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Remodeling? Avoid These 5 Pitfalls

Thursday, January 31, 2013



Remodeling? Avoid these 5 Pitfalls




Remodeling Pitfalls Remodeling Pitfalls

Worried you could be a little under prepared for your big remodeling project? Keep reading to learn how to avoid these five remodeling mistakes, so your Colorado Springs home improvement project can run smoothly.

Mistake #1: Permit?....Nah…


Sure, "going rogue" and building without a permit may save you money up front, but most likely it will end up turning into a big mistake down the line when you get ready to sell your Colorado Springs Home.

If you don't build to El Paso County Building code, you'll end up stuck with fees and fines (numbers vary, depending on the city, but could be hundreds more than the cost of the permit), and you'll most likely have to redo it if you're found out by a city home inspector.

Not only that, but if you add on another room to your house and don't get a permit, it can't be factored-in as part of your home's square footage. For example, if the additional bedroom is 1000 feet, that's 1000 feet that the appraiser may not include in the total square footage, which means you'll be losing money on your home's total value when you try to sell.

Mistake #2: Buying Cheap Cabinets


We've all heard the phrase "It's too good to be true." Well, it couldn't be more applicable to getting a great "deal" on kitchen cabinets. Customers have a tendency to buy cheaper cabinets, which can make it harder for the contractor to install. Cheap cabinets can be flimsy and difficult to secure in place. And poor quality cabinets can also be a time-drain, buying lower-end products means you'll be spending more time at the hardware store returning them, trying different ones, taking them back again - you get the idea.

Want to avoid the headache? Talk to your contractor about cabinet selection before you go on a "deal hunt" - or just let your contractor do the shopping for you.

Mistake #3: Contractor? Nah…..I got this honey.


Re-doing your kitchen? Overhauling your bathroom? Exciting times! But if you don't hire a general contractor for big projects like these, your quality of life could disintegrate quickly.

Subcontractors are the people hired by the general contractor to perform a certain job, be it plumbing, cabinet instillation, or tile work. The general contractor is the one that runs the show - and for good reason. Why is it so important to have a general contractor? First, the subcontractors often don't talk with each other, so without a general contractor, there's going to be a major lack of communication, and the project won't run smoothly. For example, the kitchen plumbing needs to be fixed before the new backsplash is put in. But if they don't know that (and neither do you), the tile worker may show up to do the job before the plumber.

Additionally, there's no way of determining a fair price for a subcontractor, unless you have a contractor that has your back. Without one, you could end up paying way too much for the job.

Mistake #4: Measuring Inaccurately


Measuring a square room? Not too difficult. But if you're measuring a whole kitchen, from the cabinets to the backsplash, there's a lot of room for error.

If you're an inch off measuring your refrigerator space, and then you buy the wrong refrigerator size, you'll delay the entire kitchen project waiting for returns and deliveries. But a contractor knows better.

Even measuring something as seemingly simple as a window frame can be quite difficult due to the ridges and edges. But if you want to give it a shot anyway, many websites offer thorough how-to-measuring instructions.

Mistake #5: Hiring the Wrong Contractor


In 2011, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), an organization that works to create an ethical marketplace, received over 6,000 complaints against general contractors, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. To make sure you don't become another statistic, it's important to do a little research first.

It's also important to make sure the contractor is licensed. The BBB advises homeowners to not only get the name of the insurance carrier but also confirm with the carrier that the contractor has coverage.

If you are embarking on some remodeling for your Colorado Springs home, follow the above steps in order to make the process smoother. It could cost you a little more money, but when you go to sell, you’ll most likely re-coup the costs and then some. Take it from a Colorado Springs Realtor who has sold homes with great renovations, and homes with ……not-so-great renovations.

If you need some direction on what to spend money before you list your home, reach out, we’d love to help.

