Read the latest newsletter from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rocky Mountain Realtors in Colorado Springs. BHHSRMR keeps you updated on market stats, Downtown news and events, plus helpful homebuyer and home seller tips. In this edition, you’ll find an invite to our Downtown Holiday Party, plus understanding your home warranty.
With more services and housing options downtown, you’re more and more likely to find exactly what you need within blocks of your home, business, or during your leisure time in the downtown Colorado Springs area. But sometimes it’s hard to know where to find things – we promise, they’re right around the corner! Here’s where you can find some of the most common supplies, services, and everyday items in within walking distance of downtown.
A Bottle of Wine for a Party, Dinner, or as a Gift
Flowers to Celebrate a Special Occasion or Just To Say I Love You
A Card for Any Occasion
A Book To Read
Last Minute Gifts
What Else Do You Need?
You’re bound to find whatever you need in Downtown Colorado Springs! See this interactive map to find exactly what you’re looking for in Downtown COS.
You’ve probably heard about home warranties, especially if you have recently bought or sold a home. But are you still confused? You’re not alone, and a lot of people don’t really understand the specifics when they purchase a home warranty. The question we get asked all the time: Is A Home Warranty Worth Buying?
First of all, you need to understand the basics of what a home warranty is before deciding whether or not it makes sense for you.
It’s Insurance For Your Home Mechanicals, Appliances, and Amenities That Aren’t Typically Covered By Your Homeowners Insurance. Like any insurance, you are purchasing it “in case” something happens so that your financial risk is reduced. This could be anything from a refrigerator to a hot tub, based on the package that you purchase. Also, keep in mind that the coverage is repair or replace, but there are some catches and each company is different.
It’s A Limited Coverage Time Frame. Typically, you’re paying up front for the coverage, which can vary based on the home warranty company. We usually see the coverage period between 10-14 months, with 12 months (1-year) being the most common for a basic package. Once your term is up, you’ll have the opportunity to renew it again so you’re covered for another year.
Understand The “Caps” on Each Covered Item. Caps are the maximum amount the home warranty company will pay to replace your appliance, system, or other covered item if a full replacement is required. Make sure you understand not only which items in your home are covered, but also how much you could still be liable for if it requires a full replacement.
Make sure you know which systems and appliances are covered.
Know Which Items Are Covered. A base package may cover some of the major appliances and even systems in your home, but you can pay an additional fee to assure that more unique items are covered too. For instance, if you have a hot tub, 2nd refrigerator, water softener, or septic tank you may want to request rates for coverage. Each company is different and some will even add these items for free with a satisfactory inspection prior to coverage.
Service Fees Are Standard. Some people are caught off guard when they’ve already paid $400 – $500 for the home warranty, and then are expected to pay for a service call when they need to use it. The good news is, it’s usually a fairly minimal charge (usually under $75) and it’s waived with most companies if something needs fixed or replaced.
Most Require You to Use Their Contractors. Although more of the home warranty companies are starting to allowing you to pick your own, you’ll normally find that you’ll need to call the home warranty company when you have an issue, and they’ll send one of their preferred contractors.
In the real estate industry, we often see home warranties purchased (by either the buyer or the seller) to give peace of mind, especially in older homes where the systems are older and may have exceeded their expected life span. Home warranties can be used as an incentive (i.e. “Free home warranty with full price offer”) or a negotiation tool (seller purchasing home warranty for buyer instead of fixing inspection items).
Home warranties are one of those things you hate spending money on…..until you need it. Then, you can be very grateful that you have some financial relief and organized service when dealing with unexpected problems. Each situation is different, so reach out to your agent for some recommendations and contact information for a home warranty company to get specifics.
Gail Kohlmeister, Broker Associate
We are so excited to welcome the newest agent to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Rocky Mountain REALTORS® franchise, Gail Kohlmeister.
Gail comes to us from another real estate company in town and feels like she’s finally “found her home” in regards to the brokerage she is working as a Broker Associate. As a Broker Associate, she is able to help home buyers and home sellers with any type of real estate transaction, including single family homes, condos and townhomes, raw land, new construction, and more.
