Author: Sondra Lockett

Buying a Home in a Competitive Market

Home shopping in today’s extremely competitive real estate market, such as Denver, can dampen the excitement that usually comes with searching for a new home. With the challenges of increased housing cost, low inventory and bidding wars, it’s somewhat customary to lose out on your first few deals before you finally hit home, pun intended.

So where do you start? Sometimes just jumping in head first and hoping for the best is a good tactic, but for a situation as emotional and arduous as the current housing market can be, it would serve you well to be prepared. Read further for essential information and direction to assist you on this adventurous journey.

1. Move Quickly.

Colorado’s population growth has helped build one of the strongest sellers’ markets in the country, and this is especially evident in the Greater Denver area. While supply and demand can certainly vary by neighborhood and price point, it almost never pays to drag your heels when you find a home you love. Remember that the home-buying process typically provides time and multiple opportunities to back out of a contract if you feel compelled, but you’ll never get that chance if the home goes under contract with another buyer because you took too long to submit an offer.

2. Know your Seller.

The old law of “know your customer” works the other way in real estate: Know your seller — as well as you can. This is difficult to do as an individual, especially since many listing agents are tight-lipped about an owner’s true reasons for selling. But a well-connected buyer’s agent can often clue you in about changes in the neighborhood or other area like changing family situations, financial struggles, relocation, or general desires to upsize/downsize. These factors can help frame your offer in terms that are most likely to resonate with that seller, whether it’s sale price, closing date, cash vs. financing, or a guarantee of appraisal deficiency (offering a certain level of cash to cover any variance between the sale price and the appraisal value).

3. Secure Financing Now.

In many scenarios where a seller receives multiple offers, the price will be weighed against the perceived security/legitimacy of the financing. Cash is typically king, but if that’s not an option for you, it’s still possible to strengthen your offer by demonstrating a lower level of risk. At a minimum, include a pre-approval letter with your offer. When possible, also have your institution’s loan officer reach out to the listing broker immediately. This will show that the involved parties will be proactive in the deal and could give the seller the added confidence necessary to take your offer over one that’s similar (or even slightly lower).

4. Be Flexible.

Whether due to bidding wars, timing, or other factors that are frequently outside of your control, be prepared to lose a few deals before ultimately going under contract. Understanding this will help you make prudent decisions when formulating or increasing an offer. Just like getting caught up in the excitement of a live auction, convincing yourself that any home is “perfect” can easily lead you to offer an amount or terms that you may regret later.

Often, the inventory in certain neighborhoods ends up being more expensive than you hoped/expected, and those prices may be continually climbing. An experienced real estate agent can help navigate these challenges, but can also suggest alternate neighborhoods that have similar benefits with a lower price tag. Staying open-minded will provide more options and increase the likelihood of finding the most house for your money.

5. Befriend an Experienced Realtor.

This may sound self-serving or even obvious, but many buyers make the mistake of waiting for attractive homes to come across Zillow, on a weekend drive through the neighborhood, or through word-of-mouth. By the time these opportunities appear, those with the best value, best condition and/or best locations often have pending offers. This puts you at the back of the line and unlikely to secure any deal at all, let alone a good one.

Remember, too, that not all real estate agents offer the same value. To maximize your likelihood of getting advance notice on upcoming listings (especially “pocket listings” that are never officially listed on the open market), work with an agent who has a proven track record of buying and selling in the area you’re interested in.

Brought to you by Creation Chamber and Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services and the Distinctive Team.

TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2018

Your Neighborhood Realtor…Never BUILD a HOME without One!

Deciding to build a new home is very exciting, yet can be a very overwhelming experience at best–add being blindfolded on the side of a cliff and this is some people’s experience of buying a new build without a Realtor.

“If the sales person at the builder’s office is so helpful, then why do I need a Realtor?” This is a very common question, with a multitude of answers:

1. The salesperson at the model home is there to represent the builder by legal obligation, not the buyer. He/she is not a licensed Realtor and are there to sell homes while protecting the interest of the builder.

2. Using a licensed Realtor should be at NO cost to you. Complimentary representation, what could be better?!

3. A licensed Realtor is your advocate. Let him/her be the tough guy when something is not right on a walk-thru. Most Realtors are very well-versed on new builds and know what to look for at every stage of the process. They should attend the inspections with you and follow up with the builder until the home is yours.

