Real Estate Market News

7 09 2010

Real Estate Market News.


Restaurant Wednesday

11 08 2010

Rudy’s has got it goin on! 

Rex and I decided to try the new BBQ restaurant in Colorado Springs, Rudy’s on Sunday.  We had noticed this new place as we drove down 24 and didn’t know what to expect.  There is a huge gas station in the front of the restaurant and when we pulled up and saw the line out the door, we had a feeling we were in for a treat. 

Rudy’s is such a neat place.  You stand in line and as you make your way towards the cash register (where you order your food) there are a couple stop along the way.  The first stop is a huge metal troff filled with different beers, root beer, and old-glass coke bottle (who doesn’t love those).  The second stop is the sides.  You can choose from potato salad, cole slaw, 3 bean salad, and pudding.  Then you finally arrive at the register where you choose what kind of meats you want.  We tried the brisket, sausage, and baby back ribs.  They cut the meat and throw it on some butchers paper and you are good to go.  This place is so unique and great to take the family.  We loved it so much that we will be taking our family there this Friday night.  My mouth is watering just thinking of Rudy’s.  You gotta try this place.

Home Buyers Seminar

10 08 2010
Learn Everything You Need to Know to Buy a Home!

You’ve heard the news but that’s only half the story. Interest rates are lower than they have been since 1972. If you have ever thought about buying a house, you do not want to miss this opportunity.

Get all your questions answered at this seminar.

Find out what you can afford.

Learn more about the Colorado Springs real estate market.

Join us on August 31st from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at our Downtown office

12 E Kiowa
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Refreshments provided. Limited seating available. Please RSVP by Sunday, August 22.

Keller Williams Realty does it again!

2 08 2010
Keller Williams Realty Named Highest Ranked in Home Buyer Satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates for Third Straight Year
AUSTIN, TEXAS (July 30, 2010) —According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM, Keller Williams Realty, Inc., the third largest real estate company in the United States, has received the highest overall satisfaction ratings from home buyers among the largest full-service real estate firms for the third year in a row. The company also ranked second among home sellers in the study for the second year in a row.
“We are incredibly proud of our associates for earning this distinction and want to thank them for their commitment to their clients and communities,” said Mark Willis, CEO of Keller Williams Realty. “We see this honor as demonstration of our company philosophy that it is the agent’s brand that matters most and no amount of money spent on advertising can replace the influence and reputations our agents have in their local communities. Our associates have earned this on their own, by building relationships in their communities.”
The study was produced by J.D. Power and Associates to measure home buyers and sellers customer satisfaction. The results of the home-buying experience were determined by three factors including the buyer’s experience with their agent, the real estate office and a variety of additional services. Keller Williams Realty performed particularly well in the agent and office factors. And, overall satisfaction of buyers for the industry was up over last year.
Additionally, the study noted that the importance of real estate agents has increased substantially in the past year, with buyers and sellers relying on the negotiating skills of their chosen agent and help in navigating the market.
“It is thrilling to see our firm, once again, get public recognition for its incredible focus on customer satisfaction from such a prestigious group. Our associates continually demonstrate that it is possible to deliver the highest level of customer service in one of the toughest real estate markets on record,” said Mary Tennant, president and COO of Keller Williams Realty. “We feel incredibly fortunate to be in business with them, and want to congratulate them on their hard work and dedication.”
In the past year, Keller Williams Realty has continued to grow despite the well-publicized turmoil in the real estate industry. In addition to becoming the 3rd largest real estate company in the U.S., surpassing RE/MAX®, Keller Williams Realty was ranked as the No. 1 real estate franchise on the 31st Annual Franchise 500 list by Entrepreneur magazine and was voted the Most Recognizable Brand of Real Estate Franchises and the Trendsetter of the year for 2009 in an industry-wide survey for the Swanepoel TRENDS Report.

Restaurant Wednesday

28 07 2010

You may be asking yourself why this post is titled “Restaurant Wednesday”, isn’t this a Real Estate blog?  Well yes, it is a real estate blog, but we are more about spreading the news on Colorado Springs.  We will be sharing information on upcoming events, great restaurants, and other fun tid-bits. 

I have decided to start posting a Restaurant Wednesday for great places to eat in the Colorado Springs area.  Why?  Rex and I have learned that there are a lot of really great-but hidden places to eat.  About 2 years ago we would ask each other “Where do you want to go for lunch/dinner”.  And neither of us could decide, because we couldn’t think of anything.  I took it upon myself to create a restaurant list of all the places I could find on the internet (a lot of them I had never been to before).  So for the past 2 years, every time we would decide to go grab something to eat we would head to the restaurant list.  It was great!  We would go to places that we had never been to before.  My favorite thing would be when we would get up and leave and say “That place is a keeper”.  So we have decided to share our experiences with you guys!

For today we recommend “The Pepper Tree”

This is the ultimate fine dining experience and the perfect place to take your significant other.  Rex and I went here on Saturday to celebrate our 2 year anniversary and it was the perfect place to go.  The dim lights and the beautiful view of the city made this place very special and romantic.  There specialty is the pepper steak of course, and it is prepared table side, which is very fun to watch.  We got the crab cakes as an appetizer which were TO DIE FOR, and we washed it down with a very light Cabernet.  All in all it is a MUST!  Just keep an eye out for the high prices, this is a special occasion type place, but the food is worth every penny.

The Best Time to Buy

16 07 2010

Conventional wisdom says that you need to stay in a home a minimum of five years to ensure that you recoup your purchasing costs. But with some markets soaring, this advice doesn’t always apply.

