Do I Need A Realtor For A New Construction Build?

Do I Need A Realtor For A New Construction Build?

developA colleague outside of the real estate business recently asked me if he needed a Realtor when purchasing new construction.

Well – it depends.

If you are the type of person who can cut your own hair, perform your own knee surgery, or fit your own contact lenses, then no.

(And, also, you rock.)

If you are like the other 99.9 percent of the people in the world who happen to be great at some things, but not an expert in all things, then yes.  A Realtor, even for a new build, is essential.

Why? Well, a Realtor works for you, not the builder. This means that your needs and wants are the number one priority during negotiation, purchase, construction and final walkthrough. A Realtor is looking out for you. A builder is looking out for the builder – aka: himself.

Here are some added benefits:


If you know where you want to live and the model build you want, you are ahead of the game. If you don’t, a Realtor can offer valuable, unbiased insight on floor plans, finishes, and even plot angles.  A Realtor comes to the table with a vast amount of knowledge about the builder’s reputation and can help you avoid costly mistakes and long-lasting headaches.


Using a Realtor will not cost you extra money, but will save you dollars in the end. A Realtor’s commission is paid by the seller – in this case – the builder. But the Realtor is working for you, to protect you from unnecessary upgrades in the beginning and from not getting everything you’ve been promised in the end.


A Realtor has been through the process of buying before (probably dozens, if not hundreds of times). And while this may not be your first home purchase, it is still beneficial to have someone representing you in the transaction. And since you are the one who is spending your hard-earned money and you are the one who is waiting months for a new home and you are the one who is going to live in said home for the next chunk of years, it only benefits you to have someone on your side. Why be the Lone Ranger when you could have Tonto?

Final note: If you are touring a new construction model and the builder may ask you to ‘register’. It’s best to either decline this offer or tell the builder that you are already working with a Realtor and will be returning with him/her at a later date. Builders will always encourage buyers to spend on upgrades, and having a Realtor representing YOU will protect you and your bank account. Negotiating directly with a builder is doable, but not recommended – like cutting your own hair. Performing knee surgery on yourself. Fitting those lenses.

Some Denverites Will Never Be ‘Home For the Holidays’ – Here’s How to Help

Some Denverites Will Never Be ‘Home For the Holidays’ – Here’s How to Help

vacationAs you know, I have made a career out of helping people buy and sell homes. Finding the perfect neighborhood for a growing family or a posh pad for a transplanted corporate couple offers me the chance to do what I like to do best – and it’s the perfect excuse for taking clients out for a delicious lunch to celebrate. All in all, not a bad way to make a living.  

The thing is, there are so many individuals in Denver that may never have a home to call their own; and to say that is disheartening is an understatement. These frigid days only compound the fact that there are men, women, and – the worst – children, out on the street every single night. And while I can’t change the world like I thought I could in my youth (aahh, youth!); I realize that any small gesture can make a big difference. Everything counts.

Last year I started a new tradition and spent my Christmas morning in Civic Center Park handing out socks, hand warmers and food to Denver’s homeless. It was not like any other Christmas morning I’ve had in my 50-something years because…well…it was way better. Colder, but still better.

am christmas 2

I realized, once again, that doing something good for someone else makes me feel good. I like that feeling. A lot.

So I plan to spend December 25th at Civic Center Park again, as I am officially addicted to this effort. Obviously, not all of you can pack up your families and head downtown, but if you’d like to support this cause, I will be collecting items for my “Christmas Care Kits.” Yes, I’ve given MY packages an official name (this is where being Type A really comes in handy). “Socks and Hand Warmers” were sooooo last year.

I’m going BIG this year! See the list below and if you’d like to participate by donating or volunteering, please email me at or visit me on Facebook. I can pick up items from you or you are welcome to drop items at Coldwell Banker Devonshire (200 Fillmore Ste. Suite 300 in Cherry Creek).

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all and to ALL a warm(er) night.

 Items Needed for Christmas Care Kits*

  • Reusable water bottles
  • Fruit snacks or individual apple sauce with pull tabs
  • Small cans of tuna or tuna kits with pull tabs and crackers
  • Crackers with peanut butter and cheese
  • Fast food gift certificates
  • Pre-paid calling cards
  • Socks and gloves
  • Hand wipes
  • Nail clippers
  • Band aids
  • Feminine products
  • Small packages of facial tissue
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Mints, cough drops, gum
  • Lip balm
  • Small comb or brush
  • Heat packs
  • Sunscreen
  • Winter hat
  • Brief note of encouragement or well-wishing

*All items should fit inside a gallon size zip top bag; please refrain from items such as hand sanitizer or mouthwash as they often contain alcohol.

Counting My Blessings One Piece at a Time.

countingI am grateful. And not in a casual yeah, yeah, I count my blessings sort of way, but for real. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons, including you. Yep. I am talking to you; my friends, colleagues, family, and clients.

I wish I could say that every single day I ponder the good things that happen; the moments and memories that shape my life. But I am busy. We are all busy. So some days I am just racing around town like the rest of humanity, checking off tasks and selling houses and meeting clients and squeezing in a social life and a workout and a walk with my dogs.

But this week I have truly carved out some time to remember the people and events that left a happy mark on the permanent record of my life. What a concept – ! Using Thanksgiving week to be thankful. I am reflecting back on the joy and prosperity and friendship that makes each and every day a gift, those pieces of the pie that made this year deliciously delightful.

Speaking of….you know what goes really well with introspection? Pie. Really, pie and pondering is a match made in heaven and I can prove it. After some friends told me about how happy everyone was at a pie party they had hosted, I thought: I like pie too – maybe I should have a pie party?! So I did. Yesterday, I had a handful of guests pop by for my first pie party and I believe it may be an annual tradition. I am now a pie party pro. My mother would be so proud.

