Buying property is a big decision, especially in the real estate environment today! In looking for a condo in the fall of 2021 in Fort Collins, it felt like a refresher course in home buying. As a real estate agent with over twenty years of experience, I have worked with hundreds of clients in buying their dream home or selling their home for the best price. But I can confidently say that buying your own home is a different experience!
With a kid currently attending CSU and aging parents visiting, my husband and I were looking for a condo close by in Fort Collins. I began by setting up a search in ReColorado MLS for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom accessible condo on the ground floor or with an elevator. An attached garage was also a must for easy access. I familiarized myself with the neighborhoods in and around Fort Collins throughout the fall before getting in touch with a lender at the start of this year (2022). We hadn’t decided on how we would finance the new property, whether we would take out equity on our current home in Summit County or start an application for a new loan, but we wanted to have both options available.
Just after the new year, a new listing caught my attention as it had all that I was looking for! The unit was located in a secured building that was recently built just seven years ago. The condominium included a gas fireplace and a walk-in bathtub. The location was perfect as well; just a block away from the building was a grocery store, bank, gas station, salons, coffee shop, pizza place, Subway, cookie place, restaurants, and retail shops… perfect for my parents!
I quickly reached out to my college student and daughter-in-law, who just passed her real estate exam, to take a look at it for us and do a “virtual tour” via video with me. We all liked the unit! Knowing there was no time to waste, I scrambled to get the tax documents to my lender to prepare a preapproval letter. At the same time, I was communicating with the listing agent on the deadline of offers, as well as what was important to the Seller. After receiving my preapproval letter and making an offer, I found out we were one of three offers made on the condo. My offer was above the listing price on this “sold as is'' property, however, I did still have the right to a home inspection. As a real estate agent, I knew to bring additional cash to Closing if the appraisal came in under the purchase price. Everything I do as a realtor for my clients to make a strong offer, I did for myself to present the best possible offer. In the end, it wasn’t enough as the Sellers chose an offer based on whether or not the Buyer would occupy the property as the Buyer’s principal residence which was not the plan for me. I was disappointed as this property met all of my criteria, but I knew there had to be something else for my family.
I went through the MLS for expired and withdrawn listings in the neighborhood. I found a real estate owner on the same floor in the building. The condo was on the market 4 days in September 2021; but with a renter in the unit, the owner decided to take down the listing and put it back on the market after the tenant left in February. I wanted to see what they were willing to sell it for before they put it back on the market as I was hoping to avoid being in another multiple offer situation. After going back and forth many times on the price, we finally came to an agreement! The tenant was not open to the idea of us doing a walk-through, so we didn’t see the unit until they left at the beginning of February. When we went to inspect the condo, we decided we were comfortable with proceeding with the purchase of the condo being in “as is” condition. I decided to make the appraisal deadline, objection, and termination on the same date if the appraisal came in under the purchase price. The other unit we had looked at closed prior to the appraiser's visit to this property. I was delighted that the property would appraise!
I tried to get a loan on my own; however, since I am an entrepreneur, the lender found it necessary to put my husband on the loan. I was in direct communication with the mortgage banker to meet contract deadlines as I did not want to ask the Seller for extensions. Because I had not applied for a loan in a while, this was a good refresher of the process. I’m very pleased with the unit and we’re excited to make it our home away from home!
This top-floor condominium is 1076 square feet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The unit features walk-in closets, a gas fireplace in the living room, an in-unit washer and dryer, an attached garage, and a private balcony. The unit was built in 2015 and includes new stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops. We love the cozy feel of this condo and are excited to decorate it to make it feel like our home.
Scenes at the Patti Fiasco concert at the Old Town Square stage in Old Town Fort Collins.
Photo | Richard Haro
A couple of our favorite things about Fort Collins are the proximity to Denver and our home in Breckenridge, as well as the vast variety of things to do in and around the city. We are looking forward to getting to know this city better and all of the activities it has to offer! The main attractions nearby include the Gardens on Spring Creek, Old Town, Colorado State University, Museum of Art Fort Collins, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and Swetsville Zoo; all within five miles distance. There are many outdoor recreation areas nearby including Spring Canyon Park, Horsetooth Reservoir, Boyd Lake State Park, and Lory State Park. We’re looking forward to being able to spend time outdoors around our new property. My husband and I enjoy trying new breweries so we’re looking forward to the wide array of options to visit with our family as there are eight breweries within five miles of our condo. Some of these include Rally King Brewing, Funkwerks, Odell Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, and Envy Brewing.