Buy vs. rent: Guiding clients through the age-old dilemma - Inman News

With millennials’ preference toward a mobile lifestyle, the question of “buy versus rent” is prevalent among a demographic that constitutes a large segment of our first-time homebuyers.

Furthermore, baby boomers are confronted with the same question for varied reasons that include a newfound desire to be mobile and investing in a market that is appreciating from the aftermath of the recent housing bubble.

Real estate agents well-versed on the variables that determine whether a client should pursue homeownership instead of a lease, are positively guiding people through this major life decision.

So posed with the question of whether to buy or rent, what is the answer?

If you do the math, buying in booming markets such as San Francisco, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and my hometown of Denver becomes less expensive than renting over time; plus, with property values rising, it is generally favorable to purchase a home as a long-term investment.

“Renters who want to become buyers hear the buzz that there is a frenzy in the real estate marketplace with multiple offers, over list price and low inventory, so they are nervous to enter into the homebuying market, and they are sticking to renting,” said Denver-area Realtor Brigette Modglin.   <<Read More >>

Everything and more from Denver’s newest Lakehouse17


Denver continues to grow steadily on a daily basis, from the people who move here to the buildings popping up all over town, our beautiful city continues to grow and develop into a modern city. People come here for the comfortable way of life, the luxury of the mountains and outdoor lifestyle mixed with the extensive career choices this city has to offer. Not to mention that great work-life balance that more and more people want to have, Denver is a city allows people to find that perfect space of enjoying their job while also enjoying what the city and surrounding areas have to give.


With Denver being an ever-flourishing city comes more and more new additions and not just any new additions, some of the most top-notch ideas and concepts are finding their way to our front doors. Denver is looked to as a leading city when it comes to many things culturally so it’s no surprise that our real estate market is also one that gets the good end of the stick when it comes to new real estate developments.


One of the latest new additions coming to Denver is a beautiful eclectically designed development called Lakehouse situated on the south shore of Sloan’s Lake. This 206 high-rise development allows options for penthouse, condominium and row home living. Along with some incredible views and outdoor living spaces over looking Sloan’s Lake, Lakehouse offers a wellness center, a lakeside terrace, community spaces, private underground parking and storage, bicycle shop and an organic farm.


The one really distinct thing about Lakehouse is that it is the first registered project in Colorado to pursue WELL building standard. So what is WELL?  It is the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness. There are seven areas of the WELL building standard: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. WELL takes all of these things and marries best practices in design and construction with evidence-based medical and scientific research. All of this research and design make for a living environment that is used as a vehicle to support human health and well-being.


If you could find a place to live that supported your work and live vision, while helping keep you healthy and happy, wouldn’t you want to move in their immediately? I know I would! Give me a call today and let me set up a showing for you at this stunning development, see for yourself why this new spot is one of the most sought after living spaces in Denver. 



Why Denver is the Perfect Place for Young Entrepreneurs

If I were to tell you that Denver ranks pretty high in the country for places that young entrepreneurs are moving to, would that surprise you? Probably not because we all know that Denver is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and with our outdoor playground in our backyard, the work/life balance here attracts hard workers from all areas. Recently, Denver was ranked 9th in the nation of best cities for young entrepreneurs based on the four criteria of young adult influence, educational attainment, population growth and tax environment by


The rate at which this city is growing will not slow down anytime soon and the types of jobs that the city has to offer is bringing more and more talent to Colorado. Young entrepreneurs see Denver as a place to set up shop because they don’t have the excessive cost of living, a great pick of potential workers and they get to live in one of the most beautiful states in the country. Also the location of Denver is idea for work, it is not too long of a flight from California or the Midwest (New York is always a bit of a long flight but hey, for the view of the Rocky Mountains I think many people will take the three + hour flight).


When many of these young entrepreneurs come to Denver they are looking for a place to set up shop or even a place they can use as a live/work space. One thing I would recommend is to look into the extensive selection of lofts this city has to offer that are ideal as live/work spaces. Since 2005, I have been specializing in lofts, specifically those in the downtown area, and my website is a great place to start looking for any young entrepreneur looking to move to Denver. Not only will you have a spot to work and live, but you will also own property here in Denver that is always a great investment. I constantly tell my clients that the greatest investment anyone can make for themselves in Denver right now is in real estate and the facts and numbers that recent studies have shown continue to prove that point.


