Now that we’ve made it through the 3rd Quarter of 2020 it’s time to look back and see how Troutman Park’s Real Estate market has performed compared to other recent years. Earlier in the year many felt like property values would decline like so many other investments did through all the Covid-19 adjustments. If you own a home in the Troutman Park area you’ll probably be happy to see that we’ve actually fared quite well though.
In Northern Colorado we typically see the market take a little bit of a seasonal breather during the 3rd quarter of the year as families put their home search on pause to get ready for back to school. This year has been a little different though as we saw our neighborhood’s real estate sales accelerate significantly from July through September.
Here are the numbers compared to the 3rd Quarter of recent years:
2020 Q3 – 27 homes sold for $11,109,356. They ranged from $340,200-$480,000 at an average of $411,457
2019 Q3 – 19 homes sold for $7,555,400. They ranged from $300,000-$494,500 at an average of $397,652
2018 Q3 – 17 homes sold for $6,043,650. They ranged from $290,000-$449,500 at an average of $355,508
2017 Q3 – 18 homes sold for $6,290,750. They ranged from $296,000-$429,900 at an average of $349,486
2016 Q3 – 19 homes sold for $6,288,000. They ranged from $260,000-$405,000 at an average of $330,947
It is noteworthy to point out that the 1st two Quarters of 2020 only saw 2 more sales in our neighborhood than the 3rd Quarter!
If you have questions about Real Estate I’m always happy to share what I know. I grew up here in Fort Collins, I’ve worked in Real Estate since 2002 and live right here in Troutman Park so feel free to reach out if you ever have questions.
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Most of us tend to think of air pollution as something that occurs outdoors where car exhaust and factory fumes proliferate, but there’s such a thing as indoor air pollution, too. Since the 1950s, the number of synthetic chemicals used in home products have increased drastically, while homes have become much tighter and better insulated. As a result, the EPA estimates that Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
Luckily, there are many ways to reduce indoor air pollution. We all know that buying organic and natural home materials and cleaning supplies can improve the air quality in our homes, but there are several other measures you can take as well.
How pollutants get into our homes
Potentially toxic ingredients are found in many materials throughout the home, and they leach out into the air as Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs. If you open a can of paint, you can probably smell those VOCs. Mold is a VOC that can build up in the dampest parts of your home like the laundry room or crawl spaces. Another example is the “new car smell” that seems to dissipate after a while, but VOCs can “off-gas” for a long time, even after a noticeable smell is gone.
Many materials used to build a home contain chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, ethanol, and acetone, and even lead. VOCs can also be in the form of pet dander or dust. Fortunately, VOCs from building materials dissipate over time. For that reason, the highest levels of VOCs are usually found in new homes or remodels. If you are concerned about VOCs, there are several products you can buy that are either low- or no-VOC. You can also have your home professionally tested.
How to reduce VOCs in your home
Choose your building materials wisely
- – Use tile or solid wood for flooring—hardwood, bamboo, or cork
- – Choose solid wood or outdoor-quality plywood that uses a less toxic form of formaldehyde.
- – Choose low-VOC or VOC-free paints and finishes
Purify the air
- – Make sure your rooms have adequate ventilation, air out newly renovated areas for at least a week
- – Clean ductwork and furnace filters regularly
- – Install air cleaners if needed
- – Use only environmentally responsible cleaning chemicals
- – Plants are a natural solution to help clean the air
- – Air out freshly dry-cleaned clothes or choose a “green” cleaner
Pick the right carpet
- – Choose “Green Label” carpeting or a natural fiber such as wool or sisal
- – Use nails instead of glue to secure carpet
- – Install carpet LAST after completing painting projects or wall coverings
- – Air out newly carpeted areas before using
- – Use a HEPA vacuum or a central vac system that vents outdoors
- – Clean up water leaks fast
- – Keep humidity below 60 percent, using dehumidifiers if necessary
- – Refrain from carpeting rooms that stay damp
- – Insulate pipes, crawl spaces, and windows to eliminate condensation
- – Use one-half cup of bleach per gallon of water to kill mold in its early stages
If you would like to learn more about VOCs and indoor air quality, please visit http://www.epa.gov/iaq/.
Tune in on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 9:00am to meet with Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate’s Chief Economist LIVE and get your chance to ask him questions. He’ll be discussing the housing market, employment and the effects of COVID-19 on the local and national economy.
As one of the only real estate companies in the US that has a Chief Economist on staff, we have exclusive insights into the housing market, economy and government happenings. This is a one of a kind event for clients and friends of Windermere Real Estate in Colorado.
To sign up, please register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6400354351666419467
(If you can’t attend live, you can register to automatically get the recording.) If you miss it and would like me to send you a copy afterwards feel free to reach out!
We just completed a review of the September numbers in our market.
Here is the one number that is standing out to us – average price.
Prices are way up over last year. Here are the specific average price increases in each of our markets compared to September 2019:
- Metro Denver = 13.2%
- Larimer County = 16.9%
- Weld County = 7.4%
This change in prices has of course generated questions from our clients.
