My old stompin' ground! ...Well, Ft.Collins is an awesome city- top 10 places to retire, with Colorado State University in the heart of the city. It is still an affordable place to live (cool homes in a cool area of town under $250k)...really, just depends on your plan.
Wellington has really boomed over the past 5 years.
We have a SFR in Montana. Value 575,000 Equity 285,000. rents for 2k/mo.
And we have someone that would be interested in "trading." Taking our house if we take theirs...
I house 4/2 in Ft. Collins. Value 250K Equity 20K
and one house converted into commercial in Wellington - - 210k Value 80K equity. We would have to balance the equity with cash??? but, then we can put the cash into the debt on the new houses and get some decent cashflow.
Each of these are preported to have rent of 1600 a month. Just need to do some research on the area. Is the market holding there, or going down? Are these rent projections accurate? That kind of thing.
It would definately improve our cashflow situation to do the trade. We are about break even now - or negative 100/mo..... and a lot of equity sitting there not doing a darn thing for us.
I was born and raised in Fort Collins. I just flipped a house there back in December. Fort Collins is taking a hit like lots of areas around the country, but I have only seen property prices drop about 5-10%. Also the investors I worked with are still flipping properties pretty quickly. As an example the home we sold went for 180k. Last year similar home in the same neighborhood (brand new neighborhood) went for 190-200k.
Can you give me an approximate location of the two properties? Fort Collins and Wellington are to vague. The new neighborhoods in wellington are doing quite well and growing, but old town wellington is the pits, has been for years. It got very neglected with the towns recent growth in the late 90's and early 00's. A converted home to office might struggle a bit there.
In Fort Collins, where is the 4/2? If your down towards Harmony Ave you are sitting really good, or up north near the country club. On Harmony Ave a massive retail project is underway. 20% finished or so. 6-7 major (super target, lowes etc.)box stores plus nearly 50 smaller ones. That should increase property value in that area nicely. Not to mention the cinemark plaza is still fairly new and in the same area. Also the town is looking to gain 500+ jobs in 09' with the planned solar manufacturing facility off prospect road. (My estimates it will really boom and may grow larger. Solar prices at 1/3 todays costs. Look up AVA solar for info.)
The center of town is a bit stagnant. Most neighborhoods in that area are 30+ years old. Also the homes around the center of town have gone to rentals. CSU is dead center of town and any homes any either direction about 1/2 mile have gone rental. I am well aware of that...grew up in those neighborhoods and my folks still live there.
ATW pm me and I can fill you in on specific neighborhoods if you like. Overall Fort Collins is an excellent city to look at. Rated the #1 city in America several times in the 90's and has been in the top 100 for about 15 years. Fort Collins is a sheltered community. Low crime few problems. Growth went from 90k in 1995 to 130k today. Demographics here match Montana with a a slightly higher Hispanic and Asian population.
Be wary if you plan on renting the 4/2. Fort Collins recently had a major renters law change in Jan 07. One house can have only 3 non related folks living in it. $1000 a day fine for breaking this rule. This may effect rental if you were looking to get a boost from the college. I would strongly suggest looking into the specific info on this law change if you are considering this deal.
I'd spend a couple weeks hanging out in Ft. Collins at a hotel before I'd commit to anything. You need to see if the city is your kind of town
I personally don't mind it at all, other than being a bit too close to Wyoming, and too far from Denver, the nightlife, the jobs, and other things that are important to me.... But one of my friends at work grew up there, and I've listened to her rant about the place for the past 5 years, and how she'll never go back. haha Something about it being a small town, where there is a big drug culture, yada yada yada... Although, I think you could say that about any town in Colorado, especially anything close to skiing. We are known as the state where all the best pot in the USA comes from! LOL
Thought I would make a quick correction. I just learned that AVA solar will not be building its plant and 500 jobs in Fort Collins. Instead they opted for Fraiser, Colorado. Fort Collins seems to have forgotten how to attract those companies.