Colorado Foreclosures: Time to Buy a Ski Home?

colorado foreclosuresColoradoforeclosures are reaching record levels. But if you're looking to buy a home in a Colorado ski resort town or outlying areas, now may be the time to take advantage of the low prices that are due to the increased level of foreclosures in the area.

Foreclosure filings in Colorado's mountain communities are eclipsing not just the records from the previous year but also those from the crash of the mid-1980s, according to the Denver Post.

In 2009, Colorado foreclosures from struggling owners of second homes escalated, the value of properties and timeshares deflated, which also caused home prices in local-worker bedroom communities to slump in 2010.
"When the economy and construction slowed down starting in 2008, many of the residents lost jobs, had little or no other income, and could no longer afford their mortgage payments," Gypsum-area broker Laurie Slaughter, told the paper. She has seen home values in some parts of Eagle County drop as much as 50 percent in the last year, which caused some upside down homeowners to short sale their home or walk away.

"Prior to the 2009 surge in foreclosures, many resort-area communities had not endured any real estate declines since the mid- to late 1980s, when the state's
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oil-dependent economy collapsed, triggering a real estate crash. But 2010 surpassed those dark days," the paper wrote.

"We had one project that was 49 units in foreclosure but it was purchased out of foreclosure and 27 units already have been snapped up since Christmas," Cynthia Kruse, a broker/owner with Re/Max Vail Valley told AOL Real Estate. "Those units were priced from $400,000 to a little over $1 million. Pricing was about 50 percent off the peak [in 2006 and 2007], but is not representative of all of the resort areas."

Kruse, who has a $1.85 million listing overlooking Vail Mountain, pictured left, says in most of the resort areas one would find prices that are 10 percent to 30 percent lower than the peak days. It's the western part of Eagle county that is at a 50 percent discount.

"It is an excellent time to buy because I think we'll see prices increase in the next six months or a year," exclusive buyers' agent Karen Barrocas of told AOL Real Estate. "We had a lot of people looking for the bottom of the market. We've now reached that point. In the last couple of years the number of sales have slowed down, but now activity is increasing and prices have stabilized, but our supply is still better than the demand."

The dollar volume of sales is up by double digits through October this year compared to last year in Pitkin, Eagle and Summit counties, even though foreclosures are also up, according to reports prepared by Land Title Guarantee Co., which has offices in variouss markets.

• Eagle County, home to Vail and Beaver Creek ski areas, saw 599 foreclosure filings in 1987. Last year, the county logged 618 foreclosure filings. However, the dollar volume of sales soared 75 percent through October last year, Land Title's report revealed. Sales totaled $1.27 billion at the end of October, surpassing total sales of $898.44 million the year prior.

• Garfield County had 644 foreclosure filings in 2010, an 825 percent increase over the county's 25-year average and 400 more than the county's foreclosures in 1985, reported the paper.

• Routt County saw its record 234 filings from 1985 overtaken by 303 foreclosures in 2010.

Pitkin County sales, dominated by Aspen and Snowmass Village, are up 12 percent this year compared to the same point last year. Sales were at $1.02 billion at the end of October. Sales reached $1.07 billion for all of last year, the report showed.

The Aspen-area remains a buyer's market, reported the Aspen Times. Sellers are receiving on average 73 percent of what they are asking, and 65 percent of their original list price from one or two years ago.

colorado foreclosures

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