Turn-Key Boulder Condos, Historic Charmers, and Pop Tops [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

A surprising number of old (previously withdrawn/expired) listings hit the Boulder area market this week. Maybe it's the time of year, but it might also be a signal that the market has started to slow. 

Bottom line: We're well into record territory for a bull market in real estate. Now is the time to be extra cautious with property selection. Some will hold their value far better than others. Don't overpay for marginal assets. 

Of course, there were plenty of real new listings too. I sifted through and removed the bad locations, the jaw droppingly overpriced, and the old ones masquerading as new. Here are the ten best listings to hit the Boulder real estate market this week. As usual, I've also included a discussion of notable sales.  

Ready to see some houses? Let's go!

To schedule private showings, including a discussion of valuation, price trends, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896.

Sold Listings of Note

1035 Kalmia Ave | $2,243,592 | More Details 
Unique properties take a little longer to find the right buyer. 1035 Kalmia is a beautiful, historic farmhouse in a key location in Boulder: west of Broadway, the north side of Newlands. It was also in need of much renovation and a new owner willing to navigate the process. Eligible to be on the National Register of historic homes, a detailed study on the property was submitted to the Landmarks Board. If you have some time, it makes for interesting reading. Deal notes: On the market for about 6 months before the buyer came along. It sold for a 5.8% discount to asking. 

2061 Bluff Street | $835,000 | More Details 
A beautifully updated, historic cottage in a great part of town. Too bad it didn't have a garage, or expansion potential, or it would have sold much faster. The tiny lot will make it pretty much impossible to add additional square footage (per Compatible Development Regs), so what you see is what you get. Due diligence: The location is great. Epic homes are just up the hill from here and it's an easy walk to downtown. The challenge was the lack of a garage and storage, which few well heeled-buyers will tolerate. Perhaps it was acquired as a guest home. 

1190 Berea Drive | $714,000 | More Details 
I've sold several houses on this street and know it well. This basic ranch sets the bar for the entry point into Table Mesa for 2017. It's a typical size lot on a quiet street, around the corner from the park and rec center. At some point, it appears a previous owner converted the garage into living space, which will now create a permit challenge when/if the new owner pops the top. It's east/west oriented, so buyers shopping Table Mesa should add a premium when they see north/south options, as they arise this spring. Deal notes: 1190 Berea was in decent condition with some updates, but solidly middle of the road. It sold for $1K less than asking after roughly a week on market. A good comp to keep in your pocket. 

820 38th Street | $560,000 | More Details 
Another basic ranch, this time in the Baseline neighborhood - the entry point for single family houses in Boulder. If you're shopping in Martin Acres, add about a 5% premium for one in similar condition. Martin Acres ranches tend to be slightly larger and the location has fewer students. Deal notes: The kitchen looks like it was updated sometime in the last 20 years. French doors lead to the back yard and are a nice upgrade. It looks like some of the windows were upgraded. Another good comp to compare against new inventory this spring. Sold for asking, under contract within 5 days. No surprise. 

1140 Monroe Drive C | $419,000 | More Details 
I wrote about this one last December when it hit the market. I also took investors to see it. It was among the best I've ever seen in the complex - nicely updated and no obvious issues. A comment on the blog post claimed a similar unit rented at $2300/month. It sold quickly: 4 days on market. 

Fresh Listings

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


2056 Walnut St. B | $1,195,000 | More Details 
A turn-key, lock and leave downtown Boulder property constructed only a few years ago. A good layout, contemporary finishes, and a one car garage complete the picture. 3 beds, 3 baths, plenty of space.  

780 16th St.| $1,195,000 | More Details 
A solid location, just up the street from New Vista High at 20th and Cascade. Most buyers at this price point don't need a licensed ADU, but it does offer flexibility for the right owner.  Pre-war on a typical size lot, 2 car garage, nicely maintained outdoor areas.  I don't expect this one to last long. Due diligence: Historic homes require more thorough inspections and are more expensive to maintain.  Typical issues include crumbling foundations, asbestos, antique wiring systems, and lack of insulation. If your agent recommends waiving the inspection to win the bidding war, find a better Realtor. Go in with eyes wide open.

3252 4th St. | $1,150,000 | More Details 
It's a scrape in a great location. Forget about the interior, it doesn't matter. What matters is the slightly larger than typical lot size, the mid 50's construction (not usually of interest to historic preservation people), and the front row to open space. Due diligence: 4th street is great but it gets some traffic, especially bicycles. It's the main artery to the most popular cycling routes north of Boulder. Serious buyers should check for traffic noise during rush hour. 

2245 Grape Ave. | $999,000 | More Details 
This one checks a lot of boxes for a platform to build your dream home.  The large lot faces south (better for active and passive solar design) and allows adequate expansion potential without running afoul of Boulder's compatible development or solar access ordinances. The post war construction is of no interest to historic preservation. It's a large ranch with nearly 1,500 SQFT on the main level and a full basement.  It's not in a flood zone.  Won't last. Drop what you're doing, go see it.  What's that? Your Realtor can't see it until next week?  Find one who is more responsive to market conditions.

360 S 41st St. | $799,900 | More Details 
A relatively recent pop/expansion in a good part of Martin Acres. I should know, I purchased an investment property just up the street in the 4th Quarter. HERE is what it looked like 8 years ago before the renovation. Market notes: The seller also had it listed a couple of years ago at the same asking price. The market has caught up. It should sell quickly. 

3860 Colorado Ave F | $575,000 | More Details 
One of two 3 bed, 3 bath town homes listed at Wellman Creek this week. This one is priced more aggressively but has some deferred maintenance. These units rent easily to high quality tenants. Don't expect it to last long, there are already three offers on the table. It won't make it through the weekend. 


9253 Blue Spruce Lane | $2,400,000 | More Details 
Niwot is awash in $2MM+ estate quality properties on large lots. It's an enclave of exclusivity, only a few minutes from Boulder. The small town center has a handful of interesting retail options, enough to avoid driving into Boulder proper, and the public schools are high performing. With that said, when the market turns, Niwot inventory will most likely pile up as it did during the last down cycle. For capital preservation, selection is critical. This particular one was completed this decade, finishes remain reasonably fresh and the design aesthetic is inline with what most Colorado luxury home buyers want. If you're shopping in Niwot, this house is worth seeing. Market notes: It was last on the market a year ago, went under contract in 11 days, and sold for 3% below asking. It's now listed $175K higher. 


2570 Clayton Circle | $760,000 | More Details 
Ignore the listing hyperbole, there are no "one of a kind" homes in Rock Creek. It's a neighborhood developed by large, well known builders, with an easy commute into Boulder or Denver. With that said, you couldn't come close to building this home for the asking price given the upgrades. If it suites your taste, it's a value play. Due diligence: Rock Creek is well known for expansive soil and potential foundation issues. Do not waive inspection in a bidding war on this one. If your Realtor recommends otherwise or claims to not know anything about foundation issues in this neighborhood, find a better Realtor

Investment Opportunities 

1012-1014 S Bowen St | $350K | More Details
An inexpensive duplex in an up-and-coming part of Longmont. The cap rate is probably too low to entice a professional investor. This one checks the box for a primary home buyer who wants to supplement their ownership costs with rental income. Want to own real estate on the cheap? Here's your chance. 

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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:  João Silas

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.