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Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone in here owns a place in a resort. E.g Breck or Whistler or maybe somewhere in France?

I'm wondering if it is a worthwhile investment and/or how quick you paid back the cost of the property.

I have always been of the mindset that there sooooo many resorts in the world. Why would you want to tie yourself down to one.

However, as I get older (now 40) I am thinking about investment and actually zeroing out my cost for this hobby.

If I look at the cheapest place and look at the rental numbers then potentially I could have the place paid off in 10years.

Seems decent...

Although... The state of the environment, global warming, poor snowfall, no rental interest, what if the resort operator went bankrupt etc etc.

...these are all things that make me wonder whether I should just stick to spending £2k or much less a year until my knees finally say no.

I met someone 15 years ago who had bought a French ski chalet. I'm sure by today they're probably mortgage free and able to enjoy it or use the rental income to go elsewhere.

Pipedream or feasible? Thoughts?
 

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Its all about location and timing. Not that I'm living at a resort...but 20yrs ago I bought a home in nearby small city to the ski area. Paid it off in 12 years and its worth about 4x what I paid. Idk about zeroing out the cost of the hobby....that's why its called a hobby, not a financial investment. However having said that...there are other hobbies that are much more costly than snowboarding....e.g., power boating, sailing, DH biking and ehmm dare say...marriage.

If ur single, debt free and have money to invest...you can always invest in other instruments and spend the profits/dividends on the hobby.

However have a friend that has for decades, had an apartment/condo at the base of Whistler in the village and because Whistler is a winter and summer outdoor mecca, I'd imagine he could rent/air bnb and do quite well...but he doesn't want the hassle.
 

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@wrathfuldeity fair point about zeroing out. I guess I really meant just taking out the larger chunk of the holiday which is accomodation. Gear will always be taste and desire drive so that will never stop!

I should be buying my first home really but the UK has a crazy housing market in the south. Interesting to hear about you friend in Whistler.

@MrDavey2Shoes I hear what your saying. Which is why some of the French resorts would be a good option. That said aren't people generally lazy and would stick to the mountain in front of them?


The only time I've visited different mountains was when I stayed in Breck and it was part of the lift pass. Other than that it's just joint mountains like Whistler.

From my own personal point of view I wouldn't want to drive or bus anywhere unless it was within 30mins. As a foreigner I'd like to stay within a village with amenities etc hence Whistler being high in my thoughts and somewhere like Lake Louise not (if I recall you have to get a bus or drive to get there).
 

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I've got a place in Whistler. We don't rent it out, partly because of the hassle, partly because we spend so much time there. I absolutely don't regret the purchase, even though it means we've got a mortgage again. Whistler's only a two hour highway drive from home, so it's something we can do easily.

Whistler in particular has Phase 1 and Phase 2 properties. There may be something similar in other jurisdictions. Phase 1 is exactly what you'd expect for a property--you own it, you can do what you want with it. Phase 2 is structured so that you can only personally use it a certain number of days per year (usually 28 days in summer, 28 days in winter) and must make it available for rent the rest of the time. The thing about Phase 2 properties is they're much cheaper, like 25% of the Phase 1 prices. If you're looking for an investment that you can use on your vacation, that's the way to go.
 

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L-Dog, things are weird here, a couple of things.
Housing prices are frick'n crazy. Thing is, the big downtown urban areas are underpressure...market is going down or flat...while more remote places...like small cities like 100-200k and in the country are poised to blow up because the wealthy big city urbanite are escaping to the "country"...ski resorts housing potential could do quite well...especially considering the telecomute/work from home thing. My new neighbor (last year), an IT work from home guy bought full price (house was on the market, less than 1 day,) basically sight un-seen, moved from Boulder CO. Anyway he thinks the local housing market might slow a tad but longer range feels the market value will double to triple again within 5-10 years...so that a very modest 2 bedroom house will be 1-1.5m range....frick'n absolutely nuts. Annnd in part that is why there is homelessness and an explosion of "van life." I see quite a few folks living in their 75k Benz sprinter with 20k worth of DH bikes cause they don't want to do or can't find a house to do a 500-600k mortgage.

