With Tourism Halted, Hawaii’s Housing Market Takes a Big Hit. Can It Bounce Back?

Honolulu

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Even though it sits 2,000 miles from the mainland in the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii hasn’t escaped the economic impacts of COVID-19. Right now, it stands as one of the hardest-hit areas in the country.

Tourism is the 50th state’s largest industry, and the pandemic has put the brakes on vacationers, thrill-seekers, and conventiongoers. Those who do venture to the Aloha State face a mandatory 14-day quarantine, which makes most vacations impossible.

And with the economy reeling, the real estate market is struggling to navigate choppy waters.

“COVID-19 certainly, swiftly, and negatively did impact our housing market, as we expected,” says Tricia Nekota, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors®. “We saw a decrease in new listings and more escrow cancellations along with more properties being delisted or temporarily taken off the market.”

No tourists, no economy

With no tourists flocking to the sun-soaked island chain, many Hawaiians are out of work. The impacts of high unemployment have cascaded down through the entire economy. Hotels, restaurants, and shops closed during stay-at-home orders are just beginning to reopen with many restrictions.

According to the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, or DBEDT, tourism makes up 36.8% of the economy, with 119,429 people working directly in the industry.

However, those numbers don’t include a large segment of workers whose jobs aren’t directly linked to tourism, but depend on a steady flow of folks making their way to the islands.

Preliminary April numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show only two states with higher unemployment rates than Hawaii.

  • National rate: 14.7%
  • Hawaii: 22.3%
  • Michigan: 22.7%
  • Nevada: 28.2%
Hawaii street
Hawaii street

R9 Studios

For context: Before the pandemic, unemployment in Hawaii was below 3%.

As for tourism, the numbers are stark and the impacts are huge. In 2019, DBEDT reports found about 25,000 domestic passengers traveling through Hawaiian airports each day. That same trend continued in the early months of 2020.

After travel restrictions went into place in late March, the number of visitors dropped to just a few hundred a day. International passenger counts (not including flights from Canada) were at about 8,000 daily in 2019 and the first months of 2020. Now they are close to zero.

Compared with other world events that have shaken the islands, the pandemic is without parallel. While DBEDT shows past shocks significantly slowing Hawaii tourism, there’s nothing that can compare with the near 100% decrease in its prime economic driver.

Here are the numbers from three previous events, including the number of monthly tourist arrivals and the time it took for the Hawaiian economy to recover to pre-event levels:

  • Gulf War in 1990-91: 25% decrease,11 months to recover
  • 9/11 attacks: 27% decrease, 29 months to recover
  • 2008 financial crisis: 19% decrease, 41 months to recover

Home buyers pulling back

Losing a job or suffering through a furlough will certainly change home buyers’ plans. The agents we spoke with in Hawaii say homes are falling out of escrow.

“People don’t have any more money, especially those in the service industry. You qualify [for a mortgage] according to your employment,” says Jack Legal, president of Hawaii Realtors®.

Diamond head
Diamond Head

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A recent buyer had to extend escrow for a month because of a furlough, says Legal. “He was hoping by the end of the month he was going to regain his job back, and I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that when this pandemic is over, his job will still be there.”

When the pandemic first hit, Nekota saw many more escrow cancellations than she is seeing now, which may be a sign things are stabilizing.

“The buyers that are in the market right now are the ones who will stay in this market,” says Nekota.

New listings are down dramatically

The number of new listings has decreased throughout the state, especially in Honolulu, the state’s most populous city.

According to Nekota, the number of new single-family home listings in Honolulu from March 22 to April 25 was down 42% compared with the same time in 2019. The lack of listings is roughly the same for condos and townhomes.

Home sellers choosing to temporarily remove their listings skyrocketed during the same time period. Nekota says she saw a 71% increase in the number of delistings for single-family homes and 53% for condos.

In addition to being a large financial decision, buying or selling a house is also an emotional decision. The island economy weighs heavily on those who would normally be wading into the housing market during the spring and summer months

“It’s all about perception and what [consumers] see or hear. It weighs on their emotional decision as to whether or not they’re going to remain in a market where our economy seems very turbulent,” Nekota explains.

