Colorado Real Estate News

9 Backyard Improvement Ideas To Increase Your Home’s Value

After an exhausting day at work, relaxing in the comfort of your own home is always something to cherish. Sitting on your couch and watching TV, settling in with a book, taking a bath—the options are endless. But even without the stress of work, there’s still that nagging reminder of your home responsibilities and chores.

For these reasons, many homebuyers are viewing modern backyards as an essential feature. There is no true sanctuary like your backyard; it can be as cozy as your living room with the added benefit of fresh air. Backyard remodels are the latest trend that is adding value to the home for year-round enjoyment.


Take a peek at these nine improvements you can make to your backyard to increase your home’s value.


1. Add a Deck or Patio

According to Forbes, 58% of homeowners plan to buy outdoor furniture this year, more than double last year. This past year has found people stuck at home, and backyards are a place of retreat now more than ever. Transforming your backyard with outdoor spaces such as patios or decks is an effective way of creating that special haven.

2. Stay Comfortable With an Outdoor Firepit

Who doesn’t love to sit around a warm and cozy fire? An outdoor firepit can replicate the atmosphere and heat that you feel inside. Whether you want fresh air on a cold winter day or s’mores on a cool summer night, an outdoor fire pit will keep you toasty. Jessica Yonker of HGTV Gardens says an outdoor fire pit can increase your home’s value by 15-40%—which is considerably high for an inexpensive option.

3. Install a Swimming Pool

A swimming pool can be a distinctive selling point when competing with other homes. Furthermore, buyers and homeowners have found a new appreciation for swimming pools. As people find more ways to enjoy spending time at home, installing a swimming pool can appeal to the general public and luxury homebuyers. 

4. Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are rapidly growing in popularity among homebuyers. The pandemic resulted in many homeowners thinking outside the box when hosting guests. Outdoor kitchens are no longer a luxury feature but an item on many homebuyers’ wish lists. A study from Absolute Outdoor Kitchens found that homes with an outdoor kitchen can see a return of investment of 100% to 200% compared to homes without.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Simple, yet effective. Outdoor lighting can transform a bland backyard into a sophisticated, warm and welcoming oasis. It could be as easy as a string of white lights across trees or as complex as lighting your entire patio. Whichever route you choose, lights are a surefire way to make your outdoor space brighter and more inviting.

6. Revitalize Your Lawn

First impressions are everything for homebuyers. A well-maintained lawn can catch a homebuyer’s eye, and it can certainly influence their decision. According to the Lawn Care Institute, turf grass alone can increase a home’s value by as much as 15%.

7. Privacy Fence

One of the appeal factors of backyards is the seclusion they can provide. A privacy fence can help make your backyard feel like an actual place to retreat. Not only can a fence maintain your hideaway, but it can help support the safety and security of your family and pets. 

8. Garden

Over time, a well-kept garden will make your home more enticing to homebuyers. It can demonstrate that the owners take extra care and pride in their property and potentially increase the chances of a sale. Based on a survey by Home Light, a well-maintained garden can boost property value by as much as 77%.

9. Shade Structures/Pergolas

It can be challenging for those in hot areas to relax in a backyard without any shade. Pergolas are a great way to make seating areas or dining tables more comfortable. In addition, pergolas come in all shapes and styles that can match any home design. 

When deciding which features you should equip in your backyard, homeowners should stay up-to-date with current trends. The pandemic has persuaded people to rethink their outdoor design spaces, and as a result, companies are now more innovative with their outdoor products to craft an ideal backyard oasis. 

These nine backyard improvements can boost the value of your family life while adding to the long-term investment of your home.

Colorado Real Estate News

Exploring Greeley Colorado

Greeley, Colorado is located between Boulder and Fort Collins as you head toward this slice of Colorado heaven. Greeley sits on the High Plains that cover northern Colorado and has the South Platte River to the south and the Cache la Poudre River on the north side of the city, which makes Greeley an hour away from both the capitals of Colorado and Wyoming. Greeley is a college town in the Weld County district and is home to the University of Northern Colorado, which adds a unique energy to the culture. However, its roots in agriculture and food production create a thriving economy in this quaint area. Explore Greeley, Colorado today to see that this town truly has it all! Make sure to check out our top spots. 

