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Denver Real Estate Blog

Nov. 25, 2015

Family, Turkey, Football, a Parade and So Many Thanks

Great Recipes and Traditions

Every family has a few traditional recipes they like to bring every year to the Thanksgiving table. Your aunt brings her homemade sweet potato casserole while your grandmother insists on making her mother’s green-bean salad recipe. And of course, who can forget the turkey? That is the main event! If you need a few ideas for this year in the recipe department, here are a few that sounded pretty dang good:

Macy’s Parade

There’s something wonderful about watching the Macy’s Day parade on TV to start off your Thanksgiving day. This year, tune into NBC at 9:00am EST to catch the 10,000 participants from marching bands, to famous performers, giant character balloons and many more entertainers.

Hut, Hut, Football!

Maybe the Macy’s Day Parade isn’t your cup of tea and you can’t wait to turn on the football and cheer on your team (sorry fellow Broncos fans, we will just have to watch other teams today). Below are times and teams for football on turkey day:

  • Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions (FOX) – 12:30pm
  • Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys (CBS) – 4:30pm
  • Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (NBC) – 8:30pm


Giving Thanks

There are so many great things to be thankful for this year and I hope you get the opportunity to spend this holiday with loved ones. Personally, I am thankful for my amazing wife and kids, the rest of my extended family, my real estate firm and the amazing employees and partners I get to work with on a daily basis and so much more. This is a great time of the year to reflect on what good things have happened in the year for you as well as what good things you have to look forward to. I got to go on a few trips with just my wife this year, which was a time for us to really reconnect and love on one another. I got to see my kids excel in their sports and activities this year and got to help them continue to grow into young adults, nothing makes me happier than to be there for my kids. My family is my support system, and they are the reason I am where I am in my life today and I am forever thankful for the love and light they bring to my days and my nights.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving this year, from all of us here at New Era Group, we are thankful to have you as our customers and friends.

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Nov. 23, 2015

What to do in December in Denver 2015

Cheers to a safe and festive holiday season! Enjoy time with family and friends, and make sure to experience some of the wonderful events headed our way in Denver this December.
Southwest Rink at Skyline Park (November 24 - February 15)
"Ready. Set. Skate. Skyline Park is the place for fun this holiday season. Southwest Airlines and the Downtown Denver Partnership invite you and your family to join us for FREE skating at the Southwest Rink at Skyline Park, located at 16th & Arapahoe in Downtown Denver. Ice skating is free! You may bring your own skates or rent a pair for just $2"  Get detailed information here.
Blossoms of Light (Nov 27 - Jan 2)
"Embrace the holiday season at Blossoms of Light. Over one million colorful lights draped in elegant designs highlight the Gardens winter beauty. Enjoy sparkling passages, brand new displays and romantic mistletoe kissing spots, as well as the always anticipated HoloSpex glasses. Warm drinks and tasty treats will also be available. Seasonal entertainment will be available on select evenings." Read more here.

zoo lightsDenver Zoo Lights (Dec 4 - Jan 3) 
"Zoo Lights will nearly double in size this year, spanning 70 acres of Denver Zoo's campus, with nightly entertainment, animal encounters, Santa meet-and-greets and, of course, illuminated animal sculptures that swing through trees, jump across lawns hide in bushes and appear in places where they're least expected." Learn more here.   

Parade of Lights (Dec 4 and 5)
"The FREE holiday spectacular features marching bands, ornate floats, and, of course, a special appearance by Major Waddles the Penguin and Santa! Grab your hot chocolate and ear-muffs, this year is going to be better than ever!"  Get more information here.
A Christmas Story, The Musical (Dec 16 - 27)  
"Direct from Broadway, A Christmas Story, The Musical, nominated for three 2013 Tony Awards including Best Musical, comes to hilarious life onstage! The Associated Press calls it 'a joyous Christmas miracle'." Buy tickets here.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk (December 13) 
"Chosen as one of the Most Incredible Themed Races, Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis is a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Raise funds to help find a cure for arthritis." Register here.

