Colorado Real Estate News

4 UNDERRATED DENVER NEIGHBORHOODS

Denver Neighborhood Apartment Tower Looking Across

4 Underrated Denver Neighborhoods

‘Tis A privilege to live in Colorado. The Denver Post has proudly proclaimed this quote on the front of every paper it has published since the 1800s, and it’s hard to argue with it. We are blessed to wake up every day experiencing sunshine and elevation in a vibrant and growing city, all nestled at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains. It’s very easy to complain about traffic, yet you can always check out and head up for some of the best hiking and skiing in the entire world.

In terms of the city itself, there are so many fun restaurants, spots, and stores that you can spend a lifetime exploring it all.From sports to hiking to dining to skiing, Denver is the complete package. There are so many great neighborhoods in the city, but we feel these gems don’t get the love theydeserve.

Golden Triangle

Why It’s Great

Location. Location. Location. This area makes up for being small and pricey by being the cultural hub of the entire city. It’s walking distance to the Cherry Creek Bike Trail and Downtown, but it has a unique feel that is fun and engaging. From concerts to festivals to happy hour it’s a vibrant area that continues to surprise.

What To Do

There is a never-ending range of options, all within walking distance. You can swing by Dazzle, Denver’s best Jazz club for a boozy brunch, and then work it off by biking

around and finish with a coffee and people watching on an outdoor patio. In the evening, you can grab dinner at one of the dozens of local restaurants and then stop by an art gallery opening and finish up at a dance club. Make sure to check out the Denver Art Museum, which curates a superb collection that runs the gamut from Renaissance masters, to priceless Native American pieces, to impressionism, to abstract and everything in between.

Where To Eat

Cuba Cuba cafe & bar { 1173 Delaware St, Denver, CO 80204 } serves divinely crafted Cuban fare in a charming spot that exudes both elegance and cool. This family-owned spot serves up extraordinary mojitos and Cubanos along with beautiful sunset views on the back patio.

Dazzle { 1512 Curtis Street, Denver, CO 80202 } is a supper club known for inventive eats and one of the best brunches in the city. While enjoying your meal you also get to listen to the best jazz musicians in town. You can’t beat that!

Jive Kitchen and Bar { 1055 N Broadway, Denver, CO 80203 } offers casual dining and small plates that are perfect for sharing. The service and salads set this place apart from other locations that go for this relaxed, sophisticated vibe, but end up falling short.

Lo Stella Ristorante { 1135 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204 } is one of those low key, family-owned Italian spots that every neighborhood needs. It’s reasonably priced food made with love. From the homemade pasta to the burrata, it’s hard to go wrong in this Denver favorite.

Park Hill

Why It’s Great

It’s one Denver’s most historic neighborhoods, and it’s every bit the charming and beautiful spot it’s always been. It’s a diverse and lovely neighborhood filled with wide streets, parks, and summer concerts. It’s a desirable neighborhood to raise a family in because of it’s proximity to the rest of the city while maintaining a laid back, family-friendly feel.

What To Do

The large amounts of cafes and local watering holes make exploring this Denver locale a treat. However, if you have a bicycle, this neighborhood becomes a true delight. It has some of the widest most picturesque streets in the entire city, ensuring biking around is a breeze.

Where To Eat

The Cherry Tomato { 4645 East 23rd Avenue, Denver, CO 80207 } is celebrating over two decades of serving family-friendly Italian on tablecloths the kids are welcome to draw on. They pride themselves on excellent service and being a city fixture for dinner and a glass wine.

Tables { 2267 Kearney St, Denver, CO 80207 } is helmed by a husband and wife team who serve up new American cuisine that genuinely outside the box. The dishes are unlike most things you’ve ever tasted, but the attention to detail elevates the styles they like to play with in their cooking.

Phoenician Kabob { 5709 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220 } is a fusion of belly dancing, and Greek and Lebanese cuisine that is a perfect match. Gyros and grape leaves compete with hummus and baba ganoush and kebabs. Take our advice and order everything and share it.

Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant { 7225 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80220 } is Ethiopian cuisine perfected. If you’ve never tried this glorious cuisine before, you’re missing out. It’s spicy and unique and comes with bread that works perfectly to soak up the plethora of sauces.

Regis

Why It’s Great

The secret has started to get out, but the Regis neighborhood of Denver remains one of the city’s most unique and diverse areas, filled with parks and restaurants that will delight everyone from families to young professionals. Although it’s known for Regis University, it doesn’t have a college town vibe because a large percentage of the students are in grad school and commute, giving it a very relaxed, family-friendly feel.

