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How Do Water Rights Impact Your Property?

Water, water, water. If you live in town you are use to turning on the faucet and water coming out. You pay the bill every month and the water is available to use. It seems like you have an unlimited supply. You hear about water shortages but feel that they don’t affect you. So, how do water rights impact your property?

Source of Water

What is your experience if you live outside a municipality in Northern Colorado? One of the most important aspects of buying a rural property in Colorado is understanding the water supply. Water is important. Someone has once said that water is life. Most properties in the country are serviced by a well, district water or a spring.

Drill Baby, Drill

If you are purchasing a property and would like to drill a well what are the types of wells and how are they different? One type of well that you might obtain is a household well. Household well is for use only inside the house. No exterior watering of plants, animals, or even washing your car. The rule is only inside the house also includes not filling a hot tub. This is restrictive.

How Do Water Rights Impact Your Property, Domestic Wells

An image of Colorado Irrigation Ditch depicting How Do Water Rights Impact Your Property?

The other type of well that you might obtain is a domestic well. Domestic wells are typically associated with rural properties. A domestic well allows for normal indoor use. A domestic well, also more than likely will allow for the watering of an outdoor animal like a horse, a donkey or maybe a goat. Watering can also typically allow a garden and/or a lawn. Additionally, a domestic well does not allow for unlimited water use. The well permit that is received when the well is drilled will provide information about, the well test report, the depth of the well and the pumping rate of the well. Moreover, make sure you understand what you have or what you are getting and what you can legally do with that water.

How do you find out what type of well a property has that you might be interested purchasing? Request a copy of the well permit. Read this over. Look for the type of well in the well description. You also can call the Colorado Division of Water information desk. 303-866-3587. Leave the address of the property and you will usually receive a return call with on 24 hours.

How Do Water Rights Impact Your Property?

The right to use water is a right. Even rain water collected in buckets and barres are not necessarily available for the landowner use. In Colorado unless a property owner has specific legal rights to use rain water they are compelled to leave water where it is.

Water is precious in the west. Know what you are getting when you are purchasing a property or drilling a well. Do your due diligence. Make sure that you can use the water the way that you would like. That is how water rights impact your property. If you have specific questions we can help. Contact us today.

Real Estate Projections 2023

News on the Market! What are the real estate projections for 2023? It is always nice to hear what the professionals think is going to happen in the new year. Here are some predictions from the Chief Economist with the National Association of Realtors. Mr. Lawrence Yun. The predictions are most favorable for buyers. There is one prediction that will be one tough pill for buyers to swallow. No one is predicting that we will be going back to three percent interest rate for a fixed rate mortgage. Mr. Yun instead predicted that interest rates will be around 5-5.5%. This is lower than the peak that we saw in the final quarter of 2022. This was when interest rates for a fixed rate mortgage were at seven to seven and a half.

Real Estate Projections 2023: The Good News

An image of a house and the words 2023 to explain the idea of real estate projections 2023

Some good news for buyers is the prediction that includes a slowing nationwide in the price growth. Buyers will have longer to think about buying a particular home with homes taking longer to sell. It is also likely that fewer homes will come up for sale. This means that buyers will have fewer homes to choose from but that is good news for sellers in that there will be less competition in the market.

New Construction Projections

The news regarding new home construction is that the demand is not keeping up with the supply of new homes nationwide. This means that prices will be going up. Also, the cost of construction is predicted to be up 14 percent over last year. There are still problems with supply chains. The items that builders are struggling to get changed but there always seems to be something that is slowing the process. Last year’s appliance issues have changed to garage doors in the new year. With the demand for new homes outpacing supply the value should be in existing homes rather than new.

The new year brings a few positives for sellers but buyers appear to be getting the upper hand in the housing market. This will be a refreshing change for buyers. With price appreciation slowing more buyers may see it possible for them to try to buy!

Those are the real estate projections for 2023. If you are ready to step in the market, whether you are a buyer or a seller, contact us to get more information and the latest on the market and how it affects you. Lestel Meade, Century 21 Elevated Real Estate, 970-310-8379

What Happens When The Market Shifts?

If you have been in the real estate market, you know that changes can happen rather suddenly.  The real estate market can be much like the stock market, but the real estate market does not usually see the wide changes that the stock market does.  How do you keep up with the shifts in the market?  Who usually is aware of the changes first?  What happens when the market shifts?

