Northern Colorado Real Estate Blog

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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Posted in Home Ownership
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 Risk 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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July 27, 2017

Fun Things to Do in NoCo in August

August 4th-6th – Arise Music Festival – Loveland

“ARISE Music Festival is a musically diverse, festival-wonderland experience. Featuring 7 stages of live music, yoga, camping, workshops, theme camps, art gallery and installations, activism and more on 100+ beautiful mountain valley acres in Loveland, Colorado.” Get Tickets & Learn More about Arise

August 4th-8th – Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo - Loveland

“Come out to The Ranch for the annual Larimer County Fair and PRCA Rodeo, parade, dog & pony show, carnival, pancake breakfast, draft show, and much more.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Larimer County Fair

August 12th-13th – Estes Park Wine Festival – Estes Park

“A celebration of Colorado wine in the heart of downtown Estes Park. Enjoy tastings from over 20 Colorado wineries, fresh food, local Colorado vendors and live music. The third annual Estes Park Wine Festival sets up for the weekend in beautiful Bond Park, where festival-goers can soak in the summer sun while enjoying sipping on a variety of locally created wines. From red to white and pink, the Estes Park Wine Festival offers the opportunity to taste and learn about each style of wine and the unique process of how wine is made in Colorado.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Estes Park Wine Festival

August 18th-20th – Rocky Mountain Folks Festival – Lyons

“Though it’s still a pretty well-kept secret, Lyon’s annual folk festival attracts thousands of people from across the region, the state and the country. Through the years, Folks has remained true to its initial vision of spending a glorious Colorado weekend celebrating songs and stories from around the world. For three magical days, wind down under the Colorado sun with the Lyons locals and lovers of folk music.” Get Tickets & Learn More about the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

August 19th – Lafayette Peach Festival – Lafayette 

“18th Annual Peach Festival centers around world famous all natural Palisade, Colorado peaches. Enjoy peach pies, peach cobbler and peach smoothies. Food vendors, crafters, antique dealers along with some of the finest artists from the Front Range and Western States will be showcased. Children’s activities, live entertainment and music throughout the day.” Learn More about the Lafayette Peach Festival

August 19th – Boulder Craft Beer Festival - Boulder

“Don’t miss the 4th Annual Boulder Craft Beer Festival. The event brings together the best craft breweries and a handful of local cideries from Boulder County and beyond for a tasting festival, offering attendees samples of the best beer on the Front Range. The festival includes music, lawn games and food for purchase.  A limited number of tickets are available, and the event sold out in its first three years, so get yours today!” Get Tickets & Learn More about Boulder Craft Beer Festival

August 19th-20th – Ft. Collins Farm Weekend – Ft. Collins

“This is a weekend to come out and celebrate food, agriculture and community in Fort Collins! Get out and active and meet local farmers, savor fresh local foods and support non-profits.” Get Tickets & Learn More about Ft. Collins Farm Weekend

August 26th – Downtown Block Party – Longmont 

“As Downtown Longmont continues to thrive and grow, we are fortunate to have new events emerge. To see all the events in Downtown, visit our calendar. This year we want to celebrate the Downtown Longmont Creative District and invite the entire community to join us. The party will make it fun for people to explore the whole Downtown District and will feature activities and entertainment throughout the breezeways, alleys, sidewalks, and businesses. Come on Down(town) and join the Party!” Learn More about the Downtown Block Party

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July 17, 2017

Some Good News for NoCo Buyers

Wellington Colorado signRecent data released on the Wellington, Colorado Real Estate Market is very encouraging for Buyers looking for homes at or below the $300,000 price point.

The Wellington "real estate market has seen a 300% increase in sales volume in only 5 years"!

"Because price increases in Fort Collins have eliminated virtually all options for the sub $300,000 buyer" - (the average price in Fort Collins now stands at $375,250) Wellington has become a very popular place to buy a home.

"In June of 2012, the average price in Wellington was $185,000. Today it is $300,500!  In 2012 there were 222 residential sales in Wellington. This year is on pace to eclipse 500."

Wellington MapClick here to learn more about this great town with live real estate stats, background information and the best tool available to search homes for sale in Northern Colorado!

Obviously Wellington is a great place to find a nice home for a first time home buyer or anyone looking at a price point below what they might find in Loveland or Fort Collins!  Feel free to contact us and we will help you find the home you have been looking for.


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July 12, 2017

Buying a Home: A Real Challenge in NoCo

It's a seller's market in Northern Colorado, and the lack of inventory is the reason why you might be having more difficulty buying a home than you'd anticipated. Housing inventory is on a downward run greater than at any other time in 20 years. According to Javier Vivas, manager of Economic Research at, “in 80% of markets, there are fewer homes for sale currently than this time last year.”

