Aspen Updates from Sally Shiekman

I am regularly espousing the deep value of the Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley, and it is clear that I am not alone. 

It's time to dig out those skis and if you are ready to move closer to the lifts, give me a call. 

Unstoppable Aspen

November 11, 2023
A million dollars here and a million dollars there, and before long, we are talking real money! Is now the time to sell?

The luxury real estate market in Aspen is defying gravity. While the rest of the world grapples with economic uncertainties, Aspen’s elite property scene continues flourishing. It's a question on many homeowners' minds: In this current sellers' market, driven by low inventory, is now the opportune moment to put your property on the market?

Since 2020, Aspen has witnessed a seismic shift in its real estate dynamics. With the influence of the pandemic, the wealthy sought refuge in the mountainous enclave, escalating demand in an already exclusive market. Homes priced at $30 million and above have become hot commodities, with sales skyrocketing from a mere two in 2020, one of which I represented, to 17 the following year, as reported in a recent Wall Street Journal Quick read more or view full article analysis.

Take Michael Klein's story, for example. His 9,000-square-foot home, a property he had just finished building and was renting out for over $300,000 a month, caught the eye of a buyer willing to pay a staggering $60 million. This transaction isn't an outlier; it reflects a new norm in Aspen's real estate echelon.

But what fuels this unprecedented spike in property values? A cocktail of tight inventory, building restrictions, and the city’s limitations on new construction has created an environment where existing properties, especially large and newly built homes, are seeing their prices balloon. Pitkin County, where Aspen, Snowmass, and much of the region presides, has also enacted new limits on new large home construction, driving the price up on existing limited inventory.

Real estate in Aspen has always been a hot commodity. Still, with new proposals that could slash the maximum buildable square footage, the current stock of expansive homes has become even more precious. Buyers are rushing to secure these grand properties, knowing full well that the opportunity to build something similar in the future may be limited or impossible.

The seller’s advantage is palpable. More than half of the transactions exceeding $20 million are happening off-market, often fetching even higher prices because, as it turns out, people will pay a premium for what isn’t readily available.

The allure of Aspen extends beyond the slopes. Its vibrant restaurant and retail scene cements its status as a year-round haven. This, combined with its natural beauty, has solidified its appeal to high-net-worth individuals seeking more than just a seasonal retreat.

Sellers like fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, who flipped a slopeside home for a $19 million profit just three months after the acquisition, exemplify the gains to be made in this market. And then there's the Lemkins, who, after acquiring a downtown mansion for $60 million, listed it a year later for $70 million.

Despite the obvious profit potential, it’s important to remember that these luxury homes are not just buildings; they're investments of time, millions in construction, and sometimes, a fair share of headaches given Valley’s unique building challenges.

As you ponder the possibilities, remember that the market is ever-changing, but as of now, in Aspen, the numbers speak for themselves. A deep dive into this phenomenon is available in a detailed article by E.B. Solomont in the Wall Street Journal titled "Record Sales and Off-Market Trades: Why Aspen’s Luxury Market Seems Unstoppable."

For those considering whether to 'sell or hold,' Aspen's market presents a compelling argument. With such a lucrative market, the question isn't whether you could sell but whether you can afford not to.

Whether you’re a potential buyer, seller, or just an observer, the Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley market's current enthusiam is certainly worth your attention.

Call me at 970-948-7530, and let me put my 30-plus years of “Mountains of Experience” to work for you. 
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Aspen Real Estate: A Pinnacle of Luxury Living & Investment

October 30, 2023
Aspen, Colorado, renowned for its pristine ski slopes and breathtaking landscapes, is witnessing an unprecedented demand for luxury homes, positioning it as a top-tier market for real estate investment. Let’s delve into why Aspen is captivating the attention of affluent buyers and why it stands out as a wise investment choice.

A Market of Opulence: Aspen’s luxury real estate is not just about price tags; it’s about providing grandeur and exclusivity in one of the most sought-after ski destinations in the United States. The market has seen a consistent influx of luxury buyers, a trend anticipated to flourish, reflecting Aspen's robust appreciation of real estate value.

