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.

2016 Parade of Homes "in the Books"

2016 Parade of Homes "in the Books"

The Colorado Springs HBA Parade of Homes is one of my absolute favorite local annual events!!! Anyone who knows me knows I don't like hot weather, and this tradition marks the beginning of school and a general cooling trend as we head into fall. Not only that, but I LOVE seeing new design trends... building styles, colors, features, locations, furniture, etc. And who doesn't love the occasional privilege of going into multi-million dollar homes?! 

Normally I'm not impressed with the "normal models"... those homes which will be models even days, weeks, months after the Parade. I try to keep to viewing the higher priced homes. But this year, even a couple of the smaller ones impressed me, and encouraged me to show my buyers in some areas. The building industry is booming, not only residential, but also commercial. I feel like there is a new neighborhood popping up east of Powers every week! 

One of my favorite "smaller" homes was Oakwood's new cluster community in Banning Lewis Ranch called Carriage House. And while we're on BLR, I'm so impressed how this neighborhood is "growing up"!... adding to their charter school campus will be a high school, adding to their neighborhood parks is a new splash park. And the neighborhood is just really coming into its own. The yards are a bit smaller and most filings still only allow split-rail fence, but their big push is small yards with trails leading to parks & the Ranch House for family and neighborhood use! However, this Oakwood community allows for privacy fences. And the homes are just adorable yet modern. Here is a shot of the models: (P.S. Gimme a call if you want to see in person, I'd love to take a buyer over there!)

In homes of all price ranges I loved seeing a mixed use of mediums both in and outdoors. Check out the exterior of Picasso Homes' Le Reve - siding, stone, stucco, steel and wood, WOW! (trust me the interior was just as impressive!!) and Saddletree's fireplace (rustic corrugated metal, wood, stone & steel beams!) in their Buena Vista II... 

      

Probably the most impressive landscaping credit goes to Silver Summit GC's Summit View Ranch. With over $100,000 in stone, ponds, fish, rivers, walk-ways & bridges, waterfalls, stained concrete patio, built-in fireplace/bar... it all masks highway noise from I-25 and is so convenient to everything in town! 

Most of my friends told me that the Galiant Homes' "La Visiere" in Flying Horse stole the show. I'm torn, because personally I loved the Alliance Builders' "Beaumont" most for floor plan, entertaining and family friendliness. However, as a family I think my husband, boys & I would choose the Murphy's Custom Home "Shadow Mountain Luxe" not only because it is a great house!!! but also comes on 35 acres... plenty of space for riding our dirtbikes/ATVs! 

I never take enough pictures... I don't even feel like these are adequate to show what a great Parade of Homes it was this year!! Here are a couple extras... open glass instead of railing at the Brookstone Homes' "Belmont" in The Farm and just a cool bed! The Farm is also quite impressive with it's creative combination of rustic "farm style" and modern design. And it's all so close to everything in town, but tucked in a little valley with trails, parks, and ponds. 

    

Flying Horse in general never ceases to impress us! Year after year I love Saddletree's models (since about 2003) and Hi Point in Gold Hill Mesa for the past 3-4 years! I was struck by the number of homes with a main level master and just one bedroom up. I guess that's a play + guest design with kids in basement bedrooms. One of the prettiest with that lay-out was Vanguard's "Ramsgate"... One of the most extravagant Kirella Homes' "Villa di Torre". And of course All About Home Design's "The Cottage at Millhaven" in Cathedral Pines was a stunner!! The design may say cottage, but the size didn't! ;-) 

As always, I enjoyed seeing the trends and designs... and my husband loves (insert sarcasm) when I come home with all the new ideas for our home. But seriously, what a great thing our HBA does! Here are a couple goofy pics of me out at the Parade home in Woodland Park... moose statue and Pike's Peak view from the "City Above the Clouds"! This is my "this is the view from the BOTTOM of the driveway?!" face... that Picasso was a beauty for sure! 

 

If I neglected to give any home or builder credit I truly apologize. It was a great Parade of Homes. It was a new schedule this year... Wednesday-Sunday for 3 weeks. With my sister's wedding week in the middle it's highly likely I forgot everything before that! 

Please always let me know if I can help you take a look at a home, neighborhood, builder, etc... I so love what I do and the Parade is a fun way to check out so many local homes/builders in a short time! 

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The 2016 HBA Parade of Homes

The 2016 HBA Parade of Homes

One of my favorite local "real estate" events is put on by our local Housing and Building Assocation (HBA) annually in August. It's cool because we get to see 30+ homes in all price ranges, new design innovations, colors, staging, furnishings, floor plans, etc!

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The public can enter all of these homes with one ticket, purchased though the HBA or at local Safeway and Albertson's grocery stores For $10. Anyone under 18 is free... I think that's still true anyway. 

BIG CHANGE... Okay, sort of... They are normally open 17 days from a Friday through Sunday for just over 2 weeks. Well, this year they are open Wednedays through Sundays only, August 3-21... So kind of 3 "long weekends". I'm sure many weekdays are not well attending so in order to give the builders and their hosts/hostesses a bit of a break on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit www.springsparade.com to include ticket, builder, house info. Have fun!!!

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Showing Homes "Up the Pass"

Showing Homes "Up the Pass"

To Pikes Peak Region Realtors, "up the pass" means up Ute Pass west of Manitou into Woodland Park. This beautiful little mountain town is also known as the City Above the Clouds. I got to experience the full meaning of that years ago after showing a couple Black Forest on a chilly, foggy day, we pulled up into Woodland Park, CO in the afternoon, up out of the clouds. What a pleasant moment... And viewing Pikes Peak from a whole different angle! 

