What does a monthly mortgage payment look like for $450,000 home?

Earlier this week, we published 5 of the top cities in America for Millennials to reside and thrive. Over the next few weeks, we will examine each city further by looking at their respective real estate markets and with the help of local experts, look at one example of a starter home in each area.

We have enlisted the help of four Sotheby’s real estate professionals in each city, and asked them to choose one home that would fulfill the needs of a typical, young, working professional looking to live in a desired neighborhood, and priced somewhere between $425,000-$475,000.

Full of Upgrades!Before debuting our first featured city and home, we asked Brittni Biren and Brett Baird with Citywide Home Loans, to help us demonstrate what a monthly mortgage payment could be for a home purchased for $450,000.

For this project, we chose a 3 bedroom, 2 bath single family home in the coveted Highlands neighborhood in Denver. Here is what a mortgage payment on this home would look like using an individual with a 720 FICO score.


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Ready to purchase a home? Don’t forget to contact the McKenney Team!

5 Cities in America for Millennials to Reside & Thrive

Money  recently published the Top Five Cities in the United States for Millennials to reside. The list focuses on places where job growth is projected to be above average; food, rent, and other necessities are relatively affordable; and there are high concentrations of grocery stores, pharmacies, laundromats, and other amenities. They also considered which cities offer loads of fun bars, restaurants, and leisure activities. While we agreed that all five cities provide Millennials all of these things, there are two that we believe Money failed to mention; Minneapolis and Denver.

Intrigued by this article, we are curious what our top five city’s real estate markets look like and also what $450,000 can get you for a home in each area. Over the next few weeks, with the help of four young and driven brokers, we will look at each city’s housing market and an example of the perfect starter home for a Millennial living in each city.

To begin, here is our list of five of the top cities for Millennials to Reside & Thrive:

Seattle, WA


If you’re a young professional who needs their latte in the morning, Seattle is the city for you. With a Starbucks store for every 4,000 people, you are pretty much guaranteed to have starbucks-01vanilla frappuccino within a quarter mile of your home. With a thriving start up community and home to large corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing, Seattle ranks #1 for metropolitan cities for Millennials to live in according to Forbes. In the study, Seattle topped the charts because of its median pay at $55,500, 4% unemployment, and 70% job satisfaction rate for professionals. Above average employment opportunities is matched with the killer skyline, walkability, as well as one of the best destinations for foodies and singles.

Taking Design Collaborations To New Heights

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Corinne Ekle, a fellow classmate of Katie’s at Cherry Creek High School about her success as the owner and principle designer of
c2Design, an interior design firm based in Denver. It was so exciting to hear about her experiences as a young entrepreneur working DSC00051in the Denver market and watching her dreams of working as a designer and business owner take flight!

Corinne shared a story about a recent opportunity she had to be a part of the Denver Life Magazine 2015 Designer Showhome, where she was selected to design the basement bedroom. Immediately, Corinne recognized that the basement bedrooms is one of the more looked over rooms in the whole home, so in order for it be recognized, she would have to think of an aesthetic slightly outside the box. After seeing what she put together, we asked her if we could PLEASE showcase this beautiful room and more so, if she would show our viewers how to recreate this idea!

CNBC warns, “Renters, get ready to take it on the chin”

Photo Credit: Craig Warga/ Bloomberg

Tuesday, CNBC’s Diana Olick reported that Americans can expect unaffordable rents to worsen.

According to CNBC’s report, by 2025 13 million renters will spend 50% of their income on rent. This comes at a time when we are seeing more renters than in U.S. history. Homeownership rates recently hit a 48 year low at 63.4 percent in the second quarter of this year.

Since 2010, the rental rates across the United States have increased 14 percent. In a recent study, Zillow found the cost of renting a home in the U.S. has risen to its least affordable levels ever. Renters in the U.S. can now expect to pay around 30.2 percent of their monthly income for rent, which is the highest percentage recorded in history.

One of the largest contributors of this problem, is the U.S. and private sector’s inability to provide affordable housing. According to one study, back in 2013 the median rents of newly constructed units was $1,290, which is about half the median renter’s monthly household income. Luxury apartment rentals are popping up all over major U.S. cities, while the supply of affordable multi-family homes remains meek.

The question is, how long will renters be willing pay rental rates that are increasing 4 percentage points faster than inflation and more than double U.S. home prices?

Bye Bye Dorm Room Twin Bed, Hello Nursery Crib!

Oh how the times have changed…

It feels like just yesterday that I was picking out my extra long sheets that only fit that special dorm room bed you sleep in that first, memorable year. Now, my time and money is spent picking out the latest and trendiest crib and bumper! Is it me or is everyone having babies right now!?

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The endless amount of stuff you need for a nursery can be so overwhelming and not to mention extremely expensive! Here are some ideas from my own nursery, as well as friends, for that special space for your little one to come home to that won’t break the bank.

Inspired Interior Design from the French Alps: How to Recreate this Room!

A week ago we posted a picture of this TO DIE FOR dining room at L’Alpage, Chalet Pelerin in France. Ellese’s boyfriend, Stephen Glover  traveled to the French Alps as the hired photographer for a First Descent’s excursion. Each photo was more breath taking then the next!


Gran Paradiso, Graian Alps Elevation: 13,323 ft

While all of his pictures made us want to pack a bag and jump on the first flight over, the interior shots made us want to bring this cozy chic inspiration home!

Millennials. Are we a generation with commitment phobia?

commitmentMillennials. Are we a generation with commitment phobia?

We rent our dresses, share our cars, and download our movies illegally so we can view it just the one time. Even our music, through applications like Spotify, is accessible without the commitment of actually owning our favorite artist’s music. If all signs point to our generation having a fear of ownership of something so simple like a handbag,  then are we really that surprised that Millennials are known as serial home renters?

Welcome to Reside & Thrive!

We are so proud to announce the launch of Reside & Thrive!


May of 2015, Katie and I celebrated four years of working as business partners in the real estate industry! For anyone close to us, they know the ups and downs that have faced us during this time. From bidding wars at the county auctions, stealing staging furniture from our parents basement, and spending way too much on valet parking at an open house, we have had quite the ride with never a dull moment!

We are so grateful for the journey the last four years has provided and feel very privileged to have represented so many INCREDIBLE clients.

It’s our belief that where you reside inspires your lifestyle and the person you thrive to be. It’s our goal through this blog to share our experiences, reflect on an ever changing industry, and stimulate our peers through unique and beautiful design.

Welcome to Reside & Thrive!