Meet Our Rock Star Agent, Kodie Miller

Meet our Rock Star Agent, Kodie Miller!

She looks like this…


And this…


And sometimes, even this…


This is what Kodie had to say about a recent home sale with Conscious Real Estate…

“Buying a house is exciting, plain and simple. You finally get pre-approved and your finances are in order. Chances are, you are going through a major shift in your life. Maybe you’re planning space for a new family… maybe you need a home with an addition to start your new salon… maybe you’re downsizing because your 30-year old son FINALLY moved out. (Queue background choir singing.)

Although buying a home is exciting, there are A LOT of moving parts: the inspection, an appraisal, negotiations, extending your appraisal for another inspection, more negotiations… and trying to figure out where the seller put the key to the mailbox.

My recent buyer, Mary Sue, can attest to all of this… We speed dialed each other for a solid 45 days, which was awesome. When I joined the real estate realm, it was assumed that, as a new agent, you should basically accept any business that is thrown in your general direction. To some extent, that holds true. To gain experience, you must work.

This holds true at Conscious Real Estate. However, at Conscious Real Estate, we offer our clients the opportunity to give back to causes that are important to them. By investing in what’s important to our clients, we are investing in who they are – to create a space that’s comfortable, friendly, and competent. We work on their behalf, not just because they chose us, but because it’s a conscious decision to work with one another. (See what I did there?)

For her Conscious Real Estate donation, Mary and her boyfriend, Josh, selected the “Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship for Foster Care and Emancipating Youth” through The Denver Foundation. This scholarship is awarded to youth emancipating or emancipated from the foster care system to attend college, university, or technical school. By providing this support, these young people have the opportunity to improve their future and overcome the pattern of poverty.

I am so proud to have been part of a transaction that helped Mary achieve her goal of home ownership, as well as provide support to such a wonderful cause. As for her new home, she is doing pretty well…. Here are the before and after photos of her kitchen!”






If you would like to speak with Kodie about buying or selling a home, you may contact her at 303-­802­-0566 or


Conscious Real Estate Welcomes Elizabeth Lord to Our Team!

We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Elizabeth (Ellie) Lord has chosen to be our newest broker associate.

She is passionate. She is knowledgeable. She chose to work with us because of our philanthropic business model. Let us tell you about all things Ellie…


Elizabeth “Ellie” Lord’s personal mission statement reads; “my purpose is to create a life that is rewarding personally as well as professionally, and in return, enhance it through active community involvement.” She lives this creed every day, and through everything she does.

  Born and raised in Seattle, Ellie grew up surrounded by an amazingly supportive family and a herd of golden retrievers. After eight years in the residential design and construction industry, she moved to Denver for graduate school at the University of Denver. With a graduate degree in real estate and construction management, and a new found love of Colorado, she reestablished her award winning design business, Elizabeth P. Lord Residential Design LLC, in Denver. In addition to her extensive experience in residential design, and her background in construction, she offers her real estate clients the opportunity to use her wealth of knowledge to achieve the maximum value out of their home in preparation of selling, or insight into making a potential house their personalized space with design advice.

In her spare time, Ellie enjoys traveling the world and thrives on experiencing new adventures. After participating in a Habitat for Humanity build in New Zealand, she chose to live a life of gratitude and has continually pursued opportunities to give back to her community. She volunteers with the Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies and the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, as well as donating design services to charitable organizations. She recently purchased a condo in Wash Park, and adopted a Bernedoodle, who will be trained to become a therapy dog.


Bursting Denver’s Housing Bubble: Navigating Denver’s Real Estate Statistics



For two years, everyone has been asking me whether I expect a housing bubble to occur in Denver. Like any market, it will have to drop or plateau eventually. No commodity enjoys a steady increase until the end of time.

In the meantime, I come across a lot of articles and blog posts making some pretty broad claims about the Denver real estate market. The ideas are not necessarily wrong, but there’s more to the story.  

So, why should I just read this stuff over breakfast and roll my eyes, when I can share what I know with all of you?  I’m going to burst some of these bubbles, but not without a quick review of Economics 101.

Supply and Demand – Part 1: Denver’s supply of homes for sale is still very, very down. As long as this continues, Denver’s supply of homes for sale (or lack thereof) is a major contributor to our current seller’s market. Think about it… if, all of a sudden, the amount of homes for sale on the market increased by 500%, that would decrease the competition amongst buyers. If competition amongst buyers decreased, prices would go down

Supply and Demand; Part 2: We still have a lot of demand. People are moving to Denver at record rates. Denver consistently is rated as a top city for job-seekers, a top city to start a business, a top city for IT job-seekers, a top city for young people, and the list goes on. Based on historical trends, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that an average of 50,000 people will continue to move to Denver on a yearly basis.  Demand isn’t likely to go down; there is a limit to how quickly builders can build and many builders won’t want to over-speculate this soon after the recession. Therefore, we are likely to continue to have a demand greater demand than supply.

