Friday, March 24, 2017

A Room with a View on Flagstaff, Historic Old Town, and Rare Southwest Style Charmers

Wake up and smell the listings
It's been a busy week: a full schedule of showings every day, late nights writing caffeine-fueled offers, and negotiating back-to-back bidding wars. Meanwhile, I'm doing a deep analysis for a new listing, managing several inspections, and still finding time to meet with new clients.  

I won't apologize for the lateness of this post, but clients always come first

This week: custom mid-century modern homes on Flagstaff mountain, beautiful adobe Southwest-style homes in historic Lafayette, and two exciting options in Old Town Longmont. As usual, no excessively priced or refreshed listings, and no bad locations. These are the best homes to hit the Boulder real estate market this week. 


To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, call Osman at 303.746.6896.


Sold Listings of Note


8912 Little Raven Trl, Niwot | $1,596,000 | More Details 
Don't believe the Realtor happy talk. Even priced right, large homes on the outskirts of Boulder take longer to sell and often trade at substantial discounts to asking. Yes, even in this market.  This beautiful home on Raven Trail is a good example. It's well situated in the neighborhood, adjacent to protected open space, and on a large lot. The finishes are classic Colorado; it has a three car garage and a decent floor plan.  It's an attractive property, but it still took 9 months to sell. The final price was $100K lower than the original asking price. Over the ownership period, it generated a 1.9% unlevered IRR.  In other words, this investment essentially kept up with inflation.  Take home lesson: selection and negotiation matter. Choose carefully and buy at the right price. There are a lot of options in certain price ranges and locations, so talk to your real estate advisor.


3860 Colorado Ave E, Boulder | $610,000 | More Details 
Wellman Creek town homes sell quickly and most go for a premium to asking. The location is attractive for CU graduate students and staff, and it should also benefit from the (contested) expansion of CU's South Campus.  Analysis. This particular unit was on the market for 5 days before receiving a full price, non-cash offer.  


Fresh Listings

Boulder 
450 College Ave $3.4MM | More Details 
Located just below the first overlook on Mt. Flagstaff, this custom home was designed to frame city views. A classic example of mid-century modern design, it's a unique property for select buyers. Listing photos don't do it justice. If you're riding Super Flag, it's also cheating. You'll need to head back down and start at the bottom. Due diligence: Although Boulder's market continues to expand at the high end, $3MM+ properties are in a class by themselves.  In this price range, it's a buyer's market (don't believe anyone who tells you differently), but keep in mind few homes offer a location of this caliber. Ask your Realtor for an analysis of $3MM+ homes before writing an offer. Remember, intelligent real estate decisions are based on a deep understanding of market conditions. 

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, call Osman at 303.746.6896.

515 Forest Ave | $2.8MM | More Details 
Last traded for $1.7MM near the bottom of the last real estate cycle in 2008, this large Newlands home is south facing on a typical size lot. Finishes are still current, and the location is minutes from downtown.  

2155 Mead Dr |  $950K | More Details 
Homes in this little pocket neighborhood are so rarely available that when one becomes available, it's a must-see. This moderately sized ranch has some updates and appears to be in good condition. Teller Lake open space access is nearby.

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, call Osman at 303.746.6896.

8323 Larkspur Rd | $935K | More Details 
Tasteful double A frame mountain house, just minutes from Boulder and south of Lefthand Canyon.  5 bedrooms, 4 baths, and a 4 car garage. It features views of the valley below. It also has notable updates since the home was constructed in the late 70's. Due diligence: key considerations for mountain property include water quality, septic system health, winter access, and fire risk. If your agent doesn't mention these factors, find a better Realtor.

3725 Silver Plume Ln | $850K | More Details 
Small is beautiful. Excellent views from this mid 70's tri-level in Table Mesa, but don't expect to expand it. The lot is only 4,066 SQFT. Boulder's best schools. A fast bike ride to the Southern Sun and Lucky's. An option for downsizing or minimalist buyers.

Lafayette
211 W Cannon St | $1.1MM | More Details 
Now for something completely different. Adobe style homes are more common in New Mexico and Texas than Colorado. For those who appreciate their design, there is no alternative. It's classic Southwest. Completed in 2013, this large 4 bedroom, 4 bath is in the heart of historic, downtown Lafayette. If it appeals (and fits your budget), don't wait. You probably won't see another one like it anytime soon. 

