Simple Steps for Downsizing in Your Golden Years

Article by Michael Longsdon

Photo via Rawpixel

As seniors age, their daily routine can become more challenging. As mobility and other physical faculties begin to slip, simply going about their day to day can become more difficult, eventually getting to the point where a serious change is needed. Still, the process can be a daunting one. There are a lot of moving parts, so it always helps to have a plan in place when you’re getting ready to downsize.

Identify Your Motivation

Sometimes this can mean a relatively drastic step — in cases where you need help with daily activities, it might be smart to look into an assisted living facility. Other times, we just get to the point where we simply don’t need to be dealing with “quite so much house.” Additionally, a smaller house means less of a safety risk. As walking around gets tougher and tougher, stairs and other hazards become increasingly dangerous.

Plan the Listing Process Carefully
Selling your current house is every bit as much a part of the process as picking out a new one, and you want to make sure you’re getting as much as you can for your property. Believe it or not, if you’re in need of a quick sale, Redfin notes listing your property on Thursday is the smartest move. If making the biggest dollar is more important, aim for a Wednesday listing.

Work with your real estate agent to see that your listing goes up on time, and in accordance with your ultimate goal. And of course, when you list your house, you’ll want to make sure you’ve found a home that fits your needs. If you’re looking to rent a single-family house, for instance, contact Middel Realty for assistance.

Consider Proximity to Your Favorite Activities
Something that can be easy to forget when you’re in the process of downsizing is that you want to minimize your living space both inside your house and out. The easier you can make it on yourself, in terms of how difficult it is to get around to your favorite activities and necessities, the safer you’ll be.

A website like Walk Score can help you find a place that is in close proximity to everything you love and need, from grocery stores to movie theaters, and beyond. Not enough can be said for how nice it can be to have everything you need in close proximity to your living situation, since it can alleviate transportation issues, and if a spot is walkable, that means you can also stretch your legs a bit, which can help you stay healthy in your golden years.

Get Help When You Need It
There will almost certainly come a point in the downsizing process when you realize that you need help. The important thing is to acknowledge this moment as soon as it happens; there’s no shame in needing to ask someone for a hand! Moving explains it’s best to avoid straining yourself or taking undue risks as you go about packing and moving, and call upon your friends and family members to help you out in whatever ways you need.

Not only will this make the transition easier and more rewarding, but it’ll keep everything safe and minimize your risk of injury or accidents. Don’t be afraid to reach out, but make sure you have a plan: Keep all the larger items saved for the same day so you have an easy time getting everything handled in one fell swoop.

Downsizing Can Be Safe and Fun!
When you’re in the process of moving into a smaller, more comfortable home, it only makes sense to do everything possible to keep the actual downsizing process safe as well. Take your time, and make sure you have a plan in place for every step of the way. Call upon your friends and family to help you out when it’s needed, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying some groovy new digs in no time at all!

What is a Good Return on Real Estate Investment?

An increasing number of people without prior experience in real estate investing are choosing to diversify their investments through real estate. This shift is being driven by factors such as:

  • Record-low interest rates and housing prices are causing many people to take a keen interest at rental property investing.
  • Many people want to diversify their investments, which means moving away from solely investing in the stock market.
  • Several years of record-low interest rates make people wary of future inflation, which drives them away from the bond market.
  • Many people are dissatisfied with the meager returns provided by their savings accounts and investments such as Certificates of Deposit.

But like any other type of investment, real estate investing has associated risks and a return on investment.

The chief – if not the only – reason for real estate investing is making money. In the property market, you can only make money if the investment is giving you a good return. So this begs the question – what’s a good ROI in real estate?

Sadly, the answer isn’t straightforward. Not having a direct answer surely sucks. Luckily, the experts from will help you get some clarity as to what a good return on real estate investment is.

Ways to Determine the Profitability of a Rental Property

Generally, there are four ways to determine whether a real estate investment is worthwhile or not. Read on to know more.

1.    The One Percent Rule

This is a great tool to quickly screen potential rental properties. According to the rule, your rental property will only be profitable if the rent before expenses (gross monthly rent) equals to at least 1% of the buying price.

