Stress-free Moving Tips

When selling a home, we always seem to have extra stuff we don’t want to take, i.e. furniture we won’t use or household goods to get rid of. Having gone through the selling process myself recently, this is fresh in my mind so I had to write about the best ways to get rid of pre-move stuff.

For large items like furniture, you can do a few things:

  1. Advertise them for sale on Craigslist. You can usually expect a higher price than you would get selling them at a garage sale, but be prepared. You won’t get top dollar for them on this site, and many buyers who shop here are looking for a deal!
  2. Consign them for sale. If it’s high end furniture, you can call a local consignment shop and get them to put it in their store. This usually brings in a higher price for each item, but the stuff has to be in great shape since consignment stores are particular about condition. We’ve got a local one in Colorado Springs called The Consignment Gallery. They will even come and pick it up for you, at their cost. You only owe them $35 as reimbursement once the item sells.
  3. Donate them to the ARC or Goodwill. Both charities have a curb-side pick-up service, free of charge! They will ask you to place the items on the curb the day prior. And that’s it. They come by and get your unwanted items for you. The local number to call for ARC pick-ups is 303-238-5263.

 

All of these came in very handy during my recent move. After all, who wants the added stress of moving all of that unwanted stuff? 

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Find your Dream Home as soon as it hits the market!

Page 7, page 8, page 9....if you have been searching for a home your eyes might glaze over as you get lost in looking at page after page of listings. All of the listings start looking alike and you can't tell which ones you have seen before or not.

SpringsHomes.com has created a new tool to help you find your Dream Home as soon as it hits the market. Using our Advanced Search, you can now select the "Latest" listings by entering in how many days old you want the listings to be.

Just started searching for a home? Enter 30 under the field "Latest" to return listings that were entered into the MLS in the last 30 days. Do you look for a home every day during your lunch hour? Enter 1 under the field "Latest" to return listings that were entered in the MLS within the last 1 day. It is that easy.

Using this criteria along with the other criteria in our Advanced Search, makes it easy to narrow down your search and only find the homes that you haven't already seen.

This is just one more way that SpringsHomes.com helps you find your Dream Home before it gets snatched up by someone else.

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Important Home Inspection "add-ons"

Important Home Inspection "add-ons"

If you've ever bought a home or if you're in the process of buying a home, one of the most important and first things that happens is the buyers' home inspection. Depending on the size of the house, a general home inspection is $250-600 and takes 2-5 hours. If you have additional buildings, structures, etc those will all add expense. 

In addition to that, there are many other things you need to think about when it comes to your Home Inspection Rights and Costs. Some of these things are regional, specific to the state, climate, etc. Your real estate professional can advise, and your home inspector will also make suggestions. 

RADON - Radon gas is a prevalent issue in the state of Colorado and the region. It is a gas emitted from the break down of rock / granite in the soil. It's all over our area, but it happens to be heavier than the oxygen we breath, so it's tested at the lowest level of the home. Different companies administer test in various ways, but usually a minimum 48-hour test is best to collect data. Radon can be mitigated from $900-1500. Get more important information about Radon.

MOLD  - Most home inspectors will not claim to inspect for mold, but will check for visual areas that appear to have excessive moisture or discoloration consistent with mold. They will then recommend an environmental specialist to take surface and air samples to be sent to a lab. 

TERMITES - Termites are extremely uncommon here because of the cold winters (and maybe altitude). I will not say they don't exist, but in 14 years (hundreds of sales) I've had termites spotted by an inspector in 1 home. Sometimes foreclosures with out of state banks will require termite inspection, because it's common in other places. Sometimes that requirement can be waived. Again, good inspectors know the "flags" that might indicate an issue and will alert you to consult a pest control specialist. 

METH - one of my least favorite 4-letter words... ugh! Apparently Colorado is one of the most lenient states on multiple offenders, so meth use and cooking is fairly common. The sad part is the residue remains in everything... fabrics, drywall, etc. Meth tests can be done by environmental specialists as well, for $500-2000 depending on the amount of areas test. Mitigation requires going all the way to studs to completely remediate the space, to the tune of $thousands! People often think it's just an issue in poorer neighborhoods or downtown areas, but the sad fact is meth has been found all over the city all the way up into the million dollar price range. 

