Did you know that the City of Fort Collins offers tours of its public utilities? These free “Power Trip Bus Tours” visit Rawhide Energy Station (pictured), local energy sub-stations and more, all with the hopes of introducing the public to the different ways that electricity and water are generated and distributed through the city.
Fort Collins is also interested in how its citizens conserve energy, and provides a list of residential conservation programs for energy and water. According to the city, these programs saved over 200 million kilowatt-hours in 2019, enough electricity to power over 22,000 homes for an entire year — and they can save you a good deal of money at the same time.
Energy Conservation Programs
Efficiency Works Store: Get instant rebates on efficiency products at rebates.eworksstore.com
Efficiency Works – Home: Reduce costs and increase the comfort of your home with efficiency upgrades. Utilities customers can take advantage of a $60 efficiency audit (normally $600). fcgov.com/home-efficiency
Epic Loan: Competitive interest rates and no-money-down financing for up to 15 years on solar and water and energy efficiency projects. fcgov.com/financing
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling (Efficiency Works): Recycle your old refrigerator or freezer and receive a $35 check and get it hauled away for free. fcgov.com/rfr
Clothes Washer Rebates (Efficiency Works): Purchase an ENERGY STAR-qualified clothes washer and receive a $50 bill credit. fcgov.com/washers
Green Energy Program: Purchase Green-e Energy certified renewable energy for an additional 2.65 cents per kilowatt-hour on top of your normal utility bill. fcgov.com/green-energy/
Solar Rebates: Install a solar PV system and receive up to $1,500 cash back. fcgov.com/solar
Water Conservation Programs
Sprinkler System Audits and Rebates: Get a free sprinkler system audit and equipment rebates. fcgov.com/sprinkler-audits
Xeriscape Incentive Program: Receive rebates to create a healthy, attractive landscape that conserves water and receive a rebate up to $750. fcgov.com/xip
Toilet Rebates: Receive a rebate when you buy a 1.1 gallons per flush or less toilet and recycle your old one. fcgov.com/toilet
Thank you to the City of Fort Collins for providing this information on a recent Power Trip Bus Tour, and for encouraging citizens to save money and resources through conservation!
Here’s an interesting development to keep an eye on: Montava! I can’t help but be intrigued by all of these examples of “New Urbanism” that I see popping up. New Urbanism focuses on walkable neighborhoods, diverse types of housing, and environmentally-friendly design. (Read my blog about Longmont’s Prospect New Town for another example of New Urbanism.)
Montava is located in Fort Collins, just north of Mountain Vista (near Budweiser). It calls itself an “Agri-Urban community,” saying, “There is a rich history of agriculture in Fort Collins. We are embracing this history by integrating true urban farming into the DNA of Montava. By setting aside land that can be used to grow a wide variety of produce, we can foster people’s connection with their food at this most basic level. With our partners at Native Hill Farm, Montava will become a sustaining influence for generations.”
The people bringing Montava to life keep their own blog, which includes stories about “Planning for People, Bikes, and Not Cars” and “Reviving Quaint.” You can also keep up on Montava’s development on Facebook or Instagram, or read more about their principles of human-scaled design and sustainable communities on their website.
The town of Berthoud in Northern Colorado has been booming lately. Anna S., a recent transplant to Berthoud, explains why she and her family felt so drawn to this up-and-coming area.
What are a few of the other areas you considered, and what made you ultimately choose Berthoud?
Anna: We looked at a lot of places in Northern Colorado: Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Johnstown, Greeley. We fell in love with Berthoud’s downtown and the fact that we could afford a place close enough to it to be able to ride our bikes there. It has a couple good breweries, a distillery, and a really good bakery, plus some cute shops. It’s a very walkable downtown.
It was also in just the right spot for us. We travel frequently, and we really wanted to be under an hour to the airport. We’re also 45 minutes to downtown Denver, 35 to Boulder, 45 to Estes Park, and 30 to Fort Collins. Loveland and Longmont are both great cities and very close. Carter Lake is an enormous, beautiful reservoir, and it’s only 15 minutes away. Berthoud is really centrally located.
You’ve lived in Berthoud for a few months now. Do you have a few favorite haunts?
Anna: City Star Brewing makes great beer, hosts great music, and has a great beer garden. They also sponsor a lot of community events. RISE Bakery is excellent. There are also several good thrift stores – Mr. Thrift, Habitat for Humanity, Flashback Antiques. And I absolutely have to mention Little Thompson Observatory; it’s an amazing facility, particularly for a town this size.
What makes Berthoud a family-friendly town?
Anna: The downtown has lots of programming and events, such as Berthoud Days in the summer, Snow Fest, Oktoberfest, and weekly farmers’ markets. They’re having their first fireworks show this summer. Apparently there’s a large quilting festival in July! Due to the recent growth in Berthoud, there are a lot of young families moving here.
