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March 30, 2015

Rolling Stones Coming to Red Rocks?

red rocksRolling Stones

Whether you hate them or you love them, there is no denying there is just something special about the Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger’s strong London accent and Keith Richards' skill on the guitar have made them legends and have kept them at the top of the charts for almost 50 years! Found yourself living under a rock and unfamiliar with this legendary British band? Check out their greatest hits.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Speaking of legends, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has got to be among the most famous venues in the United States. With its 868 acres of pine trees, deer, prairies, vistas and fossils, it is no surprise that it’s been drawing visitors since 1941. It seats 9,525 people at 6,450 feet above sea level. What is even more amazing is that it is geographically the transition zone between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains. Due to this “marriage” of landscapes, the variety of plant and animal life is second to none.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

It may be hard for concert attendees to keep their eyes on the stage. What with fossil fragments of a 40-foot sea serpent called a Plesiosaur or the Mosasauraus, originally from the sea when all of the land structures were under water. There are two 300-foot monoliths, “Ship Rock” and “Creation Rock” that both stand taller than Niagara Falls, and provide a history book of sorts, as they are estimated to be 250 million years old. No wonder Red Rocks Amphitheatre was once among the Seven Wonders of the World. Here, take a look.  The appeal is universal. Even the photos can literally take your breath away.

Mick, Meet Red Rocks!

Which brings me back to the iconic Rolling Stones. Mick, in all his wisdom, has STRONGLY hinted that Red Rocks Amphitheatre will be a venue on the Rolling Stones’ 14-city North American tour. This would be the Rolling Stones’ 10th Anniversary of visiting Colorado (Denver in particular). However, Jagger and the boys have NEVER played at Red Rocks. It promises to be an amazing night.

Don’t Delay

When do you have the opportunity to hear legends play at one of the most spectacular locations in the world? Not to mention, the plates have shifted, making the rocks “bowl like” which gives Red Rocks wonderful acoustics, a rarity among outdoor venues.

News outlets are expecting confirmation of the Rolling Stones tour in the next week or so. This is the Rolling Stones’ last tour, and the opportunity to see them at over a mile above sea level is a once in a life time event. Remember, it only seats a little over 9,000 people, so the tickets will be on sale for approximately 34 seconds before they sell out!

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March 24, 2015

What to do in April in Denver 2015

Did you know that Denver has the largest city park system in the nation, with 14,000 acres of mountain parks and 2,500 acres of natural areas? So, it is time to take advantage of the beautiful weather and enjoy the fun events Denver has planned in April to celebrate the return of Spring and Earth Day!

Colorado Rockies 
Baseball fans, it is time to head to the ballpark! Colorado Rockies season and single game tickets are on sale now! Click here to purchase tickets.

Fancy Footwork (April 2)
Join the dancers of Colorado Ballet for "an exciting show featuring pieces chosen by the dancers themselves. Selections will range from excerpts of the great classics to new contemporary works by choreographers within the Colorado Ballet family. Guests attending the evening performance will also have the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind items and experiences in a silent auction, tailored by the Colorado Ballet dancers".  Learn more event details here!

Bunny Trail EggVenture (April 4)
Hop down to the Children's Museum in your favorite spring colors for an educational, exciting and fun time! Jump, hop and bounce from one "eggsploration station” to the next at their spring extravaganza! Bunny Trail EggVenture is filled with "all kinds of blossoming fun, including egg-dyeing, springtime art projects, tasty treats and StoryTime with our bunny, Truffles".  For detailed information, click here.

Spring Fling (April 4) 
Join your friends at the Denver Zoo to celebrate the beginning of spring. Take part in "a fun scavenger hunt around the zoo, learn about animals that lay eggs and finish your trip in the Conoco Zoo Garden with fun family spring time activities!" Learn more here.

Colorado Art Survey IX (Opens April 11)
Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art unveils "a new Colorado Art Survey as it continues to showcase the nationally important art history of Colorado. For this current exhibition, the two main level exhibition rooms have been re-displayed with works from the 1870s to 2000s in a timeline from realism to pure abstraction. This exhibition draws from the museum's unparalleled and still growing collection of 5,000 works of art by over 500 Colorado artists". Learn more here.

