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Old 11-26-2012, 10:57 AM
 
25 posts, read 117,924 times
Reputation: 45

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Colorado real estate prices - sticker shock!



What is up with the real estate prices in Colorado? My goodness!
My family and I (Wife and 3 kiddies) are looking to move to Colorado in May 2014… I know, I know it’s a long time from now, but here’s my deal.

For the past 4years we have been visiting and spending our yearly family vacations there. We love it! We absolutely, love it, but cannot believe the outrageous real estate prices. Heck, I have looked as far south as Highlands Ranch, as far north as Northglenn and everything in between. Judging from the evidence I've gathered, it looks like the Colorado housing market never experienced a housing crisis. I just don’t understand why it’s so darn expensive to live there. Yes, I know the mountains, but honestly, after researching some of the real estate prices, most homes don’t even have mountain views. You’re literally littered with back yards as your view. I don’t get this.

I’m not saying there are not any homes with mountain views, but it’s very expensive if you even see a peak of a mountain from your home.

During our vacations we have always stayed in the Lakewood area. This area is somewhat decent from what I have read on the boards. I cannot comment since I have never lived there but only visited. I think to make a proper assessment of an area; you need to spend quite some time there first, prior to making a call. Lakewood is very expensive. Yes, I know foothills… But some of the homes are just outright ridiculous. I’m not rich, we’re looking at something around the $175,000 - $250,000 range.. Well, let me just tell you. Even at $250,000 you’re not going to find a decent home. I have looked all over, Arvada, Westminster, Lakewood, Aurora etc… you name it… Nothing comes close to a decent home with curb appeal. What is up with the market over there?

Colorado, I love you! I absolutely love you, but just don’t understand why it’s so darn expensive to live there.

Finally, I have been trying to convince the wife about Utah. We have some family there. Every summer during our yearly vacation to Colorado, we usually swing on up to Utah to see them. West Haven specifically. Let me tell you what $175,000 buys you there. A nice 4bedroom house with 3+baths…And guess what? Mountain Views! Big ones too!.... Not trying to offend Colorado folks here with this line, believe me, I love the state. But I don’t think that as a working professional, I will have a chance at owning a nice home with some type of mountain views… Unless I want to forever debt myself into a real-estate market that could come crashing down at anytime.

If anyone can recommend an area in Colorado that is affordable that would be great. I would like to search online and see what types of homes are affordable in this area.

Thank you!
About me: Longtime Lurker, random - seldom poster... Love the site!
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,394 posts, read 4,292,886 times
Reputation: 7531
You can easily get something nice here for 250k, maybe not in Cherry Creek though..

Real estate prices are also based on demand, Colorado is very desirable and people want to live here. You can buy a 4 bedroom house for <100k in Boonville, Missouri where my brother lives. Why? Nobody wants to live there.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Colorado
11,544 posts, read 7,153,035 times
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I like to call my area (Security-Widefield, south of Colorado Springs, and nearby Fountain) a bit of a "well kept secret." Although some streets do not impress, and they happen to be some of the more heavily traveled ones maybe, there are places that are super nice, and because the trendy parts of Colorado Springs are all north and west, the cost for housing is somewhat lower. You can build a brand new house, a nice one with mountain views, for $260-270K. I just bought an immaculate 5BR with a hot tub and pool table included, but mountain views from windows--though it's pretty from the back deck--for $239,500. One thing about all the homes I've seen though, if they have more than 3 bedrooms, the extras will be in the finished basement. Whether you'd want to use those as bedrooms will depend on the house...in ours, it's not a problem.

Generally you will find that Colorado is more expensive than most of the heartland and the south, but less expensive than either coast, especially CA. In fact I've talked to many former CA residents who really got a sense of relief from the severely high housing costs when they came here. It's all relative.
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:50 PM
 
Location: OH>IL>CO>CT
5,170 posts, read 8,274,428 times
Reputation: 7070
Location, Location, Location ! Its unfair to compare Lakewood to West Haven, UT. Lakewood is right next to Denver, W.H. is 40 miles north of SLC. You can find 4/3 homes for $175K or less 40 miles out from Denver, but you're in Johnstown, or Strasburg, etc.

Try this search tool COhomefinder | Colorado - Browse Real Estate Listings and Homes for Sale in Colorado
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Old 11-26-2012, 03:16 PM
 
825 posts, read 1,599,229 times
Reputation: 1239
Denver, Durango, Boulder, and of course the ski areas have sharply higher real estate prices than the rest of the state. If you do not need to live in the big city, take a look at Ft. Collins, Longmont, Castle Rock, even the Colorado Springs area. For even more house for the dollar go on down to Pueblo or even Trinidad. These areas have real estate prices that would compare (more or less) with Dallas, Kansas City, Omaha, Des Moines, etc.

One difference, though: lot sizes are uniformly smaller than in the midwest - even in small towns.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,818,309 times
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Snikt wrote: Real estate prices are also based on demand, Colorado is very desirable and people want to live here. You can buy a 4 bedroom house for <100k in Boonville, Missouri where my brother lives. Why? Nobody wants to live there.

DITTO!
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Downtown Co Sps
666 posts, read 1,034,148 times
Reputation: 1019
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snikt View Post
You can buy a 4 bedroom house for <100k in Boonville, Missouri where my brother lives. Why? Nobody wants to live there.
I laughed. The only good thing about taking exit 101 in Boonville is heading south to the lake.
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,767 posts, read 4,608,047 times
Reputation: 4880
Hey if the houses are that much more in your price range and to your liking, then by all means enjoy Northern Utah, I hear the weather there is nice this time of year.
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:36 PM
 
8,929 posts, read 8,014,536 times
Reputation: 19406
Home prices along the front range are higher than many areas of the U.S. Reasons: Cost of land. Engineering requirements for subdivisions. Cost of utilities. Cost of permits and fees. You would be surprised how much the permits and fees add to the price of a home. Cost to bring building materials to Colorado front range from considerable distances. Building costs. Example it is much cheaper to build in a temperate climate, than to build to the standards needed along the front range of Colorado. When it is all added up, a builder has to make a profit. If existing homes get above new home costs, then the existing homes do not sell. On the other hand, existing homes are going to be priced based on the cost in the area to build new homes. New homes are going to compete with one another, so no builder is going to price themselves out of the market.

The prices you say you re seeing along the front range, are really quite reasonable. You are not going to find a home in a decent area at the price you would like to pay in the area you are looking for the type of home you want. I bought my fist home in Colorado in 1970 for $22,750. Today that 40+ year old home, is worth about $245,000. Excellent area of town. Similar quality homes in neighborhood. Typical curb appeal. You say you want a home with lots of curb appeal. For that you are going to have to go up in the price you are willing to pay.

I was a Colorado commercial real estate broker for a long, long time, and have developed and built homes so I am aware of the reasons that homes are priced as they are in Colorado.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:07 AM
 
16,438 posts, read 19,058,072 times
Reputation: 9512
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post

I was a Colorado commercial real estate broker for a long, long time, and have developed and built homes so I am aware of the reasons that homes are priced as they are in Colorado.
Of the builders still in business in COS today, which would you use to build a house?
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