New Year. New Opportunity!

What opportunities will you have to buy or sell a home this year? Don’t think you’ll have one? Think again!

Let’s start by looking waayyy back to December 2023, and then we’ll look forward.  Aside from the seasonal slowdown, higher interest rates and low inventory, have had the most impact on the market.  You can dive deeper by clicking the full Denver Real Estate Market Trends  report, and know I’m always here for you with home values and neighborhood trends catered to your specific needs. Now, back to the future.

In my experience…

Winter is the best time to buy a home. Fewer buyers are willing to face the cold, postponing their shopping for early spring, giving you an opportunity to make an offer with less (or no) competition. And sellers who sell in the winter generally have good reason to. This means their motivation is driven by their needs rather than their wants. Another opportunity!

Waiting for the rates to fall?  Don’t. While nobody knows for sure what will happen in 2024, we are anticipating multiple rate drops as the economy stabilizes, but the “waiters” often lose. Think about it. If you buy early, you’ll be gaining equity as prices rise with demand. Buyers who wait to time the market will face a different set of challenges. Lower rates bring more buyers, bidding wars and higher prices which increase the gains for those willing to buy now and refinance once all that rate dropping happens.  Today’s rates from my lending partner, Select Lending Services, look a lot better overall than where we were last year.

 

 

Let’s talk about how 2024 can open a real estate opportunity for you!

“With the holidays upon us, we are focusing on the gift of homeownership this season. Owning a home provides stability and security for many families. It is also the single largest investment most people make in their lifetime, which serves as the single best vehicle to attain individual and generational wealth. Speaking of gifts, this is my absolute favorite time for buyers to get out and shop for homes. Sellers whose properties are on the market typically need to sell and are more willing to negotiate than in March or April when the market is at its peak. Additionally, the competition from other buyers drops considerably. As such, buyers who can see the beauty of buying a home right now have their choice of home and can negotiate their way into their dream home.
Additionally, interest rates are starting a downward trend, and we as REALTORS® know that if rates continue to drop then demand will increase. In fact, many agents saw a flurry of activity last month when rates dropped buying end-of-year activity. Depend­ing on where rates trend, we may see bidding wars back before we know it.”
Libby Levinson-Katz
Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee | Denver REALTOR®
  • LUXURY MARKET ($1,000,000+): “Zig Ziglar once said, “Every sale has five obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” Today, all five of those obstacles present themselves clearly to home buyers and sellers in the $1 million and over price segment. Despite it all, 2023 has proven to be quite a strong year for this segment. Removing the pandemic years and comparing to 2019, sales volume year-to-date has more than doubled, closed volume has nearly doubled, new listings are up over 66%, and price per square foot is up over 14%. I predict this segment will continue to see growth as more people spend more money to experience the gift of living in Colorado.” Susan Thayer, DMAR Market Trends Committee Member & Denver REALTOR®.
  • SIGNATURE MARKET ($750,000 – $999,999): “Black Friday may only last one day in November, but for buyers in the $750,000 to $999,999 price range, the deals lasted all month. The deceleration in the market, however, should not cause any alarm. It is seasonal and expected. Historically, the holidays in November and December take precedence over home buying and selling goals, so we typically experience a decline in market activity. November and December showcase prime opportunities for serious buyers: far less competition, declining prices, expected seller concessions, and recently, declining interest rates. It’s the perfect time for them to give themselves the gift of home ownership.” Colleen Covell, DMAR Market Trends Committee Member & Denver REALTOR®.
  • PREMIER MARKET ($500,000 – $749,999) “There are few things greater than the gift of homeownership. A home can offer financial security, stability, tax benefits, and community. It also serves as the backdrop for so many wonderful moments in life, especially during the holiday season. Many buyers are inclined to hit the proverbial pause button on the home search and wait until spring. While that is an option, waiting to buy a new home likely means competition and concessions on the buyer side. Meanwhile, we have great homes on the market now with motivated sellers and less competition. Perhaps you can negotiate concessions on inspection, or maybe that low interest loan is assumable and can be transfered to the buyer. As REALTORS®, our gift is the ability to guide our clients with knowledge and savviness. End of the year is a busy time as I encourage buyers to look when no one else is. We find great homes and they pay less than if they had waited.” Nick DiPasquale, DMAR Market Trends Committee Member, and Denver REALTOR®.
*Remarks from Pages 15-16 of the December 2023 Market Trends Report from DMAR

My friend, Molly, makes the perfect pie crust. Like next level crust.

