Wheat Ridge Patio Home Just Listed by Andrew Lesko

Buyers will find top quality features throughout this lovely   2-bedroom, 2-bath home at 10721 W. 45th Avenue in the Fruitdale Patio Homes subdivision. It was just listed for $398,000. It features tile and wood floors and all neutral colors as well as brick construction, newer (2016) roof, Anderson windows and Pella doors. Additional features include the extra wide, finished 2-car garage with sink and utility closet with newer Goodman gas furnace and Rheem gas water heater. You will love the interior flow of this gorgeous home from the spacious kitchen, living room with gas fireplace and vaulted ceilings and tons of natural light to the bedrooms which overlook the back garden areas. Fruitdale Patio Homes is a small self managed community located close to Prospect Park with miles of trails along Clear Creek. Just a few minutes away is the Wheat Ridge Rec Center, Gold Line light rail, and I-70. Take a video tour at www.WheatRidgeHome.info, then call your agent or Andrew at 720-710-1000 for a private showing. Open house Sat., July 13, 11-3.

Arvada Home Near Apex Center Just Listed by Kristi Brunel

This immaculate 3-bedroom 3-bath, 1667-sq.-ft. home at 7592 Coors Court also has an unfinished basement. It was just listed for $435,000 by Kristi Brunel. The home sits on the largest lot on its cul-de-sac. It features hardwood floors, new paint & texture, remodeled bathrooms, fireplace with new mantle, and newer roof, and carpeting. Other improvements include newer windows throughout (including in the unfinished basement), central air conditioning, a shed/work-shop with electrical power, and Velux sun tunnels installed to bring natural light into a bedroom and a bathroom. All you need to do is move in to enjoy the peace of the Ralston Valley neighborhood.  Relax in your manicured backyard or enjoy puttering in that workshop. The location is excellent — close to the Apex Center, Apex Skate Park, trails, parks, Interstate 70 and shopping! You can see still photos and take a narrated video tour at http://www.ArvadaHome.info, then call your agent or Kristi Brunel at 303-525-2520 to schedule a private showing.

Video Is Finding Its Way Into Buyer Inspection Reports to Illustrate Issues

Video has been a great listing tool at Golden Real Estate for a decade, but it is finding its way into other aspects of real estate, too. For example, we will often shoot a rough-cut video tour of a listing for an out-of-town buyer who has asked us to preview a property for them.

At a closing last Wednesday, the wife of the out-of-state buyer told me that she saw the listing for the first time in person during the final walk-through. The husband had seen it in person, but she said our narrated video tour was enough for her to agree with her husband to submit an offer..

So, yes, narrated videos like ours are a great listing and selling tool.

But last week, a home inspector came to our office seeking our patronage and said he includes videos in his inspection reports.  What a great idea!

I had been so used to getting printed inspection reports (PDFs) that it hadn’t occurred to me that reports could include video.  But an increasingly common delivery method for inspection reports is to have the report “in the cloud” and provide a link to it.  That approach opens up the possibility of having video clips and not just still photos.  I will recommend that inspector to a future buyer, but you can be sure that I also got on the phone and shared that idea with the inspectors I’ve been referring heretofore, some of them for over a decade.

I’ve received inspection reports that were in the cloud before, but none of them contained links to video clips, which could really help to illustrate some of the defects which inspectors uncover.

I hope this idea takes off and becomes a standard in the inspection industry.  Now that every cell phone and every digital camera has video capability, it would require no additional hardware for an inspector to shoot video instead of still photos when a video would do a better job of illustrating the issue or defect being described.

One of the advantages of videos is that they include sound. It’s a great way, for example, to illustrate an overly noisy fan motor or garage door opener or the sound as well as the motion of water under a plastic vapor barrier.

With narration by the inspector, a video can also provide more context to a problem, such as its location.

Just Listed: Home in Golden’s Village at Mountain Ridge

This beautiful 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with oversized 3-car garage at 461 White Ash Drive is nestled against the foothills just west of downtown Golden in the Village at Mountain Ridge. It was just listed for $835,000 by Kristi Brunel. Enjoy spectacular views from every window including North/South Table Mountains off the back deck and Mt. Galbraith Open Space Park off your cozy front porch.  Featuring an amazing master suite, guest quarters, wet bar and walkout basement, this move-in ready home just needs your personal touch to make it your forever Golden home! Get more info and take a narrated video tour at www.MountainRidgeHome.com, then come to the Open House, Sunday, July 7th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Renovate Your Home for Your Own Enjoyment, Not to Help It Sell Better

Sellers often ask whether they should renovate prior to putting their home on the market. The short answer is “no.”  Unless you’re fixing an eyesore, you will be wasting your money.

So, what’s an “eyesore”?  I use the term to define something that draws a buyer’s immediate attention in a negative way — a torn carpet, a damaged countertop, a broken window, a weathered and peeling front door, etc.

The closer an eyesore is to the home’s entrance, the more important it will be to fix. If the eyesore is in a far-flung bedroom or the basement, I’m less concerned, so long as the main part of the house is really attractive. By the time a buyer gets to that eyesore, they will either have fallen in love with the house or not. If they have fallen in love by then, the buyer’s response will be more forgiving — “Oh, that’s easy to fix.”

Eliminating eyesores is worth every penny. Other improvements, such as updating a bathroom or kitchen that’s not an eyesore, may return some or much of what you spend, but probably not all. On such improvements, consider the condition of the real estate market.  If there’s a shortage of homes like yours — say, a ranch-style home in a desirable neighborhood — then you could probably minimize even the eyesore fixes. If your home will have lots of competition, fixing those eyesores becomes far more important. This is a topic on which you benefit from speaking with a Realtor, given our ready access to such data. 

Committed as we at Golden Real Estate are to sustainability, I hate to say it, but installing solar panels produces about the lowest return on investment when it comes to selling your home. You should only invest in solar if you intend to stay in your home for at least five years. You will get your return on investment from the reduced energy bills, not in a higher sale price for your home. In our case, we installed 10 kilowatts of solar at our home, but that was seven years ago, and we don’t plan to sell anytime soon.  If you make the same decision, please buy solar instead of leasing. Selling a home with a leased solar system is not as attractive to buyers.

As stated in the headline, make improvements that you want to live with and enjoy, and make them nownot when you’re about to sell.  It matters little to Rita and me whether our wonderful new kitchen will return the $40,000 we spent on renovating it, since we will have enjoyed it ourselves for many years. And if you know you’re going to sell eventually, but not soon, spend the money now and enjoy the improvement!

Some of the other improvements Rita and I made soon after buying our home and continue to appreciate over 7 years later include installing Solatubes (to bring sunlight into our windowless garage and laundry room) and an energy audit followed by weatherization improvements. We had acacia hardwood flooring installed, and retrofitted the south-facing windows with Low-E glass. A hybrid gas furnace/heat pump system heats and cools our home.  We also installed a hot water recirculation line to provide instant hot water at all faucets.

How to Research Potential Listing Agents

A shortcut that I created,  www.Find DenverRealtors.com, takes you to the page on Denver’s MLS for searching agents by name. Note: If you don’t find the agent you’re looking for right away, try entering only their last name, since they may use a nickname or have an initial you didn’t enter. When the agent’s name appears, click on his/her name to go to another web page where you can read his or her profile (assuming they created one) and see current and sold listings, unless they have none.

Click on their listings to see how the agent described each home on the MLS. Did they list all the rooms, not just bedrooms and bathrooms, providing dimensions, or just enter the mandatory fields? Keep in mind that the best indicator of how listing agents will serve you is how they have served previous sellers.

Looking at those listings will answer the most important questions which you’d ask in person, but you won’t have to take their word — the truth is right there in front of you. You’ll learn, for example, whether they did point-and-shoot pictures or had a professional photographer shoot magazine quality photos, and whether they created a real narrated video tour, as we do, or merely a slide show with music.