Investing in Denver

3 Replies

Hi Everybody,
New to the forum and it looks great! Just have some questions. I currently live in Florida and am looking to relocate to an area where I can do more investing in property. I am looking into the Denver metro area. From the research I have done so far it appears I can possibly invest in Denver rather than more in Florida. It seems I may be able to cash flow in the Denver area. Does anybody know or invest there that can give me some insight? I am really thinking of multi-family.

Hi Lisa,
I'm just a newbie, but I've been looking at Denver for the last several months and I've lived here since '99. I've not looked at FL except for a conversion project in Orlando, so I can't compare. But, I've not found much that will generate positive cash flow in Denver. I've been mostly looking on the west side, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, and Arvada. I've not found any SFR properties that are cash flow positive. Prices are level or down from a year ago, but still up a lot from 5-8 years ago. Rents have not kept up with the price appreciation. Apt vacancies were up at 12% a few years ago, but are now running under 8%. The market is slowing, and there are lots of foreclosures. So, could well be opportunities coming.

I've looked at a number of small multi-family units, 4-12 or so units. Quads on this side of town sell in the $300K-350K range and rents run $500-600/unit. Areas that have these usually have a bunch of them together along with 8 or 12 unit buildings. So, lots of rental competition. I've also looked at some on the east side of Denver, roughly Colfax and York where there's a lot of redevelopment in progress. Rent vs. price is worse, but there may (MAY!) be more potential for appreciation.

I've also looked at student housing up in Greeley. There are units near the UNC (University of Northern CO, not that UNC) that are slightly positive cash flow. But, this area has a lot of foreclosures. Its also home of Swift, the meat packing company and one of their plants that was recently raided by ICE. There are rumblings Swift may close the plant. So, I worry that prices may take a big hit. However, I don't think rents will decline greatly since the dorm rates at the university will set something of a floor. So, I'm waiting and watching to see if this becomes a better prospect. Campus rentals are a bit tricky because most of the activity happens in March & April with leases starting May 1. A smaller bump as students return in August. Miss these bumps and there aren't many tenants available.

I've not looked very closely at Aurora. Just from what I've seen in the news, I do think they've been hit harder with foreclosures than other areas. They also have some areas, like Greeley, that seem to have been pretty hard by a lot of subprime loans. Aurora's a big place, though, with some major employment centers, esp. down to the south end.