Fort Collins House Hacking Duplex

8 Tips for House Hacking in Fort Collins

If you’re interested in house hacking in Fort Collins, here are 8 tips that will help you on your journey toward financial independence based on a recent class James taught where he covered the 9 nastiest mistakes investors make when buying in Northern Colorado.

1. Analyze Your House Hack

When you’re house hacking, you’re not looking for a real estate broker to sell you on how pretty the kitchens and bathrooms are or how the color of the carpet is still in style.

Instead, you want a real estate broker that understands the numbers for analyzing house hacking deals.

And, if you don’t have your own amazing… and mathematically correct… deal analysis spreadsheet you want a real estate broker that can provide you with one that is designed for house hackers. The spreadsheet and teach classes on how to use was designed specifically for buy-and-hold real estate investors, house hackers and Nomads™ so you can be sure it will work for you.

The World's Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

That means avoiding nasty deals that will sink your investing goals with unacceptable levels of negative cash flow and focusing on only the best deals that will have you achieving financial independence safer and sooner than you imagined.

2. Know and Follow U+2 Rules

It is not about maximizing bedrooms to maximize rent when house hacking. That’s especially true with Fort Collins and the U+2 law that prevents you from having 3 or more roommates.

City of Fort Collins Extra Occupancy Rental Zoning

City of Fort Collins Extra Occupancy Rental Zoning

Maybe you’re thinking that’s why you’ll focus on duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes. But, as you begin your property search you’re wondering: where are all the duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes? And, when you do find them, why are the numbers so wacky? Or, the ones with good numbers… why is this in really rough condition or in the “sketchier” parts of town?

Yes, the devil is in the details… you need to find the right property to house hack.

3. Use The Right Financing

But finding the right property is just part of it. Then, you need to select the right financing. Are you saving up 25% (the typical amount required to buy a non-owner-occupant multi-family property like a duplex, triplex or four-plex)?

If that’s the case, you’re probably doing it all wrong as a house hacker. One of the benefits of house hacking is that you can use the much better owner-occupant financing… even for multi-family properties (up to and including 4 units) like 0% down VA or 3.5% down FHA financing.

Sure, the FHA loan has private mortgage insurance that doesn’t go away and the VA loan is limited to qualifying Veterans, but that’s what we cover in detail in our financing classes for real estate investors.

Monthly Payments Examples for Both Non-Owner-Occupant and Owner-Occupant Loans

Monthly Payments Examples for Both Non-Owner-Occupant and Owner-Occupant Loans

Plus, if you opt to buy a single family home where you’re going to rent out the bedrooms, there are nothing down loan options, 3% down conventional loan options and the most commonly used 5% down payment conventional loan option as well.

Plus, you’ll want to consider the pros and cons of choosing to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) or selecting two other, less known, options that will improve cash flow and make it easier to continue your investing beyond just this one property.

4. Search For The Right Types of Properties

Market conditions change. Sometimes we have lots of inventory to choose from and you get to be in the driver’s seat with selection. Other times, we have very limited inventory, and multiple offers on the most desirable and best-priced properties.

As house hacking real estate investors in Fort Collins you need to adjust to the market conditions to achieve your real estate goals while still holding firm to properties that make financial sense.

I created a special page with links to the most common ways that real estate investors (including house hackers) search for investment properties. Check out that page when you’re ready to start your search or reach out to us to have us setup an automatic email search for you based on your criteria.

5. Manage Your Properties Like a Professional

It is a common misconception that getting a discount when you buy is the most important thing. The discount you get really applies when you sell the property, but as buy-and-hold investors, house hackers and Nomads™ our holding period is often… forever.

The cost of selling a property is steep (although we have some solutions for that in the classes we teach). That’s why we try to avoid selling properties and, instead, focus on buying quality properties that we’d want to hold in our portfolio for a very, very long time.

That means that getting a discount is NOT the most important thing… managing your properties for cash flow is, arguably, one of the most important things.

