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FRISCO — The town of Frisco is hoping to remove some of the unintended consequences of past deed restrictions placed on homes in town.

The Frisco Town Council unanimously voted to adopt a resolution at their regular meeting Tuesday night that would allow homeowners with a deed restriction on their property to opt in to a new housing covenant offered by the town. The move is meant to help incentivize home improvements on restricted properties, and provide more flexibility to sellers so they aren’t forced to take a loss, while still assuring affordability for buyers. Council members Jessica Burley and Melissa Sherburne recused themselves from the vote.

“We tried to address each problem that was identified,” said Nancy Kerry, Frisco’s town manager. “It isn’t a perfect solution. Not every homeowner will make money. That’s how the housing market is for anybody. The goal of the council was not about guaranteeing any sales prices. But it also isn’t to force people to lose money. So we’re trying to thread the needle to the right outcome with as few unintended consequences as possible.”

There are currently about 170 deed-restricted covenants in Frisco, and while they aren’t completely consistent in terms of restrictions, most include the same language in regard to maximum resale value for sellers. Kerry said that language is the heart of the problem.

Under most current covenants, sellers are only allowed to sell their homes for a sum that’s equal to the lesser of two scenarios: either the purchase price plus 3% a year (not compounded), or the purchase price plus a percentage increase equal to the percentage increase in the area median income (AMI) from the time the unit was purchased until the time it’s listed for sale.

This means that in some cases, when there’s a negative or static change in AMI from the time of purchase — calculated using a national formula by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with local variations — homeowners would be forced to sell their property for less than they purchased it for or a very small profit. It also means individuals with similar properties may be forced to sell under extremely different circumstances based on when they sell their homes.

“Let’s say someone purchased a house in 2011,” said Katie Kent, a planner for Frisco, in an interview with the Summit Daily this summer. “You actually pull out this spreadsheet from 2011 and look at what the AMI was that year, then you look at the AMI in the year they want to sell it and calculate the difference, whether it’s positive or negative. It all depends on what year you bought. You can only look at the year you purchased and the year you’re selling. And because the covenant says lesser of, if that number has gone down, that’s the formula, and that’s how you get the negative sell price.”

The new resolution creates a voluntary covenant that owners of current deed-restricted properties can join to change the maximum sale price calculation on their covenant.  

The new formula would set the maximum sale price as the sum of the seller’s original purchase price, a 3% increase annually (not compounded or guaranteed), the cost of qualified capital improvements on the property, and the cost of real estate commission. Sellers can also add a 2% bump on the commission if they use the Summit County Housing Authority to list their home.

Of note, homeowners won’t be allowed to sell above the set maximum purchase price in the published Summit County AMI at the time, even if the new calculation suggests they should be getting more. The only time someone would be able to sell their property above the published AMI is if they would otherwise be forced to take a loss on the deal — at which point they could sell for the original purchase price.

The new calculation also doesn’t guarantee that homeowners will get to sell at their highest allowed price, as they’ll still have to find a buyer within the correct AMI threshold to agree to that price. Though, it does provide increased flexibility for both buyers and sellers. For the first 30 days a property is listed, members of the Frisco workforce will have priority to purchase the property at its original AMI. Though, if the home isn’t sold in those 30 days, a 20% AMI spread goes into effect opening the door for more buyers.

For example, if someone lists a property restricted to buyers at 100% AMI and it doesn’t sell in 30 days, individuals who qualify at up to 120% AMI would then be allowed to buy the home.

Town officials also hope that by adding capital improvements and real estate commissions to the calculation they can encourage homeowners to make improvements to their homes without fear of losing value when selling, and to use a real estate agent so buyers aren’t left unaware they’re purchasing into a deed-restriction.

Kerry said that individuals interested in changing their deed restrictions would have to fill out an application, and have an informational session with town staff to make sure they understand how the new covenant would affect them.

“The goal is to have an inclusive community, and we want a range of people to be able to afford to live here,” said Kerry. “But in manipulating the market there are unintended consequences, and that is true for all affordable housing programs. … You have to be really careful. You can’t think of every possible outcome. But you can try, and that’s why we gathered as much information as we could to try and find the real causes of the problem.”

