Stratton Flats has promise |

Stratton Flats has promise

Vail Daily Editorial Board

Few could have predicted that the county’s next major affordable housing project would come online just as a nationwide credit crunch is making home ownership seem even more difficult than it was before. But Stratton Flats, a new development with a mix of deed-restricted and free-market condos, townhomes and single-family homes, will have its first homes finished before the end of the year. And the forces behind the project seem to doing their best to keep home ownership in reach for as many local workers as possible.

The price for the units are right. Deed-restricted condos ” the most affordable option ” start under $200,000. Even the free-market homes are priced more attractively than most, with single-family homes starting around $400,000.

Of course, even prices like that are steep when a prospective homebuyer must come up with 20-percent downpayment.

Thankfully, the project ” a collaboration between Eagle County, the Town of Gypsum, and the Meritage Development Group ” offers Eagle County’s assistance programs as well as Federal Housing Administration loan programs.

A representative for the project said buyers could be eligible to purchase a home with as little as 3 percent down.

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We’re eager to see how local residents respond to the mix of choices. One-third are free-market homes, a third are deed-restricted under Gypsum terms, which do not cap appreciation on the home, and the last third are bound by Eagle County’s deed restrictions, which do have appreciation caps.

This setup represents a compromise between the three partners, but it could provide the kind of choice we need to see more often in local affordable housing. At long last, home buyers have a little more choice when considering buying an affordable home.

We’re optimistic that Stratton Flats will meet the needs of many local workers who have long been priced out of the real estate market. Because recession or not, Eagle County still needs more affordable housing.

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