Second home owners at Riverwalk in Edwards, Colo. since 2011, Ted and Katharine Leonard were talking about moving to the Vail Valley full-time once their eldest son entered middle school, a couple years from now. Once COVID kicked in and working remotely became more commonplace for both of them, they started to think about making the shift sooner than later. Looking back over the past year and the impacts of COVID that included fewer reasons to stay in Denver without the cultural and sports activities and growing traffic and congestion along I-70, they said, why not now?
Active outdoor enthusiasts, they found most of their friends and social life centered around being outside and enjoying the mountain lifestyle. They also factored in the extra time they would get without commuting, affording them more time to get out during the week to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. Their two sons, when asked about moving, were enthusiastic since they had formed friendships with other local kids their age through their participation in DEVO and BEVO, Vail Resort’s children’s ski programs.
Their initial plan started with renovating their Riverwalk condo so they could stay close to all the amenities, shops, trails and restaurants in the Riverwalk Village area. They began a renovation in January and then when COVID hit, realized they really wanted and needed more space than their Riverwalk condo would accommodate for friends and family to be able to visit.
Their search started when Katharine contacted a former business school colleague, Sarah Tuft, who she knew was a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties. Having both a condo to sell and a home to buy, Tuft knew time was of the essence. She immediately presented the Leonard’s Riverwalk condo to the 100+ brokers affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties brokers and listed it in the Vail MLS.
“Sarah was great,” said Leonard. “In addition to the Berkshire Hathaway broker preview, she was keenly aware of all the different markets and areas all around Vail Valley, from East Vail to Wildridge and West Vail, to Arrowhead, Cordillera and Red Sky Ranch. I couldn’t imagine doing this without a realtor,” she added.
Due to initial COVID restrictions that limited open houses and tours, the Leonards did virtual tour previews of the top 20 homes Sarah selected, pairing the list to 12. When restrictions lifted, the Leonards then did on-site tours. “While the photos and virtual tours were really helpful and ones we went back to time and again, it was the in-home visits that really helped us make our final decision. We knew that being in a seller’s market we would have to come in with a strong offer and be ready to move – literally and figuratively – once it was accepted. Sarah was hugely helpful and supportive throughout the whole process,” said Leonard.
“Understanding the Leonards’ needs and lifestyle interests was really helpful in being able to narrow down the options including their interest to be close to or on golf courses,” said Tuft. It ultimately helped narrow the timeframe to find and have them make a decision and present a strong offer that got them the Cordillera home they wanted,” Tuft added.