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Ruby Hill Community | Denver, CO

The Neighborhood

Running along the South Platte River and nestled 5 miles south of Denver, Ruby Hill is a true hidden gem. Only within recent years has this community truly begun to grow in popularity and blossom with possibility. The Ruby Hill neighborhood is widely known for its recreational opportunities and is a bicyclists paradise! From Florida Avenue, the South Platte River trail allows bicyclists to commute downtown in ten minutes without dealing with cars or traffic.

There are several wonderful parks and walking trails in the neighborhood, from Sanderson Gulch Trail and Park, to Ruby Hill Park – the largest park in southwest Denver. Overland Pond Park, Athmar Park, and Godsman Park all provide greenery and recreation for the community. The city is also planning on implementing several major improvements to the South Platte River and Ruby Hill Park which will benefit the neighborhood in coming years.

There are 3 major college campuses less than a 15-minute drive from the neighborhood: Auraria, University of Denver, and Colorado Heights University. And there are 3 light rail stations in close proximity to these neighborhoods. The Evans Station, Broadway Station, or Alameda Station are in walking distance by many residents, and are also quickly accessed by the numerous RTD bus routes on their way to the light rail stations.

Ruby Hill Park

Ruby Hill Park

Ruby Hill Park, the neighborhood’s namesake, is an ever-evolving neighborhood treasure. The green expanse is on an incline above the river and boasts some of the best views of downtown Denver and the Platte Valley. It’s the ideal place to watch everything from eclipses of the moon to Fourth of July fireworks. At one-time, Native Americans even used it as a lookout point.

The 88-acre park encompasses everything from baseball, football, and softball fields, to picnic areas, gardens and playgrounds, and the Ruby Hill Rail Yard. The Rail Yard is a free urban terrain park. And is meant to be a place where snowboarders and skiers can fine tune their skills. It features ten rails and boxes that range in size, shape, and difficulty.

The Ruby Hill Bike Park is another wonderful addition to the neighborhood that was completed in the summer of 2016. It’s a 7.5-acre park including a slope-style course, pump tracks, dirt jumps, and a 1.7-mile multi-use trail. On top of that, the bike park sits next to one of the top-rated sledding hills in Denver!

Levitt Pavilion

In July 2017, Levitt Pavilion opened atop Ruby Hill Park, causing the Ruby Hill community to emerge as a somewhat unexpected hub for music in Denver. Every year, the venue presents 50 free family friendly concerts for the community. The mission – to focus on building community through free music and education, increasing access to the arts, and finding common ground in a diverse audience.

Just across the Platte River, right at Ruby Hill’s doorstep, the historic Overland Golf Course is the site of a new music festival kicking off this year. The festival, aptly named Grandoozy, is put on by the same company behind Bonaroo and Outside Lands. This multi-stage, multi-genre, 3-day event is expect to draw 50,000 to 60,000 people. The spotlight will also focus on local arts and culture, not just music. With the lethal combination of these two music advents, Ruby Hill could be poised to become Denver’s hottest music district.

Levitt Pavilion | Ruby Hill

13 Colorado Fall Festivals Not To Miss

Fall in Colorado is a beautiful time of year that all residents look forward to. Although the leaves are changing and the air is growing crisper, it is still a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the incredible beauty and lighthearted festivities that our state has to offer. Throughout the Front Range there are events, festivals, and gatherings of all kinds to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Here we’ve helped narrow it down to some of the best Colorado Fall festivals that you should definitely check out this year!

Downtown Boulder Fall Festival

When: September 14th – 16th
Where: Pearl Street Mall

For over 30 years, the Downtown Boulder Fall Festival has been one of Boulder’s most beloved community celebrations. This cherished, three day autumn festival includes live music, local microbrews, wine and margaritas, a children’s carnival, and an art show along the one-and-only Pearl Street Mall.

