I hope most of your questions were answered here. If you have more, please feel free to contact any of us for answers. There is no obligation. In the meantime, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a very good web page for first-time buyers. And it is very well organized to quickly get you to the answers to your questions. It is at the web address below. I would suggest you take a look.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
Hope things are going well for you Ryan. When you get close to your decision considering location, let us know. Meanwhile, if you have questions about the area, feel free to call and talk.
PML of Longmont, CO
720 810 0683
Welcome to Boulder County!
Louisville is an attractive city. New shopping malls, high tech jobs and other factors have brought growth without really spoiling this longtime fixture of the area. Louisville, with its small town charm, has many qualities apart from its neighbor, the bustling city of Boulder. The restaurant scene is getting better all the time as Louisville awaits a prosperous future. Louisville was home to a company called Storage Technology, which was absorbed into Sun. Sun left. Now the campus is planned to become a research center for Conoco-Phillips. The last word on that front is the facility will become part of the Phillips 66 company with the companies are split.
Boulder County represents a great opportunity for people starting out because it offers a wide range of home prices and attractive locations. The cities here tend to be very family oriented, too. I'm going to write, too, about the legacy here.
What you need to know as someone starting out is that Boulder and Louisville are slow-growth cities. That means real estate prices will be higher than surrounding areas that do not have ceilings for the number of building permits they issue annually. This fact translates to a stable real estate market. The large number of government and university jobs also add to the stability of the economy of Boulder County. There were an additional 1,500 jobs added to the city of Boulder last year. Other communities in the area also had net job growth, despite losses of some longtime businesses, including the recently announced closure of Butterball in Longmont.
It's hard to take those job losses, and it will be hard for Boulder County to keep its agricultural heritage - but it is trying. The county and cities also buy open space as well as trails and parks. The longterm strategy is to keep cities from blurring into one another as well as enhance the overall attractiveness of the area. If you have time, pull up the open space and park planning for Boulder County at the county's web site.
It may seem like I am selling to someone who is already sold. But, keep in mind that others will follow you here to Boulder County and these amenities help sell real estate here. I mention stability because this area has avoided other recessions, though it has not been immune. When real estate overheated elsewhere in the West, prices here remained calm.
When you buy here in Boulder County, you are buying a legacy. This is a great place because of what came before. If you're the type who likes to take a coffee on a not-too-busy street while sitting and enjoying breathtaking views of mountains and grassy hills, we have that.
If you are an entrepreneur, you are in good company.
Buying an affordable home is less of a challenge these days with record low mortgage rates.
What does all this mean? Taking out my broad brush (because you haven't indicated a price range), I think this is how the county stacks up in terms of affordability with the most expensive first:
Lafayette, Erie, Longmont
Lyons, Hygiene and Mead (though Mead is in another county)
Note, Broomfield is in the area, too.
The third group is an excellent place for starting out. There are excellent schools throughout the area. If it's lifestyle that brings you this way, there are recreation opportunities that are unparalleled here.
All of these communities have good stories, too. Erie, which is strategically located near two major highways, is expected to grow a lot. Lafayette and Longmont are likely to see a healthy amount of growth, though none of these cities are seeing that now.
I don't believe I left much out. If you need more information, please call 720.810.0683.
of Longmont, CO
It sounds like you are planning ahead, which is a very good approach. From an investment standpoint it always is best to stay in a particular home for as long as possible because it is expensive to sell and buy again. Selling in particular is expensive and can cut deeply into the equity you have built up. And, don't let anyone kid you, home ownership can be a very big part of your overall financial plan. With this in mind, I would say a good buy is a home you can live with for as long as possible, one that will most likely appreciate in value during that time period and one that will be easy to sell when the time comes. Louisville has been one of Boulder County's stronger markets, though average and median prices did dip 6.5 and 2.5 percent respectively in the the 12 months ending in November, when compared to the previous 12 months. This may be due to the fact that the lower end of the market has been most active and the fact that Louisville experienced some very large increases during the previous 12 months (12.3 percent average and 10 percent median). In terms of eventually selling your dwelling, I would note that properties next to highly traveled roads, commercial buildings or industrial buildings can be harder to sell and seem to command lower prices. Also, attached dwellings like condos are hard to sell if they are not eligible for low down payment FHA loans or become ineligible while in your possession. Your agent can help you understand this and do some research for you.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Prudential Real Estate of the Rockies
That's a good question, but can be difficult to answer, since "a good buy" is very subjective. Are you looking for move-in ready, or something that may be less expensive that could use some work? Are you looking for 3 bedrooms, or do you need more than 3? The point here is simply that it depends on your needs and your budget. There are some nice 3 bedroom homes starting at around $230,000. But you can also spend a lot more than that. When you're ready to make the move I'd be happy to walk you through the process or answer any questions you may have. You can email me at Serena@YourCastle.org. Good luck with the rest of your studies.