What Makes a Mountain Home Desirable?
I am often asked when working with buyers, “What are some of the more desirable features in a mountain home?” If you are selling a mountain home that needs work, you may consider integrating some of these features into your home remodel plans. Below is a list of items that in my experience appeal to most buyers:
4+ Bedrooms – Two master bedrooms or a master and a junior master, a bunk room for kids, en suite bedrooms (bathroom access from inside the bedroom).
2nd Living Area – This could be above the garage or finished walkout basement. It’s nice for kids to be able to go somewhere else and make noise.
Garage – Oversized 2-car garage, or a 3rd garage, heated, drains in the floor.
Shed – If your home lacks a large garage or storage space in the home, you should investigate having a contractor add a quality but inexpensive shed to your home. A shed may be connected to the home or be a stand-alone structure. Many times a shed is not subject to the same setback requirements as the home – check with a local architect or builder or inquire with the local building inspector.
Mud Room or Space in Heated Garage – a good place for the many coats, hats, helmets, fly-fishing waders, boots, etc.
Dog Wash – Warm water to wash dog (in mud room or garage). Even in the summer, the water from a hose is freezing cold.
Natural Gas (if available) – Else install a propane tank (buried underground). Gas provides lower utility costs vs. electric. Add a gas cook top, gas water heater, gas furnace, gas dryer, and outdoor gas grill.
In-floor Heat – Putting in a hydronic heating system that uses heated water that is distributed through a tubing system is the norm if building a new home or major remodel, but may be very hard or expensive for most existing homes. If you are replacing a floor, there are new electric radiant heat options that may be a good solution for small spaces. This is especially desirable in bathrooms.
Steam Showers – If you have never had a steam shower, you will scratch your head. If you have had one, you know how great they are. Many times, you get chilled to the bone from being on a hike in the rain, being in a cold river or stream, or after a cold day skiing. A steam shower will warm you to the bone. Adding a steam shower to an existing shower may include replacing the tile and the board behind the tile.
Deck – A deck facing south to capture the sun is a great place to sit and have your morning coffee or end of the day to watch the sunset. This can be a great addition to a small home to extend the living space in the spring/summer/fall months. Be sure the snow does not shed off the roof onto the deck.
Hardwood Floors – Distressed or scraped floors are good because with dogs, or hiking shoes, or ski boots; they will get scraped up and you will not notice or fret. It is customary to take off shoes in your mountain house or when you are a guest in your neighbor’s home (even at a party – some women bring a second pair of shoes to put on).
Slate or Stone Floors in the Entryway or Hallway – It is easy for you and your dogs to bring in mud, dirt, or stones. Having a tough surface near the exterior doors is a good idea.
Countertops – Slate, soapstone, and honed granite are timeless materials. It seems shiny finishes are out.
Bathrooms – Replace a tub with a jet tub or stall shower (with steam), add new flat surfaces, heated floors, a stone sink basin, updated fixtures, updated lighting, exhaust fan, etc. It is hard to do just one thing in a bathroom. If on a budget, start with the master bath and the half bath on the main level.
Updated Fixtures – Gold chrome fixtures and trim really date a home. Choose a matte finish like brushed nickel, or an oil-rubbed bronze.
Doors – If your home has cheap, flimsy hollow-core doors with gold chrome doorknobs, replacing them can make a big difference. This may turn into a big project, as the door trim throughout the house will come into play as well.
Hooks – You cannot have enough hooks. Buy some quality decorative hooks (or find a local blacksmith) and mount on barn wood, then hang on the walls. This is a good addition in the entryway, mudroom, bedrooms, bathrooms, and outside by the hot tub.
Reclaimed Wood – This can be used throughout the house and can give the home a nice rustic mountain feel. Whether used for flooring, walls, ceilings, trim, or faux beams, it can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home.
Interior Sliding Barn Doors – These can be a nice addition to change out closet doors, bathroom doors, or bedroom doors in a long hallway. This may be another option for reclaimed wood, but there are many options for materials, and metal rails.
High End Appliances – If you are going to replace the appliances, look at spending the extra dollars for the quality brands like Sub-Zero/Wolf, Viking, Bosch, Miele, and Thermador.
Large Kitchen Sink – It’s good to have a large sink when entertaining large groups. Farmhouse sinks in hard-fired white porcelain, copper, or concrete are timeless and appealing.
Two Dishwashers in Kitchen – If you have the space, this can be great when entertaining, especially if one of the dishwashers easily handles wine glasses.
Multiple Washers and Dryers – How long does it take to wash the towels and sheets when your guests leave? Having a second (or third) washer and dryer can save you (or your cleaning service) time.
Large View Windows – Most homes in the mountains have great views; not all homes have windows that capture those views.
