Denver Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 3, 2019

Go Rockies!

After forcing game 163 last season, the Rockies will take on their division rivals during Opening Day at Coors Field. After traveling home from a week in Florida, Pitcher Tyler Anderson will start the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers this Friday. The boys in purple are hoping for a win to prove they can make it back to the playoffs and reclaim victory over the NL West. Fans who attend the game will receive a “Go Rockies” towel to rally the team to victory!

 

There are SO many great places to live near #CoorsField within walking distance of the ballpark. If you love baseball, we can get you close to the action so that parking and getting to as many #Rockies games this year is never a problem. Send us a PM and we'll hook you up!

 

#GoRockies #LoDo #BlakeStreet #MLB

April 2, 2019

21 DIY Tricks to Save Homeowners Money

Here's a handy list to keep around that will save you time and money with a variety of common, everyday tasks around the house using, reusing, re-purposing items most homeowners already have around.  As you prepare your home for spring, you may also have thoughts of selling, to upsize, downsize or rightsize your home.  So you may find this list particularly handy to have around.

Roll Up Your Toothpaste with a Pencil 

Good for more than scribbling the day's to-do list, a short pencil can also help you draw out the last drop of toothpaste from the tube. Starting at the end, wrap the mostly empty tube around the pencil, then roll the pencil up until you extract the tube's contents—and extend your budget! 

Cut Your Sponges in Half

Sponges soak up everything in their path, including the funds required for frequent replacement. Fortunately for the budget-conscious, half a sponge packs as much grime-fighting ability as a whole sponge. So, you can get twice the utility out of one sponge by cutting it into two pieces.

 

Fix a Low Toilet Fill Level

Unless you own a dual-flush toilet, you're probably dumping way too much water down the drain with each flush, which in turn raises your water bill. Flush smarter by adding a brick or full plastic water bottle to the toilet tank. The extra bulk will raise the tank's float arm faster, which means you'll need less water to fill the tank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extend the Life of Your Razors with a Leather Belt

Before you dispose of disposable razors, try sharpening them with an adaptable accessory already in your wardrobe: a leather belt. The particulate grit on the underside of a belt acts as a strop, refining the dull edges of the blade until it is as sharp as ever and ready for many more shaves.

Vacuum Refrigerator Coils

Grit and gunk that collect on your refrigerator’s condenser coils can put the hardworking appliance into overdrive—and this can lead to sky-high energy bills. Using a vacuum cleaner with a crevice-friendly attachment, banish unsightly accumulations from the coils for improved energy efficiency.

 

 

Make a DIY Duster with Old Pantyhose or Tights

 

Just as hosiery brings polish to an outfit, it can add luster to surfaces around the house. Slip old, outworn tights or pantyhose onto your hand like a glove, and then buff dusty lamps, dingy furniture, and other accessories to achieve polished perfection—no commercial cleaners required!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upcycle a Plastic Bottle to Save Water in the Garden

When water is at a premium, save your wallet and the environment by DIYing this slow-drip watering device for your garden bed. Constructed from a perforated water bottle filled with absorbent socks or strips of denim, the device can be planted next to young seedlings to continuously hydrate growing roots.

Fill Up a Half-Full Fridge with Empty Milk Jugs

Don't cry over spilled milk! Instead, put that empty container to good use. Empty milk containers or other large bottles placed in a half-full fridge can help increase cold air circulation and reduce your electric bill. Those frosty empty jugs keep the surrounding items cold, maintaining a low average fridge temperature—and a lower utility bill.

 

 

Make a Pot Scrubber with an Onion Bag

The flexible mesh bags that commonly house store-bought onions and potatoes can be given a second life in the kitchen as pot scrubbers. Start by cutting and folding the bag into the desired dimensions, then use a yarn needle to stitch the edges closed with rug yarn. That's it! You're ready to take your new scrubber to the sink and start cutting through grease!

 

 

 

 

 

DIY-Reusable-Dryer-Sheets-with-Dish-Towels-and-Vinegar

Single-use commercial dryer sheets can make laundry day more luxurious and fresher scented, but who needs them when you can make your own! To create an all-natural equivalent, dip clean, cut-up rags into a solution of vinegar and essential oils. The sheets can be stored in an airtight container until needed and then reused for countless spin cycles.

Save Money in Summer with a DIY Air Conditioner

Skip the AC (and the AC bills) this summer by creating your own DIY air conditioner. Consisting of an old fan placed atop a bucket that holds a natural cooling source—frozen water—this quick hack will help you stay cool and comfortable as you soak up summer. 

Recycle Scraps into New Bar Soap

If you’re down to the last few shards of that bar of soap, don’t replace it. Instead, reconstitute the soap slivers into a like-new beauty bar! Start by melting the soap scraps over the stove. Then, pour the mixture into soap bar molds, letting the bars dry before you lather up.

