Secret Safe Rooms and Hidden Opportunities [Boulder - Fresh Listings]

Time to kickoff the new year.

Dozens of listings hit the market this week. I culled the old refreshed properties, poor locations, and otherwise less than optimal options. Only a few are worth your attention. One even has a safe room. 

Ready to see some houses? Let's get started with a discussion of notable sales. 

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

Sold Listings of Note 
2873 6th Street | $2.5MM | Pics and Details
A traditional family home in Newlands with five bedrooms, four baths, and ~4,800 SQFT. A solid choice as far as location goes, it's only two blocks from N. Boulder Park and on the west side of the neighborhood, away from traffic noise. Click the link above for photographs. The home is attractive, with tasteful finishes, functional indoor and outdoor living spaces, and a well designed kitchen. It's only 11 years old and essentially turn-key.   

Listing History: The seller rolled the die and unwisely tested the market with a high asking price last March. It took eight months and several price cuts before a buyer locked it down in November. The final sale price was $2.48MM (2.7% below last asking) or $516/F.SQFT, about right for this location and property type.  

6759 Niwot Hills Drive | $2.4MM | Pics and Details
A notable sale for several reasons. Niwot, as a community, has a large number of luxury homes. Most were built decades ago, with substantial square footage and large yards. Although luxurious when built, when the market turns, Niwot will likely see a big up-tick in inventory and most will be minimally updated. As Mark Twain once said, history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Contrast older, dated Niwot homes with 6759 Niwot Hills Drive. You're looking at a brand new, net-zero, luxury home with a crisp design and excellent indoor/outdoor entertaining areas. Don't forget to add the value of the open space and views (8-10% premium is a good rule of thumb if truly unobstructed and spectacular, with a design that features it).  

Functionally, the home features five bedrooms, seven baths, and almost 7,000 finished square feet. It has a four car garage and sits on a full acre of land. First listed while still under construction in March, it was pulled off two months later, and then re-listed in November. Just a few weeks later, the estate sold for $2.39MM or 4.5% below the asking price ($345/F.SQFT)  

3265 Foundry Place #105 | $648K | Pics and Details

I'm a big fan of Foundry and neighboring Steel Yards because it's right in the epicenter Boulder.  If you live here, you're steps from Google, the Boulder Transit Center, and a quick bike ride from downtown. These units were also nicely constructed, requiring minimal maintenance compared to a stand-alone house, with functional designs that should stay stylish for years to come.  

On the downside, you're also right next to the train and both developments are subject to limited financing options due to the investor ownership percentage and/or mixed use. The limited liquidity tends to slow the appreciation rate and might lock you in place during turbulent credit markets. You could also look at that as a buying opportunity. If your broker didn't mention any downside risks while shopping, choose a better Realtor.

This particular town home was built in '04. It has two bedrooms, three baths, a typical layout, and a parking space in the underground garage. It was on the market about three months and sold for asking ($496/F.SQFT). 

From an investment perspective, this location should attract better qualified tenants but lower cash flow than other nearby options. A solid choice for long term appreciation for an end-user who doesn't want to live next to students. 

Fresh Listings

2041 Pearl Street | $2.15MM | Pics and Details
A curious six bedroom, four bath with classic architecture, mother-in-law suite, updates, and pocket views of the Foothills on Boulder's most iconic street. It's currently utilized as a nonprofit and safe-haven for pregnant women in need, a use which makes little sense given its coveted location next to Todd Reed and art galleries on Pearl. 

The lot is zoned MU-3 (formerly MU-X), which has been subject to recent zoning changesThis looks like a solid opportunity for a small company seeking office space, but make sure you allow for adequate contingencies to closely examine the zoning. There are many such companies in Boulder that might be attracted to this property. Don't wait to go see it. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

845 Grant Place | $950K | Pics and Details
Q:  Would the city allow you to scrape this post war, well-worn ranch and build your dream home?  
A: Most likely, yes.   

Q: If not, could you utilize the existing bones?

A: Probably. It's a ranch style home without a basement, arguably the easiest type of property to build and expand upon. Bring your architect to the showing. 

Q: Is a 6,472 SQFT lot adequate in size?  

A: Maybe. In addition to regular zoning, the lot is subject to solar access and compatible development regulations. How much space do you need?

Q: Does the location support the investment?
A: Absolutely. It's 1.5 blocks to Chautauqua with trails, dining, educational, and summer entertainment activities. Newly enforced parking regulations have also reduced the weekend mayhem in the neighborhood. Don't forget, Chautauqua is one of Boulder's top tourist attractions. 

Q: How do you feel about construction risk?
A: Choose your contractor carefully and talk to your attorney about the contract. There have been quite a number of lawsuits in Boulder over contractors who take deposits, complete shoddy work, and run away. Expect to wait three to six months (or more) for a quality contractor. If you think you'll enjoy design and construction of your custom home, go in with eyes wide open. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

4087 Hawthorne Circle | $580K | Pics and Details
A nice family house at an affordable price, tucked into the Meadow View neighborhood in Southwest Longmont, with nearby open space and a small retail plaza within strolling distance. Four bedrooms, four baths, a classic layout, and a three car garage round out the picture. Finishes appear to be original from the mid 90's construction, with the exception of the safe room. No pictures of that, you'll have to check it out in person. 

p.s. When I was growing up, one of my friends had a safe room with a secret access door in their house. It was originally built for the previous owner, the warden of the nearby prison. We used it as a play room. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

1053 West Century Drive #206 | $440K | Pics and Details
These units are in high demand, with double digit appreciation in recent years. The location in Louisville is minutes to Boulder, has plenty of retail nearby, and is relatively affordable. If you're a cyclist, you can pedal up the US36 bikeway right into Boulder proper.  With an e-bike, you'll likely beat the motorists during rush hour. 

This is a two bedroom unit, without shared walls. The last relevant sale was a one bedroom unit that sold for $339/SF last May. To understand the valuation, it's worth a look anyway. Units here are rarely available and would likely rent easily. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

634 Kimbark Street #1 | $300K | Pics and Details
An affordable, mixed-use, historic, attached property only one block off Main Street in Longmont, with one assigned parking space. It could be a great spot for an office, guest house, or possibly downsizing parents. It might also work for a minimalist first time owner. Confirm zoning if you intend to use it for business purposes. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

Worth a Second Look 
815 Circle Drive is back on the market. It was the #9 top sale of 2018 and is now offered for almost $200K less than the current owner paid for it. It's also a spectacular property on a perch overlooking Boulder. Click HERE for details.

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 

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Ready to buy or sell? Schedule an appointment or call 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: Kristina Flour

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.