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Mountain Vacation Properties Have Broad Generational Appeal

Steamboat-Springs-house A Steamboat Springs 108-acre ranch is just one of many mountain town properties to pick from. (Colorado Group Realty)

When John Myers’ soon-to-be married daughter said the three-bedroom condo at Vermont's Okemo wasn’t going to be big enough, he purchased a five- bedroom slopeside townhouse where the extended family of 18 enjoys time together. Every week 30,000 baby boomers become grandparents so it’s not too surprising that there are multiple generations enjoying vacation homes at the country’s ski resorts. 

Among retirees relocating to ski-vacation homes, real estate agents report some downsize - and others upsize to accommodate adult children and grandkids. 

“I’m seeing two, three and four generations of families enjoying Okemo together,” notes Kathy Burns, owner/broker of William Raveis Real Estate Vermont Properties in Ludlow. She attributes that to ski programs plus après-ski and summer activities that make the mountain “a great place to connect and call home.”

John Meyers enjoys visits with his grandchildren at his Okemo vacation home. (John Meyers)

Mountain properties continue to be purchased by all ages. In addition to weekend warriors and telecommuters, agents also see owners who move in for the ski season and others who don’t ski but use their vacation homes for summer and rent them out in winter. Prices continue to depend on location and property size, condition and amenities.

This Killington Whiffletree unit sold for more than asking price at $64,500 in 24 hours. (Killington Pico Realty)

“The Killington real estate market has ignited and appears to have transitioned from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market,” notes Kyle Kershner, broker/owner of Killington Pico Realty, who adds it's the busiest he’s seen in ten years.

Inventories for homes and condos are down and many properties are receiving multiple offers with some selling above asking price, like a one-bedroom condo that had three offers within 24 hours of Kershner listing it. “Things are selling well with the lowest priced and $200,000-300,000 range selling fast,” he notes.

Mountain biking has brought energy and more year-round interest in Killington real estate. Chandler Burgess

The economy, summer activities, and “mountain biking energy” are among factors driving the market, he said, adding the $25 million in Killington improvements are reinforcing a desire to own among those already interested in the area. He also reported a non-skier buyer is purchasing properties as an investment, noting Airbnb and VRBO rentals are also a factor in the increasing interest in ownership.

A 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhome faces south to Loon’s trails. (Loon Mountain Real Estate Co.)

A vacation home provides a place for families and friends to get together and have fun and people have been doing that year round at Loon Mountain for a long time, Donna Martel of Loon Mountain Real Estate Co. said. She sees people who purchase and hang on to their homes for extended family gatherings as well as non-skiers who buy to use in summer and rent out in winter.

Currently, the most popular price range for sales is the $200,00 to $300,000 and even $400,000. With not a lot of inventory it is starting to become a seller’s market, Martel said. Properties range from quartershares at the Loon Mountain Club, which sell for $13,000 to $22,000, to several million for luxury slopeside homes.

Huge views at this Steamboat Springs slopeside condo. (Zillow)

Mike Gullotti of Colorado Group Realty, which handles rural and resort real estate sales in south and north Routt County where Steamboat Resort is located, reports that the market is very active with a slight decrease in inventory. The average sales price has climbed to $743,144 (96.9 percent of asking price). An abundance of luxury inventory brings the average list price up to $1.6 million, up 18 percent from last year. 

Approximately 50 percent of second-home owners are from the Front Range (greater Denver area) and purchase properties in the $250,00 to $1.5 million range. People who can work remotely purchase in the  $500,000 to $800,000 range, and families who move up to larger homes typically pay $300,000 to $500,000, Gullotti notes. 

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