Archive for October, 2011

Mud Season in Steamboat is a Great Time to Shop Real Estate

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Mud Season in Steamboat Springs is a Great Time to Shop Real Estate

Steamboat Springs in late October, early November is rather uneventful except for the hunters in orange who can be seen everywhere and come from all areas of the country. It’s what the locals call mud season because the beautiful, sunny fall weather has given way to pre winter weather where we get a little rain, a little snow and there’s not much going on.

For this reason exactly, it’s a great time to look for a home in Steamboat Springs! The numbers support it – closings in January are typically low due to the fact that few contracts are put on homes in the last quarter of the year.

7 Year Sales Transactions Trends

7 Year Sales Transactions Trends

Here are a few reasons to venture to Steamboat Springs, CO when the ski mountain isn’t open and the summer activities aren’t in full swing:

Mixed Report in September Routt County Real Estate Market

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Mixed Report in September Routt County Real Estate Market

As fall entered full swing, the Steamboat Springs’ real estate market continued its swing along its own bumpy ride with the number of transactions totaling the second highest all year at 140, but with gross dollar volume just over $35 million which only ranks 5th year to date with 9 months down. That makes sense when you dig deeper into residential home sales and see that 34% of them in September were for homes under $200,000.

As September turned to October and mud season follows, we’ll see less real estate activity, and as you’d expect, January sales historically trend low with fewer ‘Under Contracts’ or ‘Pendings’ going on the books the last quarter of the year. But with the bad bounce, comes the good bounce: Steamboat Springs’ ski season is right around the corner. Three ski resorts have opened already, and as always this time of year, there’s winter excitement in the air. With all the Steamboat mountain area base improvements, and the impressive #8 ski resort ranking, we’re looking optimistically ahead and doing our best to ignore the bumps along the way.

Top 10 Take-Aways from Case-Shiller August Report

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Top 10 Take-Aways from Case-Shiller August Report

There’s no way around the fact that the housing market continues to struggle. And as with any prolonged battle, you’ll have some good, some bad and some ugly news to report, and that’s just what I have from the latest August Case-Shiller report.

Case-Shiller August 2011

Case-Shiller August 2011

The Good News

* Sixteen of 20 cities tracked showed annual rate of change improvements in August ’11 compared to July ’11.

* Both the 20-City and 10-City composites are 3.8% and 3.9% respectively above their lowest points which were in April ’09 for the 10-City composite and March ’11 for the 20-City composite.

* The Midwest, particularly Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis, have show the best rebound numbers with each city showing sharp increases since May.

* Detroit continues to be the shining star. Once one of the weakest markets with the worst price declines, as of August ’11, it’s the healthiest when viewed on an annual basis – up 2.7% vs. August ’10.

High-Rise in Steamboat? Not in my back yard . . .

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Neighbors have already objected and attorneys are already involved, but Steamboat Springs City Council showed initial unanimous agreement in favor of the conceptual development plan for a 10-floor condominium building replacing the existing 4-floor Ptarmigan Inn. This development project would take place at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area – a location that has seen its share of construction projects over the past 5 years.

Ptarmigan Inn in Steamboat Springs

Ptarmigan Inn in Steamboat Springs

Concerns raised by attorneys representing those opposed to the redevelopment project center around the following points:

  • Proposed height will obstruct views and create shadows
  • The lack of a well defined development plan with conceptual implications addressed at the onset
  • Drainage impact

According to Tyler Gibbs, Steamboat Springs Planning Director, the conceptual development plan just approved is only the initial step and in effect gives the developers a green light to dive into an extensive development plan that still has to meet 27 conditions identified by the Steamboat Springs City Planning Commission and City Council. So the project is not by any means “approved” and still has many issues to address including one from City Council itself who questioned the lack of winter pedestrian connectivity.

Apple.com’s Tribute to Steve Jobs Lasted 2 Weeks

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

I use an Apple computer for much of my work. All my creative is done on a Mac. I edit  my real estate photographs and create all my real estate video on a 24 inch iMac. I could not imagine using anything else.

So it does not surprise me that Apple.com had an endearing picture of Steve Jobs on the home page of their site for two weeks. I found it a wonderful tribute to the legacy that Steve Jobs left.

For two weeks, Apple used the premiere real estate, being the home page of Apple.com to honor Steve.  Not for selling iPhone 4s, or selling the iPad 2, it was about honoring the man that lead Apple down many roads to success.

Every day I would visit the site just to see how long the home page would remain. And each day that the tribute remained made me appreciate Apple even more.

