Colorado Springs Homes for Sale

Colorado Springs Homes for Sale: What’s Your Checklist?

Equity Edge Team Home Buying Tips, Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs, Real Estate 0 Comments

Colorado Springs Homes for SaleWhen searching for Colorado Springs homes for sale, what kinds of items do you put on your check list? Here are some things to consider when searching for a new home.

Location: There are many Colorado Springs homes for sale in every neighborhood imaginable. Here are the top five areas to live in Colorado Springs and some of the neighborhoods where you can find a range of homes to suit any family’s needs. Location can be important when looking at commutes. Commuting considerations in this outdoor friendly area comprise more than just distance to work. For many homebuyers in Colorado Springs, proximity to recreational areas, shopping, and other factors are also important considerations.

Schools: Schools often play a big role in choosing your location and are often their own category on your checklist.

Layout: when looking for a new home, it’s important to start thinking about how you would ideally use the space to adapt to the way your family lives. Is a ranch style home or a multi story home best for you? Would you like all the bedrooms and living space on the same floor or would you prefer separation? Do you need multiple rooms for office space, crafting areas, kids play areas? You can find a variety of Colorado Springs homes for sale to adapt.

Style: Are you the log cabin type? Do you like historic homes, craftsman style, or brand new construction in Colorado Springs? Is your Colorado Springs dream home one you can create yourself by taking a fixer upper and making it your own? These are all things to consider as your shop for Colorado Springs homes for sale.

Budget: It’s important to know your budget before you shop for Colorado Springs homes for sale. Being armed with a pre-qualification letter does a few things for you. It allows you to make quick decisions when you find that right home and it helps keep your feet on the ground. When you know your budget, you can stay within a reasonable search and not waste your time on homes that will break the bank and break your heart when you realize you love it but you just can’t buy it. Once you do find the right home you will easily be able to put in offers especially on homes that garner multiple offers and attention.

A Knowledgeable Agent: If this isn’t on your checklist while you search for Colorado Springs homes for sale, it should be number one. A reliable agent who knows the area and can help you access all the other factors is worth her weight in gold. An agent will help you cut down on your leg work and only show you the houses that truly tick all or most of your boxes. If you’d like to set up a consultation today, we can start discussing the Colorado Springs homes for sale that best fit your needs.

Giving Back to Charity near your new home in Colorado Springs

Giving Back: Charities Near Your New Home in Colorado Springs

Equity Edge Team Colorado Springs Real Estate, Local Events 0 Comments

Giving Back to Charity near your new home in Colorado SpringsWhen searching for a new home in Colorado Springs you are searching for more than just a house. It’s important to feel the connection to the neighborhood as well as the surrounding community.

This time of year is often a time of reflection on how to give back and be active participants in your community. Do you like to become actively involved and volunteer at soup kitchens or meals on wheels? Or you like to make can goods donations to food banks or work with programs for underprivileged children? There are many great local organizations in Colorado Springs where you can put your time, energy, effort, or money to good use and become an active member of the community.

Local Volunteer Opportunities

Colorado Springs Meals on Wheels – Silver Key delivers hot, nutritious meals to seniors in Colorado Springs. Silver Key relies on hundreds of volunteers monthly to serve and support its clientele. For more information visit Silver Key Volunteers.

Colorado Springs Food Bank – Care and Share Food Bank provides a variety of programs in Southern Colorado to adapt to individual needs. They provide food to more than 300 soup kitchens, pantries, and emergency shelters that they partner with. They run a Children’s Nutrition Initiative. Low-income families can learn how to shop and create healthy affordable meals in their Cooking Matters programs. These are just some of the many programs. You can donate, food or time. For more information on how you can help take a look at their website.  You can host a food drive, volunteer, sponsor, or advocate!

Colorado Springs Soup Kitchens – There are several Soup kitchens around the Colorado Springs Area that help the hungry and underprivileged. The Marian House Soup Kitchen has been serving hungry people in downtown Colorado Springs since 1985. They provide assistance to struggling families, seniors on a fixed income, the working poor, veterans, people with disabilities, and the homeless. There are many ways to help!  Here is a great list of Colorado Springs food pantries, soup kitchens and food banks.