Really, we’re in it for cash flow. So, minimizing expenses and maximizing income becomes incredibly important.

That means you need to become a pro at managing your properties, bookkeeping and accounting. It is a good thing we teach entire classes on screening tenants, managing properties (and separate classes on managing your property manager if you opt to go that route) as well as bookkeeping and accounting for real estate investors.

6. Protect Your Assets

Once you buy your first house hack property, you need to start playing defense and protecting your assets. What good would it be to acquire half a dozen rentals only to lose them all with a frivolous lawsuit?

After you’ve bought your first property and you’re ready to focus in on protecting yourself, check out the asset protection classes.

To get to true financial independence you need to protect and keep your assets safe and that’s what we’d like to help you focus on.

7. Repeat The Process For True Wealth Building

After you buy your first house hack… you got one down. Rarely will one property… even one that is paid off and no longer has a mortgage… be enough to support your desired standard of living when you reach financial independence.

That means you’re likely going to want to buy more than one property.

That’s what we specialize in.

Nomad™ Investing Model

Nomad™ Investing Model

Nomads™ are a special type of buy-and-hold real estate investor or house hacker that repeatedly invests in real estate serially. They buy one property a year until they acquire all the properties they need. Often, they do this strategy with little or no money down.

We have extensive training, tools and resources for Nomads™ if that sounds like you.

8. Keep Healthy Reserves

Similar to our discussion on asset protection, you need to make the unexpected… expected.

Listen, you know you’re going to have vacancy, maintenance, repairs, market cycles… plan for it now with great reserves.

Running hundreds of real estate investing models through our Real Estate Financial Planning™ software has shown me one thing for certain: reserves are the number one factor that gives someone holding power to live through life’s inevitable dips.

That’s why we use a special tool for analyzing house hacks that accounts for reserves as well.

Return On Investment Quadrant + Reserves with Numbers

Return On Investment Quadrant + Reserves with Numbers

Is Your Real Estate Broker Focused on Helping House Hackers?

Real estate brokers James and Tammy Orr focus on helping house hackers, buy and hold investors and Nomads™ buy and sell properties in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor and Greeley and surrounding areas.

James has been teaching real estate investor classes in Fort Collins since 2003 and has over 200 recorded real estate investing classes covering every topic house hackers need to know to be successful investing in our local market. Check out the real estate investing classes or listen to them on our real estate investing podcast.

When you’re ready to have a real estate broker team that specializes in what you’re looking to do, consider contacting James and Tammy Orr for a free consultation to see if it is a good fit.

Fort Collins CO Investor Friendly Broker

Fort Collins CO Investor Friendly Broker

If you’re serious about investing in real estate in Fort Collins, you don’t want just any real estate agent helping you.

Focus on buy-and-hold, house hacking, Nomad™, wholesaling or fix and flips in Fort Collins using these free resources below from James and Tammy Orr, Realtors.

When you’re ready to buy or sell a property, consider contacting The Investor’s Realtors James and Tammy Orr for a free consultation to discuss your investing goals and see if it is a good mutual fit.

Deal Analysis Spreadsheet

Using the right buy-and-hold deal analysis spreadsheet can help you buy a great cash flowing property. Just as importantly, it can help you avoid buying a negative cash flowing dog.

Download a copy of our rental property analysis spreadsheet to analyze your own deals quickly, easily and profitably.

The World's Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

Deal Analysis Classes

James has been teaching real estate investing classes since 2003 in Fort Collins. If you want to improve your skills in analyzing properties using the spreadsheet download, check out some of the deal analysis classes.

You’ll also learn about James’ Return in Dollars Quadrant™, Return on Investment Quadrant™, Return on Equity Quadrant™ and how he deals with reserves when using the quadrants with the ROIQ+R6™.

Return On Investment Quadrant + Reserves with Numbers

Return On Investment Quadrant + Reserves with Numbers

Or, instantly see how strong a property will cash flow now with James’ Cash Flow Power Meter™.

