Million-dollar properties in Steamboat draw attention |

Million-dollar properties in Steamboat draw attention

Giles Howard, of Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, was the listing broker for the sale of this $2 million home on Pebble Run this year. Kelly Becker, of Colorado Group Realty, brought the buyer to the sale. Million dollar-plus homes have accounted for virtually half of the residential dollar volume in Routt County in 2011.

— It has already been a long, hot summer in Texas. Perhaps the weather is a contributing factor in the news that eight of the 45 buyers of million-dollar-plus properties in Routt County through May this year are from the Lone Star State.

The eight buyers from Texas represent the greatest number from any state outside Colorado. Steamboat Springs produced six buyers of million-dollar homes, likely existing homeowners moving up. The Front Range accounted for five, and Craig produced a luxury-home buyer, too.

Tied with the Front Range is the greater New York City area, when you toss in Connecticut and New Jersey.

The 45 sales included 37 residential sales, 25 of them single-family homes, according to statistics compiled by Land Title Guarantee Co. The rest were either vacant agricultural land or, in one case, an entire development.

Since the end of May, another eight million-dollar homes have sold through July 13, including a $2.38 million closing on McKinnis Trail and a $2.37 million sale on Deer Clover Lane.

Stan Urban, of Land Title pointed out that there also was the $2.6 million sale of Sleepy Bear Mobile Home Park in June, as well as the $2.9 million sale of the Comfort Inn hotel.

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A second analysis by Land Title showed that the 42 million-dollar home sales in Routt County through the end of June represented $72 million in sales, or virtually half of the market's $155.7 million in home sales through the first two quarters of 2011.

Vicki Jackson, of the Steamboat Previews Team at Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, said her office targets high-end buyers by marketing to Realtors in other states known to work with high net worth clients.

"We're prospecting for Realtors more than buyers," Jackson said.

The other members of the Previews Team at the Steamboat Coldwell Banker office are Giles Howard and Jackson's husband, Mike Shuttleworth.

Coldwell Banker acquired a boutique high-end brokerage with the intent of learning more about that market, Jackson said, and the resulting research showed that high-end second-home buyers tend to already have a long-term relationship with a broker located near their permanent home. It's a relationship on par with the relationships they've formed with other professionals such as tax accountants, investment advisers and even physicians. Jackson said building a relationship with Realtors who already have a long working relationship with luxury-home buyers is a more effective way to make a match with million-dollar homes in Routt County.

Coldwell Banker's research suggests that the affluent buyers who walk through the door at a real estate storefront looking for an agent to show them property won't be as numerous as they once were. It's particularly in this market where buyers seeking a seven-figure home are looking for a deal just as much as buyers at lower price points.

Realtors Tom and Marci Valicenti, of High Mountain Sotheby's International Realty, and Adrienne Stroock, of Prudential Steamboat Realty, were recently on either side of the $1.1 million sale of a single-family home on Creel Lane in the pocket neighborhood of Angler's Retreat on Fish Creek.

The buyers are from, you guessed it, Texas. However, they have owned property in Steamboat for quite a few years, selling broker Marci Valicenti said, and that helped them achieve their goal of moving up from a townhome into the single-family home.

"Our buyers had owned a townhome on Bear Creek Drive (south of the ski base) since the '90s," Valicenti said. "The townhome went under contract within two days of putting it back on the market because it was priced right."

They were drawn to the ease of maintenance and landscaping in Angler's, where the homeowners association covers those chores.

Stroock, the listing agent on the Angler's Retreat sale, said she thinks that no matter where the buyers of high-end homes live full time, they are looking at Steamboat property because of the wide selection and motivated sellers who understand current market conditions.

Stroock, who worked on a recent sale that involved buyers living in Germany, said international buyers may be the next trend to keep an eye on.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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