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Horse property ready for year-round living

Tamera Manzanares

— Down-home living with privacy, access to the Elk River, plenty of elbow room and just 15 minutes to downtown Steamboat: It’s all wrapped up in Chris and Tracy Alexander’s home, which is for sale and sits on 35 acres above Mad Creek and the Elk River.

The 35-acre property is a tempting package for any buyer, but in an area dominated by second homes with mostly absentee owners, Chris Alexander hopes the future residents of his property will enjoy its comforts and beauty year-round.

“I guess I’ll be disappointed if the people that buy it just use it as a vacation home,” he said.

The Alexanders purchased their 4,188-square-foot home off Routt County Road 44 in the Elk River Ranches subdivision in 1997 — about two years after it was built.

In addition to finishing the basement, which is about 1,500 square feet and includes a family room and full bathroom, Chris Alexander transformed more than 25 acres of sagebrush into fenced hay meadows and horse pastures for the couple’s three horses.

He would like to see the meadows continue to flow with hay and mature native grasses, but that will require annual maintenance, mostly spraying herbicide to keep out invasive weeds, he said.

In addition to cutting out sagebrush and weeds, Chris Alexander cleared the meadows of hundreds of rocks, which he used to build a 400-foot-long rock wall and other landscaping features around the home.

He has done most of the work during his short stints in Steamboat, where he has based his industrial construction company for 13 years. With most of Chris Alexander’s clients out of state, the Alexanders are relocating to California so he can spend less time traveling and more time with his wife.

The decision has put Chris Alexander’s plans to build a barn on hold. A pad has been cleared and surveyed, and infrastructure has been put in place for the large metal building, the pieces of which are on the property and ready to be constructed.

Chris Alexander also has the permit for the structure, which he planned to equip with a bathroom, shower and heated shop or office. He doesn’t want to pursue the project, however, because he doesn’t know whether it will suit the future owners.

“What I wanted out of it and what they want out of it may be completely different,” he said.

At $1.295 million, the property’s listed price does not include the metal barn, however, Chris Alexander said he would negotiate the extra cost if the new owners are interested in building the structure.

His plans included the possibility of heating the home with a coal stoker in the barn — a process made possible via an underground utility tunnel between the home and barn area.

These ideas, which the new owners can run with, are part of the reason Chris Alexander considers his home and property more down-to-earth than luxurious.

Listing Realtor Crystal Fisher, a broker with Anchor Realty, LTD, emphasized the openness of the four-bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom home, which has pine floors on the main level, as well as custom, knotty pine cabinets in the kitchen.

It has a good floor plan for families, with the master suite — complete with walk-in closet and jetted tub — on the main floor and additional bedrooms on the upper floor, which could serve as an exclusive children’s area, she said.

The home also offers views of the surrounding valley from 1,000 square feet of wrap-around decks.

At the end of a subdivision, the home is very private, Chris Alexander said, noting the nearest neighbors in Mad Creek Village aren’t visible from the property.

A well with good-tasting water also graces the property. It dips 250 feet to a small aquifer that may be supplied by the nearby Elk River, Chris Alexander said.

“We’re lucky enough to have one of the best water sources in the area,” he said, adding that residents in nearby subdivisions regularly need water delivered to their homes.

Included in the property is about a quarter-mile of Elk River frontage. The Alexanders’ parcel is adjacent to Routt National Forest and provides options for horseback riding, Chris Alexander said.

Listed for about three months, the property is a good deal compared to other properties with access to the Elk River, Fisher said.

Call Fisher at 879-9212.


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