Your Home Is Worth More Than You Think!
When it comes to real estate, things actually aren't so bad here in Denver. Our guide to the myths and realities of the local market will show you why. Plus: How to refinance your mortgage, remodel on a budget, and rehab your IRA with real estate investments.
It's Still (Pretty) Easy Being Green
It would be logical to assume that the economic downturn spells doom for the greening of real estate. But while individual projects may be slower to come to fruition, the overall movement is still in the pink. There currently are at least four multiunit residential complexes under construction in Denver—totaling more than 560,000 square feet—that have applied for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification status.
Green construction costs only about three percent more than standard construction, so it's unlikely that environmentally conscious building will grind to a halt because of the bad economy. "The LEED certification has made RiverClay that much more attractive to buyers," says Sarah Harman, a partner with RiverClay, the Jefferson Park complex that to date is Denver's only LEED-certified Silver residential building. "A few years ago, only about 20 percent of our clients asked much about green building, and now it's flipped to 80/20, so green building may be pushed forward where other construction sectors lag."
But while making environmentally sound decisions about home purchases or improvements may be the socially conscious thing to do, for the time being most people will let their wallets decide. Lane Hornung, a Boulder-based broker associate for COhomefinder.com, says "green-related" searches of his company's database comprise less than one percent of all searches, and have increased by just 10 percent in recent years. "I guess in these tough times homeowners are more interested in another type of green," he says. "As in dollars."