Can I house hack in Boulder, CO?

3 Replies

I got started with a house hack here. Honestly it was life changing. Gaining six figure apprecaiton in the span of a few years was what enabled me to start building a rental portfolio. It's a great way to go even if you just cover expenses, as the principle pay down and appreciation alone is significant. Appreciation is of course no guarantee but it has been consistently very high for many decades. There was a slight dip in the 90's and values flattened for a minute in the 2009-2010 GFC but did not go down even then and the trend over time has been way up. Average appreciation over the last decade equates to $350 per day. Can't promise anything for the future but more and more people are moving here every year for the famous Boulder lifestyle which has basically become its own brand, Google just opened a branch, there's a vibrant tech scene and a huge start-up culture fueled by a few big VC groups, many of the biggest health food and natural products brands are based here, the outdoor industry is huge, there's biotech, cleantech, software companies galore, the university provides a lot of recession proof high paying jobs as well as the hospital, NIST, NOAA, UCAR, NCAR, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, Sierra Nevada Corp., Qualcomm, Rally, Batelle, Covidien, Medtronic, Northrop Grumman, Whole Foods, etc. plus Denver is only a 30 minute commute. The population growth and strong job market combined with limited land for development (due to the geography of the plains meeting the mountains in the middle of town and the open space preservation laws) means high demand and low inventory, which of course drives appreciation. The beautiful landscape has always drawn people in and Niwot's Curse has always kept them here, for better or for worse. 

It's an expensive market (actually pretty similar to Boston pricing, Cambridge I mean, not Revere) and it's competitive so finding deals is the biggest challenge. Multifamily would be nice, you might even cash flow a little bit if you buy right. Colorado is very landlord friendly in general but Boulder has stricter policies than most towns in the state (nothing compared to Boston though as far as being tenant friendly). STR's are only allowed if it's your primary residence which is actually perfect for house-hackers because it's the only way to legally run a STR. You still have to have a short term rental license and comply with smart regs which is a point system for energy efficiency that all rentals have to comply with. Taxes are low compared to other similar high appreciation markets but have been increasing... lots of positives. Anyway yeah if you can afford it, Boulder is an awesome place to house hack. 605 Apline Ave is a current listing that would make a sweet house hack (grandfathered ADU basement unit) and is a good value for the price. If you're willing to go 15-20 minuets out of downtown into some of the outlying suburbs, there are a lot of less expensive options. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

@Steve K. This is a wealth of information and I really appreciate it! Good to hear you’re familiar with the Boston market. Referring to your post on the other thread - I’d love to connect and hear more about house hacking possibilities and fill you in on what my vision is for the move. Looking forward to connecting.

Best,

Justin

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