Housing just isn’t a walk in the Park
Park County has long been a haven for Summit County residents in search of the American dream – home ownership. Early morning traffic on Highway 9 between Breckenridge and Fairplay is a testament to the migration.According to stories in Tuesday’s Summit Daily News, homebuilders in Park plan to accelerate the out-migration with a slew of new opportunities. For Fairplay, the county seat located 27 miles from Frisco, the news is good in terms of getting basic commercial amenities, such as a grocery store. That’s big.For Summit County, the news means more people will be on the road, creating congestion, while spending less time with their families. That’s the downside to the commute, even if it means a the dream house with a white picket fence.It also helps illustrate what many local leaders already know, Summit County needs more affordable single-family and townhouse-style housing. Housing was a recent topic before the Summit Leadership Forum. Political and resort leaders acknowledged the resorts are meeting the need of the transient, seasonal worker.The hole in the market is affordable housing for the year-round mainstays of the workforce.Hope is on the horizon. The town of Frisco is planning this type of housing for land it owns across from Frisco Elementary School.This is not to say people who want to own instead of rent can’t get in the market through free-market, un-deed-restricted housing. In fact, now is the best time, thanks to stabilized prices and unbelievable mortgage rates.People willing to start in condominiums can find deals aplenty, as Daily News real estate columnist Charlotte Clarke points out every week in our Summit Homes & Properties pullout.Even new construction is addressing the locals market. Developer Tom Hallin’s Sun Gate Condominiums, to be built soon on Frisco’s West Main Street, are offering locals attractive prices and financing on one- and two-bedroom units.The Summit Housing Authority provides free homebuyers classes to help people understand the process. It also offers generous terms on downpayment assistance. Downpayments are often the obstacle to ownership.While Summit County needs to catch up on affordable, middle-class-type housing, locals can get a head start in the real estate game by taking advantage of pricing and financing on what’s already out there.Times have rarely been better for locals to buy a piece of Summit County. And, you’ll love it at income tax time.Opinions published in this space are formulated by members of the Summit Daily News editorial board: Michael Bennett, Jim Pokrandt, Abigail Eagye, Rachel Toth, Reid Williams, Aidan Leonard, Shauna Farnell and Martha Lunsky.
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