Steamboat Springs If the Flattops View Village subdivision near the ski area is any indication, duplexes in Steamboat are hot, and developers and builders know it.
With the amount of land available for residential developments diminishing, several builders have purchased all but one of the 19 lots in Flattops View Village with plans to build spec homes.
"If you look at available land, there's just nothing left," said listing Realtor Mike Woolverton of Elk River Realty.
A drop in the lots' prices probably didn't hurt builders' confidence in the project.
The .28-acre lots went on the market about two years ago at prices ranging from $220,000 to $250,000. At the time, Woolverton and developer Heinz Astein were testing a rather flat real estate market, particularly for spec homes.
There was little interest in the project until last fall, when Astein and Woolverton dropped the price of each lot by about $25,000. In the following months, a group of small, local builders purchased all but the last available lot, Woolverton said.
There are four duplexes being built and four in the planning stages at Flattops View Village, which sits inside the intersection of Village Drive and Meadow Lane.
With the option to build two units, the lots can be a good investments for local developers, who sometimes create "inventories" of properties.
When work gets slow, builders put their crews to work on the duplexes, which eventually provide funds for additional spec properties, Woolverton said.
The last available lot, priced at $185,000, is at the corner of Village Drive and Snowflake Circle, a new road that links Village Drive to Meadow Lane through the subdivision.
The lot was under contract, but the buyer was uncomfortable with building permit costs and the deal fell through, Woolverton said.
Builders and owners design their own building plans, which are subject to Woolverton and Astein's approval. Standard covenants for each home include a certain percentage of rockwork on the exterior to ensure a "mountain look."
In addition to the lot, which is about 12,000 square feet -- the minimum size for duplex lots in the city of Steamboat Springs -- the project offers about an acre of open space comprised of small wetlands and mature shrubs.
Anyone interested in the lot should call Woolverton at 879-8103.
-- To reach Tamera Manzanares call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org