the average rates in 2007 would yield homebuyers a savings in $6,070.44 in interest, each year!  This means that homebuyers can possibly qualify for homes that they wouldn’t have qualified for in 2007, or perhaps it will allow homebuyers to take that extra money that they are not spending on interest payments, and apply it to pay down debts or put it into investments for further growth.


As physics dictates, what goes up must come down (and in this case, the opposite- what goes down, will eventually go up!), so it is a great idea to reconsider your position.  Now is a great time to take advantage of the lower interest rates to buy your first home, or perhaps even move up to a bigger home.