Colleen's Corner - Steamboat Real Estate Blog

Your source for info on buying and selling Steamboat real estate, and living in this beautiful part of Colorado.


March 15, 2018

Executing the Perfect Move: A Guide for Those with Disabilities

While moving is an often stressful and irritating endeavor for most people, the task takes on a new level of challenge for people with disabilities. Simple tasks like taking a walkthrough of a potential new home, packing, lifting boxes, and unpacking/organizing are rendered somewhere between an annoyance and impossible if a physical disability is hampering your mobility and functionality. The end result of moving to a new place, however, can be exciting. For those with disabilities, executing the perfect move is all about preparation and knowing when (and how) to get some help. Here are some tips.


Finding the right property
When it comes to finding the right new home, there are basically two things you must figure out. First, what is my perfect property? And second, how do I find it once I know what I’m looking for?

Think about your disability. What limitations does it have? You may want to look for a one-story home if stairs give you trouble. You may want to buy a home that has a small yard, as keeping up with a large property could prove too taxing. Think about your financial situation. How much money do you have for repairs/renovations? The more money you have to spare, the less “complete” your new home has to be. You can modify your home to suit your particular disabilities. If you don’t want to spend a lot on home modifications, you’ll need to find a home that you can live in comfortably from day one.

Though physical walkthroughs can be taxing and difficult for those with disabilities, the internet lets us take virtual walkthroughs of most on-sale properties. Sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia are great resources for you. Beyond that, look for your local real estate sites - they may be more detailed.


Consider financial help
Moving expenses add up - especially if you plan on hiring some help (which you should). There are organizations out there that provide financial assistance in the form of grants for some with disabilities preparing to move. These grants can cover the costs of movers, house cleaners, and packing specialists. National Institute on Life Planning for People with Disabilities and ADAPT are two such organizations to check out.


Packing and moving
Once you’ve found your new home and signed the paperwork, it’s time to think about your move. It’s daunting, yes, but it can be managed with a little help. The benefits of hiring a moving service are numerous. For one, you don’t have to risk injury. Also, professional movers can complete a job in a fraction of the time it would take you. Movers have experience transporting large and fragile items, so you’re actually less likely to wind up with broken and damaged possessions when you outsource the job.

Movers are a no-brainer, but so too are packers. Reputable packing services can smartly and efficiently box up your various belongings in much less time (and effort) than it would take you. We’re talking hours vs. weeks here. Just compare rates before going with a particular service.


Unpacking, organization, and settling in
If you think moving is daunting, wait until you get into your new home and have to unpack and organize everything! Here’s the golden rule: unpack one room at a time. You need a plan of action and it works better if you go at it in an organized manner. Complete an entire room before moving on to the next. If you need some help, ask friends and family. Take it slow. You have all the time you need.

If you take two things away from this, then let it be preparation and help. Take advantage of the many services available to assist you. Moving doesn’t have to be excruciating. In fact, moving into a new, more manageable home can give those with disabilities more freedom to live their lives independently.

Article contributed by
Patrick Young of Able USA



Feb. 6, 2018


There’s no question that heading into 2018, the Steamboat market is healthy and only getting stronger as major market trends point to double-digit growth in transaction and dollar volume. With a demand that clearly outweighs the supply, the market shows no signs of slowing down. As new construction and renovation projects are on the rise, even more encouraging is that appreciation of existing residential homes is the strongest it’s been in recent years, a sign that the Steamboat economy is healthy overall.

We gathered some data from Doug Labor, Broker and Manager at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty, then caught up with David Baldinger Jr., Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty Owner/Broker to take a look back at the market trends in 2017 and to find out what they mean for the outlook as we head into 2018.

Total transactions and dollar volume are up.
“The most compelling trend of 2017 compared to 2016 was seeing that our transaction volume, or the total number of closed transactions, went up about 14%, which is a really good sign,” Baldinger Jr. says. “It’s a similar trend from the previous year, but it didn’t drop or fall flat; it’s gone up and it’s strong, double-digit growth. That’s what we look for in a healthy market.” There were 1,193 transactions in 2016 and 1,363 in 2017.

