Hire a Real Estate Agent or Sell Yourself in a Seller’s Market?

Winterstone Under ContractIt’s no secret that the Fort Collins real estate market is a seller’s market.  Inventory of Fort Collins single family homes is still down and the average sales price is hovering around $300,000 (Source: FCBR Housing Report).  Homes that are positioned to sell are receiving multiple offers within days, sometimes hours, of listing.  So why would you hire a real estate agent to sell your home if the market is so hot?

First of all, a professional Realtor® is licensed to sell real estate in the State of Colorado.  Real estate agents are mandated by the Colorado Real Estate Commission to take continuing education courses to keep their licenses in good standing, and active agents are extremely familiar with best practices, real estate contracts, real estate disclosures, title insurance, and all the other paperwork that goes along with selling real estate.  Ask yourself this question: If you were going to court to defend yourself against a $250,000 lawsuit would you hire a professional or do it yourself?

Your Realtor® should also help you prepare your home and position it to sell.  What does that mean?  Well, on average an active real estate agent probably previews a minimum of 5-10 homes per week in the Fort Collins market.  Your agent is likely to know what type of homes are in your neighborhood, the features and benefits of each of them, and the comparable sales in the last six months.  This gives you an advantage when determining what upgrades to make to your home, what items need to be repaired, and at what price you should list your home.  So go ahead and ask yourself this question: How many homes have you previewed this week in your neighborhood?

And let’s not forget about the concept of exposure.  How much exposure will your home receive if you sell it yourself?  A sign in the yard and an ad on Craigslist, right?  Maybe the occasional Facebook post about your home for sale.  When you list with a full-service brokerage like Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage your house will receive tremendous exposure right away.  Why?  Because the savvy agent who is going to list your home will pitch the listing to other agents in the brokerage and to real estate agents at other brokerages.  So ask yourself this question:  How many real estate agents do you know?  And that’s just the beginning.  Not only is your home networked with other agents in Northern Colorado, but it is entered in the Multiple Listing Service, syndicated with all the major online retail sites like Trulia and Zillow, advertised with postcard mailings to your neighbors, placed in Colorado Homes and Lifestyles® magazine (over 32,000 paid subscribers), exposed on YouTube with a professionally-edited 30-second video, and the list goes on.  How’s that for exposure?

Now you might be asking yourself how you can afford to pay your Realtor® a commission, right?  Remember, the real estate agent selling your house is paid for performance.  That’s right.  The broker helps you position your home to sell, markets and advertises your home, schedules showings and home inspections, handles all of the real estate paperwork, and doesn’t get paid unless your real estate transaction closes and your house sells.  Now it’s time to ask yourself another question:  Are you ok spending thousands of dollars of your own money to advertise and market your home, even if it doesn’t sell?

In my biased opinion, hiring a professional Realtor® will save you thousand of dollars.  Yes, I am a firm believer that you can do anything you put your mind to.  I believe I can build a home all by myself.  I can apply for permits to build, take my shovel and start excavating the ground, buy my bags of concrete and start pouring the foundation, grab my hammer and start nailing the plywood…but hey, I’d rather just hire a professional builder to do it the right way and just pay them for the finished product.  Wouldn’t you?

For more information about the real estate market in Northern Colorado, feel free to give me a call or send me an email.  I’m here to help you.

 

 

Map of Fossil Creek Reservoir in Fort Collins, CO

Fossil Creek ReservoirHave you been to Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space in southeast Fort Collins?  The 843 acres of natural area provide Fort Collins locals with a great place to take a stroll, bird watch, photograph wildlife, and enjoy the beautiful Colorado outdoors.  Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.  Recreational off-road vehicles, dogs, horses, and bikes are not allowed due to conservation efforts to maintain the natural habitat.

Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space is located off of Highway 392.  From I-25 head west on Highway 392 (Carpenter Road).  The entrance is located on the north side of the highway before you reach Timberline Road.

 

 

Here is a map of Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space courtesy of the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas.

Fossil Creek Reservoir Regional Open Space

New Home Construction in Southeast Fort Collins, CO

Kechter Crossing

December 2013

If you are thinking about moving into a brand new home in southeast Fort Collins next summer, then now is the time to build.  According to local sales representatives from both DR Horton and Meritage Homes, permit and construction time is running anywhere from six to eight months.  So unless you want to compete for spec homes with hundreds of homebuyers in the spring and summer, it might be a good idea to contact your real estate agent and visit some of the new construction sites right away.

