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.
Pines at 4 OClock homes for sale feature easy, convenient access to both Breckenridge Ski Resort and the town of Breckenridge. True ski in, ski out, owners and guests in the Pines simply point their skis down the run to the Snowflake Lift, and then ski home via the gentle Four O’clock ski run.
Pines at 4 OClock is comprised of 21 townhomes, 4 duplexes, 7 single family homes, and, at the time of this writing, one vacant parcel. Additionally, the subdivision has four tracts of open space totaling a little over an acre to contribute to the feeling of privacy and seclusion, especially with the towering pine trees in and around this sub.
Scroll down past these listings to learn more about this subdivision.
Single family homes range from 3 bedrooms/3 baths to 6 bedrooms/6 baths. The largest parcels here are around .8 acres.
Completed in 1996, townhomes in Pines at 4 O Clock range from 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and 2200 square feet to 4 bedrooms, 4 baths and 2600 square feet. Many units feature decks with views and private outdoor hot tubs.
HOA fees vary with the size of the property. At the time of this writing, fees for townhomes range from $450 and $550 per month and include Cable TV, Snow Removal, Trash Pickup and Water/Sewer.
In the summertime, the ski run becomes a wide, clear path that connects to area trailheads, or provides a smooth walk into town.
The Pines at Four O’Clock is on the free shuttle route, providing easy access year round to town (downtown Breckenridge is about a mile downhill). The shuttle actually stops at Grandview and Ski Hill Road, which is just a short walk away.
The Pines enjoys close proximity to the Breckenridge Nordic Center, as well.
Like other properties in the town of Breckenridge, Pines at Four O’Clock properties are subject to a 1% transfer tax.
Pines at 4 O’Clock and the Short Term Rental Market
The Pines at 4 OClock Homes for Sale – Today’s Listings
When there are Pines at 4 OClock homes for sale, they will appear below. Feel free to contact me if this area is particularly interesting to you, and I will immediately notify you of new properties as they come on the market. I’m also happy to provide additional market data for this subdivision as well as surrounding properties.
Wildernest condos for sale are known for their good values, gorgeous views and plentiful trails for hiking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing.
Located on the hillside that you see on the right as you travel I-70 from Silverthorne to Frisco, Wildernest is home to a variety of condos and townhomes, popular among locals, long-term renters and short term renters/vacationers.
Scroll down below the listings to learn more about Wildernest Condos for Sale.
Even with the relatively high density of Wildernest, a great number of these properties maximize view corridors and many back to open space and national forest.
Here is a map of the area from our Summit County GIS tool, so you can see what I mean. Wildernest is the entire unshaded area. The area shaded in light green is National Forest (White River National Forest.). Dark green depicts the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. Pink is the town of Silverthorne.
So, while you are centrally located and among friends and neighbors, the forest, with its network of trails, is never far away.
From this vantage point above Silverthorne, you will enjoy magnificent views of Lake Dillon, Keystone Ski Resort, as well as the majestic 14ers, Grays and Torreys. At dawn and dusk, you’ll note the distant ribbon of headlights and taillights descending from Eisenhower on I-70, across the valley and on the other side of Silverthorne.
While there are exceptions, Wildernest is comprised mostly of condos, townhomes, and duplexes. Most of the single family homes in this area are located in Mesa Cortina, including Cortina Sub, Mesa Cortina West and Cortina Ridge.
The free Summit Stage bus route travels up Ryan Gulch Road, the main artery of Wildernest, frequently. (See the current Wildernest Loop bus schedule here. ) This bus can connect you into the town of Silverthorne, where you can connect to the rest of Summit County, including each of Summit’s world-class ski resorts.
Condominium construction in Wildernest began in the early 1970s with properties that are still popular today, including Silver Queen, Snowbird, and Sundance Lodge. There are homes in Wildernest that date back more than a decade earlier.
Wildernest condos for sale offer some of the best values, per square foot, in Summit County. And many of the complexes, including Timber Ridge and Buffalo Ridge/Buffalo Village offer some of the best amenities in the county, as well, from pools and hot tubs to tennis courts and racquetball.
Wildernest properties in general are popular among locals, as well as in the short term/vacation market and the long-term rental market. They tend to provide sold value, both for purchase and rental.
by Susie Cortright, Broker Associate, RE/MAX Properties of the Summit, RSPS, PSA
Do you spend your free time scrolling through online listings of cozy ski condos – or second homes perched on ridgelines, enveloped in powder? Do you routinely imagine yourself there, taking it all in, steam rising from your outdoor hot tub as you enjoy the life—or at least the occasional weekend—of retreat and restoration?
