rent first buy later

An Inquiry on a condo complex

Twin LakesThanks for the inquiry on the condo complex at Twin Lakes.   I appreciate that you visited my website and it was even a little bit helpful.  From our emails, I gather you are new to the area and considering a rent first buy later strategy.   There are pros and cons to this strategy – at any price point.

Something to consider, a large number of corporate relocations occur every year to the Boulder area.  These executives relocating to Boulder make snap decisions, frequently purchasing a home immediately, rather than rent first buy later.  Why?  What sets them apart from others? It isn’t the company bring them to town. These business people face the same risks if their job doesn’t work out or they don’t love Boulder.

So, what are the pros and cons of the rent first buy later route? And why might this play into someone’s decision to make a snap decision upon moving to a new area.

Pros To Waiting

One of the biggest advantages to waiting to make an investment in a new area is to discover where you really want to live.  After all, Boulder and the surrounding area is pretty big.   When you rent first buy later, you have time to drive around, check out the community and pick the ideal spot.   The catch here is your budget.  At any given price

boulder mountains
Sensational mountain views can be had from some units at South Creek Condos

point, it is going to make the best sense to only view neighborhoods within your price range.   Whether you make a fortune or prefer a free schedule to enjoy the lifestyle, your budget is going to have a big impact on where you really look.

Another good reason to rent first buy later is to check out schools.  This can be a good reason to hold off.  Of course, if you are renting first, unless you really research the heck out of it – you are going to wind up in a random school. And your child might make some incredible friendships.   You might like the parents, the coffee shop near the school. Do you want to uproot your child twice in two years? Once to move to Boulder and a second time to move to the best school neighborhood?   And will you really visit all the local schools t see what they are like? Or is it more about reading reviews?  Again, if you look at your budget and school preferences, in any budget range you are likely to find there are just so many choices to select from.

What if I dislike Boulder? Sounds like a good reason to wait.  What if you love Boulder? The median home price for the city of Boulder leaped from around a half million to $800,000 this year.  Anyone renting from 2013 to now has witnessed a massive run up in values and/or huge reduction in options to move.

Relocation Vs Moving Cross Country

There does seem to be a difference in mindset.  Those in a relocation – coming here for a career position – frequently, but not exclusively, make rapid decisions to on where to live and purchase.   Meanwhile, frequently though not always, those moving here for the lifestyle want to rent first buy later to get to know the area.  I think the ‘cross country movers actually research Boulder more before coming here. They know all about the lifestyle, the community, the opportunities.  The “relocation” set knows about the job and company, but less about the community. And yet, those relocating for work frequently do not rent first buy later.  They purchase right away.

3 Things to keep in mind when you rent first buy later in Boulder Colorado

  1. Interest rates are incredibly low right now.  So if you wait in a rental, you might find it is going to cost a good deal more in your monthly payment next year.
  2. Boulder home values are climbing.   While there is a good chance things are different where ever you used to call home, here the market is up.  When you rent first buy later you are basically agreeing to pay 8-10% more for your home next year.  With entry level houses starting around $400K, that means you are giving up $32,000 in equity by waiting.
  3. Life gets busy.  Taking a year sounds great on paper, but probably, when it comes down to it, you will spend a few weeks – maybe a month – deciding where you want to live. With the internet you can do a great deal of research.  A good Realtor and mortgage broker can assist you in your budget and quickly help you discover neighborhoods, schools and nearby amenities.

That’s it.  If you rent first buy later, hope you’ll give me a call when you are ready to move forward.  If low interest rates and a booming economy with growing home values sound good, now is a great time to look at the numbers and find your new home.

boulder home with mountains
Not your average Boulder home. Views, location and contemporary finishes add up to a better than average Boulder home when breaking down Boulder home sales data.


Additional Boulder Real Estate News Home Buyer Resources

I hope the article on pros and cons to rent first buy later was helpful.  Some additional material you may find helpful includes my Top 10 Reasons To NOT buy in Boulder as well as the Top Five Reasons to Relocate to Boulder.   I also wrote a post on why 2013 (and it remains true today) is a good time to buy in Boulder.

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