Residential Neighborhood In Colorado At Autumn

Buying A House In Colorado: How It Works And Where To Find The Best Real Estate Value

Katie Ziraldo5-Minute Read
April 22, 2021

With the stunning landscapes, mounting tourist attractions and ever-growing economy of Colorado, it’s no surprise to see Americans flocking toward the “Centennial State.” U.S. News & World Report ranked Boulder and Denver the two best cities to live in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021 – with Colorado holding an impressive four out of the five top spots on the list. That’s no surprise considering the state also has well-known cities like Colorado Springs and Aurora.

If you’re a Colorado resident, buying a house should be a standard process. But if you’re thinking about an interstate move, you may have more to consider. Let’s explore the advantages of owning a home in Colorado and what you should consider before taking the leap!

Why Buy A House In Colorado?

Aside from the quality of life the state offers, Colorado has lots of real estate that can make for a solid investment.

The overall economy and real estate market in the state have grown steadily in recent years, making Colorado a buyer’s market. With home values leveling off, you would be hard-pressed to find a better time to purchase property. And with an investment property specifically, you have a good chance to make a profit by renting or reselling the home.

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Top 5 Real Estate Cities In Colorado

If you’ve decided to buy property in Colorado, the next step is to choose your city. Of course, this may be dictated based on your school, career or other nonnegotiable factors. But if you’re able to work remotely, open to starting a new career, or simply purchasing an investment property, these cities could be a good place to start. Not 

The following is a list from Rocket HomesSM of the top five real estate cities in Colorado. We identified these cities based on their unique attractions, real estate trends and overall popularity.

Boulder

Retail Business And Restaurants Along Pearl Street Mall

Described as “the city nestled between mountains and reality,” this creative community is only 30 minutes away from the big city of Denver but offers its own unique appeal. With numerous hike and bike trails, top-rated restaurants and a large shopping center, Boulder has no shortage of things to do.

Denver

Bright Day Of Denver Cityscape

Also known as the Mile High City, Denver seamlessly blends city living with outdoor adventure. A short distance from the Rocky Mountains – and the ski slopes that occupy them – this city is known for its world-class cultural attractions, major museums and a growing music scene. And as a bonus, the conveniently located Denver International Airport (DEN) makes this an easy destination for travelers.

Colorado Springs

Aerial Of Downtown Colorado Springs With Pikes Peak

Founded as a resort town by a Civil War hero in 1871, Colorado Springs is a historian’s dream. It’s the second-largest city in the state, boasting over 55 area attractions, including one of America’s most famous landmarks, Pikes Peak, which inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write the lyrics to “America The Beautiful.” Other attractions include museums, scenic parks and trails, and a zoo.

Fort Collins

Aerial Fort Collins Downtown

Located north of Denver, Fort Collins is the pinnacle college town, home to Colorado State University and northern Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Despite its close proximity to the state’s city hub, Fort Collins is a destination in and of itself, offering striking scenic views, dynamic nightlife and a reputation as one of the Centennial State’s top craft-brewery hubs.

Aurora

Aerial View Of Denver Suburb Of Aurora

Just east of Denver, Aurora originally developed as a military town, as proven through its historic and repurposed airfields most recently used for the creation of Stanley Marketplace, a food-centric community market. Home to state parks, golf courses and a rising art scene, Aurora has plenty to see and do but is also conveniently nearby the attractions of Denver.

What Do I Need To Buy A Colorado Home?

The requirements for buying a house in Colorado aren’t different from buying a new home in any other state. Still, it’s always important to consider what you’ll need before trying to buy property, especially as a first-time home buyer. When applying for financing, the lender will look for the following:

  • Good credit: Most mortgage types require a credit score of 620 or higher for approval.
  • Low debt-to-income (DTI) ratio: This is your monthly income divided by your minimum debt payments. Lenders look at this to ensure you will realistically be able to make payments on your mortgage if approved.
  • Financial documentation: Your lender will review various documents, including proof of income, tax returns, bank statements and more – so it’s a good idea to have these documents prepped and ready to ensure a smooth process.
  • Home appraisal: This will determine the home’s value, which is an important part of the closing process since it confirms the amount the lender is willing to give you.
  • Down payment: The lump sum of money you pay at closing will affect your ability to get approved and your loan interest rates.

When And How To Buy A House In Colorado

Market trends and predictions can be a great way to strategize your home-buying timeline. For example, weather in Colorado directly impacts home prices, with far fewer homes available for purchase in November than June. 

Although this doesn’t make it impossible to buy a house in the winter, it does mean you’ll have fewer homes on the market to choose from – so you may be better off targeting the warmer months.

How To Afford A House In Colorado And Buy From Out Of State

There are a few ways to make buying a house in Colorado more affordable. Consider these options as you consider explore your financing options:

  • Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) loans: These loans are available specifically for Colorado real estate and may be an alternate form of financing you can consider.
  • State-regulated offer letters: Colorado requires home buyers to receive what’s most commonly known as a “lender letter” from their lender confirming their preapproval for funding up to a certain amount. This letter goes to the seller at the time of the offer and serves as evidence that the seller has the money needed to buy the home.

Buying a house out of state also creates some unusual factors, including what to consider when you’re making an offer on a house without seeing it. Although you may think you have a clear picture of the home from the photos in the listing, this is rarely the case. When you can’t visit the home, it’s important to send a trusted representative – ideally your real estate agent or REALTOR® – to look at it for you. Taking this step in the home buying process can help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

The Bottom Line: Living In Colorado Is Pricey But Offers High Upside For Residents And Investors

Making an interstate move is no easy feat. The process can be overwhelming and stressful but with the right planning, strategy and timeline, you can make your dream of owning a second home or investment property become a reality. And with a growing economy and unique cultural attractions, Colorado could be the perfect state to consider.

As always, the best way to ensure a smooth home buying process is to work with a professional, so we recommend connecting with a Rocket Homes Verified Partner Agent.

All population and income data was pulled from Data USA in April 2021.

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Katie Ziraldo

Katie Ziraldo is a financial writer and data journalist focused on creating accurate, accessible and educational content for future generations of home buyers. Her portfolio of work also includes The Detroit Free Press and The Huffington Post.