Over the years the media has found us worthy of notice. Here you can find a collection of articles and reviews that speak to our commitment to real estate in Denver and the surrounding area. We are proud to serve you and the community. Please let us know if you are ready to buy or sell a home. We would love to work with you!
January 3, 2021
Denver Post - Real Estate Feature
By Mark Samuelson
The one thing that everybody in real estate agrees on after one of the strongest market years in Denver in recent memory is that the virus has been the driver—incredible as that seems.
Now as three new vaccines begin to cut their way into both the realities and the fears that have accompanied the pandemic, experts here are asking whether sales of homes can possibly stay as strong as they have.
And incongruously, the answer is a qualified yes.
“I think we are going to see a robust market heading into new year,” says Rike Palese, broker/manager of Re/Max Professionals’ DTC office, which did just over a billion dollars in sales this year, up about 20% over sales in 2019.
“We might see some change,” says Palese, “but it has still been really busy.” Despite the usual Christmas pause, the phones started ringing again in his office on the 26th. “We’ve seen lots of cases where things in recent weeks have gone under contract very rapidly, including multiple offers,” he adds.
Here are five factors to which experts point, all of them arguing that the mile-high market’s recent performance could become a kind of new-normal, for a while anyway.
Inventory. "It’s really low," comments Palese—only around 3,400 units on the market in the entire 11-county Denver-Boulder area, both single-family and multifamily product included.
Builders aren’t beginning to dent that demand curve with their current production, he adds. "There’s a hugely low level of builder inventory out there. I think we'll still see this crazy demand into next year."
Relocations. With not enough product on the market, Denver builders and agents are seeing a rising stream of buyers coming from outside the area, wanting Colorado’s climate, recreation, and even its newly elevated home prices.
"For lots of reasons, the Rocky Mountain West is the beneficiary of people rethinking how they want to live and play," says Walter 'Buz' Koelbel, Jr., President/CEO or Koelbel and Company, with a 68-year history of real estate development in Denver.
"There are places in the country where they don’t want to be anymore," he adds, noting that the work-from-home ethic could be a lasting pattern that hasn't played out yet. "We're seeing companies inbound from California, Chicago, New York," says Karl Koelbel, the company's COO, focused on a new mixed-use project in RiNo. Koelbel adds that even some retail projects, ones that have had significant liabilities during the pandemic, have done well this year.
New uses for space. Along with the trend of reconsidering where they want to live, buyers are taking a new look at interior space.
"They're needing more office space in their house, and more room for their school kids,” says Palese. Those considerations are driving builders to reemphasize flexibility of their new home designs, over what builders were doing decades ago.
Resurgence of luxury homes. When the market started to recover following the first shutdown, luxury homes were a lone question mark—but not anymore, says Palese.
"The demand is crossing all price points, and the upper end has been amazing,” he adds, noting that he is watching numbers of monthly sales in the $3-to-$4 million range; and even the $5-and-$6 million range. New post-COVID uses of space are helping fuel demand; including for swimming pools, after athletic clubs have become a bit more difficult to use.
Low interest rates.They’re remarkably low, reaching down into the 2s on 15-year and even on 30-year mortgages, driving buyer interest that will likely continue into the coming year, says Palese.
For more information, contact Palese at 303-522-5550. One Cherry Lane is marketed exclusively by Palese and Jonathan Keiler of RE/MAX Professionals.
Denver Real Producers - Feature Article
Photos by Merne Judson
By Michele Weingarden
In 2019, Denver veteran real estate brokers, Erica Chouinard, Jonathan Keller, and Rike Palese detected a distinct shift in the Denver real estate market. The information available to industry consumers was unprecedented: discount brokers were making a bigger impact and iBuyers were entering the local market. REALTORS were challenged with demonstrating their continued value. Passing along local MLS information and showing properties was no longer the way REALTORS could remain relevant.
Recognizing that a change in business methods was essential, Erica, Jonathan, and Rike formed The Real Estate Experts Team. The Real Estate Experts Team is exactly that - highly trained and experienced agents who will make a client's real estate needs their top priority. Collectively they provide an unbeatable combination, offering services that will change the expectations of what a REALTOR should be and what a REALTOR should do, all with the ultimate goal of helping buyers find their dream home and sellers maximize profits.
"Jonathan and Rike have a reputation in this industry that is unmatched. They make their clients feel like they're the most important people in the world," says Erica. Together, she says their partnership allows them to provide a top-shelf experience across the board. "The outcome is unselfishly poured into our buyers and sellers."
