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The Importance of Location & Budget

When Purchasing A New Home

Photo by oxana v on Unsplash.

Before you purchase a new home, there are some things that you should consider. So you’re looking to buy for the first time or maybe it’s time to move on from your starter home? Well before you jump headlong into this commitment, let’s talk about a few things. Two of the most important things you should consider before purchasing a house is location and budget.

There’s that old saying about moving, “Location, location, location.” And it’s true—where you purchase that new home could have a tremendous impact on your quality of life. Sure you can afford more bedrooms and that spacious backyard that you have your eye on in the next town over, but the cost of your commute to work may not be worth it. Take the time to sit down and look at a location from every angle. Where the house is located is almost as important as the house itself. Sure, the house might be perfect for you, but if your quality of life takes a big hit because of a long commute then it’s probably not worth your sanity. Where are the nearest schools, parks, shopping centers? Is there a noisy highway next-door? These factors will be different for everyone, so make sure you know what is important to you before you go looking for a home.

Another critical part of home buying is to take careful stock of your financial situation. Even if you are at the top of your game with a lot of disposable income, you should always create a budget—and make sure you stick to it—when it comes to purchasing a home. Experts recommend carrying a debt load, including a mortgage, that is no more than thirty-six to forty percent of your monthly income. Getting pre-approved with a lender will give you an idea of your home price range based on that debt-to-income ratio. While it might be tempting to begin your home shopping at the top of that price range, it’s better to start at the bottom. That way, if you discover there are some non-negotiables in your shopping, such as a garage or a bonus room, you still have room in your budget to move up. If you are looking for qualified lender in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Need help looking for your new/next home? Give Mark a call today.


Home Exteriors Versus Your HOA

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash.

Is your favorite color cerulean? Periwinkle? Think it might look great on the exterior of your house? Well, you might want to think about the role your HOA plays in the exterior color of your home before buying that shiny paint bucket. Most HOAs have rules in place that govern the exterior painting conformity of all the homes in the neighborhood. In other words, regulations to keep your neighbor from painting her home fuchsia may also restrict the color palette available to you. While this can be a limitation, it does have a silver lining. A lot of homeowners have a hard time deciding on what color to use inside their home, nonetheless on the outside. Many homeowners find a narrowed-down list of choices helps them reach a decision more quickly.

Even if your neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA, you should still avoid exterior color options that are an obvious mismatch from the rest of the neighborhood or area. A vibrant exterior paint color can make your home stand out from the rest of the neighboring properties in a very bad way. It may be boring, but you can’t go wrong with following the general aesthetic of the neighborhood if you want to get the best possible value out of your exterior painting project. No one wants to be singled out of the neighborhood or become a problem with their homeowner’s association. Besides, you can always use more vibrant colors on the inside of your home.

With that said, keep in mind that interior paint colors are best used in moderation. If you are considering adding specific colors to rooms, make sure you match bold colors with natural hues. This will eliminate the issue of guests feeling uncomfortable or you feeling that your home is overwhelming. If you are unsure where to start, we recommend talking to an interior designer who can help pair furniture with paint colors. If you are looking for qualified designers or contractors in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

Vetting Home Remodeling Contractors

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash.

Starting your remodeling project on the right foot means hiring the right person for the job. However, choosing the right expert contractor is harder than it sounds, therefore I’ve put together a few things you can do to vet your contractors. First off, make sure you look up the contractor’s license and verify it’s legitimacy. Most states require major remodeling work to be done by a licensed contractor. After getting their license number, you can verify it using a validation website provided by your state. A valid license means the contractor is credible and has the level of expertise needed to practice the profession.

Another thing you can do to vet your contractor is to have a quick chat with their references. Ask previous customers about their experience, if there were any mistakes, and if they are generally satisfied with their work. Many people find out about contractors through their past clients. If someone told you about a specific contractor, see if they’ll let you stop by and see the work for yourself. At the very least, they may have a few pictures they can show you of the work. If you are on the fence about a particular contractor, then this is a great way to narrow down your list.

Remember, if a contractor sounds too good to be true, then they probably are! Vetting your contractors is your best defense against having a bad remodeling experience. Don’t feel weird about asking either. If the contractor is a good one, they will be familiar with these doubts and will be able to deliver any information that you need before making a decision. If you are looking for qualified contractors in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

Home Renovations at the End of the Year

Now that we’ve talked about home renovations during the beginning of the year and the middle of the year, let’s talk about the end of the year. Tackling indoor work like kitchen or bathroom remodeling is recommended during the summer months. The last thing you want to do in the sweltering heat is an attic bedroom! To most people’s surprise, however, roofing projects are often done in the summer, because the roofing material needs certain higher temperatures to seal. Builders will be cautious about the safety of their workers, and they will tell you if it’s too hot for the job. If you vacation in summer or have a summer home, it’s great to plan your remodeling effort for when you and your family will be away. You can avoid all the unpleasant inconveniences of living with a renovation and come back to a brand new addition!

