Is Pueblo Colorado a wise investment city?

22 Replies

Yeah, @Steve W, thanks for the intellectual  input. I think @Nicholas Vandermolen is asking a question to peeps who are ACTIVELY involved in the Pueblo market. 

As far as fundementals, Pueblo has appreciated 14% every year consistenly. Boeing is moving their missle facility into pueblo. HP, Lockheed are down here as well. Housing prices are low, competition is smaller scale. If you would like to look around hit me up and I would be happy to show you around!

I love Pueblo! (tho I live 100 miles away)


@Nicholas Vandermolen I realize my sharp sentences might have read accusatory, sorry that was not my intention. Pueblo could very well suit your investment goals. However in my opinion Colorado Springs still has good fundamentals with room for growth. Maybe Pueblo does too it's just less obvious to me.

The chart below is Census/BLS data showing the percent change from 2010-2019. COS has more people moving in, more job growth, and better income growth along with a higher overall income level. All this with a population 3-4x of Pueblo (depending if you are also including Pueblo West). That means comparatively A LOT more jobs are being created in COS, justifying housing demand.

@Steve W. Your correct on all your previous comments about the Springs. I represent a new builder here in Pueblo West and we have had 3 of the last 5 home sales go to buyers who have been priced out of the Springs market and those that simply can't find a home in the Springs. Colorado Springs is basically $100k more for the same homes plus in Pueblo West you get acreage and not a peep show into your neighbors bathrooms :) The eastside of Pueblo has for many years showed the biggest promise for both flip and buy and hold. The eastside gets a bad rap which I don't believe warrants it, and there is some hefty profits to be made there. And yes, if you're analyzing Pueblo you would be well advised to factor in Pueblo West. As far as growth is concerned it's happening more organically because of home prices and not necessarily job growth.

@Nicholas Vandermolen

I'm totally agree with @Steve W. about Pueblo, and it's why I'm investing (and telling my investor and buyers to invest) in Colorado Springs over Pueblo. The fundamentals matter. Jobs, population growth, diversified economy. People always ask if Denver is in a real estate bubble? Is Colorado Springs real estate market going to crash? They think this because prices are rising so quickly, and they think it's pure speculation.To me, it's not speculation if the underlying fundamentals support the rise in prices -- the aforementioned jobs, population growth, economy, etc. Denver has those things in spades. Colorado Springs, to a lesser extent, does too.

But what does Pueblo have? Admittedly, I don't know that market inside and out like I do Denver and Colorado Springs, but I don't see a population growth (except for aging boomers who want a sunny spot). I don't see young people. I don't see industry. To me, that starts to feel more like speculation.

What do others think?

I've written a couple lengthy discussions of the fundamentals of the city. I think it is an extremely good city to invest in so long as you understand what you are investing for (cash flow for us buy and hold investors). Fundamentally, Pueblo is growing faster than the national average and the rents are still only 1/3 the median income, meaning that at least half of the LOCAL population can afford rents. (and so on and so on).

Industry is increasingly diversified in the city. It is NOT a tech hub like Denver or (lesser) Colorado Springs. It does have tech, however. I've seen the applications to my own property. 

There are a few other important things to consider, however. First off, northern Pueblo is timewise the same distance away from down town Colorado Springs/Fort Carson as Falcon/Peyton, which are also growing and great. It's similar to how close Castle Rock is to downtown Denver (but it's actually closer in time). In my day job way up by the Air Force Academy, I had well paid co-workers that chose to commute from Pueblo/Pueblo West instead of spend the crazy amount of money to buy in the Springs. I've also had Pueblo tenants that commuted up to work in Fountain.

Colorado Springs is great. I live here and love it. I'm a native of the city. However, it's worth understanding that the crazy amount of rent growth, influx, and increasing pay (mostly through new higher paying jobs, not necessarily better pay for the existing jobs) have not blessed everyone equally. While Colorado Springs is building quickly... it's far from cheap to do so. Pueblo is affordable and 30 minutes away... so don't discount the "draft" it's getting (although it's far from the only driver of the city). 

Now for the reality check to this rosy picture... If you look way back to the recessions, Pueblo was hit harder than Denver or the Springs by about 2-3x (not percent... times.) That can easily go the same way in a recession, as the economic draft drying up can be hard on the city in terms of price. However, even more seriously, it's highly absentee owned by people who live in Colorado Springs and Denver (or metros), so... expect that any liquidity issues in real estate to be magnified in Pueblo.

In the end, I think that it's still a great place to invest. You can get cash flow if you look (even after long term costs) and the fundamentals suggest you should be able to hold on to it through a recession if you buy it right. It has been experiencing price appreciation as well, making it a great hybrid market. 

One last thing, I often say this to people I know in COS and DEN metros... it's also a perfect place to do "long distance investing" with training wheels. You will be forced to build your systems and teams, but it's only 30 minutes to 2.5 hours away from most bigger front range markets. 

... Just my 2 cents. Happy to connect with anyone interested in the area/market or even more if they have deals. 

I am not from Pueblo nor am I from Colorado and I get tired of people bashing Pueblo especially when the closest they've been is on the I-25 looking out their windows.

Richmond American is building in Pueblo again.  One word: demand.

Also what's wrong with boomers being a bigger portion of a population?  The older you get the more you'll want lower elevation, less hassle, sunny skies and less expensive housing and best of all trails aren't overrun with millennials!

@Chris Pasternak the Lake Pueblo trail system is pretty amazing with one of the most visited mountain bike trail systems on Colorado during the winter months. Many people often overlook it because, like you said, it's not right off of I-25. They are also revitalizing downtown now and making the whole area pedestrian friendly and encouraging a lot of small businesses to move downtown.

I have many homes in Peublo and started about 4-5 years ago down there.  I've seen significant growth and change in that amount of time.  It has been a great market for me and I've given credit to Pueblo for single handedly getting me out of my 8-5 job.  I know the picture is different now versus back then, but I have seen and heard of A LOT of people moving in from out of state, renting my homes unseen, demand is and has been high, rents are increasing still (unlike Denver), homes have appreciated significantly.  

What the metrics have a hard time showing you when looking at market vs market jobs and median income of CO Springs and Pueblo is the amount of people willing to commute from Pueblo to Co Springs.  It's only about 30 minutes from Pueblo to Co Springs and when you can buy a house for much cheaper, even one that has more land as well, it's enticing.  Same with renters, they don't want to rent an apartment in Co Springs for $1500 when they can rent a house for $1,000-1,200.  

I think Pueblo has done a good job attracting jobs and amenities.  It was a sad to hear the minor league ended up passing on them a couple years ago - could have been even better.  But I see that as progression and do believe Pueblo will continue trending well - even with a recession.

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