Buyers Love Bragging Rights

As a seller, no matter the state of the market – Buyer’s Market, Seller’s Market or Balanced Market, paying attention to your property’s pluses will pay dividends at the closing table. Let’s talk about some of the features and benefits of your home you’ll want to make sure to mention to your pool of buyers.


If you’ve got storage to spare, whether in closets, the basement, your garage or a nifty shed in the backyard, MENTION IT! Current renters and anyone upsizing will be in need of additional storage and “not enough storage” may be one of their chief complaints. “We’ve got way too much storage space in this home!” Said no one, ever! If you’ve got it, flaunt it, and mention it in the listing description.


Few people enjoy a lengthy or traffic-riddled commute, and traffic in the Denver area has increased over the past several years. If your property is convenient to bus stops, Light Rail service, or convenient routes to downtown or other saturated work areas, shout it from the rooftops. Potential buyers will be more likely to keep you on the list, and to pay asking price or more, if you help paint the picture of all the extra time they’ll have in the home with commuter friendly benefits nearby.


If your home has comfortable space to accommodate aging relatives long term, or even just for the weekend, share this information clearly. With an aging Baby Boomer population choosing to move in with family instead of into long term care, having the right space for older loved ones is a priority for many families. Don’t miss the opportunity to appeal to buyers with this need.


Highlighting features in this category will appeal not only to the Eco chic, but to budget savvy buyers as well. If you have energy efficient windows, solar panels, water saving toilets/shower heads/sprinkler system, make these details known. Everybody wants to save money. Even noting the savings on heat or AC based on shade trees or the direction your home faces, ie. lots of natural sunlight and lower heating bills for an East or South facing home. And if you can mention exactly how much your efficient features allowed you to cut utility bills, even better! Buyers will eat this stuff up. To attract the Green Scene, make sure you mention built in green features like a compost or recycling bin, organic garden in your backyard or items like a rain water barrel. If you have cleaned and maintained your home using natural substances only, mention this as well.

As a seller, what kind of return can you expect on your investment right now? As a buyer, which features beyond location, number of bedrooms, square footage and such are the best investment for your real estate dollar? I’m happy to help you understand what’s happening in the Denver market, and help you maximize your home buying dollar or make the most of your real estate sale.

Jack Meyers
Twitter: @jackestate


Tax Benefits for Homeowners

*Reach out here to discuss any Real Estate-related topic in depth.


Ready or not! Tuesday, April 17th is Tax Day. 

Homeownership offers great benefits at tax time, and I’ve got tips and a couple of basics to help you understand the interplay between your home and your taxes. DISCLAIMER: I am not a tax or financial planning expert, and you should rely on a qualified financial professional for assistance in matters of this nature.


Is mortgage interest tax deductible?
The interest portion of your mortgage payment (PITI = Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) is tax deductible, meaning you can subtract the interest portion of your mortgage payment for the year from your taxable income. The lower your taxable income, the less you will pay in taxes. #winning

A bonus feature of this tax deduction: If you are new to homeownership, or your particular home loan, the amount of interest you pay on the loan is probably heftier than it will be further down the road, since mortgage loans are front-loaded with higher interest payments. If you have only lived in your home a few years, you’ll hopefully have a nice deduction available.

TIP: Form 1098, your Mortgage Interest Statement, will be provided by your mortgage lender, and gives you the information you need to claim your two most basic (and probably your largest) mortgage-related tax deductions: Mortgage Interest and Property Taxes.

Fast Tax Facts

  • Homeowners must itemize deductions using Form 1040 to deduct Mortgage Interest and/or Property Taxes from your taxable income.
  • The current standardized deduction amount (non-itemized) for Singles is $6,350, $12,700 for couples.
  • Carefully check dates on all tax-related Real Estate forms. Some municipalities issue forms a year behind, but you need to record the actual Property Tax paid for the year you are filing. Be sure to record your 2017 Property Taxes paid on your 2017 tax filing.
  • Your escrow account for Property Taxes and your actual Property Taxes paid may differ; file taxes using the actual amount paid, not the amount held in escrow.
  • Do you work from home? You can deduct a max of $1,500 ($5/sf for up to 300sf) for your home office.
  • Track your home-related expenses. You can lessen the impact of capital gains taxes on the future, profitable sale of your home by subtracting what you’ve spent on repairs and improvements.

Do you need a referral to a tax expert? Maybe you’re wondering whether it’s time to take the plunge on buying your first home, next home, or a home investment?

Let’s schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your Real Estate needs. 

Jack Meyers
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5 Ways to Fall Back in Love with Your House

Have you fallen out of love with your home? 

I love my work as a Realtor here in beautiful Denver, CO — helping people sell their home to move on to the next big thing, and helping others find their next just-right home. It’s a great way to spend my days!