Woodland Park is a great mountain town, with local shops, breweries, and more recently a Wal-mart (clearly the mark that Woodland Park has "made it" as an American town ;-) ) PLUS a modern medical facility. Including Walmart, there are 3 large-name grocery stores. Locals also know there is plenty of Mexican food options, plus the famous "Donut Mill" Restaurant... So much more than just donuts for breakfast, they make breakfast burritos and more! 

Let's get back to the showings!!.. I love showing up here particularly in the summer and fall. In the summer, it's a comfortable 5-10 degrees cooler than Colorado Springs, so on those blistering days if you had to WP and homes in the trees, a nice breeze will also help keep it cool. With these particular clients, we had a little chuckle because one owner came back home during our showing and was complaining about the 75 degree heat. The fall is nice because while the trees are primarily Ponderosa pine, the scattered aspens make for a beautiful view all around. Not everyone has a view of Pikes Peak from their deck, but most lots outside the city center will have some nice trees to make you feel oh-so-Colorado! 

The houses I showed over the past week have been in the $275-350,000 range and 1700-3300 sq ft, most with .5-1 acre. Some are updated, some carry the rustic decor of 20-30 years ago. I was very surprised at the high percentage of split-level style homes. The poor husband of this couple I showed couldn't keep them separate in his head. After 3 days and 18 showings, he was "lost". So we head back out tomorrow to see the "favorites" again, so he can remember what they're buying before they head back home before moving here. The split-level style comes mostly out of necessity, a mountain town means, most homes are built on a hillside and the tuck-under garage is fairly common.

I wish I had taken more pictures, but let me know if you or your friends/family want to move this way, I'd love to show up in Woodland Park again soon!! I often say, if we didn't daily commute to Colorado Springs, we'd strongly consider Woodland Park!! 

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The Best Colorado Springs schools!

The Best Colorado Springs schools!

I was searching for my school choice blog post the other day and with website re-vamping, it's disappeared, so this important topic deserves my attention again... And yours! 

So the title is a bit of a set-up, because well, we can't tell you which schools are "the best". It's against NAR ethics regarding steering and it's just not in your best interest for us to choose what your child needs. It takes time and effort, but part of your house hunting job if it's an important factor for you, is to find which schools are the best for your kid(s). The truth is, test scores and location can provide you with a lot of feedback, but school visits and "choice" meetings will help you best understand the school and if it will fit your child. 

First, What is Choice?:  Colorado Springs and the greater surrounding Pikes Peak areas participate in school of choice options. You can obviously go to your neighborhood school, within which every house in Colorado Springs has boundaries and designated schools. You can opt or choice into a school that isn't your neighborhood school... Or even into another district if it seems appropriate. 

How do I "choice" into another school or district?: Every district is a little bit different. I will try to provide a list of the individual school districts in the Pikes Peak region which we service below. Most provide the opportunity with a choice window in January to register your child(ren) with the desired school and district. Many charter schools in the area provide a "wait list" option, which many put their kids on shortly after birth, in case it ends up being the best choice for their child(ren)when the time comes. 

A couple Stories: 

1) When I was in high school (yes, many, many moons ago), my older sister and I had great success in our high school. Our younger sister, however, was not seeing the same success. I think the same teachers we had even gave her the benefit of the doubt, but a combination of family and friend choices weren't giving her a successful result. So our mom's moved to Denver and a school adjustment was just what was needed. 

2) I've heard of parents opting students out of "the best" school district for special needs or accelerated programs and "less desirable" districts, because it was what their student needed. Sometimes sports even play a factor. 

3) Our personal story includes putting our boys on the wait list for a charter school shortly after birth. They were hundreds down the list, but we left them on anyway. We then visited a couple other schools as our oldest approached kindergarten and felt led to his school. We went to choice meetings / open house house nights at several and some things didn't' make sense for our family at the charter option. Many of our friends go to that school and it did feel like the right choice for all of them. 

All of this said, we feel strongly that the parents and kids need to make school decisions based on their needs, plans, goals, etc. There are way too many factors for us to decide for you! Here are a list of school districts in the area and their websites to hopefully help you on your path:

Lewis Palmer District 38 (Monument/Palmer Lake area) http://www.lewispalmer.org
Academy School District 20 (north Colorado Springs) asd20.org
Falcon School District 49 (east, northeast Colorado Springs) http://d49.org
Colorado Springs District 11 (Colorado Springs city and surrounding area) d11.org
Manitou District 14 (west of Colorado Springs, Manitou)
Harrison District 2 (south Colorado Springs) http://www.hsd2.org/pages/HSD2
Widefield District 3 (south of Colorado Springs) http://www.wsd3.org
Fountain-Fort Carson District 8 (south of Colorado Springs & on Ft. Carson) ffc8.org
Woodland Park District RE-2 (west, up Ute Pass) http://www.wpsdk12.org
Peyton School District (east of Colorado Springs/Falcon) http://www.peyton.k12.co.us
Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 http://www.cmsd.k12.co.us/ 

 

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Ridgeview 2-story 5868 Poudre Way

Ridgeview 2-story 5868 Poudre Way

Absolutely wonderful 2-story 5 bedroom home in Ridgeview at Stetson Hills. Enjoy a wonderful open floor plan with some hardwoods at entry and kitchen... covered patio... 2-story family room! 

The entire main level is open, with formal living / dining combined, and a kitchen open to the family room. Walk-out to a nice back yard with covered patio off kitchen. 

There are 4 bedrooms upstairs, including a double door entry master with vaulted ceiling and attached 5-piece bath + walk-in closet. 

Also enjoy a finished basement with a small wet bar, space for tv, exercise or gaming... plus a large suite for guests or teens! 

This neighborhood is filled with great parks & schools, and boasts easy access to military bases, tons of shopping & dining options along the Powers corridor! 

For more info, photo, and video tour, please visit http://poudreway.com/

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