Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (June 10-June11)

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Things to Do This Weekend

David Blaine Live! - Sat June 10, 7:30am - 9:30pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 190 South Cascade Avenue

Admission: $33.75 – $350. Be awed and amazed by one of the greatest magicians of our lifetime. For more info, visit: Pikes Peak Center.


Solar Eclipse Workshop - Sat June 10, 10:00am - 12:00pm, PPLD - Rockrimmon Branch 832 Village Center Drive


Admission: Free. There's a big solar eclipse event happening in August, and the PPLD with the Space Foundation are hosting this workshop to prepare. Join us to learn about eclipses and make viewing tools. For more info, visit: PPLD.


Protospiel: Game Designer's Day - Sat June 10, 1:00pm - 8:00pm, Petrie's Family Games 7681 N. Union Blvd.

Admission: Free. Are you into board games? Maybe you want to test prototypes for new games. Head on over to Petrie's Family Games to do just that. For more info, visit: Petrie's Family Games.


World War II B-17 Tours & Flights - Sun June 11, 10:00am - 5:00pm, Colorado Springs Jet Center 1575 Aviation Way

Admission: Free for military, $10 individual (kids under 8 free), $20 family. Take a tour of one of the few remaining flyable WWII B17s. For more info, visit: EAA.


Springs Spree - Sun June 11, 10:00am - 7:00pm, America the Beautiful Park 126 Cimino Drive

Admission: Free. Celebration of all things outdoor! Sports, activities, food, music, and entertainment all happening Sunday at America the Beautiful Park. For more info, visit: Springs Spree.

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How Do You Determine Market Value?

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As a Realtor people often ask me how market value is determined. Sellers want to know their market value so they can decide on a fair asking price. Buyers want to know the market value of their home so they can see that the price of the home is justified. Here is the advice that I usually I give them.

Factors that Influence Market Value

Back in school, they taught us that market value is "what a willing buyer will pay and a willing seller will accept". That's definitely true. Here are some factors that influence market value.

1. Inventory - In a competitive market like we're in now, there aren't as many homes for sale. Supply is low and demand is high, creating bidding wars. A willing buyer will pay more for a property now than they would have a few years ago. Many people are desperate to secure the sale and they are willing to pay a higher price to beat out the competition. Market value is redefined each time buyers write an offer.  

2. Home Sales - Recent home sales in the area also influence market value. You may have heard the term "comparable properties". The definition of comparable properties is homes nearby which are similar in size, age and condition to the subject property. These comparable homes will definitely be used to establish a home's market value. Buyers will look to see what homes have been selling for lately and will often base their offers on such. And appraisers will use these comparable sales to justify the current contract price.

Factors that Do NOT Influence Market Value

1. What a seller originally paid for the property does not determine it's current market value. It doesn't matter if they got a screaming deal on it just two years ago. It doesn't matter if they paid a crazy low price when they bought the home. They could have paid five dollars for the property. You are not going to benefit from the great deal they once got.

2. What your relatives in another state think the price "should be" doesn't determine market value. If your parents live in Texas, chances are they paid less for their 4,000 square foot, all brick rancher on 2 acres of land than you're going to pay for that 1,700 square foot 2-story home in Colorado Springs. Conversely, your sister in California paid more for her $925,000 townhome in Santa Barbara than you will pay for a spacious single family home in Colorado. An accurate estimate of market value needs to compare apples to apples, and we all know that home prices can really vary across different regions.

3. The public assessor's site property valuation is not actual market value. I don't know why, but the assessor's estimate is always under market value. And really, that's a good thing. Our property taxes are calculated on this, and if the county assessor thinks a home is worth less, then our property taxes are lower. Hooray!

4. Public internet sites are not always accurate with their valuations. For example, Zillow posts home values on their site and call these valuations "Zestimates". I constantly tell buyers and sellers not to believe the Zillow Zestimate they have seen. They are always low. To prove my point, NBC News recently reported a class action lawsuit was filed against Zillow for undervaluing properties. It turns out they are obtaining these valuations from the county assessors site. Interesting!

Realtors, the Best Resource for Market Value

Anyone can give you an idea of what they think your home will sell for, but they won't always be right, and it won't always be supported by data and facts. The only way to get an accurate determination of the market value of your home is to call a professional. Realtors live and breathe the housing market, and giving homeowners a market value on their home is a regular part of our job. When I meet with a homeowner to do a market value analysis, I will not only give you a value based on data and my many years of experience, but I will tell you how I arrived at the market value and all of the factors that were considered.