Using this general rule of thumb, a $200,000 house, for example, would need to be rented for $2,000 each month. In other words, if you had to pay $250,000 for a property that rents for $2,000, it wouldn’t meet the rule.

Or, if the rent is only $1,500/month, the $200,000 price would not meet the rule either.

The one percent rule helps save time. With it, you can quickly filter 20 listed properties that your real estate agent sends you. Besides time, the rule also helps investors remain disciplined thus minimizing potentially costly investment mistakes.

2.    Capitalization Rate

Capitalization rate also helps measure the return on investment. It’s usually arrived at through a process involving market research and in-depth knowledge of the property industry.

Also called cap rate, the capitalization rate is calculated by dividing the net operating income of the property by its current market value.

Let’s assume a property makes $300,000 over a year and costs $200,000 in operational expenses. Its annual net operating income then becomes $100,000.

Now that we have the NOI, the next step is to divide it with the current market value of the property. Let’s assume a property with an NOI of $100,000 has a market value of $800,000.

In such a case, the capitalization rate of the property will be equal to 0.125, or 12.5%. 12.5/100($100,000/$800,000).

3.    Return of Investment (ROI)

Usually expressed as a percentage, the ROI is typically used to compare the efficiency of different investments.

So, how do you calculate the return on your real estate investment using ROI? You’ll need to do four things:

  • Determine your annual rental income.
  • Calculate your cash flow. This is your rental income minus your expenses.
  • Determine your net income. This is your equity plus your cash flow.
  • Divide your net income by your total investment to get your ROI.

Here is an example to better illustrate this. Suppose you buy a house worth $400,000 and pay $15,000 in additional fees like closing fees, rehabilitation costs, and so on. Then you can compute to charge $2,500 as a monthly rent.

Your ROI for that property then becomes 7.2%. 12x$2,500/ ($400,000 +$15,000).

4.    Cash on Cash Return (CoC)

Cash on Cash return is probably the most popular tool when it comes to calculating an investment property’s profitability. Usually expressed as a percentage, it’s the ratio of the annual before-tax cash flow to the total amount of cash invested.

So, how do you calculate CoC? For this purpose, you’ll need the NOI and the total cash invested. To make things a bit simpler, let’s look at an example.

Let’s suppose you bought a rental property worth $350,000 through a mortgage. You paid $70,000, or 20% as down payment and rent it for $1,800. And, your total annual expenses sum up to $4,000.

In this case, your CoC becomes 25.1%. That is, (12x$1,800 – $4,000)/$70,000.

There you have it. Four ways to measure return on a real estate investment. Done right, they can help you better your chances of having a successful career in the real estate business.

The Home Rental Application Process

Owning a home may seem like the ideal, but renting is actually the best possible choice for many individuals and families alike. It allows you to settle in without a long-term commitment, and you can enjoy your own space without worrying about maintenance costs or a mortgage. The first step to making a property rental your home is the application, and Middel Realty is here to help you understand every step! Read on to learn more about the process, and apply for one of our hypoallergenic single-family homes in Fort Collins today!

The Application

You will need to first fill out a rental application to let the landlord or property management company know you’re interested in one of their properties. It gives them a lot of basic information about you and your rental history so they can gauge if you would be a good fit for their neighborhood. Some of the information you can expect to provide includes:

  • Your name and address
  • Your rental history
  • Vehicle information
  • Employment and income information
  • Personal references
  • Information on past criminal charges or bankruptcies

Proof of Income

In many cases, your income needs to be at least three times the monthly rent you’d be expected to pay in order to qualify as a potential renter. At Middel Realty, we ask that your income is two and a half times the amount of rent we collect. There are several ways you can provide this information, including through copies of your paystubs or a W-2 form.

The Middel Realty team will also contact your employer to confirm the information you provide us. We recommend informing your employer ahead of time that they may be contacted in order to streamline the process.


Whenever you submit a rental application, there are a number of fees and deposits you may be expected to pay, including application fees, processing fees, and/or a security deposit. These payments may or may not be refundable depending on the landlord or property management company.

