Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Fed Pac Panels

by Brian Maecker

Have you heard about Federal Pacific Electric Panels? Do you own a home that was built between 1950-1980? If your home was built during this time, it’s highly likely that your home has a Federal Pacific Electric Panel.

           Why should this concern you? It has been determined that these electric panels may fail and cause a fire. The issue seems to be the “Stab Lok” technology used in these panels. This Stab Lok technology utilizes an aluminum “pole” stuck into an aluminum bracket. It was quick and cheap. The problem is because the aluminum melts before it trips and thus can cause a fire. Today’s electric panels are copper connections screwed into and around copper connections. This system trips before overheating. Some of these Stab Lok systems were installed safely and continue to operate safely as long as they are not overloaded.

           In summary, there is enough “Bad” reports about Federal Pacific Panels that you need to take the warnings seriously. If you have one of these panels, have a licensed electrician take a look and evaluate. A typical replacement runs between $1500.00-$2000.00. It’s expensive, but it could be lifesaving. According to the Consumer Protection Agency, 2800 house fires per year are linked to Federal Pacific Panels. Be Safe.



Poly Butylene Piping

by Brian Maecker

Have you heard of polybutylene piping? Polybutylene (PB) piping was used in the 1970’s and 1980’s. It’s a flexible, grey plastic type plumbing that was used because it was inexpensive to install. It bends and fits anywhere and is used to connect with brass or metal fittings. The reason it’s become famous is for bad reasons. Many PB plumbed homes have experienced leaks. The leaks have been mostly at the fittings which have failed. The failure was due to chemical breakdown or bad crimping. In summary bad installation

           From my experience, I have only seen 1 home in Colorado Springs experience failure. I’m sure there are more. However it’s not always bad. One could assume if it’s lasted this long, installation was good. However the connections could crack over time.

           The better solution is PEX piping. It’s usually blue or red and has shown for years to be a good alternative. PEX has been used in Europe for decades.

           Generally speaking if you see the grey piping running from your water heater and a manifold system, you probably have PB piping. Today’s inspectors will make a big deal out of it. If you are concerned have a licensed plumber look and evaluate you system. A company called Replumb Specialists  is great to work with if you have replacement needs. Please let me know if you need help or have concerns.



Every Transaction is Different!

by Brian Maecker

One of the things I love about my job of being a realtor is every day, every person and every transaction is different. Admittedly many are very similar because the process is the same, but they are all different.

           I have been on a rampage about hiring experience and todays Colorado Springs Gazette echoed my point. The article was written by Mike MacGuire, who is a realtor at Platinum Group. Mike is a great professional realtor who has been selling homes for many years. Not quiet to my 30+ years, but he is seasoned as well. It’s epidemic the amount of bad inexperienced agents that are in the market today. Last year at this time there were approximately 1700 realtors in El Paso County. Today there are over 2600.

           So what type of realtor do you want to sell your home? The seasoned professional or cousin Jimmy who got his license last month. When choosing a realtor to sell or buy a home look for these qualities:

  1. Hire Experience – I believe you should look for a realtor with 10+ years experience. They have been through good-bad-good markets. They know how to negotiate. They will get you through lending, inspections, appraisal issues and to a successful closing.
  2. Compassion – Look for a person that understands and listens to you. At the same time, they can tell you what you “need to hear” versus what you “want to hear.”
  3. Knowledge – Bottom line what is a home worth. today that’s a bit gray because of lack of inventory, but a good realtor does a full market analysis and helps you determine value.
  4. References – Ask for references, search for references at Google, Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. Get a list from that realtor to see what past clients say.
  5. Trust your Information – If you have done the above due diligence, make a decision based on information and not your heart. Consider your feelings and feel good about working with the person, but base it more on facts.

In summary, the biggest or close to the biggest investment you have should not be handled by inexperience. Trust the expert and I promise it will be a smoother transaction.





Inventory Issues!

by Brian Maecker

On February 1st, 2017... If you are searching for 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car garage home under $400,000.00. You have only 499 Single Family homes to choose from in the entire Pikes Peak MLS system. In the last 90 days 1863 homes have sold in this range. If you are a renter looking for a home under $2000 per month, there are only 79 rentals available. In the last 90 days 314 homes were rented.

