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Silverthorne’s workforce housing project, Smith Ranch, targets more townhomes

by Summit Daily- Eli Pace

The sale of the first home at Silverthorne’s Smith Ranch workforce-housing neighborhood closed last week, marking a celebratory moment for the new homeowners and the town that’s pursuing the project.

Hoping to chip away at the lack of available housing, Silverthorne has slated over 50 acres at Smith Ranch, nestled on the northern end of town, for a new workforce-housing neighborhood and selected Compass Homes Development to spearhead the project.

Phase one is now starting to come to fruition. The new homeowners, Roger and KelLee Abdella, closed on the first sale last Friday. More closings are slated for the coming weeks, and Silverthorne has already issued at least five certificates of occupancy.

Altogether, the first phase is bringing 27 new townhomes, 17 single-family homes and 16 units in duplexes — a total of 60 new homes — to Silverthorne’s lineup of deed-restricted housing. The homes must be owned and occupied by people who work at least 30 hours a week in Summit County.

The developer, Blake Shutler, said that all but four of the homes from phase one are already under contract. The remaining ones are all two-bedroom townhomes.

Not content to stop after the first phase, the town and developers have started turning some of their attention to phase two. As planned, the second phase would bring another 51 townhomes to Smith Ranch across six four-unit buildings and nine three-unit buildings.

“Phase one was a pretty even mix,” said Lina Lesmes, Silverthorne’s planning manager, adding that it only made sense to follow up on the first phase with the townhomes scheduled for phase two.

For the second phase, the four-unit buildings would each house a pair of two-bedroom units and two, three-bedroom townhomes. Meanwhile, seven of the triplex buildings would contain two, two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit. The other two triplex buildings would house only two-bedroom units.

All of the homes would have rear access and front doors facing either Adams Avenue, Smith Ranch Road or the neighborhood’s green space, positioned at the center of phase two’s cluster of homes.

All of the three-bedroom units would come with their own one-car garage, and there would be a three-bedroom home included in the lineup that’s being designed for people with disabilities for phase two, as well.

Altogether, this would make for 111 planned homes across both phases with a majority of the units having garages. The rest of the homes are scheduled for ample surface parking. Plans for phase two could be subject to change, Lesmes said, but it’s likely the townhomes produced throughout it will be sold in waves.

The town and developers are planning to follow up on phase two “pretty quickly” with phase three, which could bring in some more single-family duplexes, Lesmes said.

For more information, visit SmithRanchNeighborhood.com.

Scoop on Ski resort closing dates

by Allison Simson

Well...the ski season will be winding down in the next few weeks here in Summit County (except, of course, for A-Basin - they aren't closing until June!)

Some of my favorite skiing happens as we get close to closing day - the days are warmer, the snow is softer and most of the big crowds are gone.  And best of all - lots of fun music and events happening at all of the resorts.  

ALSO - of note....the real estate inventory in Summit County always increases after the resorts close down.  Keep your eyes open for your perfect mountain getaway!  

Here's the scoop on closing dates from The Summit Daily News:

Several local resorts have announced their tentative closing dates, along with events to coincide with one of the best seasons in recent memory.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which is shooting for a June 2 closing date, will celebrate closing weekend with live music on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 at the Mountain Goat Plaza. The springtime event will feature a free, family-friendly concert from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit ArapahoeBasin.com.

Ski Cooper’s closing weekend celebrations through April 7 will feature a Ski with a Ranger program and live music, along with other festivities for guests. Cooper is also offering a $25 spring daily lift ticket deal from April 1 to 7. For more information, visit SkiCooper.com

Copper Mountain Ski Resort will end its season with its traditional pond skim with a twist at its eighth annual SlopeSoakers contest. Competitors will end the season in style by skimming across floating rails on April 20. On Copper’s closing day, the Retro Shred-a-Thon will return with retro gear to raise funds for injured mountain action sports athletes. Guests are encouraged to reach out for pledges and donations to the High Fives Foundation and wear throwback gear including one-piece snowsuits, shaped snowboards, long poles and straight skis. For more information, visit CopperColorado.com.

