Real Estate Information Archive


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Harry's Bi-Weekly Update 7.21.14

by Harry Salzman

July 21, 2014



                      A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.



Keeping Current Matters 7.8.14

If the process of obtaining a mortgage loan brings any or all the above words to mind, you’re not alone.  When it comes to finding the right lender, it’s more important than ever to utilize the services of a qualified real estate Broker. 

The asset management firm, Nomura, recently stated:

“Analysts say it’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.  It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.”

In the same vein, a survey by Zelman & Associates revealed that “38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home.  In actuality, a purchaser may be able to put down far less.”

Today there are many options available; however, knowing the best one for your particular situation may not be so easy.  The ability to understand what type of commitment you are making is very important as you will be dealing with the mortgage lender for as long as they hold a lien on your property—often as long as 30 years in today’s “low interest rate” times. 

A qualified Realtor can direct you to a lender who best suits your needs, both for today and into the future.  Understanding the “fine print” and particulars of a mortgage loan is something we Realtors deal with on a daily basis and this can and will save you a lot of time and money. 

My background in Investment Banking has allowed me to find lenders where others may not know to look, and at rates that are the best for the situation of each individual client.  And with 40 plus years in local real estate, I am uniquely qualified to do the homework for you. 

If you or any family member are thinking about buying a home and obtaining a mortgage, please give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at and let me help take the stress and confusion out of the home buying experience.



RealtorMag 7.17.14

The foreclosure rate for June was down 16% from a year ago, marking the lowest level since July 2005—before the housing bubble burst—according to RealtyTrac’s Midyear 2014 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. 

Colorado was one of the ten states that reached their lowest level since 2006.  While the overall percentage of foreclosures locally were far less than the national level due to not having as many homes that were “under water”, it is still quite significant that we are now at this low level.

According to Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, “Over the next six to nine months, nationwide foreclosure numbers should start to flatline at consistent historically normal levels.”

While the days for easily finding a foreclosure to buy and fix up for Investment purposes or a quick sale are numbered, there are a limited number of homes listed that would be ideal for those looking for an Investment.  Rental rates are on the rise and there are plenty of folks who need to rent rather than buy for whatever reason, so if Investment buying is on your mind, give me a call and let’s see if we can make that happen.



Market Watch, 7.15.14, HousingWire, 7.15.14

According to most sources, mortgage rates were expected to climb to more than 5% on a 30-year fixed-rate loan.  In actuality, rates are now lower than they were this time last year—a great advantage to mortgage shoppers.

Analysts and economists expected that mortgage rates would rise after the Federal Reserve indicated it would taper its purchase of mortgage-backed securities through its quantitative easing program.  While rates did creep up a bit last summer, they have since largely been flat. 

When the Fed actually began purchasing fewer of these securities, mortgage rates began to fall.  That’s because the tapering ended up coinciding with a reduction in mortgage originations—which means fewer mortgage-backed securities were being issued, according to Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac.

“The Fed’s ‘demand’ for new mortgage-backed securities has declined less than has the new ‘supply’,” Kiefer and chief economist Frank Nothaft wrote in a recent outlook.  And that’s keeping rates down.

According to Ted Aherm, chief financial officer of mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate,  “Fewer mortgages are being originated in large part because refinance activity is going down; with rates no longer at record lows, there are fewer homeowners interested in refinancing these days.  Also, while the housing market is improving, there hasn’t been an abundance of first-time home buyers in the market today and that has been a drag on housing.” 

While some of this can be attributed to the “confusion” over mortgage loans as I mentioned earlier, the stricter mortgage regulations due to the Dodd-Frank Act quite possibly accounts for fewer loans being approved.

In any case, “eventually the mortgage rates will go higher—unless there’s some sort of slowdown in economic growth, a recession or some big shock to the economy,” Kiefer said.  “It’s likely to be gradual, but rates are going up, for sure,” he added.

What this means to you is two-fold.  First, mortgage rates are still historically low but secondly, don’t wait too long.  It’s not likely they will drop lower, and it’s fairly certain they will rise.  If you are on the fence, now’s the time to make your move. 



Daily real estate News, 7.14.14

An aside to the low mortgage rate issue is the fact that in reality, these historic lows are not necessarily great news for homeowners and Buyers.  At present more than 1/3 of homes with a mortgage have a rate below 4% according to estimates provided by Core-Logic, a real estate data provider.

Many homeowners are inclined to stay put knowing that swapping a current mortgage for a new one might carry a rate of one point higher or more in the coming months.  Those who can’t stay put may decide to keep their home and rent it out.  In either case, the number of homes for sale could continue to be low and contribute to slower sales, home analysts note.

