Denver Real Estate Blog
I know we ordinarily do Real Estate and Denver News on our blog, but in light of the terrible tragedy with the Black Forest Fires we wanted to share some information about the various ways we can all help our Friends and Neighbors affected by this terrible tragedy. This is being called one of the worst fires in Colorado History and hundreds have lost their homes. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those affected.
Here are some of the ways we can help our neighbors:
The Salvation Army of Colorado Springs and El Paso County is collecting water, sports drinks and monetary donations. To make a monetary donation: Iamsalvationarmy.org, 719-636-3891, send a check to, or drop off a check at, 908 Yuma St. Colorado Springs, CO 80909.
The Pikes Peak American Red Cross is requesting financial donations: www.redcross.org (click "DONATE"); 1-800-RED-CROSS; or text "redcross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, which will be added to your next phone bill.
Those wishing to donate nonperishable food items for fire victims in Black Forest can bring them to area Care and Share Food Bank facilities from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m: 2605 Preamble Point, Colorado Springs, 528-1247; and 100 Greenhorn Drive, Pueblo, 296-6995. Items needed include canned and boxed meals and snack items. To make a monetary donation: www.careandshare.org (indicate that the donation is for "fire response") or text "donate" to 41010 to make a $10 donation, which will be added to your next phone bill. Volunteers can register at www.careandshare.org/GetInvolved/Volunteer.aspx.
To make a donation of any amount to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation's Emergency Relief Fund, launched Tuesday to benefit nonprofits providing local disaster relief, visit www.ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off of last year's Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility.
Those wishing to donate to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region's emergency support fund, which helps families and their animals during natural disasters, can do so at www.hsppr.org/disasterdonation. Funds can be designated for the Black Forest fire via drop-down box on the donation form. Those wishing to donate specific items or volunteer can visit www.hsppr.org for an up-to-date list of needs. - Monetary donations are needed to support the animals being housed at the Norris-Penrose Events Center. Donations - which will go toward electricity, water and more hay - can be sent to Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo Foundation, c/o Rob Alexander, Stockmens Bank, 601 N. Nevada Ave., 80903. The foundation is a nonprofit organization.
Mercy's Gate, formerly known as Northern Churches Care, is seeking financial donations to help provide fire victims with emergency financial assistance, gas vouchers, food, gift cards and more. To make a monetary donation: www.mercysgatecs.org or send check to Mercy's Gate, P.O. Box 26416, Colorado Springs, CO 80936. Food and gift card donations can be made at the organization's food pantry at Calvary United Methodist Church, 4210 Austin Bluffs Parkway; please call ahead so the pantry knows you're coming.
The Sky Sox will accept donations of nonperishable food items such as canned and boxed meals, soups, cereals and snack items to assist in relief efforts. Those who donate will receive a free upper reserved seat voucher for any 2013 home game (except July 4; pending availability).
Battle Bumms, a local organization that provides cloth-diaper starter sets to military families in need, is collecting diapers, wipes, bottles, infant formula, personal hygiene products, blankets, clothes, toys, nonperishable food items and pet food at 1302 Osgood Road from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day daily "until everyone can return home and the fire is out." For updates, visit www.facebook.com/BattleBumms.
Here are some Animal Assistance Centers that you could contact for donations
Rocky Mountain Equine, 481-2749, is matching requests with resources for those needing to move large animals.
Bear Creek Veterinary Care, 960 Pico Point, 685-1177, is taking dogs under 30 pounds, as well as cats. Call to check availability. "There is no charge, and we will keep their pets as long as the evacuation lasts," said the clinic's Stephanie Fernyak via email.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, 610 Abbot Lane, 473-1741, is accepting cats, dogs and other "small critters" from the evacuated area only.
The Elbert County Fairgrounds, 95 Ute Ave., Kiowa, (303) 621-3152, is accepting large animals.
