Winter Checklist For Your Home

With the sudden spike in cold temperatures we’ve seen in the Denver metro area lately, it is important to make sure you have your bases covered in terms of protecting your new home.


Keep reading to discover the winter checklist for your home all new homeowners should be paying attention to.

 

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Inside:

The first step on your winter checklist should be checking your heating system. To ensure that your stay warm and toasty this winter, make sure your heating system is functioning properly.

Make sure your sprinklers are turned off, and your pipes are set for the cold temperatures. Frozen pipes are the last issue that anyone wants to be struggling with in freezing temperatures.

Finally, in case of emergency, the CDC recommends that you keep certain foods and supplies stored in your home. Click here to find out more.

 

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Outside:

You’ll need a snow-shovel! Make sure that you don’t get stuck inside this winter, and keep a sturdy, reliable snow shovel is absolutely in your garage or storage closet.

Be sure to include de-icing agents such as salt and gravel on your next shopping list!

Spotlight: Bonnie Brae Neighborhood

Every neighborhood in Denver is different, which means finding the perfect neighborhood for you and your next home requires research. To help with this process, every now and then we like to feature some of our favorite neighborhoods. One such neighborhood is Denver’s own Bonnie Brae.

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What makes Bonnie Brae so special? Keep reading for 3 reasons Bonnie Brae is one of our favorite Denver neighborhoods!

Great Vibe: The Bonnie Brae neighborhood is a very charming. Mixing elegant homes with a small-town feel, in addition to the proximity to downtown, Bonnie Brae is a truly unique and wonderful neighborhood to own a home.

Great Location: Bonnie Brae is a charming neighborhood found a stone’s throw from Wash Park and Cherry Creek Shopping Mall, so plenty of fabulous dining and shopping is just minutes away. The famous Bonnie Brae Ice Cream shop is a central focus of the neighborhood, along with many other bars, restaurants, and shops. With easy-access to downtown Denver and the Denver tech-center, the commute from this home will be easy-as-pie.

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Image via @jenkfisch on Instagram

Perfect for Previous Home Buyers: With its great location and wonderful vibe, homes in Bonnie Brae tend to be out of most first time homeowners price range. This area is perfect for individuals who have previously owned a home, and individuals whose children have recently moved out of their house (nicknamed empty-nesters). With such a great location the kids will love visiting!

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Renting vs. Buying: 5 Reasons Now is the Time to Purchase

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We’ve all heard the expression before: “Now is the time to buy!” This expression probably throws up some red flags in some people’s minds, but we are saying it to you now. It IS the time to buy.

Why might you ask? Don’t worry, we’ve got the proof to back it up! Keep reading for 5 reasons why buying is better than renting in Denver right now!

Supply and Demand: In case economics isn’t your strong point, we’ll explain this one for you. As the demand for a commodity (such as an adorable home in Denver) increases, so does the price. This means that as the population of Denver grows, which is happening at an alarmingly fast rate, the demand for housing is going to increase as well.

Equity: This concept piggy backs off of reason number one to buy a house right now. It is simple math really. If you buy a house now for X number of dollars the value of that house will continue to climb as Denver housing prices climb. In 10 years when you decide to sell this house for Y number of dollars your profit will be Y – X = $!

A Slice of Heaven: Denver has consistently been voted one of the happiest, fittest, and best places to live in the United States. It is home to the Denver Broncos, purple mountain majesties, and over 300 days of sunshine. Who wouldn’t want to own their own little slice of the heaven that is Denver, Colorado?

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Season: As we come into the winter season, we are actually coming in to the time of year that is the best to put an offer on a home. Less people search for homes during the colder months for obvious (and chilly) reasons. This means that in a competitive market like we are seeing in Denver, you’re more likely to get the home of your dreams, and less likely to duke it out in a bidding war with another couple.

Monthly Payments: You know all that money that you’re putting in to your rent each month? Imagine getting that money (and more) back someday (see Point 2). That’s what happens when you buy a home.

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6 Tips to Get the Perfect Photos for Your Listing

When you put your house up for sale, a little planning and thought can go a long way in creating an attractive, professional looking listing for potential buyers to review. While the description, details on square footage, number of rooms etc. are important… one key area of focus should be photos of what your home has to offer. You know what they say… a picture is worth a thousand words, and a set a high quality photos can speak volumes about your house. Use these 6 tips to get the most out of your photos:

The More Pixels, the Better

The more pixels you can get in an image, the higher the resolution and the better the quality of the photo. Don’t skimp on the pixels by using that dusty digital camera in your office drawer or a less than impressive phone camera. Instead, consider borrowing a high quality camera or hiring a professional. The last thing you want is a buyer who’s squinting at your listing to form rooms out of gloomy blobs.

Light, Light, and more Light!

You wouldn’t believe how many people take photos after dark with a flash, or don’t even bother to turn the light on in the room where they’re taking the photo. The more natural light that you can get into a room, the more bright and inviting your house will appear. Wait until key times of day when natural light can show off the features of each room and avoid using a flash if at all possible. The best times are typically early morning and late afternoon when the sun is not quite overhead.