TubaChristmas (December 20)
"Tap your toes to your favorite holiday tunes at the annual TubaChristmas concert in Skyline Park. Featuring 300 tuba players from all over the region, TubaChristmas is one of the most celebrated and longest-running holiday festivities in Colorado" Visit the event website here.
New Years Eve Fireworks (December 31) 
"To welcome the arrival of 2016, the New Year's Eve Fireworks Downtown will once again fill the skies twice during the evening. The first show, at 9:00 p.m. will entertain families and others looking for an early celebration, while the second show officially marks the start of the New Year at midnight. The two fireworks programs are identical."  Learn details here.

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Nov. 22, 2015

November 2015 Market Happenings

market happenings

These are very special times in the metro Denver real estate market. Home prices are up, rents are up, inventories of homes both for sale and rent are low and our future outlook continues to look great. We talk about some aspect of real estate every month in this blog, but sometimes I think it can be hard to realize just how terrific our real estate market is without taking a step back and looking at the big picture. A great way to do this is to check out the recent press headlines and review the real estate news about our local market. In a word, it is amazing!

Denver Business Journal - 10/27/15
"After trailing San Francisco for year-over-year home-resale price gains in July, Denver tied with the California city for the top spot among 20 major U.S. metro areas. For six of the last eight months, metro Denver saw the biggest one-year gains out of 20 major U.S. markets in the price of detached single-family homes, according to monthly data from the closely-followed report series from S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic. Other than Denver and San Francisco, no other metro area out of the 20 tracked in the Case-Shiller report series scored double-digit percentage year-over-year price gains. Denver's Case-Shiller home price index reached an all-time high of 172.82, topping July's reading of 171.31. An index reading of 172.82 means that local home resale prices averaged 72.82 percent higher than they were in the benchmark month of January 2000, according to the Case-Shiller report series, based on non-seasonally-adjusted data."

Denver Post - 11/5/15
"Home sellers in Denver County made out big in the third quarter, where sellers sold for an average of a 41.5 percent gain over what they originally paid. That's according to research conducted by California housing data company RealtyTrac, which placed Denver County at No. 6 in the country for highest percentage sales gains. In September, RealtyTrac said Denver home sales were on pace to set a 10-year record, and median selling prices in Denver set an all-time high this summer."

Denver Business Journal - 11/3/15
"There's a city in metro Denver where housing costs are affordable, home-ownership rates are high, cost-of-living is comfortable, education and health care are sound and quality of life ranks high. And that place is Littleton - the second-best small city in the U.S., according to a new WalletHub study."

The 20 Hottest Housing Markets in October - 11/13/15 

20 hottest markets
Denver Business Journal  - 10/27/15
"Condos in Denver have appreciated nearly 20 percent over the past year, which is nearly four times the national average and well above the single-family home appreciation rate in Denver. According to Seattle online real estate company Zillow, single-family homes in Denver have appreciated 15.9 percent over the past year, while condos have appreciated 19.7 percent. The yearly 15.9 percent increase in Denver single-family home appreciation was the biggest jump in the country while the 19.7 percent annual increase in condo appreciation was the second-biggest jump in the country, trailing only the Dallas-Fort Worth area, which recorded a 20.1 percent annual increase in condo appreciation."

Denver Business Journal - 11/9/15
"Where's the best place in the country to own a home? Right here in Denver, according to a new report. and Redfin created the new list, based on a survey of about 10,000 U.S. homeowners in 67 markets, and using criteria including: healthy living, commute, climate, educational opportunity, economic opportunity, resident satisfaction, walkability, security and safety, real estate confidence, and tax fairness. Denver did the best, ranking No. 1 in the country, in the categories of health living and climate, and coming in No. 2 in resident satisfaction."

Denver Business Journal - 11/6/15
"It wasn't but a few days ago that a new study named Littleton the second best small city in the country. And that place is Littleton - the second-best small city in the U.S., according to a new WalletHub study. Centennial is the No. 4 best place to live in America, according to a new 24/7 Wall St. report that uses data from 550 U.S. cities with populations of 65,000 or more to determine the best."

