Archive for April, 2012
Spring is commonly accepted throughout the real estate industry as one of the hottest times to buy or sell a home. In Aspen and Snowmass Village this old standby proves itself true every year. Particularly this year as things in in Snowmass Village and Aspen get hotter and more desirable by the minute. Recently ranked as one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world, it looks as though the sky is the limit in Aspen.
For those in the Aspen and Snowmass Village looking to sell their current home, to purchase an even more luxurious and resplendent home in town or maybe nestled deeply into a large lot just down the road, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing a house for a showing in the luxury market.
First and foremost, the old rules still apply. Even in the luxury market, the home must be decluttered. This advice applies to eclectic artwork that may not appeal to every buyer or is very specific to an individual. It also applies to family portraits and photographs. Leave room for potential buyers to picture themselves in the home as their own.
Pay attention to details ~ Buyers in this demographic want their home to meet a certain standard, inside and out make sure the house is clean, the landscaping is trimmed and ready. Some real estate experts recommend the placement of fresh flowers strategically throughout the house. A slight expense, however, flowers make the home look and feel fresh. They also add an extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality to the home.
The luxury market does sometimes require extra discretion. Due to the large quantities of money involved in these transactions, some sellers may wish to protect their identity. In these cases, a professional stager can be brought in to ensure that the home does not reveal the seller or provide hints about their lifestyle or occupation. Stagers are also excellent at ensuring the furnishings and artwork within the property are properly laid out to appeal to luxury buyers.
Be sure to communicate to your agent the upgrades, brand names and the quality of even the smallest details in your home. These details will be important during the negotiations of the offer. Likewise, those in the luxury market appreciate these extra details differentiating the home from anything else on the market.
For those interested in purchasing their first home in the luxury market, those upgrading or those purchasing a second home or investment property, be patient in your purchase. Particularly at this time of year many homes will be listing throughout the season. If the right house hasn’t entered the market – it will soon.
In the luxury market it is not uncommon for homes to be unlisted, but still available for sale. Due to privacy concerns, some sellers keep their homes quietly for sale with their agent. If nothing on the market appeals to you, it is possible to ask your agent if they are aware of anything unlisted that might suit your needs.
Know what you want, and where there is room for compromise. Laws in Aspen and Snowmass Village limit future building, meaning it may be easier to purchase a home and update or remodel that it would be to build from scratch.
The last but most important tip in buying or selling a home or doing both, is to make sure your have a great real estate agent familiar with Snowmass Village, Aspen and the luxury real estate market. Greg Rulon and his team at Joshua & Co. have been selling homes and finding the perfect residents for their clients in the Snowmass/Aspen area since 1975. This team of real estate professionals will walk you through the ins and outs of the process, ensuring that all of your needs are met from start to finish.
Click here to see some the properties, condos and homes listed with Greg Rulon and his team. Don’t wait another season to find the home of your dreams!
It’s not always drifting snow, skiing, snowboarding and powder here in Aspen and Snowmass Village. In fact, this year’s long, warm spring has turned many people in town toward their summer sport of choice a touch earlier than other years in recent memory.
This year the fly-fishing enthusiasts are the big winner after such a warm winter. Low run-off from the mountains allows fishermen and women to get in the rivers and lakes earlier to practice their sport without fear of high water and strong currents.
Unlike some summer sports, fly-fishing offers one the opportunity to truly get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get back to nature. There is no more intimate way to connect with Nature than to pull on a pair of Gore-Tex waders and wade out into some of the most beautiful water one will ever see, much less experience. The Roaring Fork River and the Frying Pan River offer spectacular river views as well as some of the best trout fishing conditions in the country. Anglers far and wide are attracted to these waters. Smaller creeks like the Ivanhoe and Granite Creek are great fishing spots as well, particularly for those new to fly-fishing and looking to build confidence.
