Willow Creek Highlands is beautiful enclave of larger custom homes in Silverthorne Colorado. Located above the popular Willowbrook subdivision, backing to open space, and very near the Eagles Nest Wildernest area, owners here enjoy peaceful seclusion – along with convenience to town and six world class ski areas.
Some owners here in Willow Creek Highlands enjoy views of the Williams Fork Range and some can see clear to Keystone. Others enjoy views of Buffalo Mountain and still others have access to Willow Creek.
Development here began in the early 1990s and continues today. Homesites range between .17 and 2 acres with the majority of properties about 0.5 acres in size, and this lends a true community feeling.
Willow Creek Highlands is a community in which everyone has some space to themselves, but there are neighbors in relatively close proximity, as well. And it’s one of the few Summit County communities with postal service to the neighborhood – so you won’t need to go to the Silverthorne post office to retrieve your mail.
Residents in this area enjoy Trent Park, at the base of the Willowbrook neighborhood, at the intersection of Willowbrook Road and Blue River Parkway. They also enjoy the the Willow Creek trail system, with the trailhead at the top end of Willowbrook Road – in the Willow Creek Highlands area. Read the trail description from The Dillon Ranger District.
To reach Willow Creek Highlands, drive north on Highway 9 (Blue River Parkway). Turn left on Willowbrook Road. Continue toward the end of this road.
Willow Creek Highlands Homes Currently on the Market
When available, the active listings in Willow Creek Highlands will appear below. Contact me if you are particularly interested in this luxury Silverthorne subdivision. I’m happy to arrange for a private tour of the homes you see below – as well as to point out some other areas or properties that you might want to consider, as well.
Discover luxury ski home subdivisions in Summit County and Breckenridge, Colorado that provide strong short term rental income for owners.
A luxury Summit County home represents not just a high-end getaway in a world-class ski destination. It also represents an investment opportunity with the cost and maintenance of the real estate offset by vacation rental income and potential tax benefits.
Savvy luxury homebuyers also recognize that their return on investment will be further enhanced by a gain in appreciation, along with the lifestyle and memories they enjoy as their beautiful Breckenridge or Summit County real estate increases in value over time.
Are there Summit County luxury home subdivisions or neighborhoods with particularly strong short term rental income?
There certainly are. Generally speaking, the highest nightly and weekly rental rates will be on those luxury homes that are located closest to the ski lifts, but there are plenty of neighborhoods across Summit County that will afford you a nice income when you aren’t in town to enjoy the home yourself.
Please note that what follows is not an exhaustive list of subdivisions that feature strong short term rentals. I will help you to understand the ins and outs of each luxury neighborhood and will provide rental projections or histories on any homes in which you express a particular interest.
Luxury Homes in Areas with Strong Short Term Rental Income
The following luxury subdivisions feature particularly strong short term rental income.
The Timber Trail subdivision is reserved exclusively for single family homes and these command some of the best rental income in the county. Each home is a work of art — hulking yet graceful masonry and timber work and the finest in architecture and interior design. In these homes, no detail is forgotten. Many are equipped with wine rooms, game rooms, bunk rooms, elevators, and home theaters. Timber Trail is also part of the Breckenridge Mountain Master Association, which means owners and guests in Timber Trail enjoy the exclusive and lavish amenities of One Ski Hill Place, a RockResort property at the base of Peak 8.
These amenities include an extensive Aquatics Center with panoramic glass walls and ceilings, two swimming pools (a soaking pool for adults and a gradual “beach entry” pool for children), a sauna, an indoor hot tub, an outdoor hot tub with a fire pit and jaw-dropping views of Breckenridge ski resort at Peak 8. One Ski Hill Place also features a two-lane bowling alley designed to mimic a Breckenridge mine shaft, two movie lounges, a game room with pool table, a fitness center that leaves nothing to be desired, and the T-Bar, a popular and bustling après ski spot. Read more about One Ski Hill Place.
