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Choosing the Right Buyer’s Agent

What Is a Buyer’s Agent?

Buyer's Agent As a buyer, you are looking for someone to help you find the right home, give you the best advice on the value of homes, and help you navigate the intricacies of the buying process. Having a good buyer’s agent on your side could be the key to finding the right home at the right price.

But what’s the difference between a regular listing agent and a buyer’s agent? The issue with typical real estate agents is they’re not necessarily required to work in your best interest. Being commissioned salespeople, their pay flows from the deal. With a buyer’s agent, they’ll soley represent your side of the transaction fairly.

This isn’t to say that working with a listing agent is a bad thing. In fact, that’s how many people find their home. But in some instances, agents who represent both buyers and sellers may end up on both ends of the transaction. Representing both buyer and seller makes them a dual agent. In this situation, it’s hard for that agent to fully represent the interests of either party.

Some agents prefer to only represent the buyer’s side of the transaction, they are known as buyer’s agents. And the NAR (National Association of Realtors) has a specific course of study for people who want to earn the Accredited Buyer’s Representation designation. First-time home buyers especially might want to consider a buyer’s agent to represent them, since they have advanced education and may be more up to speed on loan programs gear toward first-time buyers.

What to Look For

Compatible Personalities

Buying a home is a lengthy process. Regardless of whether you’re purchasing a house or a condo, you will be spending countless hours with your real estate agent. If you and your agent don’t see eye to eye or don’t get along, you’re going to have a rough time. Look at their social media accounts and online presence to get a feel for their personality. Or have a brief face-to-face meeting with them to have some of your questions answered and see if it’s the right fit.

Negotiation Techniques

When it comes to negotiations, you want your agent to take an approach that you’re comfortable with. The best agents can adapt their style to meet your wishes. This is important when you consider the levels of stress you will encounter during the purchasing process. Negotiations included everything from the price and closing costs, to repairs and appliances/furniture. You want an agent who is going to negotiate the best deal for you without stepping over any lines with the seller.

Market / Niche Knowledge

The agent you choose should be able to demonstrate competency within the market and niche you’re focused on. For example, if you are a first-time home-buyer searching in a specific area, your agent should be well-versed in market trends and activity for that specific area. And they should be able to walk you through each step of the transaction. This is very different from the skills you’d be looking for in an agent to advise you on your investment.

Well-Connected

Agents, lenders, escrow/title companies, and inspectors are all on the list of industry professionals involved in most real estate deals. Most people don’t have these connections all on their own. That’s where your real estate agent steps in. A quality agent should not only have these connections, but should have options for you to choose from. And their connections should be just as knowledgeable as they are.

Ability to Communicate

The real estate industry is full of jargon, nuances, and intricacies that aren’t intuitive to the average person. Therefore, it is up to your agent to be able to effectively explain and guide you through those obstacles in a way you understand and that resonates with you. Otherwise, you could wind up unknowingly making a bad decision.

August 2018 Market Trend Report

Both average and median prices have dropped from June. With inventory at a three-year high, the climate is perfect for slowing activity and price reductions as fewer and fewer homes are considered affordable.

“As we head into August, many REALTORS® and sellers alike are starting to feel those mid-summer blues,” said Steve Danyliw, Chairman of the DMAR Market Trends Committee and Metro Denver REALTOR®. “Is this normal seasonality, or a sign of a real cooling trend? It’s not time to panic, but this market is showing signs of cooling, and REALTORS® need to manage seller’s expectations as market conditions change.”

Danyliw assesses that the decrease in buyer activity and higher inventory may be attributed to the historic increases in Denver home prices.

He adds, “Can a cooling market be considered positive? To most sellers, no, but honestly, they have experienced unprecedented equity growth over the past several years. It’s time to share the love and keep home buying an option in the Denver Metro area.”

Active listings in the residential market (single-family and condos) were at 7,643 total units in July, up 3.96 percent year-over-year. This increase is being driven by the condo segment of the market. The number of sold listings decreased by 15.65 percent, compared to the previous month and 8.54 percent from last July. Year to date, there have been 32,879 sold homes – down 2.16 percent from 2017. The condo market saw a small uptick in average days on market, increasing to 18 days compared to 17 last July. The most active price segment for the single-family market in June was the $300,000 to $399,999, and $200,000 to $299,999 for condos.

