Grand Valley Open House Weekend
Event is a low-pressure way to see what the local market offers
Unless you’re living in your dream house in your dream neighborhood with the perfect house payment, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the Grand Valley Open House Weekend next Saturday and Sunday.
The Grand Valley Open House Weekend is part of a national promotion by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to get people out, looking at houses that are available for sale in their area. The association is also encouraging its members to participate and hold open houses, even if they normally don’t.
“It’s a good event,” said Hal Heath with Heath & Co. Realtors. Although Heath doesn’t hold as many open houses today as he did when he was first starting out, he’ll be participating in the open house weekend again this year.
The beauty of an open house is that there is no pressure to linger and feign interest if you can tell when you walk in the door that the house isn’t going to work. There’s no pressure to make an appointment and no pressure to look at seven houses when all you want to see is one. Likewise, if you want to blast through 20 houses in one afternoon, there’s no one impatiently scrolling through a smart phone and wondering if you’re a serious buyer or just a lookilu.
There is, however, a huge variety of homes on display. New Energy Star-rated homes, like those at Red Rocks subdivision in Fruita or River Trail subdivision on D Road, are on display, with knowledgeable agents who can spell out the advantages and the differences in building technology in an Energy Star home.
There are plenty of existing homes, as well, in various sizes, price ranges and areas of town.
Although online photos can show what some rooms look like, they don’t tell the complete story of how a house flows from one room to the next, nor do they show what the neighborhood looks like.
“I always tell people when you’re buying a house, you’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood,” Heath said.
The biggest problem in the current local market is a lack of inventory. Normally, that lack would translate into rising prices. It hasn’t yet, but experts are cautiously optimistic that prices will not fall any lower.
“I think we’re in a stabilization zone,” said Toni Heiden with Heiden Homes. “Prices aren’t going to rise dramatically, but they aren’t going down dramatically, either.”
The Grand Junction market often follows the lead of the Front Range, but often lags several months. Right now, the Denver real estate market is hopping.
“Prices are rising dramatically due to the lack of inventory and low interest rates,” said Amy Chase with Cherry Tree Properties in Denver. “We’re seeing multiple offers, sight unseen, above the asking price. We’re seeing bidding wars.”
Although there is an occasional bidding war or offer made above the list price on hot properties that are attractively priced, it’s not happening across the board in the Grand Junction market.
Although we feel like a broken record, low interest rates combined with still low prices mean that this is a great time to buy a house. The lack of inventory can make it challenging, which is why it’s a great idea to head out next weekend to the Grand Valley Open House Weekend.