Millennial Buyers

Millennials often get a bad rap.  One of the myths about Millennials is that they don’t own homes and will be renters forever.

Not true!  Especially on the Front Range of Colorado.

Based on research by our very own Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner, Millennials make up a significant percentage of all home buyers in Metro Denver and Colorado.

In Metro Denver, 50% of all buyers last year were in the Millennial demographic.

In Northern Colorado, the number is 41%.

It turns out that Millennials, as they move into their mid to late 30’s, see the value of home ownership and are at the point in their lives where it makes sense to own instead of rent.

Posted on January 29, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Meaghan Nicholl | Posted in First Time Home Buyer, Home Ownership, Housing Trends, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Good Loan News

Here are two recently-announced pieces of really good news for home buyers.

• The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority recently raised the income limit for their down payment assistance program to $115,600.

Now more people can get help with a down payment.

• Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac raised their conforming loan limits so that more people can use a conforming loan and not be forced to use a ‘jumbo’ loan.

Contact us if you would like to hear how these pieces of news could help you.

Posted on December 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Meaghan Nicholl | Posted in Blog, First Time Home Buyer, For Buyers, Fun Facts | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

6 Smart Home Gadgets Perfect for Summer Fun

Tell your friends and families to clear their weekend schedules throughout the entire summer—your house is the place to be for fun all season long.

If you sloughed through winter with visions of making your house the hangout spot of the summer, you’ll want to bookmark this page. We’re outlining the gadgets you’ll need on hand to turn your home into a modern entertaining destination!

1. Keyless Door Lock

No one wants to be kept inside on door duty when the party is in the backyard. Give trusted guests the freedom to enter on their own by installing a keyless door lock. By swapping a traditional key entry with one of the many keyless touchpad lock options, not only will you avoid always rummaging around the house itself searching for the keyring, you’ll also be able to create temporary codes to give to guests that unlock the front door. While they can come right in and enjoy the party, you won’t have to forfeit any sense of security, since those access codes can later be changed once the party’s over.

2. Smart Thermostat and Energy Monitor

You know the drill. When temperatures go soaring, the air conditioner plummets. However, there’s a better way to keep your home’s climate comfortable than constantly blasting cold air. Instead, opt for a smart thermostat that learns the heating and cooling patterns of your home and adjusts energy usage accordingly.

Install something like the Nest Learning Thermostat and you’ll not only get a better idea of how you’re currently using energy at home and how that affects your bills every month, but you’ll also have the option to control your cooling system with a smartphone app. Picture this: you ran out to the store for one more item before friends arrive, and you realize you didn’t turn on the air conditioning. Before you hop into the car, open the Nest app and tell it how cool you’d like the house to be by the time you return home.

3. Water-Resistant Bluetooth Speakers

While you’re hanging outside and listening to music, splashes and spills will happen, we can guarantee that. What can’t be guaranteed is whether the music will stop because of these splashes. Keep the tunes playing by arming your festivities with water-resistant speakers that won’t fritz out with the smallest splash. Plus, most portable speakers have Bluetooth connectivity, so you’ll be able to keep the smartphone or tablet you’re streaming music through with you up to 30 feet before interfering with the connection range.

4. Party-Ready Lighting System

As the sun dips in the sky for the night, you have the perfect opportunity to showcase one of our favorite smart home gadgets—colorful and very intelligent lights! Creating ambient lighting does not involve black lights or scarves thrown over lamps anymore. The electronics brand Philips has made itself the leader in colorful solutions for relaxing at home that can also be synced across Wi-Fi systems. The Philips Hue family of products offers everything from movie theater-style light strips—how great would those look along window panes?—to long-lasting LED light bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone app and programmed to nearly infinite color combinations. Keep the party humming well into the night by getting creative with smart lighting’s endless color palette.

5. Smartphone-Controlled Irrigation and Watering System

In between traveling the world, splashing in the pool and catching up on a long list of reading material, the last thing you want to check off your to-do list in the hot summer months is tending to your garden. However, you don’t want all your hard work to turn into weeds or dry up from neglect.

To keep the yard looking in tip-top shape whatever your hosting or travel schedule may be, install a smart irrigation system in the backyard. Devices like the Rachio Iro Intelligent Irrigation Controller allows you to control your sprinkler system via its smartphone app. You could be in another state enjoying a friend’s backyard party and still turn your sprinklers on or off with a few taps of your phone. Look for other types of smart gardening sensors, specifically ones that can be inserted right into the soil, which will alert you when it’s time for a water refresh on the plant.

6. Security Camera

Of course, we’re going to have to add a touch of practicality to your gadget arsenal. With all those people streaming in and out of your house through a variety of entrances, accidents may happen and a door can be mistakenly left open. Create some peace of mind without helicoptering around the doors or your guests by installing a security camera on the exterior or interior of the house.

