Residents have already begun the rebuilding process in many parts of Mountain Shadows.  The extreme heat from this fire left little rubble, but the damage to foundations, gas lines and the lot itself have left many unsure of  how to undertake the process in relation to current utility lines/taps to the street.  Colorado Springs Together provided the information below to address such concerns.  

Requirements for Utility Capping and
Line Inspection for Water Services

How do I know my water and wastewater lines are good?

We are receiving numerous questions concerning utility lines going to homes that have been lost to the fire. These questions range from what to do with utilities when removing foundations to how homeowners will know whether the utility lines are good before they rebuild. Rich Walker from Colorado Springs Utilities put together the following information for the Mountain Shadows residents. The following covers water supply and wastewater services.

Removing a foundation. This requires obtaining a wrecking permit. In order to receive a wrecking permit, all four utilities have to be disconnected. Gas and Electric are being done by Colorado Springs Utilities, but the Water and Wastewater are the responsibility of the homeowner using a licensed contractor.

1. Rebuilding a home on foundation undamaged by the fire: Colorado Springs Utilities is requiring a CCTV video on all wastewater services for all homes being rebuilt (both removed foundations and reused foundations). The video needs to be made at the time of the wastewater lines are disconnected. A copy of the video will be given to Colorado Springs Utilities Engineering Support Specialist, Rich Walker, on DVD and be reviewed by Dan Tippie at Colorado Springs Utilities. This will ensure that there is a clean and undamaged wastewater service prior to a rebuilding of the home on the existing foundation.

2. Rebuilding a home on a new foundation: Both the water and wastewater services can be capped anywhere between the property curb-stop line and a minimum of 10 feet outside the foundation. This will vary depending on the location of the new foundation and the construction requirements. However, if the new water service is going to use High Density Polyethylene Pipe it will have to be reinstalled from the property curb-stop. If the line will be reinstalled in Copper, the line can be tied in where the water service was capped. Both services need to be marked with a 2×4 piece of lumber at the point where they are capped. Once Rich Walker Inspects the disconnect, he will call the Contract Administrator at Colorado Springs Utilities to release the wrecking permit through the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

3. Damaged home needs to be torn down but foundation re-used: If the upper structure of the home is to be wrecked, but the foundation is to be reused, capping of the utilities is not required but the CCTV video of the wastewater line will still need to be done to ensure it is clean and undamaged. After the utilities are disconnected and the wastewater line has been videoed, the rebuild will follow the process of a new home.

4. Lot to be returned to its natural state: All utility services would be disconnected and capped back at the property line / curb stop. The new lines will be run from the curb at the time of new construction at some time in the future. No video of the wastewater line would be required because it will not be reused.


Colorado Springs Together is an independent 501(c)(3) Non-Profit
Colorado Springs Together is a community-driven volunteer effort, and is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The team members are distinguished citizens and business professionals in the community facilitating and coordinating a quick and effective rebuilding process for the neighborhoods devastated on June 26th by the fire. The donations received will go towards the activities required to help restore the lives and the neighborhoods affected by the fire at the same time maintaining a strong sense of community during the rebuilding process.

Please visit:
www.ColoradoSpringsTogether.org
www.facebook.com/ColoradoSpringsTogether
www.twitter.com/COS_Together

For those of you wondering how it got to August, I’m among you – So much has happened, especially in local real estate, that it will take a few posts to catch up.

I’ve avoided writing because of the one thing on my mind….  My neighborhood –  Mountain Shadows.  Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed 346 homes in Mountain Shadows on June 26th.  I’m still living in a hotel as I write….  19% of my neighborhood burned to the ground. And I was lucky, among the first evacuated the day the wildfire began, June 23rd.  I had hours to pack, and even  managed to talk my way back into the neighborhood past the police blockage a few days later to gather more things and let me son pick out some more toys. I felt annoyed and foolish packing my car,  thinking “I’ll just have to unload all of this in a few days when it rains.”  I had no fear it would ever reach my home, let alone my neighborhood.  What little respect I had for mother nature that day.

Footage of the fire from the South http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2jfO6G6P_c

Keeping up with the fire was easy, even away from home.  There’s a “scanner app” for the ipad, and dozens of friends and fellow residents sat listening to the scanners as the fire raged, hearing the communication between firemen and police, even the street addresses on fire in real-time as homes burned.   I soon began received calls and texts from friends listening to that app on June 26th.  That afternoon  65 mph winds barreled down the mountain and pushed the fire down the hill into our community.    It damaged hundreds of others with fire, smoke, ash and water.  And the texts were horrifying – “Catherine, your home’s gone!”  ” Turn on the news, your street is on fire!”   “Your home burned!”