DR Horton has released SFR lots in Bucking Horse, a master-planned community comprised of 176 homes featuring single family homes, urban estate homes, and condominium and apartment housing.  Located north of East Drake Road and east of Timberline Road, Bucking Horse residents enjoy a community pool, neighborhood park, and close proximity to the highly anticipated Jessup Farm/Artisan Village.  The development is centered around sustainable living, and there are homes in their product line to fit nearly every lifestyle.  Model homes are under construction.  Base prices start in the high-$300,000’s.  For more information, visit the sales office, contact your real estate agent, or just give me a call.

Just south of Bucking Horse, one of Northern Colorado’s newest builders – Meritage Homes – has started construction on their model homes in Rigden Farm.  Located north of Horsetooth Road and west of Ziegler Road, this development features The River Collection by Meritage Homes with floor plans ranging from 1,607sq ft to 2,390sq ft.  Home prices have not officially been disclosed, but Meritage sales associates believe pricing will start in the mid-$300,000’s.  The sales office will be open once the model homes are built, so contact your real estate agent or give me a call for more information.

Meritage Homes is also the developer of the highly desirable Kechter Crossing in southeast Fort Collins.  Located east of Timberline Road and south of Kechter Road, this development of just over 70 SFR homes features large lots bordering green space.  The Summit Collection offers two ranch plans and six total floor plans ranging from 2,336sq ft to 3,420sq ft.  Based prices start in the high-$300,000’s, but with lot premiums and optional upgrades many home buyers are spending $450,000-$500,000 to build new homes.  Residents will become part of the school system comprised of Bacon Elementary School, Preston Middle School, and Fossil Ridge High School.  The sales office is open and model homes are available to preview.  Contact your real estate agent or give me a call for more information.

Builders are offering financing incentives with their preferred lenders, and many loan officers anticipate interest rates rising over the next year.  Give me a call if you need a recommendation for a great lender in Northern Colorado, and don’t wait too long to reserve your lot and build your dream home.

For more Fort Collins homes listed $300,000-$400,000, please click here.

5 Tips for Hiking to Chasm Lake

Chasm LakeWinter is almost here and snow is on the way!  So yesterday my brother and I decided to hike to Chasm Lake from the Long’s Peak Trailhead.  We left Fort Collins around 5:45am, drove down I-25 to Highway 66 toward Lyons, and took Highway 36 up to Estes Park.  Not to side track, but if you haven’t driven up Highway 36 since it’s been opened after the flash floods in September, then be prepared.  The amount of destruction and loss caused by the floods is really overwhelming, and there’s still so much to rebuild.

We arrived at the Long’s Peak Trailhead off of Highway 7 at about 7:00am, but in my early morning rush to leave the house with all my hiking gear, I had forgotten one important piece of clothing…my jacket!  So instead of getting an early start, we went to grab a “second breakfast” and waited until the Estes Park Mountain Shop opened at 8:00am.  They had a huge selection of jackets and other outdoor gear, and their staff was so helpful.  Mission accomplished, so it was time to head back to the trail.

Now this leads me to my important tips for hiking to Chasm Lake this time of year (late November):

1.  Gear up!  If you have ever hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park then you know the weather can change very quickly and you should be prepared for changing temperatures and trail conditions.  Not only should you dress in layers, but you should bring the essentials like a jacket, beanie, gloves, and insulated hiking boots.  I also recommend trekking poles and MICROspikes® because much of the trail is snow-covered this time of year.

2.  Get hydrated!  The trailhead starts at an elevation of 9,405′ and Chasm Lake sits at approximately 11,803′, so you will gain a couple thousand feet in elevation during this 8.4 mile round-trip hike.  So yes, plenty of water is essential!  And if you’re over 21, don’t drink too much the night before (wink, wink). 

3.  Go early!  Plan to be at the trailhead no later than 7:00am.  The parking lot is generally not full this time of year (compared to the summer months), so you should have no problem finding parking.  The reason you want to get an early start is because the weather can change very quickly, and afternoon storms are very common, so it’s best to be finished with your hike by noon or so.  Also, Chasm Lake sits at the base of Long’s Peak, and when the afternoon sun sets below the summit of Mount Meeker, Chasm Lake lies in the shadows, which means the temperature drops dramatically!

4.  Grab a camera!  The hike to Chasm Lake is beautiful no matter what time of year you go.  Take plenty of pictures along the way.

