Colorado Real Estate News

Top 3 Ways to Protect Yourself from Fraud

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

There is a cyber-crime epidemic happening and it’s hitting real estate transactions particularly hard. According to FinCen, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, “Drug traffickers, corrupt officials, money launderers, and other criminals seek to exploit real estate transactions to hide their illicit profits, conceal their identities, and launder funds.”

Consumers are at risk by virtue of being involved in a real estate transaction and must be highly vigilant to avoid becoming the next statistic. About 40% of all wire fraud moneys are recovered, which means 60% are not. 60% of those buyers lost their down payment and in some cases the entire purchase price. Sellers lost the sale of their house and had to put it back on the market or wait for the buyers to recover their funds or access other funds. This is amounting to billions of dollars lost to criminals.

How can you protect yourself? 

  1. Do not click on links or attachments. At Kentwood Real Estate we have a mantra – No Links, No Attachments! What we mean is to maintain heightened awareness whenever we receive an email with a link or attachment we aren’t expecting. We know that cyber-criminals send phishing attempts constantly and use social engineering to make us think something is important or urgent. We don’t click the FedEx link, the phone company attachment, or title company email until we systematically verify the email is legitimate.
  2. SAIL your email. Vet any suspicious email through the acronym SAIL. Sender. Attachments. Information. Links. Do you know the sender? Were you expecting this email from them? Were you expecting an email with an attachment? Does the information in the email make sense? Are there spelling or grammatical errors? Did you hover over links to see the underlying URL? Same for the email account it was sent from? Is the domain in the URL misspelled or does it substitute a number for a letter, etc?
  3. Don’t fall for fake branding. It’s easy enough to copy and paste a company’s branding, or even someone’s email signature, into a phony phishing email. The criminals know how to appear compelling by attempting to use “social proof.” An email signature or company logo is not proof. Pick up the phone and call your broker or lender and ask if the information you received is information they intended to send you. NEVER accept wiring instructions via email that hasn’t arrived on an escrow or title company secured platform or isn’t encrypted. And ALWAYS call to confirm the wiring instructions before initiating a wire with your bank.

Together, we will overcome cyber-crime.

The best way to avoid becoming a statistic is to ask questions, pay close attention to your email, and slow down. We would much rather see you close, move into your home, and avoid the pain of being a victim. Our Kentwood Brokers, residential and commercial, stand ready to assist. We look forward to helping you take the next steps in your life’s journey!

Colorado Real Estate News

Why Sell Your House Now?

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

From the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 to the end of the year, it was a tale of two housing markets. Dead in the water and busier than ever. All indications are that we’ll see an even stronger market in 2021.

Mortgage rates are holding at record lows and are driving this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at or below 3%. 

National Association of REALTORS Research

The NAR publishes an annual Realtors Confidence Index Survey which suggests that buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. This is holding true for residential real estate markets across Colorado. However, supply does not match demand. New listing inventory is not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state provided by NAR:

You can see on the maps for Colorado that buyer traffic is high, but seller “traffic” is low. With such a limited supply of homes for sale, record-low inventory is fostering a lot of frustration for buyers.

NAR also reported recently that the actual number of homes for sale stood at 1.28 million in November, down 22% from November 2019. Metro Denver had a 0.8-month supply of homes for sale in November 2020. Fort Collins and Northern Colorado fared slightly better with 1.9 months of available inventory at the end of December 2020. In a normal or balanced market, the number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

How are Buyers and Sellers Impacted?

Buyers will need to reserve an abundance of patience with the process of securing a home while being ready to quickly act when they find the right place. Bidding wars are a frequent occurrence, in nearly all price points. We hope this gets better as we enter our typically busy listing months of February – May.

Sellers – this is a great time to begin the process of getting your house ready for market. The highest prices in any given year are usually set during those busy early spring months. With our high buyer demand and the perpetually low supply, now is a great time to sell a house. If you sell and need to find a replacement property, consider locating a temporary housing situation. That way you’ll have your proceeds banked and can be ready and competitive when you find your next home.

Key Takeaway

2021 looks to be another rip-roaring year for residential real estate in Colorado. Take advantage of low rates, pent-up demand, and the need for more inventory to hit our markets. Contact a Kentwood broker today to learn more about the specifics of your area and market and get ready to jump in.

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections – Are you in your Forever Home?

Written Gretchen Rosenberg, Kentwood Real Estate President and CEO

Are you in your forever home?

You may be in your first home or your move-up home, you may have been rooted in your home for many years, or you may be someone who moves a lot and loves the experience and excitement of finding that next just-right place. 2021 is predicted to be another year of record home sales and movement into and out of our homes. Are you planning to jump in?

