Metro Stops & Mountain Views?

Update:  One of Gretchen Koitz's Many Contributions Here attributed to me (Kevin Koitz).  Blame it on our developers :-)

Greetings from Telluride Colorado where I’m sitting in our condo watching a few people making their way to the Gondola…trying to decide if this is another ski day (third in a row), or a “break” day so that the legs can recover. No matter where I go, there’s always the real estate agent in me that comes to the surface, so I thought I’d share my impression of the market in this VERY upscale area.

Telluride, like many Colorado ski areas, started its life as a mining town. As a developing ski area, it’s relatively young….its popularity only blossomed in the last 10 to 15 years. That’s partly because it is not as accessible as many other Western ski towns. As many people say, “The bad news about Telluride is that it’s hard to get to…the good news about Telluride is that it’s hard to get to…” That translates to a ski mountain that is never crowded, where lift lines just don’t exist.

In a housing sense, Telluride is made up of two very distinct areas…the Town of Telluride at the “base” of the mountain and Mountain Village, which sits part way up the mountain. Telluride still feels like a mining town, in many ways…and Mountain Village feels like a ritzy LA suburb with snow. That doesn’t mean that properties in town are reasonably priced, because they aren’t.  It appears that the average sales price is $1000 to $1500 per square foot – in both single family homes and in condos. In the local real estate catalogue there are efficiency condos for as little as $400K and single family homes for up to $20M.

So why am I attempting to write about real estate in Telluride, when I’m licensed in Maryland and Washington, D.C.? It’s partly because I’m here…and partly because I’m seeing a parallel with our local market. While properties in Telluride are sitting on the market longer and sellers are having to temper expectations, the sky is not falling in Telluride…anymore than it’s falling in the close-in Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. It’s simple…both are places where people want to live, where people have the money to buy and where there is always a limited supply of the truly desirable properties.

Close to the ski lifts or close to the Metro? Absent the mountain views, it’s still location, location, location…

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