Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Problems With Older Homes

5. Pre-1978: Lead Paint

Lead paint has been linked to many health issues. If you’re house was last painted before 1978, your walls most likely have lead paint on them. But the most likely scenario is that it has been painted over. In this case, just be weary of paint chips coming off the wall.


Lead Paint



4. Pre-1970s: Fuse Boxes Instead of Circuit Breakers

Some older homes have a fuse box (or more than one) instead of a breaker. You have two choices here. Go out and buy a bunch of inexpensive fuses in case the power goes out, or replace the box with a circuit breaker.

Fuse Box



3. Pre-1960: Drafty Windows

Drafty Windows


These windows made of wood are certainly not air tight, meaning you could be losing a lot of money to your energy bill. Inspect and possibly replace these to save money in the long haul.


2. Pre-1940s: Steel Pipes

Steel water pipes have all sorts of issues associated with them including rust and even bursting. You’ll be better off replacing them than waiting for an issue if there isn’t already one.


Burst Pipe


1. Pre-1940s: Grade Issues and Moisture Problems


With homes this old, builders typically built a house above wet soil, but over time, the moist ground can change and may be touching the house, which can cause moisture issues.

Moisture Damage




List courtesy of BrightNest




Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Home Upgrades Under $500

If you want a quick home upgrade for under $500, here’s a list of 5 of them to get you started!


#1: Paint – Paint is an easy way to change the whole feel of a room. Use this paint calculator to see how much paint you need! A gallon of paint will cost about $30-$40 and covers about 350 square feet (Paint: 350 sq. ft. per gallon, Primer: 200 sq. ft. per gallon).




#2: Backsplash – A backsplash is a fun and easy way to transform the look of your old kitchen. The pricing can vary depending on the material that you want to use and the size of your kitchen, but can definitely be done for under $500 if you install it yourself!



#3: Carpet Cleaning – Sometimes you just need to hire a cleaning service to clean your carpets. They have special tools and cleaners that you don’t have access too. Rented carpet cleaning machines just don’t have the high-pressure steam needed to do this job right. These services can cost around $200-$250.



#4: Install A Programmable Thermostat - For every degree you lower your thermostat for an 8-hour period, you cut energy use by about 1 percent. Set it back 10 degrees overnight, and that’s a 10 percent savings right there!

Not This!

Not This!

#5: Area Rugs – New rugs can give a room a quick update. Think of it like paint for your floor. It’s easy to change a rug but it’s difficult to change the actual floor.


August 2014 Market Update for Troutman Park

As your local 8z REALTOR and market expert, it is my pleasure to bring you this monthly update for Fort Collin’s Troutman Park area including the Willow ParkLarkborough, and  Four Seasons neighborhoods. Tune in each month for updated information about one of life’s biggest investments: your home. Or, even better, have it delivered right to your Inbox: 


Join Troutman Park Pulse


The current available supply of housing is still certainly leaning in the favor of sellers for homes in the neighborhoods surrounding Troutman Park. It is shifting a little more towards a balanced market however. A good illustration of this is the fact is that as of right now exactly half the homes for sale around Troutman Park are still available. Compare that to earlier this year when 8 or 9 out of 10 homes for sale was under contact.


Troutman Park Aug update


Sold in July


713 Great Plains Ct., Listed at $235,000, Sold for $242,500, 3 beds, 1.5 baths, 1,422 sq. ft. 36 Days on Market, 4 days until u/c, $170.53/sq. ft.


4406 Rosecrown Ct., Listed at $260,000, Sold for $260,000, 3 beds, 3 baths, 1,992 sq. ft. 39 days on market, 18 days until u/c, $130.52/sq. ft.


4124 Granby Ct., Listed at $264,500, Sold for $265,000, 4 beds, 2 baths, 2,243 sq. ft. 35 days on market, 4 days until u/c, $118.15/sq. ft.


4324 Hummingbird Dr., Listed at $275,000, Sold for $272,500 (with $5,000 in seller paid concessions), 3 beds, 2 baths, 1,736 sq. ft. 51 days on market, 29 days until u/c, 156.97/sq. ft.


4112 Saddle Notch Dr., Listed at $280,000, Sold for $275,000 (Cash), 4 beds, 3 baths, 1,952 sq. ft. 51 days on market, 7 days until u/c, $140.88/sq. ft.


4201 Saddle Notch Dr., Listed at $285,000, Sold for $282,500, 4 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,354 sq. ft. 67 days on market, 12 days until u/c, $120.00/sq. ft.


3807 Granite Ct., Listed at $295,000, Sold for $296,000 (seller paid concessions $2,608), 4 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,294 sq. ft. 40 days on market, 4 days until u/c, $129.03/sq. ft.


