Rumor, Gossip & Innuendo!!

Frisco Bay is going to be deepened…. Can cruise ships be far behind? The project has no expected start date yet, but is in the planning stages. 75,000 cubic yards of dirt later, Carnival cruise lines will be able to pull right up to Main St. where colorful locals will weave baskets and hats for happy cruisers to take home. Steel drums, anyone?

Having won about half of the medals from the Korean Winter Olympics… residents of Silverthorne have changed the name of the town to Goldthorne. Doesn’t roll off the tongue like Goldenthorne would, but townies didn’t want to be confused with that other Golden down in the Front Range. Silverthorne must have the highest gold medal per capita number in the world right now.

Now if Lindsey Vonn (82 wins) and Mikaela Schiffrin (43 wins) would just move to Silverthorne… every other ski town could just give up. Well, they only live 30 miles away. We could just claim them. You know… East Vail, West Vail, Eagle/Vail, why not Silverthorne/Vail?

And the debate is on… should Colorado host a Winter Olympics? We turned them down once before and there are great arguments both for and against. Some think we should have them just to get I70 fixed properly. Good luck with that. Seems that Nordic events couldn’t be run in Summit County, though. Olympics big-wigs think it’s too high here. Wimps.

It surfaces every Spring so maybe we should change the name of mud season… the innovators at the Town of Breckenridge are considering DNA testing (Really!) to track scofflaws who don’t pick up after their dogs. Fill in your own joke here.

Rumor, Gossip & Innuendo!

This short-term rental issue is getting out of hand…. some HOA’s are restricting rentals to a month or more, the County may soon crack down on VRBOs not paying tax, and towns are getting tougher, too. And now locals are short-terming deed-restricted worker housing and getting busted. No good deed (restriction) goes unpunished, it seems.

Speaking of affordable housing… a new hostel is being built in Silverthorne – out of shipping containers… really… cargo containers. Customers will be refered to as stowaways. You know, just to add that hip millennial edginess. So is this reverse gentrification?

And after checking in to their container… hipster/stowaways can head to Breck to sip a cocktail at the new ice bar at Beaver Run. We’ve come a long way since the hippest thing you could do in Summit County was close the cover on F lift and get stoned before your first run at Copper. No, dope wasn’t legal then.

What will the Summit High Girl’s Rugby team have to do to get noticed?… They won the state championship for the 10th (TENTH) straight year! And they’ve been undefeated just about every damn year to boot! John Elway should hire our rugby coach… if not the whole team. The Broncos could use somebody who knows how to win. Congratulations, ladies.

By January 1 Lake Dillon still had not frozen…. that makes it about two weeks behind average. And as for snow, well, it was scarce. We’ll see if we catch up, but this looks like a long, cold, dry winter shaping up. Now that I’ve predicted, it’ll probably dump for the next 3 months. And kite skiing on the lake could be damp.

