Ask a Broker: Is this a good time to relocate to the mountains from the city? |

Ask a Broker: Is this a good time to relocate to the mountains from the city?

Catherine Jones Coburn
On Real Estate

We live in an urban area but have visited the Vail Valley over the years and love everything about Eagle County. We are looking to trade up city life and relocate to the mountains. Is this a good time to start looking?

This is a great question, and you’re not alone. This summer, we have seen an influx of people coming to the mountains in search of a unique retreat for life beyond the city, one that is perfect for creating a connection to the land and a lifetime of memories. In fact, over the last six months, nearly 95% of my clients have come from the Front Range or out of state, looking for a mountain escape.

As a company, Slifer Smith & Frampton has seen nearly half of its sales come from out-of-town buyers, and home sales in Eagle County are actually up from the same time last year. For example, since June 1, as a company, we have written 190 new contracts totaling $390 million in sales volume, with a lot of that coming from out-of-state buyers. Compared to the same time period in 2019, we are up 45% in new written contracts and 76% in sales volume. Out-of-towners are looking for retreats, places that offer a secure and safe gathering place far from the crowds, and fully immersed in the beauty of our valley.  

Two other trends we are seeing is that homeowners who have a “second home” in the Vail Valley are spending more time locally and considering switching this to their primary residence. As a result, many owners are upgrading their homes for increased square footage and outdoor living spaces. We also have many clients who are looking to purchase land and build. And, with mortgage interest rates so low right now, this is a wonderful time to find your new mountain home and/or piece of land.

Serendipitously, one of the last great working ranches along the Colorado River, the Colorado River Ranch, has just hit the market. This thousand-acre retreat is a self-sufficient sanctuary set apart from civilization but filled with modern first-class amenities. For all its rugged solitude, CRR is far from rustic. It is a cohesive, architecturally significant, luxury retreat created as a destination for full-time work, play and gathering, and offers state-of-the-art technology and five-star accommodations.

With millions spent on improvements, Colorado River Ranch consists of several buildings, including the red barn that features two open-concept entertaining levels; the main luxury living space known as “the bunkhouse,” a two-level horse barn complete with an outdoor horse arena and a custom tack room that has been called a “20th-century marvel” for its two fully pivoting walls; a ranch manager residence; a golf shack with driving range; stables; and garages. The property also features wildlife habitats, ponds for fishing, and gardens. An all-natural cattle and hay production property, the ranch has several hundred irrigated acres, and currently supports Wagyu cattle, horses, and more.

This is one of many beautiful properties for sale in our valley. As you consider if right now is the opportune time to buy, you may also be interested in learning about Vail Valley’s Welcome Home program. The nonprofit Vail Valley Partnership has joined forces with local real estate companies, including Slifer Smith & Frampton, to reach out to second homeowners, encouraging them to stay for a season instead of a week or two. We have plenty of room to relax, work and play. This all is to say that we want you here as an integral part of our community, and now is the perfect time to find your mountain haven. 

For more information on Colorado River Ranch, visit

Catherine Jones Coburn has been selling high-end luxury real estate in Colorado resort communities for 40 years. She has been the No. 1 real estate broker in the entire Vail Valley for eight of the last nine years, including 2019.

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