Somerset Meadows

LONGMONT — When Jenny Kim moved to Colorado, she was surprised by the size of the yards.

“Coming from the East Coast, I was used to bigger properties,” she said, recalling the houses she first saw.

“Here the homes are gorgeous to look at, and the yards are spacious – that’s what was especially attractive to me,” she added, describing the house in Somerset Meadows where she and her husband, Sang, have lived with their children since 2006.

Somerset Meadows off Airport Road in southwest Longmont originally was designed to offer ambiance similar to Somerset Estates in Niwot, but available to a wider audience in price point and size, according to Tracie Thede, Sopris Home sales manager.

“It has larger than typical lots that are one-quarter to three-quarter acres, minimal through streets to reduce traffic and is still located within Boulder County.”

In May, Sopris purchased four lots in Somerset Meadows that start in the mid $700,000s. Buyers can either use the plans Sopris has developed or design their own. The first Somerset Meadows homes were built in 2005, but downturned economy brought home building to a screeching halt in 2009.  The current economic upswing is now putting the Longmont area development back on the map.

“There still is a limited amount of inventory on the market in the whole metro area, and a lot of what is available is dated,” Thede said, pointing out the benefits of the new homes about to be built.

“People like new. They don’t want houses that have had animals on the carpet for the last 10 years.”

In addition to buyers finding new homes in neighborhoods with mature landscaping already in place, appeal for Somerset Meadows includes the school system that serves the neighborhood.

“The teachers are excellent, and the curriculum is well-rounded,” Kim said, adding that Blue Mountain Elementary School continues to be stimulating for both of her daughters who have different personalities.

“I remember when we visited the school once, and one of my daughters referred to Blue Mountain as ‘the best school ever.’ ”

When the Kims moved to Somerset, Jenny had finished training to be an obstetrics and gynecology physician and realized they could choose anywhere to live.

“Longmont seemed to be a great town for raising children, with great mountain views, arts and fresh farm produce,” she said. “I really love to cook.”

Another appeal of the neighborhood in Somerset Meadows was what she referred to as “a close sense of community that got together often.”

A lot of people here didn’t have families close by at the time we moved here, and we got together for the holidays.”

Brian Barrett, Berkshire Hathaway-Boulder broker, is currently listing a house at 2011 Braeburn in Somerset Meadows for $884,500.

“In general, it’s a luxury home, family neighborhood,” he said. “The short 15-minute drive into Boulder gives residents the best of both worlds as they’re able to enjoy the attributes of Boulder without the inherent compromises that Boulder home buyers must make in this price range.

“While Boulder’s average sales price for similarly valued homes has increased well beyond the pre-downturn prices of 2007 and 2008, this is not the case for Somerset Meadows where average prices remain lower than their peaks.”

He believes the continued low inventory in Boulder will soon drive those prices up.

Sales data for the neighborhood is that seven properties sold last year in the range of $642,500 to $1.048 million.  Average days to sale was 91.

In 2012, six properties sold in the range of $599,000 to $974,000.  Average days to sale was 143.

For Kim, the continued appeal of their home in Somerset Meadows is the environment.  “Every time I turn into our neighborhood I feel like I’m entering a sanctuary.  I get a full range view of the mountains and with the trees having gotten so big and mature, the landscape is beautiful.

“There’s a sense of real beauty and peace in the living space here.”