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Start new habits this Earth Day

by The Mountain Living Team

Earth Day is April 22nd and this year the focus is ending plastics pollution.  I have heard stories of the huge islands of plastics in the middle of the ocean.  I've seen tv shows where they have to rescue marine life from the plastic litter that is tangled around them.  I see plastics and other trash along side roads and in parking lots after being casually discarded from cars.  Recently I have heard of bits of plastics being in the bottled water products.  This Earth Day it's time for each of us to make a difference and minimize or eliminate the problems plastics cause.  In it's entirety it seems like an impossible task but if we break it down into small, manageable things each of us can do, it can have a huge impact.

One way to help eliminate our plastic trash is to stop buying things that come in plastic bottles or containers.  I realize that is nearly impossible to do in today's world but give it a second thought next time you make a purchase.  If you do end up buying a plastic container, make it a point to recycle or reuse it.  Minimize how much you put in the trash but of course, in the trash is better than tossing it out the car window.  Never do that!

Currently Summit County only recycles plastics marked #1 or #2.  Those are mostly bottles.  There is not currently an option locally that I am aware of to recycle other plastics.  For more information about what can be recycled in Summit County visit High Country Conservation Center's website.

Use fabric grocery bags.  Many stores no longer provide plastic bags or they do for a charge to motivate us to bring our own reusable bags.  It's a great idea just remember to wash them frequently.  

Donate or re-purpose items.  Regardless if they are made of plastic or not, finding a way to re-purpose an old item is good for the earth, and generally your pocketbook.  If you can't come up with a new use for your old item, if it still has some life in it, consider donating it.  There are a lot of non-profits that count on our donations to survive.  It's a win-win.  In our area, a lot of our seasonal workers can use stuff.  They came here for the lifestyle and because of the cost to live here, they often sacrifice some of the basic items most of us take for granted.  If you are local and belong to Facebook, post your unwanted item on One Man's Junk and see if anyone is in need.  Freecycle is another great option.

Visit www.EarthDay.org for more ways you can help end plastic pollution or a number of other earth friendly ideas.  Do your part and commit to creating a great habit this Earth Day. 

 

Donate outdoor items for kids to use

by The Mountain Living Team

It's hard to have a bad day when you're hiking or skiing or having a picnic in the park.  Nature has a way of releasing tensions and refreshing me.  A lot of kids in the Denver Metro area don't get to experience that for a variety of reasons.  Shiloh House, a non-profit organization in Littleton, takes high risk youth out into nature.  I can easily see the benefits of a program that gets kids outdoors.  I would be a lot more cranky and moody without nature.  

Unfortunately, Shiloh House had all of it's outdoor items stolen recently. As we head into spring and summer, the lack of these essential items may make it difficult to get all the kids that would benefit out into nature.  If you have a back pack, water bottle, fishing poles, or any other lightly used ,recreational items that you aren't using anymore, Shiloh House would love to have them.  Your tax deductible donation would help them continue to get more kids out into nature.  If that's not a good thing, I don't know what is.

If you'd like to donate, you can drop recreation items off at our Mountain Living Real Estate office, take them directly to their offices at 6588 W Ottawa Ave in Littleton or go to their website and donate money.  https://shilohhouse.org/donate/  Next time we are in Littleton we will drop off any items we collect and get a tax deduction form for you if they provide us with one.

You can see the complete story on a local denver news channel's website.

7 Easy Tips to Prepare Your Home to Sell

by The Mountain Living Team

Preparation is the key to success in most everything we do today.  It may not only impact whether or not you actually succeed but the level of success you will achieve.  When it comes time to sell your home, heed the words of Ben Franklin, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."  Even in our current seller's market there is a Keystone home that has been on the market for eight years.  A recent sale was on the market for five years and another for three and a half.  Unless that is your plan, you don't want to be one of those home sellers.  Prepare your home along with your expectations and succeed.  

Most home owners think their home is great.  It is their taste and it represents the way they live.  Often times buyers see it that way too; as the perfect home for the seller, not for the buyer.  As a home seller you can take a few steps to ensure your home comes off looking like a great place for the majority of the potential buyers that look at it.  Here are 7 easy tips that will help your home show great.

1. Clean.  It doesn't matter how clean you live, clean your home.  Do your spring cleaning and vaccuum away the cobwebs, dust the blinds, wash the windows, make your house shine.  If you live in your home full time, it's a little more work to keep it this way but it is worth it.  Don't leave your dishes in the sink, manage the kids and the pets, it's in your best interest.

