Corken Corner Blog

Real Estate Resolutions for 2018

Thursday, January 04, 2018
Real Estate Resolutions for 2018

Real Estate Resolutions for 2018

The start of a new year is a good time to re-evaluate goals and plans for the future in regards to relationships, work, finances and health. Although it is often overlooked, real estate can have a real impact on one’s lifestyle and should be taken into consideration when making New Year’s resolutions. Making smart real estate moves can greatly increase one’s quality of life from a financial and emotional standpoint.

For example, do you desire more financial stability? Are you happy with your current living situation? There might be a real estate opportunity that could help make your dreams a reality. They say that home is where the heart is, so do yourself a favor and factor these real estate resolutions into your 2018 happiness equation.

Become a First-Time Homeowner

If you are still shelling out rent each month, resolve make your first real estate purchase this year. In addition to historically low mortgage interest rates continuing in 2018, it is a possibility that new tax laws may lower home values in some areas making it even easier for first-time buyers to enter the market. Resolve to take the first steps like getting pre-approved for a mortgage, researching neighborhoods and building relationships with local realtors so you will be prepared to move quickly when you find the right property.

Purchase an Investment Property

If you already own your own home, resolve to start looking for an investment opportunity this year. Investing in real estate is an age-old way to create a valuable revenue stream that can stand the test of time. Whether you want to generate quick cash with a fix-and-flip, steady income with a rental property or diversify your retirement portfolio with passive income from long-term holdings, this could be the year that you find the perfect investment to help you meet your financial goals.

Commit to Home Improvement

Despite the healthy outlook for buyers, 2018 will likely continue to be a seller’s market. Even if you aren’t thinking about selling right now, resolve to stay abreast of the competition in your neighborhood by re-assessing your home’s value and planning for any necessary renovations or updates. Do you need a new roof or have you been dreaming of a kitchen renovation? Keep in mind that most buyers these days want turn-key homes that don’t require much work. Stop putting it off and make 2018 the year to invest in your home so you have time to enjoy the improvements before you’re scrambling to sell.

Expand Your Real Estate Know-How

Even if you don’t own property yet, the real estate industry is a vital part of the economy that affects everything from politics and finance to families and jobs. If you don’t know much about the real estate market in your area, resolve to learn more about it in 2018. Expand your knowledge by reading articles and blogs, and make it a habit to keep tabs on local property listings, neighborhoods and realtors in your area. Armed with this valuable knowledge you’ll be more likely to recognize a valuable opportunity when it arises.

Review your Rates

If you have already owned a home for a while, resolve to review your rates, including your mortgage and property tax assessments, to make sure you aren’t over-paying. Consult an accountant to get the facts about how the new tax laws might impact your deductions next year, and start planning for the changes now. Many people can save thousands of dollars each year by simply re-financing their mortgage, re-assessing the value of their property or re-arranging their payment structures for tax purposes.


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A High-Flying Economy

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A High-Flying Economy

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Real Estate Guide: Centennial Colorado

Friday, December 29, 2017
Real Estate Guide: Centennial Colorado

Centennial Colorado Real Estate Guide

Centennial is a south Denver community of about 110,000 residents popular for its suburban housing, award-winning school districts and outdoor recreation opportunities. Located just 16 miles south of downtown, Centennial is also attractive for its proximity to the Denver Technological Center, Park Meadows shopping center and the Cherry Creek State Park. These are just a few of the reasons mentioned in a recent community survey in which Centennial was rated as a “good” or “excellent” place to live by the majority of respondents. The results also showed that 93 percent agreed Centennial is a good place to raise kids, and 74 percent agreed that it was also a great place to retire.

And, as a young city that was just recently incorporated in 2001, Centennial is sure to see continued growth and development of its community offerings in the coming years. Continue reading to find out if Centennial might be a great place for you!

Real Estate in Centennial

Centennial has received a slew of recognition for its real estate climate, including being named “Best City in Colorado for First-Time Homebuyers” by NerdWallet in 2016 and also by WalletHub in 2015, the “No. 4 Best Place to Live in America” by USA Today in 2015, the “No. 2 Healthiest Housing Market in Colorado” by SmartAsset in 2017 and the “No. 13 Best Place to Live in America” by Money Magazine in 2016. With all of this attention it’s no wonder that also reported Centennial’s primary zip code of 80122 as the third “Hottest Zip Code in America” for home sales in 2015. Needless to say, Centennial housing is in high demand.

