Colorado Springs Homes For Sale | Real Estate for Military PCSing
  • To Log in or Sign Up for My Property Finder Click Here

Melinda O'Donnell

Broker Associate

Newsletter

Pikes Peak Region Market Report

10/23/2017

The 4 Biggest Mold Myths and Scare Tactics

8/19/2017

 

 

Mold is everywhere. According to the CDC, "There is always a little mold everywhere - in the air and on many surfaces." So the presence of mold does not always mean there is a hazardous condition.

When you suspect mold to be a problem in your home or business, you are faced with a lot of questions.  With all of the misinformation out there about mold, it is sometimes difficult to tell what is fact and what is just simply fear mongering.

To help you understand the difference between the two, we have assembled the top 4 mold myths and provided the facts for each. 

Myth #1 – Mold is directly responsible for many deaths

Unfortunately, myth #1 is one of the most perpetuated falsehoods in the mold removal industry. Those who propagate the mold conspiracy grab a hold of anything where mold is mentioned and exploit that point as another instance which validates their belief, gives them story or improves their bottom line. Mold can have an impact on respiratory health when it is airborne, however it is difficult to find any instance where mold was directly responsible for the death of an individual.

Myth #2 – Black mold is the most dangerous mold

Believe it or not, there is no such thing, scientifically, as “black mold”. Again, a term perpetuated by some in the industry, "black mold" has become synonymous with dangerous or "toxic mold" instilling fear into the public. While there is certainly mold that is black in color, this does not identify a specific mold that is inherently dangerous. Stachybotrys is one mold that is commonly referred to when speaking of black mold. Even with its reputation, Stachybotrys is not toxic or poisonous (see myth #3).

Myth #3 – There are specific types of toxic mold

It has often been perpetuated that when you see mold, you must be extremely cautious because it might be "toxic". The National Center for Disease Control addresses this myth when they state, "The term toxic mold is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins or more specifically mycotoxins, the molds themselves are not toxic or poisonous. Hazards presented by molds that may produce mycotoxins should be considered the same as other common mold which can grow in your house. There is always a little mold everywhere -in the air and on many surfaces."*

Myth #4 – You must identify each mold type to deal with the problem

We often hear that we need to test for certain types of mold. The only time that this is true is when someone has been diagnosed as allergic to specific molds by an Allergist. Since most people are not diagnosed as allergic to specific molds, identifying each specific mold is a waste of time and money.

Two important statements from the National Center for Disease Control dispel this myth:*

  1. "We do not believe that one needs to take any different precautions with Stachybotrys than with other molds."
  2. "It is not necessary to determine what type of mold you may have. All mold should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.”

 

Soure: Integrity Air Quality http://4moldmyths.integrityaq.com/

HIDDEN HOMEOWNER COSTS

8/17/2017

 

Budgeting for buying a home can be difficult enough when you're just weighing mortgage options and a purchase price. But there are many other factors that go into the cost of home ownership. Some of them are one-time expenses that you'll pay during the home buying process, while others will be recurring costs for as long as you own the home.

Closing costs

There are several smaller fees that add up to a rather large sum when you're going through the closing process-loan fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, and more. They typically add up to 2-5% of the purchase price. For a $300,000 home-roughly the national median-that's in the neighborhood of $10,000, so be sure to budget for it.

Appraisal

Your lender will require an appraisal, and the appraisal fee (a few hundred dollars) comes out of your pocket. Inspection

The few hundred dollars you'll pay for a home inspection is money well spent, but it's something you have to keep in mind during the purchase process. You'll have the peace of mind of knowing the house is free from any major issues, and you're making a smart, solid investment.

Insurance

Although homeowners insurance isn't legally required, it'll almost certainly be required by your lender. Further insurance, such as flood insurance, may also be required (depending on your location).

Home Owners Association

If you're living in a property or community with shared spaces, you'll almost certainly have an HOA fee. This pays for things like trash removal, maintenance of common areas, and for recreational facilities like gyms and swimming pools.

RECONSIDER THESE CHOICES WHEN YOU’RE DESIGNING YOUR KITCHEN

8/14/2017

 

 

The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.

Make Your Small Bathroom Look Bigger

7/27/2017

 

Make your small bathroom look bigger

Is your tiny bathroom feeling tight? Maximize your space with these simple tricks:

  • Clarify. Instead of a heavy, opaque shower curtain, choose a clear shower curtain or glass shower door.  This will show off the full depth of the room.
  • Brighten. Choose solid, light colors for towels, rugs and other linens to brighten up the space.
  • Clean. Remove or hide away clutter, clearing off the sink and tucking away toiletries into a cabinet or basket.
  • Glow. Let the light in by switching out dull fixtures and placing mirrors to strategically reflect the light.

Ready to upgrade into another home? Contact me for information about buying or selling!

