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Old 03-28-2011, 02:34 PM
 
12 posts, read 15,686 times
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My wife and I just recently relocated to Fort Collins from the Los Angeles area in California.

I have a good paying job in a tech company that appears to be stable (looking at company reports and spending, and spending proposals).

We did a lot of research about FC last year and decided that it would be good move for us financially and personally. When the opportunity came up, we jumped at it.

My question is related to real estate and the economic problems our country is in and how Fort Collins has been affected (will be affected).

No one knows the economic state of a city better than the people that live there and have been living there for some time so I want to ask people to give their take on the real estate market and the economy.

What do you think of the current housing prices and what trends if any are they taking (no brokers or real estate agents please)? Are homes moderately priced or overpriced?

What are your opinions on the FC economy and where do you see it going in the next 5 years? Unemployment is rampant everywhere and I just read that the unemployment rate in FC is at about 9% (not counting those people who ran out of unemployment benefits).

My wife if excited about purchasing a home, but I am reluctant because I feel that prices may drop some more. I am not afraid of losing equity in the home since I plan on staying in the home till I retire/die if possible. I'm 29yrs old. My problem with prices dropping is that I would like to keep more of my money in my pocket as opposed to giving it to a bank or some investor who purchases a home, flipped it, and is looking to make a profit.

Should I give it some more time and wait to buy?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
714 posts, read 1,789,336 times
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Though I've lived in Fort Collins most of the past 38 years, I am a Realtor and want to abide by your wish not to have a Realtor or broker responding to your questions. However, since hard data is easier to provide than conjecture, I would like to provide you with some data.

The CSU Everitt Center for Real Estate put together a pretty go report a couple of years ago that can be accessed at the following web location. While it is about 15 months old, it has some good information. Perhaps contacting them directly might get you an updated version. Their most recent presentation was last week.
http://www.iresis.com/MLS/Statistics/EREC%20HPI%20-%20Year-End%202009.pdf (broken link)


Secondly, here is a graphic representation of the data for the single family homes sold through the MLS in the Fort Collins area from Feb 07 through Dec 10. The red line near the top indicates the median home price of sold homes that month, the blue bars show the number of active listings at the end of the month, and the green bars show the number of sold listings in that month. This data does include outlying areas near Fort Collins, including Timnath, Wellington, Laporte, and the mountain communities NW of here. The data is from the local MLS, Information and Real Estate Services.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgltrak/5571481275/lightbox/photos/sgltrak/5571481275/ (broken link)http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgltrak/5571481275/li (broken link)
FortCollinsSoldDataFeb07Dec10 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgltrak/5571481275/ - broken link) by sgltrak (http://www.flickr.com/people/sgltrak/ - broken link), on Flickr

I hope you find the information useful in making your decision.

Mike Weber
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:17 PM
 
9,595 posts, read 9,150,729 times
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Here is a link, to one of the best sources of what is really happening in the real estate market. Not biased, like so many of the ones that are prepared for the real estate industry.

Fort Collins, CO real estate overview - Trulia.com

Note prices are still trending down in Ft Collins. Latest reports show that in about every market in the country, prices fell last month.
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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I'll offer my lay opinion since we are in the same boat as you.

My husband and I are 31 and 29, relocating to Fort Collins from Baltimore. We've been in Baltimore the past two years and lived in Colorado prior to that. We are 1st time homebuyers.

Our relator has told us prices aren't coming down in Fort Collins but have stayed flat since 2003-2005. We've been watching the $180-$220 market pretty closely since last fall and I will say it appears to me the low point in the market was end of 2010 and things are picking up a bit now. I wouldn't say prices have gone up but things are selling quicker now then they were at the end of 2010. Most homes under $200,000 (with 3-4 bedrooms) seem to be go under contract within 1-2 weeks. There also appears to be less inventory available then the fall. For us we are hoping some more houses will hit the market the next few weeks now that we are into spring. Our relator has told us winter is a slow real estate time in Colorado.

