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Market Insights: Top 10 trends of second-home buyers in 2011

Daniel Webster JohnsonSpecial to the Daily
Special to the Daily/Bob Bloch
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Those who have been reading Market Insights over the past few weeks know that as the National Association of Realtors’ 2010 Resort & Second Home Property Specialist of the Year, I have enjoyed compiling these top 10 trends. The project has been very informative and tons of fun, thanks to my fellow Realtors. This article is an overview of all the trends. For details on each trend, go to http://www.SummitDaily.com and search “Market Insights” to read past articles about these trends.

What I am seeing more than ever are people turning their second homes into their permanent residences and starting new careers here in Summit County. These careers are especially rewarding and include bus drivers (love the people contact), professional photographers, adjunct professors at Colorado Mountain College (CMC), ski instructors, consultants, etc.

Buyers are saying, “Enough with big homes. We want to have less maintenance and more fun.” Sure makes sense to me. And in Summit County, the fun is in abundance. You know that – no need for me to list all the reasons the lifestyle here is extraordinary.

The percent of cash transactions has sky-rocketed in 2011 as compared to 2010 and previous years. In a nutshell, both domestic and international buyers feel purchasing real estate in Summit County is a very safe investment. At least that is what they have been telling me.

Buyers of second homes care about the time it takes to get to their vacation destination. The buyers are ‘time starved.’ They know if it is not easy to get to the property, they won’t visit often enough to make the purchase worthwhile.

Buyers in 2011 are looking at their second-home purchases as a multigenerational investment. In the ’90s and 2000s, the purchase mindset was maybe a decade at most. Buyers today are talking about how the next generation will enjoy the property.

Hand-in-hand with a multigenerational mindset comes the kids and grandkids. I am finding it common to have at least six people having input into a purchase. To make everyone happy means the buying process takes a long time. And it should if the property will be in the family for decades.

Think about it. Right now, in Summit County, a high percentage of buyers are baby boomers who like to stay active. They want to exercise their brains as well as their bodies. Google “Colorado Mountain College” and “lifelong learning” and see the resources available in Summit County from just this one source.

A second home is no longer a place where people get away from it all. Far from it. Summit County has a ton of non-profits. Why? People who own property here want to be engaged.

Nothing new here.

This is a design trend that just about any architect and builder you speak with in the mountains will agree with. What we are seeing now are smaller properties that stand out due to the attention to the smallest of details. The house I have selected to illustrate all these points is 247 Timber Trail, Breckenridge. It has five or six bedrooms (currently five with a sitting room and the smallest home in the area), is right on a ski trail and priced at $3,290,000 (a bargain compared to the neighbor who sold for $8,285,000 back in the boom days). An aerial map of the location is available.

In today’s dynamic real estate market, it is essential that as a buyer or seller, you are well informed on the market. So work with a real estate professional who knows Summit County inside out.Daniel Webster Johnson is a broker associate at Resort Brokers Real Estate in Breckenridge. He can be reached at (970) 393-3300 and Daniel@YourMountainBroker.com.


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