Archives for May 2012

How Many Loans Can You Have?

Consider this.  There is currently a restriction on the number of real estate loans you can carry at one time.  Yes, there are some ways around it, but most lenders can only offer a maximum of four (4) loans for conventional Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae financing.

If you are a first-time home buyer I would highly recommend purchasing multi-unit residential income property (ie duplex, triplex, fourplex).  Why?  The same loan you acquire purchasing a home can create more long-term wealth for you if you use it toward rental units.  As long as you intend to occupy one of the units, you can still qualify for FHA financing with a low down payment and a low interest rate, and you have rental income to pay down your mortgage more quickly.

Would you rather finance four homes for a total of four units or would you rather finance four fourplexes for a total of sixteen units?  Contact us if you would like more information about purchasing residential income property in Fort Collins, Loveland, or northern Colorado.

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog!

Fort Collins Breweries in the News

This week Fox31 Denver released a video about Fort Collins breweries which account for 70% of Colorado's craft beer.  Fort Collins is gaining popularity as "The Beer Capital of Colorado" and local breweries such as New Belgium, Odell Brewing, Funkwerks, and Fort Collins Brewery are drinking up the publicity as they increase profits.  Fort Collins brewery tours continue to be a major attraction for both tourists and local residents.

Lowest Interest Rates in History

Have interest rates hit rock bottom?  USA Today released an article this week reporting that the average 30-year fixed rate dropped to a record low of 3.79%.

I spoke with one of my lending partners this week and he said he watched rates drop as low as 3.25% for a 30-year fixed mortgage.  If you haven't figured it out already, now is definitely the time to secure financing and buy Fort Collins real estate, Loveland real estate, and investment properties in Northern Colorado.  

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog.     

Why Live in Fort Collins, CO?

My family has some friends who moved out to Fort Collins, CO from southern California a couple of years ago.  If we were to break down the list of reasons why they moved to Fort Collins, CO it would look something like this:

1.  Cost of Living: The median price for a single family residence in Orange County, CA was over $400,000.  The median price from home in Fort Collins two years ago was appoximately $230,000.  Furthermore, property taxes in Orange County, CA were 1.1% vs. less than 1.0% in Fort Collins and sales tax in Orange County, CA was in excess of 9.0%.  Gas prices in southern California were over $4.00/gallon and the traffic easily added 15-30 minutes to a commute less than 10 miles away.

2.  Education:  Public schools in southern California were suffering due to the student-teacher ratio and the budget crisis.  Several of our mutual friends were teachers who claimed that classrooms were crowded and students were not given enough personal attention, which resulted in lower test scores.  One alternative was to send children to private schools, and annual tuition costs could easily exceed $3000.00 per year.

3.  Recreation:  Orange County, CA is so developed that parks and natural recreation areas are scarce.  This resulted in residents having to drive several miles to reach parks, national forests, and open space suitable for outdoor activity.  Fort Collins, CO offers miles of bike trials, natural space and parks maintained by the City of Fort Collins, and easy access to free hiking trails within city limits.

4.  Community:  The lifestyle in southern California is one in which everyone is competing with each other to see who ultimately has more money, drives the most expensive car, and lives in the biggest house.  Cities in Orange County, CA all merge into one large concrete structure of buildings, homes, shopping malls, and industrial-commerical businesses.  The sense of community found in Fort Colllins, CO is much more connected with real people who care about their friends and neighbors.

5.  Opportunity:  Fort Collins and Northern Colorado offered tremendous opportunity to start-up and maintain a business in nearly every industry.  Gaining popularity as one of the best places to live in the United States, Fort Collins offered steady employment and a thriving economy to sustain growth over the next decade. 

There are several other reasons that motivated our friends to leave the busy and superficial lifestyle of southern California and pursue a more meaningful and rewarding life in Colorado. 

Please call or email me if you have any questions about relocating to Colorado or the NoCo Lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog!