Colorado Springs Veteran Programs – Of course as you know veterans are near and dear to our heart, given our military backgrounds and Home Front Cares is a local charity primarily providing emergency and responsive support for Colorado’s service members. They serve veterans and family members, who have been impacted by deployments. You can volunteer and get involved in giving back.

Colorado Springs Children’s ProgramsThe Children’s Literacy Center has volunteer opportunities to tutor children and the accept donations. You can help local students improve their knowledge and understanding and help set them up for success. For more information, contact the program.

Colorado Springs Toy Drive – If you really want to be involved in the season and give back to families in need for the holidays, Christmas Unlimited has been empowering adults and serving children in our area since 1923. Check out their website and see how you can get involved.

These are only some of the many volunteer opportunities out there to help you get involved in your new community when you move to the Colorado Springs Area. While there is no season for giving or volunteering we often give it more thought during the holidays.

First time Home Buyer in Colorado Springs buy Homes For the holidays

First Time Home Buyer in Colorado Springs: The Best Gift of the Season

Equity Edge Team Colorado Springs Real Estate, First Time Home Buyers, Real Estate 0 Comments

First time Home Buyers in Colorado Springs buy Homes For the holidaysIf you are a first time home buyer in Colorado Springs you may be searching for your first home as a holiday gift to yourselves. With so many benefits to purchasing a home during the holiday season, this is the best gift you can give to your family.

Finding Great Pricing – Typically when home sellers leave their homes on the market over the holidays they are serious sellers. This can be a great deal for first time home buyers in Colorado Springs who may be able to negotiate a great price that works for both the home seller and the new home buyer.

Less Competition from Other Buyers – This time of year there is not as much competition from other buyers out there looking for a new home. This can give the first time home buyer in Colorado Springs more maneuverability when finding the right home at the right price.

Take Advantage of Tax Savings – As a first time home buyer in Colorado Springs you may not know the tax advantages available to you.  If you close on your home before December 31st you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan, and interest costs. These can be significant deductions. Many deductions are applicable throughout the life of your loan. In the early years of your loan you are paying off more of the interest – this can lead to significant savings in the early years of home ownership.

Faster Closings – During the holidays, all parties involved have a vested interest in closing quickly. Lenders and real estate agents want to close their books and receive commissions before year’s end. Sellers want to move as quickly as possible to get settled before the holidays. Since all parties are motivated and fewer transactions take place this time of year, things should fall into place for a quicker closing.

Moving Companies Have More Availability – The holiday season is a slower time of the year for moving companies. You won’t have a problem renting a truck or scheduling a move and you may even find some discounted rates as competing moving companies are trying to entice customers to use their services this time of year. Holiday moves help keep trucks in service and people employed.

Vacation Time to Devote to Your Move – Often during the holiday season there is more liberal vacation time that may provide those extra days to move, unpack, and organize. As a first time home buyer in Colorado Springs you’ll want to conserve on taking unpaid leave time to help with expenses. It’s nice to know that some holidays may be available that won’t cut into normal vacation.

Establish New Traditions – Being a first time home buyer in Colorado Springs during the holidays allows you to move into your home and immediately make memories and create or continue family traditions. From finding the right place to put the Thanksgiving dinner table, to decorating the mantle – you will establish your family patterns and make a house your home.

These 7 great tips will help you decide if you want to make that family gift this year a new home for the holidays. Talk with us today about our real estate services for first time home buyers, we are glad to help make your holiday dreams come true.

military relocation to colorado springs

Military Relocation and Giving Back to Veterans

Equity Edge Team Military Moves, Real Estate 0 Comments

military relocation to colorado springsThe week of Veterans Day is always a day of reflection for us here at Equity Edge Mortgage & Realty. Our company culture is steeped in our own personal military history. We both have served in the US Army and Army Reserves, military relocation isn’t new to us and we have made a twofold commitment to serve military families.

Our first commitment is to make things easier for those going through a military relocation. And our second commitment is to give back to military veterans.

