Love Your Hood

Colleen + Kayce

Wash Park West, Denver

Together for ten years and now newly married (woo!), Colleen and Kayce moved into their Wash Park West brick bungalow over a year ago. They had rented in the same neighborhood for seven years prior and have loved settling down in an area that was already home to them, with favorite local spots already nailed down and friends in close proximity. The extra time at home in 2020 gave them the opportunity to invest in home projects, whether it was updating small fixtures or adjusting their basement and upstairs guest area into home offices for each of them. This charming home had the perfect combination of old-school character, updated features, and outdoor space for Colleen and Kayce (and their cat, Lewie).

 
What made you fall in love with your home?

Location, location, location. We’ve lived in Wash Park West for a long time, so we were really hoping to find something here, but tried not to get our hopes up. We loved the rental we lived in for seven years, and this house felt like a more spacious and grown-up version. We appreciate the old-school charm with updated fixtures and appliances.

 

We love our two outdoor living spaces, especially the covered front porch and xeriscaped backyard.

 

 

We love finally having room to properly store our outdoor toys and tools in the garage. We used to have to store our mountain bikes in our kitchen and tuck away our skis and camping gear into hidey-holes all over the house. Kayce’s dad came out a month after we moved into the new house and completely gutted our garage, turning it into a storage dream. The bonus basement space has also been huge during the pandemic. We converted the guest area into a multi-use space that accommodates a home gym and office space.

 
 
What prompted you to make a move?

We’ve always wanted to own a home, and we were tired of renting. It’s a no-brainer.

 

 
Is there a project you’re dying to start in your new place (or some that you’ve already tackled)?

We’ve been on a tear in terms of home renovations. We had to replace the roof, gutters, and paint almost immediately after moving in after a huge hail storm, but we’ve tackled some fun projects too. We replaced the original windows, converted a storage room in the basement into an office, added a section of new kitchen cabinets, painted the first floor, added an evaporative cooler and a couple solar tubes, and refreshed the upstairs bathroom. We also added garden beds and irrigation out back, and gutted the garage. Getting a new washer/dryer was honestly one of the more exciting upgrades we made, after schlepping to the laundromat for seven years.

 

 
What most excites you about the neighborhood you moved into? 

Walkability! We already know and love this neighborhood. Being even closer to Wash Park, the light rail, coffee shops and restaurants, South Broadway, South Pearl, and Gaylord…it’s a dream location.

 
 
What are things in your neighborhood that remind you of your hometown?

We’re both originally from the midwest, so a lot of the older brick homes remind us of the neighborhoods we grew up in.

 
 
Have some favorite places in your neighborhood you could tell us about (parks, eateries, coffee shops, salons, breweries)? 

Very addicted to the iced lavender coffee at Wash Perk. We love the patio at Vert and Bon Ami. Max’s Gill & Grill is another fav, along with Roxy Broadway, Palenque, and Davino Wine Shop. And of course, Wash Park.

 
 
What did you love about working with your Love Your Hood broker?

Mark was so quick to the draw when we told him we wanted to see a house. Communication was top notch. We appreciated his straight-shooter approach, and that he wasn’t overly sales-y. We liked working with Mark so much that we recommended him to a friend. Mark just helped them buy a house in Platt Park!

Erica + Vijay

Englewood, Colorado

Erica and Vijay started their home search on a snowy day in Colorado. They knew they were destined to find their new home, it was just a matter of locating the right neighborhood and the right place (new versus historic!?), and of course, a matter of time. After one visit to Iron Works Village, the signals were a-flyin’ and something told them “this is it.” We are so excited that Erica and Vijay found the perfect home for them!

What made you fall in love with your home?

We loved the space and how it flowed as soon as you walked in! There was so much room, from the living room and kitchen to the basement and top floors. We also loved the porch space that the home offered.

What prompted you to make a move?

We knew we wanted to look for a home in the area, but we were trying to find something that fit our lifestyle and our overall style in the right price range.

Is there a project you’re dying to start in your new place (or some that you’ve already tackled)?

One big project that we tackled (that is still a work in progress) is our basement gym! We are also working on the porch and outdoor space right now. We cannot wait for the weather to warm up and for us to be able to set up that area. We did paint one wall and decorate another wall in our living room!

What most excites you about the neighborhood you’re moving into? 

We really just love having all of this extra room! The neighborhood is peaceful, has outdoor space for our dog to run around, and the inside of this home is so spacious, offering us much more room than our previous apartment. And the mountains are amazing, we can see them from our window and porch!

