Colorado Springs Real Estate Blog

Colorado Springs real estate and homes for sale. Tips for buyers and sellers, statistics and analysis, great homes for sale and more!

Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Selling Your Home
Get Ready, Get Set, List!

Spring is here, and that means the home selling season is upon us.  This is when buyers go out looking at houses.   Below are some things you, the seller, can do to make your home market ready:
CURB APPEAL
The first thing a buyer sees is the front of the home. An ill-kept exterior can create a negative opinion of a home.

* Trim trees and bushes so the front of the home can be seen.
* Pressure wash the driveway, front walk, outside of the home and patio.
* Add colorful flowers near the front door.
* Clean the windows inside and out.
* If you add mulch, add it a few days before an open house so the smell is not as strong.
* Clean and paint the front door. Buyers often linger in front of the door and it’s the
first impression of the home.
* Clean the roof and gutters.
INTERIOR OF THE HOME
Make the interior of the home seem light and airy by doing some simple touches throughout the home. Clean the drapes, linens and blinds. Bring in fresh cut flowers for a pleasant smell. Clean all carpets. Add light colors throughout the home with towels, throws and pillows.
MINIMIZE PERSONAL ITEMS
Put away the family photos.  Get the magnet collection off the refrigerator. Eliminate some of the clutter in a home to give the impression of extra space. Put extra items in storage. Having only a few items in a closet makes it appear much larger.
BACKYARD
Just as your front yard makes a big impression to potential buyers as they drive by your home, the back yard is also another impactful area that many consider an additional entertaining space. Remove extra clutter in the backyard and replace any outdated or damaged furniture. Paint your deck if needed or repair any cracked concrete that may be noticeable.  And pick up the doggie poop.  Make your backyard a place buyers will want to spend time!

 

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Springs Ranch 2-story - 7215 Canal Point

I'm so excited to share with you this great Richmond Homes 2-story located on a nice corner lot in the Cascades at Springs Ranch... right around the corner from Remington Elementary and community park!! These owners have replaced most of the main level flooring with a gorgeous and durable wood-laminate. There's a bright 2-story living room with tons of natural light. The living room is open to the dining and into the kitchen. This dining room has unique sliding shutters at sliding door which leads to a deck... with a sweet little slide for the kids, plus a sweet Pikes Peak view!! The kitchen has a breakfast bar, plus ceramic tile floors and updated appliances including glass cook-top range and french door refrigerator.

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Upstairs is all new carpet, with an open stair case into the living room. All bathrooms have been updated with newer fixtures and towel bars, plus the master bath has tile floors and soaking tub! 

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Easy access to Peterson AFB and ample Powers Blvd shopping and restaurants! 

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Posted by on in Falcon North Neighborhood
11585 Red Lodge Road

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My newest listing is sweet!  Built in 1998, this spacious rancher sits on a one acre lot on a quiet street.  Exterior has no maintenance vinyl siding accented by attractive stonework, a split rail fence and invisible electric dog fence, storage shed, gazebo with hot tub, oversized patio, large wood deck, mature trees, flowering shrubs, and auto sprinkler..  The home includes an oversized 3 car garage, great room with vaulted ceilings, formal dining room, wood floors, 2 gas fireplaces, stainless steel appliances, private master suite with walk-in closet and attached 5 piece bath, finished garden level basement, and prewire for surround sound.  Homeowner's association covers your monthly water and sewer and includes membership to nearby swimming pool!

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Posted by on in General News
Cost vs. Value

I personally love when Realtor Magazine releases a good analysis of home improvement projects and which ones pay off when you sell. Clients and friends are constantly asking us as professionals in the real estate industry which projects have the greatest return.

I almost always advise people to do home improvement projects that they'll enjoy, but that are nuetral in dedesign and reasonable in value, so they do see some return. Surprisingly, according to the latest numbers, steel front door replacement provided the greatest percentage return. I didn't know that when we replaced ours a couple years ago, but glad we'll see something out of it... eventually.

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It's important to note that remodels also carry different returns in different regions. I'm sure is comes as no surprise that some of the larger west coast cities, with higher price per square foot, are also the cities that see the greatest return from improvements. This past year it was cities like San Jose, CA, San Diego, San Francisco, and Honolulu which landed some of the greatest percentage returns. One I wouldn't have thought of near the top of the list is Bridgeport, Connecticut, with 85.9% return on overall remodeling dollars spent. The top two regions include some of the previously mentioned California cities, plus Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington) and then - to my surprise - the South Central region (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas). My guess is the reigional cost of repairs is lower, therefore the percentage return is greater. 

