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Home is where the heat is

Summit Daily News

Ah, ski towns: The beauty, theamenities, the recreation … thehousing prices.Summit County real estateskyrocketed in the 1990s and early2000s. Even the recession, which hitSummit around fall of 2008, madeonly a small dent in most homeprices (though some buyers did pickup homes previously valued close to$2 million for a mere $1.3 million,or so). What the recession did wassignificantly slow home sales.A quick perusal of the SummitDaily News classifieds will give you asnapshot of prices, from real estate forsale to rentals.If you find a one-bedroom rental for$775 or under, grab it. Some go formore than $1,000. If you’re daring,you can rent a room with a bunch ofother ski bums. Sometimes it worksout great; sometimes not.The major ski resorts offer housingto their employees, so check with thehuman resource departments if youplan to work on the mountain.Property management companiesmay be able to help with long-termrentals, but sometimes they’re out ofstock. Check out the Yellow Pagesand the Summit Daily classifieds fora start.Many people who want to purchasea house actually end up with a condo- call it a starter home – aftergetting sticker shock. The upside ofcondo living is you can spend moretime outdoors, rather than fixing up ahouse.If you want a house, the SummitHousing Authority may be able tohelp. It’s a nonprofit that campaignsfor and teaches people aboutaffordable housing. If you don’t knowwhat that means, an “affordablehome” is a house assigned to a certainprice relative to area wages, no matterwhat the market value; a deed restrictsit, allowing it to appreciate only somuch, so it remains “affordable.”The Wellington Neighborhood inBreckenridge received national pressfor its affordable housing element,which also encouraged communitycenters and parks.The housing authority offers homebuyers’ education classes, whichcover budgeting, mortgage lending,credit scores, loans shopping, homeinspection and title work. Otherclasses, in partnership with ColoradoMountain College, include managinga healthy home, resolving tax issuesand refinancing.Summit Housing Authority alsooffers a variety of programs, includingrental assistance, loan programs, downpayment programs and Section 8rental assistance programs.

1) Read the lease carefully. Ifyour roommates flee, get thrownin jail or wander off, then youneed to know if you’re gettingstuck with the whole bill ornot. And believe us, wanderingroommates are a dime a dozenout here.2) Long-term leases will getyou nicer places. If you thinkyou’ll stick it out for a year, thenit’s worth it.3) Look for nearby bus stops;they will come in handy duringthe winter, or when you’re tiredof paying for gas.4) Ski-in, ski-out is a desirablething, but you should thinktwice before moving into a one bedroomwith 11 other people.5) Make sure you get aplumber’s number and makean agreement with the landlordabout emergencies. If all hell’sbreaking loose, you don’t wantto have to get a hold of thelandlord for permission to makeit stop. Call it an “emergencyclause” in the lease so you don’tget stuck without running waterfor more than a day.


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