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The Denver Real Estate Broker Blog

Top 4 Mountain Bike Trails Within 45 Minutes of Denver

Denver's Top Mountain BikingProbably no other metro area in the United States offers as much access to world-class mountain biking as Denver. It’s truly one of the things that puts this city in a class of its own when it comes to inspiring and exciting outdoors enthusiasts.

There are well over 1,000 rides and trails within easy driving distance from the Mile High City. While each has its own memorable experience to offer, you probably don't have the time to ride them all.

Try the best first. Here are the top 4 mountain bike trails within 45 minutes of Denver.

Apex Park

It doesn’t get much more convenient than this for city-dwelling mountain bikers. The Apex Park tour is a short jaunt down I-70, south of Golden, just minutes away from the city center.

The eight-mile trail begins with a steep climb that finally reaches its peak (1,700 feet higher than you started) at mile five. Over the last three miles of the journey, you descend out into the wide-open country with stunning views of Denver.

Check the MTB Project page for the Apex Park tour for more information about ride times and trail features.

Lair O’ the Bear Park, a personal favorite 

It may begin with a peaceful pedal alongside the fly fishing waters of Bear Creek, but the Lair O’ the Bear Park trail will soon snap you out of your Rocky Mountain wonder. Just after the first mile of the 12-mile trek, you’ll hang a sharp left and start a steep climb. Technical challenges and plenty of bobbing and weaving await you on this difficult but thrilling ride.

Just a 30 minute drive south and you’ll be at the Lair O’ the Bear Park for one of the best out-n-back rides in the Denver area.

Betasso Preserve

The terrain at Betasso Preserve is diverse, well-maintained, reasonably challenging, making it a favorite destination for all types of mountain bikers in the Denver area -- weekend warriors and seasoned experts alike.

The entrance of the Betasso Preserve is just a stone’s throw from Boulder. It’s probably on the edge of being within 45 minutes of Denver, but it’s worth the drive. Take the trip and measure your skills against some of the top riders in the region. 

The Super Betasso trail comes highly recommended.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Another one at the edge of our range, Golden Gate Canyon State Park has the goods to attract mountain bikers all the way from Denver out to Central City, CO. At the end of your 45-minute drive, you’ll find one of the biggest riding challenges in the region. It’s a 24-mile trek with a 4,400-foot climb that will take you to your limits.

It’s a difficult challenge for even the fittest riders, but maybe that’s just what you’re looking for. Maybe don’t start here, but definitely put Golden Gate Canyon State Park on your list of must-ride trails.

The 24-mile trail is called the Full Pull. Find more info here.


Tips for First-Time Homebuyers in Denver

How to buy a homeThinking about taking the big leap into the world of home ownership? It may be the biggest purchase you’ve made in your life so far, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a frightening experience.

If you’re prepared and you have the right assistance, buying your first home should be a thrilling and positive experience. To ensure that your initial foray into property purchasing is a success, follow the Neir Teams list of top tips for first-time homebuyers in Denver.

1. Find the Right Denver Real Estate Agent

If you haven’t already found a Denver real estate agent to work with, that should be your first move. Real estate professionals are especially valuable to first-time buyers who have never been through the process before. Their advice will be invaluable when prioritizing needs, budgeting, searching for a home and negotiating.

2. Know Your Finances

When it comes time to buy a home, you don’t want your finances to hold you back. It’s wise to verify your budget capabilities and your credit score before you even begin looking for homes. Saving and budgeting aren't just for your down payment. You’ll probably need to tighten your belt a little to account for the new mortgage payment you’re about to take on.

3. Be Realistic About Your Needs

You’ve probably been dreaming for years about finding that ideal home that meets your every need and desire. We’re not here to say you shouldn’t have everything you want in a home, but the realities of the market and your budget may force some compromises. Work with your real estate agent to set a realistic list of needs that are must-haves with your first home.

4. Appraisals and Inspections

A realtor isn’t the only professional you need to work with to complete a successful property transaction. A home inspector must be hired to check out the condition of the property you’re interested in purchasing. You’ll also have to hire an appraiser to determine the accurate value of the home. Your real estate agent can recommend reputable professionals for both tasks.

5. Research Your Mortgage Options

Compare various lenders and really dig into researching their policies and rates before you secure a mortgage. It’s a decision that will affect your finances for years to come, so the more you understand upfront the better.  

6. Remember Closing Costs

We’ve seen plenty of first-time homebuyers in Denver who forgot to budget for closing costs. Take your time and work with a real estate professional to understand any extra charges that may come up after you close on your property. Land transfer taxes, legal costs, and disbursements are a few examples. 

Purchasing a home should be exciting, but there are plenty of obstacles that could spoil the experience. With the right help, you can overcome the challenges and find your dream home. Following our tips for first-time homebuyers in Denver is one way you can improve your chances of walking away happy.

