Northern Colorado Real Estate Blog

Nov. 30, 2017

What to Do in December in Northern Colorado

December 2nd – Lights of December Parade: Boulder

“In its 30th year, spectators will enjoy floats created and decorated by local businesses, churches and civic groups. Crowds will enjoy marching bands, lit fire engines, holiday carolers and much more. The grand finale includes an appearance by the jolly old man himself - Santa Claus!” Learn More about the Lights of December Parade

December 2nd – Home for the Holidays: Lafayette

“Celebrate the holidays with shopping in Old Town, visiting with Santa, crafting, caroling and the tree lighting at dusk.” Learn More about Home for the Holidays

December 3rd – Jingle Bell Run: Loveland

“The Arthritis Foundation’s original Jingle Bell Run is a fun way to get decked out and be festive, while racing to raise funds and awareness to cure America’s #1 cause of disability. Put on your favorite holiday costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. ’Tis the season to live it up and be jolly for a reason! Bring a team of friends, family and co-workers to run or walk, spread smiles and good cheer … and be a Champion of Yes! 100 percent of your registration fee and fundraising efforts go to this great cause.” Register and Learn More about Jingle Bell Run

December 8th-9th – Longmont Lights: Longmont

“From ancient times, light has been both a source of mystery and magic, providing necessary warmth and guidance. Enjoy the mystery and magic of millions of sparkling lights and the sights and sounds of winter holiday celebrations as Longmont Lights continues with special activities in Roosevelt Park on Dec. 8th and 9th.” Learn More about Longmont Lights

December 8th-10th – Holiday Festival: Boulder

“Boulder's most beloved December tradition gathers together CU's most remarkable student and faculty talent for an unforgettable concert that's fun for the whole family. Delight in the twinkling lights, seasonal greenery and festive atmosphere of Macky Auditorium as student choirs, bands and orchestras perform holiday favorites and new surprises.” Get Tickets and Learn More about the Holiday Festival

December 8th-10th – The Nutcracker with the Ft. Collins Symphony: Ft. Collins

“Canyon Concert Ballet presents their 36th annual production of The Nutcracker Ballet. With a dazzling score by Tchaikovsky performed by the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, this is a rare chance to see a classical ballet accompanied by a live, full orchestra in Fort Collins. This iconic holiday story is sure to please audiences of all ages with mystery, battles, and beautiful ballerinas in sparkling tutus.” Get Tickets and Learn More about The Nutcracker

December 16th-17th – Longmont Museum Holiday Festival: Longmont

“The Longmont Museum’s holiday tradition continues after last year’s sold out events! Join us for songs of the season and holiday cheer from some of the finest musicians and performers in the region. Featuring the Heath Walton Jazz Quintet, Longmont’s Centennial State Ballet in excerpts from the Nutcracker, Venezuelan rhythms from Gonzalo Teppa, and much more. Special Santa reception with cookies and hot chocolate before the matinee concert, only. Cash bar.” Get Tickets and Learn More about the Longmont Museum Holiday Festival

December 22nd – Bells of the Rockies: Loveland

“Bells of the Rockies is an auditioned, highly skilled handbell ensemble from the Colorado and Wyoming Front Range. Playing 5 octaves of Schulmerich handbells and 4 octaves of chimes, they perform music from sacred to secular, baroque to rock. This performance will include both traditional and contemporary music to ring in the holiday spirit.” Get Tickets and Learn More about Bells of the Rockies

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Nov. 28, 2017

Downsizing to a Smaller Home: Would it Work for You?

Downsizing to a smaller home is not without its challenges. Big regrets can become a reality if you don’t weigh your options carefully.

Good candidates for downsizing are people who have a home that no longer meets their needs. It could be that one has a home with all the bedrooms upstairs and, for mobility reasons, it is a real problem and difficult to get to the bedrooms. A smaller single level home with a smaller yard, or no yard at all could be a good move for individuals in a situation such as this. Having an empty nest can also precipitate a look at downsizing.

Others who should consider downsizing to a smaller home are people who feel they are living beyond their means and desire a less expensive lifestyle. Or maybe they just feel they are using more resources than they should and want to adopt a more Earth-friendly way of living.

