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Old 11-20-2007, 09:47 PM
 
Location: The airport
9 posts, read 18,765 times
Reputation: 10

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I've been thinking about relocating to Denver from the east coast. I travel extensively for work and because I will be away so much, I'm thinking of purchasing a property which I can rent/sublet to cover some costs.

The Wash Park/DU/ Platt Park areas are nice and there is high value in being walking distance to the parks and light rail, but I find the cost/square foot to be very high. (duh) Cap Hill/Cheesman/Congress Park seem to be areas with a high percentage of renters so they are also on the radar.

A colleague who used to live in Parker says that's where the deals (foreclosures) and the most upside potential is. I would argue that if/when the housing market takes a turn for the better, the sprawl will continue and it will be more difficult to rent/sell in the 'burbs than a popular city neighborhood.

Also, unless someone tells me otherwise, a single family home is the way to go. It appears the taxes are lower and there are typically no $300/mo. HOA fees.

Requirements:
Decent/safe neighborhood
At least 2 bedrooms and 2 baths
Easy access to downtown
Easy access to DIA
Easy to rent/sublet (or sell if needed - resale is also important to me)
SFH preferred, but would consider a condo if it was a deal and the HOA wasn't too bad.

For 200-300k where in Denver could/would you buy and why?
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:30 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,739,675 times
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For 200k-300k, it's somewhat slim pickings in the gentrified city neighborhoods, but it is doable. You'll probably have to settle for a smallish place, though (less than 2000sf) Baker, parts of North Denver (Highlands/Berkley, Sunnyside), Congress Park, Montview/Montclair are good places to start. You actually won't find many foreclosures in the city-center neighborhoods -- they tend to be snapped up before they ever get to foreclosure. You'll find more short sales.

Up and coming neighborhoods like Whittier, City Park are still a bit on the sketchy side, but improving and you'll get more for your money there.

Personally, I'd not buy anything in southwest Denver (south of Colfax, west of the S. Platte River), or NE Denver (anything north of MLK Blvd), at least not until you're way into the 'burbs. Those areas are cheap but not really showing any real signs of gentrification, plus lots of problems there. The Subprime crisis has also been harsh to these lower income areas, Plus, you can't get any decent rent in those areas.

Denver also has some of its own 50s-60s "suburbs" within city limits, especially southeast Denver. Those areas SE of DU are really popular areas right now (Univ Hills, Southmoor), particularly those close to I-25. The appreciation rate is high there, but they are still cheaper than the historic city neighborhoods.

I also think that you might find some bargains in the older, close-in suburban areas: think "old" Arvada, "old" Wheat Ridge, or Edgewater on the northwest side, or "old" Englewood on the south side. If the place is walking distance, to say, DU area or Highlands, then it becomes a bit more desirable for renters than just your run-of-the-mill suburban rental. Old suburban areas are hard to sell unless they are close to something desirable, though.

Suburban areas like Highlands Ranch or Littleton are not bad choices, either, if you can find a "deal". You can get decent rent there from relocating families with money to spend on rent, and HR in particular gets pretty good publicity so lots of people seek it out specifically. Of course, the relocaters won't ever stay longer than about a year, but they're probably good tenants. Resale holds up okay in HR because it's mostly built out -- you don't want to invest in a suburban area that's still building out -- it makes it really hard to sell the place in a buyers' market.
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Old 11-21-2007, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Castle Rock, CO
260 posts, read 1,330,204 times
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From an investment standpoint, I would invest in one of the 250-300k condos at one of new new transit-oriented developments along the new light rail line. There is a building going up at the Lincoln (&I-25) station and its says prices starting at 200k. Those properties will go up in value much faster than other areas. Probably not ideal for a family.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:13 AM
 
3 posts, read 11,103 times
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Thumbs up Check out Stapleton

Stapleton

It is a great mix of suburban & urban living, love the community and the neighborhood, very close to Downtown Denver.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:23 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,882 posts, read 29,307,638 times
Reputation: 7085
I'd look into something near an employment center. Tech Center, Downtown, DIA.

