Living Urban in Denver: Real Estate Blog

394_320Since the new year just started, and the snow finally begins to fall, I start reflecting on 2011 and beginning a new year. It's natural for all of us to look back, and try to use what we learn to help us move forward.  Of course, because of my profession, I tend to focus on the housing market.



All of us in the Real Estate business, and all of you who own a home or want to own one, have been through another year of uncertainty. Should I buy? Should I sell?  How much will my house be worth this time next year? What's best for my family?

We've had our fair share of ups and downs in the last year. We've dealt with changing rules about appraisals, and ever-shifting bank lending standards. Even more changes are headed our way. New banking rules are now being

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waiting.According to conventional wisdom when selling real estate, once you pass the Autumnal Equinox, there’s no sense in putting your house on the market. And if you’re a buyer, there’s no sense in looking for a house during the fall either. It’s widely believed that all the ‘good stuff’ will come on the market in the spring.

We think it’s time to reconsider that old thinking. According to statistics quoted by Denver Real Estate blogger John Rebchook on his widely-read InsideRealEstateNews.com, “The number of unsold homes in the Denver-area market are at an 11-year low.” And according to our statistics, that trend has continued in many Denver neighborhoods.
 
Combine this low inventory with interest rates that are as low as they’ve ever been, and you have a rare…
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incometax_849I was leafing through some old newsletters the other day, and came across a couple of articles I had written awhile back. They encouraged buyers to take advantage of the great tax credits that were available to first-time home buyers in 2008, and a year or so later for move up or repeat home buyers. Seems like ancient history now. It’s pretty amazing that most of those credits expired just a year ago.

So why talk about them in May of 2011?  Who cares?  Well, if you claimed one of those great tax credits from Uncle Sam, and are now thinking of selling, pay attention. You might be feelin’ good about the real estate market and are thinking the great prices and good interest rates currently available make this a good time to sell that perfect house you bought,…
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288_959I sat on a panel of REALTORS® a week or so ago at the Denver Board of Realtors.  One of the questions that we were asked to answer was, "What is the one piece of business advice you would give to the audience?" When the discussion turned to me, I told the group of Real Estate professionals, "Tell the truth."

The truth is that the Real Estate market in many of our close in urban neighborhoods in Denver has stabilized.

Is every buyer going to be able to make a low ball offer and get a screaming deal?
- No.

Is any seller going to be able to get a pie in the sky price?
- No.

Are well-qualified buyers closing on realistically priced homes after making serious offers? 
- Yes.

The truth is, what the market needs now is well-informed buyers who are qualified with a…
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snowonhouse_400A couple of weeks ago, I attended a presentation by Dr. Lawrence Yun. Yun is the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors. Chances are if you read or hear anything in the national or local media about Real Estate, it will contain a quote from Dr. Yun. He’s the “go-to guy” for policy makers and media types.

As you would expect, Yun’s presentation was full of graphs, charts, and logarithms, but it did leave me feeling like the basics are in place. In a nutshell, his message was this: The Real Estate market in Denver is in better shape than most places in the United States, and is recovering at a faster rate. Good news for sure.

But I thought the most important message he brought to Denver was that the “American Dream” of homeownership is

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zoning_387In January of 2005, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper appointed a community-based Zoning Code Task Force to guide and oversee a multi-year code-fix effort. With this step, Denver kicked off a five year effort to rein in the crazy quilt we’ve called our zoning code for the last 50 years.  On June 25th Denver’s new context- based zoning code became a reality, with a unanimous City Council vote. The first step for most of us is to begin to understand how the new code will affect our biggest investment.

The city has created great tools to help you understand the new zoning code. Check out the ‘What’s My Zoning’ tab on the Community Planning and Development page of http://www.DenverGov.org. There you’ll be able to enter your address and see where you fall into the…
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I've been sitting on the porch looking at the rain and my green spring grass,  looking at seed catalogs, and dreaming about how great my garden will look in May and how brown it will be by August.  I'll admit to working to conserve water in my daily life (low flush toilets, no running water while I brush my teeth) but when it comes to the landscape...not so much.

In order to adjust my water Karma I started looking for a few ways that I could have a green lawn, some color in the perrennial beds, and still do my bit to make sure we all can still take showers in 2030. 

There are a lot of sources for ways to reduce your water footprint, but the one of the best places I've found is right in my online backyard at

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denver_b_cycle_400

I've been posting about the Launch of Denver B Cycle on Facebook.  If you don't know about it you should!  It's a GREAT new way to see Denver, or to get around the city.  You go to any of the 50 or so stations in the city, and check out a bike...then return it at the station where you got it or check it in at your destination.  Say you're in LOHI and want to head to the Botanic Gardens.  Head to the B Cycle station across from Lola on Boulder Street....follow the instruction on the bike station, and grab a bike.  Ride over to the Botanic Garden and check in your bike at the station in front.  Simple as that.  Check out station locations and details about how to get signed up here  The rush starts tomorrow with a bike parade at Civic Center park with

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