Denver Museum of Nature and Science (April 12 and 25) 
Come enjoy a Community Free Day at the museum. A fee still applies to IMAX films, Planetarium shows, and temporary exhibitions. Learn what is happening at the museum this month here.
 
Earth Day Denver (April 22)
Come to this free fair open to the general public at Civic Center Park and learn new ways to live sustainably! The theme for 2015's Earth Day Denver will focus on "interactive displays and demonstrations for the public tied to: Energy, Water, Waste, Transportation and Food!"  Learn more event information here.

Defending the Caveman (April 22 - June 28)
Defending the Caveman is "a hilarious play about the ways men and women relate to each other. Without taking sides, this insightful comedy discusses the ongoing battle for understanding between the sexes".  Learn event details here.
 
Run for Babies (April 25)
Run for Babies is "a chip-timed and measured 5K through the Denver City Park. After the race, join the nearly 5,000 walkers and eat a picnic lunch while enjoying live entertainment. Meet up with your family to visit the kids entertainment at the Kids' Zone, while stopping by the Mission Pavilion to learn more about how March of Dimes has been helping babies for more then 75 years". Learn more here.

Dining Out For Life (April 30)
Dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner on April 30, 2015, and choose from more than 250 Denver and Boulder-area restaurants who will contribute 25% of their food sales to benefit Project Angel Heart’s home-delivered meal program. Read more about this annual fundraiser here.

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March 24, 2015

Time to Increase the Value of Your Home with a Spring Makeover

curb appealAh Spring! The season is starting to make an appearance around the Denver area, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and warm days are a weekly happening. This is the perfect time to give your house a little pick-me-up and do a few things to increase the value of your house for not a lot of money. Whether you want to sell your house later this year or just want to do a little rehab, it never hurts to give your home some TLC.

What the Experts are Saying

Recently, Coastal Real Estate Group out in California asked 24 real estate experts what they would personally do to help increase a house's value with a budget of $5,000 or less. Together, these experts have come up with a great list of recommendations:

  • Paint – Here’s the great thing about paint, it is inexpensive and with a coat or two, it can make the interior or the exterior of your house look brand new. For the exterior, a new coat of paint is one of the greatest curb appeals for potential buyers when they first pull up to your home. The interior areas, such as the entryway, should be a bright but neutral color to be welcoming to prospective buyers looking at your home.
  • Upgrade the Kitchen – Everyone knows the heart of any home lies in the kitchen, so putting upgrades in there such as new counter-tops, updated cabinets, and new appliances will increase the value along with attracting a greater amount of buyers. The experts all agreed, when upgrading your home you will get the most bang-for-your-buck with a kitchen remodel.
  • Landscaping – Curb appeal, curb appeal, and more curb appeal starts with the outside of your home. The great thing about doing your own landscaping and sprucing up the appearance of your lawn is that it is fairly inexpensive. Doing things such as trimming trees, pruning bushes, planting flowers, and painting window frames, the garage door and the main door, all are small ways to give your home a beautiful new face ready for any buyer.
  • De-cluttering – Let’s be honest, most of us have a hard time walking into our own homes when it is messy, so when preparing to sell your house make sure to de-clutter all areas of each space. A lot of us have a hard time seeing past clutter and the potential of spaces in your house if there is stuff lying everywhere and things are not clean. Buy some inexpensive Tupperware, baskets, and storage boxes to put all of your possessions in and make sure to clean before any open houses.
  • Bathrooms – Along with the kitchen, bathrooms are the next spaces in the house that can always do well with a remodel session. Investing a few thousand into a bathroom can turn into a $10k added value for your home.
  • Pictures of Your Home – Almost everyone when starting with their search for a new home will hop on the internet and scroll through photos of houses. You want to make sure that the pictures of your house are fantastic which means possibly hiring a professional to take some photos and even possibly a video of the inside of your house. We live in a very visual society, and potential buyers want to see all the goods before they even make a call to see a house. So make sure you give your house the best chance in this busy market!

You’ve Increased the Value of Your Home, Now What?

