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Mountain Living Blog

The Mountain Living Team


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Buying and selling property in Colorado: the purchase contract

by Meredith Adams

The Colorado contract to Buy and Sell real estate is 17 pages long and is written to protect the buyer.  Once under contract, there are eleven opportunities for the buyer to terminate the contract without losing their earnest money.  These contingencies offer a buyer the time to do their due diligence and ensure they are comfortable with all the extras surrounding the home.  Buyers can review the title documents, the HOA documents, the survey and any other requested docs.  If the property doesn't appraise there are provisions for that.  There is even an opportunity to make sure there are no issues getting homeowner's insurance.  Colorado really looks out for the buyer.  It is the agents job to ensure the appropriate actions are taken to protect those outs.  If those opportunities are not protected the buyer can lose their earnest money if they don't perform. 

From the seller side of the sale, once the contract is signed, they are obligated to sell.  They don't have any opportunities to terminate the contract unless the buyer provides those opportunities.  Once a buyer is under contract that property is theirs to buy, or not. If the contract is followed, the buyer can terminate the sale with a valid reason and receive 100% of their earnest money back.  The seller is just stuck with having to put their property back on the market and receives no compensation.  

The buyer is most at risk during a transaction.  If a buyer doesn't buy, the seller still has a property to sell but if a buyer buys a lemon, they are stuck with it.  The state of Colorado has put together a strong real estate contract to try to ensure the buyer knows what they are getting into before they buy.  As a buyer, it is imperative your rights are looked after and protected.  Those rights shouldn't be protected by just anyone.  Do what you can to make sure you are working with the right agent. 

Absoprtion rate, a worthy statistic all by itself.

by Meredith Adams

If you are interested in buying real estate in Summit County you may start looking at market statistics to get a feel for the state of the market.  Those market statistics may not mean much until they are put into the perspective of the Summit County market.  If you hear that there are 1000 properties for sale, it's hard to know what that means.  Is it a seller's market or a buyer's market?  Are the 85 sales last month exceptional or terrible?  Without some context, statistics are relatively useless.  That's why one of the statistics we look at every month is the absorption rate.  It automatically puts the statistics into the context of the market.  That means, even with no additional information, you know where the market is.

Absorption rate is the relationship between inventory and past sales.  If in the last year there have been 1200 sales and now there are 300 properties on the market, it is is a fair assumption that it will take 3 months to sell all the inventory.  1200 sales in one year equal 100 sales per month.  Therefore, 300 properties should take 3 months to sell.  The absorption rate in this example is 3 months.  In most markets, three months of inventory is a Seller's market.  

Looking at the Summit County market through the end of October the absorption rate is 3.6 months; a sellers market.  When diving deeper into the data we see that Keystone and Breckenridge are both seller's markets with 3.3 and 4.8 months of inventory respectively.  Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne are extreme seller's markets with 1.6, 1.7 and 2.3 months of inventory.  Copper is still a buyer's market with 8.9 months of inventory.

With just this one statistic, you have a much clearer picture of the Summit County market.  As a buyer or seller, by looking at the absorption rate you have a general overview of what is happening and what to expect.  Additional information will help dial it down even further but absorption rate is a fantastic statistic that should be utilized.


Buying and selling property in Colorado: the agent relationship

by Meredith Adams

Every state is a little different in the way a home purchase works.  Some states are more hands off than others.  Some state involve attorneys and others use title companies.  Even the relationship you have with your broker may not be what you are used to.  Many areas use different terms for the same process.  Even if you have bought and sold multiple properties you can feel like a fish out of water if you aren't familiar with a Colorado transaction.

Let's start with the relationship with your broker.  In Colorado your broker can be your Agent, either a Buyer's Agent or a Seller's Agent, they can be a Transaction Broker or you can just be a Customer, with no relationship.  Unless the agent is already in a relationship with the other party, you and your agent are in a Transaction Broker relationship by default.  That means they will facilitate what you want but may not take on your plight and do all they could.  Their main objective is to put the sale together.  You can choose to work with your broker in a Buyer or Seller Agent capacity instead of a Transaction Broker.  That requires a signed contract and more of a commitment from both parties.  The best way to explain the difference is with a sports analogy.  A Transaction Broker is like the referee of a football game.  Their job is to make sure both sides play fair and the game is completed.  They have no interest in who wins the game, just that it happens.  An Agent is like the coach of a team.  That coach is doing what they can to help their team win the game.  Their job is to do what is best for their team.  The third way you can interact with your broker is as a Customer.  That means the broker is working for the other party and has no obligation to you.  Anything you tell the broker can be passed along to the party they are working for .  A consumer should always know the type of relationship they have before disclosing much information about themselves and their motivations.  A broker is required to disclose their relationships in relation to each consumer.  Because this subject is somewhat hard to grasp, the conversation may not happen as early as it should.  

It is our preference to work as your agent, doing everything we morally and ethically can to get you what you want.


Looking for a rental?

by The Mountain Living Team

This time of year we have a lot of people looking for long term or seasonal rentals. While a large chunk of the properties in Summit County are rental properties, most are short term rentals.  That allows the owner to come out and use it too.  If it is rented for the winter or for an entire year, the owner doesn't get to enjoy it themselves.  Most people buy a property with the intent to use it themselves, even if just for a few weeks a year.  Because most properties are rented short term, most property management companies handle short term rentals.  They don't have properties you can rent for 6 or 12 months at a time.  This can make finding a place difficult.  On top of that, the closer we get to ski season, the more rentals are booked and the harder they are to find.

We handle real estate sales, not rentals, but even so, we receive a lot of inquiries.  We try and direct people to the best resources we know to try and facilitate their search.  We point out property management companies that deal with long term and seasonal rentals and the local newspaper where classified ads for rentals are posted.  Below is a list of our recommendations.  If you know of a better resource, let us know.  We're always trying to improve the resources we offer.  1-800-766-1477 970-513-5600  970-333-0082

Our local newspaper is

Summit County real estate market Fast Facts

by The Mountain Living Team
  • Residential sales in Frisco this year will wind up being approximately equivalent to the number of sales in 2006 and just below 2007 numbers.
  • The current median sale price is Frisco is 25% higher than the recent low experienced in 2010 & 2011. 
  • Frisco's median sale price is the highest we have seen in the last 10 years.
  • Frisco's residential sales numbers are 21% higher than at the same time last year.
  • Summit County's median residential sale price is 14% higher than the recent low in 2011.
  • Summit County's residential sales year to date are up 13% over the same period in 2014.

It's the end of summer but Summit County real estate is still HOT!

by Meredith Adams

It’s starting to feel like Autumn around Summit County.  There’s a nip in the air, the big ski sales are underway, the leaves are changing and the tourist activity is winding down.  Most people would believe real estate activity is winding down too  but that is not the case.

Real estate sales have been hot all summer long.  This summer had 14% more sales than last summer.  But the fall months are our best months for real estate sales.  September and October typically have the highest number of sales for the year.  This year will continue suit.

Historically, a similar number of properties go under contract in September as in August.  184 properties went under contract this August and 222 last August.  I’d say it’s a safe bet that we’ll see around 200 properties go under contract this September.

There are around 900 properties on the market right now.  If 200 go under contract in September, that’s about 20% of the current inventory.  That’s not bad odds if you’re a seller.



Changes coming October 1 for real estate purchases

by The Mountain Living Team
Consumer Financial Protection BureauIn an attempt to better protect consumers from predatory lending practices, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has integrated the mortgage loan disclosures as required under the Dodd-Frank Act.  What this means to consumers is two new forms.  The Good Faith Estimate we are used to that discloses the costs of the loan at the beginning of the loan process becomes the Loan Estimate.  The HUD-1 that shows the actual charges due at Closing becomes the Closing Disclosure.

In addition to the new forms are a few new rules.  During the loan process, there are several things that may happen that will require the lender to update the Loan Estimate and notify the consumer.  Those triggers are changes in the charges.  Perhaps a credit from the seller to the buyer was negotiated during the inspection period or maybe one of the estimated charges was inaccurate initially and needs to be adjusted, that means a new Loan Estimate must be sent to the consumer.  Lenders are only allowed a 10% increase between the charges disclosed on the most recent Loan Estimate and the actual charges on the Closing Disclosure.  If closing costs are initially estimated as $3000, the 10% rule only allows a $300 increase.

This all sounds great.  Keep the consumer informed on the costs they will be paying at closing.  No surprises at the closing table!  Where these new rules may cause problems in our real estate transaction is the required delay between issuing a Loan Estimate and Closing.  A three day wait is required.  Probably not a big deal, however, if something goes wrong and a last minute credit needs to be offered or one of the charges is discovered to be incorrect at the last minute Closing could be delayed.  Both Buyer and Seller need to be on board in order to delay Closing.  If the Seller doesn't agree, it could be disastrous for the Buyer.

The new rules were supposed to start August 1st but was recently pushed back to October 1st.  That means the real estate industry has a few more months to figure out how best to adjust to the new changes.

The Mountain Living Team knows it is important to stay on top of changes in our industry.  Educating ourselves and the consumers as well as adjusting our practices to better serve our clients is a high priority for us.  In response to the upcoming changes, we will be implementing new measures to ensure our Buyers are protected against any unexpected situations that could create a snag in the closing process and potentially put their earnest money at risk.  

Summit Sky Ranch in Silverthorne

by Jason Adams

Something exciting is happening here in Summit County. A new single family development just north of Silverthorne called Summit Sky Ranch. Situated on 416 acres of breathtaking beauty the vision of Summit Sky Ranch is to create a vibrant community and 360 degree outdoor lifestyle for people that share common values. Here are some of the features that will make Summit Sky Ranch a one of a kind community in Summit County. The Aspen House will serve as the social and recreational centerpiece of the community. It will host small outdoor concerts on the Great Lawn and feature outdoor fire pits for gathering with friends and family. It will have its own observatory for star gazing at night and several walking trails to enjoy during the day. There will also be an outdoor pool and hot tubs, a wellness and fitness center. It will have a 10 acre lake with a large beach area, and a lush green park. The lake will have a boat house and be a great place for water sports. Summit Sky Ranch has its own Private Fishing access to the Blue River, which has been awarded a Gold Medal rating. The first offering will be 47 properties including cabins, larger single family homes and lots to create your own dream home. Residences are starting from $595,000 for a 1,550 square foot cabin and from $795,000 for larger homes. Currently they are accepting reservations with a $5000 refundable deposit. Don’t miss your opportunity to take part in this exciting new development. For more information and to get your reservation in today contact the Mountain Living Team.

The number of properties for sale is climbing... and so are prices

by Meredith Adams

Inventory Trends over the last 2 years - Summit CountyAs we head into summer,  it is typical for the number of properties on the market to increase.  The ski areas have closed, seasonal rentals are done so it’s time for those interested in selling to get their properties ready and put them on the market.  This year is no different in that respect. 

Since mid-April, when most ski areas closed, we have had 364 properties come on the market.  But with properties going under contract and selling, only 108 properties were added to our inventory.  Last year new listings were close to the same amount, 370 properties.  However, that increase added 192 more listings our total inventory. Even though the number of properties coming on the market was about the same, they weren’t being absorbed as quickly.

This year inventory levels are down 27% from the same time in 2014 and a whopping 56% below 2009 numbers.  It’s the same old story around Summit County; decreasing inventory and increasing sales.  We are just now coming to the point where this combination is having a significant impact on property pricing.  Some areas in the county are poised to surpass the prices we saw during the peak of our market during this year’s selling season.

The graph shows the correlation between properties on the market and those under contract.  The improving market can be seen by the narrowing gap between the pending and active properties.


Last minute 4th of July plans

by Meredith Adams

If you haven't made you plans for the 4th of July yet this year, just come up to Summit County.  It's cooler than the Denver Metro area and there's a lot going on.  Click on the town name to link to their website with details about their activities & events.

7am  10k trail run
9:30am  Firecracker 50 bike race
10am  Parade
12:30pm  Viper car show
1pm  Kids water fight
2pm  Live music
8pm NRO at Riverwalk
9:45pm  Fireworks

Dillon Amphitheater
7pm  Forever in Blue Jeans, Neil Diamond tribute band
10pm  NRO Performance

8am  Pancake breakfast
9am  Fishing Derby
10am  Summit Concert Band
12:30pm  Parade
1:30pm  Live music by Guild of Ages
3:30pm  Drum circle
7:15pm  The Long Run, Eagles tribute band
9:30pm  Fireworks

8am  Fishing Derby
9am  Super Slimy Science
10:30am  Bike decoration party
11am  Bike parade
11am  Ala carte BBQ
12pm  Live music by Trout Steak Revival
7pm  Live music by The Burroughs
9pm  Fireworks


Frisco's 4th of July Parade



Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 230




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