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 East Neighborhood
5135 Mayweed Court

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This listing is personal for me.  I sold the house to these sellers back in 2006.  Over the years they have become more than clients.  They are friends.  Their home is lovely.  It sits on a 1/3 acre lot at the end of a cul-de-sac and is tastefully landscaped including auto sprinklers.   The home features 5 bedrooms, 3 baths and over 2,100 total square feet.  It includes rich hardwood floors, new vinyl windows, updated kitchen with hickory cabinets and ceramic tile counters, air conditioning, covered rear deck, a workshop, storage shed and even a new roof!  And this home is just one block from the neighborhood park! 

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Monument, Colorado is a small town located in the Tri-Lakes Region of northern part of El Paso County, approximately 15 miles north of Colorado Springs and 50 miles south of Denver.

The area was first settled in the 1860s. Its settlers came primarily from Iowa and Germany. Monument first became a town in 1870 when Henry Limbach purchased 160 acres and registered as a town with the Colorado land office of the department of the interior.

In the early days monument was actually called Henry's station after Henry Limbach. When the Rio Grande railroad was built in 1871, the name was changed by Limbach and the railroad to Monument. This name was chosen because of the large monument rock situated at the base of Mount Herman. This rock can clearly be seen from the town.

monument rock

The town of Monument has not forgotten its founder Henry Limbach, there is a park at the center of town bearing his name, Limbach Park.

limbach park

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Posted by on in Central Neighborhood
212 S. Garo Ave.

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Check out my new listing!  This all brick rancher is located in an established neighborhood and features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,800 finished square feet!  Includes front and rear yard landscaping, auto sprinkler, oversized concrete patio, formal living room with wood fireplace insert and brick hearth, formal dining room, original wood floors underneath carpet, finished basement with huge family room and separate bedroom with private bath!  Great location...walk to nearby shopping!  This home is obviously in need of some updating, but it has great bones!

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Buying a Colorado Springs area house for $250,000

I saw this funny comic on one of the real estate groups I follow on social media. Lots of people were getting some chuckles from it, but it got me thinking. I am fairly certain the average sale price in the greater Colorado Springs area is around $244,000. Can you find the house this couple in the comic is looking for in Colorado Springs....? 

So I went on a hunt for "close to downtown" (I chose what I thought would be 30 minutes or less) houses with 4+ bedrooms, good size lots (.2+ acres) and safe neighborhood (now that could be up for negotiation, but I think in general this is a VERY safe city overall and people should investigate crime if concerned... sexual offenders, violent crimes, etc... weren't not immune to crime, but it's really a great city!).  And here is what I found.... 

currently available - 76

under contract - 82

sold in the past 6 months - 262

Inventory generally starts slowing down here August (school starts) through about February.... so summer months will provide more inventory. While we have a cost of living higher than many parts of the south and midwest, it's nice to know it's pretty reasonable to live here. 

So, here's a little summary of what that $250,000 will cost you monthly... with 3.5% down (FHA minimum), borrowing $241,250 at a 4.166% interest rate and estimated tax, insurance, and mortgage insurance in your payment, you're looking at $1737/month payment. If you are VA and put nothing down, you'd be borrowing $257,875 because you rolled in your VA funding fee) looking at a $1556/month payment. Obviously all of those payments will be lower the more you are able to put down. 

Want to be close to downtown... like walking distance...? Well, that is a little tougher to find, plus you're looking at older homes (be prepared for a bit more maintenance). There is nothing with 4 bedrooms, 2 houses with 3 bedrooms are under contract withing walking distance of downtown. NOW.... add in the Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City areas, plus remove the .2 acre lot requirement and there are 37 houses. 

Okay, I know that was a lot, but there are many things we can do to help tailor a search in the MLS... especially when those large national sites are sometimes out-of-date. Let us know how we can help in your home search! I know from experience this summer, the nice ones under $250,000 disappear quickly or have competing offers.... it's a good price range! 

