Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 44

Small Things Can be Big Deals

by Brian Maecker

Buyer Beware! Don’t let your agent ever tell you that it’s “No Big Deal”. Buyers due your due diligence if you have questions about certain items that show up while you’re looking at a home or during an inspection. Here are a couple “small flaws” that can be a big deal.

  1. Electric Panel – There is a brand of panels out there called Federal Pacific Panel. They have been known to fail over time. If the panel is a Fed Pac Panel or Stab lock technology – Get a licensed electrician to evaluate.
  2. Slow Drains – Slow drains can be no big deal if it’s just some hair. But it can be a big deal if the slow drainage is a result of a sewer line. Get a sewer inspection, especially on homes 20 years or older. A new sewer line can cost $10- $20,000.
  3. Bathtub/Shower Caulking – Don’t just think it’s a simple job. Black Caulking could mean water penetration behind the tile. Get it evaluated by a licensed contractor and be sure it’s not a sign of mood or water penetration.
  4. Floorplan issues – If you think as a buyer its simple to more walls, check again. They may be load bearing or have ducts in them.
  5. Windows – While many older homes have good working wood windows, closely inspect the framing. While the window itself may look O.K., many times the frame is rotting.

I could keep going, but these are the main “No Big Deal” items I hear buyers say. Once they are in and doing these items, the true costs hit them. Trust your inspectors and know your parameters.



Garage Storage Mistakes

by Brian Maecker

How many of us store lots of stuff in our garages? I think all of us are probably guilty of storing items in the garage that don’t belong there. Here are a few items that the Certified Real Estate Society pointed out.

  1. Family photos – garages are too hot and dirty to store valuable photos keep them inside.
  2. Propane tanks – I store mine there, but shouldn’t. Near car engines these could cause an explosion
  3. Car Batteries – simply don’t store car batteries in any situation. Very toxic and flammable.
  4. Artwork and collectables – for the same reasons you shouldn’t store photos, garages are dirty and full of contaminants
  5. Food – only use a refrigerator or freezer. Regular food is an invitation for vermin to come visit. Plus lots of items like fertilizer and gas fumes that can contaminate food.
  6. Paint – Garages are either too hot or too cold. Time for me to get rid of some old paint.
  7. Carpet and Rugs – this should be a no brainer. It’s dirty and dusty in a garage.

Okay get cleaning that garage!




Myths of Fixer Uppers

by Brian Maecker

I keep seeing the popular Fix and Flip shows on TV and they are not dealing with my reality in Colorado Springs. The day of the fixer upper being easy to find is perhaps the biggest myths in our business. I get calls weekly from people who are “investors” looking for the deal. Well, there just isn’t the inventory to make this business profile work.       

         Following Myth 1 of being easy to find, is the misconception of its “easy to make money”. In today’s market of No Inventory, deals are just not there. Look at your numbers and be real about the true return. When you can’t buy it cheap enough, you are not going to make a lot of money.

         Even the best contractors have issues. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched” flippers” not be prepared for the unknown. Not only did they not allow for extra costs, they lost time. Lose time and you lose money. Flipping needs to be thought out, have a plan, and plan extra time for issues.

         Hopefully this will enlighten you a bit before you try to flip homes. Call me as I do have a plan to do this successfully.




  1. The Microwave Oven – Clean and sanitize weekly
  2.  The Bathtub – Every week for obvious reasons – shower is the same assuming either both are used most everyday


  1. Bed sheets and Linens – Every 2 weeks
  2.  Refrigerator – Monthly will minimize bacteria spores and build up
  3.  Computer – Every week especially if it’s a laptop
  4.  Pillows – Every 3 months, however if you change the pillow case every 2 weeks this can be 6 months
  5.  Carpet – Every 6 month with pets. Yearly without pets
  6.  Mattress – Vacuum the mattress every 2 months
  7.  Kitchen counters – Daily
  8.   Bath towels – Twice a week with daily use.

