Schroetlin Custom Homes is now building in WildWing!

New home builder Wild Wing

Schroetlin Custom Homes in now building in WildWing subdivision in Timnath.  Located on Timnath Reservoir this is a beautiful setting for your new home.  Convenient to Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and I-25.  All lots are 2/3 of an acre to 1 acre.  Homes on non-lakefront lots available from $575k – $900k.  Lakefront homes available from $900k – $2.5 million or more.    Several floor plans available or we can create a new plan just for you.   Call Mike at 970-566-7742 for more information.  Click here to visit the WildWing website.

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Just Completed! Luxurious new home for sale in Berthoud

1021 Mount Cameron Way – Berthoud, CO – $749,900

THIS HOME IS SOLD - Beautiful new custom home on 2 acres with nearly 4,900 finished sq ft! five bedrooms, five baths, formal dining, study. Hickory hardwood floors, slab granite counters throughout, Jenn-Air stainless steel appliances. Basement features wet bar, huge rec room, two large bedrooms and a prewired theater room. Large four-car garage with epoxy floor. Tile roof. Security system. R23 insulation in walls. R49 in attic.  Insulation for sound purposes in most interior walls and basement ceiling.  Great neighborhood just west of Berthoud. Easy access to highway and Loveland, Longmont and Boulder.  Non-potable water for landscaping irrigation.  Priced at $749,900.  Contact Mike at 970-566-7742 for more information.  Click here for more details.

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IN THE NEWS! – Schroetlin Custom Homes featured in North American Builders Magazine

NAB Magazine coverNAB magazine article jpegSchroetlin Custom Homes was recently profiled in an article in North American Builders Magazine.  Click here to view the article.

 

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Latest Figures Show New Home Sales and Prices Rise in Fort Collins

Housing Intelligence recently reported new sales statistics for the Fort Collins area market.  Here is what they had to say:

“New home closings gained year-over-year in September in the Fort Collins, CO market, and there were signals of strengthening market conditions as the percentage boost was an greater than August 2013. New home closings saw a boost of 47.2% from the year earlier to 131. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 43.1% hike year-over-year in August.

A total of 1,421 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, up from 1,379 for the year that ended in August.

New home closings made up 20.2% of overall housing closings. This marks a rise from 13.8% of total closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes remained steady in September after rising in August year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price rose 15.8% year-over-year in September to $310,840 per unit. This rise is an improvement over the 7.0% hike in August year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes grew year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size jumped 11.4% to $251,435 in September from a year earlier. Average mortgage size gained 9.5% in August 2013 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have climbed from last year while closings of single-family homes have dipped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units climbed from 9.0% of closings in September 2012 to 21.4% of closings in September 2013. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings sank to 78.6% of closings from 91.0% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes sank 16.3% year-over-year to 1,657 square feet in September 2013.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in September, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 11.4% of existing closings, lower than 18.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 5.2% in September from 11.9% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 6.7% of existing home closings in September 2012 to 6.2% in September 2013.”

Source: Housing Intelligence

Click here to view the original article from www.builderonline.com

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Hiring a Home Builder versus Being Your Own General Contractor (DIY)

Building a home from the ground up can be very stressful. One of those stressors is the financial aspect.  In our current economic times, many wonder whether they can afford to build new. Questions of cost, loyalty to clients and the thought that “everyone is out to make a buck” pass through the minds of many when considering building. It brings up a great question: should I hire a builder/general contractor, or can I do this myself?

Since I work for a builder, my most common response would be “Yes, you NEED to hire a builder!” However that is not a biased response. After looking at some research, checking out some homes done by both contractors and homeowners and asking my own clients after their homes have been completed; it is evident to me that hiring a professional is the way to go.

There are many Advantages to hiring a contractor. For example, you can get exactly what you want in your new dream home. When using a semi-custom or custom homebuilder you can avoid a “cookie cutter” type home. Customizations include your lot, size of home, placement on lot, price, style, and my favorite, interior finishes. Better yet, you have the combination of all professional talents such as architects, builders, sub-contractors and interior designers who have worked together on multiple projects so they know what to expect from each other. By utilizing a builder that has been in business for years, you avoid some of the hassles that naturally occur from the construction process. Builders are a nice buffer between homeowners and sub-contractors when issues arise, and believe me…. Issues WILL arise.

Another advantage is that your semi-custom or custom home may be completed faster when you use a builder. Sub-contracting crews tend to work quickly through a job hired by a known builder. When you hire your own subs based on referrals, they tend to “squeeze” your project in between bigger builder’s projects. Builders have a more rigid schedule and sub-contractors are more willing to be on those jobs because they are more organized. Many sub-contractors get used to working with other sub-contractors, especially if they work together on several projects from a builder. When hiring your own subs, they might not know each other and not be as willing to work side by side to complete your home, thus it may take longer to complete.

Building a new home is not rocket science, but it’s also not an easy thing that just anybody can do.  Dealing with designing the home, soils reports, water and sewer taps, engineered foundations and building permits can be a nightmare for somebody who has never done it before.  That all happens before construction even begins.  There are hundreds of steps involved in the process and probably thousands of decisions that a general contractor makes during the planning and construction of a new home. There are 20-50 or more different subcontractors and suppliers involved in building a home.  They all need to be communicated with during the entire process.   A homeowner acting as their own general contractor can rely on subcontractors knowledge to get through many situations, but there will also be many times when you will need some construction knowledge to make the proper decisions.