Typically, the water around Aspen and Snowmass Village is known for its brown and rainbow trout. Here trout is so healthy that size is measure not by inches as is common in other parts of the country, but rather in pounds.
For those new to the Aspen area, or new to the sport of fly-fishing, or both, a guided fly-fishing trip into the backcountry is a great way to see more of the area and to experience an entirely different aspect of the area. Particularly as Aspen and Snowmass Village have a great deal of private land, and special regulations, a fishing guide can ensure that you fish the best spots, with proper licenses, in complete compliance with the law. Additionally, their know-how, specified for this region, and the species present in the area makes catching that trophy fish easier than ever before.
The Aspen and Snowmass Village area is home to several gear shops and guided tour offices as well. Each company offers a wide variety in services and tours available. Everything from the family fishing trip, to group fishing to individual trips, one can fish part of the day, or all day. Some shops even offer overnight fishing opportunities as well. For the diehard fly-fisherman or woman, there are even winter fly fishing trips. Not quite sure about wading in the rivers while fishing? Float trips are also available making it easier to stay warm and dry while trying out the sport.
After splashing around the rivers and lakes in Pitkin County, it will be easy to see why the lucky few cast their lines here. Find the perfect place to rest your fishing pole in a condo, home or investment property in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Click here to see a few of the homes available today!
May is just around the corner, along with the sunshine, flowers and singing birds, come summer plans to get outdoors to enjoy everything Mother Nature has to offer. While no mother should have favorites, it seems that Snowmass Village and Aspen are certainly her preferred children; with extraordinarily beautiful springs every year and incredible views year round, Snowmass Village and Aspen are clearly her darlings.
Mild temperatures throughout the Rockies this year have brought early snowmelt and have enabled the population to get out to enjoy the beautiful spring season and the natural beauty of Aspen and Snowmass Village earlier than usual. The Aspen Times reported yesterday that the Maroon Creek Road will open today, the earliest opening day in 20 years. The roads are apparently clear of snow, but muddy. Likewise the trail is expected to be muddy with small patches of snow on it throughout. With that, the summer camping season has begun!
For those who love the great outdoors but lack the know-how or equipment to camp comfortably, the Aspen/Snowmass Company offers guided camping excursions in the area. Even the experienced camper seeking a more elegant camping experience might enjoy this service, as it allows one to sit back and take in Nature, while leaving the details up to the pros.
In and around the Aspen area there are a number of great campground choices quite close to town. Difficult Campground, despite its name, is just a quick four miles from town, offering both hiking and fishing. It has one of the earliest opening dates for its summer season, offering campers spots as early as May 15. Difficult Campground is located just on the banks of the Roaring Fork River and offers superb animal watching conditions.
Silver Bell Campground, located just off the Maroon Creek Road will open with the road, a full month ahead of schedule. Typically campers can’t get into Silver Bell until May 22nd. This year, however, it is already easily reached by car and ready for its first 2012 visitors. Likewise, Silver Queen, just up the road from Silver Bell will be open, as well as the more remote Silver Bar campground. Hiking is a must in this spectacular area with the most iconic views of Aspen.
Slightly higher in elevation, Lincoln Creek is a more remote camping experience with fewer amenities. However, whatever it lacks in elegance, it certainly gains in view and atmosphere. Here fishing and hiking are both available, but space is limited – so hurry on up to this site early and claim your spot!
Even higher and slightly farther from town is the Lost Man campground. Fourteen and half miles from town and at an elevation of over ten thousand feet, Lost Man has fishing as well as hiking in the Hunter and Fryingpan wilderness areas. Not two miles away, the ghost town of Independence makes a fun and educational excursion for the whole family.
For those campers ready to take on the challenge all on their own, the White River National Forest Recreation website has a complete listing and description of campsites in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area.
This spring, get outside and see why locals truly believe Aspen and Snowmass Village are Mother Nature’s favorite children. Once convinced, you can find your own little corner in paradise by clicking here to see homes, condos and investment properties in and around Aspen and Snowmass Village!
