Denver Real Estate Blog
The question I'm asked all the time by friends, colleagues and clients who are still renting is whether it's too late to buy a home. "Are we heading for a big downturn?" and "Are we too deep in the market cycle to buy?" they wonder. For those of you who read my newsletter and know me well the following will sound familiar but it bears repeating: timing the real estate market perfectly is extremely difficult (maybe even impossible) and those who try usually fail. So don't try to time the market. Instead, look at factors like the ones below to see if home ownership is right for you.
1. You should buy a home when you feel it's the right time in your life to do so. Don't try to time the market, instead time your life. Are you getting married? Sick of paying skyrocketing rents? Looking for a bigger place for you and your family? Want your own backyard for the kids to play in? Want to be part of a neighborhood community? Plan on staying in one place for a number of years? Want to build long-term wealth? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when considering whether you want to own a home. To the extent you say yes, home ownership might be the answer for you.
One important stat to keep in mind is that the average rental household in the U.S. has a total net worth of only $5,500. In contrast, the average homeowner has a net worth of $195,500 - that's 36 times those who rent! Over the past 15 years, this multiple has ranged from as low as 31 times to as high as 46 times the net worth of renters. You don't want to try to time the market, but over the long term home ownership is the tried and true path to wealth accumulation and financial security. (So is owning rental property, by the way. Call me if you'd like to learn more about that as well.)
2. Interest rates remain at record lows but this can't last forever. No one knows when they're going to rise (remember, you can't time the market!), but rise they will at some point in the future. Though home prices have gone up the past several years, low interest rates continue to make homes relatively affordable (especially compared to renting). Once interest rates do rise the window of home ownership affordability will truly begin to close for a lot of potential buyers and they will be sorry they didn't act when interest rates were at 50-year lows.
To illustrate the numbers, assume you are purchasing a $210,000 home with a 5 percent down payment. The Principle + Interest payment at 4 percent interest would be $952 per month. Just a 1 percent interest rate increase to 5 percent would result in a payment of $1,070 per month for a total increase of $128/month and $1,416/year. Now assume that rates tick up to 6 percent. That increase would result in a 21 percent increase in payments from $952 to $1,196. Where you really see the effect of these increases is when you hold the property for the full 30 years. On a $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage that increases from 4-5 percent, the borrower who obtains the 5 percent loan would pay an additional $42,772 in extra interest as opposed to the borrower who paid just 4 percent interest. That's 21.4 percent of the total loan amount! This is why a lot of folks who don't purchase a home while interest rates are near record lows are going to regret it down the road.
3. The main reason the average home owner has so much more personal wealth than the average renter is that over time, homes appreciate in value. Over the past 44 years, homes in metro Denver appreciated 6 percent per year, about 1 percent above the inflation rate. If you buy a $200,000 home, you can expect over the long term its value to rise about 6 percent every year. This means you'd make $12,000 in appreciation the first year, an additional $12,720 the second year, another $13,483 in the third year, and on and on. It's that simple. So if you want to build wealth, your best bet may be to take advantage of these numbers and buy a home for the long term. I can help you do this. Call me and let me show you how.
Denver Public Schools
When considering the location of a new home, many married couples look at the schools their children are likely to go to. The Denver Public School System is leading the way in many social and academic causes, and would provide a fantastic education to the children living in the district.
A wonderful component to Colorado public schools and Denver Public School in particular is that of School Choice. If you would rather little Molly attend the elementary by your office instead of by your house, in Denver you have the option to switch enrollment, regardless of your mailing address. This allows for greater flexibility when home buying in Denver, as you are not restricted to the 10 mile radius around your favorite school. This allows home buyers in Denver the freedom to extend their search to include their favorite house regardless of zip code.
Cheer Leading For Everyone
Denver Public Schools boast an “all inclusive” cheerleading squad. What does that mean? Well, the cheerleading squad filled with near perfect girls and defined more by who they ostracize than who they allow is a thing of the past. There are three girls who are in Special Education courses and proudly represent DPS on their cheerleading squad. The integrated cheer squad at South is the first for DPS, but the trend is growing through the district and throughout all of Colorado. The Mile High city has always been at the forefront of change, and its schools are no different.
You can tell the caliber of a school by the quality of their graduates. Recently, former South High student, Mawukle Yebuah was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award by Denver Public School Board members. While attending DPS, Yebuah was awarded scholarships from the Denver Scholarship Foundation, Puksta Foundation and Sachs Foundation. He is currently studying International Business at the University of Denver.