Turner Associates | Colorado Springs Realtors


info@turnercoloradohomes.com


(719) 244-3645

 

Most Valuable Home Renovations For Colorado Springs

Friday, January 25, 2013



Most Valuable Home Renovations For Colorado Springs




Valuable Colorado Springs Home Renovations Valuable Colorado Springs Home Renovations

When it comes to making home renovations, nearly every homeowner wants to know what improvement will add the most value to their home. This is an especially important question for those who plan to put their house on the market in the next three to five years because they want to ensure a solid return on their investment at resale. Kitchen remodels typically rank high on the return on investment scale, but there are other solid renovations to choose from.

We’ve researched five valuable home renovations that vary in cost, from mid-range projects like replacing a worn front door or installing a security system, to a more rigorous project like finishing an extra bedroom in the basement. Grab your tool belt; it’s time to start planning that long awaited home improvement project.

Five Valuable Home Renovations for Colorado Springs




  1. 1. Replace Front Door


If you’re looking to bump-up curb appeal, take a close look at the centerpiece of your home- its front door. A worn-out front door not only lacks visual impact, it’s likely a source of energy loss.

Front doors are made of wood, fiberglass composite or steel. Wood is beautiful, and can be painted to match your home’s exterior but be forewarned, it requires maintenance and will shrink and expand seasonally. Fiberglass composite doors look like real wood, can be painted or stained, and are much more energy efficient than wood. Steel doors are known for security and durability. Whatever door material you choose, be sure it matches or compliments your home’s exterior for maximum aesthetic value.

According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost to replace an entry door with a new steel one is $1,238. Owners can plan on recouping roughly 73% of that cost, or $903.00.

2. Improve Landscaping

A manicured lawn and modest landscaping can transform your home from one that is run-of-the-mill to one that’s the envy of the neighborhood. If your budget is tight, do as much of the excavating and prep work as you can yourself. From laying a quaint brick walkway, to laying down fresh mulch, a landscaping project will give your home the pop it deserves.

If you hire someone to do the work, insist on recommendations and research the company through the Better Business Bureau. A professional landscaper may cost a bit more than you’d hoped to spend but the quality of the work is almost always worth the price tag.

3. Convert Attic Space or storage room to a Bedroom

If you’re expecting a new addition to the family, or your Tween needs some breathing room, converting an underused attic to a bedroom could make a lot more sense than moving. While converting an attic to a bedroom isn’t a simple weekend project, Remodeling Magazine states that you’ll recoup an average of 72.5 percent of the project cost at resale.

Hiring a professional architect will help ensure the conversion is structurally sound, meets all codes and blends well with the rest of your home.

4. Install a Home Security System

A home security system is a sound home improvement for a number of reasons. According to a Federal Bureau of Investigations report, the average burglary loss in America was $2,096 in 2009. A security system is an outstanding burglary deterrent, sparring your family the eerie feeling of violation which is virtually impossible to put a price tag on.

Most homeowner insurance policies in Colorado Springs offer discounted rates (up to 20%) when a security system is installed. For even more convenience, you can install home automation systems, like ADT Pulse, which also offers energy savings by allowing the homeowner to remotely control lights, electronics and thermostats. The combined savings from homeowners insurance and energy saving will quickly pay for the costs of a security system.

5. Replace Windows

Window replacement doesn’t rank as a one of the most exciting home improvement projects, but it’s a sound investment. When shopping for replacement windows look for the Energy Star designation. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the Energy Star designation for products that meet specific energy performance standards. You might also consider visiting the National Fenestration Rating Council, an organization that independently tests windows for a number of factors, including heat loss.

The energy efficiency performance of windows varies greatly according to climate. For a run-down of the most efficient windows for the region you live in, reference this chart complied by the Efficient Windows Collaborative.

Renovating Your Home for Resale

If you’re renovating your Colorado Springs home with the hope of selling it, be cautious of making renovations that price your home out of your neighborhood. For example, if you live in a working class neighborhood where homes have modest kitchens, stainless appliances and granite countertops aren’t a good investment because you can’t price the home high enough to recoup the renovation cost. However, a new front door and upgraded landscaping will help give your home dynamic curb appeal that might lead to a packed open house and keep it in a competitive price range.

