Merry Christmas 2012

Christmas is almost here!  I wanted to wish you many blessing for a joyous Christmas and cheers & happiness on new years eve.  2013 will be a great year!  ENJOY

Christmas Giving Ideas

I love this time of year. Do you? I love to give to others and recently read of a few creative ideas for giving...

- tape candy canes on an ATM
- tape quarters to a vending machine or Redbox machine
- take hot cocoa or coffee to Salvation Army bell ringers
- give Starbucks gift card to your trash men
- have a treat in your mailbox for your mail person
- pay for the person behind you in line at Starbucks

There are so many Random Acts of Kindness that you can do to bring others joy and cheer. What are some of your favorite ideas?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours

I love this time of year.... mild weather, fall colors, pumpkins and cinnamon, cool nights... and I am so THANKFUL for family and friends. 
May your Thanksgiving be filled with many blessings.

Pikes Peak Area Housing Market Overview 3rd Quarter 2012

Below is data provided by the Pikes Peak REALTOR Services Corp for the 3rd quarter of 2012 regarding the El Paso County, Colorado housing market. It's exciting to see that the pending sales and the sold properties are up significantly from this time last year. 
You can click on the image below to make it larger. Please leave me a comment or email me with questions.

Change your Clocks this weekend

It's that time of year again.... time to FALL BACK with our clocks....
So don't forget... I usually change my clocks Saturday night before bed so when I wake up Sunday everything is already changed... how about you?

Thinking of all those affected by Hurricane Sandy

My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy. I know there is a long road ahead of clean up - mourning - rebuilding - and getting back to "normal". I feel distant from it all being in Colorado Springs... but I'm thinking of you all!

Fall in Colorado and Hash Running

Turn up your sound (I'm having difficulties getting the sound when I video to be the appropriate level) - and enjoy this 30 second clip about lovely fall weather in Colorado Springs and my first hash run!

An Easy Appliance Fix

Garbage Disposal Stops

Garbage Disposals are designed to shut off when they are jammed to the point of stalling the motor. This is to prevent motor burn out. They also are designed so you can dislodge whatever is inhibiting operation. Underneath the unit you will see a hex-head slot. All units should come with a wrench to match the slot, but if you have misplaced it, don't fret; an Allen key will work just as well.
1. First, and most importantly, unplug the unit. Locate the slot in the center of the underside of the unit.
2. Next, fit the wrench into the slot and work it back and forth so the blades move. Continue doing this until the unit is spinning without resistance.
3. With the unit spinning freely, plug it back in and press the reset button. Now test the unit while running a lot of water.

History & Heritage of Colorado

Whether you live in Colorado, want to move here or are thinking about visiting here, I love learning about the history and heritage of our state. I'm sure if you live in or near Colorado Springs, most of us have all driven the Pikes Peak Highway or ridden the Cog Railway, visited Cave of the Winds and Manitou Cliff Dwellings... but there is so much more to our state that I haven't explored!  Again, whether you live here or not, there is PLENTY to do in our state - many things that I didn't even know we offered. Enjoy checking out the links below and I hope you'll come back to my site to read more.

Do you enjoy learning about dinosaurs? At Dinosaur National Monument, Dinosaur Ridge and Picketwire Canyonlands, you can walk the same paths Colorado’s prehistoric dinosaurs. At the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Dinosaur Journey Museum and the Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center, explore interactive exhibits about Colorado dinosaurs and learn about other creatures from Colorado’s history.

At the Ancestral Puebloans, Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument and the Anasazi Heritage Center you can experience Colorado's earliest human residents. Colorado’s history is full of rich American Indian heritage that can be experienced at galleries and festivals across the state, in addition to history museums and sites such as the Ute Indian Museum, Koshare Indian Museum and along the Trail of the Ancients Scenic and Historic Byway.

The exploration of the West and life on the frontier can be seen at numerous historic Colorado forts, including Bent’s Old Fort, Fort Garland and Fort Uncompahgre. Along the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway, travelers can experience living on the new frontier and the views that rewarded the settlers as they arrived at the base of the mountains.

The 19th-century mining boom drew many people to Colorado with a hope of striking it rich. Today, travelers can experience a mining train trip 3,000 feet into the Bachelor Syracuse Mine in southwest Colorado and see the prosperous, historic main streets of mining towns such as Breckenridge, Leadville and Central City.

For more information, visit Colorado History & Heritage.

