Arrowhead at Vail Ski Homes

April 21st, 2015
At Arrowhead at Vail, you will not only find a ski home for the winter, but an award-winning golf course in the summer!

At Arrowhead at Vail, you will not only find a ski home for the winter, but an award-winning golf course in the summer!

Are you looking for an Arrowhead at Vail ski home? A picturesque, gated community in Edwards, CO, Arrowhead at Vail offers mountainside ski homes, golf course homes, village townhouses and more. Arrowhead at Vail is home to world-class village-to-village ski trails connecting to Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch, as well as the Arrowhead Alpine Club the and Country Club of the Rockies golf course.


For skiers, the Arrowbahn chairlift offers access to the slopes at Beaver Creek resort.  European style village-to-village ski trails connect Arrowhead to Bachelor Gulch as well as Beaver Creek Village. For non-skiers, a continual bus loop connects the villages throughout ski season.


Arrowhead at Vail ski home owners are eligible for membership in the Arrowhead Alpine Club, a Vail Resorts Signature Club. Arrowhead Alpine Club amenities include a fitness center, ski center and lunch at the Arrowhead Mountain Yurt for members and accompanied guests.


The Country Club of the Rockies is a member-owned organization whose mission is “to provide world class golf and lifestyle activities for our members and their guests.” The club maintains an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course that stands out even in a region known for quality courses.  The Country Club of the Rockies consistently ranks among the top courses in Colorado according to Golf Digest.


The Vail Valley’s unique appreciation for both outdoor living and world-class luxury is on full display at Arrowhead Village. Here homeowners can enjoy après ski at Broken Arrow in the winter or the community pool in the summer. Relax over a meal at Vista restaurant or beside the fire pit under the stars.


Arrowhead at Vail is a short drive to the Riverwalk at Edwards and downtown Avon for shopping and night life. Hikers, mountain bikers, anglers and outdoorsmen of all kinds will find an abundance of outdoor activities just steps from an Arrowhead at Vail Ski Home.


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What the Trulia / Zillow Merger Means to Vail Valley Real Estate

February 17th, 2015

What could it mean? Not as much as you might think.


Many outside the real estate business look at the Trulia / Zillow merger as a huge shakeup for our industry. Responses range from over-the-top expectations to more measured hopes that the merger will empower buyers and sellers.  Some real estate professionals are worried the single company will have too much influence on the industry.

Here’s the truth about the Trulia / Zillow Merger: Where the used to be two major syndicated real estate portals competing on the web (and a distant third), there will now be two major syndicated real estate portals cooperating on the web. The companies save money they once spent against each other, some Wall Street types make money … and that’s it.

Here is why:  

(1) While we hope that this merger leads to increased accuracy, we have no reason to hope that will be the case.

(2) The trend towards searching for homes online was already underway before the merger, and will continue regardless of it.

(3) While the may change some of the particulars of our day-to-day job, it will have little or no effect on our overall goal of assisting buyers and sellers of Vail Valley Real Estate.

“Bigger” Doesn’t Automatically Mean “More Accurate”

As licensed Realtors, we either adhere to a Code of Ethics or we lose our license.  As members in good standing of our local Multiple Listing Service (MLS), we either provide accurate listing information or pay a fine. Syndicated sites are bound by no such restriction, and are thus free to collect their information in the most haphazard manner available – online syndication, usually of dated MLS data, mixed with information from other web sites using even older MLS data. They remain free to run this information through an algorithm and produce “price estimates” lacking both accuracy and context.

Over time, the methods and algorithms syndicators employ may improve. Government or professional regulation may someday hold syndicators accountable for accurate information.  Simply turning two sites into one does neither.

The Shift to Online Property Searches Will Continue

The merger of Trulia and Zillow will not suddenly convince home shoppers to start their search on the internet.  The convenience and accessibility of the internet already did that.  Many years ago, most buyers came to us with a set of criteria and we created a list of properties. Today, most buyers come with a list of properties to help us get started. That has been true for years, and seems likely to be increasingly common regardless of the merger.

The Professional Agent Still Has A Place

Your home is likely your largest asset. The concept of working with a professional to assist you in the process of buying or selling a home makes just as much sense in the internet age as it did in the pre-internet age.

Before the merger, sellers sought agents for marketing expertise, local knowledge and assistance in listing their home for sale. Buyers sought agents for accurate information, help with negotiating and to oversee the home-buying process.

Today, all of that is still true.