Some of the lowest returns are realized in the Mid-Atlantic region (NJ, NY, and Pensylvania)... probably be cause the prices are already so high per square footage that the improvements don't yield such a high percentage. And secondly, the West North Central (Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, N. Dakota & S. Dakota). 

For more details about some specific projects and return on investment, click here to check out the entire article:

Realtor Mag - Cost vs. Value

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The Colorado State Demography Office released some interesting statistics today. The big news was the statewide population growth from 2012 through 2013.

"Colorado’s total population grew 1.52% to 5,268,367 between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, ranking as the 4th fastest in annual percentage growth and 5th fastest in absolute growth in the nation.  The United States as a whole grew .72% from 2012 to a total population of 316,128,839."

Additionally, "Douglas County is the fastest growing county in Colorado by percentage change, up 2.47% (ranking 59th Nationally), while Denver County is the fastest growing in absolute terms, increasing 14,953 (ranking 32nd Nationally)."

El Paso County comes in at number 3 on the Top 10 Colorado Counties with the Largest Population Increase from 2012 to 2013

Rank County Numeric Change
1 Denver County 14,953
2 Arapahoe County 11,220
3 El Paso County 9,605
4 Adams County 9,136
5 Douglas County 7,546
6 Jefferson County 6,322
7 Weld County 6,260
8 Larimer County 5,302
9 Boulder County 4,751
10 Broomfield County 1,160

 

For more information on Colorado Population statistics, visit the Colorado State Demography Office Website

Tagged in: population
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Phenomenal Keller resale - 8149 Mount Hope

Wow, this one is ready to go!! All the upgrades complete, plus landscaping. HOA maintains the front landscape and snow removal... what a relief! Back patio is covered and partially enclosed, great for keeping cool on the hot summer evenings. 

Hardwoods through main level... entry, dining, living, kitchen, office, great room... and current office makes for a perfect formal dining room if desired. 

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Unique custom storage upgrades in the master closet, basement storage, laundry room, and superb 30' deep garage with epoxy floors! 

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So many more upgrades... water softener, humidifier, air conditioning, upgraaded appliances & fixtures throughout. This house is spacious in all the right places, without being overwhelming it's the perfect size! Check out more photos and the video tour here - http://8149mounthopedr.com/ 

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Posted by on in Buying a Home

You have found your home and are headed towards the closing table. Congratulations, you are nearly done with the home buying process. There are only a handful of details left to complete, one of which is insurance. Have you already bought a policy or do you still have to choose a provider? Before you proceed any further with this, you should gain some information about homeowner's insurance policies.

A homeowner’s insurance policy, which is also referred to as hazard insurance, will be a requirement if you obtain a mortgage. Lenders require an insurance policy so that your house can be restored to the original condition if any damage occurs. This will prevent the value of the property from decreasing and allow necessary repairs to be made. If on the other hand you are going to  purchase your house with cash, insurance is not mandatory, but is still recommended.

A homeowner’s policy provides you protection against theft, fire and a number of other things. The cost of the insurance policy will actually be included in your mortgage payment. If on other hand, your loan to value ratio is low, you will have the option to pay your premiums separately. However, your lender will probably charge you extra fees for this option.

With that being said, let us delve into the details. We will talk about what’s covered, what’s not, deductibles and in the end, mention a few other policies which you can buy if there is a need.

Lender Requirements

We have already mentioned that a lender will require you to buy a home insurance policy. This is not their only requirement and they have other terms as well.

  • The policy has to be the minimum of the loan amount.

  • If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, you will have to buy additional coverage because damage from these types of events are usually not included in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. We will discuss these in detail later.

 

What is Covered

A standard home insurance policy will protect you from damage that is caused by wind, rain and fire.  You will be offered coverage for the structure of your house, the installed fixtures, heating systems and electrical systems. Other elements such as patios, sidewalks and driveway are usually covered but may vary by insurance providers . If your property is burglarized , you will be covered, but there might be limits for valuable items like jewelry and collectables.

 

What is Not Covered

A standard home insurance policy does not cover a number of things. The most important of these is damage caused by flood and earthquakes. For both these disasters, separate polices are available and you will have to buy them if you want to be protected.

 

Deductibles

A deductible is the amount of money which you have to pay to the vendor when you make a claim. The deductible amount you choose has an effect on your premiums. If you can pay a larger amount, you will be offered lower premium rates.

Shopping Around for a Policy

Lenders do require you to buy a home insurance policy, but they provide you with the freedom to choose any provider you like. There are many insurance companies which charge varying rates and provide you with different coverage levels. Before you choose a provider, compare them on the basis of a number of factors such as the coverage levels, the premium amounts, deductibles and so on. Needless to say, a policy available at a lower rate will not always be a great choice because it may not provide you with adequate coverage. Also, review their claim policies and make sure you are satisfied with the terms.