Months of inventory increased to 1.59 months for single-family homes, compared to 1.43 months last month and increased to 1.33 months for condos, compared to 1.21 months last month. As we look at the single-family home market, the average sold price decreased 1.48 percent month-over-month to $529,124, while the median price also decreased 0.33 percent to $450,000. The year-to-date average sold price stands at $526,313 for the single-family home market, up 9.68 percent from last year, with the median sold price at $446,003 and up 8.78 percent. The condo market continues to outperform single-family, with the average sold price of $352,734, representing a 11.95 percent increase over 2017. The median price of condos sold also increased by 13.21 percent to $300,000.

Our monthly report also includes statistics and analyses in its supplemental Luxury Market Report (properties sold for $1 million or greater), Signature Market Report (properties sold between $750,000 and $999,999) and Premier Market Report (properties sold between $500,000 and $749,999). In July, 206 homes sold and closed for $1 million or greater – down 16.26 percent from the previous month and up 17.71 percent year-over-year. The closed dollar volume in July in the luxury segment was $ 291,278,026 down 24.22 percent from the previous month, and up 7.15 percent year-over-year.

The highest priced single family home sold in July was $4,036,670 representing six bedrooms, five bathrooms and 5,424 above ground square feet in Denver. The highest priced condo sold was $1,400,000 representing three bedrooms, four bathrooms and 2,500 above ground square feet in Denver. The listing agents for both transactions and the selling agent for the condo transaction are all DMAR members.

“The Denver Metro area Luxury market felt a chill even in our hot July temperatures,” stated Jill Schafer, DMAR Market Trends Committee member and metro Denver REALTOR®.

According to Schafer, with 13.96 percent fewer luxury homes sold in July than June and 37.5 percent fewer luxury condos, it appears the seasonal peak for sales of homes priced over $1 million may have been June.
Even with last month’s drop, it is still a banner year for the Luxury market. Year-to-date figures show more than 2.5 times (107 percent +) the number of luxury homes have sold this year compared to 2014, and more than three times (142 percent +) as many condos compared to four years ago.

“With $1,951,165,664 in luxury home sales volume year to date, we will surely pass a record $2 billion this year,” she added “How high will it go? It’ll be interesting to watch!”

 

The DMAR Market Trends Committee releases reports monthly, highlighting important trends and market activity emerging across the Denver metropolitan area. Reports include data for Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Elbert, Gilpin, Jefferson and Park counties. Data for the report is sourced from REcolorado® and interpreted by DMAR.

Best Mountain Bike Trails Near Denver

Colorado’s Front Range is treasure trove of epic mountain bike trails waiting to be explored. There are around 1,200 rides and trails within striking distance of downtown Denver alone! Whether mountain biking is your long-time passion or a new-found hobby, these mountain bike trails are sure to satisfy your craving for adventure, speed, and new terrain.

North Table Mountain

15+ Miles of Trail

6 Green / 3 Blue / 0 Black

North Table Mountain is the perfect place to ride when you don’t have much time on your hands but still want to feel somewhat remote. Choose between a mellow ride which circles the base of the mesa or make the ascent to the top for something a bit more challenging. On your way up you will encounter some steep, rocky sections. Once on top, take in the incredible views of Denver from the Rim Rock Trail. It’s a fun, easy addition to any route you take, but is only open from August 1st – January 31st. The Waterfall Trail is a more advanced decent featuring a rock garden and a small waterfall beside the trail.

North Table Mountain |

West Magnolia Trails

24 Miles of Trail – 9 Green / 14 Blue / 0 Black

The West Magnolia Trails are located just southwest of Nederland and have been repaired within the last five years. This trail system features forested single tracks and double tracks with a few access roads mixed in. Aggressive climbs lead you to fast and twisty descents. Technical and non- technical spots create a trail system that has something for everyone. Fall is a wonderful time to ride West Magnolia and watch as the Aspens change.

West Magnolia Trails

William Hayden Park at Green Mountain

39 Miles of Trail – 9 Green / 7 Blue / 0 Black

With more than 2,400 acres of open space, Hayden Park is the second largest park in Lakewood. It features a network of mixed-use trails. And the summit, at 6,800 feet, offers stunning views of the Denver metro area, the flatirons, and high mountain peaks to the west. The area is perfect for those in need of a quick ride or who are just learning. With the exception of Box o’ Rox, none of the mountain bike trails are particularly challenging. You can also combine some of the trails to create a longer ride if you are out looking to explore.