Growing up in Southern California with my mother’s fear of kitchens and my pie-baking granny far off in the redwoods, this life skill was lost on me. As the first snow fell, marking the start of pie season, I wondered if Molly would be willing to teach me this sacred art. I could Google it, watch a YouTube video, find a pastry cutter at the Goodwill, but all of this would defeat the purpose. Some things are better learned from friends; in their kitchen, on a Saturday morning, with a hot cup of tea. It is not just the flaky goodness I’m after, it’s the time spent together doing something simple.

For a year after my brother died, I made an apple pie each month and delivered them to unsuspecting friends. No one complained about the pre-made crust, and still, I texted Molly my request. She said yes.
I’ve learned so much from friends through the years; about love, and how to show up in the world. Our friends hold space for the good in us when we’ve forgotten. They catch us with kindness when we’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of self-doubt. They throw us a rope if we’ve reached bottom. They bring opportunities to be a better person, for the lessons of our humanity are learned in the hearts of others.
My personal town square is filled with intelligent, wildly creative, and generous humans. I have friends who share plants in the springtime, the bounty of fall, and seeds in the winter. They share their homes, their food, their laughter. What else can we share as an adventure in community? What can we learn from one another as we knit?
This week we toward gratitude and the gift of time together. Through the dark days ahead, I’d love to spend more time together, to “Pie Our Square”. You’ve been warned. Don’t be surprised if you get a text asking how to make that lovely scarf you posted, or your favorite chili recipe. I want to witness the daily talents, the family treasures, and to spend some time together.
And if I show up with a pie… all bets are off on the crust.
Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

Come down to the Wicked Bayou.

Lovers, zombies, a hurricane… what more could you expect from a Wicked Bayou?

Wonderbound Opens Season with Wicked Bayau

If we’ve ever met (or you read my ol’ Huffington Post blog), you’re well aware how much I love Denver’s favorite dance troupe, Wonderbound. Known for the brilliant choreography of Garrett Ammon, artistic collaboration, and live music, Wonderbound is kinetic storytelling of the highest order. The season opens with another fantastic mash up. Ammon is joined by Clay Rose on “Wicked Bayou”, inspired by a song “Old Bayou” by the Zombie death polka band, The Widow’s Bane, who play live during the show. This tale of young lovers fighting for their lives against a hurricane, a zombie puppeteer, and an alligator who feeds on children’s hearts, will haunt your dreams as the stunning images of Ammon’s work and The Widow’s Bane melodies linger. One of a few remaining chances to catch the band before they say farewell. I’ll skip the haunted house and experience All Hallows’ Eve the way it was meant to be!

Tickets for this hauntingly beautiful show show are selling fast, as always, so get your October calendar out and grab a seat on the bayou while you can.

I work in a highly competitive field. Always have. When I was working as a professional actress, the process was- Understand the play, fall in love with the role, create the character, audition, and hope that they picked me to do what I do well. When my career shifted to real estate, I found the process for building a business very familiar- Understand the market, fall in love with my clients, create the marketing plan, do the listing appointment/audition, and hope that they pick me to do what I do well.
Fortunately, for the last seventeen years I’ve been blessed to be picked. In June I was lucky to help my clients move forward with their real estate goals, and landed in the Top Ten in my company. Not bad, considering the Rock Stars I work with! If I can move you… I’m grateful to be of service.

Beautiful Home in Castle Rock Finds Perfect Buyer

Beautiful Home in Castle Rock Finds Perfect Buyer
I got the call that they were relocating to Denver from Indiana in a month, coming in for a long weekend to buy a house. I knew it was much more than finding a house, we needed to find them their home. “Power shopping” in 90 degree heat, we toured ten properties. With their wonderful parents and a great son in tow, these buyers were champs! At day’s end we went for tacos at North County and discussed the top contenders over delicious margaritas. The next day, loaded up with snacks and water, we set out to see another ten. End of the day, our last showing was in Castle Rock. And it was PERFECT! Our offer was accepted and yesterday our new Colorado residents (and my new friends) moved into their gorgeous home. Congratulations, Nick, Katie, and Jake!

