house for sale in Denver, homes for sale in Denver, colorful colorado, colorado, real estate, denver real estate, conscious real estate

Browse Denver neighborhoods, or better yet, fill out our super simple form below to get personalized answers from a real estate agent in Denver here at Conscious Real Estate.

house for sale in Denver, homes for sale in Denver, colorful colorado, colorado, real estate, denver real estate, conscious real estate

 

Houses in Denver are available to browse through when you sign up for the MLS or Multiple Listing Service. If you’ve bought a home before, you’ll know exactly what this is. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, the MLS system is a credible service used by licensed agents and backed by the National Association of Realtors.

Whatever you do… use Zillow and Trulia as general guides only. As opposed to the Multiple Listing Service, Zillow and Trulia are advertisers. That’s right. Many listings are fake, already sold, or have incorrect information. (We once traveled to go see a “home” a client found online at Zillow, only to find it was actually an abandoned and empty lot.)

Some of our favorite Denver neighborhoods include:

Bonnie Brae, Krisana Park, LoHi, RiNo, LoDo, Globeville, Alamo Placita, Baker, Downtown Denver, Capitol Hill, Uptown, Sloan’s Lake, Cherry Creek, Crestmoor, Park Hill, Mayfair, Lowry, City Park, Whittier, Jefferson Park, Wash Park (Washington Park), Platte Park, Berkeley, Sunnyside, Hill Top, Highlands, Cheesman Park, Congress Park, Governor’s Park, Jefferson Park, Observatory Park, Golden Triangle, Five Points, Curtis Park, University Hills, Lincoln Park, Regis, and Montclair-Mayfair.

We also love these Denver suburbs which can offer better prices and a bit more space potentially: Lakewood, Golden, Thornton, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, DTC, Littleton, Westminster, Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Aurora.

About Conscious Real Estate (Are you conscious too? Meet your tribe.)

We’re conscious, we’re focused on you, we want what’s best for you, and we don’t focus on the bottom line in our pockets. (Many realtors do.) And, many realtors want to “just get this over with” and get you to sign so they can get paid.

Well, guess what? Not only do we have incredible integrity for your Denver real estate journey, we also donate a portion of our own commission to a nonprofit that you choose (this does not come from any costs to you, the home seller pays our real estate agent costs.)

Why not get started on finding out more…

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karis community, conscious real estate, conscious businesses, donations, denver nonprofits

 

Conscious Real Estate was founded on the principle of giving. 10% of every home sale or purchase is donated to a charity of our clients’ choice.

 

karis community, conscious real estate, conscious businesses, donations, denver nonprofits

Karis Community starts with grace.

 

In fact, the word karis means grace in Greek. As a verb, it means to honor to give honor or credit to one’s presence. And, that is just what Karis Community does, since 1976, they have honored adults with mental illness who are choosing to show up and receive help for their struggles through their programming.

 

Life on its own isn’t easy. When you have a chronic illness, whether physical or mental, life can be nearly impossible. It takes a community to help us get out of situations we’ve fallen into. And, it can be really easy to get from one place to another in small slips. Many times when our loved ones get to a place where they need help, we wonder, how did they get there?

 

When one thing goes wrong, the spiral downward is fast.

 

How does it happen? Two metaphors we can relate to are weight and money. To gain weight, it can be pretty easy, we eat our favorite sugary or buttery foods. And, with money, we can spend very, very quickly. How is it that making money and losing weight are so difficult, yet spending money and gaining weight are sooooo easy?

 

Any time you’ve wondered how this person got “here,” just remember the times that you’ve gotten “somewhere” and how easy it was to fall there. It happens quickly. Student loans can engulf us, health problems, Karis Community is there to help people get back up with the support and resources that they need without judgment.

 

If you read the stories of community members at Karis, you’ll find that many of them have suffered with mental illness nearly their entire lives. The message that comes through story after story is fear from past trauma (“I have a very difficult time with conflict. I am still learning that conflict does not have to mean someone is going to get hurt.”) and goals toward self worth (“One thing I have to do is learn to love me, and that will take some time. Here at Karis is the best place to work on it.”)

 

A story from Heather, a Karis resident:

 

I have been suffering from mental illness since adolescence. I have attempted suicide three times and have been hospitalized five times. I have never been able to deal with my childhood abuse and work through it. My mental illness has affected every area of my life and has kept me from having a life. I want to be able to enjoy simple things, like taking a bath, or falling asleep without being afraid, or having someone hug me. I want to be able to have good friendships with people without being scared that they are going to leave me. There is so much to learn, and the process of growing is so slow. I try to give myself as much patience as I give to others. It is a daily struggle.

At Karis I found hope. I found a place where people accept me as I am, care about me, and are glad to see me. It has been a home like I have never known. It took me a long time to adjust, and sometimes I feel like I am still getting adjusted. It is so foreign to live with people who are kind and respectful.

 

I think what I enjoy the most is the time we sit around and visit, enjoying each other’s company. It seems there is always laughter and lively discussion. And when I can’t sleep there is almost always someone else up, too.

 

For now, I try to focus on each day, doing the things I need to do to grow and get better, making good decisions and making the most of my time at Karis. – Heather

 

When all you need is encouragement.

