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
Home Sellers Have the Advantage

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!

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Posted by on in General News
D20 Digital Learning Coach Model

*** 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. 

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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)

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7995 Interlaken Dr - Spic-n-span Briargate 2-story

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. 

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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 ;-) 

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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! 


Come check out this lovel home, or get more details here -

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2002 Timberline Dr - Briargate Tri-level

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! 

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Main level living and kitchen are vaulted. Super kitchen with new counters, tile splash, Pinterest chalkboard door for messages, pantry, wood-laminate flooring.

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Updated doors, trim, railing throughout. Check it out!! 

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More details - 

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Posted by on in General News

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!

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2015 is off to a great start in our local housing market.  Here is how we did last month:


Sales of Single Family Homes= UP 15.8% from last year

Average Sales Price of a S/F Home = UP 9.7% from last year

Sales of Condos/Townhomes= Up 40.1% from last year

Average Sales Price of a Townhome= Down 5.8% from last year

Inventory (meaning total homes for sale) is way down, off about 20% from last year


In summary, buyers are buying, but there is much less for them to choose from.Prices have risen. Interest rates are still at record lows. The market is good, folks!

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Feedback on Colorado Springs Homes For SaleOne 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.

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Posted by on in Personal
I Found Myself While Running

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 find out who we really are."   And that is the greatest gift of all.   In it, I found myself.


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Posted by on in Real Estate Statistics & Analysis
2015 Real Estate Update





CONDO/TOWNHOME SALES                  - UP 30.3% 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





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For all you city-dwelling folk, you may not care about this one, after all your personal waste gets whisked away by the city or local municipality's sewer system. 

For those of us living a little more rural, we handle it a bit differently. Septic systems are a large tank to handle waste from an individual home, which has to be pumped out (depending on tank size, persons living in the property, and use) about every 2-5 years. It's super fun (insert sarcasm).. after living in our house 6 years we just had ours pumped for the second time. **helpful tip -  keep those doors and windows closed or the stink could grace your house for a while

Effective January 1, 2015 the "On-Site Wastewater Treatment System Transfer of Title Inspections" took effect - New county regulations are requiring that their approved inspector check and certify every septic tank on which the property will be transferring title. What this means, is if your home closes any time after 1Jan2015, you must have an approved inspector check your system. This list of approved inspectors can be found at Most of your usual septic companies are on the list plus others. In November there were a few names on the list, but with this regulation ramping up, they were able to add a bunch of names to the list. 

I would speculate that a great majority of these will be fine, but there could be some damage to some systems. The program allows 90 days for repairs and re-inspection. I imagine if there is damage, it could delay some real estate closings. Because of this new requirment, loan underwriters will be aware and also require satisfactory inspection reports. So, if a system does not pass, I'm sure lenders won't fund until the system is in working order by inspector standards.

If you are about to sell your house, with septic system, you might go ahead and get the process started. Or you can consider waiting until you receive a contract on your property. The "acceptance document" priovided by El Paso County is good for 6 months, with a potential extension (obviously not all homes sell in 6 months). 

As always let us know how we can help you find out if this or other county or state requirments apply to your home and property as you prepare to sell. 

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Posted by on in Military
Everyone Wear Green!

I'm totally wearing green tomorrow!  Admittedly, it's one of my favorite colors to wear but that's not why I'm wearing it.  Tomorrow there will be high ranking military officials in Colorado Springs, here to determine the pros and cons of military cutbacks at Fort Carson.  As a community, we are told to wear green in protest to these cutbacks.  It's our way of telling the government that we want to keep Fort Carson and the local economy strong.  Here is an excerpt from our local paper, with more details on this:

"The Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance hopes to make Feb. 3 look like St. Patrick's Day in Colorado Springs as part of an effort to stave off military cuts.

Getting locals to wear green that day is part of a wider effort to impress Army brass who will be in town to hear public comments on cuts for Fort Carson that could eliminate up to 16,000 soldiers from the 24,500 now on the post. The alliance is working to pack the Army's "listening session" downtown with boosters, including Colorado's Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.


"The Army is sending out some pretty significant officials," said Andy Merritt, who oversees military affairs for the alliance. "We certainly want to be able to make sure those guys go back with a positive view of what is going on here."

The Army is dealing with a $900 billion financial squeeze over 10 years brought on by postwar downsizing of the defense budget and $50 billion in annual cuts mandated by a 2011 budget deal in Congress called sequestration. Last spring, the Army announced proposed cuts of up 16,000 soldiers at each of 30 installations, including Fort Carson. The move, Army leaders said, will allow the brass freedom to pick targets for a cut of 40,000 soldiers designed to trim the Army's active-duty roster to 450,000.

