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Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

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Does Keystone need another Starbucks?

by Joanne Hanson

We have a listing with a space for rent that we think might be perfect for a coffee shop.  But does Keystone need another Starbucks or some other coffee shop?  What would you rather see in that space?  It is just off Hwy 9 in the Mountain View Shopping center,  where Dos Locos Mexican restaraurant is, together with Papa’s Deli, a t-shirt shop and a ski rental place.  We would love to have your ideas and know what you would like to see there.  Maybe it is Starbucks……please comment below!

Monitor your vacation home remotely

by Joanne Hanson

I just came across a new gadget called Sensaphone 400. It is a monitor that will call you and up to three other people to let you know if the temperature is low, water is flowing, or a smoke alarm is going off. You can install it in your vacation home and it will call you if there is a problem.

I often recommend that people have an alarm system installed, primarily for temperature and water, but that means monitoring costs each month. With this device (cost is under $400) you can relax and know that with the battery backup, you will be called even if the power is off. You can also call into it and get a report telling you the battery level, the temperature in the house and other important data. With an additional control, you can set your thermostat from a distance, so if you keep the house cool, but want to warm it up before you get there, you can call it and turn the temperature up. Pretty nifty!

In the Colorado mountains we get very cold temperatures and having that kind of security can save lots of money in repairs.

Vacation home blogs

by Joanne Hanson

Every day I search for information about vacation homes on the web. A good place to find out about real estate is on the many real estate blogs that are popping up everywhere. However, there are few that specialize in vacation homes. The majority of them have listings of homes and condos, but no real information on how to buy, rent, manage or sell vacation homes.

So I guess I am going to have to keep writing about our area and my experiences with this type of property. Not only have I been working for almost 14 years in a resort community, but I own a condo at Copper Mountain that I rent too, and I have been sharing my ideas on how to make your property cash flow in the various blog posts I have been writing. There is also lots of information in the “resources” section of my website http://mountain-living.com .

One little hint that my Dad sent me is “Google alerts”. You can tell Google to email you daily with links to any subject in which you have an interest. I have been using the alert and it is a great way to have the information you are looking for fed directly to your email inbox rather than having to spend hours searching for it. Just google “google alerts” and it will tell you how to set up your account.

Breck/Keystone pass prices announced

by Joanne Hanson

The Colorado Pass, which allows unlimited skiing at Breckenridge, Keystone and A Basin, plus 10 restricted days at Vail and Beaver Creek, will be $419 for adults this spring. It is the same price it was last fall. Last spring it was $40 less. If you don’t want the Vail/Beaver Creek option, the Buddy Pass price is $379 for adults. There is new, more expensive, alternative called the Colorado Pass Plus. It gives you the same options as the regular Colorado Pass but some of the days at Vail/Beaver Creek are unrestricted, for $519. Purchase the Colorado Pass or the Colorado Pass Plus by May 6 and get unlimited skiing at Vail and Beaver Creek during April, 2008.

You can secure your pass for a $29 down payment with the remainder due September 2007. Renewals can be done online and new passes will go on sale April 13 at select Front Range locations. Full information can be found at www.snow.com. I hope they gave the person who thought about securing that domain name a huge bonus!

Would you rather be in Fernie?

by Joanne Hanson

I just saw a blog entry from Fernie, British Columbia, Canada, advertising newly built condos, 5 minutes from the ski area base, for $333 Canadian a square foot. That works out to be about $345,000 US for a 1200 square foot condo. Not bad! And they have a washer and dryer.

That would be a great price if it were at the base area of any of our mountains in Summit County. Breckenridge has some new development at the base of Peak 7 that is upwards of $1,000 a square foot. Even small resale condos at the base of Copper Mountain are over $400 a square foot. Funny enough, the building looks a lot like Copper Springs Lodge at Copper!

So how many people want to spend their weekends in Fernie?

Would you pay $999 for a season pass?

by Joanne Hanson

Copper Mountain announced their season pass prices for 2007-2008, and there are changes now that Steamboat Springs is in Intrawest’s  portfolio of properties.  While Summit County season pass prices have been low because of the competition between Copper Mountain and Vail Resorts (owners of Keystone and Breckenridge), Steamboat residents have paid much higher prices in the past.  I think they were hopeful things would change with Intrawest buying the mountain, but it is not to be!  A season pass, good for Steamboat only, will be $949 for an adult for the 2007-2008 season.  If you would like a pass for unlimited skiing at Steamboat, Winter Park and Copper Mountain, you can buy one for only another $50.  That might seem like a deal to Steamboat residents, but when you are used to paying  $350 or less for a season pass in Summit County, $999 is a bit steep.    Passes good only at Copper Mountain or only at Winter Park will be $349, and if you want a combination pass, for $379 you get unlimited days at both mountains.  Add six days at Steamboat to the mix, and the price goes to $479.   

Pass information can be found at www.passwagon.com.  I have not yet seen pricing for the Vail Resorts passes, but you can be sure I will write about it when it does become available.

