Yes, the Colorado real estate market has gone berserk. It’s now the Fourth of July 2021, it’s been 80 days since we sold our house and, despite not finding a house, we still do not have sellers remorse. At least not yet. Which is remarkable because we are legit roughing it, one step up from tent camping, really. Not gonna lie and say I haven’t thought about taking our $$ profits from the sale of our house and buying a luxury RV. But, if you know us, you know we have the ability to turn everything into fun, even the dirt bag life. And if it’s not fun at the time, rest assured it will be a great story.
In the past 80 days we’ve settled into our alter ego as traveling nomads quite seamlessly, really. We have managed to either kayak or ride every single day. We’ve toured more of Colorado in the last 80 days than we ever did in the 21 years we’ve lived here. And we’ve managed to actually see a ton of houses, and experience this stupid insane Colorado real estate market first hand.
You’d have thought we got to experience it as sellers, but not really. We worked our arses off for 3 months, flipping our house, barely coming up for air. Dan did the math, we poured over 4000 hours of manual labor into that house!! We got an offer, I think on the third day, it was a low-ball offer but hey, good on them. We countered and eventually settled on a number. But then they and their sleezy realtor tried to play games with us and when we held strong, they bailed. But the moral of the story here is that, because of the utter lack of inventory, the fact that there are legit ZERO houses, they came back.
The funny thing is we are now on that side of the game. My Instagram account is filled with DM’s about the Colorado market. Asking if we are bummed we sold (hell no!) and asking what the Colorado real estate market is like (misery)! We know these houses are over-priced, but we, along with everyone else, have to choose to either pay too much for a house to actually get a house OR contemplate waiting this bizarre real estate market out, wait for things to level off.
It appears that most people are opting for option 1 as we have made offers on 3 houses and have no success story. The first, outside Salida, CO … we got outbid (although that buyer bailed). The second, in Mancos, CO, we made another very good offer, but then the seller decided she didn’t want to sell, too many memories in the house. The third, in Rifle, CO the house went under contract within hours, and although we put in a back-up offer it’s not gonna happen.
Then two houses just this past weekend we struck out on. The first, in Silt, CO, we had the draft contract in hand and were just about to sign and our realtor, God Bless him, called and said, they had an offer they were going to take. Then the following day we were going to see a house in Glenwood Springs, CO and found out the same, they had just gotten an offer they were accepting. We can’t even get in to see a house before it’s under contract, that’s how insane the Colorado real estate market is!
And now there is one in Durango, CO. We are currently waiting to hear from our realtor down there. This house went on the market and same day had an offer, but the sellers are waiting through the weekend because they are hoping for that enviable bidding war. We are waiting to see what the other offers are before we even bother to make an offer. This house needs some work, but is priced so well, and so perfectly located … 10 minutes to the whitewater park, 40 minutes to Purgatory, 15 minutes to Hesperus for that night boarding, 5 minutes to the lake … it’s just so hard to pass up. But, we have a budget, ya know … and I seriously doubt we will even be able to compete, so it will be back to the drawing board.
And, did you know (I did not) that different localities have different conventional loan limits? Like, we don’t want to go into the Jumbo Loan arena because of the difficulties as a self-employed individual, so we are going the conventional loan route. Conventional loan amounts vary depending on county. So, in say Summit County conventional loans can go as high as $822,375 whereas in the vast majority of counties in Colorado the limit is $548,250. And then there are some variations, like in Garfield County and Pitkin County, the max loan amount is $765,600. And from there you play around with the cash you have and go from there.
It’s all so weird and so unusual and so difficult. We are 100% free, we could move to Alaska if we wanted, and while that is super awesome and exactly how we designed it, it does make this whole moving thing difficult. Is it Durango, or Salida, or Steamboat or Glenwood, or Eagle? Or even Wyoming or Montana? South Dakota or Idaho? Or maybe we become expats?
Do we buy now or later? Is there an end to this nutty market? Is Wall Street right, is the insanity of the market, the Colorado real estate market, in particular, going to even out? And where are all the foreclosures politicians have been warning society about?
We need answers, people!