Slopeside worker condo sits empty | ParkRecord.com

Slopeside worker condo sits empty

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Silver Star developers are selling one of their condominiums set aside as work force housing at the slopeside project, a result of the person who originally won the right to buy the unit being unable to obtain a mortgage.

The one-bedroom condominium is priced at $173,000, well below the market rate in the upscale Silver Star development. The unit, which has not been lived in, is in a building of 10 work force housing condominiums close to Park City Mountain Resort’s Silver Star lift. The unit is available to people who qualify through their income, and there are restrictions attached to the deed that prohibit an owner from later selling it at an inflated price. The person who purchases the unit must live there.

It is on the third floor and has 620 square feet. An advertisement indicates it features granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

The opening comes less than a year after the developers, in what was celebrated as a landmark day for Park City’s work force housing efforts, held a drawing to select purchasers for most of the work force condominiums. The person who was unable to obtain a mortgage was one of those selected in the drawing.

The people who won the right to purchase a unit held a variety of jobs, including a nanny and a person who designs ski and snowboard wares. At the time, Rory Murphy, the lead Silver Star developer, called them "some of our most solid citizens."

Murphy said his side helped the person try to find a mortgage broker for eight months, but the efforts were not successful. He said approximately four of the brokers turned him down.

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"The timing could not have been worse for this type of buyer," Murphy said, not discussing details about the person’s financial situation but adding, "The lending dried up, particularly for this type of buyer."

The person was seeking a mortgage as the national housing and mortgage markets went into disarray in 2008, with lenders closely scrutinizing applications. The buyer was to pay $173,000.

The people selected to buy the other nine work force housing units secured mortgages and closed on the purchases, according to Murphy.

"It doesn’t at all reflect a trend, a major trend," he said.

Rhoda Stauffer, who coordinates Silver Star’s work force housing program, said four people who were in the original field for a condominium but were not selected in the drawing were given a chance to buy the unit. They either could not find a lender or they had made other living arrangements, Stauffer said.

"It’s just a really tough mortgage market," Staufffer said, adding that she is "very disappointed" the person could not close.

The Silver Star developers have long been proud of their work force housing program, saying that the ski-in, ski-out location of the units is unique in Park City. The developers have won statewide honors for the housing.

Stauffer said she has shown the available condominium to between 15 and 20 people over the past two weeks. She described four of them as being "very live" potential buyers. Stauffer said she does not expect a crush of interested people since the housing market and economy are down.

Interested?

People interested in purchasing the work force unit at Silver Star must qualify.

The key qualifications are:

The person must work in Park City or surrounding Summit County

They must earn less than $78,419 annually, a figure that is based on a federal housing equation that heavily relies on an area’s median income.

The person must keep the unit as their primary residence. Restrictions on the Silver Star work force housing units cap the appreciation at 3 percent annually.

For more information, to tour the unit or to receive an application, contact Stauffer. Her phone number is 659-1668. Her e-mail address is rhoda.j.stauffer@comcast.net .