26 Jan

Sold! Aurora Colorado Condo near Southlands Mall

Talk about great access to shopping!  This charming 2 bedroom unit is close to both world class shopping and dining at Southlands mall in Aurora, as well as easy access to e470 To Denver / Denver International airport.   Sold over asking price – $190,000!  Addison Way  -Redbuck at Sorrel Ranch, Aurora Colorado 80016

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26 Jan

Sold! Parker Colorado condo 17268 Waterhouse Circle

What a great location in Parker!  This 2 bed, 2 bath condo was under contract within a week – and sold for above asking price!  With easy access to the cherry creek trail, shopping in nearby Cottonwood, and nearby highway exits, this is a great area for commuters looking to live away from the hustle and bustle of Denver.   Very happy to help my client with selling this Parker Colorado Condo!

Sold price:  $242,000

subdivision:  Prairie Meadows

Parker, Colorado

Have you been thinking about selling your home in Colorado? Contact me.

Contact Caleb Block




19 Jan

Sell your Colorado home

Time to move?  Are you getting ready to sell your Colorado home?  Get in touch with me today and let me show you how I can market your home to get you the best possible sales price – and more importantly, get to the closing table!

Get in touch with me

Contact Caleb Block




17 Jan

Building a spec house

Building a spec house: a video summary

Howdy folks.  I just put a little video together after looking through all my pictures that I took over the course of last year while building a spec house in Parker, Colorado.  While this is by no means a full how to tutorial of the process, I hope it gives you a little insight into all the detail and time that goes into a construction project.

 

Are you curious about building a home in Colorado?  Or any other general real estate questions?  Feel free to contact me via phone or the form below.

Contact Caleb Block




 

21 Dec

So, you want to build a custom house

Hello, ladies and gentleman.  It’s the end of 2016, and good lord!  Where did the time go?  If you’re a friend or relative you’ve probably already heard all about the trials and tribulations of my last year and a half – where I worked as both a general contractor and listing agent on a custom home that I built with my father.   I wanted to give you all some insight on just what it takes to build a custom home.  It’s been both an excellent learning experience as well as a stressful and at times highly emotional process, but I wouldn’t exchange the knowledge I gained for the world!

Step one: Finding a lot and a design for a home.

Before a house can be built, you’ll need a plot of dirt to build it on.  Of course, you’ll want to decide what you’re looking for in regard to acreage, whether you are allowed to have horses or other livestock, what neighborhood, etc.  Some communities will not allow you to build a custom home, and strive for more uniformity  (track homes).  Make sure to check into the HOA and see if you can get a hold of the documents prior to entering into an offer on a lot.  Getting a soils test and a survey of the lot are also highly recommended…and may be required.

Once you’ve got the land, then you’ll need an architect or designer to actually get a blueprint or plan for a house.  We used Seidel Design Group, out of Portland Oregon.   Getting a design is expensive and can be a long process – so try to gather as many ideas that you can in terms of the style / sq footage / design elements that you want to incorporate into your custom house.

Step two:  Obtaining a building permit.

Now the real fun begins.  Before you’ve even struck ground on the house – you will have to apply for a permit in your local county.  In this case, we were building in Parker, which is part of Douglas County Colorado.   Each county will have their own applications, requirements, and fees!   For example, here’s what Douglas county requires just for you to get the building permit:

The following are required when submitting for a single-family residential home permit

