GUEST COLUMN:
Why values are going up
By Patty Strauch

Editor’s note: The Westside Pioneer asked veteran Westside Realtor Patty Strauch for input on why homes over here have gone up so much in value.

       Seven to 10 years ago, if I told someone I lived on the Westside, often a response was something like: “Oh, I'm sorry, maybe when you make a little more money, you'll be able to move to a nice new place in Briargate (or other northeast-side neighborhoods).”
       Well let me assure you that times have changed! Nowadays, the Westside is one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the entire Pikes Peak region! Being a third-generation Westside native, many people expect me to be unhappy with “outsiders” wanting to move into our coveted neighborhoods, but I find most people looking to relocate to the Westside truly appreciate and cherish what we have here. No, they don't all want to change “us” to the way it was “back home.” They buy on the Westside because of our relaxed and respectful ways as well as the great homes.
       Home prices have dramatically escalated in our little part of the world in the past five years! Sometimes so much so that families wanting to share our great neighborhoods are simply priced out of the market. This is NOT because Realtors have driven the prices up, as I've heard, but because of simple supply and demand. As little as 5 years ago, families could find a good three-bedroom home on the Westside for $130,000 and a little under. Not so now! If I find a three-bedroom home for $130,000, there are usually uncorrected foundation problems or tiny bedrooms. Currently, there are NO active listings for a single-family home on the Westside with 3 bedrooms for $130K or under!
       Here I will add a note of caution to homeowners. If you are solicited by Realtors saying they have buyers for your home.. BEWARE! There are some in my profession who are after a quick dollar and have taken advantage of uninformed homeowners by listing their properties at a price much lower than market value. If you are thinking of selling, get a market analysis from a Realtor and be informed of the true market value of your property before you sign on the dotted line!
       Below are some samples of the increases. You may know some of these properties and be amazed at the sales records, but they are valid.
       The information is from our Multiple Listing System (MLS) and the public record.
  • 17 N. 11th St. - sold April 2003 for $120,000; sold July 2004 for $169,000.
  • 802 S. 26th St. - sold June 2005 for $78,000; sold October 2005 for $120,000.
  • 1620 W. Boulder St. - sold February 2003 for $152,900; sold April 2005 for $180,000.
  • 1622 W. Colorado Ave. - sold June 2003 for $134,000; sold March 2005 for $230,000.
  • 2303 W. Cucharras - sold April 2000 for $70,000; sold January 2002 for $124,500.
  • 1529 W. Pikes Peak Ave. - sold May 2001 for $170,000; sold June 2004 for $239,000.
  • 130 N. 20th St. - sold March 2003 for $95,000; sold August 2003 for $119,500.