 

 

 

 

 

Reuse Glass Jars to Organize Your Workshop

In lieu of buying expensive organizing solutions to declutter your workshop, let mason jars or other glass containers take on the job. Rinsed, dried, decorated, and filled with fasteners or tool bits, these easy-to-come-by vessels become storage-smart accents suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

Boost Your Wi-Fi with a Soda Can

A can of soda offers more than just a sugar boost. It can also boost a weak Wi-Fi signal, and as a result, your Internet speed. Cut off the bottom of the can, then slice off the lid, leaving an inch or so connected to the can. Cut and unfurl the can, slip the mouth of the lid over your router’s antenna, and again enjoy buffer-free streaming sessions—all without having to buy an expensive name-brand signal booster. (For step-by-step directions check out this wiki: Boost Wi-Fi with Soda Can )

Upcycle a Planter to Store and Sharpen Garden Tools

If your tools aren’t the sharpest in the shed, skip the trip to the knife sharpener and consider storing them in this specially outfitted repurposed planter instead. When painted, sealed, and tightly packed with sand and mineral oil, a commonplace terra-cotta pot can help keep your gardening gear clean and the blades sharp, all at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Install a Rain Barrel for Free Water

Why consume extra water to hydrate your homegrown plants when you can capture and reuse your roof and gutter runoff with a rain barrel? Installed below the eaves for optimal water collection, a bargain barrel can reduce your next water bill and help you pep up your plants. (Now LEGAL in Colorado!)

Keep Overgrown Weeds and Plants Away from Your HVAC Unit

Lush foliage is a pleasant surprise anywhere but near your HVAC unit, where it can cause the system to run less efficiently. Maintain proper airflow and reduce electrical consumption by plucking weeds and pruning bushes in the immediate vicinity of the unit.

Trim Your Shower Curtain Liner to Prevent Mold and Mildew

When your shower curtain liner has become mired in mold and mildew, replacing it is sometimes easier than cleaning it. But if you keep an eye out for early signs of these unsightly intruders, you can keep the curtain looking good longer. When you spot the first bit of buildup, trim the bottom of the curtain with scissors to keep grime from encroaching any further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ditch Your Dryer and Hang Up a Clothesline

Few can resist the warmth and fragrance of garments fresh out of the dryer, but that experience becomes somewhat less appealing when you think about all the energy it takes to machine dry. A homemade rope clothesline dries just as well, and using one will not only save you money on your electric bill, but it can also lengthen the life of your threads.

Run Your Ceiling Fan Counterclockwise in Summer for Energy Savings

Before you turn up the dial on the air conditioner—and pay the price later—consider installing a ceiling fan. A fan not only allows for greater comfort and energy savings in the hot summer months, but if you go the extra mile of switching it to run clockwise when the weather gets cold, the fan can help warm up the room come winter. 

Pick Up Free Mulch from Your Town

For a freshly manicured lawn on the cheap, don’t call your local landscaper—call your local parks department. You may be able to obtain mulch and compost from them at no cost, allowing you to beautify your front yard for the bargain price of—nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you find this information helpful, useful and that you enjoy saving money and time when you put them to use in your home.  If you have suggestions for other tips, tricks, trends, stats you would like to see - just let us know - call or text us at 720-314-8462.

If you have questions about the real estate market, we're here to help.  

 

 

These tips are courtesy @BobVila.com  We 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Colorado, News, Tips
April 2, 2019

The Slopes are Open Later this Year!

Keep your boots at the ready because ski season has been extended this year! Thanks to some additional snowfall that came late in the season, many resorts are keeping their doors open for a few extra weeks. Breckenridge and Loveland are scheduled to remain open until May, while Arapahoe Basin plans to continue operating their lifts until June 2. Most areas will have reduced operations through April, so that means there’s still plenty of time to sneak in one more day on the slopes!
 
If you really want to cram in every possible day of skiing, boarding, just time on the slopes - maybe living closer to the mountains is what you're craving. We can help - call or text us: 720-314-8462 - we will give you that #Colorado experience year-round
 
#ski #snowboard #snow #mountains #outdoors #mountainlife #mountainliving
April 2, 2019

What Being Learning Based Means

On Monday April 1 (no foolin') Sandy and Tim attended a Mastermind Class presented by Keller Williams International Master Faculty John & Holly Prescott.  

Topics included:

-          The Six Personal Perspectives:

·        Commit to Self-Mastery

·        Commit to 80/20

·        E to P (Entrepreneurial to Purposeful)

·        Be Learning Based

·        Be Accountable

-          Mindset

-          Setting Goals

-          Working with Sellers who’s listings have expired

-          Working with For Sale by Owner Sellers

We believe this helps us serve our clients better, be better equipped to handle the needs of our sellers and our buyers in this market. 

April 2, 2019

Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment

Spring is here and that means it’s time to… well, it’s time to appeal your property taxes. Not everyone needs to do this, obviously, but there are plenty of people who should. Do you feel like your most recent tax assessment was pretty high? Alternatively, is your tax record (you can usually find these online through your county assessor’s office) stuffed with wrong information that could be affecting your tax bill?

We’ll help you get it figured out. Welcome to your introduction to appealing your property taxes. (Specific information about Colorado appears later in this article).