Green Mountain |

Buffalo Creek

150+ Miles of Trail – 15 Green / 14 Blue / 2 Black

The mountain bike trails at Buffalo Creek offer some of the most fun riding near Denver, and are arguably some of the coolest rides along the Front Range. There are possibilities to link up all kinds of trails to create everything from short, family-friendly rides to full day, epic adventures. Buffalo Creek truly has something for everyone and generally offers mellow climbs rewarded with fun, fast, flowy descents. Stunning rock formations are often worked into the trail, making each ride a unique. The Buffalo Creek Recreation Area also offers camping so you can spend the weekend exploring everything this trail system has to offer!

Buffalo Creek

White Ranch Park

20 Miles of Trail – 4 Green / 6 Blue / 2 Black

Sitting just 30 minutes northwest of Denver, White Ranch has some fun mountain bike trails for advanced riders. The trails here have mostly sandy soil with smooth spots mixed in, very typical of Colorado Front Range rides. The embedded rocks and technical sections are what make these trails well suited to advanced riders who are in good shape and ready to climb hard. The downhills can get pretty gnarly with lots of rock and log drops to watch out for.

White Ranch

Apex Park

11 Miles of Trail – 1 Green / 10 Blue / 2 Black

Apex Park provides a popular, accessible foothills experience just minutes from downtown Golden. A stream runs alongside a trail in part of the park, and dense forest provides shady areas on the west end. The Apex, Arogs, and Enchanted Forest trails are directional use trails where bikers are required to ride in one direction only on odd-numbered calendar days.

Apex Park |

Betasso Preserve

16.2 Miles – Green / Blue

A popular trail for many Boulder natives, Betasso blends into pine forests with open sections of mountain meadows and a few stream crossings. The climbs sustain only moderate angles – just enough to test the lungs of any rider. While the fast sections are smooth and the trees become a blur as you settle into the flow of the ride. You can make this ride a quick spin by doing the 7.4 mile version or make a days ride out of the full 16.2 mile loop.

Betasso Preserve

Lair O’ The Bear Trail

12.2 Miles – Blue

This multi-use trail sitting just west of Morrison is a fun, intermediate ride with mostly flowy single track. You’ll encounter rock ramps and other rock features, tight turns, and even have to squeeze through trees in some places. Even the most experienced rider will be hard pressed to ride everything challenge free. The rolling terrain offers frequent “whoop-and holler” descents with a few testing climbs.

Lair O' The Bear |

Centennial Cone

17.2 Miles – Blue

This ride is a great example of a modern, purpose-built trail. It’s smooth, flowy, and not eroding as lots seem to do in the Front Range. The single track takes you high up on the ridges above Clear Creek, offering incredible views with a near back-country feel. Long climbs and precarious drop-offs will challenge your stamina. But you may be rewarded with an elk (or other wildlife) sighting. During the weekends, bikers are only allowed on even numbered days.

Centennial Cone |

Planting Wildflowers in Your Garden

Plating WildflowersPlanting wildflowers can seem like a risk in landscaping. But there is a way to plant and organize them without them taking over your outdoor living area. Check out these tips for adding wildflowers to your landscaping in the Denver area.

Choose A Sunny Spot

Creating a sunny and meadow-like spot in your garden is an ideal place to grow wildflowers. Choose an area in your garden that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Consider a bare patch that has little irrigation. Wildflowers are hardy and able to survive in even the harshest conditions. Another idea is to create a row of wildflowers as a border between two spaces or even create an island of wildflowers. You can even use feathered wild grasses sporadically, creating a luxurious lawn to have to look like an uninhabited woodland area.

Plant After Frost

Any time after the last Colorado frost is a great time to sow wildflower seeds. The seeds usually germinate quickly and can grow in warm weather after the danger of frost has passed. New patches of seeds will need some light watering a few times a week until they take hold. Choose one type of seed for a patch of the same colored flowers. Or consider using a variety mix that will create an interesting and diverse look in your garden.

Be Prepared For Losses

If you have a lot of fluttering activity in your neighborhood, don’t be surprised when birds decide to feast on newly thrown wildflower seeds. Neighborhood squirrels, rabbits, and chipmunks may also decide to stop by a freshly sown wildflower patch for some food. Consider lightly sowing seeds into the dirt, no more than 1/16”, in order to minimize the risk of losing your entire wildflower patch to area birds and wildlife.

Choose Native Wildflowers

There are plenty of wildflower mixes available, but choosing those wildflowers that already do well in the Denver climate will help to create a balanced outdoor living area. Popular Denver wildflowers include Scarlet Paintbrush, Bittercress, and Alpine Sunflowers. Using native wildflower varieties will keep your outdoor living space in tune with the environment as well as support local pollinators that thrive on wildflower nectar.