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

by KCM

4 Reasons to Sell this Fall- Contact Summit Real Estate

Some Highlights:

  • Buyers are active in the market and often competing with one another for available listings.
  • Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply found in a normal housing market.
  • Homes are still selling relatively quickly, averaging 31 days on the market.

A visitor flies into Denver from sea level, rents a car and drives up to Summit County. Braving the traffic, potholes and white-knuckle turns along the Interstate 70 mountain corridor, they get to one of the more amazing sights in Colorado: a dazzling blue Lake Dillon framed by the majestic Gore Range with rolling, green pine forests all around.

They decide not to waste any time, and they go for a hike as soon as they get here. Not too long into the hike, they start feeling a little lightheaded, and a headache starts gnawing at their temples. Farther along, their breaths get shorter. Before they’re halfway up, everything in their body is telling them to stop. They’re nauseated, dizzy and their muscles are aching.

Suddenly, their trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains becomes a medical emergency.

What they’re experiencing is called altitude sickness, and it’s caused by hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in body tissue. Understanding hypoxia is the key to unlocking many mysteries of human health at elevation, including why so many people who live at high elevation are able to thrive.

In this first part of the Summit Daily News’ annual Longevity Project series, we explore how high altitude affects the biological and physiological processes, what performance gains the human body can experience after spending enough time at high altitude, and why some people — especially endurance athletes — thrive here.

Running out of air

Hypoxia can be acute or chronic and occurs when body tissue receives less oxygen then normal. At high elevations, about 8,000 or more feet above sea level, hypoxia occurs because there is lower barometric pressure. Lower pressure means less air drawn into the body with each breath, which also means less oxygen in the lungs. The towns of Breckenridge, Dillon, Frisco and Silverthorne are all above 9,000 feet, making them hypoxic environments.

Dr. Christine Ebert-Santos, a pediatrician who runs the Ebert Family Clinic in Frisco, has been studying the effects of high elevation on human health for two decades.

She said lower oxygen absorption in the lungs results in lower peripheral capillary oxygen saturation, measurable with a pulse oximeter, which in turn leads to lower oxygen saturation in red blood cells.

A pulse oximeter reading at sea level is normally at 100%. In Denver, peripheral capillary oxygen saturation is usually around 95-96%. Up in Summit, oxygen saturation is around 92%. Visitors coming to Summit from sea level might see their oxygen saturation drop to around 88% or lower before reaching levels typical at this elevation.

Any oxygen saturation level below 100% is considered low, while measurements in the mid-80s could be a real health concern. Below 80%, organ function is disrupted.

“If your oxygen saturation drops below 30%, you will probably die within a few hours,” Ebert-Santos said.

While people don’t drop dead from oxygen starvation in Summit, some do get very sick.

Charles Pitman, spokesman for Summit County Rescue Group, said his team goes out on calls all the time to help people who didn’t prepare properly for high altitude.

“People come up to altitude, but they don’t acclimatize. They drive up to Summit County and want to do a very arduous climb the next day,” Pitman said. “It takes three, maybe four days to acclimatize. By not allowing themselves to do that, they not only get tired, but they’re dehydrated and don’t use the best judgment.”

Pitman said the two primary indicators of a person experiencing altitude sickness are headaches and an inability to speak. He said people experiencing dehydration and altitude sickness often see the summit of whatever mountain they’re hiking, ignore the symptoms and push forward to their goal, making more poor decisions along the way. He said the rescue group has a term for that behavior: summit-itis.

“We’ve seen many cases of extreme dehydration over the years,” Pitman said. “When we find them, it’s very difficult to run a line to get fluids because their veins have collapsed.”

Pitman’s best advice for people coming up to high elevation from lower elevations is to be educated and to listen to their body.

“Don’t push yourself,” Pitman said. “A lot of people are short on time and try to maximize the number of things they’ll do, and it can be very challenging for them. We see that quite frequently. People need to take at least a day or two to acclimatize.”

For adventurers who want practical advice on how to avoid altitude sickness, there are few people on the planet with more experience or daring than mountaineer and explorer Mike Libecki, who was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2013.

Libecki has conducted more than 90 expeditions to the North Pole, South Pole and many of the unexplored, untouched parts of the planet found in between — even places that have never been named. While he prefers technical climbing, Libecki is well-versed on what it means to perform at altitude, having climbed to 23,000 feet above sea level.

