Home Buying in Denver>Question Details

Loren Escand…, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Hello, with my husband we are relocating from NYC to Denver. We would like to know if it is better to rent or to buy?

Asked by Loren Escandon, Los Angeles, CA Fri Sep 14, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Ken Miller’s answer
As a Realtor I consider rent a four-letter word. Even so, seems sensible to roof yourselves without substantial commitment and substantial dollars. Explore the lay of the Denver land. It's a beautiful city, with many many wonderful neighborhoods. And compared to NYC (I'm a native New Yorker), Denver a big bargain!

So get to know the Denver residential market----as you rent. Explore a short-term rental. And explore the Denver neighborhoods. Get a feel for them. Learn the time it takes from here and there to your offices (if you work out of your home).

Moving is stressful. So is purchasing a home. So good luck to you both!

Ken Miller
Senior Broker,
Kentwood City Properties
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 16, 2012
Hi Loren,

I saw this recent article this week and it may help with your thought process and decision as to purchasing or renting when you come to Denver - http://j.mp/S2Hup4 . It only takes 2.5 years to hit the break even point when you purchase rather than rent in Denver. Also rents went up 5% in the last year. If you need further assistance.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
interest rates are at 3.25%. The Denver market is warming up and the Rental market is extremely tight. Given the flexibility to purchase, now is a "Once in a lifetime" chance to get a super low rate in a recovering economic zone. I would buy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
You should definitely rent first so that you can then decide which neighborhood it would be best to buy in.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 21, 2012
it will probably be better to rent at first so you can get to know the neighborhood a little better.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Hi Loren,

I would recommend that you take a look at Trulia's Rent v. Buy calculators: http://info.trulia.com/rentvsbuy

Trulia's Rent vs. Buy Index, which tracks whether it is more affordable to rent or buy a home in America’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

Hope this helps,
Ali, Community Manager
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Great question! There are wonderful arguments for both sides! The interest rates are amazing right now and I have heard the rental market is tough. I would recommend buying...however, it all depends on what your personal situation is.

I would love to chat and find out much more about what your ideal home would be, timeframe and even your investment goals!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
Wash Park is also awesome and right on par with the other areas you mentioned. The Highlands might be a great area for you to explore as well. Can you send me an e-mail with your e-mail address, and I will forward you some listings that meet the lifestyle you described? Also include some information on your need for bedrooms/bathrooms/office/work-out room/etc, pets, hobbies, and price range so I can try to help you with meaningful and relevent information as much as possible. My best e-mail is wagfm@aol.com. You can also feel free to call me on my cell at (303) 668-9796.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 27, 2012
Jorge says: rent for the first 6 months. Get to know the area, proximity to work, shops you like, and schools if you have kids. If your plan is to stay for at least 5 years or more, then buy after your 6 months of rent and "discovery", after all rates are low and you can't go wrong. Have a fun day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 26, 2012
Finding a Realtor you truly trust to listen to your needs on safety, schools, budget, interests and lifestyle will allow you to take advantage of low rates and a local market place that is bustling. Buying now will be an excellent financial decision and protect you from ever increasing rental payments (throwing your money away) and possibly missing out on the best interest rates of the century.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
I have never found it better to rent than buy in this market. It all depends upon your time frame.I see by your profile you are from the Villages in Florida are you a Snow Bird looking for a climate change for a short time or a residential move.
Let's consider it is a long term move. Renting just absorbs your cash flow and has no return. With interest rates low both on loans and savings, you will get a better ROI buying than renting.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 20, 2012
Loren - I suggest you have a conversation with a local agent to determine exactly what your budget will allow..what your needs are.........and what is available in a rental OR sale in your price range.

No one here can advise you properly without having more information.

No one here knows if you can spend $1000, 2000 or 3000+ monthly for living expenses..........no one here knows what, if any, down payment you have, or how you might qualify for a mortgage...........or what your reason is for relocating to Denver.

Maybe it's a new job..............what if it doesn't work out, or you're not happy there?
You might want the freedom, which renting will offer you, to move again.......or simply to make sure you like a neighborhood before investing in it.

Are you at all familiar with Denver?
You might want to take a year to get your bearings before committing to a purchase.

I often counsel transferees to wait before buying...........last January, I put a couple who were moving here from overseas into an 8 month rental .......they settled in, and decided they really liked the town, and recently closed on a home I sold them.

Don't feel pressured into buying if you have any doubts.

There are numeorus variables that will ultimately factor into your final decision.

So.........Have a nice long conversation with someone, and, once you have all the facts and information, I am confident you'll make the decision that's right for you and your husband.

Best wishes...........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
Hi Loren,

In today's market, with low interest rates and below value pricing, I would suggest you consider purchasing a home rather than renting.

We have relocation material online. You'll also find lots of useful information under the Finances/Investments section of "How's The Market."