2. Remove the clutter.  Clean almost everything off the counters in the kitchen and bathrooms.  If you have 100 books in the bookshelf, get rid of three-quarters of them.  If you have family photos on every wall replace them with a mountain scene.  When you are done, it should look like a show home and make you wonder if anybody really lives here.

3. Start packing.  The first impulse we have when it's time to remove clutter is to fill the closets with all that stuff.  Instead, pack away the things you don't use.  You are going to be moving and will have to pack anyway.  Get a head start.  If the cabinets, closets & garage or basement are all full, the buyers think there isn't enough space for all their things either.

4. Take a look outside.  If it is winter, be sure and shovel the walk to the front door.  If we have a garage, most of us park inside and don't walk outside to the front door.  Your buyers won't have that luxury.  If you are not always here, pay someone to shovel it for you.  Have the decks and exterior living space shoveled too.  Those spaces can be year 'round use on some of our warm and sunny winter days, we want it to look like it.  If it is summer, pick up the yard.  We typically don't have lawns that need to be mowed up here but there may be a few downed limbs or that excess lumber is still laying on the side of the house.  If you are in a condo complex, take a look at the common areas and address any concerns.  Flower gardens should be planted and weeded.  

5. Make repairs.  We all have repairs we haven't gotten around to yet, maybe it's that dripping faucet or the door that you have to push hard to close.  Typically you're better off to go ahead and make those repairs now.  Odds are the buyer will find them during their home inspection and ask you to repair them then or to credit them money. 

6. Paint.  If the home is looking a little dingy, consider painting it.  Painting gives a fresh, clean look and is relatively inexpensive.  If you have unusual colors you may want to paint over them with a warm, neutral color that will appeal to the masses.  

7. Consider buying a few new items.  New comforters with dust ruffles and throw pillows can go a long way dressing up a bedroom.  New rugs in the bathrooms and throw pillows on the sofas can perk up those rooms too.  Consider adding color to the room with corresponding pillows and accent pieces like flowers, candles, vases and artwork.  Don't go overboard though.  We don't want to clutter the rooms you just moved all the clutter out of.

 

Closing Dates for Summit County Resorts

by The Mountain Living Team

The days are getting longer and the temperatures getting warmer.  We are enjoying spring skiing here!  This time of year always lets us know that the snow won't last much longer.  Most resorts close around mid-April with Loveland and Arapahoe Basin staying open longer.  Here are the closing dates for our local resorts.  Remember these dates are subject to change based on snow conditions.

Breckenridge - April 22
Copper Mountain - April 15
Keystone - April 8
Arapahoe Basin - No date set yet.

Nearby Resorts:
Beaver Creek - April 15
Vail - April 15
Loveland - May 9

Time is short.  Get out there and enjoy the rest of this ski season!

The Ikon Pass could be a gamechanger for ski passes in Summit County

by The Mountain Living Team

Currently there are three passes that will grant you access to all the Summit County ski areas and a few just outside the county border; the Epic Pass, Copper Pass & Loveland Pass.  The Epic Pass offers access to all the Vail Resorts properties.  It includes Breck, Keystone, Vail, Beaver Creek and A-Basin. The Copper Mountain Pass is either a single mountain pass or can be combined with Winter Park & a few days at Steamboat.  The Loveland Pass is just Loveland. Next year there will be a new pass available, the Ikon Pass and it could give Vail Resorts a run for their money.  

The Ikon Pass includes Copper Mountain and 24 or 25 other resorts across the country.  There are 2 options to buy, $599 or $899.For $599 you will get unlimited access with no blackout dates to three Colorado resorts; Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Eldora, Big Bear in California, Blue Mountain & Tremblant in Canada, and Snowshoe in West Virginia. You also get unlimited access with a few blackout dates to three more California resorts plus 5 days at  Steamboat and Aspen Snowmass in Colorado plus Jackson Hole, Deer Valley and several other mountains in the East & in Canada.  The higher price point gives you unlimited access to 12 resorts and 7 days at the remaining 13 resorts.  Passes for kids under 12 are less than $200 and they offer military, college & teen discounts. 

It doesn't replace Epic Pass in Summit County.  There's still only one mountain in the county included but if you plan to take some ski vacations you have a whole lot more options.  I have already heard some people say they will buy this pass instead of the Epic and maybe get a cheaper pass, like the A-Basin/Keystone pass to add some additional Summit County resorts.  

