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Buying a Second Home in Colorado

Buying a Second Home in Colorado

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

Summit County Real Estate Buyer's Handbook

Download Susie’s 13,500-word PDF, The Summit County Real Estate Handbook (Buyers Edition) for essential knowledge of real estate in Breckenridge and Summit County, written exclusively for buyers.

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.

Rental numbers will vary, again, due to location, amenities and time of year. Of course, ski in, ski out properties command the most each night, and so do properties with attractive amenities. (A hot tub is a must.) Here’s my collection of properties with particularly high short term rental income in relation to list price. It’s a good idea to bookmark that page. It’s changing all the time.

3. Potential Tax Advantages.

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.

I write about this in more detail here: Tax Deductions for Second Homes, but here’s a quick explanation:

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.)

In other words, you can use a 1031 exchange to defer taxes on the capital gain of the real estate, and you can use the depreciation deduction to help with your taxes on the property’s cash flow. Read Tax Advantages for Second Homes and my guide to 1031 Exchanges. IRS Publication 527 covers residential rental property, including vacation homes.

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.

Condotels and resort condos are those hybrid properties that have particular features like a hotel, but each unit is individually owned. They may have a front desk, for example, and offer concierge service and lavish amenities, just as you might expect in a luxury hotel. Some examples of resort condos in Breckenridge: Beaver Run Resort, Main Street Station , The Village at Breckenridge, BlueSky Breckenridge, One Ski Hill Place and Crystal Peak Lodge to name a few. We do have local lenders in our area, however, who have already approved many of these properties.

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.

summit county real estate handbook buyers guideAnd if you haven’t already, I heartily recommend you download my Summit County Real Estate Handbook – Buyer’s Edition. This is a 13,500 word guide that goes into more detail on these topics.

You might also enjoy:

Why is Inventory So Low?

Reasons behind Summit County's low housing inventory

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.

Summit County Colorado inventory levels

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.

Starting in the spring and on into the summer, we hope to see more properties coming on the market. Let’s make sure we have spoken and I know your wants and needs so you can be the first to know about properties of interest to you as soon as they come along. And read my tips for buyers on dealing with a low inventory market so you can make sure you’re prepared.

Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge

commercial real estate breckenridge

Commercial Properties in Breckenridge

Below, you’ll find the current active listings for Commercial Properties for Sale in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Please read the descriptions carefully, as some of these listings include the real estate only. Others include the business only, and others include real estate and the business. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at all or to get more information about any of the listings you see below. (Note that I do not personally handle leases for commercial real estate, but I can put you in touch with someone who specializes in commercial leases.)

Scroll down, below the listings, to read Important Considerations when Purchasing Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge.

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#S1006138 | Commercial
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
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Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
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#S1005979 | Commercial
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
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#S1006445 | Commercial
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
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#S1007014 | Commercial
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
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#S1003944 | Commercial
Listing Broker: Re/Max Properties/69
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#S390172 | Commercial
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
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#S1006475 | Commercial
Listing Broker: Coldwell Banker Mtn Properties
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#S1001697 | Commercial
Listing Broker: Coldwell Banker Mtn Properties
© 2017 Summit MLS, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.
The information being provided is for the consumer's non-commercial, personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumer may be interested in purchasing. The information provided is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. You may not reprint or redistribute the information, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of Summit Association of REALTORS®.
Summit MLS data last updated at November 20, 2017 7:38 PM MT

Considerations when Purchasing Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge

Commercial real estate includes everything from retail and office buildings to apartment and mixed-use buildings to warehouses and industrial spaces.

If you are invested in residential real estate, it might be a great time to diversify your holdings by looking at commercial real estate investments. And while most real estate buyers are more familiar with the world of residential real estate, commercial real estate has a few key differences, and a few considerations to keep in mind:

Valuation of Commercial Real Estate

Residential properties are valued according to comps of similar nearby properties. But the value of a commercial property is going to be tied to its cash flow. When looking at commercial real estate opportunities, we will take a look at cap rates, net operating income, and the loan to value ratios of a property. With commercial real estate, these numbers can be easier to come by because you can take a look at the current owner’s financials.

Future Appreciation of Commercial Real Estate

Before you invest in a commercial property, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of future the town or neighborhood will have on a commercial level. In the town of Breckenridge, our vacancy rates for retail and restaurant space are currently experiencing historic lows. In addition, Breckenridge continues to grow as a community and to expand its year-round attractions and tourist appeal.

Potential for Risk and Reward in the Commercial Sector

Commercial properties may bring greater reward in terms of annual returns, but they may also pose more risk. Commercial properties often also take more up front capital, and you run the risk of having large cash outlays as you go, depending on the size of the commercial property. You might need a new roof, for example, or a new water heater or furnace.

Because a commercial property is open to the public, you’ll run a greater risk of someone getting injured on the property, or of the property becoming damaged in some way. (I can refer you to good local insurance agents who can help you get the right insurance coverage for the property.)

On the flip side, commercial properties can also help you to minimize your risk because, for example, if you have five tenants, and one tenant is late on the rent, only 20% of the rent is late. In addition, if one of those tenants leaves, you still have income from the other four tenants.

Remember, also, that commercial real estate leases tend to be longer in duration – 2- to 3-year leases, say, rather than the 1-year leases common in residential real estate. This can give you a more dependable and stable cash flow.

In addition, commercial properties are often well-maintained by tenants because the property represents the face of their business. And unless you own restaurant space, there are unlikely to be service calls to you, the landlord in the middle of the night, since most businesses operate 8 to 5.