More on the Trulia / Zillow Merger

Trulia, Zillow and Vail Valley Real Estate

A Response to Business Week on The Trulia / Zillow Merger

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December 2014: Why Visit the Vail Valley?

December 11th, 2014
Rocky Mountain Home Team leader Michael Routh and his son Noah hit the slopes as Ski Season 2014-15 begins in the Vail Valley!

Rocky Mountain Home Team leader Michael Routh and his son Noah hit the slopes as Ski Season 2014-15 begins in the Vail Valley!

As you might expect for such a “winter wonderland,” the Vail Valley loves the holiday season! The snow shines on the slopes by day and the Christmas lights twinkle by night.  Our local shops have displays and deals to rival any shopping mall, with an added personal touch you won’t find at the “big box” chain stores. All the charm of a small town holiday plus the excitement of the returning ski season makes this the perfect time to visit the Vail Valley!

The holiday season means the return of Beaver Creek Winterfest.  The week-long event, which will run from December 20th through January 3rd, includes activities, parades, performances, contests and more, with a focus on children’s events.  Joining in the fun is as easy as showing up Village Plaza during the après ski hours. You’ll find a schedule here.

Vail’s “Snow Daze,” the “largest early-season mountain Bash in North America” returns for its eighth consecutive year.  Snow Daze pulls out all the stops with fresh tracks, an expo village, après parties and free live concerts! Rusted Root, the Wallflowers, 10,000 Maniacs and more are on the schedule, which you can find here!

The famed Christmas Tree at Beaver Creek has already been lit, but Vail’s annual ceremony will take place Dec. 21.  A lantern walk through Vail Village will follow the Tree Lighting ceremony, which is part of Vail’s wider “Holidaze” celebration.

The Vail Daily has several more suggestions for a very merry Eagle County Christmas.

Meanwhile, the skiers and snowboarders are back on the slopes.  The latest snow reports reveal a fairly good start for the 2014-2015 ski season.  As of Dec 10, Vail had opened 4353 of its 5289 total acres and was running 23 of its 31 lifts, while Beaver Creek had opened 762 of its 1832 acres and was running 14 of its 24 lifts.

The Rocky Mountain Home Team got an early start to the holiday cheer when we joined our Keller Williams Mountain Properties colleagues to pack 50 boxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child in November.   Our ongoing office food drive reminds us of our responsibility to share with those less fortunate when we are blessed with good fortune.  If you do stop by our office, why not bring a non-perishable food item?

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Vail Valley Luxury Market Report, Nov. 20

November 21st, 2014


This week the Rocky Mountain Home Team completed the sale of Arrabelle 587, which was under contract after just 36 days on market with the Rocky Mountain Home Team. Congratulations to the new homeowners!

This week the Rocky Mountain Home Team completed the sale of Arrabelle 587, which was under contract after just 36 days on market with Michael and the team. Congratulations to the new homeowners!

The Vail Valley luxury real estate market typically slows down a little in November, and November 2014 is proving no exception.  While the number of sales is down over 50 percent from the same period in October, however, prices have remained steady.  The first half of the month saw six residential sales over $1.5 Million, including two Ranch at Cordillera sales.

The slope side markets – including Arrowhead, Bachelor Gulch, Beaver Creek, Lionshead and Vail Village – counted just four sales, including 3 over $1 Million. This is down by over half from the same period in 2013, which saw 10 sales.  The decrease may be due in part to abnormally icy weather in the beginning of the month, which closed down roads and may have delayed transactions.

November’s slowdown comes after a particularly robust period which saw five months sustained sales growth in the slope side market.  Both list and sales prices continue to trend upward despite high month-to-month variability.

Visit our Market Report Center for more information on Vail Valley Real Estate Market Conditions.

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In national news, deals on existing homes priced above $1 million increased by over 16 percent in October compared to 2013.  “There is little volatility in the stock market. It is whoppingly higher, so people in the top 10 percent of wealth are really feeling confident now.”

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Meanwhile, home flipping is at its lowest level since 2009. “Those discounted distressed properties have become harder to find, but a recent jump in scheduled forclosure auctions could provide more fodder for flippers in the next three to six months.”

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In the Vail Valley, today marks the start of Ski Season with opening day at Vail Resort. Low temperatures and decent snowfall for the first half of November should create decent conditions on the slopes.  Beaver Creek is set to open next week. Perhaps we’ll see you on the slopes!

