Colorado Real Estate News

Colorado Wildfires Will Impact Housing Shortage

Written by President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate, Gretchen Rosenberg

The wildfires in Boulder County late last week devastated the bedroom communities of Superior and Louisville, Colorado. These lovely towns between Denver and Boulder are known as friendly, vibrant and boast great views of the Front Range. 

Colorado’s Front Range, from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins, has been struggling with a housing shortage for several years. The pandemic-created housing boom exacerbated our need for more homes for both sale and rent. Suddenly, one of our growing areas has lost close to 1,000 properties. Some of which were on the market and under contract at the time of the fires. 

The people of Superior and Louisville will spend several years rebuilding. As a former resident of Laguna Beach, CA whose neighborhood burned down in the early 1990’s, I remember it taking half a decade or more for all to be new again. The trauma never goes away, but it does get better once folks find a new home or rebuild. 

The immediate challenge is finding interim housing, making insurance claims and replacing household goods. The next challenge will be either entering a housing market with limited inventory or finding builders who have capacity to rebuild the homes that were lost.  

The Kentwood Cares Foundation is focusing on aiding those with immediate need due to the fires. Several of our brokers are also representing fire victims looking for a new home or rental. Please consider a contribution to Kentwood Cares and keep the Boulder County fire victims in your heart.  

Colorado Real Estate News

Homeaid Share the Warmth Clothing Drive

HomeAid Share the Warmth Clothing Drive 2021

Give the gift of warmth this year by donating to HomeAid Colorado‘s Share the Warmth 2021 clothing drive.

As a proud partner of the local nonprofit, Kentwood Real Estate is hosting donation drives across Denver. At all four Kentwood offices, you can drop off socks, hats, gloves, and other winter items through October 29. Please call our office closest to you to schedule a donation drop off.

Kentwood Real Estate Cherry Creek
215 St. Paul Street #200
Denver, CO 80206 | (303) 331-1400

Kentwood Real Estate City Properties
1660 17th Street #100
Denver, CO 80202 | (303) 820-2489

Kentwood Real Estate DTC
4949 South Niagara Street #400
Denver, CO 80237 | (303) 773-3399

Kentwood Real Estate Northern Properties
2510 E Harmony Road #202
Fort Collins, CO 80528 | (970) 300-1985

If you are unable to stop by a Kentwood office throughout October, you can donate through HomeAid’s Amazon Wish List.

Your donation could help thousands of homeless men, women, and children facing a winter without permanent housing in Colorado.

To learn more about HomeAid Colorado, click here.

Kentwood Real Estate is a supporter of HomeAid Colorado, an organization devoted to building new lives for Colorado’s homeless through housing and community outreach. HomeAid works with local home builders, trade partners, real estate entities to supply essentials and build housing for people in need of a roof over their heads.

Colorado Real Estate News

Featured Community | Wheat Ridge

History of Wheat Ridge

Wheat Ridge first established roots during the Gold Rush of 1859. The city served as a rest stop for miners headed to mountain gold camps. It was later incorporated as a city in 1970 and given the name Wheat Ridge for the golden ridges of wheat noted by travelers passing through. Unsuccessful miners returned to the area and began farming the rich, fertile soil, helping the community grow. Wheat fields were converted to fruit orchards and vegetable fields, attracting buyers from all across the Denver area. Eventually the fruit and vegetable farming gave way to greenhouses and the largest production of carnations in the world. This earned Wheat Ridge the nickname of “Carnation City.”

Community

Wheat Ridge embodies the deep roots of a city with a rich history and strong sense of community. Its central location provides short commutes to major interstate highways, the majestic Rocky Mountains, and the amenities of Denver.  The easy access to I-70 means you can be skiing, hiking or participating in a wide range of mountain sports in less than an hour.

While it’s a quiet community, there are currently strong efforts to make the city a more vibrant and active community. More and more new and trendy businesses are choosing to call Wheat Ridge home, including Brewery Rickoli, Right Coast Pizza, and Colorado Plus Brew Pub. The city even has it’s own Farmer’s Market! Yoga in the park, weekly cruiser crawls, and ride-in movies have all become common place in the past few years. It’s also home to over 20 parks, public spaces, and equestrian trails.

Colorado Real Estate News

Featured Community | Art District on Santa Fe Ave.

Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe (ADSF) is a unique, nationally known art and cultural district with over 60 galleries, restaurants and shops located a few short blocks from downtown Denver. The Art District opens its doors freely to lively crowds for popular events such as the First Friday Art Walk, held every first Friday of the month, and Preview Night, a more intimate gathering held every third Friday of the month.

Santa Fe Drive has a long history of artists and artist’s studios. In recent years, galleries and studios began to move into the area as rents in other parts of Denver rose. In 2003, a group of about 17 galleries, museums, and theaters organized the Art District on Santa Fe as a non-profit corporation with the following statement:

Since 2003, membership in the Art District on Santa Fe has grown from 12 to over 60 creative industry members between Alameda and 12th avenues on and near Santa Fe Drive and Kalamath Street. The rise in membership and creative activity in the Art District, a vital “Gateway to Denver’s” commercial corridor, has become a national model of success in community revitalization led by the creative industries. Our success has been featured in national publications such as Travel & Leisure, USA Today, CNN, Sunset Magazine, and the New York Times, among others. One of the Art District’s “secrets of success” has been the ongoing cooperation and the genuine welcoming spirit between its membership and the general public. The Art District freely opens its doors and welcomes guests from seasoned collectors, to artists, to new art lovers, to join the friendly and welcoming feel of the Art District.

