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5 Tips For Winter Home Selling

5 Simple Hacks

“Nobody wants to move their Christmas Tree”! That’s what I was told by the seasoned pros early in my Real Estate career. The problem is that many people find themselves having to sell during the holidays. The period of time from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is traditionally slow. The days are shorter, colder, darker and sometimes snowy.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that the inventory levels are also at their lowest point of the year. If a buyer is looking this time of year, they are serious. So, if you have to sell during the winter months, here are 5 tips to make winter selling, more successful:

  1. Shovel: Keep the driveway and sidewalks clear. Don't make potential buyers trudge through snow to get into the house. You don’t want them dragging snow in on their pants, shoes and socks either. Buyers want to imagine what it would be like to live in your house, don’t remind them they’ll have to clear snow.
  2. Place For Shoes: You don’t want potential buyers walking through your house with snowy shoes or boots. Place area rugs or mats for them to place their shoes on. It’s also a good idea to have disposable booties available, as well as a bench or chair, if there is room for one, so a visitor can sit and easily change shoes or boots.
  3. Keep it Comfortable: The inside temperature of the home is important. If the home is cold it feels vacant and uninviting. On the other hand, too hot feels stifling and uncomfortable. Remember the buyers are most likely already dressed for outside. Just keep the inside comfortable, 65 degrees is a good place to start.
  4. Light it up: The days are shorter during the winter months. The last impression you want to create is that your house is “dark”. Keep window coverings open and lights on to make your home light and cheery.
  5. Sniff Out Odors: Holiday cooking, pets and yes people, all create odors. Buyers want to buy your house, not your smells. Clean and vacuum more often when selling your home in the winter months. Fragrances and candles are fine but remember, less is more. Don’t mask odors with overbearing products, they just make it seem like you’re hiding something.

If you follow the five simple rules along with professional pricing and staging, winter can be a great time to sell your home.

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Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 24, 25) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 24, 25) in Colorado Springs

Winter Wonderland with the Wolves -  Sat Dec 24, 9:00 - 11:00 am, Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center, 4729 Twin Rocks Road, Divide

Admission: $30 adults, $15 kids 12 and under. Spend Christmas Eve morning learning about the wolves who are residents in Divide. Enjoy a breakfast burrito and prepare to walk away with a great appreciation for these creatures. For more information: Wolf & Wildlife Center

Ugly Sweater Contest, Fri Dec 23, 3 - 11pm, Whistle Pig Brewery, 1840 Old Dominion Way

Admission: free. If you haven't gotten it out of the closet yet this year, this may be your chance to dust off the ole' ugly sweater. Enjoy $1 each pint for those sporting ugly sweaters and enter the contest for the worst sweater overall. For more information visit the website of the Whistle Pig Brewery.

 

Holiday Skate at the Broadmoor World Arena, Fri Dec 23 12pm-4pm and Dec 26-28, Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd

Admission: $4 entry, rentals $3. Ever dream about skating on the big stage? Or in the big arena? Now is your rare chance to skate at the Broadmoor World Arena . For more information: Broadmoor World Arena.

 

Evening Holiday Hayrides at the Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, Fri, Dec 23, Sat Dec 24th, 5-7pm, 2 El Paso Blvd. Manitou Springs

Admission: Free, donations accepted for Renovation Fund. Join the Resort team for Hayrides around their festively decorated facility. Enjoy hot cocoa and break out in Christmas Carols if the mood strikes. For more information check out their website Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort.

 

Christmas Eve Services at the Air Force Academy Chapel, Sat Dec 24 5:00pm (Catholic Mass) and 7:00pm (Protestant Candlelight Service), Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel

Admission: Free. There are many beautiful venues for Christmas Eve Services, but one of the most stunning is the Air Force Academy Chapel. Christmas Vigil Mass is at 5pm, with the Protestant Candlelight Service at 7pm. The Hanukkah Shabbat Service/Dinner will be held Dec 30 at 7pm. For more information: AFA Cadet Chapel.

 

 

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A Decade of Equity Briargate 2006-2016

The Briargate neighborhood is one of our market's most popular areas. This popularity is the result of good planning, good schools and convenient amenities. Briargate prices have always been a little higher because of on-going new construction. New construction is more expensive than comparable resale homes. Home buyers will often push their budget higher or sacrifice somewhere else to live in the area.

During the recession (2007-2010), Briargate saw a -12% decline in median sales price. This was better than the -18% hit The Black Forest Market took. 

The post recession gains in the Briargate market are impressive. The area has seen a 23% increase from 2011-2016. Almost as impressive as Black Forest (26.8%) for the same period. Commercial development and the reputation of Academy School District #20 are fueling this increase.

As of December, 2016 the median sales price in Briargate is $341,250. This is 37% higher than the Colorado Springs median sales price. We feel like this is good news for existing home owners in the area. The only concern we see is this. The Colorado Springs housing market is price sensitive. When prices veer too far from median, we see sales slow. Moving forward, we will keep a close eye on the Briargate market.

