Corken Corner Blog

Corken Q&A: Staging a Home to Sell

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Corken Q&A: Staging a Home to Sell

Corken Q&A: Staging a Home to Sell

Many people know that professional home staging is a valuable real estate tool and often one of the first steps of preparing to list a home for sale. What many people don’t know is that staging is one of many complimentary services offered by Corken + Company.

Every Corken + Company listing receives a free consultation with Shay Michek of Perch Staging and Design to discuss what the home needs to look and feel its best. Home owners are then provided with a list of preferred vendors to help execute Micek’s recommendations, from cleaning and packing to basic improvements like painting and landscaping. Here, Micek explains how proper staging can help sellers get top dollar for their homes.

Q: Why is it important to have professional staging done prior to listing a home for sale?

When people have lived in a home for years they don’t notice how things could look different. Sometime the things that make a home comfortable to live in aren’t the things that make it look great for photos. We stage homes so they will photograph the best, because we know if the photos look great that will get people in the door.

You never want to show an empty home. If the home is already vacant, it’s very important to stage at least some of the main areas, like the living room and master bedroom, because it makes the space feel warm and welcoming instead of cold and empty.

It’s difficult to put an actual number on it, but most realtors agree that homes that are staged sell faster and for more money than homes that are not staged

Q: What does the home staging process entail, and how long does it take?

I start by editing and de-cluttering—I encourage most people to box up half of their stuff. It’s even important to clean out your closets and cabinets, because people want to see what the storage spaces are like. It’s also important to de-personalize—pack up your personal items and replace them with neutral decor so potential buyers can picture themselves living there.

Then, I bring in the “lipstick” items like artwork and accent pieces for fresh pops of color, and items that will help showcase the potential of the space, especially if there is an odd-shaped area. For most homes, this is all they need, but sometimes it’s necessary for the homeowner to move out completely so we can do a full stage.

Most homes only need staging for a few months, but I’ve had some that only last a week because the Denver market is so hot right now. Some luxury homes can take longer, but that is on par with the market as there is generally less demand for homes above certain price ranges.

Q: What can homeowners expect from their staging consultation?

Most home owners can expect us to recommend they take care of any deferred maintenance items—some more than others if the home is really dated. But even small things like replacing hardware on kitchen cabinets, a fresh coat of paint, cleaning grout and getting windows professional washed can make a big difference because they make the home seem well cared for, which automatically increases their perceived value.

They should also be prepared to hear things they don’t want to hear, like that their house smells funny or that their furnishings are unpleasant. It’s such an emotional process, but I have to do my job and be honest with the homeowners in order to get the best results, even if that means I have to be the “bad guy.” If they want to get top dollar, sometimes they have to invest some resources ahead of time.

Q: What features are people looking for in a home these days? What design trends are helping homes sell in this market?

These days people want light, bright, open and airy. They prefer a crisp and clean look as opposed to heavy colors and textures. Grey and neutral color palettes are here to stay for a while. I’m a design junkie and have my own warehouse which I am constantly updating with new inventory to keep up with home trends, so I can hand-pick the best pieces to complement an array of home styles to make them seem fresh and inviting even if the home is a bit dated.

Curb appeal is always important because everybody spends at least one full minute looking around the exterior while the realtor is busy getting into the lockbox. Make sure the front door has fresh paint and good hardware and that the yard is neat. Everyone is a sucker for nice outdoor spaces in Colorado.

Q: Is it necessary to invest the time, money and effort into staging a home in a low-inventory market, such as the one Denver has been experiencing recently?

You would think there would be less demand for professional staging in a seller’s market, but it’s actually increased demand for my services because it’s so competitive and people want to get the best value they can. Even if a house sells within a week, it will probably have more offers and ultimately sell at a higher price if it is staged. It’s become the norm to make every house look nice with staging, and buyers these days expect it.


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Cherry Hills Village Real Estate Guide

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Cherry Hills Village Real Estate Guide

With a Beautifully Rural Setting Close to Downtown, Cherry Hills Village is the Heart of South Denver Luxury Real Estate.

