I keep saying it's a seller's market, and I'm right. This property is further proof of that. I listed it recently and after only two days on market, we had several showings and an attractive offer submitted. It's now under contract. Sellers are happy. Buyers are happy.
Truth is our market inventory, meaning homes for sale, is so low that buyers are scrambling to find quality, affordable housing right now. The good stuff is getting swooped up fast and at top dollar, especially in locations like this. This home is located in the Powers area, conveniently located near to Peterson Air Force Base, Shriever Air Force Base, The Air Force Academy and Fort Carson Army Post.
Interest rates remain at record lows, and rumor has it they will stay at such until after the upcoming presidential election. These low rates give today's buyers more buying power, enabling them to purchase more house. Now they just need more houses like this to go up for sale.
There are several statics, rates and numbers you can look at when trying to determine the health of a specific Real Estate Market but when we price a home for sale we only consider a few. The primary statistic we want to know about as we prepare to put a home on the market is “Months Supply of Inventory” (MSI). This number indicates how long it would take to sell through all of the existing inventory. Since we are trying to price a specific property, we look at MSI as it pertains to a specific area and price niche not the entire market. MSI for the overall market is more useful when answering a question like “How’s the Real Estate Market”, not so helpful when trying to answer the questions “How much can you sell my house for”?
So, for the purpose of listing a home for sale, we want to drill into a specific area, price range and type of home. For the sake of this article let’s say we are selling a:
3 car garage
2,800 square foot
Located in the Academy, District #20 attendance area.
The first step to establishing the Months Supply of Inventory is to find the “Absorption Rate”. This is the number of homes that sell in a particular market segment over a specified amount of time (we use one year).
To establish absorption rate, we look at the total number of similar homes that have sold over the past year. Let’s say there have been 225 sales of this particular type of home over the past year.
This means 18.75 homes like this, sell on average each month (225 sales/12 months). If there are currently 42 homes like this for sale on the market, we have a 2.3 Month inventory of that kind of home. We determine this by dividing the number of available homes by the number that sell per month. It is important to note that Absorption Rate is often expressed as a true percentage, especially in the Commercial Real Estate world but for the purpose of establishing MSI, our method is sufficient. For the purists the actual absorption would be 5.33% of the inventory.
The MSI in our example ends up being 2.3 Months of inventory. This is a very low amount of inventory and constitutes a “Sellers Market”. Common acceptance of a Seller's market is anything less than 5 Months of inventory is considered to be a Sellers Market.
An MSI of less than 5 months = Seller’s MarketAn
MSI of 5 to 7 months = Balanced Market
An MSI of more than 7 months = Buyer’s Market
An MSI of 2.3 months would certainly encourage us to move higher on our listing price, although there are still a handful of other factors we look at, like: “Days on Market”, “List to Sold Percentage” as well as trends in the appraisal industry.
Months Supply of Inventory is an essential indicator to know and understand whether buying or selling.
I keep saying it's a Seller's market. Here is proof. This is one of my recent listings. It's a really cute 2-story home located in the Greyhawk neighborhood in Northgate. It was built in 2011. It's got 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, finished basement and over 2,300 finished square feet. I put it on the market last Tuesday, and two days later we were under contract. In the course of two days on market we had about seven showings. The offer which was accepted was a strong one with few concessions. And clearly, if that one hadn't gone through there would have been another offer shortly.
The real estate market in Colorado Springs is crazy, folks. Homes are selling fast and at top dollar. Sellers are often getting full price or are close to that. We are even seeing buyers come down from Denver to buy homes here and commute, mostly because there is so little inventory in Denver right now.
It's a great time to sell a house here. Woo hoo, I say!
The first question on the minds of most people getting ready to sell their home is, how much is my home really worth?
