Is It Better To Live In Fort Collins or Denver?

Image of downtown Denver skyscrapers illustrating Is It Better To Live In Fort Collins or Denver?

If you are relocating to Colorado, you might not know too much about the area. Some of our larger cities and towns might have drawn in your attention and made you wonder what it is like to live there. In order to help make this complicated decision a little easier we wanted to to address a few potential areas of interest. With that in mind, is it better to live in Fort Collins or Denver?

Housing Costs

When it comes to the Fort Collins vs. Denver debate housing costs play a vital role. However, it doesn’t matter if you are planning to rent or buy your residence. This is because Denver housing costs in 2022 across the board are 9.3% more expensive than that of Fort Collins. Living in Fort Collins means being able to afford a slightly better home, or rent a nicer apartment.

Is It Better To Live In Fort Collins or Denver: Traffic

When comparing Fort Collins and Denver, traffic is an important consideration. While Fort Collins does have its own traffic issues they are nothing compared to the congestion in and around Denver. Denver traffic is a common occurrence at all hours of the day. This can even be true on weekends and holidays. In Fort Collins 5:00 PM can be a tough time to get around. However, most of the day you shouldn’t have any trouble getting from point A to point B.

Community Feel

Image of bikes in Old Town Fort Collins illustrating the community feel when considering Is It Better To Live In Fort Collins or Denver?

Denver and its affiliated suburbs are a sprawling mix of development. This can make it difficult to have a real cohesive community feel. Of course there are some areas where this isn’t the case. However, by and large the Denver area lacks a real community connection outside of its local sports teams. Fort Collins on the other hand is just small enough to result in a feeling of community. We have Colorado State University and all of its sports teams to cheer for. Additionally, if you frequent the same spots you will likely begin to make friends with other regulars.

Is It Better To Live In Fort Collins or Denver: Job Opportunities

Due to its size and the fact it is a capital city Denver will always be able to provide more opportunities for jobs than other cities in Colorado. However, these opportunities often come with steeper competition both from inside and outside the area. This is especially true in the era of remote work. Fort Collins boasts a number of large employers like Broadcom, Otterbox and Colorado State University among many others. Competition for these positions can often be less intense than you might experience in Denver and other large metro areas.

Still trying to understand the question, is it better to live in Fort Collins or Denver? Contact us today and we can discuss some of the benefits of Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. We even offer a tour of the area if you are interested. If you still think Denver is a better fit we can help make some introductions to smooth out your transition to a new area.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home

Selling your home is daunting and stressful.  You are not sure what is important to improve about your home and what does not matter.  Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind. These are things that buyers hate about your home if you don’t do it right.

All Buyers Like It Clean

One of the most important things to do when you are ready to sell your home is to have it deep cleaned.  It is wise to hire someone to do this for you. Make sure that the house is neat and tidy.  Here is a list of things that are sure to turn off a buyer.  Have a meeting with Lestel and she will help you decide, if in your situation, it is wise to spend the money to correct these items.

Buyers Hate Stained Carpet

It is wise to also make sure that you have the carpets professionally cleaned before your home goes on the market.  It is amazing the stains that carpet cleaners can get out.  But should you replace?  That is a question to ask Lestel.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Nasty Smells

That could be that you had fish for dinner last night or it could be pet damage.  Make sure that your home smells its best when it is time for showings. You should also avoid using plug-ins or candles to mask scents in the home. In some cases buyers may wonder what you are trying to cover up even if it is a relatively minor offense.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: brass hardware like the doors in this room

A Sass About Brass

Buyers simply don’t like brass. That could be the brass door knobs that you have or it could be the brass light fixtures.  It might be wise to get them switched out before you put the house on the market.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Pets

More specifically, they don’t like your pets. They may have their own dog or cat, but they do not want to have to interact with your pets or smell them or see their food bowls or even know that you have them.

Buyers Do Not Want To See Your Family Pictures

They are in your home to see if they can imagine it as their home.  If your home is filled with pictures of your family it makes it very difficult for them to imagine the place as anything but yours.

Nothing Bugs Buyers More Than Bugs!

Buyers do not want to see that you have spiders or flies or worse. If you have a bug problems make sure that you have it corrected before your home goes on the market. Call the exterminator.

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Counter Clutter

Buyers do not want to see over stuffed kitchen or bathroom counters. Clean them off.  If you do not use something every day, like a coffee maker, put it away.  If you do not have room to put it away, pack it up.

Wallpaper and Buyers Don’t Mix

Buyers do not like old wallpaper. In Colorado wall paper has not ever been popular like it is in some parts of the country. Getting rid of old wall paper can be a huge time consuming job, but your home, more than likely, would sell for more money without the wall paper.

