Published August 26, 2014 12:48
There's nothing more rewarding than getting out and donating some time and hard work to the community. That's exactly what our very own Carole Schumacher was found doing this past weekend. Last Saturday Carole, along with 9 other CREW Denver members, participated in Habitat for Humanity Women Build. They spent the entire day working on 2nd floor framing. CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Denver has been a Women Build sponsor since 2007. For more information, you can visit the following link and get involved too! https://www.facebook.com/womenbuilddenver
Published August 08, 2014 09:15
As the summer starts to wind down and school begins, there are still some opportunities to help others and get a little golfing in! We are proud to support the furthering of education, as well as our brave military who serve. This past Tuesday Grant, Mike, Steve and Dan participated in this wonderful program, and even came in second place!
This tournament has raised over $1.3 million dollars in net proceeds over the past 11 years, and continues to grow. These earnings go to qualified children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen as they enter post-secondary education. For more information you can visit their website at: http://www.mcsf.org/
Published July 14, 2014 08:57
Friday was a beautiful day to enjoy the outdoors, get a little golfing in, and help the community. Our very own Carole Schumacher did just that. She participated in the golf tournament at Fossil Trace in Golden. This tournament raises money for Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives run by Rev. Leon Kelly. Carole got women's closest to the pin and her team shot 12 under par to place 5th in the tournament. Congratulations Carole! For more information on this particular program, you can visit their website at : http://opendooryouth.org/
We love participating in community events, even more when it goes to a good cause. Let us know of the great things you've done!
* Photo is of Ken Schumacher, Carole, Damien Payne (PGA longest drive world record holder), and Steve Foley (former Denver Broncos safety and cornerback).
Published May 14, 2014 15:46
We're excited to announce a great closing in our commercial division! On May 8th, "8201 Southpark Lane, LLC" purchased 8201 Southpark Lane in Littleton, Colorado for $2.5 million. This two-story (plus mezzanine) 22,521 rentable square foot office building was known as the Etkin Office Building and located in the Southpark Business Park just north of County Line Road and west of Broadway. The Seller was HR2 LLC, a partnership group that included an original partner when Etkin Johnson built the building in 1997.
The building is 86% leased with Modern Railway Systems being the anchor tenant and American Innovations occupying 7,258 square feet. One 3,141 square foot suite is vacant and available for lease. The building has been renamed “Modern Railway Systems Building.”
Carole Schumacher of BRC Real Estate represented the Buyer and Hank Brumley of Brumley Real Estate, Inc. represented the Seller. BRC Real Estate will be handling the leasing and property management of the building. Great job, Carole!
Published May 01, 2014 11:03
We had about 15 pint-sized visitors today at BRC! Local preschoolers came to visit our firetruck and play for a little bit. Very fun!
Published April 11, 2014 15:04
With the Denver market as good as it currently is, chances are slim that you'll encounter someone who wants to buy a property through seller financing. However, if your home is one of the few that hasn't seen the activity you hoped for, offering seller financing might be the way to go! It will attract buyers that aren't able to come up with a loan, and might give you the funds you need to make the move you want.
Seller financing typically comes into play when a seller is having difficulty selling his/her home, a buyer doesn't have established credit, or a buyer isn't able get a loan from a bank just yet. It works well for a Seller in a buyer’s market, and it works well for the buyer in a seller’s market. It can be a win win if you’re willing to wait for a lump sum as a seller!
Here’s how it works…
With traditional third-party financing, a lending institution makes a loan to the buyer for the purchase price of a home (minus down payment) and takes a security interest on the same home. The security interest comes in the form of a mortgage or deed of trust, which allows the lender to foreclose on the home to recover its loan money in the event of a default. The buyer gives the seller the entire purchase price and the seller leaves the picture. The buyer then must make mortgage payments to the lender until the loan is paid off and the buyer owns the house free and clear.
Seller-financing works a bit differently. In this situation, the seller does not receive a lump sum of cash, and remains involved in a financial relationship with the buyer until the entire purchase price is paid. With seller financing, the seller agrees to transfer title to the house in exchange for a note and a security interest in the house. The note is paid off just like a mortgage, but it is paid to the seller instead of a bank. Also, just like with traditional financing, the seller’s security interest gives him the power to foreclose on the house in the event of default. Often, when a seller finances the purchase of a home, the loan note provides for a balloon payment to pay off the full balance of the loan after a period of a few years. A balloon payment is a lump sum payment of the amount still owed to the seller. When the balloon payment is due, the buyer usually pays it off or obtains financing with a traditional third party lender.
