Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (July 15-July 16)

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While the rain has been welcomed, hopefully it won't put a damper on any of your plans this weekend. Colorado Springs and the surrounding area will have exciting happenings such as concerts and music fests, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, and a local museum celebrating an anniversary! And don't forget to wake up early for a special visit to the top of Pikes Peak!

Things to Do This Weekend

77th Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo - Sat July 15, 12:30pmNorris Penrose Event Center

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Admission: Vaires. The 77th annual Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo will feature  bronc riding, steer wrestling, team and tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. Before the rodeo, stop by the Fan Zone for fun with rides, mutton bustin', a climbing wall, and more. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo.


SHEL - Sat July 15, 8:00pmStargazers Theatre & Event Center

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Admission: $15. Raised in Colorado, these four sisters bring together a unique blend of instruments and vocals that have gained an international following. Join them for a one-night only event at the Stargazers.  For more info, visit: SHEL.


Cripple Creek Music Fest - Sat July 15, 12:00pmCripple Creek​ 200 Bennett Avenue

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Admission: Free. Head to Cripple Creek to enjoy live music, food and beer out on the streets. The music fest will feature the Christopher Shayne Band, Molly Hatchet, and headliner Joe Nichols! For more info, visit: Visit Cripple Creek.


Pikes Peak Sunrise Special - Sun July 16, 4:15am, Pikes Peak - America's Mountain

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Admission: $15/person 16+, $5/child 6-15. See a sight that you normally don't get to see - the sunrise from the top of America's Mountain. Make sure to take your camera! For more info, visit: Colorado Springs website.


Western Museum of Mining and Industry Anniversary Weekend - Sat July 15, 10:00am - 4:00 pm and Sun July 16, 10:00am - 4:00pm, Western Museum of Mining and Industry

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Admission: $5/person. Opening in 1982, the Western Museum of Mining and Industry is celebrating their 35th anniversary this weekend! Stop by this weekend to see 19th and 20th Century steam engines come to life, the artistry of blacksmithing in our blacksmith shop, the operation of the museum's unique ten-stamp ore mill, watch the Gold Canyon Gunfighters in a wild west show, and more! Stay the day with vendors and food trucks. For more info, visit: WMMI.

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Essential Tips to Buying a Home with Bad Credit

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Qualifying for a mortgage can be one of the more frustrating aspects of the steps to buying a house, even if you have great credit. On the other hand, if your credit is bad or damaged, getting a loan will be even more difficult, but not impossible.

Bad Credit, Bankruptcy, Short Sale and Foreclosure don’t mean you’ll never be able to buy a house; they are merely setbacks that you can overcome. Armed with a little knowledge and a bit of patience, you can navigate the mortgage application and approval process, even with less than perfect credit.

Buying a House with Bad Credit

Bad credit or the idea that you have bad credit is the most common reason people don’t buy homes. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to even rent a home with bad credit. So, if you want more control over where you and your family live, repairing bad credit needs to be a priority.

If you're looking to buy a home with bad credit and can't wait to repair your credit, there are certainly private lenders out there that will make those loans. “Private Money Lenders” act like banks and much like a bank will require insurance on the property as well as their name on the deed. Of course, these loans have much higher interest rates and shorter terms than traditional loans because the risk is much higher. You the borrower will be paying a premium for this risk. Evidence that these investments are lucrative is the fact that there are even private money lenders that will loan with no credit check or loan amortization.

If you choose to pursue this method of financing, make sure you look at things like better business bureau ratings and online reviews. In the long run, you're much better off repairing your credit before buying a house.

The idea is to get you to a point where your credit score is high enough to qualify for an FHA loan. FHA requires a FICO score of 580 to be eligible for their 3.5% down payment program.

We don't have time to discuss all the merits of an FHA loan in this article. If you'd like to know more here's a great read by Kevin Vitali: Should You Get an FHA Loan?

Before we worry about what your FICO score is, we first want to pull your credit report and see how that looks.

