“Bird Dogging” generates Littleton Leads

For close to 20 years a group of professionals have been meeting for breakfast every Thursday in Littleton to share business opportunities thay have discovered for each other.  It is similar to old fashioned Bird dogging. As a Realtor  the state rules say I cannot pay folks to do this for me. I can give them leads that help their business grow. It is mutually beneficial, that is why I have been attending for almost 19 years. Try it one Thursday and see if your business expands.

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Highlands Ranch is not out of reach..rent is too high!

I was just thinking about a house payment versus rent. Lots of folks yell about this on the radio, but you may find this interesting.

A $300,000 loan at 3.25% results in a $1303 principle and interest payment.

Add to that monthly taxes of $180, insurance of $100 and HOA dues of $45 for a total payment of about $1628 per month.

How much down payment is required? 3.5% or $10,500 for down payment PLUS closing costs. Often, Sellers can be convinced to pay them, or the interest rate can be adjusted to cover them.

So for less than what you are currently paying for rent, you can own a home…

REMEMBER, I am a REALTOR, not a lender. Check my figures with a reputable lender.

Or check mine out under the BUYER tab at www.DenverRelocation.com

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What to buy? Where to Buy? Best deals in Denver?

It is my personal opinion from being out and showing homes as well as being the listing agent for a few. The Hot price range in Highlands Ranch real estate is below $375,000. Some of the more “perfect” homes above that will sell quickly, however, most folks want to find the sweet spot. To me that seems to be $450k & up. I see a lot more flexibility in the market above 600k too. What does your market look like? Lets talk…

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I have lived in Highlands Ranch

for almost 23 years, in the same house. I do not use the rec centers…my kids did. I like the rec centers.
I do not like being told to paint my house.
But I like the fact they catch you and ask you to when it needs it (one year early in “MY PLAN”).
I do not like the water bills.
But I do like the fact that the lawns look nice, and there are not any refrigerator or sofa houses.
And there are very few “fix ups” effecting the value of my home.
The planned aspect of the community really appeals to my green side.
I will not have a convenience store converted from a home up on the corner.
I love the views. I like the walking paths.
I really like that everything is here where I do not have to travel far to get things.
HOLD YOUR BREATH>>>Here is the shameless plug…
And for most of my 27 years as a residential real estate broker, people like Highlands Ranch because of these and other things.
They like the rec centers.
They like the schools.
They like the community.
Most do not like the commute to downtown.
Sure I can show folks other stuff in Littleton or Englewood, but you did say “newer”.
In 1982 there was no other land south of Countyline Road (at that time in the metro area) that could be developed except Highlands Ranch.
So I also like the newness.
But the trees are skinny, until they hit 15 to 20 years of age.
Lets visit if you want

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Yes! Talk to your neighbor. Not the HOA first.

It can be unsightly and upsetting when a home in a neighborhood isn’t being maintained like the others. It might be an overgrown yard, a fence in need of repair, paint peeling on the home or even a car parked in front of the home that hasn’t moved in weeks.

I believe most people want to be good neighbors and may be willing to correct the issue once it is brought to their attention. In some cases, they may not agree with the same urgency and it might be necessary to seek other remedies.

The most expedient solution may be to contact the responsible person and describe your perception of the problem. An owner-occupant may be sympathetic to the neighbors and more than willing to correct the issue.

However, if you suspect that it is a rental property, check with the county tax records to identify the owner. They may be unaware of the situation and would actually welcome the “heads-up” to protect their investment.

The next step might be to notify the homeowner’s association if there is one. The covenants or bylaws will specify how properties must be maintained and the association can enforce them.

The final step would be to notify the city for a possible code violation. Most cities have a separate code and neighborhood services division and some cities have 311 for non-emergency assistance.

Posted in Centennial, Colorado, Denver, Denver Real Estate, Denver Realtor, Englewood, General Real Estate, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree | Leave a comment

Colorado Home ownership RULES!

Most people agree that homeownership rules! When asked, people say they want a home they can call their own, to raise their family, share with their friends and to feel safe and secure. It also accounts for the majority of most people’s net worth.

 from good friend Pat Zaby

These rules can help protect your investment and make homeownership more enjoyable.

  1. Don’t overpay for your home
  2. Maintain your home’s condition
  3. Minimize your assessed value to lower property taxes
  4. Make extra principal contributions to save interest and build equity
  5. Validate the insured value of improvements and contents
  6. Stay current on surrounding property values
  7. Make mortgage interest payments deductible
  8. Invest in capital improvements that increase market value
  9. Don’t over-improve the neighborhood
  10. Keep records of capital improvements and other maintenance

We want to be your personal source of real estate information and we’re committed to helping from purchase to sale and all the years in between.