The other thing...is geo-physical size factor. Ur in Britian....well the US/Canada is much larger with less population per area. Thus a 30 minute/mile drive to the ski hill is nothing. If you want to live/buy at the base of the lift then it will be tourista carnival kook time and you will pay more to buy/play/eat...and ya you can rent it out for more. However if you are planning to live and become a local, you might want to be a few minutes from the daily shitshow. And besides once you get yourself acquainted, you will learn the why too's and where not of how to get around and make it work.
 

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Any recommendations?
I ride the northeast, and therefore went with something in the Green Mountains. Close enough to get to every weekend/mid week with 5 mountains within 7-20 minutes of my front door. From there I'm about 1.5/2hrs to the bigger stuff further north. Basically, no matter what I can get to a mountain to ride from there. I am not on a resort. This property for me is a stepping stone to a full time move a few years from now.

Once Covid resolves itself, whenever that is, I will have no problem renting it over holiday weekends. However I wont do this until post Covid, I cant risk people coming into my space infecting it. Additionally I don't want to be part of the problem that mountain towns will experience with outbreaks from out of towners. I'm immuno compromised and take extreme precautions, I myself am not a threat to isolated places.
 

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I can see that buying a place at the base of a resort...and renting it out during Dec and January, making bank. And then riding the rest of the season...especially if its a long season that starts in mid oct and goes in to June/july for BC turns. And then doing the DH bike spring, summer and fall circus.
 

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Have you looked at the prices in Breck for anything that isn't deed restricted? My condo is worth 800k and I'll be honest it needs a full over haul and it's considered one of the "better" ones. The cheapest option in Breck is going to be 300k which will get you a hamster cage in a crowded building that is surrounded with long time locals, second home owners that bitch and moan, and the occasional derelict.

That 300k 2 room studio can be rented sure, but town/county ordinances make it so you have to have a property manager that can respond in an hour or less if short term renting. It is also in a location that if you get more than 4 noise violations the HOA can revoke your membership and force you out, hard process but has happened to a few properties here. Now if you go long term you're going to be at the mercy of your property manager and this means less use of the unit for you.

On average a condo in Breck that won't suck will run you about 500k, then you have your HOA payment on top of the mortgage, that's going to run you on average 300 bucks more sometimes as high as 580. Add to that a 20 to 30% property manager fee if the property doesn't offer rental management services (the norm).

Now the cheapest Town Home in Breck is going to be 586k, you still have an HOA on top of that. This is in a modular prefab built structure that was laid in the mid to late 80's. These were built wrong and the foundation sunk and shifted. As such the fix was to spray insulation foam in the exposed cracks and fill them in. The heating bill on these units is astronomical in the winter sometimes running as high as 500 dollars as they're all electric. Yes there's a fireplace but the design of the unit coupled with people not understanding air flow really doesn't do shit. I have a friend that used to Airbnb his. He was pulling about 50k a year from it, but the noise, parking, and other complaints/violations almost cost him the unit. He now long term rents it again and while he makes substantially less he's barely covering the expenses on the building and just banking on the current market of people paying double to triple the value to dump it.

Now here's an unseen or talked about point. You'd figure global pandemic, shut down caused our county to lose 400 million dollars in a month, people were fleeing from here etc. etc. so property values would drop and demand would be low? Nope, we're setting records for houses being sold. Had a friend sell their house in a crappy neighborhood of Blue River for 1.2 million. Starting price was 430k. First bid came in at 580, second bid came in at 700, third bid was cash at 1.2 million. He took it and ran laughing to the bank. Every wahoo from California, Texas, and Arizona that has cash to burn is fleeing where they're from for the "safety" of here. I haven't seen a mass migration like this in years. Now isn't the time to buy here as you're going to be paying double what you should for a property that's going to need serious work.
 

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Every wahoo from California, Texas, and Arizona that has cash to burn is fleeing where they're from for the "safety" of here.
As always Angry breaking it down with the numbers. Albeit eye-watering ones!

