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Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

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6 Reasons now is a great time to sell your Summit County home

by The Mountain Living Team

This year the market dynamic is creating new opportunities for sellers.  Don't get left in the dark by not capitalizing on it.

1. A lot of people are in town for Spring Break.  March means an influx of Spring Breakers from all over the country.  Many of our visitors grab magazines and scour the internet for local properties before, during and after their visit.  This is a great time to get a lot of exposure for your property.

2. Competition is still low.  The typical Summit County real estate market has lower levels of inventory during the winter months and more properties for sale in the summer months.  Starting in mid-April, when most ski areas close, sellers start putting their properties on the market and inventory begins to build.

3. Buyers are waiting on the sidelines.  Because inventory levels are extremely low buyers have been struggling to find the right property.  Inventory has been low for a while causing that backlog to grow.

4. Pricing is great.  Most areas and property types have completely rebounded from the recession.  Pricing at or above peak values. 

5. Interest rates are still low.  They have begun ticking up but buyers can still typically get a 30 year fixed loan for a vacation home in the low 4s.  That's a great rate.

6. Better availability of services.  Last summer and fall it was taking 4-5 weeks for appraisers to appraise a property for a loan.  That meant properties were under contract for 60 days when a loan was involved.  Home Inspectors and contractors were also backlogged.  When it takes longer for the service people we need to utilize for the real estate transaction it inevitably means the entire process takes longer.  So far this year timing has improved which translates into a quicker sale.  

If you'd like to sell your Summit County home this year, why wait?  Let us help you get it done now. Contact The Mountain Living Team and get it sold!

What does a Fed rate hike mean for mortgage rates?

by The Mountain Living Team

There has been speculation for months and yesterday it happened.  The Fed bumped interest rates .25%.  The speculation also included two more rate hikes this year and more in 2018.  There is no indication any of that has changed.  As long as the economy continues on like it has, those hikes are very likely.  Rate hikes are a sign of a good economy but it also makes us wonder how those interest rate hikes will impact us directly.  

The Fed rate doesn't impact mortgage rates directly.  In fact, we may not even feel it in the mortgage market.  Long term mortgage rates are tied to the ten year Treasury yield.  The Fed's rate increase is more likely to impact your credit card interest or auto loans than the rate on a 30 year fixed loan or on your savings account.  

Mortgage rates will likely increase due to a strong economic indicators, or even speculation of a strong economy.  Unfortunately, exactly when that will happen is not as obvious as the Fed rate increase is.

Single family home in Silverthorne coming on the market soon!

by The Mountain Living Team

This single family residence will be up for sale by this weekend.  It will make a great primary residence or second home for someone that enjoys the Summit County lifestyle.  

It sits on a nicely treed, half acre lot in a quiet neighborhood.  Across the street is National Forest lands, a trailhead just down the street.  Moose and fox are abundant, maybe even an occasional deer will make an appearance.  

The convenient Silverthorne location provides easy access to all four Summit County ski areas, five golf courses, Lake Dillon, miles of hiking and biking trails and so much more.  

The house won't disappoint either.  It enjoys an open living area with nice light and vaulted ceilings, granite kitchen counters, stainless appliances and a main floor master bedroom.  The large deck is perfect for summer barbecues looking through the trees to the mountains beyond.  The lower level has a family room, two large bedrooms, laundry room and bathroom.  Care was taken when Craig Naill built this home back in 1994.  In floor radiant heat and a cold roof are just a few of the fantastic features this home offers.  The garage is an oversized two car so plenty of room for all the toys, and maybe even the cars too!

Contact The Mountain Living Team for more details or to schedule a private showing.

4 ways to make the most of springtime in Summit County

by The Mountain Living Team

Spring in Summit County is a little different than most places.  At elevations above 9,000 feet spring showers are still snow showers and there won't be any gardening going on for a couple more months yet.  So how do you make the most of springtime in Summit County?  Here are four must do's around here.