Mortgage Settlement Money Available to some Colorado Borrowers

Colorado borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosures between Jan. 2, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 might be eligible for payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement.

Attorney General John Suthers sent a letter this week for eligible borrowers to file claims, which must be returned no later than Jan. 18.

Eligible borrowers had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Read more at The Colorado Springs Business Journal

Mortgage Rates Remain at All Time Low - But Getting Approved is Becoming Harder

Demand for mortgages from homebuyers and homeowners refinancing continues to rise, as rates continue to find new record lows in the wake of the Federal Reserve's latest round of mortgage bond purchases.

But mortgage underwriting standards -- largely dictated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration -- remain tight, and mortgages are difficult to obtain for those with less than sterling credit.

Rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.36 % for the week ending Oct. 4, down from 3.40% last week and 3.94% a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That's a new low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971.

Homeowners who refinance are frequently interested in a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. Those rates averaged 2.69%, down from 2.73% last week and 3.26% a year ago. That's a new low in records dating to 1991.

Rates on five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loans averaged 2.72%, up from 2.71% last week but down from 2.96% a year ago. Rates on five-year ARM loans hit a low in records dating to 2005 of 2.69% during the week ending July 19.

Full story from Inman News

Skateboarder Gets Tangled Up With Deer On Lookout Mountain « CBS Denver

Skateboarder Gets Tangled Up With Deer On Lookout Mountain « CBS Denver

Home Prices Continue to Grow

In August, we saw the biggest annual increase in national home prices since 2006. Nationally, home prices are up 4.6 percent from August of 2011 according to CoreLogic's home price index.  Most U.S. states showed home price gains in August.  The states that saw depreciation in home sales were Rhode Island, Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama, & Connecticut. The 5 states with the highest annual price appreciation were Arizona (18.2%), Idaho (10.4%), Nevada (9%), Utah (8.9%) and Hawaii (8%).

Another CoreLogic index that is based on Multiple Listing Service Data across the country predicts that September will prove to have a home price gain of approximately 6.3% over September of 2011.

Crock Pot Recipe for Fall

If you live in or around Colorado Springs, you know that fall is a wonderful time of year. The mornings are cool, the days are pleasant to warm and the evenings are once again cool (or even downright cold!). Fall makes me think of soups and chilis and other crock pot recipes and I wanted to share a Chicken, Pasta & Bacon recipe with you that is delicious.



  • vegetable oil, about 2 tablespoons
  • 4 to 6 chicken breast halves, or use 3 pounds chicken parts
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni or small shells, cooked
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes, crumbled


Brown chicken, a few pieces at a time in oil and drain Fry bacon lightly in the same pan, remove, set aside and pour off all fat. Place chicken and bacon in slow cooker; add onion, salt, pepper and broth. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours, high 3 to 4 hours, or until chicken is tender. Turn to high, add hot cooked macaroni and parsley flakes. Cook 15 minutes longer; taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Serves 4 to 6.
Here are a few great Slow Cooker Recipe web sites that I enjoy:
Williams-Sonoma                            My Recipes
Taste of Home                                All Recipes
Martha Stewart                              Food Network
The above recipe was taken from Southern Food.

Washers & Dryers: A Buyer's Guide

Today’s washers run the gamut. From conventional top-loading machines that have a center-post agitator, to high-efficiency top-loaders without the center post agitator, as well as front-loader washers. Consider the pros and cons of each type of washer when making a purchase decision.

Top-loading washing machines

Once the only option in washing machines, top loaders come in two varieties. The standard washer with a center-post agitator produces the necessary friction to wash and rinse your clothing. Standard top-loaders tend to be your least expensive choice in washing machines, and they use more water and energy than front-loaders. Buy an energy-efficient ENERGY STAR top-loader model, however, and you can save water and electricity.
High efficiency top-loading washing machines don’t have the post agitator, but instead possess an impeller or rotating mechanism on the floor of the drum that circulates water for washing. This type of system is gentler on clothing and uses half the water of standard variety machines. High efficiency top-loaders also come in energy-efficient models.
Special features offered in top-loading machines are the various capacities, including king-size, and water sensor models that automatically fill the drum according to the amount of laundry you’ve added. Some models boast as many as 16 cycles and four temperature settings.

