Northern Colorado Home Buyers Guide | 2022

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Home Buyers Guide

2022 NOCO

housing market predictions Spruce up for curb appeal Financing update

The appeal of Old Town Fort Collins lifestyle

Head East— Find a place to call home Be safe with a home inspection

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Like what you see?

Like What You See?

Let Me Help You Find It Specializing in Mountain, Country and Old Town Properties

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PUBLISHERS Greg Hoffman Scott Titterington EDITOR Kristin Titterington


A village in a city—Lifestyle drives sales in Old Town Fort Collins Old Town Fort Collins has an “it factor.” Is it the biking/ walking culture? Great restaurants, parks and community? Check out this special “village in a city.”


Head East—Find a place to call home The price of houses in Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley and surrounding areas is rising. If you are looking for ways to stretch your dollars, try going east of I-25. You will also find a larger selection of homes.


A look in the crystal ball— Jumping into the housing scramble in 2022 Northern Colorado will continue to be a hot market for the rest of 2022. Expect low inventory, higher prices and quick sales. Check out design trends and residential sales forecast.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Emily Zaynard ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Greg Hoffman Distribution manager Susan Harting COVER PHOTO iStock Photo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lea Hanson, Kim Sharpe Scott Titterington Emily Zaynard

Departments 10 10

Financing update—Button up by fall, How the Fed-scheduled 2022 rate increase will affect the market Better safe—The importance of home inspections


Make outdoor spaces shine—Tips for growing curb appeal

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Utilities company information List of Advertisers

ROCKY MOUNTAIN PUBLISHING PO Box 740, Fort Collins, CO 80522 (970) 221-9210 Northern Colorado Home Buyers Guide 2022 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. ©2022 Rocky Mountain Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written permission is prohibited.

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Financing update—Button up by fall

How the Fed-scheduled 2022 rate increase will affect the market Lea Hanson

THE FEDERAL OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE (FOMC) is the decisionmaking group for the Federal Reserve. The FOMC met in December to discuss the country’s economic projections and appropriate monetary policies going forward. Following the meeting, the FOMC said positive economic indicators around vaccination rates, policy and employment figures confirmed its decision to taper mortgagebacked (MBS) buying. Tapering could lead to rates above 4 percent. Industry experts and economists forecasted the average 30year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) to settle somewhere between 3.4 percent and 4.1 percent in 2022.

But, don’t get too worried too soon. Chris Howell, Sales Manager with Academy Mortgage Corporation (Equal Housing Lender) says, “When the Feds increase rates, that doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on long-term mortgage rates. Those are truly based on a mortgagebacked buying system. Howell says increased rates will directly impact rates for HELOC, car loans, credit, etc., however. “Overall, it impacts

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your buying power,” he says, “which in turn impacts people’s abilities to buy a home…. and their abilities to qualify for a loan.” Long-term mortgages include FHA loans, VA loans, conventional loans, and pretty much any other type of longterm loan that has a fixed rate. Many things impact the MBS market. And while

the Fed’s activity is one of them, other economic factors such as employment rates, new job reports, and even the overall health of the economy are a big part of the greater picture. For example, the unemployment rate is currently staying steady, but there are lots of new jobs being created, and new job reports can drive the mortgage rates up. With all this said, historically long-term mortgage rates do follow suit and are driven up eventually, Howell warns. “With inflation, which we definitely have right now, you’re going to see higher interest rates across the board. And eventually that will include long-term mortgage rates.”

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Better safe

The importance of home inspections Lea Hanson

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 (amerispec. com) 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.

These days in northern Colorado we have what realtors refer to as a seller’s market. So much so, that buyers are increasingly submitting offers that agree to waive a home inspection so that they can be the most attractive offer on the table. Eberl says while waving the inspection saves money and may bring your offer to the top of the pile, it’s not a great idea. “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,” he says. In the worst case scenario, the inspection illuminates big tickets

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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.

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Make outdoor spaces shine Tips for growing curb appeal Emily Zaynard Patch

WHEN PUTTING YOUR HOME 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 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

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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

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.

Plant 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.

Potential 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.

Downtown real estate. Downtown experts. 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.

Emily A. Heinz

Owner / Managing Broker / President

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A village in a city

Lifestyle drives sales in Old Town Fort Collins Scott Titterington

I JUST WANTED TO SEE if I could do it. So, I hopped on my cruiser bicycle with my fly rod and gear bungeed to the rack. I coasted down Wood Street to the Cache la Poudre River, tied on a dry fly and flipped it under some branches hanging over the river. And pa-pam, fish on. I landed that trout in less 30 minutes of leaving home. Later, my wife, Kristin, and I pedaled our bikes under the canopy of trees that line Mountain Avenue to the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant where we savored a couple of margaritas on the patio near

the fountain. On the way home we stopped to chat with some friends who were walking downtown to dance to live music in Old Town Square. Welcome to Old Town Fort Collins, which is made up of neighborhoods that are roughly a mile or two, depending on what direction, from the center of downtown. People move here for the pedestrian lifestyle and the quaint houses, and they are willing and able to pay a premium for it. In fact, average sales price downtown at $600,000 is 25 percent higher than in Fort

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Collins overall. On top of that it’s not always easy to find a place. “The market in Old Town is even tighter than last year,” says Emily Heinz, managing broker and owner of Downtown Real Estate Brokers.

