Forty Years Too Long For Boulder City Leases?

I was helping a buyer several months ago who was considering buying a home in the Chautauqua park area. It was actually one of the smaller homes right up from the park, but not one of the ‘original’ summer cottages.

The ultimate barrier to his purchase was the uncertainty of the land lease associated with this property.

If you have questions about the merits of land leases, or other real estate issues, please call or email me so I can learn more about what’s important to you about your real estate plans, and get you honest answers.

In this case, the home was one of the more recent additions to the area of homes just up the hill from the Chautauqua park ranger station. It wasn’t originally built as a summer-only home, but it did need a serious amount of updating.

Even though it is essentially a run-down building with no yard and a hostile patio area in back. It does have the redeeming quality of backing up to the views of the flatirons, and is adjacent to the hiking path that leads up to the blue bell pic nic shelter. I suppose you could deem that as a plus or a minus, depending on your personal preference. I’m guessing that since the home was for sale for around half of a million dollars, the seller believed it was a plus.

Homes very rarely come up for sale in this area, so it was a rather exciting opportunity for my buyer. As we explored all the indiosyncracies of home ownership at Chautauqua, the death knell to our transaction came in the final analysis.

Half of a million dollars for an essentially run down shack that includes a concrete block wall for a backyard, the intrusion of hundreds of people a day streaming by on the most-used path in the park, association rules that would make any home owners association blush, and a land lease that might or might not be renewed in less than 20 years was just too much of a bitter pill to swallow for the opportunity to own a home in Chautauqua.

Boulder voters had the opportunity to change this law and increase the length of these lease its facilities from 20 years up to 40 years. The new rule would have still had the requirement that the City Council approve any extended leases with a two-third majority vote by the council. Ballot question 2D was rejected by voters 51% against versus 49% in favor of the measure.

City officials believe that voters didn’t understand the issue. Officials say that the intention of the rule change was to give the city an ability to allow nonprofits and other favored organizations continue to do business in Boulder.

It’s worth noting that the land leases have been renewed over and over again during the history of Chautauqua, but it’s one example of the trouble with a complicated real estate situation that you might want to remember before you venture out to buy or sell real estate without at least consulting with a real estate professional.

Please consider calling me or emailing me today if you are thinking about buying or selling real estate. I’d like to hear what your plans are and give you an opportunity to get some straight answers and honest information.

-Zachary Epps, full-time professional RealtorĀ® and EcoBrokerĀ®

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