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Marina Jensen's Blog

By Marina Jensen | Agent in Denver, CO
  • Listing Your Home For Sale By Owner. Should You Do It?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Denver, Home Selling in Denver  |  June 3, 2014 8:36 AM  |  177 views  |  No comments

    The Denver real estate market has been on fire for months now and lately it seems like even a dilapidated barn in the least popular metro neighborhood can fly off the market in a matter of days if not hours… So naturally the “why do I even need a Realtor” question comes to the mind of any potential seller contemplating listing their home.  Hot sellers’ market or not, I get this question often enough I decided it was time to finally share some much needed answers.

    The first and most obvious reason is sellers need a Realtor to get property exposure in the MLS.  Yes, certainly there are several popular consumer sites that will allow you to list your home FSBO free of charge, but the issue is not all buyers go to these sites to find their next house.  The majority of buyers in metro Denver hire a Realtor to help them find homes and those Realtors (licensed agents) only use MLS system to search and identify properties that fit their clients’ criteria.  Most of my buyer clients get set up with the daily MLS emails as soon as they start their search process, meaning they get notified immediately when/if any homes matching their wishlist appear in the MLS.  They do not get any property alerts or notification from any other sites.

    Reason number two is the paperwork. While every seller has a perfect right to negotiate offers, provide their own state-mandated disclosures and do the rest of the transaction required paperwork, I would describe this as the equivalent of doing self-representation in court.  So much of my work as a Realtor happens after my listing goes under contract, that I can’t imagine any seller (with another full-time job and no experience) being able to truly do this part successfully.

    Third reason is that your agent is your “buffer.”  Not only do we take on the task of filtering all those phone calls and bogus showings from non-qualified lookie loos, but do you really want some sex predator or scoping-your-house-for-future-robbery “buyer” off Craig’s list in your home for showings? I certainly wouldn’t!  All Realtors carry insurance and most importantly know the buyer they are bringing into your home.

    Having said all that, I understand that the number one motivator for sellers to list their home FSBO is the potential money saving (on Realtor commissions) aspect… So I’ll wrap this post up by quoting some stats:

    -Last year the typical FSBO home sold for $40,000 less than one represented by an agent.

    -Understanding and performing paperwork was the most difficult transaction task reported by FSBO sellers (18%)

    -87% of home buyers hire a Realtor to help them find a home, while 82% of home sales are the result of agent connections.

    Marina Jensen
    5280 Magazine Top Realtor 4 Consecutive Years
    303 908-9117
    Marina Jensen on Facebook
  • Denver Park Hill Neighborhood Real Estate

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Denver, Home Selling in Denver, In My Neighborhood in Denver  |  February 15, 2014 9:55 AM  |  582 views  |  No comments

    Park Hill has consistently been at the top of Denver’s most popular neighborhoods for nearly two decades, yet I realized I haven’t written a single blog post about it!  I figured it was time to dig deep into the area’s rich history, discover some interesting details and get to the bottom on why so many Denver residents are eager to call this fantastic neighborhood home.

    My personal love affair with Park Hill began sometime in the late nineties after a memorable drive down 17th Avenue on a beautiful fall day.  Having grown up in a cookie-cutter subdivision on the outskirts of southern suburbs, north part of Denver seemed like a whole other state before that drive. Yet I’m glad I decided to explore the area because to this day I stand firm in my opinion that there isn’t a more beautiful street (or neighborhood for that matter) in all of Denver.  From its magnificent Tudors and classic Denver Squares to quaint Victorians and traditional brick bungalows, Park Hill delivers some of Denver's most distinguished architectural gems on wide mature-tree-lined streets.

    Denver’s “love affair” with Park Hill began way before mine did, over a hundred years earlier. Located directly east of City Park and downtown, Park Hill was platted from prairie lands in 1871 by energetic real estate speculators. By the early 1900s investors started selling off some of the first lots located along Montview Boulevard for between (and please prepare yourselves for the sticker shock here) $150 and $300 for a single lot and up to $500 for a double lot. Interestingly enough in those days corner lots were typically the last to be sold because many people considered the interior lots to be more desirable.  Unlike other Denver neighborhoods known for their distinct architectural styles (Capitol Hill’s Denver Squares or Wash Park’s bungalows for example) Park Hill always had a healthy mix of Victorians, Denver Squares, Colonials, Tudors and bungalows. Remarkably, most of these homes still exist and many with few alterations.  Thought by many today to have been the neighborhood of the Denver Elite in the first half of 21st century, Park Hill has actually been rather diverse throughout most of the last century, housing everyone from prominent Colorado politicians (Governor John Hickenlooper was raised here) and physicians to Average-Joe blue-collar workers.