A very positive thing about downsizing is that it can give you a fresh start; it's an opportunity to de-clutter and reallocate your time and financial resources. However, if you like to entertain a good number of people at one time, or you love to spend time in your yard and garden, a lack of space could be more limiting than you anticipate.

Another way to evaluate whether you should downsize involves considering the practice of unrelated Baby Boomers moving in together. This could reduce each individual’s housing expenses significantly and allow one to continue to live in the home they love.

Hidden Costs of Downsizing

In terms of specific financial concerns, one needs to be aware that you might have to pay taxes on the sale of a home that has appreciated radically since you purchased it. A prime example of this can be found in the homes on Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins. Some have actually gone up in value well over $500,000 in the last 25 years. If your home was purchased for $250,000 and it is now worth $850,000 you would have to pay taxes on all gains over $500,000. In this case you would owe taxes on $100,000 of your gain in value.

Also, a smaller property may appear to be less expensive to own than your current home, but HOA fees or Municipal Fees associated with special services, such as double water systems (where the outside of homes are watered with a separate untreated water source), can quickly eliminate any cost savings from downsizing. Property taxes sometimes appear to be low, until you add the Municipal Fees of various kinds into the total cost.

One final consideration is that, for some individuals selling your home and renting is truly an option. The value of the investment in your home becomes more liquid and available to you. You do not have to worry about an unexpected downturn in a volatile real estate market. Renting can become a more predictable and somewhat safer bet.

If you would like to get more information on the value of your home and the costs associated with a potential new type of home, please contact us.

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Posted in Home Ownership
Oct. 30, 2017

What to Do in NoCo in November 2017

 

November 3rd: Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony – Ft. Collins

“On Friday, November 3rd, historic Old Town Fort Collins will shine as thousands of strands of holiday lights ‘flip on’ to illuminate the alleyways, sidewalks and street-tops of our beloved Downtown during the Annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony. The dazzling display of low energy and sustainable LED lights stretches through seven blocks to illuminate Old Town’s canopied treetops, unique storefronts and historic alleyways.” Learn More about the Downtown Holiday Lighting Ceremony

November 4th: Fall Back Beer Fest – Estes Park

“Fall Back Beer Fest is back for its 5th annual celebration of beer with some of the finest craft breweries and beer industry experts that Colorado has to offer. Grab a beer, chat with the brewers, and learn what it takes to make your favorite brews in the heart of the Rockies at Fall Back Beer Fest '17. Have you ever wondered what it takes to brew beer? Come watch our live demos and help us celebrate National Learn to Homebrew Day, too! Cheers!” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Fall Back Beer Fest

November 11th: 43rd Annual Longmont Turkey Trot - Longmont

“Gobble, Gobble, Gobble, GO!  Sign up to run one of the most scenic, fastest, 10k or 2-mile courses around!  10K course also has a Wheelchair Division.  Don’t just run for the fun of it, all of the Longmont Turkey Trot proceeds benefit the City of Longmont Youth Scholarship Fund!” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Longmont Turkey Trot

November 19th: Switch on the Holidays – Boulder

“Holiday sing-along performance led by the Boulder Children's Chorale joined by members of the Boulder Chorale lead up to the grand illumination of the Boulder County Courthouse and the Pearl Street Mall, with a special appearance by Santa himself!  Then stick around for FREE visits with Santa until 7:00 p.m.” Learn More about Switch on the Holidays

November 24th: Catch the Glow Christmas Parade & Celebration – Estes Park

“The annual "Catch the Glow" parade the day on November 24 caps a day of full activity in downtown Estes Park. With holiday music broadcast outdoors throughout the town helping set the scene, visitors can interact with strolling animal characters, enjoy family hayrides and visit with Santa Claus in Bond Park from noon to 4pm.  The lighted Christmas parade begins at 5:30 pm and runs the length of Elkhorn Ave. All activities are free.” Learn More about Catch the Glow

November 24th to November 26th: The Nutcracker Ballet – Longmont

“This December, the curtain rises for America’s favorite ballet, brought to life by the Boulder Ballet and the Longmont Symphony. Make your plans now for this thrilling and heart-warming spectacle, all performed to Tchaikovsky’s masterful score. A holiday tradition with exciting choreography and a full, live orchestra!” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Nutcracker Ballet

