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Hiking the Tallest Mountain In Colorado

by Meredith Adams

The summit of Mount ElbertThe tallest mountain in Colorado rises 14,440 ft above sea level.  It is the second highest at just 65' shorter than the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states and ranks 15th tallest when Alaska and Hawaii are added in the mix.  

Colorado has 58 mountains over 14,000 feet in elevation (14ers).  The tallest is Mount Elbert.  Mt Elbert is located in the Collegiate Peaks Mountain Range near Leadville.  It's not in Summit County but it is the tallest mountain in Colorado and just a short drive from Summit County so I felt it was worthy of a blog post.  There are several hiking trails that will take you to the summit of Mt Elbert, all require climbing steep grade above treeline.  Make sure you start early so you can reach the summit around noon and be heading back down before the afternoon storms roll in.  There is very little for cover at the top if you find yourself in a lightning storm.  Even if the weather forecast shows no chance of storms, don't rely on that.  Colorado weather is unpredictable, especially at 14,000 feet.

Hiking Mount ElbertWe opted for the South Mt Elbert Trail on this hike.  It starts from a campground so if you like, you can camp the night before and don't have to get up quite as early in the morning.  There is a well marked trailhead with a small parking lot but don't be tempted to start there.  Take a left  after the trailhead and drive a four wheel drive road back through an aspen grove for about 2 miles.  Regular cars could probably make the drive but any stock SUV won't have any trouble. It shaves nearly four long, agonizing miles off your total hike!

The route the trail takes was recently changed which made our hike a little longer than we expected.  The trail was in great shape though. It took about 2 miles and 925 feet of elevation gain before we made it out of a huge grove of aspen trees and then pines further up.  After a hike across a meadow the trail started it's steep climb up.  There were a few areas where it flattened out slightly giving us a bit of a break but it's a pretty unrelenting up.  After 3 miles of climbing, we made it to the summit.  Smoke from the wildfires in California was in the air creating a haze that limited visibility of the mountains surrounding us.  We could see Twin Lakes, the reservoir and many smaller ponds in the valley below. There were about 30 people at the top.  Most came from the North Mt Elbert Trail.  That is the most popular way to the summit.  

Mountain Biking Mt ElbertDuring our hike we came across four mountain bikers heading up.  The trail was so steep they were pushing or carrying their bikes.  There was no riding up the steep section of this trail.  The first two were beasts.  They stayed ahead of us to the top and were on their way back down before we hit the summit.  The other group of two mountain bikers weren't doing as well.  One ended up leaving her bike and continuing on with the hike to the summit.  The other eventually made it up with his bike.  The steep portion of the trail didn't look like a great mountain bike trail for a novice like me but it must have been a thrill for those that know what they are doing.

The hike took a total of eight hours, spending about an hour at the summit.  The GPS said it was 10.2 miles and just less than 4,000 feet of total elevation gain.  If you are considering a 14er and want the bragging rights that go along with climbing the highest peak in Colorado, Mt Elbert is a great hike.  It's challenging but do-able.  No steep drop offs or dangerous areas along this trail.  I would guess it's one of the mellower 14ers.  With that said, we did have a friend fall on the way down.  Nothing serious, just some scrapes on her elbow & knee.  We always carry a first aid kit so had some antibiotic wipes & band-aids to get her cleaned up and back at it.  A backpack with any gear you may need is a necessity for all your hikes.  You never know what may happen out there in the wilderness.  It's best to be prepared.

Hiking is one of our favorite things to do in Summit County in the summer.  If you want hiking information or recommendations feel free to contact us.  Text, call, email or simply stop by.  No purchase required!  

July real estate sales are up but...

by The Mountain Living Team

Rolling along Residential real estate sales have been rolling along at a pretty similar clip to 2017.  Some months better than last year, some months not.  July happened to be one of the up months. 

There were 182 residential sales in Summit County in July.  That's up 11% over July 2017 when there were 164 sales.  That gain didn't erase the year to date decline. Through July, residential sales are down 4.6% , or 45 sales, vs 2017. 

Monetary volume was up slightly for the first seven months of the year with a 3.9% increase.  That means people are spending more money on each purchase.  Average sales price of a home is up to $751,589 so far in 2018.  Compare that to $690,555 in 2017.  That's an 8.8% increase.  However, more properties over $1,000,000 have sold in 2018.  There have been 181 sales over $1,000,000 or 19.3% of all residential sales this year.  In 2018, $1,000,000+ sales made up 16.8% of the market with 165 sales.  

Sales under $300,000 have declined dramatically this year.  Those properties made up only 8.8% of the market, or 83 sales this year vs 17.9% or 176 sales in 2017.  That is because of the lack of properties available in that price range.  There is still plenty of demand for lower priced properties.

Cash sales have declined slightly this year too.  Only 27.9% of all residential sales were cash transactions.  In 2017, cash sales made up 30.9% of the sales.

Selling quicklyProperties are selling even faster this year than last.  So far this year, 67.2% of all listings sell within 30 days of going on the market.  It jumps to 77% when you include those that sold before 60 days.  In 2017 those numbers were 63.7% and 74.3% respectively.

So far this year, prices are higher and sales are quicker.  Buyers need to be aggressive to get in the market today, especially at the lower price points.  Cash sales are still king but if you are a cash buyer you may not be the only one.  Just over one out of four buyers are cash.  Keep that in mind especially when competing for a property.

Sellers still have the upper hand but price reductions are common in our market.  That means even though the market is hot, the property needs to be priced competitively for buyers to take notice.  Updates and maintenance make a huge difference in desirability.  Even furniture can make a difference.

Mountain Living Real Estate is here to inform you and help to decipher the numbers into facts that help you make the best decision for you and your family.  Contact us and let us help you with your Summit County real estate needs.

 

 

Voting is now open for the Best of Summit 2018

by The Mountain Living Team

Best of Summit 2018It's that time again when Summit County locals, part timers and visitors get to vote for the best companies, experiences, people and food and drinks.  Now is your opportunity to let them know you appreciate everything they do for you.  

It's quite a list with everything from hair stylists to margaritas to plumbers to ski mountains and, of course, real estate companies.  You don't have to vote in every category but it's a good way to get an idea of who rises to the top around town.  Everyone you have the opportunity to vote for had to be nominated first.  

If you have had a first hand experience with us, we hope it was worthy of a vote for our company, Mountain Living Real Estate.  We strive to provide exceptional services and information to everyone we come into contact with, regardless if you buy or sell a property.  If you are just reading blog posts, or using our website to see how much properties run up here, or interacting with us on social media, we work hard to help however we can and make a great impression on you.

Voting for the Best of Summit runs from August 15th to September 15th this year.  Don't miss your chance to voice your opinion.  Vote today!

If you are considering buying or selling property in Summit County, Colorado, contact us and let us help you.  We handle ski condos, vacation homes, full time residences, shared ownerships, land and commercial properties in Breckenridge, Dillon, Copper Mountain, Frisco, Keystone, Silverthorne and areas just outside the county boundaries.  Work with us and you'll understand why so many people say, "We Love Mountain Living!"

Click here and vote now for Best of Summit 2018

Hiking McCullough Gulch

by Meredith Adams

We try and get out for a hike every week.  Last week we hiked McCullough Gulch.  It's a very popular trail that starts south of Breckenridge.  In about 1.5 miles you can get to a waterfall, a lake beyond that, and many more higher lakes after that.  We went to the second lake this time making it a 7 mile hike.  The wildflowers were pretty in the meadow before the second lake.  This year has been a dry year and they were still good.  On a wetter year I bet they are spectacular!  Take a look at the video below for a glimpse of what this hike offers.  There's nothing like seeing it in person though so add this hike to your list.

McCullough Gulch Hike from Meredith Hanson on Vimeo.

Free Chipping Program Continues in Summit County

by The Mountain Living Team

Summit County is once again encouraging residents to do fire mitigation around their properties.  This summer the county will make its way through neighborhoods chipping up slash piles left at the curb as directed.  If you haven't started to clean up down branches and woody vegetation, don't worry, there's still time.  The county has a schedule and are trying to hit every neighborhood twice to allow ample time for clean up efforts.  

You can pile small branches and other natural vegetation at the edge of the road before the Monday morning your neighborhood is scheduled for a pick up.  The piles must be no bigger than 5'x5'x5' and contain logs no larger than 12" in diameter.  Please don't include willows, cottonwood trees or lumber & other building materials.  If you have more than 20 piles to be chipped, please give the county some advance notice.

With the recent fire scares it seems everyone is embracing the idea of defensible space and are taking full advantage of the program the county is offering.  As a result, the county is running behind schedule.  They have brought on additional crews to catch up and maintain the schedule.  However, if your slash hasn't been picked up by the Sunday evening of your scheduled week, please fill out the appropriate form and let them know.

If you'd like more information on defensible space and protecting your home from wildfires, read our recent blog post Buffalo Mountain Fire and the Lessons Learned. 

Nominating the Best of Summit 2018

by The Mountain Living Team

Every year the Summit Daily, Summit County's free local paper, has a contest called the Best of Summit.  It gives their readers an opportunity to nominate & then vote for their favorite local businesses, activities, events & more.  

If you have been to Summit County and had a great experience somewhere, take this opportunity to express your appreciation to that business by nominating them for the Best of Summit.  It gives the businesses some free publicity and let's others know where they can find a high quality experience.

It's our goal to give all our clients and, really, everyone we come in contact with a high quality experience that they simply can't imagine how it could be better.  If we have achieved that for you, please take the time to nominate Mountain Living Real Estate or Jason & Meredith Adams under Real Estate in the Service section of the Best of Summit.  Nominations are only accepted until August 1, 2018 so don't delay.

Here's the link: 

http://summitdaily.secondstreetapp.com/Best-of-Summit-2018/

The year is half over but Summit County real estate sales aren’t

by The Mountain Living Team

Six months into 2018 and we have had 753 residential sales in Summit County.  That’s 8.1% below the first six months of last year when we had 819 residential sales.  The first six months of the year typically sees fewer real estate sales than the second half of the year so it’s possible we’ll make up that 8% deficit in the coming months.

In 2017, the first six months only made up 41% of the year’s sales.  The highest numbers of closings in any given year generally take place in September or October.  A typical sale takes about 45 days from going under contract to closing which means we are just beginning to get into our busy time for buyers.   

If you are considering selling your Summit County home, you should be putting it on the market soon.  The next two months are our most active of the selling season.  Get some tips on how to make your home show its best.

If you are considering buying in Summit County, you need to be ready to act quickly, 66% of homes are going under contract in the first 30 days they are on the market.  If you are one of the 74.5% of buyers getting a loan, make sure you have spoken to a good local lender and are pre-qualified.  When you are ready to submit an offer, we can have the lender write a pre-qualification letter to present with your offer.  That will reassure the seller that you are a quality buyer that is serious about buying.

Are you receiving property search emails?

by The Mountain Living Team

Summit County Property SearchWe recently switched companies that provide us the technology to email new listings to potential buyers.  We have tried to switch everyone over from the old company to the new company.  Rarely do things like this go off without a hitch.  We'd really appreciate it if you would let us know if you are no longer receiving properties or if they aren't what you are looking for so we can make the necessary corrections.  The format of the emails are very similar so you may not have even noticed a change, or if you have, hopefully you like the new results better.  If you would like us to change anything or have comments or suggestions, please let us know.  Email  meredith@mountain-living.com or call 888-666-0844.

What is your relationship with your Colorado Agent?

by Jason Adams

Do you want a coach or a referee?When you buy or sell real estate in Colorado you have two choices in the relationship you have with your real estate agent. Most agents prefer to be a neutral third party and they like to be Transaction Brokers. They usually won't point out that you have options and will only offer to work with you as a Transaction Broker. In that instance, they are not obligated to do the utmost to work on your behalf, but only owe you honesty and fairness regarding your transaction. Their job is defined as assisting Buyer and/or Seller with the transaction but not working as an advocate for either party. 

Our preference is to represent you as a Buyer's or Seller's Agent. That means that we are your advocate working with your best interest in mind. We must look out for you at the same level we would if we were buying or selling our own property. We love to be a bulldog, working on your behalf. A Transaction Broker must be neutral, meaning that they cannot pass on confidential information on either side. As a Buyer's or Seller's Agent we will tell you about any additional motivation of which we are aware and at the same time, will not reveal your motivations to the other side.

Another way to look at the difference between the relationships is with a sports analogy.  A Transaction Broker is like a referee making sure both sides play by the rules and that we finish the game. A Buyers Agent is like your coach, he's going to do everything he can to help his team win the game.

Would you prefer to have a coach or referee for your real estate transaction?

 

Buffalo Mountain Fire and the Lessons Learned

by Meredith Adams

Living in the mountains surrounded by National Forest lands is an amazing place to be but, like anywhere, it is not without it's risks.  We don't really have floods, hail or tornadoes around here.  Our big concern is wildfire. Unfortunately, on June 12th a fire started on Buffalo Mountain just above the Wildernest neighborhood.

That Tuesday morning was a beautiful morning but at 10:46 someone called in a fire.  From Lake Dillon we could see smoke on the hill and estimated it was around Wildernest.  The smoke continued and the plume was getting bigger so I called my mom, Joanne, who lives in Mesa Cortina, the adjoining neighborhood to Wildernest, to see if she had heard anything.  At that time she hadn't but it wasn't long before Summit County made the notifications.  Reverse 911 calls went out and texts or emails were sent to those on the Summit County Alert System.  There was a mandatory evacuation in place for the upper portions of both the Wildernest and Mesa Cortina neighborhoods, the lower portions were on pre-evacuation.  The smoke was billowing and there was a lot of fear.  It wasn't until later that we found out just how close the fire was to homes.Smoke billowing up from Buffalo Mountain Fire

Air support was called in and multiple helicopters and slurry bombers were flying overhead attacking the fire very aggressively.  50 firefighters were fighting the fire on the ground and over 100 more were on the way.  Road blocks were in place keeping the residents from going into the evacuation zones, and even the pre-evacuation zones.  The response was nothing short of amazing as everyone held their breaths not knowing exactly where the fire was burning and if homes were involved.

The aggressive attack on the fire paid off and by that evening the fire laid down and the smoke going into the sky was minimal.  The personnel involved in the fire fight were reluctant to give any containment numbers and kept the evacuation orders in place but I know we felt a lot better about the situation. 

Over the next few days additional information came out about the fire fight.  That information showed us how close the fire came to burning so many homes and how the preventative measures taken by the forest service in conjunction with the county made all the difference in the outcome of this fire.  

Defensible space is a common term heard in fire prevention information.  It creates a fire break between the forest and the property and gives the firefighters a fighting chance to save property from a wildfire.  A few years ago, after the pine beetle came through and killed so many lodge pole pine trees in the forests, it was determined that the neighborhoods that backed to national forest lands needed to have defensible space.  A wide fire break was cut.  All the dead and living trees came down.  Most homeowners didn't like it.  Having the national forest right there was incredible and to see the vegetation we love so much removed was really hard.  Regardless of the protests, defensible space was created around both the Mesa Cortina and Wildernest neighborhoods.  That defensible space helped the firefighters keep this fire from going into the neighborhoods.  

If you own a property in Summit County, or in any area at risk to wildfires, defensible spaces is so important.  Take on the responsibility to ensure you have defensible space around your property.  Even in a condo complex, you can bring it up with the HOA or talk to the county or forest service.  For information on what you need to do to create defensible space around your home, visit firewise.org.  Eliminate ladder fuels, prune bushes and trees, and use fire resistant materials on your home, it's worth the time and effort if a wildfire ever comes knocking at your door.

Thank you to all the people involved in the firefighting efforts on the Buffalo Mountain Fire!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 303

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