This past year, the true generosity and spirit came out in our community of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We were challenged to say the least. The year made us reflect on what is really important in our lives, especially our atmosphere and the people around us. The year reaffirmed where we want to be located and what trail or ski run in life we want to drop in.
Mountain towns saw an influx of people and Steamboat is no exception. With the increasing rate of at home work and school, individuals realized they wanted to optimize for more space and a better lifestyle, rather than their current situation which may have consisted of being crammed in a small apartment in NYC. Big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have announced they are going remote indefinitely. Would you rather take your lunch skiing champagne powder or cramming in a subway? This was an aha moment for many people who realized they’re not “living their best lives.”
With this influx of people, housing inventory dropped significantly and prices have gone up. We expect the same trend to continue in 2021. It has been the perfect storm with residents sheltering in place which means less inventory and people in the city flocking to the mountains to take advantage of lifestyle and historically low interest rates. This came as no surprise to us as Steamboat is a magical winter wonderland and boasts an incredible summer full of biking, hiking, and endless activities.
Photo credit: Yampa Valley Community Foundation
Steamboat isn’t like other places. It is special and after a challenging year, we really saw how our community came together. A good example is the Yampa Valley Gives Day. This little hamlet in Northern Colorado donated over $1.1 Million dollars to 67 local organizations breaking last year’s record. Amazing! It’s not surprising that folks want to live in a great community. It’s a real town with real people not to mention some of the best skiing, biking, and hiking in the world. It is one of the best places to put down roots. There’s nothing like escaping the stress of everyday life by being outside and breathing in fresh mountain air especially from the top of a mountain.
On the other side of the spectrum, there was discussion in town about the influx of visitors during a pandemic. This left some locals wondering if now is the perfect time to fulfill their dreams of traveling the country in an RV and getting top dollar for their home by selling it in a competitive market. If you are considering selling, as much as we truly miss anyone who leaves our community, now might be the perfect time financially. Out of towners are looking for an escape to the mountains and even long time locals are looking for more space. With this influx of people combined with low interest rates, this drives housing prices up creating bidding wars and significant price increases. This is good and bad news depending on your situation.
Tips for buyers:
Be Patient. With a decrease in inventory, this typically comes along with multiple offers. You may have to put in a few offers before yours gets accepted. We believe everything happens for a reason and because you may have missed out on one house, a better one will be in your future.
Get ready. Have your finances in order. When the right house comes along, make sure to have a preapproval letter. If your situation allows it, cash offers are accepted more often in a competitive market.
Work with a Professional. A REALTOR will negotiate the best deal for you. They also may have listings that are “off market.” Someone who has lived in the area a long time and has good connections will be able to find these listings quicker.
Tips for sellers:
Consider it. Even if selling was not on your mind, consider it. With inventory being so low, now may be the perfect time to get the best price for your property. If you were considering traveling or a change of scenery, now may be your chance!
Focus on curb appeal. Just because there is low inventory, it does not mean you can get away with poor curb appeal and clutter. Buyers want good energy, clean spaces, and inviting atmospheres especially if they will be paying top dollar.
Work with a Professional. A REALTOR may have a buyer before your house even hits the market. This could allow you to only do a few showings before it is sold which would prevent people from walking through your house. A broker will also do a market analysis to make sure your home is priced correctly to have less days on the market, while still getting you a great price.
If you’re looking at buying or selling, I have lived, biked, walked, and driven every neighborhood in Steamboat Springs. My love for the mountains began at a young age and I am blessed to call these mountains my forever home. If you are considering making the move and need more convincing read my article “Living the Mountain Life” and if you’re thinking about selling, reach out for a free market analysis. I am here to answer any questions you may have.
Angela Ashby, RE/MAX Partners
Your Steamboat Home