The ADSF works with other neighborhood organizations such as NEWSED and the Maintenance District to improve and beautify the area. For example, the ADSF and NEWSED split the cost of the street banners and the Maintenance District teams with ADSF to tackle graffiti and to beautify the streets and sidewalks.

Colorado Real Estate News

Tips on Successfully Living under an HOA

Father and son gardening

If you buy a condominium, townhome, or single-family home in a newer development, or even an older neighborhood where homeowners are concerned with property values and aesthetics, you will most likely be required to become a member of the community’s homeowners association (HOA).

About 20 percent of Americans live in a community governed by an HOA, according to the Community Associations Institute, which educates volunteer board members and association management professionals. The number of communities covered by HOAs has grown from about 10,000 in 1970 to more than 333,000 today.

Community associations are established by developers and then turned over to a volunteer board of homeowners once all the homes in the development are sold. The volunteers are responsible for making sure facilities are maintained, collecting maintenance fees, and enforcing the rules. While there are laws governing the behavior of HOAs, these associations can still have a powerful impact on your rights as a homeowner. Following are some tips on how to successfully live under an HOA:

Learn the HOA’s Rules

You may be able to find an HOA’s rules online as well as information about what happens if you violate a rule. Make sure any online information is current. If you cannot find this information, ask your real estate agent for a copy or contact your HOA directly to acquire these documents. Pay particular attention to rules regarding fines resulting from violations. Also, learn about the process for changing or adding rules and whether HOA meetings are held at a time when you can attend if you wish to do so. If the rules are too restrictive, considering buying elsewhere.

Make sure the home you want to buy is not already out of compliance with HOA rules.

Buying into an existing problem can be a headache, so find out what the rules are and whether you would have to make changes to the home to comply.

Assess Environmental Practices

If environmentally friendly living is important to you, be aware that some HOAs may dictate that you use fertilizers, pesticides, sprinkler systems and whatever else it takes to keep your lawn picture-perfect. They may not allow xeriscaping and may limit the size of gardens, ban compost piles and prevent you from installing solar panels. If these things are important to you, make sure you check the fine print first.

Consider Your Temperament

Are you the type of person who hates being told what to do? If so, living in a community with an HOA may be a very frustrating experience for you. One of the major benefits of home ownership is the ability to customize and alter the property to suit your needs, but HOA rules can really interfere with this.

Find Out About Fees

Fees differ for each community. Because of this you should make sure to ask your HOA several key questions, including how are HOA fee increases set, how often do increases occur, and how much are they historically being raised. Find out how large the HOA’s reserve fund is and if you can get a printed history of HOA dues for the past 10 years. Ask for a record of special assessments that have been made and what assessments are planned for the future. Find out what the monthly dues cover.

Try to Get a Copy of minutes from the last meeting or sit in on an HOA meeting before you buy

The meeting minutes can be very telling about the policies of the HOA. Ask what are current and past conflicts, what is the process for resolving any conflicts, has the HOA sued anyone and how was it resolved? Also, talk to neighbors who have lived in the neighborhood for several years about their opinions of the HOA and experiences they have had.

Watch for under-management

Not all HOAs are over-managed. The opposite problem may be an HOA where no one really cares and where no one is interested in maintaining the neighborhood, making repairs, hearing resident grievances or being on the board. Residents may simply take turns serving as HOA president or randomly appoint someone, so be prepared to serve in this role whether you want to or not if that is the case with your community HOA.

Consider the impact of HOA fees in your short and long-term finances

A property with high HOA fees might end up costing you as much as the house you don’t think you can afford.

The Bottom Line

Homeowners’ associations can be your best friend when they prevent your neighbor from painting their house neon pink, but your worst enemy when they expect you to perform expensive maintenance on your home that you don’t think is necessary or impose rules that you find too restrictive. Before you purchase a property subject to HOA rules and fees, make sure you know exactly what you are getting into.

Colorado Real Estate News

Featured Community of the Month: Cheesman Park

Cheesman Park
Photo Credit: Kentwood Agent Julie Winger

Cheesman Park is an urban neighborhood in central Denver, situated just southeast of downtown, offering the best of city living and green spaces. Historic mansions, high-rise condos and rental apartments are shaded by flourishing trees that add a sense of timelessness to the area. Residents enjoy luxurious living and breathtaking views along with close proximity to Capitol Hill, Cherry Creek, Downtown Denver, Denver Botanic Gardens and of course the neighborhood’s 80 acre namesake, Cheesman Park.

With city maps dating back to 1868, this is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. When the park was completed in 1915, the surrounding area was developed with some of the cities wealthiest people in mind. And while Cheesman Park feels a lot like a grown-up neighborhood and less like a nightlife hot-spot, many young nine to fivers are quickly moving in. In fact, it has more single/unmarried people than Denver’s average.