The thing about a pie party is you get to eat and drink and celebrate and laugh and then when you say goodbye to your friends, you can send them home WITH A PIE! I know, brilliant, right? It was a success; and I am blessed.

May you, too, be blessed throughout the holiday season and coming year with much peace, joy and prosperity. And a little pie. Happy Thanksgiving.

Halloween In Denver – So Much Fun It’s SCARY!

halloweenI’m a huge fan of Halloween – always have been, always will be. Halloween got me hooked on the idea of being a Realtor. Seeing all of those lovely houses combined with an obscene amount of chocolate and I was a goner.

Remember how you always knew the neighbors who were giving out full size candy bars!? I used to circle back for those houses and skip the houses handing out pennies. The worst!

Halloween, like everything else in America, has gotten bigger and – some would argue – even better over the years. But if shock-worthy haunted houses aren’t your speed, several family-friendly Halloween events are available should you prefer to keep your little (or big) ghosts and goblins off the streets.

If you’ve never been to a community event like the ones listed below, I, for one, am a fan. These outings offer something for all ages and a chance to step inside several of Denver’s favorite haunts without wearing a parka over your costume. And depending on where you go, you can have candy and bats and hay rides and tea…not in that order, but you get the picture.


Halloween Kids Fest

Downtown Aquarium

October 29-30

Games, crafts and more make the Downtown Aquarium even more fun than usual. Guess the weight of a giant pumpkin, take a train ride, and meet up with Sharkey and the gang.

Bug A Boo

The Butterfly Pavilion

October 19-20

Come meet the Butterfly Pavilion’s creepiest crawliest friends while your kids scream around this safe, educational trick-or-treat street. This event, including games, costumes and candy, will have you bug out just in time for Halloween.

Trick-or-Treat Train

Colorado Railroad Museum

October 26-27

Ride the rails back in time through Railroad Halloween Town. Catch a ride behind the historic locomotive in vintage passenger cars hosted by conductors and engineers in full costume.

Trick-or-Treat Street 

Children’s Museum of Denver

October 25-27

Kids parade from one Treat House to the next collecting goodies and creating crafts.

Boo At The Zoo 

Denver Zoo

October 26-27

More than 25 trick-or-treat stations, creepy crawly animal demonstrations and exciting family-friendly entertainment make this event a sweet treat for everyone.

Aspen Grove Trick-or-Treat Street

Aspen Grove Shopping Center

October 26

Costumed kids can trick-or-treat for free along the outdoor shopping center of Aspen Grove. Leashed dogs (in costume or not) are welcome as well.

Hilltop Halloween Parade

Cranmer Park (between E. 1st and E. 3rd Ave. on Cherry St.)

October 27

The free parade for children and adults in Halloween costumes starts at the sundial at Cranmer Park at 11 a.m. and travels to Robinson Park by 1 p.m. Fun for the whole family.

Old South Gaylord Halloween Safe Street

South Gaylord St. between Mississippi and Tennessee

October 31

From 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., kids in costume can trick-or-treat along one of Denver’s most beautiful streets, which will be closed to traffic during the festivities.

Mills Monster Mash

Colorado Mills Mall

October 29

The Kidgits Mills Monster Mash promises to be a blast for little ones. To add to the fun, Twentieth Century Fox is also celebrating the Blu-Ray and DVD release of The Croods, Monster vs Aliens: Cloning Around, Dragons Riders of Berk (Part 1 and Part 2) and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness.

Halloween at the Museum

Denver Museum of Nature and Science

October 25

Specifically for teens, Halloween at the Museum offers an evening full of fright and fun. Rob Mies, of the Organization for Bat Conservation, will introduce you to some of the rarest bats in the world, including a gigantic flying fox bat from Malaysia with a nearly six-foot wingspan. Costumes welcome!

Victorian Horrors & All Hallows Eve Full Tea

Molly Brown House Museum

October 25-26

Visitors enjoy tea and treats at this spooky Halloween activity. While this event is not terribly scary, it is not recommended for small children, but the candlelight ghost stories and prizes for best costume are perfect for the tween set.

Whatever you decide to do and wherever you decide to go this Halloween season, remember to be safe and enjoy because life is sweet – literally – at this time of year! If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, call me at 303-478-1201 or send me an email –    – I’d love to help you!

Get Ready for the Denver Cherry Blossom Festival

Get Ready for the Denver Cherry Blossom Festival

Denver is a great place for entertainment because the events are very diverse. They include everything from comic festivals to restaurant week. With spring and the accompanying warmer weather Denver’s events have taken a turn for the outdoors. One of the first to take place this spring is the Cherry Blossom Festival.

cherryThe Cherry Blossom Festival is an event celebrating Japanese American Culture, and is named for the Japanese Cherry Blossom which is famous for its beautiful, yet short-lived blooms. A few of the events you can catch at this year’s festival include martial arts, Taiko drumming, dancing and singing. It will also feature some great eats. This year you can enjoy teriyaki, sake and a large beer garden featuring an assortment of drinks.

The experience wouldn’t be complete without souvenirs. Vendors will be on hand selling handmade jewelry, vintage kimonos, origami umbrellas and home decor items that will you can incorporate Japanese culture into your home. 

If you are interested in attending here’s what you need to know:

  • Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23
  • Held in LoDo at Sakura Matsuri, which is located on Lawrence and bordered by 19th and 20th streets.
  • FREE Admission

Since the Cherry Blossom Festival is completely free there is even more reason to take the family out for a day of fun and warm weather.

If you are considering buying or selling a home in the Denver area, be sure to check out the Denver property search to get a feel for the current market. If you have any question, contact me at 303-478-1201.