January 1, 1998

Inventory of high-end homes could be lacking in Broomfield

BROOMFIELD — With Sun Microsystems planning to hire 2,000 people, and maybe another 2,000 if all goes well, the housing market in the Broomfield/Interlocken area is showing signs of exploding.

And the demand for houses in the $300,000-plus category soon could exceed supply unless new projects in the planning stages are ready soon.

That’s the word from Cindy Trautwein, a broker associate with Remax West at 90th Street and Wadsworth Boulevard, who is working with Sun Microsystems to find housing for their employees, with top managers earning up to $75,000.

“The market is still good as far as what’s available,” Trautwein said. “There is inventory in the $180,000 to $260,000 range that’s moving. But the average Sun Microsystems buyer is $300,000, and there’s not a lot of inventory in that price range.

“It’s important to accommodate that need. Otherwise, we’re going to lose these buyers to other cities.”

Richard Mower, manager of investor relations with the Broomfield Economic Development Corp., said prices of existing homes are rising, and projects are planned that will accommodate the demand for higher priced housing.

Houses that were selling just a couple of years ago for $90,000 to $100,000 now are going for $120,000 to $130,000, said Mower, who is currently looking for a house. Broomfield houses this year have sold for an average of $160,000 compared to $151,000 for the same period last year.

“It’s a natural appreciation in a strong market,” Mower said. “We’ve been very fortunate this last year with major coups in the economic development field.”

Mower said that the Broadlands subdivision between 136th and 144th avenues and Lowell Boulevard will bring 2,200 houses to the area over a 10-year period. Houses in the development, which is now just dirt, are being pre-sold, he said.

While people wait for their homes to be built, they are renting apartments in developments such as The Horizons in Superior that go for as much as $1,700 a month.

Trautwein said Broomfield is more appealing to the high-paid employees attracted to Interlocken because, unlike Superior, it is a community with businesses and activities.

“Broomfield is a desirable place to live because it’s still a community,” she said. “If Broomfield has a soap box to stand on, that’s it. It has parks and a parade in September. That’s what people want. Rock Creek gives you suburbia.”

Another boost to Broomfield is the fact that neighboring Louisville practically has halted residential growth, focusing instead on commercial and retail development while hoping to maintain its small-town atmosphere.

Louisville’s commercial, industrial and office development is attracting employees to the area, but they are having to find someplace else to live. With Boulder housing practically nonexistent, buyers are looking eastward, and Broomfield is the first place they see.

Dick Beck, a broker associate with Remax Horizons Group in Broomfield, said he believes the city is poised to handle the onslaught of homebuyers.

The supply of homes is increasing steadily, with four new developments in the construction stages and the Broadlands development in the planning stages, he said.

Metrowide, the housing supply has grown from 8,700 last year to 11,000 this year, he noted.

“Housing sales are strong in the Broomfield area, and we’re still in an upward mode,” he said. “We’re probably not as frantic as we were two or three years ago because the supply has increased and new developments have come on board. Broomfield specifically will be stronger than other places in the area because of Interlocken and retail development.”

Beck said buyers are finding what they want, and few people are having to buy houses that have not yet been built.

“The biggest hindrance to that is you have to wait six or seven months to have a home built. Some people aren’t willing to camp out at a rental or live with relatives.”

BROOMFIELD — With Sun Microsystems planning to hire 2,000 people, and maybe another 2,000 if all goes well, the housing market in the Broomfield/Interlocken area is showing signs of exploding.

And the demand for houses in the $300,000-plus category soon could exceed supply unless new projects in the planning stages are ready soon.

That’s the word from Cindy Trautwein, a broker associate with Remax West at 90th Street and Wadsworth Boulevard, who is working with Sun Microsystems to find housing for…

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