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
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!”

Welcome Luca!

We are so excited to welcome Luca Baud to our Madison & Company team! Luca is joining us from PorchLight Real Estate Group. His expertise and passion for real estate are an incredible addition to the Madison family!

luca baudA little bit about him…

Luca Baud is fueled by a love of architectural beauty, history and—most importantly—having the opportunity to represent his clients. He prides himself on his integrity and professionalism and has built a fine reputation among clients and brokers alike. He has been lucky enough to represent some of the most sophisticated and demanding sellers and buyers and has come away from those transactions with happy clients, glowing references, and new life long friends.

Luca’s first-class, concierge-style service that he provides allows him to focus on what he excels at—assessing market conditions and trends in order to develop marketing and sales strategies based on the requirements of the target audience. He teams with Madison and Company Properties staff to create effective marketing campaigns for his sellers that call careful attention to each property’s unique design and architectural features and are individually tailored to each client and property.
Outside of work, Luca is a devoted father to his 11-year-old son Valentino. You can find them both on the ski slopes, biking trails, golfing, traveling, or casually strolling Downtown.
You can read more about Luca and view testimonials from his clients here on our website.

August Market Update from President, Justin Knoll

As the dog days of summer begin to grow shorter and temperatures start to cool down, so too does one of the hottest Real Estate markets in the nation. Have no fear as this is a very consistent, annual happening in Denver. No matter what is going on in the news, the stock market or in the world of mass data, the buying habits and lifestyles of people still dictate the ebbs and flows of any given market.

August was no different, and the slight justin knollslowdown began even a bit earlier than in years past as 6,416 new listings came on the market, while 5,383 homes were placed under contract and 5,088 homes sold and closed. Month over month, there was a significant decrease in new single family listings of 15.5% while the average and median sold prices remained relatively unchanged from the previous month, at -0.23% to $410,525 and -0.21% to $349,250 respectively.

For the entire residential market, homes under contract decreased by 1.8%. Sold listings decreased 15% and total sales volume dropped 15% to $1.86 billion from the previous month. Finally, a quick summary of the year-to-date residential market shows new listings at 48,970, days on market (DOM) at 29, average price at $363,228 and a record-smashing $13.5 billion in total sales volume

Going forward, the squeeze of skyrocketing rental rates will keep homebuyer demand at a very high rate – particularly with homes priced $350,000 and below, as owning a home continues to be more affordable than renting in many areas.

Our monthly report also includes statistics and analyses in its supplemental Luxury Market Report (properties sold for $1 million or greater), Signature Market Report (properties sold between $750,000 and $999,999, and Premier Market Report (properties sold between $500,000 and $749,999). In August, 105 homes closed for $1 million or greater – down 9.5 percent from the previous month. The closed dollar volume last month in the luxury market segment was approximately $153 million, down 16 percent from the previous month.

The number of luxury sales – condo and single family homes priced $1 million or greater – was down 9.5 percent from the previous month, but properties sold faster at 92 days in August versus 112 days in July. Year to date, the number of single family homes sold in this segment were up 23 percent compared to year-to-date last year, and up more than 30 percent from year-to-date 2013. Luxury homes this year sold for $5 more per square foot than last year, and $13 more per square foot from two years ago.

The highest priced single family home sold in August was $4,150,000 representing 6 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and 7,451 above ground square feet in Cherry Hills Village. The highest priced condo sold in August was $2,420,000 representing 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 3,013 above ground square feet in Denver.

More Than Agents, Friends

Here at Madison, we’re unbelievably lucky to be home to so many talented individuals. Our agents and staff are skilled in more than just real estate.

Earlier this week one of our brokers, Mike Reff, has shared his videography skills with Madison & Company on numerous occasion, like the Knoll Team’s video about Denver Transportation and Real Estate.

On Monday, Mike set up shop in our Wash Park office‘s conference room, camera lights were shining and camera was (figuratively, everything’s digital these days) whirring, as Mike captured the passion and heart of some of Denver’s finest real estate agents.

“When I moved to Denver, almost a decade ago, the first thing I fell in love with was the construction, the history and the character of the homes.” – Forest Johnson

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 3.32.32 PM“My favorite part of real estate really is the relationships we build together.” – Ryan Conover, The Conover Team

“I truly care about the client experience and the people involved, it’s not just about the transaction. Most of my clients end up being lifelong friends.” – Brooke Hengst, Live Colorado TeamScreen Shot 2015-09-03 at 3.34.05 PM

“My philosophy is simple, I want to build long-term relationships with my clients. I want to be their trusted real estate advisor, I want to be there for them after the close when questions pop up, and be their counsel and be their resource.” – Jason Ellis, Ellis Group

These are but a few examples of our amazing agents here at Madison. They are deeply passionate, not just about real estate, but also about relationships. Check out their stories, and more, at MadisonProps.com.

Best of Colorado: Fall Hikes & Drives

15622686855_ca4477663f_zThe joys of fall are simple, crisp weather and leaves crunching underfoot, boots and jackets, scarves and hot tea, pumpkins and delightful costumes. Best of all, however, are the spectacular colors of fall. Here in Colorado we’re especially lucky, as the brilliant yellows of the Aspens are framed by mountain scenery.

Here at Madison we love the changing seasons and all the new experiences they bring. Hiking and driving through the fall foliage is a favorite, so here are a few of the best places to see the colors – both on foot and from the car.

Colorado has 26 Scenic and Historic Byways, perfect for those fall drives.

Top of the Rockies takes you from Copper Mountain to Leadville and towards Aspen, crossing the Continential Divide and seeing the spectacular Mt. Elbert (tallest 14er in Colorado). Highlights and places to stop: Independence Ghost Town Site, Twin Lakes and Indepenence Pass.

