Colorado Real Estate News

Top Reasons Why National Homeownership Month is Vital

June is National Homeownership Month in the U.S. which provides us a potent reminder that many people and families have built their wealth through homeownership.

Home is more than simply the house, more than the “sticks and bricks.” For many people, it’s now become their workplace, their children’s school, and a safe harbor against the pandemic. 65.6% of Americans own their homes, the highest rate in the past eight years. A recent Gallup survey ranked real estate as the best investment a person can make. In addition to the financial upside, there are also non-financial benefits. The financial benefits should not be overlooked though, as long as the homeowners can keep on top of their mortgage payments and upkeep.


Benefits of Owning 

1. Civic Participation: Owning a home is owning a part of your neighborhood. Homeowners have a stronger connection to their neighborhoods and are more committed to volunteer work and other ways to be involved.

2. Pride of Ownership: Owning a home means having a space that is uniquely yours. You can customize it to your liking and make it reflect your personality and values.

3. A Safe Space: Owning a home gives you a sense of security and privacy – two things that have become even more valuable as we’ve tackled the challenges of the recent health crisis.

4. Forced Savings: Owning a home builds equity. Your equity grows with each payment you make toward your mortgage. This form of forced savings can be used down the road to help you accomplish your most significant financial goals.

5. Appreciation: Owning a home is making an investment that steadily gains value, and experts project home values will continue to rise in the years to come.

6. Stability: Owning a home means having better control over your future housing payments. Over the years, a mortgage stays relatively steady, but rent costs continue to rise.

Kentwood Real Estate Can Help

Whether you’re moving up, down, from a rental into your first home, or looking to purchase an investment property, our team of professional real estate brokers from Denver to Fort Collins can help you. Search for your home at www.kentwood.com and look for your Prosperity Home Mortgage broker. We believe so strongly in homeownership that we’re in the business!

Colorado Real Estate News

Is Real Estate a Better Investment than Stocks or Gold?

Real Estate is still a stronger long-term investment.

Real estate brokers are often asked whether a particular home they’re contemplating “will be a good investment.” There are buyers concerned with finding the perfect nesting spot, and others worry whether they’ll come out financially ahead.

Some investors look strictly to commercial real estate, but for this analysis we’re talking about residential homes a buyer intends to reside in.

Much of the calculation depends on various factors, including how long the homeowners will keep the property, whether it’s compromised by a busy road, whether the homeowners plan to keep it in tip-top shape or upgrade, and whether it’s a single-family home or a condominium.


Survey Says

Recently in a post on the Liberty Street Economics blog, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noted that Americans believe buying a home is definitely or probably a better investment than buying stocks. A subsequent Gallup Poll reaffirmed those findings.

In an article on the current real estate market, Gallup reports:

“Gallup usually finds that Americans regard real estate as the best long-term investment among several options — seeing it as superior to stocks, gold, savings accounts and bonds. This year, 41% choose real estate as the best investment, up from 35% a year ago, with stocks a distant second.”

Here’s the breakdown:

Long Term Investments for America in 2021 comparing Real Estate, Stocks, Gold, Savings Accounts and Bonds.
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Is Real Estate Really a Sound Investment?

Americans have great confidence in real estate as a good long-term investment and view their home as a way to build future wealth. Although there is some underlying anxiety that the build-up in home values may be mirroring what happened just prior to the 2008-11 housing crash. According to Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, the current real estate market is strong and sustainable.

As Morgan Stanley explained to their clients in a recent podcast:

“Unlike 15 years ago, the euphoria in today’s home prices comes down to the simple logic of supply and demand. And we at Morgan Stanley conclude that this time the sector is on a sustainably, sturdy foundation. This robust demand and highly challenged supply, along with tight mortgage lending standards, may continue to bode well for home prices. Higher interest rates and post-pandemic moves could likely slow the pace of appreciation, but the upward trajectory remains very much on course.”


Key Takeaways

America’s belief in the long-term investment value of homeownership has been, is, and will always be, very strong. Home prices have been stable or rising the propensity of time over decades, even through other sector downturns. It’s good to diversify your investments, but don’t discount the long-term value of owning real estate.

Find a Kentwood Real Estate Broker, or your next Colorado home, on our website, www.kentwood.com. We service the Front Range of Colorado from south metro Denver, throughout Denver metro, Evergreen, Boulder, and northern Colorado, including Loveland and Fort Collins.

Colorado Sunflowers
Yellow sunflowers over Colorado’s mountains.

