Silver Shekel Homes for Sale are in a pine-studded, quiet neighborhood on Breckenridge’s north side, featuring majestic views and homesites averaging one acre in size.
Silver Shekel is particularly popular among locals and second home owners as the properties are close to town… far enough apart to ensure privacy and close enough together to ensure a tight community.
You’ll enter Silver Shekel just north of Breckenridge, at the Fairview Boulevard roundabout. There are more than 190 homesites located here, and all but 14 have been built on. (Lot sizes in Silver Shekel range from .4 acres to 1.18 acres. View Silver Shekel vacant land for sale here, when available.)
There are three main arteries in Silver Shekel, corresponding to its three filings. Each filing steps up the mountainside, and this unique configuration helps to preserve the view corridors for each home and vacant lot.
First, and just to the east of Highway 9, is Fairview Boulevard. The second “step” or tier features addresses along Shekel Lane. Finally, at the top of the hillside is Silver Circle – a loop of homes that borders The Highlands at Breckenridge.
Summit Stage, the free bus system that connects all of Summit County, stops at the base of the subdivision on Highway 9, at the Fairview Roundabout. This roundabout is located 2 miles north of downtown Breckenridge. The Breckenridge Rec Path is just across Highway 9 and can easily connect you to Breckenridge as well as Frisco (and beyond.)
Just north of the Silver Shekel subdivision is the Breckenridge Golf Club, a Jack-Nicklaus designed 27-hole municipal golf course. Each winter, the Breckenridge Golf Club becomes the Gold Run Nordic Center, featuring 27 km of groomed classic and skate cross-country ski trails, as well as sleigh rides and a Clubhouse restaurant. A bounty of hiking, biking, and natural cross-country ski trails wind through this area, as well. (See Breckenridge Golf Course Area Homes.)
Construction in Silver Shekel began in 1964, and continues today. As is typical with subdivisions of this vintage, like nearby Peak 7 and, in-town, The Weisshorn, Gold Flake, and Warrior’s Mark, properties here range from small cabins in the woods to new contemporary masterpieces – and everything in between. Most properties here, however, are between 3 and 5 bedrooms, and between 3000 and 4500 square feet.
Positioned as it is overlooking the Blue River Valley near Breckenridge, nearly all home sites have great views. These views vary with the property but many look out onto the Ten Mile Range and some can see the Breck Ski Resort. Large decks and outdoor living spaces are common.
HOA fees in Silver Shekel are low: $30 annually at the time of this writing, which pays for summer road maintenance, the annual Silver Shekel picnic, neighborhood clean up day, and the Silver Shekel HOA website at http://Silver-Shekel.net
Search and Research Summit County Properties on the Go!
Back in the 1990s, when my husband and I were first looking at Summit County properties, one of our favorite things to do was drive around and look for new “For Sale” signs… signs on homes, townhomes, duplexes, vacant lots — properties in our price range and way beyond.
We always wished we had a way to know the details about a property while we were on the go – especially for those properties that had no flyer – without having to make a phone call or committing to see inside.
Fast forward 20+ years – and now it’s easy!
As you drive around, your navigator or passenger can be using the official Summit County mobile real estate app, SkiMLS. All you need to do is set your search parameters in the app, and, because the app knows your location through your GPS-enabled device, the app will find available properties that meet your search criteria automatically, as you drive around.
The app will show you a map of listings in your price range that are close to you. Move the map and new listings that fit your criteria will automatically appear. Then tap the listing bubble to get all the details, photos, and turn-by-turn directions.
All of Summit and Park MLS properties are featured – so you can easily find the details on Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Dillon and Silverthorne properties plus Park County properties, including Fairplay and Alma.
Once you find properties you’d like to tour, just let me know, and I’ll get the keys.
The luxury custom home at 81 Alpensee Court teems with European charm and mountain elegance – perfectly positioned on a peaceful, sunny lot in Highland Meadows at the heart of Summit County.
This extremely well-cared-for custom luxury home is light and bright, with soaring vaulted ceilings and expansive windows, which frame sweeping views of mountains, meadows and nearby Lake Dillon.
The home’s spacious, open floor plan is ideal for large and multi-generational gatherings. It features not only an expansive great room with wet bar and custom cabinetry, but a secondary living area, three ensuite bedrooms, and a bunk room.
