Mail Creek Crossing, New Home Construction in Southeast Fort Collins

Spruce Creek Drive on July 22, 2014

Spruce Creek Drive on July 22, 2014

National builder Meritage Homes has nearly sold out of lots in Kechter Crossing, a new southeast Fort Collins community consisting of 74 energy-efficient homes selling in the $400’s and $500’s.  As the demand for new housing in southeast Fort Collins remains strong, Meritage Homes continues to develop the 39 acres immediately south of Kechter Crossing.  Model homes at Mail Creek Crossing could be built as early as December 2014, nearly one year after the land development plans were approved by Larimer County.

For more information about homes for sale in Fort Collins, contact Richard Jensen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at (970) 818-6161.

Click here for new homes for sale in Kechter Crossing.

Click here for Fort Collins homes for sale under $200,000.
Click here for Fort Collins homes for sale under $300,000.
Click here for Fort Collins homes for sale under $400,000.

 

Spruce Creek Drive coul-de-sac looking northeast toward Kechter Crossing

Spruce Creek Drive coul-de-sac looking northeast toward Kechter Crossing

Fort Collins Vicinity Map of Mail Creek Crossing subdivision

Fort Collins Vicinity Map of Mail Creek Crossing subdivision

Winter Day Trip to Rocky Mountain National Park

 

RMNPPhoto taken with a GoPro Hero3 on February 27, 2014.  It was a quiet day up at Rocky Mountain National Park.  Plenty of elk, plenty of clouds, and the perfect place to escape my day-to-day real estate world.  If you haven’t taken a drive through the park this year (2014), do yourself a favor and make the trip now.  The ranger at the park entrance said that there haven’t been many visitors this winter, especially during the weekdays.  So if you have a few hours to rejuvenate and breathe some fresh Colorado air, it’s the perfect time for a quick getaway.

Here is a quick video of a herd of elk near the south entrance to the park:

 

 

 

New Ranch Listing in Clearview Subdivision in Johnstown, CO

Hawthorne AvenueIt’s time for these owners to say good-bye to this beautiful ranch in Johnstown, CO.  As original owners, the sellers purchased this 3BD 2BA “Conifer” model from Executive Homes in 2004.  They loved the open floor plan that allowed them to watch TV from the kitchen and dining nook, as well as entertain from nearly every room on the main level.  They added a 3-car garage for additional space which worked nicely for ATV’s and other toys.  The large corner lot and fully fenced backyard were perfect for family fun and afternoon BBQs.  Unfortunately they are relocating and will have to say good-bye to their amazing house in Clearview.  If they could take this house with them, they would.

Contact Richard Jensen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for more information or to set up a private showing.  Listed at just $228,000!  Hits the MLS on Wednesday, October 9, 2013.

 

 

 

How a Home Protection Plan Can Save You Money

Severance Home

Have you ever seen the movie The Money Pit?  Maybe it doesn’t qualify as “a classic” but this 1986 comedy starring Tom Hanks is hilarious!  In the movie, new homeowners struggle to repair a completely dilapidated home which ends up costing them more time and money than the home is worth.  Does this sound familiar?

As a buyer’s agent I encourage my clients to consider the benefits of a home protection plan before buying a home.  I am often successful in having the sellers pay for a one-year home protection plan for my buyers as part of a home purchase.  As an investor myself I can certainly attest to the thousands of dollars I have saved by purchasing a home protection plan with my investment properties.  Here are some of the benefits of a home protection plan.

Peace of mind for unexpected repairs

Whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced investor, it is nearly impossible to predict when an appliance will fail or a pipe will burst.  A home protection plan provides you with the peace of mind knowing that you are covered if something breaks in your new home or investment property.

Affordable and flexible plans for several types of properties

Consider the average cost to replace a water heater, air conditioning unit, or electric range.  Is it fair to say that you will easily spend $600-$800 to replace a water heater?  A one-year home protection plan costs approximately $350-$450 depending on the type of plan, and the service call for a repair normally runs about $60.  Most of my clients would rather pay a $60 for the service call than several hundreds of dollars.