 I saw this online and found it interesting. A tough level to live up to.




Hardwood Floor Care

by Brian Maecker

I am writing this week’s blog from an article that a local company gave me. The company is Mr. Sandless. Their phone number is 719-434-1415. They are an awesome alternative to refinishing hardwood floors without the mess of sanding. Please call them the next time you need your hardwood floors refinished. In the meantime use these helpful tips to care for those floors.

  1. Dry mop on a regular basis – No wet mopping or steam cleaning
  2. Wipe up spills with a damp cloth. Not only do it fast so it won’t soak in, but use a cloth to soak the spill up and away from the floor.
  3. Never wet mop a wood floor – water is an enemy of wood flooring
  4. Do Not use chemicals on your floors
  5. Use floor protectors – use felt cushions below the furniture. Avoid heels and gritty bottom shoes.
  6. Trim your pets nails – they scratch floors worse than anything
  7. Use a mat upon entry and rugs in high traffic areas.

Good Luck with your floors. Follow these helpful hints and your hardwood will look good for a long time



This week we will wrap up the Real Estate Terms with S thru V

by Brian Maecker

Settlement another name for Closing

Showing when a real estate agent shows a potential buyer a property for purchase.

Spam Complaint Many email programs have the ability for the reader of an email to mark messages as "Spam". Marking an email as "Spam" typically triggers automatic defensive measures such as pre-marking future emails as spam or blocking all future emails from that sender.

Survey a drawing or map that indicates legal boundaries, easements, encroachments, rights of way, improvement locations to a property.

Title a legal document evidencing a person's right to or ownership of a property.

Title insurance insurance that protects the lender against any claims that arise from arguments about ownership of the property; also available for home buyers.

Title Search a check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.

Transfer tax state or local tax payable when title passes from one owner to another.

VA Mortgage a mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.


This week’s Blog are terms P Thru R!

by Brian Maecker

Pipestem Lot a lot that is connected to the public street by a narrow strip of land, which has a private road on it.

PITI Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance - the four elements of a monthly mortgage payment; payments of principal and interest go directly towards repaying the loan while the portion that covers taxes and insurance (homeowner's and mortgage, if applicable) goes into an escrow account to cover the fees when they are due.

PMI, Private Mortgage Insurance privately-owned companies that offer standard and special affordable mortgage insurance programs for qualified borrowers with down payments of less than 20% of a purchase price.

Power of Attorney a legal document that authorizes another person to act on one's behalf. A power of attorney can grant complete authority or can be limited to certain acts and/or certain periods of time.

Pre-Approve lender commits to lend to a potential borrower; commitment remains as long as the borrower still meets the qualification requirements at the time of purchase.

Pre-Closed All contingencies have been met, but closing has not yet ocurred.

Pre-Qualify a lender informally determines the maximum amount an individual is eligible to borrow.

Prospect sometime looking to buy / sell real estate who has not yet selected a real estate agent.

PUD, Planned Unit Development a project or subdivision that includes common property that is owned and maintained by a homeowners' association for the benefit and use of the owners.

Radon a radioactive gas found in some homes that, if occurring in strong enough concentrations, can cause health problems.

Ratified Contract a contract which both the buyer and seller have agreed to in writing. Sometimes also called 'under contract'.

This week’s Blog are terms L, M, N and O!! Enjoy!

by Brian Maecker

Listing an agreement between a real estate broker and a home owner that allows the broker to market and arrange for the sale of the owner's home. The word "listing" is also used to refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real estate agent isn't a "listing".

Loan money borrowed that is usually repaid with interest.

Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio a percentage calculated by dividing the amount borrowed by the price or appraised value of the home to be purchased; the higher the LTV, the less cash a borrower is required to pay as down payment.

Lock Box a locked key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent

Mortgage a lien on the property that secures the Promise to repay a loan.