Homeowners thinking about selling have usually gotten an estimate from a home valuation site like Zillow or even asked a Realtor what they thought the value might be. It is important to keep in mind that those numbers should only be used as a rough estimate. Zillow freely admits that their zestimates are on average 8% +/- correct. On an median priced home in El Paso County, Colorado that is about a $20,000 delta +/-, pretty significant, in our opinion. The Zestimate was never meant to be the be the final word, just a rough idea of what the home is worth.
When a homeowner becomes serious about selling, they have a couple of options when it comes to getting the price right. First, they can order a Professional Appraisal, this is a great way to find out the “baseline value” of the property. Appraisers don’t take into account market trends or supply conditions, so their price is a true value but not necessarily a market value. Depending on the current market conditions (Buyers Market vs. Seller’s Market) the actual listing price could be quite different.
The second method, and the one we use when putting a home on the market is called a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), this is a document that helps us determine the baseline value as well as the best actual listing price of a home.
Ideally a professional CMA examines the sales data and characteristics of the most similar homes, located within the closest proximity to the “Subject Property” (the home we are trying to price). Essentially we look for identical matches to the subject property, we call these matches “Comparables” (Comps) since this is not really possible to find “Exact Matches”, we filter through these comps in order to find the closest matches possible.
The “Comps” are then put into a spreadsheet alongside the “Subject” property so we can start to apply debits and credits to the “Subject” property in order to compensate for any differences. These adjustments are based on things like:
Number of Bedrooms
Number of Bathrooms
These adjustments show us where the “Subject” property should sell when compared to the Comparable Solds. This figure now becomes our baseline, or the number we start from when choosing a listing price.
There are a number of additional factors we consider before deciding on an actual list price, we will examine these in future articles. Until we have a realistic number to work from or a baseline value, any additional considerations are actually counterproductive.
My family recently completed a remodel of most of our main level (living, kitchen, dining)... Floor demo + new, cabinets, removed structural wall, added beam, counters...it was a gut job and we love the new. But it took a lot of work, mostly by contractors. We did a couple tile floor & backsplash projects ourselves, and fortunately my husband and I work well together! Tile isn't for the faint of heart, and you have to have the right tools!
I wanted to share another little project we did ourselves. Anyone can do this. We were putting in gorgeous new dark floors and frankly I couldn't stand to bear the thought of looking at our nasty vent covers! I wanted to buy all new. However, I'd seen the idea somewhere (not sure where, because I'm not on Pinterest). I thought we'd try it, and if it turned out ugly, we could still buy new vent covers. If you look at the pictures I post below, the brass ones were seriously disgusting. Now I love them!
1) Take out the old vents... 2) scrape them down with steel wool...
3) prime with a spray can (maybe twice).... 4) spray paint with your color of choice (definitely twice! with drying time in between).
They look SOOOOOO much better!!! The large one on the right I didn't get a before photo, but it was white and obviosuly wouldn't work for this cold-air return built into the cabinet here. In many cases, with carpet or wall/ceiling vents, the black might look really weird. You could freshen them up with white or pewter color. he black looks good in dark floors and cabinets.
Sure, your #ElkSelfie in Rocky Mountain National Park might get you a few more likes on Instagram, but is it worth getting gored to death by a bull during rut?
2. Green chile is not chili.
When your server at the Cherry Cricket asks if you’d like it smothered, it’s best to comply. But, don’t expect it doused in a brown sludge of ground beef and kidney beans. Instead, expect even the most mediocre dish to be elevated to a higher plane of spicy, smokey, porky gloriousness.
3. Altitude is real.
Some people have no issue with the altitude, but others feel it as soon as they’re off the plane. Altitude sickness causes headaches, nausea, fatigue, and a general feeling of “Holy crap, why do I feel hungover?” So maybe let’s hold off on climbing Mt. Elbert until you’ve acclimatized for a day or two.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Your body needs more water at altitude, so you’ve probably noticed feeling perpetually thirsty. But don’t worry about buying bottled water from King Soopers. Here’s a Nalgene; fill it up from the tap. Our Rocky Mountain snowmelt yields some of the best tasting municipal water in the country. Bonus points for reducing your plastic consumption.