“Our dollar volume is the highest it’s been since the financial crisis eight years ago, and it’s up 11% from 2016. To see that kind of double digit growth in a single year is compelling for Steamboat’s diverse market because it shows a positive trend across the board,” Baldinger Jr. says. He points out that statistics don’t always tell the whole story of Steamboat’s market because part-time residents and vacation homeowners in a resort market behave differently than full-time residents in an urban market might. There is also a vast disparity in property value, location and type throughout the Steamboat market, from ski-in/ski-out condos and luxury single family homes to high-dollar ranch properties. So, while the numbers don’t lie, they do require a little more fine-tuned analysis and interpretation (which is what we’re here for).

Demand is up. Supply is down.
“Inventory has gone down by 20%, which is generally indicative of a modest price increase coming in the near future, as the demand might drive the prices up somewhat,” Baldinger Jr. says. Because of the limited supply of houses on the market, new construction and renovations are on the rise, especially for properties $1 million and up. “That’s a big change from a few years ago,” Baldinger Jr. says. “When we see a lot more home starts and remodel projects, that’s usually also indicative of a slightly rising home market.”

The residential housing market is up.
“The residential housing market for homes under $800,000 was very active in 2017,” Baldinger Jr. says. “These are families and full-time residents who are seeing significant appreciation on their properties in all areas, including on the mountain, Fish Creek, downtown and West Steamboat.” Baldinger Jr. says there has also been a high volume of sales in those areas with continued low inventory, an encouraging sign that the Steamboat economy as a whole is thriving.

“Values saw a double digit increase in 2017, which means everyone’s home is close to 10% more valuable than it would have been in 2015 or 2016, which leads to an overall optimistic outlook. It’s reflective of the local economy and the business market.” Baldinger Jr. adds that Steamboat has advantages over other mountain towns because of its geography – a wide, long, valley that allows for a more diverse offering of real estate that’s still relatively affordable compared to other markets.

Significant Sales in 2017.
In the residential segment of the market, there were 104 sales over $1M in 2017. Of those Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty participated in 73% of the transactions, and represented both buyer and seller in over a quarter of the transactions.

The sale of Wildflower Meadows, a 155-acre property with 10,000+ sq.ft. estate home just minutes from downtown Steamboat, marked the highest residential sale of the year, and in the history of Steamboat, at a price of $9M on January 31, 2017. Steamboat Sotehby’s International Realty represented both buyer and seller in the transaction.

This ranch in the Elk River Valley sold for $9,790,000, making it the highest sale in Routt County in 2017. Meg Firestone of Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer.

The sale of 1900 acres in the Elk River Valley on January 6, 2017 at a price of $9,790,000 marked the highest sale of the year in Routt County. This ranch property had not been offered for sale in almost 40 years, and Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer in the transaction.

For a complete list of significant sales in Routt County in 2017, or to find out about current opportunities, contact your broker at Steamboat Sotheby’s International Realty.

The de Jong Team with Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty
Colleen de Jong (970) 846-5569    |   Michael de Jong (970) 846-3661   Cristin Frey (303) 912-7557

Click Here to view of PDF of the 2017 Annual Market Report

Jan. 15, 2018

New Construction Never Looked so Green

Chadwick Flats

Ski Town USA™ (yes that is actually the registered trademark of Steamboat Springs) has come a long way from its former years of sports bars with Western themes. Nestled along the Yampa River in northwest Colorado, the town has seen a recent renaissance, bringing an array of new après-ski bars, haute cuisine restaurants and late-night haunts, as well as upscale lodging options such as One Steamboat Place, that rival those found in Vail or Aspen.  Steamboat also boasts 165 named ski runs, the driest snow in the state and the crowds no where near the size of those you’ll find in Winter Park or Summit County. And this off-the-beaten-track resort town is still affordable, all things considered.


