Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado, located within El Paso County. I’ve recently had more opportunity to explore the user-friendly El Paso County Assessor’s website. As a REALTOR® in Colorado Springs, this site is useful for real estate purposes, but there are some functions that are useful to any resident of El Paso County. Here are some of the ways that I have used the El Paso County Assessor Colorado Springs’ website recently.
Researching Tax bills
If you have a mortgage on your home, it is likely that 99% + of the El Paso County population has an escrow account established with their lender. The lender collects 1/12th of your taxes in your escrow account with your monthly payment. You will receive a bill at the residence (or your address if it is an investment property). The taxes are due in one payment April 30 or in two installments at the end of February and June 15. Your lender will pay this. Some ask that you send it in with your payment following receipt of the bill, just to make sure your lender received it. If you don’t carry a mortgage or have enough equity, you don’t have to carry an escrow account (determined by lender) then you need to be prepared to pay these taxes per the deadlines indicated. The El Paso County Tax Assessor’s website is handy to check the Colorado Springs Tax Assessor’s information:
- Amount of your tax bill
- Changes in the last few years to your tax bill
- Verify the tax amount of a property that you are considering purchasing
El Paso County Property Search
I have a past client looking to make a change. They are enjoying their beautiful new home, but looking into the future. She described to me a property that had some stigmatizing factors (condemned house, mercury spill). She was willing to invest in the land, clean up the spill, build an updated home. So she described the location to me, “it’s down at the end of the road that my house backs up to.”
- I went to the El Paso County Assessor page and looked up her address.
- Make sure the appropriate property is selected, verifiable by address or owner name.
- I clicked the upper left “Parcel Map” link.
- I clicked around the plats/parcels in the area and showed her my search until we figured out the parcel she was looking for.
- I went to the MLS and found the property. She thought it had gone off the market, but it actually sold. It would have been a great investment, but we continue her search.
I had a client moving out here from their former post in Oklahoma. The house they were interested in seemed to have very low taxes indicated. We needed to find out why.
- I placed the property address in search bar
- Click County Treasurer Tax Information
- The seller had occupied the house for nearly 30 years. Due to that and their age, they qualified for the state/county homestead exemption, so the tax rate they paid was half what a new home-owner would pay.
Square Footage of a Property
- Put property address in search bar
- At the very bottom of the property page, there is a “Residential Information” section. If you click on the square footage indicated there, it will take you to a verification page. (** Caution, the number indicated here, is normally only above grade, so do click the link to see square footage broken down by living levels.)
- I’ve had 2 instances in the past 3 years where this information was conflicting.
1) Builder filed a building plan with PPRBD.org for a partial basement/partial crawl space, then ended up finishing the home with a full basement. We were able to reach the original owner, who is a local REALTOR® as well. He even almost wanted to buy his old house back! So we had to indicate the square footage discrepancy in our square footages disclosure and why the assessor page had incorrect information.
2) Builder filed a building plan with a full basement and ended up doing a partial basement/partial crawl space finish. We discovered from the previous MLS and tax records that there was a discrepancy. We input the MLS with a partial finish, and the owner had the assessor come out and update the square footage, so any future owners/REALTORS® would have accurate information. It took a couple weeks, but they verified and updated the website for accuracy.
We are about to host an open house for neighbors to view the progress on a newly reconstructed beautiful home in Broadmoor Heights. I needed to find a way to map the area, so we could hand deliver invites to these neighbors.
- I put the address we are listing in the search field on the El Paso County Assessor site front page.
- I again clicked “Parcel Map” at the upper left.
- I printed the approximate area to which I knew we wanted to deliver.
- I clicked house by house to make sure I had all the addresses on my printed map.
Past Home Sales in El Paso County
While we have access to the MLS, sometimes the information isn’t 100% accurate depending who completed the data input. Also, there are foreclosures and For Sale By Owner transactions that don’t always hit the MLS, but would be recorded sales with the county.
Property’s Legal Description
We all know our home by the address, but in the real estate world that is a “commonly known as” address, and every legally recorded document is filed against the legal description… usually Lot ___ Block___ in *Subdivision* and Filing ___ Colo Spgs. You want to verify that your documents and closing are recorded against the correct legal description. This is a huge reason why we have title companies to verify and ensure such things.
So, you can see the El Paso County Assessor’s Website is not only easy and user-friendly, but you can get so much information about a property. If you need to visit the El Paso county Assessor’s Office in person, here are the contact details and hours as well:
El Paso County Tax Assessor’s Office Location
1675 W. Garden of the Gods Rd, Suite 2300, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
Telephone: (719) 520-6600 — Fax Number: (719) 520-6635
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM Monday – Friday
Offices closed: Saturday – Sunday