WELL  - For about $300 you can have a well company inspect all the equipment and perform a 2 hour pressure test. While this might seem like a lot, it can help find a hidden issue on a system seemingly working "just fine"... like the recent well pressure tank that needed replacement. Thankfully it was discovered before closing, giving my clients the opportunity to request replacement by the sellers! 

WATER  - El Paso county will do water bacteriological testing. It's not expensive ($40 I think), but the collection container and process are very specific and the county requires submission in a short amount of time after collection. In most cases the lender REQUIRES this test if the property has a well. 

SEPTIC - It used to be up to the buyer to inspect or request that seller have the septic inspected. Effective January 2015, the seller now carries the obligation and title will not transfer nor loan fund until a septic inspection is complete. This regulation is new to El Paso County, however other counties have been requiring this for a while. Each county or region has a list of approved inspectors on their website. Some are easier that others to bring into compliance. 

 

I hope this helps you (and doesn't scare you!) to figure out what areas are of highest importance. There are other inspections that might be required based on a lot of factors. After inspections are done, buyer has a right to ask seller for any number of items to be repaired or further evaluated by the appropriate professional (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roof, etc). The physical inspection phase is normally in the first 7-14 days of the contract. If you have any additional questions about Home Inspection Add-Ons, let me know.

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15 Things We Folks in Colorado Know

1. Please back away from the wildlife.

Sure, your #ElkSelfie in Rocky Mountain National Park might get you a few more likes on Instagram, but is it worth getting gored to death by a bull during rut?

2. Green chile is not chili.

When your server at the Cherry Cricket asks if you’d like it smothered, it’s best to comply. But, don’t expect it doused in a brown sludge of ground beef and kidney beans. Instead, expect even the most mediocre dish to be elevated to a higher plane of spicy, smokey, porky gloriousness.

3. Altitude is real.

Some people have no issue with the altitude, but others feel it as soon as they’re off the plane. Altitude sickness causes headaches, nausea, fatigue, and a general feeling of “Holy crap, why do I feel hungover?” So maybe let’s hold off on climbing Mt. Elbert until you’ve acclimatized for a day or two.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Your body needs more water at altitude, so you’ve probably noticed feeling perpetually thirsty. But don’t worry about buying bottled water from King Soopers. Here’s a Nalgene; fill it up from the tap. Our Rocky Mountain snowmelt yields some of the best tasting municipal water in the country. Bonus points for reducing your plastic consumption.

5. Everyone uses sunblock and you should, too.

Did I mention it’s a mile closer to the sun here?

6. Mother Nature will likely be drunk.

Patio beers and grilling out in January? Mountain snow or plains tornadoes in June? Not uncommon. In early May we had thundersnow and school delays in the morning, then 60s by afternoon. What should you pack? Hell if I know, better bring it all.

7. We have the best concert venue in the world.

Two words: Red. Rocks.

8. Ignore the pronunciations you learned in Spanish class.

For inexplicable reasons that would make your high school Spanish teacher cringe, Buena Vista is pronounced “BYOO-nah VIS-tah”, Del Norte is “Del NORT”, Salida is “suh-LYE-duh” and Monte Vista is “MON-tuh VIS-tuh”. In tomorrow’s lesson we’ll cover the French and Ute linguistic butchery of Cache la Poudre, Ouray, Tabeguache, and Weminuche. And if you’re really advanced, we might go over how Sawatch, Saguache, and Sahwatch are pronounced exactly the same.

9. It’s impossible to get lost on the Front Range.

Just know where the mountains are. You’re more likely to get directions as “towards the mountains” or “away from the mountains” instead of west or east.

10. Biblical plagues of locusts have nothing on our springtime invasion of Miller Moths.

As soon as temperatures warm in May and June, these swarms of fuzzy flying assholes arrive from the eastern plains, terrorizing all in their path. Go ahead, seal your entire home in duct tape and shrink wrap — they WILL find a way in. And regardless of how dead they seem, they will explode to life, fly directly into your face, then carry off your children.

11. Rocky mountain oysters are NOT shellfish.

Google it. Or just go the the Buckhorn Exchange and place your order with the other tourists.