Check out our website at http://www.coloradoliving365.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
Everything in Real Estate has changed across the U.S. including Denver. As a Luxury Leasing Specialist and Licensed Broker with RE/Max Professionals, I can tell you that if you will be in Denver less than 5 years, renting is the way to go! We have many clients that can attest to renting. Why pay property taxes, HOA fees, etc when you can live in the luxurious lifestyle that your are used to without paying all the costs? Give me a call at 303-883-7100, Joyce Kelly.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
Hi Loren,

Good question. It all depends on your personal situation. Whether you have the credit scores, down payment and job stability that lenders are looking for will be a big factor. It is tough right now to find the right home in the Denver area with the low home inventory unless you know what you want. You will need to start looking early with Daily Listing Alerts etc. to be aware of what is available now and what homes come on the market within your parameters on a daily basis. This is especially true in the market under $400,000. It is not quite so tight when you are looking at homes $400,000 and up.

Having said that, the rental market is very tight right now. Rents are going up significantly and there are a lot of people looking for rentals due to unstable job situations and also the results of the recent and tragic foreclosures taking place over the recent years. But in general, I would say that in most cases it is better to purchase than to rent for several reasons. This is a blog I wrote on this just recently - http://j.mp/JFzjYI Let me know if I can be of further assistance. We are here to assist you with your real estate needs.

Robert McGuire ASR
Your Castle Real Estate
Direct - 303-669-1246
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
That is always a tough choice. First of all, purchasing is always a great option if you don't anticipate having to sell in the very near term and if you have an idea of what you want. Interest rates are incredible, and the first several years of mortgage payments may allow you to take a tax deduction of nearly 100% of your mortgage payment since payments are almost exclusively interest that is being paid on the front end of an amortized real estate loan. Things I suggest you consider ... How well do you currently know Denver and the areas in which you are most interested? How much time do you have to explore your options? Denver and the surrounding areas offer an abundance of lifestyles, from private, mountain settings with serenity, breathtaking views and endless outdoor opportunities; the exciting, urban lifestyle with easy access to nightlife, theater, sports and more; to a variety of suburban opportunities that provide a launching pad into the mountains, the city, and endless amenities.

If you are not sure what your expectations, wants and needs are in Denver, finding a short-term rental and exploring the many amazing places to live so that you pick the right home is an excellent choice.

Good luck and welcome to Colorado!

Best regards,
Jody Wagner
Keller Williams Foothills Realty LLC
Cell (303) 668-9796
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
Hi Loren,

Wash Park is also awesome and right on par with the other areas you mentioned. Can you send me an e-mail with your e-mail address, and I will forward you some listings to check out. Also include your family information (pets, kids, need for bedrooms/bathrooms/office/work-out room/etc) and price range so I can try to help you as much as possible. My best e-mail is wagfm@aol.com. You can also feel free to call me on my cell at (303) 668-9796.
Flag Wed Sep 26, 2012
Hello Mrs.. Wagner, thank you so much for your comment.

I understand every point you made. You are right we are not familiar with Denver at all but at the same time moving a couple of times in a year is not our ideal. Relocating is already stressful enough. On the other hand my husband and I would love to keep our life style as close as possible to the NYC mode we are used to. We want to be "in the middle" we like Urban, close to everything type, without the snobby feeling of "downtown". A friendly neighborhood, with fun people and little places to explore, close to a park and safe. I have been reading about Cheeseman Park, Capitol hill, Belaro. Those all sound like fun to me. We rather actually Condo leaving with amenities. One of the main reasons we want to buy is because we are planing on staying in Denver for at least 3 years. However, I had noticed the market doesn't offer many options, not sure if this is a "dry" season there.
Any suggestions o listings will be appreciated
Flag Sat Sep 15, 2012
Hi Loren Escandon,

Thank you for your question!

I just posted a blog on this very topic:


A;so take a look at the relocation services that I offer:


I would be glad to help you narrow down your search to find a great house and earn your business. My services are free of charge to my buyers.

Thank you

Ethan Besser
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 15, 2012
Really depends in how long you plan on spending in co. Each market is tight as rents are going up in most areas and Denvers market for homes for sale is tough. Inventory is low at this time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
In all of but two metro areas, the formula favors buying. In Colorado, the difference shows up after the first two years and it favors buying. You may find it frustrating here, because inventory is so low. I read at Inside Real Estate that homes under $100,000 have a week's worth of inventory. To say investors have been active is an understatement. In Boulder County, the vacancies are below 5 percent. That holds up for a lot of the city.

If you do rent, bring your references and good credit history.



0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
If you are planning to stay in Denver for a while, I would suggest buying/owning your own home. We dont have a huge rental market here unlike NYC. One of the best places to look for homes for rent is on craigslist.com, but Denver real estate agents typically do not work the rental market. There are of course several apartments available too, which you can research online or I would be happy to suggest a few if you are interested. But if you are able to buy and think you will be here for at least a couple years - I'd definately buy!

Brooke Whitfield
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
The market in Denver is very tight for both renting and for buying. With rentals, there is only about a 1% vacancy and rents are increasing. With homes for sale, there are almost 40-50% less homes for sale than a year ago. With low interest rates and decent economy in Denver, prices are rising and it is a Seller's market in many parts of Denver. If you can swing it, I would recommend buying or renting for 6 months to a year so that you can get to know the market better. Feel free to contact me with questions about different neighborhoods.