If you are an entrepreneur looking to move to the Denver area sometime soon or anytime in the future, give me a call or email today and let’s set up a time to chat about the choices you have when it comes to looking for the perfect life/work space for your business.

 Live/work Loft At The Bolt Factory - Listed By: Phillip Svabodo, Blue Shift Real Estate  $5000/MO  8/26/16

Live/work Loft At The Bolt Factory - Listed By: Phillip Svabodo, Blue Shift Real Estate  $5000/MO



As you drive on the highway out of Denver, away from the city towards the towns surrounding, you may find yourself on US-85 heading towards a town called Brighton, Colorado. Just a hop, skip and jump away from Denver, or about a thirty minute drive, this small town has a lot of character as well as a lot of history. First established as a city back in the 1860’s, Brighton first possessed the name Hughes Station because of the Hughes Stagecoach Station that was built as well as the Boulder Valley Railroad. During that time, Hughes Station was a place for the railroad and fur traders to stop as everything was expanding west. In 1881, the City of Brighton was born, named after the birthplace of the founder Daniel Carmichael’s wife. From that point on, Brighton continued to grow and thrive as a city as it continues to do to this day.

Today I have a listing that I am working on that is located in Brighton, CO.  I am excited for this listing because I live in Brighton so it's close to my home and my heart as I am raising my family here.  

I moved to Brighton three years ago and let me tell you it was not a move I wanted to make.  When I thought of Brighton I though it was too far east, didn't have anything going on and it was just not interested.  When we started to look for a home we wanted something unique and custom, on some land and a place where we could maybe have horses and just spread out a little.  When you are a Realtor you work with people all day, you are in your car a lot and all you want to do when you come home is relax and enjoy your family and loved ones. 

My husband sent me a listing in Brighton and said we should go check out this home.  I said "no way, I am not moving to Brighton".  He asked me several times to go look at it and every time I turned it down.  He was persistent with me and then just scheduled the showing and I was kicking and screaming all the way there.  Well, that just happened to be the home we had been looking for and believe me we were looking for an entire year.   

Once we got settled in we realized that Brighton was not that far and there was actually a little downtown area that was screaming for some attention.  So I started to get to know Brighton a little better and even got involved a little with the redevelopment of the old Brighton Buddhist church.  I met with the city of Brighton and the Brighton Economic Development committee and learned that there is a lot planned for Brighton and the city is working hard to support the small business that are currently there, bring in new small businesses so that more people and families will move here and see what a great city it is.  

For my listing today I had the the photography done by @NoahBergPhotography and a drone video shoot done by@B&GCameraNautics and the video production will be done by Wade Holland @WadeHollandMedia.  I have never used a drone before as most of my listings are in an urban setting in Downtown Denver so it was a really fun experience.  

Well, you probably thought I was going to give you all the details didn't you. Nope, you will have to wait until next week when the listing and video goes live.  

Stay tuned....


How Testimonials and Reviews are Beneficial for Your Company (Even the Bad Ones!)

Let me start by saying this, the first time you get a bad testimonial or a less-than-professional review, it does not feel good on the receiving end. You may get upset; that pit in your stomach may grow and you may sit up at night questioning why the reviewer said what they did or what the testimonial will do for you and your company. All these thoughts will race through your brain and here is where I am going to tell you to take a deep breathe and listen to me when I say; all reviews and testimonials, good or bad, are good for you and your company and I am going to tell you why.


·      The reason most customers leave a company or stop using a product isn’t because they are necessarily dissatisfied with the company as a whole or the products they supply but how they were treated by an employee, the help team, etc. Customer support and how they are treated is the main factor with customers and if they feel they were treated poorly or their situation was handled poorly, get ready to wave goodbye. Knowing this is a huge advantage to you as a business owner because those are problems you can fix. My best advice would be to listen closely to the customer (and not all customers are the easiest of people I understand that and they may feel they deserve special treatment) but overall listen to what they are saying and make changes where changes need to be made. When you are developing your team of workers, surround yourself with a team who treats people the same way you do, no matter their title or their position. Customers can come from all walks in life and you and your team have to be prepared to go out on a limb for some to make them feel comfortable.