At Middel Realty, the application fee is $35 per application, which you can pay online. We do not ask for any processing payments, but we do require a Performance Deposit to reserve the rental home for you during the application process. This deposit is equal to the advertised price of the rental home in question, and it is refundable if you withdraw your application within two days. If you withdraw after you have been notified that you were approved for the rental, however, that deposit is forfeit.

Now, your part of the process is done! You should be available to talk if any questions arise regarding your application, but the rest of the process is done largely behind the scenes by the landlord or management team.

Background Check

Next, your landlord will submit your name for a background and credit check. The information they receive will help them learn more about your dependability and suitability as a tenant. No credit, poor credit, outstanding debts, or a criminal history can all contribute to any rejections you receive, but the Middel Realty application you fill out does give you an opportunity to explain any negative results we may find, and you can apply with a cosigner if your credit doesn’t qualify you to rent. Once the rental team has reviewed the results of your background check, you will know within a few days if you have been approved for your rental home!

Are you ready to take the first step toward finding your home in Fort Collins? Explore the rental listings Middel Realty has available, and fill out an application today. We take pride in our clean, well-maintained homes and in our dedication to making sure our residents have a great experience. Contact our team today to learn more!

Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is here, and you know what that means: spring cleaning! It is a big chore to tackle, especially for those who upgraded from an apartment to a single-family rental home, but we’re here to help you get it all done. In today’s blog entry, we walk you through the spring cleaning checklist for your property rental.

If you’re ready to clean out your current rental for the last time, check out Middel Realty’s rental home listings! We offer beautifully maintained, hypoallergenic homes in some of the best locations in Fort Collins. So tackle your spring cleaning – or your final move-out checklist – and find your dream rental home with Middel Realty!

All Rooms

There are a few things that are a given no matter where you are in your home — dusting, for one. In your spring cleaning sweep, however, make sure you’re not just dusting shelves, but also ceiling fans and light fixtures, which are neglected for most of the year. You should also pay special attention to your floors, whether that means vacuuming and/or shampooing carpet to sweeping hardwood and looking for scratches or dents.

There are a few other oft-neglected checklist items you should also address in every room, including:

  • Washing curtains (most can be machine washed!)
  • Cleaning blinds
  • Wiping down baseboards
  • Dusting HVAC vents and registers
  • Washing the inside of any windows
  • Cleaning windowsills
  • Testing the batteries in your smoke alarms
  • Disinfecting high-touch areas like door knobs and light switches


For the bedrooms of your home specifically, there is a lot you can do to make sure you can sleep easy this season. First, washing your bedding and your pillows. If you didn’t know, yes, pillows should be washed periodically! Spring cleaning can also be a good opportunity to rotate and/or flip your mattress to extend its lifetime.

You should also sort and organize whatever is in your drawers and closets. Spring is a great time to swap your seasonal wardrobe, storing some of your heavier winter gear in a sealed plastic bin and rotating in clothes for warmer weather. Perhaps you can take a little inspiration from the increasingly popular Japanese tidying expert, Marie Kondo, and take some time to figure out what you don’t need or wear any more! You can always donate those clothes you’re ready to let go of.

For kids, take the time to sort their books, toys, and other items. This is a great opportunity to clean those toys — plastic ones can often be placed in the dishwasher! It also gives your little ones a way to participate in all the excitement of spring cleaning. If you are already starting a box of things you plan to take to a thrift store, maybe encourage them to choose a few toys, books, or gadgets that they want to donate to another child!


When it comes to bathrooms, it’s all about scrubbing. Try to clean and disinfect every surface. You should also wash your shower curtain and floormat — in some cases, they can be machine washed! You should also continue the trend and organize your cabinets and drawers. Go through what you have and discard expired medications and old toiletries or makeup. Experts say old medicine won’t often make you sick, but it will likely be less effective than a new bottle, so you might as well toss it!

Laundry Room

The laundry room is one place where the focus is on cleaning, but not many of the items inside are often wiped down or dusted. Your first priority should be emptying and cleaning lint traps, since ignoring them for too long can create fire hazards. Next, wipe down the washer and dryer and sweep or vacuum the spaces behind them. You should also clean out the dryer vent, which can be another source of accumulated lint and grime.


