10. Consider Time of Year. Snow can affect your inspection. A home inspector might not be able to check out the roof, crawlspace and other exterior features because there is a lot of snow from about Thanksgiving to the end of April (sometimes longer if we get an early or late snow storm). If you are interested in a duplex, townhome or a single family home this is something to keep in mind.
9. Beware of Over-Improving a Home. You don’t want to be the most expensive home in the neighborhood when it comes time to sell. Buyers probably won’t see a value in the home if all the others in the neighborhood are priced less & have decent finishes. Since you might not know the area very well, before you update your home go to open houses in the area, talk to your neighbors & see what they’ve done with their homes. This is a great way to get some ideas for your home.
8. Fractional Ownership. First on all, it is DIFFERENT than Time Shares. In a Time Share, you own a week or two out of the year – you do NOT actually own any real estate. In a fractional Ownership you own a fraction of the real estate. It can be anywhere from ½ to ¼ or less. This is great if you want a vacation home, but only want to visit once a month or a few times a year, or maybe you have large family gatherings. Your dollar goes a lot further – you can afford quite a bit more square footage, higher quality finishes, better location & more!
7. HOA Fees. An HOA fee can be a good thing if you’re a second homeowner or don’t have time to maintain your home. Condo HOA fees often include snow removal, exterior maintenance, landscaping, trash, maintaining amenities like a pool or weight room, and some even include water, cable & utilities! This can be a great option if your primary residence is far away or if you don’t visit very often. Ask what the HOA covers and does not cover.
6. Changing Neighborhoods. If you’re looking for a good investment, check out some up & coming neighborhoods. These are places where a few homes have been updated & the most of the rest need to be updated as well. Drive around and check out different neighborhoods to look for an area that is changing. Or if it’s a condo, check out all the units that are for sale in a complex. This is great for a first time homebuyer or someone looking for a longer-term investment. Keep in mind that in this current market, it is more difficult to “Fix & Flip” than recent years.
5. Be Creative with Financing. If you’re a weekend warrior and have an extra bedroom or a mother-in-law apartment, rent it out to a local to offset your mortgage or other monthly costs like HOA fees, utilities or snow removal and even taxes. This way you have a someone who’s there when you’re not to help keep an eye on things.
4. Rental. Rental properties are huge in a resort town. Most resort homes can be rented. Go online or call different rental companies to determine the average night rental charge. There is typically a difference in price and amount of renters between the Winter, Summer & “Mud Seasons,” so ask about changes in rates for different times of the year. You can rent it yourself through companies like VRBO.com or there are local companies that can take care of everything for you!
3. Location. While being on the ski hill is nice, it can be expensive. If you check out the neighboring towns you can more bang for your buck. You will find that you get more square footage for the same price as homes closer to the ski resort. Compare commutes times, especially at different times of the day and different days to see if being a little further from the resort could work for you.
2. Do Your Research. Figure out what type of home you want and narrow down your search. It is a lot easier to compare several homes than 10 or 20 that might work for you. Look online, drive around different areas & consider the function of your mountain home. Set your needs and your wants – decide what you’re willing to be flexible on & what you just can’t compromise.
1. Know the Market. Take some time to learn about the local resort real estate market – this is very different from a “primary home market.” Ask about annual statistics and compare the last few years of sales, average sales price, sold volume, etc. Note the percent change from year to year and trends over several years. This will help you determine if home values are rising, falling or staying about the same by the average sales price and the amount of growth in an area by the number of sales & sales volume.