Libecki said the most important part of a high elevation trip is preparation and physical training — the parts he calls “easy.” Beyond that, it’s about staying hydrated, taking your time, and being cognizant about how everyone can get altitude sickness, no matter what physical shape you’re in.

“One time, our whole team went up a little too fast, and we had to go back down to 16,000 feet to get hydrated and adjust,” Libecki said. “It’s a pretty simple concept: Take your time. I’m not an Everest guy, but these high altitude climbs can be just as challenging as climbing it.”

Acclimatization

Those seeking a high elevation panacea that will allow them to quickly acclimatize are out of luck — the human body just doesn’t work that way. Dr. Benjamin Honigman, director emeritus of the Altitude Research Center based out of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, said that should not be the goal for people traveling to high altitude.

“I don’t think quicker is the idea. Safely is a better way to put it,” Honigman said. “The body takes some time to adjust. Trying to speed the process along is one of the factors predisposed to making people sicker. If you’re trying to focus on speed of acclimation, we don’t have ability to do that yet.”

Honigman said there are medications that can lessen the effects of altitude sickness. One such medication is acetazolamide, which is better known under the brand name Diamox. Honigman said medications can decrease the incidences of getting sick from as high as 30% to 5-8%.

As far as the most readily available remedies for altitude sickness — like those bottles of oxygen you can buy at mountain gas stations — they’re more or less useless.

“Those oxygen canisters might make people feel better for three or four minutes, but once off it, you’re back at altitude, so there’s no real utilization for them,” Honigman said.


Dr. Christine Ebert-Santos consults a paper and discusses high-altitude health and living at the Ebert Family Clinic on Thursday, Aug. 29, in Frisco.

The oxygen saturation level at which the body starts trying to compensate depends on a person’s hypoxia inducible factor, which varies by individual and is determined mostly by genetics.

“The hypoxia inducible factor is a protein complex that affects the body’s response to low oxygen by changing the expression of hundreds of genes in various ways, such as increasing the number of small blood vessels bringing oxygen to tissues,” Ebert-Santos said. “It’s a response to your body recognizing that it is not getting enough oxygen as it had been getting previously. If it goes on long enough, the body knows it needs to do something internally because it’s not getting something externally.”

Once the hypoxia inducible factor is activated, kidneys send out a hormone called erythropoietin, also known as EPO. Ebert-Santos said EPO can be detected in the body as soon as two hours after arriving at high elevation, showing how quickly human physiology reacts to oxygen level changes.

The EPO pushes a signal to the bone marrow, which is in charge of producing new red blood cells. The signal tells bone marrow that it needs to pump up its production of red blood cells and hemoglobin, the iron-based protein in red blood cells that absorbs and carries oxygen throughout the body.

The bone marrow obliges and starts sending more hemoglobin-rich red blood cells into the blood stream. These new cells, having a higher capacity for oxygen, compensate for the lower oxygen at altitude by carrying more oxygen away from the lungs to the tissue as they circulate.

Honigman said the hypoxia inducible factor and its regulation of EPO is a primary reason for how the body is able to acclimate to high elevation environments.

“The hypoxia inducible factor is a regulator of oxygen and how it is utilized in the cell,” Honigman said. “The factor upregulates EPO over time so that your body can adjust to lower amounts of oxygen in that environment.”

Ebert-Santos said that, while the EPO effect starts kicking in relatively quickly, it takes a while for the body to acclimatize to the point where it functions as normal with lower oxygen saturation. It might be a few days, or maybe even months, before the body feels like it is getting enough oxygen.

EPO and performance

Aside from helping the body acclimatize, EPO has a performance-boosting effect. An athlete with a higher red blood cell count and hemoglobin concentration won’t get fatigued as quickly and will be able to perform longer.

After Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and banned from competitive cycling for life, EPO is one of the banned substances he admitted injecting into his body.

“My cocktail, so to speak, was EPO — but not a lot — transfusions and testosterone,” Armstrong said in his confession interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.

Roberto Ebert-Santos, Dr. Ebert-Santos’ son as well as a researcher and communications manager for the Ebert Family Clinic, has studied human performance at high altitude. He said the performance gains from a low oxygen environment can be offset by detrimental effects.

