Just Listed: 7-Bedroom, 5-Bath Ranch With Walkout Basement

17889 W. 95th Pl., Arvada – Just Listed at $879,000 by David Dlugasch

This ranch home is one of a kind! The 4,500-sq-ft home boasts 2 family rooms, 2 full kitchens, 2 master suites, and a flex room for an office/studio. The main level kitchen has upgraded stainless steel appliances and a gas stove. The main level has four bedrooms and a master suite with a large walk-in closet and 5-piece bathroom. Downstairs is a second master suite with an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet. There is a large bright walk-out family room, two other bedrooms, a full bathroom, and a full second kitchen with stainless steel appliances. The 3-car garage has 240V power. This one-year-old home borders open space with walking and bike trails, two health clubs, two swimming pools, tennis courts, and many parks, including a dog park. Take the narrated video tour below, then visit www.CandelasHome.info, for more details and still photos. Then call your agent or David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for a private showing.

Here’s a Postscript to My Earlier Post About All-Electric Homes

Some readers were surprised to read my column promoting the all-electric home as a cost-effective contribution to the mitigation of climate change.

If you’re thinking of 20th Century home construction, promoting the all-electric home would make little sense. Electric baseboard heating has its place, but no longer as a whole house solution. One advantage of it is that each room can have its own thermostat, so you’re only heating rooms when you use them. For the heat it produces, however, it is many times more expensive than using a mini-split heat pump solution. Recently I showed a home where a heat pump mini-split was used to heat a detached and insulated garage which doubled as a workshop. That’s a great application for that kind of heating — also because the mini-split can cool the garage in the summer, not just heat it in the winter.

There has been a revolution in the development of electric appliances, too. The induction cooktop, for example, is a highly efficient replacement for earlier electric ranges or cooktops which used resistance-based cooking elements.

Another change from the 20th Century: you can now generate your own electricity with highly affordable roof-top solar photovoltaic installations.

Help Us Find a Denver Home for Our Wheelchair-Bound Buyer!

NIck and Barb Fowler

We have a wheelchair-bound buyer looking to purchase a home in the East Denver/Aurora area. Call Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 if you can help us find a ranch-style home that is already accessible or could be made accessible. Thank you!

Just Listed: 2-Bedroom Condo in Downtown Golden

Washington Station, at 722 Washington Avenue on the corner of 8th Street, is a mixed use building, with businesses on the ground floor and part of the 2nd floor, with secure residences on the rest of the 2nd floor and the 3rd floor. This unit, #302, comes with 2 parking spaces in the ground-level garage. It has newly installed carpeting and engineered hardwood floors. The kitchen, which is open to the living room/dining room, features slab granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, a breakfast bar, and the same hardwood flooring. You’ll enjoy the mountain views from the living room windows and the 6’x11’ balcony overlooking Church ditch. A storage closet in the unit is big enough to hold bicycles, skis, snowboard, a kayak, etc. Take a narrated video tour online at www.GoldenCondo.info, then call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 to see it!

Slab granite countertops, breakfast bar and hardwood floor in kitchen
Kitchen is open to dining room/living room with hardwood floor
Mountain view from dining room/living room window
6’x11′ balcony overlooks Church Ditch, with view of North Table Mountain
Two deeded parking spaces in ground floor garage are included

Zillow’s Offer to Buy Your Home for Its ‘Zestimate’ Price Is a Brilliant But Devious Strategy

I’ve written in the past about various “iBuyer” players — look for my August 22, 2019, and January 2, 2020, columns archived online at www.JimSmithColumns. com.

Basically, iBuyers such as Opendoor and Zillow Offers attempt to lure homeowners in-to selling their home for what appears to be a good price but which is literally intended to net the seller less than if they exposed their home to the full universe of potential buyers.

Literally intended? Yes, all you need to know is that if a company wants to buy your home in order to resell it, it’s because they will make a profit from doing so. Wouldn’t  you want to keep that profit for yourself?