Factors that Can Affect Your Premiums

Roof

The condition of your roof has a direct effect on your premiums. If your roof is made from a material that resists impact, you can get a discount of up to 20% for your premium rates.

In some cases, a roof can be considered uninsurable such as when you have a t-lock or wood shake roof. Should this be the case, you may have to replace the roof or exclude the roof from your policy.

Electrical Systems

A roof must pass qualification of your insurance provider, but this is not exactly the case with electrical systems. The only condition required by Insurance companies is that the electrical system meet current codes and should have been updated once in the last 25 years.

Location of the Fire Department

Surprising as it may seem, this does affect your premiums. If the fire department is more than a couple of miles away, you rates could be higher.

Home Age and Construction

If your home is old or bigger, you will have to pay higher premiums. Construction material also affects the rates; masonry and brick homes reduce premiums since they can reduce the damage caused from fire or wind.

Deductibles

We have already mentioned this; if you agree to pay a higher deductible, your premiums will reduce.

There are other factors a well which can affect premiums such as your credit scores, claims history and the location of your house.

Other Insurance Policies Which You May Need

Condo Insurance

When you live in a condo, there is a homeowner's association to take care of all exterior maintenance issues and repairs. This association already has an insurance policy, but their policy will cover the structure of the building and other common areas. Your individual unit is still your responsibility and you will not be protected by the association’s policy. In such a case, you can buy a separate policy for yourself that will protect your personal belongings. Should there be a theft, damage, personal injury or any other incident, you can easily make a claim and get coverage.

Flood Insurance

Administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, flood insurance is required if you live in an area that is prone to flood. If risks of flood are high, lenders may make it mandatory to obtain flood coverage. Flood coverage is not included in a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Many providers offer it if requested by the homeowner . If your carrier does not offer flood insurance, you may purchase a policy through FEMA.

Earthquake Insurance

Although not historically an issue here in the State of Colorado, it is still worth mentioning. An  earthquake is another incident that is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. If you live in an area where quakes are frequent, you may want to buy this policy. However, you will have to pay a deductible amount that is higher than what you will have to pay for the standard policy.

That covers a good portion of what you need to know about a basic homeowners policy. In future articles, we will discuss Private Mortgage Insurance and Mortgage Insurance Premiums.

Tagged in: insurance
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Posted by on in Buying a Home
Your Right to Inspect

As a buyer you have the right to have inspections of the property and its inclusions, prior to closing.  Once inspected, you have the right to object to conditions.  You may either ask the seller to fix them, or you may terminate the contract.  It's important to know what to look for because after closing, you own any problems with the property.  What many buyers don't know is just how many inspections are available.   Below is a list of options you may want to consider before you close.

Buyer Inspection Rights

 

  1. Home Inspection – to determine the condition of your home. One usually runs $300-$400. Price is based on age and size of home.
  2. Radon Test – to determine if your home has unsafe levels of Radon gas within it. One usually runs $130.
  3. Sewer Line Scope – To see if sewer lines are obstructed or working properly. One usually runs $150.
  4. Lead-Based Paint Assessment – to determine if the home contains lead-based paint (applies to anything built prior to 1978). One usually runs $300.
  5. Meth Lab Test – to see if your home has any methamphetamine in it. One usually runs $600 for whole house or $1000 for specific area testing.
  6. Mold Test – to see if your home contains dangerous mold. One usually runs $300.

*prices above are an estimate and may vary

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Posted by on in Finance

Contesting a Low AppraisalSo you are finally over with the appraisal process, but the value is lower than what the seller is asking for. Yes, the lender will not provide you with a loan now, at least not for the amount which was initially approved. But you still want that same house, because you have fallen in love with it. Is there anyway to turn the situation in your favor? Actually, yes. Contest the low appraisal, and if luck is on your side, you may still get the house you want.

Contesting a mortgage appraisal differs depending on your loan type. The supporting documents are prepared in pretty much the same manner, but a slightly different course of action is taken in each case.

Conventional Loan

Challenging the initial appraisal is the easiest when you have applied for a conventional loan. Take a copy of the original appraisal report from your lender and go through it carefully. Note down any inaccuracies you come across and review the comps which the appraiser has used. They might have missed on some of the sales in the neighborhood, not considered a few upgrades, or not factored in all the amenities in the area.  

Once you have gathered a number of strong facts and formulated a compelling case, contact your lender and request them to go over the information. Ask them to either re-assess or order another appraisal. You will have to pay an extra price, but you can still get the same house.