Types of Housing in Centennial

There is a variety of housing options in Centennial from apartments and townhomes to subdivisions and spacious lots of land. The median home value here is about $410,000, a figure that has been on the rise in recent years and is expected to continue as the Denver metropolitan area remains one of the fastest growing regions in the country. About 80 percent of homes in Centennial are owner-occupied, while 20 percent are rentals. The average rate for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,400 per month.

Neighborhoods in Centennial

There are more than 41,000 housing units in Centennial across 29-square-mile area and it is the tenth most populous city in Colorado. Some of the more affordable neighborhoods include the Knolls, Willow Creek and Piney Creek areas while some of the more exclusive properties can be found in the Piney Creek Ranch, Chenago and Estancia areas. Other popular neighborhoods include Southglenn, Greenfield and Cherry Knolls.

Raising a Family in Centennial

Centennial is considered to be a very family friendly city thanks to its reasonable cost of living, variety of schooling options and access to parks and playgrounds. In fact, in 2017 ApartmentList named Centennial as the most family-friendly city in Colorado. The median age of Centennial residents is about 41 years old, and the average people per household is 2.7, indicating that a lot of young families live in the area.

Schools in Centennial

There are about 74,000 residents enrolled in academic institutions in Centennial, with 12 percent enrolled in preschool programs, 40 percent participating at the elementary level, 25 percent in high school and 24 percent in college or graduate studies. The city is served by both the Littleton Public School and Cherry Creek School districts, contributing to about 50 school buildings in the surrounding area. Both public districts have received numerous awards for their consistently high test scores and enriching athletic programs. In addition, there are several private and charter schools available. Centennial’s wide variety of schooling options is undoubtedly one of its most attractive qualities for those who choose to live here.

Centennial Commerce

Business in Centennial

Centennial is home to more than 6,100 registered businesses providing more than 60,000 jobs in top industries like educational services, health care, real estate, finance and retail. Some of the area’s top employers include Comcast, United Healthcare, Oppenheimer Funds, Arrow Electronics, Nordstrom and US Foods. The city’s unemployment rate is just under three percent and its median household income is around $93,000 per year, partly due to a skilled workforce in which 54 percent hold college degrees and 15 percent hold graduate degrees.

Commuting from Centennial

Although there are a lot of companies located in Centennial with more re-locating to the area each year, many people commute for work to nearby business hubs like downtown Denver (about 16 miles away), the Denver Tech Center in Greenwood Village (about four miles away) and the Denver International Airport (about 30 miles away.) In a recent survey, about 80 percent of Centennial residents reported commuting alone by car and 10 percent reported that they carpool or use public transportation, most likely via the RTD light rail system with provides several stations in and around Centennial.

The Centennial Lifestyle

Centennial has an abundance of activities and entertainment opportunities from shopping and dining to golfing and pampering. And, if it can’t be found down south, the city’s unique layout across Interstate 25 (one of the state’s main thoroughfares) makes trips into Denver and its surrounding suburbs a breeze.

This laid-back ‘burb embraces its 300-plus days of blue skies and sunshine—a Colorado trademark—by offering outdoor access year-round. Residents can often be found lounging on sun-drenched patios sipping craft beers, strolling shops along outdoor promenades, exploring nearby trails and gathering in neighborhood parks for community-hosted concerts and events. When the weather isn’t cooperating, there are movie theaters, coffee shops, libraries and recreation centers to entertain.

Fitness and Recreation

Most Centennial citizens are health-conscious and fitness-focused. According to, more than 80 percent of residents maintain a healthy BMI, engage in regular physical activity and are non-smokers. The city’s unique, south-central location is served by both the South Suburban and Arapahoe County parks and recreation districts providing endless opportunities for active pursuits, including paved and natural trails, community parks and playgrounds, creeks, golf courses and protected open space areas.

