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Gypsum: More affordable homes are here

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Gypsum, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyJohn Mason, left, and Jason Delano, right, help guide the first Stratton Flats home onto it's foundation in Gypsum, Colorado. The homes, which are made in a factory in Berthoud, are then trucked up and lifted onto their foundations.
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GYPSUM, Colorado ” Piece by Piece, the first home in the county’s newest workforce housing neighborhood, Stratton Flats, is coming together in Gypsum, Colorado.

And quite literally ” the modular homes are pre-made in a factory, then shipped by truck to Gypsum in several pieces, where the parts are put together. After siding, flooring and the roofing is installed ” Tah-dah! An affordable single-family home.

The first model homes at Stratton Flats are expected to be complete by mid-November, and Eagle residents Nick and Natalie Brummer are waiting for the finished product.



The newlywed couple, both teachers at Gypsum Creek Middle School, recently bought a three-bedroom home on a large lot at the development, and they’ll be able to show visiting family the homes in a few weeks.

When the homes are finished, potential buyers will be able to tour two of the project’s single-family homes, a four-bedroom, 2,100 square foot home, and a four-bedroom, 1,800 square foot home.



So far the project has sold eight homes and has reservations for 14 condos, meaning buyers have put down $1,000, and are first in line to buy the home when it is built.

“We moved here from Illinois in July, and we are getting ready to start a family soon,” Natalie Brummer said. “We didn’t want to be renting, so we started looking around at houses.”

However, everything the couple looked at was far too expensive, and usually quite old.



“It was discouraging,” Brummer said. “You open the paper and see things in the millions, and the cheapest is $500,000 or $600,000. We realized we were never going to be able to afford those things.”

However, after talking to a bank, the couple found that with Eagle County’s down-payment assistance program, they could afford a deed-restricted home at Stratton Flats.

The development is a partnership between the town of Gypsum, Meritage Development and Eagle County, which invested $4.5 million in the project. The finished product will be a mix of 339 deed-restricted and free market condos, townhomes and single-family homes.

A third of the homes will be under the county’s deed-restriction, which has appreciation caps and residential requirements, a third will be under the town of Gypsum’s, which do not have appreciation caps, but have residential and income requirements, and the rest will be free market.

Of the homes sold, five are Eagle County deed-restricted, one is town of Gypsum deed-restricted, and one is free market.

Critics of the project have said the county’s investment is too risky if the project fails, but county officials say the idea is invest in housing for local, working residents like the Brummers.

“Our goal was to buy a house,” Brummer said. “We would probably have to move if we couldn’t find anything. I’m not sure we would be satisfied renting for the next 20 years.”

Turmoil in the economy has hurt sales a bit, sales manager Andy Forstl admitted, but he said he’s not worried.

“It’s slow, but we’re making progress,” he said. “We sold these (eight homes) without any houses out of the ground. We’re in pretty good shape.”

“It’s a little hard selling a vision. It’s just dirt,” he said. “But we’re here for the long run.”

Buyers can have a home for $3,000 down payment for the deed-restricted homes,

and $5,000 for the free market homes. Down-payment assistance from the county, and loans from the Federal Housing Administration are available.

“People who have good credit and have a good income are still getting loans. People who are well-qualified are going through just fine,” Forstl said.

Because many people have been interested in the condos, the most affordable of all the development’s options, Forstl said those will be among the first to be built.

“We moved those up, and we’ll be able to deliver those a lot quicker. We plan on breaking ground on those in the spring,” he said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.


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