Our Local Economy: The Denver metro area economy is diverse and consistently growing. I read a blog post recently saying that “Denver is just a boom town and will fail like Detroit.” Doubtful. Detroit depended primarily on the auto industry; they did not have a diversified economy. Denver has a variety of industries which are flourishing.

As mentioned in every article about Denver for the past few years, we have weed. We have tourism, for the mountains… and for the weed. This keeps our restaurants full, our hotels full, keeps people shopping in our stores, drinking in our bars, and smoking our weed. We have tons of tech companies, most of which are growing, including a new Google campus which is coming soon in Boulder. We have an ever-growing clean energy industry. (On the flip side, we have a quite a lot of oil and gas companies here in Colorado, although, this industry has recently taken a major hit and people have been losing jobs in oil and gas. Note: oil and gas only accounts for about 10% of our total industry.)

National Interest Rates:  They’re still pretty low. A lot people, including myself, thought interest rates would rise by the end of last year. We were wrong. As long as interest rates remain low, it will keep mortgage rates lower, even if the home price is higher, so people are still very interested in buying now. The Fed has been meeting to discuss raising interest rates and although a couple of folks are bulldogging to raise them, most members of the Fed are interested in keeping interest rates low for a considerable amount of time. If there is a rise in interest rates, it’s not expected to be a major rise for at least several years.

*Note: although this is dependent on your home price and monthly mortgage payment, overall, you will save a lot more money over the course of a 30-year-loan if you buy at a lower interest rate than if you wait around for home prices to drop. The highest likelihood of Denver home prices dropping is if interest rates rise, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will save money.

Got it?  

I’m ready to get really dorky. Let’s analyze some Denver real estate statistics, so I can justify that Master’s degree that’s stashed in my closet…

Here’s one I saw recently from a Denver real estate authority…

In 2015, 10% less units sold under $500,000, while 34% more units have been sold above $500,000 compared to 2014.” It goes on to say that this indicates an overall price appreciation…

Here’s the thing… Sure, any Realtor working in the front lines of our local market will acknowledge that prices have been rapidly increasing. However, you can’t use that statistic to necessarily indicate an overall price appreciation. It could simply mean that less properties went to market under $500,000… If less properties go to market under $500,000, then less properties will sell under $500,000. It’s simple. If we are staying abreast of real estate statistics, we know that properties are generally being absorbed into the market within 4-6 weeks… Therefore, what is released into the market will be absorbed. If properties over $500,000 are being listed, they will likely be sold.

It’s likely that people with properties under $500,000 heard the news about how competitive it can be to find a home under $500,000; therefore, they are choosing not to sell at this time because they believe it will be difficult to find a replacement home. People selling properties over $500,000 don’t face as much market competition if they purchase a similarly priced replacement home in the Denver metro area, so perhaps people at that price point are simply selling their homes at a higher rate than people with homes priced under $500,000.

(This would explain a lot, because if these folks are simply moving within the metro area, then the seller’s home will go on the market, be purchased by a new buyer, and then the seller will buy a new home which likely also costs over $500,000, therefore resulting in two homes over $500,000 being sold. Generally, someone purchasing a home over $500,000 is less likely to be a first-time home-buyer, whereas someone purchasing a home under $500,000 is more likely to be a first-time home-buyer. A first-time home-buyer is someone who is no longer renting or living in mom’s basement, so they are only taking place in ONE real estate transaction. Buyers and sellers over the $500,000 price point are more likely to be participating in TWO real estate transactions, as such, creating a higher statistic of homes being sold over $500,000. In any case, although rapid appreciation is certainly real – we cannot simply assume that this statistic is indicative of purely of home price appreciation.)

I mean, hey… murder rates and ice cream sales both rise during the same time of year, but should we assume that ice cream causes murder?

Lets talk about some more statistics I’ve seen out there…

Another real estate agent/blogger calls himself “The Denver Expert” and encourages readers to “outsource their nerd.” Excuse me while I outnerd this guy and not break a sweat in the process… The “Denver Expert” posits that areas with higher home prices appreciate less than areas with lower home prices, while areas with the lowest average home prices are experiencing the highest rates of appreciation. The 5 areas listed with the lowest home prices are San Rafael, Clayton, Wash Park South, Whittier, and Cole, and it is reported that these neighborhoods are appreciating at a rate of around 19% per year. I live in the zip code of 4 of these neighborhoods and sell properties in these neighborhoods regularly.