This secondary living area on the lower level features a second kitchen space (with refrigerator, sink, and microwave) and access to the lovely patio area, complete with hot tub and porch swing:
Three ensuite bedrooms:
Master bedroom with gas fireplace, large master bath with jetted tub, and huge walk-in closet.
Second master suite, with second jetted tub and large walk-in closet
Third ensuite bedroom.
And a bunk room with fine carpentry built-ins: two double beds and three twin beds.
Note how the bathroom across the hall from the bunk room features sinks at different elevations, to suit all ages.
This is just one of the many lovely details and small touches that are difficult to find, even in the most luxurious of custom homes.
My other favorites:
The library ladder in the main floor study:
The striking circular staircase connecting deck and patio:
The cozy loft area above the great room:
And this arched Dutch door to the pantry.
The well-appointed kitchen at 81 Alpensee Court features granite countertops, custom knotty alder cabinetry, and travertine tile.
In addition to its 3634 square feet of finished living space, 81 Alpensee Court features an extra 500 sq. ft. of storage and a large three-car garage.
The home is perfectly positioned on 1.24 acres, where it enjoys all day sun and borders open space. The Highland Meadows subdivision backs to National Forest and is central to everything Summit County has to offer.
81 Alpensee Court – At a Glance
4 bedrooms | 4.5 baths | 3634 square feet. Bunk room in lower level is non-conforming with no closet. Additional 506 sq. ft. of storage in lower level.
Located in prestigious and desirable Highland Meadows subdivision, central to everything Summit County.
All day sun from well-positioned lot. Views of mountains, meadows, and Lake Dillon.
Light and bright with vaulted ceilings and large windows.
Spacious kitchen with gas cooktop, granite countertops, custom knotty alder cabinetry, and travertine tile.
Walk in pantry with charming arched Dutch door.
Spacious great room with Xtrordinair gas fireplace.
Wet bar in great room with custom cabinetry.
Loft area with ladder in great room.
Main floor office with well-constructed built-ins and library ladder.
Main floor master suite with gas fireplace, large windows and great views.
Master bathroom with large jetted tub and travertine surround; spacious walk-in master closet.
Ideal floor plan for large gatherings.
Three ensuite bedrooms, two with large jetted tubs and walk in closets.
Bunk room with fine carpentry built-ins: 2 double beds and 3 twin beds.
Large laundry/mud room on main floor.
Second living area on lower level with potential for projector and screen.
Second kitchen area in the lower level with full size refrigerator, sink, and microwave.
Hookups for second washer/dryer on lower level.
Radiant in-floor heat throughout home.
Hallway lighting with motion sensors.
Large three-car heated garage with additional attic storage. Hot and cold water in garage.
Sound system with interior and exterior speakers.
Large, maintenance-free covered deck with gas line for grill, outdoor hot tub and porch swing on lower patio.
Striking circular staircase connects lower and upper outdoor living spaces (deck and patio).
Pride of ownership and deep care for the property is evident throughout. Seller is original owner and builder.
Lot size: 1.24 acres, bordering open space. Highland Meadows sub features 90 acres of common open space, preserving view corridors. Subdivision backs to National Forest.
From Breckenridge, head south on Highway 9 and take a left on Jarelle Drive, just before Summit High School. At the stop sign, make a left on Alpensee Drive. Then take a left on Alpensee Court. The home is at the end of the road on the left.
Contact me to arrange a private showing of this unique Colorado luxury mountain home.
28 Blue Moon Trail in Silverthorne’s prestigious Hamilton Creek is a luxury enclave perfectly positioned for you to enjoy breathtaking views of the Blue River Valley and the entire Gore Range beyond.
Thorn Peak and Buffalo Mountain glitter in the distance, creating a perfect backdrop for awe-inspiring vistas no matter the time of year. And 28 Blue Moon Trail makes it easy to sit back and enjoy the scenery from three spacious decks, an additional ground-level patio with hot tub, and an impressive wall of windows in the great room.
Upon entering the home at 28 Blue Moon Trail in Hamilton Creek, you are immediately greeted by a wall of windows perfectly showcasing some of the most majestic views Summit County has to offer. The great room features soaring vaulted ceilings with log beams and panoramic views of the Gore Range and the Blue River valley below.