He championed the causes that affected young, black men in Denver through his Puksta Project and by participating in the Black Male Initiative Summit (BMIS), even being elected the student coordinator for BMIS committee. Yebuah has been quite active on the Colorado Black Student Leadership Conference, which focuses on inspiring the next African American leaders.
A Great Choice for Parents and Students
As parents, we worry about our children when they are away from us. However, Denver Public School District takes the responsibilities of educating the next generation very seriously. DPS consistently upholds exemplary standards and produces some of the greatest leaders of the next generation. If you are relocating to Denver or considering a new home, call us at 303-991-9878 to get more information about the neighborhood schools in your area of interest
This past Thursday, April 23rd, New Era Group hosted a little gathering of clients, colleagues and friends at Epernay Lounge in Downtown Denver. The purpose of this get together was to show appreciation for our clients as well as appreciation for our hard working agents who strive everyday to make sure each and every client has a good buying and/or selling experience.
With a few hundred people in attendance, the night was a hit with a photo booth, live DJ, great prizes to be won, and of course, a dessert table sure to tickle anyone’s sweet tooth. This party gave everyone the opportunity to chat about real estate but more to get to know one another and meet new acquaintances. And let’s be honest here, it was one heck of a party!
The Epernay Lounge... before we arrived!
Being an owner of New Era, I would have to say from my perspective, this was a wonderful way to celebrate 10 years of growth as an agency. We have come a long way and still continue to grow and develop in the Denver and surrounding area. This was as much a party for the agents in the firm as a way to say thank you for making us who we are as New Era, as it was for the community for supporting what we do.
I would just like to take a moment and say thank you to all of the agents who work hard to make this company so successful. You each bring something unique to the table and each contributes your talents and skills to build a strong team in New Era.
To the community members who came, and to all past, present and future clients, that you for working with us throughout the years. After all, you are why we are here! We get up each morning and grind hard to find and/or sell your home because we are dedicated to being the best for you. We truly understand how important it is to find that dream house — it is something everyone holds close to their hearts. And we know how much trust you have to have in order to find an agent who you can 100% rely on. We take pride in knowing that you have chosen us because you trust us, have faith in us, and know we will work hard for you every step of the way. In the end, we hope that our business relationship will turn into a friendship that will last long after you move into your new home.
With all that being said, here’s to more great parties in the future as well as many more years of great business from the New Era Group. Thanks again for all your support!
The Denver Performing Art Complex is the 2nd largest performing arts center in the world! So this May, take some time to celebrate the arts in our Mile High City, and have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
Furry Scurry (May 2)
The Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry has become a tradition for many Denver area residents. The annual two-mile walk for animals takes place at Denver's Washington Park with more than 12,000 people and 5,000 dogs joining for the walk and lots of event festivities to raise funds for homeless pets. Learn more about the event here.
Annie (April 29 - May 10)
Leapin' Lizards! "The world's best-loved musical returns in time-honored form. Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin and choreographed by Liza Gennaro, this production of Annie will be a brand new incarnation of the iconic original". Get tickets here.
Mother's Day 5K (May 10)
Bring your family and friends to join in the fun at the 6th Annual Mother's Day 5K. "Don't miss the post-race brunch as a great way to treat mom on her special day. The post-race party is filled with snacks, drinks, and some fantastic prizes!" Get detailed information here.
Five Points Jazz Festival (May 16)
This free festival celebrates the history of Denver's Five Points neighborhood. Once known as "the Harlem of the West, Five Points was home to several jazz clubs which played host to many of jazz music's legends such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and many more". Come out to Five Points to enjoy this free festival of music, food, culture and fun. Learn more here.
Bette Midler (May 20)
Come see multiple Grammy Award winner and legendary performer, Bette Midler, at the Pepsi Center. Midler's "Divine Intervention" tour will feature material from the singer's iconic career as well as songs from her critically acclaimed new album, "It's The Girls!" - a glorious tribute to girl groups through the ages. Get details here.
Downtown Denver Arts Festival (May 22 - 24)
The Downtown Denver Arts Festival is a fine art and fine craft exhibition at the Denver Performing Arts Complex featuring some of Colorado's and the nation's best artists with over 150,000 people expected to attend. Learn more event information here.
Denver Comic Con (May 22-25)
Come and see Colorado's premiere pop-culture experience and largest exhibitor hall floor, featuring "toys, games, art, collectibles, plus our one-of-a-kind family activities area, the Comic Book Classroom Corral. Experience Colorado's best gaming and cosplay, and meet celebrities and artists from the worlds of film, television, animation, and of course, comic books". Learn event details here.