Loveland Ski Area will feature “Live Music at the Basin” on May 4 for its closing weekend, with a live performance from A-Mac & The Height. Guests will also be able to enjoy spring skiing, drink specials and live music from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Loveland will team up with Never Summer and Toyota for the second annual Neverland Banked Slalom. The snowboard race will take place off of Lift 6 and all ages and abilities are welcome. For more information, visit SkiLoveland.com.

Keystone plans to close April 7- which has some shaking their heads with all of the snow we've had here....but to make up for it, Vail Resorts has extended the closing date at Breckenridge to Memorial Day!  

See you on the slopes!  

And Here's Your Morning Coffee!

 

Warmly,

Allison Simson  Owner/Broker

 

An FAQ for paying property taxes in Summit County

by Summit Daily staff report [email protected]

Throughout the year, the Summit County Treasurer's Office fields thousands of calls from property owners with questions regarding past and current property tax payments. Below you will find answers to common questions as well as information regarding upcoming deadlines and payment options.

• What options do I have for paying property taxes in Colorado? Owners can choose to pay taxes in two half installments or by one full installment

• When are property taxes due? Half Installments: 1st installment, February 28; 2nd installment, June 15; full installment, April 30.

• Have I or my mortgage company paid first half? To verify if you or your mortgage company submitted first half installment, visit the county website (www.summitcountyco.gov) and click on the property tax link featured at the top of the page. You can refine your search by year and then by schedule number, owner, or address. An account summary will be visible at the bottom of the page.

• Can I get a copy of my tax notice? Yes, after searching your property choose the option to "print tax notice."

• Can I get a receipt for a past payment? Yes, after searching your property choose the option to "print account statement."

 
• Can I get historical payment information? Yes, change the year of your search in the main search engine.

How can I submit payment?

• In person: 208 E. Lincoln Ave, Breckenridge

• Mailed USPS: PO Box 289, Breckenridge CO 80424

• Online: Debit or Credit (3rd party processing fee), E-check ($1.00 flat fee)

What year am I paying taxes for?

In Colorado, tax payments are made in arrears (2017 taxes are due in 2018)

I didn't own the property all of 2017, am I responsible for the full amount? Yes, contact your title company or review your HUD-1 for details as to the proration and collection of taxes at closing.

For questions, please contact Deputy Treasurer Ryne Scholl at 970 453-3443 or [email protected]

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

With home prices on the rise and buyer demand strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional.

Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
The termite company if there are challenges
The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
The appraiser if there is a question of value
The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling
Your bank in the case of a short sale

Bottom Line

The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together and discuss all we can do to make the process easier for you.

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory has declined year-over-year for the last 35 months and is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the average time it took to close a loan was 41 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly, AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!

Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Recently, Freddie Mac published an Insight Report titled Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing. The report focused on the impact the projected rise in mortgage rates might have on the housing market this year.

Many believe that an increase in mortgage rates will cause a slowdown in purchases which would, in turn, lead to a fall in house values. Ultimately, however, prices are determined by supply and demand and while rising mortgage rates may slow demand, they also affect supply. From the report:

 “For current homeowners, the decision to buy a new home is typically linked to their decision to sell their current home… Because of this link, the financing costs of the existing mortgage are part of the homeowner’s decision of whether and when to move.

Once financing costs for a new mortgage rise above the rate borrowers are paying for their current mortgage, borrowers would have to give up below-market financing to sell their home.

Instead, they may choose to delay both the sale of their existing home and the purchase of a new home to maintain the advantageous financing.”

The Freddie Mac report, in acknowledging this situation, concluded that prices are not adversely impacted by higher mortgage rates. They explained:

“While there is a drop in the demand for homes, there is an associated drop in the supply of homes from the link between the selling and buying decisions. As both supply and demand move together in this way they have offsetting effects on price—lower demand decreases price and lower supply increases price.

They went on to reveal that the Freddie Mac National House Price Index is…

“…unresponsive to movements in interest rates. In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

The following graph, based on data from the report, reveals what happened to home prices the last six times mortgage rates rose by at least 1%.