The home is an entertainer’s dream, with three bedrooms, all ensuite, two wet bars and a second living area, including a game room with pool table and a Murphy bed for even more sleeping capacity.
And there’s always something to do. Hamilton Creek is minutes to world-class skiing, boating on Lake Dillon, fishing on the Blue River, golfing at Silverthorne’s renowned Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks, plus the popular dining and shopping in Silverthorne and all of Summit County.
Association dues for this property are assessed quarterly and include all of the operating expenses for the property. The established co-ownership agreement is on file. Contact the listing broker for details. Please note that this co-ownership agreement does not allow pets and does not allow for owners to rent out the property.
28 Blue Moon Trail – At a Glance
3 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 3,655 square feet
Panoramic views of the Gore Range and Blue River Valley
Wall of windows in the great room and a main entry that immediately showcases incredible views
Great room window blinds operated via remote control
Sunken living room with soaring rock wall and gas fireplace
Open floor plan with tons of natural light from well-placed windows
Three spacious bedrooms, each with private bath
Main floor master suite with gas fireplace and private deck
Huge master bath with jetted tub
Second living area with large television, spacious seating area, pool table, and Murphy bed
Three large decks from which to enjoy some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever witness
Patio accessed directly from game room on lower floor
Large outdoor hot tub
Oversize three car garage with designated storage areas/units for each owner
Ample storage space, including pantry off kitchen
Large laundry room
Lot size: 2.35 acres
Offered fully furnished. Just bring your toothbrush!
Driving Directions: North on Highway 9 through Silverthorne. Turn right on Hamilton Creek Road (at Silverthorne Elementary). Follow road through to Hamilton Creek subdivision. Right on Crescent Moon. Right on Blue Moon Trail. Home is on right.
Call me to arrange a private showing of this unique Colorado mountain property.
Nestled along the hillside and facing west toward Buffalo Mountain, Thorn Peak and the entire Gore Range sit the luxury enclaves of Hamilton Creek.
This special neighborhood of single family homes is convenient to nearby Silverthorne – yet feels secluded and private. World-class skiing, golfing, fishing, boating, dining, and shopping are just moments away by car, yet the Hamilton Creek neighborhood itself is a world apart.
Scroll down to see today’s Hamilton Creek Homes for Sale.
Each home in Hamilton Creek is positioned with special attention to the magnificent view corridors to the west. The majestic Gore Range is awe-inspiring in every season, as is the Blue River valley that unfolds below. Many homes in Hamilton Creek feature spacious outdoor decks and patios, complete with large hot tubs and outdoor seating areas, to enjoy the unspoiled vistas and breathtaking sunsets.
Lot sizes in Hamilton Creek vary from about 1/10 of an acre to nearly 5 acres with most homes sitting on parcels of approximately one-half acre. Homes range in size from a modest 2-bedrooms to sprawling estates of more than 5000 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 5 baths. The Hamilton Creek Homeowner’s Association owns more than 100 acres of dedicated common open space throughout the subdivision, as well, creating a unique, secluded feel.
The majority of properties here in Hamilton Creek are offered at 100% (not shared) ownership, however. Construction in Hamilton Creek began in the 1980s and continues today, so Hamilton Creek homes for sale feature a variety of finishes. Recently, Hamilton Creek has been home to some of the most luxurious and impressive new construction featured in Summit County’s prestigious Parade of Homes.
Hamilton Creek has both a Homeowner’s Association and a Metro District. Association fees at the time of this writing are $50 per year and include snow removal. The Metro District manages the water system, pumps the septic systems for each home on a three-year cycle, and maintains the roads and forests in Hamilton Creek. Learn more at the website for both the HOA and the Metro District: http://hamiltoncreek.org
Silverthorne is a popular mountain destination for locals, second-home owners and vacationers as it is straight up I-70 from Denver (and Denver International Airport).
Driving Directions: To access Hamilton Creek, drive north on Highway 9 through Silverthorne. Take a right on Hamilton Creek Road (at Silverthorne Elementary). Follow the road through to the Hamilton Creek subdivision, and enjoy the incredible views!