Boulder Fall Festival | Colorado Fall Festivals

Denver Beer Fest

When: September 14th – 22nd
Where: Multiple Locations Around Denver

Enjoy nine days of all things beer during Denver Beer Fest. There will be more than 100 beer-related events in Denver, America’s #1 beer city! Head to The Mile High City for tap takeovers, rare beer tappings, firkin nights, meet the brewer events, beer & food pairings and much, much more. The week culminates with the Great American Beer Festival, the largest beer competition in the country!

Denver Beer Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

24th Annual Chile & Frijoles Festival

When: September 21st – 23rd
Where: Union Avenue Historic District, Pueblo

The Chile & Frijoles Festival is Pueblos version of a Harvest Festival. Every year, thousands pay homage to Pueblo’s most loved crop – green chilies‚ particularly the Pueblo chile!

The event features music‚ arts and crafts‚ cooking competitions, and chilies‚ chilies‚ chilies. Held downtown along Union Avenue‚ it draws Pueblo residents as well as people from across the state and around the nation.

Frijoles Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

49th Annual Denver Oktoberfest

When: September 21st – 23rd & September 28th – 30th
Where: Larimer Square

The Denver Oktoberfest attracts over 350,000 people during the six-day festival and it was quoted in Maxim Magazine and USA Today as “The Best Oktoberfest” in the United States and “One of the country’s biggest and longest running traditions”.  It’s also one of the largest beer festivals in the United States based on consumption because Denver loves to drink beer!

Oktoberfest | Colorado Fall Festivals

Mountain Harvest Festival

When: September 27th – 30th
Where: Paonia, Colorado

Mountain Harvest Festival is an annual celebration of local music, art, farms, food & spirits organized by the nonprofit organization Mountain Harvest Creative. Held in the charming town of Paonia, visitors enjoy the music of the North Fork Valley, browse local arts and crafts and participate in the fun activities like the Great Chili Cookoff, Grape Stomp, Farm Tours and Saturday Sundown Swing. Mountain Harvest Festival is small town Americana at its best!

Colorado Fall Festivals | Mountain Harvest Festival

Morrison Ciderfest

When: September 29th
Where: 150 Spring Street, Morrison, Colorado

Looking for a great day of family fun? Look no further than Morrison Ciderfest. It’s a full day of live music, food, drinks, hay and pony rides, arts and crafts, vendors, and kids activities. Acitvities include cider presses, silent auction, horseshoes tournament, and a bouncy castle. And the best part is, entry is absolutely free!

Morrison Cider Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

Elk Festival

When: September 29th – 30th
Where: Bond Park, Estes Park

The haunting call of the bull elk fills the Estes Valley during the early days of fall. To celebrate the annual elk rut and learn about the “wapiti,” the Native American name for elk, Estes Park hosts the annual Elk Fest in Bond Park. The free festival features bugling contests, elk exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, a children’s area with elk-themed activities, and a craft beer garden. Live country, rock and bluegrass music will light up the park Saturday and Sunday with popular Colorado bands performing on stage.

Colorado Fall Festivals | Elk Festival

Cider Days

When: October 6th – 7th
Where: Lakewood Heritage Center

Celebrating Lakewood’s agricultural heritage with an entertaining mix of live performances, activities and tasty harvest treats, Cider Days offers fun and excitement for the entire family! This year’s event will include tractor pulls and vintage power displays, wagon and barrel train rides along with other children’s activities, historic demonstrations and a unique variety of exhibitors and vendors.

Colorado Fall Festivals | Cider Days

Telluride Horror Show

When: October 12th – 14th
Where: Telluride, Colorado

The Telluride Horror Show, Colorado’s first and longest-running horror film festival, returns for its 9th edition October 12-14, 2018. Every year, the festival attracts the latest & best genre films from around the world and attendees from all over the country for an intimate gathering of film fans in the world-famous mountain resort town of Telluride, Colorado. For three packed days, experience an eclectic mix of horror, suspense, thriller, dark fantasy, sci-fi, and dark comedy in Telluride’s unique theaters, with many of the films showing for the first time in the US.

Colorado Fall Festivals | Telluride Horror Show

Breckenridge Fall Fest

When: October TBD
Where: Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge Grand Vacations brings Family Fun Fest to the Riverwalk Center for a day of pumpkin carving, music, face painting, and sweet treats such as caramel apples. It’s a great activity for families this fall, and it’s the perfect way to gear up for Halloween in a cozy indoor setting.