Timber Trail residents and guests also receive private, on-call shuttle service to anywhere in Breckenridge. Additionally, the Breckenridge Free Ride bus service stops six blocks away on Ski Hill Road. Timber Trail is a very popular luxury destination for owners and their short-term guests. See today’s listings in gorgeous Timber Trail.
Boulder Ridge, also located on Peak 8, features spacious, inviting homes with stunning natural surroundings and incredible access to the base area of Breckenridge ski resort. Homeowners and short-term guests in Boulder Ridge can easily walk to the slopes of Breckenridge ski resort as well as to the nearby Breckenridge Nordic center. It’s also easy to hop on the free town shuttle, which will drop you off at the base area, and can easily connect you to downtown Breckenridge as well. See the luxury listings in Boulder Ridge and Boulder Ridge III
Shock Hill is an intimate neighborhood of breathtaking luxury homes located at the mid-station of the BreckConnect Gondola. This location uniquely connects owners with the base areas of Peaks 7 and 8 and the Breckenridge Nordic Center, as well as with our historic downtown. Shock Hill offers some of the most prestigious real estate in all of Summit County and has gondola-in, gondola-out convenience See today’s luxury homes for sale in Shock Hill
In-Town Breckenridge Properties / Breckenridge Historic District
With the town of Breckenridge’s unique configuration in relation to the ski mountain, the shuttle system, and the Breck Connect gondola (which connects Main Street Breckenridge with the Peak 8 base area) the in town Breckenridge properties enjoy convenient access to the ski resort. These in-town properties are especially great for multi-generational groups – or groups where some people want to ski, while others might want to shop, or take an art class, or visit a museum or take a historical tour. Browse Breckenridge Historic District Properties for Sale
Nestled among towering trees on the south side of town, between the ice arena and Carter Park, Sunbeam Estates offer 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. Current Sunbeam Estates listings are here
Four individual subdivisions exist in the area commonly known as Gold Flake, just east of downtown Breckenridge. These beautiful luxury homes face the ski mountain and offer breathtaking year-round views. There are large custom homes here that sleep an army and can be very lucrative rentals, though, because they are not on the ski hill itself, the price per square foot is often lower. Learn more about Gold Flake and view active listings.
The glorious sunsets and views from your Goldenview windows and decks make this some of the most desirable real estate in all of Breckenridge, but, again, because it isn’t on the ski mountain, you will pay less per square foot. You will still feel connected to the town of Breckenridge and to the ski resort, however, as Breckenridge’s free town shuttle stops here at Goldenview every 30 minutes.
The location of Goldenview is particularly ideal if you love hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing. The trails that run near and through Goldenview are hard to beat for majestic views. Popular Baldy Mountain trailhead is just above the neighborhood. The trails near Goldenview subdivision spider off in many directions. Some trails continue up to Boreas Pass and others lead to the miles upon miles of trails in French Gulch. And these trails are popular year round. Enjoy the views on a hike or mountain bike ride in the summertime and a cross-country/backcountry ski excursion in the wintertime. Browse Goldenview listings
The Highlands at Breckenridge
The Highlands at Breckenridge is bordered by downtown Breckenridge to the south and a Jack-Nicklaus designed 27-hole municipal golf course to the north. Each winter, the Breckenridge Golf Club becomes the Gold Run Nordic Center, featuring 27 km of groomed classic and skate cross-country ski trails, as well as an ice skating pond, sleigh rides, and a Clubhouse restaurant. A bounty of natural cross-country ski trails intersect throughout the Highlands at Breckenridge neighborhood, as well. Learn more about The Highlands and browse homes for sale
KEYSTONE LUXURY SKI HOMES
Dercum’s Dash homes for sale offer a premiere position in beautiful Keystone. Keystone’s River Run gondola is nearby, as are the base area’s many boutique shops and restaurants. Homeowners and guests in Dercum’s Dash (also known as Dercum Tracts Sub) enjoy unrivaled convenience and seclusion, the perfect blend of features for ski in, ski out living. When this elite and exclusive community is complete, there will be 24 luxury single family homes on the 21-acre parcel, as well as a magnificent 6,000 square foot private clubhouse for Dercum’s Dash homeowners and guests. Dercum’s Dash current listings.