Semi-custom and custom home builders tend to use higher quality products and get great pricing as they are repeat customers to the building supply companies. Homeowners may get price breaks, however it may be on sub-par products or items that supply companies are trying to blow out of their inventory. Subcontractors and suppliers rely on the builders for their livelihood, thus they offer better service, pricing and quality to their builders than they do to somebody trying to build a home on their own.  They know that a homeowner acting as the general contractor usually means more questions, less structure, more schedule delays and ultimately more time for that supplier or subcontractor.  They also know that the homeowner is building a home one time, whereas a builder offers repeat work.  There may also be extended warranties from builders based on those relationships with suppliers and repeat sub-contractor use.

Another factor to consider is the resale value of the home that is built.  Eventually there is a good chance that you will sell that home.  A potential buyer’s decision making process could be greatly influenced by who built the home.  Being able to say a reputable builder built the home instead of saying that it was done by the homeowner could determine whether that person makes an offer on the home, and if so, how much that offer will be.

While doing my research, I found only a few Cons to hiring a custom or semi-custom home builder. First, it is more expensive. However, I would question the value of this extra expense, and whether it truly is more expensive in the end. A home builder may charge anywhere from 10-20% for a supervisory fee.  For a home that is $500,000, that is a fee of $75,000 at 15%. The cost of time and materials to fix issues that occur due to lack of knowledge could easily reach $75,000 once you factor in the extra costs for material and labor, repeat visits from sub-contractors, extra construction loan interest and living expenses for the extra time it takes to build, and the time away from work to coordinate these fixes. Time equals money, regardless of if you build it yourself or hire a contractor.

Another Con is that with smaller, more custom home builders you must communicate with only a select few people. If there are personality conflicts, it is much more difficult to get through the process. When you are in control of your sub-contractors, you can run the conversation as you wish, however that does not guarantee you will get better results.  If you choose to hire a builder, personality is very important.  You will be dealing with the builder and their employees on a weekly basis for several months.  Make sure that builder is someone that you feel you would enjoy working with.

So now you’ve decided to hire a professional. What steps can you do to help your project run smoothly? First and foremost, make sure your builder is licensed and has an above average reputation. When a builder isn’t qualified for the job at hand, he or she may low ball the estimate due to lack of knowledge about the project. This leaves you with a subpar project or paying more for something that should have been included to begin with. If a builder is licensed, there are strict regulations they must follow to ensure the best quality work for your home. Ask some neighbors in the area you wish to build who their builder was. Don’t forget to ask them what they liked and didn’t like about those builders. Ask friends and family in the area who they used. Research sites like the Better Business Bureau or the National Association of Home Builders, or the builder’s own web site. Organized web sites generally lead to organized builders.  Pay close attention to your initial interactions with a builder.  Their communication, professionalism and promptness up front will be a good indication of what you will receive during the construction process.  Many builders have references you can speak to about the process of building a home with that company.

Another idea would be to visit model homes or prior homes built by the builders you are considering. Check out the craftsmanship of the home and inquire about any special features you may need such as green building, passive solar or a hypoallergenic home. Finally, make sure you get things in writing. Areas to consider would be time agreement, specific terms or specifications, budget and any special items that would be custom to your home

The bottom line is if you have some construction experience and more free time than you know what to do with, then you might try to take the plunge and do it yourself.  If you’re doing it to save money then you will probably regret trying to do it yourself.  Building a new home is a fun and exciting process. Utilize the tools provided by custom home builders to help lessen the stress, cost and time associated with building your dream home. Have fun, enjoy the process and happy home building!

Below are articles on this same topic and resources that were used to write this article:

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Advantages-of-Hiring-a-Custom-Home-Builder&id=4435879

http://www.bestnewhousesforsale.us/new-home-builders/

http://www.askthebuilder.com/benefits-of-hiring-an-interior-designer/

http://nationalbuildersassociation.blogspot.com/2013/04/hiring-builder.html

http://nationalbuildersassociation.blogspot.in/2012/09/why-hire-builders-for-building-padding.html

http://nationalbuildersassociation.blogspot.in/2012/10/four-steps-to-hiring-perfect-builder.html

http://www.redbeacon.com/hg/pros-and-cons-custom-builder/

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Northern Colorado Home Sales – new statistics

Northern Colorado Business Report recently reported new statistics on the Northern Colorado housing market.  The following is what they reported:

“The housing recovery continued across Northern Colorado in August, according to the most recent data from Information Real Estate Services, with the Greeley-Evans area seeing an increase of 29.4 percent in the number of listings sold year-to-date when compared to last August.

Loveland and Berthoud saw a jump almost as large, with the number of homes sold year-to-date increasing 26.4 percent when compared to 2012. Fort Collins’ increase was 16.7 percent in the same period.

All three Northern Colorado statistical areas have seen double-digit growth in housing sales every month so far in 2013, and correspondingly, home prices have been on their way up across the region, accorsing to IRES, which gathers data from five area multiple listing services.

In Greeley, median homes prices were up 23 percent to $129,900 in August. Loveland’s median price increased by 16 percent to $255,100, and Fort Collins’ went up by 3.4 percent t $266,900.

Homes have been spending smaller amounts of time on the market, with brokers often fielding multiple offers on homes or dealing with bidding wars, a stark contrast to the years immediately following the recession, when home sales were difficult and foreclosures were common.

Total home sales in all three areas year-to-date in August were more than $1.2 billion, an increase of 22 percent from the 2012 sales levels, which were just over $972 million through the first eight months of the year.”

