Seasonal Cooling Arrives in Boulder County
With Thanksgiving officially ushering in the holiday season, the real estate market in the city of Boulder and across the county cooled significantly month-over-month. Fewer homes came on the market, sales slowed, and prices decreased nearly across the board.
In the city of Boulder, just 53 new listings of single-family homes while 50 sold last month. November then ended with 210 homes still available for sale and 3.1 months of inventory. Back in September, inventory was up to 4.2 months, so this is good news for sellers. Once the market warms back up in the spring, fewer homes for sale could lead to more competition among buyers.
Along with less activity, the median price for a single-family home in Boulder decreased from $1,525,000 in October to $1,383,250 last month. However, that figure was $1,196,700 a year ago, so despite interest rates pressuring the market, there was a 15.6% year-over-year equity gain for homeowners.
In addition, the market pace picked up last month with it taking 67 days to sell compared to 76 in October. That's still up 13.6% year-over-year, so sellers are finding that it takes patience to get to the closing table as buyers are taking their time to find the right home and the best deal.
In the townhouse/condo market, new listings fell from 69 in October to just 32 in November while sales increased from 27 to 44 month-over-month. This likely led to prices rising from $466,000 to $525,000 despite days on the market jumping to 69 which is a 40.9% increase compared to 2022. November also closed with a 2.5-month supply of inventory, lower than October yet 78.6% higher than the prior year.
Across Boulder County, the median single-family home price decreased from $835,000 in October to $790,000 last month. That's still 9% higher than the 2022 price of $725,000. However, sellers received 97.3% of their asking price as buyers used their negotiation power to secure the right terms, especially when submitting offers on properties that happened to be lingering on the market.
Also across the county, new single-family inventory dropped yet again while the number of sold listings decreased from 234 to 181 month-over-month. Sales were also 4.2% lower compared to 2022. November ultimately closed with 594 homes still available for sale in Boulder County. This 2.7-month supply of inventory is lower compared to October, but a 28.6% increase year-over-year.
Drilling down, single-family home activity in Lafayette saw less new inventory and a slight increase in sales compared to October. However, the median price decreased from $812,445 to $734,945 in November. That's also 5.8% lower than the median price in 2022. Next door in Louisville, just eight new listings came on the market and just six homes sold. Days on the market increased by two weeks and prices decreased to $767,500, well below the median price of $896,000 in October.
And finally, in Broomfield County, activity slowed while prices actually ticked up. The number of new single-family listings decreased along with home sales. Month-over-month prices increased though, coming in at $700,750 and 6.8% higher than in 2022. November then closed with inventory on par with last year, 105 properties still available for sale, and just shy of two months of inventory going into the final month of 2023.
As the data showed last month, the Boulder County market slowed for winter. Selling takes patience, as well as a real estate agent experienced in negotiating price and concessions with buyers. A knowledgeable professional who can provide a nuanced strategy is key to achieving your real estate goals.
How to Assess a Home Before Making an Offer
Buying a home is a significant investment, which is why you want to make sure that you’re making an informed decision. While your PorchLight agent will help you hire a reputable home inspector once you’re under contract, feel free to do a little sleuthing on your own.
Take pictures, videos and notes. Bring a flashlight and measuring tape. And most importantly, be prepared to look at a property objectively. It's easy to get swept up in the vibe of a home, one that feels right and you could see yourself living in. And while that's incredibly important, you should also walk away from a showing with a good idea of how the home functions and if it will meet your day-to-day needs.
So here are (more than) a few things to check out on your own. Feel free to ask the hosting agent for clarification about anything you find.
Assess the Home from the Curb
- How's the parking situation? Will it affect your ability to park or have visitors?
- Is the neighborhood well maintained? Noisy? Lots of kids? How's the road noise?
- Does the house, the windows, and the chimney look straight, level and square?
- Are the gutters in good shape? Do the downspouts divert water away from the house?
- Does the landscape slope away from the foundation? Is it well maintained?
- Are there any cracks, stains or damage to the driveway? What about the roof and siding?
- Is the garage door in good condition? Does it sit flat and even when closed?
Inspect All the Interior Details
- Is there any staining on the walls, floors or ceiling that might indicate water damage?
- Are there any offputting or musty smells? Are candles or other room deodorizers being used?
- What’s the condition and consistency of the flooring throughout? Any creaks or squeaks?
- Is there old wallpaper a bad paint job, signs of replastering or drywall repair/replacement?
- Do the floors feel level? Do doors or windows stick when opening or closing them?
- Any drafts around the windows or doors? Do certain rooms feel colder/warmer than others?
- Check under sinks with a flashlight. Do you see stains or signs of water damage?
- Flush toilets and turn on faucets, is the water pressure strong and even (no sputtering)?
- Is the water heater less than 12 years old? (Anything over 10 years is pushing max life)
- How old is the HVAC system and has it been serviced regularly? When was it last cleaned?
- Use your measuring tape—will your sectional couch, king-size bed and giant TV fit?
- Is there enough storage? An entry closet for coats and shoes? A pantry? A linen closet? Mudroom?
Take a Look Around the Backyard
- If there’s a patio, is it covered and is the cover in good shape? Any cracks, sinking or damage?
- If there’s a deck, is there damage? Are the boards soft or spongy? Are railings and steps secure?
- Again, does the landscape slope away from the foundation? Is it well maintained?
- Is there an irrigation/sprinkler system? Is it working properly? Has it been blown for winter?
- Is there water pooling anywhere that it shouldn’t be?
- Are there any mature trees near the foundation or trees with branches touching the roof?
- Is the fence in good shape or is it leaning? Is there water damage at the base from snow buildup?
- Does the electrical box have old fuses (round colored knobs) or circuit breakers (rows of switches)?
If you have any concerns but still want to move forward, that’s great! Along with a general inspection, your agent can bring in pros to complete a sewer scope, radon testing, mold testing, chimney or foundation inspection, even inspections for lead paint and asbestos.
Once any issues are uncovered, you can then decide to walk away or renegotiate. That might mean having the homeowner perform repairs before you get keys, or requesting concessions that will give you the funds to handle repairs before/after moving in. Your PorchLight agent will explain the options, put together the paperwork, and then negotiate on your behalf.