Cash Flow Power Meter™

Cash Flow Power Meter™

Plus, see how cash flow changes over time with the same Cash Flow Power Meter™.

Cash Flow Power Meter™ Over Time

Cash Flow Power Meter™ Over Time

Financing Investment Properties

If you’re paying cash for all your purchases, that’s great. About 1/3 of all properties are free and clear.

For everyone else, we have extensive classes and resources for financing the purchase of investment properties. Some non-owner-occupant strategies will require 15, 20 or 25% down payments. Other strategies can be done with more aggressive financing using hard money and private loans. Non-recourse financing with your retirement accounts will often require 35% down payments (or more in some cases to get the financing ratios right).

Some of the owner-occupant strategies for house hackers and Nomads™ can be done with 0, 3, 3.5 or 5% down (depending on the property and loan program).

Check out some of the Financing Classes to learn more about a wide range of financing strategies for Fort Collins investors.

Investment Property Searches

Different real estate investing strategies suggest different search criteria.

Investors searching for buy-and-hold properties will typically search differently than fix and flip/wholesale investors looking to find an under-valued property that needs fix up work. House hackers and Nomads™ have their own considerations… although they’re likely to be most similar to buy-and-hold investors.

We have set up a series of links to make searching for properties easier on our Fort Collins Investment Real Estate page. Check out that page to get direct links to a number of helpful searches.

If you’d like us to set up email notifications as soon as properties matching your criteria hits the market, contact us and we can assist you with setting that up.

Occupancy Limits

For some real estate investing strategies (like house hacking and buy-and-hold to students or by the room), Fort Collins can be challenging. Why? Because of the occupancy rules known as the U + 2 rule.

It applies to all areas of Fort Collins with a few exemptions based on the map below.

City of Fort Collins Extra Occupancy Rental Zoning

City of Fort Collins Extra Occupancy Rental Zoning

Whenever you buy, sell or rent a property in Fort Collins you are required (by law) to have an updated Occupancy Limits Disclosure signed by ALL parties. The fine for not having the form signed is up to $1,000 and can be charged to the owner, property manager and/or the tenants.

Here’s a snippet from the form itself:

If requested by the City, you are required to provide this fully executed disclosure statement to the City pursuant to City Code Section 5-265(b). Failure to properly execute and retain this statement is a civil infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $1000, in addition to any costs, fees or surcharges assessed by a court or referee. Fines may be assessed to the owner, manager, and/or tenant(s).

Determine Your Buying Criteria

Buying Criteria Worksheet

Buying Criteria Worksheet

If you need help determining your buying criteria, James taught a special workshop to help you get completely clear on what you’re looking for.

Check out the Establishing Your Buying Criteria Workshop class for more details including a worksheet.

Real Estate Investing Dream Team

James has been teaching classes in Fort Collins and helping investors in Northern Colorado since 2003. Over that time, he’s established a team of professionals for himself and his clients.

If you need a referral to a lender, property manager or other resource, check out his referral directory.

Catering to Fort Collins Investors

I hope you can see just the beginning of the difference between using The Investor Realtors James and Tammy Orr to help you buy, sell and invest in Fort Collins and the surrounding Northern Colorado area.

We specialize in helping investors buy and sell investment properties. That specialty means better tools and resources for you. That often leads to you finding and selecting betters deals which means fewer headaches and more money for you.

Of course, clients get more than what you see linked on this page including our attorney prepared lease, lease-option, hundreds of hours of additional class material and much more.

Contact James and Tammy to schedule a free call.

Greeley Investment Real Estate

Greeley Investment Real Estate

If you’re interested in Greeley Investment Real Estate… welcome!

We specialize in helping local real estate investors buy, sell and invest in properties in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Greeley and surrounding cities by teaching real estate investing classes and providing checklist/process based real estate brokerage services specifically designed for primarily buy and hold and Nomad™ real estate investors.

Get Your First Deal Done

Watch this special video of a class we taught on how to get your first deal done.

