St. Patrick’s Day Is Not Just Another Excuse to Drink in Denver

It’s the oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade this side of the Mississippi. At least, that’s what the interwebs say. But I tend to believe the webs when it comes to facts that don’t attempt to implicate government officials of wrongdoing. Besides, for those who have either been to a Chicago or New York version and have yet to experience the Denver Runnin’ of the Green, do not prepare to be underwhelmed: this parade is legit.

Yes, there will be a ton of hammered people with stupid hats and shamrocks covering various body parts, many of them non-Gaelic (kind of like how the number of people who “went” to Notre Dame triples when the football team is doing well). But who cares?? Everyone should become Irish on March 17. Because it’s fun! And what truly makes Denver’s parade special is that the City of Denver has nothing to do with putting it on; it’s a volunteer group! Yes, community activism does work. Read about the history at the official parade site.

   Avoid this at all costs.

Avoid this at all costs.

Of course, you’ll want something to do after the parade, if you can still stand. So, for the stout of mind and body (see what I did there?), here is a list of Irish bars in Denver, at least those who are Irish-themed the other 364 days:

Nallen’s Irish Pub1429 Market Street

Nallen’s has been around since 1992, making it the oldest Irish pub in Denver, and not needing of a Web site (a plus). Like most of the other bars on this list, Nallen’s will likely be pitching a big white tent in advance of the crowds; don’t feel like you have to be in brick-and-mortar portion of Nallen’s to enjoy the day. You can come back another time to appreciate the architecture.

Clancy’s Irish Pub7000 West 38th

Nallen’s might be Denver’s oldest Irish pub, but Clancy’s is the longest-standing. You figure what means what. Clancy’s other big selling point on St. Patrick’s Day is that it isn’t downtown, so the general riotous ambience of the day will be contained to Clancy’s property and not the entirety of LoDo. Note: Clancy’s is in Wheat Ridge, but because of its aforementioned title, it makes the list. Holla, Ned Kelly’s!

The Celtic Tavern1400 Market Street

Celtic on Market is the new name to go with the new location at the corner of Market and 14th. You can still bet the ponies while drinking pints in the OTB, but the “cigar bar” annex was buried with the Delaney’s annex in 2016.

Finley’s Pub375 South Pearl Street

Stumbling distance from Washington Park, it’s a place for neighbors to gather and celebrate, rather than zone out on TV. Finley’s also serves one of the best burgers in town.

A proper drink, if ever there was one.

A proper drink, if ever there was one.

If you’re looking for a more casual, authentic St. Patrick’s Day experience, Finley’s Pub fits the bill. Fun exercise: Google the walking directions from Finley’s to Candlelight. Much respect to the bar whose most efficient form of egress is through the alley.

The Abbey Tavern5151 East Colfax

The Abbey Tavern doesn’t decorate in Irish motif: no shamrocks nor leprechauns anywhere in view. But look at the menu and you know. The kitchen serves up classics like Shepherd’s pie, corned beef Reuben, and Guinness beef stew. Plus, the Abbey Tavern brings back the cozy authentic flair for those who are wanting to enjoy a more traditional holiday celebration. And, it’s also out of the LoDo sphere.

The Irish Rover54 South Broadway

Broadway needed an Irish bar and hence, we have the Rover. And fortunately, it comes with the feature that almost foretells a drinking establishment’s success rate: a rooftop deck. If St. Patty’s Day 2018 weather is like recent March 17ths, get your sunburn on here.

The Irish Snug1201 East Colfax #100

A snug is not a cheesy sleeping bag for your living room. It is however, a very private room that can allow you to drink privately in public. The Irish Snug allows you to do that, until you decide to stand atop the snug and do something that will force people to figure out how to avoid making eye contact with you. The Snug, however, does have a sidewalk patio that is an amazing place to drink – regardless of holiday – when the sun is out.

Scruffy Murphy’s2030 Larimer Street

Two words: dark wood. One word: great whiskey. That’s also two words, but you get the idea. Because of its ballpark location, this place will be a Craic show on March 17, but get there early and enjoy the sightseeing from within the friendly confines.

