Why People Move to Colorado Springs

Why People Move to Colorado Springs

There are probably a gazillion reasons why so many people are moving to Colorado, year after year, and after 27 years of living here myself, here are just a few of my own:

WE HAVE JOBS! And we apparently have A LOT of them, and in a wide range of industries, especially in the professional and business sectors. As of November, 2016, the unemployment rate for the country was 4.6%. As of November, 2016, the unemployment rate for Colorado was 3.2%.

WE HAVE MOUNTAINS! The Front Range, to include Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo is no more than an hour and a half drive to world class hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, and some of the most breathtaking views of the majestic Rocky Mountains in the country. Summer, Winter, Fall, Spring, you will never be without a ton of different options as you head west into Colorado's mountains.

WE ARE FIT! Colorado routinely ranks in the top ten for healthiest states in the country, and we routinely have very low obesity rates. Combine those stats with 300+ days of sunshine a year, and the almost obscene popularity of physical, outdoor activities, and you find yourself with a very healthy and fit population!

WE HAVE PRO SPORTS! So, if you are into that, you have a plethora of which to choose. The Denver Broncos play at Mile High Stadium in Denver and you may or may not have heard that they won the Super Bowl last year. The Colorado Avalanche (hockey) and the Denver Nuggets (men's basketball) share the Pepsi Center in Denver and both are always fun and great for a night out! The Colorado Rockies play baseball at Coors Field which is one of the most spectacular stadiums in the country with the stunning Rocky Mountains in the backdrop. Colorado even has a professional soccer team and two professional lacrosse teams!

WE HAVE ARTS AND CULTURE! So, if you are into that, you also have plethora with which to choose. Colorado's music, dance, theatre, and visual arts organizations are known here for presenting popular masterpieces and innovative, creative new works pretty much year round. Our state's long tradition of stellar cultural events, performing arts series, and indoor and outdoor art festivals ensure that there is always something amazing to do and see here and you will are pretty much always guaranteed to be entertained!

Need more reasons to move to our great state? Give me a call! We could talk the benefits and beauty of living here until I am blue in the face! 

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Just Listed! 3515 Mosswood Lane Colorado Springs CO 80910

Just Listed! 3515 Mosswood Lane Colorado Springs CO 80910

Well, if this isn't the cutest house! Check out my new listing.  Built in 1972, this charming home features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,600 finished square feet!  Includes updated kitchen with Silestone counters, new cabinets, new sink/faucet, new flooring, new roof, new carpet, new lighting, new windows, new doors, new paint, updated bathrooms and a huge deck for entertaining!  Great location...walk to nearby park, schools and shopping! For more information, visit the MLS listing, or give me a call.

 Mosswood Exteriorcover

Mosswood Kitchensm

 

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Southern Colorado Insurance Changes

Southern Colorado Insurance Changes

I love it here... so thankful for limited natural disasters like tornado, hurricane, earthquakes. However, Colorado is still subject to blizzards, hail, wind, and fire. 2012 and 2013 were devastating locally when it comes to fire. Much of those homes have been rebuilt. So, let's talk about the unfortunate weather issues of 2016 And how it's changing insurance for southern Colorado. 

A huge part of eastern Colorado Springs was hit hard by a "hail bomb". According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, the 6th most devastating weather event in Colorado history. When you use the term catastrophic, you know it's serious. 33,200 property claims of $188.2 million and 51,300 vehicle claims of $164.6 million... I'll do the quick math, that's 84,500 claims to the tune of $352.8 million. There were other storms as well, but this was the worst. So if you think those claims aren't going to cause your rates to go up, think again!

We've all seen hundreds of vehicles driving round with temp tags, damaged hoods, temporary window patches and even some shattered windshields. There are also the vinyl siding homes and townhomes that are covered in patches. Frankly there were areas that looked like a war zone. Homes have seen damage to roof, window, siding, etc. Not all claims on vehicles necessitated full replacement, but shops were/are busy doing major repairs... plus rental cars were hard to come by and I'm sure the dealerships struggled to keep inventory. 

So, now, the insurance... We were able to purchase and investment property this Spring. Thank God it was not hit by this catastrophic storm. I went to our HOA meeting this week and learned quite a bit about how HOA property insurance works. It was eye opening, that's for sure. Thankfully our insurance agent's office took great care of us when we set up our policy.

Here's the gist... many insurance carriers are on a percentage deductible, based on the value of the property. Let's say you have a 5-unit townhome building that is valued at $1,000,000 and your deductible is 2% (they range from 1-10% deductibles!)... that means your HOA will have to pay a $20,000 deductible. So your HOA reserves would have to exceed that deductible. In the case of this storm, there are thousands of "attached" units affected, I'm not sure how many buildings. But I can't imagine their HOAs had the reserves, which means the owners all get a "Special Assessment"... sounds so nice and special, but it's not good, its expensive!! So, homeowners have to come up with thousands out of pocket, even though they are "adequately insured". One of the biggest things that came out of this, and the most important take-away from this blog!!--- if you own a town home/condo go get LOSS ASSESSMENT COVERAGE, right now!!! It is not very expensive and can help cover this "gap"!!! This Loss Assessment Coverage should be in place with every home owner, so the special assessment doesn't kill your family budget! I called my agent's office the day afer the meeting and made sure we were set up, and we were. I upped our coverage anyway, because it's worth it.

