Colorado Real Estate News

Ft. Collins’ Best Hills For Sledding And Snowshoeing

ft.collins-showshoeing

The snowy months have officially made their way to Northern Colorado, but grabbing your skis and hitting the slopes isn’t the only way you can enjoy the winter wonderland. Next time you wake up to a snow day, you should consider an outdoor sledding or show shoeing adventure.

 

If the weather outside is frightful, then the sledding will be delightful at these NoCo sledding hills:

 

Aggie Greens Disc Golf Course (Fort Collins)

At the intersection of Dixon Canyon Road and South Overland Trail, you’ll find a disc golf course that’s perfect for sledding on a powder day. Known as the best sled hill in Fort Collins, people come from all over Northern Colorado to try it out. The hill is tall enough to get some speed, but not so tall that you have to worry about your children taking it on by themselves, so it’s perfect for families with kids of all ages.

 

Fort Collins City Park

The sledding hill at Fort Collins’ City Park allows for plenty of speed and, more importantly, plenty of time to stop before you hit any unwanted obstacles. There are trees near the bottom, so this hill is more appropriate for the experienced sledders in the group.

 

Kroh Park (Loveland)

Located east of the pond and west of N Monroe Avenue, the sled hill at Kroh Park is the most popular option in Loveland, and a favorite sledding spot in the entire region for all skill levels.

 

Nottingham Field (Greeley)

The go-to sled hill in Greeley is located next to the University of Northern Colorado’s Nottingham Field. It’s been a favorite for locals for decades, so you’re sure to have a great time and run into your neighbors if you’re there on a powder day.

 

If sledding isn’t your thing, but you enjoy a nice hike in the summer months, then snowshoeing is likely to become your new favorite winter activity. It’s a great way to enjoy some of your favorite trails and take in the sights and sounds of the area while it’s blanketed in snow. Many of your favorite hiking trails will be suitable for snowshoeing after a hefty snowfall, but these are a few of our favorites:

 

Lory State Park

Located just north of Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park is a paradise for snowshoers. There is an intricate trail system that offers long and short trails for every skill level, and it’s also a great option for cross-country skiing.

 

Blue Lake

Blue Lake Trail is located in the Poudre Canyon about 90 minutes west of Fort Collins. The first two miles of the trail follows an old wagon trail, crossing over Joe Wright Creek and Fall Creek before entering the Rawah Wilderness area. Blue Lake is located approximately five miles from the trailhead, and it’s a stunning sight in the winter.

 

Bear Lake Loop

This scenic snowshoe hike at the end of Bear Lake Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is ideal for beginners. It’s just over one-half mile and has little elevation gain as you circle the water, so it’s perfect to start practicing.

 

Odessa Lake

For those who are more experienced and conditioned at snowshoeing, another option from Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park is to take the Bear Lake Trailhead to Odessa Lake. It is a nine-mile loop, with an incredible view of the lake all along the trail, and views of both Bear Lake and Odessa Lake from the summit.

 

Happy trails to you!

 

 

Colorado Real Estate News

Real Estate Market Trends

market-trends

 

Fewer Choices for Homebuyers in the Denver Area this Holiday Season

In November, the number of new listings added to the Denver-area housing market dropped 32% month over month and 6.5% year over year. As a result, active inventory dropped from 8,557 in October to 6,988 in November, down 18%. While we should expect a seasonal slowdown, this is a big drop even for this time of year when you compare numbers from Q4 2018 which experienced a surge of new listings.

 

Fewer Homes on the Market Means it’s Tougher for Homebuyers

With less homes to choose from, homebuyers are taking more time to find their dream home and then, once they do, they are having to compete! In November, closed sales were down nearly 23% month over month, but notably sales were still up over 2% year to date compared to 2018. The number of homes that went under contract dropped 10.8% month over month which indicates the number of homes sold will likely be down next month, too.

 

Home Prices Steady in the Luxury Market

For the housing segment of homes priced $1 million and up, while inventory has decreased from the previous month, the close-price-to-list-price ratio has remained steady from both the previous month and previous year.

 

Out of the 166 luxury properties that sold in November, about 90% of them were single-family homes, which could explain why the months of inventory for single-family properties is at the high end of a balanced market with 5.45 months of inventory. Likewise, months of inventory for condos shows a buyer’s market at seven months. For greater perspective, it is important to note that year-to-date luxury condo sales were up 50% from the previous year.

 

The average months of inventory across all price points is 2.13, showing that the Luxury Market is on its own island. The condo market has higher months of inventory compared to single-family properties throughout all price points. This shows that, overall, there is more demand than supply in single-family homes relative to condos in the entire residential market.