Many people found their housing needs changed in 2020. They realized their current home didn’t mesh with their current lifestyle. If you’re working remotely, helping your children with online learning, exercising in your basement (me,) or simply spending more of your time in your own four walls, you may be realizing that your current place isn’t what you envisioned when you made the purchase. 

Perfect Timing

It’s a great time to reimagine where you’ll land next. Mortgage rates remain historically low and new construction is helping keep up with demand, even if resales have been slow to come on the market. We expect more homeowners to dip into the market this spring, but multiple bids in some segments will likely continue even with a rise in inventory.

According to CoreLogic’s Home Price Insights, national prices appreciated 7.3% year-over-year in 2020. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reported that inventory dropped 22% from 2019 to 2020.

This is a reflection of supply and demand at work. As inventory decreases and demand increases, prices are driven up.

If you own a home that isn’t JUST RIGHT and you’re thinking about selling, now may be the time. You’ve probably seen a good amount of equity accumulate in your home as prices have increased. Kentwood Real Estate brokers have a large number of buyers looking for their Colorado dream home. Let us help you sell and find that next perfect place to call home.

Bottom Line

If you think your current home no longer serves your lifestyle, then connect with a Kentwood broker to discuss local market conditions and determine if now is the best time for you to sell!

Colorado Real Estate News

CEO Reflections on 2020

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

Time to Pause and Reflect

2020.  A year that hit the pause button on many things in our lives and a year that gave us a reset we did not know we needed. For many people, it was one of the toughest years ever, but it’s also provided an opportunity to evaluate the things that are most important. 

Virtual Meetings and Open House Tours
It’s been a year of working from home, distance learning, social distancing, flattening the curve, masks, visiting loved ones through windows, quarantining, travel bans, lockdowns, riots, protests and curfews, grocery shopping online, curbside pickup, meetings on Teams, Zoom and Go to Meeting and virtual open houses.

We’ve had no concerts or church or big family gatherings, and found new ways of celebrating birthdays, weddings, holidays, and even funerals. I attended a concert, a wedding and a memorial on Zoom this year. We have suffered losses – loss of time, connection and some have lost loved ones. 2020 will be a year that goes down as a historically meaningful year, one that has changed our world.

Kicking off 2021
How do we end 2020 on a positive note and start 2021 with a new and fresh perspective?  At Kentwood Real Estate, Kentwood Commercial, Kentwood Relocation, Denver Rental, and Prosperity Home Mortgage we’re taking time to celebrate with those closest to us. It’s a testament to our teams’ resilience, creativity, and professionalism that we’re thriving in difficult times. Our clients have been loyal and dogged and clear-eyed on where they need to go to stay on the path of their life journey.

We’re planning to rest and reset both personally and professionally and begin 2021 with an attitude of greatness. Thank you all who have supported our team this year. Happiest of holidays to everyone and cheers to 2021!

Colorado Real Estate News

Why Pricing Your House Right Is Essential

In today’s real estate market, setting the right price for your house is one of the most valuable things you can do.

According to the U.S. Economic Outlook by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing home prices nationwide are forecasted to increase 4.7% in 2020 and 4.1% in 2021. This means experts anticipate home values will continue climbing into next year. Today, low inventory is largely keeping prices from depreciating. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, notes:

“Looking at the sheer number of buyers, low mortgage rates, and limited sellers, the strength of home prices–which are now growing at the highest pace since January 2018–makes sense.”

When it comes to pricing your home, the goal is to increase visibility and drive more buyers your way. Instead of trying to win the negotiation with one buyer, you should price your house so that demand is maximized and more buyers want to take a look.

How to Price Your Home

As a seller, you might be thinking about pricing your house on the high end while so many of today’s buyers are searching harder than ever just to find a home to purchase. You’re thinking, higher price, greater profit, right? But here’s the thing – a high price tag does not mean you’re going to cash in big on the sale. It’s actually more likely to deter buyers and have them looking at the houses your neighbors are selling instead.

Even today, when the advantage tips toward sellers because there are so few houses for sale, your house is more likely to sit on the market longer or require a price drop that can send buyers running in the other direction if it isn’t priced just right.

Our Trusted Real Estate Professionals Will Help

It’s important to make sure your house is priced correctly by working in partnership with a trusted real estate professional. When you price it competitively, you won’t be negotiating with one buyer over the price. Instead, you’ll have multiple buyers competing for the home, and that’s what ultimately increases the final sale price.

