Waiting for the Perfect House? Don't Hold Your Breath [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

Is location more important than floor plan? Are you willing to remodel or do you want turn-key? How long is the commute? 

At any price range, there are trade-offs to consider. We’ve found this to be true working with buyers of $3MM+ properties.  It's also true for buyers of affordable housing, and everything in between. It's important to have an honest discussion of the pros and cons of each property. Remember, there is no one perfect house. 

Here’s a look at a dozen fresh listings that caught our eye this week as well as a few notable sales. As usual, we've scrubbed the refreshed listings and the outrageously overpriced. Here's what's worth seeing.

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

Sold Listings of Note

1077 Canyon Boulevard 204$1,650,000 | More Details 
The Arette sets the standard for luxury downtown Boulder Condos. When I say “sets the standard,” I mean it’s really the benchmark I use with my clients to discuss construction and finish quality. This particular 2 bed, 2 bath, 1922 SQFT condo sold for $1.65MM or $858/SF. The traffic noise from Canyon is mitigated by the construction quality, but you’ll definitely notice it from the patio. The view offsets the noise. 

Fun fact: The former owner was the CEO of Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits.  

1850 Folsom Street 402 | $368,000 | More Details
When this building was constructed in the 1970’s, Horizons West spurred a backlash that eventually led to the creation of height limits in Boulder. This 4th floor unit faces the Flatirons and is high enough to overcome the impact of adjacent buildings. Although the complex finishes are from the Magnum PI era, supposedly upgrades are on the way. It’s a relatively straightforward process to modernize the interior of a unit. This one certainly needs it but that didn’t stop the bidding war. It sold for 5.3% over asking, cash. 

1111 Maxwell Avenue 212 | $350,000 | More Details 
I’ve seen many Maxwell Place condos over the years. Construction quality is sad, the complex has significant deferred maintenance and shows signs of poor choices by the HOA (shoddy vinyl siding over decrepit cedar shingles, oy!). The walls allow so much sound transfer they might as well be paper thin. The HOA finally pulled the trigger on the garage renovation, but not without slapping the owners with a special assessment fee. Why would anyone buy this? Answer: location. Walkability to downtown is fantastic. The floor plans of most units are also attractive. The odd thing about this particular deal is that it went under contract nearly 2 months after hitting the market and yet the buyer still paid $11K over asking. Property that has been on the market for some time should always sell for asking or more typically, at a discount. Maybe the premium was to cover the special assessment. Or maybe the buyer didn’t know how long it had been listed. 

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


755 Jonquil Place | $3,550,000 | More Details 
A jonquil is a Mediterranean perennial bulbous herb with long linear leaves that is widely cultivated for its yellow or white fragrant short-tubed clustered flowers. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? At $3.55MM, it better be. If you’re shopping for homes above $2MM, you should know that the market is very thin and competition is not fierce. This particular property has beautiful architecture and finishes, and it’s also in an value-appropriate North Boulder location with a sizable lot. At the asking, you’re paying a slight premium for the convenience of turn-key and not having the risk of construction over-runs, but your buyer’s agent should help you properly evaluate comparable sales.  
Due diligence: This part of town had a ton of water during the flood event of September 2013. Be sure the design properly mitigates flood risk and that you consider the cost of flood insurance. The flood maps may also shift in the near future, so be sure to consider the proposed map as well as the one currently on the MLS.   

470 Japonica Way | $1,995,000 | More Details 
The seller took a 1960’s ranch on a quiet cul-de-sac just North of Newlands, and beautifully renovated it adding about 1000 SQFT. It’s a good example of what can be done with ranch style houses that have full basements. Here’s what it looked like before the construction.  
Due diligence: Should include permit review, flood risk and flood mitigation. This location got a lot of water during the flood event of September 2013. 