For Those Considering Buying a House in Cherry Hills Colorado Cherry Hills Village is one of the most luxurious communities in America. Its location just 10 miles south of downtown Denver and small size of just six square miles provides the perfect balance of rural seclusion and big-city proximity for its population of 6,000 residents. The area is known among the elite for its collection of multi-million dollar estates, ample open spaces, award-winning schools and top-notch golf, tennis and equestrian facilities. Notable neighbors are another perk of living here, as local celebrities include a star-studded roster of professional athletes, media moguls and politicos from around the country.

In 2013 Forbes magazine named Cherry Hills Village in its “Top 25 Places to Retire Rich” report, noting its access to airports, the ritzy Cherry Hills Country Club, selection of private schools and historically high home values. Ranging from sprawling estates and custom-built mansions to more modest mid-century homes and a small selection of spacious town homes, Cherry Hills has Denver’s luxury home market cornered. See Homes For Sale in Cherry Hills Village now!

Living in Cherry Hills Village Denver

The average Cherry Hills resident is about 46 years old, married, has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, works in sales and management and owns their home. The median household income here is around $237,000 per year (the Arapahoe County average is around $56,000.) About 40 percent of homes are occupied by married couples with children with an average of three people per household.

Cherry Hills Real Estate

The median home value in Cherry Hills Village is currently around $1.65 million, a figure that has been steadily on the rise for years. The average monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment in Cherry Hills is about $2,658, although there are few rental units available as the majority of homes here are owner-occupied.According to a city report, there are no multi-family properties in town. In addition to pure luxury, another distinguished feature of Cherry Hills homes is the large lot sizes, the average of which is around two acres, as privacy is a top concern for many residents.

Security is another desire of those looking to buy a Cherry Hills home. Some of the most exclusive residential areas in Cherry Hills Village are located near the Glenmoor Country Club (like the Cherry Hills Farm and Glenmoor neighborhoods) and the Cherry Hills Country Club (such as the gated communities of Buell Mansion and Cherry Hills Park.) More affordable neighborhoods are located along the city’s eastern border, including the Southmoor, Cherry Hills North and Cherry Hills East subdivisions.

Commuting From Cherry Hills

Due to the city’s remote location, the majority of residents drive to work and school. According to a community survey, the average Cherry Hills resident travels about 16 miles per day by car. The most popular areas for commuting include the Denver Technological Center in the nearby town of Greenwood Village, which is about five miles east of the Cherry Hills pocket or about 12 minutes by car, and downtown Denver, which is about nine miles north, or a 25-minute drive.

Cherry Hills Schools and Education

The Cherry Hills Village area is highly coveted for its award-winning public schools and its prestigious private school offerings. There are more than 4,000 residents enrolled in educational programs in Cherry Hills with the majority participating at the elementary school level. About 25 percent attend high school and 12 percent attend college or graduate school.

The Cherry Hills Village Elementary School, part of the Cherry Creek public school district, provides classes for preschool through the fifth grade and has an overall rating of 9 out of 10 for its above average test scores and student progress. The accompanying Cherry Creek High School, located seven miles away in neighboring Greenwood Village, has received numerous awards including national recognition from U.S. News & World Report as the No.18 Best High School in Colorado.

Private school options in Cherry Hills Village include the Kent Denver School, serving grades 6-12, and the St. Mary’s Academy, whose all-girl’s high school boast former Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Condoleezza Rice as alumna.

Things to Do in Cherry Hills Village Colorado

Cherry Hills Shopping and Dining

Cherry Hills is a self-described “rural residential area” with few local services and amenities within its tight borders. Besides the dining outlets at the country clubs, a few notable neighborhood eateries include Acres, an American bistro, and Cherry Hills Sushi Co. Fortunately, nearby Greenwood Village is home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the region. Some of Denver’s finest steakhouses like Shanahan’s and Del Frisco’s are located in the Denver Tech Center area, just a 15-minute drive from Cherry Hills Village.