Who, in your new neighborhood, would you most like to connect with (young families, runners, bikers, dog lovers, beer brewers)?

We are always looking to connect with dog lovers and those that are active, especially people that love lifting weights, as that is a passion of ours!

What are things in your new neighborhood that remind you of your hometown?

Broadway is the closest thing that reminds me of my hometown. It has a variety of shops, both commercial chains and local ones, that are spread out. Honestly, there are more differences between my hometown and our neighborhood, and I love that, because we are always discovering new things!

Already have some favorite places in your neighborhood you could tell us about (parks, eateries, coffee shops, salons, breweries…)? 

We love the outdoor space that is built into the neighborhood. Harvard Gulch Park is nearby as well, and has so much room to walk and play with our dog. We’ve also been loving the Italian restaurant just down the street, called Colore. The food is amazing and the staff is so friendly! Additionally, we’ve enjoyed takeout from The Crab House, which is also very close by.

What did you love about working with your Love Your Hood broker?

Celeste is amazing! She’s warm, knowledgeable, and just overall helpful. She helped us throughout the process and we really felt that we could trust her to help us find a place we would love, and she certainly did!

Breann + Myles

Five Points, Denver

Breann and Myles purchased their Five Points home around Christmas, but made their move from San Francisco this April. Our broker Mark helped them find a home that was walking distance from Larimer Street, where they enjoy RiNo’s diversity, ever-changing murals, and bustling dining scene. While COVID-19 has limited their opportunities to explore all that Larimer has to offer, Breann and Myles (and their dog, Whiskey) have found a few favorite places and are excited for all they’ve yet to try.

What prompted you to make a move, and what made you fall in love with your home?

Coming from San Francisco, we were ready to stop renting and to find a home to settle into Denver. The architecture of our home is stunning and we can’t wait to enjoy the outdoor spaces this summer.

Is there a project you’re dying to start in your new place (or some that you’ve already tackled)?

Adding a basement bathroom.

What are things in your new neighborhood that remind you of home?

Our friendly neighbors! We’re excited to connect with other dog lovers and young professionals.

What most excites you about the neighborhood you’re moving into? 

The diversity of people and proximity to so many bars and restaurants.

Do you already have some favorite places in your neighborhood you could tell us about?

We’re still exploring, but we’ve loved Stem Ciders, First Draft, and the Denver Central Market!

What did you love about working with Mark?

Working with Mark was so easy and flexible! He walked us through the whole process start to finish.

Erin

Congress Park, Denver

Erin purchased and moved into her one-bed Congress Park abode just before sheltering in place began. With the help of our broker Mark, she became a first-time owner and avoided the hefty Denver price tag of solo renting. Though the pandemic has stalled her ability to thoroughly explore her new hood, she and her sweet pup, Desi, have still discovered plenty to love about Congress Park living.

What made you fall in love with your home?

The location! My neighborhood feels safe and friendly. It’s next to the Botanic Gardens, close to work, and just close to everything. I’m looking forward to connecting with other dog lovers in the area when it’s safe to meet new neighbors!

How has the pandemic affected your move to a new place and neighborhood? 

Moving into my place a few weeks prior to the start of sheltering at home has limited my ability to try out the restaurants and shops in the area, but it has allowed me to take advantage of the several parks nearby. I’m walking distance to three of Denver’s popular parks: Congress Park, City Park, and Cheesman Park. I love being able to walk Desi and exercise there. Sheltering at home has allowed for more time to focus on home improvement crafts and projects, as well as the time to set an at-home workout routine.

Do you already have some favorite places in your neighborhood you could tell us about?

Shells + Sauce! I brought my mom (pre-COVID) and we loved it. I’m looking forward to visiting for happy hour and walking to the wine bar down the street in nice weather, when the pandemic allows. I’ve also enjoyed takeout from Peter’s Chinese Cafe and I love the large patio and nitro iced tea at Downpours!

Is there a project you’re dying to start in your new place (or some that you’ve already tackled)?

I replaced the kitchen sink, fully repainted the entire place, and re-purposed some furniture. Next, I’d like to add some backsplash in the kitchen and update some light fixtures!

What did you love about working with Mark?

He seemed very trustworthy and knowledgeable, and was all around easy to work with and very responsive. I liked that I didn’t feel pressured into anything, but learned that owning was feasible.