         The inventory here in Colorado Springs and along the Front Range is at an all-time low. I had clients who were to buy a new home in north Denver and the builder said it would be December 2018 before they could get a home ready. That’s a 2 year wait with an escalating price. Not good!

         To all of you, if you are thinking of selling, please let us know. If you are wanting to buy UP it’s a good time as inventory improves, especially above $350,000. We are here and ready!



Interest Rates

by Brian Maecker

         What is a good rate? Is 4.25% high? I am frankly pretty disgusted with the papers and news blaming Donald Trump for the ½ point surge in rates since the elections. Let’s get this straight real quick – it’s not his doing!!! The Federal Reserve has been threatening to raise rates for over a year. The economy as a whole has not been doing well enough to raise them for fears of stalling the market. Rates have been kept low to stimulate the economy. Anyone who has been following the housing market can agree, the market is adequately stimulated. I say it’s overdue for rates to go up. Home prices have shot up as a result of low rates. This shoot up in prices has made the housing market to fully recover in almost all areas of the U.S. It has not worked here locally for homes over $500,000.00, but it has worked too well for homes under $300,000. Rates had to go up to stall over inflation. It means the Fed is looking positive for further economic growth. While it may slow the housing market a bit, it needs to happen to prevent over inflation.

          4.25 – 5% which forecasters predict, where we will end up this year is still incredibly low. In 2000 we were happy to see rates go below 10%. In 1980’s we were happy to get 14%. The papers and news need to know the facts and quit playing the blame game! The election is over; Let’s grow up and move on! 


Experience Counts!

by Brian Maecker

           Before you hire your neighbor, your sister, your friend to help you sell or buy a home Check Their Experience!

           We just closed a rather high-end home and the buyer hired one of his subordinates to represent him in the buying process. This buyer is a CEO of a large corporation. The agent is an underling in this corporation who has only closed 2 transactions in her 2 year career. She did almost everything an agent can do to screw up the transaction. From beginning to end it was one objection after another to a point of crazy. Normal experienced agents can handle questions without making them objections. Even though solutions and answers were given, she proceeded to object to every solution without knowledge. One example is saying a window was going to fall out when it simply needed caulk. Another example was the electrical panel would burn the house down when it simply needed round end screws to be tightened. Another example is radon at a 5 level will eventually kill the occupants and one cannot move in until its 4 or below. “NO” long exposure is what causes cancer, not short term exposure. Getting it fixed is easy. I can go on, but you get the picture. She made enemies of everyone. That’s not the type of agent you want working for you!

           When hiring an agent, look for experience. Ask for recommendations. Check them out. Get references. Don’t just go with the easy acquaintance, it could cost you in many different ways. To check our experience and our references, please go to our website at or google us. 



Happy New Year!!

by Brian Maecker

           Can you believe its 2017? It is true the older I get the faster time files. This last year was no exception. We had another record year of 223 sales. Thank you for helping us achieve these sales. Your referrals accounted for 90% of our business. I am so very grateful to each of you and I promise to continue to do our best to take care of you and your friends and family.

           The home selling process was a difficult time in 2016. We saw some big changes in lending and appraising that has really lengthened the whole transaction. We lost almost half the appraisers in the county due to new state regulations. Lenders now require extra time to process loans due to Federal Regulations. If we had some of these restrictions in place 10 years ago we might have avoided the mortgage meltdown.

           So where is 2017 headed? I think we will see more balance in the market. Competition for buyers on homes below $250,000.00 will stay much the same. Inventory is still low below $300,000. Above $500,000, there is plenty of inventory and the market is slowly improving. We still need more high paying jobs. Interest rates are forecasted to climb, but I think they will rise slowly. Today they are around 4.25%. We may see them hit 5%. Here’s the kicker, they are still low! In the 1980’s they were 15-16%. Early 2000’s we got to 8-10%. So 4-5% is still a great rate.

In summary, it’s going to be a strong year. If you are a move up or lateral buyer, it’s a good time. If you are wanting to move down, the challenge is finding something. Call us and we can be very specific and help you or your friends.

           Thank you again for all your referrals and support. We have Free Notary and Fax Services here for you. Come on by and say “Hi”. 

Happy New Year 

Brian & The Team.

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




Contact Information

Photo of The Brian Maecker Team Real Estate
The Brian Maecker Team
RE/MAX Advantage
5590 N. Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs CO 80918
Toll Free: 888-593-2963
Fax: 719-599-7777