Erica launched her real estate career in 2001, bringing her toddler son, Austin, along to showings, closings, even SMDRA meetings. Austin was a good helper; he got a Hot Wheels after each closing!
Erica is driven by the responsibility to help people find shelter and understand what homeownership means for personal wealth and happiness. She shares that she learned everything she knows about dedication, perserverance, courage, and hard work from her husband, Bobby. Bobby was born in relative poverty in the Philippines and became a Major League Baseball player who pitched for the Colorado Rockies.
"Bobby's perspective was always, 'Why not me?' and those three words have driven me for almost 20 years now."
Rike's love of real estate began as a child when he would make his parents take him all over Denver to look at new home communities. Rike ended up going to college for architectural design. He enjoyed a successful career in commercial architecture in the Denver are but maintained an interest in residential real estate throughout this time. In the early 1990s, Rike decided to leave the architecture world and move to a career in real estate. He has never looked back. His design career has truly helped him help clients envision what a property can be. Rike states that "it is always gratifying to help buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals; I never get tired of finding the perfect property for a buyer or getting a seller's property under contract.
Jonathan was born in Florida. As a child, he moved to Vail, Colorado, where he grew up and enjoyed skiing and biking. As an adult, Jonathan renovated and sold homes and also worked in the lending world for may years. In the early 1990s, Jonathan moved from Vail to Denver and began his career in residential real estate. Knowledge of home renovation has helped Jonathan develop a keen eye for finding buyers their perfect home and his lending background helps buyers navigate the sometimes complicated financial world. "I truly enjoy helping buyers find their dream home. Whether that might be a condo or a single-family home on acerage, there is nothing better than seeing a buyer walk in the front door and see their eyes light up. You instantly know this is the right home," states Jonathan.
The Experts have a proven marketing system for sellers, teeing up a property for maximum exposure to achieve the maximum sales price possible in the shortest amount of time. Not only do The Experts utilize state of the art photography, video and virtual tours along with social, electronic, and print media, but they have also partnered with a local technology company to generate buyer leads for their listings. This unique technology is only available to The Experts Team in the Denver market. Buyers benefit from The Experts team members' vast network of past clients and local connections to find off-market properties before they even hit public listings.
In today's fast-paced and high-tech world, The Real Estate Experts Team believes that each client deserves personal and responsive attention throughout the real estate transaction.
"Buying or selling a home is often the most important transaction of our client's life, and clients today want a market expert as their personal advisor along the way," says Rike. "The forefront of our business has always been to offer our knowledge and top-notch service to every client, whether they are buying or selling their first home or their tenth."
With industry changes brought on most recently by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to constantly evolve sets the Real Estate Experts Team apart.
"Through Coronavirus, we had to learn quickly how to adapt, and through stress and hard times come innovation and efficiency," say Erica.
During the COVID-19 Stay at Home orders, Erica shares, she was on the phone for eight+ hours every day fielding questions from current clients, past clients, people who might be thinking of buying or selling in the future. "Every single one of them wanted to know what I thought, and those were some heavy conversations. I wish more REALTORS knew their value to people, to our industry, and to our economy as a whole. The real estate sector accounts for 18% of our national GDP... that's a lot of responsibility."
The Real Estate Experts Team specializes in single-family and multi-family residential homes, first-time buyers, luxury and high-end homes, short sales, investment properties, and the marketing of new home communities for developers and builders.
Not only is the Expert Team's goal to match buyers and sellers with the perfect transaction, but they also want to give back to the community. Team members support such charities as Habitat for Humanity, The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and the Alzheimer's Association.
Rike, Jonathan, and Erica have hand-selected a team of real estate experts to provide premium service to each and every client. With over a billion dollars of combined real estate sales, "our goal is to offer each of our clients an opportunity to experience a new standard in real estate," says Rike.
Erica agrees, "Business success may stoke the brain, but interaction with our clients stokes the heart."
December 2020/January 2021
Colorado Expression - Business Spotlight
With work, entertaining and education centered in our living spaces, home is where the focus will continue to be. By Danielle Yuthas
OUR LIFESTYLES HAVE CHANGED THIS year and our new routines are affecting the way we buy homes. With the elimination of commutes, increase in time at home and the homemade casseroles replacing happy hours at restaurants, home buyers have shifted their priorities. As a result, real estate transactions are surging in unpredictable ways.
