PPRBD Building Permits for Home Improvement

PPRBD Building Permits for Home Improvement

With just about any home improvement in El Paso and Teller counties, homeowners are required to pull a permit with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) in Colorado Springs... anything from basement finishes, decks, electrical/plumbing updates, water heaters, furnaces, adding outbuildings... the list goes on! Their website is relatively user-friendly. 

What we know about PPRBD

They often get a bad rap for high fees, strict rules for visiting properties, and being extremely particular. The codes do change almost annually, and they have a lot to keep up with. If you request a visit on building inspection, as long as you request by 8am, they will come same day. As you can imagine there are hundreds of thousands of homes here, and they do everything they can to remain organized. The rules are all posted on-line and homeowners can pull their own permits, general contractor not required, but all the same rules apply. I do not think their fees are really all that high. 

My experience with Regional

We had the unfortunate issue last summer of having to terminate an agreement with a contractor mid-bathroom-remodel. It was extremely stressful. So 4 permits had been pulled - general building, heating, plumbing and electrical. And we were in a skeleton of the bathroom we had envisioned. As we approached new contractors to assist us, we realized much of the work was finalized and could be moved into our name. The contractor that helped us finish also helped us with PPRBD. My husband is really handy and did the work himself with the assistance of a contractor that worked on our kitchen. The plumber had fortunately been paid from beginning to end of the project. When my husband called them, we were stressed, but they were very helpful getting him to the right person with the answers. They voided permits and re-opened them in our name so we could conclude the project. Our electrician had skipped town, taking advantage of several customers, fortunately not us!  

I also had a client do a bunch of work himself, and want to list with us without permits. We are full disclosure and told him he had to plaster the details of the non-permitted work all over the MLS listing, get professional plumber and electrician to sign off on the work, and even demolish some of the work done. He was so worried about the time and expense of going through Regional, but would have saved a lot had he done it from the start! For more about how to pull your own or requirements, here is that website www.PPRBD.org. Happy Home Improvement!! 

The moral of the story... the blog... is that while our local Building Department is a big machine, they have been very helpful in many cases and even friendly. I'm sure it's a stressful job, and I strongly believe the safety of the homes in our county is of utmost concern. 

Update of Rules

Sidenote - As of July 2011 Carbon Monoxide detectors are REQUIRED! We cannot sell homes without them. If you open any permit, expect the inspectors to check that your CO detectors are up to code (1 within 15 feet of every sleeping area/bedroom). 

Recent Backlog of permits waiting for approval

Oh, one more thing... because of catastrophic storms in 2016, roof permits are off the charts (something like 20,000 open currently), so we cannot get them closed before sale transactions in most cases. Trust that they are working their way down the list, be patient. 

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Things to Do This Weekend (Mar 25-Mar 26) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Mar 25-Mar 26) in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Things to Do

Roller Derby: PPDD All Stars vs. Crossroads Roller Derby-  Sat Mar 25, 7:00 pm, Colorado Springs City Auditorium 221 East Kiowa

Admission: $10 pre-sale/$15 at the door. Kids 10 and under free. These dames know how to skate. Come watch the Derby Dames take on Crossroads Roller Derby, from Las Cruces, New Mexico. They are also hosting their fundraiser for St. Baldrick's. For more info, visit: Derby Dames Facebook

Colorado Springs Things to Do

Mountain Country Presents: Colorado Country Showcase, Sat Mar 25, 7:00 pm, Stargazers Theatre & Event Center 10 S. Parkside Drive

Admission: Free. Radio Station Mountain Country 107.3 is showcasing some incredible local talent in the country music scene. Come hear some favorite known bands and discover some new up and coming bands. For more information: Stargazer's Theatre.


Colorado Springs Things to Do

Art & Wine at the Library, Sat Mar 25, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, PPLD - Cheyenne Mountain Library 1785 South 8th Street, Suite 100

Admission: Free, registration recommended. Nothing goes better together than Art and Wine. Join us for an artist talk with Lori Dipasquale at the library, then we’ll head to the G44 Gallery to view her show, and finish up at Sovereignty Wines for a wine tasting!. For more information: Cheyenne Mountain Library.


Colorado Springs Things to Do

Bach Celebration Concert, Sun Mar 26, 3:00pm - 4:30pm, First Christian Church 16 East Platte Avenue

Admission: Free will offering. First Christian Church is holding their Annual Bach Celebration Concert featuring “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3;” “Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord;” “Orchestral Suite No. 3;” harpsichord, cello and organ solos; and chorales for the audience to sing. For more information check out their website First Christian Church.


Colorado Springs Things to Do

Pine Needle Basketry Class, Sat Mar 25, 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center 1805 N 30th St

Admission: $20 per person, includes supplies – proceeds benefit the Garden of the Gods Foundation. Learn about the history of Pine Needle Basketry while making a small bowl or ornament. Reservations required. For ages 16 and up. Space fills fast so please make your reservations today. For more information: Garden of the Gods Nature Center

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Top 4 Things you Need to Know about Appraisals

Top 4 Things you Need to Know about Appraisals

The appraisal of a home is a vital part of any real estate transaction, and the role of an appraiser is possibly one of the most critical parts of the entire transaction. See below as to how you, as a Seller, can be way ahead of the learning curve with just a few helpful hints from me when are you ready to put your home on the market for sale!

