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Best Things to do in Loveland Colorado

Have you been trying to come up with some new ideas for activities? While Fort Collins always gets a lot of attention there are plenty of worthwhile activities in Loveland. With that in mind here is our list of the best things to do in Loveland Colorado.

Devils Backbone

Devils Backbone Open Space Loveland Colorado

Horsetooth Mountain Open Space gets a lot of attention, and is extremely popular. However, with limited parking this often means that you might not get the chance to hike the trail. Devils Backbone in West Loveland is a beautiful hike and often less popular. Additionally, it can be as difficult as you want to make it with the trail running from Loveland all the way North to the Blue Sky Trailhead near HTMOS. This is a hike that should not be missed. More info including trail closures can be found through Larimer County Natural Resources, make sure to check before you head out for the day.

Skate At Centerra

The Shops At Centerra Loveland Colorado

While you may have taken the opportunity to do shopping at Centerra, you may not have known that you can also ice skate there during the winter. While it is no Olympic sized skate rink, it is still a unique opportunity to have a romantic evening with your partner, which can be capped off with dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. This is also a great activity for children to do during the daytime. More info about Skate at Centerra can be found here.

Chapungu Sculpture Park

Chapungu Sculpture Park Loveland Colorado

While you are visiting the Shops at Centerra, you might also take a minute to visit the nearby sculpture garden. While the sculptures do not change there are often special night time light decorations depending on the time of year. The Christmas lights for instance are a can’t miss spectacle. This is a great location for a free experience. Purchase a coffee from the nearby Human Bean, and wander around enjoying yourself. More information can be located at the Chapungu Sculpture Park Website.

Rialto Theater

Rialto Theater Loveland Colorado

The Rialto Theater in downtown Loveland is a great place to catch a show. From comedy, to concerts and theatrical performances there should be something to please every type of entertainment seeker. More information about upcoming performances and events can be found at the Rialto Theater Website.

Budweiser Event Center

Budweiser Event Center Loveland Colorado

When you think of fun things to do in Loveland, it is impossible to ignore all of the special events that take place at the Budweiser Event Center. From the semi professional Eagles Hockey team to the Circus and the Larimer County Fair, there is usually something going on. Upcoming events can be seen on the Events Center Website.

Hopefully, these ideas help you to formulate a must do list of your own. If you have any questions about what it is like to live in Loveland or other parts of Northern Colorado, we are always happy to help. Simply Contact Us and we can provide ideas for activities, or even provide regional tours that fit your needs.

Landscaping Ideas

A picture of a house needing landscaping.

With the current long lasting drought at the forefront of everyone’s mind, you might be thinking about changing up the landscaping on your property. Summer is a great time to undertake these changes. Be it a transition to one that requires less water, or just to freshen things up in your outdoor space. We wanted to provide you with some landscaping ideas to help kick start the process for you and provide a place to start on your Pinterest and Google search for landscaping inspiration.

Xeriscape

One of the most common reasons for altering landscaping in our arid high desert climate is due to a desire to reduce water consumption. With this in mind Xeriscaping your yard offers one potential solution to this problem. This approach should be one that is strategic. Utilize native plantings in an effort to reduce water consumption. Don’t just let the grasses and weeds run rampant. Remember that is is xeriscaping not zero-scaping.

Landscaping Ideas: Make Sure To Use Mulch

A picture of a house using the landscaping ideas outlined in this article.

We live in a very hot and dry part of the country. In the summer this means that it doesn’t take much for things to dry out. There are a few work arounds. One of these is to use mulch in your landscaping. This allows water to stay where you put it. Additionally, mulch also allows the water to be absorbed into the ground more slowly. When landscaping make sure to add a healthy amount of mulch to your planters and around the trunks of trees. Refresh your mulch once a year. Additionally, you can get mulch for free from the City of Fort Collins.

Shape the ‘Scape

As you can see from the picture above the yard got a lot more visually interesting because of a bit of elevation differentiation. Rather than leaving the yard flat add some small hills or some other topographic components. Not only does this make the space more visually interesting it also helps to direct drainage for rain and irrigation onto more water intensive plantings.

Of course not every yard is the same. Contact us if you have any specific landscaping questions. We can provide some input as well as put you in touch with professional landscapers who can help you kick your landscaping up a notch.

