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Colorado Dream Homes Blog: Douglas County CO

Vital Hess Road Opening Delayed

For years Parker CO had only 2 ways to get to I-25, using either E-470 or Lincoln Avenue.  Both of those roads were extreme North Parker, so residents in the Southern boundaries of Parker were sort of trapped; for some going across Crowfoot Valley Road into Castle Rock made the most sense to get to I-25.  Otherwise you have to accept driving 7 miles of Parker Road to get out of Parker.  

For the last 2 years Hess road has been under construction, and now its being delayed a month due to lack of signage.  That is a pity, but when it opens it will certainly be a game changer!  For one thing, it will "expose" everyone driving on I-25 to where Parker is relative to Castle Pines North (pretty much directly East of it,) and also expose eveyone to the new Rueter-Hess Reservoir, which will certainly be the crown jewel of Douglas County some day and a major landmark for Parker.

It will also alter traffic patterns throughout Parker. With the Ridgegate Parkway/Mainstreet access in place now, adding Hess Road means even more people will stay off Lincoln, which I'm sure is going to please the homeowners that back to Lincoln.  I always thought Lincoln would become an Arapahoe Road and would have to be 3 lanes through Parker, but no way that is happening now.  I think its possible that more cars will travel on Mainstreet and Hess Road combined to get to I-25 than Lincoln.   

Will it change home values in Parker CO?  That remains to be seen.  BUT the homeowners in Horseshoe Ridge and Antelope Heights will certainly benefit from the double-whammy of Rueter-Hess and Hess Road being right next to them.  You think that Realtors will play this up when listing homes there?  You better believe it.  And that might drive up demand.  

Douglas County CO - Tax Lien Sales

Douglas County Tax Lien Sale



Douglas County Tax Lien Sale
I went to the Douglas County Tax Lien Sale on October 20th to observe and learn.  It was quite a show really.  There were about 80 people in the room all bidding for hundreds and hundreds of tax liens.  It moved pretty fast.  I'd say each property took all of one minute.  There were institutional bidders in the crowd buying liens for Real estate investment trusts and other entities with hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend!
What was interesting to me is that everyone seemed to have a limit to what they'd bid, and if someone went over their bid they'd just bow out, and even if the other bid was $10 more than theirs.  Is that really enough to make a difference?   It's normal to bid 2-3% over the value of the tax lien, but in the end I saw a lot of bids going for 4% over the amount.  If you get paid 10% interest from Douglas County, you are losing 4% right away with that premium you paid up front.  So its not as lucrative as it seems upfront.  But I guess that doesn't stop people from buying them.  The ultimate prize is to get the "treasurers Deed" from the County, and when that happens, YOU OWN IT.  
I saw tax liens for auction for a bunch of builders' lots, lots of whole subdivisions, and even Jack Vickers the owner and founder of Castle Pines.  So there are a whole lot of people that don't pay their property taxes evidently.   And there were a ton for Parker CO and Castle Rock CO and of course Highlands Ranch CO.  
The Tax Lien Sale occurs once a year. If you want to purchase a tax lien you have to pre-register and be present (our your representative) at the day of the sale. You will have to pay by personal check or by certified funds at the end of the sale. You can purchase as many tax liens as you would like, that is, if you are the HIGHEST BIDDER. This is an AUCTION, so the tax lien goes to the highest bidder.
Tax liens sale DOES NOT make you the owner of the property! You will become a lien holder. Think of the tax lien as an investment. You buy it and hold it until somebody; the owner, a senior lien holder etc. redeems the lien. You will receive interest on the lien, which is predetermined. Last year it was 15%.
Tax Liens are not a get rich quick or get a house for next to nothing type of an investment.
There are several potential risks on purchasing a tax lien. Here are just a few of them:
You need to decide the investment potential of the particular tax lien you are interested in purchasing. Many liens are paid back (redeemed) within 6 months from the sale of the tax lien, which means the accumulated interest is minimal.
1.  Bankruptcies - the owner could file a bankruptcy making your investment go down the drain.
2.  Senior lien holder can buy your lien out at any time.
3.  The following year another "investor" could buy a junior tax lien on the same property.
4.  There may be any other liens on the property.
GETTING THE HOME - BECOMING THE OWNER - happens app. 2% of the time
In Douglas County only app. 2% of the tax liens turn into Treasurer's Deeds , meaning the lien holder gets the home. In order to apply for the Treasurer's Deed you need to have had the tax lien for 3 years. Once 3 yrs has past and you apply to get the Treasurer's Deed the owner and any other senior lien holders are notified, several times and the information is posted in a newspaper. The owner or any seniro lien holders can then redeem the lien from you - or buy it back if you will.
Final note: Purchasing a tax lien does note make you the owner of the property. It can be a good investment. but is not a instant get rich scheme.
Too good to be true?  I guess you'll have to decide that yourself.  If it was so great you'd think there would be even more people bidding.  Then again, there were guys in there representing huge REITS and buying 30,000 tax liens left and right.  Hmmmmm......

