Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

May 16, 2018

Market Report May 2018

All in all, good numbers across the board with the same story line of low inventory and prices moving higher.  If you are curious of your home value find it here.  CLICK ON THIS LINK

CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR INDIVIDUAL City and County Market Trends Reports | MAY '18

CLICK HERE OR ON IMAGE FOR ENTIRE REPORT

 

 

Posted in Market Updates
May 12, 2018

Happy Mother's Day 2018

 Wishing all you wonderful Moms
all the LOVE and HAPPINESS you so richly deserve!
Happy Mother's Day

From all of us here,
~Keenan Real Estate

Posted in Around the House
May 8, 2018

Upgrades that Devalue Your Home



While generally remodeling or making upgrades to your home will increase its value, there are certain changes that will devalue your home.

Converting a Bedroom

Turning a bedroom into a man cave, gym, study, studio, or any other use that isn't a bedroom will devalue your home. If you are set on converting a room, do it in a way that if you go to sell later on you can easily change it back. Or know that the conversion will drop the price of your home.

Removing a Bathroom

Why would anyone do this, you ask? Well, what if it's a bathroom in a wing of the house that isn't used and the plumbing needs to be replaced? Or you're a photographer who wants a dark room. Or you want to expand your kitchen. Similarly to removing a bedroom, decreasing the number of bathrooms in your home will almost always lead to a decrease in value.

DIY Renovations

If you want to upgrade or remodel, make sure you know what you are doing or hire someone who does. Misaligned outlets, crooked window sills and counters, and cheap materials will all be painfully evident to most buyers.

Creative Color Schemes

If you must paint your walls navy blue or bright pink, plan to repaint later on. Neutral colors are more appealing to home buyers.

Water Features

Depending on where you live, there are exceptions to this rule. However, pools, hot tubs, koi ponds, fountains and the like require maintenance. If you don't live in an area where they are the norm, then installing a water feature could deter buyers later on.

Removing Original Architectural Features and Décor

If your house is old, retaining the charming original characteristics can increase its value. Choose which you keep wisely. While arches, molding, fireplaces and stained glass windows increase value, lime green shag carpeting and pastel appliances most likely won't.

If you have any questions about your current home value give us a call 720-515-0248 or visit our site for a FREE evaluation www.homevaluecolorado.com

 

Posted in Around the House
April 9, 2018

March Report 2018

All in all, good numbers across the board with the same story line of low inventory and prices moving higher.  If you are curious of your home value find it here.  CLICK ON THIS LINK

CLICK ON PICTURE FOR ENTIRE REPORT

 

Posted in Market Updates
April 3, 2018

Spring and Summer Activities Guide 2018

Arts, Festivals, Events and Entertainment: 

Concerts and Venues: 

• Denver Area
• Colorado Springs Area
• Fort Collins/Boulder Areas
• Denver's Botanic Garden Concert Series
• Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
• Red Rocks Amphitheatre
• Shakespeare Festival in Boulder
• Hudson Gardens in Littleton

Sporting Events: 

Posted in Family First
March 22, 2018

5 CRITERIA FOR PRICING A HOME

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.

Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends. Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it to homes on the same street or block is even better.

Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.

Home build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.

Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price, and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar bells and whistles.

Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful for comparisons.

Posted in Seller Info
March 4, 2018

DEALING WITH SCRATCHED HARDWOOD FLOORS

Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.

Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.

Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.

Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.

Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.

Posted in Buyer Info
Feb. 13, 2018

Importance of Pre-Approval

Posted in Buyer Info
Jan. 22, 2018

Radon

Radon Fact Sheet

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon-induced lung cancer costs the United States over $2 billion dollars per year in both direct and indirect health care costs. (Based on National Cancer Institute statistics of 14,400 annual radon lung cancer deaths – Oster, Colditz & Kelley, 1984)

According to the US EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.

The alpha radiation emitted by radon is the same alpha radiation emitted by other alpha generating radiation sources such as plutonium.

