Summit CountyReal Estate Information Blog

Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

The Mountain Living Team


Displaying blog entries 291-300 of 303

What happened to interest rates this week?

by Joanne Hanson

Interest rates improved slightly when the stock market took a dip. Below I have quoted our friends Jeff and Renee Kneller at Mountain Equity Mortgage.

Last Week In Review

Last week’s volatility in the stock market stabbed at the hearts of both the Stock and Bond markets, with home loan rates swinging higher and lower throughout the course of the week. Economic news releases took a backseat to the massive movements in Stocks. Amazingly, when all the smoke cleared, home loan rates were unchanged to slightly improved for the week overall.

What happened? First, remember that the Stock and Bond markets compete for the same investment dollar. This means that when Stocks are worsening and investors are selling off their holdings, some of that money gets moved over into the Bond market, which helps home loan rates improve. And vice versa, when Stocks move higher and investors are buying into the Stock market, some of that money comes back out of Bonds, which causes home loan rates to worsen.

Last week’s volatility began with the Chinese Stock market plunging, setting off a string of worldwide stock selling. Our own Stock market was ripe for a reversal lower, and money flowed out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping home loan rates improve. The next day, Stocks began to rebound, moving money back out of Bonds and causing home loan rates to worsen. But the “see-saw” action continued for the balance of the week – and may not be done yet, causing high amounts of volatility in Stocks and Bonds – and therefore, home loan rates.


Favorite powder stashes at Copper Mountain

by Joanne Hanson

We went looking for powder today, and as it was very windy, found more than a few stashes in the trees. Seventeen Glades had lots of deep powder and Spaulding Glade was very nice. Watch for tree stumps and logs though! Cache Glades (at the bottom of Hallelujah bowl) is known for powder but it is steeper and the trees are tighter. The snow in the bowls was wind packed and not as easy to ski today, but we did manage to carve up Spaulding. I didn’t get over to Union Peak, although Southern Star is always a great spot for powder. Oops, I keep forgetting, they changed its wonderful name and renamed it Buzzard’s Alley, a terrible name for a great run. Retreat and Golddigger, on the back side of S lift, and A-chute, a little further west, are good places to find powder, but you have to do it early, before The Over the Hill Gang gets in there and skis it all out!

The Snow Cats run up to Tucker Mountain when the conditions are suitable, and if you are an expert skier, it is a wonderful place to play. To get there you go into Copper bowl and meet the Cat at the bottom of the bowl. Once they drop you off, there is still a little hiking to do, but the effort is worth it.

If you are not so adventurous, you can often find nice powder, even at the end of the day, on Hidden Vein, a short little run between Union Creek and the Center Village, and along the edges of all the green runs going down to Union Creek. The beginning skiers tend to stay in the middle of the runs and leave it for us! Foul Play, a short run off Fairplay, is also a quick little powder shot.

Enter a comment and let me know your favorite places for powder…I promise not to tell anyone!


Link to a great overview of Summit County restaurants

by Joanne Hanson

I found this article about Summit County restaurants on They missed a couple, but by and large it is a good list and the reviews are pretty much right on.
See also, a post I added on 7/17/2007, a review of the new Breckenridge restaurant, Modis.�

Recipe for a sale

by Joanne Hanson

The Five ingredients for your recipe for a sale:


We usually can’t move a home to a new location!  The favorite phrase of appraisers is “Location, location, location”.  The pricing of your home must reflect its location.  If it is close to I-70 it will usually be worth less than the same home in the trees or with views.


The upkeep and presentation of your property is crucial to obtain the highest value for your home in any given market and at any given time.  Condition also affects the time on the market, with properties in better condition selling faster than those that need work.


Price is the number One factor in the sale of a home.  Price overcomes all objections and any deficiencies in the other four ingredients.


The more methods of financing your home the more options you give potential buyers.  If you can sell through VA or FHA loans, or owner carry, you increase the pool of buyers.  If you do an owner carry, you may be able to get more than fair market value, (depending on the market) but you also take on the risk of the loan.


Interest rates, competition and the economy all make up the state of the market when you sell your home.  The price of the property must reflect the current status of the market.  Sales more than six months old may not be usable as comps if the market has changed, unless you make adjustments.  The market will tell you what your property is worth; if the property doesn’t sell after some time on the market, then you need to look at the other four ingredients and see what needs adjusting.  I may be that new carpet will do it, or it may need a price adjustment.

A sixth ingredient, which could also be considered the baking soda in the mix, is the Realtor and his/her marketing package.  Ask questions before you hire your Realtor and ask for references!


What to do with all the pine beetle killed trees

by Joanne Hanson

The Summit Daily ran an article today about the possibility of using the standing dead trees to heat buildings in Vail. Summit County has also looked into the possibility of using the wood (called biomass fuel) to provide heat with no additional carbon output into the atmosphere.

We do need to do something about reducing the global warming, and reducing our use of fossil fuels is one best ways to do it.

Resorts and global warming

by Joanne Hanson

I am on my way home from attending the Rocky Mountain Resort Alliance meeting in Sun Valley, Idaho. The focus of the group is on trends and concerns that affect the real estate markets in our resort areas. With the exception of Sun Valley, the resorts all reported that sales are strong, inventory is hard to come by, and prices are headed up. Sun Valley is coming out of a market correction that several people felt was overdue.

Prices in new, premium properties at the base areas of some resorts are approaching $3000 per square foot! Summit County’s $1000 a square foot for condos at the new base area in Breckenridge seems tame by comparison.

Auden Schendler of Aspen Ski Co spoke at our meeting about the affects of global warming on the ski business and our recreation opportunities. He brought home the very real concerns that we should have, and made me much more aware of my “carbon footprint” that I leave behind. I will write more about what we can do to alleviate it in the coming days. According to Auden, in 100 years we will not have snow except at the very highest elevations, and even 30 years from now, we will see dramatic differences.

It is certainly scary, and is not limited to ski areas. It will affect everything in our lives, no matter where we live. Unless we make drastic changes within the next ten years, the balance within the environment will be so affected that it will not recuperate.

Secon home real estate markets are different

by Joanne Hanson

Today I had an offer on a property that was $75,000 less than the asking price, which was just over $500,000. The Seller was insulted and wanted to know what the Buyer was thinking! I know what he was thinking; that is is a Buyer’s market, which is what all the media outlets are telling people.

Our market is a second home market, and like most other mountain resorts, having record sales. The Buyer was from another state, and perhaps where he lives, he can make offers like that. Yes, our transactions have not increased over this time last year, but last year was a record year and our lack of inventory is the only thing keeping the transaction numbers from growing. You can’t sell what you don’t have!

The dollar volume has actually gone up by 17% over a year ago, so I think we could safely say we have a Seller’s market!

Fire Evacuation Tips

by Joanne Hanson

My sister lives in Oak Creek Canyon, near Sedona, Arizona. She recently had to evacuate because of a large wildfire. As she has had to evacuate before, she was more prepared than most. I thought I would copy an email she sent to her friends in case you live in a high fire danger area.

For the past thirty years I have lived in an area that is at high risk for wildfire. I have evacuated twice. The first time, I had several hours warning and was only gone for 8 hours. The second time, I had 30 minutes warning and was gone for 10 days. I have been told to ‘prepare to evacuate’ another two times.

I’ve found that when I’m told to evacuate, I don’t think straight. The first time, I evacuated things that were easily replaced and forgot the photo albums.

Now, I follow my list. It also helps to lessen the panic.

If you can’t find an animal, such as an outdoor kitty, sometimes animal rescue groups are allowed in to evacuate pets. During my last evacuation, some homeowners were allowed an escorted visit home (in the back of the sheriff’s car) but only for emergency items that included pets and prescription medications.

A few days after I was evacuated, we knew we wouldn’t be going home soon. As my only means of calling anyone was by cell phone, I called my cell phone company, explained the situation and they generously gave me an additional 150 minutes at no charge.

Before a fire

  • Make sure you have adequate insurance before a fire hits.
  • Your fire department would be happy to come to your house and make suggestions on what you can do to make your home/neighborhood “firewise”.
  • Have an evacuation alert plan for your neighborhood to make sure everyone knows of the evacuation order. I am responsible for calling or alerting three of my neighbors.
  • If you live in a high fire-danger area and have been given information critical to evacuation, such as the radio station frequency to tune to for evacuation instructions, keep this in your car or wallet/purse.
  • Organize your important things. For example: I keep all my photo albums in one cupboard so I don’t have to collect them from different parts of the house.
  • Take photographs of your house and contents. In addition to photographing your home’s exterior, interior, furnishings, etc.
  • Photograph the contents of drawers and cupboards. Take close-up photos of things such as CD & book collections. Photograph not only the front of valuable china or pottery – but also the back so the hallmarks are identifiable. Keep the photos in a safe deposit box.
  • Insurance adjusters will expect you to prove what you had with either receipts or photographs.
  • Exchange cell phone numbers with your family, friends and neighbors.
  • Make sure your insurance agent has your cell phone number.
  • Carry a list of your prescription medications in your purse or wallet, including the prescription number if you have refills available.
  • In my area, when the fire department has asked that when we evacuate the house, we hang a white cloth on the front door. This shows the house is empty and saves precious time for the sheriff or fire department. Ask your fire department if they have a similar plan for your area.
  • Also ask if you should leave your house unlocked when you leave.
  • Find out how to turn off the gas to your house. If you need a wrench to do this, keep one handy.
  • If you have pets, make sure your pet carriers are in a convenient place during fire season so you don’t waste time looking for them.

Tips for evacuating

  • It may be several weeks before you are allowed home. Keep this in mind when packing prescription medications, etc.
  • Use pillow cases to “grab and run”
  • Use bathroom/kitchen trash containers to pack fragile items, wrapping them in towels or clothes first.
  • Put similar size artwork face to face and wrap in a blanket. I use my quilt collection to wrap my paintings.
  • If you have time, pack a suitcase! You REALLY feel homeless when you are an evacuee with only the clothes on your back.
  • Remember things like cosmetics, toiletries, extra shoes. It’s expensive to replace all of this stuff if you’re gone from home for a couple of weeks.
  • Time permitting: before evacuating, put a ladder, shovels, garden hose, etc. where they are easily seen.
  • Time permitting: Check the outside of the house and move flammable things, such as lawn furniture, away from the house.
  • Time permitting: Take down light curtains. Close metal blinds.
  • If you have an outdoor kitty that you can’t find, leave a tub of dry food and large bucket of water out for it.

My priority list

During fire season I keep this in an easy to find place!

  • Car keys
  • Glasses
  • Purse or wallet
  • Pets
  • Prescription medications
  • Cell phone and chargers, AC and DC
  • Insurance papers and other important papers
  • Bottled water
  • Emergency food supplies for you and your pets
  • Turn off cooler or air-conditioning
  • Turn off gas to house
  • Close windows tightly

I do these things first, then if time permits I start collecting things such as photo albums, art work etc. My list includes:

  • Computer
  • Framed photos throughout the house
  • Photo albums
  • Jewelry
  • Family movies, videos etc.

Frisco Restaurants

by Joanne Hanson

We have a wonderful selection of restaurants in Frisco, and they all have great food! Those that don’t, go out of business fairly quickly.

My favorite is probably the Silverheels at the Orehouse. They have a tapas bar with great appetizers and sushi, and a restaurant with a variety of food, mostly with a southwestern flavor. I usually order the salmon, but they have other fish, steak, lamb and vegetarian dishes too. The only downside is that it can be a little noisy when they are busy. They have a nice outdoor patio with a firepit and lots of flowers. They are only open for lunch in the summer, but try and have at least a couple of meals there!

Tuscatos is a good choice for Italian food and the large bar is usually hopping during happy hour. Summit County is smoke free so you don’t have to worry about whether it is well ventilated or not; it won’t be smoky!

The Boatyard is my favorite place for lunch as they have a great selection of salads and a nice summer deck. Tell Cindy that I sent you! They have a good wait staff and are very accommodating.

If you are looking for a good, quick breakfast, try the Log Cabin Cafe. You can be in and out in a hurry as the waitstaff hustles! They serve breakfast all day, but are only open for breakfast and lunch.


Mt Royal hike

by Joanne Hanson

On Tuesday, June 13th we hiked Mt Royal, above Frisco. It was a warm day, and once you reach Masontown and continue up to the Summit, the hike gets steep, so we were feeling the temperature! It is a bit of a slog up the hill for a while, but once you reach the Mt Royal summit turnoff, it eases up a bit. If you continue on the trail without turning off, you will go to the top of Mt Victoria, or possibly even Peak One. At the top of the Mt Royal trail you will find a large cairn, and after you add your rock to the pile and admire the view, follow the trail to the right past a couple of old limber pines down the hill for a little bit. To really be able to say that you have hiked Mt Royal you need to go to the second summit. The trail will go uphill again to what seems to be a big rockpile. It is actually the rock outcropping that is so visible from Frisco. Here you can rest and admire the fabulous view of the lake and the Continental Divide.

One you are rested and think about your return, follow the trail back the way you came. Taking what looks like the “easy way” downhill, will take you to some precarious spots and you are putting yourselves in some danger. The little uphill back to the first summit makes you appreciate the rest of the hike, which is downhill all the way. We did the hike in about 3 and a half hours for the four miles roundtrip, so we are not the fastest hikers in the world, but for four women over 50, we did ok! What we lack in speed we make up for in stamina.

Displaying blog entries 291-300 of 303




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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