Property Management for Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge

Commercial property owners may have more tasks to manage on the property, with multiple leases and public safety considerations. If you will not be doing the property management yourself, or if you are going to be managing your commercial property from a distance, we can discuss your options and I can refer you to reliable property managers in the Breckenridge area with a proven track record for managing commercial properties.

Loans on Commercial Real Estate in Breckenridge

Just as with residential properties, it’s wise to find and speak with your lender before you make an offer on a commercial property. You’ll need to speak with a lender who specializes in commercial real estate. (I can refer you to local lenders in the Breckenridge area who specialize in lending on commercial properties.)

Keep in mind that a larger down payment is usually required for commercial real estate than for residential real estate: 30 percent or more. Many times, with commercial loans you will be looking at a balloon repayment. So you’ll pay interest and principal on, say, a 30-year mortgage at the stated interest rate, generally 3, 5, or 10 years and then repay the balance in a balloon payment. There may also be prepayment penalties in these kinds of loans. This commercial real estate calculator can be helpful during the initial planning stages: http://www.mortgagecalculator.org/calcs/commercial.php

Also keep in mind that the process of securing the loan for a commercial property can take longer than it does for residential properties.

Due Diligence in Breckenridge Commercial Real Estate

The Due Diligence process is often more in-depth (and lengthy) on a commercial real estate deal. When you purchase a residential property, there are a number of due diligence tasks you might perform, including an appraisal or property inspection. With a commercial property, you may do those due diligence tasks, as well as a great number of others. You may wish to request a variety of due diligence documents, for example, including current financials (ie. Annual Profit and Loss statements for the last 3 to 5 years, monthly Profit and Loss statements for the past 1 to 2 years, and a current Balance Sheet), plus fully executed leases, tenant estoppels statements, rent rolls, service contracts, utility bills, ADA compliance paperwork, and Phase I and Phase 2 site assessments, to name a few.

Before Making an Offer on Breckenridge Commercial Real Estate

Here are a few more considerations for commercial properties:

* Know the key metrics about a property. When we look at a commercial property, I’ll share with you a great tool for understanding and calculating the key real estate metrics, including Net Operating Income, Cap Rate, and Cash on Cash.

* Ask about vacancy rates. What kind of vacancy rate does the current owner experience? Is there other historic data available prior to the current owner? Learn as much as you can about the stability of current tenants. Are they happy and financially successful? Do they plan to renew their leases?

* How is the area zoned?

* How much are the property taxes? Property taxes for commercial real estate are higher than they are for residential real estate. (Read my detailed explanation of how Colorado property taxes are calculated: http://www.susiecortright.com/2015/02/12/summit-county-property-taxes/). When we start working together, I’ll go over the specific figures for each prospective property.

* Are the leases gross leases, triple net leases, or some variation? A Gross Lease is one in which the landlord pays all expenses, from property insurance to utilities. The only payment the tenant pays is the rent. A triple net lease (also seen as NNN lease) is one in which the tenant pays all real estate taxes, building insurance and maintenance for the property – in addition to the rent, utilities and any other expenses that may be specified in the lease.

* Examine CAM fees. Many commercial leases will require tenants to pay some CAM fees (Common Area Maintenance fees). Make sure you know what expenses are paid by tenants and which are paid by the landlord.

When we sit down to talk about your commercial real estate opportunities in Breckenridge, we’ll discuss each of these variables, considerations, and due diligence items.

Contact me today to learn more about commercial real estate in Breckenridge.

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Purchasing Property in the Wildland Urban Interface

Real Estate and the Wildland Urban Interface

Purchasing property in a Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) brings with it some unique challenges and considerations.

Summit County, Colorado – the majestic home of Breckenridge, Frisco, Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Copper Mountain – has some of the most beautiful homes in the state. It is also a great number of properties located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI).

What is the Wildland Urban Interface?

The Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) is the zone that exists between unoccupied land and developed land. Typically, the WUI includes homes from 0 to ½ mile from this interface.

These areas are at an increased risk for wildfires. And that means property owners, along with local fire departments and insurance companies, have a great interest in safeguarding homes, in these areas in particular, against wildfire.

If homeowners don’t take action, homes in the Wildland Urban Interface could be subject to higher insurance premiums or even to non-renewals or cancellation of homeowner’s insurance policies. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling real estate in the Wildland Urban Interface, you need to know that a homeowner’s insurance company may even decide not to insure a new buyer.

Here are some things to consider when looking for property in the Wildland Urban Interface.

Buyers: Make sure your purchase offer includes a property insurance contingency.

The Colorado Contract to Buy and Sell Section 10.5 relates to insurability. It states in part, “Buyer has the right to review and object to the availability, terms, and conditions of and premium for property insurance.”

This section is important as it gives you, the buyer, the right to terminate the contract on or before the Property Insurance Objection Deadline, if you are unable to find property insurance that is satisfactory to you, in your sole subjective discretion.

Start the process of shopping for property insurance as soon as possible. Of course you want to know if your insurance company will insure the home, but you also want to know what to expect in terms of a premium for this WUI property.

If the property is non insurable or if the rates are cost prohibitive, you can terminate the contract and receive your earnest money back, so long as you do so by the Property Insurance Objection deadline stated in your contract. (Each state is different, so if you are buying property outside the state of Colorado, ask your agent about applicable contingencies for your state.)

If you need a referral to  homeowner’s insurance agents who understand our local market and the unique considerations for properties in the Wildland Urban Interface, contact me. I can provide some recommendations.

Buyers: Evaluate each home’s potential wildfire risk.