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colorado springs real estateOne of the first things people notice when they visit Downtown Colorado Springs is the unique street names like, Tejon, Wahsatch and Cache La Poudre. We have the wife of our city's founder General William Jackson Palmer to thank for these truly memorable names.

Queen Palmer suggested that the streets of Colorado Springs should be named after iconic elements of Western geography. This was meant to honor her husband's railroad career and the areas he had explored while choosing train routes.

For example, street names like Cache La Poudre, Cucharras,Huerfano, Vermijo, Cimarron, Costilla, Moreno,Kiowa, Bijou, Platte, Boulder and St. Vrain were all creeks or locations Palmer had explored while building his railroad.

Mountain ranges inspired names like; Sierra Madre, Cascade, Tejon, Nevada and, Wahsatch, Sawatch and Weber.

Another interesting fact about downtown Colorado Springs streets is that some streets are significantly wider than others. This is because Palmer wanted horses pulling wagons or carriages to be able to easily make a U-turn.

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Posted by on in Real Estate Statistics & Analysis
2014 Market at a Glance

Colorado Springs home prices rose in August 2014 with a month to month decrease of 3.26%, and a year to year increase of 1.53%, making the average sale price $258,398 and the median price $230,000. The number of Colorado Springs homes sold compared to August 2013 has increased 0.54%, with 7,546 units sold year to date. The number of Colorado Springs homes for sale compared to August 2013 has decreased 3.18% with 4,111 units active.  With decreasing inventory (meaning homes for sale), sellers should see a faster home sale!
 

Single Family/Patio

YTD 2013

YTD 2014

+ / -

 Closed Sales

7,641

7,546

-1.24%

 Median Sales Price

$220,000

$230,000

+4.55%

 Months Supply of Inventory

3.84

3.70

-3.70%

 

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Posted by on in General News

Colorado Springs Known as Little London

In the early days of Colorado Springs, the city was known as "Little London". At one point there were actually over 2,000 immigrants from Great Britain living in El Paso County, that was 1 out of every 5 residents.

 

This phenomenon was due in large part to the fact that much of the money raised by William Palmer to develop both Colorado Springs and the "Denver and Rio Grande Railroad" came from English Investors.

 

Colorado Springs residents evidently became "quite British" according to Patricia Farris Skolout, in her book "Colorado Springs History A to Z. Residents carried umbrellas, celebrated English holidays, flew the English flag on Queen Victoria's Birthday, played cricket and rugby. The police in Colorado Springs at that time were even called "Bobbies".

little london bobbies

Vestiges of our British past still exist today. For example, The Broadmoor Hotel still hosts afternoon teas from Monday through Saturday. One of our favorite bakeries is the "Little London Cake Shoppe" and many of the streets northeast of the Broadmoor Hotel are named for the old polo grounds that were housed in that area. So, although the name "Little London" and the atmosphere are long gone, you can still find pieces of that history, if you know where to look.

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Briargate HomesBriargate is a popular community located in the northern part of Colorado Springs, Colorado. This area is a master planned community and features a wide range amenities. Additionally, this area is close to I-25 and The United States Air Force Academy.

We have looked at the last six months of sales (March 2014-August 2014). In this period we saw a high sale of $915,000 and a low sale of $145,000. The average sales price in the area is $316,756 this makes the median price $305,000.

For this article, we are going to take a look at what you can get $10,000 above and below the median price $295,000 and $315,000. Here is a look at the numbers:

 

 

Briargate Homes $295,000 to $315,000
39 Number of Sales
3,078 Average Square Footage
4.2 Average Number of Bedrooms
3.5 Average Number of Baths
2.3 Average Garage Size (spots)
8,199 Average Lot Square Footage
$99.22 Average Price Per Square Foot

 

And here are some pictures of what those homes look like.

 

"Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp. ("RSC"), for the period March 1st. 2014 through August 31st. 2014 .  RSC does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by RSC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market."

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VAReUseYou can obtain another VA loan after you have experienced a short sale, foreclosure or deed-in lieu foreclosure with an existing VA loan. But there is no guarantee…you must determine how much (if any) entitlement you have left previous post to learn and meet the necessary salary and credit qualifications. Remember that your credit score will be “dinged” for having undergone a short sale or foreclosure and it may take time to rebuild. However, the VA program is one of the most lenient in granting loans to veterans who are applying for a mortgage after a foreclosure.

