Vail Daily column: Should I make a winter buy for a summer ranch?
My family and I came for another holiday vacation in Vail, and I have finally decided to pursue my dream of owning a small ranch property in Colorado. Of course the family would like the property to be within an hour of Vail and/or Beaver Creek. So, after searching the Internet and making broker phone calls, I have found a property that might be just perfect for what I want. Here is my question: The listing broker said the property actually had other interested buyers right now. You can’t even access the property easily this time of year due to unplowed roads. Is it that likely that there are other buyers looking at this right now? I hate to sound suspicious, but this seems unlikely in the dead of winter!
In Eagle County there is no such thing as the “dead of winter.” Winter is our top visitor and selling season. Summer is becoming more and more popular, but still has not overtaken winter.
Let’s look at the facts: You are, or were recently, here, and the desire for beautiful Colorado property was reignited in you by the winter visit. It is equally beautiful and fun here in the summer and winter, and personally I love the fall. At any rate, back to your question, most of the brokers I know in this valley are definitely honest. I sell ranch property and I currently have multiple buyers interested in outlying property that may or may not have winter access. There is something very magical about a snow-covered ranch on a bright sunny or snowy day. The wildlife, the wide-open space to make your own tracks snowmobiling, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing all are true pleasures. That is not even considering the ranch aspect.
The Western Slope ranch land here is still a bargain for the buyers, although the market is getting a little stronger. The largest multi-million dollar ranches we have sold had buyers who originally came in the winter and saw the property for the first time then.
My advice to you would be to pursue the property now, if at all possible. By spring, it could very well be under contract. You can see about viewing the property in various ways (snowmobile, ranger, have roads plowed, snowshoe, aerial drone pictures or helicopter if the price warrants the expense). And/or you, with the help of your seasoned ranch broker, can write a creative contract that would allow you to delay closing until you could drive on the property with a series of monetary compensations for the seller to delay the closing. There is almost always a way to work out a situation where a seller wants to sell and a buyer wants to buy, if both parties are guided by experienced brokers that work toward a win-win situation. Do not pass up your opportunity without exploring your options. Best of luck to you!
Joan Harned is an owner-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 Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.SkiAndTeeHomes.com.