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Old 02-11-2018, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,181 posts, read 5,614,496 times
Reputation: 2073

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I know you're pretty set on staying in Denver, but have you thought about Old Town Arvada? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and offers a small, walkable downtown that you could potentially live near. Also a train station if the G Line ever opens (it will; it has just been horribly delayed). When I moved to Denver ~11 years ago, I remember Old Town Arvada being mostly vacant storefronts.

Same for Golden. I actually don't like downtown Golden as much as other places, but the neighborhoods near it are walkable.

You would have to compromise, obviously, on being close to downtown Denver, but you might be surprised by some of these other walkable areas.

I don't think you should compromise per se, but if you haven't seen these areas, they might be worth a look.
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:43 PM
 
43 posts, read 42,761 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
You may want to change agents. The in thing now when pricing a home is to under price it and draw 12+ offers in the first week. If you go for over priced homes or right priced homes you will have more of a chance. If you are going for a bargain then you will likely have competition and lose to all cash buyers, more desperate buyers or simply with those whose agents are better at playing the game.

I know this isn't what you want to hear but if you want a different outcome you are going to have to change your strategy.

Any way you play right now you are likely to think you over paid. But only the future will tell if that is true. The important thing is to buy a house that you will like living in for a payment you can afford.

When I moved here in 1990s I lost out on 2 homes. 1st contract fell after inspection. I loved that house and will always regret not buying it. I should have not asked for all the inspection items to get fixed. But there was a very big problem with the bathroom floor. It was basically soft and likely had extensive damage underneath. I don't know if they found someone to accept it or if they fixed it. They basically told me to pound sand because they felt they had priced it right for the condition. And they probably had but I was a first time home buyer and didn't want a big unknown expense on my hands.

2nd offer not accepted but I think I went in too low. I did not love that house that much so don't regret not getting it.

My third offer, that I remember, was accepted. The house was a great floor plan in a good neighborhood but in terrible 1973 original condition. Nothing had been done to it in 20 years. I went in low and really should have gone in lower but if I had I probably wouldn't have gotten it. I think my offer was right around the original selling price in 1973. The market had appreciated quite a bit through the 70s but then fell like a stone in the 80s. In the early 90s it was just getting back to early 70s pricing for homes like this that were not improved.

I may have put in offers on a couple of others that I didn't get but don't remember. My agent was frustrated with me because she was tired of making offers so I had to drop her and find another who I eventually bought with.

When we bought this home in early 2000s we lost out on our first choice. Offered $570K on $575K house and they selected another offer. They came back to us after the offer they accepted fell upon inspection but we were already under contract on our second choice. Never liked this house as much as the one we first offered on. So have always regretted not getting that house. But they wanted to keep the mineral rights and we were adamant that they convey with the house because we did not want someone building a gas well on the property. They offered to include them if we went $30K over asking and we declined.

So it isn't like everyone has always sailed right through to their first choice home in Denver metro, whether it was the last 90s, early 2000s or now. After the market fell in the 1980s and the area was in a terrible depression no one put any work or fix ups into their homes so the the inventory was generally in terrible condition. When you look at the cheap prices of the past you have to remember that. Nowadays there are alot more fixed up homes which means premium pricing.
You are right about people underpricing their home to draw offers. It certainly creates this frenzy among buyers.
Thank you for telling me your story; it certainly helps!
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:49 PM
 
43 posts, read 42,761 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xanathos View Post
I spent 8 seconds digging, and found another post implying you were looking at Centennial, Littleton, etc. and working in Lakewood. This most recent one implies you're now exclusively looking at Denver proper, and very confined spaces within Denver proper because you want "all the things" (top notch schools, walkability, closeness to downtown, house with tons of character, lots of space, so on and so forth). I mean, I don't know the area, but where I used to live (Seattle) or where I presently live (LA), if you start restricting yourself by that many variables, you're just setting yourself up for failure.

If you're willing to expand your search a little, there were 2 really nice houses that we considered but passed on that meet most of your desires.

