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Our Blog

Falcon Property Solutions

  • 11/15/2016

    Fall and Winter Watering

    Fall & Winter watering
    Please help us avoid “winter kill” and damage to landscaping by watering periodically during fall and winter. Even though landscape plants are dormant and brown, they need water since dry fall/winter months often kill plants through dehydration. By choosing to winter water, your lawn and landscape plants will have a much better chance of greening up beautifully when the warm weather of spring returns.
    When to water
    • Choose a warm winter day with air t
    emperature above 40 degrees F and unfrozen soil.
    • Water one to two times per month from November to April.
    • It is most critical to water in March and April when the new roots are forming.
    • Water at mid-day so it can soak in before it freezes.
    What to water
    • It is most important to water newly planted lawns, trees, shrubs and flowers.
    • Established lawn areas and trees, especially those in sunny, windy, or exposed areas should also be a high priority.
    • Established shrubs, flowers, ornamental grasses and groundcovers will also benefit.
    • Do not winter water cacti, succulents, buffalograss, blue grama and very xeric plants.
    How to water
    • Use a hose-end sprinkler or watering wand since automatic sprinkler systems are off during the winter.
    • Remove the hose from the spigot after watering to prevent freeze damage.
    • Water slowly so it can soak in.
    • To figure out how long to water, put out cups to catch some of the water. Water until you can measure 0.5 to 1” deep in the cups.

  • 01/12/2015

    Your IRS Form 1099-Misc


    You will be receiving a 1099-Misc in the mail within the next few weeks.  We are required by law to send those to you via U.S Postal Service.  We are working diligently to have them sent out by the end of next week.  The information on your 1099-Misc WILL BE REPORTED TO THE IRS, so please make sure you provide this information to avoid incorrect returns.  If you thought a trip to the dentist was bad, try a visit from the IRS--you'll hug your dentist the next time you see them and beg for a root canal! 
    We usually receive a few questions regarding the 1099-Misc and Cash Flow Statements so here are a few answers from the FAQ's we have received.

    1. Why is my 1099 amount for more than I have received?

    We are required to report GROSS (total collected) rent income not net (after expenses).

    2. Why does my 1099 add up to 13 rent payments instead of 12?

    Chances are your tenant paid their January 2015 rent in December 2014.  We are required to report that January 2015 rent in 2014 because we received it prior to the year ending.  Some of your tenants pay via allotment or direct deposit so we have no control on when the payment goes into our account.

    3.  Why does my Cash Flow show prepaid rent for some months as a positive and negative in others?

    When rent is paid before a charge is billed to the tenant it goes in as Prepaid rent, which would be the positive amount you see.  Once the charge is billed it automatically applies the prepaid rent to the charge, hence the negative amount in another month.

    4. What items are tax-deductible?

    We are not tax professionals and do not advise you on tax matters.  The rental property expenses that can offset your rental income can be found in IRS Publication 527.  You are encouraged to take your Cash Flow statement and 1099-Misc to a tax professional so that they may advise you on your allowable deductions.

    5. My tenant had money held from the Deposit, so why is that income to me when it just paid bills due?

    Unfortunately, any money received on your behalf is recorded as income and reflected on your 1099-Misc.  Even though the money went to pay bills, it is still run through the trust account tied to your property.  The bills reflect on your Cash Flow Statement.  Discuss allowable deductions with a tax professional.

    6. I have found an error on my 1099-Misc--what do I need to do?

    Mistakes happen and thankfully most of them are easily fixed.  If you find a legitimate error in your 1099-Misc, contact the office and speak with Daimon.  He can easily generate a corrected 1099-Misc and transmit the correction to the everyone's favorite agency, the IRS. 

    We hope this helps answer some of your questions.  If you still do not understand your 1099-Misc or Cash Flow statement please let us know.
     We appreciate your business in 2014 and look forward to a wonderful 2015.  Best of luck with Uncle Sam!