Online I scrambled, seeking up to date  text transcripts of the scanner reports, and confirmed the alarming texts and calls were true.  Police and fire scanners report  my home’s exact location and surrounding homes engulfed in flames. My home…. burning to the ground.

My first thought was, “How do I explain this to my son? I promised him it would be okay.”

Each day since the fire began, I confidently swore to that precious three-year old at our home would be fine, that the fire wouldn’t get too close, as he would ask again and again confused by the billowing smoke ever-present in the sky.  A statement I feared now I would forever regret making, a promise I should never have made.

My other thought  “Where will we go now that our home is gone? What area will we move to? I don’t want to live anywhere but Mountain Shadows.  That’s our home!”

Living in Colorado Springs on and off for over 30 years, and selling real estate for the last 6, I know we have many wonderful communities that people rave about, and with good reason. Yet for me, none have felt like home the way Mountain Shadows has felt.  While I could rather easily imagine living another house, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but Mountain Shadows.

When aerial photos appeared online of the neighborhood post-fire before the police and fire officially reporting what structures were lost, my father and brother both called me. I’d kept the news off so that my son wouldn’t get upset by the constant bombardment of images of homes burning, and I had no idea what was going on.

My father confirmed all I’d heard from friends and the police scanner reports about my home.

“I can’t tell if it’s yours, or the house next to you, but one of them is definitely gone…I think it’s yours.  I’m so sorry,” my father said cautiously.

June 26, 2012 Fire defied odds and raced downhill into our neighborhood of Mountain Shadows. I’d left a few days prior due to mandatory evacuation for my street, but just a few blocks away many of my neighbors had been on “pre-evacuation” status, and had not left their homes.

 

The scene was deceptive. Many still had lush lawns, even directly next to decimated structures….Colorado has no black dirt. What you see on my front step is ash…

Half a block up the street, over 140 homes were completely gone….nothing left but ash and utility boxes

When we were finally allowed home, only to view the area and for those of us with structures still standing, clean out our now spoiled contents in the refrigerator, the devastation was rampant, and random. Across the street from me, two homes were completely gone.

I turned on my computer and furiously began to search.  I found the photos but they were too small in resolution to discern if my home was there, or another pile of ash like so many of my neighbors.  
Courtesy of the Denver Post, I was given a high resolution  copy of the neighborhood map, and finally could see what my father was talking about. 
And I could see that he was wrong.  Not only was my home still there.  Later I’ve dealt with immense guilt it was there, then anger as people told me how “lucky I was” while I sit in a hotel arguing with insurance about the safety of my home for my three year old, just wanting to get back to normal.  And yet, I am grateful.  I am lucky.  
All of my immediate neighbors were miraculously present.  But just two doors over, they were not so lucky.  The fire raged that night across our neighborhood, with reckless and indiscriminate fury. It skipped some homes and took others without hesitation, leaving the view from above  spotted with strange marks of white and black piles,of ash where homes once stood.  Some of the losses happened in large heaps with house after house after house taking rows of streets all at once, and others were just a single home gone, randomly, here and there.  A charred grey spot on the photo among the deceptively green yards and cement driveways appearing completely untouched. Half a block away from my home, the fire claimed 140 homes, street after street, nothing remained –  Majestic, Hot Springs and others – they were completely gone.  Nothing can prepare you for when you see it in person, not even the photos.  Walking down those streets, the homes appeared to have imploded from within.   Were it not for the pile of ash, and the occasional burnt tree or chimney wall here and there, I would have thought myself in a bad science fiction movie where homes had simply ….vanished.  But they hadn’t vanished.  
They’d burned to the ground.    
Time elapsed video by Steve Moraco – about 5 1/2 minutes in  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBA7eHY022k   http://facebook.com/SMPhot 
A few days after the major firestorm, while our hillsides still burned in the background,
a brief reprieve of rain was followed by one of the most spectacular double rainbows I’d ever seen….
The streets that led fire fighters home each day to base camp soon lined with
grateful residents in a celebration of the heroic efforts from these women and men.

And life, altered forever still continues, just in a different way now that most of us are still figuring out.

