Home Ownership Housing / Millers Inn

Millers Inn sign
Need for the Project
Winter Park is a resort community with market housing driven by the second homeowner. The average single-family market rate homes in the area are approaching $500,000 while the price for bare land lots at approximately $150,000. The community has recognized that without a strategy to address affordable housing, they would not be able to maintain a labor base that can live and work in Winter Park.

Project Description
Millers Inn is an original lodge in Winter Park that was used for short term and later long term rental housing. Millers Inn is a quaint 1.2 acre mountain community unto itself straddling Vasquez Creek in downtown Winter Park. The project consists of eight residential cabins and a six-unit apartment building.

The Millers Inn project offered a very rare opportunity that enabled the existing tenants to purchase the units that they occupied at an affordable price and become homeowners. To accomplish this, the Grand County Housing Authority teamed with a motivated seller that would provide owner financing until the units were sold. To accomplish this mission the Housing Authority had to go through the condominium conversion process.

It was also critical that the owners be able to qualify for loans that were marketable to the secondary market. We were able to secure approval from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Fannie Mae. In order to ensure that the units would remain affordable, the final piece was to deed restrict the units. All homeowners must meet income limits for the program as well as work in Grand County. The sale prices for the units ranged from $40,000 to $120,000.

Cost / Financing
Millers Inn was purchased from the owners for $814,000 and the units were sold to the existing tenants for $915,000. The sale prices paid off the owner-financed mortgage and also provided funds to pay for the new boilers, paving, legal, and surveying expenses associated with the condominium conversion process. The sale prices also enabled us to capitalize a reserve fund for the homeowner's association.

Results of the Project
The project was purchased in late December 2002 and all units closed by February 2003. Since the project was acquired we have seen turn over in the units that permit the original buyers to move up in the market and enable other citizens, the opportunity for home ownership in a premier resort setting.