The 4,200-acre Cherry Creek State Park is located just north of the city featuring trails for biking, jogging and horseback riding, camp sites, a reservoir for boating and swimming as well as an enclosed (yet expansive) dog park. The Parker Jordan Centennial Open Space encompasses the newest portion of the Cherry Creek regional trail, a paved bike path that extends from downtown Denver to Castlewood Canyon State Park in Castle Rock, located 20 miles southwest of Centennial.

Located in the heart of town, adjacent to the city’s civic center, the 11-acre Centennial Center Park is the city’s crown jewel. Unveiled in 2012, the development features an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, native plant landscaping, picnic areas and an award-winning playground boasting a rock climbing wall, a “splash pad” waterpark and enrichment activities for all ages.

Other notable recreational areas include the Willow Creek and Foxridge open spaces, Dove Valley and Parker Jordan parks and the Saddlerock and Inverness golf clubs.

Shopping and Dining

The Streets at Southglenn is Centennial’s shopping, dining and entertainment epicenter housing more than 30 retail stores, 20 restaurants and bars, a movie theater and a luxury apartment complex. Visitors can spend a whole day browsing a range of shops including well-known apparel retailers like Old Navy and H&M, boutiques, department stores like Macy’s and Marshall’s and specialty stores for jewelry and housewares. Beauty and wellness services are also available like day spas, hair and nail salons. The area is also a popular place to catch a movie at the 14-screen theater and for community events like live music, markets and holiday festivities like carriage rides and ice skating.

Southglenn is also home to a variety of restaurants offering everything from fast-casual concepts like Smashburger and Qdoba to upscale eateries like Ivy at the Glenn. Local favorites are also represented including the ever-popular brunch spot, Snooze. Several bars, coffee shops and markets are also available, including a Whole Foods grocery store.

Another popular area is the Centennial Promenade, located adjacent to the Park Meadows Mall, featuring stores like REI, Toys R Us and Guitar Center and bars and restaurants like Rock Bottom Brewery, Jason’s Deli and Buffalo Wild Wings. Also nearby is Colorado’s first IKEA superstore, an international favorite for furniture, home design and furnishings (its in-store cafeteria serving Swedish treats like meatballs and desserts also has a cult-like following.)

Breweries in Centennial

Centennial has an impressive collection of craft breweries including Rock Bottom Brewery, Blue Spruce Brewery, Halfpenny Brewing, Resolute Brewery, Two22 Brew and Lost Highway Brewing Company. The city even created an interactive guide to help visitors navigate the local brewing scene, an innovative features which is not only great for residents and locals, but provide a popular attraction for tourists as well.

Community Events

Centennial is a sociable community and the city plans and hosts a variety of events throughout the year to bring neighbors together. Many events are held at the Centennial Center Park, like an annual Colorado Chile and Salsa festival, Centennial Under the Stars concert series, summer movie nights and a chalk art festival and a holiday light display. Other events are held at the Streets of Southglenn, like concerts, farmers markets and a holiday ice skating rink.

As you can see, Centennial already has a lot to offer as a great place to work, live and spend time with family. It will be exciting to watch this vibrant, young city grow in the coming years as it continues to develop its services and amenities.


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November Newsletter: Looking Forward to the New Year

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


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Corken Q&A: Tips for a Successful Re-Location

Sunday, November 26, 2017
Corken Q&A: Tips for a Successful Re-Location

Corken Q & A: Tips for a Successful Re-Location

For several years in a row Denver has been making headlines as one of the fastest growing cities in America.  According to a recent article in the Denver Post, the city's population has grown by 15 percent since 2010, with 60 percent of new residents arriving here from out-of-state for better work opportunities and to embrace Colorado's coveted outdoor lifestyle.

Lori Corken, owner and managing broker of Corken + Company, a Denver-based, full-service real estate firm, has seen a significant increase in clients re-locating to Denver for work in recent years.

A big part of her job as a re-location specialist is helping transferees determine which neighborhoods and housing types will best suite their needs, timelines and expectations.

Here, Corken shares her time-tested tips for making this exciting transition less stressful and more successful.  

Q: What makes a re-location more challenging than a regular move?