Hawaii skyline
Hawaii skyline

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She adds many islanders who were considering selling are in a holding pattern, and those “who were deciding to list before COVID-19 decided to hold off.” This means there isn’t much out there for buyers to even consider.

Buyers squeezed on supply

Both Nekota and Legal say one thing has remained constant in this crazy time: a limited supply of available real estate usually means high demand. Yes, even in a pandemic. It’s held true in this island market where available homes have always been in short supply.

“Inventory is really, really low. It makes it even more challenging for buyers to purchase homes,” Nekota says. For buyers who haven’t lost a job and still have financial ability to buy a home, options are limited.

Legal says he was working with one property that needed a lot of repairs, which received 17 offers. Another property had six offers.

Honolulu home
Honolulu home

realtor.com

“Even though there’s less buyers out there, there’s just not enough property for buyers to be putting in offers on,” Nekota explains. “So, oddly enough, we’re still seeing multiple offers being put on homes because there’s not a lot out there to choose from.”

The lack of inventory has pushed the median home price up. Legal says that even though homes sales in April dropped more than 20% compared with the same period last year, the median price for a single family home rose 5% year over year.

Nekota says it’s a good time to be a seller in Hawaii, and she thinks the few buyers unaffected by the state’s downturn are hungry to leap into the market.

“There are buyers that are still out there looking for that right home,” she says. “If their job is stable … they’re creditworthy, [then] they can make this purchase and take advantage of the record-low mortgage rates. And for sellers, because inventory is so low, you’re still going to have attraction to your property.”

The post With Tourism Halted, Hawaii’s Housing Market Takes a Big Hit. Can It Bounce Back? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

People Rent By-the-Hour Spaces to Escape Loved Ones, Homes During Lockdown

Unhappy woman at home

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Brittney Gwynn, a 32-year-old project manager, was growing weary of her boyfriend after weeks of lockdown in Brooklyn.

“Our love is unlimited,” she told the New York Times. “But in terms of the time we’re spending together, we’re getting on each other’s nerves.”

So Gwynn turned to Globe, a year-old app that offers daytime short-term rentals by the hour. Its main pitch — that people will pay for a quiet space to make calls, do work or just be alone — rings especially true now, as New Yorkers wrap up the 10th week of the state’s stay-at-home order.

Gwynn shelled out $100 for two hours in a a blissfully boyfriend-free apartment in a Downtown Brooklyn high-rise, where she held a work call for 45 minutes after wiping down all surfaces with an antibacterial wipe. She happily hung out solo for the remainder of her allotted time.

Globe was founded in San Francisco, which is still home to the most Globe rentals — though New York is both its second-biggest and fastest-growing market. Since the coronavirus outbreak, the company reports, it has seen 25,000 new users worldwide. And in New York, there’s now a wait list of more than 10,400 people who want to become guests, according to cofounder Emmanuel Bamfo, no doubt fueled by coronavirus-related cabin fever. About 2,000 people have come off it and been approved to use the app, adds Bamfo, 30.

Initially, Bamfo says, Globe appealed to space-starved New Yorkers who wanted a place to decompress between meetings or during a lengthy flight layover. (Gwynn herself, per the Times, learned of the company in the autumn when she needed a place for her and her friends to get ready for a gala.) Many spaces run about $40/hour; spending the night is strictly prohibited.

An Upper East Side apartment available to rent by the hour via the app Globe.
An Upper East Side apartment available to rent by the hour via the app Globe.

Globe

But now, with no in-person meetings happening or evening events being thrown, “the demand has changed,” Bamfo tells The Post. “We weren’t meant to be cooped up like this.”

While some clients no doubt book to escape from loved ones in close quarters, Bamfo says, the primary reason people reserve is for work reasons.

“ ‘I have a bunch of roommates,’ ‘I don’t have a desk,’ ‘I want to go somewhere to bang out that core call,’ ” says Bamfo, running through reasons customers cite for needing some fresh, unoccupied square footage. He also cites, as additional examples, mothers who need a quick break from work and childcare, yogis who want to exercise privately and, during Ramadan, observant Muslims who needed space to pray.