 

Another awesome Karis resident story…. And this one is really, really awesome… Fred!! Fred was a Karis resident who prior to his stay was “warehoused” as he says, in a Capitol Hill boarding house for 13 years. There, he has no motivation for life because everything was done for him: cooking, cleaning, laundry, and medicating.

 

When he was accepted into Karis Community, he was finally able to take ownership of his life. It was everything he needed. It propelled him to even write his own book, which he now receives royalty checks for. He transitioned out of Karis and has his own studio apartment and part-time job and even a sweet romantic relationship that he describes as like “two glowing coals.” They go to church together every Sunday.

 

You can help people like Heather and Fred when you buy or sell a home with Conscious Real Estate.

 

Okay, how does a home purchase change the world?

 

Simple! We create large donations that help nonprofits get a big boost in their programming. With every home buy or sell, Conscious Real Estate agents take 10% of their OWN commission (yes, you spend our money), and pick a nonprofit to which that money goes.

 

So far, we have helped dozens of nonprofits get closer to or exceed their fundraising goals. They are always surprised and grateful for the huge check (it’s literally huge, see below!).

 

karis community, conscious real estate, conscious businesses, donations, denver nonprofits

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Andy Robertson, presents the donation check to Karis Community, a nonprofit in Denver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are you looking to move? Know someone who is? Contact us to interview one of our agents to see if we might be a good fit for your needs. We are professional real estate experts with big hearts too. Get to know us!

allison parks, conscious real estate, penn state alumni, penn state donation, penn state, penn state university., nittany lion

allison parks, conscious real estate, penn state alumni, penn state donation, penn state, penn state university., nittany lion

Conscious Real Estate is a socially conscious real estate agency in the Denver area that donates 10% from each home sale or purchase to a nonprofit of their clients’ choice. Penn State Board Member, Darcy Barr, chose to donate to a cause near and dear to her… the Penn State Scholarship Fund! Huge thanks! Here’s more about the alumni organization….

 

Even though the Penn State “Nittany” Lion isn’t naturally found in our Colorado wildlife, you CAN find many human alumni living here in our wonderful state! Ba-da-cha…

 

penn state alumni, penn state donation, penn state, penn state university., nittany lion

Penn State Mascot, the Nittany Lion

 

All jokes aside, college pride is strong with Penn State Alumni, so they have set up a special affiliate group for Coloradoans with a fundraising arm to provide scholarships to potential Penn State students.

 

And guess who’s super proud of Penn State and wanted to give back? Our amazing client Darcy Barr, who chose them as her Give 10% recipient from her recent home purchase with Conscious Real Estate. Awesome!

 

Did you know? There are over 7,000 Penn State Alumni living in Colorado.

 

The CO chapter helps organize group events to promote alumni comradery, offers professional development resources, provides discounts on travel and other services for alumni-only, manages a mentorship program, and holds awards ceremonies to honor alumni achievements, and of course funds the incredible scholarship program (among many other benefits they offer!).

 

Want to connect with the chapter??? Reach out to Darcy!!

 

Our super rad client Darcy is a Penn State board member who also is the creativity behind the scenes of the Penn State Colorado Chapter social media accounts. Following their accounts will help you connect with other alumni, prospective students, and stay in touch on their many events and offerings each year.

 

Ready? Here is everything you need to get started:

 

Instagram: @PSUColorado

Facebook: Follow along here.

LinkedIn: Check out interesting alumni facts.

Twitter: @PSUColorado

CO Event Listings: See what’s coming up!

Website: Click here to join/learn more.

 

Thank you Darcy for choosing Conscious Real Estate for your real estate needs and Penn State Colorado for your incredible donation!

 


penn state alumni, penn state donation, penn state, penn state university., nittany lion

Conscious Real Estate Owner and Agent, Allison Parks, with Client (and Penn State Board Member) Darcy Barr, at the PSU Colorado Annual Picnic

Did this inspire you? Let’s get started! Click here to connect with our of our agents and look forward to making YOUR impact (and finding a home that’s perfect for you!).

 

 

families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate

families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate

Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of every home sale or purchase to a local nonprofit of our clients’ choice. Recently, Agent Kimberly McAleenan’s client chose Families First here in Colorado.

Prevention is key.

Raising a family takes endurance and love, patience and grace. Life, on the other hand, often gives us chaos and challenges. And, parents are tested on their patience regularly. Every. Single. Day. It can take a lot out of anyone.

It is the belief of local organization Families First, that prevention and education can help parents and caregivers with frustrating moments and explain parenting skills that can make peace at home.

This in turn, can help end the cycle of child abuse and neglect.

If a family is struggling, they can contact the Families First Support Line, which one mother said was “more helpful than her doctor’s office”:

“Crystal called the Families First Support Line about her ten-year old son was having a rough time.

The Families First Support Line volunteer discussed the situation with Crystal and empathized with her. They discussed the fact that all any of us can control is ourselves. Sometimes we need to work on that to prevent ourselves from getting angry.

A month later, Crystal commented that we at the Support Line were more helpful to her than her doctor. She said it was nice to talk to someone who really cared and was supportive in talking about her concerns.

