There are times in life when the timing is just right to make the move. And so it was for Washington, D.C. political consultant Liz Chadderdon and her boyfriend, John French, who made the full-time shift from urban to mountain life in December 2020.
Liz’s love of Vail began during ski trips with her late father. “His love of the Vail Valley was contagious,” said Liz. “He said it reminded him of Austria, where he lived in the 70s and where I visited him when I was 10 to learn how to ski. One of his favorite spots in Vail was Pepi’s. He loved their Wienerschnitzel. Every time I walk through the village and past the restaurant I think of him.”
After her father’s passing in 2011, a culmination of events and circumstances led Liz to start looking at property to buy in Vail in 2017. Curious about options, she attended an open house at the Vail Racquet Club and met her soon-to-be friend and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties’ associate broker CJ Seatvet. CJ helped Liz buy her first condo, a small one bedroom/one bath, lock and walk unit that provided all the amenities she wanted in a ski and vacation property.
Shortly thereafter in 2018 in D.C. , Liz met her boyfriend, John, who had never been to Vail. During the Christmas rush she was teaching skiing to kids out of Golden Peak and sending him pictures of Vail. “I’ll never forget him asking me if the photos were real,” said Liz. It didn’t take him long to hop on a plane and come out and visit. And like Liz, he fell in love with Vail. Moving to the Vail Valley permanently started becoming more of a focus. Liz and John started looking at possible rental properties to purchase as an investment and for some supplemental income.
With the help of CJ, they decided on a 2 bed/2 bath condo in Eagle Vail’s Mountain Stream neighborhood, a rental property they still own.
And then came COVID. While the Vail Valley and most of Colorado were shutting down, along with other travel restrictions across the U.S., it did not sway Liz and John’s desire to move to Vail full-time. She was finishing a recent election and was ready to sell her portion of the business and his work as a sommelier and beverage consultant was slowing down. The one caveat: how to find a property to buy when you can’t visit and see it.
CJ, and the new Matterport and video tours, to the rescue. Having given CJ their price point and desire to live in the heart of the valley, the search began. “We poked around Zillow and if a property caught our eye with the right number of bedrooms and price point, we’d ask CJ what she thought. Her knowledge and understanding of our needs helped us narrow down to three properties from the initial five they started with once the search began.
“It was really interesting to experience touring and buying a home virtually,” said Liz. “Our family and friends thought we were crazy, but it actually worked out great. John would look for and ask questions about furnaces and water heaters and other building practices and finishes that I wouldn’t normally question. We both found it fascinating that we could do such thorough walk-throughs digitally. We actually did one walk through when each of us were in different cities. We also had the added benefit of being able to revisit our top picks as much as we wanted without bothering the owners,” Liz added. They eventually decided on their current townhome located on Stone Creek Drive in Eagle Vail.
“The townhome really serves our interests well, with an open air and brightly lit living area, which allows us to appreciate our mountain surroundings, even when we’re watching football. There’s also a good kitchen for John to cook in as well as easy access to Vail and Beaver Creek and other restaurants,” said Liz. “We are grateful to CJ for her patience and supportiveness during the process. We are very happy in our new home and look forward to many wonderful years to come in this beautiful place.”