• 14 Things to consider when buying a home in Aspen, Colorado

  • Colorado is usually associated with skiing, but it also has many great real estate opportunities. The scenic Aspen Basin boasts some of the most luxurious real estate in America, making it an excellent place for those looking to invest in high-end properties.

    Aspen, Colorado is, without a doubt, one of the most desirable places to own a home in America and offers an attractive lifestyle. However,  purchasing a property here might not be as simple as walking into a branch and securing finance. 

    Before we move on to discussing the topic, let’s look at some of the basic information and statistics associated with Aspen.


    The basic info

    Aspen is a small town that’s surrounded by tall trees and snow-capped peaks. It offers its residents the best of everything, from skiing and fine dining to world-class entertainment. Aspen is one of the most popular towns to live in Colorado due to its fantastic ski resorts, access to hiking trails, beautiful restaurants, luxury hotels, and shopping opportunities. In addition, the abundant natural beauty surrounding it has earned it the moniker “the city of everlasting spring” because it rarely gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, even during the winter months.

    Situated west of Denver at an elevation of 8,000 ft above sea level, this historic town witnessed a record growth rate in 2014 after recording just 1% growth between 2000 and 2010.

    The major industries in Aspen are tourism and real estate. It is one of the most expensive places to live in America, with single-family homes costing an average of $3,607,500 (2015).

    Aspen is also home to 3 billionaires – Steve Kuhn ($2B), Louis Bacon ($1.5B), and Robert Earl Holding ($1.4B), who own large portions of both private and commercial real estate within the city limits. In addition, the city of Aspen is home to many celebrities, with 12 current or former residents boasting A-list star status.

    It is also home to a large proportion of the workforce employed in the hospitality industry, similar to other resort towns in America. This can be attributed to its year-round tourism and its popularity among skiers, hikers, and nature lovers.

    -Population: 7301 people (down from 9152 at its peak)

    -Average age of residents: 54 years old

    -Median income for a household: $74,297

    -Median value of single-family homes: $5,407,500

    -Elevation 8557ft (2611m) above sea level.


    Preparation to purchase a home in Aspen, Colorado

    Aspen is one of the most expensive places to live in America. To purchase property in this part of the world, you must be adequately equipped financially. This means that you should have enough money saved up for a down payment, closing costs, and taxes.

    Aspen comes with its own set of unique challenges related to the cost of living. This means that it’s important to determine your budget before moving here. If you plan to purchase a home in Aspen, make sure you have sufficient funds to make regular payments without facing financial difficulties later on.

    In addition, if you are planning to get a loan for your Aspen home, you should have all the necessary documents and pay stubs. You will need to compile all of this information and present it during the loan application process. It will speed up the process of buying a home in Aspen if you have preapproval for a loan. This will allow you to purchase a home in Aspen without wasting too much time looking for properties and negotiating with sellers. In addition, it will give you more bargaining power when negotiating the price of the property that you have shortlisted.


    14 Things to consider when buying a home in Aspen

    Now that you know almost everything about this wonderful neighborhood, and you have taken care of the necessary preparation to buy property, it is time for you to learn about the different things to consider when buying a home in Aspen.


    1) See things from the seller’s perspective

    The first thing you should do is to see things from the seller’s perspective. Think about the type of buyer that would purchase your property if you were a seller. For example, are you selling to downsize because you’ve just retired? Then the seller is looking for someone who can pay enough for them to continue to maintain their lifestyle. Or perhaps you are selling because you are upgrading to a larger home? In this case, the seller is looking for a high enough offer for them to purchase their new home. The answer to these questions will help you to determine the offer you should put in to secure the property.

    Sometimes a property owner is keen on selling their property because they are moving out of state or overseas and need to sell quickly? An urgent sale will have a different pricing strategy than a normal sale. Understanding the seller’s motivations and expectations means that you’ll better understand how to negotiate a lower price for your dream home.

    2) Determine your affordability 

    You should always determine your maximum spending limit before considering a real estate purchase. If you plan on buying a home and creating equity to fund your retirement, you should be looking at houses in the $1,000,000 range and above. A high income doesn’t always help because it may inflate your spending ability if you’re not careful. It’s better to choose a real estate agent who will match your budget rather than choosing the most expensive one because you might not be in the income category that they prefer to work with. 

    3) Consider your lifestyle

    You should not just buy a property because it is a great investment. Even if it is a property you will not permanently live in, it will be your vacation home. You will eventually spend a weekend or a month there when you visit Aspen for a vacation.  Take time to visit the places you are considering. Check out the latest trends in the market so that your home will be able to meet your needs for years to come. There are many amazing homes on sale, so take your time and only buy if the property is suited to your lifestyle.

    Aspen has some interesting quirks that you need to be aware of. For example, properties on the street side are better because they are protected from the snow by the mountains. So do your research carefully and consider these elements when choosing a property.

    4) Research the schools  

    Aspen is one of Colorado’s top places for families, and as such, a good education is critical. Kids in Aspen will attend public or private schools with an average student-teacher ratio of 12:1 which means smaller classes allow students to receive more individualized attention than peers in larger districts.

