Posts Tagged ‘Fort Collins Homes’

Casitas are Cool: Coachman Lane

I have a new listing in Clydesdale Park up in North Fort Collins. It’s truly a quality home, but the best part of the home is…the attached casita with ¾ bath & wet bar.
**A casita is a small guest home.

Now here’s why casitas are cool:

It gives you an excuse to create a cozy courtyard with separate entrances for everyone and a communal hangout space…Patio

Your guests get to sip coffee (and other beverages) at their private wet bar…
Casita Bath

Bonus: You can have this kitchen in the home to yourself…
Kitchen B

It’s great if you’ve ever had aspirations to run a hotel room for guests or have a college age kid complaining about needing their own space (15 min to CSU)….

And, best of all, it’s still steps to your home for those epic family movie nights….

Check out the full listing details here…
Gate A

How would you use a casita?


Golden Eagle: Art Meets Architecture

“Not everybody understands vignette layout…it’s not for everyone, but the truth is everyone loves it once they’ve had it.” – Robert Smith, custom builder

Walking into our new listing at Golden Eagle Drive is like walking into a piece of artwork. Details abound around every corner and on every surface (look for the leather insets on the stair posts and glass sink in the powder room).

The house is different layout from today’s popular open concept plans. Need a break from the kids? Let them watch movies in the family roomLiving Room 1
…while you cozy into the living room with book.
Living Room 4
Need your own space? Pick between the loft office (also makes a great guest room/6th bedroom/classroom) with it’s own entrance…
Upstairs Office
Or the dream closet with washer and dryer…
Upstairs Master Bedroom Closet
Ready for some outdoor time? Listen to the rushing waterfall feature while watching the koi swim…
Back 3
Or if you’re feeling active, walk out the back door to the neighborhood tennis court (it’s almost like having a private tennis court)…
Deck A
And who wouldn’t love having a split 5-car garage?
8456 Golden Eagle Road
Best of all, the builder lives here and has created a beautiful high-quality family home!

Find full listing details and additional photos here.
Find details about a great local builder, Robert Smith Construction, here.

First Time Homebuying

Our favorite youngest daughter is getting ready to decide whether or not to buy her first home. She has made a list of Owning  vs Renting, recognizing that owning is an opportunity, but also comes with its own list of responsibilities.

As we discuss the pros and cons of owning, we have put together our Top Ten list of considerations for moving forward with a purchase. Getting your “ducks” in order is a priority.

1. Interview local REALTORS®. Find one who can give you recent market statistics, buying scenarios, financial direction and has experience negotiating in today’s marketplace in Northern Colorado. Not all markets in Colorado are the same so make sure your REALTOR® understands differences between Fort Collins, Loveland, Wellington, Windsor and all surrounding towns.

2. Gather credit information for your lender. You will need to provide recent 401 k statements, recent bank statements, recent pay stubs.

3. Preapproval from a lender is THE most important duck, not prequalification. The lender will tell you what you can afford and what your monthly payments will be. This step requires a preliminary review of your credit information. Do not increase your credit card debt, buy a new car, or apply for a new credit card. Make sure you have a copy of your last two most recent tax returns.

4. Avoid making large cash deposits to your bank account.

5. Do not make a major career change.

6. What do you have for a down payment and what are your options? Will you be gifted money, co-signing, or do you have cash saved for approximately 20% down.

7. Do research on the area/s that you want to buy. Walk the neighborhoods at different times of the day and on the weekends to observe activity and age groups. Check walkability scores, crime rates, number of rentals.

8. When negotiating your contract, realize there will be additional funds needed beyond your down payment. Inspections, appraisals, HOA transfer fees and warranties are not necessarily provided by the seller. After closing, expect the unexpected. Inspections are not foolproof and Murphy’s Law is ever present.

9. When closing on your purchase, NEVER WIRE FUNDS TO ANYONE BUT THE CLOSING AGENT. Scams are rampant. And beware of unexpected emails that ask for money to cover additional inspection costs. All of these costs should flow through your agent.

10. Before, during and after your closing, your REALTOR® should be your trusted advisor for any questions that you may have. From finding handymen to paying taxes, call your REALTOR®.

New Listing! Shore Pine Ct

I have a new luxury listing in the middle of Fort Collins, on a private lake, and with beautiful mountain views! The architect and custom builder are long-time Fort Collins residents so they take pride in their work. In fact, the architect lives across the lake!

