Business Update, Weekend Reading, and More [Dumb Dolphin Edition]

Note: the following is the introduction to the latest Fresh Listings, House Einstein's weekly newsletter on the most interesting new listings and notable sales to hit the market. Sign up and access the archive 

What's New at House Einstein?

We’ve had a solid week. Most listings are now under contract, and most of our buyers have closed. As the year ends, we’re taking steps to hit the ground running when the market picks up in the spring. 

Along those lines, we’re looking to hire a new team member. Yes, House Einstein is hiring. This person’s role will be 70% dedicated toward supporting the Realtors on the team and 30% dedicated toward marketing activity for new business development. This is in line with our principle that clients and the team here at House Einstein come first. Content developed for social media is not, and never will be, our top priority. 

What's Happening in Real Estate?

On the national front, internet-based mortgage lender became a case-study in poor leadership. We’ve had past dealings with this company that highlight why they’re not the optimal answer for bidding wars. Here’s why

Our advice: For refinance, where performance is not a factor, mortgages are commodity products. Choose an established lender with the best rate and lowest fees you can find, but be prepared for some frustration when it comes to servicing in the future. When writing offers and purchasing a home, local lenders crush the market. They have reputation risk and skin in the game. They will also go the extra mile to assure sellers of your credit quality and the performance of their institutions to fund loans on time. This can make a huge difference in bidding wars. 

As a side note, we’ve seen a few Boulder Realtors cajoling their clients to list their properties now, before the New Year. The data is clear. Historically, listings that enter the market in the late fourth quarter do not perform as well as those in the first quarter. Why would you list in what is normally bargain season? This is in the interest of the listing agent but likely not in your best interest as the seller. 

Weekend Reading

1. CU selected Aspen Skiing to build and operate its new hotel and conference center at Grandview and Broadway. The reaction on social media says this was a surprise to those not paying attention to development in Boulder, but for the rest of us, this is really not news. Nor is it news that CU won’t be subject to the City of Boulder’s height limits or other regulations. This is my biggest concern. The drawings show a six story building, which will dominate the visual landscape in this location. It will also substantially increase traffic on Broadway, which routinely bogs down at rush-hour now. 

2. Work continues on the damage caused by mudslides in Glenwood Canyon. The final cost will likely exceed $100M, especially if improvements are made on Cottonwood pass. This article from the Colorado Sun does a great job of explaining who is paying for the repairs and the interests of stakeholders involved in the project. It’s one piece of a larger puzzle when it comes to infrastructure in Colorado. We’re anxiously waiting and cautiously optimistic for clear news about how the new federal infrastructure spending will be utilized locally. 

3. Since the bidding wars began more than a decade ago, there has been a shadow market, or what one of my well-known Realtor colleagues likes to call “insider trading.”  What she is referring to are private, off-MLS deals. These deals remain a small fraction of the total market, but they’re out there, and Realtors often like to pretend they have an inside scoop. Scarcity, after all, is seductive. Some unscrupulous Realtors also relentlessly hound homeowners with trumped up and usually phony buyers, all in an attempt to secure the listing. 

As a buyer or seller, should you consider a private sale or purchase? In our experience, money is often left on the table when the full market is not offered an opportunity.  Buyers and sellers should be careful going into this sort of arrangement without a thorough analysis of relevant recent sales and deep knowledge about market conditions. For sellers, there's also added risk of a fair housing lawsuit. If you’re looking for a well-written overview of those pros and cons, read Is a Secret Sale the Best Way to Sell Your Home?

4. Expect even more student housing. CU has a mandate to continue to expand, and over the decades, this growth has been relentless. As one new hotel is built, another one is being turned into a new student housing development. What may shock you is the sale price of that parcel plus derelict hotel

Osman Parvez  is the Founder and Employing Broker of House Einstein. Originally from the Finger Lakes region of New York, he lives in Boulder with his wife and their Labrador Retriever. He has been a Realtor since 2005.

Osman is the primary author of the House Einstein blog with over 1,200 published articles about Boulder real estate. His work has also appeared in many other blogs about Boulder as well as mainstream newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and Daily Camera. For more information, click HERE.

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Thinking about buying or selling and want professional advice?  Call us at 303.746.6896. Your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties. House Einstein strongly recommends conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate.  

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.