Keystone Ranch homes for sale is a community of mostly high-end luxury homes located in West Keystone. This is luxury golf course real estate, in close proximity to the Keystone Ski Resort.
Keystone Ranch surrounds two championship golf courses: Keystone Ranch and the Keystone River Course. Keystone is also a fishing enthusiast’s paradise, with its proximity to both the Snake River and Lake Dillon. Owners here in Keystone Ranch are treated, daily, to jaw dropping views. Depending on the property and the way the home is situated, you may enjoy panoramic views of Lake Dillon, the River Golf Course, the Keystone Ranch Golf Course, or the majestic Gore Range. Keystone Ranch Homes for Sale
COPPER MOUNTAIN LUXURY SKI HOMES
One of only a few gated communities in Summit County, the prestigious address of Lewis Ranch is home to several past Parade of Homes award winners and some very impressive new construction continues here today.
The custom architecture of Lewis Ranch spotlights the vast and impressive view corridors and incorporates timbers and beams with rich natural elements. Styles of Lewis Ranch homes range from rough-hewn and rustic to sleek and contemporary, but all finishes are high-end with gourmet chef’s kitchens and luxuriously appointed baths. Many homes in Lewis Ranch feature custom wine rooms, home theaters, and slopeside Jacuzzis. Browse Copper Mountain’s Luxury Home listings in Lewis Ranch
SILVERTHORNE LUXURY SKI HOMES
Eagles Nest Golf Course Homes
From Eagles Nest and its surrounding communities – the Eagles Nest Golf Course Subdivision, Three Peaks, Fox Valley at the Raven, and Aspen at Eagles Nest, to name a few — you’ll enjoy easy access to some of the state’s premiere hiking and mountain biking trails – plus Gold medal fly fishing on the Blue River. Your home in Eagles Nest also positions you just a few minutes north of I-70, affording quick and easy access to Denver (75 minutes to downtown, 1 hour 45 minutes to DIA) and even quicker access to 6 major ski resorts: Keystone Ski Resort, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail and Beaver Creek. Take a closer look at Eagles Nest.
CONTACT ME FOR MORE
As mentioned above, this is by no means an exhaustive list of the investment opportunities in Breckenridge and Summit County. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your individual needs, and I’ll be happy to make some suggestions for other luxury Breckenridge and Summit County homes with strong rental income.
The Ranch at Breckenridge is one of Breck’s best kept secrets. This exclusive and secluded gated community is located less than 4 miles from Breckenridge Main Street, and yet feels a world apart. And the views truly don’t get any better.
Scroll down to see today’s listings in this exclusive luxury neighborhood.
This is mountain living at its finest. The Ranch at Breckenridge features luxurious homes on large homesites, ranging from 5 to 12 acres. With just 12 homesites in all, half of these homesites have been built on, which further contributes to the peaceful solitude this subdivision is known for. (When available, vacant land listings in The Ranch at Breckenridge will appear here.)
[As a side note, the property commonly referenced as the Ranch at Breckenridge PUD Phase 1 consists of 12 homesites in all. There is a second area, commonly referenced as The Ranch at Breckenridge Phase II, consisting of approximately 284 acres allowing 16 units of density. This land has not yet been developed. The entire parcel was listed in June 2016 and withdrawn from the market in July 2017 at a list price of $10,995,000.]
Properties at The Ranch at Breckenridge offer jaw-dropping views of the entire Ten Mile Range including Breckenridge Ski Resort. Soaring panes of glass and high ceilings are common, designed to take advantage of the majestic view corridors.