The Birth of a Parker CO Reservoir


Parker CO homes and real estate and property management


This is big...really really big!  I had the priviledge of getting a private tour of the Parker Reuter Hess Reservoir on September 25th 2011 by 2 construction supervisors and none other than the father of the whole project- Frank Yeager (the dam is named after him now.)  I doubt I'll ever be able to do that again at any time anywhere.  They will just finish up the construction phase in a month or two after 4 years of construction, so all we can do is watch the FILLING phase from afar now!  

I got to walk along the top of the concrete super-structure to the tip of it, which was way cool!!  Its 185 feet looking straight that water is going to be DEEP!  I was here last year in August 2010, when they had the Open House and we got to drive on the dam, then through the bottom of the reservoir.  Now that road is under water as you can see in the picture!  Its basically doubled in size in a years time.  And as you can see its got a LONG LONG way to go. So long that is mindboggling actually. It will take years to fill this up. They are pumping the water from a small building off Stroh Road by Cherry Creek, and there is a 'movable dam' that has baffles in it that can rise and fall according to how much they want to pump out of it.  However, even in the wettest years, this won't come close to being enough water to fill it by itself.  Ever been to Cherry Creek?  Its not exactly a huge creek.  Most of the water will have to be pumped from other sources around Colorado, and that is going to be expensive.  So sit tight everyone hope you all have a lot of patience and pass those bond issues for the pipelines!  

Never-the-less, this is an incredible amenity for Parker CO and all of Douglas County.  The size is staggering.  It will be 50% larger than Cherry Creek Reservoir.  It was planned as a 16,000 acre feet storage facility, and it grew into a 72,000 acre foot facility.  The water depth at the dam is going to be 185 feet when full to capacity, which is projected to only happen 2 times in the next 50 years, but MAN that is really deep.  

There are plans for a regional park, disc golf, dog park, habitat preserve, nature center, swim beach, boat laundh (non-motorized's a water supply right?) fishing, and many trails.  The habitat preserve area shows pedestrian/hiking, biking, equestrian use, and overlooks.  These are all great plans, but here is what else I know.  Guess how much money is allocated to these features?  ZERO.  None of these things are going to happen anytime soon.  

The Parker Water and Sanitation District is a WATER COMPANY, not a RECREATION entity, so they have nothing to do with any of these plans for one thing.  All they have been focusing on is the dam construction.  There are no roads being built to have access to the reservoir, no boat ramps being built, no beaches, trails or anything.  You will see it from the new Hess Road that will skirt it on the North side and connect to Castle Pines Parkway, but you won't be able to get close to it. I bet we are looking at waiting for years with the economy we have right now, and the funds will have to be raised by Douglas County or The State of Colorado with lottery funds.  So anyone that is anxiously waiting for the reservoir to open because they feel like they are 'entitled' to its use right away are going to be highly disappointed!  Its sole purpose is for water storage.  Recreation is not even on the radar with no funds. 

What IS COOL is that the animals have discovered it, and are making daily treks to it.  So the elk, deer, foxes, coyotes birds  etc. will all have it on their radar, and that will change how they roam around the area guaranteed. 

Will it help Parker CO home values?  I seriously doubt it.  What it WILL do is maintain them though, because it will help protect our future water supplies.  And it will certainly put Parker CO on the map, and eventually be a regional draw (once its filled.)

For more pictures of Parker CO Reuter Hess Reservoir click here







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