Category: Real Estate

Condo Insurance: What You Should Know

[ 0 ] March 27, 2018 |
What you have: Master Policy

When buying an attached home (condo or townhome), part of the HOA fee goes toward the Master Insurance Policy. The Master Policy covers liability & property coverage for the HOA. This policy DOES NOT cover the inside of each unit; this coverage insures each building from the “studs out.”

What you might also need: HO6 & Loss Assessment

When buying an attached dwelling, you will want to ADD an HO6 policy, which covers the unit’s contents, and any damage from the “studs in” (e.g., kitchen fire damage, loss from theft).

Finally, while the exterior of each building may be covered with the Master Policy, the deductible is still the homeowner responsibility. This deductible used to be manageable, but now insurance companies (generally) charge 10% of the total cost of the work. Let’s say a hail storm hits, resulting in each building needing a new roof. And let’s say each roof costs $50,000 — for a total cost of $400,000. If there are a total of 24 owners, and if the deductible is $40,000, each owner will owe just under $1700 for his/her portion of the deductible.

You as the owner can either start saving now for this potential cost, or you can invest monthly in Loss Assessment coverage, an optional add-on to the HO6 policy (i.e., H06 policy is prerequisite to this coverage). You should be able to get $5000 of coverage for around $10/month.


Digging Deeper (to unearth the questions you haven’t thought to ask)

[ 0 ] October 9, 2017 |

Have you ever unintentionally buried someone else’s (dead) cat in your garden? Well, I have. And while it was admittedly regrettable, I did learn a valuable, if not elementary, lesson from the experience — a lesson that transfers quite nicely to real estate.

That is, take a closer look and ask a few more questions so that 1) you have a clear understanding of what you’re getting into, and 2) you don’t later regret your decision.

Had I taken just a few extra seconds to study the features of the cat, or to simply read the tags on the still intact collar, I would have realized this wasn’t our Daisy. I still may have decided to bury and eulogize the deceased, but it would have been a conscious choice. As it was, I made a hasty and ultimately regrettable decision to bury Daisy’s doppelganger in a shallow grave in the middle of our garden. (I still feel bad DD’s owners never learned of their mate’s fate.)

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What’s not to Love

[ 0 ] October 9, 2017 |

When selling your home, you want buyers to be indifferent to most features of the home, and you want them to absolutely fall in love with two or three things. To put it another way, when listing and selling a home, our goal is that 80% of the home would be just fine…not a distraction, but that the other 20% of the home would be the real draw.

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If Only….

[ 0 ] September 29, 2017 |

Allow us to help you avoid potential real estate regret

There’s always one more question we wish we’d asked…one more bit of information we wish we would have gathered. I like to call them “if onlys.” Things like, “if only I had known the market would go up like it did I wouldn’t have sold;” or, “if only I had thought of Facebook first;” or, “if only I had known having a husband was like having an extra kid.”While we can’t help you with your personal “if onlys,” we can certainly help you get in front of potential real estate regrets.

When buying or selling, we consider it our jobs to present to our friends/clients the questions they don’t know to ask and to present the information they didn’t know existed. And this service extends beyond just buying or selling. We also ask friends and clients to use us as a resource if they are, for example, thinking of finishing a basement or considering a remodel to some part of their home. There are no absolutes when it comes to what you should/shouldn’t do to your home, but will instead depend on your specific location, the cost associated with the change, and more, so we suggest you never rely on any generalities that you might find in magazines or on television. Give us a call and we can help you determine whether what you’re planning will actually accomplish what you believe it will.

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Larimer County Property Valuations

[ 0 ] May 9, 2017 |

Superficial vs. Enduring

[ 0 ] March 27, 2017 |

As we see it, there are two types of improvements you can make to your home — we’ll call them “Superficial” and “Enduring.” A “superficial” change/improvement could be new paint, new countertops, or maybe new floor coverings. What we’re calling an “enduring” improvement might be a change to the floorplan, an addition to the home, or even the planting of trees in the yard.

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New Construction – Part 1

[ 0 ] November 15, 2016 |
Nobody owned it before you, and you get a hand in the creation.

Buying a new home can be and should be an exciting process. You get to pick out the cabinets, the flooring and paint colors – not to mention lighting and appliances. You will often have a say in the choice of lot, and if you start the process early enough, you’ll even have the opportunity to choose from a handful of different floor plans. The home will be yours; nobody owned it before you, and you get a hand in the creation. For most people, this really is a fun process. Read More

Kids & Moving – Part 1

[ 1 ] November 7, 2016 |
What to consider in your next home (if you have young kids – like I do)

As I write, I am a working mom and wife in her mid-30s. I have two sons (or three, if you count my truly wonderful husband?) – one in elementary school and one in preschool, and a career in real estate that started nearly 13 years ago. Because I’m a mother, I know the incredible joy our children can bring; and, because I’m a mother, I know the incredible challenges that can result from those same children. If you happen to be in a similar situation/stage of life, it’s likely you, like me, are looking for ways to make your life just a bit easier. If so, and if you’ve been considering a move – this is for you!

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Real Estate Bubble

[ 0 ] November 7, 2016 |

bubbleAs home prices continue to rise in Northern Colorado, I hear this familiar refrain with increasing frequency: “are we in a real estate bubble, and when is it going to burst?” My response is, I don’t know – only time will tell. Yes, I don’t know, but I do have an opinion. Let’s consider the Fort Collins market.

What better way to form this opinion than to look back at/compare the national real estate markets that collapsed in the late 2000s and the Fort Collins market at that time. In 2008, when multiple markets around the country began to collapse (e.g., parts of California, Las Vegas, parts of Florida, etc.), Fort Collins’ market remained largely stable. Some of the higher priced neighborhoods did come down in value, and even a few moderately priced neighborhoods experienced a slight downtick. But for the most part, Fort Collins experienced a stabilization of, rather than a downward trend in, home values. Read More

Your Home Should Not Be a Commodity

[ 0 ] October 11, 2016 |



Your home should not be like corn. Corn is a commodity; a commodity is an economic good whose value is NOT based on any sort of qualitative measure. The buyer of corn is not looking for better corn and doesn’t think about worse corn; corn is corn to this buyer. Because of this, because corn is all the same, the buyer will determine value based solely on price.
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