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Can you break even on a ski condo?

Mum skier

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Let's say you could purchase an older, lower end, but almost ski in ski-out, condo without needing a mortgage at a fairly popular resort in the north east (for sake of argument something like a 2 bed at Winterplace at Okemo......). And your family would use it for the popular times (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Presidents, couple summer weeks). Would you be able to get any rental income to cover taxes, utilities, upkeep, HOA fees, rental fees, cleaning fees with rentals the other times? Or unless something is available the peak weeks its hardly worth even trying to rent it. And older units aren't popular any more? Interested to hear from anyone who does this? Do you even bother with the pain of trying to rent?
 

ss20

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A minute from the Alta exit off the I-15!
Let's say you could purchase an older, lower end, but almost ski in ski-out, condo without needing a mortgage at a fairly popular resort in the north east (for sake of argument something like a 2 bed at Winterplace at Okemo......). And your family would use it for the popular times (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Presidents, couple summer weeks). Would you be able to get any rental income to cover taxes, utilities, upkeep, HOA fees, rental fees, cleaning fees with rentals the other times? Or unless something is available the peak weeks its hardly worth even trying to rent it. And older units aren't popular any more? Interested to hear from anyone who does this? Do you even bother with the pain of trying to rent?

I am personally not in that boat... but if they DIDN'T make money doubt the local communities would be trying to stop the conversion of seemingly every property into a STR.
 

BenedictGomez

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trying to stop the conversion of seemingly every property into a STR.

This is also a big part of why STR profitability's going down. Everybody gettin' in that game yo! And some places are now banning them, which really ***** over the peeps who recently bought solely to STR the unit!
 

Kingslug20

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You have to rent it out a lot. We didn't want to do that so rentals covered about half the expenses. Depends on a lot of factors...and they went up in price quite a bit. We sold ours for almost double what we paid 5 years ago.
 

cdskier

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Depends on a lot of factors I think. Such as demand, the price you're able to charge based on the market conditions in that particular area, etc. Personally I rented my condo a couple times in the first year or so that I had my condo. Completely not worth it to me. Maybe you can get better returns from AirBnB, but through a local real estate agent at the time the amount I ended up with (I was doing the reverse of you and only renting it on holidays) was kind of pathetic.

And then there's the whole issue of renting in general and having people you don't know in your condo. There's also the fact that you can't leave personal stuff around. That perhaps was more of a pain in the ass than the price you received in general.

Then again, there's plenty of people that seem to have condos specifically to do STR. If it wasn't profitable, you'd think they wouldn't be doing it.
 

joshua segal

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I look at my slope-side condo as the ultimate way to enjoy skiing. For me, it's part of the cost of the sport. Whether it appreciates in value or not, will ultimately be the gain or loss to my kids after I die.

The ability to cover taxes and HOA costs by renting: I've heard mixed things about it from friends. Some do; most don't.
 

drjeff

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This is also a big part of why STR profitability's going down. Everybody gettin' in that game yo! And some places are now banning them, which really ***** over the peeps who recently bought solely to STR the unit!
Truth to this on both sides.

My personal experience/opinion, and my complex up at Mount Snow just instituted a bi annual fee that owners pay the association if their unit is available as either a STR or a LTR (A bit more for the STR vs the LTR as the potential for issues tend to increase with the greater number of different renters over time).

Of the 2 units adjacent to my condo, only 1 has been in the STR pool, and that was for 2 winter seasons (my wife and I were thrilled when it sold a little over a year ago to a family who only used it themselves). One of the biggest issues associations have with STRs and why many are making by-law changes to address some of the issues that often arise, is that many renters DON'T follow the association bylaws. The biggest violation in my complex is abusing the 2 parking spaces ONLY for each unit. In the couple of seasons the unit next to mine was in the STR pool, probably close to 50% of the weekends that unit was rented myself, my wife or one of my kids would have to inform the renters of the 2 spaces per unit policy, and tell them.thst they need to move one of the often 3 or more cars (the unit next to mine is a 4 bedroom one that can sleep 20 people so often multiple families would rent it) that were in our deeded spaces. Occasionally there were some issues with noise or pet waste as well.