Reliable service contractors within the network

How much time do you normally spend asking friends for contractor referrals or searching Yelp reviews online to find a trustworthy vendor?  With a home protection plan, the home warranty company has already done the groundwork and has screened the contractors to include in their repair networks, so you can relax knowing that a licensed, professional contractor will take care of you.

The bottom line is that including a home protection plan with your home purchase can save you time and money, especially within your first year of home ownership.  There are several home warranty companies serving Northern Colorado and a couple that I’d like to recommend: First American Home Buyers Protection and American Home Shield.  Both of these warranty companies can issue a home protection plan without needing to physically inspect a property.

Remember, a home protection plan is not a substitute for your homeowner insurance policy.  For more information about the benefits of home protection plans or buying a home in Northern Colorado, give me a call or send me an email.  Cheers!

Water Damage

Morning Hike in Horsetooth Mountain Park

Horsetooth Rock

Horsetooth Rock

Many residents of Fort Collins have made their way to the top of the infamous Horsetooth Rock in Horsetooth Mountain Park.  Sitting at 7,256 in elevation and visible from nearly everywhere in Fort Collins, Horsetooth Rock attracts hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers from all over Northern Colorado.

I have run and hiked to the top of Horsetooth Rock many times over the past few years.  What I realized on my hike this morning is that I have so much more exploring to do in Horsetooth Mountain Park.  Sure, I have made my way over to Horsetooth Falls, but there are still miles and miles of trails waiting for my shoes to step on them.

Today I decided to do a couple of things differently to make my hike a bit more interesting.  First, I climbed to the top of the south rock (the one on the left side if you are looking west toward the mountain).  Horsetooth Rock Trail leads you up to the north rock, but if you willing and able to scramble up the rock on the south side you may be pleasantly surprised with the unobstructed views as you look south.  Carter Lake, Lake Loveland, Boyd Lake – you name it.  If you have been to the top of Horsetooth Rock you know the views are spectacular and well worth the excursion up the rock.

Horsetooth to Longs

On Top of Horstooth Rock

Once I made my way back down the rock, I kept an eye out for the Audra Culver Trail.  I have passed the trail loop so many times on my way down but today I finally took the one-mile loop – and I’m glad I did.  The Audra Culver Trail has much less traffic than the Horsetooth Rock Trail, and because it’s on the west side of the park you can see the valley and Long’s Peak just about the entire time.  The trail intersects with the South Ridge Trail, so even though it added some distance to my descent, it was a nice way to mix it up and see something different in the park. All-in-all my hike this morning was less than two hours, and that includes the time I spent taking pictures.  What a great way to start my day!  And what a blessing it is to live in Fort Collins, CO! If you have any questions or suggestions about hiking up Horsetooth Rock or if you’d like to share information about some of your favorite hikes in Northern Colorado, send me an email or Facebook message!  It’s always nice to chat with other outdoor enthusiasts! Here are some more pictures:  

Sunrise on Horsetooth Rock Trail

Sunrise on Horsetooth Rock Trail

Mark

Mark on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock

 

Horsetooth Rock via Audra Culver Trail

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Should you offer full price for your Fort Collins dream home?

When I meet with a new client and discuss the home-buying process, I generally give the client an overview of the real estate market.  If you haven’t been following the real estate market in Fort Collins, CO for the past year, let me sum it up for you: it’s a seller’s market.  The Months Supply of Inventory (M SI) is about 3.7 and 6.0 is considered a balanced market.  Right now the market will absorb the current inventory in 3.7 months, meaning there are more buyers in Fort Collins, CO then there are homes for sale.

The May Housing Report published by the Fort Collins Board of Realtors® (FCBR) shows that homes sold within 99.0% of the list price in April 2013, and for the 2013 calendar year homes have sold within 98.6% of list price.  So should you offer full price for your dream home?

It amazes me that there are buyers in today’s real estate market who still operate under the “I’ll offer 10% less than list price and see if they take it” philosophy.  Sure, you can offer less than list price, but keep in mind that sellers are receiving multiple offers, so do you really want to lose out on your dream home?