Or, check out dozens of our other free real estate investing classes specifically taught for investors looking for rental properties in Greeley and surrounding cities.

Cash Flow in Greeley

Historically, of the cities in Northern Colorado we typically see better cash flow in Greeley. Exceptions to this rule abound, however. And, may I gently remind you about Weld County (which includes Greeley) led the state of Colorado in foreclosures during the 2008-2009 real estate crisis. Of course, since then the Greeley market recovered remarkably well.

Greeley Investment Property Searches

Use the following specialized property searches to find properties to purchase in our local MLS.

I’ve sorted the list into groups of links by the type of properties you’re looking at.

Distressed Greeley Investment Properties

If you’re interested in looking for properties that need work, that you can buy at a discount and sell for a profit then check out these specialized lists.

Actively for sale properties that meet this criteria are relatively uncommon (especially in our hot market). So, it is not unusual to see no matching properties when you look at the list. You got to keep coming back here and checking the list regularly… daily if not multiple times a day to be successful in finding deals like this. Then, when you do find something that looks interesting you need to contact me and Tammy right away to make an offer.

Fixer Uppers

One way to find “fixer uppers” in Greeley is to search the MLS for properties where the agent has said the property is a “fixer upper” or “needs some fix up” or “needs someone to fix it” or “fix and flip” or something like that.

Use this special search to quickly find Greeley properties that have the word “fix” in the description.

Show Greeley Fixer Uppers Property List


Sellers become motivated for both positive and negative reasons. A seller may get married and no longer need two homes (with two mortgage payments) and be motivated to sell. Or, a seller could be motivated from a job loss. Regardless of the underlying reason, they decide selling—even at a discount—helps them.

To find Greeley properties where the agent has expressed the seller may be motivated, use the link below to search the MLS for the word “motivated”.

Show Greeley Motivated Property List

Greeley Properties Needing TLC

Agents may soften their language about properties that need work by describing them as needing “TLC”. So, here’s a list of Greeley properties that have the phrase “TLC” in their descriptions.

Show Greeley Properties Needing TLC List

Damaged Properties

Accidents happen. Properties catch fire. Destructive hail pelts properties.

Search Greeley properties with hail damage, fire damage, smoke damage, flood damage and other kinds of “damage” with the link below.

Show Greeley Damaged Properties List

Abandoned Greeley Properties

While not common, some sellers abandon properties. If we happen to have any for sale in the MLS, find them using the link searching for “abandon” below.

Show Greeley Abandoned Properties List

In Need of Repairs

Some agents describe properties needing work as needing “repairs”.

Be especially careful of false positives with this one as we may also see people say “X recently repaired” or “Y to be repaired prior to closing”.

Use this search to look for Greeley properties with the word “repair” in the MLS description.

Show Greeley Properties Needing Repairs List

Handyman Specials

Properties described as needing someone “handy” or as a “handyman special” or “bring your handyman” can be found by looking for the search term “handy” in the MLS. I got you boo… here’s the link to search the MLS for these.

Show Greeley Handyman Special Properties List

Greeley Meth Properties

Looking for a meth dealer? That’s not this list. These are properties where the agent is describing them with the term “meth”. These properties likely need to be remediated and that’s an opportunity for the right real estate investor (not my thing personally, but some folks like that sort of thing).

Here’s the list of properties with the phrase “meth” in the description.

Show Greeley Meth Properties List

Greeley Multi-Family Investment Real Estate

Unlike meth properties, this is more my speed. Investors looking for cash flow from rental income. Buying duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes.

Maybe you’re wanting to buy them with 25% down non-owner-occupant investor financing (multi-family usually require slightly higher down payments). Or, maybe you’re looking to use an FHA or VA loan and buy the unit so you can live in one unit (for at least a year). House hacking and Nomading™ are amazing strategies in the Northern Colorado real estate market.

The following are properties described with the word “plex” in the description to try to capture all the multi-family properties available for sale in Greeley.

