The New Neutrals ~ Spruce up your Space for the Holidays.

  • By Christine Nicholson
  • 08 Nov, 2014
Thinking about sprucing up your home before the holidays? As I am in residential real estate here in Denver, I get to see new trends in decorating all the time. I am loving the greys I am seeing being used as the new neutral. I see less and less of the builder beige and decorator white and more of this rich, warm grey. It feels sophisticated and current, while not being so new that it feels unfriendly. What I love about it is that you can make this neutral be as modern or traditional as you like ~ it really goes both ways!! Play upon the tonal elements or add bright colors in accessories which will really pop. This article shares how to choose a grey, or a green (yes, a new one. Not the icky hospital one!) as your neutral backdrop.

If you are tackling a a fresh look in your home, feel free to post some before and after photos. I'd love to see how it unfolds! And if you'd like to find a new space, or need to sell your current one, please give me a call.

Be Sunnyside. Be Part of the Next Big Thing.
Call me to find out how. 720-319-5591


Saturday, November 8, 2014
By Christine Nicholson 09 Nov, 2016

So many factors go into selling your home. And the Denver market is sought after ~ you want to garner the most you can for your home. For example, the house should offer the amenities for which buyers are searching. It must be marketed well , researched and appropriately priced. Fortunately, working with a real estate broker will give you a tremendous boost and minimize the chances of missteps. That is, if you choose your agent wisely by avoiding these five common errors.

1. Using Discount Brokers

Discount real estate brokers are easy to find and they purport to save sellers thousands of dollars by offering lower commissions. That sounds great on the surface, but you get fewer services and much less counseling when you go the discount route. This could cost you in terms of obtaining the most for your home; even in a city like Denver, which is 2016’s top housing market , according to Zillow. Home appreciation rates  are soaring, and sellers can get a lot out of their home investment now, but its not just obtaining an offer. Seasoned brokers see you through all of the steps to a successful closing and their negotiating skills can be priceless.

2. Asking the Wrong Questions (Or No Questions)

Many agents market themselves by saying, “I’ve sold X number of homes!” While that figure may sound impressive, you need to ask how many transactions the agent has had and how many of these sales came close to the asking price or exceeded it. These figures give you a better overall picture of an agent’s skills.

3. Going with a Family Member or Friend

Enlisting a relative or pal as your real estate agent is risky. Yes, it works out for a few people, but choose wisely. A professional relationship with your agent  helps your sale be successful, and many people are unable to set aside personal issues. A sale that falls through or that comes in far under the asking price can wreck your relationship, too.

4. Interviewing Only One Person

You may have clicked instantly with the first agent you met. Search over, right? Not so fast. After talking with two other agents, you may find that their homes are on the market for significantly fewer days than the initial agent’s homes, or you may discover that they are clueless about the Denver market compared with the first agent. Either way, you have complete confidence that you chose the right person. Talk to your friends that have sold homes and ask for recommendations. Most top tier brokers have large referral based businesses. Clients are happy to sing their praises.

5. Neglecting Background Research

Check out your prospective agents and brokers on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Read their blogs (if they have any). Do they sound professional, helpful and knowledgeable? They should!
Bypass the five mistakes above to start your home selling process on the right path.
By Christine Nicholson 17 Oct, 2016

The high price point of original art and prints can be challenging if you just moved into a new home, but that doesn't mean you can't deck your place out in great art without breaking your budget. In fact, you don't even need to leave your couch if you use these sites to buy affordable art online.


Etsy is the largest handmade marketplace, with over one million independent sellers offering their goods. You can find originals and prints at very affordable prices and support artists directly by purchasing through their storefronts. Some Etsy sellers offer Art Card Originals and Editions, or ACEOs, which are 2.5-inch by 3.5-inch playing card-sized pieces.

Everything But the House

Everything But the House is an estate sale website that allows you to bid on pieces online, rather than showing up for an in-person auction. You'll find a wide variety of styles, as the art comes from personal collections. In most cases, they are framed so they're ready to go up on your walls.

Society 6

Society 6 is a marketplace entirely dedicated to artists. They have thousands of unique styles, offered on everything from canvas to duvet covers. If you want to create coordinating looks in your new home, you have plenty of flexibility through this website.