Aavondale Pet Care Center, 17140 Jones Road, Peyton, 683-4617, and neighboring acreages are taking all types of animals, including reptiles, birds, goats and horses. Check availability.
There is also a Facebook page set up to help match rescued pets with their owners. The page is located at https://www.facebook.com/AnimalsOfTheBlackForestFire.
With Denver being the most educated city in the nation, it’s no wonder that Colorado avowals hundreds of libraries. To beat the summer heat, don’t forget your libraries. They are cool, calm and well lit haunts that can take you away from the summer monotony like no other. They also don’t hold long lines, expensive tickets, nor parking headaches. And no matter where you live, there are no long drives because there’s most likely a library near you. It’s simple, get to your local library.
Endless Opportunities Await You!
All libraries hold activities, programs and classes that include adult programs, teen programs, tween programs, family programs, Storytimes, computer classes, tech programs, presentation proposals, book sales, language programs…look, I could go on like this all summer. The point is, you’ve already paid for this summer’s fun at the library, why not punch your ticket. And though you might think that your kids won’t want to feel like they’re in school, libraries and those oh, so amazing creatures, the librarian, have trained to make summer activities exciting and fun for kids. But it’s not just about reading for kids, it’s also about music, rhymes, stories and other activities that aren’t so stuffy or school-like suffocating. Besides keeping your kids sharp for the next school year, librarians cultivate the greatest tool a child holds—their imagination.
Explore Your World at Denver's Historic Libraries
Colorado libraries are just about kids. There are many programs for adults that don’t hold the costs of a university but reap the same benefits—your continual expansion of knowledge. Libraries are a one-stop to all the places in the world. It’s not just the Dewey decimal point system; it’s an archive of all that we are as humans, Coloradoans and sapient beings in the cool air of a soft lit forest of books.
And it’s not just what’s inside libraries, books primarily, but also some of what they are outside as well. Denver’s Public Library is an architectural marvel. Established in June of 1889 in a wing of the Denver High School, the Denver Public Library became a building of its own in 1910. It was built in the Greek Revival style. But it wasn’t until 1990 that the library got its artistic touch from architect Michael Graves and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Nor is it just the façade, but also how you get there. The Golden Library, oldest library operating in Jefferson County, moved its location in 1996 to the Clear Creek Trail to make walking or biking to easy, especially for visitors at the nearby Clear Creek RV campground.
However you decide to get to your local library, get there soon.
Here today, gone tomorrow! That's the moral of the story in the local real estate market. Virtually every offer I have written for clients lately has been a competitive, multiple offer situation and in most cases, the property has sold for over asking price. It's anyone's guess as to when the local market will cool down, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. For those of you who have listed and sold your home with me lately, it doesn't get much better than this does it? In some cases properties are changing hands before they hit the MLS, thus the reason it is important as a buyer to have a well-networked agent like me who is constantly finding "off market" opportunities for my clients! If you are considering buying a home in the next few months, NOW would be a good time to send me your requirements so I can start searching for potential opportunities that may fit your needs. In reality it can take several weeks or months to find a suitable home in this market, so early planning can go a long way for your home search!
The number of active listings in the Denver market remained at a near three-decade low with less than 7,000 active listings in the entire Metro area. This was a slight ~4% increase from April 2013 which is an expected seasonal adjustment in inventory with the summer "high season" right around the corner. Regardless, more properties continue going under contract than listed each month. The number of sold properties increased over 21% from the prior year with average sales prices following suit. The average single family home appreciated nearly 13% from 2012 and the average condo nearly 11%. Homes are selling on average for $336,000 in our local market, while condos are selling for $197,000. How long will it take your home or condo to sell? Bet on 56 days or less based upon MLS averages, which speaks to the strength of the seller's market. Recall that housing supply and demand is considered to be balanced when there is a 180 day inventory of properties on the market. Sellers are clearly in the driver's seat and we are seeing properly marketed listings sell in hours not days!
