Page 1


Vol. 2 No. 4

December 28, 2009

Gov. Ritter and lawmakers announce plan to protect neighborhoods from abandoned homes

Another big gain in existing-home sales as buyers respond to tax credit Existing-home sales rose again in November as first-time buyers rushed to close sales before the original November 30 deadline for the recently extended and expanded tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Existing-home sales – including singlefamily, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million units in November from 6.09 million in October, and are 44.1 percent higher than the 4.54 million-unit pace in November 2008. Current sales remain at the highest level since February 2007 when they hit 6.55 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the rise was expected. “This clearly is a rush of first-time buyers not wanting to miss out on the tax credit, but there are many more potential buyers who can enter the market in the months ahead,” he said. “We expect a temporary sales drop while buying activity ramps up for another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit, which hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010. In all, 4.4 million households are

expected to claim the tax credit before it expires and balance should be restored to the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline.” An NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 51 percent of homes in November, compared with an upwardly revised 50 percent of transactions in October. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.88 percent in November from 4.95 percent in October; the rate was 6.09 percent in November 2008. Last month’s mortgage interest rate was the second lowest on record after bottoming at 4.81 percent in April 2009. NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz., said conditions are optimal for buyers in the current market. “Inventories have steadily declined and are closer to balanced levels, which indicate home prices in many areas are either stabilizing or could soon stabilize and return to normal appreciation patterns,” she said. “This means buyers still have good choices but are purchasing near the

bottom of the price cycle with historically low mortgage interest rates. Throw a tax credit on top and it really doesn’t get any better for buyers with secure jobs and long-term ownership plans.” Total housing inventory at the end of November declined 1.3 percent to 3.52 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 7.0-month supply in October. Raw unsold inventory figures are 15.5 percent below a year ago. The last time there was a lower supply of homes on the market was April 2006 when it was at a 6.1-month supply. “Nearly all markets experienced a solid sales gain from one year ago,” Yun said. “The only markets with measurably lower sales were in San Diego, Riverside, and Sacramento, where inventory shortages for lower priced homes are limiting sales.” For the second month in a row, sales have risen in all price classes from a year earlier. Prior to October, the only consistent gains were in the lower price ranges.

See Existing Home Sales page 6

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Gov. Bill Ritter and state lawmakers today announced a major step forward in tackling Colorado’s high foreclosure rate, unveiling legislation that will speed up the sale of abandoned homes. Speaking at a neighborhood community center, Gov. Ritter said the bill will cut in half the time it takes lenders to sell an abandoned home that’s in foreclosure. This will allow those homes to be re-occupied more quickly so they don’t become a safety hazard, a magnet for vandalism and other crimes, and a drain on nearby property values.

See Abandoned Homes page 4

Colo. Springs ranked 18th safest city In a study conducted by Farmers Insurance Group, Colorado Springs was ranked at 18 – just below Seattle and just above Denver. The study compared factors such as crime, weather, foreclosures, air quality, life expectancy, and job loss statistics. Rounding out the top five safest large metropolitan areas were Austin-Round Rock, Texas; Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa; Madison, Wis.; BethesdaGaithersburg-Frederick, Md.; and Rochester, N.Y.

National News.................. Page 3 Local News...................... Page 8 On the Move.................... Page 13 Local Expert.................... Page 14 Around the Corner............. Page 15

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December 28, 2009

National News

NAR: 4 out of 10 recent buyers relied on FHA loans According to the most recent Realtors® tors® report that many buyers have pricing Confidence Index, 39 percent of recent expectations that treat every property as if buyers purchased a home with a Federal it were in foreclosure. Housing Administration-insured loan. In addition, Realtors® expressed onRealtors® who took part in the Novemgoing concerns with the impact of the ber survey also reported that the number Home Valuation Code of Conduct on of first-time home buyers continued to recent appraisals. According to some surclimb to 51 percent. vey respondents, inexperienced or out“FHA helps provide affordable mortof-area appraisers continue to rely heavigage financing to homeowners, particuly on sales prices of distressed properties, larly first-time home buyers who are even when other comps are available. so important in drawing down inven“As the first, best source for real estate tory to help stabilize the current housing information, Realtors® have their finger market,” said NAR President Vicki Cox on the pulse of current housing trends, Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associand their knowledge and experience ofates in Tucson, Ariz. “These recent surfer valuable insights into today’s real esvey results reaffirm that, despite its curtate market,” said Golder. “We know that rent challenges, FHA is a critical part of an economic recovery is not possible the American housing fabric.” without a housing recovery, and we will The RCI results also indicated that discontinue to work with policymakers at tressed sales increased to 33 percent of all levels to ensure that this happens.” all home sales last month, and that both The RCI is a key indicator of housing investors and first-time home buyers are market strength based on a monthly surcompeting for these properties. The prevey of more than 50,000 Realtors®; in a ponderance of distressed properties on typical month there are more than 3,000 the market has also influenced buyers’ usable responses. Participants are asked cordera_HBA_8.75x11.25.pdf 6:03:04 PM perceptions of other homes for6/29/09 sale. Realabout their expectations for the demand

for homes, price of homes, and other economic conditions. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. © Copyright National Association of REALTORS. Reprinted with permission.



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Director of Publishing Josh Olson Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal LLC (CSREJ) is locally owned and operated out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. CSREJ is published once a month and distributed through US Mail to nearly all members of The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors® and The Colorado Springs Housing & Building Association and many other industry-related professionals. CSREJ is not responsible for any opinions or facts expressed by nonstaff writers. CSREJ shall not be held responsible for any errors in advertising or editorial content. Realtor® is a registered trademark. Sometimes the word Realtor® or Realtors® will appear without the “®” symbol for the purpose of saving space. The registered trademark should be assumed if it is not present.