Colorado Real Estate News

Three Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying New Construction

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

When you’re looking to purchase a brand-new home, it’s wise to hire a real estate broker as your trusted advisor. Homebuilders are in the business of building and selling properties and maximizing profit. As any business would be. They’re not fiduciaries to buyers and will not give you the clear-eyed advice you need as you move through the process.

When I was actively selling real estate, I was fortunate to represent many homebuyers when they purchased new construction. It was a privilege to help them wend their way through the complex process. I learned the ins and outs of a typical builder’s contract language and the important questions to ask.

Three Important Questions

  1. Where is the Earnest Money Held? Did you know that builders like to hold your earnest money in their operating accounts? Wouldn’t it be better to request they hold your earnest money at a title company in a trust account? 
  2. When Can we Schedule an Inspection? Did you know that most builders will permit you to have a home inspection? You should absolutely do a full-blown inspection. One time, we discovered the sewer line from the house hadn’t been connected to the city main. Another time, the builder had forgotten to spray insulation into the attic. And another time we found that a roof truss had been dropped through the living room sub-floor and punched a hole through it! We were standing in the basement looking up at a hole in the wooden floor and saw they’d covered it with carpet and pad.
  3. Can I use a Broker? A real estate professional is your expert and your advocate. They will work on your behalf throughout the process of building or buying new construction. Brokers help you understand the contracts, the key steps, manage negotiations (you may not get much off the price in these heady days, but you might get a few freebies.) Do not walk through the door or sign in without bringing your broker in the first time. Commercial projects require pre-set appointments so this would be more difficult than residential where the showrooms beckon.

Bottom Line for New Construction

Don’t go it alone when choosing new construction. Builders factor in the cost of commission and they don’t back it out if you’re unrepresented. They pocket the difference. So use that money to your benefit.

At Kentwood Real Estate we have both residential and commercial brokers who understand first-generation space. Contact us for all of your Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado real estate needs!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Colorado Luxury Real Estate Market is Thriving in 2021

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

In Colorado’s overheated real estate markets, one notable sector that has benefitted from our current frenzied climate is the luxury sector. Two years ago, homes over $1 million were plentiful and sellers often had to reduce their price to get an offer. Our supply shortage was primarily in the mid-to-low-tier price ranges. At the time, we generally saw 4-6 months of inventory on the high end, providing buyers time to make their decision.

As people today are focusing on a revised set of housing needs, many are turning to the upscale housing sector for the space and features that will fit a new lifestyle. In a recent Luxury Market Report, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) said:

“In a snapshot of 2020, despite the devasting effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the luxury real estate market has seen one of its strongest years since 2008. In comparison to experts’ predictions in early 2020, it is remarkable how significant demands for property type, location, and amenity preferences have changed amid the pandemic.”

Our Colorado lifestyle has provided those seeking Denver real estate and Fort Collins real estate with a new opportunity to work from home and a growing interest in having extra space for things like virtual school, working out, and a designer kitchen to cook more meals at home. The desire to own a home that can meet these needs continues to increase. Additionally, record-low mortgage rates are creating opportunities for homebuyers to stretch their legs into higher price points or even expand their real estate portfolios. The ILHM report continues to say:

Experts believe that the demand for exclusive residential properties outside the metropolitan areas will continue well into 2021; even with the introduction of vaccines, the pandemic is far from over.

For those who have moved to the suburbs and beyond, moving back to the city full time is unlikely while the work from home trend remains. Many of these affluent homeowners are now making their secondary properties their primary residences for the foreseeable future.”

If you’re interested in buying a home this year, it’s helpful to understand that our Colorado luxury home market is finding buyer interest nearly as intently as our mid-tier market is. Be prepared to put your best foot forward when making an offer. Sellers should look to maximize their pricing by placing effort on the prepping and staging of the residence prior to putting it on the open market.

Javier Vivas, Director of Economic Research at realtor.comnotes:

“Interestingly, markets, where new supply is improving the fastest, tend to be higher priced than those that have yet to see improvement, suggesting sellers are more active in the more expensive markets.”

Good to Know

With rates still bouncing along the bottom, it’s good to know that you can buy more by leveraging your purchase. If you’re hoping to buy the luxury home of your dreams, this could be the year you achieve that goal. 

At Kentwood Real Estate we’re especially equipped to handle the purchase and sale of any luxury residence along the Front Range. We stand ready to help guide you through the complexities of our current real estate markets. Search for your next home at Kentwood.com and let us know how we can help!

