Soaring average prices for single-family homes are excluding locals from the market, pushing others to sell and move away
Scott Wilson and his wife, Tasha, knew Summit County was not going to be their home forever. The couple, who met while working for Copper Mountain Resort, fell in love with the area, but factors kept them from settling.
“It’s a bit difficult because, honestly, over the last couple of years it’s been a lot more like the community comes together, and we are really starting to make a name for ourselves in the community,” Wilson said. “But it was the fact that the house prices were so expensive and the idea of owning a single family home that you really can’t get for less than $ 800,000 to $ 900,000. It didn’t seem like an achievable goal for us, especially working at the ski resort and not just having that big income. “
The Wilson’s were living in a townhouse in Dillon when they first started considering selling their property. The two weren’t interested in living in a condo when they were ready to have kids, so when the local real estate market became such a strong sellers’ market, they started debating leaving the county as soon as possible.
“We had our finger on the edge of the real estate market,” he said. “A neighbor sold his house, and that gave us an idea of what we could sell our house for. could really get a lot more house for our value if we move out of Summit County.
Wilson said when they sold their townhouse in June, only a few offers were made on the property, none of which came from locals. This is a common trend in the real estate market: According to Land Title Guarantee Co. reports for the third quarter, an average of 77% of buyers are from the Front Range and out of state, this which means that a good portion of those buyers’ properties are likely being purchased as second homes or investments.
Not only that, but the couple decided to leave the county after living here for 10 years. Events like this further exacerbate the county’s severe labor shortage as it means fewer full-time residents live in the area.
Although the Wilson’s owned property in the community, it still felt like it was unrealistic to sell it and move into a single-family home in Summit, which is why they ended up leaving the state. Now living with his family in Wisconsin, Wilson said they are considering upstate New York because they can get a bigger house for their money.
It is not uncommon to leave the county to get more for your money. In fact, Sarah Graham, a resident of Frisco, is considering doing the same.
Graham is approaching 10 years old living in Summit County. She and her husband, Derek Clark, are currently renting a house with other roommates, but have been looking for accommodation of their own for the past three years. When the couple got married in October 2020, they began to search more vigorously, but they begin to expand their search outside of the Summit County limits.
“Honestly, we would love to stay in Frisco, but there just isn’t a ton of inventory here,” Graham said. “Realistically, we looked all over the county, including Alma and indeed Kremmling. I think that’s just the reality we’ve come to. If we want to stay in that zone and within a normal price range, we have looked at all the outlets.
Like the Wilson’s, if Graham and Clark were to move out of the county, they would also leave positions open. Graham currently works in bar management at Copper, and Clark works at Greco’s Pastaria. If they leave the county, Graham said they would likely find other jobs because the commute would be too long.
The process of finding a property has not been easy. Graham said they posted two bids on the Invisible Properties site, offered to pay the appreciation gap, and offered a higher price than asking, but didn’t still not accepted an offer.
“It was pretty crazy,” she said. “You can say there is money coming from out of state or just investors buying.”
One of Graham and Clark’s offers was for property in Hot Sulfur Springs. Graham said she and her husband would like to stay on the West Slope. Their offers do not stand up to other offers, however.
“(We) try to maintain the same lifestyle and stay in the mountains, but we don’t necessarily have to be tied to Summit County,” Graham said. “It’s sort of the reality. If you want to find something, like a house with a garage in your price range, you really have to look outside because things that were $ 350,000 10 years ago are double now or even crazier. We don’t want to settle for a smaller scenario for more money.
As the winter season approaches, Graham said she and her husband plan to take a break from their research, mainly due to buyer fatigue. For now, they will stay put and cross their fingers because in the spring, a sale will work in their favor.
“We’re going to use the time to focus on enforcing the (Summit Combined) Housing Authority and making sure everything is set up and just re-exploring the inventory options once it gets a bit nicer and the people will start to want to sell again, ”Graham said.