Home Buying in Breckenridge>Question Details

Holly Nilsen, Home Buyer in Boca Raton, FL

We are looking for a lot/land in the Summit county area. Prefer less than 10 acres. What is market like? How?

Asked by Holly Nilsen, Boca Raton, FL Mon Jun 2, 2008

to research parcels? Thanks!!

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Daniel Johnson’s answer
Quick answer. My clients are picking up lots at very low prices. Just this week closed on a very nice one acre lot for only $250,000 in The Highlands in Breckenridge (high quality area). Love life, Daniel Webster Johnson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 6, 2010
I know it's been a while since you asked, but I'm going to post the article I wrote for the local paper this summer. While the market has improved a little, the situation for lots is about the same.

Lots and lots of lots!

In my September 2007 newsletter, I reported a year over year increase in the median price of Breckenridge area lots of 53%. The conventional wisdom was the good times would never end. However, I remembered the previous real estate cycles of 2002, 1991, 1985, and best of all, the Hawaiian real estate bubble of 1980! At the time I reminded my clients that no boom lasts forever, and it might be a good time to sell.

Two years later, things have changed. After peaking at just over $500,000 in Q4-07, median lot prices in Breckenridge have declined to a low of $184,750. The “average” was $414,389, but that misleading figure is due to a single sale of a 35 acre lot for $2.1 million, with the next closest sale at under $400,000. Pull out the one big sale and the average drops to $203,688! One other caution about interpreting these numbers is important. Strictly speaking, almost all the lots sold were either in the Town of Blue River or parts of unincorporated Summit County, from Braddock Hill, just north of Breckenridge, south to Hoosier Pass. Viewed by many buyers as “Breckenridge”, they sell for less because of the lack of amenities (roads, sewer, etc.), and distance from the ski area. The few sales each quarter within the town limits, close to the ski area, still command huge premiums. Statistics don’t actually lie, but they can be misleading if you don’t understand the details.

Now that lot owners, including me, have pulled out the hanky for a good cry, we might as well pile on. Lot prices peaked in Q4-07, reflecting sales that went under contract earlier in the year. From a high of 53 in the summer of 2007, they dropped to single digits over this last winter, managing to bounce off the bottom and reach 12 in Q2-09. Meanwhile, active listings are at a new record of over 250.

I can hear the cheers of the buyers. Sellers please don’t shoot the messenger. Allow me to return to my comments in the first paragraph. No real estate cycle lasts forever. While sellers had their day in 2007, the market has changed to favor buyers. Unfortunately, from “prices can only go up” in 2007, you now hear “prices can only go down”.

While it is true that inventory levels will continue to put downward pressure on prices, nobody knows when the bottom will be. I remember the advice I received in 2005, from a wise old architect, when my husband and I were getting ready to build a spec home in the Highlands. He reminded us that the pool of potential buyers is stacked like a pyramid. As the price goes up, the number of buyers available goes down, and as you reach the top of the pyramid, the number of potential buyers becomes very small.

The converse is also true. As prices fall, more and more people are able to afford Breckenridge real estate. Right now buyers have leverage and a great selection. Prices won’t stay down forever, although if you buy now, there is certainly a chance of further price drops. Longer term however, history suggests that if you own land it will go up in value. Or you can wait. Eventually the pool of buyers will get large enough that supply and demand will start to swing towards the sellers’ favor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 15, 2009
HI Holly - Candy Snyder w/Omni Real Estate here. Been a broker here almost 30 years and am a native of Summit County. Our market is the best Buyers' market worst Sellers' I've seen in years. Here in Summit County- it would be hard to find anything over a couple of acres. What is the price range you're thinking of?
If you want to go onto my website. SummitCountyMountainProperty.com it will get you into the MLS and you can search and see if you can find something that interests you.
Are you wanting to build a home on it soon? Does it need to have water/sewer or are you OK with a well and spetic. Let me know some of these answers and I'll be glad to help
Have a blessed weekend
Candy Snyder
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 28, 2009
Hi, Holly.

We have seen extraordinary interest and growth in Summit County real estate, including lot sales. In the past 20 years, as Brokers in this area, my husband and I have seen Summit County home sites steadily increase in value. There is no shortage of lots; if you go to http://www.rerockies.com/MLSlandsearch.html you can see over 200 lots for sale (1/2 acre to 10 acres) in the Breckenridge area alone. (This is a free, no obligation search for MLS-listed lots.)

Currently, we have 16 half-acre home sites listed for sale in the Breckenridge area, most with outstanding mountain views -- and many with most or all of the approvals done.

A home site's approvals (i.e., topographical survey, septic design, septic permit and building plans) will add to a lot's values and to the price you will pay. We can find out -- for you -- if lots that you are considering have had such reports done, to be included in a possible sale to you.

Considering the high appreciation we have experienced in areas like Northstar Village (just outside of Breckenridge), buying land there right now -- and then building next year -- would be a prudent choice for you. You should be able to build within one spring-to-fall "summer" season.

I hope that you'll consider talking with my husband, Michael, about what is involved in building in our area. We have helped many, many of our clients in buying home sites, getting their approvals, and building their dream homes. References available! 877-626-3363 toll free.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
Hi Holly, Even though we are reaching built out by the year 2013, there are still a lot of choices as far as lots go. There are several factors to consider when purchasing land, i.e. how much you are willing to spend, proximity to town, accessibility to city water and sewer, or do you need a septic system and well? Also, there are tax implications on holding land and generally you pay twice as much in taxes as you would if something were already built on the property. Some people buy land with an existing home on it and tear that down and rebuild. I currently have a lot listed just outside of Breckenridge with spectacular views. Check out the virtual tour http://www.tourfactory.com/423524. We also just built a house, so I am very familiar with the entire process. Please visit my website or email me at leah@leahbaxter.com if I can be of further assistance. Thank you.
Web Reference: http://www.leahbaxter.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Jason and Susie are on the right track. Our land in Summit County has DOUBLED in the last year. For instance, in Breckenridge; In the first quarter of 2007 there were 48 land transactions for a total of
$16,789,500. In the first quarter of this year we had 22 transactions for a total of $16,672,800. This is the trend throughout the county. Unfortunately, as Susie said there is only about 20% of buildable land left in the county, which indicates that many of the better lots and locations have already been built on. The neighboring county is Park County and there are some great opportunities there if you’re willing to make a 15-20 min commute to Breckenridge. I could go on and on with investment properties here in Summit and in Park County. If you’re interested, I would love to provide you with my professional local knowledge of the opportunities currently available in our market. You can browse through listings hassle free on my website.

Mountain Top Realtors
Chris Gempeler
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 13, 2008
Hi Holly;

Jason is correct, our market is thriving and all indications are that it will continue to do so. With nearly 80% of the county comprised of National Forest or BLM, there is only 20% available for development much of which has already been developed. There are some nice parcels still available. Do you prefer a certain area of the county? Are you looking for a home in an established neighborhood (like a golf course community)? Or, are you looking for a plot of land on which to build a little cabin in the woods? I would love to help you in any way I can. You can visit my website at http://www.TheLeavensGroup.com or contact me at Susie@TheLeavensGroup.com Take care.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 2, 2008
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