Northern Colorado Home Buyers Guide

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Home Buyers

Time to downsize Make outdoor spaces shine Market forecast Home inspections
The Market Reboot Guide


Angie Spangler

CLHMS, CRS, CNE, Green Designation

Cell: 970-402-6430

Office: 970-482-1781

Brian Lantis

Cell: 970-799-9468

Office: 970-482-1781

Sellers and Buyers in Northern Colorado since 2001!

• Angie is a Certified Residential Specialist, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert and Green Designee.

• Angie and Brian advocate for Sellers and Buyers working in their best interests.

• Angie and Brian live in Old Town Fort Collins and service all of Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.

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Angie Spangler Team The
Contact us at 970-224-4446 or 970-377-1626 • 375 E Horsetooth Rd. Building 1 Offering exceptional homes to exceptional individuals!

The Market Reboot—Mortgage rates and

This year shows predictions for easing inflation and a reduction in mortgage rates. Northern Colorado is showing appreciation year after year. Demand for homeownership remains strong and appears to be increasing into the spring/summer buying season.


Greg Hoffman

Scott Titterington


Kristin Titterington


Emily Zaynard


Greg Hoffman



Lea Hanson

Linda Osmundson

Emily Zaynard


PO Box 740, Fort Collins, CO 80522 (970) 221-9210

Northern Colorado Home Buyers Guide 2024 is a special publication of Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. Publication of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised. RMP reserves the right to refuse any advertisement for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rocky Mountain Publishing.

©2024 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rightsreserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

6 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024
Susan Harting COVER
contents 10 Time to downsize—Having a plan helps speed the process 14 Make outdoor spaces shine—Tips for growing curb appeal 20 Market forecast—Economic tailwinds to lift local real estate 22 Better safe—The importance of home inspections FEATURE
home ownership
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Time to downsize

Having a plan helps speed the process


to a smaller house, you can take several steps to make the process go more smoothly and efficiently. Whatever the reason for your lifestyle change—the house and yard suddenly seem too big and time consuming, the kids have left home, your budget has changed—having a process will help get the job done more quickly and keep you from going crazy.


Decluttering frees up space, especially if you’ve been in your home for years. Letting go of possessions you treasure is not easy. Consider these ideas and get rid of all the stuff cluttering your surroundings. Start early when selling your home. Get room measurements of your new

space if possible. Give yourself three months and tackle one room at a time. Take photos of each room. When you look at the picture, what jumps out?

Those are the most important items to keep. Start the job with a small area like the laundry room or linen closet. If your new location has only two bedrooms, eliminate items in current extra bedrooms.

Sort everything

In every space, empty closets, cabinets, small furniture and drawers. Create a sorting system. Label four boxes – Keep, Sell, Trash, Donate. Never have a Maybe box! Decide immediately what to do with each thing you pick up. You might prefer two donation boxes—one for family and one for charity. Ask, “Have I used it in the

last six months? Does it work? Is it damaged, stained or faded? Would one of the kids/grandkids want it?” Don’t guess who might want something. Ask them and document their answers. Gift legacy items in the near future.

Get rid of duplicates

Each bedroom only needs two sets of sheets! Sell items via Craigslist, eBay, Facebook Marketplace or another online source. Have an estate or garage sale.

Go digital

Take photos of every collectable, keep two favorites from each collection and create a memory album from photos. Discard bills, receipts and statements you can find online. Otherwise, take

pictures and shred the paper. Ask your tax accountant how long to keep tax supporting records. Store those in plastic bins in the basement or garage. Shred any documents older than needed. Avoid storage units.

Undecorate and store away

Limit surfaces to three to five favored objects. If your new space is too small for your large furniture, consider replacing it with furniture that doubles as storage, like ottomans, coffee tables and/or an entertainment center with cabinets. Wherever possible, organize with bins and baskets. Purchase drawer dividers, or create them from foil/wax paper boxes and egg cartons.

Go vertical

Replace that wide dresser with a chest of drawers. Utilize wall space via shelving.

Declutter every room

Start from the bottom up, especially in closets. Relocate items that belong elsewhere. In the garage or attic, remove everything, categorize into zones, add storage via organization systems, make use of wall space and purge. If all of this seems overwhelming, consider hiring professionals to help you. Then sit back and enjoy all your uncluttered space or smaller home.