1. Poudre River Trail

If you seek an outdoor adventure in Greeley, the Poudre River Trail provides a 21-mile scenic route along the water. It is a wide-paved path away from busy areas and loud noises, allowing you to truly appreciate the area’s natural beauty. The cottonwood trees and wetlands that line the Cache la Poudre River are the perfect escape from reality in Greeley’s favorite outdoor destination. If you are lucky, you may even see an eagle soaring above you!

2. Local Craft Breweries 

Colorado is known for its magnificent beer, and Greeley does not come up short. Enjoy a cold one at one of Greeley’s craft breweries. Some of them include Crabtree Brewing Co., Brix Taphouse and Brewery, Wiley Roots Brewing Co. and WeldWorks Brewing Co. Each brewery caters a unique experience to each patron with delicious drinks and various food to complement your beverages. If you’re a fan of tantalizing fruity beer, be sure to check out Wiley Roots’ five different Fruit Ladies!

3. Union Colony Civic Center

Catch a show at the Union Colony Civic Center. This performing arts center was built in 1988 and is home to two performance venues, Monfort Concert Hall, which holds 1,686 people, and Hensel Phelps Theatre, which seats 214 fans. There are various concerts, comedy shows, musicals and other local acts where they host over 100 events a year. The Tointon Gallery is also open for free to the public, with 10 exhibits showcasing acclaimed artists. As a staple in the Greeley community, the Union Colony Civic Center is the place to watch and enjoy a theatrical experience.    

4. Colorado Model Railroad Museum

The Colorado Model Railroad Museum is a one-of-a-kind exhibit! This museum attracts visitors from around the world since it is the top-rated attraction in Greeley. The 5,500 sq. foot masterpiece will leave you inspired as you also walk through a real 1919 Colorado & Southern Railway Caboose. It holds 80 scale miles of the train track and thousands of handmade artifacts. They even have about 28,000 handmade trees! Make sure to see the artifacts in operation.

5. Greeley Stampede

The Greeley Stampede celebrates the region’s rich Western heritage. This organization brings the community together with rodeo competitions, live country concerts, parades, a demolition derby, art exhibits and more. There are a series of carnivals that also take place with rides, food, beverage, vendors and kids activities. During the summer, they also host the Miss Colorado Rodeo Pageant and Independence Day fireworks. There is always a fun adventure from the Greeley Stampede. 

Greeley is not as well known as other cities in the Colorado Region, but it is certainly worth exploring! The activities are endless in this northern Colorado town. Indulge in a beautiful hike, grab some delicious food and see what Greeley has to offer you!  

Colorado Real Estate News

Best Disc Golf Courses in CO

When you think of Colorado, outdoor activities immediately come to mind. With over 300 days of sunshine and beautiful mountain weather, how could you not go outside? Besides hiking and water activities, Denver is known for being one of the best areas for disc golf in the U.S.A. These mountain courses have tons of elevation and are more on the technical side. However, you won’t find a course like this anywhere else, so we recommend exploring these places if you’re an invested disc golf player or simply looking for a new outdoor adventure. 

Here are our top five best disc golf courses.

Beaver Ranch Disc Golf Course in Conifer

As the top-rated course in Colorado, you can enjoy two courses and 62 baskets with various shots from meadow drives to crafty tree work. You can purchase a day pass for $12 or an annual pass for $100. No reservation is needed. 

Address: 11369 S. Foxton Road, Conifer.

Cross Creek Disc Golf Course in Gypsum

This course is deep in the mountains with heavily wooded terrain. You will have to navigate your way through the trees to get to the end, where you will find more open meadow shots. Day passes are $15, and no reservations are needed. 

Address: 13119 Gypsum Creek Road, Gypsum.

Ghost Town Disc Golf in Central City

This town isn’t just known for its casinos and prime rib. Central City offers a private disc golf course featuring 20 holes. The holes may be short in distance, but the advanced layout provides a challenging course. It is $10 for a day pass and $5 for children and walkers—Call 303-582-3083 to reserve your spot. 

Address: 190 Russell Gulch Road, Central City.

Double Cabin Disc Golf Course in Telluride

Telluride is already known as a top place to visit in Colorado, and its disc golf course gives you another reason to check it out! This 18-hole course is located on the ski run and has you throwing uphill and downhill, along with a scenic view of the San Juan Mountains. This course is free for all players, and no reservation is needed.

