Ten Tips for a Happy Halloween

happy halloween banner1. Spooky, not scary!

Creepy is half the fun of Halloween, but don’t be too scary with your costumes and decorations. You              don’t want to scare your neighbors, friends and trick-or-treators away.

2. When trick-or-treating, say no to unwrapped candy or homemade treats.

This goes for trick-or-treators and the ones handing out the goodies! I know the homemade caramel       apple looks so good, but it’s better safe than sorry and you never know what extra things made it into the mix. And please, don’t put out a big bowl of unwrapped candy corn. It’s gross.

3. You’re never too old for pumpkin-carving.

And those roasted pumpkin seeds are just so good!

4. Drive carefully.

While this is always good advice, it is especially relevant on Halloween. Be careful of kiddos running around in the dark, and if you’re suffering from an intense sugar-coma or a little too much to drink, take an Uber.

5. Too much sugar and/or alcohol aren’t so fun the next day, snack smart and stay hydrated!

If you’re hosting a party, be sure to keep water and some healthy snacks available too. There are tons of creative, delicious Halloween recipes out there. You never know what your guests can and cannot eat…and we all know a few carrots definitely make all those Snickers bars okay.

6. Be thoughtful as you engage with trick-or-treators, you never know what allergies, social anxieties, disabilities or shy kid is behind the mask.

If a kid refuses your candy, maybe they aren’t rude, just shy or allergic. The TV show Parenthood did an excellent episode on Halloween and the anxiety two parents encounter going into trick-or-treating with their autistic son, Max. There are tons of organizations doing amazing work around this, like the Blue Pumpkin Project centered around Autism, and the Teal Pumpkin Project creating awareness for allergies. Be sensitive and caring, and believe the best about the cute little ghost. Maybe he isn’t being rude after all.

7. Dressing up is fun, but opt for creativity over cruelty and avoid offensive costumes.

Even if it seems really cool or funny, if it is caricaturing, misusing or misapporpriating someone’s culture, maybe go as something else. The options are infinite!

8. Don’t let the kiddos trick-or-treat alone.halloween-pumpkin

Halloween is great parent-bonding time, or make sure the little kids have an older sibling or friend with them. Don’t forget a flashlight!

9. Pick up those wrappers.

Parties are fun, and candy is delicious, but keep the environment in mind too. Here are a few tips for tidying up after Halloween mayhem.

10. Have fun!

It’s really the most important one.

 

Madison Report || 2015, Q3

Q3Denver held on to summer for a long time, but with these past few days of chilly air and drizzling skies, it’s finally been time to bring out those jackets, scarves and boots. With the changing seasons come changes in the real estate market, too. Read more from our president, Justin Knoll, recaping Q3 as we move into Q4!

“As we wrap up a fast-paced 3rd quarter, and the best September for the residential market over the past five years, market conditions are starting to shift in favor of homebuyers as we enter the 4th quarter. Typically in Denver, the Daylight Savings time change (Nov. 1st this year) shifts buyers’ efforts to find homes from weekdays and evenings to more time on weekends and day time hours. This will decrease demand in many areas and will increase the inventory of homes on the market, which are the leading reasons why October is generally considered the best time of year to purchase a home.

Entering October, we have already seen an increase in price reductions and some sellers are now facing the reality that they may have missed the peak selling season. Overall, showing activity, a valuable metric to track the market, is starting to slow as well, making this an opportunistic time for homebuyers to find a new home.

justin knollAt the end of Q3, the average (attached + detached) sold price was $356,005, down 2% from the previous month, but up 12% year over year, while listings under contract decreased by 10% in September to 4,844. This is a 4.8% increase year over year. A quick year to date summary shows new listings at 54,816, DOM at 29, average price at $362,200 and a record-smashing $15.4 billion in total sales volume, a 15% increase over 2014.

Nationally, the economy continues to grow quarter over quarter with Housing making a major contribution as Residential Investment has grown at an annual rate of nearly 10%, faster than the GDP. With much speculation, any interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, now expected in December by many, is not likely to derail the strong housing performance.

According to the S&P/Case-Schiller U.S. Home Price Index, San Francisco and Denver have reported the highest year over year home price gains in the nation. These are the only two markets to realize double digit gains, while Denver posted a whopping 10.3% increase compared to the 5% national average many experienced.”

                                                                                         – Justin Knoll, President, Madison & Company Properties

You can view the full Madison Q3 Report here.