·      Customers are skeptical of almost any business they first work with and that is understandable. But it is those returning customers, the ones you have worked with for years, the ones who you send ‘Happy Birthday’ cards to and who continue to come back to you year after year that you need to write you a good testimonial. When researching companies to work with or products to use, people today turn to the Internet and read testimonials and reviews to decide where they should take their business. It is up to you as a business owner to ask your repeated customers and even your new customers to write reviews for your company and express how that will help your company in the long run.


Reviews and testimonials are a great way to connect with your customers and work on issues in your company as well as your own personal issues that could be pointed out through a review or testimonial. The bottom line is, by knowing what you are doing well and what you are not doing so well, these things will allow you to grow as an individual and as a company so you can continue to be better in the long run. 

Why Being Social Is Essential In Any Business

When talking about social media, many people think of it as a fun thing they do during the day when they have a few down minutes. Social platforms are seen as a place to keep pictures and look up old friends, to write about opinions and to share memories. But there is a whole other side to social media that I, as a business owner, have come know quite well. No matter how hard many business owners’ try to fight it, our country is an ever-growing social media network with new ways to connect and market coming out daily. It is important as a person in business that I figure out the best way to use social media to further my work connections, to advertise my properties and to market myself as a real estate agent and business owner. While I do believe in the older way of marketing, going out and meeting people and handing out my card, there is just not enough hours in the day. Having social platforms that I can post on helps me connect with a wider audience while allowing more relationships to begin via the Internet. Below I have compiled a list of the benefits to having different social media platforms for your company:

Finding New Customers/New Customers Finding You – Whatever product your are buying/selling, there is always a market out there and the more you are out there on social media marketing yourself, the more likely people will find you. With things like Facebook, you can join groups that specifically go with your company and from there, new customers can find you. Or on a platform like Twitter, finding what you want is only a “@” sign away.

Seeing Your Target Market Personally – With access to your customer base at your fingertips on social media, you will get to know them better which in turn will help you market your company/product better.

Keeps You in the Now – A lot of business owners think they have missed the train when it comes to social media and are not sure why they should start now. Well, I can tell you this, it is never too late to start! Even if you are just putting your business on the social media map, you will be surprised just how quickly being in the public eye will increase your sales. Also, it is more than likely that your competition is on social media already and therefore already a step ahead of you. We both know that being one step behind is never the best place to be so take the step and get your social media started today!

It Is Free – I could repeat this one a few times because let me tell you, marketing isn’t cheap, but social media is free, period. Use that to your advantage! Get out there and figure out what social platforms are best for your brand and then use those as guides to market your company. If you are a company such as a real estate agent, using Instagram to post pictures of upcoming listings or great house fixer-upper ideas would benefit not just you, but your clientele, and possibly future clients as well.

Take the time today and sit down to experiment with different social media platforms to figure out which one best fits your business. If they appear intimidating, there are plenty of social media experts out there who would be willing to sit down and go over each essential element to each platform and help you decide which platform makes the most sense for your company.

Just remember, it is essential to be social in today’s business world, find the best platforms for you and your company and watch your business grow!

A Little Meditation each Day Keeps the Stress Away

Everyone has his or her morning routines. Some people get up and head to the gym for a quick workout before heading into the office. Some people get up and sit down at their computers to answer emails and write for a few hours. Others meet up with friends for coffee and discussion before tackling their busy day.

My daily routine starts each day at 4am, yes that includes the weekends. I know, sounds a bit early for some people and that’s ok, for me, this is a time I can have to myself before getting my day going. I have found over the years that meditation works wonders for my mind and my spirit. By getting up each morning and focusing my mind and readying my person for the day ahead, I am able to tackle each day with a calm and ready demeanor. I grab a large glass of water and I do yoga or PiYo in the morning and then I always read something inspirational to help me get going for my day and then I may post something on my social media to help others feel inspired as well.  Nothing too elaborate but I make sure to stick with the same routine as it now is a habit and I look forward to it every day. I also follow a group on Facebook called Miracle Morning that is a group who takes everything based off a book by Hal Elrod. 

I know meditation can be a hard thing to start doing, we all have those racing minds especially right when we wake up in the morning. Below are some suggestions I have if you think this is something you think you would like to try out. For me, I know it has helped me to be a better wife, mother, friend and businesswoman. Starting each day by centering myself helps me center the other parts of my life.