Having lived in Fort Collins for 42 years, I have seen builders come and go.  It is a testament to those that have staying power of their craftsmanship, reputation, and community involvement. The owners of the home had a vision and Rick Splittgerber (Splittgerber Professional Builders) and Frank Vaught (Vaught Frye Larson Architects) brought it to life in the most stunning of ways. Here are my favorite things about this extraordinary new listing.


Open Layout

  1. Uninterrupted views of Horsetooth Mountain from across Harmony Reservoir. The home sits on the lake with a private dock. The home is oriented in such a way that you enjoy the morning sun until the sunset colors reflect off the water from your favorite rooms, patio or balcony. The residents’ favorite spots are from the Master Suite Office and long kitchen granite bar.
  2. Outdoor living in Colorado is a given. This home has 2600 square feet of concrete patios, plus balconies, wrap around porches and a dining courtyard. The mature landscaping creates privacy yet openness to perfect weather. If you are chilled in the evening, cuddle up to the fire pit on the water, infrared heater on the patio or outdoor fireplace. On a warm summer day, the outdoor ceiling fan of the covered patio keeps you cool.
  3. What’s not to love about an open floor plan??!! The Grand Entry welcomes guests to an expansive view of the Dining Room, open Kitchen, Great Room, Library, Powder Room and soaring Staircase. If that isn’t enough, climb the open stairs to the second floor and be amazed by the huge Family Room with barrel ceiling that opens to a Rooftop Deck overlooking the water.
  4. The home is smart! It features a Savant control system that provides control from any IOS device (iPhone/iPad). Savant offers easy and intuitive control of lighting, security, climate and entertainment systems. Additionally, remote access to these systems will provide peace of mind when you are out of town. If you forget to set your lights to vacation mode or need to confirm the security system is armed, you have that remote ability. And did I mention the home has 3 miles of wiring? Vantage Lighting Control System provides house-wide scene control and automatic routines based on the time of day.
  5. Radiant in-floor heating. The comfort zone of the body starts with our feet! Take your shoes off and enjoy the warmth of every room, including the garages. Each room is separately controlled allowing you to heat only the room you want.



  6. Solar panels. 24 photovoltaic panels (Sharp 175) have a rating of 4,200 (Watts DC). Panels were recently inspected and found to be in good working order.
  7. Built for “aging in place”, the handicapped or the elderly, the home is well planned to accommodate residents or visitors. A 3-stop National Wheel-O-Vater elevator is centrally located but inconspicuous, allowing easy access to all floors. Low thresholds on entry doors, blocking for future safety railings, and 36” doorways. The upstairs design is perfect for guest quarters or living quarters with a large Family Room and three ensuite bedrooms.
  8. Living the good life! Every detail has been addressed for your enjoyment and comfort of living. The gourmet kitchen has expansive built-ins and a butler’s pantry. The Great Room extends towards the lake where you enjoy a wall of windows as you play your grand piano. If reading is your passion, an amazing library will capture your heart and soul. Do you need His and Hers offices? You are covered. How about laundry rooms on the first and second floor. Yup. Low maintenance landscaping with perennials and gardens? Check. Convenient location in the heart of Fort Collins from which you can bike or walk to restaurants, shopping and amenities? You bet.
  9. Quality materials throughout the home. Real stone, stucco and timber exterior with 2×6 construction. High-efficiency windows, DaVinci Shake multi-width composite shake roofing tiles are reminiscent of the texture of natural cedar. Hickory hardwood floors, stained alder cabinetry, travertine or tile floors in the bathrooms, custom accents, hand-crafted walls and painting.
  10. Some luxury homes have a “hands off” attitude. This home feels like home. From the moment you walk through the door, you feel relaxed. This home is for living, entertaining friends and family, being creative and enjoying the best of Colorado.

Music Room/Eating Area

May the Source Be With You!

In 1977 Star Wars was released and “May the Force be with you” became a buzz phrase. The Group, Inc. Real Estate Company (TGI) was launched in 1976 and the next year adapted the phrase, “May the Source be with you”. From the beginning, TGI wanted to be more than just a real estate company where agents helped clients buy and sell real estate. They wanted to be the place where all real estate related questions could be answered…the Source. Last night’s economic forecast at Embassy Suites was at full capacity and the TGI Source presented data and predictions for the coming year in Fort Collins/Northern Colorado.