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (June 3-June 4)

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Lots of local events happening in Colorado Springs this first weekend of June! Whether you want to get outside, learn something new, or relax with some wine we have it all around town. 

Things to Do This Weekend

Crusin' The Gods: Summer Saturday Series - Sat June 1, 11:00am - 2:00pm, Bird Dog BBQ 4153 Centennial Blvd

Admission: Free. Classic car cruise-in through Garden of the Gods Park and enjoy BBQ from Bird Dog. For more info, visit: Cruisin' the Gods.


Bee Keeping Workshop - Sat June 3, 9:00am - 11:00pm, Environmental Services Building 3255 Akers Dr

Admission: $7/person. Curious about keeping bees of your own? This is the perfect workshop for you. For more info, visit: The Conservation District.


2017 Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival - Sat June 3, 11:00am - 5:00pm, Memorial Park, Manitou Springs 502 Manitou Ave.

Admission: $35. Enjoy sampling wine from 30 Colorado wineries along with music, food, and vendors. For more info, visit: Eventbrite.


6th Annual Doggie Dash 5K Walk/Run - Sun June 4, 8:30am - 12:00pm, Coutura Design Inspirations 6380 Corporate Centre Circle

Admission: $30.00. Run, walk, or stroll at the Doggie Dash hosted by All Breed Rescue & Training. Prizes for top three finishers and goodie bags for first 200 participants. For more info, visit: All Breed Rescue & Training.


City Summer Fest - Sun June 4, 11:00am - 11:00pm, Colorado Springs Event Center 3960 Palmer Park Blvd.

Admission: Free, $25 all day rides. Music, food, and fun all at the City Summer Fest from June 2-18. Big By Toy Expo today with cars, bikes, and BMX performance. For more info, visit: City Summer Fest.

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3-D Real Estate Tours with Matterport Camera

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Springs Homes just became the first real estate company in Colorado Springs to own “The Matterport Camera”. We have started to use the “Matterport Camera” to create 3-D spaces of our for-sale listings. We are then able to share these spaces online with potential home buyers.

The “Matterport Camera” is a combination camera and measuring device. It scans and measures spaces as it takes pictures. Springs Homes has been at the cutting edge of residential real estate technology from the early days of the internet, 1997 to be exact. We were early adopters of Virtual Tour technology when it was difficult to implement, we jumped into producing videos of our listings when it wasn’t easy to implement either. The “Matterport Camera” changes the game, this technology is very straightforward to use and the results are easy to implement.

The camera weighs 6.5 lbs. and has a rechargeable battery which lasts 8 to 10 hours. A 2,000-square foot residential real estate shoot takes 45 minutes to an hour, so battery life is not an issue. The camera has six lenses and six sensors and sits on a regular tripod. The camera has a small internal motor which allows it to rotate 360 degrees for each scan. You communicate with the camera through a wireless connection to a tablet on the matterport app.

matterport camera

Once the camera is setup and you are shooting, the app walks you through putting the space together. After each scan, the camera sends its data back to the app, which then aligns the scan and displays a photographic representation of the floorplan. If the camera doesn’t have enough information the app shows a black space in those areas where it needs more data.

matterport camera interface

We generally move the camera 5 to 8 feet in between scans. As you are scanning the operator must mark mirrors and windows, this helps the camera understand how to treat these surfaces. This is important because the camera sees through windows, so it tries to incorporate what it sees outside into the 3D model. By marking the windows, the app knows to ignore what it sees outside when compiling the floorplan. We deal with the outside by using 360-degree views.

Once the entire interior space has been scanned, the “Matterport Camera” has a feature called “360-view”. This enables the user to go outside and photograph a 360-degree image of the outdoor spaces, this is done without scanning for walls. This comes in handy during the post-production phase. You can start your tour outside showing the neighborhood or landscaping features. During the post-production phase, we are then able to link back to the indoor space.

Once you finish the entire project, the tablet is disconnected from the camera and re-connected to the internet. At this point, we upload the project to Matterports servers. Once uploaded, the images are processed and the basic tour is produced. It’s important to talk about the quality of the images this camera produces, they are really nice! The camera shoots 7 exposure brackets and turns them into HDR images. This is why the windows are not “blown out” except in extremely bright conditions. The stitching, white balance and color correction are all handled by matterport so the scans look balanced and consistent.

