Charming Lakewood Tudor Near Belmar & O’Kane Park Just Listed by Chuck Brown

DSC_0463.JPGThis brick Tudor at 6585 W. 2nd Ave. will win the heart of any fan of great architecture.  Built in 1945, it has its own well for both irrigation and household use — a great savings over public water. The entire second floor is a fabulous master suite. The basement is a mother-in-law suite with its own entrance and kitchen. The roof is new (2017) and the home is updated with brand new (2018) electrical service, central air conditioning, furnace, water heater and well pump. It has a detached 2-car garage. The location is great, too — on a quiet street close to Belmar and 6th Avenue expressway, and 1/2 block from O’Kane Park.  For a narrated video tour of this great home, inside and out, visit its website at www.LakewoodHome.info. Then call Chuck at 303-885-7855 for a private showing. Open Saturday, June 16th, 11 to 2. Listed at $430,000. 

Price Reduced on Solar-Powered Arvada Ranch With Mother-in-Law Apartment

DSC_0346Not visible from the street is this home’s solar system, which meets most of this home’s electrical needs for only $137/month year-round. It is located at 5674 Fig Way in the Candlelight Valley subdivision adjacent to the Van Bibber open space park.  A trailhead is just two blocks away. It’s a super quiet location, as you can tell by watching (and listening to) the narrated video tour at www.CandlelightValleyHome.info. This  home has a finished walk-out basement and is on one of the larger lots — over 1/3 acre. Everything about this home is top shelf, including the gourmet kitchen with marble floor, granite countertops and GE Monogram refrigerator. The walk-out basement is a mother-in-law apartment with its own kitchen. The expansive deck and covered patio provide additional entertainment possibilities.  Now listed at $797,000.

 

Gilpin County Cabin Just Listed by Carrie Lovingier

DSC_0450.JPGLocated a couple miles off the scenic Peak to Peak Highway, this charming 2-bed 1-bath mountain cabin at 39 Midway Drive is very private and has lots of natural light, a wood burning fireplace, washer/dryer hookups, and has well water and septic so it can be lived in year round or perfect for a getaway cabin. It sits on almost 2 acres and includes 2 adjoining lots for a total of nearly 4 acres of gently sloping usable land. It has a metal roof. There is plenty of room to build a garage or add on to the existing 550-sq.-ft. cabin. There’s a newer 10’x12’ Tuff Shed. The taxes are only $590/year, and the road is county maintained. Enjoy hiking, fishing, 4-wheeling, camping, or visit the nearby casinos for great food and entertainment. There’s good cell service, which is a rare bonus. Take a narrated video tour at www.GilpinCountyHome.info, then call Carrie at 303-907-1278 for a showing.  No open houses at this time.  Listed at $275,000.

 

Gentrification vs. Revitalization — It’s a Hard Topic for a Meaningful Conversation

Real_Estate_Today_bylineI have long wanted to write about gentrification but only if I could contribute meaningfully to the conversation.  Now, after attending a recent panel discussion on the topic hosted by the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR), I’m ready to give it a go.

Most of the attendees were fellow Realtors or other professionals who make their living in real estate, so the discussion lacked the sort of emotion and volume that a public meeting on this subject might contain. Let’s face it, the process, whether you call it gentrification or revitalization, financially benefits those in the industry, although it’s fair to say we all are concerned about its social impacts.

gentrification: the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that oft-en displaces poorer residents. (Merriam-Webster)

Before returning to Colorado in 1991, I lived in Brooklyn for 20 years, where gentrification was already a big topic of discussion, without the euphemism of “revitalization.” So, it’s not a new subject for me as a journalist, which was my profession back then. Al-though it has started more recently here, I observe the same process at work in the Denver metro area.

One of the panelists at the recent DMAR event was Denver City Councilwoman-at-Large Robin Kniech, who observed that the reason we call it “revitalization” is that society allowed such neighborhoods to suffer from a lack of investment for decades, leading to the need for revitalization.

revitalization: the process of making something grow, develop, or become successful again.  (Cambridge English Dictionary)

“We are only talking about revitalization because there has been an abandonment that preceded it,” she said. “Government, and typically the private market, stopped investing in an area. We stopped investing in it in many cases because we didn’t value who was living there the same as we did other parts of our city.”

