Saturday, September 10, 2005
Kari Doerr is a flipper: She buys old homes or properties needing work, fixes them up and sells them for a profit.
Her latest project, a log home in the Deep Creek Valley, demonstrates key aspects of the flipping process: "Look for a good solid structure, look at the problems, and see if there's ways to enhance the home without making structural changes," Doerr said.
The 2,600-square-foot D log home was built nine years ago near an enclosure that once held elk at the Harrington Elk Ranch.
The home -- Elk Horn Springs Ranch -- was intended as an elk ranch manager's cabin but sat empty and unfinished until Doerr purchased it in March. The home sits on 35-acres, among parcels split from a 118-acre property owned by the ranch.
It is about 20 minutes northwest of Steamboat Springs on Routt County Road 52E.
Aside from some problems -- uneven walls and some closed off spaces -- the home essentially was an empty canvas for Doerr's vision: A quality living environment with just enough character to make it special while still appealing to a variety of buyers.
She stepped into the role of general contractor, finding about 20 craftsmen and subcontractors to do everything including plumbing, electrical work, rock, tile and plaster finishes.
Four months later, the "shell" has been transformed into a comfortable home, ready for a buyer looking for a starter horse property with privacy and views.
Doerr concentrated on main living spaces in the three-level home, leaving the basement unfinished to give buyers space for their custom needs -- an important consideration in the flipping process.
"Give a high quality product for a decent price and leave something for somebody else to do," said Doerr, who has been flipping properties for about 15 years and also is a real estate broker.
On the main floor, Doerr removed part of a wall to open up the kitchen and living room area. The kitchen features granite slab counters, ceramic tile and knotty alder cabinets. The living room has a gas stove and carpeting.
Two bedrooms and a bathroom with double sinks also are located on the main floor.
From the living room, stairs with a custom wormwood aspen railing lead to a roomy loft area, which overlooks the main floor, as well as the master suite. The master suite includes a bathroom with double sinks, travertine tile and Jacuzzi tub and a walk-in closet.
Walls and ceilings throughout the home are finished with a combination of clean white pine and hand-trowel plaster. A stained-glass light and fan, bathroom tile displaying mountain scenes and light fixtures with a nature motif add subtle character to the clean, soothing spaces.
The basement holds the potential for another bedroom, and a one-car garage also may be converted into a room. New owners might consider building a detached two- to three-car garage with loft for more practical space for vehicles and toys, Doerr said.
The house was situated to take advantage of wide views of Pilot Nob and the surrounding Deep Creek Valley. The home includes a traditional covered front porch, as well as a back deck.
New owners also will enjoy abundant wildlife. Elk and deer frequently migrate through the valley, which also hosts antelope, sandhill cranes, raptors, great blue herons and other animals.
For water, the property has a spring with 2,500-gallon holding tank. The land has good hay potential, and buyers may consider adding more room for horses with an adjacent 35-acre parcel also for sale.
The Elk Horn Springs Ranch is being offered at $769,000. The adjacent parcel is $269,000. For more information, call Doerr at Century 21 Ski Town Associates, 879-2333.