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Renters: It is about to Get A Lot Worse

by KCM Blog

Renters: It is about to Get A Lot Worse

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Renters: It is about to Get A Lot Worse | Keeping Current Matters

We often promote homeownership over renting when a family is ready, willing and able to purchase. There are both financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home of your own. Based on the headlines below, many news outlets agreed with us after they reviewed a recent report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and Enterprise Community Partners. The study states that the number of households spending 50% or more of their income on rent is expected to rise by over ten percent in the next decade. They concluded:

“Overall, this white paper projects a fairly bleak picture of severe renter burdens across the US for the coming decade.”

What do other experts think of the report? You can tell by the headlines they chose to introduce their stories:

“Renters, get ready to take it on the chin” - CNBC

“The Rent Crisis Is About to Get a Lot Worse” - Bloomberg Business

“Renters Will Continue to Struggle for the Next Decade” - World Street Journal

“Why the renting crisis could be about to get a lot worse” - Fortune Magazine

“Soaring rents are a problem that will only get worse” - Business Insider

“High rents are here to stay” - The Real Deal

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about buying a home and are financially positioned to do so, now may be better than later. You can download the entire white paper here: Projecting Trends in Severely Cost-Burdened Renters

Fall Is In The Air!

by Allison Simson

Happy Tuesday to YOU!  

Fall is in the air and the leaves on the aspen trees are truly SPECTACULAR this year! The month of September is one of the best times of the year to visit the High Country when it comes to breathtaking views. An explosion of reds, oranges and yellows transforms the landscape into an artist’s palette. As locals know, the aspen leaves change suddenly and dramatically, and then in the same fashion, disappear. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Enjoy this list of great drives as listed in The Summit Daily News! There are many places in and near Summit County for spectacular fall foliage viewing, and it just depends on whom you ask as to which one is the best.


Elevation: 11,488 feet

Boreas Pass in Breckenridge is an option for phenomenal views year-round, but even more so this time of year. The road is open to vehicles during the summer, or park in the lot and hike or bike up. The road has a gradual ascent to the summit, making it a relatively easy hike. Boreas offers an expansive view of the Blue River Valley and the Ten Mile Range, and also boasts views of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

“Boreas Pass showcases the best of both worlds, panoramic views and tight clusters of golden aspen,” said Rachel Zerowin with the Breckenridge Tourism Office. “You can drive the road or explore the singletrack, and both options give you that tunnel feel, with the changing leaves on all sides.”

In the late 1800s, early 1900s, the road was used as a narrow-gauge railroad, running from Breckenridge to Como. Closed to motor vehicles in the winter, the gravel road is drivable in the summer with any passenger vehicle. The pass is approximately 6.6 miles one-way, and it’s a popular spot for both summer and winter recreation.

General directions: In Breckenridge, follow Main Street to the south end of town (toward Blue River). At the southern end of town limits, turn left onto Boreas Pass Road (also known as County Road 10). Follow road for 3.5 miles to Bakers Tank Trailhead, with parking on the left, or continue on the road to drive over the pass.


In Summit County, the Top of the Rockies National Scenic Byway starts at Copper Mountain and travels over Fremont Pass to Leadville, where travelers can take one route to Granite or, to loop back to Summit, follow the extension to Tennessee Pass, through Camp Hale, Red Cliff and Minturn, and back to I-70 East.

“That’s a gorgeous drive,” said Carly Holbrook, director of public relations at the Colorado Tourism Office. “There’s a lot of aspen on that route and a lot of wide-open spaces where you get expansive views of 14ers and fall colors.”

General directions: From Summit County, start the Top of the Rockies at Copper Mountain. Take CO-91 South to Leadville. At Leadville, there is an extension that continues south, or take US-24 West all the way to Minturn.


Elevation: 11,542 feet

Distance from Frisco: 30 minutes; 20 miles

A route many Park County dwellers drive every day to get to Summit for work, Hoosier Pass separates the two counties. There is a large parking lot at the top of the pass for picture taking, as well as hiking trails for the adventurous.