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December 28, 2009

Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


National News

Housing starts regain some ground in November Nationwide housing production rose 8.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units in November, according to figures released by the U.S. Commerce Department on Dec. 16. The gain was a partial bounceback from an exceptionally slow month for housing activity in October, and was largely attributed to a big increase in the multifamily sector. "The fact that both starts and permits for new housing production rose last month is a good sign that we're headed in the right direction, albeit slowly, on the road to a housing recovery," said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson. "That said, the November improvement was primarily on the multifamily side, and poor job markets and other economic factors are still keeping many potential buyers on the fence for the time being." "Home builders remain very cautious about starting new homes, and overall housing production is still down on a three-month average basis," noted NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. "Understandably, it will take some time for the newly extended and expanded home buyer tax credit to start boosting sales in individual markets — just as it did the last time such an incentive was

enacted,” he said. “However,” Crowe added, “the fact that permits increased in November is a hopeful indication that the desired impact of the tax credit on housing demand may be forthcoming early in 2010. In the meantime, credit for new housing production remains extremely difficult to come by, posing significant obstacles to builders with viable projects." Making up for some of the ground they lost during the preceding month, single-family housing starts posted a modest 2.1% gain in November, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 units. Meanwhile, multifamily starts rebounded from an all-time record low in the previous month with a 67.3% gain to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 92,000 units in November. Gains in housing production were registered across all regions of the country in November, with increases of 16.4% in the Northeast, 3% in the Midwest, 12.3% in the South and nearly 2% in the West. Permit issuance, which can be an indicator of future building activity, rose 6% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 584,000 units, its highest level in

a year. Single-family permits climbed 5.3% to 473,000 units, while multifamily permits rose 8.8% to 111,000 units. Three out of four regions posted gains in housing permits for November, with increases of 4.7% in the Northeast, 10.7% in the South and 2.7% in the West. Permits declined 1.9% in the Midwest. The above article has been provided to you compliments of NAHB and Nation’s Builder News.

Abandoned Homes from page 1

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The bill will be co-sponsored in the upcoming 2010 legislative session by Reps. Dianne Primavera and Jeanne Labuda and Sen. Mike Johnston. “When I took office three years ago, Colorado was already suffering from the foreclosure crisis now gripping the rest of the nation,” Gov. Ritter said. “But working with our partners in the legislature, we took immediate action, including enacting new laws and strengthening the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline. “Today, Colorado no longer has the worst foreclosure rate in the country,” Gov. Ritter said. “Our strategies are working, but our work is far from finished. The legislation we’re announcing today is the next major step forward to help protect neighborhoods, keep families safe and maintain property values.” The legislation will allow lenders to accelerate the amount of time it takes to sell an abandoned home that’s already in foreclosure. While many foreclosure sales take seven to nine months, current law calls for a minimum four-month sale process; the proposed bill would cut that in half to two months. This would dramatically reduce the amount of time an abandoned home would sit unattended and unoccupied. “Homes that sit abandoned and are awaiting foreclosure lower the livability of neighborhoods, reduce property values and marketability, and can increase crime,” Rep. Primavera said. “By cutting the foreclosure proceeding time in half, we can protect our communities by ensuring a great quality of life for families especially during this tough economic time.” “Abandoned homes facing foreclosure are frequently an eyesore in the neighborhood, and bring down property values of all homes in the area,” said Rep. Labuda. “The current foreclosure process can take months and sometimes years to complete, all while the property sits abandoned. One or two bad homes on a block can certainly destroy a block. This legislation will get homes more quickly occupied, and ensure that even those neighborhoods hit hardest by foreclosure remain vibrant, good places to raise a family and buy a home.” “We’ve all seen the negative impacts foreclosed and abandoned homes are having on Colorado's economy and neighborhoods,” Sen. Johnston said. “By speeding up the process to sell abandoned homes and getting these homes back on the market, we can prevent crime and declining property values in these neighborhoods and make sure abandoned properties don't take whole neighborhoods down with them.” © Copyright Colorado Association of REALTORS. Reprinted with permission.


Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal

December 28, 2009

National News

Estate tax could disappear in 2010 and return in 2011 As the Congress prepared to depart for the year, Senate Republicans blocked a plan by Democrats to extend the federal estate tax for two months at 2009 rates — with $3.5 million and $7 million exemptions for individual and couples, respectively, and a 45% tax rate on amounts above those levels. Under current law, the estate tax will disappear in 2010 and return in 2011 with a $1 million exemption and a top rate of 55%. The House earlier this month passed H.R. 4154, legislation that would make the 2009 estate tax provisions permanent. Senate Republicans failed to agree to this approach, even on a temporary basis. Instead, they called for a more generous permanent change that would increase the exemption to $5 million per individual and $10 million per couple, at a 35% tax rate above those levels. As a result, it is uncertain whether lawmakers will move to retroactively resurrect some type of estate tax in 2010 or look for a permanent fix to take place in 2011. The above article has been provided to you compliments of NAHB and Nation’s Builder News.

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December 28, 2009

Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


National News

IRS clarifies home buyer tax credit ambiguities The IRS has clarified its position on two scenarios that have arisen with the extension of the first-time home buyer tax credit and creation of the new repeat home buyer tax credit. With the addition of the second tax credit, there may now be a situation in which two unmarried buyers purchase a residence together where one qualifies for the $6,500 repeat buyer credit and the other qualifies for the $8,000 credit. According to the IRS, they must allocate the tax credit in a meaningful manner. The repeat buyer cannot receive a tax credit higher than $6,500 and the total amount claimed by both buyers cannot exceed $8,000. For example, the repeat home buyer could claim $6,500 and the first-time home buyer could claim $1,500. Alternatively, both buyers could claim a $4,000 tax credit.