Early Indicators of a Market Shift

An image of a front porch, What happens when the market shifts?

The answers to these questions are good things to know if you are in the market to buy or sell.  Let’s examine these questions and their answers. The best way to keep up with the real estate market and what is happening is to stay in touch with an agent that is active in the market that you are interested in.  The agent is usually the first to notice changes.  They notice that the homes that they have for sale are staying on the market longer perhaps or they are quickly going under contract.

Timing Is Everything

When looking at a real estate market it is important to not just look at homes for sale. It is vital to be aware of what the market looks like. To do so involves understanding what happens when contracts are written.  Are there competing offers?  If so how many.  How much over asking price is the winning offer? How quickly is all of this happening?  Is this consistently happening or just in certain price points in the market? Or is this happening only in certain locations?

What Happens When the Market Shifts: Sellers

When the market shifts, active real estate agents are typically the first to notice the change, followed by buyers that are trying to buy in the market.  The last person to usually figure out that a change or shift has occurred is the seller. A seller was typically informed by their agent when the house was listed for sale what they might expect in the market. If the market shifts they may not be told or be kept up to date on what is happening.  They may notice that their house is not selling and not know for sure why that is.

Causes of A Market Shift

What causes shifts in a market?  There are usually only a handful of things that can cause a shift.  One is a change in demand.  The real estate market is ruled by the supply and demand.  If there is high demand and low supply that can cause a shift and if the reverse is happening that can also cause a change in the market.

What Happens When the Market Shifts: Interest Rates

A image of a home, What happens when the market shifts?

Another thing that can happen is a change in interest rates. That can affect affordability and cause a shift.  Buyers that were able to buy when interest rates were at 4% may find themselves priced out of the market when interest rates are at 5.5%.  Another thing that can cause a shift is the upward price of homes can affect affordability and when prices reach a certain point some buyers will no longer be able to afford a home and they will stop looking for a home.  The demand will go down and this can affect the market and cause a shift. You can view historical interest rates here.

Knowing what to expect when you are in the market to buy are sell is very important. If you would like an update on what is currently happening in the market, contact me today.

Northern Colorado Day Trip Ideas

Even with so much to do in and around Fort Collins you might be running low on ideas. If you are ready to venture out for the day we have put together a short list of Northern Colorado day trip Ideas to inspire your next journey.

Day Trip to Estes Park

Estes Park is a can’t miss destination if you are thinking about a day trip near Northern Colorado. The charming town is filled with small shops and great restaurants. Additionally, you can even combine your trip with a stop off at the well known Rocky Mountain National Park that is just outside of town. Parking can be a little hard to come by on weekends during the warmer seasons. So come prepared to drive around a little bit before getting to embark on your adventure. If you don’t want to mess with crowds just plan to visit on a weekday or in the off season.

An Image of Estes Park demonstrating Northern Colorado Day Trip Ideas

Northern Colorado Day Trip Ideas: Across the Peak to Peak Highway

If you have already done Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park you might have overlooked the Peak to Peak highway. This recognized Scenic Byway connects the points between Estes Park and Blackhawk. The drive alone takes about three hours. In addition, there are multiple pull offs and scenic overlooks along the way. To truly see and enjoy all the Peak to Peak has to offer would take the better part of a day. This means that you could connect it with the Estes Park and Blackhawk day trip suggestions in this post to make a long weekend of adventure.

Enjoy an Afternoon Drive up the Poudre Canyon

If you have lived in Northern Colorado for any length of time you have probably heard of the Poudre Canyon. However, how far up the canyon have you driven? Have you made it all the way to Cameron Pass? If not a trip up the Poudre Canyon should be on your list of day trips. Simply gas up the car in Fort Collins and wind your way up Highway 14. You can pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the scenic overlooks. Additionally, you can always stop off for a bite to eat in Rustic which is about an hour up the Canyon. If you can’t wait that long there is also the restaurant at Mishawaka. Either way make sure to take in the sites and sounds of our own Wild and Scenic River.

An image of the Poudre Canyon demonstrating Northern Colorado Day Trip Ideas

Northern Colorado Day Trip Ideas: Black Hawk Casinos

Black Hawk is only about an hour and a half drive away from Fort Collins. At that distance it is a simple proposition to head up in the morning spend the afternoon at the casinos and drive home in time for a late dinner. Having too much fun? Not to worry, many of the casinos have affordable hotel rooms if you have to spend the night.