1.  Hit the slopes.  We often get big dumps of snow in the spring followed by a beautiful blue sky day and warmer temperatures.  That makes for a fantastic day on the slopes.  Pick a mountain, we have four in the county and three more nearby.  You won't get bored even if you ski every day.

2.  Wear sunscreen.  You are closer to the sun here and without sunscreen you'll end up with a great goggle tan before summer.  It's better for your complexion to douse yourself with sunscreen though.  Don't forget to apply sunscreen on your neck and under your chin.  The sun reflects off the snow and can burn you in unsuspecting areas.

3.  Dress in layers.  We still have chilly nights with lows in the single digits and teens.  Afternoon sunshine and temperatures in the upper 30s and lower 40s will warm you up when you're active outdoors.  If you dress in layers you can take them off or put them on as needed to regulate your temperature throughout the day.

4. Call The Mountain Living Team.  If you've been considering selling your Summit County property, Spring is a great time to start getting your ducks in a row.  We can help you evaluate the market and come up with a realistic sale price.  We can offer suggestions about preparing your property for the market.  We can help coordinate repairs if you are not local.  We will help with whatever you need to achieve your goals.  

Springtime is an amazing time in Summit County.  Make the most of it by getting outdoors and by making preparations to reach your goals for the year. 

Are you getting the home tax deductions you're entitled to?

by The Mountain Living Team
Owning a home can pay off at tax time. Take advantage of these home ownership-related tax deductions and strategies to lower your tax bill:

Mortgage Interest Deduction

One of the neatest deductions itemizing homeowners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home -- and your home can be a house, trailer, or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million -- or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately -- is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things -- like sending your kid to college -- you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

Prepaid Interest Deduction

Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is generally 100% deductible in the year you paid it along with other mortgage interest.

If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year.

But if you refinance to get a better rate or shorten the length of your mortgage, or to use the money for something other than home improvements, such as college tuition, you’ll need to deduct the points over the life of your mortgage. Say you refi into a 10-year mortgage and pay $3,000 in points. You can deduct $300 per year for 10 years.

So what happens if you refi again down the road?

Example: Three years after your first refi, you refinance again. Using the $3,000 in points scenario above, you’ll have deducted $900 ($300 x 3 years) so far. That leaves $2,400, which you can deduct in full the year you complete your second refi. If you paid points for the new loan, the process starts again; you can deduct the points over the life of the loan.

Home mortgage interest and points are reported on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040.

Your lender will send you a Form 1098 that lists the points you paid. If not, you should be able to find the amount listed on the HUD-1 settlement sheet you got when you closed the purchase of your home or your refinance closing.

Property Tax Deduction

You can deduct on Schedule A the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.

If you bought a house this year, check your HUD-1 settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are deductible on Schedule A, too.

PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI) as mortgage interest on Schedule A if you itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).

If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000, your deduction is reduced by 10% for each $1,000 ($500 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return) that your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). So, if you make $110,000 or more, you can’t claim the deduction (10% x 10 = 100%).

Besides private mortgage insurance, there’s government insurance from FHA, VA, and the Rural Housing Service. Some of those premiums are paid at closing, and deducting them is complicated. A tax adviser or tax software program can help you calculate this deduction. Also, the rules vary between the agencies.

Vacation Home Tax Deductions

The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.

Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Your expenses are deducted on Schedule E.

Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days you rent it and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and allocate them based on how often you used and how often you rented the house.

Homebuyer Tax Credit

This isn’t a deduction, but it’s important to keep track of if you claimed it in 2008.

There were federal first-time homebuyer tax credits in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

If you claimed the homebuyer tax credit for a purchase made after April 8, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2009, you must repay 1/15th of the credit over 15 years, with no interest.

The IRS has a tool you can use to help figure out what you owe each year until it’s paid off. Or if the home stops being your main home, you may need to add the remaining unpaid credit amount to your income tax on your next tax return.