After talking to us, there has been a big turn around with her son. She was very grateful to the Support Line for the help we gave.” – Families First

Parents and caregivers can also attend local parenting classes to get advice from an expert and fellow parents. Children aged 4 – 12 years old can attend certain free classes and have a separate curriculum. Kids can enjoy a craft, snack, and sharing time geared toward boosting your child’s self-esteem.

Parents have said positive things about the groups…

“If I had to drive two hours to get here, I would. It’s that important to me and my kids.”

“Most of us are not born knowing these ideas… If more people would take this class there would be fewer frustrated children and parents. It made me understand I’m not alone.”

“We were planning to go to the class anyway, but when we heard what our kids would be learning – well, we make this a big part of our weekly family time.”

Families First also offers intervention and began with residential care for abused and neglected children starting in 1986. Since then, they have developed programming to educate parents, help them connect with their children, and provide a place for positive parenting. And, they need donations to keep up with the demand.

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Kimberly McAleenan’s clients recently choose Families First for their Give 10% home purchase donation. (We donate at every home sale or buy!!)

Kimberly said, “One of my favorite thing about Families First is that they help the children and the parents! I think it’s really helpful for both sides to get the education to work together towards a stronger future. They are also opening a facility to help even younger kids so they can try to teach them good tools for life earlier!”

 

families first, conscious real estate supports families first, denver nonprofits, denver doing good, conscious real estate, kimberly mcaleenanPictured Above:

Left: (from left) Conscious Real Estate Agent Kimberly McAleenan, Conscious Real Estate Client Molly, Families First Executive Director Adam Robe, Director of Communications and Outreach, Rosa Huber. “They shared a lot of insight with us and Rosa has been with the company 23 yrs!,” said McAleenan.

Right: Conscious Real Estate Agent Kimberly McAleenan finds the most thoughtful gifts for her clients and promised her client the best gnome ever as a closing gift. Ta-daa!


Inspiring? Contact us to start browsing properties today and make your local impact! – Conscious Real Estate

 

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 2

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 2

Continuing the list of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

Have you read Part 1?

Here are the second 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

5) They are emotionally intelligent.

Real estate agents will need to be able to use various styles of negotiation over time and will need to have the emotional intelligence to know which negotiation tactics will be useful in different situations. A lot of real estate agents, or humans in general, only know one style of negotiation. Some are incredibly nice, some use a “take it or leave it” approach. If an agent is accustomed to working in the city and then needs to work with clients in a small town in the mountains, they will likely need to take a different approach in their negotiations because the super intense Gordon Gecko shit is going to freak the mountain people out. They live in the mountains for a reason – to get away from loud crazy people. Furthermore, some clients will require their agent to take a hard-headed approach to negotiations, whereas other clients prefer to keep things mellow.

A good real estate agent will also know when to push you or when to back off. Some clients may find the perfect home for them and they are afraid to commit. A good real estate agent will know the area and know if this client has found a rare gem and that now is the time to jump on it! And other times, if the client isn’t quite ready yet, if the agent knows the area well, they can assure their clients that another home with that little extra “something” will come along soon.

6) Your agent pretty much always responds to you in a timely manner.

Things happen quickly in real estate. The Denver real estate market moves incredibly quickly and if home-buyers can’t view the property right away, it will go under contract pretty quickly if it’s priced correctly.

Furthermore, a lot of home-buyers and sellers get kind of freaked out during the process. I started noticing this while helping my friends with their real estate deals. Since I know how they are on a normal day, I have seen some of my most mellow friends start to lose their shit when they’ve had to buy or sell homes. Moving can be a huge stressor. There are a lot of moving parts (cheesy pun intended) and unfamiliar concepts during a real estate transaction. This can be very upsetting for Capricorns who like to understand every step of the process as though they actually are a real estate agent. If you have an agent who responds to you quickly, it can help to put your mind at ease if you have a question that’s burning a hole in your brain.

It can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

7) They’re proactive.

A lot of issues can be avoided by planning ahead. Surprises will always come up, but a good real estate agent will foresee the majority of potential problems in advance and at least give you a warning.  If your home doesn’t sell quickly for asking price, this agent is looking ahead to see what additional marketing they could add or if there are any quick and easy fixes to an issue that may be deterring potential home-buyers. If you are a home-buyer who is having a difficult time finding a home in your price range, a good real estate agent will be constantly creating new ways to find you a home in a competitive market. If you are purchasing a home, a good real estate agent will ensure that you are thoroughly inspecting the home and will have helped you carefully craft your offer so that you haven’t offered more than what the home will appraise for.

8) They’re honest with you, sometimes painfully so.

Every real estate agent has to be the bearer of bad news from time to time. We don’t look forward to this, but if we are truly being loyal to you and doing the best job we possibly can, then we have to do it, no matter how bad it hurts.

