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Market Insights: It’s an outstanding time to buy local housing

Daniel Webster Johnson
Special to the Daily
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If you live in Summit County, you have probably heard the term “deed restricted property” and all the efforts that have been done and are being done so that we have enough “affordable housing”. Right up front, I want you to know I am, and have been, a very strong supporter of these initiatives.

There was a bumper sticker on cars a decade or two ago that sums up the whole county which read “Breckenridge – Real Town, Unreal Skiing”.

One of our most valuable assets is that our whole county is “a real town” because so many locals live in the County very close to their jobs. This fact makes Summit very special and unique among major USA ski resorts. Drive over Vail Pass into Eagle County and you will hear people say over and over again, “Yea, all the locals live down valley.” The heart and soul of the community – “the workers” – don’t live in Vail. They live “down valley” and they have a long commute to work. Here in Summit, thanks to the efforts of our Towns, the County government, The Summit Combined Housing Authority and others, many locals here ride a bike to work.

Last week’s column could have been just a few dozen words. This week, I have the opposite issue. How do I cover such an important topic in such a short space? So I will provide you with just examples of affordable housing, which will give you a very good feel for this narrow segment of our real estate market.

Kenington Place Townhomes on Huron Road in Breckenridge, which were completed in the late 90s, are designed for locals, yet these properties do not have a ” deed restriction” on record with the Summit County Recorder. The association documents define that residents must live in the property for a minimum of six months. This rule takes what could be a complex filled with vacation renters who don’t talk to each other, and turns it into a neighborhood of locals who get to know each other. The photo with the tulips on the table is of 269 Huron Road, a two-bedroom, two-bath townhome with 1,184 sq. ft. in Kenington on the market for $329,000.

And just up the road from Kenington is the award-winning Wellington Neighborhood where about 80 percent of the homes have a 23-page (email me for a copy) deed restriction recorded with the Summit County Recorder that defines the rules that make the property affordable housing. This is a subdivision filled with owner-occupied homes designed to be a ‘know your neighbors’ area. The Town of Breckenridge Manager, Tim Gagen, lives there, and like every single person I know in the area, he and his wife love it. The yellow home shown is a duplex. One side is for sale at $254,000 with two bedrooms, one and one-half baths and 1,036 sq. ft.

These two examples give you a very good comparison. The simple conclusion: The more detailed the restriction, the lower the price.

Market insight for the week: This insight is important to know, yet often overlooked: When you are buying property with a lengthy deed restriction, your appreciation is limited; however, your depreciation is not.

Daniel Webster Johnson is a broker associate at Resort Brokers Real Estate in Breckenridge. He can be reached at (970) 393-3300 and/or Daniel@YourMountainBroker.com.


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