To help our clients answer questions about prices and other real estate topics, we have set up a private online event with our Chief Economist Matthew Gardner.
The event is set for Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00.
Here is the registration link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6400354351666419467
Matthew will be addressing these questions as well as many others:
- What effect will the election have on the economy and on real estate?
- How long can interest rates stay this low?
- Can prices keep appreciating at their current pace?
This online event is for the clients and friends of Windermere. If you would like more information feel free to reach out!
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When it comes time to sell your home, first impressions are crucial. Improving your curb appeal helps to make the most of a buyer’s first glance and sets the stage for their interest in purchasing your home. The following projects are simple and inexpensive ways to enhance both your home’s first impression and its value.
- Lawn: A healthy, well-tended lawn goes a long way towards improving your curb appeal. Clean up all weeds, leaves and debris, and consistently water your lawn to give it that fresh green look. If you live in an arid climate, consider grass alternatives like artificial turf for the best lawn aesthetic.
- Plant colorfully: Adding color variety to your front yard will grab buyers’ attention. Align smaller plants, like groundcover and flowers, neatly within your flower beds, aiming for symmetry when possible. Use larger plants and trees to frame in your entryway or walkup. If your front yard doesn’t have flower beds, try adding hanging planters or window boxes.
- Lighting: Landscaping lighting boosts your curb appeal during nighttime, accentuates your shrubbery, and adds a welcoming touch for visitors as potential buyers, lighting the way to your door.
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Front porches set the stage for all your home has to offer. Improvements here will play a significant role in how comfortable potential buyers feel about the property and how inspired they are to explore the inside of the house.
- Door: Your front door is an opportunity to make a tasteful statement. Look at bold color choices that are within or slightly stretch your home’s exterior color palette. Take time to prepare the surface for a fresh coat of paint to make the color pop as much as possible. Try stylish doorknob options that accentuate the aesthetic to give your door some added flair.
- House numbers: New and stylish house numbers are an easy, eye-catching touch to the look of your porch. Look for styles that match with your exterior color palette and any exterior lighting fixtures.
- Go for comfort: Incorporating classic front porch elements like a porch swing, sitting bench, and other outdoor furniture gives a welcoming aura to the front of your home and creates a sense of comfort for prospective buyers.
- Shutters: Windows are the gateway to the inside of your home. Shutters of delicate fabric will bring elegance to your front porch, while wooden shutters deliver a solid, cozy vibe.
These miscellaneous projects will add the finishing touches to your home’s curb appeal and get it in prime selling condition.
- Quick maintenance: Small chores and minor fixes like cleaning gutters, repairing chipped paint, and cleaning windows are important for buyers with a detailed eye.
- Staining: Instead of replacing fences or garage doors, look into applying a fresh stain. This brings a refreshed look and is much cheaper than a full renovation or replacement.
- Power wash: Power washing your walkways and driveways makes a significant difference in curb appeal. If buying a power washer is outside your budget, explore rental options from the big-name hardware stores.
If you have particular questions about your property feel free to ask me what you can do to improve your home’s value and curb appeal. I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned.
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For some home buyers, a fixer-upper is their idea of a dream home. Preparing for the process comes down to creating a plan, knowing what to look for, and understanding what financing options are available.
Create a plan
Fixer-uppers require a future-oriented mindset. Knowing the magnitude of the project you and your household are willing to take on will help dictate your budget and expectations as time goes on. Understand that in addition to the down payment and closing fees, the costs inherent in a fixer-upper purchase have the potential to go over-budget easily. Familiarize yourself with permitting in your area to understand how to navigate any legal roadblocks in the renovation process.
What to look for
Location: Whether you are purchasing a fixer-upper with plans to sell it, rent it out, or live in it, consider its location before purchasing. If you’re planning on selling or renting, location is one of the most important factors to making a return on your investment. And if you’re planning to live in your fixer-upper, keep in mind that location will be a large part of your experience in the home.
Scope of renovation: If you are looking for a smaller scale renovation, look for fixer-uppers that require cosmetic projects like new interior and exterior paint, fresh carpeting and flooring, appliance upgrades, and basic landscaping maintenance. More expensive and involved projects include reroofing, replacing plumbing and sewer lines, replacing HVAC systems, and full-scale room remodels.
Inspections: Beyond a standard home inspection, which covers components of the home like its plumbing and foundation, consider specialized inspections for pests, roof certifications, and engineering reports. This will help differentiate between the property’s minor flaws and critical problems, further informing your decision when it comes time to prepare an offer.
Renovation loans allow buyers to finance the home and the improvements to the home together. Extra consultations, inspections, and appraisals are often required in the loan process, but they help guide the work—and thereby, added value—of your fixer-upper. Talk with your lender about which option is best for you.
- FHA 203(k): The Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) 203(k) loans can be used for most projects in the process of fixing up a home. In comparison to conventional mortgages, they accept lower incomes and credit scores.
