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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Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 3, 4) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 3, 4) in Colorado Springs

Sounds of the Season - Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, Sat Dec 3, 7:30 pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: Various. The annual concert of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony is great fun for the entire family. The talented kids show off their musical prowess while getting everyone in the mood for the holiday season. Not to be missed! For more information: Pikes Peak Center

Festival of Lights - Sat Dec 3, various times, Tejon Street and other Downtown Colorado Springs locations

Admission: Free. A variety of events including the Festival of Lights Parade, Tuba Christmas and Family Fun Day at the Pioneers Museum. Weather forecast says nice and sunny, so join in the fun. For more information visit the http://www.csfestivaloflights.com

 

Colorado College Arts & Crafts Sale, Fri Dec 2 4-8pm, Sat Dec 3 10am-5pm and Sun Dec 4 10am-5pm, Worner Campus Center, 902 North Cascade Ave

Admission: Free. Come support local artists and get some Christmas shopping done at the same time. The Arts & Crafts Sale will feature a variety of artists with their original work. Proceeds from the sale contribute support for the Arts and Crafts Program at Colorado College. For more information: Colorado College Arts & Crafts Sale.

 

Hanukkah Fair, Sun Dec 4, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, Temple Shalom, 1523 E. Monument St.

Admission: Free. All your Hanukkah needs in a one-stop shop! Holiday gifts, wrapping, and decorations are for sale. Baked goods and coffee are available for purchase as well. For more information check out their website Temple Shalom.

 

Oliver Johnson, Sun Dec 4 7:00pm, The Gold Room, 18 S Nevada Ave.

Admission: $15. Many people love listening to music via iTunes, but watching it live gives you so much more of an appreciation for the artist. Go watch the legendary trumpeter, keyboardist, singer, songwriter, and composer, Oliver Johnson and you will really appreciate his music. More information: The Gold Room.

 

 

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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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Tis The Season For Holiday Lights in Colorado Springs!

Tis The Season For Holiday Lights in Colorado Springs!

‘Tis The Season For Holiday Lights!

It’s that time of year again! Last year was my first experience in driving around town specifically to look at homes with computerized Christmas light shows. It was awesome!! I’ve put together a list for any of you who may want to get out this year & give it a go. I also wanted to mention some “holiday light etiquette” because it’s easy to forget basic things when you’re in the moment.

- If homes are crowded with long lines of cars, please just watch for one cycle.

- Don’t block driveways of neighbors who need to come & go from their homes.

- Park on the opposite side of the street & turn your lights off, but leave on your parking lights.

- A couple of homes collect donations for various charities. Feel free to donate.

- Most homes have lights that sync with music. I have the list of homes below with stations if they were provided online. Otherwise, there should be a display out front with the appropriate station.

3148 Deergrass Place – 88.5 FM

9075 Musgrave Street – 89.9 FM

2635 Clapton Drive – 107.3 FM

3565 Windjammer Drive – No station listed.

8210 Caravel Drive - 93.7 FM

1894 Whitehorn Drive – 88.9 FM

1263 Shrider Road – 107.7 FM

7790 Fargo Drive – 93.9 FM

6690 Barrel Race Drive – 101.9 FM

4910 Nugent Drive – these owners will be collecting canned goods for Christmas. No station listed.

2168 Riverwalk Parkway – No station listed.

2570 Nadine Drive – 93.5 FM

2601 Rigel Drive – 97.7 FM

I hope this map will make your viewing experience a little easier!! If you would like to look for a home this holiday season, feel free to give me a call. Happy Holidays!!

Holiday Lights in Colorado Springs

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Things to Do This Weekend (Nov 26, 27) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Nov 26, 27) in Colorado Springs

Thanksgiving Wetland Wildlife Walk - Sat Nov 26, 9:30 - 11:00am, Fountain Creek Nature Center, 320 Peppergrass Lane

Admission: $4. That second helping seemed like a good idea at the time, but we all know you are regretting it. Get outside and learn a little about the native plants and animals at the Fountain Creek Nature Center. For more information: Fountain Creek Nature Center

Colorado College Hockey vs US Air Force Academy - Sat Nov 26, 6:00 pm, Broadmoor World Arena 3185 Venetucci Blvd

Admission: $Various. Here is your chance to root for two hometown teams. Whether you are a CC Hockey fan, or root for the Blue and Silver, this should be a great game. Chuck-a-puck and tshirt sales benefit the Empty Stocking Fund. For more information visit the Broadmoor World Arena

 

The Nutcracker, Fri Nov 25 - Sun Nov 27th, 2:00 pm and 7:00pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts

Admission: Various. The Oklahoma City Ballet and the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale join together with student dances from the Pikes Peak region for this holiday classic. Make this an annual event with your family for the holidays.  For more information: Pikes Peak Center.

 

Under $100 Holiday Art and Gifts Sale, Sat Nov 19, 10 am - 5 pm, Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 E. Colorado Ave

Admission: Free. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get some great gifts for the holidays, and this art and gift sale proves it. With 30+ open studios featuring giveaways and prizes, pottery, textiles, jewelry, accessories, and more you can find that perfect gift. For more information check out their Facebook Page.

 

Chamber Singers of the Colorado Springs Chorale, Sun Nov 27 7:00pm, First Christian Church, 16 E. Platte Ave

Admission: Free-will offering. Nothing gets you in the mood more for the holiday than singing some Christmas carols. This first Sunday of Advent tradition will feature holiday favorites from Messiah and Hallelujah Chorus. More information: First Christian Church.

 

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