Reading Tea Leaves [Boulder Sales of Note]


NOTE: This week, Sales of Note launches as a series on its own instead of being a section in our weekly review of new listings. I'll run this as an experiment for a few months and see how it pans out. 

What makes for a notable sale? In short, notable sales are properties that are representative of a property type, price range, location, or are simply unique enough to justify the spotlight. Sometimes we have inside knowledge of a deal, which justifies its inclusion. Other times we're market observers, staring into the tea leaves and telling the story.  

Ready? It's story time. Let's go. 


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 


705 Mapleton Avenue | $3.7MM | Pics and Details
I spent a lot of time clicking between the before and after photographs when I wrote about this home back in April. It's a functional five bedroom, five bath historic estate in an exceptional, coveted location. The previous owner undertook an extensive addition/remodel, including a full basement, which added almost 1,700 F. SQFT. The interior is now completely revitalized and eye catching. The only thing I had a hard time getting my head around was the lack of curb appeal. 

Mr. Market had no such hesitation. It was under contract the first week it was listed and sold for full asking. 

Take home lesson? There is value in choosing the right location, even if the house itself isn't perfect. You pay a premium going in, but it minimizes the risk of capital loss at the exit. This lesson applies during any point of the economic cycle.



1890 Lehigh Street | $1.28MM | Pics and Details
This mid 70's Table Mesa bi-level had an extensive addition at some point during its history. The living spaces are now orientated to feature views over south Boulder open space. The end result is a five bedroom, three bath of about 2,800 F. SQFT. Interior finishes were nothing special, likely dating back to that scope of work. The house itself is decent. The big challenge, despite the views, was location. The home is on a busy street with a corner lot.  

We warn our clients that homes on busy streets take much longer to sell. When the time comes to sell, you might have to wait many months for the right buyer to come along. You should also be prepared to accept a substantial discount in order to get the deal done, especially if you're under pressure to move quickly. That's what happened here. 

1890 Lehigh was listed at $1.525 and the seller accepted a low offer only four days after it hit the market. It sold for a massive 16.3% discount below the asking price. 

One word: capitulation.


4614 Almond Lane | $577K | Pics and Details

Anyone who has shopped for a reasonably sized, tasteful property under $600,000 runs into the reality of low supply in the Boulder market. Most properties at this price point are horrifically dated and yet they still sell quickly. Why? Because pickings are slim, unless you're willing to live in a high student density location, endure a smaller and less functional property, or pay much higher HOAs.

When we took our buyers to see 4614 Almond, we knew we had a winner from the moment we walked in the door. The interior had been extensively remodeled and the kitchen and living area was among the best executed we've seen. In my opinion, it was finished to the standard of a much higher price point - something you'd expect to see if the $1.5+ range. 

After our showing, we knew there would be multiple offers. I guided my buyers to submit their best offer. Sadly, it was second fiddle. When the dust settled, I had to inform my clients that their offer was not selected.  

The next day, disappointment turned to surprise when my phone rang. The listing agent informed me that buyer #1 got cold feet and terminated their contract. Were we still interested? 

You bet we were. 4614 Almond Lane closed last week to the delight of both buyer and seller at $577K.  

Tip of the hat to Rich Gribbon, the other agent in the deal. As it happens, one of my friends and advisers was also a childhood friend of the seller. Knowing all parties involved and having experienced Realtors handle the negotiations smoothed the entire process, with trust, clear communication and professionalism. We look forward to working with Rich again. 


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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: Marco Secchi
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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.