Maybe your dogs have used the carpet as a latrine one too many times, and you can’t smell it because you’re used to it. No one wants to tell you that your home smells bad, but if we are going to sell your home for top dollar, it needs to be free of pervasive odors. Maybe you feel incredibly soothed by your chocolate brown walls, but a lot of buyers prefer a warm light gray and we can sell your home for more money if you repaint your walls a more neutral color. Maybe you have spent your entire adult life working on your Star Wars figurine collection, but it’s not likely to photograph well or be attractive to buyers, so we might need to put Princess Leia in storage. Maybe we just found out that your last real estate agent sold you the home without doing a thorough inspection and now you are on the hook for $10,000 to replace your sewer line. Maybe your home just isn’t worth as much as you thought it was. Maybe your mom did real estate for 40 years and has now given you advice that is incorrect and we have to tell you that your mom is wrong. Seriously, my dearest client… I would rather stab myself in the eye than tell you that your darling mother is incorrect. All of this sucks. But if we are doing our jobs to the best of our ability, we will be honest with you even when it hurts.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist! You don’t just have to put up with an agent who doesn’t have your best interests at heart. If you don’t feel right with the first agent who you’ve met, interview some others until you find an agent who can provide you with a positive experience.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Make sure you read Part 1 of How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 1

The Conscious Group - How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good: Part 1

Clearly, finding a good real estate agent is an issue. If  you google “how to find a good real estate agent,” you mostly find articles on how to identify a bad real estate agent… and for good reason. There are more shitheads in the real estate industry than in the White House. (As we all remember, Donald Trump started out in real estate… sigh…) Fact is, when you find a great real estate agent, they will earn every dime of their money.

A lot of agents will have practiced convincing scripts that are designed to get you to hire them. These scripts are formulated to be effective and many real estate agents play the numbers game. “If you talk to X amount of people using Y tactic in Z amount of time, you are likely to earn A.” For instance, these agents will use your name regularly throughout the conversation because that is a proven tactic to get people to like you… (I outlined a lot of the talking points included in these scripts in a previous series of posts, “Shit Real Estate Agents Say To Get You To Hire Them.”)

You are not a number, you are a person and you should be treated as such. A good real estate agent isn’t going to use a bunch of crappy tactics to get your business. A good real estate agent will be honest with you. They will be authentic. They won’t have to utilize a script, but rather, will be able to have a conversation. They will show how they can be of service to you. A good real estate agent will earn your business.

As a consumer, it can be tough to know what to look for in a good real estate agent.

Real estate transactions truly are a convoluted process. In some cases, a consumer may be able to sell or purchase a home without the help of a real estate agent and not lose money, but those situations are few and far between. Most often, you need a (good) real estate agent. A good real estate agent will be able to gain your business without the bullshit… unless you enjoy falling for bullshit. Some people do and that’s ok. And some of you lovely people tend to succumb to pressure… or you want to believe the best in people and take what they say at face value.

Here are the first 4 ways to know that you have found a good real estate agent:

1) You feel comfortable around them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been showing properties when another group of potential home-buyers enters who look miserable and awkward with their agent. I have seen agents stop everything to give their clients a history of residential electricity during moments that were completely out of context. I have seen agents mistakenly telling their clients that the floors are original hardwoods, when they’re clearly not only not original, but are made of manufactured product. Often, clients look like they have to “behave” around their realtor, like they are with their boss or are meeting their partner’s family for the first time.

You should not have to “behave” around your realtor. They are working for you, not vice versa. Whatever it takes for you to feel comfortable, whether you need to speak your mind freely, ask a million questions, vent about the process, breastfeed your child, or have a bowel movement, this is your time. You are buying or selling a house, dammit. It’s kind of a big deal. There should be no walking on eggshells – only honesty and communication.

If an agent is just coming at you with a sales pitch when you first meet, you are likely to feel uncomfortable. Get out there. When a good real estate agent meets with you for the first time, they will address how they can best meet your needs – not what supposedly makes them so much more special than any other agent.

Furthermore, consider this: if a real estate agents comes across to you as off-putting, how will the other side perceive them when it comes time to negotiate? If you are a home-buyer in a competitive market like the Denver metro area, sellers will be less likely to accept your offer if your realtor comes across as difficult or obnoxious.

2) They listen (instead of constantly running their mouth.)

This should be really obvious, but apparently, it’s not. I can’t tell you how many times I hear people tell horror stories about realtors who simply didn’t listen throughout the course of their transaction. If an agent doesn’t listen to their clients, how are they going to achieve their objectives? If an agent isn’t listening to a home-seller, they may miss some key information about your property that will help it to sell for top dollar. Or if an agent isn’t listening to a home-buyer, they may waste their time by showing them a lot of homes that they aren’t interested in.

Some of my recent clients fired their previous agent to work with me. Among the many things that their previous agent did wrong, she didn’t listen. My clients explained to their previous agent during the inspection period that if the sellers didn’t fix the problems with the property, they were not interested in moving forward with the transaction. Period. Simple. They clearly expressed this to their agent, yet their agent ignored their wishes and continued to pressure her clients into moving forward with the transaction. What their agent should have done would have been to apply that same pressure to the home-sellers to fix the problems that the buyers desired. This agent clearly forgot who she worked for, and also, she simply didn’t listen. I assure you, these particular clients communicated very clearly and effectively. If she would have listened to her clients and understood that they meant what they said, she would have earned her commission. Instead, I got to pick up some clients who were already familiar with the market and already knew exactly what they wanted. All I had to do was my job, while they lavished praise upon me. They even bought me a sweater.

The good news is that great real estate agents exist!

3) They ask questions.