Mark Fleming, chief economist at Core-Logic estimates that up to 3.6 million homeowners will be unlikely to sell this year because they do not want to give up a lower mortgage rate.

“They got the deal of the century,” Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, told the Associated Press.  “I don’t think in 100 years anyone will be lending money at 3.5 percent.  How do you walk away from a deal like that?”

The AP reports that this marks a significant shift from the way the housing market has worked in the past three decades.  “For most of that time, whenever a homeowner decided to trade up to a better home, mortgage rates usually were lower than the last time they had bought,” the AP reports.  

Ok.  So I’ll say it one more time.  If you’re looking to Sell and Trade Up or looking for Investment property, rates are still historically low.  But don’t think this is here for good, as all signs still point to mortgage rate increases this year.  Don’t say you haven’t been forewarned more than once.



RealtorMag, 7.10.14

A recent survey by Redfin showed that home Buyers and Sellers are “not on the same page” when it comes to the state of the housing market.  Both of them are taking a more aggressive stance in the market, with some Sellers overpricing their homes and more Buyers refusing to get into bidding wars, the survey found.

The survey also found that Sellers are holding “unrealistic” expectations about the value of their homes and Buyers are showing less willingness to chase after a home as they face affordability and financing hurdles.

According to Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist, “Buyers who have been searching for a long time may still try to win deals with aggressive offers.  However, new Buyers in the market are much less willing to chase an escalating sale price to compete with multiple bids.  The demand side of real estate is moving from ’please take my offer’ to ‘take it or leave it as you please’.  Homebuyers’ willingness to walk away from a deal that’s a bad fit is good for them and is ultimately healthier for the housing market.”

So whether it’s a Buyers or Sellers Market is currently up for grabs.  One thing I can tell you from experience—whether you are Selling or Buying—you must be realistic.  Market comparables are a more reliable indicator of what a home is worth than what Sellers “think” it’s worth.  Equally important for Buyers is knowing what they can afford and knowing when a deal is one to walk away from. 

Again, that’s where having a Qualified real estate Broker is vitally important.  We do the homework and are not as emotionally involved in the transaction as you might be.  It’s our job to help Sellers determine the best selling price for your home based on a number of non-emotional issues.  It’s also our job to advise Buyers when it’s in their best interest to walk away from a deal. 

My professional goal is to make certain that my clients have the best available knowledge to make informed decisions based on actual FACTS.  Your continued trust in me is not something I take lightly and you can rest assured that I will always do my best to help you obtain your own personal homeownership goals.



You might have heard about the rapid growth of rooftop solar installations in Colorado, including  long-term, third-party solar leases to Colorado homeowners.  What exactly is this and what might it mean to you when it’s time to sell your home?

Solar leasing companies offer homeowners the option of signing a long-term lease (sometimes 20 years) in order to have a ‘no-money down” solar system installed without the significant outlay of money that such systems normally cost.

The idea behind this is that homeowners pay a monthly fee to the solar leasing company and any power generated by the solar panels is applied against their electric bill with the hope that the overall electric savings are greater than the monthly lease payment.  It’s important to note here that the homeowners give the solar leasing companies all the tax subsidies they would have gotten had they bought a solar system themselves.  The federal tax credit alone is 30% of the system’s cost so the subsidies on an average system can be pretty significant.

According to recent articles in Bloomberg Businessweek, there are some serious considerations when looking at buying v. leasing for rooftop solar installations.  Prospective Buyers are hesitant to buy a house with an existing long-term lease that they will inherit and some prospective Buyers may not even be able to inherit the lease even if they wanted to because the credit requirements for solar leasing can be even higher than those required to buy a house.

So if you are considering a solar lease, check out all the ramifications involved in case you may want to sell that home.  You don’t want to find yourself saddled with having to pay off a long-term lease in order to sell your home as it could possible eat up all the hard earned equity that you might need as a down payment on a new home. 

Additionally, it would be a good idea to check with your tax advisor to determine whether it’s in your best interest to forego the tax subsidies in lieu of a solar lease.




Have you ever had a conversations with a spouse or friend and left saying, “You just don’t understand”?

Women and men are “wired” differently in terms of how they communicate and understanding these differences can improve both your business and personal communication.

According to the book “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti” men tend to compartmentalize.  To illustrate this point, think of a waffle.  Men start in one “box” or compartment in the waffle.  They need to resolve what is in that compartment before going on to the next idea or concept.