New Price!
Want an urban lifestyle without the LoHi density? Take a look at this 2 bed/2 bath condo in Denver's beautiful West Washington Park neighborhood. One of the things that Denver's best neighborhoods have in common is what's known as a micro-embedded commercial district, which often grew up along the old trolley line stops. These walking streets bring a unique flavor to the area with small businesses, boutiques, and dining.  One of these lovely walking streets is on Pennsylvania Avenue, where you'll find this new mixed-use building called Wrigley on Penn. This urban beauty is the best in the building- an end unit on the top floor with peak-to-peak views from your own 660 square foot rooftop deck. Right outside your door are the delightful shops and restaurants, including Uncle, an upscale ramen restaurant, the elegant Au Feu Brasserie, Studio 9 Salon, and FitWall. Wander across the street to Rise & Shine for coffee and biscuits, or make yourself at home in the legendary Carmine's on Penn for an amazing Italian feast. The surrounding neighborhood is pure Denver charm, with tree-lined streets, the beloved brick homes so full of character. This location provides an easy commute to downtown or down south, and it's a quick walk or roll to beautiful Wash Park!

If you're looking for the best of both- charming old neighborhood + urban sophisticate living- Let's schedule your private tour today!

 

The numbers are in and it’s been a wild ride! The year started with an insane first quarter, with buyers offering more than $100k over asking price, waiving inspections, covering appraisal gaps. And then, interest rates went up, showings dropped off, prices came down, and the market got… quiet.

It is common for the Denver real estate market to expect a seasonal slow down after July 4th, but this year’s cooling happened early. With the rise in inflation, the Feds pushed hard on rates and buyers pulled back. Many were exhausted by the Q1 rush, some felt the effects of the stock market, while others feared the increased interest rates. When rates rise 1 point, that’s a 10% reduction in buying power.  A reduction in the loan amount often moves a buyer into a lower, more competitive, price point. Home prices have adjusted to these changes, leveling off a bit and shifting toward more balance, between home buyers and sellers.

“Every indicator points to the market shifting closer to a buyer’s market. The month-end active listing increased 21.53 percent last month, pending and closed deals decreased and days in the MLS increased by 30 percent. We are still a long way from what many experts would consider a buyer’s market.” -Andrew Abrams, DMAR Trends Committee Chair

With the number of residential homes on the rise, buyers have more options, but sellers see themselves with more competition than they did earlier in the year. The average close price saw a minor dip from the prior month but year over year, there was a 11.04% increase. As for days on market, there was both an increase from last month and from the same time in 2021.

With all the changes in the economy, we are not surprised to see movement in the real estate market too. However, don’t let the numbers keep you from your end goal. Whether that’s buying, selling, or investing one thing I know is that its your life that moves you, not the market. NOW is always the right time if it fits your personal situation.

Looking for more explanation on all of this? Comment, call/text/email and let’s have a conversation. Or if you’re shy like me, check out the Market Report for Q2 . If you want to see where we are today, click on the Denver Metro Association of Realtors Market Trends Report for August.

 

I wake up, make my coffee, and think of Ukraine.
I move through the house and feel a deep ache for those who’ve fled theirs.
I see my own world differently; small and privileged and somewhat back to normal.
The pillows and chairs provide comfort as I scroll through the headlines. Images of conflagration, and miles of refugees with no soft place to land. They carry dogs and cats and children.
The knickknacks on the shelves articulate moments, reminding me of all that is broken. I light a candle for the future.
I make dinner silently, praying that Ukrainians may gather around their tables again soon. I peel the onion and welcome the tears’ release.
I hug my son, tell him that I love him, and pray for the families separating at the border. I crawl into my soft, warm bed and think of those who spent their night on a cold cement floor.
My childhood years were Cold War years when Russia was the cold, hard enemy; an idea that softened as the decades passed.
That was before the rules of engagement were broken, before the agreements of humanity were left by the roadside. There have been other atrocities, too countless to mention, each as devastating for the victims and the world.
This… caught between the terror of the unthinkable and the horror of standing by… changes everything.
I head out, grateful for the work and peaceful streets, with a vow deep in my heart. Be kind, we’re only human. Be present, it’s all we have.