The key is making sure your house is priced to sell immediately. That way, it will be seen by the most buyers. More than one of them may be interested, and your house will be more likely to sell at a competitive price.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about listing your house this fall, connect with a Kentwood broker, to discuss how to price it right so you can maximize your exposure and your return. Find a broker at

Colorado Real Estate News

The Top Reasons People Are Moving This Year

Today, Americans are moving for a variety of different reasons. The current health crisis has truly re-shaped our lifestyles and our needs. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many people to re-evaluate what homeownership means and what they find most important in a home.

In 2019, 67,000 people moved to Colorado according to the US Census Bureau. In July, the Front Range Housing Market remained very competitive. Many sellers were collecting multiple offers over asking price as people continue to move to and around the front range

According to Zillow:

“In 2020, homes went from the place people returned to after work, school, hitting the gym or vacationing, to the place where families do all of the above. For those who now spend the majority of their hours at home, there’s a growing wish list of what they’d change about their homes, if possible.” 

With a new perspective on homeownership, here are some of the top reasons people are reconsidering where they live and making moves this year.

1. Working from Home

Remote work is becoming the new norm in 2020, and it’s continuing on longer than most initially expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore, and they can get more for their money if they move a little further outside the city limits. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) notes:

“With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

If you’ve tried to convert your guest room or your dining room into a home office with minimal success, it may be time to find a larger home. The reality is, your current house may not be optimally designed for this kind of space, making remote work and continued productivity very challenging.

2. Virtual Schooling

With school about to restart this fall, many districts are beginning the new academic year online. Education Week is tracking the reopening plans of schools across the country, and as of August 21, 21 of the 25 largest school districts are choosing remote learning as their back-to-school instructional model, affecting over 4.5 million students.

With a need for a dedicated learning space, it may be time to find a larger home to provide your children with the same kind of quiet room to focus on their schoolwork, just like you likely need for your office work.

3. A Home Gym

Staying healthy and active is a top priority for many Americans. With various levels of concern around the safety of returning to health clubs across the country, dreams of space for a home gym are growing stronger. The Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans explains:

“For many in quarantine, a significant decrease in activity is more than a vanity issue – it’s a mental health issue.”

Having room to maintain a healthy lifestyle at home – mentally and physically – may prompt you to consider a new place to live that includes space for at-home workouts.

4. Outdoor Space 

Especially for those living in an apartment or a small townhouse, this is a new priority for many as well. Zillow also notes the benefits of being able to use yard space throughout the year:

“People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, ‘an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking.’”

Many urban dwellers remain enamored with the dynamic urban lifestyle and still enjoy condo living. Those that wish to remain downtown are looking at properties with larger patios or building rooftop decks. They look forward to the lock and leave lifestyle again in future months, but want to enhance their current space with a home office and an area to get outside on those lovely Colorado days.

Moving May Be Your Best Option

If you’re clamoring for extra space to accommodate your changing needs, making a move may be your best bet, especially while you can take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates. Low rates are making homes more affordable than they have been in years. According to Black Knight:

“Buying power for those shopping for a home is up 10% year over year, with home buyers able to afford nearly $32,000 more home than they could have 1 year ago while keeping their monthly payment the same.”

It’s a great time to get more home for your money, just when you need the extra space.

Bottom Line 

People are moving for a variety of different reasons today, and for many people, their needs have changed throughout the year. If you’ve been trying to decide if now is the time to buy a new home, contact a Kentwood broker to discuss your options!

Colorado Real Estate News

5 Things to Know When Buying a House in 2018

Buying A House in 2018Buying a house in 2018 is a big commitment. Knowing when to dive into the real estate market can be intimidating, especially when there is low inventory, high prices, and it feels like the rules keep changing. Even if you have purchased a home before and think you know the process, what worked back then might not be what works now. To help prepare you for what may come, here are a few things to know before diving head first into the 2018 real estate market.

Learn How the Tax Code Will Effect You

The recent tax reforms have caused some concern that they will put home-ownership even further out of reach for many Americans, while also decreasing the tax benefits for owning a home. But that shouldn’t be reason to deter you from making your move. For example – starting this year, home-owners can deduct mortgage interest on loans up to $750,000, that’s down from $1 million. This change is expect to affect 1.3% – 2% of mortgages. The bottom line is to educate yourself on this new tax plan and how it will effect you.

Buying A House in 2018

Mortgage Rates Are on The Rise

For the past several years, homeowners have benefited from historically low interest rates – around 3% – 3.90%. But the Fed has recently begun to make some noticeable increases. Last year, the rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage broke 4%. With economic growth gaining momentum, we could see between two to four more rate hikes this year. Rates could end up closing out the year at 5%. First time home buyers should keep an eye on these trends and forecasts.

