Vail Daily column: Market limited for ‘new’ homes |

Vail Daily column: Market limited for ‘new’ homes

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

“My family is ready to purchase a home in Eagle County, and we would like to have a new home. My parents would only buy new homes as I was growing up, and I feel I should do the same. My problem is finding a new home in this valley. It appears there has not been hardly any construction for several years and there is almost no new inventory available. What do you suggest?”

Dear “New” Home Buyer,

I understand your question, as my parents did the same thing. I can remember all the work they did when we moved to another “new” home, as they worked to do all of the landscaping, ordering blinds and drapes and working out the issues associated with a never tried or lived-in home.

First of all, I would like to welcome you to our valley, as you must have arrived recently to be surprised by the lack of construction here. Starting in late 2008, we experienced the national economic slowdown and it was felt first in what had been our robust speculation home construction market. We have started to see some construction in 2012 and more in 2013, but it is still very limited and mostly in the under $500,000 marketplace in western Eagle County. We have been seeing a few custom homes starting to be built but mostly we have seen remodel and updating of existing homes.

Due to the reality of our marketplace, you might consider broadening your search to include existing homes that have been or can be updated to meet your standards. Besides the reality of what is available, there are many good reasons for looking at all homes that meet your other parameters. For instance, as mentioned above, many existing homes have multiple improvements that are already present, i.e. mature landscaping, window coverings, resolved draining issues, radon mitigation if applicable, expanded decks, patios, etc. Also, you will see exactly what you will get, with no pending punch list. You are usually in a completed community so that you do not have to contend with noisy construction next to you, you will see the total traffic pattern and maybe the most important factor is that you will know exactly what your views are now and for the future.

As always, check with your qualified, knowledgeable local real estate agent to gather all of the information of what is available in each community, so that you can have all of the facts in order to make the best decision for your family’s enjoyment and financial investment future. Once again, welcome to our valley and best of luck in finding your perfect property.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and is a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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