Women, on the other hand, “are like spaghetti” and tend to start a train of thought and then let it run without a break, much like a strand of spaghetti.

This is not always the case, but it does show how this can often be the point where male-female communications breaks down.  Men often become frustrated when women launch into a stream of multiple ideas, while other women have no problem following the conversation.  Conversely, women become frustrated when they have to backtrack to explain a previous point they thought they had already covered.

So the next time you find yourself befuddled when talking with the opposite sex, just try to remember these things and attempt to communicate in the manner in which the person you are with will understand.  If you can’t do that, at least realize that it’s quite possible you might not be getting your point across!



Harry's Bi-Weekly Update 7.7.14

by Harry Salzman

July 7, 2014



                       A Current Look at the Colorado Springs Residential real estate Market

As part of my Personal Service, it is my desire to share current real estate issues that will help to make you a more successful and profitable buyer or seller.


HARRY’S JOKE OF THE DAY…(So funny I had to put it first!)




On Thursday, June 26th, Salzman real estate Services was honored as one of the top three Residential Real Estate companies by the Colorado Springs Business Journal’s “Best of Business” poll. 

While it’s always nice to be publically recognized for the work we do, the most important honor to us is the vote of confidence given by you, our clients, who have used us multiple times for your residential needs and have referred family members and co-workers. 

We take great pride in our special brand of customer service and want you to know we don’t take your loyalty lightly.  We look at each and every client individually and work to find the best fit for the needs, wants and budget of every family.  We understand how these can change over the years and we offer advice to help you make certain that the decisions you make today are the right ones for your current situation. 

So, again…let me thank you for your continued patronage.  It’s all the reward we need.



Those of us who live here know just how fabulous Garden of the Gods Park is, but now it’s official.  The online travel site TripAdvisor recently ranked it Number One in the country, ahead of New York’s Central Park and Chicago’s Millennium Park.

In world park rankings, Garden of the Gods Park is number 2, right behind Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada.

This is definitely something for us to celebrate, as TripAdvisor is a major internet site that helps tourists decide where to visit.  Garden of the Gods already gets approximately two million visitors each year and this can be an economic driver in a city that depends a lot on tourism.



Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Service Corp, or its PPMLS

These local stats include “all homes”—both resale and new homes built through June 30, 2014 as compared to June 30, 2013.

  • The number of single family/patio homes sold is 8.0% greater than a year ago.
  • New listings were 8.8% more than a year ago.
  • The average sales price is 4.6% more than a year ago.
  • The median sales price is 5.3% more than a year ago.

A market appreciation of 4.6% or 5.3% is very comfortable and as I illustrated on my 40th anniversary in the business a couple of years ago—the long term appreciation over that 40 year period was equal to 5.3% per year.  We are right on target according to these newly released statistics.

This appreciation in investment numbers certainly justifies buying a home in today’s market.  Coupled with the “cheap” interest rates of today (the 30-year fixed rate is around 4.0%) and the reasonable number of current listings, there are choices available for most all price ranges. 

Putting it in “my” language:

Good choices available in most price ranges

+ Current Stable Appreciation

+ Cheap Interest Rates___________

= A great quality of life for you and your family !


In comparing June 2014 to June 2013 in PPAR:                     

                        Single Family/Patio Homes:

  • New Listings are 1,816 Up 8.8%
  • Number of Sales are 1,192, Up 8.0%
  • Average Sales Price is $267,379 Up 4.6%
  • Median Sales Price is $237,000, Up 5.3%
  • Total Active Listings are 4,233, Up 9.4%


  • New Listings are 204, Up 4.1%
  • Number of Sales are 146, Down 2.0%
  • Average Sales Price is $173,657, Up 6.7%
  • Median Sales Price is $155,050, Up 10.8%
  • Total Active Listings are 429, Up 0.7%


                                                Median Sales Price               Average Sales Price

Black Forest                             $453,500                              $423,767

Briargate                                   $305,000                              $313,264                    

Central                                      $163,950                              $183,843

East                                           $178,320                               $189,366

Fountain Valley:                       $183,250                              $185,465

Manitou Springs:                     $348,750                              $384,375

Marksheffel:                             $254,950                              $287,449

Northeast:                                 $215,700                              $237,203

Northgate:                                $380,000                              $420,224

Northwest:                                $312,500                              $342,059

Old Colorado City:                  $225,950                               $222,536

Powers:                                     $226,000                              $227,042

Southwest:                               $355,000                               $422,303

Tri-Lakes:                                 $387,000                              $411,905

West:                                         $215,000                              $224,756

*Statistics provided by the Pikes Peak REALTORS Services Corp,or its PPMLS.