Loud Paint, Quiet Market

Things Buyers Hate About Your Home: Loud colors like this room here

Buyers do not like personalized paint schemes.  I know your daughter’s two favorite colors are lime green and pink and that is what colors she wanted her room painted.  But, more than likely no one else is going to love a room painted that color.

Multicolored Appliances

Buyers hate mismatched appliances.  I know…you had to replace the dishwasher and the microwave so you got stainless.  You were going to buy stainless for everything else when the stove and the fridge went out.  Buyers will not be impressed that you have white and stainless appliances.  You probably never really liked it either, but thought you would just wait.  Now is probably the time to make sure that everything is matching.  Buyers will appreciate stainless and the fact that they are all matching.

Collectables, Collecting Dust

One last thing to keep in mind when you are preparing your home for sale.  Pack away your collections.  Whether you collect Barbie dolls, teddy bears, salt and pepper shakers or something else.  Buyers do not want to see your collections. They are there to see the house.  Do not distract them from that.

These are things that buyers hate about your home if you don’t do it right. This list may seem long and overwhelming.  You may not need to do everything on the list.  Contact us to see what you should do given your situation before you sell.  She can recommend what is needed to get top dollar for your home.  Happy Selling!

Selling A House With Pets?

An image of a pug to illustrate selling a house with pets

Our pets are very important to us.  If you have a pet you probably consider that special fur or not fur creature a part of the family. Seventy percent of U.S. households currently own a pet, or plan to get one, so you are in good company.  But that means that thirty four percent do not own one or do not plan to own a pet.  When you are selling your home you want to appeal to the highest number of buyers, those that love animals and those that do not.  When selling a house with pets there are a few things you should do to make sure that you appeal to all.  

Advice For Selling A House With Pets

Here is some advice on how to navigate the home sale process with your favorite animal. Most all Realtors recommend that you remove your pets for showings.  I agree with this recommendation.  We know how our animals act around us. However, we don’t necessarily know how they act around strangers in their home.  Moreover, there is nothing more disturbing than to listen to a dog barking from a kennel the whole time you are showing a home.  I feel sorry for the dog that does this.  

They do not understand why people are in their home and they just want the people to leave.  No amount of talking, treat giving is going to make this dog feel comfortable. It is hard for the buyer to fall in love with the home with that distraction.  Better to remove the dog. When you remove the animal also make sure that you remove all evidence of animal.  That means food bowls, kennels, beds, toys and litter box.  These items can be stored in the garage or shed. 

A Few More Things To Keep In Mind

An image of a puppy to illustrate selling a house with pets

More advice for selling your home when you are a pet owner includes deep cleaning the home.  For example, this includes scrubbing floors, baseboards and walls.  You may be nose blind to the smell of your pet, but home buyers will not be. If you have stained carpet it is time to replace it. You may try to have it professionally cleaned, if money is an issue.  Often times the cleaning process brings out the smells.  There are methods for cleaning that can help better alleviate the smells.  Ask your carpet cleaner about them. 

Contract and Legal Issues of Selling A House With Pets

Remember the pet friendly features that your home has.  These features may help your home sell faster.  These features might include a fenced yard, single level home, (yes even pets prefer no stairs), carpet or textured flooring, built in dog doors or dog runs. Very important feature is a pet friendly HOA, if you live within a HOA. If the HOA in which your home is located has requirements regarding pets make sure that your agent is aware of these. Also make sure that buyers are informed.  Additionally, it is no fun for a buyer to get excited about a home and go under contract only to find out a week after that their dog exceeds the weight limit. They are left with the option to get rid of their dog or cancel the contract. 

Our Sellers Property Disclosure Form in Colorado will require you to notify the buyer if pets have been kept on the property. It is best though, that the buyer does not know that they are a part of the household because of damage or smells prior to reading the disclosure form. In addition, know that for some buyers no pets is not a preference it is a health issue, with animal dander causing allergic reactions.  Removing pets and their evidence is the best way to sell a home that will appeal to the most buyers. 

If you have specific questions, contact us. We have substantial experience in this area and can make the home selling process smooth sailing for you and your furry friends.

Why Get Pre-Approved?

Congratulations you have decided to buy a house.  You have attended a few open houses and you have been spending a lot of time online looking at houses.  You feel ready. When you see the right house you are ready to jump in and have the agent do what it takes to get you that house. However, are you actually ready?  There is a key step that is missing in the process.  You must turn in a mortgage application with a lender and been pre-approved for a loan.  Why Get Pre-Approved?  Can it wait until I get an offer accepted?  The answer is…no. Lets talk about why it is important to get pre-approved. 