When I returned home for my day of cleaning and inspection as allowed by the city in hopes of containing the spoiled foods in our refrigerators from becoming a separate health issue, I noticed that I was the only shake shingle roof among those standing in my immediate area without any burn damage. I noticed ripples in my interior paint that weren’t there before.  Water damage to protect that shake shingle roof.
The next closest shake shingle roof homes either were visibly damaged, or were completely destroyed.  The fire left very few homes wounded, preferring to annihilate all it touched.  A few fireplaces remained, or perhaps a bit of brick here and there, but nothing else.  No walls, no partial structures.  Just charred remains of what was once a home… It would take weeks to learn the full story, but I had simply been randomly lucky, and trucks had been repeatedly assigned to camp out at my intersection, directly in front of my home…protecting my matchstick roof with gallons of water, as well as my neighbors from the nearby homes engulfed in flames,  beyond saving.  While I sustained ash and water damage, and lost trees and other plants, my house stood, almost eerily normal looking from the outside among the complete wreckage surrounding us. 

Want to Get into the Powers Area for Under $125,000?  

Just Hit the Market:  5572 Anna Lee Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80923

3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Home Offered at $125,000 Ideal Investor Special or 203k Buyer Wanting a Home that Feels Brand New For a Fraction of the Cost

 This home is just a few doors down from a neighborhood park, offers coveted southern exposure for a light and bright interior all year round. Pipes froze and the water damage is estimated at $24,000.  Think you can’t handle a 203k loan?  Think again – there are professionals to help you every step of the way.  What’s a 203k? You can include the repair cost into your loan and have it all completed asap by professional contractors. And still pay less than market value for the total cost, and move in to a home that feels brand new!

This is a short sale with GMAC – Negotiator is assigned and they are ready to play.

Currently listed at $125,000 – Make an Offer!

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 Peak Views from the DeckImageContact Catherine for more information at 719.445.9555 or CatherineT@remax.net

For 203 k information (loans for homeowners wanting to improve or repair a home as part of their purchase loan) contact Jennifer Johanns Painter at iMortgage below:

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And for agents, you can check out Rick Geha – he understands it’s not only about relationships, and it’s not only the numbers.  It’s an alchemic combination of both

www.rickgehatv.com

Membership is free!

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Click to Search Colorado Springs MLS Here!

For More Information About Any Home For Sale in the Colorado Springs Area

Call Catherine at 719.445.9555 or Email at CatherineT@remax.net

Mortgage rates fall to record lows – Dec. 15, 2011.

 @CNNMoney December 15, 2011: 1:44 PM ET

mortgage rates
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Mortgage rates sunk to record lows again this week.

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94%, matching the all-time low hit in early October, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate loans hit a new record low of 3.21%, surpassing the record set on October 6.

“We’ve been hanging around record lows for a few months now and we finally hit another one,” said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a provider of mortgage data.Five-year adjustable rate mortgages also plumbed new depths, hitting 2.86% for the week.

Low-interest mortgages will be available at least through mid-2012, according to Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Frank Nothaft.

Where homes are affordable

The low rates can translate into big savings for home buyers. Five years ago, a home buyer would have been lucky to land a 5% rate on a 15-year loan. On a $200,000 mortgage, that would have meant the borrower would have paid $1,582 a month. Should a borrower land a 3.2% rate on a $200,000 loan now, the monthly mortgage payment would come to $1,400 — a savings of $182 a month.

HOW FANNIE MAE SPRUCES UP FORECLOSURES

Mortgage rates tend to closely track Treasury bond yields, which have also been very low lately. For the past three months, 10-year Treasury notes have often fallen below the 2% mark as bond investors steer clear ofEurope and its debt woes and buy U.S. Treasuries instead.

Parents helping kids buy homes

“There’s been a flight to quality out of Eurobonds and into Treasuries,” said Gumbinger. On Thursday, the 10-year Treasury stood at 1.92%.

The rock-bottom interest rates, combined with the lowest housing prices in years, have made home buying extremely affordable right now. Although most borrowers are looking to refinance existing loans rather than buy.

Last week, mortgage applications climbed 4.1%, driven by a surge of home buyers trying to refinance to record-low rates. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest Market Composite Index, close to 80% of loan applications were to refinance existing loans.  To top of page

Click HERE To Search All Available Homes For Sale In Colorado Springs MLS

For More Information Contact Catherine Taryle at 719-445-9555

Hurry! Hurry! We have to buy before it's too late! What are we buying again?

Yep…We’re low people, stock up!   Remember Black Friday?  I hope so, we aren’t even 7 days out yet…

Okay, so it’s not the kind of inventory shortage that incites taser-worthy riots at Walmart just yet.  But the Colorado Springs real estate market IS running lower in total number of available homes for sale…much lower than we’ve seen in quite some time. If you’ve had even a fleeting thought of selling your home randomly streak through your mind, hold on to it next time around.  Your odds of selling are better than usual this holiday season.

Pesky little house keeps showing up above my head...what does it mean?



