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 06-11-2017, 10:34 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,174,512 times
Reputation: 14904

Advertisements

in my experience, the "best" option for capturing the most revenue days during ski season are those locations that are either: 1) ski-in/ski-out, or
2) readily walkable or on a bus line to the ski lifts.

I have owned several properties in Colorado ski resort areas that didn't meet these requirements for several decades. The renters have to use their own transportation to reach bus lines or parking areas near the ski lifts. I rent these places out for less money than the better access locations. But it is a much more limited market to ski holiday folk seeking all the amenities and conveniences for their discretionary vacation dollars.

So, here's my take on a place where you hope to capture ski season rental income: Buy the best place you can that features ski access.

The drawback here is that your primary interest is a different use of the place. That would best be served by locations that are quite different than a skiing focus.

PS: I don't believe that it's reasonable to expect a "revenue neutral" condo in the prime ski areas of Colorado. I'm on the mailing lists of numerous ski country town real estate agents and I get to see the current listings and sold reports on properties there, especially the Vail marketplace.

Even if you captured a 100-night ski season of short term rental occupancies, it's unlikely you'll come close to break even on PITI, maintenance, mandatory upgrades, condo association, and management fees ... even after a 25% downpayment to minimize the PI payment and avoid PMI insurance.

I suggest you visit with your lender to find out the costs/qualifications of a mortgage for this condo. And you need to get a realistic idea from the management what the real historic costs of operation/fees and real world income is in an average ski season on any given unit. The managers should have the rental history on the unit and disclose to you the number of nights/revenues that the unit generated.

PPS: we've had numerous threads on this topic here on C-D through the years. In all candor, the "best" advice I've ever seen about this is to "rent" the facilities you require when you need them. Come to the hills, enjoy the summer, and walk away when it's time to leave. You'll have the enjoyment of use of the place and none of the headaches or responsibilities associated with ownership.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 06-11-2017, 02:50 PM
 
Location: DFW, TX
2,935 posts, read 6,114,503 times
Reputation: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
The resorts within 2-3 hours of DIA are almost all higher than 8000 feet.

Breckenridge is 9600 feet
Dillon is 9111
Frisco is 9075
Keystone is 9173
Copper Mountain is 9712

Vail might be your best bet if you have the budget at 8022 feet
Edwards is also a good option at 7221 feet
Minturn is a cool little town near Vail and is at 7861

That's really about it unless you want to stretch out a little on the time and start working towards Aspen.
Glenwood Springs is 5761
Carbondale is 6171
Aspen is 7900

And while you may not be looking at this as a money maker, I think it definitely can be if you do it right.

Aspen does have airport. Does the airport need to be DIA?
If not, there are other options. Durango would be very high on my list.
DIA is preferred... I'll also have an office in downtown Denver that I can work out of when I choose, so I'd prefer to be somewhat nearby. I love Glenwood Springs, it was an awesome little town when I visited, it's about as far away as I'd want to venture, but I wasn't sure how viable that is for a rental market in the winters.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2017, 02:55 PM
 
Location: DFW, TX
2,935 posts, read 6,114,503 times
Reputation: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
PS: I don't believe that it's reasonable to expect a "revenue neutral" condo in the prime ski areas of Colorado. I'm on the mailing lists of numerous ski country town real estate agents and I get to see the current listings and sold reports on properties there, especially the Vail marketplace.

Even if you captured a 100-night ski season of short term rental occupancies, it's unlikely you'll come close to break even on PITI, maintenance, mandatory upgrades, condo association, and management fees ... even after a 25% downpayment to minimize the PI payment and avoid PMI insurance.

I suggest you visit with your lender to find out the costs/qualifications of a mortgage for this condo. And you need to get a realistic idea from the management what the real historic costs of operation/fees and real world income is in an average ski season on any given unit. The managers should have the rental history on the unit and disclose to you the number of nights/revenues that the unit generated.