First of all, you need to wait 2 years from the time of your foreclosure in order to apply for your new VA loan. Then you must determine your remaining entitlement. The full VA entitlement (the amount the government guarantees the lender) is $417,000, with $36,000 as your primary entitlement and $68,250 as your secondary entitlement. The VA guarantees one quarter of that amount if you should default and does not require you to have mortgage insurance.

Suppose you have $50,000 in unpaid VA loans remaining on your foreclosed property. A VA-approved lender will subtract that $50,000 from $104,250 ($36,000 + 68,250), which is your full entitlement amount. The difference is $54,250. You can then multiply $54,250 by four to calculate how much you may be able to borrow with no money down—a total of $217,000 ($54,250 x 4).

Veterans who want to use their second-tier entitlement must seek a loan amount of at least $144,000. If you are interested in applying for a VA loan, whether it’s your first, or a subsequent one, we at Springs Homes can refer you to a trustworthy lender who is familiar with the process.

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valoanseceretMany veterans are not aware that they can qualify for more than one Veterans Administration loan at a time, depending on circumstances. They can take solace in the fact that many lenders are also not aware of this situation.

The VA loan limit for veterans who wish to buy real estate is $417,000. This is the base amount—the limit may be higher in areas where housing prices are more expensive. Here in Colorado’s El Paso and Teller counties, the $417,000 limit applies; in our neighbor to the north, Denver County, it is $425,000. The loan limits are reevaluated every year.

When considering a VA loan, many veterans start by going online at the Veterans Information Portal for their Certificate of Eligibility (COE). If you are applying for your first VA home loan, your entitlement is for a mortgage of $417,000, assuming that you have adequate income and credit to qualify.

VA entitlement has two parts: basic and bonus. If you have not previously applied for a VA loan, your basic entitlement is $36,000—that is the amount the government insures—but is is not necessarily the total amount of the loan for which you are eligible. Lenders will generally loan up to four times your available entitlement without your having to pay a down payment. So if your basic entitlement is $36,00 you are entitled to $144,000 ($36,000 x 4) providing that your income and credit meet the lender’s requirements. Bonus entitlement comprises a loan up to an additional $68,250 x 4 ($273,000). This amount, sometimes referred to as Tier 2 or additional entitlement, is used only for VA loans between $144,000 and the conforming limit of $417,000.

Here are some examples of how veterans can apply for multiple VA loans. If they buy a home for $200,000 and then receive orders to relocate, they are eligible to apply for the remaining $217,000 with 100% financing to purchase a home at their new base. If the home at the new base is $300,000, they can apply for the additional $83,000 if they put down 25% of that amount ($20,750).

If you have a lease in place for your existing home before you move, that amount will be credited to your income you apply for a loan at your new base.

Coming soon: Can you get a VA loan after a foreclosure?

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triheadThe Tri-Lakes area is located in Monument, Colorado just minutes north of Colorado Springs. This area grew because it is convenient to both Colorado Springs and Denver. Lots sizes in this area are larger as are the homes and their prices.

We have looked at the last six months of sales (March 2014-August 2014). In this period we saw a high sale of $1,230,000 and a low sale of $125,000. The average sales price in the area is $399,557, this makes the median price $366,000.

For this article, we are going to take a look at what you can get between $325,000 and $400,000. We chose this range because it's about $40,000 above and below the median price. Here is a look at the numbers:


 

Numbers are for homes that sold between $325,000 and $400,000
94 Number of Sales
3,463 Average Square Footage
4.2 Average Number of Bedrooms
3.4 Average Number of Baths
2.6 Average Garage Size (spots)
37,676 Average Lot Square Footage
$103.60 Average Price Per Square Foot

 


And here’s some pictures of what those homes look like.

