When I first bought a house in Denver, the city — and the country — was still trying to pull itself out of the Great Recession. Home prices in Denver had fallen 13% between 2007 and 2008; they dropped another one percent between 2008 and 2009. The average price of a home in the Mile High City in 2010, when my then-partner and I purchased our home, was $261,897. Today, the average is $798,417.
I realized how much the Denver real estate market had changed when I went back shopping in 2020. My real estate agent showed me properties for three months. The places I could afford were what you might politely call repairers, and anything in good condition had multiple cash offers, all way above the asking price. I gave up, re-signed a lease on an apartment and shunned.
If I had read Philip Clapham’s “13 Tips for Buyers Navigating the Denver Real Estate Market,” I might have been more successful in my search. In particular, tip number nine – “Consider a condo or townhouse if you’re a first-time home buyer” – would have helped me. Although I was no newbie, I hadn’t really considered anything other than a single family home. Had I been aware of the report that townhouses have an average selling price of $495,000 in Denver, I might have asked my agent to focus on those properties. Ultimately, I figured out on my own that a townhouse was a good option for me when I wandered into a lovely house in Rosedale, which I purchased in late 2020.
I was very lucky to find something in my price range that didn’t evoke scenes from 1986 The silver pit, but the process was neither easy nor fun. And, to be honest, my house isn’t perfect. It has a few quirks; it needs a little TLC; and sharing a wall with a neighbor isn’t always ideal. Clapham also addresses this reality that you can’t have it all in functionality. This is a good lesson to learn, especially if you are considering (trying) to buy a home in Denver in the near future. Good hunt.