Colorado Real Estate News

Five Trends to Watch in Colorado Economic Development

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

When I moved to Denver in 1982 it was literally and figuratively a cow town. Nothing wrong with cows, they’re cute. I won’t eat one, but the ranching lifestyle they represent has been deeply embedded and identified with our region for many generations.

That hasn’t been the case in recent years and it’s becoming more a part of our history and legacy than the day-to-day reality for most Coloradoans. Ranching, cows, and sheep are not a driver of our region’s future as much as what built the foundation for our success in the new economy of the 21st Century.

Colorado’s Future

The trends I’m watching for our future involve passionate and committed community members who are fashioning the Front Range of Colorado into a vibrant and exciting region. From technology to bioscience, green energy to healthcare solutions, Futbol to mountaineering, and of course, wine, microbrews, and fine dining. We’re on the move out here in Colorado.

  1. World Cup 2026 – We’re working to bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to Denver! For all the Futbol lovers out there, we promise you an experience of a lifetime if we secure Denver as a host city. If you don’t know Futbol, you may recognize a game we know as soccer. We’re pretty excited to yell GOOOOOOOOOAL! When FIFA chooses Denver to host in 2026. Visit https://denver2026.com to learn more and sign up as a booster or volunteer. #Denver2026!
  2. Clean Energy – The news that Vestas wind energy company is closing and repurposing some facilities does not dampen Colorado’s leadership on clean energy and green energy. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation is helping lead the way to a balanced energy economy. The energy and natural resources industry is Colorado’s most diverse. Coloradoans are committed to supporting all of the sectors within the energy industry to help us move to cleaner energy while maintaining employment and innovation. http://www.metrodenver.org/industries/energy-natural-resources/
  3. Colorado Lifestyle Reigns – Visit Denver and Visit Fort Collins offer exciting ideas for how to get out and enjoy our wonderful lifestyle. Most of us transplants came for the outdoors and stayed for a combination of outdoors along with the arts, sports, dining, and community. Even with COVID restrictions, we’re finding ways to stay in tune with our environment and our communities. This trend will only accelerate as COVID restrictions lift and life gradually begins to hit the stride of our new normal post-pandemic. https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/https://www.visitftcollins.com/
  4. Housing Opportunities – Along the northern Front Range of Colorado from south of Metro Denver up through Loveland and Fort Collins we currently have a shortage of available housing. Many homebuyers are looking to purchase and are faced with making repeated competing offers to secure a winning bid. This, along with record-low interest rates have driven home prices to new highs. Renters are also struggling with availability and affordability. The opportunity for our homebuilders, who are struggling to meet demand, and potential home sellers is terrific. This is, and will remain for some time, a great season to sell a property. Check out the Colorado Market Trends from the Colorado Association of Realtors: https://www.coloradorealtors.com/market-trends/regional-and-statewide-statistics/
  5. Wine – Do I have your attention? What does Colorado have to do with wine or wine with economic development, you’re thinking? We do actually have a wine and vineyard industry, generally concentrated along our Colorado Western Slope. https://coloradowine.com/ AND we also have a burgeoning wine scene in Metro Denver. Kentwood Real Estate is working with Naked Wines to help them plant their flag in Colorado. We’re very excited to welcome the Naked Wines team to Colorado and I’m particularly enthused about hosting a wine tasting as soon as we’re able. Check out the Naked Wines site here: https://us.nakedwines.com. I’m drawn to Willamette Pinots and Pinot Gris Rose’s. It will be fun to see them flourish once they set up their stand in Colorado.

Stay tuned for more from Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado in general! We’re growing on you!

If you’re thinking of making a move to Colorado, check out the Kentwood Real Estate website for more information on all of our local communities and to search for your next home. www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Rooted in Value

Accolades vs. Action

We have many accolades to tout at Kentwood Real Estate, but we’re laser-focused on the customer service actions needed to meet both our clients’ expectations and their goals. Without a deep concentration on the excellence of service, we would never get to the point of raving fans, testimonials, and accolades.

Consumers today have a plethora of models, systems, portals, and personalities to choose from as they embark on their real estate journey. Our team of commercial and residential brokers are at the top of their game because they recognize that we’re in a service business. Real estate “sales” is customer service and expert problem-solving at its core.