Purchasing a home under a lease-to-own contract is also a form of seller financing. Lease-to-own works just as it sounds; rather than buying the house right off the bat, the buyer rents the home for a period of time until they are able (or decide) to buy, or the seller decides to put the home on the market. At that point, the buyer has the option to purchase home. If she chooses to do so, then all the rent payments he or she has made count towards the purchase price of the house. If not, the buyer walks away from the house, just as if he/she were a renter. Typically, the buyer has first right of refusal in the event another person offers to purchase the house.
With seller financing, the seller has to wait a period of years to get the full purchase price of the house and bears the risk of default in the meanwhile. So, why would a seller be interested in a deal like this? The same reason a bank would be: interest. Charging interest allows the seller to eventually receive more than asking price. In a seller’s market, the seller gets to squeeze even more money out of the buyer. In a buyer’s market, the seller gets to sell his/her house and possibly get closer to asking price. The balloon payment typically is due after five to 10 years.
There you have it! Seller Financing 101.
Published April 01, 2014 09:17
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a LIFE by what we GIVE.”
While guest-speaking at Brigham-Young University during a visit to Hawai’i with his family last year, Mike Bright (President/CEO of BRC) met a delightful young man from the Ivory Coast by the name of Sery Kone. Sery had quite the story to share!
While earning his Bachelor’s Degree at BYU in Hawai’i, Sery began an organization called “WELL Africa.” WELL Africa’s primary mission is to eliminate childhood labor, educate & empower the farmers of cacao fields on the Ivory Coast, and empower their communities through financial support, growth and education. These efforts are very near and dear to Sery’s heart, as he too had been a victim of childhood labor in the cacao fields at a very young age. While Sery is fortunate to have escaped the claws of childhood labor by the age of twelve, other children of the Ivory Coast and around the world still struggle with this hardship on a day to day basis.
In addition to his work with WELL Africa, Sery puts on a Christmas event for families, children and farmers on the Ivory Coast each year. This past Christmas, Mike and the BRC Real Estate team were given to opportunity to raise funds and contribute to this wonderful event. With BRC’s support and several other generous contributions, Sery was able to give two African communities a Christmas they won’t forget. Here’s what Sery had to say about the event:
“In the villages, the Christmas event was the biggest event the area had ever seen. Your contribution and contributions that we received from other people helped us provide Christmas to a total of 500 children in two villages, the one where the school is going to be built and the one next to it.”
Mike recently received an update in regard to the after-effects of this Christmas program, and we’re happy to say that Sery’s efforts have begun a ripple effect that will expand into the fields of Africa for years to come. BRC was so glad to be a part of this event and will continue to support WELL Africa.
“After the Christmas project, the community really got involved. I think they really understood that we care about them. Starting with the women, we complete a community garden that produced 12,000 lbs. of food over the last three months, enough to feed the village until the next harvesting period. This portion of the program has proven that enough food can be produced to meet the nutrition needs of the village and the children while in school. 58 women participated in the project, and it was a huge success. They have been empowered to start the second garden next May.
The second project that we did is the training manual that we created for the farmers. This manual will make them more productive and teach them basic cash flow management. We performed a needs analysis that gave us a better understanding between the use of child labor and the farmers' economic performance. 24 farmers were involved. We have seen a 30% increase in farmers’ production over the previous year. One of the farmers, Louis, is building his own house now. This is the direct impact of our basic cash flow management.
Construction started two months ago on the school. As I explained to you, we have engaged the village into a 50/50 partnership, in which they are required to provide labor and other available resources to reduce our cost by 50% (in addition to the land that they donated already). They responded very well to this call and are working hand in hand with the contractor and our team. The government formally gave us the accreditation and registered the school on the official list of schools that are scheduled to open this September. I am sure that we will meet deadline and have our first child laborers/students attending school next September.
In conclusion, I would also like to share that I bought 10 acres of land on which I started to grow our own cacao. We will start our first production in 18 months. I have learned a lot in this process, and would like to sincerely thank you for your support and help. As you can see, the Christmas Project went way beyond what we have imagined. Please express my personal gratitude to your family and your employees for what they have done.”
BRC is proud to be a part of such an outstanding and world-changing organization, and we wanted to share the great progress that has been taking place for WELL Africa! If you are interested in learning more about this program, or would like to donate for another WELL Africa project, please contact us. BRC would love to wrap our arms around this opportunity to give back!
Published February 21, 2014 11:28
Many people enjoy sharing their lives and their homes with pets – of all kinds. Colorado is known for being an animal loving state! Let's face it - everyone’s dog has a dog in Colorado. If you are selling your home, there is a good chance that some potential buyers will also have pets, BUT, that doesn't mean you should not make an effort to minimize the impact your pets have on the appearance and attractiveness of the home you are selling.