Choose Annual or Perennial

Most Denver homeowners are reluctant to plant wildflowers in their garden due to the thought that they will take over the entire yard. This is a valid point as many perennial wildflowers will do their best to spread out over a few years. However, planting annual wildflowers is a good way to keep your garden looking tidy as the flowers will only last one season. Planting a row of annual wildflowers is a great way to see if you like the look of wildflowers in your garden. And it gives you the chance to change the variety year after year.

Adding wildflowers to your garden is important in helping to support the local environment. Choose annual wildflowers to begin with if you want to add them in a concentrated or small area. Other homeowners may choose to fill in a bare patch of their garden with a meadow of wildflowers. Plant seeds after the last frost and be prepared for some losses to neighborhood wildlife. Enjoy the natural beauty of wildflowers in your outdoor living area for a naturally luscious garden.

Home Staging Tips and Tricks

Home Staging Tips

When it comes to selling your home, presentation is everything. Here are some tips from HGTV’s show ‘Fixer Upper,’ Joanna Gaines interviewed by Judy Dutton to bring your homes best foot forward.

Home Staging Do’s

  1. Go with white when in doubt

When you are struggling with color, go for white. It is always best to start with neutral tones and layer on top of that, or add pops of color as you go. Yet while it’s important to convey a feeling of sophistication, you also want the space to feel homey and lived in. You can do this with cashmere throws on the couch or a cookbook on the kitchen counter open to a yummy recipe. Once when I was staging Halle Berry’s room, I spotted her pajama bottoms and thought, “Oh my god, those are Halle Berry’s pajamas!” I ended up using them as a prop, throwing them across the bed like she’d just left the room.

 

  1. Accessorize with limits

Over-accessorizing to fill the space. Let a room breathe; don’t feel that you must fill every inch of it with stuff. Other times, there might be an aspect of the house that the client is very proud of and would like us to highlight. A great example is Matthew Perry’s home in Malibu. He spent a lot of money redoing the flooring in the house and changing it from stark black to a beautiful gray. It made a tremendous difference in the overall aesthetic of the home. We used high-end modern pieces in neutral colors and brought everything to life with muted blue and gray accents, which looked fantastic with the beautiful new floors and the ocean view. It was important to make the house feel livable and not stark, modern but Malibu Beach.

Image result for home staging

 

  1. Working with less than beautiful homes

Conceal flaws. If the view isn’t great, we’ll put sheers up so that the light can come into the room but you’re not focused on the view. If the room is small, like a bedroom for instance, we will try to get a little seating area in to make it feel bigger than it is.

 

  1. What are buyers noticing that sellers may not have?

Details are important: When Brad Pitt was shopping for a place post-Jennifer but pre-Angie, he toured a home I’d staged that was sunny and modern with a waterfall. But the detail he fell in love with was a funky rustic stool we’d brought into the bathroom. He said, “Can I have that stool?” We let him have it.

 

Home Staging Do-Nots

  1. Purging all your family photos

“You’ll hear staging experts say to take down your family photos, kids’ artwork, and anything personal, so that a potential buyer can picture their family in your home, rather than seeing yours everywhere,” says Jo. “Personally, I love knowing that a house is well-loved, and seeing those personal touches displayed reminds me that my family would be happy there, too.”

 

  1. Don’t Include too much furniture

“Trying to put too much furniture in one space makes it look smaller than it really is,” Jo explains. “Try to stick with three large pieces at most per room to keep the house feeling big and open.”

Image result for home selling clutter

  1. Not cleaning up

“It’s true that leaving your house a mess can keep a potential buyer from seeing how beautiful your space really is, so a quick cleaning blitz before a showing can do a lot of good,” says Jo. “When the house is clean, buyers can see you love your house—and know they will, too.”

 

  1. Stuffing clutter into closets

On the other hand, “if you’re scrambling to clean up when a real estate agent schedules a last-minute showing, don’t stuff your closets full of laundry, toys, odds, and ends,” says Jo. “Potential buyers will definitely want to know how much storage space your home has, so no closet will be safe for concealing messes. If you’re in a pinch, a last-ditch effort to hide a mess is under a bed.”

 

  1. Ignoring your home’s exterior

“Simple touches like making sure the lawn is freshly cut, power-washing the driveway, or putting a few freshly potted plants on the front porch can make a big impact,” says Jo. “It’s all about reminding them that your house is cared for, so they won’t worry that you’re also ignoring what they can’t see.”

 

Image result for staging your home outside before and after

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops for Your Inner Cheeselover

You might not know it, but here in Denver there is an entire world of gourmet cheese to be explored! If you are a cheese lover and have yet to step foot in one of Denver’s artisan cheese shops, then you need to add these spots to your list.

