Colorado Real Estate News

Weekend Vacation Ideas In Northern Colorado

We’re all guilty of not taking enough vacation, especially this year. Even if we are able to travel for vacation, it flies by far too quickly. One of the perks for living in the great state of Colorado – especially in Northern Colorado – is the enormous amount of land and experiences available for new adventures and weekend staycations.

Instead of traveling elsewhere, stay local this weekend with a few of our favorite must-do’s experiences in Northern Colorado.

Estes Park
One of our favorite and not-so-secret Northern Colorado destinations is Estes Park, CO. Home and basecamp of the northern gate into Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park is a small town about 6,300 people. Estes Park is famous for the resident elk who reside in the park and meander throughout the historic downtown area as if they run the place. While the elk rule the town, the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers converge downtown and lead to the appropriately named Lake Estes where visitors can fish, paddle board and kayak.

Bonus local tip: Do something a bit off the beaten path. Literally. Have a local guide take your thrill-seeking family on a tour with jeeps, ATV’s, white water rafting, horseback riding or even a mountain climbing trip. The park itself is designated as by the federal government as “wilderness,” meaning absolutely no motorized vehicles, but the land surrounding the park will keep the motorheads busy.

Greeley
Greeley, CO is the largest municipality in Weld County of Northern Colorado, located east of I-25 from Loveland. Entire centrally-located homes are available for short-term rentals for around $50 per night – an incredible price for anywhere in the Front Range. A few of the top activities in Greeley are the hiking the Poudre River Trail, the Pawnee National Grasslands, and WeldWerks Brewing Co., one of Colorado’s most talked about breweries. WeldWerks recently made headlines for canning the once-blasphemous idea of a low-calorie hazy IPA. While the beer fanatics may argue sacrilege, it’s a delicious alternative for those of us not wanting to drink 200 calories per beer and other brewers are racing to produce their own.

Loveland
Directly west of Greeley and just south of Fort Collins is Loveland, CO. At the base of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, Loveland is a beautiful town with tons of restaurants and outdoor shopping at The Promenade Shops, a gorgeous hike to the nearby natural Dakota sandstone arch known as Devil’s Backbone, a thriving downtown district at Foundry Plaza with winter events, lights and sculptures, as well as local craft breweries. In normal years, September in Loveland sees the ‘Thunder in the Rockies’ for Harley-Davidson fans, the ‘Good Guys Car Show’ where antique auto drivers bring their treasures from across the country, a Loveland Oktoberfest, and so much more.

Fun fact: Did you know two of the largest love lock sculptures are in Loveland, CO? Think of the touristy love locks on the Pont des Arts bridge – which were recently removed by French authorities – but with a mountain background.

People often think of taking a vacation at far-away, tropical beaches or giant, city metropolises, but completely forget about the local treasures available here in Northern Colorado. Book a room, pack light, and drive up to the unforgettable towns that make Northern Colorado so special.

Colorado Real Estate News

Top Front Range Off-Leash Dog Hikes

We’re all fans of our four-legged fur babies and likely go above and beyond to give them the best homes possible. But they also deserve to go wild and be dogs, off-leash! While Colorado offers Front Range residents the most beautiful backyard playground in the world, here are a few trails to take your dogs off-leash!

Reminder: Please follow all trail safety guidelines and restrictions by going to each trail’s website, social media page, or calling ahead.

Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs
Red Rock Canyon Open Space in Colorado Springs, CO is located just minutes west from downtown Colorado Springs and south of the famed Garden of the Gods. The off-leash dog area is one of many phenomenal amenities provided to guests who visit the park including seven different trails (the Upper and Lower dog loops are the only off-leash areas), a pavilion, rock climbing, horse trails, and a mountain bike-only trail.

The natural red rock formations and two lakes are wonders to behold, especially for those skipping the crowds at Gardens of the Gods. The trails vary in difficulty from easy to moderate, which are great opportunities for the entire family.

Twin Lakes, Boulder
Twin Lakes is the top off-leash area in the Boulder-area with the West Twin Lakes Trail lake available for dogs to roam wild. The lake’s 0.7 mi shoreline is great for dogs to swim and fetch, and the lake is surrounded by fencing. The mountain views are spectacular and the lake can be fished by anglers, although the website states the lake is not stocked.

Glendale Farm Open Space, Castle Rock
An extremely popular dog park, the Glendale Farm Open Space is located off I-25 just north of the Castle Pines neighborhood. The 17-acre dog park is wide open prairie land without much shade, so be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and water on hot, sunny days. Once you’re done letting your dog loose in the fenced area, take them for a leashed hike in the park’s 1.6 mi looped trail. The dog park is a great place in the winter for dogs to run wild through snow. Don’t forget about the obstacle course for dogs!

