Yesterday I was going for a stroll, when I met another one of my neighbors. We had the typical new neighbor conversation; covering names, family members, abridged employment history and date moved to the neighborhood. She has been here about 25 years. I’ve been here about 2 months. I told her that I was previously renting in the Denver University area, about a mile away from Wash Park.
She responded with “Oh that must have been expensive. That area used to be kind of … eh… ,” she said this while making the “so-so” motion with her hand, “now its very posh… and yuppie.” Besides being a little bit unsure how to respond to her history of Wash Park area, I also was struck by the fact that it really is hard to replace local knowledge.
Locals are like family, they know what the neighborhood is “really” like.
If you haven’t lived in Colorado for 25 years, you may not know the neighborhoods and how they have changed. You may not know which neighborhoods will buy more homes for your money, or conversely, which neighborhoods are more “trendy and artsy.”
Sure, there are online tools with brief descriptions about each neighborhood. But, the descriptions remind me of horoscopes or fortune cookies: general, open-ended, and happy. “You will have a bright future in the neighborhood you choose,” I imagine the fortune cookie would say.
Don’t rely on fortune cookies; find an agent with real local knowledge.
Having local knowledge of the area you are about to buy is important. Neighborhoods vary greatly, even within a few blocks. Working with someone that knows the area can help you find the neighborhood that you will fit in. Equally important, they will know the value trends of the area so that they can help you recognize a good deal, or steer you away from a bad deal.
The Colorado Exclusive Buyer’s Agents Association is dedicated to helping Colorado home buyers meet an experienced exclusive buyer’s agent with local knowledge of the neighborhood or area in interest.