"The market has done amazingly well this year—beyond anything anyone would've imagined in the middle of March when businesses were closed down," said Rike Palese, residential specialist and managing broker at Re/Max Professionals. "At the time, there was a panic while we wondered what would happen and how consumers would respond. Since then, the market has gone crazy and people are buying at higher rates than ever," said Palese, who earned a degree in architectural design at the University of Colorado. He initially focused on commercial design but had always had a passion for residential design and began working with RE/MAX on the residential side 27 years ago. RE/MAX is an international leader in both franchising and real estate, with its corporate headquarters in Denver.
Palese pointed out the current craving for nurturing environments that is prevalent due to the shift of in-home entertaining of family and guests alike. The desire for homey, open floor plans and more casualentertaining spaces as opposed to smaller, more defined rooms, including formal dining rooms, has carried over. Warmer colors are gaining traction and more brushed brass hardware is popping up compared to the coveted chrome of January. Home life is in the spotlight as professionals are working from home, children are learning from home and all family members of a household are at home more in general, which translates to the critical need for not only more space, but also the utility of a designated space. This is also a driving factor behind the current trend toward remodeling.
Homebuyers are ultimately looking to get more comfort and value out of their houses. Homes with a “bonus space” like a loft, extra room or large basement are being snapped up in order to be converted into second offices, fitness centers, school rooms, home theaters and game rooms. Outdoor entertaining amenities are also on the rise including builtin grills, firepits on the patio and even backyard swimming pools. (Yes, in Colorado.) A big backyard is also key for getting kids out of their cubicles, and nearby walking, hiking and biking trails preserve sanity.
Multi-generational homes are popular as households are consolidating to save on costs, as in-home care for seniors is preferred and as more college students are postponing moving to campus. Almost every member of the household, even young, school-aged children, needs a designated “Zoom area” to take video conference calls, which was not factored into the pre-COVID-19 household plan. The sprawl, paired with the decreased or nonexistent need to commute, has families moving farther out from the city in order to find more house for a comparable price.
Some are even adopting an existentialist approach and springing for the dream house now and taking advantage of the opportunity while they can. The exception is the downtown Denver market, which is relatively sluggish, especially considering sporting venues and many restaurants are closed. This will likely shift again when people want to come back to downtown.
Additional contributing factors to high demand are the ability to lock in loans at low interest rates as well as the influx of from buyers coming from more expensive and more densely populated areas such as New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia, seeking safety and space without the pressure to return in the near future. It doesn’t hurt that companies are also relocating here for financial reasons as well as the lauded variety of outdoor recreation Colorado offers.
"Though the housing market has been strong and migration from other cities has been common for a number of years, this year has been different in that January through March were strong as usual. And then April and May were slower than expected, which pushed the usual rush of spring buyers into the formerly slow summer season, making July and August surprisingly strong sales months. That led to a more consistent fall season, despite the election, which typically slows due to apprehension,” said Palese.
Will the demand drop? Not according to Palese. "Inventory is already so low, there would have to be a tremendous shift even to get back to normal, which isn’t likely considering many companies won’t go back to full-time office requirements. And even if they do, employees may not comply in order to maintain their newfound Denver lifestyles. A shift has happened that is going to last longer than 18 months and may even be permanent."
He indicated that now is still a safe time to buy because you know the conditions of the market, which include appreciation and low interest rates. If you plan to wait, you are betting on future conditions, which can be riskier. “This is not an artificially inflated pricing structure” he said, citing that in an "even" housing market there are 12,000-13,000 available homes on the market and this year, at the lowest point, inventory was at under 6,000 homes for sale. "Prices are based on what the market will bear," said Palese. Prices are expected to increase in the foreseeable future and it’s important to hold that equity and value.
Furthermore, if you are looking to jump on the buying bandwagon, the holidays may be the best time. Right now, prices are stabilizing and there is less competition, so even though there are fewer options, you may be able to land the right deal.
As for those looking to sell, most commonly now to downsize, focus on updating features and maintaining the condition of the home. "Just because it’s a robust market, doesn’t mean you can necessarily get top dollar. It’s always relative," said Palese. Merry house hunting!
October 12, 2020
The Denver Post - Real Estate
Architect Jack Lawler used an imaginative palette to re-design a 1934 bungalow. By Mark Samuelson
RE/MAX Professionals Rike Palese says that the nation's new preference for working at remote sites is driving major traffic from out-of-state into Denver's Cherry Creek North neighborhood, now with much of its popular restaurant scene open again. He has a strikingly creative remodel to show you today, 11-to-1, that’s a five-block walk from the dining.