The second scenario involves the qualification status of married purchasers as repeat home buyers. In order to qualify for the repeat buyer tax credit, both individuals must have lived in the same residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight. If one spouse has lived in the house for five years and the other moved in later, after they were married, then they are both excluded from the repeat buyer tax credit. This information has been updated on NAHB’s consumer tax credit Web site, which can be found at www.

Existing Homes Sales from page 1

were unchanged from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 770,000 in October, but are 60.1 percent above the 481,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $178,000 in November, which is 3.1 percent below November 2008. Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 6.6 percent to an annual level of 1.13 million in November, and are 52.7 percent higher than November 2008. The median price in the Northeast was $223,400, down 13.1 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 8.4 percent in November to a pace of 1.55 million and are 53.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $140,800, a decline of 0.4 percent from November 2008. In the South, existing-home sales rose 4.8 percent to

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $172,600 in November, which is 4.3 percent below November 2008. Distressed properties, which accounted for 33 percent of sales in November, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area. Single-family home sales jumped 8.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in November from a level of 5.32 million in October, and are 42.1 percent above the pace of 4.06 million in November 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $171,900 in November, down 4.4 percent from a year ago. Existing condominium and co-op sales in November

NAHB urges Senate to omit ‘Carried Interest’ proposal NAHB last week sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to include an extension of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) exchange program and the New Energy Efficient Homes Credit (45L credit) in pending legislation that would extend popular tax breaks due to expire at year-end. The letter also voiced strong opposition to a change in the taxation of “carried interest” as a revenue offset to pay for the expiring tax breaks. This change would have a significant impact on both existing and future commercial and multifamily real estate properties and is opposed by NAHB as well as a broad coalition of commercial real estate organizations.

The above article has been provided to you compliments of NAHB and Nation’s Builder News.

See Carried Interest page 7

an annual level of 2.39 million in November and are 44.8 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the South was $151,400, down 1.4 percent from November 2008. Existing-home sales in the West increased 10.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.46 million in November and are 28.1 percent above November 2008. The median price in the West was $231,100, which is 4.1 percent below a year ago. The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. © Copyright National Association of REALTORS. Reprinted with permission.

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Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal

December 28, 2009

National News Carried Interest from page 6 The House recently passed H.R. 4213, legislation that contains an extension of the LIHTC exchange program. However, the House bill would also allow the 45L tax credit to expire and would increase the tax on capital gain income generated by a carried interest in a partnership from the current rate of 15% to as high as 35%. The Senate has rejected the carried interest proposal in the past, and the chamber has proposed using a different revenue offset to pay for its tax extenders legislation, putting it at odds with the House on how to proceed. With the Senate still mired in the health care debate and the House having left for the year, it appears that extenders will have to be passed retroactively sometime in 2010, which is not unprecedented. The Senate has not made its tax extenders bill public yet, so NAHB will continue to press for inclusion of its LIHTC proposals and the 45L credit in the package while reiterating strong opposition to using a change in the taxation of carried interest as the revenue offset. The above article has been provided to you compliments of NAHB and Nation’s Builder News.

Peak Producers 'Think Tank' December 3, 2009

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December 28, 2009

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Local News

The Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS® Donates to the community for the Holidays The members of the Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS® (PPAR) demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those in need this holiday season with their participation in two noteworthy community projects. The first is a partnership with Share Colorado that spans 12 years. Share Colorado is an organization that helps families to save money on their groceries by working through a nationwide affiliate program to purchase food items at a reduced price, to put together Thanksgiving meals for single parent families. These meals include everything from the turkey and trimmings to dessert and a roasting pan. A grocery card is included to purchase perishables such as eggs and milk. Enough money was raised to provide for 24 meals.

On Saturday, November 21, REALTORS® and other PPAR members volunteered their time to assemble the “baskets” at the Springs Community Church. Assembled baskets are in turn donated to the Women of Glory. This program assists single parents who have chosen to stay off welfare, but still welcome some assistance. The second project involves the PPAR Community Relations Committee sending out a call to its membership to help gather Christmas presents for kids in foster care. The REALTORS® eagerly responded! “We were able to supply Christmas presents to 201 kids this year,” said Anne Marie Smith of PPAR. “It truly warms your heart to know that you are making a real difference in a child’s life.” Tom Platek, of the Herman Group and Chairman of the PPAR Community Relations Committee agrees. “PPAR is more than just listing & selling homes. Throughout the year we often reach out to the community with what our Committee feels are worthwhile projects, such as the Women of Glory and Kids Crossing.” The presents were donated to Kids Crossing, Inc., the largest Child Placement Agency in Colorado. It is a pri-


Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal

vate, non-profit organization that was founded in 1992 by foster parents for foster parents. Kids Crossing serves children between the ages of newborn -18 who have been victims of abuse and/or neglect and come from families struggling with issues of poverty. Its largest referral source is the El Paso County Department of Human Services, with over 100 children from the county at any given time. Along with children placement services, they also offer therapy, a clothing bank, wraparound services, casework, and special events for participant families. Representing PPAR at the “Celebrate Christmas with Kids Crossing” event held at the Sunnyside Christian Church on December 14 was Platek and Community Relations Committee member, Dawn White, of Dawn White & Company. The celebration included food and entertainment was provided by the Colorado Springs Children’s Choir. The highlight of the celebration was a visit from Santa. This is a wonderful example of the local REALTOR® membership dedicating time and funds in an increasingly challenging economy to improve the quality of life for others in the Pikes Peak Region. A very special thank you to everyone who donated their time and funds to these worthwhile programs: Karen Ahrens - Herman Group Real Estate, Deb Arneson -Herman Group Real Estate, Verna Barnes - PPAR, Harold Bates – Faith Realty, Enid Beitzel - Enid Beitzel Realty, Bruce Betts – RE/MAX Advantage, Cheryl Bibby - RE/MAX Properties, Eve Blackmon – Blue Spruce Real Estate, LLC, Tina Bower – Keller Williams Hope Realty, Bill Brown - Springs Realty, Brenda Burns – The Platinum Group, Judy Carty – ERA Shields Real Estate, Pat Clancy – Avalar Real Estate, Karen Cloud - Herman Group Real Estate, Jacob Curbow - Century 21 Curbow Realty, Paul Dally - Herman Group Real Estate, Ann Daugherty – Herman Group Real Estate, Stephanie Davis - RE/MAX Advantage, Sherril Douglas – RS Douglas Realty, Virginia Elam - Merit Company, Willi Ellia Weickert REALTORS, Patti Farley Barker - Keller Williams Clients Choice, Cherri Fischer - McGinnis BH&G, Kathy Flood - Flood Realty, Inc., Jennifer Forbes - PPAR, Katherine Froehler – The Platinum Group, Kirs Frank – Prudential Rocky Mountain, Steva Gay - Colorado First Properties, Deb Guillan – Masters of Real Estate, Lynn Hammond - PPAR,

Glant Havenar - Home Real Estate, Ann Heiring – RE/MAX Advantage, Jeri Hendrix - The Platinum Group, Tedi Hill – Advanced Realty Concepts, Bob Jacobson - ERA Shields, Donna Jones -Brunk & Brunk Inc./Metro Brokers, Mark Jones - RE/MAX Properties, Kat Jorstad - Red Rock Realty, Pam Keller – Ponderosa Property, Dawn King, Blue Spruce Rreal Estate, Kirsten Kuhhman -Blue Ribbon Home Warranty, Ned Livornese - RE/MAX Unliminted, Inc., Rob and Denise Key, Equity Quest Real Estate, Gabriele LaCrampe - Herman Group Real Estate, Alan and Diana Lovitt - RE/MAX Advantage, Kelly Lynch - Team Synergy Real Estate Group, Vidya Maksyn - PPAR, Lisa Malnate - RE/MAX Properties, Barry Martin – America 2000, Inc., Sharon Martin - My Real Estate Broker, LLC., Judy Massiglia - RE/MAX Properties, Cindy McCrary - Avalar Real Estate, Jess McCrary - college student, Megan McCrary - high school student, Trista McPherson - Weichert REALTORS, Tom Michel - Tom Michel Investments, Cindy Minks - Avenue West Corporate Housing, Ti Mix – Herman Group Real Estate, Randy Motisko – Freedom Financial Services, Annamarie Mudd – Falcon Property Solutions, Susan Muldoon - Muldoon & Associates, Marilyn Newell - The Platinum Group, Monika Newman - Weichert REALTORS, Susie Norton - Keller Williams Partners, Cindy O’Leary – O’Leary Properties, Wynne Palermo - WYNNE Realty, Ltd., Patti Phelps - PPAR, Tom Platek - Herman Group Real Estate, Russ Pitts - Coldwell Bankers Commercial, PPAR Community Relations Committee, Melanie Prensner – RE/ MAX Advantage, Dick and Karen Rackley - Kent Properties, Jan Raetz - McGinnis GMAC, Mary Rathbun, McGinnis GMAC, Deb Rhone - Real Team Real Estate, Kristan Rigdon Mark A Real Estate Services, Cathy Riggs – ERA Shields Real Estate, Irina Riley - Wegwood Properties, Rowena Riley - Toni L. Stanton, Theresa Gaber Savicki - RE/MAX Advantage, Sheila Sawyckyj - PPAR, Frank Schlosser - Coldwell Banker Residential Broker, Pat Schemel - Merit Company, Cassie Shafer – RE/MAX Advantage, Anne Marie Smith -PPAR, Jan Smith - ERA Shields Real Estate, Brent Spaulding - RE/MAX Advantage, Terry and Carleen Storm - PPAR, Scott Sufak RE/MAX Real Estate, Catherine Brown-Swain, Properties of Colorado, Marie Sweetland - ERA Shields Real Estate, Irene Tanis - RE/MAX Performance, Inc., Deanna Tetzlaff – Community Realty, Lori Thompson – RE/MAX Properties, Inc., Judy Trout – Blue Spruce Real Estate, LLC, Michael Tutt - Penrose Real Estate Company, Kimbery Tzitzicas - Your Real Estate Source, Lori VanDerWege - Keller Williams Clients Choice, Michele Van Metre – PPAR, Kathryn Van Metre, Judy Ververs - ERA Sheilds Real Estate, Mike Washington - Keller Williams Clients Choice, Pam Weatherford - Keller Williams Hope Realty, Jill Webb - CB Title, LLC, Dean and Lori Weissman - The Platinum Group, Heather Wells - Heritage Realty, Dawn White - Dawn White & Company, Sheri White - PPAR, Melissa Woodley – RE/MAX Properties, Inc., Kay Worley - Weicher REALTORS, Steve and Janet Wrestler Prestige Properties, and Tom Yukman - Herman Group Real Estate. PPAR was founded in 1902 and currently represents nearly 3,500 REALTORS® and affiliates in the Pikes Peak Region. For more information about PPAR visit