A: Moving is always a little stressful, but a re-location is even more so because it's not a destination move, but a mandated move.  And, usually, on a timeline given to them versus chosen by them.  There are thoughts of just where are we going?  Where will we live?  Who will we know?  Should we rent or buy?  Where will the kids go to school?   Even the little decisions become overwhelming, like finding a new grocery store, doctor's offices, hair stylist, etc.

The sale of your current home can also be a concern if you are moving from a less active market, or if you weren't planning on moving for a while and your home is in need of updates, or due to the move you are in a time crunch and know you might be put in a situation to potentially settle for less than expected.

Other worries include finding new jobs, schools and social activities for significant others and children as well as emotional strain caused by separation of family members who may have to move at different times. 

Q: What factors should someone consider when re-locating?

A: They need to think about whether they are going to rent or buy a house--do you want to move once or twice and how strong is the real estate market you are moving into?  What is your budget for the move and is your company offering any assistance?   What stage of life are they in and how long do they plan on staying with this job or house?  Do you have any other family members to consider when choosing a neighborhood to live in and are schools, activities and location important?

Q: What are people surprised to find when they move to Denver?

A: Your perception of a new place is molded by where you are coming from, what you are used to.   Some people think Denver is still a cow town with wide open spaces and easy commutes.  They are going to find a big affordable piece of land in the country.  Often people are surprised to find that Denver is actually a pretty major metropolis (with major prices to match) and that living near a light rail station may be a better option than time spent in traffic.

Sometimes you have to get creative.  A common question asked is, "What are you willing to give to get?"   The Denver market might not be what you expected, and is probably different than you're used to.  Do you have to sell your current  home, or could you use it as an income property?   If you can't find a house to buy in your dream neighborhood, can you rent for a while instead? 

Q: What do you suggest to help make re-locating less stressful?

A: Hiring a knowledgeable realtor that you trust is crucial.  During a re-location you will need and want to be able to rely on your realtor to get established in a place that is completely foreign to you.   It's always best to choose a realtor who you feel comfortable working with and who has experience working in the specific area or neighborhood you are interested in, but it's also helpful to find a brokerage that specialized in re-location and is armed with the knowledge of multiple services available to meet the needs of your family, whether that involves buying a home, renting an unfurnished apartment, leasing a furnished house, etc. 

Also, try to make the transition as fun as possible.  If you can, plan a vacation to your new city ahead of the the move.  Even if the main purpose of the visit is to look for houses, try to make it fun by also doing some sightseeing and just spending time enjoying the city as a tourist.  Thinking of the move as an adventure will make things easier on both the adults and the children.

Finally, although re-locating can be stressful, Corken mentions that the majority of her clients end up finding their forever homes in Colorado.  Many of the clients she has helped transition to Denver come back to her time and time again for long-term real estate solutions as their lives change and families evolve.  When asked about her final words of advice for those in the process of moving to Colorado, Corken says, "It's OK to cry, " and "Hydrate!"

To read our Denver neighborhood guides and see houses for sale in Denver, please visit  For more advice about Colorado real estate solutions and buying a home in Denver, please call Lori at 303-717-2498.  

Corken + Company is a full-service real estate firm that has been expertly guiding clients to creative real estate solutions for more than 20 years. To learn more about how purchasing real estate might help you reach your financial goals, please call 303-858-8003 or visit


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Investment Property Can Help Your Financial Future

Sunday, November 26, 2017
Investment Property Can Help Your Financial Future

Corken Q & A: How Purchasing an Investment Property Can Help Your Financial Future

It’s no secret that real estate is one of the best long-term investments around. Despite a continuous ebb and flow of market conditions, history has proven that real estate holdings generally increase in value over time and are generally less volatile than other investment options, like the stock market. Wise investors know that portfolio diversification is crucial, and real estate can be an invaluable part of that mix.

In many situations, owning a variety of properties is a key component of a healthy financial future. For someone seeking an additional revenue stream or alternative financial strategy, property investments offer smart solutions. In situations where you may be having trouble selling your current home, dream of owning a second or third home for vacation use, or need cash flow to fund another investment, real estate proves to be a valuable opportunity.