As the weather warms up in Aspen and Snowmass Village so too does the creativity around these mountain towns. Art exhibits and shows crop up all over town as people pack away their skis and snowboards and begin to pull out their paintbrushes and canvases.
Currently on display at the Red Brick Center for the Arts is one of the community’s favorite art events all year, the Annual Kids’ Art Show/Art Student Exhibition. Artists from the local schools are featured in this exhibit, where others within the community can see their work within the context of other artists similarly aged and comparative in skill. Young people in particular enjoy the opportunity to see their work displayed and to have adults look at their work through a more professional lens.
Next month the Red Brick Center for the Arts will display their local artists competition. Entries for this competition are due Monday, April 23rd. In one of the few judged art shows at the Red Brick Center of the Arts, this exhibit showcases the best of the best in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Judged this year by artist, Jody Guralnick, art consultant, Carolyn Landis and gallery owner, Ann Korologos, this year’s work promises to be the best yet.
The Center offers Art Receptions on the first Thursday of every month, meaning that May exhibit will be celebrating its opening show on May 3rd, from 5-7p.m. Join the artists in this personal display of their work and gain the opportunity to talk with them and discuss their perspective on their work and the creative process. While you’re at it, you may just get to know one of your neighbors, as the event is open exclusively to local artists.
In June things on exhibit at the Red Brick Center for the Arts will switch gears a bit to welcome a professional Eco Art Exhibition. However, while the professionals display their work in the gallery, behind the scenes more local art will be taking place in the summer workshops offered by the Red Brick Center.
Beginning in June a sculpting class will commence for artists ages 7-9. Artists in a slightly older category will kick the summer off learning about Impressionist artists and their art in a class titled, “ Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and Expressionists…Oh My!” Other classes for younger artists will be available all summer long offering a variety of artistic experiences. Tweens can enjoy a photography class, while adults have a wide assortment of classes from color theory to landscape and textile work.
July and August will feature a resident artist and a ceramics exhibition respectively. With openings all summer long for the community to come in and see the artistic side of the Aspen and Snowmass Village. Of course pieces are for sale at the Red Brick Center, and as a reflection of their commitment to art within the local community 20% of all proceeds go directly to the local Art Council.
For those looking to make Aspen or Snowmass Village their home, or their home away from home, there is no better way to decorate than with original, locally made art. Take the time to stop on in the Red Brick Center and peruse the art before heading out to find the home of your dreams. Click here to see a small sampling of homes, condos and investment properties in the area today!
International buyers interested in investing in a luxury home within the most prime real estate markets in the world are giving Aspen a second look this week. “The Wealth Report 2012” released its 2012 findings concerning the prime real-estate markets of the world. Not surprisingly to Aspenites, Aspen was ranked the 39th most expensive market in the world, and the number one most expensive city for its size in the U.S.
The Wealth Report is an annual examination of prime real estate, both commercial and residential, produced in collaboration by Citi Private Bank and real-estate firm, Knight Frank. Through this report trends among the world’s most wealthy investors are identified and studied.
The Aspen Business Journal announced the news to the Aspen and Snowmass Village area last week in a detailed piece, which looked closely at The Wealth Report, its significance and the determining factors in the rankings it offers.
The Wealth Report found only one other city in United States that ranked higher than Aspen on its list of the 63 most expensive cities in the world. Only Manhattan ranked higher, coming in at #17 on the list with the average square foot of residential property costing $2,200. Aspen’s current price hovers around $1,000 per square foot. The most expensive city in the world is Monaco, with the average square foot costing roughly $5,400.
Other mountain resort cities throughout the world made the list including, Courchevel, St. Moritz, Gstaad and Chamonix. Perhaps hinting at a trend toward luxury ski towns for investment home purchases among the wealthy. Only two other American cities made the report, Telluride and Miami coming in at #46 and #53 respectively.
