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Jan. 23, 2015

What to do in February in Denver 2015

Did you know that In 1902, the police at Denver Union Station started enforcing a "no kissing" rule on platforms because it slowed down the trains? We hope nothing slows you down as you explore a few exciting activities our city has to offer this February!

RunDenver Series (February 1 and 8)
The RunDenver Series is "the original Colorado run/walk series with five great events!" The winter months can be hard to stay fit, so keep yourself motivated by signing up for some fun February runs in Washington Park — the SuperBowl 5K and the Valentine's Day 5k!  Learn more here.
 
Cinderella (February 3 - 15)
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical showing at the Buell Theater and is "delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love: the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more — plus some surprising new twists!" Click here to purchase tickets.
 
Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton (February 6 - 7)
This new symphonic event "features Danny Elfman's famous film scores brought to life on stage by the orchestra, enhanced by visuals of Tim Burton's original film sketches, drawings and story boards on the big screen."  Click here to buy tickets!

Colorado Garden & Home Show (February 7 - 15)
Enjoy our region's "oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show — where you can find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement".  Register here.
 
Valentine's Weekend at Comedy Works (February 12 - 15)
Choose a "Swinging Single" ticket or a "Lovers Delight" package for one of their shows featuring Juston McKinney or Daniel Sloss this Valentine's day! Click here for tickets.
 
Downtown Horse and Carriage Ride 
Need ideas for Valentine's Day? "Take a quintessential romantic ride through downtown Denver. Sit up high snuggled under a blanket in a Cinderella carriage drawn by magnificent draft horses. As you slowly clip-clop along the streets, you'll get a different perspective of the sights and lights of downtown Denver.   Learn more here.

Valentine's Day Brunch (February 14) 
 "Take Valentine's Day to new heights by enjoying a hands-on cooking class with someone special.  Enjoy an afternoon crafting delicious and simple dishes perfect for a brunch buffet.  Enjoy quality time with you sweetie while learning how to host an elegant brunch at home."   Learn more here.

Denver's 11th Annual Restaurant Week (February 20 - March 1)
During the 10-day-long Denver Restaurant Week,  "hundreds of Denver's top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for the tasty price of $30 per person". Learn details here.

The Denver Zoo Summer Safari Camps (Registration has begun!)
Be a zooper hero this summer! At this camp, kids will get outside and get active exploring our connections to nature. Campers participate in "hands-on activities, zoo exploration, animal encounters and observations, crafts, games, stories, projects and more." Learn how to register for a camp here.
 
Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche
Head to the official Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche websites to view their upcoming schedules and purchase tickets to cheer on our home teams!

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Jan. 21, 2015

January 2015 Market Happenings

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!  Now, with the New Year well underway, it's the perfect time to talk about what I think the real estate market will look like in 2015. So let's jump right in...

  1. Average Home Price: The average price of a home in metro Denver leapt 11 percent in 2014, hitting an all-time high. I believe 2015 will be almost as strong with an average price increase of 6-8 percent and here's why: The number one driver of home price change is the amount of inventory on the market. In 2007 we had a peak of 31,000 properties on the market and prices DROPPED 14 percent, while in 2014 we averaged 8,000 properties on the market and prices ROSE 11 percent. For the past several years we have had record low inventory in metro Denver with absolutely no sign of it increasing. Until it does there will continue to be tremendous upward pressure on prices as demand outstrips supply. Where will the new supply of home inventory come from? It won't be bank-owned properties or shortsales. After five long years of downturn our economy is in full recovery and a better economy means fewer distressed properties. The additional supply will eventually come from home owners who finally realize what a great market it is and decide to put their home up for sale. But when this will happen is anyone's guess. People have been predicting this would happen for years now but it hasn't. Part of the issue is an interesting Catch 22 where many potential sellers look at the market and think they can't find their dream home because of the lack of inventory in the market... therefore they don't put their homes on the market... thereby contributing to the lack of inventory. I frankly don't see any reason to think this will change any time soon. Low inventory and rising prices are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  2. Number of Homes Sold: This one caught us all by surprise. Every real estate expert in town assumed that with a tight market the number of homes sales would rise in 2014 but it didn't. There was actually a decrease in the number of homes sold year over year because there was just so little inventory on the market to buy. So while prices went up, the number of sales actually went down. I don't see any major change in 2015. I expect a 3-5 percent increase in home sales over 2014, if only because our Denver metro population is rising 1.5+ percent per year and all these people need to live somewhere. 
  3. The Condo Market: Incredibly enough the condo market did even better than the single-family home market in 2014! Just like for the single-family home market I don't see any evidence that would lead me to believe this will change any time soon. The inventory has been at rock bottom for years and until more condo inventory comes on the market prices will continue to rise. 
  4. The Investor Market: I think the real estate investor market will remain strong. The fix and flip market will continue to be profitable for those who can find underpriced homes to buy and repair. They're out there but it takes tools, patience, and work to find them. Once you get one fixed up, selling is the easy part because of the lack of competing inventory. The buy-and-hold market will continue to be extremely generous to long-term investors. Interest rates and vacancy rates are still at record lows and rents are skyrocketing. It's not difficult to buy a rental property in today's environment and put it on the path to be paid off in 12-15 years. For building long-term wealth it's tough to compete with rental property ownership. That's the one thing that never changes.