The evidence of pets living in a home can vary from a little to a lot… but let’s face it – non-pet owners usually aren’t fans when they can sense that a pet has been living in the home. Evidence of pets can include odors, stains, pet toys, litter boxes, chewed or scratched furniture, pet doors, water bowls and the pets themselves.
Here are some tips on how to “spiff up” your home so that pet lovers and non-pet lovers alike can appreciate the details of your home without distraction.
Odors and stains: These two items are the most significant issues to address. Even if your potential buyer owns a pet, they’re probably not going to be interested in inheriting the odors left behind by your dog, cat, rabbit or flying squirrel.
The American Humane Society suggests that you use a black light to find evidence of accidents on floors, walls, furniture and carpets. No matter how old, they will likely show up under the black light.
Once you find these accidents, you can use a wet vacuum (not steam) and standard carpet cleaners to try and remove the stains and their associated odors from carpets and fabrics. In some instances (cats, for example) you may need an enzyme-based product.
Carpet pads that have been stained with pet urine may need to be replaced (entirely or just in the stained sections) and stained paint or varnish will need to be removed and replaced. Sanding and resealing hardwood floors can both remove and conceal certain odors, and would improve the overall attractiveness of the home at the same time.
Take them for a walk! There is also a general expectation by real estate agents and buyers that pets should not be in a house (or yard) when the property is being shown. Some people are not comfortable around pets and some pets react strongly when strangers come into their spaces. We wouldn’t want this to hinder the sale!
Some experts advise that, if possible, pets should temporarily live elsewhere while you are trying to sell your house. That way, much of the visible evidence (toys, litter boxes, pet food) can be removed from the house. For many people this won’t be practical or acceptable, so making the extra effort to minimize the pet’s presence is the next best option.
Reptiles, snakes and spiders! Oh my! If your pets are part of either the insect or the reptile families, removing them from the home is pretty much mandatory. More than half of all Americans fear snakes and quite a few feel similarly about large spiders and tarantulas.
Don’t be hairy. When pets are part of the environment, cleaning also means vacuuming the carpets, floors and furniture regularly. People with allergies will often sense right away if there is pet hair in the home.
Keeping your home as clean as possible is important to attracting buyers. Anyone who has sold a home has probably had those moments of annoyance in picking up after their children, making the beds, wiping the counters and doing all the other things to make your home attractive – pretty much every day it is on the market.
As people tour your home, they will be visualizing themselves living there. Just as neutral paint colors, a nicely manicured lawn and good lighting makes for an inviting vision, so will the absence of pets and any evidence they have lived there help to seal the deal.
Published January 02, 2014 15:52
"I was in Ikea the other day and, no surprise, I struck up a conversation with the check-out guy. We talked about Ikea kitchens, the section I had gotten stuck in for what seemed like hours dreaming and planning. During our chat he mentioned that he had a new kitchen installed in a home he sold in 2013 and he DOUBLED his investment.
Here are some of the details he shared with me: His home was on the market for two weeks. He had been through about 40 showings with no offers. The feedback was mostly positive, but most of the buyers did not like the kitchen. With a need to sell his home, he pulled it off the market for a few weeks and spent a few grand on having a new Ikea kitchen installed. Once it was finished, he put the home back on the market with the price adjusted up by TWICE what he had spent. He had two offers within two days at full price, doubled his investment, and got his house SOLD!
This story is not meant to be an Ikea commercial, but a real life example of why and how you can invest in the right things (kitchens, kitchen, and kitchens) to sell your home faster for more money! People buy kitchens with houses around them. I have seen it more times than I can count. Trust me, as a Realtor I see lots of kitchens. I hear what my buyers say and I know what they’re looking for. If you plan on selling and your home is in need of some updating and upgrading, invest in your kitchen!"
Article written by Pie Konchar, Vice President of BRC's Residential Division
Published December 20, 2013 15:08
Geologist Bob Zinke closed today on his acquisition of his new office condo at 1100 W Littleton Boulevard, Suite 440, Littleton, CO.
85-year-old Zinke still enjoys his work and likes to have fun. He "donned" this cap so that women can still run their fingers through his hair.
You are never too old to purchase commercial real estate, and have fun doing it! Carole Schumacher of BRC brokered the transaction. Bob is looking for someone to help him move from his current office on S. Prince St in Littleton of anyone is interested!
Published December 13, 2013 14:45
Lise LeBlanc, a BRC Residential Realtor®, has two very happy clients that wrote a raving review of her proficiency and dedication during their time working with her. Read below for details!
