U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 06-27-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,876 posts, read 9,622,106 times
Reputation: 4948

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Demon View Post
Yup...sure do. Just reflecting my OWN reality/experiences. Moved here...broke...in '84....to VAIL.
That's what we all are doing - reflecting our own reality! So then why did you have to say this: "Don't let the same folks here (who couldn't hang and always paint the doom-and-gloom picture of Colorado) scare you away." I think that most of the people who post here are well-intentioned and are trying to give good advice to people chasing that elusive Colorado dream. Doesn't make them doom-and-gloom; from my perspective it makes them realists.

I started my Colorado life as a ski bum in Steamboat Springs (moved from Maryland). Living very frugally on very little. I also moved knowing one person in the whole state and not having the benefit of Internet and forums. Fast forward 45 years and I am retired living in two "dream" locations. Of course it works for many people, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-27-2016, 01:06 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,208,400 times
Reputation: 14905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Demon View Post
Yup...sure do. Just reflecting my OWN reality/experiences. Moved here...broke...in '84....to VAIL.

We made it work. Others can as well. We just went with the flow and immersed ourselves in the experience.

35 years later... we own 3 houses and are retired...mid 50's. :

the devil is in the details that Rainbow ain't mentioning ...

I started my Vail real estate buying in 1982, just a little before Rainbow moved there. But the economics of Vail in that era were totally different and much less expensive than a decade or two later. My property tax bill (and biennial assessed valuations) were miniscule compared to more recent years.

In the early '80's, Vail was reeling from some worldwide and regional economic declines and the real estate books were filled with foreclosure properties that had been languishing for years, unsold at almost any price including short sales. My first SFH there was only in the low $100K range and had been vacant for 5 years! Even with a 12% non-owner occupied mortgage, the 2600 sq ft/6bd/3ba house with a 5% down payment wasn't much more than what Rainbow was paying in rent. I would have been happy at the time to have gotten $750/month for the place from a long term renter as my first few years there did not cash flow after PITI, maintenance & repairs costs.

At the same time, jobs in Vail ... be it working for the Ski Corp, or construction, or hospitality work ... was paying a pretty good wage and the jobs were available for anybody who could walk in the door and show up for work. Tipp'ed jobs were especially desirable because you could bring home several hundred dollars (or more) per week working part-time ... bartending, waiting tables, etc. which left time for skiing or other jobs to make ends meet. Most folks I knew worked those 2nd and 3rd jobs to "make ends meet", and skiing wasn't exactly how they spent most of their winter time earning opportunities.

I rented to a lot of "shared" housing situations ... where there would be multiple unrelated people sharing the costs of housing/utilities. Some of these lasted for years, one tenant group stayed 16 years. But for the most part, it was a revolving door every ski and summer season for at least half of the group.

The most difficult aspect of living there in that era was access to shopping. Very little retail existed near or in Vail except for the outfits catering primarily to the tourist trade. Limited groceries were available and at very high prices. Folk that I know used to plan their shopping trips to Denver and would take lists for other folk to bring back up the hill. Similarly, appliances, home improvement items, or other major purchases happened outside of Vail. Now you've got Safeway and Kroger in West Vail, easily accessible. Downvalley, you've got close access to WalMart and Home Depot and a multitude of shopping options ranging from mundane through to world-class high end stuff.

Over the years, the economics and realities of living there have changed. The folk who bought into reasonably priced housing in the '80's & 90's have reaped windfall appreciation. That first house of mine is now assessed at $1.5mil, and the county has the comp's to back up that valuation. Considering that the house is really at it's economic end of life, it's mostly in the property value. But the house kicked out mid-5-figures per year over the last 20 years and I've long ago paid off the mortgage. Not bad for a RE investment ... I got to ski many days per year for 20 years, got the positive cash flow in hand, and now have the capital gains.

Neighbors of mine who were construction workers did the same. Bought a place, mostly duplexes ... lived in the main unit and rented out the other half or the separate portion that might be a smaller unit. Made their mortgage payments a lot more affordable, and, in time, made the PITI for them. Appreciation PLUS Cash flow, what's not to like?

