Colorado Real Estate News

Purchasing A Second Home In Colorado

photo showcasing a home at dusk surrounded by birch trees.

Be honest. How nice does a vacation sound right about now? You can’t deny that after all of these months cooped up in our homes, a change of scenery sounds irresistible. Let’s swap those one-time plane tickets and fancy dinners for the fresh Colorado air and a reason for adventure. Maybe you are looking to purchase a second home for pure enjoyment? Possibly for some additional income? A worthwhile investment? Or it could even be all three, but all in all, there are some undeniable short term and long-term benefits of purchasing a second home in Colorado. 

A second home provides the perfect reason to escape. Whether it’s for personal leisure or family bonding, the memories you create are invaluable, and you can’t put a price tag on memories. Not only will you bond with your loved ones, but a sense of community will also form as you explore your new neighborhood. Creating a sense of belonging as you discover new restaurants and meet the local grocery store owner is the perfect way to become a local. However, since this is a second home, you may not be a permanent local. But do not fret! With such high tourism rates in mountain towns like Telluride and Vail, wannabe locals will be knocking at your door for a little staycation of their own. 

As the real estate market continues to skyrocket, this is the perfect time to consider purchasing a second home in Colorado. Let’s look at Telluride, for example. There was $125 million in sales in August alone, which shattered their December 2019 one-month sales record of $96.9 million. In fact, Telluride is on track to beat the all-time annual sales record of $760 million, which was set in 2007. Not only are mortgage rates low, but purchasing an additional home, particularly in a mountain town, turns your disposable income into financial safety. The National Ski Areas Association reported a record-breaking 24 million visits in the 2018-19 year, further proving a desire for the mountains. While purchasing an additional home is an investment, it has its benefits. For instance, a second home is considered a personal residence. This means when tax day comes around, you can deduct both property taxes and mortgage interests from your taxes. I am not a qualified tax professional, but that sure sounds enticing.

Acquiring another home is a big commitment and a purchase that would benefit from a professional’s advice. Finding a Realtor® whom you trust is crucial in the success of your second home. Our brokers at Kentwood will provide you with the expertise and insights into the Colorado real estate market to assure you that you made a rewarding investment. Feel free to contact our Kentwood professionals today and take your first step in creating priceless memories.

Colorado Real Estate News

Top Tips For Buying A Luxury Home

Homes in Denver, CO are considered as “luxury” if they’re valued over $1M+. While luxury applies to value alone, homes in this bracket all have in common a highly competitive buyers-market despite varying in every aspect from square footage, lot size, and location To navigate an often complicated home buying or selling process in the luxury home market, you will need a broker with negotiation experience and a deep understanding of your neighborhood’s trends.

If you are in the market for a luxury home, there are key areas you need to pay attention to throughout the search process.

Know where to search:

Most real estate is easily accessible through the MLS or a simple online search, but when it comes to luxury properties, many of the homes remain unlisted in order to protect the seller’s privacy. Well-connected and luxury-focused brokers can tap into their professional networks to identify potential buyers or sellers rather than relying on inbound-only interest.

Know the neighborhood:

If you’re investing in a luxury property, you’re likely purchasing your dream home – no bargains or compromises. Understanding each neighborhood and their trends is arguably the most important aspect of living in your dream home as well as ensuring the longevity of your investment. While the home may be perfect, it’s especially important to be aware of future development or changes that might affect your lifestyle.

Know your priorities:

From amenities like bowling alleys and tennis courts to sprawling vistas and top-of-the-line finishes, knowing your priorities and what you deem as luxurious will be immensely helpful in finding the perfect estate. As is true with homes in any market, luxury homes may not have each and every feature you desire. It’s important to develop lists of must-have and desirable-but-not-necessary features, so your Kentwood broker can schedule tours of homes that fit your vision and reduce the time you spend searching. While the home might seem perfect, be sure it’s perfect for you and your family.


Pricing is the most important aspect to selling a luxury home. An experienced broker will solicit a consensus home value from their colleagues, luxury experts, and past and recent market data. While the seller might want to sell their home for more, it’s important to consider the broker’s value because they’re experts for a reason: They know how price homes for sales. If a seller decides to list their home too high, there is a very real risk of ultimately chasing the market meaning potential buyers will wait-out each drop in price to see how low you’ll end up going to sell.

