According to the National Association of Realtors, the third “hottest zip code” in the United States is 80233 – known to its residents as Northglenn, Colorado. This northern suburb of Denver was recognized as one of America’s sizzling cities based on the time it takes for residential properties to sell and how frequently homes are viewed in each zip code.
This national recognition poses the question: Why is Northglenn so hot?
“It has a larger than normal millennial population and it's in an area of economic growth with a strong job market, so houses stay on the market only for an average of 11 days,” according to Realtor.com and reported by the Denver Business Journal.
Other real estate experts believe that the Northglenn rating is also driven by other reasons, including the large number of brick-constructed homes in the city. In a recent interview, city planning and brick industry consultant, Jessica Ibanez AICP, explained why sustainable building materials and superior aesthetics of homes in the suburb are appealing to young home buyers.
A City Planning Expert Looks at Northglenn
Jessica Ibanez has studied the city codes, demographics and amenities of the suburbs of Denver extensively and offered several reasons for Northglenn’s popularity among young, upscale home buyers.
“Northglenn is almost totally built out and surrounded by other communities,” she said. “Thus, the only development opportunity in Northglenn is through re-development. It has an excellent location, being located on I-25, which is the north-south thoroughfare of metro Denver, and its desirability will be further enhanced by “FasTracks,” Denver’s light rail system which is coming in the next couple years.
“This suburban community was built out primarily in the 1960’s and 70’s,” Jessica said. “During this time, most subdivisions were composed of smaller homes where quality construction was demanded. There were many ranch style homes built of brick in the city during this time period, whereas today, it seems as if home builders are focused more on the increase in square footage and less on the quality of construction.
“In Northglenn, a buyer realizes they are getting a smaller home, but they are assured that they are investing in quality. This means that on one of the largest investments most young families will make, there will be an appreciation in value.
“Communities like Northglenn have character and a sense-of-place that that is not found in newer construction,” Jessica noted. “The neighborhoods have mature trees and well-designed parks. There’s not the monotony that one sees in the newer subdivisions.
The City’s Building Codes Drive Value
Part of the reason Northglenn is one of the hottest zip codes in the country lies in the city’s commitment to quality in its buildings. The city planners in Northglenn have made good decisions which have enhanced the city’s desirability. Jessica explains.
“The city has recognized the fact that they have a unique advantage of housing stock which is very desirable and they’ve taken steps to protect this through local ordinances,” she noted. “In the planning ordinances of the city of Northglenn, there are mandates for usages of brick and stone on almost every type of residential property. Even if you were to add on to your existing brick home, you would have to do this in a manner that was compatible with the existing structure.
“This gives all property owners assurances that the character of the neighborhood is going to remain consistent. The city has also mandated that new apartments, townhomes and single-family homes must respect the character of the existing homes by being built with brick and stone.
The Nature of Millennials
Much has been written about the traits of people who reached adulthood around 2000. Ideas about what’s hot and what’s not in the minds of Millennials have diverged (to the surprise of no one!) from those of their parents and grandparents. As for building materials, Jessica has noticed a pattern in what these buyers prefer.
“I’ve noticed a trend toward natural building materials,” she said. “During the building boom of the early 2000’s, many homes were built with synthetic materials and those homes are starting to show their age. Now, we are realizing the value of getting back to the old way of doing things.”
She sees an advantage to locally sourced building materials, such as bricks coming from the Acme Brick plant in Castle Rock. With its unique soil and geology, Colorado offers a wide range colors for bricks. These home grown bricks appeal to the aesthetic sensibilities of younger home buyers.
“Having a product ‘of the earth’ which is sustainable and visually pleasing is a powerful draw to Millennials,” she concluded.
Are you considering building a new home in the Denver area? Take a cue from folks who live in one of the hottest zip codes in America. Investigate the advantages of brick construction. To speak with an Acme Brick expert, click here.
Photo Source: Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Creative Commons, Attribution 3.0 Unported License