Cheese + Provisions

Located: 2432 West 44th Avenue, Denver

Their goal at Cheese+Provisions is to create a fun learning environment to help people fall in love with great food. They strive to make cheese fun – no cheese snobs here! The cheesemongers happily offer you as many tastes as you like (along with the stories of the cheeses you are tasting) to help you make your choices.  Then they hand-cut your selection straight from the wheel so you know it’s fresh.

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

The Truffle Cheese Shop

Located: 2906 East 6th Avenue, Denver

Don’t just go here for the cheese. They have copious quantities of cured meats, most of them sliced to order on the meat cutter. Although 100+ cheeses may seem intimidating, the cheesemongers here are pros, outgoing, and accommodating to your wants. You are sure to find a new favorite each time! There’s also a convenient grab and go section if you want to make a quick purchase without waiting for the customers being helped.

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Mondo Market

Located: 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora & 3350 Brighton Boulevard #115, Denver

In 2013, Mondo Market assembled their first cheese plate at The Source Market Hall in Denver’s RiNo Art District. Devoted to contributing to the local culinary community, owners Michael Davis and Nicolas Farrrell expanded to Aurora, CO in June 2017 with their second location at Stanley Marketplace.

With artisan cheese, charcuterie and accoutrements in their coolers and specialty grocery items on their shelves, Mondo Market is the go-to food specialist.  If you’re feeling the hunger pangs deep in your belly, have a seat. All of their prepared food is created in-house by trained staff who also specialize in crafting delicious cheese plates that can be enjoyed with a glass of Chianti.

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

St. Killian’s Cheese Shop

Located: 3211 Lowell Boulevard, Denver

St. Killian’s is a European-style specialty food shop that has been serving the Highlands and Denver since 2001. They provide the highest quality cheeses, charcuterie, accoutrements and gourmet grocery products from around the world and around the corner. Aside from the vast selection of cheeses, they have a variety of sausages, salamis, spreads, and chocolates to make any board stand out! The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and great at helping you understand what it is your tasting and what it might go well with.

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Denver Artisan Cheese Shops

Creating Functional Outdoor Spaces

More and more people think of their outdoor spaces, decks, and patios as extensions of their interior living spaces. What were once places to grill some burgers and catch some sun, have evolved into outdoor rooms where you can entertain family and friends, outdoor kitchens, dining areas, and even quiet places to relax in a hot tub or spa.

If you are building a deck or patio from scratch, you and your designer can incorporate activity areas into the design. But if you are working with the basic deck or patio that is already in place, here are some tips for dividing up the space into activity areas.

Creating Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor Spaces

Furniture Groupings

Create activity areas with smart furniture arrangements. The most obvious is a table and chairs to create an instant dining area. Another option is to arrange seating, love seats, chaise lounges and chairs to encourage conversation.

Wicker or other weatherproof tables can serve the same function as a coffee table inside the house.  Matching furniture sets rather than individual pieces that are different from one another make the grouping appear more cohesive. Reinforce the groupings by placing outdoor rugs under the furniture.

When setting up your furniture, be sure to keep walkways open, and don’t plan on furniture groupings that are too close to stairs or in front of doorways.

Dividers

These can be either portable, such as a rolling cart that you use when entertaining, or more permanent, such as built-in seating or built-in planters. Be aware that planters can be heavy, so if you are planning on a planter for an elevated deck, discuss your plans with a qualified contractor to make sure the deck can support the weight. Wood decks with planters will also need a drainage plan to keep standing water off of the deck.

Shade Structures

Retractable awnings, pergolas and even large umbrellas can help define a space. You can enhance an overhead structure with climbing plants or use it as a place to string outdoor lights.

Fire Pits

An outdoor fire pit has the same draw as an interior fireplace—they become a focal point and a gathering spot. Portable fire pits can be placed anywhere on a masonry patio, but fire pits and most decking materials do not mix. Consult the fire pit manufacturer and the decking manufacturer before placing a fire pit on any deck surface.

Under the Deck

If there is enough head room, you may be able to place some patio pavers on the ground and hang lights from the understructure of the deck to convert this unused space into covered sitting area. You can even use the space for a hot tub or spa, but just remember the spa will be in the shade of the deck most of the time.

Spas

On a patio, a spa or hot tub establishes its own activity area. If you are considering one for an elevated deck, check with a contractor first to determine if the deck can support the additional weight.