If you’re renovating your home for resale, consider consulting Turner Associates or an experienced real estate agent familiar with your neighborhood before making any major home improvements.


By Colton Matheson

YourLocalSecurity.com

Colton@YourLocalSecurity.com

Phone: 801-424-0018 ext. 7615



Turner Associates

info@turnercoloradohomes.com

(719) 244-3645
 

Comparing The Cost, Rent VS Buy

Thursday, January 24, 2013



Comparing The Cost, Rent VS Buy


cost comparison rent vs buy cost comparison rent vs buy

The chart below shows a cost comparison for a renter and a homeowner in Colorado Springs over a seven year period. The renter starts out paying $800 per month with annual increases of 5%.

The Colorado Springs homeowner purchases a home for $110,000 and pays a monthly mortgage of $1,000. After 6 years, the homeowner's payment is lower than the renter's monthly payment. With the tax savings of home ownership, the homeowner's payment is less than the rental payment after 3 years.

















































































Yrs Rent Mortgage Payment Monthly Diff. After Tax Savings Yearly Diff. After Tax Savings
18001000-200-50-2400-600
28401000-160-10-1920-120
38821000-118+32-1416+384
49261000-74+76-888+912
59721000-28+122-336+1464
610211000+21+171+252+2052
710721000+72+222+864+2664
8-30..Savings increase every year



If you are thinking about buying a home in Colorado Springs and need experienced assistance to help you understand the pros and cons of buying vs renting, and the costs involved, the contact us below. Or perhaps you are stuck in a lease and need financial assistance on getting out in order to buy a new home check out our Lease Break Rebate.

Turner Associates

info@turnercoloradohomes.com

(719) 244-3645
 

Buying A New Construction Home Without An Agent?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013



Buying A New Construction Home Without An Agent?


Buying New Construction Without An Agent Buying New Construction Without An Agent?

If you were making one of the biggest financial decisions of your life, and an industry expert offered free advice and the ability to hold your hand through the entire process for free – why wouldn't you do it?

Our experience in the Colorado Springs home building industry over the years is - buyers are convinced that if they visit a community and register with the sales rep and purposely tell them, “no I don't have an agent”, they will get a better deal.

MYTH.

Sorry to the folks who are venturing out into the Colorado Springs building market completely alone, but you’re in for a rude awakening.

Trust me when I say, it makes NO DIFFERENCE. The base price for Colorado Springs builders are set with commissions BUILT IN (it’s a marketing cost for them) and they will not reduce their price. More people lose in this scenario because you are totally alone in the negotiation process. You need an experienced agent to protect you from things that you are not even aware of.

The question buyers should be asking the sales rep is – “If I register, will you put in writing that I don't have an agent,  and offer a 3% reduction in price, or offer 3% more in upgrades at no cost?”

I would love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation. Sorry for being blunt but you guys need to know the truth.

In the midst of a recovery in the Colorado Springs real estate market, it is important to know that we are all in this together. I’m not saying we get together and all sing Kumbaya, but just know that the buyer, the builder and the agent make the wheel go around. Most of the builders in Colorado Springs have an excellent reputation – Production builders like Saint Aubyn Homes, and Classic as well as custom/semi custom builders like Copper Leaf and Goetzmann. The reason they have a good reputation is that they have an to work and negotiate with the buyer on their behalf so in the mean time, they can concentrate on building a great home. So for that reason, it is important that YOU have a team that protects your interests, your future and your money – it doesn’t cost you anything. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a 2nd set of expert eyes to point out suggestions and things like “hey did you know they are building a Wal Mart in your future back yard?”

99% of the time builders (like the ones mentioned above) are very honest, ethical and upfront with their buyers. However – despite popular belief, builders don’t know everything. A reputable, experienced realtor might not be able to provide an exact answer either, but we can provide potential scenarios and draw off of our experiences from hundreds of transactions – our job is to protect you (did I mention its free?)

