Archive for April, 2011

Minturn and Avon Community Update From Prudential Colorado Properties

Click on the link below to view the latest Minturn and Avon Community Update from Prudential Colorado Properties.  The update includes listings and sales in Minturn and Avon as well as some interesting market statistics. 

Minturn & Avon Update



Beaver Creek Resort Update From Prudential Colorado Properties

Click on the link below to check out the latest Beaver Creek Resort Update from Prudential Colorado Properties.  The update includes Beaver Creek Listings and Sales in addition to some interesting market stats. 

Beaver Creek Resort Update


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Long-term Trends in Eagle County’s Real Estate Transactions and Population

Recently I’ve claimed there is some light at the end of the tunnel in the local housing market.  It might be helpful to take a look at long-term trends in the Valley real estate market.  Are we really climbing out of the huge hole we dropped into over the past four years?  The graph below compares the annual number of real estate transactions versus population growth in Eagle County from 1990.  The transaction numbers are from Eagle County and the population numbers are from the US Census. 

First look at the red line which represents the number of transactions in Eagle County since 1990.  Even though we have seen a nice reversal of the downward trend from 2009 to 2010, we are still well below the activity level we were seeing 20 years ago.  We had nearly 2,000 transactions in 1990 and only 1,250 in 2010.  It looks even worse when you compare transactions versus the population growth in the county.  According to the US Census, our county population has over doubled from 22,297 in 1990 to 53,372 in 2010. 

Should these two sets of data trend together?  There does seem to be a correlation in the trends from 1990 to 2005 then they diverge significantly.  I think one can make a case that in general people would rather own than rent.  As the population grows, more people are buying and selling real estate so transactions should also grow. 

Can we conclude anything from this comparison?  I believe we still have a long way to go before we are back to a more normal real estate market in the county.  I would hope that we would see a continuing recovering in transactions but at this point, transactions in 2011 are not up much from 2010.  On the positive side, I believe there is significant pent-up demand for housing in the County.  But until our unemployment rate drops further, financing becomes more available, and there is more clarity in the national economy, people will continue to be cautious when making a real estate purchase.  I don’t see the end to our current buyer’s market for some time, possibly years.

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Wildridge Real Estate Market Update

Are there signs of life in the Wildridge real estate market?  Take a look at my latest Wildridge Market Update and decide for yourself.  I have some sellers who are hoping that the market is coming back to life.

Wildridge Real Estate Market Update – April, 2011


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Beaver Creek Real Estate Market Update

If you were ever thinking of buying real estate in Beaver Creek, now is the time.  You know I don’t operate from gut feel (most of the time).  The numbers say we bottomed out over a year ago.  Prices have stabilized and activity is up.  The deals probably won’t get any better.  Click on the link to take a look at the report.

Beaver Creek Market Update – April, 2011

Beaver Creek Listings & Sales – April, 2011

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Ski Season Wrap-Up

The Beaver Creek 2010-2010 ski season ended last Sunday.  I thoroughly enjoyed the season.  I was able to get on the mountain over 70 days and, according to Epicmix, skied over 1,000,000 vertical feet.  I taught 30 days and skied with some wonderful guests.  I met one family from Puerto Rico who told me I had “made their fantasies come true” when we said our goodbyes.  It is experiences like that one that keep me coming back to ski teaching. 

So what were some of my observations?

  • Guests returning to the slopes.  I don’t know what the final numbers were but we had a lot of guests on the mountain.
  • People seemed to be more optimistic about the future.
  • My skiing improved significantly even though I continue to get older.
  • Snow.  We had tons of the white stuff.  A great snow season.
  • New ski school uniforms for next season.
  • I skied a season relatively injury free.
  • Prices continue to increase.  I started to get some pushback on pricing levels, particularly the $710 we charge for a full day private lesson.
  • Vail Resorts has an incredible staff of dedicated employees.
  • Vail Resorts does a great job marketing the resort.
  • Vail Resorts needs to do a better job working with their employees.  I believe the key to great customer service starts with talented and engaged employees who are treated with dignity, trust, and respect.
  • People are skiing and riding faster than ever. 
  • Skiing with and coaching the men of the Bachelor Gulch Club was a real treat.
  • My 30 days teaching skiing were a delight.
  • Vail Resorts can do a better job creating a world-class guest experience and it starts with the unfriendly ticketing system. 
  • Skiing is still a wonderful family sport. 
  • Advances in equipment are changing the sport for the better.
  • I still have a passion for skiing.