What I can tell you is that, yes, the neighborhood has appreciated… a lot! But it has not truly appreciated at a rate of 19% per year. If it were unadulterated appreciation, the homes would have just increased in price with no outside forces at play —–> which means you could have purchased a home five years ago, done absolutely no upgrades beyond necessary maintenance, and had your home value increase by 19% each year.

That would be awesome, but that’s not what’s happening here… I can tell you from living and working extensively in the 80205, this phenomenon can largely be explained by a human species called “A Fix-and Flipper.” As the traditionally posh neighborhoods in Denver remain out of reach for many, people move to up and coming neighborhoods where prices are more affordable. Home-flippers get hip to these trends and they start flipping in these neighborhoods knowing that they can make money on their investment.

I purchased my home in July of 2013 and in that time, 5 homes have been fixed and flipped within 2 blocks of my home. Therefore if someone bought these homes at $350,000, put some work into them, and sold them for $500,000 within the same year, it looks like prices are increasing rapidly. The statistics don’t control for fix and flips; they only show the overall numbers. When you see these dramatic statistics for Park Hill, Whittier, City Park West, and so forth… you’re not getting the whole story.

Similarly, when you purchase a home in Wash Park East or Country Club, that home is already going to be outfitted with luxury upgrades. There isn’t a whole lot one can do with a such a property to add value. It’s already a luxury home. It already has Viking appliances, a top of the line bathroom, and maybe a heated garage. It already has the best roof that money can buy. Therefore, the value increases for these homes will not be nearly as grandiose.

All in all, my advice is to not be too scared of the market. It possibly will plateau or maybe even drop at some point. (A lot of people who were afraid to buy two years ago, but if they would have bought then, their home values would have appreciated during that time. In the meantime, their rents have only gone up.) All commodities drop. And they usually go back up. If your home value drops, treat it like a stock and don’t sell when the market is down.

As a final note, from everything I’ve seen, I do expect rentals to continue to rise. If you are renting, but are fearful of buying a home, you should probably fear the opposite. Home prices may drop at some point, but rentals are likely to go up and up and up. In fact, if you’re looking to invest some money, I would strongly consider getting a rental property in Denver.

If you have any questions about the Denver housing market, are interested in buying a home, or would like to find out your home’s current value if you are considering selling, please call Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or email her at We are Conscious Real Estate – the brokerage that loves our local and global community – contributing 10% of all realtor commissions to the nonprofit of our client’s choice in our efforts to change the world through real estate. 

Issues to Avoid When Remodeling a Historic Home


Are you the new owner of a historic home and you’re itching to remodel?  Take care to preserve the historic features of the home to maintain its value.  Here are some things to consider…

Many owners of historic homes try to do what’s hot right now, but what’s hot right now won’t be hot in 10 years.  What will maintain the home’s value is to remain true to the era of the home.  I can’t tell you how many Ikea kitchens I have seen in the past year showing homes in Denver!  Here’s the thing – those kitchens do just fine in a condo that could be done in any style, they go along fantastically with the style of 1950’s mid mod ranches!  But they don’t match Denver squares, Victorians, or Craftsmans… at all.

So, what should homeowner’s do?  Tear out almost nothing and restore what’s there.  This will be better for the home’s value, it’s easier on the wallet, and it’s more eco-friendly.

Certainly, go ahead and update the heating, cooling, and plumbing systems, so homes are comfortable, safe and more energy-efficient.  As the owner of a home built in 1899, I give you my blessing to put in a walk-in closet if your closet is far too small to ever contain your clothing – though put it somewhere out of the way.

– Keep the cabinets.  Don’t pull out your solid wood cabinets.  It is difficult to even find cabinets made of a similar quality these days! The newer manmade materials are not made for years of wear and tear, they don’t handle moisture well, the laminate pulls away, and the pulls come off.  Instead, strip and refinish the wood and add newer pulls.  It looks better, lasts longer, and will save money.

– Refinish the tubs and sinks. To give an old porcelain bathtub a new coat costs about $400. A new tub can run more than $1,000, not including demo and installation.

– Save wood floors. Covering old wood floors with cheaper inferior tiles or carpet is not cool.  Definitely do not have your original flooring removed!  You can fix floors that have been burnt, flooded or even covered in pet stains. It is always cheaper and more authentic to refinish existing floors and patch sections where needed. You can always get the patch to match.

– Clean old tile. Old tile floors or other tile surfaces look worn out usually because they are filthy. Don’t tear them out until you’ve given them a good cleaning.

– Make counters authentic, by avoiding products that weren’t available when the house was built. This means nothing manmade, like laminate or Corian, and nothing modern, like glass tiles. Go for wood counters, like butcher block, or classic marble, and occasionally granite. Ceramic tiles work in homes built after 1930.

