|Is that cup spiked?|
Before we dive into this week's fresh listings, let's talk about market conditions.
123 houses are on the Boulder market, (68 available) and 50 houses sold during the past 30 days. Were you expecting a downturn? Surprise! It's not all that different from last December when 120 houses on the market (60 available) with 41 sales during the previous 30 days.
So much for the slow down.
Condos are a somewhat different story. Right now, 103 are on the Boulder market (45 available) with 50 sales during the past 30 days. Compare that with mid-December last year when 62 were on market, with just 22 available, and 37 sales occurred during the preceding 30 days.
Bottom line: For house buyers, conditions are pretty much the same as a year ago. For condos, selection is better, but there is still only about 2 months of inventory on market. The best ones will still go pretty fast. Poor choices and overpriced listings will sit around a while longer.
If you want to buy property without overspending, choose your real estate adviser carefully.
Ready to see some listings? If you’re shopping for real estate in Boulder, here’s what’s worth looking at this weekend.
Remember: To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, price trends, intelligent real estate investing, national politics, and what you can buy Osman for Christmas - call 303.746.6896.
2065 Alpine | $1.55MM |Details
A beautifully updated ranch on a larger than typical lot in an "A" location. Certain lots on the little peninsula of Alpine, Balsalm, and Panorama have the best views in town. This isn't one of them. The inside loop doesn't have the view, but you're still easily walkable to downtown and Ideal Market. North/south orientation is a bonus.
The nice thing about these ranches is that the city doesn't care that much about post-war, mid-century modern construction and will probably let you permit anything you want (within compatible development, solar access, green points, height limits, residential code, and zoning regulations).
I toured the home on behalf of clients before it hit the market. All finishes are high end, and the remodeling was well executed. Vaulted ceilings are awesome, and outdoor living areas are decent. It's worth a look.
Due diligence: This neighborhood has recorded architectural restrictions, but they probably won't be an issue. Just make sure your architect knows about them. You'll also be forever jealous of your neighbors $3MM+ houses.
1190 Berea |$715K | More Details
I've represented several buyers on this street in recent years. It's a quiet circle directly next to the park and rec center, with Boulder's best schools. The retail mix is great, with a new higher-end grocery (Lucky's) in walking distance and several attractive restaurants. Commuting from SoBo is far easier than North and Central Boulder. Open space access is a little further away, but the trails are just as nice as other parts of Boulder.
As for the house itself, the kitchen was updated sometime recently, but the bathrooms are ready for a re-do. Then again, maybe gold trim will make a come-back.
Due diligence: Typical lot-size and east/west orientation design constraints. Ask your agent to bring along his or her architect. What's that, they don't offer design consultations? Get a better Realtor.
3680 Buckeye Ct | $700K | More DetailsAnother dated ranch, this time with a full basement, located in North Central Boulder. It seems in decent condition, but the finishes will need a full update. Galley kitchens can be challenging if the goal is an open floor plan. 2 car garage is a plus. Typical size lot.
Due diligence: See 1190 Berea above.
1140 Monroe Drive, Unit C | $419K | More Details
Condos in this location rent easily to more serious CU students and visiting/adjunct professors (not on the Hill, across from the research park). The development is also on the bike path. Poorly insulated construction and open carports are typical turn-offs for prospective buyers, but it's a compromise worth considering given the location. "Worth considering" doesn't mean I recommend buying, by the way.
Investment due diligence: Rents have softened a little this winter in Boulder, so I would model $800 per bedroom max, which yields a pretty poor cap rate for this property. This one makes a better kiddie condo. I'd put mine in it, but lucky for me, he's not college material.
This traditionally designed, elegant house is in the hippest neighborhood in Longmont. When first built, I admit I had doubts about Prospect, but any concerns evaporated long ago. Architecturally interesting with mature landscaping throughout the neighborhood, and just enough retail to keep in interesting. Main street Longmont also isn't too far out of reach. Get it before the Googlers figure out Prospect is only a 15-20 minute commute to the Googleplex (assuming construction on the Diagonal will ever be complete).
411 Grant Street | $735K | More Details
Beautifully updated while retaining its historic charm, this 5 bedroom "bungalow" is in a great part of Old Town. The detached garage is icing on the cake.
If you didn't know - Old Town is to Longmont what Mapleton Hill is to Boulder. At the pace Longmont is gentrifying, you might expect values to start to resemble it, too. The key is to get a livable house, with adequate storage, and with most of the remodeling done. This one checks a lot of boxes.
Due diligence: 6th Ave is a little busy. Although Longmont doesn't get nearly the late night traffic of Boulder, plan for several site visits at different times of day during the due diligence period to check for traffic related issues. Also look for typical pre-war house issues like knob and tube electrical, converted coal furnaces wrapped in asbestos, cobble-stone foundations, etc.
2563 N. Franklin | $675K | More Details
Not far from downtown Louisville, a few updates, and open space access/views. Mid 70's vintage construction tri-level. There's not much on the market in Louisville, so don't miss out on seeing this one before it's under contract.
Due diligence: Although the county owns the adjacent open space, ownership alone is not a guarantee that it won't ever be developed. If you're paying for the view, do your homework on the long-term intentions for the land and legal protections (conservation easements) that are in place to prevent development. If your agent shakes their head and says there's no risk, ask the residents of Twin Lakes. Also note the train track proximity.
Sold Listings of Note
2395 Vassar Drive | $2.32MM | More Details
One of my buyers was on the edge of pulling the trigger on this beautiful gut, expand, and remodel. We eventually reached the conclusion that the kitchen was just too small and the fix would have potentially ruined the design. We bailed (and are still on the hunt).
Market notes: Turn-key contemporary homes like this are in short supply, and design/construction times are long in Boulder. This one sold for 2.5% below last asking, 5.3% below original asking. 2 months to get an acceptable offer, 4 months to close.
175 Bellevue | $1.975MM | More Details
Wow, it finally sold. This late 60's trophy is on a killer perch. Someone scored a deal, but not at the lofty $2.5MM original asking price. Even with a massive 4.5 acres, the original asking price was steep. If they had priced it right from the start, they would have likely gotten more and not dealt with nearly a year on market. Oy!
Lesson: Price it right for maximum value and minimal hassle, or be ready to chase the market and deal with a long listing period. A deep understanding of market conditions is the only way to maximize value. Don't choose your Realtor based on the price they pitch. Choose a Realtor who really knows the market.
4585 13th Street, 1-C | $710K | More Details
Condos at Uptown Broadway come in a variety of flavors and configurations: mixed-use units, some with epic views, loft-style studios, carriage homes over community garages, and more. Proper valuation (and negotiation) requires deep market knowledge of the differences between these units.
Over time, I expect the location will continue to improve. This is the only Boulder neighborhood with a distinct development plan, one which will eventually wipe out the ugly commercial/industrial properties on the west side of Broadway.
This particular sale is a good comp for a larger mixed use style unit.
Due diligence: The HOA allows the mixed-use units to be rented separate from the residence upstairs. Taxes are typically based on residential use (i.e. lower than commercial). I own an investment property here, and it's been a terrific performer. Financing is likely through a portfolio lender (Fannie and Freddie don't like mixed-use units. They are not warrantable).
To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation and price trends, call Osman at 303.746.6896.
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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. image credit: Justin Young