I would suggest that if one is looking to buy a place and hope that rental income will cover costs, it can be done, BUT it helps if you DON'T plan on using it during the peak, high demand, holiday periods, AND be waste if you are in a complex with an HOA what the bylaws are for STR policies even if the town it's in doesn't have any
 

4aprice

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We've had really good luck with our unit out in Colorado. We are on the cusp of retirement so for the first several years (we bought last year) we are renting it full time and have had no problems with finding renters. Down the line we plan on renting only in the summers and have been told that the rental market is just as good with the Rocky Mountain National Park very close, several lakes , golf and lift served mountain biking along with other summer activities.
 

ctdubl07

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Seeing as you are not factoring in a mortgage, its going to come down to the HOAs. If the development has any type of amenities, then a VT HOA could range at low end from $600 to easily $1400. For many, they can exceed the taxes. I would say it would be very difficult to cover all your costs if your expecting to take all the "prime" weekends and holidays. And the offseason is almost not worth it as there are so many options for people.

We are trailside at MS and are a road association only so its like $600 for the year. We do not rent our home at all but I am confident that based upon our size and location, if we rented for Xmas week, I could likely cover our annual costs. Again, its about sacrificing the prime dates, size and location.
 

kbroderick

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You're also assuming that, once you have the condo, your behavior won't change as a result.

My parents bought a condo on a similar premise (hey, we can ski a bit more and spend less than just going somewhere for a week, plus we'll have an asset rather than just paying for someone else's costs by renting).

By the third year or so, I think we had stopped renting because we were skiing more and the shuffle to clean the place, lock up personal stuff in the closet, etc, wasn't worth it, and then I started racing and shortly thereafter my brother was competing in freestyle. I'm glad they did it and I think they were as well, but I'm pretty sure the financials didn't pencil out as originally planned.
 

joshua segal

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Seeing as you are not factoring in a mortgage, its going to come down to the HOAs. If the development has any type of amenities, then a VT HOA could range at low end from $600 to easily $1400. For many, they can exceed the taxes. I would say it would be very difficult to cover all your costs if your expecting to take all the "prime" weekends and holidays. And the offseason is almost not worth it as there are so many options for people.

We are trailside at MS and are a road association only so its like $600 for the year. We do not rent our home at all but I am confident that based upon our size and location, if we rented for Xmas week, I could likely cover our annual costs. Again, its about sacrificing the prime dates, size and location.
It's going to come down to the HOAs + real estate taxes.
 

parahelia

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It's going to come down to the HOAs + real estate taxes.

This. Make sure you research all these costs, because they can vary widely. When we bought our slopeside condo at Sunday River, we investigated the carrying cost of similar condos at Sugarbush. At the time (2016), the condos available at Sugarbush for a similar price were newer/nicer, but the condo association costs and taxes were significantly higher, maybe 50% or so? Not sure how that compares to VT these days; we had family reasons to buy in Maine anyways. FWIW we pay ~$400/mo for our HOA fee for a slopeside 2BR with outdoor pool/jacuzzi. The associations without a pool are less. Taxes have increased to $1700/year.

We never, ever rent it out. Maybe we would if we were retirees who wanted to avoid the prime weekends, but our use pattern has us there at basically all the high-demand times. You have to keep in mind all the effort involved in renting, between the cleaning, the removal of personal stuff, etc. The best thing for us about the condo is being able to arrive on Friday night and have almost zero transition time before settling in for a weekend of fun with little unpacking.

That being said, it is good to know that it's an asset that can be rented if the situation changes in the future. Seasonal rentals especially can be lucrative ($20K ballpark for slopeside units at SR) if you know you'll be somewhere else for the winter.
 

cdskier

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This. Make sure you research all these costs, because they can vary widely. When we bought our slopeside condo at Sunday River, we investigated the carrying cost of similar condos at Sugarbush. At the time (2016), the condos available at Sugarbush for a similar price were newer/nicer, but the condo association costs and taxes were significantly higher, maybe 50% or so? Not sure how that compares to VT these days; we had family reasons to buy in Maine anyways. FWIW we pay ~$400/mo for our HOA fee for a slopeside 2BR with outdoor pool/jacuzzi. The associations without a pool are less. Taxes have increased to $1700/year.

We never, ever rent it out. Maybe we would if we were retirees who wanted to avoid the prime weekends, but our use pattern has us there at basically all the high-demand times. You have to keep in mind all the effort involved in renting, between the cleaning, the removal of personal stuff, etc. The best thing for us about the condo is being able to arrive on Friday night and have almost zero transition time before settling in for a weekend of fun with little unpacking.