The Wealth Report noted that growth in one corner of the world prompted growth in other parts, likewise all real estate, even in the luxury markets, suffered due to the worldwide economic downturn. This interconnectivity is evidence that all markets in this day and age are global. The technology allowing us to buy and sell property internationally quickly and effectively is inevitably tying the housing markets worldwide to each other.
The Aspen Business Journal also noted that a contributing factor to Aspen’s allure among the world’s most wealthy investors was an increasing trend within this demographic to “invest in ‘life’s luxuries and pleasures.” Aspen is veritable Mecca of luxurious shopping, dining balanced with fantastic art, culture and intellectual exchange. But perhaps most appealing about Aspen, beyond the skiing, scenery and culture, is the relaxed and laid-back atmosphere where one could sip coffee in a pair of jeans or unwind on the mountain skiing or hiking.
While Aspen may rank as the 39th most expensive place on earth, it is neither ostentatious, nor is it elitist. In Aspen, one can experience all of the luxuries of life in a prime real estate market while simultaneously enjoying the quiet, serenity of a mountain town. Aspen is truly an investment in lifestyle.
One glance around the Snowmass Club is enough to convince anyone that this is a club of another caliber. Regardless of the season, Snowmass Club is the premier private playground in Snowmass Village and Aspen.
The warm and inviting décor immediately makes one feel at home. Amenities year round, including golf, tennis, an athletic club including a pool, as well as a spa, cross country skiing in the winter and public dining at the world renowned Sage restaurant ensure members a one-of-a-kind experience. Tucked cozily in against a backdrop of blue mountains and wrapped alternately with wild flowers and drifts of snow; Snowmass Club is more than just a great place to play, it is one of the most beautiful places in town.
While locals and many visitors have long cherished this gem within the community, Tennis magazine has let the secret slip to the greater population with its #2 ranking of Snowmass Club in the Northwest region in its recent Top 50 Tennis Resorts of the U.S.
The impressive 13 tennis courts, of which 2 are indoor Har-Tru clay and two are outdoor Har-Tru clay, found at Snowmass Club provide some of the absolute best tennis playing conditions in the nation. Additionally, the Tennis Pro Shop and Junior Tennis Program are worthy of note, contributing to an overall quality establishment.
Guests and locals alike appreciate the high level of training and professionalism found at the Snowmass Club. Like most things in Snowmass Village, there is more to Snowmass Club than meets the eye. Former U.S. Olympic tennis coach Gayle Godwin heads up the tennis training program at Snowmass Club, explaining the bar-none tennis training everyone at Snowmass Club experiences. The Snowmass Club general manager described Godwin in a recent Snowmass Sun article as having a reputation of being, “Not only…extremely talented on the court, but she epitomizes the culture of the game.” Virtually everyone with the good fortune to come into contact with Godwin experiences a significant improvement in his or her tennis game. This translates to not only an incredible tennis experience, but also a transformative experience.
Of course while the tennis at Snowmass Club is in the limelight, one must not overlook the exclusive experience throughout the entire resort and the town itself. Very often overlooked due to the rather large shadow Aspen casts over it, Snowmass Village is a luxury experience in and of itself and not simply as an accompaniment to Aspen. Restaurants, shopping and clubs accompany the award winning ski resort, in addition to a hometown atmosphere and incredible people popping up all over town with a variety of skills, talents and arts making Snowmass Village a Grand Slam in its own right.
Discover all there is to the Snowmass Club, and Snowmass Village itself. The Club offers housing on its property available for sale or partial ownership. For those wanting the total Snowmass Village experience, click here to see homes, properties and condos in the Snowmass Village and Aspen area.
Six hundred people this May will have the opportunity to ride Colorado Highway 82 before anyone else in 2012. Traditionally, every winter Hwy 82 shuts down to vehicle traffic until the warm summer months. However, it opens up to cyclists for just one day during that period to support the Independence Pass Foundation in the Ride for the Pass Race. This year that day falls on May 19th.
