Author Topic: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general  (Read 2545 times)

Angela11

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Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« on: April 27, 2017, 10:17:23 PM »
I'm currently renting a house in Longmont with two roommates who just bought their own house in old town Longmont. We move out next month and I've been looking for weeks for places to rent without roommates (studios, 1 bedrooms) and the rental prices are outrageously high for wanting to live solo and in an area that feels safe. With Mr. Money Mustache being from Longmont, I thought there may be some fellow Longmonters that can provide advice on the cheapest way to live solo here or know of any well priced rentals available in the next month? There are several rooms for rent on craigslist, which would be more mustachian in terms of saving, but after sharing a living space for a year and a half (and as an introvert), I'd prefer to have my own space.  It seems like prices keep increasing here and though I'd like to stay in Colorado, I'm coming to the conclusion that it may be a better option for life quality to job search in a cheaper state. Would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

redbird

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 11:29:03 AM »
I considered moving to Longmont, or at least Colorado in general, before I FIRE'd. But because Colorado is growing so much, housing prices have gotten high. I decided not to move there as a result. I'd rather the costs I pay for housing to go a lot farther. I just bought a house and that house would cost at least twice as much if it was in Longmont.

It sounds like you can't afford to live solo right now. If you don't want a roommate, your choices are either 1) try to find a job that pays more so you can afford to go solo, 2) find a roommate that isn't home much (I've currently got a neighbor that is flight crew for an airline and is rarely home!), or 3) move to a lower COL area.

Angela11

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 10:46:02 PM »
Thanks redbird. Good advice. I'm leaning towards 1 and 3 together within the next year. Boost income and move to lower COL area. It doesn't seem like a higher income would even be worth it to stay here either. My roommates just paid 310,000 for a fixer-upper house here that needs a lot of work. It's less than the new houses that are being built, but still very expensive for a fixer upper. Where did you end up choosing to live instead of CO if you don't mind me asking? I am from NY so the costs of living where I'm originally from are still higher than CO, but my family that I still have there will be heading south soon for retirement.

Angela11

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 10:48:54 PM »
Also what does FIRE'd mean? Sorry. I'm new to the forum!

Lagom

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 11:00:24 PM »
Also what does FIRE'd mean? Sorry. I'm new to the forum!

Financially Independent, Retired Early. FI is basically when you have enough savings that money no longer has to be a significant source of consideration when making life decisions, other than maybe deciding you want to fund a more lavish lifestyle in retirement. RE explains itself :)

I don't know anything about Longmont or CO, but as a random somewhat relevant anecdote, I've found that when I started making career decisions in almost entirely mercenary terms (what will pay me the most that remotely interests me while still allowing the lifestyle I prefer), I actually became much more motivated and productive as a result. For many years I was somewhat judgmental of people who chased $$$ but as someone who has disliked pretty much every job I ever had, making as much money as possible is really the best way to get me what I most want (FIRE!), and being unapologetically focused on it has actually made my working life happier and more focused. Go figure.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 05:24:41 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Angela11 :)

I'm in a high-cost housing area, and need a lot of silence and solitude. I had found a deal of the century, but it ends shortly so I've been looking around. Everything starts at about $2k/mo. For that and other reasons, I've decided to move to a region I like less but is way cheaper and offers more resources.

Keeping one's housing costs low can make or break one financially. Sometimes a higher COL is justified when it results in a significantly higher income, but when that math doesn't work, I move.

chasesfish

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 05:50:50 AM »
Housing is pretty painful relative to the last 6-7 years in all of the states/metro areas seeing nice job growth.

There's fewer builders and financing is more difficult for them to put inventory on the ground.  Colorado is one of the higher growth states out there, keep looking like its a second job.

Angela11

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 03:32:51 PM »
Ah FIRE'd makes sense now. Thanks Lagom! I agree on what you said about making career decisions in mercenary terms. It's a good way to put it. I have an actuarial degree that I haven't been using because of the job's geographic limitations and now that I've realized how expensive everything is, I'm thinking I should try and pursue this field. If not the most exciting career, it would definitely be more of a fast track to the FIRE life.

Thanks for the welcome jooniflorisploo! $2k/month is expensive! It was a smart financial move to leave and go to a more affordable area.

Chasesfish - The amount of development in CO is crazy. Where I'm from on Long Island, it's pretty much all developed, but my grandparents remember when there used to be a lot more farmland there. Things change fast! I will definitely keep on looking!

aperture

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2017, 09:07:48 AM »
Welcome to the forum Angela11.  I can only commiserate with you on housing costs.  I just had some friends over last night and they were talking about bidding on and buying homes in NW Denver/Golden.  One bid $30K over asking on $300K property and was beaten out by higher bids.  Another got his home by bidding $10K over asking on a $200K condo. 
I think many jokingly reference the legalized MJ industry for creating a tight housing market.  That may not be too far off the mark:   (1) the pot business is all conducted in cash and generates large local profits - those profits can get pumped into real estate locally by purchasing homes leading to a shortage in homes for sale (2) anecdotally, a lot of people moved to Colorado because pot got legalized and have sucked the air out of the rental market.  I do not know if either of these things is true, but the housing market has seen ridiculous changes in the last 8 years.  It is an IF ONLY for me. In 2009, we had a friend who was in a condo complex where all the units were being abandoned by owners that bought at $200k and the units were then only selling for $60k.  We could have gone out and picked up properties for <$100k that are now listing at $200k and generating rents of $1500 - $2000/mo. 