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Jan. 19, 2015

Beating the Traffic In and Around Denver

car to goGetting from Here to There

One of the main complaints of living in an urban area such as the Denver Metro has to deal with congested traffic. This necessitates, not only a strong infrastructure of public transportation, but ample alternatives to the “one car for one person” scenario. Denver, like many large cities, is one you could easily live in without owning a car.

RTD

RTD, or Regional Transportation District, is the public transportation entity providing bus and light rail options in 8 of the 12 counties comprising the Denver Metro area. The RTD has light rail and buses that cover over 2,000 square miles and employs about that many people, as well! There is even a new project, slated to be complete by 2044, that will add 122 miles of new light rail and 18miles of bus transit service. It will also add 21,000 additional parking spaces at the rail and bus stations. Most smartphones have apps that can let the user know the closest station, and the RTD schedules are clear and easy to understand. Plan your next commute by clicking here.

Bcycle

Lugging a bicycle up and down stairs may not be the most ideal way to get your cardiovascular exercise. In addition, damage and theft are concerns even in the safest of cities. That is where Bcycle comes in. Denver bicyclists join the Bcycle family through memberships. There are different membership levels. If you are just visiting Denver, you can just join for 24 hours for $9. If you are a Denver resident, then you can choose between a $15 monthly membership or an annual one for $90. This will allow you to pick up a bike at any Bcycle station and return it to the station closest to your destination.  The Denver Bcycles come with some added bonuses, like mileage and calorie counters and keeping track of the emissions you are NOT producing!

Car2Go

Car2Go is a wonderful option for those visiting Denver or those who don’t own a car. Much like the Bcycle, it is a car-sharing membership-based program. The one time set up fee is an affordable $35 plus tax. Then you get a card that will open any Car2Go. You are charged a 41 cents a minute, which is set at a maximum of $15 an hour or $85 a day. $85 a day may seem steep, but if you consider the convenience of leaving it anywhere, rather than driving it back to a rental company, it may be just what your certain situation needs. In addition, Car2Go pays for ALL the insurance and the gas. What’s more, is that if your car has less than ¼ of a tank, there is a prepaid gas card above the touch screen on the dash. If you fill up the tank with money that is already prepaid, Car2Go will give you 20 free minutes! This beats having to pay for gas, and it alleviates the hassle of car maintenance if you live close enough to most amenities not to need a car.

Get Out and Enjoy Yourself

Denver’s skyline is among the most beautiful in the nation. Though, the congestion of a big city can be daunting. That’s why Denver has gone out of its way to help travelers and commuters enjoy the landscape without growing weary from the trip. So grab an alternative form of transport and enjoy what the city has to offer without the hassle of traffic or parking.

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Jan. 9, 2015

A Great Denver Tradition - The National Western Stock Show

stock showFeeling a bit snowed in? For over a hundred years, crowds in Denver have been rushing to the National Western Stock Show. Not only is it a fantastic event for the whole family, the proceeds to go providing scholarships in agriculture and medicine to those people planning to practice in rural and under served areas. The event is filled with activities, runs for 16 days and hosts over 650,000 attendees.

You and your friends can expect to see a variety of livestock, ranging from horses to yaks; from bison to alpacas. This Denver event boasts the only carload and pen cattle show, taking place in the Denver Union Stockyards. In addition to the livestock offerings, the National Western Stock Show hosts over 350 vendors, selling products like jewelry, agriculture equipment and clothing.