The tour is ready for further editing and or release in a couple of hours after upload. We work in an online app called Matterport Workshop in order to tag our tours as well as build engaging walkthroughs.

Details Page

"The Details Page" is the first place we look when we start to work on creating a finished Matterport Space. Details allows us to add the correct and complete address, our company details, website URL as well as a brief description of the property. “Details” is also where you setup your preferred sharing options as well as get the URL’s and embed codes you’ll need when you’re ready to distribute your tour.

This section is also where you go to see how your space is performing. The “Space Statistics” shows you analytical data like; the number of impressions (An impression is registered when someone views a page containing a 3D Showcase or clicks on a public 3D Showcase link), “Visits” (A visit is registered when a Space loads successfully) and “Unique Visitors” (Number of distinct users who visited this 3D Showcase one or more times).

These statistics become important as you look for the most effective ways to promote your spaces. We would really like to be able to see where the visitors came from and how long they stayed. This feature might exist but we have yet to find it.

Post Production in the Workshop

The real post production work gets done in the "Matterport Workshop". This is a robust web-based editor that allows you to refine the user experience.

The first option available in this app is the ability to set the start location of your 3D model. This is the same image as your "Hero Image"(the image that the user sees before the space loads).

Start positions can consist of the following scenes:

  • Any position in the inside view of the space. This is accomplished by moving to the desired location and selecting the “Update Start Location” button.
  • Dollhouse View-This is the iconic Matterport view (see below).

doll house

  • Floorplan View-This is a flat photograph of the actual floorplan.

floorplan view

  • 360 º View-These are individual 360 º images usually taken of outdoor spaces. You can use these images if you would like to start your tour outside or show backyard spaces as well as landscaping.

 

The space will show a white translucent circle at each point you set the tripod to take a scan. There are times when you may take too many scans in an attempt to get better coverage. The downside to this is your space can end up with a distractingly large number of scan circles. The workshop will let you hide those extra scans, creating a cleaner space. 

The workshop also lets you build a guided tour. These tours move quickly through the property and give the user a good overview of the house. The user can stop the tour and investigate an area at any time by simply clicking and dragging on the space and relaunch the tour by clicking the play button.

Guided tours are built by taking “Snapshots” of the areas you want to include in your tour. Once you have compiled all your desired snapshots, you simply drag them into a “Highlight Reel” in the specific order you want them to appear in your tour. The guided tour automatically moves you through the Highlight Reel by simply pressing play.

Another valuable feature found in the Workshop is the ability to tag things. These are named “Matter Tags”. Matter Tags appear in the space as a small bullseye. When the viewer clicks on the bullseye, they see a description of the tagged item. These tags also allow you to add links to more in-depth information. We think these are really valuable, they allow us to provide as much additional detail as we need without visually cluttering up our tours.

 Floorplans are another feature we find useful. One of the view options in the Matterport viewer is “Floorplan”. This provides an overhead photographic view of each level of the property. The look is admittedly a little rough but the user will certainly get the gist of how the floorplan looks. We have experimented with taking snapshots of floorplans, downloaded a JPEG version of them and then used the image to trace the floorplan in something like Illustrator or Floorplanner.com. We then export or save them as image files and post them to the MLS and our website. If you don’t want to do the floorplan yourself, there is an option to have Matterport create a floorplan for an additional fee.

The workshop has other features that we frankly haven’t had time to tap into like Virtual Reality settings and the ability to measure rooms. We are also experimenting with using the guided tour function to create videos. Look for more on this in future articles.

We have had the Matterport Camera for a couple of weeks now and feel like we are just beginning to tap into its potential. This was a great purchase and we can’t wait to do more with it. To see a collection of our Matterport Tours, visit: https://www.springshomes.com/featured-homes

 

 

 

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The Value of Colorado Springs Farmers Markets

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It’s not news to any of us that summer is here. We’re getting more consistent sunshine here on the front range. AND we just enjoyed a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend. I hope you got the chance to enjoy time on your favorite trail in town...take in a picnic or some reading at a local park...spend time in the mountains...run the BolderBoulder...catch up on some DIY projects around the house...grill out in your backyard...

Whatever you did this past weekend, not only was it gorgeous but it was the beginning of... ALL THINGS SUMMER! Can I get a big shout out!?!