“Right now we have way more demand than we have supply,” he adds. Crows New York host Brendon W., in a testimonial on Globe’s website, “Renting my home to professionals who take Zoom calls during the day after Airbnb tanked is saving my mortgage.”

Because coronavirus concerns persist, Globe has added some precautions. People must come alone to their hourly rentals and, most importantly, they need to submit a photo proving their body temperature. There are stringent rules for cleaning between guests.

“I did feel safe,” says 31-year-old Brooklyn resident Ali Hussain, who has booked a Fort Greene unit twice since the outbreak began in March. He adds that when he cautiously entered the apartment the first time, he could immediately tell that the space had been professionally tidied.

“You could smell the cleaning products,” he says. “You knew it was clean.”

But unlike other users in need of a quiet zone distinct from roommates or spouses, Hussain lives alone. He just needed a change of scenery from his own rental.

“It’s hard to adjust to home as my workplace,” says Hussain, the COO at smartphone-operated door access system Latch.

He got off the wait list in February, and initially intended to use Globe as a way to find spots for a quick nap before nighttime business meetings. But since the lockdown started, Hussain has seen it as a way to find satellite office space.

“It’s a good place for me to focus, hammer out work, take Zoom calls,” he says. “It makes lockdown more doable for me.”

But Hussain will save his pennies for when he has especially big tasks at hand.

“It’s the big stuff when I go to Globe,” he says. “I need to be Superman today.”

San Francisco officials have served Globe a letter stating that hourly rentals appear to violate that city’s shelter-in-place order, TechCruch reports, and the company is preparing to respond next week.

The post People Rent By-the-Hour Spaces to Escape Loved Ones, Homes During Lockdown appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Keep Your Pool Clean with Chlorine Floaters

Get a handle on your pool's water quality with a floating chlorine dispenser.

Get a handle on your pool’s water quality with a floating chlorine dispenser. (Aquatix Pro/)

Chlorine floaters allow pool owners to automate the process of ridding their pools of algae, bacteria, dirt, and chloramines that can make it slippery, smelly, and potentially harmful to the health of swimmers. You can set the chlorine floaters to release on schedule and make adjustments, as needed, to accommodate weather demands and other factors. These great chlorine floaters will take much of the work out of keeping your pool clean and ready to safely use.

It has an adjustable ring so you can control how many chemicals you release.

It has an adjustable ring so you can control how many chemicals you release. (Aquatix Pro/)

This dispenser does double duty as a thermometer and bromine tablet holder and dispenser. It is useful for indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as spas. The dispenser features a locking tablet holder for added security, holds 5 to 7 tablets, and up to 3 pounds.

The basket for this chlorine floater can hold up to three pounds of chlorine tablets.

The basket for this chlorine floater can hold up to three pounds of chlorine tablets. (Swimline/)

With this chlorine dispenser, you’re in total control of the amount of chlorine you release into your pool. The dispenser holds one and three-inch chlorine tablets, and is easy to fill and adjust to meet the needs of your pool. The dispenser automatically releases the chlorine, and you can customize the dosage amounts.

Designed to look like a mallard, this model measures 15.5 inches by 6.25 inches by 10.5 inches.

Designed to look like a mallard, this model measures 15.5 inches by 6.25 inches by 10.5 inches. (Poolmaster/)

This chlorine dispenser by Poolmaster holds between three and five three-inch chlorine tablets and stays upright more effectively when filled with at least two to three chlorine tablets. As the tablets dissolve into the water, the duck will begin to tilt. It features an adjustable dispensing ring and is made of non-corrosive materials. Besides the mallard, you can select from an alligator, white duck, or a blue or yellow butterfly to float in your pool.

The chemical dispenser measures seven inches in diameter and holds up to three pounds of chemical tablets for your pool.

