Archive for April, 2011
On Monday, the United States Ski and Snowboard Association awarded Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) the title of 2011 Club of the Year, along with two other prestigious awards. One look at AVSC and it is plain to see – from the youngest child on the team all the way to alumni and coaches; a precedence of excellence has been set.
Statistically speaking, excellence in Aspen is the norm. Low crime rates, higher income and better-educated citizens have led Aspen to the forefront of an ideal city. According to Trulia.com, violent crime rates in Pitkin County are an astonishing .26%, a full percentage point lower than the rest of the state. The average family in Aspen earns $15,000 more a year than families in the rest of the state of Colorado. This earnings discrepancy may be explained by the fact that more than half of all Aspenites are college educated, and almost 20% have earned post-graduate degrees. The highly educated population of Aspen has cultivated and encouraged the fine arts and culture within the city. These same people draw music, food and other cultural festivals from all over the country, in turn making Aspen a cultural Mecca.
The cultural attributes of Aspen compliment its exquisite natural beauty. This beauty has been part of the reason that Aspen’s real estate market has held value better than homes in the rest of the country throughout The Great Recession. Home prices in Aspen are an average of $900,000 more than homes in the rest of Colorado.
Homes and yards are impeccably tended. Residents take enormous pride in the beauty of their town, and work hard to preserve and conserve the natural beauty. The care and attention given the environment can be seen in the better air quality of Aspen. The average air pollution statistics show Aspen’s air quality is 15% compared to the average city in America’s 32%. Not only do Aspenites have better air, the rugged terrain and numerous outdoor sports encourage residents to be active. Adult obesity rates in Aspen are a full 5 percentage points lower than the average American town.
However, the best way to judge the excellence of any city is by that city’s willingness to invest in its youth. The Aspen school district invests $21,169 per student each year. More than four times the amount other school districts in the state invest in their students. Activities geared for families and children fill the calendar. Little league, soccer and camps are available, in addition to activities hosted by the Recreational Center in Aspen. Local art centers and museums feature the work of school children in the area and enrich their lives through exposure to quality art of many styles and genres.
The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club is just one example of the dedication and commitment the people of Aspen are willing to pour into the children of the community. USSA president, Bill Marolt said as he was awarding AVSC with its numerous awards this week, “USSA Clubs provide the backbone for athletic programs, with coaches, and dedicated volunteers providing the direction under which athletes can be successful. I congratulate Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.” If the AVSC is a predictor of the future, things are looking bright for this mountain town.
Ski Aspen – experience excellence. Then find the home, property or condo where you and your family can excel, because every aspect of life here is truly excellent. www.GregRulon.com
The Aspen City Council met today to discuss comments made by former senior demographer for Colorado, Jim Weskott, concerning the diminishing influence of the heavily affluent part-time residents within the Aspen/Snowmass Village. The Aspen Times reported that as this influence wanes, so too will construction on second homes in the area. These changes within the local economy may seem like yet another casualty of The Great Recession.
However there is a silver lining to this piece of news. The old cliché “Money can’t buy happiness” has actually been proven to be true. According to economists Andrew Oswald at Warwick University and David Blanchflower from Dartmouth, after a certain financial level there is “no significant relationship between happiness and time over a period in which the GDP per capita grew by one-third, from 1972-1991.” In fact, a study performed at the University of Liege, released in June of 2010, indicates that considerable wealth can actually diminish one’s ability to find joy in the simple things in life, in turn affecting the happiness of a person as a whole.
Many people imagine a gourmet meal, posh hotels and designer clothes as the key to happiness. However the problem with relying on wealth and the acquiring of things to create happiness is that it becomes a cycle. To feel happy, a luxury must be purchased or experienced. Yet with the consumption of each luxury, the ability of the consumer to appreciate it diminishes. While we dream of the opportunity to reward ourselves and to experience the occasional luxury, the moments that truly bring people happiness consist of summer concerts on Snowmass Mall. Arm in arm with the ones you love, beside a picnic basket as the sun slowly sets behind the towering mountains. The smell of homemade bread, just the way Mother made it. Perfume worn by the woman you love, these are things that warm the heart and truly bring joy.