4. Regardless of whether you use a Realtor, you will still be charged the commission that the builder would pay the Realtor. Most buyers do not realize that this commission is already built into the price of the home. This is non-negotiable with the seller and the money will just be pocketed if you choose not to be represented.

5. A Realtor will know the ins and outs of upgrades and will be able to assist you to make the best choices for your investment. Many upgrades are exceedingly less expensive to wait and do yourself once the home is completed. Other upgrades will bring no further equity to the home at the time of resale. This added benefit of consultation can save you a considerable amount of money and headache in the long run!

All in all, you will create a win-win situation for yourself by choosing to be REPRESENTED by a Realtor.

Brought to you by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services and the Distinctive Team.


TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2018

The Dirt! Summer to Fall Lawn Care

Did you your yard look amazing this summer or could it use some extra TLC?  Whether you own your own home or rent your home, don’t let this last season’s hard work fall to the wayside just because summer is coming to an end.  There is still work to be done to ensure that your lawn keeps looking its best!

Watering:  Did you know that proper watering can promote a deep rooted, heathy turf? The type of soil, amount of water, frequency of watering, weather and time of day can all play a part in the look and health of your lawn.  According to Colorado State University Extension, it is best to water your lawn 1 to 2.5 inches per week between 10 pm and midnight or 8 am and 9 am because “it generally is less windy, cooler and more humid at this time, resulting in less evaporation and more efficient use of water.”  For more in-depth information on watering practices, visit the CSU Extension website.

Mowing:  Height and frequency are the two most important facets of mowing your lawn.  The perfect height range for Colorado lawns is 2.5 to 3 inches.  A good rule of thumb is to mow the lawn when it is 3 inches tall and adjust your lawn mower accordingly so your finished product is between 2 to 2.5”.

Weed Control:  Whether you use an herbicide or plain old elbow grease, it is important to keep up on unwanted weeds in your lawn, mulch and rock areas.  Once you let them get out of control, it is hard to reel them back in. It is especially important to keep weeds at bay in your lawn area and near bushes or trees so the foliage you have worked so hard on is not competing with weeds for water and soil nutrition.

Soil Conditioning:  Between now and the end of August, use an organic soil conditioning treatment such as Revive to maximize watering and help turf recover from the stress of the summer elements. According to its website, Revive recommends using this product every time you fertilize.

Fertilizing:  Between now and the end of August, apply a slow release fertilizer.  Six weeks later apply another slow release fertilizer, but one that is higher in potassium and Sulphur to assist in winterizing the lawn. According to “ If the lawn has been properly fertilized in the late summer and fall, turf grass can begin to store carbohydrate reserves in the stems, rhizomes, and stolons. These carbohydrate reserves help grass resist winter injury and disease, and serve as a source of energy for root and shoot growth the following spring. A late fall fertilization will also provide better winter color, enhanced spring green up and increased rooting.”

Aeration:  Thatch is a tight, brown, spongy, organic layer of both living and dead grass roots and stems that accumulates above the soil surface. Thatch buildup decreases water effectiveness since thatch heats up and dries up quickly therefore damaging your lawn’s root zone. Fall aeration is a great way to get a jump start on next year’s healthy lawn. Aeration removes 2-3 inch plugs of grass and thatch from your lawns surface which relieves soil compaction while improving the root zone as well assisting with thatch build-up.  You can consider this a ‘breather’ for your lawn.  Whether you hire a professional, buy your own manual aerator tool or rent a power aerator from your hardware store, you will be glad you did.  It is relatively inexpensive at any route.

Keeping up on the needs of your lawn now means less work later.  This theory may also equate to less money spent on your lawn in the future.  It is much more expensive and less rewarding to replace the lawn than it is to do the necessary upkeep.

Stay tuned for the next issue of The Dirt!  In the meantime, if you have questions regarding residential or commercial real estate and/or property management, please give Your Neighborhood Realtors a call! You can also visit our website at


Brought to you by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services.

TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2017




Market Trends: Millennials and Real Estate


Millennials and the housing market.  Besides inflation and the woes of the condo industry, it seems that millennials have taken over the headlines in real estate news. The big question is WHY do we care about millennials and how they affect real estate?  According to, millennials currently make up 66% of the first-time home buyers and 34% of overall home buyers.  These numbers are significant! It would behoove sellers and professionals in the real estate industry to understand and cater to the trends of the millennials as to not miss out on this vast amount of buying potential.  As the most informed home buyers (since they use the internet more efficiently than any other generation), we have a lot to learn about their home buying demands as well as their regrets.  Here are some tidbits that could impact how one would market to the millennial home buyer.

