Last week, Summit Economics, LLC, published their Monthly Economic Indicators Report for the Colorado Springs Metro area. The report contains data through February, 2010, and contains encouraging news for the local real estate market.

In a comparison between February 2010 and February 2009, the numbers show:

             Initial claims for unemployment                            -16.4%

            Single-family home permits                                +213.2%

            Taxable retail sales                                             +4.7%

            Foreclosure filings                                             -16.4%

It’s obvious that our local residents are loosening up their purse strings and are starting to spend, again.

(Although our local economy is rebounding, the national picture is not universally good. We regularly speak with Realtors from around the country and many of them still do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. Their comments, combined with data from print and internet sources show a somewhat-fragile real estate market in many parts of the country.)

Another indicator that the real estate slump may be ending comes from the Case-Shiller Index of the 20 Major U.S.Metropolitan Areas. This organization normally tends to see the glass as half-empty, but their latest report shows increases for the last eight months and indicates that “the worst of the declines are behind us and we can at least move forward from here”.

On a personal note, during the past two weeks, we have received more inquiries, made more appointments, written more contracts and scheduled more closings than we did during all of the rest of 2010. It felt great !!!

Do all of these good indicators indicate a permanent upward swing in the economy? We hope so, but many of our Realtor friends are concerned that the recent increase in business is only a result of the fact that the Federal Tax Credit for Homebuyers will no longer be available for contracts written after this month. They fear that, when the program is finished, the slow times will resume.  It’s true that many previously-undecided Buyers are rushing to take advantage of this “Free Money”, before it is no longer available, but we are all hoping that the current flurry of business is just the beginning of an upward trend, rather than merely the end of a government stimulus.

Keep in mind, you must be under contract before April 30, in order to qualify for the tax credit of either $8000 or $6500. If you have any questions about this “Free Money”, please give us a call immediately, so we can get you started before the deadline.

Remember the time-honored formula, “Knowledge minus Action = Regret”


Nick Turner, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, thinks the answer lies in the cost of transportation. The Rockefeller Foundation funds the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) and that organization has just released an analysis of “Affordable Housing”. The analysis examined 337 metro areas across the country and encompassed 161,000 neighborhoods and 80% of the US population. It includes some startling facts.

Traditionally, the rule of thumb to determine whether a house is “affordable” has been that housing costs should represent 30% or less of the household income. Most Buyers use this rule-of-thumb in making their decision to buy. Using this measure, seven out of ten US communities have been considered “affordable” for the typical household. The CNT study shows, however, that, when transportation costs are added to the mix, the number of “affordable” communities declines from “seven out of ten” to “four out of ten”. This means that over 48,000 neighborhoods that have traditionally been classified as “affordable” are, in reality, unaffordable for the typical household.

The CNT study points out that transportation costs are the second largest household expense and can range from 12% of household income in efficient neighborhoods to 32% in locations where driving long distances is the only way to reach essential services.

The H+T Index gives a reliable estimate of each neighborhood’s average household transportation costs, a strong move toward a ‘no surprises, no sticker shock’ home buying or renting experience.

To see the complete study and check out your city and neighborhood, visit www.cnt.org


A new rule from the Environmental Protection Administration addresses Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) activities in single and multi-family housing built before 1978. It requires that contractors, renovators, etc. be trained and certified in lead-safe work practices.

Property managers, if they use outside contractors to do RRP work, must use contractors who are trained and certified on the new rules. If managers use their own in-house workers to do RPR work, they must require that those workers be certified in lead-safe work practices and must notify tenants.

Realtors should make sure that any contractors they work with on a regular basis, or recommend to clients, must be trained and certified on the new rules, or the Realtor could be held liable.

Do-it-yourselfers will still be able to RRP work on their own without getting fined.

The new rules go into effect April 22, 2010.


To what conclusion do the following facts lead you?: 

  • The Federal Reserve is going to stop buying mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Shortages of building supplies such as lumber and copper are going to fuel Inflation
  • Increasing bank regulations will soon raise the costs of borrowing money
  • If I wait until after April 30 to sign a contract on my new home, I will lose the federal tax credit

Possible Conclusions (Pick one): 

  1. I better wait until next year to buy my new home
  2. I better buy my new home right now, or, kick myself for the next thirty years

If you picked #2, Call me ASAP, so we can discuss how to get you the best deal possible.  

And, please remember, I would be honored to serve as your Broker for all of your residential real estate needs. I want to help you, my reader, make the most prudent and accurate Real Estate business decision.

Also if you know of anyone who desires to buy or sell local real estate, or, who is moving in or out of the Pikes Peak region, remember that, with over 37 years of providing relocation and Real Estate services to clients throughout the country, I am uniquely qualified to assist them with the relocation process, including buying and/or selling their homes on both ends of their move. Please allow me to implement my negotiating skills on your behalf.

Just click on the icon at the top of this email to listen to my latest podcast. ….And, if you would like to learn more about our Job Loss Protection Program, or, about our CyberHomes Complete Market Analysis of a property, please contact us. 


Explanation of Microsoft computer messages

It says: "Press Any Key"
It means: "Press any key you like but I'm not moving."

It says: "Press A Key"
(This one's a programmers joke. Nothing happens unless you press the "A" key.)

It says: "Fatal Error. Please contact technical support quoting error
no. 1A4-2546512430E" It means: "... where you will be kept on hold for 10 minutes, only to be told that it's a hardware problem."

It says: "Installing program to C:\...."
It means: "... And I'll also be writing a few files into c:\windows and c:\windows\system where you'll NEVER find them."

It says: "Please insert disk 11"
It means: "Because I know darn well there are only 10 disks."

It says: "Not enough memory"
It means: "I don't CARE if you've got 64MB of RAM, I want to sell you an upgraded computer."

It says: "Cannot read from drive D:...."
It means: "... However, if you put the CD in correct side up..."

It says: "Please Wait...."
It means: "... Indefinitely."

It says: "Directory does not exist...."
It means: ".... any more. Whoops."

It says: "The application caused an error. Choose Ignore or Close."
It means: ".... Makes no difference to me, you're still not getting your work back."