We hope this brief article helps you pick your adventure with a few Northern Colorado day trip ideas. Contact us if you need more local recommendations.

Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins

With our readers in mind we have compiled a list of the best coffee shops in Fort Collins. With any town there are a variety of coffee shops to choose from. For instance you can go with a tried and true chain like Starbucks. Doing so allows you to know that you will receive roughly the same quality product and experience regardless of location. However, the small one offs or mom and pop shops with a couple of locations are often where the heart of a community exists. We have a number of coffee shops that are close to our hearts here in Fort Collins. Whether you are looking for a quick drive through or somewhere to work on your newest novel there should be something on this list for you.

The Human Bean

A picture of the human bean demonstrating Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins

One of our favorites. The Human Bean has a variety of Northern Colorado locations to choose from. They offer a fast drive through experience. The Human Bean also carries a vast array of to go breakfast food options for anyone in a rush in the morning. These include several gluten free choices for the gluten sensitive among us. With friendly staff and amazing coffee The Human Bean is a can’t miss coffee shop in Fort Collins.

Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins: Alley Cat

Located on Laurel just across the street from Colorado State University, Alley Cat is a coffee shop well known and loved by our local students. The free wifi is something that really appeals to the student population. However, this isn’t to say that you have to be a student to enjoy its lively atmosphere. This is because everyone is welcome to grab a coffee at Alley Cat. While you are there make sure to try one of their famous sandwiches.

The Cart

An image of the cart coffee shop illustrating Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins

With a local presence of 27 years The Cart is definitely a can’t miss coffee shop in Fort Collins. It is located inside of Spouts grocery store at the intersection of Lemay and Drake. The Cart offers a small coffee shop feel that is great for a meeting or writing the next chapter of your novel. Once you are done you can grab some pastries from Great Harvest Bread a few doors down, or hit up Island Grill next door for dinner.

A picture of a coffee cup illustrating Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins

Did we miss one of your favorite Best Coffee Shops in Fort Collins? Contact Us and we will add it to the list. As area experts we can also provide any other recommendations you may need, or even an area tour if you are looking to relocate. We are always happy to shed some light on what makes Fort Collins a great place to call home!

Common Home Inspection Tests

An Image of the Lead and Radon Brochures to communicate the idea of Common Home Inspection Tests

Congratulations! You have been searching for a home to buy for awhile now and you are so excited. This is because you have a home under contract. Now it is time to call the inspector and get the inspection set up. This is something you should do even if the seller has had the home pre-inspected and even if the contract that was accepted said that you would take the property “as is.” It is important to know what condition the property is in and if there are any issues that you need to plan on addressing now or after closing. In order to find out you will need the inspector to run some common home inspection tests.

Call The Inspector!

So you call the inspector that was recommended by your real estate agent (We Always Recommend Advanced Inspections) and you are ask a bunch of questions. What kind of questions should you plan on having to answer and what is the best answer for those questions? That is what this blog post is about.

Common Home Inspection Tests: Radon

One question that you are sure to be ask is if you would like to have a radon test performed in the property. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has been determined to cause lung cancer if you are exposed to high concentrations. You have to decide if you are concerned about it. The test costs about $150. The system to mitigate the radon, if the home that you have under contract has a high concentration, is about $2,000. If you are not concerned and do not test for it, know that when it comes time to sell, your buyers may test. If the level of radon is high you will have to disclose and may have to pay for the mitigation system.

Sewer Scope

Another question that your inspector will ask is whether you would like to pay to have a sewer scope preformed on the sewer line for the property. The sewer scope will cost about $200. Should you have this done? The quick answer to that question is that it depends. Is the house older than 25 years? Does it have large trees in the front yard? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, it is probably a good idea to have a sewer scope. If the house is 5 years old and it is located in a new neighborhood with little tiny or no trees, it might be $200 that you could save by not having it done. You can ask the inspector’s recommendations.

