What if you were told that you could vacation at your favorite Colorado mountain resort and also generate income at the same time? During the last few years, with the increased attention brought to Colorado’s ski towns by giants such as Vail Resorts and Alterra, I have seen the demand for lodging in Colorado’s resort areas boom. Travelers are turning their yearly trips into creative investments by becoming owners and vacationers. In today’s ever-changing investment environment, owning a Colorado mountain property can serve as a source of income, retirement planning and, ultimately, generational wealth.
Breckenridge, Colorado, has become one of the most desirable ski areas in the world. Minutes from some of the country’s largest ski resorts and in close proximity to the city of Denver, Breckenridge is an easy effort to get to. But its real estate price tags can be intimidating, and the markets may feel too crowded for a hopeful investor. If you ask me, there is another way to get everything you want.
Even having established a real estate business of my own here, I can say that the journey to discovering the Colorado mountains’ “hidden gems” is not a straight path. Connecting with fellow local businesses has been key for me to be able to bring clarity that helps lead real estate investors into achieving success in this region. Let me tell you about the town of Blue River.
Blue River: A Hidden Gem
The town of Blue River is a statutory town in Summit County, Colorado. Adjacent to Breckenridge, it offers some of the county’s most breathtaking views. Its border is the mountains’ tree line, but it is still entirely surrounded by thick forest and the Rocky Mountains. The town’s climate is unique. While most of Colorado is a dry desert state, Blue River is typically cold. During winter months, Colorado’s dry and fluffy signature snow is on the daily menu, while in summer, air conditioning is left behind as temperatures rarely reach 70 degrees — an ideal climate for visitors seeking relaxation and recreation.
Blue River’s elevation is 10,036 feet. To help visualize such an altitude, can you recall flying on a commercial jet and hearing the 10,000 feet “bing” sound? That’s where Blue River sits in the sky. Life at 10,000 feet is totally different from sea level, so some visitors face difficulties such as altitude sickness, but that is typically temporary.
It is essential to experience life at this elevation before making it even a part-time residence. Another factor to consider is that daily activities such as walking at 10,000 feet are a lot more demanding. The heart rate of a hike at such elevation could be compared to that experienced during an intense run at sea level. But many vacationers find that with the challenge of low oxygen comes the reward of building endurance, and the fresh, clean air is an extra bonus.
Investing in mountain real estate is not for everyone. Just like any other investment, mountain homes’ values are linked to the economy and market corrections. A combination of creativity and versatility is the key for investor success. If you are serious about making an investment in mountain property, here a few suggestions to get you ready.
Know what you are prequalified for, or better yet, be prequalified by a lender. The lending process in the mountains is a bit different due to many properties on resorts being considered “condotels.” The mortgages on these types of properties are more complex and require an experienced lender familiar with condotel mortgages.
The seven-figure price tags that are common on these properties can be intimidating, but there is always a way. Leave no room for assumptions or unanswered questions. Once there is a clear understanding of the ambitions and desires for a property, a local real estate advisor — of course, I recommend one who lives and breathes the local community — can help you decide on how to customize it to be your own and a vehicle for generating revenue.
Although Blue River remains a semi-secluded location in the heart of a popular world-class ski resort, cost of living is quite high but in line with the resorts in the area. The town itself does not offer any facilities, but Breckenridge provides all the must-haves and wants a short driving distance away.
The continued development of the skiing industry in the area, as well as the outdoors lifestyle, will ensure the long-term growth potential of your real estate investment — and afford you the ability to create lasting memories.
If you like vacationing in warm climates, this may not be the investment avenue for you, but if you are a fan of white, powdery winters and cool summers, Blue River could be the secret spot you have been looking for.
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