Ski Condo or Mountain House?
There’s not much difference between a ski home and a normal vacation escape except for the mountain location. Ski properties are near or on mountains, such as Vail, Aspen, or Breckenridge, and normally have resorts. The decision between buying a ski condo or mountain house is where things become a little more complicated.
With ski homes, just like typical houses, you oversee all the upkeep yourself. This includes what is beyond the house’s four walls including snow removal, lawn work, grounds maintenance, and trash removal. With the harsh Winter months, maintaining a mountain home can be challenging by yourself, especially if you are not in town most of the time.
Ski condominiums are a part of HOA (Home Owner’s Association). Property owners are charged association fees, which cover maintenance. The owners don’t need to cut grass, paint the outside, or worry about snow plowing or shoveling. Association dues typically run in the hundreds of dollars. The amount is pegged to the home’s size, and other times of the condos will be the same. Condos often come with amenities, like a tennis court, clubhouse, or a pool.
Buying for yourself or investment purposes?
It’s also important to work out how many times per year you’re going to use your ski home. Are you planning to spend time or are just visiting to go skiing? If you are only interested in having a place to rest when you are skiing, most people will get a condominium. Given how little time you will be spending during the off-season at your escape, it could be better to live where outside maintenance is minimal. But if you dream of having a spread in which you encounter a small-town existence, a house with some acreage might be a better match. If you wish to spend some time during the Spring or the Summer, you should find a home so that you can enjoy the scenery with a few trees and forests and views, and you won’t feel as if there is someone directly beside you.
If you intend to post your mountain home on websites like AirBnB, you can generate some income, and in that case the nearer to the mountain the better.
One potentially major consideration is the distance to the ski lifts. It will almost certainly guarantee tenants if you have a property nearest the ski slopes. Ski-in, ski-out means exactly that, it is simple to get to one of the paths or the lifts. It is considered the difference in terms of how much you can rent your location for in many cases. On a hill, there are just so many ski-in/ski-out lots, so they do come at a premium. You are likely to receive more money when it comes time to sell when you’ve got a place right on the mountain as well.
If ski-in, ski-out is not a choice, consider properties that sit on shuttle lines or operate shuttles straight from the property.
Mortgage or Cash?
If you are purchasing a timeshare, you are not likely to find a mortgage; banks do not lend on them these days.
But if you are purchasing a mountain-side condo or detached home, mortgage lenders continue to be an option. Whether it is a ski house or a summer house, it doesn’t matter, it is still considered a second home.
As is true with a primary residence, debt-to-income ratio is of extreme importance in qualifying for mortgage financing. Your existing mortgage payment is going to be a part of your debt-to-income ratio calculation in addition to the mortgage payment for your new vacation home.
Houz Mortgage has a specialized team ready to help with your ski home financing so call (303) 649-1245 or apply now to get started.