Sometimes, though, I meet up with friends & clients who have no plans to move, but have lost the spark they once had with their houses. I have a few tips for teaching your old house new tricks, and making the house you live in right now — sparkle & shine.

5 Tips to Help You Love Your House Again

Remove something from each room. You don’t have to complete a whirlwind decluttering session to change the character of a room. Start with whatever room you spend the most time in, and remove 2-3 items you don’t use often. A small ottoman that doesn’t see much use, a pile of magazines that are out of date, or a piece or two of artwork that are no longer favorites. Less really is more.

Wash the Windows. Seriously! Having all the windows in your home professionally cleaned is probably cheaper than you think, and will give your house a bright new outlook. Spring is a great time to do it, and some operators offer late-winter specials, before their busy season kicks in. Call me if you need a recommendation.

Bring life to your home. Studies have shown that indoor plants can purify the air in your home, reducing levels of airborne bacteria and mold in the process. They can also increase oxygen levels, reduce stress and improve your ability to focus. Houseplants are a relatively inexpensive way to freshen your space; if you’re a bit of a brown thumb, just consider how much cheaper long-lasting houseplants are than flowers, and when Mr. Plant dies, just pick out a new one.

Repurpose your spare room. How often do you really have house guests? If the answer is once or twice a year, you may be wasting space on a designated guest room. How about turning it into a fabulous walk in closet, or that home office you’ve always wanted? Having the kids bunk together for a night or two when Grandma’s in town is totally doable — especially if it means you gain usable square footage that adds to your life year-round.

Make more memories. If your home has started to feel a bit stale, maybe it’s not the decor. Maybe you need to do a little more living in your living room. Plan a family game night once a month, or host a neighborhood chili cook-off. Hold an indoor scavenger hunt with the kids, or pick an outdated space that you can roll up your sleeves and paint or revamp — together. New memories build intrinsic value into your home, and remind you why you picked this house in the first place.

Jack Meyers
Twitter: @jackestate



Ideal Location, or Bigger House?

In Denver’s competitive marketplace, you may not have the luxury of pondering whether to choose the house you fall in love with in a less-than-ideal neighborhood, or the less-than-ideal house in a neighborhood you love. That said, choosing between two such options is a common dilemma among house hunters, and it is worth considering what you might do, if presented with this situation.

A few factors to consider regarding location: 

A popular location will hold up the value of homes in the neighborhood, staying stronger if the market takes a downward turn, and likely providing higher than average returns when the market rises.

In a sluggish marketplace, a house in a sought after neighborhood will sell in less time.

When thinking long term, it is not just the size and layout of the house, but amenities nearby that matter. If you have young children or a growing family, no matter how many bedrooms or the size of the yard, you’ll want to be in a good school district.

Thoughts on prioritizing the house:

When a Realtor says, “Location, location, location,” it’s because he or she knows you can update a house, but you can’t do much to fix a less than stellar neighborhood.

If you do settle for less house in the neighborhood you really want (think smaller yard, fewer bedrooms, or less square footage), you will be able to maximize the benefits of living near mass transit or your favorite grocery store, or being within walking distance of a great local park.

On the flip side, you will pay a premium for a stellar location — even if the house isn’t the best the neighborhood has to offer.

Are you wondering whether to max out your next house, or invest in a neighborhood that will pay dividends when it’s time to move on? I’ve been helping home Buyers & Sellers find the right home, in the right neighborhood, for 28 years, and I know Denver Metro.

Give me a call or drop me a line — I’d love to help you explore the possibilities for you in Denver Real Estate.

Jack Meyers
Twitter: @jackestate

Thinking Renovation? Plan Ahead for Maximum ROI

Home appreciation is happening at an exciting pace, and housing inventory across Denver continues to be limited. Because of these factors, some homeowners are choosing to remodel and renovate their current homes in advance of moving, to further increase the value of their investment in the midst of this hot marketplace. Many homeowners choose to remodel believing their improvements will increase the resale value of their home. While this is often true, certain types of renovations have greater impact on home values than others.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies expects remodeling spending to reach $340 billion in 2018, up 7.5% year-over-year. According to Remodeling magazine, homeowners choosing to perform high-end interior remodels will see less of a return on investment than those who perform exterior practical remodels.

On average, homeowners who undertake an interior remodelling project will see an average return on investment of 56% of the cost of the remodel; as an example, if you complete a $10,000 iterior project, you can reasonably expect to see a sales price increase of $5,600 based on that expenditure.

Exterior improvements are worth even more. Homeowners who upgrade their homes with new garage doors or windows will see an average payback of 75% of the cost of the remodel. Some of the most profitable exterior changes include garage door replacement, wood deck additions, and manufactured stone veneer installations.

