What Brokers (and others) Should Know About Gray’s Crossing

In 2004, when Gray’s Crossing was launched at the height of real estate hysteria, it provided a fantastic opportunity for local real estate agents to introduce a new opportunity to their clients in an otherwise supply-constrained market. A few visionary agents were able to introduce their clients – homeowners, builders or investors – into what appeared to be a tremendous opportunity.

In fact, the heat in these opening launches was so significant that agents and consumers alike were tapping shoulders at the Selection Event, offering cash consideration for the right to move up in the process.

The story of what came next is well chronicled on both a local and national level as easily-obtained financing gave way to distress sales that compounded when new construction all but ceased for a number of years, extinguishing demand for vacant land.

As Gray’s Crossing is re-launched under new ownership in 2013, a new kind of opportunity exists for agents to set a stake in the ground in a resurgent community. Under “normalized” conditions, Gray’s Crossing slots into a comfortable niche between Tahoe Donner and Lahontan. With just 377 homesites, Gray’s Crossing offers less density than either with easier access to town and major resorts and an open, genuine feel.

So what’s different this time around?

First and foremost: value. Despite representing some of the finest properties in Gray’s Crossing, the 81-homesite portfolio now available is up to 75% below peak value. Beyond the ease of purchase, this will help avoid the perils of the past whereby homeowners were squeezed out by speculators seeking an easy margin for flipping instead of those looking for a comfortable place to lay down roots.

Furthermore, terrific financing is available through our partners at U.S. Bank. Yet this package is far from the 95% LTV, stated-income product prevalent in early releases that created that mountain of bad debt.

And with an understanding that many consumers are more interested in purchasing a finished product than going through the process of designing and building a custom home, the modest entry pricing will create an economic opportunity for local builders to make an investment in Gray’s Crossing in the near term.

The second element of change: amenity access. The Golf Club at Gray’s Crossing includes a wonderful collection of quality facilities including a Peter Jacobsen – Jim Hardy golf course, PJ’s Bar & Grill, and the Swim and Fitness Center. Upon launch, access to these facilities was limited to those having purchased membership beyond the cost of real estate. In recent years, both the Golf Course and PJ’s Grill have opened their doors to the public to rave reviews. As of April, 2013, owners in good standing within the Gray’s Crossing Homeowner’s Association will have access to the Swim and Fitness Center at no additional cost. In fact, the dues increase upon making this arrangement was only $8 per month, from $73 to $81.

In addition to the obvious benefits of having this access, it further increases the desirability of Gray’s Crossing for homeowners more than speculators. As such, the final differentiating factor is risk. With 100% of all infrastructures complete for both the real estate and golf club, there is no uncertainty about this community’s completion that needs to be factored into real values.

What remains the same? The beautiful setting, proximity and amenities that embody ”Life Wide Open.”

As we return to the long-anticipated market conditions where a lack of supply is the greatest obstacle to an agent’s success, Gray’s Crossing will be re-introduced to the market with a fresh look and perspective at exactly right moment. For those in the real estate community who are forward-thinking enough to share this opportunity with their clients, there will be many happy returns.

By guest author, Jeff Brown of Tahoe Mountain Resorts Real Estate

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