The Independence Pass Foundation is a private, nonprofit 501©(3), established to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of Independence Pass. The Pass serves as the historic connection between the Western Slope communities and the Front Range. During the summer months, thousands of people cross over the pass to witness its unique beauty and to experience its incredible recreation opportunities. Since 1989, the people within the Aspen community have supported and sustained the efforts of the Foundation to protect the Pass through donations of their time, money and volunteer work.
The Ride for the Pass Race is just one example of community-supported fundraisers that have helped in the objective to conserve Independence Pass for over twenty years. In this 10-mile recreational and competitive bike race, participants will head out the Winter Gate 4 and ride 10 miles west to Independence Ghost Town. Throughout this ten-mile ride, racers will climb 2,500 feet to go from 8,500 feet to 11,100 feet. Families and first time racers are welcome and encouraged to experience Hwy 82 before the summer traffic takes over.
This same weekend, The Aspen Cycling Criterium will also take place. This race is all about speed! In the heart of downtown Aspen, cyclists will hit speeds of 28mph around a track less than one mile around. As part of the Rocky Mountain Cup, hosted by PreRace.com, the winner in this competition will win big with a $2,500 prize. This is an exciting race to witness and a fan favorite to watch.
As the first real race of the USA Cycling Races season in the Rockies, all racers must have their USAC license. One-day licenses are available for those interesting in participating in this single event. USAC youth racers race for free, while adults race for a mere $20.
Many in the cycling community see these two races as the commencement of cycling season in Aspen and Snowmass Village and refer to this weekend as the “Aspen Cycling Festival.” Last year LIVESTRONG hosted a pre-party the night before The Ride for the Pass at Belly Up with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a chance to win Lance Armstrong memorabilia.
The Aspen Cycling Festival will wind down with a party at the Sky Hotel in Aspen, with free beer and drawing prizes from businesses within the Roaring Fork Valley. As with any Aspen event, the parties and celebration will go on all week throughout town in various restaurants and bars. There will be plenty of fun to be had on the racecourse and off.
The Aspen and Snowmass communities embrace high intensity sports in every season. As the ski season draws to a close in the last weeks of April, Roaring Forks residents don’t waste any time kicking off the cycling season. Come on down and join the fun! When you aren’t racing or enjoying the beautiful spring season in the Rockies, you can take a moment to check out homes, condos and residences in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Click here to get started today! www.GregRulon.com
Looking for a fun way to spend the weekend or the afternoon with the kids? Snowmass Village and Aspen offer a wide selection of activities for every age and interest to get the family out of the house and making memories.
While there is still snow on the ground, grab the kids and go tubing or sledding. More low-key than skiing and snowboarding, tubing and sledding are a great way to bring out the competitive spirit in any group. Race down the hill in groups, pile the kids on one tube and send them flying down the hill or challenge them to parents vs. children races. Trekking up and down the hill is bound to wear the kids out, while filling the afternoon air with laughter. Occasionally a good few hours of sledding can evolve into snowman making, snowball fights and snow fort building.
Warm up afterwards with a cup of hot chocolate or espresso from any of Aspen’s incredible, local coffee houses. Parallel 15 is commonly accepted to be the best place in town for a cup of Joe. Victoria’s Espresso and Wine Bar is also well loved by locals. Other coffee spots like ink! Coffee Company and the Dark Horse Alley Café also offer great drinks and fun ambiance.
Tired of Mother Nature and her temperamental weather? Head on down to the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center Experience in Snowmass Village for outdoor adventure – inside. The family-friendly climbing gym is a big hit with all ages, and offers every person an opportunity to challenge him or herself to push just a bit farther, and hold on just a bit longer. Themed rooms for every age and interest open the doors of imagination and provide learning experiences through hands-on activities.