If you’re ready to get started on your journey to becoming a homeowner, contact the Neir Team today! We are experienced Denver real estate agents specializing in the needs of first-time buyers like you!


Top Things to do with Kids in Denver

What to do with kids in DenverRunning out of things to do with your kids? After months of summer vacation, it’s understandable if you feel like you’ve seen and done every kid-friendly activity the Mile High City has to offer. We’re here to help.

 Here’s our list of the of the top things to do with kids in Denver. Check out these entertaining and educational spots around town the next time you need to plan a Saturday afternoon that will keep the entire family happy.

 Top Things to do with Kids in Denver

  1.  The Denver Museum of Nature & Science

    The DMNS aims to inspire people of all ages through the wonder of scientific discovery. There’s a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and enough exhibits to keep the kids interested and engaged for an entire day. The Discovery Zone is especially geared toward the museum’s younger visitors. Visit http://www.dmns.org/ for more information.

  2.  Downtown Aquarium

    Denver’s public aquarium features exhibits that highlight some of the most fascinating underwater ecosystems in the world’s oceans. There’s something for everyone in the family at Downtown Aquarium -- a 4-D theater experience, a carousel, the Nautilus Ballroom, the Aquarium Restaurant, shopping, and more! Find more info at Denver Aquarium

  3. Denver Zoo

    Ride the zoo train, feed the giraffes, and let your little ones learn fascinating wildlife facts in the "Be a Zookeeper Zone.” There are tons of interactive activities perfect for kids. Learn more about the zoo’s event schedule and visitor info at Denver Zoo

  4. Children’s Museum of Denver

    This museum is all about using programs and exhibits to encourage kids to embrace learning with open arms. They aim to inspire curious young minds to explore interesting topics and express themselves creatively. Visit the Children’s Museum website at Children's Museum

A Few Suggestion You May Not Have Considered

If you’ve already visited the top four places on our list, here are some less popular options that may be new to you:

What did we miss? If you have a favorite place to take your children that we didn’t mention, let us know! Leave a comment and tell us all about your picks for the top things to do with kids in Denver.


RiNo Neighborhood and North Denver Update

The RiNo Neighborhood and surrounding areas are growing and changing at a very rapid pace. There are currently six North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative (NDCC) projects in various phases in and around the RiNo Neighborhood in Denver. With so much going on, here is a quick update to bring you up to speed.

 RiNo Building Heights  Blake St. Bike Lane
The Denver Planning Board has approved the final draft of the 38th and Blake rail station height amendment. This amendment is geared toward increasing the height restrictions around the commuter rail station. The increase in zoning height is a result of promoting transit-oriented development in and around the rail station...More A new bike lane and 2-way traffic are coming to Blake street between Broadway and 35th Avenue.
 Brighton Blvd Improvement I-70 Interstate Cover 
Groundbreaking for the Brighton Blvd improvement has been scheduled for October 13th, 2016...More Construction on I-70 to replace the failing viaduct is scheduled to begin in 2018. The four-acre cover over the  interstate has new artwork....More
 National Wester Center Arena  
 The History Colorado State Historical Fund has given a $200,000 grant to the National Western Center to study converting the Stadium Arean into a public food Market...More  

Top 5 Parks in Denver

Top parks in DenverDenver is home to an astonishing 250 parks that cover almost 6,000 acres of land. It’s an outdoor lovers’ paradise with nearly limitless locations for summer grill outs, jogging, playing catch, and people watching. Choosing the top 5 parks in Denver is no easy task, but here we go.

City Park

City Park is almost universally considered the region's premier urban park because it has so much to offer. Situated between the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (including the IMAX theater) and the Denver Zoo, City Park gives you easy access to a wide range of activities. Within the park grounds, you’ll find historical monuments, two lakes, picnic sites, playgrounds tennis courts, soccer and football fields, baseball diamonds, and more.

Washington Park

This 155-acre gem features two lakes and two impressive flower gardens. One of the gardens was designed as a replica of the famous gardens at George Washington's estate at Mount Vernon. Excellent dining and shopping options are nearby on Old South Gaylord Street after you're done strolling through the lush park grounds. 

Cheesman Park

Cheesman Park is a popular refuge for Denverites, especially for inhabitants of the densely populated neighborhood of Capitol Hill that borders the park. For many, it’s a favorite spot to fly kites, throw frisbees, or to go jogging. The Walter Scott Cheesman Pavilion hosts weddings, concerts, and many other special events throughout the year.

Civic Center Park

Situated in the heart of the city, Civic Center Park is usually bustling with activity. It features beautiful landscape, copious communal spaces, and quick access to some of Denver’s greatest attractions. The Colorado State Capitol Building, the 16th Street Mall, and the Denver Art Museum are all nearby.