Common Home Inspection Tests: Mold and Lead

Other tests that can be performed are tests for mold and for lead. These are not common tests. If the home was built prior to 1978 it has lead based paint. That is a common fact and there is no reason to test. Detailed lead tests can determine if there is lead pipes in the home. Lead pipes would have been used in older construction, pre-1970. The test for mold should be done if there is reason for concern. The inspection is an important part of the under contract process. Getting an inspection and the appropriate tests performed can give you great information. This is vital so you know as much as you can about the home that you are purchasing.

Those are the Common Home Inspection Tests. Contact us for more information or to have your best interests represented when buying your next home.

What Is Haystack Rock Fort Collins

Driving down highway 287 North of Fort Collins is a giant boulder frequently wearing festive colors. You may have wondered about this boulder, its purpose, or maybe even its name. This week we would like to introduce you to Haystack Rock. In Fort Collins we have quite a bit of strange history. This rock is just a small sample of some of our flavorful local flair. But what is Haystack Rock?

The Legend

An Image of Haystack Rock, The Subject of the Article

Legend has it that a farmer once stacked hay up around the giant boulder to make the pile look larger than it was. Another individual inquired if the hay was for sale. They ended up striking a deal. Later the buyer returned to retrieve his hay and learned of his error when his pitchfork struck rock. That is how the 40 ton boulder came to be known as haystack rock.

What is Haystack Rock in Modern Times

However, it is perhaps the modern history of our local natural billboard that is the most interesting. In the 1980s the land underneath the boulder was purchased by the Northern Water Conservation District. Yet for 80 years prior it served as a free speech billboard most frequently utilized to advertise the rivalry between Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming. Their annual Border War football game has been played since 1899. Most of the frequent murals reference this rivalry. However, political statements and personal tributes to loved ones also make it onto Haystack Rock. It would seem that the longest Haystack Rock has gone without a repaint was shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001. An unknown individual painted the rock with a giant American flag. This artwork stood without change for several years.

The Future

The Future of Haystack Rock is a little uncertain. Currently, it is in the projected area of a new reservoir should the Northern Integrated Supply Project or NISP move forward. The entire valley with haystack rock and highway 287 could very well be underwater. Northern Water Conservation District is considering moving Haystack Rock. However, its 40 ton size does pose a pretty extreme difficulty. Today the future is uncertain. However, you can still drive by and take in the view. At least for a little while.

As always we are happy to share our local history with you. If you have any questions about Fort Collins, we are your local experts. Contact us with your questions, or for a personal tour today.

Best of Fort Collins 2022

Best of Fort Collins 2023

Exciting news! One of my favorite things, out of so many, about Fort Collins is that we do the “Best of Fort Collins 2022” Every year it is so fun to see who won “best of” in the different categories. The big news is that the results are in for 2022. So…who won in the different categories? Here is a list of some of the results.

  • Best all around restaurant: Austin American Grill
  • Best Breakfast: Silver Grill
  • Best Dessert: Walrus Ice Cream
  • Best Romantic Restaurant: Jay’s Bistro
  • Best Salad Bar: Spoons, Soups, Salads and Sandwiches
  • Best Meal For the Money: Krazy Karl’s Pixie and Sports Bar
  • Best Mexican: Blue Agave Grill
  • Best Tourist Attraction: Old Town
  • Best Gift Shop: The Cupboard
  • Best Grocery Store: King Supers
  • Best Florist Shop: Palmer Flowers
  • Best Family Amusement: The Gardens at Spring Creek
  • Best Birthday Party Venue: Fort Fun
  • Best Barber Shop: Floyd’s 99 Barbershop

What makes Fort Collins Great

Fort Collins is a great place to call home because of these Best of Fort Collins 2023 winners.

That is a long list and the list in the “best of” section of the Coloradoan is even longer. It covers “best of” for service providers, doctors, hospitals, beauty and health, entertainment, shopping and so much more. I am always available for recommendations, but this list is fun to refer to also.

Remember to enjoy all that Fort Collins has to offer and the unique places that are special to just Fort Collins, not just those on the Best of Fort Collins 2022 list. Nothing turns you into a local faster than knowing where all the great spots are. So, if you are looking for a special place, we can help. Whether it is a new home or just a community recommendation. Just reach out and contact us we provide special recommendations to some of the communities best kept secrets. We just ask that you promise not to spoil them by making them too popular.

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home

An image of pennies on a wooden backdrop to depict the tax benefits of owning a home.

