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Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

The Mountain Living Team


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 253

Pay Parking in Breckenridge

by The Mountain Living Team

Passport ParkingIf you want to park on Main Street in Breckenridge you've got to pay.  

In an effort to eliminate long term parking happening on town streets, the town of Breckenridge has rolled out pay parking.  Main Street as well as surrounding roads now have parking meters requiring registering your license plate and/or payment.  Rates vary based on location but generally the first 15 minutes are free, although you do need to register your plate.  You don't need to have change in your pockets to feed the meters these days but you will need to have a credit card or have a smart phone with the Passport Parking Mobile Pay App installed and payment set up within the app.  The mobile app offers great features like adding time from your phone and storing all your license plates.

The feedback I have heard so far is all positive.  There are more parking spaces available on Main Street making finding a spot much easier.  The app makes it easy to pay and rates are reasonable.  

I haven't tried to park in Breckenridge since the meters have been implemented so I don't have first hand experience yet.  Any comments about your experiences with the new pay parking are welcome.

Market Comparison: Frisco vs The Highlands

by The Mountain Living Team

With the low inventory levels in the real estate market buyers are being forced to look outside their initial target area in order to have more to choose from.  That means the area that they have been following during their search may not be where they end up looking and/or buying.  As a result, they can be less informed about the area and what to expect in property values.  

Recently, buyers we have been working with expanded their search from Frisco to The Highlands in Breckenridge.  They were curious as to how The Highlands compares to single family homes in Frisco.  I did a little research and put together a few charts to help them determine if The Highlands was, financially, a place they wanted to be. 

Average Sale Price

The average sale price in the Highlands is much higher than it is in Frisco.  Because of the higher price point I think it makes the market more volatile; reacting more substantially to economic trends.  

Average Price Per Square FootThe  average price per square foot is surprisingly similar given the difference in sales prices.  Frisco is more inconsistent.  I believe that is because the single family homes in Frisco vary more in age and quality than we see in The Highlands.  An abundance of any type of home sales can swing the averages for that year. 

Average List to Sales PriceThe average list price to sales price ratio tells us how much sellers are coming off their list price.  This is based on the current list price at the time of the sale and doesn't include any price reductions made prior to an offer being accepted.  More properties on the market typically will push sellers into deeper discounts in order to secure a buyer.

Average Days on Market

This chart tells us that most of the time a Frisco home will sell quicker than a home in the Highlands.  It also shows us the average days on the market is a largely fluctuating number and that we are currently in a downward trend meaning homes are selling quicker than in the past.  

As with any averages, it must be understood that before making matter of fact claims the numbers must be dug deeper into.  A few sales can impact an average made from a limited section of data.  The Summit County market is a small market making it more susceptible to a few sales.  If you have questions about any of these statistics we are happy to dig deeper into them and provide you the information you need.  Just let us know via email or a comment on this post.

Inventory levels and the real estate market

by The Mountain Living Team

Real estate, like most commodities, is a supply and demand market.  Low supply and high demand create a tight market.  High supply and low demand create a saturated market. 

During a saturated market, there are an abundance of properties.  That abundance gives buyers their pick of properties and makes sellers compete to get one of the few buyers out there.  That competition drives prices down and the condition of the properties up as sellers search for an edge.  Buyers have all the control resulting in the real estate term “Buyer’s Market.”

Tight markets have few properties to choose from and too many buyers for those few properties.  That can create multiple offers on properties and bidding wars between buyers as they compete for the property.  Tight markets drive home prices up, increase the number of cash offers and decrease the contingencies in contracts as the buyers try and get the sellers attention.  Not every buyer can find a property to buy, however.  They end up watching the market and waiting for another home to come along.  Sellers have all the control in this market, thus the term “Seller’s Market.”

SOLD!Our market is definitely a Seller’s Market.  Inventory is low and demand high.  Prices have been pushed up over the summer and we have buyers waiting on the sidelines for a property.  This time of year our inventory levels drop as many sellers or would-be sellers rent their properties for ski season or use them themselves and they wait until after ski season to put it up for sale.  Our buyer demand goes down somewhat too because buyers are too busy skiing and enjoying winter in Summit County.  They don’t bother with looking at real estate.  This winter will be a little different.  There are a lot of buyers out there that wanted a place last summer and couldn’t find one.  They are still waiting for something to come along.  New listings over the winter months will get more attention than normal from those buyers.  That extra demand will continue to fuel the increasing pricing and properties will continue to be snatched up relatively quickly.  When next summer arrives, the supply of buyers on the sidelines will be somewhat depleted and there will suddenly be more properties on the market for them. 

If you are considering selling your Summit County home, this year is a little different than years past.  You’d be wise to list ahead of the competition and grab one of those buyers that missed out last summer.  If you’re a buyer, hang in there, something will come along eventually.

The market condition is like a pendulum.  It is never still; always moving from one type of market to another.   We’re currently almost as far as the pendulum can travel in one direction.  At some point, it will start to swing the other direction again.

Contact The Mountain Living Team today and make the most of the current real estate market.

Here's a related post you might enjoy:
2016- A year of scarcity in residential real estate


2016 - a year of scarcity in residential real estate

by The Mountain Living Team

Inventory levelsWe currently sit at 404 residential properties in the entire county for sale.  Of those 404, 213 are priced over one million dollars.  Of the 203 Summit County residential properties that sold in October only 25 were priced over one million dollars.  That means 178 people spending under one million dollars in just one month.  We only have 191 properties under one million dollars on the market right now.  That’s a severe shortage!  This isn’t the first time the market has looked like this during 2016.  It is the tightest market we have seen but every month this year has a very similar story.  Not many properties for sale. With monthly sales averaging approximately 150 homes per month we need closer to 900 properties on the market at all times.

Inventory levels do fluctuate seasonally every year.  Our highest inventory levels are generally seen in the summer and dip to its lowest point at the end of the year.   Our peak inventory level was just under 700 this year, hit in early August, and we haven’t hit our low yet.  As you can see from the chart, we have been seeing inventory falling steadily since 2009.


6 Tips to make your vacation home pay for itself

by The Mountain Living Team

Having a vacation home is something many people dream about.  Unfortunately some expenses come along with it.  Things like HOA dues, utility bills, snow plowing, maintenance and property taxes can be additional expenses that will need to be paid.  Your vacation home can generate income when you’re not using it that will help to cover those expenses.  Here are some strategies to help accomplish that.

1. Rent your property short term.  This is the most obvious and popular way to generate income with your vacation home.  A general rule of thumb is to anticipate approximately $10,000 per bedroom gross rental income every year. 

2. Handle your rentals yourself.  If you are renting your condo through a full service property management company you can elect to do some/all of the work yourself and keep more of the profits.  Even out of state owners can easily make this type of program work for them.

3. Tax deductions.  As long as you stay below the limit, your mortgage interest is deductible.  You can also deduct expenses if you are claiming rental income.  Offering up a stay in your vacation home for a charity to auction off could be tax deductible too.  We are not tax advisors so be sure and discuss how these strategies can work for you with your tax advisor.

4. Buy your vacation home with your IRA or retirement account.  Some retirement accounts allow you to acquire property with the funds.  That account will pay the bills and keep the income for that property.  There are many rules to follow so set this up with your financial advisor prior to purchasing your vacation home.

5. Rent seasonally or long term instead of short term.  There is a shortage of seasonal and long term rentals available in Summit County.  You can easily find someone willing to rent your condo if you won’t be using it for three months or more.  Long term rentals have lower management fees so could actually end up generating more income for you than short term rentals.

6. Trade for services.  Everyone needs a vacation.  If you can offer your contractor at home a free stay in your condo if he will paint it for you while he is here.  Maybe your attorney, plumber or landscaper would enjoy a vacation in the Colorado mountains if they are willing to do some work you need done.  Consider trading lodging for services whenever you can.

When buying a vacation home, don’t overextend yourself.  Plan to pay all the expenses yourself.  Use these strategies to cover your expenses when it’s feasible to do so and enjoy the extra savings.

Jason Adams earns his CRS designation

by The Mountain Living Team

Jason M Adams, of Summit County, Colorado, has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS.  REALTORS who receive the CRS Designation have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Jason joins a group of only 29,000, or 3%, of fellow REALTORS nationwide that have earned this designation.  Jason is a Broker Associate with The Mountain Living Team at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties in Frisco. He is a member of the Colorado and Summit County Association of Realtors and is passionate about providing real estate services throughout Summit County. He fully embraces the mountain lifestyle that Summit County offers and enjoys many outdoor activities including being an avid skier and hiker.  

"As the Mountain Living Team, my wife, Meredith Adams, and I work full time to help our clients realize their dreams. We're both committed to furthering our education to better serve our clients. That is one of the reasons receiving my Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation was important to me. I believe it shows my dedication to be at the top of my field as well as providing the best service possible for our clients."

Economic update from NAR's Lawrence Yun

by Meredith Adams

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), stopped by Silverthorne recently to give us an economic update.  This was my first time hearing him speak and I was quite impressed.  In about an hour he gave us a good understanding of the current economic conditions relating to housing.  He didn't just spout off statistics, although he did produce a lot of charts, but presented the information in a way that connected the dots, tying it all together in an easily understandable presentation.  Because he works for the NAR I thought his presentation might be jaded to show housing in the best light possible.  I saw it as an honest portrayal of where we are economically.  

Here are some of the things that stood out to me during his presentation:

Nationally, GDP is around 2% instead of our average rate of 3%.  Business are keeping profits instead of reinvesting and business borrowing is lower.  The economy is still growing but at a slow pace.

Chart courtesy of Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist NAR

Mortgage rates are still low but expect them to start to rise.  The Fed will begin to consistently raise rates.  That won't directly impact mortgage rates, but is one factor.  Another factor is inflation.  We will begin to see inflation rising in 2016.  The low gas prices have kept inflation numbers at 0 but that won't continue.  Once the inflation we have already seen is no longer negated by falling gas prices we will see inflation rise.  When the inflation rate is around 2 or 3% mortgage rates will rise too.

Our national debt and printing of money typically sparks inflation.  This time around other countries are suffering more with huge debt, negative interest rates and governments pushing their economies along.  Even though we are not doing great, we are better than a lot of others so our dollar is staying strong which is holding back even more inflation.

Some areas of the country are seeing record increases in housing prices.  San Francisco's huge increases are helping places like Denver and Seattle as those that can no longer afford San Francisco seek out employment and housing in lower priced areas.  As a result, slowing in the San Francisco market will also impact other housing markets across the country.  Because Denver is a huge feeder market for our Summit County second home market, slowing in Denver's market will eventually slow the Summit County market.  It's a trickle down effect.

Fewer young people are entering the housing market.  Many are still living at home with mom & dad trying to pay off college debt and avoiding high rents.  They still dream of home ownership but it is further down the road for young people than it has been in the past.

Beware of the EdgeOverall the economy is doing ok.  At some point all of these things will catch up with us.  The only question is when.  It's extremely difficult for anyone to say how long we can balance on the edge of this cliff before tumbling off.  It could be one more year or ten.  All you can do is make sure you are comfortable with your current situation and where you see your future.  Be confident that if the economy goes over the edge, you will still have some stability in place and can manage to climb down slowly if needed.

The Mesa Cortina neighborhood in Silverthorne

by Meredith Adams

Cortina Subdivision in Mesa CortinaMesa Cortina is a single family, residential neighborhood located at the base of Buffalo Mountain in Silverthorne.  Actually, it is not within the town of Silverthorne boundary but is considered Silverthorne.  National Forest borders the neighborhood on two sides and open space between Mesa Cortina and Wildernest.  It has a nice feeling of seclusion without being way out in the boonies.  The homes are situated on 1/3 or 1/2 acre lots which allow for a little more elbow room than a lot of the closer in neighborhoods.  

Mesa Cortina is made up of three subdivisions, Mesa Cortina, Mesa Cortina West and Cortina Sub.  There is another subdivision, Cortina Ridge, that is located in the same general area but is not included in the Mesa Cortina homeowner's association.  Homes in this subdivision are generally a little higher priced and many are on the edge of the hill overlooking the town of Silverthorne and Lake Dillon.

The Mesa Cortina NeighborhoodMesa Cortina has low HOA dues, just $100 a year, and an association that is active but not over the top.  There are architectural guidelines for homes being built and rules about fences but overall a pretty easy HOA.  Water is provided from a community well and is a little higher priced than water supplied from the town.  There is a sewer system and Comcast cable/internet is available in the area.  Gas and electric service is provided by Xcel Energy.  

The neighborhood consists of about 260 lots, 36 of which are still vacant.  Homes range from small A-frames to large homes around 5,000 square feet and every thing in between.  They can from the 1960's or 70's or built recently.  No matter your preference there's sure to be something you like in this neighborhood.  

With National Forest land all around, wildlife is abundant here.  Fox are seen frequently around the neighborhood.  Moose are known to come through on occasion and late at night mountain lion can be heard screaming off in the distance.  An occasional deer herd may come by as well.  Just keep an eye out and you are sure to see animals around.

The Mesa Cortina Trail runs through the National Forest next to the neighborhood.  From there you can hike to Willow Falls, Buffalo Cabins or the top of Buffalo Mountain.  You can connect to the Gore Trail and make your way any where from Kremmling to Copper Mountain or even Vail.

View residential properties currently for sale in the Mesa Cortina neighborhood.

Contact The Mountain Living Team for all of your real estate needs.


Frisco's BBQ Challenge 2016

by Meredith Adams

Frisco's BBQ ChallengeIt's that time of year again!  The unofficial start of summer in Summit County means it's time to close off Main Street in Frisco and bring in the barbecue, beer & live music for the 23rd Annual Colorado BBQ Challenge.  Friday and Saturday, June 17th & 18th will be loaded with fun for the whole family.  If you haven't made it out yet, come on out and see what the talk is all about.

About 70 competitors will be grilling up their best barbecue in anticipation of a blue ribbon and a chance to compete in the American Royal, the world series of barbecue cook offs.  Not all competitors sell to the public but there will be six blocks of vendors on Main Street so there won't be any shortage of good food and beer to indulge in.  Check the Summit Daily, our local newspaper, for a vendor map on the day of the event and make it easier to find your favorite barbecue.  Look for last year's top ten, overall winners:  Shake 'n Bake, Backdraft BBQ, Gettin' Basted,  True Bud BBQ, Porky Butts, Crazy Coyote, 3 Li'l Macs, Bubba Q's, Smokin' Triggers, and the Celtic Pig.  See a complete list of last year's winners in all categories on Frisco's website.

Barbecue Challenge in FriscoThroughout the day on Friday and Saturday you and your family can watch the pig races, ride a mechanical bull, play in the bouncy house and listen to some great live music all in addition to eating barbecue brisket, chicken and ribs, berry kabobs, funnel cake, and roasted corn on the cob.  Enjoy a variety of live music all day long too with 8 different bands playing plus a kick-off concert on Thursday night.  See the Saturday's BBQ Challenge schedule, Friday's BBQ Challenge schedule, and info on Thursday's concert.

Summit County has so many events happening all year long.  No matter what you enjoy odds are there is an event that celebrates it.  Here are just a few blog posts we have written over the years about some of the Summit County events.

It's almost closing day on your new vacation home in Summit County.  You have followed the wiring instructions from your email and head to closing.  At Closing the title company is looking to you for your down payment.  They check their account for the wire and nothing is there.  They check your wiring instructions and discover the funds were wired into someone else's account.  The account of someone you don't even know that was posing as a trusted advisor in your transaction.  We're talking thousands of dollars gone.  How can this happen?  Watch the following video and see how creative the scammers are getting.  Be aware.  Don't let this happen to you.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 253




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Photo of Jason & Meredith Adams Real Estate
Jason & Meredith Adams
The Mountain Living Team at Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties
400 Main St / PO Box 4115
Frisco CO 80443