Great Fort Collins Shopping Spots

If you have come to Northern Colorado looking for great Fort Collins shopping spots then you have certainly come to the right place. Here is a collection of a few of our favorites. Of course this is not an exhaustive list because we can’t spoil all the local secrets all at once.

Jax Outdoor Store

Jax Outdoor Store Fort Collins

Jax has multiple locations throughout Northern Colorado, but none have the size or selection of their original Fort Collins location. There is honestly something here for everyone. If you enjoy outdoor pursuits, or even just the Colorado lifestyle you will feel at home here. There is a wide variety of your typical outdoor equipment, but also a vast kitchen and cooking section, and a great selection of photography equipment for the photog in your life. You can find out more at the Jax Outdoor Website.

The Cupboard

The Cupboard Fort Collins

The Cupboard is your one stop shop for all things kitchen. From specialty hot sauces to a wide array of chefs knives. If you use it in the kitchen you can find it in the Cupboard. If you love to cook or entertain you will be hard pressed to leave without walking out with something new for your home. You can find out more at the Cupboard’s Website.

Rocky Mountain Olive Oil

Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company Fort Collins

Ever wanted to try something new in the kitchen? If the answer is yes then you need to check out Rocky Mountain Olive Oil. Their oils are infused with a variety of different flavor notes from oranges to green chilies. You can also taste test each oil to find the one that is right for you. This might help put your next dish over the top. You can find out more at the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Website.

Old Fire House Books

Old Fire House Books Fort Collins

Located in Old Town, Old Fire House Books is another of the great Fort Collins shopping spots. It is Northern Colorado’s largest independent bookstore. Looking for something new and interesting, or even out of print, there is a chance you might find it at Old Fire House Books. You can find out more about them at the Old Fire House Books Website.

Need More Great Fort Collins Shopping Spots?

If you need any suggestions of great places in the area to shop for something specific, contact us, we would be happy to help.

New Construction In Fort Collins

New construction in Fort Collins can be a nice option if you are looking to buy in Northern Colorado.  We are finding that there are fewer and fewer neighborhoods offering new in Fort Collins due to the lack of available land to building on. Fort Collins is almost built out. Here is a list of some of the possibilities that you can consider as a buyer wanting new.

Fox Grove

The Fox Grove new development is located East of I-25.  Prices on these single-family homes start at $500,000.

The Reserve at Timberline

The Reserve at Timberline new construction development is on South Timberline near Bacon Elementary School.  Prices for single-family homes start at $600,000.

Mosaic

In addition, there are several new construction in Fort Collins options on the North side of town. Mosaic has been under construction for several years.  They have single-family home options and townhomes.  Townhomes in this neighborhood are starting at $375,000. 

Northfield

Another new construction in Fort Collins neighborhood Northfield has just started selling new townhomes. They are starting at $349,000 and will be built by Landmark.

Trailhead

The Trailhead neighborhood is about to wrap up building and is now offering new construction Patio homes.  The starting price for those will be over $700,000. 

Old Town North

One final option is a neighborhood that has been under construction for years. Old Town North are currently building single family luxury homes with an urban flair. These homes are starting at $800,000. 

Of course, this is not a list of all options available to you if you are wanting new. With that in mind, it is wise to talk to an agent to know all that is available and what builder, product and location is best for you.  Remember, having an agent involved in the build process is valuable. Your agent works for your best interest and not for the builder.  Call Lestel to set up an appointment to discuss further. 

Should I Buy A Home Now?

Should I buy a home now or should I wait for the market to cool a bit?  This is a question that I am frequently asked by buyers.  It is a valid question and one that should be considered.  What has happened to the market, if you have been looking for the last six months, in Northern Colorado? 

An image of money, showing the bottom line when considering should I buy a home now

In the last six months interest rates have gone up nearly 2 points.  Also prices have gone up 7 to 9 percent.  That means that you’re buying power is significantly diminished. In January and into February of 2022 interest rates were between 3% and 3.5%.  Now that same buyer is looking at interest rates at 5.375% to 5.5%.  That means the payment for a house priced at $425,000 has potentially gone up $110 per hundred thousand.  That can mean a house payment going from approximately $1750 to $2200.  That makes a heck of a difference!  This does not take into account the increase in prices that we have been seeing and how that would impact your payment.