Snowmass Village and Aspen do not lack in simple joys. The simple changing of the seasons can bring incredible joy. However, Pitkin County offers more than just a beautiful backdrop. Pitkin County offers its residents community. Events throughout the year draw residents out of their homes and into their community. The focus on all ages of the community has drawn this community even closer. It may be true that fewer part-time residents purchase large and luxurious homes in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. The loss of these residents would certainly be felt; however as Westkott explained these homes would be replaced with, “attached, large and moderate sized homes.” Translating to more year-round residents, perhaps more families and more stability within the community and the economy. Furthermore, it would give a larger year-round community to Snowmass Village and Aspen, enriching the community even more.
The communities of Aspen and Snowmass Village prove that the best things in life really are free. For your place within this vibrant, and happy community, click here to see homes, residences and investment properties in the Aspen and Snowmass area.
On a bright spring morning, the beautiful calla lily looks just like a bride in her gown. The perfect, white petals of the calla unwrap to release the sweet and delicate aroma of the blossom. Late spring and early summer in Aspen are among the most spectacular times of the year. Beautiful lilies abound, where snow had lain just weeks before. The sporadic spring snows have abated, and the long spectacular days lend to the romance. Not surprisingly, summer weddings in the Rocky Mountains are not only picturesque; they are perfection.
The Sundeck on Aspen Mountain, at over eleven thousand feet high, literally allows the bride and groom to stand at the top of the world to declare their love for one another. A rustic setting, the wedding party and guests can feast upon Colorado staples, creatively presented for modern tastes, such as trout, elk and ribs. Although high in the mountains, the Sundeck can accommodate up to 500 guests at a reception. For a smaller, more intimate exchanging of vows, the Lynn Britt Cabin offers a secluded, forest location for the ceremony. The Lynn Britt Cabin also offers indoor weddings, for those who would prefer an indoor setting. Many hotels and resorts in the area offer superior accommodations for wedding parties–The Little Nell, Snowmass Club and The Limelight Lodge to name a few. Great or small, weddings of every size and budget are treated with the same attention to detail and flawless customer service.
Known throughout the world as a fashion hot spot, Aspen offers its brides designer gowns. Local boutiques offer brides handmade, customized gowns. Elena’s Studio, The Sewing Studio and Stitch Works all offer custom-made gowns and bridesmaid dresses. Nothing could be more exquisite than handmade, original gowns – exactly the way the bride imagined them. Of course for those brides who prefer designer gowns, stop in to one of the many designer shops in Aspen to order or fit a gown from Gucci to Christian Dior. The shopping in Aspen is on par with none, from honeymoon clothes, reception attire, to everything in between, the bride and her entourage won’t miss a thing.
Weddings held in Aspen are held to an exceptionally high standard. Outside of the bride’s gown, the wedding cake gets the most attention. Is it beautiful? Does it taste good? Could it be both?? If the bakers are one of Aspens three most renowned bakeries, the answer is undoubtedly, yes! Classic Cakes of Aspen, Cloud Nine Bakery and d’Elissous are specialty bakeries, creating baked masterpieces, which will remain in the hearts of the bride and groom forever, and the guests will be talking about for years.
With over nine florists in town, Aspen boasts of a floral heaven from which a bride can find her perfect bouquet, centerpieces and accent pieces. After all, this is Aspen, and despite its somewhat remote location in the Rocky Mountains, every bride will have her flower of choice from calla lilies and roses, to daisies and tulips. The florists in Aspen know where to find the most perfect blossoms for the perfect bride.
From the top of the world, as the bride and groom take an enormous leap of faith into a new life, they can also leap into their first home. What greater celebration of a new life together than a new home, condo, townhouse or property? Click here to see Aspen real estate. Tie the knot and take the plunge into a new life in the Aspen and Snowmass Village Area!