As I have discussed in previous newsletters, there are numerous factors driving the housing recovery across the nation. Homeownership is the most affordable it has been since the early 70's (when my parents were driving a wood-paneled land barge, AKA Ford station wagon).
Vacancy rates in the rental market continue their plunge as well with the Metro area vacancy rate falling BELOW 1%! Colorado as a whole continues to prosper with 11,600 jobs added in April and unemployment dropping to 6.9% (Denver Business Journal). These and other factors leave us in a tight housing market across the board.
As always, we are up-to-date on the latest market happenings. Please don't hesitate to contact us whenever you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a home!
I'm sure all of you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend and the perfect weather we were blessed with. Things will be heating up in the month of June. Even though we might feel summer-like days in early June, our first official day of summer is June 21st.
Colorado Rockies are doing better than anyone expected. Bring your Dad or favorite guy to watch the Rockies on June 16th for Father's Day. There are several festivals around the metro area this month: Capitol Hill People's Fair, Denver Chalk Art Walk Festival, Denver Greek Festival, Colorado Renaissance Festival, PrideFest, Cherry Blossom Denver Festival, Parker Days, Highlands Square Street Festival, and Westword Music Festival.
For all you beer connoisseurs here is a link to several Beer Festivals in June. There is also the Colorado Brewers Festival in Fort Collins, and Epic Beer Fest in Denver. For the first year, Larimer Square will be shutting down the street one Thursday of every month for Larimer Summer Film Series. If you love Saturday Night Live you might enjoy an original sketch comedy show at the Bovine Metropolis May 31st - June 29th titled America the Unicorn. Feel like getting outside, June 8th is National Get Outdoors Colorado Day. Enjoy the great outdoors with free park entrance fees and more.
If you would like to get outside of the Denver Metro Area, check out these other festival around Colorado: Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Taste of Fort Collins, Frisco BBQ Challenge, and Boulder Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
Feel like the walls in your small, downtown home are closing? Brad Benefiel has options and resources for you.
Brad is an industrial engineer. His jobs very from one-time collaborations in corporate settings, such as a tree house made of steel frame built out of salvaged aluminum and wood for an office space, to designing prom crowns. He’s built exhibits for the Just for Fun Center at the Dunkin Pavilion and for the China and Tut exhibits at the Denver Art Museum. His range from industrial engineer to designer allows for an eclectic reordering for a happy home.
Remodels can be Flawed and out of Balance with Old and New
After a consultation to determine whether you need to build or make more functional use out of what you have, Brad works with partners and has construction people on hand to get whatever it is you need done.
“There are a vast variety of tastes and appeal. One might hate what you love. Individuals are fickle, so make what you want by getting past the idiosyncrasies that may be brought back from childhood.”
Brad does more of the finish work, but he begins by helping you design the layout, install a rough put-in to be fine-tuned, and then looking at how the color plays into your space.
“How people view your space and interact and flow and walk through space are tied together.”
Ultimately it’s about space-saving designs and getting the most use out of your design—think umbrella.
Esthetics, Design, Usability and Practicality Key in Denver Designs
“My work with exhibition designs for the art museum has enabled me to better find usable space. I get an idea of how you want your space to look, and then find a way to get the best out of that space.”
There are many types of multi-use storage as well as redesigning what seems normal, like cabinets whose doors open like garage doors and open upward instead of out, multi-purpose furniture like a kid’s chair with two heights when you flip it over, but on its side it becomes a rocking horse. Or Brad can recreate furniture to fit your space for fun and interactive pieces like a coffee table made out of a foosball table with glass top and wheels that is functional as well as a play table. Perhaps all you need is a small touch up like wine racks, a bar or a functional sculpture that doubles as a bench made through reclaimed material.
“Every project is different. I try to figure out the criteria of their space. As a designer, I want to make things look ecstatically pleasing and feel good as far as ergonomics.”