“The wonderful thing about going to Hoosier Pass is it’s one of the highest passes in Colorado that you can actually drive to with a solid road that’s paved,” said Veronica Anderson-Bodnar, a sales clerk with the South Park Historical Museum and Visitor Center. “You can look over onto Summit County, you can also look over into Park County. Right on the top of that is Montgomery Reservoir. Montgomery Reservoir is a really nice place to go on a short hike — it’s not a very difficult hike. It’s also a great picture place; they have waterfalls there and you can actually fish.”

General directions from Frisco: Follow CO-9 about 20 miles south. The pass straddles the line between Summit and Park counties.


Elevation: 11,670 feet

Distance from Frisco: 1 hour; 39.5 miles via I-70

Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway is a 23-mile route through Pike and Arapaho national forest land that links Georgetown and Grant. From Georgetown, about 10 miles of the road is paved, with the remaining 12 to Grant unpaved, according to the town of Georgetown’s website. Although maintained for passenger vehicles, slower speeds will be required. Guanella Pass is a less busy tourist destination because the road is rugged, Holbrook said.

Along the byway, catch views of Gray’s and Torrey’s peaks, both Colorado 14ers.

General directions: Follow I-70 East to Georgetown. Take exit 228, drive to Guanella Pass Road


Elevation: 9,997 feet

Distance from Frisco: 1 hour, 10 minutes; 52 miles

Take a drive through Park County toward Denver along Highway 285 to hit Kenosha Pass. The Colorado Trail crosses the summit of Kenosha Pass, and there are many hiking and biking trails nearby to take in the scene. There is a large parking lot at the top of the pass to stop, but it is super busy this time of year, especially on the weekends, so watch for slowing traffic and pedestrians when getting close to the top.

“This time of year, if you can drive (Kenosha Pass) during off-peak times, is probably the best advice I can give —for any of these drives really,” Holbrook said. “If you’re hitting them on the weekends, try to go really early in the morning, which is actually really gorgeous for photography if you can hit some of these areas for sunrise.”

Directions: From Frisco or Breckenridge, follow CO-9 South toward Fairplay. Once in Fairplay, turn left onto US-285 north. Follow 285 to Colorado Trail, turn right.


Elevation: 10,007 feet

Distance from Frisco: 3 hour, 45 min; 182 miles

The West Elk Loop Scenic & Historic Byway includes the 30-mile Kebler Pass road, and travels through the towns of Crested Butte, Gunnison, Montrose and Carbondale. The route also runs through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park between Montrose and Gunnison. Although a decent drive from Summit County, Kebler Pass boasts major aspen.

“Kebler Pass between Crested Butte and Paonia has the largest aspen grove in Colorado,” Holbrook said. “It’s probably our most iconic scenic fall drives. You also get McClure Pass on that drive, which is also stunning.”

The whole historic byway loop is 205 miles and takes around six to eight hours.

Directions: Follow I-70 West to CO-91 South. Take exit 195 for CO-91 South toward Copper Mountain/Leadville. Take US-50 West to N. Main St. in Gunnison. Take CO-135 North to Co Rd 12.


Travelers looking for a day trip can take a loop to combine Loveland Pass, Guanella Pass and Kenosha Pass. From Silverthorne, follow US-6 East, passing Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and over Loveland, hop on I-70 East to Georgetown, hit Guanella Pass, then Kenosha. From Kenosha Pass, take US-285 back to Fairplay, and hop on CO-9 North back to Breckenridge.

For a less heavily traveled thoroughfare, try Ute Pass Road north of Silverthorne. Follow CO-9 North for about 15 miles from Silverthorne before turning right on Ute Pass Road.

For those looking to stay close to town and get out of the car, Vanessa Agee, marketing and communications director with the town of Frisco, recommends hiking the Perimeter Trail in Frisco. That area has been heavily logged due to the pine beetle, resulting in expanding aspen groves and incredible views, she said.