Who’s buying? So who is buying Old Town and how are they doing it? “Most of the deals that I did last year in old town, were cash buyers,” Heinz says, “and for $50,000 over asking price, on average.” “It’s shocking what they’re selling for,” says Heinz, which means something coming

from someone who has been selling houses in Old Town for 16 years. Many of the houses were sold as second homes for people who want to spend the warmer months here. There were plenty of sales to owner-occupants too, with people coming in from all over including from higher-dollar markets in Texas, California and Seattle area.

Why Old Town? “It speaks well of our town when people who can live anywhere choose to come here,” Heinz says. “People are

leaving Austin to leave the traffic behind.” Larry White, who has lived in Old Town since 1993 couldn’t agree more enthusiastically. “We’re on our bikes all the time,” White says. “Last year we put less than 10,000 miles on our two cars— combined, and most of that is out of town!” The reason that Larry and his wife, Jackie Fields, don’t drive most days is that they don’t need to. “I can get everything right here in Old Town,” he says. “We have great markets, restaurants, a hardware store. We even have a lumber store.”

How are they finding houses? With no shortage of buyers, and tight inventory, how do you find a home? “I’m doing lots of deals

off-market right now, directly between buyers and sellers, who I bring together,” Heinz says. “It’s nice to have a downtown niche. I live here and it’s my focus.” It takes patience to buy downtown. Larger houses are in demand, Heinz says, but in short supply and those prices are going up faster than smaller houses. Still, a twobedroom, two-bath bungalow is going to come in around $600,000 right now. People are driven to the area by the location, the pre50s style of home with high ceilings and interesting style, along with great parks, the library, good schools and proximity to the University.

should you look out for? “Sewer lines,” says White. “You can live for a little bit without electricity or gas, but if you can’t flush…” Many homes have been remodeled and the infrastructure updated too. It wasn’t long ago that you could expect to replace knob-and-tube wiring, galvanized water pipes and clay sewer lines, he says. Technology has helped bring the expense down on a lot of repairs, says White, who has worked on many downtown properties. “Sometimes folks come in and they love the cute new house, but they haven’t really checked it out,” White says, “and it turns into an expensive fixer-upper.”

Physical challenges So once you’ve found a home and it’s looking good, what

RiDE on

To advertise in RiDE, call Greg or Scott.

What’s the future hold “My crystal ball broke when

COVID-19 happened,” Heinz says. If she were to make some forecasts though, she says that inventory is going to be a problem for a while. People will continue to hold onto homes and rentals. The supply and demand issue is not going to go away anytime soon. “Downtown has this “it” factor,” Heinz says. “It’s a great place to live and they’re not making anything like it.” Although we can list attributes that make up that “it” factor, it comes down to the Gestalt of how it all blends together to create this feel that’s hard to put your finger on and even harder to describe but might include words like welcoming, friendly, warm, fresh, interesting, quiet and on and on.

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In Fort Collins call Greg Hoffman 970-689-6832

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Head east…

To find a place to call home Kim Sharpe IF HORACE GREELEY HAD TO give advice today to people looking for land of opportunity, rather than say, “Go west, young man,” he might say, “Stay east!” Really? But why? Because “Home prices west of I-25 are getting crazy!” says John Weiss, RE/MAX Alliance realtor says.

Money matters The grass may not be greener

east of the great ribbon of highway that divides Colorado’s Front Range from north to south, but it’s definitely more affordable. The median price for a house in Fort Collins is $540,000, and Timnath housing prices top that. “Timnath has the highest median home price of $585,000,” says Kris Laine, realtor/broker associate with Kentwood Real Estate and

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chair-elect of the Fort Collins Board of Realtors. Wait! Timnath is east of 25. Well, yes, technically it is, but it’s also close enough to Fort Collins to be considered part of the same market. Drive a little farther east, like to Ault, La Salle or Greeley, and home ownership becomes more in reach for many buyers. The average price for a home in these communities is still under $400,000. Combine lower prices with low interest rates and attractive financing, like Colorado Housing and Financing Authority or CHFA loans for people

with a low or moderate incomes, or USDA home loans for people who want to purchase property in small communities and rural areas and laying claim to a home of your own can be possible. Laine says that the farther east you go, “You’ll get more for your money, depending on what you’re looking for.”