5.  Gripe later!  As with any moderate or strenuous hike, your adventure can by physically demanding.  Your muscles might cramp, your head might ache, and your motivation might dwindle away.  I would never suggest you put yourself in danger.  I am simply suggesting you push yourself to the destination if you can and stay positive about the entire experience.

On that note, happy hiking and be safe!

Beautiful Views from Horsetooth Mountain in Fort Collins, CO

Horsetooth RockI posted this picture to my Facebook page and several friends commented on how it reminded them of the movie Rocky.  Seems appropriate.  After all, from the top of Horsetooth Rock in Fort Collins you do have a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains!

It’s going to be another beautiful weekend in Fort Collins.  Weather forecast shows that temperatures will be in the 60’s.  So if you haven’t planned anything yet, get outdoors and enjoy your Northern Colorado lifestyle!

Halloween, Candy, and Pumpkin Seeds!

Smashing Pumpkins“What do you think about this one, Dad?” asks my son after picking his prize pumpkin at Bartle’s Pumpkin Patch in Fort Collins, CO only a couple of weeks ago.

And now the sugar high is here.  Candy wrappers are plentiful.  And what to do with all of those pumpkins and pumpkin seeds?

Smash the pumpkins!  At least that’s what my kids want to do.  But I just wanted to share a blog from Whole Foods Market in case you need some ideas for making the best out of your pumpkin seeds.

But seriously, you’re probably still eating all of that Halloween candy, aren’t you?!

Family Photos on the Poudre River Trail Bridge

BridgeFall in Fort Collins, CO is one of the most beautiful times of year.  Leaves are changing color, the temperature is dropping, and the air is crisp with anticipation of snowfall.  In my opinion, the landscape is absolutely stunning!

Like many of our friends in Fort Collins, the changing seasons also means that it’s time to take our family photos for our holiday cards.  There are so many options for family photos – parks, Old Town, Colorado State University campus, pumpkin patches – you name it.  But this year our photographer Ryan Levander of Colorado2 Photography introduced us to the west bridge on the Poudre River Trail.

If you haven’t been on this bridge yet, it’s time to see it!  Walk, run, or bike your way over it and enjoy the amazing architecture and the colorful scenery around you.  Take Overland Trail north toward Laporte to Lions Park Open Space just past Bingham Hill Road.  The bridge is on the east side of Overland Trail.

If you are taking pictures, I would suggest going during sunrise or sunset because the shadows of the bridge cast many shadows throughout the day.  And even if you aren’t in it for the photos, go for the experience, hold someone’s hand, and enjoy it.

 

What is Cycle Quest Racing?

NoCo Cycle Quest Racing

Just another cycling team in Colorado?  Not exactly.  Together Klara Rossouw and Michael Nichols, founders of Cycle Quest Racing, have twelve years of bicycle racing experience between them.  After racing for various teams over the past five years, they created Cycle Quest Racing to fill the void they found in their prior organizations.

Michael began cycling when he was in high school.  His goal was simple:  to lose weight. Michael’s father introduced him to mountain biking, and before long Michael lost over 100 pounds!  He has had the opportunity to race both professionally and collegiality for his previous school, Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina.  Klara started cycling when she was 14 years old.  Nearing the end of high school she competed in national level events in her home country of South Africa with a dream of receiving a cycling scholarship to America.  She began her schooling at Mars Hill College in North Carolina in the spring of 2010.

Klara and Michael met through collegiate cycling.  From the beginning they shared the same views on the complexity and exclusivity of the sport.  Long story short, they decided to live in Fort Collins, Colorado and are currently students at Colorado State University.  They are still inspired by the healthy lifestyle and organic living in Fort Collins.

Cycle Quest Racing will be in its first season in 2014 to face a daunting yet exciting schedule filled with seasoned veterans.  The type of racing the team will focus on is what is known as endurance mountain biking.  This discipline of the sport calls for mental and physical endurance due to the length of each race.  The values Michael and Klara have instilled into this program are integrity, honesty, and respect. It is important to them that the team be involved in their community and give back to a sport that has given them so many opportunities.  These two hope to make an impact that is bigger than just cycling.  They strive to go beyond competition and show people they can be passionate about what they love.

You can see Cycle Quest Racing around the Rocky Mountains next summer – most notably at the legendary Leadville Trail 100, and Endurance Mountain Bike Nationals.  If you would like to keep up with the adventures of Cycle Quest Racing and their continued growth you can ‘Like’ them on Facebook at Cycle Quest Racing or follow them on Twitter
@Quest4Shred.