On to the kitchen, where there is a lot to do. One of the biggest projects you’ll have to tackle is the fridge. First, sort through the items inside and throw anything out that’s past its expiration date. Next, clean out the inside. If the shelves can be removed, they may fit inside your dishwasher! You should also wipe the top of your fridge, which can collect plenty of dust, and clean the coils at the back. Keeping those coils as dust-free as possible comes with an added benefit: it may help your fridge run more efficiently!

Now, move on to your other appliances. Clean the oven – most have self cleaning options! – and scrub the stovetop. You should also wipe down smaller appliances like your microwave and coffee maker. If you have a toaster or toaster oven, empty the crumb tray. You should also clean your cabinets and shelves, which may be a good opportunity to make sure all your food storage items have matching lids. If they don’t, now is the time to cut down on clutter!

Garage & Outdoors

For most families, the garage inevitably turns into the larger equivalent of a junk drawer. There may be a lot to sort through, but now is the time! Make sure everything is organized, and see if it may be time to throw a garage sale for those items that have been collecting dust for a couple of seasons. If there is anything sitting in cardboard boxes, transfer them to sealed plastic bins to keep items clean, undamaged, and free of pests. In the name of being thorough, you should also hose out your recycling and garbage bins.

The approach of spring means you can likely put away the shovels or snowblower for the season. Find a place to store them where they will be out of the way until next winter, and bring your springtime equipment, like your lawn mower, to the forefront. If you have the time, check to see if it’s in working order before you move on.

Moving to the exterior of your home, it’s time to wash the outside of your windows. Some people remove their window screens during the winter. If you are among them, then it’s time to reinstall them once you’re done washing the glass. If not, you should remove them to thoroughly clean the windows, and then replace them. At the same time, look for any damage that may have occurred during the winter, like missing shingles or damaged screens or siding.

The good news? If you are renting a home from Middel Realty, you don’t have to worry about addressing repairs! Our maintenance team strives to address any concerns you have in a timely manner, and if there is ever an emergency, you can reach a member of the Middel Realty team 24/7. Unfortunately, spring cleaning is still up to you. Good luck!

6 At-Home Date Ideas

There is a lot to do in Colorado at any time of year, but winter can get especially busy with skiing, snowboarding, and all the ice rinks around town here in Fort Collins. However, some days you simply don’t feel like braving the snowy weather, especially when it’s warm and cozy inside your rental home from Middel Realty. Keep your fuzzy socks on, and try out a few of these at-home date ideas instead!

Movie Night

What better way to spend a winter night than snuggled up on the couch with one of your favorite movies? A snow day is also the perfect excuse to marathon your favorite TV show or movie series. If you are sharing your Middel Realty single-family home with a few little ones, find something you can all enjoy, like “Planet Earth” or the Harry Potter movies.

Game Night

Another great option that doesn’t require a winter coat is a game night! There are lots of board games you can play as a family, from strategy games to tongue-twisting word games. If you want it to be just the two of you, then you can have fun with classics like chess or try your hand at two-person card games like rummy, war, or double solitaire. You can also test your knowledge with trivia games. Your phone puts a world of trivia apps at your fingertips, and you may even be able to play with your smart speaker if you have one!

Read a Book

It’s not everyone’s idea of a perfect date night, but sometimes all you need is quiet time sitting next to each other, enjoying your own books. There’s no pressure for big romantic gestures or even conversation. You can enjoy each other’s company and the story that has you hooked at the same time! For added coziness, kindle a fire if your home has a fireplace and make sure everyone has warm mugs of tea or hot cocoa.

Listen to a Podcast

One more idea from another era: listen to the radio or one of your favorite podcasts together! Families in the past used to gather around the radio to enjoy top-notch storytelling, and now the world of podcasts gives you endless options to choose from. Listen to something spooky and atmospheric for a story that will make you want to hold each other close, or find an episode of something interesting and informative so you can learn together. If you are new to the world of podcasts, then you may be surprised by how absorbing a story made of sound can be!