What to Know About Shared Ownership – Your options range from solid to sketchy

Occasionally buyers and sellers ask about shared ownership.  How does it work, what is a share worth, are there any available?  
It’s a complex question and every share situation is different.  Sharing a property can work well for some, not so well for others and the difference is in details of the share set-up.
Often the owners are a group of friends that go together to buy a property and share the use.  It’s pretty loose.  Often they don’t bother with a written partnership agreement or maybe even a calendar of use.  They are all friends, after all, and have owned the place forever and there’s never been a problem.  Then one of them wants to sell his share.partnership-cut-650w
What do we do now? How do we decide what price to ask?  Do the others get a chance to buy it first?  How do we decide who to let into the partnership?  If none of this is written down anywhere or hasn’t even been thought about, new owners are walking into an unknown situation.
Other times the owners have covered all of this in a written agreement, maybe even formed an LLC to run the property.  These partners generally have a set calendar of use, a budget, rules and an exit strategy.  This kind of shared ownership has more value and is saleable because new owners can understand what they are buying into.
The most organized situation is a Quarter Fee Association or some other arms-length management entity.  It administers the unit, sets and enforces the rules, collects dues and maintains the property.  These shares are freely transferable and pretty easy to buy and sell.
Any shared interest will be hard to finance and shares generally sell for cash.  Sometimes another partner or the seller will finance for the new owner.  Sometimes, one partner got the loan and sold shares without telling the lender so the lender thinks there is one owner.  You can imagine the risk in this.
The best financing strategy is for the buyer to use a line of credit from another property for the cash to buy the share.
Generally, quarter ownership is the smallest fraction that maintains its value.  There are fifth shares, tenth shares and timeshare weeks but anything less than a quarter is generally hard to sell for what you bought for.
As to time shares, you only need to know that they are not real estate and not an investment.  The real money for timeshare operators isn’t from selling all the weeks.  It’s the ongoing dues from 52 owners for each unit.  You can always rent a week or two just like at a hotel without buying into the “opportunity” to trade weeks.  Just say no to time share.
If you are part of a small share partnership and want to sell, your easiest exit is if another partner buys you out.  If many of the partners want to sell, selling the whole property will bring the partners the most return.
No matter what kind of shared interest you have or want, be sure there’s a written agreement that outlines all of the rights and responsibilities of the owners.  
Otherwise you are a test pilot.

Ridiculously Low Inventory Still Hinders the Market

This has been an exceptionally up and down year for sales in the County.  
In the first nine months, three have had significantly lower numbers sold than in the previous year.  September was the latest with eleven percent fewer sales than the previous year.  This is troubling because August, September and October usually bring the highest number of closings for the year.buyers-sabotage-02
August was up by only four percent.  October needs to be busy to bring the market back up to last year’s total number of sales at 2107.
There have been two months with significantly more sales than the year before.   The rest have followed last year pretty closely.
Average prices, on the other hand, are still well above $600,000.  Again, this is the first time in history that the average sale price has been above that number.  It looks like prices will stay at this record high for the rest of the year.
Both of these trends are the result of the near total lack of attainably priced inventory.  At the start of October, the number of properties offered fell back to just over 700, about the number that were offered last May.
There have never been even close to 1000 properties on the market at one time this year.  
And many properties that are listed are vacant land.  There were only 440 residences for sale at the beginning of October and only 235 of those were priced at under $1 million.
For reference, 1179 residences sold for less than $1 million through September while 239 sold for more than that.
Yes, the million-dollar market is still over supplied and the under $1 million market remains severely under supplied.
New construction can’t fill the gap in Summit County.  There isn’t enough land left to build on and that which can be built is too expensive to make sense of building lower priced residences.
There is no relief from this situation.  When demand spikes in the future, the affordable/attainable market will disappear.  
With Dillon Valley East one-bedroom units going for nearly $200,000, it probably already has.
The model for this kind of market is Aspen.  It, too is surrounded by National Forest or deed restricted land and is largely built-out.  There is essentially no affordable housing for 40 miles and prices average in the mid-millions.
Summit County has already experienced the demise of the under $200,000 market with only 100 or so sold this year, usually in minutes.  A grand total of seven residences sold for under $150,000.
While prices may… probably will… decline in the future, we’ll probably never see the average price under $500,000 again.
No wonder no one’s selling.

Rumor, Gossip & Innuendo

radioThe solitude of a 14,000 foot mountain top… along with 300,000 of your closest friends.  That’s the estimate of how many times Colorado’s 14’ers get climbed per year. It’s getting attention due to the dozen or so deaths on those peaks this year.  Having often found a giggling group of Texas kids in T-shirts and flip-flops up there, it’s always been a mystery why more of them don’t die.  Guess Darwin was wrong.

Resistance is futile… prepare to be assimilated.  Most of Utah skiing is now owned by Colorado companies.  Aspen Skiing bought Deer Valley this year and Vail assoc. jumped on a lease that Park City had failed to renew in time so every ski area in striking distance of the Salt Lake airport save one is owned by two Colorado companies.  And most major skiing in North America is in the same boat.  In Summit County… home planet of the Borg. We don’t even think about it any more.

