Pacaso, which sells shares of luxury single-family homes, debuts in Steamboat
The Pacaso model has been controversial in other resort towns
The way Pacaso Communications Manager Chrissy Bruchey sees it, the California-based real estate company’s foray into the Steamboat Springs housing market in late July is all about the positives.
A news release about the launch of the second-home, co-ownership platform in Steamboat called Pacaso “a technology-enabled marketplace that modernizes real estate co-ownership to make owning a second home possible and enjoyable for more people.”
“Pacaso is better for communities than the traditional second home,” Bruchey said. “Pacaso doesn’t compete with workforce housing. We actually help ease the pressure on middle-tier housing by consolidating buyer demand.”
The company’s aim is to combine up to eight buyers into one home instead of buyers purchasing up to eight second homes in the community. Bruchey notes that second homes through the Pacaso model may sit unused for less time than a second home owned by a single family or entity.
The most challenging part of the company’s home purchases in other Colorado communities since October 2021 in Aspen, Breckenridge, Telluride and Vail has been “making sure people understand the facts of our co-ownership business model,” Bruchey said.
The company specializes in fractional homeownership of a fully furnished and managed home, she said.
“We chose Steamboat because our buyers are interested in the co-ownership model and love Steamboat. It’s based on buyer demand,” she explained.
Pacaso is different from a timeshare because buyers purchase ownership shares in a single home, as opposed to timeshare buyers who purchase the right to use time in a unit in a resort complex, according to Bruchey.
The Pacaso model prohibits short-term rentals through “good neighbor” policies that also restricts noise, Bruchey said. Owners are allowed to share their home with their families but are prohibited from listing with services such as Airbnb, she said.
The fractional ownership currently for sale in Steamboat is a 4,064-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bath townhome built in 2019 on Angels View Way in the Barn Village neighborhood. Each of the eight shares is priced at $547,000, and each Pacaso fractional owner pays a $99 monthly fee per share for property management.
Ulrich Salzgeber, CEO of the Steamboat Springs Board of Realtors, said fractional ownership of single-family homes is not unheard of in Steamboat.
“Although not as formal, there are several properties in Steamboat that have been co-purchased by friends and/or relatives. I know of one townhome that was purchased by five or six different families that live in the same neighborhood in Loveland,” Salzgeber said.
“I assume that there will be more of this type of product coming into our marketplace,” Salzgeber said. “If it is allowed for properties like The Grand, I don’t see how this can be disallowed for single-family homes or even other condos.”
However, neighbors in communities in several states are concerned about the Pacaso model and created a neighbor-to-neighbor grassroots organization with petitions at StopPacasoNow.com. The website argues that, “Pacaso fancies itself a ‘disrupter,’ but the only thing it’s disrupting is local neighborhoods by turning established homes into virtual hotels — except without paying transient occupancy tax like other short-term lodging.”
Local realtor Beth Postemski said The Porches luxury townhomes in Steamboat also operate as fractional ownership but with different policies than Pacaso, noting that “fractional ownership can be very confusing.” The Porches is a neighborhood of duplex townhomes including a full-service concierge, group activity center and a year-round shuttle service.
Pacaso is currently eyeing another Steamboat home, a 4,375-square-foot house built in 2022 on River Queen Lane, that is on the company’s “prospect list” for possible purchase. The company believes the home “will be in demand based on its price, location, style and amenities,” Bruchey said.
“We look for homes that are luxury with contemporary finishes, high ceilings, large windows, amazing views, close to ski areas and has a chef kitchen,” she said.
In the company’s business model, buyers can purchase one-eighth or up to one-half of a home, and the average number of shareholders per home is six, Bruchey said.
Pacaso manages the home for the owners who contractually cannot sell their share until one year of ownership. Owners of one-eighth share can stay from two to 14 nights for up to 44 nights per year, and nights are booked via an app.
Pacaso started in San Francisco in October 2020 and now has properties in 40 communities with 300 employees, Bruchey said. Anyone with questions can contact the company at Neighbors@pacaso.com.
To reach Suzie Romig, call 970-871-4205 or email sromig@SteamboatPilot.com.
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