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November 2014: This Month in the Vail Valley

November 11th, 2014
The snow has started to fall in the Vail Valley, and everyone is excited. (Dan Jackson Photo)

The snow has started to fall in the Vail Valley, and everyone is excited! (Dan Jackson Photo)

This season’s snowfall got a somewhat late start, but it seems intent on catching up with plenty of powder in this week’s outlook.  The snowy weather that might send folks in other parts of the country scrambling indoors has a reverse effect here in the Vail Valley.  Skis, snowboards, snowshoes, snowmobiles and winter gear of all kinds pop up in the wake of a good snowfall like flowers after a spring rain – and in a similarly colorful display.

While it’s always a good time to visit the Vail Valley, for many the start of ski season is a particularly high point on the calendar.  Here’s what you’ll find in the Vail Valley this month:

Ski Season Begins:  It’s November in Eagle County – do you know where your ski pass is?  At 9 a.m. on Friday, November 21, Vail Mountain officially opens for the 2014-15 ski season, with Beaver Creek to follow on Wednesday the 26th.  Be sure to vote in the cookie contest at Beaver Creek!

Amazing Holiday Lights:  Festive lighting, ice sculptures and decor are common features in Vail and Beaver Creek this time of year. Even in this environment, the Beaver Creek Christmas Tree never fails to stand out. Beaver Creek’s 33rd annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Friday, November 28.  The festivities begin at 5 p.m. with an ice skating show at the Beaver Creek ice rink.

Outdoor Recreation Opportunities:  From golf courses converted into carefully-groomed Nordic trails to the wild and untamed White River National Forest, the Vail Valley is packed with outdoor adventure sites for all ages and levels of expertise even beyond our world class resorts. Whether you’re interested in snowshoeing on Meadow Mountain or ice climbing in East Vail, the powder is on the way.

Warren Miller’s 65th Ski Film:  A new Warren Miller offering is enough to excite the Vail Valley almost as much as the incoming snowfall.  The latest film, No Turning Back, “pays homage to the 65 years of mountain culture and adventure film making that has led us to every end of the winter world.”  Get a taste of some truly amazing skiers in their element, put together with into some equally outstanding films. If you haven’t heard of Warren Miller Entertainment , that is all the more reason to find a showing!

 The Black Diamond Ball:  O.K., so this is technically next month, but for many the Black Diamond Ball is one of the biggest start-of-season events in the Vail Valley.  The 16th Annual Black Diamond Ball to benefit the Vail Valley Foundation will be held at the Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014.  This year’s event is “Venetian Masquerade Inspired,” and sure to be fun for all.

Advice for Savvy Vail Valley Home Sellers

November 11th, 2014



Don't open your door to just anyone.  The real estate industry has specific protocols specifying how sellers, buyers and their respective agents should all interact - and there are good reasons to follow the rules.

Don’t open your door to just anyone! The real estate industry has specific protocols specifying how sellers, buyers and their respective agents should all interact – and there are good reasons to follow the rules.

When your Vail Valley home goes on the market, prospective buyers are not the only people who take notice. Often, you’ll find the agents, vendors and others whose attention any home sale attracts to be honest people with good intentions. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In order to prevent problem situations, the real estate industry has developed specific protocols specifying how sellers, buyers and their respective agents should all interact.  A savvy home seller knows what that protocol is, and how to help their agent in insisting it be followed.

Here are three situations where someone is acting incorrectly, and what a savvy home seller can do to put the situation back on track.

The Double Agent

When the Rocky Mountain Home Team creates promotional materials for your home, we state clearly that we are the primary contact for buyers and buyers’ agents. However, some buyers’ agents may choose to contact you directly. Possible motives for doing so include gaining an advantage in negotiations, attempting to cut your agent out of a deal or even aggressively trying to get you to sign with them.

Vail Valley Real Estate Agents are expected to know and follow the rules, so a violation by an agent should immediately be considered suspect behavior.  It could be a sign that the agent is not acting in accordance with the Realtor’s Code of Ethics, and might lose that agent their license. Contact the Rocky Mountain Home Team immediately if another agent contacts you directly.

The Junk Mailer

Here’s one shady character you’ll never actually meet, but who can make his presence felt nonetheless.  If you’ve recently listed your home and find your mailbox filling up with junk mail, it may be the result of a Junk Mailer making inappropriate use of MLS information.

As a routine part of listing your home for sale, the Rocky Mountain Home Team will enter your home into the Eagle County Multiple Listing Service – or MLS for short. The MLS is a powerful marketing tool, as it makes information on your home available to local agents. MLS organizations, including the Vail Board of Realtors, develop and enforce a strict set of rules dictating how information posted to that system can be used.  Unfortunately, some companies still find ways to get that information and produce mass mailing lists.