Also Angela11, I wanted to mention that there is a Ft Collins FI/RE meetup that you may be interested in https://www.meetup.com/Fort-Collins-FIRE-Fighters-Meetup/events/237157353/.  It is an opportunity to meet with others that have similar interests.  Best wishes, ap.

Angela11

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2017, 02:59:30 PM »
Thanks aperture! I'll definitely check out the meet up. I used to live in Ft Collins when I first moved here as my then bf previously attended CSU. I do wonder how much the pot market is affecting the influx of people and housing, but there is a fair amount of people I've met who moved here for other reasons also. No doubt, it is having some degree of impact though. Unfortunately, I don't take advantage of the legalization here, but having so much access to trails for hiking is a major draw of staying here.

It was a similar market in Longmont as you described with your friends. Watching my roommates go through the process, they had put in several offers on houses, but kept getting outbid by people paying over the asking price and paying full in cash. The house they ended up getting was through putting in a backup offer as the first people backed out after the inspection since they didn't want to deal with the problems on the house. One of my roommates has a woodworking background though so they'll be fine in fixing up the house. I believe they plan on selling it in a few years after fixing it up. Most of my coworkers also bought houses back when they were selling much more reasonably and now their houses have spiked a lot in value. It will be interesting to see how the housing market keeps going here. Maybe if more states legalize, people will head to other states and ease the housing burden.

chasesfish

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2017, 06:53:17 PM »
Welcome to the forum Angela11.  I can only commiserate with you on housing costs.  I just had some friends over last night and they were talking about bidding on and buying homes in NW Denver/Golden.  One bid $30K over asking on $300K property and was beaten out by higher bids.  Another got his home by bidding $10K over asking on a $200K condo. 
I think many jokingly reference the legalized MJ industry for creating a tight housing market.  That may not be too far off the mark:   (1) the pot business is all conducted in cash and generates large local profits - those profits can get pumped into real estate locally by purchasing homes leading to a shortage in homes for sale (2) anecdotally, a lot of people moved to Colorado because pot got legalized and have sucked the air out of the rental market.  I do not know if either of these things is true, but the housing market has seen ridiculous changes in the last 8 years. 

You're not far off regarding the legalization....its openly joked about in the economic forums around Dallas (as well as the Colorado climate).  Its the only state in the country Texas has net job losses to.

COEE

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2017, 08:16:49 PM »
I live in Longmont.  Southmoor represent!

I love it here.  House prices are going NUTS!  Every spring it's gangbusters.  I don't mind - but I've bought in.  I applied to a job here in summer 2015.  My neighborhood prices were around 280-290k then.  I bought the summer of 2016 at 320.  This year already a house with the same floorplan and older condition sold for 345k.  I value my house at about $350 - a $30k increase in one year.  My next door neighbors just sold a their house with 400sq less sq footage and a smaller yard for $325k.  It's stupid.  As spring really picks up I won't be surprised to see my floorplan go for $370k or more.  That's nearly a 100k increase in 3 years!

I don't think it will last though.  New nice houses are being built EVERYWHERE at $450k+  I'm not sure of any new builds less than that.

I personally think the pot thing has little to do with it - how many people are going to uproot their life for some green leaf?  Maybe the real stoners.  But really that's not the majority of people around here as far as I can tell.  I do think it draws a lot of tourism - but I saw some statistics once that said 10% or tourist come just for the pot.  I think the secret is out on the weather and awesome location mountain .  Jobs are booming too.  It's just that the economy is killing it here.  I won't say pot doesn't have something to do with it... but I don't think it's as much as people joke about.

This video on this website says 11% of people come here for tourism because of pot.  http://www.denverpost.com/2016/07/20/record-colorado-tourism-2015/

I've been thinking about renting out the room in my basement - but it sounds like that's not of interest to you.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 08:19:06 PM by COEE »

chasesfish

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2017, 05:14:17 AM »
In all seriousness, I think technology is allowing more and more people to choose where they live and work.    For a lot of people, that means Colorado is a heck of a lot nicer than places with minimal outdoor recreation like Chicago, Dallas, and Houston.

chaskavitch

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Re: Increasing rental prices in Longmont and Colorado in general
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2017, 06:34:05 AM »
We live in Fort Collins, and rental rates are RIDICULOUS.  I just saw an article that said rental vacancy rates for the city are just over 3%, but in the areas close to campus, the vacancy rate is <1%.  We closed on our house in Feb 2013 for $200,000, and according to the internet (Zillow, redfin, realtor.com, etc), it's worth ~ $300,000 by now.  We're getting an appraisal to get rid of our PMI in the next month or two, so I'll have a better idea after that.  Zillow seems to be a little optimistic.

If you're planning on buying a house ever, winter is definitely a better time.  People don't want to move in the winter or something, so the market is significantly less cutthroat and prices are a little bit lower.  We took a week to decide on our house, then offered 10k less than the listing, while friends who bought later in the year were making backup offers on multiple houses literally as soon as they did a walk-through, on the off chance someone's offer would fall through and they'd get an opportunity. 

Overall, prices are a little cheaper in Wellington, Severance, Timnath, and Windsor.  Probably Greeley, too.  If you want less expensive places, you're going to have to either get out of town a little, or hope for someone with a basement apartment they're renting out :(  I have no specific recommendations for Longmont specifically, though.  Almost all of the new houses in Fort Collins are $400k +, and the apartments are going for upwards of $800/bedroom in 3 br units, and $1200 for studios.  It's a little nuts.

Good luck!