Nestled in a private setting less than one mile to Main Street, Corkscrew Flats Homes for Sale offer a sense of community and larger home sites, all within walking distance to town.
Breckenridge’s free shuttle service stops along Wellington Road, at the mouth of the subdivision, for easy access to the Breck Connect gondola and ski resort as well to the town core.
Main Street Breckenridge is all downhill from here, so take the easy walk down into town, about one-half mile along paved sidewalks, to enjoy shopping, dining, and nightlife, and know that you can always opt for the bus on the way home.
Scroll down below today’s Corkscrew Flats listings to learn more about this unique subdivision:
Luxury Breckenridge Homes for Sale along Corkscrew Drive
Each of the homes in Corkscrew Flats is newer construction (beginning in 2006) and is arranged alongside a nice long street, which ends in a cul-de-sac – so there is no drive through traffic. A walking path connects you to the paved sidewalk leading to town. The French Creek runs along one side of the neighborhood, as well, completing the picturesque setting.
Corkscrew Flats is comprised of 38 parcels in total, with lot sizes ranging from 0.3 acres to 0.8 acres. Properties here are all single family homes, ranging in size from 2500 sq. ft. to 4000 sq. ft. (Three bedrooms to five bedrooms.)
Floor plans in Corkscrew Flats are open and cleverly designed to capture the view corridors and the abundance of natural light. Finishes are rich and inviting in a natural rustic mountain style. Expect to find soaring windows, stone and granite, heavy timbers, and rustic metal accents. Inside: gourmet chef’s kitchens with granite countertops and high-end stainless steel appliances.
Corkscrew Flats homes take full advantage of the views and outdoor living, as well, with well-placed decks and patios.
The subdivision of Corkscrew Flats features more than 14 acres of open space thoughout the subdivision, plus nearby access to miles upon miles of biking and hiking trails in the Golden Horseshoe area.
Like other Breckenridge properties, homes for sale in Corkscrew Flats are subject to a 1% transfer tax. At the time of this writing, association fees are just $550 per year and cover common area maintenance.
Corkscrew Flats Homes and the Vacation Rental Market
Short term and long term rentals are permitted here in Corkscrew Flats. As you might imagine, homes for sale in Corkscrew Flats can potentially do very well in both of these rental markets. The subdivision is also home to several long-time locals.
Learn more about renting your Corkscrew Flats home when you aren’t in town to enjoy it yourself. And contact me for historic or projected income for any properties you might be interested in.
Corkscrew Flats Homes for Sale in Breckenridge
When there are Corkscrew Flats homes for sale in Breckenridge, they will appear below. If you have particular interest in this area of Breckenridge, please send me an email or give me a call so I can be on the lookout for new listings on your behalf.
Contact me anytime to learn more about this popular community or to schedule a showing and private property tour.
Southside Estates offers true exclusivity, featuring just six beautifully treed lots over 24 acres. Individual parcels are large and many feature incredible views of the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort. Owners and guests may hike, bike, snowshoe, and cross country ski directly from the back door.
Positioned as it is just over the hill from the Breckenridge Ice Rink, owners and guests in Southside Estates are able to walk into town during the summer on a forested hiking path. Or hop in the car and be on Main Street in moments.
The land parcels of Southside Estates are outlined in green, from Summit County’s GIS mapping tool. Note their size and relation to Main Street Breckenridge.
To reach Southside Estates from Breckenridge and Highway 9, take the first left (on Southside Drive) after the stoplight near the Conoco on the south side of town.
Association fees at the time of this writing are around $210 per month and include common area maintenance and subdivision snow removal.
Homes here are large and feature the lavish amenities you would expect from the finest custom homes in Breckenridge, depending on the property and ranging from sprawling gourmet kitchens, home theaters, home fitness centers, hot tubs, saunas, wine rooms, and expansive outdoor living areas.
At the time of this writing, only two of the six estates have been built on.
Nearby Recreation and Amenities
As mentioned above, Southside Estates is just over the ridge from Breckenridge’s Stephen C. West Ice Arena where patrons enjoy an outdoor ice rink, as well as an all-season indoor rink. Hiking and biking trails are never far from away in the Southside subdivision.