 

Is it Worth the Effort to Appeal My Taxes?

Everyone has their own idea as to what their labor is worth, so jumping through all the hoops to appeal your property tax is a decision that only you can make. But if you live in a high tax state like New Jersey, Illinois or Texas, the new tax laws may be really hurting you with deductible property tax now capped at just $10,000.

The process can be very time consuming, so a few hundred dollars might not be worth the fight, but a few thousand almost certainly are. You should ask a similar question before you hire a lawyer to handle a tax battle for you — will it be worth it in the end?

If you’re certain that you’re ready to dig in for a fight, then read on so we can help you lay the groundwork.

 

Challenging Small, But Significant Errors

One of the most common reasons that homes are improperly taxed is because their tax record is incorrect in some way. Common problems stem from the house being listed with more square footage, more bedrooms or more land than is actually there.

Older homes, especially, suffer from these problems because so many people have had their hands on these records over the years. Every time the government caught up to the latest tech, someone had to transfer all that information over again by hand. That makes it too easy to swap a three for a two, or transpose 2300 square feet into 3200 square feet.

To successfully fight your property taxes, no matter how you choose to do it, you’ll need to know what the tax assessor thinks about your place. If the assessor’s office believes you have an additional 900 square feet or an acre that you definitely don’t have, you should have very little trouble appealing your taxes.

 

Mind the Window, It’s Not Open Long

A really important item to keep in mind when you’re exploring this tax appeal is that the window for said effort isn’t open for very long. You can’t just appeal on a whim, so have everything ready as soon as you can or resolve to try next year. You’ll have to contact your county assessor’s office to find out just when the appeals window is because they can vary pretty wildly.

Make sure you make real contact with your tax assessor because they can keep you informed about any and all changes to the way they’re handling taxes this year, as well as the deadlines that you have to abide by to stand a shot at reducing your tax bill.

 

Exemptions to Keep in Mind

Certain people, through service or simple longevity, have earned the right to reduced property taxes. That doesn’t mean they’ll get them right out of the gate, though — sometimes you still have to take it to the tax man.

 

Here are a few ways that you may get a break in your county:

 

Homesteading. In many states, simply living in your own home is reason enough for an exemption. You may find that only part of your property’s value is taxed under a homesteading exemption, but check the rules carefully because some areas only allow this exemption if you meet specific criteria related to age and income.

Seniors and Disabled People. Many high tax areas have rules in place to help protect the property of people who are older or have become disabled. If either of these statuses apply to you, call your tax assessor’s office and ask for details. Typically you have to income qualify.

Military Vets. Vets who have served during wartime will often qualify for property tax exemptions, provided they were honorably discharged. Different states may tack on additional requirements, but many go the other way and will allow any military vet to receive the property tax exemption.

Remodeling. Plenty of areas are willing to let you work your way to a tax exemption. For example, you might fix up a property that’s at least 25 years old and has fallen into disrepair. In Bismarck, North Dakota, you can get a five year exemption from paying on the value you added to the property just by bringing it back to life.

Green Housing. Some states are greener than others, but the really green ones will happily exclude the value of your green improvements from your tax assessment. It makes it easier to go green when you know you don’t have to worry about paying taxes on those improvements right away, plus you may be able to claim additional tax credits on your tax return.

This is far from an exhaustive list of the property tax exemptions you may be able to claim in your county. Take a stroll down to your county assessor’s office or check them out online to see what exemptions are available in your county.

 

Supporting Documents for Tax Assessment Appeals

Beyond your exemptions and corrections due to incorrectly entered data about your home, you can further attempt to reduce your tax bill if you think it’s still unfair. You’ll need to come armed, though, because now the county will be putting up a fight.

The most important tools you can have in this war are an up-to-date appraisal, a comparative market analysis and documentation of any damage to the home since the last tax assessment (for example if the roof now leaks because a tree fell on it, that would certainly reduce its value).

 

Up-to-Date Appraisal

An appraisal is a time-sensitive document, since it only describes your home during a set point in time. Don’t rely on an old appraisal to get a tax assessment reduction, instead hire an appraiser to perform one that’s all brand new.

The catch is that you may spend more on the appraiser than you will save this year, but if you plan on staying in your home for a while, even the smallest dent in your taxes makes an appraisal a good long-term investment.

 

Comparative Market Analysis

When you can’t have an appraisal done, either because it’s not cost-effective or because you’re cutting your county’s submission deadline close, a CMA could save the day. Real estate agents are not appraisers, but they can provide a great deal of insight of their own. Since they have access to information on homes around yours that have sold, they can help you figure out what values are right now.

 

Unlike appraisers, who are generally deemed competent to judge the value of a property, real estate agents aren’t always given the same benefit of the doubt, even though comps (comparable properties) are pulled using very similar criteria. Ultimately, a CMA that helps establish your home’s value is an iffy approach, but it’s still an informed one.

