Chopped prices tempt buyers |

Chopped prices tempt buyers

Properties start to move as owners ask for thousands less

— Some of the most aggressively priced properties on the Steamboat real estate market have begun to go under contract as the sun passes the vernal equinox.

A bank-owned duplex offered on a short sale on Bear Creek Drive with 1,680 square feet of living space recently closed for $413,000, compared with the asking price of $499,000.

The home, about a mile from the ski area, was co-listed by Beth Bishop and Lisa Olson at Prudential Steamboat Realty.

Bishop said the home originally was listed at $599,000, but Wells Fargo Bank gave the Realtors permission to drop it to $499,000, and that triggered the offer. It closed Feb. 12.

"I think we've reached a point where buyers are stepping in and taking advantage of the prices," Bishop said.

She noted that a half-dozen two-bedroom Whistler Townhomes have gone under contract this month. Bishop and Olson have been dropping the price on a single-family home in Silver Spur in $10,000 increments weekly and finally got a solid bite. They expect the home to close Monday.

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Another duplex in Longview Park that had been on the market for almost two years went under contract after the owner dropped the price below $475,000.

Listing broker Michelle Garner, of Prudential Steam­boat Realty, called the home at 631 Parkview Drive a "great deal."

"It was first listed in June of 2008 at $649,000" by a different Realtor, Garner said. "In July of 2008, it was lowered to $599,000, and again in September 2008, it was lowered to $549,000.

"I listed it in January 2009 initially at $549K and then provided market info for a price reduction to $499,000 in February 2009. In April of 2009, we went to $475K, and in October, we reduced it to $469K. This is the price that generated many showings, so we left it there and were under contract" this month.

The owners enjoy summer dining on the rear deck with sunsets over downtown, as well as views of the ski trails from windows on the front of the home, she added.

A modest single-family home also went under contract this month in West Steamboat.

The three-bedroom, two-bath home at 27365 Brandon Circle, listed by Prudential's Clay Garner, comprises 1,680 square feet and was listed for $329,000, or about $196 per square foot. It was on the market for 60 days.

Garner called it the lowest-priced single-family home close to Steamboat.

Valued at $472,780 for property tax purposes, the home last sold in February 2003 for $292,000.

Garner's listing is across the street from an attractive home that was foreclosed on and is listed for $379,900 by Dennis O'Connor, of Lincoln Avenue Realty. The four-bedroom, three-bath home has an oversized two-car garage and a large, fenced yard.

News of new showings and contracts came at the end of a week that saw only a smattering of fresh closings — many likely generated by contracts written about six weeks ago. But Realtors say showings are picking up with the longer days.

Steve Downs, of Steamboat Village Brokers, has listed a modest single-family home in Old Town at $419,000. The 2,304-square-foot house at 67 Hanover St. is near Steamboat Springs High School.

"The owner is ready to sell now," Downs said. "It's a great remodel opportunity. It's vacant and easy to show."

The walk-out garden level is unfinished, but on-slab with heat and windows, Downs added.

Prudential Realtor Darrin Fryer said in current market conditions, savvy buyers are comparison shopping many properties in the same price range to seek out the best value.

"They're looking for best of breed," Fryer said, drawing an analogy to a dog show. "People are doing a lot of looking. We've been getting quality showings, but people are thinking, 'Maybe I can get a better location for $700,000.'"

He has a four-story bank-owned townhome in Eagles Overlook listed for $703,000, which works out to nearly $226 per square foot for the 3,114-square-foot home.

The property at 2113 Overlook Drive is owned by Thorn­­burg Mortgage Home Loans, of Trenton, N.J. It has four bedrooms and four baths and was built in 2004.

"That's below building price," Fryer said. "It has the highest granite countertops and high-end kitchen appliances."

The duplex/townhome is near the front end of a compact development, giving it unmatched views across the driving range of the Rollingstone Golf Course to the Sleeping Giant beyond. The issue that seems to be the sticking point is that the kitchen/great room is on the fourth floor.

"It has an elevator, which was meant to overcome that," Fryer said. "But people seem to hesitate over the floor plan."

That issue eventually could be overcome.

"At a certain price point, people stop worrying about floor plan," Fryer said. "I'm blown away that people haven't made a low offer. Priced $50,000 less, I think the bank would probably get multiple offers."

— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205 or e-mail

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