Southside Estates Luxury Homes for Sale
Properties in luxurious Southside are rare. When homes here are available for sale, they will appear below. If you have particular interest in this community, please let me know. I’ll make sure to notify you about any new listings in this area.
Bekkedal Homes for Sale offer seclusion, privacy, and a deep-in-the-forest feel, despite their position just moments from downtown Breckenridge.
‘Bekkedal’ is the Norwegian word to describe a mountain valley “where water flows,” which certainly is fitting considering Bekkedal’s lovely positioning among the Blue River, where owners enjoy private fishing rights.
Towering pines and spruce – and majestic views – grace the lots of Bekkedal, located between the south end of Breckenridge and the town of Blue River.
A selection of Bekkedal properties enjoy riverfront views, others enjoy views of Goose Pasture Tarn. Owners and guests here in Bekkedal have the distinct pleasure of enjoying the peace and quiet from the privacy of their expansive decks and outdoor living areas. They can cross-country-ski, snowshoe, hike and mountain bike right from their property. All of this, within 1.5 miles from downtown Breckenridge.
There are 62 distinct lots in the subdivision of Bekkedal, as well as two tracts of open space along the Blue River, totaling about 12 acres. That means Bekkedal residents have private fishing rights along this section of the Blue.
Lot sizes here range from one-half acre to 3.5 acres, with most lots between 1 and 2 acres in size.
As is common with subdivisions of this vintage – the design and style of homes vary widely – from simple cabins to elaborate luxury custom homes. Finished homes range from 1000 square feet to 5000 square feet. Some of these older homes may offer opportunity for renovating and earning equity, as Bekkedal is such a desirable subdivision. According to the subdivision’s architectural guidelines, no separate guesthouse or caretaker units are allowed, but short-term and long-term rentals are permitted.
Because Bekkedal lies just outside the town limits of Breckenridge, there is no Breckenridge transfer tax on properties here. Properties in Bekkedal are on well and septic. Natural gas is available.
HOA fees, as of this writing, are just $50 per year. Bekkedal’s homeowners association maintains an informative website here: http://www.bekkedal.org/ with more information on covenants, rental guidelines, and architectural design guidelines, as well as budget and meeting minutes.
Bekkedal Homes for Sale and the Short Term Rental Market
When homes are available in this popular subdivision, they will appear below. If Bekkedal is particularly interesting to you, please let me know, and I’ll make sure to keep you updated with new properties as soon as they come on the market. You might also like: Warrior’s Mark Homes for Sale (just over the mountain from Bekkedal) and Blue River Homes for Sale (just South of Bekkedal). Or see Peak 7 Homes for Sale.
Sunbeam Estates offers an ideal location for luxury homebuyers who love to be close to everything Breckenridge has to offer.
Nestled among tall trees on the south side of town, between the ice arena and Carter Park, Sunbeam Estates offers an easy walk to both of these recreational hubs, as well as to the boutique shopping, award-winning dining, and year-round festivals and events on Main Street Breckenridge.
Learn more about this prestigious subdivision below today’s listings of Sunbeam Estates Luxury Homes for Sale.
With 43 parcels in all, lot sizes in Sunbeam Estates range from 0.2 acres to 1.7 acres. Single family home sizes range from around 2800 square feet to 6700 square feet. Many of the luxury homes here feature ski area views and are not far from Breckenridge’s free shuttle route for easy access to the ski area and connections to the rest of Summit County. On its south end, Sunbeam Estates is also home to a popular 9000 square foot, 12-bedroom lodge/chalet on a larger, 3-acre parcel. (Little Mountain Lodge, located at 98 Sunbeam Drive.)
The luxury homes in Sunbeam Estates are all custom builds, and many feature the luxury amenities a discerning Breckenridge buyer has come to expect: wine room, fitness room, gourmet chef’s kitchen with top of the line appliances (Subzero, Wolf, Viking), outdoor kitchens and outdoor seating areas. Architecture and designs make clever use of view corridors and natural light.
Building in Sunbeam Estates began in 1992, so this luxury subdivision features newer homes than some of its nearby counterparts… The Weisshorn,Warrior’s Mark West and Gold Flake, for example. Exteriors feature rich natural elements, from soaring timber trusses to meticulous masonry.