  • 12/12/2014

    Who Pays? The Simple (and Not-So-Simple) Answers About Common Maintenance Issues in Your Rental


    Even if you read all that legal language in your property management agreement or lease (and we hope you do!), it may not be crystal clear who pays for simple items around the home.  See if you can answer these:


    Let’s start with an easy one:  Who pays to replace light bulbs?  Generally, if light bulbs go out during a tenant’s lease, the tenant should replace it.  But what if the tenant says the light bulb was out when he moved in? That should have been documented on the move-in condition form within 21 days of occupancy. If not reported until much later, the tenant should replace the bulb. If it was submitted as an exception within 21 days of move-in, the former tenant should have replaced it and we should have caught it during the move-out inspection.  We’ll take care of it.  Maybe it got missed.  No big deal, right? But what if it’s a specialty halogen or other bulb that’s hard to find AND expensive?  Maybe it’s supposed to last five years and happens to go out during the tenant’s lease? In that case, barring any misuse, the owner would likely pay to replace the bulb.  Well, what if it’s really high up in a vaulted ceiling?  Owners really prefer you not climb up huge ladders to do maintenance around the house—let’s let a licensed and insured contractor take care of that one.  Not always simple, right?


    Let’s try another one:  Batteries.  You may have batteries in smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, garage door remotes and keypads, and other devices that stay with the home.  In some cases, the tenant can and does easily replace these batteries.  Like the bulbs, if the tenant notes it within three weeks of tenancy, it’s reasonable that dead batteries be replaced.  But if the tenant reports a chirping smoke or CO2 detector, and wants the Landlord to replace the batteries, we have an obligation to do so.  We normally carry extra batteries with us during visits/inspections to address these minor issues.  But like light bulbs, units wired into high ceilings will likely require a contractor to fix.


    How about if the tenant calls a contractor to fix a garbage disposal and the contractor says the disposal is worn out—not a tenant abuse issue?  First of all, tenants do not have the authority to contract with vendors to work on the house.  That service call will likely not be covered by the Landlord.  We carefully screen our contractors to be sure they’re licensed and insured, and offer competitive rates.  We also need contractors to make recommendations to us, not to tenants. Some tenants actually want to influence the contractor to say an appliance, disposal, toilet, or other item needs to be replaced when it may not.  Just because it isn’t as high end as you may be used to doesn’t mean it’s inoperable.


    A water break caused damage to the drywall, wood flooring, and a lot of the tenant’s furniture.  Isn’t this covered by the homeowner’s insurance?  Yes and no. The structure would likely be covered, but not the tenant’s furniture. That’s why we strongly recommend tenants secure renter’s insurance. It’s very inexpensive and the first time you need it, you’ll be SO glad you have it.   What if it was the tenant’s washing machine that flooded the floors?  The tenant is held responsible for intentional or negligent acts, and if a faulty valve or other mechanical malfunction caused the problem, it isn’t the tenant’s fault. Unless the lease specifies that the tenants are liable for damage in such a circumstance, they probably would not have to pay.  However, if the water was leaking from a hose or connection for weeks without being reported, and it eventually resulted in significant damage, the tenant could be found liable. 


    These are but a few examples of the many, many items that may wear out or break during a tenant’s stay.  As is human nature, some owners want to hold tenants responsible for everything that goes wrong, and tenants want the owners to fix everything regardless of the cause.   We do our best to get all the facts and follow the law regarding who pays.


    More great information can be found at the Tschetter, Hamrick, Sulzer Law Firm site

  • 12/11/2014

    How Do You Really Feel? Things Tenants Would Like to Say to Their Landlord


     

    These are the brutally honest thoughts of some renters
       (and a Landlord’s response below):


    1. Just because I’m a day or two late on my rent doesn’t mean I’m not going to pay it. Asking politely is one thing. Turning into a ruthless mob like character if your rent check is a day late is another thing entirely. Calm the heck down … you’ll get your money!

    2. Telling me that you’ll have someone over soon to fix the A/C is nice, but actually sending someone over would be better. Tenants know all too well that when the landlord says they’ll send someone over, that means “I’ll get to it when I get to it.”


    3. It would be great if you answered the phone. It’s amazing how if the rent check is a moment late you can’t get away from your landlord, but if you actually need something from them, you can never get a hold of them.


    4. Even though I live in your property I am still a human being. Please don’t treat me like a child, and please don’t begin our interaction with the assumption that I’m going to trash the place. I haven’t done anything wrong (yet.)


    5. Those outlandish rules included in the lease were ridiculous. I can only use the sprinkler during certain times of the day? I’m not allowed to light candles inside the home? Yeah … those rules are ridiculous.