Tiny Showcase

Sometimes too many choices can be overwhelming when you're trying to figure out your home's unique style. Tiny Showcase curates a small selection of prints every week, with new options going up Tuesday. The site mixes up emerging artists with well-established names while maintaining an affordable price point.

1000 Museums

Ever see a painting at a museum and wish you could bring it home with you? 1000 Museums lets you do exactly that, by offering a platform that features a well-organized print collection revolving around specific art styles, museums and famous artists. You get multiple print size options, allowing you to mix and match based on your available space.
You don't need to lament over bare walls any longer. Use these websites to create a personal gallery that brings a smile to your face every single day.

By Christine Nicholson 14 Sep, 2016
Some people think that as the weather cools down, so too does the real estate market. However, whether you're looking to buy or sell a home after Labor Day, you'll likely discover that your options are as vibrant as the trees in autumn.

A Season of Home Buying

Why look for a home in the fall? There are few major holidays to distract you, and most families don't travel then. Plus, if you don't get your new place in autumn, you'll either have to wait until spring or move during the cold of winter.

If you're selling, realize that significantly fewer people list their homes in the fall than in the spring. Thus, you'll have less competition. At the same time, be aware that people buy fewer homes in November than in September or October.

A Glorious Time of Year

Maybe the top reason to sell real estate in the autumn is that its glow can make a home even more beautiful. If your property boasts brilliant foliage, it can really draw out the colors of your home or community.

The crisp, invigorating air, the pumpkins in the windows, the scarecrows, the aroma of cider and other seasonal details can make a home seem irresistible. Upon arriving, many of your visitors may instantly imagine themselves living a dream life there.

Be sure to place a fresh welcome mat by your front door. Fall can be muddy, and you want all of your prospective buyers to see your home at its cleanest.

Very ‘ Interest’ ing News

Fall 2016 is an especially attractive season for purchasing a home because mortgage interest rates are extremely low. In fact, due to these low rates, the number of U.S. home sales in July 2016 was higher than in any month since October 2007. Of course, you shouldn't expect these rates to stay down for too much longer; if impending job reports are strong, the Federal Reserve may soon raise them.

In short, when interest rates as well as autumn leaves have fallen, home buying and home selling can be as easy as pumpkin pie.
By Christine Nicholson 08 Sep, 2016
Maybe you're thinking of selling, maybe you're thinking of refinancing, or maybe you're just curious about the market. But the question is, "What is that domicile of your's worth?”

Such a simple question should be returned with a simple answer, right? Well unfortunately, determining the value of your home--or any home for that matter--can be a tricky process. You can go online and nowadays there are endless websites that will promise you a fast answer with fancy charts and graphs. As tempting as it may be to trust this information, be wary of letting a computer program tell you what your largest investment is worth. Every neighborhood has its own nuances which can affect value, and a knowledgeable expert is what you need.

The trouble with these websites (yes, I'm talking about Zillow, Trulia, really anyone who says give me an address and I'll give you a magic value number) is that they have little to no local market information. They are not aware that a new park is being built, or that a four-lane highway is being re-routed, that highly rated school families are clamoring to get in, or that you've lovingly cared for and maintained your home.

The bottom line is this: If you're serious about getting an informative valuation for your home you should contact a local real estate professional ~ me. We professionals work with the actual people who will ultimately determine the value of your home--the home buyer themselves. This is our profession and I am happy to sit with you and explain the current market conditions that affect your home value. The best part? I do this as a complimentary service. No fees. Free market knowledge. Sounds like a no-brainer.
By Christine Nicholson 23 Aug, 2016
The Denver market is starting to inch toward a more balanced market and this is great news for buyers who have been overwhelmed by the insane lack of inventory and huge demand that has defined 2015 and much of 2016. Thankfully gone are the listings that receive a dozen or more offers within the first 48 hours of being in the MLS. Buyers are able to make more thoughtful choices given a wee bit of breathing room and this is actually better for all parties ~ less contracts fall due to buyer's remorse and sellers have better peace of mind that they can pursue their next purchase successfully.  Additionally interest rates are still at their lowest levels historically enabling buyers to have greater purchasing power than in years past. The bottom line is this ~ late summer into fall is an excellent time to purchase a new home. Sellers have become much more realistic in terms of pricing giving buyers a chance to get into the next home of their dreams before the holidays. Sounds like a win-win to me.
By Christine Nicholson 03 Mar, 2016
One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Mortgage Interest Deduction : Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away! Contact your mortgage servicer if you need a copy of your 1098, which will have the total amount of interest paid for last year.