For more information on the Tri-Lakes area, give me a call at 719-492-1577

"Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp. ("RSC"), for the period March 1, 2014 through August 26, 2014 .  RSC does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by RSC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market."

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colorado springs home loansThe world of home financing is a multi-faceted one and we at Springs Homes would like to help you understand the ins and outs of the mortgage world. Much of the confusion and seemingly random nature of the home loan and mortgage process has to do with where the money comes from and how it flows. In this article we will discuss the various roles played in this process.

 

 

 

 

 

  In general, there are three “tiers” in Mortgage Lending. I am going to refer to them as follows:

  1. The Origination Stage
  2. The Middle Man
  3. The Secondary Market

The Origination Stage:

There are five types of lenders in the Origination Stage:

1. Correspondent Lenders are companies that actually loan homebuyers the money they need to purchase a home. They have their own money and their own underwriters.

2. Direct Lenders are the “Big Guns” of the mortgage world, e.g. Chase and Wells Fargo. They have a division which functions as a Correspondent Lender in the Origination Stage. (This is confusing because they also have a department that packages the loans and offers them for sale to the secondary market.) They also have their own money and underwriters.

3. Brokers shop Direct Lenders to find you the best mortgage. They do not have their own money or their own underwriters. Once you have chosen the mortgage you want from the ones offered, brokers present your file to that lender and wait for approval.

4. Portfolio Banks originate loans, finance and keep some of them, and sell some to the Secondary Market. First Bank and ENT Credit Union are the major Portfolio Banks in Colorado.

5. Sub Prime: These lenders loan money that does not meet the guidelines of FNMA, FHLMC, GNMA. Rates and fees are usually high to offset the risk of the loan.

The Middle Man:

Once the loan is closed in the Origination Stage, lenders sell the loans to The Middle Man (or one of the Big Guns), like Wells Fargo or Chase. Those banks then package loans into huge portfolios of similar loans and sell them to the secondary market while retaining the servicing, another income stream for the Middle Man. Because FNMA, FHLMC,GNMA have a list of strict guidelines for the loans they purchase, each file is reviewed before it is added to a portfolio. These auditors are dedicated to reviewing each file. If the file doesn’t meet all the guidelines, the loan will be kicked back to the original lender. If the file is rejected for any reason, the Originating Lender is required to buy the loan back. The Originating Lender is then holding an “unsellable” loan, restricting their liquidity. This is why mortgage companies are fanatic about following all the rules.

The Secondary Market:

The secondary mortgage market is comprised of private and government agencies, which buy mortgage loans.

Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association, or FNMA) buys portfolios of conventional loans, with or without Private Mortgage Insurance from Direct Lenders.

Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or FHLMC) buys portfolios of conventional loans, with or without Private Mortgage Insurance from Direct Lenders as well as portfolios from banks, savings and loans as well as Direct Lenders.

Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association or GNMA) buys portfolios of government loans, e.g. Veterans Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) from Direct Lenders.

The purpose of the secondary market is to allow Originating Lenders to lend more money to potential homeowners. By purchasing loans from the Middle Man, Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie provide liquidity to those lenders, who can now offer more loans. Both Fannie and Freddie are limited to purchasing loans of $417,000 or less—this figure is reevaluated every year.

Once Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie have purchased the loans, they are converted into mortgage securities and bonds and offered as trading commodities. Because Ginnie Mae handles government guaranteed loans, their yield is generally higher than those of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

There are of course multitudes of exceptions and guidelines can change daily, making explanations a challenge.

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Posted by on in Powers Neighborhood
4381 Crow Creek Drive

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Built in 2003, this charming 2-story home shows pride of ownership inside and out!   Features 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, over 1,400 finished square feet, custom  interior paint, wood floors in kitchen and dining room, gas fireplace with travertine tile surround, built-in T.V. niche, upper level loft, updated bathrooms, air conditioning, oversized patio, tasteful landscaping with lush lawn and mature fruit trees, and even a dog run!  Great Springs Ranch location...walk to nearby elementary school!