Your house is beautiful inside and out, you hired a professional to take amazing photographs and videos, and now you are ready to put your house on the market, it is time to call New Era Group! Even before you make all these value increases, give New Era Group a call and any of the agents would be happy to talk to you about their own suggestions after seeing your house to get you the most for your beloved property. Give us a call at 303-922-9222 or stop by our offices during the week at 2563 15th Street, #101 Denver, Colorado 80211, we will be happy to assist you with any of your home endeavors!

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March 24, 2015

March 2015 Market Happenings

market happenings

I couldn’t say it better myself…

Colorado leads the nation for home price gains; Denver's growth is even faster
“Colorado's home sales prices grew by 9.1 percent in January from a year earlier, the highest rate of appreciation of any state in the country, but metro Denver's growth rate was even higher, at 10 percent. By comparison, the national average for home-price gains was 5.7 percent during the same one-year period, according to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic. ‘A dearth in supply in many parts of the country is a big factor driving up prices,’ said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. Many homeowners have taken advantage of low rates to refinance their homes, and until we see sustained increases in income levels and employment, they would be hunkered down so supplies may remain tight.” -Denver Business Journal | 3/3/2015

Metro Denver home-price gains pick up steam; another record high set
“The pace of year-over-year growth in metro-Denver home prices continues to speed up, and the region has set a new record high for resale prices, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Index report.”-Denver Business Journal | 2/24/2015

Denver among the 10 Markets to Grow the Most Next Year
“The U.S. housing market is expected to make strides overall in 2015, but 10 metros in particular are ready for significant acceleration across housing metrics next year, according to realtor.com's latest housing report. Realtor.com's third fastest growth region in 2015 is Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo. Home-sale growth is projected to be 14%; with tight inventories of for-sale homes.” -Daily Real Estate News | 2/1/2015

Denver metro homes gain $26 billion in value in 2014
“Homes in the Denver metro area gained $26 billion in total value in 2014, a 9.5 percent increase from last year, according to a Zillow report. Zillow said this was the fifth largest gain among the 35 top metropolitan areas analyzed.”   -The Denver Post | 1/19/2015

Leeds study: Colorado to be among top 10 states for job growth in 2015
“Colorado is expected to gain 61,300 jobs in 2015, ranking it among the top 10 states in the country for job growth, according to the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business economic outlook.”  -Denver Business Journal | 1/18/15

Denver's economic growth rate is highest in nation
“The economic output of metro Denver grew more than any other city in the nation, according to a new report from Brookings Mountain West. In general, the mountain states' large metro areas outperformed the nation as a whole in terms of economic growth in the quarter, with output growing by an average 1.1 percent from the previous quarter.”  -Denver Business Journal | 1/13/15

Lenders Eased Standards
“Home-price appreciation and larger equity cushions have likely made some lenders more willing to allow certain borrowers to take cash out, while still low mortgage rates may make this a more attractive opportunity for some. Housing analysts are optimistic that lenders are showing signs of loosening up the tight credit that has sidelined many potential buyers in recent years. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae's latest move ushers back in loans with 3 percent down payments, which some expect to be a boon for attracting more first-time home buyers to the market.”  -Daily Real Estate News | 12/16/14

Denver poised for increase in baby boomer home sales
“Denver is already a prime place for retirement, and now the National Association of Realtors says that the area is among the 10 most likely to see an influx of baby boomers buying homes. NAR researched 100 metro areas nationwide with lower state taxes, strong job markets and strong in-migration patterns for baby boomers to determine that Denver will be one of the most popular markets for home buying baby boomers. The area's low tax rate relative to others and abundant recreational activities make it a popular place for baby boomers.”  -Denver Business Journal | 12/10/14

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March 17, 2015

Hot - Cold Enough for You?

Winter and Spring meet in DenverThe Weather Outside is Changing... Again

One of the best aspects of Colorado living is the variety between seasons and even during seasons. As we gaze forward to the upcoming spring and summer months it is easy to become accustomed to the warm, sunny days and gentler nights. However, we all know that the weather can change quickly, especially on the front range of the Rockies in Denver.

March is the Snowiest Month in Denver

It’s hard to believe after so many nice days that we are probably going to get more snow. As it gets warm, then cold, then warm again the added moisture will certainly guarantee one thing, mud! Your children, pets, and even your spouse will eventually bring some into the house, so be prepared. During this transitional time keep a couple of old towels handy near the doors. This way you can quickly wipe up messes before they find their way to the nooks and crannies of your home, and cut down on those loving motherly gazes.

