The Newest Trend in Home Decor is a Secret

Shhhh. The newest trend in home decor is a secret!

Can you keep a secret? Then you might be a candidate for the newest trend in home décor: secret doors.

That’s right – those hidden passages once confined to mystery movies and novels have now made their way to the average home.

According to the Washington Post, it’s all due to manufacturers offering ready-made doors disguised as bookshelves, mirrors and other options. “[A]s pre-built, ready-to-install doors become more widely available,” notes the Post, “people are adding them for aesthetics, for fun or maybe because they watched too much Scooby Doo.”

The Post reports that three years ago Home Depot began offering online pre-hung bookcase-doors from Murphy Door in Utah. “It has become more of a trend than we expected,” Jeff Watchko, interior door buyer for the store told the Post.

The development can be attributed in part to homeowners hoping to hide valuables in secret rooms. But concealed doors can also solve design issues.

For example, in Nicole Buell’s small condo, the doors to her only bathroom were in her bedroom and living area. The door in the living area was taking up space she would have liked for pictures or bookcases. But removing the door and replacing it with a wall would have left the only entrance to the bathroom in her bedroom, making it awkward for guests. A bookcase that doubles as a door was the perfect fix.

“With the help of her father,” notes the Post, “she constructed shelves and mounted them on the ball bearing hinges to create a bookcase that swings open to reveal the loo.”

Some, however, admit they don’t care about practicalities. Sometimes, the $850 to $1,750 price tag just pays for fun.

“We were redoing our master bathroom and closet, and I don’t know where I saw hidden doors,” Leigha Basini told the Post, but I was a big mystery reader as a child, and when I saw we could have a hidden door, I wanted one. It was probably three-quarters fun and one-quarter storage.”

In all, it’s an exciting trend hiding in plain sight. But, remember: you didn’t hear it from us.

If you need help finding any properties feel free to reach out to me directly!

The  Colorado Broker, Joseph Newman

REMAX of Cherry Creek

Photo Copyright: Katy Belcher/Unsplash 

6 Near- Genius Ways to Fool Burglars Into Thinking You’re Home

Design Tricks to Make Tiny Bathrooms Look Bigger

Design tricks to make tiny bathrooms look bigger

It’s fun to look at magazine pictures of gleaming bathrooms the size of airplane hangars. But if you’re like most homeowners, your washroom can barely fit a sink and toilet, let alone a Learjet.

How can you make the most of those rooms?

There’s plenty you can do—from choosing the right color palette to employing visual tricks—to make even the smallest space look magazine-worthy. Here are some suggestions from Houzz:

Choose white on white: White tile, white paint, and a white vanity can do wonders for visually enlarging a space. “This noncolor-color naturally recedes, making the space look bigger,” notes Houzz. Use varying textures to keep the design from appearing monotonous.

Install a floating vanity: This choice allows for storage beneath the sink, while also giving the bathroom an airy look. Additionally, “in a very small space, having more room to plant your feet can make a big difference,” notes Houzz.

Go minimal: Don’t choose the largest vanity possible. A smaller vanity will “make the area feel less stuffed and thus roomier.”

Replace a shower curtain with glass: This makes the entire square footage of the room visible, opening things up considerably. Houzz also suggests homeowners consider replacing the bathtub with a shower stall. “They are easier to get in and out of, and removing the tub eliminates a lot of bulk that eats up precious room.”

Use bright lighting: Consider multiple light sources in different locations. This will brighten the room and eliminate shadows that close in the space.

If you need any contacts for contractors to aide you in your home renovations please feel free to reach out to me directly. I am always available to you as a resource.

The Colorado Broker

ReMax of Cherry Creek

Photo Copyright: Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

School Districts are More Important to Denver Home Buyers than other Amenities

School Districts are More Important to Denver Home Buyers than other Amenities

We all know home buyers desire high-performing school districts. But what are they willing to sacrifice for this priority? Plenty, according to a recent survey by

The survey found that 78% of home buyers place a good school district above other amenities. “School districts are an area where many buyers aren’t willing to compromise,” Chief Economist Danielle Hale noted of the survey’s findings, as reported by CBS MarketWatch. “For many buyers, ‘location, location, location’ means ‘schools, schools, schools’.”