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1635 Capadaro Court. Monument Colorado. 80132

We have just listed this beautiful ranch style home in the popular Doewood Estates Subdivision of Monument, Colorado. This home has it all, sitting on a secluded cul-de-sac with a large lot full of natural trees and vegetation.The main level features hardwood floors throughout and is full of beautiful natural light with an open feel while still separating the living spaces. See for yourself in this video walkthrough.

 

 

For More information, please visit: http://CapadaroCt.com

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Colorado Springs Home BuyerApplying for a mortgage can be one of the more frustrating aspects of buying your Colorado Springs home. And if you’ve suffered a bump in the road credit wise, you may be hesitant even to try to obtain a home loan. But, fear not! Armed with some knowledge and a bit of patience, you can join the ranks of homeowners in the Colorado Springs area.

Credit Disputes You checked your report at www.annualcreditreport.com and, to your dismay, there is some erroneous information or a negative report based on late or missing payments. Even though you may want to call the company immediately, if you are applying for a mortgage, do not dispute any derogatory information on your credit report. If your report shows that you are in the middle of a dispute, your loan application will be rejected or it will be referred to a person (instead of a computer) for a “manual underwrite,” which can take a very long time to resolve. Wait until your mortgage is approved and then dispute the report.

Bankruptcy. Yes, you can be approved for a mortgage even if you’ve declared bankruptcy. If you have declared a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (one in which all debts are forgiven), you must wait 2 years after the bankruptcy is discharged to qualify for an FHA or VA loan. For a Chapter 13 (when you agree on a repayment plan), if you have been making on-time payments for one year after declaration, you may qualify for an FHA or VA loan. In either case, you must not have a single late or missed payment during the post-bankruptcy waiting periods—if you do, the qualifying period will be reset close to the date of your missed payment.

For conventional (non-government insured) loans, the waiting period is 4 years after the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and 2 years after the 1-year payment period for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. And, as with disputed credit reports, if you dispute a bankruptcy while applying for a home loan, the date of the bankruptcy will be reset close to the date you initiate the dispute.

Loan Modification If you are having difficulty making mortgage payments for your loan in its current form, you may request a loan modification. When you do so, and if it is approved, make sure that the lender reports this to the credit bureau as “Paid as agreed.” Have the lender put this in writing before you sign off on any loan modification papers. If the lender reports the modification as a “Repayment plan,” your credit report will be dinged.

Short Sale and Foreclosure If you go through a short sale (selling your home for less than the outstanding debt), your credit score will not be affected if the lender notates it as “Paid as agreed.” If your lender agrees to forgive a portion of your loan, you will most likely sign an unsecured note promising to pay back the agreed-upon amount. As with Loan Modification, have your lender give you written proof that “Paid as agreed” will be reported to the credit bureau. If you don’t take this step, and the lender notates “Settled for less than the full balance,” you will be dinged a whopping 105 points!

If you are experiencing foreclosure, in which the lender takes possession of the property due to non-payment of the loan, you will also want to negotiate with the lender about how he will report it. If the notation “Foreclosure” appears on the report, you will be dinged 110 points.

In both cases, with a potential short sale or foreclosure, speak to your lender as soon as you realize there may be trouble looming. Don’t wait until the situation becomes dire, as many lenders are now much more willing to negotiate help for homeowners than in previous years.

Coming Soon: Meet Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie.

Tagged in: home buying advice
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Posted by on in Powers Neighborhood
2205 Shawnee Drive

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Check out my new listing!  Built in 1973, this adorable bi-level home features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,400 finished square feet.   The home includes ceramic tile and carpeted floors, a formal living room, separate family room, wainscoting in kitchen, knotty pine tongue and groove ceilings, new roof, newer vinyl windows and a huge fenced backyard complete with wood deck for entertaining.   Great location...just one block from a park! 

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How to Improve Your Credit Score and Get the Best Mortgage Rates

As part of your Colorado Springs home buying process, you will mostly likely be applying for a mortgage. And one of the most important components lenders will consider is your FICO credit score. There are many factors that contribute to that score—some of them seemingly counterintuitive. For example, when you open a new account, your score is negatively affected—the same thing also happens when you close an existing, but non-used account. Also, when you apply for credit and the company searches your report, you are negatively affected as well.

