Buying a House in Money Magazine's 'Best Place to Live'

Last Updated Jul 21, 2009 2:20 PM EDT

best places to liveSuddenly, this house is hot.

Okay, "hot" is a subjective term, so let's go for "hotter." Money magazine just released its "Best Places to Live 2009" ranking, and Louisville, Colorado -- which had been No. 3 just two years ago -- has jumped up to the top. This is good news for all 107 houses for sale in the town, which has a population of just 18,800.

Here's one listing (pictured), courtesy of Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors. The four-bedroom, three-bath home with a two-car garage is for sale for $399,900. It's not that the market hasn't slowed in Louisville. Remember "Days on Market," that statistic that we talked about as showing whether a market was slowing down or speeding up? According to the Boulder Area Realtor Association, days on market in Louisville -- which they measure as "days to contract" -- was 52 days in the twelve month period ended May 31, up from 40 days the comparable year before. What's more, that had lengthened to 60 days for the month ended June 30. Maybe Money magazine's report, praising the town's "robust industries...such as high tech, energy and health care," will help.

As befits a place known for the great outdoors, housing prices in Louisville correspond strongly to views. A house on top of a hill is worth more than one in the valley, and while a golf-course view is good, one looking at the magnificent Flatiron range is even better.

What $800,000 buys you: A 5-bedroom, 4-bath home with a finished basement, within walking distance of Louisville's Old Town.

What $1.3 million buys you: A 4,000-square-foot stone home on more than an acre, with mountain views to take your breath away.

What $1.8 million buys you: A little more than five acres so you can be a development baron.

(Listings courtesy of Wright Kingdom Real Estate, Pallone & Associates, and Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors; photo courtesy Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors.)

  • Alison Rogers

    Since graduating from Harvard summa cum laude, Alison Rogers has been a reporter, an editor, a real-estate agent, a Wall Street desk jockey, a columnist, a failed flipper, and a landlady. A member of the National Association of Realtors, she currently sells and rents luxury co-ops in Manhattan for the Chelsea-based firm DG Neary. (If you've got $27,500 a month, the firm has an apartment for you!) Her book, Diary of a Real Estate Rookie, was called "a valuable guide for rookie buyers" by AOL/Walletpop, "beach-read fun" by the New York Observer, and "witty" by Newsweek.