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Old 03-24-2008, 06:27 PM
 
15 posts, read 41,874 times
Reputation: 13

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We are planning a trip to scout out housing before we move. We are trying to find "Open Houses." The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors search feature doesn't include open houses. I sent them an email but never got a reply.

Does any one know of a web site that has "open houses" for Colorado Springs?

We are trying to avoid dealing directly with a Realtor until we can get a better idea of what we want. We don't want to waste their time or commit to a particular agent until we have scouted various parts of town.
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:48 PM
Status: "In Sunny California" (set 12 hours ago)
 
Location: Concord, CA
6,465 posts, read 7,106,522 times
Reputation: 22315
I usually don't see Open House notices until Saturday morning. Try gazette.com for a link.

I don't blame you for not wanting to involve a Realtor. They are very hungry now, and some are most incredibly aggressive. That's what happens when people must make a living solely on commissions.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:00 PM
 
Location: CO Springs
149 posts, read 304,279 times
Reputation: 53
The advantage of having a realtor is huge. First off I do not believe it cost the buyer anything to have a realtor. When i was looking for a house to buy I got with a great realtor and she showed me 20 houses over a two day period. I first viewed them on the web and then gave her a list of the houses i wanted to see and the date I was to be in town. She made all of the appointments and drove me around to see them. What are the disadvantages of having a realtor when you are the buyer in Colorado Springs? I know of some disadvantages when you are the seller (Less money in your pocket). OP if you are interested in the name and number of my realtor please PM me.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,343 posts, read 88,190,122 times
Reputation: 17667
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave101 View Post
We are planning a trip to scout out housing before we move. We are trying to find "Open Houses." The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors search feature doesn't include open houses. I sent them an email but never got a reply.

Does any one know of a web site that has "open houses" for Colorado Springs?

We are trying to avoid dealing directly with a Realtor until we can get a better idea of what we want. We don't want to waste their time or commit to a particular agent until we have scouted various parts of town.
Do you already know the approximate area in which you want to live? (Sounds like the answer is no.) I would think you'd narrow down the region -> neighborhoods and the last thing you'd do is start getting into open houses, right?

Where are you going to work?
What is your housing price range?
Kids? Ages?

With that people on the forum can help you decide on what neighborhoods to consider. Then, once you've narrowed it down to one or two neighborhoods, you can start checking out individual homes.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
602 posts, read 1,769,930 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave101 View Post
We are planning a trip to scout out housing before we move. We are trying to find "Open Houses." The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors search feature doesn't include open houses. I sent them an email but never got a reply.

Does any one know of a web site that has "open houses" for Colorado Springs?

We are trying to avoid dealing directly with a Realtor until we can get a better idea of what we want. We don't want to waste their time or commit to a particular agent until we have scouted various parts of town.
Go to openhouse.com.............. I have been corresponding with a Realtor there in the Springs area, as I'm moving next year, and I was just up front with her saying that at this point I'm just getting a feel for the area. She set up an automated search in area and anytime there is a new listing or a change in the listing it lets me know. If takes less than 10 minutes for the Realtor to set up, and that way you can get the best info without taking up all of their time. PM me if you're interested in her contact info.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
180 posts, read 1,060,209 times
Reputation: 319
Definitely have to figure out the area you want to look at. When we started looking 3 years ago, we were looking at the Boulder/Longmont area and ended up just outside of the Springs. Big difference.

Gotta figure out the house size you're least willing to get as well as how much property you want. Cookie cutter neighborhood (good for families with kids so they have neighborhood kids to play with) or semi custom house with 1/4-1/2 an acre and some decent privacy or 5+ acres getting away from a lot of it all.

You'll also want to check Covenants (home owners associations). 2 miles from our house, if you can see it from the freeway, you can't do it type of thing. It's bad. There's houses there that have been up for sale for years. People look, find out about the covenants and run.

By all means, find a realtor and just don't let them push you into something. Money-wise, they pretty much get the same, so find one that you're comfortable with and don't sign any contracts that lock you into using them.

When we first started looking in Boulder, we found an extremely nice guy, took us around to all kinds of places that fit our minimum requirements as well as some that exceeded our requirements but still fit our price range.