December 28, 2009

Local News

Information real estate agents want to know Real Estate Agents should convey to prospective buyers and sellers our current real estate environment. It appears that both average and median sales prices over the long term are leveling out. Due to current interest rates, homebuyer programs, and inventory levels, homes below $250,000 are be-

For the month of November 16.78% of the homes sold were between $200,000 and $249,999. (See slide four.) One price range that held up remarkably strong was the $300,000 to the By Bill McAfee Empire Title $399,999. This price range — captured 10.38% of the sales in our local market. Sales prices above $250,000 represented 24.7% of our sales. Sales prices $249,999 and below represent 75.3% of our sales. (See slide five.)

ginning to move rapidly. It’s important to understand how the breakdown in sales is affecting our local market. When calculating both average and median sales prices on a 12 month running average, our market appears to be stabilizing. (Please see slides one and two). In addition, on a 12 month running average the percentage of listings which have sold is trending upward. (See slide three). It is important to understand what price ranges are selling.

Certain fundamentals are still holding strong such as the homebuyer credit, which is due to expire next summer. Inventory levels continue to be in manageable ranges and most importantly interest rates continue to be at historic lows. It is critical that buyers and sellers understand our current real estate environment. Decisions that they make now could impact them for years to come. Buyers who are looking for homes below $250,000 should take advantage of our current market. * This information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Resources: Pikes Peak Multiple Listing Services, National Association of Realtors, El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, IRS, Freddie Mac.

Alliance Financial Partners awarded Alliance Financial Partners were awarded by The Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation for relocating their US headquarters to Colorado Springs. “We are extremely excited about opening an office in Colorado Springs and establishing our U.S. headquarters for branching out across the United States,” commented Ross Como, President. “With over thirty plus years of local knowledge in the city and a very solid, secure financial position, we look forward to serving the Colorado market and aiding our community with job growth and economic recovery.” December 28, 2009


Top real estate agents networking and sharing resources to benefit the industry and community.

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Above: Shauna Whaley of Alliance Financial Partners accepts the award. Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


Local News

The Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs is awarded NAHB Remodelers CADRE for membership recruitment and retention The Housing and Building Association of Colorado Spring won a 2009 Council Awards for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence for Membership Recruitment and Retention. The awards—known in the industry as the CADREs—were announced during NAHB Remodelers annual Gala at the 2009 Remodeling Show in Indianapolis on October 29. Winners in eight categories were honored for outstanding contributions and performance at the local council level. Jarred Roy, from the Pella Corporation, with NAHB Remodelers Greg Miedema, CGR, CGB, CAPS, CGP, a remodeler from Tucson, Ariz., presented the awards from NAHB Remodelers. Roy applauded the Colorado Springs Remodelers Council for “creatively attracting new members with new materials, events, and outreach activities that demonstrate the benefits of developing connections with remodeling industry professionals and association resources.” Colorado Springs Remodelers Council won for their activities promoting membership with a booth at the HBA’s home and garden show where members spoke with consumers about the benefits of hiring a professional remodeler and recruited businesses who were not yet council members. They also hosted breakfast meeting for potential members at the Regional Building Department that included discussions on membership benefits and networking time. The CADRE Awards, judged by members of NAHB Remodelers’ Board of Trustees, are presented each year to local Remodelers Councils and individuals whose work at the local council level exemplifies the best practices of the remodeling industry. The CADRE is the NAHB Remodelers highest national award for work at

Above: Jarred Roy of Pella Corporation, Greg Miedema, CGR, CGB, CAPS, CGP, NAHB Remodelers, Trish Sorvald HBA Director of Development, Marla Novak - HBA Regulatory Affairs Manager/

the local level. Miedema added, “Local NAHB Remodelers Councils across the nation nurture excellence in professional remodelers with programs, education, and leadership development. The CADRE awards celebrate their achieve-

ments and raise the bar for local excellence.” For more information about remodeling, visit www.

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December 28, 2009

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Mission Statement Heritage Realty is dedicated to providing our Realtors the finest basic services at the lowest cost to maximize their income and freedom, allowing us to prosper as a business for the benefit of our Realtor, employees, clients, and customers.

Mike Ryan Real Estate Associate

Above: Feli Camp with Wells Fargo and Ann Brown with Land Title.

"When it was time for me to choose an office, believe me, I did the research! I visited several local offices, large and small, met with the managing brokers, and ran all the numbers. When all was said and done, Heritage was the office that met all my needs and then some! With low overhead, 100% commissions, great support , a team atmosphere and cooperation among the agents, it was an easy choice for me. Here at Heritage, I am able to conduct my business with the professionalism, independence and freedom that I need to be successful. The entire staff here, from the office management, to the front desk, are always professional and responsive, giving me the support and guidance I need, while allowing me the freedom to conduct my business in the manner that suits me best. Our managing broker, Bill Young, is always available for consultation and advice, and his knowledge and experience in the industry is a benefit to us all. If you are considering a move, or just getting started in the business, you owe it to yourself and your career to see what is available for you here at Heritage."

Why not Join today?

