Fundamentals are saying that there is nothing to suggest we are due for a recession." - Lawrence Yun on real estate projections in Colorado
Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Economic and Real Estate Outlook lunch hosted by the South Metro Denver Realtor's Association (SMDRA). The presenter was Lawrence Yun, PhD, the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). He was able to provide some great insight into the questions that're on everyone's mind: are we in a bubble and is it going to burst?
The short answer to those questions: no and no. Because of the steady rate of increase in population in Colorado, and the slow rate at which housing construction and sales are striving to catch up with that number, we will not be seeing a "bubble" or a "burst" anytime soon. In fact, it is projected that home prices will continue to rise in Denver for at least the next 10 years.
Furthermore, Yun included some impressive facts about the state of Colorado's and the nation's economy. Here are just a few:
Next time you're in a traffic jam just be thankful! It's because of your good economy." - Lawrence Yun, on Colorado's current economic state
A lot of this may seem scary to someone who doesn't think they can afford a home. However, buying your first home is significantly more affordable than you think. It is a myth that one needs at least 20% to buy a home. In fact, some loans will allow a first time homebuyer to put just 1% down on their home. Additionally, down payment assistance programs and (of course) Equity for Educators if you're a teacher can help you pay the other up front costs of a home. I recently got a client into her first condo for less than $2,000. She received a check back from her lender at closing rather than paying more money.
The tiny home lifestyle is becoming exceedingly more popular and happens to be exceedingly more affordable as well. Houses are deemed "tiny" if they are under roughly 500 square feet, although there is no definitive dimension requirement. Tiny houses can be mobile or built into a foundation on a property. They also are often built out of sustainable materials, and therefore are more eco-friendly than their larger counterparts. On average, they cost around $40,000- just 7% the cost of the average single family home in Denver.
There are numerous tiny house communities sprouting up in Colorado. One such community is in fact built by Sprout Tiny Homes and is located in Salida, Colorado. Another Sprout community is located just south of Colorado Springs. For details and pricing check out the Sprout website. Additionally, the Beloved Community Village is a tiny home community to help with homelessness in Denver.
Another popular alternative to tiny houses is storage container houses. Supposedly able to be built for just $20,000, these are houses made from old shipping containers. They can be as big or small as you want depending on how many containers are used! This article from Rise Home Builders analyzes the pros and cons of them.
Whether you are in the market for affordable housing or not, tiny houses are a creative solution to our current housing crisis and definitely worth supporting. And if you're wondering if you would be able to live comfortably in a tiny house, give it a whirl at WeeCasa: the world's largest tiny home resort in Lyons, Colorado.
Emily Baker has been an educator in North Denver since 2012. She taught 4th grade for many years, before transitioning to Middle School English. She loved her job working with children, and now her job as a realtor. With Equity for Educators she is able to combine these two passions.