A Love Letter to My Clients

In honor of Valentine's Day, I am writing this love letter to all my clients. 

heart for valentine's day 

Dear Clients/Friends,

Thank you for allowing me to help you with one of the most important decisions of your life, one of buying and selling your home, one of relocating your family, one of financial change, one of great impact to you.   Thank you for trusting me to guide and advise you through the process.  Thank you for the opportunity you have given me to feel significant. 

Thank you for the knowledge this work has given me.  Thank you for the confidence I have gained.  Thank you for the difficulties it has posed which have forced me to grow in patience and wisdom.  Thank you for the income it has offered, enabling me to provide a great life for my daughter.  Thank you teaching me how to do this job the best way I can.

Thank you for sharing your personal stories with me.  I love hearing how you couples met, who your children are, what brings you joy and what sorrows you face.   I love knowing you so intimately that I learn your pet's names and get invited to your baby showers and weddings.  I love that we have laughed together, and I cherish that we have cried together.

What a gift you have all given me...one of knowing you! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nicole Happel

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Tiny Trees - Colorado Seedling Program

Tiny Trees - Colorado Seedling Program

When we first moved onto acreage, we were in the great rolling hills northeast of Colorado Springs. Our property was not treed and the only growth to speak of was weeds. Now in our second home on acreage, we looked into a seedling program offered by the state. Crazy as it is, I recall doing this when my family moved to Castle Rock, CO in 1988. We planted a huge tree line and now the trees are beautiful and tall. Well, the state of Colorado seedling program is great! Rather than me try to explain, I've copied verbatim the email we recently received. If you live on more than 2 acres you qualify to buy the inexpensive seedlings to build up tree growth on your property for a variety of reasons. 

Rose Long, Colorado State Forest Service, Woodland Park wrote us (and others) the following email: "The Colorado State Forest Service Woodland Park District is now accepting orders for the 2017 Trees for Conservation seedling tree program, with seedlings ordered now to be distributed in late April. The program enables landowners to obtain seedling trees at a nominal cost to be used for any conservation or land rehabilitation purpose, including the enhancement of tree species diversity that improves long-term forest health.

The purpose of the program is to encourage landowners to meet conservation goals, such as planting seedlings on properties with little to no vegetation, reducing erosion and enhancing wildlife habitat. The program also allows landowners to plant trees and shrubs in areas affected by wildfire or insect and disease, such as beetle-kill or mistletoe infestation.

Michael Till, a forester with the CSFS Woodland Park District, says he hopes the program will help landowners make a personal commitment to their properties through tree planting. Planting seedlings can help improve the quality of a property through such benefits as: 

  • re-establishing vegetation 
  • stabilizing soil and reducing soil erosion
  • controlling snow drifts 
  • improving species biodiversity 

When contemplating which species to plant, landowners should consider elevation, property slope/aspect and soil type. Some of the most successful species in El Paso, Teller and Park counties are caragana, ponderosa pine, Colorado blue spruce and piñon pine. The Woodland Park District also sells a variety of seedling survival accessories, including wind shades, tree guards, fertilizer tablets and weed barrier fabrics.

Orders made by April 4 will be available for pickup at the CSFS Woodland Park District office on April 28-29. For more information go to Seedling Tree Program , or call 719-687-2921. To obtain a up to date order form please click on the following link:http://csfs.colostate.edu/media/sites/22/2016/12/2017_CSFS_WPDS_Seedling_Tree_Order_Form_12-15-2016.pdf"

I hope you find this beneficial, especially if your property could use more trees! And if you're looking for a home on acreage, give me an email or a call

 

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Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

Steve's Picks for a Nice Weekend

My family and I moved to Colorado Springs in the Fall of 2008 and we quickly fell in love with the lifestyle, the abundance of year-round outdoor activity, fresh air and lots of sunshine! Oh, and plenty of snow just to make things really exciting. This area has so much to offer no matter your season of life. But if you are like me, married with kids, you will soon appreciate the variety of life-giving recreation just minutes from your door! So, here are a few family favorites.

Hiking – You could literally spend a lifetime discovering new trails, rock formations and mountain peaks nestled among the amazing Rocky Mountains. One I highly recommend is Mount Herman. Located just west of Monument, CO this trail takes you up to an elevation of 9100 feet, and can be accessed from Mount Herman Rd. halfway up the mountain. It is given a skill level of moderate and is a 2.2 mile out and back trail. On a clear day you can easily see downtown Denver and downtown Colorado Springs. Pack a lunch and plan to relax for awhile to take it all in!

