3-BR Ranch Home Backs to South Table Mountain

Just Listed by Jim Smith for $580,000. Showings begin Saturday, March 14th

Classic brick ranches in Golden proper which back to open space are not often for sale, so this one will sell quickly. The address is 301 Lookout View Drive. It has a fully finished basement, freshly refinished hardwood floors and an updated kitchen with granite countertops and newer stainless steel appliances. The bathrooms have also been updated and, like the kitchen, have ceramic tile floors. Outside, it has a new roof, gutters and French drain to the street. There is mature landscaping front and back, with a 4-zone sprinkler system. The large private patio in the backyard has open space views and is part covered and part pergola. Take a narrated video tour at www.SouthGoldenHome.com, then come to an open house on Saturday, March 14, 11am – 2pm.  Or call Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.

Just Listed: 2-BR Home in a Gated Subdivision Within Green Valley Ranch

Just Listed by Jim Smith for $345,000

Mitchell Place is a gated subdivision of 104 single-family homes on the eastern end of Green Valley Ranch. All homes have the same address, 20000 Mitchell Place, but with separate unit numbers. This one is #85, and it’s deep inside the neighborhood, adjacent to a greenbelt. Recently vacated by a tenant, all flooring has been replaced with new carpeting and new hardwood, and the entire interior has been repainted. This home is in like-new condition! View a narrated video tour at GreenValleyRanchHome.info, then come to our open house this Saturday, Mar. 7, 12 to 3 p.m., or call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing!

Just Listed: 5-Bedroom Luxury Ranch-Style Home in Arvada

Just listed by Jim Smith for $998,000

    You’ll appreciate the quality features of this luxurious ranch home at 11948 W. 66th Lane, from the fabulous living room with invisible surround sound speakers, to the gourmet kitchen, the elegant master suite with fireplace and sunroom, and the finished garage with epoxy floor. To fully appreciate this great home, visit ArvadaRanch.info to view a video tour of the home narrated by Jim Smith. The location is super quiet, too, yet convenient to old town Arvada, downtown Denver and I-70 to the mountains. Open Sunday, Mar. 8, 11-2, or call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing!

Just Listed: Fabulous Foothills Home With Sweeping Mountain Views

Just listed by Jim Smith for $1,250,000

Everything about this home at 22595 Treetop Lane speaks luxury and good taste in a Colorado Contemporary setting. It starts with Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design features such as the 90° corner windows, large expanses of glass allowing the blending of outdoor space with indoor space, and an emphasis on organic architecture. The expanse of light in the home gives a feeling of living in a tree house. Included are inlaid hardwood fox prints on the staircase from the basement family room up to the master bedroom, and an 18-foot-tall wall of UV-protected windows facing west to the Continental Divide, with remote controlled solar shades. This home has amazing views! The open floorplan is great for entertaining and family life as well. A gourmet kitchen features rare custom birds-eye maple cabinets with roll-outs. Abundant wildlife (elk, deer, turkey, fox, etc.) are common neighbors to enjoy in this setting.  This location deep within the gated Riva Chase subdivision insulates the home from Interstate 70 noise, yet the highway is close by, and you are within 30 minutes of downtown Denver. See the narrated video tour online at  RivaChaseHome.info.  No open houses, so call your agent or Jim Smith at 303-525-1851 for a private showing.

Renters Aren’t Taking Advantage of Rent-With-Right-to-Purchase Program

Renters face many problems that they wouldn’t face as owners.  Not only do they face uncontrolled rent increases, they don’t even know that their lease will be renewed. There’s always the risk that their landlord might sell the home and the new owner will want it for themselves or another tenant.

Both problems are made worse if the tenant has no lease at all or has transitioned to a month-to-month lease — quite common after the initial lease term expires. 

And the selection of new places to rent is small. If a tenant has to find a new place to live, he or she will be hard pressed to find a home they like — even more so if they have a pet.

Wouldn’t it be great if a renter didn’t face those problems of uncontrolled rent increases and having to move?  For a couple years now, Golden Real Estate has worked with a buyer who gives tenants a 5-year rent schedule and can’t be kicked out as their lease is renewed each year through that 5-year period. I’d like to see more renters take advantage of it, even if they aren’t buyers.

Our buyer is Home Partners of America. They not only address those challenges, they expand the number of homes from which to choose.  (And having a pet is not a problem.) That’s because Home Partners will buy any townhome or home on the MLS for which the renter has been pre-qualified as the tenant. Get your invitation to apply from Golden Real Estate, and once accepted as a tenant, you log in to HomePartners.com, which has every home on the MLS which you are qualified to rent.  Instead of just displaying the sales price of the home, it displays your personal rental price. 

Your contract with Home Partners, which is now your landlord, includes the rental amount for years 2 through 5, but you’re under no obligation to renew. Your contract also includes a purchase price for each year in case you like the home and decide to purchase it at any time during the 5-year period.

Call any Golden Real Estate agent at 303-302-3636 if you or someone you know is interested.

Do You Think a Big Down Payment Is Needed to Buy a Home? Think CHFA.

One of the most enduring misconceptions among home buyers is that a large down payment — typically 20% — is required in order to buy a home.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

FHA loans only require a 3.5% down payment, although they come with a mortgage insurance requirement which lasts for the life of the loan. Because of that, you’ll need to refinance with a conventional loan once you exceed 20% equity in your new home.

Conventional (non-FHA) loans don’t necessarily require a 20% down payment either. To compete with FHA loans, there are lenders who require as little as 3% down payment, often without mortgage insurance. If they do require mortgage insurance, it can be eliminated once your equity rises to 22%, although that requires a new appraisal, which can cost $400 or more.

Best of all, however, the Colorado Housing & Finance Authority (CHFA, pronounced “Chaffa) can get you into a home with as little as $1,000 out of pocket cost. CHFA loans have income limits, but they are reasonable, up to $120,100 in the metro area. Their website is super helpful and easy to navigate at www.chfainfo.com.

At that website you’ll learn the complete process involved in getting approved for a CHFA loan. One of the first steps is to take a free buyer education class that covers every aspect of the home buying process as well as ownership responsibilities after closing.

CHFA loans are only obtained through mortgage lenders, not from CHFA directly, and Golden Real Estate can connect you with a CHFA-approved lender. 

If you’re a veteran with an honorable discharge, you are eligible for 100% financing, but there’s a funding fee.  That fee, however, is waived if you have a service related disability. Even if it isn’t waived, the fee can be included in the mortgage so that you can literally close on a VA loan with zero money out of pocket. Earnest money submitted is refunded to you at closing! We can also connect you with a VA-approved lender.

The 14th Colorado Environmental Film Festival Is Feb. 20-23

With our area’s historic reputation for environmental responsibility, it’s not surprising that Golden is the birthplace and home of the nation’s leading film festival focused on environmental issues. And it won’t surprise you that Golden Real Estate has been a sponsor of CEFF for most of the festival’s life.

I love how this festival is structured, combining local, national and international films — including by children — in both short and feature-length formats. The festival’s opening reception and award ceremony (with film screening) on Thursday, February 20th, is free to attend, as is the reception and Eco Expo on Saturday, Feb. 22nd, where you can enjoy free food and beverages as you visit 20 or so exhibitors of environmentally friendly products from home hydroponic towers to solar panels, to companies which can make your home more energy efficient. We’re sharing Golden Real Estate’s booth with Good Business Colorado, whose membership includes over 210 like-minded businesses committed to sustainability.

You can peruse the 60 films being screened at www.CEFF.net. The films are bundled into four screening sessions on Friday and Saturday — 10 a.m. (10:30 on Saturday), 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. — plus the 7:30 p.m. free session on Thursday and two afternoon sessions on Sunday that will feature the films which won awards. The website lists and describes the films included in each session. You can purchase tickets on the website. Prices range from $9 for a single session ($4 for children under 12) up to $20 or $25 for a day pass and $65 for an all-access pass.

There are two theaters for each session, and each session includes 2 to 5 films, depending on length. The Friday morning session (CEFF 4 Kids) is limited to students, including those who are home-schooled, by advance reservation.

The films explore the undeniable and inescapable interconnection of Earth’s ecology, societies and economies. Audiences will be entertained and will leave inspired, surprised, motivated and transformed through events that will involve audience members and filmmakers in thought-provoking dialogues and forums about the films.

Still photography is a big part of each year’s festival, too, with environmentally themed photographs adorning the walls of the American Mountaineering Center, where the festival takes place. On Friday at 5 p.m. there is a photography reception, with a keynote address at 6:30 by photographer Cheryl Opperman on “The art of communication through photographs.”

The Eco Expo opens at noon on Friday and Saturday only.  Look for us at our booth!