Get Your Rodeo On!

In addition to all of these eye-catching exhibits, there is a pro rodeo and horse show! Each evening, the rodeo has a different theme and attracts different attendees. There is Military Appreciation night where they honor past and present members of the Armed Forces. The Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza includes: bareback riding, Mariachis, trick roping and Mexican style bull riding. It has been a feature of the National Western Stock Show in Denver for over 20 years.  These are only two of the many nights of amazing rodeo entertainment.

A Horse Lovers Paradise

Horse exhibitors from all over the United States gather in Denver at one of the most premier horse venues. The National Western Events Center hosts such notable horse attractions as: American Paint Horse Show, Quarter Horse Show, the Mule and Draft Horses shows, and much more. In addition, there are contests and shows for hunters and jumpers that include horses from all breeds. Lest you think the festivities end there, the National Western Events Center also hosts a Wild West Show, a Night of Dancing Horses and the Free Style Reining exhibition.

Western Art for Everyone

This stock show has something for everyone in the family. If you don’t like rodeos, trade shows, booths, horses or livestock, there is also a large collection of Western art pieces. The Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale is one of the finest collections of contemporary Western realism pieces. Though the subject matter of most of the artwork is the Western portion of the United States, the artists hale from United States, Canada and even Europe.

Enjoy the Show!

From wool spinning and judging to calf catching, the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO has something for everyone. With over two weeks completely filled with events, it has promised to entertain the family since 1906. It takes place in January each year, promising a break from the frigid weather that keeps us trapped in doors. Put on your boots, get in the car and join 650,000 of your closest friends to begin this next year off with a bang. Check out the schedule and get all the information you need here.

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Dec. 29, 2014

New Year’s Parties Denver Style

holiday lights16th Street Mall

Denver, being a thriving metropolis, promises to be the “place to be” this and every New Year’s Eve. Along the 16th Street Mall, one of Denver’s most prized attractions in itself, there will be entertainers from 9pm to Midnight. These amazing performers include: magicians, balloon artists, jugglers, clowns, stilt walkers, mascots, and even comedians will be there to help us ring in the New Year! The main attraction, the fireworks displays, will begin at 9pm and midnight. So, those of us with small children or early bedtimes don’t have to miss out on the festivities, not to mention being able to “avoid” some of the inebriated drivers who are sure to be on the roadways promptly after midnight. Just in case, there is imbibing listed on your to do list, the RTD will NOT be running their normal routes through the 16th street mall from 8pm to 1am, AND the 16th Street Mall Shuttle will stop while each firework display is going on. So, plan a crisp, clean early morning walk to the nearest “open” RTD stop. For information on parking and local restaurants, click here.

Denver Union Station

Now that the Union Station in Denver has been completely renovated, it is time for the FIRST Annual Bootlegger’s Ball. It is from 8pm to Midnight and takes place in the 100-year-old Great Hall and Cooper Lounge. The entire party is 1920’s themed, celebrating Denver Union Station’s rich and robust history. Each guest will receive complimentary bubbles and one amazing countdown! Admission tickets grant you access to the Terminal Bar and Great Hall, VIP access to the underground “speakeasy,” light hors d’oeuvres and desserts, as well as three drink tickets. There will be dancing and even a live DJ! Denver’s free bus services and light rail will be available ALL night, complements of the RTD. Denver’s Union Station will have events all through the coming year, as well. To plan your 2015, visit the Denver Union Station website.

Syntax Physic Opera

Tired of the 16th Street Mall? Over Union Stations? Why not spend your last day of 2014 at the Syntax Physic Opera at the HOWL: A NEW YEAR WAKE & REVIVAL gala? Their program goes from 7:30pm all the way until 2am! Howl will introduce its FOURTH installment of this year. The titillating and intriguing theme for this year has been early 20th-century medicine side shows! Please come dressed in your finest Old West, Victorian, Steampunk or evening attire. There will be wonderful food and authentic, turn of the century “adult” beverages, and there may be some snake oil to cure what ails ya! There is even going to be Tarot Card reading and a sound booth so you can record your New Year’s Resolutions onto vinyl!  It will answer why The Vinyl District called this event the pioneer in New Year’s Eve celebrations.  To see other events throughout the night, click here.