Denver Day of Rock (May 23)
Denver Day of Rock is a "free one-of-a-kind music event presented by Concerts For Kids to raise awareness of the children in our community". This free event will feature five stages of live music throughout downtown Denver. Learn more here.
Rocky Mountain Airshow (May 29-31)
The Rocky Mountain Airshow, with the City of Aurora, is "proud to announce that The USAF Thunderbirds are returning to Aurora and the Metro Area after 18 years". Learn more about this event here.
A Weekend of Star Wars (May 30)
Your Colorado Symphony presents "an epic weekend of music celebrating a galaxy far, far away. Returning by popular demand this concert weekend is filled with music from the world of Star Wars and classical favorites spanning the Milky Way". Read about this concert here.
The quarterly Case-Shiller Home Price Indices numbers were released last week, and I'm proud to report that Denver had the highest annual home appreciation of the 20 largest cities in the country!
The overall S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index recorded a 4.5 percent annual gain. Denver and Miami reported the highest year-over-year gains, as prices increased by 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent respectively over the last 12 months.
This is great news for all you home owners and long-term investors in the Denver real estate market! If you own a $300,000 home the value increased about 8 percent in the past year, meaning the equity in your home went up by $25,000, on top of what you've already made in the past several years. Wonderful news as you enjoy your home and build long-term wealth. Congratulations.
Neighborhood Price Trends
Below is our Quarterly Price Trends Map with a detailed neighborhood analysis of our local market. Here's how to read it. Pick a neighborhood that interests you, say Wash Park East. During the past 12 months in Wash Park East you'll see the average Days on Market (DOM) for a listed property was 34. There has been a 13 percent price increase in the past year, and the average sold price was $853,000. There were 166 sales in this time period, and currently there are only 11 properties for sale, which equates to a 0.8 month supply. What does this tell us about Wash Park East? It tells us that prices have been rising swiftly in the past year (low DOM and increasing prices) and the inventory is at rock bottom (only 11 active property on the market!) which will help sellers in the neighborhood. With currently only a 0.8 month supply of homes for sale (six months of supply is a balanced market) this is a red hot neighborhood!
Give me a call and I'd be happy to sit down with you with a full size 36" X 18" copy of the map so we can review it together, and I can answer all your questions. I think you'll find this map to be a very helpful tool, and I can provide a custom map for your area.
Bold claim, we know, but as of April 7th searching homes from our site will give you better results than from Trulia and Zillow. The Greater Denver MLS/Matrix (real estate listing syndication) company, announced that Zillow and Trulia will no longer be receiving feeds from them. This removes a large amount of Colorado listings affecting the users of these two systems. However, our home search results will continue to be the most inclusive of properties for sale in the Greater Denver area and surrounding towns with a direct feed from Denver's MLS/Matrix.
More and more people are searching the web for their new home before they call a realtor. This provides you the opportunity to view the properties are for sale and see the current prices of homes in your area of interest. We are dedicated to providing our clients and guests the best and quickest search results when using our online tools. We want you to be able to see every house on the market early in your search so you can refine your search and get a head start on other home buyers.
But Wait, There’s More
The search is only the beginning. Most national search engines pull data from all over the United States from various companies. While this may work well during a cursory search, the data is only as good as the people that entered it. It is up to the selling realtor or their company to enter the data into the proper systems.
We pride ourselves on being Denver residents and we love the city we call home. Not only do we understand the local real estate market, but we intimately know the neighborhoods and their nuances. If items you are most interested in are not included on the online search results, we can help you by filling in the gaps and providing detailed information. We will give you more than just search results. We will work with you until you find your perfect home.
Oh, It Gets Better
We continuously work to improve our site, search results and offer the most relevant information. If this is your first visit to our site we invite you to poke around and discover some fantastic insights into Denver neighborhoods, entertainment and schools. Our hope is if you are new to the area we can help you acclimate more quickly, or if you’re a life-long resident, we want you to discover something you never knew about Denver.
We Can’t Wait to Meet You
We know this blog article was a bit self-aggrandizing, but we are proud of the multitudes of families that have found their dream home by using our search feature, talking about their dreams with us, and ultimately giving us the pleasure to work with them. Give us a call at 303-991-9878 or contact us. Quit dreaming about a new home, find a dream home.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Ah 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!
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