Greeley “Plex” Property List

Or, try to find a specific type of plex in Greeley with these searches:

Cheap Greely Properties

I could soften my language, but let’s call a “billy goat” a “billy goat”… if you’re looking for “cheap” Greeley properties you can buy as an investment, I got lists for that too.

For these, you’ll still want to run the numbers using a deal analysis spreadsheet. You can download and use the one we teach classes with (shown below) to do this.

The World's Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

I break out the lists by number of bedrooms and sort by price, lowest to highest.

When You’re Ready

When you’re ready to invest in real estate, schedule a time to chat with James to discuss your investing plan and see how James and Tammy can help you buy, sell and invest in real estate in Northern Colorado.

Northern Colorado Real Estate Investor Group

The Northern Colorado Real Estate Investor Group consists of over 1,500 real estate investors.

The club has focused on free real estate investing education since 2003.

Investors buying properties in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor and some of the smaller cities in NoCo attend.

Over the last 17 years James Orr taught about forty 2-hour, deep-dive educational real estate investor NCREIG classes each year.

Over the last 7 years, Brian Williams has lent his expertise and time teaching about half the classes.

Prior to COVID investors would meet in-person for class and networking. Since COVID, James and Brian teach class via Zoom with occasional virtual networking after.

Real estate investors attend classes in-person, on Wednesday evenings for free. James publishes many of the classes to the free NCREIG podcast.

Some of the more advanced class recordings James saves as a perk for the real estate investor clients.

Clients consist of local investors buying and selling properties with him and Tammy. Tammy brokers real estate as well.

Nomad™ Investing Model

What is the Nomad™ investing model?

The Nomad™ real estate investing model is a strategy of investing in real estate.

Nomads™ acquire rental properties by:

  • Buy a home as an owner-occupant
  • Live there for a year
  • Then buy a new owner-occupant home
  • And convert the previous house to a rental
  • Repeat until you have as many rental properties as you desire

I named the Nomad™ model after a client and friend told me he wanted to sequentially buy homes, live there and ultimately convert them to rentals.

Since then, I’ve taught dozens of classes, written several books on the Nomad™ real estate investing strategy, wrote Real Estate Financial Planning™ software to correctly model it and demonstrated its popularity and effectiveness… especially in the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley real estate markets.

If you’re interested in a real estate investing strategy that you can implement with little down payment (or in some cases… no down payment) where you can achieve financial independence using real estate in our local real estate market, I encourage you to check it out.

Live NCREIG Class

NCREIG Classes

The Northern Colorado Real Estate Investor Group (NCREIG) has been teaching real estate investor classes on a wide range of real estate investor topics for Northern Colorado Real Estate Investors since 2003.

Prior to COVID, classes were held live at the Fort Collins Board of Realtors (near Drake and Shields in Fort Collins). Since COVID, we’ve been holding the classes via Zoom until it is safe to return to in-person meetings.

Join the Northern Colorado Real Estate Investor Group (it’s free) on Meetup and RSVP to attend one of the NCREIG classes.

NCREIG Class Topics

NCREIG class topics have included beginner topics like how to get your first deal done, how to come up with down payments to invest in real estate and financing investment properties.

Beginner topics are a great place to start if you’re new to real estate investing or want to know how the basics apply to investing in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley and surrounding areas.

While we do cover topics like creative financing, BRRR, fix and flips and wholesaling these topics have been somewhat challenging in our extremely hot seller’s market in Northern Colorado the last few years.

Instead we’ve covered strategies to work better in our local market including long-term buy-and-hold real estate investing, the Nomad™ real estate investing strategy, house hacking, and selling properties on lease-options.

These deep-dive NCREIG classes tend to be super popular. They cover “what’s working now” in our local market.

Intermediate topics include analyzing deals, property management and tenant screening.

Advanced topics include asset protection, advanced financial modeling of entire real estate investing strategies and real estate portfolio optimization.