If you’re in the market for a new luxury home, learn process of buying high-end real estate, study each neighborhood, know exactly what you need in a home, and sign the right broker. Kentwood Real Estate has represented the most discerning clientele in Colorado and our brokers are an elite team of Realtors whose exceptional service, local expertise and deep community roots create a market advantage for clients. If you’re ready to start your journey to buying your next luxury property, contact a Kentwood broker today!

Colorado Real Estate News

How A Kentwood Broker Can Increase A Northern Colorado Home’s Value

Ft. Collins, Longmont, Estes Park, Greeley and other northern Colorado towns continue to experience home price increases. While bidding wars and overnight increases in home prices may not be as prevalent today as they were before, getting top dollar remains the priority – but only if you have the right real estate agent beside you.

Here’s how a Kentwood real estate agent will ensure that you can still get top dollar for your home:

1. Local Experience

The housing market is dynamic and no two communities along the Front Range are the same. From day to day, values could fluctuate based on a myriad of different reasons. Kentwood Real Estate Brokers are on top of Northern Colorado’s market trends and specific neighborhood dynamics, and will ensure your home is perfectly positioned at the best value possible based on strategic local market research.

2. Marketing Your Property

Your Kentwood broker will prepare a custom listing presentation for your home and provide a marketing strategy based on a comprehensive market analysis. With innovative tactics such as 3D camera technology that allows buyers to virtually walk through a property to our e-flyer program, your property’s information will be in the hands of the right buyers in no time.

3. Trusted Network

Kentwood’s affiliations with the prestigious Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International and Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate provide connections that make Kentwood a national and global company working on your behalf. On a local level, Kentwood agents’ local expertise and deep community roots also will create a market advantage for your home.

4. Trusted Advisor

If you do receive multiple offers, it is important you have someone experienced in negotiating with multiple parties. The most important way to handle multiple offers is to pick the correct strategy to choose the best offer. As no two offers or the same, neither are the circumstances around each buyer’s offer. They may need to move faster than you’d like or they can be patient and work around your scheduled. A skilled Kentwood broker will make this process as efficient and thoughtful as possible.

If you’re looking for the REALTOR® to get the best value for your home in Northern Colorado, contact Kentwood Northern Properties today.

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

4 Reasons to Dive Into Home-Ownership

Here in Colorado, the American dream of home-ownership is making a comeback in a big way. Another reality of the residential real estate industry here in Denver, is the rapid rise in rents across the city. If you’re still thinking about whether you should buy or continue to rent, consider these four reasons to take the plunge on purchasing a home.


Customize Your Space


One of the biggest benefits to owning your own home is being free to do whatever you like with it! If you want to knock down a wall to expand your master bedroom, go for it. Can’t stand that shag carpeting in the living room? Tear it up and replace it with timeless hardwood floors. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a vegetable garden or incorporating a water-feature to the existing landscape, now you can.

When you own a home, you have complete control over all the decisions. You can add your own personal touches to make your house feel like a home, without the fear of eviction. While renting a home or apartment, some of the simplest things like mounting a TV, installing shelves, or hanging pictures may not be allowed causing you to lose your security deposit.

Tax Benefits


Another thing to love about owning your own home is the tax benefits that come along with it! Although you may have a few more forms to fill out come tax season, this bit of extra effort will certainly pay off. The chief tax benefits are the ability to write off your homeowner’s insurance, mortgage, and property taxes that you make payments on all year. As a homeowner, you can also deduct eligible expenses, like some energy-efficient home improvements.

Investment & Savings


There is no doubt about it, owning a home is one of the best ways to increase your personal wealth. Little by little, as you pay off the principal on your loan you will begin to build equity. Equity is the difference between the market value of your home and what value your house builds over time. As a renter, all those monthly payments are essentially going out the window, you will never see that money again. Purchasing a home is not only an investment in yourself, it’s also an investment in your future.

When comparing the cost of a mortgage versus the cost of paying rent, you can see that over time a mortgage is more cost efficient, especially if you opted for a fixed mortgage. Whereas over time, rent will go up with the cost of living. Even when you account for the cost of the loan, insurance, taxes, and regular maintenance, you’ll find that you will be better off with a mortgage as long as you plan on living in that house for a few years. And if you ever choose to sell your home, you will have the potential to make a profit off of it.



Owning a home will provide you with a sense of stability in quite a few different ways. One of the most important ways home-ownership provides stability is through fixed costs. If you opted for a fixed mortgage, you don’t need to worry about being hit with payment increases. Even when the cost of living, gas prices, and food are on the rise, you won’t have to worry about your mortgage rates.