Now Zillow has weaponized its much criticized “Zestimate” for the purpose of getting their “foot in the door” with you. Let me share with you a few points to ponder before responding to Zillow’s pitch.

First of all, you and I both know that the Zestimate is a computer-generated number that is by definition not particularly accurate. (Zillow’s estimate on my own home is at least $100,000 over its true value.)

To facilitate their iBuyer program in Colorado and elsewhere, Zillow made big news recently when they opened brokerages and started hiring brokers. They have opened an office in Centennial and, as of this week, have 15 broker associates, 12 of them members of the Denver Metro Association of Realtors. The others belong to an out-of-state Realtor association.  So far that brokerage has put zero listings on REcolorado, our MLS, whether active, pending or closed. Presumably those 15 broker associates are busy responding to homeowners who responded to Zillow’s pitch about buying their home for the Zestimate price. How will those meetings go?

First, the broker associate will do a true market analysis and explain that the Zestimate was computer generated and overstated their home’s value. “Here’s what we will offer you, now that we know the true value.”

If the seller accepts the lowered price and signs a Zillow purchase contract, it will have the following provisions, assuming it’s similar to the contract from Opendoor that I was able to study.

First of all, the seller will have accepted a 7½% “service fee” in lieu of a commission. Next, they will have agreed to an inspection or  “assessment” of the property, which will be followed by “adjustments” to the purchase price based on “needed repairs,” including, for example, a new roof, a new furnace or water heater based on age — whatever can be justified. The example I cited in my August 2019 column mentioned $38,563 worth of “repairs found in assessment.” 

That contract had an escape clause for the seller, which Zillow’s contract probably does too, allowing the seller to terminate at any time, which is what that buyer did.  The combination of the “service fee” and the reductions to cover supposed “repairs” was so great that they called me. I listed their home for the right price and sold it above asking price due to multiple offers, netting the seller more than they would have netted under their contract with Opendoor.

I got the seller more money, because, as I said above, the only reason for Opendoor or any iBuyer to purchase a home is to sell it at the market, which requires them to purchase the home below its market value.

In the iBuyer marketplace, Zillow clearly has the advantage, because virtually every homeowner is already being dazzled by the Zestimates they get routinely by email, whereas Opendoor and other iBuyer competitors have to canvass and cold-cold homeowners about selling their home “without putting it on the market or paying a commission.”  Zillow enjoys what every brokerage wants — sellers calling them! All the Zillow brokerage has to do is employ enough agents to answer the phone and arrange those in-home “selling” appointments, which are really for the purpose of listing the home for sale once it is owned by Zillow.

It’s a great business model — for Zillow, but not necessarily for the homeowner. That is, unless the homeowner is willing to give up thousands of dollars in proceeds in return for the “convenience” of selling without any showings or other intrusions.

For some homeowners, that convenience is worth the loss of proceeds, and there are probably enough such homeowners to make the iBuyer model successful. What bothers me is that for some it will feel like a “bait and switch” situation. After all those “adjustments” have been made, they might be un-able or unwilling to exercise their right to terminate the contract because they have made life plans based on the expectation of selling their home for an acceptable price. 

Some will have already signed contracts for a new home or at a senior community. They will have already packed some of their belongings or put them in storage, and they may have told their friends that they are selling and moving. For these persons, it may be psychologically difficult or financially costly to reverse course when they discover they have been fooled into selling their home for less than its worth.

If you have responded to the Zillow pitch and would be willing to share your experience, I’d like to hear from you. My email address is Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com.  I’ll share what I learn in a future column.  Subscribe to this blog to get alerts about future postings on this or another topic of interest.