Colorado Facts

Park Meadows MallAt Madison & Company, we are passionate about keeping our clients and communities informed about everything, from the real estate market to home upkeep, the goings-on of the Denver community and of course, the history and culture of our beautiful city and state.

Part of our services includes a guide to Denver’s neighborhoods, and we are so excited to announce the arrival of our guide to Denver’s suburbs, coming soon this month!

As a little preview for this guide, here are 10 Fun Facts About Colorado, many of them are featured in the new suburb guide!

 

 

  1. Colorado is known as the “Centennial State” because of Colorado’s admission to the Union in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.
  1. 75% of Colorado’s land is above 10,000 feet.
  1. Denver’s Colfax Avenue, which holds the Colfax Marathon every year, is the longest continuous street in America. Perfect for the many avid runners who live in this state!
  1. Denver is home to 205 parks within city limits, and over 20,000 acres of parks in nearby mountains, making it the largest city park system in the nation. Adventures never cease.
  1. Colorado’s southwest corner, bordering Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, is the only place in America where the corners of four states meet.Horses
  1. Colorado means “colored red,” Red Rocks and Garden of the Gods are two beautiful places to see some of the reason for the name.
  1. The world’s largest stock show, the Western Stock Show, is held in Denver every year, and the world’s first rodeo was held in Denver too.
  1. Horses 1Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state, and Coloradoans sure love their beer.
  1. With Colorado has 222 state wildlife areas, we’re passionate about preserving the great outdoors.
  1. The view from Pikes Peak inspired Katherine Lee Bates to write “America the Beautiful.”

Denver’s Best October Fall Events

Elk Fest – Who doesn’t love elk, and even better is a festival celebrating the large elk population that grace Estes Park. Live music, Native American performances, elk-viewing and more. || October 3-4, Estes Park

lakeestescoursemountainelkRocky Mountain Oktoberfest – Incase you missed, or didn’t get enough of, Oktoberfest the last two weekends, the party goes on! Enjoy this joining of the Rocky Mountain brewery scene and the popular Munich tradition. || October 2 – 3, Pepsi Center

Fright Fest – Denver’s largest Halloween event, promising “fright by night,” and lots of scary fun! || Weekends, October 2 – November 1, Elitch Gardens

Mile High Horror Festival – Every fall this film festival showcases the world’s best genre films. It has been recognized as one of the top five “coolest horror/sci-fi film festivals in the world.” || October 1 – 4, Alamo Drafthouse 

Pumpkin Harvest Festival – Free family fun, with pumpkin patches and scarecrows, historic games and lots of crafts! || October 3 – 4, Four Mile Historic Park, 7155 S. Forest Street

Haunted Houses – What’s fall without Halloween, and what’s Halloween without a good scare? Visit these top-ranked haunted houses for your dose of the Halloween scare. || October 1 – 31, 13th Floor, The Asylum, Haunted Field of Screams

Pumpkin Fest – An excellent family tradition, the three-day festival is full of mazes,pumpkins, pony rides, face painting, music and more. The MillerCoors beer garden is open, and the Gardens’ famous Corn Maze is just next door. || October 9 – 11, Denver Botanic Gardens, Chatfield 

Stem Cider’s Harvest Party – Colorado bluegrass and Colorado craft cider, does it get any better? Join Stem for their annual Harvest Party, celebrating community, cider and the “flavors of the season.” || October 10, Stem Ciders (2811 Walnut Street, Suite 150 80205)

Zombie Crawl – One of Denver’s most popular fall events, join the 10th annual celebration of zombie obsession and excessive creepy face paint, plus a really good excuse not to wash your hair. || October 17, Skyline Park

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – There’s no better way to run then with live music and the incredible city Denver as your scenery. It’s not too late to join the run and signup for a 5K, 10K, half or full-marathon. If running isn’t your thing, join the crowds to cheer the runners on!  || October 18, Downtown Denver

Boo at the Zoo – It’s always great to wander around the first-class Denver Zoo, but add trick-or-treating and its the perfect fall day. The weekends are full of “creepy crawly animal demonstrations” and the promise of fun for the whole family. || October 24-25, October 31 – November 1, Denver Zoo

Happy Fall (Home Maintenance)!

fall-cleaning-outdoors-360x240The first day of fall was greeted with a cool, overcast morning, a relief after Monday’s high temperatures. Leaves are just starting to change, hints of yellow and orange tinting green leaves.

In honor of the changing season, we’re sharing our top ten tips for a fall home maintenance.

  • Clean those gutters!