PPS: we've had numerous threads on this topic here on C-D through the years. In all candor, the "best" advice I've ever seen about this is to "rent" the facilities you require when you need them. Come to the hills, enjoy the summer, and walk away when it's time to leave. You'll have the enjoyment of use of the place and none of the headaches or responsibilities associated with ownership.
Thanks for the honest advice... I know little about the ski rental market, so it's valuable advice. I've only owned single family homes to date, so it will be a new ballgame to deal with an association. I had assumed that the monthly fees covered maintenance and upgrades, and I've seen how many of them are 600-800 a month which makes me rub my eyes and make sure I'm not seeing things.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2017, 02:57 PM
 
Location: DFW, TX
2,935 posts, read 6,114,503 times
Reputation: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
You might look into Steamboat Springs.
I passed through while driving to Yellowstone from Dillon, but never stopped. Is Steamboat Springs a big attraction for europeans compared to other areas? I noticed a lot of the signs showed temperatures in Celsius and there were other oddities that made me feel like I wasn't driving through Colorado.

I'll have to visit this summer and check it out!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2017, 03:26 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,174,512 times
Reputation: 14904
Quote:
Originally Posted by KantLockeMeIn View Post
Thanks for the honest advice... I know little about the ski rental market, so it's valuable advice. I've only owned single family homes to date, so it will be a new ballgame to deal with an association. I had assumed that the monthly fees covered maintenance and upgrades, and I've seen how many of them are 600-800 a month which makes me rub my eyes and make sure I'm not seeing things.
Sorry, but the typical HOA fees only cover routine management and COMMON AREA maintenance. Needed repairs inside your Condo are your responsibility. Routine monthly management does not cover rental pool management commission/fees for that activity.

What they will not cover:

1) major upgrades and improvements to COMMON AREAS. Typical examples might be when the roofs need replacing. Or a recreational facility needs equipment replaced or major repairs, such as a swimming pool heater or pump/filters. Or parking area repairs/repaving/striping. Or major landscaping replacements, such as trees that die and require a sizable nursery tree, not a sapling.

(I had a friend purchase a 2bd/2ba condo in an Aspen CO ski-in/ski-out development. The seller did not disclose that the HOA members had been contemplating a major redo of the exterior of the buildings, the entry area, and the spa area. A month after the sale was completed, the HOA members voted to approve the pending upgrades. Here's your bill, condo owner: $175,000. Due and payable in full within 45 days. Pay up or we'll put a lien on your condo and foreclose ASAP to collect the money you owe. My friend had no choice but to pay up on his new condo ... which had seemed like such a bargain at "only" $1.3 mil.)

2) routine mandated upgrades to the units. For example, many condo associations will require routine replacements of household items for the condo's actively in the rental pool. This is to maintain a given standard of quality for the rental pool. Some items may be required to be replaced on a 2 year cycle, whether or not your condo items are in good order or not. Short term rental damage and abuse is a common wear problem. Such items can be refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, toilet seats, carpeting, bedding/mattresses/pillows, kitchen electric items (coffeemakers, etc) (and this isn't a comprehensive list). Interior painting may be part of such a program. You either opt in to get the suggested items from the management contracted bulk purchase/installation in the specified time frame ... or buy better quality that you prefer ... or your unit is dropped from the management rental pool.

3) condo interior maintenance such as minor electrical, plumbing, domestic hot water, A/C and heating systems (if not central provided by the HOA) can need repairs. Typically, you will have agreed to the condo management acting as your agent to get these items repaired in a timely manner. Generally speaking, they will have a preferred provider list and will simply contact the contractors to do the work as needed. Again, this is to keep your unit up to 'snuff for the rental pool with minimum interruption to the management. Of course, they mark up those contracted services and this is a profit center to the condo management team. It wouldn't be unusual for your first notice that there was a problem in the condo to be your monthly billing/accounting statement where you are charged for the work performed. If the rental revenue after management fees doesn't cover the billing, you will have an invoice for the work due that month.