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

810 Zamia Avenue | $1,025,000 | More Details 
Brand new construction, turn key and ready to go. The location is excellent, with fantastic trails only steps from the door and an easy stroll to restaurants in Holiday and Uptown Broadway. The Armory will bring several hundred new residents to the location in coming years. Violet Crossing is 100% market rate luxury rentals. Expect the retail mix to continue to improve. At 2000 SQFT, it’s a little on the small side but it’s priced about right at $512/SF.  

Due diligence: If you go to the open house on Saturday, be a little guarded with your deal points. The listing agent is the owner. Also, the homeless shelter and strip club are just down the street. One of them is going away (it sold earlier this year), maybe not the one you wish. 

1912 Tyler Road | $799,900 | More Details 
Adjacent 19th street is busy, but you’ve got a decent sized corner lot and a North/South orientation. Scrape the 1950’s house and build your dream house, similar to 470 Japonica Way (above) but without the basement.  
Due diligence: Technically, anything older than 50 years requires at least an administrative review before demolition but the city is mostly obsessed with cares about properties that are pre WWII.  

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

2134 S Walnut Street 21 | $799,900 | More Details 
3 bedrooms and 2 baths downtown for under $800K (asking). Late 70’s construction but nicely updated finishes.  Due diligence: Students. Students, everywhere

4321 Butler Circle | $779,500 | More Details 
Ouch, the flash photography burns but don’t let that dissuade you from seeing this house. The lot size is much larger than typical for the area. The retail mix has significant upside potential (future Lucky’s Market within stumbling distance). 2 car garage. Boulder’s best schools. A solid long term investment.    

Due diligence: Traffic noise from Broadway.   

4225 Evans Drive | $600,000 | More Details 
Four years ago, the seller couldn’t find a buyer for this bi-level house at the then asking price of $430K. Will the market today support nearly 40% more? There's practically no inventory below $600K, so I guess we’ll find out. The location is pretty good, although Evans is an artery in the neighborhood. Bike paths are nearby and it has easy access to CU, which means a diversity of future tenants and buyers. Typical size lot. Right by BCSIS Elementary. 

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

2850 E College Avenue 102 | $360,000 | More Details
Landmark Lofts is almost entirely students who want the fast access to campus but don’t want to live on the Hill. The restaurants along Baseline are pretty good.

500 Manhattan Drive B-11 | $325,000 | More Details 
The Manhattan Condos have a nice layout, this one is on the upper level. A clean 2 bed, 2 bath with decent access to CU and commuting corridors. Some students but also plenty of professionals. At $325K, expect a bidding war.  Sorry, no dogs allowed but cats are OK.


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

1140 Jefferson Avenue | $634,900 | More Details
This cute cottage is over a 100 years old, so don’t expect to significantly alter it without the neighbors showing up with pitchforks and torches on your front lawn. In all seriousness, it’s a decent size and is walkable to the center of downtown Louisville, only two blocks from Main St. 
Due diligence: The miners who built many of the cabins, bungalows, and cottages in Louisville had a habit of digging tunnels and mines.  Check the lot and area history before your inspection contingency expires.


10221 N 65th Street | $725,000 | More Details

This house is just off the most popular North Boulder cycling circuit. Nearly 3 acres, irrigated, and a double lot to potentially recapture value in the future. Save some budget for a much needed gut and remodel. If you want a little space to spread out but still have an easy drive into Boulder or Longmont, here’s a good option.  
Due diligence: Current rules say the barn has to move to achieve the required setbacks.  

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

219 Grant Street | $495,000 | More Details

There’s not much worth buying in Old Town below $450K. This one has beautiful vaulted ceilings leading with nice living areas. The oak cabinets could use replacing, but otherwise it looks fairly turn-key.  

Investing tip: Longmont is rapidly gentrifying and Old Town has the look and feel of Boulder’s Mapleton Hill.   

Image: Phoebe Dill


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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.

Please Note

This document contains forward-looking statements. You are strongly cautioned that investment results are subject to business, economic and other uncertainties. There are no guarantees associated with any forecast and the opinions stated here are subject to change at any time. Always consult your financial advisor before making an investment decision.