Much has been written about how to reduce the risk of wildfire on your personal property. The state of Colorado has published a comprehensive document with details on exactly how individual homeowners can reduce their risk (http://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/FIRE2012_1_DspaceQuickGuide.pdf) . Before looking at properties in wildfire prone areas, it’s wise to take a look at these mitigation procedures, so you can evaluate a home’s potential wildfire risk as you tour prospective properties with your agent.

Among the considerations as you look at homes in Colorado’s Wildland Urban Interface:

  • What is the home’s roof material? Wood and shake shingle roofs can be highly flammable. Instead look for asphalt shingles, metal sheets and metal shingles or tile, clay, concrete or slate shingles. (Note that some shake shingle roofs have been fire-rated and re specially treated with fire retardant polymers. Your agent should be able to tell you if this is the case.)
  • Are the roof and gutters free of pine needles and debris?
  • Are there unhealthy trees and shrubs around the home?
  • Have the owners/sellers created a defensible space around the home? “Defensible space” 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.
  • Is there slash and debris on the property? How about a heavy accumulation of pine needles, twigs and other flammable organic material on the forest floor near the home? This material is termed “duff” and should be raked if deeper than 2 inches, especially near the bases of large trees.
  • Are there shrubs and small trees under large trees? These can carry a fire from the ground into the crowns of the trees.
  • Are there tree branches extending out over roofs and in the vicinity of chimneys?
  • Are there screens on vents in attics, roof, eaves, and foundation?
  • Is there a visible address sign at the road for fire and emergency vehicles?
  • Is the driveway wide enough for fire trucks to enter and maneuver?

Many property owners are learning more about defensible space and doing what they can to mitigate the potential fire danger of their property before they put their home on the market. As you tour homes in Wildland Urban Interface Areas, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes on the defensible space characteristics.

The considerations listed above are just a few things to look at. 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.)

For Homeowners and Sellers

If/when you own the home, there are a number of tasks you can accomplish and resources you can take advantage of in Summit County to mitigate your wildfire risk.

Get a free defensible space evaluation.
In Summit County, your local fire department will visit your property and provide a free evaluation of the defensible space surrounding your home. It’s important to be aware that, once you receive this evaluation, you are not required to complete any of the tasks outlined, so don’t be scared to get the process started.

Depending on your area in Summit County, call:
Red White and Blue Fire Department (Hoosier Pass to Farmer’s Corner.)
970.453.2474

Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue (Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Keystone, Montezuma, and Heeney)
970.262.5209

Copper Mountain Fire Department (Copper Mountain)
970.968.2300 ext. 831

Your local homeowner’s insurance agent may also be able to provide you with a free inspection for fire mitigation.

Take advantage of Summit County’s free Chipping Program.

Summit County helps its property owners create defensible space. When you clear the branches, logs and small trees from around your house and stack it, the county government will chip it and haul it away, all at no cost to you.

Visit www.co.summit.co.us/chippingprogram for more information and to get details on scheduling, starting in June and continuing through October.

It’s my sincere hope that this information helps you find your own special place in the woods. You can search Summit County homes and properties here. Or learn more about buying real estate in Summit County and Park County, Colorado.

You might also enjoy: 

For Buyers
Sign up for Free Email Notification of Properties that Fit Your Search Criteria.
Search the Summit County MLS
Summit County Map Search (Search for real estate by map)
How Susie Cortright Works with Buyers

Community Guides 
Breckenridge CO
Keystone CO

Tips for Listing and Selling Your Mountain Home

When it comes time to sell your mountain home or condo, you want to sell in the fastest amount of time, for the most money, with the least hassle.

To do so, you’ll need to make sure you’re properly timing your sale, properly pricing the property, and properly marketing the property. For each of these tasks, a good Realtor will guide you from start to finish.

** If you own a property in Summit County, request the latest Market Report for your complex or subdivision. This report will feature properties currently for sale, properties under contract and sold properties, along with year-to-date and historic sales and trends. These are nice to look at, even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon, and I’m happy to provide them. Just email me. **

Selling Your Mountain Home – Properly Timing the Sale

A good listing agent will help you to understand the ins and outs of the marketplace and what they mean for you, as a seller. If you’re in a position where you don’t have to sell right away, your agent will be able to give you some guidance on the timing that might best benefit you. For this, your agent needs to have in-depth knowledge on where the market has been and where it is headed, as well as absorption rates for different price ranges and regions. (In Summit County, read my current edition of “Is Now a Good Time to Sell?“)

Each market is unique and each has its idiosyncratic seasonal fluctuations. Talk with your agent about how these fluctuations might help or hinder your sale and your selling price. These suggestions should be specific to the price range and the type of property you wish to sell—whether a ski condo, a single family home, duplex, townhome, or vacant land.

Selling Your Mountain Home – Properly Pricing the Property

The price you choose when listing your property is extremely important. Don’t simply hire the agent who recommends the highest price for your property. There is something known in real estate circles as “buying a listing,” and it occurs when an agent inflates the price or essentially tells the sellers what they want to hear in order to secure the listing, only to make price adjustments later (often to the sellers’ detriment.)

Work with the Realtor who knows the market and who provides you with plenty of statistics and information on comparable sales to back up their pricing insights and recommendations.

Properly pricing the property from the start is more important than many people realize. When your home is priced correctly from its launch, you’ll attract the attention of more agents and more buyers. Homes will typically garner the most attention in the first few weeks. This is, after all, when all those buyers who’ve been watching the market for a particular home in a particular price range will call. And so will all the agents who have been watching the market on behalf of their clients.

These are agents and buyers who have already seen everything that’s currently active in the market and are waiting for something new. These are people who know the market in that price range. They know whether a home is overpriced and whether it’s worth their time to go take a look or if it’s best to wait for a price drop.