– Keep the walls up. Open floor plans are a trend, but may not belong in old houses.  After a couple years of living in an open floor plan, people often don’t want it anymore.  Before removing a wall, try living in the house for six months. If you still hate the wall after six months, go ahead and knock it down.

– Repair, don’t replace, windows. They are important to the home’s historic value. Old windows leak and are drafty because they haven’t been properly maintained. Have them repaired and weatherstripped so they’re efficient.  Adding historically accurate storm windows outside can boost efficiency.

If you’re interested in buying or selling a historic Denver home, call Allison Parks, Conscious Real Estate’s owner and principal broker at 303-908-9873 or email

5 Tips for Selling Your Home in Denver in the Spring

potted plant, gardening tool, gloves, paint brush & paint can

Spring weather can be a challenge if you are selling your home in Denver. One day will be warm, the next day may bring snow. The weather may be windy, sunny, or both. As a seller, you need to take advantage of the season’s offerings to bring offers in.  This is time right before the market heats up and you want your home to stand out among the competition!

1)  First, it is time to begin taking care of your lawn – your lawn is the outdoor’s carpet. Landscaping makes a big difference when you are selling your home!  Hard rake, fertilize, and aerate your lawn now. Doing so will cost $75. The best time to do so are just before a spring snow, or during a warm period when you can water.  This brings us to the next point – water. Take advantage of the warmer days, and water your grass. It is not advisable to turn on a sprinkler system just yet, but a $10 oscillating sprinkler for 20 minutes will do the trick. (Don’t forget to unhook your hose when complete as to not freeze your pipes!) A great tip I learned is to use an organic green pigment to make your lawn seem greener than your neighbors. You can do this for mulch beds as well.

2)  Since the grass is dormant, now is a good time to edge the sidewalks and along the driveway, if edges along fences and concrete walkways and patios are neglected. Cut overgrowth now, and use a turkey baster to gently distribute spent cooking oil to prevent future weed and grass growth. Remember, do not let this oil come in contact with fences and plants as it might stain or kill.

3)  Revive your mulched garden by fertilizing and watering as you would with your lawn. To revive sun-bleached mulch, purchase an attachment for your hose diffuser. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, and shake regularly as you spray only the mulch. A leaf blower and a hose will remove dirt, debris, and revive rock beds.

4)  Colorado temperature extremes are also hard on concrete. Your local home improvement store will have caulk and concrete fillers that will preserve soil related cracks in cement stairs, patios, and driveways for less than $100.

5)  Finally, bring out the plants!  Temperature resistant plants like petunias can go in the ground, and less hardy tulips and lilies in your existing planters which can be covered or brought inside during the inevitable cold spell.

If you would like assistance with buying or selling your home in Colorado, please contact Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 to get started!  Remember, Conscious Real Estate always contributes 10% of all commissions to the nonprofit of your choice.

6 Tips For Making an Older Home More Energy-Efficient


Many of us who live in central Denver live in a little slice of history – our Victorians, Denver squares, Tudors, Craftsman bungalows, the occasional 1920’s Spanish-style – (sigh…) I adore these homes, mine was built in 1899, but they tend to not be so energy-efficient.

Here are 6 tips to make your older home more energy efficient:

1.    Owner of older home should make sure attic spaces are properly insulated. This can have a tremendous impact on a home’s energy-efficiency, and significantly reduce heating and cooling costs. There are many blow-in spray foam options:  insulating an attic can be a fairly easy project, and many home improvement stores rent the necessary equipment, including insulation blowers.  It is also easy to simply use roll-out insulation.

2.    Replace old windows and doors and choose new, energy efficient options.  Since this is expensive, adding storm shutters and clear plastic coating to windows can help an old home be more efficient.  For homeowners who can’t afford to replace doors and windows, adding window stripping and caulk is a good idea.

3.    Insulate the hot water heater and associated pipes, and keep the thermostat set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If possible, consider a tankless water-heating unit. This is an upfront investment, which saves money in the long-term, because they only heat water when it’s needed.

4.    Enact home heating zones. This means strategizing to heat a home based on usage. For example, heat the downstairs of an old home during the day, and the upstairs at night.

5.    If an old home has old appliances, it may be worthwhile to invest in newer energy saving models. While there are some things owners of older homes can’t control without big remodeling investments, this is a less expensive alternative.

6.    Just because a home is old doesn’t mean it can’t take advantage of new technology, like home automation systems. A home automation system can allow owners of older homes to control the systems located within, even remotely, including the thermostat.

If you are interested in purchasing or selling a historic Denver home, Conscious Real Estate adores working with all types of old houses. Call Allison Parks at 303-908-9873 or email