Military Relocation

Not only do we understand the difficulty of changing locations on a regular basis, we know that often, when it comes to military relocation, the search starts from a distance. Whether you are searching for a home from another state, or from overseas – we aim to make the home search as effortless as possible. We guide you through your military relocation to the Colorado Springs area with understanding and expertise.

With four military installations nearby – Fort Carson Army Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and the US Air Force Academy – we know families are dealing with military relocation to Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas all the time. Our goal is to make the logistics of finding a home as easy as possible.

Giving Back to Military Veterans

Our extensive military service has led to our pledge to give back to military veterans. With each home sale through Equity Edge Realty and each loan closed through Equity Edge Mortgage we make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Disabled American Veterans. This is our way of paying it forward.

Veterans Day is always a day to think about our priorities. We are proud to have served and to continue to serve the military community in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas.

real estate investors

Becoming Real Estate Investors in Colorado Springs

Equity Edge Team Investment Properties, Real Estate Investors 0 Comments

real estate investorsAre you interested in getting into real estate investment but are not quite sure where to start? I actually started my career as a Colorado Springs real estate agent helping real estate investors. While there may be many Realtors in the area, not all real estate agents in Denver CO nor all Colorado Springs Real Estate agents are well versed in investment.

When real estate investors begin their search for a Colorado Springs real estate agent that can help, a few criteria should be examined to make sure to get a Realtor well versed in investments. Real estate investing has a different set of standards than a typical home sale or purchase. This requires specific knowledge and a skill set that not all Realtors possess.

There is a difference between living in a home for many years to come and making memories for your family versus picking up a property based on its ability to work as an investment option. Property that can yield a profit is something only certain Realtors are well versed to assist with.

Here are some of the qualities to look for in a Colorado Springs real estate agent that understands real estate investors and what they are looking for:

Personal Investment – An ideal Colorado Springs real estate agent is one who has done their own investing and understands the area and what kind of properties will yield a profit. Having gone through the process on their own, this ensures they are familiar with investing – not just as a Realtor, but on a personal level as well. A Realtor who has done it themselves will better understand the motivations of real estate investors, and what they are looking for in an investment property.

Honesty and Integrity – While investment can be cut throat at times, and it seems like it’s a fast paced make a deal mentality, an agent that holds honesty and integrity at the center of their dealings will make sure to give you the pros and cons of any investment. It’s not all cheap property and soaring profits. There are pitfalls and wins when it comes to investment and you want an agent that will help you see all of these ups and downs as you weave your way through the investment maze.

Comfortable – An agent familiar with real estate investment must be comfortable making offers. It is rare that a real estate investment is purchased upon the first offer. A Realtor well trained in investments understands that the point is to get the seller to agree to the lowest possible offer. A Colorado Springs real estate agent with experience in investment will push the limits of a seller and be comfortable going back and forth with rejected offers until a price can be agreed upon. Not every Realtor is able to take rejection and keep going back for more.

Experience – Experience working with investors is key. Making money is the objective of real estate investors. If you don’t have an agent who has experience with this, you may be leaving money on the table. It is a lot easier to go through the learning curve of investment with an experienced agent to guide you then it is to second guess every move the agent makes for you. An experienced Realtor will take you along the quickest path to success.

Reputation – A good reputation is important and references are key. If a Realtor has experience working with real estate investors, he or she will gladly share a list of references. When talking with other investors about an agent’s work, direct your questions toward the quality of the work and the experience and expertise of the agent. In this mercurial market not every investment will be a win, but an agent cannot be held accountable for market conditions. They can only evaluate based on what they know and what they see.

If you are considering real estate investment, make sure to find the right agent in the area you are searching in order to begin your investment search.

searching for homes in colorado springs

6 Tips to Find Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs

Equity Edge Team Colorado Springs Real Estate, Home Buying Tips, Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs, Real Estate 0 Comments

searching for homes for sale in colorado springsIf you are new to searching for homes for sale in Colorado Springs, then you know it can be a little daunting. How do you begin a home search? It starts with a list of what is important to yourself and your family. But there are also a few steps you can take to make the search for homes for sale in Colorado Springs a little easier.

