Denver Real Estate Blog
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.email@example.com
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.
Close to 2.5 million homes in the U.S. are contaminated with crystal meth toxins. Luckily, Colorado is one of 27 states with a meth disclosure law.
If an owner is unaware of a contaminated house and sells it to you, you’re now liable. In turn, when you put the house up for sale, should the buyer find traces of meth, they are obligated to report your home to the state, in which case the state condemns the home until it’s been cleaned and inspected. The cost? Upwards of $10,000 or more.
Just by smoking crystal meth in a room over several periods can render that room toxic. And if you’re looking to buy an apartment, check the building’s history of crystal meth arrests. If your apartment building shares a ventilation system, the entire building may become polluted.
Many times, even if you’ve searched police records, the property may not show as a meth lab house. One way to check is by asking neighbors or by getting a home testing kit. Though kits are not totally reliable, if they read positive, you can be sure the reading is good.
- Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks and showers.
- Blue discoloration on propane tank valves and fire extinguishers.
- Removed or taped off fire detectors.
- Burning of the eyes, itchy throat, a metallic taste in the mouth, or breathing problems when in the home.
- Strong odors of solvent and paint thinner, or odors of cat urine or ammonia.
Not Just Foreclosures
In Colorado Springs, the Tramonto Toscano, a 5,800sqft, $1.5 million mansion in the prestigious Peregrine-Tuscany Heights neighborhood sits empty while the owners litigate the future of the home. The costs to clean up this meth mansion will run in excess of $125,000. The culprit was their 20-year-old son.
Realtors Caught in the Middle
A realtor I know disclosed to me about the home of a prominent radio figure. Rumors filtered to the realtor that the radio celebrity had been a meth smoker. The realtor had the gumption to check it out. What she found was a single room with high enough levels of meth toxins that legally forced her to report it to the state. The house was condemned and she and her company had to foot the bill before the state allowed her to put the home back on the market. It was time consuming and expensive.
Realtors at New Era Realty are taught to look for the telltale signs. But it’s not uncommon for even the best to miss the signs. Be vigilant and aware. Exposure to meth toxins could lead to respiratory illness, central nervous system failure or organ damage.
If you have any suspicions, talk to your realtor.
As Mother Nature does her part of painting trees, tulip leaves and backyard lawns into gorgeous shades of green colors this time of year, it also is a good time for homeowners to incorporate more earth-friendly features into their properties. Including more green features into your home is not only good for preserving Mother Nature, but it also can be good for growing the value and marketability of your home. Celebrate Earth Day this month by incorporating the following four green tips into the inside and outdoor characteristics of your home to create a more earth-friendly living environment.
Keep the Lights on with Solar Powered Energy
With 300+ days of sunshine per year, Colorado homes are excellent candidates for solar powered energy. Switching from carbon-based fuels to natural renewable energy sources like sunlight can lower your carbon footprint and energy bills, while adding value to your home when you decide to sell it. Tax credits are available for solar panel installations and several companies offer lease options to lower or eliminate the upfront costs associated with installing and maintaining solar panels on your home, making this green home feature good for the environment and your wallet.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Remember when your mom used to yell at you about closing all of the doors and windows because you weren’t heating the outside? Well, she was onto something, and it wasn’t just making your life more difficult. With Colorado’s frigid winters and below freezing temperatures, old single panel windows can be the single biggest source of heat loss in your home. Replacing your old windows with double or triple paned windows filled with argon gases will not only keep the cold air out of your cozy home in the winter, but also help reduce hot temperatures from seeping into your home during the blazing summer months. Switching to more durable, energy-efficient windows will reduce your family’s energy use year-round, while increasing your household’s yearly savings on heating and cooling costs.
Plant a Tree for a Shady, Oxygen-Rich Backyard
Trees not only enhance a property’s outdoor character and comfort, but they also are excellent natural resources to shield the strong Colorado sun from your yard’s flowers, grasses and greenery. Planting trees also are good for the environment by adding more oxygen to the earth’s atmosphere, as well as providing a food and shelter source for your neighborhood’s birds and squirrels. Enhance your neighborhood’s ecosystem by planting a tree in honor of Earth Day this year.
Xeriscape to Eliminate Maintenance and Resource Needs
Using drought-tolerant plants, mulch and rock features in your landscaping, coupled with efficient irrigation methods, can create an outdoor environment that is less maintenance intensive and uses fewer natural resources to maintain. If you have a large yard with abundant grass that is hard to keep alive during the water scarce Denver summers, you may want to consider replacing a patch of grass with a stone patio area that will take less water and time to preserve, while adding opportunities to host summer barbeques and neighborhood gatherings in the comfort of your earth-friendly backyard.
When you are ready to turn your green energy-efficient home into green Benjamin Franklins this summer, give the real estate experts at New Era Realty a call. Our experienced team can help you sell your current earth-friendly Denver home for the best price and find a new environmentally conscious home that fits your specific lifestyle and budget.
You know it’s springtime in the Rockies when the last flakes of snow for the season melt away, brightly colored tulips spring to the surface after a long, cold winter and chirping bird songs welcome you in the morning. Other sure signs that spring is in the air is when your to-do list is overflowing with home improvement and remodeling projects, especially if you are thinking about putting your home on the market this summer.