Mortgage insurance a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that can occur when a borrower defaults on a mortgage loan; mortgage insurance is required primarily for borrowers with a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price.

Offer indication by a potential buyer of a willingness to purchase a home at a specific price; generally put forth in writing.

This week we will cover Real Estate Terms F, G, H & I …

by Brian Maecker

Fair Housing Act a law that prohibits discrimination in all facets of the home buying process on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.

Fair market value the hypothetical price that a willing buyer and seller will agree upon when they are acting freely, carefully, and with complete knowledge of the situation.

Fannie Mae A publicly traded company and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages.

FDR Formal Dining Room

FHA Mortgage a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Flood insurance insurance that protects homeowners against losses from a flood; if a home is located in a flood plain, the lender will require flood insurance before approving a loan.

frplc, fplc, FP fireplace

FSBO For Sale By Owner

Good Faith Estimate an estimate of all closing fees including pre-paid and escrow items as well as lender charges; must be given to the borrower within three days after submission of a loan application.

Government Mortgage a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Contrast with conventional mortgage.

Gross Income normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.

Hard Bounce A HardBounce refers to an email address that is no longer in use or has been typed in wrong.

Housing-to-Income Ratio the percentage of gross monthly income that goes toward paying housing expenses.

Home Inspection an examination of the structure and mechanical systems to determine a home's safety; makes the potential home buyer aware of any repairs that may be needed.

Home Warranty offers protection for mechanical systems and attached appliances against unexpected repairs not covered by homeowner's insurance; ,overage extends over a specific time period and does not cover the home's structure.

Homeowner's Insurance an insurance policy that combines protection against damage to a dwelling and Is contents with protection against claims of negligence or inappropriate action that result in someone's injury or property damage.

HUD1 Statement also known as the "settlement sheet," it itemizes all closing costs; must be given to the borrower at or before closing.

HVAC, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning a home's heating and cooling system.

Interest Only Loan the monthly payment for the loan does not include any repayment of principal - the payment covers only the interest and the actual loan balance remains unchanged.


Today’s Real Estate Terms

by Brian Maecker

A couple weeks ago I started my series of Real Estate Terms. Today’s blog contains some popular terms from C thru E.

Certificate of title a document provided by a qualified source (such as a title company) that shows the property legally belongs to the current owner.

Closing, Settlement a meeting at which a sale of a property is finalized by the buyer and ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, Competitive Market Analysis a CMA report shows prices of homes that are comparable to a subject home that were recently sold, are currently on the market, or were on the market, but were not sold within the listing period.

Closing Complete closing has happened, buyer moved into hime, real estate commission has been paid and agent has also updated mailing address of their client.

Closing Costs customary costs above and beyond the sale price of the property that must be paid to cover the transfer of ownership at closing.

Comparables, Comp An abbreviation for "comparable properties". Comparables are properties like the property under consideration.

Contingency A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding.

Credit report a report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness.

Debt-to-income ratio a comparison of gross income to housing and non-housing expenses.

Deed the document that transfers ownership of a property.

Down payment the portion of a home's purchase price that is paid in cash and is not part of the mortgage loan.

Earnest money deposit money put down by a potential buyer to show that he or she is serious about purchasing the home; it becomes part of the down payment if the offer is accepted, is returned if the offer is rejected, or is forfeited if the buyer pulls out of the deal.

Easement the right to use the land of another for a specific limited purpose. Examples include utility lines, driveways, and Ingress and Egress. Easements can be temporary or permanent.

Equity an owner's financial interest in a property; calculated by subtracting the amount still owed on the mortgage loon(s)from the fair market value of the property.

Escrow An item of value deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow account a separate account into which the lender puts a portion of each monthly mortgage payment; an escrow account provides the funds needed for such expenses as property taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, etc.         

           Please call us for a better explanation of the entire Real Estate process. After 30+ years, we’ve seen a thing or two J


Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 44




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