I've sorted through all the new listings, removed the egregiously overpriced, the poor locations and sneaky refreshed listings. Below are the top picks of what's worth seeing in the Boulder real estate market. Let's go see some houses!
To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation and price trends, call Osman at 303.746.6896.
For fun, I've included recent sales of note, interesting price reductions, and a couple of properties that have returned to market.
Sold Listings of Note
440 Japonica Way | $1,355,000 | More Details
This sale illustrates the premium buyers are willing to pay for the Newlands neighborhood. The house itself is a fairly ordinary small bi-level built in the mid 1960’s, not on anyone’s preservation list (yet). The lot size is quite large (+12,000 SQFT), the location exceptional but no view. The same style bi-level on a standard size lot in a decent part of Table Mesa would fetch high $800’s in the current market. Add a ballpark $150K for the large trophy home appropriate lot size and you’re still looking at a premium of more than 30% for Newlands over Table Mesa. It’s likely the new owner will completely redevelop the existing structure.
2820 21st Street | $965,000 | More Details
This one highlights the risk of over-pricing. Originally listed for a wishful thinking price of $1.2MM in March. Three months and two hefty price reductions later, the seller took a low ball and it closed on 6/24 for $965K or nearly 20% below the original asking price. Ouch. Mr. Market is unforgiving. No amount of Realtor happy talk and hand waving can make up for mismarketing.
75 Qualla Court | $724,900 | More Details
My clients who live on this street rave about their neighbors. Although the interior of this house is cookie cutter, with standard developer issue finishes - the location offers easy commuting, great bike path access, and isn’t far from decent retail options. The last recorded mortgage on this house was a decade ago and the seller just cut the price $25K after only two weeks on market. Hint, they're ready for an offer.
Back on Market
Sellers beware: In a bidding war, you want the buyer with the highest offer that will actually close. Agent experience and reputation matters. Rookies have notoriously poor client management skills. Back on market homes represent broken deals - for whatever reason. Sometimes it was the financing, sometimes the inspection. Most commonly it was just a buyer getting cold feet. The seller ends up wasting time and potentially dealing with a tainted listing.
This is why we write backup offers.
650 Hawthorn Avenue | $1,650,000 | More Details
A beautifully appointed, classically designed house re-built in 2013. Excellent location in Newlands, easy access to everything downtown. Not too big at just under 3,000 SQFT.
2014 19th Street 1 | $599,000 | More DetailsNormally, I’d recommend that buyers avoid a busy location like 19th and Pearl but this particular house offers an interesting opportunity for a buyer who doesn’t intend to make it their primary residence. The proximity to the heart of downtown and the $12K leasing restriction buyout spells opportunity.
Due diligence: Review the city’s restrictions on non-owner occupied short term rentals (i.e. no license for you!).
918 University Avenue | $925,000 | More Details
This one has legal occupancy limits of 4 unrelated individuals which drives the cap rate to almost 6%. Construction from the end of the last century (90’s!) should keep maintenance costs to reasonable levels, assuming it’s in decent nick. Proximity to downtown and CU should keep it rented. Despite the holiday weekend, the seller wants offers on the table by July 6. I already sent it to one of my investor clients but he’s out of town. By the time he’s back, the dust from the bidding war will have already settled. If you’re interested, call me to see it or to discuss the investment thesis (ph: 303.746.6896).
950 15th Street | $925,000 | More Details
An interesting historic craftsman with reasonable square footage, sadly butchered into a student dorm with 7 (count ‘em!) bedrooms. As prices continue to rise for these types of properties, former student occupied rentals are turning over into higher/better use as family dwellings. This one seems to have retained some of its charm and detail, perhaps a good candidate for resuscitation. Keep in mind that student density remains very high in this location and it’s not just the noise. Check out the graffiti on the garage.
Due diligence: it's likely the legal occupancy of this property is limited to 3 unrelated individuals. Check before indulging your cash flow dreams.
5453 Aztec Drive | $625,000 | More Details
Prior to the hospital moving nearby, this location was a bit of a dead spot in Boulder real estate. These days, great restaurants and coffee shops are in walking distance. Unlike say downtown Boulder, the transient population doesn’t tend to hang out in the pocket park at Arapahoe Ridge - it’s mostly families. Lot sizes tend to be a little more generous in this neighborhood as well. This one has a nice layout but save some budget for a complete interior gut and remodel. It hasn’t been touched in decades. Buy it with me as your agent and I’ll host the 70’s pre-demolition party.
948 North Street 24 | $399,900 | More Details
A no brainer for a lock and leave condo living in walking distance to downtown Boulder, Ideal Market, and so much more. Small and beautiful, one underground parking space included. The HOA fee is a little on the steep side for having limited amenities. Due diligence should include a close look at deferred maintenance and capital reserves.
698 W Sagebrush Drive | $795,000 | More Details
Nice layout with late 80’s vintage construction, easy access to Boulder, Denver, and downtown Louisville restaurants. Great backyard for outdoor living. Some nice updates but save some money for a bit of remodeling. That wallpaper has to go in our opinion!
2155 Park Lane | $699,000 | More Details
Steel ranch houses sell quickly and for top dollar. Relatively recent construction (2012), great layouts and awesome neighborhood feel. Louisville schools are well ranked while downtown shopping and restaurants are a short throw away. Lot size is a drawback but look at that park across the street (that you will enjoy but not have to mow).
9421 N Foothills Highway | $5,850,000 | More Details
We talked about this historic farm when the seller began soft marketing it a couple of weeks ago. Now it’s officially on the market. A conservation easement prevents future development of the lot beyond the scope of its agricultural use (and appearance), so this is really a hobby ranch for the well heeled equestrian enthusiast who still wants to be close enough to Boulder (and Lyons) for a night of farm to table gustatory experience.
Due diligence: It directly parallels Hwy 36. The topography of the large 96 acre parcel should adequately buffer noise from the road. Check at rush hour.
1523 Stones Peak Drive | $716,200 | More Details
Beautiful mountain and open space views, right on the prime cycling circuit for North Boulder. Decent schools, a quick and pretty drive into Boulder. Not too far from the new Longmont Whole Foods (assuming it opens as planned in December). At $132/SF, you couldn’t get close to building at this price.
image credit: Michael Browning
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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.