VA Loan

When you apply for a VA loan and get a low appraisal value, you do not actually contest it. Instead, you order a Reconsideration of Value. Unlike other loan types, no other appraisal is performed and you cannot use another appraiser. Instead, the value is reconsidered and facts which may have initially been overlooked are presented.

You will have to provide your lender a written report that highlights the problems with the initial appraisal and the facts that were overlooked. Examples of this include more comparable property and/or errors in area and discrepancies with upgrades. If you wish, you can even submit a CMA or Comparative Market Analysis as a supporting document.

When the lender receives your documentation, they have two choices. If you claim the appraised value is erroneous by 10% or less, the lender passes on the documentation to the original appraisal who reconsiders it. If the value is greater than 10%, the lender will forward the request to the Department of Veteran Affairs, which then issues a revised value. Should your lender opt for this option, you cannot submit another reconsideration of value.

There has been a major change this year. VA Appraisals so longer stay with the property, it stays with the buyer. So if a buyer orders a VA appraisal, then chooses not to buy that house, the next buyer will have to order a new VA appraisal.

However, if the buyer still wants to buy the house, but changes lenders, the appraisal is still able to be used with the new lender.

So the appraisals are specific to the borrower that is ordering it.

FHA Loan

When an FHA appraisal is lower than what you wanted, you can appeal the appraisal. Provide your lender with supporting documents that highlight issues with the initial appraisal. Your lender will first talk to the original appraiser, and if they do not amend the report, a request is filed with the FHA and HUD. Both agencies then review the request and if the evidence is substantial enough, another value is reissued.

FHA Appraisals do stay with the property for 4 months. Example: If buyer #1 ordered an appraisal and the deal falls, the appraised value stays with the property for 4 months. If Buyer #2 comes along within that 4 month period and wants to use FHA financing as well, he will have to pay for a new appraisal, because his lender will insist on it, only to find out afterwards that the old appraisal prevails, thus the 2nd buyer wastes his money.

 

In all the above cases, please note that there is no guarantee the outcome will be in your favor. Also if your loan is not conventional, but is a VA or FHA loan, you cannot start over with another appraiser.

Try your luck and contest your appraisal. You might just get the house you want.

Tagged in: appraisal mortgage
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 Colorado Springs Home For Sale

Location Location!. Kittyhawk is just north of Bonneyville. This ranch has just over 2000 square feet and is on a 7200 square foot fenced lot. The exterior was painted in February. The back yard has a brick covered patio,  is fenced and has alley access as well as a storage shed. There are mountain views from the back yard. Currently this home is a 4 bedroom  with 2 ½ baths with 3 living areas ..a living room on the main and a large family room in the basement. At one time the den was a bedroom so it could be converted back if a 5th bedroom is needed. The main level has hardwood floors with tile in the kitchen and bathrooms. There is plenty of counter and cabinet space. All appliances are included and the dishwasher was replaced March 2014.

 

The basement is large and has 2 good size bedrooms that share a ¾ bath.

Kittyhawk is close to schools, parks, trails, shopping and downtown. What a fun place to live! Great value.


For More Information, Please Visit:http://2870JonSt.com

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Colorado Springs Real Estate

This property feels better than new with all the upgrades and landscaping. Plantation Shutters, Slab Granite in kitchen and bathrooms, 42’ cabinets, stainless steel appliances, upgraded flooring, 8’ doors, hand trowel texture, custom paint & decorative chair rails, 2 a/c units, 2 hot water heaters.

 

This 2 story, 5 bedroom, 3 bath resale feels better than new with many upgrades and is fully landscaped. The main level has a great room layout featuring  a wall of windows with plantation shutters and a stone gas fireplace  with mantel.

 

The kitchen is large and opens up to the family room and nook area. Features include slab granite countertops, 42” cabinets with crown molding, stainless steel appliances, a gas range, double ovens and oil rubbed bronze hardware. The butler pantry makes entertaining easy and includes a walk in pantry.

For More Information, Please Visit: http://CraneCanyonLoop.com

 

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Colorado Springs Homes For Sale

I have just listed this townhome, located in the Courtyards at Newport Heights, this home is in a great location. Here are the details; 2 Bedroom/2 bath/ 2 car garage townhome on the Northeast Side located in the gated community of The Courtyards at Newport. Open ranch floor plan with gas log fireplace, covered patio, central air, all appliances. 2 car garage below offering total privacy.

 

 

For more information, Please visit: http://www.sandmountaindr.com

 

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Monument Colorado Home For SaleDon’t miss this stucco ranch with 4 car garage large enough to accommodate an RV. Awesome corner lot with view of the mountains, fully landscaped and fenced. Floor plan offers main level living with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and an unfinished basement for growth or storage.

