Readers Appreciate Our Free MLS Neighborhood Alerts

Back in April 2019, I offered to set up Free Neighborhood Alerts for any reader who wanted to keep track of real estate activity in their subdivision or larger area. The response was overwhelming. I myself have 42 readers who currently receive such alerts for their neighborhood.

I’m not complaining. My broker associates and I are pleased to make this service available to everyone who wants it, and we’ve become pretty efficient at creating these free alerts.

The MLS allows members to set up an unlimited number of email alerts, designed to assist buyers in searching for homes. We have adapted it to provide neighborhood alerts. Once set up, the alerts are generated automatically by the MLS. Just give us your address and the boundaries of the area you wish to monitor. The initial alert will tell you all the coming soon, active, under contract, sold, withdrawn and expired listings in that area, going back 90 days or longer.

Future alerts will come to you within 15 minutes of a new or changed listing being entered on the MLS. You will literally be up-to-the-minute in your knowledge of real estate activity in your neighborhood!

I’m happy to handle every request I get from readers, but feel free to ask any of our broker associates to create a neighborhood alert for you. They are listed below with their email addresses and are more than happy to provide this free service. Send your requests by email only, please.

In addition to setting up the neighborhood alert for you, we can also send you valuation reports on your home using two different software packages — Realtor Property Resource (RPR), which is only available from members of the Realtor association like us, and Realist — that you will find are much more accurate than Zillow’s “Zestimates,” which home owners are used to seeing.

I also like to provide a spreadsheet of active, under contract and sold listings that are comparable to your own home, which serves as a double-check on those two software valuations.

Jim Smith, Jim@GoldenRealEstate.com

Broker Associates:

Jim Swanson, BrokerSwanson@aol.com

Chuck Brown, Chuck@GoldenRealEstate.com

David Dlugasch, David@GoldenRealEstate.com

  Carol Milan, Carol@GoldenRealEstate.com

  Ty Scrable, Tyler.Scrable@gmail.com

Downsizing Safely and Effectively in Your Senior Years

Are you thinking that now’s the time to leave your big-house life behind? If so, you’re in luck. Despite the pandemic, the real estate market is strong, interest rates are low, and it’s still a great time to sell and buy. But you can’t go into the process blindly. Here are some tips to get you started on the right track.

First on your to-do list: Work with an experienced agent like those of us at Golden Real Estate. After all, an agent who knows the area can price your home correctly and help you find the right replacement home for you. We know the local market and whether a neighborhood is senior-friendly. You can ask us questions and get knowledgeable answers about local amenities, such as public transportation, fitness centers, and local senior facilities that will enrich your life.

If you prefer to downsize into a rental unit within a senior community, we can advise you on those communities and that process too, so feel free to ask us.

We can also help you determine a budget. As a buyer, keep in mind that it’s a seller’s market, and having us on your side can help get your foot in the door. If you’re moving locally, we can also save you a bundle with our free moving truck and our in-house movers.

You want to take a look at your budget to determine what you can afford. Our preferred lenders offer free affordability calculators. They allow you to input data, such as your home price, down payment, and monthly expenses. This can help you determine your potential future living expenses.

Once you have an agent and a price range, it’s time to compare what you can afford with what you need, and then make adjustments to your list as necessary. Many seniors, according to Home Tips For Women, look for features including those which lower utility costs. These, along with things like single-level living and wide doorways, allow for greater mobility, an important consideration if you’ve already begun to experience mobility issues.

Something to keep in mind during the downsizing process is that moving into a smaller home will require downsizing your belongings as well. Once you have chosen your future home, you can evaluate the belongings in your current one. This is an emotional process which takes patience, and, ideally, you’ll have cooperation from your friends and family. It’s often best to give certain things to your children and grandchildren now so you’re not tight on space in your new home. You can use our truck for that, too (and for trips to Goodwill).

If you’re moving outside the metro area, choosing the right moving company is something else that deserves special attention. Movers charge different prices, even for what appear to be the same services. Your moving company will factor everything from whether you need an entire truck to how far you’re moving, to the overall weight of your household goods into the price. Previous clients have given us feedback on their experiences which we can share with you.

Finally, make your move while you’re in good health and don’t wait until you have to move. And let yourself enjoy the process. Your retirement is a time of change and to feel all the excitement associated with it. Moving is not always easy, but the end result of downsizing can be more financial freedom and a better quality of life during your senior years.

Downsizing as a senior presents a significant lifestyle change, but it’s one to embrace. If you still have questions, don’t be afraid to reach out to us. My broker associates and I (see below) are here to make the process as seamless as possible and can be a valuable resource not to be overlooked.

