Aspen is at the top of the U.S.’s ski-resort destinations, and for that reason, a prime location to purchase a ski home. The area is comprised of four local mountains—Aspen, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk—each offering different opportunities for ski home buyers. Aspen has seen sales activity and prices strengthen this year compared to 2016 as evidenced in the second quarter market report for the area by appraisal firm Miller Samuel Inc. for Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In addition, neighboring Snowmass Village has broken ground on the new $600M Snowmass Base Village, areas of which are expected to be completed by November 2018. Deciding where to buy your next Aspen Snowmass ski home could be a challenge—especially if you don’t live in the area—so we asked local Douglas Elliman agents The Rulon Kelly Team to lend their insights on the neighborhoods to help you decide where to buy.
What resources are available to me to learn about the neighborhoods until I can get there?
Douglas Elliman’s website does a great job showcasing locations and specifics about houses, but the feeling of a neighborhood can only be felt. The Rulon Kelly team has more than 40 years of experience in Aspen Snowmass, and we know both the neighborhood’s history and future. Clients consider us their “eyes and ears” in the community since we tour the area on a weekly basis. A quick conversation prior to your arrival in the Aspen Snowmass area is all we need to get started and understand your wants and needs. That will help us to narrow down and focus on your most important desires for a property.
What are the major differences between Aspen and Snowmass?
There are only eight miles between Aspen and Snowmass Village, which makes this area an anomaly for resort destinations to be so close but offer widely different experiences. Aspen’s history begins in the 1800s when miners came to the area in search of silver. Aspen is known for its boutique shopping, crazy nightlife and small metropolitan vibe. If access to downtown is important to you when you’re not on the slopes, a property such as 124 East Durant Avenue #7 which is close to shops and restaurants, would be an excellent option. This approximately 1,214-square-foot townhome has contemporary finishes on three levels and is available fully furnished.
3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms
Snowmass Village became a ski resort in 1967 and then a town a decade later. The valley is surrounded by peaks higher than 13,000 feet, including Mt. Daly. Homes are found around the golf course or two miles further up, atop the Ridge Run subdivision. Many of the properties in Snowmass have direct access to skiing, hiking and mountain biking right out their front door, such as 127 Forest Lane, which offers all the benefits of Snowmass Village. With more than approximately 4,800 square feet including an outdoor covered dining area and an approximately 700-square-foot deck, this home also comes fully furnished.
Snowmass Village, Colorado
5 Bedrooms | 6.5 Bathrooms
If I want a home in time for ski season, when should I start looking?
Now! In Snowmass Village, most of the closings happen in August because it takes most buyers a year from their first experience in this area to find the perfect home. The typical buyer books a trip in late December to experience a true Colorado holiday season. They love it so much that they come back for spring break and book their next trip for July before the leave the airport. In July, they find the local adage of “come for the winter, but stay for the summer” true and put in an offer on their dream home so they can come back in December for another vacation—or decide to stay.
We suggest talking to us on your first stay in the area and we’ll keep you informed of the market, including personalized emails for properties that fit your criteria. We see this as an educational process and that process starts with knowledge. We’ll know when your dream home becomes available, and you will be ready to act on it with confidence.
Old Snowmass, Colorado
4 Bedrooms | 4 Bathrooms
What are some features I should look for in a vacation home versus a full-time residence?
We’re seeing a trend that more homeowners can and will take longer vacations or work remotely for an indefinite time to enjoy the Aspen Snowmass lifestyle. In older homes, the storage areas are smaller since the owners were typically there for only one to two weeks at a time. Now we see a need for walk in closets, garages, and separate living spaces for adults and kids to enjoy their space.
If you want a vacation home with better opportunity to produce an income while you are not using it, then focus on the amenities. Features such as a hot tub to warm up in after a memorable day outdoors, direct ski access, close proximity to restaurants and nightlife, guest membership to the local golf course or athletic club for your guests, or a breathtaking view all add value for your guests. In addition, be sure you hire a local liaison for your house to handle the last-minute requests from your guests and maintain your property.
Snowmass Village, Colorado
7 Bedrooms | 6 Bathrooms | 4 Half Bathrooms
Meet the Agents:
The Rulon Kelly Team has expertise in Aspen Snowmass real estate since 1976. With four full-time Aspen Snowmass Realtors® that bring together a unique blend of talent, they work under the belief that a team always outperforms an individual effort. Sharing collective ethical standards, operating with honest communication, and working with a collaborative approach, each member brings their individual expertise to the table to create better solutions as a team.