Brooke has been selling real estate since 2001 and enjoys serving the community. She has 2 professional designations, CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative). What that means to you is she strives to go above the required continuing education standards to provide a higher level of expertise to her clients. She has been with Springs Homes since early 2008 and loves providing stellar service for all your real estate needs! She has been in Colorado since 1988, growing up in Castle Rock and now gorgeous Colorado Springs/Black Forest area with her husband & her 2 wonderful sons. She has family in the real estate industry all along the front range and loves serving & selling in the Pikes Peak region. Her family enjoys the great Colorado outdoors (camping, dirt biking/ATVs, hiking, fishing) as well as being very involved in their church.

Cookie Cutter Neighborhoods

Cookie Cutter Neighborhoods

Colorado Springs is filled with all sorts of neighborhoods, many developers have come into areas with the idea to divide property as tight as possible to build as many homes as possible. Profit, obviously their goal. There is the benefit of having neighbors nearby, and smaller lots to maintain and water in this dry climate!! I have many a story! Here's a funny about one such "cookie cutter" neighborhood. 

A friend had moved from the Colorado Springs area to the south for job relocation. They asked another mutual friend to meet their vehicle delivery service at their home on a Saturday following their departure. Said friend called me that morning, unable to get in. It went something like this:

Me: Hey Matt, how's it going?

Matt: Brooke, I'm at the house to meet the vehicle delivery crew, and I can't get the garage code to work.

Me: Okay, I'll come over and open the house with our electronic lockbox, be there in about 15-20 minutes.

Matt: thanks.

... some 20 minutes later...

Me at house, no Matt in sight... calls Matt... 

Me: Matt, I'm at the house to open up for you.

Matt: I'm here too, parked in front.

Me: I'm in front of the house, I don't see you.... uh... what street are you on?

Matt: (says name of street, not the right street), oops... 

We meet up at the right house and have a good laugh. In this instance the house that we were meeting at was at one end of the street just to the south, faced the same way, were the same floor plan (at least visibly from exterior) and were the same exterior color. 

Thankfully our friend, Matt, didn't awake the owner where he was mistakenly trying to open the garage.. ha!! 

Again, there are some great benefits to having similar homes in neighborhoods... for one, if a buyer likes a floor plan but not the decor or finishes of the one I showed them, I might be able to peruse the MLS quickly for that same style. In the case of the story above, John Laing was the builder, one of my favorites, who unfortunately left Colorado Springs during the economic decline a few years ago. Even though one of the things I loved about them was their bold color choices, many in that specific neighborhood were still very similar! 

Similar homes nearby also make for easier market analysis research... for both buyers and sellers. We can find similar or exact square footage in most cases, making upgrade adjustments minimal, and providing strong comparable sales for making offers. 

If you've been in the business as long as many of us as Springs Homes, then you often know who the builder is walking into a neighborhood or even a specific home... by the decal above the entry, the decorative quoins along the garage, the floor plan, the porch rails... we just have a base of knowledge that helps us help our clients all the more! We have watched this beautiful city grow for years! 

Is there a moral to the story?! Pay attention to the details maybe... and also just to remind us to laugh along the way! If you are looking to buy or sell your home, feel free to give me a call.

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Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters: What's the Best?

Tankless vs Tank Water Heaters: What's the Best?

I've often wondered, so maybe you have too, what the best style of water heater is for a home. The tankless option which came out years ago to provide more energy efficiency seems to be a great option, because water isn't sitting in the typical stand-up tank being heated and unused. 

However I wanted to get some expert advice, so I consulted with my favorite HVAC pro, Bob Brown of Brown's Heating and Cooling

Here is my long-winded analysis, with his advice. 

Cost Comparison

* The typical stand-up water heater is less expensive to install...$1400/1500 for traditional tank vs $4500 for tankless water heater

Energy Efficiency

* The tankless water heaters have recovery issues, despite their claim to a quick recovery, especially in Colorado where the groundwater comes out of the ground at 52 degrees. It takes more energy/time to get it to a comfortable shower temperature.

* Most tankless water heaters are manufactured for sea level, where the water comes out of the ground at 70 degrees, and obviously then takes less energy to get it to needed temps

* Tankless water heaters generally yield 7 gallons per minute of hot water, and stand-ups yield 11.2-13 gallons

* One tankless water heater might support a small home, but larger custom homes are putting in 2-3 tankless water heaters, obviously adding expense

Retrofitting

* Most homes are built with inadequate natural gas output for tankless, BT rating too low, so existing homes looking to upgrade will also need to upgrade gas service into the home, which is an added expense

* Venting will likely need to be updated/upgraded for tankless heaters as well

Conclusion: Buying a Tank Water Heater vs Tankless Water Heater

Overall, it seems the tankless water heaters aren't a great option at our altitude, as the added expenses and energy needed don't necessarily offset the energy savings. Over time, the 

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12864 Pine Valley Cir - Golf, Swim, Run, Play

12864 Pine Valley Cir - Golf, Swim, Run, Play

I'm so excited about this new listing the Woodmen Hills community in Peyton Colorado. It's a great 2-story with ample rooms for rest, play, craft, exercise, TV, games, etc!

