Vail Daily column: ‘Location, location, location’ is still true |

Vail Daily column: ‘Location, location, location’ is still true

Joan Harned

Dear Joan: When I ask my Realtor friends what is the single most important feature of a home when it comes to pricing the houses they sell, they all say “location, location, location.” I realize there is more to it than that, but why do they all say that? I can see that a home in our Valley is worth more if it is ski-in and ski-out, but after that​,​ is it views, size, interior finishes or something else?

Dear Curious: That is an old saying Realtors joke about: “What are​ the three most important features of a property … location, location, location.” As we all know, there are other factors, but there is no getting around the fact that the location is huge. Therefore, I would like to discuss it first.

You are on track when you mention a​ccess to ​skiing out your back door adds huge value to your property, but great location means different things to different people. Some people want to be able to walk to restaurants and entertainment in the ski area, or in other towns in the valley.

Some buyers consider the views as a top priority. I think it is fast becoming a top priority for buyers in this valley, both second home owners and locals, to have access to many forms of recreation. For large segments of our diverse group of owners and renters, it is very important that they are on the bus route for skiing and boarding.

Also, being able to mountain-bike right from your home without loading and driving somewhere is becoming more popular. Easy access to fishing, hiking and four-wheeling is important to many outdoor enthusiasts. We now have recreation centers in most of the towns, and close proximity to a rec center is now a definite consideration to people for regular workout routines in their lives.

Lastly, but not by importance, being on a golf course and having a membership or a pass so you can play easily and often is of paramount importance to a large section of our homeowners.

After th​e location factor, price and size are probably the most important next two considerations. Mixed in with those two items is the layout of the floor plan and the finish level of the house, parking and or garage availability and space around the home.

Bigger is not necessarily better these days. Huge homes still work for some buyers, but many people are looking more for reasonably-sized homes, just big enough for their needs. My suggestion, if you want more detail, is to take your best, most successful Realtor friend to coffee, and they will be glad to share with you in more detail. Good question.

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 and

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User