Just Your Average Real Estate Day

Just Your Average Real Estate Day

So, in case you are wondering if Realtors are some super-human breed of peeps, I'm here to tell you, we all have "days like this"... Like the rest of the world. One of my favorite books growing up, my mom always read to us, "Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day"... Why such a bummer of a book?! Well, because it shows us that everyone has tough days, and it's about attitude, moving forward, and making a better tomorrow. 

So here's a bit about my crazy Thursday last week... 

I work-out at 6 am, not completely faithfully, but it's fun and stress-relieving. So I roll into my house about 7:20; my husband has gotten my kids up and started getting ready for their day. We normally leave about 7:45 am to head to school. 

Now, I've been promising my sweet 9-yr-old boy that we can "ride bikes to school" since August 17... Which is a bit funny, because, well our house is 9 miles from school, so if we wanted to actually ride, we should have left like 20 minutes before I got home. Oh, and I have appointments, so I need to shower and be ready to work after this ride. I gather my thoughts and say "Sure". I run through the shower and load the bike rack on the back of my car, because well, we're not doing the 8.8 miles to school, but I'll drop them off at a park nearby where they can then cruise to school. Success!... 

Except I now need to do my make-up and "fluff" my hair... And they left the bike lock in the car. So I follow them to school (is it embarrassing to a middle schooler if I drive along side, yelling "Hi" and waving?!... Just curious). 

As I pull into the school parking lot I discover bicycle grease on my hand and subsequently spill powder in my lap... Here's me, totally ready to meet up with my clients!... 

 

I get the boys all settled, their locked bikes and off to class, successfully apply make-up (sort of, it's not my strong suit!), and head off. 

For my midday showings, house number one, while a little smelly and overpriced, already has another offer, of course. House #2 is where the real adventure comes in. I'm training a new agent, so I invited him along for our showings. I think he wanted to turn right around & leave when we walked in.... We're talking smelly and needs lots of work... Can you say "POTENTIAL!?". So this is how the thermostat is mounted to the wall.... 

 

Why? You might ask... Well we have no idea. All we know is these people liked shelving... Like hovering, mounted shelving indoors and out... Everywhere! 

And then unfortunately we found this tiny guy on the basement floor, other water damaged areas and just a general need for improvement. I know there are a lot of houses out there, but sometimes when you're trying to find the least expensive options in an area, you decide what to compromise... Size, upgrades, location, etc. 

At the end of the day, I met the 9-yr-old at school, and because the 12-yr-old has football practice I rode his bike to our parked car destination. Mind you I weigh... (Ehem) considerably more than him, so I wondering if I would pop tires, bend wheels all the way... Oh and racing to beat an afternoon thunder shower, which have been torrential over the past couple weeks! 

Success!!.. Mostly because at the end of the day, we laughed, we played a bit, worked a bit. One boy had football and one baseball. Dinner is a conglomeration of leftovers, eating out from the drive-thru after practice and hopefully a couple veggies. 

Rest assured... We are real people!!! 

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Labor Day Balloon Festival Tradition

Labor Day Balloon Festival Tradition

A Colorado Springs tradition over Labor Day weekend used to be called the Balloon Classic, but was "bought" by another group and is now the Labor Day Lift Off. In either case, this awesome festival takes place in Memorial Park near downtown Colorado Springs.

Walk amongst launching balloons, enjoy booths, jumpers for kids, morning lift-offs, evening glows, mascots for local athletics and lots of entertainment. 

Here are a couple of our photos from past years... 

 

For more details, check out their website, Labor Day Lift off.

 

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2016 Parade of Homes "in the Books"

2016 Parade of Homes "in the Books"

The Colorado Springs HBA Parade of Homes is one of my absolute favorite local annual events!!! Anyone who knows me knows I don't like hot weather, and this tradition marks the beginning of school and a general cooling trend as we head into fall. Not only that, but I LOVE seeing new design trends... building styles, colors, features, locations, furniture, etc. And who doesn't love the occasional privilege of going into multi-million dollar homes?! 

Normally I'm not impressed with the "normal models"... those homes which will be models even days, weeks, months after the Parade. I try to keep to viewing the higher priced homes. But this year, even a couple of the smaller ones impressed me, and encouraged me to show my buyers in some areas. The building industry is booming, not only residential, but also commercial. I feel like there is a new neighborhood popping up east of Powers every week! 

One of my favorite "smaller" homes was Oakwood's new cluster community in Banning Lewis Ranch called Carriage House. And while we're on BLR, I'm so impressed how this neighborhood is "growing up"!... adding to their charter school campus will be a high school, adding to their neighborhood parks is a new splash park. And the neighborhood is just really coming into its own. The yards are a bit smaller and most filings still only allow split-rail fence, but their big push is small yards with trails leading to parks & the Ranch House for family and neighborhood use! However, this Oakwood community allows for privacy fences. And the homes are just adorable yet modern. Here is a shot of the models: (P.S. Gimme a call if you want to see in person, I'd love to take a buyer over there!)

In homes of all price ranges I loved seeing a mixed use of mediums both in and outdoors. Check out the exterior of Picasso Homes' Le Reve - siding, stone, stucco, steel and wood, WOW! (trust me the interior was just as impressive!!) and Saddletree's fireplace (rustic corrugated metal, wood, stone & steel beams!) in their Buena Vista II... 

      

Probably the most impressive landscaping credit goes to Silver Summit GC's Summit View Ranch. With over $100,000 in stone, ponds, fish, rivers, walk-ways & bridges, waterfalls, stained concrete patio, built-in fireplace/bar... it all masks highway noise from I-25 and is so convenient to everything in town! 

Most of my friends told me that the Galiant Homes' "La Visiere" in Flying Horse stole the show. I'm torn, because personally I loved the Alliance Builders' "Beaumont" most for floor plan, entertaining and family friendliness. However, as a family I think my husband, boys & I would choose the Murphy's Custom Home "Shadow Mountain Luxe" not only because it is a great house!!! but also comes on 35 acres... plenty of space for riding our dirtbikes/ATVs! 

I never take enough pictures... I don't even feel like these are adequate to show what a great Parade of Homes it was this year!! Here are a couple extras... open glass instead of railing at the Brookstone Homes' "Belmont" in The Farm and just a cool bed! The Farm is also quite impressive with it's creative combination of rustic "farm style" and modern design. And it's all so close to everything in town, but tucked in a little valley with trails, parks, and ponds. 

    

Flying Horse in general never ceases to impress us! Year after year I love Saddletree's models (since about 2003) and Hi Point in Gold Hill Mesa for the past 3-4 years! I was struck by the number of homes with a main level master and just one bedroom up. I guess that's a play + guest design with kids in basement bedrooms. One of the prettiest with that lay-out was Vanguard's "Ramsgate"... One of the most extravagant Kirella Homes' "Villa di Torre". And of course All About Home Design's "The Cottage at Millhaven" in Cathedral Pines was a stunner!! The design may say cottage, but the size didn't! ;-) 

As always, I enjoyed seeing the trends and designs... and my husband loves (insert sarcasm) when I come home with all the new ideas for our home. But seriously, what a great thing our HBA does! Here are a couple goofy pics of me out at the Parade home in Woodland Park... moose statue and Pike's Peak view from the "City Above the Clouds"! This is my "this is the view from the BOTTOM of the driveway?!" face... that Picasso was a beauty for sure! 

 

If I neglected to give any home or builder credit I truly apologize. It was a great Parade of Homes. It was a new schedule this year... Wednesday-Sunday for 3 weeks. With my sister's wedding week in the middle it's highly likely I forgot everything before that! 

Please always let me know if I can help you take a look at a home, neighborhood, builder, etc... I so love what I do and the Parade is a fun way to check out so many local homes/builders in a short time! 

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Open House this Wednesday and Saturday in Forest Meadows

Open House this Wednesday and Saturday in Forest Meadows

Come Try Out This Private Master Balcony!!! We are holding open houses at this lovely home Wednesday August 24th, 3:30 PM to 6:00 PM and Saturday August 27th, 10 AM to 1:00 PM. For more details on our listing at 7778 Chasewood Loop, Colorado Springs 80908, go to https://www.springshomes.com/mls/6453302-7778-Chasewood-LP-Colorado-Springs-CO-80908 

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9 Things that Devalue a Neighborhood

9 Things that Devalue a Neighborhood

I recently read an interesting article about home prices and what can make a home more or less valuable.  Below is the list of nine top things which devalue a property or neighborhood, and my commentary on each:

1. Bad School District - I completely agree with this one.  Families with school age children are especially sensitive to being in a top rated school district and to not being in a bad one.  Even the nicest home in a poor district will be hard to sell at top dollar.

2. Located near a strip club - I sort of agree.  We don't have a ton of strip clubs here in Colorado Springs, and of the few that do exist they are far enough away from the houses that values are not drastically affected.

3. Area with a high rent concentration - I agree. If the majority of houses in a particular area are rentals, buyers think the neighborhood may not look as appealing. They assume tenants will not properly upkeep the homes. And apartments buildings which border a backyard are considered a drawback as well.

4. Homeless shelter nearby - Sad as this is, I have to agree that it will affect the value of a home.

5. Located near a cemetery - We have a few cemeteries in Colorado Springs.  The houses nearby are not directly affected so long as one cannot see the cemetery from them.  If the cemetery is across the street, then yes the value is affected.

6. Funeral home nearby - I don't agree with this one. I have not seen a drop in neighborhood values because a funeral home is in the area.

7. Power plant/lines visible - I know from experience that those large overhead power lines do negatively affect a property's value. Some of them even make a buzzing noise which makes buyers nervous. It doesn't matter how nice the home is...if near a large power plant or power lines, buyers will consider it less valuable.

8. Near a shooting range - I disagree with this one making a home less valuable. Here in Colorado shooting ranges are quite common. Most are indoors where you cannot hear the shooting noise from outside. And the outdoor ranges are not near housing.

9. Near a hospital - This one is on a case by case basis. Example: we have that nice, new Penrose Hospital near Powers and Woodmen. It's a lovely facility and has not negatively impacted house values in the nearby neighborhoods at all. But if you consider the older Penrose hospital downtown, that one is right across from a bunch of homes. When those ambulance sirens go off at all hours of the day, this makes the nearby houses less appealing.

If you are home shopping and want my opinion on the neighborhoods you are considering, don't hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to share information.

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