People have been coming to Breckenridge since 1859, looking for the Mother Lode. The gold may have played out but now there’s more value in the area than ever before.
Today, Breckenridge consistently has more than 1 million annual visits a year. This charming, authentic mining town is beloved by loyal locals and all those visitors who come each year for the majestic views, the rich history and year-round recreational activities. Now that it’s summer, many Breckenridge lovers believe the “peak season” has arrived.
“There’s a saying that people come here for the winter but stay for the summer,” said Krystal Knott, a long-time resident and broker in the Breckenridge office of Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. “And we’ve seen it happen over and over with those who buy property here, whether they are from Denver or our popular feeder markets, like Texas and Florida.”
As a real estate market, a significant percentage of buyers are Front Range residents looking for a second home, Knott said. That’s not surprising, with so many options centralized in the Breckenridge and Summit County area. There are a variety of property types, amenities and price points in Breckenridge and the cluster of communities surrounding it, including Frisco, Dillon, Keystone, Silverthorne and Copper Mountain. The communities are all easily accessible to one another. In fact, miles of bike paths and trails connect the towns, and bus stops seem to be every few blocks for the Breckenridge Free Ride and the free Summit Stage, which serves much of Summit County.
Buyers are often specifically seeking the advantages and feeling of being in or near a true “town,” which was not just originally developed as a ski resort, Knott added. Whether local or seasonal, property owners are committed to investing in and improving streets, schools, recreational opportunities and other facilities that create stability and value. That is certainly evident in Breckenridge, where the town’s additional embrace of historic preservation has created one of the largest historic districts in Colorado. Civic pride has been a town tradition for 155 years, said Knott, a long-time resident.
That community “feel” is a large part of the new “gold” in the hills of Breckenridge and Summit County. According to the Land Title Guarantee Co.’s April 2014 market report, 11 properties sold for $1 million or more in April. The most active price point that month was between $400,000 and $500,000, which is higher than in years and months past. Presently, inventory is low in Summit County compared to recent years, a fact that is reflected in rising prices in some areas and an increasing number of transactions and overall sales volume, which seems to be a continuing trend.
If location is the key to real estate value and desirability, the entire Summit County market has a claim on that advantage, said Justin Knott, who is also a broker in FSIR’s Breckenridge office.
“It is so easy to get here, no matter where you are coming from,” he said. “That’s appealing to Colorado buyers and it has real relevancy for buyers from our feeder markets, too. We’re close to Denver, the entire Front Range, Denver International Airport and five ski resorts.”
The accessible, central location of Breckenridge and Summit County allows property owners access to exceptional lifestyles and proximity to world-class resorts, at a more attractive price point than in other Colorado resort towns such as Vail, Aspen, Steamboat and Telluride.
Visitors also have two routes into Summit County. I-70 unfurls through the county, with frequent turnoffs to nearby towns. Travelers also have the option of coming the “back way,” on scenic highway U.S. 285, over Hoosier Pass and down into Breckenridge. Both routes are well maintained and passable year-round.
Justin Knott said the infamous traffic snarls that do occur on the I-70 corridor can be one of the strongest selling points for buying property in Breckenridge or Summit County.
“If anything, travel issues motivate people to buy a place here. They can relax, enjoy a night or weekend stay at their own mountain property and head back to town when the rush hours are over.”
Perhaps the most compelling reason for “selling” Breckenridge and Summit County is lifestyle, Krystal Knott said. “There is just so much to do year round, concentrated in this area. It’s not like any other place in Colorado. That’s why we sell lifestyle and experiences that buyers and their families can embrace. We learn how clients want to use the property, and then we match the property to that lifestyle,” she added.
With festivals nearly every weekend, world-class biking, fishing, boating, hiking, golf, concerts, unique shopping and dining options, and many other activities, it’s no wonder that people come for winter but stay for summer. For a growing number of people, owning their own mountain property only enhances their enjoyment of this exceptional part of Colorado.
With mountain grandeur and lifestyle choices – and properties to match – Breckenridge and Summit County offer a convenient and stellar location to enjoy outdoor recreation year-round.
Photos courtesy of learningDSLRvideo.com