Inventory for single family/patio homes in the Pikes Peak Multiple Listing Service is down by over 12% from October of last year.  For single family/patio homes, that means there are only 3548 homes for sale in the Pikes Peak MLS.  Last year at this time there were over 1000 more homes (4,704) on the market.

Yet people want to wait until the Spring to list their home for sale.  You know, springtime,  when everyone else  decides to put their house on the market.   The main reason most people want to wait, aside from the hassle of showing during the holidays, is that they believe no one is buying during that time.  To dispel a common myth, typically there is not an influx of buyers that simply MUST see your home on Christmas day…that leaves the remaining issue –  that no one is buying, so who cares if inventory supply is low.

 Funny thing is, sales are up 18% compared to October of 2010. 

And do I even need to mention how low interest rates have been?  

How much interest rates impact your purchase power



Do you know that while you are sitting there claiming the colder weather as a good reason to wait,  There’s a perk to this cold weather.   Any seasoned Colorado Springs Realtor can tell you that cold weather helps weed out the “Looky Loos”.  Imagine Randy Quaid wandering through your home on a warm summer day wearing white shorts and flip flops, eating those cookies you baked with no intention of ever buying your home . (no offense Randy, I loved you in Independence Day)

Randy Quaid House Shopping

Looky Loo: People who love to have someone they barely know but eager to please them (aka a Realtor) pay for their lunch and drive them around pretending to show them houses while both the realtor and the “buyer” are really just getting decorating ideas and avoiding going home to watch reruns of NCIS.    The Looky Loo has no intention of buying but they will make you wait in your own driveway while they hang out in your house with their Realtor discussing your paint colors.  This creature has low cold tolerance and winter sightings are rare

Bah Humbug you say?  First of all, who says bah humbug in natural conversation?  Come on, name one person!   Okay,  now that you are being realistic, what do you want your life to look like come Christmas or New Years?  Still stuck in your house that you’ve outgrown or grown tired of, or shopping for a new house because your old one just went under contract with a buyer…

BUYER:  You know, serious buyers: qualified buyers actually looking at your house because they want or need to buy, and soon.  Something you could be too, if you got your house on the market.

Tonight in a dark room filled only with the glow of a computer screen and perhaps a few twinkling lights from the Christmas Tree, there will be someone online, looking in your very neighborhood for a home to buy.   They scour the websites for new listings, searching for THE ONE.  They know that the perfect house is out there somewhere.   And it is. It’s probably yours.   Too bad you decided to wait until Spring to put your house on the market, when that buyer has already purchased the house down the street from you.

 Need proof this isn’t the eggnog talking?  Just for you data types…..

LISTING AND SALES SUMMARY
October 2011

Existing Homes

MONTHLY SUMMARY

 

    Sept 2011

  Oct 2011

% +/-

Oct 2010

% +/-

    

SINGLE FAMILY/PATIO HOMES:
New Listings 957 872 (8.9) 994 (12.3)
Sales 613 691  12.7 584 18.3
Ave. Sales Price $212,843 $215,928  1.4

$233,501

 (7.5)
Median Sales Price $175,900 $180,000  2.3

$197,000

 (8.6)
Total Active 3,784 3,548 (6.2) 4,704 (24.6)

RSC authorizes RSC REALTOR® Participants and Sub-Participants to reproduce and display a single copy of this Listing and Sales Summary on his/her own real estate website and/or blog.  Any such display must include the following notice with the correct range of dates:

©Copyright 2010 Pikes Peak REALTOR® Services Corp.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.  Based on information from the Pikes Peak REALTOR® Services Corp. (“RSC”) for the period October 2010 through October 2011.  RSC information may not reflect all real estate activity in the market and is provided as is without  warranty or guaranty.


For more information on how to prepare your home to sell for the most money possible in today’s market (and in the quickest time) contact Catherine Taryle @ 719.445.9555 or email Catherine.Taryle@wesellmore.net
To take a peak at what you could be buying if you weren’t too cold to put your house on the market and buy
something new click here ——> Search the Colorado Springs MLS

So ….You’ve thought it over.  You want to prepare for the future, even if you aren’t quite sure you’ll be ready or able to buy any time soon.  What next?

How bad WAS it for you…the short sale, foreclosure, or even missed payment?  How bad was it for your credit?  

Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BUYING AGAIN?  WHEN CAN I DO IT??   

The question might be screaming inside your mind, while you have yet to utter the words aloud to anyone else.  Heck, the moving boxes might still be in the corner yet to be fully unpacked.  Yet you know in your heart, there it is…the undying urge to have your OWN home!  If you are just starting the short sale process, or even recovering from foreclosure, trying to imagine buying a home again might seem like the last thing on your mind.   But even if you choose to be a life-long renter, won’t it be nice when this mess starts to calm down and people that are recovering or will recover in the future are able to buy again – if they so choose?