5. Everyone uses sunblock and you should, too.
Did I mention it’s a mile closer to the sun here?
6. Mother Nature will likely be drunk.
Patio beers and grilling out in January? Mountain snow or plains tornadoes in June? Not uncommon. In early May we had thundersnow and school delays in the morning, then 60s by afternoon. What should you pack? Hell if I know, better bring it all.
7. We have the best concert venue in the world.
Two words: Red. Rocks.
8. Ignore the pronunciations you learned in Spanish class.
For inexplicable reasons that would make your high school Spanish teacher cringe, Buena Vista is pronounced “BYOO-nah VIS-tah”, Del Norte is “Del NORT”, Salida is “suh-LYE-duh” and Monte Vista is “MON-tuh VIS-tuh”. In tomorrow’s lesson we’ll cover the French and Ute linguistic butchery of Cache la Poudre, Ouray, Tabeguache, and Weminuche. And if you’re really advanced, we might go over how Sawatch, Saguache, and Sahwatch are pronounced exactly the same.
9. It’s impossible to get lost on the Front Range.
Just know where the mountains are. You’re more likely to get directions as “towards the mountains” or “away from the mountains” instead of west or east.
10. Biblical plagues of locusts have nothing on our springtime invasion of miller moths.
As soon as temperatures warm in May and June, these swarms of fuzzy flying assholes arrive from the eastern plains, terrorizing all in their path. Go ahead, seal your entire home in duct tape and shrink wrap — they WILL find a way in. And regardless of how dead they seem, they will explode to life, fly directly into your face, then carry off your children.
11. Rocky mountain oysters are NOT shellfish.
Google it. Or just go the the Buckhorn Exchange and place your order with the other tourists.
12. Go easy on the booze.
Drinking at altitude can do some damage. If you expect to get an early start on your outdoor adventure, avoid the dreaded high altitude headache by paying attention to three critical letters on the brewery chalkboard: ABV.
13. Denver is not a mountain town.
Ignore the snowcapped panorama you’ve seen from Sunday Night Football broadcasts — Denver is a city on the plains and sometimes the mountains are barely even visible. Want to really get in there? I-70 Westbound.
14. Lightning kills people.
In the summer, afternoon thunderstorms are a routine occurrence and one of the worst places to be is hiking above treeline. So get an early start on your Bierstadt climb and if a local warns you to descend, you should probably listen. Or you could just wait until the hair on your neck stands up.
15. Oh, you only came here to buy weed?
You do know we have a few other things to do, right?
As we approach this Memorial Day weekend, I am especially grateful to those who have served and continue to serve in our military. The freedoms and privileges we enjoy as Americans are the result of their efforts.
I am so grateful to live in this military town, surrounded by heros whom I call clients and friends. Thank you for touching my life so personally.
Let's face it. It's a hassle having to get new tires. You have to pay hundreds of dollars for them, plus you get to wait in some lobby for a few hours while they do the installation. Well this week I had a great experience with Discount Tire on Dublin and Academy, which I'd like to share with you:
I pre-ordered my new tires, giving them a deposit to secure my order. The new tires arrived and I was scheduled to have them installed on a Friday. I showed up as planned, only to learn that the technician could not install them because I have locking lug nuts on my wheels and no one could find my lug nut key. Turns out the only way to get locking lug nuts removed is with a specific key which should come with the vehicle. Well mine was not in my vehicle. It appeared I would have to drive down to my local auto dealership and have the lug nuts removed there, which meant I would have to purchase my new tires there as well. So much for my deposit and so much for the time I had already spent. Great.
Just when my frustration level was at it's highest, Chris, the manager of this Discount Tire store offered to solve my problem for me. He said he didn't want to lose my business and would do whatever it took to make things easy for me. He called the auto dealership, ordered new lug nuts with key (at no expense to me) and had his courier drive down and pick them up. When the lug nuts arrived, he had technicians waiting to install them a long with my new tires.