Gail has lived in Colorado since 2007, and is very familiar with the Denver / Boulder area as well as being able to help clients in the greater Colorado Springs area.
She’s an energetic and determined individual and we are grateful she chose to be part of our organization to further her real estate career. You’ll certainly have the chance to meet her at one of our client appreciation parties or open house events. But feel free to reach out to her before then! You can find her on our website under Our Agents tab, or click https://www.peakdream.com/agent-detail/Gail-Kohlmeister/180953/
Downtown Colorado Springs has various living options, and depending on your needs and interests there is something for everyone. Lofts located in the heart of downtown will provide the urban city living enjoyed by some, and single family homes can also be a good option just outside of the core of downtown but still with easy access to amenities and entertainment. However, more and more people are wanting the city life and Colorado Springs has apartments for rent in the heart of downtown that provide walkability to experience the great art, award-winning food and variety of entertainment.
The Mae on Cascade 609 S Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Pictured above, these are luxurious and contemporary apartments with lots of amenities, located in the trending Trolley District of South Tejon Street. Lots of options and variety with 43 unique floor plans. https://maeoncascade.com/
Blue Dot Place Apartments 412 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Simple apartment living in the heart of downtown activities and surrounded by favorites like Loyal Coffee, The Garden and White Pie Pizza. Located on Nevada, just 1 block from the main entertainment strip on Tejon St. https://www.bluedotplace.com/
Casa Mundi 418 S Tejon St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
One of the newest complexes in Downtown Colorado Springs, Casa Mundi apartments bring unique character to the interior design as well as thoughtful amenities like electric car charging. The goal is to connect people and you’ll enjoy your new friends with the great proximity to all that’s happening on Tejon St. https://www.casamundiliving.com/
Casa Mundi Apartments
ECO 333 E Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Lots of great amenities including a 2nd floor pool and street level parking garage. Plus, westside apartments have incredible mountain views and all residents enjoy community favorites like Dutch Brothers Coffee, El Taco Rey, and Brass Brewing just steps away. https://www.333eco.com/
210 Pueblo 210 Pueblo Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
One of the smallest apartment buildings downtown with only 5 units, but it doesn’t lack character despite its size. Unique units and high-end upgrades and finishes inside. Plus, some of the best mountain views. An urban oasis just on the edge of Downtown. https://210pueblo.com/
22 Spruce Apartments, 22 Spruce Street, Colorado Springs CO 80905
Basic options and limited amenities, but dog friendly and some of the least expensive. Studio apartments start at 477 square feet. Located just across Interstate 25 from Downtown Colorado Springs. https://www.gb22spruce.com/
We’re all ready to get out of the house and enjoy the warm summer nights! Live music events are always a great way to relax and appreciate the art of music! We have many talented musicians in the Colorado Springs area, and here are some of the best places to hear live music.
2021 Summer concerts, bands, and live music in Colorado Springs
Hillside Gardens Summer Concert Series – Editors Choice
One of our favorites is just east of the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs. The Hillside Gardens and Event Center hosts live bands and entertainment every Wednesday night 6:00PM – 8:30PM. Your $10 admission also gets you one drink ticket to sip on as you peruse through the beautiful gardens. There are multiple bars, food vendors, and plenty of places to relax on the grass or set up your own chairs. Local bands play in various spots throughout the property so you can find something for everyone. No pets or outside food, but this is an experience you’ll want to return to every week. https://hillsidegardensandevents.com/summer-concerts–other-garden-shenanigans.html
Jazz in the Garden at Grace and St. Stephens Episcopal Church Downtown Colorado Springs
Head Downtown and North on Tejon St to find the smooth sound of jazz. A historic church downtown brings the community together at this outdoor event which is free to the public, but we suggest considering a donation. Look for it every 2 weeks until September 3rd 2021 keeping in mind that it is dependent on weather. However, you can bring food and drinks and enjoy a picnic while listening to live music. There are still some COVID-19 protocols and details you’ll need to know before you go: https://www.gssepiscopal.org/music/musicjazz-concerts/
Weidner Field – A community venue for weddings, events, sports, and entertainment
The brand new soccer stadium in Downtown Colorado Springs hosts more than just the Switchbacks FC soccer team. It’s also a fantastic venue for live concerts and events, under the name Switchbacks Entertainment. Top musicians and bands are scheduled at this state-of-the-art venue including Old Dominion, Lee Brice, Gabby Barrett and Jimmie Allen See the full line up of events, including Premier Lacrosse League and Switchback FC games. https://www.weidnerfield.com/blogs/weidner-field-events
Manitou Springs Free Concert Series
Monday and Thursday nights are hopping at Soda Springs Park in Manitou. Music starts at 7:00PM and a full schedule can be found at https://manitousprings.org/2021-summer-concert-series/.