I even watched a four-plex of 3bd/2ba housing in West Vail within a modest walk of the lifts with off-street parking go begging for a $10,000 cash downpayment and the owner would carry just to cover their PITI. That was in 1995! I had to pass on it for a day or two to get my $10K cash in hand, and they offered it to another fellow who had the money that day. He moved into one unit, started remodeling the rest and the rental cash flow paid the PITI within 6 months. Helped that he was an interior trim carpenter and had lots of help from friends who were painters, carpet layers, plumbers & electricians ... many who became his paying tenants. The property sold as a tear-down with the West Vail rebuilding a few years ago for almost $2mil ... with a capital gain of over $1.6 mil. Even after marketing and sales expenses, capital gains taxes ... the fellow did alright.

Such opportunities for reasonably priced purchases haven't surfaced in years that I know of. Given the costs of housing now, cheaper "deals" on rentals simply aren't in the cards because the PITI and expenses of ownership and property management have to be paid somehow. Unless you've got an owner who bought in years ago and can afford to leave all that money on the table with cheap rents (like a buddy of mine who rented a 1,500 sq ft 3 bd/2ba apartment in Aspen for almost 30 years and didn't have a rent increase in all those years until the owner passed on and his 4th wife/widow realized that they owned a bunch of income properties that could sustain huge rental increases).

So when Rainbow comes on this thread and talks about the trials and tribulations that he went through to become a property owner and see enough upside that 30 years later it was all just a brief bit of adapting to the circumstances and grinding it out to make good ... and he paid the price and persevered and survived and made it work to his affluence and retirement and time to enjoy the Vail experience ....

Understand that the playing field has shifted dramatically against the young family that can "get by" doing "whatever it takes" to make it happen. You'll not find $750/mo rentals suitable for a family anymore, such as the OP would need. Nor will you find that hourly wages have gone up in step with the costs of living there. Tips have gone up with the increased prices of the hospitality biz there, but they still lag compared to yesteryear.

PS: I had friends who owned a couple of units at the Racquet Club and subsequently decided to buy one of the new townhomes just across the way from there when they were being developed. With a very nice 3 bd/3ba + attached oversize 2-car garage, minimal HOA fees and a beautiful yard and common grounds, it was a steal back then at $300K. They rented out their Club condo's and made most of their townhouse PITI. Last I saw, the townhouse resold for just under $1mil ... 25 years later. Such upside opportunities do not exist at this time.

PPS: I'll put the appreciation of the Vail real estate market in perspective. For me, the appreciation has paid in full for my ranch/farm where I raise livestock for meat and sales, alfalfa for hay and sales, my airplane, and other income producing real estate. It's a lifestyle. Can I afford to "retire" and not work anymore? Yes, and I could have done so years ago ... even moved to Vail full time. But I'm having too much fun doing all the stuff that I enjoy ... some folk would call it "work" ... but I settled into doing those things for an income which were fun to me, hence I don't look forward to those days when my only choices are "recreation" and I can't derive an income from doing so. I still spend 30 hours/week working on motor vehicles, farm equipment, machinery, boats & marine repairs .... lovin' it.

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-27-2016 at 01:18 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2016, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,325 posts, read 1,788,290 times
Reputation: 3284
Congratulations on your real estate investments Sunsprit. I would have loved to have bought in Vail when you did. So far Denver has been profitable for me I have a few rentals up there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2016, 03:02 PM
 
10 posts, read 8,544 times
Reputation: 27
Evergreen would be perfect, it has everything you're looking for except price: lake, mountains, a decent amount of things, and about 30 min from Denver. It's going to be difficult with your price range, honestly. The cheapest thing in Evergreen on Zillow was $1800. Conifer would be my next choice for you, but again the $1200 becomes an issue. At your price range you'd have to sacrifice some of your criteria.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-27-2016, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,768 posts, read 4,620,844 times
Reputation: 4893
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
the devil is in the details that Rainbow ain't mentioning ...