Be proactive: have the gutters cleaned before leaves have fallen, then cover the gutters with mesh so they stay clean and water can flow freely. If it’s too late for proactive cleaning, be sure to clean the gutters regularly and especially after leaves have finished falling. The fallen leaves can get caught in gutters, clogging them and preventing water from clearing out. Failure to clear gutters can result in pooling water that damages siding, roofs and basements.

  • Rake the leaves

Fall-CleanupWhile we’re on the topic of leaves, don’t forget to rake them! Kiddos love jumping in your freshly raked piles, and you may even be able to convince them to pick up a rake themselves and help out. Unraked leaves can kill grass, especially if they get buried by Colorado snows. Most cities have places leaves can be dropped off, you can find more information about Denver’s LeafDrop here:   www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/trash-and-recycling/composting/seasonal-programs

  • Weather-stripping

We all know the bills go up in the cooler seasons. Weather-stripping is one of the best ways to keep the warm air in, the cool air out and the heat bill just a little lower (and vice versa in the summer). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gaps in weather-stripping and caulk account for around 10% of your heating bills.

See: Instructions for Weatherizing Your Home via Home Depot

For craftier folks, here’s quick guide to making your own draft stopper from Houzz.com:

1. Cut a length of material about 3 inches longer than the width of your door (to allow for seams) and 6 to 8 inches wide.

2. Fold the material lengthwise, with right sides together.

3. Stitch a seam (by hand or on a sewing machine) down the long side, creating a tube of fabric. Stitch one end closed.

4. Turn the draft stopper right side out so the seams are hidden on the inside (use a yardstick or wooden spoon to get it completely turned right side out).

5. Fill with dry rice or beans.

6. Fold the open ends under and sew shut.

  • Fix the outside

Before snow falls, which could happen at any moment with Colorado’s crazy weather patterns, it is important to complete exterior home repairs. Get your roof checked out to make sure it can bear the weight of Colorado snow. Leaky windows or a damaged roof could result in extensive interior damages.

  • Become a chimney-sweep

Flashback to a childhood of watching Mary Poppins…

Jokes aside, it is important to make sure your chimney, boiler or furnace is clean and functioning properly before turning on the heating system. Have your heating system checked by a professional to ensure everything is safe and in proper working order.

  • Don’t let pipes freeze

Exterior water pipes can burst in the winter if still filled with water or not properly insulated. Shut off exterior water sources; and for pipes that remain in use throughout the winter, be sure to wrap the pipes to prevent them from freezing.

  • Stock up, be prepared

It’s always a good idea to be well-stocked on winter supplies. Storms can keep you off the roads and away from stores for a few days, and it is important to be prepared. It is a good idea to keep a few blankets in the trunk of your car, and don’t forget the snow scraper for windows. Keep the pantry stocked with canned goods and emergency supplies. Have a stock of salt for sidewalks, as well as shovels and ice scrapers.

  • Check safety devices

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested regularly and the batteries replaced, fall-cleaning is the perfect time to keep them up-to-date! Check out your fire extinguisher and replace it if the expiration date has passed. Check the home for radon, as cooler weather increases the chances of this harmful gas being trapped in your home.

  • Keep sidewalks safeDSC_6118

We all know how treacherous the journey from the car to the front door can be in frozen winter months. Don’t let a damaged driveway or sidewalk make the journey any more dangerous! Repair cracks or holes in the walkways, stairs and rails before the freezing weather comes. Smooth sidewalks and driveways are easier to shovel, too.

  • Clean!

And last, but not least, don’t forget to clean! Fall tidying is just as important as spring cleaning. We all love the fresh, crisp fall air flowing through the open windows of our house, but with it comes dirt and dust, adding to the mess of summer. Deep clean the house before it’s too cold to be motivated. Wash the windows, scrub the floors, deep clean the kitchen, freshen the furniture, sweep every corner and find more ideas from Organized Home.

Do you have more ideas for preparing for fall? Share them with us in the comments, or visit our Facebook page.

Oktoberfest: The Best Beer Festival

 

Denver loves beer and breweries. Micro breweries have grown in popularity nationwide, Denver ranks high in best American cities for beer, alongside cities like Portland and St. Louis.

oktoberfest 2015 eblast2With such an affinity for things brewed, the annual celebration of Oktoberfest this weekend through the beginning of October should be a source of joy and excitement for Coloradoans.

Oktoberfest began in 1810 in Munich, celebrating the marriage of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Phew. That was a mouthful! The couple invited the “common folk” of Munich to the wedding’s festivities, not a common act for royalty. Forty thousand people attended the celebration. The next year, in celebration of the couple’s anniversary, the party was thrown again…and again, and again.