That makes it unlikely that any base will take the full brunt of the cut. But any cut worries business leaders in Colorado Springs, where the alliance says 50 cents out of every payroll dollar are tied to the Defense Department."

Around 50% of our local economy is military.  That is our stability.  Personally, military buyers and sellers are a huge part of my real estate business.   I encourage everyone to get out your green stuff tomorrow!

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Posted by on in Personal
Meet My Puppy!


What do puppies and real estate have in common...well not much other than I'm a Realtor who happens to have a new puppy.  Meet Clio, pronounced CLY-OH. She's a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier.

It all started last month.  We had to put our adult dog down due to health issues.  We were devastated.  She was a family member, and to lose her rather suddenly and right before Christmas made it even worse.

So, to assuage our grieving we decided to get a puppy, someone to help fill that hole left behind by our previous dog, someone to love and give our energy to.  Early morning on January 5th we drove excitedly up to the Denver airport where our new puppy would arrive.  She was sent on an airplane from a breeder in North Carolina. 

Why a wheaten?  Well, one day I was at the car wash and ran into a man with an adult wheaten.  She was the perfect size...around 30 lbs., cute, smart, interactive, obedient and she didn't shed!  Turns out they have hair not fur, so there is no shedding. I was especially excited about that since our last three dogs have all been very furry Chows!

Clio is definitely much easier to groom.  A light daily brushing and eventually, regular visits to the groomer for "hair cuts" is all she will need.  Her hair is very soft, and I'm told she will lose most of the dark coloring and mature into a true wheat color as an adult. She's a great sleeper and eater and is gradually learning to walk on her leash around the neighborhood.  She's quite vocal and talks up a storm, which takes some getting used to.

I'd say the only thing I wasn't prepared for is the length of time it's taking to completely house break her.  With dogs past, I've had them all house broken in about a week.  This one is definitely more challenging.  She gets the whole going outside thing quite well, but she hasn't completely learned to leave inside when the urge hits. I must confess, this traning is exhausting!   Overall, I am very pleased with our decision to get this puppy.  But if any kind soul out there has some good advice on how to house break, I'm all ears!  Replies are welcomed and appreciated!




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Obama Directs FHA to Reduce Mortgage Insurance Premiums

On January 26th, the Federal Housing Administration reduced its mortgage insurance premiums by 50 points, from 1.35% to 0.85%. This was by executive order from President Obama. The cuts will help more than 800,000 homeowners save about $900 per year and existing homeowners who refinance will see similar savings.  The White House estimates that the lower premiums will enable up to 250,000 new buyers to purchase a home.

FHA raised its mortgage insurance premiums as a result of the financial meltdown and foreclosure crisis. Now, home values are on the rise, jobs are improving and foreclosures have fallen to the lowest level since 2006. FHA will not need another bailout due to improving financial conditions.

I’m hopeful that this will have a significant positive impact for many borrowers and the housing market.


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Southeast Colorado Springs Home For SaleI have just listed this adorable ranhcer in the Eastborough neighborhood of Southeast Colorado Springs. The home features main level living in the heart of Colorado Springs. This home features a large Living Room and Spacious Eat-In Kitchen and large laundry area as well.


There are three large bedrooms and two baths. The home is situated on a quiet cul-de-sac and has a fenced back yard.


Additionally, there is an attached one car garage. The home is in great condition and ready for occupancy. For More information:


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Briargate Home For SaleI have just listed this great four-level home in the Briargate neighborhood. This home is a “Campbell Homes” resale. When you enter the home you walk into a large living room area with vaulted ceilings, skylights and hardwood flooring. The living room is currently being used as an oversized formal dining room. The Living Room has a large pass through window that opens to the kitchen.

The Kitchen has vaulted ceilings as well as tile flooring, Corian countertops, lots of cabinets and walks out to a large fenced backyard. There is a gate in the fence that provides access to the greenbelt behind the home. Additionally, the backyard also features a large storage shed and fenced dog run.

The upper level features three large bedrooms, a Master Suite and two additional bedrooms and two full bathrooms, an attached master bathsuite as well as a full bathroom in the upper hallway for the remaining bedrooms. The lower level consists of a huge family room complete with fireplace. This room walks out to a two car attached garage complete with opener.