Homestead Nine in Snowmass Village is a wonderful townhome with a natural, open feel overlooking the Snowmass Club Golf Course. The vaulted ceilings and large stone fireplace with log mantle in the great room, dining and kitchen areas capture the morning sun. Furnished with a Western flair, this is ready to occupy. Four bedrooms (one being used as a library currently), all en suite, offer plenty of lodging for the whole gang. Plus, there are a number of large closets and a one-car garage to store the toys.
Homestead at Snowmass is centrally located in Snowmass Village, along the free shuttle/bus route. The complex’s hot tub is steps away from the rear sliding glass bedroom doors on the lower levels. HOA fees include heat and electricity.
The towering, snowcapped mountains of Aspen and Snowmass outside the window, and the piles of ski equipment on the floor from yesterday’s last season run call out, begging for just one more trip down one of the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area. Rather than pack up the suitcase and prepare to head home, take a moment to relish the experience. Walk through the shops once more, revisit the restaurant that really touched your pallet this year and then, when you’ve really finished this trip, start planning next year’s ski season.
The beauty of skiing one of the four mountains in the area is that it isn’t necessary to choose one mountain, or budget to visit multiple mountains. Ski passes purchased in the area are honored at all four mountains. This option allows visitors to try a little of each, and then choose their own favorite mountain. Undoubtedly, there is a mountain for you in the Aspen and Snowmass area. Snowmass Mountain offers 147 miles of skiing trails and a huge range in elevation. Aspen Mountain, or Ajax, is the mountain that made Aspen famous way back in 1947. The local’s favorite, Aspen Highlands, boasts incredible views and over 84 miles of runs. Buttermilk rates as a top mountain for snowboarders. Voted #1 by Transworld Snowboarding Magazine for best park and pipe, Buttermilk offers over 100 features including 22-foot superpipe, and XGames slopestyle course. All four mountains have varying levels of difficulty, enabling skiers of different skill-levels to ski in the same area, meeting up for drinks or lunch on the mountain. For the less experienced or the kids, ski lessons are available at any resort.
Depending on the time of year of your visit, planning a year in advance is not just fun; it is necessary. Christmas, in particular, is an especially busy time of year in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Hotels and condos fill up a full year in advance, as people love the ambiance of Aspen at Christmas. The fabulous shopping in the area makes for excellent last minute gifts and souvenirs. From Antiques to rugs, shoes, winter equipment and clothes, the shopping in Aspen covers every possible need – and want. Too busy having fun to shop? Personal shoppers from AspenStyle.net are available to select the items you would like. Whatever season you choose, winter, fall or spring, book now so you can be sure your vacation is set.
Savvy planning can often lead to great savings for visitors. Many hotels, such as The Little Nell, offer packages including free lift tickets after a certain number of nights at their hotel. The Limelight Lodge offered a third night free for guests visiting during the week during the 2010-2011 season. Particularly in the spring, there are many deals to be had for those willing to bargain hunt. A full year’s lead will ensure the very best deal everywhere!
Of course, if you really love to ski Aspen and Snowmass Village, go ahead – turn your vacation destination into home. Rather than planning your next trip, plan your new life on the ski slopes in the world’s most beautiful city! Click here to see homes, investment properties, and condos in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Many residences are just minutes away from the best skiing in the world. Stop dreaming; create your own reality in Aspen and Snowmass Village!
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. once said, “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” While this quote was not spoken about Snowmass Village, it does capture the love felt for this town by longtime resident Greg Rulon. In 1972 Greg and his closest friends spontaneously decided to move to Snowmass Village. Upon arriving, Greg fell in love with the mountains, the people and most of all, the lifestyle.
Greg’s is the kind of adventurous spirit Aspen and Snowmass Village were founded upon. The four mountains surrounding the Aspen and Snowmass Village area call to these adventurous spirits and fill them with inspiration and a lifetime of adventures. Great skiing and snowboarding run from fall to early spring. The fabulous summer months are filled with breathtaking hiking and mountain biking. Home to the Winter-X games, no where else in the world can exhilarate and test the spirit the way Snowmass Village does.
