The DEN Collaborative
Congratulations, Cass & Rosa!
A few months after Cass (they/she) and Rosa (she) made the move from Omaha to Denver, Cass had a moment of manifestation.
During one of their leisurely strolls through Capitol Hill they noticed a condominium building with a rooftop pool.
From the street below, Cass looked up and promised to the sky, "one day I will enjoy that view".
Soon after, Cass and Rosa started to get serious about buying a home and that's when I came into the picture.
I met Cass and Rosa one fateful autumn afternoon at Camp Dyketopia (an experience more magical than a day at Disneyland). I was first introduced to them while volunteering at the check-in table. They stood out to me because a fellow volunteer and fast friend, Billie, became ecstatic when she saw her pals arrive.
A few weeks later, I opened my Instagram to a message from Cass explaining that they and Rosa were in the beginning stages of pursuing homeownership and didn't know where to start (my favorite kind of message to receive)!
The following week, we met at Ritual Social House where I walked them through the home buying process. Over happy hour, we discussed each step and built out their ideal starter home. Between sips and bites, I learned that Cass, a copywriter and doula-in-training, and Rosa, a children's therapist, were recent transplants searching for their community and a place to call their own.
I learned that their long-term goal of starting a family informed their short-term goal of pursuing homeownership. It seemed important that they grow roots in a space of their own before starting the journey of parenthood. They were open to exploring different neighborhoods and home styles, however, it was essential that their home include the following:
* an inclusive and diverse community *
* two bedrooms + two bathrooms *
* in-unit laundry *
* walkability to parks and public transportation *
* designated covered parking *
* outdoor space *
They were renting in Capitol Hill, but were open to other areas with "gayborhood" vibes. The first neighborhoods that came to mind were Cheesman Park and Capitol Hill. While Denver is more inclusive, as a whole, compared to many other cities, these conjoined neighborhoods really stand out to me as the most queer-centric neighborhoods in Denver.
In fact, the annual pride parade stretches 14 blocks down Colfax Avenue, starting in Cheesman Park and ending at Civic Park, across the street from the Capitol building.
While finding an inclusive neighborhood was of utmost importance, it was also imperative for Cass and Rosa to navigate this process with people in the queer community. As a chaotic bisexual and professional real estate agent, I felt grateful for their trust in me to understand their needs. Outside of finding them the perfect home, their comfort level was my top priority. They also did some homework and discovered Mike Socha of the Socha Lending Group, a great lender who serves the LGBTQ+ community. Mike took his time walking both of them through the financial aspects of purchasing a home and was always available to answer any lingering questions.
We began our search at the end of October with an exploratory tour. Their apartment lease wasn't up for another six months, but it was important to start educating themselves on the market in order to whittle their way down to the perfect match.
We walked through single family homes, condos, and townhomes spanning across Lakewood, Uptown, Capitol Hill, and Englewood and were pleasantly surprised to find that most of the homes we toured lingered on the market for weeks afterward. This gave Cass and Rosa the advantage of watching homes drop in price while they waited out their lease agreement.
In the second week of November, we toured a Cap Hill condo with spectacular views. It checked almost all of the boxes - two beds, two baths, 958 square feet, reserved parking with very easy access to public transportation, a short walk to Cheesman Park, a huge patio overlooking the south side of Denver, AND neighbors with a pride banner on their door.
(Photos courtesy of MLS)
The biggest unchecked boxes were that laundry was only available in a communal (but clean!) area and the parking was not covered. The HOA was also on the high side, but it included almost all of the utilities, insurance, and great amenities like a community space, a fitness center, sauna, AND a rooftop pool.
The view of changing leaves from the patio took all of our breaths away and, though it was still too early to make a move, this cozy condo left a serious impression on all of us.
We kept our eye on the condo for two more weeks and when the price dropped again, we took a second look. Cass and Rosa were still not quite ready to make the move, but didn't want to miss an opportunity to invest in a great deal before the condo went off market in the new year.
We crafted up a plan to get them out of their lease early and wrote an aggressive offer, including maxing out seller concessions to put towards buying down the interest rate and closing costs. Many buyers believe that homeownership is inaccessible due to current interest rates, but that could not be further from reality. Many of our recent closings have favored the buyer's ability to negotiate on price and receive money back from the seller at closing. (If you'd like to learn more about these different strategies - message me. I'd love to treat you to coffee and show you how homeownership is within your reach)!
After several days of negotiation and compromise from all parties, we were under contract and smooth sailing ahead. Our inspection came back clean with the exception of a heater malfunction, which the listing agent promptly had repaired, and the condo appraised above asking price (hello instant equity)!
The icing on top was that the listing agent, Brandie Sciacca, had an established working relationship with Mike, our lender, and trusted that we would move through the transaction seamlessly. Brandie was a dream listing agent to work with as she did everything in her power to bring the deal together while still upholding her duties to the seller. As an ally to the queer community, she really loved Cass & Rosa's story and wanted to help them accomplish their home goals. I'm so grateful that we could work as a team to make this dream come true.
Cass and Rosa are special people. Their love and respect for one another is tangible and they brought adoring warmth into every home. When touring with couples, you can almost always expect both parties to concede on a "want" or reevaluate a "need". There is always a compromise and feelings aren't always considered. Cass and Rosa possess an understanding and appreciation of one another that reaches beyond the scope of compromise. They love one another so deeply that they'd rather comfort the other than prioritize their own needs. In doing so, they end up lifting each other up and finding the right solution. Clients like them fortify my passion for helping people accomplish homeownership and I can't wait to help them again in the future, once it's time to make room for a baby.
The day before closing, Cass and I were reviewing final details when they told me about a moment of manifestation, months prior. They'd come across a condominium with a rooftop pool while on a walkabout and set an intention to enjoy the view up there some day. It just so happened to be in the same condo they and Rosa received keys to the very next day.
And that's what I call full circle.
In the meantime, Cass and Rosa are busy making their new condo cozy and cute with fresh paint and updated fixtures! Thanks to our team handyman, Rick, for teaching them the ropes of home remodeling.
A very special thanks to the follow humans for making this transaction possible:
Listing Agent: Brandie Sciacca
Mortgage Broker: Mike Socha
Handyman: Rick Coite