If you own your home you might not be aware of some of the benefits that come along with it. Of course there is the increased satisfaction of home ownership. We know that we appreciate the benefits of owning our own space.  We can paint the walls the colors that we like.  Decorating choices are are our own. When we want to make improvements like new carpet or hardwood instead of carpet the choice is ours. There is also the benefit of appreciation that we get the benefit of when it is time to sell. But what are the tax benefits of owning vs. renting? This week we wanted to highlight the tax benefits of owning a home. Here are seven that you should remember come tax time!

Mortgage Interest Deduction

The number one benefit of owning is that you are able to deduct the mortgage interest at tax time. The more recent your mortgage the greater your tax savings.  This deduction is itemized.

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home: Property Taxes

Another benefit is that you are able to deduct your property taxes. Taxes are built in to most people’s monthly mortgage payment so you may not even know how much you are paying in taxes.  You will be receiving a statement at the end of the year that will tell you and this amount can be written off.

Mortgage Insurance

Did you know that your private mortgage insurance is also tax deductible?  It is!  If you were not able to put down 20% when you purchased your home you are paying PMI or private mortgage insurance. That amount can be tax deductible.

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home: Energy Efficiency

Have you made any energy efficient upgrades to your home?  You can receive a tax credit for solar electric and solar water-heating equipment.

Work From Home

Many of us have had to work from home at points during the last several years. If working from home is a requirement for your job you may be able to deduct for a home office.  That deduction can be as much as $5 per square foot up to 300 square feet or office space.  If you are a W-2 employee, sorry you can not use this deduction.

Tax Benefits of Owning a Home: Home Improvements

Many of us are trying to decide if we are better off buying a place that fits our needs long term, as we age or if we are best staying where we are and making changes so that our current home works for us.  Did you know that home improvements that are done to help you age in place may be tax deductible.  The total cost must exceed 7.5 % of your adjusted gross income.  You must also prove that the changes were medically necessary with a letter from your doctor.

Home Equity Line of Credit

Another deduction to consider is the interest on a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Interest is deductible only if used to buy, build or improve the property.

As a home owner these are the tax benefits of owning a home for you to think about now and remember when it is tax time.  Make sure that you are prepared so that you are not missing anything that can save you money! If you are a renter and would like to enjoy some of these deductions for yourself.  Contact us and let’s explore home ownership!

Fort Collins Haunted Places

When you are in a town as historic as Fort Collins you are bound to come across a few places that are thought to be haunted. In fact Fort Collins is ranked as the 3rd most haunted U.S. city. Whether there is any merit to these claims is for your to decide. This Halloween we wanted to share with you three haunted places in Fort Collins, CO.

Walrus Ice Cream

An image of the Fort Collins Haunted Places Walrus Ice Cream

The first of these is Walrus Ice Cream. Years ago, and long before it was an ice cream shop this building had tunnels underneath where the dead were taken prior to being embalmed or cremated at the neighboring morgue. According to locals this location has a bizarre energy. The shop has experienced overturned cabinets, smashed out windows, and other unexplained events. All of this is believed to be caused by their resident ghost Charlie. You can read more in a question and answer session with the shop’s owner.

Fort Collins Haunted Places: The Avery Building

This building is believed to be haunted because events that took place in 1889. William Avery’s wife Mary was believed to have been having an affair with Avery’s business partner Frank Millington. Evidently, shortly after Avery suddenly fell ill and later succumbed to his illness. After Avery’s untimely death it was discovered that he had 50 times higher than a lethal dose of arsenic in his body. Investigators also discovered that his wife Mary had recently purchased arsenic. She and her lover were put on trial but later acquitted as it could not be proved that either had done the poisoning. William Avery’s ghost is still believed to wander the property.

Colorado State University Statistics Building

An image of the Fort Collins Haunted Places Colorado State University Statistics Building

The statistics building is one of the older buildings on the Colorado State University campus. This means there is a lot of history that has occurred there. One of the reasons it is believed to be haunted is because of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and 1919. Another is two untimely deaths that occurred in a now filled in pool. There are frequently strange and unexplainable phenomena that take place in the statistics building. Is it ghosts, or something else? We leave that for you to decide.

This is just a sample of some of the supposed Fort Collins haunted places. There are quite a few historic buildings in town each with their own stories. We also have many homes and buildings that have been built much more recently. Contact us for help finding a house that probably isn’t haunted.