I've posted on this before, but I've received the question again twice this week, so I thought I would repost...
We get calls every week from home buyers asking why a home they are interested in is listed as being located in Littleton, when it should be listed in Highlands Ranch Homes for Sale.
The easy and surprising answer: There is no city of Highlands Ranch.
Yes, you read that correctly: Highlands Ranch is not a city. Rather, it is a Trademarked Name and subdivision located in Douglas County, and a part of unincorporated Littleton, Colorado. Shea Homes owns the trademark on "Highlands Ranch" and any business or club that uses the term "Highlands Ranch" has to have their permission to use it.
To many of you, that may come as a huge shock. Particularly since every addressing program in the United States has Highlands Ranch included as a city (there is even a Highlands Ranch Post office). On every real estate search engine you will see a city listed for Highlands Ranch Homes for Sale. But none of that changes the fact that legally, the city of Highlands Ranch does not exist.
Because of this, when an agents enters a Highlands Ranch Home for sale in the MLS, it automatically populates the city fields as "Littleton." If the agent does not manually change the city, the Highlands Ranch Home will appear only under Littleton homes and not under Highlands Ranch Homes.
So How Do You Search for Highlands Ranch Homes?
If you want to make sure that your Highlands Ranch Homes search includes every possible home, here is what to do: First, choose both "Littleton" and "Highlands Ranch" in the city area of your search program. Secondly, add a zip code to your search. (Highlands Ranch zip codes are 80126, 80129 and 80130). This will ensure that no matter how the real estate agent listed the property into the MLS, you will find every home in the Highlands Ranch area. Remember that you'll need to do this for Highlands Ranch Townhomes and Highlands Ranch Condos too.
How Does This Impact Mailing Addresses?
For those of you who live in or are moving to Highlands Ranch, you can still put "Highlands Ranch" as your address. The post office recognizes that most people don't differentiate between the two areas and your mail will still be delivered.
However, if you are listing your home for sale, and your agent has listed your home as being in Littleton and not in Highlands Ranch, realize that you will be missing out on many potential buyers that don't know this information or haven't talked to a knowledgeable real estate agent.