Sunday, January 08, 2017

The TOP Boulder Real Estate Sales of 2016 (Deal #8)

by Osman Parvez
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Most buyers love the modern trophy home in the back. Now focus your eyes on the historic house in front. It's become a mudroom and represents an end-run around Boulder's historic preservation codes, a text-book example of the limits of our excessive rule-based regulatory environment. Sources tell me that staff actually drive new employees past it to discuss how the rules don't work.   

A home this unusual takes a very unique buyer. After many months on market, 517 5th Street finally sold.  It's the #8 top real estate deal of 2016.

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Note: This post is part of a series highlighting the top sales of 2016.  The first post is HERE.
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517 5th Street




Designed by architect Harvey Hine, the home features 5 bedrooms and 6 baths spread across ~7,000 finished SQFT. 

Click HERE for the eye candy and listing details. 

Deal notes:  The property previously sold in '06, at the peak of the last real estate cycle, for $725,000 - a value based on the potential of its large lot and upper Chautauqua location.  New construction was completed in '08 and it was listed for sale in early '15 - overpriced at $4MM. The seller chased the market for the first summer but didn't receive an offer. They cut the price $260K at the end of the '15 selling season, to no avail.  Too late, they missed the summer selling season. When the listing was renewed in February '16, they slashed the price another $195K. It finally received an acceptable offer in May and the deal closed in late June of last year at 13.9% below the original asking price.

Take home lessons:  


1. Market professionally and price it right to maximize value and minimize time on market. '15 was a very strong market. It could have sold that first year.

2. Historic + Modern = Bad Combination. A mixed architectural style is something that appeals to a select audience. Even if you are designing your dream home, one day you may want to move on and that's when you'll find out whether your vision meets the desires of the market. When designing a house, play it safe and aim for the fairway. Choose an architect who will confidently push back on your design ideas. When shopping, choose a house that city won't block you from scraping.  

3. In the $3MM+ market, protected views and direct access to open space are worth paying a premium. They offer downside risk protection and typically appreciate much faster when the market is rising. This house has neither. Intelligent real estate decisions are based on a deep understanding of the market. Talk to your real estate adviser for more information.

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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. 

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