#1 Narrow Your Price Range: It can be tempting to look for homes for sale in Colorado Springs by driving around your dream neighborhoods and looking for the house you think you want. But price really is a major contributor to finding something that will work with your budget as well as your family. Getting pre-qualified helps you to really put your priorities in place. The worst thing in the world is falling in love with a home you can’t afford.

#2 Make a Needs List: That’s right, when you are searching for homes for sale in Colorado Springs you need to know what is an absolute must have for you and your family. Does it have to be in a certain school district? Close to work? Have a big back yard? How many bedrooms do you need? What other features are important? But remember this is all about what you absolutely need in order to feel comfortable making this your home. These are the deal breakers.

#3 Make a Wants List: Okay, so this is where you can get more creative with your lists. Usually wants are made up of things like hardwood floors, granite counter tops, an extra room for hobbies, and other specific features that would make you happy but is not a deal breaker. Remember when it comes to cosmetic finishes in a home you can always work toward making those changes later. With the variety of homes for sale in Colorado Springs, you will have a lot of houses that fall into your needs and wants list, but as the wants grow they may cut into the initial budget.

#4 Find a Trusted Real Estate Agent: Finding an agent with superior knowledge about the Colorado Springs Real Estate market goes a long way in making your home search effortless. With the right agent, you can discuss your needs and wants and they will help you search out the best homes for sale in Colorado Springs. A great agent works for you and will incorporate as much as they can from your lists. They don’t just set up an automatic stream of listings to land in your inbox. They actually take the time to hear what you are saying.

#5 Narrow Your List: Once you begin looking at the variety of new homes for sale in Colorado Springs, even with your budget, your needs, and your wants narrowing the options – it still can be overwhelming to visit dozens of houses. After a while you won’t remember which house is which and they will begin to blur together. It’s important to limit the number of homes you visit. Less than 10 is usually a good number. If your agent has been listening to your needs and wants, they can usually find 7 or less homes that tick as many boxes as possible. Try to resist the urge to say, “but what else, what else?”

#6 Stop When You Find It: This may be an odd statement on the surface, but all too often home prospectors find a great home to fit their needs and then they keep looking. A couple things can go wrong. If you pass up on a house that seems like the right one in order to see if the grass is greener somewhere else, you run the risk of losing it to the next prospective home buyer that walks through the door. Once you find it, stop looking.

The old adage, “Quit while you’re ahead,” holds true when searching for homes for sale in Colorado Springs. When you find it, make the offer and start the process of becoming a new home owner. If you’d like to discuss your home search with a qualified professional, we’d love to get you on the right road to home ownership today.

Home refinance loan colorado springs

Home Refinance Loan: When Should You Refinance?

Equity Edge Team Home Loans 0 Comments

Home refinance loan colorado springsWith mortgages still attainable at low overall percentage rates, the question of taking out a home refinance loan may cross your mind as a home owner. Lets explore the idea of refinance and see if it’s the right thing for you to consider.

What does it mean to do a home refinance loan?
Refinancing your home mortgage or home loan refinancing is the act of taking out a brand new mortgage on your home with a different set of parameters. You use this new loan to pay off the old loan so that the new terms and conditions apply.

Why would you want to do a home refinance loan?
There are several reasons home owners look into the possibility of refinancing their loans. Usually one or more reasons may make refinancing right for you.

  • Lower Your Payments – Many home owners wish to lower their monthly payments to free up cash for other things. As interest rates have dropped over the years it’s been a smart decision for many home owners on higher rates to refinance and take advantage of lower monthly payments.
  • Move off an ARM – Many home owners who purchased their homes under Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Have sought refinancing in order to stabilize their loan and reduce risk. This protects them against a sudden rise in interest rates after the initial discounted period elapses and helps reduce your risk.
  • Pay Down the Mortgage More Quickly – For some people, refinancing isn’t always about lowering monthly costs, but instead reducing the overall cash outlay. Many people refinance onto a shorter loan term such as a 15-year mortgage in order to reduce the amount of interest accrued over the life of the loan.

