Vail Daily column: Second-home owners should feel at home in valley

Joan HarnedAsk a Realtor
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Dear Joan,

I have recently purchased a second home in the valley and my excitement was soon tempered by comments I read or heard about non-locals. I have always believed I will eventually spend at least half of the year here, but I am concerned that I might never fit in because I definitely am not a full-time resident. I love all of the recreation, cultural events and festivities and spend a lot of time working on being a part of this wonderful place. Am I overly sensitive to this issue, or am I dreaming if I think I will ever be totally accepted?

Dear Beloved Second Home Owner,

I, too, have been concerned about some of the things I read and occasionally overhear, but by and large, I hope most people feel the way I do about second-home owners. I love them. They allow all of us to stay and prosper in this valley. A lot of permanent residents forget that they may have started as part-time, or just came for one season a year until they moved here full-time. And the people that were born and raised here might not be able to afford to stay here without the jobs and revenue created by the second-home owners that are responsible for approximately two-thirds of the homes purchased in Vail.

There is often talk about traffic and parking issues; imagine if the 66 percent second-home owners were here every day? My husband and I own a second home at the beach, and I feel like we are an asset to the community because we spend like we are on vacation every time we go there! Not to mention our property taxes and mandatory upkeep of the townhome.

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Being a second-home owner should make you, and the community you purchased into, feel very blessed that out of all of the interesting places in the world they decided upon our valley. That is an honor and a blessing for everyone in your neighborhood. Chances are you will invite guests from other areas of the world, and they too may fall in love with our beauty and culture.

Do not feel like an outsider. You are the life blood of our community. Second-home owners, combined with the locals in the community, have the opportunity to continue to build this stunningly beautiful area by their taxes and monetary contributions to the town. Let me just say, “Welcome. We are delighted to have 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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