It might be time to consider buying a second home in Colorado.
As a Realtor, certified Resort & Second Home Property Specialist (RSPS), and a long-time Breckenridge local, it’s my privilege to give you some insider info – both the short- and long-term advantages of buying a second home in Colorado, as well as some important cautions and considerations.
First, the positives…
Advantages to Buying a Second Home in Colorado
1. Possibility for Long-Term Appreciation
There are two reasons that vacation properties like those in Summit County are generally considered to be poised for appreciation: One, they are located in areas that are popular among visitors and other vacation homeowners, and, two, the supply of homes here is limited.
Of Summit County’s 619 square miles, about 80 percent of it is public land, managed by either the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management. That means only 20 percent of land in Summit County is privately owned and managed. (Source).
Once you own a piece of this paradise, you can realize the appreciation over the long term. All while you are enjoying that aforementioned hot tub.
And while no one has a crystal ball and real estate valuations can be affected by any number of events outside our control, certainly, at this time, prices are trending upward. In 2016, across Summit County, we saw a 7.9% increase in Average Sold Price. Breckenridge’s Average Sold Price was up 9.4% and Keystone’s was up 9.1%. (Read the latest market stats.)
2. Potential for Rental Income
Own a vacation property in a desirable area, and you have the added benefits of being able to short-term rent the property when you aren’t in town to enjoy it yourself.
In our resort market, vacation homes are really best thought of as lifestyle purchases, and the rental income is best thought of as something to offset your expenses.
There are ways to maximize your rental income however–by finding the right property, choosing the right vacation rental management company, and making the property available during peak rental times, for example.
As someone who studies rental income from various listed properties, I have seen a number of increases in year-over-year gross rental figures. One Ski Hill Place and ski in, ski out homes in Breckenridge seem to be doing particularly well in the rental market and occupancy rates are high across a great variety of properties.
As Denver and its surrounding communities continue to grow, many of these Coloradans are spending extended weekends and longer vacations in the High Country. Summit County is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the rising population in Denver and the rest of the Front Range. We are, after all, less than a two-hour drive away—and a world apart.
Another nice thing about purchasing a second home in a highly desirable area: there are plenty of people and organizations to help make the process easy for you. And if you choose to offer your second home on the short-term rental market, there are a great variety of solutions to help you take care of the tasks associated with renting it out.
A word of caution: Make sure to discuss your plans for renting out the property with your Realtor before you begin looking, especially if you are considering single family homes. Some subdivisions/HOAs prohibit short-term rentals altogether.
If you do plan to rent out your second home it’s important to be aware that rental income can vary greatly – across the four seasons, and across the years. I can provide you with any available figures about historic or projected rental income, but these past figures may not predict the future.
It’s important to note that, on many Breckenridge and Summit County residential properties, buyers will realize a cash flow only with a substantial down payment, and, even then, they may have a property that just breaks even – a “cash flow neutral.”
Even so, keep in mind that your equity in the property will increase as you continue to pay your mortgage. And if the property also increases in value while you own it, you can gain considerable equity. There may also be tax advantages, which we’ll discuss in a moment.
So, what kind of rental income can you expect?
The answer depends on the property and on what kind of marketing and property management you employ. Again, I can always get rental income projections for you from property management companies. But here’s some basic information to help guide your decision.
Generally speaking, if you want to offer a property for short-term rental in Summit County, we’re going to be looking for those properties with past annual gross rental income between 5% and 10% of the purchase price. (More if we can find it.)
Consider that property management companies will take 25% to 50% of your gross rental income as their fee. (I have a resource to help you navigate those companies/fees, and I’ll share it with you as we get started down that path.) Depending on the location of your unit, you also have the option of running your property management yourself, through sites such as VRBO.com, but then you are using your own time and money to market the property, so there’s some costs associated with that, as well, if only opportunity costs.
I am not a tax advisor and this is not tax advice (so discuss this with your tax professional), but I can tell you that purchasing a second home in Colorado may allow you to take advantage of certain tax deductions. If you choose to rent out his home, you will be able to take advantage of more deductions.
If you use your second home primarily for your own enjoyment (in other words, you rent the home for fewer than 14 days each year), you can deduct your property taxes and your mortgage interest, just like you do with your primary residence, as long as the debt secured by these homes (combined) does not exceed $1.1 million.
If you use your second home as an investment property and rent it for more than 14 days you are required to claim the income but can also deduct a number of expenses related to the rental activity, as well as depreciation. This is the deduction that allows for wear and tear on the home and it can result in significant tax savings.
If the second home is an investment property, you can also take advantage of a Section 1031 Exchange by which you can purchase a second investment property without paying tax on the sale of the first property. (The payment of this tax is deferred.)
Again, you’ll want to speak with a tax professional and/or a Qualified Intermediary (for 1031 exchanges). I have some good contacts if you need them.
4. Second Homes Lend a True Sense of Community.
Why do people choose a vacation home, rather than renting someplace new each time? Because it gives them a stake in the community they love. As a homeowner, you get to know the neighbors, the shop owners, the bartenders, the grocery store checkers. You are living like a local whenever you are here.
Or maybe you’re thinking ahead. Many people in our marketplace find a ski condo or second home while they are living elsewhere with the idea that they will eventually retire here, either in the same property or a trade-up property.
This consistent vacation home can give true cohesiveness to your family in a peaceful piece of paradise. This is a place for everyone to get together, away from the distractions of everyday life. On some visits, you might invite friends and family along. For others, maybe it’s just the immediate family. In any case, the relationships forged in a vacation home are priceless. Such a home represents both a reason and a place to get together.
Especially with larger homes, many people purchase with the idea that this will be a legacy home where their families – immediate and extended – will continue to come and use as a respite for years and generations to come. Again, hard to put a price on that.
5. Quick & Easy Vacations.
When you have a second home, it’s much easier to make the vacation actually happen. If your cozy clothes and skis are in your Summit County second home (along with your mountain bike and kayak for the summertime) you are ready for adventure any time. Not to mention the plates, bowls, flour, sugar, salt, etc.
Hop in the car or on a plane and you’re a world away in no time, without having to worry about bringing along all of your gear – or renting it when you arrive.
So all of this sounds pretty good so far. But I always like to make sure would-be buyers understand the expenses and any potential downside to buying a second home in Colorado.
Cautions and Considerations when Buying a Second Home in Colorado
1. Real Estate Values Can Fluctuate.
Like all investments, real estate prices can rise and fall. As there are so many variables that affect a resort real estate market, no one can guarantee you that your second home will appreciate and certainly can’t guarantee that it will appreciate at any particular rate. All we can go by are historic figures and our knowledge of the past dynamics in our unique real estate market.
2. Financing can be (a bit) Costlier/Trickier.
On second homes and investment properties, most lenders are going to require at least 25% down, though there are exceptions. I recently met with a lender who can offer Investment Occupancy loan-to-value ratios of 85% and Second Home Occupancy loan-to-value ratios of 90% to qualified buyers.
Also, if you are looking at ski condos for your second home, note that any condos a lender may classify as a “condotel” or “resort condominium” can potentially be more difficult to lend on.
Most of the loan programs we see on these types of properties are 5/1, 7/1, 10/1 ARMs and 10- and 15-year fixed rates. Just recently, a lender entered our marketplace, however, who can offer conventional 30-year lending on certain condo projects, including a number of those with an on-site front desk. We will talk more about your options here and I can introduce you to lenders, if necessary, as we begin working together.
On a related note, your homeowner’s insurance may be a bit higher on your second home. Renting the property may affect your rates, as well. Your insurance company may also have some additional requirements for using the property as a second home. For example, if your home is worth $500,000 or more, you might need to purchase a security system that automatically notifies someone if the temperature falls below a certain level. In the case of condos, most of the time you will just need to get contents and liability coverage for your individual unit.
3. There are a Variety of Expenses to Consider.
Before you buy, it’s important to be aware of these (sometimes hidden) costs involved in buying a second home in Colorado.
HOA fees. The HOA fees for single family homes tend to be fairly minimal, but for condos and townhomes, it’s typical to see HOA fees upwards of $400 a month. These fees might pay for snow removal, trash pickup, and cable TV, as well as on-site amenities such as hot tubs, fitness centers, pools, and saunas – or all of the above. Some Association’s fees even pay for electricity and heat.
Keep in mind that your HOA fees, whether a townhome, a condo or a single family home, will be included in your debt-to-income ratio, which your lender will use to determine whether you qualify for a loan.
The higher the HOA fees, the more amenities the condo probably provides. And that makes sense for some items, but maybe not others. If your complex has eight hot tubs and two pools, but you know you won’t ever use them, it makes no sense for you to pay for them (unless you plan to rent out your unit.) If they are part of your HOA dues, however, you will have to pay for them regardless of how much you use the amenities.