If the property is overpriced, it may languish on the market and, when the eventual price drops occur, the home will likely never get the same buzz that it would have when it was first introduced to the market.

Your Realtor should provide you with an in-depth Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), with the details of a variety of comparable recent sales. Your Realtor should have firsthand knowledge of these properties, and may even invite you along for a “comp tour” – a tour of comparable active listings – so you can see what else is on the market in your general price range.

In the course of discussing these other properties, it should be abundantly clear that your Realtor knows the competition in the marketplace. Your Realtor should have a firm knowledge of the comps, the amenities and comparative features, and, ideally, your Realtor will have been inside most of the comparable homes, as this is really the only accurate way to know, and to judge, a property. Your Realtor should also know whether the timing is right to push the market a bit and recommend a slightly higher sales price, and when it is not.

In mountain real estate, comps on ski condos are generally easy to find; while finding true comps on other properties, such as luxury homes, is a little more difficult. Still, make sure your Realtor can give you statistics, sold data, and a detailed analysis of how she arrived at the recommended price range. In that analysis, make sure that each amenity and feature that sets your mountain home or condo apart has been taken into consideration.

There are a variety of methods your mountain Realtor can use to make sure the property is priced correctly from the beginning. (There is also a virtually fail-proof method that we can discuss.)

When pricing a home, you and your agent should consider the health of the market and the current inventory levels, including currently active comparable properties, recently sold properties and the corresponding market climate when these comps were sold.

Your agent should also give you guidelines on how long the sales process might take by going over the absorption rate in the market as a whole, as well as the rates for your particular area and price range. Your agent should also tell you, ahead of time, about the key indicators that will signal a price drop may be in order.

Selling Your Mountain Home – Properly Marketing Your Property

A home’s marketing plan will vary greatly from one Realtor to another. Your agent may have a great deal of experience, but that doesn’t automatically mean he has experience with the online and social marketing methods that are so crucial in today’s real estate marketplace.

More and more, people are using online sources to find property. More than 90% of home buyers start with an online search. Check to see if your Realtor maintains a solid online presence, as well as a regular presence on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Since much of online real estate browsing is done on tablets and smartphones, make sure your agent’s Internet presence is designed to be mobile responsive, as well, meaning that the design is optimized for all screen sizes and devices.

Check to see if the marketing system your agent proposes includes print advertising or direct mail, and make sure that the Realtor you choose uses professional photos and virtual tours.

Professional Photography and Virtual Tours

Professional photographs really should be part of every home’s marketing plan. Most of the buyers who contact me from my site are already familiar with each of the photos available for many of the homes they like, before they even talk to me. Prospective buyers are looking at listings at all hours of the day and night, and it’s vital that all photographs and videos showcase your property in the best light.

A professional real estate photographer has the knowledge, the lenses and the lighting to ensure that the property is being showcased in just this way. A professionally produced virtual tour is also essential. While the Summit County MLS and the online real estate portals, such as Zillow and Trulia, limit the number of photos that can be posted, a video tour or virtual tour is a great way to provide everyone the ability to virtually walk through the home. These can give a much better idea of the home than simple photos can.

I recently listed a home that had been on and off the market for more than 800 days with another Breckenridge Realtor. When I took on the listing, we priced the home higher than its previous list price. Within 7 days, the home had received multiple offers, and went under contract. I attribute the success, in part, to some beautiful professional photographs and precision copywriting that targeted a very particular buyer.

Supplementary Information and Marketing Materials

A good Realtor will ask you for any supplementary information that can help in her marketing efforts when selling your mountain home. If you have done recent upgrades, provide a list. If you have a floor plan or blueprints or ideas on how the home might be improved, share this, as well. You may even consider writing a narrative describing how much you love and appreciate the home, including information about details or amenities that set your home or neighborhood apart. Your agent can compile these items into a binder to have available in the home for prospective buyers to peruse as they tour the home with other agents.

Open Houses

While there is some debate about the effectiveness of open houses, my experience is that, particularly in the mountain real estate market, open houses work. They work because they get potential buyers (or those who might know one) into the home, and they generate buzz.

In our resort mountain towns, we have new people visiting our area each week. Many of these visitors are excited to see what kind of property they could buy here, or what they might recommend to their friends and family.

On a side note, when your agent does hold an open house, make sure there is a plan in place for marketing the open house event itself. Perhaps it will be an ad in the paper or a social media promotion/announcement, as well as announcements via the online real estate websites and the broker’s personal website.

An open house’s effectiveness will vary with different price points, and your Realtor will discuss with you, individually, whether open houses make sense for your situation.

One open house that is particularly effective in all price points is the Broker Open House, whereby area agents tour the home so they can get a feel, firsthand, for what your home offers and, hopefully, share this information with their buyers. At the very least, make sure a Broker Open is scheduled soon after your home goes on the market.

Lifestyle Marketing and Copywriting

You’ll want to make sure that your agent understands how to properly showcase your property. Make a checklist of all your property’s amenities and special features and make sure each is being showcased. Also, make sure that your Realtor knows how to market the lifestyle that your property represents. When you are purchasing a mountain home, you are buying into a particular lifestyle, and a good Realtor not only recognizes this but knows how to capitalize on it with images and words.

Word choice and good copywriting does a great deal to market a home, so make sure your agent knows how to properly position your property. The other day, I saw a listing with a description that said simply, “Great house!” Failing to properly capture the details of a home (and the searchable keywords in the property’s description) is a huge missed opportunity.