There are a variety of other reasons that could make refinancing useful such as eliminating your Private Mortgage Insurance, tapping into the equity in your home, and lowering your overall costs. For more information about whether or not a home refinance loan may be beneficial in your circumstances contact us today and we’ll take a look at the pros and cons for your individual situation.

6 Tips: Sell Your Home in Colorado Springs

Equity Edge Team Moving Tips, Selling Real Estate 0 Comments

sell your homeWhether you are moving out of town or looking to move into a new home, everyone wants to get top dollar during their home sale. We’ve got some tips to help sell your home in Colorado Springs and get the most bang for your buck.

Most homes resell in “as-is” condition. But making your home as appealing as possible without breaking the bank can be the difference between a good sales price and a great sales price.

The following are 6 budget friendly ways to help put your home in its best light in order to sell.

  1. Curb Appeal – Whether you are meeting a new person for the first time, making a friend, or seeing a potential home of your dreams, the first impressions are the most important. That’s why it’s important to put your best foot forward. The same goes for your home. Take the time to weed gardens, trim bushes and trees, power wash porches and siding, make sure all your siding and trim is in good condition, repair and repaint as needed. Depending on the season some tasteful seasonal potted plants are a good idea. It is a good idea to remove any garden gnomes, pink flamingos, and anything else that over personalizes your front view.
  2. Depersonalize – Once a prospective home buyer walks in the door you want them to be able to picture their own things in your house. If your home is overwhelmingly “you”, it may be hard for a home buyer to make it their own. Remove excessive artwork from the walls. If you have an overload of knickknacks and family portraits, then start boxing those away in storage and create a more generic look to your home. Giving your home a less lived in look will help prospects visualize themselves in your home. Add new shower curtains, decorative towels, and fresh unused guest soaps while hiding away personal toiletries like tooth brushes, washcloths, and razors.
  3. Declutter – While depersonalizing is one step, decluttering is yet another step. You are not just removing excess personal items, you are removing excess everything! Do you have to have every appliance on your kitchen counter from bread maker to blender? It’s time to put those all away. Clean out shelves, donate books, and box away extra toys and clothes. If you proudly display the kids’ artwork on the fridge with a million and one magnets, then both artwork and magnets need to be boxed up and stored for your next home. Think of clean clear lines as you walk through the house. Also make sure to use the same clearing and decluttering mentality when tidying pantries, closets, basements, and garages.
  4. Room Usage – Look at the way you use your home. If you have turned your dining room into a playroom for the kids or your kitchen is actually your home office, it’s time to revert those rooms back to their original use. If you have a lot of big bulky furniture that over shadows your rooms, consider editing the decor so that you can allow for a better flow of space in the home. It’s a perfect time to pack away the wing chairs, the end tables, the knickknack pedestals, and the accent furniture.
  5. Paint – This is one of the most inexpensive fixes that will freshen up the feel of the entire home. A simple fresh coat of neutral paint throughout the home does wonders for first impressions. If the trim is in bad shape make sure to take the time to paint the trim as well.
  6. Clean the Carpets – It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people do not bother to clean the carpets in their home. A steam clean will go a long way to refresh the home.

If you need more tips to sell your home for the best possible price we are more than glad to talk with you and do a free home valuation for you.

Colorado Springs mortgage credit score

Colorado Springs Mortgage: Repairing Your Credit

Equity Edge Team Mortgage News, Mortgages in Colorado Springs 0 Comments

Colorado Springs mortgage credit scoreIf you want to get a Colorado Springs mortgage, and your credit is less than perfect don’t throw in the towel. We can help guide you through the process of acquiring a mortgage and if you need some credit repair we can help you there as well.

Here is a quick guide to understanding and fixing minor credit issues.

Step 1: First Take a Reading
Understanding where you start is the first step toward understanding your credit. We can take a look at your credit and give you a profile of where you are and where you need to be in order to acquire the loan for your new home or refinance your current home. There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Transunion, and Experian. Get a reading of your credit from each of these reporting agencies.