12. Go easy on the booze.

Drinking at altitude can do some damage. If you expect to get an early start on your outdoor adventure, avoid the dreaded high altitude headache by paying attention to three critical letters on the brewery chalkboard: ABV.

13. Denver is not a mountain town.

Ignore the snowcapped panorama you’ve seen from Sunday Night Football broadcasts — Denver is a city on the plains and sometimes the mountains are barely even visible. Want to really get in there? I-70 Westbound.

14. Lightning kills people.

In the summer, afternoon thunderstorms are a routine occurrence and one of the worst places to be is hiking above treeline. So get an early start on your Bierstadt climb and if a local warns you to descend, you should probably listen. Or you could just wait until the hair on your neck stands up.

15. Oh, you only came here to buy weed?

You do know we have a few other things to do, right?

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Watching for Wildlife

In the past week I have almost hit two of these beautiful creatures with my car... mule deer. One rainy evening it was a very adorable, but confused fawn; once I slowed to a stop it just stood in my headlights... true "deer in the headlights" look. 

Living in this area, and much of Colorado (well, and other areas) we run the risk of wildlife in our communities. Because we are so close to the mountains and have treed communities like Black Forest, Erindale, Broadmoor and others, we are at risk for much of the year... or the wildlife is at risk if we're not aware / catious! 

In Black Forest we have mule deer, coyote, fox, squirrels (at least two different breeds, including black "Abert" squirrels), rabbits, a couple bears... last year there was even a moose. It is VERY unusual for moose to live at this altitude, so it was strange to have one here and in the Douglas County area just north of here. 

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The west side of Colorado Springs sees even more wildlife. I'm not sure I've ever shown houses in Peregrine, Broadmoor Bluffs or Skyway without seeing deer. There are most of the animals listed above on the west side, plus more bears, and add mountain lions and big horn sheep to the mix. For the mountain lions especially, pet owners are cautioned to keep pets, like small dogs and cats inside at night! Broadmoor Bluffs, Mountain Shadows and other west side neighborhoods post caution signs when widelife has been spotted in the area. The bears are especially dangerous just before and after hybernation when they are particularly hungry. They even make their way into dumpsters and even stores (as we've seen on rare occassion on the news). The bears and mountain lions will climb trees. The only black bear I've seen in town was off W. Woodmen Rd, pretty high in a tree on a 3 acre property. He didn't want to deal with us, but if there were baby cubs invloved it might have been a different story! 

In all areas, keep watch for deer crossing the road, particularly at this time of year when they have fawns and in the fall at dusk when they are very active. A friend once told us, when the Air Force relocted him here they told him during a local orientation, if you see a deer dart across the road don't watch him trail off... watch for his buddy and his buddy's buddy behind him. They normally travel together. In our neighborhood they travel in small groups of 6-10, however right now they seem to be just a doe and her baby(ies) or a bunch of individuals. If I can figure out how to imbed video in my blog, we had the awesome experience of 7 mule deer bucks "rutting" last fall as they establish the hierarchy of the herd. DO NOT approach these animals!! While they can seem harmless and will most frequently run from you, our neighbor's dog was gored by a large buck's antler, when he obviosuly felt threatened.... they will challenge each other. 

Living in the heart of town, don't think your immune to this wildlife. In 1999 my mom's car got hit by a deer near Circle and Fountain / MLK bypass... he jumped the car next to her and hit the front left side panel of her car. There are creeks and natural habitats that course through our city, creating avenues for deer and other critters to come into the city. 

Now, out east, you have to be aware of the coyote and fox, especially if you want to protect your cats and chickens at night. Let the rabbits and ground rodents be their prey! There are also large herds of antelope that roam the prairie in eastern Colorado Springs and from here to Texas and Montana. These are general much more slow moving creatures, and since they are out in the open they are easier to spot as opposed to the deer that often dart from trees and bushes into roadways. Watch for antelope especially in the areas along Black Forest Rd, Woodmen Rd, Marksheffel... and any home shopping out east to Falcon, Calhan, Ellicott, Ramah, even south of Fountain. 

As a friend used to tell us... Stay Alert, Stay Alive... important advice for you and the wildlife at risk (however I don't think they're reading this blog). 

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