Your agent should know which words help to sell a home, and which words don’t. For example, did you know that, according to a recent study, homes where the sellers were referred to as “motivated” stayed on the market 15 percent longer than average and sold for 4 percent less? Or when homes are listed as “handyman specials,” they sold in half the average time? Make sure your agent knows.

Word choice matters, and your agent should know how to use copywriting to your maximum advantage. She should know how to paint a picture of the home, play up its best features and capitalize on the unique lifestyle component of our marketplace, all within the short word limit.

On a related note, make sure your agent takes the time to get to know your property. Make sure she knows what kind of appliances you have, about any special features or requirements that other agents will call and ask about. Each of these details should be committed to memory.

Staging Your Home for Sale

What kind of skills or contacts can your Realtor give you when it comes to staging? Good staging ensures that each of your amenities is being properly showcased. At the very least, you will want to declutter the home, and you will want to make sure it is very clean. (See this great article on staging for easy and practical tips: http://rochesterrealestateblog.com/5-staging-tips-help-maximize-price-minimize-time-market/)

When your home is decluttered, it will be easier to show at a moment’s notice, as well. Especially in a resort market, there are many showings that have very little notice, as people are in town just for the day or the weekend.

Make sure your Realtor takes the time to tour the property with a buyer in mind. Ask her to share ways you can highlight your home’s features and to provide suggestions and resources for any improvements that may need to be made.

When it comes time to sell your mountain or resort property, you need an agent who will deliver exceptional customer service and market knowledge, while making the marketing of your home a top priority.

If you have a property in Summit or Park County, Colorado, read more about what you can expect when you list with me or request my checklist: “90 Things I’ll Do for You When You List with Me”

If you are located outside my area, give me a call or send me an email. I’m always happy to refer you to an agent who can help.

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Why List Your Property with Susie

susie cortright's listing checklistRequest Susie’s checklist “90 Things I’ll Do for You When You List with Me”

Affordable Housing and Deed Restrictions in Summit County

Affordable Housing and Deed Restrictions in Summit CountyIn resort communities such as Summit County, affordable housing can be difficult to come by. (Affordable housing, as defined by national standards, is housing – whether paid by rent or mortgage – that takes no more than 30% of a household’s gross monthly income.)

Scroll down to view deed restricted, affordable properties available in Summit County. Or Browse Homes and Condos in Summit County for $400,000 or less.

The average single home price in our area is out of reach for many people who work in the community itself and many of the properties that might otherwise be available are instead bought as second homes and/or stay in the short-term rental market.

In areas where there are no affordable housing initiatives in place, the result is an area where local workforce has a hard time living – whether renting or buying. And when locals are unable to live in the community where they work, it can have a significant impact on the community itself. It becomes more difficult to fill jobs, to provide the highest quality experience for visitors, to retain families and to preserve the genuine “community” feel of a town.

To limit this impact, local organizations and developers have worked together to create more affordable housing units for the workforce of Summit County. One of the ways they do this is through deed restrictions and deed restricted neighborhoods.

What is a deed restriction?

Deed restrictions are stipulations written into a property’s deed that outline conditions, covenants, and/or restrictions for the property. They are private agreements, listed in the deed itself, that restrict the use of real estate in some specific way (or ways).

In Summit County, the deed restrictions designed to further the goals of affordable housing and workforce housing can vary from one development to another. They may include any of the following, all of the following, or a combination of the following: 

* The deed restricted property must be the owner’s primary residence.
And/or
* At least one member of the household must be employed in Summit County for 30 or more hours per week (year round.)
And/or
* The total household income must be at or below a certain percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI). This household income counts each person over the age of 18 who lives in the home. Here are area median income charts for Summit County.

These deed restricted properties often have limitations on the dollar amount of capital improvements that can be added to the sales price, and they often have appreciation caps, as well. These limits will vary from subdivision to subdivision, but, when you go to sell your home, if there are caps in place, you won’t be able to sell it for more than your deed restriction allows. This is, of course, how the deed restriction keeps prices within reach of locals.

In the Wellington Neighborhood Phase I Deed Restriction, for example, the rise in resale value of the homes is restricted to 3% a year, or to the percent increase in the Area Median Income (whichever is greater). In the Wellington Phase I, there are no income limitations for owners, though, generally speaking, buyers must occupy the home as a primary residence.

In Frisco’s Ophir Mountain Village subdivision, on the other hand, the appreciation is capped at 3% a year or the percent increase in the figure that represents 80% of the Area Median Income for a family of four (whichever is less). To qualify for home ownership in Ophir Mountain Village, buyers must occupy the home as a primary residence and, at the time of purchase, have a combined annual household income not exceeding 80% of the median household income for Summit County, as determined by HUD.

As this example demonstrates, each of the deed restricted and affordable housing subdivisions in Summit County have different restrictions and eligibility requirements, so it’s vitally important to read the deed restriction closely before making any decisions.

I can help you understand the difference among each of the deed restricted communities in Summit County to help make sure you qualify and that it suits your long term financial goals. Contact me anytime to discuss this further.

Summit County’s Affordable Housing and Deed Restrictions – The Options

There are deed restricted and affordable housing communities throughout Summit County. The Breckenridge and Blue River area has 6 such neighborhoods, Frisco and Copper Mountain have 9, and Silverthorne/Dillon/Summit Cove/Keystone area has 4 (see below). There are also deed restricted properties dispersed throughout the area individually. In Breckenridge, for example, there are more than 116 additional deed restricted units throughout town – beyond those in the subdivisions that are traditionally thought of as “deed restricted.”  Again, when we start working together, I will help you determine each of the options available to you.

