Save Yourself From Street Cleaning Tickets!

Now, I’m not going to teach you how to get out of parking tickets. I’m going to help you save yourself a mountain of frustration when you, your neighbors or clients approach their car in the morning and find a nice little present accompanied by a bitter yellow envelope tucked under the wiper blade.

Let me set this up for you: I grew up in downtown Chicago before moving to central Denver 10 years ago. A lot changed between the two cities: most notably the weather and severe drop-off in good Thai restaurants, but there’s one thing about city living that followed me from Chicago to Denver and haunted me until yesterday: if you don’t move your car by 8 a.m. on street cleaning day, you will get a ticket.

Granted, the concept of moving your car from the street in front of your house may sound like a foreign concept to the covenant-controlled, attached-garage masses, but everybody that lives in a major metropolitan area gets to abide by the absolutely inflexible rules of their friendly neighborhood Streets and San. And one of those rules is getting out of the way of the sweepers. I kid you not: I have been in front of my house in Driving Park at 7:59 a.m., getting into my car and seeing the meter maid at the end of the block warming up her pen. I have been able to grant clemency for a couple of my neighbors here and there, but at least in my neighborhood, if you haven’t hit the gas by 8, you might as well reduce your spending money by at least $25.

I’ve lived under the shroud of the Denver Public Works’ mobile profit center for 10 years, and I average about 2 tickets a year. Yes, I’d like to have that $ back, but it’s absolutely the principle of the thing. I know how to read a calendar and I know that the first Tuesday of every month is street cleaning on MY side of the street, and it’s Wednesday for the other side of Humboldt. Not a difficult concept. To add insult to injury, the street cleaning sign is in MY front yard.

The worst part is that I’m not alone. My entire neighborhood likes the convenience of parking on the street as opposed to making the three-point turn into the alley garage. Plus, we’re a front yard neighborhood so we know when people are home. That makes for a great neighborhood – actually, a lucrative one for the city. April 1 is the first day our street gets cleaned, and the occasion is marked by 4 to 5 tickets flapping under wiper blades. I’ve seen neighbors move their cars to the wrong side of the street two days in a row and end up $50 lighter. Pathetic.

That is, until now. Unlike Chicago, Denver actually wants you to move your car so they can clean the gutters. As a result, they signed on with www.MyMotorMaid.com. My Motor Maid is an automated reminder service that anybody in Denver can sign up for to remind them when the next street cleaning is coming down their street. It takes about 30 seconds to sign up and once you’ve received the confirmation email, you’ll be alerted with plenty of time to move your car.

I just forwarded this link to all my clients and friends in Denver.

The bad news: My Motor Maid is only in 10 cities across the country, all but Denver are in California. Even if you don’t live in Denver proper, that shouldn’t stop you from helping out your urban, garage-challenged friends from getting nabbed by the meter maids. If you don’t live in one of these cities, email all of your friends on the last day of the month to remind them about street sweeping. It’s coming in two weeks!

Drop me a line if you have any questions about this service. I am proud of Denver for offering it, but I need to watch my speed. They need to make up the revenue some other way.

Karl Lueders is an award-winning residential Realtor with The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek. You can contact him at 720-971-8267. You can search for homes at KarlLueders.com.

Driving Park Historic District Sales Stats 2007 – 2008

If you want only good news about home sales these days, stop reading at the end of this paragraph. Driving Park Historic District average sales prices skyrocketed 20% from 2007-2008!

But you know there’ll be a catch.

I will get to that, but allow me to remind you of how wonderful your neighborhood is. Driving Park Historic District (DPHD) has and always will possess significant recession-resistant qualities: age of homes and the neighborhood is inimitable; so is our proximity to downtown and Cherry Creek. And, for better or worse, we are protected by the Landmark Preservation Committee that has prevented – somewhat – AFS (artificial stucco disease) from infiltrating our little doughnut hole.

And, for the record, the catch isn’t as bad as you think. As you might expect, we sold more homes in DPHD in 2007 than we did in 2008: contrary to what was previously reported from other sources, 17 homes sold in DPHD last year while 22 sold in 2007, a 22.7% drop. Of those Driving Park homes sold in 2007, 32% of them sold under $500,000; that price range comprised only 17% of the total in 2008.

While lower price points tend to attract a larger buying audience, the drop-off in volume is likely more attributed to the world in which we live: in 2007, only 4 homes in our entire neighborhood didn’t sell. Last year, 14 homes didn’t sell and only three of those are back on the market. Currently, there are 7 homes for sale in DPHD and two that have recently accepted contracts on them. Days on market also increased, but that’s usually indicative of higher price points.

And, if you must know, there is only one house currently facing a short sale out of the nearly 400 homes in Driving Park.

Still, if Driving Park Historic District’s home values are truly recession resistant, we will find out this year. Despite our size and relative newcomer status to the historic designation (compared to our surrounding neighborhood groups), we have withstood several challenges in the real estate market since 2000. Let’s hope we continue that trend.

My official stance is that I am cautiously optimistic about selling homes in 2009 for fair market value. If you are thinking of selling this year, I recommend doing so if you plan to upgrade. Numbers work in your favor, especially if the next home is your long-term home. If you’re looking at making a lateral move, it might be best to hold on. And, if you’re looking to downsize or liquidate, you need to be aware of the market conditions that you will face.

When you’re ready to buy or sell, it’s important to have a finger on the pulse of the market, and hopefully, this information will help. Please contact me if you have any further questions about the data on the chart below. You can reach me at 720-971-8267 or visit me at Karl Sells Denver.

Karl Lueders is an award-winning Realtor with The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek. The Kentwood Company is Denver’s top real estate company, with the highest volume-per-agent ratio in Denver. The Kentwood Companies also boast the highest ranking Web site among retail real estate companies in Denver. Karl’s Web site, KarlSellsDenver.com, is the most searched agent site in Kentwood. If you require a strong online presence to buy or sell your home, consider working with Karl Lueders.

Driving Park Historic District Sales 2007-2008

Driving Park Historic District Sales 2007-2008

The above chart was provided by Metrolist, Inc. If I missed your home on this list, let me know immediately. I deem this information reliable, but cannot guarantee its accuracy.