Colorado Real Estate News

Energy Efficiency Tips & Tricks

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People often assume their new homes – especially luxury homes – are up-to-date on building codes and include the best construction standards. Homes need to be checked every 5-10 years for the ability to keep heat and cool air in or out, or else homeowners unknowingly pay extra in energy bills to compensate for home deficiencies. Not only is upgrading a home’s energy efficiency good for the environment, but high-efficiency homes allow homeowners to pay less each month on utility bills and may increase the home’s value as an investment.

 

Perform a DIY Home Energy Inspection

The most effective way to become energy efficient is to hire a home energy audit specialist. These professionals perform a thorough energy use audit on your home using a variety of tests detailing how much energy your home uses, ranks your home according to local benchmarks of similar homes, and identifies areas for improvement. The home energy specialist will also consider homeowner behavior like whether people are active throughout the day, the average thermostat settings for each season, and which rooms are used the most.

 

If you’re not willing to hire a professional, consider performing your own home energy assessment. All homes, old and new, likely have areas of improvement, and this checklist can be performed without hassle:

 

Replace light bulbs

The lowest-hanging fruit for greater energy efficiency is to replace all incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). Both CFLs and LEDs require less energy to produce light, and both have far longer lifespans than incandescent bulbs. CFLs are typically a bit cheaper than LEDs, but LEDs are a far more cost-effective bulb in the long-run. LEDs have a longer lifespan than CFLs (50,000 est. hours for LEDs vs. 8,000 est. hours with CFLs), and LEDs are extremely durable while CFLs tend to break and can emit mercury.

 

Seal ducts

To identify invisible air drafts through the house, close all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace flues. Turn off all appliances like the stove and water heater. Turn on the kitchen exhaust fan or use a large window fan to blow air out of the house. Then, walk room-to-room by any exterior walls, basements, windows, and outlets with a lighted incense stick. Any changes in the incense’s smoke trail will indicate hidden air drafts and identify areas for you to fix.

 

Check Insulation

If your home was constructed more than 10 years ago, it’s very likely the insulation levels installed are far behind today’s recommended insulation standards. Today’s home energy prices and the likelihood of future energy prices have continually increased the recommended levels of insulation a builder should install.

 

One of the most common areas for insulation improvement is the attic door. If it’s not as insulated as the walls and roof, it likely contributes to heat or air conditioning loss. Checking for insulation throughout the house is much more difficult to do yourself, so it’s recommended you hire a professional who has the technology to detect what – if any – insulation is behind your walls. Additionally, there are new types of extremely effective insulation which weren’t available to builders in the past, such as insulation batts, foam board insulation, spray foam insulation, vapor barriers, and more.

 

Check your appliances

Large appliances which are older can be serious energy offenders. Most appliance manufacturers compete for the U.S. EPA and Department of Energy “Energy Star” label, which is given to products which meet the federal energy efficiency guidelines. Products with energy star labels can save you anywhere from $35 to $70 per year on energy savings, which end up being $525 to $1,050 after the average lifecycle of 15-years.

 

Additionally, you can adjust your dish and clothes washer machines settings to only use the cold-water mode when you’re dealing with oily stains on clothes or dishes. Using proper soaps and detergents with cool water is just as effective as using warm or hot water, and requires less use of your hot water heater.

 

Programmable Thermostat

If your home doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, it’s time to jump on board the home technology train. Programmable thermostats are becoming standard in many apartments and homes, because they can adjust settings automatically and create schedules based on when people are active within a residence. Nest, Google’s programmable thermostat, sends you monthly reports of energy savings or gains due to how often your air conditioner or heater ran, helping you make smarter decisions with home temperature with actual cost values.

Colorado Real Estate News

Colorado, The Dog State

Colorado-dog-friendly

 

Colorado is without a doubt one of the most dog-friendly states in the country. From restaurants to breweries and everything in between, businesses in Colorado recognize humans and their furry friends need more than just a dog-friendly outdoor patio here and there, especially in cold winter months when some days, ‘outdoors’ simply won’t do.

 

Luckily for Coloradans, indoor and winter-friendly patios with fire pits and space heater options can be found throughout Denver and Fort Collins. Here are a few of our favorites:

 

DENVER

 

Denver Beer Co.

Denver Beer Co. is located on Platte Street in Denver’s Highland neighborhood, and it’s a great place for beer lovers and dog lovers alike. Pets are welcome both inside and outside, and although they don’t serve food, there is almost always a food truck parked next door where you can grab a bite to go and bring it into their Bavarian-style Biergarten. And for your four-legged companion? Make sure you give them a taste of Denver Beer Co.’s famous “beerscuits” made of the spent grain from the brewing process!