What To Do

One of the strong selling points is how easy it is to jump on the highway and head up to the mountains from this area. On the weekend, you grab some brunch and then bike over to one of the many antique shops. In the summer, you can head over to the historic Lakeside amusement park to ride a vintage roller coaster.

Where To Eat

The Noshery { 4994 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80221 } is the go-to spot in the neighborhood for homemade baked goods, sandwiches, and delectable brunch fare. Make sure to try the scones. Dubbel Dutch { 4974 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80221 } is a beautiful little shop that sells traditional European sandwiches at a great price. The owner is from the Netherlands, and the shop is filled with unusual Dutch souvenirs and food products you won’t find anywhere else.

Brooklyn’s Finest Pizza { 5007 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80221 } is a throwback to old school pizza places in New York the owners grew up eating at. The thin-crust pizzas are the star of the show but don’t sleep on the excellent strombolis and calzones.

Denver Biscuit Company-Tennyson { 4275 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212 } continues DBC’s takeover of the Mile High City by serving some of the flakiest, tastiest, and downright gargantuan biscuits you will ever see. The fried chicken biscuit is a must-try.

Rocky Top Tavern { 4907 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80221 } is a two-fisted drinking bar that has some solid food and is a great spot to watch a game. Locals rave about the smothered burrito.

Uptown

Why It’s Great

Uptown is a beautiful neighborhood that is infinitely walkable as well as being extremely close to downtown. It’s in the heart of the city, and the transformation that the area has achieved has been breathtaking. A cornucopia of shops, consignment stores, and cafes ensure residents can explore and get an authentic taste for city living.

What To Do

You can bar hop down 17th to The Thin Man { 2015 E 17th Ave} and try their various vodka infusions or head over to Vine Street Pub { 1700 Vine St } for craft beer. If you’re in a curious mood, you can head over to The Denver Museum of Nature and Science or check out the antics of the animals at the wondrous Denver Zoo. On the weekends, be sure and enjoy City Park, the largest park in Denver.

Where To Eat

Steuben’s Uptown { 523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 } is a Denver institution created by super chef Josh Wolkon that has been serving some of the best comfort food the city has to offer for years. It’s an entirely original take on what a diner can be with homemade variations on classics. There isn’t a bad thing on the menu.

D Bar Denver { 494 E 19th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 } is the spot for anyone with a sweet tooth. They have an extensive menu of absolutely scrumptious desserts exceptionally well executed. The comprehensive wines list makes this Uptown favorite an excellent date spot. 

Hamburger Mary’s Denver { 1336 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80218 } is an iconic LGBT restaurant in Denver that specializes in delicious hamburgers. With live entertainment every night and potent cocktails, there’s a reason this place is beloved by locals.

Ace Eat Serve { 501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203 } is an Asian fusion spot that specializes in fun. The food is outstanding, but the real draw in the spacious restaurant is the large ping pong floor. After grabbing a beer and a bite, you can challenge your friends over who has the top table tennis skills.

Colorado Real Estate News

HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT VACATION RENTAL

Planning to stay in a hotel for your vacation is so ’90s. The emergence of the internet and websites like Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor and more have made it possible for travelers to feel right at home in a new city … because they’re staying in someone else’s home and renting it for vacation.

Vacation rentals are a great way to get to know an area like the locals do. They’re often more spacious than hotel rooms, and unless you’re booking a hotel suite, you’ll also typically have access to amenities like a full kitchen.

Of course, there’s always a risk to using a vacation rental instead of a hotel — for example, some rentals might not have internet access, some might be inconveniently located for what you want to do, and there are people posting homes that aren’t really theirs and taking money as part of a scam. (This is much more popular on open websites like Craigslist than targeted ones like Airbnb, for what it’s worth.)

How do you make sure that you’re choosing the right spot for your vacation experience? Here’s a quick guide to how to find the right vacation rental for your visit.

Decide where you’re going

Maybe you want to ski in Tahoe or sun yourself on Miami Beach. Before you can start seriously looking at vacation homes to rent, it’s smart to decide where you want to go for a vacation and what you want to see and do while you’re there.

This seems easy, but most of us have several places we’d like to go given enough time and money. The key is in prioritization — and consulting your fellow vacationers, of course. Make a list of any places you wanted to go that didn’t make the cut and save it for the next vacation.

Decide what you want in a rental

Sometimes you can find a great deal on a vacation rental that will save you hundreds of dollars on your vacation … but that rental might be located miles and miles from any major attractions, meaning you’ll either have to rent a car, take public transportation (if available), or take on another expense to get where you want to go.

By contrast, a place right on the slopes (or the shore) might be more expensive than the other options, but you’re paying in part for convenience. Is that something you’re willing to do?