Carpet swatches make great stepping stones for your children as they make their way inside after a full day of playing. Put these in strategic areas and allow them to remove their shoes and muddied clothing before they enter into the home. On very wet days, hang a bath robe by the door so they have something to cover up with if the need arises.

Did you Miss some Leaves Last Fall?

As the snow melts away you may notice that there are some leaves left from last November’s chore list. While the snow kept them out of mind, now is the perfect time to rake them up and prepare your yard. The added moisture from the snow melt, and the snow that is destined to come, will help give your lawn a healthy start. The leftover leaves will keep your grass from soaking in the warm sunshine, so the best place for them is in the compost pile or ready for pickup. Try to get this task done before the next snowfall and remember doing it now, means concentrating on other more enjoyable tasks later.

Get those Bikes Ready

Take advantage of Denver’s March snows to get the bikes ready. Check brakes, tires, chains, and fit. Your kids probably have grown a bit since the last ride so now is the time to makes everything is and fits including their helmets. If you are unsure what needs to be done, many local bike shops offer tune-ups so you can be ready to hit one of the amazing paths in Denver this summer. The best part is, the snow melts fast and you could be ready to go before the end of the day.

Have Fun Regardless of the Temperature

One thing is for certain, summer is coming. So don’t just endure the heat – cold – heat cycle of this month, get out and enjoy all of it. Don’t put away that winter gear yet; there is still time for one more snowman, sled run or snow angel.  For now, enjoy the variety that makes Denver one of the most special places on earth, and find a way to enjoy whatever the weather brings us.

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March 13, 2015

Celebrating Denver’s African American Legacy

solidersIf United States history depended on Hollywood, we would be led to believe that only white people settled the west. As African American History Month comes to a close, Denver stands at the ready to provide ample avenues to learn what an important role African Americans played in the westward migration and the settling of Colorado, specifically.

Black American West Museum

On California Street, right in the heart of Denver, the Black American West Museum highlights the roles African Americans played as miners, soldiers, cowboys, school teachers, lawmen and much more. The museum is actually located in the former home of the first black woman doctor in Colorado! Of the large collection of photographs and artifacts, one of the exhibits that stands out it the one focused on Dearfield (once a bustling Black pioneer town founded in 1910). It is now a ghost town, but the museum owns most of the site and gives tours!

Five Points Neighborhood/Welton Street Historic District

The Five Points Neighborhood became a landmark in 2002. Among the historic places nestled in this traditionally African American neighborhood is the Welton Street Historic District (one the epicenter of African American commerce during segregation). Though doubtful to rival New Orleans or Kansas City, the Welton Street Historic District was known nationally for jazz in Denver, winning it the name “Harlem of the West.” To stroll down the streets and take in the amazing architecture, visit: http://www.fivepointsbiz.org/history-culture

Stiles African American Heritage Center

Why not spend the whole weekend exploring the Five Points Neighborhood! The Stiles African American Heritage Center offers memorabilia, guided tours and cultural exhibits. To further support their mission to “teach African American history and to encourage young people to go forward with dignity and pride,” the Stiles African American Heritage Center often offers lectures and workshops. While you’re already in the Five Points area visit the Stiles African American Heritage Center.

Blair Caldwell Library

Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is a “typical library,” but then offers amazing exhibits on the art, music, history and politics of African Americans in Colorado. From the pervious information, obviously the Five Points neighborhood is showcased as are Denver’s first African American arrivals. Probably the best feature of this library is the African American Leadership Gallery. You’ll be able to learn about the unsung heroes in our Black history. To learn more about the resources at this amazing library, visit: https://history.denverlibrary.org/blair

Barney Ford House Museum

Barney Ford was born to a slave in 1882 Virginia. Ford escaped slavery traveling the Underground Railroad and made it all the way to Breckenridge! There he became a civic leader, businessman and black rights activist. This museum is homage to a history maker, built in a Victorian home like the one the Ford family lived in. To learn more about this amazing man, take a drive to Breckenridge, and visit: http://breckheritage.com/barney-ford-victorian-home/

We’re All Together

One of the best aspects about living in Denver is the diversity of so many cultures and peoples. This vibrant city was built by people of all races, religions and dreams. We love living in a city and state that exemplifies the American dream. Let’s continue to make this one of the best places on earth.