More than just an exciting place to live, Snowmass Village is deeply focused on its community. Throughout the year the people of the community gather together to celebrate holidays, the seasons and the beauty of life. These celebrations are created for the youngest citizens, the oldest residents of the town, and everyone in between. The open and warm spirit of the people of Snowmass Village allow temporary residents and tourists a sense of place within their community and their celebrations.
The sense of freedom and independence that the mountains lend its residents calls many to give up the lives they once had in places far away. Liberated from traffic, noise, and the rush of city life, the citizens of Snowmass Village have found that there is a better way to live. Many successful businessmen and women have walked away from huge firms and lucrative business deals to live in Snowmass Village. In many cases they have created their own small businesses in town as a true representation of their vision. These small, locally owned stores are frequented, appreciated and deeply loved by residents and tourists alike.
Because of Greg Rulon’s deep love for the Aspen and Snowmass Village, he has spent his life helping others to find their place with in the community. He is deeply committed to placing individuals and families in just the right house at just the right price. To see the residences, investment properties and homes listed with Greg Rulon for sale in Snowmass Village, click here. Uncover the secret to life in the mountains and find out what it means to find a place where your heart is truly at home.
Americans have become wallflowers. Scared by investment losses across the board, many investors and every day Americans are standing on the sidelines, holding their money tightly in their pockets – waiting. Waiting for the right investment. Waiting for the economy to stabilize. Waiting to feel confident that their jobs are secure. Waiting.
The time to sit on the sideline is past. In a CNNMoney.com piece, CEO and founder of the property research firm MetroStudy, Mike Castleman explains that the housing market is about to boom again. According to the studies performed by MetroStudy covering approximately 65% of the housing market, the low prices of resale homes and the large surplus of resale homes on the market, has lead to a shortage in new construction. The practical freeze on new construction throughout the country will eventually create a housing shortage. As the economy recovers and Americans begin to return to the housing market, the greater demand will cause shortages in housing. Shortages will in turn drive prices upward – creating profits for those wise enough to invest now.
When met with this investment advice many people are skeptical. Stories from the hardest hit markets in the country still pervade the discussion concerning housing. Horror stories of up to 55% losses on homes in areas such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami have made investors and homebuyers ultra cautious. However, as CNNMoney.com explains, these distressed markets are areas where people will always want to visit and live. Indicators are showing the job markets in these areas are beginning to improve. As the economies in these areas recover, those who have been waiting on the sidelines to invest in their first home, or to re-enter the housing market after their credit scores have recovered from foreclosure or short-sale, will enter the market enthusiastically.
Within the non-distressed markets like Texas, San Francisco, and parts of the south, where there was much less speculative home buying and flipping in the early 2000’s, housing prices fell much less. The prices in these areas will recover more quickly in the coming months and years because these cities do not have a large surplus of houses on the market waiting to sell. However, one of the largest reasons the housing market will grow is the price of purchasing a home is becoming less expensive compared to the cost of renting a home or apartment. While many people appreciate the low-risk of renting over purchasing, the high demand of rental properties is already driving cost up. As former renters enter the housing market, new homes hold a special appeal. Many new buyers prefer new construction due to the fact that they are unaccustomed to maintaining a home.
Investors who have been waiting to purchase real estate in Aspen and Snowmass, now is the perfect time. Prices have stabilized, and according to the first quarter of sales, they are even beginning to climb. Click here to see homes, properties and condos in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. It’s time to get off the sidelines and get back into the investment game.
Once upon a time, this house was the perfect house. It suited every foreseeable need. It had enough storage and the perfect number of bathrooms. It was located in the best, most convenient part of town. It was the Dream House!
However, as the years have slipped by, changes have come to this little house and the people in it. Along the way an extra dog or two has found their way into the house and are curled up in the middle of the suddenly too-small-living-room. Children, with all of their toys and clothes and shoes have established themselves firmly in a bedroom down the hall. And a newfound passion for skiing, along with a lifelong passion of mountain biking, has devoured the space in the garage. Just like that, the Dream House has become much less dream-like.