Not only do they ask questions, they ask good questions. How long do you want to stay in this home? What are your ideal goals for this property? Do you have the resources or the desire for a fixer-upper? Do you plan on staying at your job for a long time and if not, where might your job move? Which is more important – being near your work or being near your play? Will living near a busy street bother you? You’ve mentioned loving dogs – do you plan to get one (or many?) You mentioned wanting top dollar for your home – are you willing to paint the home, since “burnt sienna” has not been in style since 1993?

You may have your mind bogged down with this process, but a good real estate agent is like a detective. They will anticipate and meet your needs for many years to come by asking the right questions.

Many of my clients who are relocating to Denver need guidance on neighborhoods and areas. Most realtors just begin suggesting popular neighborhoods to their clients.  Here’s the thing: every neighborhood in Denver is popular these days and LoHi isn’t for everyone. I simply ask clients what their neighborhoods were like in their previous city and ask them what they did and didn’t like about their old neighborhood. I then use that information to guide my clients in which neighborhoods may work for them in Denver. We then drive around to various areas that could be a good match before we ever view homes.

4) They are here to serve their client, rather than themselves.

Real estate is supposed to be a service industry, but a lot of agents make the mistake of believing that they are in sales because they “sell” homes. Here’s the thing: the homes have to sell themselves, (although we can certainly showcase them in their best light.) Yet a lot of agents working with buyers push their clients to purchase homes that aren’t right for them, so they can close the deal and move on to something else. I understand why they do this – if the buyers don’t purchase this home, it could be several more months before they finally do purchase a home, which takes a lot of time and energy. The agents may simply need money now, so they push their clients to move more quickly than the situation calls for. Or listing agents may not get top dollar for their sellers, because that requires a lot more work. And yes – this stuff does take a lot of work. I have absolutely had days where I spend a lot of time winning a relatively small amount of money for my clients. It’s not necessarily a fun or relaxing way to spend a Tuesday – but if it’s important to their clients, a good real estate agent will make it a priority and do their best to achieve the desired outcome.

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

Check back next week for more on How to Know if a Real Estate Agent is Any Good.

conservation colorado, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, socially conscious businesses

conservation colorado, the conscious group, conscious real estate, denver real estate, socially conscious businesses

Conscious Real Estate donates 10% of all home sales and purchases to a local nonprofit of their clients’ choice. Thank you to Sean and Marissa Laven for choosing Conservation Colorado and Conscious Real Estate.

colorful colorado, colorado, real estate, denver real estate, conscious real estate

“Welcome to Colorful Colorado,” the sign reads.

Colorado is a beautiful state full of natural beauty and color. Conservation Colorado is one local organization striving to keep our state colorful in another sense too – by including our residents of all colors in natural conservation efforts and supporting legislation to ensure environmental protection equally in all areas.

In Denver, some groups of people and entire neighborhoods have been unjustly slighted over decades. In particular, the Globeville area and neighborhoods affected by the initial construction of I-70 which cuts off local transportation in some areas and consistently produces more pollution. People who live in these areas now face increased health concerns and lower standards of air quality, among other health issues. Here is a report on the latest efforts from CDOT.

In Colorado, Latino residents comprise over 20% of everyone who lives in our state. Yet, according to statistics from our state government itself, they suffer more health problems and have lower incomes when compared to the entire population of Colorado. Just check out this fact sheet on the health disparities from the Colorado Office of Health Equity. Yes, there is an entire office devoted to this, but is it actually helping?

Local nonprofit organization Conservation Colorado seeks to positively influence legislation on conservation, clean water, curbing air pollution, and supporting fair development initiatives that do not unjustly isolate or harm one community over another:

“Unfortunately, our amazing state faces grave threats. Powerful interests are constantly pushing to put pollution and profit over public health. We are at the front lines of every fight working to protect the air, land, water, and people across our state.

We have a long and successful history in Colorado of collaborating on key environmental issues, working collectively at the State Capitol, and establishing strategic partnerships to find success on a variety of levels, including:

  • Ensuring that more than three million acres of wilderness will stay forever wild.
    Setting a statewide renewable energy standard, then increasing it to 30% and making it one of the strongest in the nation.
  • Working to minimize impacts from oil and gas drilling by updating public health, drinking water and wildlife protections in 2008 and continuing to push for further reforms.
  • Passing more than 130 different conservation bills at the state legislature in the past six years on a host of environmental issues ranging from water efficiency to air quality to energy efficiency to transit.
  • Electing pro-conservation candidates and holding our elected officials accountable in the State Legislature, Governor’s Office, and local government councils and commissions.” – Conservation Colorado

Conservation Colorado is doing an amazing job, but as a nonprofit, donations are needed to stay afloat and support their programming.

They have several initiatives that we find, well, awesome! In addition to working around the clock to support legislation, they are focused on diversity and are: “committed to building a more diverse and inclusive organization and being a leader in the broader conservation community to ensure diversity, equity and inclusivity are integral parts of our work.” Further, they believe that: “all Coloradans should be fully represented and engaged as we work to build as powerful a conservation movement as we can.”

The youth and adult Promotores and Protégete Programs through Conservation Colorado are specifically for Latino youths and adults to get a say. Side note… while researching for this article, we have to give kudos to the University of Colorado for creating a Certificate in Latino Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Thank you for also being a leader in recognizing the unique health impact issues facing a huge segment of our population. More info here.

