Friday, April 29, 2016

Some of the Best Locations in Boulder [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

Miss us the last few weeks? I was on a business and pleasure trip to Japan (blog posts coming soon).  Now I'm back and have sifted through all the recent listings. Here's what's worth seeing this weekend in Boulder area real estate. 

To schedule a private showing, including a discussion of valuation and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896


34 Boulder View Lane | $6,000,000 | More Details
A spectacular perch in Pine Brook, built around the views. Has it gained $1.9MM in 6 years?  You’ve got to see it to make the call. 

2035 95th Street | $2,995,000 | More Details
A large family friendly horse property built this century. Decent size parcel, not too far from Boulder. Carriage house could serve multiple purposes. If you need space for horses, this looks like one of the better options from recent listings. 

7531 Spring Drive | $2,200,000 | More Details
A few years ago, we sold a house with an amazing view to buyers (now friends) on this street. The key to valuation is understanding how dramatically views can differ from lot to lot. This one is worth a look but may not have the virtually unencumbered view corridor of some of the luckier neighbors. 

2250 Knollwood Drive | $1,900,000 | More Details
Scrape the late 60’s shack and you’ve got 2 acres to build your dream home in a location more private (i.e. better) than the new Trailhead development. 

1301 Canyon Boulevard 408 | $1,350,000 | More Details
A large lock and leave condo in one of the nicest built buildings in Boulder, right in the heart of downtown. We sold a unit in this location last year and the buyer continues to love being at the center of virtually everything Boulder. Future redevelopment of the Civic Center should be on your due diligence checklist. It will likely add value, but smart buyers should confirm the current plans are suitable to their needs. If your buyer’s agent doesn’t recommend specific due diligence, get a better agent.

2960 Juilliard Street | $1,300,000 | More Details

This location makes my short list of desirable spots in Boulder. You have all the benefits of Table Mesa (Boulder’s best schools, soon to be even better retail mix) and the benefits of a cul-de-sac. When the sun is setting, the path along Viele Lake boasts some of the best views in all of Boulder. As for the house, the split layout isn’t ideal but the vaulted ceilings and late 70’s construction provide decent bones for a refresh. Save some budget for the remodel. 

3030 17th Street | $845,000 | More Details
Ranch style houses are in high demand. They work for a large variety of buyers, especially aging boomers with current or potential mobility issues. This one is close to downtown Boulder and has some nice updates. North Boulder typically trades at a 10%-12% premium to South Boulder, but the limited availability of this style of house can drive bidding wars into the stratosphere. At the asking, the price is already starting North of $500SF, caution is warranted to avoid overpaying.

5508 Olde Stage Road | $825,000 | More Details
Serious cyclists will tell you that Olde Stage is on one of Boulder’s most popular cycling routes. On a good day, you can be in town in less than 15 minutes. Due diligence should include a noise check during peak traffic hours. Remember: You can fix everything but location. 

1405 Ithaca Drive | $750,000 | More Details
Vaulted ceilings, ranch style with decent square footage. Interior needs a complete refresh. Corner lot. House has South facing roof lines, great for passive or active solar and lower concern with solar access regs when you pop the top. Detached 2 car garage to store the toys.  

3808 Telluride Place | $499,000 | More Details
The key to understanding valuation in Shanahan is knowing which properties are worth overbidding and which are worth passing on. Open space proximity, orientation, and updates are key considerations. The location itself is a fine choice, but quality varies dramatically from property to property. Choose wisely.

4525 13th Street 4-E | $365,000 | More Details
Another fantastic location. The nearby retail mix (4580, Bacco, Spruce Confections) is excellent. Public transit to downtown is only a few minutes. Student density is extremely low. Full disclosure: I own investment property here and have sold many properties to happy clients in this location. I’m a strong believer in Uptown.  


356 Rendezvous Drive | $472,500 | More Details
A decent spot in Indian Peaks at a reasonable price. As my clients know, I’m a big fan of having adjacent neighborhood parks. It’s like having a giant lawn and not paying for maintenance. 


1816 Alma Lane | $639,900 | More Details

The investment thesis for Superior is that you get wonderful, much newer houses in close proximity to Boulder for well under $200/SF. This one made the list because of the family friendly layout (4 bedrooms on the upper level) and completely finished basement. Due diligence: Rock Creek is well known for shifting soil and foundation issues vary lot by lot. Take a close look for grading and foundation problems before you consider waiving contingencies to make your offer more competitive. If your Realtor says they doesn’t know anything about the expansive soils in Superior, get a better Realtor. 


4720 Bella Vista Drive | $450,000 | More Details
Regular blog readers know I’m a big advocate of Renaissance. At just over $100/Sf with a drive time to downtown Boulder equivalent to Sobo, and even faster to the Google Plex, it’s one of the best value investments in Boulder County. I’m not just saying that. I bought a house in Renaissance at the end of last year and I expect it to perform extremely well over a long term holding period. There’s a reason Whole Foods is opening nearby. 

