EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Market Place › Classifieds › Real Estate/Rentals (Resort Specific) › Tips on buying mtn condo in CO?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Tips on buying mtn condo in CO?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am considering shopping for a condo in Dillon/Fraser area. Maybe Granby b/c I do like WP.

Status: I live in Lngmt/Bldr and currently I ski every weekend in Eldora for convenience. About 1 to 2 days a months, we make it up to I-70. It really is the getting up early in the morning to beat traffic and driving home dead tired that discourages us from going up more often. Eldora ain't bad but naturally the Keystone/Lvlnd/WP/Vail trips are really special. So I expect the condo would be used every weekend in winter but with limited usage the rest of the year (1 wkend/mnth?).

I am sure there are some experienced members out there. I have some initial questions. Did a search in the forum and didn't find a whole lot.

#0) Given my usage (which I don't think is unusual), have people found that this has been a good choice for them. I understand alot depends on future pricing but generally did people have regrets?
#1) When would you go shopping and buy? Are the prices seasonal?
#2) Does a partial rental work out - i.e. I take all the good days and hope to get some renters in the spring/summer/fall? Just too much hassle?
#3) How much do management companies charge in the area? Do they charge a flat fee whether they find a renter or not?
#4) Any advice on size. Currently I am single but usually tow along 2 to 3 friends on ski trips.
#5) Any advice on cheaper in-town prop vs. resort prop? I understand convenience but with a CO pass I will probably be going all over the place. For prop value and the possiblity of a part time rental, has anyone looked into the trade-off.

Sorry for the long post and questions. I wanted to get some advice before I even talk to an agent. Don't want to commit unless I am sure about this.
post #2 of 22
Juiceman. When I am away from the office I will respond to the best of my abilities to your questions. My advice for now would be wait. I still feel the overall housing/mortgage issue has not even come close to affecting the mountain properties yet. In time it will.
post #3 of 22
I'm sure that there are plenty of "realasnakes" on this board that will help you.
P.S.- Don't purchase a unit that has a history of being employee housing if possible. It's part-timers buying up housing that is hurting the heart of the community of resort towns lately. Realize your impact before you purchase. Your vacation property could become another target of disgruntled locals...I've seen it happen. Small towns are NOT like the city with regards to being an anonymous citizen either.
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by juiceman View Post
Ok, I am considering shopping for a condo in Dillon/Fraser area. Maybe Granby b/c I do like WP.

Status: I live in Lngmt/Bldr and currently I ski every weekend in Eldora for convenience. About 1 to 2 days a months, we make it up to I-70. It really is the getting up early in the morning to beat traffic and driving home dead tired that discourages us from going up more often. Eldora ain't bad but naturally the Keystone/Lvlnd/WP/Vail trips are really special. So I expect the condo would be used every weekend in winter but with limited usage the rest of the year (1 wkend/mnth?).

I am sure there are some experienced members out there. I have some initial questions. Did a search in the forum and didn't find a whole lot.

#0) Given my usage (which I don't think is unusual), have people found that this has been a good choice for them. I understand alot depends on future pricing but generally did people have regrets?
#1) When would you go shopping and buy? Are the prices seasonal?
#2) Does a partial rental work out - i.e. I take all the good days and hope to get some renters in the spring/summer/fall? Just too much hassle?
#3) How much do management companies charge in the area? Do they charge a flat fee whether they find a renter or not?
#4) Any advice on size. Currently I am single but usually tow along 2 to 3 friends on ski trips.
#5) Any advice on cheaper in-town prop vs. resort prop? I understand convenience but with a CO pass I will probably be going all over the place. For prop value and the possiblity of a part time rental, has anyone looked into the trade-off.

Sorry for the long post and questions. I wanted to get some advice before I even talk to an agent. Don't want to commit unless I am sure about this.
Go ahead, take the plunge! I did just that this weekend with buying a condo in Mt Snow, VT and with some of the same issues as yourself. In my case, the wife and daughter do their thing with horses on the weekend while my son and I do the ski/snowboard scene and for us its a 3.5 hr drive, so the condo and proximity to the mountain was a bit of a no-brainer.

