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Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

The Mountain Living Team


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 249

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.

Summit County real estate market 2016 vs 2015

by The Mountain Living Team

How does today's market compare with the market one year ago?


Currently Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne have the tightest real estate markets. Highlighted in pink as an Extreme Seller's Market there is less than 2.4 months of inventory.  The orange highlights are still a Seller's Market, just not as tight with a 2.4-5.4 months supply.  Keystone and Breckenridge are currently in a Seller's Market.  That leaves Copper bringing up the rear.  Copper is still in a Buyer's Market with an 8 month supply of properties.  

Let's compare these numbers with 2015 numbers.  Only Dillon was in the Extreme Seller's Market category.  Breckenridge was seeing a Balanced Market and Copper was still tagging along behind but with almost 20 months of inventory.  The rest of the county was in a Seller's Market.  

Overall the tightest markets are in the lower end price ranges.  All the Summit County areas are seeing Extreme Seller's Markets for properties priced below $200,000.  For some markets, like Frisco, that Extreme Seller's Market is pushing up to the million dollar price range.

Our market is a tighter market than it was last year.  We have lower inventory and slightly higher buyer activity.  As ski season comes to a close this month we will see more properties come on the market, which is a normal trend.  This year, however, I don't anticipate we will build much inventory heading into the summer months.  The majority of the properties coming on the market will be absorbed by the buyer demand.  That will continue to keep inventory tight and push prices higher over the summer.

Not living in Colorado will cost you 2% more when you sell your vacation home

by The Mountain Living Team

The state of Colorado charges non-residents 2% of the sale price when they sell their vacation home or investment property.  Believe it or not, it's not a penalty for those unlucky people that don't live in Colorado, it's actually an incentive for them.  If you are a non-resident you can avoid payment of this fee but only for limited reasons.

No matter where you live, the state of Colorado expects you to pay state taxes on any money you make here.  That can be a hard task for the state to enforce but when it comes to property they have come up with a solution.  If you don't live in Colorado and sell your Colorado property, the company handling the closing is required to collect 2% of the sales price for the state of Colorado.  2% can be a significant amount of money and Colorado knows it.  The money they collect needs to be enough money to motivate the seller to file a Colorado tax return.  When a tax return is filed, if 2% was too much to collect, a refund will be processed.

Taxes aren't always due when a property is sold.  For example, if there is no gain, no taxes are due.  The state knows that and does give you a limited choice of reasons why the 2% should not be collected.  If one of those reasons fits your situation you don't have to have it withheld.  

Typically the additional 2% is not a big deal to out of state sellers.  They know it will all work out come tax time.  However, when that 2% fee is a surprise, it can wind up being a big deal.  

Brunch at the Alpenglow Stube in Keystone

by The Mountain Living Team

Alpenglow Stube in KeystoneThis March we finally made it to the Alpenglow Stube in Keystone.  We were long overdue to try the restaurant we had heard so much about.  AAA ranks it a 4 Diamond restaurant, an honor bestowed upon only 2.3% of the nearly 28,0000 restaurants they approve.  It is one of only two 4 Diamond restaurants in Summit County.  

Located at the top of North Peak, at 11,400 feet in elevation, you have to take two gondolas to get to the restaurant or you can take the chair lift and pull up out front on your skis or snowboard.  Don't worry, you won't have to enjoy your meal in your ski boots.  Check your coat and boots at the door and slip on a pair of warm slippers while you dine.

We were there for Sunday brunch.  We had a choice of just the buffet or the buffet plus a breakfast entree, soup and mimosa for about $10 more.  We went all out and got the whole deal, the Champagne Brunch.  The buffet seemed rather small if that was going to be your whole meal.  It had some greens for a salad, pasta salads,a variety of smoked fish, a variety of cheese and crackers, crab claws and a whole lot of dessert.  It seemed more like appetizers than a meal so I was happy we opted for the Champagne Brunch.  Overall the food was good but I'm not sure it was worth the fifty some odd dollars we paid for it.

The service was fantastic.  Our waiter was very attentive and when the dessert table on the buffet was running low he brought out a variety of desserts just for our table.

I don't think we'll go back for brunch again but may try it for lunch or dinner sometime.

The Clubhouse - a new bar in Frisco

by The Mountain Living Team

This winter a new bar opened it's doors on Main Street in Frisco.  In the old Upstairs at Johnny G's is a new establishment called The Clubhouse.  We had an opportunity to check it out for happy hour recently.

It's upstairs in the Frisco mall so it may be a little harder to find and not yet established so it was pretty empty when we were there.  It's a nice establishment with a large bar, small bar tables around and a few couches and chairs around a nice fireplace.  It's a very nice atmosphere.  

The menu is small offering maybe eight items.  We had the pork sliders, the hummus and the pig and fig flatbread.  All of it was very good.  

The beer on tap was also limited.  I think they specialize more in signature cocktails.  Jason had a bloody mary that he enjoyed.  All drinks were $1 off for happy hour.

The reason for the name is because you can play golf while you're there.  You can golf at the course of your choice for $50 per hour.  While we were there several people gave the game a try.  It seemed to be just as frustrating as the real thing.

To sum it up, The Clubhouse is a great spot to hang out with friends.  The menu is limited but everything we tried was very good.  The service was great too.  We will be back again.


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 249




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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