SCENIC COLORADO SPRINGS

2e1ax greenie frontpage Seven FallsColorado Springs has so much natural beauty. You've heard of Garden of the Gods; the fabulous red rock formation? And Pikes Peak; a 14,110 mountain which hovers above our city? But have you heard of Seven Falls? Nestled in the mountain canyons just below Pikes Peak, are cascades of water known as Seven Falls. Falls excites the senses and forshadows the dramatic landscape ahead. Crystal clear water from the Pikes Peak watershed has shaped a spectacular natural box canyon: the steep-walled, enclosed canyon that’s become symbolic of the American West.

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February Home Sales Going Strong

2015 is off to a great start in our local housing market. Here is how we did last month: Sales of Single Family Homes= UP 15.8% from last year Average Sales Price of a S/F Home = UP 9.7% from last year Sales of Condos/Townhomes= Up 40.1% from last year Average Sales Price of a Townhome= Down 5.8% from last year Inventory (meaning total homes for sale) is way down, off about 20% from last year In summary, buyers are buying, but there is much less for them to choose from.Prices have risen. Interest rates are still at record lows. The market is good, folks!

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Buyer Feedback Can Help Sell Your Colorado Springs Home

One of the most important things we, as listing agents, can do is obtain feedback about the properties we list for sale. We know and understand that It’s hard for homeowners to see their homes from an unbiased perspective. Homes hold many memories and stir up emotions that may be hard to relinquish, especially when it’s time to price a home for sale.

As experienced listing agents, our job is to help set a realistic price for the current market; but if homeowners are clinging to an unrealistic expectation, buyer feedback can often help. When an agent shows a home that we have listed for sale, we send that agent a form asking for feedback: what did the buyer think? Were there any issues the buyer pointed out? If you are not bringing us an offer on the property, what could we have done to spark an offer? Homeowners are often surprised to hear the answers to these questions.

Pet odors are a common issue that many homeowners overlook but are often noticed by potential buyers. Maybe the kitchen and/or bathrooms are dated and, consequently, bringing down the value of the home. Sometimes the fixes are easy: fresh coats of paint and deep cleaning carpets can boost a home’s appeal. However, many times, it’s the listing price of the home that deters potential buyers. Setting the right price for the most efficient and profitable sale requires extensive knowledge of what’s happening in the Colorado Springs real estate market, as well as the latest information about mortgage rates and availability. Internet-savvy buyers look at comparable homes for sale in the area and certainly have a good sense as to whether the home is priced accurately for the neighborhood. Although some homeowners want to price their homes based on Zillow and Trulia estimates, these are not always reliable sources as markets can change rapidly and sales data takes time to find its way into those systems.

So, the take-away lesson when listing your home is work with a knowledgeable real estate agent who is familiar with the community and will help set a realistic selling price. And always listen to the feedback.

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What is my FICO Score and Why Does it Matter When I’m Buying A House?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Colorado Springs area, and you’re not paying cash (and how many of us are doing that?), you will need to know your FICO score.

The FICO score is the most widely used measure of credit worthiness in the U.S. and it is the primary factor lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. FICO was first introduced in 1989 by the Fair Isaac Corporation—hence the acronym.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850—the higher your score, the more credit worthy you are. Your score is calculated by a mathematical equation that takes into account the weight of many different factors on your credit report. There are actually 27 different scoring models with three main ones used for mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. A median score for a mortgage is 679. The general breakdown is as follows:

  • 50% of your score is based on payment history and length of payment history. This includes loans for cars, homes, tuition and other long-term loans.
  • 30% on the amounts you currently owe
  • 10% on the types of credit you have been extended in the past
  • 10% on new credit.

However, the weight of these factors may vary depending on the length of your credit history.

A sample profile of a high credit score would include at least 2 installment loans with balances (auto, student loans, mortgage); 3 revolving credit cards with balances of less than 30% of the card’s maximum, and no record of collections or late payments. Although it may seem counterintuitive, it is a good idea to keep accounts open, even when you have paid off the balances. Closing accounts tends to negatively affect your score.

The mortgage interest rate for which you qualify is based on your FICO score. Generally, the higher your score, the lower the interest rate and vice versa. Whether or not you are required to have mortgage insurance, the rate may also be based on this score, as well as the amount of your down payment.

If you are applying for a conventional mortgage, the lender will determine what minimum score will make you eligible for the loan, in addition to the price of the home and other financial obligations. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA and other government loans have established minimum FICO score requirements.

If you are interested in learning more about FICO scores, visit www.myfico.com.

Coming soon:

  • How to Improve your Credit Score
  • How to Deal With Delinquent Fees
  • How to Resolve Credit Disputes
  • Loan Modification Alternatives
  • Short Sale and Foreclosure and their Effect on Credit Scores
  • Bankruptcy and Your Credit Score
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2205 Shawnee Drive

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Check out my new listing!  Built in 1973, this adorable bi-level home features 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and over 1,400 finished square feet.   The home includes ceramic tile and carpeted floors, a formal living room, separate family room, wainscoting in kitchen, knotty pine tongue and groove ceilings, new roof, newer vinyl windows and a huge fenced backyard complete with wood deck for entertaining.   Great location...just one block from a park! 

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