State by State

Apparently there is an entire country between Boston and San Francisco.

real estate

by Natalia

Telluride, Colorado is a playground for the rich. Not as famous or expensive as Aspen but multi-million dollars condos beg to differ. You don't notice it at first in the summer when gondola runs for free but $1950 for a season ski pass speaks for itself.

It's a pretty little town nested in a valley surrounded by dramatic mountains. Full of fancy hotels, boutique shops and decent restaurants. Completely devoid of chain stores or motels. It seems once the rich move into town they keep walmarts and mcdonalds out. Too bad they also keep house prices high.

Real estate in Telluride experienced a slump in 2009 but perked up in the first half of 2010. This is high end of the market of course with 1 million dollars as an average price. The rich are clearly having a different kind of recession then the rest of the society.

Or may be they are lulled, just like others listening to their realtors, into believing that 20-30% discount constitutes the market bottom. It is possible. But is it likely? 51 properties were sold YTD mid August. There are currently 129 properties for sale in Telluride according to Zillow. At the current velocity of sales the inventory on the market represents 20 months supply which is way more then 12.5 months national average (which in itself is considered pretty bad).

According to City-Data.com median house or condo value in 2008 was almost twice as much as in 2000. The year 2000 is relevant because this is when the bubble started to inflate (see Case-Shiller History of Home Values chart). It is entirely possible the prices will revert to their values from that time. Even in Telluride. So if you still have this spare million lying around, you may consider letting it to earn a measly interest for a bit longer.

lake

Kindness of strangers. Beware of that. It will get you to do things you never intended to do. They just cannot help themselves. They are everywhere pointing, advising, probing. Like when I try to keep up with Natalia hiking to the Ice Lake. I am clearly having a bad hiking day. Huffing and puffing I am dragging my body up. And up. These are real mountains. Not like Green Mountains in Vermont. Or Catskills. Or Adirondacks.

ghosts

San Juan Mountains are treaded lightly once more. Where the Utes used to hunt game, tourists are chasing ghosts. And while in Europe ghosts inhabit castles and are result of unhappy aristocratic marriages, American ghosts are signs of a once new era reminding us of failed capitalist ventures. Remnants of towns and mines mark brief interlude of commercial exploitation of these beautiful but harsh mountains.