Steve Jobs and apple.com

Steve Jobs and apple.com

Perhaps College Uniforms Could Use Some Staging

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Perhaps College Uniforms Could Use Some Staging

While I’m not a huge college football fan, I catch the scores and updates on ESPN like every other sports enthusiast. It’s been hard not to notice the hubbub around the Maryland Terrapins football uniforms this year. Some fans love them and some fans hate them while both The University of Maryland and Under Armour have gotten a lot more press coverage for uniform design than the team’s win column deserves to date. Some think it’s a great marketing and PR strategy, while others just wish coaches and apparel companies would leave traditions in place and let the game be played on the field.

Maryland Terrapins Uniforms

Maryland Terrapins Uniforms

Foreclosures Jump 39% in Steamboat – Is This Good for Real Estate?

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Foreclosures Jump 39% in the Boat – This is Good for Real Estate?

The Associated Press reported that nationally third quarter first time default notices increased 14% over second quarter, and Routt County is trending upward as well with 86 new foreclosures documented from July-September which nets a 39% jump from 62 foreclosures in the second quarter. The Steamboat Springs’ real estate market saw 104 default notices in the first quarter of 2011.

As long as there is Shadow Inventory clouding the housing inventory outlook, sellers hesitate to put homes on the market and buyers wait to see  what “hot deals” are yet to come on the market. A pick-up in foreclosures, with Shadow Inventory coming out of the shadows and into the market, puts the cards on the table, moves the inventory through the selling process and as such could be the start of a true turnaround for the US housing market and the Steamboat Springs real estate market as well. While no one likes to see their neighbor lose their home, having a home stuck in bank backlog limbo knowing it will in all likelihood end up in foreclosure, means roadblocks are thrown up on many fronts. Buyers and sellers “wait and see” what’s going to happen and the multiplier effect of that happening from Steamboat Springs to Phoenix, to Orlando combines to stall the housing market nation wide.

The Best Ski Areas in the Country are . . . Steamboat Springs Ranks 8th

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I’ve been skiing for 44 years. I’ve skied at many of the best ski area in the country. And one area that comes to mind in my home mountain in Washington state: Crystal Mountain. But, I’m not here to talk about Crystal. I’m here to say that the Steamboat ski area ranks 8th in the country. Now that’s pretty good considering it’s up against the big dogs on ski area.

Steamboat Springs Ski Area

Steamboat Springs Ski Area

Of course I live here so I’m biased regarding Steamboat. I do ski more powder that ever. I am always amazed and the beauty all about Steamboat with the snow covered aspens and clear blue skies. The snow is dry and plentiful. Steamboat is really a great ski area and not just because of the skiing.

Here’s the ranking from Ski Magazine. And a recent article about the results.

SKI Magazine 2011 Reader Survey top 20 resorts

1 Deer Valley, Utah

Steamboat Springs’ Mountain Base: New Look, New Season

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Steamboat Springs’ Mountain Base: New Look, New Season

For anyone who hasn’t been up to the Steamboat Springs mountain base recently, just wait until you see what they’ve been working on and how the landscape has changed. Depending on where you enter, you might be greeted by the new promenade walkway system that now directly connects the Torian Plum retail stores and restaurants to Gondola Square. The landscaping along the way is impressive and while it’ll be snow covered in the winter, it will be beautiful in the summer and fall.

Walkway from Gondola Square to Torian Plum

Walkway from Gondola Square to Torian Plum

Work is almost complete on the Burgess Creek water feature which will now surface in and around the mountain base at various points. This water feature will be a prominent focal point in the warmer months as it will surface above ground complete with a built in water fall and various small pool areas. In the winter it will be diverted back underground where it’s been flowing unseen for years.

One Year of Shadow Inventory Projected for Colorado

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

One Year of Shadow Inventory Projected for Colorado

While Steamboat Springs, Colorado has seen an increase in bank owned home sales, there’s a likelihood that bank owned home sales will be around for another year or so if the latest National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Economists’ Outlook is any indication for the state of Colorado and Steamboat Springs follows suit. But as with any numeric estimate, you need to be aware of how the numbers were calculated.

First a quick reminder of what Shadow Inventory is in case you missed my blog earlier this month: Shadow Inventory consists of homes not yet for sale that are distressed and will be on the market in the near future.  Distressed properties include:

* Homes already foreclosed on and owned by banks (REOs)

* Homes in the foreclosure process

* Homes where owners are at least 90 delinquent on payments

Shadow Inventory by State

Shadow Inventory by State