Want to get blog updates via email?  Click HERE.       

Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 

You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend rigorous due diligence and professional advice before buying or selling real estate.    Powered by Realty Unique, LLC. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Boulder House Inventory UP 20%, Condos DOWN 33% [Analyze This]

by Osman Parvez
Time for a quick market update.  

Here's our latest inventory analysis for Boulder real estate markets compared to last year. 

Total inventory of attached dwellings (AD) in the City of Boulder is 33% lower. Boulder and Superior are both showing substantially higher inventory, while percentage under contract is mixed.   

 As Boulder County's largest real estate market, Longmont is the big story. It's a bastion of affordability and an important barometer of market conditions. In Longmont, inventory is 7% below last year while the percentage under contract has climbed markedly. 

Data for smaller markets like Louisville and Lafayette tend to be more highly volatile. Although percent under contract has dropped, this is more likely driven by a lack of selection rather than reduced buyer demand. 

As spring moves into the summer selling season, market conditions will likely remain heavily weighted towards sellers. If you're a buyer, your negotiation strategy and tactics should be based on a street level analysis of recent sales. Sellers need to exercise caution in pricing and marketing to maximize sale price.  If your Realtor can't or won't provide that sort of guidance, get a better Realtor

In this crazy market, real estate decisions are made under pressure. Mistakes are costly. In recent months, we've seen poorly advised sellers leave $100K+ on the negotiation table. We've also seen buyers ignore basic due diligence, regret their decision and look to immediately resell. Frequent bidding wars drive prices well above any semblance of intrinsic value and we've seen frightening inspection issues overlooked by desperate buyers. 

Remember, intelligent real estate decisions are based on a deep understanding of market conditions.  When you're ready to buy or sell, call us at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

Want blog updates via email?  Click HERE.       
Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 
You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

As always, your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

Historic Boulder, Luxury Views, and More Trophy Estates [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

Blog readers (and disappointed Realtors) often ask why their listing didn’t make the cut. 

The better question: What does it take to make the list?

13 years of real estate experience and 20 years of investment experience. It's hard to summarize.  

It starts by screening for whether I would buy it. That’s right, me personally. Whether as my personal residence or an investment property, if I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would consider acquiring a particular property - it’s not going to make the list. Only solid locations, priced intelligently, and with desirable features. The rest are culled. 

Your time incredibly valuable and this market has become extremely competitive. You don't have time to mess around. The only thing you can accomplish by seeing a likely bad investment is to talk yourself into it. There's a reason I've closed a dozen homes for buyers in the past three months. Use your time wisely. Attractive investments are on the market for 24-72 hours.

This week, well over 100 listings hit the Boulder area real estate market. Twelve are worth seeing. 

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation and price trends, call Osman at 303.746.6896


7262 S Boulder Road | $2,890,000 | More Details
It’s not about the house. You’re looking at 27.6 prime acres, oriented with a great view of the Flatirons, in unincorporated Boulder County. The early 80’s vintage house is certainly livable and should provide adequate bones for reconstruction. Ignore the all caps description in the listing detail and the flash photography of the interior. This is a value play. 
Due diligence: There is some risk that the church owned property to the west could be developed to block your view, but they’d have to go past the solar panel array to do it. I’d recommend negotiating a donation tied to a conservation easement with the church as part of your due diligence, once you’ve tied up the property. The privately owned parcels to the south and further west should also be evaluated for development/view blocking risk.  

p.s. All of my listings get professional HDR photography - at all price points. 

890 Linden Avenue | $1,968,000 | More Details
Usually when a listing doesn’t lead with the exterior shot, it means it has poor curb appeal. Not this one. The outside looks as great as the inside.  The location is superb for access to open space and downtown Boulder. Due diligence: This location had some heavy water during the floods of September 2013 and the SPD is not currently on the MLS. Check carefully for flood damage mitigation. It can vary dramatically house to house.

1565 Moss Rock Place | $1,875,000 | More Details
A client recently clued me into this special spot of Boulder. The dead end street makes for little traffic. View perches are hit or miss. This one has seasonal views. Due diligence: Interior needs a gut and remodel but you’re starting under $400/SF for the existing house. It might prove a better option than a fresh construction project. Bring your architect to the showing. If your Realtor can’t help you do that, find a better Realtor.

1133 Woodland Court | $1,599,000 | More Details

I love Devil’s thumb for it’s nearly private social trails. If you’re buying in the neighborhood, you want one that backs to open space. Open space is like water front property. It appreciates better during market upswings and depreciates less during downturns. The key to this location is not being too close to the electrical sub station. This borderline, but still worth a look. Click on the satellite photo for proximity to the sub station. Outdoor transition and living spaces look nice. Interior needs some love. 

