Views, Lock and Leave Boulder Eye Candy [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

And we're back! 

If you’re shopping for real estate in Boulder, here’s what’s worth seeing.

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

Sold Listings of Note

1002 Mapleton Ave | $7.75MM | More Details
You have to wonder about the negotiation backstory of this iconic Boulder house. It hit the market in July at $8.4 and immediately under contract.  And then nothing, for months. It finally closed at a 7.2%. Curious.

Spectacular house in a premier location. Click the link for the real estate eye candy. 

p.s. I often park in the District and walk to my favorite coffee shop when I want a change in work scenery.  It's truly a special location.

920 10th Street | $1.29MM | More DetailsThe location of this house is hit or miss due to high student density, but the lack of a garage is what killed it for my buyers. Sure, the cottage rental income is nice but when you're at this price point, you don't care as much about the rental income. The cottage would more likely be used as a guest room or home office. Click the link above for photos of what a nicely updated house on the Hill should look like.  

Deal notes:  It was on the market for over a month before going under contract.  Sold for 4.4% below asking. 

3971 Montclair Lane | $918K | More Details
I'm tracking Fourmile closely for a prospective client who will be listing their home in January or February. This one illustrates the risk of overpricing and chasing the market down.  Originally listed in July for $978K, cut the price in August (too late) to $955K, and finally sold for $918K at the end of October. 

Pro tip:  Don't be tempted to choose your listing agent based on the high price they toss out during the listing presentation. It's a lure. Pricing is the single most important component of a successful marketing plan. It takes a deep understanding of market conditions for optimal pricing, which includes a thorough analysis of recent sold homes and active competitors. There is no shortcut to achieve maximum value for the seller.  You have to do the work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you something. 

1455 Ithaca | $682K | More Details
A fairly typical small tri-level in Table Mesa with a one car garage and mostly dated finishes. Slightly smaller than typical size lot and less than optimal east facing. It's a good one to note for tracking valuations in Table Mesa. They didn't overshoot on price, it's the other compromises that caused it to sit on market for 3 months before finding a buyer.  It sold for a slightly discount (2.5% below asking).   

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

Interesting Price Reductions 

948 North Unit #13 | $366K | More Details
For a long term income investor, this should be a no-brainer at the now reduced price of $366K. The building is admittedly odd; a brick faced commercial building on the front with residences at the back. The layout of this particular unit is conducive for roommates and you get elevator access, critical for attracting a diversity of potential tenants. HOA fees are reasonable for downtown. Perhaps the deal killer for many buyers has been the lack of conventional (warrantable) financing from Fanny and Freddie.  Instead, you need to go to a portfolio lender (like Elevations or Firstbank) who usually offer shorter terms and adjustable rate products, which of course, carry interest rate risk. Personally, I'd be more worried about the City's redevelopment of BCH but for an income investor, you can also argue that more fancy city offices are good news. City employees have excellent recession-resistant job security - i.e. great tenants.  I'd write an offer for my personal portfolio if I didn't already have an investment property under contract.

Fresh Listings


885 Rain Lilly Lane | $1,65MM | More Details 
The bones better be good because a tiny lot means forget about expanding beyond the existing footprint. The interior could use some cosmetic refreshing, but the layout is excellent for a majority of buyers and the location appears to have a protected view to Wonderland Lake, open space, and the Foothills. The design appears to be conducive for entertaining, with good flow to outdoor living areas.  Asking seems steep, but if the view is truly protected, it won't last long on market.

p.s. The tiny lot also means less landscaping to maintain.

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

429 Concord Ave | $1.3MM | More Details
The sellers must have taken a tenant last year when they listed this during the winter and then quickly took it off the market. Now it's back with (surprise!) the same asking price. Overall, it's a smaller home with a classic design in a prime location in the Historic District. Small is beautiful. If you're downsizing, go see it. Call your Realtor.

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

4555 13th Street, Unit 2D | $695K | More DetailsUptown Broadway is a North Boulder neighborhood with easy trail access, great restaurants, and excellent public transit to downtown. These condos are nicely finished, turn-key, lock and leave living for buyers who want a low maintenance property and don't care to live near noisy students. The neighborhood and development has excellent long term investment potential. Full disclosure:  I own property in Uptown and plan to open an office for Realty Unique there sometime this summer.  I'm bullish on Uptown.

205 Sundown Lane Unit #212 | $420K | More Details
Frankly, this unit is pricey given the competition from new build student

housing. Your prospective tenants will look at brand new alternatives on the Frontage Road at $1000/bed, all inclusive where they get to live with more of their buddies. I would model this to rent at closer to $800/bed, which isn't a phenomenal cap rate. Then again, it should rarely be vacant given the location and continually expanding CU student body.  No Fanny or Freddie, the complex is well over 50% investor owned (which should tell you something).    Due diligence:  Fire history, capital assessments

102 W Chester St | $535K | More Details
Downtown, historic, affordable, on a gigantic lot.  If you buy the thesis that the L's will keep attracting buyers because expected long term population growth in Colorado, you might want to snap this up. The exterior isn't remarkable now but it has potential (repaint) for better curb appeal. Light a match to the the interior, it needs a complete refresh.

p.s. This one is for Lindsey, who says I never write about Lafayette.

Due diligence:
 Make sure your Realtor and home inspector have experience with historic homes.  Maintenance and repairs can be 2x to 3X a more modern home. All that charm has a price.

7232 Lacey Ct | $1.1MM | More Details
When buyers ask me about Niwot, we have a candid discussion about what happened during the last downturn when over 2 years of luxury inventory piled up. Giant homes on giant lots appeal to a limited audience; well heeled, large families who need the space. Many buyers today prefer something smaller and less ostentatious. 

On the flip side - Niwot has experienced a resurgence with awesome new restaurants and pubs. The historic downtown area regularly hosts community events and it has become a vibrant community of its own, not just a bedroom for Boulder. If you're concerned with capital presevation, you should be highly selective and aim more towards the entry level of the luxury market This one qualifies and appears to be in excellent condition.  Worth a look.  Call your Realtor


9750 N. 75th | $1.45MM | More Details
Bare dirt for 10 lots, zoned for duplexes. There aren't many developable spots left close to Boulder.  This one is on the prime cycling route and an easy drive to the Google Plex. Plus Whole Foods is opening nearby. The real question: why is Markel selling it? My guess is that they're focused on other (bigger) projects or they're still burned from the last downturn.  Still, it's an interesting opportunity for a small to medium size builder/developer with a tolerance for risk.  Contact me for a full analysis of the investment potential including a discussion of potential deal structures for investors. 

7388 Glacier View Rd | $580K | More Details
If you buy this house, your address might say Longmont, but you're really in Gunbarrel and in mostly high performing Niwot Schools.  A great family neighborhood with nearby trail access and of course, Avery.  Quick drive to Boulder and Google.


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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

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.