"We wanted to downsize, and before she even had a contract to sell our home, Lise LeBlanc graciously showed us just about every ranch floor plan available in Highlands Ranch! She was so patient and understanding. She really listened and developed a keen sense of what we wanted -- we found the perfect plan! Then the really hard work began -- preparing our large home (4500 sq. ft. with 6 bedrooms, 4 baths) for sale. Lise helped us every step of the way -- giving us great advice on what to replace and upgrade, what will bring value and what won’t, and how to stage our home so it would be attractive to the buying public. When the preparations were finished, Lise engaged a professional photographer to showcase our home through a video tour – it looked fabulous! She posted her “Coming Soon” and “Great Views” signs out front to create some excitement and prospective buyers began stopping by! We were thrilled when our house sold within 3 days after being listed! But Lise didn’t stop there – she promptly and efficiently handled issues that arose before the closings on the houses we were buying and selling. She was there at every inspection and meeting and her knowledge of the real estate market and the home building industry was very useful. We felt very comfortable with Lise and would give her our highest recommendation if you are looking to buy or sell a home. She is a true professional and gives 110%!"
Published December 09, 2013 08:58
A note from Pie on listing during the winter & Holiday season…
“Sellers are hibernating because they’re scared to come on the market before Spring, but they should adapt instead! We have just about 5,000 active listings in the Denver metro area including condos, townhomes and single family homes. Selling your home in the current market is like introducing a new car line in 1921 when there were only 4 car manufacturers in business.
I’ve got buyers lined up, waiting for what they’re looking for to come on the market, but because of hibernating sellers they have to just keep waiting.
How does a home owner adapt to the winter market instead of hibernate until Spring? By using what nature has given us. We have snow! Make a snowman in your front yard. Christmas is right around the corner! Decorate your home for Christmas with lights, tree, wreaths, etc. We have more darkness than we’d like! Take night pictures of your home glowing with light.
Make your home a warm, glowing beacon of coziness. With so little competition, you may be able to generate the kind of traffic you are hoping to see earlier than expected, and get your home SOLD before the rest of the herd.”
-Pie Konchar, Residential Division of BRC Real Estate
Published November 22, 2013 10:30
BRC Cycling presents the Castle Cross State Championships in Castle Rock on December 14th-15th! To register, go to www.USACycling.org.
Published November 01, 2013 11:52
Zillow vs. Trulia vs. REALTOR.com
Which real estate website is the best to use for complete results of listings, accurate information and the least errors? BRC did some research and this is what we came up with. It seems that Zillow comes in the winner for the most errors, and REALTOR.com is the most accurate. Check out the chart below.
You might ask, “Why is one website more accurate than the other? Aren’t they all based off of the same listings and information?” Our answer? No. We'll explain.
REALTOR.com has a partnership with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), which gives them exclusive access to MLS listings nationwide. (Don’t know what the MLS is? Read about it here.) On the flipside, sites like Trulia and Zillow receive listings data user submissions in which agents, brokers, developers and home owner’s themselves are responsible for the accuracy and maintenance of listings posted on these sites. This method is prone to all types of inaccuracies from time lags to wrong listing information to human error and illegitimate postings used for the infamous “bait and switch” trick.
I’ll give a good example of why Zillow is extremely unreliable. Zillow has a function called “Zestimate.” If you’re in the real estate market, I’m sure you’ve heard the term. A Zestimate estimates the value of a property based on its surroundings, lot size, home features and comparable homes in the area. However, Zillow only takes into account the standard information that is available online. It doesn’t know the value of the area, the different “parts of town” that increase or decrease a home’s value, the condition of the home, etc.
So what happens when a bad Zestimate occurs? The REALTOR®’s value that they placed on the home when they do a market analysis is typically extremely different than the Zestimate, and sellers either get offended or believe their home is worth much more than what the REALTOR® has said. See the estimate below on a home we valued at $197,000, versus Zillow’s Zestimate, which comes in $100,000 more than BRC's market value which is based on our expert knowledge and facts about the area & home.
This creates problems on quite a few levels. First of all, it gives buyers an unrealistic opinion of value and think they’re getting a “steal” when they’re buying at market value, or that the seller is trying to rip them off. It also gives sellers the idea that their home is worth more or less than it really is worth, which creates big problems for banks and real estate agents trying to do their job.
Moral to the story? Over reliance on user-generated websites can be a mistake. Feel free to surf through them, and use what information you can to educate yourself on the real estate market. However, they are definitely not a replacement for the MLS or for your REALTOR®. Make sure you use them with careful discretion!
