Author Topic: Looking for a house in Denver  (Read 4291 times)

tmterrill

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Looking for a house in Denver
« on: January 09, 2015, 10:46:47 AM »
Me and my SO are looking for a home to buy in Denver. We both work right off I-25 (one of us just off of 58th, the other near 6th). I want to keep our commutes under 15 mins, we also want to be near a future/current rail station (under 20 min walk to station). 3 bed 2 bath and 1200-1500sf is around what we are looking for.

Our combined income is 106k plus about 5-6k in bonus. We have about 35k for a downpayment. We are both under 25 and were pre-approved for over 350k.

We have been looking and it is frustrating to say the least. We would just continue renting but as anyone who lives in Denver knows, rent is insane and increasing year over year at a crazy pace. I know when our lease is up in October our rent is all but guaranteed to go up 100-200 bucks and it is already 2k a month for a 2bed 2 bath 1k sf place, plus parking at 140 a month and other erroneous fees.

There have been a couple places we have seen and thought were a decent place and we inquire about them only to find out they sold after being on the market less than a month. People put in offers day one of listing and the owner/realtor basically waits a month or so fielding multiple offers. The places that are on the market longer are way overpriced. 

We have also had problems getting any kind of good customer service from realtors/agents. I don't know if it is because we were not pre-approved for more, we are young, the market is crazy, or what.

I know it is generally not advised to go after a new construction home but many of the older homes in the areas we are looking would end up costing somewhere close to the same with a reasonable price to renovate. They also do not have some of the things we want and are difficult to add on like a 2 car garage.

I am basically just looking for some advice from someone who knows the Denver real estate market. Some of the realtors have some ideas I don't agree with, like talking about buying a place and getting tons of appreciation only to buy a bigger place 6-7 years later... The market is so crazy and it seems like they go after and only help those that are the biggest suckers.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2015, 07:56:48 PM »
If I was in your situation, I would expect less competition in the winter. I would also try to make offers on places that need a little work. Multiple offers are going to be the most common during the summer with turn-key properties.

I have some friends that live off the Yale exit (west) off of I-25. I like their neighborhood. I don't think it's a super desirable location, so I don't think there was massive competition.

LucyBIT

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2015, 04:03:28 PM »
$2000/month?!? This is a little off-topic but I can't believe you're paying that much. Granted, I don't know where your place is, but I'm currently paying $1300/mo for a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhouse with a basement and 1-car garage (Lakewood). That sounds crazy expensive. The neighborhoods I've been researching lately aren't coming in anywhere near that for 2-bedrooms (mostly west of I-25 along 6th).

nawhite

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2015, 07:08:54 AM »
If I was in your situation, I would expect less competition in the winter. I would also try to make offers on places that need a little work. Multiple offers are going to be the most common during the summer with turn-key properties.

I have some friends that live off the Yale exit (west) off of I-25. I like their neighborhood. I don't think it's a super desirable location, so I don't think there was massive competition.

Are we friends? We bought our house in that neighborhood in 2013 and still had crazy competition in the summer. One house listed at 8am, we called at 9 to schedule a showing at 4, they called us back at noon to say they already had an offer for more than asking price.

We had luck going with a house that needed a little work. Way fewer offers to compete with and a full week to make decisions rather than a couple hours.

I will admit that I love this neighborhood, bit the commute up to 58th would suck! I-25 is a nightmare and will be for another 2 years with construction.

Angie55

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2015, 08:46:43 AM »
I'm hoping the Denver market is just inflated and will go down eventually. There is no way we could afford to responsibly buy in the city (I want to buy less than 275k, 200k if I agree to neighborhoods between I-25 and Federal). If it follows the past 2 years trends prices will go up another 10-15% in the year it would take to save up 20%. Which means we wouldn't have enough!

I'm so jealous of everyone I know who bought in 2011 and 2012 for dirt cheap. Out friends bought a full refurb for 340k in 2012 and now all the houses in their neighborhood that are only partially redone are selling for 500k. We totally missed the boat. Maybe we should have been irresponsible and bought with little to no down when houses were cheap!

Our rental house just raised the rent $80  which coincidentally I expect that is the amount of my yearly raise after taxes and goes into effect the same month. I really want to move to save money but can't stomach going to the burbs. But with job uncertainty I know the "right" answer is to find cheaper rent. I'm wondering where you are renting that it is so expensive. I know our rent is below market. But redone duplexes in my neighborhood can be found at 1800-2000 sometimes with a garage. Hum... You're really making me want to agree to a 2 year lease now.

IMHO Lakewood is Lakewood. Not Denver.... There's not really a comparison. Yes, you could be happy there but its not really the same market at all. Denver houses that are near decent go for above asking in 1-2 days of listing. Its insane.<1000 sq ft houses, with no garage, that say "fix and flip" or full scrape are listed for over 300k! Meanwhile there are tons of houses in Lakewood and have way less competition.

LucyBIT

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2015, 08:54:08 AM »
IMHO Lakewood is Lakewood. Not Denver.... There's not really a comparison. Yes, you could be happy there but its not really the same market at all. Denver houses that are near decent go for above asking in 1-2 days of listing. Its insane.<1000 sq ft houses, with no garage, that say "fix and flip" or full scrape are listed for over 300k! Meanwhile there are tons of houses in Lakewood and have way less competition.

Well, yeah :) My place isn't directly comparable to Denver, but I have definitely been seeing 2bd rentals in Denver proper (west of I-25) lower than $2000/mo.

Angie55

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2015, 08:58:42 AM »
Yeah, I've been looking in Lakewood. I think that's where we will end up next year, if not this year, if we ever buy. It's hard to give up the bike lakes of the city and no hills!

LucyBIT

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2015, 10:04:36 AM »
OP, I just remembered how my brother-in-law got his place--he was fed up with the competition, so he went on Craigslist, found a condo in RiNo for rent, called the guy up, and asked if he'd be interested in selling.

tmterrill

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 08:33:42 AM »
IMHO Lakewood is Lakewood. Not Denver.... There's not really a comparison. Yes, you could be happy there but its not really the same market at all. Denver houses that are near decent go for above asking in 1-2 days of listing. Its insane.<1000 sq ft houses, with no garage, that say "fix and flip" or full scrape are listed for over 300k! Meanwhile there are tons of houses in Lakewood and have way less competition.

Well, yeah :) My place isn't directly comparable to Denver, but I have definitely been seeing 2bd rentals in Denver proper (west of I-25) lower than $2000/mo.

I fully understand my rent could be a little cheaper if I went west but I'm willing to pay 100-200 dollars more a month to be walking distance to LoHi and the Highlands. Plus very easy commutes for both me and my SO. Sure I could find a place in Lakewood for 1200 a month but then one or both of our commutes would suck, AND not have anything very fun within walking distance. I should also mention we have covered parking. I would be 'ok' without it but my SO would definitely not be.

Has anyone looked into Midtown? The location is not totally ideal but they are least in our price range and next to a light rail stop.

Stephaniekb

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2015, 10:19:25 PM »
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ch12

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 05:03:09 PM »
I'm also looking for real estate in the Denver area, although I'm probably going to end up in the Highlands Ranch area.

nawhite

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 09:03:39 PM »
I'm also looking for real estate in the Denver area, although I'm probably going to end up in the Highlands Ranch area.

What does Highlands Ranch offer that you're looking for or can't find anywhere else? I feel like for just about anything you could want, location, price, size, proximity to the mountains, you could find something better somewhere else here.

ch12

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Re: Looking for a house in Denver
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2015, 06:16:37 PM »
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