ESTES PARK, Colo. — In a historically competitive housing market, it seems unlikely any sellers and buyers would form a friendship, but a buyer-seller duo in Estes Park learned they had more in common than they could have expected.
Ellen Schroeder knew she found her home after looking beyond her backyard to Longs Peak.
"The view was inspiration to me," Schroeder said.
She bought her Estes Park home nearly 30 years ago. This year, Ellen knew the time had come to let go of the home and move into assisted living at Good Samaritan.
"I just made the decision and thought it was a good one. I didn’t have any pangs until I walked in today," Schroeder said.
It’s the first time the 90-year-old great grandmother has been in her old home since moving out in April. Ginger Brainard and her husband Don, just moved into the home a week ago.
"After I talked to Ginger, I felt they were the ones for this house, and to this moment, I feel that they are the ones to be here," Schroeder said.
The Brainards were looking for a home in Estes Park for about six months.
"Houses are so hard to come by here," Brainard said.
She's right. According to Abbey Pontius, a realtor in Estes Park, new listings for a single family home are down 26% from this time last year. The ones that are on the market are only averaging a week before going under contract.
As members of an international women’s organization called PEO, Brainard and Schroeder were connected through a mutual friend. Schroeder didn’t have to put the house on the market because the Brainards decided to buy it.
That’s when the two came to find out they had more in common than they could possibly know.
"This house is near a house my family rented for a couple of summers, and so I told my mom that. She said, 'Ginger, your dad and I have stayed in that house. We know Miss Ellen,'" Brainard said.
Beyond the house, both have a passion for philanthropy, are natives of Illinois and, in a very unusual coincidence, one of Ellen’s late dogs was named Ginger. It's not hard to see how a friendship can blossom.
"I hold her very dear, she and her husband and her son," Schroeder said.