Buying A House in 2018

Debt Limits Have Increased

In mid-2017, Frannie Mae announced that they would now be purchasing loans with borrowers who have debt-to-income ratios up to 50%. That’s up from their previous limit of 45%. This is a good bit of information for first time home buyers to know because it could make mortgage loans easier to obtain, especially for those who have a higher level of debt.

Buying A House in 2018

Home Prices Are Rising More Slowly

Home prices have soared over the last few years, forcing other-wise qualified buyers out of high priced areas. But in 2018, price increases are expected to slow and become more moderate. Economists expect prices to rise by 3.5% – 5% nationwide this year. But it all depends on where you live. Some cities, where economic momentum has been steady, could see larger gains. While red-hot markets are predicted to finally lose a little steam.

Buying A House in 2018

Prepare for Competition

Housing inventory continues to be at a record low across the country, meaning that the days of multiple offers won’t be subsiding anytime soon. Because of this we have seen the all cash buyer willing to pay full price or more. According to the National Association of Realtors, 23% of all homes purchased in January of last year were cash buyers. And some experts believe that number will rise this year.

Since these types of buyers don’t need to secure financing, they not only have an edge on the competition but they’re also more appealing to the seller. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost. There are plenty of creative ways to appeal to a seller, such as writing a letter about yourself, your family, and your situation. Learn more about surviving a seller’s market.


Colorado Real Estate News

Your Home Staging Guide

When it comes to selling your home effectively and efficiently, home staging can truly make a difference in how the buyer places value on your home. A well-staged home can not only urge buyers to be more inclined to walk through the home that they viewed online, it can also help them visualize the property as their future home. Staging is an excellent tool that can give buyers the extra nudge that they need to purchase a home. Following is our guide to a successfully staged home!

Home Staging | Your Guide

Say Goodbye to Clutter

Home Staging

The single most important home staging element is to clean and organize your home in preparation for showings. Be sure to clean your home thoroughly, scrubbing the tile in the kitchen or bathrooms, steam clean carpets and drapes, and mend holes and cracks in the walls. You want your home to shine! A major contributor to a house feeling cluttered is too much furniture. Take a good hard look at your home and evaluate what things you can live without and how to create a feeling of spaciousness in your home.

Another important step in the home staging process is to depersonalize your home. When showing your house, you want your prospective buyers to be able to imagine themselves living there. This becomes a lot harder to do when they are in a space that has echoes of the current owner. So, remove family photos, personal collections, medications…etc. Be sure to secure your valuables and relocate your pets for the time being.

Lifestyle Appeal

Home Staging

Often, when someone buys a home they are also buying into a lifestyle. We are seeing these small neighborhoods popping up, all with their own unique cultures. When decorating your home for a showing, use bright colors, along with artwork and accent furniture to create a space that brings out the vibe of your neighborhood and bring life to an otherwise vacant and sterile room. Give them a glimpse of what it’s like living in the unique area!

Going Green

Home Staging

Going green is all the rage in real estate these days. Finding a way to reflect that trend in your home staging could give your home an extra boost over the competition. Some common green accents could be twigs or flowers from your backyard, wooden pallets to create an accent tray or coffee table, or an old bucket to use as a vase or on your front porch. Re-purposing antique furniture to create unique or hidden storage options in another great way to bring in a green element to your home.

Charm the Senses

Home Staging


This is the sense that is most associated with home staging, and rightfully so. The placement of furniture, decor, plants, and everything else is central to successful staging. But the most fundamental piece to catching a prospective seller’s eye, which often goes overlooked, is lighting. Not only does a dark home come off as unwelcoming, it will also make it hard to show off the unique qualities that could help you sell your home. So, if your home has a floor plan that doesn’t allow for much natural light, be sure to add vibrant lighting to help your home feel bright and inviting.


Music can have a powerful effect on our emotions, mood, and comfort levels; and can also be deeply evocative of memory. Therefore, playing music around your house during a showing can do wonders for filling a space as well as giving a touch of personality to your home. You want to be careful to stay away from anything too disruptive or loud that might take away from the staging or make it difficult to discuss with your prospective buyers.


Smell is the strongest, most personally connected sense that we have. It is also the sense that is most closely tied to memory. We often associate certain aromas with experiences we’ve had to a degree that different scents can make us feel nostalgic, comfortable, cozy, or just the opposite. In home staging, it’s important to use natural or neutral smells like sage, pine, or lavender to create an atmosphere that feels like home.