“The views from the Perimeter Trail and from the top of the ridge are amazing,” she said. “First you see Ptarmigan Mountain and the changing aspen there, then you see the area around Wildernest and below Buffalo (Mountain), and then you see views of the aspen below Peak One above Frisco. It was the most broad and expansive view of changing aspen that I have likely ever seen.”

Use the Dickey Day Use Area to access the trail.

The aspen are currently peaking just about everywhere. Holbrook said there will probably be about two weekends left to view the fall colors, although that could change quickly with a cold snap or big snow.

“This time of year you can’t really go wrong with any of the mountain passes,” she said.

Disclaimer: These are generalized directions from Google Maps, and do not include every single turn. So don’t get lost and blame us. 

Here's an update on the CDOT toll lane on I-70 as reported in The Summit Daily News!




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110 Sawmill RD

Price: $166,000

Beds: 1

Baths: 1

Sq Ft: 296

This incredible location sits streamside in one of Breck's original historic ski lodges, and can be your very own ski-in powder paradise & summer getaway! Just 3 blocks from Main St you'll find everything you would expect from one of N. America's pr...

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Existing Home Sales Slow Amongst Tight Inventory

by KCM Blog

Existing Home Sales Slow Amongst Tight Inventory

Posted: 25 Sep 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Existing Home Sales Slow Amongst Tight Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

§Existing Home Sales slowed down slightly in August but remained 6.2% higher than August 2014.

§Inventory levels remain below the 6 months necessary for a normal market at a 5.2-month supply.

§First Time Buyers rebounded in August to make up 32% of sales, matching a 2015 high.

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Buying A Home Is Better Way to Produce Wealth Than Renting

by KCM Blog

Buying A Home Is Better Way to Produce Wealth Than Renting

Posted: 22 Sep 2015 04:00 AM PDT

Buying A Home Is Better Way to Produce Wealth Than Renting | Keeping Current MattersAccording to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index homeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:

Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?

The index examines that entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at use a “’horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” Ken Johnson, Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors states: "The U.S. as a whole is still in clear buy territory. The cities of Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, and New York City are deep into buy territory." Miami and Portland had been inching closer toward renting being the better option but have "pulled back from the edge." Johnson goes on to say, “that's a good sign for home pricing as it suggests prices are going to level off in these metro areas."

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year, so lock in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.

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Have You Set Up Personalized Posts Yet? | Keeping Current Matters


2015-2016 Ski Season

by Allison Simson

Happy Tuesday Morning to YOU!


Summit County is enjoying a beautiful September and like it or not, snowmaking at Summit County ski areas will be underway in a matter of weeks. How can that be??

In the meantime, local resorts are putting the finishing touches on their annual round of upgrades.

This year’s changes might not be as obvious to skiers and snowboarders as in 2014-15, when Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s $2.3 million kids center became the fourth building in its base area, Breckenridge Ski Resort put in a higher-capacity Colorado Superchair and Loveland Ski Area constructed an on-mountain cabin.

Vail Resorts is focused on Utah this year as it integrates the resort formerly known as Canyons into one unified Park City.

Local ski area visitors can expect remodeled buildings, more snowmaking and new app features for the 2015-16 winter season. This from the Summit Daily News:

Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin put $500,000 into turning its ticket office into a guest services center. The space formerly used for kids snowsports lessons will be part of the expanded season pass and ticket office, and the ski area will establish a dedicated call center to handle snowsports reservations and questions over the phone.

A-Basin also will be able to expand its music offerings in winter and summer with a new stage and music venue on the ticket office steps.

Action on the more than 400-acre expansion in a backcountry area within the ski area’s permit known as the Beavers has been pushed back. Local Forest Service officials said recently that the ski area was refining its proposal for the federal agency to analyze.


Breckenridge is investing in the skier and snowboarder experience on Peak 6, a terrain expansion entering its third season. The resort added one mile of new snowmaking pipes on the Lost Horizon and Barton Breezeway trails, lower-mountain terrain critical for opening Peak 6 in the early season, and the ski area widened the Monte Cristo trail to double the width of the run that connects Peak 6 to Peak 7 and funnels skiers back to the base areas.

