Entry-level prices return to Routt County real estate market
Values between $150 and $200 per square foot more common
January 1, 2011
Steamboat Springs — December has made real estate news with some high-dollar sales, including the $2.9 million sale of an original developer homestead at Marabou and the $1.9 million sale of a slope-side condominium at Edgemont. And that was just Wednesday.
However, in November, the real estate story in Routt County was defined by the sale of entry-level homes at attractive prices. Statistics researched by Bruce Carta, of Land Title Guarantee Co., revealed that of 48 residential transactions in November, 33 were at prices below $500,000. And of those 33, 20 were for less than $300,000. Eight homes sold for less than $200,000 — a price that was unheard of just three years ago.
"Homes are selling at a per-square-foot price that we haven't seen for many years, and people are responding," said Mitch Clementson, of Steamboat Real Estate Inc.
The Holy Grail in entry-level housing purchases may be one that sells for below replacement cost. The November sale of a 1,608-square-foot home on a nice lot in Hayden for $240,000 might qualify. The transaction worked out to $149 per square foot. But one of the best buys this early winter is the $460,000 sale of a four-bedroom, four-bathroom home in the Eagleswatch subdivision of Stagecoach, about 20 miles south of Steamboat Springs. Built on a 0.8-acre lot in 2005, it totals 3,135 square feet, and the sale equates to about $147 per square foot.
Those kinds of sales are continuing into December. It's harder to hit the $150 target close to Steamboat, but the Tuesday sale of a 1,378-square-foot home in Steamboat II came close, at $220,000, or $160 per square foot.
A quick survey of the Steamboat Springs Multiple Listing Service shows there is no shortage of homes priced below $200 per square foot in Stagecoach. Adrienne Stroock, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, said the 2,608-square-foot home she has listed at 32404 Ute Trail is worthy of more attention than it's getting. The asking price is $289,000, $111 per square foot.
"It's on a beautiful wooded lot of almost an acre, and it's had a handful of showings this winter," Stroock said. "It has a main-floor master bedroom and vaulted ceilings."
The house, with a two-car garage, solid wood interior doors, a large kitchen, four bedrooms and two baths, is headed for a short sale, which means it would be much less complicated to buy it sooner than later.
Clementson has a home listed for sale not far away in Stagecoach at 31135 Fallen Falcon, which qualifies as a good value in more ways than straight price per square foot.
The 1,576-square-foot two-bedroom home secluded in the trees on a 0.87-acre lot is difficult to see from the street. It's priced at $187 per square foot, but the real value can be found in the fact that it was built as the personal home of longtime Routt County custom home builder Ken Kruse.
It has hardwood floors and a bright artist's studio with built-in cabinetry that could be converted to a third bedroom, Clementson said.
The livability of the home is extended with a 7-foot-tall storage area beneath the living area. But it might make an ideal summer retreat for someone from the Front Range, Clementson added.
Realtor Joan Hart, of Steamboat Village Brokers, has two affordable homes listed for sale in western Routt County that are ideal for buyers who are intent on living in the country, including one that is set up for horse enthusiasts.
In the case of the four-bedroom home at Canyon Valley Ranch and another on McGuire Lane north of Hayden, a substantial portion of the value is the equivalent of 35-acre and 37-acre lots.
The McGuire Lane home, off Routt County Road 76, the Cog Road, has a pole barn with four horse stalls and a hay shed that make it one of the most affordable horse properties in Routt County at $345,000, or $168 per square foot.
The property includes a freestanding hot tub for the humans and a spring-fed pond with plenty of water for the horses.
The manufactured home has a wood stove and vaulted ceilings.
The home in Canyon Valley Ranch is just west of Milner and closer to Steamboat. The home has a detached garage with room for a mechanic shop. With a 3,000-square-foot open floor plan, it's priced at $359,000, roughly the price one might have paid for any 35-acre parcel in a rural subdivision here in 2006 — and that is without the home.