I have had great success in the short term rentals in new home communities. People who have sold their homes, want to live in the neighborhood where they are building a house, they move out on time, they take care of the house, they often pay cash upfront for the rent, they builder helps add appreciation...you put in blinds and landscaping.
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Old 11-21-2007, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Denver
274 posts, read 1,361,959 times
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I think everyone has given some good advice here... I would just add to look into areas that are near one of the future rail lines. The D line that goes through 5 points and Whittier is supposed to be extended to meet the future DIA line i think (have not investigated it thouroughly b/c i have no money to invest). I think due to the proximity of downtown and some of the nice old housing stock that that would be a good area to look at. Again especially, if there is something within walking distance to an existing or future rail line.
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Old 11-21-2007, 12:21 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,510,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.adams View Post
From an investment standpoint, I would invest in one of the 250-300k condos at one of new new transit-oriented developments along the new light rail line. There is a building going up at the Lincoln (&I-25) station and its says prices starting at 200k. Those properties will go up in value much faster than other areas. Probably not ideal for a family.
I think this is a good suggestion. I would try to buy into in pre-existing housing before the line rail station arrives. Once, the station is there and the developers put up new housing, prices will rise and established homes will rise in price. If you are already near to this transit oriented development (TOD), you can take advantage of the appreciation for your property.

A better investment would be older small houses, near the new commuter lines. Many of these homes, exist in developments that do not have any home owners fees and will rise in appreciation if they are within walking distance to the new stations.

The west line to Lakewood will be the first built. It runs through many older established neighborhoods that will see good appreciations. The Gold Line, through Arvada, will have stations near established neighborhoods. The current Southeast line and wht Southwest has some station that are right in the middle of nice good safe established neighborhoods. These lines go out to the newer suburbs, those with no established close-in housing. In these areas developers put up high priced condo developments which will see appreciation but maybe not as a dramatic appreciation as in the older neighborhoods, if you can get a value.

Another thought. I have attended numerous planning sessions for the Fastracks. I have heard and seen the development proposals at many of these meeting that the municipalities want to change the zoning in these old neighborhoods near the stations so that multiple unit dwellings can be built on the property that were previously zoned for single family homes. So your single family home investment in these older neighborhoods will be appealing to future developers who want to buy and built multiple dwellings. Or you can convert many of these homes into multiple rentals. Keep in mind that many of these older home developments have larger lots than newer developments.


Livecontent
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: The airport
9 posts, read 18,765 times
Reputation: 10
Excellent insight and advice... Thank you!

I spend a few days with a friend who lives in the University neighborhood within easy walking distance to DU, the light rail and Wash park. I loved the area and convenience, but the properties leave a bit to be desired in terms of size/cost. I think they paid in the upper 200's for a 700-800 sqft. 2br 1ba that was only modestly updated.

Like they say... location location, location. With that, I really think walking distance to the light rail is where it's at. Does any one have any further info on the I25 and Broadway area and/or the Gates project or other recommended areas?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-24-2007, 12:49 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,510,199 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oppa View Post
i have to disagree with walking dist to light rail as only qualification for good investment. other great area is lowry,cherry creek , bonnie brea, stapleton, and university hills. remember these ares are very pricey for SFH
Very good Point. I agree there are other areas that are great investments for other reasons and some are near to mass transit.

The areas that you mentioned are all in areas of excellent mass transit, that is buses, and people who appreciate that amenity with other attractions adds to the investment value. A Transit Oriented Community (TOD) does not necessarily mean commuter rail, it can be buses. Stapleton, Lowry, are good example of that type of planned community. Bonnie Brea, University Hills are beautiful, well established neighborhoods that are close to good bus transit and the buses can be easily taken to the closed rail station; Bonnie Brea is up from the University Station; University Hills is near the University Station to the North or the Southmoor to the South, with feeder bus routes.

Perception has much to do with property appreciate and value. If people believe that the living within walkable distance of a commuter rail station is a value, then it becomes a better value; even though some bus transit connection points are better mass commuter values.

I use the the transit system frequently. Cherry Creek is outstanding to live as it has many buses and has a limited bus, the 3L, that goes quickly to downtown, and has frequent buses that go along 1st., University, Colorado etc. In addition there are limited buses that connect quickly to the Colorado Rail Station.

There are many metro areas, that are well served by multiple buses that are, and will be better locations to live for "A carfree Livestyle" than near a commuter rail station. Also, the built out of the commuter rail stations will have an expansion of feeder bus routes and "call and rides" to the stations. So, the stations do serve a very wide area beyond a walkable distance.

A Note: I use the term commuter rail because the term "light rail" has caused many problems in explaining commuter lines to the public. The current system is light rail but most of the expansion, under fastracks, will be heavy commuter rail and I think the public has to get used to describing it as such, so they may understand the full differences and benefits.

Livecontent
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:41 PM
 
16 posts, read 70,512 times
Reputation: 16
I would not invest in denver. I live here, but buying just for investment, not so good. As I understand, DEnver has always been the upcoming city" but never lived up to the name. Want to invest, go to Cali. Just my opinion. Plus, it sucks when people who don't love here just invest and have no concern for the community.
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