Monday, December 17, 2007

Condos Below $300,000 Going Fast

Steamboat condominium and townhome sales in the sub-$300,000 range may be an endangered species. The entry-level price range in the Steamboat market has been very active late this fall, but current listings suggest the supply is dwindling. In early 2007 you could purchase a small condo for $200,000, and now it’s $250,000 or more.

The next round of entry-level sales may see prices rise but some speculate that buyers have a grace period until some of the more high-end condominiums at Trailhead Lodge and One Steamboat Place are complete and occupied. Entry-level condominium prices may not jump this fast for much longer, until Steamboat sees the new projects finished and people move in.

Research by Bruce Carta at Land Title Guarantee Co. shows that in October alone, 18 finished residential units in Routt County sold for prices less than $300,000. The units ranged from $210,000 for a home in Phippsburg to $280,000 for a condominium at the Pine project.
Doug Labor at Buyers Resource Real Estate searched the multiple listing service for condominiums listed for prices below $250,000 and found nine as of Nov. 1. Labor said that year to date, as of Nov. 1, 78 condominiums had sold in that price range. Those homes include eight small condominiums at The Rockies, just down Mount Werner Road from the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

Stafford said he sold a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo at The Rockies to an acquaintance for $203,000 early this year. It had been listed at $205,000.
Stafford said he told his buyer that if he were willing to put some money into remodeling and rent it out, within a few years it would have a chance to appreciate.
It’s important for people investing in low-end condos to understand, Stafford said, that if they hope to get top dollar, they must be willing to invest in improving finishes such as countertops, appliances and cabinetry to make a favorable impression on buyers and remain contemporary.
“You still have to wow the consumer,” Stafford said.

Parts of this article have been modified from its original version.
— To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205
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