We try and take a ski trip a few hours away every year.  We did Jackson Hole this year, Wolf Creek the year before and Steamboat before that.  Destination trips like that will certainly factor into the pass decision for many people.  

More information about the new Ikon Pass is available on their website.  Passes go on sale March 6th.  Like most passes, these may go up in price the longer you wait to buy. #IkonPass

The Winter Olympics is Summit County, Colorado and then some.

by Meredith Adams

Photo courtesy of https://www.bestvpnanalysis.com/watch-winter-olympics-2018-stream-live/The winter Olympics start today!  So many of the winter sports are some of the things we do every day here in Summit County.  Things like alpine and cross country skiing, snowboarding, & riding the rails & the half pipe.  We also have many of the past, present & future Olympians pass through town as they compete in their specific events hosted at our local ski resorts.  Many of us have had the opportunity to watch these amazing athletes compete in person.   

Sports are always more interesting to watch when you have an understanding of the game and can understand the strategies and skills involved.  Lindsey Vonn skis slalom at around 80 mph.  We don't generally clock ourselves skiing but with an app on his phone, my husband clocked his speed down one really fast run to see how fast he could ski.  He said he was going just over 50 mph.  There's no way I would have wanted to or could have kept up.  Based on that, I'm guessing, at my fastest ever I may hit 30 mph, maybe.  Lindsey Vonn goes 80.  Knowing what 30 feels like gives me so much more appreciation for not only what she does, but how fast she does it.  

I have a better appreciation for those athletes that ride the half pipe, getting amazing air and doing tricks.  I have skied the half pipe.  I don't get air and I don't even get close to the top of the pipe.  The momentum you get going from one side to the other is so amazing.  The steep and icy sides that are so high are absolutely crazy.  If you haven't taken a run down the half pipe, you should put it on your bucket list.  At Copper Mountain, if there isn't an event or practice happening, anyone can ride the pipe.  I urge you to go down it.  Go only as high up the sides as you feel comfortable.  Feel the speed you build as you slide from one side of the pipe to the other.  Notice how the sides tower over you.  Understand the control & skill these athletes must possess to fly beyond the top, spin around in the air, and land back on the steep sides without wiping out.  

Woodward at Copper MountainWhile you're at it, give some of the other Olympic sports a try.  If you've got the guts, check out Woodward at Copper Mountain.  There you can safely launch yourself off a ramp, do an in air trick, and land in a foam pit, all while strapped into your skis or board.  Or go a little milder and strap on the skinny skis and head out into the woods or to one of the local Nordic Centers.  There is one in Keystone, Frisco and Breckenridge.  You may be amazed how different it is from alpine skiing, and appreciate how much energy you exert just to go across a long, flat stretch.  

Summit County offers the opportunities to enjoy all these winter activities and so much more.  The fun to be had in both winter and summer is endless.  Get out and enjoy yourself in Summit County.  You'll be glad you did.

Be ready to win the Super Bowl

by The Mountain Living Team

Super Bowl LIISuper Bowl LII is here!  Once again we will be watching the Patriots compete, this year against the Eagles.  I'm rooting for the Eagles.  I have no connection to either team but if anybody can knock the Patriots off, let's root for them.  The Patriots have been there too often.  Unless you are a Patriots fan I know you agree with me. The Eagles had a great season and it's pretty amazing they made it this far with their back up quarterback.  Regardless of the outcome, I have to admire both teams for doing what it takes to get this far.  And I don't mean cheating!  I mean working hard, preparing, and having a game plan.  Those same things are exactly what home buyers need to be doing in today's real estate market; working hard, preparing and having a game plan.

Let's face it, anything worth having takes some work.  Buying a home is no exception.  The work starts by making sure your finances are in order.  Think credit, money down, and how much home you can afford.  A good, local lender can help with these items. If you are buying a property out of state, talk to a lender in the same area as the property.  It matters where you play. Loans, even from a national lender, can vary in requirements and restrictions from area to area, just like playing at home or away.

Once your finances are in order your real estate agent can help prepare you for the current market conditions.  Listen to the general climate of the market.  Is there a glut of properties on the market or are there multiple offers?  Are homes selling quickly or do they linger on the market?  Are properties selling for full price or significantly less?  Get your head in the game.