Just 3 years ago, a 1,500 square foot, ski-in/ski-out condo in Steamboat averaged about $724,000.  Today that same slopeside condo would likely sell for 11% higher or $800,000 based on price per square foot. But those numbers are still very modest compared to the cost of a similar property in Vail or Aspen (about $2.9 million). For those who seek a getaway with the modern sleekness of new construction and the amenities of a thriving resort town, Steamboat offers an excellent option, at a fraction of the price point of its neighboring resort towns. 


Located about 2 minutes from the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Area, Chadwick Flats is one of the town’s newest and greenest developments. The brand new, high-end 5 bedroom, 5 bath residences feature panoramic views of the stunning landscape of the Yampa Valley, luxurious finishes, gourmet kitchens, 2-car garages and door-to-door shuttle service.


Steamboat’s first multi-family project to receive both the Steamboat Green Building Program and ENERGY STAR certifications, the homes are designed and built to efficiency standards well above most other homes on the market today, resulting in savings of up to 30% on utility bills. Ideal for the environmentally conscious consumer who wants to reduce their footprint, one of the unique aspects to the project is that 3 solar panels at the solar garden in nearby Craig, CO are allocated to each owner at Chadwick Flats, as part of a collaborative project of the Yampa Valley Electric Association and Clean Energy Collective, a Louisville-based solar energy company.


Phase 2 is set to break ground in the spring and there is currently a furnished model ready to tour. In 10 years you could be saying, “Woulda, coulda, shoulda …,” or you could be skiing champagne powder through carved aspen glades just minutes from your dream home.


The last residence in phase 1 st Chadwick Flats is currently offered for sale at $1,649,000.


Chadwick Flats is exclusively represented by Colleen de Jong at 970-846-5569 or 970-846-5310





Oct. 11, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Own at One Steamboat Place

The luxury of One Steamboat Place is a rare find in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  The 80 residence building is newly constructed at the base of the ski resort with the finest of finishes, gourmet kitchens, high-end dining, a luxurious spa and a spectacular staff. One Steamboat Place is arguably one the best 5-star experiences in the state.

Top 5 Reasons to Own at One Steamboat Place

If you’re considering buying a vacation home in the mountains, you should know what makes One Steamboat Place – A Timbers Residence Club so special.

1. Location, Location, Location
Or should we say slopeside, slopeside, slopeside? Located next to the gondola at one of the world’s best ski resorts, in the vast and stunning Yampa Valley. Whether it’s hiking or biking, skiing or snowboarding, all trails lead home to One Steamboat Place.

2. Luxe Meets West
Spacious, 3- and 4-bedroom residences are inspired by Steamboat’s Western spirit and finished with modern design details, giving you a home that feels supremely luxurious yet completely relaxed.

3. Effortless Ownership
We take care of everything before you arrive and after you depart, from tuning your skis to stocking your pantry, so that you can focus on fun. Play in the game room, splash at the pool, sip wine from your wine cellar, or enjoy a day in the fresh mountain air.

4. You Can’t Turn Back Time
Do what you love with the people you love. Here, you can gather your family and friends together year after year to make memories that last a lifetime.

5. Steamboat Today, Tuscany Tomorrow
When it’s time to venture beyond Steamboat, you can trade and travel throughout the collection of remarkable residence clubs in the Timbers Resorts portfolio. From Tuscany to Napa, Maui to Cabo San Lucas, Scottsdale to Vail, and more, the choice is yours.

We found the lowest priced 4 bedroom 1/8 ownership at One Steamboat Place and it includes a Catamount Ranch & Golf membership (a $60,000 value)! Click here to view the listing.

Sept. 26, 2017

Fall in Steamboat Springs

While there’s no bad time to visit Steamboat Springs in northwest Colorado, autumn is a particularly magical season in the city, when the Yampa Valley sparkles in varying shades of gold, orange and scarlet, and crisp sunny days support a wide array of ways to experience the outdoor splendor and soak up local culture. Here are just a few ways to make the most of fall in Steamboat Springs.

Unwind in glorious hot springs.

Steamboat Springs boasts two year-round soaking locales. Tucked in a high-mountain valley just 7 miles from downtown Steamboat, Strawberry Park Hot Springs’ steamy stone-lined pools offer a heavenly respite any time of year. In the autumn, the springs are a lovely sight surrounded by quivering yellow aspens, and multiple pools featuring varying temperatures perfectly complement the cooler mountain air.