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March 9, 2015

Donate, Recycle or Ditch It Before Your Move

moving messStart Preparing for Your Move Today!

Congratulations! You have finally found the home of your dreams, but now you must start the arduous tasks of preparing for the big day. While the idea of packing may seem daunting, planning ahead will make it easier and add to the excitement of a new home. So, before you start collecting boxes from the supermarket and hoarding tape you will want to take some time to remove the excess and unwanted items.

Do You Really Need This, or That?

Now’s your chance, take it. Are there a few pieces of furniture, art or unopened boxes from your last move that you’ve been considering getting rid of? Now may be the best opportunity you have to let those items go. Before you do anything walk through your home and look at what you have and decide what you can and can’t live without. Some people carry colored sticky notes and place them on the items they are considering not taking. You could use pink notes for items that definitely won’t make the cut and yellow for items that you might not want any longer. You may be surprised how many things you have that you really don’t need.

Call for a Donation Pick-Up

There are several charities that offer pick up of items you want to donate. In many cases it is easier to have someone come get your old furniture rather than going through the trouble and hassles of having a garage sale. Often the tax benefits outweigh the amount of money you can make selling your old furniture. Organizers for Charity provides a list of some charities that will pick up your items making it much easier to say goodbye to the old college couch.

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

As you go through you home put a box on each floor for recyclables. Although a collection of magazines and old papers can be nostalgic, there is no reason to move items you will throw away later. Start putting recyclable items in the boxes today. If you have school age children you may want to check with their school to see if they might want old magazines for art projects. Get rid of old cans, metal and glass. Many local scrap metal collectors will pick up for free as well if you have enough.

Don’t Pour Paint and Chemicals Down the Drain

You may find, while cleaning out the garage or hidden basement cabinets, a slurry of paint, chemicals and a bucket of some unidentifiable substance. This is not the time to debate whether or not it is OK to dump these down the drain. Not only is it dangerous to dispose of these items the wrong way, it is also against the law! DenverGov.org has a great resource site to help you find out what you can have picked up at your home and taken away.

Get Moving!

Now that you have all the unwanted items from the home you will have a better idea of what needs to be moved or better yet, more items you may be able to give away. People are often astonished how much they can save in moving costs by cutting down the items. Sometimes there is enough to buy something brand new.

If you are still looking for your dream home or considering selling your current house, please give us a call at 303-991-9878 or contact us here. We are always happy to help.

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Feb. 23, 2015

What to do in March in Denver 2015

Did you know the dome of the Colorado state capitol is plated with real 24K gold? We wish you all good health, good luck and much happiness this St. Patrick's day and always! Enjoy celebrating all March has to offer in this beautiful place we are lucky to call home.

Funny Final Four Round 1 (March 4)
"The Funny Final Four is a series of competitions starting with 4 teams made up of a captain, twelve New Talent comics, two alternates, and one National Touring Headliner. Every show, a different team will perform the funniest, most original show they can produce. (One year, one team did a Price is Right themed show.) And the judges are selected from the audience!" Learn more here.

Symphony at the Movies: West Side Story Presented by Arrow Electronics (March 7)
Experience Leonard Bernstein's musical masterpiece and electrifying score live, while the re-mastered film is shown in high definition with original vocals and dialogue. Click here to purchase tickets.

St. Patrick's Day ParadeLucky Laces 5K/10K & Little Leprechaun Fun Run (March 14)
Come join in the last race of the City Park Winter Running Series. There will be finisher's medals, food and drinks, music, kids activities, and much more! Learn more event details here!

St. Patrick's Day Parade (March 14)
The parade theme, Emerald Mile, is a tribute to Colorado’s Irish heritage, but also to the diverse background on a day when “Everyone is Irish.” The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade is unmatched this side of the Mississippi with an estimated 350,000 people lining the streets of the Mile High City for the celebration. For detailed information, click here.