We are also hoping to stay in the house long term so we are not too worried about the home not appreciating in the short term. I think the market will be slow to recover. Our hope is to get a good "value" on a house, rather than wait. We are hoping to get a house for lower than it will appraise for to give us some cushion room in case the market goes down further.

Another consideration is interest rates. Right now interest rates are lower than I've ever seen them (I worked in banking for 6 years). We can get a 30 year fixed rate mortgage for 4.5%. Even 1% increase in rate increases our monthly payment a lot and brings down how much we are willing to finance. I believe the low interest rates are a benefit to this kind of market and if the market was stronger we wouldn't be seeing rates this low. For us since we plan to stay in the house long term, locking in a low interest rate now is very important.

Hope that helps!
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:54 AM
 
8 posts, read 18,587 times
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We Live in Johnstown CO and like it because it is not crowded and yet has easy access to larger cities. However, in the case of younger age groups looking for a home I would consider Loveland east of highway 287. I think interest rates are about as low as they will get but banks are requiring a 10% or more down. If I were to be looking for another home I would check out short sales and places like that for good prices. I read that demand for new construction is down so sellers are also more willing to offer deals possibly even on down payment allowance. A word of warning never get any loan type except a fixed rate.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:19 AM
 
16,434 posts, read 20,010,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtrader View Post
Note prices are still trending down in Ft Collins. Latest reports show that in about every market in the country, prices fell last month.
Excellent link; thanks! What I see in many areas (Col Springs for example) is that asking prices are up, but sales prices are down. They seem to be trying to create the impression that prices are going back up, but in reality they're not.
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:39 PM
qsr
 
47 posts, read 94,699 times
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Prices in Ft. Collins should be pretty stable. I tend to go by the amount of traffic in a town to judge economic conditions--and Ft Collins has plenty of it. Loveland just got a new NASA research center announced yesterday, so that should help add some diversity to the economy. The main thing you'd have to worry about is a certain large high tech employer picking up and leaving, but that doesn't seem likely.

This is just a general feeling, I'm not in the market right now for a home. It appears that low-end housing is taking a long time to sell (like where I am renting now), so that may be true of the entire market. There's always the price vs. velocity formula in the real estate market, and the velocity is slow everywhere right now. It can never hurt to rent for a year to see if you like the city. I doubt real estate conditions will change much here for the next five years. I think there was a lot of building between 2002 and 2008, but very little now.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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What about foreclosures in northern CO? They were a real concern a couple years ago when i was living there. Are there still alot of them?
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
714 posts, read 1,789,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rya700 View Post
What about foreclosures in northern CO? They were a real concern a couple years ago when i was living there. Are there still alot of them?
Foreclosure numbers in Larimer County are shrinking from our highest year in 2009. Here are the numbers of Notice of Election and Demand for Sale filings in Larimer County the past few years:
2005 935
2006 1253
2007 1578
2008 1587
2009 2037
2010 1762

So far in 2011, we are 34% behind where we were in filings by this time last year. Between January 1 and April 10, 2010, there had been 496 NEDs filed, and we have had only 326 filed so far in 2011.

Not all of these go to foreclosure, but the numbers are representative of improvment.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:05 PM
 
85 posts, read 228,080 times
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I noticed people put an awful lot about real estate here but I haven't seen anything about unemployment or the Fort Collins economy. CSU graduates/students recently did a survey (Coloradoan paper) and many of them wanted to stay in the area but there were no jobs. My kids are in dance and when the parents are together - several of them comment on no jobs. I think it depends what you do/who you work for/etc.

I understand from various reports, Colorado got into the worst of it (recession) after most of the country so they will be out later - but - I don't know where the job growth is supposed to come from. There are new companies coming to the area - Loveland just got a huge win with the technology/green park and then oil companies are setting up more and more fracking in the Northern Colorado area. They may bring in their own experienced crews, however.

I think you'd better check into the economic outlook...depending on your industry you may not be setting yourself up for success here...
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