The chemical dispenser measures seven inches in diameter and holds up to three pounds of chemical tablets for your pool. (Pool Whale/)

This dispenser is designed to hold up to three pounds of chlorine or bromine one or three-inch tablets. It features an adjustable control ring, so you can enjoy balanced delivery of cleaning chemicals for your pool. It also comes with a full one-year warranty.

The chemical dispenser measures seven inches in diameter and holds up to three pounds of chemical tablets for your pool.

The chemical dispenser measures seven inches in diameter and holds up to three pounds of chemical tablets for your pool. (Pool Whale/)

Suitable for dispensing chlorine and bromine, this seven-inch diameter chlorine dispenser has a collapsible chemical tank that holds up to three pounds of one or three-inch tablets. The lid is easy to remove and twists to lock the pool chemicals into place. The bottom vents on the floating dispenser help to control the amount of chemicals dispensed into your pool.

7 Charming Craftsman Cottages From Around the U.S.

Craftsman

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Built during the 1910s and 1920s in cities as diverse as Tampa, FL, Honolulu, and Seattle, Craftsman cottages are now hitting the century mark.

There may be tiny tweaks by region, such as folding in Spanish-style accents in the Southwest or using sturdy brick in the Northeast, but most tenets of the style remain. They include built-ins, custom woodwork, front porches, and a fireplace. On the exterior, these cottages feature dormers, exposed rafter tails, overhanging eaves, pillars, and double-hung windows.

Craftsman cottages are considered older siblings to bungalows, which were constructed mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, with as many as five bedrooms and more than 2,000 square feet of living space.

In recent years, owners of Craftsman cottages have really nailed curb appeal with native landscaping and period-specific paint. Have a look at these seven Craftsman charmers from coast to coast.

1806 S Lane St, Seattle, WA

Price: $638,500

The exterior paint scheme on this two-bedroom abode in the Atlantic neighborhood is sure to please all passersby. Beyond the 1910 home’s pretty blue facade lies a large landscaped lot with a greenhouse. Equipped with solar power and recently refreshed, this Craftsman maintains its vintage charm, including arched doorways.

1806 S. Lane St., Seattle, WA

realtor.com

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756 11th Ave, Honolulu, HI

Price: $2,500,000

Built in 1923, this Craftsman cottage in the Kaimuki neighborhood is on the larger side, with 2,846 square feet of living space. The three-bedroom home might need a few upgrades to align for modern times, but its nearly half-acre lot size is rare on Oahu. Inside, you’ll find 9-foot plank ceilings marked by crown molding, stone half-walls, and wood built-ins.

756 11th Ave, Honolulu, HI

realtor.com

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1374 E Villa St, Pasadena, CA

Price: $924,999

Twelve miles east of downtown L.A., this part of Pasadena boasts a lot of bungalows and Craftsman homes. This one from 1914 features red-orange and sage-green paint and a gorgeous front yard. The windows bathe this three-bedroom home in an abundance of natural light. Crown molding, built-ins, hardwood flooring, and a flat-stone fireplace are joined by modern updates, including stainless-steel kitchen appliances and added storage throughout.

1374 E. Villa At., Pasadena, CA

realtor.com

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1815 Perry Ave, Wilmington, NC

Price: $326,500

With beautiful ceramic pots adorning the spacious front porch, this three-bedroom home in the Carolina Place community retains many of its period details even after renovations. Built in 1922, the current chapter reveals a barn door, Shaker-style cabinetry, farmhouse sink, bead-board trim, patterned-tile flooring, and floating shelves.

1815 Perry Ave., Wilmington, NC

realtor.com

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5410 N Suwanee Ave, Tampa, FL

Price: $435,000

Rafter tails and pillars can be seen from the street in this two-bedroom home built in 1926 in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. Go closer and twin stone lions come into view. A renovation introduced an open floor plan, upgraded kitchen, and enlarged master suite, but kept a fireplace in the living room as well as wide doorways. Overnight guests can bunk in the detached mini cottage with French doors. Out back there’s a raised deck and pergola.