After a couple of years without a big bike race… one came back this summer.  The Colorado Classic spent a day racing around Breckenridge.  It’s not as epic as the USA Pro Tour, but it’s good to have the event return for a while.  As both ski and bike racing have proven, however, Coloradans would rather be doing than watching, so crowds and the revenue they bring, are hard to come by.

No college, no theater, no nuthin’… certainly not a 48 unit complex in Dillon next to the CMC building.  Once again, forces in Dillon want to stop development as happened with the Lake Dillon Theater (went to Silverthorne) and the Colorado Mtn. College expansion (went to Breck).  With no new buildings for 20 years and a town center that has never launched, recent town approval for the Dillon Flats complex threatens to break the streak.  Maybe guard gates like in Beaver Creek would cut down traffic.

And finally… Summit County governments are trying to come up with regulations to limit those annoying drones.  You know, they make pistol shot shells in .44 magnum… just sayin’.

Rumor, Gossip & Inneundo

radioFor the first time in years, Lake Dillon didn’t freeze over between Christmas and New Year’s….  And it’s not because it hasn’t been cold.  Guess the warm autumn kept the temps up longer this year.  I’d make a crack about Global Warming, but last time I did, I got hate mail from climate change deniers… really.  It was scary.  They have no sense of humor.

Even with the alleged “late start” to the ski season, we made up for it in spades…. judging from the gridlocked roads and grocery aisles over Christmas.  Used to be (old-timer story alert) if we were able to ski by Veteran’s Day it was an exceptional year.  Now if the lifts don’t run by Halloween, the season is considered lost.

“My Realtor told me that was National Forest and it would always be open space.”…. We used to be able to promise that with certainty.  Now, not so much.  Pressure to turn National Forest over to the states or to sell it off will build for the next few years.  This has been bandied about in Washington for years, but now it seems entirely too possible.  That’s OK.  All those trees aren’t doing us any good where they stand.

So the best New Year’s Resolution I can think of is to get out into the mountains and ignore everything else….  Hike, ski, climb, go paragliding, and don’t check the news or your email.  There’s going to be two kinds of people for at least the next four years: happily unplugged ones and everyone else. Remember why you came to the mountains in the first place. It wasn’t your cell phone.

Rumor, Gossip & Innuendo

radar-dishesCan you hear me now?… In Summit County the answer is often NO!!!  Service is generally bad. But when it gets really busy, the cell towers (both of them) are overloaded by visitors sending selfies (Hey y’all! Here’s us with the bear!) back to Texas.  So since free enterprise has failed us, it looks like the towns are going to have to build their own if a ballot measure allowing them to do that passes.  Remember when phones were a public utility?  Hell, remember operators and directory assistance?

And the reason phones don’t work… is because I-70 traffic set new records this year.   1.3 million visitors came through here in June alone and the average is about a million per month.  No wonder you can’t get into a restaurant or find a room.  Shoulder season used to be when locals went out to eat (at the 3 restaurants still open).  Now there is no shoulder season and we all go to Denver to dine out.

Wait… something’s missing… Oh, it’s a big chunk of The Thorne aka. Mt. Silverthorne.  Looked like a forest fire one Saturday morning with a big white plume rising above the Gore Range.  Later there was a new white rock face and a giant debris pile at the base of the peak. You can see it from downtown Silverthorne.  Always an adventure in Colorado.

Experts agree: It will either dump snow in epic amounts this winter… or it won’t.  The usual El Niño/La Niña debate is in full swing with many prognosticators warning us to lay in supplies for a long deep winter.  Looking back, La Niña has brought just as many huge winters as it did dust on crust winters, so flip a coin.  Your chances are just as good as the forecasters.

You can always tell it’s an election year… highway maintenance needs ignored for years all become a priority and the roads are ripped up at exactly the same time cutting Summit County off from the civilized world.  And yet the traffic count still made a new record… go figure.

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