January 12, 2016
Determining your Crested Butte Property Value
You may have seen a website that promised an instant home valuation, or even worse, Zillow’s Zestimate feature. The trouble with computer-based valuations is that they rely on very similar homes (aka “comps”, or comparables) to reach a value. That can actually work very well in some cases, such as a suburb with nearly identical homes on nearly identical lots.
But here in Crested Butte (and Gunnison as well!), most homes are custom, with large differences in style, finishes, and even the all-important views which all contribute to the home’s value. On top of that, the local market is quite small, so many comparable sales may be old, or not really that comparable at all. Finally, current listings can also be used to find a home’s worth, but those are all over the board as well- sometimes with homeowners that are just “testing the waters” at a high price.
Factors Influencing Your Crested Butte Property Value:
- View: Two identical condos, with one facing another building and the other with perfect views of the ski area, aren’t worth the same amount, are they? While views are obviously subjective, it’s common to see valuations change by 20% or more based on view alone.
- Lot Size: Once again, it stands to reason that a property with a larger lot will be worth more than a smaller lot. But there are many aspects to consider- what if 34 acres of a 35 acre property are on a steep and unusable hillside? Or part of a conservation easement?
- Market Conditions: If you’re serious about selling, you will need to consider the overall market and how that is affecting your home’s chances of selling. As the market was crumbling in 2008, a savvy seller would have been pricing their home below any recent comparable sales, in an effort to sell before conditions got any worse. Likewise, in a market that’s going up a seller can be more aggressive in their pricing.
- Supply: At its heart, real estate is all about supply and demand. In a small market like Crested Butte, there are times when you can list your house and be the only one in the neighborhood or condo complex. Limited supply can mean a more aggressive price.
- Deed Restrictions: Whether it’s a local’s affordable unit, an accessory dwelling that can only be rented long-term, or a historical building in downtown Crested Butte, expect your valuation to be affected.
- HOA Dues: All else being equal, a home or condo with lower dues will be worth more than one with higher dues. This one gets tricky, of course, when high HOA dues cover significant amenities that may make it worth it for a buyer.
- Condition: This one can be tough, as a real estate agent, but for my client’s sake I have to let them know if their property needs repairs and upkeep. Because first impressions are everything, most sellers will find that it’s worth their while to do what they can prior to listing their home. If not, the price needs to reflect the current state of the home.
- Features: This is another tough one, at times. As much as a seller may love their custom heart-shaped bed in the master bedroom, that doesn’t mean that a buyer will have the same taste, or want to pay extra for it. Still, buyers do look for little touches, like soft-close drawers, solid countertops, and more.
As you can probably gather from the list above, there is a lot to think about when it comes to determining Crested Butte property values. Most properties are so unique here that comparable sales will only give a ballpark number- from there it’s up to the real estate agent and the sellers to go on their gut instinct, to some extent. Are you interested in your home’s value? Fill out the information below and we can start that discussion: