Top 5 Buyer Mistakes for Winter Buying

Real Estate Agent with Bradfield Ramsey Group

Salida Colorado Real Estate: 5 Buyer mistakesTop 5 Buyer Mistakes for Winter Buying


We have noticed that there are 2 trends among some buyers. They either are waiting until spring or even next year or they are making offers and not getting the home. 


Here are our 5 mistakes and then success tips for Winter Buying

1. Presenting an offer without getting finances squared away.

Tip: Get proof of funds or a letter of pre-approval now.

You Realtor can help you with a good lender and details for a proof of funds letter if you are paying cash. Have it ready. If it is more than a week old or so, your Realtor will call the lender to make sure it is still current.

We had a buyer lose out on a house because he told us he was pre-approved and had the letter but kept forgetting it. Then, the lending rules changed and his debt to income ratio no longer worked. 

2. Wait to Buy until conditions are better.

Tip: Believe your Realtor when they say this market is the perfect storm.

The best prices and best rates coming together like never before in the history of real estate. In our area, it is even better because it is still slow - unlike 90% of the rest of the country. So, prices are deflated even more and there is more inventory.

3. Waiting to buy until Spring/Summer. 

Tip: Buy in the Winter if you can.

Our off season is November to March 1. Things slow down which makes sellers more eager to sell. There is not as much competition since most buyers are waiting until spring or summer. 

4. Start with a Low Ball offer.

Tip: Do not low ball

The day of the low ball offer is gone. Even though our area is behind 90% of the country, prices are still increasing. We increased about 6% last year. Sellers have adjusted their prices almost across the board to be in line with the market. Your Realtor will tell you if a home is wildly overpriced but most are not. Right now, homes are selling for about 95% of list price. I predict we will be back to 97% within a year.

5. Spontaeneously call any Agent.

Tip: Get a GOOD Realtor.

Find someone who can use e-contracts. We beat out another agent and buyer only because of the speed we presented the offer. The house reduced, the buyer e-signed the contract and the agent had it within an hour. Full price. it was his. 

Find someone who will advocate for YOU, not just the transaction. 

Find someone who knows the area and knows they type of property you are buying. Some agents are great in town but don't have experience in country properties, for example. Others may not know much about vacant land. 

This is an exciting time to buy, whether it is your first home or one of many. We would love to help you or, if you are not looking here, we can help you find a good Realtor in your area.

Time to start looking?

Salida Colorado Homes for Sale

Howard Colorado Homes for Sale

Coaldale Colorado Homes for Sale 

Cotopaxi Colorado Homes for Sale



Top 5 Buyer Mistakes for Winter Buying



Posted by


Paula Bradfield, PhD, GRI, EPro, CIAS, CDPE, Realtor
Phone: 719.221.6108 | Email:  

Keller Williams Performance

Your Salida Colorado Realtor Team





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Specializing in homes and land in the Colorado river towns of Salida, Howard, Coaldale, Cotopaxi, Nathrop, Poncha Springs  and Buena Vista, I am here to work for you as you buy or sell your home or land. 


It is not just about buying in this area. it is a statement about lifestyle. Our residents generally are active people, whether it involves horses (my passion), white water rafting, cross county or downhill skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or Contra dancing. Some prefer quiet sunrises, strolls through town and time in one of our fabulous coffee shops or restaurants. Whatever the style, folks appreciate this area for its charm and beauty.


Want to get more information on available homes or condos in the Central Colorado River Valleys? Go to SouthernColoradoHomesonline to search the area listings by town, zip code or county.


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Our Colorado Mountain river communities: A Snapshot


Salida ColoradoSalida:  As quoted in the 2004 edition of Outside Magazine, Salida is “Sweetly unpretentious” as they ranked it as one of their “Dream Towns and Adventure Hideouts.” You might agree. Our community of 6,500 (9700 counting the surrounding homes) is surrounded by Forest Service and BLM lands, a haven for bicyclists, campers, folks who love to fish, hikers, skiers, nature photographers and hunters. It is a lovely natural setting with several converging mountain ranges  (We have15 peaks surrounding us that reach over 14,000 feet in elevation).

 We are known for being the Banana Belt of Colorado and this area is known as one of the Colorado River Towns. The Arkansas River winds its way through the Arkansas Valley, through downtown Salida and more; creating an invitation to rafters, kayakers, fishers, and “beach lovers” alike.

 Salida’s charming downtown area had the largest historical downtown district in Colorado. We have blocks and blocks of Victorian and other historic buildings. Because so many folks also come here to play, we have many of the advantages of a smaller resort town: great restaurants, 22 art galleries, fabulous boutiques, outdoor sportswear stores, and an array of shops for music, kitchen, sports, natural foods, children, books, knitters, and quilters.



