Summit County, Colorado is home to some of the best resorts in the world. During the last decade, many have made the decision to invest in Colorado’s mountain real estate. When compared with single-family homes, condos offer the perfect mix of benefits and amenities. As a local broker, I know that there are many reasons to purchase a vacation home in the mountains — and many factors to consider in your purchase, as well.
1. Price Tag
Mountain properties’ prices vary based upon several factors. Ski-in/out is surely the most desirable characteristic, and it comes with a high premium. In addition to location, a clear, unobstructed mountain view could be priced 20% to 30% higher than a similar unit with no view. With the exception of some very rare units, condos are generally less expensive than single-family homes. According to the Summit Association of Realtors, the median price of condos as of June 2020 is $565,000, while the median price of single-family homes is $1,097,500.
2. Luxury Amenities
Condos typically come with association fees, which in most mountain condo developments will offer access to world-class luxury amenities like ski-in/out, direct access to hiking and biking, hot tubs and pools, saunas — you name it, they have it. Luxury amenities are not only desirable to owners, but also to renters, and short-term rental websites allow and encourage customers to filter properties for amenities.
When you are on vacation, you want things to be effortless and within reach. Owning a mountainside condo can mean direct access to mountain activities and, often, proximity to resort-area restaurants, bars and shops.
3. An Income Opportunity
Owning a mountain condo not only provides a great place for you to utilize at your own leisure; it can also potentially generate income. Short-term rentals in areas like Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain continuously sell out during November through April and June through August.
You can also leverage websites like stay4free.com and homeexchange.com to trade days at your property for another location of your choice. Many owners get creative and make sure to leverage every possible angle.
You may also benefit from tax advantages by renting your property, so it is essential to have discussions with a local real estate broker and accountant to see how you can maximize enjoyment and profitability.
4. All-Inclusive Expenses
Many homeowners’ association fees are formulated as all-inclusive packages, meaning owners do not have to worry about additional service bills. Amenities are also generally managed and maintained by the condo association and are part of the association fee. For those who look for a hotel experience, you might consider a condo development that offers housekeeping services for an additional fee.
When choosing a location for a property, it is important to consider elements relevant for both your personal vision as well as for potential guests. House hunters should start by looking at property in their favorite resorts. For example, Keystone is known to be family friendly with promotions and facilities specifically for families with kids. Breckenridge offers world-class skiing as well as an abundance of restaurants and shopping venues.
It is not always about getting close to the trails. Many ski passes such as the Epic Pass and the Ikon Pass offer multiresort access. As a result, potential area homeowners and travelers can opt for lodging in more central locations such as Dillon and Frisco and have easy access to multiple resorts. During the last few years, I’ve observed how the increased interest in multiresort vacations has propped up the values of centrally located properties.
Condos are also a great way to diversify your investment. Instead of committing a large sum of money to a single-family home, investing in multiple condos may enable you to not only enjoy different locations for your own traveling, but also to help balance rental income.
6. Position Yourself For More Adventure
Everything changes in life, including your favorite spots to vacation. Although more affordable than single-family homes, slope-side condos with the most desirable locations and amenities come at a premium. Purchasing desirable real estate is not always an easy task, but once you decide that you are ready for another location, selling a condo in a desirable location may result in a faster process. In my personal experience, condos in locations like Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper Mountain can sell in about one to three days from getting listed, while single-family homes take approximately seven to 30 days if priced well.
In the overall evaluation of the purchase of Summit County property, condos tend to get buyers closer to most desired locations and offer a bundle of attractive services. Ultimately, it is important to have a clear understanding of your own desires as well as an actionable financial plan. Local experts are always eager to offer tips on the newest hot spots, as well as guide buyers on how to secure real estate in their favorite mountain spots.
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