While the first part of this quarter is ideal for outdoor work and new construction starts, it is traditionally the time when homeowners want their remodeling finished. The impending holidays are a looming deadline for builders, and there’s a scramble to get things done by mid-November. So, if you’re willing to have crews in your home during the holiday season, this is a good time to schedule anything from an addition to a kitchen remodel. Business is slower for contractors and materials may be less expensive. However, shipping may take longer, so work those extra days into your time frame. If you are looking for qualified contractors in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

Colorado Fireplace Repair Companies

Colorado Fireplace

The winters in Colorado can be very cold. This September 2019 we’ve already seen snow storm warnings and temperatures as low are 5 degrees. Making sure that your heating and air—and fireplace for that matter—are functioning properly is a priority now more than ever. With so many repair companies out there, it can be hard to choose who to go with when it comes to fixing the heating element in your home. Therefore, we’ve done the work for you! The following is a list of the top five heating repair companies in Colorado Springs.

  1. High Altitude Heating & Air
  2. Furnace World
  3. Quality Fireplace Services
  4. The Fireplace Doctor
  5. Hearth Masters

Guest Ranches To Visit This Winter

Winter Guest Ranch

Your doctor will agree with us on this one—to improve your health, you should be closer to nature. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical well being. This includes reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones. How can you get closer to nature when you live in the city? Taking your next vacation out of the city and onto a guest ranch, that’s how. If you live in Colorado, then you’re in luck. Colorado is the home of many wonderful guest ranches that will recharge you and remove stress from your life this winter.

Guest ranches like High Lonesome Ranch in DeBeque Colorado. High Lonesome Ranch is on the Dry Fork River where it splits into it’s north and south forks, and is a great place for fishing this winter. Or what about C Lazy U Ranch in Granby Colorado? This guest ranch is on the doorstep of the Willow Creek Reservoir and has some of the most beautiful views in the area. There’s also Sundance Trail Guest Ranch in Red Feather Lakes Colorado. This mountain town is just north of the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest Pawnee National Grasslands.

Are you interested in one of the many guest ranches that Colorado has to offer? You can check these out and more on our Dude and Guest Ranches page at Enjoy living with horses? Looking for you own horse property to call home? Search our site from thousands of properties in Colorado. You can even sign up for alerts and get notified whenever a new property becomes available in your area. If you need help, contact one of our premiere horse-person realtors today!

Home Renovations in the Middle of the Year

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash.

Starting a renovation project at the beginning of the year may or may not be your best option, depending on the type of job you’re planning to undergo. That means you’ll have to get through the snowy Colorado months first. Projects that start in the middle of the year—May through August—are usually easier in regards to weather, but there is a big caveat too. This is the busiest time for most builders, so it’s probably when you’ll pay the most money for their time and for materials. If you have any questions about how this works, refer to our article on supply and demand.

Despite the up-charges in labor and materials, spring is traditionally home building season, not only because consumers are finding the money to do projects, but also because it’s the time we start to come out of winter hibernation and want something new. Projects like decks, patios and outdoor rooms are good to plan for this time frame. Decks require hand-digging, and the ground is usually softer in the spring. In addition, the homeowner will be able to enjoy the deck and outdoor space in the coming summer and fall months. With your new deck you can enjoy the sound of your kids playing, play a game of catch with your dog from a comfortable deck chair, or just listen to the birds and watch the Colorado squirrels run along the top of your fencing.

Are the increased prices during the spring too hefty for your wallet? Read our article on starting your renovation during the beginning of the year. If you are looking for qualified contractors in Colorado to build your new deck this spring, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. We’ve done plenty of renovations that included adding a deck and we know the best people to work with in your area. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

Home Renovations at the Beginning of the Year

Renovating a room or area of your home is a great way to raise your property’s value. It can even drive up the value for your entire neighborhood. The first thing you’ll have to do is plan the renovation. Are you going to use a contractor or are you going to do the work yourself? Remember, some times are better than others for different phases of jobs, as well as for cost-savings. So, what about getting a fresh start on your renovation project at the beginning of the year?

Before you know it, it will be 2020. The Climate in Colorado in January can be extremely cold with snow flurries and dreary overcast skies. You’d think that starting a project during this time would be a mistake, but that’s not necessarily the case for every type of project. Despite the thought of working outside in the cold winter months, this is actually a good time to start an addition. Frozen ground and dry air are better for digging foundations and pouring concrete footers than muddy ground and humidity. Of course this means that you’ll have to keep the snow out of the area so that when it melts it doesn’t make the ground wet.

If your foundation is completed and the room addition is framed before the snow melts, the space can be under cover during the unpredictable spring weather. In addition, the winter months tend to be less busy for builders, because everyone is waiting for spring and tax refunds to start their home projects.  If you are looking for qualified contractors in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

When Should I Start My Home Renovation?

