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  • Writer's pictureMariel Megan Ross

Meet your neighbors – The Harbisons

Learn more about your new neighbors ... plus, their advice on building a home!

Joe & Robin outside their new Sterling Ranch home

I love meeting new friends in Sterling Ranch. We have so many lovely families, innovative civic and business leaders, and amazing neighbors working hard to turn Sterling Ranch into a next-generation, sustainable, 21st century community we can all be proud of. Our series “Meet your neighbors” is our way of showcasing some of our amazing neighbors.

One of Sterling Ranch’s new wonderful neighbors are Joe and Robin Harbison and their family. Without further ado, let me introduce you to the Harbisons!

(1) Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

We are Joe and Robin. Our first born was a Golden Retriever named Bokeh. As you can see by the photo of our kids he is the most into photos. He was followed two less furry kids Beckham and Zoe.

We are proposal to wedding photographers who love the outdoors. Joe loves road cycling, skiing, wine, and IPAs. Robin loves her sleep, snowboarding, getting out for walks, and her art. Bokeh runs around most days naked and loves getting Robin out for walks. Beckham and Zoe love to make a mess in our new home, playing in the backyard and front alley.

(2) What led you to Sterling Ranch? What are you most excited about when it comes to the neighborhood?

Can you accidentally buy a home? Joe had been looking at homes for a couple years as our home was feeling smaller. We were living up in Stapleton and so were faced with either building up on the far north side of the community or buying something a little bit older and not really what we wanted. We love Parkwood Homes and as it was going to be a while for the next set of lots to be released in Stapleton we thought we would just go check out the Sterling Ranch community which was also building Parkwoods. To our surprise a huge corner Parkwood lot was available as it fell through with multiple other buyers.

In one sense what led us here was that our previous single family lot could fit in our current backyard and that the cost of a Parkwood up there was more for less home. In another sense, the community is called Providence Village for a reason.

Parkwood's model home in Sterling Ranch

We are excited for the community development over the coming years. This excitement comes from a hope for some basic retail and restaurants in the community, seeing the plans for some parks and other communities, hoping for some local schools to be built, and that we have seen the success of a similar model in Stapleton. We have not lived here long but have found the people to be highly welcoming. We are excited to make some new friendships.

(3) Any advice/thoughts for people looking to move to Sterling Ranch?

We recommend you buy a Parkwood. There are other really good builders but being able to build a semi custom home is what sets them apart. The cost of the customizations were not all too expensive. Even if you do not customize things your standard build features are still of a higher quality. They also come with a fully landscaped yard which is a big thing a lot of people may not realize this does not come with most other builders.

Joe & Robin's artificial turf yard

Water is a big thing for this community. The costs of water are higher primarily in the base costs. The indoor and outdoor water is separately measured. The amount of outdoor water allotted for a yard is capped. What this functionally means is you can only have so much high water usage grass in your yard. This drove us to putting 2400 sqft of artificial grass in the backyard as the maximum size of real grass we could have had was 1400 sqft due to the cap on planned water usage. We see a lot of people putting in large patios and outdoor spaces for entertaining which is another way to have a beautiful yard with less costs.

Brokeh looking cute!

While there are no home owners association (HOA) fees in Sterling Ranch, property taxes are higher than in other parts of Colorado due to specific Sterling Ranch costs primarily related to infrastructure built into the property taxes. This may come as a surprise to some people. With that there is no HOA but rather a community authority board (CAB) built into the cost of taxes. This gets you the benefits of having a structure and rules to keep the community looking good but also simplifies the payment structure. While no one wants to pay more what you are really getting from this cost is a sustainable neighborhood with attractive amenities. Think of it like this that you pay for your home to be beautiful and then in taxes you pay for the normal services but then pay extra to make the things around your home better. The functional end we have seen in a similar community is what extra we pay in taxes we get back out in property value.

Outside of construction the neighborhood is quiet and people are active walking their dogs. You can see the stars most nights as there is not a lot of light pollution. We love getting to be close enough to the mountains that you can see them despite the weather. We have just started to get to enjoy Chatfield State Park. It is a gorgeous area to live.

Our last bit of advice is to find someone like Mariel who understands the area and is so passionate about the new build process. It is a no cost thing to you to bring a realtor into the process and she will help you along the way understand some key things about the neighborhood, be there through the design process, and help you stay within your budget with some creative ideas. One unique thing she did for us was a 3D tour of our home pre-drywall which has been extremely helpful for remembering what was behind the walls. We worked with her over a 15 month period and found her help to be key to keeping us sane but also to navigating some tricky unexpected things.

Thanks for chatting with the Roundup, Joe and Robin! When you see the Harbisons out and about in Sterling Ranch, be sure to say hi. And if you're interested in being featured in the Roundup's "Meet your neighbor" series, shoot me an e-mail at

Mariel Ross is a realtor who specializes in helping clients budget for, design, and build their dream homes. At Focus Real Estate we've helped clients build and purchase hundreds of new homes around Denver with Lennar, Parkwood, Richmond, Wonderland, and many other builders. Learn more about what I do here.

If you'd like to chat, shoot me a note at and be sure to "Like" the Roundup on Facebook.

The Sterling Ranch Roundup is powered by Focus Real Estate.

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