Movin’ to Miller Ranch
When her name was called by the developers of the 282-affordable housing project at the Berry Creek 5th, Woodworth, of Edwards, came forward and put a pink sticker on a site plan with the single-family home she and her husband had chosen.
Scott Bridges, 29 of East Vail, came next and put a green sticker on the house next door to Woolworth’s.
“This was my first choice,” said Woodworth, 33, who, with Bridges, was among the first 60 applicants – 19 from Vail – who were selected to choose their future homes.
This was the first of six lotteries, with 10 applicants each selected for the first release of 66 homes at Wells Fargo Bank in Avon. The applicants were selected based on their qualifications.
“We established a priority list according to the years somebody has lived and worked in Eagle County,” said Ed Mallett, a transaction broker with ASW Realty Partners, developers of the project.
The top 10 qualified applicants chose their homes Thursday. The other 50 applicants will do the same in five groups of 10, beginning today and continuing through Tuesday.
“We’re looking for the community life,” said Judy Regrut, who, with her husband, Mike, and their 18-month old twins, will move to one of the project’s first nine single-family homes in Miller Ranch – part of the first phase.
“Now, we live in a condo in Vail that is too small,” Regrut said, as her toddlers waddle across the room holding their bottles. “Vail doesn’t have a community and we like the idea of parents and children playing in their backyards.”
County commissioners also have agreed to advance money to build a community center and a day-care facility at the project.
New homes at Miller Ranch are for sale to Eagle County residents who live and work in Eagle County, including Vail. ASW Realty Partners received 75 applications by the deadline, which was extended to January 25.
Jean McGuey, a resident of Avon who works for the Vail Recreation District, was the top qualifier. McGuey, who has lived more than 14 years in the Vail Valley, picked a $121,000 “mill loft.”
“I thought I had a chance, but I was surprised when I had the most points,” she said.
Joe Peplinsky came to choose a mill loft for his son, Joey, 26, a third-grade teacher at Red Sandstone Elementary School. Peplinsky has lived in the valley since 1975, and his son was born and raised in the Vail Valley.
“When we heard about the project, we told Joey to come and live with us and apply for one of the condos. He is living at home with us right now so he can save rent,” Peplinski said.
One of the advantages of buying a home in Miller Ranch is that buyers can purchase a home with just a 3-percent down payment, Peplinski said.
“I think Joey’s mortgage will be about $750 a month, less than rent,” Peplinski said.
There are four types of homes offered for sale in Miller Ranch: mill loft condominiums; “rowhouse” townhomes, duplexes and single-family, detached homes. Prices range from the $120,000s to the $260,000s.
“We can do it, but it’s going to be a struggle,” said Woodworth, who will pay $260,000 for a 1,400 square-foot home in the project. “We own a home at Brett Ranch, but we have a child and it’s now too small for all of us.”
After choosing their homes, Woodworth and the other qualified buyers paid a $1,000 reserve deposit, signed a reservation agreement and scheduled an appointment to write a purchase and sale agreement. The remaining of the 3 percent earnest money deposit will be due at that time.
“We wanted to accommodate more people, so we expanded our first phase from 38 units to 60,” Mallett said.
Construction of the first 60 homes will start on March 3 and will be ready between August and November, Mallett said.
All three of the county’s commissioners, Arn Menconi, Michael Gallagher and Tom Stone, were in attendance Thursday to congratulate the first round of future Miller Ranch residents.
“This has been a long homecoming,” said Stone. “After years working in this project, we’re achieving success with the first homeowners selecting their residences.”
Gallagher said the new owners “are homesteaders in an affordable mountain community.”
And Menconi said this is the most meaningful thing he’s worked on as an elected official.
“Creating community,” he said.
Applications for Miller Ranch
Eagle County and the developers of Miller Ranch are accepting applications for the next release of homes, expected to begin within the next 30 to 45 days. To view the pricing and floorplans, log on to the Miller Ranch Web site at http://www.millerranchhome.com. Applications also may be downloaded. Buyers wishing to speak with a sales manager or drop off applications can call Ed Mallett at 926-8578.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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