Homes feature the finest in high-end finishes and incorporate a variety of rich natural elements… from stone masonry to enormous timbers, beams, and logs. Designs here fit within closely defined architectural guidelines and most embrace a classic mountain aesthetic. You’ll see more than one home from illustrious local architect Jon Gunson, for example.
On your way to the neighborhood from Breckenridge Main Street, you’ll pass the exclusive luxury neighborhoods of Juniata and Baldy Ridge Estates. You’ll be near Goldenview Estates, with its gorgeous luxury homes, along with the view lots and properties of Woodmoor at Breckenridge.
The Ranch at Breckenridge is located at the top of Baldy Road. Roads up to this area are well maintained, year round. In the summertime, fields of wildflowers welcome you home. In the winter, you’ll be greeted by views of majestic snow-covered peaks and the rich scent of pine. Once inside the Ranch at Breckenridge gate, you will pass the iconic cabin that has become the signature for this prestigious subdivision.
Per HOA covenants, short term rentals in the Ranch at Breckenridge are restricted to 30 days or more, so seasonal rentals are permitted, but not weekly rentals – and this means you can count on peace and quiet even during the busy seasons in Breckenridge (especially the holidays and the month of March.) See more luxury neighborhoods that restrict short-term rentals. Some of the finest hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the county are nearby.
Properties in The Ranch at Breckenridge subdivision are situated along two roadways: Little Sallie Barber Trail and Cumberland Drive.
To reach The Ranch at Breckenridge, from Breckenridge Main Street South, take a left at the last stop light in town (Boreas Pass Road). Follow this road approximately two miles to take a left on Baldy Road. In approximately one mile, take a left on North Fuller Placer. The entrance gate to The Ranch at Breckenridge is about one-half mile up this road.
Also note that, because The Ranch at Breckenridge is outside the town limits, these properties are not subject to the typical Breckenridge transfer tax of 1%.
The Ranch at Breckenridge Luxury Homes for Sale
When there are homes available for sale in The Ranch at Breckenridge, they will appear below.
If this location is particularly appealing to you, please let me know. I’m happy to set you up for automatic notification of new properties as they come on the market, and I may have some other areas or possibilities to share with you, as well.
For many luxury buyers, a Summit County home purchase represents an investment opportunity where the cost and maintenance of the real estate is offset by vacation rental income.
But for others, Summit County represents a true respite… a place of peace and seclusion where they can meet other likeminded full-time residents and second homeowners and create lasting friendships with community members and neighbors as they enjoy their mountain home.
For these buyers, the return on investment is derived from any gain in appreciation, the potential tax benefits, and the lifestyle and memories they enjoy as their real estate increases in value over time.
While the majority of Breckenridge and Summit County neighborhoods allow short term rental activity, some neighborhoods restrict it or disallow it entirely – aiming to create the peaceful getaways that some buyers are specifically looking for.
Why would a luxury subdivision restrict short term rentals?
In our luxury home market, the best vacation rental management companies do a very good job of vetting the prospective renters of a home – to protect your investment. However, there exists the potential for noise and additional traffic when large groups gather in one location. And when these groups change from week to week, the impacts can be unpredictable.
How does a luxury subdivision restrict short term rentals?
A subdivision’s HOA documents – more specifically its Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, also known as the HOA’s Declarations or CC&Rs, will lay out the guidelines for the community, including, any restrictions on short term rentals, if any such restrictions are in place.
In Breckenridge and Summit County, when these restrictions exist, they tend to be highly specific. In Highland Meadows, for example, the HOA declarations specifically state that a lease can be no shorter than 4 months and there can be no more than 2 leases in any given year.
Are these short term rental restrictions enforced?
Like any association rule, enforcement will vary with the HOA – its membership and its leadership.