 

Documentation of Damage

Serious damage to your home can reduce its value. So, for example, say you had a major storm and now half the siding is gone and the brick on the front sheared clear off below the windows. This is no small thing.

 

Photographs, letters from the neighborhood association, copies of fines your HOA is threatening to impose can help. The downside? Well, your house is broken and devaluing further every time it rains. Also, too much documented loss of value could make your lender nervous, to the point that they call in your note.

 

Presentation and Waiting… and Waiting…. and Waiting…..

Your supporting documentation is vital to the fight against your higher tax assessment, so make sure you have copies to spare. Once you’ve submitted or presented your case for a reduced tax burden, it could be several months before you get an answer. Keep those copies at least through the end of the appeals process because if any documents have gone missing, you’ll need to be able to replace them quickly.

If you end up still owing as much tax as you did at the beginning of the process, you can generally appeal one more time. You’ll want to bring more ammo with you, so if your first attempt at appealing your tax assessment included a CMA and not an appraisal, go the distance and have that appraisal performed, too.

Keep in mind that what you’re appealing isn’t your tax rate, but the assessed value of your home. The same tax rate applies, just to a much less valuable piece of property. This is both good and bad for you. It’s good because, hey, less tax. It’s bad because you could literally be undermining your efforts to sell or refinance your property.

You’ll have a much easier time appealing your tax bill if you have a legitimate exemption that you can claim or there are errors in your tax records. This is the easy road, compared to the harder route of trying to convince the assessor’s office that they overvalued your home by mistake..

 

Details About the Property Tax Appeal Process in Colorado

For property tax purposes, real estate in Colorado is valued as of January 1st of odd years, based on data for the eighteen month period beginning two years before the assessment date and ending six months before the assessment date.  For example, the period  used to establish the value for an assessment date of January 1, 2019 is January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

Frustrated Colorado property owners have the right to appeal property tax valuations through a three-step process.  State statutes require the assessor to deliver a notice of valuation to the taxpayer no later than May 1 of the assessment year.  The taxpayer then has until June 1 to file a protest with the County assessor, who decides these protests before the end of June or August, depending on the County.  If that decision does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the taxpayer can appeal to the County Board of Equalization no later than July 15 in a County with a June protest decision deadline, or September 15 in a County with an August deadline.

If not satisfied with the results of the Board of Equalization appeal, the taxpayer can appeal the decision further within thirty days of the decision by filing a District Court action in the district where the property is located, appealing to the state Board of Assessment Appeals, or demanding binding arbitration of the dispute before a private arbitrator.

Unless there are complex legal issues involved or a very large amount of taxes at stake, it is not uncommon for property owners to handle the first two stages (protest to the County assessor and appeal to the Board of Equalization) without the benefit of counsel.  The records created during those processes are not official, and any omissions of evidence or failures to make particular arguments can be remedied during the third phase, which allows assertion of new theories and arguments, even if not presented previously.

It is during the third stage of the process that the assistance of qualified counsel can be critical.  Each of the three options at this third stage is a formal legal proceeding that requires the admission of evidence and the presentation of all relevant legal arguments.

We've added a link to the Colorado Judicial website for more specifics on the process:  Colorado Property Tax Appeal

As mentioned earlier in this article, one of the resources you may need is a Comparable Market Analysis ("CMA" or "comp") prepared by a qualified professional such as a Realtor®.  Jones Team Colorado will prepare such an analysis for you upon request - call or text us with any questions you may have about the property tax appeal process: 720-314-8462

 

April 1, 2019

Seeking Colorado outdoor thrills

Whether you’re a hiker, paddler, or climber, Colorado is full of adventurous outdoor activities. This summer, several new exciting adventures will be added to the list! Thrill seekers will be able to do things like experience the Royal Gorge from a new Via Ferrata (a protected climbing route) or race through Telluride Bike Park’s newest trails. Some other new summer activities include: Poudre River Whitewater Park, the Thelma Hut, Dixon Trail, and the new climbing route at Cave of the Winds.

Enjoy all that #Colorado had to offer. We can get you into a Colorado home so you can #hike#bike,#climb, and #explore to your heart's content this#summer. Just call or text us at 720-314-8462 - we'll provide you with an amazing home buying experience.

April 1, 2019

Add Instant Curb Appeal with These 10 Fast Growing Plants

An unexpected transfer, job change, or just a sudden decision to take advantage of this hot market and cash in?  And now you feel like you have to "scramble" to create some instant curb appeal?  Home buyers in this competitive market sometimes make a quick judgement based on the first 10 to 15 seconds after pulling up front of your house.  So what's the strategy that will save you time, keep the most money in your pocket and get you on the way to your next destination as quickly as possible?

Bright flowers and colorful foliage are the easiest ways to amp up your curb appeal. If you're in a rush to get things growing, try one of these fast-blooming varieties to add instant charm to your facade.

 

Clematis is a hardy climbing vine that can grow up to 30 feet in just a few months. It will tolerate many soil conditions and does equally well in part or full sun. Festooned with white, purple, or pink flowers during late summer and fall, this bright beauty can spruce up any bland exterior.

