August 17, 2022


Design meets need

Housing Helps assistance aids Breckenridge business owner with buying a home, planting roots in community

6 min read


Sarah Olson and Andy Waugh stand outside the house of their new home on the morning of Friday, July 15, 2022. The Olsons purchased their household with the aid of Summit County governing administration method Housing Aids, which incentivizes locals to acquire houses with an included deed restriction paid out for by the county up to 15% of the property’s market place price.
Tripp Fay/For the Summit Daily News

Sarah Olson has lived in the county for 8 decades. For many of individuals many years, in her mind, there was by no means a probability that she could ever acquire a property in Summit County. 

This spring, she was tested erroneous. Now, bins scatter the Dillon Valley rental she acquired with her spouse, Andy Waugh, in May possibly.

“Should we just depart?”

Olson and Waugh moved absent from Wisconsin in 2014 with hopes of a greater lifestyle in the Colorado mountains. When they obtained right here, having said that, their living predicament was so negative, Olson claimed, that she and Waugh would have a dialogue, on a weekly basis, about whether or not or not they really should go away the county. 

For 6.5 years, they lived in a two-bed room condominium in Dillon Valley that Olson stated experienced “not been really cared for” in what seemed like two a long time. 

“We ended up the third sublease in our condominium, so every little thing was just form of seemed more than,” she explained. “Every time a different particular person would move in, nothing at all got repaired. We had boiler concerns each and every week, it felt like we had no h2o. 1 winter, we didn’t have hot drinking water for virtually 45 days.” 

Their carpet was virtually 20 years outdated and their walls had turned yellow from the previous owners’ several years of cigarette smoke. Olson claimed they regularly bleached their partitions to hold the yellow stains from seeping by way of the paint. 

“It was exhausting,” she claimed. “Every time we received an possibility, we were being like, ‘Should we just go away? Need to we just go?’ — because we were just so discouraged and so tired of not receiving better for the amount of money of income that we were being paying.” 

Then, the COVID-19 pandemic strike. For the duration of that time, Olson gathered money, organized and opened a small business — Piper Gretchen Nails in Breckenridge — in just 6 months. 

“That, truthfully, is one of the good reasons that stored us below. If my small business hadn’t taken off, we may well not have stayed,” Olson claimed.

Housing Will help

That is when they commenced a discussion with realtor Sara Gambino, a broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Genuine Estate, about wanting for a dwelling. Only a handful of months later on, in the fall of 2021, Olson explained she got a connect with from Gambino about a housing program termed Housing Assists. 

Housing Will help is a Breckenridge and Summit County govt software for area potential buyers who perform 30 hours a week in Summit County. The county introduced the software in 2019 to develop extra housing stock for the neighborhood workforce. 

Here’s how it is effective: A purchaser places in an software to Housing Allows, and once they are accepted they start off a housing look for. Summit County Housing Director Jason Dietz explained any community who qualifies can use if they are looking to buy a house.

When a buyer’s offer is accepted, the county presents up to 15% of the home’s industry value back to the operator to use at their own discretion as an incentive to include a deed restriction to their property. 

“We’re not obtaining the home, per se. (The county) is just buying the deed limits that limits the use of that house to need it to be occupied by a member of the local workforce, not be short-expression rented,” explained Dietz.

He additional that Housing Aids is a wonderful prospect for individuals who make as well a great deal dollars to qualify for a deed-limited neighborhood but not enough cash to obtain a single of Summit County’s million-greenback properties. Deed-restricted neighborhoods can also be very aggressive.

“I’ve seen it be helpful for people today, for locals. I have witnessed it, you know, be the variance between them having a property and not getting a residence,” claimed Gambino. 

Olson and Waugh had been Gambino’s second clients to try Housing Can help, and for them, the software was productive. 

The two experienced a assembly with a loan company in Oct 2021 and have been “given homework” to prepare for the obtain. Throughout the wintertime, Olson reported they worked to improve their credit score scores and spend off debt.

By the time April arrived close to, they were prepared to invest in. 

A “really sleek process”

On April 26, the lender explained to them to phone Gambino for a housing lookup.

Not expecting significantly, Olson achieved out ideal prior to she and Waugh had been about to go away for getaway.

“While we were being gone, a device turned accessible. It was pretty much like there was no discussion,” she explained. “As shortly as we obtained back again into condition, we went and noticed it and wrote an offer ideal away.” 

They did not get their 1st offer, but it did not choose substantially longer for the couple to uncover good results. 

Just two times later, Olson and Waugh applied to a distinctive condo, 1 Olson said they liked even better. That night, their present was approved. 

From the time they commenced their search on April 26, it took only nine days for them to be below agreement. By Could 5 it was formal. They closed and had been handed the keys to their new dwelling on June 2 and are continue to unpacking containers. 

“I really do not think I have completely wrapped my head all-around it nonetheless,” Olson claimed. “I don’t know if my husband’s entirely wrapped his head about it still. It’s so ridiculous. We in no way thought we would individual house or a dwelling in Summit County. It just seems so unattainable.” 

Olson and Waugh did have to place a mortgage on their condo, but Olson reported it has saved them dollars, up to $350 per month.

Their new property was $416,000, and they set their 15% from Housing Will help toward the down payment. The money went straight from the county to the title business.

“It was a seriously clean method,” Olson reported. 

At their past apartment, Olson and Waugh compensated $2,000 a month. If they experienced resigned the lease on July 9, the lease would have absent up to $2,250 since of a current rework at the elaborate. 

Olson stated the intricate experienced carried out a kitchen area and a tub remodel. Even though the remodel was pleasant, she stated, it didn’t take care of a lot of the difficulties they experienced while dwelling there.

A residence of their very own

Their present-day residence is a newly remodeled a single-bedroom, one-toilet condominium in Dillon Valley, and Olson additional that only a several repairs had been needed when they moved in.

“You could have walked in the door and put down roots instantly,” she reported. Her favorite element is the west-facing patio that faces the Tenmile and Gore ranges. 

Right after 8 many years of living in the county, Olson claimed she’s eventually in a position to rest. 

“It’s been truly, seriously awesome to be capable to move in in this article and know that this is our home,” Olson explained. “We’re being, and no one can tell us that we have to go away.”


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