5410 N. Suwanee Ave., Tampa, FL

realtor.com

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4218 Hamilton St, San Diego, CA

Price: $619,000

In a San Diego neighborhood celebrated for its Craftsman cottages, this two-bedroom was built in 1926. Its petite 640 square feet of living space was recently remodeled. Work done includes subway tile in the shower, sliding glass doors off one bedroom, and leathered granite countertops in the kitchen. The large lot can accommodate a covered deck, custom shed, and sunny spots to plant vegetables.

4218 Hamilton St., San Diego, CA

realtor.com

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837 Wesley Ave, Oak Park, IL

Price: $369,000

Located in a Chicago suburb, this 1,738-square-foot abode was built in 1918. Recent updates include a reimagined master bath, custom window shades, as well as new flooring, skylight, and Silestone countertops in the kitchen. There are four bedrooms along with a finished basement. The brick-paver patio in the fenced backyard allows space to spread out. A claw-foot tub and white-washed brick fireplace harken to this home’s beginnings.

837 Wesley Ave, Oak Park, IL

realtor.com

The post 7 Charming Craftsman Cottages From Around the U.S. appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

How to Create Your Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

As summer approaches and temperatures start to rise, no one wants to spend time inside sweating over a hot stove. With an outdoor kitchen, you can make the most of the beautiful warm nights by spending them with your friends and family.

Whether you have thousands to spend or a just few hundred to splurge, create your own outdoor kitchen and enjoy all it has to offer.

Upgrade your grill

A rusty, dusty grill doesn’t inspire lingering outdoor evenings. Upgrade your outdoor grill and take care of it all year round for a stand-out outdoor kitchen. A standard grill will cost you $150 to $300, and top-of-the-line outdoor ranges may be upwards of $1,500.

Before buying the biggest and best grill, consider how you will use one. Will you be feeding the whole soccer team? Or perhaps grilling some steaks for a romantic dinner for two? Look for a grill with features you will actually use and not just the latest trends.

Enhance your seating

If your basics are up to date, then you’ll want to upgrade your patio furniture and seating options too. If you plan on dining outside often, invest in an actual dining table and appropriate chairs. Eating a gourmet dinner off your lap downgrades an otherwise luxurious experience.

If you’re looking for more versatile pieces, sleek contemporary options coordinate nicely with most outdoor kitchen setups. Expect to spend a good chunk of change on quality furniture, but remember: With the proper care and maintenance, it can last as long as high-end interior pieces. Make sure you have a plan for the off-season, whether that’s moving outdoor furniture to indoor storage or securely covering it to protect it from the elements.

Add the extras

Want a prep sink? Wine fridge? Ice machine? Built-in smoker? You got it. The sky’s the limit when it comes to custom additions – or rather, your budget is the limit. Think carefully about your space before making a wish list.

Perhaps a full chef’s kitchen won’t quite fit in your backyard, but a beautiful wine fridge and some extra counter space are just what you need to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level.

Some features require installing or extending utilities (think: water or electricity), so don’t forget about portable additions such as a bar cart – which adds class without hassle.

Make it comfortable

Think about how you will provide amenities to make being outdoors comfortable, such as shade, heat (if using your space year-round), and perhaps even a few extras like a TV or audio equipment.

Tucking the seating close to the house may help you take advantage of a porch or awning. Otherwise, structures such as a light-strung pergola add shade during the day, light at night and atmosphere all the time.

If you have the room, the addition of a fireplace allows for a longer entertaining season. Outdoor kitchens don’t have to be just for summer, after all.

If you like to have some indoor comforts while enjoying your beautiful outside oasis, television and music can be connected outside – although it can be expensive. Bluetooth or portable speakers, a projector and a large sheet, or even an old-fashioned radio are more budget-sensitive options for those looking to add a little fun to their outdoor space.

Apply your own style

Create an outdoor kitchen that suits your style and taste. If you’re working with an existing space, be sure to embrace the style and play up the features, such as dark wood, stone and classic columns.

If you’re starting from scratch, take a look at your indoor design and see what features you like. Then consider incorporating those color schemes, design styles or even furniture shapes into your outdoor kitchen.