Front-loading washing machines

Reportedly cleaning the best and most efficiently of all washing machines, front-loading washers generally have an ENERGY STAR label from the U.S. Department of Energy, which indicates that the washer is highly energy efficient. A front-loading washer uses one-third the amount of water than a top loader. Such models are also gentler on clothing, and the spin cycle in such machines is very fast, extracting more moisture and making drying clothing less time-consuming.
Although front-loading machines are generally the most expensive option in washing machines, prices have dropped some in recent years, making these machines more in line with other types.
Special features found in front-loading machines include many types of settings that perform a wide variety of functions, from cleaning heavily soiled items to delicates. These machines are also so “intelligent” that you can simply set a machine according to fabric type and the washer will automatically set the run time, cycle type, spin speed, water-level setting and temperature. Some machines even possess their own water heaters and start delay timers.


Dryers come in gas and electric models. If gas is available and your usage is high, it’s often best to choose such a dryer, because they tend to cost less to operate over the life of the dryer.
Since all dryers work the same by tumbling clothing in heated air, they tend to use similar amount of energy and are therefore not officially rated for energy efficiency, according to the California Energy Commission. Dryers come in several sizes, from compact to oversized, and vary in price according to capacity and features.
Special features in dryers include moisture sensors that cause the machine to shut off once the clothing is dry, saving your clothing and energy. Some dryers also possess a permanent-press cool-down period before shutting off and a wide variety of temperature controls from which to choose. Dryer racks also come with some models, allowing you to dry items like shoes and sweaters.
Now that you know the various options when it comes to washers and dryers, you can choose the best machines for keeping your laundry squeaky clean.

The original article can be found here.

Six Easy Home Repairs to Save you Money

While staying on top of home repairs is an ideal way to ensure that your house remains in tip-top shape, occasionally some costly home repairs are overlooked. Save money and the integrity of your home by considering these six easily overlooked home repairs.

1. Leaky faucets
Seemingly insignificant dripping faucets cost you higher water bills. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science School, one faucet that drips 20 drips per minute results in 694 wasted gallons of water per year. A leaky faucet is often caused by a worn down rubber seal or washer. Simply replace these items and the faucet stops dripping.

2. Leaking water heater
A leaking or faulty water heater can cause extensive damage to your home, both in the long term if it is a slow leak or over the short term if it is a major leak. Water damage can lead to dry rot, mold and mildew build-up. Fixing a leaking water heater can save you a substantial amount of money in repairs. Leaks involving valves or piping can generally be fixed at minimal cost, but if the leak is occurring because of corrosion of the tank itself, it’s necessary to replace the entire water heater.

3. Roof leaks
Small roof leaks often go undetected until they turn into larger problems. The best way to prevent a small problem from becoming a large one is to do a roof inspection. Get up on top of the roof or have a roofer do so to detect any torn or missing shingles or broken tiles. Minor repairs now will cost you very little compared to major repairs later.

4. Damaged windows and siding
Like a leaking roof, damaged siding and windows with worn out seals can lead to slow water leaks that become big leaks over time. Prevent the insidious and devastating effects of water damage by resealing windows every five years or so and fixing any cracked or warped siding as soon as you notice the problem.

5. Worn-out caulking
The caulk surrounding your bathtub walls, sinks and countertops wears down over time. Even minor cracks in caulk can let in moisture, which can lead to water damage and rot in your walls and surrounding areas. Re-caulk anywhere you have running water, including bathrooms and kitchens, every three to five years.

6. Peeling paint
Besides looking unsightly, peeling and flaking paint on the exterior of your home exposes wood to the elements, which can lead to rotting and splitting. Protecting the exterior surface of your home by painting at the first signs of wear and tear keeps your home protected and looking its best. If there are only a few areas that contain peeling paint and the rest of the paint appears to be intact, you can do some spot painting. If you no longer have the original paint or it has dried, take a one-inch-square piece of peeling paint to the paint or hardware store and have it matched so that you get a seamless look when you paint.

Performing these necessary home repairs does take some time, but the result of a well-protected and maintained house is well worth the effort.

Original article can be found here.

Local Home Services Company - House Cleaning, Yard Clean up, Holiday Lights, Gutters

Do you have some fall house cleaning that needs to be done? Maybe you want your windows washed or the leaves removed from your yard? Whether it's interior house cleaning or yard cleanup, I would recommend Spectrum Home Services of Colorado Springs. They have a Fall Cleanup Special ~ see the details below.