Some designs can be lifestyle changes. For those oh-so-small kitchens, utilizing a small, under-counter refrigerator allows more counter space and fewer cabinets, but you buy what you need rather than stock pile. Tables can piece together, collapse, fold or be placed next to each other rather than a cumbersome traditional oak table that looks great in a house dining room, but not so much in a 600 sq ft loft. Instead of single chairs, use stackable chairs. With kids, consider loft beds above closet spaces and drawers under the bed, opposed to a single bed and closet squeezed to fit.
“It’s about being happy where you are, designing the space to your comfort and aesthetics. You want to be happy in your home. If you sell, great. But until then, you’re happy.”
Brad is currently working on a the coral reef sub-structure for the Denver Art Museum’s May 26th exhibit for the Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef project. Brad's email is Bradbenefiel.firstname.lastname@example.org
New Era Realty has many resources that can work for you.
When I think of Canada geese, I think Dutch oven. But there’s another thought that pops into mind. A Canada goose will poop 28 times a day. Just 50 geese can produce two and a half tons of muck in a year. With an estimated 3 million Canada geese in the United States, that’s about 1.8 billion pounds of droppings. And geese don’t play well with children, especially during nesting time. It doesn’t help that fewer geese now migrate, preferring to remain permanent residents of parks, golf courses, suburban sub-developments, and other human habitats with an estimated 700 year-round residence just in City Park with cleanup costs running up to $500 to $1,000 a week.
No Need for DTT
Some crafty solutions have been used. Randy Claussen’s Gooseanator, a water landing, neon orange, remote controlled airplane whose weed whacker buzzing chases the geese from the land to the water, and eventually out of parks, all the while never harming a single goose. A more common method is the use of border collies whose markings are similar to those of the native Canada fox, a common predator of the goose. The collie chases the geese into a pond, their safe haven. Then using a remote controlled boat, the geese are chased off the pond. The experience is nerve-racking enough to make geese move on. They are simple solutions and may work for parks, but what about you?
One tool that may work for your yard would be the Helo Hazer or Goose Guardian, also known as a paddle wheel. A small device spins a metal piece and makes a noise that unnerves the geese. No chemicals, little noise from time to time, but very effective.
But if you’d like something more natural try the GooseBuster, a device that uses the naturally recorded ‘alert’ and ‘alarm’ calls to indicate uneasiness or concern or send a danger alert that causes them to evacuate.
Of course, your neighbor may not appreciate the serene natural squawking and honking going off every few minutes. In which case, visual scares can be applied. Spotlights or strobe lights at night harass the geese. You could use predator decoys of coyote on your lawn or a floating alligator head in a pond.
Denver Residents Beware!
No, the Canada Goose will not harm you, maybe leave a bruise, but the law can come down hard on you if any goose is harmed because the Canada Goose is protected and so are their eggs with fines upwards of $10,000. The geese lay eggs between March and June with an incubation period lasting about 23 days. So be cautious, because once they lay their eggs they won’t leave, nor should you try to force them away.
The ground is thawing, the dirt is moving, and builders are jumping on the momentum of the hot Denver real estate market by announcing two new developments just north of the city.
A recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo revealed that builder confidence is at its highest now than it ever has been during the last 6 ½ years, paving the way for the new Midtown neighborhood located just North of downtown and the 25/70 development located in the Denver metro area most commonly known as the Mousetrap (intersection of Interstate 25 and Interstate 70).
Midtown Neighborhood Offers Alternative to Popular Highlands Area
Located just three miles north of the trendy, popular Highlands neighborhood and five miles from Downtown, the new Midtown neighborhood, in the vicinity of 68th Avenue and Pecos, will include 184 acres of mixed-use residential, commercial and retail real estate. The Denver Post recently reported that Brookfield Residential is developing this new neighborhood to offer an affordable alternative to the popular Highlands neighborhood. With initial homes priced in the high $200s, 50 homes are planned for development this year, with a projected total of 1,000 single-family homes, upon the completion of the project. (1) Condo and loft enthusiasts also will be able to call Midtown home with 300 units projected for development in this new up-and-coming north Denver metro neighborhood.