This area also boasts a plethora of clothing and jewelry boutiques, coffee shops and conveniences like medical offices, grocery stores, salons and day spas. (Read more about what Greenwood Village has to offer for Cherry Hills residents in our Real Estate Guide to Greenwood Village:

Fitness and Recreation in Cherry Hills

Cherry Hills Village is on par with most other Colorado communities in that its residents greatly value health, fitness, sports and the great outdoors. According to, 86 percent of residents are non-smokers, 75 percent maintain a healthy weight (BMI) and 85 percent engage in regular physical activity for leisure. The city proudly celebrates its agricultural heritage by maintaining 47 acres of parks and 25 miles of trails, one-quarter of which are unpaved. The community is committed to preserving its open spaces so residents may enjoy the region’s natural scenery and wildlife.

This area is particularly well known for its golf offerings, especially the historic Cherry Hills Country Club facility, renowned for its presidential former member (Dwight D. Eisenhower) and hosting three U.S. Open championships. According to a 2013 Wall Street Journal about Cherry Hills, the country club is also where Arnold Palmer’s signature beverage was popularized after his 1960 tournament victory. Other popular golf courses include the Glenmoor Country Club and the Wellshire, a public course located just north of Cherry Hills.

Cherry Hills Village is also popular with equestrians seeking to own exquisite horse properties. Several recreation areas including John Meade Park and Three Pond Park offer parking areas for horse trailers and designated bridle paths exclusively for horseback riding. Many residents enjoy the luxury of saddling up right in their backyards and riding directly into this trail network without the use of a trailer.

The Village Club is a unique, family-friendly social space that has been offering tennis, swim and riding lessons to residents for more than four decades. The historic facility features an Olympic-size pool, outdoor riding area and stables, six tennis courts and a beautiful clubhouse for events.

Cherry Hills Community Events

Cherry Hills Village hosts several community events and activities throughout the year designed to bring residents together to celebrate common interests. Summer events include Summer Movie Night and an Exotic Car Show held every June with a free barbecue, car parade and awards ceremony. In the spring, residents get their hands dirty with programs like a tree planting sale and Spring Cleanup. The annual favorite Winter Celebration kicks off the holiday season with Santa. These events and other community-related news is communicated via the Village Crier, a local newsletter in which residents have been actively participating in the production of for 50 years.

Cherry Hills Village has developed a legacy in south Denver of luxury, class and family tradition. Homes are hard to come by as people rarely find greener pastures, and the value is in the community created by first-class residents. In Cherry Hills you will find Colorado’s casual lifestyle fused with cosmopolitan style and swagger at a polished price that is worth every penny.


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Corken Q&A: 2018 Tax Reform

Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Corken Q&A: 2018 Tax Reform

Corken Q&A: 2018 Tax Reform

This month Corken Q&A is dedicated to addressing client concerns about how the recently implemented Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might affect the Colorado real estate industry over the next few years. The tax reform bill was finalized just before the end of 2017 and will impact various tax structures, including income, property and mortgage taxes, from at least 2018 through 2025.

We spoke with two of our trusted partners—Alan Schrum, President of Residential Mortgage at First Western Trust, and Tim Weber, Senior Loan Officer at M2 Lending Solutions— to get the lowdown on what the new tax laws mean for Colorado homeowners, prospective buyers and sellers and the Colorado real estate industry outlook in general.

Q: How might the income tax modifications affect the real estate industry?

Subtitle A--Simplification and Reform of Rates, Standard Deduction, and Exemptions - (Sec. 1001) This section replaces the seven existing tax brackets (10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%) with four brackets (12%, 25%, 35%, and 39.6%) and specifies the income levels that apply for each bracket.

There are several aspects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that could potentially impact Colorado’s real estate market. The change that will impact all Coloradoans regardless of their property holdings is the “Simplification and Reform of Rates” which decreased the income thresholds for several tax brackets. For most people, this will result in reduced withholdings and, thus, an increase in take-home pay, which may result in more dollars being invested into Colorado real estate in coming years.