  1. Building permit application.  If contractors are being used they shall be listed on your application at the time of submittal.
  2. Construction documents.  One set of scaled (¼” = 1’) construction plans on white paper in blue or black ink. Plans shall include:
    • Site plan showing dimensions to property lines and other structures.
    • Floor plans (including basement plans), room dimensions and intended use, location and size of all windows and doors.
    • Elevation drawings showing complete construction including all exterior elevations.
    • Cross-section(s) from the foundation to the roof.
    • Typical wall detail(s) from the foundation to the roof showing all components.
    • Engineered foundation plans with each page stamped and signed by a Colorado registered Professional Engineer.
    • Soil report, stamped and signed by a Colorado registered Professional Engineer, for the property shall be submitted.  In areas that may contain a geological hazard, additional analysis and mitigation by a Colorado registered Geological Engineer may be required.
    • Structural framing plans.
    • All trusses shall be engineered.
  3. Residential energy compliance.  New residential construction shall comply with one of the following three paths for energy conservation: Prescriptive, Alternative or Performance.  Please refer to the Residential Energy Compliance sheet for additional information and associated inspections.
  4. Heating and cooling. Heating and cooling equipment and appliances shall be sized in accordance with ACCA Manual S, based on building loads calculated in accordance with ACCA Manual J or other approved methodologies.  Duct systems serving HVAC equipment shall be designed and installed in accordance with ACCA Manual D or other approved method.
  5. Drainage Erosion and Sediment Control.  Complete DESC submittal (DESC Application, Erosion and Sediment Control Drawing, Lot Specific Drainage Plan, and DESC Plan Standard Notes and Details). Any questions related to DESC Plan design requirements, DESC Plan submittal and permitting process, or DESC inspection requirements should be directed to the Douglas County Engineering Services Division 303-660-7490.
  6. Availability of water.  A “will serve” letter from the applicable water district for the property address will satisfy this requirement.  For properties without public water supply, well permits shall be obtained from the Colorado Division of Water Resources (303-866-3581).  Proof of adequate water supply is required before a building permit may be issued.  The applicant shall provide evidence of a completed well test which demonstrates a water flow of at least one gallon per minute.  The well test shall be signed by a licensed well contractor, professional geologist or engineer.  If the well test demonstrates a water flow of less than one gallon per minute, a cistern shall be required in compliance with the Douglas County Plumbing Code, as amended.
  7. Sewage disposal. A “will serve” letter from the applicable waste water district for the property address will satisfy this requirement.  Where septic systems are required, a copy of the permit application and septic permit shall be submitted.  Septic permits shall be obtained from the Tri-County Health Department 303-663-7650.
  8. Proof of ownership.  A recorded warranty deed under the applicant’s name is required at the time of submittal.
  9. Driveway permit.  A Driveway permit application shall be submitted.
  10. Letter from Architectural Control Committee (ACC) (where applicable).  If this letter is not included with your submittal, your permit will be placed “on hold” for 10 working days to allow the Architectural Control Committee to complete their review process

As you can see, there’s a lot to obtaining your permit.

Step 3: Digging a hole, foundation and framing

Now the construction begins!  You will need to cordon off the lot using silt fences, which will keep sediment from leeching onto other people’s land or into the drainage systems.

These fences must be properly installed by digging a trench and then burying part of the fence. In our County and inspector will periodically check on the fence to make sure that it is keeping the sediment within your lot. Once the erosion control fences are established then the excavator will begin digging in the area where the foundation will be poured. This process takes a few days and then the foundation concrete contractor will begin his process of pouring the foundation.

Once the foundation is complete the task of framing begins. As you might imagine framing is extremely important to any house as it is the skeletal structure of the home and this process can take several months. Depending on the size of the crew you have working on the framing, your mileage may vary. Timing for the framing and afterwards when you put the roof on the house can be critical in Colorado. Are framing was completed near the end of the summer and getting into the fall and getting the roof on the home was a challenge because of inclement weather once our roof was finally completed we called for the final rough-in inspection in order to begin finishing and drywall in the home.

Step 4:  Drywall & flooring

Once you have gotten the home “dried in” (IE water cannot penetrate into the home, the roof has sealed it) you will begin the work of drywalling and insulation – only after the HVAC contractor has finished making all of his vents and installed the furnace and water heating system.

Drywalling takes a few weeks and although you may think once it is drywalled that you are nearly complete let me burst the bubble because the finishing touches of the home are what truly takes the longest. Once your drywalled we begin the task of selecting tile for the bathrooms the mud room the laundry room. Finding a competent tile installer is an extremely important task because child takes very precise work to install. Tile can also get extremely expensive depending on if you use natural stone versus porcelain, and the country of origin from which the title comes from. For our tile selection we used a local outlet called world of tile which I will link to.

Around the same time as the tile installation hardwood flooring was installed on the main level of the home. Once the hardware is installed the subcontractor will have to return to the job later on in order to buff out the floor and coated with a lacquer for its final form.

Step 5:  Cabinetry, trim work and painting

Once all of your hard flooring is completed,take note that we did not install the carpet yet that is the last last last step, then Begins the work of having the Tremors come in to do not only the baseboard around the floor but all of the encasing of Windows and any built-ins that the house will include. The trimmer has a very busy job and does quite a bit of things that you would not expect. For example all of the shelving in a closet comma any decorative work to the doors and any sort of built in entertainment centers or shelves are all done by our trimmer. The trimmers worked in this home for close to three months. The trimmers also in our case installed the cabinets we ordered for the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom vanities.

Once the trimming is all completed then you need to hire a good painter to do both of the wall of the walls and all of the baseboard of the home. They will also stay in any of the doors that you have selected. The painting does not take very long but can be extremely expensive if you can find a subcontractor that gets contractor prices from your local paint shop that will go a long way in reducing the cost.  Look at home style magazines or pinterest for ideas on what color combinations you’d like to use – in our case we knew we had darker walnut hardwood, so we matched the doors and railings to that and used a white for the baseboard and trim, and a light beige for the walls.