Dougherty’s Restaurant and Pub, 5 E. Ellsworth

It’s like the Wu-Tang, Dougherty’s ain’t nothin’ to f with… too cultural? How about the Scarface of bars? It’s 4-stars or no stars, depending on who you ask. It does have strong drinks, decent food and did I mention strong drinks? Ok, so keeping with the Irish theme, it’s like Notre Dame football, you either love it or you hate it. That being said, St. Patrick’s Day might be the absolute best time to experience Dougherty’s for yourself.

Now get out there and please drink responsibly. And, no matter where you go, one last piece of advice: only use “Pog Mo Thoin” if you know exactly what it means, who you’re saying it to or you’re cool with a brawl. Enjoy!

Playoff Baseball is Back in Denver!

When the Broncos are 30 days away from their first regular season game, this town goes bananas. Why is it, then, that Denver’s only playoff team from a year ago isn’t getting the same love?


2018 Colorado Rockies

When the Broncos are 30 days away from their first regular season game, this town goes bananas. Why is it, then, that Denver’s only playoff team from a year ago isn’t getting the same love? Is it the ski season (or lack thereof this year)? Is it the annual tease of the Nuggets finishing barely in or barely out of the Western Conference playoffs, or maybe the Avalanche will attempt to make the playoffs for only the third time in the last decade? That’s a true Av fact.

The only fact that should matter is that the Rockies are on the rise and first pitch 2018 is a month away. They open on the road April 2 in San Diago, aka Whale’s – er, never mind – and the home opener aka Get Out Work Free Day in Denver is April 6 v Atlanta.

So, check out the schedule, find anywhere between 1-81 games to attend, and plan accordingly for post-season glory. #rocktober

It’s Beer Fest Every Day in Denver

A more leisurely guide to the city – and state’s – amazing breweries

jkmnm3cincw-yutacarAs the host city of the annual Cat 5 hopfest known as the Great American Beer Festival, and as the incubator of what seems to be a new nanobrewery a week, Denver (in the collective sense) can easily lay claim to the home of beer (or The Home of Beer, if you want to make look more magnanimous). It’s a music festival with more tents, more performers, and equally the same amount of buzzed celebrants, but without all those gnarly glamping concerns.

And, as the quantity of Colorado breweries have multiplied over the past decade, so have the medals at GABF. Scroll through the winners at this year’s event and you can’t avoid being proud of the product pouring out of this state – if not slightly dumbfounded by all the new names taking names so quickly.

The best part about all this glorious 5280 nectar-making is that you don’t have to wear a mouthguard and elbow pads to fight the crowds at GABF for a 1-ounce pour. For the most part, you can visit Lone Tree Brewing, Twisted Pine, Black Bottle (to name just a few winners), on pretty much any day ending in “y.”

Of course, The Home of Beer does not medal-winning breweries make. This town has built up cornerstones of the industry over the decades, and you will never be lost ratebeerfinding perennial all-stars with the right guide. Rate Beer is to beer as Wine Spectator is to, wait, I’m thinking… and for many years the boys at Rate Beer have built a user platform to cut through the hype and lay out where the best cold beverages are, not just in Denver, but around the globe. If you have been on the site, it’s a must-visit for enthusiasts. Be careful about how much free time you have, because you may go down some rabbit holes you won’t be too excited to back out of if you have a meeting in 45 minutes. For now, here’s your rating guide for Denver’s best beers. Outside the 303 is easy to find, as well, but for now here’s your platform for a good beer deep dive. Salut!

Karl Lueders Presents: 1045 Monroe, a Modernist Bungalow in Congress Park

Classic brick bungalow in the heart of Congress Park. Lush landscaping both front and back offers a Zen-like retreat within two blocks of 12th Avenue fun: coffee, ice cream, wine, pizza and, of course, TAG Burger Bar. Inside, enjoy contemporary touches mingling with the original craftsman styling throughout the house. Note the modern updates in the bathroom, fireplace and lighting throughout. Enjoy hardwood floors, a foodies kitchen, extra office space off the back, evaporative cooler, great storage, 220 wiring outside and a huge, welcoming front porch. Opportunities abound!