We teach about 40 different real estate investor classes each year and record most of them. Many of the recordings can be found on the podcast.

Some recordings are reserved as a perk for brokerage clients of James and Tammy Orr.

Loveland Investment Real Estate

Loveland Investment Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about Loveland investment real estate, then you’ve found the right place.

Below you will find some resources for searching for properties to buy as an investment in Loveland as well as some of the resources that we’ve created after teaching real estate investment classes in our local Northern Colorado market since 2003.

Before I share with you my resources to help local investors, I want to tell you share with you something I’ve learned working almost exclusively with real estate investors in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, Greeley and surrounding areas: you can do this.

There are a number of different real estate investing strategies from buy and hold with 20% down payments to strategies we’ve created and optimized for our market like the Nomad strategy where you can learn to acquire rental properties starting with nothing or little down and grow a portfolio of cash flowing rentals.

I’ve catered to teaching real estate investors in Northern Colorado for a good part of my real estate investing and real estate brokerage career. At this point we have close to 200 2-hour class recordings covering everything you need to know from basic financing to asset protection, from tenant screening and property management to advanced investing strategies and modeling.

Plus, we teach about 45 live, free 2-hour classes per year for clients and prospective clients of our real estate brokerage to help teach you everything you need to know to get started in your quest to find Loveland investment real estate.

So, let’s start you with some key property searches and then let me share with you just 1 of over 200 recorded classes on investing locally.

Loveland Investment Property Searches

Here are a few of the more common properties searches you may want to be using when looking for properties to invest in in the Loveland and surrounding areas broken out into two major categories (fixer uppers and then buy and holds).

Possible Loveland Fixer Uppers

Use the links below to search for investment properties in Loveland using the special search term:

Possible Loveland Cash Flow Rental Properties – Sort By Least Expensive

Now that you have some links to some of the more common searches that investors like to use to find great deals, let’s move on to sharing some tools you will need.

Getting Your First Deal Done in Loveland, Colorado

The first is a video on how to get your first deal done. In this class, my client and best friend, Brian will attempt to teach you everything you need to know to do your first deal in one 2-hour class.

I hope you enjoyed that video and are now much better prepared for buying Loveland investment real estate.

Deal Analysis Spreadsheet

I’ve had the privilege to have taught hundreds of local investors since 2003 and it doesn’t take a genius to know what most investors want when first starting to look at investment properties: an amazing deal analysis spreadsheet.

The World's Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet

The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet

And, we have what I consider to be The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™ (which you can download for free).

Plus, if you want, we also some have classes on how to analyze Loveland investment real estate deals with this very spreadsheet available as well.

Types of Real Estate Investors

There are several types of real estate investors in our local market. Here are some of the most common:

  • Fix and flippers – investors looking for deals they can buy below market value so they can fix it up (or otherwise add value) and resell the property for a quick profit. Flippers tend to be looking to generate income. Often we hear new investors say they want to flip so they can raise up money to buy long-term buy and hold rental properties. You don’t need to do fix and flips first to buy rentals… there are easier and better solutions.
  • Long-term buy and hold rental property landlords – investors that like to buy properties with the goal of generating positive cash flow. These investors tend to want to invest their money and get a good return on their money. This is a wealth building strategy.
  • House hackers – folks looking to buy a property where they will both live in the property and generate income from the property. The most common example are folks wanting to buy duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes to live in one of the units and rent the others out. In theory, you could get enough rent from the other units to highly subsidize your living costs or eliminate it completely. Variations on this also include getting roommates. Mathematically it is similar to getting a side hustle that brings in extra income.
  • Nomads – real estate investors that buy a house with little or nothing down as an owner-occupant, move into the property, live there for a year and then convert the property to a long-term buy and hold rental. This is arguably the best strategy in our local market. It allows folks to acquire a portfolio of rental properties with the least amount of money (little or nothing down conventional financing), with the best financing (very low owner-occupant rates) at a fast, steady rate.
  • Creative real estate entrepreneur – these are investors that want to go out and find deals, often with creative financing strategies like buying properties subject to or with lease options or owner financing. It tends to be a very active business enterprise.

