Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

My family and I moved to Colorado Springs in the Fall of 2008 and we quickly fell in love with the lifestyle, the abundance of year-round outdoor activity, fresh air and lots of sunshine! Oh, and plenty of snow just to make things really exciting. This area has so much to offer no matter your season of life. But if you are like me, married with kids, you will soon appreciate the variety of life-giving recreation just minutes from your door! So, here are a few family favorites.

Hiking – You could literally spend a lifetime discovering new trails, rock formations and mountain peaks nestled among the amazing Rocky Mountains. One I highly recommend is Mount Herman. Located just west of Monument, CO this trail takes you up to an elevation of 9100 feet, and can be accessed from Mount Herman Rd. halfway up the mountain. It is given a skill level of moderate and is a 2.2 mile out and back trail. On a clear day you can easily see downtown Denver and downtown Colorado Springs. Pack a lunch and plan to relax for awhile to take it all in!

Zoos – One of the area’s treasures is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It is located Southwest of Downtown and is sitting on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. There are dozens of exhibits and animal species represented and you can even feed the peacocks as they roam around the grounds freely. Annual passes are available at an affordable price so that you can go as often as you like! A real favorite for kids of all ages.

Shopping – You can find 100’s of shops scattered around the area featuring local craftsmen and artists. I highly recommend taking a drive through Old Colorado City and into Manitou Springs. A tourist destination located to the west of Colorado Springs and just next door to Garden of the Gods, this area boasts many restaurants, boutiques, Bed & Breakfast Inns and an old-world Arcade! While in town you can take a ride to the Summit of Pike’s Peak on the Cog Railroad. Check the calendar for a vast array of events including farmer’s markets and street fairs.

Whatever you are into, The Springs area is hard to beat. Come for a visit…you may decide to stay for the rest of your life!

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Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 4, Feb 5) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 4, Feb 5) in Colorado Springs

1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar -  Sat Feb 4, 10-11 am, Integrity Bank and Trust, 13540 Meadowgrass Dr.

Admission: free, refreshments provided. Our own Courtney Gilmore joins Kevin Stevenson of Integrity Bank to host this seminar for 1st Time Home Buyers. If you are tired of renting, and ready for home ownership, come to this free seminar to hear some great advice. For more info, visit: 1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar

Science Saturday, Sat Feb 4, 10 am - 2 pm, Bear Creek Nature Center 245 Bear Creek Road

Admission: $30 members, $40 nonmembers. For students in 2nd -6th grade, come put your STEM skills to test in a fun day exploring Science and Nature. Dress for the outdoors, as the weather this weekend is supposed to be nice. For more information: Bear Creek Nature Center.


Billy Strings in Concert, Presented by Rocky Mountain Highway, Sat Feb 4 8:00pm, The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave

Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Imagine a cross between an acoustic bluegrass enthusiast and a closet punk fan. Billy Strings will put on a tremendously energetic performance that will make you wish you had stuck with the guitar lessons. For more information: Billy Strings Tickets.


Star Days: I Love Space, Sat, Feb 4 10am - 4pm, Space Foundation Discovery Center, 4425 Arrowswest Drive

Admission: Included in regular admission to the museum. Come see some great lunar, thermal, chemistry and constellation exhibitions that are sure to get you excited about space and science.. For more information check out their website Space Foundation Discovery Center.


Ute Pass Chamber Players Concert, Sun Feb 5 3:00-5:00pm, High View Baptist Church, 1151 Rampart Range Road, Woodland Park, CO

Admission: $15, students $5. If the Ute Pass Chamber Players had their way, there wouldn't be a concert on Super Bowl Sunday. But since the Broncos aren't in it this year, this is their way of coping. There will be a special guest appearance by the Spiritus String Quartet. For more information: Ute Pass Chamber Players Concert

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Understanding Your Property Taxes

Understanding your Colorado Springs property taxes

Will property taxes go up in 2017? Better yet, just how are property taxes calculated? Here, in Colorado Springs, the El Paso County Assessor re-evaluates the value of homes every two years. He starts with the current market value of the home. Market Value is based on the most recent comparable sales in the area.