Rip that Band-Aid off

Good news or bad news, it’s important to know the status of your credit health. And if you’ve suffered some bumps in the road credit wise you may be hesitant even to take a look. This is understandable, but at the end of the day, you need to take this first step.

Federal law requires the three national consumer credit reporting companies - Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, give individuals a copy of their credit report for free every 12 months, all you have to do is ask for it. The best first step is to check your report at www.annualcreditreport.com.

Investigate

Once you have a copy of the report you’re going to want to comb through it and look for the following:

  • Verify that all of the personal information on the report is correct. Check your name, address, Social Security Number, etc…
  • Next, you’ll go through the individual accounts and loans to make sure they are correct as well. You want to ensure accounts from a person with the same or similar names don’t appear on your report.
  • Another thing you want to look for is any accounts that were created as a result of identity theft.
  • Check for Incorrect account statuses. You are looking for things like, closed accounts that are still being reported as open.
  • Accounts that are incorrectly reported as late or delinquent
  • Incorrect date of last payment, date opened, or date of first delinquency
  • The same debts listed more than once ( perhaps with different names)

Dispute

It’s important to note that if you are already applying for a mortgage, you should not dispute any derogatory information on your credit report. If your report shows that you are in the middle of a dispute, your loan application will be rejected, or it will be referred to a person (instead of a computer) for a “manual underwrite,” which can take a very long time to resolve. Wait until your mortgage is approved and then dispute the report.

If on the other hand, you are in the process of repairing your credit to get a loan, your next step is to address the incorrect or negative items on your credit.

If there is erroneous information or negative reporting based on late or missing payments on your credit report, you have a couple of options. The first option is to contact and pay a company to handle this for you. If you choose this option, be careful and seek references. We refer our clients to River Stone Law. This firm offers a deal of $199 for sign up and $99 per month for guiding you through credit repair; they’ll tell you what to do and how to do it, send out letters on your behalf, and get items removed from your credit that shouldn’t be affecting it.

On the other hand, if you decide that you would like to handle your disputes with the credit reporting companies yourself, here’s the breakdown.

You’ll need to contact the appropriate reporting company directly to handle any disputes. These disputes can be submitted online or by mail. Here are the sites you’ll need:

Online:

Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission has some great information about disputing items on your credit report. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0151-disputing-errors-credit-reports

Prequalification and Preapproval

Once you know the erroneous information items have been corrected, it’s time to move forward with the pre-qualification and pre-approval process. If you’ve done your homework and cleaned up your credit report, your lender will want to run your application through a system known as Desktop Underwriting.

Desktop Underwriting

To save time and alleviate frustration, you’ll want to seek pre-approval through “Desktop Underwriter” (DU), this is the quickest path through the mortgage maze. “Desktop Underwriter” is a software program used by mortgage lenders to qualify prospective home buyers using Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines. Although Desktop Underwriting is used for Conventional and FHA loans, VA has it’s own automated system as well “Automated Underwriting System” (AUS).

The counterpart to desktop underwriting is "Manual Underwriting" this is a long, arduous process. You must avoid manual underwriting unless it's your only option.

Buying After Bankruptcy

Let’s go a step further and talk about another financial stress point many people think spells doom for their prospects of home ownership, Bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy. Yes, you can be approved for a mortgage even if you’ve declared bankruptcy. If you have declared a Chapter 7 bankruptcy (one in which all debts are forgiven), you must wait 2 years after the bankruptcy is discharged to qualify for an FHA or VA loan. For a Chapter 13 (when you agree on a repayment plan), if you have been making on-time payments for one year after the declaration, you may qualify for an FHA or VA loan. In either case, you must not have a single late or missed payment during the post-bankruptcy waiting periods—if you do, the qualifying period will be reset close to the date of your missed payment.

For conventional (non-government insured) loans, the waiting period is 4 years after the discharge of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and 2 years after the 1-year payment period for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Short Sale and Foreclosure

If you go through a short sale (selling your home for less than the outstanding debt), your credit score will not be affected if the lender notates it as “Paid as agreed.” If your lender agrees to forgive a portion of your loan, you will most likely sign an unsecured note promising to pay back the agreed-upon amount. As with Loan Modification, have your lender give you written proof that “Paid as agreed” will be reported to the credit bureau. If you don’t take this step, and the lender notates “Settled for less than the full balance,” you will be dinged a whopping 105 points!

If you are experiencing foreclosure, in which the lender takes possession of the property due to non-payment of the loan, you will also want to negotiate with the lender about how he will report it. If the notation “Foreclosure” appears on the report, you will be dinged 110 points.

In both cases, with a potential short sale or foreclosure, speak to your lender as soon as you realize there may be trouble looming. Don’t wait until the situation becomes dire, as many lenders are now much more willing to negotiate help for homeowners than in previous years.

Additional Resources:

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (July 8-July 9)

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The Summer is in full swing this weekend! Catch a rodeo, soccer game, some great summer outdoor music and a local photographer. Plenty of things to do this weekend in Colorado Springs. Get out and Enjoy!

Things to Do This Weekend

21st Annual Pikes Peak Special Rodeo - Sat July 8, 9:00am - 12:00pm, ProRodeo Hall of Fame

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Admission: Free. Come and join the 21st Annual Pikes Peak Special Rodeo presented by the Pikes Peak Range Riders and the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. With a petting zoo, food trucks, rodeo queens, rodeo clowns, the Pikes Peak Range Rider Pivots, and face painting everyone will find something they like. Children are encouraged to enter Western dress-up contest and stick horse race. All proceeds from this event benefit the Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center and the Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Special Rodeo.


Switchbacks FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps 2 - Sat July 8, 6:00pm - 8:00pmWeidner Field

6303 Barnes Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80922


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Admission: $15. A rematch of the Switchback's 2016 playoff defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps 2. Who stays in contention in the Western Conference?  For more info, visit: Switchbacks Website.


Woodland Music Series: Acme Bluegrass and Ragged Union - Sat July 8, 11:00am - 1:30pmUte Pass Cultural Center 210 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, CO 80863

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Admission: Free. A beautiful weekend for outdoor music on the green, at the Midland Pavilion. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and an umbrella for the sun. Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase. For more info, visit: Woodland Music Series


Second Sunday Jazz Affair - Sun July 9, 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Olympian Plaza Reception Center

975 S Union Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80910

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Admission: $5 member, $10 non-member. The Pikes Peak Jazz And Swing Society will host the Changing Times Quartet's CD Release Party at the July edition of the Second Sunday Jazz Affair! There will also be dancing, door prizes, a cash bar, and a full buffet and dessert bar available. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Jazz & Swing Society.


2nd Friday Art Show featuring Robert Gray - Sat July 8, 11:00am - 6:00 pm and Sun July 9, 11:00am - 4:00pm, Art 111 Gallery & Art Supply 111 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs, CO 80906

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Admission: Free. An engineer turned artist, Robert Gray's portfolio ranges from landscapes and cityscapes to street style and portraits. For more info, visit: Facebook.

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6425 Lange Drive Colorado Springs CO 80918

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Homes are selling so fast lately.  This listing went under contract after only one day on market.   Fun story with it.  The owners are people I met 20 years ago.  We all frequent Cottonwood Park in the mornings.  I like it for the running trails.  These folks are regulars, and even on the most wintery of mornings, I can count on seeing Mike at the park for his morning walk.  He'll stop at my car in the parking lot to inform me of any icy spots on the trail.  It's become routine for us both.  Who would have thought all these years later Mike and Pam would ask me to help sell their house?

Located on a quiet street in a mature neighborhood, the home was built in 1981 and features stucco and wood exterior, 3 bedrooms, an office with built-ins, 4 baths, finished basement and over 2,000 finished square feet.  It has been lovingly maintained and updated including a new kitchen with maple cabinets, pull-out drawers, nickel hardware, stainless appliances, air conditioning, wood and tile floors, updated bathrooms with raised vanities, new roof, new skylights, new garage door, new windows and huge covered rear deck.  You can't beat the location.  It's in the Northeast area of town and close to shopping, schools and of course Cottonwood Park!