While 2012 is expected to be the largest foreclosure (or at least notice of foreclosures issued)  year yet, I hope that most of those facing foreclosure will consider the alternatives to find the best option for them (including a Deed in Lieu, Modification, Refinance, Short Sale etc.)  Colorado is not a deficiency free state, so don’t make the mistake of following someone from Arizona and doing a “strategic default” here.  Foreclosure alone will not get you off the hook for your outstanding mortgage debt.

YES!  YES!  I Want To BUY Again!  

The Desire For Home Ownership Starts Early....

Buying After a Short Sale: What your Colorado Springs Realtor May NOT Tell You…Because They Just Don’t Know!

So when CAN you buy again?  I’ve watched this question (and it’s answer) evolve quite a bit over the last few years, particularly the rumored answers.    Here’s a little help for a buyer’s guide after completing a short sale.  Rules vary with VA loans, and I’ve heard of exceptions…but the safe bet for a blanket answer is typically 2-3 years if you were late on any payments.  Now that might seem like a long time, but I’d bet most of you didn’t receive your notice of intent or  foreclosure sale notice for months, perhaps even years after not paying the mortgage.  Time goes on whether you are excited about it or not.  Might as well plan, because the future is on it’s way.

Here are the “standard” wait periods that Lenders Work From For Loans After a Short Sale: Can’t See the Full Chart? Click HERE courtesy of the mortgageexperts.blogspot.com

And Just a Few Days Ago This Question was Buzzing Around the Country Again:

3 options for buying home after short sale

REThink Real Estate

By Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Inman News™

Q: I experienced a hardship two years ago and had to sell my house via short sale. I am now ready to purchase a home but heard I would have to wait another year because of FHA rules. I have been paying my rent on time and my credit is in the 700s. What programs or other options do I have in terms of obtaining a loan? I want to purchase a house for $70,000. –T. Jordan

A: I’m glad to hear that your hardship has passed, and that you’ve been able to get your finances back in shape. Whoever you’ve spoken to is correct: There is a three-year waiting period after a short sale before you can qualify for an FHA loan on a new home. As I see it, though, you have three clear options:

1. Wait a year. The fact is, time flies — and you’re only 12 months away from the expiration of the FHA waiting period. Frankly, there are so many homes on the market right now, including an enormous percentage of distressed properties with condition problems and such, that between getting their own financial ducks in a row and house hunting, it is taking many homebuyers more than a year from the time they get started to get into contract, even without any waiting period.

Unless you have an uber-urgent reason to move or are very flush with cash (see No. 2, below), my advice is to wait the year. In the meantime, pay your bills on time — every time — and work with your mortgage and real estate brokers to make sure all your other financial ducks are in a row so there are no surprises when your waiting period is up.

2. Get a non-FHA loan. FHA is popular — especially among those who only have the cash to make the FHA minimum 3.5 percent down payment — but it’s not the only game in town. The vast majority of conventional (non-FHA) loans available from mainstream lenders are insured by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Both these agencies impose a shorter, two-year, post-short-sale waiting period, as long as the borrower is coming in with a 20 percent down payment. If you wait an additional two years, the minimum down payment requirement comes down to 10 percent, but by then you will qualify for the 3.5 percent FHA mortgage.

3. Plead the case of extenuating circumstances. FHA guidelines do make an exception for the three-year, post-short-sale waiting period for former homeowners/wannabe borrowers who can document that they were forced to do the short sale by extenuating circumstances. The most common fact scenarios that fit the bill are a job transfer to another area (not job loss) or a natural disaster that affected the property (e.g., fire, flood, etc.).

Beyond that, whether a “hardship,” to use your terminology, rises to the level of an extenuating circumstance for purposes of qualifying for an FHA loan is up to the discretion of the lender, but things like a job loss, the adjustment of a mortgage or the decline of the home’s market value do not count.

If you had, say, an accident or illness that resulted in a temporary disability, it might be worth the effort to plead your case. Speak with your mortgage professional about whether you can make a credible argument in favor of shortening your waiting period.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of “The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook” and “Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions.” 

And How DOES it Impact your Credit Score?   

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thanks to Bill Gassett for this piece about a study from Fair Issac

Short sale vs foreclosure credit scoring impacts

Since I am often getting challenged on the credit scoring impacts by other Realtors and get asked all the time by my clients, I am going to share a very interesting study that was conducted by Fair Issac corporation.