Address: 470 Mountain Village Blvd., Mountain Village.

Wondervu Disc Golf Course in Golden

On the mountaintop of Coal Creek Canyon, you will find this 19-hole private course. Wondervu is also known for its annual tournament called Disc-n-Dabs, where teams can register for a cannabis-friendly disc golf competition from Sept. 3rd – 6th. Otherwise, you can purchase a day pass for $10 and make a reservation at the link above. 

Address: 136 Camp Eden Road, Golden.

Each of these mountain courses will provide an enjoyable experience for your next disc golf excursion. If you’re a seasoned player, we recommend downloading the app UDisc, which helps navigate courses and keep the score even without cell service. 

Colorado Real Estate News

Kentwood’s Top Producer Dinner 2021

On June 30th, 2021, Kentwood held its annual Top Producer Dinner, honoring leading agents and brokerage teams. This long-time tradition is one of Kentwood’s most influential and distinguished events, commemorating award-winning brokers with sales between 10 million and 90 million-plus in 2020.  

The spectacular event was hosted at Denver Country Club, one of Colorado’s most prestigious and well-known country clubs, overlooking the breathtaking 18-hole golf course – originally designed by James Foulis in 1905. The dinner was held outside to practice social distancing. 

Contrary to the traditional sit-down style of years past, premier bars and grazing stations were casually sprinkled throughout several terraces and perfectly manicured lawns. Food stations included Italian charcuterie, assorted sushi and seafood, and build-your-own tacos. Sophisticated polyrhythms and melodies filled the night sky with live music by The Pet-Friendly Jazz Collective – a local Denver band. 

This was Kentwood’s first signature event since the pandemic. The event was a stunning evening bringing together colleagues and friends separated for the past 18 months – an exclusive gathering of Kentwood’s most brilliant talent. 

With cell phones required to be turned off, intimacy and connectedness were a focal point. For the agents and teams themselves, the event exuded excitement, celebration, and inspiration.  

 “That was one of the best parties…everything worked!” raved Luisa Staerkel, Managing Broker. 

“…and everyone was so happy to get back together.” 

Luisa Staerkel

“Could not have been a more elegant evening, and nobody could have made the night more special for us,” said Edie Marks, Broker Associate and Top of her Profession since 1977

With 30+ years of gathering top-producing agents, Kentwood looks toward the future for continued excellence in the Colorado real estate market. 

Notable venues from past Top Producer Dinners include The Art – a Hotel, Ruth’s Chris Denver Tech Center, STK Downtown, EDGE Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel, Coohills, and The Venice Ristorante and Wine Bar. 

Colorado Real Estate News

Is Real Estate a Better Investment than Stocks or Gold?

Kentwood - Colorado's Luxury Real Estate

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
.

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

Northern Colorado Real Estate Market Trends

Image of two outdoor chairs sitting in front of a lit outdoor fireplace

Home Prices Increase Except in Berthoud

The average sales prices across northern Colorado continue to skyrocket for attached and detached homes except in Berthoud, which saw a year-over-year decrease of 0.69 percent in the average sales price of detached houses and a year-over-year decline of 7.49 percent in attached homes. Those looking to buy for cheaper may find opportunities in this area.

The Demand for Boulder

The intimate atmosphere in Boulder is still extremely attractive, as shown by the most significant increase in closed sales and closed sales volume year over year. Since April 2020, detached homes saw a closed sales increase of 144.23 percent and a closed sales volume increase of 316.56 percent, and attached properties experienced a closed sales increase of 120.51 percent and a closed sales volume increase of 142.74 percent. 

Attached Properties in Windsor Are Lacking Love

Windsor saw the largest disparity in sales of detached and attached homes as the closed sales and closed sales volume of detached properties increased by 79.10 percent and 89.47 percent year over year, respectively, while closed sales and closed sales volume of attached homes decreased by 50 percent and 46.94 percent year over year, respectively. Despite the sizable drop in purchases of attached properties, prices haven’t lowered, as the average sales price increased by 6.11 percent and detached homes’ average sales price increased by 5.79 percent.