Plan Your Dream Vacation

If the snow is making you a little stir crazy, then spend your time dreaming of where you want to go! Even the perfect vacation can require a lot of planning, so why not have fun with it? Sit down with a pile of travel books and talk about where you want to go and what you want to do. You can also take this opportunity to create your ultimate bucket list as a couple. There are so many amazing things to try right here in Colorado — do you want to try tubing one day? Learn how to cross country ski? Spend the night in a yurt? Talk about what you would love to do together, and maybe make a game of finding crazy ideas online!

Recreate a Fun FoCo Activity

As we’ve discussed before on this blog, there are tons of fun things to do here in Fort Collins! Whether you’re staying indoors to avoid the occasional subzero temperatures or you want to save money, you don’t have to miss out on some of the best date ideas available here in town. Use them for inspiration, get a few supplies from the store, and try to recreate it at home!

If you are craving a whiskey tasting or a cheeseboard-creation class, you can find all the materials you might need and try your hand at it in your own kitchen. Have you always wanted to try a wine and paint night? Buy some cheap paints and canvas and try following a painting tutorial online. No one has to know if your attempt doesn’t look anything like the actual picture!

Plan Your Perfect Date in a Middel Realty Home

Running out of space or simply not feeling the love for your current home? Find your perfect house for rent with Middel Realty! We strive to be the best property management company in town, connecting you with a beautifully maintained, allergen-free home and giving you access to 24-hour emergency maintenance services. With a rental home in one of the best locations in Fort Collins, you’ll never want to plan a date night out. Explore our current listings, and contact a member of the Middel Realty team today to get started!

6 Winter Energy-Saving Tips for Renters

Whether you are a home owner or you’re taking advantage of a rental home, you likely worry over your rising utility bills in the winter. With lower temperatures and shorter daylight hours, these cold months can have a real effect on your wallet. Middel Realty in Fort Collins is dedicated to helping you have the best possible experience in one of our single-family rental homes, so in today’s blog, we’ll be offering a few energy-saving tips for our renters and other savvy Fort Collins residents. Read on to learn more, and explore our current listings today to find your next dream home!

Take Advantage of the Sun

Colorado gets hundreds of days of sunshine in a year, and you can utilize that to warm your home when it gets cold! Leave the curtains open on any south-facing windows during the day to absorb the free heat. Just remember to close those curtains when the sun goes down to preserve that warmth, and keep your windows as clean as possible to allow sunlight to shine through the glass.

Adjust the Thermostat

This next tip is something we probably all know we should do, but lose motivation to follow through on when temperatures drop. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residents could save 10 percent a year on heating bills if they turned down the thermostat by seven to 10 degrees for at least 8 hours a day. They recommend aiming for 68 degrees while you’re awake and moving around, and then lowering it when you’re asleep or out of the house. If you try it out and lose your nerve, just remember that cranking the thermostat to an especially high temperature won’t make your home heat up any faster — it will just waste more energy!

Bundle Up

Especially if you turn your thermostat down, you’ll need a few more fuzzy layers to stay comfortable through the winter. Have a few comfy sweaters and thick socks dedicated to lounging around the house, and keep blankets on the couch for when you snuggle up for your favorite TV show or movie. You can also invest in flannel sheets and a warm comforter so you’re still cozy when your thermostat drops the temperature at night.

Use LED Lights

The winter season includes some of the darkest months of the year, which means you’re using more electric lights than you would usually, and using them for longer periods of time than you would during the summer. You can cut down on the expense without resigning yourself to the dark with LED lightbulbs! LED lights, when compared to incandescent bulbs, use 75 percent less energy and last about 25 times longer. Plus, lightbulbs are one home item that most landlords or property management companies don’t mind you changing!

Turn Off the Outdoor Lights

You may also be using colorful holiday lights to cheer up these dreary months. If so, try to unplug them before you go to bed or leave the house! Many Christmas lights are made with efficient LED bulbs, but you can cut down further on energy waste by using them sparingly. If you don’t want to rely on your memory for controlling your outdoor energy use, look for a timer! Many plug directly into an outlet to turn your lights on and off at the times you set.

Use Energy STAR Appliances

Now for an energy-saving tip that you can benefit from year-round: invest in Energy STAR appliances! If you are responsible for furnishing your rental home with your own appliances, choose carefully. An Energy STAR rating marks a high-efficiency appliance, which means you can get more done at a lower cost, and many use 10 to 15 percent less energy or water than other models.