Nearby Recreation and Amenities
As mentioned above, Sunbeam Estates is just across Boreas Pass Road from Breckenridge’s Stephen C. West Ice Arena where patrons enjoy an outdoor ice rink, as well as an all-season indoor rink. Hiking and biking trails wind through the Sunbeam Estates subdivision and connect to main arteries near Carter Park as well as beyond the ice rink.
Carter Park features several nice playgrounds, in conjunction with adjacent Breckenridge Elementary, along with picnic tables, four outdoor tennis courts, and a day lodge, which is available for rent through the town of Breckenridge. Visitors also love Carter Park’s sand volleyball in the summer and Breck’s most popular sledding hill in the winter.
Sunbeam Estates Luxury Homes for Sale
Properties in luxurious Sunbeam Estates don’t come along too often. It is one of the most coveted areas in Breckenridge. When homes in Sunbeam Estates are available for sale, they will appear below. If you have particular interest in this community, please let me know. I’ll make sure to notify you about any new listings in this area.
Today I want to share with you some questions to ask before buying a luxury home in a mountain community, whether you plan to make it your primary residence or to occupy it as a second home or a rental/investment property.
Question 1: What is the real estate market outlook for luxury homes in this particular area/subdivision?
Generally speaking, luxury homes in resort communities, such as Summit County, are poised for long-term appreciation. After all, they are located in areas that are consistently popular among visitors and other second homeowners, so there’s consistently high demand.
In addition, the supply of homes in resort areas like ours is limited. Of the 619 square miles that make up Summit County, about 80% is public land – managed by either the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. That leaves just 20% of land in Summit County to be privately owned and managed.
So, when you own a piece of property in Summit County, you buy something with great appeal and strong potential for resale value. You can realize strong appreciation over the long term. And, in the meantime, you get to enjoy the property, the vacations, and the tax advantages.
Of course, no one can predict the future and what the real estate market will do, but we can have a good understanding of the past. As of this writing, prices are trending upward. See today’s market stats.
Of course, all of our luxury properties and luxury subdivisions have statistics individual to them. Please know that you can always request the latest Market Report for the subdivisions you are most interested in. I personally create these reports, which feature properties currently for sale, properties under contract and sold properties, along with year-to-date and historic sales and trends. (Simply email me to request these.)
Specifically, you’ll want to understand the absorption rate for the luxury home market in the area you’re looking. Many times, the absorption rate for luxury homes is different from the market as a whole simply because you are among a smaller pool of buyers. It’s very possible for there to be a seller’s market for homes under $1M, while homes of $2M are experiencing a buyer’s market. A buyer’s market means a greater likelihood that you can negotiate on price and inspection items. You may even have more say over contract dates and deadlines.
Question 2: Have you considered all of the neighborhoods and areas that might appeal to you?
A good Realtor will be able to provide information and guidance about additional communities and subdivisions that may fit your criteria, simply by learning about your lifestyle and the type of homes you are looking for.
When we first start talking, expect to have a long conversation about exactly what you are looking for. Are you interested in a historic property? New construction? In town or on a larger land parcel? Are gravel roads okay? I have a series of about 20 questions to get us started. We’ll talk about the real estate market trends in each of these various subdivisions as well as any new development and revitalization projects that may be on the horizon so you can get a sense for not only the current value but the future value, as well.
You’ll also want to make sure that you are considering the needs of everyone who will be using the home. Especially if you have in mind that the home will be in your family for generations, it’s important to consider the needs of all. If you have a number of older people in your party with any health concerns, you might want to choose a home at a slightly lower elevation, for example, or you might wish to look at properties with at least one bedroom on the main floor – or perhaps an elevator.
Question 3: Who designed the home, and who built the home?
Ideally, you’ll be working with a luxury agent who is familiar with the work and the reputation of the area’s custom home builders and architects. When I preview new luxury homes that come on the market, it’s the first question I ask, if I don’t know already – because it’s important.
Even if the home is not new construction and is outside the warranty, a luxury builder with a stellar reputation will do what’s necessary to keep that reputation and will often, at the very least, help you troubleshoot and solve problems. If you ever want to add on to the home, or do a remodel, it’s nice to have this information, as well.
Question 4: What community amenities/features are most important to you?