2129 23rd Street | $1,250,000 | More Details

With a lot size of only ~2800 SF, what you see is what you get. That means an awesome location near downtown, construction from this century, but only a one car garage. Due diligence: The layout is split, which you know could hurt you on resale, but maybe that’s a compromise worth considering.    

651 Maxwell Avenue | $1,225,000 | More Details

One of my first listings in Boulder was on Maxwell. It’s a spectacular location, especially west of 9th street. I wouldn’t hesitate to live there personally. Historically, this location has performed exceptionally well in the long run. In my old Wall Street analyst days, I’d call this a strong buy. This particular one is reasonably sized (1747 above grade square feet) and has a two car detached garage. Due diligence: It’s a little odd that the listing hit the market without professional photography (only one shot of the front?) and it’s getting a new sewer line.  

210 Iroquois Drive | $750,000 | More Details

A few years ago, I would never have recommended my clients consider homes east of Foothills parkway. Today, decent family friendly properties under $800K are in exceptionally short supply in Boulder. This one made the cut because three of the bedrooms are on the main (which works well for resale or rental investment), it’s close to East Boulder Community Park, and the bike overpass makes it a quick ride to downtown. Due diligence: SPD says flood damage from 2013, supposedly professionally mitigated. Make sure you ask for information using the due diligence document contingencies and have your inspector take a close look. 

5140 Illini Way | $715,000 | More Details

The big advantage of bi-level layouts is the lower level isn’t completely below grade. Many first time buyers have found it tolerable to use the lower level for rental purposes. I’ve probably seen two dozen illegal kitchens in bilevels in the last few years. This one is in a decent spot, although it’s a little close to Foothills. Spectacular spot if you take RTD regularly. 

2641 Thornbird Place | $699,900 | More Details
Other than being named for a bad 80’s TV miniseries, this late 90’s constructed house is in a very desirable spot of Boulder. The esthetic of the neighborhood strikes most buyers as “cute.” This house has nice front and rear outdoor living spaces. The bike path and shopping center are directly east. Intelligent layout works well for future resale or rentability. Almost certainly will gather multiple offers. Due diligence: Evaluate the last dozen similar sold homes for % paid over asking and cash/loan ratio. All things are not what they may seem in this market. If your agent can’t provide the data, get a better agent. 


1141 W Enclave Circle | $725,000 | More Details

Don’t let the eye-searing interior paint and interior flash photography scare you. This location is very private and has decent access to open space trails. Commute to Denver and Boulder job centers is reasonable. Under $200/SF!

956 Treece Street | $598,000 | More Details

Steel Ranch in Louisville is very popular with buyers. There’s not much available nor should you expect there to be much on the market this year. This one has a good layout. The landscaping needs some love. Due diligence: Train noise.  


3747 Florentine Drive | $449,950 | More Details

I’ve written this before and I’ll keep saying it. Renaissance is a value investor’s dream. 20 minutes to the Googleplex. Affordable prices. Relatively recent construction and ~600 or so new houses planned, mostly at higher price points. Plenty of open space and trails nearby. On the most popular cycling routes for Boulder. Full disclosure: I’m not just saying it. I put my money where my mouth is and bought an investment house in this neighborhood last year. I’m a Renaissance believer. Due diligence: This one backs to Clover Basin. Worth a look but I recommend waiting for one that is in a less compromised location in the neighborhood.


Want to get blog updates via email?  Click HERE.       

Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 

You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend rigorous due diligence and professional advice before buying or selling real estate.    Powered by Realty Unique, LLC. 

Friday, April 01, 2016

A Telecom Exec's Trophy Home and Multifamily Investments [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

We've scoured through the new real estate inventory. We culled the recycled listings, the bad locations, and the egregiously overpriced. Here's the best of the bunch. 

What's worth looking at this weekend? Call your agent. It's time to schedule a showing. 

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation and price trends, call Osman at 303.746.6896.


8932 Mountain View Lane | $5,700,000 | More Details
How would you like to use a different bathroom every day of the week? Here's your chance.  

8932 Mountain View is a sprawling mansion in unincorporated Boulder County boasting over 14,000 square feet and 10 bathrooms. It has killer views, although the train runs nearby. The location has easy access to Boulder and high tech jobs along US36. The lot backs to City owned Open Space. Close to retail at 95th and Arapahoe. 5 car attached garage for the toys. The seller is one of the founders of Level 3 (one of my old equities research universe companies). Due diligence: Confirm the "open space" is not really a "planning reserve" before submitting. 