Doing It Yourself

Before you definitively decide on when to start your project, you should understand hold supply and demand works. Supply and demand is one of the main factors in how much we pay for just about everything. What does this have to do with your renovation project? Those bathroom tiles you’ll be buying, or those new cabinets for the kitchen—and the labor to have the work done, if you’re not putting in the hours yourself—will cost you money. Just as school supplies are cheaper after the school year has starter, the price of building materials like paint, lumber and cement also changes depending on the time of year and the demand for that particular material.

How do you use supply and demand to get your materials cheaper? Plan ahead! Planning your project in advance means you can get your materials when they are at their cheapest and simply store them until you are ready to begin working on your home.

Using A Contractor

Not doing the renovation yourself? Paying for a contractor? Knowing when to renovate is not just about material cost but about contractor availability, too. Your contractor is more likely to make mistakes when he or she is juggling several other, similar jobs. Contractors have busy seasons where they are turning away work and times of the year when they can’t find enough.

Depending on where you live, it is bad to enter some projects in the off-season. For example, installing a pool during a Colorado winter when there is snow on the ground is probably a bad idea. However, with some early planning and a little flexibility, you might be able to get your project in motion well before the main rush, allowing you to finish a little earlier and allowing your contractor to work more efficiently, as he or she won’t have any other projects to contend with. Since you’ll be providing work for your contractor when little is available, you are likely to get excellent service.

If you are looking for qualified contractors in Colorado, contact the Eibner team today and let us tell you about the people we’ve worked with in the past. Rethinking your renovation? Want to sell instead? We can help with that too! Give Mark a call today.

Preparing to Move?

I know how tough it can be to move—I’ve done it several times throughout my life. Packing for a move is often a stressful and labor intensive activity, but it doesn’t have to be. If you prepare your move ahead of time, you can eliminate the stress from moving and enjoy it! Moving can be scary, but it is also a time to celebrate the new and exciting things you’ll experience in your new home. The tips found below are what helped me get past all the unorganized, stressful mess packing has been for me. I hope they help you too!

Your Moving Journal
You don’t have to document every step of the process. You’re not writing a novel. Just keep a notebook to help you plan your move. One of the biggest problems I’ve had is remembering where I packed specific items. To help me remember, I wrote things down, so that when I got to my new place I knew exactly which box they were in.

Moving Costs
I don’t know about you, but I’m not made of money. When I’ve moved in the past, I had to have a budget. Getting everything you need for a move, even if you’re doing all the packing and moving yourself, can get expensive. So, I’d suggest you figure out what moving supplies you’ll need to purchase ahead of time so that you can budget your spending. Here are some things to think about:

Supplies: moving boxes, tape, padding, and supplies.
Cleaning: carpet shampoo & cleaning of prior residence.
Travel: gas, food, lodging, or bus/plane tickets.
Other: storage units or temporary housing accommodations.

Don’t Go It Alone
One of the reasons why moving is so stressful is because a lot of people try to do it all by themselves. There is no shame in asking for some help with your move, so do it! However, don’t go asking for help the day of your move. Call around to friends and family days or more before your move. Give them plenty of time to take the day off, cancel, and then reschedule.

Label Everything
You don’t have to go out and buy an expensive label-maker; just using a good old sharpie on the top of the box will do the trick. Labeling your boxes will save you time and energy in the long run. The last thing on your mind while packing is the unpacking, but if you plan it out before hand then your first experience in your new home will be a good one.

Empty Your Pantry
Having to lug your entire pantry to your new home will be a lot of work. Therefore, during my last big move, I stopped buying groceries a few weeks before moving and just ate what I already had. By the time I moved, I barely had to pack any food items at all! So, try to eat and drink your fridge and freezer dry before you move out. At the very least, you’ll want to consume your perishable food items before moving.

Pack Your Essentials Last
In my quest to make sure I was prepared, I packed my things early. Too early. I found myself having to unpack a few of my boxes to find items that I use on a daily basis. So, my advice would be to pack your essential items last so that you won’t undo any of your hard work. Packing early is a good way to get a head start on your move, just be smart about what you’re doing. If you have to pack your essential items early, keep the box open and in an easily accessible place.

Your Moving Kit
Now you’ve packed and moved to your new home, but where is your laptop? Your vitamins to take in the morning? Your toilet paper? Labeling is a good way to eliminate the problem of finding the things you’ll need right away, but you can take it a step further. Pack everything you’ll need the first day or two in a separate bag so that you won’t have to hunt them when you get into your new home.

In your moving kit, pack basic toiletries, medications, vitamins, a change of clothes, eyeglasses or contacts, ID and wallet, moving contracts, bills & other important paperwork, phones / tablets & chargers, and a first aid kit with bandages and antiseptics just in case. I would also suggest you put any tools that you’ll need to put together furniture pieces in your moving kit as well. I couldn’t put my bed together for four days while I searched through a mountain of boxes for an Allen wrench!