    Unfortunately just like many other Denver’s great core neighborhoods, Park Hill experienced decline shortly after the end of World War II. Whether it was the tough economic times, growing crime rates or the increasing airplane noise from the nearby Stapleton Airport, the property values started declining and many families followed the growing trend of migrating to the suburbs. Urban revival of the 90s helped put Park Hill back on the map as one of Denver’s most desirable neighborhoods and the area is thriving today. Bordered by Colfax Avenue on the south, Colorado Boulevard on the west side, 38th Avenue up north and Monaco Parkway on the east, Park Hill offers a convenient mix of beautiful residential blocks, trendy restaurants, family businesses and well-rated public schools.

    I fell in love with Park Hill years ago and call it home today.  I would love to help you fall in love with it too, so please feel free to email or call me if you want to explore this fantastic neighborhood together!

    Browse available Park Hill real estate listings here or contact me for a comprehensive market analysis of your Park Hill home anytime. 

    Marina Jensen


    Realtor Marina Jensen on Facebook

    303 908-9117

  • Relocating to Denver? Realtor Marina Jensen would love to help you find the right home!

    Posted Under: General Area in Denver, Home Buying in Denver, In My Neighborhood in Denver  |  October 28, 2013 9:03 AM  |  680 views  |  No comments

    Relocation is stressful for many reasons... And finding a real estate agent you can trust from miles away is not always an easy task. I am a long-term Denver Realtor and resident who understands and appreciates different neighborhood dynamics and will help you find just the right area to plant you Colorado roots in!

    Marina Jensen
    303 908-9117
    Find me on Facebook
  • Should buyers base their home search on a school distict?

    Posted Under: General Area in Denver, Home Buying in Denver, Investment Properties in Denver  |  September 30, 2013 8:41 AM  |  767 views  |  No comments
    Does living in a great school district really matter that much? I get this question from a lot of my clients and the answer has always been the same--you bet it does!

    While not every home buyer has school-aged children (and has to worry about which school they will be attending) every buyer wants to make sure they are making a smart choice for the sake of future resale. I always tell my clients that one foolproof way to make sure you are investing wisely is to buy in a great school district.

    Buyers are willing to pay substantially more to live in a good school district! On average they are forking over $50 more per square foot for homes near top-notch schools, according to Redfin. Their analysis found that even within the same neighborhoods, home buyers are willing to pay quite a bit more for homes that fall in a highly-rated school district than for homes served by average-ranked schools.

    Here in metro Denver, not only do homes in top school districts bring in a higher sales price, they also sell faster!

    Learn more about metro Denver schools here or contact me to get more information for your specific neighborhoood.

    Marina Jensen
    303 908-9117
    Find me on Facebook

    Portion of post is from Realtor magazine
  • Why Buy New Construction in Metro Denver?

    Posted Under: General Area in Denver, Quality of Life in Denver, Home Buying in Denver  |  May 19, 2013 7:41 PM  |  941 views  |  1 comment
    I have to admit that majority of my business is resale home transactions, so I was somewhat hesitant to spend 4 hours of my time at a recent builder EXPO in Jefferson Park. But I sure was glad I did!  New construction is not the right choice for every buyer since (aside from Stapleton) it doesn't give you many choices in the city core, however it does how plenty of advantages for folks looking in the suburbs.

    Here are some things to consider when deciding if the new built is right for you:

    1. New construction homes are built with superior energy efficient materials when comparing them to homes in many established older Denver neighborhoods. And energy efficient homes mean lower monthly utility bills!

    2. New construction homes allow buyers to completely personalize their house. Why settle for someone else's decor choices, floorplan and design or spend money remodeling?

    3. New construction homes (almost in all cases) come with a builder warranty.  While buyers can always purchase a home warranty on a resale property as well, it typically does not cover major structural items and only covers certain percentage of major mechanical issues.

    4. Builders can often offer financing incentives that many lenders/home sellers cannot beat.

    If you have any questions about purchasing new construction property in metro Denver or need help locating a new community in your target area-please don't hesitate to contact me!