Snuggle Up in Your New Middel Realty Rental Home

We hope these tips have been helpful for making your home a haven in this winter wonderland. If your current space isn’t working for you, however, you can always look for a solution with Middel Realty. We have been serving the Fort Collins community for years, providing hypoallergenic single-family rental homes in convenient locations throughout the city. Explore your options today with our current rental listings, and contact us today to learn more!

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Rental Home

One of the downsides of renting a home rather than owning one is the limitations you have when it comes to redecorating. However, if you’re willing to be creative, you can find that there are plenty of ways you can make a rental home your own! Middel Realty in Fort Collins has been connecting families with clean, conveniently located single-family homes for decades, and we want all of our clients to feel comfortable in their own space. In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about a few upgrades you can make to your rental! Just remember to thoroughly read your lease to understand your limits, and talk to your landlord about any permanent or significant changes.

Display Art and Pictures

One of the best and easiest ways to add a personal touch to your rental home is to put your favorite art pieces and family pictures on display! You can talk to your landlord or property manager about their approved wall-hanging methods. Some may allow nails, while others may dictate that you use temporary hooks. No matter what you use, surrounding yourself with beautiful pictures and snapshots of your family and friends will help a space feel like home.

Add Contact Paper or Stickers

You likely won’t be allowed to paint your home rental, but you can use contact paper or stickers to enjoy colors and patterns that are more to your taste than blank white walls. Most forms of contact paper are easily removable, and there are plenty of designs and styles to choose from. Try out tile stickers to add a pretty backsplash in your kitchen, apply stainless steel contact paper to upgrade your appliances, or use washi tape for bright accents and patterns!

Swap Drawer Pulls and Door Knobs

Another simple upgrade you can make is to add new handles to your drawers and doors! In most cases, all you have to do is unscrew the old knobs and screw in the new ones. (Make sure you keep the old ones for when you move out!) You can find options to match your personal decor scheme and explore unusual options like crystal or fun acrylic shapes. It’s a fun and affordable way to add some personality to your home rental!

Try New Light Fixtures

Apartments and rental homes are designed to be as neutral as possible to match the tastes of any and every resident. This often means that the light fixtures installed are uninspiring to say the least. Just like with your drawer knobs, you may be able to replace the covering on your lights just by unscrewing the old materials and installing something new! Make sure you keep all the materials that were a part of the original light fixture, and avoid making any changes that require more in-depth work, like rewiring. You don’t want to do anything to lose that security deposit!

Are you looking forward to a rental home you can call your own? Contact Middel Realty today! We are a family owned business with more than 40 years of experience in Fort Collins real estate, and we want to welcome you home. Explore our current listings for a variety of beautiful single-family rental homes, and call us today to get started!

Fort Collins Indoor Winter Activities to Explore

Colorado winters can be beautiful, but also cold. Fortunately, Fort Collins has a lot to offer family, friends, and couples who want to stay warm and cozy! In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about a few of the activities you can explore without braving too much of the cold.

If you have been looking for a new home in Fort Collins, or you are ready to settle in this amazing city for the first time, Middel Realty is here to help you find the perfect rental property. We have more than 40 years of experience helping residents find single-family homes they love, and our dedication to customer service is well-known. Read on for a little inspiration on how to spend time in your new city, and contact the Middel Realty team today to take the first step toward a place to call your own!

Visit a Museum

When you are ready to take a break from the beautiful outdoor activities you can enjoy here in Fort Collins, come in from the cold and check out one of our amazing museums! The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery is a great pick for adults and kids alike, with a lot to learn and interactive exhibits that can keep the whole family occupied for hours. For a taste of quiet wonder, visit our Museum of Art, where you can explore different styles and cultures and enjoy the traveling exhibitions they have on display.

Explore an Escape Room

Looking for an activity that will challenge you and your friends or family? Check out one of the escape rooms we have here in Fort Collins! Each one offers a fun, interactive brain teaser that you all need to solve together, and there are several to choose from. In fact, there are two just a short drive from your Middel Realty rental home! From steampunk to sci-fi theme, you can find a room that strikes your fancy and makes you forget about the snow outside — at least for an hour or two!