1.    Start small, 3-5 minutes: It can be hard to sit still and let your mind rest, and trust me, 3 minutes will seem like a lot at first! But work on concentrating on your breathing and focusing your thoughts. Eventually, you will be able to meditate 20+ minutes if you so choose.

2.    Understand meditation can help with stress, irritability, anxiety and overthinking: I think every one of us suffers from one of these attributes and mediation is a healthy way to help work on controlling those.

3.    Find your own method that works for you: We are all individuals and as such we probably will have a method of mediation that feels right to us. I personally like yoga even though I know that isn’t for everyone. Try a few methods out, research different techniques and eventually with a few trials and error you will find one that works best for your mind and soul.

4.    Make sure you are comfortable: If your kids are running around, the dog is barking, and you are sitting on a hard wood floor, it will be almost impossible to meditate. Make sure to choose a quiet place as well as a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed and let everyone else in the house know that your meditation time is quiet time.

 If you are not a morning person, but rather a night person, I know many people who also find time to meditate each night to let their mind quiet for the night. Regardless if you are a morning or evening person, mediation has changed my life for the better and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to find peace and tranquility in their personal life and professional life. 

Photo by anyaberkut/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by anyaberkut/iStock / Getty Images

A New Place to Brew in Brighton

This has been a busy summer for me and life does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon! Besides being a full-time mom, Realtor, wife and entrepreneur, I am also working hard to help bring something special to the city of Brighton. Many of you may know that I am working on project with in Downtown Brighton which involves the renovation of the old Buddhist church found on the outskirts of Brighton right off of the highway 85 coming in from Denver. The project is currently in the renovation process as we strive to keep the historic feel of the church while adding modern day touches and go-green amenities.

The church is something special and that is what we felt when we first toured the space. It had been left abandoned and unused for ten years and we felt this was a space that needed to be restored and re-loved by the community. This space was once a gathering area for young and old alike and we hope that once the project is finished, it can be a place once again where friends and families gather to enjoy one another’s company and good food and drink.

Currently, we are looking for a Craft brewery user to move into the space but we are also interested in a whiskey distillery/tasting room or cider distillery/tasting room. With the amount of space and the great location, this is sure to be a spot perfect for any distillery. It is not like Colorado is a stranger to good distilleries; we have quite a few in the area and are hoping to add to the already great collection.

If you are curious to check out distilleries around Denver and the surrounding area, check a few of these out: Vapor Distillery in Boulder, Stranahan’s in Denver, First Draft in Rino, and the Colorado Cider Company. What better way to spend an evening with friends or a weekend adventure with a loved one then sitting down to taste a few cold brews? Denver already has a great love for our breweries and distilleries and we hope to continue that love in Brighton that is just a short ride from downtown Denver.

With all that being said, we are looking for someone to set up shop at this beautiful church. If you or anyone you know is looking to have a space to run a brewery or a distillery, give me a call today and I would love to take you around the space and show you our current plans for everything. Let’s bring a new taste to Brighton, one of the cold brew kind!

 Renderings by @BenLochridge

Renderings by @BenLochridge

Vroom Vroom, Car Shows for the July 4th Weekend

Hard to believe it is already July, where has the summer gone? I’m sure you are all getting ready to do fun activities this July 4th weekend from a backyard bbq to heading downtown to watch the great fireworks or maybe packing up the kids and heading on a little mountain road trip. There is so much to do this weekend and I know my husband and my daughter and I are excited for some particular events that have to do with old cars, a love all of us share. My husband and I have been avid car show attendees for years now, as admirers of other people’s automobiles and as displayers of some of our own antique car models. I know we are not the only people who enjoy these car shows, young and old alike take to these events and so I have prepared a list of some great shows to check out over this holiday weekend:

Cruise Lovelandevery Friday night in Loveland from May through September, come cruise the streets in your beautiful car!

 Red, White and Vroom Car Show8:00am – 3:00pm - showcasing classic and exotic cars from all over the world on July 4th.

Cars & Coffee (Weather Permitting)8:00am – 10:00am - if you are one who likes a wide range of cars from Ferraris to Corvettes to Classic muscle cars, this is the event for you. If the weather is nice come out and enjoy the line-up of exotic cars sure to put a smile on any car lovers face.