Breckenridge Fall Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

Botanic Gardens Pumpkin Festival

When: October 12th – 14th
Where: Botanic Gardens, Chatfield Farms

Enjoy a day of fall activities at Chatfield Farms. Ticket price includes access to the 10-acre pumpkin patch and family and children’s activities. Pumpkin prices vary by size; the average price is $8. It is recommended to bring a wagon to transport pumpkins. Free pumpkin daycare is available while you enjoy the rest of the festival.

Denver Botanic Garden Pumpkin Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

Boo at the Zoo

When:
Where: The Denver Zoo

Boo At The Zoo event offers 20 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations and exciting family-friendly entertainment under the canopy of the beautiful fall foliage of Denver Zoo.

Boo at the Zoo | Colorado Fall Festivals

Fright Fest

When: Every Weekend in October
Where: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park

Every weekend in October, join the spooky festivities of Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park. From haunted houses to tasty treats to many spooktacular events, this thrilling Denver fall festival is fun for the whole family. You don’t want to miss out on Colorado’s largest Halloween nights!

Fright Fest | Colorado Fall Festivals

Denver Housing Market Experiences Seasonal Slowdown

As the summer housing market starts to draw to a close and the expected seasonal slowdown starts to take root, prospective home buyers might find they have a few more choices before signing on the dotted line.

At the end of July, there were 7,643 single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums on the market. That’s almost a 4% increase in the active inventory from a year earlier. The last time there were more homes on the market in a July was in 2015. The increase in inventory comes at a time when mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise. Although, prices on an annual basis are increasing at a slower pace than in the past few years. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rate is now hovering at about 4.5%. Which is still low by historic standards, but about a half of a percent higher than a year ago.

Meanwhile the average price of a single-family home sold last month was $529,124. Down 1.48% from July, but up 7.18% from July 2017. Buyer put 5,764 homes under contract last month, largely unchanged from June, but up 5.24% from a year earlier. Some 5,043 homes sold last month, a 15.65% plunge from July and an 8.54% drop from a year earlier. While the month-to-month may seem severe, it is not an unusual seasonal drop. In fact, in July 2017, home sales fell by almost 20% from June. The sales drop is likely largely due to the double whammy of rising mortgage rates and rising home prices.

On a month-to-month basis, even the luxury home market cooled in August. There were 206 sales of single-family homes and condos priced at $1 million or more in July, a 16.26% decline from June. Still, luxury home sales were up 17.71% from July 2017. The year-over-year increase of luxury homes in July, while the strongest of any price strata, was still substantially below the year-to-date 29.14% sales increase when you dig into seven months of DMAR data. Through July, buyers purchased 1,204 properties, compared with 1,002 in the first seven months of 2017. The total luxury sales volume this year is $1.95 billion, a 28.72% increase from the same period last year. And keep in mind that seasonal drops, are part of the natural cycle.

Despite slower sales and a rising inventory, the single-family home market ended with a 1.59-months of inventory, which is the equivalent of about 4.3 weeks. Meaning if no new supply was added to the market and the sales stayed the same, all the homes would be gone in a little over a month. Perhaps one of the strongest metrics that the sky is not falling is that the months-of-inventory, or MOI, was slightly lower in July than it was year earlier, according to DMAR. Such a low supply is a sign that Denver, overall, remains a strong seller’s market. And there are no signs that the end is near of the Denver bull market for housing.

Best Swimming Spots in Colorado

Devil’s Punchbowl – Aspen

Located off the west side of Independence Pass just nine miles outside of Aspen, this popular swimming spot isn’t for the faint of heart. Of the two places in Colorado dubbed “Devil’s Punchbowl”, this one is the easiest to access. Crystal clear water surrounded by 20-foot cliffs await any daredevil brave enough to take the plunge in these icy waters.