Step 2: Note the Negative Factors
Take a look at any factors that may be impacting your credit in a negative manner. This includes late payments, high debt to income ratios, bankruptcies, repossessions, debt collection, and other inaccuracies.

Step 3: Look for Identity Theft
Make sure there aren’t any accounts that don’t belong to you on the reports. If you find any problems like this, you will need to go through the fraud victim division of each credit bureau. They will help you start the process and it may even require police reports.

Step 4: Look at Inaccuracies
If there are any misspellings of your name or incorrect addresses it’s important to let all three credit bureaus know in order to correct your report.

Step 5: Ask for Late Payment Forgiveness in a Goodwill Letter
If you have any late payments noted on your reports, it’s important to contact each lender with this claim and ask for forgiveness. Compose a Goodwill Letter accepting responsibility for your late payments and ask the lender to remove the derogatory information as a business courtesy. It is not guaranteed to work, but with courtesy and persistence it may pay off.

Step 6: Debt Validation
We will get into a more in-depth article about this in the future, but you can request “Validation” of your accounts that have gone into collection. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a consumer may request validation of any account that appears on their credit report.

Once you’ve gone through the process of examining and understanding your credit profile, it’s important to stay on top of things moving forward. If you’ve found that in the past you’ve had a problem with paying bills on time, living beyond your means, and generally using bad practices when it comes to credit, now is the time to take back control. All of these things can have a negative impact on your credit score, and your credit score expresses your potential credit worthiness when it comes to obtaining home loans.
Make a pledge to yourself and your family to correct poor credit practices moving forward so that you can own the home of your dreams.

Appraised Value Versus Assessed Value: What You Should Know

Equity Edge Team Buying Real Estate, Real Estate, Selling Real Estate 0 Comments

Business man pointing the text: Appraisal DescriptionAre you thinking of selling your home and wonder what it’s actually worth? If you follow your tax assessments, you may be concerned that you can’t get as much as you’d like for it, but there’s something you should know. There is a difference between your home’s appraised value versus assessed value.

While both tax assessments and real estate estate appraisals assign a value to your property more often than not, they just don’t match. And if you are strictly using Zillow estimates (Zestimates) than stop! Zillow simply uses an algorithm that may be off quite a bit depending on your area. It’s important to start with employing the real estate services of a qualified professional.

We will explore the difference between an appraised value versus assessed value and look at the different factors that drive these numbers. It’s always important to talk with a qualified real estate agent to help you navigate the market and properly price your home for sale. This will save you lots of headaches and the possibility of having your home on the market long-term, or even worse; leaving money on the table.

First let’s take a look at tax assessments. This is simply a value placed on the property by the town or city’s assessor’s office in order to determine your property taxes. This is not always evaluated on an annual basis and may be slow to change. Professional assessors evaluate property conditions within entire neighborhoods first before setting values on individual homes. If the character of a neighborhood varies greatly, this can cause property assessments to seem lower for some homes than others. Once this overall data is amassed, assessors also compare groups of homes to neighborhood conditions and comparable sales data to estimate specific homes.

In some states assessments may happen infrequently, but each year a town or city may re-evaluate the tax rate which can cause property taxes to go up or down accordingly. In some areas, only when assessed values become outdated enough to cause huge differences between properties will a reassessment happen. Some states reassess yearly, but most wait 2-3 years before reassessing values. This can vary disparately from the actual market conditions being experienced in an area.

An appraisal, on the other hand, is a report done by a professional property appraiser who is certified and licensed by the state in order to determine the current value of a home or property. Often an appraiser will use subject properties in the form of homes that have recently sold nearby as a touchstone for assessing market value in the neighborhood. Appraised value is often impacted by market activity and can change much more rapidly than assessed value.

While an appraisal is definitely something that will help determine the final price on the home, having an agent who can analyze the comparable home sales in the area and be familiar with the market conditions is a major plus for any homeowner selling, as well as for the would-be buyer.

For more information on finding out what your home is worth, feel free to contact us. We can provide a free home valuation to get you started on the road to selling your home.