While you can’t go wrong designing your outdoor space, consider designs and colors that are versatile so you’re not limited if you want to mix things up in the future.

Make it yours

Your outdoor kitchen should be a comfortable, relaxing space for entertaining or unwinding after a long day of work. Make yours an escape that works for you.

When planning your outdoor kitchen, think about adding one or two small luxuries that will make you excited to enjoy your space. These can be as small as pretty tea lights scattered around or as large as a wood-burning pizza oven.

Related:

Originally published June 2016.

Denver Was Booming Before the Coronavirus Pandemic. Now It Hopes to Bounce Back

Denver’s Confluence Park

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Before the coronavirus pandemic, few American cities were creating jobs faster than Denver. Nor had many places aligned themselves so closely with sectors that have since been battered by shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, such as tourism and energy.

Now the Mile High City may also hold answers about the post-coronavirus economic outlook: whether cities that outperformed during the longest expansion in U.S. history are better cushioned to navigate a recovery. In Denver’s case, some of the same factors that propelled it—such as a younger, more educated and wealthier population—may outweigh disadvantages of high exposure to crisis-hit sectors, according to local business owners and economists.

A few months back when the U.S. was enjoying joblessness at a half-century low, Denver area employment proved consistently healthier than the national average, according to the U.S. Labor Department. The city’s expanding population earned a median income of $63,793—6% above the national average—and underpinned surging property values. They patronized hundreds of new restaurants a year in places such as the trendy RiNo district.

An important component of Denver’s vitality has included attracting outsiders: tourists and convention-goers, but also companies and job seekers. Chunks of that revenue have been erased by lockdowns and social distancing. Resort, hotel, restaurant and airport layoffs in Denver and across Colorado have propelled state jobless claims to nearly 500,000 in recent weeks—compared with jobs added as recently as February.

dine-in restaurant Denver
Chef Jennifer Jasinski was able to reopen her restaurant to dine-in customers last week, but with limited capacity.

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Denver’s 4.6% jobless rate in March, the most recent month available, exceeded the national average for the first time since early 2012, according to the Labor Department. The fall in economic activity also caused a collapse in global oil prices, costing oil patch jobs in Denver.

“Tourism and energy looked like competitive disadvantages in the early part of the crisis,” said Brian Lewandowski, executive director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder. But, he added, that isn’t the whole story. He said that while 26% of the state’s jobs are spread between recreation, restaurants, accommodation, retailing and a variety of services such as beauty treatments and auto repairs, these sectors generate only about 13% of total wages, limiting their overall impact.

Most workers’ income, Mr. Lewandowski said, “hasn’t been as disrupted so far.”

While Denver cultivates an image as a destination catering to hipsters, athletes and geologists, just as important are its ties to technology, finance and the military and defense sector.

Denver previously had hundreds of new restaurants a year in places such as the trendy RiNo district.
Denver previously had hundreds of new restaurants a year in places such as the trendy RiNo district.

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Fitch Ratings recently affirmed Denver’s triple-A bond rating, despite what it said are expected drops in tax collections from hotels, rental cars and restaurants, because city finances are robust and “post-pandemic revenue growth prospects remain strong.” A Moody’s Investors Service report put Denver alongside Salt Lake City; Durham, N.C.; and Madison, Wis. on a list of U.S. cities it considers best positioned to rebound from the crisis.

The Denver economy’s resilience and diversity today reflect local policies set following boom-bust volatility in the 1980s when the economy got repeatedly whipsawed by swings in the prices of natural resources such as oil. Ever since, Denver policy makers have sought to attract technology companies and expand opportunities linked to tourism. “We’ve been very deliberate about it,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.

Energy remains a key industry, and this year’s oil-price drop has again hurt that sector. Oil producer Discovery Natural Resources LLC, for example, said it had permanently laid off 28 staff in its Denver headquarters to reduce costs in a “difficult operating environment.” The privately held company declined to say how many people it employs in Denver.

