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What's Happening in Boulder Real Estate?

Happy Easter to all those who celebrate.

As you might imagine, market activity took a brief pause last week before resuming. Things are not the same, and for many in our community, will never be the same. Healing takes compassion, reflection, and time.  At House Einstein, we're weighing how to best support our community, which will likely come in the form of increased giving or direct service. 

As far as the real estate market goes, it's time to resume our work. We're still gathering complete data for March and the first quarter, which will almost certainly show a majority of homes selling for asking or more. We personally participated in several +$100K over asking bidding wars during the quarter, but I prefer to analyze the data instead of talking about our anecdotal experiences.  Stay tuned for an analysis, likely next week. 

For now, look to pending sales as a leading indicator: As of this writing, there are just under 1,200 properties listed in Boulder County (inclusive of all cities). 54% or under contract. Denver County has 2,639 properties on the market with 66% under contract. A balanced market is considered to have about six months of a supply. We have less than two, not just in the usual hot spots, across the entire region. These are phenomenal market conditions. 

Now, let's take a look at what listings are worth your time to consider.  A discussion of the most relevant and interesting listings to hit the market follows. As always, we welcome your feedback. 

Note: This week's post includes content that was set to publish last week, at the bottom in its own section. 

Important Reminder: This email is private communication between House Einstein and our clients. It's the only way we can share honest opinions on active listings, per the rules that govern the real estate industry. As a private individual, if you like what you've read, you are welcome to forward this newsletter to your friends and family. 

If you'd like to discuss your specific real estate decision, the best way to reach us is to call 303.746.6896. We'd love to hear from you. 
New to House Einstein's Fresh Listings? Check out our definitions.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. If you'd like to schedule a showing or learn more, the best way to reach us is to call 303.746.6896.
BOULDER FRESH: 943 Spruce Street | $6M
The Kohler Residence - a past home for Boulder bank presidents, CEOs, and well connected politicians. Generously sized and well appointed, this historic property is located just north of Pearl Street, in the District. Constructed in 1880, only one year after the incandescent bulb was invented, this Mission Style estate has undergone several periods of extensive renovation. Its most recent reincarnation was tastefully executed and shows well. From a functional perspective, the Kohler Residence features five bedrooms with a conventional floor plan and a two car, detached garage.

Due diligence: In addition to the usual historic home due diligence areas, don’t ignore the potential social issues of proximity to Pearl. This is a heavily trafficked area but should still afford reasonable privacy. For an analysis of value, compared to recent landmark sales, contact a former investment analyst turned Realtor
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER NOTABLE SALE: 2008 Alpine Avenue | $4M
An artistic and striking modern home, located in an opportune spot. There are a few functional challenges to the layout, but that’s to be expected when the edge of design is being pushed forward. Now twelve years old, the design and finishes have aged well. Originally offered at $4.15M in October, it sold for $4.0M.

Due diligence: From an inspection perspective, the home gained about 6.6% annually during the seller’s ownership tenure - assuming no significant capital reinvestment. This is not an atypical return for well located Boulder homes and why we strongly advise our buyers to focus on location above other criteria.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. If you'd like to schedule a showing or learn more, the best way to reach us is to call 303.746.6896.
DENVER FRESH: 1018 South Vine Street | $3.2M
Traditionally designed, fairy-tale home. It looks historic, fits in nicely with the neighborhood, but was actually constructed in 2009. From a location perspective, it’s hard to beat Wash' Park only a few blocks away - which is close, but still far enough so the neighborhood feels safe. Generously sized, 1018 S Vine features six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a conventional layout, and a detached three car garage. If classic design is your thing, and you’re in the market for a substantive luxury home in Denver, this one should be well worth the time to see.

Due diligence: Don’t be wowed by the fact this home was featured on a television show. If you’ve never been behind the scenes of reality television production, you can take my word for it...everything is fake. The fact that this home was once a backdrop for a show is only cocktail party fodder and marketing glitter.
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
DENVER NOTABLE SALE: 732 South Gilpin Street | $2M
As you recall, we encouraged you put this one on your shopping list a couple of weeks ago.  Despite the visual imbalance from the curb, the design was functional and eye catching. Mr. Market agreed. It sold for $30K over asking.

