Archive for October, 2009

Condition Matters

          Just like the ingredients in a recipe, the 3 major factors in a home sale must blend together to create the perfect combination for success: location, price, and condition.  When these three areas are addressed at the beginning of the transaction there is a greater chance for a successful sale in a reasonable time period.  They do interconnect and if one has a major flaw then another must be altered to reflect.  For instance, if your home backs up to a busy highway then price must be adjusted according to the competition. 

v    Cleanliness: This area cannot be overemphasized.  When a buyer looks at a property, they are emotionally stimulated to investigate the property further or write it off the list of potentials.  Bad smells such as pet odors and mustiness must be addressed and can turn off a buyer immediately.  Always have the home present like a model void of knick knacks, family photos, and with limited personal items. Look up, down, and under to find neglected dirt or clutter that might distract the buyer. Take a few moments every day to pick up and put away items where they belong leaving an inviting clean atmosphere for the buyer to peruse.

Upgraded baths are a plus

Sleek and modern

v    Maintenance: NOW is the time to finish those little projects that have been on your to do list!  Replace burned out lights, broken shades, loose rails, and all the other little items that seem to always be on the list.  PAINT.  This is the cheapest and most cost effective way to give a home the boost it needs to look fresh and inviting.  Tone down extreme colors and smooth out those dings and scuff marks.  For the larger jobs that might be a deal breaker hire a professional and get it done.  A few hundred dollars now can reap greater profits in the eye of the buyer later.  They will ALWAYS discount more in the offer than it would have cost to repair/replace.  It might be a good idea to have a home inspection done pre- listing to get an idea of needed maintenance issues that will arise later and give you extra time necessary to orchestrate repairs.  It’s a great marketing tool as well to have a home inspection report with updated pages after suggested repairs are done for the prospective buyer to view. 

v    Curb Appeal: Buyers will actually discard a home before ever entering the property just by what they see as their first impression.  A neglected yard screams handyman special and they won’t bother to investigate further, unless of course they are looking for a fixer and will make an offer as such.  Trim, add color, mow, and replace.  Spruce up with mulch and fresh plants.  Paint or remove old worn furniture.  Paint porches, add style appropriate light fixtures, and again eliminate clutter.  Dead plants have to go.  Address dangerous steps or walkways.  Let your home be the one that looks well cared for and inviting.

Furniture placement as an accent

Highlight architectural features

v    Stage:  Buyers need to have a clear picture of what the home offers for their design needs.  Give each room a purpose and clearly define that purpose with the appropriate items.  Multi use rooms have a tendency to confuse the shopper and they will be left wondering how that particular space would serve them. If you give them an idea then they can interpret that as potential valuable space and it will stimulate ideas for their personal use.  Think of furniture arrangement as a tool to emphasize the floor plan, architecture, and most importantly square footage.  Less is sometimes better.  Rent a storage unit and remove larger pieces, multiples, and miss matched items.  Add a few decorative touches but don’t make is distractive to the main objective and that is selling the home. 

Staging doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful.  Visit a few model homes and get ideas on furniture placement and décor.  Mimic those ideas with your own creativity and utilizing items you already own. Have a friend critique your home as a buyer would see it and get another perspective.  Your Realtor should be able to give you suggestions and tips for staging as well as provide the name of professional stagers as an option. 




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                                                  Off Leash Dog Parks

            Whether you are a dog owner or not you have to appreciate the wisdom of the community in embracing our four legged friends and giving them a place of their own to romp and play.  There are several off leash dog parks within the community that allow for social interaction, exercising, and training while providing dog stations for keeping the parks clean. 


           Here is a list of current off leash parks that welcome your well behaved dogs. 

  • Bear Creek Regional Park: 25 acres of fenced area that borders Bear Creek.  There is an additional 2 acre area for small dogs that is separated from the large dog play area. This park is on the west side of town near Cheyenne Mt. and on 21st street.   Fenced.
  • Garden of the Gods Dog Park: an area east of Rock Ledge Ranch on 30th.  3130 N. 30th street.  Hours:  5 AM to 11 PM May –Oct. 5 AM- 9PM Nov-March.  Not fenced
  • Rampart Dog Park: Located near Rampart High school and next to the baseball diamond.  8270 Lexington.  5 AM -11 PM May- Oct  and 5 AM- 9 PM Nov – March.  Water spigots and benches provided.  Fenced 
  • Palmer Park Dog Park: park is located at an old baseball field. There is a fenced play area.  3650 Maizeland Rd.
  • Red Rock Canyon: Unfenced areas uphill from the parking lot.  Upper and lower dog loop.  Open dawn to dusk daily.  High street.
  • Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park:  Fenced area at the southern part of the park.  Canoe Creek. 