New Decks and Patios

There are more possibilities for creating individual activity areas when designing a new deck or patio from scratch. You can use everything mentioned above as well as the following:

  • Deck Level Changes. Even a step or two can create separate areas.
  • Changes in Materials or Patterns. On decks, changes in the orientation of the decking boars signal a change of area. On patios, a change in the color of the paver does the same thing.
  • A curving portion of the deck and deck railing helps give the illusion of a separate space, especially if you arrange furniture to create a seating or dining area within the space.
  • Deck and Patio Combinations. Building both at the same time will automatically provide two separate rooms, even in small areas. They each have advantages that the other does not have. For example, there is no need to worry about the weight of a hot tub on a masonry patio. A raised deck off of a kitchen or family room is also more accessible to the house than a ground-level patio.

 

Thinking of your deck or patio as a few different activity areas will help you get the most use out of you outdoor living area.

Fran Donegan is an home improvement writer for The Home Depot. He shares his knowledge on a  variety of topics, from installing a pergola to creating a cozy outdoor space with wicker furniture. Fran is also the author of the outdoor yard book Pools and Spas.

10 Best Day Hikes Near Denver

With Denver’s close proximity to mountains, hiking is one of the most popular local pastimes. Being able to take a post work hike that ends with some serious views and stunning sunsets, is just one of many perks we hold dear here in Colorado. If you don’t even know where to begin exploring or are looking for some new adventures to take, try out a few of our favorites hikes listed below.

Hanging Lake

Perched on the edge of Glenwood Canyon’s cliffs is Hanging Lake, one of Colorado’s most popular hiking trails. The trail head is about 10 miles east of Glenwood Springs, along I-70. The trail itself is only about a mile long, but due to the steep incline you should allow yourself around 2 hours to reach your destination. Along the way you will not only experience beautiful views, but also come across a must-see hidden waterfall called Spouting Rock. With the crystal clear turquoise lake and lush over-hanging garden at the top, it’s easy to see why people come from miles around to catch a glimpse of this awe-inspiring beauty.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Hanging Lake

 

Horseshoe Trail at Golden Gate Canyon

Looking for a peaceful place to observe Colorado wildlife or catch vibrant wildflowers in full bloom? If so, Horseshoe trail is the ideal spot to escape the city and connect with nature. It winds you along a bed of babbling streams, guides you through well shaded Aspen groves and out into spacious meadows. This is a wonderful 4 mile hike perfect for experienced and non-experienced hikers alike. Located about 30 minutes outside of Denver, Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers some of the best mountain views close to the city. Horses, dogs, and mountain bikes are all permitted, along with hunting, camping, fishing, and rock climbing.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Horseshoe Trail

 

Royal Arch Trail at Chautauqua Park

Chautauqua Park is the most impressive of all the local Boulder hiking systems. During the weekends, locals and tourists alike descend on this park causing it to become overly crowded. To get the open space feel, hike this trail in the early morning or on a weekday. The Royal Arch Trail is a true test of leg and lung. After a quick drop into Blue Bell Canyon, the trail begins the steep climb through conifer forests up to a beautiful sandstone arch. Once at the top, the staggering views of the flatiron rock structures and the city of Boulder below are unmatched.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Royal Arch Trail

 

Calypso Cascades at Rocky Mountain National Park

This moderate hike has several destinations on the way to the top, each more impressive than the last. Beginning at the Wild Basin trail head, this trail guides you past the Copeland Falls to Calypso Cascades. These roaring falls are spectacular during spring run-off season, with water pouring down 100 feet over rocks and fallen trees. Thanks to a log bridge, you can stand right in the middle to experience the full force of Cony Creek. If you have time and are feeling adventurous, this trail will also take you up to Ouzel Falls, which drops more than 40 feet through a cut in dark a rock wall.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Calypso Cascades

Trading Post Trail at Red Rocks Park

The best part of this trail is that it is gorgeous year round! Hiking this easy, 1.5 mile loop will take you around 10 of the park’s majestic red rock formations. You’ll witness stunning views of Denver and beyond. Bring loved ones from out of town to experience the beauty of Colorado’s most iconic landmarks. While you’re at it, bring your dog along too! Just remember: while it might be tempting, you are not allowed to play on the rocks.