The Real Estate Story in Fort Collins/Northern Colorado for 2016 indicates there will continue to be a shortage of inventory in the mid to low price ranges, affecting entry level buyers. Here are the top ten factors.

  1. Home appreciation in Fort Collins/Northern Colorado will continue to lead the nation. For the one-year period ending September 30, 2015, Fort Collins was ranked 9th in the nation for home price appreciation (12.87%) and Greeley ranked 10th (12.72%). From 1991-2015 Colorado had a 263.98% appreciation rate compared to the US rate of 122.35%. This trend will continue.
  2. Affordability: the true cost of housing. Colorado ranks mid-range for housing costs with California being the highest and North Dakota the lowest. The factors that affect housing costs are house price, house payment, utilities, household income and property taxes.
  3. Fort Collins is on pace to be the next Boulder County in 10 years for housing costs. Boulder County is land-locked (they have no more land on which to build) and as a result their average home price is twice the price of Fort Collins. TGI for years has been tracking a specific home builder’s 1,000 sq. foot ranch-style home from the late 50’s-early 60’s. The identical Wheeler home was built in Boulder, Fort Collins and Greeley. The appreciation trend has been the same for more than 20 years. In 2015 a Wheeler Greeley home sold for $177,000; in Fort Collins $341,000; and in Boulder $610,000.
  4. Fort Collins Build Out. Fort Collins is quickly running out of land on which to build. Today, 50,000 workers commute to Boulder each day.
  5. Drive ‘till you qualify. With affordable housing being an increasing problem in Fort Collins, first time home buyers are finding their American Dream in Greeley, Loveland, Wellington, Johnstown/Millikin and Severance.
  6. Where are the condos? Condos are a great way to enter the home buying market and help the affordable housing crunch in Fort Collins. However, due to Colorado’s strict Construction Defect laws, a normal 30% market is currently at 3.8%. Builders do not want the liability. Only legislation in Denver can change this alarming trend. Last week TGI searched the MLS for 2 BR/2BA single car garage condos in the $150,000-$300,000 range. There were only 5 for sale. Lenders will not lend on condo projects under litigation so cash buyers or investors are the only option.
  7. Apartment conversions. Watch for this possible trend in Fort Collins. The statute of limitations is 6 years for builder litigation. How will this affect the market in Fort Collins? In December 2015, median monthly rent in Fort Collins for a 2 BR apartment was $1,150 (Loveland $900, Greeley $860). Will paychecks increase as rents increase?
  8. CSU Stadium opportunity. With the new stadium being built on campus, will the old stadium site be an opportunity for CSU to build a neighborhood of affordable housing for its employees? This is a dialogue that needs to be started.
  9. If employment is a leading indicator for housing needs by 12-18 months, Fort Collins and Northern Colorado are going to needs more housing. Larimer County has a 3.4% growth rate and 3.5% unemployment. That means in 2017, 5,000 more people will need to find housing in Larimer County.
  10. Main Street and Wall Street. At the end of last year interest rates were predicted to go up to 5%-5.5%. With the downturn of the stock market, that figure has now been adjusted downward to stay in the 4% range. This should affect the housing market in a positive way.

Tuesday 10: Preparing for Winter Before October

My wife and I have lived in Colorado for 41 years and mid-September can be the continuation of summer as it is in 2015 or of Indian Summer where we have frost or snow followed by warm days and cold or chilly nights. We are in the harvest season and soon the days will be shorter, sending us indoors to read a good book. In planning for the change of seasons, here my top ten projects to complete before October. #PreparingForWinter

1. Clean the garage.  Take a day and sort through all of the piles of yard care tools/materials, boxes, bags and cans.  Sweep, wash and eliminate cobwebs. Make sure the garage doors seal tightly to the floor to eliminate any critters that might want to seek warm in your box of rags. Make room for patio furniture.

2. Make a trip to the recycling centers
and deposit hazardous waste, old paint, cardboard, papers and bottles.

3. Divide perennial bulbs and give extras to neighbors, friends and landscape companies.

4. Inspect outdoor lighting for light bulbs that need to be changed.

5. Schedule sprinkler system winterization.

6. Schedule furnace check and check windows and door seals.

7. Eliminate all weeds in your gardens. Annual weeds will drop their seeds in the fall and start growing in the spring. By weeding now, you dramatically reduce weeds for next year.

8. Purchase your turf builder with weed control and take charge of next year’s lawn.

9. Trim trees away from roof and gutters. Leaf build-up can cause drainage problems when snow melts.

10. Call CSU Extension,, and find out which trees, shrubs and flowers can be cut back in the autumn and which ones should wait until the spring.