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, call Osman at 303.746.6896.


Longmont 
8750 Portico Ln |$1.3MM | More Details 
Minutes from Google's new campus, with nearby trails and open space, on Boulder's best road cycling routes. Completed in 2011, this not too large home features contemporary finishes and a 4 car garage. Due diligence: There are several high-end enclave neighborhoods between Boulder and Longmont. Consider options in Niwot and Lake Valley before writing your offer.   

611 Grant St | $989K | More Details 
A large, family friendly home with wrap-around porch and a 2 car garage in historic Old Town Longmont. It may look historic, but it's not. Construction dates from 2002.   Note:  Old Town is one of three locations in Longmont where I would personally live and invest.  

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, call Osman at 303.746.6896.

219 Pratt St | $385K | More Details 
Old Town Longmont for under $400K?  Of course the finishes are dated, so bring your imagination, your DIY skills, and your negotiation strategy. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and small barn. Expect multiple offers. 

1544 Renaissance Dr | $375K | More Details 
A large 2 bed, 3 bath town home in Renaissance. Long time blog readers know I'm a believer in this location for its easy access to Boulder, open space, trails, and cycling routes. Whole Foods is nearby, the retail mix continues to improve, and the HOA is relatively inexpensive.  This one is an end unit with views and worth a look. 

To schedule a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, market risk, and intelligent real estate investing, 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.

4 comments:

  1. The house at 3725 Silver Plume is NOT a three-bedroom by any possible definition. The agent who is listing it as such is simply flat-out lying. This isn't a case of a non-conforming bedroom, or an office that could be converted to a bedroom by adding a closet, or even a loft space that could be closed off. There simply isn't anything even resembling a possible third bedroom. When I asked the agent about this she had the temerity to tell me that she was "marketing" the house as a three-bedroom, because the family room could be converted to a bedroom if a wall was put up and a closet added! By that logic, you could turn the place into a four-bedroom by walling off the kitchen and taking all the appliances out. This kind of dishonesty leads to people wasting their time by hauling themselves up to the top of Table Mesa to see a house that bears no resemblance to its description in the listing materials.

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  2. That's sad to hear, Anon. It also is why it's important to double check everything that might be suspect. I've seen listing agents neglect to mention two car garages and legal, conforming bedrooms in the basement. I happen to have bought both of those houses, by the way. I've also seen sellers lie about flood damage, only to be caught in their lie when the neighbors disclosed it to my buyers during our due diligence. We terminated that deal. It's rough out there.

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  3. It's rough out there is right. We moved to Boulder just a couple years ago and tried to look for a place. We kept losing in bidding wars until we learned how to make cash offers. The Boulder market is like who cares if you make a six figure salary or if you're a doctor or a lawyer. In city of Boulder straight up cash is king. It's like if you don't have straight cash and move quickly you can't play.....It seems like the market died a bit last spring, and now we're just hoping places hold value. Most estimates say our place has gone up still but things dont go up forever

    The other thing is I wonder what's driving this ( the obvious indicators would be the Google tech industry hype/low inventory/great economy in recent years/ the very low interest rates, etc.) but there's the talk about the marijuana money (being deposited into Colorado real estate via cash offers because they can't put into FED banks), and the real estate markets being a safe place for foreign investors who have been creating all kinds of LLCs and other businesses to stash cash when they don't even live or rent out the homes (we see this in the west coast and in NYC and the USA gov't has been investigating some potential money laundering). Do you suspect or know if any of this kind of thing is going on in Boulder? Also, has anyone wondered if there's anything fishy behind all the banks taking up spaces on Pearl St?

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  4. Actually, no. Cash isn't required but it definitely helps. We closed a lot of deals last year and the majority of our buyers utilized traditional financing, even in market segments that have extremely low inventory. If you are able to offer cash, you should also be able to maintain leverage over other terms including price and inspection. This is particularly true at the higher end of the market.

    As for money laundering activity, I haven't seen any evidence of that. The vast majority of our buyers and sellers are people who live and work in Boulder. The vast majority of our investors have also made their money the old fashioned way, they've worked for it.

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