Ruby Hill Park

Ruby Hill Park is Denver’s winter sledding mecca. This Hilltop park has just added a playground and a mountain bike track to be more summer-friendly, but it has long been one of the best parks in Denver for cold-weather outdoor fun. Kids and adults have been sledding down the big hill and making memories for generations. 

With 250 separate locations to choose from, we can’t highlight all the amazing parks in Denver. Did we miss some of your favorites?

Leave a comment and let us know about your top 5 parks in Denver!


How do HOAs in Denver Work?

How do HOA'a workWhen you purchase a property in a planned development like a gated community, leased land property, or subdivision, you will be required to become a member of that community’s HOA (homeowners’ association). HOAs in Denver collect annual or monthly fees from members to pay for maintenance and upkeep of common areas.

If you’re thinking about buying a property that requires you to join an HOA in Denver, here’s what you need to know.

The Basics

HOA fees typically fall in the $200 to $400 per month range, but communities featuring a lot of upscale amenities will likely have fees in excess of $400. The more amenities, the higher the cost of membership.

One very important thing to understand up front is that regular monthly or annual fees do not cover all potential expenses. For instance, if a common building needs major roof repair work, the association may not have enough reserve funds to cover all of the costs. In this case, each member of the HOA would be charged an extra assessment to make up the difference.

Fees and extra assessments may seem like a potentially heavy financial burden, but they go a long way toward protecting the property values and maintaining a high quality of life for all members.


HOAs don’t just exist to maintain common spaces and charge fees. They also set and enforce rules -- referred to as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) -- that apply to all members. Rules may specify what color your front door should be, what types of pets are allowed, what type of landscaping you can do, and so on. If you can get the HOA to grant you a variance, you may be able to circumvent some restrictions.

Tips for Dealing with HOAs in Denver

1. Know the rules before you buy. If you can’t find information online about a specific HOA, ask Denver real estate agents to dig around for you.

2. Make sure your prospective home is in compliance. Dealing with costly or frustrating HOA-compliance issues right after a purchase can spoil what should be a happy time.

3. Get the facts about fees. Obviously, cost is a big factor, so you should ask what is covered by regular fees, how much the association has in reserve funds, and how often they increase fees.

4. Ask for a copy of the latest HOA meeting minutes. You want to find out if there are any major ongoing issues that could affect the home you’re looking at.

If you’re considering properties with HOAs in Denver, start your research at the HOA Information and Resource Center for Colorado.

Contact the Neir Team for help finding the right property and the right HOA! 


Best Dog Parks in Denver

Best Dog Parks in DenverDogs, just like their owners, need a change of scenery and a little socializing every once in awhile. Sometimes the usual backyard jaunt isn't enough.

If your pooch is dying to stretch his or her legs and meet some new friends, we've got everything you need. Here's our list of the top dog parks in Denver.

Greenway Park

E 22nd Ave and Syracuse Street

Online info: Greenway Park

There are several brand-new options for canine lovers looking for off-leash parks, but the classic Greenway Park is still arguably the best. This location earns rave reviews for cleanliness, security, and friendly visitors (both canine and human). The park’s amenities include copious plastic bags, hydrants, and shaded benches.

Stapleton Dog Park

2002 N. Spruce St.

Online info: Stapleton Dog Park

At the Stapleton Dog Park, your little friend can dig in the sand, roll around in the mud, and run wild through large grassy areas. It’s a huge park with a convenient location for many residents of Denver’s east side. No pitbulls and children under 12 years old are not permitted to enter.

Berkeley Dog Park

4544 W. 46th Ave.

Online info: Berkeley Dog Park

The dog park at Berkeley Lake Park on Denver’s west side, isn’t the biggest patch of canine-friendly land in the metro area, but it’s still one of the best. It’s nestled in one of Denver most historic and beautiful neighborhoods, and it offers gorgeous lake views (although no lake access). It’s a fun spot to unleash your furry friend and let them roam free in the dirt and grass. Pitbull ban enforced.


Home Staging: Does it Make a Difference?

Staging WorksHome shoppers often assume they’ll be able to look beyond empty rooms or ugly decor to find the true potential of a property. Unfortunately, in reality, they rarely can.

That’s why new construction builders rely on luxuriously finished model properties to sell buyers on homes that haven’t been built yet. And it’s also why so many real estate agents tell their home seller clients to invest in home staging.

Despite the obvious advantages of providing potential buyers with the visual suggestion of the lifestyle they aspire to, many sellers wonder if home staging really makes a difference. The answer is a resounding yes -- if it’s done right, of course.

Here are some expert home staging tips that are helping Denver home sellers get more money for their homes right now!

