Colorado Springs houses Posts

Colorado Springs Houses — choose the right one!

If you are looking for a house to buy or rent in Colorado Springs, then you will definitely have a lot to choose from.  Colorado Spring houses are very diverse and are available in many different neighborhoods.  There are residential homes, condos, townhomes, foreclosures, new homes, and multi-family homes.  Many of the homes are moderately priced; however, there are luxury homes available in most areas.  Of course what really matters is the type of house you are looking for, and the amount you have to spend.

If you would like a house on a large expanse of land, not too close to your neighbor, then an area like Black Forest might be most suited for you.  The houses here are situated on large lots, and there are many trees dotting the landscape.  The prices run the gamut of the price range.  It is possible to find large 7 bedroom homes that sell for over 2mil, as well as smaller 2 and 3 bedroom homes that sell for $200,000 and less, it all depends.

If you are looking for a house that is really far away from it all, then a good area to consider would be Woodland Park.  Woodland Park is located at the foot of Pikes Peak, which is probably the most visited mountain in North America; it is an out-and-out tourist attraction.  The houses here are very affordable, and house prices have been deflated and continue to fall due, because of the weak US economy.   Because of this, now is as good a time as any to buy a house.

If you prefer a house in a planned community, then consider getting a house in an area like Northgate.  This is one of the areas in Colorado Springs that has some newer homes available.  It is a popular choice because it is very close to the city center, as well as to the city of Denver.  The houses here are affordable, and the lot sizes are generally quite large.  In addition, there are some nice shopping and recreational areas.

Selling Colorado Spring houses will be a little more complex than buying, as the market is really a buyer’s one.  Nonetheless, it is possible to get a good selling price in the soft market that exists in Colorado Springs.  It would be advisable to seek the assistance of a professional realtor to assist in this regard, as there are some challenges in being able to get top dollar in this type of market.

The market for Colorado Springs houses is relatively buoyant.  So far in 2011 most regions have had an average of 150 homes on the market, and some have stayed on the market for only a short time.  The average sales price for houses in most areas teetered in the region of $200,000 to $300,000.  However, this is an average value, so there will always be variances depending on the region of Colorado Springs the house is located.  Houses in the downtown and central regions are somewhat more expensive due to their proximity to the city center.


Tips on Buying and Selling Colorado Springs Houses

Buying and selling real estate is a difficult job. It’s a fast paced industry with many rewards if you know what you’re doing. A good case scenario is when a house is sold in minutes, hours, days or weeks. The worst case scenario is when it sits on the market for months or even years. This is why having up to date information is vital to “win” in this industry. I will offer some helpful tips to make the house buying and selling process in Colorado Springs a little more manageable.


Tips on buying Colorado Springs Houses


1. Acquire as much background information as possible before you decide to work with a bank, mortgage banker, credit union or any kind of institutional lender. In addition, make sure that you know beforehand all of the fees associated with a loan.


2. Do not put yourself in a position where you are over-obligated where certain things are concerned. Some areas are best to be left up to the seller to take care of. This is where good negotiating skills come into play.


3. Never make a purchase that is far beyond your financial reach or just about there. Even though Colorado Springs houses make great investments, you want to take into account the fact that anything can happen in this economy pertaining to your financial status. Therefore, the ideal house should be 25% to 30% lower than your present income so you can still afford it.


4. Whether or not you have decided to use a real estate agent, you should make a list beforehand of what you are looking for. You should determine what areas are crucial like a good school district or being close to work and what you are willing to sacrifice such as granite countertops or a whirlpool tub.


Tips on Selling Colorado Springs Houses


1. They always say spring is the best time to put houses on the market. But besides the season, the best time to make sales is when interest rates are at their lowest. Low interest rates are beneficial to buyers and sellers and if you are both then there is no better time than the present.


2. When selling a house, you should ensure it is showcased in its best light. Basic home improvements can make a big difference in the real estate world. The exterior of the house should have curb appeal. Potential buyers should see your house from the outside and be excited to see what’s inside. Also, if the inside needs painting then take the opportunity to choose a paint color that will appeal to most buyers. Even simple things like fixing cracks, and giving the house a really good cleaning so it smells and looks good can have a great impact on house hunters.


