Does This Home Spark Joy? [Boulder Fresh Listings]

Last week, I completed House Einstein's analysis of first quarter real estate market conditions in Boulder, Longmont, and Denver. You'll find charts showing inventory, sales volume, and pending sales published across our social feeds on Insta, Facebook, and Twitter.  

Here's a summary:  

As with the last cycle ('06-'09), the market for houses in the City of Boulder is proving more resilient than neighboring cities. Inventory is about 12% above average in Boulder, while in Longmont and Denver it's increased substantially more - about 20% and 30% above average, respectively.

Within the these markets, certain neighborhoods and locations are still experiencing intense bidding wars. Last quarter, about 1 in 5 house listings in the City of Boulder sold for a premium and in these deals, the median premium paid has remained remarkably consistent - about 2%.  

See the chart below.

Beginning last fall, the market has shifted. Depending on property type, location, and price range - buyers and sellers should adjust their strategies accordingly. If you're targeting a house for which there are many buyers and very little inventory, be prepared to pay a reasonable premium for the house and dial back contingencies to beat out other offers. If it's a house that has been languishing for months and is clearly overpriced, expect to negotiate a better deal. 

Remember, intelligent real estate decisions are based on a deep understanding of market conditions. If all your agent has to offer is hand waving and happy talk, find a better RealtorAt House Einstein, we advise our sellers and buyers based on objective measures of local market conditions. 

If you're a regular blog reader, you also know we've narrowed our focus for these weekly posts. Property selection and a solid understanding of supply and demand are critical factors to reduce the risk of capital loss. 

As of this writing, there are 1,490 houses, condos, and town homes on the market in Boulder. 167 new listings were added this week. 

Only 7 sparked joy

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

1785 View Point Road | $1.63MM | Pics and Details
On the market only five short days before a buyer locked it down for $125K over asking. Why? Because view perches in Devil's thumb are rarely available and this two story house has excellent bones for a future dream home. Constructed in the late 60's, it won't be subject to historic review for some time and the generous lot size should still allow for some expansion. With an existing 4,312 SQFT of finished space, expansion may not even be necessary. 

But you heard the market was slowing? Remember, conditions vary dramatically by location, property type, and price range. The demand for a buildable view perch is unquenchable in Boulder. It's the mountain equivalent of waterfront property (without the risk of rising sea levels).

2356 Sandpiper Drive | $770K | Pics and Details
This four bedroom, four bath home backs to Waneka Lake open space and trails, but that was icing on the cake. It was the beautifully updated kitchen and large, open floor plan on the main level that brought my buyers back for a second look. My buyers ultimately decided against it, but it's no surprise there was a bidding war that drove the price $20K over asking. 

Due diligence: What appears to be open space directly behind the house is actually owned by the neighborhood association. A small parcel to the south is also owned by the neighborhood association. Rules and historic public use of both parcels were on our due diligence checklist if my clients had decided to move forward. The house also needed a paint job and the basement layout was a little funky, arranged around a kitchen and separate living unit/entrance. Finally, we saw some signs of potentially dodgy work and were not planning to waive inspection.

Pro tip: If your outlets look like this, call the electrician in before you list. 

8033 Countryside Park 5-206 | $355K | Pics and Details

Countryside Park has experienced strong appreciation in recent years. With its close proximity to downtown Niwot's shops and restaurants, and a super quick commute into Boulder proper, it's an appealing option. This particular unit was listed at $365K at the end of November last year. The seller cut the price mildly in January and it closed for $5K below last asking - about fair value.

If you're interested in this location, a handful usually sell each year. There's another one currently available at 6822 Countryside, #unit 296. It should prove to be a long-term value investment. 

Fresh Listings
1010 Cedar Avenue | $2.23MM | Pics and Details
This plus size family house would almost certainly not be allowed in today's more stringent regulatory environment. Under current rules in this property's zoning (RL-1), the maximum floor area allowed is 3,294 SQFT. This home features seven bedrooms, five baths, and is almost 5,000 finished square feet. In other words, what you see is likely what you get.

Built in 2004, some of the finishes are starting to show their age but overall, it's still in good condition with an appealing open layout on the main and a first floor bedroom that could be also used an office. The challenge is whether a one car garage would be adequate. 

One car garages do not spark joy. 