Just as with any property, when shopping for luxury, the “bones” of the home are going to be of utmost importance. You want solid, quality construction on a parcel of land that offers good exposure. You want a good floor plan, perhaps a timeless design.
Beyond these basics, there are bound to be particulars that the home does not have, but if these are easy to integrate, it doesn’t have to be dealbreaker. A home can often be retrofitted with modern technology (see below.)
It’s common in our luxury market to have stellar views and premiere locations, along with home theater, fitness room, wine room, gourmet chef’s kitchens with top of the line appliances (Viking, Subzero, Wolf), private hot tubs and outdoor seating areas with gas firepits. Expect to see outdoor kitchens, spa baths and steam showers.
Heating on luxury homes in Summit County is nearly always in-floor radiant and the building process here so prizes environmental building standards that you can expect to see a number of ecological considerations and features, especially in newer construction. These include passive and active solar, as well as “smart” features that allow owners to control lighting and window shades, temperature and humidity, electronics and entertainment, security systems and more either remotely or via an ipad on site (or both).
Again, some older luxury homes can be retrofitted with this technology fairly reasonably, but this might be something you want to get an opinion on before you purchase. One thing that can be difficult to retrofit: an antiquated heating system. If the luxury home has older heating systems or even certain in-floor heat tubing (a couple have had class action lawsuits), you might want to opt for a home that’s newer and potentially more efficient.
New construction is very popular in our luxury market, in part because it provides the latest in trends and technology, which can be particularly useful if you are not occupying the home full time.
A good luxury agent will help you understand what to look for in a luxury custom home, from the mechanical room to the roof design, and what problems you could potentially run into down the line.
And that leads us to another question: Nearly all luxury buyers have grappled with whether they would be better off buying land and building a custom home themselves. Your luxury realtor will be able to give you an idea of the current building costs and timelines as well as the general procedures you can expect in your area.
Question 5: What are your likely costs for home care?
The HOA fees for single family homes will likely be fairly minimal, as there is often little in terms of common amenities and services. There are luxury subdivisions in our Colorado resort market with higher HOA fees, charged monthly (Cottages at Shock Hill, Columbia Lode, Angler Mountain Ranch cabins, Peak Ten Bluffs, and Muggins Gulch, for example) because they provide true lock-and-leave convenience and some even provide an on-site property manager. Services vary for each of these communities but they can be a nice option for luxury homeowners who come and go frequently throughout the year.
Keep in mind that, with so many second homes in our area, property management and home care is big business, so it’s fairly easy to make any property into one you can easily lock-and-leave – as long as you have a contract with a good caretaker who can make sure to take care of heat tape, snow removal, roof inspections and basic maintenance on your home. You can even have someone stock the fridge before you get here. I’ll help you with recommendations on professionals like this when the time comes.
Question 6: Do you wish to rent the home when you aren’t here, and, if so, what is the potential for rental income?
Luxury mountain homes in Colorado make for popular short-term rentals, and this rental income can help to offset the expenses of your mountain home. Among luxury homes in our community, it’s not unusual to see gross rental incomes in the six figures, and there are a great variety of vacation rental management companies and home care companies that can help you maintain and easily facilitate your mountain rentals, for a fee.
If you think you might want to rent your luxury home on a short-term basis, make sure you talk to your Realtor about this before the search begins. Some of the exclusive luxury subdivisions in our market restrict short term rentals, per the HOA.
In a resort market like ours, rental income can vary greatly, across the seasons and across the years. When we start looking at luxury mountain homes together, I can provide you with historic or projected rental income and we can talk about the outlook for the future in a particular subdivision. Read more about potential rental income or download my Summit County Buyer’s Handbook to learn more.
Question 7: What are the potential tax advantages of owning a luxury home?
I’m careful not to give tax advice, but it’s important to discuss your plans for buying a luxury mountain home with both your financial advisor and your tax professional. Purchasing a luxury home in Colorado may allow you to take advantage of certain tax deductions, and – if you rent the home, you’ll be able to take advantage of even more. (Read my explanation of potential tax deductions for your mountain property.)
Question 8: Has the home been tested for radon?
