Winter Park Ski Resort, Grand County, Colorado


The population of the state of Colorado is booming. In fact, it's currently the second-fastest growing state in the United States. It's no surprise that there's a huge interest in Winter Park, CO real estate.

If you're considering buying a second home in Winter Park, you're not alone. Offering an array of year-round activities, attractions, dining, and entertainment, it's currently is one of the hottest small towns in Colorado.

A second home purchase is a big commitment that requires some planning and forethought. Here are the top considerations you need to address when buying a second home.

Make Sure You're Ready

496 Iron Horse Way, Winter Park, CO

First and foremost, you must make sure that you have sufficient disposable income to comfortably afford a second home. Be sure to run the idea by your financial planner or investment professional. Also consider your lifestyle, your age, and family dynamics.

Make sure you're ready to commit to a second home. The last thing you want to do is buy a home, and decide a few years later that you're no longer interested in visiting that location. If you're not sure, consider renting a vacation home in the area for the first few years and then revisit the idea of purchasing.

Choose Your Ideal Location

Location is the primary driver for a real estate purchase. When searching for the perfect place to buy your second home, consider lifestyle factors like:

  • Proximity to airports
  • Local economy
  • Community culture
  • Arts and entertainment scene
  • Access to activities

Before committing to a real estate purchase, take the time to thoroughly explore the area you are considering. It's well worth the effort to ensure you'll be happy in your second home for years to come.

Decide on the Home Type

The location you choose may have a significant impact on the types of homes that are available. You may decide on a single-family home, duplex, or condominium. The square-footage, design, and other details will depend on your personal preference.

In the Winter Park, CO real estate market, building a custom home is an extremely popular option. Hiring a home building company allows you to choose your homesite, floor plan, and customization options.

Review Your Budget

It's easy to get swept up in the excitement of shopping for a vacation home. For this reason, it's important to review your budget and set an upper limit for what you're willing to pay. Failing to take this step may cause you to get in over your head.

The current low-interest-rate environment makes financing a good idea in many cases. If you're planning on getting a mortgage, your upper-limit price may be impacted the loan terms, interest rate and minimum monthly payment amount. If you have difficulty finding homes in your price range, you may need to revisit the location and type of home you've chosen.

Hire a Real Estate Professional

When purchasing a previously-built home, you need to find a qualified local realtor who represents buyers. Not only will this person be able to help you with your home purchase, he or she should be able to give you additional insight into the area.

If you're leaning towards new home construction, begin by making a list of possible builders and thoroughly interviewing each prospect. Ask for references, read online reviews, and tour sample homes.

Make sure you understand every detail of your contract before making any commitments. If you're unsure, ask an attorney to review the contract and explain anything that could be questionable.

Secure Financing Pre-Approval

While you may have a preferred lender in your hometown, they may not provide financing in the area where you are looking to buy. If this is the case, your best bet is to work with a lender recommended by your real estate agent or builder. Obtaining a pre-approval letter from the financer will give you a better chance of closing the deal quickly and easily.

A local lender is also more likely to hire a local appraiser. The chance of an accurate appraisal is more likely when the person doing it is familiar with the neighborhood and surrounding area.

Beware of Potential Pitfalls

When buying a second home, there are concerns that could become a problem if they aren't proactively addressed. Here are a few of the most important:

Cash Flow

There are many costs involved in the purchase of a second home beyond the monthly mortgage payment. This includes taxes, utilities, insurance, maintenance, and association fees. You may need to hire a property manager, landscaper, pool company, and housekeeper.

Make sure there is plenty of money in your monthly budget to cover these expenses. If you plan to rent the property out when you're not using it, you'll also need to pay for a rental manager, necessary repairs, and marketing costs.

Tax Implications

The IRS imposes special rules on those who own vacation properties and second homes. Many of the rules vary depending on whether you rent the property or use it exclusively for your own benefit. It's always a good idea to consult with your tax professional before making any property purchase.

Resale Potential

Familiarize yourself with the local real estate market and its potential for future growth. If you decide the property is no longer right for you, you want to make sure you have the ability to get back out of it. Choosing a thriving location will help ensure you'll be able to quickly sell or rent the property.

Exciting Winter Park, CO Real Estate Opportunities

Are you interested in building your dream home in Winter Park? We are here to help. Visit our website to view the latest Winter Park, CO real estate opportunities and check out our exclusive floor plans and customization options.

With over 25 years of real estate experience, we're passionate about helping to make your Winter Park dreams a reality. Contact us today to discuss your Winter Park, CO real estate options.