A licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker since 1996, Nicole works with both buyers and sellers. In 2009, she was ranked #21 out of 214 ERA agents state wide, for volume sold. She proudly supports our local military and is happy to offer our military appreciation program to active duty clients. http://www.springshomes.com/military-assistance-program. In addition to real estate, Nicole’s passions include running, ballroom dancing, cooking and playing piano. With a strong background in new home construction and accounting, she has a sharp eye for detail.

Nicole's Pumpkin Bread

Nicole's Pumpkin Bread

Every Fall I bake my favorite pumpkin bread.  Funny story about this recipe...it was actually mailed to me by another Realtor, trying to drum up business.  She was canvassing my neighborhood and apparently didn't know she was sending this to "the competition". Anyhow, it looked pretty good so I gave it a try.  It's actually one of the best I've had. So, here ya go. My favorite pumpkin bread recipe, compliments of me and that other realtor out there!

 

Pumpkin Bread

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 1/4 cups white sugar

2 eggs

1 canned pumpkin

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x5x3 loaf pan with Pam. With a mixer, combine softened cheese, butter and sugar. Cream together well.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in pumpkin.

In another bowl, combine flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and walnuts. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Pour all at once into batter. Stir in just enough to moisten. Pour into greased loaf pan.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove to rack to finish cooling.

Continue reading
1964 Hits

9 Things Which Give Value to a Neighborhood

9 Things Which Give Value to a Neighborhood

I recently wrote a blog about things which devalue a neighborhood. Now it's time to talk about things which add value to one:

 

1. School District - Being in a desirable school district always adds value to a property. In fact, I sometimes get phone calls from out of state buyers who are coming to Colorado Springs and have already targeted which school district they want to live in. They are usually willing to pay more to live in such areas.

2. Neighborhood Pool and/or Rec Center - Many of our neighborhoods have a private pool and rec center just for the locals. Wagon Trails, Banning Lewis and Woodmen Hills are some, to name a few. Residents pay homeowner association dues for pool and rec center access, but they are more than happy to have these amenities which are not open to the general public.

3. Golf Course - Neighborhoods surrounding a golf course are always in demand. Homes in such areas usually cost more, but buyers consider it very valuable to live in prestigious golf course communities like Flying Horse or Pine Creek.

4. Neighborhood Trails and Open Space - If an area has its own trail system or designated open space, people consider that a plus. Take Wolf Ranch for example, this neighborhood has a private trail system weaving through it. I have heard buyers say they were hoping for such.

5.  Views of Mountains - A neighborhood which offers unobstructed mountain views will always warrant a higher price tag in Colorado Springs. After all, when you live in Colorado you want to see those mountains as much as you can!

6. Near to Shopping and Restaurants - I'd say this is added value. I promote such conveniences with my listings. I once had a home for sale where the buyer was happy to learn of the new grocery store being built just blocks away from her new home.

7. Near Water - Any time you can find a neighborhood bordering a lake or even ponds, it's valuable. Look at the new Forest Lakes community in Monument. The average price there is in the mid $500,000's.   Buyers will pay for that precious water nearby.

8. Cul-de-sac Community - Banning Lewis Ranch is the perfect example of this. Developers designed this neighborhood so that most of the interior streets are cul-de-sacs which means they are not high traffic and are more kid friendly.

9. Gated Community - Will buyers pay more to live in a gated community? You bet. Look at High Forest Ranch or the Broadmoor Resort Community. Both are gated with on staff security guards, offering residents an exclusive and protected environment. And both are on the higher end of the housing market.

 

Yes, it really is about location, location, location!

Continue reading
3041 Hits

Open House this Wednesday and Saturday in Forest Meadows

Open House this Wednesday and Saturday in Forest Meadows

Come Try Out This Private Master Balcony!!! We are holding open houses at this lovely home Wednesday August 24th, 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM and Saturday August 27th, 10 AM to 1:00 PM. For more details on our listing at 7778 Chasewood Loop, Colorado Springs 80908, go to https://www.springshomes.com/mls/6453302-7778-Chasewood-LP-Colorado-Springs-CO-80908 

Continue reading
2068 Hits

9 Things that Devalue a Neighborhood

9 Things that Devalue a Neighborhood

I recently read an interesting article about home prices and what can make a home more or less valuable.  Below is the list of nine top things which devalue a property or neighborhood, and my commentary on each:

1. Bad School District - I completely agree with this one.  Families with school age children are especially sensitive to being in a top rated school district and to not being in a bad one.  Even the nicest home in a poor district will be hard to sell at top dollar.

2. Located near a strip club - I sort of agree.  We don't have a ton of strip clubs here in Colorado Springs, and of the few that do exist they are far enough away from the houses that values are not drastically affected.

3. Area with a high rent concentration - I agree. If the majority of houses in a particular area are rentals, buyers think the neighborhood may not look as appealing. They assume tenants will not properly upkeep the homes. And apartments buildings which border a backyard are considered a drawback as well.

4. Homeless shelter nearby - Sad as this is, I have to agree that it will affect the value of a home.

5. Located near a cemetery - We have a few cemeteries in Colorado Springs.  The houses nearby are not directly affected so long as one cannot see the cemetery from them.  If the cemetery is across the street, then yes the value is affected.

6. Funeral home nearby - I don't agree with this one. I have not seen a drop in neighborhood values because a funeral home is in the area.

7. Power plant/lines visible - I know from experience that those large overhead power lines do negatively affect a property's value. Some of them even make a buzzing noise which makes buyers nervous. It doesn't matter how nice the home is...if near a large power plant or power lines, buyers will consider it less valuable.

8. Near a shooting range - I disagree with this one making a home less valuable. Here in Colorado shooting ranges are quite common. Most are indoors where you cannot hear the shooting noise from outside. And the outdoor ranges are not near housing.

9. Near a hospital - This one is on a case by case basis. Example: we have that nice, new Penrose Hospital near Powers and Woodmen. It's a lovely facility and has not negatively impacted house values in the nearby neighborhoods at all. But if you consider the older Penrose hospital downtown, that one is right across from a bunch of homes. When those ambulance sirens go off at all hours of the day, this makes the nearby houses less appealing.

If you are home shopping and want my opinion on the neighborhoods you are considering, don't hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to share information.

Continue reading
3348 Hits

7778 Chasewood Loop - New Listing in Forest Meadows

7778 Chasewood Loop - New Listing in Forest Meadows

I'm so excited about this new listing. I sold the house to them and it's just as pretty today as it was when they bought it.  It's a former model home and has all the builder upgrades you can imagine.

Here's more detail of the place:

Built in 2007, the gorgeous home features 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and 3,400 finished square feet. It's a stucco and stone exterior and has professional landscaping and a covered patio in back. The interior features high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, built-in speakers, wrought iron spindles, central air, security system, gourmet kitchen with rich dark cabinetry, Corian counters, soapstone backsplash, double ovens, gas cooktop, and stainless appliances. There is a see through gas fireplace from the living room into the formal dining room. The upper level has a loft and 4 spacious bedrooms including the master which has it's own private balcony, a huge walk-in closet and attached 5 piece bath. The finished basement offers a spacious rec room, one additional bedroom and bath. There is heated workshop of the 2 car garage, which could be converted to a 3rd car stall. 

This home will sell fast! For more information, visit: https://www.springshomes.com/mls/6453302-7778-Chasewood-LP-Colorado-Springs-CO-80908 . Or contact me directly, I would love to show it to you.

 

 

Continue reading
2189 Hits