“I think it will help people because they will take home more money on their check so they have more to spend,” Schrum states. “It’s not going to be negative.”

Another aspect that will affect most residents is the increase of the standard deduction to $12,000 for single taxpayer ($24,000 for married couples filing jointly.) Our experts agreed that not only will this make tax filing easier for some people because it reduces the need for itemizing, but it will most likely also result in bigger refunds for some.

“I don’t see how this will negatively affect Coloradoans,” Weber says. “If anything it should give them a bigger refund.”

Although our experts agreed that any resulting additional funds would likely be minimal, some people may choose to use this extra cash to buy a new home. These changes could be especially effective in helping people to make their first home purchase.

I think it helps first time homebuyers,” Schrum concludes. “You’re going to see some wage improvement, you’re going to see some tax advantages, so people feel like they’ve got a little bit more money to spend.”

Q: How might the property tax modifications affect the real estate industry?

Subtitle D--Simplification and Reform of Deductions - The bill includes an exception that allows an individual to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local property taxes, in addition to taxes that may be deducted because they are paid or accrued in a trade or business or for expenses for the production of income.

The new tax bill introduces a new $10,000 cap on property tax deductions. Previously, this was unlimited. Although there was a lot of upset over this nationally, it’s not likely to have negative consequences for the majority of Colorado homeowners.

“I don’t see a major impact on the real estate market for owner-occupied properties from an interest write-off standpoint because the average sales price in Colorado is well under $750,000,” Schrum explains.

According to the tax calculator on, Colorado’s average property tax rate of 0.624 percent is well below the national average of 1.21 percent. In order for a home in Colorado to exceed $10,000 in annual property taxes its value would have to be higher than $1.5 million (although this varies slightly based on county laws.)

“I don’t think this will stop anyone from buying houses in Colorado,” agrees Weber.

Q: How might the mortgage interest deduction reforms affect the real estate industry?

Subtitle D--Simplification and Reform of Deductions - (Sec. 1302) This section modifies the deduction for home mortgage interest to: (1) limit the deduction to mortgages for a principal residence, (2) limit the deduction for debt incurred after November 2, 2017, to mortgages of up to $750,000 (currently $1 million), and (3) prohibit the deduction from being used for interest paid on home equity loans.

Both Schrum and Weber had similar thoughts about the reduction of the Capital Gains Exclusion. Again, seeing that the median home value in Denver is about $400,000, this law will not affect the majority of homeowners.

“I don’t see this as an issue in Colorado,” Weber asserts. “It only affects very high end and large mortgages, and most people in that category can afford to keep their mortgages under $750,000.”

Schrum does note that it could have more of an impact on those who own second homes if the combination of the primary and secondary mortgages exceed the new limit.

This aspect also removes the ability to write off the interest on a home equity loan, which may affect some homeowners depending on what their interest rate is.

“Home equity lines of credit are often used after people buy their homes to pull cash out to remodel a kitchen and things of that nature,” says Schrum. “It’s basically a way to not have to re-finance your mortgage but still access the equity in the home.”

Weber adds, “I don’t think not having an interest write off on the equity line will hurt the Colorado housing market because not that many people do them, and they aren’t usually for a huge amount, and if you’re using it for an investment home you can still write it off.”

Weber explained that this new law only pertains to owner-occupied properties, and that there is still no limit to the amount or type of interest you can deduct for investment properties.

Q: How should Coloradoans expect the local real estate market to change overall as a result of tax reform?

Both experts agreed that the overall effect on the Colorado job and real estate market should be positive.

“Changing the tax brackets should spur the economy a little bit, and the lower corporate tax rates could stimulate job market, too, which is good for economy,” Weber determines. “It’s hard to tell how this will really affect things until after next year, but overall Colorado should continue to thrive.”

“Overall, Colorado is still a place people want to live,” explains Schrum. “The job market is very strong, and you’ll continue to see people moving to Denver.”


