Steamboat Springs Old Town Steamboat Springs has a strong appeal for homebuyers drawn to the community's small-town character as much as they are to its resort appeal. Realtor Joan Conroy describes something that could be called, "the ice-cream-cone factor."
"I live in Old Town and I think it's really got that community feeling. It's walking downtown to get your ice cream cone and the neighbors are out working in their yards and you stop to chat with them," Conroy said. "That Old Town feeling is hard to capture."
Conroy is a Realtor with Steamboat Village Brokers. She recently placed a small craftsman-style home near the corner of Seventh and Aspen streets in Old Town under contract. The two-bedroom, two-bath home was listed for $499,000. But it's difficult to compare it with other two-bedroom homes. Including a full basement, the house measures just more than 2,104 square feet. But the property also includes a shop measuring 1,040 square feet and a registered apartment of the same dimensions above the shop.
"I think Seventh Street is the coolest street in Old Town because the trees are beautiful and the street is so wide," Conroy said.
Conroy and her fellow Realtors could probably sell a house a month on Seventh Street. But the supply of homes for sale just isn't there.
"There's very little inventory in Old Town," Conroy said. "Houses that are priced fairly have a chance to sell quickly."
Todd Asbury, another Realtor at Steamboat Village Brokers, is listing a new Victorian-style home on Ninth Street, which is one of four developed by local contractor Burt Glenn. The homes represent urban renewal in Steamboat they are built on the former site of the Steamboat Lumber Co.
Asbury said Old Town is an interesting part of Steamboat's diverse real estate market.
"We have such a mixed market here," Asbury said. "You have the resort properties at the base of the mountain, Old Town and the county, where you have a combination of full- and part-time residents. My read is that the majority of Old Town residents are full-time residents."
Homebuyers in Old Town appreciate the convenience of walking to the store and restaurants, Asbury said.
"There's an opportunity to leave your car at home," he added. "If you run to the school and other places about 12 times a day, the appeal of Old Town is hard to beat."
Asbury said he thinks it's a positive sign that Old Town is upgrading with the demand in the real estate market, while retaining its character. Swapping the old lumber yard for attractive, old-style homes, is a good one, he observed.
Conroy agreed with Asbury that people are upgrading Old Town homes without destroying the character of the neighborhoods. Her sellers are an engineer and artist.
"They've brought out the old wood floors and she has a flair for color," Conroy said. "The walls are painted in an interesting color scheme, and he has added a master bath with a steam shower."
The shortage of inventory in Old Town could begin to ease within a year as developer Herald Stout moves forward with plans to build 26 homes on the site of the old Routt Memorial Hospital. Stout plans to enforce covenants including architectural guidelines that would call for the homes to be built in the style of indigenous farmhouses or other styles of architecture harmonious with the existing houses in Old Town.