Supply and demand Another reason to head east is that you’ll have more homes from which to choose, because there’s little to no inventory in Fort Collins and Loveland. Homes west of the interstate are being snatched up quicker than

sellers can list them. Homes that do reach the market often become the center of bidding wars and fetch prices thousands of dollars above their asking price. There is an eastern community that lacks enough homes to meet demand. Severance recently established a building moratorium due to a lack of new water taps. “Severance can’t issue any more building permits for new home construction because its wastewater system can’t handle any more,” explains Weiss. The town is trying to secure water treatment services from Greeley, but whether the two municipalities can reach an agreement is yet to be seen.

Decide to drive A possible downside to heading east to find your dream home is that you also could find a long commute when you head back west to work. “I know of clients who want to live east to get away from traffic and I chuckle. Roads are getting so congested. Traffic is terrible and I-25 construction will be ongoing for years,” says Laine. However, if you come from a big metropolitan area where you could spend three or more hours commuting each day, a 45-minute commute from Ault to the heart of Fort Collins doesn’t seem so bad. Amanda Johnson and John Pearson bought their first home on one acre of land northeast of Ault in 2021,

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and they feel the trade off of commute time for owning their own home is worth it. “Depending on where you work in town, you might have to drive a little longer, but it’s okay and better than renting,” Johnson says. Another reality is that many more people work remotely than ever before, thanks to Covid-19. “We forecast that 25 to 30 percent of the US workforce will be working from home one or more days a

week after the pandemic,” says Kate Lister, Global Workplace Analytics president. So, for people who work from home, it doesn’t really matter where that home is, as long as they have enough connectivity to allow for “Zooming” to and from the office.

Room with a view Johnson and Pearson feel another big bonus of living in northeast Colorado is having land without homeowners

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association’s rules. “We can expand on our property and do what we want,” Johnson says. Pearson adds that “We want to live more sustainably and have chickens and maybe some goats.” Kim Carter also is a fan of the space that living east provides. In late 2019, she and her husband decided to sell their two-story Fort Collins home where they raised their children. “We just didn’t need the big family house with parks,

schools and sidewalks,” she explains. Friends of the Carters are custom home builders and helped them find a big lot in Severance (pre-moratorium) on which to build a modestly sized one-story home. “It’s just perfect because there’s land that we’ve kept all natural and a mountain view,” Carter says. “We have beautiful sunsets and can watch thunderstorms roll in. It’s so beautiful. It’s what Colorado is about.”

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A Development by Brinkman

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A look in the crystal ball Jumping into the housing scramble in 2022 Scott Titterington

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME. Even if you don’t build it, they will come and keep coming. They are rolling in from all over—West coast, Texas, great plains, you name it. “People want to leave the big cities and come to Colorado,” says Adrienne Scharli, broker associate and partner at The Group. “People learned that they can work from anywhere.” Northern Colorado will continue to be a hot market for the rest of 2022 and beyond. Demand is high and standing inventory will continue to be low. More homes will sell than ever before and the velocity of those sales will continue to be high.

Various factors will affect home prices and availability. New-home builders will continue to have challenges around finding skilled labor, a constantly shifting supply chain, managing costs as material prices remain unpredictable, and future COVID issues not yet foreseen. Access to water will drive and stymie growth.

How much will I spend? Home prices are likely to appreciate by double-digit percentages in many, or even most, northern Colorado markets. One factor that affects your monthly payment is rising interest rates.

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“Beware the media hype,” says Todd Fields, broker associate/partner at The Group. “When the Fed raises rates by one percent that translates to 1/4 percent rise in interest rates.” “In the Great Recession, the Fed learned that housing is critical to the overall broader economy,” says Jason Pfeifer, president of Group Mortgage, in The Group Forecast 2022. “I think it’s very likely that they’ll utilize their power to support the housing sector so that the broader economy isn’t impacted.” Bottom line then says not to panic over interest-rate increases right now.

How will I find a home? The most movement in housing sales is generally east. The expression “drive until you qualify” describes heading east of I-25 until you find a price that is in your range. Growth is shifting away from bigger cities to smaller towns, according to The Group’s 2022 Outlook. Townhomes are being built in Ault. Windsor is filling in. And Greeley is growing. Standing inventory, that is the number of houses on the market today, is at an all-time low, but that doesn’t mean that houses aren’t being bought and sold, says Brandon Wells, president

Forecast 2022. In fact, more houses are moving than ever before. Did that make your head spin a little? The difference is the velocity of the market. “Houses are selling at a rate that we’ve never seen before,” says Wells. “It’s not that there is no inventory; there’s just no standing inventory.” Many houses don’t even make it to market. They’re sold out-of-pocket through one real estate agent to another or even to another buyer who knows the same real estate agent. “It takes someone who understands the market and sees opportunities others might not see,” Wells says.