At 548 Madison Street, you’ll see a bungalow originally built in 1934 that had an imaginative makeover in 1998 by architect Jack Lawler, that gave it 2,800 square feet of finished space, all of it wide-open for entertaining, as his personal home. The new spaces opened into an colorful courtyard with water features surrounded in an aqua palette, excavated to create a full-height finished walkout level in the basement alongside. Lawler, who did very contemporary work including the Ritz Carlton downtown, the Jones Intercable building on south I-25, and several of DIA’s concourses, created a second luxury unit at the back of the bungalow’s lot that’s not included in the sale; leaving each home its own 2-car attached garage.
The price is $1.395 million—one that Palese says is competitive in a neighborhood where extensively remodeled properties can run much higher. You’ll see a great room with beamed ceilings overlooking the courtyard; a completely custom kitchen with new appliances; and a master suite with glass-block shower, opening to its own patio. "Telecommuting has become almost totally acceptable now," Palese says, noting that the influx of buyers who that’s encouraging include arrivals from California, New York, Texas, Philadelphia, and D.C. "They like Cherry Creek North," he adds.
February 9, 2020
The Denver Post - Real Estate
Join us Sunday, Feb. 8-9, from noon to 4 p.m. and tour two of our final three new homes.
If you’ve been thinking about making One Cherry Lane your home, now is the time to tour these ranch homes and be in your new home this spring.
"We have two new residences ready to move into this month,” says listing broker Rike Palese. "Both are ranch plans." One of these homes, a Santina plan at 45 Windsor Way, showcases a wide-open great room; formal dining room; gourmet kitchen with breakfast area; two bedrooms on the main level including the luxurious master suite with expanded sitting room, luxurious bath with his/hers vanity areas, free-standing tub and large walk-in closet; a study; rear patio; and three-car garage. There is an open basement for future expansion. Upgraded finishes include wideplank hardwood flooring, crown molding, slab granite and hand troweled walls, The 2,590-sq.ft. home has two bedrooms, a study and three baths and is priced at $1,543,909.
A second Santina plan, at 25 Royal Ann Drive, is on a large lot and has more of a contemporary feel on the interior, and includes an open great room floor plan with formal dining room, chef’s dream kitchen with breakfast area, master suite with sitting room and expanded master bath, second bedroom suite with en suite bath, study, powder bath and unfinished basement for future expansion.
A large terrace takes advantage of the oversized lot. Interior finishes give this home a more contemporary/transitional feel. This home is now ready to move into and is priced at $1,724,220.
Longtime Denver-based Esprit Homes is the builder for One Cherry Lane. Its commitment to quality is evident throughout the community with the finely crafted exteriors of each home as well as the many, high quality features found standard in these ranch plans.
One Cherry Lane is a gated enclave of luxury semi-custom homes located in the heart of Greenwood Village off of DTC Boulevard, between Belleview and Orchard.
This exquisite community features 24- hour gated access, incredible pool and cabana facility, and all the lifestyle amenities that you could want within easy walking distance.
Great restaurants are nearby. And the Orchard light-rail stop is only a couple of blocks away. Front yard lawn maintenance and snow removal are taken care of so you have more time to enjoy all of these great amenities. One Cherry Lane is part of the acclaimed Cherry Creek School District.
To tour these homes , take I-25 to Belleview Avenue, go east on Belleview to DTC Boulevard, turn right on DTC Boulevard, turn right on Park Terrace Avenue and left into the gate at One Cherry Lane.
For more information, contact Palese at 303-522-5550. One Cherry Lane is marketed exclusively by Palese and Jonathan Keiler of RE/MAX Professionals.
February 9, 2020
The Denver Post - Real Estate
Join us Sunday, Feb. 8-9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cherry Creek’s newest condominium residences, One19 Cherry Creek.
New, affordably priced one-bedroom, twobedroom and two-bedroom-plus-den residences are now available, priced from the $600s to $1.1 million in Denver’s most sought-after neighborhood. “We can take you on a hard-hat tour today to any of our 36 homes so you can see for yourself the open floor plans and thoughtfully designed layouts,” says on-site sales manager Rob Hunsley.