Butterfly Pavilion

If 2014 has tired you out, who says you have to stay up until midnight? After all, this is America! Swing or fly on over to the Butterfly Pavilion for their Noon Year’s Eve celebration. The Children’s Museum of Denver is even moving locations to count down 2014 at the Pavilion. There will be balls dropping, bubbles wafting and confetti floating, BUT at noon, instead of midnight. Balls will drop every half hour from 9:30 to 4:30, and if you are already a Children’s Museum member, this whole shindig is FREE!

So, as you can see, a Denver native or even an out-of-town visitor will be at no loss for entertainment as we say, “good bye” to 2014. Come join the Mile High City, with all its eclectic flare, in ringing in a fantastic 2015!

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Dec. 16, 2014

What to do in January in Denver 2015

happy new yearWe hope you are looking forward to the New Year ahead! Speaking of looking forward, we hope this blog gives you a jump start on planning for what Denver has to offer in January, and may your 2015 get off to a fun and healthy start!

The Resolve 5k/10k (January 3)
Come join the third race in the City Park Winter Running series and start your New Year off right. What do you resolve to be in 2015?  Register here. 
 
National Western Stock Show (January 10 - 25)
The National Western Stock Show is something to look forward to every January. The "16-day show serves as an entertainment arena, hosting one of the world's richest regular season professional rodeos, the 'Super Bowl' of Livestock Shows, nationally recognized Horse Shows and Colorado's largest Western Trade Show."  Click here for all the details!

Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche (January)
Cheer on our home teams this January! There are lots of opportunities this month to attend a game at the Pepsi Center. Click here to view their upcoming schedule and purchase tickets.
 
Whales: Giants of the Deep (Now - February 16)
There is still time to visit this exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science where you can "enter the underwater world of whales, discover how their bodies work and observe their extraordinary lifestyle".  Plan your visit here.
 
The 34th Annual Colorado Indian Market and Southwest Showcase (Jan. 23 - 25)
Enjoy dazzling displays of art and world class performances. Each day there are "amazing, delightful and fun special attractions" and fun for the whole family. Learn details here.

Martin Luther King Day in Denver (January 19)
Celebrate the largest Martin Luther King Jr. march and rally in the United States. Participants gather at City Park and march to Civic Center Park, where a large rally commemorates the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Learn more here.
 
Dancing Pros: Live (January 23 - 24) 
"The world's finest dancers will battle it out on stage in Dancing Pros: Live! and the audience will choose the winner. For the first time together on stage, see professional dancers from 'Dancing with the Stars,' 'So You Think You Can Dance' and dance champions from around the world compete with one another for top prize.  Learn more here.

Cirque Musica (January 30 - 31)
Cirque Musica "takes audiences on a musical journey to a land of dazzling beauty, mystery and suspense. The show blends the grace and thrills of the world's greatest circus performers with stunning symphonic music from classical, pops and popular repertoire".  Click here for tickets.

Icelantic Winter on the Rocks (January 30)
Now one of Colorado's most iconic events, "Icelantic's Winter on the Rocks ushers in its fourth concert with Major Lazer and Damian Marley live at Red Rocks Amphitheater.  Buy tickets here.

Rosanne Barr (February 21 - 22)
This event is not until February, but the first show is already sold out! So, if you are interested in seeing Rosanne live at the Comedy Works, buy your tickets today!  Click here for information.

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Dec. 16, 2014

December 2014 Market Happenings

 

Every December I like to review what the real estate market experienced in the past year and see where we think it'll head in the New Year. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with what we've experienced in the past 12 months and am bullish on the future. I expect the economy to continue to improve and our metro Denver housing market to stay strong but, critically, not overheat. Here are a few different metrics I use to evaluate the market and help you understand it better. For each, I'll briefly describe what 2014 looked like and where I think we're headed.

Market strength - 2014 was a strong sellers' market. We still have near record low inventory of homes for sale which is keeping the demand for housing strong. Prices are up about 9 percent in 2014 making homeowners (and real estate investors!) very happy. I expect 2014 to continue to be a sellers' market but I see no sign of a major imbalance in the market that could lead to any sort of ugly peak and crash. Overall, I expect home prices to continue to rise but a somewhat slower pace in 2015, about the long-term average of 6 percent.