Meanwhile, panel member Craig Fitchett, who is in charge of acquisition and development for Delwest (a developer), asserted that you can’t have revitalization without at least some degree of gentrification — i.e., the displacement of low-income residents.

Lori Pace, a broker associate at Porchlight Real Estate Group, expressed what I would have said had I been on the panel — that the solution to displacement is for residents of neighborhoods experiencing gentrification to own instead of rent their homes so they can benefit from the wave of appreciation that revitalization invariably brings to a neighborhood.

Programs from organizations like the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) are designed to help first-time home buyers become homeowners with as little as $1,000 out-of-pocket expense. And while these programs still require the buyer to demonstrate an income that supports a mortgage, many of these tenants are already spending more on rent than they would pay for a mortgage… if they could only make that transition to homeownership.

Once this process of ‘gentrification’ starts in a district, it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed.”  -Sociologist Ruth Glass, who coined the term “gentrification” in 1964

While there are programs that help tenants with rent and utility costs, it seems more could be done to guide residents of transitional neighborhoods facing gentrification into existing homeownership programs like CHFA’s.  In addition, I’d like to see the creation of new programs geared toward helping tenants become homeowners.  Home ownership is the real answer to gentrification.

In last week’s column, I wrote about a program that could help tenants about to be displaced from their homes by a developer. It described a company which will buy that tenant’s home (unless it’s a condo), and sign a 1- to 5-year lease with right to purchase at pre-determined prices over the 5-year period. You can re-read that column at www.JimSmithColumns.com.

I’m glad that DMAR brought this conversation to the forefront with their May 22nd panel discussion, but the conversation needs to continue. What are your thoughts on this matter?  Post your own thoughts and ideas on this subject below.

 

Price Reduced on Golden Home Backing to Greenbelt

15318 W EllsworthThis large home at 15318 W. Ellsworth Drive backs to one of the greenbelts in Mesa View Estates, far from the noise of US 6 and Interstate 70. It is only a mile, however, to the Indiana Street/US 6 interchange, making it convenient to both Denver and the mountains. With 5 bedrooms and 4½ baths on three levels and its oversized 4-car garage, it can accommodate even the largest family!  Features include a main-floor master suite that opens to a 10’x24’ wood deck with stairs down to the backyard. (There’s a $10,000 allowance for replacing deck, which is showing its age.) There are three gas fireplaces, too. In the basement bathroom is a wide 2-headed shower and a sauna. On the second floor are 3 bedrooms, one with a private bathroom and two sharing a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. The gourmet kitchen has hardwood flooring and gorgeous slab granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, which are all included, as are the high efficiency washer and dryer in the main-floor laundry room. See pictures and a narrated video tour at www.MesaViewEstates.info. Open Sunday, June 10th, 1-3 pm.

 

5-BR Brick Ranch Offers Great Sweat Equity Opportunity

Front view 2This Hutchinson ranch with finished basement at 6757 Lee Street is an excellent value in the quiet Arvada West neighborhood. It has an updated kitchen, and covered front and back porches that will be a joy in all seasons.  Landscaping is mature and affords a sense of privacy in this desirable neighborhood close to parks, rec centers, shopping and excellent schools. The home is in need of carpet, paint, updating, etc., but it’s priced to be a great opportunity for sweat equity or a fix-and-flip. See more pictures and take a narrated video tour of this home online at www.ArvadaRanch.info, then come to our open house on Saturday, June 9th, 9am to 1 pm.  Call your agent or broker associate Debbi Hysmith at 720-936-2443 to arrange a private showing.  Listed at $400,000.

 

New Program Helps Buyers (and Sellers Who Need to Buy) Succeed in This Market

Real_Estate_Today_bylineToday’s “sellers market” can prove challenging for almost any home buyer – including those who have a home to sell.  Here are some examples of buyers and sellers and the challenges they face:

Homeowners who would like to sell but are worried they won’t be able to find a replacement home.

Homeowners who don’t feel they can compete as a buyer because they must make any purchase contingent on selling their current one.

Home buyers relocating to Colorado who would prefer to rent for a while before buying.

Tenants whose landlord is selling the home they’re renting, and would like to buy it but need time to qualify for a loan.

Tenants who see a home for sale on the MLS and wish they could rent it instead.

Golden Real Estate can now meet the needs of such would-be home buyers. Under our innovative program, you need only be pre-approved as a tenant, not as a home buyer. Once approved as a tenant, you let us show you homes (except condos) that are for sale up to $550,000, knowing that we have a cash buyer ready to purchase the home and rent it to you.

Our cash buyer is Home Partners of America. Every agent at Golden Real Estate is an approved agent for them. The process is quick and painless. Here’s how it works. We submit your name and contact information to the buyer. They interview you to determine whether they would accept you as a tenant. Once approved, you visit their website, where all qualifying homes from the Denver MLS are listed, with one important difference – each home displays a rental price in addition to its sale price. Once we’ve helped you find a home you’d like to rent, you are presented with a rent-with-right-to-purchase contract. That contract will contain a grid of rental and purchase prices spanning the next five years. You never have to purchase and you don’t have to rent beyond year one.

Below is an example of that grid for a current MLS listing we found with a purchase price of $475,000.

These figures are only estimates because they assume the home is purchased for its listing price. It could be purchased for more or for less, and there could be other costs, such as repairs, associated with making the home ready for you to move in.

As long as you remain within the terms of your agreement, you will never be asked to leave during those five years.  Move, rent or buy – it’s entirely up to you.

The rent is deemed to be at market rate, so none of your rent is applied to the purchase price. You don’t have to wait until the end of your lease to purchase. You can purchase for the designated price at any time during your lease term, as shown in the grid.

Revisiting those examples of challenged buyers above, this program has the potential to meet all of their different challenges.

The homeowner who wants to sell can now do so without worrying about finding a replacement home or submitting an offer contingent on the sale of their current home. They can sign a rental agreement with Home Partners on a house that they might ultimately want to buy, but don’t have to buy. This allows the homeowner to put their home on the market using Golden Real Estate without worrying about making themselves homeless. The program gets them into an interim home, whether or not it’s one they ultimately choose to buy. They sell their home, get their cash and become a stronger non-contingent buyer with a big down payment, who can then take as long as they need to find their new home.

What about the person relocating to Colorado? This program is perfect for them, because it allows them to “test drive” a home and neighborhood they think they might like without having to fully commit to it until they have familiarized themselves with the metro area.  They have the luxury of time that they might not otherwise enjoy.

What about the tenant whose house is being sold and they have to move? Home Partners might be able to purchase that house and keep them as a tenant – a tenant who now has the security of a guaranteed right to stay for 5 years, plus the right to purchase the home if they later qualify.

People often walk into our office and ask if we handle rentals – we don’t.  This program provides an opportunity to many of these walk-ins, who would really prefer to buy but aren’t yet ready for one reason or another. Also, the inventory of homes for rent is even smaller than that of homes for sale. Wouldn’t it be great if nearly every home (except condos) priced up to $550,000 on the MLS was also available to rent?  With this program, that opportunity is yours.

You can’t contact Home Partners directly. If you think the program might be for you, you apply for it through me or one of my broker associates at Golden Real Estate. You are under no obligation to follow through, even after you are approved as a tenant. But if you like what you see, we’ll start showing you homes for sale which Home Partners is willing to purchase for you to rent.

There are other brokerages who participate with Home Partners in this program, but you’ll benefit from using Golden Real Estate, because we offer free moving into your rental — and into your ultimate purchase, if different. Conditions apply, but at the very least you have free use of our moving trucks, boxes and packing materials. Call or email me for details. (See below.)

You’re also welcome to call our office at 303-302-3636 and speak to the agent on duty.  We’re happy to answer all your questions.