I appreciate the detail. Your point above is interesting as this is being reflected in the UK. I've live in central London for years and finally felt like it's time to own and have some space (I'm not a people person). However with Covid, the same thing you describe is happening here with everyone fleeing for the countryside. Thus peeing over my plans for a cheaper place in the sticks.

I enjoyed my short time in Breck many years ago and I loved the multiple mountain options on the pass and really good infrastructure/transport. But man, those prices you quote. Too rich for me.

All of this pricing madness is what made me float the idea of buying somewhere in resort. As you guys have mentioned, it's possible to make some good income. My aging body won't let me do more than a couple of months boarding I'm sure plus I don't want to actually emigrate since I have a steady career in the UK.

I did a holiday rental quote and got told that low season (Whistler) was CAD2100 and high was CAD7200! That eye popping increase has also made me think about the viability of owning.

There are some very good points raised about property management etc and general details I have no clue about. However I do think I will continue to enquire. Just not in Breck! $$$$$$$
 

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@BurtonAvenger
AngryRealtor, buy the URL!

only point I would make against “now is not the time” is that while prices are inflated now, they will likely remain so for years to come regardless of what happens with Covid. It’s just how it goes, at least in any market I’ve worked in. Yes there will be a return to normal but not as quickly as one might think. It takes years to equalize once a trend takes trajectory. However, money will never be this cheap again. Rates are insane right now, this will not last. In my opinion the next stage is very high priced properties with normal mortgage rates.

That being said residential real estate is hyper local and what I have experienced in my markets has no bearing or indication on what happens in Breck.
 

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This is what I would honestly do. I'd look at a place that's slightly off the beaten path as a destination resort but has good mountains or is relatively close to a few options.

Victor or Driggs Idaho comes to mind. That puts you close to Jackson Hole, Snow King, Grand Targhee and some other Idaho resorts. Or look up in Montana.

I'd get a house that has a garage preferably with an apartment in it or a house with a lock off basement apartment or something I could renovate to have that. Then I'd swoop up a decent 4wd vehicle, nothing fancy just something that I know if it's sitting it's not going to not start when I get there.

From there I'd rent the house long term to a local or find someone local that can go by and check on it and will start the car every month and drive it around a bit so that it's getting some use. That way you could fly in and have a vehicle to use, but have a house building equity and keeping it in the long term rental market, or even Airbnb it.

When I lived in Steamboat I had a neighbor that had a 3 bedroom condo with garaged parking. They had an early 80's Jeep Wagoneer that had less than 10k miles on it. Their maintenance guys job was to check on the condo once a month as it had a security alarm and to take the Jeep for a spin and make sure everything was solid on it. When they'd fly into the air port he would drop the car off for them the day before so they could land, get in, and just drive to the condo.
 

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I own a small condo in Northern Vermont right at the base of a mountain, I don't rent it out because I spend the majority of my time there during the winter and at least 1 week a month there during the summer and fall. I wish I could just live up there, but my profession just doesn't exist in Vermont. Maybe someday if I end up with a house up there I'll rent out the condo full time or cash in on it. Most of the units in my building get rented out and most of the owners cover their costs by doing so. There has definitely been a buying boom and houses that have been listed for over a year sold soon after the pandemic hit, and nothing is staying on the market long. A guy I work with just bought a house in Newry, Maine (Sunday River), and his realtor was saying how crazy it's been. Multiple offers over asking, bidding wars, properties being sold the day they are listed. All things that have never happened in these housing markets before. Now probably isn't the time to buy if you are looking at an investment, but who knows, maybe a few years after everything goes back to normal there will be a lot of people looking to off load these properties.
 

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Own a small 2 bedroom house at Crackenback, NSW (20km from Thredbo, 5km from ski tube and 30km from Perisher). Best thing we have ever done. Fantastic having a place you can go to whenever to snowboard. Gets pretty good rental return every year (except this one so far with Cv19). I wish I had 3 of them as I could retire.

We thought of buying a unit at Threbo in the Village but the running costs are pretty high. You get fantastic weekly rate as they rent out for around $Au800-1000 a night. However if you stay down at your joint on the mountain that's a lot of rent $$$$$$$ you've just forgiven.

