6935 Stockwell Drive

I'm always excited to list a house in the Powers area.  With close proximity to military bases as well as shopping and amenities, this location is always a good one.  

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This charming 2-story home sits on an oversized cul-de-sac lot and offers gorgeous mountain views, RV parking, formal living and dining areas, vaulted ceilings, family room with gas fireplace, air conditioning, new carpet, new roof, new water heater, new windows and a huge unfinished basement ready to expand into.   The neighborhood is quiet and within walking distance of parks, schools and shopping!

 

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A Little Do-It-Yourself Update For Anyone

My family recently completed a remodel of most of our main level (living, kitchen, dining)... Floor demo + new, cabinets, removed structural wall, added beam, counters...it was a gut job and we love the new. But it took a lot of work, mostly by contractors.

We did a couple tile floor & backsplash projects ourselves, and fortunately my husband and I work well together! Tile isn't for the faint of heart, and you have to have the right tools! I wanted to share another little project we did ourselves. Anyone can do this. We were putting in gorgeous new dark floors and frankly I couldn't stand to bear the thought of looking at our nasty vent covers! I wanted to buy all new. However, I'd seen the idea somewhere (not sure where, because I'm not on Pinterest). I thought we'd try it, and if it turned out ugly, we could still buy new vent covers. If you look at the pictures I post below, the brass ones were seriously disgusting. Now I love them!

 

1) Take out the old vents...

2) scrape them down with steel wool... 

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3) prime with a spray can (maybe twice)....

4) spray paint with your color of choice (definitely twice! with drying time in between). 

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They look SOOOOOO much better!!! The large one on the right I didn't get a before photo, but it was white and obviosuly wouldn't work for this cold-air return built into the cabinet here. In many cases, with carpet or wall/ceiling vents, the black might look really weird. You could freshen them up with white or pewter color. he black looks good in dark floors and cabinets.  

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What is my FICO Score and Why Does it Matter When I’m Buying A House?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Colorado Springs area, and you’re not paying cash (and how many of us are doing that?), you will need to know your FICO score.

The FICO score is the most widely used measure of credit worthiness in the U.S. and it is the primary factor lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. FICO was first introduced in 1989 by the Fair Isaac Corporation—hence the acronym.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850—the higher your score, the more credit worthy you are. Your score is calculated by a mathematical equation that takes into account the weight of many different factors on your credit report. There are actually 27 different scoring models with three main ones used for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. A median score for a mortgage is 679. The general breakdown is as follows:

  • 50% of your score is based on payment history and length of payment history. This includes loans for cars, homes, tuition and other long-term loans.
  • 30% on the amounts you currently owe
  • 10% on the types of credit you have been extended in the past
  • 10% on new credit.

However, the weight of these factors may vary depending on the length of your credit history.

A sample profile of a high credit score would include at least 2 installment loans with balances (auto, student loans, mortgage); 3 revolving credit cards with balances of less than 30% of the card’s maximum, and no record of collections or late payments. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is a good idea to keep accounts open, even when you have paid off the balances. Closing accounts tends to negatively affect your score.

The mortgage interest rate for which you qualify is based on your FICO score. Generally, the higher your score, the lower the interest rate and vice versa. Whether or not you are required to have mortgage insurance, the rate may also be based on this score, as well as the amount of your down payment.

If you are applying for a conventional mortgage, the lender will determine what minimum score will make you eligible for the loan, in addition to the price of the home and other financial obligations. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and other government loans have established minimum FICO score requirements.

If you are interested in learning more about FICO scores, visit www.myfico.com.

Coming soon:

  • How to Improve your Credit Score
  • How to Deal With Delinquent Fees
  • How to Resolve Credit Disputes
  • Loan Modification Alternatives
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure and their Effect on Credit Scores
  • Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
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What is Title Insurance and Why You Absolutely Must Have It.

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One of the questions Colorado Springs homebuyers most frequently ask us is, “Why do I need title insurance?” Title insurance is just one of the many things that appear on your home buying settlement sheet, but it’s also one of the most important.

The Colorado Springs property you are buying has probably gone through several changes of ownership over the years (unless it’s new construction). One of the necessary procedures during the home buying process is a title search.

The search must be done before any property changes owners in Colorado so that the deed can be recorded and registered to the new homeowner. The search reviews the “chain of title”—the history of everybody who has owned the property through its present owners. What title insurance does is protect you against any expected discoveries that may arise during the title search. For example, there may be unpaid real estate taxes or mortgages, outstanding liens, or errors in the legal description of the property.

Title insurance guarantees that, if any issue in the ownership records arises during the search, the insurer will either fix the problem, compensate you for any potential loss or defend you against any action that may occur as a result. Title insurance protects you against matters that have already occurred and that were not caused by any wrongdoing on your part. It gives you peace of mind knowing that once the buying transaction is complete, you are protected against any claims on your property.

There are two basic forms of title insurance: Owners and Lenders. 
Owner’s title insurance covers you as owner of the property, and the policy is generally issued for the amount you paid to purchase the property. Lender’s title insurance covers your lender’s interests in the property and is usually issued in an amount equal to the loan. In Colorado Springs, the buyer and seller may negotiate who pays for the Owner’s title insurance policy. The buyer generally pays for the Lender’s title insurance policy.

Coming soon: How are the rates for title insurance calculated and how much will it cost?

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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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