What else might I be missing? of the Group in the Group

The water wars are here. Water will determine what towns can grow and which

can’t. Water will be a cost factor as communities up their rates for access to water taps and HOA fees increase. “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting,” Fields says as a twist on an old saying. Greeley has strong water access. Severance doesn’t, right now. In fact, Severance has a building moratorium—no new building permits and a halt of current construction—until they can find more providers to deliver the water that they have access to according to the mayor’s statement. For buying in this market, it comes down to a few things: get your finances lined up tight; be ready to jump and not look back; find the area that fits your needs and your budget, find a real estate agent who understands the market.

Design trend predictions • Clean lines, flexible multipurpose spaces • Black accents, natural light, nature coming indoors, and home bars • Modern sleek, blacks, grays, natural woods • Eclectic and global. Move over modern farmhouse, more woods and fewer white kitchens • White countertops • Away from all gray • Gray will finally lose favor or be used less; more warm colors coming in with gray • Still lots of grays, but taupe getting mixed back in • More color

• Bold wallpaper • Patterns and funky wallpaper • Southwest • Minimal and modern industrial looks • Mountain modern • Modern, yet farmhouse • More quartz, less granite • Quartz, brushed brass, real hardwood • Warm neutral tones, getting away from grays and farmhouse style • Gold fixtures • Outdoor spaces and privacy will become very important • Laminate floors

2022 residential sales forecast Fort Collins

Number of home sales 3300 Median sales price $550,000


Number of home sales 2250 Median sales price $480,000


Number of home sales 1950 Median sales price $525,000


Number of home sales 2400 Median sales price $400,000


Number of home sales 325 Median sales price $640,000


Number of home sales 375 Median sales price $455,000


Number of home sales 630 Median sales price $580,000


Number of home sales 440 Median sales price $485,000

Ault/Eaton/Kersey/LaSalle Number of home sales 600 Median sales price $405,000

Reprinted with permission from the Real Estate Insider by The Group.

Reprinted with permission from the Real Estate Insider by The Group.

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Utility Company Information Atmos Energy Gas, Heating and Cooling Greeley, 888-442-1313 City of Fort Collins Connexion Broadband 222 Laporte Ave., 970-207-7870 City of Fort Collins Water, Sewer, Electric 117 N. Mason St., 970-212-2900 City of Loveland Water, Sewer, Electric 500 E. 3rd St., 970-962-2111 City of Milliken Cable 800-480-7020 City of Milliken Water, Sewer, Trash 970-587-4331,

Xfinity Cable, Broadband 215 E. Foothills Pkwy., Fort Collins 800-934-6489,

South Fort Collins Sanitation District Sewer 970-226-3104

Town of Windsor Sewer, Water 301 Walnut, 970-686-7476

Fort Collins/Loveland Water District 5150 Snead Dr., 970-226-3104

City of Greeley Water & Sewer 970-350-9811

Little Thompson Water 835 E. HWY 56, Berthoud, 80513 970-532-2096

Town of Berthoud Water 970-532-2643

West Fort Collins Water PO Box 426, Laporte 970-484-4881

Northern Colorado Water PO Box 415, 970-568-3975

Town of Johnstown Water, Sewer, Trash 101 Charlotte, 970-587-4664

Poudre Valley Rural Electric (REA) 7649 Rea Pkwy, Fort Collins 800-432-1012 Century Link Phone, DSL 800-244-1111

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Town of Severance Water 970-686-1218, Century Tel 800-350-9720 Town of Wellington Water 970-568-3381

Xcel Energy Gas, Electric 800-895-4999 East Larimer County Water District (ELCO) 232 S. Link Lane, 970-493-2044 City of Evans 970-339-5344 X101

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Financial Blueprint Seminar Thursday, March 17 @ 6:30pm

Protection from the Unexpected Sunday, April 14 @ 6:30pm Money Talks Thursday, May 12 @ 6:30pm College Funding Thursday, June 9 @ 6:30pm

This seminar and insurance sales p Flexibility in Retirement Company nor its agents or affiliates pr Susan Harting Thursday, July 14 @ 6:30pm Financial Services Professional professional before making any decisions. New York Life Insurance Company Presented By:

3003 E. Harmony Rd, Suite110 Fort Collins, CO 80528 970-301-3320

Tax Diversity Thursday, August 11 @ 6:30pm

Child Gifting Thursday, September 15 @ 6:30pm These seminars and insurance sales presentations are for informational purposes only. Neither New York Life Insurance Company nor its agents or affiliates provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal, or accounting professional before making any decisions.

northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2022

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38 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2022

northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2022

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40 | northern Colorado Home buyers guide • 2022

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