Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Boulder Housing Crunch

Do townhouses cost 350k where you live, 'cause they do in Boulder, Colorado and it hurts and not in a good or satisfying way. Yes, I love my current house (pictured above). It's a ranch, on a quiet street, in a family- friendly neighborhood, half a block from the girls' school, with a pool-accommodating backyard. It has hardwood floors, pocket doors and character out the wazoo.

But, Olie is getting picked on in school and, since we can't change the school's mind, we're changing schools. I have a soon-to-be 6th grader who is so smart that she has been invited to sit the SAT. A soon-to-be 6th grader who will not attend the mediocre neighborhood middle school with kids who don't think reading during recess is cool. So, back to our old 'hood where the kids can be themselves and not get pushed down or teased for being different.

Which means we're in the pulling-out-our-hair-to-get-prequalified-to purchase-a-second-home phase because (a) the girls need to attend new schools in our old 'hood, which they can't do unless we live there or (ding!) own real estate there and (b)my mother is moving here in about a month and she will need a place to live. Like my current house. She'll love it as much as I do and she will take good care of it but we will still own it and get the tax break without the icky capital gains issue.

But, honestly, I hate buying a house more than I hate moving. The process is so fucking painful that I vowed never to do it again. Yeah, well, that was so last house, but buying this house sucked so much that I would rather move the whole damn house, footings and all, than go through the process again. It is that bad.

Add to that the serious juggling we have to do (again!) to buy a house when we already own one and I get queasy just thinking about it. If we take a second on this house, then we can put down nearly 20% on the townhouse. My mother would make the house mortgage and we would have the townhouse mortgage. It's doable but it will take a lot of sacrifice and wine.

1 comment:

Osman said...

Hi Madmom,
I know buying a home can be an unpleasant experience. As an agent, I've helped many buyers and know how stressful it is. Wine? Try hard liquor...

By the way, I publish a little real estate blog focused on Boulder's market. You might want to check it out. You can see a market analysis for what's happening in Boulder in general as well as the specific price range you're looking at for townhomes. That information might help you with your negotiation process. Here's my blog. Let me know if you can't find my latest price range analysis and I'll dig it up for you (or email a PDF).

On the financing side, I had a closing in Broomfield last month with a new lender that my client found. The guy came through with the lowest fees and lowest rate on fixed 30 year mortgage. One of the lenders I often use told me that the rate quoted was "impossible," and I was suspicious through the process. But in the end, there were no surprises and it really was a great loan. No connection, so if you'd like a referal to him drop me a line. If I were shopping mortgages personally, he'd be on my list of brokers to call.

Good luck.