540 Iris Avenue | $1,095,000 | More Details
Value proposition: a large lot in Newlands on a quiet street with a house of little historic value. Due diligence: visit the planning department and confirm the lack of historic interest by the City before closing. You never know, this could have been a one-time summer residence of the guy who invented the question mark, necessitating extensive city staff time and outside consultants to research the history of punctuation. The end result could be adverse landmarking.  Believe me, you don't want to end up like these people

655 S 46th Street | $975,000 | More Details
Great location - far enough from most student rentals, very easy access to the Table Mesa PNR and shopping. A quick bike ride downtown. This (visually) well executed pop checks the right boxes. Due diligence: Price points for popped and remodeled homes in Martin Acres are now approaching the $1MM range. Check out the beautiful, soon to be completed home by Brian Fuentes on 33rd for a comp. The permit value for that home alone was north of $900K. Also, consult with legal counsel and make sure you understand what rights you’re giving up when you sign the builder’s warranty (a listing agent requirement for submitting offers).

1195 Berea Drive | $875,000 | More Details
We’ve sold several houses on this street in recent years. It’s a very nice part of Boulder. Viele Lake, the SoBo rec center, and Table Mesa shopping center are all within walking distance. The best rated public schools in the city. Generally, the outside of the circle is preferred for larger lot sizes. Due diligence: Check for mold sensitivity and proper repairs from the flood in September 2013. Also, say hello to the neighbors for us. They're good peeps. Negotiation Tip: The listing agent is a straight shooter. We just closed a deal with her last week. 

2335 Hillsdale Way | $849,900 | More Details
If you go by the appreciation rate alone, this house is a value investment. It last sold in July 2013 at $730K. At the asking price, you’re looking at only ~5.6% per year of gain during a time period when the city experienced double digit appreciation. The interior could use some updates. The location within Table Mesa is solid. Side note:  The listing agent is a pro with a mean kickball pitch. 

726 Pearl Street B | $679,000 | More Details
Under $800K for a 2 bedroom, ~1300SF townhome in the heart of downtown Boulder. HOA is only $175/month and you even get a parking spot. 'Nuff said. 

4896 McKinley Drive | $675,000 | More Details
The Arapahoe Ridge neighborhood features larger lots and a pocket park which attracts mostly neighbors (as opposed to the drunken transients who like to hang out in many City parks). The hospital is nearby, which should help long term appreciation. At $675K, this is a value play and will likely exceed asking but save some budget for remodeling. Due diligence: Moisture from the 2013 flood. Check for mold and proper mitigation/repairs. 

1285 Albion Road | $650,000 | More Details
This is the entry level for Table Mesa. Quiet street, basic ranch with a full basement. Gillaspie is nearby which does get some traffic but that negative is offset by the park, Viele lake, and rec center.

2930 Shadow Creek Dr #305 | $369,000 | More Details
We’ve helped several clients buy and sell in Gold Run over the years. Value is driven by proximity to CU, 29th Street shopping area, and central Boulder. It’s also right on the Boulder Creek path. Within the complex, you'll want a top floor unit with garage parking and an elevator. This one checks the box for a top floor but lacks the other two. Due diligence: Special assessment for fire suppression system.  Noise transfer between units (meet the adjacent unit residents). Also, investment ownership is more than 50% so you're looking at a likely portfolio loan or more money down. 


339 Bobolink Court | $519,900 | More Details

A nice ranch style house with a full basement, built in the late 80’s in a great part of Louisville. We’ve sold a few of this model over the years. The vaulted ceilings make the living areas feel more spacious than the square footage would suggest. The walkability to downtown means you can stumble home from the Street Faire. 


2829 Prince Circle | $550,000 | More Details
The selling points are the spectacular view, updated kitchen, great family friendly layout, and a location nestled deep into the neighborhood. The listing agent obsessed over the sold comps and carefully evaluated the current competitors. It's priced right. Full disclosure: This is our listing. Open House is Saturday 4/2 from 2pm to 4pm. Multiple offers likely.   


4322 Bella Vista Drive | $478,000 | More Details
Would you be my neighbor? Delivery drivers get lost, but the private park is a worthy trade. It's like having a huge lawn that someone else waters and mows. Full of families and kids run rampant all over the neighborhood. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to downtown Boulder, about the same to the new Googleplex. Due diligence: I personally bought an investment property a few houses down from this listing at the end of last year. I’m a believer in this location's long-term appreciation potential. When Whole Foods opens late this year, it'll be too late to get in. Yes, despite all the new houses going in. 

7298 Mount Meeker Road | $400,000 | More Details
Ignore the Longmont address, this house is really part of Gunbarrel. Great location with nearby open space. Affordable at the asking price. 

Investment Opportunities

513 Terry Street | $2,575,000 | More Details
18 Units in a location that will very likely continue to appreciate and gentrify. Expect the rent to increase markedly in coming years. 

Want to get blog updates via email?  Click HERE.       

Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 

You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

Your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend rigorous due diligence and professional advice before buying or selling real estate.    Powered by Realty Unique, LLC.  

Image credit:  Darren Bockman