COLORADO SPRINGS — If you’ve been able to buy a house in Colorado Springs the past couple years, count yourself fortunate. That’s because the way people just keep moving here, it’s never been more competitive to buy a house here.
“I moved here in 1976, so I’ve been here since I was five years old,” homebuyer Celia Mullins said.
Last year, Mullins was ready to help her daughter plant roots of her own in the springs, in the form of buying a home.
“We started looking probably last July,” Mullins said.
They knew going into it that Colorado Springs was a seller’s market.
“Our first offer, we bid on a house that was listed at $328,000, and we thought, well let’s go in at $335,000,” she said.
But they were still in for a rude awakening.
“They came back and basically were like, oh we got a much, much, much better offer,” Mullins said.”
“Buying a house is very competitive,” said Cathrine Sullivan, owner/broker at ELA Shields Real Estate in Colorado Springs.
Sullivan has been a real estate broker in the Springs for over decade, and never has she seen houses sell so quickly.
“It depends on the price range,” Sullivan said. “If you’re under about $450k, you’re probably looking at 48 hours.”
She’s also never seen buyers so motivated.
“A lot of what buyers are doing now is they’re paying over the appraised value of a house,” she said. “We have them waiving inspections… they’re willing to go look at the house, and if there’s something wrong with the house, they just go ahead and buy it anyway.”
It’s exactly what Mullins was ready to do. She put offers on 15 different houses last year.
“The biggest one was actually $45k over asking,” Mullins said. “No concessions, no closing costs, no inspection… We were putting down over $100k in cash.”
But every time she kept getting outbid by people offering something she just couldn’t beat.
“There were actually many of them that were full cash offers,” she said. “And we don’t have $350k in cash.”
So who does have that kind of cash lying around?
“We’re seeing a lot of investors who might have been in more expensive parts of the country, and they’re selling those assets and moving that money to Colorado Springs because they see us as a growth market,” Sullivan said.
“We were like, hands up, we give up,” Mullins said.
With that in mind, almost a year after her homebuying mission began, Mullins and her daughter will turn the key on a house.
“We signed the contract in December,” she said.
It just has to be built first.
“The house is supposed to be done end of June, beginning of July.”
All of this is not to say that it’s impossible to buy a house right now. that broker you heard from says the supply of houses on the market here hasn’t really gone down, they’re just going quicker.
She, of, course, recommends you work with a real estate expert to help you through the process.