Probably the coolest place you can be in Colorado Springs, you’ll often find live bands on the weekend nights. The hip setting attracts all kinds of people wanting to see the newest of “places to be” in the Trolley District of Downtown Colorado Springs. The food hall setting is casual and allows for a group to each enjoy their favorite food and drink from the many vendors, then all sit together in a trendy atmosphere. From beer to cocktails, you’ll find whatever you want at the various bars and brewery. Then, relax and enjoy the live music on most weekends. https://coatiuprise.com/events/
Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort
A unique venue in Old Colorado City worth checking out if you’ve never been. They host all kinds of events from running clubs, bike rides, yoga, and live music on Friday nights during the summer. http://bicycleresort.com/calendar/
Boot Barn Hall at Bourbon Brothers: Sunset Patio Sessions
If you live further North Colorado Springs or Monument area, here’s a great option during many Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Casual and free, you can bring your own chairs or blankets and claim a space near the firepits enjoying the mountain views. Music starts at 6:00pm, but come an hour early for happy hour. https://bootbarnhall.com/patio-sessions
First and Main Summer Concert Series
Another shopping center, hoping to grab your attention with some free live music and get you into the shops, restaurants, and entertainment of the town center. Check out https://www.firstandmaintowncenter.com/events for Friday night concerts.
El Paso County Concerts in the Park
All concerts are free and open to the public, 6:00PM – 8:00PM however the location changes. Depending on what style of music you’re interested in hearing, there are various nights featuring local musicians. See https://www.elpasoco.com/el-paso-county-parks-brings-back-concerts-park/ for details and locations.
Summer Concert Neighborhood Events
Some of the larger neighborhoods in town will host live music events, including Banning Lewis Ranch (https://banninglewisranch.com/news-events/) and Gold Hill Mesa (https://www.goldhillmesa.com/community-life/events/) but these are still open to the public and typically a free event.
Permanent Music Venues
Don’t forget to check the indoor music venues as well for major concerts and national headliners:
- The Black Sheep https://www.blacksheeprocks.com/
- Stargazers Theater https://stargazerstheatre.com/
- The Gold Room https://www.goldroomlive.com/
- The Loft Music Venue https://loftmusicvenue.com/
- Motif Jazz Cafe https://www.motifjazzcafe.com/
- ICONS Gay Piano Bar https://www.icons-co.com/
Finally, don’t forget to check the music calendar at your favorite breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars who often host live music.
If you’re on the way to purchasing a home and debating your financial situation, let’s look at some of the costs you should expect once you get under contract. This may help you determine if it’s the right time for you to buy or find other sources to help pay for the upfront costs associated with purchasing a house.
Earnest Money Deposit: Your First Out-of-Pocket Cost
Once you start the process of submitting an offer on a home, there are out-of-pocket expenses that you’ll have to be ready for immediately. The earnest money deposit is typically about 1% of the purchase price in the Colorado real estate market, so on a $400,000 home you should expect needing $4,000 in a bank account with immediate access to the money (check, wire, cashier’s check, etc). Although the contract allows for this deposit to be made after the offer is accepted, it’s typical that the seller will want your funds in an account within a few days of a signed contract (usually held at a title company or real estate office in an escrow account). The good news is, this money is truly a deposit and as long as you meet your deadlines and eventually close, you can apply these funds towards your downpayment or other closing costs. In other words, you’ll potentially get the money back but you’ll need the funds available to deposit at the time of your accepted contract.