If you are in the market this spring for a major home remodel, or even just a makeover, you are not alone. An article in The Denver Post recently released results from the 2013 Remodeling Sentiment Report, which reported that homeowners are showing more confidence in pursuing their home remodeling projects than they have during the past three years and homeowners are planning on increasing their remodeling scopes and expenditures on projects this year. According to the article, homeowners surveyed for the industry report said that they are planning on remodeling 3.6 rooms this year (up from 2.6 in 2010) and spend an estimated $114,000 (up from an average of $80,000 in 2010). (1)
Whether the purpose of your spring remodeling projects is for your own personal enjoyment or to update your home for resale, it can quickly become overwhelming to figure out where to get started on these projects. To help ease the tension of getting started on this year’s remodeling projects, begin with the following five steps to spring your project into action.
Do a Walkthrough to Uncover Remodeling Clues
To get a real pulse on what needs to be done around your house, walk through your home from room to room and corner to corner to get a clear perspective on the type and amount of work that needs to be completed. Whether you are planning on selling your home this summer or not, it can be beneficial to walk through your home with a buyer’s cap on so you can pinpoint the areas in your home that will add more value and marketability for potential buyers when you’re eventually ready to sell.
Create a Master List
Write down all of the projects that you uncover during your walkthrough and organize their importance by prioritizing what projects need to be completed first and which ones can hold off until later in the season. Typically, structural remodels should take preference over cosmetic ones, especially if you are planning on selling your home this summer. The last thing you want to happen during the sale process is a stalled closing due to structural issues identified during the inspection process.
Find Good Contractors, Fair Prices
If you and/or your spouse are a handyman at heart, then you may choose to dig into your spring remodeling projects without the help of professional contractors. However, if you are like the majority of homeowners who don’t know the first thing about ripping out walls or installing new kitchen cabinets, then finding a good contractor/s who offers a fair price and agrees with you desired project completion timeframe is critical. You can start the process of weeding through potential contractors by searching reputable online contractor lists and asking for referrals from friends and family members. Plan to get at least three price quotes from each type of contractor you need to hire so you can feel comfortable with the price and experience of the contractors you choose.
Develop Realistic Plan for Smooth Project Success
To keep your remodeling projects on budget, on time and within the parameters that you and your family are comfortable with, it’s important to make a realistic project plan that works with and not against your family’s regular schedule. If you are doing a major remodel and have young kids in the house, you may want to stay with a friend or family member during the bulk of the project so that you don’t disrupt everyone’s schedules too much. You may also want to plan on starting a project around a slow time at work so you can be available for contractor consults, buying materials and unplanned emergencies that may come up throughout the project.
Get Started Before the Season Heats Up in Denver
Remodeling season is officially in full swing and is only bound to get more busy and hectic as the warm weather settles in and summer break begins. Even if you aren’t ready to get started on the actual remodeling work just yet, you still can get a jump on your project by lining out contractor interviews and creating a project plan that fits your schedule and lifestyle.
When you are ready to show off all of your remodeling hard work and reap the financial benefits of adding more value in your home, call the Denver real estate team at New Era Realty. Expert agents can help you get the best return on your investment when you’re ready to sell your remodeled Denver area home.
1 Remodeling is making a comeback, and the numbers are beautiful - The Denver Post
The broken record continues to play here at New Era Realty, but there is no better music to our ears than a robust local real estate market! It has officially been over a year since we saw the dramatic turn around in our market and we haven't looked back since. Denver continues to garner attention at the national level as investors near and far swarm the local market looking to cash in on the vast opportunities found here. Nationally home prices are increasing at pre-recession levels (Forbes) and Denver's are the highest they have been since the fall of 2007 (Denver Business Journal). Denver saw a year-over-year 9.2% gain which was higher than the average 8.1% gain other cities experienced.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive numbers, the lack of inventory in the local market is the biggest challenge we realtors are facing, along with our buyers. The number of active listings in the area fell below the 7,000 mark with only 6,786 homes and condos available for purchase. Consider that we have 78% LESS homes on the market than we did at the peak high during the summer of 2007. With over 6,500 properties going under contract (including pending listings) and almost 3,000 properties selling in February alone, properties are selling almost as quickly as they are listed. The number of properties under contract increased 21% from February 2012 and the number sold increased almost 19% from the same time last year. For many buyers, the window of opportunity to find an "affordable home" is closing rapidly and without some flexibility in price, location or other key requirements, that window may be closed for the foreseeable future. If you are one of these buyers, the time is to act NOW and to act QUICK!
If you are thinking about selling your home, my gut tells me that more and more homeowners will be listing their homes in the coming months. Now is the time to list and realize the maximum return on your investment. Avoid the inevitable competition that will hit once summer rolls around! Is your home currently worth $500K or less? There is a good chance it will sell in less than 3 months at most. If your home is under $300K it will likely sell in 45 days!
© 2013 Garold D Bauer, All Rights Reserved, Information Deemed Reliable
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!