Blog :: 02-2017

Welcome to Telluride Real Estate News. Here you will find relevant and timely real estate news including market highlights, tips and resources, issues affecting property values and Telluride's incredible alpine lifestyle. My objective is to give you the news you can Search by category or by keyword for the news you are looking for.  

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An Update From the Peaks Resort & Spa

The Peaks Resort & Spa has been part of Telluride Ski & Golf Resort since July of 2015. At that time the resort purchased the commercial spaces and obtained the management contract for the hotel and the adjacent See Forever Village. The resort’s involvement is for the long term and although many improvements have already been made, there are even more exciting things to come.

Here are some highlights of recent Peaks activities:

  • Talent: the great business management guru Peter Druker said “culture trumps strategy” and the team culture at the Peaks has shown an impressive resurgence under VP of Hospitality Rudy Sharp, Spa Director Todd Shaw and Food and Beverage Director Chris Wisocki.
  • Physical Plant: It’s been the goal to get the core of the building running efficiently and although it’s a lot of non-sexy stuff, the HOA understands it is the foundation that allows great guest service to happen.
  • Owner Engagement: Homeowners at the Peaks are now more engaged than ever and their participation is a great thing as they look at room-standards and other improvements.
  • Telluride Golf Club Improvements: A major investment in snowmaking as part of a completely renovated golf practice facility are a huge benefit for the Peaks owners and guests.
  • Steaming Bean: Smoothies, a juice bar, great breakfast items and grab and go selections are fantastic additions to the Peaks coffee shop.
  • Altezza: A new and eclectic menu, a fresh décor and improved service added to the already un-rivaled views of Wilson Peak and the San Sophia mountain range now make Altezza a can’t miss dining experience in Telluride.   

Because of these factors and some future grand plans, real estate momentum is picking up at the Peaks. The values remain some of the best buys in Telluride. Owners enjoy special benefits and access privileges.

If you have comments, questions, or want to learn more about the Peaks or Telluride Real Estate opportunities, contact me anytime.


Telluride 1031 Exchange

If you have a rental property and you are looking for a Telluride vacation home or if you already own a rental home in Telluride and you would like different rental property; perhaps a larger home or different location, or a property that can generate more income and you want to defer capital gains taxes and recaptured depreciation taxes a 1031 exchange might be a great option for you. Section 1031 has been in the tax code since 1921 and there is some talk out there about this being a chopping block item for the new federal administration so you may want to act quickly. 1031 exchanges can be complex and it’s important to follow the rules the IRS has outlined so when you’re ready to do a 1031 exchange, we’ll work with an attorney and your accountant to get this done.

There are many tax advantages to owning rental property, including depreciating the property and IRS code section 1031 allows owners to sell rental property and defer the taxes on any profit and recaptured depreciation.

Here’s how it works:

  • The exchange must involve two like-kind properties, one being sold and one being bought within a certain time frame.
  • Like-kind refers to the nature of the investment not the property form. (IE: one rental property for another would qualify).
  • You must identify the relinquished property as a 1031 exchange before the first sale is made.
  • The new replacement property must be at least the amount of the sold property to avoid paying taxes.
  • The new replacement property must be identified within 45 days and purchased within 180 days after the original property has been sold.
  • Once the original property has sold, the money is required by the IRS to be held by a qualified intermediary and all the cash must be used to purchase the new property.
  • You must take title to the new property in the same name as the original property.

The 1031 exchange can be an amazing tool for your investment properties. The process is intricate and complex. There are restrictions on owner usage and a minimum requirement for rental nights. Talk to an attorney or cpa about your specific situation and contact me to sell and buy your exchange properties.

Energy Efficiency for Your Telluride Property

Today we are going to be talking about energy efficiency for your Telluride home and some great local programs to make your home more energy efficient, protect the environment and save you money.

Did you know that the greatest opportunity we have in the Telluride region to conserve energy is through increasing energy efficiency in our homes and buildings? In fact, the Energy Information Administration estimates that homes and buildings in Colorado consume over 50% of the total energy usage in the state.

Energy efficiency is tracked in residential homes by two distinct indexes. For newer homes, the Home Energy Rating System or HERS index is used. Most new homes constructed in Colorado will now have a HERS rating.

