Condos/Housing in Colorado Springs or area

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ddbeveridge, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. ddbeveridge

    ddbeveridge New Member

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    We are the parents of a Basic Cadet who entered last week and figured we will be traveling from the Columbus Ohio area to Colorado Springs a lot. With the cost of hotels and eating out we have considered looking into a condo or furnished apartments for rent or something along those lines. Does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions or experience with anything like this? Thank you for any insight!
     
  2. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I certainly liked most of the C-Springs area, but I have to ask, do you like Colorado or are you expecting to helicopter-parent your cadet?
     
  3. Dad

    Dad Member

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    For Parents' Weekend and Grad Week, I have used VBRO.com, flipkey.com, and other websites that specialize in renting homes for short periods of time. There are many properties available in COS and the surrounding communities. They range from executive mansions which sleep 20 (@$4000 per night) to smaller 3 bedroom homes (for under a $1000 per week). Happy searching and don't wait too long to reserve a home or hotel for Parents' Weekend. Also, reserving a prime location 2 years in advance of Grad Week is not unheard of. Best wishes. :thumb:
     
  4. ddbeveridge

    ddbeveridge New Member

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    raimius - Not a helicopter parent, never have been, never will be. My son is a football player so hopefully in a couple of years he will get some playing time. So between coming out for football games and parents weekends, and having two sets of grandparents and my four siblings and their families traveling out to see games I thought it might be a little more cost effective to have a "home base" so to speak to save on hotels and dining out. Then sell it as an investment once the four years are over.

    Dad - Thank you for the great suggestions!
     
  5. skt

    skt Member

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    buying a home in Colorado Springs

    The house we rented for our first visit to Colorado Springs (the week leading up to I-day) was owned by a retired professor. They live in the house most of the year and rent it out to others during the "popular" visit times. Of course, some of those times would be the same times you would be there (Parents' Weekend, graduation your son's year), but Colorado Springs is a popular place to visit during the Christmas holidays and summers as well. Check out a few houses on vrbo.com and take a look at their calendars to see the dates they're already booked up. Based on what some charge and what the house costs, some are able to cover their mortgage payments through rentals. So, if you do buy a house there - and don't mind other people staying in it at tiems that you're not there - it could work out quite well!
     
  6. cybersnyder

    cybersnyder Member

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    I know a guy the lives near the Naval Academy that rents his place out during graduation. It pays for him and his family to take a nice vacation somewhere. That doesn't help much, but just a story from the other side of the rental. My wife and I really, really like Colorado. We would consider moving there, but it's tough to move that far. Everything has to line up with kids, school, career, etc. My daughter going to the Academy is not even part of the equation. It would be nice to be closer to her, but she has to be a big girl and get out on her own.
     
  7. ddbeveridge

    ddbeveridge New Member

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    All great advice and suggestions! Thank you!
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Curious how this would be cost effective. The BAH rate for a 26 yr. Old O-3 stationed at CSprings is @20k a year.

    If you become a member with a hotel rewards program, such as Marriott, Holiday Inn, Hampton etc you would get reward points and free rooms every few times. On top of that if you used a credit card with reward points you can get them that way.

    My brother travels a lot and has not paid for rooms for years.. He either uses his his hotel reward points or his credit card rewards Every chain now has long term/residence inns in case you want a condo style living.

    I can see doing it as a tax shelter, because you could rent it out for graduation the first 3 years and make back a lot of the annual mtg in that week, add in the tax bennies, and hope to sell it at a profit in 4 years at a profit and you will be better off, but renting a furnished apartment makes no financial sense if you open up reward accounts. Again even buying is a lot of IFs (I was a realtor for 8 years). If the mtg rates stay the same, if gas prices don't go up, if the student loan bubble doesn't burst, also if they don't force you to take an investment loan. Than add in the cost for homeowners insurance, the cost for maintenance repairs, the cost for property management, the cost for home owner warrantee, and if in an HOA, the cost for the HOA. OBTW, in VA if more than 40% of condos in the development are classified as renters mtg brokers can refuse to loan to any buyer. That is another what IF to put on your list,

    Me personally, I personally would sign up with Marriott and open an AMEX account. I am a landlord for a home in NC, and we live in VA. The market dropped and we got stuck with it as a rental property. I never again want to own a home that is a rental and we only live 4 hours away. The risk and emotional stress of having strangers in your home is too high. IMPO, I will stick with the safer route and use bonus points.


    ~ FYI for our military posters AMEX reimburses the annual fee for Gold and Platinum cards. You pay it first, than submit proof you are military and a few weeks later on your next statement they credit your account for the fee.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2014
  9. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Hi there -- One Thanksgiving when our cadet couldn't come home due to athletics, we spent Thanksgiving in CS and rented a townhome from a family who had 2 cadets at USAFA over a span of 6 years. They rented it out via vrbo when they didn't use it, and they and the kids seemed to be able to take advantage of it during PWs, graduations and long weekends. I don't know what the protocol is for cadets to use such a condo owned by family, but there seemed to be cadet stuff stored there! Anyway, the family sold it after their younger cadet graduated. it seemed to work for them; the condo was a great place, nicely furnished and we were able to cook a nice meal there without any trouble. This was important to my kids who wanted home cooked food and have a "home" for Thanksgiving. That being said, it hasn't really been necessary for any other visit we've made to the Academy. Buying groceries and cooking may initially seem like a cost saver, but for anything less than a week stay (or a holiday meal) or a big gathering of family like graduation you end up dealing with buying too big a bottle of some pantry staple or stuff you think you're going to use/eat and end up not because you're out and about and not at the place. And there is such a range of eateries in CS that you can usually find something to suit your budget. And there is also such a range of hotel options as well, though during PW and graduation expect the prices to be really high.
    Just some thoughts from our experiences...take care and good luck!
     
  10. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    We are currently in Colorado Springs visiting our daughter. This is our 12th trip to the Springs from Wisconsin since 2007 when our oldest son was a Doolie. I have to agree with Pima that it would be a real stretch to justify buying anything as a "home base". The average home price in COS is north of $200K and remember that is an average for the whole city. You would want something on the North side close to the Academy where even a decent 1500 sq ft condo will probably top $250K. We have stayed in cheap hotels, suite hotels, and rented a house for graduation and we would never have been able to justify the outlay of buying something. Just an opinion of someone who's been there.

    Stealth_81


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