Scam artist on the lose

by Joanne Hanson

It was a guy in England with a couple of kids and a wife, and he wanted to bring his family here for two months. Lucky me, he was taking mud season, coming in the day the ski area closed! I gave him a good deal and quoted him the price. I prefer to take a check so I don’t have to pay the fee to run the credit card. No problem, he would put one in the mail today, and he could even pay me in US dollars!

A week or so later, the check came, and there was the tip off. I did not have a legitimate tenant; I had a scam artist. The check was for $2,000 more than I had quoted him. It was drawn on the Bank of Bermuda and came in an envelope with no return address, postmarked Southern Maryland. Luckily, I was on to him as it is a well known scam, especially on ebay. Had I asked him why the check was for more than was due, he would have told me that the bank made a mistake, and would I just deposit his check in my bank and send him my check for the overage. Of course, his check would have been no good, but we wouldn’t have found that out until after he had my $2,000.

I have canceled the reservation and have done nothing with the check. I will ignore any emails from him, should he try to contact me. The local sheriff’s department can’t really handle it and they suggested the FBI website. The FBI is only interested if a crime has been committed, and since I didn’t fall for it, there wasn’t one. I may follow up with the postmaster and see if they want to do anything. Meantime, perhaps my story will help someone else to be aware of one potential scam. I am sure there are lots more ways of being taken for an expensive ride. If you have a story about your rental property, please share and help others be on the alert.

Free pine beetle workshop March 29, 2007

by Joanne Hanson

The CSU cooperative extension is offering a Mountain Pine Beetles Management and Reforestation workshop at the County Commons building near Frisco, March 29 from 4:30 to 6pm. They will be answering questions about the pine beetle and will talk about the right trees to use to reforest in areas where trees have had to be cut. Applications to purchase new seedling trees will be available at the workshop. The presenter will be State Forester, Hans Rinke.

Call 970-668-4140 to register or for more information.

Home exchanges; a cheap way to travel

by Joanne Hanson

Many websites are now devoted to helping people who want to exchange homes, almost anywhere in the world. The idea is that if you want to go to France, and someone in France wants to go where you live, you connect on the web and trade houses. Sounds easy, and perhaps it is.

I was born in New Zealand and would like to go back there for a few weeks later this year or early next year. I am in the process of trying to find someone to trade homes with. I have paid for memberships to www.homeexchange.com and www.homeforexchange.com, to the tune of about $90 for both for a year. I chose those particular websites because they both list a lot of homes in New Zealand. The memberships allow me to email the owners of homes that interest me, and also put my home on the websites so that others might see it and contact me if they want to come here. I am pretty specific about where I want to go, but I see many listings where people are very flexible and are open to suggestions.

If you have a second home, then you may not necessarily need a simultaneous trade. It could be that you would vacation in France in May and the french family could use your second home in July. In my case, it would need to be at the same time, but it has the added advantage of giving me a housesitter and someone to feed my cats.

Of course, there are lots of questions, as you don’t know who the people are that would be staying in your home. Many sites have people who have exchanged a number of times, and some have reviews of the people and their homes. When I go back to New Zealand I am going to make it a point to meet some of the Kiwis I have contacted who might possibly trade homes with me at a later date. As I continue the process, I will post about it and let you know how it goes. I am in the very preliminary stages right now. If you have traded homes before, do me a favor and comment on this post and let us know how it went for you (please?)

6 rules that will save you money

by Joanne Hanson

When buying or selling certain properties, you can defer the taxes on the gain by doing a 1031 exchange. When you sell one property and buy another, it is possible to defer all taxes on the gain if you follow these six rules to meet the stringent IRS regulations.

The IRS Rules for Exchanges

  1. Qualified Intermediary (QI). The IRS mandates that you use a QI to prepare the legal documents for your exchange. Because the QI must be independent, it cannot be your friend, employee, broker, or even your accountant or attorney. The QI also holds your money, so that you do not have access to it.
  2. Proper title holding. You must purchase and take title to your new property exactly as you held title to your old property.
  3. Reinvestment Requirement. To defer all of your capital gain tax, you must buy a property equal or higher in value than the one you sold. Also, you must reinvest all of the cash proceeds from your sale.
  4. Real Property Use. Both your old and new properties must qualify as investment or business use. If both properties pass this test, you can exchange nearly any type of real estate.  Read a blog post about a recent court ruling on 1031 exchange treatment of vacation properties.
  5. 45 Day Identification Period. You have 45 days from the closing of your sale to list the properties you may want to buy. There are no exceptions to the deadline.
  6. 180 Day Exchange Period. From the sale closing date, you have 180 days to close on the purchase of one or more properties from the 45-day list. Again, there are no exceptions to this deadline.

Courtesy of The 1031 Exchange experts.

Displaying blog entries 281-290 of 307

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Photo of Jason & Meredith Adams Real Estate
Jason & Meredith Adams
Mountain Living Real Estate
101 E. Main Street, #109 / PO Box 4115
Frisco CO 80443
888-666-0844