Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 20-May 21)

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One weekend before the Memorial Day holiday and we're still getting snow, freezing overnight temps, and cold breezes to make you think winter is back. No matter! There are still plenty of fun events happening in Colorado Springs this weekend. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Colorado Public Lands Day Celebration -  Sat May 20, 8:00am, Red Rock Canyon Open Space Ridge Rd. & US-24

Admission: Free. We are the first state in the nation to have our own state holiday to recognize Colorado public lands! Join together to work on improving our trails followed by a guided hike tour and other outdoor activities. Minimum age is 16, or 13 with a parent/guardian. For more info, visit: Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

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Tesla’s Toolbox: Water Widget Races -  Sat May 20, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Space Foundation Discovery Center 4425 Arrowswest Drive

Admission: Included in admission ($5-$10). Engineer your own self-propelled boat and race it against others! For more info, visit: Space Foundation Discovery Center.

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Run to the Shrine -  Sat May 20, 7:30am - 5:00pm, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd

Admission: Registration fee $30-$55/person. Take advantage of the one day of the year you can view Colorado Springs on foot from the scenic road leading up to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. Proceeds benefit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! For more info, visit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents Carmina Burana -  Sun May 21, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 190 South Cascade Avenue

Admission: $21+. Enjoy the medieval cantata Carmina Burana performed by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. For more info, visit: Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

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City Wide Gaming Event Benefit -  Sun May 21, 10:00am - 8:00pm, Imagination Space 750 Citadel Dr. E

Admission: $7/day. Come play role playing games, board games, card games, and miniature games with proceeds benefiting the Imagination Celebration and Dragon Theatre. All skills levels welcome. For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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Home Buyer's Needs Assessment

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It seems in this "transitional community" we live in, with military, job growth, etc. we frequently do needs assessment over the phone or on-line... only planning showings once the buyers arrive and we hit the ground running. 

What is a needs assessment for a home buyer? and where do we start?

Recently I had a buyer who lives here in town already and wanted to have coffee and chat before actually starting their home search. So we planned a Saturday morning meeting and here is what we talked about.

How are you going to finance your home?

We started with financing because while it is so fun to be looking at houses starting on-line, it can be disappointing and time wasted if you're not in the right target price range. There are a variety of mortgage calculators available on-line, but your best bet is to ask us for one of our awesome local lenders to start the mortgage discussion! I put buyers in the capable hands of a couple different awesome local lenders, if you are in need of one, .

There are two components to the loan approval... what you can spend... and what you want to spend. (okay, there's much more than that, but this is an important part of the decision.)

I tell clients ALL the time that my husband and I never take advantage of the full mortgage amount we are approved for. We prefer to save a little for home improvement, emergencies, travel, camping, and generally enjoying life not being strapped to our house and mortgage. 

So, I have the buyer thinking about the financing... and then we start talking about their wants and needs. 

What do you need in a home? 

The basics start with:

  • number of bedrooms/baths
  • number of garage spaces/carport/etc
  • total square footage
  • main level bedroom for elderly/disabled
  • area, location, neighborhood, schools

These items are generally decided based on the size of family, whether their growing or downsizing, etc. Based on price, buyers may include other wants into their needs.

The location is often determined by job expectations and then driven by price and availability of homes nearby. I will say that Colorado Springs and the surrounding area is generally extremely easy to commute. The most challenging commute is the bottleneck at Monument, as the market has driven people out of the Denver market and into the Pikes Peak Region; however many of those still commute north to the Denver metro area daily! 

Now, there are other criteria for most people, but they tend to be more in the "wants" category. I'm perfectly capable of running up and downstairs 100 times a day for my kids, my upstairs home office, etc... but we still strongly prefer a main level master. 

What do you want in a home?

  • basement... finished basement
  • deck/patio/sunroom
  • house age
  • wood burning or gas fireplace
  • gas range (actually difficult to find here in our average price range)
  • mountain views (see my previous blog for more on that one)
  • vaulted ceilings
  • large / fenced back yard
  • backing to open space/golf course 
  • treed property
  • privacy from neighbors
  • acreage 
  • Upgrades (granite, hardwoods, custom, etc.. and consider location ahead of these items that can be added/changed)
  • natural water... I chuckle a little when people want to have a creek running through or back to a lake. There is just very little water in our area. There are several small lakes in the "Tri-lakes" area (Monument, Palmer, Woodmoor and now Forest Lakes). There is water/creek running through the Ute Pass area and on the northwest side of town south of the Air Force Academy... plus creeks in Cottonwood area and Fountain. 

Location, location, location... it will always be the case, the one thing you cannot change, location! It's extremely expensive and not always cost effective to add onto a home, so size is probably the next most important factor. 

What about buying a home that has good resale?

Resale is also a very important factor when buying. If you know you'll be transitioning out of the community in 3-5 years for military, job, family, etc, you might have to stave off your desire to have the most expensive and unique home in your neighborhood. Often in these cases, the basic home in the popular neighborhood that is well kept will help tremendously with resale.

What do you give up?

Compromise - When you cannot line up the age, size, style, area, the budget for your home, it's time to start talking about which criteria you're willing to compromise... "I'll accept an older home in this area", or "I'll go farther from work for the house I want". In this high-demand market, buyers are making more sacrifices and learning what it means to compromise. 

Finding the right home to buy

We take all of these factors into account with the buyer and set them up with a search. "Garbage-in-garbage-out" can be a bit of a challenge... for example, if a buyer wants wood floors & you select "wood" as a requirement in the MLS flooring field, but a listing agent forgot to check that box, a house that might work for the buyer won't actually show up on their search. It's best to keep the MLS search basic and use pictures, descriptions, & virtual tours to decide if it's worth a personal showing. 

Writing this makes me realize how much I love this process. After 16+ years, I'm still not tired of looking for and finding "the one" for buyers! It's fun to be presented with a unique challenge and find the solution... no doubt every buyer that I work with has a unique set of wants/needs, it's so cool! If you are ready for a Home Buyer Needs Assessment, .

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 13-May 14)

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Happy Mother's Day! Perfect weekend to take out the important women in your life to fun events in Colorado Springs. Many things to do with Mom including a Victorian Tea, Pikes Peak discounts, and more! 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Victorian Tea and Ball -  Sat May 13, 4:00pm - 10:00pm, BeMore Event Center 3958 N. Academy Blvd

Admission: $35/person. Learn Victorian era history and enjoy dance and music. For more info, call: (719) 635-1773.

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Treat Yourself Mother's Day Fair -  Sat May 13, 10:00am - 1:00pm, PPLD - Briargate Library 9475 Briar Village Point

Admission: Free. Massages, chocolates, clothes, and crafts will spoil moms on Saturday. First 50 moms will receive goodie bags!  For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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Active Adults Club: Spring Birding Photography Workshop -  Sat May 13, 11:00am - 1:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $20/person. Mike Pach, award-winning local photographer, teaches how to take bird photography. Hobbyists and professionals welcome. For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Mother's Day on Pikes Peak -  Sun May 14, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Pikes Peak - America's Mountain 5089 Pikes Peak Highway

Admission: Mom free with paid admission. Treat Mom to free visit to Pikes Peak on Sunday. For more info, visit: City of Colorado Springs website.

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Pike’s Peak Antique Machinery Days -  Sun May 14, 10:00am, Western Museum of Mining and Industry 225 North Gate Blvd.

Admission: $5/person. Last day to attend the first annual Pike's Peak Antique Machinery Days featuring antique tractor pulls, silent auction, antique engines, and more! For more info, visit: WMMI.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 6-May 7)

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Let the Cinco de Mayo festivities continue around Colorado Springs this weekend! Take advantage of this warm weather before some rain moves in next week. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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First & Main First Saturday Car Show - Rocky Mountain Mustangers -  Sat May 6, 8:00am - 10:00am, Parking lot in front of Dick's Sporting Goods @ First & Main Town Center

Admission: Free. First & Main First Saturday Car Shows are back for the season! For more info, visit: First & Main Town Center.

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'Sleeping Beauty' -  Sat May 6, 2:00pm - 4:15pm, Roy J. Wasson Academic Campus 2115 Afton Way

Admission: $15/adult, $10/12 & under. Enjoy this classical ballet performance by Rahcael's School of Dance. For more info, visit: Rachael's School of Dance.

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Fountain Creek Family Fun Day -  Sat May 6, 10:00am - 2:00pm, Fountain Creek Nature Center 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $5/member, $6/non-member. 20 outdoor activities for the whole family including dino fossils, kite making, puppet shows, and more! For more info, visit: El Paso County.

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Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles -  Sun May 7, 3:00pm - 6:00pm, Warehouse Restaurant & Gallery 25 W Cimarron St

Admission: $30/person. Enjoy local jazz and swing tunes from Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles. For more info, visit: Friends of Colorado Springs Jazz.

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Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale -  Sun May 7, 11:00am - 3:00pm, Lewis-Palmer High School 1300 Higby Rd

Admission: $6/person, $1 off with canned good donation. Don't miss the home decor, antiques, garden exhibit, and Art Fest at this year's Pine Forest Spring Show & Sale. For more info, visit: Tri-Lakes Women's Club.

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Colorado Springs Bike Trails: Pikes Peak Greenway Trail

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With the warmer weather, I have been excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. With my bike, I have been exploring some of the great Colorado Springs Bike Trails and I stumbled upon another one. The Pikes Peak Greenway Trail is one of the most popular bike trails in Colorado Springs.  I like it because it's paved, located in the heart of town and is gently sloping.  It winds through the city, but you'd never know you were in one.  The trail parallels streams, rock formations and even crosses over some old, wooden bridges.  At certain points, you can even see a train which runs daily.

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The Greenway Trail is multi-use and runs north to south across the whole city of Colorado Springs. It connects to a number of other trails with multiple trailheads and is easily accessible. You can decide how far you want to go and how much time you want to spend on the trail. 

On the north side of Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Greenway is connected to the New Santa Fe Trail which runs through the Air Force Academy, through the town of Monument and ending up in Palmer Lake. Unlike the Greenway, the New Santa Fe Trail is a gravel surface.

On its southern end, the Pikes Peak Greenway continues on to the Fountain Creek Regional Trail at the El Pomar Youth Sports Park. The trail follows the Fountain Creek all the way to the city of Fountain and is mostly paved the entire way.

If you combine all three trails you can ride one way 40 miles from Palmer Lake to Fountain - mostly downhill!  How you get home is up to you. If you want some more tips on where to ride your bike, !

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