Nationally, there are 11% fewer homes on the market year-over-year in June, according to the latest data from Prices nationwide in June were 9% higher than those one year ago, with a median at $275,000. When you compare that to the median pricing in NoCo for single family homes at $395,250 (up 12% from last year) and for condos at $271,000 (up 7.5% from last year), you can see why it is difficult for first time home buyers to find their way into a new home.

Housing Inventory in NoCo 

Fortunately, according to the Fort Collins Board of Realtors, new listings of single-family homes in NoCo were only down 1.8% and condo/townhomes were actually up 14.7%. This latter statistic might bode well for a softening of the seller’s market for condos and townhomes. Unfortunately, many new homes are too pricey for our biggest block of buyers. Expensive new-built homes are not providing near-term relief for many people. Bottom line: inventory shortage will create a tough market for buyers for the remainder of this year.

We Can Help 

We offer professional help that will give buyers the best possible chance of winning a contract on a home they can afford. Check out this summary of the services we offer our buyers as they prepare for and move into their search for a new home.

Please give us call at 970-412-1657 and we will help you navigate the ins and outs of purchasing a home in this seller’s market.

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June 30, 2017

Fun Things to Do in NoCo in July 2017

July 4th – Old-Fashioned 4th of July – Fort Collins

“The Old-Fashioned Fourth of July at the Avery House runs 10:00-2:00 on the Avery House lawn--admission and the activities are free! Listen to the Bluegrass Patriots, let the kids play old-fashioned games such as beanbag toss and lawn bowling, mingle with historical characters, and get creative with Victorian crafts. Food trucks Mac'N, The Rollin' Stone Wood Fired Pizzeria, and Trattoria Oreganata will be onsite selling delicious and festive family fare. Popcorn, lemonade, and small trinkets will be for sale from $0.25-$1.” Learn More about Old-Fashioned Fourth of July in Fort Collins

July 4th – Celebrate 4th of July – Lafayette 

“Join us as we Celebrate the 4th of July at Waneka Lake! Enjoy an old fashion July 4th with Food from Abo’s Pizza, Suburban Wiener, Sammy's Fried Cheese and Butcher and the Blonde. Beer-Odd 13, Cider-Stem Ciders & Wine Garden (fees apply) Kids’ Activities including Free Face Painting, Fees Apply for Bungee Trampoline, Bounce House. Free concert featuring Chris Daniels and the Kings. Free Fireworks show at dusk.” Learn More about Celebrate 4th of July in Lafayette

July 4th – Fourth of July Celebration & Fireworks – Louisville

“This free annual community celebration includes; Live patriotic music performed by the Boulder Concert Band, Food trucks from around the region, Bouncy houses and inflatable fun Free face painting Free balloon twisting. Fireworks beginning at dark (approximately 9:30 pm.)” Learn More about Fourth of July Celebration in Louisville

July 7th – July 8th – Rhythm on the River – Longmont 

“Rhythm on the River began in 1995 as a small celebration for the opening of Roger's Grove Park along the St. Vrain Greenway. Today, the event is Longmont's largest held over two days and featuring live music, art, and environmental education. This year Rhythm will feature a Climbing Wall, Kayak Pool, three music stages, glow-in-the-dark 5k race, Conservation Carnival, and more! The event features free admission, free parking, and free shuttle service. 5-10 p.m. each night.” Learn More about Rhythm on the River

July 15th – Longmont Jazz Festival – Longmont

“Join us for our annual festival.  Bring a chair or a blanket to sit on the grass.  Food vendors will be available.” Learn More about the Longmont Jazz Festival

July 15th – July 16th – Pearl Street Arts Fest – Boulder

“Pearl Street Arts Fest is a juried celebration of visual arts celebrating photography, sculpture, upcycled art and much more. Event features artists from around the country; children’s art activities; live interactive performances – and much, much more!” Learn More about Pearl Street Arts Fest

July 22nd – July 31st – Weld County Fair – Greeley

“The Weld County Fair is an annual free event held the last week in July. Our fair is open to the public and boasts a variety of displays and contests. The fair gives the youth and adults of Weld County an opportunity to exhibit their skills in a wide variety of areas including agriculture, livestock, natural resources, engineering, consumer and family, fine arts, horticulture and family living.” Learn More about the Weld County Fair

July 28th – August 6th – Boulder County Fair – Longmont

“The Boulder County Fair is the oldest fair in Colorado celebrating it's 148th year. The Fair is a nonprofit that rents the grounds and facilities from Boulder County who in turn is our main sponsor supporting the 4-H and open events during Fair.?"The Fair is a 'free' fair meaning no charge for parking or gate admission so please come as often as you would like. We want you to enjoy the 'free' musical entertainment and many of the other activities on the grounds. Don't forget to purchase a ticket to any one of our motorized sports, rodeos, or special events because that is one of the ways we can continue each year.” Learn More about the Boulder County Fair


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