In my view, a good deal of the air has been taken out of the tires with respect to the real estate market, mortgage rates are dirt cheap (5.5% or lower) and sellers are looking for cash now (although learned that in VT, prices are still pretty high).

Buy it, you'll either break even or even make some money on the deal!...and hey, you'll certainly get enjoyment out of it vs having your cash tied up in the stock market. I've made most if not all my money in real estate and no better time to buy than now...bottom fishing into the future will certainly save you a few pennies, but not enough to warrant waiting.

Good Luck!
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
I'm sure that there are plenty of "realasnakes" on this board that will help you.
P.S.- Don't purchase a unit that has a history of being employee housing if possible. It's part-timers buying up housing that is hurting the heart of the community of resort towns lately. Realize your impact before you purchase. Your vacation property could become another target of disgruntled locals...I've seen it happen. Small towns are NOT like the city with regards to being an anonymous citizen either.
Where I come from it's the part-timers buying up housing that keeps the local economy alive...from resorts to restaurants to the local 7-11 to the lift tickets to the housing market...without the out-of-towners, many ski areas would shutdown completely.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisstrader View Post
Where I come from it's the part-timers buying up housing that keeps the local economy alive...from resorts to restaurants to the local 7-11 to the lift tickets to the housing market...without the out-of-towners, many ski areas would shutdown completely.
It's simple math. Housing issues get worse when year-rounders have to vacate just so some douche can have a vacation home that sits unoccupied most of the year. When the population turns into purely absentee ownership, it loses all of it's soul. I hope that it's not too late for your town!
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by juiceman View Post

#0) Given my usage (which I don't think is unusual), have people found that this has been a good choice for them. I understand alot depends on future pricing but generally did people have regrets?
#1) When would you go shopping and buy? Are the prices seasonal?
#2) Does a partial rental work out - i.e. I take all the good days and hope to get some renters in the spring/summer/fall? Just too much hassle?
#3) How much do management companies charge in the area? Do they charge a flat fee whether they find a renter or not?
#4) Any advice on size. Currently I am single but usually tow along 2 to 3 friends on ski trips.
#5) Any advice on cheaper in-town prop vs. resort prop? I understand convenience but with a CO pass I will probably be going all over the place. For prop value and the possiblity of a part time rental, has anyone looked into the trade-off.

Lots of questions. First, don't buy something because you expect to make a lot of money. Buy something you want to own, for a long time maybe. You may make money on it, good. Certainly the long term trend in mountain property has been up. That said we bought our first place in Keystone and four years later barely broke even on it. We used that money to buy a lot and build a house. Two years later we were done and up about 40%. It comes in spurts with lots of flat years. We just finished a spurt.

#0: You'll use it more than you think. Summer/Fall are great. We easily spent 90-100 nights in our small place a year.

#1: Summer is a busy time, so is just before ski season. I don't think prices move that much with the season.

#2: If you use it a lot it just isn't worth it.

#3: More than you can imagine. 50% plus you pay expenses plus other fees. There are a lot and prices do vary.

#4: 2 br are the easiest to sell, 1br harder.

#5: You get more for your $ away from resort, but is that where you want to be ? See opening rant.
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post
#5: You get more for your $ away from resort, but is that where you want to be ? See opening rant.
Oh, I don't know. Being called a douche in a public forum brought color to my day.

Anyways thanks for taking the time to answer my list.
post #9 of 22
My wife and I looked for months at the CO mountain property scene, before finally deciding to give it a rest.

Prices have accelerated too much in recent years (some close to 20% per year over the past 5 years). Every bubble has a hollow center. We finally concluded that prices were inflated, and the mortgage crisis would eventually spill-over into the CO mountain condo market.

We've seen asking prices drop, as properties stood unsold for months.

For us, it was to be a business investment. But, the numbers didn't work, unless you sustain capital appreciation in the range of 10% per year, and can absorb healthy negative cash-flow.

Rentals on VRBO will off-set the cash drain, but you likely won't cover your mortgage and HOA fees. Agents tell you if you just cover your HOA fees, you're a winner (?)

The "pay-out" comes when you sell, and have expensed most of the interest payments.