Nina Kuhl
Cherry Creek Properties LLC
c: 303-913-5858
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hi Loren,

There are lots of factors that should determine whether you rent or buy. Most importantly, knowing how long you will be in the Denver area is important - the longer the better. Also, where you decide to buy and in what price range will also determine if it's better to rent or buy. I moved to Denver from NJ to attend the U. of Denver and I never went back! The transition was easier than I thought - sunny 300 days per year on average, friendly people and lots of shopping, theatre, dining, etc. Many of my clients who relocate to the area also decide to stay. If I can help you through the transition, please feel free to call or email me. Helping you to find a place in Denver that will be comfortable for you is easier because I understand how you live now, both in location and style.

Martine Addison
Classic Colorado Homes Group
RE/MAX Professionals
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
The answer to this question depends on what you mean by best. If you're wanting to know which is less expensive, it is less expensive to buy in almost every case, based on monthly payment. The rental market here is HOT, and people are finding it difficult to find a nice house. Apartments are a bit more available.

If you have the credit and the funds, you're better off to buy. I will never forget the look on my client's face last month, when he found out his monthly payment was going to be $850 to own a house that would cost him $1200 to $1300 to rent.

I know often folks like to rent for awhile, to get to know the area, but if you have jobs you'll probably want to live pretty close to where you work. A good real estate agent could help familiarize you with neighborhoods that fit your budget. (Be sure to choose an agent who limits the number of clients they take at one time, so they will be able to give you all the time you need.)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hi Loren,

Don't let me tell you, let Trulia tell you:

Buying A Home Is 45% Cheaper than Renting

The most important housing decision that most consumers face is whether to rent or to buy. So to help them with this decision, we took a look at the key market factors affecting the cost of homeownership. First off, asking home prices have started to rebound and have risen by 2.3% year over year in August (3.8% excluding foreclosures); however, rents have risen more (4.7%). This means that prices are lower relative to rents than they were a year ago. But more importantly, mortgage rates have fallen: the best rates this summer have been around 3.5%, while last summer rates were closer to 4.5%. Based on asking prices and rents during the summer of 2012, buying is now 45% cheaper than renting in the 100 largest U.S. metros, on average – that’s a savings of $771 a month. If you plan to stay in a home for 7 years, which is the average time that Americans traditionally live in a home before moving again, it is more affordable to buy than to rent in ALL of the 100 largest metros in the U.S.

Costs aside, the decision to rent or buy a home is very personal. There’s a strong emotional component: some people want the security of homeownership and others want the footloose freedom of renting. But the financial factors are also very personal because the decision to rent or buy depends on:

Can you qualify for a mortgage at the best rate available?
Which tax bracket are you in, and do you itemize your deductions?
How long will you stay in your home?

To calculate whether renting or buying costs less, we assume people can get a low mortgage rate of 3.5%, itemize their federal tax deductions and are in the 25% tax bracket, and will stay in their home for seven years. (Below, we’ll show how changing these assumptions can affect the rent-versus-buy math.) We do the following calculations:

First, we looked at all the homes for sale and rentals listed on Trulia in June, July and August 2012. On for-sale homes, we took the asking price and estimated what it would rent for; for rentals, we took the asking rent and estimated what it would sell for. That way, we can calculate the average rent and asking price for an identical set of properties in a metro area, for a direct apples-to-apples comparison. By looking at homes currently for sale or rent, we’re able to illustrate the actual housing options that consumers face right now.

Second, we estimated the total costs of renting and buying for the typical property in a metro over a seven-year period. We factored in all the costs of homeownership (e.g., closing costs, maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc.), along with the tax benefit of deducting mortgage interest and property taxes, as well as the proceeds from selling the home after seven years with modest home price appreciation. On the rental side, we factored in renters’ insurance and the security deposit. Finally, we calculate the net-present-value of all those costs to capture the opportunity cost of tying your money up in a down payment. This gives us the total cost of buying versus renting. We then calculated the dollar difference and percentage difference between renting and buying.

Hope that helps.

Paul Mooney, Trulia Preferred Partner 3030810-7280
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hi Loren, it is mainly determined by how long you intend to live here to gauge the re-sale market if it's a relatively short term.. I came out from CT in 1969 and stayed. It is a tremendous place to live. Call when you can so we can discuss your plans in detail. I love NYC. My sister has a large PR firm there.
Thanks. Ed Quinn 303-807-7688 Ed@EdQuinnSite.com.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hi Loren,

I wrote about that recently. Read it on my blog. I would love to help with your move to Denver.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
I would buy with fall coming and interest rates so low. Check out my site to see all the homes for sale and let me know what I can do to help you. http://www.mansfielddenver.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
It's better to buy, in the long run, but make sure you get with a great Buyer's Agent to help you identify the neighborhoods you will like. Best of luck!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Hi Loren,

We actually just published this article that you might find interesting:


Hope you find it useful!

Ali, Community Manager
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
I would rent for six months to a year until you get to know the area and figure out what neighborhood you'd like to live in.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
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