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‘It’s Going To Be A Real Shock’: Carrie Wells On Aspen’s Luxury Crackdown

In these occasions, double down — in your expertise, in your information, on you. Be a part of us Aug. 8-10 at Inman Join Las Vegas to lean into the shift and be taught from one of the best. Get your ticket now for one of the best value.

Since launching her actual property profession greater than 20 years in the past, Coldwell Banker Mason Morse’s Carrie Wells has constantly been ranked as one of many high brokers in Colorado and throughout the Coldwell Banker community.

Through the course of her profession, she’s bought greater than $3.5 billion in actual property, and in 2022 she ranked because the No. 33 agent within the nation and No. 1 in Colorado, based on RealTrends/The Wall Avenue Journal.

The Aspen-based agent has turn out to be the go-to luxurious knowledgeable in her market through the years and has developed deep ties locally by serving on advisory boards for numerous group teams, together with the Aspen Music Pageant and Faculty and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.

Wells can be at present within the midst of a sea-change in her residence market, the place on June 6, the Group Progress Advisory Committee submitted a report back to county commissioners of serious proposed adjustments to land-use rules in Pitkin County. Amongst them was the suggestion that the utmost dimension of a home within the county’s rural areas be decreased from 15,000 sq. ft to eight,750 sq. ft, and inside the county’s city development boundary, all the way down to 9,250 sq. ft.

As she gears up for summer time and upfront of her look at Inman Join Las Vegas this August, Wells sat down with Inman to share a number of the issues which are top-of-mind going into summer time, together with these impending land-use code adjustments. Right here’s what she needed to say, edited for brevity and readability.

Inman: What are the massive issues occurring in your market proper now?

Wells: Most likely one of many greatest information objects is about to hit, and lots of brokers and householders don’t know that. The county we’re in, in Aspen — Pitkin County — is rewriting the land-use code. We at present are capable of construct as much as 15,000 sq. ft and they’re going to decrease that, and we don’t know what the quantity goes to be however rumor is it could possibly be 10,000. [When Inman spoke with Wells, the Community Growth Advisory Committee had not yet submitted its proposed land-use changes to Pitkin County commissioners.]

That’s going to be an actual shock to a whole lot of householders and a whole lot of brokers. We dwell in an space, each town of Aspen and Pitkin County, the place development codes are very, very strict. As an illustration, town of Aspen, they only modified their land-use code in order that there are solely six demolition permits within the metropolis of Aspen per 12 months. We now have traditionally seen wherever from 12 to 19 demo permits.

So each time we flip round, they’re making issues extra restrictive. What’s fascinating about that’s it simply makes costs go up extra. So I feel it’ll make bigger houses extra invaluable as a result of it’s possible you’ll not be capable of create them [in the future]. So that’s a number of the large information, what’s occurring with zoning and land use that impacts properties which are already constructed and impacts initiatives that haven’t been constructed but.

Very fascinating. Do you suppose that can encourage people who find themselves setting up their very own houses to attempt to construct taller properties? 

There’s no query that sadly, individuals who have the suitable to construct extra sq. footage most probably will soar and get a constructing allow and do this whereas they’ll earlier than the brand new zoning is adopted. So that they’ll come out with these new rules after which we’ll undergo a technique of them saying it to the group.

There can be discussions, first studying, second studying, after which it will likely be adopted sooner or later. So I feel there can be an enormous quantity of pushback, however I feel now we have to be ready that it’s going to occur and it’s going to drive folks that don’t even need a larger home to construct an even bigger home, as a result of they’ll lose their proper in the event that they don’t.

Wow, that’s undoubtedly one thing new you’ll all need to take care of. As we gear up and get nearer to the summer time market, are you seeing an enormous enhance in site visitors in Aspen?

Sure. We at all times begin our summer time promoting season in mid-June once we begin off with the Meals & Wine Basic. Then, it’s adopted by the Aspen Institute Concepts Pageant, which is the top of June and goes into the primary few days of July. July 4 is a large time to be in Aspen. We now have an enormous parade on the town and all people appears to wish to be right here.

Then, now we have a summer-long, seven-week music competition that runs from the top of June till the top of August, and that’s one of many world’s foremost classical music festivals. We now have an artwork museum profit in early August with Artcrush. We now have jazz live shows, each in June and on Labor Day, that herald large artists.

So culturally, now we have a whole lot of thrilling issues taking place in the summertime, after which after all, now we have all of the fantastic issues to do for recreation, whether or not it’s mountaineering, biking, mountain biking, {golfing}, fishing and on and on. That’s why individuals are drawn to this space.

Sounds just like the place to be. Because the market has shifted within the final 12 months or so, have you ever seen any adjustments within the sorts of patrons coming to Aspen?

All of us noticed the shift out there round June a 12 months in the past at the moment. And I actually haven’t seen a change in the kind of purchaser who desires to be right here. It may possibly actually be younger billionaires to multi-generational households to individuals who have a number of houses throughout to individuals who wish to change their main residence to Aspen, for a lot of causes, whether or not it’s for tax functions, popping out of high-tax states, the terrific faculties now we have right here or simply the security of residing in Aspen.

That’s nice. Is there something particular you may have deliberate whereas in Vegas for Inman Join, or one thing you’re significantly wanting ahead to?

I really like seeing my dealer associates from throughout who’re with all totally different manufacturers and love assembly new brokers and growing that community of dealer relationships. In order that’s the primary factor I’m wanting ahead to.


I’m very honored to have gained the Inman Golden I Award for High Luxurious Agent final 12 months. That was an enormous honor. I really feel very humbled and grateful about that. Inman is my foremost supply for actual property information — that and The Wall Avenue Journal — and I’m very appreciative of all of the work that you just guys do retaining us all knowledgeable and up-to-date.

We’re comfortable to assist.

E-mail Lillian Dickerson