Homes Are Flying off the Shelves Faster

Berthoud saw the most drastic drop in average days on market with an 83.54 percent reduction for attached properties and decreased to the shortest timeframe for average days on market across northern Colorado at 26 days in April 2021 from 158 days in April 2020. Fort Collins has the lowest average days on market for detached homes, with a 44.78 percent reduction, going from 67 days in April 2020 to 37 days in April 2021. Homebuyers need to make quick decisions to compete in these fast-paced markets.

*Written May 25, 2021. Updates may be available after this date.

Colorado Real Estate News

Denver Real Estate Market Trends

Image of a fireplace and patio lounge furniture

April 2021 Showed Blatant­­ Hyper-Demand In the Residential Housing Industry

The market continues to result in historic low months-end inventory, even with months-end active inventory increasing by 35.03 percent. Altogether, there were still only 2,594 active properties at the end of the month, representing the lowest April on record and 48.38 percent less inventory.

The Importance of One Year Ago

April 2020 was a month of confusion and uncertainty for the world. The ebbs and flow of being an “essential” worker were reflected in new listings last year, which were down 43.02 percent compared to April of this year. Since last year, the market has seen a steady rise in competition and therefore prices have as well. With only two weeks of inventory, year-over-year appreciation continues to be staggering for the market while also bringing homesellers inevitably great returns, increasing 24.20 percent in April. 

The Luxury Market Has Experienced the Most Growth

In 2018, 2019 and 2020, year-to-date closed sales of properties over $1 million were 649, 654 and 661, respectively. So far, in 2021, there have been 1,353 closed sales, more than double the number of the past three years. The median days in MLS for the Luxury Market was seven, down from 23 in 2020, 22 in 2019, 32 in 2018 and 48 in 2017. 

Where We Stand With Inventory Lows

Historically, the market has seen annual inventory reach its low point in February and March, followed by increased listing activity until it hits inventory peak in August and September. The Luxury Market appears to follow the trend with 28.82 percent more new listings in April than March, showing that it may be possible for buyers who outlast the competition fatigue to find themselves with more options than they have seen in the past few months. If so, with only one month of inventory for attached homes and 1.97 months for attached homes, buyers will need to keep vigilant. 

*Written May 10, 2021. Updates may be available after this date.

Colorado Real Estate News

March News Recap 2021

The Colorado housing market continues to be highly competitive testing buyers, and showing just how far people are willing to go to secure their dream homes. Proudly rooted in Colorado, our Kentwood brokers are experts in the Colorado market. As local experts, Kentwood Real Estate was featured in several news articles in the month of March, use the links below to read more!

Colorado Real Estate News

The Top 3 Indicators for Commercial Real Estate Recovery

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

Our Kentwood Commercial team of brokers is often asked what they see on the horizon for commercial real estate (CRE) and whether the sector across-the-board suffered pandemic woes.

In actuality, CRE is many sectors, not one. Commercial office sales and leasing are quite different from industrial and warehouse, retail and mixed-use are nothing like multifamily. If we unpack the variety of sectors in Colorado’s real estate markets, we can use the past 14-months to plan for the future.

Leading Indicators

Leading indicators are what drive behavior change and business results. The leading indicators of the Work from Home adaptations we’ve made over the past year are impacting both the housing and commercial office markets. Many businesses are planning to retain a hybrid model but are committed to being back in their offices by third quarter 2021 in some form. This will benefit office, but the sector still lags in other areas of CRE. Companies are looking for ways to consolidate and shrink their office footprint, and in metro Denver we have hundreds of thousands of square feet on the sublease market. Dr. Michael Sklarz wrote about the intersection of rising housing prices with office lease rates due to the WFH trend in a recent blog post.

Company Culture

CRE appears to outsiders to be a clinical, analytics driven area of real estate. In many ways, that’s true. However, human behavior and consumer behavior have a large influence over many CRE sectors. Retail and hospitality has been impacted in an outsized way by the pandemic and the business owners are re-imagining how their businesses will look going forward, and how their real estate needs will be changing as a result. Corporations are reconsidering the open floor plan “hoteling” model that came into fashion over the last decade. Some managers like that model even more as they move to a hybrid work from home format, others like it less as they wrestle with how to keep their employees safe in an office environment.

Warehouses Dominate

The industrial and warehouse sectors are thriving. Internet shopping is driving a need for fulfillment and storage which is driving demand for warehouses. This is a trend that picked up steam over the past year and should remain strong as we move into 2022 and beyond.

