Cookie Cutter Neighborhoods

Cookie Cutter Neighborhoods

Colorado Springs is filled with all sorts of neighborhoods, many developers have come into areas with the idea to divide property as tight as possible to build as many homes as possible. Profit, obviously their goal. There is the benefit of having neighbors nearby, and smaller lots to maintain and water in this dry climate!! I have many a story! Here's a funny about one such "cookie cutter" neighborhood. 

A friend had moved from the Colorado Springs area to the south for job relocation. They asked another mutual friend to meet their vehicle delivery service at their home on a Saturday following their departure. Said friend called me that morning, unable to get in. It went something like this:

Me: Hey Matt, how's it going?

Matt: Brooke, I'm at the house to meet the vehicle delivery crew, and I can't get the garage code to work.

Me: Okay, I'll come over and open the house with our electronic lockbox, be there in about 15-20 minutes.

Matt: thanks.

... some 20 minutes later...

Me at house, no Matt in sight... calls Matt... 

Me: Matt, I'm at the house to open up for you.

Matt: I'm here too, parked in front.

Me: I'm in front of the house, I don't see you.... uh... what street are you on?

Matt: (says name of street, not the right street), oops... 

We meet up at the right house and have a good laugh. In this instance the house that we were meeting at was at one end of the street just to the south, faced the same way, were the same floor plan (at least visibly from exterior) and were the same exterior color. 

Thankfully our friend, Matt, didn't awake the owner where he was mistakenly trying to open the garage.. ha!! 

Again, there are some great benefits to having similar homes in neighborhoods... for one, if a buyer likes a floor plan but not the decor or finishes of the one I showed them, I might be able to peruse the MLS quickly for that same style. In the case of the story above, John Laing was the builder, one of my favorites, who unfortunately left Colorado Springs during the economic decline a few years ago. Even though one of the things I loved about them was their bold color choices, many in that specific neighborhood were still very similar! 

Similar homes nearby also make for easier market analysis research... for both buyers and sellers. We can find similar or exact square footage in most cases, making upgrade adjustments minimal, and providing strong comparable sales for making offers. 

If you've been in the business as long as many of us as Springs Homes, then you often know who the builder is walking into a neighborhood or even a specific home... by the decal above the entry, the decorative quoins along the garage, the floor plan, the porch rails... we just have a base of knowledge that helps us help our clients all the more! We have watched this beautiful city grow for years! 

Is there a moral to the story?! Pay attention to the details maybe... and also just to remind us to laugh along the way! If you are looking to buy or sell your home, feel free to give me a call.

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1003 Sun Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80905

1003 Sun Drive Colorado Springs, CO 80905

Check out my new listing!  This one is cool.  Located on a cul-de-sac lot which backs to open space and a natural preserve, the mountain and city views are AMAZING!!!   This 1960 home has been lovingly restored and maintained to showcase the original character and charm of that era.   It features vaulted and beamed ceilings, original slate and wood floors, new custom blend stone carpet flooring, restored original cabinetry, new stainless appliances, new sink, new backsplash, new bathroom tile and faucets, new fixtures, new patio, central air, security system, auto sprinkler w/drip line for veggie garden, partially finished basement and an oversized 2 car garage! Sewer lines from the street to the house have been replaced, and structural piers were installed which have a lifetime transferrable warranty.   And you can walk to nearby D-12 schools from the trail behind the property.  Totally every way!

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5 Things to Do This Weekend (Nov 5, 6) in Colorado Springs

5 Things to Do This Weekend (Nov 5, 6) in Colorado Springs

Veterans Day Parade - Sat Nov 5, 10:00am, Tejon Street between St. Vrain & Vermijo

Admission: free. Come see Veterans from all wars and conflicts as they are enthusiastically cheered as they walk down Tejon Street in Colorado Springs. Veterans come from all over southern Colorado to participate in the parade and this year a special focus is on women in the military. . For more information:

All Colorado Beer Festival - Sat Nov 5, 1:00 pm-4:30 pm or 6:30 pm - 10:00pm  at Mortgage Solutions Financial Expo Center, 3650 North Nevada

Admission: $35-$65. Did you miss your chance to go to the other Beer Festival in Denver? Now is your chance to focus exclusively on Colorado beer and not have to drive to Denver. Line up your designated driver and work your way through over 200 Colorado Beers with unlimited samples. For more information visit the


