10 Nov Top Questions from Condo Buyers in Denver
Over the last decade or so, the Denver metropolitan area has experienced one of the most significant growth periods in its history. The pandemic had more and more people moving out of large, congested cities and yearning for a more stable, quiet life while still benefiting from living near or in a city center. Mountain cities like Salt Lake City, Boseman, Asheville, or Denver, for example, experienced a flood of transplants from a slew of crowded states. In addition, places such as California, New York, Texas, and Florida saw a never-ending cycle for rising rent and home sale prices, driving its population to find more affordable means of living.
Many people searching for a new home that are intent on buying, instead of renting, will likely have a long list of questions they will be asking property managers to make the right purchase for themselves and their family and their current lifestyle. General Managers are the face of the community they serve and represent the overall association. Being prepared for some of the most common questions from potential condominium buyers will help them make the right decision and help the community as a whole. Denver has experienced a lot of change recently, so being aware of the city’s growth and its highlights will bring more buyers your way.
Here are the most common questions from potential homebuyers looking mainly in condominium communities. So whether you’re searching for a home or a General Manager looking for tips on how to help homebuyers make the right choice, the information below will give you a great starting point.
1. What is the market like currently in Denver?
The short answer is: extremely competitive. Whether condominiums or single-family homes, home values have been increasing and are predicted to rise another 9 percent, but it’s been closer to 12 to 15 percent over the last two years. Putting that in dollar amounts, say a home sold for $300,000 in 2019 – a 12 percent increase over the last two years means that same home would have sold for closer to $336,000 in 2021, if not more. As a result, buyers are forced to put more money down before purchasing to get a lower mortgage payment – or even outbid another interested buyer.
2. How can I be sure I bid a reasonable amount on the home I want?
When it comes to outbidding another buyer, bidding wars are not what they used to be and are certainly not over in the Denver metro area. Specifically speaking about condominiums, many empty nesters opt for the HOA condo lifestyle and want fewer responsibilities and upkeep on a home. They no longer desire the big yard that needs to be mowed once a week or the large driveway that needs to be shoveled every few days during classic Colorado winter storms. They’re willing to pay more for less square footage and often have the means to do so from selling a single-family house that was paid off long ago and sold for a significant amount more than what they bought it for 40 years ago.
At the same time, younger, new home buyers opt for condominium living for the same reasons of no desire to take care of a single-family home, yard, and many don’t need the space in a single-family house. Birth rates are on the decline, meaning fewer Millennials and Generation Z buyers have kids. Therefore they don’t want or need the extra space, and condo living fits their lifestyle better. Sellers might be more inclined to choose first-time homebuyers in a bidding war over an older couple simply because of time constraints. New homebuyers will have money in hand from a loan ready to go, whereas previous homeowners will need extra time to sell their current home and get the money for the new one.
If you have your sights set on a condominium unit – it’s in a great location, is just the right amount of space, has a fantastic view, and the community it resides in is perfect for your lifestyle, you’ll need to take all the necessary steps and do all you can to make sure you land that unit. A clean, well-written offer can frequently beat higher offers. Making sure you as a homebuyer are pre-approved for a loan amount, not just pre-qualified, lets the sellers know you are ready with money-in-hand and are prepared to make the deal as quickly as possible. Being pre-approved is just as good as a cash offer and will work heavily in your favor. Another helpful tip is writing a letter to the sellers to send with your offer. Making your offer more personal can sometimes lead sellers to choose one buyer simply because of their offer letter.
3. What are the HOA dues here, and what amenities will I be receiving if I choose to buy a condominium in your community?
This is more for General Managers – confidently knowing all the ins and outs of each HOA fee associated with living in the respective community you manage is essential. Be sure you can explain every fee and due in detail; what each one is for, how it helps the association, and how these fees benefit the residents. Give potential buyers a full tour of the community, and be sure to highlight all amenities, including popular common areas, any resident events, and especially security features/safety measures in and around the property.
Next, know the neighborhood! If you think the community is in a great location, explain why! Are there highly ranked schools nearby? Any great parks within walking distance? What about daycare centers for those with children? Or walking paths or golf courses nearby for older, retired buyers? What is the noise level like at night? Are crime rates in the area low? Let them know! As a General Manager, you should sell your community with the knowledge and confidence that buyers come to expect.
4. Is the building professionally managed or owner-managed?
Talk to buyers about management – what are the benefits to the way your association manages operations? For example, some buyers might be apprehensive about living in an association that is owner-operated. In contrast, others might prefer owner-operated properties and be hesitant to live in a professionally managed association for various reasons.
As a homebuyer, if you are unsure of the benefits of each, you can read through our other blog post highlighting this exact topic, found here. Then, consider your options and make a decision that best suits your needs and your living situation.
While these questions are just some of the most important and common ones asked, do your research on the neighborhood you plan on moving to. Visit the community in person if you can, and drive around. Talk to current residents of the area, visit nearby parks, and ask the locals! Current residents of the area will be your best asset to finding the right location for your upcoming move. General Managers are there to help you make the best decision, but trust your gut when it comes to such a big purchase. Denver is a top-tier city to move to and one that you surely won’t regret!