Here is a link to the original article from Northern Colorado Business Report:  http://www.ncbr.com/article/20130912/NEWS/130919971/-1/INDUSTRY

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2013 Trends in Interior Decorating: From Emerald Green to a Pin Stripe Suit

Now that spring has sprung and the ever torturous “spring cleaning” is upon us, take this opportunity to revamp your interiors. According to the Decoist website, Pantone’s color of the year is Emerald. Note it’s deep, rich hue as opposed to the bright, cheery colors of last year. Hue is achieved by adding black or white to the base color. The more black that is added, the deeper and richer it becomes. When searching to accent the emerald, keep with the same hue in purples and oranges, such as eggplant and burnt orange.

2013 Interior Design Trends

Rich eggplants and emeralds create a warm, cozy sitting area

Other colors suggested for this year included all purples, mustard yellow, shades of blue, particularly ocean blue and fiery orange. Again, this shade is a deeper, richer take on Pantone’s color of last year; tangerine. Grays also continue to be prevalent for interiors and exteriors.

Another trend for interior decorating is incorporating warm metals instead of the cooler silvers and platinums of the past few years. Gold and bronzes are making a comeback in any design style; however the polished brass look tends to lean more towards the contemporary style. This is similar to how chrome has become modernized within the past few years. So if you’re feeling brave, dust off that old brass chandelier and hang it back up!

Interior Design Fort Collins CO

Brass Pendant

Interior Design loveland co

Brushed gold drink cart

With the creation of pinterest, etsy.com and other “do-it-yourself” crafty sites, it seems as no surprise that crafty design will also be prominent in 2013. Look for “handmade” items such as rugs, pillows and knick knacks to be displayed throughout the home. Another easy way to do this is to incorporate your child’s art work in a special place, such as the kitchen. This not only parades some personalized art, but allows your child to build confidence by seeing their work on display. Change it out monthly to keep it fresh.

Northern colorado home builder

northern colorado interior designer

Child’s artwork displayed in a prominent location in the home, such as the kitchen

If you don’t have children or they are too old to contribute to this plan, take a trip to the local Target, Crate and Barrel or West Elm. Here you will find fabrics that include felted pieces and embroidery in a number of items such as pillows and rugs.

Other crafty inspirations include hand sketches, photos of handmade works, “imperfect” creations and items that are eclectic in nature. Pattern also comes into play: they will be inspired by African, Bulgarian and Mexican folklore… animals, culture and crafts will be seen. Don’t worry about being so “matchy-matchy”, clashing is completely acceptable with this trend. Also bold patterns with repetition, such as stripes, squares and dots will be seen in both fashion and interiors.

luxury home builder colorado

Paper flowers with vase, West Elm

table lamp

Hand-made side table lamp

home builder timnath co

Embroidered floral rug

Natural materials have made a presence since the beginning of the “Green Movement”. Today’s trends will incorporate more of a sleek, less rustic appeal vs. the earthy and bulky trends of the past. Long gone is the antler chandelier…. You will see more linear wooden elements and lighter colored woods. The “less is more” theory applies here; just a touch of nature goes a long way. Neutrals and nudes are also considered a natural element, so feel free to accent with these shades of beige, blush, latte and taupe.

luxury home builder fort collins co

luxury home builder loveland co

Neutral tones, organic elements will be incorporated in a “less is more” way this season.

Last but not least, let some masculinity into your home. The deep hues of the emeralds, eggplants and shades of blue naturally attribute to this trend, but don’t count out the pattern. Men are spending more time at home and participating in the decisions about home design and the work/life balance. Think suit fabrics, pin stripes and argyles. This design style can also be seen with heavier furniture pieces and art work. Also incorporate high-tech gadgets even if you don’t know how to use them. Their presence alone will emulate masculinity.

interior design fort collins co

interior design timnath co

luxury home builder northern colorado

Masculine inspired interior decorating based on suit patterns, bulky furniture and deep, rich hues.

As you can see, there are many trends for 2013 that one can pick and choose from. Included are the deep, rich hues suggested here or a hand-made drawing that is brilliantly hung for all to see. Even if you steer clear of trendy things, keep in mind even the edgiest of designs are typically based on classic motifs. Keep it simple and it will stay classy and transitional. Also remember to utilize trends in a way that can be easily changed. The reason they are “trends” is that they are continually developing. Pick and choose which ones work in your current environments.

So regardless of whether you choose a deep shade of emerald accented with burnt orange, or decide to wallpaper an accent wall in a pretty pin stripe, Be bold…. Be daring…. Be you.

This article was written by Shannon Carlson, our in-house Interior Designer. When building a new home with Schroetlin Custom Homes, Shannon is available to help to guide you through the selection process. There are a lot of decisions, both interior and exterior, that go into building a new home. Some homeowners already know what they want and some seek guidance. Either way, it’s good to have a knowledgeable and friendly interior designer to make that process enjoyable and stress free. Contact us to discuss building your new home in Northern Colorado.

Sources:

http://www.decoist.com/2013-02-19/new-interior-design-trends-for-2013/

http://www.decoist.com/2012-12-21/vivid-design-top-color-trends-for-2013/

http://www.realestate.com/advice/hot-interior-design-trends-for-2013/

http://www.laurabielecki.com/blog/interior-design/interior-design-trends-2013-2014/

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Online Access for Clients

As a service to our clients, Schroetlin Custom Homes uses a secure, easy-to-use online service that allows you to make selection decisions, approve change orders, reply to messages, check progress information, review project files, and more. Wherever you have internet access – at home, at work, or on vacation – we keep you informed about your new home. Check out this video for more information:

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Gallery of New Homes Built in 2012

Below is a video of the homes built by Schroetlin Custom Homes in 2012. The homes were built in various locations throughout Northern Colorado including Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, Timnath and Berthoud. For more information on building your new home please visit our main website at www.schroetlin.com or call Mike at 970-566-7742.