Make another list of the features you must have in your vacation rental, from location to a number of beds to whether you need an internet connection. Think about how much cooking (or not) you’ll want to do, whether you want to be close to restaurants or public transportation — in other words, make a list of your ideal vacation rental for this trip.

One nice thing about platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.com is the filter application; you can include your must-haves and the search results will only generate vacation rentals that meet your exact criteria. So it pays to decide what those criteria are before you jump into the search.

Plan ahead

If you haven’t already selected dates for your trip, start checking to see what the busy and slow times of year (or season) are for the area where you want to vacation.

Maybe you want to hit a big event that’s going to be insanely popular. In that case, start planning as early as possible, and book your rental as early as you can, too — the rates will only get higher if you wait.

If it doesn’t really matter when you go, try to plan around any big events that could boost prices while you’re in town to find the best deal possible.

Google Map it

Once you start looking at actual homes, do yourself a favor and check out the neighborhoods and streets where those homes are located.

You might find something that’s lovely and impeccable on the inside, but if the general feel of the area doesn’t seem safe or polished to you, then maybe you should pass. Pay attention to major thoroughfares and attractions, too, so that you know there’s a highway behind the home that might keep you up at night or a concert hall that might be a little loud down the street.

The maps can also show you quickly which retail stores and restaurants are nearby, where the vacation rental is in regard to public transportation, whether the sidewalks are clean and well-maintained or trash-ridden and cracking — you can learn a lot from this step, so don’t skip it.

Read the reviews

Airbnb, VRBO.com, and other reputable vacation rental sites will have a review section — don’t ignore it.

Those reviews are written by other vacationers who stayed in the home. They often report on things like cleanliness, noise levels, whether the photos were representative of the home — all things you’ll absolutely want to know before you fork over money for a week in the place.

You can also see (to an extent) who left the reviews, how often they travel, how highly their own hosts rate them (a bad review from a poorly rated guest can probably be safely ignored), and then decide from there how valid you think their opinion is (or is not).

Ask about amenities

Is there wifi in the vacation rental? That might be something you can filter out with search results, but other questions might not have handy answers — like, “do you make towels available for beach use,” “can I park in the garage,” and “is there a Nespresso machine in the kitchen.”

Look at your list of must-have criteria and ask yourself if you can confirm that the vacation rental has (or does not have) the items on that list. If there are any missing, ask the host about them. It’s possible that accommodations could be made, but you’ll never know unless you ask!

Ask about fees

Will your host charge for additional guests, and what’s the standard nightly cleaning fee? Can you access the vacation rental’s pool, or does that cost extra? When you’re close to deciding that this is the right place for you, contact the host (if you haven’t already) and ask about any additional fees or costs associated with staying there.

Not only will this help you budget, but getting an answer in writing can also protect you from any unknown charges if the host is an unscrupulous sort. Better safe than sorry.

Solicit suggestions for things to do

Most good hosts will do this without asking, but it’s always nice to ask the people who own the home (and have presumably lived in it) for tips on things to do and how to make the most of your time in the area.

Some good questions to ask hosts if you can’t think of any yourself:

What’s your favorite place to eat in the area?

What route do you talk about when you want to take a walk?

Where do you go when you want some quiet time outside of the house? Where do you go when you want to meet new people?

Where can you find the best live music in the neighborhood?

What’s the parking situation like? (If you have a car.)

What activities for kids or families are available?

Is there anything I should know about the neighbors?

When you take the time to plan ahead, finding (and renting) a vacation home, even if for the first time, is both easy and rewarding.

Colorado Real Estate News

HOW TO FIND A MENTOR AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT

One thing that can make an enormous difference in your career success as an agent is whether or not you have a high-quality mentor who can help you navigate the ins and outs of real estate. In fact, many agents discover that they operate very well if they have more than one mentor to tap for questions and advice.

Your real estate broker may be one of your first mentors, and if you really want to hone your skills and become the very best agent you can be, then you should also seek out other mentors who can help round out your experience and education. But how do you find a mentor? Here are the steps you should be taken consistently in order to keep a good number of mentors in your world as an agent.

Network, network, network

This is very standard advice for real estate agents; you have to network to find clients, after all. Networking with other agents can be beneficial for many reasons besides seeking out a mentor — you’ll meet people who can refer clients to you, for example, or who might know good resources for title and escrow, inspections and appraisals, or mortgage loan issues.

You should also network to keep your eyes open for potential mentors in your area. A good mentor will not only have more experience in real estate than you have; they’ll also understand the market and be able to give you advice on how to read it and share what they’ve learned.