The first one is in Arvada: https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...omePageTab=buy

Whomever had that house built was a baller and had a lot of attention to detail. Some of the design concepts are outdated today (more gold than there should be), but if someone were to sink 50 grand into re-customizing some aspects of it, it'd be a real stunner of a house again. There was a lot to like about it - marble floors, custom treatments and fixtures (hell, custom everything), absolutely stunning views from the balconies and living room. If I remember right, there was even a sauna built into it. Has a ton of character. We passed on it predominately because we won't be living in the house, and therefore wouldn't be the ones to drag some of its more dated design concepts back to present.

Then there was this little number in Westminster:

https://www.zillow.com/homes/4016-W-...,-CO-80031_rb/

It checks off most of your wishlist except for cookie cutterdom. It backs onto a golf course, so of course it's a 100% planned development with all that brings. The finished basement was, by far, the best one we saw our entire shopping trip. House had great flow, location was quiet, and it'd be dead simple to get you to Lakewood from there. They have the place listed at 740, but I know for a fact they'll take 7 even because it's presently empty and they need to get out from under it. Ultimately, the only reason we passed on it was because we decided to place emphasis on the Cherry Creek school district vs. the Adams district since if we ever do relocate there, we're going to want to send our kid to the Challenge School.

I don't know - felt to us like we had all the time in the world at our price point. There was only one house we were seriously considering that got snatched from under us after viewing but before we could make a decision (a custom built deal up on a hill in Arvada with a pool and just the most stunning view of downtown from the deck you could possibly imagine), but we felt there was an abundance of options/riches, so didn't really care much.

As to whether either or any of them are in "progressive communities" or not, I couldn't tell you. We don't know the metro area, and given that we prefer communities where that sort of thing just isn't talked about and everybody does their own thing and gets along (and how we just last year escaped a city that does nothing BUT talk about that or virtue signal how progressive they are and assaults you if you don't loudly march lockstep with them on every issue), it would have been something of a negative to us. The "purple" live-and-let-live vibe we got from our time in Denver was really appealing.
We have kept an open mind and we have gone to several different places / communities including Littleton, Centennial, Arvada. We just decided that it is too soon for us to compromise on location - we really love the city and the neighborhoods around it. We also discussed that if we are still in this same exact place, losing constantly to cash offers in 6-12 months, we may give up on the city thing. Or maybe keep renting. I have no idea!
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Old 02-11-2018, 02:51 PM
 
43 posts, read 42,761 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboyxjon View Post
I know you're pretty set on staying in Denver, but have you thought about Old Town Arvada? I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it has changed quite a bit over the past few years, and offers a small, walkable downtown that you could potentially live near. Also a train station if the G Line ever opens (it will; it has just been horribly delayed). When I moved to Denver ~11 years ago, I remember Old Town Arvada being mostly vacant storefronts.

Same for Golden. I actually don't like downtown Golden as much as other places, but the neighborhoods near it are walkable.

You would have to compromise, obviously, on being close to downtown Denver, but you might be surprised by some of these other walkable areas.

I don't think you should compromise per se, but if you haven't seen these areas, they might be worth a look.
We looked in Old Town Arvada and now we've gone to Golden too. We have a pretty broad search list but nothing appeals to us as much as Denver's city neighborhoods.. I guess that's the problem; too many people want the same as us
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:04 PM
 
Location: In The Thin Air
12,247 posts, read 8,036,209 times
Reputation: 8900
For those that believe we are in a bubble that is getting ready to burst I present you with this article.

https://yourcastle.com/denver-real-estate-bubble/

I don't think it will ever burst but I do believe values will eventually level off here or even drop a little. I believe we will see a couple more years of growth before it slows down.
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Old 02-11-2018, 03:10 PM
 
641 posts, read 384,153 times
Reputation: 881
I think you're just going to have to wait it out and say some prayers if you can't compromise on your qualification list.
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Old 02-11-2018, 04:56 PM
 
107 posts, read 88,678 times
Reputation: 287
Have you considered a house on a busier street? They tend to linger a bit longer on the market AND go for less than their sidestreet counterparts. There are several for sale right now on Holly between Ceder and 6th and there's one on 6th Ave Pkwy in Hilltop right now (and another really pretty Tudor on the Parkway is going to list soon).
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...5-26549#photo4