    6. My pets aren’t going to destroy your home. I have two small harmless cats that, I promise, will not pee all over your carpet or scratch up your trim.


    7. It’s not my responsibility to do maintenance on your home. I’m calling you because the faucet is leaking. That’s not because I can’t fix it. It’s because I pay rent so that I don’t have to.

    ****

    Okay, fair enough. But here are some thoughts on those points: 


    1. We don’t get to just blow your rent check on champagne and caviar. If we’re hassling you about getting me the rent check, it’s probably because there’s a mortgageto pay—or  the taxes, the insurance, the contractors, and more. Those guys all want their money now, and they won’t take “my tenant hasn’t paid me yet” as an excuse.  Besides, we have an agreement: We provide you with housing, and you pay rent on the 1st. We’ve held up our end…so where’s the check?


    2. Yes, sometime’s there is a delay in getting a contractor over to your house to fix that broken thing.  But it’s not due to a lack of trying on our part. If you can recommend someone who’s always good, affordable and reliable, let me know. Those people are near-mythical.


    3. Your property managers should aim to do as good of a job in being responsive to your needs as they are in collecting rent.  Our job is to communicate with you and to answer the phone when you call.  That said, we can’t give everybody what they want, and there are usually other perspectives or details you may not be aware of.  If you haven’t gotten an answer to your inquiry—either a yes or a no—then by all means, bring it to our attention.  That said, your role as a tenant is to understand what requests are reasonable … and what aren’t. Fixing a broken dishwasher is reasonable. Replacing all the (older but operable) appliances with “newer” ones is not.


    4. If we thought you were going to trash the house, we wouldn’t have rented it to you. So relax. We have obviously entrusted you to take reasonable care of this house. That’s why we let you live there. 


    5. If your lease doesn’t specifically outlaw something, you can always claim that there’s “no rule against it.” So yes, I have a clause saying that you can’t operate a BBQ grill inside of the house. It should be common sense, I know. But you’d be surprised.  Rebuilding the motorcycle on the living room carpet?  Do we really have to go there?


    6. Pets cause more damage than you might realize. They cause excess wear-and-tear on the carpets. They leave dander in the carpet and vents, which need to be professionally cleaned in case the next tenants have a pet allergy. And some do like to mark their territory. That’s why we charge a pet deposit.


    7. We definitely don’t want you to do maintenance on the house — so it sounds like we’re in agreement on that point! That said, PLEASE let us know when something is amiss. Don’t wait until a tiny problem grows into an emergency before you call say, “Hey, the water line from the refrigerator has been leaking slowly for months, but yesterday it got really bad ….”


    Bottom line: It’s about mutual trust and reasonable expectations.  Both sides need to do what they agreed to do, and this resolves most issues before they get particularly frustrating.

  • 12/01/2014

    Rental Listing Scams


    As you consider issues like size, cost, and location of a rental, also consider this: that rental listing could be a scam. Scammers often advertise rentals that don’t exist, aren’t available, or use a real ad with a twist to trick people into sending money before they find out the truth.

    Scammers know that a seemingly good deal is hard to pass up. They’ve been known to game some rental websites and bulletin boards. Some scammers hijack a real rental listing by changing the email address or other contact information, and placing the modified ad on another site. The altered ad may even use the name of the person who posted the original ad. In other cases, scammers have hijacked the email accounts of property owners on reputable rental websites.  Falcon Property Solutions ads do get propagated to a number of third-party advertising sites like Trulia, Zillow, Hotpads, etc, but we always redirect prospective tenants to our main page, www.falconprops.com for the original listing.  
    Other rip-off artists make up listings for places that aren’t for rent or don’t exist, and try to lure you in with the promise of low rent, or great amenities. Their goal is to get your money before you find out.
    Being savvy when you’re in search of a rental is well worth the effort. Here are some signs you may be dealing with a scam:
    They tell you to wire money
    This is the surest sign of a scam. There’s never a good reason to wire money to pay a security deposit, application fee, first month’s rent, or vacation rental fee. That’s true even if they send you a contract first. Wiring money is the same as sending cash — once you send it, you have no way to get it back.
    They want a security deposit or first month’s rent before you’ve met or signed a lease
    It’s never a good idea to send money to someone you’ve never met in person for a property you haven’t seen. If you can’t visit the property yourself, ask someone you trust to go and confirm that it’s for rent, and that it is what was advertised. In addition to setting up a meeting, do a search on the listing. If you find the same ad listed under a different name, that’s a clue it may be a scam.
    They say they’re out of the country
    But they have a plan to get the keys into your hands. It might involve a lawyer or an “agent” working on their behalf. Some scammers even create fake keys. Don’t send money to them overseas. If you can’t meet in person, see the apartment, or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking. Paying with a credit card or through a reputable rental website with its own payment system are your safest bets.
    If you find yourself the target of a rental scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Contact the website where the ad was posted, too.