Remember that the sales rep is there to make a sale for the builder and they are working the builder. Who is working for you in your best interest? Are you properly being educated about the potential outcomes (I’m not talking about spending 8 mins on google to get some talking points either)?

If you are thinking about building a home in Colorado Springs and need experienced assistance to help you with the process and protect your interests, then contact us today.

Turner Associates

info@turnercoloradohomes.com
 

Carriages at Pine Creek

Wednesday, January 23, 2013



Carriages at Pine Creek


Need a Realtor that truly understands real estate in Carriages at Pine Creek?


Call Travis


or if you are contemplating selling your home in Carriages at Pine Creek receive your free CARRIAGES AT PINE CREEK HOME VALUATION


Want to see all the available listings in Carriages at Pine Creek with one simple search? We've already done the work for you:










$100,000 - $400,000$400,000+

Carriages at Pine Creek

About Carriages at Pine Creek


Carriages at Pine Creek is a residential town home community and Colorado Springs neighborhood located atop the Pine Creek Master Development in Briargate. Carriages is a great location that is 10 minutes from 1-25 and a short drive from the Promenade Shops at Briargate, a shopping center dedicated to matching your tastes and passions with a variety of restaurants and stores. The safe, family-oriented community is located in a gorgeous landscape with views of Pikes Peak and Black Forest. In addition, many recreational activities can be found such as hiking, golf, and many park events. 

Schools near Carriages at Pine Creek

The school district serving Carriages is Academy School District 20. A variety of Elementary schools, Middle schools, High schools, and Charter Schools ensures a wide selection for you to choose the best education for your child.


About neighborhoods nearby Carriages at Pine Creek


Located in northeast Colorado Springs, the Pine Creek community encompasses and is near many pleasant neighborhoods. Nearby is the Briargate community as well as all of the amenities found along Interquest Parkway, which features a movie theater.


If you are interested in more information on buying or selling a home in Carriages at Pine Creek, contact Turner Associates below and we will be happy to assist, thank you and sincerely,

Turner Associates

info@turnercoloradohomes.com

 

Black Forest Estates

Wednesday, January 16, 2013



Black Forest Estates


Need a Realtor that understands Black Forest Estates?


Call Travis


or if you are contemplating selling your home in Black Forest Estates receive your free BLACK FOREST ESTATES HOME VALUATION


And if you want to see all the available listings in Black Forest Estates with one simple search? We've already done the work for you:










$100,000 - $400,000$400,000+

Black Forest Estates Black Forest Estates

About Black Forest Estates


Located to the north of Colorado Springs, Black Forest Estates is a lovely community that lives up to its name through its many Ponderosa Pines. Heavily wooded with some grasslands, Black Forest Estates is a great choice for buyers looking for homes in a rural and private surrounding. The Black Forest area covers 200,000 acres and, although there is abundant scenery and wildlife, contains a commercial center where you can find the Community Center, Volunteer Fire Station, churches, gas stations, and country store. Parks include both Black Forest Regional Park and Fox Run Park, both which are beautiful spaces with fun events. Large lots are available with options for privacy and horse property. Since Black Forest Estates includes an equestrian community, feel free to consult Turner Associate's Buyer's Guide to Colorado Horse Properties and take advantage of the experience we have with finding comfortable and convenient properties for horse owners. Mention this article and Turner Associates will provide a rebate to you upon closing should you become our client! Amount of rebate is dependent upon purchase price and exceeds the amount by the USAA mover’s advantage program.

About Black Forest Estates School Districts


The school district serving Black Forest Estates include the Academy School District, the Lewis Palmer School District, and the Falcon School District.


If you are interested in more information on buying or selling a home in Black Forest Estates – Contact Turner Associates below and we will be happy to assist, thank you and sincerely,


Turner Associates


info@turnercoloradohomes.com




 

Cheyenne Canyon

Wednesday, January 16, 2013



Cheyenne Canyon


Need a Realtor that truly understands real estate in Cheyenne Canyon?


