The great room of the home on Deer Clover Lane is dominated by a rustic stone fireplace wall.

Courtesy photo

The great room of the home on Deer Clover Lane is dominated by a rustic stone fireplace wall.

33 million-dollar homes sell despite recessionary market

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Courtesy photo

The home on Heavenly View is a new spec home in The Sanctuary. At 7,501 square feet, it has a 750-square-foot master bedroom and custom touches including etched glass interior doors.

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— The market for seven-figure homes has not pulled a disappearing act in the recessionary economy.

So far this year, 33 single-family homes priced at more than $1 million have sold — albeit with six-figure discounts and in the case of some bank-owned homes, at multimillion-dollar price drops. Bank of America has a home under contract in Catamount Ranch at less than half of its original asking price of $7.7 million.

Prudential Realtor Colleen De Jong said last week that year-to-date in Routt County, 22 single-family homes priced from $1 million to $2 million have been sold with 91 listings in that price range still active. That works out to about a 34-month supply, but inventory supply calculations constantly are changing, particularly in the higher price ranges and are little more than a snapshot in time, De Jong said.

De Jong just put a $2.695 million (asking price) home under contract that is expected to close this month. Her brokerage was scheduled to host a home tour Saturday that featured 21 homes, all but one priced at more than $1 million and one at more than $8 million.

What does it take to sell a high-dollar house in this market?

“I think it has to have something special about it,” De Jong said. “This house shows impeccably, and it has a great view of Fish Creek.”

There are 35 active listings in Routt County between $2 million and $3 million, and there have been seven sales in that range this year, plus De Jong’s pending sale.

Prudential’s Mark “Dutch” Elting has an eye-popping home on one of the highest lots in The Sanctuary. A spec house that’s never been occupied, it’s listed for $3.5 million after a recent price reduction of nearly half a million dollars.

At 7,501 square feet, it offers three bedroom suites with the master bedroom comprising 750 square feet.

Elting said the custom finishes include interior doors with frosted glass panels etched with wildlife figures. The wine cellar is spacious enough to house a small dining table.

Elting is convinced that no matter how spectacular a home is, the primary motivation of high-end buyers is obtaining a favorable price.

“People are not looking for a perfect dream home,” he said. “They’re looking for value.”

De Jong said she’s found that people who are looking at high-dollar homes this summer are serious about buying but have a lot of options.

“They’re able to pick and choose, and whatever they want, they’re able to find it,” she said.

De Jong’s research shows that there have been four sales of single-family homes priced at more than $3 million this year, and there are 36 active listings on the market. This is the price range that’s most difficult to generalize about, she added, because so many homes priced at more than $3 million come with acreage.

Among the most expensive homes showcased by Prudential this weekend was Jeff Temple’s home in Storm Mountain Ranch, which he has co-listed with Prudential’s Pam Vanatta.

Originally listed at $6.4 million, it’s now priced at $5.9 million. Among its intangibles is the fact that it fronts directly on a large pond that contains large trout.

Unusual finishes include a fireplace faced with stone from the ranch and custom bronze light fixtures that evoke a Tiffany style, only with Western wildlife scenes.

Vanatta also has a home listed for $2.875 million high above the north side of Fish Creek Falls Road on Deer Clover Lane. It has a stone exterior that evokes an English cottage style.

The master bedroom has a curved exterior wall that offers the effect of wraparound views of the northwest flank of Steamboat Ski Area. The snow-melted deck off the great room was likely to open the eyes of people on the tour, as would the walnut flooring in the great room.

The next big news in the seven-figure market could come from the Doug Martell-developed home in Catamount Ranch that is owned by Bank of America and listed by Ryan Stafford of High Mountain Sotheby’s. It recently went under contract.

The house started in June 2006 with an asking price of $7.75 million. Bank of America has the house on the market for $3.2 million after a few modest price drops during the past 77 days.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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