Tuesday 10: A Tour of Fort Collins with Montezuma Fuller

Besides having a really great name, Montezuma Fuller was the most prolific architect around Fort Collins from 1881-1925. He doesn’t have a street named after him, but Montezuma Fuller Alley is a two-block area between College Avenue and Remington Street off Old Town Square. He was born in Nova Scotia and traveled west to Greeley and Denver before settling in Fort Collins.

Here are my Tuesday Ten Montezuma Fuller buildings in Fort Collins that have meaning in my life.

1. The Mosman House/ Andrews House, 324 E. Oak, c. 1881. My wife was an art major in college and one of her art friends moved to Fort Collins in 1976, just after I started in the real estate business. Teresa was a graphic artist for Poudre R-1 and Bev was trying to establish herself in the local arts community. We commissioned Bev to paint 4 homes in Fort Collins that I could hang on my office wall. The ornate porch is what captured our attention with the Mosman House and Bev captured the East Lake Queen Anne intricacy of this home.

2. The Montezuma Fuller House, 226 West Magnolia. Another of the 4 homes that Bev painted for us. This was his personal home, a Queen Anne-style built in 1894.

3. The Pleasant View School or Hice School, corner of Drake and Shields, c. 1897. In February, 1975, we were driving down Shields and came upon the demolished Pleasant View School. It lay in ruin at the hand of a bulldozer. We hadn’t been in Fort Collins long enough to relish the history and architecture of the school, but there was a pile of wainscoting and the man standing amongst the rubble appeared to be in charge. We were renovating our little bungalow across from City Park and the wood was perfect for our bathroom. We often wonder if he was just a random resident collecting money from the deconstructed “Little Red Brick Schoolhouse”.

4. Trimble Brothers Block-Trimble Court, 127-131 Linden Street, c. 1903. Trimble Court has been a hot spot for artists and would-be-artists since our arrival in Fort Collins. I have fond memories of taking a stained glass class in 1975 and making Christmas gifts for my wife and mother.

5. The Colorado Building, 133-147 South College, c. 1906. Julian’s was an elegant ladies store with the most beautiful curved glass front windows. In the spring of 1977, a motorist accidentally put her car in drive instead of reverse, jumped the curb and crashed into Julian’s. The windows were boarded up for weeks awaiting the specialty glass to be imported and installed. Finally, the new glass was installed but in the early morning hours of April 26, 1977, the whole town felt a boom. A gas line on Oak Street caused an explosion and the Julian’s window, once again, shattered.

6. Edgar Avery House, 316 W. Mountain, c. 1901. Many people think Fuller was the architect of the Franklin Avery House, 328 W. Mountain. In fact, Franklin built the current house over a span of 16 years. Perhaps it is the Queen Anne tower and sandstone materials that make it feel like a Montezuma Fuller residence. However, next door, Franklin’s son hired Fuller to design his home. In 1987, The Poudre Landmark Foundation conducted a children’s art contest. Our oldest daughter (age 8) won the contest and Christmas cards were printed of her artwork! Let me know if you want a pack…. We purchased many, many, many cards that year. This is the #3 painting by Bev.

7. The Edwards House, 402 West Mountain, c.1903. We have attended many nice events in the Edwards House venue and directed visitors to their lovely B&B. Try an overnight in Old Town!

8. Avery Block, Old Town Square, c. 1897. The Romanesque Avery Block is the iconic image of Fort Collins. Every time our city makes a list of “Bests……”, the Avery building is most frequently photographed. For many years, Beajou’s Pizza was the place my family wanted to eat in Old Town Square. From people-watching on the patio to honey-soaked crusts, the memories will remain even though the restaurant has moved. It was a true family place

9. Baker House, 304 E.Mulberry c. 1896. This completes the 4th of the paintings that Bev created for us.  A jewel of a home, F.R. Baker was city mayor in 1902. A distinctively Fuller home with a two-story side turret , ornate porch, and multi-level rooflines.

10. German Evangelical Congregational Church, 201 Whedbee, c. 1905. Although I am not a commercial real estate broker, I was involved in the sale of this beautiful building a few years ago. At that time it was painted white and now it has been restored to the beautiful natural brick.

For more information:

Take a peek inside the Montezuma Fuller house 

Read about his life. 

What’s your favorite Fort Collins historical site?