Seller’s Paradise: With a notable 18.2% decrease in new listings and a significant 300% increase in sold listings from the previous year (according to the September 2023 housing report), Aspen's market dynamics favor sellers, indicating a sustained demand and limited supply scenario. This tight Quick read more or view full article market is poised to escalate property values further.

Beyond the Slopes: Aspen's allure extends beyond the winter, offering a plethora of activities and a vibrant lifestyle throughout the year. The town’s summer season outperforms winter in sales tax revenue, debunking the myth of it being just a winter wonderland.

Rental Income Opportunities: Many developments do not allow short-term rentals, which makes available rental properties increasingly more valuable. For those times when you might choose to be elsewhere, Aspen’s high demand ensures that your property won’t sit idle. Rental prices range impressively, providing a lucrative avenue for additional income.

Development Prospects: While finding undeveloped land can be challenging due to 83% of the county land being federally protected, it presents a unique investment opportunity, especially considering the rising trajectory of home values in Aspen.

Condominium Culture: For those leaning towards a more urban lifestyle, Aspen’s luxury condominiums offer a blend of convenience and comfort, located just steps away from both nature’s splendor and the town’s bustling downtown.

Community and Culture: Aspen’s vibrant community is complemented by a plethora of events and cultural activities, ensuring there’s always something happening to engage residents and visitors alike.

Downtown Delights: With an array of exquisite dining options and unique shopping experiences, Aspen’s downtown is a treasure trove of delights, contributing to its reputation as a premium living destination.

Key Market Insights: The latest housing report reflects significant shifts in the Aspen real estate landscape. Despite a slight decrease in new listings and a reduction in the average sales price, the median sales price for single-family homes has seen a substantial 10.9% increase. However, the townhouse/condo market has experienced a slight dip in median sales price but an impressive 15.3% rise in the average sales price. These nuances highlight the market's complexity and potential for discerning investors.

Aspen is not just a destination; it’s a lifestyle and a promising investment opportunity. Over 80% of the county is located on federal public land and will never be developed, making developable land more valuable. With its unparalleled beauty, robust community, and thriving real estate market, it stands out as a pinnacle of luxury living. Whether you seek a lavish retreat or a smart investment, Aspen’s real estate market beckons with open arms and promises of prosperity.

If you or someone you know is interested in Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley real estate, please call me, Sally Shiekman, at 970-948-7530 or visit me at Read Less

A light at the end of inflation

July 31, 2023
Navigating the peaks and valleys of the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley real estate landscape over the past 30 years has provided me with "Mountains of Experience.” It has taught me one thing: adaptability is critical. This year's big discussion? Inflation.

According to a recent Forbes article, the latest reports from the Labor Department give us some respite. Inflation, which hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in 2022, has declined for 12 months, landing at 3% in June. Thanks to the Federal Reserve's vigilant rate hikes, we're steering away from the jagged high inflation terrain.

Now, let's zoom in on housing. Nationally, shelter costs have risen, marking a 0.4% increase month-over-month and 7.8% compared to June last year. This is critical as we chart our course as housing continues to rise. 

However, the economy is walking a tightrope. Higher interest rates, while battling inflation, have increased borrowing costs, putting a brake on economic activity. The New York Fed puts the chance of Quick read more or view full article a U.S. recession within the next 12 months at 67.3%.

That said, optimism prevails on Wall Street. S&P 500 entered a bull market in June and continues to ascend, with the technology sector making a solid rebound after a tough 2022.

The caveat? This bull market appears narrow, with just seven of the largest S&P 500 components driving the most gains. This suggests a need for cautious optimism and careful strategy.

With the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting looming and key economic indicators on the horizon, we remain vigilant. Let's keep our strategies flexible and continue to navigate this dynamic market with savvy.   Read Less

Property Taxes in Pitkin County~ A 2023 Perspective

May 31, 2023
## Property Taxes in Pitkin County: Understanding and Challenging Your Property Valuation

Homeowners in Pitkin County (actually in all counties), Colorado, may have noticed a dramatic surge in their property valuation notices. It's a trend many residents share, and it could potentially impact your tax obligations. Although this situation might cause some concern, options are available to address it.

## A Surge in Property Valuation - What's Going On?

Property values across Pitkin County have been rising consistently, which is typically good news for homeowners. However, this increase in value also means an increase in property taxes, as your property taxes are directly related to your property's assessed value. As the values rise, so do property taxes. 