    Marina Jensen
    Cherry Creek Properties
    303 908-9117

  • Denver Real Estate Market Update

    Posted Under: General Area in Denver, Home Buying in Denver, Home Selling in Denver  |  April 15, 2013 9:12 AM  |  952 views  |  No comments

    The Latest data from Metrolist reveals a 46% increase in home sales from February and a significant 20% jump from March of 2012.

    By all year-over-year comparisons, the Denver market is significantly stronger than it was in 2012. The average price of a Denver-area home is up 19% to over $295,000. The average days on market (DOM) are down 35% and inventory levels are 35% lower than they were in March 2012. As low inventory levels force prices up and decrease the amount of time houses are on the market, local market competition has noticeably risen.

    I personally noticed that multiple offers on well-priced listings in desirable areas are back in full force this month!

    Marina Jensen

    Your Denver Realtor

    303 908 9117


    Portion of this post is copied from Metrolist

  • Top Denver Neighborhoods to Invest in.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Denver, Home Selling in Denver, Investment Properties in Denver  |  March 23, 2013 12:31 PM  |  1,751 views  |  No comments

    The revitalization process never seems to stop in Denver and new neighborhoods to watch emerge all the time. The key to any good real estate investment is to get in before the rest of the buyers decide this is where they want to get in as well. So since this has to be one of the most frequently asked questions by my clients, I decided to dedicate this blog to my opinion on top five Denver neighborhoods to watch for the next few years.

    1. RiNo (River North Art District) is a small neighborhood located between Park Ave., I-25, 38th Ave. and Lawrence St. In my opinion this is the number one area to watch in all of Denver. Problem is, existing single-family dwellings are scarce in this neighborhood, but with industrial warehouses being converted to hip, pricey lofts by developers and restaurants/galleries/small businesses popping up left and right, any property you can get your hands on in this area is guaranteed to be a phenomenal investment. A light rail line connecting downtown to DIA is currently under construction, with RiNo Station on 38th & Blake scheduled to open in 2016.

    RiNo homes for sale

    2. Cole is an old, diverse Denver neighborhood bordering RiNo and is located between Martin Luther King Blvd., York St., I-70 and Downing St. Proximity to the East Line of RTDs light rail, downtown and City Park has helped this area climb to the top of the hot-investment list within the last few years and the average prices per square foot on sold properties have nearly doubled since. The neighborhood is still a mixed bag, with plenty of rundown homes left and judging by the rate at which investors are purchasing everything they can get their hands on in this area, Cole isn't about to cool off any time soon. My prediction for the highest future appreciation in Cole are a few north west blocks closest to the light rail station on 38th and Blake. 

    Cole homes for sale

    3. Strayer Shepards Park Hill is a small neighborhood pocket of post-war homes located between Colfax Ave., Monaco Pkwy., Martin Luther King Pkwy. and Quebec St. Its proximity to Stapleton and ridiculously low property taxes have recently put this quiet subdivision on the fast-appreciation and high-buyer-demand tracks. Inventory is currently low in Strayer Shepards, but if you are persistent and patient, it is possible to find a good deal (usually an estate sale or something in need of major updating) in this area.

    4. North Villa Park/South Colfax is a great area to watch in North West Denver. Located along the West Colfax stretch between I-25 and Sheridan, the area has experienced a significant amount of revitalization lately with many more major projects scheduled in the near future. With the site of the old St. Anthony Hospital being redeveloped in the next 10 years, West Line light rail stations opening up this year, and proximity to one of Denver's most popular lakes, I do not see this neighborhood jumping off the hot train any time soon. While I don't predict property values here will rise as fast as in some other neighborhoods on this list, if you are on a 10-year investment plan with your real estate purchase-you can't go wrong with this area!

    Homes for sale near Sloan's Lake

    5. Skyland/Clayton is also emerging as a good neighborhood to invest in. Located just north of City Park between York and Colorado, this area is appreciating at a pretty fast rate. The revitalization progress still varies by block, but proximity to the park and easy access to I-70 keeps luring buyers willing to live in mixed bag neighborhood and fix-and-flip investors. 

    Would you like more information on any of these areas? Contact me for my detailed market analysis of these neighborhoods or if you would like any help with your real estate investment needs. I specialize in Denver neighborhoods and would be thrilled to help you find a good deal here!

    Marina Jensen

    303 908-9117


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