Colorado Real Estate News

HOW TO MOVE ON A BUDGET

As anybody who has ever bought a house before knows, real estate is quite expensive! Many buyers, although elated that they’re about to be homeowners (either for the first time or in new digs), also realize that they need to budget carefully for their move so they don’t get overextended during their new-home honeymoon.

What do you need to know in order to be able to move on a budget — and get it all done without losing your mind? Here are things to consider.

 

Assess your time vs. money situation

The economics of moving your household are pretty simple: If you have the time to do it all yourself, then you won’t have to spend any money. Or, if you have enough money to pay for other people to move you, then you won’t have to spend any of your own time.

So the first thing to think about is how valuable your time is and how valuable your money is right now. This will likely be different depending on your life stage, what you do for a living, and how much time you have available to you for your move. If you’re a first-time homebuyer in your 20s with no kids, then it might make sense to do more of the moving yourself; if you’re a move-up buyer in your 40s with a big household, then you might want to think about using your time to make enough money to pay movers.

 

Don’t eliminate options without doing some research

One insidious thing about trying to budget for a move is that it’s not always apparent which option is actually more expensive. By the time you pack up your entire house, spend your money on a truck, and fill it up with gas as you drive — are you really saving that much over a flat-fee moving service? Possibly, but quite probably not.

Look into all your different options and consider all of the different expenses and components that go into them. This is probably going to take some research; a full-service moving company is obviously going to do more for you than a flat-fee company, but how much, exactly, are those differences worth? Would it make the most sense to pack your stuff up yourself and hire movers to haul it to your new place?

While you’re exploring your options, make sure you’re checking review sites like Yelp so that you know what kind of quality you can expect from any moving services you might hire. Evaluate how much hiring a truck and paying for gas and mileage could cost you. And think about alternate options, like a PODS (portable on-demand storage) module that you can fill up with your belongings for a truck to haul away.

Platforms like TaskRabbit can also be good ways to facilitate a move if you don’t want to go with a full-service or flat-fee mover. Maybe instead you can hire a couple of people on TaskRabbit to help you shlep boxes.

 

Time your move as best you can

You’ve probably heard the saying “timing is everything,” and that is also true when moving. You could save a significant amount of money by timing your move to coincide with low-demand times of the month or of the year.

Summertime, for example, is a pretty expensive time of year to move. Lots of other households are trying to take advantage of both the weather and the break from school to make changes in their lives, and if you can wait until the fall or winter to move, then you’ll probably get some better rates from any moving companies you talk to.

Moving companies also tend to get booked up toward the end of the month, when many leases expire, so if you can time your move at any other time of the month, that can also be helpful. Weekly timing also can affect your budget; weekend moves are almost always going to be more expensive than moving on a weekday. And even the time of day matters, when you factor in a rush-hour — if you rented a truck and you’re stuck in traffic with it, you could incur a late fee, so try to avoid moving during peak traffic hours.

 

Get rid of as much as you can

Minimalism might be having a bit of a moment right now, but even if you’re a packrat, you have to acknowledge the wisdom in the concept that you won’t have to pay to move things that you don’t own anymore. When you’ve determined how much time and money you can spend on your move, and you’ve figured out when you’ll be moving, it’s time to start narrowing down what to move as much as you possibly can.

Start with any big items that don’t appeal to you as much as they used to, or that won’t fit in your new place, or that you don’t need anymore. There are all kinds of ways to get rid of things today, including Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace; take pictures of your items and advertise them online.

You can always donate anything that nobody buys, but you just might make enough money off of your virtual garage sale to help pay for movers … especially once you’ve reduced what they have to move.

 

Don’t pay for boxes

When you’re moving on a budget, boxes are one of the very last things you should pay for — there are so many ways to get free boxes to move your things, and they can really add up if you’re buying them new from the truck-rental place.

Where can you find cheap or free boxes? Try your workplace, first and foremost. If you work in an office, there are probably boxes for printer paper that work well for moving. Restaurants get food delivered regularly, and that food arrives inboxes. Grocery stores and liquor stores also often have repositories of boxes, and if all those fail, you can always beg your friends on social media for any boxes they have handy to spare.

 

Use what you have for packing materials

Bubble wrap, like boxes, is one of those moving expenses that feels especially painful; it’s disposable and literally only used to get your belongings safely from one place to another. One easy way to save money is to use the fabrics in your house — sheets, towels, blankets, coats, sweaters, and so on — to wrap breakables like your dishes or vases.

This does work well, and your items will arrive intact at the other end; however, you may find yourself with quite a bit of laundry to do as you unpack from your journey. You’ve been warned!