If you’re ready to sell your Congress Park home quickly and for the best possible price, call Karl to discuss strategy. Better yet, call these sellers to find out how satisfied they are with their results!


Denver Real Estate… I’ve Heard of it, But Where Is It?

There is a dirty myth floating around Denver right now, that there are no homes for sale. Wrong. There are plenty of homes that are, have been and will be for sale. You’re just not fast enough to get one of them.

Take, for example, 1650 Dahlia in Park Hill: back in March, we listed Dahlia for $419,000 on a Friday and sat back and waited for the two dozen offers to roll in, which would hopefully get us to full price.

Karl Lueders Presents 1650 Dahlia

As it turned out, a blizzard hit two hours after hitting the MLS, dashing the open house planned for Saturday morning and any hope for the mayhem my sellers and I so morbidly desired. As it turns out, you only need one offer. One enterprising Realtor convinced her buyers to strap on snowshoes and weather the Friday storm once she heard about the numerous showing cancellations and the open house.

Before the open house was supposed to have started, my sellers accepted an offer for $425,000, and closed without incident 30-odd days later.

The buyers had been waiting for months for south Park Hill, which is why they were willing to spend a bit more for this location, but they were missing on houses left and right prior to securing 1650 Dahlia. Note what the one buyer said: “they were missing houses left and right.” That means that they weren’t sitting around waiting for Kentwood to list 1650 Dahlia. They were up to bat, taking swings at other opportunities. So, yes, there are houses on the market; it’s just none of them are staying on the shelf long enough to be counted as “inventory.”

Inventory talks about unsold property that is active at the time when the nerds come through with their counters and chart movement. And, like any retail operation, inventory costs money because it gathers dust, and you have to pay for space to keep it. So when you hear that inventory levels are down 70+%, or that we’re at all-time lows in available houses, you can interpret that as the market has a ton of buyers looking to lock in an artificially low interest rate before everything blows up in our face. They just have to be particularly aggressive to get their house.

Interestingly enough, sales numbers haven’t dipped at all. In fact, sales numbers that ebb and flow with the seasons have been eerily consistent over the past 4 years. Believe it. See the chart. Blue line – inventory. Red line – sales. Home sales figures are consistent, yet “inventory” is down?

Karl Lueders Presents

Karl Lueders Presents Sales v. Inventory 2007-2013

So is the Denver real estate market inflated? Well, buyers are paying a premium for homes, but they accept that the premium can be offset by the sub-4% interest rate within a few years of taking possession. Plus, $5,000-$10,000 over asking price is a small price to pay over 30 years than paying 5% every month v. 3.5%.

Most of this love/hate duality comes from the misconception that hidden somewhere within all this exuberance is a free lunch for a buyer or seller. There isn’t. Some buyers are reluctant to compete with others because they feel like they are overpaying for a home that could go down in value. Well, that’s true no matter when you buy the house; plus, if you would rather rent while you’re on the sidelines, notice the ridiculously low vacancy rate in Denver right now. Talk about overpaying? I have friends in the multi-family construction business that still can’t believe that they are able to get away with more than $2/foot in rent. This is 100% higher than levels in 2009. There is a good chance that the gold rush will continue as long as interest rates are low. Denver is the country’s most popular city with dozens of people moving here every day. And I don’t think any of them moved here to rent forever.

Conversely, many itchy would-be sellers are waiting for this crazy gravy train to make their homes shoot up even more in value so they can reap the same benefits as their neighbors. Again, don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Their profit is tied to their individual life decisions. And if they bought before or after you – in more favorable market conditions – they have a different baseline. Think about early 2001, when you were waiting for your dot-com portfolio to double… again! It didn’t. Chances are that your home has never been more valuable than it is today, regardless of what the market thinks of its value.

Of course, if you are a seller, you wield considerably more power than buyers. Put your house on the market and see what happens. Psych! Not really selling… but you probably will when you see what you can get for your house. Back in Chicago in the mid-1990s, I advised a lot of my friends to do the exact same thing. It worked because they got over their fear that nobody would want to buy their home. Most of them sold; some did not. But they all achieved clarity.

