“Weld County is the fourth most unaffordable county in the U.S. when taking into account median home prices and the average earning of wages, according to a new report by ATTOM Data Solutions.”
Weld County’s median price for a home, $280,000 as of today, may be almost $100,000 cheaper than Larimer County’s, but it’s a median price increase of 12% from last year. Wages only increased 6% and there you have it. If you read the article carefully, it says that experts didn’t predict the quick population boom.
Who Knew? We Should’ve.
So, what are experts for? The media has been talking about Fort Collins/Loveland area for years as one of the best areas in the country for whatever floats your boat—bikes, beer, families, retirement, millennials, techies, runners, hiking, education, whatever. Maybe those experts didn’t appreciate all that Weld County had to offer. Or maybe they didn’t understand that once a bi-level in Fort Collins went from $250,000 to $365,000 in two years, there might be a shift to looking elsewhere in northern Colorado. Greeley and surrounding smaller towns fit the bill.
Unfortunately, there is also a concurrent increase in rents and the housing market is squeezing the poor, and the middle class, which really doesn’t exist anymore. Cities are scrambling to study ‘the housing situation’ and looking for funds to create affordable housing of some sort, but it concerns me that our visionary abilities are about two months into the future.
As a real estate agent, I encourage buyers to buy and sellers to consider selling to get the house of their dreams. Yes, they’ll pay more but using the money from the sale of their home. I encourage the builders who got caught up in the housing crash of 2008 to come back, buy up a lot or two in Weld County and build a nice patio home or two. But that doesn’t solve the ongoing issue of an extremely tight housing market. And I don’t know what will.
Eco Communities Can Work!
I’m a fan of smaller homes in community and I’m cheering for the folks at Eco District in South Fort Collins, planning a public-private project on 33 acres, emphasizing a price point below $300,000 and innovation and best practices to create sustainable neighborhoods. These include smart grids, bike and car sharing, rainwater harvesting, zero waste programs, waste to energy efforts, safe routes to schools, tree planting campaigns and urban agriculture.
I’ll be interviewing the principals in the next couple of months to see how it’s going. Stay tuned and stay informed!