The basement is unfinished and offers ample storage with the option of adding an additional bedroom and bath. This is a great home in a popular neighborhood.

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Hot Market in 2014...Can We Do It Again?

Colorado Springs saw a great real estate market last year.  Sales of single family homes rose by 3.8% from the previous year, ending 2014 with 11,197 total homes sold.  The average sales price of a single family home was $251,430, up 2.8% over last year's average price.  Inventory, meaning homes for sale, dropped dramatically as homes continued to sell at a record pace.  As a result, we ended the year with 20% less inventory from a year ago.


Condos and townhomes saw the same kind of gain, with total sales of 1,474 units sold, up 6.6% over last year.  The average sales price of a condo/townhome was $167,893, up 2.3% over last year's average price. Inventory, or units for sale, had dropped by 13% by year's end.


In summary, there are less homes for sale right now.  There are more buyers buying.  As a result, prices are going up and houses are selling faster.   2015 is already paced to outperform last year.  We are seeing a lot of activity early in the year, and we haven't even hit our peak busy season which is usually Spring and Summer.  Bring it on!

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Posted by on in Powers Neighborhood
6144 Montero Circle


Check out my new listing!   Enjoy unobstructed Pikes Peak and mountain views, with open space directly behind the property.  And, no rear neighbors means plenty of privacy. Built in 1997, this terrific ranch floorplan features walk-out lot, stucco exterior, wood floors, vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, spiral staircase, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, finished basement, media room with projector, big screen and built-in speakers, air conditioning, wood deck, and all appliances stay!  Great Powers location...walk to nearby shopping and parks!

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Posted by on in General News
12254 Angelina Dr - Meridian Ranch

With mixed feelings I listed this sweet house in Meridian Ranch... why the mixed feelings?!? Well these are new friends, and once again the Air Force will take a friend across the country! However, this is a GREAT house... so let's focus on that! :-)

Hardwoods grace all the important main level traffic areas and kitchen. The previous owner did some outstanding electrical upgrades...Boston surround sound system, holiday lighting package, central vacuum system, and so many other beautiful lighting upgrades!


The kitchen has gorgeous granite counters and these owners have added granite counters and tile floors in the bathrooms. The main level has dining and living that have peaked ceilings. The kitchen includes a tray ceiling and pendant lighting over the island. 

From the ktichen walk out onto a partially covered, stamped, stained patio... plus this lot backs to local park / open space and they have a nice water feature in the corner. 


The basement family room is huge... with theater area ,2nd gas fireplace, generous wet bar, and 2 large bedrooms! 

The garage has a 4 foot extension for workshop, your longer truck or extra storage... plus they added overhead storage out of the way. 

Meridian Ranch is such a great community with your water bill and a Recreation Center included in your HOA dues, plus available nearby golf course and up-and-coming shopping center. Near Peterson AFB and Schriever this is just a great location! 

Check out more details and the video tour - 

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Posted by on in General News
Fireworks on New Year's Eve

Tonight there will be fireworks from the top of Pikes Peak.  Every year the Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club climbs the icy slopes of Barr Trail, located on the east face of the world famous Pikes Peak.  Then, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, AdAmAn members and their guests ignite a glorious fireworks display from the summit to usher in the New Year.

The club has been a local tradition since 1922.  It is a unique group of mountaineers, who each year on December 30th and 31st make the climb.  The club was founded in memory of the original "Frozen Five," Ed Morath, Fred Morath, Fred Barr, Willis Magee and Harry Standley.  Their idea was that each year only one new member whould be added to the club, hence the name AdAmAn (for add a man).  New members are chosen from a list of applicants, and it is quite an honor to be selected.

The climbing party of thirty members and guests leaves the trailhead of Barr Trail on December 30th, with an overnight camp at Barr Camp.  On December 31st they flash mirrors from their location at timberline, to friends and families in the Colorado Springs area.  In the early afternoon, they finish the ascent to the summit of Pikes Peak.  This 14,110 foot climb is often accomplished on icy and snow covered slopes with wind chills of -50 degrees.

Today our local weather in the Springs is a chilling high of 30 degrees.  The snow covered Peak towers above with temperatures well below that.  I admire those brave mountaineers who take such pride in this local tradition.  Thank you, AdAmAn, and be safe!

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Posted by on in Personal
Christmas Wishes!


Today I am especially grateful for all my clients/friends!  Thank you for your business, referrals and friendship.  Thank you for letting me help you with these life transitions.  I wish you happines and peace during this holiday season and in the year ahead. 



nicole happel

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