According to MarketWatch, more than half of home buyers (59%) studied test scores to determine a school district’s quality. Others considered whether the school had a gifted and talented program (53%) and art and music education (49%).

Among the amenities they were willing to sacrifice for great schools: a garage (19% were willing to let this go); updated kitchen (17%); number of hoped-for bedrooms (17%) and outdoor living space (16%).

“Of course, buying in a good school district comes with a significant premium as well,” adds MarketWatch, which cites a 2016 study noting that homes in higher-rated school districts were 49% more expensive on average than the median-priced home nationwide.

Reach out to me at The Colorado Broker and I would be happy to provide you with a school district map so you can see what district is right for your family.


ReMax of Cherry Creek

Photo Copyright: Pan Xiaozhen /

September Market Report

Market Insights for Fall 2018

Housing inventory increases to the highest level in four years giving homebuyers more selection and signaling increased days on market and a slowdown in the rate of price growth.

Is this the time to sit on the sidelines waiting for the market to turn?

With interest rates expected to go to 5.1 percent in 2019 and forecasted appreciation softening but continuing to remain strong at 5.6 percent year over year in Denver, the cost of waiting is significant.

Don’t fall into the trap of rumors about the Denver Real Estate market. Contact me directly and I will help guide you through the buying or selling process.

A $425,000 home today will cost an estimated $23,800 more in purchase price in one year and $286 more a month in your mortgage payment – that’s a 13 percent increase or cost for waiting a year.

With that being said, don’t wait to purchase until next year. The time to buy is now. Contact me directly to get the buying process start. I have an excellent team backing me that will make sure home buying is as seamless as possible.

Quick Stats:

  • Average active listings for August is 17,020 (1985-2017).
  • Record high August was 2006 with 31,664 listings and 2016 represented the record low with 7,327 listings. August 2018 had 8,228 active listings.
  • The 20-year average change in active listings from July to August is a .16 percent decrease. 2018 represents an increase of 7.65 percent. This is the highest percentage increase ever recorded.

DMAR Market Insights

If you have any real estate questions or needs please feel free to reach out to me directly at


Winterize Your Home Before it Gets Too Cold

Winter’s Coming: Time to Prepare

There’s a chill in the air and, along with it, that nagging feeling that home maintenance chores await. While it’s tempting to procrastinate, now is the time to attend to your home, winterizing before the cold sets in.

Your to-do list should include these duties:

Clean gutters: Now is the time to remove leaves and other debris that have fallen into your gutters. This will help ensure good drainage after snowstorms, when melting occurs.

Clean the chimney: If you haven’t done recently, hire a professional to rout out soot, creosote and other dangerous elements that accumulate on the inside of the chimney. It’s also advisable to place a screen on top of the chimney to keep out rodents and other creatures.

Have your furnace inspected: It’s important to have an HVAC professional check the furnace for any malfunctions. Also, be sure to change the filters and keep new ones handy for monthly replacement during the winter months.

Be sure you know where your water main is located. This will speed your reaction time in the case of freezing pipes and other emergencies. Also, drain garden hoses and put them in storage for the winter.

Check the foundation around the house: Clear away any debris and vegetation from the house’s foundation so that you can spot any cracks or entry holes. If you find some, be sure to seal them off to keep animals from entering your home as the cold sets in.

Caulk gaps in siding, windows or doors: This will keep the cold wind from blowing through your living room—and help you save on energy bills.

Homeowners in Denver required to pay for sidewalk repairs

Homeowners Required to Pay for Sidewalk Repairs

In some parts of Denver, a stroll down a leafy block can be one part scenic, one part obstacle course. With so many sidewalks in terrible disrepair, a wrong step can send someone tumbling.