  • 11/10/2014

    Get Ready for the Cold!



    We’re about to have our first significant cold snap here in the front range area, and frozen pipes are a serious concern over the next few days. Temperatures are forecast to plunge to single digits, and will remain below or near freezing for several days.

    Pipes will freeze due to these quick drops in temperature, poor insulation and thermostats set too low. Both plastic and copper pipes can freeze and burst, and a cracked pipe can cause flooding, structural damage and mold.  When pipes freeze, water in the pipes turns to ice and expands,, and the pressure causes cracks.  Even a small one can leak 250 gallons in a day.

    Here are some steps you can take to prevent pipes from freezing:

    • Set temperature in the house to no lower than 60 degrees
    • Open all cabinet doors where you have plumbing fixtures-particularly on exterior walls with plumbing
    • Allow a trickle of hot and cold water to drip overnight in sinks and bathtubs that have supply pipes that run along outside walls
    • Disconnect outside water hoses and any other attachments from hose bibs.
    • Inspect outside faucets, and repair dripping or leaking faucets.
    • If your home has an interior shut-off valve leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from the pipes—most sprinkler systems should have been drained and blown out by now.  Please contact our office immediately if your sprinklers are still operating or have not been drained, unless they are maintained by an HOA.

    By taking a few simple precautions, you can help prevent the mess, money, and aggravation frozen pipes cause. 

  • 11/06/2014

    THOSE PESKY MOVE-IN AND MOVE-OUT FORMS!





    It’s amazing that so many tenants fail to take advantage of the move-in “inventory and condition” form and move-out cleaning checklists, and this often results in conflict over security deposits.
    In my experience, more than 75% of tenants forget to return the move-in form to the office. Tenants have 21 days to document any existing damage or unclean areas that may exist before they move in, and this is important evidence that can prevent charges for damage that may have already been there.  Photos that are date stamped can also be valuable, and should be turned in with the inventory and condition form (tenants should keep a copy of this form!).


    The FPS staff tries to thoroughly document the property’s condition between all tenant changeovers so disputes are easily settled. We also try to hold our cleaners accountable for getting the job right, and can request they revisit the property if something was missed.  In short, we try to have the property “move-in ready” with nail holes filled and patched, carpets cleaned, cabinets and drawers wiped out, clean appliances, etc.  Occasionally something gets missed, but it helps to know this right away so we can fix it and not get the “it was that way when I moved in!” at the end of the lease. 
    When deposit funds are withheld from the vacating tenant, they are paid directly to outside contractors who must remedy items to make the property move-in ready again.  FPS does not keep or make any money from the deposits and is legally bound to be fair and honest about security deposit refunds.


    That said, it is very rare that tenants leave a property truly clean and move-in ready—people have different ideas of how “clean” they found or left a property.  It is very common to find food in the stove or oven, crumbs in drawers, mildew in the tub, dirty blinds and vents, nail holes, etc.  Tenants should take advantage of the move-out cleaning checklist provided in the move-out package to ensure they get their full deposit refunded.
    In short, tenants are provided the tools they need to be successful, receive their refunds back and have a good rental track record (future landlords will ask!). Unfortunately, many tenants don’t pay attention to the forms provided, and the predictable disputes just make the stress and expense of moving worse than it has to be.