The Summit Combined Housing Authority is a great resource, as well. At its website: www.summithousing.us, you can read the full text of each subdivision’s deed restriction. You can also learn more about educational opportunities for homebuyers, as well as loans for down payment assistance that you may qualify for.

A few more things to remember when shopping for deed restricted housing:

* Many deed restricted and affordable housing units are exempt from real estate transfer taxes.

* Deed restricted and affordable housing units tend to go very quickly, sometimes going under contract before they are even listed. If you qualify for a deed restricted property, make sure you let me know so I can let you know as soon as I hear of anything that might be coming up. At the very least, you’ll want to be sure you are signed up for automatic updates to be notified as soon as these properties go on the market. Contact me to get the process started.

It’s a good idea to start your application with the Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA). In order to submit an offer on an income-capped property, you must be approved to purchase at the required AMI level. This approval process can take between two and four weeks after SCHA receives your application.  The SCHA may also be able to notify you about new properties.

I personally live in the Wellington neighborhood, for example, and I know how quickly these homes can go, so I try to be among the first to know about new potential listings here. I currently know of a very nice 3 bedroom/2 bath duplex on a large corner lot that is scheduled to be available in early spring 2017 as well as a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath single family home with a fenced yard on a large corner lot that should be available by early summer. Contact me to learn more or to be the first to be notified about new listings in the Wellington.)

Summit County’s Affordable Housing/Deed Restricted Neighborhoods

Note, the communities that appear in the list below may also feature units or properties that are offered at market value, without the deed restriction in place. In other words, not all the units in the following neighborhoods are deed restricted. Again, you’ll want to examine each property individually for the deed restriction that may apply. (I can help.)

Breckenridge Deed Restricted Housing includes properties in: 

  • Gibson Heights. A little over a mile east of Breckenridge Main Street.
  • Valley Brook. Located off Airport Road, near Upper Blue Elementary.
  • The Wellington Neighborhood. In French Gulch, about 1.5 miles east of Main Street) Phase 1 of a new housing development called Lincoln Park is currently underway, as well, adjacent to the Wellington Neighborhood.
  • Vic’s Landing. Located at Highway 9 and Tiger Road, near the Breckenridge Golf Course. 
  • Farmer’s Grove. Between Breckenridge and Frisco, near Summit High School.
  • Monarch Townhomes. On Boreas Pass.

Frisco Deed Restricted & Affordable Housing for Sale includes properties in:

  • Bear’s Den. In central Frisco.
  • Boulevard Bend. Just off Summit Blvd. on 8th Street.
  • Drake Landing. Near Lake Dillon and the Summit County Rec Path.
  • Ophir Mountain Village. Near the County Commons. 
  • Peak One Neighborhood. Located off Belford street in Frisco. The same developer as The Wellington Neighborhood.
  • South End Village Near Frisco Elementary.
  • Towers at Lakepoint. A highrise complex near the lake.
  • Water Tower Place. Off Highway 9.

Silverthorne Deed Restricted/Affordable Housing for Sale includes properties in: 

  • Hidden River Lodge. Near the base of Keystone, with hot tubs facing the Snake River and ski slopes.
  • Retreat on the Blue. One-to two-bedroom homes with hot tubs and detached one car garages.
  • Soda Creek. In beautiful Summit Cove
  • Solarado. Located on the hillside between Silverthorne and Dillon.

Deed Restricted Homes in Summit County

The following homes have some sort of deed restriction in place. You may also want to Browse Homes and Condos in Summit County for $400,000 or less, or, to browse affordable areas that are not generally deed restricted, see Peak 7 Homes for Sale, the Woodmoor subdivision, or Baldy Mountain Townhomes.   

The homes and condos listed below are those properties currently on the market that have a deed restriction of some kind in place. This may be a restriction that requires buyers to work 30 hours or more a week in Summit County. It may be a requirement that the buyer occupy the home as a primary residence. It could be a requirement that the buyer's income is below a certain percentage of the AMI. Or it could be some other unique deed restriction. Contact me for details on the specific deed restrictions for the properties listed below.
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#S1006243 | Condo
Listing Broker: Cornerstone Real Estate Co.
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#S1004163 | Condo
Listing Broker: Carbonate Real Estate
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#S1006851 | Condo
Listing Broker: Keller Williams Top Of Rockies
© 2017 Summit MLS, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.
The information being provided is for the consumer's non-commercial, personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumer may be interested in purchasing. The information provided is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. You may not reprint or redistribute the information, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of Summit Association of REALTORS®.
Summit MLS data last updated at November 20, 2017 7:38 PM MT

Development Opportunities

Summit County and Park County currently have a number of opportunities available for real estate development.

Real Estate Development Opportunities

Contact me for more information about any of these real estate development opportunities. I’ll respond quickly with supplementary information, and we can schedule a site visit. (You might also like Investment Property Best Buys or  Today’s Commercial Real Estate Listings in Breckenridge.)

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4.18
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(19)
 
 
#S394445 | Lots / Land
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
1.96
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(25)
 
 
#S1002792 | Lots / Land
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
1.46
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(17)
 
 
#S1003215 | Lots / Land
Listing Broker: Your Castle Summit, LLC
9.7
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(25)
 
 
#S1004238 | Lots / Land
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
© 2017 Summit MLS, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.
The information being provided is for the consumer's non-commercial, personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumer may be interested in purchasing. The information provided is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. You may not reprint or redistribute the information, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of Summit Association of REALTORS®.
Summit MLS data last updated at November 20, 2017 7:38 PM MT

Western Sky Ranch: Luxury Homes and Horse Property for Sale in Breckenridge


Western Sky Ranch Homes for SaleWestern Sky Ranch is a premiere Breckenridge development, featuring breathtaking views and large land parcels zoned for horses – all just 2.5 miles northeast of Main Street Breck. See today’s listings for homes at Western Sky Ranch below, including photos, property details, and virtual tours. Or view today’s listings for vacant land parcels at Western Sky Ranch

A home or land purchase in Western Sky Ranch affords discerning buyers with both seclusion and convenience to everything we love Breckenridge for — the world-class skiing, Breck Create Arts District, and the boutique shopping and dining, all just moments away by car. Scroll down to see today’s listings at Western Sky Ranch.