3. If you want to sell your house on your own as opposed to hiring an agent, it may take longer. This is especially true in a buyer’s market where there are more sellers than buyers. In this case a real estate agent will have the upper hand because they have more contacts in the real estate community.


4. It’s best to sell your house at market value. Going higher can discourage a lot of potential buyers. Also, it’s better to appeal to a wider market than take the chance of hoping that one person will want to pay it. In addition, you may end up getting more money anyway if you have a hot property as there may be competition with multiple bids.

Colorado Springs Houses — The Best Choice!

Are you looking for Colorado Springs houses? If so, you have come to the right place. Colorado Springs is a great place to set up home and start a life. If you are planning to look at houses in the area, however, it is important that you know exactly what you are looking for. Having a checklist handy when you search through houses will help you keep track of the advantages and drawbacks of each home. Let’s take a look at some things that you may want to include in your checklist.

When looking at houses in Colorado Springs, one of the first places you will want to look is in the exterior of the house. Preferences will vary when it comes to the outside of a home. Families with children or dogs, for example, may require a large, fenced in yard. Others, on the other hand, may not worry so much about the size of the yard. Regardless of your preferences, it is important to note what each house has to offer. When recording information about your houses, be sure to note the size of the lot, the condition of the landscaping, and whether or not the yard is fenced in.

When looking at the outside of a house in Colorado Springs it is also important to note the condition of the siding, as well as the condition and age of the roof. Roofs can cost a lot of money to fix, so you want to ensure that you will not have to replace one when you purchase your new home. Also, be sure to check if there are any cracks or holes in the foundation of the home. Finally, record whether the home has a garage, as well as how many cars the garage will hold.

When it comes to the inside of the home, be sure to take note of the size of each room. Check all windows and doors to ensure that they open and close without any hassle. When you get to the kitchen, be sure to ask if any of the appliances are included and, if they are, note what condition they are in. When it comes to the bedrooms, check how much closet space is available and note which type of flooring is used. In the bathrooms, be sure to check that everything is working well. Run the facets and flush the toilets to make sure that they are working properly and that there is good water pressure.

If there is a basement, be sure to make note of whether it is a partial or full basement and whether it is finished or unfinished. Always be sure to ask about different utilities of the home such as water service, plumbing, heating, insulation, and electrical.

The above are just a general guideline to help you take notes when looking at homes. Other things you may want to record include the price of the home, the location of the home, the property taxes, the terms of the mortgage, and, of course, whether or not you could picture yourself living there.

Making checklists as you search through homes may not seem necessary, but they will definitely help you when it comes down to picking between several great homes. Begin searching for Colorado Springs houses area today and find a house that you can make a home.



Credit Scores and Mortgage Loans

In today’s economy, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get your bills paid on time. After a few late payments, you may wonder what the impact is on your credit report and your credit score. Whether you have lost a job, gone through divorce, lost a spouse, or dealt with a serious medical issue, you know that any hardship can wreak havoc on your financial responsibilities. You are not alone, and we at Pink Realty help people who have dealt with these all the time. More than 43 million people in the United States have credit issues that are severe enough to make obtaining credit with reasonable terms very difficult. If you want to repair your credit and improve your score so that you can buy a home, there are some things that you should understand.

Understanding your credit report and your credit score is very important when you want to get credit. There is different credit scoring models used today depending on what type of credit you are applying for. The important thing to understand about these scoring models is that regardless of what type of credit you are applying for, the human element to judge character and creditworthiness is removed from the transaction. Mortgage credit scores typically range between 350 – 800. If you are looking to buy a car, auto credit scores range between 250 – 900. If you are looking to purchase household furniture or other goods, a consumer credit score is between 300 – 900.