Buying a home can also help you establish roots and a sense of belonging within a community. You can start getting to know your neighbors, join community activities, and might build long term friendships doing so! Unlike home-ownership, renting comes with a factor of uncertainty. Is my landlord going to allow me to renew my lease or will he rent it to someone else? If I do renew my lease, will the rent increase?

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.

Colorado Real Estate News

Questions to Ask Yourself before Buying a Vacation Home

Vacation Home | Beach HouseDid you fall in love with your last vacation destination and know that you absolutely must buy a home there so that you can recreate those magical experiences. You are not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), vacation home sales catapulted to an estimated 1.13 million last year, the highest amount since the NAR started its vacation home survey in 2003. Vacation home sales were up 57.4 percent from 717,000 in 2013.

Purchasing your own piece of paradise is an exciting opportunity, but there are many important factors to consider before taking the plunge and buying a vacation home. Following are a few questions you should ask yourself before buying a vacation home.

What kind of travel are you committing to?

It’s time to go on vacation, so you drive two hours to the airport for a three-hour flight, pick up a rental car, and then drive two more hours to your dream cabin in the woods. Really?

Now think about hopping in the car and driving only three or four hours to your dream cabin in the woods. The enticement of owning a vacation home is that you will actually go on vacation…easily and often. The location, ease of access, and how often you plan on using it are paramount components in this endeavor. If it’s too far away, then you might not use it as much as you originally thought you would.

How are you going to use the vacation home?

Is it going to be a yearly summer spot for extended family or a romantic weekend getaway? Will you need three bedrooms or is 500 square feet enough space?

Research the four seasons. Will it be too hot to go golfing in July? Do you want to participate in the local, yearly half-marathon? Having a clear idea of what you want, who’s going to use the home, and the purpose of it will be extremely helpful in the overall process.

You should also hire a local real estate agent to learn all the ins and outs of a particular area. Sure, you know how great it is in the summer, but did you know that every winter they shut down the roads due to flooding? What about the naked bicycle club organization that meets once a month next door?

Or how about the new sewer plant that’s being built down the road? Real estate agents are invaluable, and your local expert will share insights and interesting facts about the neighborhoods.

To rent or not to rent?

Many owners are open to renting their vacation home when possible. If this is appealing to you, do your homework.

First, contact a property management company. Find out the rental amounts, and the rules and regulations for a particular area. Is there a peak season? Will you need to give up some of your vacation time so that you can make some money when rents are hot?

Some associations and resort communities don’t allow rentals, so do thorough research. If you’re not going to rent it, who is going to keep an eye on it?

Property management companies are excellent sources of information and offer different services including lawn care, monthly checkups, etc. You’ll want to make sure someone is looking in on your house because sometimes roofs leak, water tanks crack, etc.

How are you going to finance it?

Make sure you fully understand the financial implications of owning a second home. Consult with your Certified Public Accountant and your financial planner. There are different tax rules that apply depending on the breakdown between personal and rental use. Keep in mind that there will be maintenance costs for upkeep and repairs on the home. Create a budget and be prepared for the expenses.

Taking time to research the necessary elements in buying a vacation home is smart and will go a long way in protecting your investment. This is your investment in creating experiences and unforgettable memories for you and your loved ones for years to come. Now, isn’t it time for a vacation?

Colorado Real Estate News

Can You Still Buy a House When Burdened with Student Debt?

Student Loans | Piggy Bank If you’re trying to pay off student loans and want to buy a house, follow these first-time home-buyer tips before you start the home buying process.

Fix or improve your credit score

One way to do this, on top of paying your bills on time, is to keep your credit card balances at or below the 30 percent threshold of the maximum available credit.  This can potentially save a buyer thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.  Higher credit scores would typically give you better interest rates.

Avoid quick fixes

Do not disclose existing credit accounts if you do not use them.  Also, do not pay all of your card balances to zero at once, unless you can do this every month; any change can be viewed as a quick fix.  Quick fixes can negatively impair your credit.

Maintain healthy debt

If you don’t have a substantial credit history, lenders might not have enough data to approve you for a loan.  Maintaining healthy debt and being a responsible borrower can help you avoid being labeled as a “thin file.”

Decrease your debt-to-income ratio (DTI)

As with student loan refinancing, a mortgage lender will calculate your debt-to-income ratio to determine your ability to make monthly payments on the new mortgage.  Typically, the maximum threshold for acceptable DTI is roughly 43 percent.  Special government programs and lenders might approve borrowers with higher DTI ratios, depending on a variety of underwriting criteria.