Bottom Line

Whether you are a move-up buyer or first-time buyer, waiting to purchase your next home based on the belief that prices will fall because of rising mortgage rates makes no sense.

 

If you are considering selling your current home, to either move up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed.

 

Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:

“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.

Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.

Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”

Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:

The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.

(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)

There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.

Bottom Line

If you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come.

The Frisco Town Council is considering an overhaul of its short-term rental regulations after receiving estimates that only half of town properties listed on sites like Airbnb and Homeaway are in compliance with current licensing rules.

The most likely change, which could take effect by November, would scrap "umbrella licensing," which allows property management companies to list their entire short-term rental portfolios under a single license. That leaves thousands of revenue dollars on the table and prevents the town from precisely monitoring STR numbers.

A recent third-party analysis found approximately 850 short-term rental listings in Frisco, but only 237 active vacation rental licenses — 25 of which were umbrella licenses. Town staff estimate that even if umbrella licenses account for 200 units, the town has still only achieved a 50 percent compliance rate.

"We've known about this for a couple years, we haven't put the resources into it, but I think now we need to get more staff involved and start looking at it pretty closely," Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson said during a council work session on Tuesday.

More stringent measures like capping STRs in town are on the table, but council seemed more inclined to strengthen and better enforce the current licensing system rather than strictly curtails rentals. More public hearings will precede any rule changes, council said.

There are plenty of benefits to short-term rentals, which keep the lights on in town and generate foot traffic on Main Street. And while recent tax revenue data suggest they may be taking a bite out of the hotel business, lodging isn't necessarily a zero-sum game. Renting out a spare room can also help local homeowners stay afloat financially.

Perhaps the most important question for short-term rentals, however, is their impact on housing for locals. While STRs have taken on a sort of symbolism for residents who chafe at the lack of long-term housing options, their actual impact on the rental market is unclear.

"Do we know that, if we limit short-term rentals, those owners are going to turn them into long-term rentals or just sit vacant?" councilman Rick Ihnken asked. "I don't know if we can get that answer, but that's the big unknown for now."

If owners can make more money renting to vacationers day-to-day, the thinking goes, they're less likely to lease their units to locals year round. But testing that theory is almost impossible. Historical data are lacking or incomplete, and there are a slew of factors influencing how owners choose to make money off their properties.

"Impacts on long-term employee housing supply are incredibly difficult to quantify as historical data sets are unavailable as to how many units were once available for long-term rent, how many of those units were actually rented by local employees, and how many of those units may have converted to short-term," Frisco town staff noted in a report to council.

Academic research indicates that short-term rentals can limit local housing. One study by an affordable housing advocacy group found that STRs reduced New York City's housing stock by 10 percent. A paper published in the Harvard Law and Policy Review similarly found that STRs were exacerbating Los Angeles' housing crisis.

Frisco, of course, is no coastal metropolis, and it's unclear how STRs might impact the rental market in a town where roughly 70 percent of properties are second homes.

Breckenridge, like all of Summit County, has a high proportion of second homes as well. In 2016, the town commissioned a study that found STRs had a "significant" impact on local housing, reducing the available stock while increasing the demand for workers. The findings, however, were approximate and limited by data availability.

Nick VanDer Sluis, who lives in Denver but rents two condos in Breckenridge short-term, bought his first unit four years ago to avoid Interstate 70 traffic. Renting it out on Airbnb allowed him to use it whenever he liked while still making money off of it, something he couldn't do with full-time tenants.

Breckenridge is not considering new regulations. However, Sluis said that if he were dis-incentivized to rent short-term — perhaps through a cap system that made licenses expensive — he would probably sell his units rather than rent them long-term.

"It's a two-fold problem," he said. "There's a shortage of affordable housing but there's also a shortage of hotels and rooms to rent to drive the industry there. So that's a tough call. If you start limiting short-terms, you're helping one market and hurting another."

Paty Frost, who also lives in Denver and rents a unit in Breckenridge short-term, also enjoys the flexibility of Airbnb, which allows her to bring in some extra money when she isn't staying at her place.

