Covered Bridge house finds the right buyer
January 6, 2012
Steamboat Springs — After more than a decade on the market, one of the most talked-about homes in the Yampa Valley sold Wednesday, completely furnished, for $3.48 million in cash to a family trust.
The 10,492-square-foot Covered Bridge House in Catamount Ranch & Club, just south of city limits and overlooking the Catamount golf course, is known for having 10 bathrooms. Its name comes from a little, wooden bridge that spans a recirculating creek that runs through an interior hallway in the home. The bridge leads to a wine room large enough to have its own small dining table.
The buyer was a business entity called the Steamboat Covered Bridge Trust. Realtor Chris Paoli, of Colorado Group Realty, said the buyer is a family with longstanding ties to Steamboat.
"I think my clients will really enjoy the experience of living there," Paoli said.
Listing broker Pam Vanatta, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, said her client, a Florida man who was the original builder of the home completed in 2000, was under no financial duress but was eager to sell the grand home and reinvest the proceeds in other opportunities.
"My eight-year, off-and-on listing has been sold," Vanatta said. "My client was very excited to sell and move on. I think we found the right buyer. There were others circling, but none of them would write a back-up offer. I hope they see it as a missed opportunity."
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In March 2011, the seller agreed to drop the asking price for the home from $6.25 million to $5 million furnished or $4.75 million unfurnished. The original asking price upon completion of what was intended to be a spec home was
$9.9 million. Architect Joe Robbins called it one of the first homes in the market designed with the idea of hosting large multifamily gatherings.
Vanatta and Paoli agreed the selling price of about $347 per square foot was far below replacement price, and both agreed that its history reflects that it continually was overpriced throughout the past decade.
"You really couldn't replace that home," Vanatta said. "In my opinion, if it had been priced at $6.5 million to start, it would have sold. But it chased the market down and then things changed in the market," and that situation only deepened.
"This was a good example of a house that was always priced just above the market," Paoli said.
Throughout time, he said, overpriced houses become stale on the market and it becomes difficult to attract the attention of other Realtors and buyers. Ironically, he thought the house could have sold for more this year.
"When you look at the high-end market, we're so far below replacement cost, there's a huge range things could sell for and still be a good value," he said. "I would argue all day this house could have sold for $4 million or $4.2 million, but we brought the highest offer."
Vanatta said because there are so few homes in the Yampa Valley of more than 10,000 feet and because this home has so many custom touches, it's difficult to assess the influence the sale might have on the market.
Paoli described it as a signature sale for Steamboat but pointed out that there have been few comparable sales in the past 12 months. The closest, he said, probably was a smaller foreclosed home in Catamount that sold for $2.8 million this year, or about $375 per square foot.
According to records at the Routt County Courthouse, the owner of the home was the O'Meara Family Trust. Vanatta said 10 months ago that the original developer set out with the intention of building the very best home in Steamboat in order to attract a dot-com millionaire from California.
Eleven years later, that home found a buyer.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com