So, if you’re thinking of buying a home in the Colorado Springs area, do you need to worry that your credit score will suffer when a mortgage lender pulls up your credit report? The answer, fortunately, is no.

When the mortgage lender pulls your first credit report, there is a 45-day window in which other people can search your report without hurting your score. This is called a “soft pull.” If, however, you apply for 3 credit cards in one month, you will experience 3 “hard pulls” which will cause major “dings” in your report.

However, you can take steps to improve your score. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your credit report is in the best possible condition before you start your home search:

  • Don’t co-sign loans. If your co-signer defaults, you will be responsible for the payments. If you can’t pay, your credit report will show you to be in default.
  • Keep old revolving accounts open, even if you have paid them off or no longer use them.
  • Avoid “same as cash” credit offers (often available at appliance and big box stores). These offers usually give you a credit limit for the amount of purchase, so you will immediately max it out. You will be “dinged” when the store does the credit search and then again when you close the account after payoff.
  • Keep your credit card balances at a maximum of 30% of the total allotted credit.
  • Don’t open new accounts or make large purchases in the six months before you plan to apply for a mortgage, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Monitor your credit report frequently at www.annualcreditreport.com to check for errors.
  • Pay your bills on time. Even one late charge or missed payment can negatively affect your score.
  • If you have not previously established any credit, sign up for a secured credit card. You will prepay a set amount and then receive a card with a spending limit of that same amount—you can then use the card as you would a regular credit card.

Coming Soon: How to deal with credit disputes, bankruptcy, short sale vs. foreclosure and loan modification.

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What is my FICO Score and Why Does it Matter When I’m Buying A House?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Colorado Springs area, and you’re not paying cash (and how many of us are doing that?), you will need to know your FICO score.

The FICO score is the most widely used measure of credit worthiness in the U.S. and it is the primary factor lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. FICO was first introduced in 1989 by the Fair Isaac Corporation—hence the acronym.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850—the higher your score, the more credit worthy you are. Your score is calculated by a mathematical equation that takes into account the weight of many different factors on your credit report. There are actually 27 different scoring models with three main ones used for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. A median score for a mortgage is 679. The general breakdown is as follows:

  • 50% of your score is based on payment history and length of payment history. This includes loans for cars, homes, tuition and other long-term loans.
  • 30% on the amounts you currently owe
  • 10% on the types of credit you have been extended in the past
  • 10% on new credit.

However, the weight of these factors may vary depending on the length of your credit history.

A sample profile of a high credit score would include at least 2 installment loans with balances (auto, student loans, mortgage); 3 revolving credit cards with balances of less than 30% of the card’s maximum, and no record of collections or late payments. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is a good idea to keep accounts open, even when you have paid off the balances. Closing accounts tends to negatively affect your score.

The mortgage interest rate for which you qualify is based on your FICO score. Generally, the higher your score, the lower the interest rate and vice versa. Whether or not you are required to have mortgage insurance, the rate may also be based on this score, as well as the amount of your down payment.

If you are applying for a conventional mortgage, the lender will determine what minimum score will make you eligible for the loan, in addition to the price of the home and other financial obligations. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and other government loans have established minimum FICO score requirements.

If you are interested in learning more about FICO scores, visit www.myfico.com.

Coming soon:

  • How to Improve your Credit Score
  • How to Deal With Delinquent Fees
  • How to Resolve Credit Disputes
  • Loan Modification Alternatives
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure and their Effect on Credit Scores
  • Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
Tagged in: home buying advice
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Watching for Wildlife

In the past week I have almost hit two of these beautiful creatures with my car... mule deer. One rainy evening it was a very adorable, but confused fawn; once I slowed to a stop it just stood in my headlights... true "deer in the headlights" look. 

Living in this area, and much of Colorado (well, and other areas) we run the risk of wildlife in our communities. Because we are so close to the mountains and have treed communities like Black Forest, Erindale, Broadmoor and others, we are at risk for much of the year... or the wildlife is at risk if we're not aware / catious! 

