9 Things Military Families Should Know Before Buying a Home in Colorado
Ah, Colorado. Skiing. Hiking. Beautiful National Parks (that you can get into for free, thanks to the Military Pass). Colorado is a unique place--from its laws to its climate, there really is nowhere else like the Centennial State. So how do you buy a home there--especially if you’ve never been there before?
Don’t worry; I’ve got you. Let’s break it down together.
1. Grow Houses
Marijuana is legal in Colorado and that includes growing it. Ask your real estate agent if the house you’re interested in has ever had marijuana grown in it. Even if it was done legally, the process of growing the plant may have caused damage to the house because of the high humidity, heat, and moisture used. If you or someone in your family is particularly sensitive and is triggered by allergies, mold, or high humidity, you’ll want to be careful as well.
2. Heading to Colorado Springs?
If you’ll be stationed around the Colorado Springs area, it’s important to know that the west side of the city is more expensive. Do your homework: Compare houses across the city to make sure that you’re getting the best price for what you want, where you want it.
3. Air Conditioning Isn't Standard
If you’re coming from the southwest or southeast, you’re used to A/C as a fixture in nearly every home. This isn’t the case in Colorado. Open windows, ceiling fans, and swamp coolers (in older homes) are more than likely going to be your methods of cooling down in the summer.
4. Pay Attention to the Direction
While it might not make much of a difference if you’re buying a home in the late spring or summer, come fall and winter, you’ll definitely want to remember this:
- North facing areas will be cold and full of ice and snow
- South facing areas will be a lot warmer; it will be harder for ice and snow to accumulate.
If your home is largely exposed to the south, you might experience strong sunlight and heat, especially in the summer. And you might want to invest in a vehicle with all wheel drive if you choose a home close the the mountains or in a very shadowy place that stays largely cool and dark. It will be harder for snow and ice to melt in those places.
5. Look Out for Radon
Make sure that you know what your potential home’s radon reading is. Colorado homes have a high likelihood of radon in the basement. (And yes, most Colorado homes do have basements.) Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer, and it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. (Scary stuff.) The good news is that taking care of radon is a fairly inexpensive process, and many times you can take care of it yourself. (Of course, you can hire a professional to do it if you want, too.)
6. Keep an Eye on the Water
Water is life, but it can be a pain for homeowners. Too little, and wells go dry and lawns look awful. Too much, and it can create damage. Colorado has “expansive” soil. This means that it can swell or shrink greatly depending on how much water it has absorbed. This can create movement for homes and, over time, can damage foundations, walls, and floors.
Colorado goes through cycles of drought and excessive rain. Make sure your home has a sump pump in the basement. And if it doesn’t? Get one. It will help you deal with seepage and flooding during heavy rains.
And finally, it’s important to know that water is very expensive in Colorado. Having water-efficient appliances and fixtures in your house, like low-flow toilets and shower heads, will save you serious cash in the long run. (And being kind to the environment is important, too.)
7. The Weather Fluctuates
8. Save Cash with Your Lawn
In metro areas, land can be extremely expensive, even if there’s a lot of it around. To get a cheaper house, forego the dream of a big yard. If you’ve just got to have space, you might find yourself going further east or up into the mountains to find it.
9. Pests Won't Bother You Too Much
Termites and mold aren’t big problems in most homes in Colorado. Of course, you want to check for them, but you’ll find they aren’t a large concern.
Colorado is home to a substantial military population– especially when it comes to Army and Air Force folks. No matter where you go, you’ll be able to bump into someone from the community who will make you feel at home. In fact, I can introduce you to one of those folks right now. Susanna Haynie is a veteran’s spouse and Realtor in the Colorado Springs area. She’s passionate about serving the military community–especially when it comes to making sure military families with special needs children are taken care of– and just “gets it.” Check out her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to catch up with or reach out to her.
This post is sponsored by YourColoradoSpringsHouse.com; however, all opinions and words are my own.