Author Archives: Liza Hogan

The Superrich put Aspen at the top of their wishlist (Wall St. Journal)

iStock_Snowy Mtns000005324670MediumThe Aspen real estate market hasn’t been this strong since pre-recession days. Condo inventory in the Aspen is predicted to be the hottest segment in 2015. Timing is everything. Contact me to discuss your needs, give your the latest market info, and get you well on your way to buying your dream home or selling your property.

Even smaller projects can provide worthwhile ways to improve the value of a home

Remodeler -iStock_000015997175SmallThe 2015 Cost vs Value Report by REMODELING Magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Magazine’s provides up-to-date info and estimated costs for a variety of home-improvement projects, along with the percentage of cost that owners can potentially recoup when they sell.  The basics still count – cleaning, staging, and de-cluttering but the annual report includes many worthwhile ideas, some that you might not have even considered.

“© 2014 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2014 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at”


Mansions and Luxury Estates Increasing Sales for the Auction Industry

4.SRidge-Int_RGL3883.4jpgLuxury properties from mansions to grand estates and spectacular vacation homes and ranches have changed the auction game from not so long ago when they were associated with sellers who were desperate to sell or banks unloading foreclosed homes. Auction prices are up as luxury homeowners take advantage of the increased publicity and exposure to buyers looking for a great value. Prospective buyers have the opportunity to bid on a property they might not otherwise be able to purchase and it they’re lucky, walk away with an extraordinarily good buy.

Buyer Tips for a Successful Auction Purchase:

  1. Prepare to show proof of funds in order to register as a bidder.
  2. Understand the terms and conditions.
  3. Complete all Due Diligence prior to the auction. Properties are usually sold in “as-is” condition so research and inspections on the front end are essential. Auction Companies usually have a package of due diligence documents for prospective purchasers to review prior to purchase.
  4. If you aren’t comfortable with the auction process, some companies will consider offers prior to the auction. In that situation, make a strong offer, free of contingencies so that the Seller will have reason to accept your offer rather than proceeding with the auction.
  5. If you’ve found your dream home, go after it.
 The largest private U.S. residence to be offered at No-Reserve Auction
September 27, 2014

“Serenity Ridge” – Parker, Colorado

Presented by Joshua & Co., an Exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate Available for and subject to sale prior to Auction          $18,370,000 Furnished1.SRidge-Ext-39aBanner.1 7.SRidge-Ext-65.7

Contact: Liza Hogan at

Aspen/Snowmass Market Report Shows Continuing Recovery

The Aspen Business Luncheon last week was the perfect venue to present the Aspen Snowmass Market Report to people interested in the latest stats in both residential and commercial real estate.   Some of the highlights: the number of sales and dollar volume is up in Aspen compared to the first half of 2013. For the Aspen/Snowmass market:
  • Average sale price is 92% of list price.
  • In 2009-10 it was 87%
  • In 2007 it was 96%

In Aspen, overall YTD sales up 5%

  • Home sales up 14%
  • Condo sales up 2%
  • Land sales down 10%, but mostly due to lack of inventory

The average Condo/Townhome prices are up 20% this year but differ depending on location.  Single Family is up 5-6% with price increases even more subject to neighborhoods and location.  Listing inventory is down compared to last year and down 36% compared to 2009.   In Snowmass overall sales down 15% YTD, but home sales are up 22% and land sales up, but condos are down.

  • Condo/Townhome average price down 2%
  • Single Family prices up 6%, same as Aspen
  • Listing inventory is down 1% compared to 2009.

The Viceroy provided most of the boost for Snowmass in 2013 but as expected, those sales have now dropped off.   Ernemann summed up the Aspen/Snowmass recent market history as follows:

  • 2011 felt like a Depression for Sellers
  • More hope
  • 2014 – More excitement, but not for all the outlying neighborhoods

The Aspen/Snowmass Condo/Townhome market picked up in Aspen and in ski-accessible properties in Snowmass.  Before this year the Aspen Core Condo/Townhome market saw about one each year above $2,000/sq. ft. Then in 2013, there were four sales and five so far this year.  There are 15-20 listings in the Core above $2,000/sq. ft.  In the old buildings that number is hard to achieve.  Buyers prefer newer and more contemporary properties and are willing to pay for them.