According to the Aspen Times, right now is the perfect time to outgrow a house. The Times has reported that the real estate market in Aspen is strong and bouncing back from the recent global recession. The one hundred sixty-seven properties were sold and/or placed under contract in the first quarter of 2011 show an increase of 70% in transactions this year over last year. These strong numbers encourage economists and everyday homeowners about the strength and health of the real estate market. At last, with some confidence, property owners can put their house on the market for a reasonable price, and watch, as it quickly becomes someone else’s Dream House.
To get the house ready for its debut on the real estate market, take some time to declutter. For many people the decluttering of a home is very emotional, however it is a critical part of preparing the house for potential buyers. Brightly colored rooms, or unusual paint choices are easily painted over, at very little expense, allowing potential purchasers a clean slate with which to build their own future. Small details such as new knobs on cabinet doors give the house a sharp new look without a lot of upfront investment. Many contracts on properties include larger ticket items such as roof repair, or other structural repairs. These improvements need to be negotiated as part of the sale, don’t rush to invest in fixing them until said negotiations have taken place. Finally, freshly planted flowers and a well-groomed yard go a long way in the first impression a home makes. Throughout the process be sure to keep up on the outside appearance of the house.
Selecting the proper real estate agent is also a critical aspect of placing a house on the market. For the past 30 years Greg Rulon has worked within the Aspen and Snowmass Village area’s real estate market. His extensive experience and professionalism makes him a must have asset as you prepare to place your home for sale in the Aspen area. Once your house is up on the market and being seen, Greg Rulon will be there to introduce you to your next Dream House and to walk you through the steps of buying your next home.
Click here to see the properties and homes in Greg Rulon’s listings. Start building a new dream, in a new home – today!
Girls with perfect curls in frilly dresses, spring bonnets, and satin bows scramble in the grass hunting under every bench, in each flowerbed and atop planters for brightly colored eggs. Boys in a rainbow of button down shirts and pastel ties race across the garden searching for the hidden treasure of the Easter Bunny. Easter in Snowmass Village and Aspen is truly a treat. Community celebration, egg hunts, and locally made Easter treats remind residents that life in Aspen and Snowmass Village is truly the sweet life.
On Saturday, before the Easter dresses and suits come out, pull out the swimsuits and head down to the Snowmass Village Recreation Center for a free underwater Easter egg hunt. On April 23rd, from 10:30-11:00 a.m., parents and children can dive into the pool and fish out Easter surprises. In this unusual Easter egg hunt, no matter the weather, members of the community come out to enjoy the coming of spring and the wonderful community within Snowmass Village and Aspen.
Inside the bright eggs found in the pool are treats from the local candy shop, The Sweet Life. The Easter Bunny has a deep love for the candy made at The Sweet Life. Such beautiful and delicious candy looks perfect nestled deeply in Easter Baskets among bright Easter grasses. Co-created by a self-proclaimed choc-o-holic, Jennifer Hayes, The Sweet Life is not limited to candy. Homemade ice cream, shakes and a full menu await those Easter egg hunters who need a more filling fare after all the work finding and digging up Easter treasure.
Sunday morning, after enjoying the treasures of The Sweet Life the day before, join residents of Aspen and Snowmass Village in the traditional, Easter morning, non-denominational, sunrise service on Aspen Mountain. Ski lifts carry the Faithful up and down the mountain. Breakfasts items are generally for sale on the Sundeck before and after the service. Tulle, ribbons, shirts and ties peek out from heavy jackets, gloves and hats as people, young and old, head up the mountain in their Easter best. Here the glory of Nature, the Rocky Mountains and spring unveil themselves with each ray of the rising sun.
It doesn’t take a magical bunny or plastic eggs to prove that hidden treasure is around every corner in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Join in the hunt for the sweet life by clicking here. See real estate treasures, homes and properties in Aspen and Snowmass Village and start hopping down the path to a truly sweet life. www.GregRulon.com