Call Travis


or if you are contemplating selling your home in Cheyenne Canyon receive your free CHEYENNE CANYON HOME VALUATION


Want to see all the available listings in Cheyenne Canyon with one simple search? We've already done the work for you:










$100,000 - $400,000$400,000+

Cheyenne Canyon Homes Cheyenne Canyon Homes

About Cheyenne Canyon

Cheyenne Canyon is a gorgeous Colorado Springs neighborhood not far from Colorado Springs and North Cheyenne Cañon Park. North Cheyenne Cañon Park is home to miles of hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls (including Helen Hunt Falls), and an abundance of wildflowers and wildlife. Listed as #6 in the US News Travel Guide for Best Things to Do in Colorado Springs, this miniature national park is located seven miles southwest of Colorado Springs. As expected from its surroundings, the Cheyenne Canyon neighborhood is a breathtaking place to live, and close to soothing landmarks like the Cheyenne Creek and the famous Wil Rogers Memorial. Great mountain views and the nearby Cheyenne Mountain school district make it a lovely place to raise children. Mention this article and Turner Associates will provide a rebate to you upon closing should you become our client! Amount of rebate is dependent upon purchase price and exceeds the amount by the USAA mover’s advantage program.

 

About Cheyenne Canyon Schools

The school district serving Cheyenne Canyon is the Cheyenne Mountain school district. A variety of Elementary schools, Middle schools, High schools, and Charter Schools ensures a wide selection for you to choose the best education for your child.


If you are interested in more information on buying or selling a home in Cheyenne Canyon, contact Turner Associates below and we will be happy to assist, thank you and sincerely,

Turner Associates

info@turnercoloradohomes.com

 

What does the "Fiscal Cliff" agreement mean for housing?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What does the "fiscal cliff" agreement mean for housing?




Fiscal Cliff and Housing Fiscal Cliff and Housing



The housing market in Colorado Springs seems to be on firmer ground today, as two major tax provisions survived the "fiscal cliff":

1) Congress did not touch the mortgage interest deduction.

2) It extended tax relief for one year on mortgage debt forgiveness.

Let's cut to the chase - what does that mean for homeowners, sellers and buyers in Colorado Springs?

A) Under a law signed in 2007, debt relief on loan modifications, short sales, and foreclosures were no longer taxable; that break expired at the end of 2012. The fear was that if the tax break was not extended, home owners would not agree to short sales (when the home is sold for less than the value of the mortgage) because they would then face a large tax bill. They would also not agree to principal reduction loan modifications, which have proven to be far more successful than other modifications that leave the principal balance as is.

B) Colorado Springs Short sales surged toward the end of the year, thanks to streamlined procedures and a more aggressive stance by the big banks, again in part due to the mortgage servicing settlement. More than 98 thousand short sales were completed in the third quarter of 2012 nationwide, according to RealtyTrac.

C) The "fiscal cliff" deal also allows borrowers to deduct the amount they pay for private mortgage insurance, which has become increasingly prevalent in today's tighter mortgage market especially in Colorado Springs where there are a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

All of the above will help to lower the number of foreclosures and support the rise in home prices in El Paso county. The number of homes in the so-called "shadow inventory" (properties that have seriously delinquent mortgages, are in foreclosure, or are owned by banks but not yet listed for sale) fell to 2.3 million in October throughout the nation, according to a new report from CoreLogic - a 12 percent drop from a year ago.

Long story short I expect a gradual and progressive contraction in the Colorado Springs shadow inventory of homes in 2013 as investors continue to snap up foreclosed and REO properties in Colorado Springs  and the broader recovery in housing market fundamentals takes hold in Colorado Springs and Monument

That would not have been the case, had tax relief on debt forgiveness in short sales and principal reduction modifications come to an end.

I hope this helps with making sense of what the Fiscal Cliff agreement means for housing, and if you have any questions on Colorado Springs real estate transactions, whether buying or selling,


Please contact us at info@turnercoloradohomes.com or call Travis at 


Thank you and sincerely,


Turner Associates | Colorado Springs Realtors


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