The easiest way to improve your DTI ratio, although not that easy for most borrowers, is by increasing your income.  Are you due a raise at work?  Can you take on additional freelance work?  If so, try to increase your monthly income several months before obtaining your pre-approval letter.

Your down payment

This may be the trickiest part about a student loan debt.  If you can save the money for a down payment, should you just use it to pay off your student loans first?  The first thing to think about is the interest rate on your student loans.  If you have high interest private student loans, then it probably makes sense to pay those down first and then start to save for your down payment afterward.  However, if you have federal loans, or can consolidate your loans into a low-interest payment, then you might get more benefit out of putting your money toward a down payment.

Get pre-approved

By getting pre-approved by a lender, you’ll learn what the costs and down payment requirements are.  To determine what you can qualify for, a lender would look at your two-year employment history, credit score, income, and assets.  Also, get a list of documents from your lender that will be required.  In addition, there are many federal and private programs geared towards first-time buyers with minimal down payment requirements.

Colorado Real Estate News

Five Types of Buyers You’ll Face While Selling Your Home

Keys To Your New Home

Does it pay to know the different types of buyers you will likely encounter when selling your home? Leading Realtors think so. It pays, literally, to know what type of person lurks behind the offer so you’ll know how best to deal with them for optimum results. Following are five types of buyers you may encounter:

Type No. 1: The all-cash showoff.

All-cash buyers may seem a little cocky…understandably. With no worries of financing falling through, this buyer means business and can even ask for a shorter escrow period to seal the deal. The downside is you may have to be ready to be flexible. The all-cash buyer may aim for a lower offer or have specific contingencies in mind. The promise of cold, hard cash is more of a bragging point than a financial benefit to you. So be prepared to drop them if their demands get too outrageous.

Type No. 2: The scrappy underdog.

These buyers are the opposite of the all-cash buyer. They have little available cash for a down payment. Buyers with FHA loans can fall into this category which can sometimes be rough on sellers since FHA loans have stricter home qualifying requirements. Additionally, the more work a buyer needs to finance the property, the more work a seller might need to do as well…like contributing to closing costs.

The good news is these buyers usually know they’re a headache and, as a result, should be more flexible to your needs, as long as they don’t require cash, a later move-in date or fewer repairs

Type No. 3: The doe-eyed charity case.

These buyers are so in love with your home they submit an offer accompanied by a sweet emotional letter with photos of their children or pets. They are probably the most rewarding buyer out there, but beware. Warm and fuzzy feelings will not pay the bills. If their plea is not accompanied by a heartfelt offer, they could just be playing your heartstrings with one hand and reserving a fistful of cash in the other.

Type No. 4: The window shopper.

These buyers dream of owning a home someday. They gallivant around town, swooning at every open house, but flake when it comes to sealing the deal. They might even pose as negotiators with low ball offers. The reality is they just aren’t all that serious about buying a home. It’s best not to waste your time dealing with this type of buyer…or non-buyer.

Type No. 5: The coyote.

If you’re property has been aging on the market, you might start seeing this type of buyer sniffing. They want to see if there is a crack in the foundation or something that’s kept it on the market for so long. Don’t get intimidated.  Just be honest. Work with your Realtor to see what concessions need to be made and if the price you’re asking is right. Chances are if it hasn’t sold for a while, you might need to come down a bit.

Colorado Real Estate News

How to Successfully Navigate a Short Sale

Short Sale | Real EstateSelling a home for less than the amount the current owner owes on the property is called a short sale. Buying a home that is a short sale is different from buying a property that is actually owned by the bank, known as an REO, or real-estate owned property, or a property that is in foreclosure. Everyone shopping for a new home needs to understand how to navigate a short sale in today’s marketplace. Following is some advice from the National Association of Realtors.

Be prepared for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you’re well organized and have all the documents in place, short sales can still be a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short sale package can take several weeks or even months. The length varies by lender and location, but these benchmarks can put your situation in perspective.

  •  If you have only one mortgage, the review takes about two months.
  • If you have a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.
  • With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

Your real estate professional and attorney, with your authorization, can work with your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along. When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counter offer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. Don’t expect a short sale to solve your financial problems. Here are post-short sale conditions to keep in mind:

  • Your lender may ask you to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale.  If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.
  • Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender may be considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount.
  • Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score.  However, a short sale will generally affect your credit score less severely than foreclosure or bankruptcy.

If you are considering a short sale or buying a short sale property, consult with your Kentwood Real Estate professional.