Archives for July 2013

Colorado State University Flower Garden

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NoCo Lifestyle took a walk around the breathtaking Colorado State University Flower Garden shortly after a fresh rain. This was what we saw through the lense…

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

Pianos Around Old Town Fort Collins

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Ever catch yourself walking around Old Town and stopping to admire one of these lovely, artistic pianos?



Well, it’s a collaborative project among Bohemian Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority and the City of Fort Collins. The idea is intended to be a fun experience that creates an additional element of whimsy and surprise to Old Town Fort Collins.

The concept behind Pianos is two-fold: (1) for residents and visitors to experience seeing art in action as the pianos are painted in public by local artists, and (2) for residents to have the opportunity to both play the pianos and enjoy them as works of art as we rotate the finished pianos about town.

The inspiration for Pianos About Town in Fort Collins came from British artist Luke Jerram who created a 60-piano installation that has toured the world since 2008. The Jerram pianos have been on display as works of art for people to play in several major cities including New York City, London, Sydney and Sao Paulo. Bohemian Foundation approached the Downtown Development Authority to seek their thoughts about creating a similar project here, placing painted pianos in downtown Fort Collins. From these discussions, the Art in Action component of the project was added with the idea of local artists painting the pianos in public.

The project evolved into a collaboration among Bohemian Foundation, the Downtown Development Authority’s Art in Action Program and the City of Fort Collins’ Art in Public Places Program. The first pianos were placed in Fort Collins’ Old Town Square for the 2010 holiday season and were an instant hit with the public. The program now is in operation throughout the spring, summer and fall months. We are proud that Pianos About Town brings spontaneous art and music discoveries that contribute to the cultural vibrancy of Fort Collins.

For more information on the Bohemian Foundation, click HERE

For more information on the Downtown Development Authority, click HERE

For more information on the City of Fort Collins, click HERE

Splash Parks in Fort Collins, CO

Splash at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins

Splash at Spring Canyon Park in Fort Collins

Looking for a place for your toddler to cool off this summer?  Don’t want to buy the kiddie pool and store it all winter?  Perhaps it’s time for you to venture off to one of the splash parks in Fort Collins. As a parent of two toddlers I can tell  you that the splash parks are a great alternative to crowded association pools, public pools, and the drowning fears that go along with taking my kids to play in the water at Horsetooth Reservoir and Lake Loveland.  My kids still get to play and splash in the water, and once they cool down we can have fun in the playgrounds or play lawn games in the open space.  And best of all, it’s free. Water features are located at the following parks in Fort Collins, CO:

Spring Canyon Park

Fossil Creek Park

Oak Street Plaza Park (water feature only – no open space)

If you decide to take your kids to these water features, please remember the following tips:

  1. Kids should wear swimsuits and plenty of sunblock!
  2. Bring towels, extra diapers, and a change of clothes.
  3. No running!  Encourage your kids to have fun, but be careful not to slip!
  4. Bring drinking water.  No glass bottles or containers that could shatter and cut bare feet (think of those pool rules you’ve seen).
  5. Supervise your children and respect park rules.

Most importanly, have fun and enjoy this summer perk from our City of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation.  If you would like to share your experience or chat some more about other fun water features in Northern Colorado, feel free to send me a message!


Red Rocks Amphitheatre

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Red Rock Amphitheatre. Some call it the 8th wonder of the world. For those fortunate enough to witness a concert here, it would be hard to disagree.


Before Red Rocks was an amphitheatre, and even had the name “Red Rocks”, the area was believed to be occupied by Ute tribes throughout 1800s, and was nicknamed “Garden of the Angels”. Fast forward to 1906, and Red Rocks produced it’s first concert, on a makeshift stage. John Brisben Walker had the vision for this perfect setting for acoustic sounds nested in the rocks. In 1927 and a few encores later, the city of Denver bought this for a cool $54,133. Not a bad price for the venue it is today, eh?

For Northern Colorado residents, it is roughly a 60 minute drive to this awe-inspiring venue, just West of Denver. Red Rocks is best known for the concerts they put on, however, that isn’t all they do. Festivals, films, fitness/yoga classes, you name it. With a venue of this magnitude, it will be used for as many events as possible.

This weekend, for example, Global Dance Festival will be taking place at Red Rocks on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Global Dance Festival is one of the world’s largest Electronic Music Festivals. Originating at Red Rocks, Global Dance Festival has now spread out to Missouri, Michigan, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Athens Greece.



It sure is great living so close to such an incredible venue for so many things. A couple months ago, I visited Red Rocks on a Sunday morning for a workout. There had to be close to one-hundred others working out there that morning as well. Push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, and heck, some were ambitious enough to run the 69 rows of stairs!



For more information on Red Rocks Amphitheatre events, click HERE

For more information on Global Dance Festival this weekend, click HERE

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 on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock

Richard Jensen on Horsetooth Rock


Horsetooth Rock via Audra Culver Trail

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Dirty Dog Wash at Bath Garden Center and Nursery









This morning and afternoon, the Animal House put on a “Dirty Dog Wash” at the Bath Garden Center and Nursery. All proceeds benefited the Animal House and what they stand for. For more information on their rescue and grooming services, click HERE.

For $10, your dog received a wash,







and dog friendly ICE CREAM!


To make a community, it’s not only important to have an abundance of events going on that suit one’s interest levels, but also events that do good for the community; giving back and making it a better place to live. The Animal House understands this, which is why we think it’s one non-profit organization that is worth checking out!