"We haven't discussed doing long-term, so the economics of it wasn't even really part of the decision," she said. "We just wanted to still be able to use the place."

There are probably many owners like Sluis and Frost, whose units would be empty most of the year if they weren't being rented short-term. And while some units that might otherwise be rented to locals have certainly been converted to short-term, it's an elusive number.

One of the stated goals of the town's STR regulations is to "preserve and build Frisco's sense of community as a place where people live year round." But in a town with so many second homes, short-term renting may actually add life to blocks that might otherwise sit empty.

"Whether it's good or bad for neighborhoods, at least there are lights on in these communities and people going to our businesses," councilman Hunter Mortensen said. "I went for a walk with the dog today and walked by four driveways that had not been plowed all winter. To me, that's more of a concern than short-term rentals."

Bringing the Olympics to the Rockies may be a tall order for Summit and neighboring mountain communities — 12 to 15 stories tall, to be more exact.

The Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee recently met with Summit housing officials and set out the needs for an Olympic village for athletes, coaches and staff in the mountains. Summit Combined Housing Authority executive director Jason Dietz presented the Olympic village requirements to local town and county officials at the authority's regular meeting on Wednesday.

"The site will need to be 35 to 50 acres of 'flat' land," Dietz announced, and was met with a smattering of chuckles from around the table. Finding a contiguous, flat parcel of land is a steep ask in the mountains. A current property listing on LandWatch.com has one 26-acre flat parcel in Breckenridge selling at $1.75 million.

Dietz added that any such site purchase and infrastructure development would need to be privately or publicly funded, as the Olympics would only pay to rent space while the games are being hosted.

“We want to see what legacy makes the best sense for Denver and the mountain towns.”Ramonna RobinsonSpokesperson for Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee.

For a 35-acre site, Dietz said, housing would need to be dense and cover a smaller footprint in order to accommodate the 2,000 rooms needed to house all the athletes. That would necessitate the construction of a 12- to 15-story residential tower in the middle of a village complex. For a 50-acre site, the building would be 2- to 4-stories tall on a much larger footprint. The villages would also need new infrastructure such as roads, plumbing and electricity.

Summit County manager Scott Vargo said that the county is not at all thrilled about the first proposal. "I don't think a huge tower block would be appropriate for our community," Vargo said, adding that the shorter 50-acre complex seems more feasible, though finding appropriate flat land remains a daunting challenge.

Vargo also said that aside from housing, three new sports venues will need to be built in Denver and the mountains for Nordic skiing (the Nordic centers in Frisco and Breckenridge do not meet Olympic specs), the ski jump and a sliding track for the luge/bobsled.

Ramonna Robinson, spokesperson for the Denver Olympic Exploratory Committee, said that the housing requirement is necessitated by International Olympic Committee requirements. "The IOC requires enough housing for 5,500 beds for the athletes, coaches and staff," she said. She added that the committee is looking at the possibility of building separate villages in Denver, Summit and Eagle to spread out the residential need.

Robinson sees lasting benefits to bringing the Olympics to Colorado. She said that the villages and other infrastructure development could become permanent improvements and address some critical needs in mountain communities.

"There are a lot of infrastructure and capital improvements that aren't being funded in Colorado," Robinson said. "We really believe that the Olympics can be a catalyst to attract much-needed federal funds and help with major issues in the mountains, such as workforce housing and expanding and improving I-70. It could be a benefit for everybody."

Robinson said the exploratory committee is listening to as many local voices as they can to see what solution best fits their communities.

"We want to see what legacy makes the best sense for Denver and the mountain towns," she said, adding that affordable housing could be one such legacy.

The exploratory committee has met with officials from mountain towns including Breckenridge, Frisco, Georgetown, Vail and Winter Park. The committee is also encouraging public input through an online survey that closes at midnight Saturday. The survey can be accessed through the exploratory committee's website, SharingTheGold.org.

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

by KCM

 

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

 

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line 

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

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Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
970-468-6800
800-262-8442
Fax: 970-468-2195

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker, is a licensed Colorado Real Estate Broker