The plats at Western Sky Ranch include disturbance envelopes to ensure peace and privacy for owners and guests. The subdivision also includes 8600 acres of open space, with easy access to the surrounding national forest and Golden Horseshoe region, including some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails in the state of Colorado.

Utility lines in Western Sky Ranch are buried, and the main roads are paved. In addition, you can take your ATV or your snowmobile right from your property. And Western Sky Ranch is zoned for horses, as well. (See all Summit County Horse Property for Sale)

Homesites/Land at Western Sky Ranch

Homesites range from 2.9 acres to a sprawling, sundrenched 23 acres. Currently available home sites range in price from $795,000 for 2.91 acres to $1,325,000 for 20.36 acres. View Western Sky Ranch Vacant Land listings, or search all Breckenridge Land for Sale.

Homes at Western Sky Ranch

Homes here are graciously appointed for the most discerning buyers. Each is built to maximize the astounding views.

Getting to Western Sky Ranch

From Highway 9/Main Street, head east on CR 450 (Huron Road). At the French Creek Fork, turn left onto Forest Hills Drive to CR300 and Gold Run Gulch Road.

Western Sky Ranch Homes for Sale

Current listings for Western Sky Ranch Luxury Homes are below. Contact me to schedule a private showing.

You might also enjoy:
Breckenridge Luxury Explore the luxury and ultraluxury neighborhoods of Breckenridge.
The Ranch at Breckenridge Luxury homes with jaw-dropping views and homesites between 5 and 12 acres.
Spruce Valley Ranch Luxury homes and horse property near the Goose Pasture Tarn.
Summit Estates – Luxury horse property near the Breckenridge Golf Course.
Ruby Ranch Luxury Estates (Gorgeous Horse Property in the Silverthorne Area)
Summit County Luxury Horse Property Current listings of equestrian property in Summit County
Search Breckenridge Land for Sale
Selling Your Luxury Mountain Home

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Summit County Investment Property

Summit County offers some unique investment properties. In addition to commercial opportunities and development opportunities, there exist a variety of ski condos and single family homes, that do well in the short-term or long-term rental market.

Scroll down to learn more about the process of finding strong Summit County investment properties.  

Summit County Investment Properties – Strong Short Term Rental Income

The following properties have particularly strong short term rental histories. Note that this is just a sample of the investment opportunities available to you, and there are opportunities in every price range. Let me know the price range, area, and type of property you’re interested in, and I’ll locate some possibilities tailored uniquely to you.

Contact me
for details, and to take a look inside. (Susie Cortright and RE/MAX Properties of the Summit do not guarantee nor imply any particular return on investment.)

3
Beds
1 | 2
Baths
1,653
SqFt
(25)
 
 
#S1003150 | Condo
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
1
Beds
1
Baths
764
SqFt
(24)
 
 
#S1004560 | Condo
Listing Broker: Real Estate of the Summit
3
Beds
1 | 2
Baths
1,596
SqFt
(25)
 
 
#S1005650 | Condo
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
0
Beds
1
Baths
416
SqFt
(17)
 
 
#S1006687 | Condo
Listing Broker: Colorado Premier Resort Prop
1
Beds
1
Baths
764
SqFt
(18)
 
 
#S1006543 | Condo
Listing Broker: Real Estate of the Summit
5
Beds
4 | 1
Baths
5,100
SqFt
(25)
 
 
#S1003760 | Single Family Home
Listing Broker: Paffrath & Thomas R.E.S.C
0
Beds
1
Baths
415
SqFt
(24)
 
 
#S1006142 | Condo
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
4
Beds
3 | 1
Baths
2,336
SqFt
(22)
 
 
#S1005272 | Condo
Listing Broker: LIV SOTHEBY'S I.R.
3
Beds
2
Baths
1,586
SqFt
(25)
 
 
#S1003588 | Single Family Home
Listing Broker: Colorado R.E.-Ned Walley
2
Beds
2
Baths
885
SqFt
(25)
 
 
#S1006438 | Condo
Listing Broker: Cornerstone Real Estate Co.
1
Beds
1
Baths
755
SqFt
(16)
 
 
#S1006217 | Condo
Listing Broker: Paffrath & Thomas R.E.S.C
2
Beds
2
Baths
840
SqFt
(21)
 
 
#S1006536 | Condo
Listing Broker: Slifer Smith & Frampton R.E.
© 2017 Summit MLS, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Summit Association of REALTORS®. All rights reserved.
The information being provided is for the consumer's non-commercial, personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumer may be interested in purchasing. The information provided is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. You may not reprint or redistribute the information, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of Summit Association of REALTORS®.
Summit MLS data last updated at November 20, 2017 7:38 PM MT

When we look at investment properties together, we will look closely at this rental income (whether historic or projected), combined with potential tax savings, and the possible appreciation of the property over time.

We’ll examine key operating ratios via an Investment Property Analysis prepared specifically for you and your situation. This will include a Cash Flow analysis, and other key operating ratios, so you can easily compare investment properties against one another.

