5 Tips Before Buying A Ski Property In Colorado

aspen colorado aglow at night
Colorado’s luxury real estate market has been operating at historic levels.

Colorado’s ski property market has become more popular than ever, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic when more people wanted a bigger house for self-quarantine.

As a result, demand has outpaced the available supply. The Colorado Association of Realtors (CAR) noted that home prices in the state have surged approximately 30% since 2020.

Even in a post-pandemic world, more people have had long-term afterthoughts of owning vacation homes. Ski properties may be the answer to their problem, but a potential purchase isn’t the same as buying a regular home.

 46 Greystone Court

Prime Colorado properties in desirable areas can cost upwards of $10-20 million. (Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate)

Set A Budget Because Ski Properties Aren’t Cheap

Ski properties command high prices that they have been considered to be luxury real estate. For this reason, you should prepare to spend more than $2 million. Colorado is, after all, the top “ultra-prime” ski market in the world.

Even with a few million dollars, the average ski property buyer will be priced out in Aspen. Single-family homes in Pitkin County cost an average of almost $12.6 million in January 2022, according to CAR.

The amount represented a 77.4% increase from nearly $7.1 million in January 2021. The median sale price surged from over $3.4 million to $11 million year over year.

Ski properties in communities such as Telluride, an alternative yet popular ski destination, offer more affordable choices. As of January 2022, average single-family home prices in San Miguel County cost more than $2.8 million, up 23.6% year over year.

While average prices posted modest growth, the median price skyrocketed by almost 138% to more than $2.3 million from $987,500.

Real estate broker Chris Sommers of Telluride Real Estate, one of the leading luxury property firms in Colorado, noted a serious uptick in prices.

“In our real estate market history: sold over a billion in 2020 and in 2021 $1.4 billion in total sales,” Sommers said.

685 Wilson Way

Exclusivity comes with a high price in areas such as Telluride. (Telluride Real Estate Corp.)

Exclusive Ski Properties Are More Expensive

Luxury ski property buyers should remember that exclusivity comes with a high price. The cost becomes greater when convenience meets exclusivity—just like a $12.5 million luxury house in Telluride.

The 70-acre property atop the Gray Head Wilderness Preserve offers total privacy and access to resort amenities at Element 52 Residences. The perks include parking, ski valet and rental, and workout facilities.

Now, one may argue that amenities in upscale neighborhoods must be exclusive. First-class ski properties, however, differ based on:

  • Après ski bars
  • Heating and ventilation
  • Ski-in, ski-out access
  • Ski rooms
  • Wine cellars

Telluride Real Estate also linked the immediate surroundings of a ski property to its market value. For example, a 7,630-square-foot property sold for $11 million primarily due to scenic views of “Telluride Region’s iconic peaks.”

 117 Sunny Ridge Place GL 101 outdoor patio fire pit

In ski-resort communities such as Mountain Village, the summer season lures more buyers because of more competitive prices. (Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate)

Know More About Seasonal Slowdowns

The best time to buy a ski property occurs during the off-season months. In ski-resort communities such as Mountain Village, the summer season lures more buyers because of more competitive prices.

Luxury property sellers may also accept price negotiations when demand becomes slow. You’ll likely find a better deal, but you shouldn’t expect dramatic price movements.

Property prices in ski resort towns with year-round activities would hardly decline even during the off-season months.

If you plan to buy a house in Colorado as a vacation home, it pays to know the seasonal downtime. You can rent it out, but you should only do so after learning about local rules.

8121 Preserve Drive

Property prices in ski resort towns with year-round activities would hardly decline even during the off-season months. (Telluride Real Estate Corp.)

Be Aware Of Rules For Renting Out Ski Properties

Every ski property owner in Colorado pays taxes and submits paperwork when they rent out their home. Yes, it’s necessary even if you just plan to rent it out for a month or so.

The specific rules vary per community. Mountain Village, for example, requires property owners to apply for a business license. Taxes include a 4% rate for lodging and an 8.65% rate for sales.

Ski property maintenance already costs more than the upkeep for a typical single-family home. As a landlord, the cost of maintenance becomes a more important aspect of owning a ski property.


Now more than ever, an investment in real estate in Telluride is an acquisition in lifestyle. (Telluride Real Estate Corp.)

Choose An Established Local Broker

Local real estate brokers in Colorado know the nuances of buying ski properties, just like how many realtors in California specialize in finding beachfront homes.

You can determine the established status of a broker through its presence in the region. Take Telluride Real Estate Corp. as an example. The firm has catered to high-net-worth clients for 40 years.

Click here to find out more about their background and how they can help you with other tips for buying a ski property in Colorado.


Randolf Santos has covered different segments of the real estate industry since 2014. He worked at S&P Global Market Intelligence before joining Forbes Global Properties as a contributor.

Properties You Might Also Like

US $4,899,999
Austin, TX, USA

5711 Sam Houston Cir, Austin, TX

US $2,295,000
Kihei, HI, USA

481 Halelea St #127 – Maui

Price upon request
Porto Rotondo, Italy

Villa Fortuna, Porto Rotondo, Sardinia, Italy

US $9,990,000
Austin, TX, USA

1209 N Weston Ln, Austin, TX