The ski area also upgraded its haul ropes, the cables that carry chairs on a lift, on the Rocky Mountain, 5 Chair and Snowflake lifts.

Copper Mountain Resort

Copper will have several new food and beverage options for 2015-16, including a full-service Starbucks Coffee in Center Village on the first floor of the Mountain Plaza building next to the American Eagle lift. Also in Center Village, Mahi Fish Tacos will specialize in different kinds of fish, salads and quesadillas.

Skiers and riders will be able to enjoy grab-and-go Belgian waffles and coffee on the mountain this year as Belgian Bean is moving to the location formerly known as Flyer’s Soup Shack just below the top of the American Flyer lift.

The Tucker Lift expansion project is still going through the approval process and won’t happen for this season. The resort plans to build a lift up Tucker Mountain to provide access to the terrain now served by snowcat. The snowcat operation would then move to the backside of Tucker Mountain.

Keystone Resort

Keystone spent nearly $2 million on repairs and upgrades to the resort’s snowmaking system, including the replacement of a primary water supply pump and changes to key electrical systems.

In October, the Keystone Lodge and Spa is being remodeled with re-carpeted hallways, replaced woodwork and doors and new pillows and linens.


Though Loveland isn’t technically in Summit, it’s just over the Continental Divide, and many Summit folks call it home.

Loveland Ski Area will re-align Chair 2, the main chairlift at the base of Loveland Basin. The original chairlift will be shortened to drop skiers and snowboarders off at the base of Chair 6. The newer upper section, called Ptarmigan Lift, will serve the Bennett’s Bowl and Ptarmigan Roost areas and its construction used a K-MAX helicopter this summer.

Loveland also remodeled its website,

App Additions

Copper’s Sherpa app, which tracks users’ runs, speed and vertical feet, will now offer trail recommendations based on skiing and riding history and habits. App users can designate if they want the optional suggestions sent via in-app notifications, email or both and at what time of day.

Vail Resorts’ Epic Mix app will feature an addition this year that allows skiers and riders to view real-time chairlift wait times and plan their mountain navigation accordingly. The feature will be rolled out across 55 core chairlifts and gondolas at the company’s four Colorado resorts.

Epic Pass Extras

In neighboring Eagle County, Vail Mountain is upgrading its Avanti Express Lift, known as Chair 2. The centrally located four-passenger chairlift will become a six-passenger, similar to the Colorado Superchair upgade at Breckenridge.

The front-side lift has long been a major hub for Vail skiers and riders above the Lionshead base area, and the upgrade is expected to reduce wait times and improve reliability. A loading conveyor and gates will increase skier circulation and passenger capacity by up to 30 percent.

Beaver Creek will add to its snowmaking fleet this year by equipping the Red Tail and Centennial trails, two popular intermediate runs, with 23 fan guns.

In Summit County, Utah, the plan to combine Park City and Canyons Resort into the largest ski resort in the U.S. includes an eight-passenger Quicksilver gondola, which will transport people from the base of the Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons.

The merger also means a new 500-seat restaurant, lifts and restaurants upgrades, new and widened trails and more snowmaking. Vail Resorts investments in ski area upgrades for the 2015-16 season total $110 million.

For more information about upgrades at other Colorado resorts, visit, the online home of the state’s ski area trade association, Colorado Ski Country USA. 

We'll see you on the slopes!

Allison Simson, Owner/Broker

Check out this great mountain getaway: 

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6714 Ryan Gulch RD

Price: $309,000

Beds: 2

Baths: 1

½ Baths: 1

Sq Ft: 1178

Perfectly charming townhome with beautiful finishes, quality detils and natural light. Meticulously maintained, in truly move-in condition. Open floor plan great for families. Happiness smiles in every room. In a quiet complex w/ outstanding trails ...

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Contact Information

Photo of Summit Real Estate Real Estate
Summit Real Estate
The Bright Choice
330 Dillon Ridge Way, Suite 10
Dillon CO 80435
Fax: 970-468-2195

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