The first Oktoberfest was held on October 12. Since then it has come to start towards the end of September, extending through the beginning of October. While this has caused confusion for some, as the name of the festival does insinuate it should happen in the month related to its name, the reasoning is understandable. Festival-goers preferred (and still prefer!) the typically warmer weather of late September to the possibly snowy and colder temperatures of mid-October.

Oktoberfest came to Denver in 1969, courtesy of Larimer Square shop owners, Fred and Hertha Thomas. The German holiday was a favorite tradition of the couple, and in its honor they opened a keg, set out some pretzels and celebrated with folks passing by.

Denver Oktoberfest is no longer a quaint and quiet tradition, but has grown to be one of the biggest Oktoberfest festivals in the United States. As the Denver Oktoberfest website says, “Denver drinks beer really well.”

Denver’s main Oktoberfest celebration still happens on Larimer, at 20th and Larimer Street. It starts this
weekend, on Friday evening, through Sunday afternoon, picking up again next weekend. The complete schedule can be viewed here:OKTOBERFEST dates

There are a number of smaller Oktoberfest celebrations happening around the city and state, including Highlands Ranch, S. Pearl Street in Denver and more.

Fun and games are promised, beer is brewed and delicious, Oktoberfest is here.

Small Means Mighty, Denver’s First Micro-apartments

High housing prices in Denver have demanded greater creativity and ingenuity from developers. And so, Denver’s first micro apartments were born.

Photo courtesy of NicholsPartnership.com
Photo courtesy of NicholsPartnership.com

Opening just a few weeks ago on September 3, Turntable Studios offer everything renters need, in about 350 square feet.

Once an old hotel, the repurposed downtown apartments overlook the city, offering renters with the ideal Denver view at affordable prices. The studios are committed to rent that is under $1,000/month, excluding their larger 664 and 850 square feet places, which are higher in rent.

The Turntable Studio website introduces the new apartments with a hip, retro vibe, catering to the 20s and 30s primarily interested in the apartments.

“The year was 1967. The Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan show, The Beatles released “Magical Mystery Tour,” and near downtown Denver, a cylindrical hotel was built in the fashionable modernist style. Fast-foward 48 years, and the former hotel finds itself starting a new revolution: the first micro-apartments in Colorado,” the website reads.

Nichols Partnership, Inc. is a development company with a high value for “adaptive re-uses of existing buildings,” and the Turntable Studios fit perfectly. Dan Schuetz, project manager at Nichols, was the developer for the micro-apartments.

“We’re filling a critical need for modern design and affordability,” Schuetz said in an article in the Denver Business Journal.

The apartments utilize space with the utmost efficiency. Built-in storage gives each redesigned apartment more space than the square footage implies. The brand-new kitchenettes include a refrigerator and dishwasher, convection microwave oven and hotplates. Large windows fill the apartments with natural light, giving the illusion of more room. Juliet balconies also increase the living space.

Principal at JG Johnson Architecture, Tobias Strohe, believes the apartments to be a success. “The developer was willing to think outside the box to find a solution. We hope to see this example spark a trend in saving old buildings from demolition, even if it might often be easier to start over and the structures may not be considered historic assets. It’s an economical and more sustainable approach and we think we have proven the viability here.”

JG Johnson Architecture did the design for Turntable Studios. The designers and contractors found the project to be impressively collaborative, which they believe contributed to its success.

Nichols Partnership, Inc. recognizes the need for more affordable, yet still modern and aesthetic, housing in growing Denver. Turntable Studios may be the first of many micro-apartments, following trends begun in cities like New York.

The newly opened apartments are already nearly filled with residents who signed leases months ago. The small apartments are a big hit.

Photo Courtesy of NicholsPartnership.com
Photo Courtesy of NicholsPartnership.com
Sources:
The Denver Post – Denver First Large Scale Micro Apartments Started Taking Tenants Tuesday
Boutique Apartments – Turntable Studios
Nichols Partnership – Turntable Studios
Denver Business Journal – Turntable Studios Spins Spall Spaces Into Big  Business 
Denver CBS – Micro Apartments In Old Hotel VQ Are Filling Up Fast
Westword – Micro Apartments Make Their Way Into Denver

Top Ten Bars to Watch the Broncos Game

Sunday mark’s the Denver Bronco‘s first game of the season. Denver love’s their football team, so we’ve compiled a list of the best bars in Denver for enjoying the game.