In Black Forest we have mule deer, coyote, fox, squirrels (at least two different breeds, including black "Abert" squirrels), rabbits, a couple bears... last year there was even a moose. It is VERY unusual for moose to live at this altitude, so it was strange to have one here and in the Douglas County area just north of here. 

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The west side of Colorado Springs sees even more wildlife. I'm not sure I've ever shown houses in Peregrine, Broadmoor Bluffs or Skyway without seeing deer. There are most of the animals listed above on the west side, plus more bears, and add mountain lions and big horn sheep to the mix. For the mountain lions especially, pet owners are cautioned to keep pets, like small dogs and cats inside at night! Broadmoor Bluffs, Mountain Shadows and other west side neighborhoods post caution signs when widelife has been spotted in the area. The bears are especially dangerous just before and after hybernation when they are particularly hungry. They even make their way into dumpsters and even stores (as we've seen on rare occassion on the news). The bears and mountain lions will climb trees. The only black bear I've seen in town was off W. Woodmen Rd, pretty high in a tree on a 3 acre property. He didn't want to deal with us, but if there were baby cubs invloved it might have been a different story! 

In all areas, keep watch for deer crossing the road, particularly at this time of year when they have fawns and in the fall at dusk when they are very active. A friend once told us, when the Air Force relocted him here they told him during a local orientation, if you see a deer dart across the road don't watch him trail off... watch for his buddy and his buddy's buddy behind him. They normally travel together. In our neighborhood they travel in small groups of 6-10, however right now they seem to be just a doe and her baby(ies) or a bunch of individuals. If I can figure out how to imbed video in my blog, we had the awesome experience of 7 mule deer bucks "rutting" last fall as they establish the hierarchy of the herd. DO NOT approach these animals!! While they can seem harmless and will most frequently run from you, our neighbor's dog was gored by a large buck's antler, when he obviosuly felt threatened.... they will challenge each other. 

Living in the heart of town, don't think your immune to this wildlife. In 1999 my mom's car got hit by a deer near Circle and Fountain / MLK bypass... he jumped the car next to her and hit the front left side panel of her car. There are creeks and natural habitats that course through our city, creating avenues for deer and other critters to come into the city. 

Now, out east, you have to be aware of the coyote and fox, especially if you want to protect your cats and chickens at night. Let the rabbits and ground rodents be their prey! There are also large herds of antelope that roam the prairie in eastern Colorado Springs and from here to Texas and Montana. These are general much more slow moving creatures, and since they are out in the open they are easier to spot as opposed to the deer that often dart from trees and bushes into roadways. Watch for antelope especially in the areas along Black Forest Rd, Woodmen Rd, Marksheffel... and any home shopping out east to Falcon, Calhan, Ellicott, Ramah, even south of Fountain. 

As a friend used to tell us... Stay Alert, Stay Alive... important advice for you and the wildlife at risk (however I don't think they're reading this blog). 

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2014 Home Sale Forecast

In the first half of this year, home prices rose. From January to June, the average sales price of a single family home went up by 1.8%. The average sales price of a condo or townhome went up by 2.8%.   First quarter (Jan-Mar) single family home sales started out slow, but they made a nice recovery in the second quarter with better results (Apr-Jun).   And while sales are not quite at last year’s pace yet, I believe they will be by end of the third quarter. There are still plenty of buyers buying, interest rates are still low, and summer is only half over.   Historically we slowdown in late fall, so we still have much buying time left to bring those numbers up.

Interestingly, there is a lot more inventory meaning homes for sale, this year. We ended June with 4,233 single family homes for sale, a dramatic increase over last June when we saw only 3,868 single family homes for sale. I think the increase is the result of two things: (1) many sellers were waiting until the market improved to put their home up for sale, and when it finally did they all did. AND (2) new construction is booming again, causing many to move up into a newer home.

I think the biggest factor to consider here is inventory has gone way up, but sales have only gone up slightly.   With more supply and less demand, prices will probably stabilize.

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