A family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/L is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site. (25 mrem limit, 800 mrem exposure)

An elementary school student that spends 8 hours per day and 180 days per year in a classroom with 4 pCi/L of radon will receive nearly 10 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows at the edge of a nuclear power plant. (25 mrem limit, 200 mrem exposure)

Most U.S. EPA lifetime safety standards for carcinogens are established based on a 1 in 100,000 risk of death. Most scientists agree that the risk of death for radon at 4 pCi/L is approximately 1 in 100. At the 4 pCi/L EPA action guideline level, radon carries approximately 1000 times the risk of death as any other EPA carcinogen. It is important to note that the action level is not a safe level, as there are no “safe” levels of radon gas.

What is radon?

A layman’s description

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home. The Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, you’re at high risk for developing lung cancer. Some scientific studies of radon exposure indicate that children may be more sensitive to radon. This may be due to their higher respiration rate and their rapidly dividing cells, which may be more vulnerable to radiation damage.

A scientific description

PROPERTIES: Radon is a gaseous highly radioactive element discovered by English physicist Ernest Rutherford in 1899. The discovery is also credited to German physicist Friedrich Ernst Dorn in 1900. More specifically, Rutherford discovered radon’s alpha radiation and Dorn discovered that radium was releasing a gas.

Radon is a colorless chemically-unreactive inert gas. The atomic radius is 1.34 angstroms and it is the heaviest known gas–radon is nine times denser than air. Because it is a single atom gas (unlike oxygen, O2, which is comprised of two atoms) it easily penetrates many common materials like paper, leather, low-density plastic (like plastic bags, etc.) most paints, and building materials like gypsum board (sheetrock), concrete block, mortar, sheathing paper (tar paper), wood paneling, and most insulations.

Radon is also fairly soluble in water and organic solvents. Although reaction with other compounds is comparatively rare, it is not completely inert and forms stable molecules with highly electronegative materials. Radon is considered a noble gas that occurs in several isotopic forms. Only two are found in significant concentrations in the human environment: radon-222, and radon-220. Radon-222 is a member of the radioactive decay chain of uranium-238. Radon-220 is formed in the decay chain of thorium-232. Radon-222 decays in a sequence of radionuclides called radon decay products, radon daughters, or radon progeny. It is radon-222 that most readily occurs in the environment. Atmospheric releases of radon-222 results in the formation of decay products that are radioisotopes of heavy metals (polonium, lead, bismuth) and rapidly attach to other airborne materials such as dust and other materials facilitating inhalation.

USE: Radon has been used in some spas for presumed medical effects. In addition, radon is used to initiate and influence chemical reactions and as a surface label in the study of surface reactions. It has been obtained by pumping the gasses off of a solution of a radium salt, sparking the gas mixture to combine the hydrogen and oxygen, removing the water and carbon dioxide by adsorption, and freezing out the radon.

PRODUCTION: Radon is not produced as a commercial product. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. It is usually found in igneous rock and soil, but in some cases, well water may also be a source of radon.

EXPOSURE: The primary routes of potential human exposure to radon are inhalation and ingestion. Radon in the ground, groundwater, or building materials enters working and living spaces and disintegrates into its decay products. Although high concentrations of radon in groundwater may contribute to radon exposure through ingestion, the inhalation of radon released from water is usually more important.

RADON IN THE WORKPLACE: In comparison with levels in outdoor air, humans in confined air spaces, particularly in underground work areas such as mines and buildings, are exposed to elevated concentrations of radon and its decay products. Exhalation of radon from ordinary rock and soils and from radon-rich water can cause significant radon concentrations in tunnels, power stations, caves, public baths, and spas. The average radon concentrations in houses are generally much lower than the average radon concentrations in underground ore mines.

Workers are exposed to radon in several occupations. In countries for which data were available, concentrations of radon decay products in underground mines are now typically less than 1000 Bq/m3 EEC Rn (approx. 28 pCi/L). Underground uranium miners are exposed to the highest levels of radon and its decay products. Other underground workers and certain mineral processing workers may also be exposed to significant levels.

Should you test for radon?

Testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms that will alert you to the presence of radon. It typically takes years of exposure before any problems surface. The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home’s radon levels.