Louis Colaiannia in Concert, Sun Nov 6, 3 - 5 pm, Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave

Admission: Free. The Mozart Award honoree returns to Woodland Park for a free piano concert. Louis and his vocal accompanist Brittany Dymond will perform their online hit "Special" which benefits suicide prevention. For more information:


Sportsman's Challenge and Community Auction with Kid's Fun Shoot, Sat Nov 5, 9 am - 3 pm, Magnum Shooting Center, 13372 Meadowgrass Drive

Admission: Free for spectators, various for competitors. This event includes a kids fun day at nearby Bass Pro Shop. For those serious shooters, register to compete in a variety of events for both youth (14 and over) and adult categories. The day also includes, prizes, raffles, and a community auction. For more information:


Bear Run 3K Fun Run/Walk Fundraiser, Sat Nov 5 10:00 am - 12:00pm, Bear Creek Nature Center, 245 Bear Creek Road

Admission: $15-$60. Do you love bears? Do you love the Bear Creek Nature Center? Now is your chance to wear a bear costume, sweat in it for 3K and then take it home as a token of your love for bears and the nature center. Returning runners with their own bear costumes can register at a discounted rate. Vendors and costume contests will highlight the day. More information can be found on the El Paso County website.


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Colorado Appraisals Get More Expensive

Colorado Appraisals Get More Expensive

People often confuse a home inspection with a home appraisal. To clarify, a home inspection is to determine the condition of the home and inclusions. A home appraisal is a formal opinion of value to determine what the property is worth.

If you're getting a new mortgage your lender will require an appraisal in order to justify the sales price. Your lender will order the appraisal for you. And it will be paid by you, the buyer. Typically lenders will require that payment up front, at the time appraisal is ordered. 

Here in El Paso County, appraisals usually cost around $350-400. But I just read those rates are going up. Effective November 1st the cost for a VA appraisal is now going to be $750. That's a big jump. But it makes sense. Our area sees so many VA loan, and those VA appraisers are swamped with the increased workload of the past few years. In speaking with a lender friend of mine, she said that there is no new set appraisal rate for Conventional and FHA loans, but she thinks they will hover around $650 and VA ones will be at $750.

Increased home sales is obviously a good thing. Our housing market has been on the upswing for the past seven years in a row. Cool! But our buyers are going to feel more of a sting when they are confronted with these new, higher fees. 

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Why you should not rule out selling your home in the winter months

Why you should not rule out selling your home in the winter months

Winter will here before we know it, but that should not give you any concern at all if you are considering putting your home on the market for sale in the next few months.  Here are my reasons why:

1. The winter market can be less competitive for Sellers since many families will wait until Spring to list their home. Economics 101: Supply and demand.  Supply goes down, price goes up. This creates a unique opportunity for a Seller to make a little more money just by selling in the Winter months.

2.  The smaller amount of inventory in the form of active listings will allow Sellers to get more attention from a bigger pool of Buyers. This bigger pool of Buyers creates another unique opportunity for Sellers in the Winter months.  A bigger pool of existing Buyers will typically translate into shorter times before a Seller can expect an offer.  

3.  Many people do not know this, but many larger corporations will transfer existing employees or hire new ones early in the new year. During this time period, and especially in larger metro markets like Denver and Colorado Springs, this activity tends to produce highly motivated Buyers for Sellers listing their homes in the Winter.

4.  Buyers looking to purchase in the winter tend to be more bound and determined to buy. Most folks will not do a great deal of window shopping in the harsher weather months of December and January like they tend to do in warmer months like March and April. Listing your home in the Winter will likely eliminate some of the 'lookie loos' of the Spring months.   

To support my rationale, I found a study that came out in late December, 2013 from the online brokerage firm, Redfin. This study found that Sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November. Further, homes listed in Winter sold faster than those listed in Spring. The likelihood of selling a home when listing in Denver broke down like this:  If you listed your home in Winter, you had a 77% chance of getting it sold in six months or less, in the Spring, you had a 64% chance, in the Summer, you had a 63% chance, and in the Fall, you had a 68% chance.

Winter is coming friends, and numbers don't lie! If you are needing or wanting to sell your home in the Winter months, you can and with confidence! Feel free to give me a call.

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