1. Appraisers are always hyper sensitive to contributing to potentially over inflating any real estate market. And, with multiple offers being the norm in most price ranges here in Colorado Springs, they are even more so.  Encourage your real estate broker to have comparable sold data ready to present to an appraiser. This data should support whatever sales price the buyer and seller finally agree to...ESPECIALLY vital if that sales price is OVER what the original list price was.

2. Most real estate brokers are ridiculously busy right now, but that ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT excuse your real estate broker from not showing up to your home, with comparable sold data and a list of every improvement made to the home in hand to meet the appraiser for his or her site inspection. Your real estate broker knows your home better than the appraiser does, so make sure your real estate broker shows up and represents!

3. Your real estate broker should be as descriptive as possible about your real estate listing and include, if at all possible, ALL 36 photos that the Pikes Peak MLS allows. It helps an appraiser immensely to include photos of the front of your home, the rear of your home, the street view of your home, and all major rooms in your home as well as the features of the home itself. Again, your real estate broker knows your home better than the appraiser does. 

4. What your real estate broker should tell you, from the very beginning, about the role of an appraiser in a real estate transaction? The role of the appraiser is actually NOT to confirm the sales price, but to provide the Buyer's lender an independent, objective, and completely impartial opinion of the value of your home. This value of your home is considered the collateral to which the Buyer's loan would be based.

Happy Selling! 

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Things to Do This Weekend (Mar 18-Mar 19) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Mar 18-Mar 19) in Colorado Springs

22nd Annual Pikes Peak Food and Wine Expo 2017-  Sun Mar 19, 12:00 - 3:00 pm, Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd

Admission: $45. It is the 22nd annual showdown for local bartenders and chefs. Come see you favorites compete from Suga's, Brother Lucks, Garden Of The Gods Market And Cafe, 3 Hundred Days of Shine and many more. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Colorado Restaurant Assoc

Who is that in the Mirror? Alzheimer's and Dementia Event to Improve Awareness and Longevity, Sat Mar 18, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm, Home Care Assistance of El Paso County 13395 Voyager Parkway Suite #120

Admission: Free. Come join the Home Care Assistance of El Paso County for the last event in their Alzheimer's and Dementia series focused on effective communication techniques with patients. Each session will also have a discussion on care options in the Colorado Springs community. . For more information: Home Care Assistance.


Beginning Acrylic Painting with Laura Reilly, Sun Mar 19, 10:00am - 1:00pm, Westside Community Center 1628 W. Bijou St

Admission: $75 all materials provided. Have you had a secret desire to start painting, but didn't know where to start? Take some great instruction from Laura on how to get started with acrylics. Using the Garden of the Gods for inspiration, Laura will teach you techniques to cement your foundation in painting. For more information: Beginning Acrylic Painting.


Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents Peer Gynt, Sat Mar 18, 7:30pm, Sun Mar 19, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 190 South Cascade Avenue

Admission: $21 and up. Josep Caballé-Domenech gives lively direction to this Norweigian tale of tricksters and trolls. The Colorado Springs Chorale provides the storytelling piece making for a grand adventure. For more information check out their website Colorado Springs Philharmonic.


5th Annual Manitou Springs Kiwanis St. Pat's Dinner & Dance, Sat Mar 18, 6:30pm - 9:30pm, Manitou Springs City Hall 606 Manitou Springs

Admission: $35 Couple, $20 Adult, $10 Children under 12. This weekend would not be complete without a little Green. You can find your fill of corned beef and cabbage, live music and beer from the Manitou Brewery. For more information: Manitou Kiwanis

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Out of Pocket Expenses for Buyers

Out of Pocket Expenses for Buyers

When purchasing a home, the first out of pocket expense that you’ll have is the earnest money. This shows the seller that you are committed to the purchase & aren’t out submitting offers on other properties. You give the earnest money check to your Broker or Title Company and it’s kept in escrow until the purchase is finalized. This money will go towards your closing cost or down payment at closing. There are instances throughout the buying process, where this is refundable to the buyer should the deal fall through.

The next out of pocket expense is inspection fees. There are many types of inspections to include:

  • Basic home inspection to determine the homes condition. Usually runs $300-400, depending on the size & age of the home.
  • Radon Test. This determines if your home has unsafe levels of Radon gas. Usually about $175.
  • Sewer Line Scope. To see if there are any issues with the current sewer line. Usually about $125- 200.
  • Lead Based Paint Assessment. This determines if the home contains lead paint & applies to anything built prior to 1978. This usually runs about $300.
  • Meth Lab Test. This will check to see if there has ever been methamphetamine in the home. This starts around $600 & can go to about $1200.
  • Mold Test to see if your home contains dangerous mold. Usually runs about $300. There’s also Well & Septic testing if the home has them. These fees are to be paid in full at the time of service.

The next cost is your down payment. This pays a percentage of the sales price of the home, which you pay at closing. VA loans do not require any down payment. There’s also first time buyer programs that provide down payment assistance for buyers that qualify. The most common loan for first timers is FHA. This requires 3.5% down and is due at closing. Conventional loans start with a minimum of 5% down and go up from there.

The last out of pocket expense is closing costs. These are fees paid at the closing of a Real Estate transaction. This pays for things like points, appraisal and title company fees, taxes, pre-paids and many other important items. Luckily, you will know what to expect ahead of time, because lenders will provide a cost analysis worksheet with estimated fees.

If you have any questions about out of pocket expenses, please give me a call!! I’d love to help anybody that’s beginning or curious about this process.

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