 

Great Keller ranch plan on an 11,000+ corner lot with a 4 car/RV garage. This home is main level living with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and the laundry all located on the main level.The exterior is maintenance free with stucco and stone and vinyl windows. The family room is open and looks out to the private backyard. There is a  double sided stone fireplace connecting the family room to the dining area. Kitchen has an island, tile countertops and  a double side deep sink. There are hardwood floors in the entry, kitchen and dining area.The dining area walks out to the backyard.Master suite features vaulted ceilings and a 4 piece bath with walk in closet. Basement is unfinished allowing room for expansion.The backyard has a private flagstone patio, a sprinkler system  and is fenced.Home has been immaculately taken care of. Recent interior updates include: carpet, all appliances, ceiling fans, central air and humidifier, kitchen sink and fixtures.

 

Garage is fully insulated and finished and has been upgraded with extended electrical outlets with one 220 Cat Head and newer garage door openers.

 

For more information, please visit: http://CoquinaDr.com

 


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7240 Alpenwood Way - Terrific D20 2-story!

This super 2-story is in the Academy School District 20 boundaries just south of Woodmen with great access to Cottonwood Creek Park, Rec Center, Open Space, Fields, Trails, etc! 

Wood-laminate flooring on the main level makes for easy maintenance... plus a vaulted living room with fireplace open to the upper level. The owners have added a pantry cabinet for bonus storage in the kitchen, which can be places on either side of the kitchen... plus replacement Stainless Steel appliances!! 

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Out back enjoy a brand new patio with path to the front, plus they enclosed the dug run for better esthetics! Upstairs you'll enjoy a spacious master with 2 closets, 2 windows and en-suite ful bath. 2 additional bedrooms share a mountain view and full bath in the hall. 

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blogI have recently listed the wonderful home, located in the popular Greenhaven Community, the home is very open and has lots of light.

 

The kitchen area is large with plenty of cabinets and counter space, a large pantry, a desk area and an island that opens to the family room.

 

Family Room has a gas log fireplace and a TV niche. There is also a study on the main level with a large powder bath. Master Suite is spacious and has a 4 piece master bath, a walk in closet and walks out to a large private covered deck.

 

Additional bedrooms share a full bath. Basement is unfinished. Additional features include:  air conditioning, a newer hot water heater, new window blinds, partially fenced back yard and a sprinkler system in the front and back. Home is in great condition and well maintained.

 

Greenhaven is within walking distance of Stetson Hills Open Space and a neighborhood park. Vista Ridge High School and Ridgeview Elementary  are also within walking distance  with a short drive to Skyview Middle School. For more information, please visit: http://silverwindcircle.com/

 

 

 

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Colorado Springs Real Estate PhotographySo, you have finally decided that you want to sell your home. Obviously, now you will have to market and advertise your home. How should you go about doing this? Through online marketing of course.

The National Association of Realtors, 2013 survey of Home Buyers estimated that nearly 90% of potential homebuyers begin searching for a home online. Yes, that does mean you have to put your house up on the MLS, and when you do so, you will have to upload pictures as well. Fail to do this, and only limited buyers will show an interest. Ask any real estate agent, and they will tell you the same.

Pictures are really important in real estate marketing, but there is one problem, not just any picture will do. Your pictures must be absolutely incredible and must utilize good photographic techniques. Only then will buyers show an interest and make and get them closer to making an offer. And do not forget the fact that buyers visit a home only when they like the photos. So if your photos are not good, there are very limited chances that potential buyers will appear on your front door.

Good Photographic Technique is Essential

The National Association of Realtors also claims that nearly 98% of people who bought a home and looked online, stated photos to be the most useful feature of online websites that played a very important role in the decision making process. In real estate marketing, photography is of prime importance because it can motivate the buyer to view your home, and possibly make an offer, that is, if it is good enough. Here are the main reasons why you should opt for a good photography when selling your house.

  • Photos help you gain an edge in the market and attract more buyers.

  • Today’s world is digitized. Buyers know how to make use of technology and they crave information. You can impress them if you get on the same page as them and provide them with good photos.

  • Nearly all real estate websites allow you to upload pictures. If you do not, few if any buyers will show much interest.

  • Visual aids form a better impression than just text descriptions about your house.

HDR Is An Advanced Photographic Technique

HDR or High Dynamic Range Imaging is a photography technique that adds more dynamic range to the photos. Dynamic range is actually the ratio of light and darkness. HDR techniques do not use just one photo, but instead combine a number of them into a single image. All photos are taken at different exposures and can easily be combined with an image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or HDR PhotoStudio. This helps you in highlighting the best features of every photo and result in an image that appears more appealing to the eye.