A low-growing evergreen ground cover, Creeping Jenny is lush with a profusion of small rounded leaves. It comes in both green and golden varieties and looks just as good filling in a planting bed as it does cascading over rocks or walls. If you're going for classic villa charm in your front yard, a smattering of these will surely do the trick. 

Coral Honeysuckle: This perennial vine boasts coral-pink flowers from mid-June through September and can scale a 10 to 15 foot trellis in one season. For a front yard that overflows with color and sweet scents—not to mention hummingbirds—don't overlook this vibrant bloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thuja Green Giant': This rapid-growing evergreen will give you quick privacy when planted along a property line, fostering a cozy and secluded feeling. It grows three to five feet a year, is both drought- and disease-tolerant, and provides lush green foliage throughout all four seasons.

The Cleveland Pear is a fast-growing ornamental tree that blooms furiously with white flowers in springtime. It’s a front yard showstopper that will grow four feet a year, reaching 30 to 40 feet at maturity. It is both cold hardy and heat-tolerant, but requires full sun to put on its best show.

Geranium 'Brookside': This flowering perennial is both fast-growing and long-blooming, throwing a party of blue flowers in the garden from May to July. Both deer and rabbit resistant, it attracts bees and its foliage takes on a variegated color in the fall, ensuring that your yard always offers something new to enjoy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Privet: The colorful flowers of this fast-growing bush attract butterflies and hummingbirds all summer long, making it a power player in your front yard. Butterfly bush isn't fussy when it comes to soil or sun conditions, but it will reseed quickly; be sure to pull out new seedlings early to keep it in check. 

For shade in a hurry, set your sights on a Hybrid Poplar. The tree can grow 30 to 40 feet in three years, topping out between 50 and 70 feet. Often planted by developers around new homes, a shade tree like this can increase the value of your property by thousands of dollars. And if that isn't reason enough, its foliage turns a brilliant yellow before shedding in autumn, yielding truly charming results year-round. 

Red Twig Dogwood is a fast-growing shrub that is perhaps more stunning once it loses its leaves and berries, as its bright red bark makes a beautiful counterpoint to a snowy winter landscape. If you're hoping for a bold statement, then don't skip over this showstopper. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't have time to shop and plant some of these great, fast-growing plants that will add value to your home?  Not a problem, call or text us, we can put you in touch with our 5 Star Professionals who can handle landscape design, installation and more.  We can help guide you through the entire process of buying or selling a home.  Just call or text us at 720-314-8462 

 

April 1, 2019

Garden Design Trends for 2019

These 10 important trends are shaping the gardening world in 2019

Checking out and following trends inside and outside the walls of your home are especially important when you're considering putting your house on the market.  Following key trends can save you time down the road researching what's hot and not so that your home will have great curb appeal, catch the eye and attention of prospective home buyers quickly and help your house stand out among the competition which ultimately helps your house get an offer more quickly and typically for more money (think "home staging" for the outdoors).  

1. KEEPING IT LOW MAINTENANCE

More mess equals more stress is a saying that is not limited to the indoors, which is why a disheveled garden can leave homeowners feeling overwhelmed. Considering the busy world we live in, gardeners will be looking for ways to simplify their gardens in 2019.

Include mostly perennial plants that will come back each year and group them together based on their watering needs. For plant suggestions, talk to a master gardener in your community, attend a local garden tour to get ideas or check out the 2019 National Plants of the Year.

Consider removing messy trees or shrubs that don’t provide any ecological benefits. (For example, a tree that drops leaves into your pond or pool; a shrub that creeps into an oft-used pathway.)

Invest in an irrigation system that can do the dirty work for you while you’re away.

Do your research when selecting hardscaping materials. Choose quality stones that won’t require repair after a short amount of time or pavers that don’t need to be cleaned constantly. Contain gravel pathways with robust edging.

2. CREATING A STAYCATION SPOT

As designer Scott Shrader says, “Why go on vacation once a year when you can make your yard feel like you’re on vacation all year round?” Gardeners are finding more ways to enjoy a staycation in the comfort of their own backyard rather than waiting in airport lines and living out of a suitcase.

Here’s some inspiration:

Keep it low maintenance (see above!).

Set up a weatherproof speaker system to enjoy music while you’re outside.

Site destination spaces—for example, a fire feature or a comfy lounge chair—in a spot that will draw people outside but not so far that you forget about it.

Invest in outdoor furniture that you actually want to sit in.

Include lighting to make your outdoor spaces easy to access when it gets dark out.

Install an outdoor kitchen if you love to cook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. MAKING BACKYARD STRUCTURES FOCAL POINTS

Some structures in the garden are necessary—sheds, walls, pool equipment boxes, etc. Since these are things you’ll see every day, why not make them beautiful? More gardeners will choose to make eye-catching structures the focal points of their gardens, rather than eyesores.