Sunstone Subdivision, Fort Collins, Colorado

The English Ranch and Sunstone subdivisions are among the most popular in southeast Fort Collins, CO.  These subdivisions are located near the intersection of Timberline Road and Harmony Road to the southwest and Ziegler Road and Horsetooth Road to the northeast.  Homes in Sunstone and homes in English Ranch are conveniently located near retail stores such as Super Target, Toys R Us, Sports Authority – and located near restaurants such as Austin's, Famous Dave's, Zquila's, and more.  Residents enjoy easy access to I-25, local parks, retail shopping, and restaurants.

 

As a resident of Sunstone, I decided to knock on doors today to see if any our our neighbors would be in the market to sell soon.  Buyers are plentiful and as of today there are only 5 homes on the market in Sunstone and English Ranch combined.  It was absolutely fantastic meeting some new neighbors and learning how much they love our neighborhood.  Home values in the Sunstone subdivision are trending up with home sales in the past twelve months between $260,000-$300,000.

Homes in Sunstone were built in approximately 1992-1993 by Geneva Homes.  Geneva Homes was owned by Greg L. Bonham, a local builder who built homes for approximately 15 years throughout Fort Collins, CO and Windsor, CO.  Mr. Bonham died on January 21, 2002; however, his homes remain a favorite among local residents.

If you are in the market for Fort Collins homes in Sunstone or The English Ranch, contact me today to learn more about these incredible Fort Collins homes for sale. 

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog.

Searching Online for Northern Colorado Homes

Let's face it.  Nearly everyone starts their Colorado home search online.  As a buyer I like the simplicity of going to a website, plugging in my search parameters, and magically watching the home listings appear in front of me.

The trouble with the large home searching websites is that their listing information is not always up to date.  National home search websites use an Internet Data Exchange (IDX) feed directly from the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) providers throughout the country.  However, the listing status of the data they retrieve from the MLS database may not be recognizable in their system.

For example, when you are on a home searching website and come across a Fort Collins home with an "Active" status, you would naturally believe that the Fort Collins home is still on the market.  Well, sometimes it isn't.  Not only are there IDX delays for updates on properties, many national home search sites cannot differentiate between "Active" status and "Active/Backup" status, in which case that same Fort Collins home might already be under contract.

The Northern Colorado home search feature on NoCo Lifestyle is framed into the site directly from IRES MLS, so home listings are updated every hour.  More importantly, if you are in the market to buy a home, just contact your trustworthy real estate broker and take thirty minutes to meet for your buyer consultation.  The thirty minutes you spend with your local broker narrowing down your search criteria could save you thousands of dollars in time wasted looking at the wrong homes and missing out on the right ones!

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog.

 

First Quarter 2012 Fort Collins Residential Real Estate

If these numbers aren't an indication that the real estate market in Fort Collins, CO is hot then let me know and I'll give you even more!  April 2012 was an extremely busy month in real estate as more first-time buyers entered the market with price points under $200,000.  The result: Fort Collins home inventory is down and prices are trending up.  The transition from a buyer's market to a seller's market is even more obvious as multiple-offer situations are becoming more common for Fort Collins homes under $250,000. 

At a sales meeting today at Keller Williams Realty of Northern Colorado, a representative from the home builder DR Horton claimed that new home construction is behind current sales.  Their current developments include Windshire Park and Water Valley in Windsor, CO, Trail Head in Fort Collins, CO, and Summerfields at Timnath Ranch in Timnath, CO.

The bottom line: if you are in the market for a home in northern Colorado be prepared to act quickly if you find a home you like.  Homes continue to sell at approximately 96% of the listing price, which means low-ball offers are not likely to get you into a home.  If you have questions about buying or selling real estate in Fort Collins, CO or northern Colorado, please contact me and I'd be happy to help you.

Thanks for reading our Northern Colorado Real Estate and Lifestyle Blog.