Old Town Hot Springs’ eight natural mineral pools, 230-foot water slides and fitness center provide hours of entertainment for every member of the family. The geothermal hot springs, which have prompted gratifying sighs from locals and visitors since the 1880s, offer an easily accessible downtown location.

Bag the catch of a lifetime in Steamboat lakes and rivers.

Colorado’s autumn-kissed landscape enhances peaceful fishing experiences. The Yampa River is a locals’ favorite for fly-fishing, while Steamboat Lake State Park offers optimum trout fishing below towering Hahn’s Peak, which becomes cradled by yellow-and-orange-streaked forests. Visit local fishing shops for gear, tips and excursions.


Pedal through transformative scenery.

Plenty of biking opportunities make it easy to maximize your intake of the post-summer beauty. Steamboat Bike Park at Steamboat Resort has nearly 2,000 feet of gravity-fed and downhill-flow trails enhanced with rocks, rollers, man-made jumps, berms and bridges — all accessible by a convenient lift (open early June through September; check schedule to confirm dates).

Or choose from a variety of trails, like Spring Creek Trail toward Buffalo Pass, where panoramas of yellowing aspens groves juxtaposed with clusters of mossy-green pines are truly unforgettable. 


Connect with your inner cowboy.

A proud ranching community, Steamboat Spring is true cowboy country, and there are tons of ways to experience the city’s Western heritage. Jazz up your wardrobe with an authentic Stetson hat or Johnson & Held belt buckle from F.M Light & Sons, who have dressed area residents in Western threads since 1905. Then, take your new duds to Saddleback Ranch for a fall horseback ride, where you’ll meet the establishment’s cows and calves and see riots of colorful foliage from a whole-new perspective.

Take a foliage flight.

For views like no other, take in the color-veiled landscape from the air. Wild West balloon adventures and Pegasus Hot Air Baloon Adventures can whisk you across the Western sky above Steamboat for 360-degree sights of the Yampa Valley

Appreciate some of Colorado’s best hiking.

Gold-medal hiking trails in Steamboat Springs offer easy access to views of woodlands cloaked in crimson, amber and gold. Take the 4-mile Emerald Mountain Quarry Trail to unparalleled glimpses of Mt. Werner and the downtown area; or make your way to the top of the breathtaking Continental Divide on the 6-mile Rabbit Ears Peak Trail.

Information provided by:

Aug. 21, 2017

Resort Report 2016


“The Steamboat Springs real estate market posted its fifth best year ever recorded with 876 sales (+9.5%) and $536 million in volume (+25%).  The market has consistently improved since hitting bottom in 2008.  2016 was the year Steamboat’s luxury market came out of its slumber.  For properties priced from $3.5M, 2016 posted 11 sales; one less than 2014 and 2015 combined.  Further, sales in the Sanctuary, which is one of Steamboat’s most exclusive neighborhoods, saw 9 sales; one less than what occurred in 2013, ’14 and ’15 combined.”

Deep in history and long in legend, the mountain community of Steamboat Springs has risen in prominence as one of the true-grit western towns of modern age. Its friendly faces, picturesque setting, world-class amenities and healthy climate provide a rewarding environment for all to enjoy. From working cattle and horse ranches to quaint downtown bungalows, or elegant slope side condominiums, residents enjoy the Steamboat Springs lifestyle in a variety of ways.

Click here for the full 2016 Resort Report

July 6, 2017

Why is There a Bathtub on the Porch? 3 Tips to Stage Rooms with a Purpose

de Jong Team Steamboat

Posted By Zillow on 5/4/2016

When buyers enter a home for sale, they look around and try to picture themselves living there. Cleaning and decluttering a home is the first step in helping buyers see the main features and characteristics that drew them to the listing. The next step is to stage the rooms in proper context so buyers can envision how they’d decorate with their own furnishings and customize the spaces to suit their needs. But when the current owners are using a room in a baffling way, it’s up to you to retake that space and give it a clear and meaningful function buyers can relate to.

