The RE/MAX Properties, Inc. Monument location has moved to 1761 Lake Woodmoor Dr. Don’t let the address fool you though, the building actually faces Hwy 105 at the I-25 interchange. You can see our new location on google maps – and while you’re there, don’t forget to leave us a review!
You’ve probably seen it – websites like zillow.com that purport to be able to tell you what your home is worth. It’s a great idea. I mean, who wouldn’t like to be able to type in their address and get a value on their home? So just how accurate is Zillow in determining home values in Colorado Springs?
Well, I guess that depends on your definition of accuracy, but if they were trying to hit the broad side of a barn with a shotgun at point-blank range they’d still miss 43% of the time. Yes, it’s that bad. Here is Zillow’s own disclosure about their accuracy in El Paso county Colorado:
Zestimate is within 5% of an Actual Sale Price 34% of the time.
Zestimate is within 10% of an Actual Sale Price (includes above number) Only 57% of the time.
Zestimate is within 20% of an Actual Sale Price Only 78% of the time.
So, in other words, Zillow misses the mark by over 10% of sale price a more than 2 times out of 5. They miss the mark by over 20% more than 1 time in 5. For an average Colorado Springs Home this means a disparity of $20,000 and $40,000 respectively!
Just in case you were wondering how Zillow feels about their abilities to determine what your homes worth, they’re actually pretty proud of themselves. In fact, they give themselves 4 out of 4 stars for accuracy in El Paso county.
It seems almost daily this time of year that people are asking what they need to do to get their home ready to sell. Obviously, each home is different, but there are some items that almost all homeowners should consider.
10. Garage Door
I know, garage doors aren’t exciting, but that is exactly the problem. Depending on the style of home, your garage door can easily take up 40%, 50%, or even 80% of the front of your home. That makes it the single largest architectural feature people will notice when driving up. Replacing that old door, or upgrading to a door with a little more visual interest can make a huge impact on the overall appearance of your home!
9. New Windows
Still have the aluminum or old wood windows? You can often upgrade standard sized windows to vinyl for as little as $300 per window. Considering that the average home doesn’t have that many windows (6-8 perhaps, not including basement), you can replace your old windows for a lot less than you think.
8. Paint Trim
If you don’t have the time or money to paint the whole outside of the house, consider just painting the exterior trim. A fresh coat of paint on weathered trim makes a big difference.
7. Update Plumbing Fixtures
A homes fixtures are one of the easiest things to replace, and almost every single buyer will notice outdated fixtures. You only have a handful of sinks and a couple tubs/showers in the whole house, so if you’re able to replace the fixture yourself this is a very cost effective update.
6. Update Light Fixtures & Hardware
This is similar to updating plumbing fixtures, except there are more of them. That said, this is still money well spent if you’re smart about it. Consider watching for clearance items at Lowes or Home Depot if you need to save money.
5. Front Door
As with the garage door, this is something that contributes to peoples impressions before they even get inside. A nice door can easily pay for itself when you sell your home. (Keep in mind, however, that if you have a storm door, this impact is reduced. Of course, you might want to remove the storm door altogether unless it’s really nice.)
4. Under-cabinet Lighting
Less than $100 – that is what it can cost you to install some basic under-cabinet lights in the kitchen. The improved appearance of the kitchen is huge. If you have granite or corian counter tops, you should probably consider having them buffed and polished as well to maximize the impact.
3. Update Flooring
If you have wood floors, consider refinishing them to restore the original luster. If you have stained or worn carpeting, it should probably be replaced. You don’t have to get carried away – just an inexpensive style in a neutral color will completely change the way a home shows. Another element of new carpet, in particular, is the “new house smell” you get with new carpet and/or paint. This has a significant subconscious effect on people.
2. Interior Paint
Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do – just make sure you do it well. Obviously, you’ll want to keep colors neutral and light (to keep the home feeling spacious and open), but you already knew that.
1. Anything that is Actually Broken
This should go without saying, but if there is anything in your home that is damaged or broken you have to fix it. As soon as people see one thing in your home that needs to be fixed they’ll start to question what else you’ve neglected. If it’s broken. Fix it. Period.