Anyway we live/work 600km from the Alpine so it is what it is.
 

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Its all about location and timing. Not that I'm living at a resort...but 20yrs ago I bought a home in nearby small city to the ski area. Paid it off in 12 years and its worth about 4x what I paid. Idk about zeroing out the cost of the hobby....that's why its called a hobby, not a financial investment. However having said that...there are other hobbies that are much more costly than snowboarding....e.g., power boating, sailing, DH biking and ehmm dare say...marriage.

If ur single, debt free and have money to invest...you can always invest in other instruments and spend the profits/dividends on the hobby.

However have a friend that has for decades, had an apartment/condo at the base of Whistler in the village and because Whistler is a winter and summer outdoor mecca, I'd imagine he could rent/air bnb and do quite well...but he doesn't want the hassle.
Wrath', Marriage is not expensive, it's only when you divorce.
 

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We have a place in VT. Smack dab between killington and okemo and a stones throw from fishing in the summer. Year round potential was our goal. But we got it for personal enjoyment not for rental income. We rent it a bit to help with paying for upgrades (and our passes!) and offsetting the pain of my kid’s college tuition that I didn’t nearly save enough for. But I think that most renters who want to throw down a bunch of cash to go ski and ride want to be within stumbling distance from the mountain. And that type of real estate comes with a hefty price tag. Not sure it’s worth the investment IMO.
 

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I’m just south of Okemo, but I’m thinking I’ll go Ikon instead of Epic and ride Stratton and Killington this year instead of Okemo and Mt Snow. But really I just want to ride Bromley all day.
 

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Maybe a little counterpoint here. We bought a place in Mammoth 3 years ago, and are in escrow to sell it right now. Owning there was a dream come true for me, but the only way that it made sense for us financially was to rent it out. If you do need to rent it to make it work it does change the dynamic of things. Having strangers in and out of your dream come true is odd. We were also fortunate that our place was in very high demand with renters, but that also didn't gel with our usage patterns at all. We go up when the snow is good, not pre-planned vacations. Our place was usually booked 1 to 2 months in advance, so if we went up chasing a storm we were always in a hotel or renting someone else's place. The cost of renting is also pretty crazy. Our mortgage is about $1,500, HOA $600, and property taxes around $325. We grossed about $65K (pre-covid) in rental income per year, but never actually turned a profit in any given year. Between management fees, city taxes, cleaning fees, linen fees, utilities (power bill ran $700 per month with renters blasting heat in the Winter), repairs, supplies for renters, etc., the money goes quick.

This next part may be a little more specific to Mammoth, though I've heard similar stories. Trying to get professional services (contractors, repairmen, etc.) in a mountain town can be a nightmare. I was having a conversation with a buddy about this the other day, but people who go to resort towns to live and work have an amazing comfort level with not actually working. Anytime I called anyone for a gig they seemed really put out with the prospect of having to work. Work was often shoddy, and prices were crazy. Case in point, I needed a couple repairs done to the condo to get it ready to sell. I needed 2 window cranks installed (original ones were broken by renters). Window guy quoted me $200 each just for parts (everything I saw online ranged from $20 to $80). I asked which cranks he was getting and he told me to go fuck myself, literally. We also needed an electrician. I put numerous calls into 4, and only heard back from 1. He told me his next availability was 12/29.

We're turning a killer profit selling just 3 years later, so as an investment it has been good, and it makes sense to sell now. If the market doesn't leave us in the dust we will buy up there again in the next couple years, but we'll do something smaller and cheaper that we don't have to rent in order to offset costs.
 

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^ That actually sounds about right for construction/handyman. We have something like 3700 contractors for the county here. To be a contractor you pay $125 with the country, show proof of insurance, and a bank account and poof you're a contractor. This is why things are built so shoddily. I had a ceiling vent put in my condo 2 plus years ago, they still haven't finished the dry wall on the ceiling. Since I rent, fuck it who cares not my problem. But that's the norm for around here.
 
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