When you’re ready, I hope you’ll consider plugging into the community of real estate investors that attend our free weekly real estate investing classes (usually a new, different class each week) held just north of Loveland in Fort Collins near Drake/Shields.

I’m looking forward to meeting you and hope I have the opportunity to serve you in your real estate investing search.

Fort Collins Investment Real Estate

Fort Collins Investment Real Estate

If you’re looking for investment real estate in Fort Collins, you’ve hit the mother lode. This page is considered the ultimate guide to searching for and learning about buying investment properties in Fort Collins.

First, we have several different searches for identifying different types of investment properties in Fort Collins. Click on the link to jump to the part of the page that is most interesting to you.

Plus, we have a bunch of additional resources for people looking to get involved with investment real estate like:

Distressed Fort Collins Investment Real Estate

If you’re a fix and flip investor or handy and looking for a property that may be “distressed” or have a “motivated seller” then you may want to look at the Fort Collins properties listed for sale in another form entirely.

We can search inside the MLS to identify potentially discounted properties that we can purchase as investments. We do this by searching for a number of specific keywords to see if they appear in the MLS listing. The following are some custom searches to try to identify properties that might be deals for you. Properties often appear in more than one list of searched properties.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Sometimes these searches will not have any properties that match the specific search we are doing. In those cases, it will say “Sorry, no properties matching so far.” Bookmark this page and check back often to find ones as soon as they hit the market or contact James and Tammy to have us set up email alerts to notify you of these special investment opportunities.

Fixer Uppers

One type of potentially discounted property are properties that need work. The following properties are for sale, in Fort Collins and have the word “fixer” in the MLS description.

Show Fort Collins Fixer Uppers Property List


Looking to find a motivated seller? These properties have the word “motivated” in the MLS description.

Show Fort Collins Motivated Property List

Tender Loving Care aka TLC Properties

When real estate agents describe properties that need some work, some say the property needs a little “TLC”. So, we can often identify these properties by searching for the abbreviation “TLC” in the MLS description. Here’s any properties currently listed for sale in Fort Collins with “TLC” in the description.

Show Fort Collins Properties Needing TLC List

Damaged Properties: Flood, Water, Fire, Smoke, Hail and Other Damaging Agents

Look for properties that have damage as another possible opportunity to find Fort Collins investment-grade real estate investments for fixing up. Maybe you want to buy a discounted property that has flood damage. Perhaps you’re OK with finding a property that has fire and/or smoke damage. Maybe, just hail damage. Regardless of the type of property you’re looking for, this search will show the properties in FoCo that have the word “damage” in the description to try to identify ones that might have flood, fire, smoke, hail or other damage to them so that you can buy them at a discount to fix them up and get a deal.

Show Fort Collins Damaged Properties List

Abandoned Fort Collins Properties

Occasionally… albeit rare… a property will be listed as having been “abandoned”. For that reason, we have the following search of properties with the word “abandon” in the MLS description. However, you’re more likely to find properties that use the word “abandon” in another way that will give us false positives for actual deals here. But, just in case, here’s the list of properties with the word “abandon” in the MLS description.

Show Fort Collins Abandoned Properties List

Properties Needing Repairs

Another word that identifies possible properties that need of repair: “repair” itself. The following are Fort Collins properties with “repair” in the MLS description.

Show Fort Collins Properties Needing Repairs List

Handyman Specials

These properties have the word “handy” in the MLS description to try to capture properties listed as “handyman specials”.

Show Fort Collins Handyman Special Properties List

Fort Collins Meth Properties

It takes a special type of real estate investor to want to deal with a full meth remediation on a property, but if you happen to be that type of investor up for the challenge this list is for you. The following list of properties has the word “meth” in the MLS description to try to identify possible properties that have been contaminated with “meth”.