From the not so wayback machine: 

Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER FRESH: 238 South Cedar Brook Road | $1.7M
You can't ignore the imposing rock formation behind this mid 70’s two story, which is heavily featured in the photos, but the real story is about the views and proximity to town. Located in Pinebrook, it’s only about 1,000 feet from the Sanitas trail system. You can drive or Uber to downtown in just a few minutes. It appears underpriced to spark a bidding war.

Due diligence: The art studio inside the garage is not included in the square footage. Also, buyers should look closely at the foundation. When a home is set against a steep hillside, the pressures against that foundation may be significantly higher, and engineering standards were less robust in the 70’s. Don't skip your inspection to win the bidding war. It could be costly.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
LONGMONT FRESH: 3715 Fowler Lane | $1.6M
McIntosh Lakefront properties are rarely available and this one is nestled up against the south shore. It's a moderately sized five bedroom, traditionally designed and finished, but none of that matters. This is a rare bird.

Haven't heard of McIntosh Lake? Your agent isn't doing you any favors. It's an affluent community on the northwest side of Longmont. Yes, you'll add a bit of travel to your commute (whenever that resumes), but the tradeoff is a massive bump to your real estate purchasing power and a spectacular lifestyle amenity. An equivalent house in Boulder proper would almost certainly cost you double.  Is the tradeoff worth it? That's a discussion to follow your showing. 

Due diligence: It’s all about the location and relative affordability of McIntosh Lake compared to other luxury homes in premium locations across the entire County. The challenge will be deciding how far to push the comps.
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
DENVER FRESH: 5040 West 35th Avenue | $1.5M
Look past the horrible listing photos. Recent construction, classic design, and a west Highlands location. What’s more to like? The layout is functional, and the finishes are tasteful. The home also features a main floor bedroom (or office), designed for ADA compliance. The agent's poor marketing might be your opportunity.

Due Diligence: Check for road noise tolerance. 
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
DENVER FRESH: 2229 Julian Street | $1.25M
A smallish Victorian, a few blocks from Sloan's Lake. Nicely updated inside and a classic layout.

Due diligence: Small lot, proximity to neighbors, typical historic house issues.
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
LONGMONT NOTABLE SALE: 913 Tempted Ways Dr | $1.23M
A modern farmhouse constructed in 2017 with a carriage house over the two car, detached garage. Yum. Prospect continues to be one of only a few locations we strongly recommend buyers consider in Longmont.

Due diligence: The property was offered with the 6,900SQFT adjacent lot for $295,000, which is what created the sense of openness. The adjacent lot sold for $269,000 to the same buyer for a total acquisition price of $1,494,000. Control over the adjacent lot made this a particularly interesting and unique investment. If you haven’t considered Prospect before, you should. Call us, and we’ll tell you why.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
BOULDER FRESH: 3665 Endicott Drive | $1.2M
A typical Table Mesa bi-level, of which there are many in the neighborhood. This one is offered at a premium due to the addition, updated kitchen, flooring, and updated bath. Proximity to Harlow Platts and the SoBo Rec Center are a plus.

Due Diligence: The value is there, and likely this will sell for more than asking. Radiant heating means adding air conditioning systems can be a challenge. It’s solvable, but still there. If you’re looking for a bi-level in Table Mesa, but without the fancy updates, we know of one about to come on the market. Also, being this close to Gillaspie means cars turning onto your street at high speeds.
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER FRESH: 2365 Grape Avenue | $955K
Shopping for a buildable lot or ideal canvas for a luxury home addition? Get out your checkbook. Basic ranch style homes are the ideal platform for a second story addition, and we’re seeing stunning examples hit the market this Spring. 2365 Grape is south facing, and although the lot size isn’t enormous, it’s plenty for most buyers. The interior updates are nice, the pictures tell the story, but this is likely irrelevant to the frenzy that is about to occur for this property.

Due diligence: Thinking about an offer? See 1775 Cedar for an example of a finished product. It was nicely remodeled, with a taller first story, great layout, and decent finishes. Offered for $2.4M and we anticipate the final sale price will exceed $2.7M. Buyers are well advised to weigh the scarcity of inventory - especially for south facing, buildable lots.

Given there is no view shown to the south, it’s unlikely you’ll get much of a view of the Flatirons.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
BOULDER FRESH: 4918 Tesla Court | $850K
A nice four bedroom, four bath in Noble Park. Updates look tasteful, except for that hospital grade tile in one of the bathrooms.