Union Reservoir, Longmont
The Union Reservoir Nature Area is located east of Longmont and day-use tickets cost $10 – but worth the money for dog owners. The south side of the lake’s swim area and beach is off-leash. The lake is extremely popular with local sailors and paddleboarders due to the no-wake law prohibiting use of motorized engines, allowing for a peaceful experience with the doggo’s.

Fun fact: Union Reservoir is one of the only few natural lakes in Colorado, carved out during the last glacial age.

If you’re searching for a home or are interested in selling, work with experienced brokers who know your neighborhood’s history, up-and-coming developments, and fun facts about nearby off-leash dog parks – while selling your home for top value or finding your dream home.

Colorado Real Estate News

Homebuyers drive up prices as Denver inventory hits all-time low

The current housing market in the Denver area remains a competitive seller’s market. As inventory continues to diminish, homebuyers find themselves competing against one another.

See the link below to read more about the Denver housing market and demand for homes. Kentwood real estate broker Jill Schafer discusses her thoughts on the market, and market insights.

Click here to read the BusinessDen article.

Colorado Real Estate News

Top Denver-Area Luxury Homes sold in Q2

Lakehouse, located on Sloan’s Lake in Denver, was designed to blend comfort and sustainable design. With an extensive list of amenities, and no detail overlooked, it is Colorado’s only WELL Precertified community. Lakehouse provides a healthy and connected lifestyle, some amenities include a yoga studio, a pet spa, and an organic garden. Our Kentwood City Properties agents Dee Chirafisi, Kevin Garrett, and Matt McNeill are the exclusive listing agents at Lakehouse.

Denver Business Journal reports that Lakehouse “accounted for 6 of the top 25 attached home sales in the Denver metro in the second quarter, including a $3.3 million penthouse that claimed the No. 1 spot.” Check out their article to learn more!

See the link below for the full article: https://www.bizjournals.com/denver/news/2020/09/02/denver-luxury-home-sales-q2-2020.html

Colorado Real Estate News

Law firm founder lists Cheesman Park home for $3.5 million

Check out the full article on BusinessDen here!

Owned by the founder of Hill and Robbins law firm, Bob Hill is listing his Cheesman Park home, having lived there since 1993. The property is listed at $3.5 million by Jim Rhye from our Kentwood Cherry Creek office.

The home, built in 1930, was designed by Fisher & Fisher – a well known architectural firm in Denver known for several prominent homes and buildings.

Learn more about the property and its history by visiting BusinessDen.com!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Reservoirs Of Northern Colorado

The end of summer is quickly drawing near, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy Northern Colorado’s beautiful lakes and reservoirs! Whether you’re looking to cool off and dive into the refreshing waters or you’d prefer to go fishing, boating or simply take in the view, there are several options near in Northern Colorado to choose from.

Grab your suits and sunscreen, and check out these top lakes and reservoirs: 

Boulder Reservoir:
Just about an hours’ drive from Fort Collins, Boulder Reservoir is certainly worth the trip. From its massive size to endless options for recreation, it’s a perfect day trip for the whole family. The swim beach at the reservoir is one of the largest swimming beaches in all of Colorado– which even comes with a seasonal lifeguard– and there is a shallow, roped off area that is perfect for kids.

Horsetooth Reservoir:
Horsetooth Reservoir is the most well-known body of water in Fort Collins due to its proximity to the city and secluded setting. There are over six miles of water where you can enjoy fishing, camping, picnicking, water skiing and even scuba diving, with a total shoreline of 25 miles. Horsetooth is extremely popular with local fisherman to catch walleye, small and largemouth bass, all species of trout, and panfish.

Lake Loveland:
The center of activity for all of Loveland’s locals and visitors is Lake Loveland. The lake provides an extraordinary visual of Rocky Mountain sunsets from its banks. North Lake Park is a common place to gather at Lake Loveland with a swim beach, a train, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a picnic area and an amphitheater.

Windsor Lake:
Windsor Lake is surrounded by a 2.25-mile trail, which is perfect for walking, running and biking, or you can take in the beauty of the lake from within by boat. There is a swim beach as well as a dog park located on the north side of the lake, and the Rocky Mountains make for a picturesque backdrop.