Denver Home Show (March 20-22)
The Denver Home Show is the only place for you to experience what's new in Home, Remodeling, Home Decor, and More! You'll have the opportunity to meet more than 500 experts and experience thousands of products and services. Children 12 & Under: FREE. Learn more here.

Denver March Powwow (March 20-22)
The 41st Annual Denver March Powwow will be held at the Denver Coliseum. The three-day event is packed with singing, dancing, storytelling, food, art and more, ensuring a wonderful experience for everyone. Learn more here.

Mark Twain Tonight! (March 21)
"For more than 50 years, acclaimed actor Hal Holbrook has embodied Mark Twain live on stage in one of the most enduring performances in theatre history, bringing richness to the character far beyond the quoting of Twain's most memorable lines." Get tickets here.

USASA Nationals (March 27 - April 8)
Freeskiing ChampionshipsThe United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championship is the largest snowboard and freeskiing event in the nation welcoming top amateur athletes to compete for the title of National Champion! Click here for event details.

Hops + Handrails 2015: Beer Fest & Rail Jam (March 28)
Back for its third year, this event in Longmont brings the best Colorado has to offer in a family friendly winter wonderland loaded with snowboards and craft beer! There will be live music, a kid zone, local food/vendors, a 50 craft brewery fest and a 40+ high snowboard ram and rail jam competition! Learn event details here.

Prehistoric Planet: Walking with the Dinosaurs 3D (Now - June 4)
Travel alongside hundreds of plant-eating dinosaurs as they face the challenges of a changing world in Prehistoric Planet: Walking with Dinosaurs 3D. Based on scientific data, the digital dinosaurs come to life against the backdrop of modern Alaska, immersing you in a Cretaceous adventure where you will feel the rumble of these massive herds as they crossed vast landscapes 70 million years ago. Watch the preview here.

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Feb. 23, 2015

February 2015 Market Happenings

"How's the real estate market?"

Because of what I do for a living I'm asked this at least once a day. I love the question because it lets me talk about my favorite subject: our always-changing, ever-fascinating real estate market! There are lots of different factors and metrics I can discuss when assessing our market, such as:

  1. Rising home prices
  2. Overwhelming consumer demand for homes
  3. A lack of inventory for sale
  4. New construction not keeping up with demand for housing
  5. Rental prices skyrocketing
  6. The effect gas and oil prices have on housing
  7. How low interest rates are continuing to make housing relatively affordable
  8. What parts of town have appreciated more than others over time
  9. And on and on...

 

home in DenverBut the thing I like to do most when explaining our real estate market is to show folks the chart at the end of this article. Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please take a look at it and begin to absorb what it's telling us. Everything you need to know about our current real estate market is contained in this chart.

Sales vs. Inventory

What you see are two lines, a blue one and a red one. The blue line shows the inventory (i.e., the number) of homes for sale in metro Denver every month from January 2007 to November 2014. The red line shows the number of homes sold every month. You can see that the inventory peaked in July 2007 at 30,827 homes for sale. That was at the depth of our economic and housing downturn, when fear ruled our market, banks were being shut down, our local and national economies were in shambles, unemployment was rising, and consumer confidence plummeted. The result of course was that people didn't want to buy homes; they were afraid of the future and didn't want to take on any risk. On the seller side of the equation, many home owners were getting caught with rising monthly mortgage payments as their Option ARM mortgages adjusted upward, so suddenly they wanted to sell, at the very worst time possible. The perfect storm.

It's simple economics: if you have more supply than demand prices start to fall and that is exactly what they did from 2007 to 2009. Around 2010 and 2011 the market became roughly balanced, with 18,000 to 20,000 homes on the market. But as you can see the market did not remain balanced for long because the supply continued to fall.

Which brings us to today's market. In January 2015, there were 5,152 homes on the market, 26 percent less than January 2014 and an all-time low for a January since records have been kept! This lack of inventory defines our current housing market.

The past several years have seen an incredibly strong real estate market in metro Denver and this chart explains exactly why. The supply of homes has vanished placing an imbalance in our market. No three dimensional, super fancy, econometrics model can do a better job of explaining the imbalance in our market than this simple chart.

It's interesting to see that while the blue inventory line has dropped dramatically the past seven years, the red number of sold properties has barely inched upward, even though our population continues to rise about 1.5 percent per year. This tells me that our demand for housing is going to stay very strong for the foreseeable future.

