When Megan Wachtman was growing up in Iowa, she didn’t even own a bike.
“Now I am obsessed,” said Wachtman, an 8z Real Estate broker who specializes in northwest Loveland, an area that she has christened as “Erwin,” because of the four communities in it that feed the nearby Lucile Erwin Middle School.
Wachtman loves everything about Loveland – from its affordable home prices to its outdoor lifestyle.
She recently completed a 100-mile bike ride in Loveland and Boulder that she described as “amazing.” She is an avid rock climber and loves to climb on her mountain bike.
“There’s always something to do here,” Wachtman said, from a model home in Loveland that she is listing. “I love to take my daughters (ages 2 and 4) to the sculpture park and just love all of the outdoor stuff.”
She not only loves to sell real estate – she is in her 11th year in the business – but is having her best year ever, despite the ongoing depressed national market.
She already has sold about 55 percent more in total dollar volume than during her previous best year, part of which she attributes to 8z Real Estate and its sister company, COhomefinder.com.
She notes that she already has sold homes for about a dozen clients she learned about through COhomefinder.
“They’ve been high-quality listings, too,” she said. “They had an average price of about $350,000. 8z is not for everyone, but if you are a self-starter and highly motivated, it’s a great company. The 8z system allows me to focus on serving my clients and know the market cold.”
Megan praised for knowledge, professionalism
Being a self-starter and highly motivated only begins to describe her, according to one of her clients, Jerry Curtis.
“I tell you what, if I could package Megan and drag her around with me all over the country, I would,” said Curtis, in a phone interview from Texas, where he recently moved from Loveland for business reasons.
Curtis used Wachtman to buy his Loveland home in 2005, and she recently re-sold it, closing on it about a week ago.
He never considered using anyone other than Wachtman to list and sell his home.
“I bought that home from her in 2005, and it was brand new one, and she was a young lady who was so smart and so educated, I had no hesitancy to call her again to sell my home,” Curtis said. “She just does everything well. Every detail was covered. When I went to both closings, she was so very thorough, there was not one question either time. The only reason she is not my Realtor here is because because she is not licensed in Texas. She is just so personable and honest and knows the business inside and out. I cannot say enough good things about Megan.”
He’s not exaggerating how highly he thinks of her.
“My daughter is a Realtor in Denver and she is very good, but Megan is better,” Curtis offered, somewhat sheepishly. “Now, my daughter would kill me if she knew I said that, but it is true.”
Wachtman said that what gives her the biggest satisfaction from selling homes is the friendships she has forged with her clients.
“My five best friends are people I have sold houses to,” she said. “My husband and I have been to dozens of birthday parties and weddings and picnics with people I have sold houses to.”
Curtis said that he has not spent that much time socially with Wachtman because of their age difference.
“She and her husband are in their 30s and I am, well, I am quite a bit older than that,” he said.
Indeed, Wachtman said that the two main demographic groups she has sold to are first-time home buyers and empty nesters, whose kids have grown.
The Erwin area that she farms, i.e. specializes in, includes Emerald Green, Buckhorn Village, Enchantment Ridge and Kendall Brook.
“Erwin is not a subdivision, but I came up with it as a name because they are all neighborhoods served by the Erwin middle school,” she said. “I live in the neighborhood and I have a lot of my own listings in the neighborhood.”
Depending on the subdivision, homes in Erwin are priced from about $180,000 to north of $350,000.
“Emerald Green and Kendall Brook are attracting more of the empty nesters or retired people,” she said. “Probably the average age is in the mid-60s and many of them want to be close to their grandchildren.”
Recently, she has seen an increase in people moving to Loveland from outside of Colorado. People have moved from California, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Michigan.
A number of the buyers have paid cash, although they may put a loan on their house later, given that mortgage rates are at or near historic lows.
Selling stocks to buy homes
“Interestingly, I had a number of clients who had sold stocks to buy homes,” she said. “Not during the recent crash, but before. I think they thought that the stock market was getting a little risky and felt a home in Loveland was a safer investment. I think now people are feeling that they’ve lost too much money in the stock market, so they are going to wait for it to come back a bit before they sell.”
Wachtman said she thinks Loveland home prices and activity have fared better during the recent downturn than in the Denver area.
“I was recently looking at some statistics, and I believe Loveland was up about 3 percent, year-to-date, compared to last year,” she said.
In addition, she saw a boost in home-buying following the announcement that the former Agilent Technologies campus in Loveland had been chosen as a center to turn NASA-controlled patents into products.
“That is ultimately going to create 7,000 or more jobs and I think a lot of people decided that now is a good time to buy,” because when the jobs start rolling in, home prices will rise with increased demand from people working there.
Coincidentally, the day after she met with InsideRealEstateNews, United Properties, the Minneapolis developer of the site, known as the Aerospace and Clean Energy Manufacturing and Innovation Park, announced it was ending its exclusive agreement to develop it.
However, she is confident the deal will eventually happen, and even checked with a Loveland City Council member who agreed with her.
NASA would boost Loveland’s economy
“NASA is still coming,” Wachtman said. “They’re looking for a new developer.”
Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., also is optimistic another developer will take the NASA deal and run with it in Loveland.
“The only guide post we have is a NASA facility that is west of Silicon Valley,” Clark said. “They started 20 years ago and now they have 6,000 to 8,000 jobs. A consultant involved with that Silicon Valley facility told us we are way ahead of them when they started. But this is a concept that takes a while to get your feet under. It’s more complex than a typical real estate transaction.”
He said that there were several other developers who were bidding on the site, and it is possible that one of them will move forward on the deal.
“Loveland really is in a unique position to take advantage of a lot of the R&D coming out of NASA,” Clark added. “It is one of three facilities in the country that will work directly with NASA and it could be a killer project that really puts Loveland on the map.”
In addition to the strong possibility of being a mecca for well-paying jobs, it doesn’t hurt that Loveland often is tagged by national reports as one of the best places to raise a family or one of the best small cities in America.
A CNN/Money report had to say about Loveland: “For those looking to embrace the outdoors, Loveland has two world-class golf courses, biking and hiking paths, an extensive park system, and several sports fields. And homes are affordable.”
They’ll get no argument from Wachtman. It’s as if they took the words right out of her mouth.
To watch a video of Megan, please visit this in her own words link.
For contact information for Megan, please visit this link.
To learn more about what is happening in the Erwin neighborhood, please visit this link.
To learn what homes are available for sale near the Lucile Erwin Middle School, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.
To learn what homes are available in the Buckhorn Village neighborhood, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.
To learn what homes are available in the Kendall Brook area, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.
To learn what homes are available at the Enclave at Enchantment Ridge, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.
To learn what homes are available at the Cottages at Enchantment Ridge, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.
To learn what homes are available in Emerald Glen in Loveland, please visit this COhomefinder.com link.