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Archive for April, 2008

Colorado Crossing Coming Soon to Colorado Springs!

~Coming to Colorado Springs: Colorado Crossing~

Colorado Springs’ first “town center” lifestyle community is being designed! Colorado Crossing will be located across from Pikes Peak Community College and New Life Church near Hwy 83 on the North end of Colorado Springs.
It is a 10-year project with the first phase predicted to be completed in November 2008. A Cinemark 14- theatre (the only HD Theatre in town), the largest parking garage in Colorado Springs, a five-story office building, and 366 residential lofts will open once the first phase is complete in late 2008.

Colorado Crossing will be similar to Southlands in Aurora (near E-470 and Gun Club) and Lowry (near 6th Ave.) in Denver. Colorado Crossing will be so different from any other area in Colorado Springs and I am so excited for it, I can hardly wait! This area will have fountains, fireplaces, and many hi-tech features.

There will be more of a national presence when it comes to the restaurants and shops located in the town center. We will be seeing many of the stores and restaurants from the Denver area as well. Another plus about Colorado Crossing: It is planned to be a green community.

As you can imagine, this will be a very busy area in the future so the developers plan to add two more traffic lights and build sky bridges to New Life Church and a future grocery store.

As far as leasing space in Colorado Crossing, prices will start at $18/sq Triple Net (NNN) for the Class A+ Commercial Office Space with the NNN’s being $7.50/sq ft for year one and the retail/restaurant space will start at $25-$32/sq ft Triple Net with the NNN’s being $6.00/sq ft for year one.

Once the estimated 10-year project is finished, the area will include:

  • Residential lofts and condominiums (up to 1,600 units when the second phase is completed)
  • Commercial and retail businesses
  • Wellness spa and community fitness center with an indoor water park
  • Medical offices
  • Parks and open space (approx. 13 acres)
  • Restaurants and cafés
  • Library
  • Community school (District-20)
  • Hotel

For more information about Colorado Crossing coming to Colorado Springs:

A Sunshine Development L.L.C. Project
9475 Briar Village Point, Suite 300
Colorado Springs, Co 80920
719.575.9134
http://www.colorado-crossing.com/

 

 

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For more information on Colorado Springs Real Estate or the Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Sellers: Update your Colorado Springs home by changing the hardware!

Updating a home does not have to consist of a major overhaul or remodel. Homes can look SO much nicer by doing one simple thing: changing the hardware.

If your kitchen cabinets look a little dated, try adding updated handles or knobs. Cabinets can look really bare and boring when they do not have any hardware. Change the hardware if the existing knobs on your cabinet are unappealing and dated.

It is fairly inexpensive to purchase cabinet hardware for your kitchen and bathroom cabinets at Home Depot or Lowe’s but it can make the world of a difference!! Don’t go too crazy with the style you choose, keep it simple so it will appeal to most buyers (i.e. brushed nickel).

Brushed nickel sink faucet

Take a look at your bathroom sinks and kitchen sink, does the hardware look dated? If so, changing out the sink faucets can really change the look of your sink and bathroom! If you have the plastic knobs in all of your bathrooms, I would change them. They look very dated and are difficult to keep clean, grime always gets trapped in them and really shows!

Sink faucets are a little pricier than cabinet hardware but well worth the investment!Lever Door Handle

Are your door knobs dated? I have seen many homes in Colorado Springs with door knobs straight out of the 80’s and it isn’t pretty! Changing the door knobs or handles will make the whole house look different since there are doors everywhere. Remember to change the hinges; gold hinges with Venetian bronze door handles will look tacky! Prices for door knobs will vary depending on the type of hardware you purchase.

Keep track of the total price for hardware because purchasing door knobs and hinges for the entire house can add up if you do not have a set budget.

Don’t forget about the hardware on your front door; updating it can make your front door look more flattering. What is one of the first things buyers notice first when walking up to a house? That’s right, the front door!

Changing out the hardware in your home will give your home a newer feel and will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.

 

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For more information on Colorado Springs Real Estate or the Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Colorado Springs Homebuyers Beware!

 Foreclosures in Colorado continue to be high and filings last week reached 915 for all counties in Colorado. Out of the 915 filings last week, El Paso County had 115 filings for foreclosure. Although there are many foreclosures in Colorado, we are no longer one of the top 5 foreclosure states in our country.

I actually have not known anyone personally who was at high risk of losing their home to foreclosure until recently. These homeowners purchased their home in Arapahoe County not even one year ago and are going to stop making payments on their mortgage since they are in over their heads. I reviewed some of the possible options with the homeowners and they are leaning in the direction of foreclosing on the home despite of the consequences the foreclosure will have on their already less than perfect credit. They do not have money to bring to the closing table if they are able to sell and they do not want to receive a deficiency judgment from the lender down the road (lenders have 6 years to file a judgment) as a result of a possible short sale.