1. Curb Appeal

Not sure where you should begin? Sprucing up interiors is a must for any home sellers, but home staging isn’t just about living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Realistically, home buyers are going to make up their mind about your property within the first 30 seconds of a visit, maybe a minute if you’re lucky. They might even know whether they’ll buy or not as they walk up to the front door. That makes exterior spaces just as important as interiors.

Trim foliage, remove dead plants and old mulch during growing season and add external lighting. That’s an easy DIY home staging action plan to get started with.

2. Know Your Buyer

Targeted staging is the new paradigm. Specific design aesthetics can be crafted to resonate with a particular audience of buyers looking at your home. Whether it’s industrial, hipster, classic, or modern, fitting the right style to the right audience can help you gain a major impact from home staging.

No one knows local homebuyer demographics -- and the home design elements that speak to each individual group -- better than a real estate agent. Working with a professional will allow you to hone in on a targeted staging plan that resonates with your buyer audience.

3. Colors and Accessories

Color can have as much of an impact as anything. In most metropolitan markets, staging is starting to lean toward vibrant, eclectic colors rather than bland neutrals. The right color choice depends on the type of home your selling, your price bracket, and the average age of your potential buyers.

The one universal rule of color is that you should choose photogenic hues. The wrong shades of red, for instance, can look terrible in online photos and potentially undo the hard work you’ve put into staging.

Contact the Neir Team for Professional Staging Advice! 

Whether you need assistance picking decor, selecting colors, or finding out how to target a home staging plan to a particular type of buyer, The Neir Team can help you through the process.

Contact us today to learn more about how home staging can make a difference for you!


RiNo Building Height and Zoning Change

Changes ahead for RinoDenver's community planning and development departments are considering zoning changes to the area surrounding the 38th and Blake commuter transit stop is RiNo. The impetus for the discussion is to create higher density and promote transit-oriented development in close proximity to the transit stop.

The planning process has been centered around how the transit stop will influence the area. Specifically, how pedestrians are going to move through the area, the quality of life for residents and a desire to retain the character of the neighborhood.

Proposed zoning changes will increase the current height restrictions of, primarily 3 stories to a mix of 16, 12, 8, 5 and 3 story zones. The tallest buildings with the greatest density will be centered at the transit stop at 38th and Blake Street. Appropriate height transitioning will be established from the transit stop to existing residential areas. 

The desired qualities of the community vision/plan for the rezoned area call for a high degree of design quality. Specifically:

  • Active, walkable and vibrant public domain
  • Promenades and open space for a vibrant neighborhood
  • Integration of the RiNo Arts District throughout the area
  • Minimization of parking complication
  • Quality pedestrian spaces such as plazas and gathering spaces
  • Preservation of the existing historic character and fabric of the area
  • Increased affordable housing

38th & Blake Plan Amendments: Public Review Draft Map with June 9th Revision

Proposed Rezoning for Rino


10398 E. 28th Avenue in Stapleton Home For Sale

Poised in one of Denver’s most desirable neighborhoods and situated on the F-15 park and pool you’ll find a stunning Mediterranean style home on a fantastic corner lot. This John Laing home was built in 2006 and is in like-new condition with its newly finished oak hardwood floors.

10398 E. 28th Avenue Exterior 

The Main Floor Includes a formal dining room, formal living room, a study with French doors and built-ins and a powder room. It also features a large great room that flows from the kitchen to the living room to the backyard, which makes this home perfect for entertaining.

10398 E. 28th Avenue Family Room

The Gourmet Kitchen is to die for with 42” cherry cabinets, slab granite countertops, stainless steel Kitchen Aid appliances, a breakfast bar and breakfast nook, a butler’s pantry and built-in desk area. It will make any chef green with envy!

10398 E. 28th Avenue Kitchen

The Upstairs Living area The master retreat is spacious with its 5-piece bath, slab granite counters, two sink areas, two closets and a large soaking tub. It also includes 3 additional spacious bedrooms, a full bathroom with dual sinks and a convenient laundry room. The deck from the front bedroom overlooks the park and is perfect for sipping on coffee or a cocktail.

10398 E. 28th Avenue Master Suite

The location of this home is perfection. It’s a stone’s throw from the F-15 park and pool and the new Eastbridge town center, which will feature new restaurants such as Troy Guards Los Chingones, the Kitchen Next Door and new King Soopers Grocery Store. In addition, Stanley Marketplace is just a few blocks to the south which will feature a community inspired market with over 50 businesses including some exciting restaurants like Denver Biscuit Company and Annette Scratch to Table.

10398 E. 28th Avenue View

Other Special Features: • Spacious unfinished basement with rough-in plumbing • Professionally landscaped backyard • Lifetime concrete tile roof • Custom blinds • Custom Light Fixtures