There’s No Place Like Home: Finding Your Dream Property In A Mountain Resort Town

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that most of us can now work from anywhere. This means we can also live anywhere.

Over the past 18 months, we in the Colorado real estate market have seen many buyers move away from urban areas to places they’ve always wanted to put down roots, like the Colorado mountains and its world-renowned resort communities. Because many are switching from city living to mountain retreats, places like Vail, Aspen, Snowmass, and Breckenridge are experiencing incredibly high demand, which means low inventory.

1000 ute forest living room with walls of glass

A past sale of a custom-built home with architectural plans for expansion. (Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate)

Still, there are plenty of options for buyers who are ready to find a home in a mountain town. You can buy land and build; buy and renovate; buy new; or you can remain ready to make a competitive offer when your broker finds that dream property. 

Selling real estate in the Vail Valley for almost 40 years, I’ve met buyers exploring every option. To get a better gauge on what’s right for them, I first ask clients what they’re looking for in a home. Is this a primary residence, or will it be a second home for multi-generational families? What seasons will you spend the most time at this home? What type of indoor/outdoor living spaces would you like? Will you work fully from home? If so, how much office space will you need? The list goes on. Knowing what my client is looking for in their home helps me guide them to the best outcome.

staged living room inside 784 Potato Patch Dr, Vail, CO

Diana sold this 784 Potato Patch Drive listing with the help of virtual rendering. (Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate)

If you buy land and build

When you look in the Vail Valley, no matter where you build, you’re going to spend at least $400 per square foot. The end result is that you will build the home of your dreams with the layout and features you choose. And, when it comes time to move, the home will be well placed for an incredibly successful resale. 

If you are willing to renovate

There are many gorgeous and unique Vail Valley homes for sale situated in the “perfect spot,” but many show their age both inside and out. I have seen many older homes in fabulous locations torn down and rebuilt to today’s specifications. Most people place a high value on windows, views and light. With the improvements in glass insulation over the last 40 years, much more is possible when renovating a mountain property. For interior renovations, opportunities are endless. I often create renderings to accompany listings to help clients envision their ideal mountain retreat.

Virtual rendering of new luxury development in Lionshead, CO, The Legacy. (Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate)

If you buy new

One of the top buying trends that resulted from the pandemic is the desire for new construction. If new is important to you, a development property is the way to go. We have a variety of new developments in the Vail Valley. In Vail proper, there is The Lion, Legacy at Vail Square, and Altus. In Avon, explore Riverfront Village with its final phase of new residences, One Riverfront.

The recent growth in the Colorado mountain real estate market is a true testament to buyers leaving cities and seeking out mountain lifestyles. In the Vail Valley and beyond, there are many options to meet buyers’ needs. Welcoming and assisting new buyers to find their mountain town haven in our beautiful valley is truly an honor and a privilege. 

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Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate's Diana Mathias is skilled in working with buyers and sellers from all walks of life. She speaks three languages and lived in the UK and Switzerland before moving to Vail, Colorado. Her love of skiing and the connections she made while teaching in Vail led to the start of a successful career in real estate.