Step 6 – Countertops and appliance install

Once the trimmers have completed their task of installing cabinetry, you then need to purchase countertops. It is best to go to the warehouse to see what and variance of granite are available to you they can vary greatly in price depending on how exotic they look and what country they come from. The granite people will then measure the areas that need counter topping and then will charge you per slab of granite that it requires to complete the job. In this particular house we did granite on all the bathroom vanities, the kitchen counters and the island along with the main fireplace hearth. Our laundry room utilized formica countertops.

 

Step 7: Finishing touches, final inspections

At this point you’re getting pretty close to completion of the house but a couple steps to remain. One of the bigger steps is choosing Hardware which includes door handles closet rods door stops and other various little pieces of equipment that you might not even think of. Door handles can vary in price from $10 to over $50 per handle depending on if it is a passage handle a dummy handle for a privacy handle which has a lock on it. We try to get the strongest closet rods available so we used silver metallic ones from Alpine Lumber. You will also want to take note of how many door steps you will need some – some door stops rest in the baseboard trim while others actually are placed within the door jam itself. Also consider getting vinyl stoppers for the inside of cabinets and in the kitchen where opening a cabinet might accidentally dent the wood. At this point we recall other contractors such as the window installers who will then come and install the screens for the windows,  the fireplace contractor who will hook up the fireplaces to the gas line,  and the plumber who will install the toilets and turn on the main house water and make sure everything is running smoothly.  The HVAC contractor will return to fire up the furnaces and air conditioning system and ensure the home is being heated and cooled properly.

The final inspections can be frustrating and time consuming – we found the final grade inspection to be difficult – this inspection insures the home has proper grade slopes away from the foundation so water will drain away from the home.  We hired a contractor who specializes in getting the proper grades for this task and also plants the lot with a county approved seed that will begin to sprout the following spring – all with the intent of stopping sediment erosion.  There are also final inspections to insure the home has been properly wired and all the electricity, insulation, and other safety concerns of the International building code are met.

Once you’ve completed all these you can go to the county and receive your Certificate of Occupancy, which is a legal document required for the home to be able to be lived in.

 

This is of course just a short summary of what actually goes on – there are endless details involved in building a house ( along with endless trips to Home Depot, Lowes, and other vendors..)  But – if you ever decide to build a home and go through the entire process, you will have a new found respect for everything that goes into a project like this.

If you are curious about a home in Colorado, or building one from scratch, contact me today.

Contact Caleb Block




21 Dec

Denver Property Search

Hey there, are you frustrated with sites the BIG home search sites when you’re trying to do a Denver property search?  I recommend using a Realtor like myself to get access to the real time, live MLS.  I personally use REColorado – which covers the Denver metro area, and shares information with the Boulder county and Colorado Springs MLS as well.

You see, the issue with big aggregation sites is the fact that often times they display inaccurate information.  I know that real estate agents have to personally upload and input their listings into these sites – and often times they forget to update them once they have been sold / expired / etc.  Another issue are the value estimates these big sites give.  Sometimes they are accurate, but sometimes they are WILDLY inaccurate, and can give sellers unrealistic expectations of what they can net from the sale of their home.

If you’re interested in MLS portal access , give me a call today.

720 260 0977

12 Oct

Longmont Colorado Sold 1614 20th ave longmont Colorado

Hey everyone !

It’s a little behind schedule but I wanted to post a new property that I got sold up in Longmont!  Woohoo!

1614 20th ave Longmont Colorado

Sold:  $235,000

Congratulations to the seller!