Why Move Now?

Buyers that are in a position to make a move right now are encouraged to do so.  Interest rates are rising and are projected to continue that trend throughout 2022.  With interest rates creeping up and property values continuing to climb, waiting can cost you money.  It may just price you out of the market. Low interest rates and rising home values make for an opportunity.  Since 1988 rent has increased at a rate of 3.5% per year, according to the National Association of Realtors.  If you owned a home, priced at $425,000, after 5 years of ownership you will likely have over $165,000 in equity. If you are paying rent, on that same home every month you are not earning $165,000, instead your landlord is.

Should I Buy A Home Now: Supply and Demand

In Northern Colorado the demand continues to outpace supply.  This is supply and demand.  Too many buyers, plus not enough homes, equals rising home prices. It is a good idea to take this time, make a plan and budget for a purchase.  Meet with a recommended lender and verify that your credit is clean and you are ready to buy. Do an application and lock your rate now.  Bottom line is that interest rates are going up, they could come down some but home prices will continue to rise.

Contact us today if you have questions or if you are ready to begin the home buying process.

Real Estate Negotiation Tips

There are many ways to come out on top in real estate negotiations both as a buyer and a seller. Today we want to highlight some of the methods you and your agent can have at their disposal.

Real Estate Negotiation Tips For Sellers: Your keys to success

As a seller you hold a lot of the cards in negotiation. You have something that the buyer wants and have piqued their interest in your property enough that they have presented you with an offer. However, negotiation is still key to ending up with the most favorable offer. It is important to share with your agent what terms you are looking for. Is price your number one concern? Or are you more concerned about not paying for potential repairs? Timing is also a crucial factor. Do you need a specific closing date in order to purchase your next property? As your agent I will field phone calls prior to offers being written. Armed with this information the negotiation begins. These days there are a lot of competing offer situations. Informing these agents what terms would be most favorable to you allows them to create a great offer. My goal is always to present you with the greatest number of amazing offers. I then help you weed through all the idiosyncrasies to sign the best one.

Real Estate Negotiation Tips For Buyers

With the seller’s market of the last few years it can seem like sellers certainly have a bit of an upper hand. While this is true in some aspects at the end of the day a seller wants to dispose of their property and receive fair compensation. They may also have time constraints. Then we negotiate condition at time of inspection. The terms we first negotiate will always include timing. Sometimes, sellers are flexible but this is not always the case. The seller may need the cash from this sale to close on their next house in two weeks. Or they might need a rent back for several weeks after closing in order to secure their next move. The saying time is money is especially true in real estate. An offer that meets the timing the seller needs can easily beat out an offer thousands of dollars over yours. You can also waive your right to inspection. This ensures the seller that there will not be extra expenses that they need to worry about. Agreeing to cover any gap between the appraised value and your offer price is another strategy. This means you will bring the difference in cash to closing. When combined, all of these negotiation strategies provide a seller peace of mind in accepting your offer.

We Are Your Negotiation Experts

Need some help negotiating your next real estate transaction? Contact us and we would be happy to help you reach your real estate goals with the least amount of stress possible.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

If you are looking to either buy or sell a home there are a few questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent. First, you want to concern yourself with the agent’s level of experience. You want to find out how long they have been in business. It is also important to know how often an agent works in the area your area if interest. After all, an agent can have a lot of experience in one locale but not have much local knowledge in the area you want to move to.

Experience means that you need to find an agent who sells a lot of homes in your price range. Experience also means finding the right agent for your area of need. This means finding a residential real estate agent if you are looking for or to sell a home, someone who specializes in land if you want to purchase or sell a vacant parcel, or a commercial agent for commercial space.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent: For Buyers

When you are looking to buy you want to find out how well your agent can represent you. This means asking questions about some of the agent’s negotiation strategies. How can they present your offer in the best light? In a competitive market this is a lot more than simply offering the largest amount of money. There are a variety of ways to make any buyers offer stand above the rest. Additionally, once you are under contract how will your potential agent support you? Will they continue to advocate on your behalf through inspection and appraisal, or will the next time they speak to you be at the closing table?

