The Autumn Real Estate Market Begins [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

Just like that, the summer selling season has come to a close. The kids are back at CU.  There's a whiff of autumn in the air... and once hopeful, doe-eyed sellers, convinced to overprice their property by overzealous agents, are now starting to offer steep discounts. There were four +$100K price reductions in Boulder this week alone (link).  

Negotiation is one of my favorite parts of this business. I've always been able to help buyers obtain the largest negotiated discounts during the late 3rd and early 4th quarters of the year. I expect this year will be no different. The key to getting a great deal? Intelligent property selection and savvy negotiation. If you're thinking of selling, it's critical to be cautious in your marketing approach. I recommend setting a conservative asking price based on intel from the latest sales and the slate of active competitors. 

Before we discuss fresh listings this week, take a look at the following analysis of stale listings in the Boulder real estate market.
The chart below shows the percentage of active inventory over a period of 90 days on market.  

County wide, 25% of houses have been on the market for 90 days or longer. Think of it as an opportunity for savvy house buyers and a caution flag for would-be sellers who want to aggressively push the comps. 

Condos and town homes (attached dwellings) tell a different story. Only 12% have been listed for 90 days or longer.  

The Cities of Boulder and Longmont (Boulder County's largest) show another interesting contrast: 21% and 13%, respectively. This is driven largely by much higher prices in Boulder, causing a flight of buyers to Longmont. Meanwhile, you can pretty much forget about getting a discount on a condo in Boulder - since only 4% of listings are over 90 days old.  

Remember: Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market understanding.  Buyers and sellers need to carefully evaluate active, sold, withdrawn, and pending inventory relative to their specific real estate situation.

Enough about stale listings. Let's get to the fresh stuff. As usual, I'll start by highlighting a few notable sales. 

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

Sold Listings of Note

2675 Dakota Place | Sold Price: $2.6MM | More Details 
This sale is interesting because it sets the benchmark for Newlands, where proximity to open space is the equivalent of waterfront property. As you move back from open space on the West side, prices fall steadily until you hit Broadway (a key value North-South delineation). This house was listed back in April at $2.6MM and the seller held steady, offering no price concessions. 59 days after listing, it went under contract and finally closed 54 days later for a total time on market of 113 days. The deal closed for cash. The house itself was larger than typical (nearly 6,000 SQFT), with an excellent floor plan. The majority of it was finished and above grade. Relatively recent construction and excellent finishes throughout. Buyers and potential sellers should use this one as a standard for pricing and negotiation going forward.  

2840 N Lakeridge Trail | Sold Price: $2.5MM | More Details 
Lake of the Pines is an exclusive enclave of high end homes located right off US36, North of the city limits. Sales are rare and they often take a long time to trade hands. This one was on the market since July 2015, with a short withdrawal period over winter, before finally finding a buyer a year later in July of this year. The house itself is spectacular, with exceptional finishes and a rugged Rocky Mountain feel. The private dock and views over the lake beautifully complete the estate. Original asking: $2.95MM. Negotiated discount from last asking price: 8.6%.

623 Garfield Avenue | Sold Price: $984K | More Details 
There are a number of beautifully expanded and renovated houses in downtown Louisville. Old bungalows continue to be converted into large, family residences. This one was completed in 2014, is in a very good location within strolling distance of shops and open space. For both buyers and sellers, it's a value benchmark for high quality, turn-key property in a prime location. Many of my Louisville buyers end up comparing houses like this to say, similarly priced property in South Boulder.  

Fresh Listings


2395 Vassar Drive | Asking Price: $2.45MM | More Details 
Recently completed, high-end spec project in Table Mesa. Reasonable size and layout, great schools, solid perch and design for viewing the Flatirons. Very contemporary and a great example of what you can do with an older ranch in Boulder. Check out what it used to look like. This one is turn-key and ready for a buyer that doesn't want to manage architects or take construction risk.  

P.S. The listing description says this house has "amazing" views. Want to know what else is amazing? 118 listings in Boulder County use the word "amazing" in their listing descriptions.  There's no shortcut to slicing through hyperbole. You've got to see it in person. 

960 7th Street | Asking Price: $1.7MM | More Details 

On a dead-end section of 7th Street in Rose Hill, a few blocks from Chautauqua. Late 80's construction and finishes. Grade: A for location, with a typical size lot. Save some money for interior remodeling. 

1505 Mapleton Avenue | Asking Price: $1.35MM | More Details
A flood of buyers are trying to see this pre-war beauty. Potentially undervalued, assuming no foundation issues or other undisclosed problems. It boasts a decent location and what appear to be protected picture-frame views. A little on the small side. Will likely not last the weekend.  

7545 Park Circle | Asking Price: $899,900 | More Details 
This neighborhood in Gunbarrel is filled with large family friendly houses built in the late 1980's. The semi-private park in the center of the neighborhood is a nice draw. Easy commute into Boulder. This particular house has a number of tasteful updates. 

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

2947 Broadway Street B | Asking Price: $750,000 | More Details 
An alley Franken-house with a top level private apartment to offset the ownership cost. Claims to not front on Broadway, but you'll almost certainly be subject to traffic noise. The rental income offset and location might be attractive for an entry level or vacation use buyer looking for downtown Boulder proximity while using the garden to live their own farm-to-table fantasy.

1360 Walnut Street 213 | Asking Price: $749,000 | More Details 
Downtown lock and leave apartment with an industrial chic design. Decent size for entertaining. The studio is not a true one bedroom, but 1290 sqft of space gives you room to spread out.  
Due diligence: The downtown smoking ban has increased transient density in this location, in particular in front of the Circle K and Liquor Mart (one block away)  

3935 Darley Avenue | Asking Price: $689,900 | More Details 
A decent size bi-level in Table Mesa. What it lacks in curb appeal it makes up in walking distance to the new Lucky's and to Southern Sun. Best schools in Boulder. Typical size lot, might be a good candidate for a renovation. This price point is now the entry level for Table Mesa houses.  
Due diligence: Check traffic on Darley during peak periods.


333 Terry Street | Asking Price: $599,000 | More Details 
West side of Old Town, two blocks from Main Street. Classic architecture and tasteful updates in this 116 year old historic home. Prime location, and rapid gentrification will likely continue. The same house in a similar location in Boulder would be 2.2X to 2.5X. Sadly, no garage spaces or I'd want to buy it myself. 


7265 Spring Creek Circle | Asking Price: $1,179,500 | More Details

Late 90's construction. Not too large (a common issue for higher end homes in Niwot) and on a decent size lot. Based on what the owners paid in 2000, and assuming few capital improvements, the asking price represents a 2.1% IRR. That sounds about right, but Niwot listings often have a ton of competitors and unusually long listing periods. If Niwot's performance during the last cycle is a guide, Buyers concerned with capital preservation and downside risk should plan to hold for at least 7 years.

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.

cover image: Marjorie Bertrand

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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.