Carnivals a comin

It’s getting to be that time of year, and I look forward to Winter Carnival almost as much as I do Christmas.

This isn’t your typical parade and fireworks type of event. This is a carnival where adults on shovels or kids on skis are pulled by horses. It’s where skiers jump through fiery hoops. It’s where donkey jumps are a big attraction. It’s where a candle-lit parade coming down the mountain concludes with a guy covered in twinkling lights and Roman candles shooting out of his backpack.

That’s what I call a real carnival, and you have to experience it to know just how special it is. If you want a taste of what Winter Carnival is like before you go, check out this video.



October 2014 Steamboat Springs Real Estate Stats



Are Steamboat Springs Home Prices Still Undervalued?

For the past two years national home prices have risen sharply, which might lead to the conclusion that they are overpriced. In fact, if we’re to believe the most recent report by real estate website Trulia, they are still 5% undervalued when measured against long-term fundamentals. So will this summer’s home prices in Steamboat Springs be broaching unsustainable levels—or will they be reasonable?

The Problem of Measuring Only Home Price Increases

Real estate price increases by themselves are poor indicators of over- or undervalued real estate. Because of the headlong drop in real estate prices in 2007, throughout most of the country, prices have increased significantly without approaching the previous highs. A well-publicized example is in Las Vegas, where prices have increased by almost 60% over the last couple of years, yet by many yardsticks remain affordable.

How Home Affordability Is Measured

There are a number of different ways of measuring whether home prices in Steamboat Springs could be considered to be over- or undervalued. They include looking at how current prices compare with long-term trends; how prices measure up against average incomes; the comparable cost of renting, etc. The Trulia report used a wide range of these indicators to emerge with a complete picture of the affordability of real estate across the country. Not all research confirms Trulia’s assertion. According to the Fitch Sustainable Home Price Model, national prices are overvalued by something like 15%. Critics note, however, that the Fitch model is distorted by prices in some of the markets selected – particularly California.

Why 2014 Isn’t 2006

I find Trulia’s track record impressive. In the first quarter of 2006, they reported that home prices were 39% overvalued…and by 2011, that number had fallen to 15% undervalued. Its latest finding that current national prices are still 5% undervalued gives weight to those who believe we are far from entering “bubble” territory—at least for the time being. Some contributory factors could explain why. Inventory has been constrained for a number of years, fallout from the weakness of building activity following 2007. Mortgage rate increases have slowed, but since they are still slightly higher than before, they have provided a dampening effect. Also relevant: some of the new lending regulations make it less likely that we will see a repeat of the rampant subprime lending that triggered collapse in 2007.

All of which makes a fairly convincing case for homeowners in Steamboat Springs to be reasonably confident that the price gains made over the past couple of years won’t soon disappear. Of course, individual Steamboat home prices vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, just as they do from house to house. If you’re interested in an accurate home price analysis of your own property, I hope you’ll call me today—I am always happy to schedule a free and confidential evaluation.



Keeping Steamboat Springs Real Estate Sales on Track 

The slick, entertaining formats of HGTV’s many buying and selling programs makes for great entertainment – but, as anyone who has ever actually bought or sold a house knows, they tend to leave some key information on the cutting room floor. Sure, real estate sales in Steamboat can in fact involve elements of creativity, presentation, personality, all of which make for interesting television viewing. But in real reality, successful real estate sales are largely based on contracts, disclosures, inspections, contingencies, and time. They may be less telegenic, but can be dramatic, especially when you’ve done everything in your power to make sure that a deal works out smoothly, only to be faced with last minute surprises that threaten to prevent you from closing (or cost you a bundle!).

Here are some of the major issues that can impede Steamboat Springs real estate sales—and how to prevent them from happening:

Not Weighing the Comps

When you are in the process of making a major decision, it’s natural to seek the opinions of the people who are closest to you. When it comes to real estate sales, however, personal opinions from well-intentioned non-professionals can create distractions that wind up doing more harm than good. In the realm of contracts and negotiations, it’s important to give weight to the opinions of experienced real estate pros. They know how to provide unbiased guidance based on comps and statistics rather than emotion. 

Verbal Agreements

Whether you are selling or buying, it’s essential to get any agreements about repairs or updates in writing. Parties will often discuss repairs or credits and assume that a verbal agreement will suffice. Not true. Not only can a repair come back to haunt you later, but certain repairs left uncompleted can delay the close of escrow.

Last Minute Changes

Whether it’s taking out a loan on a new car or holding one final goodbye party at the house, last minute actions by buyers and sellers have an uncanny ability to hold up a deal. When you are in contract for a property, keep your eye on the prize: if you’re the seller, don’t do anything that increases the risk of damage to the house. If you’re the buyer, don’t make sudden changes in your financial life until you are the legal owner of that property.

Buying and selling property is more intricate than a 30-minute TV show, but the end of the episode should feature the same broad smiles and satisfied handshakes—particularly if you don’t let an innocent move derail the purchase. Real estate sales in Steamboat Springs are my business; call me anytime!


Responses Quicken with Quality Steamboat Springs, CO Listing Photos 

Real Estate Agent with Colorado Group Realty


In advertising, they call the photo that glamorizes a product its ‘hero shot.’ In the case of a real estate listing in Steamboat Springs, the pictures that accompany the written description can all be hero shots, if enough care is taken. 

In one Auburn University study (The Relationship between Property Price, Time-on-Market, and Photo Depictions in a Multiple Listing Service), it was found that adding a single photograph to a listing could lift the final sale price by as much as 3.9%. That’s not surprising, but what is noteworthy is that each additional listing photograph added several hundred dollars to the final selling price. In other words, it’s not just the curbside photo at the top of a Steamboat listing that should be given great care—it’s all of ‘em!

 Professional Listing Photograph in Steamboat SpringsSteamboat

  Listing in Steamboat Springs with Professional Photography


Aside from the usual advice to de-clutter, use light appealingly, etc., there are some less well known tips that can help maximize the eye-appeal of a Steamboat Springs, CO listing:

The Exterior  

The exterior photograph is considered by most professional real estate photographers to be by far the most important shot. I’m not sure I agree. Of course, it sets the stage for everything else, and has to be attractive enough to rate a second look, but those second looks of the interior and garden can differentiate the listing from the crowd. A superior exterior can often be achieved by elevating point of view (IOW, shoot from a stepladder)…or sometimes by scheduling the shot in early morning or late afternoon light (to catch the most dramatic light).

Back Against the Wall!

For the majority of your listing interiors, you’ll want wide angle shots which emphasize spaciousness. Most work better when the photograph is taken from a doorway or corner with the widest lens (that’s the one with the lowest focal length number)—as long as it doesn’t overly distort the image.

Funhouse Effect

Always ensure that your camera is completely horizontal. Correct the ‘barrel effect’ on vertical lines to ensure that all of the walls appear straight. When you’re looking through a viewfinder or small digital screen, it’s all too easy to overlook the sides by concentrating on the center of the picture. That’s an amateur mistake (and slanted walls make a room look like a carnival funhouse!)

Flash Extra 

Take at least one extra shot using the on-camera flash or strobe. True, often that will result in an unevenly lit alternative that you will discard…but now and then, the on-camera light will boost clarity and color that’s more pleasing than what natural light provides. 


Great-looking Steamboat listing shots make a significant difference in the degree of response a property draws. We always help our clients with Professional listing photographs—it’s one of many tools to ensure their listing gets the exposure and results it deserves!