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Checking for Water Leaks

by The Colorado Springs Group™

An unexpected, larger-than-normal water bill could lead a person to think that they might have a leak. Before incurring the cost of a plumber, it is fairly easy to run your own test.

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Locate your water meter. They’re usually in the front of the house, near the street. In some cases, you might need a meter key to open it; they can be purchased at Lowe’s, Home Depot or other hardware stores.

Step One - Write down the numbers on the meters to get a current reading. Don’t use any water for thirty minutes. If the meter shows water usage during the test period, proceed to step two.

Step Two - Shut off the valves to all of the toilets. If you have a pool with an automatic filler, it has a similar device. Repeat the test again for the same thirty minute period. If the numbers haven’t changed this time, it indicates that the toilets probably need servicing.

If the numbers have changed during step two, it is an indication there may be a leak and it will need to be tracked down. This could be the time to call a plumber or plumbing leak specialist. Your water department may have a consumer help line that can offer suggestions also.

More Home for a Lower Cost of Housing

by The Colorado Springs Group™

What if you could live in a larger and possibly newer home for less than you are currently? Would you consider moving? Do you want to hear more?

Interest rates, while they’re expected to go up, actually took a small dip and are still hovering at the 4% or below mark for a 30 year mortgage and almost one percent less for a 15 year term.

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Let’s assume that you have a $225,000 mortgage currently at 6% which has a principal and interest payment of $1,348.99. With a 4% rate, you could have a $282,561 mortgage with the same payment. A $57,000 more expensive home could help you get what you need most such as more square footage or a different location or a newer home.

 

If you’re going to be making that payment for years to come, why not allow lower interest rates to help you get the features you want without having to necessarily pay a higher payment. Taking that logic a little bit further, let’s see how utilities can make a difference too.

 

A newer home could easily have lower monthly utility costs than your current home due to being more energy efficient. Construction materials, windows, doors, insulation, modern HVAC systems and energy efficient appliances all contribute to lower utility costs. A new home with these advantages could easily save a homeowner up to 25-50% on utilities for the same size home.

 

The concept is simple: get the most home you can for the amount you spend on the payment and utilities. It will take some investigation and your real estate professional can help.

Get Ready For College

by The Colorado Springs Group™
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One of the important things as a parent is to plan for their children’s education. Let’s look at two different approaches: a savings account or investing in rental real estate.

Assuming your child is five years old and you start putting $250 a month in a savings account earning 2%, in 13 years you’d have $44,497.41 to pay for their college. Anticipating that isn’t going to be enough, you’d have to save $500 a month to end up with $88,995.

 

Another way would be to make a lump sum contribution of $20,000 today in a mutual fund earning 5% that would be worth $37,713 in 13 years. You’d have to make a $47,196 initial contribution to end up with the same $88,995.

 

An alternative to savings would be to invest in a $100,000 home in a good area. Assuming a three percent appreciation and rent of $1,000 a month, an initial investment of $23,500 could have a future wealth position of $83,838 at the end of 13 years.

 

Obviously, this is just an example of why rental homes are the IDEAL investment providing Income, Depreciation, Equity build-up, Appreciation and Leverage. While rentals certainly have more risk and management than a savings account, they do provide an opportunity for a higher rate of return.

If you’re concerned about paying for college tuition in the future, it is certainly worth investigating the possibility of investing in rental homes today.

2015 July Sales Activity

by The Colorado Springs Group™

Broken down by area to give a better prospective on the results for July. Single Family & Patio Homes

Black Forest: 30 Sales for a total dollar volume of $13,024,800

Briargate: 101 Sales for a total dollar volume of $33,942,906

Central: 83 Sales for a total dollar volume of $17,919,463

East: 82 Sales for a total dollar volume of $17,058,374

Fountain Valley: 167 Sales for a total dollar volume of $35,707,156

Falcon - Peyton: 75 Sales for a total dollar volume of $21,266,907

Marksheffel: 31 Sales for a total dollar volume of $8,120,571

Northeast: 103 Sales for a total dollar volume of $25,509,366

Northwest: 48 Sales for a total dollar volume of $17,605,496

Northgate: 57 Sales for a total dollar volume of $23,980,142

Old Colorado City: 24 Sales for a total dollar volume of $5,969,233

Powers: 173 Sales for a total dollar volume of $40,585,170

Southeast: 59 Sales for a total dollar volume of $9,578,718

Southwest: 54 Sales for a total dollar volume of $19,335,350

Tri-Lakes: 77 Sales for a total dollar volume of $34,394,210

West: 26 Sales for a total dollar volume of $9,665,700

"Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp. ("RSC"), for the period 7/1/2015 through 7/31/2015.  RSC does not guarantee or is in any way responsible for its accuracy.  Data maintained by RSC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market."

Wait A Year... It Won't Matter?

by The Colorado Springs Group™

There is a frequently quoted expression “more money has been lost from indecision than was ever lost from making a bad decision.” Regardless of the extent of its accuracy, most people can recall when procrastination has cost them money.

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There are markets so short of inventory that buyers have become frustrated after losing bids for several homes and have decided to wait until more homes come on the market. In the meantime, the shortage of homes is driving the prices up more by the month.

There are buyers who can’t find what they want for the price they want to pay and think that waiting will somehow change things. In some cases, what they want just keeps moving farther and farther away from them.

The other dynamic in play is, of course, the mortgage rates. While they’ve remained low for several years, most experts agree that they’re going to rise; it’s just a matter of when. If you look at what positive increases in both of these would do, it becomes apparent that waiting will matter.

A $250,000 home purchased today on a FHA loan at 4% for 30 years will have a principal and interest payment of $1,151.76. If a buyer were to wait a year and the price increased 5% and the rate went up by 1%, the payment would increase by over $200 a month. In a seven year period, the increased payment alone would cost the buyer over $17,000.

Use the Cost of Waiting to Buy calculator to see how much it will matter based on the home you want to buy and what you think the prices and rates will do in the next year. 

Who Is Your Champion?

by The Colorado Springs Group™


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The Super Bowl and World Series determine the football and baseball champions. Since there can only be one champion, the other team loses the competition. In feudal times, a knight might champion for the king or a patriotic, romantic or religious cause.

 

Fierce competition can occur when buying or selling a home because each party wants to get the “best deal” possible. When the buyer and seller are not be equally matched, and they rarely are, it is important to have a champion on your side to fight for your cause.

The price of the home, the type of financing and concessions, personal property, closing dates and possession are just a few of the many things that can be negotiated in a contract. Since the seller wants to get the most for their house and the buyer wants to pay the least, their causes are diametrically opposed.

Even after the contract is signed, removing the contingencies can cause considerable negotiations. The inspections or the appraisal could be the source of reevaluating the terms and provisions of the contract.

Negotiating the sale or purchase of a home is definitely a competition and you need a champion on your side.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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The Colorado Springs Group™
6665 Wild Indigo Drive
Colorado Springs CO 80923
(719) 799-3686

Kevin & Jessica
The Colorado Springs Group
6665 Wild Indigo Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
(719) 799-3686