Friday, October 24, 2014

Buying Colorado Springs Real Estate and Living In Black Forest

Looking for a home to call your own in Black Forest?

Black Forest refers to an unincorporated portion of El Paso County in northeastern Colorado Springs CO real estate.  Spanning 100 square miles, Colorado Springs real estate in Black Forest is home to 15,000 residents.  The community features a quality lifestyle with acclaimed schools, convenient employment options, and many nearby attractions and recreational options.

Residents of these Black Forest homes enjoy magnificent surroundings, spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and Pike's Peak, an elaborate trail system, retail space, and vibrant community center.  Schools serving Black Forest include Edith Wolford Elementary, Falcon Middle School and Pine Creek and Liberty high schools.

In addition to destination shopping, great restaurants, unique cultural venues, excellent medical facilities, the community is a short commute from the Air Force Academy, numerous universities, 

Set at 6,500 to 7,800 feet elevation in the rolling hills, these Colorado Springs homes offer a natural environment amid Ponderosa pine, aspen, and wildlife. Black Forest offers a variety of home sites, most over five acres, horse properties, and exclusive mountain homes for sale.  

Search Black Forest Homes Here
Selling Your Home?  What is Your Home Worth?

Carrie Lukins
Your Running Realtor
Sell State Alliance Realty
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Colorado Springs Neighborhoods - For Sale - 6965 Sugar Creek CR, Colorado Springs, CO 80911 UNDER $225,000

6965 Sugar Creek CR
Colorado Springs, CO 80911
Residential - Colorado Springs, CO
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Carrie Lukins

Mobile: 719-651-2199:
Office: 719-358-8515:
Website: Visit Website

Price : $224,900.00
Bedrooms : 4
Bathrooms : 3.00
Square Foot : 2,936
Lot Size : 7,957 sq.ft.
County : El Paso
Property Type : Single Family
Year Built : 1985
MLS Number : 3349642

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Property Description
Complete info: - Welcome home to this spacious remodeled residence. Green lawns welcome you home. Enter into the main level to an over sized family room with custom woodwork framing the picture window. Formal dining room adjacent to the kitchen or family room. Kitchen has custom quartz counter tops, a built in breakfast nook, plenty of cabinet space and ss appliances. Walk out to the composite deck and enjoy the fully landscaped back yard. Upper level has 3 bedrooms, including the master, and 2nd bath - all updated and large. Lower level family room has access to 1/2 bath, laundry room and oversize garage. Non conforming basement has office and forth bedroom all on garden level which provides ample natural light, plus plenty of storage. For More Information and To View This Beautiful Home Call Carrie Lukins at 719-651-2199 at Sell State Alliance Realty today.
Equal Housing Opportunity.
SellState Alliance Realty : 9475 Briar Village Pt, Ste 215 - Colorado Springs, : 719-651-2199

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

7 Ways Colorado Home Buyers Can Match Their Budget To Buying Their Dream Home

7 Ways to Match Your First Dream Home to Your Budget

You are ready to buy your first home. Congrats!
Although you haven’t found it yet, in your mind, it’s perfect! Open floor plan, granite countertops, a walk-in closet … the works!
Not to burst your bubble, but let’s take a step back. You are buying your very first home. It may be great, but chances are it won’t be your dream home. In fact, you may be one or two more home purchases and moves away from your “dream home.” And that‘s okay. The key to finding the right first home purchase for you is striking the right balance of a home that comes as close to your dream home requirements as possible, but still stays within your budget.

Starter Home

The term “starter home” exists for a reason. At the height of the housing market craziness, and right before the bubble burst, many first-time home buyers jumped over the starter home and into a bonafide dream home. Now, we are all painfully aware of how that all turned out. You have to accept that your first house is probably not going to be the one you’ll live in for the rest of your life. That’s okay! And the thought of what lies ahead should be exciting! When you think about the fact that your future holds salary increases and smart savings plans, the opportunity to move up becomes more real. When you’re ready to jump up to a larger, dreamier home, this first home can provide you with the funds for that purchase.