For Sellers

As a seller your needs and desires are different than that of a buyer. This likely boils down to two things. You want someone who can sell your home in a timely fashion and for the greatest amount of money. Sellers need to find out how well a potential agent knows their market, and their area. It is also important to understand what methods an agent uses to arrive at a price to list your home at. Money is just one aspect, time is also a vital factor.

For you this could mean a quick sale, or maybe you need a longer amount of time to determine your next move. When it comes to questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent you want to find out how they will remove road blocks during the under contract process to prevent delays. An experienced agent brings with them a specialized team of people, from inspectors to contractors to make repairs. Sometimes we can even negotiate to have the buyer use our preferred local lender to avoid the fly by night online operations which always result in delays. Find out if the agent you are interviewing has access to these types of professionals.

If you need help interviewing a great agent anywhere in the world we would be happy to find a great fit for you. Contact Us and let us ask the important questions so that your interests can be best represented.

Real Estate Agent Designations

In this article we will discuss real estate agent designations and how they help to set Realtors apart from those with less knowledge and experience about the field. You might be familiar with other types of professional designations such a those for project management professionals PMP or even those with MBA’s. In this post we want to provide a brief overview of some of the alphabet soup. This will help you to better understand what to look for your from your next agent. We hope this will aid in make an informed decision about who to work with.

Council of Residential Specialists CRS

The National Association of Realtors grants the The CRS designation. CRS is a difficult real estate agent designation to earn. Only 4% of Realtors nationwide are recognized as CRS agents. One major requirement is coursework in a variety of topics over the course of 30 hours of education. In order to obtain this designation Realtors must also complete 60 transactions or $30 Million in sales volume over the course of 5 years.

Certified Distressed Property Expert CDPE

CDPE is granted by its own oversight committee. This certification is earned through coursework which teaches agents how to work with properties facing short sales or foreclosures. Moreover, an agent with this knowledge is best able to help if you find yourself in this kind of situation.

Graduate of the Realtor Institute GRI

The National Association of Realtors is also responsible for granting the GRI designation. In order to obtain this certification Realtors must undergo rigorous training in legal and regulatory issues. The must also undertake coursework in professional standards and the real estate sales process. A GRI represents the pinnacle of knowledge for a Realtor. This means anyone who carries GRI behind their name will be a fantastic asset in your next real estate transaction.

Master Certified Negotiations Expert MCNE

The MCNE certification is earned through coursework under the Real Estate Negotiation Institute. Agents are provided with the knowledge of how to best advocate for their clients. Working with an agent who is an MCNE will provide you with the greatest advantage during your real estate transaction.

e-Pro

In order to earn the E-Pro designation Realtors must attend a two day long course put on through the National Association of Realtors NAR. The coursework includes in depth coverage of digital marketing and digital security. When an agent carries the E-Pro designation your property they will market your property professionally. Additionally, your digital information will be in excellent hands.

Does Your Real estate Agent Have Designations?

We do and we are happy to assist you in your next real estate transaction. We can also help you to find a highly certified agent almost anywhere in the world. This is because many of these designations have agent networks that we have access to. Contact us today and let us help make your real estate goals a reality.

Living in Your Home While it is On The Market

You have just listed your home for sale and it has been staged and photographed, all while planning on living in your home while it is on the market.  You have agreed that it will be going in the MLS tomorrow.  How do you deal with your home on the market, keeping it looking its best and still living there? It can be difficult to live in your home while it is for sale.  After all, you are trying to present the home in its best light.

Living in your home while it is on the market comes with real life with all of its challenges

Here are several things that you can do during this time to make life a bit easier for yourself and keep your home looking showing ready.  If your home is staged and looks its best and is priced right you should have showings being scheduled shortly after your home comes on the market.  

  1. Make sure that you have secured any valuables and prescription drugs.  Think about your privacy and remove or store any personal documents that contain financial or personal information. Close or turn off computers
  2. If you have pets you will need to have a pet plan in place before you have any showings.  It is best that animals are taken with you and not present for showings.  Even the best-behaved dogs can be disruptive during a showing.  It is wise to also remove pet toys, bowls, beds and kennels.  

