Home Buying Process
It’s essential when beginning your search for Breckenridge real estate that we set you up for success. There can be some nuances to the resort real estate market, which you may not find in your home town, and educating yourself now about these nuances may prevent issues down the road. This article will highlight the nuances and walk you through the entire process of buying a home or condo in Breckenridge.
Financing: Lender Pre-Approval
In many resort markets, we find buyers in a unique position to purchase their home or condo without the need for a loan. Given today’s very low mortgage interest rates, even those buyers are working with a lender to secure a loan for their Breckenridge real estate purchase. Meeting with a lender before you start your search helps you evaluate your financial position, understand the rates, terms, and loan programs available to you, and ultimately confirms your budget.
It’s important to work with a local lender who’s very familiar with the different property types around Summit County, Colorado. When purchasing a home or townhouse in Breckenridge, we typically don’t see too many surprises from the lending standpoint. If you’re considering a condo purchase, some additional considerations need to be made, and one of our local lenders is probably best prepared to tackle them. Things like a front desk or onsite vacation rental management need to be addressed, as well as the condo association questionnaire.
Securing pre-approval from a local Summit County lender allows you to search and negotiate with confidence: you know you’re searching within your budget, and the seller knows you’re qualified for the purchase.
Determine your Needs and Goals
I’ve found that there are almost as many different ways in which a person or family hopes to use their Breckenridge property as there are buyers of Breckenridge real estate. It’s important to give some thought to how and when you will use your residence in Summit County. Are you an avid skier who only wants to be here in the winter? Do you live in a very hot and humid environment, so spending summers in Breckenridge is more important? Will you make your property available as a vacation rental property when you’re not using it, or will this strictly be for your personal use?
How many people will be with you when you spend time in Breckenridge? The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and total finished square footage are important items to consider before you begin your search. And is it more important that you have convenient access to the ski slopes, or is a home within walking distance to historic Main Street a better option for you? All of these are questions that will help guide our search for your perfect mountain residence.
Select Your REALTOR
While it should go without saying, you want a professional by your side when you conduct what is often the single largest investment of your life. You must select an advisor with local market knowledge and experience. I’m confident I can be your resource when it comes to finding, evaluating, and negotiating the purchase of your Breckenridge real estate. Together, we’ll tour active listings and compare your preferred property to recent sales in the area for similar properties. With my experience as a Certified Negotiations Expert, we’ll successfully negotiate a purchase price and terms for your mountain property!
Due Diligence: The real estate contract in Colorado is written to protect the buyer, with multiple contingencies during the Due Diligence phase of the under-contract period.
- Association Documents — As the buyer, you’ll have the opportunity to review Home Owner Association (HOA) documents, which can include: rules and regulations, bylaws, declarations, minutes from past year HOA meetings, current and past budgets, and financial statements, among others.
- Title Commitment — In Colorado, it’s customary for the seller to provide a title insurance policy to the buyer, which protects the buyer in the future from any clouds on the title for events that happened in the past.
- Home Inspection — You’ll have the right to perform an inspection of your home or condo early in the due diligence process. You can choose from among several qualified home inspection companies in the area, and they will provide you with a full inspection report detailing any major concerns about the physical condition of the property. Together we’ll review the inspection report to decide if any items require the seller’s attention. As the buyer, you'll have the right to object to any material conditions which you feel are unsuitable.
- Radon — If you’re purchasing a single-family home, we may ask the home inspector to perform a radon test to determine radon levels in the home. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can be present in many properties in Summit County. Thankfully it is easily mitigated, and we have several local contracts qualified to perform that service.
- Survey — If you are purchasing a single-family residence, we’ll ask the seller to provide you with a new Improvement Location Certificate (survey). This document shows all improvements located on the property, including the home itself, decks, walkways, driveways, and fences. The title company receives a copy of the survey to review for the title insurance policy.
- Appraisal — If you’re getting a loan for a portion of your purchase, we’ll ask your lender to order an appraisal of the property at the time that you go under contract. I always like to have the lender schedule the appraisal for after our inspection resolution deadline so that you don’t pay for an appraisal before you know the property's condition is suitable for you.
- Property Insurance — While reviewing Home Owner Association documents and your initial title commitment, I’ll also have you begin to research property insurance for your new residence. You can often find the best rates by bundling multiple properties under your primary homeowner insurance policy.
- Final Loan Approval — Normally about one week before our scheduling closing date. Your lender will let you know that you have received the final loan approval. At this point, it’s time to review your settlement statement and closing disclosure so you can see the final amount due for your purchase.
If you plan to be in Summit County to sign all of your closing documents in person, we’ll plan to meet at the title company. Some buyers prefer to receive their closing documents via mail at their primary residence, where they can review, sign, and mail back to the title company in time for closing. In anticipation of your closing day, I’ll send you a complete list of utility service providers so you can set up accounts for your new mountain residence.