    Visit some of our favorite sites: 

    Our brokerage partner:



     

          Dave Kaercher Team




              Garden of the Gods Park


    Garden of the Gods (67732260)




  • 10/02/2014

    The Silent Killer














    Colorado Springs Homes - Pikes Peak Autumn                It’s autumn, and it’s getting chilly.  We get out the sweaters and turn on the furnace. We might build a cozy fire in the fireplace, use space heaters, or warm the car up in the garage before we drive to work.  We might employ a propane heater while working in the shop.  These things happen routinely across America.  And hundreds of people die every year because they didn’t realize the danger from the Silent Killer—Carbon Monoxide.  Another 20,000 people visit the emergency room annually as well with carbon monoxide poisoning.
                    Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of burning fuels such as wood, kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, propane, natural gas, and oil—normal parts of Colorado living. Improper venting of furnaces, hot water heaters, boilers, fireplaces, barbeques, automobile engines, etc can produce deadly gas.  Carbon monoxide detectors sound an alarm when carbon monoxide is detected at dangerous levels, alerting residents that there is a problem.
                    Here are a few facts about carbon monoxide:  It has no odor, color, or taste—you’d never know it’s there. It diminishes your ability to absorb oxygen. Its symptoms are often mistaken for something else—headache, dizziness, and nausea feel like the flu; then confusion, disorientation and lethargy further diminish your ability to figure out that you need immediate medical attention. But the most important fact:  It CAN be detected, and tragic deaths can be avoided.
                     In fact, Colorado law REQUIRES that residences have carbon monoxide detectors installed within 15 feet of any room used for sleeping purposes.  It is smart to also have them near any fuel-burning appliances as well.  The Falcon Property Solutions staff ensures that all homes have carbon monoxide detectors (which may be combined with smoke detectors).  Occasionally, they may make a noise (such as when the batteries need to be replaced), and tenants remove the device. They may be unplugged, intentionally or unintentionally, set aside or buried in a drawer.  We find them in toy boxes and on shelves. The Colorado law states that “no person shall remove batteries from, or in any way render inoperable, a carbon monoxide alarm, except as part of a process to inspect, maintain, repair or replace the alarm or replace the batteries in the alarm.”   





                   We hope this fall and winter you’ll stay alert to the dangers of the Silent Killer and keep those carbon monoxide detectors operating. 




     


     


     

  • 05/08/2014

    PRAISE THE HANDYMAN!

    A handyman, by definition, is a jack-of-all-trades. FPS relies on professional handyman services to save our homeowners money and time on needed repairs. The handyman can tackle a variety of household needs in one visit, rather than paying separately high priced visits from specialized contractors like plumbers, painters, and carpenters, to do the same jobs.


    Common handyman jobs include:

    • Plumbing installation and repair
    • Small appliance installation, such as icemakers and disposals
    • Electrical work, including hanging ceiling fans, light fixtures, and installing new outlets
    • Home maintenance tasks, such as gutter cleaning, power washing, and chimney sweeping
    • Roof repair
    • Drywall patching
    • Interior and exterior painting
    • Small installations, such as replacement windows, shelving, sinks, countertops, vanities, and cabinetry
    • Basic carpentry and fence repair
    • Tile, laminate, hardwood, and other flooring repair/installation

    Money-saving solutions

    Smart home improvements may include raising energy efficiency and cutting energy costs—simple green upgrades such as weather stripping, caulking and sealing doors and windows, maintaining heating systems properly, and upgrading insulation—all of which can dramatically lower utility bills.

    We’ve also needed to call a handyman for some odd situations, such as plugging holes where rodents, squirrels, garden snakes and other critters come in to escape the cold.

    We Do Our Homework

    When a handyman is the right choice for your home, we ensure you have a qualified, knowledgeable professional on the job. We always verify that the handyman is licensed and insured, and ensure estimates and billing is within the local norms for fair pricing.

    If you have stories or feedback about your handyman services, or a favorite you’ve worked with, we’d love to hear about them!