Above: Christy Schmitt and Rose Gilchrist with Bank of America. December 28, 2009

Please contact our managing broker bill young at 719.548.0400 Email: Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


CB-0160 RealEstateJournal Ad-V3:Layout 1 7/16/09 11:54 AM Page 1

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Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal

December 28, 2009

On the Move New Agents at The Herman Group Tricia Lauritzen We are pleased to announce that Tricia Lauritzen, an experienced REALTOR, has joined the Herman Group Real Estate team. She specializes in residential property in the greater Colorado Springs area. Tricia’s experience has allowed her to develop a great knowledge of our real estate market. Regardless if the property is large or if it is small, she gives each client her undivided attention. Doug Marsh Bill Havens, Managing Broker, recently shared with the Herman Group team the addition of another broker to their fast growing organization. Doug Marsh is an experienced broker. Mr. Marsh has chosen to live in Colorado Springs because of the great quality of life. He enjoys the active Colorado life style. Doug enjoys working in real estate. Regardless if he is working with a buyer or a property owner, Doug works to make sure that the real estate transaction is as smooth as possible. He is always paying attention to the many details of real estate transactions. Doug has joined the Herman Group office located at 4065 N. Sinton Road. Donald Benedict Herman Group Real Estate is excited to announce another experienced real estate broker has joined its family of REALTORS. Donald Benedict is a veteran of real estate sales. He is very knowledgeable in pricing properties to get the quickest transaction, at the highest price with the lowest amount of inconvenience. Mr. Benedict also works very closely with mortgage professionals to help his buyers find the right program for their needs. Donald knows that one size does not fit all. Real Estate is a very personal transaction. Donald Benedict looks forward to hearing from you. Lane Rome We are pleased to announce that Lane Rome, an experienced REALTOR, has joined the Herman Group Real Estate team. She specializes in residential property in the greater Colorado Springs area. Lane’s experience has allowed her to develop a great knowledge of our real estate market. Regardless if the property is large or if it is small, she gives each client her undivided attention. Kenn Braemer Herman Group Real Estate is excited to announce another experienced real estate broker has joined its family of REALTORS. Kenn Braemer is a veteran of real estate sales. He is very knowledgeable in pricing properties to get the quickest transaction, at the highest price with the lowest amount of inconvenience. Mr. Braemer also works very closely with mortgage professionals to help his buyers find the right program for their needs. Kenn knows that one size does not fit all. Real Estate is a very personal transaction. Kenn Braemer looks forward to hearing from you.


new in the


Let us know!

December 28, 2009

Regina Trainor Bill Havens, Managing Broker, recently shared with the Herman Group team the addition of another broker to their fast growing organization. Regina Trainor is an experienced broker. Ms. Trainor has chosen to live in Colorado Springs because of the great quality of life. She enjoys the active Colorado life style. Regina enjoys working in real estate. Regardless if she is working with a buyer or a property owner, Regina works to make sure that the real estate transaction is as smooth as possible. She is always paying attention to the many details of real estate transactions. Regina has joined the Herman Group office located at 4065 N. Sinton Road.

Alan Lovitt RE/MAX Advantage Re/Max Advantage is pleased to announce the affiliation of Alan Lovitt as a Broker Associate. Mr. Lovitt is an experienced REALTOR® of almost 15 years, and has earned the Certified Residential Specialist designation of the National Association of REALTORS®. The CRS designation is the highest level of recognition in the residential real estate sales field. Alan also has been recognized locally as being an outstanding professional. He was recognized as the 2009 REALTOR® of the year. He was the 2006 Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak Association, Colorado’s largest local REALTOR® association. Currently, Alan is the President of the local Multiple Listing Association, a Director for the Colorado Association of REALTORS®, and a Director for the Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®. Alan believes that follow through, attention to detail, industry knowledge, enthusiasm, a sense of humor, and a mid western work ethic allows him to assist his clients in achieving uncommon results. Alan has most recently been the Chief Operating Officer for the largest independent real estate company in the Rocky Mountain area. He has now affiliated with Re/Max Advantage to focus on assisting his customers.

Stephanie Davis RE/MAX Advantage RE/MAX Advantage is proud to announce the addition of Stephanie Davis, another experienced Broker Associate to recently join the RE/MAX family. Stephanie has successfully marketed new homes for two of the top home builders all the way from Woodmen Hills, Meridian Ranch to semi custom homes in flying Horse Village of Sonoma. Stephanie averaged 20 to 30 home sales during those 8 years of experience earning the Million Dollar Circle Platinum Award while at Meridian Ranch. Stephanie has earned the Certified New Home Specialist and Residential Construction Certified designations which has been helpful for her in promoting the Certified Pre-Owned Home program that is limited for only RE/ MAX Advantage Brokers. This program helps remove the doubt and fears of buyers when they select a home with this certification.

Kelly Price RE/MAX Advantage RE/MAX Advantage Realty is happy to announce the addition of another experienced Broker Associate Kelly Price. Kelly is very experienced with new home sales after representing many of the top new home builders in northern Colorado Springs for the last several years. She has enjoyed her real estate experience working with new home buyers and helping up to 40 families per year achieve their real estate dreams in Wolf Ranch and other north areas with a sales volumes as high as 14 million, plus numerous Platinum sales awards. Kelly has extensive knowledge of the new home building and sales process which gives her unique and valuable insight into the real estate market. Kelly is committed to expanding her real estate career by implementing all the exceptional tools that RE/ MAX Advantage provides for their Brokers and clients, including the exclusive Certified Pre-Owned Home program, the Voice Pad 24/7 Info line, and extensive internet marketing. Kelly is looking forward to hearing from all her past clients and customers as well as accepting new clients and listings right away.

W. Raymond Runyan RE/MAX Properties W. Raymond Runyan, QSC, CDPE has joined RE/MAX Properties, Inc. Southern Colorado’s largest real estate company at their North office at 1740 Chapel Hills Drive. More than twenty years in the automotive in the auto industry combined with thirteen years of real estate experience gives Runyan a powerful edge in the local real estate market. He is an award winner in both customer satisfaction and leadership. His real estate expertise is focused on properties in Black Forest, Peyton, Falcon and Northeast El Paso County. With a passion for outdoor activities (including skiing, kayaking, hiking, biking and motorcycle rides), it is safe to say that Runyan fully understands the Colorado lifestyle. When asked why he chose to join RE/ MAX Properties, Inc., Runyan replied, “… so I would be associated with the best real estate firm in Colorado Springs!”

