Steamboat has been dry, sunny, and full of Autumn color now for a weeks. It’s been wonderful to have Fall breezes and blue skies for a long time. Yes, we had some weather – like the windstorm that took out hundreds of trees on the …
Is September almost over? The first half of the year seemed to drag along and now it’s three months to Christmas. Wow. Steamboat has been very busy all Summer. Many tourists came through town. Given the amount of RV’s that went through town as well …
Recently I visited Ross at his ranch. He invited me out on a Sunday afternoon, and it was another epic Colorado blue bird day. It was easy for me to hop in the truck and journey over to his ranch.
He said he lived by Elkhead Reservoir, but didn’t understand he lived at the far side of the lake. Elkhead Reservoir is a little bit north of Hayden, Colorado. Taking Walnut Street out of town takes you up a winding country road that ends up on top of a plateau. The views of the east and south of the Yampa Valley are amazing from this viewpoint. I’ve been there several times working on real estate projects, so it was easy for me to want to make this journey again.
The drive into Ross’s ranch is full of views of the reservoir. Beautiful horizon lines that move around to the east to reveal the Bear’s Ears formation in the distance. Today, there were just a few boats on the water. It made me long to be out there because no boat traffic would have been great for some flat water kayaking. But that wasn’t today. Today is about seeing mules, dogs, hogs, and cows.
Yes, Ross’s big, friendly personality can be found in his energetic and playful farm dogs. When I went to visit the bottle calves, they followed me like I was an old friend. Ross was moving water tanks around the farm when I arrived. By the time I had visited the calves and played with the dogs, he was ready to give me a tour of the ranch.
We hopped in, with his dogs, his ‘new’ Ranger. (He just purchased four days prior from a guy he knows nearby.) He drove me around the bend and up to our first of three gates. He got out and opened the first one, and after that it was me. With the electric fence gates, I had to ask if they were live. He replied they were – Gotcha, and I’ll be really careful. (I personally hate being shocked by electric current. Actually, I don’t know anyone who enjoys this.)
We drove about a mile in all and saw hundreds of acres, some with green grass rimmed ponds and streams, some on hilltops covered in sage. There were some really big cows too!
When we got back to the barn, Ross invited me in his house for tea. We talked for a bit and I got to meet his wonderful wife. We shared stories of farmers markets, cows and hogs, and growing up with the rural lifestyle.
When I was leaving, I got to watch the bottle calves be fed. When I arrived earlier, these calves were chill-laxing on some hay. Now they bolted up and were ready to be fed. They each drained a full bottle (about 60 ounces) in less than a minute! No chatting around the dinner table, I guess.
After this, I took a beautiful drive home, but not before being invited to help brand cows the next time around.
Steamboat is seeing the end of the Summer approaching quickly. We have had a rush of visitors over the past few weekends, which makes me think school is about to start. We have a bunch of smoke from a large fire near Glenwood Springs, and …
Well, it’s official. Officially crazy, I mean. This is a very busy time for real estate brokers in Steamboat Springs. Not all brokers are busy, but most are. If a broker had business going into the Spring shutdown, they are busy now. In my …
Camping makes me happy. Being outdoors for long periods of time, and a lot of that time is with my feet up under a shade tree. Depending on the trip, activities will include fishing, hiking, cooking, and sitting around telling stories.
This year, camping has been very popular. With many places closed due to the virus outbreak, persons across the Front Range, and nearby states, have hit the mountains for relief from the heat, getting away from urban stress, and just all around killing time. Walking or driving through downtown Steamboat Springs, there are numerous RV’s going through town. Several of which it is easy to tell that the driver has little experience with towing, let alone something as large as a camper trailer.
This weekend we went to North Routt to camp. Like, way north. North of Steamboat Lake is a small spot named Columbine. Here we took County Road 550 and travelled some really great terrain. We saw many peaks and large, wide open pastures. Except for a few bucks, we didn’t see any wildlife. Then again we were traveling in the afternoon. In the afternoons, I’m laying low from the Summer heat.
We drove about 15 miles from Columbine to an area known as Whiskey Park and camped on the Middle Fork of the Snake River. It was a quiet spot, as many along this drive were. We felt pretty lucky finding a spot, especially with water. Every campsite along our drive was taken, except for two.
Our tent was surrounded by white pine and Sarvis Berry bushes. The Snake River made enough sound that we slept really well. Overall, it was a great spot to kick back for awhile, out of cell phone range.
Stage 1 fire restrictions started last weekend. Which means no fires outside of campgrounds, and no fireworks, and a few other things. It toned down the evenings and made bugs more cantankerous when a little smoke goes long way to chase them off. Everyone was being cautious with fires. Even though there had been afternoon rains, the terrain was dry.
On our return, we stopped at Steamboat Lake for some kayaking. The lake was fairly busy with day use visitors. Overall, there was plenty of parking and folks were spread out. Blue skies and a slight breeze made the day brilliant. It was good to get out on the water, get in the water, and be away from my desk.
Steamboat has begun to open up, not just restaurants, but also periwinkle, larkspur, and more. Lincoln Avenue is lined with white crabapple in full bloom. The smells and sights are excellent!
The past few months have been quite exciting in terms of conversations of what is happening market-wise as well as what might happen. If you’re a reader of this blog, you know that it has been hard for me and other professionals to get a handle on what we is going on and where is this likely to go.
One statistic I have more confidence in more than normal is the National Association of Realtors saying the change in home values this year will be 1.1% up in value. This comes after a strong beginning to the year. Summer is anticipated to be active and then momentum slows for the remainder of the year.
They are saying similar statistics for next year. Forecasting next year is a difficult activity. In my opinion, predicting next year without seeing what Fall brings is unsafe. There are positive things to consider for next year, such as the stock markets have seen growth that eliminates earlier losses from this Winter. And there are many people able to be employed differently now, especially opening up in the trades areas.
What aggravates me are discussions that don’t include how we interact globally. Around the world, most major economies have suffered and will need time to recover. As well, developing countries will not have the support of larger economies spending in their borders. Steamboat Springs is a world class destination area. We rely on international visitors and supply chains. The disruption in these areas will take time to recover, and some will not recover without demand occurring first.
Home prices are stable in Steamboat. Prices are neither going up or down, generally speaking. Rent prices are going down, with 2 bedroom units in March seeing $2200-2500 a month. Today, those same properties are $1800-2000 a month. Competition is growing because travelers are fewer, HOA fees due monthly, and mortgages.
I have often said to watch the Denver market. Here’s a great article in Westword on current Denver trends discussing the current market.
Good stuff from NAR:
Nationally, it appears that Buyers think they may pay too much for a home or are going to get a good deal. And Sellers think values are stable and will get their asking price. This is a common dynamic and it’s early to say which is more correct.
What are people searching for and spending money on?
RV rentals and purchases
Source: NAR and The Hustle
Folks are building lives around being at home. When the current pandemic concludes, many families will have changed patterns. What happens later is part of the reason I say we will know so much more in Fall.
What I can’t find right now? A used PS4 at a reasonable price. Who would have thought?
Overall, I’m positive about changes in the markets and can see that things are going to get better. What will be able to guide our understanding of what this will look like is Fall.