807 Marble Dr., Listed at $329,000, Sold for $329,000 (with $1,500 in seller paid concessions), 4 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,989 sq. ft. 24 days on market, 1 day until u/c, $110.07/sq. ft.


With some of the sellers around Troutman Park attempting to get a top dollar premium for less than desirable condition and or amenities, I believe we’ll see the average days on market going up.


Homes that are priced right and merchandised well are still selling and with competition from multiple buyers for many of them. With the current demand for “move-in ready” and “updated” housing it is well worth an owner’s time to make the necessary preparations to take advantage of that competitive market.


Please call me if you need any assistance in Fort Collins. I’d be more than happy to discuss the current market’s activity, show homes from the current inventory and help you with your real estate needs. You can always reach me at 970.215.1573 or bidwell@8z.com

725 Bonita Ave, Fort Collins: A Four Seasons Review

725 Bonita Ave was reviewed over the past few days in the Four Seasons neighborhood in Fort Collins. Read below to find out more about 8z Real Estate’s take on the listing!



725 Bonita Avenue

725 Bonita Avenue

The Specs:


Address: 725 Bonita Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80526

Price: $315,000

Original List Date: 07/28/2014

Style: Two Story

Year Built: 1985

Total Square Feet: 3,357

Approximate Lot Size Square Feet: 7,965

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 3

Location: Four Seasons



The Scoop:


725 Bonita Ave was listed for sale at $325,000 on July 28th. After looking through the home for myself I thought these owners were certainly asking a top dollar for what is a very dated home. Don’t get me wrong it definitely has potential but buyers are not paying the premium they did a few months ago for homes in this kind of original but clean condition. The Fire Engine Red interior paint probably didn’t help either. It did have a nice covered deck and back yard.


On August 11th the owners re-considered their pricing strategy and reduced the asking price to $315,000. It’s fair to assume that’s still a little high. If the current owners spent a little more on staging and merchandising this home I think they would be fine at $310,000-$315,000.


The Score:


Below are our overall ratings for 725 Bonita Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80526

Layout/Floor Plan: 3

Finishes: 3

Condition: 3

Curb Appeal/Landscaping: 2

Neighborhood/Outdoor Amenities: 4

Overall Value: 2


The listing agent for this property is Matt Nesbitt with Group Mulberry. For additional photos, a list of inclusions and the details on the home’s design features, click here to visit the property’s profile at 8z.com: 725 Bonita Ave. Fort Collins, CO 80526



Need a market expert’s assistance? To set up a showing to see this home contact 8z Broker Brandon Bidwell at 970-215-1573 or bidwell@8z.com.


Have you viewed the home above? Do you agree with our listing review? Let us know your comments below!

424 Guillemont St: A Done Deal in Larkborough


424 Guillemont St was just evaluated in the Larkborough neighborhood in Fort Collins. Was this a good deal? Our 8z Neighborhood Expert knows and dishes the scoop on this recently sold home. Follow Troutman Park Pulse on Facebook!


Listed at: $249,900

Sold for: $239,000


I was surprised to see 424 Guillemont St sell for $10,900 less than the list price. To be honest I thought this one would sell for more than $250,000 after seeing it for myself. At the final sales price of $239,000 the new owners got a pretty sweet deal. This property was listed for sale on June 11 and quickly went under contract in just 3 days with competing offers at full price. The original contract was then unfortunately terminated on August 8th due to complications with the buyers loan. The new owners snatched it up just 4 days after that and were lucky enough to be dealing with sellers who just wanted to be done with it at that point. After all was said and done the buyers were able to get in to a move in ready, new home that the previous owners had put over $100,000 into the additions and remodeling.


Need a market expert’s assistance? To see homes in the area contact 8z REALTOR Brandon Bidwell at brandon.bidwell@8z.com.


Have you viewed the home above? Do you agree with Brandon? Let us know! Please feel free to submit your comments below.

8z’s Brandon Bidwell Talks About “Farming”


There are a lot of reasons 8z Real Estate is not your typical real estate brokerage, and one of the biggest is a concept we call “farming”. Basically, each 8z Realtor picks a specific community to serve, usually where they live or very close by. Though they help people buy and sell homes throughout the area, this specific neighborhood or group of neighborhoods is where they really focus on being the ultimate community expert.


Recently, Brandon Bidwell made a presentation to the Fort Collins Board of Realtors on the 8z farming concept. He emphasized the importance of becoming recognized as a local market expert, as well as the factors Realtors should look at when picking their farm area.


As Brandon told the board, farming is a long term approach for 8zers. The most important thing is that the Realtor must be engaged with their community and excited about serving it!




