Thursday, July 26, 2007

Aspen On The Cheap? Not Really.

I write this from Snowmass Village -- a construction site worthy of Donald Trump. The new Base Village is being built at the base of the lifts and looks WAY larger than it did when I saw the little scale model a few years ago. Indeed, it could be the new Vail. But although condo and home values continue to boom here, the fractional market is surprisingly soft. If you want to invest in a large 2-BR, 4-week deal at the Snowmass Club, for example, they're offered at about $200,000. Devil is in the details -- this is less than they went for about a decade ago, and the upkeep is a whopping $12,000 a year in homeowner dues. Need a broker? You can't do better than the team at BJ Adams and Company, which has been operating in this valley for many years.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hidden Cost in Aspen Fractionals

Beware of fractionals for sale that don't tell you clearly about a "club membership." A new development here in Aspen, CO, the Dancing Bear, is just a few holes in the ground but already lining up buyers. It is being sold as fractional deeded interests, but... deep in its Web site it reveals the annual cost of the "membership" -- not yet determined, but estimated at about $13,000=$15,000 per year. While that includes homeowner dues, it means that besides the $769,000 price of a 3-BR 1/12th ownership, you'll pay at least $2,100 a month for each month of use. Might be cheaper to rent.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Aspen's $3-million Fractional

Not only is the priciest home in the U.S. in Aspen, Colorado, so is the most expensive fractional. The Residences at The Little Nell recently sold two 1-month fractional 4-bedroom condos for $3-million. (You are guaranteed four weeks a year, with a chance for two more if they are available.) The news followed on the heels of a New York Times Page One story about a former Saudi ambassador's home on a nearby hill being offered at $135-million. Of course, it does have 16 bathrooms and 15 bedrooms. Do I hear an opening bid?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

How to Tell Timeshare from Fractional

Not quite sure of the difference between various "shared ownership" vacation home plans? Today's New York Times has a very helpful article about this. A "timeshare purchase is typically a week, whereas a fractional purchase is usually three or four weeks. The luxury versions of fractionals are private residence clubs, defined by industry analysts as any residence selling for more than $1,000 a square foot and offering amenities like a private storage facility, daily housekeeping and concierge services....Timeshares and fractionals are usually deeded and can be bought, sold or passed from one generation to the next....Timeshares can cost about $10,000 to $50,000," says one expert. Another says "fractional prices range from $24,730 to $70,435 a week; annual maintenance fees range from $5,410 to $8,700."

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