Market conditions will impact your game plan just like your competitor would.  If you are selling a property too, maybe you should buy first and sell after.  Is there a time frame to be conscious of, like with a 1031 Exchange or before ski season?  Put all the pieces together and let's make this happen. 

Mountain Living Real Estate is here to help every step of the way.  We'll work hard with you to make your dreams come true.  Buying a home in Summit County can make you feel like you just won the Super Bowl, even better actually.  The feeling will last much longer than just one year.

What's on the horizon for 2018's real estate market?

by The Mountain Living Team

2017 was a good year for real estate.  Both prices and demand were up and inventory down from 2016.  2018 will continue to be more of the same. With the potential for higher interest rates that will put added strain on affordability, 2018 may see a slight slowing in demand and pricing.  However, the seller's market will continue.

Unexpected events may curtail the real estate market's trajectory but I think odds are low.  Even though prices are high now, by this time next year I expect them to be even higher.  I'm not sure how long we will sustain the uphill climb but I think we have at least one more year of it.

CNN sees the same things for the national real estate market.

 

Dillon Ice Castles - Fun for all ages!

by Meredith Adams

Dillon Ice CastleLast night we decided to check out the Ice Castle in Dillon with some friends.  It has been advertised like crazy and sounded like it could be pretty cool.  It only lasts as long as weather permits so we thought we should go now.  We were originally thinking we'd go in March when we have some family in town but it's been a warm winter and it may not last.

We bought our tickets online prior to going.  We found a coupon code that saved us a couple more bucks.  Try happykids in the promo code box.  Tickets are for a specific time frame when they want you to show up.  Once you are there you can stay as long as you'd like.  I'd recommend wearing your ski gear.  It's cold and if you make the most of it, you'll be sitting on, crawling over, and touching a lot of ice. 

They told us the ice castle is on about an acre of land.  They even gave us a map to navigate our way around it.  They have a room with a hot tub that squirts water into the air.  They have colored lights that are spectacular on the ice formations. There are a couple of slides and a few tunnels you can go through.  It's a great place for the kids to play and it brought out the kid in me.  I belly crawled into a couple caverns and tried out both slides and of course, took quite a few pictures.

It's an interesting experience that I would recommend.  It's a little pricey for what it is but what isn't these days.  

Summit County 2017 - Year in Review

by The Mountain Living Team

Another year is behind us.  That means it's time to look back and reflect on the previous year and then think about what the next year will look like.  In the Summit County real estate market 2017 was an active year and my initial thoughts are 2018 will continue with more of the same.  Let's take a deeper look into the 2017 numbers and see how we came to those conclusions.

2017 residential sales were up 5.4% over 2016 with 1984 sales in Summit County.  Monthly sales fluctuated with some months better than 2016 and others falling short.  Overall the increases won out.

2017 had $1,385,947,000 in residential sales.  That's up 23% from 2016's sales volume of $1,124,067,000. Some of that increase came from a 46.6% bump in the number of sales over $1million.  In 2016, sales at $1million or more only made up 11.8% of the total sales.  In 2017 that number jumped to 16.5%.  In fact, the 70 sales at $2million or more nearly doubled the 38 sales in 2016.  

Average residential sales price in 2017 was $698,562 That is a 17% increase from $596,006 in 2016.  The increase in higher end sales certainly impacted the average sales price but values increased across the board.

The number of cash buyers in the market is about the same year over year at just under one third of all buyers.  The low interest rates continue to make borrowing more attractive, even to those that have the means to pay cash.

59.8% of homes sold in the first 30 days in 2017.  Homes were still selling quickly in 2016 with 54.8% under contract within 30 days.

Summit County has been suffering with low inventory for a couple of years now.  We currently have just 319 homes on the market in the entire county.  That's only a 2 month supply on average.  A balanced market would see about a six month supply.  We are definitely in a strong Seller's Market.

Condos and townhomes made up 63.8% of the residential sales in the county.  Currently, they only make up 41.3% of the inventory.

Low inventory is going to be the strongest force driving the 2018 market.  If inventory levels continue in similar fashion in 2018, we can expect prices to continue to increase.  There is still demand, even now during a typically slower time of year.  There is no indication that demand will slow into the coming year.

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Photo of Jason & Meredith Adams Real Estate
Jason & Meredith Adams
Mountain Living Real Estate
PO Box 4115
Frisco CO 80443
888-666-0844