If you’re a buyer, I’m not gonna lie, you need a pair to buy a home these days. You can’t be in it 75%, 85% or even 99%. There is going to be someone up to the challenge of cutting out of work, waking their baby from a nap or walking off the golf course to find the house they want. Are they crazy? No, they’re committed. If you want to dabble, wait for the interest rates to go up; of course, your payments will also increase by 25-50%, but at least you can finish your round.

Karl Lueders is a Denver Metro Association of Realtors Million-Dollar Roundtable honoree, as well as a 5280 Five Star Realtor. He can be found in traditional ways: if Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn are the new traditions. Calling Karl Lueders 720-971-8267 also works. Especially if you’re planning on living in or leaving Washington Park.

2012 Denver Real Estate Statistics – Washington Park (East)

Two reasons why East Washington Park’s real estate performance shockingly dipped from 2011 to 2012:

  1. Wash Park is so far ahead of the curve in terms of Denver real estate that the tony east-side neighborhood actually experienced its 2012 in 2011 (take a minute), and there’s no way any neighborhood could hold this kind of momentum.
  2. It didn’t.

I may have gotten some of you to think #2, since you wouldn’t expect deception from this blog. And you would be right.

East Wash Park has always been the bellwether of Denver real estate, and people tend to freak out if Wash Park starts to tank. I’m here to tell you: you may continue with the good times.

Since 2010, average sales prices in East Wash Park have hovered between $650,000-$670,000. That part is no surprise. Check last year’s East Wash Park wrapup. Average prices in 2012 ticked up to $654,000 from $650,000 in 2011, and the price per square foot has crept ever closer to the $400/PSF, finishing 2012 at $394/PSF.

And, just to brag, 12 of the last 14 Wash Park homes that sold in 2012 went under contract in less than 30 days. Nine of those sold in less than a week. Boom.

A few trends from 2012:

  • the 76 homes that sold in East Wash Park is more of an indication of the low inventory than ability to sell. That’s not much of a stretch.
  • Lots that sold in East Wash Park hovered around 5422 SF, which shows a trend toward scrapes (double lots are 6250 SF), putting an emphasis on yard size with the house.
  • Only one half-duplex sold in 2012.
  • Days on Market averaged 47 days, still a month under the city average. That number included 13 homes that sat on the market for more than 100 days.

What can I say? Don’t mess with East Wash Park.

Karl Lueders is a Denver Metro Association of Realtors Million-Dollar Roundtable honoree, as well as a 5280 Five Star Realtor. He can be found in traditional ways: if Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn are the new traditions. Calling Karl Lueders 720-971-8267 also works. Especially if you’re planning on living in or leaving Washington Park.


2012 Denver Real Estate Statistics – West Washington Park

It would be foolish to assume that West Wash Park home sales could improve upon itself, year-over-year, but then again, it’s foolish to underestimate the power of the Park… both sides.

Real Estate Statistics 2012Last year, West Wash Park saw 158 single-family home sales in the area loosely defined as Virginia Ave., Downing, Louisiana Ave., and the Lincoln/I25 combo on the west. Of these 30 were duplexes (attached homes, if you will) and the other 128 detached homes of varying prices and sizes.

While duplexes tend to hold value without major dips or rises – duplexes rose in value a mere .4% from 2011 to 2012 – the average time they spent on the market dropped significantly, shaving more than 3 weeks’ of time from list date to contract date. In 2011, duplexes took 109 days; last year, they spent only 86 days on the market.

Detached homes – the garden variety bungalow, Denver square or pop-top – also dropped their days on market by 22 days (77 to 55). WWP detached homes also enjoyed uncharacteristic rises in average sale price. In 2011, the average detached home sold for $393,975; last year, that number jumped 17.4% to $462,790. Part of this jump resulted in the volume of high-end home sales in West Wash Park.

Despite falling under the elite Wash Park banner, the west side had always been known as the more “affordable” side, with property values appreciating but never really skyrocketing in the same fashion as its East side counterpart. In fact, WWP has never had a $1 million-plus homes sale. Until last year. Last September 28, 801 S Downing sold for $1.1 million cash.

Welcome to the big leagues, West Wash Park. East Wash Park to come.

