Elk River Estates in Routt County continues hot streak of sales

This home on 3.3 acres in Elk River Estates, four miles from the west side of Stemboat Springs via Elk River Road, sold for $106 per square foot this week, making it a notable value purchase.

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— The Routt County real estate market has produced some noteworthy values in 2011, but perhaps nothing to match this week’s sale of a family home in Elk River Estates.

The 3,814- square-foot home was sold for $405,000 out of foreclosure by Wells Fargo Bank. That’s $106 per square foot for a home on 3.3 acres.

The home was built in 1998 and sold for $865,000 in 2007.

The lot sold for $33,000 in 1993 and then again for $40,000 in 1994. Both of those numbers would have sounded unrealistically low as recently as 2005. During the middle of the past decade, it would not have been unreasonable to think the lot alone would have sold for $405,000. Ulrich Salzgeber, of Buyer’s Resource Real Estate, agreed.

Research by Stan Urban, of Land Title Guarantee Co., shows there were 11 home sales in August within the $300,000-to-$500,000 range. The year-to-date total for that price range as of the end of August was 64 sales, or 18 percent of dwelling sales.

Bump up the price to a range of $500,000 to $700,000, and there had been just 43 homes sold through the first eight months of 2011.

Realtor Scott Wither, of Colorado Group Realty, said traffic at his agency suggests a substantial number of prospective buyers appear to think the real estate values still will get better.

Wither said he surveyed his colleagues and found that his office did 150 showings in July and another 150 in August.

“I asked them, ‘Where are these people coming from?’ And the typical answer was, ‘I’ve been working with these people for a year.’”

Salzgeber confirmed that Elk River Estates (on Routt County Road 129 north of Steamboat Springs Airport) has been on a hot streak and that finding the right property can take a year or even longer.

He represented the buyers in the $454,000 sale of a home in Elk River Estates on Sept. 9 — after four years of looking.

“They were bound and determined to be downtown,” Salzgeber said. “They had no intention at all in looking anywhere (in the lower Elk River Valley). He wanted to be in biking range” of work and shopping.

However, Salzgeber had toured the former home of longtime Steamboat residents Jim and Leslie Ryan and had a strong feeling it was right for his clients, despite their strong feelings about location.

“They were in the home for 10 minutes, and he said, ‘This is it,’” Salzgeber said.

They paid more on a per-square-foot basis than the buyers of the foreclosed home, but the gross prices weren’t far apart. To begin with, it sits on a larger 4.95-acre lot.

The 2,528-square-foot, three-bedroom house worked out to $179 per square foot, still well below replacement cost.

Although it was built in 1981, it had undergone a recent refurbishing that brought finish levels up to the standards of the second decade of the 21st century.

The wife is a location-neutral worker who got the large office she needed, and the home includes a large family room.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com

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