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Home for Sale – 5065 Soaring Peaks Dr, Loveland

THIS HOME IS SOLD

Check out our video of a beautiful home we recently finished at 5065 Soaring Peaks Dr in Loveland.  It is located between Loveland and Berthoud on two acres and priced at $629,900.  Contact us today for more information.

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Buying a building lot / vacant land in Northern Colorado

This post has recently been updated for 2012-2013

One of the biggest choices when deciding to build a new home is where that home will be built.  It is still a good time to purchase land in Fort Collins, Loveland and surrounding areas.  While the price of building lots seems to slightly be on the rise again, there are still many excellent lots available at good prices.  Below are some of the key factors to consider when purchasing a lot:

  • Location – Do you know what you are looking for in a lot?  What are your preferences?  Would you love to have a view of the mountains?  Is a certain school district a must?  Do you want a small low maintenance lot in town or do you want 40 acres in the foothills where you are free to roam?
  • Water – Most lots in town or just outside of town will be on a public water system.  City water taps and fees will cost between $3,000 – $8,000 while water districts outside of city limits will cost $15,000 – $25,000 (Little Thompson Water District, Elco Water District, North Weld, etc.).  If you are outside of a public water district your only water source will be a well.  The cost to drill a well can range from $15,000 – $30,000+.  Locations where wells may be necessary include some parts of Estes Park, Drake, Glen Haven, Red Feather, Bellvue and other rural parts of Larimer and Weld Counties.
  • Sewer – Most lots inside of City limits will be on a public sewer system.  If you are building on acreage outside of town you will most likely have to install a septic system.  Septic systems do cost a little more than connecting to a public sewer system.  While septic systems do require occasional maintenance they have come a long way and are much more advanced than systems from the past.
  • Soils – Soils conditions can vary from one lot to the next.  One lot might have excellent soil for home building while a lot down the street or across town has highly expansive soil.  Problematic soils can require changes to the traditional excavation or concrete foundation process.  These changes can add up to $30,000 or more to your home building costs.  This is a factor that many people don’t consider until it is too late.  It is worth doing your research and even involving a geotechnical (soils) engineer before you purchase a lot.  There is a decent chance that the previous owner had a soils test done.  Remember to ask the seller or your Realtor about this.  This will come in very handy if they already have one completed.  Contact us before you buy that perfect lot and we will gladly help you through the process.
  • Permit Fees – Is the lot in the City or the County?  This will make a big difference in permit fees.  Permit fees and impact fees due to the City or County will range from $8,000 up to $40,000 when building your new home.  Click here to read more about Permit Fees.
  • Covenants – Most homeowners associations have architectural guidelines that must be adhered to when planning and building a home.  Many have size restrictions, including minimum square foot requirements.  There are usually Exterior finish requirements as well.  For example, the front of the home must be at least 60% masonry (stone, brick, or stucco).  There is usually an HOA approval process in which an architectural control committee needs to approve your home plans before construction begins.  You will also want to thoroughly review covenants for other restrictions.  If you planned on putting a pool in your backyard the covenants may or may not allow it.

As you can see there are many factors to consider when purchasing a building lot.  As for available lots… what you will find in Northern Colorado is a lot of smaller in-town lots ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet and then a jump to a large inventory of two to three acre lots outside of town.  There is very little in between.  It is difficult to find a nice ½ acre or ¾ acre estate lot.  A small in-town lot in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, Berthoud or Timnath will range from $30,000 to $80,000+.  A larger estate type in-town lot will cost from $75,000 to $150,000+.  The best value and the largest inventory of estate lots are currently in Windsor and Timnath.  Fort Collins and Loveland have very few to choose from.  An acreage (two or more acres) will cost from $80,000 to $200,000+.   There are exceptions to all of the above prices, but these are the general price ranges you will find.

Below are some of the subdivisions where we could build your new home in Northern Colorado:

  • Loveland / Berthoud – Mariana Butte, Dakota Glen, The Overlook at Mariana, The Springs at Mariana, Waterfront at Boyd Lake, Alford Meadows, Crescendo Village, Kendall Brook, Thompson Crossing, Backbone Meadows, Hidden Valley Estates, Sedona Hills, Ellis Ranch, Warberg Farm, Soaring Peaks Ranch, Rainbow Lake Estates, The Preserve at Lone Tree, Belcara and Matthew’s Farm.
  • Fort Collins – Fossil Lake Ranch, Sanctuary, Lemay Avenue Estates, Hidden Pond Estates, Hearthside, Sunstone, Old Town North, Harmony Ridge, Richards Lake, Glenn Ridge, Sage Hill, Boxelder Heights, Boettcher Farm Estates, Waterford Hill, The Hill at Cobb Lake and Coeur d’Alene Estates.
  • Timnath - WildWing, Harmony Club, The Preserve at Timnath Ranch and Serratoga Falls.
  • Windsor – Highland Meadows, HighPointe Estates, Steeplechase, Belmont Ridge, Bison Ridge, Ridge West, Poudre Heights, Water Valley, Highland Ridge, Home Ranch, Soaring Eagle Ranch, Eagle Ranch Estates and Ventana.