Lex Tarumianz spoke about the 1% vacancy rate in the downtown core and how lease rates are bouncing back for Class A properties at $175-225/sq. ft.  For a 1500 sq. ft. retail space at $175/sq. ft. plus triple net expenses (taxes, maintenance, and common area) of $25/sq. ft., sales need to be at $2 million to be profitable which is why we are seeing the influx of luxury retailers such as Alex and Ani and Anna Trzenbinski coming to town rather than small local retailers.
The office market is also improving with approximately fifteen office spaces for lease downtown, representing 19,000 sq. ft., mostly B or C grade.  Class A space is leasing quickly with smaller office space in demand.  However, it’s tough to find 500 sq. ft. in the Core or on Main St.   As far as investment deals go, legitimate cap rate deals at 6-7% are impossible to find.  Cap rates have gone from 4.5-5.5% in 2012 to 3-4% in 2014.  Now the model is to buy at a 3% return and wait, improve the leasing, or redevelop.  Tarumianz predicted more stabilized lease rates for 2015 and more luxury tenant entering the market.  He expects fewer sales transactions as a lot of deals have already been done.

The Aspen square foot price of Single Family homes is currently at $1,082/sq. ft. in all of Aspen YTD sales.  The last time it was close to this number was 2009-10 and in 2005-06 at $1,000 /sq. ft.  Today’s list price is $1,366/ ft. on average, with Sellers (on average) asking 21% more than sales price.

Snowmass at $659/sq. ft. is a better value and has more upside, but still a couple of years away from 2005-06 prices.  Average list price for Snowmass Homes is $1,094/sq. ft., forty percent higher than sales.  The best Snowmass activity in terms of number of sales was 2005.  It’s been stable the last 4-5 years with the majority of sales in the $2.5-5 million range.  However in 2013 most sales were below $2 million and almost nothing above $5 million.  YTD Snowmass has only had one sale above $5 million.  The market is improving but it’s still a year or two away.   Ernemann predicts continued improvement for the overall luxury Aspen/Snowmass market with:

  • Aspen Homes – strong and getting stronger

$10 million + should do as well as last few years.

  • Aspen Core Condos – going off the charts, particularly, new and contemporary units
  • Aspen Land’s below average activity should improve next year
  • Snowmass home sales will continue to improve with $2.5 million plus sales getting better next year
  • Snowmass Village condos getting stronger next year

     Originally published in the Aspen Business Journal. Liza Hogan is a regular contributor to The Aspen Business Journal.  She is a Broker Associate with Joshua & Co./Christie’s Real Estate, and President of Resort Rating Specialists.  She specializes in luxury homes in Aspen and Denver and brings over 30 years experience in real estate and 18 years consulting with the vacation home resort industry.  Liza can be reached at or her website

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Joshua & Co Listing Makes Top Ten of the Most Expensive Views in America

One of my favorite quiet places in Aspen is Watson Divide Rd. There’s a lovely site near the beginning that gives you a blissful view of the valley. It’s the perfect spot to sit back with cool drink and take in the overwhelmingly beautiful scenery.

Joshua & Co.’s Four Peaks Ranch was featured on CNBC Secret Lives of the Super Rich’s “10 Of The Most Expensive Views in America”Colorado Mountain Peak With Tree.
I would be happy to help you with more information or to find a property in the Aspen area.

Tips For Choosing Stone

You’ve found the perfect home and now comes the finishing details to make it reflect your personal taste and style. Countertops, floors, interior and exterior applications, durability, it’s no surprise that shopping for stone can be a daunting task, particularly foriStock bathroom_000010527456Medium do-it-yourselfers. The following link provides a great starting point to help you focus on the key elements.

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Finding the perfect home

…”No one buys a house because every floorboard is hammered in at the six sigma level of perfection. They have to be good enough, and better than good enough is just fine, but perfect isn’t something that’s going to overwhelm location, beauty, peace of mind and price.” Seth Godin

I will add to that – find a great Realtor to guide you.