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Ask a Broker: Ready for a permanent vacation home

Cara Connolly
On Real Estate
A perfect vacation home with ski slope views and amenities galore, this three-bedroom condo is located in the newly renovated Vail Spa. Situated in Lionshead Village and steps from the gondola, it’s listed at $2,150,000.
Courtesy Slifer Smith & Frampton

Question: I’ve vacationed here for years, and am ready to buy something, but what?

Answer: Part of what we do at Slifer Smith & Frampton is to offer our clients a clear picture of the local market, and for me, the first step is to help a buyer understand what location makes sense and what amenities are important before we begin our search. Do you want to be slopeside, where you can click in and out of your skis, or do you want to be a little further away in a quiet setting? Do you have a large family or friends that visit and need a lot of bedrooms? Do you like to finish your ski day with a hot tub soak? Knowing what amenities you want are going to save you a lot of time and make the process go smoother.

Cara Connolly

Find a good property manager. Whether you plan to rent your property or not, it’s very important to find a good partner locally that can manage the property. You will want to make sure it’s a reputable, insured company that understands the area and has connections with local preferred vendors for potential repairs. Management company costs vary, but you truly do get what you pay for, so it’s important to understand what services you need beforehand. It is worth the cost to know your asset is being well cared for in the mountains.



A lot of buyers who primarily live in warmer climates don’t always understand what’s involved with maintaining a property in the wintertime. We could be getting a foot of snow every day and that’s going to require snow removal, snow load on the roof, ice on walkways, and potential for frozen pipes. This is yet another reason it’s super important to have local oversight and a great property manager that understands all your home’s systems. Even with smart home technology, it’s still a good idea to have eyes and ears on the property to make sure it’s properly protected and maintained.

ocated in the heart of Singletree, this beautiful four-bedroom home at 140 Charolais Circle was under contract in two days and sold at the list price of $1,450,000.
Courtesy Slifer Smith & Frampton

Consider buying the property furnished. A lot of properties in this market are turn-key and ready to go. That can be a real bonus in the current environment when you consider the challenges of inventory shortages and shipping delays. Depending on how quickly you want to occupy the property, it’s nice to buy something that’s furnished so you don’t have the headache of waiting for furniture and other items to arrive.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.



Know your home owner’s association. If you are buying within a condo or townhouse with an HOA, it’s super important to know the rules and regulations before you buy. Do your research on the HOA to make sure there is money in reserve accounts in case there is a major repair that requires an assessment.

Try before you buy. Chances are, if you’ve been vacationing here for several years, you might already be familiar with a property that you’ve rented. There’s no better way to get a sense for a property than to rent it and make sure it’s everything you want and that it has all the amenities and location you are looking for in your next purchase.

Pool your resources. Some of the buyers I have worked with have decided to purchase with other family members or close friends and put the property into an LLC. Multiple owners can work together on their usage and often times make a more powerful purchase in dollar amount.


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