Utilities. One cost that sometimes takes people by surprise is the price of heating their Summit County property.
Anywhere it snows enough to ski through the middle of April, it’s going to cost a bit to heat your place.
The first home I owned here was a drafty little cabin at an elevation of 11,000 feet. We had a single wood-burning stove for heat, and so, in the depths of the wintry night—every single wintry night—I’d have to leave the cozy bed and feed the fire.
It was kind of romantic at this time of my life. (Not really. Not really at all.) But I truly don’t recommend it. Nowadays, there are a variety of ways to heat your home, and each has its benefits and its drawbacks. As your Summit County real estate agent, I will be able to educate you on a case by case basis.
Many of the newer properties are heated with in-floor radiant heat, which warms everything from the floor up. It keeps your toes nice and warm, even on the tile and slate floors. Gas fireplaces are common in Summit County condos, so if you have your heart set on one, I’m happy to make sure we look at the right properties.
Some of the newer construction is tremendously energy efficient. Some is not. And some of the older properties might be a little drafty. I’ve previewed units where my hair blew back when I stood at the window. (I won’t be showing you these unless, of course, you want a fixer-upper). The bottom line is that the price of heat should always be a consideration. As we look at properties together, we’ll pay close attention to the heating method and the utility cost for each.
Accommodation Unit License and Tax. Along with the rise in popularity of such sites as BookbyOwner.com and Airbnb.com, many resort towns are being a bit more deliberate in the ways that they license rentals and collect lodging taxes.
If you purchase a property in Breckenridge, for example, shortly after your closing, you will receive a mailing from the town’s Finance and Municipal Services Division. This letter will help you determine if you need an Accommodation Unit license and, if you do, what your fee will be. A license is required in the town of Breckenridge if you plan to rent the unit on the short-term market (“short term” is defined as fewer than 30 consecutive days.) Fees are based on the number of bedrooms and range from $75 to $175.
Real Estate Transfer Tax. Many resorts and ski towns (ours included) charge a real estate transfer tax. A real estate transfer tax is a one-time payment, made at the time of closing. The amount of real estate transfer tax in Summit County varies according to the location of the property purchased but will be either 0%, 1%, 1.5% or 2% of the total purchase price.
You can read more about this in my article Summit County Real Estate Transfer Tax, but here are the basics: Transfer tax is traditionally paid by the buyer, though this is negotiable. When we begin looking at homes, I’ll be sure to tell you the transfer tax rate of each property. In general, properties in Breckenridge and Frisco will have a 1% transfer tax. Some areas of Keystone have a 2% resort transfer fee and some areas of Copper Mountain have a 1.5% resort transfer fee.
Property Taxes. Many out-of-state buyers are pleasantly surprised at how low our Colorado property taxes are. For a complete explanation of how property taxes are calculated, read my in-depth post on the subject here.
Repairs, Maintenance, & Home Care While You Are Away. With second homes, you are not always on site if/when something goes wrong in the home. If you are renting out the home and have contracted with a vacation rental management company, these maintenance and repair issues will likely be part of your agreement.
If you are not renting out your home and the home is vacant when you are not here, our community does offer a variety of easy solutions, including a fairly large industry devoted to helping you with property management tasks – checking on the property, handling the snow removal, making sure heat tape is functioning property, etc.
There are also gadgets to help second home owners. One that we see on vacant homes in our marketplace is a Water Cop Leak Detection System. This is a series of sensors installed where leaks could occur (toilets, sinks, icemaker, etc.) If a leak is detected, the master plumbing valve is automatically turned off and a call is placed to the monitoring company, which then notifies you. Again, insurance companies like these types of systems and sometimes require them.
Especially in Summit County, it’s important to be aware of costs associated with snow plowing and snow shoveling. We’ve had so much snow this year, many of the area roofs needed to be cleared by mid-January and that comes at a cost.
4. Purchasing a Property in Place that is Somewhat Unfamiliar to You
Chances are, you know the real estate market and the most desirable communities near your primary residence. But vacation markets can have different real estate dynamics. There are also various other considerations depending on whether you want just a second home to share with family and friends – or you want something that will bring in some rental income.
That’s where a good local Realtor can really help you. She can help you find the best deals, the places that have historically seen the best appreciation, and the places where you will be happiest, based on your individual wants and needs. An informed Realtor is important, so choose a good one!
I hope this gives you a little sense for the pros and cons of buying a second home in Colorado. Of course, I’m always available to answer any additional questions you may have.
Warrior’s Mark Homes for sale offer a bit of everything. A variety of properties, from condos, townhomes, single family homes, and luxury homes – all with close proximity to town and to the slopes, and, now, ski-season shuttle service even to Upper Warrior’s Mark (White Cloud).
When there are Warrior’s Mark Homes for Sale in this area, they will appear below.
The first Warrior’s Mark subdivision began its development in the late 1960s, right around the time that the Weisshorn subdivision was beginning. The Warrior’s Mark subdivision was annexed into the town of Breckenridge in 2002.
In the lower section of Warrior’s Mark, condos, townhomes, and duplexes are more plentiful and properties tend to be more affordable on a per square foot basis than in Warrior’s Mark West and White Cloud.
Complexes in the lower Warrior’s Mark area include Now Colorado at Warrior’s Mark, Sundance at Warrior’s Mark Condos and Warrior’s Mark Townhomes.
Many of the properties in this area feature an easy walk to town and to the slopes.
Warrior’s Mark West and White Cloud
Warrior’s Mark West begins on the hill as it ascends Broken Lance Drive. Properties here are mostly single family homes and duplexes. Peak Ten Bluffs is in the vicinity, as is Warrior’s Preserve, an exclusive enclave of luxury homes.
A selection of homes on the western edge of Warrior’s Mark West can claim ski in, ski out access.
Some of the properties here face east, so they enjoy panoramic views of the town of Breckenridge. Others have ski area views, especially of Peaks 9 and 10.
Single family homes in the Warrior’s Mark area are custom-designed and vary from classic alpine to sleek contemporary; from small cabins to architectural masterpieces. Many of these larger custom homes feature the conveniences you would expect from a luxury mountain home: gourmet kitchens, wine rooms, bunk rooms, and outdoor living spaces.
Warrior’s Mark Area Amenities
Warrior’s Mark features a network of well-traveled footpaths that weave their way through the area. There is a path that connects to the Quicksilver Lift, as well as to Lehman Gulch and to the Lower Lehman run, where you can ski directly to the lift at the base of Peak 9.
Depending on your location in Warrior’s Mark, you could have ski in, ski out access, though, depending on your location, this could be for intermediate and expert skiers only.
Many of the properties in Warrior’s Mark, especially the lower portion, are within easy walking distance to town. Like other properties in the town of Breckenridge, a 1% real estate transfer tax applies.
Bus Service in Warrior’s Mark
The Brown Route of the Breckenridge Free Ride shuttle service services lower Warrior’s Mark every 15 minutes with stops at Mill Run, Trappeur Villas, Now Colorado, Flintstone Lane, Trafalgar, and Eagle Ridge.
Starting in December of 2016, the town of Breckenridge started a new shuttle service (at this time, slated for ski season only), to serve Upper Warrior’s Mark, an area also known as White Cloud. This Upper Warriors Mark Shuttle runs every 20 minutes and connects five stops throughout White Cloud with the Marriott (for easy ski area access), and the Ice Rink (for easy bus transfers).
Here are the individual complexes and subdivisions that lie within the Warrior’s Mark HOA.
Warrior’s Mark Homes and the Vacation Rental Market
As you might imagine, homes and condos in Warrior’s Mark tend to perform well in the short term vacation rental market, as well as in the long term rental market. It’s not unusual for the ski in, ski out homes on the west edge, bordering the ski area, to see gross rental revenues in excess of $100,000 per year.
Factors Contributing to Low Real Estate Inventory in Summit County
Much of the nation is experiencing low real estate inventory at the moment, and Summit County, Colorado, is no exception.
We are dealing with many of the same market forces as the rest of America, and we have a few additional. Here are the factors that are contributing to our low inventory market in Summit County.
1. Demand is High. Demand for Summit County properties is high and many properties that are available are selling quickly, especially in certain market segments. This high demand is partially due to Colorado’s population surge.
The Denver Post reports that Colorado added 100,986 people to its population between 2014 and 2015, making it the second-fastest growing state in the U.S. during that time. And the boom has continued. Much of that new Colorado population growth is happening along the front range, which is where 40% of our Summit County buyers come from, according to a Purchaser Profile Abstract compile by Land Title in November of 2016. (In case you’re curious, an additional 26% are local buyers and 34% are out of state buyers.)
Buyers are calling, from Denver and Colorado Springs, along with many other states (chief among them, Illinois, Texas, and Florida) even in this low inventory market. That means some market segments of well-priced properties are going under contract very quickly – particularly those in the price range of $0 to $600K. Other properties, such as luxury properties over $2 Million, are staying on the market a little longer. It’s important to note that, while some of our market segments are very low on inventory, others have a bit more to choose from. Let’s discuss what the market is like for your individual wants and needs.
