Skyscrapers in Downtown Denver, Colorado.

After some controversy, the Sloans development is coming to realization.  The former St. Anthony Central Hospital located at West 16th Ave and Raleigh in the West Colfax neighborhood has been scraped and will be redeveloped as Denver’s newest urban infill.  Infrastructure will be built this spring with construction expected to begin by summer.

EnviroFinance Group has placed four of the blocks under contract with local developers who will build a mixed-use area of apartments, restaurants, shops, and a hotel across West 17th Avenue from Sloan’s Lake.  The Denver Post has recently reported that an 8-screen Alamo Drafthouse Theater will be added to the development as well.

There have been opponents to this development, including neighborhood groups who are concerned with density issues.  Around 1,200 residential units are expected with building heights rising to 20 stories.  With this potential influx of new residents to the area, questions have been raised as to whether the area can handle the additional traffic.

Developers believe the project will be a strong addition to the neighborhood.  Most Denverites would agree that West Colfax could use some work… will the Sloans development be the answer?

A scale house on some forms for a deed to conceptualize on the financial investment.

What the heck is title insurance? Why should you buy it?

Well… unless you are paying for your home entirely in cash, lenders will not let you purchase a home without title insurance.  Title insurance ensures that the sellers truly own the property and that there aren’t any problems with the title.

Common Problems with Titles:

1) A previous owner had some construction done on the home and never paid the contractor.  The contractor can place a mechanic’s lien on the title.  You didn’t have that work done, so you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

2)  A previous owner skipped out on paying their property taxes, which resulted in a lien being placed on the title.  Liens are placed on the property, not on the individuals, so new owners need to protect themselves against the antics of previous owners.  T

3)  Forgery! There have been cases of forgery where scam artists search public records to find homeowners who reside out of state and attempt to sell the property as their own on the internet!  (There are so many creative honest ways to make money in this world, it always blows my mind when people do things like this to try to make a buck, but… it happens.)

4)  There are sometimes cases of missing heirs… maybe a child was left in the will and became estranged from their family… years later, the prodigal son or daughter returns and technically has claim to the property. Should this be your problem if you bought the house fair and square?  Of course not!

Title insurance protects home buyers against all of these potential issues and more.

3D render Depicting Declining Property Prices

1)  Home sellers want to put the home on the market before it’s ready.  Sellers become impatient, OR procrastinate and push themselves too close to the moving deadline without getting the pre-sale work done. So they list their home with the horrible carpet or they are painting it while it goes on the market. Presentation is everything — so get the work done before marketing the property.  Every realtor has had a buyer refuse to purchase a home because they didn’t like the paint, even though it’s a super easy fix!

 2)  Home Sellers over-improve the home for the neighborhood. This happens with additions, bump outs, and upgrades that make the home stick out from among its competitors so much that it’s an anomaly, instead of a nice addition to the community.  In less desirable neighborhoods, most buyers won’t care about the custom kitchen and hottub.  They want the desirable location, and will install their own features.

 3)  Home Sellers want to price the home based on what they wish to net. This pricing strategy usually ends in failure. Sellers can control the asking price, but they cannot control the sale price. The market does. It doesn’t matter what the seller wants, the price is determined by the black-and-white, matter-of-fact reality of the market.

 4)  Home Sellers may hire an agent based on non-business factors. Make sure you’re hiring a professional with a proven track record or at least is genuinely passionate to help you!  It might be nice to hand over your largest asset to your nephew who just got his license, but make sure his employing broker works closely with him to keep your deal from going south.

 5)  Home Sellers become emotionally involved in the sale of their home. This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers face when putting their house on the market. Once you decide to sell your house, it’s no longer your home, but a commodity. It needs to be prepared as a commodity, marketed as a commodity, and priced as a commodity. It doesn’t matter what you “want,” only what the market can bear on pricing. People are going to come in to kick the tires, so to speak, and you can’t take it personally if they don’t appreciate the charms that you have enjoyed in your home.

 6)  Home Sellers try to cover up problems, or not disclose them. Most states have a property disclosure/disclaimer form — use it wisely. Just because you disclaim doesn’t mean you cannot be sued for the leaky basement or the problematic plumbing system that’s discovered 30 days after settlement.

 7)  Home Sellers fail to get their ducks in a row before trying to sell. This could involve financing issues, not reading the fine print on your current mortgage to ensure no pre-payment penalties, not investigating their local market, etc.  If your local market is dictating lower home prices, then lower the price early, not later — it will cost you more. 

Avoid these seller mistakes and many others by choosing to work with a Conscious Real Estate agent when you sell your home. To contact one of our agents, call 303-908-9873 or email our owner, Allison Parks, at allison@theconsciousgroup.com.

Housing market price drop concept vector illustration

1) Home Buyers don’t consider resale before they buy.  Every house will be resold at some time in the future.  Granted, you cannot predict all future changes; the area or the economy could improve or decline.  Even so, the future value of the home should be a priority.

2)  Home Buyers base their decisions on what they hear in the national news. They need to remember that real estate is local; not national.  Several times when I tell people I do real estate, they look at me sympathetically and say, “Oh, I bet things are really tough right now.”  Well, they are… in Florida, in Nevada… even Chicago.  Denver is doing just fine.  Home prices have met and exceeded pre-recession prices.

 3) Home Buyers only talk to one lender. You need to shop for a loan, just like they shop for a house.  First, interest rates can vary from lender to lender.  Second, not all lenders offer all types of mortgage products, especially major banks.  I had a client who strongly preferred a condo to a home, but was told that he would have to make a 20% down payment on a condo.  I sent him to my preferred lender and within a day, he was qualified to purchase a condo with a 5% down payment.  So, we found him a great condo!

4) Home Buyers don’t read and understand the contract.  Colorado Real Estate Contracts are over 16 pages long, and your agent should  explain the contract to you.  Second, read over the contract carefully before signing.  I have seen realtors make mistakes on important details – like dollar amounts! 

5) Home Buyers don’t get prequalified with a lender before they start looking for a home.  Consequently they may be looking for houses in the wrong price range.  I have seen clients err on both sides – some think they will be able to afford something much higher than what they qualify for; others think they will only qualify for $150,000 when they qualify for $300,000.  (Note:  You shouldn’t necessarily purchase a home at the top dollar amount for which you qualify.  It’s good to give yourself some wiggle room in case of an unexpected financial event.)

6) Home Buyers don’t do their due diligence before buying, including checking on the crime statistics, checking out the schools, and checking out the neighborhood.  Buyers should also visit a neighborhood during different times of the day and different days of week; talk to the neighbors. 

7) Home Buyers buy the most expensive house in the neighborhood.  The most expensive home in the neighborhood is never the best investment, unless an ex-President lived in the home or unless they scrape all the other houses and build new homes larger than yours.  

To avoid these buyer pitfalls, among others, let us guide you through the home-buying process. Whether you are a seasoned home-buyer or a first-time home-buyer, we will have your back every step of the day. To contact one of our brokers, call Conscious Real Estate at 303-908-9873 or email our owner, Allison Parks, at allison@theconsciousgroup.com.