Let’s be honest, everyone loves a snack! Food is inviting and makes people feel welcome and comfortable in a new space. Not to mention it can add a feeling of sophistication to your home. Keep in mind that not everyone will be interested in your hors d’oeuvres, but most people will appreciate some fresh fruit, mild cheese, and even a glass of wine while they take a glance around your home.


The chance that your prospective sellers will go around touching every minute detail of your home such as walls, floors, and tiles is unlikely. But touch is our main exploratory sense, used to gauge everything from temperature to softness and quality. Outfitting a home with comfort and quality is important, but the main concern should be with temperature. If a home is too hot or too cold, it will make your prospective buyers uncomfortable and distract them from the other aspects of the home that you would like to show off.

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Apps All Homeowners Need


Real Estate Mobile AppsWhile the process of buying a new home is an exciting one, paperwork, crunching numbers, real estate jargon, and moving boxes can also make it stressful. But in today’s world, any need you might have, small or large, can be made easier with mobile apps. To help make your home buying experience a little less trying, we compiled a list of some of the most useful real estate apps for all homeowners!

Kentwood Mobile App

This app enables users to search for properties via GPS location, mark favorite properties, and receive notifications when a home comes on the market.

Kentwood Real Estate has also included cutting edge, augmented reality “Scope View” capabilities where a user can literally stand on the sidewalk and point their smart phone towards a home for sale to instantly view the price or other relevant information. The app also ties in directly with Kentwood’s website for seamless client interaction and follow-up.

The state-of-the-art app features a variety of search options and filters, making it easier than ever to search for homes on-the-go in Denver.  The app syncs to the user’s account on, ensuring saved data is accessible on the user’s mobile device as well as Kentwood’s website at

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Called the “Wikipedia of interior and exterior design” by CNN, Houzz has the largest database of home design ideas on the net, with over 5,000,000 high resolution photos. Browse photos by style, room and location then save them to your virtual ideabook —the equivalent of clipping design magazines to a scrapbook — making ideas easier to search, save, and share.

Find everything from products curated by our editorial team to top-rated local designers, architects, contractors, and other home pros who can help you realize your ideas.

 Moving Van

In a nutshell, this app allows you to quickly and easily identify the contents of your moving boxes without ever having to open them. It essentially does a bit of inventory during the packing process.

While packing, you can use the app to take photos of the contents of the boxes and write down any details. You can also assign each box a name, number, or room it belongs in.

Using this app will allow you to relieve some stress from playing the guessing game when it comes time to unpack.

Eden Garden Designer

Eden Garden Designer lets you design beautiful gardens on your mobile device. Start with one of the included gardens, ready for planting, or create your own through your camera or photo library.

Eden’s plant library is stocked with beautiful, vivid photo-realistic plants and flowers chosen from the favorites of North American and European perennials and annuals. Search for plants by name, height, zone, color, blooming season, sun exposure, or type. Each plant has lots of useful information and has a custom wiki link to dig for even more detail.

If you are new to gardening or are a real green thumb, Eden Garden Designer lets you design beautiful gardens without having to learn expensive and complicated garden design programs. Eden is designed to be a delightful and useful tool for gardeners of all abilities and interests.

Behr Color Smart

Ready to take on your next paint project? This is a convenient, easy to use tool to help you find your perfect color, discover new designer – coordinated color combinations, and preview your choices in room scenes and on exteriors.

This is an easy way to find paint color combinations for any room in your home. You can choose your colors and then see what they look like on the wall of a simulated room.

You can also access colors by scanning the barcode on the back of a Behr color swatch or brochure – a quick, simple way to validate your color selections.

The Real Estate Dictionary

Are you looking to buy your dream house and find yourself caught between the crossfire of complicated real estate terms? Here is solution to all that real estate jargon. Packed with over 2000 words across 11 different categories, it’s very simple to use.

This dictionary app comes in handy as you can learn new terms while traveling, when speaking with a real estate agent or while looking for a property. This app will help you with the various terms regarding concepts, laws, and fundamentals.

Mortgage Calculator

Who knew calculating your mortgage payment could be so easy! Calculate, save your favorites, and get real time mortgage rates all from this mortgage calculator.

Whether you’re a home buyer, homeowner or real estate agent, you’ll love all the features this app offer. Determine your monthly payment on a home while you are house hunting, figure out what your monthly payment would be if you refinanced, calculate the total cost of your loan and how much you could save by making extra payments, and effortlessly learn how much home you could afford.

Around Me

The Around Me app quickly identifies where you are to show you a complete list of nearby businesses and attractions, including the distance from your current location. This can be helpful when looking for a house in an area that is unfamiliar to you.

You can search for the nearest bank/ATM, bar, coffee shop, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theater, restaurant, supermarket, theater, or taxi company.