“Why” is Not Always As is Seems

I’m a father of an 8 year old, so I’ve been asked many “why’s” for the past 6 years and while for the most part I patiently answer each “why” question, every once in a while it’s one too many “whys” and I just want the questions to stop. Sometimes if you sit back and listen, observe and think about things, the dots connect themselves…hard to expect from an 8 year old, but hopefully not a 48 year old!

If you were in Steamboat Springs, Colorado this past spring, you had a lot of thinking time because you certainly weren’t enjoying the great outdoors that was still covered by snow and being pounded by more snow, sleet and rain through early June. The epic ski season was followed by a gloomy spring that never seemed very spring-like.

So when I saw the article in The Denver Post business section today with the headline: Hitch on high and the subtitle: Sales of mountain-resort homes in July lowest in year, I have to admit I did the eye-roll thing.  First of all these numbers have been out for weeks and with August numbers due out in another week or so, this story is old, and the new August story is much likely to get better. But my biggest question is “Why did they write this article?” when not only do we know “why” July was bad (and yes, it was bad in Steamboat Springs too) but they also told us in the article “why” July was bad. C’mon media folks don’t you have enough negative things to focus on without highlighting one down month in an otherwise pretty good year so far?

OK, so “why” then was July such a bummer month throughout the Colorado mountain communities, Steamboat Springs included? Of course you can point to difficult financing, high unemployment, an unstable stock market which all fostered low buyer confidence. But think about it…July closings stem from May offers and guess what, with the heaviest snowfall ever in many mountain towns during the winter (Steamboat Springs had well over 400 inches), mountain communities still had a 300” snow-pack, roaring rivers and streams from the beginning of the melt off (read this as: no fishing), and cold, rainy, mud-inducing weather.

Epic Steamboat Snowfall

 Steamboat Snowfall

No one in their right mind planned a vacation combined with a house hunting trip to the Colorado mountains in May. Steamboat Springs’ clear, blue skies were no where to be found. One look online at the weather and anyone with sense headed for the beach or the desert. Do you know how many Steamboat Springs, CO residents went to Moab multiple times this past April/May? Let me assure you, while the mountain biking is great there, so were the sun and warm temperatures!

So let me conclude “why” July was so bad in the Colorado mountain communities: with most folks heading for sun, sand and warm weather in May, very few home buyers braved the elements to put offers on homes still snow covered for the most part. My own Steamboat Springs fell victim to the fair weather buyer syndrome too. But despite the same economic, employment and financing issues that have plagued everyone for months now, July and August with their sunshine, warm temps and crystal blue skies brought home buyers back to Steamboat Springs and other Colorado mountain communities. As a result, Steamboat’s pending sales numbers were very optimistic in July & August. Year to date sales are still looking positive over last year, so I for one am heading into fall with a glass half full real estate market outlook.

Summer in Steamboat

Summer in Steamboat

—For more information on buying real estate or questions regarding Steamboat Springs real estate or renting a home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, feel free to call Charlie at 970-846-6435 or write me an email at: charlie@steamboatsmyhome.com.