Very Fine Wheels Car Show 8:00am – 1:00pm – held at VFW Post 4171, all the proceeds from this show go to help local veterans and with limited space available, pre-registration is recommended.

18th Annual ‘Coolest Car Show’ – 10:00am – 4:00pm – this is an event for the whole family so bring everyone! Check-in time is from 8am-9:30am with an entry fee of $30, all registrants receive goodie bags and dash plaques. With an option to display your car indoors or outdoors, admission is only $5 per adult and $2 per child or $10 for the whole family. Live music, children’s activities, a raffle and silent auction accommodate this fun show!

Take the family and your favorite classic car and make sure to catch one of these great shows this weekend! And if it is time to find a new place to park your car, maybe a new three-car-garage, shoot me an e-mail or give me a call. I know it is important to have a place to park your baby and would love to help you start searching for that next spot for you!

Have a safe and happy 4th everyone!

Keep Yourself Cool This Summer

Well, summer weather is officially upon and minus the crazy days of hail and dramatic thunderstorms, the sun and warm times have found their way to Denver and I would say, bring on the summer fun! As you and the family get ready to enjoy this warm weather, I would remind you to take precautions when being out in the sun for long periods of time and have compiled a list of ways to stay hydrated whether you are enjoying a Rockies baseball game or a day of exploring in the mountains, we live in one dry climate and on top of the heat, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated!

  • Who says that you have to drink your hydration? A summer favorite fruit, watermelon, is one of the best thirst quenchers in the book. The fruit is made up of 92% water mixed with salt, calcium and a bit of magnesium making this ideal for rehydration. Also if you are more of the veggie type, celery is a good choice because the stalks are 95% water and its packed full of fiber and minerals.
  • Sometimes we just don’t want to drink water, understandable, so throw in a few other beverages such as milk (studies show it is better than both water and sports drinks for rehydration and recovery after exercise). Smoothies are both refreshing and nutritionally packed, a bonus!
  • Drink water until you feel like a fish, not really, but as humans we need a lot of water on the daily and many of us barely get even close to the right amount. For women, it’s around 11 cups a day and for men it’s around 15 cups a day but remember, that includes 20% from food intake.
  • We all love a good cocktail on a sunny patio somewhere in Denver, who doesn’t? But be careful while consuming alcoholic beverages which lead to additional fluid loss. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, make sure to have one non-alcoholic beverage, and always drink in moderation.

Besides staying hydrated it is also important to stay cool and below are a few great pools to head to with the family:

  • Denver Parks and Recreation has 13 indoor pools and 16 outdoor pools, because summer is when outdoor opens, make sure to take advantage of the ones listed:
    • Outdoor: Aztlan , Green Valley Ranch, Barnum Park, Harvey Park, Berkeley Park, Harvard Gulch, Congress Park, La Alma/Lincoln, Cook Park, Mestizo-Curtis Park, Eisenhower, Ruby Hill, Garfield Park, Southwest, Globeville Argo, Swansea

Maybe you would like to have the comfort of a pool in your own backyard? If that is the case and you are thinking it may be time to look for a new house with such pool, give me a call today and let’s grab some hydrating drinks and discuss what exactly you are looking for.

 Photo by ivanastar/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by ivanastar/iStock / Getty Images

Things to do in Denver this Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, which means one of two things; either you are staying in the city to have a bbq or you are heading out of the city to do on a short vacation. If you are staying in Denver this weekend, I poked around to find some great activities to do for you and your family because it is a long weekend and you should go out and enjoy!

Downtown Denver Arts Festival – May 22nd – 24th

This is all weekend long and features the best of Colorado visual artists. More than 125 artists from all over the state will be there exhibiting and selling their art. A fun way to meet local and Colorado artists and see what talent can be found in our great state!

Denver Day of Rock – May 23rd

Downtown Denver will be transformed into a massive free rock concert for all of Denver to enjoy one day and one day only. With 20+ bands taking to five different stages, you are sure to find something to get down to. The performances will take place all down 16th Street Mall, making it easy to get from performance to performance. Bring the whole family to enjoy food, beverages, and of course, the music.