 

Dead Hippie Brewing

Leashed pooches are welcome inside at this Grateful Dead-themed brewery. Located in Denver’s Sheridan neighborhood, Dead Hippie Brewing offers a laidback atmosphere decorated in a psychedelic style that will take you and your furry friend back to the 60’s and 70’s. Dead Hippie features comedy shows, live music and weekly open mic nights, and if you really feel like taking a trip down memory lane, you can try your hand at one of their old-school pinball machines.

 

Forest Room 5

Forest Room 5 is the perfect spot to cozy up with your friends – four-legged and two – on a chilly night. The dog-friendly patio offers multiple fire pits to gather around and enjoy excellent food and cocktails from their full-service bar. The unique, ethereal feel of Forest Room 5 offers a welcome respite from the hustle of downtown Denver and is always a fan favorite among locals and visitors alike.

 

FORT COLLINS

 

Old Town Putt

A bar, your dog, and putt-putt golf. What more could you ask for? Located in the Exchange on North College in downtown Fort Collins, Old Town Putt is a bar that has nine holes of putt-putt in a welcoming, dog-friendly space. They serve up beer, wine, and excellent cocktails, and as long as your dog is well-behaved on a leash, they’re welcome to join you for a round.

 

Odell Brewing Co & New Belgium Brewery

Fort Collins’ two biggest breweries both allow you to bring your pooches inside, so on those chilly winter days you can both stay warm. Odell also has an outdoor fire pit if you prefer to imbibe summer-styled al fresco, you and your pup will want to take part in a game of Rolle Bolle on the back porch at New Belgium.

 

The Forge Publick House

The Forge allows dogs both inside and on the porch of their bar, and is a popular destination for those looking to enjoy a cocktail and bring their dog along with them for a night of fun. Just make sure your dog is okay with a loud environment, as The Forge will usually have some sort of live music playing on any given night.

Colorado Real Estate News

Kris Laine | Featured Agent

Kris Laine

KrisLaine headshot

Hometown:

Wellesley, MA

What Is One Special Thing About the Place You Grew Up?

It was a small college town with wonderful history! Every year we would watch The Boston Marathon as it came through town.   I have very fond memories of watching and cheering on the runners and handing out cups of water as they ran by!

How Many Years Have You Been in Real Estate?

25 Years

Hobbies:

Cycling, Skiing, hiking, reading, listening to music.

Describe Yourself In 5 Words:

Experienced, Honest, Responsive, Compassionate, Vivacious!  (that was from my husband), Knowledgeable.

Favorite Colorado Past-time:

Skiing

One Unusual Thing About You:

I am one-half Canadian (Dad born and raised in Canada) Ya eh!!

In What Ways Are You Involved in Your Community?

Volunteer organizations – Rotary Club of Fort Collins, Boys and Girls Club of Larimer County, Better Business Bureau, Junior Achievement, Church.

Who Inspires You?

My husband Steve!

What Is Your Proudest Accomplishment and Why?

Helping my kids find success through education,  career and inner personal growth.

How Do You Define Success?

Reaching ones potential while learning and growing along the way (never want the ‘learning curve’ to stop).

What Career Path Would You Have Chosen If You Didn’t Become a Real Estate Broker?

Division 1 Athletic Coach  – I am a fitness instructor part-time and love to Coach.  Having been through a very large weight loss and lifestyle change, I love helping others achieve physical and mental success through fitness and wellness.  Changing peoples lives one pedal stroke or Squat at a time (I teach indoor cycling and Body Pump)  EARLY MORNINGS!!

If You Could Master Any Skill That You Don’t Currently Have, What Would It Be and Why?

A Yoga Instructor. The mind-body connection is real! The ability to gain a deeper understanding of how it truly works.

What Is the Most Adventurous Thing You’ve Ever Done?

Tough one!  Para-sailing was really, really cool!!! Then again, completing a Century Bike Ride (100 miles) was amazing too.

If You Could Have Dinner with Anyone, Who Would It Be and Why?

My Mom!  She is in Heaven and I miss her terribly!

What Is Your Favorite Family Tradition?

Christmas Eve Church, Lasagna Dinner and Opening one gift (Jammies).

What’s the Best Concert You’ve Ever Been To? What Made It So Special?

Bruce Springsteen at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  It was my first time seeing him and is my husbands favorite artist! (He has seen him like 7 times)

If You Could Live in A Book, TV Show, Or Movie What Would It Be and Why?

DOWNTOWN ABBEY!!!!  OMG…..to live that life!!!  Aristocracy! OH to be LADY LAINE!!! What an amazing time!  Life seemed so simple, yet so complicated!!

 

Contact Kris Laine

Cell: 970-443-1804

Email: KrisLaine@Kentwood.com

Website: KrisLaine.com

Facebook.com/kris.laine

Instagram.com/kris.s.laine/