    You should pay close attention to both public and private schools before deciding on buying a home. Make sure your kids get into good high school programs because it can determine which universities they can attend after school. If you’re buying a home for your family, it’s important to consider the schools in the area. You don’t want to move into an area with bad schools.

    5) Take a drive  

    Drive around the town and see what places look like when they are closed! Visiting properties during off-peak times is essential if you want to get a feel for their environment. Some people prefer seeing homes during the day, while others might prefer seeing them late at night. During this time, you should go to other areas in town and check out things such as grocery stores, malls, police officers, etc. It is also important that you consider crime rates when buying a home in Aspen. You want to make sure that there are low incidences of theft, burglaries, etc.

    In addition, it is also important to explore local attractions and amenities to make sure you understand how accessible they are to your new home. Many residents have been known to have homes in multiple areas of town so that they can experience both the nightlife and the suburban lifestyle.

    6) Location, location, location

    It’s all about the location! You should never buy a property based on aesthetics alone. For example, if you’re buying a place with views of snow-capped mountains, this might sound romantic but remember that low sunlight will affect how bright certain areas of your house will be during the winter months. In addition, there may not be enough sun exposure as far as ventilation goes, which means higher energy costs over time. A lot of people buy properties with views just because they think they will grow in value, but it might not be the best place for you to live, so consider that before making a final decision.

    7) Understand Aspen’s cycle

    If you are considering purchasing real estate in Aspen, then you should know that real estate prices have been going up and down simultaneously since 2005. During this period, prices fell from a high of $4 million to a low of 2 million dollars back in 2009. There was also a general decrease throughout the entire state of Colorado, which has certainly affected Aspen’s real estate market as far as demand goes. In recent years, however, there has been an increased demand for properties and a change in the type of properties people are buying. There has been more interest in condos and townhomes, which might be because they present lower initial costs while still increasing your property’s value over time.

    8) Taxes  

    Property taxes in Aspen are very high compared to other parts of Colorado. This is mainly because many large corporations flocked to the area around 2010. These big companies attracted even more growth which caused people to raise prices on many properties. You should factor these costs into your budget, or you might find yourself struggling financially.

    9) Condo vs single-family residence     

    There is a difference between buying condos and single-family homes in Aspen. For one, there are far more condos located downtown, so they offer a great opportunity for buyers who work downtown to live close to their place of employment. On the other hand, condos provide a different type of living experience because you have neighbors that share walls with you instead of having your own separate space altogether. You can choose to either buy a condo or a home. The decision will be contingent upon your personal preferences as well as the properties that are available on the market when you finally decide to purchase.

    10) Do your research

    Before making any purchase, do the research. Learn everything about the market. For example, The upper valley’s real estate market is on an upward trend, with 2017 seeing nearly $2 billion in sales volume. The Aspen area saw an increase in housing prices last year. On average, a house cost $8.1 million, and 26 houses were sold for more than 10 million dollars each. Since the quality of life in this part of the world is exceptional, real estate experts predict an increase in housing prices. If you want to live in one of Colorado’s priciest neighborhoods, then you must have a six-figure salary or higher.

    11) Choose a trusted agent

    A property agent is a must-have for anyone looking to buy a home. They can help you find the perfect property based on your budget and needs while also negotiating the best deal possible for you with the seller. While there are many different real estate agents in Aspen, you must do your research before committing to one agent. Ask friends and family members who have recently purchased properties about their experience with certain agents and how much they were able to save in the long run because of the agent’s abilities. A real estate agent can literally make or break your home purchase, so choose wisely and choose an agent you can trust.

    12) Take your time

    As with any major purchase, you should take the time to decide whether or not this is the right move for you before actually making it. You may want to think about what type of property you would like to buy, what amenities are important to you, and how much money you have saved up for this purchase. Is Aspen the best place for me to make this investment? Do I plan on staying here long-term? What are my career goals moving forward? All of these are very important questions that need answers before signing on the dotted line. Weigh up all your options and take your time before making a final decision.

    13) Think about the future

    One of the most important aspects to consider when buying a home is what your long-term plans are. If you’re looking to stay in Aspen for at least 10 to 15 years, then purchasing a property makes sense because its value will inevitably go up within that time frame. However, if you’re planning on moving out of state or even out of the country after only five years, then it might not be worth putting down all this money upfront because you could end up losing much of it in the long run. It’s important to take all these factors into account to make sure your decision is well thought out and ultimately beneficial for you. Only purchase a property in Aspen if you plan on staying in the area long-term or if you have excess cash flow and you are looking for a real estate investment.

    14) Be prepared to pay a premium

    Aspen is an extremely desirable place to live, and this means that the housing prices are high because there is always someone willing to pay more for a property than you. If you want to be able to afford a house in Aspen, then you must have enough money saved up so that you can put down a large down payment and also cover all of the closing costs such as title insurance, real estate commissions, taxes, and transfer fees. This will enable you to avoid having to take out a high-interest mortgage which could eventually cost more if your investment fails or goes south further along the road.


    If you are planning on buying a home in Aspen, then you should consider all the aspects discussed when making your final decision. Remember that the goal is to find a property that works for you and not one that merely looks nice or has an amazing view. You should also try to purchase a home where you will feel most comfortable spending time because it is, after all, your very own personal space.