Posts Tagged ‘Fort Collins Real Estate’

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.

TRID: Things to Know

A REALTOR® does much more than list & sell homes and collect commission. There are intricacies every step of the way with a transaction. In some states attorneys are part of the equation. In Colorado, your REALTOR® oversees the transaction from start to finish.

Is your REALTOR® knowledgeable when it comes to all of the forms and legal jargon?

Will you have surprises at the closing table?

Has your REALTOR® taken classes and gone to seminars to stay up-to-date with the changing rules and regulations that are designed to protect the consumer?

Do you have time to study and understand everything you are signing?

1.TRID is an acronym for Tila/Respa Integrated Disclosure Rule. Also known as Know Before You Owe. This is an acronym from an acronym. TILA = Truth in Lending Act and RESPA = the Real Estate Procedures Act.

2. The new rules went into effect on October 3, 2015.

3. It is important to know about TRID if you are BUYING or SELLING a home. As a buyer, the new rules relate to your mortgage. As a seller, you need to know if there is the possibility of a delay at the Closing table and thus a delay in the funding of the sale.

4. Choose a lender who understands the NEW process. This a sweeping change in the mortgage industry and your lender should be able to explain all of the settlement service fees from application to closing. Lack of understanding of the rules leads to mistakes, and some of those can be quite costly. Choose an experienced REALTOR® who understands the NEW process and can be your advocate with your new mortgage loan or a watchdog to the selling side of a transaction. An experienced REALTOR® deals with all of these forms and rules on a regular basis and is your trusted guide in all parts of the process.

5. TRID replaces 3 forms with 2 forms. The changes are intricate and with understanding can lead to a smooth transaction, or to a nightmare for the uninformed.

6. With the new changes, Lenders must give a Loan Estimate to the borrower 3-days after the mortgage application.

7. With the new changes, the Borrower must receive the Closing Disclosure 3 business days PRIOR to closing.

8. If specific changes are made at the closing table, the Closing must be delayed 3 business days. Specific changes for the 3-day review are: The APR increases by more than 1/8 of a percent for fixed-rate loans or ¼ of a percent for adjustable loans; a prepayment penalty is added; the basic loan product changes (such as a switch from fixed to adjustable interest rate, or a loan with interest-only payments).

9. This is the link to the government TRID website, As a normal consumer, I challenge you to understand the guidelines the government has published for your “understanding”


Safety Rules for Realtors (and people in general)

REd book

Last year I took an idea to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) about publishing a “little manual” about proper behavior for Realtors®. The result was “The Little Blue Book: RULES to LIVE BY FOR REALTORS® “. It was released at the national convention in New Orleans and became an instant hit. This year, at the national convention in San Diego, a second in the three-part series will be released. “The Little Red Book SAFETY RULES to LIVE BY FOR REALTORS®. The rules not only apply to male and female Realtors, but the general public no matter what age or profession you are in.

From the book, here are my Top Ten picks for safety rules.

  1. Do not judge a person by their looks and how they dress. Anyone can pose a threat in the right situation.
  2. Always be mindful of your surroundings. Everyone has to be responsible for their own safety. It is not a sign of weakness or mistrust to always be on the alert.
  3. Social media is a great place to advertise who you are, your business and your interests. But, with this comes the risk from those who like to exploit others. There is a hyper transparency of a whole segment of today’s population.
  4. Never reveal on your social networking sites that you will be gone from your home for the evening or out of town on a trip.
  5. Vary your daily routine and make sure your life is not predictable.
  6. On your cell phone add ICE under contacts: In Case of Emergency. This is the number you want someone to call if you are incapacitated.
  7. The first time you are meeting a new client or contact, do so in a public situation.
  8. Always have your keys handy when you are approaching your car, home or office.
  9. Shred sensitive data before throwing it in the trash.
  10. When you get in your car, especially at night or in an isolated area, do not sit and text or make phone calls.

What is your top safety tip?