After paying their mortgage, there is minimal money leftover to pay for everything else (utilities, groceries, gas, car payments, etc…). One of the homeowner’s told me: “Looking back, I wish they didn’t approve me for the loan.” Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure they can afford a home but many individuals look to a lender for guidance and this lender put them in a home they could NOT afford. I am wondering how he qualified these homeowners and if he even calculated their debt less income (back end ratio). I don’t know what kind of ratios he was using when qualifying them for their 80/20 conventional loan let alone how they were approved for it! In this instance, the homeowners did not create a budget and prior to purchasing this home, looked at a mortgage calculator to find out how much they could afford and figured they could afford the mortgage. Mortgage calculators are useful tools but buyers need to take into account other expenses and debts as well!

If you are looking to purchase real estate in Colorado Springs make sure and qualify with a good and reputable lender. If the pre-qualification you receive is based on your gross income, you may want to re-think how much you can afford to buy. Gross income is before taxes and last time I checked, a large amount of your earnings go to taxes. Instead, look at your net income and then subtract all of your debts every month (car payments, credit cards, school loans, etc…) and you will have a better idea of how much you can really afford. Be wise, don’t get into the situation where you pay your mortgage each month and then charge all of your other expenses on credit cards. Before you know it, you will be in over your head in thousands of dollars of credit card debt.

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For information on the buying process and available Colorado Springs Housing please go to http://www.patricia-beck.com.

5 things sellers can do to make a deal go sour fast!

  1. Talking to or meeting with the buyers without the knowledge of your realtor- If you are speaking with the other party and no one else knows about it, promises can be made verbally that are not reflected in the written contract and this is a big no, no! The reason you hire a real estate agent is so they can communicate with the buyers’ agent to ensure the transaction goes smoothly. Do not talk to the other realtor without your agent present either.
  2. Not disclosing material defects of the property- If you are aware that the roof leaks or about the black mold in the bathroom upstairs, it is wise to disclose the information to your Colorado Springs Realtor and on the seller’s property disclosure form you fill out. Think you’re off the hook after you walk away from the closing table? Wrong! The buyer can take you to small claims court. Disclose all material defects with the home, it’s the right thing to do and the buyer deserves to know!
  3. Refuse to repair a big problem in the home- Sure it’s your right to refuse repairing items requested by the buyer after an inspection and I am not saying you should agree to repair everything but think twice before saying “no” to a large or serious repair. If the roof has hail damage and needs replacement and you refuse to repair it for the first buyer, the next buyer who comes along will more than likely request the roof be replaced also. If the item is serious enough to come up in the future with another buyer again, you should probably fix it.
  4. Not being honest with your realtor- You and your realtor work as a team during the transaction so if you withhold certain information from them that could affect the transaction, you may have a big problem. Keep it simple and be honest with your agent.
  5. Not having permits for work completed in the home- You didn’t get a permit from Pikes Peak Regional for the basement, bathroom, or deck you built and now you are under contract with a buyer for your home. If you try to acquire permits for work completed after you finished a project while you are under contract you may have to make corrections in order to bring the work completed in the home up to building code. Not only can that become costly, but also very time consuming. In some circumstances, the buyer may have issues with their lender or homeowner’s insurance due to the absence of permits. The buyer also knows when they go to sell the home in the future, they have to obtain permits (which may involve making corrections at their expense) and that just may be enough to steer them away from the deal. It is wise to obtain permits for work completed before you list your home for sale.

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Factors to consider when selecting an agent to sell your home in Colorado Springs

There are many good real estate agents in Colorado Springs and if you are planning on selling your home, take the time to interview a handful of agents first. Here are a few questions to add to your list when interviewing a realtor in Colorado Springs.

1. How well does the agent know the area your home is located in?

Some agents specialize in specific areas of the city and may know your area better. Has the agent lived in the area long or did he/she just move here?

2. Is the agent you are interviewing a Realtor®?

A Realtor® subscribes to the Code of Ethics and is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

3. How is the real estate agent going to market your home?

Will they advertise on television, the radio, newspapers, internet, or Open Houses? Some real estate agents may not be willing to hold an Open House for your home, is that a problem for you? Approximately 75%-85% of buyers go online to search for a home in Colorado Springs, is your agent internet savvy?

4. How many years has the real estate agent been in the field and have they obtained any additional designations in addition to their real estate license?

It is important for realtors to continuously stay educated since real estate trends and laws are always changing. Your agent must be knowledgeable and educated in real estate and it is important they have experience.

5. What commission is the agent going to charge and what will that entail?

Make sure and negotiate a commission you are comfortable with and keep in mind that a lower commission may include limited services by some real estate agents.

6. How is the agent going to price your home?

What kind of research does the agent have to back up the price they are recommending? If your home is overpriced it will not sell, it needs to be priced accurately to the current market value.

7. Is the individual an honest and ethical agent? Can you trust him or her?

You may have heard something about the agent from a friend or you may have not heard anything about the agent and are meeting for the first time. Do you feel comfortable with the agent? Do they seem trustworthy, sneaky, transparent…? Do they tell you the honest truth about the market value of your home or just what you want to hear?

8. Does the agent listen to you?

Make sure the Realtor takes the time to listen to you and to the information you have about your home that may be important to know. If the agent does not take the time to listen to you and just talks over you about what they know it may not be a good fit.

