Buyers poised to pounce on attainable single-family homes |

Buyers poised to pounce on attainable single-family homes

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— When Realtor Coleman Cook listed a single-family home in the Tamarack neighborhood off Fish Creek Falls Road for sale this week, the response was immediate.

"It hit the MLS Thursday, and there were five showings that day and another three or four (Friday) and one offer on the table," Cook said.

That tells him other Realtors continuously are monitoring new listing announcements to alert clients who are waiting for a new property to come up in their price range. That eagerness also is putting a little upward pressure on pricing.

"I think in certain segments of our market, specifically in the lower end, we are seeing small appreciation gains," Cook said.

The home, on Locust Court, is not in tip-top shape, so what made it so attractive? The four-bedroom home happens to be in one of Steamboat's most attractive neighborhoods for working families, and the list price is $379,900. It's a price point that is difficult to touch inside the city limits this summer. In fact, there are just two others that fit that description on the Steamboat Springs multiple listing service right now, and bumping the price to $450,000 only adds two more homes to the list. At a maximum price of $475,000, there are eight single-family homes available in the city limits.

Cook's colleague at Colorado Group, Nick Metzler, said he thinks the Steamboat market at home prices under $600,000 has reached a tipping point where prices tend to stabilize and even begin to move upward. But Metzler left any predictions about whether the trend would continue to someone with a crystal ball.

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"Inventory for single-family homes is down 40 percent since 2010," Metzler said. "This would be even more pronounced in single-family homes in Steamboat under $600K."

The scarcity of listings also is being reflected in prices paid on a per-square-foot basis. A number of homes in higher price ranges have been selling below replacement cost through 2012 and early 2013, especially when land costs are factored in. But that isn't always the case at the entry level.

A home in River Place on Dougherty Drive at the city's southern edge (on the way to Rabbit Ears Pass) sold this week for $389,000. It's in a desirable location near dedicated open space. But the three-bedroom, two-bath, single-family house, at 1,200 square feet, sold for $324 per square foot.

Old Town Steamboat also saw a couple of single-family sales this week, including a home built on Pahwintah Street in 1950 that was remodeled in 2007. The three-bedroom, two-bath home sold for $475,000 compared with its 1992 selling price of $290,000. At 1,489 square feet, it sold for the equivalent of $319 per square foot.

A home on Pine Street sold for less than $268 per square foot but topped the $500,000 plateau in its gross sales price. At 1,972 square feet, it sold for $529,000.

A fourth attainable home sale closed this week on a house just outside the city's western boundaries in Heritage Park. Built in 1999, the 1,203-square-foot home sold for $345,000, or $286 per square foot.

Prospective homebuyers can review recent home sales at

Cook said his listing on Locust Court offers some upside because it has 780 square feet of unfinished space on the lower level that could be converted to a family room, for example.

"The house is in fair condition. It's got a lot of potential. It needs deferred maintenance and elbow grease — things like loose cabinet doors," Cook said.

Built in 1992, it has appealing architectural lines, wood floors and a fenced backyard. It has four bedrooms and two baths. Total finished square footage is 1,571 for a price per square foot of about $241.

Cook has another closing pending west of the city limits in Steamboat II this week. The home boasts a newly remodeled master bath and kitchen. At 1,350 square feet, it will sell for "pretty close" to the asking price of $369,000, Cook said.

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