Schroetlin Custom Homes can build your new home in these subdivisions and many others throughout Northern Colorado.  We are very familiar with the different subdivisions and available lots.  We have access to hundreds of available lots and can help guide you through the process.  Our in-house Realtor, Jessica Schroetlin, can represent you when purchasing your lot.  Take advantage of our expertise.  It costs you nothing!  Call Jessica at 970-691-2013 or Contact Schroetlin Custom Homes.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Real estate experts report encouraging signs in Loveland, Fort Collins

The article below represents what we have been seeing in the housing market for the past year.  While there are still plenty of building lots and land available, the excellent deals that could be had just several months ago are becoming more difficult to find as demand increases. 

Real estate experts report encouraging signs in Loveland, Fort Collins
By Craig Young, Reporter-Herald
Article from Loveland Reporter Herald, 10/24/2012

FORT COLLINS – Two experts dished up optimism during a real estate conference Wednesday, and they provided statistics to back up their assertions.  Speaking at the Colorado State University Everitt Real Estate Center’s annual conference, the two said both the residential and commercial real estate markets are showing growth in the wake of the industry’s collapse four years ago.

John Covert, Colorado director of housing market data provider Metrostudy, pointed to indicators such as Northern Colorado’s job growth, housing starts, closings and housing inventory.  “Things are definitely improving,” he said.  Larimer and Weld counties have added 4,800 jobs this year, he said, approaching the region’s 225,000-job level of four years ago. The homebuilding industry now is a contributor to the economy, rather than a drag on it, he said.

Housing Starts, Closings

Housing starts in Northern Colorado had increased 52 percent through the third quarter of this year to 2,047, compared with 1,346 during the same period in 2011.  Covert said it’s reasonable to expect housing starts to continue to grow by 35-40 percent in 2013.  Meanwhile, the 1,917 closings on the sale of homes in Larimer and Weld counties through the third quarter represent a 39 percent increase over 2011, he said.

Housing starts outpacing closings is a sign that the market is growing and that some builders are beginning to construct a few houses on speculation.  “Four years ago,” Covert said, “there was very little reason to start new homes.”  Within Larimer County, Loveland and Fort Collins “are neck-and-neck,” with about 475 housing starts each so far this year, he said.

Housing Inventory

Despite the difference between starts and closings, “there is not a lot of housing inventory sitting out there, and a lot of demand,” Covert said.  Northern Colorado has 150 completed, vacant new homes – about a one-month supply. A balanced market should have a two-month supply, he said.  He expects the housing inventory to remain tight for the foreseeable future. “There’s a ton of pent-up demand still sitting on the sidelines, wanting to buy a home.”  In terms of vacant, developed housing lots, Northern Colorado has almost 9,000, compared with the Denver area, which has fewer than 12,000.  In a balanced market, builders would start 15,000 to 17,000 homes a year in Denver, he said, meaning the national homebuilding companies there are “scrounging for lots” and looking northward.

Commercial Markets

On the commercial side, Matt Bannister of the CoStar Group said statistics on office, industrial and retail properties, while not booming yet, “are what you’d expect to see in a recovery trend.”  His company, a commercial real estate data provider, considers the Denver market everything from south of the metro area north to Fort Collins – 80 percent of the commercial real estate in Colorado.  Office vacancy rates are coming down in that large region, he said, and he’s seeing a corresponding increase in rents in the metro area. But rents haven’t risen accordingly in Northern Colorado yet, Bannister said.

The industrial market isn’t great, he said, but it’s moving in the right direction. The severe downsizing of large companies such as Kodak and Agilent in Northern Colorado have contributed to a higher industrial vacancy rate than in Denver-Boulder, he said.

The news also is mixed in the retail market in Northern Colorado. Rents are at a four-year low, he said, down 31 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008.  But sales of retail properties are showing promising signs, Bannister said, with “dramatic increases” in the number of transactions and dollar amount this year over last, and a growing influx of money from out-of-state buyers.  –end of story from Reporter Herald.

If you would like to discuss your options for building a new home in Northern Colorado please contact us for more infomation.  We build in Loveland, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Windsor, Timnath and surrounding areas.

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Gallery of New Homes Built in 2011

Below is a video of some of the homes built by Schroetlin Custom Homes in 2011. The homes were built in various locations throughout Loveland, Fort Collins, Timnath and Berthoud. For more information on building your new home please visit our main website at www.schroetlin.com or call Mike at 970-566-7742.

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1536 Alene Circle – Estate lot in Great Location

This 1.16 acre lot is located in prestigious Coeur d’ Alene Estates subdivision between Loveland and Fort Collins. It’s a private Estate lot with great views yet it’s close to everything. The lot is priced at $183,900 or build your dream home for $650,000 and up. Andrea Dunlap with RE/MAX has this lot for sale. Click here to view this listing.

Coeur d' Alene Estates

Contact Mike at 970-566-7742 or info@schroetlin.com for more information

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Fort Collins / Loveland Ranked Among The Healthiest Housing Markets

Builder Magazine and Hanley Wood Market Intelligence released their mid-2011 report of the healthiest housing markets in the United States. The Fort Collins / Loveland area is ranked #2. The rankings are based off jobs, price appreciation, population growth and income growth. Here is what the article said about the area:

2010 Population Forecast: 299,630

2011 Total Building Permit Forecast: 1,004

2012 Total Building Permit Forecast: 1,650

The word is out about Fort Collins, which is regularly ranked among the best places to live in the country. Moody’s projects that the number of households in Colorado’s fourth most populous metro region will grow a hefty 2.7% next year, the highest on our Top 20 list. Many new residents will be drawn by the prospect of jobs. Employment is projected to grow 2.6% next year, lifting median incomes 3.3%. Colorado State University is the biggest employer here. Most of the new jobs in recent years have come from the education and health services sectors. But high-tech firms such as Hewlett Packard and Eastman Kodak also employ thousands of people. Housing production will receive a boost from these strong demographic forces. Moody’s projects that permit levels will rise 50%.