We just weren't convinced the market would remain immune from the national real estate collapse (especially bad in Colorado front range).

On the other hand, you could role the dice and be a winner.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevesmith7 View Post
First, don't buy something because you expect to make a lot of money. Buy something you want to own, for a long time maybe.
That's the most important point right there.


DBNC: Dude, he's looking at Summit County. It lost it's soul when I-70 went in and the disgruntled local only showed up in November.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by juiceman View Post
Don't want to commit unless I am sure about this.
Unfortunately, there will be no way to be sure. Every property I've bought here I thought for sure I was buying the top of the market and was spectacularly wrong.

One camp will say the housing crisis will hit the mountains others will say they're very bullish on Summit's future prices since we are:

1. Quickly approaching buildout.
2. Have an international market and the cheap dollar makes property here very attractive to those who pay in other currencies.
3. We are currently much less expensive than other areas.

If the market did go very soft, I'd be a heavy buyer of certain properties but not condos that aren't ski-in/out.

In any case, the key is to become extremely educated and then be very selective. There are many aspects to obtaining and owning mountain property that are not obvious.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by juiceman View Post
Ok, I am considering shopping for a condo in Dillon/Fraser area. Maybe Granby b/c I do like WP.

Status: I live in Lngmt/Bldr and currently I ski every weekend in Eldora for convenience. About 1 to 2 days a months, we make it up to I-70. It really is the getting up early in the morning to beat traffic and driving home dead tired that discourages us from going up more often. Eldora ain't bad but naturally the Keystone/Lvlnd/WP/Vail trips are really special. So I expect the condo would be used every weekend in winter but with limited usage the rest of the year (1 wkend/mnth?).

I am sure there are some experienced members out there. I have some initial questions. Did a search in the forum and didn't find a whole lot.

#0) Given my usage (which I don't think is unusual), have people found that this has been a good choice for them. I understand alot depends on future pricing but generally did people have regrets?
#1) When would you go shopping and buy? Are the prices seasonal?
#2) Does a partial rental work out - i.e. I take all the good days and hope to get some renters in the spring/summer/fall? Just too much hassle?
#3) How much do management companies charge in the area? Do they charge a flat fee whether they find a renter or not?
#4) Any advice on size. Currently I am single but usually tow along 2 to 3 friends on ski trips.
#5) Any advice on cheaper in-town prop vs. resort prop? I understand convenience but with a CO pass I will probably be going all over the place. For prop value and the possiblity of a part time rental, has anyone looked into the trade-off.

Sorry for the long post and questions. I wanted to get some advice before I even talk to an agent. Don't want to commit unless I am sure about this.
We were in the same boat as you 4 years ago...I was sitting in the car for 3-6 hours every weekend day to ski for 4-8 hours. I was gone from home in Denver from <6am till >7pm. My wife doesn't really like to ski but loves to snowshoe and crosscountry.

We decided where we wanted a place....Frisco within 3 blocks of main street and then started looking. I wanted a single family home (couldn't afford it) or condo association that was super cheap and fiscally healthy. I wanted a 2 bed but stretched and bought 3 bed older unit with monthly dues of $50.

0- We have no regrets...we use it every weekend of the ski season and about half the weekends in the summer.

1 - We bought in May..not sure it made a difference

2 - We originally intended to do as you propose but we used it all the time and filled it with our stuff and groceries, clothes etc....it has never been rented by us

3 - don't know

4 - We bought a 3 bed for a couple with 1 kid and later had another kid.

5 - Our best friends have a ski in place at Copper...they have probably skied elsewhere 3 times in the 8 years they've owned it .....I ski at AB, Vail, BC , Copper, Breck and Keystone all within 25 minutes (add 10 for BC).....I like my arrangement...he likes his
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post
...
5 - Our best friends have a ski in place at Copper...they have probably skied elsewhere 3 times in the 8 years they've owned it .....I ski at AB, Vail, BC , Copper, Breck and Keystone all within 25 minutes (add 10 for BC).....I like my arrangement...he likes his
We have ski-in at Copper, and while we do ski a lot at Copper, we also go elsewhere. The nice thing about Copper is that it is very central and easily accessible: Beaver Creek to Breck to Loveland, all just 30 minutes, and Vail, Keystone, and A Basin are even closer.

We are even going from Copper to Steamboat as a day trip this Sunday. It's almost 2 hr, but still closer than going from Denver.

We do miss out on WP/MJ, unless going from home.

And Copper is still pretty inexpensive compared to a lot of Summit County.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
It's simple math. Housing issues get worse when year-rounders have to vacate just so some douche can have a vacation home that sits unoccupied most of the year. When the population turns into purely absentee ownership, it loses all of it's soul. I hope that it's not too late for your town!
That's the old "blame the out of towners" for all that ales ya BS. Let me guess, you also blame India for losing your job? Tourism is one of the main sources of income in many ski towns along with hiking/camping, hunting, and fishing as large sources of income for the state economy.

These "douches" are what keeps the local economy alive. Cold hard fact, if it were just the townies living there the whole dang town would virtually shut down. No one to support the local drinking holes, the local inns, the local restaurants, the condo developments or the local mountains. They also contribute in a big way to the local's educational system though paying taxes as if they were living full-time of which they get nothing out of.

p.s. the "soul" of our mountain is all about townies and out of towners getting along in harmony and everyone having a common interest around skiing...we need them and they need us.
post #15 of 22
To get back on subject.
We live between Boulder and Louisville and bought a condo in Georgetown. We ski 50-60 days a year. Here are the advantages in my mind. There are several more units available in our complex (Silver Queen)

1.) Cheap. We bought a 1180 sqft condo with 2 bedrooms, a living room, loft, kitchen, 2 full baths for $95k
2.) 1 hour from Boulder. Easy to get to and easy to drive to work on Monday morning.
3.) Close to a most major ski areas. Loveland 15 min, Abasin 30min, WP 45min, Copper 35min. Beaver creek 1hr. Steamboat is still a day trip at 2hrs.
4.) Georgetown is often the dividing line between really bad or closed roads and passable roads.
5.) Small town feel with no where near the touristy feel of other mountain towns. I hate the strip mall feel of Dillon/SIlverthorne.
6.) It's nice there in the summer.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcahill View Post
To get back on subject.
We live between Boulder and Louisville and bought a condo in Georgetown. We ski 50-60 days a year. Here are the advantages in my mind. There are several more units available in our complex (Silver Queen)

1.) Cheap. We bought a 1180 sqft condo with 2 bedrooms, a living room, loft, kitchen, 2 full baths for $95k
2.) 1 hour from Boulder. Easy to get to and easy to drive to work on Monday morning.
3.) Close to a most major ski areas. Loveland 15 min, Abasin 30min, WP 45min, Copper 35min. Beaver creek 1hr. Steamboat is still a day trip at 2hrs.
4.) Georgetown is often the dividing line between really bad or closed roads and passable roads.
5.) Small town feel with no where near the touristy feel of other mountain towns. I hate the strip mall feel of Dillon/SIlverthorne.
6.) It's nice there in the summer.
I agree with all your points, and therefore we also considered Georgetown.

For us, though, it wasn't a fit due to limited rental income potential (our primary objective, and one listed by Juideman). As a second home, though, it could be excellent.

One other consideration, due to mountains on all sides, daylight in Georgetown seems to be brief.
post #17 of 22

Follow-up Colorado condo market question

Sort of a follow-up to this earlier discussion.

Just for fun, looking for a little local knowledge about the best bang for your buck in Colorado ski country on 1-2 bedroom condos? Specifically, in two location categories:
A. slopeside (or within approx three quarters of a mile)
B. 1-3 miles from slopes on resort shuttle bus line
I guess I'm thinking town of Winter Park and Fraser might offer some of the best prices. But what about Keystone, Copper, Breckenridge for slopeside? Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco for the bus line category? Is Steamboat competitive? Am I overlooking somewhere else? IVO last post, Georgetown is a thought, although sort of a different location category being 10 miles from Loveland.
Thanks.
post #18 of 22
Back in January most people here said to wait. Is now the time to buy? I haven't been following the ski town real estate market for a about 5 years when I almost bought a house in Crested Butte for $200,000, that was selling for $1,200,000 2 years ago. *Kicking own behind*
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
Back in January most people here said to wait. Is now the time to buy? I haven't been following the ski town real estate market for a about 5 years when I almost bought a house in Crested Butte for $200,000, that was selling for $1,200,000 2 years ago. *Kicking own behind*
...and is now selling for $200,000 again.