Rental Vacancies - The rental market is as strong as it has ever been in metro Denver. The vacancy rate for 1-4 unit properties is at a near record low 2 percent. Rents are rising faster than they ever have in the past. As a result of the rising rents, we are beginning to see more renters deciding it's time to buy instead of suffering through continual rent increases and tougher application processes. In addition, more and more homeowners who experienced hardships during the downturn, lost their homes and have been renting ever since, are now able to purchase a home again as their ability to finance a purchase recovers. This is great news for the market and will certainly lead to more sales in 2015, continuing to support our sellers' market. It's very interesting to study the relationship between the rental market and the sales market: the tighter the rental market, the faster rents go up, the more likely renters are going to become buyers, the more it strengthens the sales market.

Interest rates - We had a big jump in interest rates in June 2013 as the economy showed signs of improvement. But, much to everyone's surprise it didn't put much of a damper on the housing market. Since then rates have drifted downward helping to keep homes relatively affordable. No one knows exactly what interest rates will do in the future, despite what all the screeching cable news networks say! I foresee continued improvement in the economy, both locally and nationally, over the next year so my best guess is that interest rates may rise a little in 2015, but only a little. 2015 is still going to be a great year to buy a home. Someday down the road we'll see interest rate hikes, but for the foreseeable future I don't predict any major jump in rates.

The Economy - Let's talk a bit more about the economy. The metro Denver economy is very strong, with unemployment down to 4.7 percent. Despite the fear of a spike in inflation it has stayed extremely low, in the range of 1-2 percent. Consumer confidence is at its highest point in five years and will continue rising. Nothing can be better for our housing market than a slowly but surely improving economy. In a steadily improving economy buyers and sellers behave rationally and buy and sell in a controlled environment, based on solid personal, financial, and economic reasons. At the same time it avoids the problems associated with an overheated market where prices pop then crash like we experienced during the last downturn. This is what real estate market dreams are made of.

When all's said and done, I can't wait for 2015!

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Dec. 12, 2014

Home Safety Tips to Prepare for the Holidays

As you hang your stockings by the chimney with care and hopes of St. Nick float in the air, it’s important to be aware of the common holiday hazards that can be present this time of year. To help you prepare your home with a safe environment that minimizes accidents and welcomes holiday cheer, take time this season to check off the following safety tips from your holiday to-do list.  

Check Fire Alarms

As the holidays approach, the City and County of Denver warn about the potential danger for residential fires from decorative lights, candles, cooking and decorations. To ensure that you’re alerted properly of any possible fire dangers, make sure to change your fire alarms’ batteries and check for proper functionality.

Service Heating Elements

As temperatures in Denver continue to dance around the freezing mark and as you host guests this holiday season, your heating appliances – furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, ovens, etc. – will be working overtime. To ensure proper functionality and alleviate the need for emergency service calls, change filters and check all of the heating elements in your house before you kick off your holiday celebrations.

Decorate Safely

Candles, trees, outdoor lights and decorations can illuminate your holiday spirit. But, these common holiday decorations also can be a common cause for emergency room visits, property loss and damage. To ensure you have a happy and safe holiday, check all of your lights for possible shorts or damage prior to hanging, follow proper Christmas tree selection and care, and never leave an open flame from candles, fireplaces or on the stove unattended.

Establish Package Safe Drop

Whether you choose to do your holiday shopping online or you’re waiting for presents to arrive from out-of-town relatives, the holiday season can bring a lot of activity to your front door as mailing services deliver packages on a daily basis. Keep your packages safe from possible thieves and wet weather by placing a locked box at your front door for packages or arranging for an at-home neighbor to accept your packages if you’re away during the day.

Dog and Child Proof your Home for the Holidays

From sharp holiday tree needles to candy cane decorations and electrical lights hanging throughout your home, there are more opportunities for pets and young children to get into hazardous items this time of year. When you’re decorating and preparing for the holiday season, keep toxic and dangerous items out of harm’s way for both your children and your pets. And, if you have plans to attend holiday parties with your family, pay extra attention to possible hazardous items that may be easily accessible to your children.

For additional holiday safety tips, the City and County of Denver offer many useful suggestions in a pdf here to help keep you and your family safe from possible hazards and fires this season. As you prepare for a joyous holiday season, your expert Denver metro real estate agents at New Era Group wish you and your family a happy and safe upcoming holiday season!

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Dec. 6, 2014

A Little Wild in Colorado

tigerseDid you know that more tigers live as ‘pets’ in Texas than they do in the wild? Sadly, many of these exotic pets, particularly the large carnivores are abused, abandoned, illegally kept or exploited. And every year people are killed by their own captive wild animals because they are not properly housed or because people are put in unsafe situations with these animals by their owners. The illicit exotic animal trade is one of the largest sources of illegal profits in the world today, just after illegal drugs and weapons.