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I Want to be a Realtor...

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With the booming real estate market, especially locally, we are seeing lots of people interested in the real estate business... friends, family, & clients.

But HOW?.. well it all starts with real estate school, but those of us in the business a while know there should be some sort of personality exam first. HA! It's a very interesting and challenging business, but so much fun most of the time! Here is what you need to know before you take the first steps to become a Realtor.

Real Estate School

This is the actual real first step. My schooling was 16 years ago, WHOA! So things have obviously changed, but the goal of real estate school is to provide a framework for the industry and help you learn to pass the test. Then the real education begins. ;-)  My top recommendation would be a real school like Kaplan where their sole focus is the real estate industry and surrounding fields (appraisers, etc). 

There are other ways to do it, I think our local community college and probably the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) have real estate classes. Classes can be taken on-line through schools all over the country.

Real Estate Test

(Dun dun DUNNN)

  • You have to pay each time
  • There is one test facility in Colorado Springs (and one in Pueblo)
  • There are two portions... State and National
  • Plan a couple hours
  • Results pretty much immediately
  • I think the majority do not pass the first time
  • Your license can transfer to different state with different levels of reciprocity (some are full transfer, some partial, some require taking their state test, some don't transfer and you have to start over)

Hanging Your New License

Once you pass the test!.. you will soon have a Colorado Real Estate license, but now you have to figure out where to "hang" your license. During real estate school, if you went to classes at Kaplan in person, some real estate companies will come visit your class and do some light recruiting. You may also do research on your own. What do you want? ... what do you need?

  • First, the state requires hanging your license under a brokerage for minimum 2 years to be supervised by a broker. 
  • small or big?
  • boutique or big box?
  • company splits or desk fees?
  • personality (yes, offices carry different personalities, and like any job, it's nice to get along with the people you work with)
  • monthly meetings
  • supporting staff
  • mentor program

Once you pass your test, to be issued a license, you have to be fingerprinted by the state of Colorado. They do a full background check. 

The Costs of Being a Realtor

It is expensive to get going; there are start-up and recurring costs:

  • Real Estate School
  • PPAR/CAR/NAR (see next paragraph) - monthly/annually
  • Electronic Contract Software - monthly
  • License Renewal - every 1-3 years
  • Signage - as needed
  • Lockboxes - as needed
  • Education - multiple times annually
  • Gas/vehicle maintenance - weekly/monthly (I drive now about 25,000 miles per year)
  • Meals, expenses, client referral gifts
  • I'm sure there are others I'm not thinking of! 

Join a Real Estate Board

Our local board is the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. Membership here includes membership to the local board (PPAR), Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) and National Association of Realtors (NAR). To join the board there are required orientation and ethics classes. You will learn how to use the MLS and how to handle various situations. It would also be advised to take additional classes through PPAR or local title companies for things like contracts, electronic contract software, etc. There is so much you can learn. 

Required Continuing Education

As with most licensed profession, continued education is required... a certain amount of hours per 1 and 3 year period... ethics, contracts, elective courses... all to help you become better at what you do. 

The industry is constantly changing, the contracts change annually, every transaction is different because of various parties involved and every home is unique. 

My best advice

  • work on a team or under a mentor for at least a year!
  • soak up everything you can from the successful agents around you
  • SAVE$$!... it can take months/years to be truly successful, and even then there are rollercoaster times as the market shifts. It may be several months before you close your first sale, and you need to still be able to pay your rent/mortgage during that time... and probably eat. 

If you have a friend who is a Realtor in Colorado Springs, take them to lunch or coffee and "pick their brain". I have done this with several people in the past few years. I love helping people, so I want to talk them through if it's a good choice. Everyone thinks it's so easy right now because it's busy, but in 16+ years, this is the hardest market I think I've worked! If you are interested, jump in with both feet and prepare to be challenged, frustrated, encouraged, let-down, built-up, and grow!  If you already have your license check out our mentorship program. It is a good option to get off on a good foot once you have your license.

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