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Letters: Young people priced out

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Housing for young people

If anyone thinks that there are good deals out there for the next generation of homesteaders without needing 15 roommates to make the dream of home ownership a reality, you’ve fallen out of your money tree.

So a West End studio unit would be $258,000 for 600 square feet in downtown Edwards, where you can walk to work and to shops. What’s the competition in Edwards? Half-duplex units in Homestead, built in 1985 for $250 a square foot being offered at $700,000 or one-bedroom rental units that were finished illegally in the basement of a house for $1,000-plus per month? To us (previously known a few years ago to you baby boomers as kids), is it not a matter of calculating a per-footage price. No sir. It’s anticipating what the current interest rates are, and how much my mortgage will be. That’s what’s meant by affordable ” how much can I pay to live in the valley.



We’re here trying to make a living in the Vail Valley. We’re starting from scratch. We get paid next to nothing. The high price of gas is just another burden. Miller Ranch is wonderful, special and unique to this valley ” and also has one hell of waiting list. There are only so many Miller Ranch units to go around. And you still need a car to go buy a gallon of milk because the Miller Ranch housing is too far from the community center.

For the critics out there, remember: the land for Miller Ranch was once owned by the county and the Town of Vail. By default, of course the price per square foot is going to be lower because the municipalities are not out to make a big profit on the product. So unless citizens of the world decide to sell the county or towns cheap land, or a magical developer wants to come here and build homes for no profit at all, “normal,” profit-loving developers will be the only ones left to fill in the holes left by the wave of previous developers who didn’t have to do anything to offset the impacts to the community and got away like bank robbers.



I envy the people who paid next to nothing for their homes that are now worth quadruple what they paid ” good for you, profiteers! Isn’t wonderful that you have the security to know that someone will buy your 1980 home for an insane amount, shag carpeting and all? For those of us who missed the cheap housing boat, though, it’s never going to happen for us. Deed restrictions don’t scare us, but living with our parents until we’re 40 or being homeless sure does.

What I see when reading commentary in the paper about new housing is not based in reality. If not building up, then where in the world will new housing units go in the core of Edwards? News flash: there’s no land left unless the 72 acres called the Eagle River Preserve reverts back to pre-conservation easement status. I can’t help feel that the existing residents of Edwards have placed the next generation worker bees in a class all their own; that workers, and those earning a median income are less equal, and do not deserve to share the same roads. You can’t keep pushing the less wealthy away because you were there first.

So Edwards: incorporate already. It’s the only way you’ll be able to shut the doors to more development, and keep the riff raff ” I mean the next generation of home buyers out.



One question for Bobby Warner, before I close: you’ve been developing and building homes for many years here in the valley. How many affordable homes did you build in Edwards? And when I mean affordable, I’m not referring to those who gross at least six figures and who can afford to live in Homestead in one of your most recently built homes offered at $900,000.

Eugenia Smith


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