For private showings and a discussion of market conditions, valuation, and negotiation strategy, call Osman at 303.746.6896. 
1920 Vista Drive | $2.0MM | Pics and Details
This is what it looked like when the seller acquired the home for $923,500 in November of '17. At that time it was a 1 story ranch with a basement with about 1,200 SQFT on the main level and 2,300 SQFT total. The seller added a second level and completely reconfigured and renovated the house. Today, it features six bedrooms, four baths, and about 3,416 F.SQFT. 

Click the before and after pics. It's hard to say it's even the same house. 

Overall, the location is excellent and the design and finish choices appear top notch but listing photographs can be deceiving. Only an in-person visit will tell whether there's value.  It looks like a solid choice. 

Due diligence: Do the math and you'll find the numbers will likely pencil out. Take the construction cost for an additional 1,100 SQFT, add complete internal and external renovation for the old house, plus a turn-key premium (no construction cost overrun risk). Don't forget the time value of sitting around for 6 months while you wait for a reputable builder.  

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

875 11th Street | $1.68MM | Pics and Details
Harlow Case Platts was born in New York in 1893 and moved to Boulder with his family when he was 18 years old. He attended CU and later managed the family business - Western States Cutlery, the leading manufacturer in Boulder at the time. In 1920, the same year his home was constructed, he married Marion Klinger, the Mayor's daughter. In later years, he served on the Boulder Planning Board, and advisory boards for Boulder Memorial Hospital and Capitol Federal Savings. 

The Platt House was constructed in the Prairie Style and has been extensively renovated by well known local architect Stephen Sparn and Rosewood Construction. It's a moderately sized two story house with a one car garage, featuring three bedrooms, three baths, and about 4,510 SQFT. For the most part, the renovations are attractive and tasteful - and wall paper can be removed. The home is of historical significance to the City, so buyers shouldn't expect major modifications to be approved when it comes to the exterior of the home. 

Due diligence: From a location perspective, you're very much in the red cup zone. Check the alley recycling bins for evidence that you're next to a party house. Minor property crime is a regular occurrence on the Hill, so talk to neighbors before pulling the trigger. 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. 

2167 Fourmile Canyon Drive | $1.5MM | Pics and Details
This attractive mid 90's four-level home is built into a hillside just east of Betasso trails. Designed to feature the outdoor scenery, it directly abuts Boulder county open space with views over the preserve. Three bedrooms, three baths, and about 3,500 SQFT on a +6 acre lot.  

Due diligence: review the shared driveway easement for maintenance and use. Fire mitigation is also critically important in the mountains and will likely become more so in the future due to climate change. Also check for the usual water and septic issues for mountain properties. Walk the lot lines and do not waive the survey. 

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

904 15th Street | $1.4MM | Pics and Details
A classic Craftsman, constructed in 1917 for Henry and Agnes Rethlefsen and their children Frank and Helen. The updates in this home are tasteful and fitting with its historical significance. Four bedrooms, four baths, and about 2,700 F. SQFT. The two car garage is a welcome addition. 

Due diligenceAs with 875 11th Street (above), you're subject to higher student density and all that goes with it. Talk to the neighbors, student issues vary block to block. Go in with eyes wide open. 

With all historic homes, we advise our buyers to take a closer than typical look at the foundation, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems. It's normal to see many years of improvements and repairs, sometimes of questionable quality. 

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

3335 Heidelberg Drive | $1.35MM | Pics and Details
As Ms. Kondo would say, this home truly sparks joy. From a location perspective, it's hard to beat having Harlow Platt Park on one end of the street and Mesa Elementary on the other. Yes, the same Harlow from 875 11th street above. Plus, children can easily transport themselves on foot or bicycle to Southern Hills and Fairview. 3335 Heidelberg features a popular and time-tested floor plan, with all four bedrooms on the upper level. The sellers also extensively remodeled the home, opening up the kitchen to create a more functional main level living and dining area.

Full disclosure: This is our listing.  

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

332 Fairfield Lane | $650K | Pics and Details
Just around the corner from a home we recently sold, 332 Fairfield Lane is a tasteful two bedroom, three bath with a rare main floor master and a two car garage offered at an affordable price. Finishes inside look mostly builder grade from the original early 90's construction. Of course, cosmetics can be improved. 

The home has a great location, with nearby access to open space and bike paths that lead right to downtown Louisville.

If you're in the same HOA as our client's house (likely), the exterior yard work is mostly covered by the association. This makes the home a great choice for buyers who might spend extended periods of time elsewhere. 

Due diligence: Louisville had a significant hail event last year and a large number of roofs were replaced at this time. Look closely for hail damage and if the roof has been replaced already, check for the quality of material and installation. 

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:  Sam Manns

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.