Devil's Punch Bowl | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Big Dominguez Canyon

Big Dominguez Canyon is a group of swimming holes located south of Grand Junction in the Dominguez – Escalante National Conservation Area. These watering holes feature cascading waterfalls and beautiful rock formations. The temperature is usually fairly warm so you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere without freezing. You can even work up a bit of a sweat by hiking to each of the first three swimming holes and then cool down in their temperate water.

Big Dominguez Canyon | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Clear Creek Whitewater Park

Clear Creek is often referred to as the heart of Golden. It is frequented by sunbathers, kayakers, tubers, and fisherman. Tubing the Clear Creek Waterpark is one of Jefferson County’s biggest summer activities. Just follow the sidewalk beside the river west and it will eventually turn into a trail. There are many opportunities along the way to drop your tube in. Bring your own tube or rent one from one of the shops right down the road.

Clear Creek Whitewater Park | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Conundrum Hot Springs

Getting to these jaw-dropping hot springs off the beaten path requires an 8.5 miles hike and an overnight permit. But this trek is arguably one of the most unique overnight backpacking trips across the country. Conundrum Creek Trail is situated in Maroon Bells Wilderness area and climbs over 2,500 feet over the 8.5 miles, making it a moderate hike. At the end of the hike you will be rewarded with spectacular mountain scenery and a dip in the warm natural hot springs – clothing optional.

Conundrum Hot Springs | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Big Soda Lake

Being that it’s located only 20 minutes from the heart of Denver, Big Soda Lake is a hot spot for locals. It’s situated perfectly under the rolling hills of the front range with excellent views of Red Rocks Amphitheater. There are well maintained bathrooms and concessions nearby, along with several beach picnic shelters. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day you can rent paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, and sailboards.

Big Soda Lake | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Devil’s Punchbowl – Marble

Similar to its sister locale with the same name, this spot has been made popular as a sweet spot for plunging into cool water fed by a waterfall on the South Fork Crystal River. Unlike the Devil’s Punchbowl in Aspen – this location requires a difficult hike to get to, so adventurers should take caution. If you do decide to make the trek, be sure to stop by the Crystal Mill. It’s one of the most photographed spots in the state for a reason!

Devil's Punch Bowl | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Rainbow Hot Springs

Just twenty miles north of Pagosa Spring is a pristine hiking trail that leads you to an oasis of natural hot springs. The 10.2 mile out and back trail winds through the Weminuche Wilderness Area within the San Juan National Forest. You’ll enjoy enchanting forests, waterfalls, steep cliffs overlooking rapids, and fresh mountain air. The hot springs are the icing on the cake, and provide a much-needed soak for your body after the strenuous climb up.

Rainbow Hot Springs | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Adrenaline Falls

Adrenaline Falls is well known among Durango locals, but very few non-locals actually know where it is. Located in the San Juan National Forest, a short, but steep, hike takes you to the an 18-foot waterfall thundering into a deep pool. Adrenaline Falls has earned its name from the 18 – 40 foot cliff jump sure to give you a rush. For anyone looking for a thrill, this is the perfect summer time adventure.

Adrenaline Falls | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Cherry Creek Reservoir

Welcome to Denver’s oasis in the city! This is the perfect family escape from the day to day hustle and bustle of city life. Bring your floaties, cool off in the waves, and hang out on the soft, sandy beach. Or rent a boat and cast a line to do some leisurely fishing. Camping is also permitted in the area if you’re looking to lounge a bit longer.

Cherry Creek Reservoir | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

Lost Man Lake

For those adventure seekers looking to earn some bragging rights, add this hike-to-swim location to your summer bucket list. Your adventure begins one mile west of Independence Pass. From the trail head take 12,800’ Lost Man Pass on a well-established trail. While Lost Man Lake is your final destination, you could warm-up with a jump into Independence Lake. When you reach the top of the saddle you will be greeted with a glorious view of Lost Man Lake. On warm days, you’ll be able to enjoy a nice swim. But at 12,450’ it’s going to be brisk.

Lost Man Lake | Swimming Spots in Colorado

Swimming Spots in Colorado

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.

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  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.”

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  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.”

 

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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