1. Stoney’s Bar & Grill

1111 Lincoln Street

“Whether you are looking to watch a football game, soccer, basketball, X Games, or just to play a friendly game of cornhole, Stoney’s has you covered. We have 31 HD TV’s & two 120 inch projection screens & a stage to watch your favorite local bands.”2772127624_386a0a9028_o

2. Sports Column

1930 Blake Street

“We are located in the heart of LoDo just steps away from Coors Field. Come on in, grab a seat, put your feet up, relax, and let us take care of you. Offering a full menu served until 12pm Sunday-Thursday & 1am Friday & Saturday, an outdoor rooftop patio, a plethora of HD flat and big screen televisions, excellent service, and great food and drink specials.”

3. The Cherry Cricket

2641 E 2nd Avenue

“We’ve always been the Black Sheep of Cherry Creek. From Mary Zimmerman’s trucker bar of the 1950’s to famed Bernard Duffy’s prime rib and neon icon of the 1960’s to Eli McGuire’s beer and burger joint of the 1990’s, this place has changed hands often but never wavered. During his Wynkoop Brewing Company days, our Governor, John Hickenlooper, was an owner. To this day, our friends are loyal and number in the thousands.”

4. Chopper’s Sports Grill

80 S. Madison Street

“Chopper’s is proud of the food we put in front of you. We take “homemade” to heart and believe that there is no substitute for food made fresh and no reason to drink beers from beyond our state borders. Our Burger’s unique blend of Angus chuck, short rib and brisket is ground especially for us, making it one of the richest and most unique char-broils you’ll find around. Our potato chips are cut and cooked right here. About the only thing we don’t do is brew our own beer. Luckily, we have 100 Colorado neighbors that do, offering one of the best selections of Colorado craft beers you’ll find anywhere. From car garage to Colorado crafts, this building has been bringing you the best for over fifty years!”

5. Blake Street Tavern

2301 Blake Street

“Our menu provides various award-winning options and our craft beer list would make any tailgate spread jealous!  If you miss playing tailgate games with your best friends, don’t worry, we’ve got cornhole boards, darts, skeeball lanes, and much, much more! Between our 60 HD TVs, 18,000 sq. ft. of big fun, and our dedication to bringing you the best, most friendly service possible, we continue to strive to bring our patrons the best sports bar atmosphere in Denver!”

6. The Tavern (Downtown or Uptown)

1949 Market Street | 538 E 17th Avenue

“We are a family owned and operated proud Colorado company founded in Denver in 1997. Each Tavern uniquely takes on the flavor and personality of the neighborhood in which it resides. Amenities weaving a common thread through all locations include spacious yet cozy lounges, fireplaces, outdoor patios, numerous HD TVs and high-end architectural features.”

lReF37. Highland Tap & Burger

2219 W 32nd Ave

“Highland Tap & Burger is truly a Colorado-born business. And, since opening in 2010, we’ve strived to create an experience that encompasses everything we love about Colorado life. We’ve created a comfortable, casual, contemporary atmosphere with an inviting indoor dining area and a spacious patio so our guests can enjoy a sunny afternoon or a chilly Colorado evenings. Here at the Tap, our friendly, fun staff makes everyone feel completely at home, whether they are dining alone or with a large party, regulars or first-timers.”

8. Bull & Bush Brewery

4700 E Cherry Creek S Drive

“But most of all it’s you, the loyal customers, that have made The Bull & Bush one of Colorado’s most revered landmarks. As Dale once put it, ‘This is what it’s all about if you’re in the tavern business. Fresh beer, the music, the camaraderie and friendship. Most restaurants, you might go in there once a year. Here you come in once a month, once a week… even once a day.'”

9. Governor’s Park Tavern

672 Logan Street

“Govnr’s Park has been an integral part of Capitol Hill since 1976. We are mostly known for our crazy 2-4-1 happy hour and just recently our awarded  title of Denver’s Best Neighborhood Bar. We love local! We always strive to buy locally and will always support Colorado companies first. We have hosted two Governor’s acceptance speeches, helped start the Governor’s Cup Run and have been the favorite gathering place for all our neighbors for over 35 years.”

10. Yard House

1555 Court Place

“If you’ve been to a Yard House, you know there’s an unmistakable energy to the place – an excitement that you feel the moment you walk in the door. So we turned our cameras loose to try to capture that spirit. Check out the experience that define us – because more than beer, more than
classic rock, more than delicious food, even more than a brand – We are Yard House!”