 

Consider USPS Media Mail

You wouldn’t think that mailing yourself your belongings would be a very cost-effective way to move, but that’s probably because you’re not familiar with USPS Media Mail. This is a service that allows you to mail certain educational-material items, such as books and movies, at a very reasonable rate. (Unfortunately, comic books do not count.) The Media Mail rates are based on weight, but once you do the math, you might discover that mailing the bulk of your books and movies will allow you to rent a smaller vehicle and save a lot of money.

 

Do what it takes to get your deposit back

If you’re renting, then you probably put down a security deposit on your place. What are the odds that you’ll get it back? This can be an easy way for landlords to earn money; people are tired after packing up all their things, and one of the very last things you want to do is scour the house you’re going to leave.

But don’t get lazy and hand over that hard-earned security deposit to your landlord. It’s already been sitting in their bank account, accruing interest that’s not yours — now it’s time to get that money back and make it work for you instead.

 

Write it off if you can

You might have heard that you can write off a move for work on your taxes. This was true until 2017 when the tax law changed; now, the IRS no longer lets taxpayers write off moves for employment on their federal return — but some states, such as California, still allow residents to write off a move. Look into your local state laws or check with an accountant to see if you could get some kind of break for your move. 

Colorado Real Estate News

ANNUAL HOME MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST

If you’ve been a homeowner before, you know that just like your vehicle needs regular maintenance like
oil changes to run well—so does your home. It can be easy to ignore or put these things off, but a well-
maintained home will save you money from costly repairs in the long run, and make your home easier to

sell when the time comes.

While this list is comprehensive, it’s not a complete list of all the things your home needs.

 

Monthly

  •  Change HVAC or furnace filters. If your family is small and pet-free, simply inspect the filter and replace it every 2-3 months.
  •  Clean range hood filters. Mix a degreaser with hot water, let it soak, then rinse it off.
  •  Check water softener. Check the salt level, add some if needed, and read the display to make sure no error codes are displayed. You’ll usually only add salt a few times a year.

 

Biannually

  • Deep clean. Roll up your sleeves and deep clean appliances, windows, lighting, and every crevice and corner. Keeping a clean home and not letting dirt build-up will help keep it polished.
  • Test the pressure relief valve on the water heater. This prevents corrosion—protecting leaks and helping it run efficiently.
  • Replace batteries in smoke/carbon dioxide detectors. Make it a habit to change batteries every time you set the clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils. The fridge can account for up to 15 percent of your home’s total power—keep it running efficiently.

 

Annually Organized by Season

Spring – There’s a reason it’s called “Spring Cleaning”

  • Service central air. Do this before it gets hot and you can often get this done at a discounted rate with enough time to spare before it gets sweltering hot.
  • Check gutters and drainage. When April showers start coming down, will the water flow away from your house? Keep gutters clear so the water can flow where it’s supposed to.
  • Test sump pump. You don’t want to wait until you need it to find out it’s not working!
  • Check grout in the bathroom and kitchen. Fix the grout where needed—This will extend the life of tiled surfaces and keep them looking new.
  • Check windows and screens. Clean window wells of fall and winter debris. 

 

Summer – Shift your focus to the outdoors and enjoy the sunshine

  • Clean ducts, sweep the chimney and get heating systems ready. You’ll be turning these on at the first hint of crisp fall weather, so do this now.
  • Check and clean the clothes dryer vent. While running, check the exhaust for the smell of fresh laundry. If the exhaust is marginal, check for blockages. Also, vacuum the lint from the dryer hose.
  • Clean garage. The garage is easy to ignore, get out there while the weather is nice, and check garage door sensors are working while you’re in there.

 

Fall – prepare for winter during this in-between season

  • Winterize A/C systems. Store window units, and if you have central air, cover the outside unit with a tarp and fasten with bungee cords.
  • Flush and store hoses. Drain the water so it doesn’t freeze.

 

Winter – cozy up and stay warm

  • Break Icicles. As pretty as they look, don’t let them grow—they could fall unexpectedly and hurt someone and can get can cause damage from their weight. When they melt, they can cause water damage to the foundation.
  • Remove showerheads and clean deposits. This will keep your water pressure strong and keep them lasting long.
  • Check the foundation for cracks. Use caulk or silicone to repair any small cracks before the Spring thaw.

Colorado Real Estate News

OUR STAFF PICKS FOR 2020

Denver Rentals Top 20 Picks for 2020Our Staff Picks for 2020

Everybody knows there are plenty of incredible hot spots, some better known than others here in Denver for noshing eats, drinks and venturing out. Wondering where we think you should check out? While this certainly doesn’t include all of our favorites, here’s what we think you need to know about dining & outing in Denver in 2020. 