You may even notice VRBO listings with homes for rent in some of these neighborhoods. But whether or not a rule is enforced, it’s essential that you know the rules that govern a community before you buy, as enforcement can change at any time – and so, for that matter, can the rules if enough community members wish to change them.
In any offer we would write on a luxury home, we would make sure to have a contingency for the review of Association Documents.
With this contingency, you have a predetermined length of time to look over the association documents in their entirety (from declarations to financials and meeting minutes), and you would be granted the ability to terminate the contract and get your earnest money back if you were to find anything objectionable in these association documents, including the restriction or allowance of short term rentals, provided you made such an objection before the predetermined deadline.
To that end, it’s very helpful to read the minutes of the Association meetings, both board meetings and member meetings, so you get a sense for what the hot buttons are in the association. You may find some members wishing the restriction would be taken away – or that an additional restriction be put in place.
This is something we’ll talk more about as we get further into the process – along with other contingencies designed to protect you, as the buyer.
Which subdivisions in Summit County restrict short term rentals?
It can be difficult to keep track of the restrictions over time, as each is governed by individual HOAs and their corresponding documents. Some neighborhoods have a number of homes that are deed restricted against short term rentals and others that are not. Some neighborhoods, such as Angler Mountain Ranch in Silverthorne, restrict such rental activity in some filings but not in others.
Among the Summit County subdivisions where there is at least some degree of restriction:
In Silverthorne, Snowbird Condos, Spyglass at Wildernest and Hideaway Townhouses. In Dillon, Glen Cove Townhomes and Soda Creek Condos, as well as Whispering Pines Ranch and Soda Creek at Lake Dillon PUD, both of which restrict rentals to 30 days or more. In Frisco, Cobblestone Condos. In Breckenridge, Highland Meadows, Farmers Grove, Powder Downs Townhomes, Juniata Subdivision, Kingdom Park Townhomes, and Kenington Place Townhomes.
In addition, Summit County’s many deed restricted neighborhoods, discussed here, allocate most if not all of their properties for the local workforce, defined as individuals working 30 or more hours per week in Summit County, so short term rentals are disallowed here, as well.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of properties that restrict short term rentals. Restrictions on short term rentals is always an important topic to investigate when purchasing resort real estate, and the best Summit County luxury realtors will know the ins and outs of this topic.
This will be one of the first questions I ask you when we begin talking about Summit County real estate: Will you be renting the property when you aren’t here to enjoy it yourself? And if that answer is “no,” would you prefer a neighborhood where no one does?
Luxury Homes in Areas with Restricted Short Term Rentals
Here is more information on homes in luxury subdivisions where short term rentals are restricted in some way by the HOA. Note that some subdivisions define short term rental as those less than 30 days; others as less than 60 days or less than 6 months, or some other definition. Once you identify a neighborhood or home you are interested in, we will make sure to look at the fine print together.
Highland Meadows Highland Meadows is a lovely subdivision located in the heart of Summit County, between Frisco and Breckenridge, and Keystone and Dillon are just a quick drive over scenic Swan Mountain Road. These peaceful, sunny homesites (30 in all) boast tremendous views, some of Mt. Baldy and Mt. Guyot and others of Lake Dillon. According to the covenants in Highland Meadows, any lease must be four months or longer, with no more than 2 leases in a single year. Highland Meadows Homes for Sale Highland Meadows Land for Sale
Juniata Juniata is home to some of the most beautiful custom homes in Breckenridge, enjoying some of the most impressive views of the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort. Main Street Breck is just 3.5 miles down the hill by car, and owners enjoy easy access to the town shuttle system as well as a wealth of hiking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. Juniata features 21 properties on more than 80 acres with lots ranging from 1.2 acres to 8.2 acres. Peace and quiet, and no short term rentals per the HOA. Juniata Homes for Sale Juniata Vacant Land for Sale
The Ranch at Breckenridge
One of Breck’s best kept secrets, in my opinion. The Ranch at Breckenridge is a prestigious gated community offering larger homesites (many are 5+ acres) close to town – up the hill from Juniata – with fantastic views. Owners here enjoy seclusion, privacy and convenience. The covenants here are less restrictive when it comes to short term rentals. Owners can rent for a length of time equal to or greater than 30 days (so seasonal rentals are allowed, but not weekly rentals.) The Ranch at Breckenridge Homes for Sale The Ranch at Breckenridge Land for Sale
Pebble Creek Ranch
A unique subdivision: Pebble Creek Ranch is 170 acres with 19 home sites. Home sites are 0.4 acres in size and they share the open space. There is an equestrian center here, as well.
