The American real estate sector is at an unprecedented crossroads, with accessible and attainable housing reaching record lows. This problem has been particularly keen in Colorado communities, where the state’s unprecedented growth has had buyers struggling to find homes in large urban areas and small mountain towns alike. In the Colorado Real Estate Journal, Mitch Black — principal and partner at construction and development coordination firm Norris Design — offers several actionable strategies for expanding accessible housing supplies:

Colorado Real Estate: Keys for Affordability

As with anything in life, success comes with ample preparation. Black suggests that developers explore the opportunities and constraints of any proposed site with an eye on the ultimate target buyer demographic. Intentional focus groups and market studies are a starting point: additionally, business plans and RFPs submitted by outside entities can contain valuable information that would otherwise go overlooked. Starting from a foundation of reliable, accurate information ensures that conceptual design, programming and eventual construction will live up to the site’s fullest potential.

Getting Inside Buyers’ Heads

Closely tied to this concept is the goal of livability as a market asset. Real estate planners need to incorporate political, economic, and environmental impact on the site and surrounding community into their planning process. From specific considerations like zoning or entitlement requirements to broader ones like financing, housing density, and local ecology. Also critical to this endeavor is incorporating suggestions and perspectives from residents who already live in the area, letting informed input contribute to the ultimate success of the project.

Filling Market Niches

Finally, says Black, developers need to consider macro-level market openings and figure out target areas to fill them. Mountain housing, for example, is in massively high demand due to Colorado’s recent influx of new residents and rugged natural beauty. However, this type of terrain presents one of the most challenging scenarios in terms of affordability. Recognizing an opportunity ready for the taking, developers of the 416-acre Summit Sky Ranch complex worked with the local community and government to adjust zoning laws and push through approval on the project. It was met with overwhelming support upon announcement and the first run of 46 homes sold out almost instantly — providing new homes for locals who were facing the prospect of being priced out of their own community.

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