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1614 20th Ave Longmont, CO 80501
County: Boulder
Locale: Woodmeadow
Community:
Get
Homesnap Pro FREE
MLS#: 7879481 Status: Sold
List Date: 07/15/16 List Price: $335,000
Sold Date: 09/14/16 Sold Price: $335,000
Under Contract Date: 07/19/16
CDOM: 4 Appraised Value:
Concession Amount: $0
Status Conditions: None Known Original List Price: $335,000
Has HOA: No Tax ID: R0104902
INV Blackout Ends: Taxes: $1,908 (2015)
Title Company: First Integrity Title
Financial Terms: Cash, Conventional,
Earnest $: $5000, Title Company
Seller Type: Individual
Legal Desc: LOT 31 BLK 2 WOODMEADOW 5
Type: Detached Single Family Style: MultiLevel
Architecture: Contemporary Year Built: 1989
Construct Details: Model:
Time to Completion:
Builder Name: Richmond American Homes,
Heat Fuel: Electric, Gas
Heat Type: Forced Air
Cooling: Air ConditioningCentral
Other HVAC:
HVAC Detail:
Construction: Brick, Frame
Exterior: Brick, Wood Siding
Roofing: Composition Shingles
Recent: 09/14/2016 : Sold : U>
S
Selling Broker ID: 322610
Selling Office: RE/Max of Boulder
Sold Term: Cash
Concessions: None
Buyer Broker Paid By: Listor/Seller
Broker Closing Comments:
Total Beds: 3 Upper Sqft: PSF Above Grade: $238.10
Total Baths: 3 Main Sqft: 300 PSF Total: $149.89
Full Baths: 2 Lower Sqft: PSF Finished: $196.25
3/4 Baths: 0 Above Grade: 1,407 Bsmt Type: Full, Cellar
Half Baths: 1 Basement Sqft: 528 Subfloor: Crawl Space
1/4 Baths: 0 Total Sqft: 2,235 Bsmt Finished: No
Roughin:
Yes Finished Sqft: 1,707 % Fully Finished:
Other Finished SqFt: Bsmt Ceiling Height:
Other Finished SqFt Desc:
Measurement From: County Records Date Measured:
School District: St. Vrain Valley RE1J
Jr High/Middle: Longs Peak
Elementary: Northridge Sr High: Longmont
School of Choice:
Appliances: Dishwasher, Disposal, Dryer, Microwave Oven, Refrigerator (Kitchen), Smoke Alarm, Stove/Range/Oven, Washer
Flooring: Carpet, Tile Floor, Wood Floors
Interior Features: Cable Available, Eating Space / Kitchen, Five Piece Bath, Internet Access (Wired), Master Bath, Master Suite, Open Floor Plan,
Smoke Free, Vaulted
Smart Home Features:
Fireplaces: 1, Location(s): Family Room, Type(s): Wood
Exclusions: All personal property and furniture is excluded.
Site Type:
Beds Baths
Upper 3 2
Main 0 1
Lower 0 0
Bsmt 0 0

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16 Aug

Denver Colorado Real estate market stats July 2016

It’s August 16th ALREADY?  Where has this year gone?  My awesome title rep from First Integrity Title Co.  provided me with some nifty stats on the Denver market this morning that I thought were worth sharing.  So, please feel free to download this Denver Colorado real estate market stats PDF for the month of July 2016.  Also, INFOGRAPICS!

July Market stats

Let’s break it down:

Active listings:

July 2016: 6391

July 2015: 6714

= 5% less houses on the market from this time last year

Under Contract listings:

July 2016: 5568

July 2015: 5327

= 4% more homes under contract from this time last year.

Median Price:

2016: $350k

2015: $313k

= Median sales price is up a whopping 11% from last year!!!

Sold Listings:

2016:4953

2015: 5841

= 16% fewer homes sold this month than last year 

CDOM (Current Days on Market)

2016: 24

2015: 21

= Homes are on the market 13% longer than they were last July.
Well, if that wasn’t enough information for you  –  please feel free to download this PDF with all the Denver Colorado real estate market stats your little heart could ever desire.  If you have any questions or need help with Colorado real estate, give me a call at 720 260 0977.

Information provided by First Integrity Title

DMAR _ August Market Data

 

Curious about Colorado real estate?  Contact me.

Contact Caleb Block




23 Jun

Caleb’s guide to moving to Colorado

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As a native resident of Colorado, it’s been pretty mind blowing to watch how much this state has changed in the last few years.  The influx of people in this state is truly astounding with over a hundred thousand people moving to Colorado in 2015. So far 2016 is showing no signs of slowing down, and we will soon find Colorado to be one of the most popular states in the country. And really, I cannot blame people for things to move here. Colorado is truly a gem natural beauty and a fantastic place to live. So if you’re new to the state or considering moving to Colorado here a couple things you might want to consider.

Denver is only a small part of Colorado

leadvilleI think many people are inclined to immediately to think of Denver, the mile-high City, when the image of Colorado is in their mind.   There is no doubt that Denver is a very fun city – it is much smaller and more accessible than New York or Los Angeles.  But you must keep in mind the Denver metro area, while growing, is just a small sliver the land mass Colorado. Denver slightly to the northeast of the middle of the state leaving a large amount of the state to be explored. To the South you have cities such as Pueblo, Durango, and Telluride. Further north of these is Colorado Springs, home to both the Air Force Academy and NORAD. It’s at least an hour’s Drive from Pueblo to Colorado Springs, and then another hour to get to the southern reaches of the Denver metro area. Further north you have towns like Loveland, Boulder, and the largest city in the northern part of Colorado, Fort Collins. And these are just along the I-25 corridor.

