Whether your clients prefer the bunny slopes or a black diamond ski run, they may be considering buying a ski-in/ski-out condo or a cozy cabin in the mountains. Either way, their skills on the slopes and their finances may benefit.
Your buyers may want to invest in a winter getaway in one of the top ski towns identified by Travel and Leisure magazine, including Park City, Utah; Bend, Oregon; Stowe, Vermont; Breckinridge, Colorado; Jackson, Wyoming, and Taos, New Mexico.
The ability to work in remote locations such as those ski towns has increased the appeal of vacation homes. Vacation home sales rose 16.4% from the second quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, compared to a 5.6% increase in all existing home sales, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While median sales prices for vacation homes varied from $107,500 to $2.3 million, prices rose 14.2% in 2020 for vacation homes compared to 10.1% for homes in non-vacation counties, according to NAR.
Ski resort considerations
When you’re working with ski resort buyers, these factors can influence their return on investment:
- Location. Ski resorts can be remote, so buyers need to consider how easy it is to travel there by car or plane, especially in winter weather. Activities for non-skiers and in the off-season can add value, too. OneHome, which matches preferences with extensive property data, can refine the search.
- Maintenance. Upkeep can be costly in a wintery climate. Estimate the cost to hire help and the time required to care for the home. Ski resort homes need special protection in different seasons, too.
- Connectivity. While mountain villages are peaceful, internet access and the ability to use a cell phone are important for emergencies and for working in the cabin or condo.
- Expenses. Financing a ski resort home typically requires a down payment of 25%. In addition to the mortgage, buyers pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, both of which could be higher depending on the location. Utilities and possible homeowner association dues can add up, too.
- Climate issues. Mountain areas face risks from wildfires and blizzards that can damage the home and can be more difficult for long distance owners to manage.
Ski home rentals offset costs
Short-term rentals can cover some expenses depending on how frequently the home is rented and the going rate for similar properties. You can help your buyers estimate their potential income. Nightly rents can be as low as $100 for a small condo in the off-season to more than $1,000 for a larger home in a prime ski resort. Hiring a property management company can cost 15% to 40% of the rental income.
A professional photographer such as HomeVisit that provides attractive videos and images can increase rental income.
However, some jurisdictions and homeowner associations limit or prohibit short-term rentals. Search for information on OneHome to find alternate locations if necessary.
IRS rules for whether a ski home is an investment or a vacation home depend on how often the homeowners use it or rent it. Those rules will impact the deductibility of some expenses.
Long-term benefits of owning a ski home
To find the right ski property for your clients, start your search at OneHome, which provides matching services to quickly narrow choices. Consider buying a ski chalet in the summer for a discount.
Owning a home in a ski resort can provide an income stream from short-term rentals, a potential future retirement home or an asset to sell and be one of the most enjoyable investments your clients own.