Minor kitchen remodels like updating appliances can earn a whopping 81% return, while major high-end kitchen remodels will yield just 59%. Design tastes differ, but almost everyone will appreciate new appliances and fixtures that are energy efficient or improve functionality.

Before undertaking any remodeling projects, consult a real estate professional. I’m happy to help you think through which improvements to make for a short term sale, or for long term planning. If you’re going to invest in your home, there are better choices than others, and it pays to be informed.

Give me a buzz!

Jack Meyers 
Twitter: @jackestate

Before you Buy Appliances, Read This

This time of year, you can often find great deals on home appliances. Big box stores are clearing out older models to make room for next year’s newest refrigerators, ovens and washing machines. How do you know when it’s time to throw in the towel on your current appliances, rather than contact a repair man?

Below is a guide to how long home appliances should last, on average. The lifespan of contemporary models varies a little based on use, but if you have an appliance on the fritz that is nearing the end of an average lifespan, it may be a sounder investment to purchase a new one, rather than make a temporary fix. Read on for basic information on the life of your appliances.


Furnace ….. Should last 15-20 Years ….. Cost to Replace $3500-4000

Water Heater ….. Should last 10-15 Years ….. Cost to Replace $800-1000

Air Conditioner ….. Should last 10-15 Years ….. Cost to Replace $5000-6000

Roof ….. Should last 20-30 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $6000-8000


Pipes ….. Should last 75-100 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $1200-2000

Shower ….. Should last 20 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $800-1200

Toilet ….. Should last 10 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $350-550


Microwave ….. Should last 8-10 Years ….. Cost to Replace $250-350

Dishwasher ….. Should last 8-10 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $600-800

Trash Compactor ….. Should last 5-6 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $500-600

Oven ….. Should last 13-15 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $1000-2000

Fridge ….. Should last 12-14 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $1500-2000

Washer + Dryer ….. Should last 10-13 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $1000-1800


Garage Door Opener ….. Should last 10-15 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $300-500

Garbage Disposal ….. Should last 10-12 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $400-600

Electrical ….. Should last 10-12 Years ….. Cost to Replace ….. $1300-$2000

Swamp Cooler ….. Should last 15-20 Years ….. $2500-3500

Whether you’re looking for a reliable repair service, the best place to score a deal on a new stainless fridge, or advice on whether to update appliances before you put your house on the market, I’m here to help. Call or drop a line to let me know how I can be of service.

Jack Meyers 
Twitter: @jackestate






The Right Way to Work With Contractors

Contractors 2

If you own your home, you’ve probably considered various projects to bring it up-to-date or to upgrade your kitchen, a bathroom, your yard, flooring, etc. While this time of year is a slower season for contractors, in general, there are people who plan projects just before the holidays to wow upcoming house guests, or just to treat themselves to an extra special Christmas gift. This is also the time of year to begin planning projects for next Spring, as this is the busy season for most contractors and you’ll want your project to be on their schedule before they’re all booked up.

Whether you are a newbie to working with a contractor or have completed major renovations with the help of a contractor and/or team of professionals, there are ways to ensure the outcome is positive for both sides. Read on for tips on working with your contractor the right way.

GET RECOMMENDATIONS. Talk to friends and family, neighbors, the folks at the hardware store, building inspectors, the lumber yard, and of course the Realtor who helped you purchase your home.

WEED OUT ANY BAD SEEDS ON THE PHONE. Once you have a list of potential contractors, call each of them with the following questions:

  • Can you give me a list of previous clients?
  • Do you typically accept projects of this size?
  • How many other projects would you have going at the same time as mine?
  • How long have you worked with your subcontractors?
  • Are you available during my preferred timeline?

MEET YOUR TOP 3-4 PICKS IN PERSON. This is when your contractor will take measurements to offer an estimate, and this is your chance to ask questions and get to them a little better. Your rapport with a general contractor matters, and you should be comfortable asking any and all questions (including ‘do you have any concerns about my project’) understanding the timeline and process, and finding out if you are a good fit personally.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. Follow up with references the contractor provides you, check them out with the Better Business Bureau, and if possible — visit a current job site. These or other folks on the team will be in your home if you hire this team, and you’ll want to watch for behavior that seems courteous and careful of the workspace; this is, after all, someone’s home.

DON’T SETTLE FOR A LESS-THAN-IDEAL CANDIDATE BASED ON TIMING. If you come across an amazing contractor, chances are he or she will not be available on your timeline; contractors with stellar reputations and references probably keep a full calendar, and they aren’t waiting for the phone to ring. Once you’ve interviewed a few candidates, don’t settle for the one with the soonest available slot in an effort to hurry your project up. If your top pick has a two year waiting list, you may not be willing to wait that long, but if you settle for a contractor who is less than ideal but has the time, you may not be happy with the finished product.