If this happens to you, let us know.  The Vail MLS takes these violations seriously, and we’ll tap the appropriate parties to start an investigation.
The Curious Drop-In

One obvious sign that we’re doing our job and marketing your home correctly will be that your home will generate a lot of buzz.  Yard signs, online listings and other advertisement can attract a lot of attention – which is certainly a good thing – but not everyone will follow directions.  Some prospective buyers – particularly first-timers who aren’t aware of protocol, don’t have an agent of their own to advise them, and are acting in haste – may simply drop by expecting a tour.

Should unexpected visitors suddenly appear on your doorstep, politely let them know that you have a Real Estate Agent in charge of scheduling tours and provide them with our contact information.  By conducting the tour yourself, you could inadvertently disclose information that hurts you during negotiation or even turns would-be buyers away.  Don’t worry about losing a potential buyer.  If someone really is interested, that person will take the time to contact us and set up a tour. Introducing buyers to your property is part of our job – and we’re very good at what we do.


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Vail Valley Luxury Market Report, Oct. 29

October 29th, 2014

The Rocky Mountain Home Team was proud to be a part of October’s biggest sale to date, an Arrabelle condo selling for $9,350,000. Congratulations to the new owners.

The Vail Valley Luxury Real Estate market continued to gain strength through the first three weeks of October. Twelve homes sold for over two million dollars through Oct 24, with an average sale price per square foot of $1,194.

The month’s highest-priced sale was an Arrabelle at Vail Squarecondo priced at $9,350,000, making it the top condo sale – and the seventh highest-priced sale overall – year to date. That sale was one of Arrabelle condos that sold this month to make October 2014 the first month with two sales at the Arrabelle since June of 2010. One more unit is currently under contract, set for a November closing.

Visit our Market Report Center for more information on  Vail Valley Real Estate Market Conditions.

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On the national real estate market, pending home sales rose slightly in September, and are now above year-over-year levels for the first time in 11 months. One motivation for buyers on the fence is the near inevitability that low interest rates will increase.

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National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun notes that this eventuality may not have the extreme effects many fear it will:  “Sooner or later, though, interest rates will have to rise. From the low 4 percent rate that prevailed for most of this year, the average mortgage rate will likely cross over the 5 percent threshold sometime in 2015 and probably rise to near 6 percent by 2016. Such a change makes homes less affordable, a clear negative for residential sales. But job creation and the accompanying rise in consumer confidence, along with some loosening of underwriting standards, might more than compensate for the rising rates.”

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Meanwhile in the Vail Valley, Monday’s light snowfall had locals dreaming of the start of Ski Season. Unfortunately, with temperatures forecast to remain on the higher side going into November, most of this week’s chills will be limited to Halloween festivities.

Why Visit the Vail Valley This Month?

October 16th, 2014
A young bear eats his fill in a tree in Eagle.  You never know what animals you might encounter as the local wildlife prepares for winter in the Vail Valley!

A young bear eats his fill in a tree in Eagle. You never know what animals you might encounter as the local wildlife prepares for winter in the Vail Valley!

It is always a great time to visit the Vail Valley, and the exciting weeks leading up to ski season are no exception.  Here’s what you’ll find in the Vail Valley this month:

Animal Encounters:  The critters are busy this time of year! As we prepare for ski season, many other valley residents are preparing for hibernation or migration – and that means they are looking for food!  Whether it is herds of deer and gangs of elk on the move or skunks, bears and porcupines fattening up before the cold, you never know what you may run into this time of year in the Vail Valley.

Remember that wild animals are still wild, no matter how tame and friendly they might look.  Give animals some space and, if an animal is becoming disruptive, leave the area or contact the appropriate authorities.

The Walking Mountains Science Center is a great place to find out more about the wildlife and environment of the Vail Valley.  The Science Center hosts a free hour-long nature walk every week day at 2 p.m.  Check their regularly-updated events calendar for other nature-related activities.

Ski Season Head Start:  O.K., so it is not technically part of Eagle County, but Arapahoe Basin is just over Vail Pass and still a frequent stop for slope-seeking locals.  A-Basin’s popularity is due in part to the fact that it historically opens earlier and closes later than pretty much every other ski area.  On Friday, Oct. 17, opening day at A-Basin officially starts Colorado’s 2014-15 ski season.