25/70 Development Plans to Transform Industrial Area into Culture-Rich Residential Neighborhood
What was once a Denver manufacturing and warehouse hub will soon be transformed into a second new north metro neighborhood that will infuse art, fashion and food, according to a recent article in The Denver Post. (2) Developers of 25/70 envision building a sought-after area known for its vibrant culture, high-class designed residential and commercial architecture, and close location to Boulder and downtown Denver. With boundaries of Interstates 70 and 25, this new $100 million development will include a mix of multi-family housing, collaborative office space, park areas and entertainment venues.
Fueling the development of these new neighborhood developments in the northern part of the city may be attributed to recent trends of Denver homeowners moving north from the city and specifically to the Adams County area. Data from a recent Denver Post analysis of a U.S. Census Bureau Survey revealed that Adams County saw an increase of more than 5,000 residents per year during the time period of 2006 and 2010. (3) Another consideration for a rise in developments to the North of the city may include the planned expansion of a more diverse transportation network, which will include a mix of light rail, bus routes and biking/walking trail transportation options.
When you are ready to capitalize on the Denver metro area’s hot new developments, contact the team of real estate experts at New Era Realty. Expert agents can help you find your next condo, loft or single-family home in your desired neighborhood and within close proximity to your work and lifestyle needs.
1 The Denver Post, Brookfield Begins Development of Midtown Neighborhood
2 The Denver Post, Denver’s “Mousetrap” to Get High Design Development
3 The Denver Post, Adams County Drawing Residents from Across the Metro Area
The local real estate market kept trucking along at an amazing pace through the first quarter of 2013! It's hard to believe the last time we had this few properties (6,700) on the market were the days when Back to the Future was the top grossing film of the year, New Coke was launched (and failed), and the Titanic wreckage was found. The average home was valued at a whopping $89,000 (the price of a new Range Rover) and interest rates were at 13% (not even my credit card is that bad)! What year was this? 1985! How times have changed! Also consider that we had 1.5 million residents in the Metro area in 1985 compared to 2.7 million residents now. It's no wonder builders can't keep pace with our explosive population growth!
For the first time in many years, the number of properties going under contract (approximately 7,500) exceeded the number of properties listed and available for purchase (6,700). This has led to extreme competion in our marketplace with 42% of homes and condos selling AT OR ABOVE asking price. In fact, Denver is one of the top performing "flash markets" where properties sell within 24 hours of being listed (Denver Post). 6% of homes sell within 24 hours of being listed and 35% sell within a week. The average days on market has fallen 35% from last year as well. Obviously this means big appreciation gains for homeowners!
The average single family home appreciated over 12% from the same time last year and the average condo appreciate nearly 21%. I ask the question, how long will it take our market to overcome a 28 year low of inventory? For buyers, the days of low-ball offers and negotiating heavily on purchases are over, at least for the time-being. Fewer than 11% of properties sell for 5% or more under asking price. As a buyer, if you are looking at a home that was just listed you likely won't stand a chance of purchasing that home unless your offer is at list price or above. And be prepared for bidding wars on most newly listed homes (Denver Business Journal). This is just a reality buyers face, and remember as a buyer you are always protected by the appraisal provision in a contract: If the property doesn't appraise for the contracted price, you don't have to buy it! Sellers, enjoy the ride while it lasts, but remember you need to price your homes realistically or they won't appraise even if you have a buyer on the hook. Then it's back to square one!
As always, we are up-to-date on the latest market happenings. Please don't hesitate to contact us whenever you or someone you know is considering buying or selling a home!
April 2013 lived up to the saying: April showers bring May flowers! It is that time of year to clean out the garden and flower boxes in your yard. Swimming pools are set to open the last weekend of May and summer excitement begins for all ages.