Radon is a national environmental health problem. Elevated radon levels have been discovered in every state. The US EPA estimates that as many as 8 million homes throughout the country have elevated levels of radon. Current state surveys show that 1 home in 5 has elevated radon levels.

Can you fix the problem?

If your home has high concentrations of radon there are ways to reduce it to acceptable levels. Most radon problems can be fixed by a do-it-yourselfer for less than $700. If you want or require the assistance of a professional you may wish to look at the list of certified radon mitigators for your state.

Posted in Around the House
Jan. 9, 2018

10 Most Common Home Inspection Problems of 2017

Our friends at Scott Home Inspection,  find a wide range of problems during their home inspections. These issues can range from major structural problems to minor cosmetic scratches. Sometimes they will find something that makes us wonder “How is that even possible?” But those are the kinds of issues that make our day interesting and fun! After performing 4000 home inspections in 2017, Scott Home Inspections have compiled a list of the 10 most common home inspection problems that we identified this last year

#10: Deck Staining

 Periodic maintenance on decks and hand-railing areas is often neglected. Warping of the material can occur without proper coating and protection. Often cleaning alone and re-staining may be sufficient, but occasionally a complete sanding and re-finishing is needed.

 #9: Missing GFCI Outlets

GFCI protection outlets should be installed in wet locations, such as bathrooms and kitchens, and in garages and basements. While this was not always a requirement, it is a recommended upgrade when noted. This makes it on the list of common home inspection problems because many homes are older, and were built before they required GFCIs in these locations. Want to learn more about GFCI outlets? Read our article here.

#8: Crawlspace Vapor Barriers

Moisture can enter a home through the soil in a crawlspace. Crawlspace venting was added to newer homes to relieve this concern, but many homes have insulated crawlspaces with sealed-off vents, and improper coverage of the soil. Plastic sheet vapor barriers provide a block to trap moisture in the soil and prevent it from coming into the crawlspace.

#7: Furnace – Filter/Cleaning/Service

Furnace cleaning and service is often neglected, and filter replacement is rarely performed regularly. While the furnace may operate properly, a service check-up is often recommended.

 

 #6: Roots in the Sewer Line

Sewer Scope inspections on older homes often reveal root intrusion in the main sewer line. Cutting and cleaning of the line is often needed, in order to re-scope the line. Then it is possible to look for cracks and offsets. Main sewer line issues can occur at any time, so it is a good idea to have your sewer line scoped regularly. For more information on our sewer scope service, click here.

 

#5: Electric Panel Issues

Several older brands of panels were installed in homes in our area requiring replacement, such as Federal Pacific and Zinsco. Other improper issues such as double-tapping, missing labeling, or aluminum wiring is occasionally noted, requiring an electrician to repair. Once again, older electrical components made it on the list of common home inspection problems.

 

#4: Concrete Cracks/Settlement  

With our clay-soils in Colorado, concrete settlement is common. Most concrete is non-structural, and most cracks are not significant enough to require repair. Mud-jacking and other options exist, aside from replacement when cracking is noted. Mud jacking is a powerful process. You can learn more about it in this video.

  #3: Roof Defects

Most homeowners don’t usually walk on their roofs, or have it inspected, unless a leak develops. We often see hail damage, missing shingles, or cracks –  all which call for repair or possible roof replacement.

 

#2: Water Heater Issues  

The water heater is one of the most neglected devices in the home, and is only addressed once a leak develops. Severe rusting is common on older water heaters, indicating replacement is over-due.

#1: Gutters, Downspouts, Drainage Issues

Did you guess it? Poor drainage of gutters and downspouts can cause associated structural issues, moisture problems, and concrete settlement issues. This is a small and easy fix but can cause major problems if not addressed. This is by far the most common home inspection issue that we find. Downspout extensions are not the most attractive things, and they can easily get in the way. However, their ability to carry drainage away from the foundation of a home should not be overlooked.

 Anything Surprise You?

Nothing too exciting on the most common home inspection problems list. Many of these issues are easily fixable. Remember, there is a solution to every defect we find in a home. Our job is just to make sure you are not surprised by them~

Scott Inspection and Keenan Real Estate will make sure you are covered.

 

Posted in Buyer Info