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Karen Levine, a realtor in the Re/Max Alliance Arvada office, shows us around her home.

Inside Look: Realtors’ Homes, Vol. 1

Real estate agents see the good, bad, and downright awful homes on the Denver market. So, it figures that they know what to look for in a new house. To learn their secrets, in this ongoing series, we ask them what they love (or hate) about their own abodes.

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Realtor: Karen Levine with Re/Max Alliance

Years Selling: 26 years at Re/Max

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Location: Westminster

Purchased: 1987


She Loved: The massive one-third acre lot was unusually big for the area. (The dog she received as a gift soon after she moved in adored the extra space, too.) To boot, she could view the Flatirons from the back porch. Inside, she was able to make semi-custom changes, like pushing one wall out for two extra feet of space in the family room and master bathroom.

She Loathed: The cooking space is what Levine refers to as a “two-butt” kitchen, which isn’t ideal for a self-described foodie. “If you get more than two people in there, it’s really not very effective,” Levine says. Plus, the road behind her house is often crowded with commuter traffic. The tradeoffs were worth it for the size of the lot and the split-level layout—and, Levine says, buying a home always comes with a compromise.

To Fix: After 27 years in her home, Levine has had time to tinker with her space, particularly by planting trees to liven up the backyard. Next up? Redoing the kitchen (by getting rid of a table she never eats at and adding a double oven) and updating the wallpaper in the guest bathroom (time to say goodbye to southwestern patterns).

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To Keep: Levine decorates her home with gifts that remind her of important people in her life, like the windchime hanging near her front door (pictured, above). It was given to her by her lender, who passed away at a young age. “It was awful,” she says. “We loved her, but we let her memory live on.”

Sage Advice: “The Colorado lifestyle, when everything is said and done, is that we want to spend time with friends and family outside, but also be able to entertain,” she says. “You don’t need a big house for that.”

Mary Clare Fischer, Assistant Editor

Mary Clare Fischer co-edits 5280’s Compass, Adventure, and Culture sections; writes for multiple sections of the magazine; and blogs weekly about health and wellness for 5280.com.

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