Buyers ‘flocking’ to Yampa Valley searching for homes in heat of summer
Homes continue to pop up all over town for sale, but according to a handful of real estate agents locally, it’s not a sign of doom and gloom for Moffat County. In fact, they say it’s a shining beacon of positivity for the Yampa Valley as potential buyers are now eyeing the Northwest Colorado community.
Roughly 140 homes sit for sale currently in Moffat County. That number, according to Sandra King of King Homes and Land Realty, is slightly below average. While a recession and the ongoing pandemic loom, potential buyers are eyeing Moffat County for its slow, quiet way of life as they look to escape the congestion of big cities.
The real estate market in the Yampa Valley has become a buyers market, not in the sense that they’ll get a great deal, but rather, they’ve become very willing to snap up property.
“People have realized they can truly work from home, and employers have realized that people can work from home and they’re letting them,” King said. “So, people are wanting out from overly-populated areas, and they’re realizing Steamboat is expensive and Hayden is starting to become expensive, so they’re looking here to slow down and get away from busy areas. That’s what this area offers in abundance.”
For County Living Realty LLC, buyers looking to move to the Yampa Valley have led to the best May and June the real estate company has seen in years.
“COVID-19 made people appreciate rural communities,” Country Living Realty’s Yvonne Gustin said. “So people that thought they wanted to go somewhere with more amenities realized Craig is really nice. People living in Steamboat and the bigger communities are tired of the rat race and they don’t want that lifestyle anymore, so they’re coming this way.”
Gustin added that Country Living is receiving daily texts and emails from potential buyers expressing interest in wanting to look at properties in the northwest corner of the state.
Add in the fact that buyers can get a real bang for their buck in terms of property size and property taxes in addition to less congestion, interest in the wide open spaces of Moffat County is skyrocketing.
PENDING ECONOMIC CHANGES NOT MUCH OF HINDERANCE TO PROPERTY SALES…FOR NOW
One would think a recession, a state shutdown due the pandemic and pending local economic changes due to the closure of coal mines and power plants over the next 10 years would not only keep people away, but lead to an exodus of sorts.
That’s simply not the case, according to local real estate experts.
“We’ve been under attack here locally when it comes to energy for years, regardless of what administration is in control,” King said. “For those that have lived here a long time, it’s not a big deal when it comes to buying houses.”
According to King, locals who are listing their homes for sale aren’t looking to move, they’re actually looking to upgrade within the area.
“I think four people who have listed homes with me are looking to leave,” King said. “That’s out of nearly 60, so it’s not a huge exodus like people are expecting. It’s just not happening. People are staying here and looking to upgrade in terms of home size and property size, buying acreage.”
“I think we’re going to be just fine locally, regardless of what happens in the future,” Country Living Realty agent Dorina Fredrickson said. “We have enough new people moving into the area; obviously it’s not good that our energy industry is going through what it’s going through, but we’re becoming a competing community with Steamboat…We’re going to be just fine.”
BUSINESS CONTINUES AT A CRAZY PACE
While people continue to look towards the Yampa Valley for land and homes, it’s created a hectic, fast-paced work environment for local realtors.
Coming off of a state shutdown and an ongoing pandemic, one wouldn’t think that would be the case, especially inside real estate offices.
That hasn’t been the case though as the calendar moves further into 2020.
“I was definitely surprised at how busy it’s been,” Gustin said. “I thought it would be a good year this year like it was last year, but when the pandemic hit I thought it would slow people down, but it definitely hasn’t.”
When the pandemic first hit, King said she was initially taking it a day at a time, business-wise. That approach quickly went out the window.
“I truly wasn’t prepared for how busy it’s been,” King said. “It’s a fantastic pace. I was in meetings almost every day with the state figuring out what was changing and not changing — it was insane.
“I just wasn’t fully prepared for everything to really open up and people to want to come here for the lifestyle and things like that,” King added. “I mean, I know why they want to come here, I just wasn’t prepared for the amount of people from out of town looking in this direction.”
SHOWCASING HOUSES STILL HAS RESTRICTIONS
The hectic pace revolves around showing houses to potential buyers, but even that process has restrictions still in place.
Real estate agents must wear a mask when showing a home, and the homes up for sale can only be shown to pre-qualified buyers who have fully vetted the house before stepping foot inside.
“We are following restrictions…it’s a little bit of a gray area, but we’re following the guidelines,” Gustin said. “We’re opening the doors for clients and providing masks and Clorox wipes for clients, so we’re being as safe as we can be.”
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