Denver Business Journal - 10/26/15
"The Denver area residential real estate market experienced the fourth-highest increase in a new housing report. The Freddie Mac Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMI) uses four indicators to track an area's residential real estate growth, including home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture."

Denver Business Journal - 10/28/15
"With its rapidly increasing property values, low vacancy rates and good long-term job prospects, Denver is the fourth-best market in the country to own rental housing real estate. Denver ranked high in categories such as vacancy rates (4.3 percent), property appreciation (11.61 percent), and job growth (2.94 percent). "Denver is once again one of the best housing markets in the country to own rental properties in, leaving All Property Management puzzled as to why it doesn't receive more national recognition as a real estate powerhouse," the company said in the second-quarter report."

Bigger Pockets - 10/15/15
"If you're looking to make money investing in residential real estate, look no further than Denver. That's because Denver's ranked No. 2 in the nation when it comes to providing the best returns on residential real estate investment, according to a new study by online real estate company BiggerPockets. Residential real estate prices increased a staggering 13.4 percent year over year across the Denver metro region," BiggerPockets said in its report. It's been well documented in the Denver Business Journal that Denver's residential real estate prices this year have increased greater than any other market in the country."

Denver Business Journal - 10/15/15
"If you are looking to buy a home in Colorado, the housing market had another squeeze in the third quarter with a drop in the number of foreclosures. That's according to RealtyTrac's latest Foreclosure Market Report for the state. Colorado, which ranks No. 37 among the states for foreclosures, had a 17 percent decrease in the number of foreclosure filings from the second quarter of 2015 and is down 15 percent from the same time last year."

Denver Business Journal - 10/19/15
"It's quite clear that rents in Denver have risen greatly in the past year, but by how much? Let's just say that Denver's in the top 10 in the country no matter who you ask and no matter what you're renting. Over at Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A., its data released on Monday indicate that in the third quarter that ended at the end of September, the rents for single-family homes in the Denver Metropolitan Statistical Area rose 14.6 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. Denver's 14.6 percent rise for single-family house rents was the eighth-biggest jump in the country."

Denver Post - 10/7/15
"Apartment rents in metro Denver might be on a tear, but single-family homes rents are rising even faster, according to a report from Real Property Management Colorado and RentRange. The average monthly rent on a single-family home with three bedrooms in metro Denver reached $1,998, a 13.9 percent increase from the third quarter of 2014 and up 6.7 percent from the second quarter."

Denver Business Journal - 10/8/15
"Denver is the nation's sixth-hottest commercial real estate market, according to a new report. Colorado was cited in the latest report for making important infrastructure improvements: "Public financing is a tough sell. Yet it can be done, as Colorado has demonstrated in passing bond referendums repeatedly." The report continued: 'Denver has taken advantage of a location and a culture that are attractive to a qualified workforce and exposure to growing technology industries. ... The overall outlook of good to excellent is led by a strong perception of investor demand, the strength of the local economy, and capital availability.'"

If you're interested in learning even more about the real estate market and how you might take better advantage of it, whether you're looking to buy, sell, or invest, feel free to give me a call. I'd love to sit down with you, answer all your questions, and show you what's happening in our incredible real estate market! 

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Nov. 17, 2015

The Micro Home Movement

tiny houseWhat is small, square and trendier than bistros and coffee houses? It could be a new mobile device, but in fact the micro home movement is beginning to gain momentum, even in Denver. We love seeing new real estate development in Denver, especially when it adds to the unique character and diversity so inherent to our city. While micro homes and apartments may not be for everyone, they do add an interesting opportunity in the growing metro area.

What is a Micro Apartment or Tiny House?

The definitions tend to vary, but small is generally between 400 and 1,000 square feet, while tiny/micro are less than 400 square feet, some actually being less than 100 square feet. It may seem impossible to fit everything you need for life in such a small space, but amazing design, smaller appliances, loft beds and just plain ingenuity is making it happen.

