There’s an old adage when talking about Vail, Aspen or any other mountain resort community: You come for the winter and then stay for the summer…and for many of us, we then just stay! I was a Midwestern girl who dreamed about traveling the world and eventually ending up in a place I considered ‘heaven’ like San Diego or somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Taking a job as an international flight attendant, I saw the world, and after meeting my husband, we settled in San Diego (yay!). But after a short time, I began feeling very restricted for reasons from outlandish traffic, to housing costs and job insecurities. I soon realized that the mountains were calling, and I needed to follow my heart. I just needed to convince my husband. Like the adage above, we came to Vail for the winter but stayed for the summer. That was nearly 30 years ago. In time, I found my way into the luxury real estate market. I have grown to love everything about Vail and Aspen, and it has been easy for me to successfully sell these areas because when I talk about them and all the wonderful things they have to offer – it comes from the heart.
When you go after the things you’re passionate about – whether that be a property you want to list or an area that you want to not only sell but also live – good things will come from that. Maybe the mountains aren’t the thing calling you, but go after what is, even if it feels out of reach.
Since COVID, the terms success and luxury have both taken on a new meaning for me. It is no longer about having material ‘things’, but rather having safety, comfort and choices as to how one spends their time. It truly means being happy, being with your family and friends, and embracing the natural beauty that surrounds us. I know I’m not alone – many people are seeking new options beyond the city. We’ve seen an influx of buyers looking for a mountain escape – a place that is ideal for creating that connection to the land and community, not to mention a lifetime of memories. For example, because of the strong market and demand, my client and I decided to list her $27.5M home in September, and it sold in two weeks.
Since June 1, the firm I work under has written 564 new contracts worth more than $1B in sales volume in the Vail Valley alone. The firm exceeded its August 2019 numbers with a 117% increase in new written contracts and 178% increase in sales volume. More than half of the buyers are those looking to escape from the crowded urban areas. Other trends we’re seeing:
- Homeowners who have a second or third home in Vail or Aspen are spending more time and for longer periods than before. Some are considering switching this to their primary residence, while others are opting to spend the hot months in the cooler mountain temperatures.
- Many clients are looking to purchase land and build a beautiful home that meets their need to live, work and play.
- Since it’s easy to work virtually and with home schooling a reality for many of us, people want great home offices and areas where they can create a school-like environment. They also want room to move and breathe, such as outdoor living spaces and easy access to recreational activities.
- And, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about COVID – it is that business can happen anywhere. In July, I listed a $5M home in Vail. Interest was immediate, especially by one D.C.-based family who did a virtual tour, and then proceeded to handle the entire transaction virtually.
- Buyers are looking for homes with large common areas where kitchens naturally flow into family rooms, enabling everyone to comfortably and intentionally gather in one central space.
- For as many people who are looking, there are plenty who are selling. Many sellers see this as a great opportunity. Other owners, who know that they will be spending more time at home and/or in Colorado, see this as a good time to upgrade their homes for increased square footage and luxurious outdoor living spaces.
We work in an industry filled with opportunities so don’t settle, continue to go after your dreams, and you will find success – however you define it.