He and his staff turned an otherwise difficut experience into something easy. They were fast, professional and courteous. Thanks to Chris, Brolin and all the staff at Discount Tire, I am back on the road driving...which afterall, is what we Realtors do most!
Yet another awesome listing in Falcon / Peyton!! This main level master 2-story is so nice and open, but with ample room options for bedrooms, crafting, guests, etc.
The living and dining rooms are hardwood, plus tile in the kitchen. The living includes vault all the way to the upper level loft, plus fireplace and open to the kitchen. The main level master is so convenient, with updated 5-piece bath and generous closet.
The upper level is an open loft surrounded by 3 bedrooms and a full bath... one bedroom has french doors, providing great potential for a home office space!
A full basement provides 2 additional bedoroms, full bath and huge rec or family room!
Located in Woodmen Hills, in Falcon, just east of Colorado Springs, this community includes rec centers, pools, activities. Plus the house is placed on a great 1/2 - acre lot for plenty of pet and play space!
I was SO excited to go on this listing, for many reasons... I love hiking Spruce Mountain, I love Douglas County in general, and this was a personal referral to me! I was a little concerned about location, and surprised I got there so quickly up through Palmer Lake. And when I got there, even more excited. I can't wait for you to see this great house!!
Just about anyone will enjoy this fantastic foothills location, with easy commutes to Denver and Colorado Springs. This is just a couple minutes north of Palmer Lake, 15 minutes from Northgate Blvd and 45 minutes straight up Hwy 105 & Santa Fe into Littleton. This open ranch plan is nestled on a curved lot for amazing privacy, plus sweet front views down into the Spruce Mountain Valley! Trees and wildlife abound from almost every space in this house.
The open great room concept allows for combined indoor - outdoor enjoyment... with hardwood floors, fireplace, ceiling fan, and so many windows. The open kitchen includes ample counter space and a gas range. The main level laundry leads to oversized garage with storage and workspace area. The main level master includes a 5-piece bath and dual closets! Rounding out the main level is a bedroom, which works great as an office with nice views all day long!
The basement includes 9-foot + ceilings... the generous family room with stained concrete floor leaves plenty of options for TV and game areas. There is a storage room and walk-out. Also downstairs are two wonderful bedrooms with garden-level windows; you won't even know your in a basement.
It can happen anywhere, at the grocery store, at parties or while I'm out showing homes to buyers. People always ask..."how's the market?" Well, here is my answer today: IT'S A SELLERS MARKET!
Today, there are 25% less homes for sale than there were a year ago. Buyers have less to choose from, and sellers know it. As a result, homes are selling much faster and at higher prices. The average price for a single family home today is up 9.5% from last year at this time.
I recently worked with some buyers looking for a new, bigger home for their growing family. They were looking slightly over the average price, in the $280,000-$290,000 range. I must have shown them over 20 houses total. What we kept finding was the cute stuff which was priced well would sell so fast, and would usually have multiple offers.
The first house they loved was a cute remodel located in the Northeast area of town. It had all the bells and whistles, granite counters, hardwood floors, new paint and carpet, pretty light fixtures. After only 2 days on the market, they put an offer on that one. Their offer was full price but they did ask the seller to concede $5,000 for closing costs. The seller countered the offer and only agreed to pay $2,500 in closing costs. My buyers ended up losing that house to another buyer, one who was willing to pay a higher price.
The next house they loved was another cute remodel located in the Northeast area of town. This one also had a remodeled kitchen, hardwood floors, new paint and carpet, and it had a wet bar in the basement. The house had only been on the market for 1 day and already had many showings (meaning other buyers looking at it). My buyers didn't mess around with this one. They put in an offer immediately. Again, they offered full price and asked the seller for $5,000 in closing costs. The seller countered their offer with ZERO concessions, full price, take it or leave it! By this time my buyers had learned their lesson. They were either going to accept this counter or lose the house to another able buyer. They accepted the counter and are now under contract, closing soon.