4) I can not over-emphasize the impact of condo association and rental pool management fees. Management fees and expenses can readily hit 50% of your gross rental income in some associations. That's management fees alone ... not condo HOA monthly fees. Keep in mind that the monthly fees rack up every month whether you use the condo or not, or whether it's ski season and there's a few rental nights revenue.

PS: you may quickly discover that the ski area resort business is in business to make money. Every service your condo requires that you cannot do yourself to the condo standards will be done for a fee. In my experience, all the service companies in the resort areas work for a rather handsome hourly rate, many are "portal-to-portal" billing structure. IOW, you pay mileage/time for a contractor to come to your condo, do their work, and return to their base facility ... in Vail, that might be down-valley in Edwards or Avon. IMO, it's a bit of a rip ... when I've documented that the scheduler had an electrician come from a project a few blocks away from my place, for example, They got p-to-p mileage/time from both clients, and I've little doubt that the electrician was headed to his next job only a short in-town distance away ... rather than his Edwards dispatch point.

As well, I've received bills in the $hundreds from a Vail area plumber/HVAC contractor when a guest of the renters called the company to come out because a HWBB heat system zone valve had stuck and wasn't delivering hot water to a bedroom. The plumber wasn't able to reach the house because of an accident on Main Gore and the VPD had shut down the road until the scene could be cleared. The plumber chose to sit in his idling van for 2.5 hours waiting for the road to be opened instead of heading to another service call nearby in the interim. He could easily have contacted his dispatcher via his mobile phone to advise the situation. There was no emergency, the heat was on in the house but not specifically in two bedrooms which were easily kept to reasonable temperature by leaving the doors to the rooms open ... and this was during the day when privacy per bedroom wasn't a big requirement with only the one house guest in the house at the time. The really frustrating thing about this service call was that the "guest" didn't have the authority to contract with a service provider on my behalf. There's a notice on the refrigerator door that if a problem with the house happens, the renters are to call the management company who will determine the nature of the problem, the urgency to repair it, and take appropriate action as needed to assure the renters habitability and convenience of the premises.

In this case, by the time the P&H company did make it to the house the next day, the "stuck" zone valve had been cycled numerous times by the t-stat and came unstuck. Heat was on in the bedroom and the "guest" "forgot" to call the P&H company to advise that there was no need for the service call. But I got stuck with the bill ... and sought an adjustment with the P&H company. Their response was to sue me along with 50 other claims against my property managers for disputed bills over the years. Rather than break out the various disputed bills ... some of which were multiple $thousands of real fluff billing ... the property managers settled the bill without advising me. So my billing was deducted from my rental income on the next statement. Don't be surprised if such events happen to your condo, I've heard of it from my neighbors and friends with resort area rental properties.

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-11-2017 at 03:50 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2017, 04:12 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,174,512 times
Reputation: 14904
Quote:
Originally Posted by KantLockeMeIn View Post
I passed through while driving to Yellowstone from Dillon, but never stopped. Is Steamboat Springs a big attraction for europeans compared to other areas? I noticed a lot of the signs showed temperatures in Celsius and there were other oddities that made me feel like I wasn't driving through Colorado.

I'll have to visit this summer and check it out!
According to my friends who routinely head to European ski resorts (family connections in the biz at those locations), Aspen and Vail are the premier Colorado resorts that attract Europeans. Both ski resorts have a lot of family business type connections to the euro ski/hospitality industry. You'll find their presence in the ski shops, high end retail stores, restaurants, and hotel biz in these towns.

The 'boat has a lot of followers and can be a good rocky mountain destination skiing experience. But in my experience of skiing the rocky mountain resorts for many decades ... I've not met european skiers in the numbers that I've met on the chairlifts or in the slopeside restaurants as I have in Aspen or Vail. I used to ski a lot with a couple buddies who were fluent German, Italian, and French speakers. They would strike up a lot of conversations with native speakers when we were in Aspen or Vail.

