All-Electric Homes Are Practical Now, and Can Help Mitigate Climate Change

The typical American home is powered electrically but heated by natural gas, propane or other fossil fuels. You and I can generate our own electricity with solar panels, but there’s no way for us to generate natural gas or other fossil fuel energy, so the transition to a “net zero energy” lifestyle necessitates turning away from fossil fuels and going all-electric.

Fortunately, technology has advanced — just in the last decade — to the point where going all-electric is totally practical, affordable, and a way you and I can mitigate climate change

At Golden Real Estate, our office was heated with natural gas until November 2017, when we installed a heat pump “mini-split” system and had our natural gas meter removed. With 20 kilowatts of solar photovoltaic panels, we were able to eliminate our natural gas bill but not increase our electric bill. We continue to pay just $11 per month to be connected to the electric grid (which functions as our “battery” thanks to net metering), but we are generating all the electricity needed to power, heat and cool our office building. We even have enough electricity from the solar panels to power our four electric cars without buying any net electricity from Xcel Energy. We hope other businesses will follow our lead.

Making the switch to all-electric at home is still in our future, because — like you, I suspect — we prefer gas cooking, gas grilling, and having a gas fireplace.

If, however, we can get beyond those preferences, it is possible now to heat our home and domestic hot water using heat pump appliances, and to cook our food with electric or induction cooktops and ovens.  Electric grilling is also available, although not as attractive from a taste standpoint to most of us.

All-electric homes was the subject of a talk by architect Peter Ewers at last week’s meeting of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s Jeffco chapter.  You can view an archived video of Peter’s talk at www.cres-energy.org/video.

Once we have removed gas service from our homes (and gas cars from our garages), we will have also eliminated the risks of explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning, too.  Wouldn’t that be great?

Price Reductions on 3 Golden Real Estate Listings

    This Tudor-style home at 3415 Quail St. is unlike any we have listed before.  It has its own electric remote-controlled gate to its driveway and has a beautifully landscaped 0.4-acre lot. There are four bedrooms upstairs, including a master suite with its own deck with a partial mountain view past a mature pine tree. There is an expansive flagstone patio with stucco privacy walls to the left and right outside an enclosed sunroom. Built in 1977, it has 2,502 above-ground square feet plus a full basement which is 50% finished. It’s located on a quiet cul-de-sac with only the playing field of an elementary school across the street. Located half-way between I-70 and Kipling Street, just north of 32nd Avenue, it is convenient both to downtown Denver and the mountains. Take a video tour at www.WheatRidgeHome.info. Call me for a showing.

   You’ll love this rare ranch-style home at 9379 S. Jellison Way in Trailmark! The gourmet kitchen features slab granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring that extends throughout the main level except for the carpeted bedrooms and tiled bathrooms and laundry room. The backyard features a pergola and stamped concrete which extends around both sides of the house. The master bath features a walk-in shower, slab granite double vanity, and a porcelain tile floor. In the basement is a 4th bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and laundry hook-ups, plus a second family room with a kitchenette, making it suitable for a mother-in-law apartment. View a narrated walk-through plus drone video at www.TrailmarkHome.info describing in detail the features of this home, then call your agent or me at 303-525-1851 for a private showing!  I’ll be holding it open this Sunday, Sept. 1st, 11am to 2pm.

    This luxurious mountain retreat at 26202 Golden Gate Canyon Road is located just west of Golden! Featuring a gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, stone fireplaces, modern lighting, workshop and amazing views, this home is a must see.  The property features a shooting range (could also be a pasture for horses), a 10,000-gallon cistern, multiple outbuildings and an additional building site. Words cannot describe this wonderful 11.84-acre property listed by Kristi Brunel, who can be reached for a showing at 303-525-2520. Visit www.FoothillsHome.info for a narrated video and aerial tour.

I Think I May Have Purchased My Last Car

We all know that a vehicle is “totaled” when the cost of repair is higher than its value after making the repair.

With electric cars such as Rita’s and my Teslas, the math changes rather dramatically. Except for collision damage (which is less likely because of the cars’ advanced driver assistance features), it’s hard to imagine a repair that would not be worth making.

The typical car with an internal combustion engine is often totaled because a new engine or transmission, like many other drive-train related repairs, can easily cost more than the resale value of the car. Not so with an all-electric car such as our Teslas.

Only 3% of the metal in a Tesla is steel — the body and frame are aluminum — so rust is not an issue.  The two electric motors, which are not prone to failure anyway, could be replaced in 15 minutes. There is no transmission, timing belt, fuel pump, exhaust system, etc. In fact there are reportedly fewer than 50 moving parts in the entire car. 

The battery, which barely degrades at all, can also be replaced in minutes, not hours, and, like the two motors, is warranted for eight years, unlimited miles. For me that equates to a 250,000-mile drive-train warranty. If, say, the battery needs replacing 10 years from now, the cost will probably be $5,000 or less by then — well worth the expense.

