Do You Have a Question or Concern About Your Reverse Mortgage?

A very upset reader recently contacted me with a concern about their reverse mortgage and the payment of real estate taxes. I referred that reader to Jim Spray, a reverse mortgage expert. If you have a similar concern, call Jim at 303-403-8168 or write to him at Please copy me on your email.

I love to hear from my readers for any reason. Call me at 303-525-1851 or email me at Call or email me anytime!


Would You Like to Be Alerted to Real Estate Activity in Your Area?

Would you like to know when homes in your subdivision go on the market, go under contract or are sold?

As a free service to our readers, we can set you up to receive an email alert within 15 minutes of any of those real estate events occurring in your neighborhood.

To get it started, all you need to do is send an email to,. Provide your own address and the outlines of your neighborhood or the name of your subdivision, and we’ll get you set up.


Price Reduced on Kristi Brunel’s Listing in Arvada’s Ridge at Harvest Lane

StreetviewThis 7-bedroom, 4-bath home at 7587 Union Ct. is now listed at $895,000. Licensed for, and meeting all the code requirements of a group home (including fire alarm and sprinkler system), it would also make a terrific home for a buyer with a large family. See more picures and a narrated video tour at


Brick Ranch in Arvada Just Listed by David Dlugasch

DSC_0027This well maintained 2-bedroom, 2-bath brick ranch home is at 7299 W. 73rd Avenue in Arvada, conveniently located near shopping, Indian Tree golf course, and not far from I-70. The home has a new roof, new heating and air conditioning unit, and the exterior was painted in 2015. The family room has a gas fireplace, and sliding glass doors lead out to a covered patio with a large deck. There is an oversized 2-car garage with room for an RV next to it and a newer storage shed.  See more pictures and view a narrated video tour at, then call listing agent David Dlugasch at 303-908-4835 for a private showing. David will be holding this listing open on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Listed at $380,000. 


Just Listed: Applewood Home With Walkout Basement

DSC_0222The seller of this brick ranch at 1835 Union Drive is the original owner. They built it in 1960! Most buyers will probably think of this largely unimproved home as a fixer-upper, but it has great bones, including hardwood floors that have been protected for 58 years by wall-to-wall carpeting. The attached garage does not have direct access into the house, requiring a 25-foot walk to the front door of the house. The old trees have been removed from the large backyard, leaving a grassy “blank canvas” for your landscaping ideas. You’ll love this quiet Applewood neighborhood. You can see more pictures and take a narrated video tour of this home at, then come to our open house on Sunday, April 22nd, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Or call your agent or me at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.  Listed at $495,000.


Buyers Save a Little on Property Tax When Buying a Long-Held Home from Seniors

Real_Estate_Today_bylineAs homeowners 65 and over well know, they get a discount on their home’s property taxes once they have lived in their home for at least 10 years.  It’s called the “senior property tax exemption.”  For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted from property taxation.  At 100 mills, that’s worth $720. Rita and I have been in our current house for six years, so we can look forward to saving about that much on our property taxes if we stay put for another 4 years – and if the state legislature continues to fund it, as I’ll explain below.

A veteran who has been deemed permanently disabled by the VA enjoys that same discount, but isn’t subject to that 10-year rule. He/she only has to have owned and lived in the house on Jan. 1st of the tax year. There is also a little-known program by which qualified seniors and veterans can defer the payment of property taxes. Under that program, the state of Colorado pays your local property taxes, creating a lien against your home for the deferred amount, which is paid off like any lien when the house is eventually sold.  Conditions apply, of course, which you can read by Googling “Colorado senior property tax exemption,” as I did.

What you may not know is that any buyer, irrespective of age, enjoys that same property tax exemption for their first calendar year in a home they purchase from a senior citizen who earned that discount.

My new listing (below) brought this topic to mind. The sellers, who are over 65, paid only $1,221 in property tax last year, and the property tax bill will probably be the same for this year’s property taxes, which are payable in April 2019. Whoever buys the home in the next month or so will enjoy that senior property tax exemption next April and won’t begin paying the full property tax amount until 2020. The reason for this mini-windfall is that state law specifies that the exemption only requires that an eligible senior owned and lived in the house on Jan. 1st of the tax year.

Something else you may not know is that this property tax exemption does not cost the county or other local tax jurisdictions a penny. The state reimburses the jurisdictions for the discount given to qualified seniors. After making their annual revenue and expense estimates, the state legislature determines how much of a discount qualified seniors will earn. It wasn’t funded in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but it was restored in 2012 and remains in effect. Because the state’s balance sheet is expected to look good for the coming year, there’s certainly reason for optimism.

My only complaint with the senior property tax exemption is that it requires 10 years’ ownership of a home before seniors quality. This poses a disincentive to downsizing, which often makes sense for seniors, especially after one of them has died.


Buyers Need to Understand the Scope of the Inspection Process

App_LogoOne of the first orders of business for any buyer upon going under contract is to hire a professional home inspector. For us to add an inspector to our list of preferred vendors, we have several criteria. We require their reports to be in narrative format, versus a simple checklist. Digital photos documenting each issue discovered during the inspection should be included next to that item. We expect inspectors to have appropriate carbon monoxide and moisture detection equipment, and we like to see them employ an infrared camera, which helps to determine the quality of insulation and weatherization.  Click on the image above left to download our smartphone app, which includes several home inspectors. 

We recommend to our buyers that they schedule the inspection well before the inspection objection deadline in the contract.  We do this so that secondary inspections can be scheduled and the results obtained prior to the deadline. For example, the inspector may suspect the presence of mold and recommend a mold inspection. Inspections by electricians, plumbers, or structural engineers might also be recommended. Because these secondary inspections cannot always be completed quickly,  an extension of the inspection objection deadline might be necessary, something most sellers consent to when well reasoned.

Buyers should also consider testing for radon and having the home’s sewer line “scoped.”  Typical cost for each of these inspections is $100-$150. Radon, the presence of which can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood (and even house to house) is a naturally occurring gas that has been linked to lung cancer.  Proper testing for radon requires 48 hours.

Sewer lines in older homes are often made of clay pipe and are prone to root intrusion and collapse.  A sewer scope can usually be completed in an hour.