In the finance world, especially the mortgage industry, a lot of Federal regulation has been implemented that has caused the banks to severely tighten their credit standards and the regulations in 2011 are just as tight as they were last year. The economy, with its high unemployment rates and increased cost of living has made it virtually impossible for the average person to maintain perfect credit. The sum of this equation has about 40% of the people who are trying to qualify for a new home loan are being denied for a mortgage.

These days in Colorado Springs, the agents at Pink Realty see that about 2/3 of the real estate listings are either short sales or REOs and 40% of the people trying to buy a home, can’t qualify. Are you one of the 40% that wants to buy a Colorado Springs Houses but you can’t because your credit score isn’t high enough? What can you do about it? We’re going to take a look at what the credit score requirements are for the different types of home loans and then we’re going to address some important credit report facts so you can create your own credit report action items that will help you succeed in getting that mortgage for your dream home.

Most lenders today require a minimum credit score of 640 to get approved for a mortgage loan. What this means is that out of the 3 credit bureaus, your middle score must equal or exceed 640. While some lenders may deviate from this standard rule, they don’t without a cost. You may have to pay a higher interest rate, come up with a larger down payment and they may require that you have enough reserves in the bank to cover several mortgage payments. So, while banks may advertise that they lend on lower scores, beware of what it will cost you. Additionally, banks don’t want to lend credit to those with a lower score than 640 because it is harder for them to sell the loan to another bank, and they only want to make loans that are marketable.

If you are applying for a conventional mortgage, your credit is most likely in good standing. Conventional loans are typically for borrowers that have a sizeable down payment and a good credit score. While many lenders issuing conventional loans require a credit score of 660, ideally they look for scores of 720 or higher. Additionally, they look for a minimum down payment of at least 5% of the sales price. Most conventional loans are underwritten by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so the higher your credit score, the more favorable credit terms you will get. In today’s market, you don’t see too many conventional loans being issued, especially without private mortgage insurance. If your credit score meets the requirements and you have a down payment of 20% of the purchase price, you can obtain a conventional loan without private mortgage insurance.

If you’ve had a few dings on your credit report and you know your score doesn’t top the chart, you can apply for an FHA insured loan. While FHA doesn’t issue loans, they insure them, and their credit requirements are not as stringent. However, the lenders who are granting FHA loans may impose their own credit standards in order to better protect themselves from losses and to be able to better sell the mortgages on the secondary market. In the fall of 2010, HUD established some new credit score requirements. Borrowers with credit scores of 580 or higher were eligible for maximum financing (96.5%). Borrowers with credit scores between 500 – 579 were eligible for 90% financing and borrowers with scores below 500 were not eligible.

The VA guarantees loans to veterans and active military personnel. Lenders that issue VA loans will provide 100% financing and look for credit scores of 620 or higher.

OK, so what do you need to do to get your credit score up so you can qualify for your dream home? The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus annually, however if you want your FICO score, you generally have to pay a fee. You can also ask a lender to pull your credit as well, and they can give you your FICO scores for free, but keep in mind that that credit inquiry will have an impact on your score.

We’re going to take a look at what components makes up your score and give you some tips on how you can raise your score in the fastest amount of time.

Below is a chart that defines the 5 components that comprise your FICO scores (credit score). 35% of your total score is determined by past delinquencies, 30% by your revolving credit-to-debt ratio, 15% on the average credit age, 10% based on credit mix, and 10% on credit inquiries.

Past delinquencies weigh the most heavily on your total score, which probably makes you think you should pay off all past delinquent accounts. This is not necessarily so. Depending on the age of older past due delinquent accounts, it isn’t always best to pay them off. Bad debts can only stay on your credit report a maximum of 7 years from the date of last activity. If you pay them off, the account will show paid, but the derogatory status remains and the account will now stay on your report for a maximum of 7 years from the date you paid it off. Therefore, check the dates on older past due accounts, charge-offs or collections. If the accounts are from several years ago, they will fall off your report on their own soon enough. Remember, the maximum amount of time information can remain on your report is 7 years. It doesn’t mean they will stay on there for 7 years. If you have extra money and you want to use it to better your credit score, you can pay off some recent charge-offs or collection accounts. While the derogatory status will stay, the account will show paid. Once older past due accounts drop off your report, your score will automatically improve.