Don't kick too hard.
post #20 of 22
I don't know about Crested Butte, but prices the first half of 2008 in Summit were the same or higher than 2007 and previous years.

However, year to date sales (volume) are down about 40 or 50% and I think that prices are starting to soften up with serious sellers lowering their asking price and willing to take less. Part of the problem is people's inability to get loans and you are seeing a higher percentage of all cash deals.

My personal opinion is that many of the sellers still need to adjust their outlook (and lower their prices) if they want to get things sold.

We are renting now and my wife wants us to get settled down ASAP, but my feeling is that prices will be going down.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
Sort of a follow-up to this earlier discussion.

Just for fun, looking for a little local knowledge about the best bang for your buck in Colorado ski country on 1-2 bedroom condos? Specifically, in two location categories:
A. slopeside (or within approx three quarters of a mile)
B. 1-3 miles from slopes on resort shuttle bus line
I guess I'm thinking town of Winter Park and Fraser might offer some of the best prices. But what about Keystone, Copper, Breckenridge for slopeside? Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco for the bus line category? Is Steamboat competitive? Am I overlooking somewhere else? IVO last post, Georgetown is a thought, although sort of a different location category being 10 miles from Loveland.
Thanks.
We are currently renting at Bear's Den in Frisco just off Main St. and less than a block from the Summit Stage directly to Breck and Copper (with transfer service to Keystone and I think A-basin, but this will take longer). This is nice new construction that I would define as simple or low luxury with a number of higher ended finishes, but relatively simple construction. Builder has been a real idiot from what I understand and there are still about a half dozen unsold units ranging in price from the low 400s to high 700s. Mostly 2 & 3 bedrooms condos (450-550 K), but there is a 1 bedroom loft as well as a 3 bedroom stand alone.

While I think that prices have room to go down, I think that most of the issues with the builder will get resolved and this will end up being a good location for a second home that can be rented out a fair bit when you are not using (or even a primary in-town residence with a handful of people living here full time currently).
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
I don't know about Crested Butte, but prices the first half of 2008 in Summit were the same or higher than 2007 and previous years.

However, year to date sales (volume) are down about 40 or 50% and I think that prices are starting to soften up with serious sellers lowering their asking price and willing to take less. Part of the problem is people's inability to get loans and you are seeing a higher percentage of all cash deals.

My personal opinion is that many of the sellers still need to adjust their outlook (and lower their prices) if they want to get things sold.

We are renting now and my wife wants us to get settled down ASAP, but my feeling is that prices will be going down.
This sounds about right.

Although total sales dollars haven't dropped much - due to steady sales in the luxury category (new Vail developments, and parts of Breck), transactions have fallen by almost 50%.

In addition, the credit crunch will make mortgages increasingly difficult to fund - especially for 2nd homes or investment property.

The days of "fix and flip" are over.

Prices will begin falling, perhaps steeply, over the next 6 months.

In spite of the current meltdown on Wall Street, we still haven't seen the worst.

According to a hedge-fund manager we know in New York, many of the sub-prime mortgages written over the past 5 years haven't yet defaulted, because they haven't hit maturity (when balloon payments fall due or the interest rates soar)

These bad debts have yet to be written down by the banks and note holders.

Much of that paper matures over the next 6 months. Once that happens, and those write-downs have to be taken, we'll see the worst of this fiasco. Blood will flow in the streets.

Combine that prospect with the current panic in financial markets, and you have a tight, nervous market.

I expect skier visits will be less this year, with corresponding declines in rental income. If so, that places further pressure on those wanting to sell.

By next spring or early summer, I believe we'll see steep declines in most "medium category" housing values in Summit and Eagle. I wouldn't be surprised to see prices fall by 20%.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Market Place › Classifieds › Real Estate/Rentals (Resort Specific) › Tips on buying mtn condo in CO?