The second index was established in late 2015 for existing homes and is called simply the Home Energy Score. Check out for more information.

These indexes evaluate heating, electrical and hot water systems as well as insulation, duct sealing, weather-stripping, roof snow melt and alternative energy sources such as solar and geo-thermal.

So, what can you do locally to make your home more energy efficient? Thankfully, I have a full quiver of local resources that you can take advantage of: First, contact a local home energy auditor to have a professional energy audit conducted for your home. This audit is inexpensive and will pay for itself.

Next, check out the plethora of rebates for energy efficient appliances, heating and cooling systems and other green services that are offered by both our power and gas company. You can find information on the websites for San Miguel Power Association for electric and Black Hills Energy for gas.

My last tip for energy and money savings tip for your home is get familiar with eco-action partners. One of the great things they do is their green lights program to offer LED light bulbs for up to 75% off in the form of a prebate. These low energy consuming bulbs can often last over 15 years and again will pay for themselves.  

 The Colorado Energy office says that by building a new energy efficient home or addressing your current home to make it more energy efficient, Colorado residents can improve our air quality, enhance comfort and health, increase their property values and realize an immediate savings of 20%-30% in their monthly utility bills.

Useful Energy Efficient Home Links

Home Energy Score:

Eco-Action Partners Green-Lights Program:

San Miguel Power Energy Efficiency:

Lotus Energy Home Efficiency Audit:

Black Hills Energy Natural Gas Efficiency:

Maximize Your Telluride Rental Property

Today I’m going to give you my tips for maximizing the return of your Telluride rental property:

 You’ve invested in a Telluride property and you’ve chosen to share it with others by offering it for rent in the vacation rental market. You have many options to choose from, a professional management company or renting it on your own through platforms like VRBO and Airbnb. Regardless of how you choose to rent your property, be sure to do an annual checkup of important strategies to maximize the rental return on your investment. The components of this analysis should include a management performance evaluation, a marketing and pricing review and an appraisal of the property's condition and needed improvements. Completing this review on an annual basis will allow you to more fully enjoy the use of your rental home.

If your property is professionally managed, and there are several excellent rental management companies in Telluride to choose from, make sure you are satisfied with your current rental management company's performance. With so many good rental companies to choose from, you can afford to be picky about the company you and your property are partnered with. If it's time to change your management company, look for a company that is focused on providing 24/7/365 promotional marketing, booking and guest services. Your new company should give the best possible expert care for your property and specialize in executive level homeowner service and communication.

Owners who are making reservations and managing properties on their own should review their property's performance versus prior years. Metrics to look at should include the number of nights rented, average daily rent paid and total income net of maintenance and housekeeping expenses by the week. Identify the time periods that your property didn't rent and address your pricing and marketing targets accordingly.

Today's Internet-driven world allows owners to easily book and manage properties on their own. However, many owners underestimate the amount of time required to self-manage and are realizing that their time is better spent on other things. An effective rental management company can greatly ease the burden of owning rental property.

A professional management company will establish a year-round strategy to promote and book your property. They will compare your property's pricing to similar units and decide how to break out pricing seasons, yield management stay restrictions and seasonal targets like families when school is out, skiers in the winter and hikers, golfers and festavarians in the summer.

Your property should have its own competitive advantage. Is your property newly updated or renovated? Does it compete on lower pricing and value? Does it come with extras like ski passes or gaming systems that help set your property apart? Guest reviews of the destination and their accommodations provide powerful word of mouth advertising that can differentiate your property and make a large difference in the amount of bookings you receive.

Properties today should have large flat screen HD TV's in the living rooms and bedrooms, updated kitchens, bathrooms and bedding. Of course, fast and dependable Wi-Fi to support multiple devices is critical.

Assure to complete an annual maintenance punch list and solicit feedback from your rental manager and guests to communicate potential upgrades to you that will allow you to maximize your rental income and the enjoyment of your Telluride rental property.

The History of Zoning and Real Estate in Telluride

You may know that the Telluride box canyon was formed by a giant and ancient volcanic caldera subsequently carved out by ice age glaciers.

