I’m not saying these are the best places to live, nor am I guaranteeing that they will appreciate more than other Colorado Springs neighborhoods. But I’m predicting that property values in these five neighborhoods will rise dramatically over the next 5-10 years. And I would wager that they will climb higher and faster than property values in other parts of Colorado Springs.
Ivywild, sandwiched between the run-down midcentury motels on South Nevada Avenue and the ritzy Broadmoor, was a neighborhood in decline for a long time. Families moved away. Homes fell into disrepair. More families moved away. And eventually the neighborhood elementary school closed.
But all of that decline bred opportunity. It was an affordable place for Mike Bristol to open his brewery in the neighborhood more than 15 years ago. Joe Coleman became Bristol’s neighbor when he opened the Blue Star Restaurant. Today, the two have taken over the old school with one of the hippest and most sustainable food, beverage and event spaces in the state.
The neighboring church has been transformed into the Millibo Art Theater, Distillery 291 is in Bristol’s old location and other major players in town are buying up properties to redevelop them. There will even be a new winery in the neighborhood soon.
Home sales prices have been on the rise. They were up 9% year-over year at the beginning of 2014 and the average asking price per square foot today is about 50% higher than it was a year and a half ago – before the Ivywild School opened in its current incarnation.
- Near Memorial Park
The median sales price in the immediate vicinity of Memorial Park is $127,631. That’s a pretty low home sales price in Colorado Springs. And when you drive around the area, it looks a little scrappy, so it isn’t all that surprising.
But then, you get into Memorial Park and you realize it’s huge and beautiful with a velodrome and full frontal Pikes Peak views. It’s a five-minute bike ride from downtown and features a huge lake with a beach where kids can build sand castles. I’m not making this up. I took my 3-year-old nephew and he had a blast playing in the water while we watched motorboats drag water skiers past the city skyline and mountain backdrop.
The park, like the neighborhood, is a bit bedraggled with weeds instead of grass and cracks in the sidewalks. I recently went on a bike tour with city officials and learned the park is a focal point in the department’s long-term plan and there are some major improvements slated in the budget.
But that’s not why I think it’s a good bet. I think it’s a good bet because there’s a ton of momentum behind downtown and Memorial Park is spitting distance from the heart of the city.
The biggest developer in Colorado Springs clearly sees the potential for connecting Memorial Park and downtown. Nor’Wood Development just bought the old Memorial hospital building for $50,000. A mere block or two from the park, it’s prime for redevelopment as apartments. The old Gazette building is right there as well and a mystery buyer bought it. Most people theorize that’s Nor’Wood as well. Nor’Wood, creator of Briargate, Plaza of the Rockies, First & Main and Interquest, has a track record for picking winners.
Memorial Park is definitely one of the best places to buy a home in Colorado Springs for long-term investment if you can hang onto it for at least five to 10 years.
- Near UCCS
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs has been identified as the growth campus for the University of Colorado system. The school is constructing new buildings, adding new programs and increasing its influence in the community. It’s also drawing more and more students. Topping 10,000, the University has increased it’s enrollment more than 35% since 2010.
If you want to buy investment property and rent it out, this is the spot. Those students need somewhere to live. The school has inspired major revitalization all around it. Colorado Springs’ first Trader Joe’s will open this fall in the wildly successful University Village shopping center across from UCCS on North Nevada Avenue.
Of course, there is also a lot of higher-end property around the school that should continue to appreciate as the school invites new retail, culture and community connection to the area.
Anywhere near downtown is a good bet. Colorado Springs is a little slow when it comes to national trends, but eventually our teens had mall bangs in the 1990s and we found our way to plaid in the early 2000s. We take a little longer to pick up on the fads that drive the economy everywhere else, but we get there eventually.
That’s what’s so great about knowing that people are pouring back into the cities everywhere else in America. It’s bound to happen here eventually. There’s a ton of momentum behind downtown Colorado Springs. I contend that the city just needs more residential development and the core will take off.
Well, residential development is on its way. A developer is building 20 LEED-certified apartment units in northwest downtown, and two others are constructing a 33-unit and 5-unit complex in southeast downtown. Once those lease up, big developers like Nor’Wood will have an easier time financing bigger projects and downtown will be rolling.
Of course, the City For Champions tourism funding for the state could also create a stadium and nudge along already developing plans for an Olympic Museum in southwest downtown.
The houses in Shooks Run, the Old North End, the near Westside and in close-in developments like Gold Hill Mesa, will likely see major appreciation as downtown develops.
- West and I-25 suburbs
For those of us who want yards, garages and that picket fence peace, I don’t think the sweet suburbia of Colorado Springs will ever fade away.
However, I contend that those suburban developments on the Westside and all up and down I-25 will fare better than those more than 10 minutes east of the highway. As new development continues growing farther and farther east, I think Briargate suburbs like those around the Chapel Hills Mall will retain their value even as they age.
The bigger the city grows, the more valuable that convenience will become.
The 5 best places to buy a house in Colorado Springs for long-term investment
So, there you have it. That’s my completely subjective opinion about the 5 best places to buy a home in Colorado Springs for long-term investment. Property values will go up in these areas. Of course, it will probably take some time – years – before I get to say “I told you so.”
Give me a call if you want to see a house in one of these neighborhoods with great upside potential.