  • 01/13/2014

    Marijuana and Your Property

    Now that marijuana is available for recreational use in Colorado, you might be wondering how this will affect your rental property. Here is what our lease states regarding this issue:

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "All properties have non-smoking interiors. Smoking is strictly prohibited. The parties agree, that it shall be a breach of this lease for Tenant(s) to smoke, cook, grow, cultivate or raise marijuana on or in the property for Tenant(s) to sell, dispense, or become a dispenser of marijuana, regardless of whether Tenant(s) has or is licensed to do so and regardless of whether Tenant(s) has been granted the right to supply or provide marijuana to persons in need of the same. The growing, cultivation, smoking, cooking, raising or dispensing of marijuana is a violation of this lease and will subject Tenant(s) to eviction and or any other remedy available to Landlord pursuant to this lease. It shall also be a breach of this lease for tenant to smoke, cook, grow, cultivate or raise marijuana on the property even if Tenant(s) has a prescription for its medical use or if tenant is legally registered for such use. Proof of legal registration is required if marijuana is, at any time, discovered on the premises Tenant shall be required to smoke medical marijuana off the premises with a minimum of 20 feet from any door or window, and a violation of this shall subject Tenant(s) to eviction and/or any other remedy available to landlord pursuant to this lease. Please note, possession of marijuana is a federal offense. The Tenant(s) hereby agree to adhere to all federal and state laws.

    Although Amendment 64 passed in the State of Colorado, this amendment specifically protects landlords from having to allow Marijuana on the premises AT ALL. This is your notice that the landlord for the property located at (subject property) has elected to prohibit the use, cultivation and/or possession of Marijuana on this property along with any other illicit or illegal drugs. A violation of this will result in a breach of lease and eviction."

  • 01/13/2014

    Your 1099 is coming soon. Here is a list of FAQs to help you prepare!

    You will be receiving a 1099-Misc in the mail within the next few weeks.  We are required by law to send those to you via U.S Postal Service.  Daimon is working diligently to have them sent out by the end of next week.  The information on your 1099-Misc WILL BE REPORTED TO THE IRS, so please make sure you provide updated mailing information to avoid incorrect returns.  If you though a trip to the dentist was bad try a visit from the IRS, you'll hug your dentist the next time you see them and beg for a root canal. 

    We usually receive a few questions regarding the 1099-Misc and Cash Flow Statements so here are a few answers from the FAQ's we have received.

    1. Why is my 1099 amount for more than I have received?

    We are required to report GROSS (total collected) rent income not net (after expenses).  The amount of your distribution on a monthly basis is net and the amount your tenant paid is gross. 

    2. Why does my 1099 add up to 13 rent payments instead of 12?

    Chances are your tenant paid their January 2014 rent in December 2013.  We are required to report that January 2014 rent in 2013 because we received it prior to the year ending.  Some of your tenants pay via allotment or direct deposit so we have no control on when the payment goes into our account.

    3.  Why does my Cash Flow show prepaid rent for some months as a positive and negative in others?

    When rent is paid before a charge is billed to the tenant it goes in as Prepaid rent, which would be the positive amount you see.  Once the charge is billed it automatically applies the prepaid rent to the charge, hence the negative amount in another month.

    4. What items are tax-deductible?

    We are not allowed to advise you on tax matters or specifically tell you if items are deductible or not.  You are encouraged to take your Cash Flow statement and 1099-Misc to a tax professional so that they may advise you on your allowable deductions.

    5. My tenant had money held from the Deposit, why is that income to me when it just paid bills due?

    Unfortunately, any money received on your behalf is recorded as income and reflected on your 1099-Misc.  Even though the money went to pay bills, it is still run through the trust account tied to your property.  The bills reflect on your Cash Flow Statement.  Discuss allowable deductions with a tax professional.

    6. I have found an error on my 1099-Misc, what do I need to do?

    Mistakes happen and thankfully most of them are easily fixed.  If you find a legitamate error in your 1099-Misc, contact the office and speak with Daimon.  He can easily generate a corrected 1099-Misc and transmit the correction to the everyone's favorite agency, the IRS.

    We hope this helps answer some of your questions.  If you still do not understand your 1099-Misc or Cash Flow statement please give us a call to go over it unless it is a simple question.  Email is easy for simple questions but a phone call to Daimon would be better for a more detailed explanation.

    We appreciate your business in 2013 and look forward to a wonderful 2014.Best of luck with Uncle Sam!

  • 12/03/2013

    Happy Holidays from FPS!