Try these creative ideas:

  • Use salvaged materials, such as rough barn wood and antique iron gates, to create a rustic pool house
  • Repurpose an existing structure, like an old stable, into an outdoor dining pavilion
  • Take inspiration from a local landmark by mimicking its design or using similar materials
  • Use a kit, such as this Amish-crafted Colonial Gable Greenhouse, to build the garden structure of your dreams

4. INCLUDING PRIVATE, SECLUDED PLACES

A small retreat within a larger garden can feel like a getaway. Creating a quiet space to relax, read, or meditate is going to grow more and more popular as mindfulness and finding ways to decompress becomes a priority for people. Garden designer Bernard Trainor of Ground Studio says, “I find intimate, secluded spaces in a garden are just as important as grand vistas.” Whether you want to create a dedicated outdoor yoga room that offers the quiet surroundings necessary for meditation, or you’d love a spa-inspired space to rejuvenate and pamper yourself after a long day, the garden is a great place to unwind.

Easy ways to create a retreat:

  • Provide just enough seating for two
  • Include a simple water feature
  • Surround the space with lush plants
  • Use an arbor or pergola to create a sense of overhead enclosure
  • Build a wall to separate a small area from the rest of the garden
  • Use tall narrow plants as a privacy screen
  • Evoke a sense of calm and order with a neutral color palette

5. MAKING A NOTABLE FIRST IMPRESSION

Yes, a well-designed front yard adds curb appeal, but more importantly, it creates a sense of joy for you every time you return home. Homeowners have been finding creative ways to fashion an impactful entrance, and we don’t imagine them stopping anytime soon.

Here are some ideas to try in your front yard:

  • Adding seasonal containers
  • Including scented plants along an entry pathway
  • Installing lighting to make the journey to the front door dramatic and easy to navigate
  • Incorporating plants with flowers that complement the color of your front door
  • Putting plants in crevices and between stones within walkways to add interest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. INCLUDING UNEXPECTED ELEMENTS IN YOUR ARRANGEMENTS

Specimens that are not traditionally used in arrangements—e.g., sticks, leaves, dried seed heads, fruits, etc.—have become increasingly popular in the floral design world, and chances are you already have something unique that truly reflects the season right in your own backyard. Not only will you create something gorgeous, but we believe that stepping outside and looking at your plants with fresh eyes is a refreshing pursuit that’s good for the soul. If possible, we suggest bringing a small child along with you for this activity. They’re often quite skilled at thinking outside the box and finding beauty in the unexpected!

7. INCLUDING FOOD IN LANDSCAPES OF ALL SIZES

Although growing food is by no means a new trend, it seems that now more than ever consumers have a vested interested in where their food comes from and how it’s being grown. And the ability to grow your own food is not limited to people with acres of land. Gardeners are finding that they can grow a surprising amount of food in limited space.

If you’re looking to try your hand at growing food but don’t think you have the room, consider:

  • Adding a pot on your front or back porch to start
  • Researching ornamental edibles that you can incorporate into your current planting design (get some ideas here)
  • Hanging planters from your home’s eaves or in front of a kitchen window
  • Growing herbs on your walls with a vertical planter, such as the Algreen Garden View, that can be mounted indoors or out

8. GIVING BACK WITH GARDENS

Homeowners are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that their gardens have the potential to be much more than a plot of land that’s pretty to look at. There are many ways to give back with your garden—both to the earth and your community.

Top ways to give back with your garden:

  • Look into how you can make your garden a Certified Wildlife Habitat to benefit wildlife and inspire your neighbors to do the same.
  • Donate your overabundance of fresh produce to your local food bank or share with your neighbors to foster a sense of community.
  • Use natural ways to get rid of weeds and control garden pests like grubs and Japanese beetles.
  • Include plants that attract pollinators such as butterflies.
  • Design your garden with wildlife in mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. GROWING ALL TYPES OF PLANTS INDOORS

Gardeners continue to find creative ways to bring green indoors, especially in the midst of winter or if they live in urban environments. When it comes to houseplants, the critical aspects of growing—lighting, pests, care, and more—are paramount, but you’ll want to make sure they look fantastic, too. In Leslie Halleck’s book Gardening Under Lights, she writes, “Growing plants and food indoors doesn’t have to be utilitarian; it can be a beautiful practice that blends into our living space and lifestyles.”

With proper plant choices and maybe some grow lights, even the darkest corner of your home can support plant life. Summer Rayne Oakes of Homestead Brooklyn recommends standards like Peperomia, Zamioculcas zamiifolia, Philodendron, and Sansevieria. If you’d like to branch out a bit more, check out this list of the 21 best indoor plants.

Get the most from your houseplants by displaying them in a variety of ways:

  • Grow larger plants in pots on the floor
  • Grow trailing plants atop a high shelf, ledge or tall piece of furniture
  • Grow toxin-fighting plants as part of a living wall in your bedroom
  • Grow light-loving plants, even in dark corners, with the Barnyard Pendant LED Grow Light from Gardener’s Supply

10. INVESTING IN FURNITURE THAT WILL LAST

There’s a lot of outdoor furniture available, and unfortunately many of us have found that some of it is…well…cheap. After finding that you really do get what you pay for when it comes to garden furniture, we foresee a continued shift toward investing in weather-resistant, quality pieces that will last and can be passed on. There’s nothing quite like a classic iron bench next to a rose garden or a sturdy chaise lounge with fade-resistant fabric that you can count on year after year.