Service as Value

I used to joke with clients when I was still in sales that I did a lot more than the average broker. Unlike agents who used the “Three P’s” as a marketing plan, (Put out a sign, Put it in the MLS and Pray,) I offered my clients a list of over 40 behind the scenes activities that they may not have realized their real estate broker should be accomplishing for them.

Does your broker conduct an ownership and encumbrance and tax search on your property or the property you’re making an offer on? Research the condition of the title and zoning? Make sure the HOA covenants and declarations are in your hands for review? 

Does your broker complete a well-considered market analysis for the commercial property or home you’re selling and buying? (And explain how their knowledge and expertise informs that report?) How does your broker expose your property? Qualify prospects? Protect you from shady inquiries or unhealthy/unsafe showings?

Does your broker consistently seek feedback and provide it to you in a timely and valuable way? Negotiate on your behalf? Represent your best interests while balancing the needs of both buyer and seller to get to the end game desired? 

Have you received an estimated net proceeds for a variety of prices? Been guided through the maze of legal documents and referred to an attorney if needed? Do you know if a complete appraisal package has been prepared and provided to the appraiser? Have you been guided through the inspection process and informed on how to best tackle these secondary negotiations?

But Wait! There’s More!

The list of what your Kentwood Real Estate broker can and will provide you in terms of service and support during your transaction continues. It’s so robust that you should make an appointment with a Kentwood broker for more detail soon.

Now is a great time to be a seller, and many buyers are looking for property to purchase. Reach out and learn about why we consistently earn awards and accolades at Kentwood. It’s because we make it about YOU!

Colorado Real Estate News

Why 4th Quarter is a Great Season for Real Estate

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

The seasons are changing and it’s time to finish raking leaves; time to make sure you enjoy the great Colorado Outdoors while it’s still semi-summer and time to consider making a move.

Before stepping into management, I spent 22 years in real estate sales. It never failed that September through November were among my best months every year.

Odds of Selling

As a homeowner considering putting your house on the market or up for lease, your “odds of selling” are among the highest at this moment. It’s not typical to see a jump in inventory during the final quarter of the year and home buyers are left to sift through what little inventory there is. Anything new on the market is usually hotly contested. By choosing to get your house on the market soon, you know the buyer pool is at the highest it’s been in years.

Buying Power

Mortgage rates remain historically, breathtakingly low. The current odds of selling your home in Metro Denver rests at 73.4%. The ratio of buyers to sellers is out of balance in the Colorado real estate market. Those are some great odds! The pool of buyers has maximum affordability at current prices because of low mortgage rates.

In the Northern Colorado market, affordability is greater, with more to choose from in mid-tier price ranges. With similar inventory issues in the communities surrounding Fort Collins, buyers are left struggling to win the day among competitive bids. Having an experienced real estate broker in your corner can help you wade through a complex and sometimes frustrating process.

Craving Space 

Buyers are craving space with another COVID winter in our future. Many people are hoping that a move to a larger property will afford them the ability to weather the storm, literally. If you are thinking of listing your home for sale, consider your location’s appeal and price carefully. The odds of selling are high, but buyers are looking for updated and move-in-ready in most cases.

It’s the season for selling! Contact any Kentwood Real Estate broker for more information on listing or buying residential or commercial property in Metro Denver, the foothills, up the I-25 corridor, and areas surrounding Fort Collins in Northern Colorado. We’re here to provide you the information you need to make an informed decision. Tis the season!

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in Luxury

Top 4 Questions to ask your Luxury Broker

1. Experience Level

It takes a well-honed skill set to manage the purchase or sale of a luxury property. Whether that’s a significant residence or a Class A Building. Marketing, negotiations, and the unique needs of luxury clientele require an aesthetic sensibility that comes from experience and strong negotiating skills.

2. Company Backing / Resources

Does the brand your broker has chosen to affiliate with resonate with a luxury clientele? At Kentwood Real Estate we like to reinforce that we’re a luxury brand for all. Everyone, in every price range and area, receives luxury treatment. Our brand is recognized as consequential because we take good care of our clients and we’re affiliated with some of the top national and international luxury networks, like Luxury Portfolio International, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and Berkshire Hathaway’s HomeServices of America.

3. Discretion

If you’re a luxury client, unless you’re a celebrity wanting to leverage that for a sale, you likely want discretion. Brokers at companies like Kentwood understand that. We’ve worked with sports agents, attorneys representing high profile clientele, we’ve worked under NDA. We know how to get the job done and how to make it about YOU, the client, and not about our notoriety. Not every broker out there wants to be on Million Dollar Listing or touting their chops publicly. Many remain focused on doing the best job they can for their clients. Our brokers are rewarded for their discretion by the referrals of their clients, not by 15 minutes of fame.