Jake + Danielle

Aurora, Colorado

Having just added a daughter to their young clan, this sweet family is moving toward the mountains. Jake and Danielle wanted to provide room for their kiddos to play outside, to be near hiking, skiing and fishing — they’ve even got a stream in their new backyard! We captured some photos to help them remember the few years they spent at this cozy Aurora home.

What will you miss most about this home?

We will miss our small group from church the most. We’ve become great friends and it will be hard to be further away.

Do you have any favorite spots, or features of your home?

We like that you can see the kitchen from the living room — the openness is great!

Did you make any special connections with your neighbors while you lived here?

We got to know some good friends from our small group while living here. We will definitely continue our friendships with them after the move.

Did any special life occasions happen while living here?

Our son had his first birthday, took his first steps and got his first teeth in this home. We also welcomed our daughter into the family here!

Did you make any changes to your home since you bought it?

We did some landscaping and updating to appliances and furniture.

What will you miss most about your neighborhood?

We’ll miss the convenient location to many of the things that we love, like Flatirons Church, The Trails Rec Center and Core Power Yoga.

Could you tell us about your favorite places in your neighborhood?
We like to walk around Quincy Reservoir and skip rocks on the water with our son. Also the BEST Thai food around, Pearl of Siam.

Marinda + Colten

Castle Rock, Colorado

Not long before deciding to sell their home, Marinda and Colten (and their growing clan) met our awesome broker Rebecca through their church. And as Rebecca put it, “Marinda and Colten are the kind of friends that everyone dreams of and the kind of sellers any first-time home buyer would love to find. As homeowners, they are meticulous and show a great amount of care — and as friends, they are joy personified!” We feel lucky to know these clients as both friends and sellers. This is the story of their first home!

What will you miss most about this house?

The open concept of the main living spaces! I love the kitchen and the gas stove, where I have enjoyed cooking and baking for my family and friends, and still feeling a part of the action and conversation. And we’ll certainly miss the upstairs laundry.

Do you have any favorite spots, or features of your home?

We love the front flex room that we made into a music room, as we both have a love for music and play various instruments, and are hoping to pass that passion on to our son. I love the views out the master and great room where I can look out and see the fog or snow on the butte in the distance, and our son’s nursery and the mountain mural on his wall. And we love the family room with the gas fireplace! We can cozy up on the couch and our son has plenty of room to play.

Did any special life occasions happen while living here?

We brought our first baby to this home and it will forever represent getting to become parents to us.

Did you make any changes to your home since you bought it?

No! We were fortunate enough to get a new build with everything brand new and upgraded when we moved in. We just had to put the backyard in!

What will you miss most about your neighborhood?

The quick walk down to the neighborhood park, the walking paths, and the new Memorial Park about 5 minutes away. We also have loved the MAC (Miller Activity Complex) — taking our son to the multiple outdoor playgrounds and for swim lessons.

Could you tell us about your favorite places in your neighborhood?

Besides the parks very close by, we will also miss the convenience and newness of all the local shops, restaurants and shopping that are easily accessible from the house. We love Rose’s Bella Cucina, Mod Pizza, Crush Wine Bar, the neighborhood pools included in the HOA, the outlet mall and the charm of downtown Castle Rock, especially during the holidays.

 

Challenge No. 011: Celebrate Together

Miss the background on what the Love Your Hood Challenge is all about? Check it out here.

#LoveYourHoodChallenge

The holidays are a bustling time of year, whether we’re heading to gatherings, hosting our own, hitting the streets caroling, or attending a holiday play. But this month’s challenge is to celebrate together, and that means inviting your neighbors into your life and into that busyness!

Challenge No. 011:

Celebrate together.

Invite them in.

Have neighbors over for cookies and hot chocolate. Welcome a family to come sledding with your kids. Host a present-wrapping party and provide the supplies. Are they missing family? Invite them to your holiday dinner!

Progressive meals.

Looking for a way to change up your next dinner party? Split it! A progressive meal is where different courses are served at different homes. Start at one neighbor’s home for the drinks and/or appetizers, head down the street for the main course, and finish up at another home for dessert! It’s a great way to share the hosting responsibilities and further get to know your neighbors on a personal level. For an added twist, choose courses from the same cookbook or food blogger (Half Baked Harvest is a Colorado-based favorite).

Random get-togethers.

Planning and schedule-swapping during the holidays can get overwhelming. Sometimes the best gatherings happen spontaneously! If you find yourself with a free evening, reach out to your neighbors for a simple get-together without the major coordination. The simplicity of playing some board games, throwing on the game or catching up over a bottle of wine can turn into memorable nights of connection.

