My fiance and I are looking for a live-work rental in northwest Denver or the Denver-Boulder corridor.

Asked by Rebecca, Denver, CO Fri Jan 28, 2011

We need about 500 sq. feet of preferably raw space for an artist's studio, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, washer/dryer and off-street parking. A gas stove and fireplace would be wonderful. Our budget max is $2000.

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Belinda Spil…, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Feb 25, 2011
Have you looked at Craigs List or Backpage. I see so many rentals on these site. Otherwise, there are many property managers in town. I know of a couple if you need assistance.
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Spencer R. M…, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Feb 4, 2011

Now, to your question, first, and then to why the leap to buying can be difficult for some people in this economic climate.

I know of a great rental in North Central Denver. It is an early 1900s storefront/warehouse space that has a studio with large windows in the front, facing the street, and a 1000 sq/ft 2bd/1bath apartment in the back. Between the two spaces is a flagstone courtyard and behind the living space there is a flagstone patio and Koi pond. It is right in your rental range, and I believe you might be able to work out an agreement with the owner to allow other artists to sub-let the studio space with you to help you save on rent, and you might even be able to work out a lease to own option. The owner is an artist herself and is really looking for someone good to take the space over.

What many agents on the site will tell you, is what you've probably already read here, "with that kind of budget, you should buy a property." And while that is certainly true, I'll assume that if you had wanted to buy a property, you would have already bought one.

Moving past the idea of renting is difficult for many people for a myriad of reasons, and I think this is hard for us as real estate professionals, to remember sometimes.

-It's possible that with what people are hearing in the news, that they will not be able to get a loan because banks just aren't giving away money like they used to. While this can be true of people with marginal credit, scores below 640-700, there are loan opportunities out there for people with decent credit.

-Perhaps folks don't feel like they have enough money for a down payment because conventional loans are requiring up to 20% of purchase price. Again, there are programs, most notably through institutions that deal in FHA loans, where the required down payment can be as low as 3.5%. VA loans, for military personnel and veterans will sometimes finance 100% of a home's value.

-Mostly, however, it is my opinion, that folks are just plain scared of the real estate market. The media often reports of the horrible losses in home value that have occurred all around the country, and while there have been enormous losses in some areas, Denver, as a whole is not one of those markets. One of the reasons why the Denver market hasn't suffered as badly as others is that there wasn't a huge amount of speculation in this market driving prices up to unsustainable levels. this isn't to say there was no speculation here, but there are many working-class neighborhoods in the metro area whose residents bought homes to live in, not to make a quick buck from.
Another contributing factor to Denver's stability is the lower unemployment rate, as compared to other states and the inflow of new business and residents. While other cities saw declines in population, Denver saw slight increases.

If you are at all interested in seeing the space, please call or email me and I can set up a time for you to meet the owner, Sam, she's a friend of mine.


Spencer R. Madison

Broker Associate
Your Castle Real Estate

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Julia Wuertz, , Denver, CO
Tue Feb 1, 2011
Hi Rebecca. First I'll answer you question with a question - with that high a rental budget, it seems you might be a candidate to purchase a property rather than renting and paying someone else's mortgage for them. Have you spoken with a real estate professional to determine if buyer would be an option for you right now?

I do know of some wonderful live/work properties available, but they are on the market for sale. I could inquire as to whether or not the sellers might be willing to consider renting or a lease with an option to buy.

I work as a Buyer's Specialist/Consultant and would be happy to meet with you anytime and discuss your possible options over a cup of coffee. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience! I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,
Julia Wuertz
Buyer Specialist | The Healey Group, LLC
Keller Williams Preferred Realty
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Brian Burke, Agent, Highlands Ranch, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
can you rent a normal house and use a detached or attached heated garage for a work space??
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Amie MacKenz…, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
This link might be interesting to you.

Probably worth a call or visit to find out more.

Good luck with your search.

Web Reference:
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Jeff Arellan…, Agent, Lakewood, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
Hi Rebecca,

I have a few question:
What is the term / length of lease are you looking for?
How much public traffic do you expect to visit your studio?
What type of parking availability do you need?
This will help determine the areas and zoning we need to investigate

Jeff Arellanes
Area Pros Real Estate
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Leslie Monaco, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
I would agree with Jon that there aren't a lot of studios in this part of town. You might have better luck finding a place in Downtown Denver or Downtown Boulder. Check out as I think it is the best place to search for rentals. Please be wary of using craigslist to find a rental as they are abundant (i.e. don't send your deposit to someone doing missionary work in Africa).

Good Luck!

Leslie Monaco
The Kentwood Company
Web Reference:
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Merritt Noel, , Denver, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
I may have spoken to fast after reading Jon's response. You could look to share some work space in the Art District in Denver on Santa Fe Drive and have home studio to work out of as well. Maybe you could lower your the home rental cost and use the other portion to rent out a shared studio space? In any case I hope you find what you need.
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Merritt Noel, , Denver, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
Hi Rebecca,

You should have no problem finding a home in that price point. You will be pleasantly surprised that you will have more like 4 bdrm 3 bath for under $2000 a month. If you need a referral to work with a realtor to find a home please let me know.

Happy rental hunting!

Merritt Noel
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Jon Roberts, Agent, Denver, CO
Fri Jan 28, 2011
Hey Rebecca! You are seeking a rare bird. I've been looking for Live-Work space in Central/Northwest Denver for a client for some time now. There just isn't a lot of product on the market. One reason, there is not a lot of properly zoned lots for this type of building & use. I do have a developer who is looking to build units that you are seeking. Any chance you would be interested in buying?

Some residential rental property you may find out there would be available to be used for Live-Work. Just need to check the zoning on it. I would be happy to help you with that.
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