To be familiar with the Steamboat housing market is to be aware of how low the inventory is for single family homes – especially affordable single-family homes. But Steamboat’s newest neighborhood, aptly named Sunlight, has made things a little brighter for home buyers looking for new construction at a reasonable price as construction prices in Steamboat continue to climb higher.
With 92 total residential lots, it has been the answer for many Steamboat families who have been searching and waiting for a house that meets their needs, wants and budget. And even for some who weren’t searching at all, such as Nic and Laura Polaski, who weren’t planning to build their dream home for another 5-10 years. After hearing about Sunlight from their realtor, they decided to take a look.
It’s easy to understand why, with panoramic views of Mount Werner, Emerald Mountain, Sleeping Giant, Howelsen Hill and Copper Ridge plus two miles of sidewalk, a leash free dog park, and community green space with a playground. Location is another unique and appealing aspect of Sunlight. Less than a mile from the library, it sits upon a hilltop just west of downtown.
Charis Petty and her family were one of the first to move into Sunlight. “It’s been fun to watch it grow. It’s one of those rare new neighborhoods in Steamboat, where you are not moving into an established neighborhood with families that have been there for 15 years. We are all new coming into it so we are sort of creating our own neighborhood which has been fun. Everyone is really eager to meet and get to know each other.”
One downside to living in a new neighborhood is the amount of construction taking place, but for Charis and her family, it’s a non-issue. “You’re aware of it but it doesn’t really bother us. It actually brings some level of excitement because with each new house it means new neighbors moving in.”
Views and amenities are not the only things that make Sunlight attractive.
The homes themselves are a complementary mix of mountain-contemporary, craftsman, modern and western style builds. The covenants allow for either traditional stick built or prefab modular homes.
Smartpads, a local boutique prefab company, has completed four homes in Sunlight with one more currently being built. Ryan Cox, co-founder of Smartpads, explained the benefits of a pre-built home. “We offer a streamlined approach to building. Prefab homes are efficient in both cost and time. Homes are built off site in Vernal, Utah and then delivered and completed onsite, with the average completion time being four months.”
Whether it be a prefab or traditional stick frame, once building is complete there is no denying the allure of a newly built home. “It’s amazing”, said Charis, whose home was built by JSM Builders. “The finishes are high quality and everything feels bright, shiny and new.” JSM is one of the primary builders for the Sunlight neighborhood. Known for their ability to deliver high-end homes while maintaining savvy economics, JSM homes are a perfect fit for Sunlight. Buyers can expect beautiful homes with clean lines, lots of natural light and quality finishes.
In addition to the variety of building choices there are also many options when it comes to the lots available in Sunlight. Lot sizes range from approximately one-tenth of an acre to almost a full acre. Currently there are about 35 homes completed and more than two-thirds of the lots have been purchased. Todd Pederson, one of Sunlight’s developers, is optimistic about the progress. “Our goal is to have all phase one and two lots sold within the next two years, but everything has been selling faster than we originally anticipated, so maybe sooner. Construction has also occurred faster than original estimates.”
Embracing Steamboat’s mountain charm and small town feel, Sunlight is proving to be a popular and much needed addition to the list of Steamboat’s micro-communities such as Old Town, Whistler, Fairview and Brooklyn. As more people decide to make Steamboat home, many locals hope to see more of these well-reasoned developments to help alleviate the housing inventory shortage and take some pressure off high housing costs.