The next big bang on your credit report is your revolving credit debt ratio. There are a lot of myths about credit cards and how they impact your credit score. Some people think you should only have a couple of credit cards, others think you should combine all credit cards balances into one credit card balance. Some people don’t think you should have high credit limits and some people think if you have a lot of credit cards, but don’t use them, you should cancel them. Finally, some people think if you pay off your credit card every month, you won’t establish credit. All of these are myths. The longer you have had a revolving account in good standing, the better impact it makes on your score. Remember average age of a credit file is 15% of your credit score. Keep those old accounts open! If you have one or more credit cards with high credit limits and manage them wisely, high credit limits can actually be advantageous. If you have several different types of credit cards, including department stores, keep them open.
Closing credit card accounts can actually lower your score. But be aware, lenders have started cancelling inactive accounts or lowering credit limits on inactive credit card accounts. 30% of your credit score is determined by your debt-to-credit ratio. The lower your ratio, the better! Therefore, if you have cards that have a high credit limit, but you use the cards conservatively and keep small balances, it improves your score. The rule of thumb is to keep credit card balances less than 30% of the credit limit. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1000 credit limit, you want to keep the balance on that account less than $300. The more credit cards you have with a limit and the smaller the balance you keep on those cards, the lower your debt-to-credit ratio is. If you have ‘maxed’ out your credit cards and your debt-to-credit ratio is 95 – 10%, the best way to improve your credit score is to work hard to get the balances down below 30% of the limit.

The older your credit history is the better. The longer you keep and maintain accounts in good standing, the more positively it impacts your score. If you have a credit card account that has been opened for 10 years, don’t stop using the card or the issuer might decide to close the account or stop reporting to the credit bureau. While the information might still be available, it won’t add as much weight to your score. So keep older card accounts active even if it means charging a recurring monthly bill to the account and then paying it off each of month.

While the mix of credit you have on your file only makes up 10% of your total score, it is important for lenders to see how you handle different types of credit. If you are trying to build new credit, one of the best ways is to take out an installment loan. This might be for a car or household goods. Showing that you can make regular monthly payments over time is very important.

Finally we get to inquiries, which also make up 10% of your score. There are two types of inquiries: Hard inquiries and soft inquiries. If you are requesting your own annual credit report or applying for a job and your potential employer is pulling your report, these are soft inquiries and do not impact your score, however, hard inquiries do.
If you are shopping for a new car and go to 3 or 4 different car dealerships and each one runs a report, it will impact your credit score. However, the credit bureau system detects the similarities in reports pulled and the 3 or 4 reports will count as only one inquiry. The same happens if you are shopping for a home loan. If 3 different mortgage lenders run your report, it will count as one inquiry. Where inquiries really begin to hurt your score is when you apply for various types of credit in a short period of time. If you are trying to apply for credit cards and buy a car and a house at the same time, the inquiries will not only lower your score, but raise a red flag for lenders!

In summary, we mentioned the following points that can help improve your credit score:

• If you have old past due accounts, leave them alone. Let them age and fall off your report on their own.

• If you do have past due or delinquent accounts that are current, you can pay them off. The derogatory information remains, but the status changes to paid. While this does not impact your score, it is beneficial.

• Pay down your credit cards. Lenders like to see a big gap between your balance and your credit limit. While it makes sense financially to pay down high interest cards first, if you are looking to raise your credit score, it is best to pay down the cards that are closest to their limit! Work to keep a low debt-to-credit ratio on all of your revolving credit card accounts. Keep long standing accounts active, keep high balance accounts open, but use your cards conservatively so your debt-to-credit ratio stays low. If you have high balances on your credit card accounts, you will be most rewarded by paying the balances down until they are less than 30% of the credit limit. This is where you will get the biggest bang for your buck.

There are a few other things you can do to improve your score.

