Joe has been a Realtor in the Pikes Peak Region since 1997 and as a first year agent, Joe received the Real Trends Magazine, "Rookie of the Year" Award. Since then Joe has participated in hundreds of transactions. Additionally, Joe is a Charter member of the exclusive luxury-marketing group, Elite-25, Joe and Jennifer have consistently been ranked in the top 1% of Realtors in the Pike Peak Region. Joe is a graduate of The Julliard School and prior to his career in real estate worked as a professional musician, playing in orchestras and chamber groups in the United States and Europe. This experience fostered a strong work ethic and discipline. Joe leads the way in our development creative ways to use technology to market homes. Additionally, Joe has extensive knowledge about the home building process and works closely with our Custom Home Builder partners. Joe's experience and knowledge make him a valuable resource for our company as well as his clients.

What You Get: Briargate $295,000 to $315,000

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:

 

 

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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.

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"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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5 Essential Tips for First Time Rental Property Owners in Colorado Springs

There are a number of reasons why you might consider becoming a landlord in Colorado Springs or anywhere in El Paso County. Maybe you’re downsizing to a smaller property, but still want to maintain your current home for income. Perhaps you’ve found a great deal on an income-producing property and are planning to use the revenue for your retirement. Or you’ve found your dream home with an attached apartment or suite that will help you defray the costs.

Whatever your motivation, here are some critical steps you need to take to minimize hassles and be financially profitable.

  1. Be realistic. Remember that you’ll still be paying the mortgage on your rental property, so you can’t count on the rental income to be pure profit. Be sure to calculate taxes (local and federal), utilities, upkeep, maintenance and insurance as part of your cash outflow. Plus you may have some lag time before you find the right tenants. If you’re relying on the rental income to purchase something in the near future, e.g. a round-the-world-cruise or new car, you may have to wait a while.

  2. Keep scrupulous records. Set up an online system such as Quickbooks or Freshbooks. This will help you keep track of all incoming and outgoing cash flow, as well as create reports that will make your tax preparation much less stressful. It’s also a good idea to maintain a file with all the paper receipts, or scan them into a device.

  3. Consult with a professional. Even if you’ve done your own taxes and accounting for years, you’ll want to meet with an accountant or tax attorney to learn the legal do’s and dont's and ensure that you are financially suited to handle the task of being a landlord.

  4. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. You may not be able to find a tenant for months. Rent payments may be consistently late. Your renters may damage the property or hold loud parties. Or you may have dream tenants. Just remember, this is a business proposition, so try not to become emotionally involved.

  5. Understand your tenant’s rights as well as your rights as a landlord. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in property leasing will help prepare you to deal with any situation that may arise. Be sure to put all your expectations (date rent payment is due, additions made to the property, noise level, best time to contact you) in writing as part of your lease agreement.

At Springs Homes we specialize in Colorado Springs Property Management, we work with properties not only in Colorado Springs but anywhere in El Paso County. We not only manage properties but we can also help investors find properties that meet their needs. We are a great solution for those that want to landlords but are weary of the hassle and the liability. Our investors simply leave the hassle to us.

The preceding information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. If you are thinking of purchasing rental property in the Colorado Springs area, be sure to consult with your tax professional or tax advisor for specific information pertaining to your financial situation.

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Choose Your Colorado Springs Title Insurance Company Wisely

When buying or selling your Colorado Springs home you most likely do the appropriate research before choosing your real estate agent, your lender, your moving company and others. But did you know that you also have the right to choose your title company? In our previous posts we explained the importance of title insurance and how the costs are determined. So, it is critical to choose a reputable, experienced company to ensure that you have a smooth and hassle-free transaction.

Below are 9 questions you should ask when searching for a title company.

  1. Is my Money Safe? Make sure that the company has a fully staffed escrow and accounting department dedicated to protecting your funds. Ask for a written guarantee that the company does not disclose your personal information to anyone not involved in the transaction and find out if they carry fidelity coverage and errors and omission insurance.

  2. Is the Title Company Financially Stable? To make sure that the title underwriter is financially stable, check the Demotech website, which issues Financial Stability Ratings (FSRs) for title underwriters.

  3. Is the Title Company a Neutral Third Party? Some title companies are owned by lenders, real estate firms or builders which may cause a conflict of interest. Your Title Insurance company should be independent and unbiased to ensure that the transaction closes according to the terms of the contract, without any complications.

  4. Is the Rate Quoted Much Lower than What Other Companies are Charging? Below market premiums may indicate a lack of experience, subpar service or insufficient financial and accounting controls.

  5. In Addition to the Premium, are there Other Fees and Charges? Ask about fees for electronic delivery, overnight courier, cashier's check, release tracking, wire transfers and other charges that may add up to be more than the amount charged by reputable title companies. 

Make sure you have all the associated fees in writing before signing any agreement.

  6. Does the Title Company Conduct Thorough Title Searches and Report All Exceptions? Title companies are required to perform a "reasonable examination" for every transaction, which includes providing you with actual documents for any exceptions (e.g. liens, unpaid taxes). Your title company must identify, disclose and resolve all issues prior to closing.



  7. Is the Title Company Locally Owned and Operated? Beware of a title company which outsources production of the title commitment and portions of the closing process overseas. A local company will be more knowledgeable about Colorado Springs real estate laws and customs as well as the local real estate market.

  8. Are the Employees of the Title Company Licensed? In Colorado, title underwriters, agent companies and agents are licensed through the Colorado Division of Insurance. Any title company employee who provides rate information to the public must have a license. By Colorado law, sales people, title examiners and searchers must be licensed. The Division of Insurance also regulates activities and has the right to audit files, impose fines for improper actions, discipline agents and take other corrective action.

  9. Is the Title Company a Member of the American Land Title Association (ALTA)? The professional/lobbying organization for the title insurance industry is the American Land Title Association (ALTA). In 2007, ALTA launched the "The Title Industry Consumer Initiative" which details the association's strategy for improving industry oversight and educating and protecting consumers. You can learn more about the Consumer Initiative on the ALTA Web site.

Thank you to Sara Martin of Land Title Guarantee Company for providing the above information.

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Where was Little London?

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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Downtown Colorado Springs Street Names, What do they mean?

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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