The state of Colorado requires county assessors to re-evaluate property values every two years, and this year it seems that property owners will experience a jump in property value and potentially in property taxes. 

## What You Can Do About It 

If Quick read more or view full article you're concerned about this sudden increase in your property's valuation, you can challenge it. To make a strong case, you'll need a list of comparable sales in your neighborhood or a similar area. As an experienced local real estate expert, I am offering to compile a list of comparable properties free of charge. 

However, keep in mind there is a timeline for this process. You must file your protest against the increased valuation by June 8th. Given the time it will take to gather the necessary data and prepare your case, it is crucial to start the process as soon as possible. 

## Ready to Take Action? 

If you've decided to challenge your property's valuation, don't delay. Reach out to me today and utilize my offer to assist you in gathering the necessary data for your protest. I am available at 970-948-7530 and ready to put my “Mountains of Experience” to work for you. 

Remember, the deadline for filing your protest is June 8th. Start early to ensure you have a strong, data-backed case against your property's valuation increase.
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More Housing Now - My Two Cents

April 5, 2023
Aspen is a beautiful resort town in Colorado that has long been a desirable destination for those seeking the perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and stunning natural surroundings. However, like many other rural resort towns, Aspen has struggled with issues related to affordable housing, which can be a significant barrier to entry for many people looking to make a life here.

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about a bill known as More Housing Now, which is currently making its way through the Colorado legislative process. The bill aims to increase the availability of affordable housing in rural resort towns like Aspen by requiring local governments to allow for higher density and more affordable housing options.

While this bill has the potential to address some of the housing affordability issues in Aspen, it has also sparked controversy and concern among some members of the community. In fact, the city of Aspen has already announced its opposition to the bill, citing concerns Quick read more or view full article over the loss of local control over land use decisions and the potential negative impacts on the community.

As a realtor with over 30 years of experience in Aspen, I have seen firsthand the positive impact that housing affordability can have on the local real estate market. While Aspen is known for its high-end luxury properties, there is also a significant demand for more affordable housing options, particularly for those who work in the service industry or who are just starting out in their careers.

The More Housing Now bill could help to address this issue by requiring local governments to allow for more affordable housing options. However, it is important to note that the bill is still in the legislative process, and its impact on Aspen specifically is not yet clear.

As someone who is deeply invested in the local community and in the real estate market in Aspen, it is essential to approach this issue with an open mind and a willingness to work together to find solutions that work for everyone. While there may be concerns about the potential impact of the More Housing Now bill, it is important to remember that the goal of the bill is to increase the availability of affordable housing in rural resort towns, which is a goal I believe we can all support.

Ultimately, the key to addressing housing affordability issues in Aspen and other rural resort towns is to take a comprehensive approach that includes a range of different strategies, from incentivizing developers to build affordable housing to exploring innovative financing options for buyers. By working together, we can help to ensure that Aspen remains a vibrant and thriving community that is accessible to people from all walks of life. Read Less

SVB and Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley

March 20, 2023
As an Aspen real estate agent with over 30 years of experience under my belt, I've seen the market go through many twists and turns. While recent financial events like the closure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) don't directly impact our local market, they do remind us of the need to stay flexible and adapt to changes. In this blog post, I'm excited to share some insights on the current state of Aspen's real estate market and offer tips for buyers and sellers on how to make the most of it.

What's Happening in the Market?

Buyers, Buyers Everywhere!
No matter what's happening in the financial world, Aspen continues to be a hot spot for people seeking luxury properties, investment opportunities, or just a beautiful mountain getaway. This steady demand helps keep our real estate market bustling with chances for buyers and sellers to make their dreams come true.

Home Loans: Variety is the Spice of Life
Although the SVB closure doesn't Quick read more or view full article directly affect Aspen, it's a good reminder to explore various mortgage financing options. Luckily, our local banks and credit unions have many loan products designed specifically for Aspen's unique market, so buyers have plenty of choices when it comes to financing their new homes.

Tips for Buyers and Sellers

Price it Right, Sellers!
In today's market, it's essential for sellers to get their pricing strategy just right to attract those eager buyers. By checking out similar properties and teaming up with a seasoned Aspen Realtor (like yours truly), sellers can be confident their homes are priced to sell.

