Is My Contractor Insured?

Have you ever had a contractor perform work on your home?  We can all remember a time we’ve had someone do maintenance or repairs on our home.  Could have been a plumber, electrician, painter, or just a local handyman… But here’s a question you may not know the answer to – was that contractor licensed and insured?

Electrician by dolocalsearch on Flickr

Oh sure, they said they were.  That’s a start, but that doesn’t really guarantee anything.  Particularly today with a sluggish economy, many contractors have allowed their insurance to lapse.

The best thing to do when hiring a contractor is to check for yourself.  Here in the Colorado Springs area you can get information on any contractor directly from the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.  You can even see that contractors insurance and license information online – it takes 30 seconds and could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong with that “simple repair”!  The link below will take you directly to the license search page:

Search Contractors in the Pikes Peak Region

Are you looking for a contractor and don’t know where to start?  Give me a call – I may have a recommendation for you.

[jeremy]

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Search the Colorado Springs MLS – Now with NO registration required!

That’s right. You can now search all homes for sale in the Colorado Springs area without having to register!  We’re providing you all available pictures, virtual tour (if available), neighborhood info, aerial photos, property description, address, and the ability to search by map.  We even have some cool new bling like school district or neighborhood overlays for the map.

Brand new Mapping and Search Technology from 1ParkPlace!

You will obviously need to register in order to save your searches, or to get automatic updates when new listings come on the market.   However, ALL available information is provided whether or not you choose to register.

Start searching all Colorado Springs Homes For Sale now!

[jeremy]

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Paint allowance included

When you list your house for sale, we may suggest repainting a room or two, or including some money for a paint allowance.  However, if your home looks like this:

We’ll probably gently suggest hiring professionals before it ever goes on the market.  Thanks to Hooked on Houses for the Bad MLS Photos.  Yes, the whole house looks like that!

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Homebuyer tax credit: new 5405 form released today

Latest IRS Form 5405

The IRS has finally released a new Form 5405, the form that is required to claim the homebuyer tax credit.   You can download the new form here.

Because the original tax credit had been amended and expanded, the form had to be updated to reflect the changes, and as a result, people who purchased a home after November 6th have had to wait until now to claim the credit.

According to CNN, you’ll no longer be able to e-file to claim this credit because of the number of fraudulent claims that have been filed.  You can, however, still prepare your tax return via Turbo Tax or other similar software, but you’ll need to print out and mail the forms instead of e-filing, since there is additional documentation required that can’t be accepted via e-file.

Buyers who qualify for the tax credit have until April 30th to place a contract on a home, and until June 30th to close on that home. Time is ticking, especially if you’re looking at purchasing a short sale or doing a rehab (203k) loan.

Feel free to give Jeremy a call at 719.231.9043 or email him at jeremy@thecircagroup.com to explore your options in purchasing a home and claiming the tax credit.

Special thanks to Amy Cavender for the heads up.

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Colorado Springs and El Paso County Zoning Maps

Do you ever wonder what the zoning is on a particular property?  Perhaps you’re considering purchasing a home that backs to an open field or you maybe you’re just nosy want to know what is going on with a nearby property.  Of course, keep in mind that zoning can and does change; so start here, but if you have a particular concern additional research would be in order.

El Paso County Zoning

El Paso County Zoning

The first thing you’ll need to do is determine the zoning authority for the particular property.  This means the City of Colorado Springs or El Paso County in most cases.  (If you live in another incorporated city such as Monument, you will need to contact the city directly.  Unincorporated areas, such as Falcon and Black Forest are El Paso County zoning.)

1. El Paso County zoning maps are available on their website in PDF form.

While these won’t show areas within Colorado Springs city limits they are very useful in areas of newer development that haven’t been annexed by the city.  I’ve personally used these maps extensively in the Black Forest and Falcon areas, and found them to be quite useful.

Colorado Springs Zoning

Colorado Springs Zoning

2. Colorado Springs zoning maps are available on their website using an interactive viewer.

This website is finicky and sometimes causes me frustration.  If you’re one of the smart people in the world browsing the web with Safari, Firefox, or Opera then you might need to swallow your pride just this once and use Internet Explorer.

[jeremy]

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