Home Office:  This deduction is often overlooked, which is unfortunate since one of the items Buyer's are looking for is a dedicated home office space. Utilizing a home office is the trend as computers connect us more each day and allow us to avoid a commute one or several days each week. There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home office has to be used specifically for business purposes. Check with a tax professional to see if your home office qualifies for a deduction—it’s a little extra work, but can make a big difference in your tax burden.

As always, if you need a referral for an excellent CPA, or any other help, please let me know. Happy to share my vendors with you.
By Christine Nicholson 27 Feb, 2016
Thinking about selling your home? That's great! There is very little inventory in the Denver market and if your home is well priced, modestly updated and well maintained you will sell quickly and for top dollar.

Buyers today have high expectations. The internet and reality TV has created a demand for updated homes in every price point; from first time home/condo buyer all the way up to luxury real estate purchase.

The brokers in Kentwood City Properties were recently queried about the features buyers are seeking today in the Denver real estate market. Below is the compilation of that list. Home Sellers take note. Many of these items can be easily accomplished for modest sums and in a short amount of time. Little updates bring major financial rewards. Below, in no particular order, is the list:

  • Gourmet "Cooks" Kitchen
  • Tidy Garage with Organized Storage
  • Closet with Built In Storage Space
  • Stellar Master Bath
  • Walkability ~ proximity to a coffee shop, restaurant, etc.
  • Close to Public Transportation/Light Rail
  • Out Door Living Areas (fire pits, patios, ponds/fountains)
  • Secondary Building (loft over garage, studio space, workshop, etc.)
  • Views
  • Open Floor Plans
  • Roof Top Patios
  • Modern Finishes (if it was updated ten years ago it is dated)
  • Grey tones. Grey is our neutral palette today.
  • Smart thermostats (Nest is one ~ there are others). Xcel is currently rebating on this one!
  • Smart Home features ~ can control systems, lights, etc. from phone
  • Energy efficiency (solar panels, new windows)
  • Private Yard
  • Reasonable HOA fees (amenities are great, but HOAs rivaling mortgage payments are not).
  • Stone countertops (soapstone, quartz, etc. Granite is taking a backseat here.)
  • Lots of Natural Light
  • Nicely Finished Basement
  • Efficient Square Footage. People are looking to use every bit of their space. Especially nice are rooms that can be used for dual purposes (i.e., office with a Murphy Bed for guests). No formal living and dining rooms that sit empty most of the year.
Reach out to me if you need a vendor recommendation to assist you in any of these projects. In fact, why not tackle some of them now, before you are thinking about Selling! That way you get to enjoy the project results too. I'm happy to help you figure out what to do to make your home even more appealing.
By Christine Nicholson 12 Nov, 2014
Without fail a cold wintry day makes me want to feather my nest. While hunkered down at home watching the white, calm quiet of snow falling I start trolling for ideas to make my home even more "me" before the holidays.

I have always been struck by bold front door colors. While in Scotland about a decade ago, I was charmed by the array of beautifully brightly painted front doors. A cheery smile against a mostly gray and green backdrop. Increasingly I am seeing homeowners taking a leap of faith and painting their front door something bold and lovely. Just the front door, leaving the rest of the home coordinated but not matching the punch of the door color.

If you're looking to do a quick project, and low cost (as well as easy to erase!), this might be your ticket. Here is a link to a great post on going big with door color ~ . Post some pictures of doors you like too. I'd love to see what you've done or what you've found. And if you're thinking of sprucing up to sell your space or find a new one, give me a call. I'd love to help.

Be Sunnyside. Be Part of the Next Big Thing.
Call me to find out how. 720-319-5591

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
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