 

Day Hikes Near Denver | Trading Post Trail

Fountain Valley Trail at Roxborough Park

The Fountain Valley Trail is the Garden of the Gods of Denver featuring towering slabs of red rock formations. It’s more secluded than Red Rocks, with off-shooting trails taking you beyond park boundaries! It is an easy hike that loops through beautiful open meadows that offer a variety of wildflowers in the spring and summer. Be on the look-out for mule deer, haws, fox, and eagles.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Fountain Valley

Alderfer/Three Sisters Park

40 minutes from Denver, near the heart of Evergreen, Alderfer/Three Sister Park flourishes with stunning vistas, landmark rock formations, and beautiful Ponderosa Pines. Meadows burst with wildflowers in late spring and early summer. It is perfect for bird watching turkey vultures, Cooper’s hawks, mountain bluebirds, and Steller’s Jays. With nearly 15 miles of trails in the 770 acre park there are trails for beginners and experts alike!

Day Hikes Near Denver | Three Sisters Park

St. Mary’s Glacier

Located about 9 miles outside of Idaho Springs is St. Mary’s Glacier, one of Clear Creek County’s most popular destinations. This short hike ascends through a beautiful forest and ends at St. Mary’s Lake with incredible panoramic views. You can  stop there, or hike past the lake, up the glacier to gain stunning views of the Rocky Mountains. Hikers of all skill levels will enjoy this hike, and it’s a great way to beat the summer heat!

Day Hikes Near Denver | St. Mary's Glacier

Enchanted Forest Trail, Apex Park

Only a few miles from downtown, the Enchanted Forest is one of the less traveled trails in Golden’s Apex Park. The trail begins with a steady climb before descending through a lush evergreen forest. It also features a river with wonderful views down the canyon. This peaceful and relaxing hike is also a great way to test your readiness for the back country. Hikers, mountain bikers, and horses alike use the trail so be on the lookout for traffic!

Day hikes Near Denver | Enchanted Forest

Chimney Gulch Trail

This demanding hike up will test your limits crossing streams and zigzaging up Lookout Mountain. The close proximity to the city makes it a popular spot, but also means it’s quite easy to hit an after-work hike. The views off the mountain vista will be worth the effort trekking this steep trail. It’s the perfect place for viewing sunsets, complete with benches. This trail can be done two ways: either from Windy Saddle to Golden (downhill first), or from Golden to Windy Saddle (uphill first). It should be noted that this is a mixed-use trail which sees heavy use by mountain bikers.

Day Hikes Near Denver | Chimney Gulch

Premiere Home Staging and Furniture Tips

Home staging is an essential part of the process of preparing to sell a home. Whether your property is currently occupied or vacant, a stager can be the most important partner you have in your quest to achieve the maximum sale price the market has to offer.

De-cluttering, repairing, rearranging, highlighting – a master stager can do it all for your home. These steps must be taken to ensure your property makes a great first impression on all potential buyers. Professional staging tactics can even be a savior to homes that have been available on the market for months or more without results.

Research has shown that professionally staged homes sell faster and at higher prices. To achieve your financial goals when selling the property, trust the expertise of the Buckley Real Estate team. Helena is a certified home stager with years of experience showcasing the best features of high end homes in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods around Denver.

The Buckley’s will help you achieve top of market sale prices in your ideal time frame. Our process includes:

De-Cluttering

Furniture is usually the cause of clutter. If the situation warrants it, we can remove furnishings to open up space and allow your home to look an feel bigger.

Grouping and Reordering Furniture

Furniture is more appealing to buyers when it is placed in tight, cozy conversational groups. If your current alignment has chairs and sofas spread out and shoved up against walls, you could benefit from a professional stager’s eye for grouping. You also need to reevaluate each piece of furniture to see if it could fin a better home in a different room or combined with other items.

Transforming Unused Spaces

Storage rooms can be handy, but they o not inspire potential buyers. Transform junk gathering rooms into something that adds value to your home. Our expertise will allow you to turn a blank space into a cozy reading spot, a yoga studio, or whatever we think may grab the attention of your ideal buyer.

Improving Lighting

In many cases, increasing wattage in the right places can take a home to a whole new level. We can help you find the perfect mix of ambient, accent, and task lighting to highlight the best features of your home.

Expanding

There are many design tricks that can help a room appear bigger. By making some smart paint and design choices, we can create an illusion of more space. Potential buyers will ignore slightly comprised amount of square footage if the space feels big on first impression.

Neutralizing

If sections of your home look dated, this is going to cut into your sale price. On today’s market, bold colors – especially in large spaces – can diminish the interest in a property. By incorporating a modern understanding of fresh, neutral colors, we can give your home a much better chance of fining the right buyer and the right price.

Experimenting with Color

Small spaces like powder rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms may offer the opportunity to play with darker colors. We can help you use color to accent and highlight the best features tucked away in smaller interior rooms.