For more information on the market or for a market analysis on a property, call BRC! Our rela estate experts will take great care of you.
Published October 30, 2013 16:51
Many buyers are hesitant to list their home until after the Holidays have come and gone. However, there quite a few benefits to listing your home during this time!
Here are a few tips from BRC on why you should consider listing your home during the Holidays:
• Many people take their home off of the market during the Holidays, which means that buyers have less inventory to view. Less inventory = more possible showings for your home!
• During the holidays, buyers have quite a bit of time off from their jobs and finally have time to house shop.
• Emotions are a big part of buying a home… especially during the Holidays! Take advantage of the warm and fuzzy feeling that the Holidays provide by decorating your home in a tasteful, inviting way.
• There are tax benefits to purchasing a home towards the end of the year, so many high end buyers are looking around this time.
For more tips on buying or selling your home, be sure to contact one our team members today!
Published October 21, 2013 16:30
Remember to send in your RSVP's for BRC's Family Movie Night hosted by BRC Real Estate, Jason Reynolds and Pie Konchar. We're looking forward to a fun evening with all of the folks who made our success possible this year. A special thank you to our local sponsors as well!
Costa Vida Lone Tree, Dynamic Roofing and Construction, Zerorez of Denver, Redd Orthodontics, First American Title, and Duke Property Inspections.
Published October 18, 2013 14:50
BRC is excited to announce that we've got a new residential agent here in the office!
Jon VanNoy is going to be a great addition to our residential team, as he has more than sixteen years of sales management, account management, sales, and customer service experience. His background is primarily in the sporting goods industry, as well as owning the Helaman Group, LLC, which is an independent sales representative agency representing major brands in the outdoor and golf industries.
Welcome to the team, Jon! We're glad to have you here!
Published October 16, 2013 10:13
Many people have asked our residential agents about the pros and cons of buying a condo, and if it is a good option versus purchasing a single family home. Yes, condos can be trickier to obtain financing for due to higher loan stipulations, but condos offer a lot of great perks and amenities that single family homes do not. The type of home you decide on ultimately depends on what your goals are for home ownership.
So, what are the perks of owning a condo versus a single family home? It doesn’t matter if you’re 75 or 25 years old. Single or married. Condos (also called condominiums) are the perfect choice for those that are looking for an affordable yet comfortable type of housing on a smaller scale. Some don’t feel that buying a big house with constant upkeep is necessary. They could live comfortably in a condominium in which someone else will take care of the lawn, maintain the common areas, keep up the exterior and interior appearance of the facilities, etc.
Condos are the perfect middle-of-the-road form of housing. Many condominium communities today offer luxury units for affordable prices that attract residents of all ages and walks of life. Besides the convenient upkeep of condo ownership, locations are typically highly convenient since most condos are built closer to urban life and large working communities. Additionally, small spaces are more affordable to furnish with great design, and upgrades are more affordable.
If you’re looking for housing that fits your budget, condominiums may be the answer for you. They're a great option for the first time home buyer, new families, senior citizens thinking about downsizing and more. Be sure to check in to the history, find out what HOA dues cover, the reputation of the community and amenities.
At BRC Real Esate, we openly welcome you
to take a closer look at what we have to offer for condos on our website. Feel free to contact us with additional questions regarding your condominium purchase.
Published October 14, 2013 15:03
BRC Real Estate is honored to once again sponsor the BRC Cycling Team. Our first team meeting was Wednesday, the 9th of October and we see a lot of potential again this year with all 33+/- members of the team! Stay tuned for more information on events and races that we will be involved in.
Published September 30, 2013 10:40
Fall and Winter are upon us!
Yes, it may be 80 degrees outside today, but there's a chill in the air in the evenings and snow will be falling soon!
BRC has put together a list for you on how to lower the cost of utilities and save energy during the cold weather.
Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
- Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Cover Drafty Windows
- Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months.
- Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
- Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
Adjust the Temperature
- When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
Find and Seal Leaks
- Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
- Learn more about air sealing new and existing homes.
- Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows
Maintain Your Heating Systems
- Schedule service for your heating system.
- Furnaces: Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
- Wood- and Pellet-Burning Heaters: Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the appliance with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.
Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly -- approximately 1 inch -- and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you do use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
- Purchase grates made of C-shaped metal tubes to draw cool room air into the fireplace and circulate warm air back into the room.
- Add caulking around the fireplace hearth.
Lower Your Water Heating Costs
- Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Find other strategies for energy-efficient water heating.
Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs
- Use light-emitting diode -- or "LED" -- holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.