Compared to traditional images, HDR images are better because they are based on radiance or luminance. Their dynamic ranges are greater and so higher quality and clear photographs can be produced. The lighting in an HDR image is just perfect, and clearly highlights all the details. As such, all pictures of your house come out better and attract more buyers.

Let the Pros do the Work

Considering the advantages of HDR photography that have been mentioned above, you should use it when you take pictures of your home. As good as you may be with a camera, you should seek professional help and leave the job to them. They can do a far better job than you and produce better results.

Most Realtors will hire a professional photographer to take marketing photos of your home. If you decide to go it alone, make sure you do your research. Once you come across a name, view the portfolio, go through the customer reviews and consider the price. Needless to say, cheapest is not always the best. You may have to spend more than what you wanted but keep in mind that professional HDR photos can help you in getting a much better offer. Do not want to miss out on this, right? Hire a qualified photographer whose work is impressive enough.

Make Your Pictures Stand Out

HDR does make your photos look better, but there are other things as well, like staging and lighting. Combine the three and your photos will look absolutely perfect. Though your photographer and agent will guide you about this in detail, here is what you should do before the photographer starts clicking away.

  • Though this is very obvious, it is still worth mentioning there are people who do not pay any attention to it. When pictures of your house are being taken, it should be clean and appear to be uncluttered.

  • Your rooms should contain some of your belongings so that they appear livelier. This even makes it easier for the buyer to imagine their life there, allowing you tap in to their emotional side.

  • When the interior is being photographed, open the windows so that most of the sunlight can enter the room. Also turn on all the indoor lights.

  • Light up the fireplace, move the chair out, or make similar adjustments to make your house look cozier.

  • Be sure to focus on strong areas of your house. Maybe your bathroom is completely modernized, your backyard looks stunning or you have a pool. If your home has features of these sorts, the photos should capture them well.

  • When you are shooting the exterior of your house, timing is important. The dawn and dusk are the best hours of the day. No photographer is going to show up in wee hours of the morning, but try to photograph the exterior when the sun is setting down. And do no forget to turn in the interior lights through the windows. This makes your home looks more cheerful.

So hire a professional photographer or work with a Realtor that has one and avail their help to market your home. Hopefully, you will get an amazing offer on it. Good luck in selling your house.

Tagged in: real estate selling
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top5 sales in monument coloradoWe recently posted an article on the top five sales in El Paso County for 2013. Interestingly enough all five were the Broadmoor area. The Broadmoor is a beautiful area and has some of the most impressive homes of the region. But when it comes to luxury it’s not the only destination at El Paso County. Let’s take a look at what you can find as far as Colorado Springs luxury real estate is concerned in other areas.


In this article we’re going to take a look at the Tri-Lakes area. Tri-lakes is located in the Northern part of El Paso County, Colorado. This area features larger lots, generally one third of an acre and up. Many of the homes sit on lots with towering Ponderosa pines. Additionally this area features some amazing views of Pike’s Peak, the range and the Air Force Academy. The larger lot sizes and relaxed covenants and restrictions often make this a great place for equestrian properties. As a matter fact the top two sales this past year in the Tri-Lakes area were equestrian properties.


There are some great neighborhoods in the tri-Lakes area. The homes in this survey primarily come from three; Bent Tree, Kings Deer and High Forest Ranch.  These are all subdivisions with restrictive covenants and architectural guidelines. High Forest Ranch is the only one of these three that offers a limited number of equestrian lots. Kings Deer is the only golf course community in this survey. It’s important to note that at the time of this writing the club is closed and the future of the golf course is unknown. Kings Deer is a strong community and we can’t imagine someone not stepping in and re opening this course, we will certainly keep an eye on the situation.


We generally look at the top five sales for the past year but in this case we had a 3-way tie at $850,000 so we have included 6 properties.  These properties range from contemporary two stories to traditional ranch style plans but here are the averages for the top six sales:

Average Sales Price $925,500
Average Square Footage 6,497
Average Number of Bedrooms 5
Average Number of Baths 6
Average Number of Garage Spaces 4
Average Lot Size in Acres 12
Average Price Per Square Foot $142

Here are the properties:


Mounment Colorado Home Sales1. 5550 Walker Rd. Sales Price: $1,080,000-Sold 7/2/2013- This beautiful estate featured 45.67 acres. This one definitely threw a curveball into our average square footage for the group. The home had 5,270 Square feet, 5-bedrooms, 5-baths and a 3 Car Garage. This home is located in the most rural setting of all six houses. Having said this the amenities in this home are anything but rural with Cherry cabinetry, travertine flooring and much more.