Applying this Information

So, how do you use this information? It depends, of course, on who you are and what you'd like to do. Here are some typical situations...

If you own a home and are thinking of moving:  It's an incredible seller's market and you can expect to get top value for your home. You'll need to consider the purchase of your next home though, and make sure you have planned the process correctly so you find the home of your dreams and make the transition from your current to future home seamless.

If you are renting:  Rents continue to zoom upward to all-time highs so you might want to get out of the rental rat race and buy a home. Inventory is low so you'll need to make sure you're prequalified to buy a home and come across as a serious buyer, otherwise sellers won't even consider your offer. But because inventory is still so low we expect prices to continue to move up for several years, at least until the inventory balances with the demand. So you can expect appreciation in your home purchase for the next several years.

If you're considering buying rental property:  There's no better way to build wealth than owning rental properties for the long term. Home prices have risen, but so have rents, and interest rates remain at record lows. Smart investors don't try to time the real estate market; it's as difficult to do as timing the stock or bond market. The vast majority of Americans who have built wealth as real estate investors have done it buying rental property and having their tenants pay it off for them over time. It's not complicated and it works.

Of course, everyone's situation is unique. If you want to talk about how best to take advantage of our real estate market and see what it can do for you please give us a call at 303-991-9878. We love talking about the real estate market!

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Feb. 13, 2015

DIY for the Denver Homeowner

Homeownership is an exciting prospect, not only to those of us living in and around Denver, but to so many Americans. In purchasing your own home, you do concede to give up that one silver lining of renting, and that is a landlord that “theoretically” fixes the things in your home when they break. But, what if you’re handy? And, what if you want to not just fix your home but remodel it? A homeowner can go above and beyond the “paint one wall a light color” and “hang framed photos” ilk of the Denver renter.

Strap on Your Tool Belts

What is required of a Denver Homeowner who wants to be the fix-it guy on the weekends? The following information is for those huge construction projects. Want to replace a light bulb? Have at it. No Denver authorities need to be notified for that.

For larger standard construction on a home in the Denver metro, a homeowner must obtain a #1R permit, and a #2R permit for roofing or siding. These permits do not require any classes or testing of the owner. Depending on the project, the resident may need to submit the construction plans to the Development Services Department of Denver.

But, what about those other construction plans? Denver requires homeowners to take tests and prove proficiency if their proposed housing construction includes; mechanical, plumbing, electrical, HVAC or refrigeration construction plans. Don’t put the cart before the horse! If you are going to test in these areas, be sure to provide proof of ownership in the form of a deed. If you’ve misplaced yours, a copy of your homeowner’s deed can be purchased from the Denver Clerk and Recorder for a small fee.

What about the cons?

What are the draw backs to becoming a “weekend warrior” of your housing construction plans? I don’t know about you, but many of my previous projects have, like a teenager cleaning their room, looked worse AFTER I started than BEFORE. Granted, doing it yourself is initially cheaper than employing a contractor. However, if they accidentally put a hammer through your dry wall, it is covered by their insurance, given that you’ve taken the time to find a licensed and insured contractor, of whom Denver has quite a few.

Many of the projects that require permits also have to meet the standards of Denver’s Building Codes. If a professional contractor completes your work, he is on the hook to make sure the construction is completed to the Denver Inspector’s standards. It could prove costly if the inspector requests you redo portions of your project.

The last con I’ll mention is having a warranty. So, the amazing construction you performed using PVC pipe, bailing twine and positive thoughts doesn’t make it past 3 months? Well, usually, a professional contractor will offer at least a one-year warranty on parts and construction. There are so many contractors to choose from in the Denver area that there is really no reason not to choose one who offers a guarantee on materials, as well as labor.

Owning in Denver Makes Design a Possibility

As long as you, the homeowner, plan ahead and consider all the options, living in a space of your own design, regardless of whether it is professionally done or DIY, is one of the amazing upsides of having your own home.  As a Denver resident, the view of the majestic Rockies is clearly a draw, not to mention all the wonderful things to do. If you’re looking for a new home you would like to fix up, give us a call. You certainly can have your “mountains” and your custom construction all in one.

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