Wrapping Up a Wild Year of Boulder Real Estate
In December, median home prices decreased again in the city of Boulder while the rest of the county saw an uptick. It goes to show that even with the seasonal winter slowdown and mortgage rates wreaking havoc on affordability, the real estate market can always find a way to surprise us.
According to the data, the median single-family home price in the city of Boulder was $1,117,800 in December compared to $1,198,350 the prior month. The county median was $800,000 versus $725,000 in November, a pretty good bump in price thanks to hot spots like Lafayette where prices jumped by $120,000 month-over-month. Up in Longmont, prices aligned with the city of Boulder, dropping from $570k in November to $530k in December.
The townhome/condo market followed the same pattern with Boulder's median price decreasing from $558,000 in November to $474,000 in December. Meanwhile, across Boulder County, prices increased slightly, coming in at $8k higher month-over-month.
The big market driver continues to be a lack of inventory.
Looking at single-family homes in Boulder, active listings at the close of December reached 119, up 105.2% compared to the same time in 2021. However, just 40 new listings came on the market and 59 homes sold.
Across the county, just 90 homes came on the market and 169 sold. In Louisville, 2 properties were listed for sale and 10 sold. And in Longmont, there were 33 new listings and 55 sales.
Without a surge of listings flooding the market, buyers are chipping away at the balance and keeping inventory low. In fact, Boulder inventory dipped back under two months' supply, coming in at 1.6 months of homes for sale.
For a balanced market, the Boulder area needs to hit 6 months of inventory, and we're far from it. Further drops in new listings will continue to propel this market and keep home values strong.
Another development is the new conforming loan limits for 2023. The baseline loan limit of $647,200 will increase to $726,200 nationwide which will make home buying easier and more affordable. More specifically, conforming loan limits in Boulder County will jump to $856,750.
So, as the weather and market warm up, more buyers will be able to get into a conventional loan instead of having to adhere to strict guidelines and qualifications for jumbo loans. That should breathe new life into the market no matter what comes next with interest rates.
Help Your Home Stand Out with a Pre-Inspection
Investing in a home is a significant transaction with buyers often putting all of their savings into the associated costs—earnest money, down payment, and more. Over the last couple of years, low interest and high competition have led to buyers waving inspections and sometimes winding up with unforeseen costs after closing. There are a lot of horror stories out there.
In today's market, sellers can help their homes stand out to buyers by getting inspections done prior to going on the market. It shows transparency and will put minds at ease knowing that despite having to adjust to higher interest rates, a buyer will be able to move right in and begin enjoying the home. Here are a few inspection options you could discuss with your real estate agent.
- General Inspection: A visual look at HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roof, attic, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, cosmetic and other components.
- Sewer Scope: Video inspection of the sewer line from the house to the main sewer. It can find blockages, cracks, invading tree roots, and other issues.
- Radon: Basements, crawl spaces and main floors are tested for radon which has been known to cause lung cancer if exposed over long periods of time.
- Mold: An evaluation to identify possible sources and signs of mold, from visible water damage to areas with excess humidity. May take air/surface samples.
- Chimney: Looks for proper chimney and fireplace venting, structural integrity and creosote buildup which can combust and cause a fire.
- Asbestos: A professional will provide an initial visual inspection, gather samples, have them tested and deliver a report on the findings.
- HVAC: A technician will thoroughly review and test heating and cooling equipment, as well as whole-home indoor air quality systems.
- Roof Certification: A roof’s condition will be fully inspected and if no repairs are needed, it will be certified for 2-5 years based on expected lifespan.
- Well & Septic: The well system will be checked for volume/pressure, proper construction and working parts. Water will be tested to ensure safety. All septic tank components and interior will then be inspected and the drain field tested.
- Structural A civil or structural engineer can assist with concerns regarding the foundation, load-bearing walls, additions and the general integrity of a home.
- Pest: An inspector checks the exterior and interior of a home for signs of damage, an active infestation and areas that attract pests.
- CLUE Report: This property insurance report shows claims made in the last 7 years. Numerous claims may lead to a buyer paying a higher premium.
You can also discuss an incentive such as a home warranty—coverage for the appliances and/or the maintenance systems (e.g. HVAC) in your home while the home is under contract. If anything breaks down, a warranty can help cover the cost to fix or replace it. And it can be transferred to the buyer after closing for added peace of mind. A warranty is a great way to protect your home value and keep your deal on track to closing.