That being said, it is good to know that it's an asset that can be rented if the situation changes in the future. Seasonal rentals especially can be lucrative ($20K ballpark for slopeside units at SR) if you know you'll be somewhere else for the winter.

In addition to HOA fees, important to find out if there are any major projects planned in the condo complex that could result in a special assessment for several months/years (depending on how the complex decides to fund the project). Some complexes prefer to do things a little bit at a time (essentially what mine at Sugarbush does) while others might just bite the bullet and do a larger project/assessment (one of the other complexes in Sugarbush did that a few years ago with all new roofs, siding, etc all at once).

Utilities hasn't been mentioned, but that's also something to keep in mind and can add up quite a bit. I spend more on utilities a year than real estate taxes on my condo...
 

4aprice

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This is also a big part of why STR profitability's going down. Everybody gettin' in that game yo! And some places are now banning them, which really ***** over the peeps who recently bought solely to STR the unit!
Summit County Colorado is really trying to put the lid on STR's. Not sure about Eagle County (Vail) or Pitkin County (Aspen). There are also some exemptions in the immediate areas around the ski resorts. Grand County where we are has no restrictions that I know of but also makes it clear in other ways that they do not want to become another Summit County (our neighbors to the south)
 

parahelia

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In addition to HOA fees, important to find out if there are any major projects planned in the condo complex that could result in a special assessment for several months/years (depending on how the complex decides to fund the project). Some complexes prefer to do things a little bit at a time (essentially what mine at Sugarbush does) while others might just bite the bullet and do a larger project/assessment (one of the other complexes in Sugarbush did that a few years ago with all new roofs, siding, etc all at once).

Utilities hasn't been mentioned, but that's also something to keep in mind and can add up quite a bit. I spend more on utilities a year than real estate taxes on my condo...
Both good points - our association has had special assessments over the years, and is now charging extra to build up the reserves. So the HOA fees are really just a base and you shouldn't be surprised if they go up from time to time (we are currently paying $75/mo additional during the current reserves buildup).

To cd's point about utilities - it's definitely worth checking into which are included in the HOA fee, because it varies by association. Our condo fee includes cable and internet, which is a huge plus. It allows us to skip getting cable at home and just use our condo's subscription via Roku.
 

Scottyskis2

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My dad had one at mountain creek condo on the hill inlate 2000s it was nice spot for him to live with his x crazy gf I enjoyed the convenience of that place a lot they made more snow than compared to now I definitely got in lot s of ski with a place on the hill
Then my dad meet my amazing step mom after his ski was over because of Ms. She made everything the best out come and love life very glad and grateful for my family and my dad is ski all the huge mountains in heaven with mom
Definitely buy the ski house are very comfortable and amazing places for everyone who enjoys the fun hills for skiing best ideas from my dad long time ago miss him and that's life all the time but have amazing friends and family to talk about so life with HD is not bad.
 
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Hawk

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This is a huge issue at my condo complex. We have 16 units in our association. 2 rent regularly and 1 a few Weeks a year. We had flood a few years back that destroyed 3 units resulting from a renter turnig off the heat when they left and an owner who delayed checking the unit. This resulted in our insurance carrier dropping us. When our agent went back out the new companies did surveys of the building and the biggest questions are who is renting and how often. It has caused our insurance for the building to double. We are most certainly going to change the by-laws to stop or penalize the owners who rent. I say if you want an investment property, buy a house so the liability is all on you. It's not really fair that the 13 die hard skier families in the complex that ski most weekends hav to pay a premium so other people can make money on thier investment.
 

cdskier

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I have some mixed feelings on STR, but in general I don't agree with attempts to "stop" it or over-regulate it. Rentals have been a thing forever. The big difference is the Internet has simply made STR easier and more profitable compared to using a local real estate agent or word of mouth as in the past. I don't like the idea of telling someone else they can't rent out their own unit though. I do agree on some rules however. For example I would be perfectly fine with a condo association saying if renters don't follow the rules, the owner gets fined.

Hawk's situation is something I always worried about personally if renting. I'm not an overly trusting person of people I don't know following instructions on what to set heat, etc to when they leave. My complex does have a management company that does unit checks though. So in theory if someone turned off the heat completely in a unit, it should be caught hopefully in time.
 
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