After years of sky-high prices and bidding wars, the Denver real estate market has moderated in recent months, giving first-time home buyers their best odds in ages of scoring a pad of their own.
As evidence, note that the number of homes listed for sale at under $250,000 is rising — and several are being marketed for actual occupation rather than demolition.
Many of the six entries in our first roundup spotlighting Denver homes on sale for less than a quarter-million, published in May 2018 and drawing from the Homesnap website, suggested that the owners were simply trying to unload them for the land value alone and walk away as quickly as possible. One listing warned: "Current owner has minimal to no knowledge of property and no seller's property disclosure will be provided."
Our August 2018 sequel showed a further tightening at the low end of the market. Only four stand-alone houses on the site were going for less than $250,000, with the least expensive of them boasting not a single photo. Instead, the visual on the listing was a pic of Westwood Park, probably because a Google Maps image of the actual structure from the previous year showed it boarded up and surrounded by weeds.
Of the other three August 2018 properties, two of them were on the same block in the Montclair neighborhood and prompted the warning "not for the faint of heart." And the description of the third, in Villa Park, began with the admission: "Structural issues, not suitable as a flip."
In contrast, Homesnap currently features eight single-family homes for under $250,000 (plus two others for exactly that price). One of them — 4768 High Street, pictured above — boasts no description whatsoever, suggesting a mindset of "You pays your money and you takes your chances." And while the second-cheapest listing includes the words "flip" and "scrape," the rest focus on fixer-upper potential.
Granted, some need a lot of fixing. One has no furnace or water heater, and number six below contains perhaps the two most frightening words any potential buyer can encounter: "sewer issues."
Continue reading to learn the particulars about each abode under $250,000, ranked from most to least expensive, with links to their complete Homesnap listing.
Number 8 (tie): 871 South Vrain Street
Estimated mortgage: $917
Square feet: 1,111
Year built: 1953
Listed: 29 days ago
Description: "Exciting opportunity in up and coming area of Westwood. Case number 052-360607. HUD homes are 'Sold As Is.' To make a bid on a HUD Home, you will need to use a HUD-registered Selling Broker. BID OPEN DATE 5/31/19. Website: HUDHomeStore.com. Furnace and water heater are missing."
Number 8 (tie): 3595 West Alaska Place
Estimated mortgage: $917
Square feet: 604
Year built: 1936
Listed: 30 days ago
Description: "Welcome to this cool cottage in the upcoming Westwood neighborhood! Priced under $250K, a home with this much potential is hard to find in Denver. This charming cottage, built in 1936, still retains some of its original character, while having more modern kitchen and bath, with more recent furnace and hot water heater upgrades. Priced well, there will still be room in your budget to bring your own touches to this one bedroom and one bath home. Only fifteen minutes to downtown Denver with easy access to highways, this neighborhood is well-situated, while remaining outside of the hustle of the city. Come by for a visit soon because this one won't last long!"
Number 6: 4655 Fillmore Street
Estimated mortgage: $916
Square feet: 1,071
Year built: 1946
Listed: 92 days ago for $295,000 (dropped $10,000 on June 7, 2019)
Description: "New roof, windows, insulation. Close to the new I/70 development park. New highway will be below ground level. Basement is an after-the-fact build but usable and the basement bedrooms are not non-conforming (no egress windows). Nice little home with a large lot, 7,800 square feet.The area is on the rise with the new planned development. Lots of bang for the buck. Could be a great rental too. Cheapest four-bedroom home in the area. Fillmore Street with the current plans (subject to final plans) will cross I/70 when the project is completed. Easy access to the south side of the highway. Vacant, EZ show. Seller will not review offers if buyers have not seen the property. The property has access from the alley. Brokers, please read: Proof of funds with offers, hard-money lender letters not acceptable, verified funds only. All measurements are approximate.... Sewer issue."
Number 5: 4768 High Street
Estimated mortgage: $913
Square feet: 555
Year built: 1886
Listed: 125 days ago
Number 4: 1176 Xenia Street
Estimated mortgage: $897
Square feet: 1,041
Year built: 1951
Listed: 55 days ago
Description: "Calling all investors and buyers who want an opportunity to custom-finish their home! Great location and so much potential in the Burns/Montclair neighborhood! This is a true fix-up, so imagine the possibilities! Open up the layout and this home has options! Great investment/rental property in a hot area! Mature trees, nice sized backyard with planters ready for gardening! Great east central Denver location, easy commute to downtown, DIA, close to highways and restaurants. Super close to Lowry, Stanley Marketplace, and much more! Act quick, these opportunities don't come up often!"
Number 3: 19819 East 47th Drive
Estimated mortgage: $885
Square feet: 1,243
Year built: 2004
Listed: 26 days ago
Description: "Charming two-bedroom + den, one-bathroom single-family home in Green Valley Ranch. Open floor plan, attached one-car garage, and cute backyard. Newer inside paint, newer side fences. Perfect home for your buyer. This home is part of Denver's Affordable Housing, so buyer must be income-verified through the Denver Economic Development & Opportunity city office after an offer is accepted."
Number 2: 2510 West Amherst Avenue
Estimated mortgage: $840
Square feet: 945
Year built: 1939
Listed: Two days ago
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Description: "It's a BEAST! This home is priced well below market value and ready to become the beauty of your dreams. Fix and rent or fix and flip, scrape and rebuild — you decide what works best for you. This home sits on a 18,200 square foot lot (.42 acres). There is a lot of potential money to be made for the experienced investor. This property is being sold strictly 'AS -IS,' so don't even think about asking for repairs or concessions. Strong preference will be given to high and hard earnest money delivery and waiving inspection, so do your due diligence before submitting. Lastly, don't waste our time or yours with below list offers. Cash, non-contingent offers only with quick closing and sixty-day post occupancy will be placed on top of the pile."
Number 1: 341 South Osceola Street
Estimated mortgage: $726
Square feet: 800
Year built: 1929
Listed: One day ago
Description: "Cute Tudor and priced to sell! Home does need work, but is priced well to leave room for someone to fix up and still have some equity. Nice to have a pocket park across the street. Nice wood floors, good lot size, tons of parking and one-car garage. Could also be a great rental or starter home. Come get this great, cute home in one of the hottest areas of Denver!!"