    Wow--it's December already, and the retail Christmas push has been going since before Halloween!  It's hard to keep up.  Still yawning and rubbing bellies over a great Thanksgiving feast and some much needed down time, and feeling really  behind.  Those of you who do your shopping thoughtfully throughout the year and have your decorations up the day after Turkey day won't relate...you've probably mailed all your cards and are planning a romantic Valentine's Day event. Or something.  Since we've last blogged sprinklers have been turned off (don 't forget to turn on the hose/sprinkler and do a little winter watering when the days are warm and the snow has been sparse), days have gotten WAYYY shorter (see below), ski resorts have opened for business, and we've returned to flipping on the fireplace on cold mornings.  We hope your holidays are filled with joyous memories with family and friends, delicious favorite foods, and most importantly, gratitude for all the gifts in life that often go unrecognized. 

     

    The winter solstice is the solstice that occurs in winter. It is the time at which the sun appears at noon at its lowest altitude above the horizon.
     
    It is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and the longest day in the southern; it occurs annually between Dec. 20-23 when the sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees.

    This year it is  December 21, and then the days begin to get longer each day after that until the summer solstice! 

  • 08/27/2013

    Parade of Homes & Labor Day Weekend

    The Colorado Springs Parade of Homes is in full swing, and who doesn't love wandering through someone else's gorgeous new home, snapping pics of décor you'd like to replicate, admiring a flowing pond and outdoor fireplace?!  It only goes through this Sunday, so if you haven't already, pick up the book & map and head off to the special homes or neighborhoods you're interested in.  Obviously, if you can sneak out during the week, the crowds and parking are a lot easier to deal with! 

    Today's FPS Top 5:  Things We Love About Labor Day Weekend
    Other than the ubiquitous barbeques, whether at home or at a tailgate, there's SO much to do this weekend!
    1.  Air Force Football starts!  The Air Force Falcons host the Colgate Raiders on Saturday, Aug 31. Colgate is a liberal arts college in upstate New York.
    2.  Sales!  Warm weather stuff needs to make room for fall/winter apparel--and you can save big. You could get a couple hundred bucks off a big TV just in time for football season.  Whether a bricks-and-mortar store or on-line, look for those savings.
    3.  The Colorado Balloon Classic! You can get carried away (doh!) on Saturday and Sunday morning with the mass ascension, or in the evenings with a "Glo" event.  It's at Memorial Park, in Colorado Springs, off Pikes Peak Avenue between Hancock Avenue and Union Boulevard near the shores of Prospect Lake.
    4. The Tri-Lakes Music Festival!  Saturday, August 31, 2013 at the Lake of the Rockies Camp, 99 Mitchell Ave, Monument, CO  80132.  Enjoy a live performance by the Charlie Daniels Band.
    5. Pikes Peak International Raceway fun!  Hop in the driver's seat of a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche 911 Turbo or Audi R8 at Pikes Peak International Raceway - August 29-September 1. This is your chance to DRIVE or RIDE in a rare exotic car at high speeds on a real racetrack! Visit www.XXSPEED.com or call 866-273-7727 to reserve your drive. Use promo code "XXSOCIAL" to receive 60% off! Group rates available. Must reserve in advance. 21 and older to drive; 10 and older to ride along.

    Have a GREAT week!


  • 08/14/2013

    We're Growing!


    Thanks to the fantastic owner referrals that keep us growing, we’ve brought on a new Broker, Susanna Haynie.  She’s a real dynamo!  Check out her bio on our Facebook page  or at the Gazette article.  We’ve also enjoyed having Intern Jeremiah Zeigler, who has been with us since May and has been amazing during the peak summer season.  As part of our growth, we’ve also recently partnered with 1stBank, and we’re thrilled with their customer service!  We got treated to a fantastic suite at the Security Service Field recently, thanks to 1st Bank’s Christy Lehmpuhl.  Unfortunately, it was the evening of our crazy storm and flooding, so the game was eventually called—but we were warm and dry in the suite with food and drinks and we had a blast!  In the pic (L-R):  Sarah Elliott, Jeremiah Zeigler, Daimon Elliott, Sherry Meier, Debra Bramlett, Jim and Tami Turner, Christy Lehmpuhl.

    Owner Referral Appreciation
    Through the end of August, owners who refer new management business to FPS will receive a $100 gift card as a token of our appreciation!

    Today’s FPS TOP 5:   Back-to-School Shopping  Sites

    1.       Wal-Mart(sorry big box store haters, but we got spiral notebooks for  17 cents!)
    2.       Office Max—especially for the hard-to-find stuff
    3.       Payless—none of the shoes from last year fit!
    4.       Old Navy—good selection of school uniforms
    5.       King Soopers—good prices with the discount card, plus gas points)

    Most of these have online discounts or coupons as well.  Happy shopping!

