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Luxury Market Update - An Overview of the Vail, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch Real Estate Market

The Vail, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch real estate market is really 2 submarkets:  the downtown core in Vail and Beaver Creek including Arrowhead and out-of-town.  Core properties are within a 5 block radius of a ski lift.  Out-of-Town properties are from 5 blocks away to 37 miles away along the Interstate 70 corridor from the base of Vail pass west to Gypsum and north on Colorado Highway 131 to Burns and McCoy.  Within the core, prices are directly correlated to distance from the lifts, quality, condition, and rental income.  Outlying properties are priced on the same variables except distance.  Some outlying properties are on the Town of Vail or Eagle County bus line.

Most out-of-town properties were not designed for night-to-night tourist rentals.Mountain View

There are a few exceptions like Sun River, the Seasons atAvon, Simba Run and the Vail Racquet Club.  Depending on the size, amenities, and the strength of the rental management, outlying properties will do annual gross rentals of about $10,000 to $40,000 with usually 60% of the rental income going to the owner.  The rental manager keeps 40% for advertising, credit card commissions, travel agent fees, maid labor as well as daily supplies, linens, management, and profit, etc. Downtown core properties will gross $22,000 to $200,000.  The high service condominium properties run as hotels such as Manor Vail, Lion Square, The Arrabelle, The Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, The Lodge at Vail, The Mountain Haus, The Marriott and the Charter, charge up to 50% for their rental services.

You may rent with any management company that you like, rent the property yourself or choose not to rent at all.  Usually you are best off to use the company that controls the front desk in your property.





Building Sites*

Sold Out

$30,000 to $30 Million

Single Family Homes **

$1.3 Million - $22 Million

$200,000 - $17.5 Million

Duplex Homes **

$1.2 Million - $14.9 Million

$129,000 - $6.4 Million

Townhomes **

$759,000 - $5.5 Million

$110,000 - $3.75 Million


$389,000 to $19.2 Million

$109,000 to $4.9 Million

(1)  Downtown Cores = Vail Village, Lionshead, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch & Arrowhead.

 *  Most are zoned duplex meaning 2 attached units.  There are a limited pure single family lots except in a few premier subdivisions such as Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, Arrowhead, Mountain Star & Cordillera.  Usually a single family home sits on a duplex zoned lot which was voluntarily down zoned by the developer.  Less than 20% of the residences are single family so supply is very limited.  Often your best bet is to build one. 

Lots are generally ¼ acre to ½ acre in size in the moderately priced subdivisions.  Lots can be 1 acre to 10 acres and larger in the premium subdivisions and Lake Creek. 

 **  Almost all resale property sold by vacation property owners is sold furnished.  About 70% of our properties are owned by non residents ofEagleCounty.

Condominiums range in size from hotel rooms to six bedrooms.  There are a limited number that are 4 bedrooms or larger.  A loft is an upstairs bedroom with an “open” side and usually is considered a full bedroom.  A few homes have 2 bedrooms.  Most are 3 bedrooms or larger.  Usually there is 1 bath per bedroom.

A hotel room is about 400 square feet.  A studio is usually 400 to 1,000 square feet.  A 1 bedroom condominium ranges from 550 to 1,906 square feet.  Two bedrooms run from 850 to 2,600 square feet.  A 3 bedroom condominium ranges from 1,200 square feet to 3,876 square feet.  Four and five bedrooms are 1,500 square feet to 5,743 square feet.  Homes start at about 1,700 square feet and go to 9,000+ square feet.  A few larger properties are available.

Vail was founded in 1962 and most of the original downtown buildings were completed by 1978.  The new construction called “Vail’s New Dawn” was completed by 2007 and 2010.  Beaver Creek was founded in 1980 and the village was completed in 2006.

There are real estate transfer taxes in the Town of Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch of 1%, 2%, 2.375% and 2% respectively.  The Town of Vailuses the money to acquire and improve parks and other open space.   In the future, it may include employee housing.  This fee is a negotiable item between the buyer and the seller paid at closing.  On new construction it is almost always paid by the buyer.