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Use Angles to Your Advantage

The best way to showcase a huge basement or a gargantuan yard is too take a photo from an angle that makes people say “Wow, that’s huge!”. To accomplish this, take into consideration the direction you are shooting from and use it to your advantage. Instead of standing in the middle of the room and taking several shots in front of and behind you, step back and include the whole area in one shot, especially if your have an open concept floor plan.

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Highlight the Pro’s, Downplay the Con’s

Allow people the opportunity to remember what’s great about your house, and give unique or interesting features first priority. Cutting off a classic clawfoot tub in the corner of a photo of your master bathroom doesn’t give anyone the opportunity to identify it as a major perk. Old-fashioned charm, special architectural touches or recently renovated areas are prime targets for focus in your listing. At the same time, if you have a couple dead patches of grass in your backyard or a cluttered play room, do your best to paint the most flattering portraits of those areas and if in doubt, upload them towards the end of your gallery.

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Remove Distractions

Sometimes the occasional leftover birthday balloon, unopened package or pile of shoes in the living room escapes our attention, but those instances create an immediate distraction for the viewer and draw attention away from the centerpiece: your house. Rather than having buyers debating what breed your dog is, remove anything from the photo that would not help a potential family to see themselves living there. Try to take an outside perspective… even things like a big, bright bean bag cushion in a family room can draw the eye away from what’s important.

Don’t Forget the Neighborhood

Remember, when someone chooses to buy they aren’t just choosing the house, they are also choosing a community. If your house boasts spectacular views, has a beautiful park right across the street, or is on a quiet cul de sac, consider taking a photo of those elements and anything that adds value to your property.

Overall, photos are what people remember most about a listing and they tell a story about your house. Give the buyer something that sticks with them, and they are that much more likely to setup a showing. Don’t forget, phenomenal photography doesn’t make up for a dirty or unkempt property in need of serious repairs… but it can give a great first impression.

View the beautiful listing featured above and more photos for ideas to showcase your home on my Pinterest page. When you’re ready to put your home on the market, give me a call and let me know what I can do to help.

Denver Relocation Guide – Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce recently released a full relocation guide looking at all of the housing and neighborhoods in the city of Denver and is a great starting point when beginning your initial search for your next home. Follow the link below to review the guide:

Denver Relocation Guide

If you review this guide and get some great ideas on where to look, what to buy and want to start your home search, contact me today.

 

 

Check out this relocation guide from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Check out this relocation guide from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Modern, New Construction or Old-Fashioned Charm?

One of many things to consider, and a good starting point, is deciding whether you want to live in older home with a little bit of character or start with a clean slate in new construction. Both options have their pros and cons, and everyone has a preference. Whether you adore unique details like stained glass windows, classic brick fireplaces or original hardwood flooring you just can’t match the charm of an older home. However, older homes sometimes bring costly repairs, renovations and maintenance. New houses promise fresh, updated features and shiny new appliances but they can be lacking in personality and neighborhood warmth. Take a look at this list of pros and cons of newer construction to help you decide:

 

New Construction

Pros

 

  • New Plumbing, Electrical & Structural Support

 

Brand new building materials are a serious benefit, meaning little to no major repairs and more efficient use of utilities, not to mention time!

 

 

  • 100% Updated

 

Remember that 1960’s wallpaper in your grandparents’ house? In a brand new house tacky wallpaper, ancient carpets, and other bizarre decor are nonexistent.

 

  1. Ready to Customize

Neutral walls, finishes and other features leave it up to you to make changes that are all your own. The best part? You don’t have to live when anyone else’ style, even temporarily.

 

 

Cons

 

  • Newer Neighborhoods

 

A newer neighborhood usually hasn’t had a chance to grow into its surroundings. It may take a few years for your area to feel like home.

 

  • Unfinished Elements

 

Bare basements and incomplete landscaping may seem great for working on, but without the time or resources to dedicate to add-ons you may end up with a naked basement and a longstanding dirt yard.

 

 

  • “Cookie-Cutter” Designs

 

Newer homes, especially in suburbs and subdivisions, all tend to look alike… so much so that you can walk often into a house that looks exactly like yours just down the block. Opting for a older house sometimes (not always) ensures that your house and it’s history are one-of-a-kind.

 

 

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Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

 

Old Construction

 

Pros

 

  • Hidden Treasures

 

When looking to build a home, some owners think ahead to add thoughtful and unique design elements, such as hidden storage or quirky conveniences. Details like these are hidden treasures not typically found in newer construction from a replicated design.

 

 

  • Lots of Character

 

In addition to hidden treasures, character comes in many forms and adds value for buyers looking for an older home. Stained glass, original light fixtures, fireplaces and restored appliances add a touch of personality that many people prefer.

 

 

  • Sturdy Materials

 

Many homes were built before the invention of synthetic materials such as decking materials, hardwood floors and other elements. The natural woods and other components are generally long lasting and higher quality than their evolved counterparts.

Cons

 

  • Older Neighborhoods

 

Older neighborhoods often come with an older overall population, which is something to consider when locating a home to raise a family or live fun and fast single life. Keep in mind the area that you are buying in before you fall in love with a older home.