     

  • 02/27/2013

    Severe Water Restrictions Coming to Colorado Springs


    Colorado has been in a pretty substantial drought over the last few years.  The drought has been forecast to persist well into 2013.  A lack of snow and rain has persisted and due to the water supply dropping almost 30%, Colorado Springs Utilities will be implementing water restrictions beginning April 1st, 2013.  Colorado Springs is the largest water supplier to the city and other water companies such as Cherokee Metropolitan District receive a substantial amount of their water from CSU.  In the previous six years CSU has not had any water restrictions while other companies that service the area have.  This will definitely cause exterior landscaping, namely grassed areas, to suffer dramatically.  CSU has proposed to only allow exterior watering two days per week which is usually insufficient to maintain a healthy and green lawn.

    It has been our experience that two-day-a-week restrictions  cause lawns to suffer and often times either die or at the very least struggle to maintain their health.  The direction lawns face also play a part in their health.  South-facing lawns see sun exposure almost all-day and therefore water evaporates much more quickly resulting in scorching whereas north-facing lawns are shaded much of the day and can retain water much easier keeping them healthy longer with less water.  A common assumption would be to simply water longer on the days where watering is allowed and that is partly true.  The biggest problem with that is the lawn's ability to absorb the water.  While increasing the times sprinklers run can be somewhat effective, the lawn will reach a point where it is unable to absorb the excess water (even as dry as it is) and therefore the water will simply begin to run-off wasting more water and doing nothing additional for the lawn.  Usually with restrictions not only are the days watering is allowed spread out but the times allowed are dictated.  Any time before 9 A.M or after 9 P.M has been the standard and specifically determined so the water will absorb versus evaporate.  The wind is also less of of a factor during those times.

    Many owners may think asking the tenant to fudge a little on the set restrictions would be the next possible solution.  This is problematic as CSU will most likely have inspectors driving around (as other local companies already do this now) to ensure that cheating is minimized.  If caught, cheaters could potentially be fined by a water provider.  Additionally, supply and demand principles are in effect meaning more expensive bills for usage over the normal allotted water supply for a specific home to the tune of 1.5 to 2 times more than normal rates.  This is also an unfair burden to put on the tenant, especially given the fact mother nature is beyond anyone's control.

    Property Managers will do their very best to ensure that watering is being done on the days and times allowed by local water providers but cannot guarantee that your lawn will look like it has in the past.  This is unfortunate but beyond control and unless we receive significant rain in the spring and summer, be prepared for lawn repairs down the road when sufficient watering is allowed again.  We understand the importance of curb appeal as it relates to home values and appearance and will strive to maintain it to the best of our ability given our current situation.

    Check out the links below for more information on the impending water restrictions...

    Colorado Springs Utilities Water Outlook

    KOAA Channel 5 News for Water Restrictions

  • 02/04/2013

    Furnace Mandate Update

    So good news for those of you with an older furnace in need of replacement soon.  The Department of Energy had put in place a mandate that was to come in effect on May 1, 2013 that would prohibit the purchase of furnaces with an efficiency rating less than 90%.  As we have all come to expect, going green can initially be very expensive.  The furnaces themselves weren't going to be that much more but the installation was going to cost about twice as much as they usually would to install.  Long story short, the Dept. of Energy thankfully repealed the mandate.  I am sure we haven't heard the last of this, but for now you can take a deep breath.  After a technology in introduced to the market the price is high initially, but the longer it is around the cheaper it becomes.  People figure out how to do it faster and cheaper, and competitors introduce similar products driving down the price.  The high-efficiency furnaces and the labor to install them will decrease over time and it will be much more economical.  The average lifespan of a furnace is about 20-25 years so if your furnace is there it may be time to look at replacing it with a furnace that won't cost you an arm and leg. 

    Daimon Elliott

  • 11/16/2012


    Falcon Property Solutions provides excellence in property management services. We specialize in managing quality single family homes, applying our professional expertise to protect your home’s value. If it’s time to lease, buy or sell, we will provide the absolute best brokerage services.