Commercial real estate is thriving in Colorado for many owners and landlords. Others are still struggling – multifamily owners are impacted by eviction moratoriums, strip malls with family-owned restaurants and shops hope tenants reinvigorate as society opens back up, large office buildings aren’t clearing vacancy rates at the planned for velocity. The best way to stay informed about CRE is to speak with brokers who know all aspects of the business. Kentwood Commercial brokers are seasoned professionals who stand ready to help.

Colorado Real Estate News

Top Nine Spring Activities in Colorado

Spring has sprung, Colorado! Are you struggling to come up with fun, family-friendly activities to keep you and the kids entertained? We’ve got you covered with this list of the nine best spring break activities in Colorado. So, read away and get ready for great ways to play!

1. Visit a National Park 

If you’re looking to experience the beauty of nature, then Colorado’s National Parks have got you covered. From colorful canyons to majestic mountains, these parks are sure to provide the perfect escape for you and your family to soak up some sun and breathe in some fresh air. 

2. Take a Food Tour

Are you craving new cuisine? Why not check out a food tour in Colorado Springs? With Rocky Mountain Food Tours, you can visit five of Colorado Springs’ top restaurants in just a few hours. That way, you can take a bite out of Colorado Springs without breaking the bank. In addition to offering contact-free check-in, groups are limited to eight people and masks are required. Read more about their safety protocols for a delicious and safe experience. 

3. Stop By the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Located in Colorado Springs at 6,800 feet above sea level is the “highest zoo in America.” With beautiful views and over 200 species of animals, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is sure to please the animal lover in your family! Start the day with a stroll through the reptile exhibit and at lunch be sure to feed the hungry giraffes. Advance e-tickets are required as well as masks. Read more about their COVID-19 restrictions to best plan your visit.

4. Check Out the Royal Gorge

Want to add a little suspense to your spring fun? Then steer your car towards the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. This gorgeous gorge is home to the highest suspension bridge in America and the park offers tons of rides too. A trip to the Royal Gorge is guaranteed to give you and your family fond memories that will last a lifetime. Every person ages 10 and up must wear a mask but beaming smiles will still be easily noticeable!

5. Drive to the Top Of Pikes Peak

Nothing embodies exploration and enjoyment like a good old-fashioned road trip. Standing tall at 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak offers the perfect opportunity to get in the car and relish each other’s company and some fantastic views. Just be sure to bring a coat because it is bound to be chilly once you reach the summit.  


6. Go Horseback Riding Through Garden of the Gods

For a unique adventure, trot down to Garden of the Gods and hop on horseback. With breathtaking sandstone formations and a ton of hiking trails to choose from, Garden of the Gods is a must-see for any Coloradoan. However, if you want to experience this classic landmark in a whole new way, try taking a trail riding tour and elevate your perspective. Groups are limited to eight people and you must arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled ride.

7. Learn Something New at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Even us adults don’t have to stop learning. Located in downtown Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science offers the perfect mix of education and enjoyment. Uncover the mysteries of Stonehenge and venture into the prehistoric era to watch Allosaurus and Stegosaurus do battle with an 80-foot-long Diplodocus towering overhead! Discover gems about ancient history and Colorado’s recent history with exhibits like Tom’s Baby, an eight-pound nugget of crystallized gold unearthed in Breckenridge in 1887. Masks are required, indoor capacity limitations are in place, likely resulting in queue times, and popular galleries require timed entry tickets.

8. Stay a Night at The Stanley Hotel

Staying home all of spring is a frightening thought. So why not pack your bags and take a weekend getaway to the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park? Stay for the night and the frights. Meet some friendly ghosts and entertain the kids with the variety of activities offered at our other blog here [link to blog].

9. Browse the Denver Art Museum 

If you’re looking for some sights that will astound and delight you, then venture on down to the Denver Art Museum. Take a stroll through the nineteenth century’s art and then explore the fashionable Véronique and Gregory Peck exhibit. Afterward, you can grab a snack in Denver’s beautiful River North Art District (RiNo) and maybe even do some shopping. In addition to masks being required, be sure to check out their Plan Your Visit page to make sure you have a fulfilling and safe experience.

As the weather warms and adventure beckons, don’t spend your time wondering what to do. Go out and try a few of the activities on this list so you can make this spring the best one yet!