Meritage Homes, with bullish view of Northern Colorado, arrives at resort community with golf, lakes


By Mark Samuelson

Meritage Homes, with Colorado’s best production-built energy efficiency package, likes the temperature of the water in Northern Colorado – with a great economic outlook, and buyers that have a special liking for environmental features. Meritage already had three neighborhoods open around Fort Collins (ranked by Forbes as 7th best place in the nation for business) when it unveiled its newest Northern Colorado offering last month: two models including a roomy ranch, for a resort styled-community wrapped around 27 holes of semi-private championship golf, and five large lakes.

Meritage's new ranch in Water Valley Meritage’s new ranch plan in Waer Valley.

Water Valley in Windsor, 15 minutes southeast of Fort Collins and around 45 minutes from Broomfield or Westminster, has amenities that sound more like Florida’s Fort Myers than Fort Collins: water features that average a 20-to-25-foot depth, some of them with sand beaches, and wrapped by 7.5 miles of trail that are slated to connect someday with Fort Collins via the Poudre Trail system. The two golf courses are anchored by the 18-hole Pelican Lakes course with a 4-star rating by Golf Digest — among the top-five semi-private courses in the state, according to Golf Digest.

Put that together with a lodge-style clubhouse that has a resort pool and a restaurant/sports bar that opens onto a view of the Rockies, and you have destination that works for families commuting into Fort Collins or Loveland – but also one suited to retirees, wanting to be near their Colorado kids and grandkids.

Even before Meritage arrived with the two model homes you can tour this weekend, a new Poudre Valley Medical Fitness Facility designed in association with University of Colorado Health arrived less than a mile from Meritage’s model homes. Meanwhile, this is nine minutes from Loveland’s Centerra shopping center with Macy’s, Dick’s, and a dozen eateries from P.F. Chang to Rock Bottom.

“Wow,” Meritage Homes Director of Sales Craig Dunkelberger recalls thinking, the first time he came over the hill from I-25 east of Loveland, and saw the lakes and fairways laid out near the site. “I knew there was a golf course,” he adds, “but this was a lot more like an oasis…a resort.”

You can explore that this weekend, along with Meritage’s family-sized ‘Frisco’ model – 2,430 square feet and a 2-1/2 car tandem garage, priced from $338,990 — and check on other 2-story plans from $314,000 – numbers that by Denver standards look very attainable, without even considering the amenities Water Valley delivers. Next door, you’ll be one of the first to tour Meritage’s newly introduced ‘Cascade’ ranch – 1,775 square feet with a 3-car tandem garage, showing an additional 1,130 square feet finished in the basement — from only $322,990.

Meritage provides buyers the option of having the basement on these plans finished up front as a guest bedroom/entertaining area. Families also have an option for what level of membership they want to avail the golf and clubhouse: There’s a low-priced HOA, or an optional social membership that includes the pool and clubhouse, or a full golf membership. And you’ll also get to see Meritage’s energy information center that explains in detail how far Meritage is going to keep energy costs down, including offering an option for solar electric.

If coming from Fort Collins, just head east on Harmony, past I-25 another four miles to Road 17/74 and turn south, through Windsor, to New Liberty Road. Or from Denver take I-25 north, past the U.S. 36 Loveland exit and Centerra, to Crossroads Boulevard, head east to New Liberty; turn left to Seadrift Lane; then right to Tidewater.
PHOTO: A new Frisco model opening today at Water Valley in Windsor, east of Fort Collins and Loveland.
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IF YOU GO:

WHERE: Grand opening Water Valley by Meritage, 2 models including never-before-seen Cascade ranch, 27-hole golf course, memberships available. 2025 Tidewater Ct., Windsor; take I-25 north past U.S. 34/Loveland exit, to Exit 259 Crossroads Blvd, head east 6 mi. to New Liberty Rd; turn left to Seadrift Ln; then right to Tidewater. Or from Fort Collins east on Harmony past I-25 4 mi. to Rd 17/74, south 5 mi., thru town of Windsor to New Liberty

PRICE: From $479,000
WHEN: Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 11-6
PHONE: 970-286-6007 WEB: MeritageHomes.com

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