Real estate property taxes are low by American standards averaging ½ of 1% to 2% of market value.

Ninety nine percent or more of the properties are deeded to you via a general warranty deed in fee simple title.  In a few instances there are long term ground leases under buildings with buyout options on the leased land.

Each condominium or townhouse building has a monthly condominium assessment to cover the common costs which may be billed monthly or quarterly, sometimes in advance.  This covers expenses of the property just to maintain it in good working order.  Items in the assessment vary from building to building but generally include water, sewer, fire insurance, management fee, trash removal, snow removal, lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, elevator maintenance, common area cleaning and common utilities, etc.  Items generally not in condominium assessment include debt service, if any, contents insurance, firewood, electricity, telephone, heat, cable television, real estate taxes and personal property taxes.

The monthly assessment will range from $100.00 to $3,500.00 per month depending on the size of the property, the level of service provided, the number of units covered, and the cost items included.  Mortgage financing is plentifully available from local mortgage brokers.  Americans can generally borrow up to 80% of the contract price at a fixed rate for 30 years.  However, if you are going to rent the property, the lender will classify it as “investment property” and may only loan up to 70% of the purchase price.  Usually this loan-to-value ratio does not exceed 70% for foreign nationals.  Current interest rates are in the 4 to 6% range.  This is the cheapest Vail/Beaver Creek mortgage money EVER!  There are loan origination fees (known as “points”) of 1 to 2% payable at closing.  Since 1972, mortgage interest rates have ranged from 4% to 22%.  There are no restrictions on non-Americans owning property in the United States.

Many condominium properties have a 20 day right-of-first-refusal clause in their declarations.  This simply means that once you have a contract accepted by the seller the condominium association must publish your contract to all of the owners who may preempt your contract on the same terms and conditions.  It is rarely exercised, but if so – we will have to find another property.  Occasionally this exists in duplex homes.

Verification of ownership, encumbrances, and liens are provided through title insurance in the amount of the purchase price.  The bulk of this expense is paid by the seller.  However, there is a small charge to the buyer if a mortgage lender is involved.

Every real estate office operating in this market area is a member of the Vail Board of REALTORS which I founded in 1978.  Each member office is a member of the Vail Multiple Listing Service covering 100% of the listed properties in our market.  When you find a company and a REALTOR that you are comfortable with, he or she can expose you to all the properties in this market.

There are a limited number of timesharing and fractional ownership properties in both Vail and Beaver Creek.  All offer fee simple title.  There are no vacation leases or vacation plans.

All REALTORS use a standard form contract sponsored and approved by the Colorado Real Estate commission as being fair to both buyer and seller.  It is always a good idea to have it reviewed by a real estate attorney or solicitor.

The law regarding agency in Coloradochanged on January 1, 1994.  The Selling REALTOR is no longer obligated to represent the seller.  I can be a transaction broker which means that we represent neither party or we can represent you as a Buyer’s Broker or as a Seller’s BrokerA “Buyer’s Broker” acts as a coach.  A “Transaction Broker” can only act as a referee between the buyer and the seller.  Be sure to discuss our arrangement with us.

There are a wide variety of real estate properties to choose from – residential building sites, single family homes, duplexes, townhomes, condominiums, ranches and commercial properties including apartments, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial buildings, commercial development land, etc.  Historically, commercial properties have been very profitable and there are few sales of these properties.  Consequently, if one real estate broker had all of this business exclusively, he or she probably couldn’t make a good living.  Therefore, all real estate brokers specialize first in the listing and sale of residential land, homes and condominiums.

A handful of brokers have commercial real estate experience and only 3 of more than 800 Vail/Beaver Creek REALTORS like myself are C.C.I.M.’s which is a nationally recognized commercial designation of the National Association of REALTORS.

Within our real estate industry there is a wide range of knowledge, talent, and experience.  It pays to inquire about the background of the REALTOR you choose to serve you.

Questions? Just Ask!

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