Meanwhile, while you’re waiting the 34 days for Vail to open (or 39 days for Beaver Creek), there is still time to enjoy off-season pricing for food, lodging, entertainment and retail shopping.  Lunch specials and two-for-one pricing abound this time of year.  Don’t worry if you’re just visiting – if you’re in the Vail Valley in October, you’re just as welcome to “locals’ appreciation sale” as the actual locals.

Performing Arts:  The Vail Valley Theater Company will perform “Chicago” at Battle Mountain High School on Oct. 24 and 25.  Set in the windy city of the 1920’s, this famous musical was based on the writings of a crime reporter.  It was made into a movie in 2002 starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere, and now the Vail Theater Company is bringing it to life in the Vail Valley.  After Saturday’s performance, head to the Main Street Grill for an after-party with the cast.

Vail Valley Luxury Market Report, Oct. 1

October 1st, 2014

Vail Valley Luxury Slopeside Real Estate

An early look at the numbers for September 2014 reveals a strong market for Vail Valley Luxury Real Estate.  The Vail Multiple Listings Service reported 31 Eagle County homes selling for over $1 Million, for an average of $836 per square foot, up $165 over September 2013 prices.  Average Days on Market for high-end homes in the Vail Valley fell by 122 days to 287 over the same period.

Slopeside Properties, including Vail Village, Lionshead, Beaver Creek, Bachelor’s Gulch and Arrowhead homes, tallied 23 sales, including 13 over $1 Million.  Price per square foot on Slopeside Properties shot up to $1,050 from $919 in 2013, while average days on market dropped a total of 86 days to 331.

For more information on the Vail Valley Real Estate Market, visit our Market Report Center.

Even if you have no plans to sell your property, a Comparative Market Analysis of your Vail Valley Home is a great way to learn what your property might be worth in today’s market. As the numbers trend upward, it just might be more than you think!

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On the national scene, Trulia’s Bubble Watch reports that home prices are undervalued by three percent, with just 7 of the 100 largest metros overvalued by more than 10 percent.  As the article notes, the formulas used to reach this value are “as much an art as a science, because there’s no definitive measure of fundamental value.” Price-to-income ratio, price-to-rent ratio and long-term price trends are all taken into consideration.

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From Forbes comes an article on Crowdfunding Real Estate Investments that is worth a read for the novelty of the idea, even if the execution is still lagging a bit.  “For the most part, the opportunities I saw were for small deals of a non-institutional quality, requesting a minimum investment of $20,000 to $50,000. These weren’t the deals that your pension funds or REITs would compete for.”

Speaking of Real Estate Investment Trusts, expected rises in interest rates is “Pummeling” REITs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Are you thinking of buying or selling Luxury Real Estate in the Vail Valley? Michael Routh’s Rocky Mountain Home Team has the experience and expertise to guide you every step of the way. 

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A Response to Business Week, Part Three

September 19th, 2014

This is part three of our Response to an article in Business Week entitled “How a Trulia-Zillow Merger Could Finally Change the Business of Real Estate.” You may wish to read Part One and Part Two first.

Consider the following the quote from Mr. Stone’s article, which we consider to be a good summary of his case:

“Change in the real estate business is inevitable. When buyers are finding homes on their phones, taking virtual tours, and securing loans online, brokers add less value to the transaction. Likewise, sellers can prep their houses and find buyers with a few clicks of a mouse and no longer need to lean as heavily on an agent.”

The buyer and seller portions of this paragraph sum up nicely the flaw in Mr. Stone’s thinking.  It is clear he believes that the ability of the internet to make certain things easier and more convenient in certain ways means agents will “add less value” for home buyers and sellers.

We have not found this to be the case.  What we have found are competent agents, learning to master and bring to bear every tool the internet age has to offer in service their clients.  This is already happening, and has been for as long as there has been an internet.

Agents who cannot adapt, who rely on dated tools and methods, will leave the business.  Agents who sadly misperceive their own value in the same way Mr. Stone does are probably already gone – they have been wrong about this business since well before the dawn of internet.  Individuals without an agent will continue to buy real estate for more (on average) and sell it for less (on average), all while putting in more work of their own – a choice they will remain free to make.

Which leaves us with the part Business Week and Mr. Stone got right: “Change in the Real Estate business is inevitable.”  Indeed.  The pace of that change can be alarming.  It is our job, and the job of any good agent, to make sure our clients benefit from that change rather than suffer for it.

If you are looking to buy or sell Vail Valley real estate, we have the tools and the expertise to help you get the job done. That will never change, no matter what new and exciting tools the internet age may bring us.