Conscious Real Estate Agent, Andy Robertson, recently donated $700 to Conservation Colorado as part of our Give 10% programming. We donate 10% from every home purchase or sale to a nonprofit of our clients’ choice.

conscious real estate, real estate donations, socially conscious businesses, denver real estate

“Sean and Marissa Laven knew immediately that they wanted to support clean water initiatives in Colorado, and Conservation Colorado seemed the natural partner for their donation.”

“Though the staff was busy planning their Rebel with a Cause gala, they loved the interruption to gather for a photograph so they could show the Laven’s how grateful they are for the support!” said Robertson.

At Conscious Real Estate, we love to support local changemakers.

We are grateful to donate to Conservation Colorado because, “they’ve had the wherewithal to be inclusive with diverse communities across the state – a lot of low income and Spanish-speaking communities and youth who often have not had a seat at the table when it comes to conservation,” says Allison Parks, owner and founder of Conscious Real Estate. Sign the petition to have your voice heard.

You can help too!!

How? Of course, when you buy or sell a home with us, 10% of our own commission is donated to your favorite nonprofit. This means a large lump sum that doesn’t come from your pockets whatsoever, but comes directly from your heart. Referrals for socially conscious friends and family who are looking to move to Colorado or to a new location in the Denver area are greatly appreciated and help local organizations make our hometown even greater and more inclusive. Contact us anytime for more information or to set up a chat with one of our agents. Thank you for reading!

colorado youth leaders, colorado nonprofits, conscious real estate, donations for youth

colorado youth leaders, colorado nonprofits, conscious real estate, donations for youth

Youth have a lot of serious stuff to face every day. Maybe more than any have ever had to. With school shootings happening often, mental wellness generally not prioritized, a lack of positive leadership, economic hardship, and failing school systems, young humans who thrive are like a flower growing out a rock. How do they do that? How can they grow despite the circumstances? How can teens thrive in a tough world to become positive leaders?

flower, rock and a hard place, colorado youth leaders, colorado youth, youth, nonprofit, conscious real estate

Truly passionate youth are nurtured at places like the Colorado Young Leaders organization, a local 501(c)(3) that matches ambitious youth with the opportunities making their dreams and impact possible.

 

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. It’s like water. Water, over time, will create spaces and valleys and paths exactly where it wants to flow. Our human willpower is exactly the same. While we don’t know what the road will entail on the journey, if we want something badly enough, we’ll find a way how.

 

Colorado Young Leaders believes in this same kind of “magic.” Specifically, they believe in the “Power of Yes.” It’s right on their website, but we like quotes like these, straight from the kids involved in the program:

 

“Saying yes is the start of something bigger than you could have imagined. You’ll know you love it when you do it.” – Max A.

 

What does the power of yes mean to CYL? They define it as: “the willingness to jump into an adventure even if you don’t have it all figured out just yet. It means you want to learn more about the world around you, discover your own gifts, and make a real impact.”

 

How does Colorado Youth Leaders empower youth and help them find opportunities? They have a unique structured program named after four of Colorado’s most well-known 14-ers. In the first phase, students work with the organization to discover and easily identify their trust and core passions. Next, the student commits to a cause. What follows is a perfectly matched internship to help the youth meet leaders and mentors who share their passion and learn valuable skills related to the individual impact they hope to make within their cause.

 

The program concludes with a legacy project, which can span a wide range of student-led initiatives for lasting impact, i.e. meaningful volunteering, creating programs to get more youth involved in service-based careers, or any number of awesome projects they come up with along with the help of CYL.

 

For example, one student was having a difficult time with reading, but had a passion for working with trucks. They took him out to meet a truck mechanic who provided the student with all of the manuals for working on trucks. Sure enough, he took to those manuals and this greatly improved his overall reading skills.


Another student felt passionate to do something about the fact that her school district had experienced several suicides of students. She took the initiative to start a program called “Offline October,” which encouraged students to take a pledge to stay offline for the month of October and encourage more interaction among one another. Thousands of people took the pledge nationwide.


We can get behind it 1000% (or actually 10%, which we donate from every real estate sale or purchase from our agents’ own commission). Recently, Owner and Founder, Real Estate Agent extraordinaire, Allison Parks, was able to donate $1221 to Colorado Young Leaders. Investing in youth leadership is one of the most direct ways to help our future.

 

“I think it’s not just fantastic, but also crucial to empower our young people in this manner,” says Parks. “All too often, young people are told that they can’t do something because they’re too young, or the project will be too big or too difficult… but how will we know what these young people are capable of until we let them try?

I think many times, they will surprise us… and sometimes the projects will be too big or too difficult, but that’s exactly what learning leadership is about. Leadership isn’t about success at every avenue, nor is life. Learning how to adapt to obstacles is a key part of success in which I wish I would had more supported learning experiences when I was younger.” – Allison Parks, Owner & Founder Conscious Real Estate, Do-Gooder, Mindful Broker

 

Does this sound like a cause you could support? There are many ways to help! You can consider donating your time. Get more info here. And, of course, another crucial way to help is to invest and support the organization financially. This way, they can distribute the funds to their particular needs or invest in a current project that needs support. Large, lump sums can go a long way, which is why we encourage you to work with a conscious real estate agency that donates to local positive nonprofits (Hint hint!! It’s us!!).

conscious real estate, the conscious group, real estate, real estate agency, denver real estate agency, denver real estate

The Conscious Group - Sh*t Agents Say - Post 8

The Conscious Group - Sh*t Agents Say - Post 8

(Another Sweary Real Estate Post by Allison Parks)

Note: This is the eighth post in a series. 

You should hire me, because all real estate agents are terrible, except me. Only I am good.

Here’s the thing… yes… a lot of realtors are sucky. However, there are agents out there who are fantastic, knowledgable, dedicated, and compassionate. As much as it kills me to say this, some of these badass agents are not named Allison Parks and are not employed with Conscious Real Estate. That is the real truth. Anyone who tells you otherwise might be a “stable genius,” similar to Donald Trump who is also incompetent, lies consistently, does not take care of the people who hired him, and (not coincidentally) has made a shitload of money in real estate.

One of the owners of a local brokerage much larger and far more successful than mine spoke to a women’s group a couple of years ago and I had the misfortune of being in that audience. This brokerage owner sat in front of 100-plus women and said that, essentially, only brokers at her brokerage give a shit about their clients and that’s what they are doing differently. That’s what sets them apart. Only they provide top-notch service. Any other agent who does not work with her brokerage is shit-poop.

Bullshit.

I squirmed in my seat as I thought to myself, “There is a special kind of hell for someone who would stand in front of a room of female entrepreneurs and lie through their teeth like this. This is NOT an honest way to build business and she has no business guiding entrepreneurs who are trying diligently to cut their teeth in business, especially other women who actually need good and real advice to compete in a man’s world.”

(Side note: I have closed at least two properties with agents who are employed at this woman’s brokerage. One was a total bad ass… she was personable, professional, and knowledgeable, and I have nothing but good things to say about her. The other was a shit show and her clients paid the price, literally and figuratively, for her lack of knowledge and/or caring.)

Truth: If a real estate agent who wants your business is telling you that only they are qualified, they are already lying to you. Why would they lie? Do they have a proclivity to being dishonest or are they simply lacking valid reasons as to why you should work with them? In either case, I think you can do better and you should continue your search for a Fantastic Agent.

 

Want a Fantastic Agent instead of a Problem Agent?  Give us a call at 303-908-9873.  

For more on Shit Real Estate Agents Say to Get You to Hire Them, read the series.

 

Buying vs Renting - The Conscious Group

Buying vs Renting - The Conscious Group

Buying a home can be a major responsibility. If something breaks, you fix it. You have upfront costs. You have to fill out paperwork. And then you have to fill out more paperwork. And then, just when you thought you were done… you guessed it! Even. More. Paperwork.

Many personal finance bloggers who are way more hip than me write compelling articles about why they will never buy a house again. They talk about the huge costs required to purchase a home. The tax advantages aren’t what they used to be. One article suggested that a reason to continue renting is to avoid the responsibility of changing the outdoor light bulbs. Sigh…

I admit, buying a house is typically less exciting than going to a music festival… unless you have really weird ideas about what constitutes a good time or unless you are being filmed on HGTV as you purchase a two-million dollar tree house with your fortune gained from making contemporary art sculptures out of rubber bands and recycled wig hair.

However, owning a home isn’t without its own fun. You can paint murals on the walls, you can adopt as many ferrets as the law will allow, and any improvements you do on the property will contribute to your equity rather than the equity of your landlord.

If you own your home, the rent won’t be raised, or the landlord can’t kick you out because they decide to sell the property or move back into the home once you have made it beautiful and cozy.

Buying a home could be right for you… or not. Let’s address your concerns…

Are you afraid of being tied down?

Everyone is afraid of being tied down, except for Capricorns.

Let’s talk about that… what does “being tied down” mean to you? If you need to move to go back to school next year, that’s valid. You are literally being tied down by something and you probably shouldn’t buy a home this year. If you’re not even sure if you like the area where you’re living, then maybe you shouldn’t buy a house yet.

Often, the feeling of being tied down is just that – a feeling. If you further examine that feeling, you may actually find freedom in the things that you perceive as being limitations. For instance, if being “tied down” means that you don’t like having to spend a lot of money on your living expenses, buying a home could actually provide you with more freedom.

One of my clients was ambivalent about buying a home, so we discussed what made him feel tied down. He wanted the ability to travel at a moment’s notice and to not be encumbered financially. However, he didn’t mind having roommates and sharing his space with friends. I helped him to purchase a 5-bedroom home and he immediately rented out 4 of the bedrooms. He lives in his home for free, because the income from his tenants covers the entire mortgage. He is able to save his living expenses, he makes an additional payment toward his principal every month, and he still goes to Burning Man every year. How does that sound for “not being tied down?” This guy nailed it.

Do you want to be able to travel?

We all do. Even my dad travels now… he’s the guy wearing socks and sneakers at the beach.

Owning a home isn’t necessarily an obstacle to travel, you just have to make it work.

If you are currently living in a rental and are able to travel, how have you achieved this so far? The same method should apply to home ownership, unless you simply travel between leases and put your stuff in storage each time you want to leave. Furthermore, as someone who has traveled quite a bit, I personally appreciate having roots. Having a home to return to has been key to reintegrate into life upon return. Do you really want to get off that plane with hellacious jet lag and then have to figure out how to rent a new place and drag your stuff out of storage while you’re trying to process all of the life-changing experiences you just had? (Maybe you do! If so, you have far stronger constitution than myself.)

If you would like to travel long-term, you can rent your property and the tenants can cover your mortgage while you are away. Hire a reputable property management company to manage your rental in your absence. (Technically, you could do it yourself, but if you are traveling off-grid, you wouldn’t be able to call a plumber if a pipe bursts or something.) Depending on the area, it’s possible that you could even make a profit by renting your property during your absence.

If you are traveling for a shorter period of time, you can rent out your property on Airbnb. Several companies and individuals professionally run Airbnbs for homeowners. They handle the bookings, guest communications, and clean your property between guests. In Denver, I have had several friends who earned enough money by renting their home on Airbnb, it was more profitable for them to live in Bali and do yoga than it was for them to stay home and work. This is especially great for people who can work remotely, like web designers, graphic designers, and so forth. (Check your local laws before moving forward with a short-term rental, as many areas require a license.)

Do you not have $50,000 (or 20%) for your down payment?

This notion that you have to have a lot of money saved for your down payment is often a misconception. If you have good credit (or even decent credit), you probably don’t need to have a 20% down payment.

Conventional loans allow you to purchase a home as low as 3% down if you have excellent credit, while FHA loans allow 3.5% down payments for folks with mediocre credit. In Colorado, CHFA loans allow home-buyers to purchase a home with .5% down, which is typically going to be less than what you would pay for first and last month’s rent with a deposit on a rental. If you are a United States Veteran, you are likely eligible for a VA loan which will allow you to purchase a home with zero money down. (Note: in all of the cases above, you will likely still need to have closing costs available.)

(The 20% down payment myth likely originated from misunderstanding the rules about mortgage insurance. If you don’t put 20% down on your home, then you will have to pay mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity. Once you hit that 20%, you can refinance to drop the mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance sucks and it doesn’t benefit you whatsoever, but it can be a necessary evil to purchase a home. Chat with a lender to see if you could purchase a property for less than what you pay in rent, even with the mortgage insurance included in your monthly payment.)

Do you tend to trust the wrong people on a very regular basis?

This can be an issue. If you wind up hiring a shitty real estate agent, they may pressure you into buying a home that isn’t right for you. If you know this about yourself, get some friends to help you interview the agents or get agent referrals from someone you trust. Watch out for answers that sound flaky. This is not a time for you to be worried about hurting other people’s feelings or whether you are coming across as “nice.” There is too much at stake. This is a time for you to really vet these “professionals” and ensure you’re picking the right person for the job. Don’t be afraid to say no if it doesn’t feel right!

Maybe bring your bitchiest friend to interview real estate agents – it sounds silly, but seriously… we all have a bitchy friend and we might as well put their skills to use! If the real estate agent can pass the Bitchy Friend Test, you can hire this person to be your buyer’s agent.

And make sure to check out the  Shit Real Estate Agents Say to Get You to Hire Them series for more things to watch out for!

Will you have to use your nest egg to purchase a home?

This can be a bit of a sticky wicket. Many of us purchased our homes and then quickly scrambled to rebuild our nest egg in the event of unexpected, but necessary home repairs. Most of us were able to do so successfully. However, there is always the chance of a SNAFU occurring before you have replenished your savings. In this case, if something major goes wrong with your home, you may not be able to cover it. This is a valid concern and I would suggest that you take this possibility very seriously.

To decrease the likelihood of this scenario, you should have the home professionally and thoroughly inspected prior to purchase. (Of course, things may look fine one week and fall apart the next. That’s life.) Strongly weigh the pros and cons of this scenario. I purchased my home on a prayer and dime and everything worked out. My home greatly increased in value, very quickly. Had I not taken the chance, I would not have received the rewards, but it was a risk. Of course, I do real estate, so I knew what I was doing. Make sure that you are aware of the market in which you are buying and that you have a trustworthy agent who will work to find you a home in an area that is likely to appreciate.

Do you have a super unique rental situation in which you pay rent that is priced well below the market?

If you are one of the lucky ones who would actually have to pay a lot more to purchase a home than what you’re paying in rent (and you’re happy), stay right where you’re at! Take advantage of the situation while it lasts but be aware that it won’t last forever! Save your money. If your situation changes unexpectedly and you didn’t plan ahead, you may not have enough money saved to purchase a home or even to pay rent if the market has greatly increased.

In Conclusion:

For the past few years in Denver, home ownership has more often been a better scenario than renting, as rents have continued to rise. If these renters had purchased a home at any point, they would now have a good amount of equity in their home. Their living costs would be stabilized instead of continuously rising. All in all, home ownership is a good move for most people, but there are always the exceptions to the rule and buying a home is not a decision to be taken lightly.

Not all houses are created equal. Not all housing markets are created equal. Not all real estate agents are created equal. Do your research and dig deep into your values to discover the life you would like to create. With the right information, the right team, and some creativity, home ownership has the potential to help take you to the next level… or not.