 

 

 

 

 


 
Monument Colorado Home Sales2. 16376 Open Sky Way Sales Price: $1,020,000-Sold-10/08/2013- This ranch plan was located in the High Forest Ranch subdivision and featured 17.04 acres of land. This was one of the rare, equestrian properties in the High Forest subdivision. The home has 5,977 square feet, 4-bedrooms, 5-baths and a 4 car garage. Features included; Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors, a rock accent wall a water feature, 14 ft. ceilings and views of Pikes Peak.

 

 

 

 

 



High Forest Ranch Home3. 4181 High Forest Rd. Sales Price $903,000-Sold 8/29/2013- This contemporary two story is also located in the High Forest Ranch subdivision and featured 7,717 square feet, 5-bedrooms, 7-baths, 4-Car Garage and sits on nearly 3.00 acres with “stunning views”.  Built by Allentown Homes, this one was a rare opportunity to buy a real contemporary home on a fantastic lot in the Tri-Lakes area.

 

 

 

 

 



3.Bent Tree Monument Colorado Home1330 Ambergate Ct. Sales Price $850,000-Sold 5/17/2013-This European styled ranch plan was located in the Bent Tree neighborhood and had 5,636 square feet, 4-bedrooms, 4-baths, 4-car garage and sat on 2.51 acres. The home had 8 foot cherry doors, hand-troweled texture, floor to ceiling windows, Dacor appliances and a wine cellar. Bent Tree is a mature subdivision with a tranquil feel but close to shopping and amenities.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kings Deer Home For Sale

4. 16564 St. Giles Ct. Sales Price $850,000-Sold 9/30/2013-A traditional two-story home, located in the Kings Deer subdivision. With 7,415 square feet, 6-bedrooms, 7-baths, 4-car garage and an elevator. This home sits on 2.5 acres at the 9th. Tee box of the Kings Deer Golf course. The home also has extensive landscaping with a pond, fountain and gas pit. Kings Deer is a great community located at the northern edge of El Paso County. This community is convenient to both Colorado Springs and Denver. The golf course and clubhouse are currently closed, we can’t imagine that it will stay this way. Although the fate of the golf club is currently up in the air, Kings Deer is still a great location.

 

 

 

 


 

Kings Deer Home

5. 20335 Glasbury Rd. Sales price $850,000- Sold 7/31/3013- this home was built in 2007 has five bedrooms, Six baths, A four car garage and over 6900 ft.². The home features 13 foot ceilings, pecan floors, granite countertops, walk-in closets in every bedroom, the wine room in the theater room. Also located in Kings Deer, this home since I’m 2 ½ acres and has some remarkable views from the main level great room area. Once again, although the status of the Kings Deer golf course is unknown. Kings Deer is a great subdivision with easy access to both Colorado Springs and Denver via I-25.

 

 

 

 


 

Although the Broadmoor area is known for luxury living and luxury homes, the tri-Lakes area certainly offers an incredible lifestyle for significantly less than one can expect to pay in the Broadmoor area. I hope this article get you a good sense of what you can get for your money in the Tri-Lakes area.

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Posted by on in Briargate Neighborhood
8290 St. Helena Drive

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Here's another new listing!  This wonderful 2-story home was built in 1998 and features 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and over 2,500 square feet.   Interior offers vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors throughout the main level, remodeled kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, new sink, new faucet, new lighting, pantry and eat-in nook. There is a finished basement complete with dry bar and fridge.  The spacious master bedroom has custom plantation shutters.  The sellers have lovingly replaced all the light fixtures and interior door hardware, and they even installed window well covers in the yard!  Gas fireplace and air conditioning make this a comfortable home year-round!  Great School District 20 location!  Walk to nearby elementary school and park!  Call me if you'd like to schedule a private showing 719-388-4003.

 

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Posted by on in Buying a Home

Congratulations, you have finally found the house you wanted! But you should ask yourself one question before signing all the paper work, is the house you are planning to buy really worth the money you will invest? Can’t decide?

The asking price on the house is an amount which your lender has already approved, so you probably won’t have any issues with the mortgage. Actually, this is not always true, and there are instances in which you can have an issue getting a mortgage if the investment is not worth the approved amount. In such a case, the lender will provide you with a lower loan amount or none at all.

The situation may seem a bit complex, but this is exactly why you need a mortgage appraisal. Once you go through this process, you will find out the true worth of your house to be, and accordingly you can make a decision on whether the purchase is a smart decision or not.

A home appraisal is a process in which an expert evaluates the house, performs a thorough analysis and then determines the worth of the home. The appraiser is hired by the lender through an Appraisal Management Company or the AMC, but you will have to bear the costs. Once the results have been prepared, they are reviewed, and accordingly the deal is finalized.