Rethinking Wall Hangings

Hanging all your art in one flat line that encircles the room is not going to help you earn the best sale price on your block. Buyers have become so accustomed to this type of layout that they will easily overlook items showcased in this way. To ensure your hangings get the attention they deserve, we can help with creative patterning and grouping that stands out.

Every Detail Matters

The Buckley’s will help you manage every little detail that goes into a successful showing. With our help, your home will be positioned to achieve the best possible sale price in the ideal time frame. Contact us today to benefit from our home staging expertise.

How to Match Window Style to the Style of Your House

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an existing one, the window style you choose will help define its look. The right windows just seem to fit the design and complement other building components. Below are examples of 10 popular house styles and suggestions on the type of windows that work well with each design.

 

Cape Cod

The first cape homes were built in the 1600s and continue to be a popular design for suburban areas. Capes usually have one or one and a half stories with steep roof lines. Most capes also have dormers. This traditional design calls for multi-pane, double-hung windows. An alternative is a divided-light upper sash with a single-light sash below.

Window Style | Cape Cod

 

Colonial

This is a catchall term that includes a number of different design movements, including Georgian and Federal. The designs originated in the early years of the country and show the influence of British architecture at the time. These two- and three-story buildings can be finished in brick or clapboard siding. It is a symmetrical design with a center entrance flanked by windows with shutters. Multi-pane, double-hung windows suit this design.

Window Style | Colonial

Tudor

This is another design inspired by the British. The houses usually have brick or stone on the ground floor with stucco on the upper floor. Exposed timber is also common. Many Tudors feature rounded entry doors that complement the tall, narrow windows. Multi-pane casements work well with this design.

Window Style | Tudor

Victorian

As with Colonial, the term “Victorian” usually encompasses a number of designs that originated around the same period. These two- and three-story buildings incorporate various ornamental components that add texture and interest to the facade. Many Victorians feature rounded turrets or towers. Bay or bow windows, as well as large double-hung windows with single lights for both the upper and lower sashes are common. Windows often have rounded tops, and Palladian-style windows are also common. Palladian windows have three sections where the middle section has a rounded top.

Window Style | Victorian

Craftsman

Also known as a bungalow, this style rejected the ornamentation of Victorian designs. Gustav Stickley, a designer who popularized the design, called it a house reduced to its simplest form. The design features low-pitched roofs with deep overhangs. Many include wide porches. Covered entries and porches are often supported by tapering posts set on stone pedestals. Double-hung windows and picture windows work well, but many Craftsman houses feature a combination of window styles.

Window Style | Craftsman

Spanish or Mediterranean

First introduced in the Southwest and parts of California, this design spread throughout the country. This style often has red tile roofs and stucco exteriors. Both casement and double-hung windows work well in this design, especially windows with rounded or arch tops, which can add interest to the facade.

 Window Style | Mediterranean

Ranch

True ranch houses are contained on a single floor, although people often raise the roof on part of the house to increase living space. The simple facades often incorporate large picture, or bay, or bow windows flanked by casements or double-hung windows. Horizontal slides are another popular choice for ranch homes.

Window Style | Ranch

Contemporary

These designs often lack any exterior ornamentation except for the texture provided by the building materials. They usually have flat or low-sloping roofs. Designers often strive to include as much natural light as possible and glass often takes up large portions of the facade. Floor-to-ceiling fixed windows are not unusual. Awning, casement and horizontal sliders are also common.

Window Style | Contemporary

Prairie

This design movement was started by Frank Lloyd Wright as an answer to designs that relied on excessive ornamentation. The low-sloping roofs end in deep overhangs. Interior spaces are usually open rather than boxed in, and rely heavily on natural light. Window choices include a row of casements or large fixed glass units topped with a row of awing windows.

Window Style | Prairie

Split-Level

Identified by its attached garage and simple design elements, split-level houses gained in popularity after World War II. The main level, which usually corresponds to the main living area, often contains a picture or bay window, but most types of windows work well with split-level houses, including casement, horizontal sliders and double-hung windows.

Window Style | Split Level

It is important to remember that the lines that separate one style from another have blurred over the years. Architects and builders routinely take elements from different designs and combine to form new creations, but this list is a good starting point for selecting new windows for your home.

 

Fran Donegan writes on home renovation topics for The Home Depot. Fran is a longtime DIY writer and the author of the book Paint Your Home. He knows choosing the right window for your home is a critical factor in curb appeal. For information about services for window instillation visit the Home Depot website.