The moral of the story is, it's a SELLERS MARKET right now! Cute houses which are priced well are selling fast and at top dollar. Sellers may not even agree to any concessions, knowing that if you don't buy the house there is another buyer in line who will!
*** Warning - this is a "proud mom moment" and props to our school and district as well.
I've said many times how our school and teachers have met our boys where they are in their education. The oldest has been participating with our TAG teacher for years. And while our youngest has struggled at points in math, they recommended Math Club to help bring his skills up to par. Both have seen vast improvments, and we so appreciate how the teachers and staff see their needs and meet them in that place.
Recently our older boy, Cole completed a Tinker CAD program at school, encorporating math and fractions (ratios) to create a 3D model on-line. His choice was a robot, but it can be used to create other 3D building drawings and probably so much more. After his project he was asked to participate in a D20 board meeting where he and other students would display their math / technology projects to individual board members to show how they use technology with math in the school. This is all part of a movement by the district to have a Digital Learning Coach in schools. We all know we are in the age of technology... I can't believe how things have changed since we were in college in the late '90s, let alone the past couple years' of advances.
Our librarian, TAG coordinator, and TAG teacher are helping advance this DLC model for all schools. Eight elementary schools in the district participated initially in the program, to help model how a DLC can help students at all levels. It was so fun to see Cole and his TAG classmate present to a board member, but also to see other schools with sudents as young as kindergarden displaying technology projects to board members. I love living in and seeing a district and community that sees value in similar programs.
We want to thank Mrs. Knox, Ms. MacLean, and Ms. Hullings of Discovery Canyon Campus elementary for their participation, encouragement, and forward thinking. We'd like to also thank the entire school board and principals of Academy School District 20!
And of course, well done Cole, we love you and are so proud of you! (sorry, I had to)
This is such a great, clean 2-story, with a great price in Academy School District 20, near local elemantary school and park! This home has the formal living and dining spaces, plus kitchen open to family room for any style of living.
The upper level includes 3 bedrooms, the master with private sitting room or office... and the laundry is conveniently located upstairs with all the dirty clothes ;-)
Outside enjoy a nice front porch out front and an extended partially covered back patio, all very pleasant since new landscaping installed with huge rock beds & mature trees!
I am so excited to list my friends' wonderful tri-level... close to the mall, new movie theater, plus tons of other shopping & restaurants, and families can enjoy great Academy School Distrct 20 schools! Huge yard in front and back, plus deck, patio, plenty of play area!
Main level living and kitchen are vaulted. Super kitchen with new counters, tile splash, Pinterest chalkboard door for messages, pantry, wood-laminate flooring.
Updated doors, trim, railing throughout. Check it out!!
Colorado Springs has so much natural beauty. You've heard of Garden of the Gods; the fabulous red rock formation? And Pikes Peak; a 14,110 mountain which hovers above our city? But have you heard of Seven Falls?
Nestled in the mountain canyons just below Pikes Peak, are cascades of water known as Seven Falls. Falls excites the senses and forshadows the dramatic landscape ahead. Crystal clear water from the Pikes Peak watershed has shaped a spectacular natural box canyon: the steep-walled, enclosed canyon that’s become symbolic of the American West.
In 1872, Nathaniel Colby homesteaded the 160 acres that included the present-day Seven Falls and South Cheyenne Canyon. Apparently Colby did not anticipate the potential value of his purchase, for nine months later he sold the patent to the Colorado Springs Land company for $1000.
Today Seven Falls is under new ownership and renovation. The same folks who own and operate the Broadmoor Hotel are expanding the offerings in this scenic canyon to include 1859, a new restaurant seating up to 150, all-new activities for the family, and events for guests and locals alike.
Keep watching for the grand re-opening, scheduled for Spring of 2015...just around the corner!