To the east lies the Great Plains and many small farming communities dot the roadways.   Into the Rocky Mountains there are towns both large and small  – Ski towns like Breckenridge or Steamboat Springs, and towns from the boom days of mining such as Leadville and Georgetown.  In short, there’s a TON of places to explore in this state, and while Denver is certainly fun it is just a piece of what Colorado has to offer.

We’re not all rednecks, and we’re not all potheads

It’s been kind of funny watching any sort of national news when it come to Colorado – I think sometimes the media likes to depict residents of this state as either all cowboys, or all stoners.  While we’ve got our fair share of both, any time spent in Colorado will show how diversified the population can be.  What you can generalize Colorado’s residents as:  Lovers of the outdoors, hardworking and down to earth people.

Be ready for some crazy weather

I think that a lot of people that are moving to Colorado do not expect is the somewhat extreme weather we can recieve.  The high country is its own animal – you should never assume that because it’s a nice day on the front range, that it will translate to be the same in the mountains.  Our weather shifts from freezing temperatures and snow flurries (yes, it snows here. Sometimes it snows a lot!)  to 100 degree temperatures complete with lighting storms and large hail.  Despite these sometimes wild weather events, Colorado is generally a very sunny and warm state.  We are commonly quoted as having “300 days of sunshine” (although this has been proven a myth, it’s still pretty sunny out here)

Some parts of Colorado are much more affordable than others

As you’re probably aware, Denver is one of the hottest real estate markets in the United States today.  Due to a mixture of the legalization of cannabis, and Denver becoming a center of the country hub for businesses, rents and housing prices in Denver have skyrocketed.  But fear not! There are many places in this state that are still affordable.  The southern part of Colorado, when compared to the Denver metro is a much thriftier option, as are some areas west of the continental divide (that’s the point in the mountains where water will either flow to the east towards Denver, or to the west toward the state of Utah- Thanks geography class!!!)  So, if affordability is an issue but you still want to live the Rocky Mountain Way, know that there are options.

Are you thinking of moving to Colorado?  Let me help!

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19 Jun

Colorado Off Grid Homes for sale

Sometimes, you just want to get away from it all.  So far away from it all, in fact, that you’re not even connected to the power grid.  Luckily for you, Colorado has a great selection of off grid homes for sale.  Most of these homes are far into the Rocky mountains, and run off of solar power.   I’ve been lucky enough to have clients that were eager to find an off grid house, and thus I’ve gotten to check out some pretty unique properties.

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What should you look for in off grid homes for sale?

  1. 2015-04-06 11.27.02Power Source.  If you are truly looking for a home that is “off the grid” then you won’t be connected to any main electrical lines.  This leaves you with having to use a source of alternative energy.  In Colorado that means you’re likely going to need to find a property with solar panels and a battery array.  Be sure during the home inspection process to use an inspector that is intimately familiar with how solar panels work so they can verify the system you’re about to purchase is in good working condition.
  2.  Water source.  The dream for most off-gridders is to have a running stream or a pond on their off grid property.  This can be a bit tough in Colorado since we’re limited in the amount of water we have, and water ownership laws can often be murky and confusing.  Most off grid property you will see in Colorado will have water access via a well that is electronically pumped – While there are hand pump systems you may be able to install, you must remember that the average well depth in Colorado can be several hundred feet deep – which can render hand pump systems useless as they are not able to generate the required pressure to bring the water from aquifer to surface.
  3. How far from “civilization” do you want to be?  While it’s nice to be “away from it all” on your own homestead, everyone needs groceries and supplies at some point.  You will want to consider the nearest town and how much of a commute it will take you to go to get the necessities of life.   Planning ahead is vital, as some of the properties I have shown have virtually no access to them in the winter due to deep snow fall – So you may be stuck in hibernation mode depending on how rough the terrain around your property is.  And although it might be summer, the high country can still get very wild weather (I’ve had it snow on us during camping trips in August!!)
  4.  Can you grow your own crops there?   The off grid philosophy is about being totally self sustainable – and a huge part of that is being able to produce your own nutritious food.  I am an avid gardener myself ( although I don’t grow nearly enough to be able to feed myself from it exclusively)  So be sure to consider what kind of growing season your off grid property might have.  If you’re in the mountains, the growing season will be dramatically shortened.  If you are looking for off grid homes for sale in the mountains, you may want to consider a property that has a geo dome or greenhouse which will help to extend the growing season.

If you are interested in looking for an off grid property in Colorado, let me help you!

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