In 2014 and 2015, almost seven out of ten Denver homeowners made a home renovation. That figure put Denver at the number one spot out of 25 cities for home improvements. Over the two years since then, that amount maintained its position at 69.3 percent according to the American Housing Survey. It is thought that the cause is rising home prices providing more equity to homeowners to use on renovations.
The study relates this renovation increase to job and population growth. “Both Colorado and Utah have been attracting capital in the technology segment and rapidly adding tech workers. People tend to do more home improvement projects when they move,” said the spokeswoman for the Home Improvement Research Institute Pam Heidel.
A difficult market could be another cause. Homeowners may be opting to improve their homes instead of finding a new home which may not be as easy as it was previously. Also, Denver’s shortage of appraisers could still be a continuing factor. At the same time, low interest rates would make borrowing less expensive.
In addition, a study by Lawnstarter suggests Denver homeowners are very satisfied with their dwellings. They place Denver homeowners as the third happiest in the country. The only two cities ranking higher being San Francisco and Los Angeles. This high level of happiness could be a direct result of the increased renovations.
The amount of home renovations Denver is seeing is even pushing estimates for spending on home improvements in the west. 2017 is expected to grow 6% in the mountain region, with Colorado being the driving force. The other top cities for home improvement include Portland, Phoenix, Kansas City, and Detroit.
Those looking to buy or sell a home soon should be aware of the trends in the Denver and Boulder markets. Homes are being bought and sold, but completing a sale is taking longer. The reason for this change, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR), is a widespread shortage of appraisers. The chairman of DMAR, Anthony Rael explained these delays “as a direct result of an appraiser shortage we’ve been talking about the past several months.”
One major concern of the appraiser shortage is the exorbitant costs the limited pool of appraisers are charging buyers. In many cases buyers were required to pay over $1,000 to get appraised. In Anthony Rael’s report he cited an instance where one buyer had to pay $3,000 because appraisers were so overbooked. This was a rare case in which the seller was in a pinch to get appraised before deadlines. It is a good example of how costly the shortage can be. The other concern is the risk to the contract as buyers usually incur transaction costs in advance of the appraisal. Failure to perform appraisal by the deadline is one of the few ways sellers can terminate a contract to buy/sell real estate.
The effects go even further than just monetary costs. The time it took for homes to be purchased with a conventional loan increased over 10% to 43 days. The time it takes to purchase with a Veteran Administration (VA) loans, which went up over 25% to 49 days. Cash transactions saw almost no change at all from the previous year.
Whether looking to buy or sell, the lack of available appraisers is likely to draw out the time it will take to close a sale.
One of the most important aspects of Boulder Colorado is the greenbelt surrounding it. This ring of protected nature keeps Boulder from growing too large, and allows easy and convenient access to nature that has enamored residents and visitors alike. For these reasons it may seem concerning to hear that Boulder County commissioners have already given the go ahead to sell 129 acres of farmland to Longmont for over $2.1 million, but the details should put a lot of those worries to rest.
The 129 acres to be sold is located southwest of Colorado 66 and East County Line Road. This area is largely comprised of the area known as Montgomery Farm, and a smaller section just north of Jim Hamm Nature area. Another 72 acre plot of land owned by Trice property is also being considered as a future site Longmont would acquire.
The plans Longmont has set out for this land state that the 80 acres of Montgomery Farm would be used as the future site of a new community park. The 49 acres north of the Jim Hamm Nature area are to be left undeveloped, and may even continue to be used for agricultural purposes. Longmont’s development plans already have a plan for the Trice property as well. Under the city’s comprehensive plan, it will be another possible site for a community park.
This farmland sale to Longmont was reviewed ear in September 2016 during a county commissioners’ meeting. Janis Whisman, Longmont County’s Parks and Open Space real estate manager, along with commissioners Elise Jones, Deb Gardner, and Cindy Domenico approved Boulder County staff to move forward with the transaction. However, it is still dependent on whether or not Boulder County receives a federal grant that would cover half the cost of the conservation easement purchase. “Pending the time it takes to find out whether such a grant has been awarded, Boulder County would have a one-year option for the $2,703,335 conservation-easement purchase,” Janis Whisman said at the conclusion of the meeting.
Should that conservation-easement come through, it would serve to protect a gap in county-owned farmlands or cover private farmlands north of the highway in conservation easements.
According to Whisman, the city of Longmont still needs to accept the proposal to purchase the Montgomery farmland from Boulder. If they decide to finalize the purchase as it appears now, Longmont would have 5 years to complete the $2,128,901 purchase. While it looks like it will be some time before any noticeable change occurs, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for citizens of Boulder to fear losing ownership of this farmland.