Meet The Team!
Kassidy Benson, Taylor Whitton & Lisa Johnston
We are 100% dedicated to helping our clients find their happy place while also building wealth. In 2019, Taylor and Kassidy helped 34 families and sold $15M worth of a real estate. Living Room Real Estate has been open a little over one year and we just added our third Associate Broker/ Operations Assistant! Lisa Johnston gives our team greater capacity helping on the back-end as an Operations Assistant and also expands our expertise as a team with a wealth of knowledge around local schools and expertise in South Denver.
About Kassidy Benson, Owner + Real Estate Advisor
In 2019 Kassidy was overwhelmed with the support of her clients as she made the bold decision to open her brokerage. She is 100% invested in her relationships with her people; clients are a mix of best friends, new friends, old friends, and she wouldn’t want it any other way. As many of her original clients are ready to trade-up into bigger homes, she has now become an expert at helping them navigate the challenge of buying and selling consecutively. In 2019 she purchased her second home and is still working toward her goal of owning five properties with passive income – in 2020 she plans to complete the construction of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (2 bed/ 2 baths, with a two-car garage).
About Taylor Whitton, Associate Real Estate Advisor
Taylor had a wildly successful first year! With her background in leasing, she learned the ropes quickly and helped 10 families buy, sold one listing, and helped with 4 leases. She really enjoyed helping first-time-home buyers navigate the process and also worked with several investor clients purchasing properties to rehab. Taylor contributed an enormous amount to the brokerage with her event ideas, social media expertise, and killer open houses.
Meet Lisa Johnston, Operations Assistant and Associate Real Estate Advisor
Lisa grew up mid-west, received a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute in Design. She moved to Denver and lived in Park Hill for ten years before moving to Southmoor (I-25 and Hampden) for better schools and more space when her girls were younger. Her daughters are now at Arapahoe High School.
Lisa has been helping with Living Room’s marketing since April 2019. After interviewing many people, it was clear Lisa was the right person for the role because she submitted the best design and she was passionate about real estate. Last summer, Kassidy had the opportunity to help a family that was focused on finding the right school for their kids and Kassidy immediately enrolled Lisa’s help. Kassidy wrangled Lisa, knowing that she had insight into the best schools and neighborhoods for families to come along for the showings. It proved to be really important info and impressed the clients. It also motivated Lisa to finally get her real estate license, something she has wanted to do for years.
Lisa will be helping Living Room Real Estate with marketing, scheduling, client appreciation, and team accountability part-time. She is also a licensed broker with one sale already under her belt and is now gaining the valuable experience and knowledge in her role as Operations Assistant to excel in her role as a Real Estate Agent.
5280 Magazine did an outstanding article on a development that will reshape Downtown as we know it today. Below are the highlights, but you should take the time to read this one!
62 – prime acres adjacent to a prospering city’s downtown
9.5-acre, $500 million to redevelop Union Station for comparison
$140M – the land deal
$3.4B – the cost of Stapleton redevelopment
25 years to build River Mile
12M sf of commercial/residential property to the city center
20% increase in the available space that currently exists downtown
15,000 residents accommodated
53 year old Duggan is leading the project
$9.7 billion is the net worth of “Mr. Kroenke”, Duggan’s equity partner
49th-wealthiest person in the world (Kroenke)
20% increase in Denver population since 2010
1,000 residents per month moving to Denver
90,000-square-foot Meow Wolf building is the first official building within the neighborhood and is projected to open in 2021
2045 is the goal for the project for completion
2018 when the City Council approved the rezoning on the land
$600 million in metro-district taxes for infrastructure to be footed by the neighborhood’s future occupants
$60 million dredged and deepened the South Platte
250 public and private meetings over the past two years for community input
200-foot height cap eliminated by the city on River Mile buildings, essentially giving unlimited vertical access in parts of the development
- 15% of the River Mile’s 8,000-or-so planned residences would fall below market rate
Here is a link to the article.
Where to look:
Currently only about 15% of Denver is zoned for ADUs. Neighborhoods where ADU zoning is common found include: Berkeley, Sunnyside, West Colfax, Barnum, Whittier, Cole, Clayton, Platte Park, Overland, Baker, and Cap Hill. Below is an image of a map pulled from Denver’s website that you can access at https://www.denvergov.org/
Understanding the zoning code:
We’re about to get really technical regarding the Denver zoning code. Any citizen can find the entire 1410 page zoning document online. The people most well-versed in the zoning code are trained architects and a few real estate agents. The simplest way to start understanding the zoning code is by learning basics of the easy guide. Let’s do one example together. Take the zoning code E-SU-D1x. The neighborhood context is E which stands for Urban Edge. The Dominant building form is SU which stands for Single Unit. The D means the minimum zoned lot size is 6,000 and the 1 means accessory dwelling units are allowed and the x means to look for special provisions. Does that make sense?
