Fall Real Estate Deals and Take Home Lessons [Fresh Listings, Get 'Em Hot]

A variety of autumn opportunities hit the Boulder real estate market this week; from an eye-popping, turn-key trophy home in Newlands to starter/investment condos for first-time buyers. It's the beginning of the off-season. While new inventory is declining, attractive listings can be found and if you dig a little deeper, you might even discover a bargain in the rough.  

What about market conditions? Experienced Realtors will tell you that the best deals are often found in the 4th quarter. It's still a seller's market in Boulder, but we're now entering the slow autumn season and conditions are better for buyers than the past several years. Facts don't lie. See our latest market update for details and check out the Worth a Second Look section at the bottom of this post. 

Remember, intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. There is no substitute. 

Ready to see some houses? Let's go! 

Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. For a private showing and comprehensive discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

Sold Listings of Note

423 Juniper Ave | $3.6MM | Details and Pics 
On the market for two weeks before a buyer locked down this stunner for a healthy 3.4% discount to asking. Five bedrooms, four baths and located in a very desirable location on the west side of Juniper Ave. It featured about 4,000 finished SQFT and a little over half an acre of land. Originally constructed in the late 1960's, tastefully remodeled with well-designed indoor and outdoor entertainment areas. The three car garage in the back features additional space over the parking area.  

675 Dellwood Ave | $1.6MM | Details and Pics
Originally listed back in April and under contract within a few weeks but the first buyer terminated, supposedly for personal reasons. The seller responded by pulling the house completely off market. Perhaps they were fixing those "personal reasons."  Anyway, it came back to market this September, was under contract within 24 hours, and closed for $5K over the list price. 

From a location perspective, Newlands is a very attractive neighborhood in Boulder but this gets a B rating in my book. Dellwood suffers from some traffic, but that negative factor is offset by close proximity to North Boulder Park and the Ideal retail area. The house itself is livable as it stands today. Given the early 60's vintage and moderate size lot, it should also be a good platform for improvements in the near future. 

1511 Bluebell Ave | $1.05MM | Details and Pics
A sad story with a silver lining. Our buyers were active competitors in the bidding war for 1511 Bluebell but we were the second offer on the table. Initially our buyers instructed us to go no higher than $1.05 but later told us they were willing to exceed that threshold. Unfortunately, it was too late. We ended up in a backup position at a higher price.  

Take home lesson #1: The first offer sometimes gets the most attention in a bidding war. Sellers will often use later offers as leverage against the first. At the same time, a strategy worth considering is to submit at the end of a deadline because it limits the opportunity to shop offers. It's a choice that buyers should make carefully (after discussing the pros/cons of each approach with their Realtor).  

Take home lesson #2: After an offer is submitted in a bidding war, there often isn't an opportunity for buyers to reconsider their offer price and concessions. Bidding wars settle in hours, not days. For effectiveness, trust with your agent and clear communication on the boundaries of your offer are vital. 

Silver lining: 1511 Bluebell needed a massive amount of work. Nearly every single aspect of this house including layout, finishes, roof, mechanical, and electrical systems needed attention. It will likely be a very expensive, complete gut and remodel project for the new owner. The south side of the house also hinted at foundation issues, at a minimum requiring brick and and drainage work. Our clients almost certainly dodged a very expensive bullet. 

P.S. If you are considering selling your Chautauqua property, give us a call. We have an amazing family looking for a long-term home. They're obviously willing to consider a property that needs renovation.  

Fresh Listings


3370 4th St $3.8MM | Details and Eye Candy
Oooh, the eye candy is tasty for this one. It's in a solid location with its own daily bike parade (popular cycling route), five bedrooms, five baths, and a little over 4,000 finished SQFT. Very modern in design and finishes. Generous lot size. Buyers should carefully evaluate construction quality and execution against a backdrop of construction labor shortages, cost over runs, and delays. Is the turn-key premium worth it the trade offs? The answer is often, but not always yes. Talk to a Realtor with deep local market knowledge

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

1301 Canyon Blvd 401 | $2.7MM | Details and Pics
The lock and leave urban lifestyle is in high-demand in Boulder and this top floor, downtown condo has what most buyers are seeking; generous square footage, luxury finishes, three bedrooms, three baths, and three secure underground parking spaces. From a hierarchy perspective, there is only one building in Boulder that tops One Boulder Plaza (The Arette, located on Canyon just west of 11th St). Buyers should see available options in both before pulling the trigger. The last time this particular condo traded hands was in '07 for 2.25MM, which suggests a motivated seller.

Due diligence: A future owner will likely utilize the study/den as a guest bedroom, although it's not technically a bedroom.  

1605 Cedar Ave | $1.38MM | Details and Pics
A little tight on the square footage but in a desirable location. The recently updated interior on this attractive mid-century modern two story reflects current design trends and demand. 

Due diligence: The lot size is little smaller than typical and corner lots may be subject to additional constraints. Talk to a Realtor who is familiar with local codes and always visit the building department before pulling the trigger. 

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

2221 Grove Cir E | $957K | Details and Pics
Last listed for sale two years ago, this 118 year old historic home could be a good canvas for a historic home buyer with a modest budget. It clearly needs updates in a variety of areas but the architectural details are...well, somewhat unique. 