BONUS Challenge: Just joining the challenge or looking to get your mind in the game? Read a book or listen to a podcast about neighboring to see what others have to say. A few ideas to pique your interest:

Share Your Experience

We’d love to see how you rocked this challenge! Snap a photo (or take a video) of you taking on challenge no. 011! Then:

Fill out this form

Don’t have a Google account? Not a problem. Email your name, your photo or video, and what you did for this challenge to jen @ loveyourhood.com.

Stay tuned!

Follow us on Instagram to get inspired by others and allow us to formally recognize you for a job well done!

See official rules for more details.

Enter the Challenge + Get inspired

Upload a photo or video to show us how you’re taking on challenge no. 011!

Other Challenges

Ready to take on another challenge? Consider one of these:

Need a neighbor grid and challenge checklist?

Print the grid.

Love Your Hood Challenge No. 010 - Show Gratitude

Challenge No. 010: Show Gratitude

Miss the background on what the Love Your Hood Challenge is all about? Check it out here.

 #LoveYourHoodChallenge

It’s November, which means we’ve already got “be thankful” on the calendar for the 28th, right? But gratitude deserves more than one dedicated day. Its proven benefits help us in countless ways–from feeling more positive emotions and relishing in good experiences, to improving our health, dealing with adversity and building strong relationships (something we care deeply about here at Love Your Hood). Talk about a win-win.

Challenge No. 010:

Show gratitude.

So how do we spread the thankful cheer to our neighbors? Here are a few ideas to get you in the spirit.

Deliver a handwritten thank you or note.

Showing gratitude and practicing intentionality go hand-in-hand. It may be easier to say thanks in passing or with a quick text, but a handwritten card or note says so much more. Have a neighbor that’s done something kind for you recently? How about an all-around rockstar neighbor? Send a thank you! A note to express why you’re grateful for your neighbor is incredibly thoughtful.

**Want to read about how a man’s experience of writing a thank you every day for a year changed his life? Check out our bonus challenge below for more details.**

Praise them publicly.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and let the good deeds or character of others go unacknowledged. Utilize your online neighborhood group, social media or interactions with other neighbors to acknowledge and show gratitude for the people in your hood. Letting someone know you appreciate them may mean more than you realize.

Add them to your holiday card list.

Show a neighbor you appreciate their place in your life by adding them to your holiday card list. It’s a simple way to invite them into your year and show that you count them among your blessings. Who knows, you may just get one back!

BONUS Challenge: Just joining the challenge or looking to get your mind in the game? Here are a few ideas to pique your interest and spark a little gratitude:

Share Your Experience

We’d love to see how you rocked this challenge! Snap a photo (or take a video) of you taking on challenge no. 010! Then:

Fill out this form

Don’t have a Google account? Not a problem. Email your name, your photo or video, and what you did for this challenge to jen @ loveyourhood.com.

Stay tuned!

Follow us on Instagram to get inspired by others and allow us to formally recognize you for a job well done!

Previous Challenges

Miss a challenge? Not a problem! It’s not too late to complete them and enter for a chance to win the grand prize.

Need a neighbor grid and challenge checklist?

Print the grid.

Challenge No. 009: Spruce Some Yards

Miss the background on what the Love Your Hood Challenge is all about? Check it out here.

#LoveYourHoodChallenge

As the leaves start to fall and winter slowly approaches, our yards and sidewalks need some TLC. For this month’s challenge, spend some extra time outside by giving your neighbors a helping hand with their yards!

Challenge No. 009:

Spruce some yards.

Rake and sweep.

A fall necessity, raking yards and sweeping decks and sidewalks will already have you outside this month. Notice a neighbor with lots of fallen leaves? Show them some care by sweeping or raking for them. If they have kids, consider leaving a pile for jumping! Fall isn’t over until you’ve jumped into a pile of leaves.

Pull weeds and prep the garden.

Share a garden plot with your neighbors? Spot some overgrown weeds along your street? Time to pull on those gardening gloves and get your hands dirty. Discarding weeds and cleaning up the garden before winter hits won’t go unappreciated.

Offer help blowing out sprinkler lines.

If you own an air compressor, offering to blow out sprinkler lines is great way to help to your neighbors winterize and save a buck! Whether you simply lend the equipment or end up sharing the activity together, it’s a kind and easy way to forge connection in your neighborhood.