We’ll examine such ratios as the investment property’s Capitalization Rate (CAP), Cash on Cash (COC), Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM), Net Income Multiplier (NIM), Debt Coverage Ratio (DCR), and the Expense Ratio (ER) of the property. (These analyses will be made based on information provided by you, the client and/or MLS data. Projections are provided for informational purposes only. Susie Cortright and RE/MAX Properties of the Summit do not guarantee nor imply that the illustrated outcome will produce the stated return.)

Keep in mind 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 benefits.

Contact me today to let me know the details of what you are looking for, and I’ll respond as soon as possible with my hand-picked Investment Property Best Buys, unique to you and what you’re looking for.

Each day, I comb the MLS listings for properties with high short term rental numbers (whether historic or projected), in proportion to list price. See my current list of properties with particular promise for short term rental income.

You can also read about the process of renting out your home here: Real Estate and Vacation Rentals. And learn about the Tax Advantages of Second Homes, including investment properties, as well as how to depreciate the expenses of investment property. Or see today’s Real Estate Development Opportunities or Commercial Real Estate Listings in Breckenridge.

 

Coping with Low Housing Inventory

Four Tips for Finding a Home in a Low Inventory Market

Like much of the nation, Summit County is experiencing low housing inventory. But there are ways to cope with a tight housing market, and ways to increase the chances that you’ll find (and close on) the home that’s right for you.

When dealing with low housing inventory, it’s especially important to:

1. Get preapproved.

In a tight market, you want to be able to move quickly once you find the right home. By speaking with a mortgage lender before you even start your search, you do just that.

If you have a pre-approval letter ready to go – and ready to accompany a purchase offer – you will be giving the seller reasonable assurance that financing isn’t going to be an obstacle or an issue, and you’ll have a better chance of having your offer accepted.

Not only that, when you take the time to speak with a lender and get pre-approval, you’ll know, ahead of time, exactly how much home you qualify for, which can save you a lot of time in the long run. (Use my affordability calculator and mortgage calculator to get a ballpark idea. And contact me if you need a recommendation for a good local lender to get the process started.)

A preapproval letter from your lender is preferred over a prequalification letter.

What’s the difference between loan pre-approval and pre-qualification?
A lender may write a prequalification letter based on the financial picture you paint, without checking into anything. It is simply the lender’s estimate of how much you would be able to borrow if the information you gave is correct.

A preapproval letter, on the other hand, is usually something that has been verified by a third party. The lender generally issues this after you’ve applied for the loan and the bank has verified that the information you gave is correct. A preapproval letter says that the bank is ready to loan you a particular amount at a particular interest rate (as long as your financial picture doesn’t change before closing.)

At this point, you’ll also want to make sure your finances are in order and that you have a plan for securing your down payment. Do whatever you need to do so that you are ready to go when the right home comes along.

2. Find a Well-Connected, Creative Agent.

In a tight real estate market, it’s especially important to have an agent who is willing to get creative and dig a little.

A good, well-connected Realtor® will be able to find you properties you can’t find with a quick online search. She’ll have access to a wealth of information and resources that you might not have on your own. She may, for example, connect you with expired listings (properties with listing agreements that expired without a sale), withdrawn or canceled listings, and even For Sale by Owner options that you might not be aware of on your own.

Your Realtor® may also provide information on any New Construction developments in the marketplace, which may not appear in the traditional home-searching channels. She may send out “seller-wanted” mailings to the neighborhoods you’re targeting and network with other brokers about “coming soon” listings, as well as “pocket listings” (properties that are for sale but that, for some reason, do not appear in the MLS).

3. Sign up for Automatic Notification of New Properties.

Especially when inventory levels are low, it’s vital that you are the first to know about a property that fits your criteria.

Ask if your agent has a way for you to immediately learn about new listings. For example, I post Today’s New Listings here. I can also sign you up for automatic notification of new Summit County properties, to be sent to you the moment they come on the market.

If you’re in my market, you can sign up for these automatic notifications yourself here, or you can tell me what you’re looking for with this simple online form, and I’ll make sure you get signed up (as I also search the aforementioned resources on your behalf.)

4. Be Ready.

When you find the right home in a tight market, you want to be able to write an offer just as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. Go over the purchase offer paperwork with your Realtor® ahead of time — before it’s time to make an offer — so you know the process and the details of the documentation. If this is your first home, you can also familiarize yourself with the homebuying process by reading my article How to Buy a House.

These days, many of our real estate contracts are handled and even signed electronically, so you don’t even have to be in town to sign your offer. All you need is an accessible, reliable, tech-savvy agent.

Another tip for coping with a low inventory real estate market: When you do write your offer, make it as clean as you can. In other words, include only those contingencies that are necessary to protect yourself and your earnest money. (If you have a home you need to sell before you buy, it’s a good idea to get that taken care of first.)

With a little careful planning, you can still find a great home at a great price in a tight housing market.

If you’re searching here in Summit County or Park County, Colorado, I’m more than happy to help you personally. If you are out of my area, I would love to put you in touch with a well-connected and creative agent who can help you find the just-right home. Just reach out to me, let me know your location and a little bit about the property you’re looking for. I’ll do the rest.

Read my article, Why is Inventory So Low?

Related Resources:
Automatic Email Notification of Properties for Sale – Stay ahead with this handy tool.
Tell Me What You’re Looking for a in a Home (so I can find it for you…)
“How’s the Market?” Updates
How to Buy a House: A Comprehensive Guide
Summit County Real Estate FAQs

Inman: Why is Housing Inventory So Low?
Redfin: Why Aren’t There More Homes for Sale?

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