House Progress

I made an offer on the house I liked Sunday night (to be actually given to the other realtor Monday) and the offer was accepted Monday night. Closing is scheduled for mid to late July. Now I’m leaving on vacation Thursday so I have to get a bunch done for that before I leave. I also have to get a lot done at work, but I’m mostly working to pass off what I’m working on to someone else who can work on it next week. At least Allison is visiting so she took my car in (the rear bearings have issues and I now have an estimate on repairing that), and that’s a big help.

I also have to remember to clean and re-lube my rubik’s cube before I leave, though that’s not exactly a top priority.

House Hunting

I’m finally getting somewhat more serious about looking at houses (townhouses), prompted by the fact that my sister is visiting in a couple weeks and one of the things she’s supposed to do is force me to find a real estate agent and go actually look at houses. On my own I’ve been kind of looking for over the past year, but by that I just mean every few months I find a real estate website and look at the townhouses available. I have at least managed to narrow down the area I’d like to live in, but until the last few days I didn’t have any specific townhouses I was considering.

I was talking to someone today about how to find out the crime statistics in a neighborhood and he pointed me to It’s a remarkably well done map based report of what the police have responded to. The data is based on computer aided 911 dispatches and not everywhere participates in the system, but Colorado Springs supports it. I don’t know how far back the data goes, but it includes the police event number, the number of cars sent there, and how long they where there, as well as trends by event category over the past year.

The reason I commented on the map based searching being well done is that I experienced the other end of the spectrum last night on a real estate site. It said to zoom the map in to the area you wanted to search, then select the type of housing and min/max ranges on various fields and hit “search.” I zoomed in to northern Colorado Springs, selected townhouse/condo and the top result (of over 6,000) was way, way out of my price range. It was also in Breckenridge. I quickly gave up on their map.

I’ve used a number of sites for searching real estate in Colorado Springs. They’ve mostly had the same houses listed (and where I didn’t see the same ones it was probably because it had been months since I last checked and some had sold), but they’ve presented them different ways. The ones I prefer are map based, where you start with a map with houses marked on it (they’re usually also listed below the map) and can just browse. By far the best of these is Zillow, though some of their filters seem questionable (I had to turn on single family homes to have it show some properties that are flagged as townhomes in the details). Zillow also includes estimated values for all houses (not just the list prices of ones for sale), sale prices of recently sold houses, and listed price history of homes for sale. On the other hand, Zillow is missing information that some other sites have (HOA costs for townhouses for one), and some of the other sites present the full listing details better (though Zillow does quite well).

I guess I need to check my credit report and see what I can find out about mortgages.