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While double-digit price increases are likely a thing of the past, buyers should consider more strategic approaches to getting the most out of Summit County real estate.


As real estate markets across the United States begin to cool after the almost uncontrollable post-Covid frenzy, buyers may wonder if the situation in mountain communities like Summit County is also beginning to stabilize. .

According to Debbie Nelson and Ned Walley of Nelson Walley Real Estate in Silverthorne, the local market remains a challenging environment, but point out that a mix of flexible financing options and expert assistance can still help land the right property.

The good news for buyers, Nelson says, is that the cascading growth in prices appears to have peaked in May, although average prices have consistently risen 16% over the past year. But with a steady stream of federal interest rate increases and the impact of ongoing local government restrictions on short-term rentals, Nelson notes the market has stabilized considerably — although there are still less than two and a half months of inventory available.

“When there is a change in the market, we focus on educating people and letting them know how these price swings are part of the normal process,” she says. “You may have missed the boat by not buying three years ago, but we need to look historically to keep things in perspective and guide our customers in navigating our current market changes.”

As Walley explains, tighter market conditions make it all the more important to recruit local real estate professionals who have worked in the market before and after its recent price spike.

“Our job is to hold people’s hands and guide them through the process. We offer our detailed analysis of what is going on, to help our customers get the best deal. Walley says.

This beautiful log home is located along the Swan River with magnificent views of the Ten Mile Range.
Call Nelson Walley Real Estate for more information. (Photo by Nelson Walley Real Estate)

Variable rate mortgages offer a flexible tool

Some may associate variable rate mortgages with the chaos of the 2008 economic crisis, but Nelson says the ARM has become a useful tool for buyers who want to enter our again volatile market but don’t plan to hold on to their property forever. .

“We encourage buyers to talk to lenders and consider the phrase ‘marry the house, date the rate’…and consider an ARM as a way to get in the market until interest rates come down” , she says. “We expect federal interest rates to stabilize in the fourth quarter of 2023, and that’s a way to get into the house you love now and figure things out later.”

Walley says the average homeownership in Summit County is between six and seven years, suggesting that many buyers are already using their properties as investments or trading in for larger homes to meet the needs of their family or their lifestyle. But with the new reality of higher interest rates and the lingering problem of historically low inventory, buyers may need to be more flexible in their intentions.

“It depends on people’s tolerance for risk,” adds Walley. “Even though some purchases at a resort may seem more risky since prices are higher here than at home, it’s a risk that usually pays off. Since 1989, we have seen an average annual growth in property values ​​of over 7% across the county. Owning real estate here is simply an alternative asset class to the stock market. And that’s something you can take advantage of.

Short-term rental rules are changing the market

Another issue facing investment buyers is the wide range of restrictions that local governments have or are placing on properties in Summit County. “We believe these policies will have a negative effect on our economy in general,” Nelson said. “It’s a resort community. Our economy is based on tourism and there are simply not enough hotels to accommodate tourists. Nelson notes that a current listing of Nelson Walley Real Estate is a one-bedroom Treehouse condominium community in Wildernest, located in unincorporated Summit County, has been largely unlisted by real estate professionals. , primarily due to uncertainty over the county’s final decision. will be for short-term rentals in Wildernest.

This home in Ruby Ranch just outside of Silverthorne was sold by Nelson Walley Real Estate in 2022.
(Photo by Nelson Walley Real Estate)

A nine-month moratorium on new short-term rental licenses in certain neighborhoods will be in effect until February 2023. Walley says this will continue to create roadblocks and, at the same time, benefit those who are still allowed to rent less restricted. Strategies.

“If you’re lucky enough to already own in a resort community where it’s allowed, the government basically gave you a 10% to 20% increase in the value of your property,” Walley adds. “Helping our buyers invest wisely in the right property to meet their needs is what we do best, whether in a short term friendly neighborhood or not. Debbie and I are not only real estate agents, but also seasoned real estate investors. This added perspective is another benefit we offer our clients. »



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