An afternoon at The Lewis Ice Arena is another fun way to mix up winter activities by slapping on ice skates and taking a spin around the rink. The Lewis Ice Arena offers figure skating lessons for adults and children alike interested in improving their ice skating skills. Schedules are available on the Aspen Recreation Center website.
Or take a break from winter weather altogether by taking a dip in the James E. Moore pool. Competitive swimmers can use the 4-12ft pool with diving board. Recreational swimmers will enjoy a 2-story slide, lazy river and spray. Parents can sneak away for a little relaxation in the dry sauna, steam room or hot tub.
As warmer weather arrives, challenge your kids to a game of outdoor paintball! Groups of ten, above the age of ten, depart from Snowmass Base Village and head out into the wild for their own, private paint war. Beginning in June, public paintball sessions will take place every Saturday and Sunday at either 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.
While spring can be unpredictable, with great drifting snow, warm, bright days and everything in between, there is a lot to see and do no matter the weather. Grab the kids, get out into the community and enjoy all of the wonderful amenities that come with life in Aspen and Snowmass Village!
Of course shopping for a new home is a wonderful family activity as well, and spring is a great time to find that perfect new home! Click here for a preview of some of the properties available in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area today and schedule your viewings today!
It’s hard to say when one looks around the landscape of Snowmass Village what is most remarkable; the beautiful mountains, the foliage, the quaint town tucked in the valley or the people who live and visit here. Most of the time this question could be debated long and hard, however last week there is no doubt about the most remarkable sight that popped up all over town. The men and women who have served our country could be seen skiing on the slopes, climbing the mountains, trap-shooting and playing sled hockey in every corner of Snowmass Village. While witnessing this multitude of service men and women is remarkable in everyday circumstances, even more remarkable is the testimony this specific set of service men and women offer concerning pursuit of quality life after traumatic injury, either in the war zone or outside.
Last week marked the 26th annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. Since March 25th and until the 30th, the VA and the Disabled American Veterans sponsored the Grand Junction VA Medical Center of the Rockies and the VA’s Rocky Mountain Network in a clinic offering veterans the opportunity to experience Alpine and Nordic skiing as well as many other winter sports.
Of the 400 veterans in town last week, many had never experienced winter sports before and due to the severity of some of their injuries, many thought these experiences would never be possible. The inspiration and training offered by ski instructors for the disabled, members of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team and physical therapists through the VA and other veteran hospitals nationwide has helped many veterans overcome incredible obstacles.
In a piece in the Snowmass Sun last week, recreational therapist Jose Laguna, of San Antonio, Texas, and escort to veterans to Snowmass Village since 1993, spoke of his strong belief in the benefit offered to veterans, many of whom come year after year to Snowmass Village to meet up with old friends, make new friends, learn new sports and to improve at those they have discovered in years past.
The clinic is much more than a week of fun. It is also another step in the healing process. Many veterans return home from war injured and traumatized, with poor support systems and with family members at a loss of how to cope with the consequences of combat or injury. Rehabilitation through the various VA hospitals throughout the country aim to restore these men and women to the life they left behind, and to help them to make that life even better. The summer and winter clinics are one aspect of this rehabilitation. In these clinics veterans are asked to push themselves into the unknown of their abilities. Many are learning to walk with prosthetics, function with injured limbs or take risks after traumatic brain injury. For every veteran in every individual circumstance, this leap of faith is invigorating and terrifying at the same time.
Laguna phrases it best in his comments, “We don’t live in a bubble. What we do, in our roll, is take them (the veterans) to the threshold of the bubble.” In Snowmass Village, they hope to cross it independently.
The courage required to cross that threshold reminds one of all the reasons these people put on the uniform in the first place; they are brave, honorable and willing to put everything on the line for the country and fellow countrymen and women. And that is truly the most remarkable national treasure any country or town could hope to host. Snowmass Village is honored to serve these men and women.