 

 

  • Over-Customization

 

Having a different color carpet and paint in every room of a house can make for an overwhelming experience, contrary to new construction which is often more neutral. Keep in mind a house with a lot of “personality” can be a lot of work to make it your own.

 

 

  • Cramped Layouts

 

Looking for an open concept floor plan? If you prefer an older home, you may have a tough time finding the open space that you desire, as many older homes are more compartmentalized than newer construction. Be prepared to knock out a few walls to get the feel of that open concept living space.

 

Which type of house will you choose? If you still aren’t sure which is best for you, contact me today and let’s discover which type of home will be perfect for you.

 

July 2014 Market Stats

Click here to view the publist Metrolist Stats for July 2014 Market 

Sunnyside: 4 Reasons You’ll Love this Neighborhood

For first time home buyers and anyone looking to make the move closer to Denver, there is an up and coming neighborhood that you need to know about! The neighborhood known as Sunnyside has a lot more than a fantastic name going for it.

 

Keep reading to discover 4 awesome reasons to live in the Sunnyside neighborhood!

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Image Source: Wikipedia

 

Location: Sunnyside borders the Highlands neighborhood, and has close access to downtown Denver. Living here will give you all the comfort of neighborhood living, with proximity to big city living!

 

Environment: If you are looking for a neighborhood with a great vibe and even better food, Sunnyside is a perfect fit for you! In addition to fantastic cuisine and fun demeanor, Sunnyside is home to large lots and beautiful historic homes.

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Image Source: Common Grounds Coffee House

 

Great Deals: Although Sunnyside borders the Highlands, this area is much more affordable for home buyers with many of the same great benefits! Home buyers looking to live close to downtown but not willing to pay city prices will find this area very appealing.

 

It’s Growing: Home value in the Sunnyside neighborhood is on the rise, and now is a great time to get into the neighborhood while the homes are still affordable.

 

Do you love this neighborhood? Do you want to know more? Contact me today!

 

 

5 Ways to Pin Your Garden Green this Summer

Social Media has changed a lot of things, including the way we purchase, update, and decorate our homes. Pinterest is one of the best ways to get inspiration and DIY tips and tricks for your home. This week I am going to walk you through how you can can get the most out of your garden (whether you have a green thumb or not) using Pinterest!

Set-Up Your Board:

If you do not have a Pinterest, sign-up now (and then start Pinning with me)! Pinterest is the easiest way to organize your projects, save creative ideas, and find DIY projects. Once you have your Pinterest setup, create a gardening board.

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Identify Your Space:

Once you have laid the groundwork for your Pinterest board, figure out where the ground is that you will be working with. Are you going to be building your own herb-rack, or do you want a spacious vegetable garden? Depending on where you plan to do your growing, you may choose to pin different types of garden inspiration.

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Select Your Plants:

What kind of plants are you looking to grow? From veggies to flowers, Pinterest is full of advice on how to select the best plants for you garden. If you are looking for more of a DIY experience, you may want to start with seeds. However, if you have no idea how to get a garden started, there are plenty of good starter plants to help you grow into gardening. No matter what you choose, Pinterest can help ensure that you have selected the right plants for your space.

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Pin Tricks + Tips:

Once you have selected the types of plants you would like to grow, get busy learning how to make them thrive. There are plenty of tutorials on how to help specific types of plants grow better. Take advantage of this collective wisdom, and save it on your gardening board!

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Set Reminders:

Now that you have everything you need to get your garden started, and all the tips and tricks to help yourself succeed, set reminders to make sure that you are following directions! If you need to water your plants every day, set up reminders on your phone for a time you know you will be home to water. If you need to fertilize once a week, pop that appointment in your calendar!

Thank you for taking the time to read my gardening blog! Want some more ideas? Check out my Pinterest page to get inspired.

FHA: Looking at Costs vs. Benefits

If you’re not quite qualified for a conventional mortgage or don’t have enough saved for a down payment to buy a house, you’re in luck. The Federal Housing Administration, formed in 1934, was created to stimulate the economy by encouraging home ownership by making purchasing a home more accessible for the average joe. This means that you (or anyone) can apply for an FHA approved loan and pay as little as 3.5% down.

That’s great news for the person with little credit history, but the FHA has it’s pros and cons. Recently costs associated with FHA loans have skyrocketed, making potential buyers think twice about waiting to get qualified or saving up to put some money down. If you have poor credit history don’t get too excited, as little credit history is different than bad credit history and building back your credit score is a must whether you’re leaning toward FHA or not.

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You also can’t go out and apply for an FHA loan on a multi-million dollar property, so be aware of the limits for the loans that you can apply for. Another recent change is that PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is now required for the life of the loan, not just the until you build enough equity. Insurance and other fees add up quickly, so don’t forget to take into consideration what you’ll really be paying in the long run.

Despite the many hoops and added costs of FHA, especially lately, applying for an FHA loan can still be a great option for some buyers who can’t quite reach their savings or credit goals. If you’re looking to buy and think you’ll need a hand from the FHA, contact me today for more information to get on the path to home ownership.