Jackson Lake State Park
Jackson Lake State Park is located approximately 45 miles west of Greeley. The lake features 2,700 acres of surface water, and its shallows warm up quickly in the summer. Swimming is allowed on the west and south shores, and there is a plethora of other outdoor activities to enjoy like boating, sail boating, fishing, jet and water skiing, camping, hiking, picnicking, hunting and bird watching.

Grand Lake
Grand Lake is Colorado’s largest and deepest natural lake, with over 60 miles of surface water length. The lake’s waters flow out of Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds the lake on three sides. There is public swimming and other water activities such as boating, canoeing and more. Its proximity to Rocky Mountain National Mark also allows for many other recreational activities such as hiking, biking, camping and horseback riding.

Carter Lake Reservoir
Located between Loveland and Berthoud, Carter Lake is a beautiful reservoir surrounded by 1,000 acres of public lands. Visitors love Cater Lake for fishing, sailing, water skiing, swimming and even scuba diving.

Lake Estes
Lake Estes has a full-service marina where you can find everything you need to enjoy the lake to the fullest with boat rentals including paddle boats, single and double kayaks, canoes, fishing boats and several pontoon boats. You can also enjoy the lake from the shores by renting a bicycle or have a picnic in the open air pavilion.

Whichever lake or reservoir you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Get out there and enjoy some of Colorado’s best summer activities because winter will be here before we know it!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Easiest And Most Extreme White-Water Rafting In Colorado

One of Coloradans favorite outdoor pastimes is white-water rafting. There are more than 30 main white-water rafting areas so finding a river and a professional outfitter is never too hard to find. Some of the most popular areas for white-water rafting in the state are Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Vail, Fort Collins, Durango and Buena Vista. The season typically lasts from April through October, with the peak occurring when the snow starts to melt in May and June, raising the rivers’ water levels and speed of currents.

Depending on where you go, you can find any level of difficulty from Class I (easiest) to Class VI (most extreme and rarely attempted).

Rio Grande River
The Rio Grande stretches for 1,760 miles in Colorado, running through the scenic San Juan Mountains all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re a more experienced rafter, you’ll want to hit the “upper box” portion of the river where there are Class III and Class IV rapids, while the lower stretch is much more family-friendly. Head to the historic city of Creede for your launching point.

Colorado River
While this massive, 1,450-mile-long river runs through seven different states, rafting the Colorado River in Colorado is a must. The river winds through various canyons with incredible views along the way. The river is great for all levels, with areas of wild rapids and long stretches of calm waters. You can find popular starting points in Breckenridge, Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs.

Arkansas River
The Arkansas River is appropriate for rafters of all ages and skill levels, boasting Class I to Class V ratings. Head to Royal Gorge in southern Colorado for the most incredible views along the river, and make sure to check out Echo Canyon River Expedition, the leading white-water destination resort in central Colorado.

Clear Creek
Located right off of Interstate 70 with easy proximity to Denver, Vail and Breckenridge, Clear Creek is definitely a convenient option for white-water rafting with a starting point in Idaho Springs. There are day trips available from mid-May through August, and you can find all levels of rafting from beginner and child-appropriate calm waters to some of the toughest rapids you can find. Don’t let the name ‘creek’ fool you, the Class V rapids here are quite the challenge!

Yampa River
The Yampa River in Steamboat Springs will give you a white-water trip with a side of history. The river runs right through the ski village’s restaurant and bars, then by the Dinosaur National Monument, which is an area packed with dinosaur remains that you can see in the rocks. The Yampa River is one of the last free-flowing tributary rivers on the Colorado River, and you can find rafting trips for all levels of experience, from family-friendly to some major challenges for the adrenaline junkies.

Roaring Fork River
Located near Aspen and Carbondale, the Roaring Fork River is both convenient and offers adventurers endless opportunities. The top part of the river is known as Slaughterhouse, which has extreme rapids but the payoff is experiencing one of Colorado’s rare commercially rafted waterfalls. Starting at 12,000 feet above sea level, Roaring Fork is approximately 70 miles long and ends in the Glenwood Springs. If you’re looking for a more mild ride, you can set off further downstream where kayaking is popular in the lower waters.

Wherever you choose to go, make sure that you do your research before picking a guide, and never attempt to go white-water rafting on Colorado’s rapids on your own. 

Colorado Real Estate News

Transformation and Resilience: U.S. Real Estate Markets Thriving Despite Pandemic

Click here to read the article by Bristol Global

Jason Exley, the Director of Relocation at Kentwood Real Estate, discusses the current state of the real estate market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the article on Bristol Global to learn more about how real estate is thriving and the resilience of many major markets in the last several months.

Jason discusses how real estate continually adapted, and what the future of conducting business may look like in this new virtual landscape.