Radon is an odorless and colorless gas from granite deposits in the earth that contain uranium. This radon gas can move into your home, causing potentially serious health effects, including cancer. Many homes in Summit County already have a system installed to mitigate this problem (read more about radon from Colorado Department of Public Health & the Environment), but if the home you’re looking at does not, it’s important to make a note of that ahead of time and to understand the likely costs and strategy for mitigation. Radon mitigation is routinely done on new construction, and there is generally a way to mitigate on existing homes, but costs and effectiveness will vary, depending on the way the home was constructed. Summit County has free radon test kits, and you can have a radon inspection as part of your inspection process before closing. We can talk about that more as the time comes, as well.
Question 9: Is the luxury home located in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI)?
A number of luxury homes in Summit County are in the Wildland Urban Interface: that zone that exists between unoccupied land and developed land where there is an increased risk of wildfires. If your home is located here, you could be subject to higher insurance premiums or even non-renewals or cancellation of homeowner’s insurance policies. We will make sure that your purchase offer includes a property insurance contingency, so you can verify that you will be able to find affordable insurance on the home.
As we look at homes, we will be looking at certain items to evaluate the home’s potential wildfire risk. The state of Colorado has published a comprehensive document with details on exactly how individual homeowners can reduce their risk, and we’ll talk about these details more as we start looking at prospective properties, but – among the considerations:
1. Roofing material. Wood and shake shingle roofs can be highly flammable. Instead, you’ll want asphalt shingles, metal sheets and metal shingles or tile, clay, concrete or slate shingles. Da Vinci and CeDUR are two companies that make synthetic shingles that closely resemble cedar shakes, and we are increasingly seeing these on new construction – and on roof replacements of high end luxury homes.
2. Defensible space. This is the area around the home that has been changed or modified to reduce the fire hazard. Wildfire experts set recommendations for tasks a homeowners should complete in Zone 1 (from 0 to 30 feet from the home); Zone 2 (from 30 to 50 feet), and Zone 3 (100 feet from the home.) See the publication noted above for specific recommendations in these areas in regard to tree spacing, pruning of tree branches, etc.
If you see that the home will require some fire mitigation after you take possession, it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker (provided you can get reasonably priced property insurance on the home), but it’s a good idea for you to know what tasks may lie ahead. These tasks can range from simple and free to complex and costly – especially considering the cost of cutting and removing a single tree on your property can exceed $100.
Question 10: Are you planning to pay cash or finance?
Approximately 43% of the transactions in our market are paid in cash, but with interest rates low, many people choose to leverage their investment and finance. As a luxury buyer, you likely have existing relationships with loan professionals, but if you need a recommendation to a few good local lenders, just say the word.
With luxury condos, a local lender can help make for a smoother transaction in part because the underwriter will need to approve the complex and a local lender will already know which buildings are approved. Luxury single family homes in our market do not tend to have the same hurdles. Still our market does have its idiosyncrasies when it comes to financing. For example, right now, appraisals are taking an unusually long time so you want to make sure your lender is aware (and that your Realtor and lender are communicating), so everyone can understand what is realistic in terms of appraisal dates and closing dates.
It’s important to talk with your lender early in the process – even before you start looking for your second home – because a pre-approval letter will strengthen any offer you write. It’s highly likely that you will need to furnish some kind of letter from a lender early in the process of buying a luxury mountain home, or a proof of funds if you are paying cash.
As you know, with loans on a luxury property, even a fraction of a point can cost you or save you thousands over the life of the loan, so it’s nice to have some time to shop around, and perhaps get a recommendation on a lender who is based locally.
Question 11: Who will you be using as your Realtor?
Ideally, you will work with someone who understands the unique trends in the luxury home market. A realtor with contacts and experience in the luxury homebuilding industry can help you after the sale, as well, in case you’d like to do some future updates. A Realtor who is constantly showing and previewing luxury homes will help you to know where the best homes are for your unique situation and needs.
Again, I work alongside my husband, Ty Cortright, a great deal. He has 20 years of experience with some of the finest luxury homes in Summit County and, as we narrow down the choices on a custom home, it’s nice to call him in to walk through the homes with us. He lends a very valuable perspective on everything from the mechanical room to the roof design and everything in between. He can help point out the advantages and disadvantages of various features and is a great resource for my clients, from that initial walkthrough to long after the sale.