November 24th to December 2nd: The Festival of Trees – Greeley

“It’s that time of year again! Jack Frost is nipping at our noses and the smell of burning fireplaces is drifting through the chilly air. This wondrous season unfolds as neighbors drop by for a cup of cheer or family and friends gather to share a meal. In the spirit of this magical time, the 29th Annual Festival of Trees, scheduled for Nov 24 - Dec 2, will once again transform the Union Colony Civic Center’s lobbies into a winter wonderland filled with beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and holiday collections.” Learn More about the Festival of Trees

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Oct. 20, 2017

Increasing Inventory In NoCo Is Good News For Buyers!

More homes for sale

Great News!!! The increase in inventory for Northern Colorado's major markets, versus a year ago, is very good news for prospective buyers as now there are more homes to choose from:

Fort Collins up 28%

Loveland up 4%

Windsor up 37%

Greeley up 5%


For more information Buying a Home in NoCo please review this Blog and then contact us for more specific information to help you get ready to find your perfect next home.

Or start your search here with our best-in-class home search engine.

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Oct. 17, 2017

Reverse Mortgages: Tips & Info for Homeowners

For a vast majority of older homeowners, their home is their largest asset. A home equity conversion mortgage (HECM)—also known as a reverse mortgage—enables owners to access home equity and turn it into cash. Payments are tax-free and can be set up as needed, as a lump sum, or in combination. The equity the owner has in the property, including any appreciation, is paid back to the owner, who still continues to live in the home and retains title.

According to RISMedia, "The Reverse mortgages amortize negatively, which is a fancy way of saying that the cash the borrower receives today gets tacked onto the balance owed at the end, including interest, which accrues deferred. The borrower or heirs can never owe more than the property is worth, and the lender cannot touch any other assets, which is a huge plus.

"As long as the borrower lives in and maintains the home, there is never any repayment obligation. Things that may trigger repayment, however, include a move, a specific maturity date, death, sale, failure to pay taxes and insurance or make repairs. The borrower may pay off the loan through sale of the property or prepay at any time without penalty."

How do I know whether I should use a reverse mortgage?

Homeowners can use the cash from reverse mortgages for a wide variety of purposes including:

  • Insuring a steady monthly income
  • Putting off beginning to draw Social Security
  • Ending current mortgage payment
  • Paying off debts
  • Purchasing a second home
  • Adapting a home for aging in place

While a reverse mortgage can make sense for a homeowner, there are instances when it may not be the best alternative for them. These could include:

  • When there is not much equity in the home
  • When a move is planned in the near future
  • When other resources are available
  • For buying risky, low-return investments
  • Purchasing an annuity is generally not allowed
  • For short-term or small financial needs
  • Flipping properties
  • For most mortgage default situations (there are some exceptions)
  • When there is no real need to do so

Reverse mortgages can have very complicated terms, fees, and eligibility rules. It is extremely important the homeowner get expert advice from a reverse mortgage specialist. It could be that just selling one's home and moving might better fit one's needs.

It might also be helpful to read one of my previous posts, Comparing Pensions, 401Ks, and Home Equity. For more information regarding specialists who can help you better understand this complicate financial tool, please contact us.

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Sept. 27, 2017

What to Do in Northern Colorado in October

October 1st - October 29th: Harvest Farm Fall Festival & Corn Maze – Wellington

“Families of all ages are invited to enjoy fall fun this October at Denver Rescue Mission’s 15th Annual Harvest Farm Fall Festival & Corn Maze. Activities include a 10-acre corn maze, corn cannons, yard games, food trucks, natural play areas, petting zoo, pig races, hay wagon rides and much more.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Harvest Farm Fall Festival

October 6th - October 8th: Adventure Film Festival – Boulder

“This three-day action-packed event showcases a diverse collection of the year’s most groundbreaking and insightful independent films from serious exploration to environmental heroism to gripping tales from the edge of the believable.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Adventure Film Festival

October 7th: Whiskey Summit – Estes Park

“The Summit Festival is a public celebration of Colorado’s distillery industry and features the spirit products from over 50 distilleries. The Festival will feature live music, great food, and 'Whiskey 101' tutorials. There will also be a very special VIP experience.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Whiskey Summit