10 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024
ARE MORTGAGE RATES SO HIGH your head is spinning? Let me bring you back down to earth! Robert Castle 970-690-3883 Over 25 Years of Mortgage Lending in Colorado 123 N. College Ave. Suite 230 | Fort Collins, CO 80524 NMLS #375348 Excel Financial Group, LLC MLS#389894
northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024 | 13 Most home buyers I work with want less driving and more walking – for work, dining, entertainment and more. That’s why more and more people are relocating to downtown areas. If you’re ready for downtown living in northern Colorado, call the Downtown specialist. Downtown Real Estate. Old Town experts. Emily A. Heinz Owner / Managing Broker / President 970-407-0100 • 601 SW Frontage Road • Fort Collins • Too Tired to Drive? to get you there safely! We have

Make outdoor spaces shine

Tips for growing curb appeal


on the market there are so many things to take care of that it can feel like an endless to-do list. While checking items off and preparing your home to look its best, be sure to include the great outdoors.

“Curb appeal” is how your home looks to potential buyers from the street curb. First impressions can mean that potential buyers have a favorable opinion of your home even before they cross the threshold. Ideally, you’ll be marketing your home in a season that allows your landscaping to shine. If this

isn’t the case don’t fear, there are a few “hacks” that you can use to spiff up the first impressions that buyers have of their potential new home.


Prune back hedges, dead trees, and overgrown shrubbery to give the house a “haircut.” Can’t see the front porch from the street because of an overly-enthusiastic juniper? Trim down that shrub and highlight an open and welcoming entryway that can be appreciated as potential buyers approach.

Tree maintenance can make

a big visual impact. When buyers approach your home, dead branches and trees that are tottering on collapse look like additional costs and potential safety hazards.

Jesse Eastman, President of Fort Collins Nursery, doesn’t mince his words when he tells us, “Hire an arborist!” Professional pruning can improve the health of the tree and avoid the lopping off of limbs, both human and arboreal. Avoid the haunted house feel of a scraggly tree and call a professional to safely trim those branches.


Give your lawn some love, depending on the season. When selling a home you might be tempted to take on all those DIY-projects that you’ve been meaning to do. Keep in mind that you are selling your home so putting in an extraordinary amount of time and effort just doesn’t make sense. When it comes to a patchy lawn you have a sod vs. seed vs. something else decision on your hands.

Re-sodding can be a relatively low maintenance solution for patches of bare earth. “It’s lower-maintenance than seeding, more resilient and more forgiving than seed.” Eastman relates. A tidy patch of lawn can also make your home look more traditionally inviting to buyers.

Re-seeding a patch of bare earth requires the right season and a commitment to watering and maintaining the growth. Reseeding is the highest-maintenance option because of these factors. As an alternative, Eastman suggests the practice of over seeding. “Over seeding means you spread seed over a patchy lawn to fill in the bald spots.” he explains. Inexpensive seed makes this a less costly option.

There is something else that can resolve issues with patchy lawn growth. That “something else” is: Be okay

14 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024

with it. Potential buyers might not consider a lush lawn to be a required selling point. Many people are embracing native grasses and flora for landscaping. Xeriscaping is enjoying popularity as well as a potential tax incentive from the city. A less-than-perfect lawn isn’t likely to be a deal-breaker.


If you are putting your home on the market during a warmer season tuck some flowers into those beds! Highlight your yard’s potential by putting bright pops of color along the path edges and near the entryway. Eastman recommends you “Look for full size plants that are large or mature enough to have an immediate impact.”

Don’t have any space for

flower beds? Consider putting lush potted plants or flowers on the front porch to transform it into a “nature nook” that serves as a low maintenance, warm welcome for buyers.


From gardening to grilling to firepits and paddle pools, outdoor living space is in demand. To make your space shine, identify where your property has potential and visually define it. This gives buyers a glimpse of their future dream yard. Inexpensive mulch can transform unused flower beds into a gardener’s paradise. That dusty patch by the back gate? With the addition of seating, it becomes a perfect place for a fire pit. Repurposing what you have

or using inexpensive materials to define areas in your yard makes room for buyers to see a potential haven of relaxation and leisure.

The housing market can be volatile so do your best to make your property

welcoming to buyers even before they look inside. Use the tips above to prune, patch, plant and “potential” your way to an outstanding showing. A beautiful home, both inside and out, will inspire buyers to make that offer.

northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024 | 15
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The Market Mortgage rates and homeownership


has been a focal point of most economic discussions due its trends and fluctuations serving as key indicators of the nation’s overall financial health. While Northern Colorado’s real estate market was sluggish last year, it is expected to pick up in the second half of 2024.

