Vail Daily column: Luxury bargains? |

Vail Daily column: Luxury bargains?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am afraid my husband is going to buy a luxury second home for us here in the Vail Valley​. I do love to visit here, and so do our children, it is just that I am the practical one in our family, and I fear it is a poor investment. We can afford it, but there are so many other places we could spend that much money and get a return on our investment that I feel frivolous spending it here. I know that it is your job to sell buyers the most expensive homes you can, but don’t you think I have a valid point?

Dear Not So Frivolous,

First of all, we realtors that value our clients do not try to sell them the most expensive home we can. Rather, we try to find them the home they can afford and will enjoy. This necessarily covers a large price range as we work with diverse clients. We also don’t consider it frivolous to buy a beautiful home you and your family and friends will enjoy for years to come. None of us know how long we are here on earth, and to put off pleasures that are earned, and can be savored by all, is not recommended where I come from.

I personally think some of the best values in our area are luxury homes and outlying properties. I will tell you my reasoning. Many of our lavish homes and ranch retreats are built by very wealthy owners who had the money to get the best and build it “their way”, regardless of cost. Then, age, health, changing interests, divorce, and many other circumstance come along and they are immediately ready to sell. Most of them know they cannot get the money out that they put into it, because that was never a goal when they were building their dream home. Therefore, there are some wonderful “luxury bargains” here that you can find with a professional, experienced realtor.

There are beautiful homes that you can buy for much less than you could buy the land, pay all the architectural fees, tap fees, engineers and contractors to build the same home on a similar lot or acreage, if you could even find a similar quality location. Lastly, I have had many real estate coaching experiences over my 29 years in real estate here, and one very successful coach, named Rick Ruby who owns The Core Training, says you should always buy the most expensive property you can afford, since quality always holds it’s value the best in down economies. I don’t have any statistics on it, but I have witnessed it and it certainly has worked for him and many others. I hope you can relax and enjoy every moment in your new home, if that is the decision you and your husband make. Best of luck to you.

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 a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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