Share Your Experience

We’d love to see how you rocked this challenge! Snap a photo (or take a video) of you taking on challenge no. 009! Then:

Fill out this form

Don’t have a Google account? Not a problem. Email your name, your photo or video, and what you did for this challenge to jen @ loveyourhood.com.

Stay tuned!

Follow us on Instagram to get inspired by others and allow us to formally recognize you for a job well done!

Previous Challenges

Miss a challenge? Not a problem! It’s not too late to complete them and enter for a chance to win the grand prize.

Need a neighbor grid and challenge checklist?

Print the grid.

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Zach + Anna

West Wash Park, Denver

We love it when our clients know how to have a good time on showings and throughout the buying process. When we think of Zach and Anna, that’s what think of… two people who know how to have fun!

Mark met this awesome couple at church and helped them buy their first condo in Five Points. A year or so later, they decided to move on up, so we sold their Five Points condo and helped them find their next home. This is the story of their new chapter in West Wash Park.

What made you fall in love with this house?

Anna: Sitting on the front porch, surrounded by trees, and listening to the birds chirp and how quiet the neighborhood was.

Zach: The front door had a keypad for keyless entry. I always wanted one of those. And when I walked inside everything seemed to sing! It just made me feel like an adult when I walked in.

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

What prompted you to move here?

Anna: We wanted a dog and the condo we were living in wasn’t dog-friendly. We also want a family down the line and we needed a house we could grow into.

Zach:  We had done a lot with our former condo, but it didn’t feel like home. There was only so much we could do to make it “ours” because we also had a downstairs neighbor who we shared an HOA with, so anytime we wanted to do anything, we had to get his approval. When we decided to move, we wanted a property that we could truly customize and make our own.

Have any special life occasions happened while living here?

We got a dog!!! Our puppy, Luca!

What do you love most about your neighborhood?

Anna:  It feels like its own little small town, but with easy access to big city amenities. And the park!



Zach: I love the trees, the park, and the other dog walkers. I love that Wash Park is only a stone’s throw away and people are active at all hours of the day. It makes me think I could be active like that one day. 😉

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Have you made any changes to your home since you bought it?

We’ve updated the upstairs bath, built a 2-car detached garage, completely redid the backyard (it was previously a large gravel lot), painted several rooms and exposed some hidden brick in the kitchen. We also got furniture that actually matched and wasn’t collected through years of gifting or craigslist.

Editor’s Note: Yes, they bought their house in November 2016 and they’ve already done this much work. This is because Anna and Zach have been given the gifts of both vision + action. For instance, the Five Points condo that we helped them buy was not the same Five Points condo we helped them sell. They tore down walls, exposed brick, painted walls, renovated bathrooms… all in a years time. They see the potential of a home and turn it into reality.

What are things in your new neighborhood that remind you of your hometown?

In North Carolina, there are trees all over the place, so all of the trees in our new neighborhood give us a taste of home. This is new for us because our old block was pretty barren when it came to trees.

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Who would you love to connect with in your neighborhood?

Zach: Dog owners who work from home, so we could potentially host a dog-sharing program, where a few days a week, you get another dog to come keep your dog company or you drop your dog off with another owner and have some time to think.

What are some of your neighborhood favs?

Baked Goods: Devil’s Food. Their food is incredible and their business has grown so much that they split into a bakery and a separate restaurant.  The new bakery is so homey, with white tiled floors, and large glass containers boasting their wears. The spot is so popular (and they often run out of our favorites – the red velvet cake and coffee crumb cake).

Coffee: Wash Perk and Overt. They’re so close and they both love our dog. Oh, and they also both have really good coffee.

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Brewery: That is one thing we haven’t discovered yet. There are a few outside of walking distance but there is definitely an opportunity for a local pub to move in (hint, hint).

Park: Wash Park. It’s massive with some awesome lakes, running trails, and a great rec center… it’s just beautiful!

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Take-out: Swing Thai. Two words: panaang curry. So good that is makes us slow down and enjoy every slurp.

Pizza: Basil Docs makes killer pies. A short 10 minute out-and-back trip will have you with a cheesy, gooey, pizza back at your kitchen table.

Restaurant: Devil’s Food and Vert. Devil’s Food’s food has a touch of Southern style. Not the greasy, deep fried food kind of southern but rather, the restaurant has captured southern hospitality in its flavors… grits that float, golden brown crab cakes, and killer salads.

Zach + Anna | Wash Park West, Denver | Love Your Hood Stories

Sushi: Taki!

Salon/Spa: El Salon.