Local: 719.598.7080
Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Fall Cleanup
$25 off with a 2 hour minimum service
  • Fall Leaf Removal
  • Fall Yard Cleanup
  • Plant Bulbs
  • Clean Rain Gutters
  • Seal Windows and Doors
  • Outdoor maintenance & Repairs
  • Interior/Exterior Window Washing
  • Holiday Light Installation
  • Christmas Tree Delivery/Removal
  • Interior/Exterior Decorating
  • Deep Cleaning Services
Custom Services to Fit Your Needs
One Time * Weekly * Monthly

Some homeowners regain equity according to Zillow

Home price increases helped more homeowners regain some equity in their homes during the second quarter, according to an analysis by Zillow.
Zillow's Negative Equity Report estimates that 30.9 percent of homeowners with mortgages owed more than their homes were worth at the end of June, down from 31.4 percent at the end of March. That translates into 15.3 million underwater homes -- about 400,000 less than three months before.
The report -- which compares Zillow's automated home valuation "Zestimates" for individual homes with actual mortgage loan balance data from TransUnion --  showed all but one of the 30 largest markets tracked by Zillow saw a quarter-over-quarter improvement in their negative equity rate.
Metro areaQ1 2012 negative equity rate (homes with mortgages)Q2 2012 negative equity rate (homes with mortgages)Difference in rate from Q1 to Q2
United States31.40%30.90%-0.50%
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.46.40%43.70%-2.70%
Las Vegas71.00%68.50%-2.50%
San Jose22.70%20.30%-2.40%
San Francisco30.70%28.50%-2.20%
Riverside, Calif.53.40%51.20%-2.20%
Orlando, Fla.53.90%51.90%-2.00%
Sacramento, Calif.51.20%49.30%-1.90%
This excerpt was taken from Inman News and can be read in its entirety here.

Homebuilder confidence climbs to a six-year high | confidence, high, homebuilder - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Homebuilder confidence climbs to a six-year high | confidence, high, homebuilder - Colorado Springs Gazette, CO

Pikes Peak’s South Slope Expected To Open To The Public By 2014

For the first time in over 100 years the public is going to be allowed to recreate on the formerly forbidden south slope of Pikes Peak. Access to the pristine area has been restricted by Colorado Springs Utilities for decades, but now the Colorado Springs Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services has been awarded $400,000 in grants from the state of Colorado to help fund the development of a new park on the south side of the peak in the Seven Lakes Area.
The new south slope park has been in the planning stages for the past two years and hoped to be ready for public use by the summer of 2014.
The area in question, a proposed new 2,840 acre park on both sides of the Teller/El Paso county line, includes McReynolds Reservoir, Mason Reservoir and Boehmer Reservoir in the Seven Lakes area above Cheyenne Canyon and below the summit of Pikes Peak. 
Access into the area is from the Gold Camp Road, and concerns were raised about increased traffic on the dirt road, which is one lane in places and passes through narrow historic Cripple Creek Short Line Railroad tunnels. If traffic levels exceed 99 cars per day, the road will have to be improved to accommodate the additional use, but how this would be accomplished is not clear. Other concerns include an increase in the trash in the area, as some recreationists are slobs, and garbage can create wildlife conflicts, detract from the natural beauty, and lower water quality.
For further information and the complete article at The Mountain Jackpot, click here.

Mortgage Rates On The Rise - But Still Very Low

Mortgage rates ticked up from historic lows for the fourth week in a row as the bonds that finance most home loans continue to look overpriced to investors.
Some have speculated that the prospect of rising mortgage rates could spur homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence into action. But for now, mortgage rates are still well below historic norms, and there's speculation that the Federal Reserve could move as early as next week to keep long-term rates in check.
Here's what the rates look like as of today, September 17, 2012. If you or someone you know are interested in refinancing or buying ~ I am happy to refer you to several trusted loan officers for financing. And of course, if you are looking to sell your home or buy a new home, I can help you with that!
Rate Table
Average Rates Chart
All rates are subject to change and to lender fees

What to Do in Colorado Springs Summer 2012

It's Wednesday afternoon and I know you are thinking, "What are we going to do tonight?"
Well I have a suggestion:
For complete details and even more information, visit Wolf Ranch

Check out my video of my new listing

3102 Summer Rain Trail in Colorado Springs, CO 80908 in Bison Ridge at Kettle Creek

This 4 bedroom / 4 bath / 3 car (tandem) garage is only $300,000. The home is just under 4,000 square feet with an unfinished basement (the finished square footage is 2,634) and the corner lot size is 14,732 square feet and there's a basketball area in the back. Check it out!