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Old 11-30-2010, 12:45 PM
 
5 posts, read 7,525 times
Reputation: 10

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My company is relocating my wife and I from Peoria, IL to the Fort Collins area where I will have an office in both Fort Collins and Loveland. I am from Englewood, originally, so I know a lot about the issues with water, urban sprawl, etc that are going on in Colorado. That being said, we visited the area over Thanksgiving and were able to see some model homes in the new Thompson River Ranch in Loveland. So, I have a lot of questions about housing/living in the area. We are trying to be very conservative in our purchase of a home...hoping to stay within the $200k range for around 2200 SF and would love to also have a basement.

1) The first thing we noticed is how small the lots are. Is .10 acres a normal size lot now? Are there any new developments that are making lots somewhat bigger than this for a home in this price range?

2) We got the impression that Oakwood homes is a pretty good outfit (even though the lot size situation has me a little worried). Does anyone have any knowledge about the company? Are there any other builders that are good to work with in the area?

3) Does it make more sense to build a custom home? Does anyone know roughly the cost per SF for a custom home?

4) Looking at lots... a .10 acre lot is going for what I consider to be quite high...$35k. Is that a lot in this area?

5) It seems to me that it is much cheaper to build a new home than to buy an older home. However, it seems like some of these new developers could build and build and build with all of the land that they own. What is the outlook on home appreciation if we were to buy in a new development?

Any and all insights would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
714 posts, read 1,795,594 times
Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettman234 View Post
My company is relocating my wife and I from Peoria, IL to the Fort Collins area where I will have an office in both Fort Collins and Loveland. I am from Englewood, originally, so I know a lot about the issues with water, urban sprawl, etc that are going on in Colorado. That being said, we visited the area over Thanksgiving and were able to see some model homes in the new Thompson River Ranch in Loveland. So, I have a lot of questions about housing/living in the area. We are trying to be very conservative in our purchase of a home...hoping to stay within the $200k range for around 2200 SF and would love to also have a basement.
Congrats on being able to come back to Colorado.

Quote:
1) The first thing we noticed is how small the lots are. Is .10 acres a normal size lot now? Are there any new developments that are making lots somewhat bigger than this for a home in this price range?
Per the local MLS, in the price range, the lots in the new developments are almost entirely that size, whether you are in Fort Collins or Loveland. The municipalities are concerned about the sprawl and water issues you mention, and are encouraging higher density.

Quote:
2) We got the impression that Oakwood homes is a pretty good outfit (even though the lot size situation has me a little worried). Does anyone have any knowledge about the company? Are there any other builders that are good to work with in the area?
There are not a ton of builders building around here right now. Some builders can have a reasonably wide variance in quality between homes. With a new build, it is important to stay involved with the process to make sure things are being done correctly and on time. A professional inspection is also a good idea, even on new construction. My cousin lives in TRR and seems happy, though she hit a few bumps during the build process.

Quote:
3) Does it make more sense to build a custom home? Does anyone know roughly the cost per SF for a custom home?
One challenge with a custom home is finding the property on which to build. If you do find a lot, the costs associated with doing a single custom home are usually somewhat higher than those of a production builder that has a standard set of plans. When I used to build, we did some custom homes, but we also would frame for some production builders. The frame jobs for the production builders were faster and less expensive because the details had been worked out and we could basically do them from memory. The other subcontractors had similar stories.

Quote:
4) Looking at lots... a .10 acre lot is going for what I consider to be quite high...$35k. Is that a lot in this area?
That price is reasonably low for the area. There are a few 5000 sf $20k lots available in the Trail Head subdivision in north-east Fort Collins, but most lots in the area start right around the $35k range.

Quote:
5) It seems to me that it is much cheaper to build a new home than to buy an older home. However, it seems like some of these new developers could build and build and build with all of the land that they own. What is the outlook on home appreciation if we were to buy in a new development?
In my experience, many subdivisions begin to appreciate after the subdivision is built out. During construction, the builder often offers sales incentives that make it difficult for sellers to compete if the seller has to sell prior to the subdivision completion. Resales usually have the window coverings, air conditioning, and landscaping in, but buyers will often still opt for a new build that they can customize and for which they can receive a new home warranty.

Keep the costs for window coverings, landscaping, air conditioning, appliances, etc in mind as you compare new construction to resale. Also, with resale, home warranties are available, should you desire one.

Overall, the trend for appreciation in the northern Colorado communities of Loveland and Fort Collins over the past 30-40 years has been an annual amount of 2-3%. Some years have been better and some not so good, but no huge bubbles and bursts like Vegas, Phoenix, and much of Florida.

Good luck with your search and relocation.
Have a great day,
Mike
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins
97 posts, read 243,887 times
Reputation: 44
Congratulations on the job, that's great! We work with a lot of relocation clients so I know it must seem overwhelming but exciting too! Yes, the lots in newer construction areas in that price range are about .10 acres in both Loveland and Fort Collins. Building a new home is great for some and not for others. There are always many, many more costs involved than originally stated. You may choose the granite and stainless steel appliances that is not included in the standard package but these days most home buyers expect these in a home especially a new home. Time is also a factor when building a new home with winter upon us costs are higher and it takes longer to build. Overall Fort Collins has seen moderate growth and nothing too crazy so I wouldn't expect it to change. If you find a home you like that's already built that is one less headache in the move to a new area. Building a home from scratch to your specifications is also a dream but can come with many headaches. Just keep on top of things and get good help and you will be ok. You will love the area it is fantastic!
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:16 AM
 
16 posts, read 26,164 times
Reputation: 19
I would recommend renting for a good while to get a sense of what and where and to make sure you will be happy here. Before we moved here, I researched neighborhoods and housing for 6 months and then bought after being here 3 months. Great neighborhood, but wish we had waited. So many variables . . . better to be safe than sorry.
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:54 AM
 
12 posts, read 16,263 times
Reputation: 19
I need to move back home to Fort Collins. thanksI'm from Englewood. I'm selling my place out east and moving home. Can anyone tell me if I will be able to buy a house or something for less the 75,000? Does anyone know the payton family from the early 1900?
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:12 AM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
714 posts, read 1,795,594 times
Reputation: 790
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveland58 View Post
I need to move back home to Fort Collins. thanksI'm from Englewood. I'm selling my place out east and moving home. Can anyone tell me if I will be able to buy a house or something for less the 75,000? Does anyone know the payton family from the early 1900?
Currently the MLS shows 4 properties that are available under $75k in the area. One of these is in Loveland and the other 3 are in Fort Collins. The property in Loveland and one of the homes in Fort Collins are mobile homes, so a cash purchase will likely be required due to the difficulty of financing this type of property. The remaining 2 properties in Fort Collins are a 1 bedroom condo near the mall and a 2 bedroom half duplex in the north west part of town.
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