House to Condo

Yes, you are going to need to narrow down your search at some point, but as you begin to play with the choices, keep an open mind. You may be thinking about a house, but there might be a great condo with a cool balcony, a stunning view, and great amenities that could be just as dreamy. For your budget, a condo or even townhouse might get you closer to your dreams than a single family home.

Older vs New Construction

According to a recent Trulia trends report, twice as many people prefer new homes over existing homes.“New” means new construction, or homes purchased in pre-construction while “existing” means a house someone else has lived in. In many parts of the country, especially the East, Northeast and South, many of these “existing” homes are homes built anywhere from the 1920s – 1970s. For the same price, 2 in 5 of Americans (41%) strongly prefer to buy a newly-built home over an existing home. However, most new construction homes could cost you up to 20% more than a comparable older house. Buying an older home could add up to big savings and allow you to get a bigger piece of the “dream” than a brand new one.

The Fixer

I am a huge proponent of buying a home that you can add value to, rather than paying the bigger price tag to someone else who had the work done for you. Offsetting a big price tag with some sweat equity is a very smart move. In addition, you can get much more home for your dollar, and have the option to fix up and improve it as time goes on and as you have the available cash to fund the renovations. Plus, all that original older architectural detail that comes with many fixer-uppers is a dream in the making.

Balancing Dreams and Location

You now are pretty clear about how much you can afford and the price range you need to consider. Now comes the major tug-of-war between where you want to live and what you can actually afford. Sure, we all want to live in the swankiest part of town. But your budget may not support that choice. Be prepared for this “price vs. location” battle. I warn you, it could get ugly. You can live in a slightly less desirable neighborhood, but you can’t live in a house you can’t afford!

Transitional Neighborhood

Buying in a transitional neighborhood for your first house allows you to get into the market relatively cheaply and build some equity. It may not be your dream ‘hood, or the seaside beach community you want to retire to, but clearly, it’s not going to be your ultimate dream home. If you can identify an area on the upswing, you have secured yourself lots of potential wealth building. The neighborhood may be a little rough around the edges now, but if you have gauged its transition potential correctly, in three or five years you may be sitting in the middle of a hot new trendy area, where home prices have risen substantially!

Knowing The Must-Haves vs. Should-Haves

What makes something about a house a “must-have” and another element a “should-have?” Well, the must-have is essential in your new home. For example: “We now have a newborn baby, so we must have a two-bedroom house.” However, a should-have is not essential and it may get nixed out of the mix if price becomes an issue. For example: “We should have a three-bedroom house. That way we can save one room for guests or for a home office.” That third bedroom is not a must-have and you could or may have to live without it to get into a house you can afford. Square footage is also a must-have. For a first-time home buyer, 1,600 square feet could be a realistic minimum must-have, whereas 2,300 square feet is a should-have. A nice, clean, functional kitchen is a must-have, but a gourmet kitchen with double ovens and Viking stainless steel appliances is sadly just a should-have.
Knowing your dream house must-haves vs. should-haves really helps you prioritize, because on the ultimate hunt for your dream home — compromises are going to have to be made.
Happy hunting!
I can help you find that perfect home, negotiate and guide you through a smooth process to home ownership.  Call Carrie Lukins, SellState Alliance Realty at          719-651-2199 or visit Today!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

6 Things That Prevent Your Colorado Springs Home From Selling

Nothing’s more frustrating for a seller than having your home sit on the market. And sit… and sit… and sit some more.
Maybe buyers are touring your house, but not making offers. Or maybe buyers aren’t visiting your home at all. Either way, you’re starting to feel rejected, like the last kid to be picked in dodge ball.