Here Are A Few Reasons

1.  You know what you can afford.  If you are looking at $500,000 homes and you talk to a lender and can only get pre-approved to $475,000 that would be a problem.  Additionally,iIf you would have gotten your offer accepted you could not have closed on the home.

2.  You know what it will cost to get a loan and how much you will need for down payment.

3.  You will know if you have good credit. Additionally, you will also learn if you would benefit from credit repair.

4.  You need to know what your future payments are going to be.

Get Pre Approved So You Can Sleep In It

Mid Century Modern Bedroom

5.  This is probably the most important. You will be able to have a lender letter go with any offer that you write on a home.  Many agents and sellers require a lender letter.  This is important because without this your offer isn’t acceptable. It means that you won’t be able to purchase the home of your dreams.

6.  Getting pre-approved will shorten your under contract period and the length of time that you need to wait to buy your home.

7.  You will save yourself time! Moreover, you may be having fun looking at all of those houses, but wouldn’t it be nice to narrow your search and be looking at what you might be able to have?

So that answers the question of why get pre-approved.

However, who do I call when I am ready?  I recommend Dave Armstrong with Elevations Credit Union.  I recommend him because he and Elevations often charge the lowest interest rates and fees to get you into a house. Additionally, when you start the process you want to know that when you go under contract that you will get to the closing successfully.  With Dave you have the best chance of that happening.  You can reach Dave Directly at 970-388-3903 or If you have any questions you can always contact us and we would be happy to point you in the right direction.

What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado?

If you are trying to come up with something new and different to do this weekend.  What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado, here is an idea. 

Have you ever visited a Little Free Library?  

You may have one in your neighborhood. You can find them throughout Northern Colorado and the world.  The idea behind a Little Free Library is to expand access to books and inspire readers.  You can get a map, online, of the little libraries in your town and then start visiting them.  Each one is different. Some of the libraries focus on children’s books, others have more fiction than nonfiction and still others are a good mix of whatever you might like.  

What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado? Take A Book Leave A Book

An image of a dragon themed little library to illustrate the idea of What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado?

If you have a book that you have already read, take it with you.  You can take a book from the little library or share a book.  You do not have to share a book to take a book, but it is better if you do.  Enjoy the book that you take, and then drop it off at the little library that you took it from or another one. On average one book is shared at each Little Free Library each day! Be a regular visitor to the little library.  See if you can find the little library in Fort Collins that has a Dragon theme.  

How to Find A Little Library

Wondering What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado? Check out a little library like the one pictured here.

The first Little Free Library was built and put into use in 2009.  There are now over 150,000 little libraries, in over 110 countries.  Moreover, not all little libraries are registered with the Little Library Foundation so that number is probably much higher.  After finding and visiting some of the Little Free Libraries you may become inspired to build your own Little Free Library and place it in your neighborhood.  There is a website that you can visit that features a  how to video.  Go to: You can make your own or buy a kit and to make your library.  Additionally, do not forget to register at the website for the Little Free Library.  You will also need to add some books.  You are inspiring readers and expanding access to books.  

What To Do This Weekend in Northern Colorado? There is always so much to do in our area, but taking a break and enjoying books is not a bad way to spend an hour or so.  Still looking for ideas contact us for a free tour of the area or personalized recommendations based on your interests.

How To Buy When Interest Rates Are High

An image of a home depicting how to buy when interest rates are high

So you are wondering how to buy when interest rates are high? Don’t worry you have come to the right place. There are strategies that you can use that can make home ownership possible! Here are some tips to get you into a home that you can afford and enjoy. You may feel like you know exactly the neighborhood or town that you would like to live in. If you expand your search you may be able to find a home that you love somewhere that is more affordable and can work perfect for you.

How To Buy When Interest Rates Are High, Loan Types and Loan Options

  • The favored loan, for most buyers is a fixed rate mortgage, but what would your payment look like if you were to get a variable rate mortgage? Have a frank discussion with your lender and ask for assistance exploring what is best for you.
  • Remember that when you purchase a home you are not stuck with the loan and the interest rate on the loan. You can refinance when interest rates become more attractive in the future. Interest rates go up and they also come down.
  • Look into grants and down payment assistance or gift funds. Not everyone has a rich uncle that they can call and get a chunk of change from. But do you know if you qualify for no interest down payment assistance? That does exist and you might be able to obtain it. Check with your lender and see if you might be able to qualify.

