If you’ve never heard or read the parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant I will give you an abbreviated version there are several variations, this one is my version.
Four blind men encompass an elephant and each is asked what they think of it. The first man holds the tail and thinks he is holding a rope. Another man is holding one of the large ears and thinks he’s holding a blanket. Another man is hugging a large leg that feels like a tree trunk. The fourth man thinks he is near a giant. The point of the story above is that each of us has our own perception which could be our reality but not necessarily the truth. Each of us “ sees’s” what we think is the truth.
The elephant in the Colorado real estate market is changing things. Changing for better or worse depending on whom you talk to. As a Colorado licensed real estate agent I’m discouraged from working with anything illegal. But the definition of what is or is not legal seems to be changing. Colorado laws contradict National laws. And as more and more states change what they think is is acceptable, illegal lines and moralities seem to be in a paradox.
I don’t smoke, have never smoked and probably never will smoke. But like most people I know we don’t care if you do smoke, just don’t smoke next to me and don’t set my mountains on fire. I have several friends whose lives have improved as the Colorado laws have changed. One friend who couldn’t process food is now gaining weight. A teenager I know battles a rare genetic condition and can now walk again. A past client can now support his family after his disability was denied. And another acquaintance can die with dignity and without pain. It seems the change in Colorado laws have improved the quality of many lives.
But with the good often comes the bad. And like most of the nation, Colorado seems to be battling crime, prejudice, addiction, and homelessness. In my community, it’s common to see people begging on the corners. It’s common to hear of businesses being broken into and people on the street being approached for money. My office has had visitors come in asking for a “list of vacant homes” and not because they were looking to buy a property.
The argument of benefits versus costs is a seemingly an endless conversation.
Clients have come to me wanting to move to Colorado and specifically my community due to the lifestyle and all that it implies. While I will tell clients about the attributes of the area including hiking, biking, the river, fishing, the history and the continuous sunshine often they are more interested in over forms of lifestyle. If a client tells me they want to purchase a property will all cash this is usually an indication of their desire to take in all that Colorado has to offer. I’ve had clients purchase with government-backed loans to find out later they were being discrete.
Potential sellers will tell me they are selling because (fill in the blank) when the truth is they are tired of the drama. I recently sat a potential sellers kitchen table. Her house sits on what used to be a rural, quiet, rarely used street and the back of the subdivision. As we sat we could see the traffic go by, probably 5 times the rate of five years ago. With very little explanation I could tell which cars and trucks going by were local neighbors versus business people. The potential seller explained to me that she has a good water well, important in a drought state. The quality and quantity of her well can be substantiated during a property inspection. Yet the trucks with holding tanks we could see driving by the house indicated that the neighbor's wells either aren’t working or that they are in need of more water. Her fear is that her well is going to go dry, she’s tired of the traffic, noise, and dust. Not to mention that her neighbors instill fear.
As I show buyers homes around my area I can tell people are well armed with firearms. They have been well armed for years. But what I see in homes seems to be increasing. Not long ago I had a late night knock on my door. I wasn’t expecting anybody, it was dark and to late to be out selling anything door to door. The woman kept calling out “hello” but never announced who she was or what she wanted. No, I didn’t answer the door and the next morning there was no note or any other indication that anybody had been at my door. It had been a restless night.
And as I watch or listen to the news every day I know that the news is in the business to sensationalize what they are telling us - it sells advertising. But personally I hate being fearful, nobody likes it. So what’s the point of all this? Parables about elephants, water wells, lifestyle, incredible cures and fearful people? The point is I can see both sides of the Colorado lifestyle. The world is changing and I’m not sure how I feel about it