Home Inspection: It’s More than Just a One Day Event
Your due diligence and inspection period allows for you to do inspections of any kind on the property as long as you’re not negatively altering or damaging the property. This means not only can you do a typical home inspection (in which you hired a home inspector to do an inspection of systems, mechanicals, exterior and interior condition, etc), you can hire contractors for specific issues and inspections. For instance, you may want to have the sewer line scoped, engineering reports of the structural integrity, or substance testing for things like mold or presence of drug residue. Depending on the home inspection company, they can often do testing for things like radon gas levels but there is usually an additional charge. Currently, rates for a home inspection vary depending on the size, age, and other factors of the house, but expect about $400-$500 and then additional items like radon gas and sewer line scoping will run another $150+ each. So, this “inspection amount” can change dramatically based on your concerns and curiosities as a buyer, but it’s not hard to reach nearly $1,000 just for basic inspections. And keep in mind, these contractors and inspectors are paid when the service is rendered so it is a direct out-of-pocket cost while you’re under contract. Also, there are other things that won’t necessarily cost you money but you should definitely consider researching as part of your home inspection period.
Property Survey or Improvement Location Certificate (ILC)
It’s possible that either the lender or title company may require a land survey or ILC. Typically, these are due at time of service and estimated starting cost would be $800+ for this type of service. Usually if the home is in a neighborhood with lot and block, this won’t be a required item. However, during your contract period, you can certainly choose to do this yourself so you are aware of the property boundaries, especially if you’re considering building a new structure, putting up fencing, or expanding the current home.
Downpayment on Your Loan
When you first start the process of searching for a home, you’ll talk with a lender about getting a loan to help pay for the purchase (unless you’re buying with cash). The lender will help find the best type of loan for your situation and qualifications (VA, FHA, Conventional, Jumbo, USDA, etc) and unless you have VA benefits from the military, your loan will probably have a minimum of 3.5% down (FHA) but probably more like 5% down (or more). Based on the type of loan, intended use of property, and other factors this can be 20-25% down. So, with a purchase price of $400,000 you could be looking at $100,000 as a down payment for the loan, and you’ll still have closing costs in addition to that amount. More money down can also reduce your monthly payments, decrease your interest rate, and waive the need for mortgage insurance. Make sure you talk with an experienced real estate agent and your mortgage lender to make sure you understand the entire package and what your monthly payment will be with principle, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI).
Depending on your offer, a portion or all of your closing costs can be paid for by the seller. However, it’s not as typical in a seller’s market as it directly affects their bottom line. So, assuming your paying your own closing costs this will be a collection of fees at closing in addition to your purchase price and loan downpayment, minus any credits you’re receiving. Closing costs include a variety of processing and document fees, lender escrowing funds for things like homeowners insurance and property taxes, appraisal fees, title company fees, recording and document fees, and any administrative fees charged from the real estate company.
Moving Into Your Home
Keep in mind, these expenses aren’t accounting for the setup of your new home, including things like buying furniture, doing landscaping, basement finishes, interior paint and flooring, or simply maintenance issues that might have come up during your inspection. If you can, start putting money away in a separate bank account as an maintenance fund to pay for large expenses like replacing a roof, driveway, exterior painting, tree removal, flooring updates, etc. Ask your agent first when doing these type of updates to help discover if there are ways to save money and for a list of recommended companies.
Your next adventure could be easier than you think! We are excited to welcome our new neighbors just a few doors up from our office. RockE Mountain Bike just opened in the former Mt Chalet space at 226 North Tejon Street in Downtown Colorado Springs. The provide electric bike rentals, sales and service.
Electric bikes provide more assistance so you can ride longer and easier, especially giving you a break on those steep hills!
Even if you are staying at a hotel, VRBO, or visiting relatives in the Colorado Springs area, Rocke Mountain Bike will deliver bikes to your location! You can take your adventure anywhere, like one of our famous open space areas throughout the city like Garden of the Gods or Palmer Park Open Space. Starting May 31st, e-bikes will be allowed on trails managed by Colorado Springs as part of a year-long pilot program.