Don’t walk up to a possible mentor and simply ask them to be your mentor, all that said. In a perfect world, you’ll be able to form a relationship with your mentor or mentors where they can help teach you about real estate and you can help them in some other way.

Start forming relationships

The best mentors are good not because they necessarily know better than everyone else; they’re the best because they understand your situation, your needs, your career goals and aspirations — and they know how to help you achieve those goals. This means that they’re going to have to get to know you as a person in addition to as an agent, and you’re going to have to be able to talk to them very frankly to get the best advice.

In other words, you’re going to have to form a real relationship with your mentor in order to truly benefit from your encounters and discussions. While you’re networking, make sure you’re spending a good portion of your time just getting to know people on a personal level. If your mentor can understand some of your life situations because they’ve been there before — and you can trust that they understand it because you know their history — then you can both cut through a lot of the explanations around why you think and feel the way you do and get straight to how you are going to strategize and operate around your challenges.

Decide who’s mentor material

You may really click with some people who you meet in a networking environment, but you know that for whatever reason, they aren’t going to work out as a mentor for you. That’s fine! You’re allowed to make friends and acquaintances, too. And on the flip side, you may meet people who you think would make excellent mentors, but for whatever reason, they aren’t going to be able to fill that role for you. These are all reasons why it’s smart to try to make more than one mentor connection if you can — there is no rule that says you can only have one mentor at the time, after all.

Think about the people you’ve met and consider their levels of experience and areas of expertise. Do you think any of them might have some information or skills that you could also use? Do any of those people who do seem like they could help you also seem interested in spending more time with you or forming a deeper relationship?

Hopefully, by this point you’ll have a shortlist of possible mentors, and you can start thinking more deeply about where you need help and where they might be able to assist you.

Assess your skills and ask for help …

Even though humans do have a tendency to overestimate their skills at just about everything, we also tend to be pretty good at knowing where we are strongest and where we could probably use a little bit of remedial assistance. It isn’t a mark of failure to understand that your financial planning could be better, or that you aren’t very familiar with marketing tactics in real estate, or that thinking about negotiating makes you feel a little bit nervous.

When you know where you need the most education and training, it’ll give you a better idea of whom in your mentor network to approach. You’ll know who’s best-suited to answer which questions and who might not be an expert in certain areas, and you can ask them for advice accordingly.

… While taking stock of how you can help, too

Most people tend to think of mentorship as a bit of a one-way street between the mentor and the mentee, but that absolutely does not have to be the case. There might be a lot you can do to help your mentor, both to thank them for the ways in which they’ve helped you and also to signal to them that you yourself are a resource and an asset to their business.

Perhaps one of your mentors keeps talking about learning the ins and outs of the latest social media platform but hasn’t had time to do it, and you could sit down with them and offer an hour-long hands-on tutorial. Maybe they need a landing page or listing description written, or someone to look over their website for typos. Your skills are likely just as varied as the mentors you’ve encountered, so think about what you can offer them — then offer it.

Talk about your challenges

Even the best mentor in the world can’t be expected to help a mentee solve a problem that they don’t know the mentee is currently juggling. It’s almost never the easiest thing in the world to be vulnerable with someone, especially someone you respect and whose respect you crave in exchange, but don’t lose sight of the end goal, which is to be the very best real estate agent that you’re capable of becoming. You can’t do that if your mentors don’t know about the problem client who’s been giving you headaches and exactly why the client is upset with you.

When you’ve reached a point in your relationship with your mentor where there’s been some reciprocal exchange of education and resources, it’s acceptable to approach them and ask them for their advice with a specific challenge that’s bothering you.

Take feedback to heart

Look, nobody likes to hear that they messed up; it’s human nature to shun that kind of feedback. Nonetheless, we have to hear it if we want to improve. One of the most valuable things any mentor can do for you is to provide straightforward, unbiased feedback about how you’re doing and where you could be better. And one of the smartest things you can do when you’re put in the position of listening to this feedback is to really listen, ask questions, refuse to get defensive and apply it when and where you can.

Believe that your mentors will notice how coachable you are. It will make them more inclined to share more wisdom with you in the future if they know that you take their experience and advice seriously.

Consider coaching

Some agents might dismiss coaching as an unnecessary expense, but smart agents think of it as an investment in their own future. Even if you have the most amazing network of mentors that has ever been seen in the history of real estate, you could still benefit from a coach — someone whose entire job and career is to make you better at yours, to call you on any excuses you’re making, and to hold you accountable to your goals. Many mentors can do some of these things some of the time, but almost no mentor will do all of them for you consistently, and when you reach a point in your career when you’re finding that you need deeper evaluation and fine-tuning of your strategies and efforts, a coach might be the next logical step for you.