Cats can be upset and try to escape.  It is wise to remove them too.  Not everyone has just a dog or cat.  Some people have reptiles, birds or small mammals.  It is wise to find temporary homes with friends during the showing of your home.  Some people can be uncomfortable with these animals.  They also can be distracting.  Remember the buyer is there to see your home and fall in love, not fall for your animals. 

Some Other Pro Tips

  1. Keep your home clean and clutter free.  The best way to keep your home looking its best while you are having showings is to establish a daily routine.  This can include making your bed as soon as you get up.  Also tiding the kitchen after each meal.  Keeping cleaning supplies handy to do a quick clean in the bathroom each day.  Put the toys away at the end of the day before bed.  Doing these things as a part of the day will make it easy to run out the door for a showing knowing your home looks great. 
  2. Have a to go bag packed.  If you have kids at home the to go bag should include snacks and some toys for them to play with while you are in the car.  Maybe a treat for the dog too.  Lap tops, prescriptions, mail and anything else that is sitting on the counter can be stuck in the bag on the way out the door. 
  3. Before you leave make sure that the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature.  Open blinds and turn on lights. If you have a gas fireplace, turn it on. Fluff pillows, put away toys for kids and dogs. Stow away kitchen trash and wipe counters. Stow away pet bowls and liter boxes.  Pick up the to go bag and smile. You are ready for your showing. 

Contact us today if you have any questions on how to make your move work for you.

Disc Golf Course in Fort Collins

There are quite a few disc golf course in Fort Collins. Disc Golf is a popular sport in Fort Collins and Greater Northern Colorado. This is reflected by the sheer number and quality of courses that we are fortunate enough to have here. Locals often have their top courses that they continue to play over and over again. Our local courses vary from beginner friendly to expert. With that in mind we will break down the different courses beginning with the easiest and moving to the most difficult at the end. Of course, any article like this is likely to be subjective so please don’t @ us if you don’t agree with our assessment. Make sure to download Udisc to get more in depth information on each of these courses.

Boltz Junior High

First, Boltz is one of our personal favorite disc golf course in Fort Collins. This is a 9 hole course with short-medium drives and relatively easy difficulty. As this course is mostly open there isn’t a lot to get in your way. However, beware of the tennis courts which are often locked. This can make retrieving an mis-thrown disc difficult. There is also a water hazard running down the middle of the course. The ditch can vary in moisture content depending on the season. You definitely want to be more concerned with in in spring and summer. Park by the tennis courts to find hole 1 near the massive cottonwood tree on the West side.

Cache La Poudre Middle School

Second is CLP which is a really fun course. While technically not “in” Fort Collins city limits it has earned its spot on this list. CLP is a 9 hole course with short drives and easy to moderate difficulty. This course is all about control with lots of big trees and plants to eat discs. The benefit is that lots of trees also mean lots of shade in the spring and summer. When arriving, park in the school lot after hours/on the weekend. From there find hole 1 near their outdoor amphitheater.

Fort Collins High School

Third is FCHS which is a pretty wide open 9 hole course with medium drives and easy to moderate difficulty. FCHS is usually one of the least crowded courses on any given day. Unlike CLP, FCHS openness means less shade in the hotter months which is something to keep in mind. Park on the Southwest corner of the high school building to find hole 1 to the West.

Aggie Greens

Aggie Greens is an 18 hole course with long drives and a moderate difficulty. It is a newer course without a lot of older growth trees which can mean hotter play in the summer. This is a course you should make sure to play at least once while in Fort Collins. CR23 will take you directly to the proper parking area.

Edora Disc Golf Course Fort Collins

Finally, Edora is an 18 hole course with medium to long drives and a hard difficulty. With this in mind, long driving ability is a must on this course or it can quickly become a slog. It is easy to mix things up with long holes interspaced with shorter ones. With 18 holes there is a lot of opportunity to mix up your play if you don’t want to do it in order. Edora is a well known course and as such it is often crowded on weekends. Park near the pool and ice center to find hole 1 down the hill to the North.

Hopefully you were able to discover a new disc golf course in Fort Collins from this list. As always if you have any questions or need any recommendations about the Fort Collins and Greater Northern Colorado area we are here for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out and Contact Us for any of your needs.