Once market value is determined, he multiplies the current market value by 7.96%, which is the current assessment rate for all residential properties.   MARKET VALUE times 7.96% = ASSESSED VALUE.

Once the assessed value is determined, he multiplies that by the current mill levy for the area. And that result is your annual property tax.

The mill levy for your area is dependent on many factors including but not limited to the school district, fire district, water district, library district, your county, and city. These various taxing entities comprise the total mill levy for an area. Taxing entities in one area may be higher than another. For example, the taxes for School District 20 are higher than those of School District 11. Although, the school district is not the only taxing entity in an area, the example gives you some information regarding the various mill levies for El Paso County

You can appeal the assessed value of your Colorado Springs home, thereby possibly lowering your property taxes. If you choose to do so, remember the El Paso County Assessor will only consider comparable sales for a specific period. That period must fall within the Assessor’s specific collection dates. For this task, I recommend calling your Realtor. As a part of our ongoing service and commitment to you, we can easily provide those comps to help you through the process, just give me a call.


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1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar

1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar

In this crazy, fast-paced real estate market in Colorado Springs, if you blink you might miss out on getting the #1 home on your list. You need to know what you are doing and you need a good team on your side giving you the right advice. On Saturday February 4th, you are invited to a 1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar that will give you some great advice on going through the process of purchasing your first home. Courtney Gilmore, our agent at Springs Homes, teams up with Kevin Stevenson of Integrity Bank & Trust to cover financing, offers, mortgage payments and lots more. The seminar is being held at Integrity Bank and Trust 13540 Meadowgrass in Northgate, Saturday February 4th from 10-11am and refreshments are provided.


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Things to Do This Weekend (Jan 28, Jan 29) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Jan 28, Jan 29) in Colorado Springs

7th Annual Touch-A-Truck Weekend -  Fri Jan 27 5-7pm, Sat Jan 28 9-4pm, Sun Jan 29 10-3pm, Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center 3650 N Nevada Ave.

Admission: $5/person, $20/family of 5, under 2 free. The Junior League of Colorado Springs knows how to capture the interest of kiddos. This is the 7th year that the Junior League has used this fundraiser to engage families by creating a 55,000 square foot hands-on environment of pure trucks. The Friday event is for kids needing a quiet environment and a sensory friendly event. The regular event is on Saturday and Sunday. For more info, visit: Junior League of Colorado Springs

Intro to Winter Hiking with Elizabeth Barber, Sun Jan 29, 3:00 pm, Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center, 1805 N 30th St

Admission: Free, donations accepted. Feeling the winter blues? Get outside and hike! Elizabeth Barber gives some tips on keeping warm and staying prepared during winter hiking. For more information or reserve a spot: Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center.


Steve Veatch's Basic Paleontology Course, Sat Jan 28 9:30am, Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, 201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park

Admission: $20 plus museum admission of $11.50 per person. Were you that kid with an insatiable love for dinosaurs? Come learn more about ancient environments, fossils and get a practical introduction into paleontology. For more information: Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Research Center.


Basics Of Cast Iron Cooking, Sat, Jan 28 2017 9am - 11am, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $10 per member, $12 per non-member. Up your camping game with some unforgettable cooking around the campfire. Head to the Fountain Creek Nature Center to learn curing, cleaning, care and maintenance of cast-iron cookware. For more information check out their website Fountain Creek Nature Center.


Manitou Springs Great Fruitcake Toss, Sat Jan 28 1:00pm, Memorial Park, Manitou Springs, 502 Manitou Ave

Admission: Donation of one non-perishable food item, which benefits the Manitou Springs Community Pantry. Leave it to Manitou Springs to create a hugely popular event involving left over food. Manitou Springs has been hosting this event for over 20 years and it features the crowning of the Fruitcake King and Queen, feats of strength and talent and of course launching fruitcake. For more information: Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.



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