Other Colorado cities to make the list include Colorado Springs (#7), Denver (#10) and Greeley (#20).

Click here to view the article

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Time Lapse Video of a New Home

Here is the result of my first attempt with a new time lapse camera.  This custom home was built on Horseshoe Lake in Loveland.  It is a ranch style with a finished walkout basement and has almost 6,000 finished square feet.

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House Plans are now Online

Home plans, House plans, Colorado home builderWe have just posted sixteen house plans to our website.  It’s difficult to find a plan that fits your needs exactly, but this can be a good starting point in your search for a new home.  We can modify any of these plans or create a new plan based off your requirements and budget.  Click here to view these great plans.

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Building a New Home versus Buying an Existing Home

Are you thinking about a new home in the Fort Collins or Loveland area? Have you debated whether to buy an existing home or build a new home? From energy efficiency to modern conveniences, there are a number of benefits to building a new home:

“Homes today aren’t built like they used to be” – Have you ever heard that one? This is completely true. Homes are built FAR SUPERIOR today than they used to be. Not because home builders in the past did a poor job. They just didn’t have the same strict regulations and advancements in building science that we have now. Today’s building codes and energy codes require a very high standard of construction. From modern exterior weatherproofing systems to current electrical standards, new homes are built more durable, safer, and energy efficient. Each and every new home built in Northern Colorado today must have an approved structural plan designed by a licensed structural engineer. This includes specifications on concrete foundation walls, beams, posts, window headers, door headers, etc. This is all based off a geotechnical (soils) report that is completed by a separate geotechnical engineer. They recommend design guidelines based on soils characteristics. The structural engineer uses these guidelines to design a structural plan for your new home. There are more steel clips, connectors, and fasteners required today than you could imagine. We’ve recently built a home that had 18 “hurricane straps” throughout the home which were required by the structural engineer. Yes, “hurricane straps” in Colorado. They are approximately 40”x4” heavy duty steel connectors which tie the concrete foundation to the framed wood walls. Even five years ago this wouldn’t have been required. The amount of exterior weatherproofing has also been greatly increased. This prevents water intrusion into the home that could lead to expensive repairs. Plumbing and electrical systems in a new home follow up to date stringent codes. You also don’t need to worry about asbestos or lead paint. You can sleep well at night knowing your family is safe in your new home.

Energy efficiency – Even a home built to the minimum energy efficiency standards today will be more efficient than 80% of homes built 10 years ago, and it will be more energy efficient than 99% of homes built 20 or more years ago.  Schroetlin Custom Homes builds most home with a MINIMUM of R22 wall insulation, R44 attic insulation, R11 basement wall insulation, insulated garages, and spray foam insulation surrounding all draft prone areas like windows, exterior penetrations, etc. Nearly all new furnaces are high efficient. Modern furnaces and air conditioners run less often and are much quieter than systems in older homes. Plumbing fixtures use less water and most appliances and light fixtures are energy star rated. Windows have made huge strides in recent years and are far superior to windows of the past. These features not only make your new home more comfortable, but they will also save you money each month on utilities.

We use Guardian UltraFit wall insulation in most of our homes. Watch this video to see the benefits of this excellent insulation:

Everything is New – Everything will be new for you and your family to enjoy: New carpet, new appliances, new plumbing fixtures, new windows, etc. An older home could have many years of wear and tear, both in areas you can see and some you may not be able to see. New homes also have modern conveniences lacking in older homes. Taller ceilings, wider hallways, doorways, and stairwells all make for a much more comfortable home.

Customization – Schroetlin Custom Homes allows you to customize nearly every aspect of your new home. In many cases this even means designing the entire house plan from the ground up. If you prefer to start with one of our existing plans and modify it to your needs we can do that as well. From a sketch on a napkin to pictures in a magazine, we will take your inspiration and turn it into your new home. When you build new you can customize every aspect of your new home, which is impossible when you buy an existing home. Every aspect of your new home will be available for you to customize: Room sizes, exterior styles and finishes, cabinetry, appliances, flooring, basement finish, energy efficient features, security, home automation, etc. Whether it’s building a recessed niche for grandma’s hutch or a theater room in the basement, if you can imagine it we can design and build it.

Price – Even in today’s housing market our prices are competitive with existing pre owned homes. Yes, there are some homes out there that have an outrageous amount of square feet for the money and are less expensive than the replacement cost would be. I am married to a Realtor and have been to many of these homes that appear to be incredible deals. Almost every time there is a very good reason the home is available at a great price (undesirable location, obvious design issues, structural problems, need of major updating, etc.) You usually walk in the front door and say, “Oh, I see why it’s priced the way it is.”

Low Maintenance – Newer homes are built using low maintenance and long lasting materials. This translates to less upkeep for the homeowner. In an older home, you may have to deal with older appliances, obsolete plumbing and electrical and outdated styles and colors. As a new home owner, you will run into fewer maintenance issues. We provide a homebuilders warranty and many manufacturers supply additional warranties on materials and products.

Hopefully this has given you an overview on the benefits of building a new home. Visit our main website at http://www.schroetlin.com/ for more information or contact us today to discuss building your new home.

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Does a “Custom Home” mean an expensive home?

A “custom” home can mean many different things. Yes, it can signify a million dollar home with luxurious finishes, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that. Often times “custom” simply means that it’s a specific home plan designed for a specific lot. It’s usually either the first time a plan has been built or it is a previous plan that has been modified. That might mean a simple, practical plan with modest features for a young family on a limited budget. It could also be a luxurious lakefront estate for a retired couple.

