Buying a home in the mountains is a new and exciting venture. Mountain homes are a great place to live permanently, or to own as a vacation home, but both situations require planning and thought.
Many people don’t realize that there are differences between buying a suburban home and buying a mountain home, which can lead to mistakes.
Here are the top 3 mistakes to avoid, so that you can have the best experience possible when purchasing a mountain home!
1. Not Thinking About Convenience
Convenience is something that many people take for granted when they live in the suburbs, because everything is accessible and getting around is relatively easy.
However, in mountain towns not everything is as accessible. There are usually only a few stores for everything, including grocery stores, pharmacies, clothing, gas stations, etc.
When buying a mountain home, it is important to consider these factors and how important each is to you.
- If the grocery store is a few miles away, is this going to make going there frequently difficult?
- Schools are another factor that you need to consider. Are there schools nearby that fit your requirements for your children?
- Is there a doctor’s office and emergency room close enough to where the home is?
- If your home is near a school, is there a bus route that comes by – or can you drive the kids to school?
2. Overestimating Your Ability to Travel and Commute
As expected when buying a mountain home, your travel and commuting abilities will be different than before. Oftentimes, people who buy mountain homes understand this, but don’t realize just how much this can impact their everyday life.
Especially for working professionals who need to go into work everyday, consider the commute you will have to drive & how long it takes.
- You will want to determine if there is more than one way to get to your work, because there is often ski traffic, accidents, and other issues that happen on mountain roads.
- These are unpredictable & if the home only provides one way to get to places, this may be a problem if the road is ever closed for an extended period of time.
It is also important to look at the house itself and how easy it is to get in & out of.
- If it has a long, sloped driveway – like most mountain homes do, you will likely need to get a tractor or truck with a plow to dig out the snow in the winter.
- Most mountain homes have too much land to shovel your way out, and CDOT snow plows don’t come into small neighborhoods like they do in town.
Another thing that many people don’t think about when they move to the mountains is what cars they own. Two wheel drive sedans are usually okay in the summer, but in the winter they will be pretty much useless.
Many people forget that buying a mountain home means that you will need to buy cars that are good in the mountains too, typically SUVs or trucks that have four wheel drive. Many people who live in the mountains also buy studded snow tires for extra traction.
3. Not Getting a Home Inspection
As with any home purchase, getting a home inspection is an important step in the process. Mountain homes in Colorado see more weathering than suburban homes closer to the city – they get heavy snow for much of the winter, hot sun in the summer, high winds, and more.
A home inspection will make sure that the components of the house are holding up well – and will continue to be in good condition for years to come.
One of the best parts about mountain living is the wildlife that is all around, but that also means that pests and other wildlife can be a nuisance, or even make your home their home as well.
Racoons, deer, bears, and foxes are some of the most common animals that can wreak havoc on a home, so the home inspector will make sure that you don’t have any damage (or roommates!) before you move in!
Getting a home inspection will rule out any problems with the home before you buy it, and will give you peace of mind that the home is safe!