9. Is the Realtor working as a full-time or part-time real estate agent?

This is a very important question to ask. Is your agent going to be too busy at his/her other job to answer your phone calls or concerns? How flexible are they? If he/she is working as a part-time real estate agent, is that going to be an issue for you? Will your listing get the adequate attention required to sell?

10. How do your personalities mix?

 If you and your agent clash or have different expectations, that can be a recipe for disaster. Make sure you and your Realtor get along and connect because selling your home is going to be a team effort! You need to get along with everyone on your team and have the same game plan. Make sure you feel comfortable communicating with your Realtor; good communication is essential!!

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.

Sellers: Do not stay home during showings if you want your home to sell!

When taking buyers through homes in Colorado Springs, they often have something to say about the property while walking through it: “The paint on the walls is repulsive!”, “I love the kitchen.”, “What is that smell?”, “I can see the neighbor’s junk pile from this backyard!”

Of course, the buyers can freely communicate about the property when the seller is not there but what about when the seller stays inside the home during the showing? Well, let’s just say, it is uncomfortable for many buyers. So if you are a seller reading this, please do not stay home during showings! Buyers always cruise through the house quickly when the homeowner is there and feel like they cannot ask questions or say much because the seller is present. Some even buyers even tell me “let’s just go on to the next house.”

Often times, I am not even told by the real estate office that the seller will be present and that makes it even more awkward for everyone. I recently had a seller say: “Come on in, feel free to take a look around the house, I didn’t have anywhere to go so decided to stay here.” What?! Please, go anywhere else except staying at the house! Did your realtor not tell you that important little detail? I took another pair of clients into a home they were interested in looking at a second time and the whole family just sat on the couch staring at the walls during the entire showing…my buyers did not feel comfortable taking a look in the living room since they were all sitting in there.

If you absolutely have to be home, it might be a good idea to at least step outside during the showing if the buyers are with a realtor. One little piece of advice: Please do not walk around with the realtor and the buyers giving them a lengthy tour of your home. Some of the details you have about the home may be important for the buyer to know so relay the information to your realtor to pass along to the buyer’s agent instead of bombarding the buyer while they are there. I have had many buyers get aggravated when the seller starts giving “the tour” down to the last little detail that the buyer could care less about. As a result, the realtor is placed in a little predicament while trying to show the home to their clients as you, the seller follow them around.

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To find out more about Colorado Springs Realty and The Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website

Colorado Springs Sellers, overprice and you will not sell

 The housing market in Colorado Springs has been impacted as other areas in the nation but homes are still selling in our city if they are priced correctly. Many sellers do not understand how market values affect how much they can ask for their home. Sure, you can ignore what the market values are in your area and list your home for much more, but it probably will not sell and that does not do any good. If your home is has been actively for sale and you have had many showings with no offers or have had few showings, your list price is probably too high for the market in your area. It is not wise to overprice your home and then drop it a few thousand here and a few thousand there every few of months, that does not work very well in today’s market. You will lose marketing time if you do not price your home correctly from the beginning.

There are many factors that go into your asking price including the home’s condition, recent upgrades, and the sellers’ personal motivations and how quickly they need to sell. If you have another home being built and it will be ready in a couple months, you may want to list your home’s asking price in the lower range of the market value in your neighborhood in order to sell more quickly and hopefully, avoid having to pay two mortgage payments. If you are not in a huge rush you may be able to list your home in the higher range of the market value for your area.

So what is the difference between cost, price, value, and market value? The cost of the home is the amount you actually paid for the home at the time you purchased it. The price of the home is essentially what you are asking for the home (i.e. listing your home for 250K). If your home has green carpet, bright orange paint, and very expensive and gaudy hardware throughout, the home would probably not appeal to many buyers in your area. On the other hand, there may be a specific buyer who has very similar taste to yours whom your home would appeal to and this would be what your home is worth to someone. What your home is worth to a specific buyer defines your home’s value. Many sellers are hearing their agent mention what the market value is for their home and sometimes the market value is shockingly less than what the seller paid for the home or maybe the sellers spent a considerable amount of money on upgrades and remodels that do not significantly change the market value of their home. Many sellers want to list their home in relation to the amount or cost they paid for the home 2 years ago when the market value may be less.

The market value of a home appeals to many buyers, which in turn, produces a sale in a reasonable amount of time. A reasonable amount of time is not 200 days, I would say closer to 90 days or less is a more reasonable amount of time in the current market here in Colorado Springs. If you are serious about selling, listen to your Realtor and work together to price your home correctly within the range of the market value for a home similar to your own in the area. Otherwise, don’t waste your time; you may just want to wait a while; if you price your home any more than 3% above market value, it just will not sell. I think appraisals are so important, especially in certain markets. If you have many updates in your home, if your home is unique compared to others in the area, or if there are not many comparable properties that have sold in the past 6 months, obtain an appraisal. A Realtor’s Comparative Market Analysis is not an appraisal. More and more Realtors are encouraging their sellers to obtain an appraisal with the changing market.

Search the Pikes Peak MLS

For more information on Colorado Springs Real Estate or the Colorado Springs Area contact me or visit my website.