Show Fort Collins Meth Properties List

Multi-Family Investment Real Estate in Fort Collins

Some investors are looking to buy duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes. Maybe because they want to “house hack” or maybe this is your first property as a Nomad™.

Owner-occupants wanting to buy duplexes, triplexes or fourplexes can even buy these multi-family properties with nothing down VA financing (if you’re a veteran) or with 3.5% down payment FHA financing if you’re willing to move into the property. If you not moving in, you’re likely looking at 25% down payments at a minimum for the multi-family property conventional financing.

The following are properties described with the word “plex” in the description to try to capture all the multi-family properties available for sale in Fort Collins.

Fort Collins “Plex” Property List

Or, search for a specific type of “plex” in Fort Collins with these special searches:

Least Expensive Investment Real Estate in Fort Collins

A down-and-dirty, easy way to look at properties that might make a good rental in Fort Collins is to quickly look at the least expensive properties for sale for each bedroom count. In other words: the least expensive 1 bedroom units, the least expensive 2 bedroom units and so on.

The idea is that rent is largely driven by the number of bedrooms, so finding the least expensive properties with a set number of bedrooms, you can see the ones that are likely to have the best cash on cash return on investment. You can use this as a first-pass search to identify possible good cash flowing rental properties. Of course, once you identify a possible rental, you should use a deal analysis spreadsheet like the one we provide to fully analyze the property.

The World's Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet™

The World’s Greatest Real Estate Deal Analysis Spreadsheet

Search Fort Collins Investment Real Estate by Cash on Cash Return On Investment

If you’re looking to discover deals that would make good long-term cash flowing rentals, then you’re very likely analyzing the properties for Cash on Cash Return On Investment when you do your analysis with the real estate deal analysis spreadsheet.

Don’t you wish there was an easy way for you to essentially analyze all the properties listed for sale and sort them by the ones that have the highest Cash on Cash Return On Investment? Well, there is, but it requires that I do some work on my end to set it up when a client needs it.

Search Fort Collins Investment Real Estate by Likely Discount

If you’re looking for discounted properties in Fort Collins that you can buy that are below their current fair market value, the question becomes how do you determine that?

One way is to compare the ratio of property taxes to the list price. Why does this work? Since property taxes are an estimate of what the property may be worth, we can look at the ratio of the taxes (one measure of property value) to the price (another measure of property value) and look at the properties that have favorably ratios.

No sure-fire, 100% accurate way exists to determine which properties are under-valued, but when I did a study of fix and flip deals, this turned out to be the best way to identify which deals were actual fix and flips.

Again, this method requires that I do manual work on my end, so I only do it for clients.

How to Get Your First Deal Done

I’ve been teaching real estate investing classes in Fort Collins since 2003 for the Northern Colorado Real Estate Investor Group. You can attend our live classes in Fort Collins for free.

Each week we teach a different class topic covering every area of investing from analyzing deals and asset protection to partnerships, property management and tenant screening and everything in between.

In the recording, “How to Get Your First Deal Done”, Brian tries to teach every class all in one two-hour class, but it gives you a really good overview of the investing process and what to expect trying to buy investment real estate in our local market.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We usually require that people register here on this website to view this and some of the other videos, but I wanted to make sure you had access to this one. There are well over 100 different class recordings like this.

Real Estate Investing Podcast

Most weeks we record the real estate investing class we hold in Fort Collins.

And, most weeks we publish the class recording to our Nomad­™ Real Estate Investing Podcast (available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and all your favorite podcast websites).

We typically keep a sampling of some of the more important classes for beginning investors up all the time on the podcast.

Plus, we rotate the four most recent class recordings (which can be anything from very basic info to extremely advanced real estate investing content). Once we add a new one, we remove the 5th oldest and put it in the vault for clients of my real estate brokerage to access as a special perk for them buying and selling properties with us. There are well over 100 class recordings in the vault for clients at this point.

Check out a list of some of our real estate investing classes.