- VA renovation loan: With this loan, the cost of the improvement projects is combined into the loan amount for the home purchase. Contractors employed in any renovations must be VA-approved, and a construction fee may be charged by the lender.
- HomeStyle Loan – Fannie Mae: The HomeStyle Renovation Loan can be used by home buyers purchasing a fixer-upper, or by homeowners refinancing their homes to cover the improvements. Funds are distributed directly to contractors via a separate escrow account. This loan also allows for luxury projects, such as pools and landscaping.
- CHOICERenovation Loan – Freddie Mac: This renovation mortgage is guaranteed by Freddie Mac, allowing projects that bolster a home’s ability to withstand natural disasters.
The following analysis of the Metro Denver & Northern Colorado real estate market is provided by Windermere Real Estate Chief Economist Matthew Gardner. We hope that this information may assist you with making better-informed real estate decisions. For further information about the housing market in your area, please don’t hesitate to contact your Windermere agent.
COVID-19 had significant negative impacts on employment in Colorado. The pandemic caused the loss of over 342,000 jobs in March and April as unemployment rose to 12.2%. For comparison, peak unemployment following the Great Recession was 8.9%. However, it appears as if the massive contraction in employment is behind us (at least for now). Employment in Colorado rose in May by 68,800 jobs, a monthly increase of 2.8%, pushing the unemployment rate down to 10.2%. Regionally, the Denver metro area added 18,600 jobs in May and the Fort Collins metro area added 3,500 jobs. It is certainly too early to say that we are out of the woods, but we seem to be headed in a positive direction. Colorado’s COVID-19 infection rates started increasing again in June, which could slow down the economic recovery. However, I do not believe that it is likely to have any substantial impact on the housing market.
- In the second quarter of 2020, 9,867 homes sold. This represents a drop of 20.7% compared to the second quarter of 2019, but sales were 7.4% higher than in the first quarter of this year.
- Sales dropped across all markets compared to the second quarter of 2019. I do not find this concerning as the drop can be attributed to limited supply and COVID-19.
- Inventory levels remain tight, with the average number of homes for sale in the quarter down 21.3% from the same period in 2019. However, listings were up an impressive 15.6% over the first quarter of 2020.
- I was pleased to see total pending sales in the quarter increase 16.3% compared to the first quarter, suggesting closing data for the third quarter will be better than we are currently experiencing.
- Home prices held steady compared to the second quarter of 2019 at an average of $480,831. Prices were up 0.7% compared to the first quarter of this year.
- Interest rates remain at very low levels and will stay in the low 3% range for the balance of the year, if not longer. This can allow prices to pick back up.
- Price growth across the region was varied. Seven counties saw price growth and five experienced a drop in average sale price. Clear Creek County again saw prices rise substantially. However, as you are likely aware, it is a very small market and subject to wild swings. Prices dropped most in the equally small Gilpin County.
- I am still watching affordability in many Colorado markets and will take this temporary “pause” as a good thing.
DAYS ON MARKET
- The average number of days it took to sell a home in the markets contained in this report dropped by only one day compared to the second quarter of 2019.
- The amount of time it took to sell a home dropped in eight counties, remained static in one, and rose in three compared to the second quarter of 2019.
- It took an average of 29 days to sell a home in the region.
- The Colorado housing market is demonstrating solid demand, and listing activity is trending higher. I expect that the summer market will be brisk.
This speedometer reflects the state of the region’s real estate market using housing inventory, price gains, home sales, interest rates, and larger economic factors.
Demand appears to be returning, which—combined with historically low interest rates—should lead to a brisk summer housing market. Assuming that the state gets new infection rates under control, I do not see why the housing market wouldn’t perform well this summer. As such, I have moved the needle just a little more in favor of home sellers.
461 Dennison Ave is a very nicely updated home in Mid-Town Fort Collins! Kitchen features Granite Counters and Brand New SS Appliances. Recent remodeling includes Fresh interior paint, updated bathrooms, new windows & sliding glass doors, 2 yr old furnace, new fixtures and hardware. The basement is finished with a conforming bedroom & full bath. Just blocks from Troutman Park, Lopez Elementary, MAX Stations, the Mason bike path and Shopping/Entertainment. Pre-Inspected with a Home Warranty included for your peace of mind. Call for your private showing(970) 215-1573 for more information or click the link below for more details.
Provincetowne Townhome Style Condo at 6714 Rose Creek Way Unit 3. This home showcases Two Master Suites each including their own full bathroom and walk-in closet. Other features include an open layout and central A/C. The HOA includes water, sewer, trash, hazard insurance and snow removal. Conveniently located right down the street from Water’s Way Park with access to Benson Lake & walk/bike trails to Boyd Lake. IMPORTANT: This is an INCOME RESTRICTED UNIT, buyers must qualify with the City of Fort Collins before viewing. Call for your private showing at (970) 215-1573 for more information or click the link below for more details.
This week Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, dives into the most recent National Housing Survey results which tell us a lot about consumer confidence both pre- and post-COVID and whether or not they feel this is a good time to buy or sell a home. The results might surprise you.