The Ranch at Eagles Nest
This planned subdivision of single family homes Is located near the first and ninth fairways of the Raven Golf Course at Three Peaks. The area’s Duplexes at The Ranch is also subject to this HOA restriction, which requires rentals to be 30 days or longer.
Silver Shekel Homes for Sale are in a pine-studded, quiet neighborhood on Breckenridge’s north side, featuring majestic views and homesites averaging one acre in size.
Silver Shekel is particularly popular among locals and second home owners as the properties are close to town… far enough apart to ensure privacy and close enough together to ensure a tight community.
You’ll enter Silver Shekel just north of Breckenridge, at the Fairview Boulevard roundabout. There are more than 190 homesites located here, and all but 14 have been built on. (Lot sizes in Silver Shekel range from .4 acres to 1.18 acres. View Silver Shekel vacant land for sale here, when available.)
There are three main arteries in Silver Shekel, corresponding to its three filings. Each filing steps up the mountainside, and this unique configuration helps to preserve the view corridors for each home and vacant lot.
First, and just to the east of Highway 9, is Fairview Boulevard. The second “step” or tier features addresses along Shekel Lane. Finally, at the top of the hillside is Silver Circle – a loop of homes that borders The Highlands at Breckenridge.
Summit Stage, the free bus system that connects all of Summit County, stops at the base of the subdivision on Highway 9, at the Fairview Roundabout. This roundabout is located 2 miles north of downtown Breckenridge. The Breckenridge Rec Path is just across Highway 9 and can easily connect you to Breckenridge as well as Frisco (and beyond.)
Just north of the Silver Shekel subdivision is the Breckenridge Golf Club, a Jack-Nicklaus designed 27-hole municipal golf course. Each winter, the Breckenridge Golf Club becomes the Gold Run Nordic Center, featuring 27 km of groomed classic and skate cross-country ski trails, as well as sleigh rides and a Clubhouse restaurant. A bounty of hiking, biking, and natural cross-country ski trails wind through this area, as well. (See Breckenridge Golf Course Area Homes.)
Construction in Silver Shekel began in 1964, and continues today. As is typical with subdivisions of this vintage, like nearby Peak 7 and, in-town, The Weisshorn, Gold Flake, and Warrior’s Mark, properties here range from small cabins in the woods to new contemporary masterpieces – and everything in between. Most properties here, however, are between 3 and 5 bedrooms, and between 3000 and 4500 square feet.
Positioned as it is overlooking the Blue River Valley near Breckenridge, nearly all home sites have great views. These views vary with the property but many look out onto the Ten Mile Range and some can see the Breck Ski Resort. Large decks and outdoor living spaces are common.
HOA fees in Silver Shekel are low: $30 annually at the time of this writing, which pays for summer road maintenance, the annual Silver Shekel picnic, neighborhood clean up day, and the Silver Shekel HOA website at http://Silver-Shekel.net
Nestled along the hillside and facing west toward Buffalo Mountain, Thorn Peak and the entire Gore Range sit the luxury enclaves of Hamilton Creek.
This special neighborhood of single family homes is convenient to nearby Silverthorne – yet feels secluded and private. World-class skiing, golfing, fishing, boating, dining, and shopping are just moments away by car, yet the Hamilton Creek neighborhood itself is a world apart.