Solar panels: Pros and Cons

7/24/2017

 

 

 

As the cost of electricity increases, more homeowners are thinking about purchasing solar panels or enrolling in a solar lease program. Before committing your time, effort and money, consider these solar panel system pros and cons:

PROS

  • Solar panels add value to your home. Nine out of ten home buyers prefer to purchase an energy-efficient home even if the price is 2%-3% higher than a similar non-energy-efficient home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
  • The federal government offers a 30% Investment Tax Credit against your personal income taxes on the purchase of a solar panel system.
  • Solar lease programs offer a no-money-down option, a locked-in reduced electrical rate and a full warranty for the duration of the lease.
  • Solar panel systems save you money on your monthly electrical bill. A solar lease provides an average 15% savings on monthly utility costs. The savings are even higher for panels that are purchased outright. However, this is offset by the cost of the panels. California is also a “net metering” state which means you receive credit on your electric bill for any excess energy your solar panels produce.

CONS

  • Solar panel systems can cost $15,000-$30,000 installed.
  • You may have to perform costly roof repairs before you can install solar panels.
  • Solar lease contracts may cause a delay in closing or even cancellation of a pending home sale. Some buyers may not qualify to assume your solar lease. However, most solar companies will allow you to buy your solar panel system if you are interested in converting the lease. In this case, you will then need to negotiate with the buyer the price they are willing to pay for the existing system.
  • Solar panel systems are long-term investments. On average, it takes a homeowner 20 years to pay off the full cost of a solar panel system. Solar leases eliminate the investment aspect, but still require a similar, lengthy commitment.

 

Click here if you'd like more information on solar panels in Colorado Springs or surrounding area.

Solar panels: Pros and Cons

7/24/2017

 

 

 

As the cost of electricity increases, more homeowners are thinking about purchasing solar panels or enrolling in a solar lease program. Before committing your time, effort and money, consider these solar panel system pros and cons:

PROS

  • Solar panels add value to your home. Nine out of ten home buyers prefer to purchase an energy-efficient home even if the price is 2%-3% higher than a similar non-energy-efficient home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
  • The federal government offers a 30% Investment Tax Credit against your personal income taxes on the purchase of a solar panel system.
  • Solar lease programs offer a no-money-down option, a locked-in reduced electrical rate and a full warranty for the duration of the lease.
  • Solar panel systems save you money on your monthly electrical bill. A solar lease provides an average 15% savings on monthly utility costs. The savings are even higher for panels that are purchased outright. However, this is offset by the cost of the panels. California is also a “net metering” state which means you receive credit on your electric bill for any excess energy your solar panels produce.

CONS

  • Solar panel systems can cost $15,000-$30,000 installed.
  • You may have to perform costly roof repairs before you can install solar panels.
  • Solar lease contracts may cause a delay in closing or even cancellation of a pending home sale. Some buyers may not qualify to assume your solar lease. However, most solar companies will allow you to buy your solar panel system if you are interested in converting the lease. In this case, you will then need to negotiate with the buyer the price they are willing to pay for the existing system.
  • Solar panel systems are long-term investments. On average, it takes a homeowner 20 years to pay off the full cost of a solar panel system. Solar leases eliminate the investment aspect, but still require a similar, lengthy commitment.

 

Click here if you'd like more information on solar panels in Colorado Springs or surrounding area.

Solar panels: Pros and Cons

7/24/2017

 

 

 

As the cost of electricity increases, more homeowners are thinking about purchasing solar panels or enrolling in a solar lease program. Before committing your time, effort and money, consider these solar panel system pros and cons:

PROS

  • Solar panels add value to your home. Nine out of ten home buyers prefer to purchase an energy-efficient home even if the price is 2%-3% higher than a similar non-energy-efficient home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
  • The federal government offers a 30% Investment Tax Credit against your personal income taxes on the purchase of a solar panel system.
  • Solar lease programs offer a no-money-down option, a locked-in reduced electrical rate and a full warranty for the duration of the lease.
  • Solar panel systems save you money on your monthly electrical bill. A solar lease provides an average 15% savings on monthly utility costs. The savings are even higher for panels that are purchased outright. However, this is offset by the cost of the panels. California is also a “net metering” state which means you receive credit on your electric bill for any excess energy your solar panels produce.

CONS

  • Solar panel systems can cost $15,000-$30,000 installed.
  • You may have to perform costly roof repairs before you can install solar panels.
  • Solar lease contracts may cause a delay in closing or even cancellation of a pending home sale. Some buyers may not qualify to assume your solar lease. However, most solar companies will allow you to buy your solar panel system if you are interested in converting the lease. In this case, you will then need to negotiate with the buyer the price they are willing to pay for the existing system.
  • Solar panel systems are long-term investments. On average, it takes a homeowner 20 years to pay off the full cost of a solar panel system. Solar leases eliminate the investment aspect, but still require a similar, lengthy commitment.

 

Click here if you'd like more information on solar panels in Colorado Springs or surrounding area.

7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®

7/4/2017

 

REALTORS® are professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. Here is the seven  REALTOR® difference for home buyers:

  1. Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
  2. An expert guide. Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  3. Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
  4. Expanded search power. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
  5. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
  6. Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  7. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.

 

 

Credit National Association of REALTORS®

Page:  of 000  |