Due diligence: Backing to the park comes with views and a sense of openness, but also comes with a downside in terms of privacy and security. Based on recent bidding wars, for which we were direct participants, we expect this to sell north of $900,000.
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
DENVER FRESH: 437 Bannock Street | $825K
Ah, the charm of Baker plus walkability to South Broadway with its awesome mix of restaurants, bars, and shops 

Due Diligence: Less than two blocks from Denver Health. Expect to hear lots of sirens. 
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
NEDERLAND FRESH: 96 Ponderosa Drive | $600K
Let the feeding frenzy begin. A functional, three bedroom, two bath house within strolling distance of the restaurants and bars of Nederland, offered for only $600,000? The views don't look jaw-dropping, but it doesn't matter. The writing is on the wall for Nederland's real estate future, and the investment thesis is strong. 96 Ponderosa will almost certainly attract multiple over asking, cash offers.  

Due diligence:  Your investment should not be dependent on legal short-term rentals in Nederland. Unless the property is grandfathered, you probably will not be able to get a license. This pushes the market to the town boundaries. 
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
From an investment perspective, it's hard to go wrong with anything close to Old Town in Longmont and as expected, our listing attracted multiple strong, over asking offers. The successful buyer was represented by an experienced agent, and we offered the highest price with the lowest risk of deal termination. The seller was well represented by House Einstein's Sophie Kloor.   
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
The following listings were scheduled to be published last week. We apologize for the delay, but there were more important things to think about impacting our community. 
BOULDER FRESH: 3307 4th Street | $4.2M 
The last time this property was on the market was 2014. It sold for $1.2M. The owner promptly tore down the house and built the home you see today. Now, with seven years on the clock, the home is back on the market. Its design still appears fresh, and the location earns a "lot premium." I'll leave the gushing about the home for others. The question for you, dear clients, is about the appropriate value. 

The starting point for the analysis should be the recent tear downs that have sold in Newlands, adjusted for the cost of demolition. Two of these sales have no views and were on smaller lots (we represented the seller on one of them). Both of these lots are further east but still west of Broadway. A third comparable sale had a similar location, nestled against the foothills with nearby trail access, but did not back to open space. Add your personal time value (expect a two year process to build) against the benefit of a home built to your specifications and taste. 

Another approach to valuation is to take the seller's acquisition cost of $1.2M, adjusted for demolition, and add nearly seven years of appreciation. Now add the current cost of design and construction. Don't forget about the time value of the capital, both in financial terms and in the personal resources consumed with dealing with architects and builders.  

Is $943/F.SQFT a reasonable starting point? Depending on your tolerance for dealing with aforementioned contractors and how well the existing home suits your needs, the answer is likely yes.  The quality of the "stunning mountain views" and whether they're protected or not also has a large influence on valuation. Schedule a showing, and let's find out.
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER FRESH: 3680 Aspen Court | $3.35M
It's great to see one of our favorite local architects featured in a new listing. Neighborhoods just east of Broadway have seen intensifying redevelopment in recent years, in both Melody Heights and Old North Boulder. The home was a worn out, single-story ranch with a basement when it was acquired only four years ago (for $761,000). It's been extensively renovated with a second story addition. Overall, the design is crisp and minimal - nice work by our friends at FLOWER Architecture.   

Due diligence: Buyers would be well advised to check out other recent sales in the neighborhood. We know the comps well because we represented a buyer for one of them last Fall. There's a tale of two types of "recently renovated" sales hidden in those comps. This one is worth watching to see if the current heated market rewards the seller's investment. It might.
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
LAFAYETTE FRESH: 10453 E Goose Haven Drive | $2.85M 
Southwestern style homes are a rarity in the Boulder area real estate market. From a design perspective, this style is more common in New Mexico and Arizona. With that said, I'm a fan, but buyers should be aware that it might have limited appeal this far north. You could be dealing with a long time on market or a lower than expected sale price when it comes time to sell the home.   

In the plus column, you're looking at a location with its own beach access and a large lot. The finishes, although featuring out of date paint colors and some built-ins, are mostly worth retaining. Paint is cheap. Replacing mauve colored cabinetry is a bit more expensive, but still a worthwhile project for locking down the right house. 