2. Rental Income is Strong and Occupancy Rates are High. Summit County continues to be a desirable world class resort destination. With properties renting so well to vacationers, some would-be sellers are perfectly content to sit on the property and collect the rental income, especially if the property is owned outright and there is no debt service to impede cash flow. Even in the long-term rental market, the declining number of properties available (in part because so many homes have left the long term rental market to join the short term rental market) is causing rising rents. (According to a study by Turbo Tenant and published in the Summit Daily News in January 2017,the average long-term winter rental rate for a 2-bedroom in Breckenridge is $1,987.) And, in this market, after the income is counted from either short-term rentals or long-term rentals, the investor is making additional money on the appreciation of the home.
3. Low Interest Rates Help Buyers Buy. Low interest rates are helping buyers afford homes they might not otherwise be able to. This reduces supply as more people are able to get into the available homes. Interest rates are projected to rise somewhat in the next year, but in the current financial climate, those low interest rates are still making it possible for buyers to afford higher priced properties for the same monthly payment.
4. Low Interest Rates on Current Home. If a would-be seller has locked in on a low interest rate, whether with their purchase or through a subsequent refinance, they may be more easily convinced to keep it and stay in the property they are in.
5. Limited Supply for the Trade-Up Market. In a low inventory market, people who might want to sell and move up or into another home might not see any replacement properties that compel them to move. And so they are content to sit and wait for new properties to come on the market.
6. Anticipation of Price Appreciation. Many would-be sellers who are watching the rise in Average Sold Prices are anticipating a continued increase. If these property owners aren’t particularly motivated to sell, they can wait. They don’t want to sell too fast and leave money on the table so, instead, they wait and watch the market.
7. Negative Equity and Rising Prices of Replacement Properties. In the not-do-distant past, negative equity was a problem and was keeping properties off the market. If a would-be seller bought their home at the top of the market, they may have paid more for their home than it could be sold for. Or perhaps they took the opportunity to refinance. Now that just about every segment of our market has fully recovered, we are not seeing the negative equity so much but, as prices rise, so do the prices on replacement properties that these people might want to move into.
8. Not Enough New Construction. During the downturn, many homebuilders left the area – or temporarily worked in a different industry. As the market recovers, the return to building can be slow, and the labor pool is most certainly diminished, which can mean higher prices in all facets of construction. Where our labor pool may sometimes be supplemented by that of the front range, this is less often the case now, as the Denver housing market is as hot or hotter than our own. We are seeing labor shortages, in particular, in carpentry (especially framers and timberworkers), and plumbing and electrical contractors. Higher prices from this labor shortage means that some new construction could be getting pushed off or becoming prohibitively expensive.
9. Changes in Capital Gains Tax Law. According to tax law ( Title 26, US Code, section 1014), if a property is owned jointly and one spouse were to die, there is what’s called a “stepped up basis.” If the real estate increased in value between the time of purchase and the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse is able to receive a “stepped up” basis, based on, according to tax code, the “fair market value of the property at the date of the decedent’s death.” That means that the real estate’s appreciation from the time the couple owned it to the time of the first spouse’s death will not be subject to real estate taxes. This part of the tax code can people more likely to wait until one spouse dies before they sell their home. Now, I’m not an accountant, and I’m very careful not to give tax advice, but if you think this might apply to you, it’s important to discuss it with your tax advisor. This website explains it well: Taxes After the Death of a Spouse, from MarketWatch.
10. The High Country Effect? Many people ask if our inventory is so low because of increased demand due to Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. While it’s true that this industry has changed many things in our state, and it has certainly had an effect on retail and warehouse space, which has a subsequent effect on residential space, it’s difficult to tell how much of Colorado’s population boom can be attributed to the fact that people can now legally smoke marijuana in their homes. Research findings are mixed on the subject, but researchers do tend to agree that it has increased tourism to our state. As more states legalize, we will likely see these effects begin to diminish.
How Long Will the Low Inventory Last?
Many financial experts say the low inventory will likely continue for awhile, but in a resort market like ours, we hope to get at least a bit of seasonal relief.
In many Summit County market segments, we are not only dealing with low inventory due to the reasons cited above, we also experience our typical seasonal low inventory that occurs during the winter months, as would-be sellers keep their properties in the short-term rental market during the peak times of year, so they can maximize their rental income.