Real estate buyers need to be cautious of local market

Janet Grove has a message for Grand Valley real estate sellers: You’re dreaming, and it’s time to wake up.

Actually, she’s more diplomatic than that.

“I think homeowners here are unrealistic about the true value of their homes,” Grove said. “I’ve seen stuff listed that is just ridiculous.”

Grove, 42, has been in the Grand Valley for two weeks now and is taking maximum advantage of opportunities afforded by a buyer’s market.

The mother of three sons — Spencer, 14; Mitchell, 11; and Jared, 6 – Grove and her husband, Gary, are comfortably settled into a rental house in the Fruita area. They have plenty of time to be careful.

The target is a house of about 3,000 square feet with one to five acres in the Redlands or Fruita areas, and the Groves have “considerable equity” for the purchase of their new home.

Gary Grove moved to the Grand Valley from Houston late last year when Occidental Oil transferred him, a Colorado School of Mines-trained petroleum engineer, to work on its natural gas holdings in western Colorado.

Janet Grove’s perspective might seem to be skewed by the fact that she moved from Houston
after selling a 2,400-square-foot house for $134,000.

The same house in the Grand Valley “might sell for $250,000 or $260,000, but would be listed for $350,000,” Grove said.

Grove, however, is no mere Texan breathing rarefied Colorado air for the first time.

Both of the Groves are from Broomfield and jumped at the opportunity to return to Colorado, especially the Western Slope.

Janet is an accountant by training and an organizer by necessity.
In the times she’s not shuttling a son to or from school and during the evening, she’s on the Web, looking at properties.

Grove is one of a more sophisticated new wave of Internet-savvy buyers working more bandwidth than shoe leather in evaluating the offerings on the market, said her real estate agent, Laureen Gutierrez.

“I’m not desperate” to buy a house immediately, Grove said. “We’re blessed that we found a rental.”

Sellers need to understand that she is like other buyers, Grove said, in believing that homes for sale are overvalued.

“I’m not about to walk into a house and have negative equity,” she said. “People need to be realistic about their houses.”


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