Does Your Troutman Park Walk Score Fit Your Lifestyle?

Photo: Derek Adkins


How easily can you walk to nearby amenities? This is a question set forth by Walk Score. Walk Score lets you take a city, a zip code, a well known neighborhood, and even down to your specific address, and it calculated a walk score (and a bike and public transportation score) for exactly what you specified.


This is an important piece of criteria for some people who want to (or need to) be able to walk to everything from their home, and not so important for others who prefer driving. Do you live in an area that fits your lifestyle? The walk score for Troutman Park is 60 out of 100 meaning it is Somewhat Walkable. This, of course, depends on where you live in the neighborhood. What is yours in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood?


Walk Score



If you live in the suburbs or in a rural neighborhood, you’re going to have a pretty low walk score. This can be a positive for some people. If you like to have a larger property or want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, you’re probably going to be trading a high walk score for those advantages. The other end of the spectrum is to live in a densely populated neighborhood where you can walk to everything and don’t even need a car. You can fit into your community or feel like you need to move. It all just depends on what matches your lifestyle.


Check out Walk Score to find out more about your own Walk Score.





Quick Tip Tuesday: 5 Tips For Selling Your Home Fast

new roof


1. Clean up. It’s so simple to do, but you’d be surprised how often it doesn’t get done. There are some BAD MLS photos out there to prove it!


2. Improve your curb appeal. It’s literally the first thing that prospective buyers see when looking at your house. First impressions can be everything.


3. Stand out from your neighbor’s house. Whether this is with color or a new roof, sometimes it’s the little things that can win a house over for someone.


4. Make sure everything works. If someone can’t imagine themselves moving in right away, it’s often a deterrent. A potential buyer isn’t going to want to have to replace the dishwasher the same week they move into a place.


5. Price! Obviously price is a deciding factor on how fast home sells. A realtor should give you comps (comparisons of similar homes) to show you what your house might sell for. Buyers are looking at these same types of numbers, so if you’re overpriced for the category, it may take a while to sell.






701 Bear Creek Dr, Fort Collins: A Willow Park Review

701 Bear Creek Drive was reviewed over the past few days in the Willow Park neighborhood in Fort Collins. Read below to find out more about 8z Real Estate’s take on the listing!



The Specs:IMG_20140801_134000_141

Address: 701 Bear Creek Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80526

Price: $270,000

Style: Tri-Level

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 2

Total Square Feet: 2,110

Approximate Lot Size Square Feet: 6,077

Year Built: 1990

Original List Date: 07/31/2014

Location: Willow Park


The Scoop:

This home was listed for sale on July 31 at $285,000 which I thought was pretty high at the time. The owners must have received similar feedback because they reduced the price to $270,000 on August 9 and quickly went under contract just 3 days after that on the 12th. That particular contract was terminated August 15 and 701 Bear Creek Dr. is now available again. The “move-in ready” condition was apparent with great curb appeal and a clean interior that had some updating (new flooring, light fixtures, etc.) The only complaints I believe some of the more discriminating buyers may have had would be the smaller back yard which didn’t offer much privacy and the original brass fixtures that were left.


The Score:

Below are our overall ratings for 701 Bear Creek Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80526:

Layout/Floor Plan: 3

Finishes: 4

Condition: 4

Curb Appeal/Landscaping: 4

Neighborhood/Outdoor Amenities: 3

Overall Value: 3


The listing agent for this property is Jerry Tomberlin with Resident Realty. For additional photos, a list of inclusions and the details on the home’s design features, click here to visit the property’s profile: 701 Bear Creek Drive , Fort Collins, CO 80526


Need a market expert’s assistance? To set up a showing to see this home contact 8z Broker Brandon Bidwell at 970-215-1573 or bidwell@8z.com.


Have you viewed the home above? Do you agree with our listing review? Let us know your comments below!

Quick Tip Tuesday: Stay 5 Years

real estate - calculator


When buying a home, plan to stay at least 5 years. If you stay less than that, the fixed costs of buying and selling and interest won’t make it worth it.


The first one is closing costs. These can add up, making frequent sales/purchases difficult.


Another is the interest/equity balance. “The portion of your mortgage payment that goes toward interest is shrinking all the time, and the five-year point is typically where you begin to get some real traction in building equity, which makes your interest payments fall even faster.


So the five-year mark is generally considered the point where your accumulated equity begins to exceed what you might have saved by renting, though it may vary depending on the terms of your loan and the cost of renting vs. buying in your area.”


“When you purchase a house, the general rule is that you want to be sure you’ll be in the same location for at least five years. Otherwise, you’re probably going to take a hit financially,” said Money Ning.


Read more at realtytimes.com