Obviously there are checks and balances to make sure you are not paying too much for a home.  When a professional real estate agent lists a home he or she should be doing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to evaluate recent sales and help the seller to determine a realistic list price.  Your buyer’s agent should also be preparing a CMA for you so that you can see recent comparable sales before you even make your offer.  Finally, if you are obtaining traditional financing, your lender will hire an appraiser to determine the value of the home, ensuring that the lender does not lend too much against the property.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “The numbers don’t lie?”  Well the percentage of sale price to list price for homes in Fort Collins speaks for itself.  If you would like more information about buying or selling a home in Fort Collins, reach out to me and we’ll chat more about it.

Percentage of Sale Price to List Price April 2013

Percentage of Sale Price to List Price April 2013

 

Is Your Real Estate “Agent” Really Your Agent?

The function of the Colorado Real Estate Commission is to protect the general public in real estate transactions. One of the most important requirements of a licensed broker is to disclose to a client how the licensee is working on behalf of the client. The term “agent” is used for a licensee who is an advocate for the best interests of the client. This type of “agency” relationship requires a written contract between the client and the licensee. On the other hand, a “transaction broker” requires no written contract and the licensee merely helps facilitate a real estate transaction between a buyer and seller, without advocating the best interests of either party. So is your real estate “agent” really your agent?

It’s important to understand the basic difference of how your real estate licensee can work for you in Colorado. In some states such as California, dual agency exists so a real estate broker can be an advocate for both a buyer and a seller. Dual agency is illegal in Colorado, meaning that if a licensee is an “agent” for one side of the transaction he or she cannot be an “agent” for the other side of the transaction. A licensee working with both a buyer and a seller must generally operate as a “transaction broker” and must remain neutral to both parties.

One way to think of the broker-client relationship is to imagine yourself playing a soccer game, basketball game, or any competition that involves your coach and a referee. Think of the game as a real estate transaction. Your “agent” or coach is there to guide you, encourage you, motivate you, instruct you, and advocate your level of play to help you do your best in the game, hopefully resulting in an outcome or final score that you deserve. The “transaction broker” or referee is there to make sure both parties or teams are playing by the rules, protecting each party from illegal activities, and remaining neutral to the final score but making sure that game was played correctly. A real estate licensee can be either a coach for one team or a referee for both teams, but he or she cannot be a coach for both teams.

The term “real estate agent” has been used so much in common language that the word “agent” almost becomes synonymous with licensed broker or licensee, but keep in mind that just because you are working with a licensee does not necessarily mean you are working with an “agent.” Most importantly, you should ask yourself how you would want your licensed broker to work for you!

For more information about agency relationships or real estate in Colorado, contact Richard Jensen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage at (970) 818-6161 or Richard@NoCoLifestyle.com. Clipper Way Listing

Coldwell Banker Acquires Keller Williams in Fort Collins by Richard Jensen

Well, it’s official.  Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage owned and operated by NRT, LLC has purchased what was formerly Keller Williams Realty of Northern Colorado.  All real estate agents, including me, were notified on Thursday, January 10, 2013 of the new acquisition.  A press release has been published in The Coloradoan if you would like more information.

 

A merger between two real estate offices has a tremendous impact on the real estate agents operating their unique businesses within the guidelines and systems provided by the corporate entity.  Agents have been faced with a tough decision of whether to transition to Coldwell Banker under new ownership, hang their licenses with another Keller Williams brokerage along the Front Range, or move to a different real estate brokerage all together.  As the former Keller Williams office location will be the new home of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Fort Collins – and for various other reasons – I have chosen to operate my business under the Coldwell Banker national brand.

This leads me to another important aspect of the Northern Colorado real estate business.  I have found that people do business with real estate professionals based on their character, knowledge, integrity, and unique skill set.  My clients continue to do business with me because they find value in what I bring to their real estate endeavors.  And while it isn’t always about a brand name, it will be nice to have the brand recognition of a company that has been in business for over 100 years.

 

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage operates more than 16 offices in Colorado and brokered over 9000 real estate transactions last year.  With office locations throughout Fort Collins, Loveland, and Estes Park, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is highly visible and positioned to assist mobile real estate agents in Northern Colorado.

 

For more information about the Northern Colorado real estate market, or for assistance buying or selling your home in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Estes Park, contact local real estate agent Richard Jensen with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

 

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