Steamboat Springs Hayden resident Dallas Robinson left an auction Sunday thinking he got a good deal on a lot in the budding Villages at Hayden subdivision.
He said he had been in the market for a home for five years, but the price tags in Routt County kept him from purchasing one. Robinson came well prepared to the auction at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel. Land in three new Hayden subdivisions was auctioned.
He inspected the lots in the 86-home Villages at Hayden development, ranked them and charted what he was willing to pay using a spreadsheet.
His winning bid of $44,000 got him a third-of-an-acre lot where he plans to build his home.
"It's higher than I expected, but it's a good value," Robinson said. "I think it's going to be a great investment."
While Robinson was planning on building his home, many of the 103 registered bidders were investors looking for a good deal on property. An auctioneer from the Sheldon Good & Company auction house asked the bidders how many had never been to a real estate auction. About half raised their hands.
"We like it as an investment," said Steamboat Springs resident Darrell Jansa, who attended his first real estate auction with his wife, Louise Jansa.
Cameron Boyd of Prudential Steamboat Realty was at the auction studying the Hayden market.
"I'm just planning on seeing where the prices will be," Boyd said. "The properties are nice, and Hayden is a good, growing community."
The Jansas were most interested in five, five-acre lots at the Hidden Springs Estates that were auctioned using an absolute auction, meaning the property is sold regardless of price.
The Jansas did not bid on any of the lots, which the developers had priced at $300,000.
The first lot auctioned went for $192,500. Two more went for $132,500 and the last two were the least expensive going for $127,500.
"Those, in my opinion, were the best buys," said Jack Giessinger, owner of Bear River Realty in Hayden.
A single lot was auctioned absolute at The Cliffs at Mt. Harris development for $210,000.
Lots at the Villages at Hayden were still being purchased after the auction ended, but 11 had been sold Sunday, said development partner Don Anderson. About 25 percent of the Villages at Hayden development is now sold, he said, and the property officially goes on the market today. Yampa Valley Homes and Land is marketing the property.
The Villages at Hayden is the first filing of the first phase of construction in a larger development, which is expected to take at least 12 years to complete and could have as many as 2,000 new homes on the south side of Hayden.
The lots were priced from $65,000 to $120,000. At auction they went for between $44,000 and $62,000.
Anderson said the auction was geared toward locals, and it was successful because more people are aware of the Hayden developments.
"The whole purpose was to get exposure for the project and for Hayden," he said.
Sales have been so good at the Villages at Hayden, Anderson said, that they decided not to auction completed homes, but just lots. The decision was also made to limit the auction to just the lots advertised as absolute.
Anderson said they were satisfied with what the lots went for.
"We were definitely O.K. with it," Anderson said. "There were some people who got some great buys."
Giessinger said the auction went how he anticipated, with prices being around 15 to 20 percent below the market price.
He said it appeared most of the bidders were people purchasing a lot to build their own home.
"I was glad to see that," he said.
Giessinger said he was surprised by the number of people attending the auction and the amount of interest it created.
"It created a lot of interest in a brand new subdivision and interest in Hayden," Giessinger said. "All that is very positive."
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