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Old 02-27-2016, 06:27 AM
958 posts, read 791,014 times
Reputation: 1795


Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
No, he can get all that and an acre for under $600k. The listing I provided is just one of many that are in his ballpark.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm not a realtor nor am I in any of the businesses that are in any way associated with real estate, development, banking, etc.
Yeah not sure why sunspirit wrote a book based on erroneous notions of what the OP meant by "high end", but I would think you could get a very nice house in cos if you're paying 400k over the median! Jeez...
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:35 AM
5,304 posts, read 2,752,250 times
Reputation: 9808
Originally Posted by CT_trackstar View Post
Hi guys, appreciate the banter! I think my idea of "high end" is somewhere less than sunprit's, but somewhere substantially north of builder grade/tract home quality. A nice Wolf 6 burner and a built in commercial fridge, solid surface counters, upgraded trim, but not necessarily custom. Sorry for not being clear and don't let that distract you!
I think you underestimate how high the COL near Denver has gotten, for the type of location and lot size plus communitity amenities you listed as required. Don't be blinded by Seattle's high COL to the point you think going elsewhere else gets you a windfall.

It almost sounds like you and/or your wife do not want to move unless you get something that perfectly meets all your wish list items. Remember that a home town consists of more than amenities and space.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:49 PM
11,256 posts, read 43,174,512 times
Reputation: 14904
Originally Posted by boulder2015 View Post
Yeah not sure why sunspirit wrote a book based on erroneous notions of what the OP meant by "high end", but I would think you could get a very nice house in cos if you're paying 400k over the median! Jeez...
READ what the OP posted about my "notions" of what they meant by "high end". My standards may have been a little over what they envisioned, but they weren't too far over their expectations.

Please note that their request was for "some direction" with "high end finishes" ... and they had a list to include view, school district, and acreage site. Can I find "very nice" housing meeting their requirements along the Front Range of Colorado for less money than their specified budget? Of course I can ... and so can you. But there's a difference .... and my "book" was responding to the OP's expectations ... not yours ....

The levels and expectations of a lot of folk from other areas of the country where "high end" has some very specific guidelines beyond even "semi-custom" is apparently quite different from what you THINK is a "very nice house". In that regard, I am familiar with what the Seattle area marketplace considers "high end finishes".

Many people make the mistake of confusing a big house with "high end finishes". While it's more typical to see larger houses have "high end finishes", I've also seen a number of houses that were only 1,400 sq ft with remarkably high cost interior finishing details. When you start getting into the realm of $25-40 psf flooring costs (which is almost entry-level "high end", I've seen houses with $100 psf flooring costs), $100,000 lighting budgets, genuinely high end kitchen appliances, solid hardwood cabinets and doors, high end plumbing fixtures, low-E high efficiency glass, high dollar window treatments, extensive built-in storage and closet organizers, and state of the art efficient HVAC systems, fancy decorative high performance durable roofing systems ... all this stuff adds up per psf for a far more expensive "high end finishes" house.

Even MikefromBackEast pointed out that his very nice $350K CoSprings house had $200K in "upgrades" ... little of which sounded like it was "high end finishes" although doubtless nice upgrades from the builder's standard level of completion. A bit higher level of equipment in the kitchen, a "bay window" on his Master Bedroom ... these are nice touches.

But as one may find out ... there's still varying levels of degree of finish and amenities; for example, there's a big difference in cost between a $3,000 6-burner range and a more featured one at $10,000. Add in a salamander, more built-in's (such as warming drawers, wine coolers, slide-out cabinet drawers, "lazy susan" spice racks), larger refrigerators, more freezer space, additional ovens ... especially commercial quality convection ovens and radiant broilers ... and the kitchen costs (and performance) can soar. And that's just a kitchen space. Add a full featured wet bar and there's another area that can soak up lots of bucks. And so it goes ...

As pikabike observes above: " Don't be blinded by Seattle's high COL to the point you think going elsewhere else gets you a windfall."

PS: my first contact with truly "high end finishes" housing was as a lad when I was invited over to a new playmate's house down the street from our new place ... we were in Jr HS at the time. I was awe'd by the totally different living environment that presented compared to what I was used to living in. I was walking around the perimeters of their big area rugs on the floors, afraid to walk on them until his Dad told me it was OK. All I knew was that they had to be "something special", they were colorful, unique, soft to the foot (we were required to take our shoes off at the entryway) ... turned out, they were. Genuine antique Chimayo rugs, hand woven ... and very expensive museum quality collectables back then on the floors, not wall hangings. The built-ins, the commercial kitchen (they were big entertainers, used to bring in pro chefs to cook for their garden parties) and interior lighting details were awesome. The furnishings were a world apart from what I'd ever known ... mostly antique Chippendale, not repro's, the real stuff. The piano in the living room was a Grotrian Clara model, clearly a work of art beyond even a Steinway and with a wonderful sound (my friend's mom was a talented player for her personal enjoyment, but they also had a recording studio set-up so she could review her playing performances or play back studio quality records of the day); they'd paid attention to the acoustics of the space as much as the visual aspects of the room.

We moved on two years later and I lost touch with my friend. But I found out some years ago that his Dad was a noted student of FLW and the house was his personal showpiece, written up many times since in digests and journals. It's still a small world ... I had a phone call from another friend who recently bought the house next door, designed by that man ... from my former childhood neighbor. The house is still a work of art although reportedly needed some refinishing even though it had been updated a few times over the decades.

In my college years ... my social circle included a number of folk who lived in Mandeville Canyon ... Cliff May's Ranch Estates. Won't bore you with the details, but this was truly "high end" architecture and finish details worthy of architectural digest level houses in the 1950's-60's. And ... years later ... helping out on the details of houses in Aspen's exploding high end marketplace starting in the late 1970's when I had my first opportunities for lighting consultant work. I'm not an innovator/designer ... but I'd seen some interesting work done by others in the years prior and my perspective and suggestions were appreciated by the folk I was working for in Aspen. It all kinda' came back to my advantage years later when I got a chance to be a rep in the lighting biz with a couple of high end manufacturers.

No, I don't live in such high end housing, nor do I care to even though I've had the opportunity to do so in my life. A matter of priorities ... but I can step into the world of folk who want those "high end finishes" and accommodate their wish lists. I've had numerous opportunities through the years to work with architects, specifiers, designers and builders who have catered to this market segment and sometimes I've had the answers to what folk were seeking for their houses. The Front Range of Colorado has long had a sector who demanded this level of housing and it's been my pleasure to be of service from time to time over the decades.

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-27-2016 at 04:15 PM..
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