I can only recall one time when they had such a conversation (German) in Steamboat ... and it was with a lady I'd met years ago on a chairlift in Vail. She was Swiss. She regal'ed me for an afternoon with her marvelous elegant skiing style and her commentary about how different rocky mountain skiing was without all the hillside chalets and restaurants that dominate the slopes in european resorts. Or that you could ski from country to country in a day at some of their resorts. She made it sound like most of their skiing was a social, laid-back experience compared to the crazies here who sought to do as many vertical feet each day as possible.

What stuck with me was that she was skiing in furs and jewelry that were quite an impressive display of affluence ... and on a brand new pair of Authier Autograph skis which were a rather prestigious expensive ski at the time. (I subsequently bought a 205cm pair at the end of season blow-out sale in an Aspen ski shop ... $400 end of season when they'd been $1,200 skis in season. A wonderful ski for the time, back in the day).

PS: access to the 'boat in ski season can be a longer drive than 3 hours during inclement weather. Rabbit Ears Pass is known for slow going on icy roads and it's a lot further away from DIA then the Summit County resorts. The flip side, of course, is that the Steamboat area has it's charms for the summer months of your intended use.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-11-2017, 05:51 PM
 
3,793 posts, read 3,982,404 times
Reputation: 2561
Would you consider buying in Fort Collins and then renting out 8-10 continuous months (to a student)? Might be less hassle, less expensive buy, closer to cost neutral.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2017, 12:27 AM
 
Location: DFW, TX
2,935 posts, read 6,114,503 times
Reputation: 571
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Would you consider buying in Fort Collins and then renting out 8-10 continuous months (to a student)? Might be less hassle, less expensive buy, closer to cost neutral.
Tricky part is furniture. I wouldn't mind renting out to a student, but I don't know that I'd want students using my furniture. I've been looking at garages for sale in the greater Denver area and haven't seen many that aren't being sold to be tricked out man caves for a serious premium.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2017, 08:01 AM
 
3,793 posts, read 3,982,404 times
Reputation: 2561
Might be some advantage to having one carefully chosen student (preferably female, preferably serious grad student or maybe upper-classmen or older student) clearly accountable and anxious to ensure return of deposit using furniture, etc. over a lot of folks on vacation, looking for fun and perhaps with a... I paid for it, so who cares attitude. Someone would have to be inspecting everything all the time for damage and assigning responsibility. Will they do a good job? Will the renters get clear message about gentle use & heed it? If you get into either style game, I'd think you'd experience some damages, compensated fully with hassle or not fully offset by deposit or additional payment. Worse cases: lawsuit, theft by renters or burglars possibly taking advantage of careless renters, fire, etc.


Being the renter has some advantages. Flexibility, a lot less work & worry.

Last edited by NW Crow; 06-13-2017 at 08:24 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 06-13-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,379 posts, read 39,695,573 times
Reputation: 23401
You might consider a unit that has a separate (minimal) living space for YOU. (come and go as you please)

My current neighbors are doing that at PNW and Canada Ski areas. (usually with SFR, so not 'walk-in / walk-out', which is really much more ideal for strong occupancy and higher rents)

1) it is VERY hard to cash flow a seasonal rental
2) financially it is better to invest your equal RE equity in a YR rental prop (commercial or residential) in an area with stronger cash flows. (I choose NO income tax states for those investments, and keep my domicile in a no-income tax state) advantage.... you can get deductible business travel to manage those investments (Tahoe?) NV, WY, WA, SD, AK are income tax free states with ski resorts)
3) Lots of good cases / info already posted... consider it and make a spreadsheet and run many scenarios (including low seasons, high expenditure yrs, and buy / sell projections)
4) be advised that prime property in desirable vacation destinations most often keeps an 'over-market-valuation', because there are a lot of 'dreamy' buyers who 'forget' to run the numbers... or are wealthy enough to survive negative cash flows.

Do what will be best for you LONG TERM, as real estate can have you STUCK long term.
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 09:39 AM.

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

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