I’ve kept most of my political opinions my other site which is designated for that purpose, but there is one that I want to mention here because it relates directly to real estate and home values – that issue is the District 49 bond question. First, here is the text of the question:
SHALL FALCON SCHOOL DISTRICT 49 DEBT BE INCREASED $125 MILLION, WITH A REPAYMENT COST OF UP TO $257 MILLION, AND SHALL DISTRICT TAXES BE INCREASED BY UP TO $15.7 MILLION ANNUALLY TO FINANCE THE COST OF:
• IMPROVING DISTRICT-WIDE STUDENT SECURITY, TECHNOLOGY AND TRANSPORTATION, WITH REPAYMENT OF THESE COSTS IN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE BONDS
• BUILDING A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL NEAR FALCON MIDDLE SCHOOL TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING
• CONSTRUCTING PHASE I OF A NEW MIDDLE SCHOOL IN WOODMEN HILLS TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING
• BUILDING A NEW HORIZON MIDDLE SCHOOL TO IMPROVE STUDENT SAFETY, EFFICIENCY AND RELIEVE OVERCROWDING AT SKYVIEW MIDDLE SCHOOL
• CONSTRUCTING PHASE II OF VISTA RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL, INCLUDING ADDING ATHLETIC FACILITIES, AN AUDITORIUM, AND AN AUXILIARY GYMNASIUM
• EXPANDING VISTA RIDGE TO INCLUDE A 400 STUDENT WING TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING
• EXPANDING FALCON HIGH SCHOOL TO INCLUDE A 400 STUDENT WING TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING
• CONSTRUCTING, IMPROVING AND EQUIPPING A NEW K-8 SCHOOL IN INDIGO RANCH TO RELIEVE OVERCROWDING
• CONSTRUCTING AN ADDITIONAL 25 CLASSROOMS THROUGHOUT THE DISTRICT
AND OTHERWISE ACQUIRING, CONSTRUCTING AND IMPROVING ANY CAPITAL ASSETS THAT THE DISTRICT IS AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO OWN, BY THE ISSUANCE AND PAYMENT OF GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS, WHICH DEBT SHALL BEAR INTEREST AT A MAXIMUM NET EFFECTIVE INTEREST RATE NOT TO EXCEED 7.00% AND MATURE, BE SUBJECT TO REDEMPTION, WITH OR WITHOUT PREMIUM, AND BE ISSUED AT SUCH TIME OR TIMES, AT SUCH PRICES (AT, ABOVE OR BELOW PAR) AND IN SUCH MANNER AND CONTAINING SUCH TERMS, NOT INCONSISTENT HEREWITH, AS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION MAY DETERMINE; SHALL AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAXES BE LEVIED IN ANY YEAR, WITHOUT LIMITATION AS TO RATE AND IN AN AMOUNT SUFFICIENT TO PAY THE PRINCIPAL OF, PREMIUM, IF ANY, AND INTEREST ON SUCH DEBT AND TO FUND ANY RESERVES FOR THE PAYMENT THEREOF; AND SHALL ANY EARNINGS FROM THE INVESTMENT OF SUCH TAXES AND THE PROCEEDS OF SUCH BONDS CONSTITUTE VOTER-APPROVED REVENUE CHANGES?
As most of you know, I’m pretty conservative and my first inclination is always to vote down a tax increase. However, as a D49 homeowner and a real estate agent, I will be voting Yes on 3C.
First, Let me explain the effect on our taxes. If passed, 3C will increase taxes by approximately $3.25 per $100,000 of home value. So if you have a fairly typical $200k home in D49 you monthly taxes (normally part of your mortgage payment) will go up by approximately $6.50.
Now even though that is a small amount, there are still other ways I’d rather spend my $6.50. So why vote yes? As a realtor, I’ve noticed public sentiment from numerous home buyers in the past year turning against D49 due to perceived or real overcrowding. 3C specifically addresses this by adding capacity through expansions of existing schools and building new schools.
I don’t have an opinion on the overcrowding personally – we will likely homeschool our own children, and I’m anything but a fan of state education. I’m just saying that the “word on the street” is that D49 is overcrowded. That means these buyers are looking into other districts instead of 49 and thereby reduces our property values by virtue of supply and demand.
In a city where even adjacent school districts can easily account for a price difference of 5-10%, $6.50 a month is a small price to pay to ensure that our district remains a viable choice for home buyers who place a high priority on school district selection.
Please vote YES on Falcon School District 49 question 3C.
One of the iconic events every year in Colorado Springs is the Thunderbirds air show during the Air Force Academy graduation. This year we watched the show from a location near the TCA campus on Voyager. We had a great view, but without as much traffic as there typically is down near Interquest.
If you live somewhere other than the Springs, you might want to check out the 2010 Thunderbirds Schedule to see if they’ll be somewhere near you this year.
And now the real reason for this post… here are some pictures!
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?
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:
Are you looking for a contractor and don’t know where to start? Give me a call – I may have a recommendation for you.
This past Saturday, April 10, was the El Paso County Republican Assembly and the corresponding Democrat Assembly. This was the first real glimpse into who will be on the primary ballot later this year. You can see the full results at the links below.
For those of you interested in local politics, the November ballot is almost set already when it comes to county races. There could still be some changes (such as candidates who lose at the assembly petitioning back onto the primary ballot), but with the exception of the Sheriff’s race, this is how the El Paso County portion of your November ballot may look based on information available to me:
|Clerk and Recorder||Wayne Williams||vs.||Tom Mowle|
|Surveyor||G. Lawrence Burnett||vs.||None|
|Commissioner District 1||Darryl Glenn||vs.||Steve Kjonaas|
|Commissioner District 5||Peggy Littleton||vs.||Michael Merrifiled|
* Sheriff Candidate TBD via Primary between Terry Maketa and Jacob (Jake) Shirk
This was my first opportunity to serve as a delegate to the county assembly and the experience was fun (if politics is your thing) and certainly educational. I’m looking forward to serving as a delegate to the Republican State Assembly next month as well, when we go through a similar process for beginning the process of selecting candidates for statewide offices.
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.
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!