Break out the big hats for the Denver Derby Party, the largest Kentucky Derby party outside of Churchill Downs. Cinco de Mayo celebration kicks off the first weekend of May at the Civic Center Park. Don't forget to do something special for all the women in your life on Mother's Day, May 12th. We would like to honor all of those who are currently active and those who gave their lives to keep our country free and safe by participating in Colorado's Memorial Day Parades & Events.
Weekend Events in the Denver Area
Here are some fun weekend activities to keep you busy around the Denver Metro area: Denver Day of Rock, Five Points Jazz Festival, Indian Market and Powwow, Downtown Denver Arts Festival, South Denver Beer Fest, Boulder Creek Festival, Denver Comic Con, and the Denver Center of Performing Arts. If you are looking to take a weekend away from the city, check out these other weekend events in Colorado: Beaver Creek Blues, Brews, and BBQ, Estes Park Jazz Fest and Art Walk, Pueblo Wild, Wild, West Festival, and the Mountain Film in Telluride.
Get Active for a Good Cause
Get outside, be active, and get conditioned for your summer vacations while supporting a good cause with one of these charity events: Rugged Maniac, Girls on the Run 5K, Colorado Rockies Home Run for the Homeless, Colfax Marathon, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Denver Walk MS, Mother's Day 5K, and the Muddy Mama. Denver Nuggets need your support to beat Golden State for the first round of the playoffs. Hopefully George Karl leads us to victory for the next round of playoffs! Colorado Rockies were predicted to be the worst team in the MLB. Currently the Rockies are in first place in their division. Make sure to enjoy a spring day or evening while supporting our home team. Elitch Gardens and Water World will be opening this month as well.
We hope you enjoy the last month of school and the rest of your Spring for 2013!!
If you’re thinking about moving into a new high rise or a historic home here in Denver but are concerned about the limitations of adding some cool and exciting home technologies, you may want to read further.
Over the past five years, the popularity of affordable flat panel HDTV’s along with the explosive growth of table PC’s has created quite a stir. Suddenly, every one wants to mount their new TV on top of their fireplace and everywhere else in their house. It’s cool, sexy and practical. More and more people are gravitating towards less equipment, less wiring and no clutter. It makes sense after all given some of today’s sleeker home designs.
Innovative Wireless Systems are Perfect for Your Denver Home!
Over the past few years, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts decided to introduce a new and innovative wireless music system that actually leveraged customer’s existing home entertainment system as well as allowing it to expand to anywhere in the home but without all the mess. The good news is that no existing or new wiring is required to make it work. For example, if you already own an existing audio system as most of us do, you can add a new wireless music server, connect it to your home entertainment system and stream millions of songs, local and international radio with a couple of key strokes. Most importantly, you don’t have to purchase any new fancy or expensive system controller. You simply download the Free Software and operate this system using your home computer or any of Apple’s iPhones, iPod Touch, iPad, Droid and even Kindle devices. This way, you are using products that you already own and are comfortable using. For those that do not currently own an existing home audio system, you can start by adding just one of these wireless music servers and expand it up to literally 32 rooms playing the same music or something different in each room at the same time. Finally, these systems only require a few hours to install and program which saves you a lot of money and without running a single speaker wire from one room to another thus avoiding the expense of having to remodel your home.
Modernize Your Home Entertainment Experience
This system is in our opinion the most flexible, innovative and affordable home music system on the market. It is just one example of the types of wireless home technologies now available. If you have an interest in learning more about this system or many other smart home options, here at New Era Realty there is only one individual we trust to recommend to our clients. Please contact Taki Pappas with Wave Designs at 303-522-7383 for a Free In-home Site Survey. You can learn more about him and his services at: www.wave-designs.com
Moral of the story, to have the latest and greatest in smart home technology is ready to go and could be at your fingertips without breaking the bank. Give Taki a call and you will be surprised by how many systems in your home can now be upgraded with little hassle and at an affordable cost.