Scroll down to see today’s Hamilton Creek Homes for Sale.
Each home in Hamilton Creek is positioned with special attention to the magnificent view corridors to the west. The majestic Gore Range is awe-inspiring in every season, as is the Blue River valley that unfolds below. Many homes in Hamilton Creek feature spacious outdoor decks and patios, complete with large hot tubs and outdoor seating areas, to enjoy the unspoiled vistas and breathtaking sunsets.
Lot sizes in Hamilton Creek vary from about 1/10 of an acre to nearly 5 acres with most homes sitting on parcels of approximately one-half acre. Homes range in size from a modest 2-bedrooms to sprawling estates of more than 5000 square feet with 6 bedrooms and 5 baths. The Hamilton Creek Homeowner’s Association owns more than 100 acres of dedicated common open space throughout the subdivision, as well, creating a unique, secluded feel.
The majority of properties here in Hamilton Creek are offered at 100% (not shared) ownership, however. Construction in Hamilton Creek began in the 1980s and continues today, so Hamilton Creek homes for sale feature a variety of finishes. Recently, Hamilton Creek has been home to some of the most luxurious and impressive new construction featured in Summit County’s prestigious Parade of Homes.
Hamilton Creek has both a Homeowner’s Association and a Metro District. Association fees at the time of this writing are $50 per year and include snow removal. The Metro District manages the water system, pumps the septic systems for each home on a three-year cycle, and maintains the roads and forests in Hamilton Creek. Learn more at the website for both the HOA and the Metro District: http://hamiltoncreek.org
Silverthorne is a popular mountain destination for locals, second-home owners and vacationers as it is straight up I-70 from Denver (and Denver International Airport).
Driving Directions: To access Hamilton Creek, drive north on Highway 9 through Silverthorne. Take a right on Hamilton Creek Road (at Silverthorne Elementary). Follow the road through to the Hamilton Creek subdivision, and enjoy the incredible views!
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.
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.
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.
Lewis Ranch Homes for Sale in Copper Mountain feature privacy and seclusion yet are mere steps from the lifts. These true ski in ski out luxury homes represent the pinnacle of real estate in Copper Mountain.
One of only a few gated communities in Summit County, the prestigious address of Lewis Ranch is home to several Parade of Homes award winners and new construction continues here today.
The custom architecture of Lewis Ranch spotlights the vast and impressive view corridors and incorporates timbers and beams with rich natural elements. Styles of Lewis Ranch homes range from rough-hewn and rustic to sleek and contemporary, but all finishes are high-end with gourmet chef’s kitchens and luxuriously appointed baths. Many homes in Lewis Ranch feature custom wine rooms, home theaters, and slopeside Jacuzzis.
Scroll down past these listings to learn more about this prestigious luxury subdivision.
Properties in Lewis Ranch are duplexes or single family homes. Duplexes range from 2600 to 3700 square feet; homes from 4100 square feet to 6600. Lot sizes are from .08 acres (duplex lots) to around one-half an acre.
Stringent architectural guidelines ensure that all homes in the subdivision embrace the high alpine luxury aesthetic. No outbuildings or accessory buildings or apartments are permitted in Lewis Ranch. Ask me for a copy of the architectural design guidelines for the Lewis Ranch subdivision.
In the winter, enjoy alpine skiing right from your home, and, of course, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Vail are all less than 30 minutes away. In the summer, explore the nearby hiking and biking trails. Golfers will enjoy Copper Mountain’s Copper Creek Golf Course. See this Copper Mountain Resort Map to see Lewis Ranch’s proximity to the runs, lifts and Copper villages.
Lewis Ranch HOA
HOA fees are low and are assessed annually. Fees cover Common Area Maintenance, Security, and Trash Removal. Additionally, there is a quarterly neighborhood/resort fee paid to Copper Mountain which, for the most luxurious homes, is assessed at $1016 per quarter. Lewis Ranch Homes for Sale are also subject to a 1.5% transfer tax (a one-time fee paid at closing.) Owners here will also need to arrange for snowplowing and snow shoveling services as this is not taken care of by the HOA.
