Anywhere you look up and down the Front Range, and in most growing communities across the country, the prospect of leasing an apartment or house is daunting.

Nationally, median rents jumped 8.1 percent between June 2020 and June 2021. The median national rent for a two-bedroom home now hovers at $1,575, according to data recently reported by Realtor.com. Locally, property management insiders estimate rents increased about 6 percent over the same period, adding to already lofty lease rates in Northern Colorado. One property manager estimates rents in Fort Collins currently average $1,600 per month for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit.

With vacancy rates low, and the supply of homes for purchase just beginning to show signs of recovery, it’s likely that market conditions will keep driving rents upward.

If you’re a renter, what could be better than locking in a stable – and probably lower – monthly housing bill? In fact, the National Association of Realtors reports that the median monthly mortgage payment at $1,204, or 23.5 percent less than the median monthly rent.

Even with housing prices increasing as fast as rents, the benefits of ownership are easily quantifiable. Depending on the terms of your loan, your monthly payment is set for up to 30 years. The fact that interest rates continue to hold at historically low territory – the average 30-year fixed rate was 2.87 percent as of August 26 – is also keeping opportunity in reach for would-be buyers, including first-time buyers.

Speaking of first-time buyers, take note. Some loans are available with down payments as low as 3 percent. And a recent analysis of home purchases in 2020 found that the median down payment for buyers between the ages of 22 and 30 was just 6 percent.

Give your kids the gift of helping with home ownership, wealth transfer.

Call me to discuss how it might be more affordable for you – or a family member – to become a homeowner versus a renter.


They come from everywhere these days. As post cards and phone calls. Door hangers and text messages. Flyers and emails. It’s an offer to buy your house. They say they’ve got cash, and they’re ready to give you “top dollar.”

Or will they?

Maybe you’re itching to call that phone number or reply to that email. What should you know before you take the next step? Informed decisions start with information. First and foremost, work with a reliable source to find out the true potential of your property.

While so-called “instant offer” and “iBuyer” proposals provide a convenient – and sometimes needed – option to sell your home fast, be aware that unsolicited offers are typically lower than what you could attract on the open market. You may get your money faster, but is closing quickly worth the money you may be giving up?

Partners at The Group can help you conduct a competitive market analysis to size up the market value of your home. That analysis includes the use of innovative tools to identify and compare what most of the popular online homebuying services are willing to offer, and measure that against recent sales in your neighborhood.

As long as demand remains strong in Northern Colorado’s housing market, and the investment value of real estate keeps surging, unsolicited offers are likely to keep pouring in. Working with a trusted real estate advisor can help you stay informed and navigate the waves.

We’ve earned the trust of our communities for over 45 years. Contact me to help you evaluate offers, and remember,“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”


Sure, saying a home in Aspen is expensive is like saying puppies are cute. It’s to be expected.

But a recent home sale in the Aspen area is eye-opening even for this high-end resort town. Patrick Dovigi, a Canadian billionaire, just put down $72.5 million to buy a 21,477-square-foot mansion, making it the most expensive home purchase in the history of Pitkin County. The house, built in 2006, is located in the Red Mountain neighborhood, aptly nicknamed “Billionaire’s Mountain.”

Dovigi’s new home includes nine bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a heated outdoor pool, a temperature-controlled wine room, home theater, and elevator. The 4.5-acre property also comes with a 948-square-foot guesthouse.

The previous owner, financier Lewis Sanders, turned a tidy profit. He bought the house for $43 million in 2009.



The following chart shows the highest and lowest sale prices this year for single-family residential properties in each location, between January 1 and July 30. Criteria included that the property must be less than 5 acres, have working utilities onsite and not be on a lot-lease basis, i.e., in a mobile home park.


If you’re a regular reader of The Real Estate Insider, you know there is a housing inventory shortage and that many people are looking for more space.

But if you’re not going to be moving soon, perhaps you’d appreciate extra room to use as a workout (music, art, etc.) studio or to host the grandkids for a sleepover?