Stacie Lowry RE/MAX Properties Stacie Lowry, QSC, has joined RE/MAX Properties, Inc. Southern Colorado’s largest real estate company at their North office at 1740 Chapel Hills Drive. Originally from Kansas, Lowry has called Colorado home for the last 15 years and enjoys golf, tennis, riding ATVs, and traveling. With a background as a job recruiter, she has decided to turn her career energy toward the real estate world. Lowry says, “I have always had a strong interest in the real estate profession. The timing is right in my life for me to start my career and business as a realtor.” She adds, “I chose RE/MAX Properties, Inc. for the training, the

marketing, the support, and the national and local reputation of the company.”

Lisa Fisk The Platinum Group Lisa Fisk, a Colorado Springs REALTOR®, has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®. Lisa Fisk is a Sales Associate with The Dean Weissman Team at The Platinum Group, REALTORS® in Colorado Springs. She is a member of the Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS®.

Brandon Smith The Platinum Group Brandon Smith, a Colorado Springs REALTOR®, has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialists (CRS) Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®. Brandon Smith is a Broker Associate with The Platinum Group, REALTORS® in Colorado Springs. He is a member of the Pikes Peak Association of REALTORS® and is an active member in the community.

Kathleen Peak Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Kathleen Peak, a leading broker associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado Springs has earned the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation from the Council of Residential Specialists. Peak earned her Colorado real estate license in 2004 and is a member of the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors. She serves the diverse real estate needs of clients throughout Colorado Springs, Monument, Falcon, Peyton, and Fountain, among other communities. Peak is certified in relocation services through the nation’s leading relocation service companies and networks. In 2008, she garnered the President’s Diamond award from Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage recognizing superior sales production. Peak is active in her local church, including serving as a mentor with Moms and Beyond and guest services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and master’s degree in HRD and vocational education. Peak taught math for 20 years in Minnesota prior to moving to Colorado in 2003. She is known for her strong negotiation skills and for always having the best interests of her clients in mind. Peak chose Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage due to the company’s outstanding training programs and high profile brand recognition. She enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters and playing the piano and organ.

Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


Local Expert

The appraisal profession - a free market? A free market is a theoretical term that economists use to describe a market which is free from government intervention (i.e. no regulation, no subsidization, no single monetary system and no governmental monopolies)..... Business governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy. A system in which the market forces of supply and demand determine prices and allocate available supplies, without government intervention. Many appraisers feel that the appraisal profession is based on free market principles. But is it really? Without government funding or backing for loans the number of home purchases and related mortgages and would be greatly reduced. Without governmental involvement there would be a reduced need for appraisals. First let’s look at the demand side. Regulatory laws, such as the Interagency Appraisal and Evaluation Guidelines, mandate an appraisal for the majority of mortgages. However, few participants in the home buying process actually want an appraisal. It is not a service that is generally sought after by the buyer, seller, or their respective agents. Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay, right? And there is already a contract to support that value. The parties generally have no interest in paying an appraiser to find out whether they may or may not have made such a good deal. It is not a service that a loan officer or lender really desires. Even though it is not a cost that the lender typically absorbs, there is always a chance that the appraisal may reveal a value that will not support the LTV necessary for the mortgage. That fact alone makes it a service which may prohibit loan production, and consequently the profitability of the lender. Appraisers are viewed by most in the housing market as contributing little to the process of a home purchase. The appraisal is typically viewed as a requirement that is forced on them, an unnecessary distraction in the loan process. So, is the demand based on free market principles? Um………….now that’s a question. Now let’s look at the supply side. In the past the majority of larger banks had in-house appraisal departments. Banks began outsourcing the appraisal process most probably because they did not view appraising as a profit center and they were able to shift