 

Where to Eat Fresh Sushi in Denver

Our first pick is simple yet authentic and deliciously fresh. Park Hill Sushi Co. is rolling up just that with the basics like unagi rolls, tuna sashimi, wagyu beef bites, Hamachi (yellowtail) & quite the assortment of Japanese beers and whiskey. It’s a fast, fresh option with a hip Asian vibe on East Colfax in Denver’s thriving Park Hill neighborhood.  Find Park Hill Sushi Co. at 4900 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220

When you’re looking to explore the oceans in an upscale setting, head over to Cherry Creek, just a few blocks away from the Denver Rental office for a dining experience at Matsuhisa. From impeccable décor to the incredible assortment of Japanese entrees, sushi, & other chef’s specialties making this Michelin rated restaurant by Nobu, a highly rated restaurant showcasing freshness and creativity.  We highly suggest letting the chef make their choice of preparations and selections and surprise you with absolute goodness. Visit Matsuhisa at 98 Steele St, Denver, CO 80206.

Making for a contemporary outing at the exclusive Uchi in RiNo, chefs showcase artistry and incredible libations in the perfect backdrop where to be seen.  A reservation is highly suggested to minimize the wait but it’s everything worth it from rolls to the sashimi melting in your mouth. With an incredible menu and assortment of dishes, their raw assortments are their best and the sake selection, quite impressive. Locate Uchi at 2500 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80205.

 

Hot Spots for Social Hours & Later Night Libations

With so many new choices it’s just hard to stay away from some of our usual Denver hotspots. At the top of our list is Ophelias Electric Soapbox downtown offering live music and incredible dining. With lights down, this makes for the perfect group outing or fun date spot. With international artists playing regularly and a menu of deliciousness for dinner or Sunday brunch, the drink menu and bartender skills will certainly be impressing. With an American menu rotating seasonal flavors, be sure to get out and put this one on your list.  Be entertained at Ophelias Electric Soapbox 1215 20th St, Denver CO 80202. 

Over in LoHi/Highlands, we just can’t get enough of Lady Jane. In this perfectly designed hot spot for bringing groups together or getting away for private conversations, this sister-location to Hudson Hill in Capitol Hill (another recommendation) not only has the most impressive craft cocktail list but the greenery and ambience make this a must visit on the regular. From their old fashioned to the martini and even their coffee, everything is perfectly curated for the pickiest of palates in this upscale and classy environment great at any hour, early or night. With bites to nosh & an incredible assortment of non-alcoholic concoctions, too, Lady Jane makes for the perfect starting point or final destination. And did we mention their vinyl selection? Get over to Lady Jane 2021 W 32nd Ave, Denver CO 80211.

Our final favorite and recommendation for this 2020 list is the ultimate jazz bar and supper club, Nocturne in RiNo. With phenomenal jazz artists nightly, we love having live entertainment paired with ambience perfect for any special occasion and a menu of dishes to die for. From the traditional to explorative, the pairing of wine and entrees makes for a memorable evening of music and dining we think will have you coming back. It’s also a great place to pop-in at the bar for a nightcap or two. Checkout Nocture 1330 27th St, Denver CO 80205.

 

Treats & Brunch and Other Notable Things

And we just had to squeeze in another addiction of ours, ice cream. What list would be complete without a treat?  Since it’s not too far from the office, we love swinging into Sweet Cooies in Congress Park for a delicious ice cream and other sweet things. From fresh waffle cones, sundaes and ever-changing flavors, we highly recommend getting your sweet tooth fix. Grab a scoop (or two) at Sweet Cooie’s Ice Cream and Confectionary 3506 12th Ave, Denver CO 80206. 

For Sunday brunch we love heading over to Table 6 for an eclectic variety of delicious, healthy and decadent food choices. From fabulous mimosas with fresh squeezed juice to the best French Press coffee, the selection of food for brunch ranges from the incredible breakfast burger sure to fill any appetite to the Asian fried rice. Relax with the perfectly manicured beats from none other than DJ Ginger Perry, setting the mood during your Sunday recovery. Indulge at Table 6 609 Corona St. Denver CO 80218.  

Just arriving in Denver and want to hear more great recommendations? Come visit the Denver Rental office where our leasing and property management professionals can help you find your next home or manage your property. Make an appointment to come visit Denver Rental 215 St. Paul St Suite 130, Denver CO 80206 (303)682-3900. We’re centrally located in the fabulous Cherry Creek North neighborhood.