Jim Smith— 303-525-1851

Jim Swanson — 303-929-2727

Chuck Brown — 303-885-7855

David Dlugasch — 303-908-4835

Carol Milan — 720-982-4941

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Tyler Scrable — 720-281-6783

Here’s a Good Resource for Seniors

Colorado doesn’t rank high in the percentage of our population that’s 65 and over. In fact, seniors represent only 14.2% of our population, ranking Colorado 46th among the 50 states.

Recently I was made aware of a website with tons of Colorado-specific information for seniors. Here’s that website’s address: https://www.seniorhousingnet.com/seniors/senior-living-us/colorado

Leyden Rock Ranch-Style Home Backs to Open Space

This 4-bedroom, 3-bath ranch home with walkout basement at 19019 W. 88th Drive in Arvada’s Leyden Rock subdivision backs to open space. A former model home, it has lots of upgrades! The main level features an open floor plan with hardwood floors, a 14-foot ceiling in the living room, and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the Flatirons. The walk-out basement features a family room, full bath, and two bedrooms. It has a 2-car and 3-car garage. The lot backs to open space to the north and east sides of the house, with vacant HOA land to the south. Take a video tour at LeydenRockHome.info. Open Saturday, 11-2.  Listed by Chuck Brown.

Arvada Ranch-Syle Home Backs to Open Space

    This 4-bedroom, 3-bath ranch home at 19019 W. 88th Drive was a model home with over $240,000 in upgrades. The main level features an open floor plan with hardwood floors, a 14-ft ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of the Flatirons. The walk-out basement has a family room, custom full bath, and two bedrooms. In addition to the 2-car garage visible above, there’s a 1-car garage to its right. Take a video tour at www.LeydenRockHome.info. Open Saturday, Nov. 21st, 11-2.  Listed by Chuck Brown, 303-885-7855

Just Listed: Mid-Century Modern Ranch in East Denver

1930 Roslyn Street, Denver – Just Listed at $475,000

This 3-BR, 2-bath home is about 2 blocks south of the Stapleton (now Central Park) neighborhood. No basement, large, well cared for front and back yards with in-ground sprinkler system. Hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms. Bedroom #3 is non-conforming (no window). Updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, plenty of cabinet space with a coffee bar. Family room features a wood burning fireplace, carpet and a brand new 8-foot sliding glass door that leads to a covered patio in the private back yard. The 24×24 oversized garage is accessed from the alley and features a 9-ft high garage door. Another feature of this home is its proximity to several parks, Stapleton Town Center and Stanley Marketplace. This house is perfect for entertaining. Take a narrated video tour of this home at EastDenverHome.info. Open house Sat., Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or call Chuck Brown, 303-885-7855.

Brick Ranch in Golden’s East Street Historic District

1910 East Street – Just listed at $759,000 – Open Saturday, Sept. 12th, noon to 2pm

This exceptionally remodeled brick ranch with walk-out basement is in a highly desirable location — within walking distance of downtown Golden, the Colorado School of Mines, Natural Grocers & Safeway, and a trailhead to the iconic Castle Rock formation above the Coors brewery. Entering the front door, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the open floor plan with modern kitchen, hardwood floors and a unique stair railing made from a ski-lift cable. The chef’s kitchen features a Wolf professional gas range, stainless steel appliances, and quartz countertops. The large deck next to the kitchen extends the living space, offering a wonderful place to enjoy the views of Lookout Mountain and Mt. Zion while having your morning coffee or evening cocktails. Downstairs, the walkout basement’s windows flood the office and bedroom with sunlight. A large multipurpose room would be the perfect spot for a pool table or home theatre. Sustainable features include solar PV panels, new Andersen windows, new exterior doors, attic insulation, a state-of-the-art high efficiency hydronic heating system, and a low maintenance xeriscaped front yard and a synthetic backyard lawn that looks and feels real. Other major improvements include new roof (2017) and sewer line (2007). The large backyard has room to build a dream garage (accessed from the alley) or perhaps a carriage house. This property has too many great features to list here, so check out the magazine quality still photos and narrated video tour at www.GreatGoldenHome.info to learn more, then call your agent or listing agent Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 to see it.

Affordable Condo in Denver’s Capitol Hill Just Listed by Chuck Brown

1045 Pennsylvania Street #403 — Just listed for $219,000

Broker Associate Chuck Brown just listed Unit #403 in the Penn Condos building at 1045 Pennsylvania Street.  This 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo has been completely remodeled. All appliances and fixtures are brand new, the honey colored oak flooring has been refinished, the kitchen and bath have new tile and cabinetry, and the unit has been repainted throughout. The building is solid, clean, secure and well managed, featuring off-street parking, mature landscaping and views of downtown Denver from the unit.  Located within a block of two historic districts in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, this condominium is central, quiet and convenient, within easy walking distance of shops, entertainment, the State Capitol, Denver Public Library and the Colorado History Museum, as well as downtown Denver. You can view a narrated video walkthrough of this condo at www.CapitolHillCondo.info, then call your agent or Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for a private showing!