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Denver Neighborhood Guide to Englewood, CO

Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Denver Neighborhood Guide to Englewood, CO

Denver Neighborhood Guide to Englewood, CO

Similar to many Colorado cities established along the South Platte River, Englewood was originally founded as a mining town when gold was discovered in the area in the mid-1800s. Since becoming officially incorporated in 1903, Englewood has grown into a dynamic community of about 30,000 residents. Although the gold is long gone, the city is rich in cultural amenities, family-friendly neighborhoods and recreational activities. And, located just five miles south of downtown Denver, this humble ‘burb maintains some urban appeal, too. For those who desire the best of both worlds without breaking the bank, Englewood might be just the ticket. Intrigued? See homes for sale in Englewood now!

Living in Englewood, Colorado

Real Estate and Housing

Englewood is home to about 15,500 housing units across just six square miles. About half of these are owner-occupied, while the rest are rentals. The median home value is around $300,000 and the median rent for a one-bedroom unit is just under $1,000 per month. In addition to having proximity to both downtown Denver as well as the University of Denver area, the city’s average home value has risen 11 percent in the past year making Englewood a great place to own an investment property (learn more about investing in real estate here!)

Getting Around Englewood

Englewood is the gateway between the Denver metro area and its south suburbs, like Littleton, Centennial, Cherry Hills, Parker and Lone Tree. This unique central location makes it a hub for commuters who pass through via the town’s RTD two light rail stations. About 5,500 people pass through the Englewood station on weekdays, and about 1,000 through the Oxford station.

Bicycling is a great way to get around Englewood. The city maintains 20+ miles of paved bike paths, which connect to regional trail systems throughout the Denver metro area, creating an extensive trail network that residents can not only use to enjoy cycling as a leisure activity, but also as a way to get to work and school. The city has even created a series of “School Connection Maps” to assist residents in planning their bike commutes.

Englewood also has a free local shuttle for easy transport around town, with stops at prominent destinations like the CityCenter and major medical centers. This is also a great way to view the city’s collection of public outdoor artwork.

Medical Centers in Englewood

Medical centers are a prominent employer in Englewood. The city is nationally recognized as having one of the highest physician-to-resident ratios in the country and is home to the Craig Hospital, Swedish Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente. Swedish Medical Center is the city’s biggest employer and boasts internationally-acclaimed Level 1 trauma and stroke facilities. The recently renovated Craig Hospital is revered for its comprehensive care of spinal cord and brain injury patients, helping them to resume normal lives after life-threatening circumstances. Finally, Englewood is also proud to offer residents a Kaiser Permanente center providing premier outpatient wellness services.


Englewood for Families

School Districts in Englewood

Families with children are primarily drawn to Englewood for its variety of schools as the city is served by four public school districts and several private schools. The most prominent of these is Englewood Schools, but some areas are also served by the Cherry Creek, Sheridan and Littleton districts. About 23,000 Englewood residents attend school, with 15 percent of students enrolled in preschool and Kindergarten, 35 percent in elementary schools, 15 percent in high schools and 35 percent in college programs. Many schools located in Englewood are top-rated on

Family-Friendly Amenities in Englewood

One of the city’s unique family offerings is its KidsConnections Camps providing fun and educational programs for kids and teens during the summertime. Englewood families also enjoy access to an array of family resources like neighborhood parks and playgrounds, recreation centers, a local library and art museum and even a waterpark (keep reading to learn more about fun activities in Englewood!)

Things to Do in Englewood, Colorado

Englewood has something for everyone to enjoy, from shopping and nightlife along historic South Broadway to exploring the area’s multitude of parks, golf courses and bike paths. A lesser known outdoor pursuit that people are surprised to find in Englewood are sculptures of all shapes and sizes celebrating the city’s dedication to the arts. Whether you’re here for the day or for a lifetime, Englewood ensures you won’t get bored.