Generally, you don’t have to pay back the credit if you bought your home in 2009, 2010, or early 2011. The exception: You have to repay the full credit amount if you sold your house or stopped using it as primary residence within 36 months of the purchase date. Then you must repay it with your tax return for the year the home stopped being your principal residence.

The repayment rules are less rigorous for uniformed service members, Foreign Service workers, and intelligence community workers who got sent on extended duty at least 50 miles from their principal residence.

Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

The Nonbusiness Energy Tax Credit lets you claim a credit for installing energy-efficient home systems. Tax credits are especially valuable because they let you offset what you owe the IRS dollar for dollar, in this case, for up to 10% of the amount you spent on certain upgrades.

The credit carries a lifetime cap of $500 (less for some products), so if you’ve used it in years past, you’ll have to subtract prior tax credits from that $500 limit. Lucky for you, there’s no cap on how much you’ll save on utility bills thanks to your energy-efficiency upgrades.

Among the upgrades that might qualify for the credit:

  • Biomass stoves
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Insulation
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows, doors, and skylights

File IRS Form 5695 with your return.

This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.

Article written by Dona DeZube
‚Äč “Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®."

January gives a strong thumbs up to the state of the Summit County real estate market

by The Mountain Living Team

When 2016 ended the year with slightly fewer sales than 2015 it gave us some pause.  We began to wonder if this was an indicator.  Has the steady increase in our residential real estate market begun to stutter?  Unfortunately, there was no one to give us an answer.  All we could do was wait and see what would happen in the coming months and re-evaluate.  Well, just one month has gone by and so far, the market is still looking strong.  

January residential sales in Summit County posted strong sales, up 29.8% over January 2015 with 113 sales.  That beats January sales for the last 9 years and 14 of the last 17 Januarys!  The only years with stronger January sales this century were 2001, 2006 and 2007.   

As usual, Breckenridge had the bulk of the January sales with 42%.  Frisco contributed the least with just 8% of the sales.  That could be partially due to the very low inventory levels in Frisco.  Frisco has only 4% of the inventory in the county but managed 8% of the sales.  Dillon is in a similar situation with only 3% of the inventory but carrying 11.5% of the January sales. 

Both Land Sales and Partial Ownership Sales were strong in January.  January sales in those categories, however, barely make a dent in the annual sales numbers.

We will continue to watch the market as we push further into 2017.  January is giving us no indication that the market is stalling and it is actually looking very strong.  It's impossible to know the future all we can do is try and spot the subtle clues we see and hopefully interpret them correctly.  Let us know if you have questions about the Summit County real estate market.  We're here to help with any of your Summit County, Colorado needs.  

The Future of Real Estate

by The Mountain Living Team

2016 year end sales were down 4% from 2015 numbers.  That’s it.  We are done clawing our way out of the recession.  Our double digit annual rise from the ashes is over.  So what’s next?  Where does the market go from here?  Predicting the future would be so much easier if I had a crystal ball.  Instead, I am forced to look back, reflect and anticipate what may be.  Doing so, however, leaves me pondering the question, does it really even matter?

2006 saw Summit County’s strongest sales with nearly 2500 for the year.  2007 was still a strong year with a minimal 9.8% drop in sales from 2006. In 2008, our inventory levels were building and sales were lethargic.  By fall of 2008, the recession had hit Summit County.

Drawing parallels to the past, if 2015 was our peak sales year and 2016 was still a strong year with a minimal 4% drop in sales, what does that mean for 2017?  Perhaps it’s just a little down turn like that seen in 2001 and 2002.  Perhaps it’s not the sign of a down turn at all but just a hiccup brought on by the lack of properties for sale.  Unfortunately, I think it’s impossible to know for sure if our market will continue to be strong with rising prices or pull back in 2017.  We will have to let a few months pass in 2017 and take another look to see if any type of pattern has emerged.

