5 Things to Look for When You’re House Shopping in Denver
Denver’s housing market is hot and has been hot for years. There are many great reasons to go house shopping in Denver, including the following:
- Need a job? They are plentiful in Denver, where the unemployment rate is just 2.9%, below the current national average of 3.7%.
- Love good beer? Denver has been rated as the number one best city for beer drinkers.
- Do you enjoy cannabis? Recreational use of marijuana was legalized statewide in 2012.
- Do you love the outdoors? Denver boasts a semi-arid, four-season climate with comfortable temperatures and nearly 300 days of annual sunshine.
- What does the housing market look like? Statewide, the new inventory of single-family homes was up 15% from April to May 2019, and 5.7% over the same period last year.
If you are just getting into the game as a first-time homebuyer, there are many things to look out for as you shop. Here is our top five list of Denver house shopping tips.
Look Out – Doors and Windows
Always check for double-paned windows and check for weather stripping around doors. These are traditional things, but they can add up to savings on your energy bills. Double-paned vinyl or wood-framed windows can reduce energy usage by up to 24% during the winter, and by up to 18% during the summer. And sealing around doors and windows with appropriate weatherstripping is proven to save up to 20% on your energy bills.
Another type of door you might want to look for is shower doors. It seems to be common for house flippers to leave out shower doors. This expense can you thousands of dollars. If you find a house without these doors, try and negotiate to have them put on in the pre-sale process.
Look Up – Roofing
Look at the roof and walk on it, if possible. A roof can look brand-new but have major problems. This is especially true in Colorado where hail storms come through annually. The shingles might look good, but when you walk on it, does it seem to give way? If it is, you might have bigger issues with the roof decking, and water or condensation may be gathering under the roof. The cost of this type of repair can be $10K to $20K.
Look Inside – Soundproofing
Not all houses are soundproofed, or some may be less than others. Check the home’s attic for sufficient layers of insulation and ask about other sound-proofing features. As a city like Denver experiences almost explosive growth, residents can actually hear the explosion in the form of construction sounds, city services vehicles, and airplanes and trains common to the Mile-High City.
Look Closely – The Colorado Crack
This is a nickname for a common type of foundation crack found in the state. It is a crack that forms at the corners of a home’s foundation. Older homes will typically have these cracks. Although the Colorado Crack is not a big deal, it should bring up a yellow flag. Be sure a licensed inspector or building engineer examines the rest of the foundation for potential problems.
Look Down – Sewer Replacement
Has the home’s sewer been replaced lately? Prior to 1975, Denver sewer lines were made of vitrified clay pipe. This type of sewer system sees lots of tree-root infiltration and has multiple joints that can become broken or collapse with extended use. Denver is made of clay and other shifting substrates, and replacing the sewer system can be a $10K expense you don’t want to face when you buy a home. At the least it should be highlighted in your pre-purchase home inspection.
Bonus Tip for House Shopping in Denver – Look Again
One of the most important things you can do is look at a house two or three times at different times of day. If you really like a house, come back in the evening and see how you like the neighborhood at night as well as during the day. Different lighting can reveal things that were unseen at other times of day.
Denver is home to great food and drink, plentiful employment opportunities, top-tier higher education spots, exciting outdoor adventures, and plenty of beautiful homes. It is truly a great place to live, which is why is has been rated as the number two best place to live in the United States in 2019.
What are your best tips for house shopping in Denver? Share your comments below for all our readers to enjoy!