Take a Colorado State Capitol tour –

Modeled after the Capitol Building in Washington D.C., the Colorado State Capitol building is a stunning structure with beautiful stained glass depicting people and events essential to Colorado, combined with elegant Colorado white granite, rose onyx, and Yule marble. Even if you have been a Colorado native your whole life, this is a great building to go see inside and take a guided tour. There’s also a 99-step spiral staircase to an open-air deck offering spectacular views of the city skyline and Rocky Mountains just be sure you wear a good pair of shoes!

Coors Brewery Tour –

For those of you 21+, heading up to Golden and going on the free, self-guided Coors tour is kind of a must. What better weekend to do it then this holiday weekend? Coors Brewery is the world’s largest brewing site and they continue to use the same Rocky Mountain spring water their found Adolph Coors discovered in 1873, sounds tasty to me.

Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants – May 22nd – May 24th

What is better than a day spent with the Rockies eating hotdogs and spending time with your family? Catch a game this weekend and make sure to cheer loudly for our boys!

Denver Comic Con – May 23rd – May 25th

For all the comic and science fiction fans out there, this is the event for you. Held at the Colorado Convention Center, this fun event brings out the fans young and old. Make sure to go dressed as your favorite character and enjoy meeting some of the Comic Con greats.

Red Rocks Amphitheater –

The first Film on the Rocks is this Saturday May 23rd with the showing of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. If you are an early morning person, head out Saturday morning for the Fitness Challenge and enjoy a heck of a workout while you take in the beautiful scenery.

Whether you are staying in town this weekend or heading off to a vacation, I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday. I also want to take a quick minute and say thank you to all the men and women who have served our country and those who are serving today, thank you for all that you do. 

 Photo by kwasny221/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by kwasny221/iStock / Getty Images

Sprucing up your home for the big sale

Spring and summer here in Colorado are the biggest seasons for selling and buying houses. Sellers know when the weather changes, buyers are out and about looking for their next purchase. These sellers also know that putting in some money to the appearance of their house after the winter will attract more buyers, add value, and potentially give them more offers at the end of the day. One of the biggest recommendations I have for homeowners is to keep your house up-to-date with inspections, presentation and overall wellbeing. If you keep your house functioning but don't give it updates when needed or replace appliances when they falter, you will have a much bigger job on your hands when it comes time to sell your home. To be able to put your house on the market with little work will keep your selling experience less stressful and will keep buyers more interested in what your beautiful house has to offer.

I have compiled two lists; one is for things to do during the years to keep your house up-to-date and the other is what to do when it is time to put your house on the market, how to get your house selling ready!

List 1 - What to do yearly to keep your house in good condition:

  • Have your appliances checked - There are professionals out there who would be happy to stop in and check on your appliances from your water-heater to your stove. Keeping your appliances up-to-date and working properly will keep you from having expensive replacements if the new buyers find issues with the appliances before moving in.
  • Maintain your yard - Your yard really is the first things buyers will see when they pull up to your house so keeping a good curb appeal is like putting the finishing jewelry or shoes with a great outfit, the wrong shoes could wreck the whole outfit just as a yard unappealing to the eye could turn buyers off immediately. Mow, prune trees, cut bushes, pull weeds, and plant flowers yearly to keep your yard looking extra beautiful.
  • Paint, it's cheap and makes things look fresh - If you notice the paint on your house or inside your house is starting to look a bit drab, maybe it is time to add a fresh coat. Giving your house this extra love is a sure way to show potential buyers that you care about this house and care about who the house is sold to. 

List 2 - Preparing to put your house on the market:

  • First impressions are everything - This is more true then you would expect but you want every buyer to pull up to your house, enter your house and think to themselves, I could definitely live here. Curb appeal as well as entrance appeal are a must to make a potential buyer see what your wonderful house has to offer.
  • Paint, paint, paint! - Again, paint is cheap and can really add character to a room. While many of the rooms in your house should be neutral to let buyers put there own vision in each room, adding a bit of color throughout will give the house a unique appearance. Maybe even having a room or two have a theme when staging them, from a beach room to your backwoods room, giving your home that homey feel and character can really help buyers imagine what can be done in those spaces.
  • Keep it light and keep it bright - Don't over clutter your home with a bunch of furniture and decorations, you want buyers to see the amount of space in each room so arrange your furniture in each room to show off the whole area. Also, let the sunshine into each room, make sure shades are open and drapes are pulled back to let all the light into each room.
  • Focus on the heart of the home - As many people will tell you, the heart of the home can be found in the kitchen. If you are going to put money into redecorating or refurbishing rooms in your house, the kitchen is a great place to start. Update appliances and make sure to give the kitchen a real warm feeling so buyers can envision family dinners and friends coming over for potluck in that space.
  • Don't forget the garage - Yes, buyers will go look at this space!  First, make sure it is clean and then try to put up shelves and organize the area to show how that space can be used in many ways not just as a place to park cars. 
  • Hire a realtor - I cannot stress enough how much work goes into selling a house and to help you with that, make sure to really consider having a real estate agent help you. If you are looking to sell your house this summer, give me a call and I would be happy to sit down with you and go over recommendations I would have to spruce up your place to get it market ready. 
 Photo By: Victor Fossen

Photo By: Victor Fossen

How to Negotiate When Buying a Home

In today’s fast-pass housing market, especially in Denver, going to buy a home can seem like an experience at an auction house. You know what I’m talking about right? Where the auctioneer (here being the home owner) has the ultimate say and you and a good dozen people stand around hoping to make the final offer and hear those magic words of “Sold!”.

So how can you best prepare when going in to negotiate? What is the best way to approach an initial offer, decide on a good price, and finally, sign on the dotted line for ownership to the house of your dreams?

Well first thing is first, you need to have help in your corner from day 1. Working with a REALTOR® is going to put you ahead of the curve because REALTORS know the industry inside and out. We know how to negotiate with sellers and buyers, we know the neighborhoods and what houses are worth, and finally, we know how to get down and creative if we need to in order to help negotiate the best price and outcome for you and your family.

First and foremost, when looking to buy or sell and when it comes to negotiations, find a good REALTOR® and even better a REALTOR® who is an MCNE ( Master Certified Negotiation Expert) (if you are looking currently feel free to give me a call, happy to talk with you).  But here are some other suggestions when it comes times to negotiate for the house of your dreams.

Denver is currently in a sellers’ market, meaning that there is a high demand for houses and sellers’ hold the power. In this type of market you need to move quick when it comes to a desirable house and make a good connection with the buyer. If a buyer doesn’t like your offer, they won’t spend a lot of time negotiating with you. So when working in this market, keep it very simple in the steps to make before negotiating and the steps during negotiation:

  •  In any market, it is essential to get pre-approved right away for a loan. If a seller sees you have the means to purchase their house that always makes them more comfortable with negotiating.
  • Go in strong with your offer, offer the asking price or something close to it.
  • Consider writing a personal letter with your offer or even add a photo to let the seller see who the potential buyers are and an image of the new people who would enjoy the home just as much as the seller did.
  • Ask only for the standard contingencies — financing, appraisal and inspection — to protect yourself down the road.
  • If you really like the home, be prepared to move quickly, houses do not last long in this market.

With all of these negotiation tools in your back pocket, it is exciting to think about finding that perfect home to call your own. Always remember, REALTORS are here to help you through the processes and are your advocate and if you are looking to buy or sell, don’t hesitate to give me a call and chat about what you are looking for, I am more than happy to lend any and all master negotiation skills I have!

 Photo by alengo/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by alengo/iStock / Getty Images

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Paying Over List Price

Spring has sprung around the Denver area and with the changing of seasons and new life sprouting everywhere there also begins the new busy season in the housing market. Have you decided this spring might be the perfect time to start looking for that dream home of yours? There is no time like the present and as Denver continues to grow on the daily, if you are ready to purchase a home, start looking today but be prepared for what you might run into along the way.

 In the Denver market, many buyers are paying over the list price, which can be hard or uncomfortable when you are entering the market with a specific budget in mind. Due to this being a sellers market where homes sell quickly and sellers have a lot of pricing power often even the appropriately priced homes in the Denver metro region sell quickly and receive multiple offers and even cash on the spot offers. In the last month alone, 48 homes in Denver urban neighborhoods went under contract in 7 days or less and sold for 102% of their original list price. The seller and the listing agent determine the list price based on the current market and by comparing recent sales of similar homes. If priced well, the home will fall within a verifiable range based on those sales. Please understand this is a range and there is not set number.  To ensure the home is priced accordingly, ask your Realtor to look at sold and under contract comps in the neighborhood and to discuss those with you.