Here are three tips for staging rooms with a purpose.

1. Go back to basics
Helping buyers see themselves in a home sometimes requires overruling a seller’s quirky opinions on how rooms could be used. An enclosed porch configured as an extra wash-up space might be what the current owner needed, but a buyer could just see it as an (odd) outside bathroom and decline to explore that home any further. Make it simple for buyers: Stage rooms for their original — or most obvious — purpose.

2. Spell it out
It’s difficult for buyers to imagine themselves using a space if they can’t determine what it’s for. If a home features an undefined space — for example, an in-between room that’s too small for a bedroom, but too big for a closet — stage it with your suggestion for how to use it. A room with a bed in it is obviously a bedroom. Whether a den, guest room or alcove, stage each space so there’s no question what it’s for: Buyers nonplussed by an undesignated space might be inclined to view the other rooms in the house as lacking purpose or simply less inviting.

3. Put the “great” in great rooms
While most rooms have a single use, a great room — part of “open concept living” — features a lot of space that the homeowner can configure in multiple ways. Don’t make a great room work too hard, or you risk confusing the buyers. Instead of staging it as a dining room, mini-gym and reading nook all in one, designate separate areas for fewer activities — for example, a family room and a dining room — to make it easier for buyers to envision how they would use it.
Showing buyers how to use individual spaces helps them emotionally connect with the entire home. When staging, make the purpose of each room clear so that buyers can see themselves outfitting the rooms to their personal taste. When buyers have to guess how they would use a room, they may leave the showing concluding that the home wouldn’t fit their needs at all.

June 12, 2017

Baby Boomers: Here's How to Sell Your Home to Millennials


Shopping for a home has evolved over the years. Here's what you need to know about the new generation of buyers.
For years we’ve seen the shift in Baby Boomers ditching their large suburban homes for the excitement of urban life. And we’re noticing the reverse from millennials: leaving behind small spaces along with the hustle and bustle of the city. They’re open to a new world of suburban living, with single-family homes, more storage and closet space, and some outdoor space all their own.

These millennials, born between the mid ’80s and the late ’90s, came of age in a shifting cultural and social environment. Their experiences aren’t the same as their Baby Boomer parents, and as such, their preferences differ from those of their parents, who bought a generation ago.

Here are some real estate considerations to help you sell to millennial buyers.

Millennials are busy
Today’s young people work long hours, and they want to spend the free time they have with friends and family. They’re also more transient than their parents’ generation. So, when it comes to real estate, many of them seek turn-key homes for quick and easy move-in. They can’t fathom taking the time to undertake renovating a bathroom or kitchen. No matter how great the opportunity, many of today’s buyers aren’t interested in painting or “making it their own” as our parents did when they moved into homes they planned on living in for 30 years or more.

Home searching is like dating
Millennials grew up attached to their phones. They hail a car and order food with their fingertips. And now, instead of meeting at a bar, they date with their thumbs. Swipe right for the potential mate, or reject them by swiping left. When it’s time to buy a home, their experience is much the same, thanks to smartphones and real estate apps. As a home seller, you and your agent must invest an incredible amount of time and money on your home’s photo shoot. If you don’t, you may never get a first “date” with your prospective suitor. If the buyer isn’t drawn to your photos, they’re on to the next place.

Bigger is no longer better
In the ’80s, a McMansion with quadruple master closets, oversized Jacuzzi tubs, formal rooms, and large basements were a sign of success, and coveted by home buyers. Today, millennials want smaller and simpler homes on smaller parcels. Bigger houses or any land more than half an acre equals more work and maintenance to these first-time buyers, accustomed to the easy life. You can’t make your home smaller, but if you are serious about selling and want to account for this trend, your price will need to meet the market.

Location matters more than ever
Millennial buyers want the urban experience, as best as they can get, in the ‘burbs. This means homes that are walking distance to a village or town, near the train, and in bustling neighborhoods are among the most popular. While being away from town, secluded, and with more land was a status symbol in the ’80s, it’s a deal killer today. Unfortunately, you can’t move your home to a better location — but you can adjust your price to meet the market. If you’re a Boomer selling a long-time family home now or in the future, and the millennial is your potential buyer (think: customer), you need to adjust your mindset to meet theirs. You can’t assume that anything related to your original home search applies today. Get ahead of it, or your home may spend many months (or even years) on the market.