Buyers, Do Your Homework!
For buyers, it's crucial to research the market, understand the available financing options, and work with a friendly and knowledgeable Realtor. This approach will help you spot great opportunities and negotiate the best deals on your dream properties.


Aspen's real estate market is always changing; staying on top of those changes is key. Buyers and sellers can successfully navigate the Aspen real estate scene and achieve their goals in our stunning mountain haven by keeping an eye on market trends and adjusting our game plan accordingly. 
Call me today, and let me put my "Mountains of Experience" to work for you. 

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It's time to take stock of your most valuable asset

March 3, 2023
It's tax season, and while it's easy to get caught up in the numbers game, it's important not to forget about protecting one of our most valuable assets: our homes. One of the best ways to do that is through homeowners insurance. But with rising building costs, inflation, and natural disasters becoming more frequent, it's important to ensure your insurance policy covers your home's true replacement cost.

Make sure you understand the difference between the cost to rebuild and market value. Review your policy regularly, and make sure to factor in any improvements or changes to your home. Also, pay attention to your dwelling limit, and don't be afraid to ask your insurance agent to raise it if necessary.

It's also important to consider the location of your home. Your coverage could be expensive if you live more than 10 miles from the nearest fire station. Insurance carriers will want to see a water source and preventative measures, such as an internal fire Quick read more or view full article suppression system and fire mitigation efforts around your house.

Don't wait until it's too late to find out if you have sufficient coverage for your home. Give your insurance agent a call and ask questions, ask for quotes, or even ask for better coverage. Protecting your home is protecting your investment.
For more information, see this article from our sister branch in Steamboat Springs.  Read Less

Aspen improves sustainability through building codes

February 13, 2023
It’s impossible to live in Aspen and not consider yourself an environmentalist. It is almost a cliche, with the natural beauty that surrounds us. But where philosophy meets implementation is often in government regulation. And government regulation usually means higher prices for our already high-priced real estate.

According to The Aspen Times, the city of Aspen has taken a significant step towards sustainability by updating its building code. The city updates building codes every six years, and the latest update focuses on environmental efforts, including energy conservation, wildfire resiliency, and lowering emissions. The building code update is a key component of Aspen's mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2030.

Buildings are responsible for 58% of greenhouse gas emissions in Aspen, making it essential to take action to reduce their impact on the environment. The city's chief building official, Bonnie Muhigirwa, emphasized that reducing energy loads and emissions are essential first steps to make electrification more feasible moving forward.

The Quick read more or view full article council unanimously supported the code updates, which faced a first reading on January 10, and then took a moment to celebrate the years-long effort with staff. The Mayor of Aspen, Torre, highlighted the community's appetite for environmentally-friendly initiatives from the city and how it has changed over the years.