As you probably know, the operating system of the car is regularly updated by Tesla “over the air” for free. Our two cars have many features and functions that they didn’t have when they were built years ago and will have even more features in 2047, when I turn 100.

So, whereas one can speculate on the useful life of a traditional gas-powered car with a steel body, you really can’t speculate on the life expectancy of an all-electric car.

If you buy a Tesla, you may want to put it in your will, because it may outlive you.

Would you like to learn more about electric cars? On Sat., Sept. 14, from 10 am to 3pm, we’re hosting an EV round-up in our 17695 South Golden Road parking lot. Get more info at www.DriveElectricWeek.info

New Report Reveals the True Cost of Selling Your Home to an ‘iBuyer’

Perhaps you’ve heard about the new concept in home selling called iBuyers. Open Door, Zillow Offers and OfferPad are offering this way of selling your home. Basically, these firms use their own cash to buy your home and then re-sell it for a profit.

If you’re a seller who needs to sell quickly and you’re not worried about getting top dollar (or paying less in fees), the iBuyer model is an option that may not otherwise be available to you. You avoid the uncertainty of not knowing how long your home will sit on the market — or whether it will sell at all.

A company called Collateral Analytics has published a study of 4,000 iBuyer transactions in Phoenix which outlines the costs to sellers and the earnings vs. risks for these iBuyer companies. The report’s title is “iBuyers: A new choice for home sellers, but at what cost?”  It was released two weeks ago. To read the full report, click on this link.

   The last paragraph in the report is a good summary of their findings: “These preliminary empirical results suggest that sellers are paying not just the difference in fees of 2% to 5% more than with traditional agencies, and a generous repair allowance, but another 3% to 5% or more to compensate the iBuyer for liquidity risks and carrying costs. In all, the typical cost to a seller appears to be in the range of 13% to 15% depending on the iBuyer vendor. For some sellers, needing to move or requiring quick extraction of equity, this is certainly worthwhile, but what percentage of the market will want this service remains to be seen.”

In May I got a call from a couple which was under contract with OpenDoor for $548,500, but with a 7% “service charge” and $38,563 for “repairs found in assessment.” This way of doing business annoyed them enough that they terminated with OpenDoor and listed with me at $498,000, selling for $507,000, which netted them more.

Above is one of 3 charts in  the report. The analysis is from Phoenix, where OpenDoor began buying homes in 2016, because they didn’t come to Denver until 2018.

I’ve written in the past about companies which will buy your home “as is” for cash without putting it on the MLS. Then they flip the property to a new buyer for a profit — profit that you gave up  by doing business with them. The same is also true with iBuyers.

Bottom line: Unless money is no object for you, you’ll do better listing your home with a full-service traditional brokerage like Golden Real Estate. Call any of us at the phone numbers below!

Coming Soon: Remodeled Home in West Denver

Professionally remodeled, this is like a new house at 735 Perry Street. It goes on the market soon for $368,000. It has 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and everything is upgraded! New electric panel and electrical wiring, new plumbing, new heating and central air conditioning, new roof, siding, flooring, lighting, bathrooms, kitchen, appliances, master bedroom suite, it’s all new. It also has an on-demand tankless water heater. The fenced yard is spacious, with a storage shed and a sprinkler system. Enjoy the large 24’x10′ covered patio, perfect for entertaining. The Lakewood Gulch Trail crosses Perry St. two blocks  north of this home and the Perry St. station of the light rail’s W Line is just two blocks farther north in the Lakewood/Dry Gulch Park. This home will be on the market next week. Meanwhile, call listing agent David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for advance information.

Further Price Reduction on Fully-Equipped Horse Property Near Downtown Golden

How does this sound?  A fully-equipped 0.92-acre horse property, 4 miles from downtown Golden, with 3-stall horse barn and 5-bedroom home with 3-car garage, now only $741,000. See pix & details at JeffcoHorseProperties.com.

Just Listed: Rare Patio Home Near the Arvada Center

This 2-bedroom patio home at 8242 W. 67th Drive is in the Meadow Ridge patio home community just a few blocks west and one block south of the Arvada Center for the Arts & Humanities. It was just listed for $595,000. There are only 41 patio homes in the community, which was built by Designer Homes LLC, which has a 99 score from BuildZoom. And this is a fabulous home with high-end finishes. Every light fixture, for example, is a work of art, not the typical tract home builder light fixture. Be sure to look for them! Even the garage is beautifully painted and super clean! If you’re like me, you’ll also appreciate the full unfinished basement. Overall, I was super impressed, and I know you will be, too! True patio homes like this with zero outside maintenance are hard to find these days. View my narrated video tour at www.ArvadaHome.info, then come to the open house on Saturday, August 24th, 11am to 2pm or call Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.