Updated 4-BR North Golden Bungalow with 2-Car Garage

1110 5th Street – Just listed at $595,000

This 1940 bungalow at 1110 5th Street is a short walk from downtown Golden, Clear Creek, a city park and numerous hiking and biking trails on the hills and mountains that encircle downtown Golden. The home has been beautifully updated, with a kitchen that is open to the living room and dining room. There are two bedrooms and a full bathroom on the main floor, plus two more bedrooms and a 3/4 bath in the basement. Unlike many Golden bungalows, this one has a detached 2-car garage with an electrical subpanel and water that is accessed from an alley behind the home. You’ll also appreciate the established low-water gardens. Find lots of pictures and a narrated video tour at www.NorthGoldenHome.com, then call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 to see it in person. We’ll have an open house this Saturday, March 20th, 11-1.

Kitchen – all appliances are included!
Dining room has gas fireplace and door to covered patio
Living room
Primary bedroom with hardwood floor, ceiling fan and windows facing front & side yards.
West-facing covered patio with sun screens. Picnic table is included.
Backyard and Oversized 2-Car Garage

Want to Avoid Bidding Wars?

   Sellers love bidding wars. Buyers not so much. If you’re a buyer and want to avoid a bidding war, simply ask one of our agents (below) to set up an MLS alert including this criterion: Days in MLS >9. As I write this, there are 1,021 listings that have been active on REcolorado 1 to 9 days on MLS, but 4,044 that have been active over 9 days. A listing that has been on the MLS 10 days or longer is far less likely to have multiple offers (unless it just posted a big price drop).

Jim Smith, 303-525-1851

Jim Swanson, 303-929-2727

Chuck Brown, 303-885-7855

David Dlugasch, 303-908-4835

Ty Scrable, 720-281-6783

Andrea Cox, 720-446-8674

‘Selling Agent’ vs. ‘Seller’s Agent’ Confuses People

Among the real estate terminology that confuses home buyers and sellers is the term “selling agent.” 

The selling agent is, in fact, the agent representing the buyer in the purchase of a home, not to be confused (hopefully) with the seller’s agent, also referred to as the listing agent.

The reasoning behind calling a buyer’s agent the selling agent is that the buyer’s agent is the one who actually sells the home. The listing agent could, of course, sell his listing himself, but 90% of the time (actually closer to 95% of the time), the home is sold by another agent who shows the home to a buyer and then writes the contract to purchase it. In return for finding the buyer, the listing agent then shares his or her listing commission with the selling agent. It’s called the “co-op” commission, because the selling agent is cooperating with the listing agent to sell the listing.

I like to compare our industry to the automobile industry. Picture, for a moment, a sales person working for a Chevrolet dealership being able to bring a buyer to a Subaru dealership, get the keys to any of the cars on the lot, give multiple test drives and then get paid 40 to 50% of a Subaru sales person’s commission for selling one of that dealer’s cars. That’s how real estate works. The Mulitple Listing Service, or MLS, was created to facilitate such “cooperation and compensation” in the real estate industry. It benefits both buyer and seller as well as both real estate agents.

Live in Downtown Golden!

    We have two condo listings in the heart of downtown Golden. One is on Clear Creek, the other is on Washington Avenue. You can take a narrated video tour of both at www.GoldenCondo.info or click on their images below.  We will provide the buyers with totally free local moving. Just pack & unpack!


640 11th Street #203 — Listed at $530,000 (click on picture to visit website)


1275 Washington Avenue #R408 — Listed at $575,000 (click on picture to visit website

Lakewood Ranch Home Just Listed by Ty Scrable

8170 W. 16th Place – Listed at $425,000

    You’re going to love this brick ranch-style home in the neighborhood between Carr Street and Wadsworth Blvd. With three beds and one bath, it is within walking distance of Morse Park and Clements Community Center. The secluded backyard is stunning and includes a covered concrete patio. The large lot offers more room to play in the grass along with multiple storage sheds. Pride of ownership shows in every corner of this well maintained home. See more pictures and take a video tour at www.LakewoodHome.info, then call your agent or Ty Scrable at 720-281-6783 to set a private showing. Don’t wait, this one will sell quickly! Open house this Saturday, 11-1.