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Koi Bring Positivity Across DCC

In September 2016 our 9-yr-old, a Discovery Canyon Campus 4th grader, brought home some fun fish he made in art class at school. That weekend we had a friend in town, his parents, and my in-laws for dinner. After dinner said 9-y-o placed a piece of paper on the table in front of each person... 7 adults and his brother, a 12-yr-old DCC 7th grader. He displayed for us how to make the fish, with very few words... and we all made the fish. It was funny at the time, as just a small project that he wanted to show us was being done at school.

Well, weeks later I found out this little paper fish was a much bigger deal than we thought. This koi fish project was a cross-campus project from the Pre-K level all the way through the Seniors in the high school. You might recall my teammate Nicole blogged about a cluster of suicides affecting Academy School District 20, specifically a handful at Discovery Canyon Campus. In an effort to unite the campus from PreK-12, the arts department started the koi fish project... with phrases like "we're all in this together" and while it often feels like we're swimming upstream in life, we're swimming together! It's a bit reminiscent of Nemo and "just keep swimming!". This is one way DCC is trying to combat suicide, as well as rolling out curriculum addressing teen suicide information and hopeful prevention!! 

The koi fish project became even bigger than we thought. Since the campus is so big, they created a paper "stream" in every hallway to create one united stream. This project has now been entered with the Guinness Book of World Records for something like the longest contiguous paper art display. From what I understand, to date 6 "officials" have been out to campus twice to measure and we should beat the former record. The campus often tries to find ways to unite the different levels of campus... some examples include involving all levels in homecoming week celebrations, getting elementary kids into high school shop classes for projects, bringing high schoolers down to the elementary level for classroom experience, and having coaches across all grade levels working toward similar plays. There are so many things we love about DCC as a family; this koi fish project just adds to the positivity. 

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As a side, I sent a few pictures in to the elementary art teacher, who then passed them along to the entire elementary staff and middle school art teacher heading up the koi project. In mid-December a friend of mine sent me a screen shot of an article in The Tribune - a Monument, Woodmoor, Gleneagle paper... with our son on the front page and a story about the koi! We were shocked!! Needless to say, he was pretty excited about it. This story has spread to the local Colorado Springs Gazette paper. It's pretty exciting and will hopefully bring positivity. But most importantly we hope the project does as they wanted, uniting the campus and maybe even saving lives. We want all kids to feel like they are a part of something!!!

Here is a link to the Gazette article:  http://daily.gazette.com/Olive/ODN/TheGazette/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=TheGazette%2F2016%2F12%2F14&entity=Ar08704&sk=983DE6B1

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Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 17, 18) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Dec 17, 18) in Colorado Springs

The Hazel Miller Band: A Very Soulful Christmas -  Fri Dec 16, 8:00 pm, Stargazer's Theater

Admission: $15-$20. Hazel Miller has been performing in Colorado for the past 24 years, so you owe it to yourself to come see this show. Whether she is singing blues, jazz, pop, or Gospel, her voice is unbelievable and her experience has led her to open for performers such as Mel Torme, James Brown, Temptations, Earl Klugh, Bob James and many others. For more information: Stargazer's Theater

Christmas Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Colorado Springs Chorale - Sun Dec 18, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center

Admission: $23 and up. If you missed Deck the Hall last week, here is another chance for you to get in the spirit of the season with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Colorado Springs Chorale. This performance features the local debut of choruses from Mendelssohn's Christus and higlights from Bach's Christas Oratorio and Polar Express. For more information visit the website of the CS Chorale.

 

Holiday Evening at Rock Ledge Ranch, Sat Dec 17 4pm-8pm, Rock Ledge Ranch 30th and Gateway Road

Admission: $4-$8. Holiday music, blacksmith demonstrations, hot cider and chocolate, holiday crafts will fill the air for the Rock Ledge Ranch Holiday Evening. Take this opportunity to stroll around and bask in the traditions of yesteryear and get in the holiday spirit. For more information: Rock Ledge Ranch.

 

Fine Art's Center Winter Lights, Sat Dec 17 10am and 2pm, Fine Art's Center 30 W. Dale St

Admission: $15, members and 12 & under Free. With ice carving in the courtyard, movies, woodturning, celtic dance and the Colorado Springs Chorale, this celebration has a little bit of something for everyone. For more information check out their website Colorado Springs Fine Art's Center.

 

Improv Comedy at The Theater on Pecan, Sat Dec 17 7:30pm, The Theater on Pecan, 2418 W. Colorado Avenue

Admission: $8-$10. Not everything you do this weekend has to be holiday related. Come take a load off and get a few laughs at this improv at The Theater on Pecan. One recent attendee even said, “I laughed so hard my face hurts!” In the style of "Whose Line is it Anyway?", this will be sure to crack you up. More information: Improv Colorado's website.

 

 

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