Charles makes some great points. Depending on where you're coming from, a 45+ mile commute to work might seem like a long way to go, but if you're coming from a big city, realize that the traffic won't be nearly as bad. But if you didn't have snow, realize also that when it does snow, a lot of CO drivers don't know how to to drive. (Sorry CO residents - my experience!!) I've seen people with CO plates just stop in the fast lane during a heavy rain storm or during a mild snow. This isn't to say that they weren't from CA or TX where I know that CA drivers can't drive in the rain. Off the soapbox... Sorry.

Interview some realtors over the phone though. They won't make money without you and you just have to tell them to lay off if they get too aggressive. Lay it out up front. You're just looking, you're going to move, but you're just looking. You could schedule a few different realtors as well.

Keep in mind that The Springs is BIG. So there are many different types of neighborhoods within the city. Also keep in mind that The Springs is exploding, watch a particular area for traffic patterns, make sure that you're ok with where that area is going to go. Like along Powers has been exploding big time and there's no real freeways to get you around that direction and it doesn't look like there's going to be anything there anytime soon the way construction goes out here. Like I25 construction from Academy on down south. That's been going on for way too many years.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
602 posts, read 1,769,930 times
Reputation: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpitts View Post
The advantage of having a realtor is huge. First off I do not believe it cost the buyer anything to have a realtor. When i was looking for a house to buy I got with a great realtor and she showed me 20 houses over a two day period. I first viewed them on the web and then gave her a list of the houses i wanted to see and the date I was to be in town. She made all of the appointments and drove me around to see them. What are the disadvantages of having a realtor when you are the buyer in Colorado Springs? I know of some disadvantages when you are the seller (Less money in your pocket). OP if you are interested in the name and number of my realtor please PM me.
You're correct. It does not cost a buyer anything to obtain a Realtor. Commisions are paid by the seller and then it is split between the listing realtor and selling realtor, so to a buyer the advantages are numerous. For those of us in the business, it's just a hazard of the trade if we end up spending time on a lead that doesn't work out, but it is nice that dave is wanting to be considerate of someone's time
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:08 AM
 
15 posts, read 41,874 times
Reputation: 13
Thanks to all of you. We will be retired but the wife and I will both be doing some self employed stuff so we won't move way out of town.

No kids, so schools are not an issue other than taxes. Reading various articles on school financing, it seems there is some advantage to buying in the larger districts (say 11 or 20). Some of the articles I've read on districts like Falcon that are rapidly expanding and have limited commercial tax base are making me do further research.

The fact that you have to live in a house for 10 consecutive years to get the over 65 exemption and the fact that it can be suspended makes planning a little harder. Typically we might move to town and move a time or two in the first 5 years but the 10 year rule makes that tough.

We are coming from the flat lands of Houston where there are no basements so the whole multi level housing thing will be new to us.

Like many retirees what we can afford and what we'd like to spend are two different things. We'd like to stay in the $220,000 to $300,000 range and still get 4 bedrooms or 3 plus study.

Our initial interest is downtown (or within 10 minutes or so) or somewhere 10 minutes north or south of Woodman (can't be too far from Walmart or Sam's, just kidding) between I-25 and the eastern boundary of school district 11 or 20.

But we are wide open, what are the best neighborhoods between $220,000 and $300,000?

Thanks again everyone.

Dave
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
602 posts, read 1,769,930 times
Reputation: 212
good luck to you! One of the best things to think about when buying is resale value and/or potential. For instance, even though schools aren't a factor for you and your wife, if you ever want or need to sell your home school district could be a factor in how quickly you can sell your home and how much you will get for it....this would be especially true for a three or four bedroom home which is the size that many families would look for.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
180 posts, read 1,060,209 times
Reputation: 319
I forgot this one website, may or may not help you, but Real Estate Valuations, Homes for Sale, Free Real Estate Information | Zillow Real Estate can help you quite a bit. Put in Colorado Springs, CO and zoom in on different areas and it will show you what's on the market and for how much, once you find some prices, you can click on those houses, see the area and do some birds eye views as well with more detail along with the specs of the house and stuff.
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