Dallas Blaney, the CEO of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, voiced his support during the public hearing but emphasized that there is still more work to be done. Blaney stated that there are six years and 341 days left to reach the climate-action goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 63%, and the building code update is just a key component of that effort.
In my opinion, Aspen's updated building code is a positive step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making the city more sustainable. The community's support for environmentally-friendly initiatives shows that sustainability is becoming a priority, and there is no time to lose. 
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We feel that Sally is always looking out for our best interests. She has a great knowledge of the market, is diligent, honest and has integrity. We would not consider making another move with out Sally’s help. She is the best!
Gigi & Tim Durand
I love our real estate agent. The first week we moved in she provided awesome dinners and moral support everyday. She only had our best interest in hand through the entire transaction. Now a month later she swept us off our feet for a phenomenal Saturday night dinner with all family members included. Thanks Sally Shiekman for going above and beyond as you always do. You are not just a great realtor but a caring, smart, and on the ball agent. By the way she was also just voted the best female real estate agent in the Aspen Valley area. Thanks Sally!
Whitson Alexander Smith
Sally was very professional, persistent without pressuring, and handled all details necessary to complete the sale. When it came time to sell that property and purchase another, although both my husband and I had become good friends with many other local realtors, we both felt strongly that Sally should be our listing and buying agent.
Anne & Mark Grice
Sally worked with us to understand our needs, out architectural preferences, and our financial capabilities. She patiently showed us properties from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and we fell in love with our house in Carbondale.
Randi Lowenthal
Your knowledge of the market and advice were very helpful as I came to a decision. I also appreciated your attention to detail and immediate response to each of my questions and needs.
Jenny S. Morton
Sally was there with guidance throughout the process of purchasing our home in Snowmass Village. She is knowledgeable about the markets from Aspen to down-valley. We definitely recommend Sally for anyone who is looking for a real estate professional.
Dan & Judi Smith
Sally always carefully explained each part of the selling/buying process, answered every question patiently, and was completely honest about the possible outcome(s) of the entire event. Buying/selling a home is an emotional and exciting time; Sally has the ability to keep things calm while retaining that important sense of excitement.
Wally & Kris Graham
We are incredibly grateful to Sally for helping us navigate the competitive Roaring Fork Valley market as first-time homebuyers. Her depth of experience, exceptional communication, and attention to what we were looking for in a house turned a complex process into a smooth one. We couldn't be happier with our new home!
Jamie Werner
Searching for real estate in the Roaring Fork Valley can be a daunting prospect for any buyer, but you and your associates made the process fun rather than overwhelming.
Cassia R. Furman
I received your gift card, and want to express my appreciation. Quite a nice surprise! Also to acknowledge all your help with our transactions and rentals over the past few years. It turns out that, directly and including the new Tahoe home, you were involved with five different properties we have had owned the years. (And you have seen Owl Meadows as well, making six.) Which is quite a few for small time investors. You got us out of the properties we needed to get out of, and into one that was just fine for as long as we needed it. Then out again, as we moved on. We hope to see you on our next Aspen visit. And we will toast you at Valenti’s!
Tom & Jan Restaino
I highly recommend Sally Shiekman as a realtor. She was always available to answer any questions I had and was on top of every deadline in the contract. I am a busy mortgage lender and so I appreciate Sally’s attention to detail, integrity and genuine concern.
Karen E. Crepps
The most important thing that Sally did for us was to make us comfortable with the experience. She answered all of our novice questions and understood that we were truly starting from the beginning. She showed us a wide range of property so that we had a full view of the valley real estate market.
Jenny & Simon Elliot
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the fantastic job you did in helping me find a home. I had been through the process several times before, and my experiences have been mixed. However, after working with Sally, I believe I have truly seen someone who wants to consistently provide the absolute best service for their client. Sally’s professionalism, concern for my specific needs, and consistency in following-up on every detail went beyond my expectations.
Scott Crawford
Through Sally’s efforts our transactions went through without any problems and we received the highest sales price for a unit of our size in the complex. Sally is a true professional in all respects and provided us with top quality service. She made the process easy and painless. Should we ever require a real estate broker in the future, you can be sure we will call Sally.
Kim Nuzzo and Eileen Kinkelaar
I want to thank you for all the work you did to sell my Aspen condo. Now that I have worked with you as a buyer and a seller, I am definitely impressed with your professionalism. I know that you are busy, but you are very organized and thorough so that your clients get excellent service. I think the hardest part of any real estate deal is negotiating a contract and getting that contract to closing. I appreciate you helping me get a full price contract with only minor contingencies, and then following each deadline so that nothing fell through the cracks.
Betty Hoye
Sally Shiekman has acted as my real estate broker in 4 different transactions. Her professional manner, close attention to the market and new additions to it, attention to detail, and willingness to do what it takes to find the perfect buyer and/or property make her an exceptional broker.
Margo Chisholm
Sally is a true professional. Her open manner, honesty and knowledge of the real estate market are outstanding. I would highly recommend her to any potential buyer or seller in the valley.
Nancy Albert
Sally recently helped my wife and I to purchase a building site in the Missouri Heights area. Sally made the purchase a great experience; she showed us much of what the valley had to offer over a several days time frame. Sally presented us with information on what was currently on the market. We have since purchase a property and are already projecting an increase in value. Sally has kept in touch since the purchase providing valuable information.
Donald Russell
Sally went above and beyond to at first find us a home to suit our needs and finally to sell our home in a timely manner… Sally guided us through all of the details of our sale and was a terrific advocate for us in the process. We wouldn’t consider using anyone else in the future.
Ericka & Joseph Meade
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