• If you have accounts that are old and due to fall off your report soon, you can contact the credit bureau to dispute the account. If it is old and has a small balance, there is a good chance the collection agency won’t dispute the charge and it will be removed.

• Look for errors on your credit report. If you see accounts that are not yours, dispute them. 70% of the credit reports have errors on them. The chances of there being an error on your report are good. So review your report and if there are errors, dispute them to have them removed.

• Old, past due accounts don’t get discarded because you have new, current accounts. Sometimes time is required to raise your score. Let old bad debts just fall off when they’ve aged. To mess with them will add 7 more years of derogatory information.

• There are a few other things you can do to increase the improvement. If you have accounts that are old and due to fall off your report soon, you can contact the credit bureau to dispute the account. If it is old and has a small balance, there is a good chance the collection agency won’t want to dispute the charge and it will be removed.
Other things to consider:

Your credit score is based on the information in your credit report, so check for errors. Some of these errors can really hurt you, so review your credit report thoroughly and look for any errors in the following areas:

• Correct any late payments, charge-offs, collections or other negative items on your report that are not yours.

• Correct any credit limits that are incorrect. If your credit card company has reported a credit limit lower than what it actually is, get it fixed.
• Correct any accounts that may be listed as “settled,” “paid derogatory,” “paid charge-off” if you paid them on time and in full.

• Correct any accounts that are still listed as unpaid that were included in a bankruptcy.

• Negative items older than seven years (10 in the case of bankruptcy) that should have automatically fallen off your reports.

• If you’ve closed accounts and they still show open, don’t correct this. Closing accounts can actually lower your score.

• If you are trying to establish credit because you have not credit, apply for a credit card. Charge something small each month, such as a tank of gas or dinner, and pay it off each month. After establishing some credit with a credit card company, apply for an installment loan. It can be a simple personal loan that you can pay off in 12 months. You want to do this to build a mix into your credit file.

Avoid these common credit mistakes when you are trying to improve your credit scores:

• Don’t ask a credit to lower your credit limit because it reduces the gap between your balances and your available credit. The lower the gap, the more it hurts your scores.

• Avoid making late payments. While a missed or late payment will do more damage to a good credit score than it will an already low score, you definitely want to avoid missed or late payments if you are trying to improve your score.

• If you are trying to improve your scores, applying for a new account or additional credit when you already have enough credit can ding your scores, unless you are recovering from a bankruptcy. In this case, applying for an installment loan can help.

• Don’t transfer credit card balances from a high-limit card to a lower-limit one or transfer small balances to a high limit card. It’s better to have smaller balances on a few cards than a big balance on one. Remember the debt-to-credit ratio.

Having good credit and being an educated consumer can save you money. You will get better interest rates and better terms, which saves a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, you can save money on insurance. Know what is in your credit report and know what your score is. Lenders are in business to make money. If you don’t know what’s in your credit report or what your score is, a lender can charge you more. Understanding what’s in your credit report and knowing what your score is can give you bargaining power when negotiating interest rates and terms.

For more information on your credit, how to improve it, or to see what kinds of loans you qualify for, call Pink Realty today at 719-393-7465 (Pink) and ask to speak to our lender. She will gladly help you. Once you are qualified for a loan, one of our experienced agents will help you find your perfect Colorado Springs homes!

Putting Confidence Back in Colorado Springs Homes

Many Colorado Springs house hunters have lost confidence in the housing market due to some news released in the media. Here are some of the misconceptions out there which after this, hopefully will be dismissed.

Misconception number 1: Home loans are impossible to get right now

Traditional loans are available from as low as 5% and less. Another option is an FHA loan and they only require a 3.5% deposit. If you have not owned a home for 3 years, you even qualify for a first time home buyer loan. El Paso County has a 14 million dollar bond for you that you can get with a 3.9% fixed rate and down payment aid that you won’t have to repay. Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHAFA) also has funds that carry a small interest rate and down payment. There are other ways to receive assistance to purchase a house both on the local and national level.

