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Fort Collins' real estate market top in Nation

by Sharianne Daily
Fort Collins' real estate
market ranked top in the
nation

 
Coloradoan Staff Reports • December 30, 2010

 
Fort Collins' real estate market has been pegged as
one of the top 10 markets to thrive in the country in
2011.

The new list that ranks Fort Collins at No. 9 on the
top 10 real estate markets list for next year was
released by the online real estate search engine
Trulia.

Fort Collins is the only Colorado city to make the
list, topped by San Francisco. Texas takes the No. 2
and No. 5 positions with Austin and San Antonio
respectively.

Trulia formulated its predictions of cities that will
break through toward recovery and thrive in 2011,
and Fort Collins made it onto the list based on its
home sale prices and low unemployment compared
to the national average.

The report ranked Fort Collins unemployment at 6.4
percent against the national average of 9 percent.

Fort Collins' median sales price, according to the
website, is $222,500, which is up 4.1 percent year-
over-year, but still low compared to other markets.

A highly educated population also weighed into the
rankings, as approximately 48 percent of Fort
Collins' population have at least a four year degree,
which dovetails with having CSU here. Tulia also
noted that 92 percent of Fort Collins' residents have
a high school diploma.

"We see three major elements as key indicators of
the markets that will thrive in 2011, and Fort Collins
has all three: positive projected job growth at a time
when the rest of the country may be negative,
positive projected net population growth when
former hot spots are hemorrhaging residents and
high affordability," said Tara-Nicholle Nelson,
Trulia’s consumer educator, in a prepared
statement. "Fort Collins even beats many of the other
spots on our list in that it’s also frequently ranked
as a 'best' place to live, not just an affordable one,
so it’s easy to see how it made it on our list of
markets that will do well next year."
 
Trulia's list of 10 real estate markets that will thrive
in 2011

1. San Francisco, Calif.
2. Austin, Texas
3. Madison, Wis.
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
5. San Antonio, Texas
6. Oklahoma City, Okla.
7. Des Moines, Iowa
8. Salt Lake City, Utah
9. Fort Collins
10. Omaha, Neb.

Source: www.trulia.com

Top 10 Buyer Wants in NEW HOMES

by Sharianne Daily

Americans want smaller houses and they are willing to strip some of yesterday’s most popular rooms—such as home theaters—from them in order to accommodate changing lifestyles, consumer experts told audiences at the International Builders Show.

Buyers today want cost-effective architecture, plans that focus on spaces and not rooms and homes that are designed ‘green’ from the outset,” said Heather McCune, director of marketing for Bassenian Lagoni Architects in Park Ridge, Ill. The key for home builders is “finding the balance between what buyers want and the price point.”

For many buyers, their next house will be smaller than their current one, said Carol Lavender, president of the Lavender Design Group in San Antonio, Texas. Large kitchens that are open to the main family living area, old-fashioned bathrooms with clawfoot tubs and small spaces such as wine grottos are design features that will resonate today, she said. “What we’re hearing is ‘harvest’ as a home theme—the feeling of Thanksgiving. It’s all about family togetherness—casual living, entertaining and flexible spaces,” Lavender said.

Paul Cardis, CEO of AVID Ratings Co., which conducts an annual survey of home buyer preferences, said there are 10 “must” features in new homes:

1. Large kitchens, with an island. “If you’re going to spend design dollars, spend them where people want them—spend them in the kitchen,” McCune said.

2. Granite countertops are a must for move-up buyers and buyers of custom homes, but for others “they are on the bubble,” Cardis said.

3. Energy-efficient appliances, high-efficiency insulation and high window efficiency. Among the “green” features touted in homes, these are the ones buyers value most, said Cardis. While large windows had been a major draw, energy concerns are giving customers pause on those. The use of recycled or synthetic materials is only borderline desirable.

4. Home office/study. People would much rather have this space rather than, say, a formal dining room. “People are feeling like they can dine out again and so the dining room has become tradable,” Cardis said. And the home theater may also be headed for the scrap heap, a casualty of the “shift from boom to correction.”

5. Main-floor master suite. This is a must feature for empty-nesters and certain other buyers, and appears to be getting more popular in general. That could help explain why demand for upstairs laundries is declining after several years of popularity gains.

6. Outdoor living room. The popularity of outdoor spaces continues to grow, even in Canada. The idea of an outdoor room is even more popular than an outdoor cooking area, meaning people are willing to spend more time outside.

7. Master suite soaker tubs. Whirlpools are still desirable for many home buyers, but they clearly went down a notch in the latest survey. Oversize showers with seating areas are also moving up in popularity.

8. Stone and brick exteriors. Stucco and vinyl don’t make the cut.

9. Community landscaping, with walking paths and playgrounds. Forget about golf courses, swimming pools and clubhouses. Buyers in large planned developments prefer hiking among lush greenery.

10.
Two-car garages. A given at all levels; three-car garages, in which the third bay is more often than not used for additional storage and not automobiles, is desirable in the move-up and custom categories.

10 Reasons to Buy

by Sharianne Daily

10 Reasons to Buy - Owning a home has been a part of the American Dream for decades.  This is a great article to share with potential buyers.  The list begins with:
1. Low Interest Rates: Interest rates are currently at historical lows.
2. Mortgage Interest Deduction: It's a great tax advantage!
3. Stability: Studies have shown that homeownership not only increases community involvement, it also leads to safer neighborhoods, and higher graduation rates.
See the full article for the balance of the list:
http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20101208_buy.htm

Fort Collins/Loveland vacancy rate 2.9%!

by Sharianne Daily

Fort Collins/Loveland and Greeley rank No. 1 and 2 in tightest rental vacancy rates in the state, according to a third-quarter report released Thursday by the Colorado Division of Housing.

Fort Collins/Loveland's rate of 2.9 percent is lowest in the state and the lowest since a 2.6 percent rate in first-quarter 2001.

 Industry experts say a main reason for the rental surge - besides the arrival of college students - is the aftermath of the housing bubble, which left people in mortgage distress or unable to secure loans to buy.

 With vacancies shrinking - the statewide third-quarter rate was 5.5 percent

- rents are expected to continue climbing.

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