Some businesses outside energy and tourism remain confident. Locally based kidney-treatment company DaVita Inc. says it has more than 120 jobs open in the area, while Boston fund manager Fidelity Investments is accelerating plans to add 200 client-services staff around Denver, according to a spokeswoman.

Denver oil field
Energy remains a key industry in the Denver area.

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Construction equipment lessor Arvada Rent-Alls has halted plans to purchase some heavy equipment but expects the area to make a quick recovery.
Construction equipment lessor Arvada Rent-Alls has halted plans to purchase some heavy equipment but expects the area to make a quick recovery.

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Still, the coronavirus pandemic has reduced Denver’s cool quotient, a problem for a city that celebrates its median age of 34 years—almost four years below the national average. Professional sports are on hiatus. Organizers of a big craft beer festival say they don’t know how the October event will proceed. It is anyone’s guess if the world’s snowboarders will in the winter again flock through Denver and head to the Rocky Mountains.

Challenges have shifted for celebrated Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski. She went from struggling to staff her five restaurants to furloughing most of her 250 workers, shuttering a new gastropub and modifying the menu at her award winning Rioja to make it exclusively for takeout. “I’m being forced to make decisions without answers right now,” she said.

On Wednesday, in line with city permission, Ms. Jasinski was welcoming back dine-in customers, although with social-distancing rules that will cut seating to a quarter of normal and with no more than 40% of previous staff levels. “I feel better today that we have a first step toward opening up,” she said. “There are still a million questions,” she added, since the “economics haven’t changed” in terms of rent due and food prices.

Jon Wallace was recently laid off from a digital marketing job at a Denver marijuana retailer and said his out-of-work friends are weighing how long they can afford the city. “It’s the feeling kind of like when I graduated from college and all my classmates became my competition,” the 30-year-old said.

Denver’s City Park
Denver’s City Park

Benjamin Rasmussen for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Hancock, Denver’s mayor, acknowledged that his order in mid-March to shut tourist venues and restaurants exposed vulnerabilities in the local economy. Some venues, he said, might never manage to reopen.

But the mayor said his health rules took the economy into account, including by sparing a sector he called the city’s most broad-based: “We really focused on the construction industry,” he said.

In recent years, construction equipment lessor Arvada Rent-Alls expanded its fleet of machines by 30% or more annually to capture a building boom driven by tech companies, oil producers and home buyers, said its chief executive, Andrew Heesacker. In March the family-run company eliminated two entry-level positions from its staff of about 30 and halted plans to purchase some heavy equipment. Mr. Heesacker said he still expects recovery to happen quickly.

“I haven’t heard of any projects stopping altogether,” he said. “I think it has to do with the diversity of the area.”

The post Denver Was Booming Before the Coronavirus Pandemic. Now It Hopes to Bounce Back appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Bring the Theater Home with these Projectors

With easy Bluetooth connectibility and high resolution viewing, projectors have evolved from a grade school teacher’s tool to be a home theater staple. Here are some of our favorite projectors.

Easily connect your smartphone, gaming system, laptop and more to this projector without downloading any app.

Easily connect your smartphone, gaming system, laptop and more to this projector without downloading any app. (Vankyo/)

This mini projector was truly built for entertainment. Every detail and feature of this projector was designed with the home viewing experience in mind. They are even equipped with heat dispersion and noise suppression technology that halves fan sound to ensure relaxing viewing experience. With a screen size up to 170 inches and easy connection to smart phones, gaming devices, laptops and more, you will not be disappointed with this projector.

This model boasts improved brightness and contrast ratio.

This model boasts improved brightness and contrast ratio. (DR. J/)

Dr J Professional made upgrades to their projector and we are loving the new product. The new enhanced brightness and contrast ratio makes for an amazing picture on the 100-inch screen, which is included with your purchase. It’s compatible with TV Stick and Roku Stick for easy access to your favorite tv show or movie.

No HDMI adapter or Wi-Fi connection is needed to set this one up.

No HDMI adapter or Wi-Fi connection is needed to set this one up. (Topvision /)

With this projector, your home will be the go-to destination for movies, TV premieres, and sporting events. Connect your smartphone directly to the projector or plug-in your Amazon Fire TV stick for an unparalleled viewing experience. With built-in speakers and auto adjusting resolution, all you have to do is sit down and relax.