Due diligence: The railroad track is nearby (check for noise tolerance). Based on our past due diligence, this is likely a limited service spur line. But if Fast Tracks ever becomes a reality (keep dreaming), that could change one day.
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER FRESH: 2958 6th Street | $2.6M
The Brookhardt Residence is a Bungalow style home originally constructed in 1940 with a native stone foundation and rubble walls. Brookhardt was a local dairy salesman. According  to the Colorado Historic Society, it's "a well preserved example of twentieth century domestic architecture and middle class lifestyles in Boulder in the era before World War II and is one of several native stone houses erected in the city during that period."

Now that we've got our history lesson out of the way, let's talk about the home as it stands today. You're looking at a very attractive five bedroom, four bath with an attached two car garage. It has about 3,645 F. SQFT (including the basement), which should be functional for most home buyers. What you see is almost certainly what you get, given the likely historical significance of the home, but what you get is pretty good. The interior is tastefully updated, in-line with what's possible and arguably appropriate for a historical home. 

Due diligence: The corner lot comes with both advantages and disadvantages, as we've discussed in past editions of Fresh Listings. This is a very attractive home in a good location, but buyers shouldn't remove inspection related contingencies. There's a lot of risk lurking in a home of this age, and stone construction can be very expensive to remedy if previous owners ignored drainage issues.
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER NOTABLE SALE: 3175 17th Street | $2.38M
Listed in mid-February, this modern farmhouse two-story is located in Old North Boulder. It features four bedrooms, four baths, and a one car, attached garage. From a size perspective, it's a touch on the small side, but that didn't stop buyers from lining up. The views, indoor/outdoor transitions, and well chosen design elements are what created the sizzle. The location didn't hurt either. This sale sets a new high water mark for the comps.  

3175 17th Street sold for $182,000 over the asking price,
Our goal is to help you make a smarter real estate decision. Call 303.746.6896 for more information.
BOULDER NOTABLE SALE: 4211 Sugarloaf Road | $2.35M 
Proof that increasing fire risk, driven by a changing climate, has not cooled the market for luxury homes in the Boulder foothills.  This spectacular mountain estate featured 15+ acres of land and stunning views but only a moderately sized home. Take a glance at the listing photos - traditional mountain house design still brings the bucks, especially for second home purchasers.  It sold for a whopping $351,000 over asking.  

Due diligence: The checklist for mountain property is deep. Not only should buyers evaluate fire risk, but also winter access, water quality, survey issues, and more.  
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
HOUSE EINSTEIN FRESH: 805 Dewey Avenue | $1.79M 
Hard to believe we didn't get a chance to write about our own listing before it went under contract.  Take home lesson:  If you're a serious buyer or seller, call us.  Clients always come first.  Social media content, newsletters, and other business development activities are secondary to showings, writing offers, listing preparation, marketing for our sellers, and handing complex multi-party negotiations. 

The other interesting thing about this listing is that it's in an often overlooked little pocket neighborhood between Newlands and Mapleton Hill.  
Neikirk-Stewart is west of Broadway, offers the same amenities as Newlands, and is even closer to downtown. Yet few have heard of it.  We've sold several homes in the neighborhood, representing buyers and sellers. It's a spectacular spot.  

As for the home itself, we'd love to gush about it. Our sellers did a fantastic job on updates. The oversized detached garage with rooftop deck and backyard primed for entertaining were icing on the cake. Click the link for the eye candy. 
Ready for a private showing? Call us at 303.746.6896
BOULDER FRESH: 4555 13th Street H | $640K 
A new listing just up the street from our office. This is a top floor, two-bedroom unit, without the live-work space. It features original finishes. The options for buyers in Boulder remain tightly constrained when it comes to mid-market, near luxury units. 

Due diligence: There was a lawsuit with the builder over improperly installed EFIS, now settled and repairs completed. In the near future, a library will be constructed just south of this building. The neighborhood has voiced legitimate concerns over traffic and whether the library will become a magnet for the homeless population. We share our neighbors concerns and hope some of these issues will be intelligently managed to limit the negative impacts, while providing a meaningful amenity to the community. 
Intelligent real estate decisions are based on deep market knowledge. Call us at 303.746.6896
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