Points of Interest
Colorado’s housing prices have risen steadily for the last decade or so, and there is limited inventory in prime markets, which makes it an expensive housing market to buy into in many cases. If you can find your dream home, though, it will be a great investment.
The Colorado real estate market is booming as investors move into desirable cities along the Front Range and drive up prices in trendy Boulder, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Denver. Despite stagnation due to high prices and low inventory in some regions of the state, the Colorado market continues to be strong and has only been dampened slightly thus far by the coronavirus pandemic.
It takes effort to find an affordable house in Colorado, but mortgage loan rates in this state have recently followed the same trends as the national rates, dropping to near-historic lows in response to the pandemic. The current low average interest rates in Colorado may make this a good time to buy in this state, and may even help you get more bang for your buck.
Getting a mortgage in Colorado
The two main hurdles to buying a house in Colorado are affordability and a lack of available properties on the market. The state has suffered from low inventory for several years now, especially in prime Front Range markets like Boulder and Denver. Affordability is another issue for people moving to the Centennial State. The median home price is above the national average of $265,900.
Despite these factors, getting a mortgage in Colorado is a relatively easy process and closing costs are very affordable. Due to the high livability factor and access to recreational activities, property here is a great investment.
- Median home price: $313,600
- Average 30-year fixed rate: 3.780%
- Media monthly mortgage cost: $1,681
- Homeownership rate: 64.9%
Colorado state mortgage rate trends
For the most part, Centennial State trends mirror what’s happening at the national level. Mortgage rates reached historic lows in the years following the housing crisis in 2007, when Feds slashed close to 0%. Although instability right after the coronavirus pandemic surfaced caused temporary volatility, mortgages are back to their normal trend of following the federal interest rate — when interest rates are low, mortgage rates are also low.
Mortgage rates in Colorado are trending lower in 2020 thanks to the federal rate being slashed back down to 0% or near-0% because of coronavirus, and most analysts predict they will remain low throughout the year.
Colorado state current mortgage rates
Most and least expensive places to live in Colorado
Most Colorado residents live on the Front Range, a string of mountain-view cities along Interstate 25. The prime real estate markets are Denver and its suburbs, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins; Pueblo and Trinidad, closer to the New Mexico border, are more affordable. However, they offer fewer employment opportunities.
Outside the Front Range, prices are more reasonable, with one important exception — resort towns like Aspen and Telluride. Generally speaking, the further you are willing to live from the Rockies, the more affordable property you can find.
5 most expensive places to live in Colorado
- Douglas County— Douglas County, just south of Denver, is not only the most expensive Colorado county, it is also the fifth most expensive county in the United States.
- Boulder County — Boulder County has excellent public schools, a beautiful historic downtown and ready access to both Denver and the Rocky Mountains. It also has extremely high home prices: the median list price for a house in Boulder is $850,000.
- Gilpin County — Northwest of Denver, Gilpin County has great public schools; a high percentage of the residents are homeowners. The average list price for a house in Gilpin County is $500,000.
- Clear Creek County — Another western suburb of Denver, Clear Creek County has good job opportunities and better than average public schools. It also has expensive home prices, with the median listing of $499,500.
- Jefferson County — A southern suburb of Denver, Jefferson County is the home of many young professionals thanks to its nightlife and excellent public schools. The average list price for homes in Jefferson County is $475,000.
5 least expensive places to live in Colorado
- Bent County— Located east of Pueblo, on the plains, Bent County’s biggest city is Las Animas. It has better than average public schools, affordable homes and a median home price of $101,421.
- Prowers County — Right next door to Bent, Prowers County borders on the state of Kansas to the east. It has average public schools, good diversity, better than average employment opportunities, and a median listing price for homes of $123,182.
- Crowley County — This plains county lies within commuting distance of Pueblo. Housing here is extremely affordable — the median list price is $104,016 — and almost three-quarters of the residents are homeowners.
- Conejos County — Bordering on New Mexico, Conejos County is a good place for families to live, boasting better than average public schools. The median list price for homes in this county is $131,640.
- Otero County — A number of retirees make their home in Otero County. Home to the cities of La Junta and Rocky Ford, Otero County scores high for diversity and nightlife. The median list price for homes in this county is $139,000.
Colorado state mortgage resources and intricacies
The state of Colorado offers assistance to first-time homebuyers through the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). This program offers good terms on primary mortgage loans through its approved lenders, along with grants and second mortgage loans for people who need help affording their down payment and closing costs. First-time homebuyers are also eligible for tax credits through the mortgage credit certificate programs offered by many Colorado city and county governments.
The closing process on a home varies slightly from other states. The average closing cost is higher than it is in many other states — but that cost reflects the higher median home price. As a percentage of the home price itself, these costs are reasonable and may be negotiable with the seller. Colorado has a “good funds law” that no funds will be disbursed at closing — unless they have already been received and are available for withdrawal.
Colorado allows you to refinance your loan in order to take advantage of lower interest rates. You can also do a “cash-out” refinance in order to pull equity out of your home.
The final word
Buying a home in Colorado is a fairly straightforward process once you find a place you’re willing to purchase. Mortgage loan interest rates are on par with rates nationwide, and there is a cash-out refinance option. With rates approaching historic lows, now is a great time to consider becoming a Colorado homeowner.