A private, non-profit real estate company created in 1989, Thistle has created over 1,000 affordable homes and annually provides housing for over 1,700 residents and responds to over 2,000 requests for information and services.
1000 Rosewood is Underway
Thistle's next development in North Boulder, 1000 Rosewood, is now under construction. Anticipated completion date is late Summer, 2013. The nine affordable homes are under contract and interest in the market rate homes is high. For up-to-date information, go to www.1000Rosewood.com or call Wendy Bank at 303.810.7254.
More Workers Calling Boulder Home
While the Boulder real estate market has not seen a significant reduction in the median home price, opportunities do exist for people with moderate incomes to live, work and own their own homes in the city. Teachers, retail employees, non-profit administrators and university staff, the backbone of our workforce, are the purchasers of new homes developed by Thistle Communities.
Thistle’s new developments are typically different than others in Boulder because our focus is on family friendly homes; the market rate homes are the lowest priced new construction in the market and the deed-restricted affordable homes are large enough to accommodate a household with several members. Home buyers are looking for neighborhoods where their children can ride bikes and play with others as well as properties they can afford. The demand remains high for these types of homes.
Whether market rate or affordable, buying your first home is exciting and scary. Carlyn, an English teacher at a local Boulder high school and single mother to two kids, made significant adjustments in her financial situation before qualifying under City of Boulder guidelines to buy a home. Once approved, the next step of finding a house that was affordable and comfortable took some time. Her search resulted in the purchase of a permanently affordable three-bedroom townhome with a garage in Thistle’s Yarmouth Way community. (See photo, left)
“I needed a three bedroom because of the kids,” she said. “I decided I’m going to get my kids a home.” Though sometimes she doubted it was possible, Carlyn was the first in her family to buy a home, graduate from college and get a Masters degree. Her mom was a single mother, had never owned a home and lived a gypsy life. Carlyn’s mother helped take care of the kids when Carlyn moved to Colorado to go to school. Carlyn, looking forward to the stability of owning her home, said, “Now my son will be able to graduate from Boulder High and my daughter can ride her bike in the neighborhood with other kids.”
Yarmouth Way in North Boulder hosts 25 homes, ten of which are affordable and 15 are market rate. The entire development was built and sold out within one year. A school teacher in Boulder like Carlyn who earns a respectable income cannot buy a median-priced Boulder home at $525,000 but could qualify to purchase a home priced at $208,000 to $237,300 at Yarmouth Way.
Toby's Lane Sets the Standard
Toby’s Lane homes, located near 55th and Arapahoe, are the only homes built in Boulder to receive the Leed Gold certification for achievement in green homebuilding. LEED for Homes (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a third-party certification system for building and designing high-performance green homes which was developed and is administered by US Green Building Council.
Toby’s Lane homes are designed with features such as tankless water heaters, 90% efficient furnaces, double hung (Low-E) vinyl windows, state-of-the-art Icynene®foam and fiberglass batt insulation in the ceilings and walls. Additionally, all the homes are solar ready, with the necessary conduit for solar panels installed on the roof. Three homes already have 2.1 kW solar systems installed and functioning.
As well as being energy efficient, five of the eight homes at Toby’s Lane are permanently affordable through the City of Boulder’s deed-restricted program. Homeowners include two university employees, two government employees, and a non-profit director. Forty percent (two out of five) of the new affordable homeowners were Thistle renters before buying a home at Toby’s Lane.
Said Mary Roosevelt, Thistle CEO, “Working families with incomes of 70-110 percent of the Area Median Income ($53,750 to $88,770 for a family of three) now have the choice to live and work in Boulder. Our market rate homes at Toby’s Lane were the lowest-priced new construction in the City of Boulder and our next development at Yarmouth Way will feature the same pricing. Fifteen of the 25 homes at Yarmouth Way will be market rate.”
The Mission of Thistle Communities is to create and preserve quality, permanently affordable rental and ownership homes for working families, seniors and people with disabilities. Thistle’s 1,000 homes allow teachers, health-care workers, and others who are the backbone of our economy to live in the communities where they work.
A charitable non-profit, Thistle was created in 1989 to meet the need for affordable and accessible rental housing, serving 24 people with disabilities. Thistle expanded its mission to provide workforce rental housing, then became a developer in 1993. In 1996 homeowners purchased their first Community Land Trust homes. Thistle is now the largest private provider of permanently affordable homes in Boulder County. Since its founding, Thistle has created over 1,000 affordable homes, providing quality housing for over 3,000 residents and responding to over 4,000 requests for information and services annually.
Blue Vista received the 2007 Sustainability Award for Advancing Green Design and Planning from the Colorado Chapter of the American Planning Association; and the 2008 Green Development of the Year Award from the National Association of Home Builders
Joe Ballestrasse, President, First National Bank of Colorado
Mary Duvall, Chief Executive Officer
Tracy Walters, Director of Property Management
Victor Bucio, Maintenance Manager
Boulder County Housing Authority
Boulder Housing Partners
City of Boulder Division of Housing
City of Longmont
Elevations Credit Union
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Non-Violence
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless
Colorado Division of Housing
Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
Center for People With Disabilities
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