The Steamboat Real Estate Menu

There are many different ways a buyer can now purchase Steamboat area property, and it is important to know the options and differences before jumping in. Today in Steamboat there’s likely to be an ownership program to fit your desire and budget. Residential property in Steamboat Springs, as well as property in most resort areas, can be constructed in three basic designs:  1) A single family home, where the structure is a stand-alone building; 2) A townhome or duplex, where the building you own is attached to the ground with the neighboring townhome attached by a ‘party wall’ on one, two or even three sides of the structure (think of a deck of cards standing on end and each card is a townhome); 3) A condominium, where the legal ownership and use is contained within the walls of the condominium (airspace) and other condominiums could be surrounding you on all but one side of your property.

Not only are there variables by which a Steamboat property is built, but also how it is owned.  Steamboat ownership falls into three basic categories: 1) Whole ownership, in which one person/couple/entity owns the property; 2) Fractional ownership / private residence club, with four to 17 owners of one property and 3) Timesharing, in which as many as 51 owners share an individual unit.
Whole ownership–with greater rental income, tax advantages and flexibility of use–is the most popular. Whole ownership is granted by fee simple deed, giving the owner the right to use, rent, bequeath, sell or trade their property as they desire. Whole ownership is available in single family homes, townhomes and condominiums.

With the relatively constant rise in the cost of real estate in Steamboat Springs, timesharing and fractional ownership options are becoming more popular. These ownership options are available in both condominium and townhome properties; however some single family homes also offer fractional ownership. Most offer exchange capabilities to other resort areas (i.e. RCI, Interval International, The Registry Collection, Wyndham Resorts).

With high-pressure sales tactics being replaced by improved services, flexibility and better designed accommodations, a timeshare purchase in Steamboat can be an affordable alternative…a way to ‘test drive’ owning a Steamboat home before jumping in with both feet. A timeshare purchase should not be considered an investment as much as a way to pre-pay for future vacations. The purchaser should also have the expectation that the original purchase price may not be fully reclaimed when it’s time to sell. Buyers of developer owned timeshares should expect to pay top-dollar for this product, but many are available (usually at a discount) in the resale market. Your exclusive buyer broker can search the Multiple Listing Service to find the timeshare that fits your needs.


Fractional ownership evolved from the niche that whole ownership and timesharing failed to fill. For those desiring more frequent annual use than a one-week timeshare, but without the financial burden of whole ownership, quarter, eighth and even seventeenth shares can provide a happy medium. Fractional ownership interests include a variety of weeks each year. There are several fractional properties in Steamboat, and each property determines its ownership use. Also, keep in mind that some Steamboat fractional properties do not permit renting unused time. Buyers need to be aware of the differences and discuss the options with their Exclusive Buyer’s Broker (EBA) to determine which one will work best for them. 


If you are buying a property to rent, make sure you find out if the property is in a rental pool or individual rental management program. A rental pool is where all of the available rental units in the complex for that night ‘pool’ the income the project receives for that night and split it with the owners who made their property available to rent. An individual rental management program will provide you with the income your particular property generates.

Like looking over a dinner menu at a fine restaurant, there are many tantalizing options to consider when looking at Steamboat real estate. You need to know how your appetite will best be served, and talking to your Buyer’s Resource EBA will help you in making a selection that meets your satisfaction.

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