This model is the size of a soda can but still delivers an excellent picture and great audio.

This model is the size of a soda can but still delivers an excellent picture and great audio. (Anker/)

Harness 100-inch projection technology in a projector whose size will have you baffled. This pocket projector packs a big punch in a small package. This projector features an amazingly bright picture with a 100 ANSI-lumen image. We love the unique 360 degree speakers that allow for an even distribution of sound.

Baker House From Season 5 of ‘Fixer Upper’ Lands on Market for $360K

Baker House Fixer Upper

Carol Embry – Picture it Sold Waco, Brook Christopher/FilmMagic

A charming cottage in Waco, TX, that was renovated by Chip and Joanna Gaines on “Fixer Upper” has come on the market again.

If you missed your chance to buy the “Baker House” when it was available for a brief time in 2018, you can now snap it up up for $359,500.

The home’s delightful transformation was featured on episode seven of the final season of the popular HGTV show. The backstory of the home’s transformation a few years ago was an uplifting tale—for the full scoop, read our recap of the episode.

It featured the recently widowed Patti Baker, who had come to Waco to live closer to her sons. In 2016, she paid $162,500 for the fixer, and then Chip and Jo worked their magic, with $88,000 in improvements.

And while Baker planned for the finished product to be her long-term home, the tale has a twist. A few months after moving into the remodeled space, Baker reconnected with her pastor, who lived a few hours away, and they eventually got married.

A happy ending for the homeowner meant that the two-bedroom, 1.5-bath home landed on the market in January 2018 for $349,900. Thanks to the show’s popularity, there was no shortage of interest.

“The show aired on a Tuesday, and we listed it on a Thursday,” says the listing agent, Shelly Negrete with Camille Johnson, Realtors. Negrete represented the listing in 2018 and is back for a second go-round at selling this notable abode.

“I couldn’t keep up with the phone calls I was getting,” she says of the 2018 listing.

“My voice mailbox was full. I hit a number, it was a California number, and she said, ‘I want to buy the house.’ They loved the story, they loved the house.”

The California couple came up with the winning offer and bought the home as “an adventure,” Negrete says.

Cottage from “Fixer Upper”

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

Living room

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

Dining area

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

Kitchen

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

Bedroom

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

Den with open shelving

Carol Embry, Picture it Sold Waco

The California-based couple, who had been married for over 30 years, spent time in Waco and opened the home to friends. The neighborhood no longer allows Airbnb rentals, but the new owners did open the place up for visiting professors from Baylor University’s seminary. 

Now, for health reasons, the owners aren’t traveling as much and decided to let go of the little house with a lotta love. 

While the home no longer has the furniture from the reveal on “Fixer Upper,” everything else has remained pretty much the same, Negrete says. 

“We call it the love house, because everyone falls in love with the house,” she says. “It’s so sweet.”

The designer-renovated interior includes 1,432 square feet, with an open-concept kitchen, concrete counters, a farmhouse sink, and custom cabinetry. Original hardwood floors run throughout the home, and natural light floods the space. 

Along with the two bedrooms, the layout includes a living room, dining room, den, and laundry tucked into a hobby room or office.

Design touches include two-sided open shelving in the den, and custom bifold shutters in the living room. Black painted shiplap—a Joanna Gaines special—serves as the backdrop to the dining area. 

Set on almost a quarter-acre, the property features a grassy lawn, backyard, front porch, and a garage.

“It’s a small house, but it packs a big punch,” Negrete says. Given its petite footprint, she did allow, “It’s not for everybody, but it’s for somebody.”

As for the price, while it is certainly higher than the median homes in the area, it’s well below some of the stratospheric prices for other Gaines’ projects, such as the five-bedroom “Barndominium,” which was listed for $1.2 million in 2018, or the one-bedroom  “shotgun” house for $950,000. Both of those homes are now off the market. 

For a new owner who falls for the “love house,” the price might be right.

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