If your garden furniture needs an upgrade, here are some suggestions:

  • Seek out an artisan who builds functional yet sophisticated furnishings that withstand the test of time.
  • If you’re the DIY type, why not build a piece of garden furniture? You’ll be creating an heirloom that can be enjoyed by generations.
  • Shop for furniture at a specialty retailer rather than at big box stores.
  • Make sure the furniture is comfortable and visually appealing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for more great money and time saving tips and trends for outside or inside your home?  Need to get in touch with one of our 5 Star vendors or contractors to help with a project?  Need some guidance to help you prepare your home for market so you can get the most money in the shortest time?  Just call or text use: 720-314-8462  we promise you'll have a great experience.

March 28, 2019

What is a Balanced Real Estate Market in Denver?

What is a Balanced Real Estate Market in Denver?

Many of us wondered if 2018 was the last hurrah in the phenomenal Seller’s Market Denver Metro has been experiencing since the recovery fueled by major population growth and stifled development starting in 2013. Since our recovery from the recession, prices have more than doubled in Metro Denver since the bottom of the market in 2008-2012. With such a prolonged Seller’s Market we’ve all been wondering when it will end. Based off initial numbers coming in as our market goes through it’s traditional pick up in February, it’s not looking like it will be this year- at least for the detached market.

While it’s true that we have more inventory available in 2019, prices are determined not only by supply but also demand. If inventory rises, and demand follows behind it then prices continue to rise. Prices are determined by the relationship between supply and demand, and not by just one side or the other.

In today's episode of the Greater Metro Denver Market Review, First American Title's Megan Aller defines for us what a balanced real estate market would look like here in the Denver area and where we are currently.  If you want to get a copy of the full report or have questions about your home, neighborhood or area, call or text us at 720-314-8462

 

March 27, 2019

Home Buying Trends in 2019

 

Whether you’re selling, buying or staying put, here are the 2019 real estate trends you need to know!

 

Real Estate Trend #1: Home Prices Are Rising Slowly . . . With Less Offers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that during the course of 2017 and early 2018, home prices made a giant 10% jump. Wow! This year, however, may be a different story. Home prices are estimated to rise in 2019, but at a much slower pace, and the number of homes for sale is expected to increase by a mere 1%.

What’s the reason? Well, part of the slowdown is due to increased mortgage interest rates and another part is because of overall economic uncertainty. That combination is enough to discourage many buyers who are on the fence about purchasing a home.

But there are still eager buyers in the market, and many of them are looking for newly built homes. In fact, new home construction is projected to increase by 8% in 2019.(2) That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: There just aren’t enough new homes to go around in some areas. Plus, construction companies also don’t have the manpower to keep up with demand.

What’s the bottom line? Expect the new construction that is available to go for a higher price.

 

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

A nice profit may be on the horizon! The number of homes sold next year is still expected to rise, even if it’s at a slow pace. That’s great news for sellers! But keep in mind that a lot of buyers are being priced out of the market, which could lead to fewer offers for your home.

So what should you do about this? Be aware of your competition. With less offers to go around, you want your home to really stand out from similar ones in your area. Prepare your home for potential home buyers and work with a real estate agent to help you list your home at the right price.

And be sure to wait for the right offer. Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, wait for an offer that gives you the most profit. Remember, the less desperate person always has the upper hand when negotiating!

 

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford. Crunch the numbers yourself with our free mortgage calculator and figure out a monthly payment your budget can handle.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. You could screw up your finances!

If you can’t put down at least 10% on a 15-year fixed-rate conventional loan, then you probably can’t afford a house in this market. A down payment that’s less than 10% will strangle your budget with massive monthly mortgage payments. But if you want to get prepared to buy and you’re committed to your budget, here are some options to consider:

 

  • Keep saving. If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a five-figure down payment by this time next year.

 

  • Sacrifice some wants. If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, be willing to give up some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.” Find the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford and you can upgrade as your income and savings increase over time.

 

  • Expand your search. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is what’s busting your budget? You might be surprised at the gem you can find in a less popular neighborhood. Getting connected with a real estate agent who really knows the area is the best way find a home that fits your budget and lifestyle.

 

Buying a home can be stressful, but our Home-Buyer’s Guide will streamline the process! It’ll help you think through all the important parts so you can rest easy when your dream home is officially yours.