People and companies are updating shipping containers into functional structures to provide a solution for creating more usable space. One example is the Exchange Plaza, 200 N. College Ave. in Fort Collins, home to multiple restaurants. We work with a company in Severance that turns containers into small, professional offices, and even single-family homes!

Or perhaps you’d like to re-purpose a container into a backyard swimming pool? That’s yet another way containers are making a splash in today’s marketplace.

From affordable container homes to multi-million-dollar mansions and everything in between, we at The Group have the expertise



For many, finding the right school for their kids is imperative in the home buying process. At The Group, we use a tool called RealScout to help our customers find their new home. It has lots of newfangled features including real-time property alerts, commute time, and a property comparison tool.

We’re excited to announce that RealScout now includes school ratings powered by GreatSchools, the leading independent source of school ratings. The service provides school evaluations based on a scale of 1-10 and can be extremely helpful in the discovery process. Want to learn more about the new feature? Feel free to contact me.


  • 12 percent. The median down payment made by homebuyers in the U.S. during 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors. For buyers between ages 22 and 30, the median down payment was just 6 percent.
  • $850 million. Value of a contract recently signed by Lightning eMotors, a Loveland-based electric motor manufacturer. Lightning eMotors signed the deal with Forest River Inc., an Indiana company, which plans to make electric buses.
  • $9 billion. Estimated financial losses suffered by Colorado’s tourism industry in 2020, due primarily to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 152. Acreage that the city of Loveland plans to annex near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport. As proposed, the annexation will allow for development of up to 3 million square feet of warehouse space, which is expected to be used for an Amazon.com distribution facility.
  • $2.5 million. Price that UCHealth paid for eight acres in west Greeley, part of the St. Michaels Place development. UCHealth operates a hospital and medical center in the same part of Greeley.
  • $18.2 million. Amount that Anheuser-Busch plans to invest in upgrading its Fort Collins brewery. The project includes increasing brewery capacity and improvements to reduce its environmental impact.
  • 65,000. Square footage of the UCHealth Medical Fitness building, located at 1870 Marina Drive in Windsor. The Water Valley development company recently acquired the building from UCHealth.
  • $950,000. Price that investors paid for an 8,064-square-foot industrial building at 2419 Sixth Ave. in Greeley. The facility will be used by Advanced Technologies Industrial Insulation, which is moving its Front Range operations to Greeley from Brighton.
  • 30 percent. Recent analysis by Redfin real estate brokerage found nearly one-third (30 percent) of all home purchases between Jan. 1 and April 30, 2021, were completed with cash. That compares to 25.3 percent of purchases for the entire year of 2020 and is the largest share of cash purchases since 2014, when 30.6 percent of homes were purchased with cash.
  • 26,636. Number of single-family housing permits pulled last year by builders in Colorado, ninth among all states.
  • $3.05 million. Price paid for approximately 80 acres, currently leased by a landscaping company and tree farm, located in the vicinity of Gun Club Road and Bromley Lane in Brighton. The deal includes 8,500 square feet of commercial building space.
  • $4.1 million. Price that Weld County paid for 102 acres, located along O Street in northeast Greeley. The land is part of the Grainery development site, next door to a Weld County administrative office building.
  • $23.4 million. Price that investors recently paid for the StorQuest Self Storage facility, located at 4790 Pearl St. in east Boulder.
  • $18.05 million. Price paid by investors for the 66-unit Gallery Flats apartment complex, located at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Fifth Street in downtown Loveland.
  • 127. Acreage acquired by a Michigan-based developer of RV parks and manufactured home communities. The land is located in Fort Lupton in south Weld County. The new owner paid approximately $4 million for the ground. As planned, the new development will include 449 home sites.
  • $16.7 million. Price paid by investors for Longmont Regent, a 99-unit senior assisted living center located at 2210 Main St. in Longmont.

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