Just one lottery winner has opted out of new Chamonix townhomes in Vail
By the numbers
$399,000: Least expensive Chamonix townhome.
$739,000: Most expensive unit.
$88,400: Area median income for a three-person household in Eagle County.
$141,000: Annual income required for a mortgage on the most expensive units — 160 percent of area median income.
VAIL — Last week’s lottery for the new Chamonix townhomes apparently drew more than lucky names. The drawing also found serious buyers.
The 32 people chosen in last week’s lottery to buy one of the new Chamonix townhomes had until 5 p.m. Wednesday to turn in completed reservation agreements — including a nonrefundable check for $1,000. Only one family didn’t meet that deadline.
Vail Community Development Department Director George Ruther said that family actually notified him of their decision a couple of days before the deadline.
The family that withdrew picked one of five two-bedroom units with a two-car garage, priced at $499,000. Lottery hopefuls had identified those homes as one of the most popular of the five unit types available.
With a unit available, town officials will contact the first person on the waiting list who specified that configuration. If that person declines, then the opportunity goes to the next person on the list. But, Ruther said, he doesn’t expect to go very far down the list to find a buyer.
The paperwork and checks required by Wednesday were the first financial step required for potential buyers. Sales contracts will be completed in the next 45 to 60 days, Ruther said.
Vail Town Council member Jen Mason has lived on nearby Cortina Lane since 1999 and drives past the townhome construction site every day on her way to work.
Mason said she was nervous at first about whether buyers would be found for the four most expensive townhomes — priced at $739,000. But, she said, by the time the lottery was held, potential buyers had already done a good bit of work to qualify. That work included demonstrating the financial ability to buy a home and completing a home-buyer education course.
With the work needed to qualify for the lottery, Mason said she was surprised that even one potential buyer dropped out.
At least one other buyer has some pre-purchase jitters.
Mason works for the Vail Valley Foundation, and her office is at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater. Mason said one of her co-workers was picked in last week’s lottery. Talking to Mason for this story, the co-worker — who didn’t want to talk on the phone or give his name — told Mason he and his family are nervous, both about the price of the home and the limited future appreciation of about 1.5 percent per year.
But that buyer is still in the pool. And this pool of buyers seems to be rapidly coming together as a neighborhood.
During last week’s lottery, those whose names were drawn exchanged plenty of high-fives and hugs, and a number of people exclaimed, “We’re going to be neighbors!”
Mason said that budding camaraderie lingered in the hours after last week’s lottery.
“I saw about three cars parked on (Chamonix Lane) above the site,” she said. “People had maps out and were pointing to where they were going to live.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, firstname.lastname@example.org or @scottnmiller.