Due diligence: Along with our usual advice to closely examine the foundation, electrical, and mechanical systems of historical homes - the key question is what will the City allow to be done with the previous structural expansion. Its not of the same vintage or style. Buyers should also note the student density in this location and check the alleys for red cups. Goss Grove is a mix of students, young professionals and some families. 

3130 23rd St | $850K | Details and Pics
We sold a similar property in this neighborhood earlier this year. The investment thesis for our clients hinged on square footage, bedrooms, and commute time to their offices at Google. We negotiated a very good deal for them. 3869 Campo Ct is arguably an even better home with four bedrooms, two baths, and marketed as having been well maintained and updated. It also has a wider driveway that clearly shows a two car garage in the back, yet it's on the MLS as having a one car garage. Oops?  

Story time: Have I ever told you about the house I bought a few years ago that was mis-marketed in the same way? It was just a listing mistake but turned out to be a hidden area of value. The cost to construct even a basic two car garage in Boulder today with electrical will be $75K+.  

Due diligence: Typical problems in homes from the 1950's include sewer lines (cast iron lasts 50-75 years) and other plumbing systems. Insulation is usually lacking unless previously remedied. 

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

265 30th St | $839K | Details and Pics

An updated Martin Acre's ranch with the garage converted into a vaulted master bedroom. No covered parking but the house features some nice touches to remedy the limited storage. The location is solid, with great neighbors (we know personally), easy access to CU, commuting corridors, and retail centers.    

3869 Campo Ct | $835K | Details and Pics
Palo Park hasn't participated in the appreciation as deeply as other neighborhoods in Boulder, which is why it's a compelling value for buyers that need a little more square footage at a more affordable price. Built in the late 80's, 3869 Campo Ct has a few updates but most of the finishes are original. Four bedrooms, four baths, moderate square footage, and the price suggests it won't be on the market for long. Compare to 265 30th (above) and be sure to note the walkability and commute distances from each. 

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

3735 Birchwood Dr #32 | $410K | Details and Pics
We've sold a few condos to our clients in this location during recent years. Prime advantages are the price - it's more reasonable than most of the other developments in Boulder and it has lower student density (farther from campus). The location is also bike friendly. Our past clients have told us they have no problem finding tenants for their rentals, which is a plus for buyer-owners looking for their first home. 

Due diligence: Look carefully at the HOA. Dues appear a little on the high side, likely due to flood damage from 2013. Since that time, the nearby bike paths and drainages have been completely re-engineered.  


5986 Heather Way, Niwot | $1.15MM | Details and Pics
Intriguing. It's a large three bedroom, four bath in unincorporated Boulder County on a generously sized lot located near Haystack Golf Course. All bedrooms are on the main level, which works for many types of buyers. Finishes are likely all original from the mid 90's. From a location perspective, it will appeal to a buyer who wants a little more space and greater privacy than living in Boulder proper while still maintaining a fairly quick commute to downtown. 

Due diligence: 5986 Heather Way has a lot of factors that deserve close attention starting with the flood plain. It's disclosed as being in the 500 year flood but maps suggest it's actually in the 100 year flood (AE) zone, which requires flood insurance (if mortgaged). This has an impact on build-out potential and thus valuation. While evaluating the true flood zoning, also consider that the large lot to the northeast is privately owned. Buyers should look for conservation easements or other protections that limit development on this lot, to help preserve the rural character of the location, or at a minimum take into account the potential impact on future values. 

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.


3601 Arapahoe Ave D-180 | $250K | Details and Pics 
We rarely write about commercial opportunities, but this one caught our attention due to it's low price and reasonable cap rate. Investors should verify the tenant's intentions and experience in renting this location. Keep the tenant in place or use it for your future business. 

Pro-tip: The Peloton has a captive audience of residents. 

Worth a Second Look

About a dozen listings had substantial price reductions this week or returned to market (i.e. first contract terminated). Some present interesting opportunities, but with caveats.  

1163 Quince is a decent house from a functional and location perspective. It's priced aggressively and there's probably more room for negotiation, but it's a little close to Broadway. Some light updates throughout, Sophie saw it back in late June. 

2802 Cordry is another interesting one to consider. It was absurdly overpriced when it first listed, given its location, but it's now offered at a more reasonable number - assuming you are comfortable with the flood risk. 

Fun fact: Part of this lot is actually across Boulder Creek to the south, where a popular swimming whole is located. 

Cordry Ct is a quiet, curved street tucked between 28th and 30th that backs to Boulder Creek and Scott Carpenter Park. 

Note:  Sophie sold a house around the corner on Cordry this week and negotiated a significant $65K discount to asking for her buyers. 

Here's a link to the list of major price reductions and back on market listings. Call us to discuss. ph: 303.746.689. 

Pro tip: We've often negotiated the best deals for our buyers during the beginning of the fourth quarter. It's the time of year when sellers with stale listings finally become more sensible in their negotiations. 

For a private showing, which includes a discussion of valuation, negotiation strategy, and market conditions, call Osman at 303.746.6896. Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision.

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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: Dan Freeman

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.