Navigating the Denver Housing Maze

Searching through online news articles about the housing market across Denver, you’ll find words like “ridiculous,” “absurd,” and even “impossible.” It’s hard to retain a shiny sense of searching-for-a-home optimism with that kind of talk coming at you from every direction, but the reality is, even in a challenging market, people still need to sell homes, and people still need to buy homes. Read on for tips on grounding the process as you search for your home-sweet-home in Denver. 

Rule # One: PRE-APPROVAL IS A REQUIREMENT. No Realtor in their right mind will take you house hunting in Metro Denver without a solid mortgage pre-approval from a reliable source.

Rule # Two: HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE. In some marketplaces, it is realistic to plan on finding a home relatively quickly, and closing within a couple of months. Your Denver-based home search is going to take time, there is a lot of competition, and you need to have somewhere to live while you wait to go under contract on a home. Plan ahead for what that will look like, and if you are moving from out of state, don’t jump the gun on selling your current home if you’ve just started looking for a home here.

Rule # Three: PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. Ask your Realtor to ballpark how long it may take to find and secure a home. There are many, many variables to consider, but the length of time it takes to go under contract varies by price range, location, etc. — and it will help you stay sane to know it is taking other folks time to land a house, too. *Absorb this information with an asterisk: you may close a deal sooner than you expected, or it may take twice as long as you hoped. Your Realtor doesn’t have a crystal ball, but he or she will be able to tell you what’s happening in the marketplace.

Rule # Four: FLEXIBILITY IS A REQUIREMENT, NOT AN OPTION. Unless your access to cold hard cash is limitless, you will probably have to be flexible in terms of what your “ideal” house includes. You’ll save a lot of frustration if you begin the process with an open mind.

Rule # Five: NARROW YOUR LIST OF MUST HAVES. With the right offer and patience, you can probably buy a home in your preferred neighborhood. Or with the perfect yard. Or at the max end of your ideal square footage. Or the extra bedroom or finished basement or gourmet kitchen or 3-car garage you are really hoping for. In reality, though, you are unlikely to check every box on your wishlist. This is where flexibility comes in, and you have to be very clear with yourself on which features are must-haves and which you are willing to let go of, given the competitive nature of the market.

Rule # Six: DON’T TRAVEL WITHOUT A GUIDE. Investing in the most important tangible resource in your portfolio — your home — is not a DIY scenario. You’ll want someone with experience in Denver real estate, and experience in an incredibly fast-paced, competitive real estate market like we have here. Choose a Realtor with history in Colorado, and enough transactions under their belt, and years in the game, to have the expert-level knowledge you need to succeed.

Ready to begin your search? Call, text, or email today. I have over 30 years of experience in Denver real estate, and put that experience to work for home buyers & sellers every day.

Jack Meyers 
Twitter: @jackestate


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