Home Ownership Equates to Building Wealth

Remember that buying a home to live in is a great way to build wealth. Owning your own place can protect you from ever rising rents. Having a place of your own you can paint the walls the colors you want and enjoy making the place yours. That is how to buy when interest rates are high. So, don’t be discouraged by what you hear in the news. Contact us today and get a recommendation for a lender. Explore whether now is the right time for you to buy!

Improve Your Home and Your Mental Health

There is a relationship between Home Ownership and Mental Health. Did you know that owning a home can improve your mental health?  We have all heard how great owning a home is for stability in your life.  It is also wonderful for helping you build wealth. Additionally, there are some that say that redecorating that home you own can improve your mental health.  We have been spending more time at home over the course of the last couple of years.  That time at home should make us feel refreshed.  What should you do to ensure that your home does all that it can to make you feel your best?  Here are several ideas to keep in mind to improve your home and your mental health.

Bring The Outdoors Inside

An image of a room with house plants demonstrating how you can Improve Your Home and Your Mental Health

Add some greenery to your home. Live plants can do so much to add warmth and purify the air.  They also look aesthetically pleasing. Some plants can even make your home smell good.  If you do not have a green thumb pick a plant that is extra easy to grow.  If that still does not work, then regularly replace the plants that die, just like you do fresh flowers.

Improve Your Home and Your Mental Health by Reducing Clutter

Reducing clutter can help you to feel much better. Less clutter can help you focus and also keep you from feeling overwhelmed.  Toss anything that is not necessary and keep only what you deem is important. Keeping a cluttered space can lead to stress and anxiety.

A Pop Of Color

Did you know that the color of your rooms in your home can affect your mood? It can. For example the color red translates to passion, yellow to happiness, green to calm, purple to royalty or luxury and white to cleanliness.  Colors do carry meaning and they can mean different things to different people. When you are looking for a new paint color be sure to paint the room the color that matches the tone that you would like to set for the room.

Improve Your Home and Your Mental Health by Adding Natural Light

Lighting sets the mood for a room. Natural light is best, but a well lit room with artificial light is also a great alternative.  Vitamin D is important to maintaining your mental health.  Let in the natural light, lose the black out curtains and celebrate the sun and soak in that Vitamin D.

Emotional Baggage

When you are decluttering make sure that you get rid of the emotional baggage. Stop holding on to the items that take you back to a bad memory or remind you of something you would rather forget.  No longer having these things around will do wonders for your mental health.  Donate the items to a thrift store and feel good about helping a good cause in addition to removing the negativity from your home.

So next time you are feeling blue, check this list and see what you can do to improve your home and your mental health. Contact us for assistance finding your next home.

What Is A 1031 Tax Exchange

Keys in the shape of 1031 to depict a 1031 tax exchange

A 1031 allows you to avoid paying capital gains when you sell an investment property and reinvest the proceeds from the sale into another property or properties of equal to or greater than value, within certain time limits. The 1031 Tax Exchange allows you to defer the tax on the appreciation to a later date. If you were to simply sell your current investment property and buy another updated, upgraded, more expensive property, next year come tax time you will owe capital gains. This could be as much as 20% on the appreciation and profits on the property since you owned it. Please note this explanation is from a real estate agent.  I am not a CPA or an accountant.  This explanation is an example and highlights what could happen.  If you instead do a 1031 tax exchange when you sell the property you will not owe capital gains taxes.

How does a 1031 tax exchange work? 

What is the process?  If you were to participate in a 1031 tax exchange the process would be as follows. You list the property that you currently own for sale.  We will call that property your relinquished property.  You accept a contract to purchase and go through the process to sell your relinquished property just like you would if you were not doing a 1031.  Here is what is different and keeps you from paying taxes.  Once the relinquished property is listed for sale you contact an exchange company.  Ask you real estate agent for recommendations. The exchange prepares documents that must be signed, prior to and at the closing. The exchange company charges a fee for their services. 

How Does Closing Work?

The closing occurs and the exchange company takes the proceeds from the relinquished property closing and holds the proceeds from that sale until the closing on the replacement property that you are in purchasing.  After the closing on the relinquished property you will attend the closing of your more expensive property.  You attend the closing with your ID and a smile on your face.  In advance of the closing, the exchange company wired the funds from the sale of your relinquished property to the title company.  You sign the documents for the closing and you are handed the keys.  You have just participated in a 1031 tax exchange. This is a simplistic description of the process.  Moreover, there are very specific rules that must be followed for a 1031 exchange to be successful.  Timing is very important.

If you are interested in learning more about a 1031 and how you might benefit from participating in one you should consult a CPA that can walk you through the details.  If you decide to do a 1031 tax exchange contact us to make sure you work with a real estate agent that is familiar with 1031 so that you can successfully complete an exchange.

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.