As a result, the city has turned to a rule that has long been on the books but rarely enforced—one that makes Denver homeowners responsible for keeping the sidewalks near their properties well-maintained and, if necessary, repairing them at their own cost.

Since summer, officials have begun sending city workers out to inspect sidewalks and to notify homeowners of their duties to repair any gaps, cracks or other deficiencies that could interfere with the ease of walking down a street.

“We’re a growing city and we’re trying to give people other options to get around town,” Denver Public Works spokeswoman Nancy Kuhn told CBS4. “This program is addressing those hazardous sidewalks and making it easier to get around.”

Most repairs will cost less than $1,000, notes CBS4. Homeowners are required to fix sidewalks within 45 days of receiving notice. If the job doesn’t get done in that timeframe, the city will fix it—and bill the homeowner.

This year, the Neighborhood Sidewalk Program is focusing on central Denver, with other regions to get attention in following years.

If you’ve received notice that your sidewalk is in disrepair, don’t choose someone to fix it randomly. Call us for referrals and we’ll happily guide you to trusted professionals.


Are you making these decorating mistakes? Here’s how to fix them

Are you making these decorating mistakes? Here’s how to fix them

You’ve tried your best to make every room in the house shine, yet somehow you keep missing the mark. If only you could afford to hire a design professional.

But there’s no reason to despair. Many decorating mistakes are easily fixed—and without the investment of a $200/hour designer. Recently the website Houzz listed common design mistakes and offered easy-to-follow ways to fix them.

Here are four tips to improve the look of your home:

Declutter your shelves. “Putting every ornament you own on open shelves often leads to a distracting mishmash of nondescript items,” notes Houzz. The website suggests taking every item off the shelf and categorizing each as   “beautiful, interesting or out.” Place anything in the latter category in a “no” pile. Then, once the sorting process is over, study what’s left with an eye toward showing every item in its best light. For instance, “[y]ou might want to paint the back of the shelves to emphasize lovely shapes and colors among your chosen collection,” Houzz suggests.

Brighten up a white kitchen: White kitchens are popular these days, but without the right approach, they can seem bland and sterile. Houzz suggests displaying kitchenware to add interest. For example, “Hang great-looking saucepans from wall hooks, leave a stack of pretty dishes out on display or set a bowl filled with fruits or veggies on the counter.” Also, brighten select spots with flowers, small colorful appliances, and so on.

Take care when hanging art: Homeowners often make the mistake of hanging art too high, says Houzz. Aim for the picture’s center point to be at eye level when hung in places where people stand. Aim lower in places where people will be seated. If in doubt, hire a professional to help; this is one area where it’s worth the investment.

Create a focal point: When you walk into your rooms, do you find it hard to know where to rest your eyes? If so, chances are, you’ve neglected to designate  a central item of interest. When planning a room, start with a focal point—a stunning piece of art or furniture, a mirror, a rug. Then arrange the rest of your décor to complement it. If you like what you already have, pick one item to be the focal point and rearrange your furniture to direct attention to that item.


Photo Copyright: Unsplash

ReMax of Cherry Creek

Knowing how your sewer works and who to call for help when it fails can save you money and stress.

Do you know when a belly can cause problems? Do you understand when to get a scope versus when to get a clean-out? Do you even realize that we’re talking about sewers not colonoscopies?

If the answer is no to all of the above, it’s time to bone up on your sewer savviness. Admittedly, it’s not a sexy topic. But knowing how your sewer works and who to call for help when it fails can save you money and stress.

Sewer Lines Only, a Denver-based company, offers definitions of these terms:

Main line: The main line connects your service line to the city sewage treatment center. It is the city’s responsibility to maintain. “It is typically 10 inches in diameter and runs under your street or alley,” notes Sewer Lines Only.

Tap: This is what connects your personal service line to the main city line.

Clay line or clay tile: If you have a Denver home built before 1975, it’s likely to have sewer lines made of clay pipes. These often are infiltrated by tree roots and “have multiple joints that can become separated or misaligned, causing leaks.” New replacement lines are made of plastic.