One might assume because our name is Schroetlin Custom Homes and we feature nice homes on our website that we only build high end homes. This is not true. We pride ourselves on catering to different needs and budgets.  What determines the price is the size, design complexity and features of your home. Our job is to help you work through those decisions in order to create your ideal home within your budget. Click here to read about the three key factors when planning a new home.

Schroetlin Custom Homes would like to be your new custom home builder.  If you are considering building in the Fort Collins or Loveland area please Contact us today.  We would be happy to discuss the type of “custom” home we can build for you.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Building Permit Fees

Most people are shocked at how much permit fees are for new construction.  When building a new home the City or County that you are located in charges permit and impact fees.  The City of Loveland, City of Fort Collins, City of Windsor, Larimer County, and Weld County all have different formulas and fees.  It depends on which municipality your home is built in. 

Here is an example of a home built by Schroetlin Custom Homes in 2010.  The permit was issued by the City of Loveland.  This was for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage, 1,600 sq ft ranch with no basement finish:

  • $1,028   Building permit plan check fee
  • $1,582   Building permit fee
  • $125      Mechanical permit fee
  • $140      Electrical permit fee
  • $3,886   Use tax (3.8%)
  • $25        Water tap
  • $280      Water meter fee
  • $650      Electrical underground
  • $1,382    School fee
  • $1,500   Electrical Impact fee
  • $1,000   Raw water
  • $4,600   Water impact fee
  • $331       Storm water impact fee
  • $2,590   Sewer impact fee
  • $678       Fire protection
  • $968       General government
  • $881       Law enforcement
  • $627       Library
  • $505       Museum
  • $778       Open lands
  • $3,085   Parks
  • $1,546    Recreation
  • $2,170    Streets
  • $489       Trails
  • $75          Street inspection fee
  • $75          Stormwater inspection fee

$31,162      Total permit and impact fees

Pretty amazing, isn’t it?  Keep in mind that some of the sales tax fees can be recouped when buying building materials for your new home.  These taxes are collected based off total construction costs.  When buying materials locally, suppliers charge a lower tax rate because of the building permit.  Depending on the location, the city tax and/or the county tax are eliminated.  Instead of approximately 7% sales tax, you will only pay 2.9% – 5%.  This is a common practice in all Cities and Counties.  Its purpose is to encourage purchasing through local suppliers.

Most Cities have higher permit and impact fees than if you’re building outside of City limits.  County permit fees are usually $8,000 – $12,000 but they do not include water or sewer.  A county water tap or a drilled well will cost around $20,000 or more depending on your location.  Sewer service is generally not available on County lots and you will need a septic system at the cost of $8,000 – $15,000.  This puts the overall permit, water and sewer costs for County lots as high as or higher than City costs.

As you can see, permit fees will affect the total price of your home.  If you are interested in building in a certain city or subdivision, we can give you more information about permit fees, water fees, sewer fees and any other factors to consider.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Cost per square foot – how much does it cost to build a new home?

This is usually one of the first questions a person asks.  It is understandable as everybody is looking for a starting point to determine the feasibility of building a new home, but it should be used with caution. 

A Lexus and a Kia are about the same size, right?  Why does the Lexus cost four times as much as the Kia?  People don’t ask this question.  They understand the Lexus has forty two airbags and plush leather seats.  It will last longer and hold its value better.  A new home isn’t much different but people often get fixated on the cost per square foot number.  Make sure when you talk to a builder that you are clear whether you are looking for a Kia, a Lexus or something in between.  A one size fits all cost per square foot estimate is impossible to provide. 

Builders are in a tough position, if they ballpark an estimate too high, then it scares the potential client away.  If they estimate too low the potential client will hold them to that number.  If you want to build the exact same home plan that the builder has built in the past, they should be able to get you a very close cost to build.  If it is not a floor plan they have built before, the cost per square foot estimate they give you will be nothing more than an educated guess.  It could easily vary by 10% or more. 

Does the cost per square foot include the cost of permits, water fees and sewer fees or does it just include the structure itself?  Does it include landscaping?  What is included can greatly affect the answer.  The pretty built-in cabinets, large covered deck and high end appliances that one builder assumed in his guesstimate might have added $30,000 to his figure.  That $30,000 just added $15 per square foot to the price of the home.  It doesn’t mean that builder charges more than another builder, it just means they assumed higher end finishes.   Make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you get these ballpark estimates.  

Be realistic with the numbers that home builders give you.  Don’t use this common thought process, “I talked to three builders and their estimates ranged from $130-160 per square foot, but I’m convinced it will cost $110 per square foot.”  If you keep hearing the same amount per square foot, don’t hold out hope that you’re going to find the builder that is somehow considerably less expensive than others.  Keep in mind that most builders should be fairly close in price.  Their contactor fees and profit numbers might vary, but their cost of materials and labor should be very similar.  Some builders have better connections or more buying power, but not to the extent that people think.  One builder might pay $8.00 for a sheet of plywood while another pays $8.30.  You’re not going to find the builder with a secret supplier where he can buy for $3.00 each.  If you do then there is a problem.  Keep in mind the numbers I’m using are for illustration purposes only. 

The above scenarios are all assuming you are looking for an up-front price per square foot based on vague parameters and without a complete set of plans.  Once we have completed architectural and engineering plans, we can obtain accurate bids from our subcontractors and suppliers and provide you with a detailed proposal and an accurate cost to build.  We will also provide you with a detailed specifications list with this proposal. 