The FICO study took various types of mortgage delinquencies on three credit bureau profiles of consumers that had scores of 680, 720 and 780, respectively. The study focused on consumers whose credit characteristics (e.g., utilization, delinquency history, age of file) were typical of the three score points considered. All of the consumers had an active currently-paid-as-agreed mortgage on file.

Results of this credit scoring study are shown below. The first chart shows the impact on the credit score for each stage of delinquency and the second shows how long it takes the score to fully “recover” after the fact including a short sale or foreclosure.  Credit Scoring Short Sale vs Foreclosure

What you can easily see by this  study is that there is a negligible difference in credit scoring when comparing a foreclosure or short sale. While it seems unfair, those that had a higher credit score to start will see a greater scoring drop. In addition, the higher starting score, the longer it takes for the score to fully recover.

While there is a minimal difference in scoring impact between moderate and severe delinquencies, there may be a significant difference in time required for the score to recover completely.

These statistics are right from the guys that make credit scoring. They are not opinions. This is actual data that was put together and sourced by FICO themselves.

Benefits of a short sale vs foreclosure

So what are the benefits of going through a short sale rather than letting a lender foreclose on your property? The biggest advantage is that you will be able to buy another home in the future a lot quicker than you would with a foreclosure. Generally speaking the turnaround time for getting another loan after completing a short sale is two to three years. In a foreclosure it is typically five to seven years. There are a number of circumstances that can affect the time frame including whether the loan is FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For a complete financing guide see buying a home after short sale or foreclosure.

One of the other big factors you need to consider is your employment status. There are a number of large companies that will not hire a new employee that has a foreclosure on their resume. While this may not seem fair with all the financial turmoil that has taken place over the last five years, employers look at a foreclosure as a black mark on your record. In other words when you short sale a property you are owing up to a financial commitment. In a foreclosure you are walking away and taking no responsibility for your debt.

The last reason why more and more will choose a short sale over a foreclosure is just the sheer embarrassment of going through a foreclosure proceeding. In some states an auction is held right on the front lawn of the property. Who wants to lose their home and then have salt rubbed in the wound by watching a bunch of buyers compete over it. This is an unsettling experience for most.

The goal of almost anyone that goes through a short sale or foreclosure will be to improve their financial stability moving forward. Of course improving the impact a short sale or foreclosure had on their credit scores will typically be one of the first areas that people look at once they are back on their feet. There are certain things you can do to help fix your finances after a short sale or foreclosure that are covered in this helpful article.

Unfortunately, sometimes people just don’t realize they have options and just lose their home to foreclosure. Many have never taken the time to do any research and just assume there are no alternatives. A short sale can be a great alternative for some home owners – best of luck if you are one of them!

For more information Colorado Springs Real Estate, Short Sales or To Search the MLS Without Registering, Click HERE

To Discuss Alternatives to Foreclosure or To Get a Confidential and Current Market Analysis of Your Property

Contact Catherine Taryle at 719.445.9555 or Email: CatherineT@remax.net

Key to a New LifeImage: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So surviving the last few years and selling your home as a short sale didn’t scare you away from home ownership for good?  GOOD.  It shouldn’t…not for most anyway.     Why not?  For most, it makes long term financial sense, and you know that deep down, you aren’t really thinking of investing all of your future earnings into  savings bonds or dumping it into cousin’s new t-shirt company as an “investor.”

Here’s a  Nifty Little Fact: Home ownership was still the strongest investment when compared to the DOW from 1968-2010, when factoring in leverage via a mortgage vs 100% cash (DOW).  Yes, even with the dramatic changes in the market since 2007. Want to Learn More? ——>  (Thanks to Greg Rand and his book CRASHBOOM for that information!)  

And we are unbelievably fortunate in Colorado Springs.  We didn’t experience a true Housing Bubble that many places saw – can you say Las Vegas, Phoenix, Florida…. Image: http://www.thefinancialhelpcenter.com 

Our losses, while painful, have not been nearly as dramatic nor insurmountable in comparison.

Of course, home ownership isn’t just about the “investment”  or the tax breaks.  It’s about freedom, purpose, safety…creativity….did I mention FREEDOM? Having a purpose to work towards, feeling in charge of your own universe once you walk through the door knowing it’s yours, a place to be proud of, to come home too, or to just call home –  a place for you and your family, or for you and your cactus.