 With record low inventory and high buyer demand this is causing homes in the Denver metro region to appreciate rapidly. The rule of thumb is to look at comps within the last three months.  If you look back further than three months this can skew your price point and your mental willingness to aggressively pursue the home. Denver homes appreciated at an average of 17% over the last year. This means that the home you could have purchased 12 months ago for 400k is now worth 451k. This provides a solid case and can make you more comfortable when offering over list price. One thing not to do is wait to make an aggressive offer until you have searched for months and lost out on several homes due to being outbid because you could very well price yourself out of the market.  Here are some guidelines you and your agent can employ to help you get under contract and into your next home:

·       Pursue homes priced below the top of your price range. Giving yourself a 3-5% financial buffer will allow you to comfortably bid over list price, providing you a competitive edge and more leverage.  

·       Unless you are paying cash for the property, an appraisal will be required. The appraisal is an official report comparing similar properties (comps) to determine the value of the home you are purchasing. The lender will use this appraised value to determine how much money they will lend to you. If the offer you submitted on the property is higher than the appraised value, you will need to account for the difference.

·       As the buyer, be prepared to make up that difference by bringing cash to the closing table. If the seller is willing to negotiate, they may adjust the purchase price or look to find a compromise between the two. If you reviewed the comps with your Realtor prior to making an offer, you should have a realistic idea of the value of the property.

If your offer far exceeded the homes estimated value, in order to get under contract, there is a good chance the deal will crash at appraisal. Another buyer, the one with the solid and realistic backup offer, is waiting for this to happen. Moral of the story: Make sure you can follow through on your offer before submitting it.

·       Consider terms when writing a competitive offer. The highest offer is not always the deciding factor for sellers. In other words, those with the most money do not always win. A well-written contract with terms that address the seller’s needs is equally important. Does the seller need to find a replacement home? If so, your offer should allow them time to do just that. Will they consider making a concession for updates or closing costs? If not, don’t ask for them in your initial offer. Are there any other offers on the property? If so, you need to adjust your offer accordingly. An experienced Realtor will call the listing agent to ask questions specific to your purchase, allowing you to craft an offer that works well for both parties. The fact of the matter is: If multiple parties are imagining living in the home you love, you’ve got to move past the list price before putting out the welcome mat. Talk to your Realtor about thoughtful strategies to secure your next home.

 If you think you are ready to dive in and start looking, start your search here. I know how daunting it can be to begin looking for that dream house of yours and I am here to help you take those first and last steps to securing that special place. 


Treat your mature business like a Startup.

Even though I have been in business since 2000 I still consider myself and my business like a startup.  Technology, people and new innovations are always changing and you have to make sure you always stay on top of them.  

I recently purchased a Colorado longboard company and found myself calling it a startup but It has been around since 2008.  It never got to really see the market and it had so much potential.  My husband, Jay Modglin and I decided to buy this company because we love business and new challenges.  We saw the potential to grow this company but we also saw that it is part of a cool creative culture and we were excited to be a part of it. 

We never longboarded but I been snowboarding for over 20 years, Jay used to surf and snowboard and we both skateboarded when we were kids.  So we thought how hard could it be!  So we decided to purchase the company and then started to learn how to longboard.  Surprisingly we jumped on and picked it up right away. 

So this brings me back to my post about treating your mature business like a startup.  Maybe you should always consider your business like a startup so you are always looking for what is new and innovative for your business.  If you keep doing the same thing the same way it may not get you infront of anyone new.  

Time is never wasted when absorbing, reading and learning about the world outside of your own market.  Remaining curious and devoting time weekly to expand your own perspective can pay off for your business.  You never innovate examining your own category and what your competitors are doing.  Push yourself outside your market comfort zone to inspire fresh thinking and new ideas. 

I sell and personally invest in real estate full time and I love what I do.  Purchasing this new Longboard company made me realize that I needed to look at my real estate business like a startup and make sure I am new and innovative all the time.  

So I have recently started this blog and looking to meet new and innovative people through it.

Go and be a startup again but don't forgot to also be a mature business and act like you've made it! 

Owners of LJ Longboards.jpg

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