The most common question I hear from first-time buyers is “Where and what should I buy?” In the real world, most people have a good idea and are quick to inform their brokers. “I want a 4-bedroom house in a particular neighborhood near schools and costs no more than $X.” The broker then shows the buyer homes from which to choose
First-time Aspen/Snowmass buyers don’t have it so easy. The real estate market is complex and driven by many factors such as price, views, location, schools, size, and number of bedrooms. To help my first-time buyers I begin with a familiarization tour of the area, which I have been doing for more than 30 years. It helps them learn the various areas from the East Side to Starwood and the West End to the Divide, and everything in between. After seeing the multitude of options this unique market has to offer, I encourage buyers to make a ‘must-have’ list of priorities and then we start touring homes.
Unfortunately, the market is so small that there may not be any homes available which check all the boxes. Some may be priced too high, have too few bedrooms, have no views, or be outside of the Aspen School District. When this happens, the priority list needs to be adjusted. Maybe views aren’t as important as the number of bedrooms. Maybe Snowmass Village instead of Aspen because of price. And, I have had Buyers search and wait years for the perfect home to come on the market. In the meantime, I keep them updated through automatic emails when homes fitting their parameters are listed or sold. This helps them learn the market dynamics and to be prepared to make a move when the perfect home becomes available.
The most important decision a first-time buyer can make is selecting a local broker who has the experience to know how and why the market works the way it does. Unless you are familiar with the market and know your desired location, all buying experiences should begin with the familiarization tour and progress from there. Once the perfect area or home is found, an experienced broker should be able to answer the following: Is it a good deal? If not, why not? Where should I be looking to find the home that best fits my needs?
Gary has been helping Aspen/Snowmass real estate buyers for 35 years. Whether you’re looking for a one-bedroom condominium or a $30,000,000 luxury home, Gary has the knowledge and experience to make the process smooth and seamless.