Until last season, Tamarack resort wasjust another name in a long string of development proposals for a site 97 miles north of Boise, Idaho. But now, where once there was nothing, there's an on-hill layout that offers long, looping cruisers and more than 2,800 feet of vertical. Tamarack will open for lift-served skiing this year and plans to add a village, a golf course and a large residential community over the next 10 years. Moreover, nearby Brundage Mountain Resort is on an expansion kick of its own, making a two-mountain ski fling a viable proposition. In recent months, $80 million in real estate has changed hands at Tamarack. Around Valley County, which has slumbered since the decline of the timber industry, the mantra these days among real estate agents is: "Let the bidding begin." Prices are escalating, but you can still snag a piece of land for less than $100,000 or a new cabin for less than $300,000. Here's the rundown.
Tamarack Resort The first two phases of development consisted of 171 properties, including .5- to 1.5-acre lots on the golf course and 62 twin-level cottages and chalets, ranging from 1,200 square feet with two bedrooms and two baths to 2,400 square feet with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. New designs with slopeside locations will be sold in a third release in early 2005. Prices so far: $300,000 to $850,000. A refundable deposit is required for a reservation, and when your turn comes you can accept or reject the available choices.
McCall With new restaurants and shops, the area's largest town has $120,000 fixer-uppers and 20- to 30-year-old homes for $120,000 to $200,000. Payette Lake offers homes from $1 million to $11 million. Hot projects include Jug Mountain Ranch, with a golf course and .3- to .5-acre homesites seven miles south of McCall ($125,000 to $450,000), and Aspen Ridge, near downtown with .3- to 1-acre-plus lots, some overlooking the lake, selling for $60,000 to $300,000.
Cascade In this former mill town, 23 miles from Tamarack and about five minutes from Lake Cascade, a four-bedroom, two-bath house starts at $164,000, but most deals close in the $250,000 to $350,000 range. New subdivisions have been proposed, but for now check out Eagle Nest, three miles east, where 2- to 27-acre lots run $78,000 to $150,000.
Donnelly With a few hundred residents, this tiny town-the closest to Tamarack-has plenty of vacant land, as well as new subdivisions in the wings. One, called Boulder Creek Meadows, is nine miles from the resort and offers lots from $70,000 to $110,000.
Population (Valley County) 7,651
Median home price (2004) $146,250 in the county, $165,000 in McCall. At Tamarack, which is not on the MLS, average 2004 sale price was around $624,000.
Annual taxes on median-priced home In the county, about $940 per $100,000 of assessed value, and in McCall, about $1,100 per $100,000
Number of properties sold in 2003 758
Number sold in 2004 (through Sept. 15) 864, two-thirds of them lots
Current Listings 595
Access Boise International Airport and a private airport in McCall
Information Tamarack Resort, 208-325-1000, tamarackidaho.com; McCall Real Estate Company, 208-634-4751, 2ndhomes.com; Premier McCall Real Estate, 208-630-4700, premiermccallrealestate.com;Cascade Lake Realty, 800-266-4921, cascadelakerealty.com
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