Summer in Colorado Springs is grand. I’m not one to have a favorite season. I love them all for the wonderful and distinct features they each offer. In summer, I love getting outside as much as possible. I crave time in the mountains and on lakes throughout the state. The long days and cool nights are the best! I’m sure you have your favorite things too.

One of the best parts of summer is access to local produce and other Colorado local products available at farmers markets all around the Colorado Springs area. We have some fantastic markets in nearly every corner of the Pikes Peak Region. You could hit up a different market every day and get a tour of the town. How fun!? You could even make it fun summer bucket list - visit all of the available farmer's markets in town!

Why Farmers Markets Matter

Some people might think, why not just hit up your local grocery store? Besides getting a chance to combine being outside and visiting different parts of town, it’s also incredibly valuable to support local farmers and other local merchants! Did you know that your dollars go further in our community’s economy when you shop and eat at locally owned business?

Another enjoyable part of farmers markets is the chance to meet friends and neighbors...whether it’s just you or you bring the whole family. What a fantastic activity on a Saturday morning or since the kids are out of school...any ‘ole day of the week. You can hang out in your own neighborhood in town and interact and buy products from the people who live nearby. Or try visiting a new area and explore its local parks, restaurants, and coffee shops before or after your time at the farmers market. You will be supporting the people and the produce of that community.

Other Thoughts on the Value of Local Farmers Markets

I have always been a fan of farmers markets, but I thought I would see what others have to say about them. I reached out to some folks I know around the community about why farmers markets are a valuable part of our community and here is what they said. 

“Farmers markets help to connect rural and urban communities and thus are an invaluable piece of civic architecture. They are a vibrant spot for our neighborhoods, they signal the value that Coloradoans put on local food, help to keep these dollars in our state, and preserve our precious farmland. Moreover, having these markets helps community members who may have difficulty accessing fresh fruits and vegetables through programs like Double-UP food bucks, where every dollar becomes 2 when spent on meat, produce, etc. at these markets -- this is not available at grocery stores.”

Michelle Larkins, Ph.D., Food & Environmental Sustainability Researcher, Colorado Springs Food Rescue

“I like spending Saturday mornings at the market with my kids. They gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and why it's valuable. Meeting farmers and planning our meals based on what's available keeps us grounded and in touch with the realities of our sustaining resources. It's real life, real food, and real people. We need bits of that in our modern world. The farmer's markets are gifts all over our city each summer for those who will go out and enjoy all offer!”

Niki Parks, Local Colorado Springs Resident, Gleneagle

"Farmers market season is exciting because we get to experience the bounty of our local region. From the Pueblo Chile to Rocky Ford melons, we have rich and diverse agriculture in southern Colorado. By buying local produce, you are supporting family farms and strengthening our community. Palmer Land Trust partners with farmers to ensure our region has a vibrant local food base, resilient farming communities, and protected land and water resources."

Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust

"Shopping at markets that sell locally sourced food provides a valuable outlet for farmers who are mostly small, family operations. Their fruits, vegetable, cheeses and other products retain the flavor and nutritional value that is lacking in supermarket products. Do something good for yourself, your family and your community and buy locally produced foods."

Matt Heimerich, Lower Arkansas Valley Conservation Director, Palmer Land Trust

Go Meet A Farmer!

So, get outside this summer (and into the fall at some markets!) and meet a farmer. Enjoy a slow Saturday morning picking out some Palisade peaches or finding that perfect Pueblo chile or scoop up some local honey. Yum!! And at every market, you’ll find local and regional vendors offering other creative, unique products for your kitchen as well as your home in general. Right in your own neighborhood!

Colorado Springs Area Farmers Market Schedule

Here’s a rundown of the Colorado Springs farmers markets that might be around you. Some markets opened this past Memorial Day weekend. Others will be opening throughout June. Some only go through the summer. Others will run through the fall. So, make sure to check the links, if provided, to get more details on dates and to stay in touch as markets will make last minute changes for holidays, weather, etc. Hope you find your local, neighborhood market! And enjoy the adventure of another neighborhood’s market features.

I frequent farmer's markets a lot during the summer, so if you see me browsing around, stop and say hi and we can talk a little about zucchini recipes and the latest about the Colorado Springs Real Estate Market.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturdays

Sunday

Other helpful links to get information on farmers markets in the Pikes Peak region as well as around the state.

https://www.springsfarmersmarkets.com/

http://www.colorado.com/co/food-wine-beer/farmorchardsfarmers-markets

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