I do think that cost per square foot is a necessary evil in the early stages of planning a new home.  Just keep in mind the above points and I recommend you don’t get too consumed with the cost per square foot. 

We are here to help you plan and design your new home within your budget.  Click here to read about the three key factors when planning a new home.  If you have questions about the costs for a project you are considering, we would be more than happy to discuss it with you.  Please contact us anytime.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Homeowner Involvement During the Construction Process

Many of our clients are very involved in the entire planning and construction process.  Some choose not to be involved except for major decisions.  Here is a description of the two extremes of homeowner participation:

  • The Highly Involved Homeowner – This client will visit the jobsite multiple times a week and get to know subcontractors and suppliers very well.  They are very involved in product selection and analyzing which products will best fit in their new home.  When selecting windows this client will analyze several manufacturers, research online reviews and thoroughly evaluate colors and options.  We communicate with this clients several times a week either in person, through email or by phone. 
  • The Turnkey Homeowner – This client is looking for a turnkey new home experience.  They want to agree on the house plans and details up front.  From that point on they are not often involved in the details of the construction process on a daily basis.  When selecting windows, this client wants us to recommend a window based on our expertise and they only want a couple colors and options to choose from.

Many clients fit somewhere between these two descriptions.  Whatever involvement level you prefer we will do everything possible to accommodate you and make the home building process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Another determining factor is your location.  If you live in Northern Colorado it isn’t difficult to visit the jobsite.  We build many homes for out of state homeowners too.  They have decided to move to Colorado but will remain out of state until their new home is complete.  Obviously they can’t visit the jobsite very often.  We still do everything we can to keep this homeowner updated and informed during the construction process.  This is done through online job access, weekly email updates with pictures, and phone calls.

Schroetlin Custom Homes utilizes an online service that allows you to make selection decisions, approve changes, ask and answer questions, check progress information, review project files and more.  Wherever you have internet access you can stay informed about your new home.  Click here to view our flyer about this service.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Central Vacuum System – A reasonably priced option

Most of our clients are surprised to find out that a central vacuum system is a relatively affordable option to install in a new home. A central vacuum system can be installed for around $2,500 (based on a home with approximately 3,500 finished sq ft).  This will include four to five outlets throughout the home and a high powered vacuum and accessory kit. The main power unit is usually installed in an unfinished area of the basement or in the garage. A central vacuum is very powerful, easy to use and very quiet. One popular option among homeowners is to install a vacuum outlet in the garage with a dedicated hose and car care kit. This is a great way to keep the inside of a vehicle clean. Below is a video from Beam Central Vacuum systems:

We recommend and install Beam and VacuMaid systems. Please contact us for more information on installing a central vacuum system in your new home.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Construction Financing – How Requirements Have Changed

Several years ago you needed little or no money down in order to finance the construction of a new home.  Today’s lending requirements have drastically changed.  Lenders now require a substantial amount down in order to buy a lot and build a new home.  A 20-30% down payment is a pretty typical requirement these days.  For example, $80,000 or more would be required as a down payment on a $400,000 home.

We strongly recommend talking to a lender as one of your first steps.  They can prequalify you and help you determine a budget amount for your new home.  Contact us and we can explain financing options in further detail.  We can also give you recommendations of preferred lenders in Northern Colorado to get your process started.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Three Key Elements in Planning Your New Home

There is a simple formula that holds true in all new construction projects.  It is the theory that there are three main factors when building or remodeling your home.  The three factors are PRICE, SIZE, and FINISHES.  When planning a new home or remodel only two of these items can be fixed.  The third condition must remain a variable and is determined by the other two.

  • PRICE is your budget.  How much do you want to spend on your project? 
  • SIZE is the square footage of your project.  What size of home do you need?  What size garage?  How big do your porches and patios need to be? 
  • FINISHES are the features in your home (flooring, countertops, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, fireplaces, appliances, cabinets, windows, exterior finishes, etc.).  This also includes the architectural style and complexity of the home.

You can choose two of these factors and the third will be determined by the other two.  For example, if you want to spend $400,000 (price) and you want 2,600 finished square feet (size) then you will have to be flexible on the finishes in order to meet the other two fixed numbers.  Another example is if you need a certain level of high end finishes throughout the home and you need 3,600 finished square feet (size), then the price will be the third element which will be determined by your other two requirements.  Of course you have to realistic.  You can’t ask for a 10,000 square foot home for $200,000.  There is no level of finishes that will make this formula work. 

As a homeowner you will choose the two variables that are most important to you.  As your homebuilder we will use these priorities to design and build your dream home within your budget.  Planning and building a new home is a constant effort to get the home you want while keeping your budget in check.  Are the $5,000 built in cabinets in the living room worth it, or would you rather spend that money on more energy efficient windows?  There are a lot of decisions to make and many compromises that go into planning and building your new home.  Keep this simple principle in mind when planning your new home.

Visit our Main Website at www.schroetlin.com

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Welcome to our Blog!

Welcome to the first Schroetlin Custom Homes blog post! Hiring a home builder and building your new home is a very big decision. There is a lot of information available on the internet about home building. Some of it is right, some of it is wrong, and much of it is region specific. It might be smart to use a certain product in Massachusetts but it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do in Loveland or Fort Collins, Colorado. We receive a lot of questions about the home building process, buying a lot, costs to build, choosing a builder, floor plans, etc. This blog will provide answers to many of these common questions and keep you apprised of current conditions in the Northern Colorado real estate market. Our goal is to provide valuable information to people considering building a new home in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, and surrounding areas. Click here to visit our main website.  Stay tuned!

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