The misunderstanding comes from the fact that the way in which persons qualify for loans has changed. For example, currently, you have to be able to prove appropriate income and a good credit score to get a mortgage loan. All that means is that the days with little or no documentation for loan approval are over. This is a good thing as this is one factor that led to the amount of foreclosures now being experienced. In addition, if you have a real estate broker that’s a good negotiator, you may be able to include your closing costs in the final agreement further reducing your home-buying expenses.

Misconception number 2: Rates aren’t increasing now so there’s no rush

Let’s look at an example. The typical 30 year fixed mortgage rate for the year 2003-2007 was 5.75%. Therefore, if you had a $200,000 mortgage, the monthly payments would work out to $1,167. Today, the same 30 year mortgage is between 4% to 4.25%. That same $200,000 mortgage at 4.25% would work out to $983. Imagine if you sold the $222,000 house and purchased a $300,000 house. The payments would move from the 5.75% rate to the recent 4.25% rate so that equates to a difference of $144 per month in payments for $80,000 more of house.

Misconception number 3: You’re better off waiting until there’s an improvement in the market

History always repeats itself. It’s not the first time that prices have fell. Markets are cyclical and knowing this we know that once again, prices will go up. If you do not currently own a Colorado Springs house, or are considering an upgrade to what you currently have, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to buy. If you are even only thinking about investing, it makes sense to buy when prices are low as well as interest rates and there is a lot of inventory.

Prices are beginning to stabilize and the economy is in the process of improvement. As a result, prices may increase soon in order to keep inflation steady so it is the best time to buy. Not to mention that banks want to get rid of their foreclosures and are reducing prices.

Where to Find the Perfect House for Sale in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is the perfect destination to live, especially if you have a family or are looking for affordable and beautiful homes in areas that are rich with history and have scenic surroundings. Colorado Springs houses is also the ideal place to live if you love the outdoors and are an active person wanting a lot of variety as it relates to recreation. Colorado Springs boasts about 300 sun shinning days per year! Not only are the homes affordable, but their values have stabilized and in some neighborhoods, they are beginning to increase.

Colorado Springs has the perfect neighborhood for you no matter your age, lifestyle or income. Whether you prefer to live in the suburbs or you want the excitement of the city, or something in between, there is a lot to choose from. Black Forrest, Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City are just a few places where you could settle down.

Manitou Springs is situated west of the downtown area. It’s the right combination of city chic and historical Victorian. Tourists usually pass through on the way to the Pikes Peak Cog Railroad. However, if they decide to truly experience Manitou Springs, they’d be awed by the spectacle of the Miramont Castle and the Cave of the Winds. Couples considering purchasing a home here will be drawn by the turn of the century charm and quality construction. Houses in this area sell at an average price of $320,000. South of Manitou Springs is the community of Crystal Park which is nestled among the pine trees in the mountains. If you’re looking for a romantic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, then the breathtaking appeal of Crystal Park will have you signing on the dotted line.

Another great area is Old Colorado City. It’s full of history as it is the oldest neighborhood in Colorado Springs. Don’t be fooled by the name however, as, if you are seeking modern amenities, then this is the place to look. It’s a great area for apartment or condo hunting. It also has town houses and single family homes. However, most of the homes near the city center have small lot sizes. The average home here goes for $190,000.

Briargate, located to the northeast of Colorado Springs, has an average selling price of $198,000. It’s a neighborhood that has experienced a lot of growth over the years. It also has some of the best schools in Colorado Springs. A neighborhood, just southeast at the corner of Woodmen Road and Academy Boulevard, called Brookwood, gives the impression of being hidden away from the busy city. It’s central to Briargate and lot sizes range from ¼ acre to a little over and acre. It’s tranquil and secluded with large, mature trees enhancing the feeling of being far away.

Located in Northern El Paso County is Black Forrest. It has a combination of newer and older Colorado Springs houses so it has something for everybody. If you want big lots, then you will be impressed by the 5 acres that some of these homes sit on. Ranch style homes as well as 2 story homes dominate this area. While some are custom built, others have a more “country” feel.

Posted by z4k!_xy in Colorado Springs houses