Based on my experience being a Realtor in Colorado since 2002 here are the major real estate issues you need to be aware of when moving here.
1. Expansive Soils: Colorado has a lot of bentonite clay in the soil. What does this mean? It primarily affects concrete in a home. The foundation, the garage, the driveway, the walk-way to the house and the sidewalks. The soil will expand and contract which causes heaving and cracking in all of these areas. You need to be aware of this.
2. Open land does not equal “Open Space.” Open Space is an official term which means the land is owned by any or multiple of these entities–City, County, Township and HOA. There might be other entities but you need to understand just because the land is open and not developed does not mean it’s designated Open Space. Open land can be developed so the nice view you thought you had could turn into another housing development or retail center.
3. Fracking sites and oil companies drilling close to residential areas. This has become a hot issue in Colorado recently since many oil companies are fracking (a form of drilling for oil) so close to neighborhoods and schools. Uncapped oil wells are also an issue–a fatal home explosion occurred in Frederick earlier this year where two people in the home were killed by the explosion.
4. New Housing Developments–there a lot issues here you need to be aware of.
How close are the new housing developments to environmental hazards such as nuclear sites, active landfills, or oil wells? (location, location, location!!)
Are the new housing developments built in a flood zone? (Yes, this happens)
What is the water drainage like in the housing development? Are there issues? (Yes, this happens. I know of one new housing community which has major water drainage issues)
Appraisal Gap–Builders expect Buyers to make up the difference in the appraisal gap by bringing additional cash to the closing. Depending on the price of the home this could be substantial–up to $50,000 to $100,000. Make sure to protect yourself.
5. Radon Gas–from the basement. This can be addressed by purchasing a radon mitigation system for a cost of around $800 to $1,500.
6. Forest fires. If you buy a home in the mountains or in the foothills be aware of the potential for forest fires. You will also need to make sure you will be able to acquire full home insurance coverage in these areas.
7. Flooding and flood zone. In September, 2013 a lot of Colorado had major flooding. Was the home you’re considering affected? Was the flood damage remediated?
8. Meth Houses and Marijuana Grow Houses—this is a serious issue and you’d be surprised to find higher priced homes are affected.
9. Open Enrollment for Public Schools. A lot of people say you can get into any school through open enrollment. This is not true because some schools student enrollment are capped and they will not allow any more students to enroll through open enrollment. This is an emotional issue–believe me, I know, we’ve been through this a few times with our daughters.
What is the best way to protect yourself to make sure your home and choice of neighborhood is not affected by one of these issues? Hire a professional Realtor to be your Buyer’s Agent.
Especially when buying new construction, builders say you don’t need a Realtor to represent you but you do, yes, you do. I have seen too many unfortunate situations where Builders have either misrepresented their product or provided such poor quality in the home and finish that could have been prevented if the Buyer had been represented by a Realtor (Buyer’s Agent).
Why take a chance on your home and your financial nest egg? If you’re moving to Colorado, hire Mario Jannatpour to be your Buyer’s Agent.
We went to Crested Butte for Labor Day weekend. It’s a beautiful place to visit in the summer. We did some great hikes, ate some good food and our kids got to swim in the hotel swimming pool. Ha! We stayed at the Grand Lodge and it was nice.
One negative it is a long-trip for a 3/4 day weekend. Door-to-door it’s a 5 hour drive–mainly because of traffic and most of the trip is on single lane highways.
If you’re moving to the Boulder/Louisville/Lafayette/Superior/Niwot/Erie area and you need a Realtor who specializes in helping Relocation Buyers I can help you.
This is my opinion—-
I’ve noticed this year a number of homes in Louisville have gone on the market well over $1M but not many of them are selling at that price. A lot of Sellers have been pushing the envelope listing their home in the $1.2M to $1.5M range in Louisville, Colorado. Since January 1st of this year only one resale home in Louisville has sold for over $1M and it was just barely at $1,013,824. (The newly built houses on Hutchinson Street were all listed below $1M but some of them did sell over $1M once all updates and finishes were chosen.)
I am predicting a slow down in the Louisville Colorado real estate market next year. A few factors–election year with candidates that make everyone nervous–builders are building like crazy so supply is going to catch up with demand–and we’re going to start seeing a lot of people moving out of Louisville and buying new construction in Lafayette/Erie areas so this will increase the resale supply in Louisville.
Louisville has reached its peak. It’s still going to remain a good investment but no one is going to pay over $1M for older homes which are not updated. Better options in Boulder/Niwot/Erie at those prices. Two years ago I helped a Buyer buy a newly built home in Old Town Louisville for $1.1M. I don’t see many homes like that on the market this year in Louisville.
If you have any thoughts feel free to contact me to share your opinion.
It was reported this week by the Denver Post that IKEA is going to build a 2nd store in Colorado.
The first store is located in South Denver close to the Park Meadows Mall off of I-25.
The new store is going to be located at the NW corner of I-25 and HWY 7. Highway 7 turns into Baseline Road in Lafayette as you head west towards Boulder. The new IKEA store will be a 25-30 minute drive from Boulder—20 minutes from Louisville and Lafayette.
I took a few pics yesterday of where the new IKEA is going to built.
Quarter 2 Statistics this year, 2016, the average price of a home in the City of Louisville, Colorado was $666,399 based on the sale of 58 residential homes sold.
For the year, 2015, the average sales price of a home in the City of Louisville was $520,000.
In 2014, the average sales price of a home in the City of Louisville was $511,000.
Source information–IRES MLS.
As you can see the home values in the City of Louisville have spiked up considerably this year, 2016.
I have lived in Louisville since 1996 and before that I lived in Boulder for nineteen years.
Here are the reason why and how I came to live in Louisville:
1. Much better value for buying a house in Louisville compared to Boulder when I bought my home and that still applies today. Decent sized homes in Louisville, Colorado start in the $500,000 to $600,000 range. Whereas Boulder you have to start in the high $800s at a minimum and most likely end up around $1,000,000 plus or minus.
2. Less traffic in Louisville. Small city and very easy to get around. Anywhere I have to take my daughters for their activities it’s a ten minute drive. This is great.
3. Small community, population of 19,000. Being here as long as I have I know so many people. Very cool.
4. Excellent public schools. My two daughters go to Monarch K8.
5. Quaint downtown area. Great public library with an awesome Children’s section. In the summer we make it to Sweet Cow at least once a week, best place for ice cream. Lots of great activities in downtown during summer–Farmers Market and the Street Faire with live music on Friday evenings.
6. Louisville is not Boulder yet we’re just 10 minutes away so we can enjoy a lot of what Boulder has to offer—Chautauqua, Pearl Street Mall, Sanitas Trail and lots of nice restaurants.
7. Only a 30 minute drive to Denver (when there’s no traffic.)
8. Real estate values have continually increased since I bought my first house in 1996. A safe place to invest as a homeowner.
One caveat is the biggest issue with buying a home in Louisville is the inventory is extremely limited because once people move here they don’t move. I’m serious. 🙂 I believe this will be relieved a little bit in 2017 when we shall see more new home construction east of Louisville in Lafayette, Erie, Broomfield and Westminster.
Today I took my daughters to Water World for the first time–they are 13 and 10. My youngest is now taller than 48″ so she can do all the rides. It was a full day of fun in the water.
They have a wave pool (see video below) and many water rides–easy ones, regular ones and very challenging rides. They have one slide which almost goes straight down and it’s very high. My oldest daughter did it and I couldn’t believe it. I did not attempt it–chickened out.
Water World is located in North Denver at 88th and Pecos. A twenty minute drive from Boulder when there is no traffic.