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The rising cost of real estate

Glen CamusoBreckenridge

I originally wrote this letter, then decided not to send it until reading Marc Carlisle’s column titled “The American Dream: the opportunity of home ownership” (SDN, Jan. 6), which reignited my frustration.First and foremost, I will preface this writing by saying that I do not intend to generalize about Summit County’s real estate agents. I am certain that 99.9 percent of our agents practice in an ethical and professional manner. I am on my eighth year of residing in Breckenridge and struggle, as most do, to make ends meet. Sure, life could be worse. I live in an amazing community, enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle and manage to keep a roof over my head.Having said that, is it too much to ask that one day I would be able to stop paying someone else’s mortgage and take the plunge into home (or condo) ownership? Shortly after beginning the search, I became willing to accept that the only seemingly affordable one-bedroom condominium in Breckenridge would have to be in one of three buildings located two miles up the hill, built in 1966, and offering a whopping 384 square feet of living space. Oh well, at least they are on the bus route. What I am not willing to accept is when a condo is purchased, untouched and then re-listed two months later at a 14 percent increase, without even bothering to paint or replace the substandard appliances.Even more disturbing to me is that the condo I was looking at was recently purchased by a local real estate agent. Some would say that this is the practice of a smart business investor. However, I would like to believe that an investor would make the effort to either “invest” some money in the property or hold onto it until it appreciates. I sincerely doubt that any property appreciates 14 percent in two months. I find it unfortunate that the place I have come to love and call home is also home to a real estate market being driven up by greed. Most likely, by people who already own a home and are out to make an extra dollar.My intention is hopefully to make such people (not just real estate agents) realize the impacts of their actions on the real estate market of Summit County and its less affluent local population. I am grateful to the agent I am working with who took the time to investigate the selling history of the property before I unknowingly contributed to this problem.Unfortunately, however, the Breckenridge “American Dream” is turning into a nightmare.


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