...........

At the same time, jobs in Vail ... be it working for the Ski Corp, or construction, or hospitality work ... was paying a pretty good wage and the jobs were available for anybody who could walk in the door and show up for work. Tipp'ed jobs were especially desirable because you could bring home several hundred dollars (or more) per week working part-time ... bartending, waiting tables, etc. which left time for skiing or other jobs to make ends meet. Most folks I knew worked those 2nd and 3rd jobs to "make ends meet", and skiing wasn't exactly how they spent most of their winter time earning opportunities.

I rented to a lot of "shared" housing situations ... where there would be multiple unrelated people sharing the costs of housing/utilities. Some of these lasted for years, one tenant group stayed 16 years. But for the most part, it was a revolving door every ski and summer season for at least half of the group.

The most difficult aspect of living there in that era was access to shopping. Very little retail existed near or in Vail except for the outfits catering primarily to the tourist trade. Limited groceries were available and at very high prices. Folk that I know used to plan their shopping trips to Denver and would take lists for other folk to bring back up the hill. Similarly, appliances, home improvement items, or other major purchases happened outside of Vail. Now you've got Safeway and Kroger in West Vail, easily accessible. Downvalley, you've got close access to WalMart and Home Depot and a multitude of shopping options ranging from mundane through to world-class high end stuff.


Such opportunities for reasonably priced purchases haven't surfaced in years that I know of. Given the costs of housing now, cheaper "deals" on rentals simply aren't in the cards because the PITI and expenses of ownership and property management have to be paid somehow. Unless you've got an owner who bought in years ago and can afford to leave all that money on the table with cheap rents (like a buddy of mine who rented a 1,500 sq ft 3 bd/2ba apartment in Aspen for almost 30 years and didn't have a rent increase in all those years until the owner passed on and his 4th wife/widow realized that they owned a bunch of income properties that could sustain huge rental increases).

So when Rainbow comes on this thread and talks about the trials and tribulations that he went through to become a property owner and see enough upside that 30 years later it was all just a brief bit of adapting to the circumstances and grinding it out to make good ... and he paid the price and persevered and survived and made it work to his affluence and retirement and time to enjoy the Vail experience ....

Understand that the playing field has shifted dramatically against the young family that can "get by" doing "whatever it takes" to make it happen. You'll not find $750/mo rentals suitable for a family anymore, such as the OP would need. Nor will you find that hourly wages have gone up in step with the costs of living there. Tips have gone up with the increased prices of the hospitality biz there, but they still lag compared to yesteryear.

PS: I had friends who owned a couple of units at the Racquet Club and subsequently decided to buy one of the new townhomes just across the way from there when they were being developed. With a very nice 3 bd/3ba + attached oversize 2-car garage, minimal HOA fees and a beautiful yard and common grounds, it was a steal back then at $300K. They rented out their Club condo's and made most of their townhouse PITI. Last I saw, the townhouse resold for just under $1mil ... 25 years later. Such upside opportunities do not exist at this time.

PPS: I'll put the appreciation of the Vail real estate market in perspective. For me, the appreciation has paid in full for my ranch/farm where I raise livestock for meat and sales, alfalfa for hay and sales, my airplane, and other income producing real estate. It's a lifestyle. Can I afford to "retire" and not work anymore? Yes, and I could have done so years ago ... even moved to Vail full time. But I'm having too much fun doing all the stuff that I enjoy ... some folk would call it "work" ... but I settled into doing those things for an income which were fun to me, hence I don't look forward to those days when my only choices are "recreation" and I can't derive an income from doing so. I still spend 30 hours/week working on motor vehicles, farm equipment, machinery, boats & marine repairs .... lovin' it.

Agree with your whole post, Colorado is not the land of opportunity it once was, jobs don't pay as well as they once did when compared to the cost of living and the cost of real estate has exploded. So many that had similar experiences to you have no clue what it is really like throughout much of the state due to being able to build their lives when things were so much better economically here.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:15 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top