One of the most important things we, as listing agents, can do is obtain feedback about the properties we list for sale. We know and understand that It’s hard for homeowners to see their homes from an unbiased perspective. Homes hold many memories and stir up emotions that may be hard to relinquish, especially when it’s time to price a home for sale. As experienced listing agents, our job is to help set a realistic price for the current market; but if homeowners are clinging to an unrealistic expectation, buyer feedback can often help.
When an agent shows a home that we have listed for sale, we send that agent a form asking for feedback: what did the buyer think? Were there any issues the buyer pointed out? If you are not bringing us an offer on the property, what could we have done to spark an offer?
Homeowners are often surprised to hear the answers to these questions. Pet odors are a common issue that many homeowners overlook but are often noticed by potential buyers. Maybe the kitchen and/or bathrooms are dated and, consequently, bringing down the value of the home. Sometimes the fixes are easy: fresh coats of paint and deep cleaning carpets can boost a home’s appeal. However, many times, it’s the listing price of the home that deters potential buyers.
Setting the right price for the most efficient and profitable sale requires extensive knowledge of what’s happening in the Colorado Springs real estate market, as well as the latest information about mortgage rates and availability. Internet-savvy buyers look at comparable homes for sale in the area and certainly have a good sense as to whether the home is priced accurately for the neighborhood. Although some homeowners want to price their homes based on Zillow and Trulia estimates, these are not always reliable sources as markets can change rapidly and sales data takes time to find its way into those systems.
So, the take-away lesson when listing your home is work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who is familiar with the community and will help set a realistic selling price. And always listen to the feedback.
Zig Ziglar once said "What you get by reaching your destination is not nearly as important as what you will become by reaching your destination."
In my case, my destination was to become a runner. 22 years ago I took up running. At the time it seemed liked an effective way to lose and keep off weight. And the long, lean look of a runner's body appealed to me. Plus, I was tired of indoor gym excercising and aerobics classes packed full of sweaty people I didn't know.
So I became an outdoor runner, liberating myself from the indoors. I was now free to take in the scenery, to see the mountains and trees and green grass in person. What I didn't realize was the global, whole life effect running would have on me.
Physicians tell us running will lengthen our lifespan, lower our coronary risk and blood pressure. All true, but it also added hours to my day. My physical work capacity is far greater today than it was in my 20's.
Psychologists tell us than running reduces negative feelings. Anxiety, depression and anger are replaced by constructive thoughts of self-esteem and confidence.
Socialogists tell us our professional success is linked to the fitness we earn from running. It has been proven that fit people occupy the upper echelons in position and salary.
Educators would say running is my classroom where I have learned such things as sacrifice and solitude, courage and tenacity, victory and defeat.
Sheehan once said "People begin running for any number of motives, but we stick to it for one basic reason...to find out who we really are." And that is the greatest gift of all. In it, I found myself.
COLORADO SPRINGS REAL ESTATE IS GOING STRONG SO FAR THIS YEAR. HERE IS HOW WE DID IN JANUARY:
SINGLE FAMILY HOME SALES - UP 6.7% OVER JANUARY 2014
AVERAGE SALES PRICE S/F HOME - UP 11.4% OVER JANUARY 2014
CONDO/TOWNHOME SALES - UP 30.3% OVER JANUARY 2014
AVERAGE SALES PRICE CONDO/T.H. - UP 2.8% OVER JANUARY 2014
TOTAL S/F HOMES FOR SALE - DOWN 23.5% FROM JANUARY 2014
TOTAL CONDO/T.H. FOR SALE - DOWN 15.6% FROM JANUARY 2014
IN SUMMARY...SALES ARE UP AND GOING STRONG, ESPECIALLY FOR JANUARY WHICH IS HISTORICALLY, NOT OUR BUSIEST MONTH. PRICES ARE UP COMPARED TO LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME. INVENTORY (meaning homes for sale) IS WAY DOWN.
SUPPLY IS DOWN. DEMAND IS STRONG. INTEREST RATES ARE STILL AT RECORD LOWS. WOO HOO, I SAY!