You may know that Telluride was founded in the 1870’s as a mining town and that it is a national historic landmark. And that the Town of Mountain Village is contemporary, modern and only 21 years old and that the two towns are connected by a free gondola.

You may also know that Telluride Ski & Golf Resort has been named the #1 resort in North America by Conde Naste 3 out of the last 5 years.

But did you know that our little slice of alpine heaven was once zoned for over 400,000 residents?

Here’s the Story…

The last mine was shut down in Telluride in 1978. About the same time, Ron Allred came to town with a vision for the new economic engine, the Telluride Ski Resort. The Resort had been operated only out of the Town of Telluride side as a very small ski area since 1969, but Ron Allred, using his vision and experience as a developer in Beaver Creek, had grand plans.

Due to the change of economic sustainability from mining to Tourism, a group was put together named TREPAC, the Telluride Region Planning Advisory Committee. TREPAC was put together to complete a master plan for the next 45 years.  TREPAC was comprised of 18 members, 6 representatives from San Miguel County, 6 from the Town of Telluride and 6 members at large that represented the four major landowners in the area. Their work was intended to virtually eliminate motor vehicle transportation, create zoning for hotels, keep telluride small, build an airport and infrastructure to support a resort tourism economy.

TREPAC’s vision was for 5 mountain villages, all connected by gondola, and each with its own commercial core. These villages included Telluride, Mountain Village, the Valley floor, Aldasaro and west meadows. Subsequently the zoning was reduced by TREPAC from 400,000 to 18,900 residents and guests. Outside of Telluride and Mountain Village in unincorporated San Miguel County, the residential zoning is 1 single family home per 35 acres of land.  

Of course, this vision of a European style gondola connected resort destination was laid to rest when the Valley Floor and West Meadows areas were permanently preserved as natural open spaces – further reducing the zoning in the area. Today there are only around 3,000 residents, and Telluride welcomes over a million guests per year to our Mountain Hamlet.

The moral of the story is today, mountain resorts have experienced an incredible amount of sprawl, congestion and density. Think of great resorts like Vail, Aspen and Park City that sprawl 50+ miles from their resort centers. Because of our zoning restrictions in place, Telluride will always be a small boutique destination.

Despite our limited zoning and density restrictions, Telluride remains a very attractive value for real estate investment when compared to other luxury mountain destinations. 

Tips for Buying Telluride Luxury Real Estate

With attractive interest rates and real estate prices per square foot still below many comparable mountain towns, now is the perfect time to buy Telluride luxury property. The Telluride market is seeing momentum with more transactions and dollar volume in 2016 than the previous year. With more convenient air access into the Telluride and Montrose airports than ever before, an exciting master development plan just released by the Telluride Ski & Golf Resort and world-class alpine winter and summer lifestyle experiences to be had, now is the time to make a run at Telluride luxury property.   

Here are my Tips for Buying Telluride Luxury Property:

  • Make a list of your objectives. These questions are your preferred number of bedrooms and budget, your intended usage of the property, location, access and preferred amenities. Your real estate broker will guide you through this process.   
  • Finding the right broker who knows the Telluride luxury market is the best bet for finding properties that are for sale but that are not necessarily easy to find because of privacy concerns. An agent familiar with the Telluride market may have inside information about listings before they are listed for sale and the agent will be able to help you determine the market value of a luxury property. Most residential real estate is valued using market comparables - similar properties in the area that have recently sold. Valuing Telluride luxury properties can be a challenge since there are many tangibles and intangibles of a luxury home.
  • If you are financing your luxury property, it’s a good idea to obtain your financing approval early in the process. Some property owners may not even want to show their property to yet unqualified buyers.
  • Consult your tax attorney on the options you have to properly structure ownership of your property to your advantage. Some options include to hold your property in your personal name, in a corporation or in a trust. There may be additional tax advantages if you are renting your property while you are not using it.
  • Be sure to use your real estate agent to schedule a property inspection with an inspector who knows the special amenities these homes often contain, Ice melt systems, radiant heat, lighting, specialized mechanical systems, and the roof condition for the alpine environment are just a few.

With a careful and informed approach and the right real estate broker to guide you, now is the time to find and purchase Telluride luxury property. 


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