           Remember it is up to the owner to keep control of their dogs at all times and to monitor activity.  Other tips for a safe and happy outing:

             1.  Use dog toys for your interaction with your pet, don’t let him carry them inside the play area as it might cause fights

             2. Make sure your dogs vaccinations are up to date

             3. If your female dog is in heat –leave her at home or take her for walks with you on a leash

             4. Don’t let small children play inside the dog play areas.

              5. If your dog is playing rough then leash or remove him

              6. Remember to clean up after your dog.

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Winter Car Survival Kit


                        With advanced warning systems and increased population no one ever expects to get caught in a winter storm situation that traps them on our highways, but it happens.  Preparedness gives you the best chance of survival until help arrives.  Keeping a survival kit in the car during the winter months is just one way to ensure the best possible outcome should the unthinkable happen.

Winter in the Rockies

Winter in the Rockies


                        The Colorado Division of Emergency Management has set basic guidelines to handle blizzard conditions that trap you in a car including carrying the following in a water tight container in the trunk.

  • high-calorie, non-perishable food
  • flashlight with extra batteries
  • first aid kit
  • knife
  • extra clothing to keep dry
  • a tin can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water
  • sack of sand (or cat litter)
  • collapsible shovel
  • windshield scraper and brush
  • tool kit
  • tow rope
  • booster cables
  • water container
  • sterno
  • pencil/paper/cards
  • duct tape
  • Bright red cloth for signal banner

                        Some other items that might be helpful are light sticks and heat packets for inside gloves and socks.  Keep a cell phone charger in the car as well. 

                         If you are caught in a blizzard here are some suggestions by the Emergency Management team:

  • Pull off the road, set hazard lights to flashing, and hang a distress flag (red bandana or shop towel) from the radio antenna or window. Remain in your vehicle; rescuers are most likely to find you there.
  • Conserve fuel, but run the engine and heater about ten minutes each hour to keep warm, cracking a downwind window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Exercise to maintain body heat but don’t over-exert. Huddle with other passengers and use your coat for a blanket.
  • In extreme cold use road maps, seat covers, floor mats, newspapers or extra clothing for covering–anything to provide additional insulation and warmth.
  • Turn on the inside dome light so rescue teams can see you at night, but be careful not to run the battery down. In remote areas, spread a large cloth over the snow to attract the attention of rescue planes.
  • Do not set out on foot unless you see a building close by where you know you can take shelter.
  • Once the blizzard is over, you may need to leave the car and proceed on foot. Follow the road if possible. If you need to walk across open country, use distant points as landmarks to help maintain your sense of direction.


According to the Minnesota Department of safety one of the most important things to keep in mind is:

     Keep Fresh Air in Your Vehicle

     It’s much better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Wet or wind-driven snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your vehicle. Don’t run the engine unless you are sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keep snow off the radiator to prevent the engine from overheating.

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Thought for the day!

           So grab your coffee and take a moment to ponder these thoughts:

  • Can atheists get insurance for Acts of God?
  • Could someone ever get addicted to counseling and how would you treat them?
  • Did Adam and Eve have navels?
  • What’s the speed of dark?
  • Why do psychics have to ask your name?
  • Amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic

            Thanks to John Belanger and Steven Wright for making us all go Hmmmm for the week.

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                    Now that we are headed into the winter months it is more important than ever to correctly price your home to position it strategically amongst the competition.  There are 3 things that give you the edge: location, condition, and price.  Let’s take a look at price.  According to statistics provided by Jay Gupta, PPAR chairman, 26% of the homes sold were on the market less than 30 days.  Only 12% of the active listings sold in September and with 26% of those selling in less than 30 days, the other 74% of homes that sold had been on the market from 30 to over 120 days.  Another interesting fact is that the sale to listing price ratio is at 96.5%- low ball offers are not winning the day.

Getting it Right= Success!

Getting it Right= Success!


                        So the important lesson to take from the data is that you want to have your Realtor do a current market analysis on your home taking into consideration the most recent sold statistics, the current condition of your home, and the active competition.  The numbers will tell what the market is going to support for your home and from that you can choose if this is the right time to sell and what the best price should be to position you correctly.  Now is not the time to “test the market” and that mentality usually leads to frustration, lower offers in the long run, and more upheaval during the marketing stages.  Selling your home doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process if the home is priced correctly from the onset.  Check in next time for a discussion on condition.

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Tenacity Driven-Turn Key Results

Tenacity Driven-Turn Key Results


Welcome to my  blog on the Pikes Peak region.  Colorado Springs is a community at the base of Pikes Peak home to several military bases including the Air Force Academy and Fort Carson.  The community is also the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts and is conveniently located to some of the best ski resorts in the world.  Here you will find interesting news on the community as well as the current real estate market.

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