Enough for now.  I am looking forward to some warm days but before we know it, it will be ski season again.

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U.S. Housing Starts Rise to 549,000 Rate in March

By Jeffry Bartash

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The start of construction on new U.S. homes rose 7.2% in March to an annual rate of 549,000, while permits rose 11.2%, the government reported Tuesday. Housing starts in February were revised up to 512,000 from an original reading of 479,000, according to Commerce Department data. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected housing starts in March to climb to an annual rate of 520,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Permits for new construction, viewed as a gauge of future demand, increased to an annual rate of 594,000 from February’s upwardly revised level of 534,000. Permits for single-family homes, which account for three-quarters of the housing market, rose 5.7% to an annual rate of 405,000 last month.

TMN Note – I don’t believe the Vail Valley has participated in this increase in housing starts but it is good news for the economy in general.  As we continue to get good economic news, our reluctant buyers may start to commit to purchases in the Valley. 

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Vail Resorts Drops Prices on 2011-2012 Season Passes

Vail Resorts Drops Prices on 2011-2012 Season Passes with a Limited-Time Only Special Discount Beginning Friday, April 15 Through May 8, 2011

14 April 2011

  • Prices are dropping $20 on Adult Season Passes and $10 for Child/Teen/Senior Season Passes April 15 through May 8, 2011.
  • Anyone who has already purchased a pass for the 2011-2012 season will also receive the benefit of this new lower price, including a refund, if applicable.
  • $49 Locks in the Best Deals Now for Winter Ski and Snowboard Vacations with the Epic Pass, Epic 7-Day, New Epic Local Pass, Summit Value Pass and New Tahoe Value Pass.
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – April 14, 2011 – Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) announced today in celebration of the record-setting snowfall in Colorado and Lake Tahoe this season, it is reducing the prices on 2011-2012 season passes in a special, limited-time offer. Beginning Friday, April 15 through May 8, 2011, the Company is dropping the price by $20 for adults and $10 for children, teens and seniors on the Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Epic 7-Day, Summit Value Pass and Tahoe Value Pass. Those who have already purchased their 2011-2012 season pass will automatically receive this new promotional price, including receiving a refund, if applicable.
“The 2010-2011 ski and snowboard season was truly one for the record books. Both Colorado and Lake Tahoe received so much snow that our guests have been able to ski and ride phenomenal powder conditions all-season long,” said Heidi Kercher-Pratt, vice president and chief marketing officer for Vail Resorts. “We wanted to carry the excitement from this season into the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season by offering our guests a limited-time, special discount on our most popular season pass products, giving skiers and riders an even greater ‘epic’ value at our six iconic resorts.”
All passes are available for purchase at and the new prices, valid from April 15 through May 8, are listed below. A $49 down payment now guarantees the lowest price with the remaining balance due in mid-September.
  • The Epic Pass™, the best season pass deal in the ski industry offering unlimited, unrestricted skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar-at-Tahoe and Arapahoe Basin is now available at $629 (previously $649) for adults.
  • The new Epic Local Pass™ (formerly the Colorado Pass), now at $479 (previously $499) for adults is perfect for locals who can navigate a few more restrictions. The Epic Local Pass offers unlimited and unrestricted skiing or riding at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin and includes 10 restricted days at Vail or Beaver Creek. New this year, it also includes skiing or riding at Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe, with limited restricted days.  Pass holders can purchase access to Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe on restricted days for $50 per day.
  • Epic 7-Day™ is ideal for people who don’t plan to ski more than seven days. The Epic 7-Day gives skiers and snowboarders a total of seven unrestricted days of skiing and riding at any one of Vail Resorts’ six mountain resorts plus Arapahoe Basin anytime during the season, now at $479 (previously $499) for adults.
  • Summit Value Pass™ is a great option for people who only plan to ski Summit County. The Summit Value Pass is now available at $389 (previously $409) for adults and provides unlimited and unrestricted lift access to Keystone and Arapahoe Basin, as well as access to Breckenridge with limited restrictions. Pass holders can purchase access to Breckenridge on restricted days for $50 per day.
  • New for 2011-2012, the Tahoe Value Pass™, now available at $359 (previously at $379), is ideal for people who plan to ski or ride seven days a week at Heavenly and six days a week at Northstar. The Tahoe Value Pass™ offers limited access to Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe with Saturdays excluded at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Pass holders can purchase access to either resort on restricted days for $50 per day.
Season Pass Insurance Option
Vail Resorts encourages its guests to purchase pass insurance. All of its pass products are non-refundable. However, pass insurance covers pass holders in the event of unexpected events including sickness, injuries and job loss. Pass insurance is $20 for adults and $10 for children (ages 5-12). Coverage applies for all season passes and the Epic 7-Day valid for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season. For more information, visit

