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


Part III: Minimize your Rental Property Risk & Maximize your Potential Income

Here’s the good news – tamping down the potential disadvantages of investment real estate is actually quite simple. While you won’t be able to eliminate the risks completely, I offer the following tips to inform your decision making process.

Be Realistic with your Expectations – Of course your goal is positive cash flow, but keep your lifestyles of the rich and famous dreams in check! Just like with the sale of a property, the market, not you, sets the price of the home. Resist the temptation to raise your rental rates to unrealistic rates, potentially pushing out good tenants.

Balancing Act: Earnings vs Effort – Do you plan for a hands-on approach as a landlord, or will you work with a property management firm? Passive income will feel anything but if you are putting in long hours as a landlord after working a full time day job. There are property management firms that will run your rental property for a percentage of the rental income, and this may be a wise investment if you are employed full time.

Know the Rules of The Game – Federal and state laws outline your responsibilities and liabilities, and you won’t be able to claim ignorance if something occurs outside the bounds of the law in a rental transaction you are a party to. You are responsible to do your due diligence, and an investment of your time at the library or with a legal expert in the field of Real Estate could help you avoid courtroom drama later on.

Inspect your Investment – I would never advise a client to invest in a property for personal or income purposes without conducting a professional property inspection. One of the best ways to avoid unexpected expenses is to have the property inspected by a professional before you buy it, and this is true of both a personal home purchase and a rental property.

A Well-Written Lease is Worth its Weight in Gold – If you are unfamiliar with the process of creating a property lease, consult an expert such as a Real Estate attorney or property management company. Expect the best, but prepare for the worst; if you find yourself in court later for a tenant violation of the lease, the terms of the lease will be your ultimate advocate.

Take the Time To Call References and Run Credit Checks – Too many landlords rush to fill a vacancy rather than taking the time to make sure the prospective tenant is a better option than an empty property. If you have time, you may want to drive by a prospective tenant’s current living space – that is what your property will probably look like when that tenant lives there.

Join the Landlords’ Association in Your Area – Joining an association will provide you with a wealth of experience as well as sample leases, copies of laws and regulations, and lists of decent lawyers, contractors and inspectors. Some associations may even allow you to join before you buy a rental property. Make the most of the connections available to you and network network network to gain knowledge about your Real Estate investment.

Make Friends with a Lawyer, a Tax Professional and a Banker – If you find that you like owning rental properties, a network including these three professionals will be essential if you want to increase your holdings.

Make Sure You Have the Right Kind of Insurance – After learning the rules, you will need to buy insurance to cover your liability. You will need the help of an insurance professional to select the proper package for your type of rental property.

Create an Emergency Fund – This is essentially money earmarked for unexpected expenses that are not covered by insurance. There is no set amount for an emergency fund. Some say 20% of the value of the property, but anything is better than nothing. If you are getting current income from a property, you can pool that money into an emergency fund until you have a level of emergency savings you are comfortable with. Plan for potential vacancy periods; How long would you be able to keep up mortgage payments on your investments without a tenant in place? Plan accordingly.

Investing in a rental property can be an excellent decision if you go into it informed. Whether your dream is a cozy cottage in the suburbs for your family or an entire condominium building in the city to invest in, give me a call. I’m here to help with all of your personal or investment property needs.

Jack Meyers


Twitter: @jackestate

Denver Rental Rates are on the Rise

As median home prices have risen in the Denver area (and beyond) over the past year, rent is on the rise as well. Nationally, rental rates have risen 5.1% year over year from October 2011 until last month. In Denver, rental rates have increased a whopping 9.4% over the past year! A 3 bedroom 2 bath home available for rent last year on the South end of town might’ve gone for $1250 – this year the same place will cost closer to $1400 bucks.

What does this mean for Buyers?                                                                                         Higher rent means less extra money to save toward a down payment on your planned home purchase. If you are planning a purchase, think about cutting back on monthly expenses now in order to save more toward your down payment. Home prices will likely continue to increase, especially as we move into the busy spring sales season. Call me – I’m happy to refer you to a mortgage professional who can prequalify you for your upcoming purchase.  


What does this mean for Investors?                                                                                        Don’t wait! Let’s talk about your investment goals and start looking for great deals in your desired neighborhoods. Rental income is a lucrative option, and this type of passive income makes a great investment in a rising market like ours. Home prices are on the rise, but there are still deals to be had if you know where to look.


What about Sellers?                                                                                                           Today’s lucky sellers are seeing Denver-area price increases of 10.1% over last year! Now is a great time to sell, and there is no reason to wait. November-December-January is a fantastic time to capture serious buyers. There is typically less inventory available, and fewer looky-loos than we see during warmer months. You may be considering listing your property next year. Call me to find out what your home is worth, and to discuss strategic timing to get the most money for your home sale. 

I’m just a phone call or email away. If you have questions about your home, your neighborhood, or your ability to successfully buy or sell a home, give me a ring.


Jack Meyers  


Twitter: @jackestate