It’s a dream life here in Colorado

Wild Animal SanctuarySo what happens to all these animals? Well, of the more than 30,000 captive animals, a few thousand are rescued by places like the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado. The 720 acres of rolling grasslands (with more room to grow) provides habitats for lions, bears, wolves, tigers, foxes, porcupines, ostriches, llamas, bobcats and more. Established in 1980, the Wild Animal Sanctuary has responded to nearly 1,000 requests from private citizens and government agencies to rescue animals from across the US and Mexico.

For these sadly and badly treated animals, the Wild Animal Sanctuary is their retirement home. Here they are rehabilitated and introduced into open fields where they are fed, cared for and allowed to live out the rest of their lives in peace. This non-profit organization is dedicated to saving, rehabilitating and educating.

When the animals are first brought into the sanctuary, they are almost all terrified of humans. They are treated, vaccinated and placed in large pens alone alongside other pens that fan out into a 360 circular opened-partitioned area. They aren’t cages, rather fenced in and each animal can see the other. Eventually, as the animals become socialized they are paired up. They remain paired up for some time and are introduced little by little into larger groups where they soon will live out the rest of their lives in open fields.

Observed from above

We’ve all noticed how tigers and other animals at zoos and circuses tend to pace in a single pattern over and over in their cages. This is due to them being territorial. With people at eye-level these large animals feel threatened and pace neurotically because of it. But at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, visitors observe the animals from above on 40-foot platforms where the animals psychologically don’t register threats. It’s an amazing experience to see such grand animals. And your heart goes out to them knowing that all of them came from an abused and neglected life at the hand of a person at a roadside stand, circus, magic act, traveling show in substandard situations, many boxed into tiny cages their entire life.

Come see for yourself. They are open for visitors all year round, daily, from 9am-4pm, except on major holidays and bad weather. During the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day they have extended hours from 9am-sunset. Here is more info on the Wild Animal Sanctuary.

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Nov. 22, 2014

Don’t Fear the Cold this Winter

There is one simple ritual that strikes fear into homeowners the most. It often goes unnoticed, as a seasonal event, one that seems innocuous at first, but can quickly cause even the most experienced to shiver with a cold chill. Quite simply, it is that first day in the fall when the thermostat is changed from cooling to heating. This simple act not only sets in motion preparations for winter and the fluctuations so common in Denver’s climate, but also highlights the current condition of the house.

Comfortable Homes

Fortunately, as mature adults, we do not need to be afraid of old man winter and his snow and wind. There are several easy things you can do to hold back the cold and keep your living space warm and cozy all year round without constantly running your heater. These few simple tricks may even save you enough money to enjoy a few nights at your favorite restaurant or club.

Simple Steps to Warm Your Denver Home

Perhaps one of the easiest and most forgotten tricks is to use your ceiling fan. While it is fantastic to keep you cool on hot summer days, it also can help warm a room in the winter. Reverse the fan to move clockwise in the winter. This will push the warm air gathered at the ceiling to the spaces below. This is especially effective in rooms with tall ceilings.

Change your filters. Ok, this one is a no-brainer, but it is important to change your filters often during the winter. Not only does this cut down on dust and allergens from a closed house, but is also allows the furnace to work more efficiently, which enables it to heat the house at less cost.

Check around your windows for gaps. While many manufacturers will tempt you to replace your windows to save money, many times you just need to check the gaps around the windows to make sure air isn’t coming into the house. First make sure the windows close all the way. Having them open in the summer is great but it also allows dust and dirt to build up which can affect function.

Secondly on a cold day, light a candle (be careful) and hold it near the edge of the windows to see if any air is coming into the house. If it flickers or wavers you can use caulk to seal the problem areas. Another remedy is to pick up and install a relatively inexpensive plastic window kit. If there is a large amount of air seeping through you can also use insulation or expanding foam placed around the frame.

Here are some more inexpensive tips for prepping your home for winter:

 

Enjoy the Seasons in Denver

One of the best things about owning a home in the Denver area is the change of seasons. Winter is not a time of year to dread, but rather to enjoy. Getting your home ready is just part of living close to the mountains and enjoying a great way of life. If you are considering selling your home this winter, contact us to find the best way to warm up your house for a quick sale!

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