October 7th - October 8th: Louisville Oktoberfest – Louisville

“Colorado’s most traditional small town Oktoberfest…owned and managed by folks from Bavaria, German Beer and Food, local bands, and Bavarian DJ music. Kids welcome! With kids games, activities, jumpy castles. Serving in all traditional glassware!” Get Tickets & Learn More about Louisville Oktoberfest

October 13th - November 7th: Día de los Muertos Exhibition – Longmont

“Celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, Longmont Museum’s annual Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration attracts more than 6,000 people annually to the exhibit, opening reception, and many programs. It’s the largest Day of the Dead celebration in Colorado! Día de los Muertos is a time to honor and celebrate deceased loved ones, and community participation is an essential part of this holiday that is full of life, reflection, food, family, and fun. The celebration demonstrates how a diverse community can come together to share a common desire – to honor our ancestors and keep their memories alive.” Learn more about the Día de los Muertos Exhibition

October 21st: Dickens Horror Film Festival – Longmont

“The perfect setting for a Horror Film Fest… a haunted Opera House! Join us for Paranormal explorations, films that will give you the shivers and some scary friends to join you in the screaming good time! This is not a Gore Fest. We have a mix of thrillers, chillers, and slasher films that will make you jump… and laugh.” Get Tickets to the Dickens Horror Film Festival

October 26th: Halloween Film Series: Casper – Longmont

“Your favorite Halloween movies are back at the Longmont Museum’s Stewart Auditorium again this fall. Bring your friends, partake in a spooky signature cocktail specially paired with each film, and enjoy! The Museum is also open with extended evening hours (5 - 9 pm) to stroll through the galleries. Casper the Friendly Ghost attempts to befriend Kat, the 12-year-old daughter of a paranormal expert, but his nasty ghost uncles Stinky, Stretch, and Fatso, wreak havoc on their relationship in this family-friendly ghost story. KIDS! Join us for a special Halloween party before the movie, including festive crafts, games, and trick-or-treating. Free with film admission, beginning at 6 pm.” Get Tickets to the Halloween Film Series: Casper

October 31st: Munchkin Masquerade – Boulder

“Each Halloween, Downtown Boulder is invaded by tiny ghosts & goblins, dinosaurs & dragons, fairies & princes, super heroes and animals of every size trick-or-treating along Pearl Street.” Learn More about the Munchkin Masquerade

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Sept. 15, 2017

Mountain Home on 32-acres For Sale

Mountain Home near Ft Collins

This amazing 32.5-acre property and home sits in a beautiful location just south of the top of Rist Canyon. It is approximately 40 minutes from Old Town Fort Collins via the newly paved Rist Canyon Road, which has snow removal done promptly because of the Stove Prairie School.  

Also, the county maintains and clears the gravel road to the communication towers.  From that point the Buckhorn Camp/Retreat Center (which is open year around) and private property owners, many of whom commute to town daily, work together to keep the road maintained and open. 

The property is located next to a 10,000-acre ranch and other large acreages. It is situated in such a way that its seclusion will never be encroached upon.  This is more than just a property – it offers a unique way of life.

Check out this drone footage we put together for the property:

 

 

Amenities on the Property:

  • No HOA
  • Recent Survey
  • Beautiful Year Round Fountain in Front Yard
  • Wonderful Panoramic Views in all Directions - Multiple Public 4th of July Fireworks are Visible 
  • Several Roughed In Walking Trails
  • Recently Installed New Well Pump 
  • 2500 Gallon Cistern Covers All Your Water Needs
  • Horse Facilities
  • Ample Opportunity for Horseback Riding and ATV Adventures and Hiking.
  • Barn has 20 Amp Service and Water –Two Fenced Corals – Also Other Partially Fenced Areas
  • 40X40 Fully Heated Shop with 150 Amp Service and 220 Amp Commercial Electrical Outlets.
  • Several Outdoors Areas Designed to Enjoy the Sunsets, Sunrises and Stars. 
  • Seasonal Pond
  • Year Round Spring Fed Stream
  • Vineyard

Amenities of the Home:

  • Spacious Open Floor Plan
  • Beautiful Wood and Tile Flooring in Many Areas
  • 2X6 Construction – Metal Roof
  • Great Southern Exposure Provides Wonderful Solar Heat.
  • Commercial Like Kitchen with Cherry Cabinets and an Extraordinary Gas Range and Two Dish Washers 
  • 3 Heat Sources – Two Forced Air Furnaces and One Wonderful Stove. 
  • Private Mother in Law or Care Taker’s Suite With Its own Kitchen and Bath. 
  • Decks and Access to the Outdoors on All Levels
  • Oversize Insulated/Heated Two Car Garage 
  • Potential for Various Studio Uses in an Insulated Room Off the Garage. 

Here is the address: 975 Old Camp Road, Bellvue, CO 80512

Don't miss this amazing opportunity! Come talk to us.

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Aug. 30, 2017

Fun Things to Do in NoCo in September 2017

September 2nd – Tour De Fat – Ft. Collins

“Expect to experience the unexpected. We're bringing the party with The All-American Rejects / X Ambassadors and the Tour de Fat ensemble cast of performers. Ready your eyes and ears for a mix of musicians, circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and mind-blowing provocateurs. Costumes are highly encouraged (and a mindset to party is mandatory). Tour de Fat Fort Collins benefits Bike Ft. Collins, Overland Mountain Bike Club, Ft. Collins Bike CO-OP, and Ciclismo Youth Foundation, so be sure to grab your tix today.” Get Tickets & More Info about the Tour De Fat

September 9th – La Fiesta: World Party 2017 – Longmont

“La Fiesta celebrates Boulder County’s multicultural community with live bands to inspire the dance floor with rhythms ranging from salsa and merengue to West African drumming and dancing with Soul Music. Food trucks featuring Colombian arepas, Middle Eastern falafels, and wood fired pizza will also delight the senses. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to shop artisan items in the World Market including art, home goods, jewelry, fashion and accessories, skin care and paper goods.” Get Tickets & More Info for La Fiesta

September 9th – Lafayette Brew Fest – Lafayette 

“Thirsty? Come join us for Lafayette’s Brew Fest featuring Micro and Craft Beers for sale from 23+ local Breweries. There is NO ENTRANCE FEE and tickets are sold by 4 oz. pours. Visit a variety of restaurant and food booths! Wine will also be sold. Exploring craft beers one glass at a time!” Get Tickets & More Info for Lafayette Brew Fest

September 15th – September 17th – Downtown Boulder Fall Fest – Boulder 

“Now in its 30th year, Downtown Boulder’s Fall Fest has been one of Boulder’s most beloved community celebrations. This 3-day autumn festival features food, brews and music with the added excitement of Children’s Activities and featuring Firefly Handmade Markets.” Learn More about Downtown Boulder Fall Fest

September 23rd – Rocky Mountain Chocolate Festival – Loveland

“A full day of Chocolate Sampling, Shopping and Entertainment! From a chocolate pudding eating contest to a chocolate and beer pairing, this event is sure to be any chocolate lover’s paradise!” Get Tickets & More Info about Rocky Mountain Chocolate Festival

September 27th – October 1st – Flatirons Food Film Festival – Boulder 

“The Flatirons Food Film Festival is an annual multi-day feast celebrating exceptional culinary cinema. The events take place in Boulder, Colorado, a city known as the epicenter of the natural foods industry and locus of the American craft-brewing renaissance. The festival includes film showings, expert speakers, discussions, and food and beverage events. This year, we will kick off the festival at the Rayback Collective, continue at the Canyon Theater of the Boulder Public Library, and finish strong at Muenzinger Auditorium on the CU-Boulder campus. Our nine feature-length festival films include documentaries on several trail blazers in food culture and a mini-series on classic food films.” Get Tickets & More Info about Flatirons Food Film Festival

September 29th – September 30th – OktoBREWFest – Greeley

“Greeley’s OktoBREWfest 2017 will be at historic Lincoln Park in Downtown Greeley at 8th Street & 9th Avenue. Join us at the kick-off on Friday evening, September 29th from 5-10PM for some great beer, brats, games, and a free concert. Then prepare for a full day of fun on Saturday, September 30th from 11AM-9PM. Enjoy a whole day of music, a wide variety of regular and specialty brews, food from more than a dozen vendors, a crafts area, and a huge children’s area with face painting, obstacle course, arcade games, inflatable slide, WOW Bubbles and more! You can also compete in pie eating contests, stein lifting contests, life-size beer pong and more. Shop the craft area, peruse the delicious food selections and enjoy the music.” Learn More about OktoBREWFest