See a Flick at the Lyric

When you’re looking for a movie theater experience that’s more than the smell of old popcorn, come visit the Lyric! With a variety of films playing all the time, you can plan a date night and see something new or unique with a cocktail in your hand. Want to share the experience with the kids? The Lyric plays cartoons on Saturday and Sunday mornings with a $5 all-you-can-eat cereal bar and a full brunch menu – including mimosas or Bloody Marys – for the adults.

Share a Drink

For an adults-only night out, Fort Collins has more than a few places where you can find a great drink. If you are a fan of locally brewed beer, there are almost too many breweries to count within driving distance. Purpose Brewing and Cellars, the Gilded Goat, and Zwei are all nearby breweries if you want to stay in the neighborhood. Do you prefer cider? Try a flight (or two) at Scrumpy’s Hard Cider Bar downtown and bring home a growler of your favorite. If you’re in the mood for cocktails, we have that, too! The Whisk(e)y is a great place for – you guessed it – whiskey, as well as a long menu of delicious mixed drinks, and the CopperMuse Distillery isn’t far away if you want a craft cocktail or a taste of one of their hand-crafted spirits.

Don’t let cold weather keep you inside this winter! Fort Collins has a lot to offer in every season, whether you want to try your hand at an escape room or get a drink with friends. We also have recommendations for the days you’re ready to bundle up and explore winter outdoor recreation options like snowshoeing or ice skating.

Are you looking for a new home here in Fort Collins! Call Middel Realty to check out our hypoallergenic single-family homes and learn more about our prompt and reliable maintenance services. Not only can you enjoy a beautiful place to call home, but you can count on us to handle repairs and emergencies. Choose the Top Rated Local® property management company that has been serving Fort Collins since 1974 — call Middel Realty today!

Winter Activities in Fort Collins

Winter is here in Fort Collins, and while there may be a chill in the air, there are still plenty of fun activities you and your family can find around town. Here at Middel Realty, we are dedicated to making sure you enjoy not only your rental home, but also this amazing community. In today’s blog, we’ll be going over a few things you can do in this snowy weather that will make you fall in love with Northern Colorado all over again!

Explore Holiday Lights

You may have missed the November lighting ceremony, but now you can enjoy the holiday splendor all around town! Businesses and homes throughout Fort Collins do their best to shine through the long nights in the winter, and there are plenty of places to explore where you’ll find big Christmas trees, strings of lights, and more. Start in beautiful Old Town, wander the city with your family, and vote on your favorites!

Go Ice Skating

Whether you want to bring family and friends to EPIC, the Edora Pool Ice Center, to enjoy the big ice rink, or you simply stumble across one of the many temporary rinks set up throughout the city, ice skating is the perfect winter pastime. You can even try out your skills in the Old Town Square, where you can rent skates for kids and adults alike, or even rent the entire skating rink for an unforgettable event.

Visit the Winter Farmers’ Market

Looking for a new way to spend your Saturday? Visit the Fort Collins winter farmers’ market! It’s the only winter market in Northern Colorado, and it’s open from November to April with local goods, ingredients, and snacks. It’s free to explore, so you can see everything on offer by more than 40 vendors, from wine and cheese to jewelry.

Go Sledding

Are your kids eager to take advantage of the snow? With a few more winter storms under our belt, we’ll have beautiful conditions for sledding. A local favorite spot is back at the EPIC Center, where a perfect sledding hill has been drawing kids and their families for years.

Try Snowshoeing

If you and your partner are looking for a new experience, or you have older kids who are excited to try something new, try your hand at snowshoeing! There are plenty of parks, trails, and open spaces nearby, including Lory State Park and trails around Horsetooth Reservoir. There are more than a few places in town where you can rent a pair of snowshoes, or, if you discover that it’s a new favorite family activity, buy your own!

As you can see, there is plenty to do in Fort Collins no matter the season! If you are ready to make this place your home, we hope you turn to Middel Realty to find your next property rental. We have been a locally-owned and family-operated business since 1974, and our hypoallergenic single-family homes are in some of the best locations in the city. Explore our listings to find your next home, and contact Middel Realty today to get started!