Off-set: This is a problem that typically occurs in a clay line. Because clay lines feature joints every 2-5 feet, the joints can move. When they get out of line with each other, this is an “off-set,” which sometimes collects debris.

Belly: This is a low spot in the line where water and sewage may collect. Depending on the severity, it may be problematic.

Clean-out: This is a spot that offers access to your sewer line. It’s usually found in your yard near the house. Clean-outs “are used to easily access your sewer line in order to inspect or clean it out.”

Sewer scope: This is when a company uses a camera to record what is happening inside the line. The camera is usually fed into the sewer pipe through a vent stack on the roof, a toilet or a clean-out and helps to find blockages and pinpoint spots that need repair.

Pipe bursting: This is when the existing line is replaced by “pulling a new line through the existing line.” This method will not resolve a belly and is allowable only in uniquely difficult excavations.

To keep your sewer line free of trouble, it helps to flood it with water once a month and before you leave for vacation. Turn on all the taps, fill bathtubs with water and then drain them, run the dishwasher, flush all toilets. The rush of water will help push debris through the pipes.

And when problems arise, be careful to hire professionals you trust. It’s best to avoid using a company that offers to both inspect your pipes and repair them, as that company is incentivized to find problems that may not exist. Call us for referrals before spending thousands of unnecessary dollars.

Photo Copyright: Nuwat Chanthachanthuek /


When it comes to home counter tops, two materials are taking the country by storm

Deciding Between Granite & Quartz? Consider these Pros & Cons

When it comes to home countertops, two materials are taking the country by storm: granite and quartz.

In fact, “two out of five homeowners choose one of these two surfaces, often for durability and easy cleaning,” according to a 2017 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study.

While they may have equality in public opinion, each material has distinct advantages and disadvantages. When deciding, it’s important to understand their differences.

Here are some facts to consider, as provided by Houzz:

Advantages of granite

Longevity: Granite, notes Houzz, “is time-tested and has universal appeal.” While some colors may seem dated as time goes on, “you generally can’t go wrong with granite as a long-term investment. It almost always helps sell homes.”

It comes in wide slabs: Granite can be found in slabs more than 70 inches wide, while quartz is more commonly 56 inches wide. Wider slabs generally mean fewer seams, and if only one slab is needed, this can cut costs.

It’s cheaper: While “exotic” granite can be expensive, more common types cost from $35 to $55 per square foot installed – “significantly less than most quartz options,” notes Houzz.

It’s natural: Since granite isn’t man-made like quartz, it has the unique patterns and textures only nature can provide. “As durable as quartz is and as innovative as manufacturing processes are becoming, it won’t ever be 100% natural, and that’s a deal breaker for a lot of homeowners,” notes Houzz.

It can be used outdoors: While quartz may fade and discolor with long-term exposure to sun, granite should stay true to its original color, even in sunlight and weather extremes.

Advantages of quartz

It’s not porous: Spills of liquid, such as wine, can stain granite, if unattended too long. By contrast, quartz won’t stain from coffee, citrus juice, cooking oil, etc. It’s also “about as scratch- and stain-resistant as countertops get,” reports Houzz.

It needs less maintenance: Because granite is porous, homeowners need to seal it every two to five years. They must also be careful while cleaning, as some soaps may stain the stone. By contrast, quartz can handle most detergents and doesn’t require sealing.

It offers a clean look: For those desiring a streamlined look, quartz is the best option. Slabs of the same color won’t vary as granite does, and it doesn’t have the swirls and speckles of granite, which can look “busy.”

It’s less brittle: While installing large slabs of granite, there’s always the danger of breakage, particularly if lots of angles are required. By contrast, quartz is manmade with resins and polymers that form strong bonds. Thus, it is less likely to break.

Photo Copyright: dbvirago / 123RF Stock Photo

From: Re/Max of Cherry Creek Blog

Deciding between granite and quartz? Consider these pros and cons