Karl Lueders is a Denver Metro Association of Realtors Million-Dollar Roundtable honoree, as well as a 5280 Five Star Realtor. He can be found in traditional ways: if Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn are the new traditions. Calling Karl Lueders 720-971-8267 also works. Especially if you’re planning on living in or leaving Congress Park.

2012 Denver Real Estate Statistics – Congress Park

In terms of real estate values, I have always thought of Congress Park as central Denver’s bellwether neighborhood. It’s far from Washington Park‘s irrational exuberance (I shall prove this about Wash Park shortly) and Cherry Creek‘s roller coaster resale; it’s a smaller swath of land than Park Hill so it’s easier to define, and with the emergence of 12th Avenue as a destination for people outside the boundary (for purposes of this argument, 8th Avenue to Colfax and Josephine to Colorado Blvd mark the territory; different than last year), Congress Park is starting to lose its best-kept-secret sheen.

Which is great for real estate. Consider these simple statistics: in 2011, 105 homes sold in Congress Park. Last year, 135 homes sold. That’s easy, happy math. Interestingly, the difference came in the form of attached homes, duplexes, if you will. Detached single family homes remained constant from 2011 to 2012: 101 to 104. But duplexes increased 750% from 2011! Only 4 sold in 2011; 31 duplexes sold last year.

We haven’t talked about double-digit

increases for a long time, much less 12.2%.

Part of this increase can be attributed to low interest rates and buyers coming out of their bomb shelters from the last few years. We are also seeing buyers recovering from the foreclosure scars suffered in the mid-2000s, ready to get back in the game. Traditionally, duplexes are about 25% cheaper than their detached counterparts. And while duplexes enjoyed a modest increase in value year over year (from $282k to $295k in 2012), detached homes skyrocketed in comparison.

In 2011, the average Congress Park home sold for $381,313 (the most expensive home award going to 1044 Milwaukee), but in 2012, 936 Fillmore sold for $765,000 – the highest in Congress Park – helping raise the average sale price to $434,069. We haven’t talked about double-digit value increases for a long time, much less 12.2%.

It wouldn’t hurt to mention that it average days on market (known by real estate nerds as DOM), have dropped by about half the time for Congress Park. So, is it a good time to move in or out of Congress Park? How about both?

Karl Lueders is a Denver Metro Association of Realtors Million-Dollar Roundtable honoree, as well as a 5280 Five Star Realtor. He can be found in traditional ways: if Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn are the new traditions. Calling Karl Lueders 720-971-8267 also works. Especially if you’re planning on living in or leaving Congress Park.

New Listing in West Denver – Home For Sale at 33 Wolff Street

Get more details on this listing at Karl Lueders’ Kentwood Web site.

Great brick ranch in West Denver. Remodeled galley kitchen w/granite counters and stainless appliances. This sunny home sits on a hill with an amazing view of downtown Denver (only 10 minutes away). Hardwood floors on the main with two bedrooms and a remodeled bathroom. Great basement retreat with high ceilings and great sunlight. The basement features a true guest suite, great media/rec room, office plus a kitchenette (could easily be converted back into rental space). This home sits on a double lot with a great covered porch and concrete patio for entertaining. The two-car garage also has an extra parking pad next to it, as well a curb cut in the front. Evaporative cooler (already winterized); gas furnace and update light fixtures throughout the house. Quiet street with great access to city and mountains. Brick homes are rare to find in this neighborhood!

Karl Lueders is a residential Realtor that can you help you sell your home quickly and find the best home for you. Find out more about Karl or listen to his past clients and find out why the best service comes from the best Denver real estate agents. Call Karl at 720-971-8267 or dial Karl up on LinkedIn.

Nothing to do with Denver Real Estate…

…but how awesome is Richard Paterson? Here’s a good pre-holiday tutorial for you would-be whisky sophisticates, and play close to attention as to how to nose a good Scotch, lest you pay the price. :)

Karl Lueders is a novice Scotch whisky drinker, Denver Realtor and half-cocked half-marathoner. See him on the streets in Las Vegas this weekend trying to run 13.1 miles. @KarlLueders or find me on Fbook.