A Trend Getting More Attention

Tiny homes are not new. Japan has utilized such construction for years to help with overcrowding in the city and to provide lower cost housing for the workforce. In fact, minimalist living has been growing in popularity since the 1980’s on when bigger was better and the average size of homes kept growing even while the average family sized decreased. For instance since 1950 the average home grew from 983 square feet to 2,349 square feet in 2004, and we’ve seen much bigger homes here in Denver.

Micro homes require less energy, have a smaller carbon footprint and are becoming popular in ecologically conscious areas like Colorado. The small homes are very popular in the foothills and mountains where most people find themselves outside rather than lounging around the house. They are inexpensive to build compared to the standard home and allow owners great flexibility. Some are even built on small trailers so they can be pulled to different locations on the property or moved easily during winter.

Not for Everyone

Living in small spaces may not be for everyone and definitely not aimed at most families, but seeing the success of the micro apartment development in downtown Denver would lead us to believe that we can expect to see more of these little homes. As interest continues to grow, we may even someday see small home communities. While it would seem that most of the interest is coming from the millennials, there are many older adults and retirees that recognize the benefits and savings inherent in these smaller homes.

Big or Small, We’re Here for You

We love how different each neighborhood is in our city. That’s one of the best things about living in the Denver Metro. From old mansions to modern design, and now from large homes to micro houses, we get to see everything. If you are thinking about relocating and are wondering what Denver neighborhood is right for you, give us a call. We’d love to talk with you about the big and small opportunities in the current real estate market.

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Nov. 11, 2015

Winter is Coming - Get Your House Ready

Snowy HouseWinter on its way but as we know, one day it can be sunny and 60 and the next day is can be snowing and a toasty 20-degrees outside — Like this morning! If you have been driving along I-25 or E-470 my guess is you have seen some of that white "wintery" weather all along the mountains. Some of the mountains are even opening for skiing this weekend or have been open for a few weeks now. I bet many of you have already switched over to your snow tires on your car and grabbed your winter coats and mittens and hats from the basement in preparation. But what about getting your home ready for the winter? Have you thought about ways to keep your home warmer this winter? Or ways to save both money and energy? There are many things you can do to help your home be in the best shape possible to take on the winter months and below I have constructed a list of ways to get your house ready for the cold and snowy months ahead:

Check All Windows and Doors for Leaks

You don’t want the heat escaping your house to, as my mom used to say, “heat the whole neighborhood”. Check and make sure your windows and doors aren’t leaking anywhere and if they are add weather-stripping around windows and caulk around doors. Also, for a cheap and easy window winter-proofing, apply bubble-wrap with just some water to your windows to help prevent heat from escaping.

Remove and Turn Off Outside Water

You aren’t going to be watering your lawn for the remainder of the year so remove any outdoor hoses and store them for the winter. Also, shut off exterior faucets and drain any water to prevent any pipe bursting.

Clean Out Gutters and Mulch Your Leaves

One last stop up on the roof to empty those gutters before the snow comes will help prevent water storage and ice buildup. Bet you will be excited to hear that you can also stop racking your leaves for this last time and use a lawnmower to mulch up your leaves and let them decompose on your grass for nutrients during the winter months.

Put Away Any Patio Furniture & Window AC Units

Clean and remove any window a/c units and make sure to store or cover your patio furniture for the winter. Doing this will help preserve your furniture for years to come.

Inspect Your Fireplace

Time to turn on the fireplace again but before you do make sure to have someone come out to clean and inspect it for any problems of inefficiencies. Just like with your air ducts, before you have the heat turned on make sure to have the air ducts cleaned for better air quality and efficiency.

Stock Up on Winter Supplies

You don’t want to be caught unprepared when the first snow comes so make sure you have your snow blower and/or shovel in an easy to get to place as well as salt and sand for your sidewalks and driveway.