Is there anything else that house hunters should know about Berthoud?
Anna: The P.O.R.T. Advisory Committee (parks, open space, recreation, and trails) has been working on a really impressive recreation master plan. Berthoud is the Garden Spot of Colorado, and they take it to heart with lots of trees, community gardens, trails, and great landscaping.
Curious about Berthoud? Let’s talk!
The stock market is in turmoil this week (I’m guessing that you’ve noticed). Investors feel like they’re strapped into a roller coaster at Coney Island- up and down and all around they go, thrashed around by the whims of the market.
These are words currently on financial news websites: Whiplash, Volatile, Wild Ride, Plunge!
But, here’s the deal. While the Dow Jones plummeted 4.2% yesterday (in one day!?), real estate in Northern Colorado did not.
Real Estate is the antidote for stock market heartburn.
Consider the numbers:
- Over the last 40 years, Northern Colorado real estate prices have averaged a 5.36% increase per year.
- The last 10 years have seen a 4.99% increase per year.
- It took the worst economy of our lifetime in 2008 to cause prices to go down only 2.2%. (massive banks were going out of business on Wall Street and real estate prices here went down 2.2%!)
- Our NoCo population is growing by about 13,000 per year and those people need a place to live.
If you’re looking for a predictable, tangible, calming, help-you-sleep-at-night, easy-to-understand place to put your money, real estate just might be for you!
As it turns out, we can help you with that 🙂
Now, here’s how the current events on Wall Street have a very relevant impact on real estate- interest rates.
If you attended our Market Forecast you saw how the 30-year mortgage rate has a direct correlation to the 10-year treasury note.
Rates on the 10-year note are up over a half of a percent in just a few weeks. We have seen mortgage rates go up recently and they will continue to go up.
We believe this may slow the rate of home price appreciation (this doesn’t mean ‘go down’, it means the pace of appreciation will slow).
As mentioned above, the long-term appreciation has been near 5% per year. Lately it’s been near 8%. Rising rates could cause the prices to go back to their more normal appreciation rate.
So, even if your stock market portfolio is taking a wild ride, sleep well knowing your real estate continues to perform.
White-on-white kitchens have been a classic look for many years. Why does this trend endure? For starters, white connotes cleanliness, makes small spaces appear larger, and brightens rooms that are naturally dark.
Although many all-white kitchens are just lovely, some can appear a bit stark or cold. To help clients warm up their white, I recommend a variety of strategies, such as mixing metals and adding contrasting paint, fabric or wood. Read on for inspiration for personalizing your white kitchen so that it stands out from the crowd.
White Kitchen 1: Allard Ward Architects, original photo on Houzz
1. Warm metal accents. Copper, bronze, brass and polished nickel are just a few of the metals that can warm up an all-white kitchen. The gold sconces above the window and the white pendant lights, with their subtle hint of gold, add warmth and a touch of luxury to this all-white kitchen.
White Kitchen 2: GIA Bathroom & Kitchen Renovations, original photo on Houzz
2. Color and metal. Moving beyond metallics alone, a single contrasting color when combined with metals can create drama in a white kitchen. In this photo, a modern white kitchen intermingles black pendants and countertops with gold seating. This combination contributes to the room’s sleek contemporary look.
White Kitchen 3: Orchid Newton Ltd, original photo on Houzz
3. Wallpaper. I love wallpaper, especially in kitchens. Wallpaper can introduce color, movement and dimension to a white kitchen. When applied to a lone wall, wallpaper can create a dynamic focal point, as shown in this photo. The bright white cabinets and crisp white walls are softened by the shades of blue in the fish swimming on the side wall. This kitchen’s under-the-sea motif is enhanced by the blue tile on the back wall and the sea urchin-shaped pendant lights.
White Kitchen 4: IS Architecture, original photo on Houzz
4. Colorful island. Wood-stained islands often appear in white kitchens because of the richness and contrast they bring. This kitchen shows a creative alternative, pairing a chartreuse island with a chartreuse Roman shade. Together they lend a whimsical, personalized feel. To give your white kitchen a personal touch, consider painting your island your favorite color.
White Kitchen 5: Mosaic del Sur, original photo on Houzz
5. Tile rug. Layering in a rug is a great way to introduce color and texture to an all-white kitchen, but some clients worry that a rug could be an added source of dirt as well as a possible tripping hazard.
This clever kitchen resolves both issues with a tile rug instead of a fabric one.
White Kitchen 6: Hindley & Co, original photo on Houzz
6. Backsplash. A tile backsplash also can bring color and texture to your white kitchen. But who says a backsplash must be tile? This kitchen has a counter-level window in lieu of a tile splash. The window faces a luscious succulent garden, thus creating a green vista for an otherwise monochromatic kitchen.