There are many rumors of the park itself, some of which include it being haunted and bodies being buried there. These rumors most likely stem from the park having been converted from a cemetery in the late 19th century. On an average weekend, you are more likely to run into a family having a picnic or friends playing a pick-up game of volleyball than you are to find ghosts and ghouls. Compared to many of Denver’s other parks, it doesn’t get overly crowded and there is plenty of room to sprawl out. With people taking early morning jogs, practicing Thai Chi and playing Frisbee, Cheesman Park is perfect place to do a little people watching.

 

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Community of the Month: Berkeley

Stretching from 38th Avenue to I-70, and Sheridan to Federal, is the Berkeley neighborhood. While Berkeley is an older neighborhood, its character has gone through some changes in recent years. This can be attributed to the redevelopment of what used to be Elitch Gardens. Since then, there has been an influx of young professionals and new families into the area.

Anchored by Tennyson Street, which is quickly becoming a commercial and cultural center of Northwest Denver, Berkeley is one of Denver’s best kept secrets. The street is host to a health food store, yoga studio, used book store and more! With restaurants like Hops and Pie, Parisi, Cafe Brasil and Black & Larder, you are bound to find a flavor you enjoy.

More residential than LoHi but with a similar allure of trendy boutiques and concept eateries, this area is without a doubt one of Denver’s up and coming shopping haven. Not to mention that the average price of a home is significantly lower than in the Highlands just across 38th.

Another wonderful feature of this neighborhood is its walk-ability. Across 38th you have a 24-Hour-Fitness, Starbucks, Sprouts and Highland Wine & Liquor. Berkeley Park, located on 46th and Tennyson, is no more than a ten minute walk from the town center. This park boasts tennis and basketball courts, soccer and softball fields, bike and pedestrian walkways, indoor and outdoor pools, library, recreation center, playground and picnic area, with a beautiful lake as its crown jewel.

Berkeley displays a great mix of homes from cozy cottages and bungalows to modern lofts and town homes. A thriving family neighborhood with a historic charm and artistic vibe, there is truly something for everyone here. With all that is happening on in Berkeley, it is destined to grow into one of Denver’s hottest neighborhoods.

Colorado Real Estate News

Littleton’s Humble Beginnings

Like much of Colorado, Littleton’s history can be traced back to the Gold Rush of 1859. The Gold Rush not only brought miners to the community, but merchants and farmers as well. This allowed agriculture to rise as a staple industry of the city. With the population of Denver growing so rapidly, the need to construct an irrigation system that would connect farms and businesses to clean water became prominent. Richard Sullivan Little, an engineer from New Hampshire, was among the men hired to complete this task.

During his time in Denver, Richard fell in love with a piece of land a few miles south of the area. After he filed a home stake and other land claims he brought his wife, Angeline, from out east to join him and they started a farm. The Rough and Ready Flour Mill was built in 1867 by the Littles and a few surrounding neighbors. This provided a strong economic base for the community in the years to come.

When the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad made it to the area in 1871, the population began to boom. The Little’s filed to subdivide their land into the village of Littleton. By the time Colorado was made a state in 1876, the area had churches, schools, stores and a hotel, all the makings of a civilization. Finally, in 1890 the 245 residents of the village voted to incorporate the Town of Littleton.

For more information on Littleton and it’s history, please visit: www.littletongov.org

Source: www.littletongov.org

Colorado Real Estate News

Featured Community of the Month: Littleton Neighborhoods

White Deer Valley and Deer Creek Canyon Neighborhoods

Littleton’s Sparkling Jewels among Gems

            White Deer Valley and Deer Creek Canyon are two of the most desirable places to live in Littleton. These two premier neighborhoods are truly jewels among Littleton’s finest gems.

            White Deer Valley offers the best of Colorado living in a great location that’s convenient to the metro Denver area. This neighborhood provides exclusive, executive-style homes on spacious home-sites ranging in size from two to more than 10 acres. The views include spectacular mountain vistas, and a scenic valley overlooking the entire city and beyond. In addition, Jefferson County’s expansive natural open space is right out your back door.

            Deer Creek Canyon is distinguished by the neighborhood’s namesake park where you can enjoy picnics, multi-use trails, mountain biking, and abundant wildlife. The most prominent vegetation is gamble oak, which provides food and cover for mule deer, elk, wild turkey, grouse, mountain lions and black bears. Residents enjoy rolling hills and fertile fields in a neighborhood rich in history, especially the rugged miners and homesteaders that settled the Great American West.

            The city of Littleton is known for its highly regarded schools, mining history, and the South Platte River that meanders through the city. The popular town features numerous small lakes and reservoirs, beautiful Hudson Gardens, and exciting community events throughout the year. The premier location at the foot of the mountains provides quick getaways to high country destinations and the finest skiing in North America. Residents and visitors alike also enjoy a charming, historic downtown showcasing a wide variety of delightful boutiques, restaurants, and retail services in a pedestrian-friendly environment.