Colorado Real Estate News

Lower Downtown Denver’s McGregor Square Project Retains High Buyer Interest

Check out the article on PR Newswire

Click here to read about the McGregor Square Project

McGregor Square is located right next to Coors Field in LoDo. It spans one fully city block, and includes a social plaza, a dining hall, and curated retail. This residential tower is filled with 103 residences ranging from 450 to 6,000 square feet. McGregor Square is on track to be completed in the Spring of 2021. Today, McGregor Square is 60% sold!

“Residences have amazing balconies and terraces, restaurants have generous outdoor seating and the plaza provides an active 30,000 square-foot outdoor space for residents to safely enjoy gathering,” says Kentwood Real Estate Broker Associate Dee Chirafisi.

McGregor Square is represented by our Broker Associates Dee Chirafisi, Kevin Garrett and Matt McNeill.

Colorado Real Estate News

After a Major Halt, Metro Denver Rebounds with a Home-buying Frenzy

By Jason Exley, PHR, GMS, GDS, Director of Relocation at Kentwood Real Estate

How quickly the world changed. Denver has received national attention for its red-hot real estate market for nearly a decade. At the start of March, the metro Denver real estate spring market was showing signs of being one of the best on record – but that changed by the end of the month when the market, like the rest of the nation and world, felt the effects stemming from Covid-19.

Resilient as ever, the market picked right back up and a home-buying frenzy ensued in metro Denver this past June.

A record number of Denver-area homes on the market went under contract in June, home prices are on the rise, mortgage rates are a record low and the market is experiencing near record-low housing inventory. These factors and more are making for a strong seller’s market. Other factors for Denver’s rebound is that many homebuyers from other major markets across the nation are relocating here, whether for the lifestyle, cost of living or the job market. Companies based in Denver continue to move talent in and out, and new company headquarters are showing up all the time.

According to numbers from the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS® (DMAR), in June, a record number of homes, 7,676, shifted into a pending sale status, up 16 percent month over month and 27 percent year over year. Additionally, weekly home closings were back above 2019 levels, ending 11-weeks of a COVID-19 induced housing slump. It seems consumers turned from stocking up on personal necessities to buying houses with the same level of frenzy. And prices are back on the rise as a result of this demand.

In March, pre-Covid-19, the average price for a residential property in metro Denver zoomed above $500,000 for the first time, to $513,535. That price then dipped back down below the half-million-dollar mark during the home-showing shutdown and uncertain economic times in April and May. In June, however, average prices bounced back up to $509,736, the second-highest average price for residential real estate in Denver.

During that month, 7,364 homes were put up for sale, but demand was even higher. More homes were put under contract than came on the market for sale in the Denver area. And since there was not a lot of housing inventory at the end of May, the market was left with even less inventory at the end of June, down 11% month over month and 33% year over year. In fact, June had 6,383 listings at month’s end, which was nearing the record-low number for that month at 6,197 in June 2015. Less inventory means home sellers had more power. The only segment of the market in which homebuyers had the edge were condos priced over $1 million.

With masks, gloves and limited home showing time slots, real estate agents managed to write a record number of accepted contracts and closed 57% more homes in June compared to the month prior without doing traditional open houses.

At the end of June, the eighth amendment to Colorado’s public health order loosened the rules for open houses – but it isn’t going to be easy. Under the new rules, gloves, masks, a social distancing calculator, log sheet and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration approved ventilation system are just some of the items required to host an open house. Once real estate agents review all of the new rules, they may decide to continue virtual showings.

Following the stay-at-home executive order by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on March 26, ‘real estate’ was classified as a critical business and thus real estate continued to conduct business for homebuyers and sellers in need. However, how real estate was transacted looked very different and it still does today. For some time, Colorado no longer allowed open houses in the traditional sense, driving with clients or even riding in the same elevator. Transactions were being completed at no-contact, curbside closings with closers wearing gloves and masks. There was a new contract, called the COVID-19 Addendum, that allows a transaction to be extended in the case a homebuyer or seller is exposed or quarantined, as well as new CDC regulations to follow when listing and showing homes.

Virtual tours, videos and FaceTime walk-throughs have become the preferred form of marketing so homebuyers don’t have to enter properties unless they truly think it might be the one they want to buy.

Realtors adapted and some now prefer virtual open houses, and they have been effective. In fact, a real estate agent that that has been in the business for four decades just closed on a double-ended deal solely stemming from a streaming Facebook Live open house he conducted. The new virtual and digital tools to conduct real estate are here to stay, even when the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror.