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Summit County, CO: Mountain Living Real Estate Blog

The Mountain Living Team


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Short Term Rentals are Changing

by The Mountain Living Team

Breckenridge recently updated its rental regulations adding requirements for owners of short term rental properties. Since then, every town and the county are following suit, discussing and initiating their own regulations. All across Summit County, short term rentals are changing. Rentals are an important part of ownership in Summit County. These changes may have a significant impact for all homeowners.

New Breckenridge Regulations

At the end of August, Breckenridge enacted new short term rental regulations. The new regulations add an administrative fee and managing agent requirements. The new administrative fee is an annual fee of up to $150 depending on the size of the rental unit. That fee is waived if the condo has a twenty four hour front desk, phone system or security company. Basically, if someone else is there to handle issues, the town won't need to and, therefore, no administrative fee is necessary.

A managing agent is also required. A managing agent is someone that is chosen by the owner to respond if there are any issues with their renters. That person must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and handle issues that arrive within 60 minutes of notification. There are several other rules that must be followed. If they aren't, the owner is subject to a misdemeanor charge and can have their license revoked. Without a license, short term rental activities would not be allowed. Read all the new Breckenridge regulations.

Silverthorne's Pending Regulations

Silverthorne just unanimously passed even stricter rules. The rules could become official at the next council meeting on October 24th. Silverthorne's rules are similar except they require a 30 minute response time during the overnight hours, and 60 minutes during the day. They are also limiting occupancy of those rentals. Two people per bedroom plus two additional are allowed to stay in any property. The bedroom count used to calculate occupancy comes from tax records. That means lofts, offices or dens, or larger rooms used as bunk rooms may no longer count as bedrooms when determining allowed occupancy. Read the Summit Daily article about Silverthorne's rental changes.

More Changes Coming

Dillon, Summit County and Frisco are discussing this issue too. Short term rentals are changing. If you want to get involved, now is the time. More regulations are coming in the remaining areas.

Possible Impacts

This seems like a win for full time residents that are unhappy with a neighboring rental property. This means they can make a call when there's an issue and get results within an hour of less.  It may mean more trouble for second home owners that rent out their home. There will be more hoops to jump through and more accountability for renters you have limited control over. Two families with a total of 5 kids between them may not be able to rent a three bedroom Silverthorne home. Those renters will have to move up to a four bedroom or to a nearby town. Changes like these could impact rental revenue. An impact on rental revenue can have an affect on demand and, as a result, property values. If that happens, it will be felt by all property owners, not just owners of short term rentals.

What's New for the Upcoming Ski Season?

by The Mountain Living Team

A-Basin just announced they will open on Friday, October 19th. Loveland is opening the following day, Saturday the 20th. More areas will open on November 9th and 16th.  Generally, by Thanksgiving, all the ski areas will have at least one lift turning, hopefully more! Ski season is here! There are a few improvements you will see out there this upcoming ski season.

Arapahoe Basin opened new terrain last season, the Beavers. It is steep and deep, hike out terrain. This summer they added a chair lift to that new terrain. Now that we have a ride out, I am excited to give the new terrain a try this season.

Copper Mountain took out both the lifts in Center Village, the Eagle and Flyer, over the summer.  The new Eagle will be a combination chair lift and gondola. I have never seen one of these but from what I understand, after every two or three chairs should be a gondola cabin. They are all on the same line so neither will be a quicker ride. Which you take will just be a matter of preference and, maybe, how long the line at the bottom is. The new Flyer lift will still be a regular chair lift but each chair will have a bubble to help keep skiers out of the wind. The Flyer is known as the “Freezer” because it is such a long cold ride. Hopefully it needs a new nickname after this season.

The Ikon Pass is the other new thing for this ski season. It replaces the Rocky Mountain Super Pass which was a combination Copper/Winter Park pass.  The Ikon Pass adds a lot more destinations, like Aspen Snowmass, Jackson Hole and Eldora. Having this pass may require some quick ski trips this year.  I think putting Copper Mountain on a multiple mountain pass may make Copper a little busier than it has been in years past. I am selfishly hoping that is not the case.  

With the recent snowfall and cold temperatures, the ski areas have been making snow like crazy. Unfortunately, warmer temperatures are in the forecast.  If the nighttime lows can still stay cold, it shouldn’t hinder October openings much.

Get your ski legs ready, here comes ski season!

Transportation is on the Colorado Ballot

by The Mountain Living Team

As the popularity of Colorado grows, so do the traffic issues.  A booming economy means more homes being built. That leads to more residents and more traffic. The mountains are no exception. We not only have more people in the county, we have more people trying to get to the county. But guess what? There is a transportation bill on the Colorado ballot in November.

 Of course it takes Colorado voters to agree to a tax hike but projects across the state could be getting underway in the near future.  The list of projects includes the interchanges in both Silverthorne and Frisco getting some significant upgrades. There will be some improvements along the I-70 corridor between Denver and Summit County too.  The plan to add an express lane to the westbound lanes of I-70 is not included in this funding bill and should be underway in 2019 regardless of the outcome of this Colorado ballot vote.

The funding is coming from a sales tax hike.  The tax would add about six cents to your ten dollar purchase everywhere in Colorado.  Visit for more information about Proposition 110 on the Colorado ballot.

Road construction is always a summertime nuisance but perhaps, if this bill gets passed, we’ll see some traffic relief afterwards.  No matter where you live, the results of this November’s Colorado ballot may have an impact on you.

2018 Q3 Real Estate Report

by The Mountain Living Team

After three quarters of 2018 the number of residential properties sold is slightly behind last year at this time. The number of cash sales is slightly down also. However, all other categories are still going strong.

Residential sales

The number of residential sales dropped 6.6% however the dollar volume was up 3.2% and the average sale price up 10.5%. The reason for all of these changes is likely the lack of lower priced residential properties.   The sales of properties priced under $300,000 have dropped to less than half the number there was in 2017.  After nine months of 2017, 251 properties sold for under $300,000.  This year that number is 116. 

Cash Sales

The number of cash sales dropped ever so slightly from 30.6% of sales to 29.2%. Still, pretty consistent over time.  You’re looking at about one in every three sales being a cash purchase. With an average sale price of $762,129 that’s a lot of affluent buyers.

Quick Sales

Properties continue to sell quickly. 65% of all properties are under contract within the first 30 days. That number jumps to 77.8% if you push the timeframe to 60 days.  That is a 2% bump over last year.  With that said, there are still properties that take more than a year to sell, even in this market.

Land Sales

Land sales are doing well. Generally lower inventory markets make more people decide to build. Higher prices encourage builders and developers to buy lots to build on. We have both of those in this market. As a result, Land sales are up 11.5% this year. The average sales price has climbed 15.9% to $407,455. Land sales are quicker this year too with about one-third selling in the first 30 days compared to one-fourth in 2017.

We will probably see a slight decline in residential sales numbers when final numbers are in for 2018. If so, that will be our first decline since we started to head back up after the recession. Everything else in our market continues to look good so it’s easy to write that sales decline off as low inventory. We are hearing about signs of slowing in other markets, however, leaving us cautiously optimistic.

It's peak time for gold in Summit County

by The Mountain Living Team

Changing leaves in Summit County ColoradoSeptember in Colorado is a beautiful time of year.  All the leaves on the aspen trees change to a beautiful gold, sometimes with a little more orange in them.  Combine that with the deep blue sky, the green pine trees and sometimes, if we are lucky, a light dusting of snow on the mountain tops and it's absolutely gorgeous around here!

The leaves seem to be changing a little earlier this year, maybe it's because of the lack of moisture we've had this summer, I don't really know.  It's mid September and the gold patches are everywhere.  Like normal, there are still some reluctant green leafed aspen around and some that have already dropped their leaves and are ready for winter but most are donning their gold in all their glory.

If you're not sure where to go to check out the leaves, here are a couple of my favorite spots.

  • Boreas Pass Road in Breckenridge.  As you head all the way to the top of the pass the road will turn to dirt and the aspen line the road.  It's hard to drive too far down this stretch without stopping several times to take photos.
  • Eaglesmere in Silverthorne.  Near Heeney and Green Mountain Reservoir is the Eaglesmere Trailhead.  Just a few steps on the trail and you are in a huge aspen grove.  If you catch it just right, the gold leaves will cover the ground and still shimmer in the sunlight on the trees. While you're here, check out Cataract Lake.  The trailhead is very close to the Eaglesmere trailhead.  You can combine the beautiful aspen groves with a reflective mountain lake.

There are aspen all over the high country.  Take a drive down any road in a residential area or on a highway and you're bound to see areas that just take your breath away.  It's a beautiful time to be in Summit County but be prepared for anything.  We can have warm, sunny days or cold and snowy days in September.  

New development is everywhere in Summit County

by The Mountain Living Team

It's hard to go anywhere in the county without seeing homes being built.  New construction is going strong.  Here's a little information on some of the new developments.

Summit Sky Ranch - This development in Silverthorne has been underway for a couple of years now.  It is a neighborhood of single family homes near The Raven Golf Course. See what's for sale in the neighborhood now.

Blue River Flats - Small buildings of condos with garages on the Blue River in Silverthorne.  The first building is nearly complete but there are more buildings to be built.  See current properties for sale.

Smith Ranch - Mostly deed restricted homes, for local employees, located below Ruby Ranch in Silverthorne.

Mattox Triplex -  Located around 2nd & Granite in Frisco, these townhomes aren't completed yet. 

Alley Shacks - A duplex at 4th and Galena Alley in Frisco to be completed this year. Each has 3 bedrooms and a 3 car garage.

Library Lofts - Construction hasn't even started yet on these luxury townhomes at Madison & Galena in Frisco.

Estates on Galena - 13 single family and duplex homes located in Frisco at 2nd & Granite. Construction is underway.

Mary Ruth Cabins - This is a deed restricted development in Frisco that is nearly complete. These new homes will be available to rent by Frisco or Copper Mountain employees and they allow pets!

Sail Lofts - A condominium high rise in downtown DillonSee listings here.

Uptown 240- A high rise at the entrance to downtown Dillon that will house a restaurant, hotel, work out facilities, viewing deck and more.  These aren't slated to be done until 2020.

New Seasons at Keystone - A condo devleopment near Keystone Lake.  See what's available for sale now.

Cucumber Creek Estates - A high end single family home development in Breckenridge. See homes for sale in Cucumber Creek Estates.

Shores at the Highlands - Construction has been underway for a couple of years in this development of luxury homes on the north side of Breckenridge. See these luxurious homes that are for sale.  

This list just touches on the new construction in Summit County.  If you'd like more details about these or other new development projects around the county, contact Mountain Living Real Estate today.




Fast Facts - August 2018 Real Estate Sales

by The Mountain Living Team

Residential Sales August 2018

  • Number of sales is down 12.6% vs August 2017
  • Dollar volume for sales is up 7.8% vs August 2017
  • Average sale price is up 23.3% vs August 2017
  • August 2018 average sale price was $862,340
  • There were 37.5% more sales over $1,000,000 in August 2018 vs August 2017
  • 55 sales, or 27.4%, were for $1,000,000 or more
  • 11 sales, or 5.5%, were for $2,000,000 or more
  • 78.6% of sales sold in the first 60 days
  • 77.4% of sales sold in the first 60 days in August 2017
  • 35% of sales were cash
  • 4.5% of sales were 1031 Exchanges


Land Sales August 2018

  • Number of sales down 10% vs August 2017
  • Dollar volume for sales is up 62% vs August 2017
  • Average sale price is up 80% vs August 2017
  • August 2018 average sale price was $424,458
  • There were no sales over $900,000 or below $150,000
  • There were no sales over $600,000 and seven sales below $150,000 in August 2017
  • 44.4% of sales sold in 60 days or less
  • 20% of sales sold in 60 days or less in August 2017
  • 83.3% of sales were cash

So far in 2018 sales are pretty flat when compared to 2017.  More higher priced properties are selling which is pushing the average sales price higher.  A 23.3% increase in average sales price doesn't mean homes have appreciated 23.3% in the last year.  While prices are up, every neighborhood is different.  If you're wondering about the price of your home in today's market, contact us for a free home valuation.

What $300,000 Buys you in the Summit County real estate market

by The Mountain Living Team

What does $300,000 Buy?The current, inventory starved, real estate market in Summit County that has pushed overall home prices higher is, as you would expect, making the price of entry level, second homes higher too .  100% ownership for $100,000 that was possible a few years back is non-existent these days.  A more reasonable starting point would be $300,000.  So what can you expect to get for $300,000 in Summit County these days?

You can get vacant land.  You can buy a small, single family home lot in select areas of Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Keystone and Dillon. A very small commercial space in Breckenridge could be in reach too. As far as things you could actually live in full or part time, you could buy a home near Green Mountain Reservoir in the town of Heeney.  It will be older and may or may not have plumbing.  A studio in Keystone or Copper Mountain or a 1 bedroom in the outskirts of Breck, in Dillon or Silverthorne are also possibilities.  You may even find a very small two bedroom around the $300,000 price tag.  If you live and work in the county, you should be able to find a deed restricted property, perhaps with up to 2 bedrooms, in this price range. Other options include partial ownership opportunities and timeshares. 

Through the first seven months of 2018, the average residential home price was $751,589.  That doesn’t mean you need to spend $750,000 to buy here. That average includes sales of multi-million dollar single family homes all the way down to small condos.  19% of the sales sold for over $1,000,000 and only 8.8% were under $300,000.  That’s going to weight the average price to the high side. 

For $300,000 you can typically expect a very limited selection of small condos or vacant land.  It’s enough to get your foot in the door of a rising market.  Real estate is cyclical.  It goes up and it goes down. Whenever you choose to buy, we always recommend that you don’t over extend yourself and be comfortable that you can wait out a downturn.  

Here are homes for sale in Summit County for $300,000 or less right now.

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.



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