Amid fractional frenzy, some buyers opt not to share | AspenTimes.com
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Amid fractional frenzy, some buyers opt not to share

Janet Urquhart

In the heat of Aspens fractional-ownership frenzy, a couple of new projects touting old-fashioned ownership the kind in which the buyer isnt sharing the home, or its price tag, with anyone else are attracting attention.The first 11 free-market condos at Monarch on the Park part of the Limelite Lodge redevelopment went on the market Saturday. By Wednesday, five of them had been reserved, according to local broker Rich Wagar of Rich Wagar Associates. In all, the project will include 14 condos across Monarch Street from Wagner Park.Of the 13 single-family homes currently being offered across town at Fox Crossing, seven have been reserved, said Raifie Bass, broker/owner at Aspen Land & Homes Sothebys International Realty.Prospective buyers are depositing $100,000 apiece for a piece of Monarch on the Park, a project that will offer an assortment of condos ranging in price from about $3.5 million to $7.5 million and in size from two-bedroom, two-bath units to a four-bed, four-and-a-half-bath condo.While the purchase of fractional and timeshare units are dominating area real estate market at the moment 27 out of 38 sales recorded last week in Pitkin County fell into that category the opportunity to buy a wholly-owned, brand new residence in downtown Aspen is relatively rare, Wagar noted.You look at the market right now as far as we know, these are the only 100 percent ownership units downtown right now, he said.Wagar doesnt expect them to linger on the market.The sophisticated buyer knows the biggest buying season is in the summer, he said. If they want to come back during the summer, all the good stuff is going to be gone.Developer Greg Hills had three downtown single-family residences available at the Conner Lofts project on Hopkins Avenue, but one of them will be his familys home and the other two Lofts lots were sold without ever formally putting them on the market. One went for about $2.25 million and the other fetched a little more than $2 million, he said. The buyers will build the planned residences, which Hills shepherded through the approval process, themselves.Fox Crossing, outside the downtown core, will include 18 single-family homes on Aspens east side, in an area bounded by Lone Pine Road, Walnut and Race streets. Thirteen of them went on the market for reservation last fall, but interest heated up early this year when work began at the site, according to Bass.We really started getting a lot of activity when we started moving a lot of dirt, he said.Prospective buyers seven so far are putting up $25,000 that becomes part of a deposit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price to reserve a home. A house priced at $5 million, for example, will ultimately require $500,000 to reserve, Bass said. Two deals have been cemented and Bass expects two more shortly.The smallest home at Fox Crossing will be about 3,600 square feet and four bedrooms, priced at $3.9 million. The largest, at 6,900 square feet and probably six bedrooms, is priced at $9.2 million, he said.Buyers recognize a wholly-owned house in Aspen as an investment that is likely to appreciate in value, or at least remain stable in the event of a significant national economic downturn, according to Bass.I think a lot of second-home owners started looking at their properties as a stable investment asset, not just a vacation home, he said.Janet Urquharts e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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