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Electric Landscaping…it adds a lot to your home

by Pete Doty
We had a very un-exciting night scape for a number of years.
You know, a light on a post like everyone else.
Then it fell over, we pulled it out and was talking with Joe Low (The Landscape Connection) one day about LED and other low voltage landscape lighting. 
He came over and said “I know what you want. You will like it.”

Home in Highlands Ranch with low voltage night scape lights

Night scape lighting effects make your home more memorable.

Low voltage landscape lighting (less than 60 watts) creates all this effect in my Highlands Ranch home. A smart timer (not photo electric) changes the time the feature turns on every day. And every night it turns off at a set hour, keeping Highlands Ranch beautiful.
Amazing what a little light can do to a dark home. And using trees as focal points…excellent!
Joe even came up with a “Smart” timer to control the landscape lights, not just the normal dusk to dawn optical sensor. It works great.
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Arvada Colorado Patio Home

Lock & go from this patio home in Arvada close to golf, shopping and the mountains

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Thinking about a Patio?

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2012 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Posted in Denver Real Estate, General Real Estate, Highlands Ranch, Littleton, www.DenverRelocation.com | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Evaluate Your Yard for a Patio

Article From HouseLogic.com

By: Andrea Nordstrom Caughey
Published: March 18, 2010

Evaluate your yard for a patio by understanding costs, the shape of your property, and variables such as sun and shade.

If you love the great outdoors, you’re not alone. Outdoor living is one of the fastest-growing segments of the remodeling market. In fact, the entire “outdoor leisure lifestyle” industry is now a $6.2 billion business–up 5.4% since 2002, according to statistics from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association.
One reason that outdoor living is so popular is that it expands living area at minimal cost. Leading the way to this low-cost pursuit of leisure is the patio. With new home construction costs averaging $95 per square foot, and decks coming in around $33 per square foot, an all-brick patio averages only about $15 per square foot.

In addition to helping expand usable square footage, patios add to the salability and curb appeal of your property, according to the American Society of Landscape Professionals. An attractive and functional landscape that complements the home and adds function increases value, too.

Mack Strickland of Strickland Appraisal Services, Inc., in Chester, Va., pegs patio recovery costs at anywhere from 30% to 60%, depending on the region of the country and material choices. “In general, the less elaborate and costly the improvement, the better your return on investment,” he says.

A $2,000 investment in a 12-by-12 foot brick patio, therefore, might roughly return an average of $900 at resale.

Here’s how to assess whether a patio makes economic and functional sense for your yard.

Study your lot

Get to know the characteristics of your yard. Watch patterns of light throughout the day to determine patio sites best suited for most shade, sun, or a combination of both. Also consider convenient access to the house, especially from the kitchen or family room, for seamless entertaining and maximum usage.

Evaluate locations that offer privacy from neighbors. Also determine a realistic size for a patio. Estimate the number of people you typically entertain and make sure there is enough space for them to maneuver.

Envision furniture and other future amenities, such as grills and service bars. Be careful not to skimp. A 12×12-foot patio should be roomy enough for a dining table and chairs for six people, with plenty of room for a 42-inch wide grill, according to David McCullough, a landscape architect in San Diego.

Lastly, consider your lot’s grade and how best to deal with any slope issues. Sometimes adding steps leading to a flatter, lower level is a less expensive alternative than re-grading or adding fill. Building two smaller patios rather than one larger expanse can keep costs for contouring your yard to a minimum.

Check neighborhood restrictions and permits

Become familiar with current setback requirements, zoning concerns, neighborhood covenants, homeowner association CC&R’s (codes, covenants, and restrictions), and local building regulations and permits. These are available by visiting your city’s local planning department or website.

“When evaluating your yard, take into account any possible obstructions,” notes Chris Fenmore, principal with Southern California-based Garden Studio Landscape Design. “This may include existing or old irrigation or drainage lines, or live electrical, gas, and sewer lines. If needing to navigate over these, it’s important to hire a professional.

“Also, before starting construction, enlist your local (free of charge) ‘dig alert’ agency that will mark important underground utility lines,” stresses Fenmore. In some locales, “call before you dig” telephone numbers are listed at the beginning of the phone directory. In most U.S. regions, you can begin the process by calling the national underground utility hotline at 8-1-1.

Determine your budget

Expect to pay $1,500 to $2,500 for a professionally installed, 12×12-foot concrete patio. This includes removal of obstructions, such as shrubs and old walkways, miscellaneous cleanup costs, and the cost of the concrete and installation at $8 to $12 per square foot. To add stone or brick, figure a total of $15 to $20 per square foot.

“While demolition costs may differ slightly depending on the lot, there is always some form of removal that takes place, whether it be an existing patio, obstructions on the land, or just leveling of an area for a flat surface,” says Fenmore.

Because 40% to 60% of the cost of a professionally installed patio is labor, do-it-yourself homeowners can expect to save hundreds of dollars, depending on materials. You’ll realize substantial savings even after paying $300 to $500 for a dumpster that holds roughly 10 yards of debris.

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