 

Real Estate Trend #2: Mortgage Interest Rates Are on the Rise

Call it the seven-year itch. Mortgage interest rates are on the rise after years of being at a standstill. Interest rates are projected to increase to an average of 5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4.4% for a 15-year mortgage 

Mortgage interest rates are on the rise after years of being at a standstill. Interest rates are projected to increase to an average of 5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4.4% for a 15-year mortgage. Although in recent weeks, we have seen a slight rate decrease beneficial to buyers or home owners looking to refinance their loan.  For current rates, consult our partners at Keller Mortgage 

It’s been seven years since mortgage rates were this high. But despite grumblings, that doesn’t mean the economy is in trouble. It actually means the opposite! To help stabilize the strong economy and rising inflation during the past few years, the Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates. It’s somewhat natural to see a trickle-down effect to the bank level like what we’re seeing now with mortgage interest rates.

The increase basically means more people are willing to spend and borrow. Still, expect things to be a little different next year as buyers and sellers adjust to these changes.

 

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Sellers

In a nutshell, plan for your house to be on the market a little longer and prepare to possibly receive fewer offers. A mortgage is a big commitment, and adding higher interest rates to the mix will make many buyers pause. Partner with a real estate agent who understands the current market. They’ll help you set expectations for how much you can make, and how long you’ll have to wait for the right offer.

 

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Buyers

Even though mortgage interest rates are the highest they’ve been in a while, they’re still relatively low. If you’re not buying with cash, be smart and go for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. That way, you know exactly what your payment will be over the life of the loan. 

 

Real Estate Trend #3: The Majority of Home Buyers Are Millennials

Move aside, baby boomers and Gen Xers! Guess who’s taking the over the homeowner leaderboard? Yep, you better believe it. Millennials are busting out all over. They’re getting older and finding stable careers. Their household income has increased to $88,200, and they’re looking to buy their first homes in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods.

This works out perfectly for them as more baby boomers are retiring and downsizing. Next year, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

In 2019, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

 

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Sellers

Here are three important words: Know your buyer. Millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. They look for:

 

  • Easy online shopping. The home search starts online for millennials, so you need to make the best possible impression on the internet. Make sure you invest in high quality photos, and, for extra measure, consider using a drone to take aerial video footage. We equip our buyers with our FREE mobile app to assist them with the home shopping experience.

 

  • Quality over size. Yes, square footage matters. But millennials are more concerned about how sustainable and usable each space is. Get rid of your junk so they can visualize a bright future in your home without your stuff there.

 

  • Location. A lot of millennials are looking for homes in 18-hour cities like Nashville, Tennessee, or Austin, Texas, that offer big city life at a more affordable cost of living. If your home is in a walkable area with access to public transit, expect millennials to come knocking at your door.

 

  • Low-maintenance lifestyle. Millennials are used to living in the age of high-tech advances and Amazon Prime. They’re looking for energy-efficient homes with smart appliances. If you don’t have them, they’ll look elsewhere or lower their offer so they can upgrade after they buy.

 

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Buyers

Okay, if you’re looking for a three-bedroom, single-family home in the suburbs, expect to have a lot of competition. You may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. Follow these tips:

 

  • Know what you want. Decide what you absolutely need in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves. Compare your individual lists and combine them for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.

 

  • Many sites suggest that you write a letter to the sellers. Sending such a letter here in Colorado has come under recent scrutiny by the Colorado Real Estate Commission due to potential violations of federal and state laws.  Please consult your professional real estate agent about this matter.

 

  • Hire an experienced pro. Last year, 90% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes.(6) Think they’re onto something? You bet! Don’t try to buy on your own. Get the help of a pro so the home-buying process is smooth for everyone involved.

 

What If I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

You may be thinking, All this is great, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. We hear you, and here’s what you should know for now:

 

1. Equity will likely continue to increase by 2–6% each year until 2020.

With most housing markets at low risk for a downturn, the 2018 Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimates home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years, with annual increases of 2–6%.(7) Who-hoo for sellers! If you sell your house before 2020, you’ll likely still make a great profit. Continue to monitor how much your home is worth to make sure your equity (what your home is worth minus how much you owe on it) is going up.

 

2. From what we can see, the real estate market is not going to crash.

With such fast-rising mortgage interest rates, some folks are wondering if the housing market could collapse again. Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, but a number of factors indicate a housing crash is not in the foreseeable future and the economy is still strong. Here are some indicators:

 

  • People are spending money.
  • There’s a low unemployment rate and new career opportunities.
  • All-cash real estate buyers (our kind of people!) are becoming more common.
  • Fewer buyers are using interest-only home loans (aka the worst loans possible) that allow you to pay just the interest each month and not the principal.
  • Millennials want to buy.
  • Taxes are lower.

3. Regardless of your neighborhood, buyers are interested.

Even though buyers in 2019 may be choosy, determined ones might be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to highways or aren’t in close proximity to a big city. If you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or believe your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Now may be your perfect time to sell.

 

Take Control of the Trends With a Top-Notch Real Estate Agent

Whether you’re selling or buying, you can take advantage of the current trends by partnering with a professional real estate agent.

If you have not yet selected a professional real estate agent to guide you through the process, please read our reviews so you can learn more about the experiences other buyers and sellers have had when working with Sandy and Tim Jones. If we can answer any questions or help you with the home buying process, please call or text us at 720-314-8462