Luxury Forecast for Summer of 2007 in Summit County Colorado

June 11th, 2007

A brief update on market conditions in Summit County Colorado ski  & investment properties

Well, 2007 is shaping up to be an amazing market for top end luxury properties in Summit County, Colorado! In the $2.5 million and up category, there were only nine properties sold in 2005, while in 2006 only four sold. This year sales are already at three and selling season is just starting. Prices are also reaching $550-600 per square foot in some cases, which is breaking all records.

In addition, days on market numbers are going down too. Since good land is getting scarce, buyers are realizing that some of the new homes and resales are a great option. It is still critical that the home is priced properly and a good lot and floor plan are essential. That said, those homes that meet these criteria are selling through.

The local Summit County market has rarely seen any fall off through the last fifteen or twenty years. It tends to run with the stock market, so when the market is strong, so is the real estate market. Don’t be misled by naysayers who talk about the soft market conditions in other parts of the country! Our market is booming. Come talk to us about investing in your Colorado dream house.

Bonnie Smith Goes To Washington

May 14th, 2007

At Mid Year meetings for the National Association of Realtors, realtors and leadership meet with legislators on Capitol Hill

I write this today from the National Association of Realtors Mid-Year Meetings in Washington D.C. Realtors from all over the country converge this week on our seat of government for meetings with various leadership committees, as well as to meet with legislators from their respective states on Capitol Hill.

 When I first attended this week of meetings, I was struck by the commitment level of our government officials and saw them in a totally different light. After all, here they are working at their jobs- they are not engaged in the process of running for office. The dynamics are different and their focus is clear. It was a revelation. I came back and made the commitment to the Realtor organization to financially support our Realtors Political Action Committee and to become more involved and informed.

Last night on 60 Minutes, I was distressed to see a very one-sided segment on Realtors by Leslie Stahl. She focused primarily on the monetary aspects of the Realtor debate, without giving justice or understanding or even a cursory discussion about service, consumer protection, or ethical standards of representation.

Some of you reading this and watching that segment will undoubtedly be other Realtors, some will be real estate practitioners, and some will be members of the public. So, this got me thinking….

We spend a great deal of time talking about the “branding” of the Realtor “R.” I am a member of the Colorado Association of Realtors’ Public Relations committee which runs media campaigns across the state which ask, “Why use a Realtor?”  I am also a member of the National Association of Realtors’ Communications Committee which oversees our publications and the national advertising which also says, “Make sure your agent is a Realtor.”

There are many reasons to choose a Realtor given in these media vignettes. Perhaps the most compelling reason to choose a Realtor is this: Realtors are here in Washington D.C. and in their State governments, and their local Town meetings and City Councils fighting every day for private property rights for each and every American. We represent everyone- not just the big developers, but the “little guy”- the first time home buyer who is struggling to save enough money to put a down payment on his or her first property. We help every American realize the American dream of home ownership!

Many things in our country affect the way our citizens function on a daily basis. Your Realtor does not pretend to cure cancer, set the price of oil, or negotiate trade agreements to lower food costs. However, your Realtor and 1,350,000 members of our Association represent you every day in the battle to get ahead in your daily life by supporting your right to YOUR piece of the pie- your home.
So, why am I a Realtor? Because, at the end of the day, I believe in being part of something bigger than myself. I believe that as a part of the largest trade association in this country comprised of independent business owners who compete with each other every day, I can make a real difference. I invite you, as we near our 100th anniversary of the National Association of Realtors to recognize, as I do, that Realtors directly affect the quality of life for millions of Americans every day. To me, that makes all the difference.

Summit County Real Estate Market Heats Up

May 4th, 2007

Real estate in the Breckenridge and Summit County market is a hot commodity but still a real value in comparison to other resort markets.

Don’t believe everything you read in the media about soft real estate markets! The Summit County market is HOT, HOT, HOT! Presently, since it’s spring, traditionally the time when there are the most listings, there are only 264 residential listings in Breckenridge, for example. Of those, 109 are over $1 million, 50 are over $2 million and 11 are over $3 million. That’s a very dramatic change from the past few years and the lowest inventory we’ve seen in years.

Summit County is on the move. After watching markets in Park City Utah, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Sun Valley Idaho and Whistler BC zoom with prices out of sight, Summit County real estate is definitely coming on. However, it’s still a relative bargain compared to other resort markets, with reasonable prices per square foot and plenty of choices. There’s even some buildable land available, unlike places like Aspen where newly issued building permits are few and far between, or Tahoe where “tear downs” can cost several million dollars.

With resort markets traditionally strong, and a steady long term equity appreciation, Summit County offers a wonderful array of investment and second home opportunities.

Luxury Real Estate Conference Held in Florida

May 3rd, 2007

Bonnie Smith attends Luxury Real Estate Annual Spring Conference in Florida Joining Leading Luxury Real Estate Brokers from all over the world.

Bonnie Smith of Exclusive Mountain Retreats attended the 5th Annual Luxury Real Estate Spring conference held April 22-24 in Key Biscayne, Florida. Other leading luxury real estate brokers from all over the world met to discuss referrals, marketing ideas and client service during the three day event. Attendees included brokers from Dubai, Costa Rica, and Germany as well as coast to coast in the United States.

“It’s a valuable resource,” said Smith, “since I can now assist my clients by referring them to a broker virtually anywhere in the world who will have the same standards of excellence and knowledge that they have come to expect from Exclusive Mountain Retreats.”

Bonnie has been a member of this elite group for the past seven years and has been a guest speaker for several previous conferences. Bonnie is also a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), a designation that demonstrates proven expertise in the business of international real estate.

Breckenridge and the Living is Easy

May 3rd, 2007

Summer weather and real estate trends are hot!

Breckenridge has been experiencing the very best of summer weather this year. With an early wet Spring and now the intense warm dry, wild flowers are gorgeous! It’s the best time of the year for hiking or mountain biking in the morning and looking for that afternoon shower later in the day.

The real estate market is hot, too. Record appreciation shows no sign of abating. A two bedroom condo with a loft in Pine Ridge was listed today for $700,000- a new record for that complex. Properties at the lower end of the market are flying "off the shelves."

With the opening of the new gondola, of course, properties in the north end of the downtown "core" are enjoying significant interest.  There are so many things to enjoy in mid-summer from symphony music with the National Repertory Orchestra and the Breckenridge Music Institute to George Winston at the tent. Genuine Jazz has been relocated back to July with the usual floating stage and evening nightclub participants. The Breckenridge Arts district is in full swing and there is a wonderful community theatre, The Backstage, which offers amazing talent and diversity.

In short, come take a look at summer activities and real estate and learn first hand what the locals know- we came here for the winter and stayed for the summer!