An Insider Guide to Aspen Bank Mortgages

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Haute Residence's Gary Feldman caught up with Gary Haynes, retail mortgage lending sales manager at TIAA bank, for an inside industry take on the Aspen market.

How long does it take a typical real estate transaction to close?

The time involved with processing a loan request depends on the complexity of the transaction. In my experience, the range is typically between 30 and 45 days; often largely dictated by the appraisal turnaround time.

What specific concerns do banks have when people buy second homes and investment properties?

The difference in terms of programs and interest rates between primary occupancy and second home occupancy is minimal. The main adjustment is a loan-to-value reduction of 5 percent on loans allowing 80 percent (or greater) for primary residence occupancy, compared to 75 percent maximum (depending on loan amount) for second home occupancy. Second home occupancy can often be asserted, even if the residence is rented, as long as the owner can show a certain level of “personal use” throughout the year.

Investment property loans have a lower loan-to-value standard and slightly higher interest rate, due to the implied risk associated with this classification of use.

What percentage of property value will banks typically loan on in Aspen?

I have approved loans in Aspen up to $5 million at a loan-to-value of up to 50 percent. Larger loan amounts are possible, depending on the transaction and financial strength of the borrower.

What is the current interest rate environment? What is the outlook for interest rates? Going up or down?

Mortgage interest rates are higher than they were six months ago, but remain relatively attractive, thanks to the recent flattening yield curve in treasuries. However, inflation and the jobs environment still point to two more fed rate hikes in the near term. This would suggest that there remains a higher probability that mortgage rates will likely respond accordingly.

To safeguard your anticipated monthly payment against an unexpected rise in interest rates, TIAA Bank offers a long-term, capped rate program with a float down option. For example, once you have gone under contract, you may lock in a 180-day period at today’s rate, and reduce your rate once within 30 days before closing if that rate is lower. A deposit is required, but will be credited back to you at closing.

What is the outlook for lending on condo-hotels?Are banks becoming more or less open to condo-hotel lending?

Too often, conventional lending rules with a one-size-fits-all approach, and lenders unfamiliar with condo-hotel lending, prove problematic for purchase transactions. At TIAA Bank, we welcome resort condo buyers, and have specific products and support designed to facilitate purchases. Our expanded resort-condo program offers four ARM options with fixed-rate terms as long as 15 years, and is often significantly more attractive than local community bank options. 

With more than 40 years’ experience in the Aspen/Snowmass resort markets, Gary Haynes possesses exceptional knowledge of local trends and nuances; and has special expertise in resort condo financing. For more information or to contact Gary Haynes call 970-379-3271, or visit or

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