1. Homes on corner lots are ideal for ADU use to access an avenue rather than an alley.
2. Lots without garage are preferred to avoid the expense of demolishing an old garage. Typically you cannot covert an existing garage into an ADU.
3. Bigger lots accommodate bigger ADUs. So if I was looking for property to build an ADU I would only purchase something with a large lot. Denver ADUs come in three sizes: 650 sf, 864 sf, and 1000 sf (foot prints). Fixed costs are equal no matter the size, so a larger ADU is a much better value in my personal opinion. I’m building a 1000 sf ADU. The rule is that the second level must be 75% of the first level so I have a 1000 sf footprint with 250 sf of living space and a two car garage on ground level and 750 sf of living space on the second level for a total of 1000 sf of living space.
Help finding and ADU:The reality is that even a real estate agent can’t filter properties that met the ADU criteria and send you these listing. Because you have to run the code and the lot size for thousands of different properties it is nearly impossible on the current MLS system that real estate agents use. On my website I’ve an area specifically designed to solve this problem. You can search for properties that are for sale with the right zoning and lot size to accommodate an ADU, check it out. If you want to buy a property zone for an ADU I highly recommend utilizing a real estate professional who is knowledgeable in this area.Please give me a call, Kassidy at 303-720-8491.
Here is a video with the highlights from 1119 Pearl Street, Denver CO
4100 W Harvard Ave, Denver CO 80219
This three-bed, two-bath ranch is perched on a large corner lot only two blocks from Harvey Park. The updated, open floor plan will steal your heart. The front yard is a flowering oasis with mature trees and a beautiful lawn. Just inside the front door is the living room with real hardwood floors that flow into the family room centered by a one-of-a-king, wood-burning fireplace. The spacious, upgraded kitchen sits in the heart of this open design with a large dining area that connects to a tranquil backyard with a spacious covered patio. Space is in rare abundance with an oversized, attached two-car garage, primary driveway, garden shed, secondary driveway and fenced RV parking. This Harvey Park gen is a single-level home with all three bedrooms and a full bathroom nestled separately from the living space. This place was completely remodeled in 2014 and has been lovingly upgraded over the past five years.
I am teaming up with Conner Piretti of Calibrate Real Estate to list this beautiful eight unit investment property. It is a vintage Capitol Hill gem in Denver, CO.
- Central Capitol Hill Location
- Surrounded By Popular Nightlife, Restaurants and Close To Trader Joe’s
- Blocks From The Denver Art Museum, Denver Capitol and 16th St Mall
- Great Commuter Location to Work Downtown or Cherry Creek
- Great Investment Opportunity for Owner Occupant
- Main Floor Unit Is 1900sf with Amazing Original Woodwork and Hardwood Floor Inlays
- Attractive Unit Mix of One Studio, Four 1 Bedrooms, Two 2 Bedrooms and One 3 Bedroom
- 5.5% Pro forma Cap Rate with Management Included
- Maintained Immaculately by Current Owner Occupant
- Vintage Property Full Of Character And Charm – Original Hardwood Floors, Woodwork, and Fireplace.
- Recent Improvements Include Updated Kitchens & Baths, and New Exterior Paint
Micro units are a new trend in Denver. The Circa West building on Colfax and Vrain is a revamped old motel that has been converted into micro condos. They are offering three different floor plans: a 372 sq ft studio for $165K, 469 sq ft studio for $180K, and 715 sq ft 1 bedroom for $330K. We calculated the PITI for the purchase price of $190,000. With 5% down at 3.8% interest rate, plus HOA dues each month, the estimated cost would be $1,400/month. Tune-in our IG stories on Wednesday for a tour!
You can also rent micro-units. 5280 published an article about micro-apartments. In the article, they featured the new RIDE building in RiNO. There are 84 units in a five-story complex. The micro-apartments range in size from 369 square feet to 849 square feet of flexible live-work space. Rent for these units start at $1,239 and go to $1,899 per month.