 Real Estate in Salida CO


Poncha Springs COPoncha Springs: Poncha Springs is a small Salida “bedroom community” (population of 474 but a few thousand when you consider the outlying neighborhoods and ranches). Because it was surrounded  by hot springs (99 nearby) and had a strong early  influence of Spanish culture, the community became known as  Poncho (meaning cape and warmth) Springs. In 1924, the town officially became Poncha Springs.


Real Estate in Poncha Springs


 Howard ColoradoHoward: Howard, part of what is known as Pleasant Valley, is nestled along the Arkansas River as it snakes its way from Salida to Canon City. Some of the early settlers in the area were prospectors (some still pan for gold in the tributaries of the Arkansas).  Besides gold and silver, rhyolite, travertine, and limestone were sought after. Just a bit north of Howard is a tiny community of Wellsville where the locals used to soak on their time off in the natural hot pools. The area became more populated when the Rio Grande Railroad came through. Today, Howard is a charming, quiet ranch community and “bedroom Community” for folks who work in Salida. Many avid fly fishing folks have 2nd homes here. I love this valley.


Real Estate in Howard CO  


Coaldale Colorado


Coaldale: Coaldale, a tiny community just SE of Howard opens up into a lovely, meadow-like area with many horse properties, ranches, and folks who like the open meadows and surrounding mountains. It got its name from being called Charcoal Valley. In the early days, the Pinon Pines were burnt in beehive kilns to turn them into coals used for the silver smelters in Leadville Co and Pueblo CO. Some of the early kilns can still be seen. Every valley in Coaldale has a creek in it and with just a few minutes drive to the west, you can be on national forest trails. Absolutely lovely community.


 Real Estate in Coaldale CO


This image can be found at Cotopaxi, named after an Ecuadorian Volcano, grew from being a “whistle stop” for the Rio Grande railroad. Now it is known for world class white water rafting and fly fishing. Folks who live around here can commute for work to either Canon City, further east or back to is almost midway between the two. Cotopaxi is a great location for vacation/second home or your primary residence if you don’t mind the commute or can work from home.




Real Estate in Cotopaxi CO


This image can be found at  Nathrop, a quiet community north of Salida has always been known as the access point to Mount Princeton Hot Springs. To this day, folks come to soak in the restorative waters. It is my personal favorite in hot springs because the 104-degree water not only comes into the soaking and lap pools but comes out in Chalk Creek, running alongside the pools. I can spend all day there with a book, adjusting the rocks so that the water is neither hot nor cold. Lovely. Many folks choose to live in the area because of access to the hot springs and national forest.





Real Estate in Nathrop CO


This image can be found at Vista: Buena Vista was named after it’s stunning 360-degree views. Folks originally settled here because of the gold mining. Later, families began farming and ranching as they discovered the good soil in the area. The stagecoach and subsequent railroad brought more families to the area. With a population of about 2500 people, the town remains quiet and gracious. It is known as the best kept secret place to stay for folks skiing at the premier resorts near Denver and Aspen…because the town is so friendly and hotel rates are inexpensive. It is a few miles from Cottonwood Creek Hot Springs and Mt. Princeton.


Real Estate in Buena Vista Colorado


Crestone...beginning of the sunsetCrestone: Unique, magical and beautiful are words that tumble out of my mouth when I think of Crestone. The tiny town proper is 150 and the surrounding area is no more than 1500 when everyone is home. The magic of Crestone however, is its history. Early on, a rancher was instructed to bequeath parcels of his ranch to spiritual groups around the world which he did. It is now known for having the most diverse spiritual community in the world. Spiritual seekers in North America eventually hear about Crestone. And, it generally takes knowing a local or more than one visit for the fullness of the area to emerge…the 5 creeks heading up into the Sangre de Cristos, the temples hidden in the trees, the lovely residents and the “happening”. The local newspaper, the Crestone Eagle, has calendars of event for local happenings that rival a town 10 times its size. If you want a sanctuary, Crestone offers just that.


Real Estate around Crestone CO



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Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Paula. Buyers should pay attention to all 5 of these top mistakes. But, having the right Agent or Broker will certain help them avoid many of them. I would highly recommend anyone buying in the Salida, Colorado area to contact Paula First!

Jan 22, 2014 08:06 AM #1
Paula Bradfield
Bradfield Ramsey Group - Salida, CO
Your Salida Colorado area Realtor Team

Jerry, sooooo nice to hear from you! Yes, the right agent will prevent all of these. Make it a great day ok?

Jan 22, 2014 10:13 AM #2
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Paula Bradfield

Your Salida Colorado area Realtor Team
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