The main level includes a generous living room, dining and kitchen... With a walk-out to a great back yard, bordered at the rear with privacy trees; plus enjoy a patio and storage shed. The main level also includes a bedroom, great for home office. 

The upper level includes 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a loft to separate the master suite from the additional bedrooms. The spacious master includes a walk-in closet and 5-piece bath. 

And the basement... Well, there is a great family room, split with carpet and tile for game or bar area, plus a bed & bath, and bonus room for game table, theater, exercise equipment... So many options! 

All of this in a community surrounded by the Antler Creek Golf Course, a couple community recreation centers with in and outdoor pools, trails and parks throughout. New shopping is just around the corner for convenience. 

Take a look at this link for more detail, and let me know if you'd like to see it! PineValleyCir.com

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Just Your Average Real Estate Day

Just Your Average Real Estate Day

So, in case you are wondering if Realtors are some super-human breed of peeps, I'm here to tell you, we all have "days like this"... Like the rest of the world. One of my favorite books growing up, my mom always read to us, "Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day"... Why such a bummer of a book?! Well, because it shows us that everyone has tough days, and it's about attitude, moving forward, and making a better tomorrow. 

So here's a bit about my crazy Thursday last week... 

I work-out at 6 am, not completely faithfully, but it's fun and stress-relieving. So I roll into my house about 7:20; my husband has gotten my kids up and started getting ready for their day. We normally leave about 7:45 am to head to school. 

Now, I've been promising my sweet 9-yr-old boy that we can "ride bikes to school" since August 17... Which is a bit funny, because, well our house is 9 miles from school, so if we wanted to actually ride, we should have left like 20 minutes before I got home. Oh, and I have appointments, so I need to shower and be ready to work after this ride. I gather my thoughts and say "Sure". I run through the shower and load the bike rack on the back of my car, because well, we're not doing the 8.8 miles to school, but I'll drop them off at a park nearby where they can then cruise to school. Success!... 

Except I now need to do my make-up and "fluff" my hair... And they left the bike lock in the car. So I follow them to school (is it embarrassing to a middle schooler if I drive along side, yelling "Hi" and waving?!... Just curious). 

As I pull into the school parking lot I discover bicycle grease on my hand and subsequently spill powder in my lap... Here's me, totally ready to meet up with my clients!... 

 

I get the boys all settled, their locked bikes and off to class, successfully apply make-up (sort of, it's not my strong suit!), and head off. 

For my midday showings, house number one, while a little smelly and overpriced, already has another offer, of course. House #2 is where the real adventure comes in. I'm training a new agent, so I invited him along for our showings. I think he wanted to turn right around & leave when we walked in.... We're talking smelly and needs lots of work... Can you say "POTENTIAL!?". So this is how the thermostat is mounted to the wall.... 

 

Why? You might ask... Well we have no idea. All we know is these people liked shelving... Like hovering, mounted shelving indoors and out... Everywhere! 

And then unfortunately we found this tiny guy on the basement floor, other water damaged areas and just a general need for improvement. I know there are a lot of houses out there, but sometimes when you're trying to find the least expensive options in an area, you decide what to compromise... Size, upgrades, location, etc. 

At the end of the day, I met the 9-yr-old at school, and because the 12-yr-old has football practice I rode his bike to our parked car destination. Mind you I weigh... (Ehem) considerably more than him, so I wondering if I would pop tires, bend wheels all the way... Oh and racing to beat an afternoon thunder shower, which have been torrential over the past couple weeks! 

Success!!.. Mostly because at the end of the day, we laughed, we played a bit, worked a bit. One boy had football and one baseball. Dinner is a conglomeration of leftovers, eating out from the drive-thru after practice and hopefully a couple veggies. 

Rest assured... We are real people!!! 

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Labor Day Balloon Festival Tradition

Labor Day Balloon Festival Tradition

A Colorado Springs tradition over Labor Day weekend used to be called the Balloon Classic, but was "bought" by another group and is now the Labor Day Lift Off. In either case, this awesome festival takes place in Memorial Park near downtown Colorado Springs.

Walk amongst launching balloons, enjoy booths, jumpers for kids, morning lift-offs, evening glows, mascots for local athletics and lots of entertainment. 

Here are a couple of our photos from past years... 

 

For more details, check out their website, Labor Day Lift off.

 

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