Juniata Luxury Homes for Sale feature the best of all worlds: premiere custom homes with dazzling views of the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort, yet just 3.5 miles by car from Main Street.
Scroll down for today’s listings in the Juniata subdivision.
Owners and guests at Juniata also enjoy easy access to the complimentary town shuttle system as well as a wealth of hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing trails.
The popular Juniata trail connects the neighborhood to numerous hiking trails in the area, and connects hikers to downtown Breck, just 1.5 miles down hill by way of the trail.
With 21 properties on more than 80 acres, lots in Juniata are spacious, especially considering the relative proximity to town. Lots range from 1.2 acres to 8.2 acres and offer some of the best views anywhere.
There are two duplexes in Juniata, but the rest are single family homes, ranging in size from 2400 square feet to 7200 square feet.
The Juniata subdivision is a little less than 4 miles from Main Street Breckenridge and is served by the free Summit Stage Bus system, which comes up Baldy Road every 30 minutes, both winter and summer, to connect these magnificent view lots with the Breckenridge town core and with the ski resort.
The town in Breckenridge is depicted in pink, the Juniata subdivision in aqua.
Juniata is home to some of the most striking and luxuriously beautiful homes in all of Summit County, along with nearby subdivisions in The Ranch at Breckenridge, Goldenview Estates, Miners View Estates, Woodmoor, and Baldy Ridge Estates.
Architecture makes use of the spectacular view corridors and incorporate massive logs and beams and rich natural elements. Finishes are high-end with gourmet kitchens and luxuriously appointed baths.
Because Juniata is just outside the town limits, there is no transfer tax. The area is served by natural gas, but homes here are on well and septic. Association fees, at the time of this writing, are $300/year.
Seclusion, privacy, convenience. On Breckenridge’s southwest side is a small and prestigious collection of fine luxury homes: Warrior’s Preserve. (Scroll down to learn more about this prestigious subdivision.)
Positioned to showcase stunning views of majestic Mount Baldy, these custom homes, all boasting an address of “Victory Lane,” range in size from just under 4000 square feet to just under 6000 square feet. From contemporary masterpieces with sleek lines and modern elements of polished stone and glass – to the most rustic of retreats, with massive Douglas Fir timber trusses and hand hewn log pillars. Regardless of architectural style, all homes here are graciously appointed with fine finishes and furnishings.
Lot sizes here in Warrior’s Preserve range from 1/3 acre to 2/3 acre, and there are 11 homesites in all. Construction here began in 2006 and continues today, with a nice selection of buildable lots still available. (Browse available vacant land in this subdivision.) Lots in Warriors Preserve are heavily forested and the slopes can be steep, which can make for smaller building envelopes. I can help refer you to local professionals who can give you a good idea of the opportunities with these available lots.
When we view property together here, I’ll show you the (somewhat hidden) quaint footpath that leads to the bus stop or on into town, making Warrior’s Preserve better connected and more convenient to town and to the slopes than you may initially think – judging from its secluded and exclusive location.
Warrior’s preserve is denoted by the number 1 in the map above. Note that the Breckenridge ski mountain is just to the west and the downtown area is just to the north. Owners here at Warrior’s Preserve enjoy a lifestyle that is very close to a ski-in ski out convenience, at a lower price.
As we look at individual properties, we can determine if there are any ski-in possibilities from this location.
The subdivision of Warrior’s Preserve is just above the Warrior’s Mark subdivision, in the town of Breckenridge, so the 1% real estate transfer tax applies. Homes in Warrior’s Preserve enjoy City Sewer, City Water, Electricity, Gas. Association fees are around $1,000/year (at the time of this writing) and cover the snow removal on streets in the subdivision.