Questions to Ask Yourself: Renting vs. Buying

It’s time to move. You’re ready to leave your old rental property, and the question now is: do you buy a home or continue to rent? It’s a big decision to make, and there are a lot of factors to consider. Middel Realty wants to help you make the best decision for your family, so in today’s post, we’ll be going through a list of questions you should answer before committing to buying a home. If you choose to keep renting, choose a property management company that cares about you.

Middel Realty is dedicated to giving you the best rental experience possible, which is why we offer fast maintenance services and a 24/7 help line where you can always reach a Middel Realty employee. Keep reading to determine if renting is right for you and then explore our current Fort Collins listings!

Is Buying a Home Practical?

We’ve written about this decision process before, and a lot of the questions we encouraged you to ask yourself were straightforward and finance-based. In our original post, we asked you to consider what kind of monthly payments you could afford, and if you were prepared for all the costs of owning a home. The questions in that post also asked you to think about the state of the real estate market and how long you planned to stay in the area. Today, we’ll be talking about some of the more personal factors that might affect your decision to rent or buy a home. You can return to that original blog post on buying versus renting to review those questions and then continue with part two in today’s post.

What is Your Relationship Status?

When we say “relationship status,” we don’t just mean single or married. Buying a home is a big commitment, and if you plan to buy that home with a partner, you need to be confident in the long-term stability and strength of your relationship. It might be hard to consider honestly, but making a big decision about something like home ownership requires asking the hard questions. It’s better to have an uncomfortable conversation now than have something happen later on and have to go through the complex process of selling your home because you can no longer afford it on your own.

Not only should you evaluate the current status of your relationship, you should also think about what the future might hold. There might be just two of you now, but what about in a few years? How might your family grow and change? Because buying a home is a long-term investment, you need to make sure that if you buy a property, it can accommodate whatever the future may bring. If you are unsure of what kind of relationship you might have in a few years or these questions make you squirm, then renting is a likely a much safer option for you.

Are You Ready for the Responsibility of Home Ownership?

In our original post discussing renting versus buying a home, we made sure you were ready for the financial responsibilities of real estate investment, which will include the upfront costs of a home, closing costs, property taxes, and maintenance costs. However, there is more to owning a home than simply paying the bills; there is more personal responsibility and hands-on work required. You have both the freedom and the obligation to make decisions about your property.

It can be a thrill to redo the bathroom and hang up art with real nails instead of plastic hooks, but when something goes horribly wrong with the plumbing, there is no landlord to call. You need to find a way to fix things, whether there’s a crack in the foundation or roof damage courtesy of a fallen tree. There can be a lot of joy and fulfillment in being a homeowner, but there will also be times of stress, and sometimes the requirements on you can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Are you ready to make that commitment at the same time you write that first check? If not, renting can give you the experience of making a place home without the constricting responsibilities.

What are Your Career Plans?

We touched upon defining your long-term plans in our first post about making this big decision, but we didn’t discuss one of the biggest factors in determining those plans: your career. Are you happy with your current job? Is it a stable, long-term opportunity? If you are confident that you’ll have a well-paying position for years to come, then buying a home can be a smart investment. On the other hand, things change, and renting gives you the flexibility to change with the times. You have the opportunity to move for a better position or adapt if your company makes changes.

There is a lot to consider when you are debating whether to buy a home or continue to rent. Owning a home can afford stability, but that stability can become a trap. The major disadvantage of renting – the fact that it is a temporary situation – is also the advantage, because it gives you the flexibility to move and change. Hopefully, answering a few questions can make the choice easier. If you are in a stable, long-term relationship,or you have a steady job that you love, then those factors can make buying a home easier. On the other hand, if you aren’t prepared to take on all the responsibilities of home ownership, renting is a good compromise.
Is renting right for you? Let Middel Realty shoulder the responsibility of property management. We have been offering high-quality, single-family rental homes in Fort Collins for 25 years and we pride ourselves in going the extra mile to ensure your satisfaction. Not only will you enjoy prompt and reliable maintenance service, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be able to reach a Middel Realty employee at any time, any day of the week. Find your next dream home in our Fort Collins rental listings and contact us today to learn more!