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Denver real estate in 2022: Experts weigh in with latest advice on how to buy or sell a home in Colorado

Posted: 2:40 PM, Feb 04, 2022
Updated: 2022-06-10 18:39:01-04
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DENVER — If you’re overwhelmed just thinking about how to buy or sell a home in the hot Denver and Colorado markets, Denver7 360 In-Depth is breaking down this helpful guide to get you started with the latest advice and tips on everything from what not to do in a home inspection to ways to find real dollars to help you find something affordable.

In this Denver7 360 In-Depth report we look at

  • Realistic new home buyer expectations
  • Critical mistakes you don’t want to make in the home inspection process
  • How transportation experts are prepping for more people to move to Denver
  • Advice on that first meeting with a seller
  • Proposals that would open up more affordable housing in Denver
360 In-Depth: Colorado's housing crisis and the impact to buying and transportation

We begin with important 2022 advice on the inspection process from Denver7 reporter Veronica Acosta.

Another colorado home has sold within just days on the market and Dotson Skaggs with Kentwood Associates has a warning.

Denver has never experienced this type of market before.

“Most buyers are foregoing… they will do the inspection but unless it’s something major they say we’ll take it as is.”

Inspections require everything from HVAC systems to lighting be checked and if that doesn’t happen there’s a real danger.

“I as an agent am concerned because when the market changes – and it will change, it’s just a question of when.. But when it does change, some of these buyers are going to be finding out about some defects in the home.”

Brad Weinstein of BSD Real Estate says despite the pressures of the market, buyers should resist the urge to give up your rights.

“We’re seeing people do ridiculous things,” says Weinstein. He urges you to take your time, despite how hard it may seem.

“Most people are giving up their rights for an inspection objection. What that means is I can come in and inspect this house. I can make sure the house is standing and is good, and that’s it. You have a right to walk away or move forward.”

High demand and low supply have definitely changed the game. Cash offers are coming in from over the country to Colorado – forcing realtors to adjust their approach with everyday buyers.

Mike Potarf of Madlow Real Estate shares important advice about setting expectations in that first meeting with buyers..

“It’s the American dream, buying a house.. How many bedrooms/bathrooms.. How big of a yard you want?” Those are the typical questions but Potarf is grooming his clients for battle.

“I got to prepare people like this is going to war. On the forefront of a battle to look at houses on Saturday. There’s going to be a line of people.”

Keep in mind price, speed and ease of sale are most important to sellers in the current market.

Making matters worse are cash investors offering 60-day leasebacks that other buyers cannot afford.

But condo buyers willing to accept a higher HOA fee sometimes have better luck as do people looking for a place that isn’t quite move-in ready.

Neighborhood stock

Check HOA laws and reources in Colorado

Buying a home in Denver? How to set realistic expectations

One way to create more affordable housing is by developing open land in Colorado. But that comes with another set of potential nightmares on the road. We’ve already seen it with so many new people moving to the state. How will roads and highways keep up with all the new traffic?

Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber takes a look at what Arapahoe County is doing to help ease Colorado’s housing crisis without creating a traffic nightmare.

Arapahoe County transportation planners balancing developing and traffic

Arapahoe County transportation planners balancing development and traffic

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Developing open land in eastern Arapahoe County could be one way to help ease Colorado's housing crisis. There's plenty of available land to build new homes in the area, but transportation planners are working to balance that development without having people stuck in more traffic.

“I think it is a blessing and a challenge, and it’s a great question," said Jim Katzer, the transportation division manager for Arapahoe County.

"We do see a lot of growth projected to be out east.”

It's so much growth that transportation planners in Arapahoe County and the City of Aurora are searching for better ways to manage how people will move around.

“Roads aren’t always enough, so we try to take a toolbox approach where roads are really important. Also there’s these other... tools in our tool box where you’ve got transit. You’ve also got bike and [pedestrians],” Katzer said.

Transportation planners concede that very few people who live east of E-470 will ride their bike to work and definitely won’t walk the 20 or 30 miles to the Denver Tech Center or to downtown.

“It’s going to increase congestion," said Katzer. "So, what are some of the other modes that we can get people around in? Bike and ped. Not everyone is going to bike and ped, so is there a bus system that comes along and helps with that? We hope it can.”

One other solution might be in the way development builds out.

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Developers can fill the now empty land with a mix of industry and housing because having people living close to work or working remotely will take pressure off the transportation system.

But this all takes a lot of money the county doesn’t have.

It means they have to require new developers to pay their own way through fees. A roadway fee and a rural development impact fee is paid by developers to help with traffic impacts inside and outside their developments.

However, it will take more than money to keep people moving in eastern Arapahoe County.

“New technologies are also promising where you have autonomous vehicles," Katzer said.

"Those are developing and are very complicated.”It's complicated enough to say future growth might need future solutions to keep you from sitting in traffic.

Some Colorado homebuyers are waiving inspections, but experts warn it could lead to problems down the road

Back in Denver, the city is looking for ways to create more affordable housing. Proposed rules would require developers to require more affordable housing. Here’s how:

The proposal would require new residential developments with 10 or more units to set aside a portion of those units for people making 90 percent of the median income.

For a single person, that’s about $66,000 in Denver.

“As we know the cost of living in Denver has really gone up and not everyone's salaries have been able to keep up with Denver’s growth.” says Analiese Hock, Principal City Planner / City & County of Denver.

“This really means that we can start making a meaningful dent in our affordable housing needs.”

Robin Kniech, Denver City Councilwoman-at-Large echoes the same sentiment.

“What it means is that we can start to make sure that every time new housing is built in our city, some of it is for the hardworking residents we rely upon to keep our buildings running. To keep our schools and our hospitals running.”

So those same workers can live in the same city in which they provide their service.

How Denver is trying to make a 'meaningful dent' in affordable housing

Through March 14, The city of Denver is urging people to weigh in on the latest proposal.

Denver has set goals to help people without a home. The city set a goal last year of helping 200 families in 100 days.

It exceeded that goal and helped 340 families.

The good news is this time the city hopes to help 400 more households over the next 100 days using two funding sources from the Coronavirus surge to help, according to Britta Fisher, Chief Housing Officer with the city and county of Denver.

“We have a couple of housing resources. We have a housing voucher that is through the Denver Housing Authority from the federal government that we will connect with more than 100 of our households here in Denver that are experiencing homelesness.”

Fisher also says there are emergency grant dollars tied to the pandemic that can help with rehousing. If you or someone you know needs housing help, call 311 or check out the available options from the city of Denver on the housing section of its website.

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This 360 In-Depth report breaking down Colorado's housing crisis was featured on Denver7 News weekday mornings between 4:30 and 7 a.m. with Nicole Brady, Brian Sanders, meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo and traffic expert Jayson Luber.