In resort communities such as Summit County, affordable housing can be difficult to come by. (Affordable housing, as defined by national standards, is housing – whether paid by rent or mortgage – that takes no more than 30% of a household’s gross monthly income.)
The average single home price in our area is out of reach for many people who work in the community itself and many of the properties that might otherwise be available are instead bought as second homes and/or stay in the short-term rental market.
In areas where there are no affordable housing initiatives in place, the result is an area where local workforce has a hard time living – whether renting or buying. And when locals are unable to live in the community where they work, it can have a significant impact on the community itself. It becomes more difficult to fill jobs, to provide the highest quality experience for visitors, to retain families and to preserve the genuine “community” feel of a town.
To limit this impact, local organizations and developers have worked together to create more affordable housing units for the workforce of Summit County. One of the ways they do this is through deed restrictions and deed restricted neighborhoods.
What is a deed restriction?
Deed restrictions are stipulations written into a property’s deed that outline conditions, covenants, and/or restrictions for the property. They are private agreements, listed in the deed itself, that restrict the use of real estate in some specific way (or ways).
In Summit County, the deed restrictions designed to further the goals of affordable housing and workforce housing can vary from one development to another. They may include any of the following, all of the following, or a combination of the following:
* The deed restricted property must be the owner’s primary residence.
* At least one member of the household must be employed in Summit County for 30 or more hours per week (year round.)
* The total household income must be at or below a certain percentage of the Area Median Income (AMI). This household income counts each person over the age of 18 who lives in the home. Here are area median income charts for Summit County.
These deed restricted properties often have limitations on the dollar amount of capital improvements that can be added to the sales price, and they often have appreciation caps, as well. These limits will vary from subdivision to subdivision, but, when you go to sell your home, if there are caps in place, you won’t be able to sell it for more than your deed restriction allows. This is, of course, how the deed restriction keeps prices within reach of locals.
In the Wellington Neighborhood Phase I Deed Restriction, for example, the rise in resale value of the homes is restricted to 3% a year, or to the percent increase in the Area Median Income (whichever is greater). In the Wellington Phase I, there are no income limitations for owners, though, generally speaking, buyers must occupy the home as a primary residence.
In Frisco’s Ophir Mountain Village subdivision, on the other hand, the appreciation is capped at 3% a year or the percent increase in the figure that represents 80% of the Area Median Income for a family of four (whichever is less). To qualify for home ownership in Ophir Mountain Village, buyers must occupy the home as a primary residence and, at the time of purchase, have a combined annual household income not exceeding 80% of the median household income for Summit County, as determined by HUD.
As this example demonstrates, each of the deed restricted and affordable housing subdivisions in Summit County have different restrictions and eligibility requirements, so it’s vitally important to read the deed restriction closely before making any decisions.
I can help you understand the difference among each of the deed restricted communities in Summit County to help make sure you qualify and that it suits your long term financial goals. Contact me anytime to discuss this further.
Summit County’s Affordable Housing and Deed Restrictions – The Options
There are deed restricted and affordable housing communities throughout Summit County. The Breckenridge and Blue River area has 6 such neighborhoods, Frisco and Copper Mountain have 9, and Silverthorne/Dillon/Summit Cove/Keystone area has 4 (see below). There are also deed restricted properties dispersed throughout the area individually. In Breckenridge, for example, there are more than 116 additional deed restricted units throughout town – beyond those in the subdivisions that are traditionally thought of as “deed restricted.” Again, when we start working together, I will help you determine each of the options available to you.
The Summit Combined Housing Authority is a great resource, as well. At its website: www.summithousing.us, you can read the full text of each subdivision’s deed restriction. You can also learn more about educational opportunities for homebuyers, as well as loans for down payment assistance that you may qualify for.
A few more things to remember when shopping for deed restricted housing:
* Many deed restricted and affordable housing units are exempt from real estate transfer taxes.
* Deed restricted and affordable housing units tend to go very quickly, sometimes going under contract before they are even listed. If you qualify for a deed restricted property, make sure you let me know so I can let you know as soon as I hear of anything that might be coming up. At the very least, you’ll want to be sure you are signed up for automatic updates to be notified as soon as these properties go on the market. Contact me to get the process started.
It’s a good idea to start your application with the Summit Combined Housing Authority (SCHA). In order to submit an offer on an income-capped property, you must be approved to purchase at the required AMI level. This approval process can take between two and four weeks after SCHA receives your application. The SCHA may also be able to notify you about new properties.
I personally live in the Wellington neighborhood, for example, and I know how quickly these homes can go, so I try to be among the first to know about new potential listings here. I currently know of a very nice 3 bedroom/2 bath duplex on a large corner lot that is scheduled to be available in early spring 2017 as well as a 3 bedroom/2.5 bath single family home with a fenced yard on a large corner lot that should be available by early summer. Contact me to learn more or to be the first to be notified about new listings in the Wellington.)
Summit County’s Affordable Housing/Deed Restricted Neighborhoods
Note, the communities that appear in the list below may also feature units or properties that are offered at market value, without the deed restriction in place. In other words, not all the units in the following neighborhoods are deed restricted. Again, you’ll want to examine each property individually for the deed restriction that may apply. (I can help.)
Breckenridge Deed Restricted Housing includes properties in:
- Gibson Heights. A little over a mile east of Breckenridge Main Street.
- Valley Brook. Located off Airport Road, near Upper Blue Elementary.
- The Wellington Neighborhood. In French Gulch, about 1.5 miles east of Main Street) Phase 1 of a new housing development called Lincoln Park is currently underway, as well, adjacent to the Wellington Neighborhood.
- Vic’s Landing. Located at Highway 9 and Tiger Road, near the Breckenridge Golf Course.
- Farmer’s Grove. Between Breckenridge and Frisco, near Summit High School.
- Monarch Townhomes. On Boreas Pass.
Frisco Deed Restricted & Affordable Housing for Sale includes properties in:
- Bear’s Den. In central Frisco.
- Boulevard Bend. Just off Summit Blvd. on 8th Street.
- Drake Landing. Near Lake Dillon and the Summit County Rec Path.
- Ophir Mountain Village. Near the County Commons.
- Peak One Neighborhood. Located off Belford street in Frisco. The same developer as The Wellington Neighborhood.
- South End Village Near Frisco Elementary.
- Towers at Lakepoint. A highrise complex near the lake.
- Water Tower Place. Off Highway 9.
Silverthorne Deed Restricted/Affordable Housing for Sale includes properties in:
- Hidden River Lodge. Near the base of Keystone, with hot tubs facing the Snake River and ski slopes.
- Retreat on the Blue. One-to two-bedroom homes with hot tubs and detached one car garages.
- Soda Creek. In beautiful Summit Cove
- Solarado. Located on the hillside between Silverthorne and Dillon.
Deed Restricted Homes in Summit County
The following homes have some sort of deed restriction in place. You may also want to Browse Homes and Condos in Summit County for $400,000 or less, or, to browse affordable areas that are not generally deed restricted, see Peak 7 Homes for Sale, the Woodmoor subdivision, or Baldy Mountain Townhomes.