Expectations of the Average Millennial Home Buyer

  • Professional online photos. According to, 76% of millennial buyers will drive by a property after seeing photos online and over 60% will do a walk-thru after seeing professional online photos.
  • Turn-key property. Most millennials are not looking to spend time and/or money into a fixer-upper.  It is best, when able, to complete necessary upgrades (kitchen and bathrooms) and repairs prior to listing a home on the market. 46% of millennials state that they want a luxury kitchen and 75% expect to have new appliances according to
  • Convenient commutes. 65% of millennials state that a close commute to work is the most important factor when buying a home.
  • Energy Efficiency, Home Office, and New Technology. These items can also be factors when choosing between possible properties.

Trends of the Average Millennial Home Buyer

  • Their first home is just a stepping stone. Only 11% of millennials feel that their first home is their permanent home. They tend to keep their first home for only 6 years compared to 10 years which is the overall buyer average.
  • Suburbia living is IN. Nearly 50% of millennials live outside of the urban neighborhoods.
  • More Denver millennials own a home compared to other cities. 2% in Denver vs. 32.1% in other cities.
  • Purchasing homes below market average. “The average home a millennial is purchasing in Denver cost $291, 299, below the overall market average of $362, 542…”

Regrets of the Average Millennial Home Buyer

  • Buying when the market was affordable.  4 in 10 millennial renters who haven’t bought a home regret not buying when the market was still at the bottom of the upswing.
  • Size does matter. One in 10 millennials buying in urban neighborhoods have expressed that they wished they had purchased a larger home.
  • Financial stability woes. About 17% regret not waiting until they were more financially secure before purchasing a home.
  • Not enough remodeling. Despite the desire to purchase a move-in ready home, 24% wish they had done more extensive remodeling before moving into their new home.

Looking to Buy, Sell, Rent, or Invest in residential or commercial real estate? Call Your Neighborhood Realtors, TJC Real Estate & Management Services, Distinctive Properties and TJC Commercial, your full-service real estate team for the scoop on Denver real estate opportunities!



Brought to you by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services.

Photos courtesy of Jack Ingle via

TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2017




Denver Post article by Aldo Svaldi:

Denver Post article by Aldo Svaldi:











THEBIGWONDERFUL 2017 @ OhHeyStanley this Weekend!

Looking for a date night or some family fun this weekend?

Hit up TheBigWonderful at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora at 2501 N. Dallas Street. The urban festival starts today, so get your tickets now!

What is TheBigWonderful? According to their website, “TheBigWonderful is Denver’s most original urban festival that celebrates Colorado’s eclectic culture to the fullest. Founded in Rino Arts District in 2014, the quarterly weekend festival incorporates a Beerfest, Bands, and a huge day & night Bazaar featuring Denver’s best eating & drinking & pop up retail. TheBigWonderful activates otherwise vacant urban lots into a thriving arts & small business partner. This year we have partnered with Revision ( as a nonprofit partner. A portion of the proceeds from Beerfest tickets will go towards developing local leaders, growing community food systems, and building a locally-owned economy right here in Denver.”

Here is the full weekend scoop:

Tonight, July 7th:

BeerFest takes place from 5-9pm with unlimited sampling of over 20 breweries, ciderys, distilleries and wineries.

Bands will be playing 5 – 11 pm.  Don’t miss My Blue Sky (an Allman Brothers Band Tribute), Pickin’ on Blind Melon and Pickin’ Dad Rock featuring Tori Pater.

Rolling Smoke and Ethiopian Food Trucks will be available to purchase good grub.

Purchase tickets here! Tickets at the door will be $59.

July 8th:

Night Bazaar runs from 4-8 pm featuring great music, food trucks  and craft vendors.

Bands will be Pickin’ On Tom Petty, Pickin’ On Sublime and Pickin’ on Ween!

Purchase tickets here!

July 9th:

Day Bazaar will be there from 10 am to 6 pm featuring more great music, food trucks and craft vendors.

Bands include great tributes to Bob Marley and Pink Floyd!

Purchase tickets here!

For more information, visit


This Stapleton update is brought to you by TJC Real Estate and Distinctive Properties, Your Neighborhood Realtors.  Looking to Buy. Sell. Rent. Invest in residential or commercial real estate?  Call us today!


Post by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services.

TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2017








Denver’s Star Spangled Festivities Sneak Peek 2017

It’s a time to picnic with friends, gather by the pool, join a block party, light up the sparklers and find your seat at dusk in anticipation of the light show that will follow.  It’s the FOURTH OF JULY!  In the midst of the red, white and blue decorations, let’s not forget why we are celebrating (besides many having a paid holiday). It’s a time to be grateful for the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the freedom gained by separating from England and the birth of our nation. Now, how do YOU plan to celebrate?  Need some ideas?  Below is just a peek of all that the Denver Metro area has to offer.



Park Hill Parade

Join TJC Real Estate and Distinctive Properties at the Fourth of July Park Hill Parade.  Look out for our golf carts and classic convertible in the parade as we will be passing out beach balls and candy for the kids!  The parade will begin at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, July 4th (2017) at the corner of 23rd Avenue and Dexter in northeast Denver’s historic Park Hill neighborhood.

Viewing areas will be available along the entire route on the north and south sides of 23rd Avenue.  Spectators are encouraged to arrive early to set up a blanket or chairs and settle in for the fun.  The parade procession will end at 23rd Avenue and Krameria Street, but the excitement doesn’t end there!  A street fair will take place following the parade (approximately 3 pm) that will include music, food and activities for the kids. For more information and photos from past years’ events, visit

Stapleton Pancake Breakfast & Parade

Starting at 9 am at the Fountain Pavilion at Central Park, there will be a pancake breakfast followed by a parade at 10:30 am made up of neighborhood families with their decorated bikes, trikes, wagons and scooters. Sponsor booths will also be there to add to the fun! Price for the pancake breakfast which benefits the Stapleton Stingrays Swim Team:  $5/adults, $3/children or family 4-pack for $12. For more information visit the event calendar at

Observatory Park 4th of July Parade

Starting at 10 am will be an old fashion parade featuring handmade, non-motorized floats which includes a kid and a pet parade streaming along Warren Street between Milwaukee and Fillmore in southern central Denver. Music will be provided by the VFW Band.  Refreshments will be for sale by the Mom’s Booth.  For more information visit



Independence Eve 2017 (July 3rd)

If you want to miss the entire city in gridlock on the eve of the Fourth, then run down to Civic Center Park for the Independence Eve 2017.  This is the 8th annual free celebration including a light show, concert and fireworks finale.  Produced by the Civic Center Conservancy, this event takes place at 8 pm on Monday, July 3rd in Downtown Denver’s Civic Center Park at Colfax and Broadway.  This year’s concert will feature Taylor Rae, Soul X and the 101st Army Band of the Colorado National Guard.  Lawn seating is available on a first-come, first serve basis.  According to our very own Rhonda Knop, Distinctive Properties Broker, this event is spectacular and getting there early to reserve your spot is highly recommended!  For more information including parking availability, visit

Green Valley Ranch Concert & Fireworks

The evening starts at 6:15 pm on the 4th with a free concert by XO Band followed by The Rumour at 7:30 pm at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club.  At dark the fireworks display will be choreographed to music.  Free shuttle service from 10 locations will run from 6:15 to 10:30 pm. For more information visit

Commerce City 4th Fest

The Pre-Match Festival at the 22nd Annual 4thFest starts at 5 pm at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Burgundy Blvd and is free to all. The festival includes obstacle courses, trampoline, ropes course, human foosball, laser tag arena, mechanical bull, live music and more.  The largest public fireworks show in Colorado will begin at 9:30 pm.  Parking is very limited so public transportation is encouraged. RTD route 62 bus stop is right in front of the stadium! You can also see the fireworks up close and personal by getting tickets to that evening 7 pm soccer game, Colorado Rapids vs. Seattle Sounders.  Tickets available at


For more Fourth of July festivities, visit Please be safe, drink responsibly and spread cheer!  In the meantime, if you are looking to Buy, Sell, Rent or Invest in residential or commercial real estate, call Your Neighborhood Realtors, TJC Real Estate & Management Services, Distinctive Properties and TJC Commercial, your full-service real estate team!

“May it be to the world, what I believe it will be … the signal of arousing men to burst the chains … and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form, which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. …For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.”

– Thomas Jefferson
June 24, 1826 Monticello



Brought to you by Sondra Lockett-Cameron, Marketing Coordinator for TJC Real Estate and Management Services.

Photo courtesy of Park Hill 4th of July Parade.

TJC Real Estate & Management Services • 303.324.6988 •

Your Neighborhood Realtors® Since 2005

© 2017