Real estate still providing opportunities

Craig Hall, The Business Times: 

While the real estate market may be considered still going down to some, it is also providing a unique opportunity for others who can now afford to buy their own property at the today’s low prices, and even attracting some first time investors. But the trends in the Grand Valley show a very good opportunity for property owners. And with the previous decade’s growth in both the commercial and residential real estate market in terms of new properties and the inventory that growth has created, the Grand Valley is showing signs of coming to life with more activity.

Dale Beede

“We are indeed seeing the commercial real estate market busier than the previous two years,” says Dale Beede, a Broker with Coldwell Banker Prime Properties in Grand Junction, “It is the property owners stepping up to purchase, not investors.” Beede notes the area’s much lower prices during that time as one main reason, and he foresees a continuation of prices dropping somewhat for the next few years, particularly for commercial and industrial land.

“There are some hot spots in the country doing very well, such as North Dakota,” said Beede, “But that is tempered by other areas where the market is non-existent, like areas of Michigan.” Beede adds, that the low interest rates are helping business owners who wish to buy property or land and place their business on or in it, but at the same time, business owners should expect to put at least twenty percent down or more to take advantage of the market.

On the residential side, the Grand valley market is extremely active. “With the amount of inventory we have here, we are getting more and more calls from eastern slope and out of state investors,” says Tina Harbin, owner of Real Estate West in Grand Junction whose company specializes in HUD (government owned) homes.

Tina Harbin

But the opportunity is really available first for homeowners as HUD homes have a period during the bidding process that is available for owner-occupants only and investors cannot bid during that time. “Our asset managers encourage owner occupants to take advantage early on during the process,” says Harbin, “But once that timing is closed, we are seeing a lot of activity from outside the area and even from some first time investment buyers and other investment groups.”

The prices for residential real estate are continuing to drop in the Grand Valley, which is in turn bringing out opportunistic buyers who are at times winning bids at half off the listing price or more, added Harbin. “I’ve never seen prices this low on property.”