Longmont Colorado is a town with a long and colorful history.
In the 1500's, Native American's followed great herds of migrating buffalo through what is now called the St Vrain Valley. Not until the 1800's did Anglo-explorers and adventurers arrive, including Major Stephen H. Long, for whom Long's Peak was named. Miners, trappers and hunters followed the explorers and before long this northeastern part of Colorado had made a name for itself. It was a place of great promise and it got the attention of some prominent businessmen from Chicago.
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The men sold memberships in a new town which they were calling "The Chicago-Colorado Colony" and used the money to buy 60,000 acres of land. By 1871 Longmont had been built and irrigation ditches constructed to bring water from the rivers into the fields for farming.
The town kept growing and larger scale agricultural industries sprang up with it. Flour mills arrived in 1872, the Empson vegetable cannery in 1887. There was a sugar beet factory on the west edge of town and in 1903, the Great Western Sugar Co was developed. Sugar beets grew very well with the rich soil and ample irrigation.
During the 1925 election, the Ku Klux Klan gained control of the City Council! They marched up and down Main Street in their costumes, but by 1927, had been voted out of office and their influence soon declined.
By 1950 the population of Longmont was 8,000 and the Mayor of Longmont, Ralph Price, could foresee a water shortage. He spearheaded the campaign to build Buttonrock Dam. A project that paid for itself almost immediately.
In the early 60's the US Government built a control tower in Longmont and IBM built a large facility just outside the town. Between 1960-1970, the population doubled... and doubled again by 1980 despite the closure of the vegetable cannery and the Great Western Sugar Company.
In 2013, Longmont was a city of 89,919 people and Boulder County was now home to 310,048 people. The population of Longmont had risen 24% since 2000 and as of August 2013, the city enjoys an unemployment rate of 4.3% - only a little bit higher than neighboring Boulder and significantly lower than the national average.
Impressive things you may not know about Longmont Colorado:
- Sixth in Nation for Solar Jobs with 3,600 workers
– Solar Foundation (2013)
- Second Happiest City
–Vermont Complex Systems Center (February 2013)
- Ranked 15 on the annual Best-Performing Cities Index
– Milken Institute (January 2013)
- One of the Highest Concentrations of Federally Funded Science & Research Labs in the Nation
– National Science Foundation (2012)
So how is real estate doing in Longmont Colorado?
- The average home price, year to date in 2013 is $285,000. This is up 27% from 2012.
- The average number of days on market is 69. This is down from 90 days in 2012.
In short the 2014 real estate market is hotter than the 2012/13 market. Its a Seller's market with less than 6 months of inventory. Longmont, like the rest of the Front Range, Colorado and much of the nation is enjoying a healthy real estate market.
So what sort of real estate is offered up in Longmont right now?
Longmont, is where you can find almost anything. Try your hand at investing. Condos start at about $75,000 for a 1-2 bedroom property under 800 square feet. Or pick out your dream house. The highest priced sale of the last year was a 4 bed, 5 bathroom, 8,300 square foot home... for $1,650,000.
Where to start?
I like to visualize Longmont a bit like a target. The bulls-eye being Main Street, downtown.
The neighborhood commonly referred to as Old Town is bounded by 1st Street to the south, 9th to the north, Bowen St which is six blocks west of Main St and Martin St, six blocks to the east of Main Street. This is where you will find tons of small, locally owned and operated businesses. It's a walkable area filled at the center with restaurants, coffee shops, small stores and entertainment and surrounded by tree-lined streets and historic homes.
If you are looking to purchase a historic home in Old Town Longmont Colorado you need to know what you are looking for and be prepared to act quickly when you find it. When location and cuteness hits the market it doesn't last long. At any given time, there is only a small handful of properties for sale in Old Town. Whether you are spending $200,000 for a smaller home with potential, or you are looking for a complete remodel, with plenty of space on a quieter street, the charm of Old Town is hard to resist.
As you move further from the center of town, the neighborhoods are newer, with the newest being the very edges of town, some still under construction now.
Renaissance neighborhood is situated on the southwest side of town. It is a sprawling area, interspersed by walking paths and parks. Unlike the original parts of Longmont, planned out in a grid, Renaissance streets are curvy! You will find joggers, dog walkers and kids playing all year round. A creek runs through it and the schools, which are newer than most in Longmont, rank very well indeed. Did I mention that the view of Long's Peak and the snow-capped Rockies can be seen from many of the houses, townhouses and condos? The neighborhood is also super convenient to several large employers and main commuter routes leading to Erie, Lafayette and Niwot and Boulder.
Before you call me asking for all the latest listings, statistics on sold and under contract properties, school information you should know one thing: Renaissance is just about a mile south of Longmont's Vance Brand Airport. The pattern for traffic landing on runway 29 involves flying over or just to the north of the neighborhood and a thriving sky-diving business at the airport means you will get a fine view of parachute operations but can't help but overhear the jump planes climbing to altitude either. Yes, there is airplane noise and while it hardly bothers some, it's not conducive to a happy life for others. If this is something might concern you, spend some time on a nice day hanging out near the airport and see for yourself before you commit.
Or maybe you are the buyer that is seeking out airplane noise? Give me a call, Pilot!
Longmont's Airport is home to a friendly aviation community. Elite Aviation (the local FBO) provides aircraft rental, mechanical service and fuel. There are hangars for sale and rent on the north and south sides of the airport and we have a new taxiway on the south side as of 2013 too. Renaissance neighborhood is ideally located for your airport convenience! You need never miss a sunset flight again.
Longmont is much more than meets the eye, but don't just take my word for it. Let me help you discover Longmont for yourself. It's a place to call home, for sure.