"We can also show you a mock-up kitchen in our sales center where you will see the high quality and high design finishes that you would only expect to see in homes priced much higher."
Special features of the residences at One19 Cherry Creek include expansive windows, balconies or terraces, wide-plank wood flooring, Bosch appliances including gas cooktops and built-in refrigerators, low-maintenance quartz counters, European style softclose cabinetry, Moen plumbing fixtures, oversized master showers and designer lighting. Some homes even have private roof-top decks, fireplaces and wine refrigerators and electric car charging stations as available options. "You can select your custom professionally designed home now and enjoy special pre-sale incentives through February, and move in later this summer," says Hunsley.
Amenities at One19 Cherry Creek include a community patio with outdoor kitchen and seating areas, lobby lounge for gathering and entertaining, fitness center equipped with Peloton equipment, guest suite that you can reser ve for your guests to stay in and a pet spa for your four-legged friends. One19 Cherry Creek is located in the more quiet, neighborhood-oriented part of the Cherry Creek area where you can walk your dog on treelined streets. You’re adjacent to two parks, the Cherry Creek bike path is only a couple of blocks away and, of course, you’re only minutes from the best shopping and dining that Denver has to offer in the Cherry Creek mall and Cherry Creek North.
Tour the homes and our sales center Saturday and Sunday from 11-5 at 119 S. Harrison St. One19 Cherry Creek is located between Colorado Boulevard and Cherry Creek Drive North, just north of Alameda.
For more information and to reserve your new home, contact Hunsley at 720-930-9685 or exclusive listing agents Rike Palese and Jonathan Keiler of RE/MAX Professionals at 303-522- 5550.
January 11, 2020
The Denver Post - Real Estate
SUBTITLE By Mark Samuelson
Top-selling south Denver agent Rike Palese is seeing extremely unusual activity in the market for this early in the year — and he’ll do nothing to slow that pace when he opens sales today on a 36-unit project of luxur y condos 6 blocks from Cherr y Creek’s dining district.
This morning, Palese and team partner Jonathan Keiler of RE/MAX Professionals open their sales center for One19 Cherry Creek at 119 S. Harrison St., 4 blocks east of the venerable Chopper’s Sports Grill in Cherr y Creek South.
"It’s turning out to be a very unusual market,” says Palese, who already took reservations on One19 from five people who got in before today’s scheduled opening. "Last year, it began heating up in the spring, but buyers are exceptionally positive about the economy now, and we were seeing things warming up in December."
With virtually no competition for purchase product in Cherry Creek, this project is likely to sizzle early on, says Palese.
"Denver is marking a huge demand for lifestyle product of all types," he adds. "Some of the people we’re talking with are older, some are younger, but they all have busy lives and busy jobs and they want to be free of maintenance."
At One19’s new sales center, you’ll see the three-stor y condo already well along — close enough that serious buyers can don a hard hat today and walk some actual units inside — ones that show air y interiors. The project has a single one-bedroom priced at $585,000, expected to disappear immediately. But the bulk of roomy two-bedroom and two-plus-den units are priced from the $800s to low $1 millions, some of them as large as 1,625 square feet.
Six homes on the top floor are getting rooftop decks looking east toward D.C. Burns Park, and all will have dedicated underground parking and finishes that Palese says are desirable for this price range: 9-foot ceilings, Bosch kitchen appliances with a built-in fridge in cabinet liver y, Euro-style cabinets, engineered wood-plank floors, quartz tops, a nice choice of faucets including in trendy black, and linear fireplaces on most.
Make your move now, before the end to the month, and you’ll get $15,000 off the price, along with a free washer and dr yer and mesh window coverings. Palese and his team will show you renderings for a “Great Room” amenity area with lounge and bar and a Pelotonstocked fitness studio, and for a rear courtyard with garden, barbecue and fire pits. The location is 4 blocks fromthe Gates Tennis Center at Pulaski Park, and just as close to the Cherr y Creek Bike Trail into downtown. Early buyer traffic, Palese adds, has included a number of potential buyers looking to sell their older homes in Hilltop and Crestmoor — and others coming from older townhouse projects in surrounding blocks.
"They all want to get into lock-n-leave and single-level living,” he says. “The resale products that they’re seeing now are 15 years old, but they all want new and fresh."
Meanwhile, Cherry Creek’s reputation for top-shelf dining is taking on even more allure with new restaurant openings. From the dining district, head east on First Avenue a half mile to Harrison and turn south 2 blocks.