We encourage you to enjoy a urban ride in downtown Colorado Springs and help support small businesses! Check out the unique coffee shops, art on the streets, independent stores, and amazing restaurants and bars.
Reservations can be made online at https://www.rockemountainbike.com/
Sometimes it’s about the the things you’re NOT doing that make a difference. Maybe it has been a while since you painted the trim, cleaned the pool, or serviced your furnace? It’s sometimes hard to keep up with home repairs and maintenance, but it’s important to not let items get worse or neglected altogether. Things that seem like a normal irritation to you may be a deterrent to a homebuyer. In fact, it may even affect the buyer’s loan qualification for things like cracked windows, chipped and peeling paint, or other health and safety items that you’ve written off as “honey do’s” over the years.
Smoking Inside Your Home
Whether you smoke cigarettes or perhaps your taking advantage of the recent Colorado rights to smoke pot, these and illegal drugs may turn off potential buyers. Cigarette smoke can stain and seep into surfaces creating an odor that’s tough to remove. Even smoking pot can cause some buyer’s heartburn if they smell or get an official test through an industrial hygienist.
Pet Smells and Damage
We all love our furry friends – they’re part of the family! But could you pets be jeopardizing the sale of your home? Cat urine in particular is very noticeable to buyers, as well as dog odors and visible stains. Even if they are potty trained, the damage caused by pets on both the inside and outside of your home might detract potential buyers.
Over-The-Top Decor and Colors
Did you paint your kitchen cabinets bright orange? Great! You loved it while you lived there, but chances are it’s not what your future buyer is looking for in a kitchen remodel. It’s important to make your home your own and pick the colors, designs, and amenities that you want. However, once it’s time to sell, consider painting or changing some of these very unique features. Both inside and out, have your experienced real estate agent suggest potential updates that could save your home from being eliminated from a buyers search.
DIY Homeowner Repairs and Finishes
The good news is upgrading electrical, adding a room, and finishing off a basement actually add value! However, if you are mister “I’ll Take Care of It Myself To Save Money” and you’re not pulling permits through regional building department, this upgrade might backfire when the buyer’s inspector pulls permit records. Also, these visible self-repairs can make buyers question how many other things you’ve “fixed” that they can’t see or don’t yet know about.
It Didn’t Bother Me…..
Burnt out light bulbs, dust on fan blades, missing light switch plates, dirty windows, noticeable odors, and simple repairs can make a major difference when buyers are seeing your home for the first time. Don’t neglect the easy final steps in putting your home on the market. Have your real estate agent walk through with you and direct you of important items. Sometimes, you just need a second set of eyes to notice things you’ve overlooked.
We’ve all done it: you start a project that takes more time or money than expected and it gets put on the back burner for a while. Partially-laid flooring or baseboards that never got reattached, unfinished landscaped features, or maybe something more major like an unfinished bedroom addition. Ignoring these issues might be easy for you, but they are some of the first things buyers notice when your home is showing.
Colorado Springs Streets You Might or Might Not Want to Live On
Berkshire Ln: Yep, just reminding you of us
Backwoods Ct: When you need to getaway from others
Bronco Dr: Football is life. You might want to paint your house blue and orange
Carousel Ln: Easy to get on, but hard to get off
Corona St: Just be careful and wash your hands frequently
Cutgrass Ln: A daily reminder of your household chores
Deliverance Dr: No connection to the bad 70’s movie
Fruited Plains Ct: You’ll never be able to get these song lyrics out of your head
Hide N Seek Ln: Can be hard to find
Los Banos: My spanish might be bad, but doesn’t that translate to “The Bathrooms”?
Mars Dr: Just so you can say, “I live on Mars”
Purgatory Dr: It doesn’t have to be the last place you live
Stoner Ct: Perfect for some Coloradans
Trump Ave: Starting to be less relevant
What’s your favorite or unique street name in Colorado Springs? Leave your comments on this post on our Facebook page!