These are just a few tips to get you started for the winter season ahead. Whether you are spending your first winter in a new home or your 20th year in a home, take good care to make sure your home is in the best shape it can be in so your winter goes off without a hitch.

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Oct. 26, 2015

What to do in November in Denver 2015

Enjoy the refreshing Fall weather, and take time this season to think about how lucky we are to live in beautiful Colorado! As always, there are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy our community this November.

Denver Film Festival (Nov 4 - 15) 
"Denver Film Festival is the city's premier cultural event of the fall, selling more than 55,000 tickets to more than 250 films: Blockbusters, docs, shorts and indies." Learn more here 

The Lion King (Nov 4 - 29)
"More than 80 million people around the world have experienced the phenomenon of Disney's The Lion King, and now you can, too, when Denver's best-loved musical returns to The Buell Theatre. There is simply nothing else like The Lion King." Buy tickets here

Denver Arts Week (November 6 - 14)
"Denver Arts Week celebrates the Mile high City's vibrant arts and culture scene. Enjoy a week of special events, concerts, art shows, theatre, dance, special deals and discounts." Get detailed information here
Denver Veterans Day (November 8)  
"Run. Rejoice. Remember. Every year on the weekend before Veterans Day, Denver comes together to celebrate and commemorate our nation's heroes. There will be a run, remembrance ceremony, parade and festival." Learn event information here
turkey trotMile High United Way Turkey Trot (November 26)
"Run your yams off at the 42nd Annual Mile High United Way Turkey Trot! Run or walk the 4-mile course at Denver's beautiful Washington Park or do the quarter mile Family Fun Run with the kids. There will be lots of family fun, activities, fun booths, freebies and a beer garden all for a great cause!" Register here

Downtown Denver Grand Illumination (November 27) 
"As part of Downtown Denver's Winter in the City program, at 6 p.m. on Nov 27, 2015 Downtown Denver's Grand Illumination event will light up Downtown, from Denver Union Station to the City and County Building. Following a countdown shortly after 6:30 p.m., Denver Union Station will be ablaze with brightly colored floodlights illuminating the historic structure in the heart of Lower Downtown and its lighted tree in front". Read on here

The Nutcracker (November 28 - December 27) 
"Children and adults will enjoy Colorado Ballet's 55th annual production of The Nutcracker, featuring fantastic characters, brilliant dancing, exquisite sets, dazzling costumes, timeless choreography and Tchaikovsky's extraordinary arrangement performed live by the Colorado Ballet Orchestra.  This enchanting production brings the timeless story to life and transports audiences to lands of wintertime magic and delicious sweets.  Whether it is your first time or 55th, you and your entire family will adore Colorado's most spectacular holiday tradition." Purchase tickets here

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Oct. 25, 2015

October 2015 Market Happenings

Every quarter we are proud to bring to you the latest Denver Metro Price Change Map. This tool is created and developed by Your Castle Real Estate and the New Era Group to give you a clear sense of current real estate trends in each metro Denver neighborhood. For the first time, we can look inside each neighborhood and see what the real estate market looks like at a hyper-local level so you can make a better decision whether you're buying, selling or investing. Please take a moment to click on this link to open a high resolution version of the map below. You will want to zoom in to make the price change data more readable. I think you will find it very interesting!

Understanding the Denver Metro Price Change Map

Here's how to read the map. Pick a neighborhood that interests you, say Wash Park East. During the past 12 months in Wash Park East the average Days on Market (DOM) for a listed property was 34. There has been a 21 percent price increase in the past year, and the average sold price was $963,000. There were 153 sales in this time period, and currently there are only 28 active properties for sale. There are only 2.2 Months of Inventory (MOI). 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 very low which will help sellers in the neighborhood. With currently only 2.2 MOI (6 months of supply is a balanced market) this is a red hot neighborhood.