Pass Holder Benefits
All Epic Season Pass, Epic 7-Day, Epic Local Pass, Summit Value Pass and Tahoe Value Pass purchasers will receive exclusive offers and promotions on lodging, dining, ski rentals, equipment, ski school and special events for the 2011-2012 ski and snowboard season.
Skiers and snowboarders who purchase their passes this spring will also receive special benefits for this summer 2011, including access for scenic chairlift and gondola rides. All season pass products are non-transferable and non-refundable.
For more information about Vail Resorts season passes or to purchase a pass online, visit


Kate Lessman
phone: (303) 404-1871

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New Eagle County Property Appraisals Due Out May 1, 2011

 Don’t forget that the Eagle County Assessor will be sending out new property values on May 1, 2011.  I understand the new appraisals will also be available online on May 2 at the Assessor website shown below:

 The new valuations are based on property values as of June 30, 2010.  The Assessor has stated that overall property values in the Valley have decreased an average of 30% from the last appraisals.  Remember though that the actual percentage change will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.  

 It is my understanding that if you want to protest your assessed valuation, you have until May 31, 2011 to file the initial appeal with the Assessor’s Office.  Most private appraisers in the Valley offer tax appeal services if you would like to appeal your valuation.  

Contact me and I can give you some names of local appraisers that can help with an appeal.

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‘Tis the Season for Tax Breaks

By Terry Nolan

            With April 15 rapidly approaching many are scrambling to complete their taxes. For those who have recently bought or sold a home, there are a number of tax deductions that may be available to them.

            Real estate broker’s commissions, title insurance, legal fees, advertising costs, administrative costs, and inspection fees are all considered selling costs and may be used to reduce one’s taxable capital gain by the amount of the selling costs. That could result in a big savings depending on the final sale price.

            Interest that is paid on a mortgage is also tax-deductible, within limits. A married couple filing jointly can deduct all their interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.

            Buyers may also be able to deduct some of the interest they paid on a home equity loan or similar line of credit.

            One deduction that many buyers often overlook is points. Points or origination fees on a home loan that were paid during the purchase of a home are generally tax-deductible in full for the year in which they were paid.

            Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible but only over the life of the loan – not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.

            If your lender required private mortgage insurance, the PMI premiums are tax-deductible for mortgages taken out from 2007 through 2011.

            Making improvements to property prior to the sale or once one moves in might qualify for an interest deduction on your home-improvement loan. Qualifying capital improvements are those that increase your home’s value, prolong its life, or adapt it to new uses, such as adding a porch or installing energy-efficient windows.

            Many times during a sale, the seller will send the local tax collector’s office a check for real estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction also gets overlooked.

            For those working from their new home: If a room is used exclusively for business purposes, they may be able to deduct home costs related to that portion, such as a percentage of your insurance and repair costs, and depreciation.

            In some instances, if you have moved because of a new job, moving costs may be deducted. These can include travel or transportation costs, expenses for lodging, and fees for storing your household goods.

            Every year the tax laws change and certain tax deductions become available while others phase out. If you have recently bought or sold a home, it’s probably a good idea to seek out a professional tax consultant to do your taxes as missing deductions that you can legally claim can add up to quite a bit of money.

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