Here, Lori Corken, owner and managing broker at Corken + Company, talks about how an investment property can help you meet your financial goals.

Q: What are the benefits of owning multiple properties?

A: A house is like a little money machine. Once you own property, you can leverage it to do a number of things. You can re-finance it and take the money out. You can sell your house or lease your house. You can do an “owner-carry” or a rent-to-own situation where you become the bank for someone who can’t qualify for a loan. With multi-unit properties you could live in one of the units and rent the other units to pay the mortgage. Tenants generate cash and can offer stability in a changing market. It’s just a different kind of investment. You can put your money in mutual funds, or you can put it in real estate.

Q: What factors should someone consider before purchasing an investment property?

A: You need to think about how long you plan to own the property, your expectations for investment returns, and how much you can afford to buy. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford--is it realistic? Do you want to buy in cash or finance it? What is the ultimate goal? It’s important to know what your long term plan is. Do you want to live in it or rent it? Is this your retirement plan or do you want to flip it?

Q: We’ve all heard the real estate motto “Location, Location, Location.” Are there any specific Denver areas or neighborhoods where you would recommend people look for investment opportunities?

A: Denver neighborhoods like Baker, Park Hill and Five Points are good targets for investment properties because they’re close to downtown and that’s where you see the scrapes happening. If you buy on the perimeter of where it’s about to turn into a hot area, you’re ahead of the curve. In the south suburbs like Lone Tree or Parker, it’s more about families and commuting. North or South, proximity to the light rail is an important feature. There are parts of Aurora that are booming right now because it’s a massive area and it’s close to the airport. It has a huge rental market.

Q: Owning multiple properties means you have to manage multiple properties. Some people might say that property management is too much work. Is this a common issue with real estate investing?

A: Renting is more of a norm today, and the headache of dealing with renters is just a common misconception, not the reality.

Q: Are there any other common misconceptions about investment properties that you’d like to debunk?

A: You don’t have to sell your house to buy more houses—remember playing Monopoly? If you’re not in the market to sell your house, or if you’re having trouble selling your house, maybe you could buy some houses instead.

Corken + Company is a full-service real estate firm that has been expertly guiding clients to creative real estate solutions for more than 20 years. To learn more about how purchasing real estate might help you reach your financial goals, please call 303-858-8003 or visit


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October Newsletter: Is the housing market cooling off with the weather? Now may be the time to buy.

Friday, November 03, 2017


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Real Estate Guide: Littleton Colorado - Does Littleton Suit Your Lifestyle?

Friday, September 29, 2017
Real Estate Guide: Littleton Colorado - Does Littleton Suit Your Lifestyle?

For Those Considering Buying a House in Littleton

The suburban city of Littleton offers an idyllic mix of location, community and culture to its 45,000 residents. It was recently rated the No. 2 Best Small City in America by and one of the Five Best Cities for Families in Colorado by In a recent citizen survey, more than 95 percent of citizens rated the quality of life in Littleton as “good” or “excellent” for reasons like scenery, outdoor access and schools.


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Greenwood Village Colorado - See If Greenwood Village Suits You

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Greenwood Village Colorado - See If Greenwood Village Suits You

For Those Considering Buying a House in Greenwood Village

Originally founded in the late 1800s during the gold rush, the rolling plains landscape of Greenwood Village was once covered with dairy farms and fruit orchards. As subdivisions and shopping centers began to rise on the rural farmland, the city was finally incorporated in 1950. Today, Greenwood Village is a thriving suburban town covering eight square miles of Arapahoe County.


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Real Estate Guide: Castle Pines North Colorado - See Yourself Here?

Thursday, September 07, 2017
Real Estate Guide: Castle Pines North Colorado - See Yourself Here?

For Those Considering Buying a House in Castle Pines

Castle Pines, located 25 miles south of downtown Denver along the I-25 corridor, is a peaceful community of approximately 10,000 residents and 850 businesses in a 10-square-mile radius. This young, rural-suburban area is sought after for its scenic natural landscape, access to outdoor recreational activities and luxurious amenities like gated housing communities and championship golf courses. In 2013 it was ranked No.17 on Money Magazine’s “Best Place to Live” list as a top-earning town.


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