Zoos – One of the area’s treasures is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. It is located Southwest of Downtown and is sitting on the side of Cheyenne Mountain. There are dozens of exhibits and animal species represented and you can even feed the peacocks as they roam around the grounds freely. Annual passes are available at an affordable price so that you can go as often as you like! A real favorite for kids of all ages.

Shopping – You can find 100’s of shops scattered around the area featuring local craftsmen and artists. I highly recommend taking a drive through Old Colorado City and into Manitou Springs. A tourist destination located to the west of Colorado Springs and just next door to Garden of the Gods, this area boasts many restaurants, boutiques, Bed & Breakfast Inns and an old-world Arcade! While in town you can take a ride to the Summit of Pike’s Peak on the Cog Railroad. Check the calendar for a vast array of events including farmer’s markets and street fairs.

Whatever you are into, The Springs area is hard to beat. Come for a visit…you may decide to stay for the rest of your life!

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Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 4, Feb 5) in Colorado Springs

Things to Do This Weekend (Feb 4, Feb 5) in Colorado Springs

1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar -  Sat Feb 4, 10-11 am, Integrity Bank and Trust, 13540 Meadowgrass Dr.

Admission: free, refreshments provided. Our own Courtney Gilmore joins Kevin Stevenson of Integrity Bank to host this seminar for 1st Time Home Buyers. If you are tired of renting, and ready for home ownership, come to this free seminar to hear some great advice. For more info, visit: 1st Time Home Buyer's Seminar

Science Saturday, Sat Feb 4, 10 am - 2 pm, Bear Creek Nature Center 245 Bear Creek Road

Admission: $30 members, $40 nonmembers. For students in 2nd -6th grade, come put your STEM skills to test in a fun day exploring Science and Nature. Dress for the outdoors, as the weather this weekend is supposed to be nice. For more information: Bear Creek Nature Center.

 

Billy Strings in Concert, Presented by Rocky Mountain Highway, Sat Feb 4 8:00pm, The Gold Room, 18 S. Nevada Ave

Admission: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Imagine a cross between an acoustic bluegrass enthusiast and a closet punk fan. Billy Strings will put on a tremendously energetic performance that will make you wish you had stuck with the guitar lessons. For more information: Billy Strings Tickets.

 

Star Days: I Love Space, Sat, Feb 4 10am - 4pm, Space Foundation Discovery Center, 4425 Arrowswest Drive

Admission: Included in regular admission to the museum. Come see some great lunar, thermal, chemistry and constellation exhibitions that are sure to get you excited about space and science.. For more information check out their website Space Foundation Discovery Center.

 

Ute Pass Chamber Players Concert, Sun Feb 5 3:00-5:00pm, High View Baptist Church, 1151 Rampart Range Road, Woodland Park, CO

Admission: $15, students $5. If the Ute Pass Chamber Players had their way, there wouldn't be a concert on Super Bowl Sunday. But since the Broncos aren't in it this year, this is their way of coping. There will be a special guest appearance by the Spiritus String Quartet. For more information: Ute Pass Chamber Players Concert

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Understanding Your Property Taxes

Understanding your Colorado Springs property taxes

Will property taxes go up in 2017? Better yet, just how are property taxes calculated? Here, in Colorado Springs, the El Paso County Assessor re-evaluates the value of homes every two years. He starts with the current market value of the home. Market Value is based on the most recent comparable sales in the area.

Once market value is determined, he multiplies the current market value by 7.96%, which is the current assessment rate for all residential properties.   MARKET VALUE times 7.96% = ASSESSED VALUE.

Once the assessed value is determined, he multiplies that by the current mill levy for the area. And that result is your annual property tax.

The mill levy for your area is dependent on many factors including but not limited to the school district, fire district, water district, library district, your county, and city. These various taxing entities comprise the total mill levy for an area. Taxing entities in one area may be higher than another. For example, the taxes for School District 20 are higher than those of School District 11. Although, the school district is not the only taxing entity in an area, the example gives you some information regarding the various mill levies for El Paso County

You can appeal the assessed value of your Colorado Springs home, thereby possibly lowering your property taxes. If you choose to do so, remember the El Paso County Assessor will only consider comparable sales for a specific period. That period must fall within the Assessor’s specific collection dates. For this task, I recommend calling your Realtor. As a part of our ongoing service and commitment to you, we can easily provide those comps to help you through the process, just give me a call.

 

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