French Doors – Replace old sliding glass doors with new French doors.
Wood Garage Doors – This can add a nice rustic touch and add pleasant curb appeal to any home regardless of the exterior look. These doors will be heavier, so the garage door openers may need to also be replaced.
Updated Cabinets – The kitchen remodel may start here and never end, but if you have old, or cheap cabinets, this can be a big improvement. Also select the more expensive “easy close” drawer slides, and attractive handles and pulls.
Lighting – No one wants to buy a home that is dark and dreary. Most real estate agents will prepare a home for showing by opening the shades and curtains to let the sunlight in and turning on all the lights in a home. Maximize the light in your home by updating the lampshades and sconces, increase the wattage of your light bulbs, removing old window coverings, and trimming the bushes outside. Also ensure you have someone shoveling the snow if it is blocking the first floor windows so you let in the sunshine.
Recessed Lighting – Very nice addition on stairs, above cabinets, on a toe-kick below cabinets in kitchen and bathroom, or up-lighting on beams. With tiny LED lighting, there are many options to explore.
Standing Seam Metal Roof – These roof types are great for mountain homes and come in many colors and materials. A rusted metal roof look is very attractive on a home. These roofs heat up from the sun, and snow slides off easier than with other roofing materials. You may want to have your roof inspected and every spring to check the impact of the winter snow/ice.
Landscaping – Adding beds of wildflowers and planting some aspen trees that turn in the fall can make a big difference. While you are at it, you will want to add a sprinkler system with drip irrigation system for the beds, and hanging plants and pots on decks.
Exterior Paint/Stain – The weather can be hard on a mountain home, especially the sun. Look closely at the south-facing exterior, which takes the brunt of the sun’s rays. Re-staining wood and repainting trim work can be a necessary to-do item every four to five years.
Exterior Lighting – The appearance of a home at dusk or at night can make a huge difference in feel of the home and the emotions from a buyer. Update the lighting to make a lasting first impression.
Driveway – If your driveway is gravel, my bet is there is more mud than rock. Snowplows have a way of removing the rock every winter. It may be time to get a few loads of crushed stone on your driveway. Installing asphalt (or more expensive concrete) will keep your garage and house cleaner (less mud and dust) and is more desirable. Most driveways have a slope – look to add a drainage system with metal grates if there is a spot where the water collects (and freezes) so as to remove the water. If your asphalt driveway has not been sealed, this can make it look brand new. You may also investigate heating walkways, or an apron close to the home.
House Audio – This can be a nice addition, and with new wireless speakers, the options are much easier to install. Showing a home with appropriate music playing will help sell your home.
Window Treatments – There are many choices here in systems and materials, including motorized electric window shades. Popular options include the treatments that block the sun and keep the heat in but allow you to see out.
Stone Fireplace – You may find that local code will not allow you to add a new wood-burning fireplace in your home. A gas fireplace may be your only option. Many new high-end gas fireplace inserts will replicate a wood burning fireplace without the hassle of buying the wood, stacking the wood (mice love woodpiles), hauling the wood inside, keeping the fire going (at altitude there is less oxygen for fires to burn as easily), removing the ashes, and cleaning up. Consider a raised hearth for seating, and a solid wood mantle. A wood-burning fireplace may be worth it to those who love to hear the crackle and pop and smell of a fire. An exterior fire pit is also a desirable feature, and may be the right option for your home as well.
Dormers – Adding a large dormer will add usable space to an existing room upstairs or above the garage, and may bring in the warmth of the sun or capture another great mountain view. This can be an expensive addition.
All of these features will help make desirable mountain home for buyers. For more information or guidance on selling or buying a mountain home, visit http://Chris.Kopf.com. Click here to checkout Chris Kopf’s e-book, “The Complete Guide to Buying Your Mountain Dream Home,” and click here to be directed to “The Complete Guide to Selling Your Mountain Dream Home.”
Crested Butte Homes For Sale
Buyer’s ask me frequently about Crested Butte Homes for Sale – what new listings are available, what Crested Butte Homes for sale represent good value, and when is the right time to buy in the Crested Butte Co Real Estate market…? The Crested Butte area offers a wide variety of properties including ski in/ski out single family homes, ski-in/ski-out condominiums, lake and river frontage properties, golf course property, and true fine mountain homes on acreage.
To see featured properties or search the MLS – visit ChrisKopf.com.
How can I help you with your Crested Butte Real Estate Needs?
If you considering Selling your Crested Butte home and are interested in finding out what your existing property is worth – call me. How is the Crested Butte Real Estate Market doing? The Crested Butte Real Estate Market is very active. Click this link to see my monthly Crested Butte Real Estate Market Reports.
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(970) 209-5405, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Global Luxury Property Specialist
Coldwell Banker Bighorn Realty
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