I also had a new buyer move here from Wisconsin in November. She was shocked when she called to set up their vehicle insurance. It was about double the amount they had paid for their vehicle insurance in WI. Their agent sighted recent claims, specific to southern Colorado, that caused all rates to rise. 

We heard a lot in 2013 after the Black Forest fire that insurance is really expensive, until you need it. There were many families that were under- or un-insured. My best advice, is that even if it costs maybe a bit more, MAKE SURE you have the coverage you need on all of your belongings, because otherwise it's going to cost you far more out of pocket should there ever be a need to file a major claim!! Also, review your policy notifications every year, because your insurance company could change your policy from flat deductibles to percentage, and it could be pricy to deal with the potential claims! 

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Fears and Worries of Home Buyers

Fears and Worries of Home Buyers

Have you, or someone you know, been considering purchasing a home but the associated worries seem to be too overwhelming? Here are a few thoughts that should hopefully help alleviate those concerns.

b2ap3 large one Worried about the associated costs required to purchase a home? Worried that you will not be able to take vacations or go out to dinner or plan for retirement because all of your current savings will be drained? DON'T BE. In this day and age, it is relatively inexpensive to purchase a home. VA loans require no down payment, and FHA loans require only a 3.5% down payment, and there are programs out there now that offer either down payment assistance or even down payment grants! Concerned about your closings costs? DON'T BE! Most savvy real estate professionals can get the Seller to pay your closing costs for you during the negotiation process!

b2ap3 icon twoWorried you might not ever find a home you really like? First and foremost....don't settle, on a mediocre home, or on a mediocre real estate professional. If you work with the right real estate broker, they will take as long as you need until you find the home that is perfect for you. If you are feeling rushed or pressured by a real estate professional to hurry up and buy something, find another real estate professional! You deserve the time, patience, and respect that is needed to help you with perhaps the biggest purchase of your life!

b2ap3 icon threeWorried about buying a home that will have tons of repairs that are found only after you purchase it? Completely legitimate concern, but it can be alleviated two fold. A. Hire a professional home inspector to inspect your home prior to closing. A home inspector's job is to make sure you know every possible thing, both good and bad, about the home. A home inspector can also give you an idea of how much certain bigger repair items might cost so that you can go back to the Seller and ask them to correct the issue(s) before closing. B. Purchase a home warranty that can potentially cover costly home repairs and replacements due to normal wear and tear after you have closed on your new home. (A home warranty is a separate contract that covers repairs and replacements on systems in your home and coverage typically lasts for a one year period).

b2ap3 icon fourWorried that it is cheaper to rent than own? In most areas of the United States, it currently is not, and for Colorado Springs specifically, it definitely is not. If you are fairly certain that you will be in one place for at least three years, it just makes sense to purchase versus rent. Think about it this way: Rent money literally disappears, and you are not able to build ANY equity like you would with owning a home. Rent money pays your landlord's mortgage not your own. Rent money does not allow you vital federal tax deductions that come with owning a home. If in true doubt, use a rent vs. buy calculator to crunch the numbers or contact a local real estate professional for more insight.

Fear of the unknown causes quite a few of us to not make potentially good decisions. It is okay to be afraid, and it is definitely okay to ask questions...a lot of them! I am always here to answer your questions and even the ones that you may not even know that you have...I am ready when YOU are ready!

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Cash Buyers for Homes: Pros and Cons

Cash Buyers for Homes: Pros and Cons

Right now I'm working with a cash buyer, meaning they do not have to get a loan to purchase a home.  Often times cash buyers ask "can I negotiate more since I'm paying cash?"  Here is what I tell them: 

Advice for Cash Buyers

Being a cash buyer is great because you don't have to wait the usual time for a mortgage loan. You can usually close within 2-3 weeks instead of the typical 45 days which loans take to accomplish. So your "power" or leverage is that you can close quicker than most.

But being a cash buyer DOES NOT make you more valuable from a money standpoint. At closing the seller gets paid no matter what, whether you are financing your purchase or bringing cash to the table. They do not get paid more if you pay cash.

Why I Like Working with Cash Buyers

From my perspective a cash buyer is sweet. They can close quickly. There are less hassles without a mortgage involved. And they can choose whether or not to even have an appraisal done. For me, simple real estate transactions are great. 

While sellers may appreciate your ability to close fast, they won't stand to make any more money with you. And...be sure you can verify your funds. Sellers will need to see an account statement or some proof that you really do have the dough!

If you have more questions about buying homes with cash versus taking out a mortgage, feel free to give me a call.

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