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7 Tips to Navigate The Denver Housing Market When Buying
Colorado has quickly become one of the "go-to" states for those wanting a new lifestyle or change of pace. According to World Population Review, Colorado is the eighth-fastest growing state in the nation and its population is estimated at 5,893,634.
Denver, with a population of 749,103 currently ranks 19th in the nation in size. It is currentlly growing at a rate of 1.48% annually. The popularity of the Mile High City stems from a wealth of culture, recreational avenues, scenery, and job opportunities that exist along the Front Range.
The housing boom in Denver is further testimony of the city's popularity. For the last several years, housing prices have favored home sellers. According to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, the average price of a single-family home in the metro Denver area in September 2021 was $688,629; in September of 2017, it was $476,051. Furthermore, 5,233 homes were sold last month; in September 2017, 4,427 homes sold.
All this comes while the COVID-19 pandemic is still 'a thing.'
Luckily for current buyers, interest rates are incredibly low, allowing for lower than expected monthly mortgage payments which give buyers a little bit of wiggle room with their budget. This is a much-needed reprieve since home prices have increased 15 percent, year-over-year from Sept. 2020 to Sept. 2021.
According to the Chair of the DMAR Market Trends Committee Chair Andrew Abrams, "Word of advice: jump into the real estate market now. Those who wait will (literally) pay for it."
Despite the elevated prices of homes, there are still deals to be found in the Denver area. If you are willing to look beyond the popular neighborhoods of Denver and consider up-and-coming areas or even the suburbs, you'll find an array of single-family homes and multi-family units well below the median price.
If you are weighing the pros and cons of buying or selling this year, a Usaj Realty broker would be happy to assist you in expertly navigating the Denver market. Many factors go into deciding what could be right for your particular situation, so sitting down with an expert can be a great opportunity to discover the best route for you.
The following tips will help you navigate your way around the Denver housing market.
Get Your Finances in Order
There are a few things you'll want to address before you jump into becoming a first time home buyer.
- Pay down your debts so you have more money for your mortgage
- Save as much as possible for a down payment
- Get to know the neighborhoods
- It’s best to have a job before you start looking to buy a home
- Gather your tax paperwork and other documents for financing. Meet with a lender to establish a plan to make homeownership a reality
- Check your credit rating and make preemptive moves to fix it if necessary
Use online tools to get an idea of the home prices in the Denver area. Usaj Realty has a comprehensive website that lists available homes and descriptions of the Denver neighborhoods. Do some research on trends. Are new developments coming? Is public transportation available? How does the school district rank? It’s important to not only think about how you will fit into the neighborhood but how your investment will hold up over time when it comes time to sell.
Find Your Middle Ground
Find a balance between size and financial investment. Determine what you can afford and what you need in the home. Do the research to ensure your monthly payment is manageable and the home you select will still allow you to save for retirement and emergencies.
Talk with an Agent
Start talking with real estate agents in the area. The agent is there to help you avoid the big mistake of not doing enough research. They'll help you understand the best options for your budget and needs. Check their track record to determine if it will be a good fit for your goals. Having an experienced agent is as important as selecting the right home.
Get the Home Inspection
Always make sure to get an inspection on the house before you sign. This is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life so make sure you know what you are buying. A home inspection is also crucial in the negotiation process to provide leverage on a potential price reduction.
Tour the Area
Spend some time in the neighborhood in which you are considering buying. Consider talking to the neighbors while you are walking or driving around. Many people are happy to share their perspective. Your realtor can also put you in touch with people in the community.
Think of the Long-Term
It’s important to think about how long you will live in your home and if any upgrades are appropriate for the property. Calculating necessary improvements and making sure your investment will show a positive return is a key consideration before making an offer. Again, your real estate agent can help prioritize home improvements to make your home as attractive as possible when it comes time to sell.
Usaj Realty is a full-service real estate firm. We believe in adding value to our clients’ lives by providing the highest level of service, fully understanding the Denver market, and ensuring all your needs are met.
(Editor's note: This blog was originally republished in August of 2019. It has been updated to provide new information).