National Association of Realtors (NAR) Bans Pocket Listings

During its annual convention earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) voted to ban the practice of pocket listings. Pocket listings are listings which are withheld from the MLS, thereby denying other Realtors (and agents who are not Realtors) from showing and selling the listings. The rule goes into effect on January 1, 2020, but NAR is giving MLSs until May 1st to fully implement it.

Regular readers of this column know that I have long decried the practice of selling listings without putting them on the MLS. Doing so increases the chances of the listing agent “double-ending” the sale, resulting in twice the commission, but it also runs the risk of netting less money for the seller, thereby violating the ethical and legal requirement that listing agents work in the best interest of their sellers instead of themselves.

Perhaps you saw me quoted on page 10A of last Thursday’s Denver Post as welcoming this new rule. As I stated to reporter Aldo Svaldi, the only way to guarantee the highest price for our sellers is to expose their listings to the full market of potential buyers, which is only done by putting the home on the MLS. When the listing agent convinces a seller to accept an offer before their home is put on the MLS, there is no way of knowing how much money the seller will “leave on the table.”

The purpose of an MLS is to provide “cooperation and compensation.” Members of an MLS must allow (cooperate with) any other member of the MLS to sell their listing and makes it known how they’ll be compensated — in our market, typically 2.8% of the sale price.

The new policy, called “clear cooperation,” is spelled out in the following motion passed by a 91% to 9% vote of the NAR board of directors:

“Within one business day of marketing a property to the public, the listing broker must submit the listing to the MLS for cooperation with other MLS participants. Public marketing includes, but is not limited to, flyers displayed in windows, yard signs, digital marketing on public-facing websites, brokerage website displays, digital communications marketing (email blasts), multi-brokerage listing sharing networks, and applications available to the general public.”

I can provide an example from my own practice. In November 2018 I listed a home for $1.1 million. Even before I put it on the MLS, a close friend of the seller said he would pay full price. The seller wanted to accept it, but my advice was to consider the friend’s offer the “opening bid” and to proceed with exposing the home to other buyers by putting it on the MLS.

Five days after putting the home on the MLS, bidding had driven up the price significantly and it sold (to the same friend) for $75,000 above full price. The seller was delighted, and so was the buyer, who only asked that his friend match the highest bid.

I could easily have made a quick commission and saved myself the chore and expense of marketing the home and managing competing offers, but I would have been violating my duty to the seller and, it turns out, cost my seller a lot of money.  I particularly like that, when all was said and done, the seller netted the full listing price, even after deducting commissions and the other costs of selling!

It will be interesting to see how this rule against pocket listings is implemented by MLSs and how effective it will be. One work-around we can expect is that listings will go on the MLS with the notation that “showings begin on such-and-such a (later) date.”

One of our broker associates, Chuck Brown, attended the NAR convention, including a panel of the titans of real estate — from Realogy, RE/MAX International, Zillow, Opendoor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, and others — and they, unlike the board of directors, were mostly against the new policy on pocket listings.  Zillow and Opendoor, in particular, say they’ll continue to list properties as “coming soon.”

Clearly the new rule will restrict but probably not eliminate the practice.  REcolorado’s Rules & Regulations Committee, on which I have served for over a decade, will discuss it on Dec. 10th. Expect a follow-up on this subject!

Great Development Opportunity in Sunnyside!

This small 1950s  bungalow at 4260 Osage St. in northwest Denver’s dynamic Sunnyside neighborhood is zoned for a duplex and is a prime development opportunity. It’s a 15-minute walk or 4-minute drive to the new light rail station at 41st and Fox, with easy access to downtown, I-70, I-25 and the red-hot Highlands neighborhood. There are few undeveloped corner lots in the area, so grab this one while you can! Offered at $600,000.

Call Chuck Brown at 303-885-7855 for more info or visit this home’s web page.

Just Listed: Awesome Home in the Foothills Above Boulder

Nowadays, it’s rare to find a Boulder home this special on the market for less than $1 million.  This fabulous home at 1670 Timber Lane is located in coveted Pine Brook Hills, 4 miles northwest of downtown Boulder and the Pearl Street mall. It’s a 4-bedroom, 3-bath ranch-style home with walk-out basement and 3,793 finished square feet of living space on 1 acre. It has  a 2-car attached garage and a ramp making it wheelchair accessible. It was just listed by Chuck Brown for $998,000.  Enjoy the best of both worlds here — in the wooded foothills but close to the restaurants and nightlife of Boulder. You’ll love the view of city lights from the recently rebuilt wraparound deck. Take a narrated video tour of the home at www.Boulder-Home.info, then come to Chuck’s open house this Saturday, Sept. 21st, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Or call Chuck at 303-885-7855 for a private showing.