Jump in the poolBuyers and sellers need to understand that the market will have its ups and downs, but overall, property values will continue to go up in the long term.  People that bought property during our peak years of 2006 & 2007 bought at the top.  The market came down after that, but now values have come back to or exceeded previous highs.  It’s a typical real estate cycle.  Timing the market is difficult at best and leaves you standing on the edge of the pool waiting for the right time to buy instead of jumping in and making the most of it.  If your goal is a long term investment, now is as good a time as any.  Come on in, the water is great!

 

The 2017 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Champions have been chosen!

by The Mountain Living Team


Breckenridge Snow Sculptures

If you haven't been to Breckenridge during the snow sculpture championships you need to make it a point to get here soon.  It's amazing what these people can do with a block of snow.  I can barely build a snowman let alone sculpt some of the intricate designs these artists carve out.  The winner of the 2017 International Snow Sculpture Championships; China2017 is no exception.  This years sculptures are worth a visit!  Consider a night time viewing too.  Colored lights shine on the whittled snow creating beautiful displays and a completely different experience than you'll have during the day.  It's free to see the sculptures located in RiverWalk in Breckenridge.  These warm temperatures make it hard for the artwork to last the entire week so wait until the last day to visit.  Weather permitting, they will be around through Super Bowl Sunday, February 5th.  This year's winner was China although my personal favorite was created by the local Breckenridge team.Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships in Breckenridge Colorado

Another beautiful sculpture

Why do I need a real estate agent in a hot market?

by The Mountain Living Team

RealtorWhen the real estate market is hot, homeowners sometimes wonder why they need a real estate agent to sell their home.  An appraisal will tell them the right price.  All they have to do is tell people their home is for sale, maybe put an ad in the paper, and they will have an abundance of buyers.  What they may not be considering is what happens after they find a buyer. 

Usually a home is an emotional purchase.  Buyer and seller will be dealing with their emotions when negotiating price and potential repairs.  Emotion has a tendency to cause problems in negotiations.  What are you going to do if the person on the other side starts to cry?  Or if they are angry and yelling at you?  Your real estate agent is often repositioning the emotion into a constructive element.

Once you’re under contract there are dates and deadlines.  There are lenders and title companies.  There are inspectors and appraisers.  If you’re using a purchase contract approved by the Colorado real estate commission it is long and full of legal jargon that is difficult to decipher.  Having someone on your side to help with all these details is great, especially if something goes awry. 

Your real estate agent does so much more than just put your home in the MLS.  A lot of behind the scenes work goes on in every transaction we handle.  The sale or purchase of your home is often the biggest financial transaction of your life.  Wouldn’t you prefer it be handled by a professional?

 

2016: Year in Review

by The Mountain Living Team

2016 was very much a seller's market; very tight inventory and rising prices.  Buyers struggled to find properties, often compromising or waiting.  Indecisive or out of town buyers often missed properties as they were snatched up by ready buyers.  More properties than usual seemed to come back on the market because quick acting buyers, after doing further research, decided the property wasn't right for them.  Moves between properties in the county were more difficult because replacement properties were hard to come by.  That caused many sellers to hold off on selling.  

  • Residential inventory is down 24.7%

  • Residential sales were down 4% year over year.

  • Average sales price for residential properties in Summit County is up 5.8% to $595,390.

  • Average price per square foot for residential properties is up 6.9% to $376.45

  • The average days it takes for a residential property to sell is down 26.8% to 82 days, just under 3 months.

  • The list price to sales price ratio for residential properties in Summit County is 97.42%.  That's slightly better than 2015's 96.63%

  • The most expensive home to sell in 2016 sold for $6,400,000.

  • Breckenridge has the highest average sale price at $781,274.

  • Copper Mountain has the lowest average sale price at $381,719.

  • Land sales are improving but it is still a buyer's market in most areas.  

There are just over 300 residential properties for sale in all of Summit County.  Around 600 properties would be a more reasonable amount of properties for this time of year.  During our most recent downturn, Summit County had around 2000 residential properties available for sale.

No one can say for sure where the Summit County real estate market is headed.  I anticipate the first half of 2017 will be more of the same with tight inventory and rising prices.  The second half of the year is still too far away.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 274

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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