Arts, Culture & Entertainment in Englewood 

At the heart of town sits the innovative CityCenter Englewood, a recent development featuring a nicely landscaped, walkable town center complete with shops, restaurants, apartments, an outdoor amphitheater and the city’s Civic Center building. A stroll around the complex reveals an impressive collection of public artwork and community events like outdoor concerts.

The spacious Englewood Civic Center houses the Museum of the Outdoor Arts, boasting a whimsical sculpture garden in addition to regular indoor exhibits, and Hampden Hall, a 192-seat facility that hosts a variety of live performances, educational lectures and art exhibits. The Englewood Library is also located here, offering a slew of educational programs for residents of all ages, including book clubs, foreign language classes and crafts.

Just north of the city center sits the historic “main drag” where you will find a collection of bars, restaurants and the Gothic Theater, a cultural landmark that has been revitalized from a 1920s art-deco movie theater into a popular venue for rock concerts and other touring bands.

Recreational Activities in Englewood 

Many Colorado towns make outdoor access a priority, but few can say that 65 percent of their residents live within easy walking distance (one-half mile or less!) of a public park facility. In addition to 12 community parks (five of which provide off-leash dog areas), three community gardens and a unique skateboard park, Englewood also has several natural “open space” areas for fitness and recreational pursuits like hiking and biking.

Other notable recreational facilities include the award-winning Broken Tee Golf Course, Malley Senior Recreation Center and the Pirate’s Cove Water Park featuring a lazy river, lap pool, sandy beach and numerous water slides and play areas for kids of all ages.

Englewood Restaurants and Bars

Englewood offers a mix of old and new when it comes to eating and drinking. A variety of fast-casual restaurants like Noodles & Company and Tokyo Joe’s can be found around the CityCenter area, as well as the sophisticated Steakhouse 10, a local favorite for celebrating special occasions. The complex is also home to Nixon’s Coffee House, a true neighborhood gem. Central Englewood also has a nice representation of ethnic food options, like Chuey Fu’s Asian fusion, Garibaldi Mexican Bistro and Beirut, a Middle Eastern grill.

For a taste of classic Englewood, head towards the intersection of South Broadway and Hampden Avenue, the town’s original “downtown.” Here you’ll find hole-in-the-wall mainstays like the Breakfast Queen and Rico’s Pizzeria, as well as a few welcome newcomers like Brew on Broadway, a craft brewery featuring a dog-friendly patio, food trucks and live music, and the Englewood Grand, a low-key pub. A few blocks north on Broadway, towards the Gothic Theater, hipster hotspots are beginning to flourish, like the Devil’s Head Distillery and the Whiskey Biscuit, a Southern-style restaurant with a popular brunch scene.

Moving to Englewood

Englewood offers residents a taste of the “original” Denver while also keeping an eye on the future with modern mixed-use developments, innovative community events and housing renovations. Great schools and family-friendly neighborhoods draw new residents in every day. Will the next one be you?


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February Newsletter

Thursday, February 01, 2018


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Recognition for a Great Sales Performance

Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Recognition for a Great Sales Performance

Recognition for a Great Sales Performance

Corken + Company has had many wonderful client experiences over the past 20 years working in the Colorado real estate industry, and we want to share one of these special stories with you. Our motto “Real Estate Solutions Without Limits” is prevalent in our marketing materials, e-mails and on our website, but many of you might wonder what it means, exactly. This review we received from a recent client will help you better understand how our process makes us different from other brokerages, and also why it’s important to choose your realtor carefully and wisely.

“I often talk about the need for salespeople to "MAKE it happen" vs. "letting it happen" or "wondering what happened." I'd like to share a story with you about someone who MADE it happen and a story that highlights one of the truly great sales efforts that I've ever witnessed.

The irony about this story is that it's not about a salesperson on my team or even a story about a sale to a large or small enterprise. This is a story about real estate. Our real estate agent @LoriCorken just concluded a phenomenal sales campaign, worthy of recognition and of sharing.