Also, look for listings on Albion between 6th and 7th -- you'll have to deal with the Trader Joe's and Snooze madness, but this madness also makes them linger a bit longer (Plus, you'll be in the Steck elementary boundry -- which is huge).
https://www.realtor.com/realestatean...8-43934#photo0
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Old 02-11-2018, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,303 posts, read 430,412 times
Reputation: 1239
Quote:
Originally Posted by N610DL View Post
I was talking to my brother in law about this who's obsessed with domestic real estate hype. He thinks Denver is a bubble, and it's all hype at the moment. Whereas other (cheaper) markets like Phoenix, Dallas, Houston etc. are more stable.

I too agree with this - I'd wait for the hype to dissolve before buying a place.
Denver's biggest issue is the lack of available single family homes, especially in the sub $400k market. There just isn't much for sale, and many new houses built are more expensive or on the far east side of the metro, so not exactly the best location.

I'm surprised to hear about 10+ offers on $700k+ houses, but the sub $400k stuff makes sense. If anything, you're paying for the location first and the house second.

I see around 220 single family houses for sale in the metro right now for under $400k that are 3/2+. I go back to Chicago and look for sub $300k houses that are 3/2+ (given the higher property taxes in IL, mortgage monthly payment for 300k is roughly the same as $400k in CO). For $300k in Chicago, I see 4,400 homes for sale.

Given the Chicago metro is roughly 3.5x the size of the Denver metro, there should be 1,250 homes available in Denver for there to be the same proportion of houses available for sale. Yet, there's 1/6th of that.

It's not crazy to see why prices are so high here
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Old 02-11-2018, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,774 posts, read 2,926,288 times
Reputation: 3335
I want something similar to Reunion in Centennial. Is that possible? Something with a neighborhood pool and rec center.



Also, Dallas may be getting expensive, but they have a lot of stock, definitely cheaper than Denver.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353
My real estate story in Denver for some added perspective:

I have purchased two homes in Denver as residences. The first was in the early 2000s in West Wash Park. It was ~$350K and as my first buy, it was a major stretch. The house was an early 1900s build and hadn’t been updated since the 1960s. I thought I was crazy, and could barely afford it, let alone the additional $60K of work it needed.

I worked with a friend of my dad’s as my realtor. His comment to me was that when he moved to Denver in the early 80s, he remembered thinking how nice Wash Park was, but that he felt it was a bit over priced then. Time had taught him that the neighborhood was worth stretching for and that if real estate crashed, he didn’t think the desirable city neighborhoods would crash as hard. This turned out to be great advice.

Every dollar I had and every free minute I had for a year went in to that house. It’s probably worth over $600K now and I get $3000 a month in rent these days. It was worth the stretch.

Fast forward to 2008. I had a great year the following year at work and had some extra cash. I solicited every unremodelled house on a large lot in East Wash Park to see if I could find someone willing to sell. I ended up paying $650K for a super funky house on an 8000 square foot lot. The idea was to tear it down or do a massive remodel at some point in the future, but keep it as a rental for the time being and pay the mortgage down aggressively. I felt like I was over paying by at least $50K, but there were under 10 lots in existence that size that hadn’t already been scraped or massively remodeled in all of East Wash Park and just like the one I was negotiating on, they were not on the market.

Again, I was really unsure that I had done something smart, and the cost was definitely a stretch.

By the time 2012 rolled around, I had paid the house down enough and construction costs hadn’t skyrocketed yet so we began the build process. Right after we scraped the old house, one of the builders who works extensively in the neighborhood offered me more than I had paid in 2008. I felt much better about the decision.

We spent about $700K building so I’m in to it $1,350,000 over time. The house would probably go for $2M today.

My experience has been that stretches in good neighborhoods have paid off. I’m not looking to flip. I just bought houses in locations I liked. I have never been super leveraged on the houses.

Last edited by SkyDog77; 02-12-2018 at 07:48 AM..
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