Let's look at another neighborhood. In Chaffee Park, the DOM is 17 and there has been a 20 percent rise in home prices in the past year. The average sale price is $260,000 and during the previous 12 months there have been 103 sales. Currently there are six active properties and there are only 0.7 MOI. What this tells us is that Chaffee Park, like Wash Park East, is a super strong neighborhood with rising prices and low inventory.

Look for your neighborhood, and hopefully you find this tool helpful. 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.

We are Here to Serve You!

As always, we would like to take a moment and say thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with you. Every client is special to us, and it's a pleasure and a privilege to serve your real estate needs. Please always feel free to contact us anytime if you have any questions or thoughts about the real estate market. We love to talk about it!

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Oct. 19, 2015

The Not So Joyful Fire Pit

fire pit

There is nothing better on a cool autumn night than lighting up the fire pit in the backyard and gathering together friends for a relaxing time of conversation and fun. Or is there? The fact is, in Denver, open fires are illegal and so are fire pits and chimineas. Actually, the use of fire pits have been illegal in Denver for quite some time, but most people don’t know the rules.

The Denver Fire Department responds to many calls about backyard fires and while most of the time the offenders are simply asked to put them out, there are also some pretty hefty fines that can be levied. This can be very confusing to many residents because they see them all the time, but solid fuel fires are not only dangerous but also can cause health problems. The code states that built in fire pits, portable structures and chimineas are illegal to use.

What’s the Danger?

As fall approaches and we begin to enjoy the cooler and dryer weather it is very tempting to have a small fire pit in the backyard. However, burning embers are the cause of many house fires and have been proven to start larger brush fires. In addition, according to Families for Clean Air wood smoke is more damaging than second hand cigarette smoke and can cause problems with people with asthma and result in cancer. Huddling around a backyard fire may seem like the perfect way to spend an evening, but inherently it can also be hurting your children and guests.

But Everyone is Selling Them

What contributes to the confusion is the proliferation of retail stores selling fire pits, chimineas and do-it-yourself plans. The retailers don’t have to tell you, and in most cases won’t mention that open solid fuel fires in Denver are illegal. It is your responsibility to know the laws for your area. So while you mull over the many options available, and eventually put one in your backyard, a visit from your local fire department can quickly result in money wasted and even a fine.

So What do You Do?

First and foremost before making any purchase check with your local fire department to see what the rules and laws are for your area. It is much better to discover what is allowed before you waste money and time. There may be options for area that will still allow you to enjoy the time on your backyard patio without causing danger to yourself or others. While it may be tempting to try to get away with it, the consequences can be severe.

If it is your dream to have a house with an inviting backyard that includes a fire pit we urge you to give us a call. Our expert knowledge about Denver neighborhoods can help you target areas where you can find the house of your dreams with the amenities you want. Call us at 303-991-9878 or click here to arrange an appointment.

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Oct. 16, 2015

Getting Spooky in Denver

halloweenDenver is alive with a flourish of activity all year long. Halloween is clearly no exception. This mile-high town is the place to get your fright on, regardless of age. Denver Botanic Gardens, one of the city’s true gems, hosts a fantastic corn maze on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Chatfield location. Lest you think it be just corny and mazing, Denver Botanic Gardens pulls out all the stops for this, the ghouliest of days. There are hayrides, a huge selection of food vendors, pony rides and, of course, breathtaking horticulture for those not as beguiled by the darker arts. Halloween night even promises a zombie ball!

Get Wild This Halloween

Why not share this year’s ghastly activities with wild animals? And, no, we’re not talking about your college roommate! On October 25th and 26th the Denver Zoo has over 20 trick-or-treat stations, entertainment under the gorgeous fall foliage, and animal demonstrations. Join us for the 31st “Boo at the Zoo” event! This is a great event for families.

Get Your Scare On

How can you go wrong with an event called the ”Haunted Field of Screams?” As the largest haunted event in Denver, it boasts of a 35-acre cornfield, open the entire month of October. For maximum frightful enjoyment, there are three different attractions within the Haunted Field of Screams. The title attractions are, Haunted Field of Screams, Dead Man’s Night Maze and Zombie Paintball Massacre. Who doesn’t love zombie paintball?  Run, don’t walk, as all events start at sundown.