The background here is that my wife and I have been trying to sell a rental property on and off for about 11 years. We had 3 different agents who listed the property and had did receive some lowball offers, but nothing close to market value. The house is not your typical rental property either. It's a 4500 square foot home in a gated community. It was built in 1998. The basic reason that it was difficult to sell is that it needs to be updated. The house is in good shape, but it needs probably $60K to $70K of upgrades to the bathrooms, flooring and other aesthetics to make it more appealing. People were actually paying $100K to $125K more for similar homes that had already been updated, just to avoid upgrading a home themselves. We just didn't have the funds to do the upgrades, so we would list the home, fail to sell it and then rent it out. This cycle was repeated several times since 2006.

After another failed listing in the fall of 2016, we put the home back up for rent. We rented to a family who begged us not to sell the home out from under them as some of their other landlords had. See, they hated moving and asked us for a 3 year lease, which isn't all that common. We agreed and signed the 3 year lease in April 2017.

Now for the meat of the story. This is how Lori sold our rental property, even though it wasn't for sale and even though we committed to honor a 3 year agreement with the tenants. Quite honestly, selling the property before 2020 had never even entered our minds.

Fast forward to October 2017. 6 months into the tenant's 3 year lease agreement. Lori approached us and said that she was working with a couple who was outbid on another house in the neighborhood. That couple really, really wanted to live in the neighborhood and Lori asked if we would consider just showing them our rental property to see if it might appeal to them. Lori was well aware of our tenant situation and because we like and trust her, we agreed to let the prospects tour the home. What happened next blew my mind.

"The couple wants the house," Lori said. "They're going to make an offer." We fully expected another lowball offer, so we didn't get excited or even approach the tenants at that point. Lori knew that we had committed that we wouldn't sell this home while the tenants were there, so even if a decent offer was made, we'd still have to deal with asking the tenants to do the very thing that they said that they DIDN'T want to do--move again before the 3 years was up. If they said no, we would have to reject the offer. We made a commitment and were prepared to honor it even if it meant that we had to walk away from a sale (which I HATE doing).

Well, to our surprise, the offer was a fair offer. So now what? My wife (the "property manager") and Lori went to have a talk with the tenants. They explained the situation to the tenants and committed to make it painless for them to move. Lori told them that she would find them another rental property close by (she is an expert in the area) and we committed that we would cover any increase in rental costs over their current rent for the remainder of the 3 years. We would also pay to pack up, move and unpack their belongings. As I had recently lost my job, we appealed to their sense of decency by relating how important it was for us to be able to pull our equity out of that property to help us while I am searching for my next role.

The tenants were highly stressed. They were even angry. However, they're good people and understood our dilemma, so they reluctantly agreed to look for an alternative place to move. Then, Lori took the ball and ran with it. She held their hands and committed to take care of them. And she did just that. In fact, she didn't just find them a great rental property--she found them a great home that they are BUYING.

Yesterday, we closed on the sale of the home. Lori got some commission on that. In about 2 weeks, the tenants close on their home purchase. Lori will get commission on that, too. The buyers of our rental property are excited to start renovating the home, the tenants are looking forward to moving into their new home and we are ECSTATIC for this unexpected opportunity to finally sell this property and get our equity out of it. Because of Lori's exceptional efforts, 3 different families are in a "happy place."

Throughout this process, there were several times where things almost fell through. Without going into details, I will tell you that each and every time there was a snag, Lori made it go away. She worked her tail off to pull off this highly complex transaction and earned MORE than every dollar she is receiving.

I was so impressed with her efforts that I wanted to share this story. Lori did what great salespeople do-she MADE it happen. She understood all of the needs and wants of 3 different parties in this transaction, she honored her commitments, she was creative and found ways to make this deal even bigger, she had a sense of urgency, she would not give up, and she pulled together one of the most brilliant deals that I have ever witnessed.

Nirvana for me will be building a team full of Lori Corkens in my next role.

Thank you, Lori!”

We hope this story warmed your heart as much as it did ours. Contact us at today to learn how Corken + Company can make a difference in your life, too!


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January Newsletter

Tuesday, January 09, 2018


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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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