Joe Woodman of Guild Mortgage says there are

myriad factors that affect mortgage interest rates.

“The two most prominent are economic uncertainty and inflation,” Woodman says. “During periods of high joblessness and poor stock market performance, you will see lower rates. If inflation is high, you will see higher rates.”

Despite rising interest rates, there is continued demand.

One of the defining features

of the Northern Colorado housing market in recent years has been a persistent demand for homes. However, the supply side of the supplyand-demand equation has struggled to keep up. A shortage of available homes has led to increased competition among buyers, driving up prices.

In 2024, this demand is likely to persist, driven by a

combination of demographic factors, economic growth, and the ongoing trend of remote work. Millennials, the largest demographic group in the U.S., are reaching the age during which homeownership becomes a priority, further fueling demand.

Chris Howell, Branch Manager for Howell Mortgage Partners says there are numerous things that drive

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mortgage rates. “Currently, the biggest impact is coming from inflation which has been high over the past couple of years,” Howell reports. “The rate of inflation has been decreasing recently, but it’s still higher than what the Federal Reserve would like to see.”

Howell says higher interest rates along with increases in taxes and insurance costs have led to higher mortgage payments for homebuyers.

While mortgage rates are expected to start coming down later this year and into next, Howell says rates are still dropping more quickly than most hoped. “I don’t know that we’ll ever see rates as low as we did in 2020 and 2021,” Howell says. “Although we should see a significant improvement from where we are currently in the next year or so.”

Woodman also expects to see a drop this year. He says, “It is my belief that we won’t see a significant drop in

Fed predicts a gradual easing of inflation and reduction in interest rates until “normal” is achieved in 2026 or beyond.”

Woodman says unemployment also affects mortgage rates. “Lower rates generally cause home prices to go up, but higher unemployment can cancel that out.” However, he continues, “Northern Colorado’s unusually resilient economy could lead to a situation where lower rates put upward pressure on home prices without the “brakes” of higher unemployment.”

First-time Homebuyer Act of 2024

This bill (H.R.7707) proposed by the Biden Administration will give first-time buyers a $15,000 tax credit if eligible. The bill was introduced to the Senate (mid-March 2024) but has not been to a vote as per date of publication. Howell

Credit (H.R.6970) which was introduced to the House in mid-January of this year.”

Overall, Howell is optimistic. “The market in Northern Colorado is strong,” he says. “We are seeing a good amount of appreciation year over year in residential real

paid. Woodman says those include, “Biden’s proposals to subsidize home buying costs, and the Inflation Reduction Act (which subsidizes green energy improvements for homeowners). He further adds, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

“It’s still a great time to buy, sell, and own real estate in Northern Colorado.”

estate. The biggest challenge right now is the lowerthen-typical number of new listings coming on the market.”  Once rates come down, we will likely see the number of new listings increase.

National Association of Realtors (NAR) Lawsuit

The National Association of Realtors settled a commission lawsuit for


rates until we see widespread job loss at the national level. When that happens is anybody’s guess.” He wouldn’t be surprised to see a drop in the second half of this year similar to what we saw from October to December of last year. Woodman says, “The

tells us, “Several other bills that are in committee or on congressional agendas aim to reduce hurdles homebuyers are facing: the Down payment Towards Equity Act (H.Amdt.214 to H.R.3564) and the $10,000 First-Time Home Buyer Mortgage Relief

$418 million. Woodman says the NAR lawsuit will affect how homes are bought and sold. The settlement and the multiple rule changes it brings forth will reshape how millions of sellers and buyers transact, and how their representatives get

—Chris Howell

is implementing a ruling that should lower the amount of spam homebuyers get.”

In the end, demand for homeownership has remained very strong in the face of higher rates and it appears to be increasing as the Spring buying season gets going. “Inventory is still very low, Woodman says, “Attractive, well-priced homes are getting multiple offers over asking.”

northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024 | 19

Market forecast

Economic tailwinds to lift local real estate

Design trend predictions for 2024


Neutral colors with woods

Warmer tones for kitchen cabinets

WARM not stark or white interiors

Wallpaper in bedrooms, bathrooms and pantries

Biophilic principles to bring nature indoors

Built-in coffee bars

Thoughtful laundry rooms

Accent lighting under vanities, on steps and to create mood

to deciding which will be stronger – headwinds that stymie job growth and consumer spending – or tailwinds that stimulate those two factors.