It’s All About the Market

Market conditions play a huge part in any decision about when to buy. Housing market values have varied widely from region to region in recent years. While the Florida market has seen meteoric rises in home values, Ohio has seen its real estate prices go into negative territory in the last year.

Do not buy high and sell low – if your market is softening or has hit its peak and is heading south, you may want to wait on your purchase.

The magazine Smart Money has created a worksheet to compare the costs of renting vs. buying using market appreciation calculations to determine at what point you come out ahead. Plugging in the price, down payment, your income bracket, interest rate, and current market appreciation rates, the worksheet will break out what you will gain. For example, say you were to buy a $400,000 house in Boulder, Colorado and you estimate the market will soften from the current 11% appreciation to about 9 percent annually. If you stayed in the house three years, you would recover $88,750 in equity at the end of that period; if you stayed five years, you’d realize $120,360.

It’s All About You

The top three reasons people file for bankruptcy are change of job status, divorce, and unforeseen health expenses. If you face any of these challenges and don’t have a financial cushion, this may negatively impact your ability to pay a mortgage. Big life events dictate your readiness to buy now or to wait for a little more stability.

Signs you should not buy right now:

  • Will you be moving within the next five years?
  • Will you be having kids soon?
  • Will you be making a job change?
  • Have you recently filed for bankruptcy or is your credit score below 630?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, or you are experiencing other life-changing events like illness, marriage, divorce, or breakup, you may want to wait.

Your Financial Future

Aside from life events contributing to your decision, getting your financial house in order before you begin your home search is key. Even with all the programs available for buyers with a low-or-no down payment, if your debts are growing steadily and you don’t foresee an increase in your income, you are putting yourself in greater financial risk by taking on a mortgage.

With only a few exceptions, many loans for people who are still repairing their credit or recovering from bankruptcy carry higher rates than those available once your credit is in better shape.  So the question comes down to this: Do you buy now, before prices appreciate higher than you can afford, but do so with an expensive loan? Or do you wait and repair your credit, then get a favorable loan, and pay more for your home? That’s the sort of analysis you need to go over with a financial counselor or mortgage broker before you start hitting open houses.

Ways to Cushion the Blow

On the other hand, if you are willing to buy a home that needs a bit of work and, over time, you can afford to get it done, your home could appreciate faster, strengthening your financial position. If you are willing to take on a roommate or renter, you can also soften the expense of a mortgage, which almost always costs more than rent. Buying a home is a risk, and it’s worth asking yourself hard questions about what you’re willing to do to protect yourself from getting in over your head.

If you answered “no” the life-change questions, and have the down payment or equity from your current home, you still need to look at interest rates and at how buying affects your taxes. You can’t time the stock market, but you can time interest rate hikes, as they are a little easier to predict. If they are going up fast, you can jump in before they rise too far; if they are already high, you will have to calculate how refinancing in the future affects your budget.

What to Do First

If you are anxious to get moving, be patient. You have a few things to do first:

  1. Go to open houses – get the lay of the land Talk to a mortgage broker to get pre-approved
  2. Interview agents (You may want to find an agent at the same time as you look for a mortgage broker – a good agent can recommend reputable brokers and help you make sense of the terms of the loan)
  3. Review credit report and scores with mortgage broker to determine if any repairs are needed
Article Brought to you by Yahoo Real Estate

Top Things We Miss About Old Houses

12 07 2010

Hey, my house had one of those! (© Steve Lovegrove; Library of Congress)

Hey, I remember that!

For anyone lucky enough to own an old house, quirky features such as a hand-cranked dumbwaiter, gurgling radiator or shutters that actually work may be a part of everyday life. For the rest of us, such details now exist only in memories of visits to Granddad’s. The passion for old houses can start at an early age, as evidenced by all the letters and e-mails that This Old House readers sent in recalling special details from homes they knew as kids. In fact, it makes us wonder what today’s kids will talk about tomorrow — the silence of radiant heat?

Deep front porches

“My grandfather built my childhood home in 1936. Its front porch was 10 feet deep and ran the length of the front facade. It was a great place to play as a child and a great place to gather with the family.”

—Michael Purnell, Springfield, Ill.

Wooden screen doors

“I miss our old wooden screen door and my mother yelling, ‘And don’t slam the’—BANG!—’screen door!'”

—Hank Kennedy, Goffstown, N.H.

Milk-bottle boxes

“The house I grew up in had a metal milk box that held four milk bottles in an exterior wall. It had doors on each side — one was for the milkman to deliver freshly filled bottles and pick up empties, and the other opened into the kitchen.”

—Susan Allen, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Floor registers

“In the floor of my old bedroom there was a heat register. It had an iron grate you could pull out and then peer into the room below you. Mine looked right down into our living room. Perfect for Christmas morning.”

—Kate Craney-Welch, Wauwatosa, Wis

Deep overhangs

“The thing I miss most about old houses is the eaves. Before air conditioning, the eaves extended far out from the roof on all sides to protect the house from the summer sun. Lying in bed at night when it rained, I could hear the water dripping off the roof. It was such a comforting feeling.”

—LaureL Glasco, Newport News, Va.


“Our dumbwaiter took up the space of a chimney, but it sure was useful for moving laundry and trash to the basement and food and dishes to and from the kitchen.”

—Joan Phelps, Hot Springs, Va.

Steam radiators

“When I remember the 100-year-old Minnesota house I grew up in, the thing I recall most fondly is the old-fashioned steam radiators. In winter we used to come home after a freezing-cold day of ice skating, take off our mittens and socks, and drape them over the radiator. I can still smell the damp wool. Radiators make old houses feel so warm and cozy.”

Article By Connie Roth-Ames, Salem, Ore