Have no fear. Often, the reason a home sits on the market for longer than expected boils down to a few easy-to-fix issues. Here are six of the big ones.
1. You’ve priced it too high.
No matter what you feel your home should be worth, the truth is it’s only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Get a feel for what the comps — or comparable homes in your area — are going for and listen to buyer feedback. If people are consistently telling you the price is an issue, it’s time to pay attention.
Trust your real estate agent to inform you about a fair price for the current market, and if you’re truly dead-set on getting your ideal asking price, take an honest look at whether you need to make upgrades to your home or wait for a market uptick.
2. No one knows it’s for sale.
Simply sticking a “for sale” sign in the lawn won’t cut it. Today’s buyers do the majority of their home searching online, which means you need to get your home listed on major real estate sites (like Trulia) and on the MLS, or the multiple listing service, used by realtors and brokers. You’ll also want to make sure your online listing includes plenty of high-quality, well-staged photos.
3. It’s got glaring issues.
It could be a big issue (like a failing roof or wonky foundation), or it could be a small but obnoxious issue that buyers just can’t get past (like your beloved wall-to-wall pink carpeting). Either way, the fact that your home isn’t selling means buyers are consistently finding something wrong with it. Ask potential buyers for feedback after you conduct showings; their answers may help clue you in to the problem.
Some buyers are willing to accept a a lower price or a closing credit for a home with a sticking-point issue, but others are turned off from the start and figure it’s not worth the hassle of fixing it themselves or trying to negotiate a concession.
4. It doesn’t show well.
Make sure that when prospective buyers tour your home, there’s nothing stopping them from falling in love with it.
Open those blinds and curtains to let the natural light in and put lamps in areas that are especially dim. Remove any bulky furniture that makes the rooms hard to navigate. Take care of those small items you’ve been putting off, like fixing sticky drawer pulls or that leaky faucet. Small updates like these could be turning off buyers.
5. Buyers can’t picture themselves living there.
The more you enable buyers to picture their own life in your house, the more likely they’ll be to make an offer.
Clean and remove clutter and get rid of overly personal items like those family photos along the stairway and your kids’ artwork on the fridge. If your home is currently empty, near-empty, or your furnishings aren’t to most buyers’ tastes, you may want to consider hiring someone to professionally stage your rooms.
6. You’ve neglected the curb appeal.
More than one buyer has pulled up to a house whose listing they liked, taken one look at the exterior, and driven away. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your home is on the inside; if buyers aren’t willing to step in the door, then you’ve lost them.
A few simple fixes can make your curb appeal irresistible. Weed and mulch the flowerbeds, trim the hedges, clear the walkways, and repaint any flaking siding. Consider adding some “homey” touches like a wreath on the door or a bench on the porch. You don’t need to spend a ton on landscaping; just making the outside look presentable and welcoming can make all the difference.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Colorado Home Buyers Are Investing In Rental Propertes

Do You Want To Rent Out Your Current Property and Buy a New Home? Invest In a Rental Property?

 A recent study has concluded that 39% of buyers prefer to rent out their last residence rather than sell it when purchasing their next home.
The study cites that many homeowners were able to refinance and “locked in a very low mortgage rate in recent years. That low rate, combined with a strong rental market, means they can charge more in rent than they pay in mortgage each month... so they are going for it.”
This logic makes sense in some cases. Residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for. Are you ready to be a landlord? Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.

10 Questions to ask BEFORE Investing in a rental property 

  1. How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
  2. Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
  3. Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
  4. Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
  5. Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
  6. How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
  7. Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?
  8. Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
  9. How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
  10. Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

Bottom Line

Again, renting out residential real estate historically is a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale. 

Carrie Lukins, SellState Alliance Realty, Colorado Springs, CO. is an experienced agent that knows the Colorado real estate market.
Carrie has a sharp eye for good home buys for investors wanting rental properties.
Call Carrie today for a free consultation and a list of homes based upon your goals that are available for purchase.  With current home loan rates historically low, it makes sense with the current rental market, to lock in great mortgage rates - ask about our preferred lenders and attractive programs they have!

Call 719-651-2199 or go to

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moving In Colorado? Get Our Neighborhood & Search Information To Make The Right Choice

Planning a Colorado move? Our neighborhood information will help you make the right choice.
 It's a Better Way to Buy and Sell Real Estate

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Contact us if you'd like more information on finding your dream home or preparing to sell your home. 719-651-2199

Carrie Lukins
Your Running Realtor

SellState Alliance Realty
A Better Way To Buy and Sell Real Estate