Looking ahead to Northern Colorado’s housing market performance in 2024, the tailwinds are poised to win out. That was the message delivered at The Group’s 2024 Real Estate Forecast, the firm’s annual report on trends in local real estate.

The Group President Brandon Wells predicted that, despite the presence of mounting consumer credit card debt and weaknesses in commercial real estate, the American economy is set to achieve a “soft landing” and avoid a muchanticipated recession.

After a sluggish year for local home sales in 2023, Wells cited several national and local “tailwinds” as reasons to believe housing sales will pick up in 2024:

has prompted the Federal Reserve to say it will cut the Federal Funds lending rate, which should help to lower interest rates on home loans during 2024.

Real wage growth outpaced the rate of inflation during 2023, which should contribute to greater consumer confidence.

The U.S. inflation rate, which hit a high point of 9.1 percent in the summer of 2022, tapered off to 3.4 percent by the end of 2023. While still above the 2 percent Federal Reserve targeted baseline, the tightening monetary policy has worked to ease the inflationary pressures last year.

Local employment has surpassed pre-pandemic levels in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder counties. Also, Larimer and Weld are predicted to be two of the fastest-growing counties in the state in 2024 in terms of population numbers. Combined, they are projected


• Outdoor kitchens

• Low-voltage mood lighting

• Indoor/outdoor living providing eco-friendly luxury

• Additional parking or storage

• Auxiliary dwelling units

• Using technology for convenience and sustainability

• Smart living vs. opulence

• Ultra-efficient heat pumps

• Solar and power walls

• Smart homes that epitomize comfort, convenience and security

• Integrated smart technology that is simple to operate

• Bidet toilets

to make up 23 percent of the state’s growth in 2024.

Another trend with potential impacts on housing activity: older family members increasingly pitching in to help younger buyers, who may have been deterred by high interest rates or rising costs.

Last year, 38 percent of firsttime buyers used gifted or inherited funds from family

members to make down payments. It’s one reason the share of homes sold to firsttime buyers increased to 32 percent last year, up from 26 percent in 2022.

Bottom line? Look for total housing sales across Northern Colorado to increase this year by 8 percent, with median prices to climb slightly more than 3 percent.

Story and sidebar reprinted with permission from the Real Estate Insider courtesy of The Group.

20 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024
northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024 | 21 Contact us at 970-224-4446 or 970-377-1626 • 375 E Horsetooth Rd. Building 1 Property management is our only business and for over 30 years, Faith Pro LLC has provided Northern Colorado with professional property and homeowner association management services. • Single Family Homes • Condominiums • Townhomes • Apartments and Multi Family • Property Management and Accounting • Property Analysis and Maintenance • Community Association Management SPECIALIZING IN: The 2024 Northern Colorado Home Buyers Guide has been sponsored by Faith Pro LLC.

Better safe

The importance of home inspections

A HOME INSPECTION contingency allows buyers to learn about major and minor issues with a home before purchasing it. Home inspectors look at the exterior and interior parts of the home, including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, roofing, HVAC, and foundations. Randy Eberl, owner of AmeriSpec Home Inspection says home inspectors are experts in the mechanical aspects of the home; they are easily able to assess the most important aspects of a home’s condition including the roof,

HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical; etc. Otherwise called the big-ticket items.

“Even if you don’t plan to ask the seller to improve or fix something, you will know what you’re up against when you move into your new home,” Eberl says. In the worst case scenario, the inspection illuminates big tickets concerns that can release the buyer from the contract. Most potential buyers have a sevenday window after a home inspection to walk away from the purchase.

Eberl also points out

the helpful objectivity an expert home inspector gives buyers. He says, “By the time I meet them, buyers are often already emotionally connected to the home. A home inspector offers an objective view of the home; this takes out the emotional aspect and gives the buyer objective information from which they can make decisions in their own best interest.”

While it is uncommon, home inspections can uncover potentially lifethreatening problems such as mold or faulty

wiring that could cause a significant fire. More often, however, their assessment of the home can point out possible problem areas and then the buyer can get in touch with someone who specializes in that particular trade (plumbing, electrical, roofing…).

The more knowledge the better. After a quality home inspection, buyers have a better idea of home repairs they may have in front of them and can begin planning and prioritizing future improvements even before the closing.

22 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024
northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2024 | 23 FIND YOUR PERFECT PAIRING AT WILBUR’S. 2201 S. College • 970-226-8662 • Monday-Saturday 9-10 and Sunday 9-7

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