September 30th – October 1st – Elk Fest – Estes Park

“The free festival features bugling contests, elk exhibits, the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, elk seminars, elk-inspired arts and crafts, Native American music, dancing and storytelling, a children’s' area with elk-themed activities, and a craft beer garden. Vendors will display artwork, handmade elk-ivory jewelry, and will offer distinctive elk cuisine.  Mountain men from around the country will gather at the Mountain Man Rendezvous to sell their wares and demonstrate their skills. Live country, rock and bluegrass music will light up the park Saturday and Sunday with popular Colorado bands performing on stage.” Learn More about Elk Fest

 

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Aug. 19, 2017

Northern Colorado Housing Market is Normalizing - More or Less

According to the Fort Collins Board of Realtors we are seeing a glimmer of hope for a more balanced and normal housing market in Northern Colorado.

Six Key Points to Take Note Of

We are seeing a more predictable seasonal slow down in the cycle of demand for housing as we move into another school year.

• Large numbers of buyers are being pushed to neighboring communities around Fort Collins as would happen in a normal market as price of homes, inventory, value/type of housing become more differentiated.

• With the rapid increase in the median home price of $225,000 in 2010 to near $400,000 in 2017 in Fort Collins, we are finally seeing a slowing of the annual percentage increase to what is predicted to be around 5% and no higher than 10% in coming years.

• Affordability of a median-priced single family home for the average wage earner is slipping away. Multi-family housing is being used to close the affordability gap all over Northern Colorado.

• Inventory will remain unbalanced. What is considered to be a "normal inventory situation" would have a six month supply of homes on hand at any given time - currently we are at 2.3 months for single family homes and 1.1 months for multi-family homes.

• Nearly 100% of homes sold are sold for the listing price and sellers and buyers have a clearer picture of the value of a home as it goes on the market when comparing it to other recently sold properties.

Keys to the Changing Housing Market

Finally,  the Fort Collins Board of Realtors point out that housing below $300,000 is going to be very limited and housing valued at above that amount will continue to become more common.  Soon the median price of $400,000 will become the line of "delineation" for a growing market. 

For me an important take away from this information is that we are now moving into the time of year when, in the past, there has been more pressure on sellers to compromise and work with a buyer because there are fewer of them looking for a home in what could again become the "off season."  If you are thinking about buying a residence, we could be heading into the best time of the year to find that long dreamed of new home.  Waiting will only mean an increase in price and more competition as we move once again toward the spring.  Also, future interest rates are unpredictable and can really impact the price of a home you can afford.  With a healthy economy, they may begin to rise well above current levels.

We are definitely still in the "Buy a Home NOW" mode here in Northern Colorado! Please contact us with your questions. We know the housing market well in Northern Colorado and would enjoy helping you get started as you look for your new home.

 

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Aug. 15, 2017

A Simple Way to Repair a Wooden Fence Post

A common problem in older neighborhoods is the deterioration of wooden fences. It will eventually become an issue for many people living in older areas. I was made aware of this unique solution to stabilizing wooden posts that have either been damaged or rotted off.

Fence mender to the rescue

A friend of mine installed a fence mender along a very wobbly fence that was dangerously close to being blown down by a strong wind. The units were installed quickly and they immediately stabilized the posts. He then dug a small hole around the post and poured concrete around each one to add some additional support. One or two units can be installed on a post depending on the condition of the post. They can also be driven in between the post and the original concrete poured around it too.

 

Extend the life of your fence

This solution will work well for posts that are wobbly, leaning, or moderately damaged. You'll be able to extend the life of your fence with minimal trouble or expense.

Save yourself some time and effort! You don't need to take the whole fence down, dig the old post and concrete out, put in a new post, and reassemble the fence. Just install these and you will be very happy with the results! At less than $10 each, they're an inexpensive solution to what could otherwise be a major problem.

 

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