West Elk Loop hits three national forests, journeying through Paonia, Gunnison, Crested Butte and Carbondale. McClure Pass is the perfect photo opp, but don’t forget to pause at Black Canyon o fthe Gunnison National Park where Morrow Point, Blue Mesa and Crystal Lake meet for the perfect view.

Peak to Peak takes you through Aspen-filled valleys and the Continential Divide, starting in Black Hawk and ending in Estes Park. This scenic byway is Colorado’s oldest.

San Juan Scenic Byway meanders through Telluride, Durango and Ouray, a perfect taste of classic Colorado. The views of San Juan and Uncompahgre National Forests are unbelievable, and Mesa Verde National Park is also the perfect place to pause and see the views.

Mt. Evans Scenic Byway is the highest paved road in North America. It’s one of Colorado’s 54 14ers, so you can drive or hike to the top to see the spectacular view. Be sure to visit Echo Lake, the perfect spot for a picnic.

Trail Ridge Road is an 8-mile road, perfect for photographers and fall-color finders. It’s embedded in Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, a glorious place to hangout post-hike, for a perfect fall getaway day. Rocky Mountain National Park is full of trails and scenic hikes, for those itching to get out of the car and adventure.

sunrisemaroonbellsKebler Pass in Gunnison is a favorite for photographers, famously shot by the renowed photographer John Fielder. Gunnison is home to some of North America’s largest Aspen trees. This pass is typically hiked, but the Gunnison Aspens can still be seen from the road!

The famous Maroon Bells are another spectacular hike. About 3 hours from Denver, this iconic view is well worth the drive. It makes an easy day hike, or for more experienced and dedicated outdoorsy folks, there are a few backpacking loops.

Mt. Bierstadt, Colorado’s “easiest” 14er offers gorgeous views as well. Guanella Pass is the way to go. The lake view is stunning, even if hikers perfer to hike for a shorter time and not summit the mountain. Historic Georgetown is the perfect place to grab coffee and lunch.

Golden Gate Canyon Park boasts of over 12,000 acres of land for exploring, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. The park is a mere 30 miles from Denver, making it easily accessible for busy Denverites. Filled with Aspen views and mountain peaks, this park is just begging to be visited.

A classic Colorado view, the Boulder Flatirons never grow old. Chautauqua Park is the entry to a variety of trails and rock-climbing available. The towering Flatirons are always impressive, and give way to simply glorious views.

These are only a few of hundreds of places in Colorado to hike, drive, mountain bike, run and explore. The views are always impressive, the colors only seem to grow brighter and the sunrises and sunsets always steal your breath. We are so excited for this Colorado fall!








Denver Love and Advocating Mothers

Dana Crawford loves Denver neighborhoods. Her journey began in the 1960s when she began an initiative to save a historic area, which we now know as Larimer Square, from demolition by the city. Her work in revitalizing and renewing a city by preserving its history and buildin

4986594234_fe3a2b1dfd_og upon what is already there has continued. In the 1980s she renovated the Oxford Hotel, and introduced Denver to New York City’s loft lifestyle, opening the first lofts in Edbrooke Building in 1990. Crawford’s continued partnership and development include 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, Coors Field, the Auraria Campus and recently re-opened Union Station.

Crawford’s love for the city and the neighborhoods within are evidenced by her long history of developing Denver, and her work is far from over.

Susan Powers is another woman who has long been involved in urban development. Powers formed Urban Ventures, LLC in 1988, and still serves as president of the real estate development company. Her focus with Urban Ventures is on urban development, including student housing, affordable housing and historic renovations. A few of Powers’ projects have included the development of RhiNo and the Highlands, and bringing student housing to the Auraria campus that served students from all three schools.

Powers has a strong passion for the health and wellness of the residents in the neighborhoods and areas of Denver she develops.

With such common interest and passion, Powers and Crawford are longtime friends. Concern over the lack of affordable housing in Denver has been a continued conversation for them.

DanaAudience1966“Susan and I kept running into each other and we found we kept worrying about the lack of affordable housing,” Crawford said.

As first reported by the Denver Real Estate Watch, Dana Crawford and Susan Powers, president of Urban Ventures, have teamed up to create a new organization, Mothers Advocating for Affordable Housing (MAAH), centered on addressing Denver’s affordable housing crisis.

“There are way too many working people and lower-income people, or people without jobs that are homeless or are living in substandard housing,” Crawford said.

Mayor Michael B. Hancock has made affordable housing a priority for his second term, creating a $10 million Affordable Housing Revolving Loan Fund.

In addition to this, $8 million have been allotted to add to the fund as part of the 2016 budget. Hancock is proposing an annual $15 million or more to be added to the fund each year, starting in 2017.

“This fund will provide a financial boost to development projects, helping Denver deliver greater access to safe, decent, affordable housing in Denver,” Mayor Hancock said at Bridging the Gap, a forum hosted among Denver’s top housing leaders to discuss and inspire change around the need for affordable housing in metro areas.

“Financing of affordable housing units is a challenging landscape for nonprofit and private developers, and these funds will work with the many other funding tools necessary to increase the city’s inventory of affordable housing and keep Denver a city for all.”

Powers and Crawford are in favor of this fund. When the funds are already available to meet affordable housing needs, the road to progress is just a little bit smoother.

shutterstock_122409742“It would be great to have a consistent funding source for affordable housing, so you didn’t have to go back to council every year to find ways to come up with the dollars,” Powers said.

MAAH is yet a new organization, and Crawford and Powers are excited about the opportunities it holds.

Crawford said she imagines MAAH growing to several thousand in the next few years, and “doing whatever it takes” to advocate for affordable housing.