Some Adult Entertainment

Burlesque, or shall we say “Boo-Lesque,” never gets old! Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, Colorado’s favorite burlesque venue, gathers its entire Clock Tower Clockettes to deliver a show replete with vampires, witches, zombies and a special appearance from The Blob. Naughty Pierre hosts this thrilling show with jugglers, aerial feats, comedy.

Well, if you’ve already donned your costume, you might as well spend the final day of October at the Denver Halloween Costume Ball. If you win the “Best of the Ball” costume contest, you could have $1000 dollars to spend in the beautiful mile-high city. There will be live DJs, Halloween entertainment and more in the Grand Ballroom of the Sherman St. Event Center. Need to get your dance on? There will be a Thriller Flash Mob!

Visit Molly Brown

Arguably Denver’s most famous resident, Molly Brown, is drawing even more crowds on Halloween. Victorian Horrors XXII offers a host of costumed actors to reenact some of literatures more horrifying stories. Gothic literature by Edgar Allan Poe, Mary Shelley and HG Wells will terrify you, as it comes to life on weekends (October 16-17 and 23-24) in October at the Molly Brown House Museum. If you just can’t get enough of the amazing Molly Brown, you are cordially invited to enjoy a spot of tea at “Skeletons in the Wardrobe Tea.” At both 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., you will be delighted by Victorian Halloween traditions and games, costumes, Victorian tea service at the Victorian and probably haunted Molly Brown House.

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Sept. 27, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor

kids playingWhen most of us start hunting for houses, we start by thinking about factors such as number of rooms, local schools, location and drive time to work. Rarely do we take the time to really consider what type of neighbors we are looking for. Probably more importantly, what kind of neighbors are we. Are we outgoing and want to spend time with our neighbors or are we a bit more reclusive and want a home where we can simply get away? Either way, we need to remember that when we get a new home, we also get new neighbors.

Find a House You Like? Visit Often

One of the best pieces of advice I can give is to visit a house you are interested in as often as possible and at multiple times during the day before you sign a contract. The great thing about Denver is the uniqueness of every neighborhood and you need to find one where you and your family fit in. Go in the morning, the middle of the day and after dark to see what it is like at different times. If possible, visit during the week and on a weekend. If you have children, look for basketball hoops, bicycles and see if children are playing outside together. If you want a quieter neighborhood, go at night and see if anyone plays loud music.

Walk the street, just don’t drive by. If you see someone outside you can introduce yourself and let them know you are thinking of buying a house on the street. You can ask questions like, “Are there many kids on the block?” “Do you have neighborhood block parties?” “Do you have Broncos parties?” Talking with someone who lives there can be very enlightening and give you a more confident feeling about your investment.

Be Proactive

cookiesAlmost everyone has heard that when you are selling your home you should bake cookies to fill the home with a pleasing and comforting scent. I once had a new neighbor that took this to the extra level. I had watched people coming in and out of my best friend’s home after they moved out. I was still sad that this great family had moved away and was a little apathetic as to who would move in next.

I remember even sitting there watching as the moving truck pulled up and took a slight mental inventory as my new neighbors furniture and boxes were moved. I think I even commented, “Wow, they have nice stuff, I bet we never get invited to their house for a BBQ.”  The next day there was a knock on the door and there stood the new family from next door. They had a plate of cookies and big smiles.

They told us they just wanted to say hi and that they knew how important it was to know your neighbors. We introduced our children, who quickly departed for the backyard swing set, and began a relationship that has lasted over the years and through several more moves. Every time we have moved since, we have made the effort to reach out to our neighbors and give them the chance to get to know us.

Be a Good Neighbor

We all want to live next to families that become friends, share our lives and look after our home when we are gone. Being a good neighbor is just as important as finding one. So whether you are welcoming someone new to the block or moving into your dream home, reach out, smile and make some new lifelong friends.

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