June 6, 2017

Bike Town USA

Today, Steamboat Springs proudly boasts the name Bike Town USA and is recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community.  But it hasn’t always been this way.  Just 3 short years ago the few trails that did exist lacked upkeep and signage, leaving both locals and visitors lost in the woods.

In 2013, Referendum 2A was passed by local voters, re-purposing a large portion of a municipal accommodation tax to develop area trails. Amounting to $5.1 million dollars over a ten-year period. Just 3.5 years after the tax was passed the improvements are monumental and the tourists are starting to take notice.
New Mountain Biking Trails
Many new mountain bike trails have been constructed on Emerald Mountain and appeal to a broader target of less extreme riders. The new 4-mile, mellow, Morning Gloria trail takes you to the top of the Quarry and won’t leave you breathless. New one-way downhill only trails, the first of their kind in Steamboat, popped up last summer on Emerald.  And next on the docket is six miles of single track on Buff Pass scheduled to open officially this summer. Approximately 34 more miles are planned before the project is completed in 2018. 

In addition to the single track trails bike lanes have sprung up, new signage on the 7.5 mile stretch of core trail, and the two BMX parks in Steamboat (yes we actually have two) are almost unrecognizable. It is safe to say that Steamboat has earned the title “Bike Town USA.”

Mountain Bike Trails and Maps
Road Rides Maps
BMX Courses
Downhill Rides

Mountain Bike Races in Steamboat
June 7 – Aug 20: Town Challenge: A seven week summer series More Info
August 13: Steamboat Stinger: 50 mile race on Emerald Mountain trail system More Info
September 9-10: Enduro-X Race: Downhill Race at Steamboat Bike Park

Road Races in Steamboat
July 22: Tour de Steamboat: 26-110 mile road ride  More Info
September 3: Steamboat Stage Race: Competitive road, Mountain, and Cyclocross More Info

BMX Race Series in Steamboat
June 15-August 17: BMX Race Series More Info

May 30, 2017

5 Landscaping Tips to Improve Your Home’s Value

5 Landscaping Tips to Improve Your Home’s Value


Low-Maintenance Landscaping
No question that shrubs and colorful plants will add curb appeal to any home, but when shopping at your local garden center, make sure that you "think green." Purchase plants that are native to your region or plants that are drought-tolerant; these require less water and maintenance, which means more savings to you and more green in your wallet.

Add New Mulch
Mulching can help create healthy lawns but also has an aesthetic value. Choose colored mulch that complements the exterior colors of your home in the brick, stone, stucco and siding. Brownish/red pine mulch goes well with brick houses, using dark mulch can contrast with flowers, improving your landscape design. Mulch also can be used to enhance your landscape theme and setting.

Edge Your Lawn
Few things look nicer than a healthy, vibrant, carefully maintained lawn — except for a lawn that is all of those things and neatly edged. The confined look of an edged lawn gives it an easy-to-maintain look. In other words, no weed whipping or weeding required. Edging along driveways, sidewalks and garden beds also shows prospective buyers how meticulous you have been concerning the property’s upkeep. They’ll know that if you’re willing to keep the edges of your yard looking nice, the rest of the property is likely in pristine condition, too.

Plant a Tree
If you aren't planning to sell your house today, plan for the future with a landscaping improvement that will mature over time. Plant shade trees — not only will mature trees make your home more desirable but a fully grown, properly placed tree can cut your cooling costs by as much as 40 percent. Mature landscaping is also good for the environment, providing a necessary habitat for wildlife while adding valuable curb appeal to your home.


Power wash the driveway/front entrance
Ok this one is not really a landscaping tip but it can go along with way with a first impression. Ensure the exterior of your home looks clean & fresh. If you are on a budget consider investing in a leaf blower to blow the dirt away.  Not only will it produce great results it takes half the time as sweeping!