Click here to see the full 10-page report and see how your neighborhood is doing.  If you have any questions concerning the report please call me for further explanation.



The Gazette, 7.1.14

Things are continuing to look up in more areas than home sales.  The Colorado Springs jobless rate of 7.2 percent in May was the lowest since December 2008 and is down from 7.4 percent in April and 8.1 percent in May 2013, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics.

In the fourth consecutive month of employment increases, the number of local residents holding jobs in May was the highest level since January 2009, and up about 400 since April 2014.



The Wall Street Journal, Encore Column

While your home may be your biggest asset, in most cases it’s also your biggest expense.  Oftentimes, when it’s time for retirement planning, a house isn’t on the top of the list of changes to consider.

There are lots of reasons.  Emotionally it may be hard to let go of a family home filled with memories.  Moving is a hassle and a smaller home is not always financially the best move.  

However, for many retirees, it can pay to downsize sooner than later.  Some issues to consider:

  • Lifestyle changes such as moving to an adult community.
  • Moving prior to illness or death of a spouse can ensure that the surviving spouse or children do not have to contend with emptying and selling a big home.
  • Trading a multi-story home for a single level one.
  • “If it makes sense, don’t wait”, suggest Steven Sass, an associate director at the Boston College Center for Retirement Research.

Sometimes the reluctance stems from knowing that you might be trading a home with a paid-off mortgage for a rental or a condo with association or maintenance fees.  According to Lawrence Glazer, a financial planner at Mayflower Advisors in Boston, that can be a mirage.  “In a home, the expenses are hidden,” he says.  “It’s maintenance, a roof, a boiler, heating and landscaping.”

Mr. Glazer urges his clients to think twice about holding on to a home so that children and grandchildren can come back to visit.  “Rather than clinging onto a three-bedroom and paying for the maintenance and heating, it’s cheaper to put them up in a hotel room,” he says.

When you trade for the more visible costs of a rental or condo you are aware of your fixed costs and this can help with your financial planning, according to David Schwartz, chief executive at advisory firm FCE Group in Great Neck, NY.  It doesn’t take a major downsizing to reduce costs, either.  With rising property taxes, often simply moving out of a great school district and into a mediocre one can help reduce those taxes. 

According to Mr. Glazer, another important thing to consider is the ability to make the move while you are physically and mentally able.  Moving can be exhausting at any age, and the older we are the harder it becomes.  “Once you’re over 80, more things happen where you don’t have 100 control, and it’s harder for those people to move,” says Mr. Schwartz.  If you wait until you are unable to make the move yourself, it often falls to children or other caregivers to take care of and ultimately sell the house, he says.

This is a question I am often asked and when I read this column I was reminded again of these thoughts and suggestions.  Hope this helps you or someone you know who is considering downsizing. 

Since every downsizing or relocating situation is different, I’m here to help with various options that make the best sense for each individual client.  Just give me a call at 598.3200 or email me at today and we can discuss the best options for you or a family member.



“There is a renting stigma that exists out there,” said Paul Golden, spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education.  “You’re paying somebody else’s mortgage and you’re throwing money away.”

That being said, when an adult child doesn’t have enough money to put down on a house, parents might want to weigh their options carefully about whether to step in and help.

There are many things to consider, among them:

  • Do you have enough money or are you sacrificing your own financial independence for your adult child’s financial independence?
  • Are you jeopardizing your retirement finances?
  • Even if you can afford it, most experts say it’s probably better character building to let your children do it on their own.
  • Self-sufficiency sometimes means that your children need to learn from their own “School of Hard Knocks” a little bit.

For parents that do choose to help, here’s a bit of advice:

  • A couple can gift up to $28,000 per child.  And if it’s a married child, they can gift up to $48,000 a year without any reporting by the IRS.
  • More importantly, check with you tax advisor to see what’s the best situation for you, tax-wise.

While owning a home is an amazing first step to financial independence, make sure you have all the facts before deciding whether it’s a good move to help your adult children in making that move. 



Just a reminder that I have 4 front row seats to all Sky Sox games available to you on a first-come-first-served basis.  Just give me a call and I’ll be happy to put the tickets aside for you.



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Harry A Salzman
Salzman Real Estate Services
5475 Tech Center Drive, Suite 300
Colorado Springs CO 80919
719-593-1000 or Toll Free: 800-677-MOVE(6683)
Cell: 719-231-1285
Fax: 719-548-9357

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