Vail Daily column: Starter homes are available |

Vail Daily column: Starter homes are available

Kent Petersmeyer
Valley Voices

We all know the biggest influence on the Vail Valley real estate market is the turnover of very expensive homes, condos and town homes — they are being traded by affluent vacation homebuyers with the help of our Realtor community. According to Vail multiple listing service database, in 2015, about 70 percent of Eagle County’s total real estate dollar volume was attributed to Vail, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch, Arrowhead and Cordillera.

That begs this question: How many residential properties suitable for first-time homebuyers are flowing through our resale market? And are the numbers meaningful in relation to a the 50 or so residences which may be constructed at the Chamonix workforce housing site in West Vail?

Let’s define “starter home” as having these characteristics: One, the residence offers at least two bedrooms and 800 square feet or more of living space; two, it is priced between $275,000 and $425,000; and, three, monthly homeowners’ association fees are $300 or less.

For the 14-month period ending Feb. 29, a total of 383 sales closed escrow within the $275,000 to $425,000 price range across the county; 190 of those sales (50 percent) met my definition of starter home. If we assume history will repeat itself going forward, almost 500 starter home properties will flow onto the market over the next three years; the majority will be resales, but new construction is now boosting the supply.

Approximately two-thirds of starter homes are associated with downvalley locations. Examples include the Brush Creek Village town homes and single-family homes in many Gypsum locations such as Buckhorn Valley.

How can young professionals and other aspiring homebuyers position themselves to make the switch from being renters to becoming property owners? It all starts with a one-on-one consultation with an experienced home loan officer or mortgage broker. Get up-to-speed on the Federal Housing Administration loan program requiring a 3.5 percent down payment.

Let’s hope your credit score, your employment situation, your income and other factors empower you to secure your written loan commitment. You can then work with an experienced real estate broker to find and acquire the property that’s best for you.

Kent Petersmeyer is the managing broker for The Cascade Team Colorado based in Edwards. He can be reached at 970-456-8203 and

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