4. Photography & Staging

High-end photography, professional staging, geo-marketing, video, drone photography. These are all tools in the tool kit of an experienced luxury broker. They have the “rolodex” of names of the best practitioners in their chosen affiliated fields to get visually stunning results. It’s not acceptable to take photos on a camera phone at any price point, but especially not in the luxury markets.

Coco Chanel famously said, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.” Luxury is in the eye of the beholder and Kentwood brokers excel at treating all clientele as if they are high-end. 

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg Honored with the 2020 HousingWire Vanguard Award

HousingWire announced today that Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg has been honored with its 2020 HW Vanguard Award. This is the sixth year that HousingWire has recognized executives in the housing industry for their outstanding leadership. Rosenberg was selected for being a leader within the housing industry by “moving markets forward, each and every day” and positively contributing to the growth of the housing economy. 

“In the program’s most competitive year yet, 50 winners rose to the top, boasting their outstanding achievements in innovation and leadership,” said HousingWire Magazine Editor Kelsey Ramírez. HousingWire’s 2020 Vanguards have led their respective companies to spectacular success, as evidenced by expanding products, services, and profits.

“The achievements of this year’s Vanguards are hard to overstate,” said HousingWire Editor in Chief Sarah Wheeler. “They are leading some of the most iconic and successful mortgage and real estate companies in the world and adapting and innovating even in the midst of a global pandemic. The Vanguards represent the industry’s best and brightest, and we are excited to celebrate Gretchen Rosenberg’s remarkable accomplishments.”

As President and CEO of Kentwood Real Estate, Rosenberg’s role first and foremost is to support Kentwood brokers. Today, Rosenberg leads Kentwood’s growing elite team of over 240 Realtors® in Colorado’s finest luxury brokerage, which has produced more volume per agent than 99% of all real estate companies in the United States.

Under Rosenberg’s leadership, Kentwood Broker Associates closed over $2 billion in total sales volume and closed over 3,000 transactions last year. The overall average sales price notably rose year over year to $767,556 with four of the top 10 highest-priced home sales in metro Denver, more than any other brokerage in the top 10, according to REColorado data.

Additionally, Rosenberg has led Kentwood through the COVID-19 crisis. Stay-at-home orders disrupted what would have been a record-breaking start of the 2020 spring residential real estate rush. As other brokerages scrambled for direction, Rosenberg’s proactive leadership kept Kentwood’s brokers in front of the crisis by issuing guidance with every new milestone.

To learn more about Kentwood Real Estate and Gretchen Rosenberg, visit www.Kentwood.com.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections

Written by Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO Gretchen Rosenberg

Rooted in… Security

September is the National Association of REALTORS annual safety month. It’s a time to reflect on how to keep ourselves safe and secure in the wake of malevolent or treacherous behavior in the field. We remind our team at Kentwood Real Estate to use smart and safe business practices.

Safety in Real Estate

What are our best practices for safety? Always have a friend or colleague who knows where you’ll be and when. When meeting a new prospect, screen them first and have your friend or colleague give you a call a few minutes into the meeting to check-in.

We advise our brokers to meet new prospects ahead of showings to take a copy of their ID and to pre-screen their interest and qualifications. In fairness to all prospects, we must treat everyone equally and equitably when setting up these pre-showing meetings.

At open houses, have a front and back door open. Keep your phone in your hands. Never venture to another floor with guests. Advise homeowners to clear their house of valuables, medicines and to lock their computer screens. Trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right! These are the most basic advisories for real estate broker and client safety.

Safety’s New Meaning

In the COVID-19 era, “safety” has taken on more color and nuance. We strive to keep ourselves and our clients safe from a pandemic while assisting them to purchase, sell, or lease their home or commercial property.

Recently, one of our Kentwood Brokers told me her “buyer kit” now consists of gloves, masks, and booties, along with a few bottles of hand sanitizer. These are the items she carries in a basket in her car. I reminisced that when I was still showing property, our buyer kits and car baskets consisted of bottled water, small toys, and snacks. Clients are less interested in taking water or snacks from us, they want to know we’re focused on their wellbeing.

During REALTOR Safety Month, Kentwood brokers are doing their part to keep themselves and their clients safe and secure. We hope everyone can accomplish their real estate dream without the stress of an unsafe environment.