The lender orders an appraisal when you have a house ‘under contract’. Your Realtor will establish a value of the house by performing a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA.  Negotiation is carried out on the offer and a written contract is prepared. If this is accepted, it is sent to your lender, who then gets in touch with an AMC and appoints an appraiser.

Purpose

The main purpose of a mortgage appraisal is to determine the value of the house which you plan to buy. The process does incur fees, and you will have to pay them, but you should still get a home appraisal conducted considering the magnitude of the overall investment. By doing so, you will know that you are not paying an unfair amount for the property. Your lender will also be sure that they are not lending you excessive amounts, which may eventually lead to a foreclosure should you default on the mortgage.

In other words, a mortgage appraisal protects both you and the lender by ensuring that the deal you are about to finalize is indeed, worth the invested amount.

Method

A mortgage appraisal can be conducted by many methods, but two of them are popular. One is the sales comparison approach and the other is the cost approach.

The Sales Comparison Approach

In this method, the appraiser will compare the home with a number of other homes that are of the same size and located in the same locality. These are referred to as the comps or the comparables.  While comparing, many factors are considered such as the area, amounts of finished and unfinished space, age of the house, designs features, kitchen styles, garages, fireplaces, and so on.

The Cost Approach

The Cost Approach method is primarily used to appraise new property. The appraiser will figure out an amount which will be required for reconstructing the home if it was completely destroyed. The analysis is also based on other things such as depreciation and land value. Accordingly, an appraiser determines the true worth of the house.

The Process

When you decide the house which you want to buy, you get it under contract. This means that your Realtor performs a Market Comparative Analysis or CMA, and determines the value of the property. Using this, an offer is made and negotiated, and then a written contract is prepared. Once accepted, this is sent to your lender who then orders an appraisal through an AMC.

The appraiser will then visit the home to initiate the process. During that time, your presence is not mandatory, but is still recommended so that you can get better insight.

Here are the main steps of the process.

  • The appraiser will perform a visual inspection of the home and assess its condition. He will note down details such as the construction quality, number of rooms, floor plan and the design. If there is any need of repairs or improvements, you will be notified and also provided with an estimate of the costs involved. The appraiser will take photos of the property for record purposes, and conduct necessary measurements of the floors.  

  • The appraiser will analyze the neighboring area and if any amenities are located nearby such as a park, shopping mall or hospital, they will determine their influence on the home’s worth.

  • The appraiser will get in touch with the local planning department or another governmental body, and determine the zoning rules and taxes for the property. This information can be used for figuring out the highest and best use, which serves as critical data in the home mortgage appraisal process.  

  • All appraisers have access to a lot of data, which they get from agents and brokers. Using these resources, an appraiser will determine the average value of homes in the locality and go through recent sales report. In this step, the MLS and legal data of your hosen home is also reviewed.

  • The appraiser will then use any of the above methods to determine the worth of the home, and will prepare a report. This will include a summary of the method, a review of the house’s conditions and the improvements that were carried out. The report will also contain details of problems such as cracked foundations and wet basements, a summary of market trends and their effect on the property and a complete analysis that will support the results. Maps, sketches and photographs are also included for reference.

  • A copy of the report is sent to the lender.

Ramifications

A home appraisal can have two results; the asking price is equal to or less than the appraised value or the asking price is more than the appraised value.

In the former case, the sale can proceed as per the plan. But what if the appraised value is lower than the amount which the seller demands? Should this be the case, the lender will not provide you with a big enough loan.

There are a number of options which you can take to deal with such a situation.

  • Negotiate with the seller and convince him to drop the price.

  • Pay the difference in amount yourself.

  • Have another appraiser go through the process one more time.

  • Forget about that home and search for another one.

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Posted by on in Briargate Neighborhood
9012 Stony Creek Drive

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Check out my new listing! Built in 2005, this lovely rancher features two-tone stucco exterior, oversized 3 car garage with carriage style doors, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and over 3,400 total square feet.  Enjoy the formal entryway accented by rich hardwood floors and a stone tile inlay. Interior boasts extensive hardwood floors, crown molding, custom plantation shutters, wrought iron staircase banisters, upgraded light fixtures, an office with French doors, large great room with gas fireplace and stone hearth, formal dining room, gourmet kitchen with cherry cabinets, 42”uppers, stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantry, eat-in nook with bay window, main-level master with private 5-piece bath and California closet, finished basement with 9’ ceilings, huge rec room, and a wet bar complete with wine fridge.  Finished garage has extensive built-in cabinetry, a workshop, wall racks for storage and even an epoxy painted floor!  Backyard is sure to please with a wrap-around stamped concrete patio, professional landscaping, auto sprinkler, mature trees, flowering shrubs and lush lawn! Great School District 20 location!  Walk to nearby trails and parks!

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