REQUEST ITEMIZED BIDS FROM YOUR SHORT LIST. For a true cost comparison, ask each contractor you interview in person to provide an itemized bid. This will allow you to compare labor vs. materials. It’s a good idea, if you are considering a variety of materials or finished, to ask for a bid that includes these options. Concrete counter tops vs. marble, hardwood floors vs. luxury wood look vinyl, oak cabinets vs. cherry — a savvy contractor can give you a ballpark idea of how the project cost will vary based on material selection.

CONSIDER MORE THAN PRICE. Some of the best advice you can follow in terms of contractors — or any service provider: Throw out the lowball bid. If one bid is significantly lower than the others, there is reason for it, and probably not one that serves your interests in the long run. You don’t want a contractor who is flat broke, or may cut corners to get your job done. Either that or additional costs will pop up along the way and you’ll be unpleasantly surprised at the final cost of your project, compared to the initial bid. If a bid seems to good to be true — it probably is.

SET A PAYMENT SCHEDULE. A typical payment schedule is 10% up front, 25/25/25 during the project, and the remaining 15% when you consider every detail of the project to be in place as promised. A contractor who wants 50% up front, or whose payment schedule makes you uncomfortable in any way, is probably one to avoid.

GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Casual conversations do not make for great legal protection. If you discuss a change or addition to the project or the terms of your agreement with the contractor, get it in writing, with signatures and dates from each party involved. Don’t be afraid to ask for an addendum to the contract; a trustworthy contractor will follow through on his or her word, but if a misunderstanding or dispute should arise at any point, you don’t want to rely on either party’s recollection of a conversation — you’ll want clear terms in writing that all parties have agreed to. A solid professional will want this as well.

If you need a referral to a quality contractor (or a butcher, baker, candlestick maker, plumber, etc.), I’m happy to help! I’ve been helping Denver-area residents Buy, Sell and Invest for over 20 years, and I’d love to put my professional phonebook to work for you.

Drop me a line,

Jack Meyers
Twitter: @jackestate






6 Reasons Your House Isn’t Selling

Not Selling 2

In an ideal world, you stick a sign in the yard, a pre-qualified Buyer shows up, and bada-bing-bada-boom — SOLD! In the real world though, home sales rarely happen that way.

The market in Metro Denver, and much of the country, remains strong; you can’t expect your home to sell overnight, but if your listing lingers on the market and showing activity begins to slump, chances are it’s not the market — it’s your house. 

Read on for 6 potential reasons your house isn’t selling.

Reason #1: Bad photography.   Your home needs to present beautifully in person, and online. The majority of Buyers begin their search online, and if your home photos are grainy, dim or unattractive, you may not pique enough interest to clinch a showing.

Reason #2: Lack of staging. Even in a Seller’s market, you can’t rest on your laurels and assume Buyers will fall for your home. Staging matters! Whether you pick up advice online and do your own staging, work with tips shared by your Realtor, or hire a pro — arranging your furniture, decluttering and depersonalizing your home will help your property appeal to more Buyers, and can ultimately lead to a higher selling price.

Reason #3: What’s that smell? Do not underestimate the potential for odors from pets, strong cooking smells or cigarette smoke to derail the sale of your home. Don’t rely on scented candles to cover up unpleasant smells; have your carpets and if necessary your furniture professionally cleaned, consider painting walls or ceilings in the kitchen or other problem areas to freshen the space, use unscented Febreze as necessary (especially before showings) and be diligent about tackling the litter box of other sources of odor while your house is on the market.

Reason #4: Ancient appliances. You don’t have to present Buyers with this year’s top of the line model refrigerator, dishwasher or stove, but if your appliances haven’t been en vogue since The Brady Bunch was new, you may want to consider an Appliance Allowance for potential Buyers. Dated appliances can drag the value of your home down.

Reason #5: The big “D.” Deferred maintenance is not an attractive look for any home. Cracked windowpanes, broken shower doors, wonky HVAC systems…when Buyers see a home in need of repair, they begin to wonder what larger issues lurk below the surface, and no one wants a risky investment. Replace broken items and have repairs made before your listing goes live to avoid these issues.

Reason #6: Your home is overpriced. If comparable homes are selling faster than yours, or several offers have come in significantly below asking price, it’s time to get real about the list price of your home. You, the Seller, don’t really set the price for your home; the market sets the price. If showings have slumped and homes similar to yours are selling, you need to take a look at comparable sold homes and adjust the list price accordingly.

DON’T SETTLE FOR A LAME DUCK LISTING. Drop me a line to let me know how I can help your home sell for top dollar and in a timely fashion.

Jack Meyers
Twitter: @jackestate