“There’s this misconception that training at high altitude is advantageous because of the oxygen deprivation, but it is so much more complex that,” he said. “The oxygen deprivation limits your performance in every other aspect. You can’t exert muscles to their fullest capacity because you will run out of respiratory stamina before you even get to the point where your muscles are tired.”

Because of the lower oxygen saturation, athletes never will be able to reach their maximum oxygen uptake level, expressed as VO2 max.

“Your heart and lung capacity is the limiting factor in training at high altitude,” he said.

That is why some athletes live by the “live high, train low” philosophy, where they live at high altitude to maximize blood oxygen efficiency and train at low altitudes to max out their workouts.

“‘Live high, train low’ centers around this philosophy that if you expose yourself for a certain amount of time to a high altitude environment, your body will create enough red blood cells to compensate for oxygen deprivation,” Roberto Ebert-Santos said. “But you want to train at low elevation to push your body to the extent you can allow your muscles to be challenged and grow.”

Dr. Ebert-Santos added that being born at high altitude provides some physiological advantages that can give a definite edge for endurance sports.

“Being born at high altitude gives an advantage for cardiovascular fitness,” she said. “People born at high altitude have larger lungs and higher lung capacity, which can certainly be an advantage for endurance sports. Muscles also develop more capillaries because there’s more circulation.”


Local runner Nichole Sellon tackles a trail at the west ridge of Loveland Pass on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

High altitude performance

Summit County resident Nichole Sellon, 33, has been trail running since she was 22. Born in Los Angeles, Sellon doesn’t have the cardiovascular advantages of being born at high elevtion. When she first arrived in Summit County in 2015, Sellon said she experienced the same adjustment period others do when moving to high elevation.

“For the first six to eight months, I had the obvious signs. It was harder to exercise, as soon as I hit a hill, my breathing shot up a lot quicker than at sea level,” Sellon said. “I was more of a hiker the first six months than a runner.”

After she was fully acclimatized, Sellon embraced the high elevation life in Summit, with its endless trails to explore and ridgelines to ramble over. Her passion became her everyday workout, making her fit enough to do things at sea level most people would never dream of attempting.

In August, while visiting her father in Palm Springs, California Sellon decided on a whim to do the Cactus to Clouds hike, one of the steepest, most grueling hikes in the country. In summer 2009, three people died attempting what has been called “the hardest hike in America.”

The hike starts at 400 feet above sea level in downtown Palm Springs and ends at 10,833 feet at the summit of San Jacinto Peak. That’s more than 10,000 feet of elevation gain within 16 miles. San Jacinto Peak is the sixth most topographically prominent peak in the lower 48 states, meaning it is the sixth highest summit relative to the surrounding terrain.

The hike starts in the desert and ends at the top of a mountain, with temperature extremes at both ends. Sellon said it took her six hours to get to the peak.

“It went really well, and I think it’s because I live at altitude,” she said. “I felt strong, and it felt easy going the distance. I didn’t feel out of breath, and in fact felt like I had a lot more oxygen to work with. It’s definitely easier to do things at sea level than before I moved to Summit.”

Real Estate Market Predictions for rest of 2019

by KCM

We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.

Here’s what some of the experts have to say:

Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic “We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR “We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”

Freddie Mac “The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”

Bottom Line

The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area.

16th Annual SRE Client Appreciation Party Wrap Up!

by Summit Real Estate

Another year of great food, friends and engaging with the great folks of Summit County! We truly enjoy what we do and when we get a chance to celebrate we do so with so much joy and gratitude it lasts long after the celebration!

"Thanks to all the staff who provided a wonderful evening for us!  Everything was wonderful. You’re the best!" The Bonnets

"Thank you very much for a  great party.  It is always such good food and such good company.  I appreciate being invited." M. Rachwalski 

A Special Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors: Movement MortgageTiger Home InspectionsNew Belguim Brewing, CO and Mountain Equity.  Great food and Service from Mountain Lion Cafe. 

 

 

 

Isabel Live Day of Party- A Picture Perfect Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can't thank you enough for those who attended and made this event all it is to us!

Warmly, SRE TEAM

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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