Yes, the  overall freedom and sense of safety and satisfaction you can only have when you are controlling your own life and own your own home, that’s the feeling –  instead of abiding by someone else’s “house rules”. You can paint your walls fuschia, install the tackiest ceiling fan you can find, do whatever you want…when it’s yours (covenant restrictions allowing of course).   And many of you are pet owners, or you were.  Some were sadly forced to give up their beloved furry friends in order to find a place to live that was affordable.  The reality is many rentals don’t accept pets…And sacrifices are made to make it through tough times, but they will not last forever – Do you want someone else to tell you how to live and whether or not you can even have a pet, for the rest of your life?   If you hear a voice screaming NO inside your head, then work towards that freedom, and only let the local city/neighborhood laws  & rules restrict you, not the landlords.  

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

And then there’s that pesky little thing called competition out there in the rental world.  Yep.  The rental market is tough…have you been out there lately? YES INVESTORS, that means you should definitely consider buying right now.   And if you’ve survived a short sale, you probably know what I’m talking about.   All of these foreclosures and short sales lead to people needing a place to live that cannot currently buy a home…and with demand increasing, cost is always soon to follow. You’ve seen it –  houses in your own neighborhood, some with no improvements made after tenants moved out, increase by 10 to even (gulp) 20% in rental rate in the last year alone!  Sadly, it is CHEAPER to buy than to rent, particularly if you can get a VA loan with little money down, or do a $100 down HUD purchase….and you can get a nicer home buying, in most cases too.  Landlords don’t have to update that shag green carpet right now with people needing to rent so badly…and so many just don’t!   Thanks to Ugly House photos for this one http://uglyhousephotos.com/wordpress/?p=16485

LANDLORDS however, are a great thing.  They are helping you, and you are helping them. Without investors, without landlords many people would be homeless right now.  Think that you’d really live with friends or family for the long haul?  Are you really willing to go permanently live with your grandparents, or your kids? The welcome runs out for most after a few weeks…they love you, but they don’t want you there forever.  Except your mom, but that will cause issues in your dating life, so give that dream up.    Be grateful for your landlord, but not so grateful that you ignore that nagging voice inside of you saying “I want to own my own home again someday!”   It’s your life.  It can be your home again…someday!  Your home…that means something to most. Don’t be afraid to let it mean something to you again too!

And for a few, renting IS the best option long term.  This is not a one answer fits all world, surely the sub-prime mortgage fall-out has shown us that not everyone should buy a home, especially not if they cannot afford it.   But for the rest….

You may not be ready yet, but you’ve already started thinking about it.  You can admit it.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Especially with the amazing prices and historically low interest rates, it’s hard not to want a piece of the American Dream again.  You see buyers all around you getting some of the most ridiculous deals on homes that you’ve ever seen.  Maybe even on the very  house that you used to own, but sold for a fraction of your total mortgage to escape foreclosure.  Or maybe you didn’t escape, and are still reeling from the loss.    While for most it wasn’t fair or deserved, it can be a bit more of a level playing field…you can buy again, and sooner than you might think.  There are now ways to work on repairing your credit, ways to help you clean up faster than before.  But be aware, it’s going to take some time…so start planning and start saving!  And this time you’re  going to get a fixed rate mortgage (except for the few that other options truly do fit their needs and abilities better)  and you’re going  buy below your maximum price point…right?  With rates and pricess as good as they are, you’d have to work incredibly hard to overpay and put yourself in danger of being upside down again.    Don’t panic.  It’s hard, if not impossible to overpay  for the long term in today’s market, especially with a skilled  Realtor  helping you.

I’m sure we all look forward to seeing the return of more and more buyers  purchasing again after going through a short sale when they re-enter the Colorado Springs housing market in the coming years as a sense of “normalcy” will hopefully return to us, albeit evolved…but aren’t you just a little bit curious as well as how the re-purchase rules might continue to change and evolve, especially as more and more buyers return to the world again recovered, credit healing, savings increasing, with hope in their eyes and a desire  to move forward with a new phase in their lives as homeowners again?    Think they’ll stick by the current lending rules?  

I wonder what our Mayor Steve Bach might suggest, were he in charge of repurchase guidelines for lenders….having 27+ years in commercial real estate…Mayor Steve Bach  Or what Fran Zankowski, CEO of the Colorado Springs Independent, would like to see for re-purchase rules after a short sale.  Or Kevin Knebl.  He’s just so positive and quick witted, travels constantly and is exposed to the nation in a way most cannot fathom,  surely he’d have a great idea, or at least could make it sound entertaining!    http://kevinknebl.com/

But for now….

 

I’m pleased to announce this new article featuring  24 Broadmoor Avenue  In Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Magazine

5 Homes Were Selected by the Magazine From Luxury Listings Throughout the Entire State

This Article Highlights what You can Get for $1,000,000 in Colorado Today –

Excerpt Below ~

Million Dollar Babies

How much house can you get in Colorado for $1 million?

By Patrick Soran
November/December 2011
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How much house can you get in Colorado for $1 million? Here’s a glimpse of what that price tag will buy from Boulder to Edwards.

24 Broadmoor Avenue, Colorado Springs
$1,100,000
5,977 square feet
Catherine Taryle, ReMax Properties, Inc., springsluxe.com

This historic 1910 home (pictured above) resides along the tree-lined avenue that proceeds to the entrance of the swanky Broadmoor Hotel. “This house offers the best of both worlds,” says realtor Catherine Taryle. “It’s been updated, but retains all its charm.” Updated indeed; it has everything you’d expect at this price point, including granite countertops, multiple fireplaces, large bathrooms, custom built-ins, plus the charm of arched doorways, a bookcase-lined den and paved-path landscaping.

To read the full article click here  

What is your property currently worth in today’s market?  

Contact Catherine at 719.445.9555 or email Cat@CatherineT.com for a confidential market analysis.

I’m pleased to announce that after 10 days on market the exquisite estate located at 24 Broadmoor Avenue is now under contract. 

UNDER CONTRACT

Despite complaints by many real estate agents of a sluggish market, one fact remains clear.  When a truly extraordinary home becomes available, is priced appropriately and is well presented – demand for that property still exists.  24 Broadmoor Avenue, while under contract, is still currently available for viewing by qualified prospective buyers.  However, any offers received will be held in a back-up position only.   To arrange a private viewing of this home please contact Catherine Taryle at 719.445.9555 

 
 
I’m also pleased to announce that 3835 Gingham Way has gone under contract after 14 days on market.   This 5 bedroom, 4 bath home is located just a few doors down from Cottonwood Park in NE Colorado Springs, and back-up contracts are being accepted. 
3835 Gingham Way
2465 Green Valley Heights

Also under contract is 2465 Green Valley Heights, in the exclusive enclave of the Villas of Mountain Shadows.  Only a few opportunities remain to purchase in this outstanding community.  This home is available for viewing until it closes so that prospective buyers of the remaining homes in the Villas at Mountain Shadows can preview the architectural design and finish quality that these properties possess.   This is one of the few true free standing patio home communities in Colorado Springs, and these homes were built by award winning builder Sterling Homes.   These patio homes offer 10+ ceilings on the main level, 9+ on the lower, and slab granite countertops, paneled doors, re-finished hardwood flooring, new carpet and updated fixtures and hardware.  Each home has an expansive covered veranda and lawn maintenance, snow & trash removal are included, as well as the entire structure insurance.  For more information or to view this home or learn more about the final upcoming opportunities in this community, please contact Catherine at 719.445.9555

 
 
 
 
 
24 Broadmoor Avenue

I’m Pleased to Announce My Newest Listing ~ 24 Broadmoor Avenue Offered for $1,100,000 ~ 4 Bedrooms, 5 Baths, 5,977 S.F.

 A Circular Drive Framed by Towering Trees Will Lead You to the Dramatic Portico * Once Inside You are Enveloped in Old World Elegance with Modern Conveniences* Updated Gourmet Kitchen with Slab Granite, Custom Cabinetry, 6 Burner Viking Gas Range, Butler’s Pantry, Wine Fridge, Walk-Out to Outdoor Entertaining Area with Fireplace, Grill, Koi Pond, Waterfall & Ample Yard Covered in Lush Grass * Master Suite with Expansive Private Deck, His & Hers Closets & Fireplace * Laundry Conveniently Located Upstairs * Hearth Room * Library * Separate Study Also Serves as a Well Lit Studio or Sunroom * Plantation Shutters Throughout * Oven & Convection Oven/Microwave* 5 Gas Fireplaces Inside * Additional  Fireplace Outside * Extensive Hardwood Flooring * Art Niches * Home has Been Updated in Last 15 Years Including Electrical, Plumbing & Heating  * 2 Hot Water Heaters * Ample Yard & Serene & Quiet Setting in the Heart of the Broadmoor, 1/2 Block from the Colorado Springs School and Just a Few Blocks from the Renowned Broadmoor Hotel, Golf Club & Spa *

Living Room & Formal Dining Room

 

Idyllic Yard with Koi Pond, Waterfall, Outdoor Entertainment Plaza & Lush Lawn

 
Kitchen Offers Viking 6 Burner Range, Slab Granite Surface Countertops, Fireplace, Breakfast Nook & Butler’s Pantry
 
 

For Inquiries or to Arrange a Private Showing Please Contact Catherine Taryle at 719.445.9555
 

Click Here To Search for Other Luxury Properties Available in Colorado Springs