Choose a smart security camera option with Wi-Fi viewing to keep an eye on what’s happening in your house from the convenience of an app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer browser. Indoor camera options are ideal for homes that have small children or pets that you may want to check in on from another room or when away for the day. Opt for an outdoor camera when it’s a crime deterrent you’re after or if there’s a pool or other item you’d like to monitor on your property.

Stock up on these tech gadgets and you’ll be ready to party all summer long.

Posted on August 17, 2018 at 9:00 am
Meaghan Nicholl | Posted in Buyers & Sellers, First Time Home Buyer, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged ,

How to Get Back to a Balanced Housing Market

Developers are not building enough single-family homes to keep up with demand. The reason why? Cost. Windermere’s Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner explains why new construction is so cost prohibitive and how to shift the trend.

Posted on July 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Meaghan Nicholl | Posted in Blog, Buyers & Sellers, Colorado Real Estate, First Time Home Buyer, Fort Collins Real Estate, Housing Trends, Northern Colorado Real Estate, Real Estate Market Update | Tagged , ,

Why You Should Stay Put and Improve the Home You Have

In “Staying Put,” architect and writer Duo Dickinson has assembled a terrific and practical guide to help us make real improvements to our homes. Dickinson, an advocate of well-designed and affordable homes for all, has specialized in residential design for more than three decades.

This is not your typical architect’s book about design. There’s no obscure language nor design-for-design’s-sake ideas. It is a practical, down-to-earth guide that walks anyone through the rational process of how to remodel your house to get the home you want, from how to think about your house and overcoming hurdles to a list of “Duo’s Do’s and Don’ts” for the homeowner. Along the way, there’s plenty of nice before-and-after photos to help explain the points. Do read the book. You’ll be glad you did.

The Taunton Press Inc, original photo on Houzz

The cover says it all. The ubiquitous photo of a gorgeous, award-winning home that’s beyond most of us is replaced with images of a saw, cup of morning joe and a to-do list.

Are you staying put yourself? Read on for 8 of Dickinson’s suggestions.


Mick Hales, original photo on Houzz

Consider the compass points. The tips and illustrated examples are wonderfully straightforward. For example, we see a house that gets overheated, the siding degrades and the front door bakes in the sun because it all faces south.

Dickinson’s common-sense advice: Rework the front of the house with a new wide porch that shades the front door and some smaller, yet well-sized windows to create a lot more curb appeal while reducing maintenance and energy consumption. It’s a triple win: more beauty and comfort with less cost.

Avoid gutters. Statements such as “gutters and leaders are devout to be avoided” may sound like heresy to many but certainly are the truth. Proving his point, Dickinson illustrates how a properly-built roof overhang can shed all the water it must without the complications, such as ice dams, caused by gutters.

Embrace small moves. Dickinson provides a wealth of simple solutions illustrated with before-and-after photos. He shows how to use small moves for big dividends, such as taking out a wall between a kitchen and a hallway to make room for more kitchen storage.

Mick Hales, original photo on Houzz

Enhance curb appeal. The book offers solutions to common problems with a particular style, such as how to improve and enhance an entrance into a split-level home.

Open up to the outside. Dickinson provides some excellent examples of how we can use modern windows and doors to strengthen the connection between inside and outside. Our homes, says Dickinson, no longer need be “later-day caves.”

Find your home. Learning more about the style of the house you have will help you avoid obstacles in remodeling and recognize the best opportunities for improving your particular home.

Mick Hales, original photo on Houzz

Open up the inside. Snippets of advice sprinkled throughout the book are like refreshing raindrops that clear the cobwebs away. One such snippet: “If you walk through a room to get to a room, something is wrong.” You know — it’s when that new great room gets added to a modest house, and the result is some kind of dyslexic creature that’s really two houses rather than one.

So rather than even building an addition, Dickinson suggests you make the most of what you already have. In this example, widening the opening between rooms strengthens this room’s connection with the rest of the home, increasing its utility and spaciousness.

The Taunton Press Inc, original photo on Houzz

Work with what you’ve got (before): Keeping the kitchen size the same while vaulting the ceiling dramatically increases the overall spaciousness of the room, as you’ll see in the next photo.


Mick Hales, original photo on Houzz

Work with what you’ve got (after): Walls, doors, appliances and even the skylight and kitchen sink were all left where they were. This all avoided costly plumbing, electrical and mechanical work and rework.

The Taunton Press Inc, original photo on Houzz

Working with what you’ve got (plans): Dickinson has included before-and-after floor plans for many of the examples. These plans help provide that much more context, allowing the reader to better understand what they may be able to do with the home they already have.

Posted on July 9, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Meaghan Nicholl | Posted in Blog, Buyers & Sellers, First Time Home Buyer, For Buyers, For Sellers | Tagged , , , ,