Prices soaring in Silver Spur
Once working class neighborhood bumping against $1 million barrier
December 31, 2006
Steamboat Springs — The days when families here could aspire to building a modest home in Silver Spur Estates appear to be long gone. Just do the math.
Realtor Ulrich Salzgeber of Buyers Resource Real Estate of Steamboat said this week the price of lots in the subdivision appears destined to remain north of $200,000. That adds up to finished homes that cost more than $600,000.
“A lot closed in Silver Spur on July 4 for $275,000 after 45 days on the market,” Salzgeber said. The asking price had been $295,000.
Currently, one lot of about 0.4 acres is listed for $269,500. A third lot sold in April for $191,500. Those sellers were patient. They waited 189 days to get their full price.
A buyer who purchased a lot in Silver Spur next year for $275,000 could expect to pay $250 per square foot to build a home. Start with 2,000 square feet and the total package quickly adds up to $775,000.
Silver View is situated on 110 acres off Routt County Road 42, just west of the Steamboat city limits. Developer W.C. White sold the first lot for $65,000 in the late 1990s. Routt County’s original approval for the subdivision stipulated that some of the lots be reserved for homes beneath a size threshold to ensure that at least some of the new homes would be “affordable” for people in the local work force. Subsequently, a number of small modular homes appeared in the neighborhood.
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However, all 129 of the original lots had sold by December 2004, and with the scarcity of land within the city limits, prices have moved up steadily.
Realtor Joy Rasmussen of Colorado Group Realty has developed a specialty in Silver Spur. She believes Steamboat may not see anything quite like the subdivision again. That’s because the cost of land precludes a developer from accomplishing what White did, with 36 acres of open space, an athletics field and three miles of trails. “If we approved another subdivision like it in west of Steamboat, the density the developer would need would make Silver Spur look even more desirable,” Rasmussen said. “It will be hard to create more environments like that. The trails system at Silver Spur is so valuable.”
Rasmussen is aware of a small modular home currently offered in Silver Spur in the $500,000 range. As recently as 2002, similar homes were selling for $250,000 to $300,000, she said.
Construction costs have dictated that new homes in Silver Spur target families in a different socio-economic group, she added. She estimates fewer than 12 lots remain undeveloped in the subdivision.
Realtor Tim Aigner, also with Colorado Group, is confident going forward, new product in Silver Spur will be targeting the high end of the market. He is representing a home under construction that has yet to be listed on the MLS. He expects the asking price to be between $800,000 and $850,000.
“It’s a great neighborhood and with land prices in Steamboat, anything coming out of the ground out there will be that high as well, he said.
The home will offer three-plus bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a three-car garage. Finishes include granite, hardwood and slate. At 3,200 square feet, it would be priced in the range of $250 to $270 per square foot. The lot borders open space and a trail.
Rasmussen has a new home listed at a lower price per square foot. The four-bedroom home at 27355 Winchester Court measures 4,500 square feet with a partially finished basement and is listed at $795,000.
Rasmussen said the difference in price between the two homes could be attributed to the simple fact that the lot where her listing sits was purchased years ago at a much lower price.
The home’s finishes include slate granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and bamboo flooring with a master suite on the main level.
Rasmussen came to Steamboat from Florida 2 1/2 years ago to make a transition from a career in the cruise ship marketing industry. She and her husband purchased a home in Silver Spur and it came naturally to develop a real estate specialty in her own neighborhood, where she was meeting people and making contacts.
Lots at that time were still selling for $75,000 to $85,000.
“It’s interesting what people were thinking about Silver Spur, she said.
She recalls introducing new listings at meetings of the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service and receiving skeptical looks. Real estate professionals who had been here for many years were still wondering if a subdivision west of the city limits would be successful, she said. “Here I was, brand new to town. I saw it through different eyes,” she said. “Some of my clients saw it as a dreamland,” with large lots, big views and recreational facilities.”
With prices in Silver Spur nudging $800,000 this winter, its fair to wonder how long it will be before the neighborhood that once targeted working families will see a $1 million home sale.