Most of the high-end homes in Angel Fire are still owned by the people who built them, so they haven’t come on the market yet.

According to Montee Sue Miller, a resort and second home property specialist with REMAX Mountain Realty, the “sweet spot” in sales in the area ranges between $300,000 and $400,000. But from time to time, a gem of a luxury house comes along. That is the case of the Bontke home, a mountain chateau perched on 17 groomed acres of Angel Fire’s Aspens subdivision, adjoining the Carson National Forest.

“The livability of this home is exceptional,” said Miller. “While the main house has 5,510 square feet and the guest house has approximately 1,200 square feet, it is spacious, but still has a cozy, warm feeling. The house is nestled in the trees, yet the views are expansive.”

The house was built in 2003 by Sutton Construction of Angel Fire. The fireplace was done by Mike Levison, of Taos, who is also a silversmith. The hardwood doors were created by another Taos craftsman. Painter Karen Drucker, of Dallas, Texas, moved to Angel Fire for several weeks to do all the faux painting throughout the house.

“The attention to detail is incredible,” Miller said. “Whether a hand-painted bird’s nest above the timbers or a tiny hand-painted mouse under the stairs, there is something interesting everywhere you look.”

The main house has five bedrooms, including two grand master suites, three full baths and a powder room. There are two living areas, a home theater and a fitness room. All of them are fully equipped, as the house is being sold totally furnished and accessorized, from the wet bar to the wall art. It even comes with snowmobiles for convenient transportation.

The majority of homes in Angel Fire are sold fully furnished and – many times – accessorized and fitted for fun. This, Miller explains, is the norm for many second and third vacation homes.

“They are usually sold turnkey down to the dishes and linens,” she said. “In this case, the home was professionally furnished and decorated and is being sold as a complete mountain getaway.”

She remarks that staging is critical in selling a home, whether it is a vacation home or a primary residence.

“The old saying, ‘You never have a second chance to make a first impression’ is true, whether you are talking about yourself or a home,” she said. “The first impression is critical, from the approach of the house, driving up the driveway, the front porch itself or the color of the front door… The same is true when you enter the house. Whether it is a $350,000 home or the Bontke home listed at $2.5 million, there needs to be a wow factor.”

Everything about the Bontke property is indeed a wow factor, from the grand piano-shaped kitchen island to the hand-scraped wide plank hardwood floors. Miller, who is now starting her 12th year as a broker associate in Angel Fire, talks enthusiastically not only about the homes for the sale, but also the entire community.

“We have a new $16 million country club, a $15 million RV park, an 18-hole PGA Championship golf course, a top-notch ski mountain and lots of great people here to enjoy them,” she said.

She describes the housing market in Angel Fire right now as “very good.” “Typically, 80 percent of our sales occur between May and November, so the summer selling season is a busy one,” she said.

The Realtor Miller has a background in teaching. She also built a retail business and has successfully invested in real estate herself.

“Sixteen years ago, my husband, Marshall, and I bought our first vacation home in Angel Fire,” she said. “As is often the case, owning a home in the Rockies accelerated my dreams of moving here. I came here for the weekend and found myself never wanting to leave!”

She recalls that for years, she had thought that buying a resort or vacation home was strictly a luxury, but eventually came to realize that it can be “a sound and wise investment.”

“My only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner so we would have had many more years of making family memories,” she said.

Having been involved in many real estate investments for the past 35 years and with so much experience in buying and selling real estate, Miller decided she had the right background to help people in the Rockies “find their little piece of heaven.”

“Investing in a mountain home is certainly a lot more fun than investing in mutual funds,” she said. “Give me a call and let me help you find your mountain getaway.”

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