some of their liability. In the same way the guage remained prohibiting the mortgage banks began utilizing brokers to originate broker from ordering an appraisal, or even the loans outside the bank. Mortgage broinitiating an appraisal order through an kers didn’t fall under the same regulatory AMC of their choice. regulations as the banks, and therefore Could the HVCC have been more about were somewhat of a firewall between the big banks eradicating the role of the mortbank and the origination process. gage broker? The HVCC would be the perBy Jo Stinett The government stepped up to help ad- Peak View Real Estate fect delivery system for this. NAMB new vance the American Dream with the Nathis, and with FHA tagging along another Appraisals — tional Homeownership Strategy in 1995 piece of the pie is gone. Why? Could and the subsequent removal of many of the banks now want the commissions for the barriers to home ownership. Mortgage brokers inarranging loans to remain in-house as a profit center? creased competition in the mortgage lending arena by Could the banks once again want to be the dominant bringing the loan product to the neighborhood. Apsource for mortgage lending? If so, then this change may praiser licensing guidelines and relatively limited edueventually include the appraisal process again as well. cation requirements made it easy for an individual to But why would the banks want to bring the appraisal become an appraiser. The supply of homes, mortgages, process in-house again? Although some appraiser’s have and subsequently appraisers increased with the demand been successful in increasing their fees with the addition that was created by this government involvement. of the 1004MC, for the most part the fee for an appraisal Was this increase in supply based on free market prinhas not increased since the 1990’s. And in many cases ciples? For the most part yes, but the demand that crethe fee paid to an appraiser has decreased by as much as ated the increase most definitely wasn’t. 35%, if the client is an AMC. Excess competition is what But now the reduced mortgage activity which resulthas kept the gross fee for a residential appraisal from rised from the bursting of the housing bubble has reduced ing, and it is what keeps the AMCs from paying a fair fee the demand for appraisers. The supply and demand for to the appraiser. However, as many realtors, consumers, residential appraisers is presently out of balance and unand any lenders that utilize an AMC will attest, the fee fortunately not on the demand side. But this oversupply from the AMC has gone up. of appraisers will most assuredly not last. In the future, it is possible that when the banks are With the implementation of the Home Valuation successful in bringing the majority of home loan origiCode of Conduct (HVCC) coupled with the FHA only nation back in-house, the AMCs they own will have a accepting Certified appraisers on the roster, and adoptgreatly reduced role. It is also possible that the AMCs, ing many of the HVCC requirements, a number of apif they do not disappear, will shift and become in-house praisers are no longer up the contest. Renewals of exappraisal departments for the banks once again. There isting licenses are down. Demand for class offerings for is a good chance that the banks, having conditioned the the core appraisal courses is down, as is the numbers for public to a higher appraisal fee via their AMC, will em“trainee” licenses. This is due to the increased educationploy more in-house appraisers. The banks will begin to al and experience requirements added to the explosion view appraisal fees as a profitable income stream once of the Appraisal Management Companies (AMC). The again. appraisal profession is not as attractive as it once was. This means we will go full circle, but with one differThe HVCC was an agreement allegedly to insulate ence, since many banks and lenders have been absorbed appraisers from “undue influence” during the process of by the biggest banks, competition has been limited. rendering an opinion of value. If this is true, why does it They have become larger and more powerful and will sunset in two years? Could it be that the HVCC plays a have even more influence in our government…….and bigger role, and appraisers are merely collateral damage through the government will have more influence on in this process of change? our “free market”. Consider this….. The HVCC (and now the FHA) Jo Stinett is a Certified Residential Appraiser and the owner/operator prohibit mortgage brokers from ordering appraisals. of Peak View Real Estate Appraisals. Jo is FHA approved and specialCould it be that the HVCC more about banks and mortizes in El Paso and Teller Counties. She is also a member of Colorado gage brokers, than appraisers? Bear in mind that big Association of Real Estate Appraisers as well as the Women’s Council banks lobbied to remove language that would prohibit of Realtors. To contact Jo you may e-mail her at jo@peakviewrea. the banks ownership of an AMC…..While at the same com or call her at (719) 510-0804. time, even with the lobbying efforts of NAMB, the lan-

View the Paper Online, Anytime. Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal

December 28, 2009

Around the Corner DECEmber

Wednesday, February 10 HBA After Hours

Thursday, December 31 HO HO New Years Balloon Glow

5:30pm @ Schroll Cabinets

5pm @ Cordera Grand Lawn

Thursday, February 11 Economic Forecast Breakfast



Thursday, January 7 B.L.E.E.P 8:30am @ The Grill at Latigo Trails Roxene 719-495-6213

Friday, February 19 Breakfast w/the Builders

Annual Commission Update Course

8am @ Mr Biggs Event Center

8:30am @ Empire Title *Prepay 719-884-5300 or

Saturday, January 9 First Time Homebuyers 10am @ Ent (Galley) or call (719) 550-6670

Wednesday, January 13 RESPA 101 10am @ Empire Title 719-884-5300 or


Saturday, February 27 First Time Homebuyers 10am @ Ent (Campus) or call (719) 550-6670

Thursday, January 14 Women’s Council of Realtors 11am @ Embassy Suites Hotel Michele 719-633-7718 x114

Business Planning and Marketing 1pm @ Empire Title 719-884-5300 or

12:30pm @ Empire Title 719-884-5300 or

Wednesday, January 20 The Estimator™

HBA After Hours

9am @ Empire Title 719-884-5300 or

5:30pm @ Champion Windows

Thursday, January 21 Colorado Springs Networking Group

Mayhem in Short Sales 9am @ Empire Title 719-884-5300 or


us your

Saturday, January 30 HBA Annual Awards Dinner


5pm @ TBA


FEBRUARY Saturday, February 6 Reverse Mortgages 10am @ Ent (Campus) or call (719) 550-6670

8am @ Colorado Springs Country Club Ruthie 719-492-3998

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719.205.1299 December 28, 2009

Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal


FREEDOM IS having a partner you can trust.

Tom Bechtel (719) 550-6486

Marcus Brown (719) 550-6408

Josh Callens (Denver) (720) 833-3324

Diane Danner (719) 550-6441

Alex Deboer (719) 550-6482

Stephanie Dombrowski (719) 550-6485

Carol Flynn (719) 550-6470

Cathy Gonzalez (719) 550-6431

Suzi Gradisar (Pueblo) (719) 296-2107

Brad Shaw (719) 550-6995

Lisa Shoblo (719) 550-6480

Tony Sloan (719) 550-6439

ENT - A REALTOR’S LENDING PARTNER As a realtor, it’s important to help your buyers find the home they’re most comfortable in. At Ent, we’re here to make it easy for them to find the financing they’re comfortable with!

Ent offers a wide variety of mortgage loan options* to fit any homebuyer. Plus, all of Ent’s loan decisions are made locally and we service most loans in house. Ask about our $300 Mortgage Guarantee, too! For more information, call one of our Mortgage Loan Officers or visit

Ent is a community-chartered credit union • Equal Opportunity Lender • Federally insured by NCUA © Ent Federal Credit Union, 2009 • Ent is a registered trademark of Ent Federal Credit Union. *Standard credit qualifications apply. Loans are subject to final credit approval. Property insurance is required. Financing available on homes throughout Colorado.

Colorado Springs Real Estate Journal  

December 28, 2009